In possibly the only building of its kind in the UK, Sika Sarnafil single ply membrane has been used to waterproof a garden room with a live tree growing through it.
Hackney-based architect Andrew Leckenby specialises in working with private clients to improve their homes, but when it came to extending his family home, Andrew became his own client and living in an urban area meant imagination was required to increase his living area.
Deciding to make the most of his home’s outdoor space, Andrew settled on a garden room. However, the rear of the garden contained a beautiful false acacia tree, which he did not want to remove. Thinking outside the box, Andrew drew up plans for a room that would incorporate the tree, making it the focal point of the space.
Speaking of the project, he commented: “There are countless examples of trees being integrated with architecture – but these are generally found in countries where it doesn’t rain quite as much! To be able to achieve the same effect in the UK, we needed a roofing membrane that was flexible enough to allow the tree to sway and grow, as well as being durable enough to keep the building watertight.”
Andrew had specified Sika Sarnafil on many extensive commercial projects during his career working with larger architectural practices, so knew that the product would meet his requirements.
He continued: “Faced with a challenging roof design, I instantly thought of Sika Sarnafil. As the industry-leading single ply membrane, after decades of specifying it for corporate clients I was confident that I could trust its quality and durability. In addition, Sarnafil’s Registered Contractor scheme allowed me to identify an installer that had the training and experience to do the job – essential for detailing of this nature.”
The finished article is a striking yet homely multi-functional space, used as a garden room that extends the summer season, a home office – and not to mention a unique sleepover location for Andrew’s son.
A member of the Sika Sarnafil technical team inspected the project once complete and awarded a 15 year guarantee on the roof.
The low maintenance membrane means Andrew only has to check the waterproofing once a year to ensure the detailing around the tree is still sound. A small price to pay, says Andrew, for such a fantastic family space.