Feature in Building Design and Construction Magazine

Aston Group proves its continuous commitment to health and safety practices, while aiming to integrate sustainability across all of its services.

Setting high standards for the industry for almost 60 years, leading building services and facilities management company Aston Group is dedicated to delivering safe, prompt, and innovative solutions to its customers. To achieve that in the current economic climate, the company is taking its first sustainability journey towards greener operations.

“By being agile and adapting early to the changes required to create more modern sustainable housing, we’ve positioned ourselves at the forefront of this exciting phase of our industry. Working alongside our clients and partners, using modern techniques and technology, we create sustainable solutions that help deliver energy-efficient housing, reduce carbon emissions and realise net zero targets,” says Alan Thomas, Managing Director.

To support the Government in its 2050 mission to net zero emissions, Aston Group has started implementing internal sustainability initiatives that minimise its carbon footprint. For a better understanding, the company has worked on identifying its prime sources of greenhouse gas emission, developing ideas on how to progress in a more eco-friendly manner.

Together with its partners, Aston Group has been delivering various retrofit sustainability projects, with the most notable being the 47 Greenleaf Road project. At first glance, the house looks like a typical Victorian terrace built in 1902, but with an energy performance rating of A, due to the hard work carried out by Aston Group, in partnership with Waltham Forest Borough Council.

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“The brief was to develop the property in a way that offers an insight into the benefits of retrofitting, whilst showcasing new energy efficient technologies,” explains Alan. Instead of relying entirely on new-build properties to help the planet, the project has shown that new technology can be used to improve the energy efficiency of an old household.

By installing wall, roof, and underfloor insulation, as well as high-performance double glazing, the house significantly reduced its heat loss. The existing gas boiler has also been replaced with an air-source heat pump and associated hot water cylinder. After all the improvements, the building, which initially reported an EPC E, has managed to achieve an EPC A, becoming its first-ever eco show home. In fact, this retrofit project was so impressive that it got shortlisted for the edie sustainability leaders award 2022.

Aston Group upholds the highest ISO accreditations in the industry, including ISO 45001, 9001 and 14001. Significant investments have been made throughout the years in the company’s management systems to further highlight its commitment to using innovative safety solutions. The state-of-the-art contractor pre-qualification management system adopts an approved contractors list ensuring that those who are on this list have met or exceeded the SSIP core criteria.

This is achieved by keeping a timeline on the contractor’s page of any performance issues, as well as by keeping compliant contractors active. Non-compliant contractors that have gone through an unsatisfactory review period are automatically deactivated. This ensures that mechanisms are in place to counteract anything that could impact on the highest standards of service that Aston Group delivers.

Although it is vital to invest in innovation, Aston Group recognises the importance of its team’s mental health and wellbeing as well. Besides running an award-winning employee assistance programme (EAP), the facilities management company has also internally formed a Mental Health and Wellbeing initiative. Through this initiative, employees are encouraged to open discussions and questions, while receiving information and presentations designed to break the stigma surrounding mental health. The adoption of both the initiative and the EAP have proven effective, achieving their purpose.

Having started with a mission to deliver a more professional heating installation service, Aston Group has evolved into an end-to-end building services and facilities management company. Now, Aston Group is a trusted leader in its industry, working tirelessly towards a more sustainable future.