News

There Is Nothing Mini About Our Restricted Access Piling Services

So far this year we have secured over 30 Mini piling projects in or around London and the South.  The total value of these projects, in relation to piling, is over £1.7 million and we have installed literally hundreds of piles, in some of the most restricted sites in London.

We have helped to build new basements, mezzanine floors and even new Care Homes.  We are very proud to have been part of these projects, many of which have served to help some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

All of this has been possible due to the high level of investment we continuously make to both our site personnel and our plant and equipment.  Along with our vast experience of operating within the London area.

All of our site operatives are trained to the highest standards and undergo regular refresher courses to ensure that they are equipped with the right knowledge, training and experience they require.

They also have access to some of the best plant and equipment which enables them to perform above and beyond expectations.  

We are looking forward to next year as we expect to secure even more projects and work on some of the larger, exciting developemnts planned in the southa nd London in particular.

Do apprenticeships really suit you? There is another way - By Steve Powell

Recently, we have taken on a second batch of trainees as part of a new initiative that departs from the popular apprenticeship route and returns to the “recruit and train” model that served the industry so well for many years.

Apprenticeships are very much the fashion in a construction industry desperately seeking a solution to the skills shortage - a shortage which is likely to get worse with the effects of Brexit and HS2 - and in some cases appear the only route employers feel like they can go down. But in our opinion apprenticeships are inflexible and unsuitable for a company like ours.

All Foundations is a specialist piling company working in construction and rail. Laying foundations for developments requires highly specialist skills and our employees need to be trained in very specific areas. Apprenticeships, while no doubt an incredibly important part of helping young people into work, take a more broad brush approach and are not suited for such a niche area.

So 18 months ago we decided on a step-change in our recruitment policy and a return to a more traditional method. We employed five young people aged 18-20 on a full time basis last year and three so far this year, and fast-track them through a modular training scheme to being qualified and ready to join full-time. It has raised eyebrows within the industry, especially as we employ one of the very few, if not the only, young female piler in the UK.

For the young people, the pathway to development is also much clearer. Some who only joined last year have already shed their trainee status and have gone full-time, with the equivalent wage and benefits. That provides great encouragement to them to continue to develop, and gives those coming in behind them something tangible to aspire to.

In the modern labour market, that reassurance is vital and apprenticeships don’t really provide it. Here we invest so much when they arrive because we want and need them to stay. A proper contract and treating them like an employee gives them a sense of worth and value, which in turns drives productivity and inspires loyalty, helping with key skills retention.

Equally it is crucial, particularly in the booming rail infrastructure sector, and All Foundations being one of very few piling companies in the UK to be accredited by the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS), because suppliers like us need to remain agile and able to meet demand, which means when employees join us they have to be able to hit the ground running and be able to positively affect the business at the earliest opportunity.

It is incredibly encouraging that the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has seen the value of this approach and has supported us with grant funding, and other local and Government grants makes recruiting a very strong and better-focused alternative to apprenticeships.

Employing and training young people has also helped us expand the business quickly and confidently, and the recruits are certainly proving their worth. With apprenticeships having such a high profile, it is easy for businesses to forget that recruiting young, enthusiastic people provides a viable and valuable alternative to addressing the skills shortage and growing your business.

Hand-picked duo joins All Foundations

Neal Willis joins All Foundations as operations director from the senior management team at Expanded Geotechnical.

Chris Henry joins the company from Van Elle as business development manager.

All Foundations, based in Blackwell, Derbyshire is in expansion mode, having recently opened a new rail division and bought two more Casagrande B175 XP piling rigs.

Director Shahrooz Zojaji said: “We are investing in specific talent to enhance and develop specific areas of the business. We are delighted to be joined by Neal and Chris, two people who represent the finest talent in the industry, who will help drive the business forward in the strategic key areas of construction and rail. Both have been handpicked to bring their specific skills to All Foundations, to the benefit of the business and our expanding client base.”

Neal Willis, who as resource leader for Expanded Geotechnical was responsible for all plant and labour, will oversee many of the day-to-day business functions at All Foundations.

He said: “I was struck by the passion Shahrooz and the team have for the business, and the ambition they have to do things bigger, better and stronger, which is something we as engineers are always taught to strive for. The business is growing and so this is an exciting time to join. I am determined to use my experience to help continue to drive that growth.”

