Council chooses fibre cement slates for school

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has chosen Marley Eternit Rivendale fibre cement slates for an authentic, beautiful slate roof finish for a school built in the early 1900s near Aberdare in Wales.

As a Victorian building, Cwmaman infant school’s slate roof had reached the end of its economic lifespan and was starting to leak. It was such a large roof that it would not have been possible to replace it during one single summer holiday period so Rhondda Cynon Taf Council decided to tender the project in two separate phases so as to ensure there was minimum disruption to the school’s function.

The council decided to specify Marley Eternit Rivendale fibre cement slates in blue black for the roof following their successful use on a similar project at Rhigos primary school, the previous year.

As they did the previous year, Marley Eternit visited the Cwmaman Infants school site at the outset to carry out a survey and provide a full roof specification for use in the council’s tender. The roof was so large that 20,000 Rivendale fibre cement slates were used over the two phases of the project, which was carried out by MA Hartley Roofing Ltd (phase 1) and V Griffiths Roofing Ltd (Phase 2).

Kerry Chinnock, a building surveyor at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, explains: "Cwmaman infant school lies in the heart of the valley community and the aesthetics of the school building are integral to the architectural heritage of the area. The building is not subjected to vandalism and the roof is not easily accessed, therefore we chose the Rivendale fibre cement slates so as to remain in keeping with the original design and the surrounding buildings and still maintaining a cost-effective alternative to natural slate. We were already pleased with the finish of the new roof at Rhigos Primary school so we knew they would be the right aesthetic match for Cwmaman school as well. We’re very pleased with the result, a fantastic looking roof which is fit for purpose and in keeping with the Victorian character of the building."

Sarah Harding, marketing manager at Marley Eternit, comments: "Fibre cement slate is an ideal solution when looking to replace existing natural slates, offering a more sustainable and cost effective solution for those seeking to achieve the heritage aesthetic, without having to compromise on performance credentials.

"Our fibre cement slates also offer industry leading sustainability credentials. 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."

The Rivendale fibre cement slate features a finely detailed textured surface and dressed edge. Available in blue/black it helps to satisfy a broad range of planning requirements. Unlike other materials, fibre cement slates do not require wet-cutting due to the composition and workability of the material; they can easily be cut using hand tools such as a scribing tool or guillotine.

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