Housing & Care 21

Estimated contract value: £225,000 per annum

Contract Description: Housing & Care 21 (HC21) is a social enterprise for older people and is a major provider of retirement housing in England as well as being a leader in extra care housing. They:

  • provide homes and services that enable people to enjoy a good later life;
  • help people increase their independence and take control of the services they receive;
  • bring communities together to create active, supportive environments which value older people.

In addition to being a housing provider, Housing & Care 21 is also one of the largest care providers in England. Their established links with communities means they respond on a local level by developing new services that meet the needs of older people and their communities. Housing & Care 21 operate in over 150 local authorities, manage around 19,000 sheltered housing flats, extra care apartments and specialist accommodation for people with dementia, learning disabilities and mental health problems. Housing & Care 21 provide over 80,000 hours of care each week to more than 31,000 customers.

The objective of our appointment was to select consultants with the most suitable capacities and capabilities in relation to the services detailed below;

  • Achieve value for Money.
  • Select suppliers who can deliver works in accordance with specification standards
  • Select suppliers who can provide national geographical coverage to the courts as detailed
  • Selected suppliers who can meet all regulatory and legislative requirements

Armstrong York provides a range of UKAS Accredited consultancy services related to the management of asbestos within Housing & Care 21 properties as the duty holder. The services provided will assist Housing & Care 21 in complying with all current asbestos regulations, control risk, and maintain industry standards together with providing professional expertise. Armstrong York will assist Housing

& Care 21 to prepare an Asbestos Management Plan that sets out in detail how the risks from ACMs in owned properties will be managed.   Armstrong York will review and monitor the management plan, ensuring that it is kept relevant and up to date with current legislation.

Housing & Care 21 have appointed Armstrong York as the sole provider to provide services under Lot 1 which include annual inspections, ad-hoc re-inspections and ad-hoc surveys as detailed in the specification, Armstrong York provide an online portal to record all HC21 surveying documentation provided within 10 working days which has to be accessible 24 hours per day.   Monthly management information is provided by the 04th of each month.   A dedicated account manager is also provided to head up the project delivery team and to attend performance management meetings as determined by HC21.

As part of the Lot 1 proposal Armstrong York allow HC21 access to their online portal, HC21 online portal expectations are as follows;

  • Information contained on Armstrong York’s online portal is to be the intellectual property rights of HC21.
  • Armstrong York maintain an asbestos register via an online portal, provided 24/7 access to Housing and Care 21.
  • Asbestos Management information is exported to CSV and or Excel files.
  • On behalf of Housing and Care 21, Armstrong York update the asbestos register, upon receipt of Remediation Contractors ASB5 and Consignment notes and/or any other relevant paperwork.
  • On behalf of Housing and Care 21, Armstrong York update the asbestos register, upon receipt of re-inspection form from Housing and Care 21 Building Surveyors.

HC21 will benchmark our performance for services and works undertaken for them.  Each Project Team member will be required to provide information on an open-book basis to demonstrate progress against the KPI’s and this information will be shared amongst all Project Team members.  In the event of poor performance the data will be analysed to identify where improvements are required.  The Key Account Manager will agree and monitor improvements against the procedures and timescales set out in the Contract.  The Key Account Manager will record the outcome in the minutes at the monthly progress meeting and distribute to HC21 for review.  The Key Account Manager will monitor improvements on a monthly basis against the targets agreed.  Where expected improvement is not achieved, the Key Account Manager will report to our Directors to attend the next performance review meeting to determine penalty actions.

Armstrong York ensures compliance with HSG 264 & HSG 248 through our accreditation with the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) to ISO 17020 and ISO 17025 standards.  UKAS is the sole national accreditation body governing our industry.

Tower Hamlets Homes

Client: Tower Hamlets Homes

Contract Description: THH has appointed Armstrong York, as a suitably qualified asbestos consultant to carry out a borough wide survey to determine the presence and condition of asbestos containing materials (ACM) in the communal and boundary curtilage areas of council owned blocks of flats. A high proportion of dwellings will also require to be surveyed. The expected output is a comprehensive asbestos register and management plan for communal areas and dwellings. The dwellings will be cloned based on an agreed targeted risk matrix. The asbestos register will be compatible with the Council asset management system Keystone and repairs system Northgate.

Tower Hamlets is an inner London Borough situated to the east of the City of London. The population has increased significantly over the last ten years to more than 200,000 now. Almost half of the population is from black and ethnic minority communities with the majority Bangladeshi in origin. There are 3 other significant populations; Somali, Vietnamese and Cantonese. The Borough has the highest occupation density in the U.K. The housing stock is located primarily in a densely populated urban environment with the majority of council owned properties being greater than three storeys. Nearly all work will be with residents in occupation many of whom do not have English as a first language. Almost a half of residents are leaseholders who will be required to pay a proportion of many of the works carried out and consequently have a greater interest in the works being carried out correctly.

THH currently manages a total asset base of over 21,149 units in 911 blocks and 771 street property houses. These comprise the following:

  • • 12,000 General Needs dwellings, including:
    – Flats (912 blocks) – Maisonettes
    – Bungalows
    – Houses (780)
  • 9 Supported Scheme Units
  • 9,000 Leaseholder Units
  • 2 Shared Ownership Units
  • Communal Areas, including lifts, staircases, laundries and play areas
  • Land & Amenity Space
  • Around 1,200 Garages & 5,500 Parking Spaces
  • 243 retail shops.

There are an estimated 912 blocks and provisionally 1,200 dwellings and houses to be surveyed. This work is expected to take 6 to 12 months to complete from the date of commencement.

Armstrong York are expected to carry out a comprehensive asbestos survey for communal areas with a cloned dwelling survey based on an agreed targeted risk matrix. The survey activity includes but is not to limited to the following;

  • Undertake asbestos management surveys
  • Undertake asbestos refurbishment or demolition management surveys
  • Provide professional and concise asbestos reports in accordance with HSG264 (or as updated) including material risk assessments and the provision of required reports to meet specific asbestos operating templates.
  • Provide reports in an Excel file or in any other format compatible with Keystone and Northgate databases.
  • Provide analysis of asbestos bulk samples through the use of a UKAS accredited ISO 17025 laboratory.
  • If required an accelerated provision for undertaking surveys and individual bulk sampling of suspect materials on ad hoc basis and providing THH with results and reports, including providing verbal results of sample testing by phone with result to follow
  • Prepare Asbestos Risk Assessments and management plans
  • Asbestos register formatted and aligned to the survey outputs in order that there is ease of access to the register in Keystone and enable an interface with the Northgate Housing Management system.
  • Management and supervision of asbestos removal/remediation in relations to this contract.
  • Undertake (if required) and prepare third party gap analysis of THH’s in house procedures
  • Review and update THH’s Asbestos Management Plan
  • Working with THH to improve the current arrangements for managing asbestos and to ensure satisfactory compliance with legal requirements and regulations such as Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR).
  • The complete survey and outputs are required to be completed within 6 months of the commencement date.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Client: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea

Value: £600,000

Contract Description: The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is responsible for approximately 11,000 domestic dwellings, of which around 5,000 are leasehold and 7,000 house Council tenants. The property portfolio is varied in age and style and covers 15 postcode districts in South West London. The stock is comprised of both street properties and blocks. There are approximately 400 blocks ranging in size from 2 -31 floors.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) Housing Management has appointed Armstrong York on a 3 + 1 + 1-year contract to provide asbestos surveying and analytical services. The contract will support the Housing Management Department’s delivery of all works, including reactive, planned, capital and voids over this period. The contract also covers surveys and inspections instructed by Housing Management for the purposes of compliance with Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012.

The Council holds a significant amount of data from previous asbestos surveys in its asbestos register, housed in the Keystone Asset Management Database. This information is made available to Armstrong York and forms the basis of future reinspection surveys under this contract.

The scope of the services comprises the undertaking of asbestos surveying, sampling and analytical services to domestic dwellings, communal areas to residential blocks, garages and commercial properties owned and/or managed by RBKC Housing Management.

Armstrong York undertake asbestos management surveys, targeted refurbishment, re-inspections, bulk sampling, refurbishment and demolition surveys in accordance with the requirements of the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (L143 – second edition 2013) and HSG264 Asbestos: The Survey Guide. Armstrong York also undertake analytical services, including bulk sample analysis, air testing and 4 stage clearance tests in accordance with the requirements of HSG 248 Asbestos: The Analysts’ Guide for Sampling, Analysis and Clearance Procedures.

