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Universal Connections Community Youth Centre

The Curtis Moore team are pleased to have been involved in the refurbishment of Universal Connections, a community youth centre in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire. This follows on from our recent post about the challenges of working in a live environment and provides another great example of how the team handle such jobs. Again, this presented the same challenges we previously outlined, such as having to minimise noise and disruption to a site which is in use by the public and also the heightened health and safety considerations.

The team were on site to replace the roof using a Protan prefabricated system, as advised by Curtis Moore. The building was originally built in 1966 and was considered futuristic at the time, thanks to its unique design featuring sliding internal partitions to help deliver flexible accommodation, along with a deep section which optimised use of the sloping site. It was a state-of-the-art architectural experiment by Alexander Buchanan Campbell and originally named The Key Youth Centre.

The team advised that in order for the roof to provide the longevity the council desired and to help minimise disruption, it required different treatments for each section. A combination of Protan’s prefabricated system on the higher roof and the vacuum system on the lower roof was decided upon. South Lanarkshire Council specified single ply, adhered to the existing concrete deck and bitumen felt overlay.

On the lower roof, Protan EX 1.6mm single ply in conjunction with Protan’s vacuum system has been used, overlaid on top of the existing concrete deck and bitumen felt. The high roof has been stripped back to the rafters and a new plywood deck, vapour control layer, insulation and Protan SE 1.6mm prefabricated single ply membrane mechanically fixed across the plane. In addition, 11 double skin polycarbonate roof lights from Brett Martin were integrated into the lower roof, delivered to site pre-flashed with Protan membrane.

Protan is the only single ply membrane manufacturer in Europe to have developed a vacuum system and a prefabricated option. With Protan’s vacuum system, the membrane is loose-laid directly onto the roof, mechanically-fixed at the perimeter, and the Protan vacuum vents inserted across the roof plane. Protan single ply membranes have been developed to withstand even the harshest weather conditions found in Europe, and are proven in practice to perform for 30 years. They are also fully BBA certified.

Curtis Moore Operations Director Alex Miller explained that “East Kilbride is a very windy and wet location, and The Key was remaining ‘live’ whilst the work was undertaken. In our opinion, using an adhered solution wasn’t suitable. With Protan’s vacuum system, the stronger the wind, the tighter the ‘grip’ the membrane has.

Also, the higher level roof had few penetrations (the roof lights are on the lower roof) so Protan’s prefabricated option was the obvious choice, as it significantly reduces installation time, effort, and the noise from drilling and fixing activities; it also removes the potential for adhesive vapours to impact on the building’s users.”

Universal Connections is a valuable community resource and we are proud to have been involved in making it a state-of-the-art building once again.

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