C-Probe Systems contributed to the restoration project of the iconic Helmsley Building located on 230 Park Avenue in New York City.
It was the tallest structure in the "Terminal City" complex around Grand Central prior to the completion of what is now the MetLife Building.
This historic building needed repairs to the upper-level colonnades, which consisted of hollow terracotta cladding around brick encasement, with a central core of steel columns.
ICCP for corrosion prevention
The restoration project used C-Probe’s low carbon geopolymer anode mortar (+point ®) to enhance the durability of the structure’s corroding structural steel within stone colonnades using an impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP) control system. This allows a current to flow through the structure from an inserted anode to the structural steel.
This was a completely innovative system as it is a conductive repointing anode mortar manufactured by repurposing industrial waste as feedstocks to form an alternative binder when alkali-activated forms the anode.
Once installed, the system is controlled and operated remotely online by C-Probe’s Achilles Suite of Structural Healthcare (AchillesICP), meaning current can be controlled, if needed, informed by embedded monitoring with data to assure performance for the whole life of the structure.
Overcoming obstacles caused by COVID-19
The restoration project started in 2019 in NYC and was due for commissioning in 2021. However, due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions, travel to the project site was not possible for C-Probe Systems to guide the installation of their products.
Luckily, supply of the products over to the US was not disrupted, but the focus had to turn to supporting on-site contractors who did not have experience in installing ICCP systems but were masonry repair specialists.
To not delay the project further, C-Probe made a series of ‘How to’ videos in their St Helens manufacturing plant with mock-up modular stone units. To properly disseminate information and best practice, the whole team (contractors, engineers, architects, and developers) attended online Teams calls for real time video demonstrations by C-Probe.
The end result was that the contract was met in full despite restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic that emerged at the start of the company’s involvement in the project.
The combined use of low carbon materials and service life tracking resulted in an innovative and successful restoration project that will operate for another 100 years.
C-Probe created an effective corrosion management system for this iconic heritage building, that is sustainable in its materials, operational control and lifetime economics.
The completed system can be remotely controlled, and performance monitored with C-Probe’s online network management system (AiMS), that works in conjunction with the ICCP system to provide service life tracking, giving the building owners valuable performance data and reassurance around their asset without disruption to the tenant experience of the property.
Possibly the most important aspect of the project is the contribution to the asset value to the owner’s balance sheet by securing the performance of the building envelope with safety of the public at the heart of taking control of the asset’s future.
To view all of C-Probe's product range, please click here.
View Restoration – Heritage (Stone and Brick Clad Buildings) Product Entry