Category Archives: New Builds & Refurbishments

Refurbishment of Barbican Centre

Summary = A comprehensive refurbishment to the Barbican Centre and backstage dressing rooms, within a tight seven week programme.

Client = The Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London (as owners, founder and principle funder of the Barbican Centre)

Challenge = All works were carried out within a functioning backstage of the Concert Hall.

Solution = The Barbican Centre is the largest multi-arts centre in Europe, and forms part of the Grade 2 listed Barbican Estate, reflecting its special architectural and historic interest. After a successful tender through the City of London procurement portal, Bakers of Danbury carried out backstage and stage flooring refurbishment works to the Barbican Centre, within a tight seven week programme. Specifically, this included comprehensive refurbishment works to all twenty one dressing rooms serving the Concert Hall, with the Conductor’s suite and five other dressing rooms refurbished to a 5 star hotel standard. The project also included repair and restoration works to the existing solid Canadian Maple stage floor and riser sections of the Hall's stage area. As it was condensed programme requiring close coordination of a number of complex works packages, we assigned both a Site Manager (Lee Kerrison) and Assistant Site Manager (Ken Marshall) to the project full-time to proactively manage the delivery and ensure it remained on-track and within budget.

As all works were carried out within a functioning backstage of the Concert Hall, temporary walkways were created to enable the Barbican Centre employees to carry on about their business, without coming into contact with the works underway. During the preconstruction stage the Contract Manager liaised with the Client to provide program updates, agree alternative access routes, times of working, periods during the day when noisy works were minimised, as well as providing briefings to building occupants who lived in residential flats above the Concert Hall. In addition to the Site Manager’s daily inspection of works, Bakers’ Contracts Manager held a weekly site meeting with the Site Manager to inspect works, checking quality, health and safety and the progress against the project programme.

The refurbishment works to the dressing rooms and Conductor’s suite included new kitchenette areas, acoustic absorption panels and new timber veneer panels to walls within hardwood frames, redecoration of ceiling panels and carpeting. Fixtures and fittings; multipurpose room units, vanity units, built-in wardrobes, daybeds and tv units hand built out of Cedar of Lebanon, by Bakers of Danbury’s in-house joinery workshop. Bakers’ joinery workshop was used to ensure a tight control of the supply chain in terms of quality and programming. This also enabled a close liaison between Ken Marshall onsite and the Joinery Manager in the workshop in Danbury. Assistant Site Manager Ken Marshall has many years’ experience of onsite carpentry, so was given the responsibility of managing the complex joinery from Bakers’ joinery workshop to installation on site.

Access traps were removed from the stage floor and a new lift car (and framework behind) was installed with Canadian Maple to match the existing. The stage was given an anti-slip finish and fire rated varnish. The wall panels were also given a fire rated finish. New integrated lighting solutions, data works, electrical services and fire alarm systems were also installed. This required close coordination between Bakers’ joiners and mechanical and electrical contractors.

A new air-conditioning system was required to the existing projector room which posed a considerable challenge to the distant location of the plant room. Bakers noted at an early stage that the original design of the system could not be implemented due to existing and immovable plant and structure. Bakers engaged their specialist S.V.Bullen at an early stage, held meetings with the design team and ensured that a designed solution was produced and implemented which enabled the installation of the required system within the confines of the existing structure.

A list of bespoke fittings and other items for interior fit out such as televisions, lamps, bins, tables and chairs were procured cost effectively by Bakers’ Quantity Surveyor, who worked with the Client to review the specification and provide three options per item across a range of budgets.

Grays Convent School, Thurrock

Summary = The creation of a single classroom extension adjacent to a previous extension, connected to the existing building.

Value = £200,000

Location = Thurrock, Essex

Challenge = Works had to take place without disrupting the school, its pupils and local residents.

Solution = As principal contractor Bakers of Danbury recently completed a new build extension to provide a new classroom extension to Grays Convent School. The single classroom extension was constructed from a block and brick, with a warm deck flat roof. External Comar aluminum windows and doors were installed to the new build and fire rated doors were installed internally.

