Are roofs becoming vehicles for housebuilders' flights of fancy? You might think so looking at the grass roofs featured this month, complete with Alpine rock plants, or the futuristic structures of a white condo-cum-cruiseliner in Cardiff Bay …
Sovereign Quay, Cardiff Bay
Sovereign Quay in Cardiff Bay pays homage to the area's seafaring past. The architect Goddard Manton likens the building to a futuristic white cruise liner and the specification of horizontal steel "ship's railings" and external white render certainly give the building a nautical air. The sharply defined building is softened by five curved roof structures, which distinguish Sovereign Quay from other waterfront developments that Goddard Manton has created for Barratt in London Docklands.

The composite roof system is Topdek from Ward and features a corrugated steel lining, insulation and single-ply membrane. The terraces are built of reinforced concrete slabs and built up with insulation, asphalt for waterproofing, and paving slabs and plant beds. The landscaped areas are managed by the building owners and are designed to help create a barrier between each penthouse terrace. The scheme steps down from seven storeys in the south-east to three in the north-west and comprises 60 apartments. There are commercial units on the ground floor, which are designed to breathe life back into the newly regenerated Cardiff Bay area.

Project team

Barratt Homes
Goddard Manton Partnership
Kings garden services
Structural steelwork contractor

Roofing asphalt
Briggs Roofing and Cladding 900

Roof build-up
Ward Topdek 901

Insulated render
Sto 902

Merlin Sunscreen Systems 903

Denver Construction Services 904

Dragon Engineering Services
01202 639328 905

Tough-tastic tiling
The Nu-Lok tiling system has been introduced into the UK. Nu-Lok Roofing Systems claims the metal batten fixing system is particularly suited to the composite panel market. Nu-Lok claims that its patented link design means fewer tiles are required. It also says there is less wastage during installation because of the resilience of the metal components and ceramic tiles. The system includes Italian ceramic tiles that Nu-Lok says will never fade or degrade. The vitrified tiles are also impervious to freeze/thaw cycles, are guaranteed colourfast and will never warp or lose their shape. The system can also be used with traditional slate tiles and has been used for some years in Australia, Ireland and the US.
Nu-Lok 907

How to break falls
Tarmac has created the SafetyDeck lightweight platform system to stop falls from height. The SafetyDeck is formed from lightweight sections and is designed to be laid temporarily over precast concrete flooring. SafetyDeck is available for hire or buy and is delivered and installed on site between 24 and 48 hours before work is due to commence.
SafetyDeck 908

Heavenly Slate guide
Eternit has published a guide to its range of slates. The Heavenly Roofs guide provides product and technical information on Eternit Slates. It details the slate sizes and colours, and includes information on dimensions, lap and pitch tables as well as the strength and thermal qualities of the slates. There is also information on the Building Regulations and details of Eternit's Technical Advisory Service.
Eternit Slates 909

Absorbent underlay
Glidevale has introduced a new impermeable roofing underlay. Protect A1 absorbs condensation that is not removed by roof space ventilation and releases it when the temperature conditions improve. It is UV resistant, rotproof and waterproof, according to Glidevale. The Cheshire-based company has also published a guide to ventilation in warm roofs, called Important New Technical Recommendations – Condensation Control in Warm Pitched Roofs, which explains how to comply with Building Regulations when designing a warm roof. Glidevale manufactures both permeable and non-permeable underlays.
Glidevale 910

Cornwall slate look-a-like

SSQ Riverstone slate from Argentina has been specified for a development of 70 new homes at Pentire near Newquay in Cornwall. SSQ says that the grey/green slate is one of the few natural slates that can match the slates quarried from Cornwall. The Wainhomes development set back from Fistral Bay is due for completion in early 2004. SSQ Riverstone slate is also being used on three homes in St Ives and St Thomas’ church hall in Exeter. SSQ Group 906

Solar power on cloudy days

Schott has launched a solar thermal energy collector that can absorb solar energy even when there is little sunlight. The vacuum tube collector is highly efficient, according to Schott. On the inside of the module there are internal circular reflector collector tubes, each consisting of an envelope tube enclosing an absorber. The sunlight is directed onto the absorber tube, which heats liquid inside. Schott says the energy generated by a system with four collectors for hot water production is 730 kW/h/m2 per year and that six collectors would provide enough hot water for a household. Schott 911

Green tiles of random colour

Sandtoft’s BritLock roof tiles have been specified on over 200 new homes in Bothwell, near Glasgow. Sandtoft says that three housebuilders – McCarthy & Stone, Bellway Homes and Miller Homes – chose BritLock because of its slate appearance and the random colour of the tiles. Britlock is interlocking and, according to Sandtoft, is half as expensive as traditional slate. It also boasts environmental credentials as it is made from 80% natural crushed waste slate bonded with polymer resin. Sandtoft 912


Roofs that grow on you
Green roofs have now taken firm root in both the public and private housing sectors. Housing 21 is the latest social housing client to opt for a grass roof. The 40-unit sheltered housing block at Ash Grange in Liverpool has a sedum roof, which consists of Alpine rock plants and requires less maintenance than turf roofs. It is laid over a felted roof with a slight pitch and a drainage layer that retains moisture. The sedum roof was specified by Housing 21 to improve the view of occupants in two existing high-rise blocks. John Sherrington, the project manager at main contractor Gleeson, says that the Erisco-Bauder system was user-friendly from a builder’s point of view as it could be craned into position and then rolled onto the roof. For architect Silvia Ullmayer, a sedum roof compensates for a lack of garden at her new terrace home in Dalston, East London. Ullmayer and fellow architects Annalie Riches and Barti Garibaldo live in the three-house terrace they designed. As in Ash Grange, the monopitch sedum roof gives neighbours a pleasant view of their new development. Ullmayer says she was also keen on the 20-year warranty supplied by Erisco-Bauder. Canmore Housing Association has specified a green roof system over a barrel-vaulted roof for a residential scheme in Duff Street, Edinburgh. Architect Hackland & Dore says the roof was specified because of its sustainability and the fact that it offered high thermal and acoustic standards. English Nature has published a 61-page guide to green roofs, which can be downloaded from its website. It outlines the benefits of the system and includes information on the design and construction of grass roofs and case studies. Erisco-Bauder English Nature 913

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