Wates is one of three contractors working with Cardiff Council to bring void properties up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS), which requires all social landlords to improve their housing stock to an acceptable level by 2020. As part of the five-year contract, ESG will undertake detailed management and localised Refurbishment & Demolition (R&D) asbestos surveys to locate any potential contamination hazards on site before refurbishment work commences.
The second agreement with Celtic Horizons - a wholly-owned subsidiary of United Welsh, delivering estate services – will see ESG provide asbestos surveys for a mixture of planned maintenance and void properties. This will involve management surveys of entire properties and more localised R&D surveys, including: testing of bulk samples; asbestos removal work on licensed material; and four-stage clearance when required.
Work on both contracts began in May and ESG’s expert field consultants will survey up to ten void properties a week for Wates, with more frequent work expected as part of the ongoing maintenance for Celtic Horizons.
Chris Panes, commercial manager for ESG, South Wales, said: “With such a shortage in housing supply, the need to restore void properties to WHQS has never been more important. Working closely with Wates Living Space and Celtic Horizons, we are confident our work will have a positive impact on the quality of housing stock throughout the South Wales region.
“By offering a five-day turnaround for test results, from on-site survey to the written report, we have streamlined the process by which these houses are cleared as safe to live in so that refurbishment can begin. This not only saves the client time and money but also enables tenants to move in much quicker than would normally be expected, which will hopefully help to reduce the surge in demand.”
ESG opened its office in South Wales last year and recently hired an operations manager and two experienced surveyors to expand its offering in the region.