From the first commercial build and archaeological digs, to one of the most sustainably built educational buildings in Kent, Abbott have been involved in it all.Since 1947 trending_flat
Our strong values have been maintained across 75 years and 3 generations of the Abbott family: honesty, integrity and reliability. Through these, we achieve exceptional results and mutually respectful relationships with our clients.Behind Abbott trending_flat
Two-storey SEN extension block to the existing Primary School consisting of 5Nr classrooms, Nurture Room, Sensory Room, breakout space and play area, Therapy room and an external roof terrace decking area.
Construction of the building consists of a steel frame sitting on concrete pad foundations, ground floor bearing slab and a hollowcore pre-cast slab at 1st floor level. External façade consists of a mixture of facing brickwork, render, vertical timber cladding and aluminium windows/doors and bi-fold doors.
Roof Structure is a timber/steel flat roof finished with insulation and a single ply membrane. The external roof terrace decking area consists of a timber decking area sitting on pedestals.
Internally, walls are of a metal stud/plasterboard wall and decorated, ceilings will be suspended ceiling tiles and floor will be carpet tiles to classrooms/circulation/admin areas and vinyl to all wet areas.
Our work at Westgate One has entered its final stage, following the successful completion of the third block or the 'Bedford building'. We are now moving onto the most complicated and congested element of the construction of this multi-block student accommodation project.
Having stayed on track since the beginning of this project in 2020, we're hoping that the Freeman building will be no different. Accounting for the spatial constraints and additional adjustments required to safely conduct the most logistically challenging works, we're currently programming the fourth block to be ready for the 2025/2026 academic year.
The Freeman building will sit close to the edge of Pound Lane, requiring the road to be closed to the general public and providing safe access for our deliveries and site activities. Prior to the build, consultations have taken place with residents and businesses close by, in order to minimise disruption to their day to day activities.
This stage requires lots of relocating and change of supplies and workspaces to accommodate the footprint of the final building. Due to further spatial restrictions, the use of forklifts will be replaced by a tower crane. Storage space for materials will be minimal, and all deliveries will be planned on a ‘just-in-time’ basis for distribution by our tower crane around the site. The site entrance for workers will be moved to the high street, using as little of the public pathway as possible in a busy area of Canterbury.
For conservation reasons, the design of Freeman along Pound Lane and it’s return into Sudbury Mews, will be more in keeping with the history of the surrounding area with more of a street scene feel to it. Timber sash windows, timber weatherboarding, sections of tile hanging and traditional slate roofing will add to its character within this popular location close to the Westgate Towers. Similarly M&E services have been designed so as not to be seen from the public highway, and extensive flat roof areas provide ample space for an array of PV panels to contribute to the buildings sustainability. With the assistance of Considine Ltd on the civil and structural engineering on the Freeman building, we have managed the logistics of erecting this building in such a small site space.
External landscaping of the area surrounding will link to the existing pathways and courtyards for more outdoor space for the students to use.
Thanks to our trusted relationships with the local community and the residents surrounding this area, we have progressed with this project in our usual timely fashion and we are immensely proud of the work we have done at this location.
Our experience being contractors of new school buildings has brought us to be back on site at the School of Science and Technology in Maidstone. We will be constructing an extension to the sports hall for the increasing student roll across the three VIAT schools on this site, as a shared facility. The new build will include an additional sporting facilities, offices and changing rooms and our work will extend to make adjustments to the original sports hall delivered in 2020, including improving its acoustic performance.
Initial groundworks have been finished and the steel frame has taken shape on the site. We continue on a schedule that sees us handover before the new school year starts in 2024.
Consolidating existing buildings with a new build, key objectives were for this to be sustainably built with a fabric first approach and requirements for natural light, ventilation and heating. The open design of the building has helped meet these requirements, with the use of the natural angles of daylight, opening clerestory windows, a timber frame and eco-focused materials and building services.
The mechanical installation of a combined system of traditional heating and air sourced heat pumps (ASHP) will omit any use of gas in the building, further supporting the sustainability factors and working to BREEAM standards.
