September 2020

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Think of this as Light Steel Framing

EJOT’s advanced fastening capability spans global market sectors, providing solutions to a

world of assembly applications. Lightweight vehicle assembly is just one example.

It’s the sharing of this ‘make-lighter-build-stronger’ know-how, that is helping to create new

products and installation techniques for the modern construction envelope, on and off site.

Here in the UK our Applitec centre is at the hub of everything we design, test and

manufacture; working with the EJOT Group worldwide and forming academic partnerships to

embrace the challenges of a changing industry in a rapidly changing world.

EJOT® The Quality Connection


Editor’s Comment




07963 330774

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Over the last few issues we focussed on the fact that the ability for

operatives to be able to demonstrate competency through continual

development is only going to increase.

With the recent formation of the Building Safety Regulator and imminent

changes to Building Regulations, the spotlight is on all in the supply chain and

particularly those responsible for the installation of products and materials.

Cover courtesy of Glidevale Protect. See their advert on p25

and find out more about the Viking Air Underlay on p31.

This issue was touched on in our wide-ranging talk with James Talman,

Chief Executive of NFRC, who, with recent developments around RoofCERT

and CompetentRoofer, feels roofing is well placed to meet future demand.

Discussing the route to accreditation alongside the experienced worker size

of the roofing market, James explained NFRC is in the final stages of

securing an approved experienced worker route for acceptance to the

RoofCERT accreditation, which he feels will be crucial for the sector moving

forward. James explained: “The experienced worker size of our market is

over 75% of our workforce. Before, this part of the market would have had

no route to accreditation but through proper assessment, through upskilling

where necessary and CPD, we now have a route accredit the vast majority

of the roofing labour force; that’s been a sticking point for years.” You can

read our full interview with James from p14.

Elsewhere in this issue, Stuart Base talks access to materials following the

opening of SIG Roofing’s Bristol Hub (p18); John Mercer turns his attention

to the installation of clay pantiles (p24); Jeremy Dunn advises against

under-spec rooflights (p36); and Julian Thurbin discusses BS 8579 (p30).

So read on for all this and much more...

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Email: andydunn@media-now.co.uk

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

Commercial Manager: Jake Roxborough

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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,

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We caught up with the Chief Executive of NFRC

to talk competency, skills, lockdown, the role

of the Federation moving forward and so

much more...


Following a number of complaints relating to

glass rooflights, NARM’s Jeremy Dunn

highlights the issues of using under-spec




The experts at EJOT outline best practice

guidance for attaching to externally insulated

walls to ensure you don’t compromise on the

performance of the facade




Stuart Nicholson explains why correct roof ventilation is

key to preventing condensation damage in new homes


Following the publication of the Health & Safety in Roof

Work guidance, Shaun Revill looks at the role of battens


Nick King explains why contractors must use specific

product solutions for low pitch roofing applications


Julian Thurbin discusses the Standard which addresses

the fire performance of at-height balconies and terraces



The team at VELUX Commercial say contractors need

support they can trust so projects run smoothly


Dominic Waring talks diamond blades & cutting discs so

roofers can ensure they have the best tool for the job




Stuart Base talks access to products and

outlines the real benefits SIG Roofing’s new

Bristol Hub will offer roofers in the South West


In his latest consultant case study, John

Mercer turns his attention to the correct

installation of traditional clay pantiles


In their latest column, the experts at QI discuss

whether non-combustible insulation is

required over compartment walls










The Institute of Roofing has launched a new identity as it

continues its plan to “modernise and revitalise”


The Building Safety Group says Covid-19 breaches on sites

are down, but “now is not the time to be complacent”









Industry News



SIG Roofing’s major new distribution hub in

Bristol has formally opened its doors,

representing significant investment from

the leading roofing supplier into its offering

in the West Country and South Wales.

The facility, which was unveiled on 1st

September 20, is located on Bristol’s More+

industrial complex and signifies a major step

forward in SIG Roofing’s stock holding and

delivery capabilities in the region.

