Barrow Hill is a residential estate with 172 apartments spread across eight blocks each identifiable from a name of a bird. The estates are located in a conservation area in close proximity of Regents Park and Primrose Hill. The estates are formed of eight inter-war blocks consisting of a mixture of tenure from social to leasehold. The estate was built in the late 1930’s by prisoners of war from solid red brick in a mixture of sizes from the largest Robin House at seven storeys plus a pitched roof with attic dormers to Kingfisher House with three floors and a flat roof. The Barrow Hill site and all eight blocks are managed by City West Homes (CWH).

In October 2014 CWH entered into a contract to replace all the original fenestration to the eight blocks equating to 1172 windows and doors. The replacement double glazed windows and doors were manufactured in a design to match the original types and installed. CWH was not satisfied with the installation procedures and methods or the quality and performance of the windows and doors supplied and believes the windows do not meet the minimum industry standards and regulations.

calfordseaden was commissioned to carry out a detailed external and internal inspection of all the 1172 windows and doors across the eight blocks to the estate. Our inspections completed in conjunction with The British Research Establishment (BRE). BRE was initially appointed by CWH to carry out a range of tests under controlled conditions including weather and airtightness on 10 window and door units removed from two void apartments from separate buildings.

Our initial brief included the use of a mobile digitised inspection system which would have captured all identified defects with a feature allowing results to be instantly communicated to all parties concerned. However, the inspection system could not be developed to meet the survey requirements so the decision was made to proceed without it. Therefore, calfordseaden started inspections by manually typing each defect against the lists provided by the BRE to an excel spreadsheet and at the same time capturing photographic evidence of specific and typical defects.

Our inspections continued through July to October at which point discussions commenced between calfordseaden and CWH to make arrangements for the external inspections to be carried out. This required access to be made available to all of the elevations to the Barrow Hill Estate.

calfordseaden is working closely with CWH to provide the necessary documentation, by the deadline at the end of November 2016, which will enable discussions in the view of reaching a satisfactory solution.