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Heritage Property Devonport

Project:

Heritage Property Devonport

Client: Private Investment Trust

We took a call from a managing agent who had an acute problem with one of the buildings they managed on behalf of a client.

An ornate cast iron column had been damaged on one of its Heritage properties, the Council concerned that the canopy/Veranda above may fall onto pedestrians below. Neither were they happy to see the ornate column replaced with any kind of alternative even in the short term. It was around a week before the Christmas break commenced, what a time for such an incident to occur.

What we did:

We realised timing was critical element so we reacted very quickly to attend site and inspect with the objective of establishing whether the column had been damaged to such an extent that the structural intergrity of the canopy was compromised. We also needed to liaise with the Heritage team to ensure they were kept abreast of the findings and the short term if any ‘temporary’ repairs were required.

Again, as is the GWE way, we didnt produce reams of information for the client to read through, instead we provided a succinct report with findings and recommendations. We advised the client to engage Heritage early on so with this in mind we met with one of the team to discuss the temporary repair, the findings of the report and the way forwards.

Given the legislative position regarding preservation of the buildings we felt it appropriate to strike up a relationship with the Heritage team who were very accommodating and helpful. We discussed our plans and timetable for resolving given we were not entirely sure how far we would need to go in terms of the repair.

We then returned after the Christmas break to carry out a more intrusive inspection of the structure and fabric of the canopy to determine the damage and to record what, if anything, remained of the original canopy. On more detailed inspection it was obvious that a succession of repairs and replacement had ensured that very little of the original veranda was left. The work that had replaced it bore no resemblenece to the original design whatsoever, in short the whole thing needed replacement.

Part of our instruction included finding out what would have originally been in place, to do this we combined a search of local archives and inspections of properties nearby to try and establish what was original designed and built.

This research was presented to the client with a more detailed report recording the canopy, its components and the recommendations relating to repair and reinstatement. Once our client was happy we provided a copy of the report to our contact in the Heritage team.

We will update this note as the project progresses, we are currently coordinating the design managing the client, Heritage, the architect and the structural engineer to finalise the design. We are instructed to coordinate the design, produce the tender documents and tender the work along with Project Management and Engineer to the Contract.

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