Up on the roof - repair work at Northumbria Lodge

A £100,000 project is underway to replace the roof on one of the tallest buildings in Newcastle.

Bernicia is leading repair work at Northumbria Lodge in Cowgate – the latest phase in a comprehensive package of safety work at the 38 metre high building.

Contractors Group Tegula are overlaying the old roof with a liquid membrane on top of fibre glass and a course outer felt to ensure the roof is watertight for at least the next 25 years.

Mark Brewis, Bernicia’s commercial programme manager, said: “The existing roof has come to the end of its life and we’ve taken action to overlay it with far more robust materials.

“It’s a two-phase process of work on the upper and lower roof areas, making sure they are all clear of debris, replacing all safety handrails and making sure telecoms equipment was moved and reinstated during the initial phase of the work.

“Our aim is to keep the building watertight for many years to come.”

The roof replacement is the latest in a series of safety measures led by Bernicia at the 40-year-old building it manages, including:

  • A full structural survey of the building by a chartered structural engineer (CK21)
  • Abseil repair team from Rope Access Management Solutions repairing brickwork and resealing windows
  • Installation of a new state-of-the-art fire sprinkler system in the building
  • Fitting of new fire doors throughout the building
  • A full fire survey of the external wall of the building, by a chartered fire engineer.
  • Fire compartmentation work in flats and communal areas, which stops the spread of flames
  • Completion of a building safety case and building safety report
  • Regular fire and safety inspections, weekly fire alarm checks and six-monthly fire risk assessments
  • Daily general checks of the building.

The tower block is a recognisable feature on the Newcastle skyline, visible from across the city and is home to dozens of tenants.

The Bernicia Northumbria Lodge project team are project manager Nick Riordan, construction lead Jonathan Reader-Scott, clerk of the works Jonathan Waggett and Mark Brewis. (Left to right: Jonathan Reader-Scott, Mark and Nick are pictured on the roof of Northumbria Lodge).

Specialist roofing contractor Group Tegula’s team is led by contract manager Stephen Mooney, site manager Kevin Bone and roofers Jak Thompson and Jack Dunn.