Pinewood Studio in Cardiff may be the location where Dr Who regularly saves the Universe but there was no intergalactic crisis when the building’s 16,000m2 roof needed to be refurbished recently.

Instead, Sika Liquid Plastics’ Sikalastic® 625 cold applied liquid membrane provided the ideal solution to protect the building from Wales’ famously wet climate while enabling a low key project that didn’t disrupt filming on the many Hollywood movies and acclaimed TV shows filmed there, which have included James Bond, Harry Potter and Sherlock.

The integrity of the roof is business critical for Pinewood Studio as the building is not only a location where high profile stars go to film but the company must also be able to deliver projects to strict filming and production schedules. What’s more, the high value cameras, lighting and equipment within the building could be damaged by water ingress or a damp and humid environment.

metal roof refurbishment
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Wear and tear had started to compromise the roof and a robust overlay solution was required that would fully encapsulate the roof and all detailing while enabling Pinewood Studio to operate on a business as usual basis throughout the works. Sika Liquid Plastics’ Sikalastic® 625 membrane, with its cold-applied application was ideally suited to the project’s needs, enabling installation with minimum equipment by a small team to significantly reduce the risk of nuisance noise during filming.

Sika Liquid Plastics’ technical team carried out a site audit, including core sampling of the existing substrate, to assist in development of a full technical specification. The survey discovered extensive standing water on the roof due to defects in the existing waterproofing, particularly in the gutters where a poorly designed overlay project had resulted in dams along the gutter line, caused by seams that had been sealed with bracing pieces.


Sika Liquid Plastics Quality Assured (QA) contractor, Central Roofing, was appointed to carry out the project and used the ridges on the existing composite panel roof to calculate consistent levels of liquid application per m2 to ensure a robust installation across the entire roof surface.

The contractor drained the standing water from the roof to enable preparation of the substrate and the gutter details, which were fully encapsulated as part of the monolithic Sikalastic® 625 membrane.

The roof features cladded upstands and parapet cappings, which presented an increased risk of water ingress due to their mechanical fixings. Central Roofing replaced all parapet cappings with metal roof cappings, taking the liquid system up under the capping in several areas.

The project also included reinstalling the waterproofing of an existing glazed unit above the building’s reception area, which had been the source of water ingress following heavy rainfall. Central Roofing replaced the existing hatch with a new Sika Decolight access hatch allowing ladder access to the central roof, which fully encapsulated the opening.

Sikalastic® 625’s ease of use and curing process enabled Central Roofing to deliver a flexible programme, allowing the reduced team to vacate areas of the roof immediately above filming locations as required. In addition, every two weeks the client, building occupier, Sika Liquid Plastics and Central Roofing met to share information, provide updates and ensure any concerns could be met and dealt with.

Throughout the 32 week programme, Sika Liquid Plastics’ technical team carried out regular, fully-documented quality inspections, culminating in a final inspection prior to project handover. The final inspection report and guarantee were also accompanied by a maintenance guide to ensure the client benefits from the Sikalastic® 625 system’s maximum potential service life.

""While we would normally assign a larger team to a roof of this size, the speed and ease of application of the Sikalastic® 625 system made it viable to carry out the project in a very low key way to minimise noise and allow filming and production to continue uninterrupted.”" Richard Rigby, Contracts Director - Central Roofing