Italian flair for Hartlepool roof

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A TOUCH of Italy arrived in Hartlepool when a state-of-the-art roof was placed on top of a business centre.

Venice-based experts from a company called General Membranes came up with a “roofing system” to fit over the existing structure on the top of Bizspace in Hartlepool.

And in a carefully mounted operation, workmen and a cherry picker put the system, believed the first of its kind in the UK, on top of Bizspace’s Usworth Road business centre in Hartlepool.

The project involved Bizspace working closely with Leeds-based Under 1 Roofing Consultants (Under1RC) and Italian-based General Membranes.

Lisa Risk, Bizspace’s property director, said the original roof was “a complex and fragile fibre-cement barrel-shaped structure which was proving difficult to maintain”.

She added: “Structural engineers working for Under1RC found that the only viable solution would be to completely remove and replace the entire roof and that would cost several million pounds.

“That was not a cost-effective solution considering the age and life expectancy of the building so we looked at finding an innovative solution.”

Experts from Under1RC designed a new lightweight waterproofing system that could be installed over the existing roof but the problems were still not over.

The existing roof was so fragile, no weight could be placed on it until the new system was installed.

Roofing contractor, Everlast Waterproofing, came up with the answer and devised a gantry platform system suspended over the fibre cement sheets so that the new scheme could be installed.

Lisa said: “We’ve now got one of the most innovative roofs in the whole of Cleveland and our future clients will enjoy its benefits for many years to come.”

Bizspace provides workspace for small and medium sized firms and has studios, offices, workshops and meeting rooms available in Usworth Road.