At the heart of the new complex is 31,617 sq

ft of warehousing space, enabling SIG

Roofing to ensure that the widest array of its

products can be held in stock at any one

time. It is also home to a large delivery fleet,

which will eventually rise to 28 vehicles.

The hub enables increased support to SIG

Roofing’s active branch network across the

South West, further enhancing its offering to

roofers operating within the M4 corridor.

Customers visiting the hub are also able pick

up their materials from dedicated collection

points (for pre-ordered stock), ensuring visits

to the site are efficient and hassle free.

George King, Divisional Managing Director for

the South at SIG Roofing, said: “We’re

absolutely delighted to be able to officially

open our brand new distribution hub. The

strategic location means we can really

scale-up our offering to roofers and our

branch network alike. We are totally

committed to delivering an unbeatable

service for our customers, and this new hub

is a major step forward for us in that regard.

The facility will help us maintain an

unbroken supply chain to our branches in

the region, ultimately ensuring roofing

professionals can get the right part for the

job, exactly when they need it.”

More on the new Bristol Hub: page 18

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


The Institute of Roofing (IoR) has

recognised as part of the NFRC’s

launched a new brand identity as

RoofCERT accreditation programme.

part of its commitment to

Stuart continued: “Despite our current

“modernise and revitalise”,

situation with Covid-19, we have

following the appointment of its new

managed to achieve some key goals

CEO, Stuart Hicks.

to modernise the Institute. Alongside

The rebrand reveals a transformation

the new training courses, revamped

in the colour identity of the IoR with a new logo, and website and fresh brand identity, we are also

follows the recent relaunch of the IoR website. making headway in our goal to achieving Chartered

status in what is a measured, step-by-step

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, the IoR

process. We have changed the management

says its new look follows a wave of developments

structure of the IoR, modernised our constitution

in 2020 that underpin the Institute’s goal of

and rules, updated our membership criteria and

achieving Chartered status.

improved our member benefits. We’re also working

Stuart Hicks, explained: “I made it clear at our AGM more closely with other training providers,

in 2019 that we needed to make some big changes federations and sector associations, and created

to help cement our place within the UK roofing the first-stage pathway to professional

sector. This new, graphic identity will not only give qualifications to help and encourage participants to

us a new logo, but ensure a more professionally achieve their highest level.”

presented organisation to the outside world.”

Stuart concluded: “This is our 40th year and we

The rebrand is just one of many new developments wanted to carve a new direction for the Institute, as

for the Institute, as it also relaunched its Associate well as create a new look. By modernising and

Course in January as well as providing a

driving our strategy forward, it will benefit not only

comprehensive set of updated online training our members, but the wider roofing industry for

courses, six of which have also now been

years to come.”


Tools are stolen from a tradesperson’s vehicle Of the 28,681 incidences of tool theft, nearly a

every 20 minutes in England, Wales and Northern third (30%) were reported in London with the

Ireland, according to new research from Direct North West (27%) and Yorkshire and Humberside

Line - Business.

(12%) closely following.

In 2019, there were an alarming 28,681 cases of When considering population density, the North

tool theft from vehicles, equating to 78 incidences West had the most accounts of tool theft per

every day. Based on an analysis of data from resident, with Lancashire Constabulary reporting

police forces across England, Wales and Northern the highest levels of thefts in the region – an

Ireland, the findings highlight that theft of tools alarming 4,440 in one year.

from vehicles is a frequent problem for

Nandita Borkakoti of Direct Line - Business, said:

tradespeople. The loss of vital equipment can

“This new research reveals the shocking

present a serious threat to a tradesperson’s

frequency of tool theft from vehicles. Tool theft is

livelihood, especially in the current economic

hugely disruptive and often results in

climate, preventing them from carrying out work

tradespeople missing out on jobs. It’s vital they do

and hitting their pockets hard.

all they can to protect themselves.”






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Industry News



Installers and builders across the UK and

Ireland can now benefit from a rewards

boost running from August until 31st

October 2020, thanks to VELUX.

