External Refurbishment of Social Housing Blocks

Client: Lovell Partnerships
Measures: External Wall Insulation, Concrete Repairs, Waterproofing
Location: Norwich
Value: £400,000

The Challenge

Cornerstone was engaged by Lovell Partnerships - part of the Morgan Sindall Group – to complete specialist facades and concrete repair works one some iconic social housing blocks in Norwich.  Lovell Partnerships were the long term main contractor partner of Norwich City Council, who owned the blocks.  

Cornerstone was selected as Lovell Partnerships’ subcontractor for these works due to our technical expertise and transparent pricing.  

The works were focused on Johnson Place, which comprised three blocks housing a total of 59 households.  Each block of flats was seven storeys high.  The blocks were of pre-cast concrete frame with brick work infill, constructed in the late 1960s as social housing for the city council.  

Our Solution

The aim of the external refurbishment works was to repair, protect and improve the appearance of the buildings’ concrete frames.  In addition, external insulation was to be installed to all flats, and balconies were to be waterproofed and fitted with a non-slip surface.

Over 500m2 of Weber mineral fibre external wall insulation was fitted per block. A Sika concrete repair system was used on the frame.  Cornerstone carried out the full scope of works, including the enabling activities required to prepare the buildings and the adaptations necessary to accommodate the refurbishment.  

We allocated a team of 18 skilled operatives to the project, under the oversight of a highly experienced Site Manager.  

The Result

Cornerstone overcame a number of challenges to complete the project, including the removal of extensive vegetation and creepers from one of the blocks via a cherry picker before the scaffolding could be erected.  

In addition, balcony drainage had to be redirected during the works to prevent flooding on the balconies beneath, which involved the manufacturing of bespoke gulleys.  The façade of the lift shaft at the end of the blocks also required a bespoke solution to meet planning requirements, due to its unusual profile, which had aggregate on show.  We replicated the appearance by making a special repair mortar that matched the original texture.  We then had to spray on an anti-carbonation coating as it wasn’t possible to brush or roll onto the awkward profile.  

The project was completed to schedule and an excellent technical standard.

Over 1,500m2 of external wall insulation was installed

‘Norwich City Council has found Cornerstone’s work to be of an extremely high standard. Resident satisfaction is always very high. I have no hesitation in recommending Cornerstone to potential future clients.’

– John Hodson, Major Works Team Leader, Norwich City Council

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