Cranbrook Basements

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Cranbrook Basements Ltd have been a member of the Scheme since 2011, and were soon being presented with a National Company Award in 2012 and in 2013 in recognition of their considerate efforts. The company discuss some of their projects and how they have found registration with the Scheme.

Please tell us a bit about your company and some of the projects you have worked on.

The company was originally established by Kevin & Aidan O’Connor in 1983 and work focused locally to the company administrative offices in Ilford. At that time it was a small family run construction company that continued to trade successfully through the recession. In 2008, the company took the opportunity to diversify into subterranean structure construction and at the time was using a workforce of 40 directly employed labour only sub-contractors and an employed support staff of five. Since then the company has gone from strength to strength and now uses a workforce of approximately 120 directly employed labour only sub-contractors and has a staff base of 19 professionals and administration support.

Our work now is focused mainly in Central London predominantly in London Borough of Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster. The service the company provides is a complete one including Design, Planning, Trust Approvals, Party Wall, Structural; Building and complete fit out.

Some of our most prestigious projects Include:

  • Complete renovation of a Listed Building in SW7 including the construction of a Loft Extension and a 3 Storey Basement – extending the size of the property to 7 storeys. Bespoke Portland Stone Stair Flights were installed to the entire building with renovation of cast iron balustrade with solid wood handrails.

  • Construction of Basement under an existing Mews Property to create an additional Media/Living Room, Bedroom, Shower Room, Gymnasium and a Utility Room/Wine Store. This also included the formation of a full access staircase and a rear Courtyard lightwell.

  • Construction of Basement below a Grade 2* Listed Building forming Media Room, Bathroom, Sauna, Basement Hallway and associated Storage Zones. Also involved complete renovation of the existing building.

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How have you found registration with the Scheme and would you recommend it to other construction companies?

We have now been company registered for three years and during that time we have found membership to have helped us focus and define our “public face”. It has inspired us to take the opportunity to review our systems and ensure that we operate to the highest possible quality level whilst remaining aware of the way our product and service can impact on the local community and environment. The Considerate Constructors Scheme's Code of Considerate Practice is an excellent guide and we now find that our own company purpose and values very much reflect this Code – they provide the means for continued improvement which is an excellent management tool.

How have you found the Monitor visits and were they beneficial?

The Monitors visits have been enormously helpful to us, not only in acknowledging that we are operating in the most considerate ways that we can, but also to steer us towards possible improvements and motivate us to find new ways to be innovative within the industry and the service we provide to our clients.

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4. Could you detail a few examples of good practice you have put in place on your sites?

We have developed a Bi Weekly Scheme – basically this is a comprehensive fortnightly checklist which is carried out on every site by the Contracts Manager. The results are scored and fed back to the Administrative Team in our Head Office. These results are published fortnightly back to the Site Foreman for their Team’s information and also published on our Site Newsletters. Once every quarter, the highest scoring Site Team is presented with a Certificate and a monetary prize is also given to the whole Team. We announce this on our Website too which acknowledges the good work the Teams are doing.

When we start a new Project, we try to look for a small charity operating in the local area and make a donation which we hope will help their cause.

We offer our services to neighbours and the local community to our Projects. Our Operatives are encouraged to keep aware of any ways that they can provide assistance to people who may come into contact with our Site Operations.

Contact is made with the neighbours regarding finding out any special needs they may have relating to young babies needing quiet times during the course of the day etc. – we aim to accommodate as much as possible.

5. Any other comments about Company Registration?

Membership of the Scheme is very good for potential clients to be made aware of, by their understanding of the Code of Considerate Practice, it informs them that our ethics, service quality and own company purposes and values are vital to our operations, operatives and employees.

We have been privileged to have received two National Company Awards to date, one Bronze in 2012 and Silver in 2013.