Why are you replacing the external wall insulation system?
Following the fire at Grenfell Tower, all owners of tall buildings have been checking to make sure that the materials used in their construction comply with government guidelines. As a responsible social landlord, we have a programme of safety checks and when we tested the external wall insulation system at Eastgate, we discovered that the materials needed to be replaced with materials that comply with current safety standards. A copy of the report about the work is here in the Important Documents section.
What will happen during the work?
The works will need scaffolding to be put up around the block so teams can get to work. We are expecting all the work required to replace the external wall insulation system to be done from the outside of the building, including the balcony areas.
More information in relation to this will become available as the detailed proposals for the works are developed.
Am I safe living in the building?
We have been working closely with fire safety experts and the Fire Brigade and we have taken their advice about what fire safety precautions are needed to keep everyone safe. A 24 hour waking watch is in place. They patrol the building and are trained to assist residents in the event of the need to evacuate the building.
This and all the other safety precautions at the building (like the fire alarm) and the programme to bring the building up to current safety standards mean that the Fire Brigade is satisfied that there is no cause for alarm.
We do appreciate that some residents are concerned and we are here to support you. We can arrange to test and install smoke alarms in your homes if you do not currently have any. We are happy to provide further reassurance and support if you are at all concerned whilst we progress the programme. Please ask if you are worried.
When is this happening?
There are many stages of the process to complete before we can start work.
Please have a look at the outline programme schedule which sets out what has happened so far and gives our best estimate of when things will happen. There are many factors to consider and this is a complex site so the timings given in the schedule are indicative only and subject to change.
Will the block look different?
No, we are expecting the replacement external wall insulation system to look very similar to the original, but it will be made of materials which comply with current safety standards.
Once we’re finished, we’re expecting that Eastgate should look basically the same as it does now.
Who will be doing the work?
We’ve appointed a consultant, CalfordSeaden, to develop the detailed proposals for the works and to supervise the work.
The details of other contractors who may be involved in the works will become available as the programme progresses.
Will you need access to my flat?
We shouldn’t need to come inside your property unless something unexpected comes up. If we ever do, we’ll contact you to let you know in advance whenever possible.
If you have a balcony we will need to work on your balcony where the external wall insulation system is. We’ll need your help to make sure the balcony is clear when we need to work on it – we may be able to help with removal and storage of any items you can’t keep inside.
How will this work impact on me?
Any scaffolding used will have safety nets around it for health and safety reasons so there will be less light than usual coming in through your windows. There may also be some noise for parts of the work, though we will do everything we can to keep this to a minimum.
Will it cost me anything?
We have now received confirmation that the cost of the work will be covered by the Building Safety Fund.
We've been told that neighbouring buildings have received different advice about the external wall insulation system - why are you saying this work needs to be done at Eastgate?
We are not responsible for other buildings in the area but we are responsible for building safety at Eastgate. Your safety is our first priority. As a responsible social landlord, we have a programme of safety checks and when we tested the external wall insulation system at Eastgate, we discovered that the materials needed to be replaced with materials that comply with current safety standards. A copy of the report about the work can be found in the Important Documents section.
What should I do if there is a fire?
If a there is a fire alarm in the building or a fire in your home, please evacuate the building immediately and raise the alarm. The fire safety strategy has not changed since we wrote to residents in October 2019 to update it, so please follow the fire safety advice previously issued to you – the policy is to evacuate the building immediately. We have Fire Marshals on site 24 hours a day and they will continue to patrol the building until the external wall insulation system has been replaced. They are trained to assist residents if there was a need to evacuate.
If you are worried please let us know – we are here to help you and we can visit you in your home to discuss your concerns and make sure you are supported.