Award winning Christchurch Roof

Date: 25 Jul 2019


The roof wasn’t the only part of the building that needed attention. It was a full refurbishment and seismic strengthening project. Farrell Construction managed the job, with Canterbury Roofing’s father-son duo, Alan and Noah Faust, undertaking the re-roof. Charles Thomas, of Thomas Associates Architects, was delighted to revisit his 1965 design as project consultant.

Why Gerard?

Our Lady of Victories is an award-winning building, so it was critical to choose a new roof that retained the integrity of the design. That’s why Gerard’s CF Shake in ‘Charcoal Blend’ was the best option. Not only is it a close match for profile and colour in steel tile, it’s also high-quality and robust. This is important because, as Kevin Crawford of Canterbury Roofing observed, “The roof, once on, is not able to be easily accessed for maintenance or repairs so it needs to be tough.”

Gerard’s CF Shake uses concealed fixings, instead of external ones. This means there are no penetrations through the tile, improving the look of the roof and protecting the fixings from the elements.

The Architectural Design

The teams worked hard day in and day out, giving a lot of thought to preserving the original look. The details of the flashing needed to be balanced against weather tightness and vermin-proofing.

The design of the curved roof is highly symbolic, as though of God’s hands reaching out into the community. The desired effect was achieved with a hyperbolic paraboloid roof construction, built on three layers of cross-laid timber.

On Gerard’s steel tiles, Kevin added, “The tile is also installed from the bottom up, which sped up the process. We could work up the roof installing tiles and the ridge caps as we went. This was a big advantage as the curvature of the roof meant manoeuvring the boom lift was very difficult so this reduced the amount of time we had to get access to an area.” 

The Challenges

The roof structure was certainly a challenge, but it wasn’t the only challenge the project faced. Ensuring weather tightness during the job was one major issue (helped by the speedy Gerard installation), and asbestos was a second.

Both the existing steel roof and its underlay contained asbestos. Specialist crews with air monitoring equipment were called in, to remove the asbestos safely. As there were 16 bays on each side of the building, it was possible for separation between the newly installed areas and where the removal was taking place. This was essential to avoid cross-contamination or exposure.

As the lower part of the roof was well below minimum pitch (at the lowest point, it fell backwards), Alan Faust packed and planed the battens to create fall, then created a drainage route by installing Butynol over cavity battens, for any water that might leak through.

Our Lady of Victories was a challenging project, and a rewarding one. Gerard was chosen for the high quality of the product, as well as its range of steel tiles to suit any architectural style. With our distribution network, there are roofers up and down the country who can assist with your next project.

If you’re keen to learn more about working with Gerard, or you want to know how we can help with your next project, get in touch. A Gerard roof adds style, value and quality assurance to any building.

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