A major redevelopment of a tired and disused office block into much-needed social housing, including adapted living space for disabled residents, has won a South Wales construction firm a top industry award.
Property Building Maintenance (Wales) Ltd picked up the accolade at the Federation of Master Builders’ National Master Builder Awards, which were hosted online on September 24th by TV presenter and all-round building enthusiast Nick Knowles.
The awards recognise building excellence, quality craftsmanship, and exceptional customer service, and are run by the Federation of Master Builders, the largest trade association in the UK construction sector which is this year celebrating its 80th anniversary.
Property Building Maintenance (Wales) Ltd took what on the face of it was a simple project to transform a redundant building for Tai Tarian Housing into high quality housing to meet local needs. However, the manner in which they engaged with the community, especially the local primary school, impressed the judges. Managing working hours, deliveries, noise and dust on site with the school in mind, the Master Builder company even arranged kerbside viewings of the building works to engage the children in the project.
The firm handled several unforeseen changes to the original plans, and substantial repairs, to deliver a brilliant build on schedule and to budget. They also made significant improvements to the energy efficiency of the building, and installed enhanced fire protection.
The project involved the complete renovation of former council offices, converted into six new two-bedroom apartments, two of which are wheelchair accessible with wet-rooms. It was delivered in an area listed high on the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation. One new tenant said, “I’m sure I’m going to be very happy here.”
“The team worked with the community to give them the building that they wanted”, commented the independent judges. Family-run Property Building Maintenance (Wales) Ltd were praised for improving the area while also providing employment.
Reacting to his company’s win, Geoff Griffiths, Director of Property Building Maintenance (Wales) Ltd, said: “In a tough year this is an amazing achievement. Everyone worked so hard, and this is a welcome award to win from the premier trade organisation. We wanted to give something high quality back to the community that they can be proud of; seeing the difference it made is the biggest thing for us.”
Anna Thompson, Head of Engagement at Local Authority Building Control, and a National Judge for this category, said: “The execution [of this project] went above and beyond… Community engagement was exemplary. I’m not surprised the team are proud to be FMB members.”
Mark Lawrence of the Housing Quality Network, and also a National Judge, added: “I would like to say to the winner – fantastic, and well done! It’s not an easy project to go for, and you’re going to be making a massive difference to so many different people’s lives.
South London-based Architecturall Ltd were Highly Commended in the Commercial or Public Sector Project category. This follows their win at the London regional Master Builder Awards in June for building a stunning, luxury reception and berthing pontoon at Victoria Embankment on the Thames for a London river cruise company.