The existing classroom eternal door provided a doorway access from the new build classroom to the existing building. The M&E package included electrical lighting, small power and new radiators. Externally, the tarmac was made good around the edge of the building.

As works took place in a live school, deliveries were limited to designated times out of school pick-up, drop-off and breaks. All deliveries had to ring ahead to the Site Manager before arriving. Upon arrival, all deliveries were escorted by a trained banksman, gaining access to site via a side entrance to the school. The whole site including the site compound was securely fenced off from the live school and the general public.

Progress meetings took place once a week and were attended by representatives from Thurrock Council, Munday and Cramer, Bakers of Danbury and occasionally Grays Convent School. In addition to progress review meetings, the Site Manager regularly liaised with the school, in particular the school's caretaker with regards to access and planning works around school activities.

The site was monitored at all times by Bakers of Danbury's Site Manager and inspections were carried out by Bakers' external health and safety consultant Eastern Builders Safety Group to ensure the site complied with health and safety legislation.

The new build classroom extension was completed ahead of the deadline (January 2020) and to budget.

New Build Detached House

Summary = New build detached house consisting of three bedrooms.

Challenge = A forever home built to adapt to the family's changing needs over the years.

Solution = Bakers of Danbury recently completed the new build detached house, consisting of a 3 bedrooms. The chalet style house was of a timber frame construction with a hand cut roof with a slate finish with rendered external walls.

The new build detached house was designed specifically for the use of the family as a forever home. The clever design will enable the house to adapt to the family's changing needs. For example low thresholds will allow disable access if it should be needed in the future.

Downstairs the house boasts an open plan living area comprising of a kitchen, dining room and lounge area. Bakers manufactured a bespoke sliding screen which gives the flexibility to separate the lounge area from the dining and kitchen area. When the screen is closed it looks like a wall, but when it is open it is cleverly hidden to provide the family with open plan living. As the house is chalet style, the two downstairs bedrooms are services by a modern wet room.

Upstairs the large landing space leads to the master bedroom, bathroom and study. The large landing area and study benefit from natural light through the feature windows at the front of the house.

The external grounds were landscaped to include a large drive laid with stone chippings, paving laid to both sides and exterior of the house with a decked entertainment area to the rear.

Benyon Primary School, Thurrock

Summary = A new build school extension comprising of six classrooms including alteration and refurbishment works within the existing school, and extensive hard landscaping to extend the car park and playground.

Value = £1,730,000

Location = Thurrock, Essex

Challenge = Due to the National Lockdown which was put place to stop the spread of covid-19; it was decided to reprogram the project, after close consultation with the school and Thurrock council.

Solution = The new build school extension provided six new classrooms, which were handed over to the school to occupy, whilst Bakers refurbished four existing classrooms. The extension was mainly single storey, with a high roof where it extends the existing main hall. The extension had a block and beam floor and a hollowcore plank roof, finished with Sarnafill which is a single ply roofing membrane for flat roof waterproofing. Refurbishment works currently taking place include the main hall, corridors, staffroom, reception and administration areas. The project is set to meet its deadline of the 31st December 2020.

Some existing windows and doors were refurbished, together with new windows and DF30 and DF60 fire rated doors installed. An external automatic fire door was installed to the main hall to provide an exit to outside. Joinery works include a new reception desk with an oak and glazed glass reception screen. New timber glazed screens were manufactured and installed within the reception and the main hall. New door linings and frames in soft wood were manufactured and installed to the reception area and the new extension.

Temporary works included installing a hardcore lane, leading from the existing school gate within the school field to the site compound, all of which were securely fenced off from the school field and playground. As the only entrance is off Tyson Place, all parking and deliveries took place during designated times out of school pick-up, drop-off and breaks. To help manage this, deliveries had to call the site office before arrival.

The existing car park was extended to provide extra hard surface parking spaces and modifications made to collect surface water from the car park. The existing playground was remodelled and resurfaced as well as extended to provide a new playground. New rainwater goods were installed to the extension, and modifications to the foul and service water made to the existing building. Landscaping is programmed to take place during the October half term. A new canopy is currently being constructed to the main entrance, with a block column, roof joists and cladded in traspar cladding to match exiting cladding throughout the school. Bakers are currently constructing a metal cycle shelter which was manufactured offsite, to be later constructed onsite and fixed on a concrete base.

