Discover how Clear Line revolutionises residential and commercial property remediation with innovative solutions 

With over 25 years of experience within the industry, Clear Line Ltd is a market leader excelling at providing tailored solutions to complex and challenging projects. The business provides an eclectic range of services including design, supply, installation, reactive and planned maintenance, full building refurbishments and new build installations. In addition to the company’s dedication to delivering innovative and efficient solutions, the versatile Clear Line team possesses the skills, knowledge and expertise to provide customers with peace of mind, ensuring that works are completed in a professional and timely manner. This innovative, professional and technical approach to projects of any size enables Clear Line to develop bespoke and tailored solutions that meet the specific demands of each project. Ian Hagan, Director, recounts the milestones that have shaped Clear Line into the entity it is today. 

“Clear Line was initially established in 1997 as an installation company specialising in complex and unitised façades. These façades can be seen on prominentblock of residential appartments
towers in cities such as London, Dubai, Brussels, and other industrial centres. Our role involved the installation of large and intricate glass façades for continental suppliers. As we honed our skills in this market, these companies became increasingly reliant on us not only for installing their equipment and materials but also for health and safety administration and providing the necessary equipment. From this point on, we began transitioning from strictly being a secondary subcontractor to taking on more management responsibilities on a job-by-job basis. This shift occurred gradually over the course of ten years, to the point where we were essentially acting as the subcontractor for these projects. Clear Line became more involved with the preliminary elements of the projects and provided all the access and plant, thus occupying a more specialist role. As our responsibilities grew, we implemented management and supervision tiers to ensure smooth operations. The preliminary elements of the job became increasingly important to us, as putting the glazed panels onto the wall was a relatively straightforward aspect due to our expertise in that area. Although stressful at the time, this transition set us on the path to becoming what we are today,” he informs.  

Robust and reliable remediation 

David Higgins, Director at Clear Line, joins our conversation. He sheds light on the impact of the Grenfell disaster on the company’s operations. “The installation, supply, and renovation of complex glazed façades remained our arena of expertise for a long time until the Grenfell disaster in 2017. When Grenfell happened, we already had an outstanding reputation in the market as a credible principle contractor, with a focus on attention to detail and quality. Due to the nature of our work, we often collaborated with the employers’ own teams of specialists, particularly façade consultants. Following the Grenfell tragedy, our name started being recommended to those who had a portfolio of buildings that needed to be remediated. Following dialogue with well-respected consultants, we were convinced that the fastidious approach we had taken to the remediation of glazed facades would bring benefits to the combustible cladding remediation market, a new arena for us as we hadn’t worked with many of the materials that had been employed at Grenfell and other high-risk buildings. Nonetheless, we were already operating as a principal contractor and possessed the requisite façade experience, a reputation for robustness and quality, as well as an in-house design team and project management capability. Recognising the need for our expertise in this market and our ability to contribute, we decided to pursue this avenue, which is now one of our core areas of focus,” he enlightens. 

Regarding the way Clear Line approaches projects, David mentions that the company cares less about the value of each project than loyalty towards clients who require its services. As a result, Clear Line works with a relatively small number of clients, placing a greater emphasis on quality rather than quantity. Ian details the process behind the projects undertaken by Clear Line. “When we receive a tender for a project, we carefully evaluate it to determine if we can be competitive. We do not get involved in projects focused on cost over quality, which we can usually gauge from the initial enquiry itself. Additionally, we’ll only participate in projects where the employer has compiled a comprehensive package of information that we can audit. In an effort to better understand the needs of architects and façade consultants, David, myself, and several other colleagues obtained MScs in façade engineering. This qualification enables us to better understand the information we’re presented with both during the enquiry stage and throughout a project, as well as to determine the best end result for each project. As a result, we have a greater grasp of technical requirements with regards to thermal performance, condensation risks, acoustic requirements, and more. All in all, Clear Line’s processes are centred around technical compliance and quality of execution.  

block of residential appartments“Upon agreeing to work on a project, we assign a specific team from Clear Line comprising a project manager and a full design team. This approach, which we refer to as our self-delivery model, allows us to manage all aspects of the project and avoid relying on external parties. Before carrying out the works, we scrutinise the building information to gain an understanding of its original construction. The self-delivery team then assesses each building, considering the existing constructions and determining the necessary steps to safely dismantle them. In the case of a remediation project, we focus on reconstructing the façades while ensuring the result is a safe and habitable building. Nine times out of ten, the buildings we work on are occupied so that can be anything from a fully functional hospital or school to an apartment block, or office accommodation. Consequently, our primary considerations through design and construction are the residents and ensuring we give them the best experience we can, whilst doing something quite disruptive. All of those facets are the responsibility of our project management team who strive to deliver quality work that will last,” he adds.  

Innovative solutions 

Reflecting on the year ahead, David reveals Clear Line’s vision. “We have a busy and diverse order book as we are keen to cover a wide range of projects. Although a lot of our work involves façade remediation, we try and pursue new build supply and installation projects. Moreover, we favour research and development (R&D) initiatives. Indeed, we are currently working on the CWCT sustainability committee, and an R&D job of particular interest to us. Whilst I am bound by a non-disclosure agreement, I can share that this project has the potential to shape the future of commercial property remediation. This involves conducting test work which, depending on the outcomes, may create opportunities to convert large-scale commercial properties into residential spaces. Once this project is completed, by the end of the decade, it could result in a significant influx of work for us,” he ends. 

Through its dedication to quality solutions and continuous innovation, Clear Line is poised for further accomplishments in the industry.