19th September 2019

Start of Enabling Works

First site visit, on a sunny day, with pristine Collins Demolitions machines outside the western elevation of the Power Hall. Looking forward to seeing the 1929 facade revealed when they remove the 1960’s cages that contain the exhaust fans.

Gloria and I spend most of the day labelling the historic fittings and equipment that are to be retained in place, or carefully removed for later refitting – labels and string, supplemented with white paint ‘Keep’, and red paint ‘Demolish’

Early paint testing demonstrated that most of the buildings paint is lead-based, and given the use of the building, the decision was made to remove it completely. We also need to remove plaster on walls that will be internally insulated, to maintian the vapour permeability of the wall.

We inspect plaster and lead-paint removal techniques using dustless blast (Quill), Thermatech and chemical poultices to reveal the original historic without damage. Various samples on the future courtyard façade wall – very happy with the quill trial which has quickly removed the paintwork with little impact on the original façade masonry below. Control Sample form duly approved:

Less happy with the discovery of a layer of exceptionally hard cement render on the lower part of the corridor wall, which is due to be exposed as a screen wall in the courtyard. Mulling it over with the quilling team from Sure Environmental and Morgan Sindall’s heritage advisor and senior site manager….Rethink required