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Roof of the Year 2017: Quintain House

4 mins

Rowlands Roofing used a mix of craftsmanship and innovation to create the sweeping curves of this striking roof made up of 60,000 hand cut clay tiles. It won the Roof Tiling category and was voted Roof of the Year at the Roofing Awards 2017

Quintain House roofing awards winner

Quintain House is a unique two-bedroom house in rural Gloucestershire designed by Kirkland Fraser Moor. The expansive sweeped curves of the building’s 820sqm roof, is its stand-out feature, demonstrating the highest standards of roofing expertise, craftsmanship and delivery. Quintain House is one of a select number of newbuilds that have passed the criteria of the National Planning Policy Framework Paragraph 55, which allows for a ‘building of exceptional quality or innovative nature of design’. Less than 100 homes have met this stringent standard in the past 15 years, underlining the uniqueness of Quintain House.


With nearly 40 years’ experience as a roofing contractor, Andy Rowlands, owner of Rowlands Roofing, and his team faced the most complex roofing project of their careers. Striving for aesthetic beauty in a roof is demanding and this was no more evident than in the challenge facing Rowlands Roofing. The flowing beauty of the roof design disguises the need for a highly complex and challenging roofing sub-structure; one that required the team to work patiently, diligently and flexibly to create what project architect, John Phipps and the client had in mind. The complexity of the design required ongoing collaboration with the architect and involved working with extreme rises and falls in the roof layout to produce an elegant, seamless and curving finish.

Quintain House roofing awards winner
Quintain House roof of the year award 2017
  • Client: Private
  • Architect: Kirkland Fraser Moor (Design Architect) John Phipps (Project Architect)
  • Roofing Contractor: Rowlands Roofing
  • Building Type: Residential
  • Location: Gloucestershire
  • Completion: 2016
  • Roof Type: Roof tiling
  • Finish: Marley Eternit Acme Double Camber clay plain tiles
  • Battens: LGP Supreme diamond blue BS 5534-grade batten
  • Membrane: Tyvek Supro

Rowlands Roofing says:

“The roofing skills on display are the result of a lifetime of experience and are proof that, with the right attitude and integrity, roofing structures of this ilk are still possible to achieve. It was created with passion and attention to detail.”

The challenges

The roof design presented Rowlands Roofing with significant technical challenges. The team, for example, had to devise a battening solution that could replicate the unbroken and smooth flow of the roof, apply it safely while adhering to BS 5534, before fixing nearly 60,000 Marley Eternit Acme Double Camber clay plain tiles, all of which had to be hand cut.

Having a flexible and problem-solving ethos on the project also helped Rowlands Roofing. A case in point was the solution devised to maintain a waterproof roof. Where the roof fell outside BS 5534 parameters, the team created an EPDM rubber gutter to channel the water to the lowest point of the curve in order to allow the water back over the tile and then make its way down the roof in the traditional way. This solution could only be devised once the project was underway and the ability to think on their feet, adapt to circumstances and create a workable solution that did not unduly delay timescales, was a constant feature of how the team approached the project and worked with all the stakeholders.

Other issues of difficulty included access to areas of the roof with steep drops and non-traditional spaces, both of which meant constant re-appraisal of the scaffolding used, to ensure safe conditions for the operatives and avoiding disturbance to other trades.


The snake-like shape of the roof meant the traditional approach to batten fixing would not succeed, forcing Rowlands Roofing to devise another solution. To match the fluidity of the roof, each batten had to be precisely cut in order to give the contractors the ability to curve and bend the wood batten. Entire lengths of batten were reduced from 25mm thickness down to 13mm/12mm/9mm/8mm to promote the bending effect.

Rowlands Roofing then layered the ‘thinner’ battens on top of each other to provide the necessary height required and provide the perfect foundation for the clay tile covering. This was a painstaking task for the team.

The 820sqm roof was a significant area and to achieve the design vision, each of the 60,000 tiles had to be individually marked and cut to match the space requirements of all the roof sections. With some areas having pitches of just 21 degrees, the team was mindful at all times of adhering to BS 5534 best-practice, as not only had the roof to be stunning to look at, it also had to be waterproof and secure. Though time-consuming, a steadfast approach to the battening and tiling stages was the only way to ensure the property got the roof it deserved.

About Rowlands Roofing

With over 30 years in the roofing industry, we are experts in fixing and fitting all kinds of roofs, with specialist knowledge of restoring period properties as well as cutting edge contemporary designs. We are passionate about the use of reclaimed materials, having seen time and again how these can transform the look of a property. This technique not only provides an aesthetically pleasing finish that maintains and enhances the character of the property, it also reduces waste and is kind to the environment.

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