Added 15 May 2017

 2017Q30. What progress has been made since the EGM?

Silom Wing Sub-committee: A Silom Wing sub-committee was established to deliver the project, replacing the former Poolside Redevelopment sub-committee under a new Bylaw on 20th March. The SC comprises 7 members with expert skills under the chairmanship of GC Vice Chair, Ali Adam.

Architect/ Quantity Surveyor/ Project Manager: Contracts have been signed with the Architects, Chapman Taylor and Quantity Surveyors GES Solutions: Contract values for the Silom Wing including work to date:

Chapman Taylor: baht 2,168,000

GES Solutions: baht 697,775

 Quotations have been sought for Project management from 3 companies/ individuals and an appointment will be made when construction begins.

Planning Approval: Planning approval has been sought from BMA, separately for the demolition of old buildings and new construction/ refurbishment. Demolition approval was received on 24th March (fee baht 10) and refurbishment approval is expected during May.

Staff Facility: Designs have been approved and a contract has been let to Attain Construction Co Ltd at a value of baht 464,987.60 to convert the Pavilion Café into new staff facilities. The Pavilion Cafe will be closed in June to allow construction ahead of demolition of the current staff house as part of the Silom Wing project.  A Letter of Intent has been signed with the Neilson Hays Library to resume operation of the library café when their renovation work is complete, hopefully in October. The Surawongse Road Wall will be reinstated.

Front Lawn: Quotations are being sought for temporary young family facilities to be provided on the Front Lawn whilst the kiddies’ pool, and Silom Sala are closed during construction. These will include an artificial turf area, inflatable pool, a pergola providing shaded seating, playground equipment and the trampoline. The Petanque Court will be closed at least temporality during the construction.

Time line: Chapman Taylor are preparing Tender Designs and documentation with a 22nd May deadline. The project will the go out to tender and it is planned commence work mid-July. The projected demolition/ construction time is eight months with completion in the first quarter of 2018.

2017Q29. What was the result of the 31st January EGM?

Members at the EGM on 31st January approved the following Motion by a vote of 169 (including 110 by proxy) to 42 (23 by proxy ):

Approval is given for the General Committee to proceed to construct the Silom Wing of the Architectural Design Development prepared by architects Chapman Taylor for redevelopment of the British Club Poolside within a budget of Baht 29 million to be financed from existing Club funds. This Motion will supersede all previous General Meeting approvals regarding the Poolside Redevelopment.

Added 27 January 2017

 2017Q28. The financial projections are very important. Has there been an independent assessment of the calculations and assumptions behind them and have these been tested against scenarios where the Club performs less well than budgeted?

Yes. The calculations and assumptions have been thoroughly checked and tested against alternative scenarios by the Audit Committee using their own worksheets. The original assumptions are already quite cautious but more pessimistic scenarios have been tested including higher losses of revenue during construction and lower levels of membership. The original assumptions and a sample more pessimistic scenario are available under the ‘Final Design’ tab for the Silom Wing. In all scenarios tested, the Club can afford to carry out the development from accumulated funds without utilising staff retirement and benefit funds.

The Audit Committee also reviewed projections for the next three years assuming that rest of the development was completed within a total budget of baht 52m. These projections are based on the extremely cautious assumptions that there will be no growth in Membership, the impact on poolside revenue will be negative and there will be no increase in prices or subscriptions for the entire duration of the project. Even under such extreme assumptions corrective measures might only become necessary towards the end of the project to ensure its timely completion.

Decisions on the timing of further phases beyond the Silom Wing will only be made later in the year after the Silom Wing is underway. Tenders received for the Silom Wing will enable the accuracy of costings to be assessed, the impact on Club operations will be better understood and more reliable longer-term cash flow projections will be possible to plan the subsequent phases.

2017Q27. Were staff consulted about the design for their new quarters in the Pavilion Café?

Yes. The design was displayed on the staff notice board, discussed at Khun Prem’s weekly management meeting and modified to address feedback. The latest layout is on the Website under the  ‘Final Design’ tab. It is of similar area to the present staff house but is in a more pleasant location with a more practical layout and with room to expand for future staff growth.

2017Q26.  How does the Silom Wing compare with facilities agreed by Members at earlier AGM/ EGMs?

Below is a brief summary of conclusions reached at the March 2014 AGM and the August 2014 and February 2015 EGMs in which poolside redevelopment was discussed.

The Silom Wing includes all of the facilities included in 2014/15 designs except for the massage rooms and exercise studio (formerly called Multipurpose room), which are located in the Poolside Building stage of the Chapman Taylor Design. Some of the 2014/15 options also included a modified Fitness Centre. A completely new Fitness Centre is included in the Chapman Taylor Poolside Building.

