The University of Birmingham

Direct overlay of failed single ply membrane
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The University of Birmingham required a rapid and easy waterproofing solution for one of the Halls within the campus. The solution must have almost zero disruption to their students’ day.
Rodbaston, Birmingham
May 2018
Authorised Contractor
Woodhull Roofing Ltd.

The challenge

The University of Birmingham located in Edgbaston is the fourth largest university in the UK and on average educates over 28,000 students a year.

In May 2018, Triflex were approached by the university who required a rapid and easy waterproofing solution for one of the Halls within the campus. The university outlined that if a solution was to be provided it must have almost zero disruption to their students’ day. Although the university was keen to have the installation completed quickly, the solution needed to be totally safe and pose no fire risk.

Authorised Installers from Woodhull Roofing Ltd. were invited to join the Triflex Technical Team on site to conduct a site survey. The current roof featured a standard single ply membrane which had reached the end of its’ serviceable life. Areas across the roof had begun to tear due to the membrane shrinking. Shrinkage in single ply is a common failure, as the membrane ages it loses its elasticity, becomes brittle and tears. Where shrinkage was apparent at the roof edges the single-ply had begun to de-bonded from the substrate, which if left untreated would lead to leaks and damage to the building below.

The solution

Prior to any works being undertaken, pre-works needed to be carried out to ensure that the strongest bond would be achieved between the single ply and the specified waterproofing system, Triflex ProTect.

Pre-works included, removing any plant matter and debris and wiping the substrate with Triflex cleaner. In this case primer was not required before installing the main waterproofing system,Triflex ProTect, as it is fully compatible with single ply membranes. This not only reduces costs in preparation, priming and removal, but also reduces the installers time spent on site, along with the need for any associated equipment such as skips or scaffolding. Triflex systems also reduce the cost of additional materials. For example, Triflex systems are self-terminating forming a strong bond with the substrate that leaves no opportunity for water to permeate behind. Eliminating the need for termination bars.

Triflex PMMA resins were ideally suited to the project as they are fully cold applied and rapidly cure, even at very low temperatures. In fact, in comparison to some alternative liquid waterproofing resins such as PU, Triflex PMMA resins can cure up to 7 hours quicker, in temperatures 10°C lower and in less steps.

Curing in temperatures as low as 0°c and providing a full waterproofing system which was rainproof after 45 minutes and fully cured within 60 minutes Triflex ProTect allowed the contractor Woodhull Roofing Ltd. to maximise weather windows and complete the installation as quickly as possible.

For enhanced safety, and unlike traditional hot applied roofing systems, Triflex waterproofing systems require no use of hot works. This allowed the building to remain fully occupied during installation.

Roof penetrations, outlets and other details were waterproofed with Triflex ProDetail, the companion system to Triflex ProTect.

Thanks to the expertise of Triflex Authorised Installers from Woodhull Roofing Ltd and the speed of cure with Triflex ProTect and Triflex ProDetail, works were completed on schedule.

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