Metrotile’s new Antica tile upholds school’s aesthetic heritage

A large re-roof project for Parnell District School is part of the government’s seismic strengthening project around old school buildings in New Zealand.

The first outing for Ross Roof Group’s Antica tile was a large re-roof project for Parnell District School in St Stephen’s Avenue. It is the second oldest school in Auckland, next to St Mary’s College in Ponsonby, and two of the school’s buildings were identified by the Ministry of Education to require earthquake strengthening.

Under the Ministry of Education instruction, replacing heavy tile roofs is one of the key parts for Strengthening school buildings for earthquake resilience.

Replacing heavy tile roofs with lighter materials significantly reduces:

• the risk to life in major earthquakes

• the level of damage likely in a moderate earthquake.

Key considerations for this project were the need to retain the look and feel of the original heritage school buildings, while removing substantial weight from the structure. Metrotile’s branded Antica tile was designed specifically for this purpose with its strong clay tile appearance combined with the core benefits of a lightweight metal tile roofing system with a 50 year weathertight warranty.

Principal of GHD Architecture, Petar Milivojevic said the Ministry of Education appointed GHD to provide seismic strengthening to two of the largest and oldest buildings at Parnell District School.

“To mitigate unsatisfactory structural findings, the decision was made to significantly reduce building loads by replacing the existing concrete tiles with light metal roofing. As both buildings had strong heritage character (they were built in 1933) and were of great importance to the school and the local community, we found that Metrotile tiles would be the perfect solution for this situation.”

“My initial selection was the Roman tile with Tuscany finish, but then I was introduced to the new Antica tile which had a more realistic and aesthetically pleasing look. The school had quickly embraced my Antica recommendation, but overruled my colour choice in favour of Clay.”

“I must admit I was a bit worried that the monochromatic Clay may show imperfections in an 83 year old roof,” says Milivojevic, “but the main contractor Focus Construction did a great job of straightening up the old roof framing before the Ross Roof Group’s fixing crew installed the new roof. The end result made us all proud.”

The roofing process involved with tent wrapping, concrete tile stripping, rafter packing, rafter tie down, new batten setting, and installing the lightweight pressed metal tiles. Metrotile use a range of independent roofing contractors for a various of stage, started from the Junior Block then moved to the Senior Block.  

The clay tile appearance of Metrotile’s Antica tile is characterised by a much higher than usual profile height and a unique scalloped nose. It can be installed on the traditional metal tile batten install method, or can be adapted to a batten-less finish on plywood if required. The batten-less option was developed for Ross Roof Group’s USA export market where the tile is making good inroads for them in an environment where all roofing is traditionally fixed to a ply substrate. System performance of the batten-less system under extreme weather conditions is proving to be key to its success.

The Antica tile is available in a host of traditionally styled single and multi-toned stone coated colour options, as well as a range of satin painted finishes.