NFRC UK Roofing Awards Finalist 2019
Main Contractor: Rooftec (Scotland) Ltd
Client: Mr H Cullins & 8 other property owners, mixture of domestic residential and 4 operating businesses
Sandwiched between the views of Stirling Castle and Wallace’s Monument this tenement block in the centre of Stirling city was in desperate need of a full roof replacement, this original roof was replaced with Welsh Cwt Y Bugail Grade A slates, absolute beauties!
This roof was the original on this B listed tenement block however had become nail sick and although the slates had served the building well through many Scottish winters they were past their best.
The roof features included a pyramid shaped tower to the front left, a large cupula over the main stairwell within a flat roof, various vertical slating to the mansard areas at the front and rear elevations with some very tight sections, aluminium Ogee gutters sitting on the wall head at the front elevation.
The full strip and re slate included various sarking and timber repairs before works could begin.
Access to this site was very tight given its location so careful planning for the full project was vital which was eased by the fact we were the main contractor and in full control.
The photos speak for themselves to the talent in our team, excellent job once again.
This re roof was sympathetic to the replacement of a traditional Scottish tenement roof, keeping all original features so no architectural/structural changes were required.
With a pitched elevation to the front and a turret/tower feature to the front left this led up and over to a flat roof with a Cupula over the tenement stairwell then leading to the back pitched area which included various areas of vertical slating incorporating dormer windows.
The clients liased with Stirling Council with our assistance on the technical questions and Welsh slate was the chosen product from those approved by the local authority, given the 100 years guarantee available from Welsh Slate.
The experience of our team was demonstrated through the ability to re slate the turret, starting with the eaves course and by splitting the regular polygon down into triangles. Each triangular section was then set out using a combination of slate, slate and a half and double slate with each “hip section” converging. This method is required to ensure the correct side lap cover is continually achieved. Planning and using slate templates allowed the team to mark out and create the uniform look plus ensuring the correct slate head laps and not forgetting also the installation of soakers at every course where the mitred corners meet. The attention to detail is clear from the close accurate cutting of all hip junctions, the slates were cut using a traditional knife on the front face which creates the perfect straight edge.
The various mansard areas required excellent lead detailing from the mansard to the pitched elevations eaves courses, lead aprons were made using lead dressers, finished result illustrated in images included.
Codes of practice used include LSA BS6915 for lead work, BS5534 Slating & Tiling and Grade A slates to meet the BSEN12326-1 standards.
Our workmanship starts with one of the basic but most important parts of the slating process, grading. Once sorted into thick, medium and thin it makes our slaters job easier allowing the thick slates to be identified and fitted first, then medium and lastly thin towards to top courses. All slates were graded and holed by our team offsite at SIG Kirkcaldy’s yard, having built a sound relationship with the merchant this solved a large problem given the very small working space onsite. SIG then delivered the slates ready to be loaded via the hoist straight to roof level enabling us to store minimum materials on the ground.
All slates were double copper nailed and slate cover taken into consideration to accommodate the various pitches of the many roof sections and junctions we encountered whilst working the slates in accurately to deliver perfectly straight valley cuts using slate knifes and the guillotine at times.
The photos demonstrate the uniformity achieved over the pitched slated areas and the precision in the valleys. This shows a real understanding of slating practice and skill to carry it off.
Throughout the various roof areas lead was dressed and installed in valleys around the dormers, 3 chimneys, all again following the LSA guides. Most members of our team have completed the LSA Lead Bossing and Welding course which ensured the correct standards were met.
From first meetings with the client we were able to grasp that they required clear communication given the numbers of owners involved and that they also required a contractor who could coordinate and carryout all aspects of the works.
The in house system we use to share daily updates with clients ticked all the boxes they required. Being the main contractor allowed us full control of any others onsite and this was crucial given the tight sight access complicated slightly by full renovation works taking place on another building directly opposite the roof we were replacing (illustrated in photos).
We carried out a pilot program with Historic Environment Scotland delivering “Roofing in the Classroom” to 5 schools within the central belt of Scotland, this site was used as the example building to create an interactive lesson on Health & Safety through the photographs captured. This site was excellent for this purpose as it had to take into consideration the small site size, the busy roads, the general public, the 24hr court access required next door, not to mention working at heights, safe access for all business who operated fully throughout the full re roof, removal of waste from the roof to ground level and getting all materials to roof level using the hoist machinery. It worked very well and the feedback from all teachers was fabulous, they found this lesson very practical and engaging as we used a live site. It also highlighted how we make use of technology within our workplace and how this is relevant to modern day learning styles within education and bust the myth that roofing and construction is all hard hats and hammers.
“ …(the course)…was a really well overdue, a course that a) included pupils whose brains are in their hands, and b) tradesmen who could communicate what was being looked for in a “real life” trade scenario in a straightforward and plain English way.”
Our own apprentices also benefited from this site experience as it changed daily given we were working/loading/unloading all in such a tight space. They were able to understand how thinking a few steps ahead really helps the smooth running of a project. For example from our small compound we had to cross a road to access the building, therefore traffic awareness was priority, the general public were entering the businesses below so site housekeeping was vital to protect everyone in the vicinity. It highlighted how planning was also key to keep the job moving at a steady pace and a classic example of this was getting 4 storeys up and forgetting your nail bag, needless to say this only happened once, lesson learned !
With most of our tradesmen individually having almost 30 years roofing experience under their belts we are in a fortunate position to be able to specify direct for clients offering various material options, helping on this occasion to satisfy the planners but also their budget as this was slightly more complex given the number of property owners involved.