Cost of Cladding

Not only is this alternative cheaper and less disruptive than attempting to remove all the tiles from the exterior, its projected lifespan is a lot longer, and the appearance would not be subject to the same deterioration any attempts to bathe the building with additional layers of suffocating paintwork.

With regard to the above project we are pleased to advise our budget supply and fix rate of £170.00/m2 for the Ash & Lacy Ashtech Freedom 1 Rainscreen Cladding System.

Our budget rate is based upon:
Volume – 4700m2
Panel module – 1300mm
Panel length – 3600mm
Thickness/material – 4.0mm ACM
Panel aesthetic – horizontal
Paint system/colour – Pvdf, std colour
Standard support system – included
Flat panel rate – £170.00/m2

In the case of cranked corner panels we suggest the flat panel rate be increased by 50% for budget purposes. The above rate includes 2.5% main contractor discount but excludes primary structural support, insulation, dpm, fire stops, and site attendances/allowances. Site fixing is carried out through a network of experienced installer’s dedicated to providing the Client with a partnership of Manufacturer and Contractor, producing a unified solution to the satisfaction of all concerned.

In line with rainscreen design principles, the Ashtech Rainscreen System is not an insulated panel, the insulation value required being achieved within the overall total wall construction. Rainscreen design by virtue of its nature is not a watertight system, the weather tightness being achieved via the backing wall and perimeter detailing.

Memo from RLF, Subject: Rendering proposals

The survey that has been commissioned and provided by Edge has found failure of the Joltec paint system in two ways. Firstly the Joltec membrane is blistering and lifting away from the tiles underneath. Secondly the coating itself is starting to break down and is no longer stable. The edge report estimates that within any 3m squared area 5 to 10 patches can be identified where the Joltec is detached from the tiles.

Further to this the report describes Joltec perforations where the system is fully breached. The report describes this situation arising on all elevations at all levels were obvious multiple perforations have been caused by impact. It is thought this impact is from the window cleaning cradle activity.

We have discussed the identified universal surface crazing with the Jolted manufacturer and they have advised that this is a breakdown of the Joltec itself and it is unlikely to still be providing an effective barrier to the elements.

The survey has in addition identified areas where the mosaic tile structure is live. By this we mean that it is no longer fully bonded to the rendered layer beneath the mosaic tile. I have attached a section from the original design plans that shows how the build up of the walls is constructed.

In response to the statement that 80% of the wall covering is in good condition. We have not assessed the amount as an area calculation. However the defects across the building are universal. If 20% of the building has failures and this 20% is distributed evenly over the building, which we believe it is, this gives rise to a patchwork of failure throughout the building on all levels and all elevations.

We do not know at this stage how difficult the tiles will be to remove from the underlying render. It is likely that the strength of the bond between the tiles and the render beneath will vary considerably. It is not a fair assumption that the experience of removing tiles internally will match the experience of removing them externally. It is likely that the removal of the tiles will be disturbing to a degree and a method statement will be produced to makes sure that all tiling removed from the face of the building is carefully controlled to make sure it cannot fall from the platform from which operatives are working.

The mosaic tiles are fixed to a sand cement render. This type of render has often been used as the final protective finish to a building. It will not on this basis be damaged by short term exposure to the elements. The new render system will have multiple layers and we will take advice from the manufacturer regarding the conditions in which the layers can be installed. The system is designed for external application and we do not anticipate normal weather conditions for South East coastal regions to be prohibitive to the installation of the system.

We have reviewed the fixing method of the original heads and trims of the windows and the balconies and based on this knowledge I cannot see any way that these could be loosened through the removal of the tiles. Newly installed windows may be fixed alternatively. However, we will be asking the contractor to confirm the method for removal of the tiles and we will require them to demonstrate how they will achieve this without causing damage.

It is regrettable that the Joltec as an application cannot be repaired, previously the re application of further coats of Joltec have extended the life of the external façade. We are advised by Ronacrete who manufacture the Joltec product (albeit the name has now changed) that they do not think a further coat simply applied over the old will be effective and the new top coat could start to fail soon after its application since the condition of the underlying coats is now so poor.

We do not believe that the Joltec can simply be removed from the mosaic tiles. If this were possible it would still leave a significant number of areas where the tiles are starting to de-bond from the render beneath. This is a situation that will continue to get worse and will not be halted by the application of further coats of Joltec.

Our view is that given the progressive failure of the various layers of the building, if a further liquid coat is applied to the outside of the building, failures in this coat will become apparent in a short period of time and perhaps within 1 year.

We believe that if a further short term liquid application is carried out in 2015 this will give rise to further remedial works being necessary perhaps within a 3 year period. As the underlying layers of Joltec continue to deteriorate the additional coats will become less effective and the intervals between required coats applications will become more frequent.

