Client - Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council
Client – The Works Offices, Cadw, GE Construction & Blaenau Gwent County Borough CouncilEbbw Vale, Gwent, Wales
Project – Historic Building RestorationBrick Cleaning, Stonework & Tiles

What did the client need?

The historic building restoration was to be completed under governance of CADW Welsh Heritage Authority

This prestigious historical building needed a complete restoration to bring it back to its former glory. The cleaning and historic building restoration process needed to be sympathetic to the substrates as well as being a dry method. The internal building, the brick, stonework, and marble floor had suffered severe neglect over the years.

The building was erected in 1915-1916 and used as the main General offices of the former Corus Steel Works located in Ebbw Vale in the county borough of Blaenau Gwent. It would have been even grander, but the First World War intervened. The clock tower at the southern end was supposed to be in the middle of the building’s frontage! The Ebbw Vale site became a steelworks in the 1860s.

The area of Blaenau Gwent surrounding the Works Offices was being re-modelled with a plan in place to restore the property to its former glory as a ‘Show Case’ for the new £350 Million site redevelopment.

How did we approach the Historic Building Restoration?

The Welsh Conservation Authority, CADW grant funded part the work as it is a Grade II listed structure. There were several conditions and many restrictive practices in place to preserve the old building. The historic building restoration cleaning process had to be approved by Cadw and it was essential that the substrate was not damaged by the methodology; soda blasting was APT’s chosen method.

It was imperative that a dry solution restoration cleaning programme was used for all the internal work, as the building fabric had suffered serious water ingress with the client spending several months and huge costs in drying out the structure. The lime mortar had been removed from many of the rendered walls to allow the surfaces to dry out and several areas were earmarked as feature walls.

Our accredited soda blasting technicians were invited to demonstrate the process of cleaning and restoring the building’s façade at the Blaenau Gwent heritage site. Several members of GE and Cadw were present to assess the results of the clean. Soda blasting was proven to be sensitive to the substrate material, non-abrasive, non-toxic as well as being environmentally sound. This is the ideal method to use for historic building restoration.

What was the solution?

  • To clean and restore the internal surfaces which were deeply ingrained with years of pollutants, grime and limescale.
  • The stone and brickwork were heavily stained with build-up and brick salts formed on most of the surfaces.
  • The mosaic floor tiles had been covered in latex cement.
  • The main terrazzo floor needed cleaning, renovating and re-polishing.
  • The ceilings had layers of old and flaking paint on them, the plaster work was damaged in certain areas.
  • The oak doors had several layers of varnish coatings.
  • The glazed wall tiles and grout throughout needed cleaning to remove various coatings (bitumen, adhesives & rust marks).
  • The steel safe doors and the visual ceiling supports had paint flaking off and rust residue on them which required stripping.

What was the outcome?

The result of the historic building restoration was nothing less than outstanding and a real transformation of the historic building. The clients were delighted and now host many functions and events at this prestigious site. Soda Blasting was used throughout the historic building restoration project in Blaenau Gwent as it was the only solution which covered all areas of the cleaning and restoration project without using water or hazardous chemicals, therefore being sensitive to the substrate.

APT Soda Blast Systems had previously been approved for use by Cadw Senior Conservation Team for use on all historic building projects and monuments, thus making the choice for APT and Soda Blasting easier. The other major benefit was having one operation and only one company to carry out the task, making management on the site a lot more efficient. For more information on our historic building restoration services, get in touch.

Client Testimonial

“We employed the services of APT to renovate a Grade 2 Listed Building. Under the directive of Cadw we were not allowed to use any wet process or chemicals within the interior of the building. APT used Soda Blasting on sandstone, brick, ceramic glazed tiles, metal work, paintwork on ceilings, coving, woodwork and ornate fixtures. 

It was a great achievement to have one system for all the surfaces that needed cleaning and restoring and one that also ticked all the boxes of the environmental and conservation officers. The process saved us both time & money in being able to have just one company on site. We are very grateful to APT for their hard work on this project.”

Tim Luke – Gee Construction

Work with us

Established in 1993, APT are experts at Historic Building Restoration and Renovation. Our years in the industry has allowed us to master the most sensitive process for cleaning building façades. Our projects range from huge historic buildings and castles to individual barns and commercial structures. We renovate bricks, stone, wooden beams, iron, metal and much more within our historic building restoration service.

Our technicians remove paint, varnish stripping, automotive restoration, rust removal, graffiti removal, molecular steel passivation against rust, oil removal by saponification and translocation, masonry cleaning and restoration, soot remediation, boat hull cleaning and for food processing facilities and equipment.

Our technicians have also restored fire damage properties using soda blasting process. Our historic building restoration covers all areas of the UK and South Wales to include towns like Ebbw Vale, Merthyr Tydfil, Cwmbran, Newport and Cardiff. We conduct lots of restoration of historic buildings and restoration work for historic England.