With the incorporation of sustainable methods as key components of the design, the facility benefits from above ground rainwater harvesting, a roof irrigation system, the inclusion of recyclable materials, along with a sloping visual and functional green roof. The roof is covered with a wildflower blanket to attract bees and butterflies to the area and the sloping of the roof will help with the continuous growth of the plants as well as natural drainage. You can read more about green roofs' benefits in our blog post.
In addition, we undertook an extensive refurbishment of the existing reception building and the regeneration of another existing building to allow it to be used as an outdoor classroom with shelter and space for more plants to be grown in Kent’s natural climate, as opposed to those currently residing in the greenhouses. Encouraging environmentally friendly access and travel support, there is minimal parking and smart bicycle storage.
A team effort as always, as Abbott worked alongside Lee Evans Partnership, b&m, Wilson Partners and Quinn Ross on this exciting project. This is a one of a kind building for new generations that we are proud to have been involved in.
Commencing in 2020, this major project involves various phases to redevelop the Barretts Jaguar Land Rover site in Canterbury city centre. Abbott have completed Blocks 1-3, providing 113 units in total, with the fourth having started in July 2023.
Abbott’s work has included demolition, ground remediation, construction and fit out across multiple blocks, and is due to complete the final block and a student reception building in 2025.
The works are being undertaken on behalf of one of our long-standing clients Paul Roberts Canterbury, whilst working alongside b&m who are acting as Employers Agent.
The works entirety consists of four student accommodation blocks, each designed with a communal courtyard and walkways to connect them. Each block has its own unique design to be able to fit into a relatively small location. The first two blocks, Griffin and Davey were fairly straightforward and the easiest to manage and construct, enabling us to stay on track.
However, they were not wholly unchallenging. Davey was constructed along the existing party wall which added to the complexity of the build. The rear elevation which faces towards the Sydney Cooper Gallery is faced with weatherboarded cladding but this is supported on a unique 'helping hand' system. This involved a temporary works design with supporting steelwork, complex sequencing to support the existing wall whilst we built against it.
Both Davey and Griffin were planned to be completed at virtually the same time, with the idea that construction works could be simultaneously managed. However, the go-ahead with Davey was delayed which meant we had to adapt our schedules and bring Davey up to speed once we received confirmation to proceed.
The completion of Griffin and Davey became more of a challenge after we were instructed to proceed with the Bedford block before the first two blocks were complete. As the footprint for Bedford impeded upon our working area for the first two blocks, we had to adapt our construction programme to allow for this and begin working on Bedford earlier than expected.
Once the first two blocks were complete, our sole focus was directed to Bedford. Early on in the project, we were tasked with coming up with an innovative design to overcome a specific planning condition, due to the building being located within a conservation area. Restrictions surrounding the appearance of mechanical ventilation grilles, meant the usual ventilation routes had to be adapted, with the added introduction of specialist fire rated ductwork through the building. Intake and extract ventilation along the public elevations is now made via purpose made ‘hives’ built at roof level. These are completely obscured from public view, behind roof level parapets, and thus satisfying the local authority.
Westgate One has been built with accessibility to amenities in mind, with a central location, convenient access to public transport and providing everything students need within walking distance. The final phase began in July 2023, and is due to be completed by the beginning 2025/26 academic year, ready for a new intake of students.
Abbott completed full refurbishment works on five separate teaching spaces over the summer of 2022. This project required technical delivery within a short time span to allow for the full functioning of these rooms in the new academic year; 4Nr existing labs and 1Nr existing classroom to create 4Nr science labs and 1Nr food tech classroom.
With a short timescale programme, we worked closely with the schools’ management and a dedicated supply chain to fully co-ordinate and produce the works to a high standard, ensuring delivery was completed on time, and meeting the school’s expectations.
Works associated with the refurbishment included strip out and preparation works for the new layout, mechanical, gas and electrical works, new furniture fit-out including appliances, new walls and ceilings, painting and decorating, new flooring.
Following the successful completion of this project, Abbott negotiated another refurbishment project for VIAT that was carried out in the summer of 2023, including four new science labs.
