The Professional Development Centre (PDC) provides a base for school-focused activities and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training. Breyer Roofing were appointed to renew the existing roof of the PDC on a like for like basis. The PDC is a Grade II listed building and therefore all materials and workmanship had to conform with the Conservation Officer and English Heritage.
The existing roof tiles were stripped off and stored safely. New felt and batterns were fitted before the original roof tiles were relaid.
Approximately 25% of salvaged tiles had to be sourced in order to complete the roof renewal and ensure that they matched the existing, together with salvaged ridges and fittings.
We were then required to renew all lead gutters and flashings and fit new aluminium guttering, once again ensuring that it matched the existing.
In addition to the roof renewal works, the scope of works included the refurbishment of sash windows, specialist brick and stone repairs / replacement and strengthening works to all chimneys and brick features. We appointed specialists from our Approved List of Subcontractors, all of whom have undergone rigorous vetting to ensure their capability and suitability to carry such works.
The main challenge was to renew the external envelope of the PDC without it actually looking new. This required close working between ourselves, London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Conservation Officer to ensure the right balance.
A second challenge for us was the weather, which was wet and cold and had a major impact on the completion. However, the works were still finished on time and to budget due to the efficient site management and the use of weekend work.
Originally known as the South Grove School, two former boarding schools, the PDC was designated as a listed building for the following principle reasons:
• One block is a fairly rare, early (1874) school by ER Robson, built in the period when no two London schools were the same.
• The chimney bears a handsome plaque depicting Knowledge Vanguishing Ignorance.
• The eastern school building (1904) is a fulsome expression of TJ Bailey’s later style, and epitomises the ‘sweetness and light’ character of board schools architecture.
• The two former schools form a unique group, telling the history of London board school architecture at a glance.