The building was completed in 2008, meeting all building and fire safety regulations at the time it was built.
In 2019, changes were made to building regulations. As a result, building management teams across the country must now make sure all buildings are compliant with these new regulations.
Investigations on the building have concluded and have identified the areas where work is required in order to meet the updated building regulations.
Admiralty Quarter is not owned by Southern Housing Group. We are a Head Leasee of the building, which means that the External Managing Agent, Encore, have responsibility for building safety and any required remedial work.
What steps have been taken at Admiralty Quarter?
1. Completion of preliminary investigations
Encore's experts have completed preliminary investigations into the building materials used at Admiralty Quarter and we have received the architect and engineer’s draft preliminary findings.
2. Reviewed the preliminary findings
Encore has reviewed the initial findings. These have unfortunately revealed that Encore will need to carry out some remedial work to the buildings to ensure that they comply with the government’s guidelines.
3. The preliminary investigation showed that:
Vertical and horizontal fire barriers were found to be either absent or incorrectly fitted within the cavity of the rainscreen cladding, rendered external wall insulation and timber cladding. Horizontal barriers were present within masonry walls but vertical barriers at compartment walls were missing (non-compliant). Cavities around window openings were either closed with plasterboard/cement board (considered compliant) or proprietary PVC cavity closures (likely non-compliant).
The combustible materials used in the external wall systems comply with the Building Regulations at the time of the construction but would not meet current regulations, in particular the external wall insulation on some of the blocks in Cross Street that are over 18m high and the timber cladding.
Private balconies to all the blocks have combustible timber decking with dividing screens clad in timber, and are considered to be a significant risk to fire spread due to the exposed underside of the timber decking and the vertical dividing screen providing an easy path for the fire to spread vertically between balconies.
The external frame to the front elevation of Brunswick House comprises combustible timber plates bolted either side of a steel plate. The timber is a structural component that cannot be removed without affecting the integrity of the frame. The timber frame is considered to be a risk to fire spread across the building surface in both vertical and horizontal directions and between balconies.
4. Installed temporary additional fire alarms
Encore has taken the advice of the fire assessors and installed an additional temporary alarm in every property, and in appropriate communal areas. Encore is are now looking to obtain funding for this part of project through government schemes.
5. Ensured that applications are made for all available government funding
A initial application has been made to the Waking Watch Relief Fund via Encore, the managing agents, and it has been confirmed that the cost of installing the alarm system will considered by the fund. We are waiting to hear about the success of the application to the Building Safety Fund. Encore is managing this process, and we will communicate updates to residents as soon as we have them.
6. Begun the Section 20 process for the required works
In January 2021, Encore issued Southern Housing Group with a Notice of Intended Works, and opened the first stage of a Section 20 consultation process requesting leaseholders observations and nominations for contractors. This initial consultation period closed in February. All documents regarding the process can be found in the Important Documents section below.
What are you doing to ensure residents are safe?
While we help Encore with their consultations and get on with the work itself, we have taken advice from the fire brigade and our fire safety engineers to make sure that your homes have the right additional precautions in place to ensure your safety in the event of a need to evacuate the buildings.
This advice is that:
1. Encore should install additional smoke detection and alarms to supplement the existing system We contacted residents and leaseholders in December to let them know that this was taking place. Good progress is being made and the system is being rolled out across the buildings.
2. We should change the fire evacuation policy to simultaneously evacuate Encore informed residents in October 2020 that while we complete the remedial works, the Fire Brigade had instructed us to change the evacuation policy from “stay put” to “evacuate” in the event of a fire.
More information on fire safety can be found here.
Encore is awaiting quotes for work to replace the timber material on Admiralty Quarter's balconies. This work will also need to be completed to allow a EWS1 form to get the required rating. It is important to note that this work will not be covered by government funding.
Once we have a full scope of work, we will produce a detailed programme of work for you to see. This will be hosted on this microsite.
We will be communicating with you regularly about progress - please make sure we have your most up to date email address so that we can send you updates, particularly if you are a non-resident landlord.
We will keep this microsite updated with information as this becomes available.