by Laura

Contour Roofing was brought on board by Berkeley Homes to install a complex new roof on the former St. Joseph’s College, a Grade II listed building (1866), home to 49 luxury apartments set in seven acres of mature parkland. This striking site was used as a filming location for the hit BBC series ‘Call the Midwife’ and the gold statue of St. Joseph that tops the building is a much-loved landmark.

The Chapel Exterior

Requiring both refurbishment and new build work, it was important that the roofs blended in with the beautiful surroundings and picturesque views of Mill Hill, as well as ensuring historical continuity.

Furthermore, the building’s bat population also needed to be accommodated when thinking about the roof design.

Demanding a wide range of roofing disciplines, it was a challenging project that would depend on high performance products married with the best workmanship.

For such a complex project, the specification required the flexibility of Sika Sarnafil and Sika Liquid Plastics waterproofing systems, alongside traditional SSQ Del Carmen First slates and leadwork – the perfect combination for the varied, intricate flat and pitched roofing areas.

From start to finish the installation was extremely challenging, as the existing chapel roof needed to be stripped, inspected and re-laid, and had to blend into the new build works added to the development. Three different types of ridge needed to be used, from angled to roll top, and at all different pitches to accommodate the frequent changes of the roof design.

The Chapel Exterior

The curved section of roof was especially challenging and required the utmost skill from Contour’s craftsmen, who were able to comfortably deliver a quality finish.

A Sarnafil single ply membrane was used on the 500sq m flat roof of the car park area, over which a landscaped garden was added, accessible to residents. The durable, flexible system worked well for various vertical boxes and details that had to be covered. After inspection by Sarnafil the roof was awarded a 20 year guarantee.

For tricky areas on the tower and the curved roof gutter on the chapel, a Sika Liquid Plastics liquid applied membrane was used, replacing lead on the specification as it was more flexible and gave the client the aesthetic results they wanted at good value.

Bat vents were fabricated and designed by Contour’s skilled lead plumber and were fitted to various elevations, to the delight of the resident bats, who could access the belfry freely.

The internal co-ordination and sequencing with the Contour contracting team and operatives, which included daily communications with site management, carpenters, scaffolders and bricklayers was paramount to the success of the build. Thanks to excellent planning, no water penetrated the buildings below at any point.

Aerial View of St Josephs Gate in Mill Hill

The pictures of this project speak for themselves. The Contour team delivered the project on time and on budget, maintaining the stunning original character of the Grade II listed building.

It was thanks to Contour’s mastery of multiple roofing trades, and its partnerships with high quality suppliers, that led to such beautiful results. With such a high profile and complex design there was no room for error, and the outcome has been applauded by both the local community and local authority.

Testament to this, St Joseph’s won Contour the prestigious Roof Slating category in 2017’s NFRC Roofing Awards.

Project name: Former St Joseph’s College
Project location: Mill Hill, London NW7 4JZ
Project size: 2000sq m approx.
Roofing contractor: Contour Roofing (Essex) Limited
Client: Berkley Homes Limited

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