As the restoration of the iconic Elizabeth Tower, more commonly known as Big Ben, draws to a close, staff at Universal Coatings (UK) Ltd have revealed how they became involved with the project.
Universal Coatings was commissioned by main contractors Sir Robert McAlpine Special Projects to remove the signs of decay and deterioration to this world-renowned structure, that results from being exposed to an urban environment for generations.
Matthew Curtis, director, said: “Working at heights of up to 96m, and using environmentally sympathetic techniques to remove many layers of degraded coatings from the structures of the belfry and clock faces, we were the first to see the original Prussian blue colour of the numerals and hands of the clock uncovered and worked with our suppliers Sherwin Williams and architects Purcell to match in a modern heavy metal-free and durable formulation.
“As well as our work to the clock and bell tower, we worked closely with Shepley Engineers Ltd to restore the cast iron roof, with individual tiles being removed and catalogued for full traceability before being transported to our Misterton facility for cleaning, repairs, removal of pitting and coating system application, prior to being returned and re-installed in their original location.”
Based in Misterton, Universal Coatings (UK) was established in 2007 by Philip Bingham and has built up an impressive portfolio of clients and projects, from the infrastructure, construction, engineering and petrochemicals sectors and during that time the business has been at the forefront of bringing innovative solutions to the UK market..
Philip Bingham said: “Tackling the restoration of a structure like Big Ben that is a global treasure is a daunting prospect and a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
He concluded: “Elizabeth tower has provided us with both huge challenges and learnings, we really believe now that we are among the most highly qualified and experienced contractors in the UK for these specialist heritage projects.”
For more visit www.universalcoatingsuk.com.