It’s rare that a company will put so much imagination, workmanship and sheer hard effort into a project with the aim of leaving no visible trace of their work, but it’s the effortless and seamless extension to a classic Victorian property that made True Build Trade Services Ltd stand out as the Small Renovation Project of choice at the national Master Builder Awards 2017.
True Build Director, Paul Dempsey regards this Edinburgh build as “the most challenging project yet”. With only the warrant drawings provided by the architect to work from, the team had to wrestle with onsite logistics, producing technical solutions and solving practical difficulties as the build progressed.
Not only is the cantilevered design, providing for a frameless glass corner, technically complex in itself - the character and situation of the original building hugely increased the difficulty of this build.
Removing the entire rear corner of the building, including 600mm thick solid stone walls, required the whole weight of the remaining building to be supported by massive beams weighing over a tonne each. The tight space of the project precluded the use of a crane, so the beams had to be manhandled into the site and then installed by hand at height with scaffolding, block and tackles. Over twenty tonnes of stone had to be removed from the site in the same way.
As the project progressed changes were made to the original concept which tested the team’s design strengths and ability to come up with practical solutions that supported the elegance of the design. For example, it was Paul’s suggestion to the hide the gutter required to collect rainwater off the deck.
A solution was visualised and designed onsite that allowed all drainage to be entirely hidden from view of the floor-to-ceiling windows because, “the high end finish of the building deserved a secret solution.”
Throw in the added challenges involving retaining walls, collapsed drainage pipes and a devastating family bereavement in the middle of the project makes the team’s ability to stay calm and focused on turning the client’s vision into reality even more impressive.