Crisis UK Archway

Case study – Crisis UK, Archway, London


In 2012, Crisis UK first approached Hannaford to undertake the refurbishment of its head office in London. Following the acquisition of two additional retail units in the capital in 2017, the national charity appointed Hannaford to deliver a ‘turnkey’ fit-out service for both its newest retail units.


The first property in Archway, previously an office for a taxi firm, was derelict. Hannaford’s team had a six-week window to transform the unit into a new retail showroom. Located on the ground floor of a residential block, noise had to be kept to a minimum with daily site closure at 5pm and no work at weekends.


Hannaford was responsible for the entire project at Crisis UK Archway, which included the installation of a goods lift from the shop floor to the basement, necessitating significant structural steelwork.

Being located in central London meant that site access was extremely limited. No skips were allowed, which meant manual disposal of all strip-out waste and timely co-ordination for its collection.

Within the project window, Hannaford’s team completed all the necessary works, including the installation of lighting and air-conditioning, security, fire safety system and decorating. The sales counter and shelving for the unit was also manufactured to a bespoke specification at Hannaford’s workshop in St Albans.

Manj Sihra, Hannaford’s Contracts Manager, who was responsible for the project delivery, said:

 “We were privileged to work for Crisis UK once again at both Archway and Walworth Road sites, where we overcame a number of logistical challenges to create fresh and modern retail spaces. Since the completion of both units, the charity has asked Hannaford to become closely involved in future site selection, cementing a close working relationship.”

Kimchee Pancras Square

Case study – Kimchee Pancras Square

Established in 2011 by Korean businessman, Dong Hyun Kim, the Kimchee brand consists of two restaurants in London, in Holborn and Pancras Square. The latter was opened in April 2017, following a comprehensive fit-out programme, managed exclusively by Hannaford.

Appointed in July 2015, Hannaford was responsible for delivering the vision of the conceptual designer, Aiji Inoue, CEO of Japanese based design studio, Doyle Collection.

Located adjacent to St Pancras International and King’s Cross stations, Kimchee Pancras Square occupies the ground floor and basement of a nine-floor office block. Working with the landlord of the building and architect, Haskoll, Hannaford’s team were on site for 30 weeks with responsibility for every facet of the project. This included the necessary redevelopment of the restaurant exterior to allow for a bespoke entrance foyer. All of the external dining furniture and planters were handmade at Hannaford’s workshop in St Albans.

A raised floor was constructed, to incorporate plumbing for decorative fixtures, such as the water feature in the customer welcome area and the required utilities for the bar and kitchen. Stonemasons were appointed to clad the kitchen walls in specialist Neolith tiles, as well undertaking complementary decorative tiling throughout the restaurant.

Ensuring a faithful representation of Aiji Inoue’s unique concept, Hannaford’s team of skilled craftsmen used a range of joinery techniques to create the highly intricate walnut lattice work, designed for dining privacy and ornamental purposes. Among a number of joinery features, Kimchee had a 4m high ‘hidden door’ installed, which is the largest ever made by Hannaford. All timber used in the project was acquired from sources accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), of which Hannaford is a founder member.

Such is the nature of authentic Korean cuisine, the kitchen required a significant number of gas burners. Hannaford co-ordinated the complete Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) works, which included the installation of lifts, fire suppression system, CCTV and digital audio system.

Kimchee Pancras Square occupies two floors, which necessitated the addition of three structural mezzanine floors, for plant and storage. Each of these was suspended from the floor above, to ensure maximum efficiency of the space available.

Unique to Kimchee in the UK, ‘Shinpo’ BBQs were installed under each table in the downstairs restaurant. Requiring both fume and heat extraction to comply with the necessary Health and Safety regulations, this added further complexity to the MEP installation but ultimately has ensured a special dining experience for guests.

Commenting on the project delivery, Keith Speed, Managing Director, Hannaford, said:

 “As retail brands innovate, Hannaford has built a reputation for seamless management of fit-out projects, as well as superior craftsmanship, professionalism and attention to detail. Kimchee Pancras Square enabled Hannaford’s team to apply their technical proficiency to a highly challenging design brief. A number of intricate, large-scale walnut fixtures were all hand-made at our workshop in St Albans, delivering stunning impact.

Hannaford’s ability to tackle issues and implement innovative and creative techniques to exceed client expectations, sets us apart. We pride ourselves on our accountability and end-to-end management, which instils confidence and trust in our business. It was a great pleasure to successfully hand over Kimchee Pancras Square.”

