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Big Yellow self storage

As one of the biggest national storage companies, Big Yellow recognises the importance of creating an environmentally friendly and sustainable business. They own 98% of their buildings and of these, 95% are run on clean energy. They’ve gradually been moving away from gas towards generating their electricity with rooftop solar PV panel systems, allowing them to greatly reduce their carbon footprint and generate their own energy.

Big Yellow had initially decided to install solar PV systems at two or three of its UK locations each year. Prior to the commencement of any solar panel installation, there were two things which had to be addressed; procuring the PV panels and ensuring that the intended roof was fit for solar.

The solar PV systems to be installed have a 25 year warranty, so aligning this with the life expectancy/warranty of the roof would be crucial. After concluding the roofs were not fit for solar in their current condition, following a report from Sharmans, the decision was to re-roof, replace or refurbish.

Re-roofing was discounted due to the risk of water ingress damaging their customer assets during the work and the lack of ‘green’ credentials and embodied carbon this would generate.

Over-sheeting was considered, again this option came with the benefit of extending the life expectancy of the roof. However, concerns were raised over the structural integrity of the building with the added weight of the additional roof. Not least when factoring in the possibility that over-sheeting could be needed again in another 20-25 years.

Finally, it was decided that roof refurbishment using Sharmans’ industry leading roof coatings would be the best course of action.

Backed by a 25 year product guarantee, Delcote® 25 represents the most sustainable solution and aligns perfectly with the expected life span and warranty of the solar panel systems. With minimal extra weight added to the roof, compared to over-sheeting, it eliminates issues with structural loading and incurs less than five times the amount of embodied carbon than replacing a roof.

A Sharmans representative conducted and produced a condition report at each site. It was decided that any roof with a life expectancy of 10 years or less would be treated with Delcote® in order to bring the roof back to the required standard. Due to the costs, time and lack of a guaranteed roof lifespan, patch repairs were immediately ruled out.

Big Yellow have refurbished the roofs at 10 locations using Delcote® 25 and each of these roofs is now guaranteed to last for at least another 25 years. Upon completion of the installations, coupled with the fact that Big Yellow sells around 80% of all the power generated back to the National Grid, it is expected that the PV panels will pay for themselves within 10 years.

You can find more information on Sharmans’ roof refurbishment systems below; alternatively, you can book a condition report for your site at: