NFRC logo
Roofing news and information from NFRC

Girdlestone Estate

3 mins

The roof of one of Islington’s largest housing estates needed urgent repair to solve long-standing ponding issues. The project won the RBM category at Roofing Awards 2018.

girdlestone estate

Girdlestone Estate is one of the largest residential estates in the London Borough of Islington and according to the council was one of the worst hit by damp, which is why it had invested £22m in renovation.

A key part of the work was the complete replacement of the flat roof. A previous refurbishment in the 1990s had created a shallow pitched metal butterfly roof with integral gutters. The integrity of the roofs failed and became problematic, and a catalogue of water ingress and remedial works had ensued.

A long history of repairs had been undertaken by the building owner to rectify the problem, which included significant costs to coat all of the metal gutters which ran throughout the roof. Despite the considerable effort by the client to protect their residents, the water ingress into the properties below had continued.


Langley Waterproofing Systems and contractor Opus Waterproofing Solutions worked with Mears Group plc, the framework contractor for the Borough to remove a section of roof to inspect what lay beneath. Saturated mineral wool insulation was discovered throughout the void, and therefore the only option was to strip the metal roof and start afresh.

An ambitious programme was embarked upon, meaning that lead times would be a problem for the manufacture of rooflights and tapered insulation. Therefore, Langley took a pro-active approach to the design of the roof system, drawing upon intimate knowledge of the type of construction.

girdlestone estate workmanship


Tapered insulation, rooflights, outlets and drainage calculations were manufactured based on the assumptions from one block. A rolling programme was introduced with communication from Mears Plc and Opus paramount to the success of the project by allowing inspections on the original roof to be undertaken the day it was exposed, allowing any changes to design to be implemented immediately.

Workmanship was of the highest standard, with Opus Waterproofing Ltd using both highly skilled labour and training apprentices, thus demonstrating a commitment to upskilling labour within the roofing industry.

Langley utilised its TA-20 flat roofing system to the first phase of six blocks, providing an efficient and cost-effective solution for Islington Council. Part of the Langley Parafor range, TA-20 is a premium quality, torch applied high performance SBS elastomeric membrane warm roof system for flat or sloping roofs.

Langley Waterproofing Systems says:

Extremely robust, the flat roofing system’s non-slip granular surface provides ample durability and puncture resistance for maintenance foot traffic, while it offers a 20 year insurance guarantee. Residents will now benefit from the rollout of Langley’s roofing system across several other areas of the estate.

At a glance

  • Roofing Contractor: Opus Waterproofing Solutions Ltd, working with Langley Waterproofing Systems Ltd
  • Building Type: Residential housing estate
  • Client: Mears Group Plc
  • Location: London Borough of Islington
  • Completion: October 2016

Share this article…