Going through the roof

This article explores the key drivers behind roofing specification within healthcare environments

Ensuring noise is kept to a minimum, works do not disrupt the delivery of services, and keeping costs low are vital considerations when specifying roofing solutions within the healthcare market.

Within the healthcare sector an important consideration when choosing which roofing system to select has to be the building’s use

Also key is ensuring the right products for each specific scheme. This should be decided based on a roofing survey, which will assess the condition of the construction and identify any defects and risks that affect the quality of the current system. At this stage suppliers should be able to give an indication to estates managers about the need for full refurbishment or whether the structure can be brought up to standard through a series of smaller repairs.

Stephen Gillies, regional manager at Langley Roofing Systems, told bbh: “Within the healthcare sector an important consideration when choosing which roofing system to select has to be the building’s use. We have to address the fact that the building may be continually occupied, that the works may be directly above busy wards or medical areas, and what level of disruption will be acceptable.

Money matters

“Budget and whole-life costs are especially important for many NHS trusts. In some cases we have assessed buildings that will be part of a major investment programme, but others could simply be to address urgent and immediate roofing issues.”

The main aim of any solution is to provide a watertight roofing system that will be long-lasting, he added.

Langley most commonly uses its high-performance SBS modified bitumen felt roofing system. It is particularly popular because of its strength and durability, although it can be snubbed within the healthcare sector as it needs to be torched applied. Instead, the medical marketplace in increasingly leaning towards more-advanced cold-applied systems, which offer a seamless finish and are ideal in situations where roof detail such as plant equipment, pipe penetrations, upstands and gutters make traditional felt application difficult or impossible.

In the future the main driver within healthcare is a simple one – the ability to have choice

Langley has completed projects on various health facilities throughout the country, including deploying its Sintofoil TPO Single Ply roofing system with standing seam detail at St John’s Health Centre in Woking.

Gillies said: “Within roofing there are continual advancements being brought forward to address a number of industry requirements, including the recent concerns over the use of torch-applied roofing products in roof detailing work. This has led to the creation of new flame-free technologies that reduce these risks on site while maintaining the overall roof system performance.”

A range of products

With the NHS charged with reducing its carbon emissions, pressure is also on manufacturers to make renewables options such as solar photovoltaics available.

“It is the optimum time to look at adding roof top renewables, like solar PVs, when refurbishing a roof,” said Gillies.

Within the healthcare industry one size definitely does not fit all and this means that the greater the range of products, the more tailored a solution can be

“The projects, if delivered together, minimise disruption and costs and the return on investment through lower energy bills and government feed-in tariffs, and help to offset the capital expenditure.”

He added: “In the future the main driver within healthcare is a simple one – the ability to have choice.

“Within the healthcare industry one size definitely does not fit all and this means that the greater the range of products, the more tailored a solution can be. Each project must start with an assessment and a bespoke offering can be made accordingly.”

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