A community is being brought back together, thanks to a £9.46m makeover at three residential tower blocks at Granville Road in London.
The Design & Build project, titled Granville Road Tower Blocks, involves the refurbishment of Granville Point, Templewood Point and Harpenmead Point. The work has been funded by Barnet Homes and the main contractor is Apollo Property Services Group.
The project aims to provide residents with a safe, secure and more desirable place to live. Work commenced in summer 2009 and the refurbishment will affect 180 residential units across the site.
Kitchens, bathrooms and brand new boilers will be installed in the majority of units, whilst a number of homes will benefit from brand new central heating systems. All of the front doors have been replaced – including those belonging to 44 lease holders – in order to make them Secured by Design 30 minute fireproof (FD30).
In addition to new glazes screens and doors in the lift lobbies, hardwired smoke alarms and fire doors are being installed in each of the flats. The water mains are to be renewed or upgraded and electrical meters are being repositioned, whilst further improvements include the remodelling of entrance lobbies, improvements to lifts and staircases and the upgrading of safety signage. In addition, floor coverings are being renewed.
External work on the tower blocks includes the installation of aluminium rainscreen cladding for floors 2 to 15. As well as the visual impact for the surrounding area, the rainscreen also provides increased thermal efficiency and weather protection for the buildings. Due to the importance of this feature, the design has been decided by the local planning office, Barnet Homes, HDA Architects, the structural engineer and the immediate and surrounding residents.
A brick cladding system will be added to the ground and first floors. Each block will subsequently receive new insulated roofs with a safe access system and new windows and balconies.
Landscape work will include new paving for the entrances and the implementation of motion sensor lighting to make the site more energy efficient.
As the site has remained occupied for the duration of the project, it was important to involve the local residents. This has included the organisation of community fun days, setting up a nearby communal garden and the introduction of an on-site residential area. A Facebook page was also created for the project, giving residents a platform to express their opinions on the ongoing work.
Apollo Property Services Group Divisional Manager, Kevin Jones, said: “It is always important for us to get involved with residents.
“This makes project life less fraught and it is undeniably more rewarding when residents are involved in a positive way.”
Another important aspect of the project was the implementation of Apollo Property Service Group’s apprentice scheme, which was introduced to provide residents with employment opportunities.
Kevin Jones said: “Apollo has a very strong community support ethos on all of our projects and a key part of this is our drive to tackle the ‘back to work agenda’.
“We do this through training, work placements, job opportunities, local labour initiatives and apprenticeship schemes.”
“Part of the tender bid on this project was to implement a range of activities for the community and Apollo has followed through by taking on apprentices themselves.”
Contracts Manager for Barnet Homes, Kieran Ryan, added: “We also have a new apprentice working at Barnet Homes who was a resident on the selection panel for the contractor, so it’s been very rewarding for everyone involved.”
“Overall the vibe has been really good on this refurbishment project and it really has brought the community together.”
Currently all internal work has been completed on the project with finishing touches currently being added to communal areas. External cladding is 70% complete and work is set to finish in early 2012.
ETEC Contract Services Ltd
Established in 2005, ETEC Contract Services Ltd is a refurbishment contractor that specialises in refurbishment and electrical contracting. This involves property maintenance across all industry sectors including industrial, residential and commercial.
On the Granville Road Tower Blocks project, ETEC Contract Services Ltd conducted painting and general building works in each tower block. This involved the application of a specialist fire resistant paint to all communal areas.
ETEC Contract Services Ltd Director, Michael Smith, said: “At ETEC Contract Services Ltd we pride ourselves on the level of service and professionalism that we provide to our customers.
“Our aim is to always deliver a first class product on time, every time.”
The Flooring Company Ltd
Since 2006, The Flooring Company Ltd has specialised in the provision of commercial floor coverings. This includes the installation and subfloor preparation for both new builds and refits.
On the Granville, Harpenmead and Templewood Point project The Flooring Company Ltd installed new floor coverings on all lift lobbies and stairwell landings. This involved the application of a latex smoothing compound, followed by linoleum flooring. The company also installed entrance matting.
The Flooring Company Ltd Director, John Butt, said: “At The Flooring Company Ltd we pride ourselves on our communication skills with our clients and we always aim to meet deadlines on time and to a high standard.”
“This allows us to work efficiently alongside any team involved on a project, to achieve an end result that is satisfactory for all.”