Q&A with The Acre Site Manager, Roberto Insa-Stephens

Q&A with The Acre Site Manager, Roberto Insa-Stephens

Posted 18/07/16

WHAT ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR?

I look after the whole building site really. From up front health and safety, to the construction itself, I make sure that the build progresses on time, to budget and to the very high quality levels that HAB demands.

HOW DID CONSTRUCTION START?

The first thing we did was to establish the site perimeter to enable the safe segregation of the site from areas
used by the general public. In turn, we cleared the area of all vegetation, levelled it out where needed, excavated within the footprints of the homes (to get the foundations in) and then we were on to the main infrastructure works such as drainage and roads.

WHAT ARE THE OWNERS MOST INTERESTED IN?

Space, light and the ability to get their teeth stuck in to the design tweaking. They seem to love really putting their stamp on it. And on that note, they’re all particularly taken by the stamp duty savings custom build gives.

WHAT IS HAPPENING ON SITE AT THE MOMENT?

All the foundation slabs have now been completed, and we’re currently erecting the timber frame superstructure on several plots. In parallel to that, mechanical and electrical works are underway, which is basically about getting the first stage of plumbing, lighting, power and ventilation installed.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The next stage is to complete the external facade to plot 5, The Gatehouse. This means putting up the external brickwork and timber cladding, and finally putting on the wraparound zinc roofs.

HOW ARE THE OWNERS KEPT UP-TO-DATE WITH PROGRESS ON THEIR BUILD?

Each buyer has been visiting the site regularly to see progress. In addition, we have an in-house web tool through which we can send them pictures of the build. And we’re soon to have time lapse videos of the build which will be shared with them.

HOW HAVE YOU COLLABORATED WITH THE OWNERS TO INCORPORATE THEIR NEEDS IN DEVELOPING THEIR CUSTOM BUILT HOME?

This has been led by the sales team but I’ve assisted where possible; from working with buyers about what internal ceiling heights they’d like, to floor strengthening to accommodate upstairs gyms. And a new one for me was working on how to create a Japanese entrance hallway for someone – which I now know is a genkan, with a getabako!

WHAT IS CUMNOR HILL LIKE?

It’s a great area, with Cumnor village just a few minutes away with lovely pubs. Cumnor village itself is a real mix of house styles and we hope we’re adding to that with what we’re doing here at The Acre. It’s a very active and friendly community and conveniently located for Oxford city. 

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