Grand Designs Project Lewes East Sussex - Bracknell Roofing

Projects: Grand Designs Project Lewes East Sussex


Client: Myria Construction

Division: Roofing

Location: Lewes

Services: Flat Roofing

Sector: Housing

Published on 26th October 2021


  • Channel 4’s Grand Designs showcases year-long build of contemporary property
  • Bracknell Roofing provides roofing membrane solution to underpin ambitious architectural vision

Roofing specialist, Bracknell Roofing has played a crucial part in the development and construction of a striking new contemporary home recently built on the outskirts of Lewes in East Sussex.

The subject of an episode of Channel 4’s Grand Designs series, the outstanding five bed detached property was designed by Sandy Rendel Architects.  It has been constructed on the banks of a river on an 11m wide plot, and owes its stunning architectural concept to the use of self-weathering steel mesh as the external building and roofing cladding material.

The perforated steel mesh provides a vivid bronzed visual effect that is not only striking in appearance but also reflects the past industrial heritage of the site which had previously housed a cement factory. The cladding requires no further maintenance but instead is allowed to age and change colour as the steel weathers at its own pace.

Bracknell Roofing was tasked with constructing the watertight roofing membrane onto which the steel mesh cladding would sit.

Steve Morris, Bracknell Roofing’s Contracts Manager, explains:

“This was an innovative and design-led project.  With the eventual steel cladding the architectural visual high point of the build, our role was to ensure that the roofing membrane which sat underneath was robust and effective and provided the highest level of waterproofing required, so the project could achieve the design aspirations of all involved.”

The property was designed with two low-level flat roofs and a two-storey main roof expanse which included a 45-degree pitch.  The robust solution provided by Bracknell Roofing’s team of highly-trained specialists included deck plywood, a polythene vapour barrier, mechanically fixed 120 mm insulation board and the specification of a fixing system across the entire roof space.  This involved the use of lightweight solar rails which would act as the fixing base profiles for the steel cladding finish.

The expert team from Bracknell Roofing worked together to ensure the installation of the roof membrane was delivered on time to enable the full build to stay on track.  The team also delivered the project while meeting the specific challenges of the valley gutter, which runs through the middle of the roofing expanse as part of a design intended to reflect the rooflines of neighbouring properties.

Marc Bates, Contracts Manager at Myriad Construction, comments: “Innovative construction projects, such as this new house in Lewes, offer particular challenges.  In this case, it was the use of the weathered steel mesh as the building and roofing cladding material of choice.  We were able to deliver such a striking build thanks to the professionalism and expertise of Bracknell Roofing who delivered a highly-effective and innovative membrane solution that supports the stunning exterior to the building.”

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