ASWS overcomes access challenges to complete ASOS façade refurbishment

London based metal window refurbishment specialist, Associated Steel Window Services (ASWS) has successfully completed two very demanding phases of work in refurbishing the exterior facades to the ASOS premises in Watford; renewing a past working relationship with main contractor ISG, while demonstrating its ability to embrace contemporary contracting techniques as well as traditional trade skills.

The property, which dates from late 1990’s, not only required re-glazing and extensive mastic renewal and replacement to its original aluminium curtain walling system, but the articulated, stepped and brise soliel structure also presented real logistical challenges for ASWS, in terms of access and the very tight programme timetable.

Initially, ASWS was engaged to carry out a full survey of the property’s curtain walling, to determine its general condition, highlighting specific areas of damage and deterioration, as well as any glazing units which might require replacement. This included a full external survey using MEWPS and photography.  The company was then awarded the contract for the first phase of work under competitive tender, which addressed the whole building envelope across all elevations and roof works.

Its team of twelve highly experienced operatives then proceeded to carry out the repairs utilising half a dozen different types of access equipment, including scissor lifts, HGV mounted Broncos and other types of MEWPS, including the specialist Spider equipment, which is designed to work at extreme heights in narrow areas that normal access equipment wouldn’t be able to operate in. This required the ASWS team to be specifically trained in IPAF 1b to be able to operate the spiders. The largest IG unit fitted was a 3m long by 2m high, weighing over 300kg. 

Kris Bennell, Contracts Director for ASWS, explained: “Aside from having carried out past projects for ISG, we were awarded the ASOS contract on the basis of our overall capabilities and being able to show the ability to work in challenging circumstances as well as to tight programmes.

“While we have extensive experience of renovating different types of metal window – from the earliest wrought iron and steel windows, through to contemporary aluminium systems – access issues were a major element to this job: involving getting to different heights, dealing with the variable ground conditions, the various weights of machine, and employing crane mounted glazing machines. Not only that the job was completed over one of the coldest winters in recent memory!  We are delighted to say that the project was completed on time and practical completion was achieved by our client.”

The Project Manager for ISG, Dragos Caraimaneanu commented: “This was a very demanding job where we were completing the full Cat. A and Cat. B fit out on behalf of ASOS.  Despite the difficulties ASWS performed very well, even repairing and reglazing an extremely large window that was broken. The client was also very happy with the results.”

ASWS was duly awarded the second phase of the project a year later, which addressed the next building that ASOS took possession of next door in Leavesden Park. ASWS has since gone on to win other work with ISG.  And elsewhere across the country, the company has continued to carry out a diverse range of work for both private and commercial clients: much of it involving the detailed repair or installation of new traditional style steel windows.