Providing Safe Cover For Students

Many schools in New Zealand were built prior to the current building standards, in 1998 the New Zealand Ministry of Education undertook a nationwide structural survey of all school buildings and site structures in order to identify specific structural defects that could potentially cause death or serious injury during extreme climatic conditions or earthquakes. The survey identified high priority work and the Ministry directive was for education boards to rectify any building defects under a ten-year property plan.

All buildings with heavy tile roofs were identified as a seismic risk – in many cases the most cost effective way to meet the Ministry criteria is to replace with lightweight roofing.

Rangi Ruru Girls School, Christchurch

Rangi Ruru Girls’ School in Christchurch is one of New Zealand’s top achieving schools academically and across a wide range of sports, cultural and creative pursuits. The school offers an independent (private) Year 7 to 13 education for Day and Boarding students. Boarding is available from Years 9 to 13.

The School’s roof was recently replaced with lightweight Gerard tiles largely as a precautionary measure as the roof was undamaged by the recent Christchurch earthquakes.

The fact that Gerard steel tiles weigh a fraction of their concrete tile counterpart was a comforting thought for the Board.

Board Chairman, Grant Close says after the February 22 earthquake, they had engineering inspections of every building at Rangi Ruru Girls School. “We also completed a ‘destructive inspection’ of the roof spaces in three buildings that had heavy-weight clay roofing tiles. In two of them, we observed that there had been some movement of trusses,” he says.

While the buildings were subsequently green-stickered, the Board decided to remove the 24 tonne heavy clay roofs, and replace with lightweight pressed metal tiles from Gerard Roofs.

The safety and wellbeing of our students is of paramount importance to us explains Neil Templeton, the School’s Business Manager. “ Since the recent Christchurch earthquakes we have been continuing with regular engineers’ reviews of our facilities. These site reviews enable us to identify any developing safety concerns and implement the required repairs or alterations. Additionally, we have reassessed our school through new eyes, looking at any potential threats to the safety of our students in the case of another significant event. With the assistance of our engineers we identified the tile roofs of the intermediate and language areas as an aspect we needed to change.”

The Harvey Roofing Centre in Christchurch was commissioned to do the work. The school wanted to retain a similar look and chose Gerard Roofs’ Colortile Satin in Smoke Grey with barrel trims. Four separate blocks were reroofed - a total of 856 sq metres using just under 2,000 tiles. The new Gerard roofing weighs about 4 tonne, a sixth of the former weight. An added benefit for the school is the fact that the new roofing now has underlay resulting in less condensation and moisture, and a more even temperature.

Harvey Roofing Canterbury branch manager, Bob Alexander says the work was completed in just over 2 weeks. “Despite delays, due to inclement weather, the 4 blocks were stripped and 856 sq meters of roof were re-clad in two weeks with no rain damage and within school holiday deadline,” he says.

Grant Close is very pleased with the outcome of the Board’s investment. “The specialist Harvey Roofing team did an amazing job over the April school holidays; completely removing the old roofing material, preparing the structure for new tiles, and having the job completed before the girls started back in Term 2,” he says.

Client:Rangi Ruru Girls School Board

Roofing Manufacturer: Gerard Roofing
Telephone: 0800 104 868

Profile: Colortile Satin

Colour: Smoke Grey

Roofing Installer: Harvey roofing Centre
Telephone: 03-343 1590