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Posts tagged ‘thatcher’

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Ideal Home Show – thatched show house

We have finally had a chance to reflect and write about our involvement in last year’s Ideal Home Show and how it came about.

In April 2016 we were approached by David Richards Associates (DRA) to see if we could help facilitate a thatched roof for one of the three show homes planned for the 2017 event. Each year, DRA build an entire show village with three show homes with very different designs and themes. The show village is the centrepiece of the event.

After many calls and emails, we met with the organisers, architects and the construction company to find out how it all comes together. Once agreed and armed with drawings, show information, build times etc. we made a start.

Paul Wareing & Tom Stevens from Heart of England Master Thatchers, both of whom have experience of working on exhibitions and film sets agreed to carry out the thatching.

The show homes are built off-site using a steel frame modular system and then transported to London Olympia for final completion. There are six individual modules that make up the show home, four of which were to be thatched. Each modular section weighs between four and six tonnes and have carefully aligned lifting points secured in the steel work.

The thatching started in January 2017 at the off-site location in West Sussex and by Friday March 17th the modules were ready and craned onto the HGVs, with an anxious Tom looking on.

Given the size of each module, transportation had to be carried out at certain times of the day at no more than 30mph with escort vehicles accompanying each HGV.

We arrived at Olympia late Saturday afternoon on the 18th March all wondering what lay ahead. We were greeted with an empty venue except for a massive crane, cherry pickers and an army of banksman to start putting the house together.  The thatched house was the first of the three to be set up and by 1.00am, the roof sections still had to be craned into place.

Sunday morning saw the roof sections finally put into place so Paul and Tom spent the rest of the day dressing and rethatching the roof where each modular section met and where the lifting straps had moved the thatch.

All works had to carried out via cherry pickers and/or drop wires. In the meantime, lorries were in and out all day bringing in the other show homes and it was quite surreal seeing how this massive arena started to take shape.

See the link below for photos of the initial build up off-site and at Olympia.

Ideal Home Show – Images

The thatched roof was finished on Monday afternoon, with the straw finials kindly provided by the very talented Master Thatcher – Lee Hawkins, who knowing the tight schedule, worked over the weekend to ensure we had them for Monday. Once all the thatching works were complete, the roof had to be treated with Thatchsayf Fire Retardant. Although no obvious risk of fire, the organisers were still somewhat nervous.

There were now three days left for the rest of the house to be ready for opening on Friday morning. This was also the time left to get our stand ready, although we were unable to make a start on the stand until Thursday morning!

Our involvement in the show meant we were given prime floor space and a (very bare and basic) stand next to the thatched house right in the middle of the venue. Prior to this there were lots of meetings, calls and emails between ourselves and designers to get the stand backdrops and furniture ready for the show.

Having only been involved previously in smaller trade shows and exhibitions it’s quite difficult to explain the sheer scale and madness involved in getting this enormous venue ready.

Hopefully the images below can tell a better story.

Ideal Home Show – More Images

From the moment the show finally opened on Friday 24th March, there were thousands of people looking round the venue and the thatched roof. This continued for the next seventeen days!

The show organisers were delighted with the finished roof and the comments and feedback from all the visitors was gratefully received.

Would we do it again?

Ummm…………………why not?

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Thatch Fire Protective Membranes

There are many fire membranes on the market ‘suitable for use beneath thatch’.

Are they suitable? What’s the difference?

Nearly all fire membranes are PU (polyurethane) coated.

PU28 is still often asked for and is widely used to describe fire barriers within the thatching industry. PU28 was used as a development code for a new membrane product and this code has stuck with many membranes to this day.

There are many formulations for a PU coating, some more economical than others. Some are solvent based, while most standard PU finishes would certainly fail a smoke & toxicity test.

A membrane, PU or other may have a BS type test. What test? The testing it carries may not be an indicator of a product’s quality as some tests are not as robust as others and may not be reflective of the environment in which a product is used.

Waterproof, water resistant and breathable.

Waterproof can be defined as an objects’ capacity to be impervious – water won’t get in.

Water resistant means water isn’t going to get in easily.

Breathable

An often used but nonsense adjective. Membranes cannot breathe. Nor can wine. We can.

A ‘breathable’ membrane (or breather membrane) is water resistant and air permeable. The majority of air permeable products will have a high moisture/vapour transmission rate but will not breathe.

Check if a product is waterproof and breathable – many are!!

TAS – Thatch Firewall Membrane

Manufactured in the UK.

Looks and feels similar to a PU28 type membrane but with a far superior coating – a temperature resistant aluminised polymer system.

Tested beneath a combustible material - thatch - to meet both BS476-3:2004 & BS EN 13501-5:2005.

Designated as Broof (t4) – the highest performance in accordance within the European class – BS EN 13501-5:2005, which refers to four separate tests. The suffix (t4) indicates that Test 4 is to be used for the purposes of Approved Document B (Fire Safety) B4 External fire Spread.

