The Reformed church in Békés was recently renovated with PREFA materials
Although aluminum is more associated with the new and modern, in the construction industry it is becoming more and more common to use metal roofing on the roofs of historic buildings. A striking example of this is the roof of the Reformed church in Békés, recently renovated with PREFA materials.
Aluminum roofing on listed buildings is no longer new, its tradition dates back to 1886. The dome of the San Gioacchino Cathedral in Rome was the first to be covered with this type of covering - at that time in a completely natural, uncolored design. The choice proved to be timeless, since only a few small, insignificant repairs had to be made to it in the past nearly 140 years.
The plans for the renovation of the roof of the Békés Reformed Church are attributed to the architect Czira Roland, and its implementation to tinsmith János Herbert. Aluminum cladding was used for the roof renovation, but it is a much more modern product of our company. Visiting architect and project manager Sándor Forró introduced us to the details of the unusual project.
Wonder what the shell covers?
The construction of the Békés church began in 1748, and the next major renovation was carried out in 1905, when the tower trunk was raised. The tower seen in its present form was then added to the church. As a result of the 1978 earthquake, the structure of the building was weakened, so reinforced concrete was reinforced above the vaults in the attic, in the gallery landings and in the pillar towers. In 2017, the tower was renovated, and in 2020, the diocese asked Czira Roland to prepare the renovation plan for the roof. The local patriotic designer practically examined the structure from rafter to rafter to get an accurate picture of its condition. Finally, he established that although repairs had been made to the roof 12 years earlier, they were not really professional, so the old slate covering of the church cracked over the years, soakings occurred. Fortunately, these soakings were not yet visible in the interior, but they damaged the rafters, the roof structure and, in certain places, the facade, so based on the first estimates, he saw it as realistic to replace 70% of the decking. As the work progressed, it became increasingly clear that the final result would far exceed this: almost 100% of the decking was replaced. "The depressing conditions were somewhat offset by the fact that some gems were also found during the inspection: the carpenter and his assistant who carried out the previous conversion also left a memory for us, both of them engraved their names and the date 1905 in the rafters." Sándor Forró recalled.
The ideal cover
"The simple roof shape was originally made with small-element rhombus roofing, and since PREFA offers rhombus roofing in several sizes, this roof is almost crying out for PREFA roofing!" - we learned from a colleague who supports the work of architects. He then added: "Due to the much more modest size of the side roofs compared to the large and imposing main nave, we immediately used two sizes of PREFA's rhombus roofing: the main nave was 44x44, while the side roofs were 29x29."
Since 5 of the PREFA rhombus roofs, which are made with H42 material, already produce one square meter, you can work with them quickly. At the same time, its weight is only 2.6 kg/m², which is ideal for this type of covering, since the roof structure cannot withstand a large load. Another advantage is that it can be used from a low angle of 12 degrees (in the case of a rafter length shorter than 7 meters), since it is not fixed with hafters, but with its own fixing strip. This also contributes to the fact that water cannot penetrate even in the event of wind back pressure. Thanks to the FD.TEC technology, the PREFA rhombus coverings contain a frequency-absorbing band, which helps to reduce noise, while thanks to the coil coating, the surface is not only color-retaining, but also resistant to external influences. So overall, it's really the best choice for the project.
The layering of the roof from the outside to the inside is as follows: PREFA rhombus roofing, bituminous separation layer, full-surface one-inch decking, thickened and installed under it, i.e. in a joint.
Complete PREFA system on the roof
And not just the shell PREFA on top of the monument! But also the almost 120 running meters of horizontal eaves, the ventilation, which starts from under the tin plating under the horizontal eaves, the snow collection, and the snow cutters distributed over the entire surface of the roof. In addition, our company's ready-made ridge ventilation system was installed, as well as corrugated roofing around the tower. The scalloped cover was not necessary for technical reasons, as it would have been perfect with a rhombus cover, however, due to the age-appropriate appearance and the preservation of the original cover image, the designer decided against it. Of course, wall connections were also necessary for the corrugated roofing.
Lightning protection also had to be taken care of. PREFA coverings are accepted by the Hungarian Standards Board as part of the lightning protection system up to 100 kA as a natural arrester, only the arresting peaks and the arresters under the eaves must be designed. In the event that this is not enough, and it was not the case with this roof either, an earthing wire must be pulled out, and PREFA stainless steel clips were also used for its aesthetic fixation.
The use of two different-sized rhombuses to cover the nave and the wings also gave the roof a plus: although they are different, they still show a unified image due to the size of the surfaces.
In addition to the right materials, of course, professional knowledge and precise, accurate work were also necessary for the birth of an exemplary roof not only in terms of function, but also from an aesthetic point of view. All this praises the expertise of János Herbert tinsmith.