Originally constructed in 1839 for the repair of locomotives by Robert Stephenson, the stunning 16-sided polygon Grade II* Listed Roundhouse building in Derby had lain empty for decades and was in a serious state of dilapidation prior to its recent complete lottery-funded refurbishment. An important part of the pioneering transformation of the Roundhouse was an obligation to complement the character of the original premises and this prompted the architect to opt for Saint-Gobain PAM UK’s ‘Classical’ cast iron rainwater and gutter system to maintain architectural integrity and building aesthetics.
Manufactured at the Saint-Gobain PAM UK Telford site, the ‘Classical’ 150mm half round gutter with 100mm circular downpipes were supplied to the project in a Grey Polymer Powder Epoxy (PPA571) finish coat. Designed in accordance with BS 460 and assessed and approved by British Board of Agrement Certificate 97/3434 - the only cast iron manufacturer with third party accreditation – the ‘Classical’ range is recognised for its aesthetic charm, strength to withstand high winds, heavy snow and vandalism and, above all, its long life capabilities.
There are eight Classical Gutter profiles available in a number of diameters: Standard half round, Deep half round, beaded half round, Victorian Ogee, Moulded No46, Notts Ogee, Box and a new half-round profile Classical Express, as welll as circular, square and rectangular downpipes. The circular downpipes are produced using the latest pipe manufacturing technology, centrifugally spinning the pipe, ensuring consistent section dimensions throughout. Saint-Gobain PAM UK also has the capability to provide replica castings made from existing iron fittings, and the ability to modify angle fittings to suit particular needs. Due to the nature and variety of specials, each casting is quoted on a job basis.
Offering 18,000 square metres of learning and teaching space, The Roundhouse is now part of Derby College and home to 2,500 students for vocational courses in trades, from construction to hairdressing. Following its refurbishment, the building has been described as an ‘exemplar project’ by English Heritage in its ‘Constructive Conservation in Practice’.