In most instances it would be prudent for clay roof tiles to be specified for such a project however, since the project was on such a huge scale, with a broad range of financial demands, it was necessary to keep costs low where possible without compromising on design or efficiency. With this in mind Rob commented: “The Sidlaw House project presented us with some serious challenges – the first of which was to ensure that the roof tiles corresponded with the local area whilst still being able to redevelop around it. To resolve this we chose concrete roman tiles which were durable, visually pleasing and cost effective.”
Due to the redbrick nature of the Stamford Hill area, the project had to meet strict design criteria to ensure it sat comfortably within its surroundings. Due to the rich Victorian heritage of the area the Roman roof tiles synchronise the new roof with the local vernacular, ensuring that the new roof does not look out of place. That said Victorian roofs are not famed for their thermal efficiency, so by working in tandem with the tile’s manufacturer, Sandtoft, it was possible for the project to work on an aesthetic level whilst still bringing modern efficiencies derived from utilising modern building techniques. This was by no means an easy feat; issues, which the project has overcome, have included ventilation difficulties, which can often affect a conflict between design possibilities and meeting British Standards. The result of modernising the ventilation, as part of the re-roofing project, has prevented the new roof insulation from causing condensation, which could have lead to structural issues.
In addition to the renewal of the roof – the design brief specified other complex redevelopment facets. The dormers, for example, which are often found in buildings of Sidlaw House’s pedigree, had to be fully replaced. When one considers these extrusions, which drastically alter the roof’s face, the difficulties of installing a roof that achieves modern standards and architectural synergy soon become apparent. That said, the team from Breyer Group was able to over come these obstacles whilst marinating the feel of the properties roof.
Beyond the specification of the roof tiles, Rob, Jon Davies - Contracts Manager at Breyer and Mark Mayatt - Specification Manager at Sandtoft, were in dialogue throughout the project. Because of the technical issues involved, it was vital for all parties to work closely together and Mark attended progress meetings and was on call for site visits where needed to assist the construction team as to how they could install the new roof as efficiently as possible, which in turn reduced costs incurred from scaffolding rent and labour. Mark, was able to sign off work as it progressed, helping to keep the project within time parameters - Sandtoft now guarantees the roof for 15 years.
As London and the UK’s other major population hubs continue to grow exponentially and building projects continue to spur on the urban sprawl, redevelopment of buildings is only going to increase as an industry. With that in mind and the ever-shrinking time scale housing projects have for completion, it is vital that architects and contractors have access to expert help to achieve their key objectives. The Sidlaw House project clearly demonstrates that when a considerable roof redevelopment presents a plethora of issues, both time and money can be saved due to expert advice and added value, working alongside organisations, such as Sandtoft and Wienerberger, that have the expertise to approve work as it progresses and advise on building methods.