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St James Cathedral

Belltower and roof restoration

Year: 2008 – 2013

Location: Townsville, QLD

Client: Anglican Diocese of North Queensland

Specs: Multi-stage project

Summary

Premise was appointed to design and oversee restorations at the iconic St James Cathedral in Townsville. This project was approached in two main stages, with the belltower being restored in 2008 and roof works commencing in 2011.

    Restorations to the belltower required our experts to:

    • Investigate damage to the belltower and provide structural repairs
    • Remove and replace all damaged bricks, whilst maintaining heritage nature
    • Reappoint entire tower with a more suitable lime-based mortar
    • Rehang the existing bell on a new support structure
    • Repair manual method of ringing the bell, and provide electronic mechanisms
    • Repair existing lightning protection system
    • Repaint existing statue of saint
        • Restorations to the cathedral roof required Premise to:

          • Assess and repair all aspects of the cathedral roof to meet current standards
          • Replace the structure with an entirely new roof
          • Remove existing slate roof tiles and asbestos products
          • Install new synthetic roof tiles, along with rolled lead in the curved dome section
          • Waterproof the entire roof and provide re-guttering
          • Repair aspects of the cathedral spire
              • This project involved complex heritage design elements, that required our experts to:

                • Provide engineering design and certification for all roof elements
                • Maintain the heritage-listed design look and feel
                • Source bricks and other building products to maintain heritage value
                • Determine appropriate wind speed and loadings for the roof
                • Work with the existing European products to bring these into alignment with Australian standards (especially concerning cyclonic weather activity)
                • Overcome extensive termite damage and timber rot
                • Liaise with key stakeholders, including local manufacturers, conservationists and the EPA
                • Rebuild a new spire alongside the existing spire (that had previously fallen into disrepair)
                • Exercise extreme diligence to ensure no harmful elements impacted the heritage bell