Isle of Dogs, London
SEH Commercial recently completed a window and door replacement project on 93 privately-owned apartments in London’s Isle of Dogs in just 7 weeks – a process and result which has delighted tenants, owners and property management alike.
Situated next to the Millwall Outer Dock on the Isle of Dogs in London, properties at Ringwood Gardens/Arden Crescent benefit from spectacular views across the water towards Canary Wharf. The apartments are all privately owned with a proportion of them tenant occupied. A management board comprising a group of owners is charged with ensuring maintenance is kept up to date and has appointed managing agent, Alliance Managing Agents Ltd.
A spokesperson from the resident’s board explains the background to the project: “The lease on the properties dictates that the outside of the buildings is redecorated between every 3-5 years. The board made a decision 3 yrs ago to replace the original timber windows which were showing their age. We held an EGM of owners and went with a majority ‘yes’ vote to push ahead with the refurbishment.”
Through Alliance Managing Agents Ltd, London based surveyors Asprey Property Services Ltd was appointed to set up and run the project in the summer of 2009 and set about securing the right contractor for the job. Anthony Foweather, managing director of Asprey, explains how the decision process worked:
“I sourced four suppliers, one of which was SEH Commercial whom I’d found via their website. I spoke to them and had a very positive response. They, along with several other companies, submitted tenders and made a further presentation. The SEH Commercial team of Glen Swatman [managing director, SEH Commercial] and Craig Forder [sales & estimating manager] gave the most professional presentation and both the estate directors and I agreed that there was only one company we wanted: SEH Commercial.”
Craig Forder: “We worked hard to meet the board’s budget. Our initial proscription involved 3 month’s on site which was overloading costs. Rather than compromising on the product quality and losing the toughened glass or secure locking equipment, we reset the timings and drew up a plan to have everything done in just 7 weeks.”
Having won the contract, SEH Commercial took over the complete running of the installation which was project managed by Asprey. Initial contact had to be made with all owners to inform them of the scale and involvement of the work. With several internationally-based landlords, this even involved contacting owners living as far away as Australia to ensure that they were apprised of what was going on.
Schedules for installation were agreed with and given to tenants to ensure that everyone knew when their apartments were to be done. This helped avoid any delays or inconveniences and kept the project on schedule.
Alarmed scaffolding was installed and a secure compound for all SEH Commercial’s materials was created within the estate car park and in the early spring of 2010 the work proper began.
The products specified by London-based Asprey were woodgrain on white and white PVC-u windows and doors, including WER A-rated Secure by Design windows. SEH Commercial’s experienced installers worked steadily throughout the estate which was supervised at all times by a SEH Commercial manager who acted as the main point of contact for owners and tenants throughout.
The benefits of the SEH Commercial system were immediately obvious for tenants. “We’ve found it a very positive experience. SEH Commercial had everything we wanted including someone on site all the time, dealing with deliveries, issues, to have someone making sure fitters aren’t getting delayed” commented the management board spokesperson. “They have been excellent. It was carried out quickly and efficiently. We’ve had a huge amount of positive feedback from owners in the way the windows operate, the way they look, the way the project was carried out; the guys have been very helpful, very friendly, they’ve cleared up every night. For us, it’s exceeded our expectations in terms of how the site would look during the project.”
The result is a quieter, warmer and more secure estate with modern, efficient, easy to clean and attractive windows and doors. “When the windows were first in it was still quite chilly [outside],” says the spokesperson that lives in Ringwood Gardens. “As has been my habit, I had left my heating on low whilst I went out but when I came back in it was so warm that I thought I must have switched the heating on high! So the insulation is obviously better.”
At one end of the dock is the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre. It is a busy and popular facility with boats regularly out on the water and social events running on some evenings and weekends. Music and announcements from speakers were previously audible from inside some waterfront properties. The new products reduced noise ingress and left owners delighted.
Alliance Managing Agents Ltd director, Mark Tamuta, commented: “We have undertaken a number of these projects on various estates on the Isle of Dogs and would have to say that this has been the most successful installation we have been involved with. SEH Commercial provided a quality product and backed that up with an installation program that exceeded expectations”.