Feb 16, 2019 Last Updated 2:53 PM, Feb 5, 2019

Communal areas restored for Fife residents

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Here, Stuart Hicks from cold-applied liquid waterproofing specialist, Kemper System, explains the challenges and solutions during the renovation of a social housing development in Scotland.


The refurbishment of any social housing complex requires adequate planning to ensure budget and time constraints are adhered to – not to mention the safety implications and potential disruption for residents.

With many projects needing to accommodate a high number of residents in-situ during repair works, it’s important to devise a strategy that is careful to avoid any unnecessary disturbance without compromising the specification of products or installation quality.

For many contractors working in collaboration with a county council, certain design elements will need to be taken into consideration during specification. In the case of the Shore Street housing complex in Buckhaven, Scotland, managed by Fife Council, a quick yet durable solution was required to refurbish external terrace areas as water was penetrating through into residents’ garages and properties below.

Not only did Fife Council require a robust waterproofing solution to avoid having to invest in these repairs again in the near future, but a quick and easy-to-apply system was essential due to the building still being occupied during the works. In addition to this, an aesthetically-pleasing finish to the waterproofing resin was required which still met budget limitations, as the terraces are outdoor, trafficked areas used daily by the residents – often to hang laundry out to dry or used as spaces to enjoy as a community.

Now the refurbishment is complete, the residents in Buckhaven can appreciate their communal areas once more thanks to a cold-applied liquid waterproofing and surfacing solution from Kemper System.

Specification considerations

With the specification requirements in mind, specialist maintenance contractor DeeBee chose Kemper System’s cold liquid-applied Kemperol 2K-PUR waterproofing solution, together with the compatible Kemperdur TC slip-resistant surfacing system to repair eight of the communal areas in need of refurbishment – totalling 456m².

Brian Boos, Director at DeeBee, explains why Kemperol 2K-PUR and Kemperdur TC was an obvious choice for the refurbishment works at the occupied housing blocks, which minimised any potential disruption to residents.

He said: “Once we surveyed the affected areas, we submitted a refurbishment specification to Fife Council which involved using Kemperol 2K-PUR to refurbish the terraces which were suffering from severe water ingress. It was a clear choice for us as we needed a quick and easy installation solution, yet with the durable qualities to keep whole-life costs down.

“Because the system is also extremely versatile, we knew that specifying Kemperol 2K-PUR would provide a sound waterproofing solution for many years as the roller-applied system can be used on any flat surface – including terraces.”

Quality application

Contractors first removed the existing hard landscaping to expose the concrete substrate on each of the terrace areas. Once the surfaces were cleaned and primed, operatives then applied the Kemperol 2K-PUR resin in a single wet-on-wet process.

The liquid resin was applied onto the drying areas using a roller, with a reinforcement fleece laid directly into the wet resin, immediately followed by more resin on top to ensure complete saturation of the fleece. Once cured, the resin formed a seamless, elastomeric waterproof membrane that cannot delaminate, is UV-stable and bonds directly to the substrate. Because the Kemperol 2K-PUR system is ideal for complex detailing, this also meant easy installation for operatives around details, such as existing plant boxes on the surface of each terrace area.

The decorative Kemperdur TC surfacing system incorporating a coloured quartz finish was then installed, providing a robust slip-resistant surface finish. The installation team at DeeBee completed the refurbishment of the Buckhaven drying areas on time, to budget and specification.

Sustainable refurbishment

Many local councils face a similar dilemma when undergoing housing conservation work – how to successfully refurbish buildings of the past to provide buildings for the future.

Plans developed, and products specified must offer a durable, long-term solution, as well as address the immediate challenges on site.

Brian Boos continues to explain the potential health and safety risks on site if an unsuitable waterproofing system was specified.

He said: “Kemper System’s waterproofing solution is eco-friendly, being derived from sustainable sources, as well as odourless which was an added bonus for the client, as work was able to be carried out whilst homes were still occupied. Residents could continue as normal with minimal waste removal or nuisance odours to disrupt them, and without the fire risk of hot works.

“This project showcases just how versatile Kemper’s system is, and an ideal solution for a housing project of this kind. With a BBA-accredited 25-year service life, Kemperol 2K-PUR was the ideal choice for the drying areas at Buckhaven.” Now, residents at the Shore Street housing complex in Fife are safe in the knowledge that their homes and communal areas provide a dry and warm environment to live in and enjoy. Whilst the end client, Fife Council, has peace of mind that an effective and sustainable solution is in place, and will perform for many years to come.

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