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Emergency support saves century old former mill

Union Mill, Huddersfield

When stonework began to crumble from the 150 year old Lock Bridge Mill Flats in Huddersfield (former Union Mill) during routine maintenance work, immediate action had to be taken. Containing 42 flats and home to approximately 100 residents, it was key that an emergency solution was put into place as quickly as possible to ensure the building was made safe until repairs could be carried out.


year old building crumbles causing resident to evacuate

1 hour

response time to meet the customer and understand a problem


of Mass 50 equipment


150 year old building began to crumble
All residents were evacuated and our engineers responded within the hour
We designed a temporary support solution using our Mass 50 propping that allowed the main contractor to carry out their remedial works

Products used on this project

The challenge

We were contacted by St Astier who were engaged in planned maintenance works on the converted mill building. The immediate challenge was to make the building safe whilst further investigation could take place to enable the planning of the remedial works.

Our engineers responded within the hour and soon met the customer to discuss the requirements and possible solutions. The contractor started ground investigations and preparation works the very next day, at which point residents from the flats and six neighbouring properties were evacuated, until the structure could be made safe.

A spokesman for Places for People, the housing association responsible for the building, said at the time: “We have experts on site and are putting all our resources into getting this resolved. We do not want to compromise safety.”

Preventing facade on a crumbling building from falling by proving temporary support with raking shores

Our solution

Our engineers worked through the weekend to design a temporary support solution and prepare the necessary design, calculations, drawings and safe system of work to enable an immediate start on the Monday morning.

Within seven days, raking shores and strapping were installed to provide immediate restraint to the front elevation and to secure the damaged area against further collapse, and the residents were able to return to their homes.

Then work began on installing the second stage support system to enable the failed wall to be safely rebuilt. The support structure was designed using 36Te of Mass 50 equipment with the high level needles providing support to approximately 10m of masonry above the damaged area.

Our site crew were on-site for two weeks installing the two stages of support using the Mass 50 system alongside two 30m Cherry Pickers, one 4.5Te Roto Telehandler and a 35Te All Terrain crane. Once this was complete, the building was handed over to the main contractor to carry out their remedial works (fix the damages and prevent from further damages), making the structure safe again.

The repairs were safely carried out by a team of stonemasons over a period of approximately five weeks, after which, we dismantled and removed our two propping systems.

We gained strong praise from both the client and the main contractor for the successful efforts and diligence of the personnel involved.

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