The Silom Wing however also includes provision for relocation of the Club Offices from the Clubhouse, a games room and relocation of the staff house facilities to the Pavilion café. It also includes levelling the whole area to make it safer and more convenient for users, and new drainage, pumps, water treatment and electricity distribution, which will help avoid expensive future repairs/ upgrades.

The Silom Wing will cost baht 29m including almost baht 5m for contingencies and professional fees, whilst the 2014/15 schemes were costed between baht 24m and 29m without contingencies, professional fees or investment in new mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment.

In summary, compared with previous schemes, the Silom Wing offers a complete rebuild of the area south of the main pool rather than trying to make use of old structures. It prepares for the future, creating space to relocate the offices out of the Clubhouse and moving the staff quarters to a more suitable location, which can be expanded as necessary in the future. The facilities provided will be similar to those offered by the previous scheme but designed as part of an integrated scheme for rejuvenating the whole poolside. The Silom Wing has been thoroughly costed and is likely to be cheaper than the earlier designs that excluded contingencies and fees and did not adequately address the mechanical, engineering and plumbing infrastructure

  1. At the March 2014 AGM Members approved the GC Motion:

“(Preamble)…  This Meeting instructs the incoming General Committee to create an integrated and fully costed scheme to develop the Silom Sala side of the Poolside area.  In particular taking into consideration:

 The replacement and possible relocation of the Silom Sala with a more purposeful F&B area.

  • The replacement of the children’s swimming poll into a better facility.
  • The upgrade or replacement of the children’s playground into a better and improved facility.
  • The upgrade or replacement of the squash courts into a better cost effective facility
  • The upgrade of the massage Room into a better and improved facility.
  • The possible inclusion of areas for dance, music, yoga lessons etc
  • The upgrade or possible replacement of the Staff House & refuse area to improve the facilities.
  • The incorporation of additional toilets and an upgrade of the children’s changing facilities

 This Integrated Scheme to be presented to and agreed by Members at a duly called “Extraordinary General Meeting to be held within six months from the AGM”

2. At the EGM in August 2014, Members were asked to approve a ‘Silom Integrated Scheme’ with a budget of baht 24m, excluding contingencies and professional fees. It included all of the items listed in the March AGM motion as well as a Teen Zone and Steam Rooms.

This scheme was approved only ‘in principle’ subject to further consultation with Members.

3. At the February 2015 EGM, adjustments to the original scheme were presented and Members were asked to choose between 4 options.

The Options involved alternative locations for the Fitness Centre, the Teen Zone, The Multipurpose Room and Changing Rooms, swapping them between the Ground and First Floor. Other components were the same in each option. Cost estimates for the 4 options ranged from 25.9-29.5 million baht  , excluding contingencies and professional fees.

After much discussion the motion was not passed, but referred back to the incoming GC to return with a single preferred option.

The incoming GC (March 2015) set up the Silom Integrated Scheme Working Group (SISWG) to recommend a preferred option. The SISWG felt that more design concepts should be considered and recommended an architect design competition. This recommendation was not accepted and no further plans were presented to the Members until the incoming GC of 2016 held a Design Competition.

2017Q25. What assumptions have been made for loss of revenue during the Construction Period?

As explained under FAQ 2017Q3 it is not expected that construction of the Silom Wing will have a significant impact on revenue. The Silom Sala end facilities are so little used that they contribute less than 10% of Poolside revenues. Not all of this will be lost because the rest of the poolside will still be open and Silom Sala end users can migrate to other areas. It is also planned to provide temporary facilities on the Front Lawn. A loss of 50% of the Silom end revenues (5% of total poolside sales) has been allowed for.

The other loss of revenue will be from the Pavilion Café when it is closed to become the new staff quarters. This loss is assumed for about six months after which the Club will resume operating the Neilson Hays Café. Based on previous experience, revenue from at the Neilson Hays library should at least balance that received from the Pavilion Café.

As 2017G3 explains, inconvenience to Members during the project development is expected to be minimal. The new construction is expected to generate interest from potential new members and will be used as part of our marketing campaign.

2017Q24. Is it true that Membership numbers are falling?

 Membership numbers always fluctuate but have been remarkably constant given that Thailand has been through extremely testing times with two military coups, major street demonstrations, street bombings and severe flooding. New Members have generally taken the place of those leaving.  End of year levels for the last 12 years were as follows:

Year Total Members   Year Total Members
2005 1087 2011 1011
2006 1064 2012 1001
2007 1029 2013 1042
2008 1038 2014 1108
2009 1006 2015 1099
2010 985 2016 1094

The Club maintains a very low profile and most new Members find us by word of mouth or by chance. For the 2017/18 committee year the GC is recommending/ planning a marketing campaign and believes that through our close relationships with Embassies, International Schools, Chambers of Commerce and Moving Companies we can secure and increase our membership base.

