Client: Major UK University
Services: Building Surveying

The University was passed ownership of a range of historic buildings sited at the periphery of their Campus, in a prominent location close to the Town Centre. The buildings had suffered neglect under their previous owners, and were deteriorating due to severe water ingress through the roofs and parapets. The buildings are Grade II and Grade II* Listed.


We surveyed the buildings and advised on a first phase of critical major repairs works, to comprise of major roof and gutter repair works together with internal works to halt outbreaks of dry rot and stabilise the structure, with a budget of £1million. The works also included specialist replacement of a number of severely affected box sash windows and one of the primary staircases.


A pilot repair to a section of the applied stonework to the Grade II* building was undertaken to establish the full extent of works required to stabilise the façade.


The project required the installation of a temporary roof over the entire Terrace, structural timber repair works, replacement of the majority of the slates and tiles, lead-work to the pitched roofs, parapets, and lead flat roofs, and reconstruction of a number of the chimney stacks.


We worked in close co-operation with the Conservation Officer and English Heritage to agree opening up works and the full scope of repairs.


The original builders had incorporated timber plates within the masonry construction, which in their minds would strengthen and stabilise the brickwork. These provided an excellent basis for the rot to spread extensively throughout the external walls and into the box sashes, staircases, skirtings and joist ends. These inserts were carefully removed and replaced in brick. Severely affected joist ends were cut back and new sections bolted alongside. Areas of the fabric were opened up, sources of moisture ingress identified and eradicated, and ventilation throughout the buildings improved.


Our building surveyors researched the buildings, and using historic photographs and descriptions established appropriate specifications for the replacement materials and construction methods.


The next phase of repair will focus on the external masonry, render, and stonework.

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