As the project was considered as essential works, it continued throughout the National lockdown. Although works were carried out whilst the school was closed, Bakers had to ensure that the school remained fully functioning because for many months, it was not clear as to when the school will reopen. After consulting the school and Thurrock Council, it was agreed that Bakers would bring forward the refurbishment and alteration works to the corridors, main hall and the new car park extension, which were originally programmed to take place during school holidays.

To continue works during the lockdown Bakers implemented a new risk assessment to ensure social distancing and other measures were introduced to prevent the risk of spread of Covid-19 amongst everyone working on the project. Throughout the project, monthly progress review meetings have been taking place remotely with Bakers' Contract Manager and Site Manager, Architect, Thurrock Council and the school.

It has been extremely important that Bakers works closely with the school to manage access and safety issues, particularly when carrying out refurbishment works to within the school after the students returned after lockdown. The site is always monitored by the Site Manager and inspections carried out by our external health and safety consultant to ensure we comply with health and safety legislation.

Grade II Listed Barn Conversion

Summary = A Grade II Listed barn conversion to provide entertainment suite, garages, kitchen/ bar area and gymnasium.

Challenge = The original Grade II Listed barn was in need of structural under pinning, together with timber frame and roof repairs.

Solution = Bakers recently carried out a conversion of a barn and stable block to provide an entertainment suite, garages, kitchen/ bar area and gymnasium which involved extensive timber frame and roof repairs, as well as structural underpinning.

All existing timber weather boarding was removed and repair work and straightening carried out to the existing timber frame. Repairs were made to the brick plinth and the roof completely stripped and restored with reclaimed peg tiles.

Bakers' joinery workshop hand crafted new doors, oak staircase and sepele sash casement windows to match the existing

To hear more about other projects similar to this Grade II Listed barn conversion visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

Barn conversion

Summary = Barn conversion to provide a Grade II Listed luxury home.

Challenge = The original barn was in need of structural and roof repairs.

Solution = Bakers of Danbury carried out a conversion of a Grade II Listed barn to provide a luxury domestic dwelling. The original timber frame was repaired, carefully cleaned and retained.

The bedrooms were constructed on two mezzanine floors at each end of the barn, linked by a contemporary steel and glass walkway accessed by a steel, oak and glass staircase. The works included a hi-tech electronic lighting and sound system and underfloor heating.

To hear more about this and other projects visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

Alteration and Restoration Works

Summary = Alteration and restoration works to a Grade II Listed home.

Challenge = Retaining existing structure whilst repairing decayed and damaged roof timbers.

Solution = Bakers recently built a hand-cut oak timber framed extension as well as carrying out other alterations and restoration works to the Grade II Listed Marygolds Barn in Essex. Believed to date back to the late 16th century, Little Loveney Hall lies within a well preserved medieval moat.

Bakers' team of carpenters, bricklayers, plasterers and groundworkers led by Matt Edwards and Terry Barber have carried out extensive internal restoration and alteration works which include new floors and finishes, plastering between the rafters using thermalime, re-pointing to the inglenook fireplace and repair and re-pointing to the central chimney stack, which has three diagonal shafts.

A new Oak timber framed extension was hand-cut, traditionally jointed and assembled on site. It provides a kitchen and dining room extension as well as a first floor bedroom with en-suite.

New heating, plumbing, electricity and lighting systems have been installed. Externally Bakers have carried out timber frame and timber roof repairs which include repairing the main rafter and truss and strengthenning and repair work to the primary beams. Repairs were carried out to the dormers and new sepele sash casement replacement windows were manufactured in Bakers of Danburys Joinery Workshop and installed on site to match the existing. A new render was applied with pargeted panels to match the existing.

To hear more about this and other projects visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

Restoration of a Fire Damaged Farmhouse

Summary: Restoration of a fire damaged Grade II Listed farmhouse.