The roof window manufacturer introduced

VELUX Rewards in 2015, with the scheme

providing customers with an opportunity to

earn rewards each time they buy VELUX

products, with different promotions running

throughout the year.

However, throughout August, September and

October this year, purchasers qualify for £50

rewards on all VELUX white painted top-hung

roof windows and £30 rewards on all other

VELUX white painted roof windows*.

Customers can claim their VELUX rewards at

a number of top-brand partners, including

Argos, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Adidas

and Tesco. All rewards must be claimed by

13 November 2020.

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


The Building Safety Group (BSG) has reported

a 41% decrease in the number of COVID-19

breaches occurring on construction sites over

a three month period. BSG’s report is based

on 4,400 independent site inspections carried

out between 1st June and 31st August 2020.

The drop in breaches has been attributed to more

companies successfully adapting to new working

practices on construction sites, in light of the

pandemic. Over time it is expected that this trend

will continue as the industry becomes more

accustomed to operating under the restrictions

imposed by the coronavirus.

The most common types of COVID 19 ‘noncompliances’

reported by BSG Safety Advisers

over the last three months have included;

• Management and operatives not following

social distancing guidelines.

• Inadequate welfare facilities on site with

insufficient cleaning regimes.

• Too many people in the canteen area with

insufficient segregation.

• Not enough hand sanitizing stations on site

Above: Table shows COVID-19 breaches on construction

sites – 1st June-31st August.

• PPE not available when required.

• Outdated Site Operating Procedures found on


BSG’s Managing Director, Stephen Bell

commented: “We are pleased to see that COVID-

19 breaches have fallen since we began risk

assessing companies’ prevention measures to

counter the coronavirus. Although we expect this

downward shift to continue, now is not the time

to become complacent, so it is vital that our

industry remains vigilant and continues to follow

government Site Operating Procedure (SOP)

guidelines.” Stephen added: “BSG’s position will

be to continue to advise construction companies

on how best to avoid COVID 19 transmission as

well as mitigate against all other hazards which

can occur on site.”


Richard McArthur, Marketing Manager from

VELUX said: “After what has been a difficult

few months, we are delighted to be able to

give something back with this new offer. The

builders and installers who recommend and

purchase our products for their customers

really are our brand champions, working

tirelessly to help consumers transform their

homes. We hope this current rewards boost

will demonstrate our appreciation for the

hard work they do.”

To receive rewards from VELUX, upload your

invoice at www.velux.co.uk/rewards

*VELUX white painted burglary resistant roof windows

(GGL 70Q) are excluded from this promotion.

Leeds College of Building has been named

second-best UK Training Provider for 2020-21

in the ‘RateMyApprenticeship Top 50’ league


The chart is based on 5,500 honest, authentic

student-written reviews across all apprenticeship

and school leaver schemes on the national

website, RateMyApprenticeship.co.uk.

The top training providers in the UK for 2020-2021

were announced at a special awards event.

Celebrating the outstanding achievements of

apprentices, schools and colleges, universities,

employers and training providers in apprenticeships,

the awards saw over 400 people come together

virtually to recognise the industry’s finest. Overall,

Leeds College of Building took second position in

the table nationally, behind overall winner

Paragon Skills. The College was the only Further

Education institution in Yorkshire to make the top

50 training providers and the top-ranking college


Rob Smith, Apprenticeship Contracts Manager at

Leeds College of Building, said: “We’re thrilled to be

recognised as the top Further Education College

nationally for delivering exceptional Apprenticeship

training. It is even more significant as it is voted for

by students themselves. Well done to all of our staff

for their dedication to the experience of our students

and for working so diligently with employers.”


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Industry News

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


As the UK’s leading independent

authority on rooflight

specification, NARM, the

National Association of

Rooflight Manufacturers,

publishes technical guidance

on all aspects of specification,

with a strong focus on safety.

For many years, the association

has recommended the use of laminated glass

inner panes for glass rooflights. This removes the

risk of glass debris falling onto building occupants

in the event of a shattered pane: a risk that is

present when toughened glass – sometimes

referred to as safety glass – is used.

