IN THE MEDIA | Knowles Featured in Construction Forum Magazine
How Knowles Started
Having spearheaded the residential growth of subterranean development in London over 25 years ago, Robin Knowles started Knowles Construction in 2010. Previously the founder and Managing Director of the largest basement construction company of its time in 1995, The London Basement Company, Robin understood that a personal approach is always preferred, but noting that a wider skill-set is advantageous, Robin launched Knowles in 2010.
“Iv been in the construction business for over 30 years now, coming from a family of 3 generations that have worked in construction. In the 90s I established the London basement company, which commercialised residential basements in London. People will always need space, and a lot of our basements are retro-fit, however, more and more are getting put into new-build schemes, where people are demolishing properties, keeping the facades, but extending the property to include bigger and deeper basements.” – Robin Knowles, Group Managing Director
Now, with a wider service proposition, Knowles is recognised as a leading team of whom expertly deliver complex schemes from concept to completion. With works ranging from basements and shell and core to country-estate development, Knowles confidently act as Principal Contractor on every phase of works, from the enabling works, right up to the final finishes.
Knowles operates across London and the Home Counties, covering primarily residential projects, but also select super-prime commercial endeavours. Knowles’ long-standing presence in London and the Home Counties allows for a team that is expertly versed in the complexities and challenges of working with a range of councils and privately owned estates including Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster Council, as well as the prestigious Grosvenor and Cadogan estates.
‘We’ve always had a strong London presence, but we strongly operate in the Home Counties where clients can see the benefits with the ability to delivery bigger schemes, more scope. It’s an evolution of the past 5 years where we have seen a significant trend with our London-based clients embarking on a projects in the countryside, and given our relationship with their London homes, we maintain that relationship and deliver their country-home schemes also’ Pat Kilbane, Group Commercial Director for Knowles.
The established reputation of our Directors, Senior management and in-house operatives has made Knowles a trusted partner for architects, quantity surveyors, professional teams and private clients. Our consistent team, given a consent experience and forms part of our commitment to delivering excellence on every project.
A Multi-Disciplined Approach
Knowles is proud to have the ability of offering a seamless end-to-end construction service, whether creating a new structure or building within the shell of the old. From the initial enabling works and demolition to the delivery of the shell & core and the final fit-out, Knowles’ breath of experience in-house team of skilled workers allows every project to operate with a dynamic mind-set.
Renowned for expertise in substructure works, with experience which spans over three decades, Knowles have an unrivalled specialist knowledge in how best to construct and utilise basements; from additional living spaces to swimming pools and home gyms, to state-of-the-art underground car storage, Knowles can take on the most challenging projects and deliver schemes that are truly unique.
On Heritage builds, the Knowles team have decades of experience and an intimate appreciation of the country’s rich architectural heritage, local trades, and construction techniques. With this expertise comes an unrivalled track record of restoring, conserving and sensitively altering some of the country’s best-knows historic buildings. This experience has allowed Knowles to build new private residences and commercial buildings from hotels and spas to schools and churches in both contemporary and traditional styles. Whether building a new house in the Cotswold or restoring a townhouse in Regents Park, Knowles’ work continues with the delivery of final finishes, ranging from artisan interior finishes to external works such as landscaping, lighting and stonemasonry, with the help of a network of the finest crafts men and women.
‘When bringing together the right team of people, meticulous planning and good communication are the keys to success on any building project, but particularly so in the prime residential and luxury commercial sector. Here, every project is a one-off and there are typically a vast array of different trades involved and very high quality finishes. Managing these projects requires a good practical knowledge of building techniques, details and specialist finishes and the experience and skill to keep a team together and focused through good times and challenging times.’ – Aidan Mortimer, Group Director for Knowles.
Considerate Construction/ Sustainability?
The health and safety of their sites, workforce and clients is of paramount importance to Knowles and is central to every decision made at Knowles. They are proud to have an in-house health and safety team, of whom ensure that working practices are continually monitored and that our workforce is regularly trained to meet current standards. Knowles is recognised by the construction industry’s major trade bodies, including; Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme (CHAS), the Association of Specialist Underpinning Contractors (ASUC) and the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
Knowles has long understood the impact that the construction industry has on the environment. Whilst creating beautiful spaces for clients, their vision extends beyond their projects to look ahead to the future. Committed to sustainable construction, each of their sites adheres to a manifesto of elimination of single-use plastic and use of recycled materials where possible while monitoring site emissions. Knowles also makes regular contributions to One Tree Planted, a charity in support of tree planting programmes. Knowles plant one tree, per member of staff, per month.