Tom Hughes is known to a number of our customers and partners.
For those who don’t know Tom, he’s our Director Mick Hughes’ son. Tom has worked for us on occasion, on site, helping us deliver on projects as a labourer. The Abbott team always welcome Tom’s help on site during his breaks from his education. He’s a mature, reliable, 21 year old, with a great work ethic and a brilliant personality (he’s much funnier than his Dad). He’s currently studying for a degree in English Literature, due to graduate in 2024.
Tom lost a close friend to meningitis 6 years ago. He and Alex met when they were 8 years old. They developed a close bond through mutual interests. They ran together, they were involved in stage productions together and they shared experiences that Tom will never forget, including being paired on tasks as part of their Year 6 residential trip.
Tragically, Alex’s life was cut short at the age of 15, but Tom holds Alex’s memory and love for life dear, as someone who had a passion for living, for taking chances, and grasping opportunities.
Bacterial meningitis (as opposed to viral meningitis) is mercifully rare, and incidences are declining thanks to research and a vaccination programme, but it still affects more than 200 in the UK each year, of all ages. Children and teenagers are the most at risk and unless detected early, it is often fatal.
Treatment is hindered by initial flu like symptoms, which are often dismissed as anything serious, but the infection has rapid progress. 90% of children and teenagers who die of meningococcal meningitis die within 24 hours of diagnosis.
Vaccines are available to prevent some types of meningitis and most of these are part of the UK routine immunisation schedule. However, not all types of meningitis can be prevented by these vaccines.
Funds to continue research into new vaccines and also, to allow better promotion of the early warning signs to the population, are key to eradicating this aggressive infection, that takes lives so quickly.
Reading University, where Tom is studying, have organised a trip to Tanzania this August, where a group of 15 students will climb Kilimanjaro in the name of Meningitis research. The trip is self-funded, so every penny raised will be donated to the Meningitis Research Foundation. Tom will be part of the group, Joint Team Leader in fact, climbing with his heart on his sleeve for his friend Alex.
Tom has told us how when he was presented with the challenge, it immediately made him think of Alex, that he knew he would have loved to do this. It is part of the reason he wants to do it. To reach the summit in his friend’s name.
Abbott are only too proud to sponsor Tom in his efforts, with a £500 donation, and are hoping our network will support him too, including joining us in fundraising activities over the coming months.
We will be holding our inaugural Bat and Trap tournament in July, with the intention of this becoming an annual charity fundraising event. We’re looking for sponsorships or raffle prize donations from our supply chain, and so will be in touch with you all shortly.
Please dig deep and support this important cause. The Meningitis Research Foundation are working to defeat meningitis by 2030. Join us in helping them make that happen.
If you wish to donate directly, you can do so through Tom’s Just Giving page here https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tom-climbs-kilimanjaro
Or, if you want to get involved in any way with our fundraising efforts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The popularity of green roofs has increased in recent years, being a unique feature of a building’s design and aesthetic and showing off the talents of architectural teams and contractors’ abilities.
Green roofs are exactly what you probably think they are. A roof of a building, whether that is the top of an apartment block or a sloping roof of an extension, consisting of its own ecosystem, filled with greenery and life.
With the net zero deadline creeping closer and closer, green roofs have been one of the most eccentric developments that have helped to combat carbon through our buildings. Not only are they an impressive design element, but they also have plenty of hidden benefits that are helping cities all over the world to counteract carbon emissions.
Because plants help to remove toxic chemicals out of the air, increasing the number of green roofs in urban areas can improve the overall air quality of the area, and in turn, reduce the number of respiratory diseases caused by pollution.
On a larger scale, a green roof can be used as a garden for those that don’t have much outdoor space or want to grow their own food. It can be somewhere people can connect with nature in places where it’s difficult to find and gain many mental and physical benefits from. It’s a method of rewilding an area and integrating rare plants or encouraging animals and insects, such as bees and butterflies to fulfil their roles in the ecosystem.
