In May 2018, The Hyde Group awarded Axis a Design and Build Contract for a major cladding replacement project: 18,000m2 of External Wall Insulation to five high-rise blocks in Gosport, Hampshire.
Axis worked closely with The Hyde Group and their Employer’s Agent Pellings LLP to arrive at an Employer’s Requirement document that recognised the direction of impending regulations. It also ensured that the programme of cladding replacement works could start on site early and with the confidence that Hyde desired.
We collaborated with Pellings and EWI manufacturers to review the original Employer’s Requirement and to establish an enhanced specification. This would exceed the requirements of the current regulations and also be practically deliverable on site. Specifically, a replacement EWI system that met BR 135 classification (tested and certified to BS 8414).
Assembling our cladding replacement team, Axis drew on well-established relationships with Consultant Architects, Structural Engineers, Fire Engineers and specialist EWI installers. We co-ordinated all efforts to deliver a suitable design to address the existing installations.
Additionally, we co-ordinated detailed surveys to understand the original substrate and structure of each individual block.
This ensured that the new EWI system:
- Addressed the risk of rapid-fire spread to enable suitable means of escape for residents
- Provided necessary thermal insulation and weather-proofing
- Offered maintenance-free envelopes that are aesthetically sympathetic to the original block designs
- Imposed only structural loads that the existing block structures could bear
Axis erected designed scaffolding to enable access to all elevations of each block. We fixed a fire retardant Monarflex sheet to the scaffolding to protect the elevations from the weather.
Key considerations for cladding replacement project
The five blocks are adjacent to Portsmouth marina and exposed to the harsh coastal elements. 440 families were in occupation during the works.
Care of residents during cladding replacement project
From the outset, Axis was very aware that Gosport Towers are home to 440 families. The families were in occupation for the duration of the remedial works.
We also required access to each flat to ensure that all our EWI works around the gas flues on each elevation were carried out safely. So, we knew that a proactive early approach to all residents was the key to gaining the initial trust needed to deliver such a sensitive programme of works.
Therefore, we provided residents with detailed information and honest responses to all their queries ahead of establishing our presence on site. And our continuous onsite engagement sessions with resident groups, led by our site-based team of Resident Liaison Officers, kept residents well informed during the works. This engagement facilitated the progress of the works.
Our contractor partner Axis Europe has pulled out all the stops to engage with residents, particularly the most vulnerable, and making sure they are happy with work on their homes. The project has been held up as a best practice example of cladding replacement work, with visits by housing associations, local authorities and government officials. – The Hyde Group, February 2020
Axis and Hyde – Awards for cladding replacement project
Winner: Inside Housing’s Resident Safety Campaign
Finalist: UK Housing Awards Campaign of the Year
Finalist: CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations)
Winner: Considerate Constructors Scheme Certificate
Further reading from project partner Frankham Consultancy Group here. More about our project at Gosport using Wetherby’s A2 EWI Stone Wool insulation system here.