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Sharing building commentary news and anecdotes

Taking Off The Handbrake…

CABE WiB (002)

Cath Daley tells women in the property and construction industry how to Step Up and Stand Out …

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Lucille and Rebecca prove we’re much more than an FM HelpDesk!

Congratulations to two of our team whose expertise certainly reflect the needs of a dynamic and progressive facilities management industry!

The Girls Qualify

Lucille Maloney and Rebecca Albrecht were really pleased to receive certificates which prove just that this week.  They’ve been studying hard to achieve Associate and Member grade of the BIFM.

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CDM 2015 Update

Who would have thought its 12 months since the new CDM Regulations came into force? We are still asked by many Clients, Contractors and Designers to explain what the regulations cover and what it means to them. It’s likely that many projects are still going ahead without the necessary roles in position, which is a worry. We believe that as with the 2007 Regulations, it will take time for construction industry to fully embrace the new Regulations, realise the benefits of putting into them firmly into place and to understand the different commitments it places on the duty holders. We are regularly asked questions such as;

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Iain’s 10 years at ACR…

Iain 10 years

We love cake in our office.  Well – it’s always someone’s birthday somewhere!   Iain Paterson thought we’d mistaken the day for HIS birthday today when he saw us approaching him with a large and rather lovely cake and heard our applause.

No such mistake – it was a big thank you to Iain for sticking with us for 10 years!

So what’s the ‘glue’ that’s made him stick thus far?  Well, Iain says…

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We think these 10 buildings are egg-cellent, do you?

Here at ACR we design your dreams big or small, but we just had to share these other eggs-travagant buildings by other designers and architects. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do (but we do recommend having a cracking Easter egg handy whilst reading this post to egg you on!)

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Do you know your legal Legionella responsibilities as a company or even a landlord?

Legionella requirements are not just limited to Cooling Towers and Air Con, it includes any water systems on site including their components such the associated pipework, tanks, showers and chillers etc.

“I’ve never heard of many cases of Legionella, why should it matter?”

  • £100,000 in fines
  • £20,000 in costs

The court heard that pensioner Lewis Payne, 95, had stayed at The Willows care facility after breaking his leg in 2012 and subsequently died from Legionnaires’ disease, prompting an investigation by HSE inspectors.

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Testimonial- Bachem (UK) Limited

“We have used ACR on many occasions over the last 10 years to provide advice and expertise relating to an extensive range of building services, most noteworthy being the Phase I fit-out of our current site and Phase II extension build and fit-out, including initial contract tenders, project management and full CDM compliance.  All projects were completed on-time and within budget thanks to ACR.  At all times they were professional, reliable and dedicated and provide a high-calibre consultancy service that we will continue to use for future requirements and would highly recommend.”

Site Manager, Bachem (UK) Limited

 

Testimonial- Celesio UK

“ACR have a very long established relationship with AAH and have been key to the success of a largenumber of projects over the years including a design and build warehouse in Stoke. They have also been our FM managing agent for a number of years now and have helped to drive best practice, cost savings and national contracts on a wide range of services, helping us to achieve legal and statutory compliance. They are always professional, have a very customer focused, can do culture and are a source of great knowledge and advice.”

Head of Property, Celesio UK

Testimonial- Flowserve

“ACR were hired to manage the tender process for a major refurbishment of our 45 acre Newark factory site, and to manage the CDMC requirements of the 18 month contract, that included some challenging civil engineering obstacles, including safe removal of asbestos.This was successfully accomplished and helped Flowserve get value for our project budget. ACR have since been consulted on a number of our development projects and remain our “go to” consultant in all matters relating to our buildings management. Simon Robinson and his team, need to be congratulated ,for the expertise and dedication they bring to our company”

Manager, Flowserve

Testimonial- AAH Weedon

“In the early days working with ACR was difficult due to both parties trying to work out how eachother worked. As time moved on I felt the working relationship between both parties improved significantly.  ACR assisted us with a number of projects including re-surfacing the yard, new roof install and the installation of the HVAC plant.  All of which were managed superbly. Working with ACR was successful because they took time to know how our operation worked and ensured that all FM work carried out onsite had as little impact as possible on our normal operation .They also ensure that whenever a service or PPM program is due they would arrange and liaise with  the site to ensure completion. To this end I would highly recommend ACR should anyone be thinking of using them as there FM managing agents.”

