Non-ACM Cladding at Winterthur Way
Statement from the Board following reporting by the Basingstoke Gazette dated 11/03/21.
“Recent headlines in the Basingstoke Gazette require a supplementary response from the Victory Hill Management Co. Ltd.
First of all, the directors of VHMC and the managing agent Chaneys wish to reassure all residents and owners about the measures in place for their safety. As many of our residents will have seen, a linked fire alarm system is being installed on the upper floors of Cherry, Elm and Holly. Government funding is covering the cost of this mitigation measure which was mandated by Hampshire Fire & Rescue. Combined with the waking watch that was present prior to the fire alarm installation these measures provide a high level of protection in the unlikely event of fire.
At the same time VHMC has reached an advanced stage in implementing a multimillion pound project for the removal of cladding from Cherry, Elm, Holly . This project, funded by the government, will see the removal of cladding in line with current guidelines. We are expecting work to commence in May 2021 and completion within 9-12 months. The estate website www.winterthurway.co.uk/cladding provides regular updates on cladding for your information. VHMC wishes to reassure residents that Hampshire Fire & Rescue have vetted the mitigation measures in place and deem them effective. We are confident that the fire systems in place will maintain a high level of fire safety pending the removal of cladding over the coming months. Should you have any questions about this statement then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01189722333″
We have received confirmation that the application to the Waking Watch Relief Fund has been successful and that the Government will meet the full costs of the Fire Alarm installation at £56,529.72. Once installed this will allow the scaling back of the 24hr waking watch. Installation is underway and is expected to be complete by the end of April.
Update on Cherry, Holly & Elm Cladding. Includes information on tender exercise, waking watch, building safety fund and the requirement for members to complete a state aid declaration.
Tender returns have now been received for the works from 3 contractors. Ridge & Partners LLP are due to issue the tender analysis to the Board on the 12/02/21. A update to members is being issues w/c 08/02/21
Laser and Drone Surveys have been completed.
Updated tenders being issued 14/12/12.
Following further site inspections it was found that not all elevations of the blocks could be properly scanned by the laser based survey system. A drone will be used in tandem with the system to completed this work and has been scheduled for w/c 23rd November.
The Directors of VHMC have not been pleased with the time taken to mobilise works and following discussions with the Consultant Surveyors a new Project Lead has been appointed to work with us.
The revised estimated timetable is as follows;
W/C – 23/11/20 – Laser and Drone Survey of elevations. 7-10 days turnaround for drawings.
W/C -14/12/20 – Issue tenders to suppliers, return date 22/01/21 (as 2 week Christmas break).
25/01/21 – 12/02/21 – Tender evaluation and questions, client approval.
15/02/21 – Award of Contract to selected contractor.
W/C 22/02/21 – Prestart Meeting with Contractor and VHMC.
March – Contractor mobilisation.
April – Works start onsite.
There will be no further updates until w/c 23rd November.
The contractors who have been asked to tender have visited site. They have requested elevation drawings, these are not held in the O&M Manuals for the property so a Elevation Survey has been commissioned and is expected in 3 weeks time (w/c 2nd Nov). This should not impact the timeline of the project as these would have had to be done by the appointed contractor in any case. The cost of the survey is recovered via the Building Safety Fund.
There will be no further update until w/c 2nd Nov.
No update this week. Tenders have been issued and returns expected 23rd Oct.
Following an update to the tender specification in consultation with VHMC Ridge have now (25/09) issued the tender to the following firms;
Tender returns are due 23rd October, with contractor appointment scheduled for mid November.
Ridge Consultants are visiting Winterthur Way for a site inspection on 18th September 2020, following this, tender documents will be finalised.
The Issue: 14/07/20
Following Government advice investigations have been carried out to formally identify the cladding type on the top 2 floors of Cherry (C), Holly (D) and Elm (E) Blocks. We would point out at this time that the cladding is “Non-ACM”, meaning is not constructed of the highly flammable Aluminium Composite Material, such as that found at Grenfell. This cladding is HPL (High Pressure Laminate) type which the Government has advised is must be replaced if it is not the fire-retardant type. Formal investigations were undertaken to identify the cladding and material. This included onsite removal and assessment as well as contacting the manufacturers and installers. The result of the investigation is that the cladding is non fire-retardant type and as such will need to be removed and replaced.
What Action are we taking;
VHMC have appointed consultant building surveyors Ridge & Partners LLP and fire engineers VemCo Consulting to oversee the removal and replacement of the cladding. VemCo, as specialist Fire Engineers, will specify the works to be undertaken and produce a tender document. Ridge will then tender to procure a conactor for thr works for the works and oversee the removal and replacement project.
The fire engineers have also recommended undertaking interim mitigation works. This would mean the temporary installation of wireless firm alarm for the top two floors of each block and changing the fire procedures from “stay put” to “evacuate” for these floors only. VHMC are in the process of specifying and tendering for this work.
Whats this means for Residents;
The works will take place during the next 3-12 months. Initially, work will be required within the flats on the top two floors to install a temporary wireless fire alarm system and Chaneys will help coordinate this.
For the cladding works, the building will need to be scaffolded and the appointed contractor will have a site compound in the main Courtyard area. They will have access over the scaffold to the top two floors and balconies. The appointed contractor will have a resident liaison who will work alongside Chaneys to keep residents informed about the works and any disruption.
What this means for Leaseholders;
In June 2020 the Government launched its “Building Safety Fund” to cover the replacement of Non-ACM cladding. VHMC have registered the blocks for this fund in order that the burden of the cost of the works wont fall on leaseholders. This should mean that the cost of the removal and replacement of the cladding, along with the project management fees are paid for by the Government. We will keep you updated on the progress of the fund application.
Details about the fund can be found here:
Chaneys will shortly issue a s.20 Notice for the works, whilst it is anticipated that the Government will fund the works, the money has to be paid from the VHMC Account. Landlord & Tenant Act requires formal notices be issued and these will follow the finalisation of the specification.
The cost of the interim measures; the installation of a wireless fire alarm system, is not covered by the fund. We are in the process of getting quotes for this work and will report to you once completed.
If you have any questions about the project please email email@example.com