HARDIES Property & Construction Consultants has completed external fabric repairs to the Church of Scotland headquarters building on George Street, Edinburgh.
The headquarters comprises of two buildings – 121 George Street, which dates from 1910 and the adjacent 123 George Street, a Georgian townhouse – and provides all the administrative functions and support services for Church of Scotland.
The detailed external fabric survey comprised a cherry picker inspection of front and rear elevations which identified some deteriorating stonework to the rear elevation which was removed to eliminate any hazard of fragments falling to the ground.
The inspection of the front elevation identified that the condition of No 123 George Street, an older townhouse, was much worse than No 121, commensurate with its age, and it was agreed with Church of Scotland that the priority is to ensure that the building is safe and water-tight.
It was decided that, where possible, the proposal would be to replace the historic cementitious repairs, rather than undertake wholesale stone indent repairs.
A bonus from replacing the existing cementitious repairs was that the contractor was confident that it could achieve a better colour match; the existing repairs stood out and did not match the original stonework.
The review of the fabric also identified a significant issue with one of the stone chimneys. A decision was made to additionally strengthen the structure with additional ties and upgrade detailing to the head to prevent water penetration.
These urgent works were instructed and comprised of retrospective tie rods being drilled through the structure of the chimney and additional stonework repairs to the head detail undertaken.
David Vince, Partner at Hardies Property & Construction Consultants, said: “The works generally progressed well; the only real issue was the weather, low temperatures prevented progress at some stages, but throughout the contract, we worked closely with the contractor, Restorex and Liam Fennell, Head of Estates and Procurement with the Church of Scotland.
“Due to the location of the building, it was also important to liaise closely with the neighbouring properties, including Tigerlily and Hadeel, as well as manage any health and safety issues along the busy George Street.
“Despite the additional work identified to the chimney, we managed to complete the works under the contract sum and are pleased with the attractive end result.”
Liam Fennell added: “Ironically, the best compliment we can give Hardies is that, from ground level, it is very hard to see the works that have been done as the cementitious repairs now blend in with the original stonework. Hardies has therefore addressed a significant structural issue and improved the overall appearance of the building.”
Hardies has extensive experience of fabric repairs, including historic works, roof repairs and common fabric repairs.