• Liverpool student block

Plans to reclad controversial Liverpool student block

A Liverpool student block which has been controversially left with missing pieces of its brick façade could finally be reclad under new plans.

Hope Street Apartments was completed in 2015 but by April 2016 it was being reported that parts of building’s cladding had fallen off.

Property management and building consultancy Workman, on behalf of owner BlackRock UK Property Fund, has now submitted a planning application for the proposed recladding of the student accommodation.

According to a defect analysis report from Workman, both the main contractor and the specialist cladding contractor from the original build are no longer trading, and after “extensive legal enquiries” any possible recourse through these companies originally involved in the project has now been abandoned.

The property comprises a multi-storey 339-bedroom student accommodation building with six ground floor retail and leisure units across three blocks.

One of the larger units, occupied by The Refinery restaurant, is on the ground floor of the Josephine Butler Building.

It was missing cladding on the Hardman Street side of this building, and the exposed wood beneath, which began to be spotted by members of the public in April 2016.

As part of the report into what needs to be done to the building’s exterior, façade engineering consultancy Wintech undertook a site inspection.

Wintech concludes that: “The façade has been constructed with inadequate expansion joints or that the expansion provisions have not been installed correctly, and that the building movements which are occurring on the façade are imposing excessive additional loading on all elements of the brick slip system, resulting in excessive out of plane deflection and damage to the brick slip.”

The proposed remedial works include the use of an alternative brick slip system called MechSlip, which has recently been introduced to the market.

About Author: Lawrence Saunders

Lawrence is a journalist at Move Publishing. He can be contacted via email at lawrence@movepublishing.co.uk or by phone on 0151 709 3871.