A Trade Magazine for Northern Ireland's Building & Design Professionals
AMC Developments provides the best of both worlds at St Aidan’s
Existing hall enhanced with a new extension that
seamlessly blends old and new
The philosophy of AMC Developments is that you are only ever as good as your last job and, if the company’s work at St Aidan’s Parish Church is anything to go by then the company doesn’t have much to worry about.
The building contractor, based in Carrickfergus and Ballymena, had to meet a wide range of challenges while creating the newly extended church hall at the Glenavy church. In essence, the project was both a new build and a restoration with the company have to use its expertise to create a seamless link between the two.
In many ways either a complete new build or a restoration is more straightforward, where on this project we had the best or worst of both worlds, explained Alan McClernon, Managing Director of AMC Developments.
The original hall was a 30 year-old timber frame building and while it was generally in good condition, it was in need of a lot of modernisation. With new heating and ventilation systems added to the hall along with the new technology such as the audio-visual systems, the last thing we wanted to create was an old hall and a new hall. The two had to be seamless, both visually and in terms of heating and energy efficiency.
We worked on a similar project in Carrickfergus recently and that experience helped us a lot on this job.
The new extension was a conventional cavity wall construction as well as a portal frame with structural steelwork.
Alan said, Both these new sections alongside the existing timber frame hall all perform differently, so we had to take all that into consideration throughout the project. We focus on quality and, as the main contractor, we believe in doing the vast majority of work ourselves, with only sub-contractors brought in to carry out highly specialist work.
That way we can retain control of the quality of the job. It gives us peace of mind but, even more so, it is reassuring for the client.
He added, We had a superb relationship with the church committee and with Des Cairns of Des Cairns Architecture. We were guests of honour at the reopening of the hall and I think that says a lot about how well we all worked together.
That philosophy is central to the company’s success. After working extensively in the construction industry Alan was encouraged by a former employer to go out on his own. He heeded the advice, took a Business Start-Up Course and established AMC Developments in 1992.
The company has worked extensively in both the residential and commercial sectors since, carrying out work ranging from extensions and renovations to new build projects.
We rely almost exclusively on word of mouth and recommendations, said Alan. You not only have to complete your work to the highest standards but also develop strong relationships with clients, architects and consultants. In this industry your reputation goes before you, so we always have that in mind on each and every job we work on.