Angel Rises from the Ashes for Topglass
Toomebridge based Topglass has just completed works on a £1m glazing project in Islington, London. The Angel Central Shopping Centre is of particular significance for the glazing firm due to a variety of challenges which they were able to successfully navigate, including the national lockdown and the project being shelved for a number of months.
Topglass’ Senior Estimator, Gerard Kelly, was involved in developing the specialist specification for the project, “As a company one of our key aims is to deliver solutions so when we were approached to help guide the glazing specification on this project it really aligned with our core values and was something we were pleased to offer the project team. The specialist glazing was an integral part of the redevelopment of the shopping district and was required to meet high performance requirements such as crowd loads, fire resistance, smoke control and energy efficiency. Our technical team collaborated with the client, contractor, architect and engineers over the course of many months to ensure that a robust, high quality solution was found for each individual glazing application.”
In 2019 Topglass successfully completed phase one with phase two originally scheduled to commence soon afterward in early 2020. “Prior to the next phase of works commencing Simons Group, the main contractor who was delivering the development, unfortunately went into administration and the project was subsequently placed on hold.” Says Topglass’ General Manager, Gary Lennon, “We had a long standing business relationship with the contractor so firstly your thoughts go out to everyone who lost their jobs. There are of course other wide reaching implications; for the sub-contractors, including ourselves, involved in their projects as well as the end client and for the community in and around Islington for whom the regeneration of Angel Central would have an impact. For us it was initially a blow as it was a large contract on our works pipeline. It’s testament to our management and overall business strategy that this didn’t have a detrimental effect on our operations, our diversity sees us well placed to navigate through such setbacks.”
In June of 2020 Red Construction was appointed to take over the contract. “We had never worked with Red before so were delighted when we were given the opportunity to do so.” Gary Lennon continues, “They recognised the expertise and quality we had delivered during the first phase of works and the time we had already dedicated to working on the specification. Topglass operates across the UK and beyond on a variety of large scale projects, however given that these operations were to take place during the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were extra challenges which we were required to overcome. We coordinated street and road closures while our glazing works were to take place and adopted stringent safe working practices, as set out by ourselves and by Red Construction, to protect our work-force and follow all government regulations. The project was delivered on time and within budget and is one which our team are immeasurably proud to have been involved with.”
Topglass operates across the UK and Ireland from its base in Northern Ireland and is part of the MJM Group of companies.