Project InformationProject: The Fry Building, University of Bristol
Client: Balfour Beatty
Scope of project: Extensive roof glazing refurbishment project including complex saw-tooth roof section
Products: em.glaze Monopitch, Northlights and a bespoke walk-on installation
The £19m refurbishment of the Fry Building, included extensive refurbishment of the roof structure and existing roof glazing and rooflights. Work on the Grade II listed building involved replacing the northlights and bespoke ridgelight in the flat roof area, vertical aspects in the complex sawtooth section, sympathetic replacement of historic units, L and U-shaped integrated continuous rooflights and a challenging custom, high-specification walk-on installation. The complex nature of the roof structure and extensive project scope highlights the challenges and considerations arising in refurb works.
A large part of this refurbishment project focused on meticulous analysis during design and planning. Investigation of the existing structures, implications of any additional weight loading, wind uplift calculations and required fixing methods were all carefully considered. Fragility considerations were of high importance for the flat roof area. The installation schedule also presented many challenges. A carefully planned, staged installation of the main units and flashings allowed for works to be completed more easily. Temporary weathering was utilised to facilitate this staged process. Another particularly challenging element of the scope of works were the technical requirements for the walk-on unit installed above the new lecture theatre. It required a collaborative working approach with the structural engineer to ensure the specification was precisely defined. The installed unit features bespoke weathering and printed vinyl dots on internal glass layer, to offer diffused light to the area below.
The logistical challenges that this complex refurb project presented were numerous. Successful completion was achieved as much through strict management of communications, plans and on-site coordination, as with the selection of appropriate products and the actual installation. The newly installed modular rooflights and bespoke roof glazing all achieve the required enhanced u-values and levels of performance. The walk-on unit in particular is an outstanding element - being both visually stunning and delivering against an exceptionally demanding specification.