A colossal Primark, covering 14,761m² and taking up an entire shopping centre, has recently opened in the heart of Birmingham’s retail district following the installation of a vast Sika Sarnafil single ply membrane roof.

Newly crowned the world’s largest fashion retail store by Guinness World Records, the five-floor store opened its doors to thousands of visitors on Thursday 11 April, and has already become a must-see destination, despite opening amidst a struggling high street.

Built from the ground upwards on the site of the old Pavilions shopping centre, Sika Sarnafil specified Sarnafil G410-18EL Felt polymeric membrane to protect the £70 million development.

The robust waterproofing solution was chosen thanks to the product’s versatility, high quality and all-encompassing warranty, while Sarnafil
Liquid Detailing Sikalastic 621 TC was also specified for additional work later on in the project. 

Tasked with the roof’s installation by main contractors Mace Construction, roofing contractor BriggsAmasco was faced with a challenging job. Aside from the sheer enormity of the roof – an area close to the size of two football pitches – the Sarnafil polymeric membrane needed to be bonded to a variety of different materials, including existing felt and asphalt and new concrete and timber roof areas.Hundreds of interface details also required extra attention and care to ensure the waterproofing was not compromised, while retro fitting elements such as tapered schemes and cladding proved particularly difficult due to time pressures caused by delays earlier in the project. 

However, with increased work hours, regular visits from Sika Technicians and thorough health and safety measures taken, the project was able to progress, successfully working towards the rescheduled finish date. 

Kris Bryan, branch manager at BriggsAmasco says: “Although a challenging project, the support from Sika, expertise of our team and ease of use of the Sika products meant the roofing installation was completed to an excellent standard that we, and the client, are incredibly pleased with.” Having secured a 25-year Sarnafil plus guarantee, the newly built roof will ensure this record-breaking store and its contents – including, among  endless aisles of Primark’s fashion and accessory designs, a beauty studio, t-shirt printing service and three dining experiences – will be protected for decades to come.