PROJECT: Sea Containers House, London
SUMMARY: Concrete repairs to the plant room at the top of the building
PRODUCTS: Bonding Bridge 842, Monolevel RM
CONTRACTOR: Gunite (Eastern) Ltd
Sea Containers House is a prominent riverfront building situated between the OXO Tower and Blackfriars Bridge, in fact it is the second largest building on the South Bank of the River Thames. Named after its original owner, an international shipping company, the building is undergoing a high profile £100 million fit-out and refurbishment. A total of 13 floors of current office space are being converted to provide a 360-bedroom hotel which will be called River Walk and will be operated by Morgan Hotels Group. Sea Containers House was first constructed as a hotel in the 1970’s and developers Archlane Ltd are bringing the building back to its original use.
The redevelopment includes extensive work to overhaul the façade of the building and a new roof extension is being created from the 12th floor to provide a new bar for the hotel’s use. Plans also include the creation of new restaurants and cafés along the frontage to the River Walk and the construction of a nine-storey extension to the rear of Sea Container’s House to provide office space.
A render had previously been applied to the plant room but this had failed and Flexcrete’s products were chosen as the contractor had excellent experience of Flexcrete materials providing a high build, quality finish. Bonding Bridge 842 was first applied to enhance the bond between the high porosity concrete and the Monolevel RM high performance repair mortar which was applied thereafter. Bonding Bridge 842 prevents rapid drying of the mortar at the concrete interface on porous backgrounds with high suction.
Monolevel RM was used for the rendering and profiling of the precast concrete in vertical areas. A polymer modified, cementitious mortar, Monolevel RM cures rapidly to produce a highly advanced, waterproof, fair-faced render with enhanced polymeric properties. Supplied as a single component system simply requiring the addition of clean water on-site, Monolevel RM was applied by hand for this project; it can also be applied by spray and finished by trowel to produce a high quality finish. With long-term protection from the ingress of acid gases, moisture and chlorides, it also has low-sag properties and proves extremely economical as it requires no substrate or inter-layer priming. Furthermore, it is fibre reinforced to prevent cracking, traditionally a major problem with renders.