The three Cs of success in hotel refurbishment

  18 SEPTEMBER, 2017      INDUSTRY INSIGHTS
Decorator knelt down painting wall with ladder behind him

Hotels are almost like living entities and cannot simply be put on hold when maintenance work becomes necessary or when upgrades are required.

Our strategic operations manager Jeremy Ford recently wrote an article for Hotel, Sport and Leisure magazine where he explained how, by working carefully around hotel staff and guests, any works can be completed quickly and efficiently with as little disruption as possible. Read the full article below. 

Guests are the lifeblood of a hotel, with the experience of each and every visitor ultimately shaping the reputation and the future prospects of anyone in the hospitality business. No establishment can afford to cause major disruption to its clientele during a period of redecoration or building works.
 
Years of experience in the sector have taught the team at Novus Property Solutions that the successful delivery of refurbishments to hotels requires a firm focus on the Three Cs: coordination, communication, and consideration.
 
Coordination

Coordination of the schedule of works with the activities of all the hotel management and staff prior to, during and after the period of the fit-out is key to the success of any hotel project. It is of paramount importance that the interaction between tradespeople, hotel staff and guests is meticulously planned, so that the chances of unwanted or unexpected disturbances are minimised.
 
Room refurbishments must be subject to carefully phased plans, so that sections of the building are segregated and the work carried out in an optimal order. A phased approach may take longer to complete, but it allows the hotel to remain operational throughout the works, and keeps the number of rooms unavailable at any given time to a minimum.
 
Communication

Clear lines of communication with hotel management during the planning stage are vital, but once the work gets underway there must be an equally strong focus on transparency and openness.

Using clear signage and physical barriers to segregate all works whilst under construction, and monitoring construction areas at all times, making sure that fire exit routes are kept clear and hotel guests are safe is essential when working within a live hotel environment. In some cases, customers may need to be redirected through temporary entrances to gain access to rooms, and both signage and in-person communication are used to help this process run smoothly.
 
Consideration

Being considerate of hotel guests is key to a smooth operation and happy guests and hotel management. Novus restricts the times of noisy works during a project to between 9am and 6pm on weekdays, with an even shorter time frame over weekends.

Novus also holds daily briefing sessions to keep hotel management fully informed about the works and activities they can expect on site that day. These briefings ensure everyone involved in the running of the hotel knows what to expect, and they give hotel staff the chance to ensure guests who may wish to sleep in late are booked into rooms away from the works.

Other considerations that can make all the difference include keeping compound areas to a minimum to maximise car parking spaces for guests. In some cases, Novus is able to utilise other sites to place the compound and use a “just in time” delivery service to minimise disruption when car parking or servicing arrangements are tight for space.
 
Successful hotel projects should run smoothly from day one, and you can often tell when a project has been well planned and managed, because no one at the hotel will be talking about it – if staff and management are well briefed, and the workforce is considerate, there will be little need to discuss the works.
 

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WHAT DOES A COVID-SECURE CONSTRUCTION SITE LOOK LIKE?

Novus were one of the first in the country to reopen its new-build construction sites. A month on and we are taking a look at what measures have been put in place to keep colleagues and clients Covid-Secure in this first phase of our coronavirus mitigation plan.   Getting back to work safely Of our phased reopening plan Lee Hartley, operations director at Novus, said: “The safety of everyone involved in our building and maintenance projects is always the top priority for us. “We’re confident that, by following the government’s guidance around social distancing measures, adapting our working practices accordingly and providing our colleagues with the necessary personal protective equipment, we’re playing our part in keeping people safe at work and delivering building projects across the country.” So with that said, what do these new Covid-Secure working practices look like? Reconfiguration of site parking Upon arrival to any reopened Novus construction site, you will quickly notice that the parking bays have been reconfigured so that every other space is used. This measure ensures that there is a safe 2m gap between each person as they exit their vehicle and as such, social distancing is maintained from the off. Additionally, having colleagues actively participating in social distancing measures from the minute they arrive, sets the tone for their whole experience whilst working on site. Robust and plentiful new signage Perhaps the most obvious new measure is the abundance of updated signage in and around the construction site. The new Covid-19 awareness signs serve as a continual reminder to everyone on-site to remain vigilant, stay alert and help control the spread of the virus. It is important that the new signs are not only strategically placed around the construction site to be noticed, but also when designing any new signage, they need to be distinct from other health and safety notices. This is a challenge particularly for construction sites as workers are exposed to an array of signage on a daily basis and it is critical that these messages do not become just white noise. Extending this out to all other workplaces, clear and plentiful signage will be critical to reinforce new procedures until they ultimately become habitual. Whether people have been placed on furlough leave or have been working from home throughout lockdown, returning to any workplace that is implementing Covid-Secure measures is initially sure to feel alien and take a period of adjustment. Temperature checking Before coming onto a Novus work site, everyone must have their body temperature checked. As one of the main symptoms of Covid-19 is the presentation of a high temperature (found in excess of 37.8 degrees Celsius), temperature checking is a necessary precaution that many facilities are likely to adopt post-lockdown. The temperature check at Novus sites are a simple non-invasive procedure (we don’t put a thermometer in your mouth!), with contactless infra-red gun. If you are within the normal, we will be happy to welcome you on-site. Contactless site inductions As has always been the case with visits to a live construction environment, everyone must undergo a health and safety induction before they are allowed onto the site. This would normally involve a face-to-face presentation with the person responsible for health and safety at the work site and a physical orientation. However, to limit the number of people that a visitor comes into contact on-site, Novus now operate contactless inductions with the use of a video presentation instead. Sanitation stations For the foreseeable future at least, any place that accommodates groups of people will likely feature designated areas for sanitation. Whether this be with the installation of temporary hand washing facilities, placing bottles of hand sanitiser around the site, or both. At sites such as the NHS Greater Manchester, Novus have installed additional temporary hand basins for colleagues, to encourage regular hand washing throughout the day or whenever changing tasks. If you are interested in having temporary hand washing facilities installed in your workplace, business, or school, please do get in touch with us >> Social distancing It is truly a sign of the times that implementing social distancing protocol almost goes without saying. Novus have reconfigured the layout and structure of all facilities at our construction sites, from the toilets to the canteens, everything possible has been done to ensure that our colleagues remain the minimum 2 metre distance apart. All work must is planned in advance, shift times are reorganised, and break times are staggered to minimise contact between workers.  Keeping workers safe It is of the utmost importance to Novus to keep everyone safe and we are going above and beyond the guidance set out by the Government. To find out how Novus can assist your organisation in reopening, contact us or visit or Covid-Secure web page for more information.

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