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Shelbourne Hotel Facade Restoration

Winner of the Irish Georgian Society Architectural Conservation Award 2017

Client: The Shelbourne Hotel


  • Clean and repoint (Wigging) brickwork
  • Restore of 312 timber windows
  • Restore chimney pots
  • Localised patch roof repairs
  • Reinforce structural steel supports.
  • Restore architectural facade features and Roman cement canopies


Shelbourne Hotel
A 40×24-sq m printed screen covers Shelbourne Hotel facade during renovations

The Shelbourne Hotel facade restoration and structural repair is the largest and most complex project acol ltd has undertaken to date. Most noteworthy, it was the largest restoration job of 2015 in Ireland.

The project was carried out across 2015 and early 2016 and required 50 craftsmen and specialist contractors to reinstate the hotel’s façade to pristine condition. They achieved this by combining  traditional building skills with a number of innovative modern building techniques.

acol CEO Dermot Collier says: “We came to the project in 2012 after damage from the extremely cold winter of 2011/12 left the hotel façade requiring emergency retention works. Later, we assessed the building and developed a restoration plan with conservation architect Alistair Lindsay.”

The Work

In 2014, The Shelbourne Hotel approved the restoration plan and subsequently, a 12-month restoration contract began onsite in February 2015.

Shelbourne Hotel
Works on the Kildare Street side of the Shelbourne Hotel

The work carried out included:

  • Sympathetic cleaning and repointing (Wigging) of 99,480 bricks
  • Restoration of 312 windows: 260 sash windows, including 12 Dormer windows and 52 casement windows
  • Restoration of 170 chimney pots, including 34 pots on one stack, possibly Ireland’s largest chimney stack
  • Localised patch repairs on across 1,020 sq m of roof space
  • Reinforcement of structural steel supports using a hydrid cathodic protection process
  • Restoration of 500 architectural facade features and 29 Roman cement canopies

Dermot Collier says: “The Shelbourne Hotel facade restoration was a landmark project for Acol and for restoration work in Ireland. The Shelbourne Hotel management team greatly appreciated the painstaking work that was carried out by our incredible team. And when the contract was completed, they received a magnificent building that has broke new ground for restoration work in Ireland.”

One major work acol carried out during the project was the a major structural repair to the the Kildare Street facade section of the hotel. The team successfully utilized a Cathodic Protection technique to arrest corrosion in structural steel. We subsequently installed a monitoring and control system. Should our monitors detect corrosion at a later date, we can arrested it remotely without need for direct intervention (See Cathodic Protection).

Shelbourne Hotel Facade Restoration
Works nearing completion

acol’s work on the Shelbourne Hotel facade restoration featured in the second series of the The Shelbourne, an independent production by Waddell Media showing for RTE television.

Project Team

Project Manager: Justin McCarthy, McCarthy & Associates

Main Contractor: acol ltd

Quantity Surveyor: O’Reilly Hyland

Project Architect and Conservation Surveyor: Noel Larkin & Associates Chartered Building Surveyors

Conservation Architect: Alistair Lindsey

Consulting & Structural Engineers: Barrett Mahony Structural Engineers