Brighton Belle regains its crown

One of the landmarks of the Brighton seafront, the Abbotts Building, is once again watertight and guaranteed to remain so for 25 years now it has a new flat roof specified, manufactured and supplied by Icopal and installed by an Icopal-approved contractor.

Commanding ‘impressive’ views across the English Channel, Abbotts Building is directly opposite the British Airways i360, giving visitors to the world’s tallest moving observation tower a seagull’s view of what was the deteriorating roof and the many patches and repairs it required over 10 years.

Built in 1961-2, Abbotts is an eight-storey block of 17 apartments, including the penthouse apartment that occupies the whole of the top storey and which suffered the worst from repeated leaks. Kevin Smith, a freelance surveyor working on behalf of Priors Property Management in Hove, realised that the whole roof had to be replaced.

“Thermal imaging showed that water had penetrated through the top layer of asphalt but then travelled along the roof until it penetrated through the next layer and through to the concrete deck beneath,” he said. “This explained why previous repairs were ineffectual – it was impossible to find exactly where the leak had started from where it emerged.”

Working with Peter Swanell, the BMI area technical manager, Kevin considered two alternatives: Icopal Enviroflex, a liquid-applied waterproofing membrane; or a bituminous system, finished with Icopal’s Profiles XL Plus FireSmart capsheet. Both would be guaranteed for 25 years, if installed by a member of the Intelligent Membrane Association, BMI’s network of Icopal-approved contractors.

“We opted for the Profile because we felt that its greater thickness would provide longer, more durable protection in what was an exposed coastal location,” explained Kevin.

IMA member, Clarke Roofing (Southern), was awarded the contract and installed Icopal QD Bitumen Primer on top of the existing Mastic Asphalt, before then installing the vapour control layer, Profiles Vapour Vent XL, and the adhesive layer, Bonding to Bitumen Stripes. The insulation was Thermazone Torch-On Insulation, with Profiles Vent XL U/L underlay and a capsheet of Profiles XL PLUS FireSmart Mineral.

Clarke Roofing was on-site for six weeks, assisted by Icopal throughout via regular contact and on-site inspections. The results, thanks to the i360, are constantly on show to locals and visitors alike and enhance the Brighton roofscape.

Ray Edwards, Clarke roofing quantity surveyor, said: “It was a pleasure to work with Priors, on this high-profile project in Brighton. Their project surveyor Kevin Smith assisted with a seamless and trouble-free roofing project. A single point of contact is always desirable between the stakeholder and main contractor.”

www.icopal.co.uk