With the new £188 million Library of Birmingham rewriting the book on library design, leading flat roof system provider Radmat Building Products have supplied a guaranteed roofing system which is set to deliver high standards of environmental performance, long term waterproofing integrity and has enabled the creation of two biodiverse green roofs and an intensive rooftop garden.
The largest public library in the UK and the largest public cultural space in Europe, the new 35,000m2 Library of Birmingham replaces the old Central Library and is seen by Birmingham City Council as a flagship project for the redevelopment of the city. Designed by architects Mecanoo, and multi-discipline engineers Buro Happold, and built by Carillion, the multi-tiered roof of the library features two garden terraces which have both contributed to the BREEAM excellent rating.
Radmat Approved Contractor Prater delivered a roofing solution that is BBA Certified to last ‘the life of the building’. Consisting of two layers of Radmat PermaQuik PQ6100 Hot Melt Monolithic waterproofing membrane, root resistant Cap Sheet and ProTherm inverted roof insulation, the entire roof was electronically tested for integrity prior to the installation of aluminum powder coated cappings to the perimeter roof upstands.
Once the installation of the 7,500m² of PermaQuik PQ6100 roofing system on the roof and the ground level Podium deck was signed off by a Radmat Technical Adviser, Prater brought in specialist green roof contractor Frost Landscapes to carry out the installation of the complex intensive green roofs.
The two biodiverse green roofs, at levels 3 and 7, were created to attract local wildlife and to offer visitors a pleasant environment to enjoy all year round. With contrasting atmospheres and qualities, the green roof terrace at level 3 overlooks Centenary Square and draws inspiration from the façade design with bespoke teardrop and semi-circular planters, a paved granite terrace and seating areas as features. The planting scheme has a formal English knot garden theme incorporating evergreen hedges, aromatic plants and culinary herbs. The theme for the planting on the level 7 terrace which overlooks the wider city, is a natural more intimate garden where winding paths take visitors through the more than 5000 plants used in the design.
“Frosts were delighted to be part of the team which delivered this landmark project, and are thrilled to see the so many of the public enjoying the intimate atmosphere the landscaping provides on each of the terraces,” commented Aidan Lane, Commercial Director, Frost Landscapes.
Combining durability and flexibility with independent verification of life expectancy and a market leading guarantee the Permaquik PQ6100 Hot Melt Monolithic waterproofing system is set to deliver exceptional performance befitting of the uniquely designed structure which has set a remarkably high standard for library design.
“Birmingham City Council’s intention was to create a world class landmark civic building in Centenary Square,” commented Terry Perkins of Birmingham City Council. “With the Library of Birmingham we have achieved this. We are delighted in the way in which the project has been delivered. From the outset the project team has worked closely together with shared goals and the completed building is testimony to good communication and a non-contractual approach to delivering a major scheme.”
With Radmat’s high performance roofing solution providing weathertight protection for years to come, the Library of Birmingham looks set to not only form the catalyst for further regeneration within the city but also how future libraries are designed and perceived by the user.