Ashton Memorial, Lancaster. Lancaster landmark preserved intact with the aid of urethane foam.

Ashton Memorial, Lancaster. Lancaster landmark preserved intact with the aid of urethane foam.

Client: Lancaster Council
Project: Ashton Memorial, Lancaster
Type of works: the distinctive Lancaster landmark, Ashton Memorial, has been restored to its former splendour, in part, to the injection of a urethane foam manufactured by Modern Plan Insulation.

Built in 1908 by local industrialist Lord Ashton, the Memorial required a full restoration before it could again open to the public. The contract was undertaken by Lancaster Council who sought to restore the Grade 1 listed building without sacrificing the architectural features. The copper, domed roof on the second floor of the building posed a particular problem. The wooden trusses were in imminent danger of collapsing. The roof would have to be renovated and made safe without spoiling the ornate plasterwork inside.

'Naturally, we were concerned that the beautiful plasterwork should be preserved', commented Alan Bloomfield, Clerk of Works for the contract. 'We had two choices; we could remove and then replace the timber and plasterwork but this would have been too costly and time consuming. Instead we tried a urethane foam that Modern Plan Insulation injected into the roof in only three days.'

Modern Plan Insulation injected the urethane foam into an 8in cavity inside the domed roof. After the plasterwork was supported using a temporary propping system, the foam was injected every 400mm using a staggered drilling pattern. The material dried within three minutes and formed a solid bond inside the cavity, tying the structure together.

The system, using Tiefoam, is normally used to rectify wall tie failure, a common feature in much of today's housing stock. As well as forming a bond between the inner and outer leaves, the material results in double the insulation standard required by The Building Regulations.

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