This position has now been further endorsed by

ACR, the Advisory Committee for Roofsafety, a

body dedicated to making working on roofs safer.

Founded in 1998 by HSE, ACR comprises

representatives of major roofworking federations

and associations, and HSE.

In its new Information sheet 5 ‘Glass Specification

in Flat Rooflights’, ACR reiterates

NARM guidance, stating that: ‘It

is difficult to see how the use of a

toughened rather than laminated

glass inner pane doesn’t present

a risk to anyone beneath the

rooflight. The ACR, in common

with the Centre for Window and

Above: example of a broken rooflight.

Cladding Technology (CWCT) and

the National Association of Rooflight

Manufacturers (NARM), strongly believes that any

realistic risk assessment will lead to the selection

of laminated glass.’

NARM says this action brings further pressure on

BSI to amend its BS 5516-2: 2004 standard, in

which toughened panes currently are allowable,

subject to a risk assessment.

The document can be downloaded at:


For further information about rooflight

specification, visit www.narm.org.uk

More from NARM on page 36.



Screwfix says it will open 40 stores this

year, creating around 400 new jobs in

local communities. The new openings

demonstrate continued growth of the

business and a growing demand for

convenience, despite the challenges of


30 new stores in the UK will create up to

300 jobs in areas such as retail

management, service assistants and

supervisor roles, by the end of January

2021. More than 10 stores are planned in

the Republic of Ireland (ROI), which will

create up to 160 jobs over the same

period. It now has more than 680 stores,

with a long-term target of 800 in the UK.

Screwfix currently has five stores in the

ROI, which opened in early 2020. The

business hopes to open up to 40 stores in

the ROI over the coming years, creating

around 400 jobs in total.


Kee Safety, a leading global supplier of fall

protection solutions and safety railing

systems, has announced “an exciting new

venture that sees four of its Scottish-based

The company says customers will have access to

a larger product range, including fall protection

systems, guardrails, walkway solutions and fixed

access products.

businesses merge into one premier fall

“We are very excited about this merger,”

protection company.”

explained Brian McLean, General Manager of APS

It says this development will allow the company to Safety Systems. “Built on 10 years of success,

create new employment opportunities, invest in APS Safety Systems’ reputation is based on

maintenance of fall protection and access

new technologies and deliver a more efficient and quality and safety. This, combined with the

systems. The company offers a range of planned

effective operation.

‘Separate People from Hazards’ philosophy that

and preventative maintenance services to ensure

all Kee Safety companies abide by, makes us

The four businesses – Roof Edge Fabrications, The

that buildings and asset portfolios remain in the

confident that this new structure will benefit

Roof Anchor Company, W.H. Maintenance and APS

best possible condition. Operating across sectors

existing and new employees, clients, and our

Safety Systems – will trade under APS Safety

such as industrial, education, commercial and

supply chain and will allow us to continue our

Systems Ltd and will operate out of a facility in

retail, residential and health, APS Safety Systems

sales growth across Scotland.”

Glasgow. The APS Safety System team will combine

assist clients at every stage of their project, from

employees from all four companies, resulting in one

“highly skilled and knowledgeable team.”

Part of the Kee Safety Group, APS Safety Systems

specialises in the design, installation and

expert advice at the outset, through installation to

on-going maintenance.




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Industry News


SR Timber says it has made a key

appointment to bolster its team and

provide another layer of knowledgeable

support and experience for its merchant

and contracting customers.

The Huthwaitebased


has appointed

Rachael Williams

to the role of



Above: Rachael Williams.

Rachael brings 25

years’ experience of working for merchants, as

well as in the wider construction industry. SR

Timber sees her appointment as pivotal both to

its own business operations and to the

processes that underpin how the company

services its customers. Rachael explained:

“Having met with Trading Director Shaun Revill,

it’s clear that there are some very ambitious

plans in place for the continued growth of the

business and the desire to continue developing

the company’s market dominance, particularly

in batten.”

