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SARNAFIL Roofing System’s Longevity & 20-Year Guarantee Protects Priceless Bodleian Books

A 10,000sq m Sarnafil roofing system is protecting one of the country’s most precious collections of books and manuscripts stored at the University of Oxford’s newly built Bodleian Libraries Book Storage Facility.

The £26 million book warehouse, based in South Marston near Swindon, is capable of holding 8.4 million volumes on 153 miles of shelving. Providing a new home for nearly six million books, maps, manuscripts, microfilms and periodicals, it was imperative that the building – particularly its roof – met National Archive Standard BS 5454. This standard includes strict criteria for design life, temperature, air-tightness, humidity and fire regulations in order to protect such priceless documents.

Sarnafil’s system in S327-18EL Light Grey was specified as part of a total envelope solution from supply chain partner, Prater. Working closely with main contractor Mace and architect Scott Brownrigg, Prater installed the 10,000sq m of single ply over insulation and vapour control layers fixed to a metal deck, thus preventing water ingress while reducing condensation and energy loss.

As a result of the Sarnafil system’s specification, the roof played its part in helping the building achieve an excellent air-tightness rating of 1.6m3/h/m2. What’s more, with the building required to have a total design life of 100 years, Sarnafil’s 20-year extended products guarantee – together with its BBA-certified life expectancy ‘in excess of 40 years’ – provided just the reassurance the architect needed.

Commenting on the use of Sarnafil, a spokesperson for Scott Brownrigg concludes: “The collection at the Bodleian facility is of historical significance and highly valuable. The building is designed to meet the National Archive Standard and have a design life of 100 years. A watertight, airtight and long-lasting roof was therefore essential in meeting the brief and achieving these standards.

“Sarnafil products have a good reputation, are suitably certified and the manufacturer provides technical support. By specifying the full system, Sarnafil was also able to provide an extended guarantee period of 20 years, which was particularly important for the extraordinarily long design life.”

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