An unusual commission for us, the client in this instance required conversion of an existing brick-built garage to accommodate an observatory alongside some storage space. The garage was in a poor state of repair, with a leaking and rotting felt/timber roof and wasn’t built particularly brilliantly in the first place – the walls weren’t quite straight!
We began by making a detailed survey of the brickwork, taking measurements to ensure that the end result would both fit, and work well as an observatory. We noted that the wall height presented an additional challenge – the telescope would need to be mounted unusually high, and an observing platform would need to be installed in order to keep horizons low enough.
Work started with removing a cubic metre of the concrete garage floor, allowing installation of a similarly-sized concrete base for the telescope pier – a custom-height pier commissioned specially from Altair Astro. The concrete base uses a stronger-than-usual mix known as C35 which allows for the forces expected on the bolts that secure the pier to it.
Following that, a platform, along with a step, giving an overall height of approx 500mm was installed, giving the observatory the same great horizons and all-sky view you’d expect from any other roll-off-roof design.
Finally, we installed the new roof, a gently sloping flat roof with a split-level design. This is covered with our usual premium EPDM rubber membrane and trims, and in this instance we faced the sides with beautiful-looking dark grey UPVC fascias.