London & Quadrant Housing Trust
Co-Operative House Remediation of ACM Cladding
FFT were instructed by London & Quadrant to manage the remediation of ACM cladding (aluminium composite material) to a large mixed-use seven-storey building located on a busy high street within Peckham Rye, South London. Two elevations were to be clad in ACM. These had commercial units at ground floor and residential units above with external balcony areas.
Our client required that the building was made safe as soon as practicable by the removal of the ACM, and the installation of temporary weathering, whilst a replacement cladding system could be designed and procured concurrently that would comply with the latest requirements of the Building Regulations (specifically in respect of both fire safety and thermal performance), and achieve Local Authority Planning consent.
The works were to be completed whilst the residential units were occupied and the commercial units at ground floor level fully operational and trading.
FFT were instructed to manage the removal of the ACM, and to act as Employer’s Agent and Principal Designer in respect of the procurement and installation of the new cladding system. We also managed the Planning process, obtaining a Certificate of Lawful Development for the works.
These works were critical in terms of safety, both during the construction, and in respect of the completed installation. As such, FFT were exceptionally diligent in monitoring the works, undertaking weekly inspections to review the cladding installation against the contract design documents, and assisting by identifying potential issues at an early stage so that they may be resolved, mitigating any potential additional cost or delay.
The challenges in respect of this project were significant. The ACM had to be safely removed with the building in full occupation whilst maintaining fire safety and ensuring that the building was made weather tight until the new cladding system could be installed.
The COVID-19 pandemic also presented an additional challenge, requiring a total shut down of the site just weeks before completion.
FFT worked very closely with the Main Contractor, the Local Authority Building Control Department and the client’s Chartered Fire Engineer to ensure that the works progressed safely and in full accordance with all statutory requirements.
We also liaised with all parties during the initial shut down due to the government’s advice in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that contractual liabilities were considered and that a reasonable discourse could continue between the main contractor and our client so that any costs arising from the delay, and potential claims, were fully addressed transparently between all parties.
This approach resulted in the works progressing safely in full accordance with Public Health England and the Construction Leadership Council guidance and expediently to mitigate the additional costs and avoid any adversarial and potential expensive disputes.
During the initial shut down period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FFT took a lead role to ensure that the situation could be managed reasonably and professionally for the benefit of all parties.