490 views Nov 12, 2021

Global building products manufacturer Sika has been shortlisted for a CRA Concrete Society Award for its technical team’s innovative repair solution, which helped integrate a former post office into a BREEAM Excellent mixed-use development.

The company’s ‘Repair and Refurbishment’ nomination follows Sika products and expertise being used to facilitate the successful redevelopment of 80 Charlotte Street in central London. The part new-build, part-refurbishment project involved combining a Royal Mail depot – which was originally built in the 1960s – with a neighbouring, newly-constructed commercial site in order to create a single development containing offices, apartments, retail and a new public park.

To reduce waste and carbon emissions and ensure strict sustainability targets could be met, about 30% of the original Royal Mail building was retained. This meant reinforced concrete slabs within the structure required strengthening to uphold its long-term integrity. Sika’s Carbon fibre composite plates were seen as the ideal fortifying solution.

Speaking of the CRA nomination, John Baron at Sika, said: “This is great news. It speaks volumes for the reputation Sika enjoys throughout the industry that our expertise and products were called upon for the challenging refurbishment of the Royal Mail site. The awards shortlisting is recognition of our teams’ brilliant work in bringing this superb redevelopment to a successful conclusion.”

Sika’s involvement in the Charlotte Street project not only involved supplying the Sika® CarboDur® structural strengthening plates and Sikadur®-30 adhesives, its technical teams supported the structural engineer during the programme’s design phase and subsequently, offered on-site support with regular visits and inspections. Sika’s new Fibre Reinforced Plastic (FRP) software was also key to the Post Office’s refurbishment, as it was used to design the applied Sika® CarboDur® structural strengthening solution.

Carbon fibre strengthening offers more benefits over traditional strengthening with steel or concrete due to the lightweight nature of the material, which is quick and easy to install and has a total build-up typically of only 3-5mm, thus minimising its impact on the structure. As well as offering greater weight resistance than traditional refurbishment processes, Carbon fibre strengthening is also kinder to the environment. It requires fewer materials, less energy, labour and machinery to install than steel reinforcement. 

John Baron at Sika added: “The carbon fibre strengthening process was a vital aspect of the Charlotte Street programme. It resulted in a more rapid refurbishment programme for which safety, quality and sustainability were not compromised. This project was a triumph for Sika and installing contractor, Gunite (Eastern) Ltd).”

The overall winners of this year’s CRA awards will be announced on Wednesday, November 17th at a ceremony being held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.