Savills LLP is recognised globally as a key partner in the property sector. They manage a vast portfolio of commercial properties, ensuring these assets are well maintained and safe for tenants and the general public. Starfish Construction has been a principal partner for Savills on numerous projects over the years, providing turnkey solutions across cladding, roofing and fit-out projects.
The Hub at Pacific Quay, located in Glasgow's Creative Digital Media Quarter is home to many TV production companies, creative agencies and architects. The modern and spacious interior centred around the communal 'Hub Square' offers flexible office space, cafe and breakout areas providing the perfect environment for meeting, talking, thinking and creativity.
The Hub Rainscreen Cladding Technical Survey
The Hub had been experiencing water ingress in various locations through the rainscreen cladding, since its construction over 10 years ago. We undertook comprehensive invasive technical surveys to identify defects within the wall system with a large number of additional issues identified and reported by our expert team. These findings were also backed by an independent facade consultant.
Starfish Construction identified that the EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) rubber seals around the windows were missing and causing the air and water leakage, as per our original client remit. During our investigations, we also identified a significant number of additional defects due to our vast technical expertise with these systems, including:
- The ‘Helping Hand’ bracket system was installed incorrectly, prohibiting the required airflow through the system
- Carbon Steel Fixings had been installed instead of stainless steel
- Non-perforated fire barriers were installed restricting airflow
- Fire Barriers were only installed horizontally and not vertically; therefore, compartmentalisation could not be achieved within the system
- Vapour Barrier at the parapets was missing or installed incorrectly, therefore not protecting the insulation
- Poorly installed cement particle board, with missing seals or tape to the joints
- Vulcanised or welded seals to mid gaskets were not present
- Poorly sealed joints of the insulation board with the foil tape hanging off or missing.
The factors outlined lead to the decision to replace the rainscreen cladding system completely.
- Full rainscreen survey and assessment
- Design of new rainscreen system
- Safe removal of old system
- Installation of new and correctly installed system
- All works carried out without building closure
- Completed within budget and on schedule.
Area of Rainscreen Cladding installed
Challenges and Solutions
Starfish Construction carried out the work, while the building was fully operational and occupied by the multiple tenants, which meant that traffic management and the cordoning off of areas were risk assessed and managed effectively to allow no margin for error.
Key goals were to keep noise and dust to a minimum, in order not to be disruptive to tenants and visitors’ working environment. Further challenges were to minimise the chance of rainwater ingress while we removed and installed the waterproof skin of the building, undertaken during the stormy autumn and early winter period.
Our recommendation to the client was to upgrade the rainscreen panels to a higher grade fire-resistant panel. We felt this was the best course of action to protect the client from possible legislation change and to provide reassurance for tenants and insurers.
The work progressed with stripping the existing rainscreen panels, sub-frame, insulation and CP board. Starfish Construction’s expert team began the work of remedying the flaws detected in our report. All these remedial works were carried out and inspected before the process of installing the new upgraded fire-resistant panels.
The project was completed within budget and on schedule.
As this was the first rainscreen cladding refurbishment project that we were involved in at this practice it was imperative that we engaged a contractor who we had the utmost confidence in. Having worked with Starfish over a number of years I have found that their approach to projects is refreshing and they are genuinely portraying the image of a modern, progressive, ambitious company which is who we aim to align ourselves with.
Throughout this project, their approach to health & safety was very good which is paramount. We, as the contract administrator, in addition to the building owner, were very pleased with how the project was delivered and the end result was fantastic.