Focus on Rochdale Riverside 26 Nov 2019


Rochdale Riverside

Over the last 12 months, we have carried out our largest project to date working on the new Rochdale Riverside project for Willmott Dixon Construction.  Here we’ll take a look at how we came to be involved on the project and how it has developed into one of the stand out developments in the North West.

Working with Willmott Dixon

Prior to Rochdale Riverside we had worked for Willmott Dixon on a number of local schemes, but nothing compared to size of a project like Rochdale Riverside.  The roofing and cladding package, valued around £4.5m, consisted of various roofing and cladding products across all 4 blocks.  At tender stage, with limited design information we were able to pull together a comprehensive bid, including programme and logistical proposals which gave Willmott Dixon the peace of mind that we were the company to deliver such a complex, architectural package.  Several meetings during the tender and post tender process were held, looking at access, programme, plant, materials and design.  It was a service we were happy to commit to carrying out, working as part of the team.

Steelwork of cinema and cladding of cinema



Being involved early gave us to opportunity to make changes to the design which would benefit the build sequence.  Lightweight deck roof areas to the cinema block were swapped out for concrete slabs to enable scissor lifts to be lifted up to access some of the 64 elevations.  Roof slopes to the North and South blocks were simplified to omit valley gutters, thus eliminating future maintenance issues.  In total, we produced over 1000 drawings during the design period.

Our Lead designer for the project, Tom Mead had this to say on his involvement –

Presenting a challenging design target, the project required tailored details for each interface across all buildings, from the 60+ Euramax Canyon Copper shingled facets on the Cinema Block, to the traditionally installed Pagoda Blue Rimex single lock cladding on the Pavilion block. In total, just short of 1200 installation drawings were produced.”

Curved shopfront steelwork and cladding



Due to the planning and necessity for certain road closures, the Cinema Block was the first area to commence.  It was also logistically the most complex.  The key to the success of the build on this block was changing the roof substrate.  The switch from purlins to concrete decks enabled the use of scissor lifts to clad the elevations with shingles.  Long spanning Eurobond composite panels were installed with specialist lifting attachments to the columns.  This removed any requirement for cladding rails or SFS.

The North and South Blocks brought further interesting logistical challenges, with site rolled Euroclad SF500 roof panels installed at 48.5m long. The panels were rolled on site at ground level and then lifted to the roof areas using a 46m lifting beam

Crane with long lifting beam to lift roof panels onto roof

The Marks and Spencer block involved the installation of Eurobond composite panels with raking cuts on the ground prior to lifting.  The precision of the workmanship on this block has brought particular praise from the client. They noted that it was one of the highest quality installations they have seen on one of their stores.

Our Senior Contract Manager and Rochdale Riverside Project Leader Lee Smith –

“This has been one of the most difficult projects I have been involved in, due to the site logistics and access restriction imposed on us during the construction. From organising multiple crane lifts, operatives working night shifts, daily co-ordination meetings with other trades to ensure all the detailed interfaces are installed correctly and in the correct sequenced. This would then ensure the works were installed to highest possible quality, whilst also achieving the clients/architects expectations and vision.   The team and myself have enjoyed being involved in the project from day one working alongside the Willmott Dixon site team. Working together we have produced what i believe to be a fantastic looking project”  

Steelwork and cladding to marks on spencer


Key Products and Suppliers


Mosaic of Rochdale products

F5, S5 and Rainspan composite panels provided by Eurobond

Elite built up roofing and cladding systems provided by Euroclad

Hot melt inverted roof system manufactured by Danosa

Kinetic wall fabricated by Lang and Fulton

Pre-coated aluminium for shingles manufactured by Euramax

Specialist fasteners provided by SFS

Rockpanel Lines rainscreen provided by Rockpanel

Helping hand bracket and rail systems manufactured by Nvelope

Insulation products and membranes supplied by Encon

Bespoke aluminium perforated rainscreen fabricated by Proteus

Aluminium Copings fabricated by Guttermaster

Bespoke fabrications and flashings fabricated by Architectural Steel

Written by Steven Jones



What our clients say

"Longworth’s expertise in the traditional metal roofing trade proved invaluable. We would like to thank them for working closely with us to achieve our original vision."

Katy Heath, Nightingale Associates