Adur District Council

Locks Court Refurbishment

the project

Faithorn Farrell Timms (FFT) were appointed by Adur District Council to undertake a condition survey of Locks Court, prepare the specification and provide full Contract Administration and procurement services for planned maintenance works and remedial structural repairs to 1-20 and 21-40 Rock Close, Southwick.

The properties comprise of a three-storey, purpose-built residential block constructed circa 1960 and located within 500m of the sea.

The works comprised external repairs and redecoration to include window replacement works, replacement balconies and roof coverings, remedial wall ties, structural brickwork repairs and a communal area refurbishment.

our role

FFT have managed the project from inception up to tender report stage.  It is currently on hold due to the implications of the Covid 19 pandemic and it expected that this will recommence with works planned for Spring 2021.

FFT have carried out initial surveys, measured surveys, structural engineer inspections, specialist chemical testing of balconies, wall tie inspections, roof covering inspections and feasibility reports into external wall insulation cladding and perforated brick openings.

FFT managed the design of the project from the concept design, obtaining planning permission up to the technical design, providing full specification documents including preliminaries, schedule of works, drawings and a structural design package.

the challenges

Due to the age and location of the block, the condition of the external elevations were suspect. It was clear from the outset that many of the main building components were approaching or beyond their life expectancy including windows and pointing. The likelihood of further hidden defects was high.

the solutions

During intial inspections, areas of risk were identified and recommendations given for further inspection, testing and investigation. Whilst from the outside the blocks appeared to be in satisfactory condition, FFT raised concerns about potential hidden defects due to the coastal location and our experience of the construction technology, such as wall tie corrosion to galvanised steel ties, roof coverings, concrete deterioration and corrosion of the reinforcement.

FFT managed a range of investigations including roof covering inspections where core samples were obtained, opening up works and specialist material testing. Our findings showed that the block had extensive defects and, without repair, the building would continue to fall into a dilapidated state.

Our client initially provided evidence of a soon to be expired roof covering guarantee however it was not clear whether this was an insulated overlay and, due to our experiance of flat roofing in the local area, further testing was recommended. Core samples identified that the roofing was simply a felt overlay over an asphalt on a woodwool slab deck. FFT recommended this was a deleterious material and any breaches of the coverings/leaks would lead to rapid deterioration. As the roof covering was at the end of it’s design life, it was recommended that an insulated overlay roof system would extend the life of the roof coverings and protect the deck from deterioration.

added value

FFT have attended evening meetings with leaseholders and residents to explain the scheme design and the impact of the works. This was a valuable exercise as it brought about the opportunity to obtain information about internal damp conditions to the flats.