Broomley First School, Stocksfield, Northumberland

During summer 2020 we were contracted to complete the strip and re-cover of the existing 800 square metre flat roof at Broomley First School. With a broad portfolio of similar work to our name including schools, hospitals, domestic and commercial properties; in addition to clients comprising Local Authorities, government agencies, developers and private clients; we were appointed on the basis of over 30 years’ experience, demonstrable skill at operative and managerial level and excellent client satisfaction.

Work was carried out over the summer holiday period during the pandemic in a COVID-19 safe manner. Despite the ever-present challenge of delivering works to schools during holidays, thanks to considerable experience delivering similar projects and a flexible multi-skilled workforce, we delivered. Moreover, thanks to strong supplier relationships, robust procurement practice, efficient working methods, and excellent communication, we delivered to budget. This was despite the original scope of works being extended to include the replacement of fasicas, soffits and downpipes, which we discovered were a fire risk.

Work began with the removal and safe disposal of the old two layer felt system, as well as the removal and infill of two redundant roof lights. Our team also replaced two further rooflights with new triple glazed anti vandal equivalents, work which included the installation of timber kerbs to accommodate the new built up of roof level. Finally, operatives retrofitted new sleeves and collars to two SVP penetrations, bringing them up to the regulation 150mm once build up was complete.

New insulation could now be installed. Because significant ponding had been evident during surveying stage, our Contracts Manager specified that cut fall insulation was installed instead of flat board to aid drainage. This work readied the project for necessary work to the outlets being undertaken ahead of the new felt system being laid. Our survey revealed that these outlets were an unusual non-standard size, and so our time-served lead workers created bespoke alternatives.

Upon completion of this custom lead work, our flat roofing operatives began the roof installation in earnest using the SIG SIGnature Torch On system. A self-adhesive peel and stick vapour control layer was laid first to protect the existing building from any naked flame and to reduce condensation risk. This was followed by the application of specialist torch resistant insulation and finally the torch on underlay and torch on charcoal mineral cap sheet. This phase of work included all felt abutments, parapets, gutter details and GRP edging trim.

At this point in the project, a team of Barclay Roofing joiners was dispatched to work alongside the flat roofing operatives to strip existing downpipes, fasicas and soffits, replacing them with new products. Although this work was not included in the original scope, the pre-start survey had uncovered that many of the downpipes, fascias and soffits were at the end of their serviceable life. More worryingly, the UPVC facias, soffits, and original shiplap timber cladding they concealed were not fire rated. If left, these goods would present serious fire risk, fail building regulations, cause rotting to the walls, and failure of the roof along the perimeter.

As works progressed, the Contracts Supervisor noticed minor damage to sections of the pitched roof, including cracked and slipped tiles. As added value to the client, and whilst scaffolding and mobile towers were on site, he arranged for repairs to be undertaken at no cost. The project concluded within budget and to a high standard.