Testimonial from Dong Hyun Kim, Founder, Kimchee:

“I had long envisioned bringing my native Korean cuisine to London and welcoming diners to a sleek and stylish interior, whilst maintaining a real sense of Korean authenticity. Hannaford has delivered this vision at our newest venue in Pancras Square, of which I am exceptionally proud. Their work is simply excellent.”

commercial joinery st albans

Case study – St Columba’s College

Opened in 1939, St Columba’s College in St Albans, Hertfordshire, is an independent Catholic school for boys. Growth in the student population over the last ten years has necessitated both an ongoing programme of new building but also the restoration of existing infrastructure with minimal impact on the school’s operation.

In 2016, Hannaford was appointed to design, manufacture and install replacement doors for the entire school with a specific brief to replicate the original features, yet ensure that all doors met the necessary fire rating and security requirements. The installation window was limited to the summer holiday period only.

On completion of the project, Peter Beckett, Premises Manager, St Columba’s College, gave the following testimonial:

“We were very impressed with the friendly service and professionalism that we received from Hannaford, right the way through the project. They created bespoke FD30-rated fire doors which matched the oldest building on our site perfectly. The overall finish of the doors, including ironmongery, looks amazing. Their team was exceptionally clean whilst working and sympathetic to our short time frame. Works needed to be completed in the summer holiday and Hannaford’s team were willing to work around office staff who were at school during this time. Hannaford is a traditional, trustworthy company which delivers to a very high standard. St Columba’s College will definitely be using them for future projects.”

 Established for over 80 years, Hannaford’s highly skilled team of joiners has helped to restore and preserve some of the nation’s most treasured buildings, including a number of Royal palaces and museums. Hannaford also brings its creative and technical expertise to bear on a range of contemporary projects, including joinery in schools and other educational establishments, challenging boundaries through innovation and craftsmanship.

Hannaford has built a reputation as one of the foremost exponents of restorative and classical joinery. Its expertise includes the intricate repair of panelling, mouldings, architraves, staircases and doors, even where access is limited. Wherever possible, the timber used is acquired from sources accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), of which Hannaford is a founder member.

 Commenting on the project for St Columba’s College, Keith Speed, Managing Director, Hannaford, said:

 “We were delighted to be approached by St Columba’s College and their requirements allowed us to demonstrate our exemplary craftsmanship, which we ensured was sympathetic to the existing heritage of the school’s interior.  Our clients benefit from unrivalled professionalism, skill, knowledge of materials and seamless project management. With an extensive workshop and design facility in St Albans, we pride ourselves on our accountability and end-to-end management approach, which instils confidence and trust. Hannaford has built a number of long-term customer relationships, developed through our unstinting attention to detail, respect for privacy and care for the environments in which we work. The educational sector is one which Hannaford is perfectly geared to support.”

Schools and colleges throughout Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, that require restorative joinery work are invited to get in touch.

# Commercial joinery St Albans

Cross-Laminated Timber building

When it comes to construction wood is good

Over 70% of the population of the developed world lives in timber frame housing. In Scotland, 60% of new-build houses are timber framed and the figure for the rest of the UK is around 10% and rising as the benefits to builders, developers and occupiers are recognised. However, timber is not just for use in low-rise residential buildings. It’s increasingly being used in the construction of schools, hotels, offices, health care facilities and flats.

Although the prospect of driverless cars on our roads within a decade is entirely plausible, a skyscraper built out of wood still seems outlandish. Why? Wood is one of the world’s strongest, most durable and versatile building materials, yet there remains a distrust of tall, wooden buildings with an unfounded perception that they are prone to destruction by fire.

But it’s the 21st century and technology has advanced. Engineered beams made from Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) are proven to be just as fire retardant as steel and arguably more so, since their cores as less likely to melt in a fire. Timber producers are now using special polyurethane adhesives to bond planks together, resulting in a material that’s lighter but stronger than steel and concrete and crucially, more environmentally friendly.

This pioneering technology has freed architects to dream up buildings that were previously inconceivable. CLT is now the product most likely to keep executives in the structural steel and concrete business awake at night. It can be used for building entire structures very quickly. The lightweight nature of CLT means foundations can be smaller and cheaper. It’s clean to use with little waste and sourced from renewable softwood forests, which makes achieving high BREEAM ratings easier, as well as contributing to a developer’s sustainability credentials.

Two years ago, developer Lend Lease completed a 10-storey residential block in Melbourne, the world’s tallest CLT project to date, and now engineer Ramboll is working on the design of two 10-storey residential buildings in the UK. Designed by Waugh Thistleton Architects, Murray Grove in London (pictured), a 9-storey residential building built in 2009, was the world’s first multi-floor project to have load-bearing walls, floor slabs, stairs and elevator cores constructed entirely out of CLT.

