RESOURCE | Metallica and Regent Street Disease – it’s time to act

Your average surveyor is probably keener on Haydn than heavy metal. Not me, writes Deborah Brown of TFT.

Heavy metal is timeless. It’s been around a very long time and is not going anywhere anytime soon. It never sounds dated. I can listen to the very first records by Sabbath, or Metallica, whatever, and the music still sounds as great as it did when they first came out.

Heavy metal music may be timeless but, sadly, heavy metal in buildings most certainly has a shelf life. Can you afford not to read on about a terrible disease that is crippling a building near you?

Steel frame corrosion – or Regent Street Disease – is a common defect. Victorian builders constructed large buildings with load-bearing masonry, certainly for the outside walls. Strong buildings that could withstand small movements and changes in temperature.

By 1910, with the advent of steel frames, walls didn’t need to be so thick. This saved the developer money and time. Masonry was often packed up right next to the steel frame of a new building. And herein lies the problem.

If the steel corrodes, so the masonry becomes damaged, cracks and weakened. This ticking time bomb is ignored at a landlord’s peril. The use of these construction methods in London’s Regent Street has given rise to the common description of Regent Street disease, but it is a problem that is by no means confined to this location. Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds…this problem is wide-spread.

Whereas I find heavy metal music is noisy, fun, and social, Regent Street Disease if left untreated, is a disaster waiting to happen. And one of the main ways we can treat this malady is through cathodic protection – the clever use of electricity to prevent further decay. In today’s modern world, we are wired for sound everywhere we go. Our buildings should also be wired for safety.

Heavy metal music might not be your cup of tea. But ensuring you look after the heavy metal in your building should be a priority. So perhaps it’s time to pull the cotton wool out of your ears and get in touch today.

This article was originally published through Place Resources

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