Our project involved the refurbishment of two 11 storey blocks of council flats, with a highly complex scope of works, both internally and externally, including:
- Removal of concrete riser shafts
- Kitchen and bathroom refurbishments
- New drainage
- Environmental cleans
- Substantial concrete repairs
- New roofing
- Windows and doors
- Construction of new porches
- Creation of nine new flats
- Communal area upgrades
- Intercom systems
- Installation of photovoltaic panels and new satellite dishes with associated wiring
- External works
These works were undertaken with the flats fully occupied. From the outset all involved recognised the challenge of these invasive works, whilst working around and managing relations with the tenants, many of them vulnerable. The difficulty of attaining access to the 120 flats in order to work efficiently and meet the programme was also a major consideration. Sequential access was crucial due to the wide ranging activities within the project. As some activities had to be programmed from the top down and others from the bottom up, maintaining good relations with tenants was vital to ensure the project ran smoothly as failing to access one flat would have serious implications on the progression of works to subsequent flats.
Collectively, the council, Interserve and Contract Services created a comprehensive liaison strategy that saw a bespoke service offered to each resident. The team were faced with a plethora of issues such as language barriers, illiteracy, mental health issues, lifestyle choice issues, and managing the expectations of shift workers and students who required quiet periods in conflict with the demands of the programme.