Yorkshire Barn Conversion Shows it steel

Yorkshire Barn Conversion show it steel

In the hills overlooking Brighouse in West Yorkshire there’s a barn conversion that’s taken shape which will positively impact on sustainable housebuilding for years to come.

The barn, adjacent to Common End Farm, dates back to the 19th century and was in a perilous state of disrepair but it’s now showcasing a roofing system that ticks many of the environmental boxes with regards to the Code for Sustainable Homes as well as offering significant time and cost savings.

U-Roof is an innovative method of roof framework construction which utilises a U-shaped, cold-rolled, galvanized steel profile section that enables any structure to be fitted together in a fraction of the time taken when using traditional timber frames and it’s already being enthusiastically received by housebuilders including Jeremy Horton of Brighouse-based KLH Developments who are overseeing the project.

“It’s a brilliantly simple solution that goes up in just hours,” explained Jeremy “and it’s allowed us to complete the three separate roof sections in around a fifth of the time it would take with timbers, which means we can get on with the job at hand.

“All of the sections were delivered in one load and all were designed to fit the individual dimensions of the three covered areas,” added Jeremy who started on site in January 2009 and finished the renovation in July.

Dominic Cleminson, MD of Bradford Roofing Contractors, who were charged with attaching the reclaimed stone roof tiles, was similarly enthused: “This is the first time I’ve come across a system such as this and it definitely works well with regard to our part of the job. Everything has fitted perfectly.”

Developed by West Yorkshire engineer David Thurston, steel strip coil is cold rolled into the required form, length and shape by specialist machinery at U-Roof’s headquarters in nearby Elland.

“The bespoke machinery will allow us to produce up to 10,000 full roof structures every year,” added David who has been involved with the design and development for four years.

Bob Lyons, Technical Sales Director at U-Roof, is already seeing significant interest from many of the UK’s major housebuilders with the new modular system offering a wide array of benefits.

“U-Roof is an offsite prefabricated modular roofing system that offers zero manufacturing wastage and is perfectly suited to enhance and fully maximise the potential usable living space within a domestic dwelling,” he added.

The Code for Sustainable Homes, instituted in May 2008, measures the sustainability of a new home against categories of sustainable design, rating the ‘whole home’ as a complete package. The Code uses a 1 to 6 star rating system to communicate the overall sustainability performance and sets minimum standards for energy and water use at each level. Within England it replaces the EcoHomes scheme developed by the Building Research Establishment.

The Code also gives new homebuyers better information about the environmental impact of their new home and its potential running costs, and offer builders a tool with which to differentiate themselves in sustainability terms.

Bob continued: “By using a “Room in the Roof” design to provide a Home Office, the often under utilised or redundant space within a roof structure can be used to provide extra valuable credits under category 1 (Energy and Carbon Dioxide Emissions) of the code.

“For a Home Office, 1 credit point or 1.25% towards the overall weighting can be achieved. Using a room in the roof solution enables this to be achieved without having to rely on the reduction of bedrooms and therefore allowable persons for a property,

“A Room in a Roof could be manufactured from timber however the U-Roof System is lighter, stronger, has bigger spans and a faster assembly time. Furthermore, galvanised steel is more durable,” added Bob who recently presented the new system to key players in the UK’s housing market at a seminar in London.

Bob went on: “As a result of utilising the available area as highlighted above. If the Net internal floor area to net internal ground floor area ratio is 2.5:1 or more then under category 9 (Ecology) Eco 5 section of the code a further 1 credits or 1.33% towards the total is gained.

“A simple design change therefore gives 2.59% in additional weighting factors towards achieving the required levels in a sustainable design but the U-roof approach also offers further benefits which could be used to help gain credit points in other areas of the code,” he added.

Being considerably lighter than traditional roofing timbers, the new system offers major health and safety advantages and is not prone to corrosion, distortion or infestation. It also dramatically reduces site delivery by virtue of its flat pack design.

U-Roof delivers a high performance warm roof design but is also effective within cold roof environments and exceeds all Government targets for construction energy efficiency with insulation and lightweight roof coverings fitted with ease. It also fits in perfectly with the ethos and objectives of MMC (Modern Methods of Construction).

“This is definitely the future and one very efficient and effective route for both new builds and renovations such as this barn,” concluded Jeremy.

It seems that the impressive views out from Common End Farm over the rolling West Yorkshire dales could well offer a glimpse of the future