Colin our Projects Director gives us a better picture of how our Projects Department works to add value to our clients’ investments.

How does the Projects Department support the Hemlow maintenance teams and our clients?

We enhance our maintenance services by carrying out different technical projects and providing additional support for clients. This could be plant refurbishment or replacement, or problem solving in new buildings.
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What size of projects does the Projects Department work on? 

Projects range from £10,000 – things like fan coil replacements, controls replacements and small boiler installations – to £500,000 for a VRF system installation, complete boiler/chiller replacement or new technology in an old building. We also look at bigger projects too – currently we are working on one of £2.5 million. However, it’s not necessarily about how large in value the project is. Some may be relatively small but technically challenging.
Click here to read about one of our larger projects


What are the CDM considerations with project work?

CDM is a mandatory legal requirement of the construction industry and applies to contractors, clients, landlords, owners, management teams and design teams. The extent of CDM required on projects depends on the size of the contract; number of site days and number of subcontractors.

We can be a main contractor on project sites, dedicated to running the site, responsible for the permit to work system, health and safety plan, inductions, overall control of the site or part of the site. Equally we may be working under a main contractor as a subcontractor having to provide them with the necessary documentation to comply with their health and safety plan. Either way we always comply with CDM regulations. See pages 8-13 of our Health and Safety Guide and Procedures for our Guide for CDM


How do you know when CDM applies?

On 6 April 2015 The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force, replacing CDM 2007. It states that ALL projects must have:

  • workers with the right skills, knowledge, training and experience
  • contractors providing appropriate supervision, instruction and information
  • a written construction phase plan

If the Project involves more than 1 contractor it must have:

  • principal designer and principal contractor must be appointed
  • a health and safety file must be issued at the end of the contract

If a project is due to last longer than 30 working days and will have more than 20 workers working simultaneously at any point in the project OR exceeds 500 person days, then an ‘F10 Notification of Construction Project’ should be submitted to the HSE.  To learn more about CDM visit the HSE website.

Where do you see the biggest driver or trends for equipment upgrades?

The most common driver for equipment upgrades is the change of use of a property. New tenants may have different requirements for the use of space. Our strength is working in occupied buildings and maintaining the services while doing considerable upgrade work. The plant age, life cycle of the building, and energy rating and saving are also key drivers for equipment upgrades.  Register here for a place on our ‘Energy Management in Commercial Buildings’ CPD training.

What has been the biggest game changer for M&E projects in your experience?

A move to VRF technology and refrigeration plant from wet systems has become more favourable where possible. The initial outlay for installation is cheaper, it’s quicker to install and quite versatile.

What does a good project look like to you?

A project with difficult challenges, not necessarily thought to be achievable, brought in on budget and on time. A project that may not be high value but is different and interesting and needing a bit of out of the box thinking.

How much of managing projects is about logistical planning?

Logistical planning is key and things don’t always go according to plan, but how you get over any issues is what makes you a good Project Manager.

If you’d like to know more about our Projects Department contact us