VALUE: £1 Million per year
LOCATION: Midlands
DURATION: 3 years
DESCRIPTION: 

Achieving a higher standard of fire safety within buildings across the midlands via a long standing partnership with Midland Heart.

Working closely with our long standing client Midland Heart to achieve a higher standard of fire safety within buildings across the midlands

About Midland Heart

Midland Heart is one of the country’s leading housing organisations, owning and managing 33,000 homes for 70,000 customers across the whole of the Midlands.

Its mission is simple: enable people to live independently and provide truly affordable homes in some of the most economically deprived areas of the Midlands.

Midland Heart does this by delivering a range of housing options to its customers with quality and customer service front of mind.

The organisation also builds new homes for social and affordable rent while supporting those who aspire for home ownership, as well as people who are homeless and vulnerable.


Our Relationship with Midland Heart

The quality of its work is the foundation on which its reputation has been built on and runs to the heart of what they do.

It was this strive for quality that led to a partnership between Novus and Midland Heart forming back in 2017 on a three-year framework, undertaking around £1m of work per year.

The framework was renewed at the start of 2019 and, more recently, the Novus team has been busy carrying out a loft fire compartmentation programme at Reginald Mitchell Court, a sheltered housing retirement scheme in Stoke-on-Trent.

While this poses its own challenges in normal times, as the country went into lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic it became doubly difficult.

midland heart reginald mitchell court

Image credit: Midland Heart

The nature of the works means that more often than not, passive fire safety and protection works are undertaken while people are living in the residences.

The original scope of these fire safety works consisted of loft fire barrier and fire stopping penetration sealing works where required.

Taking place above dwellings with older residents living in, consideration of their space and property was essential throughout.

Safety first

For Novus, work always starts before boots hit the ground.

Whenever Novus engages in projects like Midland Heart’s dedicated customer liaison officers are put in place to brief all residents on the plans and the scope of work to ensure they’re comfortable and to minimise disruption.


But that’s not the only challenge…

As Covid-19 hit and lockdowns came into force, ensuring social distancing between Novus staff and tenants was essential.

As a labour-intensive project, this was a challenge, with around 20 operatives consisting of Novus staff and local specialists working on the site at any one time.

This was managed by bringing in phased plans for delivery of works, ensuring one-way systems were installed on live sites and rigorous cleaning measures were in place.

Added live environment challenges also exist, with the projects requiring a lot of heavy materials to be carried into and installed in the projects, including in the lofts.

Darren Bowkett, operations manager at Novus, said:

“It’s always a challenge to work on a live site, but the issues thrown up by Covid-19 gave us a bit more to think about when it came to this project with Midland Heart.

“Fortunately, we’re lucky to have a business packed full of professionals who take the safety and security of all of those living in our live sites seriously. By tapping into the relationship we’ve built with Midland Heart since 2017 we were able to ensure these works were carried out safely and efficiently while improving the properties of the residents.”

Fire Safety is of Critically Importance in Housing Works

Passive fire protection is a critical part of planned works projects for housing organisations, acting as a crucial first line of defence against fires and smoke and controlling their spread.

Our teams up and down the UK are trained to carry out passive fire protection works to the highest standards and complying with current guidelines and adhering to 3rd party certification schemes such as FIRAS (read more about our latest FIRAS accreditation here) and BM TRADA.

You can get in touch with us on 01782 237 249 or email us at info@novussolutions.co.uk. Alternatively, contact us via our online web form if you’d like to discuss your fire safety project with us in more detail.

“Resident safety and improving our existing portfolio of properties are two of the biggest priorities here at Midland Heart. Our work with Novus means we can achieve both in the same project. The team’s professionalism and standard of work to date has been nothing short of exceptional and we’re looking forward to working closer together to improve the lives of people in the Midlands in the coming years.”

Robert Kraska at Midland Heart

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