Structural Renovations have secured a 12 week project to remove brick slips from a 5 storey purpose built office block in Hove, known as Preece House.
The structure was built in 1980 when the fixing of brick slips (thin sections of brick) was still a relatively popular design feature. This gave the impression of an entirely brick built building, when in fact the slips were adhered, using mortar over the floor plate edges to conceal them, a little like tiling.
Over time the mortar used to affix the slips can fail, either through poor preparation at time of construction, or freeze/thaw activity, if moisture has penetrated behind them. This can lead to failure and the slips falling from the building, causing a significant health and safety risk.
Following a diagnostic survey earlier in the year it was identified that a significant amount of brick slips had failed or were beginning to fail. At this time the building was made safe by removing all loose slips, to reduce the risk to people or property.
A number of remedial actions were considered and in October the decision was taken to remove all brick slips from the building, thus removing the health and safety risk altogether.
The majority of the works is being carried out from scaffolding, which due to the shape of the building is cantilevered in places. Low level areas are being accessed from lightweight aluminium mobile towers.
Following the brick slip removal process, the exposed reinforced concrete substrate is surveyed, to identify if repairs are required. These are being carried out using Flexcrete Monomix, as part of their proprietary concrete repair system.
Once repaired we are contracted to apply Monolevel FC (fairing mortar), followed by the application of Flexcrete Monodex Ultra (pigmented anti-carbonation coating).
Associated works items, such as replacing perished sealants and localised repointing have now also been instructed and it is anticipated that the works will complete in mid-February 2019.