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Derelict 1867 Grade II Listed Warehouse Conversion

Client: SLP Consultants / Birmingham Metropolitan College
Location: Kidderminster
Approved Installer: Eden Group
Reference No: PR246

To meet the strict Building Regulations governing its change of use, from a former carpet warehouse to a modern city academy, the Grade II listed 'Piano Building' in Kidderminster required some 1,500 linear metres of stainless steel HeliBar bonded into the mortar beds to reinforce and secure the brick panels between the windows on all elevations.

Built in 1867 for Brinton's Carpets, the warehouse gained its nickname because, when viewed from above, it resembles the shape of a grand piano. Having stood empty since 2001 it was purchased, in a joint venture, by Birmingham Metropolitan College and Kidderminster College to be turned into a modern academy. As part of its extensive refurbishment the building required structural stabilisation of the brickwork between the windows and Helifix materials and concealed installation techniques were specified by SLP Consultants, the project's structural engineers.

The contract to undertake the work was won in open tender by Eden Group of Birmingham, a Helifix Approved Installer, who worked to the main contractor, Thomas Vale Construction. Eden channelled-out every other mortar joint before bonding 7m long x 8mm diameter HeliBars into the masonry with HeliBond cementitious grout. The HeliBars were overlapped by 500mm to ensure continuous reinforcement within the brick panels.

The fully concealed HeliBars secured the brickwork of the Piano Building, providing non-disruptive masonry reinforcement while still being flexible enough to accommodate normal building movement and with no visible disturbance to the original fabric.