Why did you remove the external render?The external rendered insulation system was added to Adair and Hazlewood Towers in 1992 to 1993. It did meet building regulations at that time and was not highlighted as an issue in fire risk assessments previously. However, our most recent fire risk assessment, and investigation of the material used, identified that it did not meet current fire-risk guidance. None of the Council’s other housing blocks have this type of insulation.
Was the render on these blocks the same as Grenfell Tower?The insulation on these blocks was a different material to that used on Grenfell Tower, which was an Aluminium Composite Material (ACM). Adair and Hazlewood had an external sprayed render insulation system that used Expanded Polystyrene Board (EPB) sometimes known as Expanded Polystyrene Wall Insulation (EWI). This was used to insulate the blocks.
What are you doing in meantime to minimise risk?As soon as we were alerted to a potential risk we put fire marshals into the buildings, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The marshals carry out regular patrols. We have also installed fire detection alarms in communal areas on each floor of the two towers.The fire marshals will remain in the buildings until all the render is removed and we are confident that the risk is removed.
Who is doing the work?We commissioned d+b facades, a company that specialises in this type of work for high-rise residential buildings similar to Adair and Hazlewood, to remove the render. We have appointed Capital Property and Construction Consultants to help us in developing the designs for a replacement.
Are you replacing the external render?We will replace the existing system with a new system that meets all the current regulations and requirements. We will involve residents and their representatives in the design and selection process. We recognise that residents are concerned about the appearance of the buildings now the current render is removed and whether their homes will be colder. We want to have a replacement installed as soon as possible and have already started to look at what some of the options may be. We are committed to involving residents in helping to choose the replacement system, remembering that anything we choose will need to satisfy both health and safety and planning requirements.
When will a new render be installed? At the moment it is difficult to give residents a detailed timeframe, but we expect to choose a replacement and be in a position to start the procurement process to appoint a contractor later this year. We would expect work to begin in early 2020. As soon as we can be more specific about timings, we will let residents know and keep them up to date.