Tony Richards, Head of Facilities Services and Property for Quiet Company, tells us about conservation work currently taking place at Friends House.
Scaffolding around Friends House, that’s an unusual view! Why is work currently being carried out at Friends House?
We are currently undertaking essential maintenance of the building fabric. We are correcting some known defects which are causing ingress of water in some parts. We are also repairing and replacing decayed timber on the windows. In a nutshell, we are revamping Friends House a little bit.
How long is the work going to take?
We hope to have completed the work by mid-April 2021. Contractors are working 5 days a week on the project.
Who is working on the site at the moment?
Ten tradesmen at the present: scaffolders, masonry specialists, carpenters and painters. They are doing a great job, under tough conditions as it is freezing cold outside.
Why is this work happening now?
It is a cyclical task and it is done every seven or eight years. We were thinking about doing it for the last three years. We took the opportunity to do it this year as the building is not in use and thus we are not disturbing any customers. It is quite an operation!
What will be the end result of the project?
It will be easier to open and close the windows. All surfaces will be water-tight and in good condition. All in all, it will be a nicer building for people to come back to.
Is this an exciting project for you?
Yes! Friends House is a three-storey building, extremely exposed to the elements, and the scaffolding gives me the opportunity to look at the building from up close. It is also the opportunity to restore the building to its optimum condition while preserving its unique architecture and style.
Have you got more work planned?
We are doing some work in the library. We hope to bring back some original features that were replaced 25 years ago.
You are a busy man!
If you would like to find out more about Tony’s job and his background, head to our Senior Team page.