Rubberfuse, the UK’s leading TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) roofing supplier, which specialises in the design, specification and installation of high-performance roofing systems, have completed a major contract to install 9,000m2 of single-ply roofing at Huntley Wharf in Reading. This new waterside destination housing domestic, retail, commercial and leisure spaces.
Project Location: Huntley Wharf, Reading
Customer: Berkeley Homes (Oxford & Chiltern) Ltd
Completed: June 2022
- Flat roofing works to the East and Mid Blocks at the Berkeley Group’s prestigious Huntley Wharf development in Reading
- 9,000m2 of Rubberfuse TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) single ply roofing system applied to a new waterside destination in Reading housing apartments and duplexes plus retail, commercial and leisure spaces
- Materials used included Rubberfuse Self Adhesive VCL (Vapour Control Layer) and Kingspan Thermataper TT47 high-performance insulation together with Rubberfuse TPO 1.2mm fully adhered membrane applied over a pre-cast concrete deck
- This was the FR4 version of the Rubberfuse system, designed to achieve Broof (t4) Fire Regulations for flat roof applications in the UK, to satisfy NHBC requirements
- The fall in the roof system was created using Kingspan TT47 tapered PIR insulation
- Work included installation of safety line systems, automatic opening vents for smoke ventilation, access hatches and aluminium cappings.
- The majority of the works were carried out during the UK’s COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020, presenting a range of challenges from material supply and availability to labour resources
The Challenge: Flat Roofing to Broof (t4) fire regulations with a proposed 40-year service life
Berkeley Group designs and builds prestigious communities across the South of the UK and the Midlands. They specialise in brownfield development sites, bringing areas back to life to create sustainable places where people can work and live. Huntley Wharf in Reading occupies a prime riverside location housing high-quality residential properties together with commercial and leisure spaces. It is a landmark scheme in terms of quality and aesthetics, demanding high-performance materials to complement the premium look and feel of the development.
The Rubberfuse team put together a specification designed to meet a number of specific challenges, including a proposed design life in excess of 40 years and fire certification to Broof (t4) standards, demonstrated and passed off by the NHBC (National House Building Council) prior to installation.
Work began initially in 2020. This was a challenging time for all construction projects, with COVID lockdowns placing severe constraints on material availability as well as labour resources. Whilst the majority of the UK was experiencing significant supply issues, the Rubberfuse focus on maintaining significant material stocks in the UK meant that the company was able to proceed with project commitments without delays.
The Huntley Wharf site is a large development comprising a number of different blocks housing residential and commercial premises. Rubberfuse was commissioned to provide roofing solutions for the East and Mid Blocks, an area covering circa 9,000m2.
The existing roof surface was a pre-cast concrete deck; the Rubberfuse team were required to create a roofing system capable of meeting all pre-specified performance challenges, including the highest levels of fire resistance and optimum life expectancy of 40+ years.
Creating the waterproof TPO system
The team began by spray applying a Rubberfuse self-adhesive primer directly to the pre-cast deck, followed by a Rubberfuse self-adhesive VCL (Vapour Control Layer). This layer forms a robust barrier against vapour whilst simultaneously providing an element of temporary waterproofing, achieving high levels of vapour resistance and contributing towards waterproofing the building without the need for hotworks during application.
This was followed by the installation of Kingspan Thermataper TT47, a high-performance tapered insulation designed specifically for flat roofs. This material has a fibre-free rigid thermoset polyisocyanate (PIR) core, and was developed to enhance water drainage when used in combination with fully adhered single-ply waterproofing systems like Rubberfuse.
The project was completed with a waterproofing layer of Rubberfuse RG-FB-FR4 fire-rated 1.2mm fully adhered TPO membrane in a dark grey colour to match design requirements, which is also certified to Broof (t4) fire classification. This was fully adhered to the PIR insulation using Rubberfuse spray contact adhesive, which allows precise, controlled and speedy installation with a three to four minute flash off time.
The u-value (thermal transmittance) achieved is 0.12 W/m2K (watts per square metre, per degree Kelvin). The team also installed all safety line systems, AOVs (Automatic Opening Vents for advanced smoke ventilation), access hatches and aluminium cappings.
The Rubberfuse benefits
For Berkeley Homes, the Rubberfuse TPO single ply system matched all requirements, with a life expectancy in excess of 40 years. The membrane system is also extensively tested to the highest fire retardancy standards, achieving Broof (t4) fire regulations within the UK for flat roof application (0-10o) and also for pitched roof application (10-45o), together with a comprehensive 20-year warranty.
Certification and sustainability
The British Board of Agrement (BBA) Construction Product Certification has certified Rubberfuse TPO roofing systems to the highest standards in terms of weather tightness, fire retardancy properties, resistance to wind uplift and mechanical damage as well as resistance to penetration of roots and overall durability.
In addition, Rubberfuse membranes are ecologically sustainable and contain no harmful substances which may leach into the environment over time. All new product contains 10% recycled materials, and the membranes are fully recyclable at end of life. They carry an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) defined by ISO 14025, measuring the environmental performance of a product with parameters calculated according to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method, based on the standards of the ISO 14040 series.