Rooflight solution for Stockton academy renovation project


he Abbey Hill Academy in Stockton- on-Tees is an educational establishment for students aged 11-16 with learning difficulties and disabilities. Since the Horizons Specialist Academy Trust became custodians of the school in 2013, refurbishments have been taking place to restore the 1970s building.

In addition, to heating and hot water upgrades and a new roof, the striking walkway that had a rooflight canopy was replaced and upgraded to enhance the exterior aesthetics of the building. The unusual shape of the building meant that the upgraded rooflights allowed a greater degree of light into the body of the school, enhancing both the practical elements and also pupil and staff wellbeing due to the increased availability of natural light.

“The rooflight canopy had definitely seen better days and was no longer fit

for purpose having been exposed to the elements for so many years,” said Jim Lowther Sales Director Xtralite. “We were able to specify the latest rooflight technologies to replace the existing ones to ensure a quality restoration was undertaken.” Four 20m x 2.2m, one 9 x 2.2m and other elements were all fitted from the X-Span range of products, a thermally enhanced self-supporting rooflight. All were double glazed with a toughened outer and laminated internal glass. “Glass is a good choice for atria,

canopies and walkways and in this situation allowed the almost exact replacement of product albeit by those that are far superior,” said Lowther. “And X-Span complies with BS6399 system Part 1 (Code of Practice for dead and imposed loads), Part 2 (Code of Practice for wind loads) and Part 3 (Code of Practice for imposed/snow loads) delivering a premium solution of aesthetics and practicality.”

Roofline asbestos dealt with safely at Yorkshire college


N the 1950s and 1960s, asbestos soffit boards were extensively used on new school building projects. However, today, it’s well known that asbestos provides a clear risk to those who come into contact with it.

As many as 40% of schools built between 1945 and 1975 now require replacement or refurbishment according to National Audit Office (NAO). We can therefore predict a likelihood that building surveyors in the education sector will be faced with carrying out external upgrade works to a high proportion of buildings with roofline products containing asbestos. While it is widely accepted soffit boards are safe when left in-situ, exterior refurbishment presents an increased risk of disturbance to them.

Where removal is not viable, one option is to leave the asbestos material in-situ

and over-clad without disturbing it. The soffit material needs to be strong and rigid enough to span the girth required without the need to drill and fix into the in-situ asbestos, because as long as it is left undisturbed it poses no danger. Recently, Marley Alutec worked alongside East Riding of Yorkshire Council to overcome a challenge involving asbestos at South Holderness Technology College during its renovation and extension. Built in the 1950s, the college was constructed with an all in one asbestos cement roof deck. Furthermore, the soffits had been painted and cross contamination had occurred between the paint and asbestos, meaning flaking paint posed a potential risk. Replacing the

contaminated soffits would have meant the removal of the entire roof. In collaboration with Amazon Rainwater 33

Systems, Marley Alutec’s technical department designed a bespoke solution using Evoke. A soffit and support system was developed to span in excess of two metres, fixed to the existing timber fascia and the window heads and stair wells to ensure the in-situ asbestos material wasn’t disturbed.

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