Signs are strong for a quick resurgence in the pre-prepared cladding market once the UK’s national lockdown ends in the coming months.
As more of the most vulnerable individuals receive their vaccinations against COVID-19, activity should begin to increase across the construction sector, especially once the national lockdown officially ends.
In previous periods of easing restrictions, we saw a surge in pre-prepared cladding activity, and this is likely to be repeated as the vaccine programme progresses.
This is in part due to continuing efforts to replace Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding that does not meet building regulations, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
But it is also a hallmark of the industry’s appetite to continue new construction, refurbishment and other work on building fabric, despite the challenges that the pandemic has presented over the past year.
Major milestones in making buildings safe
The end of 2020 saw some major milestones reached in replacing ACM cladding, as the government published figures for the progress achieved so far:
- 100% of social sector high-rise buildings have work underway or completed
- 95% of all ACM-clad high-rise buildings have work underway or completed
- More sites with remediation underway than ever, despite COVID-19
Housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: “This is a big step forwards. While there is still more to do, we are helping make the highest risk buildings with dangerous cladding safer, more quickly.”
The government is also funding the replacement of other kinds of unsafe cladding, and by January 15th nearly £100 million of the available £1 billion Building Safety Fund had been allocated to remedial work.
Significantly, the government has also stressed that work should carry on during the pandemic, on sites where it can be carried out in a COVID-secure manner.
Post-pandemic plans for pre-prepared cladding
Pre-prepared cladding has advantages for COVID-secure construction sites, as it reduces time spent cutting panels and installing brackets on-site, which can also reduce the number of personnel who need to be in the work area at any one time.
But even as we move into the post-pandemic era, the cost benefits, time savings and ease of installation of pre-prepared cladding will continue to present a compelling proposition for building contractors.
If you would like to know more about the benefits of pre-prepared cladding for your building project, please contact hebs Group by calling 0151 2360707 and we will be happy to discuss the options with you for new-build, refurbishment and retrofit work.