What’s going on with the roofs of Fferm Penglais? We spoke to the construction team

Why it came off, if it will happen again and what is happening now

On Thursday 17 November a storm with raging winds caused havoc in Aberystwyth. Students at Fferm Penglais woke up to the ground shaking and a terrible sounding crack as the roof on the building they slept in was ripped off by the wind and flung nearly 100 meters away.

Five days later, repair work is nearly done, we caught up with TME FacilitiesManagement, the company doing the repair work to see how it’s going and find out if we can expect it to happen again with Aberystwyth being a stormy town.


Why the roof came off

The reason the roof came off on those blocks specifically is because they are the two blocks which are parallel to the seafront. This means that when the wind comes from the sea, it will be those two blocks which get the brunt of the battering.


Why Repairs have only just begun

Actual work started last week. When repairing a roof like that, the first thing that needs to happen is scaffolding needs to be put up. For a building that size, it took approximately four days for the scaffolding to go up. This meant that the repair work on the roof itself could only begin today. They are looking to complete block 20 today and block 17 tomorrow.


The roof on one of the Fferm Penglais laundrettes, now repaired.


Can we expect it to happen again

The fix is temporary to make the roof safe and waterproof and will need re-visting to put a permanent fix which matches the original design. The type that came off before was a dome top which was susceptible to the wind catching it from underneath as happened before. The replacement they are putting is not a dome top.

The original piece of the roof which came off?

The piece of the roof which landed at the back will have to be cut down into pieces and removed. No word as to when that will happen yet as the priority is repairing the roof that came off. We were told that the process of removing it may have to involve it being cut down before being taken away.

No confirmation on how this is done but cutting down a roof made of metal sounds like a noisy affair so residents beware.


The old roof’s top


At the time of writing this article, there are over a dozen men visibly working on getting the roof repaired and it is good to see that this has been acted on really quickly. Roofless students have not  needed to be evacuated and we’ve not heard of any real complaints  apart from a few unhappy about not having front door access.

I think the most important takeaway is that nobody was hurt and things will soon be back to normal.