Orwell Quay, Ipswich.



Project Details

RG Carter
Summer 2022 and continuing (now in phase two)
Wetherby A2-rated insulated render system; Cedral Click cladding as a rainscreen system; Proteus A2-rated spandrel panels; Alideck A1-rated aluminium decking system; James & Taylor terracotta tile system
Orwell Quay, Ipswich2024-05-28T12:16:28+00:00

Project Description

Orwell Quay is a complex of modern high-rise residential buildings in Ipswich. Cladding remediation was identified as a requirement in all buildings in the complex, with the work divided into two phases. Phase one started in the summer of 2022 and wrapped up in December 2023. Following its successful completion, we have now begun phase two, which sees similar work on three additional blocks. 

For all buildings involved, the requirement is to install replacement cladding and complete new rendering. Timber decking was also replaced, with new fire-rated systems.  

Completing work in an occupied residential complex 

During the remediation work, the blocks were fully occupied by tenants throughout, and a key requirement was identified from the start of the project around minimising disruption for residents. We were responsible for erecting and managing the scaffolding that was needed on site, so potential concerns here included obstruction of windows and unexpected human traffic outside of those windows, as well as noise. 

The weather also proved an opponent at times on this project. Rain typically forces a halt to the work of several trades, with rendering, in particular, needing to stop during rainfall, high humidity and cold temperatures. 

Importance of strong communication and relationships on a major project 

Contractor RG Carter is a partner we have worked with on several projects before, so we were delighted to be asked to take on the new challenge of Orwell Quay. Communication is at the heart of any successful construction project, and familiarity made it especially easy to establish a strong working relationship with the RG Carter team. 

Just as important, however, were relationships with residents. “Careful planning can reduce disruption arising from works, but it can’t eliminate it,” comments Harvey Michaelson, our Assistant Site Manager at Orwell Quay. “On our side was the fact that cladding remediation is an activity that people understand is very much in their interest. Strong relationships remain vital, however. In general, we find that residents will accept the inevitable disruption to their lives if they feel informed and listened to.” 

Orwell Quay has a representative body for residents. The direct responsibility for communications with that group lay with main contractor RG Carter, but we understood that our obligation was to prepare and pass on all information that residents would need to know, so that our partner could in turn keep all of those living on the site informed. “There is no substitute for honest and clear information”, continues Harvey. “Working with RG Carter, we were able to create a plan which reduced disturbance for local people. Between the two of us, we then worked to keep everyone informed of activity ahead of time throughout the process. This did lead to a general understanding and tolerance of our work, so I would class this project very much as a success.” 

Flexibility in response to British weather and completed works 

As with any project, there are many challenges to address and overcome, and during phase one weather played its part. “The key here is to be aware works might be disrupted by weather and have alternative activities for those onsite wherever possible. Fortunately, we were able to reassign people as needed, and avoid any unnecessary delays.” 

Another point Harvey emphasised was the need to adapt during projects where potential for improvement is spotted. “For phase one, we didn’t complete work on the two buildings simultaneously – it was one and then the other. Since the work was similar, we were able to refine the procedure for the second tower. This wasn’t a case of any single, vital change. Various small details were optimised, but it did add up to an improved process, and we will be taking that forward as we progress to phase two.” 

The first phase of activity has now finished, with building control approval signalling a compliant completion of works. The new year has seen Harvey and the team get started on the second phase at Orwell Quay. “I’m delighted that phase one of this work has come to such a successful conclusion,” comments Tony Hill, Managing Director at Eden Facades. “We look forward to continuing the partnership with RG Carter on the next stage of this project.” 

If you need an experienced and professional cladding specialist, please get in touch by calling 01268 744199 or emailing office@edenfacades.co.uk. You can also use our contact page. 


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