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


The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) says

government must release the brakes on

sluggish construction sector activity by

stepping up its support for builders who want

to get accredited for the Green Homes Grant


This is in response to Construction PMI data,

published on September 4th, which showed that

growth slowed in August, with respondents citing

a lack of new work to replace completed

contracts and a ‘wait and see’ attitude among


Jessica Levy, Director of Communications at the

Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “The

slowdown in growth reported in today’s

Construction PMI report points to the need for

policies which sustain much-needed jobs and

activity, and give consumers confidence to invest.

The Green Homes Grant scheme has the potential

to do this, but just weeks away from its roll out,

the Government needs to step up support for

builders to gain recognition for their competence

and high quality workmanship and register for the

scheme. Rightly, the focus is on competency, but

the mechanisms proposed are complex,

“The FMB is campaigning for the Government to commit to a

long-term, ambitious plan for green homes at the Budget”

especially within the Government’s ambitious

timescales. The time and costs involved in

accreditation risk putting off quality builders who

otherwise are committed to doing their bit to

achieve Net Zero.”

Levy concluded: “We know that the Green Homes

Grant will be put under the microscope before

more public investment in energy efficiency is

brought forward. The FMB is campaigning for the

Government to commit to a long-term, ambitious

plan for green homes at the Budget that will lead

to sustainable jobs and organic growth in the

energy efficiency market. This will increase

business confidence to step up and make the

Green Homes Grant a success.”


A living roof specialist believes government

could have “delivered a much-needed shot in

the arm to the economy and boosted Britain’s

effort to be net zero carbon by 2050” by

including green roof projects as part of the

Green Homes Grant scheme.

Julian Thurbin, a Director at Croydon-based

green roof specialist Wallbarn, explained: “We

believe the Chancellor could have scored a hattrick

if he’d included green roofs in the grant

scheme. He would have helped improve many

thousands of homes, delivered a much-needed

shot in the arm to the economy and boosted

Britain’s effort to be net zero carbon by 2050.

“Green roofs offer brilliant insulation benefits and

keep homes cooler in summer. They also regulate

the microclimate around them, contribute towards

cleaner air quality, control run-off from heavy

rainfall and cool cities. They’d have been a perfect

partner for the other measures covered by the

grant scheme – with the added bonus of

increasing biodiversity, providing a haven for

pollinators and being great to look at,” added


Julian says homes with flat roofs over living

areas are ideal candidates for a green roof, which

he points out are cheaper and easier to retrofit

than, for example, ground source heat pumps

and solar panel systems. “We’d love to see the

Chancellor take a second look and consider

incentivising green roof installations,” said

Julian. “They are a beautiful and natural

approach to roofing and insulating properties and

fit perfectly with the government’s environmental


“The Mayor of London has recognised the

importance of greening urban environments

with the launch of his Grow Back Greener Fund,

which aims to support the recovery from Covid-

19 through sustainable growth and ‘greencollar’

jobs. We think it’s a scheme that could

be rolled out across the country, with support in

part from Green Homes Grant funding,” he







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NFRC: Interview


Total Contractor sat down with James Talman, Chief Executive of the NFRC, to talk

competency, skills, Government initiatives and the role of NFRC going forward...

got nothing against NVQs from the

point of view of new entrants and those


that can follow that route,” explains James

Talman, Chief Executive of the NFRC, “but for the

vast majority of the workforce (in roofing), to expect

them to be doing an NVQ is an impossibility – and

in some cases a disservice to skilled people who

have not had the chance to go through what I call

the ‘traditional route of education.’”

James is discussing the

developments around

CompetentRoofer, the governmentbacked

Competent Person Scheme

for roofing companies and

RoofCERT, the accreditation for

individuals, which when you

consider the path the government is

on with regards to demonstrating competency

within construction, should see roofing well-placed

to meet future demand.

In the August issue of Total Contractor, when

discussing RoofCERT, James explained: “Operatives

across all parts of the construction industry will,

therefore, find themselves being asked to

demonstrate their competency to satisfy employers

and clients. It is no longer enough for an operative

to just rely on the number of years’ experience they

have or to have an NVQ; further accreditation is

needed to demonstrate ongoing competency.”