2017Q23. Has adequate provision been made for essential maintenance of the Club such as replacement of equipment and repainting?

 Yes. The Table shows all capital expenditure, repairs and maintenance costs for the last 12 years. There are two lines in the Club Accounts:

  • Maintenance & Repairs. This includes all day-to-day repairs such as light bulbs, equipment, air conditioner servicing etc.
  • Capital Expenditure. This includes two kinds of expenditure:
  • Capital expenditure projects such as, in recent years, the Pavilion Café, Back Lawn Toilet, Clubhouse Lift which are shown in (3),
  • Capex for essential repairs and maintenance which are depreciated over a period of time, such as replacement of air conditioners, poolside furniture, repainting the Clubhouse, refurbishing the cricket nets, tennis courts etc. (4)

In addition to the Budget of baht 29 m for the Silom Wing, the Budget for 2017 includes Baht 1.2m for Repairs and Maintenance (1) and Baht 3m for Capital Expenditure (2).

Since no major new projects are being planned for 2017 this is considered adequate to cover essential Maintenance and Repairs such as repainting the Clubhouse


  (1) Maintenance & Replacement

(Day to Day)

(2) Capital Expenditure

(3) + (4)

(3) New Projects


(4) Capex Maintenance and Repairs


2005 1,671,635 3,855,526 924,836 2,930,690
2006 1,345,908 2,167,862 466,880 1,700,982
2007 1,304,151 12,452,294 10,524,409 1,927,885
2008 1,174,632 1,480,633 279,252 1,201,381
2009 1,128,640 12,555,415 11,394,536 1,160,879
2010 1,310,327 6,850,169 5,298,952 1,551,217
2011 998,407 1,638,964 0 1,638,964
2012 1,379,881 6,569,964 4,734,495 1,835,469
2013 1,410,803 5,961,914 3,978,823 1,983,091
2014 1,274,240 5,920,915 4,127,512 1,793,403
2015 1,202,973 7,476,471 6,454,248 1,022,223
2016 1,149,538 2,388,590 1,554,190 834,400
12 year average 1,279,261 5,776,559 4,144,844 1,631,715
2017 Budget 1,186,236 3,000,000

2017Q22. Have Equipment and Fittings been included in the costs for the Silom Wing?

Equipment costs for the Silom Wing are included, such as new cold water booster pumps, hot water storage tank, waste water treatment system, valves, air-conditioning units, main power distribution board, new cabling, fire protection and ventilation system and playground equipment.  All Fittings such as sanitary ware, lighting, tiles etc., are also included.

Loose furniture, new games and fitness equipment are not included.

2017Q21. Is VAT reclaimable on the capital costs?

The Club in its everyday operations generates sufficient incoming VAT to offset the increase in outgoing VAT generated by the Project.

2017Q20. Will contractors require an upfront payment?

There is normally an advance/ mobilisation payment of around 10% of the contract value and this has been included in the cash flow projections.

Added January 2017

2017Q19. In what way are the designs environmentally responsible? 

 As an environmentally conscious international design practice, Chapman Taylor ensures that all of the architectural designs are ecological and efficient at all stages of the project. Several key architectural, mechanical, electrical and plumbing strategies are in place in order to make the building more environmentally responsible:

  • Overhangs, open air spaces/corridors and shading systems reduce the solar gain, resulting in lower energy consumption
  • Operable glazing systems allow for natural ventilation
  • Future proofing the building has been considered, allowing new technologies as future systems. For example, on the south facing roof of the new office in the Silom Wing there is space to house solar panels. A preliminary assessment of the feasibility and costs of a rooftop solar PV system for the poolside redevelopment has been carried out. Although these are not in the budget for now, they can become a later addition in the future providing solar power and electricity savings.
  • Thick roof insulation will keep the building cool in the mid-day sun, resulting in lower energy consumption
  • New HVAC systems are more efficient, resulting in lower energy consumption
  • Water efficient sanitary ware will consume less water
  • All materials are sourced and provided by local suppliers meaning very few imported products, this will dramatically reduce our carbon footprint

2017Q18. Will the specified construction materials be durable in Bangkok’s extreme climate? Are they low maintenance and has life cycle costing been considered in the design? 

Bangkok’s climate is, indeed, extreme. Having been working in South-East Asia for over 20 years Chapman Taylor are familiar with the challenges that this climate can generate. As a result of this experience, all materials are specifically selected according to practicality and suitability to the project.

