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Room at the top

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A 1960s south London block of flats is being extended by the unusual method of building six additional storeys in steel on top of the existing reinforced concrete frame.

The 24 storey Aragon Tower council block in Deptford has been acquired by Berkeley Homes, which is refurbishing 80 flats and adding new penthouses.

The £520,000 contract to erect 250t of steel was won by Bourne Group Holdings subsidiary Bourne Steel. Contracts Manager Nick Flexen-Cook says that to use steel was the quickest and simplest way in which the extra storeys could be grafted on. “Apart from more stringent health and safety considerations, it’s essentially like building a conventional steel structure which could be founded at ground level, but 75m off the ground.”

He added: “We’re doing as much pre-assembly at ground level as possi-ble to minimise assembly at height.” By assembling around 15 components into a box 8m long by 6m square, the equivalent of four hours of crane time can be compressed into one lift.

Steelwork was finished two weeks early in mid-December. The project will feature in a BBC documentary series fronted by Anneka Rice, following regeneration in Deptford over two years.


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