Westport Lake Visitor Centre - Green Roof

Project Overview

Project: Westport Lake Visitor Centre, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire
Area: 350 m²
Completion Date: 2009
Contractor: K Pendlebury & Sons Ltd, Wigan
Client: Stoke City Council and British Waterways
Specifier: Walker Simpson Architects, Manchester
System: SureWeld TPO (lower viewing terrace), Extensive Sedum Green RoofRootbar System

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Westport-Lake-Visitor-Centre-02Westport Lake is situated just north of Stoke-on-Trent and is the largest body of water in the area. The lake is home to a large variety of water birds and is an important site for migrating birds during winter. Westport Lake has seen major improvements undertaken, and a new visitor centre was commissioned by British Waterways, on behalf of Stoke-on-Trent Council. The brief was to create a state of the art visitor centre along the canal network, with a focus on sustainable design to represent the regeneration taking place around the city.


The building is elevated to provide views of the lake via an observation deck. The floor of the observation area is timber slatted decking which curves up to form the walls of the terrace, and provided some tricky detailing for the waterproofing. The main roof houses both photovoltaic and solar thermal panels to provide power and hot water, along with various rooflights, and service penetrations all of which required waterproofing.


Westport-Lake-Visitor-Centre-01Icopal were involved at a very early stage to provide guidance and design input on the building relating to the waterproofing and sedum green roof of the main roof, and also waterproofing of the lower viewing deck.

Icopal’s Sure-Weld TPO single ply roofing system was specified on the lower observation deck, and on the main roof Icopal’s Rootbar waterproofing and Extensive Sedum Green Roof System was installed. This system provides many benefits including storm water attenuation, reduced solar heat ingress, rainwater filtration, and of course the creation of wildlife habitats for numerous invertebrates.

The solar and PV panels were mounted on kerbs which were waterproofed and Icopal’s Roofgard accessories were used for the cable ducts, soil vent pipes, lightning conductor clips, and outlets to provide continuous waterproof integrity at these critical points.

Roof safety was provided with a KwikLine system, in partnership with Latchways plc. The Constant Force Posts were protected with an Icopal weathering collar providing a guaranteed waterproofing solution around each post.

The building, by Walker Simpson Architects, achieved a BREEAM rating of ”Excellent” and was shortlisted as ’Highly Commended’ at the RIBA 2010 awards. 

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