Lining flues for Restoration Project at Buxton Crescent
Turner Baker were delighted to be recently involved in the huge renovations for the Buxton Crescent & Thermal Spa project, using our extensive restoration experience to provide chimney and flue expertise for this Grade I listed property.
The Crescent was originally built between 1779 and 1789. It was commissioned by the Fifth Duke of Devonshire as part of an ambitious plan to make Buxton a fashionable Georgian spa town, similar to Bath. The Crescent, designed by John Carr of York, provided high quality accommodation in the form of two hotels – the Crescent Hotel within the East pavilion and the St Ann’s Hotel in the West Pavilion.
The crescent stopped being used as a hotel and pump rooms in the 1970’s. From then, it was used as a Tourist Information Centre until 1996.
The Grade I listed Crescent was purchased by High Peak Borough Council in 1992, with urgent works being carried out during 1994-96 funded by English Heritage
High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council decided to promote their own project that would add to the heritage-led regeneration of Buxton. This led to the launch of the Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa project for which the two Councils entered into a partnership with the Trevor Osborne Property Group and CP Holdings Ltd. CP Holdings Ltd are the outright owners of the Danubius Hotel and Spa Group – Europe’s largest hotel and spa operator.
Turner Baker were called in to work alongside Vinci Construction UK to provide chimney expertise and specialist lining services to two existing flues within the building.
The project designers, Curious, had identified two fireplaces and flues within the building that they wished to be repaired and made serviceable.
The project was led by Edward Turner from Turner Baker, who carried out all of the inspections to the two flues, specified the remedial work and oversaw the installation. The flues were inspected visually before extensive CCTV surveys were carried out. Finally, invasive surveys were required to establish the exact position of live flues, redundant flues and any potential obstructions. Air conditioning and water pipes were discovered within the flues that had to be removed and re-routed.
Both flues were found to have degraded internally and whilst structurally safe needed to be lined before they could be safely used. The flues were lined using Furanflex RWV liners.
Furanflex is a thermosetting resin lining system. This means that it is a liner that is supplied as a soft malleable material which can be inserted into a chimney and which is then steamed or ‘cured’ into a hardened structure that is resistant to heat and high temperatures.
The Furanflex liner was introduced to the UK in 2010 following a rigorous testing programme to ensure that the product met UK standards. The product has been certified by BBA (British Board of Agrement see website here www.bbacerts.co.uk).
There are many benefits to using a Furanflex lining system. Firstly, the product is installed as a flexible tube. For properties with flues that have bends in them – which was the case for one of the flues at Buxton Crescent – this is a great benefit.
The liner can be installed freestanding and it can mould to take the existing shape of the chimney which maximises the cross-sectional area of the flue. Various other lining systems are a set shape and may reduce the size of the flue which in turn affects performance.
Additionally, the Furanflex liner doesn’t adhere itself to the flue and can therefore be easily removed if necessary. This makes it an ideal option for heritage properties with listing restrictions which won’t allow for permanent changes to the structure.
This system is available in a range of different diameters and lengths which makes it flexible to install – a solution can be found for most types of chimney The Furanflex lining system wasinstalled by Turner Baker’s chimney professionals who have been trained to use the system and have the specialist equipment required to be able to install it.