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CGI of Denning Point illustrating the completed re-clad building

Denning Point Tower Refurbishment

Tower Hamlets

Client: EastEnd Homes
Project Value: £4.5m
Brief: Recladding of a 23-storey residential block with non-combustible materials
Sustainability Initiatives: BIM Level 2 recladding project offering a ‘Golden Thread’ of information to the building owners

Denning Point is a 23-storey residential tower in Aldgate, Central London, owned and managed by EastEnd Homes (EeH). The building was originally constructed in the late 1960s and was re-clad with combustible ACM in 2014. Following the Grenfell disaster EeH undertook a risk assessment and subsequently placed a waking watch in the building until the cladding could be removed. We were appointed in 2018 to support EeH achieve the safe removal of the cladding and design a safe alternative which complied with updated Building Regulations. In accordance with the recommendations of the Hackitt Review: “Building a Safer Future“ (May 2018) we sought to deliver a ‘Golden thread of information’ through the use of BIM (Building Information Management). This methodology is regarded as key to successful building management of HRRB’s (High Rise Residential Buildings) and as a BIM Level 2 certified practice ECD have the skills necessary to deliver this. Denning Point therefore offers not only a template for the safe removal and replacement of combustible cladding but also best practice in the safe management of high-rise residential buildings.

To ensure the swift and safe removal of the combustible cladding as quickly as possible (and thereby remove the waking watch and associated ongoing cost) we procured a cladding removal contractor and this work was completed in October 2019. At the same time, we designed a safe alternative cladding product to meet A1 Fire classification and procured a contractor to deliver this starting on site in February 2020. Whilst the existing cladding had to be removed, both the client and local planning officers were keen to ensure that its replacement closely resembled the current appearance. This led us to propose that the new cladding system should consist of solid aluminum cladding panels, a mineral wool insulation, full fill cavity barriers in horizontal positions and intumescent cavity barriers in vertical positions.

We provided a full Architectural service for RIBA Stages 1-7 based on traditional procurement (with CDP) including Principal Designer services (via our sister company Keegans) and BIM Consultancy Services to ensure the delivery of an Asset Information Model. Delivering and recording the project through BIM was important for ensuring the project was delivered in line with the updated Fire Safety Standards. These require a digital record incorporating the product, system and information of all parties be provided at handover, which in turn required all parties adopt a consistent approach within a collaborative environment.

To kick off the BIM process, the ECD BIM Management team developed and implemented a work flow strategy to maintain the information audit process through the common data environment (CDE) managing the BIM models in their infancy, engaging with the clerk of works, and using the CDE for record keeping and recording issues as noted on site. Once this was set up, our BIM Coordinator became the gate keeper between the design team and the contractor maintaining the quality of the model as it moved from a project information model in to an asset information model, managing he CDE to ensure that all parties were in compliance with the work flows agreed within the BIM contract documents and that the review and improved work flows were being used to provide the audit trail required by the client.