25 years of loving construction: County Hall, London

In the run-up to Group SCS’s 25th anniversary in December 2017, we are publishing a series of case studies looking back at our work over the years. In the first in the series, we look back at County Hall, London, an impressive development which we were involved in around the year 2000.

Project title: County Hall

Location: London

The Project

County Hall, London, was a memorable job for us. It was an exciting development which took place around the year 2000 and saw us working on a prestigious, well-known building in the heart of the city.

Almost opposite the Houses of Parliament, County Hall was for many years the home of London’s government, in the form of the London County Council and latterly the Greater London Council (GLC) and Inner London Education Authority (ILEA).

Managing Director Christopher Jones was a Projects Engineer back then, a new recruit to what was then Smoke Control Services Ltd, and working out of our then base at Bedwas House Industrial Estate, Caerphilly.

He remembers: “I’d been working for Smoke Control Services for just a week when Allan Meek, our Managing Director, phoned me. He said I needed to get the company van with all the smoke test equipment and then pick him up the next day at 4.30am. I then had to drive us up to County Hall for a smoke test in the BA London Eye’s booking area.

“I’d never been to that site before and it was the first smoke test I’d done at Smoke Control Services. It was a full hot smoke test and was carried out on completion of the project. The test was witnessed by the building control and fire authorities.”

He added: “It all went to plan and everything worked and I really enjoyed seeing it all.”

The BA London Eye’s booking area was just one part of our work at that site, as we were fortunate enough to be involved in a number of projects on the development which demonstrated the range of services offered by the company. It is notable that our involvement in the later projects arose from recommendations based on our ability to innovate to find solutions under testing circumstances on previous assignments. The site saw dramatic change at that time and was extensively developed for leisure and hotel use.

Almost 20 years have passed since the County Hall development and we’re still proud of our work – this mural featuring County Hall with descriptions of the projects we worked on is the centrepiece of our Cardiff HQ reception.

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