Encasement conceals 4.5km of fire sprinkler pipework in South Tyneside tower blocks


More than 4.5 kilometres of ‘Versa’ fire sprinkler boxing from Encasement is being used to conceal surface mounted fire sprinkler pipework, which has been retro-fitted at four South Tyneside Council tower blocks in Hebburn and Jarrow to help protect more than 280 residents.

Even though an independent fire inspection and level four fire risk assessment declared the high rise residential blocks to be safe, the council chose to continue with the £1.4 million automatic sprinkler installation programme as part of its commitment to tenant safety and fire protection.

The 18 storey Durham Court block in Hebburn is home to 127 residents and was the first to have sprinklers installed, which was carried out by Compco Fire Systems and South Tyneside Homes Property Services, followed by the 12 storey Ellen Court, Monastery Court and Wilkinson Court in Jarrow.

As sprinklers had to be installed in every flat, it was important that the work was undertaken quickly and with the minimum disruption to tenants, so Encasement’s Versa pipe boxing not only had to be quick and easy and to fit, to speed the installation process, but also provide an attractive finish.

Encasement’s 5mm thick Versa 5 ‘L’ shaped pre-formed plywood sprinkler boxing was used to conceal the majority of the pipework in each tower block. Supplied in two different sizes and in 3 metre lengths for easy cutting to size on-site, the boxing’s pre-finished white melamine surface and soft radius edge provided a consistent and ‘wipe clean’ finish in every flat.

In addition, Encasement manufactured bespoke 8 mm thick ‘L’ shaped Versa 8 and ‘U’ shaped Versa 8D sprinkler boxing to meet the project’s dimensions and specifications, which were supplied in 2.20 metre and 1.30 metre lengths.

Encasement’s Managing Director, Martin Taylor, explained:

“South Tyneside was one of several of local authorities that took an early decision to retro-fit fire sprinkler systems in their high rise blocks, following the Grenfell Tower fire, to provide additional fire safety protection and peace of mind for residents. As the ongoing programme of fire sprinkler retro-fitting is continuing across the country, we are delighted to have been selected to work with a number of other local authorities and housing associations and supply sprinkler boxing for their projects.”