Bake Off Final At All Foundations

There was the lovely smell of freshly baked cakes alongside the consistent smell of success in the All Foundations offices on Friday.  This was all down to our long anticipated Bake Off Final in support of local charity, GEM’s Cash For Kids, helping the most disadvantaged children in the local area.

Diets were put on hold and loose clothing was worn by all of the judges, and many others, to ensure that they would be able to sample (scoff) all of the tasty cakes on offer and decide on who would win the coveted title of ‘Master Baker’ at All Foundations.

Well the competition was fierce with many of the contestants resorting to dubious practices such as providing fresh cream to complement their cakes much to the chagrin of those who forgot to sweeten their already delicious morsels further.

All in all there were three finalists, Kim Clarke, Resource Co-ordinator, Chris Wynne, Buyer, and Lynn Frith, Credit Controller.  Kim and Chris stuck to baking traditional sponge cakes whilst Lynn gambled with a chocolate and baileys cheesecake.

Well the gamble paid off, no doubt helped by addition of alcohol and Lynn was crowned the winner of the All Foundations Bake Off challenge.  Lynn was even allowed to eat a slice of her own cake, only one as tall the others had been swiftly consumed.

The whole competition was a success and All Foundations raised £100, from the sale of cake slices, for GEMS Cash For Kids which will help buy Christmas presents for some of the most disadvantaged children in the Midlands.

Everyone is looking forward to the next competition, even if it means a brief respite from diets.

New Service Now Available - Site Investigations

Due to our unique partnership with Borehole Solutions Limited, we can now offer to carry out Site Investigations for you across the length and breadth of the UK.

With a diverse and extensive fleet of drilling rigs and equipment, coupled with highly experienced personnel we can tailor a Site Investigation to your specific needs.

Serives include:

Feel free to contact us to book your site investigation or to read more about our new services click here

Recruitment & Training Addresses Skill Shortages In The Piling Sector

Steve Powell, of All Foundations found a new path other than apprenticeships to help the company expand further.  Here is his view:

Later this summer, All Foundations will be employing a number of young trainees for the second year running. Young people who we give full contracts to and who, from the moment they join, are valuable people in the business.

While the construction industry has generally favoured the apprentice model to help address the skills shortage in the sector, our decision to go down the route of “recruit and train” has been a very deliberate move because we believe, on the piling and civils side of constructions, apprenticeships are both unsuitable and inflexible.

All Foundations is a specialist piling company working in rail and construction. Laying foundations for developments requires highly specialist skills and our employees need to be trained in very specific areas. Apprenticeships, while no doubt an incredibly important part of helping young people into work, take a more broad brush approach and not suited for such a niche area.

With the rail infrastructure sector booming, and All Foundations being one of very few piling companies in the UK to be accredited by the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS), suppliers like us need to remain agile and able to meet demand, which means when employees join us they have to be able to hit the ground running and be able to positively affect the business at the earliest opportunity.

Our return to a more traditional method – we employed five young people aged 18-20 on a full time basis last year – fast-tracks them to being qualified and has raised eyebrows across the country, especially as we employ of the very few, if not the only, young female piler in the UK.

Our young people are trained by being out in the field and over the course of their training take part in a bespoke modular programme covering key elements required to be work in piling, including concrete pump operation, slinger signaller, piling rig operation and piling rig driving.

This means that we have created real jobs for young people who really want to be part of the industry and who can chart a way forward. This in turn motives and encourages, and as a result they have flourished, gaining accreditations and plant certifications quickly and effectively.

What is encouraging is that Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has seen the value of this approach and has supported us with grant funding, and other local and Government grants makes recruiting a very strong and better-focused alternative to apprenticeships.

Employing and training young people has also helped us expand the business quickly and confidently and they are proving their worth.

With apprenticeships having such a high profile, it is easy for businesses to forget that recruiting young, enthusiastic people provides a viable and valuable alternative to addressing the skills shortage and growing your business.

Breaking Piling Records

Thursday the 27th June was a momentous day for us at All Foundations.  We had a glimpse of what Adam Peatty must have felt when he discovered that he had broken his world record in one day.

The sense of achievement we felt was down to the fact that we had broken our own record for the total number of metres piled in one day.  This included all CFA and Restricted Access piles.  In fact we smashed, excuse the language, our previous record by a massive 200 metres!

Large scale projects such as River Lane, Newmarket Road in Cambridge for Watkin Jones and the Etonbury Academy project for Morgan Sindall, provided us with the opportunity to break our piling record.

