Good as New. Comprehensive Window Overhauls and Repairs Case Study


Across the London Borough of Wandsworth, an ambitious programme of estate improvement and resident repair is ongoing.  Focused on enhancing the safety and comfort of its 16,000 properties. As part of this initiative, the William Willison Estate, featuring a mix of high-rise blocks that include two 11-storey buildings with 84 dwellings, three 9-storey buildings with 102 dwellings, and four additional 9-storey buildings housing 136 dwellings, was selected for significant upgrades.

Recognising the complexity and critical nature of the window overhaul component, Amber Construction partnered with Mila, to support them during the bidding process with competitive pricing and expert advice.

Amber Construction was entrusted by Wandsworth Borough Council with a comprehensive contract to deliver essential works across six blocks. This project ambitiously aimed to overhaul windows, refurbish external and communal areas, and install Automatic Opening Vent (AOV) fire protection systems, thereby ensuring the residents’ safety, warmth, and well-being.  Upon securing the contract, Mila was appointed as the specialist window overhaul contractor, tasked with the vital role of enhancing the living conditions for the residents of William Willison Estate through meticulous window repairs and upgrades.

The Client

Amber Construction Services Ltd is an award-winning, trusted construction delivery partner operating across London and the South East of England.

Wandsworth is a London borough in South West London, England. It forms part of Inner London and has an estimated population of 329,677 inhabitants. Its main named areas are Battersea, Balham, Putney, Tooting and Wandsworth Town.  They manage 16000 Social Housing Properties.

The Challenge: Ensuring Resident Safety and Comfort

Amber Construction faced a significant challenge: the overhaul and repair of windows in both high and low rise properties within a densely populated area. The primary objectives were clear:

  • Enhance the functionality and safety of windows and doors.
  • Minimise disruption to residents.  They would remain living in the properties while all works were carried out.
  • Deliver cost-effective, long-lasting solutions.

The SAFEKEEP Approach

The project was structured around the SAFEKEEP model, encompassing the phases of Survey, Adjust, Fix, Enhance, and Keep the windows operational for the long term. This comprehensive strategy ensured that each window was surveyed, adjusted and repaired as needed.   Also Wandsworth Council received advice on how to upgrade the windows to meet modern standards of ventilation, safety, efficiency, and comfort.

A long-term maintenance package was also proposed to maintain the windows in the best condition once all repairs were completed.

Survey: The Foundation of Success

  • Detailed Inspections: Engineers conducted thorough checks for operation, safety compliance, and potential water and air ingress.
  • Tailored Reporting: Detailed reports identified areas needing attention, providing a clear audit trail for safety measures.

Adjust: Proactive Care

  • Continual Adjustments: Regular tuning and lubrication of windows prevented minor issues from escalating, ensuring long-term functionality.

Fix: Efficient Solutions

  • Prompt Repairs: The team swiftly addressed identified problems, prioritizing the residents’ safety and windows’ functionality.

Enhance: Beyond Basic Repairs

  • Functional Enhancements: Improvements were made to ventilation, energy efficiency, and security, extending the lifespan of the installations.

Keep: Long-term Protection

  • Future Safety Audits: Through long-term contracts, landlords benefited from ongoing maintenance, ensuring windows remained safe and operational over time.

Execution: Minimizing Disruption, Maximizing Efficiency

Mila surveyed all properties over a number of weeks.  Working with Amber’s TLO to arranged timed appointments with the residents at their convenience.  This process was designed to minimise disruption to residents.

Mila surveyors used a checklist of window issues to confirm that windows were fully operational.  Any issues were noted on the survey form with details of any parts needed for repairs and any additional requirements such as access equipment, additional engineers to complete the repair.

All surveys were collected and a report provide to the client by property detailing the issues found, repairs required, cost of completing repair and time required to complete the repair.  This enabled the client to compare costs of repair against the cost of replacement and also to plan a programme of repairs based on time required to complete all repairs in a flat.

Some examples of the types of repairs completed;

  • Over 20 Tilt & Turn Mechanisms replaced
  • 44 metres of Gasket renewed
  • 13 Double Glazed units replaced
  • 21 windows required significant adjustment and were repaired without new parts

Outcomes: A Testament to Quality and Innovation

The project yielded impressive results:

  • Enhanced Living Conditions: Residents enjoyed smoother-operating windows, improved ventilation, and enhanced security.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: The focus on repairs over replacements provided significant savings when compared to the cost of replacing defective windows with new ones.
  • Long-Term Benefits: The KEEP phase will ensure ongoing maintenance, prolonging the life and functionality of the windows.

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