Natural Slate - Poole



Set in landscaped grounds and private gardens in the popular Branksome Park area of Poole, Clieveden, is a unique development featuring a sensitively restored and completely refurbished listed Victorian mansion, alongside an adjoining courtyard of four attractive mews houses and two maisonettes.

Accommodation is arranged over three floors and one of the key drivers for the project was to ensure that the external building materials were in keeping with the existing Victorian property as Paul Stevens of AST Roofing outlines: “From the outset it was important that everything had to be sympathetic to the original Victorian mansion. So we knew that any roofing slate we chose would not only have to harmonise in terms of colour and texture but also withstand the rigours of a modern day installation. We used 17,000 natural slates in all, and were delighted with the look and performance of the whole batch.”

One of the additional challenges (alongside matching the existing roof) was provided by the steep 55° pitch of the courtyard roof and its large 930m² area. Due to this large roof space it was necessary to make the roof covering a ‘warm roof’ construction. A combination of PUR Board, rafters and counter battens was used to protect the roof from exposure and allow the building to dry out. The operation to fit the slates followed.

Ventilation was an important consideration as was a fixing method for the slates. 25 x 50mm battens were fixed to gauge for slating. GRP slate valley troughs complete with lead saddle at base & apex of valley were also installed. AST Roofing manufactured lead trays and aprons which were treated with patination oil prior to fixing.

The roof was then lined out both perpends and horizontals to enable accurate fixing of point driven blackened stainless steel slate hooks. To save time, on wet days, the slates were individually graded for thickness into four sizes as well as the head and tail being identified prior to loading out via forklift.

Slating progressed in a clockwise direction from the hammer-head, completing both sides of each elevation. At abutments with dormers, code 3 lead soakers were used, the cheeks in turn were then covered with code 5 Lead, Velux ‘Conservation’ roof lights that were fitted as installation progressed to maintain integrity of waterproofing.

As work progressed around the development the scaffold was dropped to enable further works to be carried out. Great care was required due to the pitch and additional access was gained by utilising crawler ladders.

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