General maintenance is common practice and a part of the life of any building. In an attempt to reduce maintenance, ‘self-cleaning’ materials have been selected where possible. For example:

  • High endurance exterior paint
  • Coated aluminium
  • Self-cleaning membrane (shading canopies)
  • Weatherproofed steel
  • Coated glass
  • A Low-maintenance vertical garden

Due to the nature of the simplistic design, the modular architectural elements will be assembled using smaller panels. Thus, should any particular panel need replacing/maintenance it will be a simple process to remove the panel without having to replace the entire element.

2017Q17. How will product types and suppliers be selected? 

For all design projects, products are selected based on suitability and practicality. In this instance, local suppliers and products will be considered in an attempt to reduce the carbon footprint and to reduce costs. All of the design consultants are responsible for specifying which products are to be used; this is shown in the Specification within the construction documentation, noting that no product/supplier is compulsory, if a product/supplier is unsuitable/unavailable then a product of similar standard may be used but must be approved by the client and design consultant.

All of the larger and more complex items within the design, for example the shading canopies or façade panels, will be tendered to different suppliers so that a selection can be made based on quality and cost, whilst maintaining transparency throughout the entire process.

2017Q16. What are the key assumptions in the financial projections?

Detailed financial projections by month have been computed for the next three years to cover the whole poolside redevelopment. The projections will be reviewed in approx. one year before approval is sought for the remainder of the redevelopment.  A summary of the outcome of the projections for the period to the target completion of the Silom Wing, compared with recent financial results, is presented in the table below:

Summary of Financial Projections

Baht Million

2013 2014 2015 Un-audited 2016 Proj’n 2017 Proj’n Dec17- Mar18
Surplus of Revenues – Expenses 5.8 6.4 4.2 5.8 5.7 2.7
Add back Depreciation 5.4 6.5 7.0 5.8 6.1 2.0
Other cash movements 0.3 4.6 (0.5) 0.4 0 0
Cash Flow before Capex 11.5 17.5 10.7 12.0 11.8 4.7
Silom Wing Capital expenditure 12.7 16.2
Other Capital expenditure 7.2 7.3 8.8 2.2 3.0 1.0
Net Cash Flow 4.3 10.2 2.1 9.8 (3.9) (12.5)
Opening Cash balance 16.8 21.1 31.3 33.2 43.0 39.1
Closing Cash balance 21.1 31.3 33.2 43.0 39.1 26.6
Staff benefit provisions 11.7 13.6 15.9 17.6 18.5 18.6
Available Cash 9.4 17.7 17.3 25.4 20.6 8.0

The projection assumes that the annual Surplus of Revenues over Expenses will be similar to previous years, and include allowance for some loss of revenue from the Silom Sala area and the Pavilion Café. The amount for December 2017 to March 2018 is more than a third of one year because it is the most profitable time of the year for the Club with many functions.

Included in the expenses is Depreciation of previous capital expenditures, which is not a cash outflow, and is therefore added back to the surplus.

Capital expenditure in recent years has included other projects, such as the Pavilion Café, 1910 Balcony and back-lawn developments. It is envisaged that the vast majority of capital expenditure in the near future will be the Poolside development, but Baht 3 million is projected for “general maintenance” capital expenditure.

The cash balance of Baht 43 Million at the end of November 2016 is projected to reduce by only Baht 16.4 Million to Baht 26.6 Million at the end of March 2018, despite all of the Baht 28.9 Silom Wing costs being incurred.

 2017Q15. How come the predicted Cash Balance “at the end” requires the Club to generate 14 million baht over the next year when the Club historically generates less than 10 million baht per year and will generate almost nothing from the poolside during the construction period?

 The Summary of Financial Projections table shows the amount projected to be generated (Cash Flow before capex) is very similar to the audited figures for 2013 to 2015. Whilst the projection provides for a small loss of revenue from the Silom Sala, this area has been little used, it is envisaged that the remainder of the poolside will continue to be used as before.

 2017Q14. Has adequate provision been made for preserving liabilities such as staff retirement funds and Member’s deposits?

Staff benefit provisions at the Club consists of both a retirement fund and a retirement benefit obligation. Staff can access both funds when they retire, but if they resign they may only access the retirement fund and the amount they are entitled to will depend on length of service.  Reflecting the GC’s prudent and conservative approach to the overall redevelopment, the Summary of Financial Projections table above shows that the Silom Wing project can be completed without accessing any Staff Benefit funds, currently Baht 17.6 Million, the balance of Available Cash remaining positive throughout

Member deposits, currently totalling Baht 5.8 Million – an amount which has hardly changed in recent years as it depends on the number of members, which in turn has remained fairly constant – are part of the operating funds of the Club, and are therefore included in the Available Cash figures above. If members leave they take their deposit, but new members are in turn required to make a deposit. The amount per Member is only approx. Baht 5300, and of course, the objective of the redevelopment is to make the Club a more attractive proposition that more people will want to join.

