June 2013

We are currently improving the ventilation system for the roof of the Queen Anne Court.

The roofs of the 300-year old buildings at the Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) have traditionally been covered in lead. Over the last 40 years the roofs on all the main buildings, including the domes, have been replaced or restored. During a recent survey of the Queen Anne Court roof it was brought to our attention that there were some areas of the lead roofing which needed to be restored.

In the 1980s, when the buildings were occupied by the Royal Navy prior to the whole site being taken over by the Greenwich Foundation, a new lead roof was installed on the Queen Anne Court. The new lead roof used a recently-developed system of insulation. Unfortunately it was later discovered that this system, which uses a vapour control membrane between the lead and insulation, does not allow sufficient air to circulate, causing the lead to sweat and corrode, leading to underside corrosion.

Fortunately, having spotted the issues very early on we have now introduced new lead vents to the existing lead roof covering. Here the new ventilators have been welded on to the larger sheets of lead roofing, which will allow the lead to breathe once. We have also extended the roof gullies to avoid the water traveling back onto the roof causing leakages.

In June 2013 the restoration process began and saw sections of the lead roof removed and transported to our workshop within the grounds of the ORNC. Upon completion the new lead roof should last its life span of 50 years.

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