Project Case Study – New Inn Flats Refurbishment

Eco-Refurbishment of 10 blocks of 3-Storey Apartments (inc. EWI, Cavity Extraction, Roofing, Soffits, fascias & rainwater goods, Glazing, common Access doors & entry systems, boiler replacements, & public realm environmental works / Hard & soft Landscaping).

System: Alumasc ‘Artbrick’ Render & Alumasc roofing

Client: Bron Afon Community Housing Ltd

Contract Value: £1.5m

ECO funding Partner: NPower

Contract Duration – Dec 2015- June 2016

Westdale Midlands Ltd were appointed by Bron Afon Community Housing to deliver a regeneration scheme to ten 3-storey ‘non-trad’ apartments in multiple tenures. The scheme made provision for the replacement of new flat insulated roofs, glazing systems, common access door systems, shiplap cladding, External Wall Insulation (with Cavity insulation extraction) boilers, and rainwater goods, soffits & fascias. The scheme was complemented with hard & soft landscaping to create enclosed garden spaces.

Westdale performed the duty holder roles of of ‘Principal Designer’ and ‘Principal Contractor’ under the CDM regulations 2015, managing the delivery of a number of supply chains and sub-contractors. However, around 75% of the contract was delivered directly by Westdale personnel; in our experience, using in-house delivery enables Westdale to embed our company ethics, giving us a tighter control on the customer journey, resulting in higher customer satisfaction levels.

Taking on the ‘Principal Designer’ role ensured that we planned the project correctly from the outset – developing the Contruction Phase Plan and completing all statutory notifications (inc. HSE F10, liaison with utilities, Planning Permissions, Building Control regulations, and the control of asbestos-containing materials.

As principal contactors, Westdale coordinated the delivery programme, which was delivered on-track in terms of budget and timescales. In order to keep disruption to a minimum, Westdale provided a dedicated Resident Liaison Service, which interfaced closely with the client’s Tenant Liaison team to ensure residents were kept fully briefed of the installation programme.

infrared thermal imagery (image left below)  has helped to identify flat roof leaks, rising damp, and unfilled cavities – all resulting in a more efficient scope of works (i.e. delivering exactly what the project requires – with minimal intrusive investigations).  Before the works commenced (right, below)

Westdale delivered the following works packages:

  • Scaffolding, enabling & Licensed asbestos removal.
  • Glazing, Common access Doors & entry systems (including communal area internal refurbishments)
  • AA rated boiler Boiler Replacements
  • Roofing works (alumasc insulated roofing system).
  • External Wall Insulation – including our patented Artbrick render solution (with fire breaks at each storey & around gas flues)
  • Environmental Works (inc. brickwork, tarmacadam, fencing, soft landscaping, street furniture & lighting, metal ballustrades.

As prinicpal contractors, Westdale Midlands delivered an extensive range of external works, including a whole spectrum of environmental, landscaping and public realm works, including brickwork, tarmacadam, fencing, soft landscaping, street furniture & lighting, metal ballustrades, etc, which were delivered in-house by our multi-disciplinary teams.

Working in narrow estate roads, this project required additional consideration at the design stage and throughout; Our Traffic management Plan ensured that 5mph speed limits were adhered to, and ensured deliveries happened outside of school collection times. We also implemented a banksman system.

Protection of Residents – Bespoke Scaffolding Solutions:

We adhered to the ‘Hierarchy of Control’ principles of NASG SG25:10, to ensure appropriate scaffolding design, providing purpose-made telehandler loading bays in accordance with the ‘Transfer of Materials’ Plan. We appointed CISRS-registered scaffolders whom we controlled via permits to work.

Additional safety controls included covered, floodlit walkways, ladder locks, debris netting, foam scaffolding protection tofirst floor level and toe guards etc. Scaff tags were inspected on a weekly basis.

Mitigating the Weather:

The average annual rainfall in Cwmbran almost twice the UK average; Mitigating the effects of the weather formed an integral part of our ability to deliver – not forgetting that sunlight and extreme temperatures can also be as damaging.

Accordingly, Westdale implemented a series of project management methodologies and operational measures to reduce both delivery constraints and quality issues, including ensuring that the work was programmed during suitable weather conditions, taking into consideration seasonal variations and allowing sufficient time in the programme for stoppages due to inclement weather. This involved additional resource allocation to make up for lost downtime.

Risk Assessments, Method Statements & Safe Working Practices:

Our Health & Safety Manager produced all project-specific RAMS that formed part of the Construction Phase Plan, covering COSHH, Asbestos etc.

Fire Rating:

We specified a Non-Combustible EWI system with high polymer/standard cementitious base coat render prior to applying the topcoat finish, tested and validated by BBA (certificate 96/3243 Product Sheet 1,2,3,4 &5.)

  • The system complies to the following Building Standards:
  • The Building Regulations 2010 (England and Wales) (as amended) / The Building (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (as amended)
  • The Building Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2012
  • NHBC Standards 2014
  • The EWI system is regarded ‘low risk’ and has a B-s1, d0 or Class 0/‘low risk’ reaction to fire classification in accordance with BS EN 13501-1 : 2007 or as defined in the national Building Regulations.

Toolbox Talks:

Our teams were taught to understand the negative effects of all weather conditions, and adopted a series of ‘work arounds’to the weather; for example, by tracking the sun so that we worked only in the shade, or by working around rain to prevent ‘washoff’ of dash stones.

Adaptive Working Methods:

The use of hoarding, canopies and dryers was routinely considered as part of our operational delivery. We also used quickset accelerants to speed up the curing process during cold weather.

Community Engagement:

WML facilitated numerous community engagement events at times convenient to the residents in order to fully brief the community. This had the effect of securing the buy-in of leaseholders, who could have hindered the delivery without their full buy-in.

Communications & Marketing Materials:

A suite of bespoke, user-friendly co-branded marketing material was designed for this project, which included brief guides, introductory letters, and scaffolding banners. We developed a timeline ‘device’, so that residents could gain a better understanding of the multi-stage installation process.

Targeted Recruitment & Training Programme:

As appointed contractors to a growing number of national procurement frameworks, we acknowledge that every pound invested makes a positive contribution to delivering social value in local communities.

Westdale were committed to supporting the mutual vision and goals in achieving Social Value gains to improve the social, economic and environmental of the communities in which our clients operate.

Westdale successfully delivered an Employability Programme in conjunction with Bron Afon Community Housing. Our ‘EWI that Works’ 2 day a week employability programme is for 12 people (one to shadow each team) and consisted of a mix of on-site and classroom training around employability skills and training for asbestos awareness , CSCS card etc.