J.Mac Scaffolding


Restoration works for one of UK’s oldest Universities

Durham University is England’s third oldest university, dating back to 1833. With over 17 colleges and over 20,000 students there are over 380 university buildings which include Grade 1 and 2 listed buildings. The University has been placed in the top 100 universities in the world in both the Times Higher Education (THE) and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings since 2010. JMAC received an initial enquiry from O`Connor Roofing one of our long term clients who do all the repair and maintenance works to all roofs of the 400+ buildings on site. Buildings include the Lindisfarne centre (as seen above) in which we erected a designed scaffold to allow for project restoration works in 2022.

Facilities included in the Lindisfarne Centre were meeting rooms and conference facilities.

Durham University restoration works

Historic education building considerations

The age and fragile nature of the buildings required planned restoration and repair to ensure we would protect the fabric of the buildings. There were strict guidelines on what we could and could not provide due to some of the status of the grade 1 and grade 2 listed buildings.

The University currently has 20,268 students, as well as staff and management, and with being fully operational during term time, there was also a requirement that any scaffold company working on building works understood and planned for security and health/safety of students.

With so many people requiring access, it was imperative that building management teams were aware of any planned works and timelines.

On one of the more modern buildings, the Lindisfarne Centre, the area of the building that required our framework to be erected was curved rather than a straight run, so we had to adapt our scaffolding to fit around this area.

What we did

Our scaffolders faced no major difficulties, other than we were erecting a scaffolding in a busy pedestrianised area where there are challenges everyday due to the nature of the works. This type of work requires sensible and trustworthy operatives who can liaise with university staff and management. We also factored in segregation and a safe system of works as all buildings are occupied during term-time so logistics, and health and safety and quality all need to be at the highest standard.

To work on the curved Lindisfarne Centre, the JMAC scaffolding team created a splayed scaffold on the building where smaller sections of framework are connected together to fit around the shape of the building. We were required to leave access to the entrance for students and staff, so we set out the scaffold leaving the doorway clear.

The JMAC manager provided a weekly programme update which was communicated to the client and the University at a weekly progress meeting. This kept the University building management team aware of all works, including ensuring access was arranged in advance of works commencing, i.e. car parking spaces etc closed off.

Ryan Payne, Operations Director said “JMAC are proud to work for such a prestigious educational establishment as Durham University. We are privileged to support work on repairing and restoration of both modern and historical buildings across the campus and Durham City Centre. We have had fantastic feedback from our client, O Connor Roofing, as well as the Durham University management team.”



If you would like any more information on our scaffolding services then please send us a message

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *