Wellington Close – External Refurbishment
Wellington Close was built in 1964 in Walton upon Thames comprising of 132no. 2 bed apartments spread over 3 tower blocks with adjoining 2 storey spur blocks, set in spacious grounds.
For several years now, consecutive client Boards, representing leaseholders’ interests, have strived to bring about a refurbishment project to replace the roofs and external curtain wall facades with a modern system that meets current Building Regulations requirements in thermal efficiency whilst enhancing its overall appearance and increase the value of leaseholder’s assets.
Keegans were appointed on this scheme for the last 4 years as Lead Consultants providing multi-disciplinary services including design, writing the specification and tender process and once onsite clerk of works role and Contact Administration.
From a financial perspective, the Wellington Close re-cladding scheme, is ground breaking in that Keegans are not aware of any similarly sized projects for private, long-leasehold apartments.
Under Landlord & Tenant Legislation there was a requirement to undertake a robust consultation process with all 132 leaseholders at various stages of the tendering process; this has now been successfully completed. One of the key issues encountered was determining whether the work is classified as a repair or improvement. This issue was overcome by seeking a pre-determination of the works at the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber); this tribunal confirmed that the consultation process had been administered correctly; that the works are allowed under the terms of the leases (repair or improvement) and that the works were necessary.
Throughout the planning and tendering processes, Keegans have kept leaseholders informed of anticipated timings and budgeted costs to ensure they had sufficient time to plan for this expense.
The project is now in its 61st week (Contracted period 120 weeks) – anticipated completion 72 weeks. The first two Blocks (Block A and B) and spur blocks are complete with all new double-glazed windows, cladding, new roofs and internal flat works complete. The mast climbers are dismantled. Block C has had the mast climbers erected and all the windows have been installed externally to all elevations. Balcony and kitchen window installations ongoing.
Main tower roof to Block C is being installed, the spur block is complete. The main entrance doors and screens are complete to blocks A and B. Block C will be installed once the remaining works are complete.
Block A and spur is 100% complete
Block B and spur is 100% complete
Block C and spur is 40% complete
The completed flats have significant gains in terms of energy efficiency and thermal comfort with many residents reporting that they no longer need to use central heating.
There are further benefits where previously due to poor thermal efficient of the single glazed windows and water ingress through defective roofing and lack of general insulation, many flats had problems of mould growth. This again has all been resolved and the general feedback from residents is very positive.