A perfect partnership to deliver complex remediation project
With fire safety the dominant issue in housing today, it is always a pleasure to see such refurbishment projects successfully completed. We spoke to Richard Izzard, managing director of aluminium decking manufacturer AliDeck, to discuss their contribution to a recent major fire safety remediation project for Hyde Housing.
Following Grenfell, the housing sector has been in turmoil as building owners tackle fire safety issues. With regulations continuing to evolve, it has been a genuine struggle for conscientious landlords to achieve compliance and there has often been a sense of deep frustration expressed as profound challenges have been uncovered.
As time has moved on, though, industry has adapted to the new environment and light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. Manufacturers especially have responded well to the building safety crisis, developing new products and refining existing lines to answer the challenge.
Richard Izzard, AliDeck managing director, said: “We have invested a great deal of energy into understanding the impact of the new regulations for construction materials as the issue of compliance is paramount; we have to give all stakeholders absolute peace of mind that fire safety concerns are resolved with the use of our balcony component systems.”
“Our commitment to providing off-the-shelf compliant solutions has helped many buildings be successfully remediated and made fire safe.”
The guaranteed compliance of materials is certainly one essential aspect of the remediation equation, but successfully navigating the path to fire safety remains a daunting task. Fortunately, deeper support is becoming increasingly available.
Collaborative working the answer
Artesian House in Bermondsey was the site of a recent refurbishment project for Hyde Housing. The building’s cladding, glazing, and decking were to be renewed by Hamilton (Building Contractors) Ltd., facade and external wall specialists. These works were being completed in pursuit of resolving issues identified in a fire risk assessment and to gain a passing EWS1 certificate for the building.
A major aspect of the project was the installation of aluminium decking to the curved walkways at several levels of Artesian House. These relatively narrow walkways posed a particular challenge; how can straight boards curve around a building? AliDeck and Hamilton collaborated closely to devise a solution.
“Our team has decades of experience on industrial and construction projects,” explained Richard. “Following site visits and full surveys, we were rapidly able to propose an install methodology that coped with the curvature of the building and the various sharp corner turns that the walkway made in places.”
The drawings produced as part of this proposal reflect an impressive level of careful attention to detail and they’re delightful things to behold, too! The scaled drawings contained a comprehensive materials quantities breakdown, area by area, floor by floor. With each run of decking divided into carefully planned sections, the installation team had total clarity on the number of decking boards, joists, and pedestals to be used in each area, as well as the dimensions to cut the material to.
The purpose of breaking the deck area into these sections was to allow for the boards to receive a slight angled cut at each end to facilitate the varying curves of the building. Where the curvature was more pronounced, shorter lengths of board were used to “turn the corner”, as it were.
Mapped out on paper and thoroughly sanity-tested, the proposed methodology worked flawlessly at install and the completed decking neatly runs around the curves without any issues.
Peter McNulty, contracts manager at Hamilton, said: “The Artesian House project presented its own challenges, which extend beyond your average three by two rectangular balcony as seen on many projects throughout the UK. The install can only ever be as good as the effort put into it to get the correct materials at the correct time; all of AliDeck’s sketches, site visits, and attention to detail certainly paid off.”
This close collaboration is an inspiring example of supplier and contractor working hand-in-glove together to deliver the flawless and complete solution that the housing sector requires to achieve compliance and fire safe outcomes.