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Latest Bath Spa problem creates headache for architects

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Grimshaw, the architectural group that designed the much-delayed £36m Bath Thermae Spa project in the UK, has angrily refuted claims that it is responsible for the latest problems to beset the site.

The architects responded to statements from Bath and North East Somerset Council (BANES) and contractor, Mowlem, who implied that fault found in the waterproof floors of the steamroom – which has led to leakage into the dry rooms below – was Grimshaw’s fault.

Mowlem claimed the leaks are the result of design faults.

A spokesperson for the contractor said: “Mowlem does not accept that it is responsible for the leaks in the steamroom floors at Bath Spa, but believes there is a design problem. We, like the council, now await instruction from Grimshaw to enable us to progress.”

BANES councillor Nicole O’Flaherty believes the latest problem is as serious as the previous setback to the project – faulty paintwork on the pool walls of the spa – which led to long delays on site.

“We don’t know yet whether it is a design or construction fault but it is the responsibility of the architects to ensure that the building is constructed and passed to the council completely up to standard and in full working order,” she said.

“Therefore, we expect Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners to let us know without delay what they plan to do to put the problem right. We do expect this to cause further delays to the project.”

In a separate statement, Grimshaw moved the blame for the waterproofing failure towards Mowlem.

“We refute the implication that the continued delays to the completion of the Bath Spa project are the result of the design,” a spokesperson told Leisure Opportunities.

“It is our view that the delays have always been and continue to be related to the construction. We are working with all parties to address the faulty work and will continue to do so until the project is completed to our satisfaction.”

The Bath Spa scheme has yet to set an official opening date – it was originally planned to open in April 2003. Details: www.mowlem.com www.bathnes.gov.uk www.grimshaw-architects.com

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Grimshaw, the architectural group that designed the much-delayed £36m Bath Thermae Spa project in the UK, has angrily refuted claims that it is responsible for the latest problems to beset the site.
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