Urgent High Rise Cladding Removal

Client: United Living
Measures: Rainscreen Cladding Removal
Location: Lewisham
Date: October – December 2017
Value: Approx. £250,000

The Challenge

Following the Grenfell Tower disaster, social landlords carried out a programme of tests on their high rise properties to determine their fire safety.

When three blocks of flats in Lewisham failed these tests in summer 2017, Lewisham Homes asked their main contractor partner United Living to remove the external cladding and insulation as soon as possible.  In turn, United Living engaged Cornerstone to carry out this challenging work.  

The rainscreen cladding system was to be removed from three blocks – 1-48 and 49-96 Hatfield Close, and Gerrard House.  In the interim, Lewisham Homes had put in place a costly 24 hour fire patrol service to safeguard residents.  

Our Solution

Cornerstone commenced the works in early October 2017, removing the rainscreen cladding system – that had been in place for 17 years – at a rate of three storeys per day.  

We quickly deployed a skilled and experienced team to undertake this work, overseen by a senior Site Manager who liaised closely with United Living throughout the works.  Cornerstone also contributed technical expertise to support the safe removal of the cladding.  

Residents of the blocks – of which the majority were social housing tenants – were also understandably concerned about the situation.  Cornerstone sought to reassure those tenants that we came into contact with, whilst also carrying out our work quickly and as quietly as possible to minimise disruption.  

The Result

Cornerstone completed the removal works on schedule, despite our progress being limited by that of the scaffolding contractor, enabling Lewisham Homes to meet their commitment to their residents.  

Whilst the energy efficiency of the property has been temporarily reduced, it no longer poses a fire risk to residents.  

We understand the long term plan is to replace the insulation in order to enhance and protect the buildings’ external structure, which will in turn enhance the local aesthetic and enable residents to recover their energy bill savings.  

Cladding was stripped from three storeys per day

‘It is a huge relief that the fire risk is now substantially reduced. It has been a difficult time for residents but I know the removal of the cladding will now provide residents with the reassurance they have been looking for.’

– Sir Steve Bullock, Mayor of Lewisham

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