Experienced worker route

In our meeting, James explains NFRC is in the final

stages of securing an approved experienced worker

route for acceptance to the RoofCERT accreditation

– a move which he describes as “a big

breakthrough for us”, and it’s clear to see why. He

explained: “The experienced worker size of our

market is over 75% of our workforce. Before, this

part of the market would have had no route to

accreditation but through proper assessment,

through upskilling where necessary and

CPD, we now have a route to

accredit the vast majority of the

roofing labour force; that’s been

a sticking point for years.”

Whilst RoofCERT and

CompetentRoofer are undergoing a

rebrand to be brought more firmly

under the NFRC banner, both

remain open to the wider market.

This, James feels, will crucially help

raise awareness with other industry

bodies and enable more interaction

with housebuilders and main


Green Homes Grant: ‘where’s

the capacity?’

Referring back to the path government is on with

regards to demonstrating competency alongside

meeting its environmental targets through green

initiatives, the conversation inevitably moves to the

government’s £2bn Green Homes Grant (GHG)

Scheme. Under the GHG, homeowners in England

can apply for vouchers worth up to two thirds of the

cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy

efficiency of their home – the maximum

contribution is £5,000, or for those on lower

incomes a 100% grant up to £10,000 is available

for certain work, with insulation being one of the

main primary measures available. The vouchers,

which will be issued from the end of September

until March 31st 2021, will help pay for energy

efficiency improvements and the works “must be

completed by a TrustMark Registered Business” to

give householders quality assurance. But, like

many, James feels we’re in danger of repeating

mistakes of the past. Indeed, at the time of writing

in late August, no organisation has yet even been

appointed to administer the scheme. But more

Left: James Talman, NFRC Chief Executive.

importantly, James stated:

“Where’s the capacity to deliver

it? – we have all the dangers of

the Green Deal and worse again,

it’s been rushed through.”

He feels it’s up to the individual sectors to

make sure the GHG works: “We’ve got to make sure

it works. We can only do what we can for our sector,

so we’ve got to make sure the elements of a

properly designed, well insulated roof is absolutely

imbedded in the scheme and is being installed by

competent and accredited organisations – naturally,

we hope they’re members of the NFRC – but as our

custodial duty to the industry, we have to ensure

we’re helping and assisting government to ensure

it’s happening. And if it’s not happening, we have to

bang the drum!”

Missing link

James points to the lack of a “true conduit”

between Government and construction; someone

who “understands the specialist sectors” and

“knows the full competencies.”

Without that conduit, James recognises the

importance of “raising the influence of NFRC”, to

further develop that link between external

stakeholders and government to benefit NFRC

members and the wider roofing sector. He

explained: “My role has become increasingly policy

focussed due to the importance of ensuring NFRC is

supporting where necessary and challenging

policies proposed by Government.”

This was highlighted quite clearly around the issue

of operatives within construction returning to work

during the Covid lockdown, which turned into a very

Continued on page 16





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NFRC: Interview

Continued from page 14

divisive topic. “Professionally that was a very

challenging time for us,” explained James. “You’ve

got some individuals on social media making very

strong comments about putting people’s lives at

risk, when the government had made a quite

ambiguous statement on who should return to work

– but the government didn’t prioritise or give key

worker status to construction workers.”

James feels this put construction workers in a very

difficult position and the industry didn’t help itself.

NFRC actually wrote to Andy Mitchell at the CLC

regarding construction workers being afforded key

worker status, but this was not progressed. James

explained: “I think the industry should have lobbied

much harder for key worker status. CLC is doing a

lot of fantastic work but it should have been

absolutely adamant that if you want our buy-in, you

give us that status or recognition. That happened in

most countries, but it didn’t happen here.”

