Large roof terrace decking replacement project
Aluminium has been increasingly recognised as a viable material for construction products over recent years. We spoke with Richard Izzard, manging director of AliDeck, about a recent major roof terrace refurbishment project for Hyde Housing.
With concerns over fire-safety in external wall systems shifting industry towards non-combustible solutions, the benefits of extruded aluminium profiles, such as decking or cladding boards, have answered many of these new challenges.
The benefits of using aluminium products in new-build construction go beyond simple compliance with regulations, though. Its lightweight, cost-effectiveness, striking aesthetics, sustainability and versatility are all key contributing factors to aluminium’s uptake. These benefits, of course, apply for the retrofit and remediation market and aluminium building products are routinely now sought by specifiers in the housing sector.
A great case in point is a recent roof terrace refurbishment project in Bermondsey for The Hyde Group, supplied by aluminium decking manufacturer AliDeck.
AliDeck’s Richard Izzard said “The roof terrace on the building at Davoll Court provides an attractive open-air space for the residents to enjoy and is an essential amenity for quality-of-life purposes. Its timber decking, however, had reached the end of its useable life so removal and replacement was required.”
Working closely with the main contractor for the project, AD Construction Group, AliDeck began to develop a proposal for a non-combustible aluminium terrace decking system. Completing a detailed survey at a visit to the site, precise dimensions, build-up heights and project-specific details were gathered.
“The existing timber decking was very tired and, indeed, rotten, bowed or missing in places,” continued Richard. “Made up of hundreds of irregular lengths of timber decking boards and with years of grime and weathering present, the terrace was in an unsightly condition.”
To improve the aesthetics, the residents had complemented the raised brick flowerbeds with the placement of potted plants around the terrace area and the proposal was made to utilise bespoke aluminium planters to tidily house these. Additionally, several seating areas constructed from timber were also scheduled for replacement with aluminium benches constructed from AliDeck joists, brackets and decking boards.
Returning to base with the survey data, AliDeck were able to prepare a comprehensive plan for the supply of materials, with quantities of all components accurately calculated.
“A combination of our 30mm Senior Decking Board and 50mm Low Joist were specified to ensure the most effective solution, both in terms of practical utility and cost,” explained Richard. “Our Adjustable Pedestal Brackets and Spreader Plates provided the correct build-up height for the terrace and ensured the load did not interfere with the roof’s waterproof membrane.”
Recognising that the terrace area could be considered as two rectangular areas of 5.5m and 6m width, AliDeck proposed that decking boards be supplied in 6m stock lengths to neatly lay the boards to avoid the “patchwork” visual effect of the existing timber deck. Off-cuts could then be repurposed for use in the planters and seats to minimise waste aluminium.
Specification of 6m board lengths presented logistical challenges, though, specifically in how to transfer the material from delivery lorry to the 8th storey roof terrace. Unable to be carried up the internal stairs or to fit inside the elevator, it was agreed that to minimise resident disruption, a contract lift and crane solution would be used.
Arranging this involved liaison with local authorities for road closure and traffic management, so it became imperative that the project was operationally managed flawlessly, and that delivery was achieved on the scheduled day.
The one variable that couldn’t be accounted for was the weather. With a wind speed limit in place for lifting to this height, AliDeck arranged emergency back-up to divert the delivery and store the materials in the event that the lift was unable to go ahead. Fortunately, the weather was favourable on the day and the lift was successful.
The installation of the aluminium terrace deck was completed by AliDeck’s Approved Installer, Wrightweld Fabrications. The team at Wrightweld have been working with AliDeck for decking installations for a long time and are experts with their full range of decking systems. It was no surprise, then, that the removal and replacement of the terrace went exceedingly well, satisfying all of the goals of the project.
“All parties are delighted with the product, installation, and support from AliDeck throughout this project.”
- Jon Fellows, Contract Manager, AD Construction Group
It’s an excellent outcome for all stakeholders. The close collaboration between The Hyde Group, AD Construction Group, Wrightweld Fabrications, and AliDeck was key to the project’s success. This unified approach to working together for the right end result has helped to revitalise the living space of another major building for its residents.