Equans picked for £72m overhaul of evacuated tower blocks

Equans Regeneration has secured a £72 million contract to bring the Paragon Estate in Brentford, west London back into occupation between 2025 and 2026.

Housing association Notting Hill Genesis (NHG) asked the complex’s 1,000 residents to leave their homes in October 2020 after safety checks carried out in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire revealed structural defects.

NHG had removed flammable polystyrene insulation behind the cladding in 2018, but fire and structural engineers later advised that the buildings were still not adequately safe for residents.

“The subsequent thorough investigations give us a great deal of confidence that we have a robust plan,” said NHG deputy chief executive John Hughes. “We are looking forward to working with Equans and our expert team of surveyors to deliver our remediation and reinvestment plan.”

The six-block residential development was constructed by Berkeley First, part of the Berkeley Group, in 2006. At the time, the 17-storey Block C was the UK’s highest modular building.

According to planning documents, contractors will replace combustible plywood sheathing with cementitious board, install fire rated cavity barriers and mineral wool insulation, and replace the existing ceramic granite cladding with folded aluminium cassette.

The investment includes £36 million towards upgrading living standards, including installing sprinkler systems and refitting homes.

Dan Germann, regional managing director for Equans, said: “We are committed to ensuring that this significant project provides both safe and modern accommodation for all residents at Paragon Estate.”

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