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Cruciform Building, Drone Survey

London, UK

project overview

Supporting the preservation of a historic central London building

In line with the University College London’s (UCL) long-term maintenance plans to ensure the future of their historic Cruciform Building, we are providing lead consultant and principal designer services on a project to review and manage roofing repair works. Ensuring the preservation of the historic structure, we carried out a review of the roof and manage the ensuing repair works.

The Grade II listed building was designed by the renowned Victorian architect, Alfred Waterhouse, who also designed the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. It was completed in 1906 and functioned as University College Hospital until 1985 when it was vacated by the NHS. Following extensive conversion and renovation works, today it is home to UCL’s Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research.

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challenges and solutions

Overcoming access challenges

Owing to its central London location, the building is in prominent public view and surrounded by four city centre roads. All of which make access to carry out a review of the six-storey building’s roof extremely difficult.

Adding to complications, the adjacent UCL Hospital requires access for blue light vehicles at all times, meaning roads had to remain accessible throughout any works.

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Reducing risk with high-tech surveying methods

Our geomatic consultancy team carried out a full detailed survey of the roof using high-tech drone technology, enabling easy access to the historic building's roof without the need for cumbersome and expensive scaffolding or cherry pickers, eliminating the risk of damage to the building.

The ability to reach areas of the roof which would be hard to access using traditional surveying methods enhanced project efficiency by saving time and money for the client.

The health and safety risk to workers on site was greatly minimised, whilst all surrounding roads and buildings were able to remain operational throughout.


Ensuring site safety through stringent planning

The HD images captured by the drone detail the condition of each individual area of the roof which will inform the sensitive repair works. The report will also support applications for Listed Building Consent which must be secured before any works are undertaken.

The imagery obtained also allowed for a point cloud which enabled us to create an accurate roof plan of the building.

To ensure the safety of all those working on the project and within the vicinity of the building, strategic and detailed planning will be required before beginning work on site. This may entail carefully phased work to ensure each section is managed stringently and risks are minimised.


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