Historic Facades Restoration, U.S. Consulate Florence


Historic Restoration, U.S. Consulate

The historical building's facades are marked by three orders of overlapping ashlar stones sloping upwards, differing from each other in surf ace finish, type of elements, and constituent material. The intervention that was carried out, as per contract plans and specifications, was aimed at the restoration of all the facades as well as a minimal internal rehabilitation to the basement area of the facility. The works were divided into two main phases, in the first Phase, interventions on the South and East facades; and in the second Phase, on the North and West Facades.

Specifically, the Project involved the following renovation, repair and restoration elements:

  • Installation of all site security, site controls, and the assembly of required scaffolding on the East and South facades; subsequently relocated to the North and West facades;
  • Extensive laboratory analyses and tests in-situ in order to verify the materials and techniques provided in the project for all cleaning and restorative processes;
  • Restorative cleaning processes involving various chemical products mixed with a low-pressure washer, tested and approved based on each type of stone and surfaces being restored, in order to descale and deep clean the façade surfaces;
  • After cleaning and drying was completed, a brushing and suction of dry residues on the surfaces was performed;
  • Application of ready-mix plaster with a lime-based mortar binder guaranteeing a high mechanical resistance;
  • Reconstruction of the basement plaster using a cycle of CalceForte plasters integrated with fiberglass bars
    anchored to the stone support and a plaster carrying net ensuring the level of the new plaster was kept at the same
    level as the overlying rustication;
  • Intervention on the rusticated stone layers involving manual dry cleaning, pickling with a DEC 4000 chemical
    mixture with low-pressure washing, consolidations using infiltrations of lime-based liquid mortar and threaded
    fiberglass rods anchored to the existing wall;
  • Integrations and reconstruction of missing sections of the façade;
  • Application of acrylic resins and execution of a finishing layer using molds to match the existing
    bush-hammering effect;
  • Mechanical knocking and removal of plasters on the upper orders-sections of the facility;
  • Subsequent reconstruction by application and consolidation of plasters through impregnation up to refusal;
  • Application of ethyl silicate;
  • Integration and reconstruction of missing parts with mortar consisting of lime binder and aggregates with the
    same matrix as the existing support and anchored by glass resin bars to the supports;
  • Execution of a finishing layer of the reconstructed parts, executed by hand, matching the existing
  • After completion of all consolidations and reconstructions on the existing stone and plaster areas, a potassium
    silicate-based consolidating primer was applied, and all final painting works were implemented.

Project Comparability to Proposed Project: The project is exactly relevant to the project envisioned in the
solicitation in that it involved the complete renovation, repair and reconstruction of the facades to an important
historical facility in Italy, with multiple construction trades, and a special emphasis on sustainable building features.
The project included all categories of work envisioned in the solicitation including civil, structural, and architectural

Project Administration: The following project administrative actions were implemented: Initial detailed Work
Schedule Planning, the development and submission of all required project Submittals (for
materials/equipment/shop-drawings/operating &maintenance manuals, etc.), the performance of Preparatory
Meetings, Safety Meetings, Initial Inspections, Quality Control Inspections, Follow-up Inspections, Daily Work
Reports, QC/Production Meetings, Pre-Final and Final Inspections, Close-Out, As Built Dwgs. & As Built Record
of Materials.

Contract Terminations: None. Project was completed on-time and within budget.

Problems Encountered: All challenges related to restricted access, construction time restraints, and
high-volume tourist activity around the facility during restoration activities, were coordinated and resolved. Periods
of closure, inactivity, and re-commencement of works were required to be coordinated and overcome due to
COVID-19 restrictions imposed throughout the duration of the restoration works. Despite the significant challenges
and restrictions working in the COVID environment, the project works progressed and were completed on-time and
within budget