The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving building in South Africa and has been the centre of civilian, political, and military life at the Cape for more than three centuries. Over the past two years, the City of Cape Town has been restoring the Castle to its former glory through a complete and unprecedented restoration project. In need of desperate attention
One of the problems the city faced was that the inaccessible copper and steel pipes of this important heritage building had become drastically corroded. The resultant leaks were not only causing structural damage to the Castle, they were also responsible for significant water wastage — a very real priority given the city’s current drought and water restrictions.
Both the water and fire systems were built into the building’s walls and ceilings, making them inaccessible to maintenance crews. Upon further investigation, the management team found that the cast-in down pipes situated on all the blocks were also in need of repair. These corroded rainwater pipes were causing internal damage whenever it rained. What’s more, the below-ground sewerage system (made from original earthenware pipes) was showing signs of severe cracking and displacement, and its location beneath 350 years’ worth of compacted earth and stones made access a real issue
The Project Managers Had A Big Problem. Time Was Not On Their Side And They Now Had To Assess And Repair Unreachable Pipework Throughout The Site Without Affecting The Facades Of The Oldest Building In The Country.
An innovative and elegant solution
The management team commissioned Water Damage Services and Leakfind both specialised potable and structural trenchless relining contractors) to deal with these sensitive problems, due to the company’s proven track record in relining both the Cape Agulhas II research vessel and the Good Hope Centre.
Relying on cutting-edge technology that uses compressed air to blow potable epoxy into the reticulation system, they were able to reline all of the Castle’s pipes (ranging in diameter from 15mm to 300mm) in record time. The technology completely coats the insides of the pipelines, filling all the pin hole leaks within the system and prolonging the pipes’ lifespan by at least 50 years — all without having to chop a single floor, wall, or ceiling.