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Managing Editor, IFSEC Insider

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James Moore is the Managing Editor of IFSEC Insider, the leading online publication for security and fire news in the industry. James writes, commissions, edits and produces content for IFSEC Insider, including articles, breaking news stories and exclusive industry reports. He liaises and speaks with leading industry figures, vendors and associations to ensure security and fire professionals remain abreast of all the latest developments in the sector.
November 23, 2023

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Building safety & remediation

Camden Council completes remediation work via Building Safety Fund

Camden Council has invested £7 million, using funding available from the Government’s Building Safety Fund, to replace facades across three buildings with new A1 rated cladding.

Camden-London-unsplash-23The council says the Bramber, Glynde Reach and Gatesden buildings are among the first social housing blocks in the country to have had fire safety improvements completed using the Building Safety Fund.

New A1 rated cladding is said to have improved the exterior performance and insulation of the buildings. Crucially, it has replaced the previous “dangerous cladding”.

A1 rated cladding is considered to be one of the strictest fire performance standards for construction materials and deemed to be a non-combustible material, meaning they do not contribute to the development or spread of flames. It can be used for exterior or interior cladding and roof coverings.

The works were delivered in partnership with local residents, with weekly drop-ins held on the estate and regular meetings for residents to engage with council officers and contractors. A dedicated on-site team for resident queries was also available. This is in line with the push for greater resident engagement that has been emphasised by the Building Safety Regulator and Grenfell reports and inquiry in recent years.

Counciller Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes, said: “Nothing is more important than the safety of our residents, which is why we have worked at pace and together with our residents to deliver this new standard of fire safety on the Cromer Street Estate, and why are investing more than £200 million in a wide range of safety improvements across all of our housing stock.

“Fire safety is our number one priority as a council. Not only did Camden lobby for the government to introduce the national Building Safety Fund – so that dangerous cladding could urgently be removed from residential buildings – but as one of the first local authorities to complete the recladding of council homes using the fund, we can demonstrate the speed at which we are working at on this issue.

“The commitment we have made to our residents is that we will continue working with this urgency and determination until each one of our residents’ homes meets the same high standards of fire safety.

The Building Safety Fund

First announced in the 2020 budget in March, the Government announced a second series of funding for the Building Safety Fund in 2022 with an additional £4.5 billion available for eligible buildings above 18 metres.

The £4.5 billion fund is part of the wider Building Safety Programme, designed to ensure residents of high-rise buildings are safe in their homes.

For social housing, the Government has said it will meet the costs of remediation to high rise residential buildings regulated as social housing. For social providers whose viability is not threatened by the cost of the work, a claim process will be launched in July to meet the remediation costs which would otherwise be passed to leaseholders.

Buildings must have met the following criteria to be eligible for the fund:

  • Buildings that are 18m or above
  • Buildings that have at least one qualifying residential leaseholders
  • Buildings that have cladding, as defined in the PAS 9980:2022 code of practice
  • Buildings must have a Fire Risk Appraisal of External Wall construction (FRAEW) which recommends actions to address fire risks to life safety presented by the external wall system

Recent updates have been made to the Building Safety Fund in November 2023 reflecting recent changes to policy and the launch of the Cladding Safety Scheme.

The fund remains open for new applications.

 

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