Roofing specialists battle with weather in Grand Pier revamp

When specialist roofing services were required at the £39 million transformation of Weston-Super-Mare’s Grand Pier, M.R. Site Services were called in for welding of the aluminium roof and to provide roof walkway platforms.

The two-year construction of the new Grand Pier came about following a devastating fire of the historic Grade II pavilion caused by an electrical fault.  The new hi-tech pier, with its stylish wave-form roof, is now one of just 54 remaining in the UK and is expected to attract more than four million visitors a year. 

Roofing contractors, Yorkshire Sheeting & Insulation Services Ltd., working for main contractors John Sisk who selected a stucco embossed SpeedDeck SpeedZip aluminium standing seam roof, brought in M.R. Site Services to weld the sheets together in certain areas to progress the roof programme. The project was challenging, not least because with the building being out at sea, the contractors were at the mercy of the weather as Bill Fraser, Contracts Director, Yorkshire Sheeting explained, “Load restrictions on the old timber pier meant that it could not be used for heavy loads. A special ramp was constructed so that roof sheets made at the end of the pier could be transferred up to roof height and in some cases landing craft were used to take material out on the water to the pavilion where a barge mounted crane lifted them up to roof level.”

Again, because of weight restrictions on the pier, M.R. Site Services had to dispense with their usual vans and take portable welding sets down to the pavilion building to carry out the specialist aluminium welding of the roof.  In all, some 40 metres of aluminium welding was conducted by the team on the roof in the wild prevailing conditions at the sea’s edge.

David Lowe, technical director for SpeedDeck Building Systems, the manufacturers of the aluminium roof commented, “The project was certainly a big challenge with the roofing sheets some of the longest we have made at 80 metres long, and were literally manufactured at the land end of the pier from aluminium coil and then carried up on the ramp by teams of men.” 

Both Yorkshire Sheeting and SpeedDeck Building Systems have been impressed with the service provided by M.R. Site Services and Bill Fraser of Yorkshire Sheeting added, “ We have used M.R. Site Services ever since they first started specialist aluminium welding of roof sheets.  We find them to be the best at this type of work, personal and professional, and never let us down.”

The new pavilion features four towers at its corners and in addition to the aluminium welding, M.R. Site Services specially made and fitted 1200 x 1200mm aluminium walkway platforms at the base of each tower complete with cat ladders to allow for future servicing and maintenance of the building.

The blueprint for the new Grand Pier includes plans for a 120 metre observation tower and further aluminium walkways are planned for the roof leading to this. 

Further information about the roofing services from M.R. Site Services is available on 01905 755 055, email: welding@mrsiteservices.co.uk of by visiting the company’s website at www.mrsiteservices.co.uk

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