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Al Hayl Villa - main façade

The main façade - repairs carried out to defective day joints in columns and pilasters.

A combination of poor detailing, poor workmanship and inadequate supervision meant that the builder of this palace, near Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman, had a big concrete repair problem on his hands, even before the structure was complete.

Sensible of his difficulties, and wishing to avoid substantial demolition/reconstruction costs and delays, the Contractor sought specialist help from the UK. As a Chartered Civil Engineer with hands-on experience in concrete repair and of Middle-Eastern conditions, Andrew Sadleir was asked to make a 5‑day visit to assess the problem and to propose solutions… and stayed for 3 months.

Al Hayl Villa - main atrium

Inside the main atrium — patch repairs visible to columns, slab edges and soffits.

Extensive structural repair was required, entailing mainly grouting or ‘traditional’ patch repair techniques. Because of contractual pressures on programme, the choice of specialist materials was restricted to those available ex-stock in the region. In practice, this meant heavy reliance on site-batched modified mortars.

In the absence of specialist repair operatives, Sadleir trained the “unskilled” locally-engaged workforce from scratch.

While supervising the remedial works, he had also constantly to reassure the Employer's engineers — ultimately with success — that his repair specification and the standard of workmanship would ensure a safe and durable finished structure.