Watts helps preserve London's cultural heritage


Watts completed a Condition Survey and Planned Preventive Maintenance Programme on the Grade I Listed Royal Albert Hall.  The contract was undertaken by the company’s conservation team and follows the completion of a Fire Insurance Valuation (FIV) commission just under a year ago.

The purpose of the survey, which included recording the condition of the building structure, fabric and services element and a report on an anticipated life cycle, will assist the Royal Albert Hall Trustees in developing a longer term maintenance cost strategy.  It will also enable them to make informed decisions relating to the size of the overall funding reserve required and the appropriate split between day-to-day operational maintenance and long-term development and replacement projects.

In addition, Watts’ heritage conservation team is also working on two projects for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.   In 2007, Watts was appointed lead consultant on the refurbishment of the façade of the Grade II Listed Old Admiralty building, including the cleaning, repair and redecoration.  Notably, this building provides the backdrop to “Trooping the Colour” celebrating the Queen’s official birthday.

Watts was commissioned to investigate areas of water penetration to the southern elevation and accessible parts of the western elevation, identified in the 2003 Quadrennial Report, using non-destructive testing.   The investigation involved a combination of traditional techniques assisted by high-tech equipment, such as infra-red cameras (thermography) and sub-surface radar, as well as archival research.  Following the investigation, Watts was commissioned to implement the remedial repairs works.

This year and during 2009, Watts will continue the external repair and restoration of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Main Building, Downing Street elevation. The Main Building is Grade I Listed and is considered amongst the grandest on the Government estate.   The contract includes contract administration, co-ordination of specialist conservators and obtaining the relevant consents from statutory authorities (including English Heritage and the Royal Parks) and acting as CDM co-ordinator.

 Trevor Rushton, a director within the team, said:
“The preservation of historic buildings requires knowledge, skill and care which grow out of experience and dedication.   Watts has a unique skill set and strong track record of working with some of the country’s most prestigious and iconic buildings, helping to preserve the country’s cultural heritage.  Our Building Pathology department provides specialist conservation advice to assist clients who are responsible for the practical care of historic buildings.”

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