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Costain Completes Refurbishment For MoD

17 January 2012

Costain has completed the refurbishment of an old water tower at Alanbrooke Barracks for the Ministry of Defence which will extend the life of the asset by at least 30 years.

Situated near Thirsk on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and supplying water to the barracks, the tower was constructed in the 1940s and can hold up to 227 cubic meters of potable water. Over time the tower’s condition had deteriorated, with the external concrete showing signs of spalling, or erosion, which had exposed the reinforcing bars. There was damage to all faces of the tower, but more so to corners and around the openings to windows.  Attempts had been made over the years to patch repair the tower but new areas of spalling had occurred and a more permanent and sustainable solution was required to make the tower safe and extend the life for the asset.

Under a C2C Design and Build Framework, Costain was commissioned to carry-out a feasibility study which highlighted several options, ranging from simply re-patching the spalling areas to demolishing the asset and constructing a new tower. 

Potential solutions were reviewed by the customer, C2C Services Project Engineer, Ian Smith, and the framework team, based on the expenditure, the enhancement to the asset condition and the extension of the asset life and a refurbishment of the structure was considered the most suitable option.

The refurbishment work comprised the removal of spalling and mechanical cleaning. The defective area was repaired using a specialist repair mortar and, followed by a further cleaning of the tower’s surfaces, applying a migration corrosion inhibitor (MCI) to provide further protection to the tower’s surfaces and give additional strength to the existing reinforcement bars.  Lastly, a fairing coat was applied as a final finish to the external surfaces. Access to the surfaces of the tower was made via an all enclosed access scaffold installed by supply chain partners HARSCO.

Commenting on the project, Warren Lee, the C2C Design and Build Framework Manager, said: “The project has been a success in terms of safety and client satisfaction. It was undertaken during one of the bleakest winters on record. Wrapping a 60m high tower with access scaffolding and protective sheeting enabled the concrete repairs to be undertaken in all weathers. The site team and supply chain worked tirelessly to ensure the project was completed in a safe manner and on programme. During the construction phase, the tower experienced gales in excess of 80mph with the access scaffold remaining structurally sound throughout.”