H+R were instructed to assess all timber elements, including joinery, floor structures, ceiling structures, decorative timbers, and any embedded components, on all five levels of the building previously used as a well-known London Nightclub. This was to determine condition after a significant fire which was concentrated within the dome structure. The structure had been previously surveyed by H+R. The new investigation was scoped with particular regard to the retained moisture and wet rot decay associated with the subsequent significant water penetration during the fire-fighting efforts. This was to provide QS data to form accurate costings for any necessary replacements, and to ensure maximum retention of historic fabric.
Decay detection drilling and deep moisture probing of all structural timbers was undertaken to build a moisture profile of the building, and to determine the extent and vulnerability of any active or latent timber decay. Surface moisture content readings were taken from all secondary timbers and joinery products including doors, windows, dado rails, and skirting, to further assess vulnerability to on-going issues with damp and decay. Accurate measurements were taken from all elements, along with photographic records to enable accurate replacement of historic material where necessary.
Additional, previous H+R surveys and critical structural data was utilised to inform the reinstatement of the fire damaged dome structure.
How we solved the problem
Critical analysis of the moisture content patterns emerging from the building enabled refurbishment efforts and temporary works to be positioned intelligently within the building, resulting in minimal loss of historically important material, and removal and transferral to storage of historically significant items. The decay investigation provided information helpful to the Structural Engineers and allowed suitable propping in unstable areas prior to structural failure.