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Sat October 31 2020

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‘Birdcage’ roof takes shape in Halifax

14 Mar 12 A commercial and residential development taking shape in the centre of Hipperholme, near Halifax, is catching the eye with its distinctive lightweight steel roofing system.

Their attention is due to the complex, gleaming, birdcage style structure that sits on top of the three tier development that will encompass ten residential flats on two levels with additional retail units at road level with main contractor KLH Projects working on behalf of developer Stercap

Designed and manufactured by U-Roof, a specialist company based in nearby Elland that is finding a ready market amongst selfbuilders and property developers. The structure comprises of u-shaped cold rolled steel beams that fit together ‘like meccano’.

Jeremy Horton of KLH explained: “The complicated nature of the roof meant that conventional timber trusses and beams would have been uneconomical and taken much longer to construct and adjust on site.

“The U-Roof system is fully bespoke for each project and it arrives flat packed and ready to install. It makes perfect sense for developments like this that require a designed to fit solution.

“In addition the galvanised steel beams are impervious to water and allows us to build over the winter months on a site that is straddled by two main roads and a public car park. The ability to co-ordinate planned and phased deliveries to such a tightly enclosed site was another factor in choosing U-Roof,” added Jeremy.

The lightweight steel superstructure sits on top of preformed concrete floors and is supplied complete with structural walls, roof structures and timber floor decks. Apertures were built into the design to accommodate for a number of large specialist dormers as well as window and door openings.

U-Roof inventor and founder, engineer David Thurston, explained: “The complex shape of the development required careful setting out, precise manufacture and equally accurate assembly drawings to ensure strict adherence with the client’s brief and site plans.

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“We have worked closely with architect David Horton and structural engineers Mason Clarke Associates to evolve a practical, structurally sound and cost effective solution.

“As far as U-Roof are concerned this is a substantial project. Being installed in phases, it requires a greater degree of planning and co ordination with the main contractor than a single house project.

“In terms of design, the site being angled at 115 degrees posed some tricky challenges as did the number of dormers within the raised eaves roof areas. Because the roof is of a relatively shallow pitch the structural analysis models identified a requirement for eaves bracing at an early stage.

“Precise 3D modelling for each phase of build gives all involved parties confidence in the proposed accuracy and enables early identification of any potential issues before they become a problem,” added David.

Architect David Horton added: “It was very important to utilise as much of the roof space as possible to achieve the design layout required.

“The U-Roof raised eave details gave the desired feeling of space without compromising on the structural integrity of the building. The specialist dormers with barrel roofs were another requirement that the U-Roof system was able to cater for.”

Aside of cost and time benefits, U-Roof’s system offers a host of other advantages with health and safety implications due to its lightweight design and it ticks all of the boxes when it comes to the ever growing need for environmentally friendly construction.

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