January 2020

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An Inspector Calls

Contractor’s Qs

NFRC Tech Talk

















There are many ways to drive a self-drilling fastener.

And then, there’s the right way!

Self-drilling fasteners don’t ‘just’ hold things together. They are specialist components designed and manufactured to

ensure the integrity and long-term performance of roofing and cladding systems. That’s why, from tools to technique,

up-to-date knowledge of correct installation is absolutely critical, industry-wide.

EJOT UK’s ‘How To’ video guide takes a few minutes to watch

and could make a long-term difference to Best Practice.

Visit our website, follow EJOT UK on YouTube or scan the QR code

here to watch on your smart phone.

EJOT® the quality connection


Editor’s Comment




07963 330774

As much as a new year can be seen as a fresh start, for construction

and those operating throughout the supply chain, a number of the

issues from the last couple of years look set to impact long into 2020

and beyond.

Chief amongst these will be the issues around competence when it comes to

product selection and ensuring those who are making decisions have the

correct information. Within the liquid roofing sector, the LRWA has taken a

lead on this and has introduced the Product Register tool which, amongst

other things, looks to address the misinformation that exists within the market

and enable those in the supply to make informed decisions when selecting

liquid systems for specific projects. As Sarah Spink, CEO of the LRWA

explained to me: “A lot of specifiers just see if there’s a tick in the box – ‘does

it have a BBA certificate?’, if yes, they think that’s enough. People don’t seem

to realise that you still have to read the certificates to check what the

products can and can’t do.” You can read my interview with Sarah on p26.

Sticking with flat roofing and waterproofing, we have a report from Langley

Waterproofing Systems’ newly launched Waterproof Membrane Installer

course which welcomed its first group of apprentices late last year (p12),

whilst Ross Smith of Kemper System shares his top tips on how to safely

and effectively apply liquid products (p24).

Elsewhere in this issue, the BMI Inspector addresses the issues of allowing

underlay to drape into gutters (p16); Darren McGhee answers our

Contractor’s Qs (p22); plus we talk all things heritage roofing with Simon

Coleman (p32). So read on for all this and so much more!

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Publishing Director: Andy Dunn

DD: 01892 732 047

Mob: 07963 330777

Email: andydunn@media-now.co.uk

Registered office: 1 Forstal Road, Aylesford, Kent, ME20 7AU




Above: A heritage roofer from MJ Coleman & Son working on a project. Read our

heritage focus from p32 where Simon Coleman talks all things heritage roofing.

Commercial Manager: Jake Roxborough

DD: 01892 732 047

Mob: 07956 133314

Email: jakeroxborough@media-now.co.uk

The content of Total Contractor magazine (and website) does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or publishers and

are the views of its contributors and advertisers. The digital edition may include hyperlinks to third-party content, advertising,

or websites, provided for the sake of convenience and interest. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising

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Matt Downs hears how the LRWA is helping the

supply chain wade through the misinformation

that exists when it comes to liquid systems


John Mercer explains why he feels it’s a good

idea for roofers to offer a maintenance

contract, plus the areas it should address


Matt Downs talks heritage roofing including

making the move into heritage projects and

and key considerations with Simon Coleman




We take a look at Langley’s new Waterproof Membrane

Installer course and speak to the apprentices


Roofer Darren McGhee answers our questions and

talks standards, frustrations and the future of roofing


LRWA Trainer of the Year Ross Smith shares his top tips

on effectively and safely applying liquids


Jamie Riddington gives his top tips and answers some

of the more common clipping queries he receives


We take a look at the key considerations when installing

the MechSlip brick slip cladding system



John Anderson says a stand-alone thermal camera may

prove cost-effective for roofers on residential projects




The Inspector explains why the underlay should

not drape into the gutter and how to prevent this


Richard Kendrick outlines how to stay safe in

all weather conditions when on projects


The NFRC explains the considerations to take

on board when working with Scottish slate


The tapered insulation experts at QI address the

confusion around BS 6229 in relation to falls










The UK Roofing Awards, the industry’s premier awards

event is now open for entries!


Where’s the best area to start a business for tradespeople?

Confused.com think they have the answers...









Industry News



Roofers have scored poorly, but by no

means the worst, in a survey of the public

to find who they believe are the most

unprofessional tradespeople.

Interested in the perception of tradespeople,

bathroom and shower specialist

Showerstoyou surveyed 1,644 people to find

out who they believe to be the most

unprofessional tradespeople.

In the definition of ‘unprofessional’, the

survey asked participants to take into

account the quality of work, price/rates

charged, manners, punctuality and

communication skills of tradespeople.

The survey showed that the majority of Brits

crown kitchen fitters (73%) as the most

unprofessional tradespeople.

Thereafter, 69% think tilers are

unprofessional; whilst 65% feel the same

about builders and 60% point to roofers as

being unprofessional.

At the other end, it seems floorers are the

most professional tradespeople – with only

22% classifying them as unprofessional.

Additionally, those surveyed were asked to

identify the actions taken by tradespeople

they deem to be the most unprofessional.

From this, the survey showed that a

tradesperson not turning up when

arranged/agreed (81%) is the most

unprofessional thing they could do.

Subsequently, 76% do not appreciate being

overcharged. Slightly below, 73% take issue

with poor workmanship.

More news, updates and interviews at www.total-contractor.co.uk


The UK Roofing Awards, with Radmat as the The categories will also see the return of the

Headline Sponsor, has launched its call for popular Industry Choice Award, Local Hero Award,

entries for the 2020 Awards, starting its hunt Roof of the Year Award and Young Roofer of the

for the UK’s outstanding roofing projects. Year Award, which celebrates the achievements of

the industry’s newcomers. This year there are

Now in its 14th year, the UK Roofing Awards,

even more chances to win by splitting the Liquid

hosted by the National Federation of Roofing

Applied Waterproofing and Hot Melt and the

Contractors (NFRC), is the industry’s premier

Sheeting & Cladding/Rainscreen into FOUR

event, celebrating the best of British roofing

separate categories.

across ALL disciplines.

You could join Roofing’s Hall of Fame too if you

The event takes place on 1st May 2020 at the

enter your projects today.

InterContinental London – The O2. The awards

are the highlight of the roofing industry calendar, Once again, entries can be submitted through an

recognising and rewarding outstanding standards online system designed to make the entry

of workmanship and technical excellence across procedure user friendly and seamless for busy

the roofing industry.

contractors, architects and others.

The awards scheme is the most prestigious in the It’s a fantastic way to show off your stand-out

roofing sector and celebrates the very best in the projects of 2019 to peers and clients, both on the

industry across 18 categories. The categories day and after the event.

highlight beautiful structures, outstanding

The deadline for entries is 3rd February 2020.

workmanship, superior problem solving,

environmental qualities and contribution to the Please visit www.roofingawards.co.uk to submit

built environment.

your project today.


SIG Roofing is giving roofers nationwide the European Football Championship being played in

chance to win themselves a very ‘Happy New the UK. In celebrate this, SIG Roofing is kicking-off

Year’ with a month-long series of special a number of match-winning promotions for roofers

offers and giveaways.

looking to get their hands on exclusive tickets.

Running across SIG Roofing’s UK branch network, Roofers who purchase a TIL-R Universal Dry Fix

the prizes up for grabs range from holidays to Ridge Kit will have the chance to win tickets to a

tickets to top tier sporting events.

Six Nations Rugby Match, while those who buy

more than 350lm or more of SIG Roofing’s batten

With January the most popular month for sunseekers

planning their next getaway, SIG Roofing

offering could be cheering along the Three Lions at

a Euro 2020 match. Richard Kendrick, Marketing

is giving roofers the chance to get ahead of the

Manager at SIG Roofing, said: “At SIG Roofing,

game and win a trip worth £1,000. Simply by

we’re determined to make the ‘January Blues’ a

purchasing SIG Roofing’s UV-resistant FIX-Rcryl

thing of the past with our New Year giveaways.

Roof Repair System, roofers will be automatically

2020 is going to be an exciting year for SIG

entered into a prize draw for a winter sun break.

Roofing, and we’re keen to celebrate that by giving

For sporting fans, 2020 is set to be a year to our customers the chance to win big just by

remember, with key matches from both the Six visiting their local branch and taking the chance

Nations Rugby tournament and the UEFA

of some very special offers.”


Complete Building

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Kingspan’s own complete range

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Kingspan Insulated Panels RW Roof system is a factory-engineered single

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insulated gutters, superior polycarbonate daylighting, height-safety systems and a bespoke

range of corners and flashings. As a manufacturer of the complete roof system including all

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Industry News

More news, updates and interviews at www.total-contractor.co.uk


SIG Design & Technology have bid a

fond farewell to Trading Director

Mike Crook who has retired

after 10 years with the


Mike has a wealth of commercial

experience and expertise having worked

in the roofing industry for the last 35 years. He

has been a champion of the industry standing as

Chairman of SPRA for four years and current

Chair of the NFRC Suppliers Group.

Mike joined SIG Design & Technology in March

2009, and during his time saw the company grow

five-fold with year-on-year improvements in both

turnover and profitability. At the core of Mike’s

approach has been SIG Design & Technology’s ‘8

steps to a perfect roof’ formula which covers

product selection, design and regulatory

compliance. Mike has also been instrumental in

growing the DATAC accredited roofing contractor

scheme, supporting contractors with monitored

Left: Since 2013 Mike Crook has helped raise

funds for Rainbows Hospice.

installations and offering reliable


Friends, partners and colleagues

came together to celebrate Mike’s

retirement with a surprise ‘This is your

life’ style presentation. At Mike’s request a

fundraising page has been set up to raise money

for Rainbows Hospice in lieu of retirement gifts.

Mike said: “Working with the team at SIG Design

& Technology has been the most rewarding period

of my career and our success has been due to

everyone I have worked with in this company. You

can only make things happen when you have the

right people. The time has now arrived, however,

for me to move on to my retirement for which I

have great plans.”

Duncan Winter will take over the position of

Trading Director at SIG Design & Technology.


Starting a new trade business is an ambitious

endeavour and with the pressure to survive,

tradespeople are looking for the best

opportunity for their business to thrive.

According to new data, on average three in four

(77%) trades businesses across the UK survive

beyond two years. But a new investigation by

Confused.com has revealed that some cities in

the UK have a better chance of thriving. And this

could help tradespeople overcome the confusion

and overwhelming decisions they must consider

when starting up a new business. To help

ambitious tradespeople make a clear decision,

Confused.com has analysed data on the trade

industry using expert sites, such as Thomson Local

and Company Check to unveil the UK’s best and

worst cities in the UK for trade start-ups.

For anyone looking to start a trade business, the

Midlands is a promising option. Leicester,

Nottingham and Birmingham are all within the top

six areas based on business success rate.

In particular, Leicester is revealed as the city with

the highest rate of success with carpenters,

gardeners and painter and decorators all particularly

successful here. According to the data, less than

10% of all trades based in the city fail, on average.

The UK’s capital emerges as the trade start-up

hub and most competitive region. There are 7,649

trade businesses in London, 141% higher than

the average UK city, with an average survival rate

of 84.1%.

Meanwhile, Cardiff has the fewest number of

competing trade businesses in the UK (1,457),

suggesting it could be one of the best cities for a

start-up. In particular, roofing and double glazing

installation business are thriving, with a 100% twoyear

survival rate in the Welsh capital.



NARM’s Guide to Rooflights for Profiled Sheeted Roofs.

The National Association of Rooflight

Manufacturers (NARM) has published a

RIBA CPD accredited document, following

approval by the RIBA CPD Providers


The NARM NTD15: ‘A Guide to Rooflights for

Profiled Sheeted Roofs’, is a 24-page

technical document covering all aspects of

the specification of rooflights for buildings

with profiled sheeted roofs, including:

• Roof types, rooflight types and rooflight


• Non-fragility and durability

• Load resistance

• Installation

• Building Regulations

• Maintenance

NARM NTD15 also forms the basis for

rooflighting information published by the

National Federation of Roofing Contractors.

This approval takes the current total

number of RIBA accredited CPD

documents published by NARM to five, in

addition to the Association’s online CPD

seminar, all of which can be accessed on

the RIBA CPD website at www.ribacpd.com

All NARM technical documents can also be

downloaded free from the NARM website at



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Industry News

More news, updates and interviews at www.total-contractor.co.uk


Putting aside any individual political

persuasions, the general election will

hopefully deliver a level of clarity which is

required for the roofing and wider

construction sector to move forward.

It’s now very much down to the government to

follow through on its series of pledges, but

hopefully the uncertainty which has contributed to

stalled projects and a lack of investment is behind


Below, the NFRC and FMB give their thoughts on

the general election result and what it means for

roofing and the wider construction sector:

James Talman, CEO of the National Federation of

Roofing Contractors (NFRC), explained: “The

NFRC congratulates the new government and

looks forward to it fulfilling its commitment to

investing in construction, which has been

neglected for too long. We hope that a majority

government will help to put an end to the political

uncertainty that has stalled investment decisions,

and it is now essential that the UK puts

construction at the forefront of any new trade

deals, in order to encourage the much-needed

finance of new projects.

“With increasing public scrutiny of the quality and

safety of buildings, now is the time for

government to also back the industry’s drive to

improve competency, which includes the

development of the RoofCERT accreditation

scheme, by stipulating that only qualified

specialist installers are used on all government

and public construction projects.

“We also urge that it ends cash retentions by

2023, following the Construction Leadership

Council’s endorsement of the industry’s Zero

Retentions Roadmap, which will be critical to

creating a more sustainable business model for

the whole construction supply chain.

“The NFRC’s commitment to improving standards

and pay conditions within the roofing industry are

among the key issues contained within eight key

focus areas of its new strategy and policy

document ‘The Way Ahead’, with others including

innovation, sustainability and attracting new


Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB,

explained: “The new Conservative Government

has a golden opportunity to sort out Brexit and set

out its new vision for the UK. Building the homes

and infrastructure that this country needs has to

be a key priority to help drive the economy


Berry concluded: “The Government needs to back

the nation’s army of small builders, by delivering

on the promised £3bn National Skills Fund,

investing in quality through a licensing scheme for

the whole UK construction industry, and

supporting local builders to retrofit the millions of

homes that need to be upgraded to low carbon.”



Avonside Group has announced

the acquisition of Worcesterbased

Whites Plumbing

Services (WPS).

A long-established presence within the Midlands

Region, WPS was founded and built up under the

management of Nigel and Sue White.

In recent years, Chris White, who will continue as

Managing Director, has driven the business to

greater heights, and the acquisition allows for a

further stage of growth.

The move marks a significant stage in Avonside’s

development strategy, positioning the Group as a

multi-discipline service provider to the UK housebuilding


Tony Burke, Executive Chairman of the Avonside

Group, commented: “Whites Plumbing Services

represent the absolute ideal for us in terms of our

initial move into the P&H sector.

They are an extremely well

organised operation that can

offer us a platform as we seek to

expand our presence in this adjacent trade.”

He added: “Nigel and Chris White have based

their operation on outstanding service delivery,

and as such the ethos perfectly matches that of

the wider Group. We have great expectations and

look forward to working closely with the entire

team at Whites.”

On behalf of WPS, Nigel White commented: “The

business has been in family hands for over half a

century, it was essential to me that we picked the

right organisation to entrust it to. I have known

Tony Burke and key members of his management

team for many years and from all of our

conversations I know this is the right move for

both parties – the future is really exciting.”

The British Board of Agrément (BBA), has

appointed Hardy Giesler as its new CEO.

Mr Giesler brings more

than 30 years’

experience to the role,

having worked around

the globe in a career

dedicated to the

infrastructure industry. Hardy Giesler, CEO at BBA.

“I am excited about joining the British Board of

Agrément as CEO, leading a team of highly skilled

and capable people to provide leadership in the

construction sector,” said Mr Giesler.

A spokesman for the BBA said: “We are delighted

to welcome Hardy to the business. He brings

broad and in-depth knowledge to the position, as

well as a global perspective, all of which will be

put to good use driving the business forward.”

10 TC JANUARY 2020

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Training: Trailblazer



A skills shortage in the construction industry means it has never been more important for

young people to join the industry and receive the necessary training, which is why

apprenticeships are so important. Langley Waterproofing Systems recently welcomed the

first group of apprentices onto the newly launched Waterproof Membrane Installer

apprenticeship standard, part of the Government’s Trailblazer Roofing Apprenticeship

Scheme. Total Contractor caught up with the Langley team and the apprentices during

their first week to find out more.

One of the most significant challenges

faced by the construction industry today is

the growing skills gap. Statistics show

that fewer young people are taking up a career in

construction, resulting in the workforce steadily

growing older – 22% are now over 50 and 15%

over 60 years old. It is vital that the industry

works to bring more young people into the

industry through schemes like the Trailblazer

Roofing Apprenticeships, utilising Government

support and funding.

