Fire Safe Facade Refurbishment

A new replacement facade system being installed at a high-rise residential building in Leeds brings the structure in compliance with the new government guidance

Two derelict blocks at Saxton Gardens in Leeds were completely renovated in 2007, providing 410 new apartments in an ambitious urban redevelopment. To give the blocks an aesthetically pleasing exterior, the architects designed the facades with varying window sizes, slot balconies and contrasting coloured cladding. The new owners and tenants rated the development highly.

Ten years later, an assessment of the facade design determined that the cladding used on one of the two blocks did not meet sufficiently high safety standards, and the decision was taken to upgrade the facade.

EnviroSips Limited, specialist designers, manufacturers and installers of structural insulated panel systems, were engaged to carry out the facade refurbishment on behalf of the property management company. The existing 27-metre high facade is being removed and replaced with A2 rated, non-combustible cladding materials while the building remains fully occupied. The renovation is in full compliance with revised government guidance for buildings above 18 metres. The new regulations came into effect on 27 December last year and relate to external wall construction in these buildings that contain one or more dwellings.

One element of the system being installed is a superior flame retardant breather membrane. FlameOut Breathe is rated Class B-s1,d0, the highest level for flame retardancy in the Euroclass system. "This project represents an excellent example of providing an integrated upgrade solution to bring this housing development in line with the most stringent fire safety standards. ITP's flame retardant breather membranes work well to provide an efficient, safe cladding installation," said Richard Evans, Director of the ESL Group and EnviroSips Ltd.

Produced by North Yorkshire firm Industrial Textiles & Plastics (ITP), FlameOut Breathe is part of their flame retardant range of vapour control layers (VCLs) and breather membranes, including the UK’s only Class A2 non-combustible membrane.

 

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