2017Q13. The EGM called for 31st January asks for approval only for the Silom Wing. How does this compare with earlier schemes presented to the Members in 2014/15? 


2017Q12. Why are almost all the Club’s funds and reserves being used for the Silom Wing which, in the GC’s own words, generates less than 10% of Club revenue?

 These two questions are best taken together.

The Silom Wing encompasses the entire 1,323 m2 area south of the Squash Court 1 and the main pool. There was apparently no master plan when the main pool and 2 squash courts were originally built in the 1960s and this area (formerly tennis courts) was left undeveloped. Buildings were added piecemeal in the early 1980s/1990s with the addition, first of squash court #3 and the Silom Sala, followed by the staff house, kiddies pool and playground.

The space was inefficiently used. There are inconvenient and dangerous differences in levels, cleaning and upkeep are difficult and most of buildings are shabby and run down. The staff house is intrusive, occupying a prime location, which can be much more effectively used for Member activities. The whole area is unattractive and Silom Sala and kiddies area is normally only used at weekends.

The 2014/15 schemes attempted to use existing structures, including the staff house, without consideration for possible future development. The proposed Silom Wing will rejuvenate the area. All of the old buildings south of the main pool and Squash Court 1 will be demolished and the ground levelled, enabling completely new modern facilities to be built focusing mainly on young families. The staff house facilities will be moved behind the tennis courts utilising the building currently housing the Pavilion Café (see 2017Q1&2).

New facilities will include most of the key facilities contained in previous designs: an air-conditioned room for young families including a crèche and a games room for table tennis etc.; the Silom Sala which tends to block space and airflow through the poolside will be replaced with an attractive shaded outdoor family sitting and eating area; and the new kiddies pool, playground (including climbing wall), toilets and the two new glass–backed squash courts will all be much more attractive then the old ones.

A bonus will be the upstairs provision for relocating the main offices thereby freeing up space for more Member facilities in the Clubhouse. The GC is preparing ideas for upgrading the Clubhouse and hopes to share these ideas with Members shortly.

The Silom Wing will be an eye-catching modern facility that the GC believes will be a major attraction for current and potential young families and sports enthusiasts.

2017Q11. Why is the total cost of the Chapman Taylor scheme (Baht 29m + Baht 23m = Baht 52m) so much higher than the Baht 26-29m schemes proposed in 2014/15?

The complete Chapman Taylor design includes rebuilding/ renovating the whole Poolside (excluding the main pool) whereas the 2014/15 designs were restricted to the Silom Sala/ Poolside building, retaining the staff house, kiddies pool and kitchen in their current locations. The Suriwongse Sala was left unchanged.

The total areas of development included in the 2014/ 2105 designs were between 1,928 and 2,030 m2 whereas the complete Chapman Taylor design is 2,748 m2 (26 to 30% larger). The 2014/15 earlier scheme did not include contingencies or professional fees (project management, architecture, structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering and quantity surveying) whereas baht 7 million has been included in the Chapman Taylor budget.

The facilities to be provided in the proposed Silom Wing at baht 29m are described in 2017Q13, involving total construction of 1,600 m2. All of the facilities will be new, the whole area will be raised to the same level as the main Poolside and full provision has been made for contingencies and professional fees including project management totalling baht 4.8m.

The unit cost of the 2014 and 2015 schemes was Baht 14,684 and 15,301 /m2 whereas the unit cost of the Chapman Taylor Development is Baht 16,351/ m2. Chiefly due to MEP provisions. The main reason for the difference therefore is that the Chapman Taylor development is larger, has more facilities and includes proper provision for contingencies and professional fees.

2017Q10. Why is the total cost of the Chapman Taylor scheme (Baht 29m + Baht 23m = Baht 52m) so much higher than estimates made at the time of the design competition (23m)

The cost of Chapman Taylor Concept Design was initially estimated at baht 23m. It was prepared in just 4 weeks based on their interpretation of the Design Brief. Once appointed, weekly meetings were held with the Poolside Redevelopment sub-committee’s team of technical experts, who provided Member feedback and raised practical design issues based on Club user experience.

Whilst remaining faithful to the overall concept design, many adjustments were made to the detailed layout increasing the envisaged built-up area from 1,220 m2 (2 storeys) to 1,815 m2, and external areas from 779 m2 to 933 m2, the total developed area increasing 37% from 1,999 m2 to 2,748 m2. Changes incorporated included larger walkways, family room, squash-viewing area, toilets and changing rooms and sports bar, as well as increased shading and the relocation of the staff house facilities to the Pavilion café.

