Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP

Refurbishment and Redecoration of the Vice Chancellor's Suite, University of Greenwich

The Project

Faithorn Farrell Timms were instructed by the University of Greenwich to specify and manage the refurbishment and redecoration of the University’s Vice Chancellor’s Suite, which is located in the Queen Anne Building at their Greenwich Campus at the Royal Naval College.

The works included:

  • The redecoration of walls and ceilings
  • Easing and adjusting the existing timber sash windows
  • Decoration of the sash windows and timber shutters
  • Cleaning the existing chandelier
  • The removal and replacement of the existing floor coverings

Our Role

The Vice Chancellor’s office faced the River Thames and he had complained that his office area was very cold in the winter due to winds blowing along the river and the building having single glazed sash windows.

The university had previously used Quattro Seal on some of the timber sash windows to the Queen Anne Building; Quattro seal is a specialist mastic which, when installed to sash windows, seals gaps between the opening sashes and the frame. The university expressed an interest in using Quattro seal to the windows in the Vice Chancellor’s Suite.

The Challenges

  • The Queen Anne building has significant historical importance and is located within the Maritime World Heritage Site and Scheduled Ancient Monument Boundary of Greenwich Palace.
  • The Vice Chancellor’s office had four paintings on display which were on loan from the National Maritime Museum.  These paintings dated from 1699 to 1748 and were of a high value.
  • The paintings needed to be removed and stored prior to the refurbishment. The National Maritime Museum also indicated, following the completion of the works, the freshly painted walls required a four week ‘gas off’ period before the fine art could be re-installed within the Vice Chancellors Suite.
  • The works also included the cleaning of a chandelier. The chandelier was cleaned in-situ as removal would involve lifting the historic floorboards within the office above the Vice Chancellor’s Office.

 The Solution

Due to the building’s historical importance, we organised a meeting with an Inspector of Ancient Monuments from English Heritage to identify the need for refurbishment and discuss and agree what works would be acceptable, both aesthetically and in respect of keeping to the original building.

They were hesitant to agree to the installation of Quattro seal, but said that this could be installed to the five sash windows with the exception of the meeting rail to sash window as it was felt that the Quattro Seal mastic would appear ‘visually unpleasant’ when the window was open in the summer months.

The National Maritime Museum informed us that they had previously used Martinspeed Limited as fine art handlers to remove and store paintings. We liaised with Martinspeed Ltd to provide a quotation for the removal and storage of the loaned painting. Martinspeed Limited were included within the tender package as a named sub-contractor as set out in the JCT Intermediate Contract.

The refurbishment was programmed for a four-week period in August when the Vice Chancellor would be away and staff could utilise other areas to undertake their work. The contractor was able to complete the works within three weeks.

Added Value

Paint colours and carpet samples were provided to English Heritage and a selection of approved colours were agreed upon for the refurbishment works.

Throughout the refurbishment, we maintained contact with the Vice Chancellor’s secretary and the university’s Project Surveyor so they were aware of all works and stages of the project.