In 2023 Kelbuild completed work on Newbridge House in Donabate on behalf of our client Fingal County Council.

The primary purpose of this Programme of works was to repair the roof of the historic Newbridge House, a Georgian building located in Donabate, County Dublin. Newbridge House and its grounds are a much-loved recreational park and museum which are run and maintained by Fingal County Council/Aramark and enjoyed by 100,000 visitors every year. Kelbuild enjoyed carrying out some innovative and  unique restoration techniques during the works both internally and externally at Newbridge House.

Old and New Innovations used in Newbridge House:

Temporary Over roof

A structurally striking and rarely used over roof was built and remained in place throughout the works to the roof of the House to ensure that the roof was weather tight for the duration of the project. This over roof was a significant project which required a structural survey and report. The scaffold was built first and had to be buttressed as fixing to the building feasible. To keep the scaffold in place, kentledge in the form of water filed IBC tanks were added; seventy-five tanks in all. Once the free-standing scaffold was erected, work to the over roof began. This involved constructing individual sections, each one being 2.4 metres wide at ground level which were then hoisted into place by crane.

Due to the nature of the site, and the ground conditions, the largest crane we were able to obtain was not sufficient to reach the entire roof. The solution to this was to lift each section as far as was achievable for the crane onto a train track system atop the scaffold. Each section was then wheeled into place manually by the scaffolders. This was done until all roof sections were in place. Next, the huge nylon roof sheets were lifted, one for each section and slotted into the bars at one end. Using ropes, and after greasing the channels extensively, the sheets were hauled across from one side of the roof section to the other until the entirety of the scaffold was shrouded. Lastly, the sides were wrapped, and we had a fully weatherproof structure within which to operate.

Paint Sample Analysis
Paint sample analysis was conducted to ensure the original paint colour could be reapplied on the windows which brings the windows back to their original appearance.

Clay based paint

A clay-based paint had to be procured for use on the lime surfaces to allow the natural lime plaster to breathe.

Front Façade Restoration

The front façade of Newbridge House is an eye-catching spectacle as it appears alone amongst the grounds of the property. Therefore, it was important to ensure the colour of the lime wash was correct. As the front façade is such a centre piece of the whole grounds of Newbridge House it was important the front façade was completed both to the Client and the publics liking. An Architectural Conservation Consultant was engaged to determine the colour of the wash on the limestone of the front façade. Samples of new lime wash were provided along with mortar samples and reviewed and approved by the Client. The House is treated by the public as its their own and is in the public eye so the works to the front façade had to be historically accurate but when the final result was unveiled all parties were hugely satisfied with the finished result.

Front Façade - BeforeFront Façade - After