The decision to remove all buildings in the Silom Wing provided the opportunity to completely replace/upgrade all mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) provisions including waste water treatment, pumps, pipes, drainage and electricity distribution. MEP costs total baht 10.5m in the new design and will avoid potentially expensive repairs/ upgrades in the future. Largely due to this, the average unit cost for the built up area increased 31% from baht 18,841 /m2 in the Chapman Taylor Concept Design to baht 24,756/ m2 in the Final Design.

Finally, professional fees and a contingency were included in the Final Design budget totalling baht 7 million.

The final cost of baht 52m compared with baht 23 million was thus the result of expanded facilities compared with the Concept Design, higher unit costs mainly due to investment in extensive MEP works, plus full provision for professional fees and contingencies.

2017Q9. In the design competition, finalists were required to provide an Independent Quantity Surveyor’s indicative estimate of costs, inclusive of professional fees. Did Chapman Taylor provide a QS report?

Yes, this was the requirement set out in the Design Brief. However one of the Architects (not Chapman Taylor) asked for this requirement to be dropped as they argued their in-house team was able to give adequate cost estimates for this purpose. This was agreed and all 4 competitors were informed. Chapman Taylor also chose to do this internally.

2017Q8. Is it true that architects HBO-EMTB were dismissed from further consideration following the Architects competition because their scheme was estimated to cost around 45m Baht?

 No. As explained under 2016Q7 all four design concepts were considered by the sub-committee’s Evaluation Panel and scored against five criteria, one of which was cost, weighted at 20%. No designs were rejected based on cost.

2017Q7. What do the Silom Wing cost estimates include and exclude?

The costs include all structures and fittings, excluding only furniture. The 2014/15 schemes excluded fittings, furniture and equipment.  As explained in 2017Q11, full provision has been made for professional fees and a contingency. The costing was prepared by an independent Quantity Surveyor with considerable experience of construction projects in Bangkok.

2017Q6. What happens if the actual tenders received are higher than the costs estimated by the independent Quantity Surveyor?

 The SC is confident in the cost estimates and a contingency has been included in the overall budget. The costing exercise was exhaustive and the SC considers the estimates to be conservative. It is also expected that value engineering at the detailed design stage can further reduce costs.

The development time frame is short and fortunately we are not in an inflationary environment just now. However, should the tenders be higher than expected there will be further scope to cut costs as is normal practice in the industry.

In the unlikely but worst case scenario, should it not be possible to complete the development within budget, options would have to be presented to the Members for a decision.

2017Q5. Why did it take so long to call the EGM when the design was awarded to Chapman Taylor in September?

 Given that these new facilities are a significant investment in the Club’s future, the SC decided not to rush the process and undertook an extensive design consultation with Chapman Taylor (see 2017Q10). Many meetings were held and many revisions were made to ensure that the development responded to all feedback and additional requests from the sub-committee as far possible. A thorough costing and value engineering exercise was also carried out to optimise the choice of construction materials and ensure efficiency of design. The festive season delayed the final touches.

2017Q4. Will the rest of the project ever be built?

 We certainly hope so! The Silom Wing development will take just over a year to build, and can be funded from existing Club resources

The reason no formal commitment to the remainder of the Poolside Development is being made now is because the GC is mindful of the uncertainties surrounding us at this time – not just for the Club – and wants to review the financial position in a year or so.  If all is going well, another EGM can be called at that time, with a recommendation either to continue seamlessly with the next area to be developed, or pause before resuming construction.

Current finance projections suggest that work could continue without interruption, thereby minimising disruption and saving the costs of demobilising and re-mobilising the contractors, but one year from now the Club will be wiser in terms of how much impact the works have had, the effectiveness of other revenue-boosting plans etc.

2017Q3. What impact will the project have on Club Members during construction?

 Every attempt will be made to minimise inconvenience to Members and the construction should have minimal impact on Club users. The whole development area will be fenced off along the line approximately of the main pool Silom-end balustrade. Construction access will be from the Soi meaning that there will be no construction activity inside the Silom Road entrance, other than refurbishment of the Pavilion Café. Access should be possible via Soi 18 at all times although there is the option of temporarily opening the Suriwongse gate at times if necessary.

The noisiest periods of construction will be for the few weeks when the old buildings are demolished and piling carried out for the new ones. This will take place mainly during the international ‘summer’ school holidays when the Club is traditionally quiet. The current facilities are lightly used and mainly at weekends.

Attractive temporary facilities are being planned on the Front Lawn with an inflatable pool and shaded family seating area. Materials temporarily used here will be re-usable elsewhere after the construction.

 2017Q2. What is happening to the Pavilion Café?

 The current staff house takes up valuable space in the development area and will be demolished to make space for the new facilities. Staff facilities for changing and rest between shifts will be relocated to the current Pavilion café building.

