Nestled within the Shorncliffe Army Camp in Kent, Sir John Moore Barracks stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of British military history, its roots dating back to its establishment in 1794. The camp, a hallowed ground often referred to as “the birthplace of the modern British Army,” has undergone transformations over the centuries, witnessing the presence of various barracks, including Ross Barracks, Burgoyne Barracks, Somerset Barracks, Napier Barracks, and Risborough Barracks. In the wake of closures, Sir John Moore Barracks remains as the sole barracks in active military use at Shorncliffe, a custodian of tradition and service, with the Royal Gurkha Rifles having made it their home since 2001.
The primary focus of the works at Sir John Moore Barracks has been a meticulous roof refurbishment, encompassing the restoration of the basketball and gym facility, along with associated spaces such as offices, corridors, and changing rooms. This project arose out of the need to address the critical deterioration of the existing roof, which displayed evident signs of wear and tear, including delamination, splits, and persistent leaks. In response to these challenges, a comprehensive survey was conducted to determine the underlying build-up and access its condition. Core tests revealed a composition that included 80mm Rockwool insulation, a bituminous vapour control layer, Stramit Deck, and Timber Joists.
The comprehensive refurbishment project at Sir John Moore Barracks was initiated with the aim of revitalising and waterproofing multiple roof areas, over the basketball and gym facility, as well as offices, corridors, and changing rooms. The overarching objective was to address the deficiencies in the existing Built-Up Roofing (BUR) system, opting to provide a thermally upgraded waterproofing solution. The complex roof was reflected in its division into three sections, encompassing 10 distinct roof areas and 2 box gutters.
The survey findings identified the necessity for a new high-performance waterproofing system to ensure long-term protection against leaks. Additionally, the saturated existing Rockwool Insulation resulted in the recommendation to strip-back to the bituminous vapour control layer and provide a thermal upgrade to enhance energy efficiency, reduce fuel bills, and mitigate condensation risks.
The installation phase encountered various challenges, each requiring strategic solutions due to the additional thickness from the new insulation needed to meet latest building regulation standards. Firstly, the design of a new higher roof system was imperative to seamlessly align with existing thresholds. This intricate task demanded careful planning to ensure structural compatibility and a harmonious integration with the surrounding architecture. Coordination with other trades was another significant challenge during the installation. Effectively synchronising efforts with different teams and contractors required meticulous planning and communication to prevent disruptions and ensure a smooth workflow throughout the project. Heightened security measures added an additional layer of complexity to the installation process. Managing secure access to the facility and organizing deliveries in compliance with stringent security protocols became paramount to the project’s success. Working in high temperatures between April and September posed practical challenges for the installation team. The need for careful scheduling, hydration protocols, and additional safety measures were essential to maintain optimal working conditions and ensure the well-being of the workforce.
The presence of protected wildlife nesting on the roof introduced environmental considerations. Adhering to national wildlife laws, the Alpha team implemented measures to protect and accommodate the wildlife, ensuring a harmony with the ongoing refurbishment.
50mm Polyroof Tissue-Therm Insulation was strategically installed at specified locations to create 200mm wide gutters, to facilitate water drainage and provide the required 150mm upstand heights at wall and window abutments. Wind uplift calculations in accordance with BS 6399-2:1997 were also carried out to confirm the bonding schedule of the adhesive adopted to ensure it could withstand the associated wind uplift pressures and environmental conditions of the coastal location.
The project photographs showcase the exceptional standards achieved by the Alpha Specialist Roofing operatives, earning praise from the Polyroof technical team. The meticulous detailing and perfectly finished roof areas highlight the extremely high installation standards. The result was a fully encapsulated roofing system, leaving no detail exposed to the elements. Upon a thorough final inspection by Polyroof technical services, the project received approval for guarantee. The client expressed immense satisfaction with the advice and service levels provided throughout the project, highlighting the success of the project as a testament to the versatility and effectiveness of liquid waterproofing solutions.