Project | Cladding Remediation at Equinox House

London & Quadrant Housing Trust

Cladding Remediation at Equinox House

£2 million Cladding Remediation Project Creates Safe Homes for East London Residents

FFT were appointed in October 2021 as Employer’s Agent to manage a significant cladding remediation project at Equinox House, a 10-storey residential block located in a busy East London town.

The Client

London & Quadrant (L&Q) is one of the UK’s leading housing associations and developers, managing more than 90,000 homes across London and the South East.

Services Provided 

  • Employer’s Agent
  • Principal Designer
  • Fire Engineer (sub-consultant)

The Project

Equinox House is an L&Q-owned 10-storey residential block in Barking, East London. The building had been clad in a render system made up of cement particle (CP) boards and expanded polystyrene insulation (EPS), now deemed unsafe and banned under revised fire safety legislation.

The project remit was to strip the cladding render system, the EPS insulation and CP board back to the steel frame system so that it could be replaced with a non-combustible external wall system, providing an option A EWS 1 Certificate.

We specified for the new wall assembly consisting of calcium silicate skirting boards and Rockwall insulation, and a weber render finish. Visually the appearance will be similar to the original so that the building will remain intact.

Our Role

Our role was to manage the £2 million cladding remediation project acting as EA/PD and overseeing the appointed refurbishment specialists, AD Construction Group, to ensure that all works were carried out in line with performance specification and current Fire Regulations. The ultimate aim here was creating a safe space for the residents of Equinox House to live.

We also worked alongside the client’s appointed Fire Engineer to ensure every stage of the wall reinstatement was meticulously instructed and signed off as complaint.

The Challenges

One of the main challenges to this project was that works to each elevation of the building had to be carefully phased for minimum disruption to residents in occupation and the wider local community.

There was also the added issue of a mainline railway running directly behind the building, as well as the very busy A124. A strategy to overcome access and safety challenges therefore had to be devised, under Network Rails Basic Asset Protection Agreement, ensuring risks to the public were managed whilst at the same time sticking to a strict schedule for the works so that completion goals stayed on track.

The Outcome

The project commenced in October 2021 with a phased approach to replacing the cladding to each elevation of the building. Works remain ongoing, but are on track for completion on schedule in June 2023.