A Church that Survives...

A Church that Survives...

The Problem: How to replace the roof without affecting the appearance of the exposed rafter detail and provide insulation at the same time without creating a condensation risk.

St. Anne’s Church is all that remains of the former hamlet of Westby Mills in West Lancashire, since in 1923 the Fylde Water Board obliterated it by creating a reservoir on the site. In 2016 the area once again feels under threat from companies wanting to make use of natural resources, as a few hundred metres away is the UK’s first fracking test site.

Fortunately this fine church, built in 1860 and designed by E W Pugin - the Architect of over 100 Catholic churches mainly in the North West of England and Ireland is set to carry on for many years to come thanks to its recent re roofing. The interior has an elaborate timber roof with decorated rafters, a lime plaster ceiling, and originally, Welsh slates had been torched onto the ceiling laths.

With the roof in need of replacing, however, this meant upgrading the insulation was an option, although quite how this could be done would depend on whether removing the torching would damage the materials below. In fact, it proved possible to retain the original ceiling lath and plaster, repairing over the laths as necessary. TLX Gold was then fitted taut, sandwiched between two 38mm deep counter battens. This allowed for a heat-reflecting air gap between the low emissivity underside and the plaster below, and sufficient ventilated space above. A condensation risk calculation showed that there should be no risk.

The Solution: BBA approved TLX Gold: Fully breathable and heat reflecting – only 30mm space required below if used taut and counter battened, and installed with no extra effort than for a conventional breather membrane.