Queen Mary University Library Collecting Solar Energy

The library roof at the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) had surpassed its natural life expectancy and been experiencing considerable water ingress, requiring urgent remedial work to prevent disruption to students.
In order to determine the most appropriate remedial solution the 2,000m2 roof area was surveyed by flat roof specialists Bauder, who proposed stripping the existing roof covering down to the structural metal deck and replacing it with a high quality and long lasting bituminous system. The client also decided to use this opportunity to make a positive and visible contribution to the university’s carbon reduction programme through the addition of energy producing solar panels. The library is the core study area for most students and is unsurprisingly one of the highest consumers of electricity out of all the campus buildings, so it seemed extremely appropriate that the PV would be situated there.
The main library roof and three connecting tank rooms were all waterproofed with Bauder’s premium bituminous system, BTRS, which is capable of withstanding permanently sited loads of up to 2000Kg/m2 and has a life expectancy in excess of 40 years. The system build-up included a highly efficient 120mm PIR FA-TE insulation for superior thermal performance, achieving the required 0.18 U-value. Tapered insulation was also used around the perimeter of one of the tank room roofs to effectively provide drainage falls without having to incorporate them into the structure.
Roof areas totalling 1,000m² were fitted with 126 monocrystalline PV modules, set at a 10 degree angle to optimise energy generation. The panels are expected to generate 32.43 MWh of energy within the first year and deliver CO2 savings of 17.155 tonnes, equal to 8,358 kg of coal burned. The PV system was installed using a unique drill-free technique that ensures the integrity of the roof is completely upheld; and the simplicity of this method also meant that roofing contractor, R T Roofing Services, could install the entire array in just two days.
One of the major challenges for this project was performing the required works on a busy campus and keeping noise levels to a minimum. To overcome this challenge the project team worked closely with the client to develop a work and delivery schedule; with many of the materials brought to site and unloaded at the weekend. Bauder also provided ear plugs for all library users to make sure that they weren’t disturbed from their work. Despite these logistical challenges, all roofing works were completed in time for the start of the new academic year and were undertaken as part of the university’s long term maintenance and regeneration programme.
Jennifer Raagas, QMUL Project Manager, stated her delight with the finished works at the university, “We are incredibly pleased with the work performed by Bauder and their approved contractors on the library roof. They have been extremely accommodating during an eventful summer period at the university, and their service has been of the absolute highest quality. Our new BauderSOLAR PV panels will not only help us generate our own solar energy but will also provide excellent research and learning opportunities for our students. With Bauder delivering a single source solution of roof renewal with PV install we have complete peace of mind over our roof’s guarantee and long-term future performance.”

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