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Cheesegrater bolt replacements cost Severfield £1million

23 Mar 15 Two years after it finished building it, structural steelwork contractor Severfield is still losing money on the Cheesegrater.

The Leadenhall Building
The Leadenhall Building

Structural steelwork contractor Severfield has revealed that it has incurred almost £1m of costs so far on a programme of bolt replacement works at the Leadenhall Building in the City of London.

Huge bolts began falling off the 238m-high skyscraper in November 2014, just months after the building opened. Arguments continue over who is to blame and who will pay for what.

Tests found that bolts were fracturing due to hydrogen embrittlement, a material failure mechanism within the bolt material.

The bolt replacement programme began in January and is likely to continue until December. Severfield is working in conjunction with British Land (the building’s owner), Laing O'Rourke (the main contractor that built it) and Arup (the structural engineer).

"Whilst these works progress, all parties continue discussions to agree where the liability for the costs of the programme should rest," Severfield said.  

Severfield added that its own costs were being regarded as exceptional and would not impact on its underlying operating profit for the current year.

Severfield has already taken a £9.9m hit in its 2012 accounts for cost over-runs during steelwork fabrication and erection on the building. It cited greater than expected technical challenges. Failures on the Leadenhall project contributed significantly to the departure of chief executive Tom Haughey in January 2013.

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