Telegraph Hill Centre – Building Survey (Summary)

Jun 13, 2013 | News

Telegraph Hill Centre Group commissioned a survey of the Centre’s premises.   Apart from the all too visible concrete cladding coming away in two places, there were others areas of concern in a building that is now more than 40 years old.  

Last year’s fund raising efforts, Renaissance and the Panto (Babes in the Wood) raised approximately £4,500.   Both events involved a lot of hard work, but were worth it.   We knew then that work was needed to improve the building, quite apart from the appearance of the interior.  

The survey cost £2250 with a cost-effective estimate for investigating the faulty panels’ fixing coming in at £5000.   As should be obvious, the Centre has spent the money donated by the fundraising efforts, and more, to ensure that the building continues to play such a big part in ensuring community spirit in this part of London.  

We will act on the surveyor’s report in the coming months (weather permitting!) to systematically resolve the issues the survey highlighted.

A précis of the survey’s findings follows:

The Building

Telegraph Hill Centre consists of the converted western section of a church to which two and three storey extensions have been built. The extensions were originally built in 1970 as a public library which was then converted to form the present Community Centre. Various alterations and additions have been made over the life of the buildings.


The structure of the building is a reinforced concrete frame with precast concrete cladding panels to the exterior of the east, north, and lower front section of the west elevations. The remaining sections are finished in fair faced brickwork. The reinforced concrete frame is carried through the church at its western end which is incorporated into the Community Centre.

Surveyor’s Opinion

In the opinion of our surveyor the general structure of the building is substantially sound but many areas require attention due to lack of maintenance and sub-standard repairs over the years. In particular the fixings of the external cladding panels appear to be failing and will require further investigation and repair (these are panels to the North and South of the building).

What Next?

The displaced panel on the south facing return of the west elevation will be removed to expose the method of fixing and the condition of the fixings. This will enable a structural engineer to devise a method of repairing other defective panel fixings on the building.

The exterior of the building envelope such as mastic seals around window and door openings and the expansion joints within the external cladding will be repaired and made watertight at the earliest opportunity.