Robertson Facilities Management secures three year Yorwaste contract

Yorwaste, the waste management and recycling specialist, has selected Robertson Facilities Management in a three-year contract.

Robertson Facilities Management, part of the £450m turnover infrastructure group Robertson, will provide planned and reactive maintenance, as well as fixed wire testing services, to over 35 buildings within the Yorwaste property portfolio.

This represents further expansion for Robertson Facilities Management into the Yorkshire region from its Newcastle base. The firm also recently secured a substantial piece of business from Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust.

Allan Dryden of Robertson Facilities Management said: “Yorkshire is a prime target for the business as we continue to expand our footprint in the North of England.

“To have been selected by Yorwaste is testament to the work the team has done to build our reputation and deliver outstanding service levels across our client base.”

Robertson Facilities Management was one of the first true FM companies in the UK. The business works in partnership with the public and private sectors, and has demonstrated steady growth in recent years across its operating sectors.


Eric Wright Professional Services Saves Lancashire High School Time and Money

Eric Wright Professional Services, Eric Wright FM’s dedicated property management and maintenance offering, has helped Lancashire high school, Ashton Community Science College, to reduce administrative hours and optimise budgets with a programme of campus maintenance work and upgrades.

A community high school for students aged 11-16 years old, Ashton Community Science College near Preston declares in its motto that it aims to be ‘a school to be proud of’ and the leadership team was keen to apply these high standards to its estates. However, following a staff restructure involving the loss of a site supervisor, all responsibility for  health & safety management and site maintenance was assigned to business director, Su Evans.

Su explains: “My role and my areas of expertise have always been finance, business and HR so I not only had to take on additional responsibilities but had to deliver those tasks with limited experience in property management and maintenance.

“It made sense for us to bring in expertise from Eric Wright Professional Services so that we could maintain high standards across the school campus and free up my time to focus on my core remit.”

The Eric Wright Professional Services team is delivering ongoing consultancy services and has successfully completed a significant security and safeguarding project, involving replacing half of the external doors on the school estate.

Eric Wright Professional Services was responsible for writing the tender, procuring the contractor and project managing the works. The security upgrade has been so successful that the consultancy team has now been tasked with managing a roof repair and upgrade programme, with responsibility for advising the school on the required scope of works, in addition to managing the tendering, procurement and delivery process.

Su continues: “Working with Eric Wright Professional Services not only frees up my time, it also means that we can be confident that repairs, maintenance and property management are being expertly handled in a cost-efficient way that helps us to prioritise tasks while ensuring we use our available estates management budgets wisely.”

Eric Wright Professional Services has provided Ashton Community Science College with a dedicated contact, project surveyor, Tim Norbury, who has spent time getting to know the school campus and culture so that he can add value with advice on pre-emptive maintenance and prioritisation.

Andrew Hird, head of Professional Services at Eric Wright, continues: “Many schools have large estates and the responsibility for managing them often lies with managers who have lots of education or business experience but have no background in property, construction or maintenance.

“At Eric Wright Professional Services, we have an experienced team that works collaboratively with clients to maximise their resources and address their property requirements in line with their priorities. We’re a RICS member company backed by the  knowledge and resources of the Eric Wright Group, ensuring that clients like Ashton Community Science can be completely confident of service standards and expertise across everything we do.


Guide to gutter maintenance

HD-Sharman1By Mark de Rozarieux, managing director of HD Sharman

Provisional Met Office figures released at the beginning of January showed that 2014 was the UK’s fourth wettest year since records began in 1910. Furthermore, five of the UK’s six wettest years have occurred since 2000.

Gutters are hostile environments, not only managing rainfall of increasing volume and intensity, but also accumulating silt, leaves and other materials, and they can quickly become blocked. Structural movement can cause them to corrode and leak. The joints, ends and outlets are areas of particular risk of failure.

Poor maintenance of the gutter can result in water ingress, a major cause of structural damage that is not only costly to repair, but which can also result in considerable disruption to the operation of a business.

Despite this, gutters remain an often-overlooked area of building maintenance.   Yet there are things facilities managers can and should do to ensure that the guttering of the buildings that they’re responsible for continue to perform to the highest standards:

1. Inspect regularly

Regular gutter inspection should be a standard part of every property maintenance regime, so that potential problems can be prevented and damage avoided. Inspections should be carried out at least twice a year, more if the building is situated close to trees. If the building features industrial gutters, the Metal Gutter Manufacturer Association (MGMA) recommends that gutters and rainwater systems should be inspected at least four times in their first year to help inform the preparation of the most appropriate future inspection and maintenance plan.