As one of only two flat roofing suppliers with CITB

Approved Training Organisation (ATO) status for

RBM, Langley says it is the only flat roofing

Mark Dunn, Head of Training, Langley, addresses the

attendees of the first Waterproof Membrane Installer

apprenticeship standard.

systems provider delivering the

new Waterproof Membrane

Installer apprenticeship

standard as part of the




initiative. Mark Dunn

(left), Head of Training at

Langley, explained more:

“The new apprenticeship

standards brought about by the

Trailblazer scheme are playing an instrumental

role across the construction industry in closing

the skills gap and ensuring that the next

generation of workers are equipped with the skills

and knowledge required.

“The Waterproof Membrane Installer

apprenticeship standard covers Reinforced

Bituminous Membrane (RBM), liquid and single

ply roofing. Across 18-24 months, Langley

trainers will educate the apprentices on a wide

range of topics to ensure that, on completion of

the course, they have a full and comprehensive

understanding of how to safely and correctly lay

these roofing systems.”

Left: Dean McCabe of G Baker Roofing

taking part in Langley’s Waterproof

Membrane Installer apprenticeship


14 blocks: The

first week

The apprenticeship is

structured with a total

of 14 blocks covering

Reinforced Bituminous

Membrane (RBM), single ply

and liquid systems. During the first

week of the course, the apprentices learnt about

safety when working at height, the NFRC

Safe2Torch initiative, how to comply with Part L

and Part B of Building Regulations and the

differences between and the characteristics of

warm, cold and inverted roofs. This included a

combination of workshop sessions and practical

training on rigs.

The apprenticeship standard is open to anyone

already in full-time employment looking to enter

into the roofing sector, or to those looking to

expand their roofing knowledge portfolio. Dean

McCabe (above), apprentice from G Baker

Roofing, has worked in roofing for over three

“The apprenticeship standard is open to anyone

already in full-time employment looking to enter

into the roofing sector or to those looking to

expand their roofing knowledge portfolio”

12 TC JANUARY 2020

Hot Melt monolithic waterproofing membranes

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Whilst being heated, and maintained at the

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Our fleet of hot melt cookers are

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Training: Trailblazer

years and previously specialised in felt roofing.

Dean decided to join the apprenticeship in order

to expand his knowledge and skillset. He said:

“Having only worked with felt roofing previously, I

decided to take on the Waterproof Membrane

Installer apprenticeship standard to help me

branch out into single ply and liquid roofing and

achieve a recognised qualification in these areas.

“The first week was really enjoyable and I feel I

have been able to further my knowledge and

practical skills already. So far, we’ve focused a lot

on the health and safety aspects we need to be

aware of when working at height. Now, back at

work I feel I have a greater understanding of the

key considerations to be mindful of. I am really

looking forward to the next week of the Trailblazer


The Trailblazer Roofing Apprenticeship is based at

Advance Technical Engineering and Construction

Centre (TECC) in Leytonstone, which is a unique

partnership between Dudley College of

Technology, London Borough of Waltham

Forest (LBWF), Simian and NOCN

Group. With its excellent

transport links to London,

as well as the rest of the

UK, the location of

Advance TECC allows

learners from across

the UK to apply for the

apprenticeship. Each

group comprises ten

apprentices, and 30 are

expected to begin their journey through

the apprenticeship standard within the first year.

“In-depth detail and first-hand


Jack Hardisty (above) is also an apprentice on

“Now back at work, I feel I have a greater

understanding of the key considerations to be

mindful of. I am really looking forward to the next

week of the Trailblazer apprenticeship”– Dean McCabe

The participants in Langley’s first Trailblazer course with

Mark Dunn (left) and Gary Walpole of the NFRC (right).

the Trailblazer Roofing Apprenticeship scheme

from Hardisty CRN, a roofing and coating

specialist based in Liverpool. Jack said: “I have

been in the roofing trade for around a year.

Although I have developed basic knowledge and

skills from shadowing colleagues on site, the

Waterproof Membrane Installer apprenticeship

standard will give me the in-depth detail and

first-hand experience I need to

complete work on site more

safely and to a higher


“The first week of the

apprenticeship was

both engaging and

relatable. It will assist

me with expanding my

knowledge of the industry

from a theory and practical

perspective. This week has been a

useful balance between the workshop sessions

and practical elements on the rigs. So far, I have

really enjoyed putting my existing skills and the

teachings from the workshops to the test whilst

working on the rigs – and I look forward to

“Although I have developed basic knowledge and

skills from shadowing colleagues on site, the

Waterproof Membrane Installer apprenticeship

standard will give me the in-depth detail and

first-hand experience I need” – Jack Hardisty

continuing to gain experience throughout the


“It is also incredibly helpful to have Mark and the

other Langley trainers with us in the workshops

and practical sessions, as there is clear

consistency across both aspects, and it means

that each complements one another. We have also

been able to build a strong relationship with the

Langley team, who are always on hand to help.”

Mark continued: “Prior to the start of this

initiative, many of the apprentices had shadowed

their colleagues, but lacked the practical

experience needed to progress in their careers. I

was pleased to see that, even in the first week of

the apprenticeship, each apprentice took a handson

approach when on the rigs and showed drive to

want to learn and improve their existing skills.”

Independent assessor

Each apprentice is assessed by an independent

assessor and is expected to provide evidence

collected through video, photographs, professional

discussions and method statements. Assessments

will also take place on-site to minimise disruption

to the apprentices and their employers.

The Trailblazer Roofing Apprenticeship scheme is

a government-backed initiative to support further

training within the construction industry. For

many employers, the apprenticeship will be

almost completely funded – non-apprenticeship

levy payers can expect the apprentices to have

95% of the apprenticeship funded. The

apprenticeship is also supported by two

attendance grants and an achievement grant for

those companies that are CITB registered.

For more info on the Waterproof Membrane Installer

apprenticeship standard and other funded courses,

please contact Mark Dunn at training@langley.co.uk

or visit https://www.langley.co.uk/training

14 TC JANUARY 2020

By Wienerberger

Fibre Cement Facades

An Inspector Calls



In our regular monthly column – ‘An Inspector calls’ – Total Contractor has teamed up

with the pitched and flat roofing experts at BMI UK & Ireland to help you avoid the

common pitfalls that can often cost you both time and money, and ultimately help

you achieve roofing success.

This month the Inspector looks at the

consequences of allowing underlay to

drape into gutters.

There was a time when this particular error was

seen everywhere on the eaves of pitched roofs. To

ensure the flow of rainwater from the underlay to

the gutter, it would be left to overhang the roof

and draped into the gutter itself.

It seemed like a good idea at the time, yet it was

a costly mistake. Most will now know that draping

underlay into a gutter allows liquid to be drawn

back into the roof. It will degrade the bottom

edges of the membrane itself, eventually start to

rot the fascia boards and ultimately will create an

area of negative fall and ponding beneath the first

few courses of tiles.

Hard work from a simple oversight

Contractors have spent years repairing and

replacing underlay, facias and even supporting

timbers thanks to the

damage caused by this

simple oversight. It’s

taken some time, yet

on the whole the

sector has come to

learn this lesson and

underlay support trays

are now commonplace in

the market. A simple, lowcost

solution to this problem, the

tray creates a solid base for the bottom edge of

the underlay to sit upon and replaces the old

underlay drape as a method of allowing rainwater

“Most will now know

that draping underlay

into a gutter allows

liquid to be drawn back

into the roof”

Left: In the gutter – underlay will

perform badly in the long run.

to drain off from the

roof into the gutter.

Because it does

involve some extra

work and some

(marginal) extra cost,

there will still be a few

installers who choose to work in

the old-fashioned way and one still has to

inspect roofs where the drape is in place.

So, it’s advisable not to take this shortcut. It is

not only very damaging to the long-term

performance of the roof, it is also highly

noticeable and is almost certain to be picked up

during any kind of sign off or inspection, not to

mention spoiling the overall look of the job.

Avoid unnecessary headaches

In this day and age, where all roofs are fully fixed

and all perimeters such as the eaves are twice

fixed, this is no longer a simple solution to

rectifying this problem. Having to disturb an

entire double fixed row of tiles could result in

having to not only supply new trays and tiles, but

also facias as a result of damage caused by

existing penetrations. Our advice would be to use

underlay support trays to avoid this unnecessary


Above: Don't be a drip – underlay installed incorrectly.

Contact BMI National Training Centre

01285 863545


@_Redland / @Icopal_UK

16 TC JANUARY 2020

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Business Talk



The consequences of not having your will in place can be difficult and expensive for those

left behind, but for business owners things can be especially costly and hard to resolve.

We enter the world with nothing and

depart as we were born, leaving our

earthly possessions behind. This harsh

circle of life becomes grimmer for those left

behind, especially where there is no Will to

determine how a deceased’s assets are

distributed. Now throw a business into the mix

and a sad death can become even more

unpalatable and expensive to resolve.

The facts prove that more suffer than they need

to. According to a Macmillan Cancer Support

survey, published in January 2018, nearly two

thirds of the UK population has no Will, and of the

over-55s, 42% are without. Further, the results

indicate that another 1.5m people have invalided

their Will by marrying.

The problem is, as Emily Deane TEP, technical

counsel at STEP, a professional association for

practitioners specialising in family inheritance

and succession planning, knows, “many assume

their possessions will simply pass automatically

to their partner or children, or believe their assets

are too insignificant to need a formal

arrangement. But if you die without making a will,

the intestacy rules will be applied, and this may

not be what you want.”

Providing comfort

Malky Chaloner, a senior solicitor specialising in

Wills, tax and trusts at Moore Blatch, believes

that a Will is an “opportunity to choose who

inherits your estate upon death, and also to put in

place estate planning measures to mitigate tax

liabilities.” She says that a failure to have a Will

can lead to unintended consequences in terms of

who inherits, as well as creating relationshipdestroying

disputes between those left behind.

The intestacy rules

changed in



when the


and Trustees

Powers Act came into

force. Angharad

Lynn, a solicitor in

the private client

team at VWV, says

that under these rules, “if an

individual dies leaving a spouse and

children, the spouse will take the statutory legacy

(currently £250,000) and the rest of the estate

will be divided equally between the spouse and

the children.”

“The effects of not

having a Will are

potentially even more

damaging to business


Beyond that, as Deane explains, assets are

distributed (in order) to children/grandchildren,

then to parents, siblings, grandparents and finally

uncles and aunts. “If you have none of the

surviving relatives on the list, then your estate

will go to the Crown, a situation known as ‘bono


Worse still, the rules take no account of

unmarried relationships and Chaloner knows that

some “may have to issue legal proceedings and

fight those ‘automatically entitled’ under the



But Wills

have other

benefits says


Without a Will

an individual is

unable to leave



“without the

appropriate taxplanning

that should

accompany Will preparation, sensible and entirely

legal arrangements that can be put in place to

reduce potential tax liabilities will not exist.”

Another aspect to consider is choosing executors

to administer an estate after death. For many, it

is common to appoint a spouse or children, but

Lynn says “it is also worth appointing a

professional who can ensure that your business

assets are dealt with as you wish.” She says that

the advantage of choosing a trustee company is

that it will provide continuity for the appointment

of an executors, enabling partners from the firm

to act.

To this Deane adds that “if you have young

children it would be sensible to appoint two

executors to become the trustees of the children if

they are under eighteen years old when you die.”

Business owners can seek protection

The effects of not having a Will are potentially

even more damaging to business owners. From

Chaloner’s viewpoint, a Will gives the power to

decide who inherits shares in a company, and,

18 TC JANUARY 2020

“Without a Will, shares

will be distributed in

accordance with the

intestacy rules, which

may mean persons you

don’t want may end up

running the company”

“Uninvolved family

members can inherit

shares directly and

want a say in the

running of the

business, even if they

do not have the skills”

“BPR is available for ‘a

business or an interest

in a business, as well

as land, buildings,

plant and machinery

used for the purpose of

the business’”

potentially – depending on shareholding – who

will ultimately run the company: “Without a Will,

shares will be distributed in accordance with the

intestacy rules, which may mean persons you

don’t want may end up running the company.

Alternatively, it might dilute your business share

so you may set up future family quarrels.”

And Lynn agrees. As she’s experienced,

uninvolved family members can inherit shares

directly and want a say in the running of the

business, even if they do not have the skills or

experience to be involved: “Using a trust means

the beneficiaries would not have a direct right to

any interest in the business and therefore no

direct influence.”

Away from incorporated businesses, sole

traderships cease on death unless there are

provisions for succession. And if there is a

partnership with no partnership agreement in

place, the business will stop on the death of one

partner. Here, Chaloner advises that if there are

articles of association or partnership agreements,

they should be reviewed periodically to see

whether they are compatible with the Will


Wills don’t have to be taxing

A key concern for Chaloner is that having no Will

can create tax liabilities with no options for

mitigation. She says that “forethought allows one

to structure an estate so as to reduce liabilities

quite legally by ensuring all appropriate reliefs

can be claimed and options can be considered

such as the creation of trusts, which may reduce

tax liabilities, or gifting the right part of the estate

to the right beneficiaries to be able to claim [the

right] allowances in full.”

And these allowances are valuable says Deane.

She explains that the inheritance tax allowance is

currently £325,000 for an individual, or £650,000

for a couple who are either married or in a civil

partnership. On top of this is the Residence Nil

rate Band which, from 6 April 2017 gave an

additional allowance of £100,000 (£175,000 by

2020/21) to be used against a home, provided

it’s left to children or grandchildren.

One allowance of particular use to business

owners is Business Property Relief (BPR). Lynn

says that this is available for “a business or an

interest in a business, as well as land, buildings,

plant and machinery used for the purpose of the

business and shares in unquoted trading

companies.” She says that BPR is currently

awarded at 50% or 100%; it is a very generous

relief and it is possible that its use will be

curtailed in a future budget.

When planning succession, she advises clients,

to “ensure your business will qualify for BPR.

Businesses must be trading to qualify, and if the

proportion of assets held in investments is too

high it may not.” Lynn adds that it is also

important to remember that “if the business owns

‘excepted assets’ – assets owned by a trading

business but not used in the business – the value

of these will be deducted from the value of the

business and they will not benefit from relief.”

Regular reviews

Both Chaloner and Lynn agree that Wills should

be reviewed at least every five years to ensure

they still reflect the likely estate and there has

been no change to wishes. Deane is more

aggressive and suggests annual reviews. Even

so, Chaloner says that “they should also be

reviewed on major life events such as marriage,

divorce, births of children, grandchildren, or the

creation of a business.”

Lynn thinks that regular reviews will ensure that

company documents, such as articles of

incorporation and shareholders' agreement,

accord with the wishes set out in a Will. “For

example,” she says, “some family businesses

may only allow shares to be passed to direct

descendants of the founder. A spouse or

stepchildren would not be included, so if a Will

leaves company shares to a spouse, but the

company’s constitution does not allow this, the

gift will fail.”

By extension, Lynn adds that it is just as

important to ensure that business documentation

does not prevent an estate from benefitting from

BPR: “If company documentation includes a

binding contract for sale whereby the deceased's

shares must be sold to the surviving directors or

partners, then BPR will not be available.” A

solution to this problem that she highlights is a

'put and call' option, giving each side the option to

sell or buy, but without any obligation.

In summary

A Will is often not thought about. Whether that’s

through time pressures, no desire to think about

the inevitable or a misunderstanding of the law

with an assumption that an estate will go to the

right destinations, not having a Will is

fundamental part of personal planning that is so

easy to fix.

JANUARY 2020 TC 19

Safety Talk



The weather is always a hot topic of conversation for us Brits, whether it is drizzling

outside or an unexpected heatwave, we can’t help but talk about it! However, for roofers

it is much more than that, the weather can have a significant impact on business

operations and it is vital contractors protect themselves from the elements. Below,

Richard Kendrick, Marketing Manager at SIG Roofing, explains how to stay safe through

extreme weather conditions.

Over the past few years, it’s safe to say that

we’ve experienced some extreme dips and

turns in the weather. The “Beast from the

East” hit Britain hard during one of the harshest

winters recorded in 2017, with temperatures

dropping as low as minus 10°C and creating

some of the most testing weather for years. This

subsequently left roofing contractors with a

backlog of work; with reports suggesting that up

to 30 days were lost on site in the first quarter of

the year as a result of the dangerous weather.

Fast-forward a couple of months and we were

facing what was claimed to be the hottest

summer weather on record, with temperatures

reaching as high as 30°C. Although scorching

rays is somewhat a rarity in the UK, sadly it’s not

all sunshine and clear skies for roofing

contractors when it comes to getting the job done.

Hot and cold

As a roofing professional, it’s essential to keep an

eye on the cold temperatures in the winter, but also

the heat and humidity in the summer. Typically, late

summer and autumn are classed as peak season.

The weather is more predictable, generally drier and

allows for comfortable work outdoors without the

risk of being exposed to high UV levels or a sudden

downpour of rain. Comfortable conditions mean

higher levels of productivity and therefore quicker

completion of jobs.

As you know, the weather can have a serious

impact on your job’s timescales and can cause

contracts to over-run. Not only does this cause a

“There’s a lot of risks that can come with the

unpredictability of British winters”

headache for you and your customer, it can result

in financial penalties. If this is likely to happen an

application can be made to the person handling

the contract for an extension on the basis that the

delay was caused by bad weather conditions.

