Use Case: Full install of a lift in a Grade I listed building

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Elevating Standards: Modernising in a Grade I listed building for the Bloomsbury Institute

At the heart of every historic building lies the challenge of modernisation while preserving its essence. The Bloomsbury Institute faced such a challenge with their problematic hydraulic lift. Stephane Middleton, the Estate and Facilities Manager,  sheds light on their journey towards a solution with WeMaintain, blending modern efficiency with historical integrity.

Q: What was the main issue that you were facing?

We had a hydraulic lift that was causing a lot of issues, it was out of service and just wasn’t safe. We weren’t happy with the level of service and care that we were getting from our previous provider.

Q: How did you find out about WeMaintain?

After deciding to look for different suppliers, we googled and found WeMaintain. We were particularly dissatisfied with our previous engineers and their lack of care for our building.

Q: Besides the lift being broken for eight months, were there other issues?

The lift was old and not working properly, primarily due to the hydraulic system's faults, which led to oil leaks and frequent breakdowns. Making it unsafe for us, our students and really just a nuisance. 

Q: How many times did you get stuck inside?

About six or seven times. It turned into a policy to not travel in the lift with me.

Q: What made you decide to replace the hydraulic system?

We wanted to move from a hydraulic to a motor-room-less lift due to ongoing issues and the need to maintain the integrity of our Grade I listed building, which restricts any alterations.

Q: How was your experience with the initial surveying and modernisation plan?

Before we even transitioned to WeMaintain and signed off on the modernisation works, we asked for the lift to be repaired. Being a higher education provider it was important for us to have the site remain safe and accessible for as long as possible.

Once we decided to go with WeMaintain the transition was very smooth. They were transparent about costs and allowed us to make informed decisions about the aesthetics and functionality of the new lift.

Q: Can you describe the process and execution of the project?

WeMaintain, especially through Alex’s efforts, made it easy to understand the process, ensuring minimal disruption to our operations. They were considerate of our need to limit noise during exams and important meetings. They ensured all deliveries of items worked around our schedule and fit within the limited storage space on site. 

Alex was very good at flowing that information to us. Which I appreciated, and it did make my job a lot easier. With the cleanup and removal of the old lift as well. It was very smooth and flawless

Q: Was this different from previous experiences with other providers?

Absolutely. The level of care and attention to detail WeMaintain provided stood out. This is another reason why we chose WeMaintain. We went with them because when comparing my experience with the WeMaintain engineers and my experience with the communication of our previous incumbent, I knew I could trust what was promised, would in fact be done. 

We could have gone with any of the major lift manufacturers, but in the end, I wanted to go with a company where I knew we wouldn't just be lost in their portfolio and I wanted to work with people I trusted. I didn’t feel like I was going to get that from any of the other companies I spoke to. 

Q: How has the new lift impacted the Institute?

The new lift looks marvellous and operates flawlessly. WeMaintain did an excellent job, ensuring minimal impact on the building during installation. This lift in itself, I mean, it looks absolutely marvellous, they did a fantastic job of cleaning everything. They did a really, really good job of making it right and ensuring that it works to the highest and safest standard.

The Bloomsbury Institute's experience with WeMaintain is a testament to the importance of choosing a service provider that not only delivers technical expertise but also values and respects the unique needs of their clients. Through strategic planning, open communication, and a commitment to excellence, WeMaintain successfully modernised the Institute's lift, enhancing both functionality and safety. 

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