Schal | our history

Our history

British Library, St Pancras

Our history

Schal's pedigree and history is founded in the commercial office sector with roots in Chicago and the east coast of America. Schal was the first company to introduce construction management into the UK from the United States. In 1981 Schal Associates, based in Chicago teamed up with Tarmac to form the Schal/Tarmac joint venture in the UK. Schal Associates was a North American firm of construction managers from by the partnership of two senior staff from Morse Diesel, Harold Schiff and Richard Halpern, hence the derivative name, Schal.

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The raison d'être of the business in the early 1980's resulted from the demand for US commercial building expertise (primarily high rise offices) in the UK. The early relationship was encouraged by a number of major London based office developers (Stanhope, Greycoat etc.) who were anticipating the 'Big Bang' and who perceived that British contractors had neither the attitudes nor the expertise to deliver their future projects.

Schal pioneered the use of CM on major commercial office projects such as Broadgate (£600m), Stockley Park (£250m), Embankment Place and the Texaco HQ at Canary Wharf. The business grew through the 1980's with the majority of work being commercial office buildings many of which included complex engineering and logistics.

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In 1990 Schal became a wholly owned subsidiary of Tarmac, and changed it's name to Schal International Ltd. In the recession of the early 1990's Schal was forced to diversify with the demise of the developers but the business successfully utilised it's experience on complex projects to secure major commissions including the Royal Opera House, the Tate Modern and the £60m Biomedical Sciences Building at Imperial College. Other major new clients included British Gas, BAA, Sainsbury's and Kodak.

In 1995 Grove Construction Management was integrated into Schal following the Tarmac/Wimpey asset swap. The project management arm of the old PSA, which had been acquired by Tarmac in 1992, was integrated into Schal in January 1996, now a leading providing of both project management and construction management services.

Following the demerger of Carillion from Tarmac in 1999 we now operate under the umbrella of TPS which is Carillion's design and management company, offering a range of construction consultancy services, including client project management, cost consultancy, land, building and quantity surveying, health and safety management, and sustainability consultancy.