Serious risks

Roofing is generally a high-risk profession so

British weather at its worst can make for a

dangerous place to work, particularly if you’re

working at height. Should the conditions of the

weather not be taken into consideration, there are

some serious risks that could be introduced.

When dealing with the cold, high winds and wet

conditions are two of the main ingredients for a

recipe of disaster. The cold can generally affect

your behaviour, making it more difficult to

concentrate and increasing the chance of having

accidents as a result of misjudgment. In extreme

cases, there’s a possible risk of frostbite or

hypothermia. In situations where you do find

yourself working in cold climates, we would

encourage the intake of warm and sugary food

and drink to maintain and restore energy levels,

as well as good blood circulation.

The cold can also cause wet and slippery

conditions on working platforms and ladders,

where roofers might become more prone to slips

and falls. To avoid the risk of injuring yourself and

others in the process, you should ensure you’re

wearing correct and appropriate footwear.

It’s also important to be aware of legal

requirements, such as the Health and Safety at

Work Act 1974. Although there isn’t a specific

mention of temperature within the Act, it does

highlight that an employees’ health, safety and

welfare is fundamental. Additionally, The

Management of Health and Safety at Work

Regulations 1999 considers the effect of

temperatures and requires employers to make a

suitable assessment of the dangers to health and



Evidently, there’s a lot of risks that can come with

the unpredictability of British winters, particularly

when you’re working at height. It’s for these

reasons that it’s important to take more breaks if

necessary, ensuring you have adequate facilities for

warming up and most importantly keep constant

communication with everyone on site and work with

a buddy wherever possible. Above all, assessing

whether the work can be delayed and re-scheduled

for when the weather improves is key; safety first!

Contact SIG Roofing

0845 612 4304



20 TC JANUARY 2020




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JANUARY 2020 TC 21

Contractor’s Qs



We put the questions to Darren McGhee of DMG Roofing and winner of Screwfix’s

Tradesperson of the Year 2019.

TC: What was your path into roofing and

to your current position?

DMcG: I am a third generation roof tiler. I always

knew what I wanted to be and I couldn’t wait to

leave school to get started with my father. I was

apprentice of the year three years in a row –

which has never been done before or since in

roofing or any other trade. I have always put

100% effort into everything I do and aimed to be

the best in my field. Winning Screwfix’s Britain’s

Top Tradesperson 2019 is surely a sign that I am

getting there.

“Take pride in knowing

that the roof you

complete could be

there for a hundred

years. You only fail

when you stop trying”

TC: If you had one piece of advice about

working and progressing in the roofing

sector, what would it be?

DMcG: Don’t give up! Be the best you can be.

Take pride in knowing that the roof you complete

could be there for a hundred years. You only fail

when you stop trying; always remember that you

are only as good as your last job and never get


TC: Tell us about a current

project you’re working on…

DMcG: I am currently working

on a 17th Century mansion in

Helensburgh. We are changing

the original slate materials used on

this and replacing them with a

beautiful Cupa H3 Spanish slate supplied by

CUPA PIZARRAS. A home of this age has its

challenges which makes completing it even more


TC: You must have worked on some

difficult projects over the years. Does one

in particular stand out?

DMcG: There have been many, and the

challenges always vary. Competing with the

Scottish weather is never easy to begin with. Lots

of things have to align to make a job run

smoothly before a job can even begin – so many

things have to be in place, ranging from deliveries

to health and safety. Then there’s the job itself. I

am lucky to have worked on an extensive range of

roofs and the challenges just make you better at

what you do.

TC: What about difficult customers, how

do you deal with them? Any situations

that stand out that you can tell us


Left: Darren McGhee of DMG Roofing.

DMcG: Customers are always

challenging when they have had

bad experiences previously, and I

don’t blame them! It is extremely

common in the roofing industry. I

have so much confidence in my

abilities that I think it transfers to the

customers. One recent residential customer

required hour long, sit-down meetings daily and

requested a briefing on every detail of the reroofing

works, even down to the nails we were


“One recent residential

customer required

hour long, sit-down

meetings daily and

requested a briefing on

every detail of the

re-roofing works”

TC: What’s the most frustrating thing

about your job?

DMcG: Other people not doing their jobs properly.

‘Rogue Traders’ are a huge problem in the roofing

industry. What makes it frustrating is, firstly,

having to compete against them when they aren’t

qualified. Secondly, having to fix the destruction

they leave behind, and thirdly, having to justify

that I am in fact a qualified tradesman.

“Lots of things have to align to make a job run

smoothly before a job can even begin”

TC: And the most satisfying?

DMcG: The most satisfying thing about my job is

22 TC JANUARY 2020

“If you take everything

else away, strip it all

back, I feel as if I could

still be a roofer with my

Estwing hammer”

giving the customer peace of mind and protecting

their family. I also take great pleasure in pointing

out roofs to my family, knowing they will be there

for generations. My biggest achievement comes

from knowing that I have created MyRoofCare, the

first and only roof care package in the UK. I am so

proud to have created something so amazing

that’s going to change my industry forever.

TC: What’s your most important tool as a

roofing contractor?

DMcG: My hammer! If you take everything else

away, strip it all back, I feel as if I could still be a

roofer with my Estwing hammer.

TC: What’s the biggest issue currently

affecting you as a roofer?

DMcG: Trying to change the reputation of an

industry that continues to disappoint. The most

frustrating thing that I have been faced with

recently is that not only the customers are being

fooled by rogue traders, but so too are the

companies who carry out the vital checks. It’s so

frustrating when you get called to a person’s

home who has been left devastated at the hands

of a shoddy workman, only to learn that they did

their checks and the regulating bodies have

actually approved them – someone is not doing

their job properly.

TC: How has 2019 been and are there

reasons to be positive for 2020?

DMcG: 2019 has been my best year yet!

MyRoofCare has been going from strength to

strength and has been recognised on many

“I have also become

first Scottish Roofing

Company to be

RoofCERT approved”

different levels. Winning Screwfix’s Britain’s Top

Tradesperson is the ultimate accolade for any

tradesperson. I have also been nominated for a

number of awards, including The Federation of

Small Business’s Best Product and Innovation

Award for MyRoofCare, and The Pitched Roofing

Awards in December for the category of Domestic

Property Application Using Slate. In addition to

this I have also become first Scottish Roofing

Company to be RoofCERT approved; 2020 looks

set to be even better than last year.

Contact DMG Roofing and Building

0800 111 4587



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Top Tips: Liquid Applications



Kemper System’s Ross Smith, who was crowned Trainer of the Year at the Liquid Roofing

and Waterproofing (LRWA) Awards 2019, shares his top tips on how to effectively and

safely apply liquid products.

The growth of the liquid roofing and waterproofing industry has provided contractors with more

product choice than ever before. But regardless of the type of liquid solution being applied, there

are some important steps to follow to ensure the system performs to the required standard and

the roof remains waterproof for many years to come.

“Don’t assume that all

liquid waterproofing

products are the same”

1Research your product With such a large

number of liquid roofing products now

available, take the time to research which

one is most suitable for your project.

We’ve seen some new manufacturers offer

liquids through distributors at low prices

which claim guarantees of around

25 years. Contractors need to

tread carefully and establish

whether a product is

suitable for the purposes

intended. If not, you risk

applying a product which may

not perform effectively.

As a first step, consider requirements such as

compliance with building regulations – for

example fire resistance – or specific performance

characteristics, including the compatibility of the

surfaces to be waterproofed, ability to withstand

substrate movement, and resistance to damage

from anticipated load levels or trafficking.

Independent product accreditation is used to

effectively communicate conformity and

suitability, so it is advisable to research the

manufacturer’s current product certification. An

example is BBA certification, but there are others.

If in any doubt about the suitability of a product,

the Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association

(LRWA) may be able to assist.

2Prepare thoroughly The

importance of substrate

preparation can’t be

underestimated. Without the

correct preparation, there is a

chance that the liquid installation will

fail prematurely.

Before applying roof coatings, ensure

the surfaces to be coated are firmly

fixed and free from any

contaminants that could prevent

the primer or membrane from

adhering properly. To remove oil and

grease, use manufacturer-approved

detergents and for organic growth such as

moss, use an approved fungicidal wash.

Most primers and coatings require a dry surface to

maximise the adhesion. Refer to the manufacturer’s

product guide for specific information.

Surface profile is also important. Applying a liquid

to a rough surface such as concrete will increase

consumption and therefore your costs. In this

situation, it may be more cost effective to

mechanically prepare the peaks in the substrate

or fill the troughs with an approved material to

flatten the profile. Generally, a coating will

perform better under stress if it is applied to a

uniform thickness.

Conversely, smooth metal surfaces may need to

be abraded. This will normally improve adhesion.

Left: Ross Smith, Kemper System.

3Follow the manufacturer’s

instructions – to the letter

Don’t assume that all liquid

waterproofing products are the

same. Each one is different and so the

manufacturer will have its own set of

instructions and recommendations for effective

application, including suitable substrates, surface

preparation, mixing and application.

Take advantage of manufacturers’ training

courses to ensure you’re fully up to speed on the

product to be used and how to apply it. When on

the roof, don’t be tempted to cut corners – review

and follow all the steps and advice listed by the

manufacturer for all stages of installation.

4Keep safe You should refer to product

material safety datasheets and be fully

aware of how to store, transport, use and

dispose of the products in a safe manner. The

information contained in such documents is

essential for the writing of risk assessments and

method statements when planning their use.

Responsible liquid waterproofing manufacturers

will be able to provide advice, support and training

in the safe use of their products.

Contact Kemper System

01925 445532



24 TC JANUARY 2020

LRWA Product Register



Matt Downs caught up with Sarah Spink, CEO of the LRWA, to discuss the LRWA’s new

Product Register tool which looks to bring clarity to liquid systems, wade through the

misinformation and help the supply chain make informed decisions when it comes to

product selection.

In her address at the recent 2019 LRWA

awards, Sarah Spink, the Association’s Chief

Executive Officer, asked what should probably

have been a fairly straightforward question

considering the level of liquid roofing and

waterproofing expertise assembled in the room:

“Who knows what a P4 means?” The question

wasn’t meant to catch anybody out, but more to

illustrate the point about the importance –

particularly in today’s market – of making an

informed decision about the product you are

using in a particular situation, and really

understanding how it will perform. For those

wondering, P4 apparently means that the liquid

system has been tested and is capable of

withstanding the user loads related to a roof

garden, inverted roof or green roof.

promising the world and I just need

some help figuring out what we

need in our portfolio to be able to

help customers.’”

And Sarah recognised where he

was coming from, as at the time the

liquid roofing sector was growing quickly

and “getting flooded with cheap, foreign imports.”

She explained: “If you read the claims on the tin,

it’s Utopia in a tin! ‘Single layer, unreinforced, 30-

year guarantee, BBA certified’. It’s only when you

read the verified information and test data that

you understand that it has only been tested on

concrete – a rigid structure – and cannot be used

on a roof that requires access; basically it can’t

be walked on!”

Left: Sarah Spink is CEO of the Liquid Roofing

and Waterproofing Association.

“All these


impact in terms

of product choice

and we as liquid

experts know what

testing has been done”

With this in mind, Sarah very quickly realised that

it wasn’t just distribution that required assistance

with liquid choice; the entire supply chain

required support and guidance and there was a

job to be done in raising awareness that “a liquid,

isn’t a liquid, isn’t a liquid”.

The LRWA, together with SPRA, is sat on Working

Group 12 for Products which is chaired by the

Construction Products Association, and was

formed following the publication of the Hackitt

Report, which was published post-Grenfell, and

they’ve been working hard to develop a

framework to ensure that the people who are

making decisions related to products are

competent to make those decisions and will be

able to answer questions like those above.

Promising the world

But as Sarah explained, the idea for the LRWA’s

Product Register goes back even further than

that: “It started off when I got approached by a

distributor at an exhibition who explained: ‘look,

we are confused – we get approached weekly by

liquid product manufacturers – we don’t know

the difference between them, they’re all

“We’ve got some

products coming in

from overseas that say

you can lay them in the

rain – that’s not even

good roofing practice”

The claim game

Sarah cites many examples of ‘Utopia in a Tin’

claims such as ‘Highest fire ratings available’ –

“quantify that,” says Sarah. “What’s it been

tested on? A combustible or non-combustible

substrate?”, also look out for ‘Can be applied in

all weather conditions’ – “we’ve got some

products coming in from overseas that say you

can lay them in the rain – that’s not even good

roofing practice.”

Sarah explained: “The main way to verify the

performance of liquid products is via third party

certifications such as BBA, BDA, ETAs and LABC

Registered Details. But as we all know, these

certificates have different formats and contain data

that may be well known to liquid manufacturers,

but it’s not known in a wider sense.”

Sarah sat down with a web design team to pull

together the LRWA’s Product Register. Her goal

was to bring together all the Association’s liquid

system offerings, knowledge, technical expertise

and information in one place, so users can verify

the performance, navigate the unsubstantiated

product claims made by manufacturers that aren’t

members of the LRWA, make informed decisions

and choose the correct solution for a particular

project, plus access technical information about

each system in an easily understandable format.

26 TC JANUARY 2020

“It’s about us as an

industry making it

simple to understand”

Look further than a tick box

She continued: “A lot of specifiers just see if

there’s a tick in the box – ‘does it have a BBA

certificate?’, if yes they think that’s enough.

People don’t seem to realise that you still have to

read the certificates to check what the products

can and can’t do – my advice is don’t just look

for a tick box, read further.”

In the consumer world, Sarah points to

comparethemarket.com as an example of how the

LRWA’s Product Register site will work: “The user

fills in the criteria of what they’re looking for –

whether that be fire performance, length of

guarantee, inverted roof application etc. – and it

pulls out a randomised, not alphabetical, list.

The user can then scan down and pull out the top

systems that fit their requirements, and then

reduce their list again and pull out further

information such as guidance notes, Building

Regs, find out what substrate the product has

been tested on, which is all crucial to finding the

right system.

Sarah continued: “The Product Register came

about as a way of people being able to select

liquids based on product claims that have been

verified, but it’s about us as an industry making it

simple to understand – pulling out all the relevant

bits; Is it going to be inverted? Is it going to have

a green roof on it? Is it a garage roof or a

commercial project? All these questions impact in

terms of product choice and we as liquid experts

know what testing has been done and what it

actually means for the liquid in-situ.”

Trade counter expertise

Once the Product Register is up and running,

Sarah sees the next stage as raising the standard

of liquid expertise in trade counters. She

explained: “The Product Register is about raising

awareness – it’s a tool that can be used by

anybody, but it’s to say ‘look, there’s a difference,

Above, top: Pic courtesy of Kemper System. Above: the LRWA’s Product Register.

“It’s a tool that can be used by anybody, but it’s

to say ‘look, there’s a difference, liquids aren’t a

me-too product, and don’t believe everything you

hear and read – check it out first’”

liquids aren’t a me-too product, and don’t believe

everything you hear and read – check it out


She continued: “Part two will be about developing

a network of LRWA Specialist Liquid Centres.

We’d like to find like-minded distributors who

want to do liquids properly, sign up to a code of

conduct, utilise the Product Register and work

with us. We would ensure that there is a liquid

champion in store that the LRWA has trained,

who will also have the back-up of LRWA expert

advice and help should any difficult questions

arise. We want them to only sell and stock

products from the register, and encourage

contractors to train in them.”

As we move into 2020, the spotlight is on the

wider construction sector with regards to best

practice and utilising the right materials and

products in the right situations, and all in the

supply chain are going to need access to the

correct information and support so they can

make informed choices when it comes to product

selection and installation. With the Product

Register, the LRWA is taking responsibility for its

sector and providing a free tool so users can

wade through all the misinformation, make

sense of the technical talk and have clarity that

the product will meet their project needs and

stand the test of time. What’s not to like about


Contact the LRWA

0333 987 4581



JANUARY 2020 TC 27

Perfectly Pitched



Pitched roofing consultant John Mercer – writing on behalf of Edilians – says it could be a

good idea for roofers to offer some form of maintenance contract for their projects, and in his

latest column he addresses some of the common issues such a contract could address...

Unfortunately, many people do not even

think about their roof until there is a

problem – the problem often being when

it leaks! For roofers, it is worth understanding

these issues, as the homeowner will normally

turn to their roofer first if there is a problem.

There may even be an opportunity for roofers,

when re-roofing a home, or for that matter, any

building, to offer some form of maintenance

contract. For example, an annual inspection with

small maintenance items as part of the contract,

like those offered for domestic gas, water and

electrical systems.

How often should a roof

be inspected?

It is a good idea to inspect a

roof at least annually, starting

with the internal structure of a

roof (if accessible) to check that

it’s still watertight and there is no

rot or woodworm infestation. Repeat

checks in different weather conditions.

A check after heavy rain will reveal any

water ingress because of defects in the roof

system. A check in winter weather will reveal any

condensation within the roof space.