Congratulations must therefore go to all of our piling teams who worked incredibly hard to set a new company record, often in difficult circumstances as the British summer weather has been rather unreliable this year….

So now the bar has been set even higher we will just have to continue doing what we do best, exceed our client’s expectations, and excuse the pun again, smash our new record soon.

New Direction + New Investment = New opportunities

All Foundations has recently undergone a change in direction.  This not a knee jerk reaction to anything topical in the news, rather it is a well-researched decision to maximise our potential by utilising our resources to fully benefit our clients.

This change has resulted in a wide array of new opportunities, some expected and some, well, are a very nice surprise.  

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RISQS Accredited

All Foundations (UK) Ltd has been verified under the Railway Industry Supplier Qualification Scheme (RISQS) and can now supply the rail industry with specialist piling services.

Managing director Shahrooz Zojaji said that All Foundations was ‘perfectly suited’ to the type of jobs being required for HS2 and other rail infrastructure projects as we operate across the whole of the UK.”

All Foundations have long focused on quality rather than quantity and have developed a reputation for being a solid and reliable contractor to work with.  This reputation is well earned due to continued repeat business from the likes of Morgan Sindall and Kier, who recently awarded All Foundations with a BRAG rating of ‘Good’.

Shahrooz Zojaji, goes on to say “Everyone at All Foundations has worked hard to achieve the RISQS accreditation and I am grateful to have such dedicated and skilled people working within our company.”

According to Steve Powell, SHEQ Manager, “we are perfectly suited to deploy and complete contracts such as signal gantry replacement, signal digiboxes and railway platform extensions due to our ability to quickly deploy experienced teams of operatives, state of the art piling rigs and construction equipment on numerous rail construction sites. 

This recent accreditation comes on the back of being awarded a ‘Perfect Delivery Certificate’ for our piling services on the £7 million Etonbury Academy expansion project for Morgan Sindall. 

We will now begin working on current and future rail projects with a number of existing and new clients, so watch this space for updates on where and when we will be constructing the necessary foundations for future rail travel.

Charity Christmas Jumper Day

On Friday the 16th of December the Office staff held a Christmas jumper day to help raise money for local Charity,Cash for Kids, which aims to provide disabled and disadvantaged children in the East Midlands with life changing experiences.

We are proud to have raised £60 with our festive jumpers, a selection of which you can see in the picture.  

 

Merry Christmas from our Festive Team.

All Foundations has another reason to BRAG about our work with Kier

All Foundations are proud to be able to publish our most recent BRAG rating from Kier.

Kier, since December 2014, rates all of their sub-contractors against a list of Key Performance Indicators or KPI’s:

  • Pre-order Performance
  • Design and Off-Site Works
  • Supervision
  • Adherence to Programme
  • Quality of Workmanship and Materials
  • Contractual / Commercial Attitude
  • Health and Safety On-Site
  • Health and Safety Management
  • Environmental Awareness
  • Snagging and Defects

 

Due to our professionalism, commitment to excellence, experienced project management teams  and most importantly of all the very best site operatives, All Foundations has achieved a BRAG rating of 71%, which is considered ‘Good’, with Kier since 2014.  This rating has been achieved over 4 large construction sites including Kier’s prestigious Sheraton Park project in Durham where we installed 392 CFA piles as part of our Level Innovative Piled Solution (LIPS) for a new student accommodation block.

Whilst we are happy to be rated as good, we are now striving to achieve the highest score possible, as we are committed to continuously improve to ensure that we remain our client's first choice for all piling and foundation work within the UK.

All Foundations Goes Pink for Breast Cancer

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, All Foundations decided to support the charity Breast Cancer Now by taking part in the annual ‘Wear It Pink’ Day on Friday the 21st of October.

Now there was some consternation from a few of our employees who were concerned that their wardrobes were a little short on pink items but our ‘Pink Ladies’, pictured above, had no such concerns.

Along with wearing it pink, Karen Simpson and Kim Clarke, also organised a tombola, sweepstake and quiz to help increase participation and the amount we could raise for charity.  There were also some amazing homemade cakes which were purchased by members of the All Foundation’s team and a raffle. To increase sales of the raffle tickets the Managing Directors; Shahrooz Zojaji, Michael Lloyd and Jonathan Dennis very kindly donated £250 to a prize fund and all tickets were subsequently snapped up in no time.

