Beetham Tower owner ordered to replace glazing

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
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Over one thousand glazing panels on Manchester’s iconic Beetham Tower must be replaced because of safety concerns after the discovery that sealant used to fix the panels is failing.

Beethan Tower builder Carillion first found sealant failures around glass panels in 2014
Beethan Tower builder Carillion first found sealant failures around glass panels in 2014

A High Court judge has ordered the building’s landlord to replace the glazed panels between the window sections after the building’s hotel operator under the Hilton Hotel brand brought legal action.

Building owner North West Ground Rents has been given 18 months to complete the refit of the 47 storey building, after main contractor Carillion’s collapsed stalled progress to find a remedial solution.

Problems with the sealant around some of the 1,350 single glazed insulated shadow box units was first uncovered back in 2014.

Carillion carried out an urgent investigation which also involved German façade contractor BUG-Alu technic.

This uncovered failure of the bond between the structural sealant and the polyester powder coating applied to the supporting cladding frames.

As a temporary fix, while a permanent solution was found, Carillion fitted pressure plates to the frame profiles to hold the panels securely in position.

This urgent safety work was completed by November 2014. But progress on the subsequent detailed investigation and assessment of options for a safe long term solution became so protracted that nothing concrete was agreed by the time Carillion collapsed a year ago.

Now in a High Court action brought by the hotel’s operator Blue Manchester, Judge Stephen Davies has ruled that the North West Ground Rents must replace the panels and the hotel business is entitled to damages for loss due to disruption caused by temporary works and glazing replacement.

During the case, the judge also revealed that the hotel owner had issued separate proceedings against facade contractor Bug and architect SimpsonHaugh and that the Beetham Tower owners had issued separate proceedings against Bug and Carillion’s insurers.

In his ruling the judge said that whether the claimant or the defendant had any rights or remedies against Bug, SimpsonHaugh or Carillion’s insurers was not a matter for determination of the trial.

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