Roof of university laboratories replaced on time despite torrential rain

Wensley Roofing has completed the replacement of flat roofing and the installation of new sensor-controlled rooflights on a city centre university building during a critical four-week time-slot despite torrential rain. 

The work on the Ellison Building, which houses Northumbria University‘s Life Science laboratories, had to be started and finished on time to accommodate both student holidays and internal laboratory testing. This required careful planning and co-ordination by Wensley Roofing’s James Roy (quantity surveyor) and Colin Howey (project manager) liaising with the university’s estates department. They drafted in MGM Ltd, one of Northern Bear‘s specialist construction companies, to undertake the building work.

Colin Howey, who has particular expertise in flat-roofing projects, said: “This was a tricky project that involved different trades working together to precise requirements. The several days of heavy rain added to the complications.”

The works involved replacing the old felt roof coverings with a new waterproofing system guaranteed for 20 years, removing the old wired-glass rooflights, which contained asbestos rope, and installing triple-skinned barrel rooflights with automatically controlled ventilation panels (pictured). The three state-of-the-art laboratories immediately below the roof had to be protected from asbestos, debris and, of course, rain throughout the renovations.

Michal Luczon of Northumbria University’s estates department said: “Wensley Roofing did an outstanding job under difficult circumstances including periodic torrential rain and they finished on time.”