Hagg Farm Outdoor Education Centre
Set in the Peak District's Upper Derwent Valley, Hagg Farm is a residential outdoor education centre. Its 18th century buildings have been converted into a vibrant, habitable space with dormitories, catering facilities, bathrooms, an indoor climbing wall and communal areas.
In May 2018, we were brought in to investigate a rainwater leak in a new extension. Our detailed survey of the building established that the roof and external wall required extensive work. We devised a way to carefully repair the roof and solve these complex problems, while the centre stayed open.
Once they began investigating, our structural engineers discovered that a previous dormitory extension, carried out by another company, was at the heart of the problem.
The roof and solar panels had been incorrectly installed, damaging the roof slates and letting rainwater run into the fabric of the building. As a result, structural elements of the extension were beginning to rot.
While the survey showed the building was safe for the moment, work was needed to make sure it stayed that way, long term. If it became unsafe, the centre would have to temporarily close, seriously compromising its profitability and sustainability.
Closure really wasn’t an option, so our engineers assessed the extent of the damage and recommended the most effective way to fix it, while keeping the centre up and running.
We began by covering the dormitory roof with a bespoke tent made from EnviroWrap sheeting. We then installed a temporary dividing wall in the dormitory corridor, separating the work site from public areas. To make sure the centre could still deliver a great service, we provided temporary facilities including freezer storage for the catering team.
With all of this in place, we were able to remove and replace one side of the roof, realigning and rebuilding the inside of the wall beneath, while keeping the original stonework in place. We also salvaged the original solar panels so they could be reused.
Carrying out such a complex project while the centre stayed open meant close, constant communication was key, ensuring the centre could continue its activities safely. We built a strong working relationship with everyone involved, helping us work efficiently through each challenge that arose.
Careful planning and management, as well as effective separation of work areas, meant we kept the site safe for its visitors and staff, including large numbers of school children. We were also able to maintain the security and integrity of the buildings throughout the project so, despite the weather conditions, there were no further leaks.
The £450k project was completed on time and on budget in July 2019. The building now has a new roof and guttering which, unlike the faulty roof, fully align with the original planning permission. We also installed four skylights, creating lots of natural light within the building, and provided a bespoke unit to house the solar panels without damaging the tiles.
By thoroughly investigating the cause of the leak, we took a long-term view of the project, carrying out essential safety work which has helped secure Hagg Farm’s future. Keeping the centre open for business throughout played a major part in this, and the temporary measures we put in place helped to protect the farm’s income, reputation and sustainability.