BWP has delivered building surveying, project management and cost management services across various sectors for over ten years. These include commercial, residential, local government and housing associations. BWP client Irwell Valley Homes provide affordable housing to over 16,000 people across Greater Manchester.
Southey Court is a residential block containing 52 apartments, fully occupied, and experiencing widespread leaks across all top floor apartments. BWP, an existing client of Starfish Construction, asked us to carry out an independent inspection and review of specifications submitted to Irwell Valley Homes.
After an initial visual survey confirmed the poor state of the existing waterproofing, Starfish Construction carried out core sampling, which revealed two previous overlays were saturated. On further inspection, our moisture scanning process of the main roof area confirmed that the roof system had failed, and the entire roof required stripping back to the deck.
During the survey, Starfish Construction highlighted several redundant chimneys, a refuse chute, and a large concrete plinth that supported an old water tank. These were creating ponding water issues, and we recommended their removal. Our survey also highlighted problems with the parapet detailing and unsafe fixed handrail.
- Increased insulation complies with building regulations and will be far more efficient than the saturated insulation removed
- 30-year life expectancy with 20-year single point warranty
- Building fully operational during the works, no additional water ingress during the strip
- Operatives were working at an extreme height of 45m while stripping the existing failed roof
- Cost-effective solution without compromising on quality
Challenges and Solutions
Following the survey, we selected a cost-effective, high-performance quality felt system as an ideal solution given the limited detailing and the regular maintenance traffic accessing the roof. Built-up bituminous membranes are more robust and less of a slip hazard than systems such as liquid coatings or single ply. Manufacturer Kingspan surveyed and designed a bespoke cut-to-fall system to comply with building regulations. Finally, we designed a safe handrail and access system for all roof areas.
Project challenges included operatives having to work at the height of 45m while stripping the existing 50m3 of the failed roof, equating to five-14 yard skips. All debris, including concrete plinth, four redundant chimneys and debris were safely removed by hoist. During the project, roof access was via an external material and personnel hoist to minimise internal building traffic given COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines.
We completed the project within six weeks, including removing the problematic handrail and carrying out full parapet encapsulation. The completed project provides a 20-year warranty covering materials, design and labour.
The roof is now watertight and more thermally efficient. Further benefits include a non-slip roof, safer for maintenance and the bespoke cut to fall insulation has significantly reduced the amount of ponding. Starfish Construction installed handrails and access ladders and a new plant room fire door also. The scope of works provided by Starfish Construction was more comprehensive and cost-effective than the original proposal without compromising on quality or the warranty.
We are delighted with our choice of contractor in Starfish Construction on our roofing project. the Starfish Construction team demonstrated their technical ability, professionalism and drive to deliver a high specification product and achieve the objectives laid out at the start of the project.
Starfish worked closely with our team to ensure that the project was delivered on time and on budget, providing professional and efficient project management with effective communication at every stage of the process. The on-site team proved especially outstanding and efficient which is essential for client-contractor relationships.
The partnership approach taken by Starfish Construction sets a benchmark for best practice in the industry. We are delighted to recommend Starfish Construction Limited and look forward to using them again on future projects.
Chris Rawcliffe, Planned Surveyor, Irwell Valley Homes.