Refurbishment Rules in London’s Urban Sprawl
Digital solutions help refurbishment specialists rebuild Central London
In the residential market, builders have begun to forsake charm and antiquity for modern amenities, and cities around the world find their own unique building styles threatened by the need for all things new, affordable and efficient.
One city that refuses to trade its storied identity for a modern makeover is London, whose building codes and regulations preserve the city’s historic feel. That said, building on top of the heavily regulated pre-existing structures—which can literally be hundreds of years old—is no small feat, and doing so takes the utmost attention to detail. Specialist Refurbishment Contractors, Forcia Ltd., continually face this situation within their refurbishment projects, making digital workflows a necessary tool in an environment where accuracy is paramount.
“I think the refurbishment end of the business is actually more challenging, because in some cases, you have to get the information about existing buildings, which is very difficult.” – Terry Crawford, Construction Director, Forcia.
Forcia has no shortage of projects in which workflows like takeoffs and estimation have to be as precise as possible, especially within the Central London area. “Our current project involves both façade retention, demolition, listed building work, and the construction of a new concrete frame to put a whole new residential unit inside the structure. This will transform the building from its current state to a very modern residential unit,” explains Crawford.
Another similar project in Covent Garden involves converting a similar residential fit out while also giving the space a new roof. These projects represent the typical challenges Forcia faces on a jobsite.
“In the refurbishment world, it is a lot more difficult to actually ascertain what you have on a site,” Crawford states. “We have to try and price a project and come up with a methodology for how we plan to do it. Using digital solutions helps us navigate the complexities of getting the necessary information, as well as coming up with strategies for producing the successful projects our clients require.”
Recognizing the need for accuracy and project efficiency, Crawford and the Forcia team have been successfully using digital solutions for more than 10 years, a testament to their own process-oriented workflows. How ironic, then, that a firm built on preserving the historic style of their hometown had to seek the most modern, digital solutions available to perfect these projects. In doing so, Forcia has remained ahead of the technological curve and become efficient enough to take on more projects each year.
Combining vintage designs with modern tools, Forcia can happily rebuild London in the way the city was meant to be seen. In this case, both London and Forcia prove that the more things change, the more they ultimately stay the same.