2. Look out for …

  • Blocked downpipes – These areas accumulate leaves and general detritus, and need to be kept clear to enable gutters to operate efficiently.   Leafguards can be employed to help prevent blockages.
  • Weak joints – The joints between gutter sections and around the downpipes are particularly prone to failure. The application of silicone-based liquid plastic over joints can help to extend the life of a gutter in the short term.
  • Corrosion – Remove rust and grime to check what lies beneath. Rust can result in the creation of tiny pits in a gutter, which grow overtime into larger holes.
  • Insufficient outlet capacity – Older gutter systems were built to handle rainfall of lower volume and intensity than we are now experiencing.   Consequently, increasingly outlets fail to efficiently drain rainfall from the gutter. More outlets or increasing the size of existing ones can reduce this problem.

3. What solution should I specify?

When faced with a leaking gutter, choosing the right solution can prove to be daunting as there are a myriad of leak repair solutions available on the market.   However, facilities managers can save time and money by educating themselves about the solutions available and specifying one that will prove effective in the long-term, not just a short-term ‘quick fix’.

‘Traditional’ methods of repairing leaking gutters involving mastics (resins), are not appropriate for larger projects, as they offer only short-term solutions, resulting in further leaks in future which themselves will require repair.

So, which solutions are the best?

One of the most popular methods of stopping leaks on gutters of various size and shape has been to reline the gutter with a waterproof membrane. Gutter lining presents itself as a lower cost solution than repairing the gutter itself, and gutter liners can often perform better than the original installation. A proven choice for contractors and facilities managers alike, gutter liners are easy to install and offer minimal disruption to the occupiers of the building.

4. Install appropriate gutter lining

Choosing which type of gutter liner to use depends on various factors including the condition of the exiting gutter, the weather and the severity of the joint problems to be addressed. The most reliable way to ensure long-term prevention of leaks is the installation of a free floating membrane gutter liner, a waterproof membrane fitted to the original gutter without structural work, so even if the gutter itself cracks, the lining remains intact, preventing leakage.

5. Selecting the right lining

In the UK, warm, dry weather can rarely be confidently predicted. This means that in order to guarantee installation at the specific time required a weather independent, solvent-free, gutter lining solution should be selected, rather than one that requires the application of adhesives which require warm, dry weather in which to set.

As for all construction specifications, look for a product that has acquired the approval of a recognised industry body, such as the British Board of Agrement (BBA). The BBA is a government-backed organisation, offering approval and certification for construction products and services that fall outside the parameters of British Standards kite marks.

Choosing the right gutter lining specification is vital, with the end result being the professional installation of a sustainable product that will ensure that your gutters are permanently watertight, and so help protect your entire property from water ingress into the long-term, helping to preserve the original structure.
Tel: 01298 812371


Lanes Rail gutter lining saves London Underground maintenance costs

Lanes Rail is extending the life of drainage systems on London Underground buildings by introducing a gutter lining system that prevents leaks and avoids the need for roof assets to be replaced.

In 18 months, more than 2,000 metres of guttering at train maintenance depots across London have been lined in a programme of work that London Underground (LU) says has been a significant success.

It is the first time gutter lining, which supports sustainability by extending the life of roof assets, has been used on LU buildings.

Lanes Rail, part of Lanes Group, the national drainage solutions provider, is responsible for maintenance and repair of a wide variety of roofs and roof spaces across LU.

Lanes Rail Planned Maintenance Manager Mark O’Leary said: “We are always seeking innovative ways to solve maintenance problems efficiently and cost-effectively.

“The gutters were installed in the 1930s and 40s and are at, or beyond, their life expectancy. By lining them, we give them at least another 25 years of life, making this a very cost-effective repair solution.”

Lanes Rail is using the UK-made Plygene Gutterline lining system. A pliable membrane is made-to-measure in the factory, so is joint-free. It does not use adhesives, or need structural work during its installation.

The liner can be fitted inside any shape of guttering. Downpipe connections are made waterproof by being sealed with a heat gun.

The gutter reline technique has been used, so far, on five London Underground depots – Acton, Ruislip, Upminster, Tufnell Park, and Hainault.

Mark O’Leary said: “We now have a full-time team working on gutter lining for London Underground. Maintaining roof drainage systems is a top maintenance priority, to protect buildings and maintain asset values.

“Rainwater getting into maintenance depots is a significant health and safety risk, and is detrimental to the welfare of maintenance staff. It has the potential to disrupt maintenance work, adding to LU costs and putting at risk the efficiency and quality of passenger rail services.”