HISTORIC ARCHITECTURAL RESTORATION & SYMPATHETIC ALTERATIONS
an associate of the Good Directions Ltd group of companies
Specialist architectural advisors and project managers, specifying, designing and building architectural features including roofing, facades, stairs, and other building structures using a variety of materials including stainless steel, glass, fine wood, bronze and copper.
Founder and CEO
Our Founder and CEO Sergio Tobia began working in the architectural and restoration sector in 1977 whilst studying Physics at the University of Pisa. This gave him the knowledge about materials, how they work together and under stress, how they age, how and especially why they deteriorate. The knowledge gained in these areas helped him develop skills where these issues are of growing importance, as in marine environments, restoration and sustainable building practices.
Specialist in designing and building architectural features involving roofing, facades, stairs, and other building structures using a variety of materials including stainless steel, glass, fine wood, bronze and copper, with an expertise gained over more than 30 years allowing us to focus not only on the aesthetics of a project but also on fully understanding any technological issues associated with it.
An extensive experience in waterproofing, insulation, rainwater drainage and metal roofing allows us to manage building and restoration projects using various metals, glass, concrete, wood and lead, organizing and instructing a team of highly skilled craftsmen to carry out a total project management service for the client.
The use of sustainable processes and materials has been of paramount importance to me since starting work in this field. Materials such as vegetative roofing and sheep’s wool insulation are just some of a selection of “green” solutions for which we gained expertise.
More about Sergio
Having worked in the metal roofing, guttering and the cladding sectors since 1977, while still collaborating with the University, I gained an almost unique knowledge in this field covering all the aspects from design and product development to planning, procurement, installation and repair in waterproofing, thermal and acoustic insulation and structural cladding.
Since the early 70s this sector has been characterized by a constant growth in the use of copper which by 2000 accounted for about 60% of the market, before starting to change in favor of aluminum. This was a direct result of the sudden and significant rise in the copper price combined with the austerity imposed as a result of the 2008 world economic crisis that significantly affected the building sector.
My experience in the UK market started in 1992 working with the use of metals including lead, copper and zinc in the building and roofing sectors in cooperation with a British Company, Good Directions Ltd. The use of these metals remains popular not only for roofs but also for valley and flashings work. Over many years, whilst doing maintenance work on old buildings, I learnt the techniques needed in the manual seaming for lead and zinc using batten, rib or double locking standing seam systems.
This experience included all the methods and techniques required to prevent oxidation of the inner face together with the need to eliminate any galvanic corrosion between the contact of metals with different electrochemical potential. Most sensitive restoration processes obtain the best results by employing the original techniques and tools used when first built. This guarantees that the original aesthetics are achieved whilst still using state-of-the-art knowledge in order to give the finished project functionality and a long life.
One of the finest examples of this kind of attention to detail has been the complete restoration of the timber support and the subsequent installation of a new lead roof on the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine. This roof was originally built in the 5th century and has been replaced using original materials, techniques and tools that now give the roof a new life expectancy at least as long as the 400 years since it was last maintained in the 17th century.