Water resistant and tested for air and water vapour permeability.

Tested to meet the same smoke and fire toxicity specification for commercial aircraft.

These are just a few of the tests TAS – Thatch Firewall Membrane carries. When considering a PU28 type fire barrier for use beneath thatch, it would be worth asking a few more pertinent questions.

For further details and information about TAS – Thatch Firewall Membrane, please call the office.

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Chimneys in thatch

There are approximately 60,000 thatched properties in the UK, of which 50-80 suffer a serious fire each year, most of which are completely destroyed. 90% of the homes struck by thatch fire have a combination of a wood burning stove either a flexible chimney liner or no liner at all.

Condition
Chimneys should be checked to ensure the brick or stonework is in good condition. Old or poorly maintained chimneys with loose or missing bricks & mortar and not lined, could allow hot gases and smoke to escape into upper rooms, the loft space or directly onto the thatch. If re-thatching works are taking place and the thatch around the chimney stack is removed, the thatcher will be able to advise on its condition.

Maintenance
Ensure chimneys are regularly swept by an experienced and qualified chimney sweep. This normally needs to be done at least twice a year, however if the chimney is used frequently during the winter period then additional sweeping may be required. Your sweep will be able to offer you further advice. Many chimney engineers and other specialist companies offer a CCTV survey, this is recommended to check the internal condition of the flue.  Again check with your property insurer because some of them have a list of approved companies.

Liner
A number of thatch fires occur as a result of old or inappropriate flue liners, therefore chimneys serving either an open fire  or multi-fuel appliance should be suitably lined. Contact an appropriate professional body such as HETAS so a registered  chimney engineer can review the liner (if already installed) to ensure it is fit for purpose for the type of appliance or fire in  use.

An engineer will also be able to advise on the condition of the liner and recommend on how often it should be  checked. If you are considering installing a wood-burner or similar, again contact HETAS who will advise on the most  suitable appliance and liner for the property.

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Thatching Advisory Services to Attend National Society of Master Thatchers AGM

 

 

Thatching Advisory Services will be attending

The National Society Of Master Thatchers Annual Conference and AGM.

Entitled ‘For the Good of Thatch’

Friday 14th to Sunday 16th March 2014

 

It is to held at The Norfolk Arms Hotel, Arundel in West Sussex.

The agenda will include discussions on: The Thatch Mark Standard, Chimney safety and Fire barriers and insulation.

 

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Thatching at the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show

Master Thatcher Grant Batchelor recently appeared at the National Homebuilding & Renovating show.

The show, which was held at the NEC, Birmingham, saw Grant demonstrating his craft on a stand organised by the Heritage Skills HUB.

Heritage Skills HUB is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company, set up to promote and support traditional building skills to all those who care for traditional buildings.

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Destroyed by arsonists – Seaton shelter is rebuilt and rethatched.

Thatching Advisory Services - Thatched  Shelter

 Local Thatched Landmark – Restored

Following the arson attack in March of this year, the cliff-top shelter in Seaton, East Devon has been totally restored.

Seaton's thatched shelter - fire damaged.

Thatching Advisory Services advised East Devon District Council with regard to the provision of Fire Barriers as part of the reconstruction of the shelter. Prior to the new thatch going on, the top and underside of the roof timbers were clad with TAS100 Thatch Fireboard and Thatchbatts® were placed between each of the timbers.

Thatching Advisory Services TAS100 thatchfire boards and Thatchbatts®

 

 

Once the rebuilding and fire prevention works were completed, the shelter was completely re-thatched by local Master Thatcher, Philip White.

 

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Thatched Galleon Sails In On Crest Of A Roof!

Thatched Ship

Thatching Advisory Services visited a newly thatched property in the pretty village of Lympstone, the thatching was carried out by West Country Thatchers.

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Thatcher Simon Sinkinson at Chelsea Flower Show

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Beardshaw returned to Chelsea this May with a design to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Furzey Gardens in Hampshire and the achievements of its learning disability team.  Simon Sinkinson, an experienced and talented thatcher collaborated with Chris to build the spectacular thatched Lantern Folly in the Garden.

Furzey Gardens Charitable Trust operates in conjunction with its sister charity, the Minstead Training Project, to provide a wide range of services for students with learning disabilities. The students are helping to grow plants for the show garden and assisting Chris in the garden build. This is the first time students with learning difficulties have been involved directly with a Chelsea garden. (source: www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/2012)

Simon undertakes contracts for the National Trust, The Barker-Mills Estates and Furzey Gardens as well as countless private houses and agricultural buildings throughout the  New Forest and further afield. If you’d like to see more of Simons photo’s of his involvement at Chelsea check out his blogspot.

http://www.tinydoors.com/building-the-lantern-at-chelsea-flower-show/

http://www.sinkinson-thatching.co.uk