Award winning Keppie home from home uses Rivendale fibre cement slates

Keppie’s £3.4 million Ronald McDonald House in Glasgow has used Rivendale fibre cement slates from Marley Eternit across 853m² of roof to help create a ‘home from home’ environment for families of children who are being treated in the adjacent Royal Hospital for Children.

Designed by architectural practice Keppie Design and built by CCG Scotland, on behalf of Yorkhill Family House Ltd , the facility offers 30 ensuite bedrooms, along with shared kitchen and living areas so families can stay close to their children but have the opportunity to retreat from the overwhelming aspects of the hospital environment.

Marley Eternit’s Rivendale fibre cement slates in Blue-Black were specified as part of a strong palette of materials, including rustic white facing brick and contrasting black aluminium to acknowledge the area’s strong shipbuilding heritage yet, create a comforting, domestic aesthetic for end-users.  The slates were used to achieve dramatic pitched roofs that reflect the vernacular street frontage.

Fraser Davie, architect from Keppie Design, comments: “Due to the increasingly institutionalised context surrounding the hospital site in Govan, we sought to create an architecture that would provide a familiar language of domesticity and comfort to guests staying in the short, medium and longer term. As a result, we chose the Rivendale fibre cement slates to provide a cost effective, traditional appearance complementing the sharp detailing of the dark aluminium copes and hidden gutter fascias.  Furthermore, it was important that the pitched roof covering would match the durability of the adjacent red sandstone tenement blocks but also the environmental credentials of the areas of inverted green roof.

“The Rivendale slate’s darker tones and subtle blue notes, which appear in the sunlight, complement that of the surrounding tenement roofs, whilst balancing well with the smooth, dark aluminium copes that surround the roof.  In addition, the subtle textured surface and even colour contrasts with the rustic white tones of the brick, which highlights the variance of the load bearing masonry and sharpness of the resting Rivendale slates.”

Ronald McDonald House has already won a Civic Trust Award along with the Special Award for Scotland, the Judges Merit Award at the Scottish Property Awards and a Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) Award in the Residential category. It also received a commendation at the Brick Awards and is nominated for a RICS award under the Community Benefit category.

Fraser Davie adds: “Marley Eternit provided samples of the Rivendale slates, which was particularly important for this project due to the sensitive site and restrained material palate being used.  Once we saw the sample, we were very impressed by the traditional yet modern aesthetic it provided and the assembly of clever accessories which made it simple to detail.”

The Rivendale fibre cement slate features a finely detailed textured surface and dressed edge. Available in both Blue-Black and Cromleigh Graphite it helps to satisfy a broad range of planning requirements.

Charlotte Hughes, marketing product manager from Marley Eternit, comments: “Ronald McDonald House enables families to be together when their child is in hospital and we are proud that our fibre cement slates have been used on such an important project.  The design demonstrates that, as well as being functional, the choice of materials can help to create a more welcoming environment, with the contrast of the rustic white brick and the dark fibre cement slate pitched roof giving the building a calm, domestic feel.  Fibre cement slates are increasingly being used on vernacular style buildings like this, in place of natural slate because it is more cost effective, offering the same aesthetic and widely accepted by local planning departments.”

Rivendale has a low carbon footprint of just 13 CO2e /m2 (based on 600 x 300 slate at 100mm lap) and the ability to achieve the best environmental rating (A+) in the BRE Green Guide.  Fibre cement also offers sustainability benefits throughout its whole life cycle, as it can be fully recycled at the end of its use.  Waste fibre cement can be ground down and used to replace limestone and shale in clinker production, the essential ingredients for Portland cement.

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