Byker Estate with Mini Stonewold

The world renowned Byker Estate was in need of a new and affordable roofing solution.
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The Project

The re-roofing of the Grade II* Listed Byker Estate in Newcastle-upon-Tyne demonstrates how collaboration between the roofing contractor, the manufacturer and client can preserve a striking roofscape.

Designed by architect Ralph Erskine and built between 1969 and 1983, the Byker Estate is Listed because of its “groundbreaking design … influential across Europe … and pioneering model of public participation”. Its roofscape – a mixture of BMI Redland Mini Stonewold slate and competitor tiles in a bespoke colour, Byker Black – is part of that “ground-breaking design”.

  • Project Name: Byker estate

  • Contractor Name: Wensley Roofing Ltd

  • Client Name: Byker Community Trust (BCT)


The Client

“The Byker Estate, with its distinctive colours and architecture, is world-renowned and attracts visitors from all over the world. BMI and our partners have helped to preserve and rejuvenate the roofs, which has also improved the visual appearance of the whole estate.”

Michelle Bell, Director of Property and Development at Byker Community Trust

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The Contractor

“We received excellent support and technical back up from BMI, both in design and on-site once work commenced. The roofs themselves were relatively straightforward thanks to this assistance.They also made suggestions and could answer questions from our team.”

Steven Luke, Director of Wensley Roofing

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The Challenge

The Challenge

The main challenge of this project was to ensure that the 21st century products that were used to roof the estate matched what had been there before, as some of these were unique to the Byker Estate.

On a normal scheme these would, for instance, have been replaced with plastic yet on Byker timber fascia boards and cast iron pipes were reinstated and painted in the original bespoke RAL colours. Similarly, there were plywood bird boxes on the roof ridges that had to be removed and replaced with exact replicas. Roofing details such as miniature parapet walls also had to be reproduced using modern materials.

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The Solution

The Solution

The original tiles on the Byker roofs are no longer in production. Instead, BMI produced a specification using BMI Redland Mini Stonewold slate and Grovebury tiles in Charcoal Grey, with all dry fix components, and assigned a technical specification manager to inspect the installation at regular intervals. As every detail had to be replaced like-for-like, he was able to advise on details such as miniature parapet walls.

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The Impact

The Impact

Through working closely with BMI Redland and Wensley Roofing, the Byker Community Trust (BCT) now has new roofs that are affordable, approved by Historic England and the planning department of the local authority, and are backed by guarantees for up to 60 years.

BMI and the contractor helped to preserve and rejuvenate the roofs, which has also improved the visual appearance of the whole estate. This highly complex programme was delivered on time, to quality and within budget and has resulted in high customer

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Mini Stonewold System

Mini Stonewold System

Ideal for buildings ranging from traditional to ultra-modern providing a striking classic concrete slate effect roof.

A system designed for mono or duo pitched roofs, using Mini Stonewold tiles that is ideal for use in new build or refurbishment situations. The Mini Stonewold tile provides a practical, durable and cost effective alternative to natural slate.

Key features and benefits

  • Imitation bond line to mimic small slates

  • Can be installed on roof pitches as low as 17.5 degrees

  • Peace of mind with complete system from one trusted supplier

  • Clean, bold roof aesthetics

  • Value roofing solution with no trade-off in quality

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