As part of an extensive roof and home renovation the objective was to take a unique approach to utilising an existing roofing product and transform it to a versatile shade & heating solution sitting 350mm above the existing curved Perspex roof.
By thinking outside the square, we were able to adapt this system to replace a high maintenance green living (i.e. plant) solution for heating and cooling in this innovative architecturally designed Perspex roofed house in the inner suburbs of Sydney.
The purpose of this motorised retractable roof system was to control the heat and light penetrating through the Perspex roof during hot summer days, but with the flexibility of being able to allow the heat in during the colder months and utilise the area of a night time to star gaze. The inclusion of LED down lights in the retractable roof enhanced the mood created by this extremely versatile system.
The retractable roofing system was design and manufactured to:
- Utilise the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient of the building by means of a retractable shading system.
- Provide a modern, cleaner finish to the roof of the house to replace the previous vine and supporting metal frame to control the heat.
- Provide a heat boundary layer between the Perspex roof and the PVC membrane to keep the heat out in summer and in, during winter.
- Provide sound insulation during heavy rain or hail.
- Preserve the existing Perspex roof and associated joints.
- Provide proper water runoff into a guttering system whilst fully closed.
- Improve the aesthetics of the building generally.
- Provide privacy from the neighbours, whose city views often result in overlooking the client’s house.
- Provide some artificial lighting within the roofing system through the use of LED down lights.
From the outset, this was a very unique situation – so unique that the client had been searching for many months to find a solution. Many businesses had been out, but none had quite hit the brief – i.e. until we came up with a solution which ticked all the boxes.
Some of the more complex factors of this project include:
- Designing, measuring and installing a retro fitting curved retractable roof blind system to sit 350mm above and parallel to the existing curved roof.
- Planning and executing an installation over a delicate Perspex roof to ensure the roof was not damaged nor the safety of our staff or the residents compromised.
Along the way we accounted a few challenges, including:
- Retro fitting a made to measure system to an existing structure where only a few existing vertical supports were available for attachment.
- The removal of all the existing steel structure supporting the old vines but still preserving all the existing vertical sections, and preparing them for the new structural steel to hold the new roof blind system.
- Removing the large sections of steel on top of a curved Perspex roof without causing damage to the roof required a lot of careful planning and manoeuvring over the delicate surface.
- Due to the curvature of the roof, we had to ensure an accurate measure up and survey of the roof, to design the curve of the blind system so it matched the curve of the roof as closely as possible.
- Due to the tight streets of this inner city home and an abundance of power lines, the structure could not be lifted over the house with use of a crane. Instead, the structure had to be broken down and pulled up the side of the building by hand, piece by piece, ready for installation.
- Undertake installation of the long curved heavy rafters and canopy in place over the roof with the aid of harnesses and abseiling equipment.
- Once the structure was in place, designing and installing various custom made flashings, brackets and down pipes.
- We project managed and carried out the whole installation including dealing with other trades such as electricians to run power up to the roof for both the lights and the motors – all in the absence of the client who travelled back and forward overseas for most part of the installation period.
The house is now comfortable in summer and will be well insulated against the cold of winter. At night the LED down lights make a great feature and the client loves leaving the roof open on a clear night to see the city sky.
The client has also given us great feedback on the unexpected sound insulation from the rain and aircraft noise. The result is also pleasing neighbours by creating privacy for all. Improved city views were a bonus for our client.