Balfour Beatty cladding dispute with Travelodge

19 May 2020

Travelodge is suing Balfour Beatty for £800,000 to fund the removal of ‘combustible cladding’ on Swansea hotel.

According to Construction News the 70-room hotel was operating normally after Travelodge first contacted the contractor about the alleged defects with the cladding in January 2019 until lockdown began. Balfour Beatty denies Travelodge’s allegations and both companies say the hotel is safe to occupy.

Following government demands that all unsafe cladding must be removed from hotels, Construction News revealed “This case is one of several that have been playing out in the civil courts in recent months involving hotel chains and contractors disputing liability for the cost of remediating apparently combustible cladding on their premises.”

The development was built in 2006 by Cowlin Construction, a firm later acquired by Balfour Beatty.

Travelodge lodged its claim in December 2019 and alleges the city centre hotel has combustible zinc panels alongside timber cladding, which have been installed without a fire-retardant coating. It is also claimed that the cavity barriers are not correctly installed around openings including windows behind the zinc or timber cladding systems.

Travelodge is seeking £800,000 to fix the list of alleged defects on the building.

Balfour Beatty’s legal team said “Travelodge has overstated its case and not identified the type of insulation used in the building. It denied that the cladding and insulation combination is combustible and said defects in the building may be the responsibility of Travelodge for not having arranged maintenance works.”

Balfour’s defence also noted that, while the timber cladding does need substantial repair for other issues, a fire-retardant coating applied when it was built would likely need to be reapplied over time – which would have been Travelodge’s responsibility.