Wood’s greatest virtue, however, is not its design potential or fire safety but its efficacy in reversing the speed of climate change. Steel and concrete manufacture has a colossal carbon footprint, thought to constitute over 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The extraction and refining of non-metallic minerals, including the raw ingredients of concrete, amount to a further 6%. Together, these sources contribute about as much to climate change as all the cars and trucks on Earth.

Timber beats conventional building materials on two fronts. Firstly, it delivers far less pollution during production and secondly, wood is able to scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Some scientists speculate that the only way to keep global warming under two degrees Celsius, the defined objective of the Paris Climate Agreement, is to provide for negative emissions. That could involve machines or materials, which eliminate CO2 from the air, or eco-friendly farming practices that trap carbon in the soil. So far, however, the most cost-effective tool for carbon fixing is a tree.

According to a 2014 study from researchers at Yale and the University of Washington, up to 31% of global carbon dioxide emissions could be avoided by building with wood instead of steel and concrete.

“If you build out of wood then you avoid burning all that fossil fuel to make the steel, concrete and brick,” said Chad Oliver, Director of Yale’s Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry. He noted that, because timber weighs less than conventional materials, builders also need less concrete to lay the foundation of a wood structure. When a wood building is finally retired, its component parts can be reused in other buildings, buried or used to produce electricity in biomass-powered generators.

The prospect of deforestation to fuel timber-built skyscrapers and generate electricity should not be a concern says Oliver, who advocates smart forest management:

“As a general rule and this varies from place to place, forests are getting more dense but you don’t want the whole world’s forests uniformly dense. You need biodiversity by thinning some parts of the forest and clearing others to create differing habitats where every species has a home. Logging can also reduce the risk of forest fire. In a dense forest, fire is hotter and spreads more quickly through tightly packed trees but in a managed, thinner forest, a fire might hit a meadow and slow down, allowing time for rain or man to intervene and stop it. If we harvested more of that extra growth instead of letting it rot or burn, we could make a lot more products and use the waste for clean energy.”

Whilst in theory, further growth in the use of timber would seem to be both sensible and responsible, there is potential in the UK for this to be checked. British companies are already grappling with higher costs of imported materials and bracing themselves for further pressure in the months ahead as the Brexit process rumbles on. Research by the Federation of Master Builders found 70% of the 232 UK construction companies it polled had recorded an increase in material prices owing to the pound’s fall in value since the Brexit vote. Anecdotally, SMEs are reporting an increase of 20% in the cost of timber with worries that profit margins will be squeezed as they decide how much of those higher costs they can pass on to customers. Economists have warned that the pound faces further pressure once Article 50, the formal process of leaving the EU, has been triggered.

At commercial joinery, refurbishment and fit-out specialist, Hannaford, it’s our stated aim to minimise the impact of our joinery business on the environment and we take the issue of sustainability very seriously. Wherever possible, the wood we use in our projects is acquired from sources accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Hannaford was one of its first certified members and having this certification is important to the company as Richard Williams, Finance Director, explains:

“Hannaford has been around for over 70 years and we have to think about the future prosperity of the business, which relies on access to sustainably sourced timber, as well as the joinery skills needed to work it. Being a member of the FSC demonstrates our commitment to supporting efforts to ensure the optimum balance of tree planting and timber usage for future generations. There’s no doubt that such a renewable resource has scope to make a huge impact in global construction if managed responsibly and we are proud to work with the FSC in raising awareness of the importance of sustainable forestry.”

joinery apprenticeships

The challenge for joinery apprenticeships

With the UK continuing to face a chronic shortage of skilled craftsmen and tradespeople, leading commercial joinery and fit-out specialist, Hannaford, looks at the changing landscape for apprenticeships, the traditional entry point for new recruits into skilled industries.

The Apprenticeship scheme is currently in a period of significant change, relating to both structure and financing. Over the past decade, training providers have been responsible for managing 80% of all Apprenticeships in England with large employers and further education colleges making up the other 20% but all that’s about to change as new regulations come into force this year.

From April, a new Apprenticeship Levy will be paid at a rate of 0.5% by employers with a payroll of more than £3million per year, estimated at between 19-20,000 businesses. The Government expects to raise over £3 billion a year by 2019-20, £2.5 billion of which will be ring-fenced to be spent on English apprenticeships only. The funds collected will be accessible to employers who want to purchase apprenticeship training, regardless of whether they paid the levy or not.

Starting from May 2017, the Government will launch a new system of fifteen funding bands to which all apprenticeship framework standards will be assigned. Employers will then be responsible for negotiating with training providers a price for training and assessment within a funding band. A new voucher scheme will also kick in this month, enabling employers to purchase training directly from their chosen supplier. This process transfers the administrative burden previously managed by colleges and training providers into the hands of employers.

