Approximately 20,000 Westerland fibre cement slates and a similar number of Glendyne natural slates from Cembrit have been used on the Ministry of Defence’s Single Living Accommodation Modernisation (SLAM) project of Woolwich Barracks. The redevelopment of the Barracks has provided high-standard accommodation for non-married military personnel.
Construction work for Project SLAM began in 2003, with the objective to upgrade over 20,000 bed spaces, utility and common areas and ancillary facilities across the country. It is one of the largest new build and refurbishment projects in the UK. The redevelopment of Woolwich Barracks has created six new accommodations blocks providing over 400 ensuite rooms in total, with an emphasis on the project being as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible. The project has incorporated disabled bed spaces, remodelling three standard rooms into two that comply with DDA regulations for comfortable but functional provision.
The Grade 2 listed building required natural slates to match the as closely as possible the original slating –Glendyne were chosen for their strength and top of the range W1,S1,T1 classification under BS EN 12326 for the visible roof slopes and Westerland textured surface dressed edge fibre cement slates were chosen for the hidden slopes. Staines-based Richardson Roofing was the contractor for this project. Having worked with Cembrit before, Richardson Roofing selected its Westerland slate for the job. Heinie Basson, Project Manager at Richardson Roofing commented: “This was an important project for us. The Woolwich Barracks is a local landmark and we wanted to ensure that our customer, and the local community, were happy with the end result. Cembrit’s Westerland slates are an attractive roofing product and one which we were confident would provide a traditional look in keeping with the surrounding environment. These slates are also extremely cost effective, another reason why they were the ideal choice for this project.”
Cembrit’s Westerland slate has a surface texture and dressed edge similar to that of natural slate, probably the closest, in appearance, man-made slate to the natural alternative, but does not need grading and sorting prior to installation. Finished with a semi-matt acrylic coloured coating to the top face and edges and a tinted high performance binder to the back face, the finish is of the highest quality. Easy to work with, as no power tools are needed to re-size the slates, Cembrit’s fibre cement slates simplify the install period and act as an economic alternative to natural roofing materials.