The Pavilion café has been little used by Members and its closure will enable the Club Suriwongse Road wall to be reinstated, improving security and reducing street noise. Full backdrops can be reinstated on the tennis courts improving the tennis playing experience.

2017Q1. Why are we moving our staff to less convenient premises which are just about the half the present size, with less showers per sex than now and no ‘relaxation’ or sleeping areas – do we not care about our staff?  Just over a year ago, the Club spent more than 1m Baht refurbishing the existing staff house. Is this to be just written off?  How much is the conversion of the coffee shop to the staff house going to cost?

The current staff house is unattractive and intrusive on a valuable piece of land where a modern family facility is being planned (see 2017Q1&2). In 2016, the Silom Integrated Scheme Working Group WG set up by the GC to review the then current development plans formally requested that any remodelling of the old building wait for the plans for this area to be finalised. The GC did not agree to this request, considered refurbishment was urgent and in fact spent around baht 1.5 million on improvements. The current value of the staff house structure and unusable furniture and fittings will be written off, whilst the structure and almost all of the furniture and fittings in the Pavilion Café will be re-used and depreciated in the normal way.

The GC considers that the Pavilion café is a more suitable location for the staff facilities. The current staff house is 84 m2 internally with a 34 m2-covered area outside. The Pavilion café is currently 70 m2 with ample space for shaded external areas for eating. The design has yet to be finalised but an illustration of what might be possible is posted under ‘Final Design’ on the website. Baht 300,000 has been allowed for conversion costs and details will be finalised in consultation with staff. There is plenty of scope for expansion in the future if staff numbers increase.

The staff house is very important and will be the first stage of the project since the existing site must be cleared before new development in the Silom Wing can commence.

Previous FAQs posted in 2016

2016Q1. Who can I email if I have any questions?

Please feel free to email poolredev@britishclubbangkok.org

2016Q2. How were the invited five architectural firms chosen and what criteria were used to select the finalists?

Sub- Committee Members (12) and all GC Members were invited to suggest architects who might be interested in this competition.  Five Firms were put forward and all were sent invitations requiring formal expression of interest together with their credentials, design philosophy and track record. Four expressed interest. The four were evaluated against the following criteria:

Evaluation Criteria  
Practice structure Financial Standing
Practice Management
Qualifications & relevant experience of personnel to be involved
Relevant Experience Examples of projects of comparable scale and complexity within the last five years
Completed projects recognised by design awards or other forms of recognition
Design Philosophy and Approach Outline the design philosophy of the practice and the approach to be taken in designing a project of this type
Timeline Confirmation of capacity to meet the competition programme

The GC gave the Poolside Redevelopment Sub-committee approval to select 3 or 4 finalists. In the circumstances it was decided that the 4th placed Firm would also be invited to join the competition.

2016Q3. Who set the selection criteria?

The Poolside Redevelopment Sub-Committee was empowered by the General Committee to develop the selection criteria. Ali Adam, Vice Chairman of the GC, Chairs the Poolside Redevelopment sub-committee and meetings are also attended by Jack Dunford, Chairman of the GC.

2016Q4. On what basis was the budget of 29.5M Baht calculated and what does it include? 

THB 29.5m was the upper range of 4 Options (THB 25.9m – 29.5m) presented by the previous GC at the February 2015 EGM, which excluded Furniture, Fittings, Equipment, artwork, professional fees, contingency and VAT. The current GC has set an outline budget of THB 29.5m to be inclusive of professional fees.

2016Q5. Are decisions made on the Poolside Redevelopment at previous AGM/ AGMs being ignored?

No. All of the facilities Members agreed should be included in designs for the poolside redevelopment at the 2014 AGM are included in the design brief. There are also new ideas taking into account discussions at the August 2014 and February 2015 EGMs, and the work of last year’s Silom Integrated Scheme Working Group (SISWG). The Architects’ Brief embraces fresh ideas emerging from the debate and the input of new expertise on the sub-committee.

 2016Q6. So what is included in the Design Brief?

The Architectural Design Brief can be found on the website. Section 5.4, Indicative Functional Areas lists the desired facilities to be included. These are summarised in section 5.5, Summary of Key Functional Needs.

2016Q7. How will the Architect and preferred scheme be chosen from the four submissions?    

Members will be invited to attend an Open Forum on Sunday 21st August when each Architectural Firm will present its concept design. All Members including non-voting categories and spouses will be invited. Questions will be welcomed and all present will be invited to indicate their views on the relative merits of each scheme by questionnaire.

The concept design will also be posted on this Website and Members unable to attend the Forum will be invited to submit views using the same questionnaire.

A seven person Evaluation Panel appointed by the Poolside Redevelopment Sub-Committee will study the schemes against the following criteria.

