052 GGP 0217

GGP February 2017

ALUMINIUM Leading the way Exceptional service, unparalleled expertise – GGP uncovers why Hazlemere is one of the South East’s leading commercial window, door and curtain wall suppliers. Over more than 30 years and hundreds of successfully completed projects, High Wycombe’s Hazlemere Group (which incorporates its successful commercial division) has reportedly established itself as one of the South East’s longest serving, most highly respected suppliers of architectural aluminium. Hazlemere Commercial’s sales director, Tony Beale, explains: “At Hazlemere, we’ve built our business by taking on challenging, specialist projects that require an in-depth understanding of the buildings and institutions we work with – their cultures, routines, and the unique challenges they present. We’ve completed hundreds of developments, involving work on dozens of different types of properties – but its local authority premises, and schools, colleges and universities that we know the best, and we’ve got to know the most.” Dragon’s Den Over the years Hazlemere has completed an array of complex projects, including a refurbishment of Desborough College in Maidenhead, Berkshire, which involved replacing 80 sash windows with high performance alternatives from Sapa. Famous for its association with ex-student Peter Jones CBE, best known as one of the multimillionaire investors on the BBC’s Dragon’s Den, the 19th century building now holds over 700 pupils as a thriving boy’s academy. Tony commented: “After years of completing jobs for school, colleges and universities, we’ve learnt that planning is crucial when it comes to working at educational institutions – especially in this instance, where lessons were going on for part of the 11 week period we were working at the site. That meant we had to rigorously plan our work schedule to minimise disruption, and, more importantly, keep pupils as young as 11 safe while our installers carried out heavy-duty work.” £700k Reading University project During 2016, Hazlemere Commercial was involved with the refurbishment of two buildings owned by the University of Reading. Installation work worth £375k was carried out on the University’s maths block, which was fitted with multiple Sapa vertical sliding windows equipped with tilt functionality for easy cleaning, and special locking catches to prevent unauthorised use. Work amounting to £340k was carried out on Reading University’s JJ Thompson building – fitting large Sapa pivot windows equipped with heavy duty hardware to cope with weights well above normal size limitations, as well as several commercial doors, and huge entrance screens that required cranes to lift 200kg panes of glass into position. Hazelmere also redecorated the building's existing timber cladding. “Modern education buildings will often contain hundreds of thousands of pound’s worth of computer and other electrical equipment, not to mention the personal belongings of hundreds of staff and students,” Tony commented. “But it’s not just about keeping people out – particularly when it comes to upper floor windows, student safety is a central concern. By fitting windows with the sort of locking catches we used on the University of Reading project, you can drastically reduce the risk of students falling from high windows and seriously injuring themselves.” £2.5m Merton Civic Centre renovation But Hazlemere’s commercial expertise isn’t limited to educational contexts. The firm has built up an impressive portfolio of major local government contracts – and not that long ago, it completed the £2.5m renovation of Merton Civic Centre for the London Borough of Merton. Working as the project’s principal contractor, Hazlemere Commercial replaced and recycled over 2,000 of the original steel-framed singleglazed windows that were deemed ‘unfit for purpose’ by an independent glass and glazing consultant. In their place, the company installed thermally efficient Sapa Dualframe top swing reversible windows across the entirety of the Civic Centre’s 14-storey tower building, as well as its other twostorey wings. Made with 100% recycled aluminium billet, the products are said to not only boast outstanding thermal performance, but their reversible functionality also allows them to be safely and easily cleaned. Where eagles dare “When it comes to commercial projects, there are difficulties you can plan for – and then there are those that come completely out of the blue,” Tony continued. “On one job in 2014, a £2.2m renovation for Buckinghamshire Country Council, work was put back six months because we had to wait for local peregrine falcons to complete their mating season. “Obviously, there was nothing we could do about that. But at Hazlemere Commercial, our philosophy is simple – prepare for all the problems you can anticipate, so when the unforeseeable ones do arise, you’re organised enough to be able to deal with them. “It’s an ethos that’s served us well over 30 years of challenging commercial work.” 52 www.ggpmag.com February 2017 Merton Civic Centre


GGP February 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above