8build is enjoying rapid growth in the construction industry, making the most of its expertise in the buoyant sectors of education, commercial office, theatre and museum redevelopment
Taking pride in the quality of its work and the outstanding care for its clients’ needs, 8build has experienced continued success in a changing construction market over the past few years. The company was founded in 2005 by eight directors, whose shared ambition was to improve the industry as a whole, by employing the very best people and promoting the values of honesty and integrity, and the freedom of acting in a completely ethical way.
“We do value our reputation very highly. We see 8build as a type of family business, even though we are not related to each other,” one of the company’s directors, Nigel Bellamy claims. “Our desire is to buy into what our clients want to achieve, be on their side of the table, and help them grow their business, while we are growing ours. At the same time, we have always been very loyal to our supply chain, offering them excellent payment conditions even when times have been hard. Doing a very good job and treating others with consideration are two traits of our business that we want to showcase constantly, instilling confidence in existing and new clients alike.”
The end of the recession inevitably modified the construction landscape in the UK, with new sectors emerging at the expense of others. Nigel analyses: “There has been a lot more theatre and museum work, as well as specialist laboratories schemes. These are the areas we have spent a lot of time focusing on, as the high-end residential market has gone quieter in recent years.”
One of the most high-profile projects completed by 8build in recent times was the major £50 million revamp of Victoria Palace Theatre in London, commissioned by Sir Cameron Mackintosh. “As a very visionary theatre owner, Sir Cameron wanted to upgrade the theatre for the next 100 years. We widened the stage by three metres and deepened it by another six metres, making it both the widest and the deepest theatre stage in London, so that it could provide any guesting theatre company with all the facilities it may need.
“It was a very challenging project, because the entire Victoria area is being redeveloped at the moment and we were one of the many contractors working in a confined area of London, therefore, we had to deal with multiple stakeholders at the same time. To give you an example of some of the programme’s technical challenges, due to the fact that both the Victoria line and London’s largest sewer – the King’s Scholars’ Pond, run straight under the stage, we had to cap off the sewer and pile alongside it. We also had to apply comprehensive vibration monitoring while piling to ensure the safety and efficiency of the operation,” Nigel discusses.
Following the completion of the two-year Victoria Palace Theatre project, 8build has now directed its attention to the ongoing redevelopment of Royal Albert Hall. In addition, the company has developed strong competence in the museum sector, having taken part in the refurbishment works of institutions such as the Science Museum in London and the Titanic Museum in Southampton.
“Loyalty and certainty of delivery are what differentiate us from other companies,” Nigel maintains. “We have a number of regular clients like Argent, Lazari Investments, and Imperial College, who trust us because we do not let them down. We never claim to be perfect, but we always try to find the right solution to a problem and recognise every project as a unique job that presents its very specific challenges. In fact, establishing long-term relationships that are beneficial to both parties is exactly what we are after. At the same time, as we are becoming more and more respected and well-known, a lot of new clients are interested in trying us out and seeing what we can do for them. Another all-important reason for our success is the higher value of the projects we are being offered to take on. Previously, our sweet spot used to be between £10 million and £20 million schemes, but now, this has grown to between £40 million and £50 million, as evident from the Victoria Palace Theatre programme,” he explains.
While London can certainly be considered the mainstay of 8build, the company is now seeking to emulate its success in Cambridge, having just opened a new office in the university city. “This will definitely be the next growth area for us and we have already secured the first batch of projects, hoping we could build on that in the next couple of years,” Nigel reveals. “We have developed a very good pedigree in the education and technology sectors, which constitute the growth market in the Cambridge area at the moment, so the outlook on our future there is very positive.”
On the international front, 8build has been running an office in Singapore for six years now, during which time the company has made a name for itself, mainly for its fitting out services. Thanks to the rapport it has built with customers in this part of the world, the contractor decided to open a small office in Hong Kong this year to manage the ever-increasing number of project requests in the area.
“We are quite cautious as a company, focusing first and foremost on always delivering to our promises, being fair to everyone we work with, and cherishing growth that is steady and progressive. At the moment, all the indicators for continued success are looking very good and I see no reason why we should not enjoy a sustained growth in the coming years,” Nigel concludes.
Services: Fit out, new build, light refurbishment, heavy refurbishment