Dating back to the 1930s, Oakfield Academy in Frome has a total of 3,500m2 of new pitched and flat roofing that is now guaranteed for quality for 15-years and more, thanks to BMI UK & Ireland – the manufacturer of flat and pitched roofing and waterproofing.
BMI UK & Ireland was recently formed following the coming together of Icopal and Monier Redland. With a heritage in roofing reaching back over 180 years, the new company is a total roofing solutions provider for both pitched and flat roofing.
Like so many schools of its vintage Oakfield Academy has grown, with flat-roofed extensions being added to the pitched roof buildings, so many in fact, that it now has 15 flat roofs covering 1,300m2 and 11 pitched roofs measuring 2,200m2.
In a project starting in the summer of 2015 and finishing in the winter of 2018, all of the roofs at the school had to be replaced in a three-phase programme orchestrated by surveyors Ridge & Partners, who also oversaw the academy’s successful applications for funding from the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to finance the work via the Condition Improvement Fund. As part of its seven-step specification service, BMI UK & Ireland worked with Ridge & Partners, assisting with the funding application, completing the site survey – including core samples of the existing flat roof – and providing a specification for the tender process.
Matt Smith, the Ridge & Partners associate in charge of the project, chose a BMI Icopal system for the flat roofs – re-roofed in the first phases – and then also opted for the design service from BMI for the pitched roofs that were part of the third phase.
“We originally chose the BMI Icopal system because we require an approved system with the appropriate guarantees,” he explained. “However, when Redland and Icopal became BMI UK & Ireland it made sense to use their pitched and flat solutions, so we had a one-stop shop. Academies need guarantees that are enforceable and a solution that simplifies the maintenance and management of the roofs and BMI was able to do this.
“A project of this size has to be carried out in phases and you don’t want to be in the position where different companies are responsible for each phase, as any responsibility for any faults can become unclear. Having one company that could support both flat and flat roofing needs eliminated this risk.”
Now the academy’s pitched roofs are covered for up to 15 years, with the additional benefit of the flat roof systems also being supported by an insurance-backed guarantee for up to 20 years.
Both guarantee schemes work similarly in practice and form part of BMI’s complete seven-step specification service. This starts with consultation and site surveys, leading to specification, site support and project monitoring; and concludes with roof systems guarantees for both pitched and flat roofs. On completion, the roof is covered – both literally and metaphorically!
“It’s useful to have a second pair of eyes examining the work and it helps to have their technical expertise on tap,” said Matt. “They’re swift to respond and liaise with everyone involved – the client, the consultant and the contractor – to make sure the project is delivered.”
The flat roofs consist of BMI Icopal Total Torch Vapour Control Layer; Thermazone Torch-on Roof insulation Boards; Total Torch Vapour Dispersion Layer; and Thermaweld FireSmart Mineral Cap Sheet. To provide controllable ventilation, BMI’s Dalite and Daglaze rooflight units were installed to the kerbs, while the rainwater outlets were refurbished using the company’s Roofgard outlets. To prevent thefts, BMI Formflash was used to replace the existing flashings, providing a lead-free solution unattractive to thieves.
The pitched roofs are now composed of BMI Redland Double Roman Tiles in Granular Brown; Spirtech 400 2S – a four-layer, vapour permeable underlay; the Continuous Ridge and Hip System – the cost effective, ventilating dry fix solution for mechanically fixing ridge and hip tiles; and BMI’s Redvent Eaves Ventilation System.
“The number of abutments and the detailing of the areas where the flat roofing met the pitched roof required careful design to be sufficiently robust,” commented Matt. “Since this was all done in conjunction with BMI we can have total confidence in the finished product.”