Facade retention on properties that can’t be accessed

Liverpool has one of the richest concentrations of fine Victorian architecture in the UK. There are over 2,500 listed buildings in the city. The mercantile and maritime core was also granted the honour of being listed as a world heritage site.

Although there are plenty of listed buildings, not all of them are in a good condition. A number remain vacant and have been allowed to deteriorate. Fortunately Liverpool City Council has been doing more in the last decade to see these properties saved and regenerated. As part of this they can issue orders that require the owners to conduct the work or transfer ownership to the council so they can do it.

One of the most impressive projects that have taken place is the redevelopment of a Grade II listed terrace on Seel Street. The properties were in a terrible state with fire and deterioration causing roofs, floors, and load bearing walls at the rear to collapse. This made even accessing them to do surveys and plan redevelopment challenging. The solution was to install facade retention without first looking inside.

The horizontal shores and support frame was installed with great care, ensuring it supported the weight of the vertical dead loads and horizontal wind loading. A particularly problem came because the properties all had basements. This meant the kentledge (the weights used to prevent the frame from overturning) had to be placed correctly. As a result they were positioned slightly away from the properties where they wouldn’t affect the foundations and retaining walls in the basements.

It wasn’t all a simple project to place the kentledge though. The properties were situated just off a public highway. The aim was to ensure the facade retention did not result in the full closure of this road. As a result the support frames and kentledge were designed carefully to be limited in size.

There are many other challenging projects like this all across the UK. Denon Construction is proud to be involved in a number of them. We ensure safety and look at every aspect of the project to ensure all stakeholders are happy. If you have any questions for us about facade retention, don’t hesitate to get in touch.