BriggsAmasco delivered a complex, multi-discipline package to ensure long-term waterproof protection for an exciting residential-retail hub in Scotland’s historic capital city.
The company’s performance on the £1bn project at St James Quarter in Edinburgh city centre was a triumph of design and installation expertise, diligence and collaborative enterprise. Featuring hotels, a 40-outlet shopping centre and more than 150 beautifully-crafted residential apartments, the t 1.7million ft2 St James Quarter is one of the capital’s largest developments in a generation.
For BriggsAmasco, which was selected by main contractor Laing O’Rourke to supply waterproof solutions for multiple roofs and surface areas throughout the development, the project presented a number of technical and logistical challenges. These demands were exacerbated by works being halted for 13 weeks due to lockdown measures imposed during the pandemic. When the site reopened restrictions such as social distancing remained in place, which hindered aspects of the waterproofing work.
Despite the interruption, BriggsAmasco operatives – who worked out-of-hours to make up for lost time – completed the project’s roofing element to the agreed deadline. The company’s suite of applications, which required a full range of disciplines. included the services of two specialist subcontract squads.
In terms of products used for the project’s waterproofing aspect, BriggsAmasco applied more than 450 tonnes of mastic asphalt during the installation of the service deck waterproofing and wearing course. As a result of IKO’s Carbon Offsetting Programme, the full quantity of mastic asphalt utilised was carbon neutral. For certain roof areas and to highlight the multi-discipline nature of Briggs’ waterproofing programme at St James Quarter, Sarnafil Single-Ply systems were installed. The scope of single-ply was subject to significant change due to client requirements following the Grenfell Report findings. It led to non-combustible insulation being adopted in the hotel phase of the development, and a move from single-ply to self-adhered bituminous waterproofing.
For the development’s Register Square podium works, Bauder Bakor Hot Melt was implemented. It was Introduced following a design change from a traditional warm roof system. The Bakor system, along with a high-compressive strength extruded polystyrene, was installed to the public realm hotel entrance zone.
The widest range of systems adopted throughout the project were contained within the Bauder Bituminous Membrane range. BriggsAmasco installed seven different bituminous systems ranging from a two-layer, un-insulated roof system to a warm roof with VIP (Vacuum Insulation Panels) insulation. Regular inspections for product quality and workmanship were carried out by Bauder during the installation process and the electronic integrity testing upon completion allowed the 11,000m2 to be handed over to Laing O’Rourke defect-free.
As well as covid restrictions to overcome, BriggsAmasco was required to sequence works to avoid disrupting business at major stores already opened on site. With safety the number one priority for BriggsAmasco, its operatives, which included two apprentices, one of which was being trained in mastic asphalt installation, completed three years on site without RIDDOR reportable accidents. In total, the St James Quarter project involved 96 different roof areas across 13 different levels, a daunting prospect for even the most experienced roofing company, but a task that BriggsAmasco was more than equal to.