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Government’s Medium-Rise Cladding Scheme all set for roll-out

26 February 2023

WITH THE Medium-Rise Cladding Scheme rolling out in the early part of this year, now is the ideal time for interested parties to talk to experienced fire remediation experts who can offer a full ‘through-the-line’ service. That’s the firm belief of Gavin Lacey, chief operating officer at CHPK.

Homes England announced the pilot of its Medium-Rise Cladding Scheme back in November last year, itself a £3 billion fund raised from the Building Safety Levy for fire safety remediation on buildings of between 11 and 18 metres in height. The scheme is due to be rolled out across England in the early portion of this year, subsequently bringing medium-rise residential tower blocks into line with those above 18 metres which are eligible for the Building Safety Fund launched in 2020.

For its part, CHPK Fire Engineering has been working on over 50 cladding projects totalling in excess of £200 million in remediation costs. The CHPK Group’s specialist consultancy, CHPK Fire Engineering has been instructed on more than 300 external wall assessments. More recently, the specialist consultancy has been invited to participate in the Government’s ‘Medium-Rise Fund’ pilot scheme.

Breadth of offer

Gavin Lacey commented: “One of the key reasons for clients choosing to work with the CHPK Group is the breadth of our offer. We are the only operator in the market which combines fire engineering, building control consultancy, construction services and surveying all under one roof. This means that we can offer our clients a seamless ‘through-the-line’ external cladding fire remediation service from start to finish, with no need for disjointed and time-consuming handovers to external participants. It also means that we can be flexible in relation to payment terms, absorbing initial costs as part of a wider project management fee later on.”

Dr Ahmed Allam joined CHPK Fire Engineering in August last year. He’s responsible for overseeing the activities of the business, ensuring Best Practice and providing strategic advice to the Board of Directors. Throughout his 30 years in the industry, Dr Allam has established, implemented and delivered on long-term goals, strategies, plans and policies for major organisations and developments alike, while also ensuring value creation for clients and development shareholders.

Working with internationally recognised publications and developing several highly complex technical analysis techniques in collaboration with research and educational institutions, Dr Allam has contributed to a wide range of mega developments worldwide. These include the initial work on the collapse of the World Trade Centre in New York, the Crossrail Interchange in London, RBD in Abu Dhabi, Qatar Education City, a new terminal at Abu Dhabi International Airport and the ground-breaking Sydney Metro scheme.

Funding support

Importantly, CHPK Fire Engineering treats external cladding fire remediation as it would any other construction service, deeming this to require the same high level of expertise and diligence as would be the cause if the business was acting as CDM client advisor and principal designer on the iconic Lloyd’s Building in the City of London or on the project management of internal and external cyclical refurbishment works for a 20-storey tower in London’s East End.

The company boasts lots of experience when it comes to Building Safety Fund pre-tender support, securing the release of 10% of potential funding to enable the work to proceed on submitting the final application.

Importantly, the company is also working with several developers who, under the auspices of the Developer’s Pledge, have agreed to fund the remediation of buildings for which they were responsible. Some of these instructions originated with CHPK’s managing agent or leaseholder clients who, part-way into the process of CHPK applying for money from the Building Safety Fund on their behalf, have been approached by the developer to take back the process.

In these instances, communication between the original stakeholder and the developer may not always have been constructive, in which case CHPK has retained to peer review the developer’s proposals should they suggest project managing the process in-house. More often, however, CHPK has been appointed by the developer to manage the entire process, with the developer acting as the funder only.

Government estimates

The Government estimates that 140,000 leaseholders in England are living in mid-rise buildings with ‘life safety fire risks’ and that between 6,220 and 8,890 mid-rise residential buildings will require expensive full remediation, partial remediation or mitigation to alleviate the risk.

Property managers, managing agents or freeholders of such buildings seeking an experienced and reputable expert in the field should contact Gavin Lacey or Group CEO Tom Moriarty for assistance. If responsible for a building over 18 metres tall and an application to the Building Safety Fund has yet to be made, CHPK would be able to assist.

*Further information is available by sending an e-mail to claddingteam@chpk.co.uk

**Alternatively, visit the CHPK Group website at www.chpk.co.uk