London Business School by Sheppard Robson
London Business School – a flagship of roofing best practice London Business School – a flagship of roofing best practice

London Business School – a flagship of roofing best practice

London Business School – a flagship of roofing best practice


Project: London Business School, The Sammy Ofer Centre
Sector: Higher Education
Main contactor: Wates Construction Limited
Roofing contractor: EJ Roberts Roofing Limited
Main contract value: £30M
Roofing contract value: £570K

The challenge

The elite London Business School has been delivering world class business education for 50 years. The works to refurbish the Old Marylebone Town Hall comprised the internal and external remodelling, refurbishment and fitting out of two existing Grade 2 Listed buildings. It also included extensive works to the Council House and the Annexe incorporating a link bridge, to create The Sammy Ofer Centre. The Centre is located on basement, lower ground, ground and four upper floors. These upper floors feature a mezzanine in the Annexe to form a lecture theatre and associated educational functions. The project also included the construction of a new glazed link between the two buildings.

Key points

LBS Website Case Study Key PointsTo help bring this historic building up to 21st century standards, a highly concentrated array of plant and PV equipment had to be accommodated on the roof, some of which were sensitive to the additional ballast and to foot traffic.

As part of the 2nd stage tender process, Wates Construction Limited (WCL) needed to select a highly robust waterproofing system for the roofs which could tolerate access by following trades and routine maintenance once the building was in use.

WCL reviewed the roofing specifications proposed by the design team and identified that the specified 1.1mm thick, EPDM single ply membrane (SPM) for the overlay and replacement waterproofing roofing system was deemed not sufficiently robust for the project.

The team also ascertained that the warranty was limited only to the material […]

Westminster Cathedral Roof - Aerial View
Act of faith at Westminster Cathedral Act of faith at Westminster Cathedral

Act of faith at Westminster Cathedral

Act of faith at Westminster Cathedral

Project:  Westminster Cathedral
Client: The Trustees of Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral
Architects: St Ann’s Gate Architect
Contractor: Knight Asphalt
Waterproofing membrane: IKO Permaphalt

When Westminster Cathedral’s roof was first asphalted back in 1903, it would have utilised naturally occurring asphalt deposits dug up from an overseas lake.

These days, things are done a little differently. Instead, IKO’s Permaphalt – a polymer modified mastic asphalt – was specified for the extensive reroofing of the Roman Catholic Cathedral by Cathedral Architect, Michael Drury from St Ann’s Gate Architects.

“Asphalt had worked well for the Cathedral in the past and there was no reason why it shouldn’t again,” he said, adding that the new roofing’s 25 year guarantee clinched the decision for a like-for-like replacement.

Drury had identified the need to replace the roof surface as a priority in his quinquennial inspection of the Cathedral, which was designed in the early Byzantine style by JF Bentley. Although the roof had been repaired over the years, the report detected cracking in the surface and upstands and the presence of moisture within.

Westminster Cathedral web case study wide imageThe subsequent reroofing project involved negotiating four copper domes within the rectangular roof plan of the nave and chancel and dealing with deteriorating parapets at the perimeter. The logistical challenges of installing scaffolding at the grade I listed building – essential to facilitate the removal of the original roof surface and to bring up the new materials and equipment required – provided a further level of complexity.

After the old asphalt was removed, the concrete roof-substrate was found to be in good order and was cleaned and dried before a separating layer of […]