Smithy Cottage, an cruciform-shaped new-build property in Warrington, has been constructed using Cupa Pizarras’ Cupa 2 natural slates. The product was selected for its uniformity, longevity and aesthetics, which are all in-keeping with the surrounding properties. The slates were used on the roof of the property, which also incorporated atrium glazing and inlaid solar panels.
The eye-catching home was designed by Fasciato Architects, which had been tasked with creating a contemporary, single-storey home. However, the architects were also keen that the property fitted in with its surroundings.
“We chose to introduce materials associated with other traditional large houses in the local area, one of which was slate,” explained Associate Ian Scullion. “As a result, we decided to use a natural slate for the roofing material to achieve a balance with the brief, while also making the house feel homely and appropriate to its context.”
The roofscape of Smithy Cottage covers an impressive 850 metres squared, so the architects needed to specify a product that would create a smooth and unified appearance. Scullion decided to look into slate as the most suitable solution before meeting with his local Cupa Pizarrasrepresentative. He then attended a CPD presentation and was intrigued with the products on offer.
“We were impressed with Cupa Pizarras’ reputation for producing quality, traceable roof slates and also pleased with the help given to us by the area representative,” Scullion said. “We had been interested in the efficiency benefits incorporating solar technology could offer the homeowner, so we opted to use in-laid solar panels surrounded by Cupa Pizarras’ attractive CUPA 2 roof slates.”
Smithy Cottage was built by HD Building Company, but the roof was installed by subcontractor Rod Johnson of RWJ Roofing. Speaking about the installation, Johnson said: “The Cupa Pizarras slates were excellent to install as the thickness of the slates were exceptionally even, simplifing and minimising the amount of grading required in the run up to the installation of the slate.”
There were some challenges with the installation, as the entire roof had to be felted before the battens could be secured, a process that was complicated by the harsh winds the area was experiencing at the time. In addition, the integration of the in-laid solar panels was also necessary on a number of sections of the roof.
Johnson continued: “Although this was one of the challenges of the design process, the solar panels were easily installed as they were integrated with the roofing in a similar fashion to a roof window. The mitred hips on the conservatory were the most complicated part of the roof installation, as these needed to be executed as tidily as possible – the reduction in grading allowed me more time to ensure these areas met the client’s expectations.”
Both the architect and end client were pleased with the finish of the roof, which met with the design requirements of the architectural brief. Scullion said: “This is the first time we have used Cupa Pizarras and we were very happy with the results. We were keen to ensure that the more challenging aspects of the roof, including the solar panels and hipped conservatory roof, were executed well at the installation stage. The final finish of the roof is smooth and sleek, with both the slate selection and the workmanship exceeding our expectations.”
Cupa 2 is a dark grey, non-carbonated slate with thin laminations and a smooth surface, formed by tectonic compression and quarried from Cupa Pizarras’ Riodolas mine in northern Spain. As with all Cupa Pizarras slates, it is available in a selection of formats, sizes and thicknesses ranging from 3.5mm to 7.5mm.