Knox & Clayton were employed by Queens University Belfast, Estates Branch, to survey and prepare proposals for holding works and prepare and submit planning applications for elevational treatment and demolition within a conservation area to a badly dilapidated mid terrace property fronting onto the busy Malone Road near Queens University. The building had been used as offices but had been vacant for some time.

During the planning and execution of the works it was important to be aware that the adjoining buildings were staffed and would be fully operational, control of noise, dust and H&S therefore were crucial during the works. Prior to commencing, all salvageable ornate finishes were photographed, recorded, molds taken where necessary and removed and stored for replicating during any fit out.

There had been alterations carried out to the building circa mid 1960’s when the 2no original brick built pitched roof dormers to the front façade had been demolished and replaced by a flat roofed dormer with steel windows.

The External Facade of the building after completion of works

A second smaller flat roofed dormer was also constructed to the rear roof slope. The main roof was a traditional pitched roof with attic trusses and the roof covering was natural slate.

The roof covering had been turnerised, a temporary fix to avoid having to strip roofs suffering from nail fatigue and leaks.  The turnerising had failed to the front especially at the junction of the main roof and new dormer as evidenced by the significant leaks recorded internally and the major damage to the roof purlins which needed replaced.

There was no other financially viable long-term solution but to replace the entire roof structure. This would mean propping of adjacent walls and chimneys and ensuring that these properties were kept weathertight.

The external facade of the building prior to the commencement of works

Careful detailing was required to bring the front façade back to its former glory. Brick features and timber fasciae were replicated, matching finishes sourced and approved prior to bringing them to site and moldings agreed.

Due to the extent of rot internally and in liaison with the planning authority it was also accepted and agreed that the original sliding sash windows were to be replaced with new double glazed units to match existing in style, proportion and function.

Sections of the existing brickwork was also in need of attention and repointing and during works sections of the existing walls needed careful strip down and rebuilding with salvaged brick from site and matching brick sourced elsewhere.

The building is now weathertight and internally stripped with all walls and surfaces treated and left ready for fitting out at a future stage.