The show must go on… Thomann-Hanry® continue to support property owners in challenging times.
Like businesses the world over, building restoration specialists Thomann-Hanry® have undergone considerable changes to their working practices since the start of the pandemic. With a duty of care to their staff, their clients and those in the vicinity of façade cleaning and restoration works, they have embraced the challenges and emerged stronger from an unprecedented year of upheaval and disruption.
With over ten high profile projects completed since March 2020, the company’s continued ability to achieve astonishing results in building restoration, returning historic buildings to their original splendour, is testament not only to a flexible response to changing conditions, but the robustness of their existing working practices. In London, landmarks such as the river façade of Somerset House, the Ampersand Building, London Wall Buildings, and Shoreditch Town Hall have been transformed using the company’s patented façade gommage® technique.
Projecting fine powders under compressed air across stonework and masonry surfaces, this remarkable process gently lifts away years of accumulated dirt and grime, restoring buildings to their former glories.
Building restoration specialists and their [nearly] ‘contact-free’ project delivery
As façade gommage® is carried out from sealed cabins mounted on hydraulic booms it is already, in effect, a contact-free process. Unlike other high pressure water- and chemical-based cleaning methods, which require access into the building to tape windows and protect interior spaces – as well as the invasive nature of scaffolding – façade gommage® treads lightly, with operational vehicles and equipment on-site for the duration of the clean and no longer.
Moreover, with turnarounds measured in days rather than weeks or months, the potential for contact is significantly reduced, with operatives in attendance for minimal time.
Despite the bubble-like nature of their signature façade gommage® cleaning technique and with all other works completed from MEWPs, Thomann-Hanry® conducted a thorough review of all working practices at the outset of the first lockdown – and have continued to re-assess processes in light of changing government guidance as the pandemic has evolved. From the start, Health and Safety has been the primary concern.
In line with official protocols, fixed teams and shift patterns are employed to reduce the number of people each staff member could be in contact with. Shared tools and machinery are cleaned frequently, with handling restricted to only those who need to use them. Essential services and contractor visits have been rescheduled to reduce the number of people overlapping and interacting. From a support perspective, all administrative functions were immediately relocated to home-working, with the company’s complex organisational machinery transitioning to a remote operational model more or less overnight.
By the very nature of their work, façade gommage® operatives wear appropriate PPE as a matter of course. However, the company made considerable additional investment in medical grade PPE for all on-site personnel to further reduce the risk of transmission. In line with guidance, regular testing of all staff was implemented, and detailed pre-assessments and Risk Assessment Method Statements were individually prepared for each project on a case-by-case basis.
Other key projects in the capital included The Landmark London hotel, Sketch Mayfair, 49 Park Lane, and K+K Hotel George Kensington whilst, further afield, façade gommage® was used to great effect in removing coal tar from Sibsey Trader Windmill in Lincolnshire.
For a company known for the great care it invests in built structures, the level of attention paid to protecting its staff, clients and all other contacts should come as no surprise.
And, with every likelihood that anti-COVID measures will remain in place – either officially or voluntarily – for many months to come, it’s reassuring to know that the ongoing preservation of our architectural heritage is in safe hands.
As historic and listed building restoration specialists, we are sponsoring the Restoring and Regenerating Historic Buildings Conference by Built Environment Networking and would like to invite you to attend.
Tuesday, 7th September 2021 09:00hrs – 14:30hrs
Our MD Mark Styles will be hosting a breakout session on the importance of cleaning historic building façades.
Cleaning historic buildings façades makes a significant contribution to their look and feel. Valuing the historic environment as an asset and giving it new life has also been a cornerstone of the economic and social revival of our towns and cities.