Lakeland Climbing Centre, Kendal

Pro-tecting England's Tallest Climbing Wall from the Elements

Visitors to England’s highest indoor climbing wall can continue to enjoy all the experiences offered by the Award-winning Lakeland Climbing Centre through use of unique, state-of-art technology on its roof.

The Kendal, Cumbria Centre is almost 30m high and thus subject to severe wind and weather loadings. The 30+ years-old roof needed had reached the end of its life, and needed replacing, but with minimal impact on the Centre below. Westmorland Flat Roofing’s solution was to use innovative vacuum roofing technology, unique to Protan, to overlay and secure Protan SE1.6mm single ply membrane to the 350m2 roof.

Protan’s vacuum system is the only single ply roofing method to harness natural air movement to provide adhesion. The system uses strategically positioned vacuum vents across the roof, with the only fixings being at the perimeter and penetrations. Air movement across the roof and through the vents creates suction, drawing air from between the membrane and airtight substrate below, causing the single ply to ‘stick’ to the roof. The stronger the wind, the more the membrane adheres to the roof structure. The Protan vacuum system will withstand gusts of up to 200mph i.e., 4 x average and/or 2x the highest recorded for Cumbria.

“My first thought was to mechanically fix over the existing screed, but pull out tests and the varying densities of concrete and screed made this impractical; adhering the membrane was out of the question too because of the surface finish and it would still require additional mechanical restraint because of the roof height and exposure,” explained Westmorland Flat Roofing director David Welch. “Protan’s vacuum system was the only practical solution to be honest.”

Added Centre owner Jeremy Wilson, “We were delighted with the minimal disruption whilst the work was being carried out, and with the finished result.”

Protan single ply membranes are certified to deliver, and potentially surpass, the energy efficiency requirements laid down in Approved Document L, and, under the Green Guide, achieve a A+ rating. The vacuum system is just part of the company’s range of cost-efficient membrane solutions for the roofing and construction industry, including standard overlap, prefabricated, secret fix and green roofing for exposed and protected roofs, terraces, and wetrooms.

Established some 75 years ago, and still privately-owned, Protan is one of the top 3 membrane manufacturers in Europe. Manufactured at the company’s headquarters in Norway, Protan has roofs that have been in place for 30+ years without performance-affecting degradation. A full support service, from NBS specification and in-house CAD design through to technical advice is provided from Protan UK’s Warrington office.