When inspecting a roof from outside at ground

level use binoculars, or even consider investing in

a drone to look for damaged or dislodged tiles. At

the ridge and hip, check for missing ridge tiles

and gaps in mortar and include a general check

of dry fix systems. Check flashings around

chimneys and at valleys, side and top abutments

etc. Inspect valleys and gutters for debris such as

broken tiles, mortar and vegetation growth.

Moss and lichen growth

Mosses and lichens tend to

flourish on roofs where trees

are nearby and where there

are shady, damp conditions.

North facing slopes tend to

remain damper longer,

therefore mosses and lichens are

often more prevalent there than on

the other roof slopes of a building. Steeper

pitched roofs are less likely to support moss and

lichen growth as they shed water

more quickly than low-pitched

roofs. Clay tile roofs also tend to

be less likely to support moss

and lichen as the tiles are

smoother and harder,

making it more difficult for

the spores to take hold in

the surface.

The primary effect of

moss on a roof is that it

holds water, thus impeding the flow of water

to the gutters, so water stays in contact with the

tiling for longer. Over a long period, this may have

a detrimental effect on the roof tiles.

Generally, some minimal growth is not deleterious

to the tiles and can even impart a mellow and

pleasing appearance. However, if mosses and

lichens block the drainage of water in valleys,

Left: John Mercer, pitched roofing


abutment gutters and the

drainage channels of the roof

tiles, it is better to remove the


Where moss and lichen are

considered undesirable, there are

commercially available liquid treatments

that will remove the growth and even prevent it

from re-occurring for a period. Assuming a

competent person would carry out the work, with

full and safe access, my advice would be to test

any product on a small area first before treating

the whole roof. Also, be aware of any potential

environmental hazards that toxic materials may


Condensation in the roof space

The most likely place for condensation to occur first

in a roof structure is on the underside of the roof

underlay. Sometimes, condensation may be due to

a short-term overload through extreme weather

conditions; such as very cold winter weather

combined with little or no wind, with the heating on

internally and windows closed to keep the heat in.

If the condensation is temporary and disappears

without wetting other elements such rafters or

insulation, then it may not be too much of a

problem. However, if the condensation is

“The primary effect of moss on a roof is that it

holds water, thus impeding the flow of water to

the gutters, so water stays in contact with the

tiling for longer”

28 TC JANUARY 2020

Perfectly Pitched

long-lasting or heavy enough to wet other

elements or drip onto ceilings, then remedial

action of some kind is required.

Condensation in the roof space may be due to

either a) too much warm air entering the roof

space from the living spaces, b) too little roof

space ventilation, c) overloading of the vapour

permeable underlay, or a combination of all three.

Often, the easiest way to reduce the problem is to

introduce more ventilation into the roof space by

installing tile ventilators. The location of the

ventilators depends on several factors such as

roof geometry and pitch, but as a simple guide, fit

some in the tile courses just above the horizontal

insulation at each side of the roof to aid crossflow

ventilation. Additional ventilators at high level

would act to draw air in through the lower


Roof tile ‘chatter’

Roof tile ‘chatter’ can sometimes occur in high

winds as the tails of the tiles are lifted and

dropped by the wind forces. The sound can be

amplified by forms of roof construction where the

ceiling is fixed directly to the rafters, such as

‘room in roof’ designs.

Tile clips can help to reduce the risk of chatter,

though it is not usually possible to fit clips

retrospectively and their use at the time of the

roof installation would depend on the calculated

wind loading/fixing specification.

Sometimes chatter is restricted to a small area of

roof. Natural or artificial features nearby, or a roof

feature such as a chimney or dormer windows can

affect wind speed or create turbulence causing

uplift in a particular roof area. If such an area can

be identified, then it may be possible to secure the

tile tails in these localised areas by removing an

area of tiling and re-fixing using screws and clips.

The use of adhesive could also be considered,

though this must not be used as a substitute for

incorrectly fixed tiles. Extreme care is needed to

avoid blocking interlocks and water channels and

should be limited to small dabs at the tile tails to

act as ‘cushions’.

“The roof is the primary structure that protects a home” and this offers opportunities for roofers to offer maintenance contracts.

“If efflorescence is to

occur, it usually

happens quite soon

after the tiles are

manufactured and

installed and ceases

just as quickly”

A white bloom on the roof tiles

Although quite rare, a white bloom on concrete

roof tiles is normally a result of efflorescence, a

naturally occurring phenomenon in concrete. As

rainwater wets the tiles, it can draw calcium

hydroxide – which forms during the hydration

process of the cement – to the outer surface of

the concrete. When the tiles dry, a white film – or

bloom – becomes visible on the tile surface. If

efflorescence is to occur, it usually happens quite

soon after the tiles are manufactured and

installed and ceases just as quickly. Then

subsequent rain and general weathering will act

to remove the efflorescence and it will not reoccur.

Sometimes, efflorescence will appear as

streaks emanating from the undersides of the

tiles and running down the tile surface below.

Efflorescence can also occur in mortar bedding at

ridges and hips. Rainwater may wash the salts

down the roof and deposit it on the roof tiles

leaving unsightly streaks. Again, this process

soon stops, and the streaks will eventually

weather away. Of course, the best way to prevent

efflorescence in the mortar is to use dry fix

systems instead of mortar to secure the hip and

ridge tiles.

It is impossible to predict how long the

weathering will take to remove the efflorescence.

There are commercially available liquid

treatments that will remove the efflorescence

faster than natural weathering. A competent

person should carry out the work with full and

safe access and test any product on a small area

first before treating the whole roof.

In summary, the roof is the primary structure that

protects a home, so look after it. As well as

preventing water ingress and wind damage, home

insurance policies are normally only valid so long

as the property is properly maintained.

Contact Edilians / John Mercer




30 TC JANUARY 2020

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Total Talk: Heritage Roofing



Total Contractor Editor Matt Downs talks all things heritage roofing with Simon Coleman,

Director of MJ Coleman & Sons.

TC: Can you define what the word heritage

means in relation to roofing…

SC: Heritage is the ability to recognise traditional

methods and materials on a given roof and be

able to repair, re-lay or renew to the same

appearance, including sometimes having to

incorporate necessary modern upgrades in a way

that does not affect the character of the building.

TC: How big a leap is it for a roofer

operating in the volume housing market

to diversify into the heritage sector?

SC: It is a very big leap. It takes many years just

to gain the experience needed to identify the

roofing type and attachment or to specify a

heritage project, due to the “local” nature of

many of the different types of heritage roof

coverings that there are in the United Kingdom.

Even the most experienced of specifiers will

sometimes recognise a material that has come

from a different part of the British Isles, and

would often have different methods of fixing, than

say a local material. The operatives working on

the roofs would need to have a great deal of

experience in the various types of roof coverings

and the traditional way of installing that they are

being asked to repair, re-lay or renew.

To be classed as a “craftsman” in heritage

roofing, they would need to gain an NVQ Level 3

in Slating & Tiling, and then carry out various

additional modules to gain their heritage

qualifications. If an operative in the volume

housing market is good at what they do, has an

eye for detail and has a yearning to carry out

work that tests them much more, with the correct

guidance, training and plenty of patience, there is

no reason why they cannot diversify. Finally, you

have to bear in mind that in the

volume housing market, much of

the detailing work involves the

use of dry-fix systems to satisfy

BS 5534, the revised Standard

and BS 8612, whereas heritage

would not have dry-fixed products,

so the tiler must be adept with a trowel!

“Peg tiles are often

very different from the

modern plain tiles in

that they are

sometimes much

shorter and, therefore,

the batten gauge has to

be adjusted”

TC: What are some the key considerations

that need to be taken into account when

installing bespoke roof tiles and


SC: Often, it is the technical side of this that can

be challenging. Peg tiles are often very different

from the modern plain tiles in that they are

sometimes much shorter and, therefore, the

batten gauge has to be adjusted to ensure the

correct headlap. Stone slates and even some of

the larger slates may have a different method of

fixings, such as being head-nailed. Some stone

slates need to be wet-bedded using lime mortar

and some plain tiles may even need lime torching

on their undersides. There again, in our area,

Horsham Stone can be laid in one of two ways.

The first is double-lap – where the stones are

centre nailed and laid in a similar way to random

Left: Simon Coleman, heritage roofing expert

and Director of MJ Coleman & Sons.

slates except, due to the

unevenness of the stones,

sufficient lime mortar is required

to prevent each stone from

“rocking”. The second way in which

Horsham Stone roofs can be laid is as singlelap,

where natural slate “shadows” are used

under the side-laps to attain the necessary

waterproofing. Variations depend upon the region

where the work is being carried out. It is

important that the contractor can identify the

correct fixing method of the material that they are

using, as much as the correct detailing that is


TC: What are some of the more

interesting, unique and rare tiles and

materials that could be used on heritage


SC: That would very much depend upon where

the person you are asking comes from in the UK!

Personally, I like Horsham Stone Roofing but these

projects come about so rarely. However, if you ask

someone from Lincolnshire, they may say

Collyweston Stone Roofing, someone from Devon

or Cornwall may say Rag Slating and someone

from Gloucestershire may say Cotswold Stone

Roofing. Of course, anyone who carries out works

using any random width and length roofing

materials, finds the work very interesting,

challenging and it gives the opportunity for them

to “show off” their abilities. In our area, handmade

clay plain tiles dominate the Listed

Buildings, so this is the bulk of what we do. I do

like a plain tile roof with lots of bonnets, valley

32 TC JANUARY 2020

tiles or laced valleys, with the mortar being

hydraulic lime and suitable aggregate, so that the

tilers can truly demonstrate their craft.

TC: What are some of the unique

difficulties / details a heritage roofer

might face?

SC: Often, it would be sourcing suitable materials

for a Heritage project. In many cases, certain

stone slates are no longer quarried and the vast

majority of slate quarries have ceased

production, as they are uneconomical. Of course,

there are sometimes sources for salvaged

materials, but the contractor would have to look

very carefully at the quality of the material they

are buying, and should ensure that it is the

genuine article. The other unique difficulty would

be that many of these Heritage Properties are

Listed, or are within Conservation Areas, so the

contractor has to be willing to deal with local

conservation officers, who would have to approve

any specifications and material samples. Finally, I

would say that weather is one of the most

restricting factors. Many Heritage projects require

lime mortar to be used. This restricts many

roofing projects to be carried out during the “lime

season”, generally from April to October, due to

the slow curing times for most lime mortars and

the effect that low temperatures can have on it.

TC: If you are reusing tiles or sourcing

used tiles on a heritage project, what are

the risks and what should contractors

look out for?

SC: I would say that the main risks the contractor

should look for are quality, sufficient quantity,

ensuring that the material is of precisely the

same type as the original and, finally, proof of

ownership from the seller. It would not be a good

idea to use material that may have been stolen

from another building, as the owner may be able

to reclaim it! This is why I would normally only

suggest using a dealer that is on Salvoweb and

who has signed up to the Salvo Code. This is not

a Code of Conduct as defined by law, but it does

maybe give that extra layer of protection.

TC: How is the heritage sector performing


SC: That is a very difficult question to answer.

With my company, we are now taking orders for

the second half of next summer. Looking around,

it does seem that some other companies are

busy, with large heritage roofing projects, but I

know of some other companies that are quite

quiet. Heritage roofing has its own set of rules and

often the buildings are repaired far more often than,

say a 1920’s or 1930’s property, due to higher cost

of the work, which is mostly due to restrictions on

the type of material that can be used.

TC: Do workloads remain fairly


SC: I would say yes, fairly. We, as a lot of the

other members of the National Heritage Roofing

Contractors Register – which has been formed

by the National Federation of Roofing

Contractors (although open to non NFRC

members as well) – are becoming more

recognised by Heritage Agencies and Local

Authorities as being the preferred contractor of

choice, which does mean that enquiries are

usually steady. However, a great deal depends

upon budgets being available to carry out such

a major project as re-roofing, especially on a

Listed Building. I suppose it is down to the

customer’s confidence in the economy as much

as anything else, especially owner-occupiers.

During recessions, the Heritage Sector is

probably hit just as hard as everyone else, and

those buildings within Public ownership could

be affected even more so if Public Spending is

cut. Often, Heritage Projects are all “one-offs”,

so you could be working on the same building

for anything from three months to maybe three

years! This of course can be quite settling for a

company, although I would imagine that with

new house building, with come estates being in

the thousands of houses, the winners of those

tenders probably feel the same.

TC: Is it a competitive sector of the


SC: I would say that it is. There is no requirement

for any companies or roofing operatives to have

qualifications in Heritage Skills on privately-owned

buildings, so this area can be very competitive.

Some Local Authorities and some Heritage

Agencies “prefer” to have roofing contractors from

the National Heritage Roofing Contractors Register,

but I do not believe that this can be enforced, as

yet, so, in most cases the work is out to tender, and

normal tender rules apply.

TC: Which heritage projects stick in your

mind from over the years?

SC: I am afraid that working in this sector often

means that we have to sign up to Non-Disclosure

Agreements, due to the very nature and locations

of the work. In other cases, where private houses

are concerned, with GDPR being as it is, we cannot

really name buildings that we have worked on,

without gaining full permission from the owners.

However, we treat every heritage roofing project the

same, and we enjoy working on them. Some are

really challenging, due to access issues and some

can be full of nasty surprises, such as unexpected

structural issues with oak rafters and purlins. To be

fair, heritage covers all pre-1919 buildings, so one

project may be on a 16th century cottage, the next

may be a fine Georgian house and after that we

may be on a Victorian or Edwardian house. I

suppose, in my case, if I had to pick the most

memorable, it would be the phased re-roofing of St

Peter & St Paul’s Church in Godalming. This

involved some slopes having peg tiles re-laid,

some with new clay tiles and replacement of long

lead valley gutters with new lead. This was carried

out over a period of ten years. From the age of just

under ten, I had lived in the area, had always

admired “old buildings”, and this church is in a

very prominent position. It also helps that my

mother is a bell-ringer at the church!

Contact MJ Coleman & Sons

01483 894220


JANUARY 2020 TC 33

Quantum Insulation



With possibly the biggest changes to the Building Regulations in living memory on the

horizon, Quantum Insulation (QI) is making sure its customers have the knowledge required

to ensure compliance with this raft of changes. Total Contractor hears more...

As we enter a new

decade, the

construction industry

is bracing itself for what will

probably be the biggest

changes to the Building

Regulations in living memory.

2020 will see wide ranging

changes to the regulatory

and compliance

requirements placed on

roofing material

manufacturers and roofing

contractors. These changes will be significantly

led by the impacts of the Grenfell tragedy, the

investigations into its causes & effects, and the

next stage of the inquiry. Many, if not all of the

wide-ranging changes recommended in Dame

Judith Hackitt’s ‘Building a Safer Future’ report

will be brought to fruition. The Ministry of

Housing, Communities & Local Government

(MHCLG) will clarify some of the ‘grey’ areas

related to the fire performance of roofs within

Approved Document Part B, and there are

rumours that the requirements for buildings over

18m that were introduced in November 2018 may

be extended to cover all Relevant Buildings

regardless of height. And the

UK Government’s carbon

reduction targets will further

impact what we build and

how we build it. Each and

every one of these major

changes will impact

specialist roofing

contractors, and Quantum

Insulation (QI) will be

seeking to ensure their

customers are at the

forefront of the knowledge

required to ensure

compliance with this raft of ongoing changes.

Grenfell Inquiry

Phase two of the Grenfell

Inquiry will focus on the

choice of materials, material

testing, the adequacy of

building regulations, and the

management of the London

Fire Brigade (LFB). The chair

of the inquiry, Sir Martin

Moore-Bick, has promised

that the testing and

certification of combustible

“As your flat roof insulation supply partners, our

role is to ensure you have the right product for

each and every application, that you comply with

the regulatory requirements as they are today, and

that you are aware of the possible future impacts

regulation changes may have to your business”

materials will “lie at the heart” of his

investigation. As any specification change will be

investigated as part of the inquiry, all parties to

the construction process – client, specifiers,

main contractors, material suppliers and

specialist sub contactors – will be subject to

scrutiny through this process. QI will be following

the ongoing inquiry to seek to understand the

impact this will have on future roofing project


Dame Judith Hackitt’s ‘Building a Better

Future’ report

Dame Judith Hackitt’s report contains eight key

recommendations, all of which will impact the

overall construction industry,

but the last three will

significantly impact not only

roofing material suppliers,

but also specialist roofing

contractors. The eight key

recommendations are:

1. A new regulatory

framework for buildings more

than ten storeys high. This

includes the creation of a

new Joint Competent

Authority (JCA) made up of

Local Authority Building Standards, fire and

rescue authorities and the Health and Safety

Executive. It will oversee the sign-off of HHRBs

with dutyholders having to show that their plans

are “detailed and robust”.

2. Clear responsibilities for building safety

through a clear and identifiable “dutyholder” with

responsibility for building safety for the whole

34 TC JANUARY 2020

building. That dutyholder will be responsible for

initiating, overseeing and influencing activity

throughout the procurement, design and

construction of a building. The key roles for

prioritising building safety will be the same as

those identified in the Construction Design and

Management (CDM) Regulations 2015 to avoid


3. Three ‘gateways’, the first two relating to the

above and the third that the JCA is satisfied that

the signed-off design has been followed before

occupation can start.

