056 RCI 0417

RCI April 2017

FLAT ROOFING & WATERPROOFING PROJECT FOCUS The University of Warwick celebrated its 50 year anniversary in 2015, and many of the buildings on its Gibbet Hill Campus were purpose-built when the University was first established. Amongst these is the Life Sciences Building, which was constructed in 1965 and contains a lecture theatre, research labs and teaching spaces as well as offices and a café. While the building is structurally sound, the building envelope had started to show signs of wear and tear and its distinctive black and white tile cladding was in urgent need of repair. Richard Weston, head of special projects at the University of Warwick’s estates department, explained: “The tiles had faded and become discoloured over time which affected the building’s aesthetics but more recently they had started to loosen, prompting us to erect a scaffold to ensure that no tiles could fall onto circulation areas below. “It was clear that we needed to take action quickly but any investment in addressing the cladding system had to be aligned to our wider property management strategy for the whole campus.” Technical solution While the University was committed to finding a solution that would improve both the condition 056 APRIL 2017 RCIMAG.COM A lesson in flexibility RCI hears about an interesting use of a liquid system to encapsulate a building’s cladded façade... and the appearance of the façades at the Life Sciences Building, it had to ensure that the chosen approach was selected in the context of a complete campus property review. The University was in the process of deciding which elements of its estates to refurbish and which to replace; a master planning process that is expected to take around two years. It was clear that the issues with the cladding on the Life Sciences Building couldn’t wait that long, so the University decided to look for an affordable solution that would last for 5-10 years, while improving both the building’s aesthetics and the condition of the façade. Richard continued: “While the cladding remediation was envisaged as ‘temporary’, we didn’t just want to patch it up; we needed an interim solution that would be robust and attractive with sufficient longevity to allow the property strategy to be agreed and implemented without the pressure of tackling this building first. “I had used Kemper System products for a roofing project in a previous role and had been very impressed with both the product and the technical support the company provided. I didn’t know whether the roofing systems were suitable for façades or whether the company had any other products that could answer the requirement, but decided to see whether they could suggest a viable solution.” International experience While Kemper System had never been involved in a project to encapsulate a building’s cladded façade in the UK before, the Kemper System team was aware of similar schemes in Europe and visited the site to assess the building’s condition, discuss the University’s requirements and recommend a suitable approach. Stuart Hicks, from Kemper System, explained: “It was clear that the majority of the cladding tiles, while discoloured, were still in good order and remained secured to the façade with the original adhesive. However, some were loose and at risk of falling off, there were gaps where tiles had already been dislodged and there was no homogenous surface to protect the building from water ingress. “Our advice was to clean and prepare the façades, removing and replacing any loose tiles or grout, and then use filler and primer to create a new façade surface, before sealing the tiles in place using Kemper System’s Coetrans liquid resin. In this way, the whole façade could be encapsulated with no need for strip out while the building remained operational.” Having agreed the methodology and specification, the University consulted Kemper System on a suitable contractor to carry out the work and JMG Roofing was appointed. The project team began by using Kemper System’s Kemperol Stucco to repair areas of the façade where there were missing tiles or gaps in University of Warwick: Kemper System had never been involved in a project to encapsulate a building’s cladded façade in the UK: “Our advice was to clean and prepare the façades, removing and replacing any loose tiles or grout, and then use filler and primer to create a new façade surface, before sealing the tiles in place using Kemper System’s Coetrans liquid resin”


RCI April 2017
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