Oldham Road, Manchester

Posted by Ashlea Williamson

The Oldham Road project, envisioned by the acclaimed Tim Groom Architects, stands as a testament to innovative architectural design in Manchester city centre. Comprising 144 apartments across 12 stories, this development harmoniously integrates with its surroundings, nestled amidst historic landmarks and vacant plots.

The architect conceptualised a modern ‘mill’ building, inspired by Manchester’s industrial past as ‘Cottonopolis’, paying homage to the area’s rich heritage of printing businesses. This vision aligns seamlessly with Manchester’s Neighbourhood Development Framework (NDF), enriching the urban landscape with a blend of tradition and modernity.

A key architectural feature is the bespoke large glass rooflight, strategically installed to infuse the interior spaces with natural light. The rooflight’s louvered panelling system and its proximity to the lift overrun added further complexity to the interfaces that required waterproofing. This was easily overcome by our experienced approved contractors, Primeseal Roofing. The waterproofing detailing was achieved by using a hybrid warm roof system, comprising of Hydrotech Hot Melt and Derbigum bituminous membranes.

The facade of the structure showcases individual inset balconies, while a spacious recreational terrace adorned with a green roof fosters biodiversity and tranquillity. Planters and foliage not only provide privacy and shade but also attract wildlife, contributing to Biodiversity Net Gain, a vital aspect of sustainable urban development.

To address the complexities of the project, the architect specified a combination of Alumasc’s Hydrotech Hot Melt and Caltech QC cold-applied liquid roofing solutions. Both systems boasting BBA certification, were meticulously installed by registered contractors, Primeseal Roofing, ensuring the client’s investment in a durable, futureproof roofing solution. Backed by Alumasc’s comprehensive support services, the project symbolises excellence in design and construction, setting a benchmark for urban redevelopment initiatives.


The Alumasc Hydrotech Hot Melt system, featuring a proprietary blend of refined asphalts and synthetic rubbers with 30% recycled content, was meticulously applied to the main field area as the cornerstone waterproofing solution for the project.

Hydrotech can be utilised in a range of applications, ranging from roofing, green roofs, podium decks, and structural waterproofing, making it an ideal choice for this diverse installation. With a proven track record spanning over 50 years, Hydrotech stands as a trusted solution, backed by rigorous certification and testing protocols.

Hydrotech ensures a fully bonded, 100% seamless application to the substrate. This seamless approach significantly mitigates the risk of leaks and water ingress, thereby safeguarding the building against potential water damage over time. The durability and longevity inherent in Hydrotech offers the assurance of extended service life with minimal maintenance requirements, contributing to the sustainability and resilience of the structure.

A late stage design modification introduced a louvre screen around the rooftop plant to obscure street-level views, posing a challenge to the existing waterproofing layout. The monolithic and forgiving nature of the Hydrotech Hot Melt system facilitated the addition of 10 steel columns to accommodate the screen seamlessly. This challenge was effectively addressed by integrating pitch pockets around each post, ensuring the integrity of the waterproofing system remained uncompromised.

In summary, the Alumasc Hydrotech Hot Melt system emerged as a robust and flexible waterproofing solution, offering unparalleled protection against water intrusion while accommodating design alterations with ease and efficiency.

Intricate Detail

The intricate nature of the facade necessitated the attachment of balustrades to the upstands, resulting in
constrained spaces that demanded a secondary waterproofing layer to accommodate field sheeting and
bracketry. In response to this challenge and to ensure comprehensive waterproofing where posts intersected the field waterproofing, we utilised our Caltech QC cold-applied detailing system.

The Caltech QC high-performance roofing system features a rapid-curing, two-component, cold-applied PMMA waterproofing solution, supplemented by insulation boards and air and vapor control layers (AVCL). With a proven track record exceeding 20 years, Caltech QC undergoes rigorous certification and testing, guaranteeing reliability and durability. Its wet-on-wet application, coupled with embedded polyester fleece, yields a seamless membrane that achieves rainproof status in just 30 minutes.

This adaptable system caters to the unique requirements of each project, offering a selection of colours and optional finishes. Suitable for both refurbishment and new build roofing and waterproofing endeavours, Caltech QC demonstrates versatility across various building sectors.

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Flat Roof Membranes,
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