Brick, stone and concrete are as much the materials of choice for commercial buildings as they are for houses. Our work, therefore, goes from offices to department stores; town halls to shopping malls…
It is the facade of a retail outlet that creates the first impression. While it may be enough in an average small-town high street to do little more than keep the facia clean, larger and more imposing buildings need to be kept looking their best. If, as is common, the building is let, we can only be asked to help once the landlord and the tenant have agreed a way forward but it is as much part of our job to understand the complexity of this relationship as it is to understand the detail of the building’s fabric.
Exactly the same holds for offices, especially when it is a large building with the company’s name emblazoned on its front for all to see.
And if you are the landlord of a vacant building, ensuring it looks its best will encourage new tenants in what remains a buyers’ market
Municipal buildings reflect the character of the community they serve and, ideally, should be maintained to a high standard. Here, of course, cost has a particular resonance. Money spent on municipal buildings is not just a financial consideration, even with a rigorous tendering process, it is also political. Part of our job in these circumstances therefore is to help explain to the community what we are doing, why we are doing it and the benefits it will bring. Furthermore, if we need to draw in additional, non-specialist labour, we look first to the local area. Similarly, we will look first to local firms to supply basic materials – specific stone or bricks, for example, may need to be sourced from further afield.