External restoration
External restoration

Oxford University Press


Replacement of slate roofs


A complicated slate roof replacement requiring considerable temporary works. Beard was initially awarded a contract to replace Wing A, the project doubled in size as we negotiated Wing E to commence simultaneously.

Two 90m long roofs and a further smaller roof had their slate tiles stripped and replaced. Works included installing a layer of insulation, repairing asphalt, replacing lead gulleys, and internal decorations to make good.

The contract also included stone cleaning large areas of the building using torc and doff techniques, cast iron rainwater repairs and repair of aluminium windows.

Negotiating works

Following our efficient delivery of Wing A, the customer asked us to negotiate further roof repairs to Wing E.

These works were carried out concurrently using the same equipment and project team that were already on site, and therefore causing as little disturbance and cost to the client as possible.






University of Oxford


David Barrington

Quantity Surveyor

David Barrington

Form of Contract

JCT Minor Works


Old slate tiles were removed from the roof, to be reused on a subsequent building.

The stone was cleaned with pressurised water and tiny scrubbing brushes to remove dirt, rather than using abrasive chemicals.

Temporary Works

We collaborated with the scaffold designer, structural engineer and temporary works engineer to calculate the load bearing capabilities of the existing structure and what requirements were needed from the temporary works in order to produce a scaffold design.

Wing A was adjacent to the original print shop in Wing K. A novel propping system was designed which acted as a bridge over Wing A, in order to bolt the scaffold brackets to Wing A, the concrete was broken to expose the steel frame. On completion, we made good the concrete, no marks were left on Wing K.


  • Asbestos sheets were found in the roof, wall, flue extract and plant room
  • The best quality slate was sourced from a quarry in Wales. Some of the slate that was being excavated was too thin or had a poor grain, and it took slightly longer to fulfill the quantity required
  • Driver shortages during the global pandemic led to delays in transporting the slate from Wales to Oxford