A METALLIC roof of a college building could heat up a Jericho street in the summer, residents fear Concerns have been raised by those living in Worcester Place about materials to be used for the new roof of the old Ruskin College building.
Exeter College is currently demolishing the south and west sides of the building to make room for a new quad.
Construction firm Mace, which is managing the project, has invited residents to see materials for its plan and reassure them.
South Jericho Residents’ Assocation chairman Chris Johnson said: “We have some concerns about the roof, which comes a long way down the side of the building.
“It is a metallic design, which means there is potential for extra heat. We want to understand more about the materials to see if there could be reflectivity problems.”
Mr Johnson said he was concerned the roof could have a similar effect to London’s 20 Fenchurch Street – known as the “Walkie Talkie” – skyscaper, which last year melted parts of cars in streets below.
He added: “It does not fall back in on itself in the same way the Walkie Talkie does, but [the street] already gets very hot in the summer and we don’t want that to get worse.
“The college has so far put a lot of effort into getting this scheme right and it was a planning condition for them to review this.”
A meeting between residents and Mace is expected to happen this month, although a date had not yet been confirmed, Mr Johnson said.
In a statement to Oxford City Council in July 2013, Exeter College said there would be no “significant” reflection onto Worcester Place homes.
In a public consultation it also gave residents a chance to comment on three variations of surface for use on the roof, all made of stainless steel.
The “bronze and Champagne shingles”, of different levels of reflectivity, were sanded and “bead blasted” to different degrees and were slightly diffferent shades.
The college said in a statement to the council: “The principle concerns raised over the stainless steel cladding relate to colour and reflectivity levels of the shingles.
“The project team has taken further action to reduce the glow through manufacturing processes such as sanding and blasting.”
Feedback from the consultation revealed people favoured the ‘low reflective’ mock-up panel.
Mace spokeswoman Alexandra Hellyer, told the Oxford Mail the firm did not belive heat reflecting from the panels would be an issue.
She said: “The college’s design team does not consider there to be any risks of the nature described in respect of the proposed roof, particularly as the architects are carefully consulting with the manufacturers.
“Those discussions are still ongoing and the college will be consulting with residents as soon as the samples become available.”
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