Icopal FireSmart Roofing, Trevethin Shopping Centre

Beckley Point student accommodation


Project Overview

Project: Beckley Point student accommodation
Location: Plymouth 
Completion Date: 2018
Contractor: Kier Construction
Sub Contractor:  Stormforce Roofing
System:  Thermazone Insulation boards with FireSmart TorchSafe TM MA Capsheet 

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23 storey student accommodation was re-roofed by BMI UK & Ireland. The accommodation has over 12 roof areas, all at different levels, with the highest having a steep pitch of 45 degrees.


BI1903BP BMI Icopal Beckley Point 3  resized for Icopal website

Beckley Point posed many challenges, firstly it's 23 stories high so ensuring the roof was fire safety compliant was a priority. It is also in a coastal location with exposure to high winds and extreme weather, so the new roof needed to withstand this. Accessibility was also a challenge as the roofs were set at different heights.


To address these challenges, the roofs had to be built with a highly durable product that would survive the weather conditions, perform to specification and last for many years.

“The specification for the roof went through several iterations from being fully bonded with ballast right the way through to the final specification of mechanically fixed felt,” says Simon Kalas, Director, Stormforce Roofing.

“It had to be the right system for the roofs and take into account that they would never be accessible without spending a lot of money – the scaffolding alone would be prohibitive. So whatever we installed would have to last 40 years.”

Stormforce Roofing developed a very highly engineered final specification using a BMI Icopal mechanically-fixed bituminous built-up roof (BUR) system, with a mineral cap sheet reinforced by adhesive bonding to the insulation beneath.

A further challenge addressed concerns regarding high-rise safety, as the existing façade did not meet fire protection standards. New cladding was installed during the roofing works, so the detailing of the upstands had to be completed ahead of the main roof.

“Installation was in winter during high winds and work could not continue when they became too strong.” Says Simon.

Total Torch Vapour Control Layer, an SBS-modifi ed bituminous membrane reinforced with an extra strong polyester fleece, provided a temporary, weatherproof finish to the roof structure before the final waterproofing system was applied. The roofs’ demanding requirements were met by a specification comprising of BMI Icopal Total Torch Vapour Control Layer,  Thermazone Insulation and FireSmart® TorchSafeTM Mechanically Adhered (MA).

“Working with the BMI specification team meant that both Kier Construction and our team knew that the roof would withstand both the extreme winds and also the risk of fire,” Simon adds. “The weekly inspections from the BMI Specification Manager reassured everyone that the project was being carried out as per the specification and the 20-year guarantee also ticked the risk management box on these design and build contracts.”


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