Project: St. Columba United Reform Church
Location: Hunts Cross district of Liverpool
Completion Date: June 2016
Specifier: Owen Ellis Architects
Roofing Contractor: MAC Roofing & Contracting Ltd
System: Decra Stratos
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St. Columba United Reform Church in Hunts Cross district of Liverpool was designed and built in 1964 and comprises a large steep pitched roof which due to the diamond shape formed by the wall dormers and rising ridges discharges rainwater to hoppers at the eaves which are situated within a metre of the ground. This low-eaves design allowed the roof to be easily accessed, and easy to vandalise, causing large amounts of damage to the tiles and thereby constantly requiring replacement.
During the first site visit it became clear of extent of the works and numerous complications were evident. With no insulation within the rafters the possibility of removal and reinstatement of the decorative timber board ceiling to install insulation was not a financially viable option for the church, and would also require a great deal more time and disruption for the church. Outside investigation highlighted several other challenges, mainly owing to the unusual shape of the roof. The numerous wall dormers created an inverted pyramid shape which narrowed down to the eaves level into metre high rainwater hoppers and created a tight working zone in which to install the tiles, and a lack of eaves to create continuous eaves-to-ridge ventilation, the length of the roof and the ridge-to-eaves ratio further complicated matters.
In the end, Icopal’s Decra Stratos tile was chosen as the strength of the 0.43mm thick steel tile ensured impact and vandalism resistance to prevent the need for continued repairs to the roof whilst the tile profile maintained a visually pleasing aesthetic for the roof. A Decra flat sheet colour matching the Stratos tiles would be then used where the roof narrows, maintaining the visual aesthetic, which was particularly important given that the detail occurs at eye level. As a multi-material supplier, Icopal could offer full design assistance and guarantees for the interfaces ensuring a robust, tailored solution to the problem.