DEFRA – Office Refurbishment

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) plays a major role in environmental protection, food production standards, fishing and agriculture. In 2016, DEFRA needed help refurbishing their flood damaged offices in Carlisle and our Newcastle branch was eager to lend a helping hand.

In 2015, Storm Desmond hit the UK. Homes were destroyed, and businesses affected as the storm battered its way up the country. Eden Bridge House, the home of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in Carlisle, was severely affected by the flood. Their basement was flooded, and offices, toilets and meeting rooms required complete refurbishment. 

7 Months

Duration of the contract

100 Squared Metres

Single glazed partitioning installed


Value of the contract


Additional windows replaced by project deadline

Our Solution

In 2016, work began.

We started by stripping the basement back to brick, removing carpets, plasterboard, fixtures and fittings. Everything had to go. 

We applied a new Sika structural waterproof render to all walls as well as a Sika floor screed. This would prevent water seeping into the structural concrete should any unfortunate flooding occur again. If the worst were to happen and the offices flooded, repair work would be limited to replacing wall and floor finishes along with minor building work which would save the client time and money in the future. 

Since we started with a bare basement, new blockwork walls, ceilings, windows, doors and partitions had to be installed as well as renewing the mechanical and electrical elements. Once the basic structure was there, we could get to work painting the walls and fitting new flooring throughout. 

All this work required a lot resource if the project timescale of seven months was to be met. Our management team had to coordinate multiple trades including electricians, bricklayers, painters, floor layers, specialist waterproofing contractors, glazers, labourers on site — all while navigating an occupied building full of DEFRA staff. Our team worked closely with DEFRA management to organise when best to carry out noisy work activities to minimise disruption to staff.

The Results

The damp, cold basement was completely transformed into a fresh and warm working area with new toilets and kitchen area. The whole project took seven months to finish, meeting DEFRA’s anticipated timescale. 
DEFRA’s Group Facilities Manager was delighted with the outcome as well as how the project was managed saying “I have worked with CLC on 2 major projects over the course of the last 2 years; this has included planning and operational engagement. Both projects have now been delivered successfully, on time and within the expected budget.”

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