4. More rigorous enforcement powers including

wider & more flexible powers to focus incentives

on the creation of reliably safe buildings from the

outset. Stronger enforcement powers aligned with

the Health and Safety at Work Act, and powers to

issue improvement and prohibition notices, as

well as clear powers to require changes to work

that meet Building Regulations. Time limits for

bringing prosecutions could be increased for

“major deficiencies”.

5. Higher competence levels including more

effective leadership for ensuring building safety

among key roles including an overarching body to

provide oversight of competence requirements.

The aim is to move towards a system where

ownership of technical guidance rests with the

industry as the intelligent lead in delivering

building safety.

6. More effective product testing that is clearer,

more transparent and

provides a more effective

specification and testing

regime of construction

products, including products

as they are put together as

part of a system. There

should be clear statements

on what systems products

can and cannot be used for,

with their use made

essential. The scope of

testing, the application of

products in systems, and the

“2020 will see wide ranging changes to

the regulatory and compliance requirements

placed on roofing materials manufacturers

and roofing contractors”

resulting implications must be more clearly

communicated in plan, consistent and nontechnical


7. Better information through four “key

information products” integral to oversight on

building safety. They are: the digital record, the

fire and emergency file, full plans, and the

construction control plan. Hackitt recommends

that the creation, maintenance and handover of

relevant information should be an “integral part”

of the legal responsibilities of clients, principal

designers, and principal contractors undertaking


8. Better procurement through the principal

contractor and client devising contracts that

specifically state that safety requirements must

not be compromised for cost reduction. Tenders

should set out how the proposed solution will

produce safe building outcomes. Contracting

documentation relating to the safety aspects of

the building should be included in the digital


Carbon reduction targets

Carbon reduction targets are being focused on

through a consultation which sets out the

Government’s plans for the Future Homes

Standard, which includes

proposed options to increase

the energy efficiency

requirements for new homes

in 2020. The Future Homes

Standard will require new

build homes to be futureproofed

with low carbon

heating and world-leading

levels of energy efficiency,

and whilst the formal

introduction will be before

2025, some developers will

seek to implement the requirements ahead of

legislation. The Future Homes Standard is

currently out for consultation until 7th February


Roofing specific

The Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association

(LRWA) – of which QI are members – will be

issuing Technical Guidance Notes covering the BS

6229:2018 update related to Inverted Roof

construction, Water Flow Reducing layer

installation and Blue Roof guidance. Additionally,

CIRIA (Construction Industry Research and

Information Association) will be starting work

on detailed technical guidance for Blue Roof

construction and the Green Roof Organisation

(GRO) will be forming as a Trade Association

and issuing an updated Green Roof Code of

Best Practice and other guidance


At Quantum Insulation (QI), we see ourselves as

more than just specialists in the supply of

insulation for flat roofing contractors. We see our

responsibility as being greater than that. As your

flat roof insulation supply partners, our role is to

ensure you have the right product for each and

every application that you comply with the

regulatory requirements as they are today, and

that you are aware of the possible future impacts

regulation changes may have to your business.

We are here to support your professional

development, not just to sell you the insulation

product we happen to have in stock.

For more information about our products, contact

us on the details below:

Contact Quantum Insulation

01858 456018


JANUARY 2020 TC 35

Clipping Queries



Jamie Riddington, Technical Advisor at Marley, gives his top tips and answers some

common clipping queries.

Since the revised BS 5534 was introduced back in 2014, roof clips have never been so widely

used. Now, all roofs using interlocking tiles or slates will require an element of clipping and, done

in the right way, this helps to make pitched roofs more secure in the face of increasingly extreme

weather. However, clipping often isn’t the most popular fixing method because it can be time consuming,

but the good news is that over the past few years, there have been many innovations to make clips

faster and easier to install.

Here, we answer common questions that our technical team get asked about clips and explain how

some of the latest innovations can help:

“Each manufacturer

has their own design of

interlocking tiles, so

you need to use clips

that are compatible”

1Do all roofs with interlocking tiles need

clipping? Under BS 5534:2014+A2:2018

all single lap roof tiles must be fixed with a

nail and / or clip. All interlocking roof tiles will

require some clipping, even if just the perimeters,

but the exact fixing schedule will be dependent on

several different factors, such as dimension of

the roof, topography of the land, properties of the

tile and the resistance to pull out of the

nails/clips. That’s why you should attain a new

fixing specification for every project to ensure

that you aren’t under fixing. However, if in doubt,

you can nail and clip every tile or slate to ensure

maximum security.

2Can I use clips from any manufacturer?

No. Each manufacturer has their own

design of interlocking tiles, so you need to

use clips that are compatible. When you get a

fixing specification from a tile manufacturer, you

should use the fixings that it recommends. Don’t

risk using clips that aren’t compatible – check

with the manufacturer if unsure.

3How can I speed up tile clipping?

Traditionally, clips and nails come in

separate bags and need threading together

prior to installation, which can add a significant

amount of labour time to roofing projects. You can

speed this up by using the SoloFix one-piece clip

and nail, which can save as

much as 30% on

clipping time but is

similar in price to


aluminium clips.

4Do I need to

clip the


course tiles? All

perimeter tiles, including

eaves, must be twice

mechanically fixed in line with BS

5534:2014+A2:2018. These fixings can be a

nail, tile clip, or dry verge capping system where

appropriate. It is also recognised in the standards

that any smaller cuts at hips/valleys etc. can be

bonded to the adjacent tile using a suitable

external grade adhesive, the ‘parent’ tile should

then be twice mechanically fixed.

5Do I need to carry different eaves clips

for each of your interlocking tiles? No,

we have just launched a new Universal

Eaves Clip which can be used with nearly all of

Marley’s range of interlocking clay and concrete

tiles, saving you the hassle of carrying different

clips. The Universal Eaves Clip also has specially

designed features that make it flexible and easy

to install, including a metal strip, with pre-

punched holes, that you can

easily bend to the

required height during


6Why do

some dry


systems have a

batten end clip? The

BS 8612 standard

states that dry verge

products can no longer be

installed just with a nail fixing into the end

grain of the batten. Instead, mechanical

engagement must be on the faces of the batten. A

dry verge system that includes a batten end clip

makes this mechanical engagement much simpler.

Our batten end clip has sharp teeth which grip

into the batten, giving it extra resistance and

making it extremely secure, as well as being very

quick to push or hammer into place. Unlike others

on the market, it can be fitted after the roof has

been tiled, making retro fitting dry verge units

much easier.

Contact Marley

01283 722588



36 TC JANUARY 2020


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NFRC Tech Talk



As is largely the case across the UK, the great quarries of Scotland have closed, so the NFRC

says care is especially important when working with hard to come by reclaimed slates.

There were 300 slate quarries in existence

during the Victorian period, including the

famous Ballachulish, Easdale and Aberfoyle

quarries which provided roof slates throughout

Scotland. However, there are no quarries

operating today and it is difficult to find reclaimed

slates in sufficient quantities or of the required

quality. It is therefore essential that a competent

person is employed to decide whether re-roofing

with a particular reclaimed slate is viable.

Slate types

Scottish slates vary between 8-16mm in

thickness and range from 200mm up to 450mm

in length, with their colour and quality varying

greatly due to the different geology of the

quarries. The grey/green Stobo slate from

Peeblesshire, for example, did not have great

longevity due to early delamination. This

contrasts with the high-quality grey slates from

the Ballachulish quarries, which have proved to

be extremely durable and continue to be stripped

and re-laid throughout Scotland.

Roof pitches

Traditional Scottish slating is not recommended

on roof pitches less than 25° but they can be laid

up to 90° degrees. However, remember that at

lower pitches sidelap becomes increasingly

critical and that sufficiently wide reclaimed slates

may not be available. Above 75°, the minimum

headlap should be no less than 20mm, measured

below the nail hole. All vertical slating should be

fixed with three nails at the head and both


Sarking timber

This should be 19-22mm thick sawn softwood.

“It is therefore essential that a competent person

is employed to decide whether re-roofing with a

particular reclaimed slate is viable”

Although boards are installed without horizontal

gaps, shrinkage may lead to gaps of up to 5mm.

When jointed on rafters, gaps of approximately

10mm should be allowed between boards ends to

permit movement. They should be fixed to rafters

with 75mm x 3.35mm galvanised steel clout

nails, with 10mm heads; or in the case of nail

guns, the appropriate proprietary fixings should

be used in line with manufacturers’ instructions.


Either high resistance (HR) or low resistance (LR)

types should be installed directly to the boards

before the slates. When fixing LR underlay,

always fit it according to the manufacturers’

instructions. Never use LR membranes if there is

evidence of bats since their claws can get caught

in the fibres. BS747 1F felt, which is self-sealing

around nail holes, is often used instead of

tarpaulin during slate stripping.

Reclaiming and preparing

Check individual slates for quality, dressing when

needed and thereafter re-holing and sizing to

determine their position on the roof. The majority

of the slates will range from 300-350mm in

length and will be laid in the middle courses of

the roof. Larger slates (400-450mm) will be laid

at the eaves and smaller slates (200-300mm)

will be fixed towards the top of the roof.

Above: A substantial Edwardian detached villa. Image courtesy B & D Roofing, www.bdroofing.co.uk.

Sizing, head and sidelaps

The nail hole should be no less than 25mm from

the head of the slate. Sizing creates the correct

headlap, and therefore the gauge for that

particular size. When moving to a smaller size,

the gauge for the changeover course will need to

be reduced to maintain the headlap. For slate

lengths 350-450mm, the headlap should not be

less than 75mm; for 300-350mm, no less than

38 TC JANUARY 2020


64mm; and for 200-250mm no less than


Nails for slating

The length of nail will depend on the thickness of

the slates, but in general 38mm nails will be used

on 19mm sarking timber and 50mm nails used on

22mm sarking. Try to use ring-shank copper

nails, 3.35mm in diameter with 10mm diameter

heads, although Tee nails are also acceptable. It

is normal to see 2-3mm of the nail showing

through the underside of the sarking boards.


All topper slates should be head-bedded on 6-1-1

sand, cement, lime mix or supported by a thicker

batten to prevent wind uplift. Bedding should be

allowed to cure for 24 hours prior to fixing the

ridge tiles/metal ridges. All verge slates to be

head-bedded as above.

Nailing positions and patterns

The following is a typical nailing pattern for

Scottish slating. Other nailing patterns may be

acceptable depending on location and where

proven over time.

• Under eaves: twice head nailed or one head

one cheek

• Eaves Course: 1 head nail and 1 shoulder

(cheek) nail

• 2nd Course: 1 head nail

• 3rd Course: 1 head nail

• 4th Course: 1 head nail and 1 shoulder (cheek)


• 5th Course: 1 head nail

• 6th Course: 1 head nail

• 7th Course: 1 head nail and 1 shoulder (cheek)


This pattern should be continued in order until the

topper course, which should be twice fixed

through the mortar bedding mortar, while the

mortar is still curing (within four hours). Slating

to valleys, watergates, abutments, penetrations

and perimeters should have no less than two

fixings per slate.

Insulation and control of condensation

This should be in accordance with ‘BS 5250:

Control of Condensation in Buildings’. Where HR

underlay is installed, such as 1F felt, then

ventilation requirements should be followed. Nonvented

systems, including air permeable underlay

may also be suitable, subject to a condensation

risk analysis. In all cases, it is important that the

proposed design solutions are appropriate to the

building in question.

Contact the NFRC

020 7638 7663









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JANUARY 2020 TC 39

BMI: Golden Tile



BMI Redland ‘does the ton’ and marks 100 not out with Golden Tile competition.

After a year of eager anticipation, BMI UK &

Ireland has marked the remarkable

achievement of 100 years of concrete tile

manufacture in the UK through its iconic BMI

Redland brand.

November 1919 was when the Redhill Tile

Company was founded and on Tuesday December

3rd 2019, the company staged a national

celebration with a party at every plant, depot and

office across the company’s 16 UK sites. Over

600 employees and associates joined in the fun,

with all the traditional party trimmings of cake,

balloons and poppers in the mix.

Customers now also have a chance to join in the

celebrations as the company has launched a

Golden Tile competition, with a whopping £1,000

in shopping vouchers to be won as first prize. The

Golden Tile (spoiler alert: it’s concrete!) has been

hidden by the BMI team in a random pallet of

tiles at a secret location and was released into

the marketplace in January. To reflect the

teamwork that goes into most roofing jobs, the

£1,000 will be split into small denominations to

allow the winning customer to share the bounty

among their colleagues. The

competition is being

promoted on the

company’s Facebook,

Twitter and LinkedIn


Momentous year

The Golden Tile prize

promotion caps a

momentous year for

BMI UK & Ireland.

Over the past 12

months, the company has been sharing details of

its rich heritage, innovation and achievements,

not just from 1919 when Redland started making

its first roof tiles – at the rate of 40 per hour – in

“The company has

launched a Golden Tile

competition, with a

whopping £1,000 in

shopping vouchers to

be won as first prize”

a sand pit in Reigate, Surrey; but from a

pedigree dating back over 180

years with the origins of the

Rosemary clay tile in 1837.

This final instalment covers the

onset of the new millennium and

brings events right up to the

present celebratory day.

For BMI Icopal, the new millennium

got off to a great start with the

acquisition of Monarflex, a move

which heralded its entry into the

specialist building membrane market.

Things were more challenging at Redland in terms

of its survival as a household name as, in 2003,

its parent Lafarge decided to rebrand the group in

its own likeness and retire the well-loved name in

favour of a global brand strategy.

Happily for Redland, this sorry state of affairs

didn’t last too long as in 2007 Lafarge divested

itself of its roofing division, which became the

Monier Group. Better still, in 2008 Monier

reinstated the Redland name in the UK. Five

years later, the Rosemary plain clay tile – then

owned by Redland for nearly 30 years –

celebrated its 175th birthday with the launch of

Craftsman, a handcrafted clay plain tile.

The following year, 2014, the Monier Group was

renamed as the Braas-Monier Building Group;

while Icopal cemented its position in the liquid

applied waterproofing market with the acquisition

of Sealoflex.

Clip it

In product news, the launch of the decade was

2015’s introduction of the Innofix clip. This was

in response to the 2014 updating of BS 5534:

Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling to improve

40 TC JANUARY 2020

“The launch of the decade was 2015’s

introduction of the Innofix clip”

the overall security of pitched roof structures and provide fast and effective

compliance with the British Standard. Up to 40% quicker to install than

traditional nailed clips, its innovative nature saw it win Product of the Year from

Housebuilder in 2015, and Product Innovation of the Year from Building

magazine in 2016.

2016 also augured well in terms of the current structure, when US-based

global industrial concern Standard Industries (SI) acquired Icopal. The

following year, SI then acquired Brass Monier Building Group, brining Redland

and Icopal together under the same roof.

Coming together

To reflect this coming together, the BMI Group was formed, instantly becoming

Europe's largest manufacturer of pitched and flat roofing and waterproofing

solutions with over 150 production facilities and more than 11,000 employees

across 40 countries.

The UK division – BMI UK & Ireland – formally launched in January 2019 and

is headquartered in Milton Keynes, reflecting its heritage through continued

use of its leading brands in BMI Redland and BMI Icopal.

The company’s experience, traditions, expertise and market-leading brands

mean that it is able to see a roof and the sector in terms of how support,

service and roofing technologies integrate with the built environment; rather

than just through the collection of products that protect a building. With a

pedigree reaching back over 180 years – not just 100 in concrete tiles – the

business is well set for the future; and will maintain its momentum in

innovation, service and quality for decades to come.

F or everyone settling for nothing but the

best when it comes to performance and

precision. Ideal for roofers.

Hot air tool

HG 2620 E

• 2300 W / 50 – 700 °C / 150 – 500 l/min

• Brushless motor: 10,000 h

• Air pressure: 4,000 Pa for more power

• Suitable for construction site use

• LCD information display

• 4 user-selectable programmes

• Easy to operate by joystick

• Heater and power cord easy to change

• Including fine dust filter


Contact BMI UK & Ireland

01285 863545


@_Redland / @Icopal_UK

Fixings & Fasteners



Fasteners and fixings are very often forgotten about in the build chain and are either a lastminute

consideration or left to the contractor’s discretion. However, when fasteners are

correctly specified from the outset, there are huge benefits down the line. Neil Kirwan,

Specification Manager at SFS, explains how to treat specification of these products.

Specifying fasteners and fixings correctly

the first-time round is critical to ensuring

the fastening system remains robust

throughout the lifetime of the roofing system or

building envelope. However, fasteners are often

not specified until Stage 4 in the RIBA plan of

work, when the fastening system has already

been determined. It’s often up to contractors to

price the work, and they can end up cutting

corners with the fasteners and fixings.

By engaging higher up in the build process chain,

the correct fasteners are matched to perform with

the fastening system and the material it is

securing as well as the substrate that the

fastener is securing down to, improving total cost

of ownership and efficiency of the system.