It is our view that now is the time to carry out a long term solution to the continuing deterioration of the external envelope of the building. Our proposal when considered from a whole life cycle perspective will be cost effective over a 15-20 year period. This is because the access requirements for each occasion that the building is worked on forms a considerable part of the cost of the works. A rendered solution should leave the parts of the building currently covered by mosaic tiles maintenance free for 20 years with a robust clean and presentable finish.

We are happy to consider and review any other options that are presented.

Section 20 part 2

Any correctly drafted Section 20 Notice initiates a time critical process. However, in order to start the clock the Section 20 Notice MUST be correctly documented and MUST, by definition, be entirely accurate in every respect in order to be compliant with current legislation. It is imperative that the clock is not started precipitously if you are to avoid being forced to abandon a false start and begin again.

As a Shareholders of The Company we remain both mindful and seriously concerned that a recent FTT found that The Board’s past conduct and performance in the satisfactory and effective service and compliance of a previous Section 20 Notice had been sufficiently flawed as to render the entirely foreseeable consequence that works carried out demonstrably erred from the Section 20 Notification Process and that such costs involved in the completion of such works, as a direct consequence, are simply not capable of being re-charged to the Service Charge Account and that such process breaches have, in turn, cost SH(B)L many thousands of pounds.

Accordingly, in the event that SH(B)L wish to depart from a defined course of conduct and maintenance strategy expressed in Newsletters and expanded upon at an AGM, it is incumbent upon The Company to communicate effectively with Shareholders and, in any event, ensure transparency and consultation throughout the Section 20 Process.

The Section 20 Notice issued to Shareholders fails in a number of respects … not least being a failure to provide sufficient or adequate information which would enable a Service Charge Payer to exercise their right to nominate an alternative contractor. It is critical that Shareholders are afforded transparency and effective communication in order that they are best able to make informed decisions.

At the 2014 AGM that Shareholders voted overwhelmingly to persuade Directors to re-visit the issue of the over-boarding of the Hose Reel Niches. Julian Laing had previously described this work as “shabby” and “unsightly” …. yet, Julian repeatedly sought to justify such poor specification and workmanship by claiming that Directors had canvassed the issue and that it was considered that after a while that Directors had simply started “not to notice how unsightly it is after a while” and that the cost of re-doing the work would probably put people off of securing a good job. This is precisely the reason why it is so very important to do a good job, first time, every time. Spending twice is always a costly proposition.

We are concerned that a shabby job will be rail-roaded by Directors by virtue of a lack of confidence, competence, understanding and prudence and that the cost of correcting the resulting fiasco will prove unpalatable, having twice recently experienced such fiascos in the recent Major Roof Project and Water Delivery System.

Section 20 – External Works

Selected shareholders were sent the statutory documentation on 2nd February.

While Ellmans were not the duly authorised agents for SH(B)L at the time of the last AGM in November last year, at that meeting, Shareholders were assured by both “RLF” and Directors of SH(B)L that all Shareholders would be provided with updates and information enabling us to make informed evaluations and decisions as to the implications of the the proposed works as and when such information became available.

Given that figures have previously been offered by SH(B)L that now seem to be entirely unrealistic for this latest proposal, we are a little concerned that the documentation does not provide any estimated costings.

The latest proposal includes works for which Shareholders have previously been advised by both Austin Rees and SH(B)L are not the responsibility of ‘The Company’.

Accordingly the ‘Section 20 Works Description’ is inadequate in assisting Shareholders to understand the proposals and the implications that such proposals have on the current value of our property.

To make informed representations within the statutory consultation period of 35 days that SH(B)L should, correctly, provide further and better particulars as to the scope of the works, the estimated cost of the works and the reasons why RLF have recommended such works and what the alternatives may be. Have alternative recommendations been sought or are alternatives intended to be sought?

I think the time has come for SH(B)L to ‘get’ the need for transparency. Directors need to convene a meeting of Residents and Shareholders to discuss the Section 20 in some detail given that the works look set to cost every Shareholder a considerable sum of money and the inconvenience of ongoing works for some time to come.

We are a collective of equitable Shareholders and whilst Directors have the ultimate responsibility for making decisions as to satisfactory maintenance of Sussex Heights, it seems entirely reasonable that in 2015 all other Shareholders are able to expect total transparency and to establish for themselves whether or not Directors are, in-so-doing, exploring due diligence and exhibiting requisite competence in the best interests of all shareholders.

Abandon hope all ye who enter here

Through me you pass into the city of woe:

Through me you pass into eternal pain:

Through me among the people lost for aye.

Justice the founder of my fabric mov’d:

To rear me was the task of power divine,

Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.

Before me things create were none, save things

Eternal, and eternal I endure.

All hope abandon ye who enter here.

Such characters in colour dim I mark’d

Over a portal’s lofty arch inscrib’d:

Whereat I thus: Master, these words import.

Dante Alighieri 1306-1321
via Abandon hope all ye who enter here – meaning and origin..