BAE Systems uses Western Red Cedar Shingles
Shingles

JB ShingleFix saves 45% over traditional Shingle nailing method.

Swindell Roofing installed JB Western Red Cedar Shingles on the large curved building recently completed at the BAE Systems Samlesbury Aerodrome near Blackburn. The building is used to house a staff restaurant and welfare facilities. Western Red Cedar Shingles were specified for the roof to meet the building’s sustainability targets as well as to create a visually distinctive appearance.

The 2500m² building was designed in an elongated curve, which created several technical challenges in terms of the roof covering. One of the first issues faced by Swindell Roofing was identifying a fixing solution that would make it cost effective to use Western Red Cedar Shingles for the roof covering.

Individual, small roofing tiles, including shingles, can be more expensive to fix because of the additional labour element. Traditionally, the only way of fixing Shingles is hand nailing, a labour intensive process. Swindell Roofing quickly identified that this would not be practical for the BAE Systems project where over 80,000 individual shingles (with two nails per shingles) would be required.

Swindell Roofing was able to identify a solution that addressed the high labour element associated with installing the Shingles, which involved using a pneumatic nail gun and special nails.

The solution represents an industry first and one that has already generated a huge amount of interest from other clients and designers looking for a cost effective method of fixing shingles.

In time trials carried out by Swindell Roofing it was identified that using JB RED factory graded battens and a Paslode P370 nailer on the BAE Systems building would nearly half the time it took to cover the roof, compared to traditional hammer and nail method.

Using a hammer and nail, two roofers completed a 1.4m x 1.5m section in 43 minutes 37 seconds. The same size roof was then completed in 23 minutes 40 seconds using the Paslode nailer – a 45.7 per cent time saving.

Swindell Roofing then presented the findings to the main contractor and client, highlighting how this would translate into real savings on site. The solution also meant that fewer roofers were required on site, again helping make savings and providing additional efficiencies in terms of H&S requirements.

“The installation solution proposed by Swindell Roofing improved the quality and fixing method, whilst retaining Western Red Cedar Shingles as part of the design” said a spokesperson from BAM Construction, the main contractor on this project.

“We commend the company for identifying an effective method of nearly halving the labour element in fixing the JB Western Red Cedar Shingles compared to traditional hammer and nail method – that has made a huge difference to this project.” He added: “We greatly appreciate the work done by Swindell Roofing – they were prepared to put the time and resources into identifying a cost effective solution that helped deliver the original design vision.”

An additional issue faced by Swindell Roofing was the fact that the large roof was designed in an elongated curve. That meant that the shingles had to be individual shouldering – a huge task on a project this size. This required a high level of technical competence and installation skill to maintain the beauty and continuity of the curved roof.

Swindells Roofing helped the client avoid any long term maintenance issues by highlighting that the Shingles would need fitting with maximum head-lap to allow for the fact that the building is in an area which experiences frequent high winds. This enhances the robustness of the roof, reducing the likelihood of wind damage.

The new building is also next to an airfield which may result in strong down and up draughts and again fitting the shingles with maximum head-lap will reduce long term issues with the performance of the roof.

Swindell Roofing went beyond simply the set brief to identify a completely new and innovative method of fixing the JB Western Red Cedar Shingles. By doing this it provided the client with a cost effective method of retaining shingles as the central visual element of the overall design.

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