There’s a country house taking shape in deepest Wiltshire that showcases both the steely determination of its creator and the very best in British innovation!
It’s a template for an approach that could contribute towards solving London’s housing crisis. Build up and reach for the sky!
Ed McGeedy’s latest self build project is a family home on the edge of Devizes that’s proving to be an eye-catchingly unique, but growingly common take on homebuilding thanks to the u-shaped, cold rolled, galvanized steel framing system for both roofs and full build structures supplied by West Yorkshire based U-Roof Ltd.
The affable Ed knows a thing or two about building. He’s worked in construction and civil engineering for over 40 years including on many house building projects.
“Working with timber, particularly in the roof area, can be tricky and time consuming at the best of times and I genuinely feel that steel systems, such as U-Roof Ltd, are the future.
“The process of installing a complex roof structure is so much easier and goes from weeks to just a few days although the planning phase is meticulous. When you’re incorporating five en-suite bedrooms and eight dormers on the third floor within a Mansard roofed design then you can imagine the fun and games you’d have with even the best timber systems!
“Erecting a steel framed roof is a rather more therapeutic and less stressful process than working with wood. You don’t need any specialist skills or tools and the computer aided design ensures everything fits together precisely creating a lot more space to work and play in!
“Add to that our awful weather. Wherever you are in the UK you certainly can’t leave timber to the elements in a build project. There’s no such trouble with steel! It’ll take whatever comes its way!
“I first discovered U-Roof at the nearby BuildCentre in Swindon and I’m a definite convert. Whether you’re a self builder or a house builder this saves time and money, pure and simple!” exclaimed Ed.
A growing number of architects and builders are uncovering the many faceted advantages offered by U-Roof, a system invented and launched in 2008 by engineer and company chairman David Thurston.
“Since then hundreds of building sites across the UK have been gleaming with pride!” explained David, a real example of British entrepreneurial spirit in what are difficult economic times.
U-Roof manufactures every steel frame using specialist rollforming machinery at their Elland HQ in the heart of Yorkshire and each piece is cut to the required length before being assembled into panel form ready for transportation to site.
David went on “Compared to timber it cuts down on journey times and loads and can generally be delivered on-site within one delivery thus reducing the all important carbon footprint. It doesn’t rot, warp or degenerate in any way and has recently been recognised by the SCI as having an expected 200-250 year minimum lifespan within a warm frame environment.
“It arrives on site looking like a 3D jigsaw. A considerable amount of planning goes into every project with modern 3D modelling methods proving invaluable in checking that all the parts of the jigsaw fit which means no nasty surprises on site!”
Chris Corbett, Design Manager, took up the story. “In specific reference to Ed’s house there were a number of key issues that needed to be factored in to the design process.
“The Mansard style roof is a distinctive design that originated in France in the 16th Century and is characterised by two contrasting pitches to form one roof. In Ed’s case there is a steep pitch followed by an almost flat pitch.
“A concrete Hollowcore floor was originally intended although this was changed to Beam and Block for the top floor. That presented no problem to U-Roof as a suitable adaption of the system allowed fixing through the beam and block floor. Ed also required 8 dormers that needed to remain minimal in overall appearance although still allow a big window aperture to be fitted. We overcame possible on site head scratching in the design office and, after modifying our standard dormer, were able to meet Ed’s exacting requirements.
“Another major and often costly consideration is that there was no need for craneage on site. In Ed’s case, and indeed most cases, all that was needed was a telehandler.
“Ed’s roof is typical of many applications where restrictions on availability of ground floor space mean an extra lightweight storey can often be the preferred solution for providing extra living space - on both new builds and conversions.” concluded Chris.
It appears that the U-Roof approach really is gleaming with pride and reaching for the sky!