Real-life stories about lead

Many people know lead as a traditional material used in historic buildings or conservation projects. However, it is still the product of choice for specifiers looking for great aesthetic qualities as well as peace of mind on a project due to lead’s longevity and reliability.

Read about recent, real-life applications and industry issues explored below.

Rolled Lead Sheet key to RIBA Award winning house extension

Case Study

Once the new owners of an old Sussex cottage concluded that it did not contain sufficient living space for their needs, they decided upon the construction of a garden room pavilion. The use of rolled lead sheet proved an ideal choice for a design which needed to take into consideration the rural surroundings and the personal requirements of the owner.

Making the most of the aesthetic features of British Standard rolled lead sheet alongside another natural material, in particular timber in the form of Siberian larch, the extension consists of a new entrance to the house, a living room, and a studio. The latter, specially designed for the portrait painter owner, has an inclined end wall, with a glazed panel set within the incline for westerly light. This form of inclined glazing is a traditional method of lighting studio spaces, whilst the sloped end wall gives the extension a distinctive and neat appearance as well as matching the contours of the site.

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Rolled Lead Sheet Complements Luxury West End Apartment Development

Case Study

British Standard Rolled Lead Sheet was used extensively at Marconi House, a historic landmark on the Strand in London’s West End which has been converted into a luxury serviced apartment complex.

Restored as part of a larger development which included the construction of the adjacent luxury 5 star 168 room ME Hotel, this was an unusual project in that Foster and Partners designed almost every aspect of the project, from the outside shell to the bathroom fittings. Richardson Roofing was appointed as Trade Contractors for the project.

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Spotlight on Young Leadworker of the Year 2013

Case Study

The Lead Sheet Association runs the Young Leadworker of the Year competition annually, to show its support in encouraging the next generation of leadworkers and to recognise those that are demonstrating great skill at a young age.

To get to the final, entrants had to submit evidence of their past projects showcasing their leadworking skills and from there, the judges invited selected candidates to take part in a practical assessment over two days at the LSA training centre in Kent.

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Award winning leadwork to provide another century of assurance for London Oratory

Case Study

Having been installed at the time of the building’s construction, only after some 117 years was a major refurbishment of the leadwork on the London Oratory necessary. The rolled lead sheet was finally showing signs of fixing fatigue and crystallisation, with minor signs of underside corrosion, and so the decision was made for renewal of the leadwork, which was undertaken by Martin (UK) Roofing Systems.

This was a complex job, which included the use of extensive scaffolding and ensuring each section was renewed to the same specification as that it was replacing. Using Code 6 on the ribs and Code 7 on the main body of the dome, approximately 57 tonnes of British Standard Rolled Lead Sheet was installed, supplied by Associated Lead Mills.

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Decorative lead detailing adds final touches to Africa House

Case Study

Some fabulous examples of decorative leadwork have been produced to provide the finishing touches to a £25 million refurbishment project at Africa House in central London.

BAM Construction were appointed main contractors for a project that included converting the interior of Africa House, a Grade II listed building, into 118,000 square feet of ultramodern office space around a new full-height atrium with scenic glass wall-climbing lifts.

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Rolled lead sheet key to impressive Channel Islands Orangery

Case Study

Vale Garden Houses is a family business founded over 30 years ago to design and make Georgian and Oriental garden buildings. They make extensive use of Rolled Lead Sheet to BS EN 12588 on their properties, and there is no better example of this than their construction of an impressive orangery on the Channel Islands.

Rolled lead sheet is used by Vale Garden Houses for this type of project due to its excellent flexibility, durability and aesthetic features. With the aid of CNC technology, curved mops were created to form the substructure. Whilst a major part of the flat roof was not part of Vale’s remit, the dome and all other elements were traditionally lead flashed using time served techniques.

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Rolled Lead Sheet enables seamless extension to Lewes Old Grammar School

Case Study

Lewes Old Grammar School has been a feature on the high street of the East Sussex county town since the 18th century.

When the school identified the need for additional classroom space, it was decided to build an extension housing two new science classrooms above an existing two-storey science block built in the 1970s. There were planning obstacles to the scheme, partly due to the adjoining building being listed, however eventually the scheme was passed thanks to the innovative proposals put forward by Liam Russell Architects, to ensure a solution that was aesthetically pleasing as well as using local materials that would blend in with the historic town surroundings.

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Rolled Lead Sheet plays a key role in Restoration of Scottish Castle

Case Study

Lews Castle, a Victorian era building situated on the outskirts of Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, is currently undergoing extensive renovation work to restore the castle to its former glory.

The tender for the work, issued by local council Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, specified that Historic Scotland standards must be incorporated into the tender documents, which meant that all leadwork was to be carried out by a contractor who is a member of the Lead Contractors Association. The first phase of the construction programme, involving repairs and conservation work to the external fabric of the castle, was completed in the summer of 2013, by John Fulton Ltd, the specialist leadwork contractor.

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18th Century Church Restored to its Former Glory in Manchester

Case Study

An 18th Century church in Manchester has recently undergone extensive repairs to its roof, which included reintroducing leadwork as originally designed.

The main roof had been problematical for a number of years. The roof, at 16 degrees, was too shallow and never intended for a slate finish. The parapet gutters and lead covered apse roof had bays of lead that were excessive in length with step joints averaging only 20mm. The church had been experiencing leaks for a number of years.

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New build country house makes use of BS Lead

Case Study

When the award winning RIBA Chartered architectural practice WCEC Architecture were given the task of designing a five bedroom country house in rural Sussex, a key requirement of the design was to be a mixture of contemporary details as well as making use of form and materials which took into account local traditions and surroundings.

Rolled Lead Sheet to BS EN 12588 was an integral part of the design and chosen as the principal roofing material which, alongside the handmade local bricks and plain clay tiles, provided a soft appearance which would blend in well with its immediate and wider landscaped setting.

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Hamilton Hall – A new development at the heart of St Andrews

Case Study

Hamilton Grand, overlooking the Old Course in St Andrews, has recently undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment by The Kohler Company, owners of the five red stars Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa. It is being transformed into a collection of 26 homes of distinction – two, three and four bedroom apartments together with a private residents’ lounge and function suite as well as a new, stylish restaurant and bar that is set to become a firm favourite of those visiting what is known as the home of golf.

Across the project approximately 25 tonnes of the highest quality lead, manufactured to BS 12588, supplied by Calder Lead, has been used on the main roof and on dormer windows and flashings…

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Protecting historic buildings from lead theft

Case Study

The LSA is working in a number of ways to support people in combating lead theft.

It has been in recent discussion with a family-run security business, Protec Wells, based in Somerset. The simple but effective measures they have put in place have had a dramatic impact in the local area with attempts to steal lead from local churches much reduced.

What has been particularly effective in many cases has been the installation of Active Infrared Beam devices. The preferred system would emit four infrared beams, that will send a signal to an alarm monitoring station, and activate a high powered siren on the roof, when triggered by a human breaking the beams…

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