Senior Systems Technician, AAH Weedon

Testimonial- AAH Paignton

“ACR were reliable colleagues in that facilities management was well organised, with servicing ofequipment well organised in a timely manner.  Facilities management has become more of a minefield in recent years as health & safety has rightly become more prominent.  ACR ensured we had qualified contractors who came to site when asked and performed what needed to be done.  The benefits were that the maintenance and repairs were carried out efficiently, whilst taking the burden of most of the organisation away from the branch.I would say ACR were a real business partner, the team understood the eccentricities of my particular branch and ensured that the facilities management had the least possible impact on my teams time. ACR FM are a team you can rely on and trust to get the FM jobs completed safely and competently.  They are on your side as a manager, a resource well worth having.”

Branch Manager, AAH Paignton

Testimonial- MACE

“ACR have been known to us for a number of years and they have undertaken work with usfrom 2005 on speculative commercial developments.. We chose ACR because we were assured that we would receive a personal service to both Mace and our Client; this promise was delivered. We have no qualms with respect to their work at all and we will utilize them again as the situation dictates.. The fact that we continue to work with ACR demonstrates that ACR compare exceedingly favourably with other firms. We feel, as our clients believe this. We also find that ACR continue to provide a senior level response at all times. I am aware that Simon Robinson and his fellow senior staff work from the ethos that a good personal relationship and providing a high level of service. WE have found that this ethos is actually translated into a first class delivery solution.”

Operations Director, MACE

Testimonial- AAH Southampton

“The benefit from working with ACR is second to none, the support and knowledge that their teambrought to AAH was invaluable. Their PPM schedule was fantastic and never miss a service. The scope of works that they covered was great from small works to projects. The commitment from the whole team saw a successful partnership form with the branch and their attention to detail was great. Their passion to deliver a better service was next to none. The amount of commitment from the team and the professionalism of the company. The truly offer a first class service.”

Systems Supervisor, AAH Southampton

Testimonial- AAH Leeds

“AAH Leeds benefit from ACR in so many ways. We have a small team of technicians at Leeds and we are all doing split shifts from 6am to 12am, so our technicians are spread out though-out the day. To always know that ACR was at the end of a Speed Dial or E-mail was always good to know. Whenever a problem arises it was just a quick message to a great team of people at ACR that always knew what we needed or what we required for the job. And that information was relayed via email to all the technicians in our team via an auto forwarding rule on our Systems Managers account so that everyone was in the loop. From every part of the AAH Leeds warehouse we have needed ACR at some point in the year, and once the call was made and the cost capexed, the quality of work was always outstanding. Any issues were dealt with quick and easy. And any follow up question or advice was always received when needed. Never days or weeks later. When I was first introduced to ACR I was a bit why? Why do we need someone to make calls for us? But from the first week we were very quick to understand that ACR are not just a company to ring when we need another company to do some work for us, but are a part of our team.  Part of the setup that we have meant that ACR fitted straight into our team and made our jobs more efficient so we could deal with problems quickly while ACR supported us. ACR have a great group of Staff, who are friendly, understanding, efficient, reliable, and very patient. And I have been my pleasure to work with such a well organised company.”

Systems, AAH Leeds

Testimonial- SIS Ltd

“ACR provides SIS Ltd with all manner of structural surveys for the installation of oursatellite dishes on our customers properties .We first started working together back in 2000 & have developed more than just an everyday business relationship. ACR have always delivered with a prompt, courteous & outstanding service; travelling to all locations throughout England & Wales, sometimes with very little notice! Their services, advice & professionalism have been invaluable over the years – thank you to all at ACR!”

Customer Relations Supervisor, SIS Ltd

Testimonial- Helena Partnerships

“ACR have been working with Helena Partnerships for over 12 months helping to ensure that Helena’s facilities management plan is robust and fully compliant with the relevant legislation. Having that extra pair of eyes reviewing Helena’s systems and procedures has been reassuring. ACR have provided a range of suggestions on how to improve systems and processes and have continued to offer a helping hand to ensure Helena are fully compliant.”

