The Deterioration of Steel Frame Clad Buildings
The term Regent Street Disease describes a specific type of deterioration prevalent along Regent Street, London. However, these issues can also be found in similar constructed buildings throughout the UK.
What is Regent Street Disease?
Up until the 1950's the steel frames used in building construction were packed tightly with stone or facing masonry, unfortunately over time this porous facing masonry allowed moisture to enter the structure causing corrosion of the steel.
Sometimes this can also lead to cracks in the facing masonry leading to higher levels of moisture entering the structure where rain water protection details were not maintained over time.
Buildings showing this damage were not the only ones affected, although the damage appearing on the facing masonry are important warning signs that indicating that the steel frame structure of the buildings was beginning to weaken in some small or catastrophic way.
Sometimes the moisture would get between the steel and the out facing paint or covering and would corrode the steel without any outward signs of deterioration being apparent.
This led to the term Regent Street Disease being coined to describe the deterioration of these buildings which were built in this way along Regent Street. There are similar instances in the UK which can be found in Manchester, Bristol and the South West.
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Henderson Thomas Associates have the experience and skills to survey and investigate these buildings, which are often difficult to assess.
Testing often requires an understanding that moving certain masonry could lead to further damage or collapse plus with many being important and or grade listed buildings additional care must be taken when carrying out such work.
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