Newham

ENGIE appointed as contractor to carry out important fire safety work in Newham

15 March 2018 in Housing
Work on removing cladding from three tower blocks in Newham will start within the next month following the appointment of ENGIE as contractor.​
​Following the Grenfell disaster in June 2017, Newham Council has been carrying out significant work on all its tower blocks to improve fire safety for all residents. This includes looking closely at tower blocks with cladding systems particularly those that use Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) and ensuring that any cladding that would present a risk in the unlikely event of a fire is removed. 

Ferrier Point in Canning Town and Nicholls Point and Tanner Point in Plaistow North all use ACM cladding systems which have failed Government safety checks. A decision was made in September 2017 to remove the cladding and replace the current system with a safe, suitable material.

Since then, the council has undertaken a rigorous and timely procurement process to find a contractor to carry out this work.

ENGIE was appointed as the successful contractor as part of this process. The energy and services group specialise in the design, refurbishment and upgrade of buildings and places and work closely with local communities. As regeneration experts, they have carried out significant projects across the country including work for the University of Greenwich, Hackney Council and Leeds City Council.  

Low level scaffold and mast climbers (a working platform which moves up floor by floor) will begin to be installed next week. Once these are ready, the existing cladding will start to be removed. 

All tenants will be able to stay in their homes throughout the work. There will also be a dedicated resident liaison team on-site throughout the work throughout the project. 

The contract will also bring added community benefits. ENGIE will ensure local people have access to any job vacancies on the project as well as creating three new apprenticeship placements, three traineeships and three accredited courses for those interested in a career in construction – all specifically for Newham residents. ENGIE will also hold workshops aimed at helping residents with financial resilience and their digital skills.

In addition to this, ENGIE will arrange and fund a variety of community events including three community garden projects. 

Funding for the whole project has been allocated from the Housing Capital Programme. 

Additional safety measures are currently in place at all three blocks which include:
  • ​Fire alarms in communal areas
  • A waking watch who can raise the alarm and evacuate the building in the unlikely event of a fire. 
It is anticipated that all works will be completed early in 2019. 

Councillor Terence Paul, Mayoral Advisor for Housing said: “This is a significant step forward in ensuring that our tower blocks are as safe as possible in the unlikely event of a fire. We will work closely with ENGIE to ensure that impact on residents living in the tower blocks and surrounding areas is kept to an absolute minimum. 

“I want to thank all residents affected for their patience and understanding. This has been a difficult time and they have been cooperative throughout. We have made significant progress with our fire safety programme with thousands of checks carried out to buildings across our whole housing stock. I am committed to ensuring that whatever measures are necessary are taken to protect all our residents.”

Simon Lacey, Divisional Managing Director for ENGIE said: “Resident welfare is at the heart of this scheme and it is important that all 223 households feel safe and secure in their home. Newham Council has rapidly responded to the fire safety tests which were implemented post Grenfell and shown a firm commitment to rectifying this situation. 

“We have substantial experience delivering similar schemes where residents are still in occupation and can assure disruption will be kept to a minimum. This is an incredibly sensitive project and one which we aren’t taking lightly so our resident liaison team will be instrumental in alleviating any resident concerns and communicating openly as the scheme progresses.”