A complex of buildings including a tower in Greenwich containing the Intercontinental hotel and 100 serviced apartments needs stone cladding replaced due to cracks appearing.
It’s only six years since the structure was completed at the top of Greenwich Peninsula beside the o2.
Balfour Beatty were the contractor, who subsequently discovered problems which are evident across the site.
The application for replacing exterior panelling states: “Upon receipt of a report confirming the presence of hairline cracks in the stone panels of the cladding system, BB [Balfour Beatty] commissioned Arup to undertake further visual inspections and structural assessment of the stone cladding.
The reports confirmed that a significant number of stone panels had cracks and needed to be replaced with similar stone panels including additional structural supports.
The proposed works for Arora Tower and Hotel include the removal of all existing stone”.
The issue is affecting a number of areas, with the application highlighting that “the panel defects ranged from low risk (chips and small cracks) to moderate (hairline cracks) and high risk (some fractured panels).
Scaffolding has been erected around the entrance to the building. A study noted: “The structural report concluded that the stone is at risk of failing under normal service conditions – there is a risk that the stone could fall from the building causing injuries and damages.”
Installation of new panels will result in changes to the building’s appearance:
The stone will move away from the plane of the existing building face. The additional depth in the system is required to accommodate the subframe supporting the new stone cladding.
This will result in new details required to form the interfaces of the window reveals and other unaltered interfaces.
Introduction of new external components (i.e. metal trims and flashings) to form the new interfaces with the façade.
These elements will be carefully selected, considering colour and finish, and designed to ensure they have a limited effect to the overall building character.
The planning application can be viewed here.