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Project of the Year: Longevity Category

Restoration of Arkwright House - 10 Years Later
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Manchester, United Kingdom

Submitted by C-Probe Systems, Ltd.

Arkwright House

CB Richard Ellis Limited
Manchester, United Kingdom

Project Engineer/

ROC Consulting
Manchester, United Kingdom

Repair Contractor
Mott MacDonald
Altrincham, United Kingdom

Material Suppliers/

C-Probe Systems Ltd.
Dunham Massey, United Kingdom

RosRoc Ltd.
Tamworth, United Kingdom

The Arkwright House, a historic landmark in central Manchester, UK, was saved following a unique $9 million repair project completed in 1998 after a 24-month restoration period. 

The now 81-year-old Grade 2 (in England’s Historical Building rating system) listed building had been suffering from corrosion of the building’s steel frame. The problem had previously been identified in a number of properties in Regents Street, London. In fact, many buildings across Europe and the U.S., constructed in a similar fashion to Arkwright House in the era 1900 to 1950, although lasting for many decades, are now showing signs of problems due to the effects of corrosion of the steel frame.

Cracks in the Arkwright House had been beginning to appear in external masonry which, if not remedied, could cause serious structural problems. A painstaking repair program was necessitated, which involved carefully removing the building’s stone and brick cladding to treat the embedded steel frame underneath. 

In addition to traditional repair methods, the application of cathodic protection ensured that the building would remain free of corrosion problems. It is believed that the Arkwright House project is the first in which cathodic protection was comprehensively applied to a brick and stone building. Previously, the technique had mostly been used on structures made of reinforced concrete. The restoration is still in very good condition after 10 years.

The Arkwright House has been bought and sold twice since the restoration. The addition of corrosion management systems has been integral to the due diligence process as well as providing proof of performance of the impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) systems, with strategic monitoring points to cramps and ground level.

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