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Concrete repair and protection works to Leeds Park Place Job Centre

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The four storey building was constructed in the 1970’s and comprises a reinforced concrete framed structure with a combination of stone, cavity brickwork and precast concrete panels to the external elevations.

Thomasons’ initial report concluded there was widespread cracking to the render of the internal courtyard elevations.  There was an exposed concrete slab edge at each floor level which coincided with the level of the horizontal cracking .  Between the concrete floor slabs there was a non-loadbearing brickwork infill panel to which the render had been applied directly.

Local spalling was evident and some minor corrosion of the embedded steel reinforcement and steel mesh render lath around the window openings.  Adjacent the rainwater pipe where vertical cracking was present in the render, there was a movement joint in the brickwork behind the render.

To the parapets there was a bitumen DPC present at the level of the cracking.  The DPC was in a deteriorated condition and there was loss of mortar revealing the outer edge of the DPC material.

Frescrete Ltd, a specialist contractor who have past experience of this type of work were appointed to carry out the work.

The building is now a Job Centre so any noisy work had to be undertaken before 0900 when the job centre starts to open for interviews.  The noise levels then needed to be kept to a minimum while the job centre was open and working as normal until 1630.

Fully boarded access scaffolding to three elevations had to be erected.

As there was a building adjoining the job centre, permission had to be gained for approval to use the entrance archway in order to be able to hand ball scaffold over into the yard.

Frescrete had to break out all the defective areas of concrete, prepare the concrete surface along with the embedded steel reinforcement bars and prime and install repair mortar in accordance with the specifications and to match existing profiles.

The render had to be hacked off to the full depth of the concrete slab to the full perimeter at each level, above and below the bitumen parapet DPC and either side of the vertical masonry movement joint adjacent the rainwater pipe.

Re-rendering over the concrete surface was carried out using a material compatible with the exposed concrete surface.

Water ingress had also occurred in the basement so all drains, particularly the slot drain and its outlet had to be jet washed to ensure they were free of debris.  All the joints in the basement soffit drainage were sealed to stop leakage.

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