Transforming buildings facades without compromising security.
The London School of Economics, Fishmongers Hall, Somerset House… three of London’s countless historic buildings that have been restored to their original grandeur in recent years by façade gommage®. Pioneered and patented, façade gommage® offers a fundamentally different alternative approach to the restoration of building exteriors tarnished by pollution. Compared to traditional wet or dry abrasion-based techniques, which essentially blast dirt away, or chemical processes, which burn it off, our solution is altogether gentler but, almost counter-intuitively, manifestly more effective.
Projected under low pressure, ultrafine particles effectively rub dirt and pollutants off the surface before being drawn away, filtered and recycled. Not only more effective, faster, more convenient and environmentally friendlier than conventional methods, façade gommage® has another, totally unique factor in its favour. Applied from a boom-mounted cabin, it is the only large-scale cleaning solution that does not require scaffolding. Unsightly, expensive and time-consuming, perhaps the most significant drawback of scaffolding lies in compromised security. Of particular concern to the finance and hospitality sectors, not to mention retail, galleries and museums, scaffolding constitutes a significant security loophole, day and night, for the duration of the clean. Better still, with a system that can be up and running with two hours of arrival on site, Thomann-Hanry® can work around the working schedules and opening times of security-sensitive institutions such as banks – for example, working weekends only if required.
façade gommage®, on the other hand, presents no such concerns. At the end of each day’s cleaning, the cabin is simply retracted on its hydraulic boom, making access to the building impossible. Heightened security also extends to safety considerations. By contrast, nebulous spray techniques are accompanied by the safety risks associated with using high volumes of water, inconveniencing and potentially endangering both operatives and passers-by. DOFF steam processes incur evident burn/scald hazards, whilst chemical procedures bring with them very obvious risk factors, necessitating higher levels of protection, not only for operatives and the public, but also the fabric of the building itself.
By contrast, façade gommage® simply uses a by-product from aluminium smelting – an ultra-fine, inert and non-toxic powder with no chemical properties – better for the cleaning personnel themselves and, as the dirt-powder mix is drawn away from the building in a sealed system, effectively quarantined from contact with passers-by or occupants of the building.
The highest security credentials it could attain, façade gommage® was chosen by the Bank of England, cleaning its entire 13,000m2 Portland stone exterior in just 16 weekends. The pinnacle of the financial sector, restored to its original splendour by Thomann-Hanry®, a company at the top of its game.
Watch a short video on façade gommage® and its transformational results, filmed at Somerset House in London:
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