Blackheath High School - Torch-on Roofing - Icopal

Blackheath High School, London - Built-Up Roofing


Project Overview

Project: Blackheath High School, London SE3
Area: 250 m²
Completion Date: 2009
Contractor: Capital Roofing Co Ltd, Blackheath
Client: The Girls Day School Trust
System: Icopal Thermaweld Copper Capsheet

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ICS1027-Blackheath-High-School-London_381x266The dance studio at Blackheath High School in south-east London, which was opened by Princess Alexandra in 1965 as a chapel for the Church Army, was being stripped of its metal roof coverings by thieves unaware its scrap value was negligible. Several thefts of lead had occurred over a short period of time and the copper from the Chapel roof was being peeled off.


Capital Roofing was called in to suggest a solution by longstanding client The Girls Day School Trust, owners of the building, and Capital’s managing director Terry Peck worked with the trust’s principal building surveyor Ben Woolf to provide a remedial specification.

Due to the fact that copper sheet coverings would be very expensive, several other options such as liquid coatings and a plain green mineral cap sheet were discussed. This particular building is in a conservation area and is an architecturally significant building. Only the very best materials being used would satisfy the clients’ needs.


Capital Roofing managed to persuade the school surveyor to keep the original appearance of the roof and as the chapel roof is such a prominent land mark, they put forward Icopal's Thermaweld Copper. This was made more complex since the roof was a hyperbolic paraboloid shaped roof, and as such meant the sheet had to be cut to the exact size and shape, and the scaffold had to be constantly adjusted to cater for the changing roof pitch. In areas where it was vertical, the roofers had to hang from their harnesses.

A new flashing was applied to the vertical upstand but the intricate valley detail in thick copper was left in place. Installation took two months over the winter in weather that included periods of severe frost.

Ben Woolf said: “Capital Roofing were the first choice contractor to provide immediate support and advice to ensure that an appropriate and complete renewal was skillfully carried out to complement this architecturally significant building".

The project won the "Best in Show" accolade and also won the Refurbishment category at the Flat Roofing Alliance (FRA) 2009 RBM Awards.

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