All Foundations raised £403.73 in total.  We are hoping to be able to beat this figure next year and many of the team have said they will donate a hefty sum to Breast Cancer Now, if one of the ‘Pink Ladies’ will leave their wig at home, we leave it to you to guess which one!!

All Foundations - Piling To New Depths

Due to our continued expansion as a leading piling contractor in the UK, we have now added a B175XP Casagrande piling rig to our already extensive fleet.  The B175XP provides All Foundations with enhanced piling capabilities, allowing us to efficiently pile to depths of 25.5 metres and with diameters of up to 900mm through difficult ground conditions due to its torque of 160kNm.

This powerful addition to our already significant fleet of piling rigs and qualified, certified personnel means that we can continue to meet the ever growing demand for our professional piling services.

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Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.

Today is one of those happy, yet at the same time sad days in the office as today is the day that Sue Gigg retires.  Sue has been an integral part of our accounts division for over 7 years, making sure that the team works together to achieve theirs, and the company’s, goals.

Sue is hoping to be able to spend more time with her family, in particular the grandchildren and generally relax.  Golf will not feature largely in retirement but wine ‘tasting’ may be making an appearance or two!

Everyone at All Foundations is sad to see Sue go, we ordered extra tissues for this day in anticipation, but also happy for Sue at the same time.  Joanne, Sue’s line manager, had this to say:

 “Sue has been with the company for a number of years and is well loved by everyone at All Foundations and her knowledge of her role is second to none.  However, she never allowed her knowledge to hinder company progress as she was always open to change.  She always took on any new challenges with relish, whether this was new software system or internal procedure to enhance the accounts function and enable smoother running of the Accounts Department.

It will be sad to see Sue leave and take all that valuable knowledge with her but we wish her all the best on her future adventures.”  

Everyone here at the All Foundations office has contributed to a farewell present, farewell and not goodbye as we fully expect to see Sue’s smiling face again soon, which has been presented in the photo above.  The farewell present is a beautiful watch with purple, Sue’s favourite colour, charms on so Sue can easily count down the time until she is able to visit again.

Well this is not the end, it is just the start of a new chapter for both Sue and All Foundations and before the water works are fully switched on, we should all remember that we should not cry because it is over, we should smile because it happened.

Farewell Sue and we hope to see you soon.

How to avoid those ‘additional’ charges with Restricted access Piling

I’m sure you will all be familiar with the following scenario:

You have a project which requires restricted access piling, so you post the job on an enquiry board and/or send an email out to every piling company you know.

Then when you receive quotes you immediately begin looking for that magical figure, you know the one which says ‘Total cost’ or something similar.  You take note of it and then compare against all the other quotes to find the lowest one.  Then you have your ‘winner’; or have you?

How Much?

 

All Foundations Proud to be part of the Markham Vale Regeneration Project

All Foundations (UK) Ltd have once again been chosen as the piling contractor of choice, this time it is to help build the latest developments at the 16.2 million regeneration project at Markham Vale.

All Foundations (UK) Ltd will be responsible for providing the expertise, equipment and skills necessary to pile the foundations required for the Great Bear 480,000 sqft Distribution Warehouse.

This latest development will help bring new life into the area and provide numerous opportunities for the local area.  The Managing Director of All Foundations (UK) Ltd, Shahrooz Zojaji, had this to say “We are proud to be chosen as the piling contractor for this regeneration project as we always like to work on projects which will bring such huge benefits to our local area.”

All Foundations (UK) Ltd will utilise a CFA piling rig and experienced crew to deliver the required piles for this project.

For more information on All Foundations (UK) Ltd piling services click here.

LIPS Chosen To Build Affordable Homes

As part of a regeneration project in Romford, Kind & Company limited were contracted to demolish an existing care home to make way for the building of thirteen 2 and 3 bedroom affordable homes.

After an intensive tendering process, Kind & Company chose All Foundations and our new Level Innovative Piled Solution (LIPS) as their preferred piling contractor and piling method.  Our LIPS option would ensure that the project not only met budgetary requirements but also ensured that the homes being built would be some of the most economically and environmentally friendly available.

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SUBCONTRACTOR SAFETY AWARD

All Foundations (UK) Limited were very pleased to receive a Subcontractor Safety Award from BAM Construction Ltd recently for our work on the Tamesis 1 project in Egham. Nathan Cholerton, seen opposite, was happy to receive the award as it shows the high level of professionalism All Foundations applies to every project and how we always strive for excellence.