Rapid-Install Sika Roof System Meets Challenge of Complex Remembrance Centre Installation

Sika-Trocal and contractors Maincare Roofing and Building worked together to provide a watertight roofing solution for the National Memorial Arboretum, completing a complex, multi-roof installation that was Highly Commended at this year’s Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA) Awards.

The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance for those who served and continue to serve in the Armed Forces. Located at a 150-acre woodland site at Alrewas near Lichfield, Staffordshire, it opened to the public in 2001 and contains more than 300 dedicated memorials. It is described as a ‘living tribute’ that ‘will forever acknowledge the personal sacrifice’ made by UK Armed Forces and civil services.

In December 2015, Maincare Roofing and Building was selected to supply 14 roofing systems of differing size and complexity to the Arboretum’s new £15.7 million Remembrance Centre. The stunning new development includes exhibition areas, shops, cafes and a cloistered courtyard.

The roof systems not only had to provide the highest level of waterproof protection, each had to offer a crisp, uniform look in order to maintain the centre’s aesthetic properties. Ideal for mechanically-fastened roofs in new build and refurbishment applications where quality and speed of installation is a priority, the Sika-Trocal Type S system was selected for the high-profile project.

Carrying full BBA accreditation with a 35-year lifespan, Sika-Trocal Type S, does not require a separate fastening system for the thermal insulation as it utilises the same disc and fastener for securing the insulation and the waterproofing membrane, thus improving speed of install. A total of 3,500m2, 2mm Type S was applied during the Remembrance Centre project. Upstands, such as kitchen extractor fans were prominent throughout the installation, adding to its complexity. To ensure the symmetrical appearance of each installation, roofing laps had to be perfectly aligned and metal-affixed butt straps required ‘marrying’ with all corners.

A round turret, which perforated one particular area of roofing, was also given decorative details at its base and top to maintain the system’s cohesive aesthetic. Thanks to the flexibility of the Type S system, these additional features were accommodated with ease without compromise to its watertightness. 

There were a number of other challenges for contractors. Midway through the works programme, onsite teams were required to carry out major refurbishment on an existing curved-roof structure to ensure its look remained in-keeping with adjacent new buildings. Installers also had to contend with the site’s exposed location, which meant periods of disruption due to high winds during winter months.

Additionally, work ceased out of respect to special consideration held at the centre for half-hourly periods each day. VIP visits, particularly those attended by royalty, caused another temporary hold to roofing works, which needed to be completed to a strict, agreed deadline.

Carl Pryce, Contractors Director at Maincare Roofing and Building, said: “For such a high-profile and potentially challenging  project, we needed a roof system that excelled in terms of ease and speed of application, as well as long-term performance and aesthetic qualities. The specification of Sika Trocal Type S, coupled with the skill and dedication of our installation teams, was absolutely crucial to the roofing programme’s success.”

To provide stronger support in areas such as roof balconies and terracing where foot traffic was potentially high, a total of 300m2 Sika-Trocal SGmA was installed. The multi-layer, synthetic roof waterproofing sheet is based on premium quality polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and contains an inlay of non-woven glass fibres. As well as offering quality, long-term protection against physical stresses, SGmA – if covered with a minimum 50 mm depth of gravel ballast – is deemed to achieve an FAA fire rating. Fully-installed, the system also offers a higher degree of sound reduction, therefore enhancing occupants’ domestic well-being.

Excellent logistical planning on behalf of Maincare, coupled with the superb flexibility and handling properties of the Sika Trocal Type S system meant the Remembrance Centre project was completed to the agreed timeframe and the client’s full satisfaction. It’s provided this inspiring and fitting addition to the National Memorial Arboretum with a cohesive look and waterproof protection to ensure the heroic deeds of those who made the ultimate sacrifice will be gratefully acknowledged by generations to come.