Project overview

  • Retrofitting an assembly hall with a modern office setup
  • Complete build from scratch of an office framework for 100 personnel
  • Electrics, computing, security and CCTV all needed to be factored in
  • Time-sensitive as staff needed to be relocated from existing building on schedule
  • Multiple stakeholders all requiring access to the site simultaneously

This challenging and multifaceted public-sector project involved retrofitting an assembly hall into a fully functioning office space. Waltham Forest Town Hall had to be closed for much-needed renovation work, therefore the civil servants who worked there required an alternative office space to work in during the renovation.

A suitable location was found at Waltham Forest Assembly Hall, and Aston Group was asked to come onboard as part of the new measured-term contract (MTC) to reconfigure the site. The turnaround had to be seamless to enable staff to move easily from their existing office to the newly modified workspace.

A large, empty hall had to be quickly and effectively transformed into a brand-new office space for up to 100 personnel, comprising a full internal structure with the appropriate compartmentalisation of space, as well as all the associated electrical, computing and security requirements of a modern office.


Due to the short timeframe of the project, the work had to be carried out with great efficiency and little margin for error. Aston Group managed all the works and costs of the appointed subcontractors, via consultants NPS London. This included the fitting of the CCTV system, installation of an access control system that covered all new entry and exit points both to the building itself and within the office space, an upgrade to the fire alarm system to cover all new office areas, and the acoustic baffle system for the new structure.

Before commencement of the project, a modular aluminium truss framework was fitted throughout the main hall, creating a ‘skeleton’ onto which the other elements could be fitted. Firstly, the new containment system was installed to the new temporary frame structure in the Main Hall. This framework needed to accommodate the new lighting

system, general office power and electrics, dedicated computer supplies, door access control and the CCTV system. Once this was completed, the other elements were able to be completed in quick succession.

A full lighting design overview was carried out prior to the installation to ensure all lighting levels would adhere to current standards and guides. This included a new emergency lighting system designed to BS5266-1.

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A completely new three-phase distribution system was installed to supply the hall area. This included the design and erection of power poles for the new desks; these had to be designed to perfectly fit the desk arrangement, thus ensuring all outlets were adequately positioned to achieve a safe and effective working space. All the works were installed to comply with, and were certified to, BS7671.

A great deal of care and attention was taken to ensure the new data and server infrastructure at the front of the hall was concealed; the technological machinery was not in keeping with the aesthetics of the building’s existing features. A detailed false panelling was created to conceal these new systems, so that the overall setup complemented the ornate existing interior. Finally, the acoustic baffle system was installed, with each baffle being suspended onto a tensioned cable and connected to the truss framework.

The overall turnaround was tight, but Aston Group worked collaboratively with the various stakeholders to deliver the project on time and ensure everyone was able to move buildings with ease and on schedule. Careful design and good management were key to the delivery of this project, especially considering that there were multiple companies of various trades all working on site simultaneously.

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