milestone masonry group-(T/A RJ Sheen & Co)

Brickwork | Blockwork | Restoration | Specialist Masonry Services



This £100 million contract, for the design and construction of a new Category B local prison at Belmarsh West in South East London, which will be operated by Serco. Ultimate client for the scheme is the Ministry of Justice.

The new prison is centred around a 600-cell four-storey house block as well as associated buildings to provide education,rehabilitation, training, hospital, sports, healthcare,worship, kitchens, recycling, storage, visits, administration works, horticulture and security.


The scale of this project was immense and required at its peak some 60+ nr of operatives to facilitate the requirements of  multi locational construction programme

as you can imagine the primary challenges of a project on this scale were amongst others;


  • Maintaining consistency of the finished masonry/quality assurance
  • Maintaining a safe environment for our operatives & adjacent trades with whom we interfaced
  • Materials logistics/Environmental considerations
  • Setting out, accuracy & specification compliance
  • Ongoing competence of the employed workforce
  • Compliance with latest industry initiatives
  • Industrial Relations and site specific initiatives



How we acheived this:



The vast majority of operatives employed on this project were sourced from our extensive database of tried and trusted bricklayers, and any new additions were subject to  a stringent induction prior to being engaged in addition to having their professional acreditation and skill level vetted/verified in accordance with the CSCS scheme.Each section was overseen by a Chargehand in turn overseeing a regular gang of bricklayers,and whom was familiarised in advance with the project quality plan and made aware in advance of the witness points and required benchmark standards that were identified early on with the project team as potential challenges.

Completed work was protected and maintained throughout the project, and all aspects of Good Masonry Practices were adopted continuously, from coring holes and cavity battens to utilising profiles and temp formers etc bricks were mixed from several packs as per manf instructions, factory produced silo mortar was utilised and scaffolds and thoroughfares regularly cleaned at cessation of works and manual handling kept to a minimum to avoid transit damage of materials.



Working Closely with our Skanska Uk Package Management Team, and adopting their project safety rules and guidelines that included site specific requirements in accordance with their IFE Initiative (Injury Free Environment), combined with our own in house policies and Tool Box Talks and constant surveillance from our own Management team on site, we were able to encourage and promote a safe working environment for all operatives on site (incl other trades), with particular regard to the Skansksa Glove and Eye Protection PPE Policy. Getting some of the older generation bricklayers to adopt modern safety requirements has in the past been a source of angst for both operative and manager alike,on a many a recent project. A proactive approach to avert a minor problem becoming amajor one was adopted, and what follows is an extract from Skanska Uk's Corporate Magazine featuring RJS Initiative to encourage compliance;





The project acheived an " Outstanding"  Level Award in terms of its green and sustainable credentials in accordance with the  BRE's    BREEAM   Initiative


BREEAM addresses wide-ranging environmental and sustainability issues and enables developers, designers and building managers to demonstrate the environmental credentials of their buildings to clients, planners and other initial parties, BREEAM:

  • uses a straightforward scoring system that is transparent, flexible, easy to understand and supported by evidence-based science and research,
  • has a positive influence on the design, construction and management of buildings,
  • defines and maintains a robust technical standard with rigorous quality assurance and certification

We contributed to this overall project score by proposing, sourcing and procuring products from sustainable and environmentally friendly sources, and also from sources that would not have an adverse impact on the carbon footprint of the project;for example, using blocks with highest possible recycled content, by ensuring that material deliveries came from as near as possible so as to minimise transport emissions from lorries, utilising factory produced silo mortars minimising waste,recycling waste on site by sorting into relevant categories min imising landfill, re-using bricks and blocks in 'common walls' ie where plastered or covered by cladding etc, utilising mastics from 600 cc 'sausage style cartridges as opposed to rigid style traditional tubes.

( you can view the BREEAM Cert here in our downloads section)