Woolwich Foot Tunnel, Greenwich - Built-Up Roofing


Project Overview

Project: Woolwich Foot Tunnel (South Entrance), London
Area: 300 m²
Completion Date: 2010
IMA Contractor: Capital Roofing Co Ltd, Blackheath
Client: Greenwich Council
System: Thermaweld Copper

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Woolwich-tunnel-02The south entrance to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel was opened in 1912, and is a red brick rotunda with a conical roof with a circular lantern. The building provides access to the 504m long foot tunnel beneath the river Thames. The south entrance, which is somewhat obscured by the adjacent leisure centre, is along with the north entrance, a grade II listed building.

The building had suffered vandalism and the theft of the copper sheet roofing from the top of the tunnel building on two occasions with the last being the most damaging. Greenwich council had asked Capital Roofing to inspect the damage and provide a solution to the thefts in order to prevent a reoccurrence.


Woolwich-tunnel-03The roof comprises a circular timber boarded structure with circular parapet gutter. An inner ring of sloped glazing leads to a timber framed lantern detail capped by a circular copper sheeted roof with spire. All of the original copper sheets and the parapet gutter lining had been stolen. To reinstate it with original materials would most certainly result in it being stolen again. The works needed to be carried out urgently as the weather conditions were causing water to enter the building and potentially the electrical equipment running the lift.


Capital Roofing's recommendation to Greenwich Council was to use a torch-on roofing system that would keep the original look of a copper-sheeted roof covering, but would not be of any value to thieves and so Icopal's Thermaweld Copper faced membrane was proposed to line both the parapet gutter and the circular main roof area. With its Grade II listing, agreement from British Heritage was sought, and permission was granted immediately on the specification and recommendations put forward by Capital Roofing.

The sheets of Thermaweld Copper needed to be planned and set out correctly to maintain an appearance similar to the original roof, but this was easily achieved with Capital Roofing's experienced installers. Tilt fillets were used to replace the original cappings and this worked well in the finished appearance.

Greenwich Council were delighted with the speed at which Capital Roofing carried out this difficult task and with the final appearance of the building.


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