Student Accommodation, Bristol

Student Accommodation, Bristol

Client: Unite Students

Background: Our client is one of the leading providers of student accommodation in the UK, providing homes for 50,000 students, across 28 cities. They have been helping students achieve the most out of their university experience by providing homes, which give them the freedom and comfort to succeed. Currently they have over 125 student homes and buildings throughout 25 key university cities and towns across the UK.

Scope Of Service: To respond to emergency call out and temporarily secure all loose cladding panels, undertake full intrusive survey to diagnose and report on the cause of the cladding panel failure. Setup site, allowing continued access to both building entrances including aesthetic hoarding, remove existing cladding panels, install new cladding support system then reinstate existing cladding panels.

Form Of Contract: Cost Plus

Contract On Site: February 2017

Storm Doris caused major disruption across the UK, Scotland and Wales during February 2017, rain, snow and gales of up to 90 mph were reported. TSL were contacted and as a matter of emergency operatives attended a student accommodation building in Bristol, immediately. It had been reported a cladding panel had detached from the side elevation of the building, falling into the street below.


Due to the severity of the incident, TSL arrived at the site and liaised directly with the client, the local authorities and the local police to obtain a clear understanding and to advise on the best course of action to ensure the public’s safety. Due to the high winds and unsafe working conditions investigation works had to be postponed until the following day. Abseilers were onsite first thing to investigate the elevations to ascertain the cause of the detached panel and secure any other potentially loose panels.


Investigation of all the elevations revealed that the timber support frame had begun to perish and fail. These failings were found to be accelerated by faulty drainage directing water to cascade behind the cladding panels thus aiding degradation of the timber. Once all the remaining loose panels had been secured a full intrusive survey was undertaken and a detailed report containing photo and video evidence of the cause was produced for the client, along with recommendations for the remedial actions required.  The site comprised of large aesthetic timber hoarding, specialist scaffolding, cradles and MEWPS.


Appropriate health and safety signage was clearly displayed and tailored for the risks associated with this site. All pedestrian access to the buildings and surrounding areas was maintained via safe segregation. A temporary fire strategy was designed and implemented and all staff and students were made aware of the new arrangements. There was no need to undertake an asbestos survey due to the building only being constructed a decade ago, however basic checks were still carried out as a precaution.

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