In a significant safety and accessibility enhancement initiative, Orestone, in partnership with EQUANS for The Guinness Partnership, led a series of strategic upgrades at Havant Towers, Portsmouth. This landmark project targeted the estate’s three 10-storey residential tower blocks, constructed in 1958, focusing on communal hallways and individual resident homes.

The endeavour aimed to elevate the standards of fire safety and electrical systems within these buildings, marking a pivotal step towards setting new benchmarks in residential safety and compliance. Through this collaboration, Orestone has not only addressed the unique challenges presented by the age and design of Havant Towers but also demonstrated a commitment to ensuring the well-being and security of its residents.

The Havant Towers project was a holistic initiative designed to significantly enhance the safety and emergency responsiveness of the building. By integrating modern technology and adhering to current safety standards, the project aimed to improve the overall infrastructure for residents, ensuring a safer living environment.

Fire Safety Enhancements

The installation of fire alarms in communal areas was a key focus, aimed at providing widespread safety alerts and facilitating efficient evacuation. Additionally, evacuation alert systems were installed in individual dwellings to ensure residents receive direct alerts in emergencies, enhancing personal safety and responsiveness.

Liam Forrest, Director of Engineering, shared his insights on the strategic implementation of fire safety measures: “Havant was a standout project, a great experience for all involved. Teaming up with Matt, tackling demands, and overcoming challenges showcased our resilience and adaptability. The Guinness team’s positive feedback further highlighted our success. I’m truly proud of our work and achievements here and look forward to more projects like this with Guinness.”

Electrical Safety and Compliance

A crucial aspect of the project was conducting Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) for recent installations, ensuring compliance with safety standards. This, along with emergency lighting upgrades in communal areas, significantly contributed to the reliability and security of the building’s electrical infrastructure.

Matt Lill, Principal Electrical Engineer mentioned that “At Havant Towers, safety is our top priority. That’s why conducting an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is so important. The EICR helps us identify any issues with the electrical installations, such as damage to sockets and switches and ensures everything complies with current regulations.  By identifying defects, deterioration, and damages, we can address potential dangers before they become serious problems. ensuring the residents at Havant Towers are safe giving us, the staff, and visitors, peace of mind.”

Strategic Implementations and Innovations

The integration of Automatic Opening Vent (AOV) systems and the alignment of lifts with fire alarm systems demonstrated strategic thinking in fire safety management. Consultations with fire and rescue services ensured that the project’s safety measures met the highest standards, enhancing emergency response capabilities.

Sam Burton, Managing Director, emphasised the project’s impact and Orestone’s commitment to excellence: “This project has significantly enhanced the living conditions of Guinness’s residents. Collaboration with Equans has proven invaluable, showcasing the power of teamwork in overcoming challenges. The project’s completion marks a milestone for Orestone, promising future endeavours aimed at elevating smart fire & safety solutions, all while adhering to our BAFE Fire Safety Register accreditation and the standards of BS5839-1:2017.”

Accessibility Improvements

Addressing accessibility, the project included the installation of devices for the deaf in door entry and fire evacuation systems, making safety alerts accessible to all residents. The integration of automatic doors with fire access control further streamlined evacuation processes, ensuring seamless routes for safety.

Carol Taylor, Senior Surveyor, The Guinness Partnership, said; “I have found Orestone to be a responsive, knowledgeable and personable company to work with, and when the scope of work has changed, they have been flexible and positive. This type of work can be disruptive to our residents, however Orestone are quick to respond, with great attitude and teamwork.”

The Havant Towers project exemplifies Orestone’s dedication to enhancing safety and accessibility in residential estates. Through strategic installations and upgrades, in compliance with the latest standards, Orestone has set a new benchmark for comprehensive safety strategies in the housing sector. This initiative not only improved the living environment for residents but also demonstrated the importance of adhering to stringent safety standards and the value of specialised accreditation in delivering high-quality safety solutions.

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