The multi-application roofing and waterproofing programme at Battersea Power Station presented a number of challenges for BriggsAmasco, but the team is said to have “displayed ingenuity, workmanship and professionalism throughout this incredibly large, complex project.”
BriggsAmasco delivered a huge, multiple-application waterproofing programme as part of a stunning regeneration of London’s landmark Battersea Power Station. Phase Two of the multimillion-pound project – one of the largest urban regenerations of its type in Europe – includes more than 250 residential apartments, approximately 100 new retail, food and drink outlets, a 2,000-capacity events venue and 500,000ft2 of new office space.
Appointed by Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC) and MACE, BriggsAmasco’s ingenuity and skills were crucial to ensuring three key elements of the project’s second phase were supplied with a watertight solution that excelled in terms of workmanship and sustainability.
Main Energy Centre
The power station’s main energy centre is pivotal to the Battersea Power Station development’s heating and cooling provision; hence a high-grade waterproofing system was essential to safeguarding its below ground service equipment. For BriggsAmasco, this meant designing and installing a solution with sufficient durability to withstand heavy motorised traffic. Rather than use traditional tarmac or concrete – which at approximately 150mm-thick was deemed too dense for the task – BriggsAmasco specified an IKO Permatec system. To protect this initial waterproofing layer, a 40mm-thick IKO Permapark mastic asphalt system was installed. To ensure the mastic asphalt – a 100% CO2 neutral solution – was laid to the correct tolerance and at rapid speed, it was installed using BriggsAmasco’s state-of-the-art asphalt finishing machine. The combination of asphalt over the primary waterproofing is said to be an industry-first. It meant the below ground waterproofing’s protection layer could remain in-situ, thus saving removal and recycling costs, and the environmental impact.
Grade II-listed chimneys
BriggsAmasco developed a system to re-waterproof the station’s landmark white chimneys, which were taken down and rebuilt in identical fashion. Environmental concerns meant the company specified IKO Permaphalt, rather than lead, for the task. This certified carbon-neutral product is the same waterproofing solution originally applied to the four chimneys, with the addition of advanced polymers to increase its performance. The material was applied to the chimneys’ base at a 20mm thickness across a 750m2 area in an application involving new and traditional installation techniques. BriggsAmasco exceeded its project remit by designing a mastic asphalt solution to waterproof and line a Peregrine Falcon’s nest, providing the resident birds with a 1m x 1m2 permanent home within the chimneys. The product was used as it is rot and vermin-resistant, as well as being waterproof and non-toxic.
In collaboration with the insulation manufacturers, BriggsAmasco devised a super-slim PIR/VIP panel to ensure a series of apartment terraces within the revamped power station achieved the required thermal requirements. In each case the waterproofing required minimal build-up to optimise floor-to-ceiling heights, hence the insulation needed to compensate its slim composition by demonstrating superb thermal performance. The resulting system achieved a lambda value of 0.006 W/mK, eliminating the risk of cold-bridging for the long-term protection of the apartments. The panels were installed by BriggsAmasco as part of a waterproofing build-up finished with IKO’s GoldSeal Built-up Felt Roofing.
These large, complex elements of the programme saw up to 70 full-time BriggsAmasco operatives – which ranged from a specialist mastic asphalt installation team to a host of designers and project planners – install 45,000m2 of waterproofing and insulation.
Additional sustainable features innovated by BriggsAmasco as part of Battersea Power Station’s redevelopment included the company’s design, commissioning and installation of a series of sun tubes. The 8m x 1.2m stainless steel units will introduce natural daylight to significantly boost the low-carbon credentials of the receiving retail outlets. Overall, a further 8000m2 of IKO Permatec waterproofing was installed using BriggsAmasco’s own fleet of zero-emission plant. IKO Enertherm inverted insulation and sedum green roofs, were installed by BriggsAmasco across the project.
BriggsAmasco completed further detailing in the form of lead flashings and cappings, which were installed to the main power station building and apartment terraces. The waterproofing programme’s carbon-friendly aspect was bolstered by the use of locally-sourced products, 99.9% of which were manufactured in the UK.
As a company revered for its nurture of industry trainees, BriggsAmasco sponsored 20 operatives whilst they studied for NVQ qualification during the Battersea Power Station regeneration, all of whom successfully achieved NVQ 2 / 3. Their knowledge was bolstered, particularly in relation to safety, building standards, emergency response and management, by working full-time on site during the three-year, Phase Two project.
The success of this frontline learning process was typified by the experience of one BriggsAmasco trainee, who joined as a graduate then via spells as an administrator and planner, progressed to Battersea Power Station development project manager whilst she earned an amazing NVQ7. A further four, full-time staff also achieved this level during the project.
Doug McWhinney BSc FRICS, Senior Commercial Director at Battersea Power Station, said: “BriggsAmasco displayed ingenuity, workmanship and professionalism throughout this incredibly large, complex project. Their operatives went above and beyond to ensure each roofing application was completed on time and to the highest specification despite having to overcome a number of challenges including Covid-19 restrictions and mid-project design changes. They were a pleasure to work alongside and we thank them very much for their performance on the Battersea Power Station programme.”
The Battersea Power Station development brought all of BriggsAmasco’s well-renowned roofing skills to the fore. Logistically and technically, this huge project was the very definition of a specialist roof waterproofing application.