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Reviving Student Accommodation in Wandsworth

 - 

Render Restoration

We enjoyed working with Spectrum and really appreciated their flexibility in accommodating all of our requests, even the last-minute ones!”


Introduction

This student accommodation complex in Wandswords was undergoing a complete renovation and our team expertly handled the render cleaning and render restoration works. Our client had previously been let down by their usual cleaning contractor, who said the cleaning would be too difficult, due to the property's proximity to a public footpath and road. Thankfully due to our teams' broad history with render cleaning and biocide handling, combined with our access options, we were able to handle this project confidently.


The Project


Our mission was to restore the render of a student accommodation complex in Wandsworth, South West London. The complex consisted of three blocks, each varying in height, with the smallest standing at 5 storeys and the largest tower at 11 storeys. 


As a residential property situated by a busy road, it had suffered from discolouration caused by algae and pollution. This proximity to a busy road caused access issues for other contractors. To add to the complexity, previous contractors' scaffolding had damaged the render at inaccessible heights. Our client, a local construction company, turned to us as their previous cleaning contractor had declined the job, deeming it too complicated.


The Site


The student accommodation complex in Wandsworth posed a unique set of challenges. Comprising three blocks, this residential building's smallest block was 5 storeys tall, while the largest stood at an impressive 11 storeys. Its location near a main road added to the complexity, making safety and pedestrian considerations paramount. This project was as a result of the property having areas of cladding replaced to comply with fire regulations. Our task was not limited to cleaning; it included repairing the damaged render, which was a unique challenge, given the height and inaccessibility of some areas.


The Logistics


Our approach was methodical, we needed to inspect the damaged areas of the render before we could begin cleaning, to guarantee the area was safe to work on. The render needed to be cleaned before repairs could be done so that our team could accurately colour match the repairs to the clean render. Our abseil team tackled the damaged render caused by the scaffold as well as other cracks that had happened over time.

To clean the render we used a combination of pole and abseil techniques. For the smaller buildings on the complex, our poles were perfect as we could clean up to 18 meters high without needing to have a member of the team working at height. This reduces any working at height-related risks and keeps costs lower for our client. For the taller building, we used a combination of poles and abseilers. Around 60% of the render cleaning was done through abseiling, with the remaining 40% via poles. 

While abseiling to repair and restore the render, we also completed window cleaning, saving valuable time for the client. The client had already had contractors fall through so the handover date was drawing closer and closer meaning we had to be as efficient with our time as possible. One way we did this was using our custom 3D printed attachments for the water-fed poles, which are perfect for Juliette windows and narrow spaces. Having adaptable machinery allows us to quickly clean tricky areas without wasting valuable time.

Challenges

Challenges of this Wandsworth Render Cleaning project included the time constraints we were working under, the other contractors working on site as well as the proximity to a nearby main road.

Wind Factors: The location and height of the buildings introduced unpredictable wind patterns that made managing the biocide and debris being removed from the facade a complex task.

Pedestrian Safety: Combined with the wind interference and the nearby main road, pedestrian safety was incredibly important. To ensure the safety of passersby, we set up ample signage and exclusion zones, and even created a protected tunnel using gazebos, for people who had to pass by the building. A dedicated groundsman managed pedestrian traffic and shielded them during water-related work.

Multi-Trade Efficiency: Mobilising a multi-trade team was essential for this project due to the various tasks at hand. It minimised disruptions, streamlined site induction, and improved overall efficiency, as all teams were familiar with the site.

Conclusion

Spectrum successfully tackled a complex project that combined restoration, cleaning, and render repair at a student accommodation complex in Wandsworth. By overcoming the unique challenges presented by the site, we transformed a worn-down property into a revitalised, welcoming environment for the students. Our innovative solutions, dedication to safety, and multi-trade efficiency made this transformation possible, ultimately exceeding our client's expectations.

 

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