How to specify a fastener or fixing

The specification of the fastener, despite being

such a small component, is critical if the roofing

and cladding system is to perform its required

function throughout the full term of the system’s

service and design life.

There are five principles of fasteners: durability,

weathertightness, airtightness, aesthetics and

structural performance. Each particular

application will need the fastener to comply with

at least two or three of these functions and often

will need all five. Failure of the fastener to satisfy

these functions may lead to the inevitable, and

sometimes catastrophic, failure of the system or

very costly remedial works. The key is to specify

on an individual basis, selecting the appropriate

fastener for the specific use.

“By engaging higher up in the build process

chain, the correct fasteners are matched to

perform with the fastening system and the

material it is securing as well as the substrate

that the fastener is securing down to”

The different types and classes of


There are a multitude of fasteners available on

the market, each one designed for a particular

use. These include self-drilling fasteners, selfcoring

fasteners, self-threading fasteners and

clamping fasteners.

To avoid failure of the roof system, both the type

of fastener and its material must be considered

early on in the design phase. Coated carbon or

austenitic stainless-steel are the two main

materials used in manufacturing fasteners and

fixings. Coated carbon steel rapidly corrodes upon

exposure to humidity and polluted environments

and whilst surface coatings with excellent

corrosion resistance can be applied to prolong a

fastener’s life, this will only slow down the

corrosion process. Good industry practice is to

use austenitic stainless-steel fasteners in

combination with galvanised steel purlins to

avoid bi-metallic reactions.

What should be considered during the

specification stage?

In order to ensure the fastener and fastening

42 TC JANUARY 2020

system specified meet the

durability, weathertightness,

airtightness, aesthetic

and structural


requirements of

the final product,

specifiers need

to consider five

key areas: whole

lifecycle costs,

external and internal

environment, colourmatching

needs, legislation

and regulation, and warranties.

The importance of whole lifecycle costs

Specifiers should look at the whole lifecycle costs

of the fastener, not just the initial costs. Choose

an A4 316 stainless-steel fastener and you are

guaranteed to meet the minimum requirements,

but if you buy cheap, they won’t last as long and

will need to be replaced earlier than expected.

This brings about servicing, maintenance and

additional capital costs that can be avoided by

specifying the appropriate fasteners first time


One size does not always fit all

Buildings are naturally exposed to the elements,

which differ dependent on where the building is

located. The external environment of a building

can impact the effectiveness of fasteners used,

for example when specifying fastening systems

for use on buildings within 10km of the coast or

an estuary, there is a high salt content in the air

that can corrode fasteners. Fasteners in these

cases should be made from A4 316 grade


However, it isn’t just the external environment of

a building that impacts on which fasteners should

be specified – the building’s use can have

implications. Swimming pools, for example, cause

a high level of chlorine in the air, leading to stress

cracking within the fastening material due to the

corrosion process as humidity and chlorine react

with the metal. These buildings

would be better suited using

R5 or 1.4547 stainlesssteel

fasteners which

are less likely to be

affected by

chlorine in the




During the 1970s, the

market share for colourcoated

cladding materials

dramatically increased, principally

within the industrial and retail building sectors.

Today colour-coated cladding represents over

90% of their total market, now widely used as

part of the cladding envelope on many other

building types such as educational, healthcare,

residential, leisure and transport-related


One key consideration for specification is using

powder coating instead of the traditionally used

moulded headed fasteners for colour matching.

Moulded headed fasteners are prone to UV

degradation, whereas powder coating offers

toughness and durability, as well as providing an

accurate match to the colour of the surrounding

weather sheet. Powder coating is only very

slightly affected by UV light, and so fading or

weathering is uncommon. The fastener head

remains small and compact and there is no bulky

plastic to cause visual intrusion.

Legislation and regulation

Specifiers also need to consider changing

legislations and their impact on fastening

systems. For example, Part L2 of the Building

Regulations for England and Wales, introduced in

2002 to help address energy efficiency

requirements in non-domestic buildings, cast a

light on the importance of airtightness. A prime

focus for the new regulations is providing building

managers, landlords and tenants with detailed

and accurate information about energy usage in

“Whilst fasteners are

used in abundance,

these everyday heroes

are critical to the

overall quality of the

roofing system or

building envelope”

their buildings to enable them to identify areas

where energy is being wasted and where there

are opportunities for reducing energy


Effective seals are critical in ensuring the

airtightness of a building. High grade butyl strip

weather and air sealants, such as the pink strip

butyl sealant developed by a leading sealant

manufacturer and sold by SFS, perform 20%

better than standard butyl sealant. This type of

sealant is manufactured from cross linked butyl

and is therefore suitable for all corrosivity

categories C1-C5.

Warranties and certification

Finally, it is critical specifiers consider the

implication of the fasteners used on the warranty

of the fastening system. Architects and specifiers

expect the fasteners to be warranted with the

fastening system that is being used, but often,

the fastener is warranted separate to the system.

This can mean that the whole system is not

warranted, causing complications down the line

of the project.

Whilst fasteners are used in abundance, these

everyday heroes are critical to the overall quality

of the roofing system or building envelope.

Specifiers should consider fastening solutions

once they have an aesthetic vision in mind to

ensure the correct fixing solution is used to

achieve that vision, as well as deliver whole life

costs and value.

Contact SFS

0113 2085 500



JANUARY 2020 TC 43

Roofing Updates


For further info on all these updates and more, visit www.total-contractor.co.uk

Wightwick Hall School in Tinacre Hill, Wolverhampton, has installed a complete roof system from Marley,

including its Hawkins clay tile, in Staffordshire Mix, to create a high-quality roof that fits in with the heritage

appearance of the surrounding area.

The Hawkins clay plain tile was used at

Wightwick Hall School.

The business and enterprise college, which is located in an old stately home with extensive landscaped gardens,

required a specialist clay tile to not only meet strict planning standards, but also seamlessly blend in with the school’s rustic setting. To meet the project’s

bespoke requirements, contractors Compass also specified Marley’s Hawkins clay tile for the roof to match the roof with the rest of the school.

In addition, the school also required a roofing solution which was able to withstand the test of time. With the most comprehensive roof system on the market,

Marley supplied the underlay, battens and all fixtures and fittings used on the project’s roof. As a result of specifying all the individual roofing elements from

Marley, the project’s contractors were also able to take advantage of the peace of mind offered by Marley’s 15-year guarantee. Ryan Jones, from Compass, said:

“When it came to choosing a roofing solution for Wightwick Hall School, Marley’s full roof system was the obvious choice. It was important that the Hawkins clay

tile was able to seamlessly match the existing built environment, but we also needed a roof which would last. The added bonus of specifying all the individual

roofing elements from Marley provided us with the added confidence that the roof system was underwritten by a 15-year guarantee.” www.marley.co.uk


Kee Safety offers the KeeGuard, a free-standing roof edge protection system that can keep

workers on the roof safe without damaging the roof itself.

Keeguard can also be used for retrofitting to older buildings

as well as for new constructions.

Suitable for use on concrete, asphalt, PVC membrane and felt roof surfaces, the flexible system can

be used on almost any flat roof up to 10 degrees. The guardrail system is compatible with a range of

rooftop configurations and is available for many different roof types, whether it is used where a

restraining wall such as a parapet is in place, or where the rooftop is completely open around the

perimeter. www.keesafety.co.uk


In response to a growth in orders for its Heritage Cast Aluminium Beaded Deep Run

(115x75mm 4.5x3" deeper profile), Rainclear has added it to stock for next day delivery in the

popular textured black colour.

“We’re really making the very most of having the two

warehouses now - to hold the stock we recognise our

customers are looking for,” Rainclear’s Managing Director,

Anthony Hitchman.

An ideal solution for properties that require a rainwater system with extra volume/rainwater flow

capacity, this traditional cast aluminium beaded half round profile gutter is made deeper – for a greater

flow capacity and is already available in 7 standard RAL textured colours or 25 standard Matt RAL

colours in 15 days. Other BS or RAL colours are available to special order. www.rainclear.co.uk


Prater has delivered a substantial scope of works for the Camden Lock Village development,

including standing seam roofing and an extensive waterproofing package – both for the roofs

and the 229 balconies on the residential properties.

Camden Lock Village is a 50,000m² mixed-use development

of eight new buildings between three and nine storeys in

height in the heart of Camden Town in North London.

In collaboration with supply chain partner BEMO, Prater was responsible for the design, development

and installation of the standing seam metal roofing on two of the buildings. Prater also installed hotmelt

and liquid waterproofing systems on seven of the new buildings, using the Radmat PermaQuik

hot-melt system as one of the buildings featured a green roof. www.prater.co.uk

44 TC JANUARY 2020




Visit us at


25-26 MARCH

Ricoh Arena,


Protan BlueProof

Protan BlueProof extends the function of the roof

and makes it possible to drain water gradually and

under control into the sewer, so that the excess water

pressure that causes floods and flood damage is


Protan Prefabricated

Protan Prefabricated Sheets system is the best and

fastest solution in wind-exposed areas, so it is ideal

when the roof has to be covered quickly. Large areas

of roof can be covered quickly with minimal welding

work on site.

Protan Vacuum Roof

Protan Vacuum Roofing is a unique system that does

not require fasteners or adhesives to be used on the

roof surface. The wind forces create a vacuum effect

that sucks the membrane firmly onto the roof structure.

The windier it is, the better the system works.

Protan UK Ltd, 256 Europa Boulevard, Warrington, WA5 7TN

Tel: 01925 658 001

Email: sales@protan.co.uk


Roofing Updates

For further info on all these updates and more, visit www.total-contractor.co.uk


Marley Alutec has designed and supplied bespoke balcony outlets for a £30 million London development

on Lea Bridge Road, known as Motion, in Walthamstow.

Alutec was specified for its high quality, cost effective aluminium outlets which, due to design requirements, were

adapted to enable the concealment of pipe fixings and accept square downpipes telescopically.

Designed by Pollard Thomas Edwards and built by Hill in partnership with London property developer Peabody, the

flagship scheme comprises nine residential blocks of up to 18 storeys in height, offering 300 residential

apartments – including 62 affordable properties.

The development implements around £33,000 of Alutec products across the nine blocks. It was M & E Consultant

Michael Howard of Green Consultancy who specified Alutec for the job. Michael commented: ‘We were keen to specify

metal outlets for this project due to their superior durability. The Alutec outlets proved to be a cost effective, high quality

solution and Alutec’s assistance helped significantly onsite with design and logistics.” www.marleyalutec.co.uk

Marley Alutec designed and supplied bespoke

outlets for a project development in Walthamstow.


A dry fix ridge system that is universal has been launched by Breedon.

Fully tested by the BRE, the Breedon dry fix ridge system

is water resistant and UV stable, and complies with BS


The group has introduced a fixing system where the unique ridge union adjusts for ridge thickness,

that is the ridge union brackets are fully adjustable so they are equally suitable for clay and concrete

ridge tiles. The group's new universal dry ridge system is suitable for ventilating and mechanically

fixing all types of concrete or clay ridge tiles on pitches of between 12.5° and 60°. The boxed kit

comes complete with ventilated ridge rolls, union brackets, clamping plates, screws and washers, and

ridge batten straps for a six-metre length. www.breedongroup.com/products/roof-tiles


Forticrete has supplied its Hardrow Slate solution, which it says provides the same

architectural and aesthetic appeal as natural stone, to Taylor Wimpey’s brand-new housing

development, Lamberts Place, in Stamford, Lincolnshire, which is recognised as one of the

UK’s best preserved stone towns.

Forticrete’s Hardrow Slate: Hardrow’s wide range of

sizes, purpose-made fittings and colour combination

make it a durable, cost-effective solution for an array of

market sectors nationwide.

In total, Hardrow slate tiles were used on 40 roofs on the estate; a premium development consisting of

a range of three to six bedroomed homes. Chief among the concerns for this project was maintaining

the aesthetic of the local area, but Forticrete’s solution met the demands. www.forticrete.co.uk


Catnic has launched a new online tool to streamline the estimation process for its SSR2

standing seam roofing.

Catnic’s new SSR2 estimating tool: “Customers can start

the process in their own time and then speak to a member

of our expert team after the quote has been received.”

Customers simply submit the details of the roof through the quick and simple to use tool on Catnic’s

website for personalised, reliable price estimates. Gareth Holvey of Catnic said: “We are always looking

for ways to make it easier for customers get the information they need. This simple estimating tool has

been designed to get all the information required for a complete quote in the most straightforward way.”

View the tool here: www.catnic.com/products/ssr2-roofing-and-cladding/get-an-estimate

46 TC JANUARY 2020


The A. Proctor Group received two awards at the prestigious Construction Marketing

Awards (CMAs).

Now in their 19th year, the awards showcase the best construction marketing campaigns of the year

from teams across the UK, highlighting creativity, innovation and marketing effectiveness in this

sector. This year the list of CMA award categories was expanded to 24, with the organisers saying

they had received the largest number of entries to date and that all were of a “very high standard”.

The winners were announced at a gala event at the Hilton London Bankside Hotel on 28th November.

The A. Proctor Group won two categories: “Best Use of Advertising” and “Best Big Budget Campaign”. Their winning entry, a fashion-inspired campaign, featured five

fantastic costumes that were made completely out of their high-performing construction membranes. The Marketing Team at the A. Proctor Group worked with

students from the University of Edinburgh to design and construct these outfits. The completed costumes were then professionally modelled and photographed at the

company’s Dunkeld Road factory site in Blairgowrie. The purpose of the costumes was to create fictional “characters” that would help explain the function and

performance characteristics of the membranes, and to show where in the building the membrane would be installed during construction. www.proctorgroup.com

Above: the team from A. Proctor Group; Right the judges called A.

Proctor’s campaign “innovative and exceptionally well executed”.


Dakea Better Safe PVC windows were installed by contractor Room at the Top for a bungalow

conversion in an exclusive Leeds suburb.

Room at the Top MD Jon explained: “As a business we have historically used similar roof windows

but from a different manufacturer, however in recent years have experienced a deterioration in the

quality hence sourcing another manufacturer and finding Dakea who are our firm favourites now. For

this project, Dakea Better Safe PVC centre pivot roof windows have been installed, mainly the M4

size (78 x 98cm) and two C2 size (55 x 78cm). www.dakea.co.uk


Freefoam Building Products has launched a new video to illustrate how PVC roofline products

work seamlessly as part of a wider home improvement offering.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIsKuFHw2mU&t=39s

To find our more about becoming a Freefoam Registered Installer go

to https://www.myfreefoam.com/installers

Working with N G Roofline Windows & Doors, Freefoam filmed a refurbishment installation to illustrate

how roofline products, fascia, soffit and gutter, can be fitted as part of a wider project including

replacement windows and doors. Owner Ashley Marvin explained: “We’ve always been a Freefoam

Registered Installer. We get marketing support from Freefoam, brochures we can leave with customers

and information packs to help our sales process. Their support has certainly helped our business grow.”


CMOStores.com has incorporated a suite of business tools into its trade website.

These new features add time-saving functionality for builders and trade customers in an aim to bring the latest technology and innovation to the sector.

The new business tools added to www.CMOTrade.co.uk have been designed specifically to meet the needs of builders and professional contractors by giving

them the functionality to build tailored customer quotes online and add multiple site and customer addresses, as well as allowing additional buyers from their

team to be added. It also offers trade businesses the ability to have clear and transparent monitoring of quarterly and annual spend on materials to ensure cost

recovery. “CMOTrade.co.uk is more than simply an online shop, it has become a vital business management tool for our customers,” said Rob Martin, Trade

Manager for CMOStores.com. www.CMOTrade.co.uk

JANUARY 2020 TC 47

Mirrored Facades



Simon Gregory, Sales Director at Proteus Facades, explains

how stainless steel facades can help buildings to blend in

with their surroundings.

Metal cladding has been used as a

building element for decades and

recently we have noticed a resurgence

in the specification of stainless steel panels

which are being used on the design of new and

existing buildings. Building designers are

choosing the stainless steel principally because

of the material’s combined benefits of corrosion

resistance and appealing aesthetics.

Stainless steel has, of course, been used in

architectural design for many years, however it is

now available in a much wider range of finishes

and textures, with mirror-polished in particular

proving popular with specifiers looking to make a

feature of reflective surfaces.

Take a recent redevelopment project in

Northampton for example. Architecture Initiative

identified an old abandoned building on the edge

of the city centre as the ideal space for the

development of a new state-of-the-art school.

Working closely with the local authority, the

architects redesigned the old Royal Mail sorting

office, a colossal, brutalist building, originally

opened by Princess Diana on her first solo

engagement in 1981.

Once described as an eyesore of the city, the

structure has been given a new lease of life as

Northampton International Academy (see images

above and below) and now sits harmoniously

within its surroundings, thanks in part to

“Careful placement of the small and large

perforations allows natural light to pass through

and illuminate the interior of the school, whilst

the metal façade is rendered virtually invisible

from the inside”

reflective Proteus SC Perforated Polished

stainless steel panels. This is an engineered

panel system that is available in either solid,

perforated or expanded mesh formats, and in an

extensive range of metals, colours, textures and


The single skin perforated panels at Northampton

International Academy were manufactured from

2mm stainless steel, which offers the ideal

combination of high strength and a modern,

progressive aesthetic.

