After the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, the government established a programme to ensure the fire safety of residents in high-rise buildings. As part of this programme, the External Wall Fire Review process confirms that the external wall system (typically insulation, filler materials and cladding) of residential buildings has been assessed for safety by a suitable expert. Lenders may refuse a mortgage application where an EWS1 Form cannot be produced. EWS1 forms have been completed for Andrewes, Breton, Defoe and Gilbert Houses, and forms for all City of London buildings including the Barbican are expected to be completed this year.
One of the key findings of the Barbican Residential Estate’s (BRE) last fire risk assessment was the need to need to update our fire safety signage. When new signage was introduced, concerns raised by residents led to the programme being suspended. Subsequently, rePurpose Architects were appointed to produce a bespoke Fire Strategy for the BRE. This is nearing completion and, once finalised, will be submitted to the London Fire Brigade for review and approval. It will also be shared and discussed with residents prior to implementation.
The next step is a full survey of the Estate to establish the exact number of doors in scope. Replacing the doors will be a complex project and, due to the Estate’s Listed Building status the design of replacement doors will be subject to consultation with residents. This project is a Landlord’s expense and is estimated to take two to three years.