Colbre Projects is main contractor for the redevelopment. Credit: via Rumpus

ORS lands Fairfax House contract

Spray-painting contractor Office & Retail Services, a specialist in working on tall buildings, has been tasked with applying fire-resistant paint to the Leeds block.

Located in Leeds’ Arena Quarter, the 1960s office building is currently being converted to 154 studio and one-bedroom apartments, with a two-storey extension being added.

Work on Fairfax House started in winter 2022 and is due for completion in mid-2024. Brewster Bye Architects are on the professional team, with Colbre Projects engaged as principal contractor for buy-to-let property company YPP.

In December 2022, guidance was put in place for tighter regulations on external walls and balconies of residential buildings between 11m and 18m high, leading to ORS’s appointment.

ORS is one of a handful of specialists with the capability of applying architectural spray paint to buildings of this height. KEIM Soldalit exterior paint was selected as it meets the fire resistance standard, designed for application to residential buildings.

Jo Thornicroft, sales director at ORS, said: “The Fairfax House project utilises our vast architectural spray-painting experience. This application technique ensures that the KEIM Soldalit is applied evenly, and effectively.”

ORS has completed more than 400 site rollouts for customers including McDonalds, BMW, and Wren Kitchens, providing services such as retail shop front renovations, cladding and curtain walling. The business has developed a professional niche working at height and applying specialist paint.

Two storeys are being added to the scheme, as CGIs show. Credit: via Rumpus

Paul Milligan, business development manager at KEIM UK, said: “Fire resistance is a crucial part of tall building fabric, and paint is just one element that councils, housing associations and developers must consider as part of current regulations.

“Awareness is building and this is one reason why our unique KEIM Soldalit paint is in demand. More than just meeting fire resistance standards, it is made from natural mineral ingredients, breathable and non-toxic, low volatile organic compounds.”

Initial regulations were put in place in 2018 following the Grenfell tragedy, setting out a ban on the use of combustible materials for external walls in residential buildings over 18m, including hospitals, care homes and student accommodation.

In 2022 the government issued an amendment, introducing new guidance for external walls and balconies of residential buildings between 11m and 18m in height.

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