Structural Renovations were awarded the contract to complete extensive structural repairs and apply protective coatings to all reinforced concrete within the landmark structure, known as The Observer Building, in Hastings town centre.
The building was originally constructed for the publishers and printers, F. J. Parsons, in 1924 and was designed by the Hastings architect, Henry Ward.
The building was subsequently used by The Observer Newspaper as both a printworks and its administrative centre, until vacating in 1985. The building has remained empty and neglected in the years between, which has allowed significant deterioration to be caused to the entire building fabric and in particular the reinforced concrete structure.
A number of surveys have been conducted over the years, when various parties showed an interest in taking on the building and each survey shows the increasing damage caused, in the main, by water ingress.
The building was finally purchased by White Rock Neighbourhood Ventures in late 2018, who, together with the assistance of various funders, intend to bring this impressive building back to life and utilise the enormous space available.
Our works have involved surveying all concrete surfaces to identify the full extent of defective concrete, before its removal back to a sound substrate. All exposed reinforcement is carefully prepared prior to be in treated with a proprietary primer. The prepared areas are reinstated using a cementitious, polymer modified repair mortar.
Due to the sheer size of the structure internally (in excess of 5,000m²), it was decided that the protective anti-carbonation coatings would be applied by airless spray equipment, which was purchased specifically for this project and has enabled the process to be sped up considerably.
During the works approximately 15 tonnes of repair mortar will be used and over 2,000 litres of anti-carbonation coatings.
It is testament to the original design and construction of this building, which was left to decay for so long that its repair was viable, and demolition was not necessary.
The external elevations of the building are hoped to be completed as part of a separate phase, which will be carried out in the near future.
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.
In early May Structural Renovations were employed to carry out emergency repairs to the reinforced concrete at Carnival Pool in Wokingham.
The leisure complex was constructed in the early 1990’s and following a detailed survey of the undercroft areas of both the main and learner pools it was established that extensive repairs would be required to the supporting beams, soffits, drainage channels and external walls of the pools.
The complex is planned for redevelopment in 2020 but in order to keep it operational until then a repair scheme had to be implemented that would provide the required protection in an aggressive environment.
Working closely with the local authorities consulting engineer it was agreed that defective concrete would be removed and any exposed reinforcement treated prior to reinstatement with a polymer modified repair mortar. In certain locations where the warm, moist atmosphere, combined with chemical attack was most likely to accelerate the deterioration of the concrete a migrating corrosion inhibitor (MCI) was applied.
Additional works instructed included waterproofing the drainage channels, both internally and externally, using a thixotropic modified polymer coating, complete with an embedded elastomeric composite tape.
This 6 week project was completed on time and due to careful programming the public parts of the complex were required to be closed for only 2 of those weeks.
Structural Renovations Limited has recently completed a 12 month concrete repair and specialist coating project at the iconic Hoover Building in Perivale, West London.
The building was constructed as a factory for the Hoover Company in 1933 to the design of Wallis, Gilbert & Partners, who were inspired by the Mayan and Aztec fashion displayed at the 1925 Paris Exhibition and remained operational until its closure in the 1982.
During the Second World War the factory was used to manufacture parts for various aircraft and the building was camouflaged with netting to help avoid being attacked.
Being of significant architectural importance the building was Grade II* listed in October 1980 and in 1989 Tesco purchased the site and set about converting the rear into a large supermarket, including sympathetic recreations of various original building motifs around its entrance and car park.
In 2016 Structural Renovations were employed to carry out a condition survey of the concrete to the original structure and from the results of the survey we developed a specification for its repair and protection, based on the use Sika products.
We were duly instructed in March 2017 to commence the repair and restoration works and following an initial clean we were able to identify all spalling/defective concrete. Where required the concrete was repaired using a polymer modified repair system, combined with the installation of a vapour phase inhibitor, to control any ongoing corrosion in the embedded reinforcement.
Previously painted areas received a multi-coat elastomeric system and unpainted elements of the building had a clear anti-carbonation coating applied.
Finally, all existing sealants at the junction between window frames and painted concrete were raked out, prepared by priming and reinstated with a one part low modulus sealant.
During our external works the internal areas of the original building were converted into 66 luxury apartments by IDM Properties.
We are proud to have been involved in prolonging the life of this prestigious example of Art Deco architecture and it demonstrates the capabilities of our Company.
Structural Renovations commenced work in October this year at this purpose built residential development, comprising 3 linked blocks, in southwest London.
Our brief was to survey, prepare and repair the exposed faces of the reinforced concrete slabs, which form the floors and roof.
Previous repairs and coatings had deteriorated, together with additional defects that had developed since the last maintenance scheme and the survey identified extensive damage.
All defective concrete was removed back to sound material and the edges square-cut to prevent feather-edging. Any exposed reinforcement was cleaned of corrosion before being treated with 2 coats of corrosion preventative primer. The prepared defects were reinstated using a polymer rich, cementitious repair mortar, back to the original surface profile.
Following completion of repairs the previously decorated concrete was pressure-washed to remove loose and failed coatings, to form a stable substrate, upon which a coat of water based, epoxy modified surface primer was applied. The primed surfaces were then treated with 2 coats of a pigmented, anti-carbonation coating to afford protection to both repaired and existing concrete but also to provide a uniform aesthetically pleasing finish.
The works were accessed from a fixed scaffold and completed within a restricted programme period, to the satisfaction of our client.
Structural Renovations have recently completed a large concrete repair and coating project at a senior school in Maidenhead, Berkshire.
Furze Platt Senior School is a mixed school, with 1,250 pupils, which opened in 1963.
The School is comprised of multiple flat roofed, concrete framed buildings of varying heights, typical of the period they were constructed.
We surveyed the buildings in 2016, in order to provide the Governors with budget costings, which allowed them to apply for the required funding, which was awarded to them in May this year.
Originally it was planned that the works would be phased over 2-3 years but the decision was made to complete the entire project in a single phase, during the summer holidays.
A significant amount of scaffolding was required to the 21 elevations being repaired, which necessitated us mobilising prior to the closure of the School, whilst the pupils and staff were still present. Extreme care had to be taken to ensure pupils and staff were excluded from working areas and designated safe routes were implemented.
Once the School closed we commenced our works, which involved hammer testing and close visual inspections, prior to breaking out, square cutting, cleaning reinforcement and reinstatement using Flexcrete Technologies specialist repair mortars.
Following the repair process, all concrete was pressure washed and subsequently coated using Flexcrete Technologies pigmented anti-carbonation coatings.
In order for us to hand the School back in time for the beginning of the new term we were required to work both weekdays and weekends, at all times liaising closely with the School’s facilities team.
Although tightly constrained by time we completed the project as planned and in line with the budgeted funds.