Biffa waste recycling offices

Published on 7th June 2019
Biffa waste
  • Division: Flat Roofing
  • Client: Wilkinson Environmental
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Sector: Commercial

The Problem – Water Ingress

Avonside Midlands Flat Roofing were asked to help client, Wilkinson Environmental, find a cost-effective and viable solution to resolve the problem of the Biffa waste recycling office building’s roof in High Wycombe from leaking. The water ingress the building was suffering from was a result of the existing EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) system having failed. Computers were kept on the top floor of the office building, so it was vital that the issue was solved efficiently and promptly.

The Solution

After Avonside Midlands carried out surveys of the site to assess the client’s needs, scale of the issue and scope of the project, we proposed installation of the Renolit PVC Single Ply system (total square meterage: 700m²) as a viable and cost-effective solution, with a 20-year warranty that met the client’s requirements.

Our proposal was accepted and in January 2018 we began installing a 1.5mm thick Renolit PVC Single Ply Alkorplan system in light grey (product code: 35196). The membrane was fastened mechanically. While Renotlit supplied the main roofing accessories, the fixings manufacturer was Fixfast Ltd and the other products used in the project were by Olympic. The installation was successfully completed in March 2018, headed up by the Project Lead, Matthew Savage, who is L2 NVQ single ply qualified.

Logistical Challenges

As the Biffa waste recycling building was still a ‘live’ functioning office while we worked on-site, we had to be considerate and mindful and keep noise to a minimum. Part of the project involved drilling and the noise restrictions meant we couldn’t drill at certain times. We worked around the office workers, who equally worked around us by sometimes using laptops so they could occasionally work on portable devices in a different location.

Parking was also limited on the site due to the site being in-use by office workers at the time. Scaffolding needed to be erected, which Wilkinson Environmental collaborated with us on, organising the scaffolding for us as well as providing us with a fork lift to get all the necessary materials up to us on the roof conveniently and efficiently in one day. The scaffolding did take up some car parking spaces.


Due to the site being a functioning office, completing the project to a high standard in the designated 3-week schedule was imperative so staff could have access to car parking spaces again. We’re proud to say the job was largely completed in 2 and a half weeks, ahead of schedule.

Environmental Impact

We opted to avoid stripping the original roofing system, so the old materials didn’t have to go to the landfill. Instead, we decided to overlay the new waterproof system and avoided leaving the building exposed to the elements.

Health and Safety

Health and safety were big priorities for us, especially as we were working on a site with offices in operation. All our labourers were fully inducted in terms of Health and Safety, plus all the relevant risk assessments were carried out. Regular Toolbox talks were had with labourers and all staff, which addressed issues like the safety aspects of working at height.