The historic buildings of St Malachy’s College in Belfast have been fitted with
an added layer of protection in the form of Roofshield, which has long been
recognised as one of the highest performing roofing membrane solutions, providing
a pitched roof underlay, which is both air and vapour permeable.
The College, a Catholic Grammar School for boys was opened on St Malachy’s Day 3rd November 1833. A major refurbishment project to preserve the heritage of the buildings was led by Belfast based Gregory Architects, with Derryleckagh Contracts of Newry appointed as the roofing contractor for the project. Gregory Architects specified Roofshield for the roof refurbishment.
The roof structures of historic buildings can be complex in nature and demand careful consideration of moisture management and condensation control. Many vapour permeable underlays use an airtight VP film layer to achieve their performance rather like a Gore-Tex jacket. While water resistant, they cannot completely prevent condensation within the roof space; meaning additional ventilation has to be introduced in order to allow air to circulate.
Roofshield’s patented air permeable structure allows high levels of airflow, in addition to the transport of moisture vapour, making the formation of condensation in the roof space virtually impossible and will still perform in conditions in which airtight alternatives will not. There is also no requirement for a separate vapour control layer.
The high performance of Roofshield, backed by two BBA Certificates & LABC / LABSS, has been successfully used in preserving and protecting the fabric of a wide range of historic and listed buildings for more than 21 years. The buildings of St Malachy’s College include a distinctive tower above the main entrance and are home to O’Laverty’s Library which contains almost 5,000 printed works, a few from as far back as the 17th century, and even a unique set of Gaelic manuscripts.
Roofshield has been used in the restoration of a number of significantly important heritage buildings including; Belfast City Hall, Derry Guildhall, Hamilton Hall – St. Andrews, Lynn Library Queens University Belfast.
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For any building to have an energy efficient, healthy, moisture free building envelope there is a clear need to manage the balance of Heat, Air and Moisture movement (HAMM) throughout the building’s life cycle from design, construction, completion and use.