London School of Economics

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A New Student Centre  In-situ Terrazzo staircases, walls and floors. Bespoke, handcrafted terrazzo sink troughs in bathrooms and Wadu rooms.

The Architects O’Donnell and Tuomey designed this to include an exterior appearance that continued inside with many interfacing features and designs.

In-situ Terrazzo Dust Control on Site

Terrazzo is a traditional hard floor and wall finish that comes in three main forms, IE Precast products, tiles, and in-situ. Part of the installation of all forms of the material is the grinding or polishing process required to finish the product and this invariably leads to the creation of silica dust. WB Simpson & Sons are conscious of the need for dust control and other measures that health and safety regulations require us to consider.

Even up to the mid 1980’s the only health and safety measures taken were a face mask for the polisher (if he bothered) and a daily pint of milk that was decreed a stomach lining sufficient to deal with inhaled dust! Other trades either put up with the dust or worked in another area. How times have changed for the better.

At the LSE a simple sealed temporary partition was required to isolate the work zone. The dust was controlled within the partition by an intake duct positioned close to the work face connected to a large fan unit and a filter box. This had to be cleaned out at regular intervals and the dust was usually double bagged and disposed of with other non-hazardous waste. The operatives were protected by gloves and over-suits plus individually fitted face masks with twin FFP3 filters which were all changed at regular intervals.

Where in-situ Terrazzo is installed the Client team and Main Contractor should give due consideration to timing and programming of the work and plan for the consequences to other trades working in adjacent areas. This is particularly relevant as when laying in-situ Terrazzo as the grinding process needs to start within 24 to 48 hours of the area being laid. This is because the material hardens very quickly after this, making the grinding process longer and more difficult. The grinding process invariably creates dust and noise and in most instances the area must be closed to other trades and sealed off for the duration of the work.