What’s most attractive isn’t just that they bring nature into an otherwise concrete jungle, but that it can work for most existing roofs and is relatively easy to implement with little change needed to the planned design.
The natural layers that a green roof is made up of also act as a barrier to all weather types. In the sun, the plants absorb the sun’s energy, reducing the summer temperatures indoors. Whereas, in winter, it acts as a natural insulator, helping to lock the heat inside, keeping up to 25% more heat inside as opposed to an uninsulated roof. They can also be a great addition to the drainage system of the building, as the water is absorbed into the substrate, reducing the amount that is released into the pipework where flooding can be a risk.
Because of this, the roof’s waterproof membrane is better protected from the elements, helping to increase the lifespan of it, with little to no maintenance involved.
The simple fact is that this is a great alternative to a typical roof that is usually a neglected area with no real use. It has some amazing economical and environmental benefits while also supporting biodiversity and wildlife habitats.
So, with all these benefits, why aren’t we seeing these everywhere in the UK?
Like almost everything else in the construction industry, it’s mainly down to cost. The implementation of green roofs costs more overall than a standard roof. That includes sourcing the materials and adapting the structural integrity of the roof to bear the excess weight – which is where retrofitting green roofs becomes a problem.
Some existing buildings won’t be suitable to adopt a green roof for practical and maintenance reasons such as the gradient of the slopes and the location. In these cases, installing a green roof can be even more costly and require large structural changes to be made.
Green roofs aren’t as popular in the UK as they are internationally. As an industry, we are working our way towards becoming more innovative, but don’t want to make changes or leap too far from the norm in fear that it doesn’t work and cause costly mistakes.
Green roofs are tried and tested, and just from reading all the above, you should be tempted to try it out on one of your buildings too.
In most cases, any disadvantages are counteracted by the other amazing benefits that they can bring to the environment, the community and a building’s functionality.
Abbott Construction have recently completed a project on Spring Lane in Canterbury for East Kent College Group where sustainability is at the heart of the design. The wildflower blanket of the green roof not only provides an aesthetic for the overlooking buildings, but has influenced the rest of the development and the values it’s been built on. The benefits to the ongoing efficiency outweighs any advantages of other roof material choices and because of this, we’re predicting an increase in popularity throughout Kent and the UK.
‘Eco-friendly,’ ‘sustainable’ and ‘net zero’ have become a part of most construction businesses daily vocabulary. The global ‘green’ issue will never truly go away. From modern technology we’re given more and more data to work with. We’re more informed regarding the impact we’re making on our planet, and we know we need to collectively work to reduce this impact and keep carbon levels from creeping up again.
Unsurprisingly, due to this, ISO 14001 standard is growing in popularity. Businesses are wanting to show their contributions to reducing their carbon footprint and what ideas they’ve got in the pipeline that continues with better practices.
Not only does this make the business’s actions look pretty good, but they also may require evidence of the official standard when tendering for contracts. Without this, doubts may arise from current or potential clients which may lose you work.
With the urgency to slam the breaks on climate change and meet a net zero target, ISO 14001 evidently tells others that the accredited company is actively assessing themselves on a regular basis to improve their processes and methodologies.
The standard doesn’t just apply to companies associated within the construction industry; any business can go through the process. It’s also not a necessity to have, but those without it already face a collection of huge disadvantages.
The ISO 14001 standard requires for you to document all the necessary information within your Environmental Management System, and to continue to do so through the annual audits. Some of this documentation includes outlining their environmental processes, monitoring of sites, equipment, products etc. and detailing the aspects of the businesses that the environmental control will be subjected to and has an influence on.
Because this is an audited standard, the certification body ensures that you meet all current legislation and challenges you to make greater environmental improvements year-on-year, in your office processes and on site.
ISO 14001 also helps you to make those initial changes in your business if you don’t know where to start or are unsure what else you can be doing to work more mindfully.
Arguably, every construction-related business should be working towards the accreditation, considering that the construction industry is the biggest source of waste and producer of embodied carbon in the UK. Every business should be acting towards reducing their environmental impact, accreditation, or no accreditation.