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Taking down and rebuilding costs are avoided

Client: Vale of Glamorgan Council
Location: Barry, South Wales
Approved Installer: Red Property Preservation
Reference No: CS154

During a regeneration programme in part of Barry, a terrace of eight commercial properties in Holton Road was found to show signs of bulging in their external stonework and severe outward bowing of the front elevations. The three storey properties, with flats above ground floor retail premises, are constructed from rubble-filled blue lias limestone. Insufficient lateral restraint had resulted in cracking and separation of the front elevations from internal party walls. Delamination of the stone walls had caused settlement of the rubble fill.


A detailed structural assessment concluded that the front elevations should be taken down and rebuilt, which would have meant closure of the businesses and relocation of the residents of the flats while the work was carried out. The Council was very keen to avoid the cost and disruption of any such rebuilding.

The Helifix solution

After a thorough inspection, Helifix decided the front elevations could be fully stabilised without any reconstruction. As the area was being upgraded it was important that the repairs were aesthetically pleasing. Grouted SockFix anchors were chosen as they provide a reliable masonry connection and the diamond-drilled stone cores from their installation holes are retained and replaced afterwards to create an almost invisible repair. In total some 1300 SockFix anchors were installed. 

  • SockFix grouted anchors, 8mm x 700mm, were installed at 450mm vertical centres to secure the front elevations to the internal party walls, providing an effective bond and preventing further movement.
  • To consolidate the rubble-filled limestone walls and secure the inner and outer leaves over the entire first and second storey wall area, 8mm x 440mm SockFix were installed in a 450mm x 450mm staggered grid closing to 225mm centres around window openings.

  • Lateral restraint was enhanced by installing 1500mm long HD BowTies across the front elevation, into the first two parallel floor joists on the second storey, before bonding the outer ends into the masonry wall.

  • On the side elevation of the end of terrace property, deep masonry beams were created, using the existing masonry, to span over the stairwell area, reinforce the masonry and spread the structural loads.

The completed repairs sympathetically restored structural integrity to the terraced properties, preventing any further movement while avoiding the cost and disruption of taking down and rebuilding.