Winchester Tower, Norwich.

Norwich City Council manages approximately 15,000 homes for the provision of social & leasehold housing.

A large proportion of this housing stock is made up of pre and post war properties of traditional 2 storey housing and also non-traditional low, medium and high rise properties built to satisfy the post war housing shortage.

Project Overview

Replacement of the Original District Heating System, Including Boilers, Heat Emitters, Distribution Pipework With Provision of New Gas Supply to the Roof Top Plant Room.  Replacement of the Defective Main Flat Roof and Asbestos Remediation Throughout to Facilitate the Project Works.

Fox Associates was appointed as project managers by Norwich City Council to co-ordinate and manage the major refurbishment works to Winchester Tower, which is one of eight high rise towers owned by the landlord.

The tower was constructed in the mid 1960’s by George Wimpey, is 16 storeys’ in height and is of a no fines concrete and steel frame construction.

The existing district heating system boilers were beyond their serviceable life, as were the flow and return risers and heat emitters within the flats.

The roof membrane to the tower was also defective and required replacement.

The heat emitters within the flats, flow and return pipework within the risers and the roof top boiler room had asbestos containing materials which required removal prior to works commencement.  The flats had to remain occupied and could not be vacated during the refurbishment works.

The asbestos removal works were programmed to cause minimum disturbance to the residents and a minimum of downtime for heating provision.  The works were also programmed to be completed over the winter period due to budget constraints.

There were extensive core drilling works required to relocate new supply pipework from the boiler room, through the steel reinforced roof and into existing risers.

New heating plant had to be transported to the roof top boiler room by provision of a hoist and full height scaffold.  A new rising gas main to the boiler room was also required to the full height of the tower.  The provision of suitable temporary and permanent structural fixings for these elements were  complicated by the no fines concrete construction of the tower.

Boiler change over and shutdown had to be carefully programmed to minimise disturbance to the residents with the provision of temporary heating and hot water.

The project required extensive co-ordination and consultation with the residents and the management committee prior to and during the works to ensure the service standards, required by the City council, were complied with at all stages.

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