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Project Name:

SIG Design and Technology provides like for like on Alnwick Adult Learning Centre

Specified By:


Main Contractor:

Roofing Contractor:

NT Sweeting Roofing

Project Overview:

Working with SIG Design and Technology (D&T), roofing contractor NT Sweeting Roofing was able to recreate the aesthetic of natural slate using a fibre cement product that significantly lowered the cost and was easier to install on a community centre in Alnwick.

In Detail

After years of debate, Northumberland County Council decided to refurbish the annexe of an older school building to house the new Alnwick Adult Learning centre. The original plans specified Westmorland Green Slate for the roof, however, given its high cost and the risk of going over budget, NT Sweeting Roofing turned to SIG D&T for assistance.

After consulting with NT Sweeting Roofing about their needs, the technical team at SIG D&T suggested Greys Artstone Fibre Cement Slate.

This product is a faithful reproduction of Welsh natural slate, providing a surface that, even at close proximity, is difficult to tell from its natural equivalent. The product is made from GlassFibre Reinforced Concrete, producing a strong and durable slate which is lightweight and easy to install.

These were all points that received the approval of Phil Derbyshire, lead contractor from NT Sweeting Roofing. “When we started on Alnwick Adult Learning Centre, we were told the Council wanted to use Westmoreland Green Slate on the roof. We knew it would be a challenge, due to the cost and its finite nature. Thankfully, when we got in touch with SIG D&T, they had a solution ready to offer.”

“Their recommendation of Greys Artstone Fibre Cement Slate was a stroke of genius. Not only did it come as close as possible to the Westmoreland Slate, but it was also easy to install which made our lives much easier. As did the additional support that SIG D&T provided.”

Project Outcomes

More than a suggestion

As Phil highlights, SIG Design & Technology wasn’t limited to just recommending a specific type of slate. Indeed, the logistics support from SIG Design & Technology ensured that NT Sweeting Roofing was supplied with the right amount of slate for the roof, and that this slate was placed into crates based on their sizes. Something that made the contractors’ job much easier, as it saved them time having to sort the slate themselves.

SIG Design & Technology also supplied Phil and his team with a batten layout, enabling the contractors to see exactly where the battens needed to go onto the roof. This technical support, combined with the regular site visits from SIG Design & Technology, made Phil and his team feel reassured and valued.

As Phil explains. “The support SIG Design & Technology provided was fantastic. The site visits they did allowed us to develop a rapport with them, and meant that we knew that if we had any queries, we’d get a quick response from the team, which ensured that we’d have solutions ready quickly. Making our job much easier.”

The roof was completed in November 2022, and upon inspection received complimentary feedback from the Council, who were incredibly impressed with the roof’s appearance.