It’s that time of year again, now that university students have finished enjoying summer balls, jumping from bridges into six inches of river, or doing whatever else they want to celebrate the end of exams; which means all the lecture rooms, libraries, laboratories, halls of residence and other buildings around the UK’s university campuses are now comparatively empty. And it also allows Plastic Surgeon to make inroads into the catalogue of repairs the students and staff have racked up during the academic year.
You see not only does the UK’s only national cosmetic repair service carry out snagging work for the main contractors who build all our education establishments, but we also get involved with a huge amount of building maintenance for the university authorities, their facilities management companies and the specialist providers of student accommodation.
When the buildings are under construction the range of repairs undertaken by our Finishers is similar to those in commercial work, with the carelessness of the labour force moving materials, or pushing the ubiquitous wheelbarrow, taking their toll on doors, window frames, cladding and joinery items.
Once the undergraduates are in occupation, however, the scrapes and scratches often give way to more serious damage; often involving heat rather than impacts.
Typical living arrangements in modern accommodation blocks focuses on what are termed cluster flats, with half a dozen en-suite study bedrooms sharing cooking and lounge facilities. As occupants are often let loose in the kitchen for the first time, few worksurfaces get through a college year without having a hot frying pan placed on them: leaving a large burn mark in the laminate.
Then in the shower pods the students sometimes show an even more tenuous understanding of the laws of thermo-dynamics by placing lighted candles in the soap holders, causing the plastic mouldings to catch fire. Thanks to our advanced repair and resurfacing techniques, both situations are retrievable.
Within the scope of new-build work, we have been involved with both Exeter University’s new Forum and Business School which form major elements within the long term redevelopment of its facilities. Around the latter structure, a team of our Finishers working from powered access platforms filled and re-sprayed areas of damage caused to the 6 m x 8 m grey powder coated cladding panels. Exterior doors and aluminium window frames also needed attention, while our stone Finishers repaired damaged sandstone panels, and filled incorrectly positioned holes in paving stones.
There was even the opportunity for Plastic Surgeon’s operatives to demonstrate the skills we have developed for polishing scratches out of glazing, while IPS panels in washrooms and changing rooms were also brought up to spec’.
Up in Scotland, the new Biomedical Building at Strathclyde University had come in for the unwelcome attention of vandals: inflicting deep scratches in Perspex, which again had to be polished out. Then at Loughborough where many of the country’s aspiring sportsmen and PE teachers attend courses, our Finishers had to get a series of internal doors back in shape.
Although some students might still have a lot to learn about looking after their own living environments, most will have a view about sustainability and the future of the planet: which brings me to another of Plastic Surgeon’s key strengths.
For not only do we save all these very different building components from having to be replaced, and therefore heading for our rapidly diminishing landfill sites, but our bespoke VisibilITy software can also accurately quantify it in terms of tonnages and the monetary value: enabling clients to incorporate the statistics into their own reporting systems. In fact, we can teach the whole of the industry a thing or two about sustainable cosmetic repair.
Plastic Surgeon can restore almost any damaged interior or exterior surface in commercial or residential buildings. Thanks to specialist training the company’s finishers are expert in repairing and fine finishing practically any material including;