James continued: “We were a little concerned by

some of the direction of the early introduction of

operating procedures – we weren’t clear on the way

they were being developed and how the specialist

could input into those procedures. If you’re saying

clearly you want the industry to work, how are you

supporting industry to work? There was a little bit of

a disconnect – particularly when you’re getting

down to the granular level of bricklayer, window

fitter or roofer – it’s all very well in policy up there,

but for the person having to carry out the work,

that’s where the disconnect was.”

But going forward, should there be a second wave,

James feels “industry’s got its act together with the

way it’s operating” and construction should not be

significantly impacted. However, he cautions we

must not be complacent and industry, alongside

HSE, must continue to review industry infection

data and introduce measures that reduce the risk of

future outbreaks.

‘Member engagement & support’

I ask James what he’s learned from the recent

Covid pandemic, a situation with so many sensitive

pressures: “Covid has taught me to continue to

have faith in the two core objectives of member

Two to boost NFRC engagement:

New podcast: As part of its push for better

engagement, NFRC has launched a new

podcast called RoofTop where key issues

will be discussed with experts. Available

where you find your podcasts.

Major surveys: To help forecast, track and

tackle issues for members and the wider

sector, NFRC will be producing regular

surveys. Look out for their latest focus on

supply issues in roofing.

engagement and support, and raising the influence

of NFRC.” Going forward, James feels NFRC is very

well placed to have its say and really make an

impact: “One of the good things for our sector is we

are very broadly based; we’re in new housebuilding,

we are in RMI, we are in commercial and

infrastructure, so that’s helped us a lot in terms of


The themes of influence, raising awareness and

engagement run throughout our discussion, and will

clearly be at the heart of James’ plans for NFRC

moving forward. NFRC recently announced its fourth

President of James’ tenure as Kevin M Taylor has

taken over from Steve Revell. And whilst James was

very clear about the “transformational change” that

was required within NFRC when he entered the role

of Chief Executive, he’s just as certain about the

best path for the Federation as the sector looks to

navigate what will no doubt be a tricky period for all:

“My ambitions are very much related to influence

and the acceptance of NFRC in the marketplace –

it’s all about growing influence.”

But how will the Federation go about achieving that?

James points to the “three strands of quality,

professionalism and social and environmental


Taking each individually, James feels training is the

crucial factor in ensuring quality is raised, but also

points to further digitalisation within the NFRC,

innovation and support through guidance.

With regards to professionalism, James says this

links heavily back to the CompetentRoofer Scheme

and RoofCERT accreditation. “We want the brand

CompetentRoofer and RoofCERT to reflect NFRC”,

and as mentioned earlier there are moves to bring

both further under the NFRC banner.

James says the social and environmental values

aspect links to inclusivity and most importantly,

safety: “I said early on my fundamental obligation is

to do my best to ensure that those who are in our

industry can work safely in it – and that’s obviously

become even more critical since Covid – you’ve

now got a relatively dangerous occupation,

combined with new working practices, and a rush to

get jobs completed – it has to be a case of health

before wealth.”

Off the back of meeting and maintaining those three

core values, James says it will “definitely help our

member retention and growth.”

Looking to the future

There’s no doubt there are more difficult times on

the horizon for the roofing sector and wider

construction industry, whether it’s further delays on

projects due to poor weather, adapting to changing

building regs, or the issues around supply of

materials and lead times as manufacturers delay

getting back to full capacity for fear of further

lockdowns and wider economic impacts.

But looking to the future, James feels the

environmental focus could offer some real benefits

for the roofing sector. Indeed, NFRC has joined the

UK Green Building Council in an attempt to “help

drive policies to encourage environmental change”,

and it’s “collaborating with the Solar Trade

Association to encourage innovation” and focus on

the use of energy producing roofing materials to

ensure they’re installed correctly. So, whilst the

hard work has been progressing throughout

lockdown at the NFRC to ensure it’s positioned well

to grow and maximise opportunities for members,

James says “we’re not going to take our foot off the


Contact the NFRC




For fu

rther inf formation

or a hire quotation call


SIG Roofing



Stuart Base, Marketing Director at SIG Roofing, explores what the business’s brand new

distribution hub in Bristol means for roofers in the South West, and how the investment

further enhances its customer service offering.

