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Radford Primary School roof refurbishments

Client: Barker Associates/ Sidney Stringer Multi Academy Trust

Systems: TA-30 Reinforced Bituminous Membrane System, warm roof striptile

Water leaking into the classrooms alerted the management team at Radford Primary Academy to the need to take action.

The major refurbishment, involving the upgrading of 14 roof areas, up to 40 years old, has had added benefits beyond making the buildings watertight. The improvement programme, managed by Barker Associates with support from Langley Waterproofing Systems Ltd, has meant the school has a better understanding of its estate condition, the ability to manage it going forward, and the potential for reduced energy bills as a result of insulation upgrade.

Barker Associates collated the application and implementation of two Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) bid applications, working closely with Langley Waterproofing Systems Ltd who provided supporting evidence and investigation into the condition of the existing roofs. This encompassed the CIF application from concept to completion, compiling a schedule of works, and then providing technical support from inception through to completion.

Langley’s roof condition survey found significant areas of concern. All the roofs were at the end of their useable life and had already been subject to extensive reactive liquid repairs. There were also potential structural issues related to the woodwool structural deck which, if saturated by water ingress, could result in roof collapse, alongside fragile Georgian wired glazed rooflights, with poor- or in some instances no- insulation, plus cladded upstands and overhangs that could pose a potential fire risk. Some areas of the insulation were saturated with water, rendering it inefficient. Alongside the flat roofing, there was trapezoidal corrugated cladding which was deteriorated.

Langley designed solutions to refurbish all the roofs, and recommended the installation of its TA-30 Flat Roofing System; where possible, existing roof surfaces were to overlaid rather than stripped, reducing waste to landfill, and for optimum cost efficiency without impact on the new roof performance. Langley’s TA-30 system, part of the well-established Reinforced Bituminous Membrane range, is a premium quality, torch applied, high performance SBS elastomeric membrane warm roof system for flat or sloping roofs which carries a 30 year independently insured guarantee for both materials, design, workmanship and consequential loss.

The trapezoidal cladding was addressed with a bespoke solution from Langley Structures, part of the Langley group of companies, using its warm roof striptiles (usually used to convert flat roofs to pitched). Its Approved Contractors Cambridge Flat Roofing Co Ltd undertook Phase 1, with Premier Roofing & Construction Ltd executing Phase 2, through competitive tendering.

Roofs 4,7,8,9 and 11 were refurbished under Phase 1, being deemed in most urgent need. In each case, the defective existing BUR was removed to expose the deck below. Langley’s TA-30 system which includes PIR insulation was installed to bring the roofs up to current U-values of 0.18W/m2K as roofs 4, 8 and 9 had no insulation at all, and the 20mm fibreboard on roofs 7 and 11 was wet.

To deal with the trapezoidal sections, Cambridge Flat Roofing stripped and removed the corrugated metal sheet to expose the timber below and renewed the wood as necessary. Insulation 140mm thick was fitted in between the rafters then battened and tiled with 1280mm x 415mm Langley roofing tiles. Details were flashed and abutted as required. Langley LG45 ventilation tiles were fitted to modify existing soil pipes.

In Phase 2, Premier Roofing & Construction (PRC) addressed the remaining eight roofs of the main school and the roof of the tank room. Although the roofs over the main school premises were all insulated, they did not meet current Building Regulation requirements in regard to U-values. PRC prepared the existing roof to install the TA-30 system, then built up the new insulated roof, fitting flatboard insulation up to 120mm thick and tapering where necessary to correct falls and improve drainage, whilst achieving the desired 0.18W/m2K U-value.

Said Langley’s Mike Preston, Regional Manager, “On such a large refurbishment it is taken as economical to use a single supplier to ensure continuity and give the school a ‘one stop shop’ to contact should any issues arise in the future. Langley as a group, with our Structures division, had the ability and capability to deliver that single source despite the variety of roof requirements to be addressed. It also provides the end client with cost certainty and compliance to Building Regulations across all roof areas.”

Added Barker Associates’ Project Surveyor David Mugliston, “We have an established long-term relationship with Langley. There is trust that they will deliver, even on such a complex and extensive project and return to rectify issues that could arise.

“The team at Radford Primary appreciated the logic in using a single source for its roofing refurbishment, that had the capability, in-house, to survey, advise then deliver the most efficient solution. Using Langley has enabled the school to upgrade its estate comparatively painlessly and have the peace of mind going forward that its roofs are now fully compliant for current Building Regulations, specifically Approved Documents B and L, and that the children in its care will be safe, dry and warm for the future.”