PriDE manages Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s South East Regional Prime Contract (SE RPC). Valued at around £380m, the SE RPC is one of five regional prime contracts currently in place in the UK.
One of the capital’s largest scaffolding jobs took place at Horse Guards. The Grade I Listed Building had a major facelift to make it safe after fragments of the building were found to have fallen in the surrounding grounds.
Horse Guard’s famous Parade Square is hosting the beach volleyball event at this year’s Olympics, and with 15,000 spectators visiting daily, it is absolutely critical that the stonework is secure and safe. To enable the works to be carried out affectively the whole building needed to be cleaned to show up all the defects and presented an opportunity to get the building looking immaculate as it provides a dramatic backdrop to some of London’s summer events, including the Queen’s Birthday and Jubilee celebrations.
A professional appraisal of the building found large areas of cracking and fragments of Portland stone as big as a hand had fallen off, whilst other areas were not secure. DIO and PriDE surveyors compiled a report to advise that the building was in an unacceptable state due to the high status of the building, and the number of visitors. The proposal was given approval, and the work began the first week in January.
Following the successful delivery of a number of projects on the contract, Concept Building Services (Southern) Ltd was invited to tender for the work. It was brought on board to not only make the building safe, but to also carry out repairs and redecoration to joinery and other elements of the building fabric.
Nearly £200k of scaffolding was erected over a four-week period to provide access to all levels of the building. The stonework was then fully surveyed to identify areas at risk and a schedule of stone repairs was compiled that included pointing, replacement stone section and render details.
To make full use of the extensive scaffolding, a major cleaning project was carried out. Horse Guards was last cleaned in the 1940s, when the entire building was grit blasted to get rid of the half-inch of pollution and smog that had built up from the London air over the years. At the time grit blasting was the only method available to achieve the level of cleanliness required, but it did damage the stone. This time around the team could not afford to be as careless with an asset built in the1740s.
Using good supply chain management, the team involved with cleaning the Former Army Staff College at RMA Sandhusrt was brought in to clean Horse Guards. Jos and Doff cleaning systems were used – a silicone material that deep cleans areas with a heavy steam clean, which is kind to the stone as well as the environment, whilst achieving a very clean finish.
As one of London’s top tourist attractions Horse Guards is constantly bustling. The job had to run 24-hours a day so that busy areas could be worked on overnight. For example, the famous arch has been cleaned during the night so as not to impact access to the building and the parade ground for both visitors and guards. The famous sentry boxes have been painted between four and 10am to give them the chance to dry in daylight hours without being a risk to passing tourists.
It has been a real team effort to make this project run smoothly. There was constant communication with the customer to ensure work was not disruptive to operations and as a result the routine of the guards was not been impacted once throughout the duration of the project; an impressive achievement for a site operating 24-hours a day, and dealing with a high volume of tourists.
Sgt Turner, the site liaison officer, expressed his delight in both the standard of working that’s being delivered and also the service and flexibility of the team, the willingness to work around problems. ‘From day one this project has been seamless. There is a great understanding of what the customer needs, the level of communication is fantastic and any concerns we have had have been resolved instantly. It is nice to have people working on our site who care about the job and have a real passion for it’.
As well as facing the problems of a central London tourist location, the job also had the challenge of a tight and nonnegotiable deadline. The work had to be completed by 14 April as the rehearsals start for the Queen’s Birthday Parade and Trooping of the Colour.
DIO Infrastructure Manager: David Neat
PriDE Project Manager: Gareth Pryce
PriDE has had a string of successes for the awards cabinet!
Gold Medal RoSPA Award for Occupational Health and Safety 2012.
British Institute of Facilities Management Judges’ Special Recognition Award 2011.
To view more information about our awards, click here