Axis was employed by our clients, L&Q, to deliver window and roof repairs at 3 blocks of flats on Cromwell Road in West London. Our housing and heritage division worked on 76 flats in the blocks. The project was valued at £1.4 million and due to be completed within 4-months. We are currently partnered with L&Q with an 8-year cyclical decoration contract which covers approximately 13,000 properties in South and South West London.
Our team renewed the roofs by adding a layer of Prokol, a thick protective coating. Although extremely strong and durable, Prokol can be very slippery which caused an issue for the walkways regularly used by workmen and residents. The team rectified this issue by applying an extra anti-slip coating, which made the walkway safe. As the work progressed, we also renewed many porches and balconies which were affected by the roofing repairs and window replacements.
One of the challenges we faced was the double red parking lines surrounding the flats. Our operatives had to park a substantial distance away from the properties, making it difficult to carry work equipment. We overcame this issue by employing extra manpower at an additional cost. We also applied for special permission from TfL (who manage the surrounding roads) to park on the double red lines for one week, while scaffolding was removed at the end of the project.
Another challenge we faced during the roof and window repairs involved the layout of the dwellings. The flats typically had one main room which caused a major inconvenience to vulnerable residents, as there was a risk of exposure to bad weather during works. However, with careful planning and co-ordination, we increased operative numbers and multi-skilled staff on site to complete works within one day – making it much more manageable for residents.
On one occasion work was carried out on a basement flat with a single room where the resident was bed-bound and could not leave the flat. Our Site Manager arranged for a temporary partition to be erected, going above and beyond expectation and making the resident as comfortable as possible.
The safety and welfare of residents was crucial throughout the project, so our dedicated liaison team ensured they felt informed and safe throughout works. We sent letters and arranged one-to-one consultations prior to commencement on-site. The team provided updates through daily visits, communal notice boards, monthly newsletters, resident portals, and more. Posters were also put up, identifying approved people to be on-site in the building.
During the roof and window repairs we had many residents approach our operatives to express concern about other works required in their flats. Our operatives accommodated them as far as they could, and any substantial work was noted by our Site Manager who passed on details to the L&Q Project Manager.
Even while encountering challenges and working in a live environment, we were able to finish the project earlier than the anticipated duration of 4 months. This was due to our extensive experience and commitment to providing an efficient and high standard of service to our customers.
Throughout our relationship with L&Q, we have taken advice and direction from our internal Community Investment Team. After reviewing L&Q’s requirements and various CSR commitments, we put together a plan of the initiatives including volunteering days, Axis Foundation funding, careers workshops, DIY workshops and apprenticeships. Very early on we identified training and development opportunities for several apprentices. They have since been onboarded as operatives.
Find more of our housing sector projects, here.