Registered with the Scheme for over four years, the London-based construction company has demonstrated its considerate credentials by winning a Silver National Company Award 2014 and a Bronze in 2016.
Noble Structures was established in September 2012 by current Directors, Adrian O’Malley, Fursey Costello and Shane Watson, with an original workforce of just six labour-only employees.
The company now has over 65 employees, including site-based operatives, management teams and an administration team. When forming the company, the directors’ vision was to concentrate on basement construction for both the residential and commercial sectors.
Industry Image spoke to Director Shane Watson and asked about Noble Structures Ltd and its experience of registering with the Scheme:
Congratulations on winning two National Company Awards. To what do you attribute your success?
Noble were elated to win a second annual award from the Scheme in the relatively short four years we have been trading. It’s nice to be recognised for the effort all our team here put into tying to promote the good ethos of the CCS.
Our success as a considerate constructor comes down to many factors; the main factors attributing to our success are the CCS Monitor visits, both on site and at our head office. It’s great that the inspectors monitor our progress and clearly outline where and how we can improve going forward. We feel this guidance is extremely beneficial as we strive to improve our scoring on future projects, thus leading to higher awards.
I must also mention our on-site employees; everyone from the site manager down to the labourers. These are the people ensuring that our standards on site are kept to the highest level on a daily basis. They see the benefits from the Scheme, which in turn drives them on to keeping these standards at all times.
The Best Practice Hub is also an excellent area to source information on various topics and we have used this to our advantage on numerous occasions.
Please tell us about your company and your work?
While basement construction does equate to a large volume of our work, we have also taken on and successfully completed various new build projects. Our projects have ranged in value from £150,000 up to £1,500,000. All our work is based in and around central London, including boroughs such as Wimbledon, Camden, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea, Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham.
We offer a turnkey service to all our clients, from the initial consultation, to design and onto the construction and completion of the development. Whatever the project, our main concern is consistently offering and delivering the highest possible service for our clients. We strive to deliver projects ahead of schedule and on budget without compromising attention to detail or quality of workmanship.
What are the benefits of being registered with the Scheme and how does the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice support your company’s values /CSR policies or ethos?
The main benefit we have found from being registered with the Scheme is the close relationship we now build with the local community, especially the neighbouring properties to our construction sites. Through regular updates via newsletters and community liaison schemes, all neighbours are kept abreast of progress on site. As well as this, we always offer our services to neighbours, should they need assistance with works on their property; this could be repairing a front gate or clearing out their gardens. Getting good reviews and feedback in the CCS neighbour surveys leaves us safe in the mind that we have left a good impression in the area. In turn, we always find we get excellent recommendations from our clients and regularly end up working on the same streets and roads.
The Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice now forms part of our company values and ethos. Attending to appearance, community, environment, workforce and safety ensures that our sites are always kept clean and tidy. Community liaison signage is well displayed and we continually carry out recycling and carbon footprint reduction, as well as encouraging a happy workforce and focusing on safety. Following these practices equates to a successful project from commencement to conclusion.
How do you incorporate the requirements of the Scheme into your working practices?
Care about Appearance – ensures that all our site set-ups/hoardings are continuously kept clean and tidy to ensure that the ‘face’ of our company creates a good ambiance to local residents. In fact we regularly get complimented on how tidy we keep our sites, which makes it all worthwhile.
Respect the Community – supports us in our relationships with local residents. We always ask to be treated as temporary local residents, rather than the builder next door. Our open door policy ensures that we are contactable 24/7 for all local residents.
Protect the Environment – supports us in recycling, with water bunds installed in all sites and meter readings taken weekly to ensure we continually try to reduce our carbon footprint. Recycling is undertaken wherever possible. If we find that we are struggling to reduce our footprint on a certain site we would then offset it by purchasing the planting of trees via the carbon footprint.com website.
Secure everyone’s Safety – this is of the highest importance to our company. We strongly advise all operatives to report near misses and we have random monthly health and safety inspections from a specialist health and safety company to ensure that our standards never drop. We have recently introduced on site H&S quizzes, as advised by one of the CCS Monitors.
Value their Workforce – we are continually receiving the benefits of the Scheme through regular on-site meetings about various health issues, stop smoking campaigns, drink and drugs awareness, as well as safety quizzes. The Scheme is continually giving us fresh ideas on how to ensure we keep a happy workforce.
What particular challenges have you faced in relation to the community, environment or the workforce and how did you overcome these?
We face regular challenges from the community in our line of work. It usually concerns increased traffic in the area, and the noise associated with our works. Thankfully most local councils have now made a traffic management plan part of the planning procedure; therefore all routes, times and vehicles required for the site have been approved before we commence our works. We recently had a project where the traffic management plan was all agreed and planning approved. However, an elderly neighbour required access to the parking bay outside his property where we had arranged for the bay to be suspended. Without delay we redesigned our site set-up and gained approval from the local council to ensure that a space remained for him at all times.
To alleviate some of the problems with noise we always use a ‘super silenced’ compressor and specific pneumatic tools that have been specially designed to reduce noise and vibration. On a recent project where a neighbour worked from home, we reduced our noisy work hours to between 9am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.
How do you feel the Scheme is improving the image of construction?
In London, where we are based, it is quite easy to see the construction sites which are associated with the Scheme and those which are not. We feel that the appearance of the site hoarding and surrounding areas is of utmost importance. Those displaying the CCS posters, banners flags etc., are always the ones with the pristine hoardings, clean footpaths and roads. We pride ourselves on spending time and money on hoardings and site set-up, and in turn we always get good feedback and comments from local residents.
By continually improving the image of construction, the CCS can only be beneficial to all in the industry, as well as the people affected by the industry. The Scheme continually promotes the positive side of the industry, whilst putting companies on the road to compliance and then onto win awards.
Would you recommend registration with the Scheme to other contractors?
Yes. We feel that all contractors and sites should be registered with the Scheme. Company Registration has proved extremely beneficial to us. It gives our prospective clients the extra confidence in knowing that our construction sites will be set up and managed in line with the CCS’s Code of Considerate Practice. Our clients are always made aware of the Scheme through the CCS issue leaflets, as well as our monthly newsletters.
Please sum up in one sentence your experience of registering with the Scheme?
Enormously beneficial to our company, our management, our site operatives, clients, neighbours, general public, the environment and the construction industry in general.