The architects were looking for a way of visually

reducing the size of the imposing building and the

mirrored stainless steel cladding system cleverly

masks the monolithic appearance of the original

structure by reflecting the built environment

around it, whilst not completely hiding this

brutalist piece of architecture. The mirror

polished surface also reflects the skyline giving

the impression that the building is smaller than it


Of course, making an old building look like new in

this way is also one of the most effective means

of reducing build schedules, which was especially

important on this development because the

school had to be completed for the start of the

new term. It also minimises disruption and cuts

the carbon footprint by providing the structure

with some level of protection from the elements

and heat loss.

In addition, reducing perforation sizes on the

Northampton refurbishment from the middle

48 TC JANUARY 2020

The ideal low maintenance,

rot-free alternative to traditional

cladding material that will give

your home a timeless facade.




low maintenance

factory applied colour

easy to install

more at cedral.co.uk

Mirrored Facades

Above: Northampton International Academy and now sits harmoniously within its surroundings, thanks in part to reflective Proteus SC Perforated Polished stainless steel panels.

to the top and bottom edges maximises

translucency, whilst acting as brise soleil,

providing shade from solar glare and preventing

over-heating to the teaching spaces. Careful

“Reflective cladding

has many benefits and

is enabling architects

and specifiers to meet

their vision for

transforming existing

brutalist structures”

placement of the small and large perforations

allows natural light to pass through and

illuminate the interior of the school, whilst the

metal façade is rendered virtually invisible from

the inside.

Each panel, installed by Deane Roofing &

Cladding, is supported by our aluminium carrier

system and ancillary components anchored to a

cantilever steel frame from the underlying

masonry structure. These allowed the panels to

be hooked-on from behind, accentuating the

sheer, smooth façade interrupted only by the

perforated design.

With a floor area of 22,250m² and high ceilings,

the academy, run by the EMLC Academy Trust,

accommodates over 2,220 pupils, including 420

primary, 1,500 secondary and 300 sixth formers.

The front of the school houses two illuminated

signage boxes that indicate separate entrances

for primary and secondary pupils, which perfectly

complement the mirror polished cladding panels.


The UK is entering an exciting new era in terms of

the aesthetics of our cities. One thing is for sure,

reflective cladding has many benefits and is

enabling architects and specifiers to meet their

vision for transforming existing brutalist


Where your client is seeking a solution for a large

structure that is required to blend in better with

its surroundings, mirror polished stainless steel

can be a way forward. The material can be

perforated, rolled, folded or engraved to create a

really striking façade and ensures a superior

aesthetic and unquestionable advantages in

corrosion resistance, durability and


Contact Proteus Facades

0151 545 5075


50 TC JANUARY 2020

From vents and outlets to edge trims and cappings...

Areco are the UK’s leading distributor of flat roofing accessories

With over 50 years experience of manufacturing and

distributing renowned brands such as Glasstrim,

Nutrim, V-Trim and Rofycom, Areco has over 40,000

metres of roof edge trim in stock for next day delivery.

A full range of Roof Drains, Termination Bars, Breather

Vents and Paving Supports mean we have the right

product for your project.

Areco also offer a bespoke metal fabrication service

for flashings and wall cappings.


• technical knowledge and advice

• nationwide express delivery

• competitive rates

tel: 01922 743553

t: 01922 743553 e: sales@areco.co.uk

ARECO, Unit 2A Coppice Park, Coppice Lane, Aldridge, Walsall, West Midlands WS9 9AA

Step by Step: Mechslip



An introduction to MechSlip:

MechSlip is an all new brick slip cladding system, designed in conjunction with Ibstock and

metal envelope specialist Ash & Lacy. Completely unique to the UK market, MechSlip is

extremely lightweight – delivering all of the key benefits of natural clay brick but more than

50% lighter than traditional masonry.

“The layout of the

support system must

take into account

external factors such

as wind forces”

Installation guide: The basics

1The MechSlip system is an external wall

cladding with a base of generally solid

extruded clay, crafted in the form of

brickslips and supported by an aluminium brick

rail fixed with stainless steel screws on a framing

of aluminium sections. These sections are

fastened to the structure via adjustable brackets.

The system is applicable on flat vertical

substrates of masonry, concrete, steelwork or

timber, and on new construction or renovation,

sheer or containing openings.

2It’s essential for MechSlip’s fixing

structure to be plumb and true. The final

brick slip alignment is dependant on the

accuracy of this installation.

Before the cladding work commences, it is

important to ensure that the provided primary

supporting structure is within the required

tolerances for the cladding supports ordered. The

correct specification of fixings is stainless steel,

either self-tapping or self-drilling/tapping,

dependent on the substructure.

3The design and installation of the support

framing is designed to be freely

expandable; shoring-up the versatility of

the MechSlip offering. The layout of the support

system must take into account external factors,

such as wind forces. The maximum centres

between mullions is determined by a standard

width of the panels including joints or by

standard lengths. In every case, an air layer is

also provided – with a minimum thickness of

50mm behind each panels.

4The mullions are fastened to the structure

with the aid of wall brackets, either ‘U’

section or angles manufactured from mill

finish aluminium. The wall brackets must be

sized according to the fixing of the façade

insulation, and should allow for suitable

adjustment clearance of at least 30mm.

“The design and

installation of the

support framing is

designed to be freely

expandable; shoringup

the versatility of the

MechSlip offering”

52 TC JANUARY 2020

Installation guide: Brick rails

• Begin by installing the starter rail at the

location of the first brick course. The rail must be

lined and levelled, then fixed back to the vertical

mullion using a SS-LS22 screw (as recommended

by support centres)

• With the starter rail installed, align the bottom

slot of the A&L gauge tool so that it is aligned

with the starter rail at each end of the full rail


• Next, use slot 15 of the gauge tool to locate the

position of an intermediate brick rail, lining up at

both ends of the rail to ensure that it is straight.

• Fix this intermediate rail back to the vertical

support rails using an SS-LS22 screw. The A&L

gauge tool features pre-punched holes, so the

fixings can be installed through the body of the

A&L gauge tool and into the rail, while the rail is

retained in position.

• Once the first two rails are installed, keep the

A&L gauge tool held in position and slide any

remaining intermediate rails into position. If you

are using a full length of the gauge, there will be

14 intermediate rails between. The gauge tool will

ensure that these rails are automatically spaced

at 75mm increments vertically.

• Once in position, fix all the intermediate rails at

each of their ends, using the pre-punched holes

in the gauge to position, using SS-LS22 fixings as


• After every 15 rails, check the level of the

topmost rail and repeat process, locating the

bottom slot of the gauge tool to the topmost rail.

Installation guide: Mechslips

For flat wall areas:

• Once rails are installed, the bricks can be fitted

in any order consecutively, leaving access for

retrofitting of additional services.

• First, locate the metal brick spacer shortleg

into the top slot of the brick slip. It will be located

on the right-hand side of the brick.

• With the brick orientated so that the larger slot

is at the top, locate the underside of the rail

above tilted at a 45-degree angle and push flat.

• Position the bottom slot in the brick against the

top side of the intermediate or starter rail and

secure into place. Ensure it is positioned straight.

The brick should now be secured between the

rails immediately above and below it.

• Repeat the process for the remaining bricks,

ensuring that there is a metal brick spacer

installed in the vertical joints between individual


• The metal ‘L spacer’ will automatically create a

10mm wide vertical joint between bricks, with a

“Once rails are

installed, the bricks

can be fitted in any

order consecutively,

leaving access for

retrofitting of

additional services”

10mm horizontal created by the upstand of the

rail profile.

• To remove a brick after fitting, lift it upwards by

approx. 5mm so that the bottom slot disengages

with the rail beneath, tilt the bottom edge

outwards to approx. 45 degrees and remove.

• Once the brickslip installation is complete, the

joints are to be pointed by a specialist contractor

using an approved brickslip mortar.

• The standard vertical and horizontal joint is


• The brickslips are located and interlocked with

each other, ensuring that each slip is fully located

with even joint widths.

Contact Ibstock

01530 261 999


JANUARY 2020 TC 53

Advertorial: Vivalda Group Party


UK’s largest independent cladding supplier reaches 20 year

landmark and celebrates in style.

While most businesses would be happy to will be full of growth potential – especially in the

celebrate their 20 year anniversary with a areas of offsite fabrication, digital construction

few crisps and a glass of fizz in reception, and just-in-time delivery. This will all

Vivalda Group has pulled out all the stops – hiring a take huge amounts of

full-scale funfair to mark the milestone.

investment in new

technologies, systems

Inviting more than 150 guests to its national

and skills – and

headquarters in Birmingham to mark the

we’re already on

occasion, Vivalda staged a construction themed

that journey with

party involving dodgem cars, waltzers, graffiti

our recent

artists and a range of traditional fairground stalls.

acquisition of new

The event was supported by brands such as

CNC cutting

Equitone, Plastestrip, Nvelope Rockpanel and

machines and our

Trespa, and also included a BBQ – manned by

low-emission delivery

Vivalda Directors no less! – food trucks and even


a Las Vegas-style stage. The day ended with an

award ceremony highlighting the achievements of Vivalda Group is remarkable within

Vivalda staff across its nationwide network of 11 the UK cladding sector, given its longevity and


consistent investment into its people and

fabrication capabilities. David Fraser, business

Prizes were awarded for longstanding service,

unit manager at fixings supplier Nvelope, said:

most boards cut, most invoices processed and

“As Vivalda has grown over the last two decades,

deliveries undertaken. Providing a personal

our business has kept pace to ensure we

address to the audience, company chairman and

continue to investment in our partnership.

founder Peter Johnson was keen to point out the

Delivering successful projects in construction is

contribution made by people to the business. He

all about trust and co-operation – and we

also made special mention of Glasgow-based

certainly have that with the guys at VivaIda.”

MSP, the cladding manufacturer / powder coating

specialist which joined the Vivalda Group in 2019.

“We can see the next

ten years will be full of

growth potential “

Left and below: Ben Jayes and Peter Johnson celebrate

with the team at the Vivalda Group’s party.

In a similar vein, Jayne Arkell,

UK country manager at

Equitone, said: “Our

fibre cement cladding is

unique and needs to

be handled and

fabricated by experts.

That’s why Vivalda is

one of just a handful of

businesses we trust with

our products. Here’s to another

20 years of success!”

Mark Henderson of Plastestrip added: “I’ve

known Peter Johnson and Ben Jayes (pictured

above) for over 20 years. What they’ve achieved

over that time is remarkable and they should be

rightly proud of their business.”

Comprising brands including Vivalda, Pura

Facades, BBS and MSP (Scotland), Vivalda Group

employs 160 people and has an annual turnover

of approximately £40m.

He also gave an insight into how the cladding

sector had changed over the past 20 years.

“Vivalda has always prided itself on its culture as

an inclusive employer, harnessing the skills and

talents of everyone, irrespective of their sex,

nationality or culture. We want everyone to feel

safe and empowered to make their contribution to

the business,” said Johnson.

“There’s no room for outdated employment

practices here. We’re a dynamic business with an

eye to the future. We can see the next ten years

54 TC JANUARY 2020

Top right: Vivalda Directors took charge of the barbecue;

Above: Graffiti artists showed their skills whilst staff and

guests enjoyed themselves at the funfair themed party.

Contact Vivalda Group



JANUARY 2020 TC 55

Cladding Updates


For further info on all these updates and more, visit www.total-contractor.co.uk

Rainscreen cladding panels from Proteus Facades have transformed a building on London’s Hoxton Square.

Aviva identified Hoxton Square as the ideal location to create a campus of offices and relocate its Digital Garage; a

dedicated space where technical specialists, creative designers and business leaders collaborate to develop new ideas

and services. As part of the development, known as Project Drum, Aviva purchased 28-30 Hoxton Square along with other

Proteus Facades’ products were used at on this

project in Hoxton Square.

buildings in the area. A major part of the brief given to architects TTSP was to ensure that historic structural elements of the building were retained and left exposed

whilst all new visible external elements were over-clad to harmonise with the original features. Working closely with TTSP, Proteus Facades provided support with the

design of the rainscreen cladding system to ensure this challenge was met. Proteus HR TECU Patina Madrid panels, installed by Openwood Facades, were chosen for

the double height storey which sits atop of the central part of the building, with architectural fins to the south elevations and window frames designed to match. The

patterned copper finish of the Proteus material perfectly complements the colours and textures of the surrounding buildings, whilst staying in keeping with the heritage

of the original site that dates to the 1700s. Proteus HR VM Zinc Quartz rainscreen cladding was also specified for the roof level of 28-30 Hoxton Square, which

provides a long, maintenance-free life and offers adaptability to various design styles ranging from traditional to modern. www.proteusfacades.com


RCM has announced that three further products have successfully achieved the prestigious

BBA accreditation.

RCM has secured BBA approval for its Supertech

Weatherboard, Multipurpose sheathing board and

Renderflex render carrier board.

Through extensive testing RCM has secured BBA approval for its Supertech Weatherboard,

Multipurpose sheathing board and Renderflex render carrier board. Only products which meet the

highest specifications will receive BBA approval as ‘fit for purpose’, bringing great reassurance and

ultimately maintaining quality in the construction industry.

RCM offers a wide portfolio of building boards and facades, with its popular A1 non-combustible Y-

Wall fibre cement building board having already achieved BBA accreditation a few years ago.

Ian Quinton, Managing Director at RCM, explained: “ We are very proud of achieving the acclaimed

and trusted BBA certification for our products. This accreditation will further bring great reassurance

to our customers and highlight the high-performance and reliability of RCM’s products. It also

enables us to give confidence to architects, contractors and designers to specify and install the RCM

range of materials, whether the product is being used on its own or forms part of an overall solution,

both in internal and external applications. We believe that the BBA certification will open up new

opportunities for RCM and help us to break into new sectors and markets. We look forward to

ongoing business growth and the opportunities which will present themselves.”



The Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association (MCRMA) has published a new guidance document titled Fasteners for metal roof

and wall cladding: design, detailing and installation guide.

MCRMA says the importance of the correct selection of such fasteners is often underestimated by architects, designers, system suppliers and

contractors and this 50-page guidance document offers a comprehensive practical guide on the selection, use and performance of fasteners designed

for use within the typical metal roofing and cladding systems specified for modern industrial, commercial and residential buildings. The guidance

document covers a wide range of topics including fastener types, performance criteria, durability, weathertightness, aesthetics, typical cladding

systems, detailing and installation and tooling. The guide can be downloaded from the MCRMA website at https://bit.ly/2DWsCEL

56 TC JANUARY 2020




By Simon Storer, Chief Executive of the IMA.

In 2019, climate change rose to the top of the

political agenda and marked a change in

British politics, with all parties in support of a

transition to net zero within a few decades. With

buildings at the heart of energy policy, unless the

incumbent government puts in place investment,

along with well-funded policies and initiatives to

improve UK housing stock, it will be impossible

to achieve. Can the UK capitalise on this

significant turning point and change housing for

the better?

The recent past is littered with broken promises

about housing numbers and failed energy

performance schemes such as the Code for

Sustainable Homes and the scrapped Zero

Carbon Homes policy. Meeting the net-zero

carbon emissions target will be a tough feat,

considering the UK’s 29 million homes account

for 15% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions

and many of these use oil and gas

for heating and hot water.

Future Homes Standard

We may soon have the longawaited

Future Homes Standard,

with proposals for improved and

more stringent fabric efficiency

standards to be introduced to

minimise heat loss from walls,

windows, doors, floors and roofs,

as well as through much more attention to

“If we are to create high

quality, low carbon and

climate resilient homes

then insulation has a

key role to play”

Left: Simon Storer, Chief Executive at the

Insulation Manufacturers Association.

installation detail. This progressive

policy aimed at improving

standards on new build housing is

welcomed but there is a big

difference between new build and

existing housing. The challenge is

to actually build new homes to the

energy performance standard

promised and to dramatically

improve all existing houses and other buildings

through a nationwide deep-retrofit programme

alongside these proposals.

If we are to create high quality, low carbon and

climate resilient homes, then insulation has a key

role to play. A thermally insulated building

envelope installed correctly will achieve high

performance, low maintenance, reduced energy

58 TC JANUARY 2020



By QI (Quantum Insulation Ltd)

“Who is to judge what needs to be

done; to confirm that it has been

retrofitted to a decent standard and

show that the work provides value

for money?”

bills and provide long-term energy efficiency. We must also ensure the

finished articles perform to the standard intended; this will require a robust

and credible inspection process to measure the improvements, to

compensate and correct if this has not been achieved; and to determine

who will pay for the work and how this will be accomplished.

We know we have the products, the expertise and the ability to build and

refurbish the UK's buildings to very high standards but who is to judge what

needs to be done; to confirm that it has been retrofitted to a decent

standard and show that the work provides value for money? Unless we have

a credible and trustworthy measuring system in place, we will never achieve

the standards necessary.

