Hatherleigh - Cladding


Stripped off the entire cladded structure and disposed of. Installed new composite cladding to roof and walls and the installation of rooflights. New internal walls, floors, heating, tanking, lighting and decoration.

Becton & Dickinson - Single Ply


Installation of 22,000m² with an 100mm insulation upgrade with 20yr Single Ply system.

Beckly Point - Flat


Despite its 78m height, its coastal location, heavy rain and high winds, all the roofs of Beckley Point in Plymouth are covered by a 20 year warranty from BMI Icopal against any defects in workmanship or materials.

Providing up to 23 storeys of student accommodation, Beckley Point is not simply the highest building in Plymouth but the whole of the West Country. Yet, according to Stormforce Roofing, this was not the only challenge it had to overcome in order to safely install the robust roofs required to fend off the coastal climate.

Designed and built by Kier Construction on behalf of The Student Housing Company, Beckley Point has more than 12 roof areas, all at different levels, from five floors to 23 floors, with the highest having a steep pitch of 45o.

“All of these needed to be started at different times and meant that we were working on small roofs on multiple areas whilst other trades are working there,” comments Simon Kalas, the director in charge of the project for Stormforce.

Yet the height and the cost of ever getting back up there once the roofs were installed were the factors that defined the roof specification: it had to be what was in effect a ‘whole of life’ solution.

“The specification for the roof went through several iterations from being fully bonded with ballast right the way through to the final specification of mechanically fixed felt,” he says. “It had to be the right system for the roofs and take into account that they would never be accessible without spending a lot of money – the scaffolding would be prohibitive. So whatever we installed would have to last 40 years.”

This led to Stormforce virtually gold-plating the final specification – a mechanically fixed BUR (built-up roof) system with a mineral cap sheet – by reinforcing the mechanical fixing for the felt with adhesive on the insulation beneath.

A further difficulty was set in motion by the Grenfell fire, which showed that the existing façade did not meet fire protection standards. This was removed but the new cladding was installed during the roofing works, so the detailing of the upstands had to be completed ahead of the main roof, reversing normal procedures.

“Using the wrong cladding meant that scaffold and materials went on finished roofs and so we had to make good after,” adds Simon. This also meant that the project took far longer than the 10 weeks originally scheduled: Stormforce started work in December 2016 and finished May 2018. This also meant that some of the blocks were occupied bystudents who had booked their accommodation on the basis of the building having been completed by September 2017.

And that had a knock-on effect for Stormforce, says Simon. “Installation was in winter during high winds so work could not continue when the wind became too strong. The high winds meant that when working on scaffold at extreme heights all tools had to be tethered and we maintained a strict regime of making sure materials and fixings were kept in place.”

The main materials for the system were – Icopal Total Torch VCL, Icopal Thermazone Insulation and Icopal FireSmart Profiles. An SBS-modified bituminous membrane reinforced with an extra strong glass fibre fleece, Total Torch Vapour Control Layer provides a weatherproof temporary finish to the roof structure before the final waterproofing system is applied. Sandwiched between the vapour control layer and the Firesmart profiles and Thermaweld capsheet, the Thermazone Insulation boards provide highly efficient PIR rigid insulation that offering thermal conductivity as low as 0.024W/mK. Icopal’s unique FireSmart® technology produces capsheets that provide a fire protection layer, shielding the roof from both spread of flame and fire penetration, and are also 30% faster to apply than traditional torch-on membranes.

Other materials employed included Icopal Primer, Icopal FireSmart Thermaweld detail cap sheet, Tecnatorch Sand detail underlay, outlets, and Icopal PU Glues.

“Working with the Icopal specification meant that both Kier Construction and our team knew that the roof would be proof against both the extreme winds and also the risk of fire,” Simon adds. “The weekly inspections from the BMI Icopal specification manager reassures everyone that the project is being carried out as per the specification and the 20 year warranty also ticks the risk management box on these design and build contracts.”

Armada Way - Felt


This building is owned by BBC Pension Trust and is a major Sainsbury store in Plymouth’s main shopping centre. CBRE determined that the roof was failing badly so we were contracted to cut and seal the existing roof membrane and then install a new torch on bituminous felt system on top, a project valued at £251,251.

The client required the store to remain open 18 hours during the week and eight hours on Sunday during the re-roofing operation over Christmas.

This meant deliveries and works had to be planned meticulously in co-ordination with the store. Scaffolding, for instance, was installed before 6am while materials were off-loaded within 20 minutes on a just-in-time basis as was the 150 tonnes of stripped out roof material.

Plant on the roof was also being renovated so all works around this were planned in collaboration with the M&E contractors, again to minimise disruption.

The works comprise cutting and sealing the existing roof membrane and providing and install a new torch on bituminous felt system on top of the existing as described in the Specification (drawings and performance specification). As part of these works the main contractor will need to employ the named Mechanical and Electrical sub- contractor to decommission any plant (such as condensors, vents, etc) located to the roof, so that these items can be lifted and the roof membrane dressed underneath them, as described in the Specification (document: 'Roof Plant Scope'). Following this, the Mechanical and Electrical sub-contractor will need to re-commission the plant. Other ancillary works includereplacing missing parapet capping panels, repairs to cable ducting and installation of new earthing systems, following the removal of existing. . 150 tonnes of rubbish.


The roof measured more than 5000m² and was covered with chippings on an existing felt roof.

