Programme and safety gains from rolling roof systems

There is an increased demand for rolling roof systems due to the enhanced safety and increased productivity they provide.

In reducing the risk of working at height, operatives work in a safer environment as there is no need to work off the roof. Instead, operatives work from a safe platform.

This system provides flexibility for the client throughout the project due to the roof’s adaptable nature, such as opening sections of the roof to allow for materials to be craned in.

The additional cost of using a rolling roof system is offset by this efficiency, providing additional productivity. For example, adapting a regular fixed roof to open can take days, yet to open a temporary roof takes a matter of minutes.


The fundamental difference of rolling roof systems is that they are erected from one location, built from a tiered platform that mirrors the gradient of the roof.

Two triangular roller tracks are parallel to one another at either end of the roof. On these roller tracks, a rolling roof wheel is fitted. A breaking coupler is then fitted directly behind it.

Beam adapters are added to either side, allowing the roof frames to be fixed into position.

Working across the tiered platform, the roof frames are connected from the ridge to the eaves. Once the frame is fully fixed it can then be rolled out.

When each frame is built, the pull-through sheeting is added and it is then rolled out. This process continues one bay at a time until the roof is fully erected.

This method of constructing a roof mitigates the need to put operatives in a higher risk situation and subsequently it is a significantly safer process.

A combination approach for restoration works

The restoration works of Camden Town Hall required a combination of roofs to be used, installing 2 rolling roofs either side of a fixed temporary roof. The middle temporary roof remained fixed throughout.

As the roof is built in sections, one or multiple sections of sheeting can be pulled back to provide an opening for materials to be craned in. Working off a cantilevered platform, operatives can access the roof and pull the sheeting open.

At Camden Town Hall, the section over the conservatory was opened to allow for the new steel structure to be lifted in. Once complete, the roof was simply closed.

Rolling roof systems also provide watertight protection, which was paramount for this Grade II listed building. Sections of the Judd Street rolling roof were temporarily opened to allow for the install of a new steel frame extension to the roof terraces. When closed, no external elements could affect the building.

An adaptable solution for a busy environment

When working on the renovations of the BAFTA building it was integral to ensure the listed building remained watertight and protected.

As part of the work, the building required an additional floor to be added to increase overall floor space. As the main roof was removed, our temporary roof ensured the building remained covered and the live areas on the ground floor remained protected.

Due to the scale of the roof, a rolling roof was the only viable option. Because of its size and weight, using a regular fixed temporary roof would have been near impossible.

Erecting from one section and rolling the roof out one bay at a time meant that we could efficiently and safely erect the roof spanning 32 metres. Which was essential when working in one of London’s busiest streets.

To strengthen a roof of this size, a tie chord was required to be installed underneath to take the load.

Additionally, there were 9 lines of Nico Rail that had the capacity to lift 1000kgs each to the underside of the temporary roof allowing uninterrupted access for glazing works.

Significant benefits

Rolling roof systems have clear productivity and safety gains, all whilst maintaining the typical benefits expected of a fixed temporary roof.

Rolling roof systems should be a serious consideration when there are any requirements such as working to a tight programme, high risk environments due to public interfacing or when various adaptations are required.


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