The Problem
Hawkins House was constructed in 1962. The 11-storey reinforced concrete structure is clad with precast concrete panels on all four elevations. 2no. nine-storey glazed annexes are linked to the main body of the building. Numerous concrete defects were evident on the building’s façade, which can be common problem for a structure of this age. The potential for spalled concrete to fall to the ground below was posing a potential health and safety risk to building users and the general public. Further to this, a number of glazed panels within the annexes were becoming detached due to missing slips and corroded elements.

The Solution
McFarland Associates Ltd undertook a detailed façade survey, which consisted of a Hammer Rap Survey and a series of Non-Destructive Tests through the use of Abseil technology. All loose and delaminated concrete was removed. On-site testing confirmed that the corrosion was caused mainly due to the combination of low concrete cover to reinforcement as well as an advancing carbonation front. A detailed visual inspection was undertaken of the glazed units within the 2no. annexes. Remedial repairs were required to stabilise the glazed panels, which included the replacement and additional fixing of a number of slips as well as resealing with an adhesive bond. This provided additional fixing.

The Result
The investigations and remedial Works undertaken alleviated the numerous health and safety concerns with the façade of the structure. Abseil surveys are now undertaken on a continued basis to remove any potential loose material from the façade. Abseil technicians also undertake a glazing clean during inspection Works.