Archive for 2007

LIFE Build Solutions – The story so far…

In Uncategorized by warren / December 14, 2007 / 0 Comments

Ken and MikeDetermined to repeat the success of their previous partnership, Ken Adams and Mike Wilde formed Life Build Solutions soon after the break-up of Benson in late 2004. Since 2005, they have rebuilt their team and re-established a thriving, independent regional contracting business which, at current growth rates, looks set to match the success of their time together heading up Bensons profitable Northern Home Counties (NHC) division, which was snapped up by Bluestone amidst the collapse of the Benson Group.

As it approaches its third year of audited accounts, due in February, Life Build Solutions has lifted its turnover from less than £1m in its first year, to just under £4m in year two and now over £8m at the end of 2007, with at least £6m of work secured for 2008. The founding directors believe this is due to replicating the successful formula they previously adopted: a passion for forging long-term relationships with clients by consistently achieving industry-beating results “delivering a quality product, not only on budget but ahead of time as the norm” As managing director at NHC from start-up, Ken Adams, supported by Mike Wilde as construction director, had four golden years, hitting £18m annual turnover, with nearly two-thirds of jobs handed over early and the remainder on time, resulting in above-average profit margins and a long list of repeat clients. As our company name suggests, our goal is to provide a level of service once again that sets us apart and fosters lifelong relationships with clients, said Ken Adams. Mike Wilde added: We all share a conviction about doing things differently here “listening to clients, fulfilling their needs and expectations; being proactive and problem-solving, not looking for excuses”

The company operates in both public and private sectors, carrying out projects up to £8m in commercial, industrial, education, healthcare, housing, government, community and general work, either by negotiation/partnering, two stage, traditional or design and build. Its area of operation includes Central, North & West London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey. It is gaining a growing list of repeat business, including the likes of housing associations Hightown Praetorian and London & Quadrant; London-based County Estates Management; Berkhamsted Collegiate School and even the renowned Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. To date, its order books range from retail and commercial fit-outs to school sports halls and extensions; from office refurbishment to industrial warehousing. With backing from two shareholding partners, property and construction entrepreneurs Bob Morton and Ken Wilkins, the founding directors have set out a five-year plan to build a £20m business. But they resist any long-term ambitions to go national: We prefer to keep to a close-knit regional organisation and stay close to our clients.

Oscar-winning performance at Pinewood gets Royal approval

In Completed Projects by warren / November 14, 2007 / 0 Comments


Pinewood Studios GateConstruction company LIFE Build Solutions Ltd has earned applause from film studio bosses for an Oscar-winning performance at Pinewood.

The High Wycombe-based contractor has created an iconic entrance building for the world-famous recording studios in Iver, Buckinghamshire, in just 14 weeks from seeing a model of the design concept.

Working with Burland TM Architects and structural engineers Stuart Michael Associates, LIFE Build beat a four-month deadline to get the landmark structure ready in time for a visit by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh last Friday.

Spanning new entrance and exit roads, a streamlined roof canopy that echoes the corporate logo of Pinewood Studios is connected to a futuristic two-storey glass-enclosed gatehouse. This provides security facilities at ground level and a media suite on the first floor. The building is served by a platform lift and helical staircase. The stairs continue to roof level, where there is an observation deck for the entire studio complex.

Inviting the Queen to officially open the gatehouse signals the start of major redevelopment plans for the complex. In his welcoming speech, Pinewood Studios Group chief executive Ivan Dunleavy paid tribute to the project team for accomplishing the high-speed development on time and on budget. You deserve an Oscar, he added.

The Queen also raised the fast-track performance shortly afterwards when she met members of the LIFE Build team, including contracts manager Colin Napier, site manager Lee Batten, surveyor Anthony Raine and director Ken Adams

When she asked Ken Adams how tight the programme was, he told her they were proud to have met the challenge in only 14 weeks. You must have done a good job because it was on budget and on time, said the Queen.

Colin Napier and Lee Batten had only recently completed rebuilding the fire-ravaged 007 stage when they were called back by Pinewood to create the new gatehouse. Given the extremely short timescale for a scheme of this size and complexity, everyone is amazed we delivered on time, said Colin. Being a curved structure, this job was as demanding as it gets, with no two pieces of steelwork the same. Just about every detail and cladding panel was different and required individual design and fabrication.

For Lee Batten, meeting the Queen and Prince Philip was the best day of my construction career.

Pinewood’s head of group property, David Wight, commented: Given a challenging deadline for completion, we selected the same team that rebuilt our 007 stage in record time and again we’re delighted with the result. This iconic gateway not only spectacularly enhances the studios frontage, it also launches our future development plans to establish a new hub for the creative industries.

Among recent productions shot at Pinewood were Casino Royale and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, which is currently showing at cinemas. Now the newly-built structure will welcome the stars and creators of some of the finest film and television the UK produces for generations to come.

Construction golfers beat charity target

In Charity by warren / July 6, 2007 / 0 Comments

GolfersOur own Ken Adams, past Captain of the EPIC Golf Society is delighted by their recent charity event. EPICs beat their own target and raised around £26,000 through their 30th anniversary charity golf day at Ashridge Golf Club, Berkhamsted, recently. The record sum was £5,000-£6,000 more than hoped for and will be shared between the Willow Foundation, set up by ex-Arsenal keeper Bob Wilson, and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, to support pioneering cancer treatment. The biggest single amount raised in the history of the golfing society was described by EPIC president John Bush as a tremendous result to mark our 30thanniversary.

EPIC “ Every Professional in Construction “ regularly runs charity events among its members, drawn from all sectors of the building and property development business across the Home Counties, East Anglia, the Midlands and the South Coast. Richard H. Hardwick MD FRCS, the Consultant Surgeon & Lead Clinician, Addenbrooke’s Hospital said, “We are enormously grateful to the EPIC Golf Club for their generous donation of £13,000 to the Cambridge Oesophago-gastric Centre at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. This money will allow us to treat ten patients with early oesophageal (gullet) cancer using Radio-frequency ablation (RFA), a very new and exciting technique which avoids surgery for this disease and is given in the Day Case Treatment Centre. If our trials are successful RFA is likely to become the treatment of choice for early cancers which we detect with endoscopic (telescope) screening. EPIC’s support of our work is invaluable and will potentially benefit many patients. Bob Wilson joined around 120 construction industry golfers and their guests, who shrugged off grey skies and heavy downpours in their bid to hit a £20,000 charity target.