2023 in focus: What has A.W. Hardy been up to this year?
2023 hasn’t been without its challenges, but we are proud to have completed on a range of brilliant builds, not to mention support some great causes along the way.
We started the year off with the completion of three new industrial units in Galleywood (near Chelmsford) on behalf of Chelmsford City Council. The site was previously home to Galleywood Hall, a disused building that residents considered to be a bit of an eyesore prior to the land’s redevelopment.
It was around this time that we also donated a tree to Lee Chapel Primary School in Basildon to help counter some of the destruction caused by Storm Eunice in the previous year. Giving back to our community in this way is very important to us, and we always look to take part in local regeneration projects when we can.
We announced back in March that A.W. Hardy had been chosen to construct the new Shoebury East Beach cafes in Shoeburyness. Those living nearby had been waiting more than 20 years for these projects to come to fruition, so we couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
We started work at Aquila House (now known as Eagle House) in Chelmsford in the spring. This was to be a complete refurbishment of the property to create new office space in the centre of the city. Eagle House was finished and ready to receive tenants in October.
March and April were a busy couple of months for our team, as we started onsite at Greensted Primary School around the same time in order to ensure its new school entrance, reception, headteacher’s office, nursery and infant classrooms and other facilities were ready in time for the new school year in September.
And it was in April that we announced we had completed the long-awaited extension at Barling Magna Primary Academy in Southend-on-Sea. This development included three SEN rooms, a new staffroom, a revamped reception area, and a redeveloped playground, amongst other elements.
In May, we delivered the final touches to the new headquarters for S. Stibbards & Sons Funeral Directors at Rayleigh Weir. This impressive build was officially opened at the end of August and received lots of press coverage.
June saw the official opening of Project Bluebird, a 50-bed development on Southchurch Avenue designed to provide vital accommodation for local people recovering from a period of homelessness. We worked closely with the project’s architects, SK Architects, to ensure all buildings within this development met stringent Passivhaus criteria. We believe that, as it stands, Bluebird is the only building of its type to meet Passivhaus standards and benefit from the cleaner environments and cost savings that are generated from more energy efficient construction methods. Quite rightly, this build has since received lots of industry recognition. It won the prestigious AJ Architects Award and was shortlisted in two categories at the Unlock Net Zero Awards.
There were plenty of other builds scattered in between those that we’ve mentioned above. Aside from our commercial construction projects, we continued to enjoy a strong partnership with our sister company W&H Roads and called upon their expertise many times (and vice versa).
Outside of the office, Dave took part in Trek26 Stonehenge on Saturday 2nd September to raise money for Alzheimer’s UK. And raise money he did! He and his partner Debbie generated more than £4,000 in donations for this fantastic charity – way over their predicted £200 each! – and we couldn’t be prouder of them both.
More recently, we donated a series of children’s gardening tools to Greensted School after some of their equipment was lost during their recent renovation works. The kids were very happy with their new kit, as was headmaster Shiv Chetty.
We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who has partnered with us and supported us over the last 12 months. With some exciting opportunities in the pipeline, we’re looking forward to seeing what 2024 has in store.