We share our best practice in retrofitting high-rise residential sprinkler systems.
Our first full sprinkler installation was completed ahead of schedule for Hackney Council. This £0.5m zonal system project covered 114 individual properties at a 19-storey tower.
The sprinkler installation at Queensbridge Road was commissioned by Hackney Council following consultation with the London Fire Brigade to enhance the fire safety measures already in place.
A first for ourselves and Hackney Council, the full sprinkler installation included a comprehensive programme of core drilling, electrical works, carpentry, painting, pendock boxing, pipe fitting, pressure testing and fire stopping – all in a fully occupied building.
Our work at Queensbridge Road is an exemplary project in fire safety and compliance. This was a vital project with tight timescales and it certainly wasn’t without challenge. Restricted access and working hours, adaptation of programme and a complicated sequencing of works made this a unique project at every stage and I’m very proud of the impeccable standards achieved by the team.
While the government is consulting on the height threshold for sprinkler systems in new residential buildings, this does not account for retrofitting systems in existing buildings. Nevertheless, many local authorities and housing associations are leading the charge and investing in retrofitting sprinkler systems. The onus is on the industry to make this process as efficient and cost effective as possible and I am proud to say that this is just what we achieved on behalf of Hackney Council.
Managing Director of Wates Property Services
Taking care of residents
With a brief to install sprinklers in 114 individual properties, our teams priority was to ensure minimal disruption to residents, a high number of which are elderly and vulnerable.
The project required prompt delivery and integral to this was ensuring that residents were respected, communicated with and supported at all stages. The team required access to each individual property and managing this without disrupting residents was one of the projects greatest successes.
Resident Liaison Officers were allocated to the project and worked with residents to ensure they were kept informed and safe at all times. The team carried out ongoing consultation, daily visits and held demonstrations for the new system to give residents assurance of quality and safety.
The team established two respite areas as part of its work compound offering TV and refreshment, providing a comfortable place for residents while work was being carried out in their homes.
Delivering impeccable fire safety
Throughout the project, we engaged with London Fire Brigade to ensure full understanding and compliance with their guidance, including consultation on specialist supply chain and a full inspection and testing plan.
This was the first sprinkler install of its kind undertaken on the Hackney Framework. Combined with the complex working arrangements and tight time constraints, I could not be prouder of all of the Wates staff Involved in this project.
The team went above and beyond daily to ensure that this project was delivered to the high standards that our client and Wates expect.
Project Manager, Wates Living Space
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