Sprinklers for Andium high-rise buildings in wake of Grenfell tragedy

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Ian Gallichan, Andium’s chief executive, said work to retro fit a sprinkler system had already been completed at one of its 11 high-rise properties, with another system currently being installed in a second high-rise property.

He said Andium had introduced the sprinkler policy in order to safeguard its tenants following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in London in 2017.

On 14 June that year, a fire – caused by a faulty fridge – broke out in a fourth-floor apartment in the tower.

Because of the installation of flammable exterior cladding, the blaze quickly spread to the 24th floor, killing 72 and injuring 70.

‘After the tragic events at Grenfell, Andium was quick to establish the policy of installing sprinklers in all of its high rises – and we’ve started on that,’ he said.

‘We installed sprinklers at Plaisant Court as part of our refurbishment there. We have moved on to doing [the two blocks] at Hue Court and then the four blocks at Le Marais will follow – and the rest of our high rises will all be fitted with sprinklers in the next five years.’

Those other high-rise Andium properties are La Collette, The Cedars, Windsor Court and De Quetteville Court.

On 1 July this year, Andium will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its incorporation, when it took on the housing provider duties previously carried out by the defunct States Housing Department.

‘I’m immensely proud of all of my colleagues at Andium. Within five years, we’ve caught up with 20 years of underinvestment in housing,’ said Mr Gallichan.

He said that over the next two years, Andium was on track to deliver 760 more homes for rental accommodation, in addition to its current overall portfolio of 4,500 properties.

He added that the company was now proposing to build 3,000 new homes – consisting of a mixture of rental accommodation and properties for purchase – by 2030, with a capital programme which would cost £940 million.

‘We are now committed to the entire bond money [a £250-million, 40-year loan agreed by the States in 2014 to fund Andium’s social housing projects to 2020] and we are working with Treasury to identify alternative means of funding the additional capital programme – probably through private borrowing.

‘It’s a huge increase in the size of our capital programme, probably ten times bigger than it was [before Andium was incorporated].’

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