One of our new build teams has been on site installing internal stonework at a large private residential development in London. We caught up with the team to see how they are getting on.
Darren Higgins – Senior Contracts Manager
What are the standout features of this internals project?
For me the location. One of the most prominent sites in London’s West End. Turning what was an old 60’s Cinema block into a modern prestigious space will give a much needed boost to the area.
How has Covid-19 affected site?
A number of restrictions were put in place including the number of operatives permitted on site,s teams had to be reduced. Revised working methods were put in place to allow for social distance measures and reduced access, a one way system, and limited dining room seating, staggered start, finish and lunch times, all of which have taken time to get used to. However, the team have adapted well, and followed guidelines and measures put in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety.
James Fraser – Contracts Manager
Are there any aspects of the design that make this project challenging?
The tight programme and a number of late changes to the design proved tricky. Additionally, the project involves 3 helical feature staircases which are complicated.
The project involves high end marbles and stones. Has the supply of these been difficult?
Restrictions due to Covid-19 impacted on dry lays, so these have been done photographically and a number of last minute material changes made the supply difficult at times.
Antonio Correia – Project Manager
Can you tell me briefly what this project involves?
This is a £ 6.6 million project split into two towers, commercial 1,200 m2 and residential 7,350 m2, with 55 apartments, 180 bathrooms, two GF main receptions and front of house lobbies and about 12 different stone types.
Is there anything unusual or particularly challenging about the project?
Logistics! Due to the location and the limited storage areas on site, it can be challenging to book the delivery, offload and distribute, unpack the material inside the apartment into an A-frame ready to be installed by the fixer, sometimes all in a week.
You have been with Szerelmey for 9 years now – which is your favourite project you have worked on to date and why?
De Vere Garden. This project was my first large internal project with Szerelmey. I had the challenge of finding and recruiting labour and sometimes training the labour to work to the level of quality required for the project in a short period of time.
If you could do any other job in the world, what would you do?!
I’m fascinated with megastructure jobs that can make history. I have already been involved in two large projects, new Scottish Parliament & Heathrow T5.
Daniela Calmic – Admin Assistant
What do you do?
I do the administration for the office on site. Most of the time I am taking care of trackers, “zutec”, QA pack (and all the administration work); But, because we are in the site office, of course I do work on site. I’m do the handover to main subcontractor and check the progress of the apartments, I’m taking pictures for the photo tracker and QA pack and I do snagging.
Have you worked on internal projects before?
No, I have never worked in construction before. My last role was with an architectural company and property services. I am enjoying this very much; it is something new and very interesting to me.
Why did you choose to join the industry?
Because I love this industry! My husband works in the industry and so I was helping him to start his own business in construction and found I really enjoyed it.
What is the best part of your job?
Working with my colleagues, being professional and able to help, I love everything about my job!
Fernando Da Silva – Site Supervisor
What do you do on site?
I supervise and delegate tasks to fixers, snaggers and the tanking team. Check and prepare areas for stone/marble installation from concept to completion, (preparing, fixing, snagging to grouting) and make sure that a high quality finish is delivered safely and on time.
Have you always worked in construction?
Yes. I have been working in construction for the last 17 years in the UK and hope to continue many more years.
What do you like most about your job?
Meeting new people from different trades and backgrounds. New projects and the new designs. The challenge of thinking out of the box to resolve issues that may appear. The responsibility of meeting deadlines and the satisfaction of delivering outstanding results at end of the project.
Do you think the construction industry is changing?
Yes the construction industry is constantly changing, from health and safety regulations to new designs, materials and build quality.
Ricardo Marques – Logistic supervisor
What do you do?
My job involves every logistic service on site example: order material, control of material stock, deliverys, protection, cleaning, material distribution, stone unpacking, organise logistic team work etc.
Do you prefer internal or external projects?
I normally work on external projects, so it has been challenging to work on internals, but now I prefer internal projects!
Do you have a favourite material that you have worked with, or a least favourite?
My favourite material is marble because I like the colour and the final result is beautiful.
Have you always worked in construction, if not, what have you done in the past?
I have worked in construction for about 7 years.
If you could do any other job in the world, what would it be?
I have nothing special and different in mind, but any job that challenges me as a professional right now is enough.