The Old Royale Pub - Birmingham City Centre
Restoring terracotta and heritage brickwork
The landmark pub located in Birmingham city centre has an elegant terracotta facade which stands out magnificently to the more modern designed buildings surrounding it in the business district. Unfortunately, over the years the Old Royale facade succumb to the environmental impact of the busy town and maintenance was not frequent enough causing significant damage to the terracotta.
We were appointed the timely job of gently cleaning the facade to remove carbon sulphation build up and organic matter to the indentations of the ornate castings. This allowed us to visibly see the scope of the damage that had occurred and some of the worst areas was to the copings at the top of the building. Large stress cracks throughout the terracotta blocks were caused from tree seeds being blown by the wind and getting caught and lodged in the defected joints enabling large root systems to take hold, filling the voids and applying pressure on the blocks from the inside out. We were able to carry out mostly sympathetic repairs, however a number of blocks where badly damaged and had to be replaced.
A large proportion of failed joints (a combination of cementitious /lime mortars) had allowed for water ingress to the building which caused damage to the internal structure. To prevent further deterioration we carried out a full repoint using lime mortar to match the original.
The busy pub remained open for business throughout the project so extra efforts were made to design a scaffold that was safe to carry out the works whilst still being able to serve customers. This included Installation of temporary guttering for water to escape throughout the cleaning operation and we also added protection netting to two lifts as a precautionary measure.
The success of the project has brought life back into this historic building and will see future generations benefit for many years to come.