Report of the City Surveyor
The Sub-Committee considered a Report of the City Surveyor concerning the Mansion House.
Officers updated Members on the potential cleaning and lighting works at the Mansion House. Conservationists have advised that there is strong evidence that every time Portland stone is cleaned the surface pores open a little more and the building gets dirtier quicker. This results in more frequent cleans leading to expense and ultimately damaging the stone.
A Member asked whether there was any alternative treatment that could be used that would be more sensitive to the stone, they pointed out that given the introduction of the Bank safety scheme, the reduction in air pollution in the area would mean it would be an opportune time to carry out the cleaning soon. The Port Health and Environmental Services Committee were monitoring air pollution levels at Bank junction.
Officers added that it was determined that merging the work at Mansion House with the work at St Lawrence Jewry was impractical so both projects would proceed separately.
Given the original query about the works at the Mansion House was raised at the Court of Common Council in early 2018, the City Surveyor will liaise with the Chairman of the Finance Committee before the December meeting of the Court of Common Council to ensure that the Chairman can provide a full update to Members of the Court.
RESOLVED – that Members approved the following:
· Approve option 4, to carry out a full external overhaul of Mansion House, which will ensure that the building is maintained in a good condition with its appearance being
greatly lifted and improved. This will bring greater confidence in the condition of the building for the foreseeable future.
· Approve option 5 in addition to option 4, which will provide an upgrade to the existing lighting and improve the appearance of Mansion House.
· Approve a budget of £18,000 to get the project to the next gateway. This includes consultants’ fees of £7,500 for option 4 to develop a detailed project programme and update costs accordingly. Consultants’ fees of £7,500 for option 5 to develop a new lighting design, and staff costs of £3,000
· Note that the next report, gateway 4 will present an agreed phased programme of works and update costs on the agreed option following full consultation with stakeholders.
· Note that we will engage with City Procurement and present preferred procurement route also to be presented within the gateway 4 which will be submitted for Committee approval.
· Note that the projects team have assessed the possibility of combining this project with St Lawrence Jewry stone cleaning and deemed not feasible as specialist conservation is less likely to yield economies-of-scale savings. The St Lawrence project is also at a later stage in the gateway process and combining projects would also cause delays to this.
· Note that the stonework to Mansion House was examined as part of the conservation management plan in 2015 and observations at that time were that the elevations are in a generally fair condition. Conservationists have advised that there is strong evidence that every time Portland stone is cleaned the surface pores open a little more and the building gets dirtier quicker. This results in more frequent cleans leading to expense and ultimately damaging the stone.