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Sustainable Developments at Aytoun Road

Sustainable Developments at Aytoun Road

Following the redesign of the original energy strategy for our Aytoun Road project for Network Homes, last week the team crane lifted solar panels and air source heat pumps to the roof of the new building.

In order to reduce noise impact on the local community, the plant will sit inside a preconstructed acoustic plant room.

These renewable energy sources will provide reduced energy costs for the new residents through the occupation and lifecycle of the building.

Aytoun Road is the construction of 31 new affordable homes and is being delivered under a construction management contract.


The Intrastack Frame at The Mall Ealing is making its stamp on The Broadway’s skyline

Our project at The Mall Ealing is beginning to make its stamp on the Broadway skyline! Working with our innovations partner Intrastack, the 9 storey co-living development being constructed for Urbane London is demonstrating the efficiencies in speed and logistics of this specialist off-site system.

Paul Owen, Claritas Project Manager said, “You couldn’t find a tighter site accessed via a 4.5m gap and flanked on all four sides by occupied buildings and a mainline station. The system has been delivered with ease and we can stack the wall panels for the entire building within the limited space we have. Delivered floor by floor the external panels are craned into position after each concrete pour and the frame is flying up”.

Andy Higson, Business Director at Instrastack commented, “The innovation partnership between Claritas and Intrastack is about finding the best-fit solutions for the client, and the construction project. Through working closely with the Claritas team from early-design stage, we have collaborated, and developed the right solution to address the many challenges of the site and optimised the design to fully-realise the many benefits of this lightweight-construction solution”

The scheme is also up for Best Practice recognition by the Claritas Safety Health and Environment committee. A site that is so tight would struggle to be as tidy with traditional materials, and it would be logistically challenging to deliver and store them. The system contributes to less carbon emissions through fewer materials deliveries and less waste to remove, in turn increasing health and safety.


Photo Credits Diane Aukland / Fotohaus


Claritas CEO, Jon Wardle hosts company briefing and says “by pulling together we will succeed.”

It was great to come together on Friday for a company-wide briefing held at the Institute of Structural Engineers, followed by Christmas drinks.

The afternoon had a strong focus on health and safety and it was great to hear site managers share experiences and debate important issues.

Jon Wardle, CEO was also delighted to announce that Claritas has achieved continued accreditation across the quality, environmental, health and safety ISO standards. The auditors had commented in their closing meeting that “members of the Claritas team were very passionate about the business and all confirmed the same ethos independently.”

The key message for the future continues in the vein of our overarching objective and culture, “to help transform our industry, breaking free of traditional transactional relationships to create something that works better for everyone”.

Jon commented “There is no denying that there are challenging times ahead across the entire industry, but by pulling together as a team we will succeed.”


Claritas delivers Employment Skills and Training for Network Homes in collaboration with Lambeth Council and CYT

Our current project at Aytoun Road, Stockwell involves constructing 33 shared ownership apartments for Network Homes.

Part of our added value delivery for Network Homes has seen Claritas working in collaboration with Network, Lambeth Council and the Construction Youth Trust. Throughout August and September, we supported the Lambeth Made Construction programme through various activities both on and off site, which focused on supporting young people in Lambeth who are classified as NEET with work experience and other employability skills.

Activities included helping the CYT to launch the programme and speaking with the young people about opportunities in construction as well as some work experience activities and visits to site. This included conducting interviews for four of the young people with our MEP partner London MEP, which resulted in one of the participants, Jacob being offered and accepting a four year electrical apprenticeship.

Jo Davis, Customer Relationship Manager at Claritas and our EST & Social Value champion commented “I am grateful to my colleagues that have volunteered their time to support the Lambeth Made Construction programme and to LMEP, it is so pleasing to see this successful outcome. We all wish Jacob the very best as he embarks on apprenticeship.”


Claritas are delighted to announce the promotion of Marc Klus to Preconstruction Director

We are delighted to announce the promotion of Marc Klus, previously Claritas’ Estimating Manger to the role of Preconstruction Director.

Marc has been an instrumental leader within the preconstruction team since joining Claritas in 2020. With a background in Estimating that spans 15 years Marc has worked across multiple sectors and brings a wealth of experience to the team.
Marc said “its important to ensure we ensure the highest levels of attention to detail during the precon stages giving our customers the confidence of a realistic price and programme and delivery for their project from the outset”.

Jon Wardle, CEO commented “I am pleased to welcome Marc to the Senior Leadership team, his commitment to developing robust relationships with customers and supply chain is conducive to the transparent and positive culture of Claritas and his attention to detail will ensure that we develop our delivery strategy from day one”.

A Swansea Uni Maths and Sports Science Graduate, Marc is a keen Rugby man and enjoys spending time with his wife and young family outside of work with high hopes that both his twin daughters and young son will one day be in the England First 11 !


Claritas Secures a place on the Notting Hill Genesis £2.8 bn New Homes Framework

Claritas is delighted to have secured a place on the Notting Hill Genesis Framework, to work alongside Notting Hill Genesis in the delivery of £2.8bn worth of new homes for London.

This is a significant achievement for Claritas being selected through a rigorous selection process with emphasis on quality and equality and diversity.

The Notting Hill Genesis framework is highly regarded and open to other registered housing providers operating in and around London.

Matt Cova, Claritas Group Managing Director commented “this will provide superb opportunities for Claritas to collaboratively work with Notting Hill Genesis to deliver their ambition of building new homes their residents will love. Our teams will work hard to integrate within the communities and create a positive experience and legacy post completion”.

The aim of the framework is to support NHG in the delivery of high quality homes in vibrant successful places with a focus on creating thriving communities.


