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Stuart Brown FCIOB on roof work at a Grade I-listed
project by WRW Construction.
I was delighted to learn that we’d been awarded the
essential maintenance works contract at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.
One of my first projects as an assistant site manager was on this fantastic
Grade I-listed building and it was great to return some 15 years later with WRW
This time around, however, the challenges were greater, and
it wasn’t just working around Dippy’s short stay during his national tour of
British museums, or the Da Vinci exhibition. In a relatively short period we’ve
lived through Brexit, Storms Ciara and Dennis, and are currently navigating the
challenges that the global covid-19 pandemic has presented us with as we move
The works focused on the repair and replacement of defective
roof coverings, rooflights and associated areas, together with the items of
work within the spaces beneath in 45 weeks. WRW Construction had to ensure that
the museum remained open to the public throughout, without compromising the
visitor experience – and that there was no risk to the public or any of the
Our approach to planning this project was uncompromising: we
didn’t take any chances in relation to water ingress or Joint Fire Code
compliance and worked closely with our partners at LT Scaffold Services to
develop a complex temporary works solution to encapsulate the work areas.
One of the biggest challenges we had to overcome was how to
erect such a large sheeted structure without physical ties, but we achieved it.
The scaffold was restrained through buttressing and 1,000kg kentledge loads per
bay, which supported a 750mm alloy spine beam spanning the width of the museum.
The Asterix HD 1330 temporary roofing system was secured to the scaffolding and
the spine beam.
Once we had encapsulated the roof areas, we set about the
works in accordance with our Safe Systems of Work and in collaboration with all
project stakeholders, ensuring the works were completed to the satisfaction of
Cadw, which works to protect the historic buildings of Wales.
Many challenges presented themselves, such as finding a
tradesman that could manufacture lead rainwater pipes to match the existing
“WRW Construction had to ensure the museum remained open to the public throughout, without compromising the visitor experience.”
Stuart Brown, WRW Construction
In November 2019 we were delighted to be visited by CIOB CEO
Caroline Gumble. It was great to introduce WRW Construction and review the
project with her and members from the Wales Hub, sharing our experiences.
Upon reflection, I’m glad that we remained uncompromising in
our approach to risk, considering the
events that presented themselves after the works commenced. It was a pleasure
to be involved with such a high-profile project on such an important building
Stuart Brown is operations director at WRW Construction, which is a CIOB Training Partner