The access and egress points was in the main car park which involved detailed planning to get materials up and the 150 tonnes of chippings off the roof and off site whilst the public were around. This ruled out weekend working and deliveries because this is the shopping centre’s busiest time, especially at Christmas.

The only space available for the site compound and the scaffolding was an area of six car parking spaces in the main park for the Armada Centre, Plymouth’s largestshopping centre. To compound the difficulties of delivering and removing materials, he car park is open 23 hours a day and has 400 car parking spaces, 100 at each of its four levels. So, the 16 tonne lorry carrying 12 tonnes of chippings had to do so early one weekday mornings while the 150 tonnes of waste stripped from the roof had leave in the same manner.


The roof was large – more than 5000m² – and had a live store underneath. Once the chipping removal was underway there is always a chance of damaging the old felt and so causing leaks.

To mitigate against this we kept specific materials on site so that we could cover any damaged areas immediately. This approach was 100% successful as we completedthe whole job with not one leak even though our operatives were digging stone chippings out of the existing membrane.

Hot works were specified and again the management of the works were worked out to keep any risks to the minimum. The main areas of risk are intake and extract fans, which might suck the flames from the torch into the building and make contact with flammable material. So our operatives were careful to avoid these areas when using torches.

In terms of overall quality our own regime of inspection was also reinforced by regular checks from the surveyor, CBRE, and from our supplier, BMI Icopal. Its technical specification manager inspected the workmanship of our operatives weekly to ensure that it met the specification upon which the company’s warranty was based.

Part of the project involved M & E subcontractors removing and disposing of two 10 tonne air handling units so we co-ordinated our activities to ensure that thiswent ahead without affecting our programme.

Throughout the project we liaised with store staff and management to ensure that the public, employees and goods could move freely without interference to the store’s business.

Project Management:

This project ran from September to December, so we had to take account of weather delays. These are always an important factor in the city because of it is on the coast but this winter was especially difficult, with storms such as the ‘Beast from the East’ disrupting work.

The nature of the job meant that we could not work at weekends to deal with any shortfall in progress because the store, the shopping centre and the car park was very crowded at this time.

But our team of six to 10 operatives were able to keep to the program through careful scheduling.

Health, Safety and Environmental Management:

The site was well-designed in terms of safety, so the main areas of risk were intake and extract fans. There was a possibility that a backdraught could suck the flames from the torch into the building and make contact with flammable material. So our operatives were careful to avoid these areas when using torches.

Around 90% of the work was on one level so movement across the roof was simple and there were few handrails. There were also staircases to the other roofs and we only needed a small scaffold tower in one small area. There were no other trades to deal with either, apart from the M&E subcontractors. They removed the air handling units but this was done in two days.

Training, Assessment and New Technologies: 

Training is a matter of pride for this company. We started 16 years ago with just three of us and now there are 44 staff, all of whom have come through our training schemes.

We recruit a minimum of two apprentices each year and they learn all aspects of the trade: slating, tiling and flat roofing. The quality of training is shown by their short-listing two years running in the BMI Redland Apprentice of the Year competition.

A large project such as this, in a difficult location and a challenging time of year, is ideal for training apprentices the importance of meticulous planning and communication with the client to delivering a successful project.

CBRE complimented us on the job. They were very pleased that it went without any issues and went according to programme.

Duke St - Liquid


Cleaned down roof area, installation of a new BUR Sika Liquid reinforced system.

The Boat House - Slate


We were approached by the main contractor to carry out the flat and pitched roofing works on a new riverside property being built for Chris Dawson of the Range. 

The client was heavily involved in the design and choice of materials and had settled on a random diminishing Cornish Slate. When we spoke to the quarry about purchasing the required amounts of the different sizes of Slate we were informed that they were committed to supplying a large housing project and could not let us have what we needed. We went back to the client with this information and provided different options for the slate coverings but they were insistent on their requirements. 

Our challenge was to give the client the look they wanted with the slate they wanted whilst only being able to supply one size of slate. To do this we bought the 32 ton of slate and had them delivered to our warehouse. We then spent several weeks sorting,grading and drilling the slate by hand allowing us to separate the wider and thicker slate from the smaller thinner slate. By laying the slate according to this careful grading process we were able to give the client the look and quality of finish they required without having to use a different slate. 

As with any riverside work the weather can create its own issues and we had not shortage of wind and driving rain to contend with on this project. The job obviously took longer than anyone anticipated due to this additional process and incredibly bad weather conditions but the skill of our craftsmen meant that the increased time scale was not excessive and did not increase the program of the build as a whole. We also took the opportunity to give three of our apprentices the experience of working with high quality materials to the exacting standards required by a client who knew precisely what they wanted and would accept no compromise.

Leigham Primary School - Tile


After successfully tendering for the works it was decided to start work during term time to allow the bulk of the project to be carried out over the summer.

During the course of the works the school was occupied for most of the time with school, clubs etc and at no time did the works impact on the schools ability to function.

On completion the academy has asked Stormforce to look at 2 other sites and these are hoped to be done in 2019.

Chemotherapy Unit - Green Roof


Installation of new BMI Built up BUR Single Ply system with extensive green roofing system.

Kingsdown School - Rooflights


Kingsdown Academy specified a SIKA Liquid Plastics Ultra BUR System with multiple rooflights.

The bulk of the works took place during school time due to the size of the project and its need to be phased.

Despite some bad weather during the course of the works the finished works are exemplary and now several other roofs are being looked at to be completed in the near future.