Netherdale Stand – Kemper Systems
Gala Fairydean Rovers FC
Concrete Repairs Ltd (CRL)
As a liquid waterproofing specialist, Kemper System, was selected and provided a durable solution for the essential repair works at Gala Fairydean Rovers FC’s Netherdale Stand in Galashiels, Scotland.
The Category A listed building, categorised by Historic Environment Scotland to protect buildings of special architectural or historical interest, has undergone a £1.45m major revamp of concrete repairs to protect its much-loved heritage for the team and its fans.
The 1960s concrete structure attracts visitors from around the world and has been described as “iconic”.
The £1.45m overhaul of the stand – which was originally designed by renowned architect, Peter Womersley – first opened in 1965. It was an early example of shuttered concrete being used to create a gravity-defying cantilevered canopy and the first in the UK to use a cantilever design.
Following the repair works, it was officially reopened to coincide with a home game in September 2022, with Rangers B in the Scottish Lowland League.
It marks the completion of a long journey for the stand which divides opinion among the public. It was closed in 2018 due to safety concerns, until Scottish Borders Council granted planning permission for a complete overhaul and upgrade with the refurbishment generating worldwide interest within the modernist architectural movement.
As part of the refurbishment works, a total of 600 sq. m of Kemperol 2K-PUR was installed to waterproof the stand’s roof area and a number of verticals on this unusual concrete design and structure.
The six-month programme of works at the 500-capacity stand, also included restoring some of its original features and fixing damage caused by spalling, as well as reinforcing the roof’s substrate and restoring concrete across the entire stand.
Principal contractors, Concrete Repairs Ltd (CRL), worked in close consultation with Kemper System to enhance the waterproofing performance by addressing leaks and damage to the existing concrete substrate.
Kemper System’s 2K-PUR solution is the only cold liquid-applied wet-on-wet waterproofing product in the UK which is sustainably sourced and completely odourless. Approved contractors first applied a primer onto the concrete substrate before the 2K-PUR liquid waterproofing using a reinforcement fleece in-between applications to ensure consistency.
Manufactured using an 80 per cent castor-oil formula derived from sustainable sources, Kemper’s 2K-PUR liquid system bonds directly to the substrate forming a seamless, elastomeric waterproof membrane that cannot delaminate and is UV stable.
Tony Parsons, senior site manage at Concrete Repairs Ltd (CRL), said: “This was quite an advanced design for 1960s concrete architecture. The refurbishment project presented many challenges, so a lot of thought had to go into the right waterproofing solution – especially thinking about the detailing up the verticals on the roof, and material access to site. Kemperol 2K-PUR solution is easy and quick to apply, with minimal materials required on site, yet fully meets the durability requirements to ensure a sustainable solution for many years.
“The complexity of the project is quite deceiving, and from ground level you may be forgiven for thinking waterproofing the roof would be fairly straightforward, however, the aerial pictures provide a very different perspective. As well as cleaning and repairing all the concrete, our team also demolished and rebuilt brick walls, installed new glazing and ventilation, and refurbished the turnstiles to their original state.”
The stand is a much-loved landmark for local fans as well as visitors from across the UK and beyond. The repair works were complex due to the design of the building, yet Kemper’s versatile qualities and durability, means the club can have peace of mind hosting many more matches here, for years to come.