Essex County Council award surveying services to Armstrong York

Essex County Council– Asbestos Surveying Contract

Value: £50,000

Contract Description: Essex County Council entered into a contract with Armstrong York to carry out Asbestos Management Surveys across 205 sites within its portfolio (including 197 schools and 8 children support services sites). The surveys were limited to plant rooms (definition: boiler rooms and tank rooms above boiler rooms). This requirement covered a defined list of ECC owned sites across Essex.
A recent pilot survey of 40 schools carried out on behalf of ECC, identified asbestos-containing material (ACM) requiring some form of remedial action in approximately 50% of plant rooms inspected. ECC appointed Armstrong York to survey the plant rooms in the remaining identified ECC owned sites, built before the year 2000. Some of these sites have more than one plant room and Armstrong York was responsible for identifying any additional plant rooms by speaking to school staff. At the end of each calendar month any additional plant rooms identified by Armstrong York were recorded and highlighted in the original spreadsheet and returned to ECC via a designated email address. Surveys were carried out in accordance with HSG264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide and HSG 248: The Analysts Guide for Sampling, Analysis and Clearance Procedures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). The surveys identified if asbestos-containing material (ACM) was present in any area of the plant room, and where it is located. This includes but was not exclusive to;

• Asbestos cement Water tank
• Pipe lagging
• Loose fill insulation
• Textured decorative coating e.g. Artex
• Asbestos Insulation Board (AIB) ceiling tiles
• AIB behind fuse box
• AIB airing cupboard and/or sprayed insulation coating boiler
• AIB partition wall
• AIB interior window panel
• AIB around boiler
• Vinyl floor tiles

Armstrong York must only utilise directly employed staff and not sub-contract any, or all, of this requirement. All surveys must be completed within 15 calendar months from the contract effective date. Surveys should be completed for at least:
• 25% of the sites listed within the first three months of the contract (i.e. by 1st September 2016)
• 50% of the sites listed within the first six months of the contract (i.e. by 1st December 2016).
• 75% of the sites listed within the first nine months of the contract (i.e. by 1st March 2017).
• 100% of the sites listed within fourteen month from the contract effective date (i.e. by 31st August 2017).

Armstrong York had to ensure survey arrangements were finalised and agreed with schools well in advance of the school holiday periods because contact with schools during the holiday period can be extremely difficult.

Armstrong York provided a single, reliable focal point for communication with ECC with clearly delegated support. We provided a programme management plan which recorded:
• Dates of completed and future site visits
• Dates of survey report issue
• Summary of outcomes
• Reassurance air-test results
• Access restriction of plant rooms

The programme was updated and supplied to ECC on a monthly basis.

Surveying Process
Armstrong York was required to contact the school and/or children support service to organise a suitable time to conduct the survey. Survey arrangements were finalised and agreed with schools well in advance of the school holiday periods. Where survey arrangements were booked in advance, a reminder phone-call to the school was made a few days prior to the visit to confirm the appointment. We were required to collect a colour copy of the previous school asbestos management survey and supply an electronic colour copy to the ECC project team via a designated email address for their records. If there was any reason the school cannot make this report available, Armstrong York had to make extensive efforts to locate this and communicate to ECC if it was not available. We had to photograph all areas to be surveyed before survey work was commenced and carry out an Asbestos Management Survey in accordance with HSG264.
Access to some plant rooms was restricted and the reasons for this were sensitively communicated to a range of stakeholders, such as: site managers, school bursars and head teachers, some of whom had questions about the implications of the survey findings. Armstrong York was responsible for communication with all building users during the surveying process.