Facilities Manager, Helena Partnerships

Testimonial- Ansell Lighting

“Ansell Electrical Products Limited engaged ACR to navigate us through the mire of Compliance and Legislative issues that we were faced with as a steadily expanding company. To this end, ACR have been very professional and highly instrumental in bringing Ansell right up to speed with our obligations and requirements, making sure we are fully compliant. ACR are always on hand to guide and advise and we at Ansell would have no hesitation in recommending them”

Accounts Manager, Ansell Lighting

Testimonial- AAH Leeds

“The welcome differences of ACR’s approach to facilities management compared to other providers are the high level of communication without being intrusive, it’s great to receive group emails informing you of upcoming scheduled maintenance activities meaning all relevant onsite personnel are kept in the loop automatically, the low level of bureaucracy and excessive paperwork compared to some providers, and the fact they take the trouble to visit site and familiarise themselves with the facilities, the people and the operation – it makes a big difference when arranging works. I’ve no hesitation in recommending the FM team at ACR to take care of anything – it will be done quickly, efficiently, effectively, on budget and with the minimum of fuss, and that’s all you need!”

Systems Manager, AAH Leeds

A Financial Directors Letter to Santa…

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good director this year because I have saved my company lots of money and even shared out my chocolate with all my staff. I know you have a lot of presents to deliver on Christmas Eve but since I’ve been good, here is what I would like for Christmas:

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Ed Kaye @ AAH Leeds

The benefits of working with ACR to manage the site facilities are many. Primarily it’s great having

one point of contact to cover all eventualities, couple that with the knowledge that all contractors

who are sent to site are fully checked and vetted and it brings great peace of mind and allows me to

concentrate on the more specialised in house maintenance team and seek out performance gains

that I might not have the time to pursue otherwise.

The welcome differences of ACR’s approach to facilities management compared to other providers

are the high level of communication without being intrusive, it’s great to receive group emails

informing you of upcoming scheduled maintenance activities meaning all relevant onsite personnel

are kept in the loop automatically, the low level of bureaucracy and excessive paperwork compared

to some providers, and the fact they take the trouble to visit site and familiarise themselves with the

facilities, the people and the operation – it makes a big difference when arranging works.

I’ve no hesitation in recommending the FM team at ACR to take care of anything – it will be done

quickly, efficiently, effectively, on budget and with the minimum of fuss, and that’s all you need!

ACR are always on hand to guide and advise and we at Ansell would have no hesitation in recommending them.





Accounts Manager, Ansell Lighting

TEST TITLE

I’ve no hesitation in recommending the FM team at ACR to take care of anything – it will be done quickly, efficiently, effectively, on budget and with the minimum of fuss, and that’s all you need!





Systems Manager, AAH Leeds

ACR FM are a team you can rely on and trust to get the FM jobs completed safely and competently. They are on your side as a manager, a resource well worth having.





Branch Manager, AAH Paignton

We chose ACR because we were assured that we would receive a personal service to both Mace and our Client; this promise was delivered.





Operations Director, MACE

All projects were completed on-time and within budget thanks to ACR.  At all times they were professional, reliable and dedicated.





Site Manager, Bachem (UK) Limited

ACR remain our “go to” consultant in all matters relating to our buildings management. Simon Robinson and his team, need to be congratulated, for the expertise and dedication they bring to our company.





Manager, Flowserve

ACR could quite easily be building wizards by helping you make your problems disappear!

It’s that time of year where you may be decorating your homes and business with cobwebs and spiders, however make sure these aren’t for real by ensuring you building or premises is regularly maintained.

Can’t seem to create enough hours in the day without waving a wand?

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Do The CDM Changes Affect You Today?

The 6th April 2015 was a key date within the construction industry due to the changes to the Construction (Design and Management Regulations), which has now been updated from the 2007 regulations version to CDM 15. Today marks six month since the new CDM 2015 regulations came into force.

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Feel like throwing in the towel?

A building project can often be like running a marathon, it’s great when you cross the finish line, but sometimes you feel like throwing in the towel half way through.

From the blisters to aching legs, the finish line seems just too far away…

But with the months of preparation leading up to the race and then the months of aftercare that follows, is it not better to finish what you started? It’s just sometimes you need a helping hand to get you over that finish line.

ACR’s project management team can help manage your project from start to finish (and all the bits before, in-between and after!!!)

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Winter is Coming…

“The morning had dawned clear and cold, with a crispness that hinted at the end of summer.”

Although we all don’t want to admit it… the kids are back at school, the nights are getting darker and winter is drawing in a bit too fast for our liking.

