Helping to Protect UK Heritage
The renovation of listed buildings into functional modern premises has been experiencing a renaissance in recent times. In cramped inner city environments, space is at a premium, so making the most of an often stunning, but disused, dilapidated building is seen as a positive step forward.
Keeping the character and façade of the original architecture and reimagining the interior of the building allows a city to retain some of its most eye-catching and iconic structures. For RMD Kwikform’s Repair, Maintenance and Improvement division, headed up by Chris Holland, Scotland has been a particular focus point for this type of project.
A key case in point is the G1 project in Glasgow City Centre. Featured on the cover of this magazine, the G1 centre is a prime example of how RMD Kwikform’s façade retention systems enabled the safe and successful renovation of an iconic building. Chris Holland comments; “ We worked with the contractor at the pre tender sage on this project to ensure that we could provide the best possible solution. Being in a prime city centre location we had to work into the design, allowances for public pavements, pedestrians and parking at the site when designing the façade retention system. Our engineering expertise and product offering allowed us to support the loads using a combination of Megashor and Superslim Soldiers, meaning less legs blocking access. The fact this system is considerably lighter than other standard solutions on the market meant minimum disruption to the city centre itself.”
Other featured projects north of the border have been the façade retention of Edinburgh’s General Post Office, which has now been transformed to first class office space, and has been restored to its former glory as one of Scotland’s key heritage sites. A similar transformation has also been seen at St Vincent Street in Glasgow City Centre.
In terms of current façade retention projects, RMD Kwikform has recently supplied a shoring system for the high profile £80.4 million redevelopment of Aberdeen’s Marischal College. The Grade ‘A’ listed building is being converted into the headquarters of Aberdeen City Council, the first stage of the project is to demolish the buildings interior. Specialists Safedem are handling the delicate operation of dismantling the interior of the world’s second largest granite building.
Based upon Safedem’s own design, they have purchased a façade retention system from RMD Kwikform, to be delivered across six phases of the demolition process. The design incorporates the use of Megashor towers with Superslim supports on the external façade and Megashor walings and horizontal shoring on the inside. The combination of these systems will need to support a 400ft long frontage while accommodating heights of up to 80 feet while the innards of the building are systematically demolished.
The development will reinvigorate one of Aberdeen’s most striking landmarks that has unfortunately been vacant for some time now.
Chris Holland continues, “Heritage, especially that of our buildings, has always been an important part of our culture, and it’s incredibly satisfying to see that equipment normally used to create modern concrete structures can also be used to preserve and reinvent historically significant buildings.”