Adapting to meet the needs of a challenging site
Iveagh Court in Bracknell comprises two residential blocks, made up of over one hundred flats and maisonettes arranged over four storeys, with under croft parking for residents. Following a competitive tender process, Silva Homes appointed United Living as the main contractor for the major refurbishment works that were needed to improve the homes.
In 2018, works began to undertake the structural improvements and internal and external refurbishments. Having previously worked with United Living on several projects, including the regeneration scheme Kingston Better Homes, we were pleased to be approached again to work on this project together.
Commenting on why Eden Facades were chosen to be brought on to the project at Iveagh Court, Mark Rains, Senior Site Manager at United Living explains, “I’ve worked with the team at Eden Facades before and recommended them for this project. They’re very good at what they do and the quality of their work, combined with their experience and willingness to go the extra mile, really sets them apart.”
Experienced installers of EWI
Our scope was to install Wetherby External Wall Insulation (EWI) throughout, which included balcony walls and soffits, the under croft, bin storage and cycle sheds, walkways and the centre core of the blocks where the new stairs would be put in place.
We began work on site in June 2018, starting with the installation of EWI to the car park area under croft. EWI not only improves the thermal performance of a building, through increasing insulation values and reducing heating costs and carbon emissions, it is also an effective way to reduce problems with internal damp and condensation and upgrade a building’s overall appearance. In this case, the buildings were successfully updated using three shades of green EWI for the main exterior, dark grey for the bin storage and entrance, and white on the soffits in the under croft.
All projects have their challenges, and in this case one was working around the scaffold that had been put in place prior to us arriving on site; the scaffold was at varying heights and in some places had been tied into soffits that we needed to insulate, hindering our progress. As a result, we needed to wait until each level of scaffold had been taken down before we could access the affected areas and continue working.
Flexibility keeps a project moving
This was a large-scale refurbishment, with many other trades on site working alongside each other. The logistics of working around other trades, as well as the project regularly encountering new challenges, meant that our team had to be very flexible in terms of timing and when we could access the areas we needed to work on. Steve Mountford, Site Manager at Eden Facades, who was responsible for overseeing the project from our side, comments,” The programme for this project was a challenge, as it wasn’t always possible to access the area of the site we were supposed to be working on that day. But Mark Rains, the Senior Site Manager from United Living and I worked together to ensure our team were able to get as much done as possible with a minimal amount of disruption to the overall schedule.”
“It certainly was a challenging job,” Mark explains,” we found a lot of problems with damp and structural issues, and the general condition of the blocks was poor. It was hard work to come up with a programme, as every day we would discover something new, but Eden were very adaptable: sometimes the site would throw up a problem and they would have to stop work altogether and come back when the problem was resolved, which is obviously not ideal for anyone.”
Despite the challenges posed by the site, the project is now complete, and the residents have moved back into their homes, which have been transformed from the previous dated 1960’s style buildings to stylish, contemporary apartment blocks. Mark concludes,” This wasn’t a straightforward project, but the finished buildings are stunning. It was a pleasure to work with Eden Facades, I admire the way they operate. They stand their ground and will only put their name to something they’re completely happy with, which is reflected in the high standard of their work. We have a good relationship and I look forward to working with them again soon.”
To find out more about this project, or to discuss a future EWI project with us, contact us on 01268 744199, or email email@example.com.