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Roof-raising tales

15/02/2012

The storms that battered the west of Scotland at the beginning of the year took their toll on Hillington Park, as they did elsewhere, with 80mph winds causing havoc wherever they could.

MEPC has had to deal with 30 incidents and damage claims, with roofs throughout the estate being the most commonly affected. “It’s been a pretty busy time,” said Anne Wright, senior surveyor with the MEPC team, with typical understatement.

The most serious incident at Hillington was at the Lumina Building off Hillington Road, where the offices of Balfour Beatty Engineering Services are headquartered. Part of the roof cladding at the front of the building, which faces west into the teeth of the gale, was ripped off, as shown in our photograph.

BBES Facilities Supervisor Colin McKinnon was on the spot when the incident happened on January 3. “I knew it was windy, but when I climbed to the top floor of the building, the wind noise was like nothing I had heard before,” he said.

“Colleagues reported that they had seen roofing panels fly past their windows down Ainslie Road, and we were all very fortunate that it was still a public holiday so there were very few people around when it happened.”

BBES had to evacuate that part of the building, and staff were advised not to come in to work until building inspectors had ascertained the status of the remaining panels on the roof. A big ‘cherry picker’ was summoned and two more panels flapping in the wind had to be brought down.

“As a major player in the building service sector, we have our own Business Continuity Plan in operation here,” said Mr McKinnon. “And, as luck would have it, we had conducted a stress test on our procedures just before Christmas, so we knew what needed to be done.

“Fortunately, too, it is a double-skinned insulated roof cladding that we have on this building,” said Mr McKinnon. “So it remained almost watertight. Now we are awaiting the go-ahead for contractors to replace the missing panels, and we hope everything will be back to normal quite soon.”

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Roof-raising tales

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