Case Study

Zünd UK

In early 2023, we were invited to assist Zund with their office relocation from St Albans to Letchworth. Zund’s rapid growth in the UK meant they had to seek out a much larger facility to accommodate their technical advances in the making and selling of large-scale cutting machines for a multitude of business sectors and uses.


Monroe House in Works Road, Letchworth, seemed to be the ideal solution for Zund; access was good and the mix of large production spaces combined with ample office areas meant that Zund’s operational needs could be accommodated. The building was previously occupied by Xerox, which sat empty for a few years. Needless to say, a full Cat A strip out and re-fit was required to ensure compliance with today’s regulations.


Oaktree's Solution

After being invited to produce some test-fits for the space, and presenting full plans, designs, schedules, programs and costs, Zund decided to instruct us, and indeed trust us in the delivery of their new UK premises.


With everything geared up for a July build, less than two weeks before Oaktree took temporary ownership of the property, Monroe House was visited by unauthorised personnel, criminals, who tried to remove any valuable metals, copper, aluminium, cables etc. In doing so, they disturbed the incoming mains and caused it to burst. The ‘visitors panicked and ran’. Unfortunately the building’s incoming water mains, in the Plant room, had now burst and was flooding the premises for what we believe to be approximately 7 days, with no one aware of what was happening.


During an ad-hoc pre-start survey visit, we were greeted with cascades of water running down the stairs and filling the ground floor. It was horrendous and deeply upsetting for Zund.


We quickly mobilised and took charge of the situation. Having done so, and as a consequence of the devastating damage, we now had to completely remove all walls/partitions, specifically in and around the central core/WC areas. This provided us with the opportunity to re-design the layout of said areas, so that we could deliver Zund with two very large meeting rooms, divided by a sliding – folding acoustic wall which will enable them to have much larger training areas and ‘town hall’ meetings.

What Oaktree Delivered

We initially stripped the building back to ‘shell & core’, prior to new HVAC and M&E systems being installed. The large surface areas of the various roofs offered up the opportunity to design & install Photo-Voltaic (solar panels) so that Zund could benefit from much reduced electricity bills in the future! We also fitted-out other internal elements, such as suspended ceilings, new LED lighting systems, Paxton 10 access control, bespoke partition features, flooring, decorating, fire-alarm systems, and more.


Externally, we changed the appearance of the old building ‘Monroe House’ from blue and white, to predominantly grey, with accents of red and yellow (Zund’s global brand). ‘Acuta House’ was born. New access-controlled security gates, extended car-park areas, EVC charging, and a new staff terrace all added to the new look & feel of the space.


After 6 months of hard, and sometimes unexpected work, we achieved our Practical Completion Date set for the 23rd February 2024 – despite the late flood changes and additional works!


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