Making buildings safe ...

Avenham Towers in Preston is 1 of 3, 10 storey local authority owned blocks of flats. All 3 blocks had a rain screen cladding system installed on them some years ago.  The local authority recently took the decision to remove the cladding system and the insulation panels that lay beneath the external panels.

CRL was commissioned to remove the full system on all 3 tower blocks. The lower-level panels were accessed by aluminium tower scaffold, this was before the installation of mast climbers to each of the tower blocks as working platforms.

Scope of works included;

      • Erect Mast Climber access to each full block, to all levels,
      • Removal of all rainscreen cladding panels,
      • Removal of mineral wool insulation panels,
      • Removal of foam insulation panels,
      • Dismantle and remove steel support frame which secures the panels to the main structure,
      • Make good all fixing bolt holes on the entire structure, from the removal of the above, and
      • Make good all fixing bolt holes on the entire structure, from the removal of the above.

All works above tower scaffold access reach were carried out from the mast climber platforms, after low level works were completed.

The works consisted of the removal of each separate external panel by extracting the fixings bolts securing them to the steel support frame. After each panel was safely removed the team then took out all the mineral wool insulation that was held in place by the panels, certain areas of the tower blocks had large foam block insulation panels, these were also removed. Any exposed areas were kept safe with fire- proof blanket barriers.

No mains powered hand tools were used during the whole process to eliminate any sparks occurring for fire protection purposes.

Finally, the steel rail support system that secures the cladding panels to the building was removed from the structure and all the fixing and bolt holes holding the frame in place were made good.

"A large percentage of the works were carried out in temperatures around 2 degrees, so conditions were difficult in the early stages. The team pulled together collaborating with a main contractor and working in harmony to create a joint team effort."

Kevin Bullen | Site Manager | CRL

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