Every effort was made to ensure the new Forum at the University of Exeter looked in pristine condition when Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth arrived to perform the opening ceremony on Wednesday the 2nd of May, 2012, forming part of her Diamond Jubilee Tour.
The facility, which is part of a £350 million expansion and refurbishment for the campus in Devon’s business capital, incorporates a wide range of amenities including an auditorium, seminar rooms, a shopping street, bank and a Costa Coffee. The Forum has been built by Sir Robert McAlpine and joins other prestigious buildings at the University where Plastic Surgeon has been involved: including the Business School and multi-storey student accommodation blocks.
As with all construction projects, there were a number of minor repair or snagging issues to be dealt with as the handover approached; and McAlpine took the same approach as many other main contractors these days, by calling in the cosmetic repair specialist to deal with them.
Two of Plastic Surgeon’s highly trained Finishers have been on site at the Forum for a total of three weeks, pulling in South-West region staff from as far afield as Bristol in order to maintain the pace of work without neglecting other clients.
They have been dealing with dents and scratches in laminate doors as well as interior timberwork and metal handrails. In almost all instances the damage has resulted from the attrition of various tradespeople moving about a busy construction site carrying tools and equipment. A number of metal lockers have also required attention from the Finishers who have been doing what Plastic Surgeon normally refers to as Cosmetic Repairs.
These involve preparing, occasionally deepening the area of damage in order to get a good key for the proprietary two-pack fillers that Plastic Surgeon includes in the operatives’ van stock. Once that has hardened, the area is rubbed smooth again with gradually finer and finer abrasives, until the original profile of the surface is restored.
The Finishers then colour match the paint by eye, unless the manufacturer’s shade is actually available, and it is applied using the spraying equipment they carry. Plastic Surgeon also has available special high volume, low speed spraying systems, together with extract equipment, which avoid contamination in sensitive locations.
As a result of such interventions, Plastic Surgeon is able to prevent numerous building components from having to be replaced, often ending up in landfill. Furthermore, through its VisibilITy software system, the company can provide its customers accurate estimates of both the tonnage and value of products that have been saved. On average Plastic Surgeon’s customers save £3 for every pound they spend on the service, though this ratio can rise dramatically when the labour involved in replacement is taken into consideration.
Plastic Surgeon’s involvement on the project is set to continue after the official opening by the Queen, with a number of bus shelters, cycle stores and other exterior features requiring the Finishers’ unique skills.