24 Jan 2024

Mitigating the impact of cladding remediation: A case for considerate solutions

The process of cladding remediation on occupied residential buildings holds profound implications for the wellbeing of the affected residents. As buildings undergo recladding, the chosen access method can significantly influence the daily lives of residents.

Frequently defaulting to scaffolding, many cladding companies unintentionally subject residents to various challenges. However, there are alternative options that offer a more considerate and resident-friendly approach.

Resident-friendly cladding remediation options

Those living in buildings enveloped by scaffolding often contend with diminished sunlight, persistent construction noise, disrupted sleep patterns, and an unsettling sense of isolation.

Some cladding remediation projects can extend for up to two years, and having to live with scaffolding for a long period can have wider impacts on the health and wellbeing of residents. Research undertaken by the UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) indicated that 84 per cent of respondents living in buildings undergoing remediation reported an inability to enjoy peace and quiet at home.

Beyond this, there is evidence of an association between scaffolding, and privacy and security concerns. In one example, cladding left in situ for months left residents in a tower block feeling scared, vulnerable, and trapped, and concerned that criminals were trying to use the structure to find unlocked windows.

Mast climbers, in contrast, are thoughtfully designed and operated with residents' comfort and wellbeing in mind. They do not typically obstruct the view of residents or cover their windows with bulky scaffolding, granting them access to sunlight, their views and fresh air.

They are, in other words, a more resident-friendly solution in many cases.

The only time that residents would experience the ongoing work in their building is when the work platform is on their level. As the mast climber ascends the building's fa├žade passed their floor to complete the recladding, residents can return to a state of normality. This minimal intrusion can greatly improve the quality of life for those residing in the building under construction.

The efficiency of mast climbers can also significantly shorten construction times in comparison to scaffolding, which helps to ensure that residents endure less disruption overall from any cladding remediation and can maintain their quality of life during the project's duration. These systems facilitate rapid installation and removal, resulting in a substantial reduction in the duration of construction-related disruptions.

The shortened construction timeline also benefits landlords by enabling a quicker entry into the real estate market, alleviating the stress associated with being tied to an ongoing recladding project. This acceleration translates into a tangible reduction in the overall timeline, enabling residents to resume normal life more quickly.

Lastly, the visual impact of mast climbers on a project's appearance is also far more inconspicuous when compared to bulky scaffolding, and keeps disruptions and any negative impact on aesthetics to an absolute minimum. This can make a mast climber a more considerate choice not just for the building occupants, but the surrounding community as well.

Seek improved and socially responsible approaches to recladding

In contrast to how scaffolding envelops buildings, mast climbers can present a more streamlined and resident-friendly means of access, eliminating the need for bulky sheets. As housing providers aim to address the recommendations of the Better Social Housing Review, mast climbers stand out as a promising alternative. They can offer enhanced efficiency as well as substantial advantages for repairs and maintenance services, especially in high-rise structures.

Engaging in dialogue, actively listening to residents' concerns, and integrating their perspectives into decision-making processes allow for a more empathetic and collaborative way to deliver repairs and maintenance services. By consciously choosing solutions that align with values and the Government Code of Remediation, and taking resident safety and wellbeing into consideration, housing providers can promote a more socially responsible approach to cladding remediation.

For further information:

Unlock Massive Savings With Mast Climbers: Brick Cladding on High-Rise Buildings

Double Stacked Mast Climbers: The Solution for High Rise Construction

Innovation in Construction: The Risk & Reward of Switching To Mast Climbers

Mast Climbing Work Platforms vs. System Scaffolding: Which is Right for Your Project?

Written by

Rob Munns, head of sales and business development at BFT Mastclimbing