Background: The structural issues accrued since 1980, are manifest throughout the Egyptian Halls in a close to irreversible process. Here a summary of the fading HOW - WHY and WHAT OPTIONS.
Currently: GCC blames the delays to their Public Realm works on the safety scaffold in front of this BUILDING. The scaffold catches pieces of masonry as they randomly fall. It saves people. GCC states dismantling the large areas of carved masonry facade will remove risks to people. So the threat gone, the scaffold can be removed.
1. GCC’s proposal is to dismantle carved parts of the façade, that is to remove parts of the envelope. The envelope keeps the harmful weather out of the building. Being internal, the fabric and structure was never designed to withstand the weather. Exposing the building’s core would be a fatal error!
2. Removing part of the building, whether an entire storey or less, will expose those party walls shared with neighbours to the weather. There is no proof that the party walls were intended as external walls. So we assume them to be internal walls and vulnerable to the weather. Typical temporary protection would prove inadequate and fail due to the exposure and damage failures will spread.
3. At the very least, any dismantling of this building demands solutions on how to support the neighbouring properties. We must assume adjoining buildings get mutual structural support from adjacent buildings. If parts are removed, the mutual structural support atrophies. To compensate, massive bracing of the neighbouring gables would be needed.
4. These works are far reaching, making a comprehensive scaffold over and around the building unavoidable. To remove the existing scaffolding may result in more significant scaffolding. Public safety and addressing the building go hand in hand.
THE FOLLOWING COMBINATIONS HAVE CAUSED THIS TO HAPPEN AND ARE IRREFUTABLE.
• Non- compliant original owners failing to discharge their statutory obligations from 1980-1998.
• Flawed CPO use (1996-2008) blocked discharge of statutory obligations and three approved schemes.
• World recession and decline of “High Street” since 2008 prevent fourth 2011 approved scheme, despite GCC promises prior to that Planning application that ‘funding would be unlocked’.
Imagine the CITY WIDE impact from traffic and safety issues when this building is confirmed as a ‘Dangerous Building’. What will be the impact for it, the adjacent buildings, the Public Realm and the wider Regeneration potential? Thirty-six years of developing decline approaching terminal status needs enlightened thinking to prevent structural chaos and causal Public Realm threats. Addressing the former will reconcile the latter.
We are all stakeholders in preventing the ‘domino effect’ and the risks, and then delivering the solution-which can be achieved!
There is one chance for an EXTRAORDINARY solution to save this EXTRAORDINARY BUILDING? On 1st July 2016 GCC was presented the foundation for a solution on a “private and confidential - without liability” basis, it invites key public and private sector stakeholders to engage and deliver the solution with urgency. Failure will undoubtedly deliver the ‘DOMINO EFFECT’.