Challenge: Due to extensive fire and smoke damage the home needed internal and external restoration, as well as structural strengthening.

Solution: Bakers of Danbury recently carried out the restoration of a fire damaged Grade II Listed farmhouse. The oak frame was rebuilt to around 60% of the house, using traditional methods. Repairs carried out to the remaining oak frame included oak rafter repairs, joist repairs and structural strengthening to the whole roof.

Peg tiles were salvaged and reused. New peg tiles were introduced to match the original tiles. Traditional Lath & Lime plaster was applied to the walls.

Fire damaged timbers were removed and replaced with green oak using traditional joinery methods. Where possible good quality timber was salvaged.

To hear more about this and other projects visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.

Renovation and Internal Refurbishment

Summary = Renovation and internal refurbishment together with a new build pool house extension. To ensure the finished home was of the highest quality; the owners also stipulated bespoke high quality joinery and furniture to be installed throughout.

Challenge = This Grade ll Listed seven-bedroom house was in need of a substantial renovation and sympathetic internal refurbishment throughout; including heating and electrical installation, extensive external works and the demolition and rebuild of a new pool house.

Solution = The owners were aware of Bakers of Danbury's reputation for providing high quality craftsmanship and were pleased to find out, not only could Bakers of Danbury design the bespoke joinery and architectural timber work, but also can manufacture everything for the project by using their in-house joinery workshop

In total the team designed, manufactured and installed the following:

  • Internal bespoke fitted wardrobes
  • Internal doors, similar style to the original doors to comply with new fire regulations
  • Two new bespoke staircases with balustrades
  • Sash windows to match those existing and refurbishment of those windows that could be restored
  • Wall panelling to match the existing in the playroom and lounge area
  • Ornate radiator covers
  • In addition to the extensive joinery work, Bakers of Danbury also demolished and re-built the pool house. With new underground drainage, the new pool house now boasts tiled changing rooms throughout, themed lighting and handmade double glazed windows and French doors with fanlights to match the rest of the property.

    Inside the house a beautiful oak floor was salvaged from other rooms within the farm house and re-laid to make an impressive entrance lobby. Elsewhere, the original oak and parquet flooring was brought back to life after being taken up, re-laid, then expertly sanded and finished.

    As a result of the project, the home has truly been brought back to its former glory, with the attention to detail and high quality workmanship shining through. The owners described Bakers of Danbury as being “very professional, skilled and polite”.

    The owners were so impressed with the work carried out, that they asked Bakers of Danbury to return and restore their stable block.

    Westminster Deanery

    Summary = A refurbishment and roofing project at Westminster Deanery, which sits within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

    Location = Westminster, London

    Challenge = Nationwide Lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic

    Solution = Works continued safely on site during the Covid-19 lockdown, due to sensible planning and safe working procedures put in place on site. Bakers are currently midway through the £1.8 million refurbishment and roofing project at Westminster Deanery, which sits within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

  • Westminster Deanery roof works
  • Roof works carried out by Bakers involved stripping the existing roof, recasting original lead and re-leading the roof adjacent to the West Towers of the abbey. The pitched tiled roof area was also stripped, with structural repairs undertaken and then retiled with a mix of reclaimed peg tiles and new handmade tiles . A full overhaul of the rainwater goods is also being undertaken, with refurbished cast iron and lead downpipes, hoppers and chutes. Bakers increased the gradient of the roof (compliant with lead sheet association guidelines).

  • Westminster Deanery refurbishment works
  • The entire deanery including a grand function room are being renovated which includes five bedrooms, a kitchen, utility, dining area and the Dean's study and offices, along with two bathrooms and the addition of one new bathroom. Upgraded electrical and mechanical installations are being completed, along with improvements to insulation wherever possible. Full decoration is also being undertaken externally, including the 15th Century elevation being stripped of many layers of paint to reveal the original brickwork façade underneath.

    A new hardwood doorway and canopy will lead to the refurbished garden, which will be landscaped and have new drainage installed before the Deanery is handed back at the end of this year.

    To hear more about this and other projects visit our Latest News page or the Bakers of Danbury Facebook page.