Poole high rise cladding work agreed

Poole high rise cladding work agreed

THE CLADDING panels on Sterte Court in Poole are of ‘limited combustibility’, and so will be replaced with non combustible material at a cost of around £500,000.

Bournemouth Echo reported on the decision by Poole Council’s cabinet to fund the purchase of replacement cladding panels for the tower block, which will replaced with non combustible cladding as part of work to replace the building’s façade. The work has been planned to be undertaken after a ‘number of issues’ were discovered in connection with a recent refurbishment managed by Engie on behalf of the Poole Housing Partnership (PHP).

PHP manages the block for the council, and the refurbishment in 2013 and 2014 saw the cladding installed, but a ‘number of defects’ were identified in 2015 including rivets ‘failing to hold panels in place’ alongside ‘repeated bowing’ of the cladding. A report published earlier this year found that these issues were caused by ‘poor workmanship’ carried out by Engie’s subcontractors, with the company accepting responsibility to ‘rectify’ the issues.

The removal and replacement work will cost Engie between £1.5m and £2m, with Poole Council agreeing the £500,000 spend itself to purchase the non combustible cladding, having taken the ‘opportunity, in light of the Grenfell Tower fire’, to do so. These panels will be installed by Engie during the repair work, and the company has undertaken specialist monthly inspections of the panels on the tower since 2016 to ‘manage defects’, with these continuing until completion.

Karen Rampton, the cabinet member for housing at the council, stated that the upgrade would show that it had taken a ‘belt and braces’ approach to fire safety measures, adding: ‘Although the existing panels meet all fire safety requirements, in light of the tragedy at Grenfell Tower it’s felt that it could be something we could do to make it even safer. It shows that we are taking a belt and braces approach to fire safety at Sterte Court.’