Coláiste an Chláirín Case Study

The new Coláiste an Chláirín building in Athenry, Co Galway is a post primary school consisting of classrooms, a special needs unit, sports hall, general-purpose hall, staff amenities and extensive external facilities designed by Smith Kennedy Architects & Healy Partners Architects. The project was managed by JJ Rhatigan and Company and the roofing element appointed to Priority Roofing and Cladding Ltd. 

Bauder Building Board

Project: Coláiste an Chláirín
Location: County Galway
Project type: New Build
Roof size: 8550m²
Main contractor: JJ Rhatigan & Company
Approved contractor: Priority Roofing & Cladding Ltd

The brief

The roof of the main building and the gymnasium required flat roof build-ups to meet the specifications as set out in in SDG 02-05-03 (Acoustic Performance in New Primary & Post Primary School Buildings), while meeting the general performance requirements specified within TGD 021-7 2018 (Minimum Performance Standards of Roof Materials and Finishes). The chosen system had to meet an acoustic performance of 35dB indoor ambient noise level (IANL). It was decided that, despite sports halls having a slightly higher IANL threshold, the 35dB performance criteria would be applied across all areas of the school, with control of reverberation being a key consideration in the gym.

The Architect specified that the insulation used in the flat roof system should be non-combustible and achieve a U-value of 0.16Wm²k which actually exceeds the thermal requirements as described in the Irish Building Regulations Technical Guidance Document L for flat roofs in schools.


The system 

Bauder Single Ply Thermofol PVC waterproofing comprises a lightweight, cost effective waterproofing membrane which offers a pleasing aesthetic finish on a flat roof. This system holds fire classification BROOF(t4) for compliance with building regulations under TS 1187 test method 4 for external fire exposure to roofs, making it the ideal application for this project. The membrane was finished with standing seams to create a statement look. 

Priority Roofing had experience of installing this build-up and similar solutions. Kevin Ryan, Director at Priority Roofing, explained, “We found the system both practical and efficient to install. The combination of the availability of the products and the technical backup received was superior to any other system that we have worked with.”  

BauderROCK high density mineral wool insulation was specified to achieve the thermal and acoustic requirements of the design. As a Euroclass A2-s1,d0 non-combustible material, BauderROCK also provided the specified fire performance. This insulation could be used across all roof areas, with some adaptations for the gym which required additional acoustic performance due to the inherent nature of the space. Acoustic infills were used in the troughs of the perforated metal deck, thus combatting the reverberation of the indoor environment.  

Eoin O’Grady, Associate Director at Healy Partners Architects commented. “We are delighted with the overall delivery of the roof build-up and the performance achieved. The PE hall solution to deal with reverberation noise as well as rainfall noise was very successfully managed. We look forward to working with Bauder on future projects.” 

One of the challenges of this project was the ambitious schedule. The use of the self-adhesive air and vapour control layer (AVCL) enabled the trades working within the building to progress quickly without being delayed by weather conditions. BauderROCK is relatively quick to install, as was the lightweight single ply waterproofing. 

Niall Hanley, Contracts Manager at JJ Rhatigan, the project’s main contractor, said: “Coláiste an Chláirín Athnery was a great success and in particular the use of the self-adhesive AVCL in advance of the build-up allowed works to commence immediately internally, which was critical from a programme perspective.” 

The outcome 

The project was finished to time and specification with exceptional workmanship from the fixers at Priority Roofing and Cladding and superb collaboration from all parties throughout. The roof achieved a U-value of 0.15 W/m2k, exceeding the thermal target, and met or exceeded the 35db IANL requirement across the main building and the sports hall.  The thermal performance, which will hold up for decades to come, will also impart energy efficiency benefits that reduce running costs at the school in the long term. Finally, the non-combustible nature of the mineral wool insulation ensured that the build-up met the fire safety specification.