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Repairs put language college back on course

Client: English Language College
Location: Oxford
Approved Installer: Redbrick Structural Solutions
Reference No: PR220

When a cracked arch forced the closure of an IT suite at an independent English language college in Oxford, a quick and effective solution was required to restore its full teaching facilities. An assessment by engineers Allcott Associates recommended structural repairs by specialists Helifix which would rapidly restore structural integrity while causing minimum disruption. The building is a substantial three storey converted brick built property with bay windows on two storeys at the front and rear. The bays form part of the utilised teaching floor area of the building and full width masonry arches provide support for the third floor walls above the bays. Cracking and displacement in one of the arches in the IT suite had caused 'shallow arch failure' making it in dangerous and potentially liable to total collapse. Temporary support was provided in the form of Acro-props and the IT suite was closed to students, causing the loss of a major college facility. Further inspection also revealed that two further arches in adjacent rooms were showing signs of similar distress, albeit to a lesser degree. All arches needed to be swiftly and effectively made safe and secure. The affected arches were stabilised by Helifix Approved Installer, Redbrick Structural Solutions, who cross stitched the cracks and radially pinned the arch with grouted stainless steel CemTies. The arches were repaired on a one-per-day basis allowing the college to organise room use so that it remained open throughout the duration of the works, which were completed rapidly and with minimal disruption to college operations.