Delivering Social Value for the Hyde Group

Delivering social value for our customers and our stakeholders is of great importance to us and we were really pleased to provide a significant contribution in the provision of a new cupboard at The Arc Community Centre, Islington in partnership with the Hyde Group. Claritas sourced and funded the project with DGP Logistics despatching the manpower to complete the work. The cupboard was required as a valuable asset to the community food bank which operates from the centre.

Damien from The Arc said “The work that you guys have done is absolutely vital to the smooth running of the centre.  The cupboards also mean that everything can be safely stashed away and out of sight enabling us to use the room for more community activities and hire the space to generate essential income as well as reducing wastage through lack of suitable storage”.

Claritas continue to work with the Hyde Group and the Hyde Foundation through our involvement with the Hyde Main Contractors framework and, as we deliver 126 new homes for them in Stafford Road Croydon. So far we have created two job vacancies, and we have set targets for local spend as well as training and learning opportunities for a variety of groups within the community. The whole team at Claritas is keen to contribute and colleagues from across the company have pledged volunteering hours to work across a range of community projects.


Claritas awarded place on prestigious SCF Residential framework

Claritas is delighted to announce our appointment on the new £15.6bn Residential Delivery & Development Framework with SCF Frameworks. We have secured a place on Lot 2 Larger Value Projects of 65+ units within the sub regions of London and the South East.

Created to support public sector residential construction and development, SCF Residential is a four-year framework available to all public bodies in the South East, London and the South West.

It gives them access to market leading tier one and SME housebuilders and has been designed to be flexible and responsive to industry pressures, including carbon reduction, driving MMC and tackling the ongoing housing crisis.

Claritas CEO, Jon Wardle “This is a fantastic result for Claritas. Having secured a place within the framework amongst some strong competition we are now looking forward to working with SCF and our fellow framework providers in delivering on our promises and driving the #SCFvalues of collaboration and open book two stage tendering culminating in trustworthy, equitable and ethical contract delivery”.

For more information on the new Residential Framework –  www.scfresidential.org.uk


Bronzeoak House building contract awarded

Following a tendering process, Tandridge District Council has awarded the contract to redevelop Bronzeoak House in Caterham to Claritas Group Ltd.

The development, which forms part of the Council Housing Building programme will provide affordable rented housing to applicants on the Council’s housing register who cannot afford to buy or rent on the open market. Twelve flats will be available to families and 14 flats to older people. The sheltered housing is designed to meet the needs of local older people including those looking to downsize from larger homes.

The Council is working with Claritas to make sure disruption to businesses and residents is minimised. Claritas Group Ltd is registering the site with the independent Considerate Constructors Scheme and will adhere to their code of conduct throughout the construction phase, to ensure the site:

  • Is well maintained.
  • Respects the local community.
  • Protects the environment.
  • Adheres to the highest level of health and safety and values its workforce.

Jon Wardle, Chief Executive Officer of Claritas Group, said: “We are pleased to be working once again with Tandridge District Council in the delivery of this important development for the local area.  Our site team will work hard to ensure our presence on site will be a positive one for all affected by the work.”

Tandridge District Council spokesperson said: “Having now awarded the contract to redevelop Bronzeoak House, we are looking forward to the Claritas Group starting on site soon and helping us deliver more affordable and attractive rented homes for families and older people in Caterham.”


The level of client inquiries is amazing, now we just need them to commit

There are plenty of opportunities for SMEs working in the right sectors, says Claritas’ Simon Wilkinson

On the day that Boris Johnson announced lockdown, we took the keys to our brand-new office in Bromley that had just been fitted out. Rather than move in, we had to lock the front door and walk away.

All our sites shut too. We felt we had to do that for safety reasons but, within three weeks, we started back up on site, with only a few people working in the office.

We furloughed about 20 staff in the beginning but, as sites reopened, we took them off incrementally, with all off by the end of July. The furlough scheme has been really helpful to us but there does not seem to be a strong enough case for it to be extended past October for construction. For other sectors, that is a much harder call.

Tier ones are having to make some big changes that could be a benefit to SMEs

Working from home has been more successful than we could ever have imagined, so there was not a big rush to get back – and that allowed us a bit of time to plan for a structured return. We have capacity for 60 desks with only 25 people allowed in at any one time.

There is a booking system, so different teams by function have access on rotation. It is working well, though for some people things might change when the schools go back – which could make it easier for some, or it could be more of a challenge. We are trying not to be too rigid and to see how things go.

Productivity on sites has inevitably suffered, but not everywhere. It really depends on the stage of the project. If it is at groundworks stage, then productivity levels are pretty good. It is not like it was pre-covid but, on the 13 sites we currently have, people are getting used to the new measures in place and working efficiently.

I have been amazed at the potential new work coming through, particularly for residential and our modern methods of construction business. Inquiry levels almost feel higher than before lockdown.

But the challenge is getting clients to commit – to get to the contract signing stage. Projects are stacking up, which is good, but it is also because decision-making is being delayed. It is something we have to watch because, if confidence suddenly comes back, we could have a sudden rush to market.

Our turnover ambitions will have been slightly dented by delays on projects and completions, but we will still see growth for 2021 and I am even more optimistic about the year after. I think we can see a sufficient pipeline of work to sustain our aspirations.

We are also aware that not all firms are as fortunate as us in terms of the sectors they work in, and that tier ones are having to make some big changes that could be a benefit to SMEs like ourselves that are looking to grow and recruit talent. There are opportunities out there, without a shadow of a doubt.

Simon Wilkinson, business director at Claritas


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