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