Heritage Building Maintenance

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Dedicated to preserving heritage property

Oaksure take pride in protecting listed buildings. Finding the right tenant or buyer for heritage property can take significantly longer than with modern buildings, particularly if it requires refurbishment. Obtaining planning permission for heritage property is a complicated and drawn-out process. Listed buildings are often left vacant and at risk during this interim period. They require a greater duty of care and present a more complicated security challenge which usually translates into significantly higher security costs

Oaksure is experienced in providing comprehensive 24hr protection for listed properties while they are in between uses and can reduce security costs by more than 90% when compared with static security guards. Some case studies of our work are provided below.

Empty heritage buildings can also have a detrimental effect on the local community. An iconic building that was once at the heart of local community life in a state of disuse and decay projects the image of a community in decline.

Traditional security is inadequate for listed buildings

Steel screens or boarding up are not an option due to the usual importance of maintaining the integrity of the façade. Listed buildings must not be left at risk to squatters or be allowed to become dilapidated and so methods that carry a higher risk such as mobile patrols or CCTV are uncommon.

Traditional security options are usually not effective for listed buildings. Boarding up heritage properties does significant damage to the window and door frames generally ruling this out as a security measure.

Listed buildings also face a heightened risk of theft. Listed buildings also face a heightened risk of theft with many of their ornate and unique historical features on display to the public.

Manned guarding can deter theft, but this is expensive and does not secure the property against squatting. A single 24hr guard will cost in the range of £120,000 per annum and many buildings require more than one guard. Moreover, the building will continue to look unoccupied and therefore remain a target.

An all-inclusive approach to heritage building maintenance and security

We deploy property guardians to temporarily occupy the building. Our guards provide round-the-clock security and are a powerful deterrent to theft and vandalism. With Oaksure guards the building is temporarily occupied therefore the threat of squatting is entirely eliminated.

As temporary custodians of the property, our guards report all damage to the property from broken windows, blocked drains and cracked pipes to mould and leaks, ensuring maintenance concerns are immediately addressed and the building is not allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.

The building also continues to appear to be a functioning part of the community, with windows lighting up at night and clean and tidy exteriors.

Below are some examples of heritage buildings we have secured and managed whilst awaiting refurbishment, sale or letting.

CHAD VARAH HOUSE

Chad Varah House was built in 1776. It is a Grade II listed building with a stained glass chapel, functioning grand organ and is set in a historic conservation area in Lincoln.

Oaksure were brought in to provide security at short notice in this relatively remote part of the country. Apart from some improvements to the fire detection system, the property itself required no modifications for our security to commence and we began protection by occupation on the day required.

We protected the property using live-in guards including several members of the RAF and a royal marine. Security was only required for four months as an unexpected tenant took a short lease. During this time, we responded to and eliminated rough sleeping on the grounds, prevented metal thieves from removing the lead from a low section of the roof and resolved a persistent problem with people littering on the forecourt.

Through live-in security the client was able to save £26,920 in security costs alone over those four months.

OLD ACTON TOWN HALL

Old Acton Town Hall is a Victorian building at the centre of Acton’s diverse community. A Grade II listed building, it opened in 1910.

Oaksure has been contracted by Ealing Council to provide security for the town hall during the disposal and planning permission process. Live-in security was deployed in strategic locations in the building to maximise security. The building contains a wealth of listed internal features, including doors, ornate fireplaces and windows and thus required extreme care throughout.

The council was also able to save on key-holding costs with Oaksure providing access up to ten times a month.

To accommodate the guards, temporary showers were fitted that could be easily removed and did not interfere with any of the features. We improved the Fire Safety of the building to the satisfaction of the local fire station chief.

As part of Oaksure’s reactive maintenance service, we arranged and managed the sustainable disposal of 50 rooms worth of office furniture for reuse and recycling, creating further savings of around £3,000.

Oaksure creates savings of around £17,000 per month on security costs – the cost of employing two 24 hour static security guards.

SOUTHALL LIBRARY

Southall library is a grade II listed building awaiting new tenants and refurbishment. There had been a long standing problem of drug dealers and alcoholics using the forecourt during the library’s closing hous. After the library relocated the problem intensified with extensive amounts of litter collecting outside and anti-social behaviour extending into daylight hours.

Oaksure provided urgent and targeted security for this property, placing security on-site within 24 hours notice. We consulted with the metropolitan police, stationed a highly experienced SIA guard and bodyguard to occupy a room at the front of the property and installed a CCTV system.

Within a week drug sales and anti-social drinking outside the property had been eliminated.

To accommodate the guards, a temporary shower was installed in the toilets with original tiled walls without interfering with the tiling. This will be removed at the end of contract.

We operated on a short term security contract of 12 weeks until one half of the building is let and the other is redeveloped into temporary housing.

In addition to creating significant security savings our security solved a long-standing local problem.

Our guards provide 24hr security for vacant property, providing the most effective protection available against all the risks which arise from unoccupancy, including:

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Gaining planning permission is a complicated and drawn out process when listed buildings are involved