Cathcart Street Primary School - Torch-on Built-Up Flat Roofing - Icopal

Cathcart Street Primary School, Wirral - Built-Up Flat Roofing

Project Overview

Project: Cathcart Street Primary School, Birkenhead, Wirral
Area: 1,700 m²
Completion Date: 2011
IMA Contractor: MAC Roofing & Contracting Ltd, Wirral
Client: Wirral MBC
System: Profiles XL capsheet on Vedag Turbo Underlay, Insulation and Total Torch VCL

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Cathcart-St-Primary-School-02Cathcart Street Primary School in Birkenhead had severe problems with water ingress which was causing major damage and disruption to the school, including damage to computers, and some classrooms even had to be closed during bad weather due to the amount of water coming into the building.

With a good relationship with Wirral MBC, MAC Roofing & Contracting was given complete responsibility for the specification and planning of the building's flat roof systems which comprised built-up roofs with gutters, and a number of rooflights.


Cathcart-St-Primary-School-03MAC Roofing provided Wirral MBC with a full survey report highlighting a number of problems with the roof. A thermographic survey was scheduled which subsequently revealed that large areas of the roof insulation were saturated. MAC Roofing recommended complete removal and replacement of the existing roof.

As a matter of urgency, the roofing work had to be carried out during school time and so to expedite the works, MAC Roofing worked during the weekends. With the school open, there were problems caused by limited space available on the school grounds. A large scale rearrangement of the carpark was organised to allow MAC to form a fenced off compound area.

The client would only allow rubbish to be removed into skips outside of school hours due to the proximity of pupils and vehicles, which involved careful planning to avoid over stockpiling of waste on the roof.


Cathcart-St-Primary-School-04MAC Roofing presented a full waterproofing specification which was then approved by the client. Once the roof was stripped down to the metal deck, the new roofing system was installed. MAC chose Icopal's Total Torch Vapour Control Layer, with 120mm PIR insulation. This was then waterproofed with Vedag Turbo heat-activated underlay and finished with a layer of Profiles XL Brown mineral capsheet. The skylights were also replaced with new rooflight units to conform to Part L of the Building Regulations.

It was MAC Roofing’s goal to provide an emergency solution to a problem roof on a sensitive site during the worst time of the year. The school and the council now have a superior roof which was installed safely and efficiently and the running of the school was not affected by any of the works.

The roof will give the school many years of trouble free service which is also backed by a 20-year insurance backed IMA guarantee


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