‘Past performance is the best indicator of future performance’
The UK got cladding wrong on a massive scale and is in the process of investing huge sums putting it right, if this sounds precarious it’s because it is, please see the following to show the UK is getting re-cladding wrong, due primarily to a design and dump approach as opposed to pure design and build:
d+b facades tender on 07-10-21 to re-clad 4 of the Chalcots Estate Towers raised the following concerns about the Camden (LBC) prescribed design:
- Overheating; the LBC design increases glass and provides minimal ventilation causing the building to overheat as per this report, creating a health hazard for residents and failing to meet TM59 standards by c.20%.
- Safety: the LBC design requires a fully enclosed scaffold to carry out the high-risk activity of removing ‘external walls’ to occupied, high rise flats.
- Past Project Reference: the LBC design is novel, never previously used and/or tested as a bespoke, standalone system.
- Warranty: the LBC design prescribes the use of systems for which the suppliers offer zero product warranty (save for surface finish).
- Responsibilities: LBC seeks to make the Contractor entirely responsible for the LBC design, absolving the LBC designers of their responsibility, denying the Contractor choice in design, creating ambiguity, increasing the likelihood of poor outcomes.
- Cost – the complex, high-risk LBC design is up to 50% more expensive than usual UK cladding
- Tenderers – the above issues caused every experienced UK high rise overcladding Main Contractor to decline to tender for the Uk’s largest re-cladding project.
We offered our design to remove the risks, surpass TM59 standards and save 30% of the cost, using our tried, tested, 25 year warranted, high performance, fully compliant system, that is +30year proven to be 100% safe in service (fire test video), readily constructed from mast climbers, with minimum disruption to occupants as evidenced in this short film.
With only perfunctory LBC response to detailed our assertions, we are obliged to inform those most affected, the residents, whom we sincerely wish all the very best.“
Getting cladding right is not difficult. Buyers must make decisions by reference to what is proven to work (both the product and the Contractors ability/service), then make one party, the Contractor, clearly and unambiguously responsible for survey, design, material selection, workmanship, and warranting that the end-product is ‘fit for purpose’. In this way, the Contractor is singularly responsible and will therefore be extra vigilant to avoid failure and safeguard both his future and his reputation.