The London Gliding Club

A solution was needed for this Grade 2 listed London Gliding Club Building in Totternhoe, Bedfordshire, at the foot of the Dunstable Downs.  The Club, is one of the largest and oldest of its kind in the UK, having been in existence since 1930. In 1935 the original wooden hangars at the site were replaced by the present building designed by the renowned architect and club member Kit Nicholson. In recent years, the building had deteriorated and in early 2014, the decision was taken to carry out refurbishment to the roofing and cladding. This presented an unusual challenge. The local planning department insisted on replacement using a profile to match the existing asbestos cement cladding, to comply with the requirements of the building’s listing. However, during a previous refurbishment the cladding had been replaced incorrectly, with the same profile used for walls and roofing. The GRP roofing profile was modified to provide a practical solution which performed the dual roles of wall and roof sheeting, whilst conforming to the aesthetic requirements of the planners.  We carried out the removal of existing roof and wall sheets and the installation of new sheeting.  Triple reinforced GRP sheeting, Supasafe was used on the roof and was complemented by matching translucent rooflight sheets. For the walls, Filon’s double reinforced DR-30 was used. These two outstandingly strong yet still relatively thin and lightweight products were chosen to provide a very strong and durable roof to provide long term non-fragility and enable the roof and walls to cope with the possible high wind loads on the exposed site.

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