Gerrard House and Hatfield Close

Location

London

Main contractor

United Living

Sub contractor

Novo Facades

Architects

Michael Dyson Associates

Products

Terracotta Cladding

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Overview

Gerrard House and Hatfield Close, London are three high-rise blocks owned and managed by Lewisham Homes. Initially constructed in the 1960s, the buildings were clad in the early 2000s. The two blocks at Hatfield Close, as well as the single building of Gerrard House across the road, were identified as needing to be reclad in 2017 following the testing of all of Lewisham Council’s residential high-rise blocks. The tests were to assess the existing cladding systems against the government’s updated building regulations, following the disaster at Grenfell Tower.

In late 2017, work began with main contractors United Living, specialist housing consultancy Michael Dyson Associates and consultants 4i Solutions to urgently remove the existing cladding. With residents in situ throughout the project, it was important that partnerships were formed with local resident association groups, who were consulted on all decisions throughout construction. Once the final panel was removed in December 2017, work commenced to install the A1 fire-rated Argeton terracotta cladding, supplied by Taylor Maxwell and installed by Novo Facades.

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Concept

The project gave opportunities for consultation and feedback from the residents of the blocks, with two resident liaison officers on site providing an easily accessible point of contact 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Due to the reason for the removal of the previous cladding, it was of the upmost importance that the replacement cladding met all of the safety regulations. In the opinion of the BBA, the Argeton terracotta cladding system if installed, used and maintained in accordance with certificate number 08/4516, can satisfy or contribute to satisfying the relevant requirements of The Building Regulations 2010 (England and Wales). The tiles, support rails, clamps and clips are classified as non-combustible in accordance with national building regulations.

After a series of meetings with the residents regarding the replacement cladding, three design choices were presented to be voted upon in a ballot. The options were presented to the occupants by the Tenants’ and Residents’ Association (TRA), with the process and chosen cladding system explained to them so they had full understanding. The winner of the ballot was a red Tampa terracotta tile, with a grey border of longer and thinner terracotta baguettes. Measurements were carefully taken with lasers to ensure that every tile fit exactly into place on the building to reduce product waste.

The cladding was delivered on site in September 2020 when work then began on all three blocks simultaneously to ensure the work was completed as efficiently as possible.

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Completion

During the installation process, the London Fire Brigade (LFB) visited the buildings on multiple occasions to see how the cladding was installed. This was to give the firefighters the opportunity to view a fire safety compliant cladding system and better understand the build-up of the product. A sample of the terracotta cladding has now been installed at the LFB training base to enable it to be viewed by trainees and firefighters into the future.

Throughout the reclad project, the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust (HACT) provided around £1.5m in contributions to events and people in the local area. A dedicated social value officer was appointed to the site to ensure that the funding reflected the needs of the residents. Projects selected included, CV workshops, a women in construction workshop and the restoration of an overgrown community garden. Lewisham Homes also offered financial assistance to residents faced with higher energy bills whilst the buildings were unclad.

The project has recently been shortlisted for the National Building and Construction Awards, in the ‘Best Community Engagement’ and ‘Project of the Year £10m to £25m’ categories. The shortlisting of the project in these categories is a testament to the collaborative ethos that was embodied by all the supply chain partners throughout the process.

To find out more about Argeton terracotta cladding and how this could offer a reliable solution on your re-cladding project, click here.

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