It’s now I’m thinking to myself, where has summer gone?

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A lasting impression

Now, we all like to think (or at least I do), that when we leave a job, a place or even a person, that we have made a lasting impression there. And wherever I say “lasting impression”, I hope you know I mean a positive one! Whether that be your contribution towards the growth of a business, or even just a day of chaotic fun with friends that has left you smiling for the whole journey home. We all want to feel like we have made a difference somewhere.

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“How can you go on your own to Comic Con?”

One of the main questions I get asked a lot is “How can you go on your own to Comic Con?”

Well in fact there are a few answers to this.

Firstly many of my friends are students, so they are either busy or poor… or both!

But the main reason I go on my own or wander off from a group is that it FORCES you to talk to new people.

Life is networking, even if you don’t actively think it is!

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Yoga – It’s good for you & believe it or not your business.

I know exactly what you’re thinking, a group of middle-aged (don’t take offence to this, I tend to see everyone above 55 middle-aged) men and woman sitting in a dark room on mats with their hands in a traditional “prayer” pose humming quietly. Well, this might happen in other yoga studios, but this kind of practice isn’t for me.

One thing I learnt very quickly as a beginner, is that yoga is about strength, both inner and outer strength. Yes it’s calming, quiet and peaceful and de-stresses you after a long week at work, but for me it’s much more than that.

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School’s Almost out…. So what next?

The academic year’s end is almost here, so now is the perfect time to start thinking about any changes and tweaks that you may want to make to your building. Whether that be the refurbishment of the school hall or canteen, or making sure that your pupils are learning in a safe environment, you have a few months to figure out what you need to make your school excel.

As building people, we know safety within any building is imperative. From the very first design meeting all the way through to arranging a bi-annual fire alarm inspection, ACR give you piece of mind when it comes to the safety of your building, and everyone in it.

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Change:

Some say “change is a good as a rest”, and they’re probably right. But for some, admittedly myself included, find change hard to deal with and overwhelming even, which puts me right off ever wanting to change anything. But with new ideas getting churned out every day about ways to save money and reduce time spent on everyday tasks, I think it’s time to bite the bullet and get with the times.

Now, for me, the thought of even a supposed “minor” change within my day-to-day operations can be a scary one. My recent “bite the bullet” change? Driving lessons.  For about 4 years now, some unknown inner voice has been telling me I can’t, and I shouldn’t begin to drive. It was the hassle and thought of changing my day-to-day routine, and busying myself even more with yet another task to undertake that stopped me. Until last week. A sudden moment of realisation hit; I have to learn to drive. So quickly, I booked a lesson for the coming week. But that’s when the nerves began to kick in, what if I forget to change gear or knock some old lady off her mobility scooter? However I knew in the long run I’d be so much better off with such a needed skill. No more asking my dad for a lift to the shops or getting the 30 minute bus home instead of jumping in a car and being home in 10 minutes. I now know that this change needed to happen.

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Easter Spring Cleaning

I’ve always liked Easter, not least because I like chocolate and the tradition of giving (and receiving) chocolate eggs is one I enjoy, I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

As a child my family observed a lot of the traditions of Easter, giving up something for Lent, eating fish on Good Friday and making Easter bonnets at school to name a few.  The theme that sticks in my mind most about Easter is that it is about new beginnings, even the time of year of the holiday is, spring, is the time you think of the first flowers blooming and chicks hatching in nests.

It’s also the time for spring cleaning at home, out with the old and in with the new, painting, decorating and preparing our gardens to look nice in the summer, as well as our homes it may be the time for a bit of spring cleaning in our businesses too.

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Love is in the air?

February, the month of Valentines, hearts, flowers and everything love related. Valentine’s Day is an event my friends and I have very differing views on, we are all single but, while some think its sweet others think it’s a bit of a money spinner in terms of cards, gifts and meals out which seem to get more expensive by the year.

I have noticed in the card shops that there is now a whole array of people you can buy Valentine cards for, your parents, your grandparents even your pets, it seems that everyone is sharing the love, while browsing the internet I even came across the story of a woman who planned to marry a building to save it from demolition!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2093016/Im-love-building-Woman-marry-warehouse-bizarre-wedding-ceremony.html

Admittedly this, while entertaining, is a touch extreme but this Valentine’s Day how about giving a little love to your buildings?

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