Alan Conisbee & Associates and Richard Ireland were engaged by the Royal Household Property Section to inspect and assess the historic plaster ceilings and their supporting structure within Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. Following the partial collapse of the Apollo Theatre ceiling in London in 2013 great importance has been placed on the inspection and certification of all historic plaster ceilings throughout the United Kingdom. This paper presents the key challenges of the project included the facilitation of access to constrained spaces, asbestos removal and cleaning of delicate fabric, surveying, digital monitoring, structural and plaster defects. Furthermore we discuss the key project outcomes including lessons learnt and best practice methodologies and practicalities behind inspections of this kind. The paper concludes with an outline of significant discoveries and ongoing laboratory testing of undernailed historic timber connections.
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