Cedars Estate, Clapham

Lawtech Group completed a comprehensive programme of refurbishment works on the Cedars Estate in Lambeth, making improvements to 370 maisonettes to reduce energy bills and create more comfortable homes for hundreds of residents.

The improvement works on the Cedars Estate forms part of the five year £490 million Lambeth Housing Standard (LHS) programme which will deliver energy bill savings, increased thermal comfort and sound resistance, reduced heat loss and condensation, and refreshed building facades. Appointed as principal contractor with full design responsibility, Lawtech’s Scope of Works comprised 28,000m2 of rockwool ‘REDArt’ External Wall Insulation (EWI) to 370 maisonettes and 156 replacement boilers.

The works were carried out with minimal disruption to 61 interconnected 3 and 4-storey blocks of maisonettes at Victoria Rise and Cedars Road, and one low-rise block of 16 units at Lyncott Crescent, working for tenants and leaseholders.

The client Lambeth Living were looking to substantially alleviate fuel poverty for its residents through energy efficient improvement works. Early engagement and collaboration between Lawtech, the client and tenants ensured the right retrofit was carried out and helped the smooth running of the project from start to finish.

As the client Lambeth Living had previously engaged another contractor to install glazing and roofing at the estate, their programme of works overlapped with Lawtech so it was beneficial to both parties if resources were shared, particularly with respect to satisfying the 11 month funding deadline.

Lawtech’s Senior Project Manager negotiated adaptations to the scaffold programme and design in order to suit the EWI works, which required scaffolding to be erected with a sufficient gap between it and the building to accommodate the 100mm thick EWI.

At peak stages of the programme, Lawtech had more than 100 EWI installation operatives on site daily which put pressure on the welfare facilities. The Lawtech site management team staggered operatives’ break times to ensure they had regular access to rest areas and washing facilities. They also recruited a Forklift Driver and a Storeman locally for the duration of the contract to supervise Lawtech’s delivery and stock control activities at the compound.

The glazing/roofing contractor experienced some programme delays due to leaseholders raising Section 20 challenges. Lawtech’s EWI programme therefore ran ahead of the glazing on occasions and, consequently, some windows were fitted to freshly-rendered properties. The incident rate of damage caused to the EWI in these cases was significantly higher than we usually experience in similar circumstances. The Lawtech site management team implemented a programme of repairs, concurrent with other works to maintain the overall completion date.

Replacement boilers were installed by Lawtech’s specialist sub-contractor. Having observed that the glazing/roofing contractor’s Resident Liaison team had not fully engaged with tenants/residents over access and Section 20 issues, the Lawtech Senior Project Manager visited all leaseholder properties personally to advise them of their options in relation to gas boilers. In the cases of sub-lets, Lawtech contacted the Landlords in order to obtain their direct instructions.

Some leaseholders chose to engage Lawtech’s sub-contractor privately to replace their boiler whilst others engaged their own contractors. Where existing boilers were retained; Lawtech provided gas flue extensions to accommodate the EWI. Where it was not possible to source suitable flue extensions for a small number of retained boilers, Lawtech therefore agreed with Lambeth Living that we would ‘dish’ the EWI around these flues.

Gas safety awareness training was delivered on site and a Permit to Work system controlled all gas-related activities. Lawtech retained a Gas Safe engineer on site to oversee all flue extensions.

With the comprehensive programme of improvement works completed over an 11 month period in order to satisfy the funding deadline, Lawtech has once again demonstrated their experience in delivering large scale refurbishment schemes that minimise the impact on residents but also provide them with modern, energy efficient homes.