Canon Burrows Primary School

Canon Burrows Primary School, Tameside - Green Roof


Canon Burrows Church of England Primary School, in Ashton-under-Lyne, has a strong focus on sustainability and on reducing its carbon footprint, and was the first primary school in the UK to win the coveted ECO Green Flag award. During a major rebuilding project, the school took the opportunity to add solar panels and a living green roof to the building. 


IMA contractor D Shawcross Ltd had to install the new roof during term time, and o the safety of pupils and operatives was paramount. In addition, as the school is situated on a major spine road, access was restricted and deliveries had to be off-loaded before 7am to ensure pedestrian safety. The project was also carried out during the summer so irrigation of the green roof was vital.  


The double 35° pitch roof was a challenge, but after design and detail meetings between D Shawcross, Icopal and architects Thorpe Whyman & Briggs, the Icopal Rootbar capsheet was specified. To prevent slippage of the green roof, Icopal Intermediate and Edge Restraints were used, and also Icopal Extensive Mineral Wool Substrate, as the slope was over 20o and an aggregate substrate would have been harder to restrain. A ‘hit and miss’ even weight distribution method was also used to load the roof onto each side of the ridge.

Following installation of an Icopal Extensive Sedum Green Roof, continued irrigation is vital for the first ten weeks, and so D Shawcross fixed a ‘leaky pipe’ and sprinkler arrangement on to the ridge cap in order to keep the sedum blanket damp during its early growing period.

The architects were delighted with the safe working practices put in place by the D Shawcross team, and by the design and application of the sedum roof, especially as the project was completed on time and within budget. The green roof is now the centerpiece of the new classroom extension block for a school that prides itself on sustainability, and provides an eco-friendly case study for pupils.


Project: Canon Burrows C of E Primary School, Ashton‐under‐Lyne
Area: 300 m2.
Completion Date: 2010
IMA Contractor: D Shawcross Ltd, Wigan
Client: Tameside MBC
Specifier: Thorpe Whyman & Briggs, Oldham
Main Contractor: P&L Construction, Oldham
System: Total Torch & Rootbar System, Extensive
Sedum Green Roof

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