Roofing Finals for Mailbox’s New Lid
The Royal Arch Apartments AKA The Mailbox in Birmingham has been shortlisted for the NFRC Roofing Awards 2017.
The Mailbox will be 1 of only 4 contending projects to be considered for the coveted “Best Liquid Waterproofing Project.”
“I am highly delighted for Makers, this project was increasingly complex, executed under very difficult conditions with a myriad of issues that arose throughout the project and is a deserved accolade for their efforts.”
D. Medcraft, Contract Administrator.
Makers were introduced to the project after a competitive tender process and inherited a site whereby the main contractor had pulled off and it soon became apparent that the intended tendered works hadn’t taken into consideration the position the project had been left in.
The imminent departure of the main contractor had meant that areas that should have been waterproof were wholly incomplete making it impossible to install any waterproofing until these issues were addressed.
Unfinished areas became critical as water penetration began to emanate into the ‘Urban Lobby,’ Harvey Nicholls and the offices situated directly below the roof slab.
The tenants had been subjected to 2 years of inconsiderate construction methods and the Tenants Association represented its 180 tenants with a list of complaints that ran into volumes.
The project is part of the iconic Mailbox building which was bought by the Birmingham Development company in the 1990’s now houses 2 hotels, 16,000m² of office space and high end retail units together with 144 city living apartments.
Opening its doors in 2010, this city centre landmark became a shopping pilgrimage with Harvey Nichols as it anchor store. The Boutique offer drew large foot fall from around the UK.
2011 saw the site sold to Brockton Capital who in 2013 invested a further £50 million in improvements to create a roof atrium to provide the shopping public with the ultimate shopping experience.
The creation of the “Urban Room” designed by Sterling Prize Winners Stanton Williams to emulate the feeling of luxury hotel lobby, providing relaxation space between shopping forays and eliminating the open wind tunnel effect and unpredictability of the weather that shoppers had been subjected to.
Makers intended work was to waterproof the private and communal balconies servicing the apartments together with the open space areas covering both concrete and timber substrates.
The site itself suffered from lack of access with only 2 service lifts available to move men and materials, as well as provide unfettered use by the BBC as required.
Working hours were curtailed due to private tenants and filming by the BBC and all materials had to be removed from the balconies to provide unaffected access at all times.
It became apparent that the expected condition of the project and its actual condition were at odds, and significant enabling works were facilitated to enable the waterproofing solution to be installed.
The concrete slab had to be completed, by removing the ponding water and installing the remaining concrete slab, followed by a process of strengthening. A testing regime was undertaken to ensure the adequacy of the required bond strength for the Triflex waterproofing system to be installed.
The Atrium roof light system was completed, made safe and watertight, with the timber balconies being completely rebuilt with a bespoke design incorporating a new timber gutter to protect the apartments as well as controlling the water out flows from the gas cupboards.
Aco drainage system were completely overhauled, repaired, lined and tested including the replacement of all stainless steel fixings to allow maintenance going forward.
To reduce the impact on tenants as process of offsite construction took place to minimize the logistical impacts on the project and remove some of the weather pressures on the contract. Tenant’s gas cupboards were given a waterproof base to prevent boiler discharge entering the dwelling or creating water pools within the timber supports to the balconies.
Case hardening was needed to add strength to the large communal areas as the quality of the deck slab had deteriorated after being exposed to the elements for such a long period of time.
Discussions with the manufacturer enabled the repackaging of his products line to reduce pallet movements and replacing the 15k and 25kg into IBC bulk containers.
“Despite the extremely difficult site conditions and contract complexities, Makers in conjunction with its material manufacturer partner Triflex applied their experience and technologies to appease the residents and provide them with a useable, waterproof space and remove the shackles of imprisonment we have felt for so long.”
Chairman, Royal Arches Tenants Committee.
“Makers were a breath of fresh air, I wish they had been here from the start, and the site guys were always polite, friendly and courteous.
Mrs. Richardson, Tenant Mailbox.
“I have no issues in recommending Makers, they have been first class, and not a single letter of complaint, and no issues in what I believe has been executed in pretty hostile conditions…. I have been impressed by their ingenuity, their ability to problem solve and to go above and beyond. I offer my congratulations.”
Dave Medcraft, CBRE
“We entered a contract where the client, tenants and CA had all become exasperated. Having suffered months of inaction their reactions and concerns were understandable. I believe my teams performance has gone along way to restoring faith back in our industry with them………. the Mailbox was more complicated and for the uninitiated a lot of work has been done beneath the waterproofing surface but this was necessary to enable those systems to perform. I would like to offer my congratulations to all the team for a fantastic project and being shortlisted is a testament to all of their hard work and efforts.”
Simon Lamb, MD, Makers Construction Limited.