Teamwork ensures roofline replacement project is a success at flagship BUPA Care home in Kent

July 28, 2023 at 7:19 AM

In February 2022, Swish Building Products was approached by BUPA Care Homes Property Manager, Russell Sutton, to carry out a survey and specification of works for a new roofline system at Fountains Lodge Care Home in Tunbridge Wells. As a specialist dementia facility providing residential care for those suffering from the disease, work at Fountains Lodge needed to be conducted in a sensitive and considerate manner. Ian McNeil-Lawson, Area Sales Manager at Swish Building Products, led the project and explains how – with the installer and supplier – they transformed the old timber roofline:


“As the project lead, my first job was to ascertain exactly what the team at Fountains Lodge Care Home wanted to achieve. I met with Russell Sutton, BUPA Care Homes Property Manager, Louise Eastwood, Care Home Manager, and James Drewett, Maintenance Operative, and it was agreed that a complete overhaul and refit of the existing and dilapidated timber roofline and rainwater system was needed.

Successful site survey

“A full survey of the building was conducted to assess the external roof perimeters, check dimensions, evaluate potential hazards, and conduct a ‘Scratch Test’ to ensure Asbestos was not present in the soffits – thankfully it was not. The internal roof space was also assessed for eaves protection and ventilation requirements. As the facility has a working laundry area and office spaces within the roof which require substantial insulation, it was evident that adequate ventilation was essential.

“With regards to the rainwater system, it was evident that due to the large roof area the new system had to be substantial enough to carry away potentially vast amounts of water quickly to prevent overflow. This meant that standard profiles were not an option. Instead we looked to the Kayflow Super Deep system with 110mm down pipes to provide the perfect solution.

“Once all the information was collected, I worked alongside Swish Technical Manager, Dave Osborne, to produce a full and concise specification covering all elements of the roofline and rainwater replacement. This specification was sent to Russell, along with further detail on access requirements and other relevant information he needed to consider, such as the complete removal of existing timber spires as these seemed unsafe.

“Following a conversation with Russell and Louise it was agreed that the spires would not be replaced. Instead the gable apexes were to be reinforced with a simple, standard barge board with apex ridge tiles.

Competent contractor

“Once the detail of works and specification was agreed, BUPA requested details of suitable contractors capable of carrying out such a large and detailed contract and who would adhere fully to the in-depth specification produced. Following a tender process RCG External Building Solutions, a regional contractor in the South of England, was awarded the contract. In turn they sourced - and were supplied – all materials by The Fascia Place in Tunbridge Wells.

“A phased programme of works was started in November 2022, and regular site visits were conducted by Swish to assess progress of works and ensure all specifications were adhered to. We worked closely with Site Manager, Paul Moody, and RCG’s Operations Director, Adam Farrell, to ensure a constant and open dialogue was kept throughout the project.

“The project was completed in March 2023 and the final assessment concluded that the works had been carried out to the highest specifications with RCG External Building Solutions conducting themselves in an extremely professional manner, paying close attention to the specific health and safety requirements and concerns of the care home management regarding their residents. Actually, as a result of their conduct and work at Fountains Lodge Care Home, RCG has been awarded contracts at other BUPA care homes in the South of England.”

“RCG External Building Solutions has a long history of working with Swish and have been approved installers for over 10 years. Ian McNeil - Lawson from Swish Building products brought this project to our attention after initially carrying out a specification exercise with BUPA representatives.

“The existing roofline was in poor condition and required a full replacement system combining the Swish 20mm Jumbo board square edged fascia, 9mm solid soffit, over fascia ventilation, eaves protection along with Kayflow Superdeep guttering and 110mm rainwater pipes.

“After the introduction from Ian, RCG tendered for the works with BUPA and were successful in being awarded the contract. RCG worked with both Swish and Bupa representatives throughout the contract making sure installation was carried out to the highest standard whilst also making sure H&S requirements were kept to, while also supplying safe scaffold access on a very large scale.

“Throughout the project the communication remained constructive and concise, by all parties and the final end result was an installation that met the client’s requirements due to the initial specification works by Swish and the installation of the system carried out by RCG.”

Adam Farrell (RCG External Building Solutions)

“Paul Moody was brilliant. He fully understood the specific nature of the requirements surrounding the residents and subsequent health and safety needs. Throughout the entire contract Paul and his team offered simple acts of kindness to staff and residents making the whole process as stress free and as less invasive as possible. They were fantastic, respectful and a credit to RC Grant and the roofline replacement industry.”

Louise Eastwood (Care Home Manager) & James Drewett (Maintenance Operative) – Fountains Lodge Care Home (Bupa)

“I would like to thank BUPA for inviting Swish to specify and assist with this contract. I’d also like to thank The Fascia Place at Tunbridge Wells for their efforts in assisting RCG External Building Solutions with the works time frame and finally thank you to RCG External Building Solutions for their excellent workmanship and conduct throughout, I don’t think a better team could have been brought together.”