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Structural integrity restored to sheltered housing community centre

Client: Herefordshire Housing Ltd
Location: Hereford
Approved Installer: Protectahome
Reference No: PR228

Smallbrook Gardens Community Centre in Ross-on-Wye, owned by Herefordshire Housing Ltd, is the community focal point for a development of sheltered housing bungalows. It had suffered extensive cracking both internally and externally due to subsidence and required a reliable cost-effective means of restoring structural integrity and combatting differential movement. Based on previous good experience the project engineers, G Fulford & Co., specified masonry repair and reinforcement systems from Helifix.

The two story building, with a ground floor community centre and a first floor flat, has a stream running very close by and historically the site was considered marsh land. A repair scheme was devised by Helifix engineers, to the satisfaction of the insurance company, and undertaken by Approved Installers, Protectahome Ltd, working as sub-contractors to the main contractor, Redwell Builders Ltd.

To reinforce the masonry, stitch cracks and provide restraint against the differential movement and spread the structural loads, a continuous deep masonry beam was created around the entire building above dpc level using the existing brickwork. Pairs of stainless steel HeliBars were bonded into the mortar beds six courses apart on both the internal and external leaves of the cavity wall.

Further HeliBeams were also formed beneath the dpc under the full height windows on the front elevation and above the glazing, returning to the rear of the property below the hanging tiles, and also on internal load bearing walls. Additional internal and external cracks were stitched using individual bonded HeliBars with a total of over 400m of HeliBar being installed.

Repairs were rapidly completed during two visits, to accommodate working around the main contractor, with minimal disruption to the building fabric and significant savings compared to the alternative of major taking down and rebuilding.