Diamond Special Works: Review of 2020

Managing Director, Paul Hoskins, reflects on the challenges of 2020 and some of the team’s key projects and highlights.

The coronavirus may have put normal life on hold, but it hasn’t stopped the construction sector. The government’s drive to keep the industry moving, has seen us work on a wide variety of projects over the last 12 months, ranging from small-scale repair work through to million-pound renovations.

Like all construction firms, our teams both on and off site have had to quickly adapt to new ways of working in response to the pandemic to ensure the safety of our staff, clients and third parties is not compromised by our activities. At the same time, we have ensured that essential projects and new developments across London were delivered on time for our public sector customers.

Specialist Facilities

In the summer, our team worked throughout lockdown to complete a new supported living facility in Tottenham on behalf of Haringey Council.

Linden House was a former residential home and will support adults with learning disabilities and/or autism to live as independently as possible. The £1.3m facility comprises four apartments each with their own living area, bedroom, fully adapted kitchen and ensuite bathroom.

Our scope of works included temporary work to facilitate structural alterations and the renewal of the main roof. Externally, the existing windows were replaced, and essential fabric repairs undertaken on the façade of the building. Internally, the services were renewed and a building control system introduced along with new kitchens and finishes.

The project was delivered on time enabling Haringey Council to officially open the facility on 31st July 2020.

Essential Maintenance

Also in the summer, we completed time-critical projects at two schools to ensure they could reopen in September 2020 ahead of staff and pupils returning for the new academic year.

The first saw our team install a new alarm system as well as emergency lighting throughout Hornsey School for Girls. The second contract involved upgrading hot water and heating systems at Tiverton Primary School as well as the installation of new fire screens, decorations and floor coverings.

Award-winning Transformation

One particular highlight for Diamond Special Works this year was our award win in August last year.

The Tailoring Academy at Finsbury Park, which was delivered by our team, was crowned Best Small Commercial Project at the London LABC Building Excellence Awards.

Designed by Jan Kattein Architects, the Tailoring Academy was developed through a partnership between Haringey Council and social enterprise, Fashion Enter. It’ s a new working and learning environment aimed at helping to bring garment production for high street brands back to London.

Our team was responsible for transforming the ground floor of an existing warehouse into the new contemporary space, which features a folded timber and glass screen that surrounds pockets of workspace. The refurbishment comprised exterior and interior work, including installing new heating and partition walls.

Training the Next Generation

We are also proud to be continuing to help young people forge successful careers in construction through our well-established apprenticeship scheme.

We currently have three apprentices supporting Diamond Special Works. Two are training to be quantity surveyors gaining practical experience while studying towards degrees in quantity surveying and commercial management. And our most recent apprentice is training to be a plumbing and domestic heating technician to enhance our direct labour team.

Looking Ahead

As we begin 2021, our focus is on building on our success and achieving further growth. With more than 40 years’ experience, which includes working in occupied and logistically challenging sites, we are well placed to help public sector organisations deliver their development goals – from minor repairs right through to brand new facilities.