Labour crisis: more critical than ever

The other issue is the labour crisis which is more critical than ever. It has

become a key constraint to the housebuilding industry, severely impacting

the quality of new buildings, the ability to build to budget and ensuring that

all performance characteristics meet both design and regulatory


We have the aspiration and it is positive that politicians are finally catching

up with what many commentators have been saying for some time. The

question remains as to what will unlock this activity. If it is to be achieved

then the next government will need to do something that governments over

the past 20 years or so have been spectacularly unable to achieve.

‘ Warm Tapered Insulation Design – falls and drainage.’

The publication of the updated BS 6229 in 2018 has been the cause of





Next month’s QI by QI – ‘Is your upstand insulation board compliant

with the requirements of

Approved Document B?.’

Contact the IMA

0161 672 7387



JANUARY 2020 TC 59

Insulation and Housing Targets


Actis says speed, ease, cleanliness and thermal efficiency play a part in meeting UK

housing targets.

With the appointment last autumn of

Mark Farmer to the post of MMC

champion for the government, there is

optimism that Britain may get building seriously.

The author of the ground-breaking, governmentcommissioned

Farmer Review of the Construction

Labour Model, which called on the industry to

‘modernise or die’ back in 2016, says it’s time to

stop talking about change and actually put it into


And this means, he says, fundamentally altering the

physical process of how we build, becoming more

productive and having more control of the process,

as well as reducing carbon in an industry which

relies on cement.

All this fighting talk has been welcomed by timber

framers everywhere – and by those involved in the

supply chain.

Among those supplying components to the off-site

manufacturers who will play a key role in helping

Mark Farmer achieve his aim is insulation specialist

Actis, a supplier to many timber frame companies

across the UK.

Its four CE marked products have LABC and LABSS

registered details and are NHBC, LABC warranty

and Premier Guarantee approved.

Honeycomb insulation, Hybris, insulating vapour

control later, HControl Hybrid and two variants of an

insulating breather membrane – Boost R Hybrid

and Boost R Hybrid Roof – are popular among

companies building in this way.

Reasons for their popularity include their ability to

eliminate thermal bridging and thus improve energy

efficiency, because they can be squeezed into

corners and create a thermal blanket with no air


They can be installed quickly and easily – thus

reducing man hours and saving money.

They enable developers to gain extra saleable

square footage as the products are thin. And they

create no dust or mess – making working

conditions more pleasant and removing the need for

special clothing or masks.

Actis has produced a number of bite-sized

installation how to videos which look at how to

install the products in a variety of scenarios and

locations, which are handy for viewing while on site.

And an online U-value simulator enables installers

and specifiers to ensure they are choosing the right

product for the job to achieve the required thermal


While they are popular in new builds, extensions

and loft conversions, they also play their part in

improving the thermal efficiency of older buildings.

Case study: Water Tower conversion

An ‘upside down’ water tower conversion in

Warwickshire which was insulated with Actis

Hybris insulation and insulating breather

membrane Boost R Hybrid has won a renovation

award – and is now listed as a holiday let on

Airbnb. The tower was converted by Anton

Richards, a Nottinghamshire builder from WA

Richards Contractors Ltd, who has a morbid fear

of boring day-to-day extensions and a passion for

tackling projects no-one else will touch!

He said: “We normally use Actis. The client

wanted the insulation to be as good as possible –

so Actis fitted the bill. As a contractor, I much

prefer Actis to hideous fibreglass or PU, because

the dust and price are horrendous. Actis is a much

better product. It meets the U-value requirements

and it’s easy to use. Why wouldn’t I?”

Case study: Dundee developer

An environmentally conscious Dundee developer

which specialises in creating energy efficient,

value-for-money homes has continued to use

Actis Hybrid products after a pilot scheme a

number of years ago.

Grant White, director of timber frame specialist

Discovery Homes used Hybris and Boost R

Hybrid on a seven-villa trial development.

He said: “In previous developments we’ve used

a glass wool which is cheaper up front. But I

believe Actis Hybrid products are much better

and save money in the long run because they

are such good quality and are so quick and easy

to install that we save on labour costs. I also

really like the fact that there is very little

wastage and they’re such clean products to


An Actis Hybris insulated water tower won a renovation

award (Credit: Carrera Commercial Photography)

A Dundee developer switched from glass wool to Actis Hybrid

products because they are quick, clean and easy to install.

Contact Actis Insulation

01249 462 888



60 TC JANUARY 2020


Insulation for Flat Roofing Contractors

In an extremely fast moving market, where

supplying the right product for the right

application has never been more important,

you need to deal with a company you can

trust… a company that has the experience

to understand your requirements and supply

the appropriate, compliant flat roof insulation


QI partner with major insulation manufacturers

to provide Approved Document B compliant

non-combustible insulation for use with Single

Ply, Liquid Applied, Hot Melt or Reinforced

Bitumen Membrane waterproofing.

QI can meet your needs for non-combustible

upstand insulation boards, uniform thickness

or tapered roof insulation all backed by a

comprehensive support.

Rockwool – flat and tapered mineral wool

insulation solutions for flat roofs and upstands,

including Angle Fillets for use with bitumen


Foamglas – flat and tapered cellular glass

insulation solutions that are lightweight, rigid

and non-combustible.

RockFace A2 – a Euroclass A2-s1, d0 certified

non-combustible upstand insulation board for

inverted roof applications.

For further information on QI’s range of non-combustible

tapered and uniform thickness insulation boards go to:

Insulation Updates

For further info on all these updates and more, visit www.total-contractor.co.uk


Actis has renewed its partnership with LABC for a third time after two successful years as a sponsor.

The two organisations are looking forward to helping other industry members gain greater insight into thermal efficiency

thanks, in part, to their incredibly successful roving monthly technical seminars. The CPD sessions Actis presents at all

the LABC roadshows around the country have been extremely popular, so much so that 2020 will see the launch of a

new, follow up module. And revisions to Part L expected in 2020 are also likely to form a major plank of the LABC and

Actis roadshow messages in the coming year. Actis will continue to take part in LABC’s much-lauded regional awards

ceremonies and will play a key role in its annual conference in March. LABC has seen growing take up of its regional

Above: Actis UK’s Thomas Wiedmer, Mark

roadshows over the past two years, with many events now oversubscribed, necessitating earlier booking from the Cooper and Dan Anson-Hart celebrate the

continued partnership with LABC alongside

builders, building control surveyors, architects and specifiers for whom they are designed. LABC Head of Business

Anna Thompson of the LABC.

Development Anna Thompson said: “We are delighted that Actis will continue to be one of our main sponsors for the

coming year. Over the past two years we have developed an excellent, mutually beneficial relationship which has helped to raise understanding of the work of

both organisations throughout the construction industry, particularly our mutual goal of closing the thermal performance gap.” www.insulation-actis.com


ROCKWOOL Group has announced its sponsorship of the Denmark SailGP Team.

ROCKWOOL sponsors the Denmark SailGP Team: “As a

Danish company operating internationally, we’re proud to

bring a Danish team to the world stage for the first time,

and are very excited to see them race in Sydney next

February and then onto other cities across the globe.”

The Danish team will join six other national teams competing in the world’s fastest sail racing for the

sport’s largest monetary prize of US$1 million. With ROCKWOOL’s support, the Danish team will compete

in the global league that will kick off in Sydney Harbour in February 2020, and take them around the

world. ROCKWOOL Group CEO Jens Birgersson said: “Sustainability is at the very heart of our business,

with our products used to insulate buildings, save energy, and ultimately contribute toward global climate

goals. Sailing is a sustainable sport and perfect fit for the ROCKWOOL brand.” www.rockwool.co.uk


Rigorous BIM implementation across Europe and new assessment frameworks for external wall

insulation were topics in the spotlight when more than a dozen pan-European building experts

met in Liverpool.

Above: The UEAtc (European Union for technical approval

in construction) team members.

The technical heads, each representing member countries of the UEAtc were hosted by the British

Board of Agrément (BBA) for the four-day event, which aimed to share knowledge and discuss ways of

improving building design, safety and performance. Rolling out BIM across Europe and digitalising

building product certification data was a focus of the event, with discussions exploring the possibilities

of embedding certification data into Level 2 BIM modelling and enabling it to work with digital twins.

This would push intelligent reporting, which already exists within BIM, a step further, improving the

platform’s ability to flag up, for example, product clashes and ensure total compliance for building

designers. “Although this concept is embryonic at the moment and there are challenges to overcome, it

was useful to find out where our European partners sit in the debate, the progress being made in their

home countries and how we can work together to move the conversation forward,” said Wendy Ajuwon,

BBA Head of Marketing. “The construction industry is increasingly turning to digitalisation to solve

issues and it is therefore really important to consider the role building product certification has to play

within the digital chain of custody across Europe. It is also a very pertinent debate that looks to support

the Hackitt Report’s ‘golden thread’ of quality building information.” www.bbacerts.co.uk

62 TC JANUARY 2020

Knowledge, S

kills, Expertisee

LRWA are recruiting now for the

UK’s only Specialist Applied-skills

Programme (SAP) in Liquid Roofing

• Course consists of 12 months of classroom and

practical training in all major liquid disciplines

• Followed by a 6-month on-site assessment which leads

to a Level 2 S/NVQ Liquid Roofing

CITB grant funding is available for registered companies

• LRWA training is available to members and non-members

• Training available at five CITB Approved Training Centres

across the UK


0333 9874581 Email: info@lrwa.org.uk



Trust Ubbink for

quality roofing

products to make

your life easier

Call us on 01604 433000 or visit

our website for more details.




JANUARY 2020 TC 63







John Anderson, Strategic Business Development Manager, Emerging Markets at FLIR,

explains how a stand-alone thermal camera can assist roofers on residential projects.

For a quick moisture check of drywall or

flooring, a moisture meter from a DIY store

might be adequate but such a limited tool

would be inadequate in a roofing professional’s


The material, construction and scale of roofing

calls for more specialized equipment. This

technology provides an enhanced vision that

enables operators to identify problems quickly

across large swaths of material, saving time.

Additionally, thermal imagery builds customer

confidence, as it substantiates contractor

expertise with visual evidence. Of course, the cost

difference between a low-end consumer moisture

meter and a professional grade solution must be

weighed against these benefits. To choose the

most cost-efficient moisture metering solution for

a business, roofing professionals should consider

the costs and benefits of infrared imaging, pin

probes, and drones for their application.

Residential roofing applications

The use of thermal imaging depends entirely on

the material being examined. Therefore, the

technology offers different benefits for residential

and commercial roofing applications.

Residential roofing commonly consists of a

plywood deck, an underlay and a barrier to the

elements, such as composite asphalt shingles,

clay tiles, steel, or aluminium. Overall, these

roofs are comprised of a few relatively thin layers.

A sheet of plywood holds a very limited amount of

moisture, so these roofs lack the thermal mass to

support thermal transfer from stored moisture in

a wet base layer through the moisture barrier and

to a roof shingle. Plus, air pockets in shingle or

tile roofing confuse the thermal signature.

As a result, conducting thermal inspections on

the exterior of residential roofs,

especially those with composite

shingling or clay tiling, can offer

limited probative value. For this

reason, drones are unlikely to

prove particularly useful for

determining moisture in

residential roofing applications.

An increasing number of roofing

professionals embrace drone

technology for visual inspection as a simple way

to avoid a perilous climb while quickly scanning

the surface. However, the limited thermal mass of

the underlying roofing material defeats

the ability for thermal imaging

drones to achieve a similarly

detailed thermal profile. If using a

drone to locate moisture in a

residential roof, the optimal time

comes after rain before the majority

of the stored moisture evaporates.

Instead, moisture in residential

roofing is best identified through

alternate means. With easy access to

the underside of the roof, some

contractors may choose to use a ball

probe or pin meter to locate and measure the

extent of moisture. High-quality moisture meters

of this type are available at very low cost.

Thermal imaging offers a number of advantages

when used to inspect the underside of a roof,

especially for roofs with more surface area to

examine. Contractors can quickly scan for signs

of moisture. Of course, the persistent question

remains: Is it wet, or just cold? For residential

roofing applications, any thermal image that

suggests the presence of water may in fact not

signify moisture at all. An area that appears cold

on the thermal camera may be cold because

moisture is evaporating, or cold air is

entering the roof from the exterior,

among other possibilities. So,

thermal imaging cannot replace

moisture measurement, but

moisture measurement can prove

inefficient without thermal imaging

as a guide.

Fortunately, roofing professionals can

utilize equipment that combines these

complementary functionalities at a price

that promises good return on investment

and saved time. When a contractor

climbs into an attic, he or she may

be greeted by insufficient lighting. If

there is moisture in the roofing

substrate – whether warm, cold, or

evaporating – being able to see in

the dark with infrared imaging to

find a moisture anomaly saves both

time and labour. Additionally,

visualising the extent of a moisture

patch enables professionals to

quickly differentiate between moisture

caused by a leak or condensation.

For residential roofers and roofing inspectors who

own a reliable moisture meter but would benefit

from thermal imaging, adding a stand-alone

thermal camera may prove most cost-effective in

the short term.

Next month John looks at the problems when

assessing commercial roofing applications.

Contact FLIR Systems

01732 220 011



64 TC JANUARY 2020


For further info on all these updates and more, visit www.total-contractor.co.uk


Snickers Workwear’s new ALLroundWork Jackets and Gilets deliver an all-round performance on site with a

Ripstop water-resistant outer fabric and a coated inner fabric for extra durability.

Above: Snickers Workwear’s new

range of jackets and Gilets.

They’re wind-resistant too and designed for optimum comfort and flexibility when you’re on the move. With smart

designs and an ergonomic fit, Snickers Workwear ALLroundWork garments are packed with must-have features that

focus on functionality and freedom of movement as well as using innovative fabrics that deliver long lasting

protection. There’s also a range of base- and mid-layer garments plus accessories like gloves, hats, face warmers

and beanies to ensure that every part of you stays dry and warm. www.snickersworkwear.co.uk


Nails, screws and fixings supplier Samac has grown its sales team with the appointment of two area sales

managers, allowing the company to expand its distribution.

James Drury and Steven Fielding have

joined Samac. www.samacfixings.co.uk

James Drury has 12 years of industry experience gained after running an independent builders merchant and

developing specialist adhesives and sealant knowledge at Bond-It. James will be covering the north west coast region

in an area stretching from Scotland down to Birmingham. Steven Fielding, who has spent the past 20 years at a similar

company, brings extensive product expertise to his new position. He will be covering the London and East Anglia region,

and has taken over from Net Franklin who is now developing Samac’s offering in the south west of England.


Motoring experts from LeaseVan.co.uk have released six pieces of advice to help van drivers park their vehicles without annoying local residents

and the general public. Below we take a look at their guide to van parking etiquette:

1. Park as far away from junctions as possible: Parking your van right on a road corner or opposite a junction can cause problems and potential danger for

fellow road users. It could significantly obstruct visibility, blocking a driver’s view of oncoming traffic when attempting to turn, and even reduce the available

space for others vehicles to manoeuvre in, if the location determines your van is parked on-street rather than in a designated bay.

2. Try to stay off the pavement: If circumstances mean you’ve got no choice but to park partially on a pavement, try to leave as much room as possible,

especially for prams, wheelchairs, the elderly and children – rather than forcing pedestrians to cross over. It’s always best to seek an available, larger parking

space nearby before putting your van on a pavement though, to avoid annoying locals.

3. Be sensitive to homeowners’ light and view: Well-mannered van drivers won’t park their bulky vehicles directly in front of a property’s windows,

particularly if they’re going to be parked in that same spot for a large proportion of the day. This can be problematic as it can stop natural light getting in to a

home and block the residents’ views of the outside world.

4. Anticipate and avoid narrowing roads: Drivers should, wherever possible, steer clear of parking vans on stretches of road where doing so would make it

tight or impossible for other vehicles to pass in both directions at the same time. Van owners also must try to find a more appropriate, alternative space

further down the street or around the corner, if parking in their initial location might obstruct access for emergency services.

5. Think twice about getting in the way at car park: At supermarkets, multi-storey car parks and out of town retail locations, van drivers shouldn’t park

straddling two bays. Find a space that’s specifically designed for larger vehicles or in a quieter area further away from the shop or facility’s front doors.

6. Be considerate of neighbours if you’re on the job: Tradespeople conducting domestic or local work should utilise property’s driveways or park as close

as possible to the house they’re working on, rather than unnecessarily taking any neighbours’ usual, coveted on street parking spots in busy areas. Just as

when driving a car, it’s important to make sure you aren’t blocking any required access, such as to a neighbour’s driveways, when parking your van. If building

materials make any mess on the pavement or surroundings as you’re loading or unloading, make sure to clear it up.

66 TC JANUARY 2020

Celebrating 40 Years!

Bring the Trophy Home

in 2020!


DATE: 14 TH MAY 2020

• Buy a boat and enter a team

• Event is open to non-members

• Great opportunity to bring customers and clients who may be interested in supporting

this excellent cause

• Corporate sponsorship packages available to support the event





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