The following services are covered by this specification;


  • Management surveys to non-domestic areas
  • Refurbishment & Demolition surveys to non-domestic areas and dwellings
  • Combined (targeted) Management and R&D surveys to dwellings
  • Management surveys to dwellings
  • Re-inspection surveys to previously identified asbestos in non-domestic areas
  • Re-inspection surveys to previously identified asbestos in dwellings
  • Individual bulk samples of suspect material
  • Emergency sampling to suspect material in the event of disturbance/uncontrolled release
  • Material and Priority Assessments (MA/PA) in accordance with HSE guidance, including reviewing existing assessments as part of re-inspection process
  • Out of hours response in the event of an uncontrolled release or disturbance of asbestosAnalytical
  • Bulk sample analysis for the identification of asbestos in materials using Polarised Light Microscopy (PLM) and Phase Contrast Microscopy (PCM)
  • Air monitoring including Background testing, Reassurance testing, Leak testing, Clearance testing and Personal monitoring.
  • Visual inspections for the purpose of four stage clearances
  • Conducting enclosure inspections and smoke tests.
  • Providing an emergency response for air monitoring in the event of a suspected uncontrolled release of asbestos
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and water absorption testing as requiredOther
  • Provision of survey information in KGI format and uploading to the Council’s asbestos register in Keystone
  • Attending meetings and providing update reports
  • Providingprofessionaladviceandrecommendationstoensureongoingcompliancetocurrentand amended asbestos legislation and guidance.
  • Additional asbestos consultancy support on an ad hoc basis

Armstrong York surveyors must be technically competent to undertake surveys and should, as a minimum, have completed the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) proficiency module P402 ‘Building surveys and bulk sampling for asbestos’ or similar approved qualification and at least six months experience surveying the relevant type of buildings to the survey level required.

Our employee(s) carrying out air monitoring, visual inspections and bulk sample analysis must be technically competent to undertake this and should, as a minimum, have completed the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) proficiency modules P401, P403 and P404 or similar approved qualification and have at least six months experience

Bulk sampling analysis will be undertaken at our own laboratory that conforms to the requirements of ISO/IEC 17025 and is accredited by United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).

Armstrong York operate a robust quality management system that includes a site and desk top audit system. A minimum of 5% of RBKC surveys are re-surveyed (re-inspection audit) and 5% of 4-stage clearance inspections are to be internally audited. A minimum of 5 % of surveys and sampling are to be subject to a desk top audit. These audits will be representative for all operatives working on this contract.

Armstrong York are familiar with the Keystone Asset Management system and have the appropriate trained resources in place to undertake the KGI upload process and provide a technically qualified single point of contact who will act as contract lead, a dedicated team of surveyors and analysts are allocated to the contract to ensure consistency in reporting and continuity of communication.

Armstrong York prepare and submit to the RBKC contract administrator a Monthly report summarising the activities during the month and bring to the client’s attention any issues needing discussion/agreement.

The content of the report will be agreed at the pre-contract meeting but will as a minimum contain summaries of the following points;

  • Survey and bulk sampling visits booked in the month
  • Surveys and bulk sampling visits completed in the month
  • Re-inspections completed in the month
  • Any health and safety incidents
  • Issues arising from surveys, bulk sampling in the month
  • Access issues
  • Air monitoring and clearances book in the month
  • Air test and clearances completed in the month
  • Any issues that may affect the consultancies’ operational capability (e.g. accreditation orresourcing issues)
  • Performance monitoring

Croydon Council

Project: Provision of Facilities Management Asbestos Surveying Services

Value: £450,000

Contract Description: The London Borough of Croydon is a London borough in south London and is part of Outer London. It covers an area of 87 km² and is the second largest London borough by population. Armstrong York have entered into a three-year contract with Croydon Council and are required to undertake all aspects of asbestos survey processes. These will be primarily to the Council’s corporate sites, i.e. non-domestic properties, but will include offices, shops, colleges, schools, nurseries and may include specialist residential properties at the Council’s discretion. The key operational objectives of the contract are:

  • To provide a service that enables and supports Croydon’s activities through the delivery of fully-functioning, comfortable, high quality, safe environments.
  • To provide a service which supports and sustains a safe working environment, with no risk to the Council’s community, equipment, business and service delivery operations, business continuity, brand or reputation.
  • To implement policies and procedures for operating the services in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
  • To ensure compliance with all legislation and Council policies and procedures through effective service controls and audit processes.
  • To take a proactive and imaginative approach, continually seeking the most appropriate and cost-effective solutions to problems and issues.
  • Contribute positively and proactively to the Council’s sustainability and corporate social responsibility objectives.