This has potentially serious consequences for the construction and associated trade sectors as many of the existing programmes are subject to cuts of up to 50% in Government funding. Not only that but many businesses do not have the staff resource or expertise to undertake the necessary ‘red tape’ to access funded training. Many commentators and analysts believe this ‘double whammy’ could lead to a trainee drought, worsening an already critical skills shortage.

Based in St Albans, commercial joinery and fit-out business, Hannaford, has been an advocate of joinery apprenticeships for many decades. Our business aims to take on at least one apprentice per year, in partnership with the Building Crafts College in London.

Richard Williams, Hannaford’s Finance Director, says that enthusiasm for apprenticeships seems to have diminished amongst those aged under 19, as schools encourage students to aim for higher education:

“In our experience, young people aged 16-18 don’t attach prestige to a career in the construction and woodworking industry, despite the fact that they would be earning a respectable wage from day one, whilst learning at the same time. Many still view it as a sector with limited prospects, not realising the potential for those who are skilled. We have more success with individuals joining us who are classed as ‘adult apprentices’, those over the age of 25.”

According to the British Woodworking Federation (BWF), more than 4000 new entrants will be needed in the wood trades every year for the next four years, just to stand still. That’s a rise from 244,700 in 2014 to more than 260,800 in 2018.

The UK wood products manufacturing sector is a vital part of the construction industry, adding £3.8billion to the UK economy every year. Of the 2.9 million people working in construction, 7% are carpenters and joiners, which is the third largest sector of employment in construction.

The woodworking and joinery sector also maintains the highest ratio of apprentices in the construction industry, with the latest figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) showing that joinery apprenticeships account for 32% of all construction apprenticeships.

Through the implementation of the Apprenticeship Levy, the Government has made it clear that it intends to co-fund apprenticeships but it has sounded the death knell for fully funded training provision. Employers, therefore, are expected to increase their contribution but the fear is that many SMEs may simply choose to withdraw from training altogether. This would be a travesty as the benefits of apprenticeships to the economy far outweigh the cost to the Treasury.

Hannaford strongly believes that apprentices are not failed school leavers or the poor cousin of graduates. They are the entrepreneurial, motivated business leaders of the future. There is a powerful connection between high-quality vocational training and employability. Joinery apprenticeships and others provide that via a blend of structured technical, practical and vocational learning. Only when we achieve the parity of esteem between academia and apprenticeships will we be consistently able to attract the brightest talent into our sector.

For further information about joinery Apprenticeships, visit

apprentice joiner

Apprentice joiner wows Hannaford staff

The fun of opening an advent calendar in the build up to Christmas has taken on a more ‘adventurous’ twist for the staff at Hannaford, as one of our apprentices decided to make one out of recycled timber.

Although more used to working on significantly larger projects, apprentice joiner Steven White turned his skills to building a bespoke ‘advent house’ in his own time, often staying late to make sure it was ready for December.

Commented apprentice joiner Steven, who is working towards his NVQ Level 3 in bench joinery at the Building Crafts College in Stratford:

“I’ve really enjoyed this project as it includes a number of different techniques, so it’s been great for developing my skills as well as being something the whole team can enjoy.”

Hannaford’s Finance Director, Richard Williams, added:

“Steven’s creation is a fantastic alternative to the ‘Secret Santa’ that many businesses do each Christmas. We think it’s also a novel way of highlighting the importance and benefits of sustainability and responsible forestry, which we are passionate about.”

Hannaford was one of the first certified members of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-government organisation, tasked with ensuring there’s a sustainable balance of tree planting and timber usage for future generations. Wherever possible, Hannaford specifies timber acquired from sources accredited by FSC, to minimise the impact of its business on the environment.

Skills run deep at Hannaford. They are the lifeblood of our commercial joinery and fit-out business. Continuing professional development is embedded in our culture, so that Hannaford’s team of joiners, draughtsmen, account managers, finance and administration executives and directors all have regular opportunities to grow their skills and knowledge for mutual benefit. In our 80-year experience, employees who are supported in their learning and encouraged to stay at the top of their game are more fulfilled and deliver the highest performance.

At Hannaford, this culture enables us to bring fresh ideas to customer briefs, incorporating use of new applications, knowledge of differing and complementary materials, not to mention compliance with the latest industrial regulations.

Acknowledging that we have a responsibility to invest in the future of both our business and our industry, Hannaford is a proud advocate of Apprenticeships in Bench Joinery. Our apprentice joiner scheme is managed in partnership with Building Crafts College in London. Wherever possible, we try to accommodate work experience placements for school pupils and internships for students in Higher Education.

For more information about career opportunities at Hannaford, please contact us