  • Design solution (weighting 25%)
  • Integrated Design (20%)
  • Functionality (20%)
  • Cost (20%)
  • Phasing (15%)

Based on this evaluation and Members’ feedback, the Poolside Redevelopment Sub-committee will then present its recommendations to the General Committee.

The final recommended scheme will be presented to the Members for a decision at an EGM in September or October. The successful architectural firm will then be appointed and any necessary/ desirable refinements made to the design so that it can be fully costed and the construction work phased.

2016Q8. With only one scheme presented at the EGM, what if I do not think the Club should build this or I have other ideas how the money should be spent?

The General Committee and the Poolside Redevelopment Sub-Committee believes that many Members agree that this area of the Club is run down and urgently in need of redevelopment. Whilst acknowledging that it is impossible to please everyone, after more than two years of debate we believe there is broad consensus on the facilities desired Through the design process we will be able to present an exciting, attractive scheme that will not only appeal to the present Membership but will also be a major attraction for potential Members in the future.

We are very hopeful that the Poolside Redevelopment scheme will be approved in September/ October and that construction work can then begin before the end of the year. But the final decision rest with the Members and we will be presenting as much information as possible for that decision to be an informed one.

2016Q9. What was the result of the design competition?

The four architectural firms submitted their Concept Designs on schedule on 21st July. These were posted on the BC Website, put on display in the Silom Sala and assessed by a 7-person expert Evaluation Team appointed by the sub-committee. The architects presented their schemes at a Members forum on 21st August and Members were invited to provide their feedback using an online or hardcopy survey form. Staff were invited to vote for their preferred scheme. The technical evaluation report and survey results are all available on this website.  Chapman Taylor scored highest in the evaluation and both surveys.

The General Committee unanimously accepted the recommendation of the Poolside Redevelopment Sub-committee and in 1st September announced Chapman Taylor as the winner of the Concept Design Competition.

2016Q10. So what happens next?

Representatives of the SC met with Chapman Taylor on 8th September. The Architects have been charged with working the concept design into a final design with detailed construction material specifications and costings and responding to operational and design issues raised by the SC taking into account Member feedback. A Quantity Surveyor is also being appointed to ensure accurate costings.

It is expected that this work will take up to six weeks and that an EGM will be called in November when the final scheme will be presented for Member consideration. Dates will be announced as soon as they are known.

2016Q11. Can the Club afford the Chapman Taylor scheme?

The preliminary construction cost estimate made by Chapman Taylor was within the budget of baht 26.5 m set in the Design Brief. This budget was based on that proposed previously for the original scheme when the Club had some baht 10 million or so less in reserve than we do today.

The budget is likely to increase however because rebuilding a two story Suriwongse Sala will likely be included in the works and other furnishing/ equipment costs etc. have yet to be added.

Affordability of the scheme will depend on phasing of the work and the time over which construction will take place. The Finance SC has established a 5-year budgeting model and will work closely with the Poolside Redevelopment SC to ensure that any commitments are within the capacity of Club’s funding capacity.

Proposed phasing and financial projections will be made available before the EGM.

2016Q12. Some people say the scheme is too modern to sit alongside our classic Club House. What does the SC say about that?

The SC recognises that Chapman Taylor’s design is bold, contemporary and dares to be different.

The Club has many Members of different ages and needs. This design caters for the young families and sports enthusiasts who are the primary audience for the space. When the original Clubhouse was built, it was designed for its audience using the contemporary materials of its time. In principle, Chapman Taylor’s design is honouring that heritage not simply mimicking it.

The design brief itself celebrates that the Club has many constituents as its Members and to survive it needs to cater for all, not just become a gentlemen’s club for an age when “Britannia Ruled the Waves’. The design allows the Club to embrace today’s new “Cool Britannia” whilst distinguishing the Clubhouse heritage offering of “Rule Britannia”. Moreover in today’s modern reality of life in Bangkok, the Club needs to have multiple facets and settings to compete for our Members’ patronage. The Chapman Taylor design puts the Club on the path of offering two such wonderful environments for Members to enjoy.

The SC is also aware that as a concept master plan the design still needs to be further developed. During this process it is envisaged that at all such interfaces between Members with the building and spaces, the design will be refined to be more engaging. Modern architecture has moved on a long way since the 1960s and 80s. The SC has every confidence that a renowned firm like Chapman Taylor will do full justice to this new British Club icon. Work has already started so that a more complete design can be shown to the Members prior to the vote at the EGM.

Many of us remember the initial reaction to IM Pei’s Pyramid at The Louvre, which triggered many a debate on the relevance of its modernist style being inconsistent with the classic French Renaissance style and history of The Louvre. Not only is it is now admired with nostalgia across the world, it championed the architectural revolution/solution of melding contemporary architecture into heritage settings.