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Hackney Homes sees Ashford Commercial and VEKA working together

A unique partnership agreement between Ashford Commercial and two other VEKA fabricators and Hackney Homes is being widely acknowledged as a potential model for all such contracts in the future.

As well as assuring consistency of supply and quality control at every stage of manufacture and installation, the agreement also offers a number of additional benefits such as extended guarantees, a maintenance programme and comprehensive online tracking system as well as a link to the internationally-recognised VEKA Recycling resource.

Hackney Homes states that the agreement, with its economies of scale as well as improved efficiency, has significantly reduced the overall cost, enabling the body to extend the same investment to considerably more refurbishment work than otherwise possible. As well as the additional economy, the body believes the agreement has also helped to create long-term working relationships, to the benefit of all concerned.

The economies of scale are further supported by the existence of SCMG, a supply chain consortium formed by Hackney with its counterparts in the other London boroughs, adding significant volume to any works carried out. In the four years to 2009, some 50,000 replacement windows had already been installed in the current phase of the refurbishment, with many thousands more ongoing.

At the core of the agreement is an infrastructure providing the scale and uniform quality expected of established and trusted VEKA manufacturers. However, the agreement has enabled Hackney Homes to pass overall control of the entire window and door programme to VEKA, giving greater consistency as well as a single point of contact, especially in problem-solving.

Training and qualifications

All relevant personnel have the experience and qualifications to offer a close working understanding of the demands that might be expected not only from the construction partners and client teams but also, and more importantly, from the residents themselves. All supply chain staff have undergone training in areas including surveying, installation, site supervision and resident liaison.

Online monitoring

VEKA has created a powerful online contract management system that enables clients, tenant representatives and any other authorised individuals to track the progress of any part of the project in fine detail. This even includes information on each window or door via its Unique Product Reference Number (UPRN). Information includes specific profiles used, component parts and sealed glazing unit sizes to support future maintenance schedules and responsive repairs.

The online system also displays a 24-hour emergency contact number and has a link to the FENSA website for confirmation of registration and guarantee.

VEKA and Ashford Partnering – the future All around the UK, VEKA has built an infrastructure of carefully selected fabricators such as Ashford commercial, that not only use VEKA systems but also have an established track record for quality and consistency of manufacture, service and environmental credentials. As well as offering these credentials as a ‘given,’ it also ensures consistency of supply, even in the event of a worst-case contingency interrupting any one partner.

The consistency built into this infrastructure enables the main contractors to work with one or more of the approved fabricators without risk of variation of product specification or service.

Additional benefits

Planning applications are managed by the supply chain, including a design drawing service, taking into account planning and technical specification as well as compliance to Building Regulations.

A full scheduled maintenance programme is built into the agreement, including training for Hackney Homes’ own direct labour personnel in carrying out responsive repairs as well as routine maintenance.

Budget preparation provides ‘cost-certainty’ and efficient expenditure control by submission of Agreed Maximum Price, including regular reviews to ensure competitive pricing is maintained.

All partners in the agreement have shown a constructive commitment to supporting opportunities for local employment.

VEKA and the environment Hackney Homes have stated that VEKA’s highly-regarded environmental policy, both worldwide and in specific relation to this contract, had a major bearing on its selection as supply chain partner.

The VEKA Group remains the only PVC-U system supplier ever to invest in a purpose-built recycling plant – the VEKA Umwelttechnik factory at Behringen in Germany.

A major feature of the facility is ‘Closed-loop’ technology because VEKA believes it can only be true recycling when a window can be made into a window. For this reason, VEKA recycles to a level of purity to make new window profile, rather than lower-grade products such as underground drain/sewage pipes.

More recently, the company launched VEKA Recycling Ltd, the biggest initiative of its kind in the UK, aimed at collecting and pre-processing post-consumer frames at its facility in Kent for recycling at VEKA Umwelttechnik.

Also, in the last few years, VEKA has:

  • Supported the design of the first BFRC 'A' Rated window
  • Actively encouraged its fabricators to retain all off-cuts for recycling
  • Trained all of its personnel in environmental issues
  • Gained accreditation to ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems Licence No EMS 59308)
  • With Hackney Homes, VEKA and Ashford Commercial are supporting the policy of 100% recycling of the old PVC-U windows throughout the refurbishment.

Working in Partnership with Ashford Commercial and VEKA plc – The benefits at a glance

  • VEKA provides an integrated IT system, providing specific product schedules for each property and its component makeup for future remedial and maintenance works personnel.
  • Will provide scalable high-quality fabrication from a number of fabricators throughout the UK including Ashford Commercial.
  • Agreed maximum pricing ensures cost certainty for the client.
  • Design Team support and contribution towards supporting the client team on identifying value-added benefits.
  • Pre-contract surveys to assess product design styles for compliance with regulations.
  • CAD drawing facility for each property linked to Planning Application submission and management service.
  • Resident consultation and support services including individual product use demonstrations and handovers with user guides.
  • Local employment initiatives given support, pending volume and continuity of workloads in respective areas.
  • Window’s Installations Supervisors (WIS) support for each constructor area, providing a high profile ‘clerk of works’ and ‘resident care support’.
  • Close liaison via constructors with other trades in order to fulfil the programme of works in the most efficient way possible.