It is a sign of the times and GCL’s fantastic but controlled growth that we thought the new offices in WGC to be so spacious a few years ago in 2015 when moving in. Fast forward to early 2017 and we were full to brim. In light of this and the perceived future growth, we decided that the office needed to be extended to cope with our vision. The rear upper car parking and plant storage area was completed and it was now time to concentrate on the office space!!

We had since applied for and received planning permission for a “Sandwich” extension between the existing office and the workshop. The extended area footprint is 18m*6m wide and will be over 2 levels so 220m² in total. In addition, a roof garden is to be constructed to provide a space for social interaction, taking breaks and of course quiet reflection.

A structural steel frame was built on mass-pour foundations, with a timber joist 1st floor, composite roof and masonry cladding above. In keeping with the modern façade, we used like-for-like glazing and the white rendering. The rear of the building matched the existing so that it was sympathetic to the surroundings and in keeping with the original building.

The vision was to enjoy a larger open plan office at both ground and 1st floor levels. Everyone will be able to enjoy a similar standard of finish internally to what we currently have with the use of strategic windows and summer lighting to provide a bright office environment. The air circulation and temperature controls were also continued with an upgraded system.

Works were programmed such that very little discomfort was felt by the office users and not to affect their current optimum working levels. The structural steel frame was installed over the weekend 18-19th November and the breakout of the internal dividing wall (existing perimeter wall) over both floors during the annual Christmas shutdown. Early 2018 saw the internal fit-out gather pace and the flawless switchover of up to 40No. workstations were seamlessly undertaken over a weekend in March. The process was that smooth that everyone returned to work on Monday to their new workstations without any glitches.

During this time, we had introduced 2No. brand new fully-fitted kitchens to both floors with an overhaul done to the ladies washroom on the 1st floors where the space was drastically increased.

It was definitely worth looking forward to an increased office size that saw additional desk space for up to 28 more people, a quiet room, hot desks for visiting GCL personnel, larger kitchens, new spiral staircase, disabled lift to the 1st floor, improved lighting and air circulation/control.

Next up is to convert the new roof into a social space.

The future is bright, the future is Blue, GCL Blue!!

Sooren Chinnappa