Project Description

The Helix / Victoria Halls, Wembley, London, UK

Project Description

In early 2019, Cumming, under the name of MHBCC, was asked by LaSalle Asset Management to take over their discussions with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in connection with Victoria Halls, a student residence building in Wembley. MHCLG had raised substantive fire safety issues with the building owners following the Grenfell tragedy in London, and Lasalle were concerned that the investigation progress by the surveyors they had initially appointed shortly after Grenfell was proving unacceptable to MHCLG. Consequently, Cumming began a series of detailed inspections of this 20-storey student residential property, which contains 51 cluster bedroom units and 191 self-contained bedroom units and is located close to Wembley Park tube station and the stadium complex.

Our first actions were to determine the extent of issues needing detailed examination, in addition to issues around the combustible cladding, which was of concern to MHCLG. As our investigations intensified, we raised early safety concerns for the building occupants and entered into regular dialogue with the local authorities and fire brigade. We assembled a design team to develop remedial designs covering cladding replacement and technical remedies to internal building overheating, which has plagued the building since its original construction. Following swift consultations with the authorities, the building was evacuated and Cumming were appointed as Project Manager, Contract Administrator and Principal Liaison with the Legal Recovery Team.

The building needs substantive remediation both externally and internally, including a complete re-clad of the building to ensure fire-safe cladding, significant remedial works to fire safety systems internally, and extensive HVAC repairs. Construction has commenced on site and is scheduled for completion in early 2022.

Project Details

Service(s): Project Management, Cost Management, Employer’s Agent & Contract Administration
Sector(s): Cladding, Education, Residential
Office(s): London
Entity: Cumming Group