Eltham Palace, located in South East London was first occupied by King Edward II in 1305 and was used thereafter as a Royal Residence by successive monarchs. The building was extensively renovated in the 1930’s by the Swedish designer Rolf Engstromer who specified two Novalux concrete domes with cast-in glass lenses to be incorporated into a flat roof above a new entrance hall.

The palace was adopted by English Heritage in 1995 who are responsible for the ongoing maintenance. English Heritage commissioned conservation architects CONSARC to oversee remediation of the flat roof and Novalux concrete domes.

With a growing reputation as experts in concrete repair, CONSARC commissioned Equilibrant Ltd to act as Consulting Engineers on this delicate and unique scheme. We provided the following services:

  • Materials Testing to determine the concrete constituents – lightweight clinker concrete, an innovation of its time;
  • Pull-out testing in accordance with EN1542 on the exposed concrete flat roof to determine the existing tensile strength in order to specify an appropriate waterproofing system;
  • Ultra Sonic Pulse Velocity testing to determine crack depths on the external face of the concrete domes;
  • Schmidt Hammer Survey to estimate concrete compressive strength;
  • Full delamination survey of the internal dome surfaces to identify areas of active reinforcement corrosion.

Equilibrant Ltd produced a comprehensive Special Inspection Report incorporating a materials performance specification in accordance with EN1504, including a corrosion protection system. The Special Inspection Report supplemented the CONSARC design providing English Heritage with an economical repair solution.

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