APT Client - Grand Designs
Client – Tenby Lifeboat House
Project – Listed Building Renovation, Building Restoration

What did the client need?

The Tenby Life Boat House is a historic Grade 1 listed building situated in a picturesque coastal town in Wales. This iconic structure holds great significance as it has been the home of life-saving maritime operations for many years. However, over time, the interior of the boat house, specifically the tongue and groove wooden panels forming an arch-shaped ceiling, had accumulated several layers of heavy varnish, obscuring its original beauty. The construction company tasked with the renovation initially attempted to remove the varnish using chemical strippers, but it quickly became apparent that this method was not suitable for the delicate wooden surfaces.

Facing challenges of damaging the wood with traditional methods and the need to comply with environmental policies due to its listed status and location on the waterfront, the project encountered delays and complications. Realising the necessity for a more innovative and gentle approach, the Site Manager embarked on a quest to find a solution that would preserve the historic woodwork while meeting conservation requirements.

The Task – Listed Building Renovation

The primary challenge was to remove multiple layers of stubborn varnish from the tongue and groove wooden panels delicately, without causing any damage to the intricate woodwork. The wood formed an elegant arch-shaped ceiling, creating a unique visual experience inside the boat house. As a Grade 1 listed building situated on the water’s edge, it was imperative to adopt a method that would not harm the environment or compromise the integrity of the wood during the listed building renovation and restoration process. Collaborating with the conservation architect from the council, the team at APT’s soda blasting division devised a carefully tailored approach that adhered to all environmental policies and preservation guidelines.

How did we approach it?

APT-ICC’s soda blasting team was commissioned to carry out the monumental task of restoring the beauty of the Tenby Life Boat House‘s interior wooden panels. Our team of experts thoroughly studied the site and the delicate nature of the woodwork. Considering the listed building’s significance, we aimed to achieve a remarkable outcome without altering the historical aesthetics. Our soda blasting technique, using bicarbonate of soda as the gentle blast media, proved to be the ideal solution for this delicate restoration.

Soda blasting is a non-destructive and eco-friendly cleaning method that effectively removes contaminants, such as varnish, from delicate surfaces without causing any harm. Soda blasting is one of the main methods we use for listed building renovation and restoration. The small crystals of bicarbonate of soda gently shatter upon impact, effectively disrupting the varnish’s surface. The contaminated particles are then easily removed by the compressed air flow, leaving the original wood surface unscathed. In this case, soda blasting was the perfect choice for this listed building renovation as it preserved the intricate grooves and intricate details of the tongue and groove wooden panels.

What was the solution?

The APT soda blaster proved its effectiveness by efficiently removing all layers of varnish within a fraction of the time it would have taken with traditional paint strippers or other abrasive methods. The soda blasting process not only saved considerable time and costs, but it also left the wood surface smooth and impeccably clean, ready for painting and further restoration. Unlike other methods that may have caused damage to the delicate grooves, soda blasting ensured that no tactical harm was inflicted on the historic woodwork on this listed building renovation project.

Moreover, our careful consideration of environmental policies meant that we adhered to all necessary regulations, ensuring that the listed building renovation and restoration process had no negative impact on the sensitive coastal environment. Preserving the listed building’s historical significance and its position on the waterfront were key priorities for our team, and soda blasting provided the perfect solution to achieve these objectives.

What was the outcome?

The successful application of soda blasting for the listed building renovation at Tenby Life Boat House garnered significant praise and appreciation. The restoration project was completed within the scheduled timeframe, without any penalty time costs. The smooth and immaculate surface left by the soda blasting process allowed for a seamless painting process, ensuring the woodwork’s beauty was brought back to life.

The restoration of the tongue and groove wooden panels to their former glory breathed new life into the interior of the Tenby Life Boat House. The boat house now stands as a testament to the careful preservation of historical heritage, maintaining its significance as a Grade 1 listed building and a cherished landmark in the coastal town of Tenby.

Client Testimonial

“APT were very instrumental in helping us solve a major problem. We really couldn’t see a way out of our situation without spending thousands and using a lot of resources, until Andrew came onto site and offered some very practical advice not only about Soda Blasting but other aspects of the job too. We saved time, money and got the finish we wanted with the added benefit of it being enviro-friendly, so we kept the planners happy too! Really happy to work with a professional, conscientious team and thank you.”

Tim O’Donovan – Managing Director, Horan Construction Ltd

Work with us

At APT, using soda blasting, we take great pride in our ability to preserve the beauty and integrity of historic buildings while adhering to stringent environmental and conservation guidelines. If you have a listed building renovation or a heritage site in need of sensitive restoration, contact us now to discuss how our soda blasting media can deliver remarkable results. Our dedicated team of experts will work closely with you to ensure that your restoration or listed building renovation project is handled with the utmost care and expertise. Trust the leading specialists in listed building renovation – APT-ICC.