The start of September signalled an exciting

milestone for SIG Roofing, as we finally

opened the doors of our state-of-the-art,

purpose built distribution facility in the South

West of England. The move, which represents an

investment of more than £4m, was not just a

significant step forward for the business, but a

real statement of intent to boosting the support

we are offering to roofing professionals across the

South West of England and South Wales.

The launch of the facility, which is centrally

located at the More+ industrial complex in

Bristol, is the culmination of a programme of

investment across multiple aspects of our

business, designed to further improve the service

offering we can provide to our nationwide network

of customers.

But what does this mean on a practical level for

roofers and contractors? Firstly, the site benefits

from a number of excellent transport links, being

just a stone’s throw away from both the M49

motorway and Avonmouth Docks, one of the UK’s

busiest ports, making it easier than ever before

for us to get stock out to merchants and

contractors in the region.

What’s more, the scale of the facility, which

operates across more than 165 acres, will help

us further improve our stock and delivery

capabilities, guaranteeing an unbroken supply

chain across the region – a primary consideration

given that the South West is one of our key growth


This investment in stockholding will also help us

broaden the scope of products we have in stock;

ensuring we can maintain a wider breadth of

goods on-site at any one time, minimising the

“It’s clear to see that the ways in which

merchants and roofers access stock has

changed significantly – with online, click and

collect and door-to-door delivery growing

exponentially across lockdown”

SIG Roofing’s new South West distribution facility is on the

More+ site and benefits from excellent transport links.

risk of shortages and, ultimately, giving

contractors confidence that we have access to

any product they need, exactly when they need it.

New ways of accessing stock

Looking back over the past five months, it’s clear

to see that the ways in which merchants and

roofers access stock has changed significantly –

with online, click and collect and door-to-door

delivery growing exponentially across lockdown.

That shift in consumer habits is something we

were keen to reflect at the new facility, with the

site featuring a dedicated collection point from

which contractors can pick up pre-ordered stock.

Furthermore, for contractors or merchants

ordering online, our newly launched delivery

tracking and electronic proof of delivery functions

give total transparency throughout the entire

purchasing journey – from initial order to final

drop-off. In the warehouse itself, you’ll find some

truly leading-edge technology designed to

streamline the order picking process, while a

newly rolled-out route optimisation programme

will help our delivery drivers identify the most

economical drop-off route and work as efficiently

as possible.

Ultimately, we believe that each of these offerings

will help further improve the customer

experience, ensuring a smooth, hassle-free visit

to SIG Roofing – be it to the facility, or our


The opening of the doors to our Bristol facility is

the latest chapter in our ongoing mission to

deliver customer service excellence. At the first

ever SIG Live event in July, our virtual mission

statement for the future of SIG, Philip Johns, the

business’s UK Managing Director, outlined a

strategy that put the customer at the heart of all

we do.

The launch of the Bristol Hub is very much part of

that, and we are looking forward to seeing firsthand

the benefits it delivers to contractors and

merchants in the South West of England, South

Wales and further afield.

Contact SIG Roofing

0845 612 4304




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Condensation Considerations


The improved levels of energy efficiency seen in new homes – thanks to changes to Part L

of the Building Regulations that support thermal insulation and air tightness – can

unfortunately lead to condensation damage if the roof is not also ventilated adequately.

Stuart Nicholson, Director of Roof Systems at Marley, discusses how contractors can avoid

this happening...

Moisture in the form of condensation develops on the underside of roof tiles and

slates, as well as the roof underlay, causing droplets to form in the batten void

and roof space. This can lead to damage to important components in the roof

space such as timber battens, rafters, fixings, and insulation, not to mention any

possessions left in the loft. In the worst cases, the build-up of condensation and moisture

can be so severe it penetrates the ceiling, causing damage to the rooms below.

If not dealt with properly, the presence of condensation leads to damp and mould, potentially affecting

people’s health and causing significant and expensive damage to a property. The good news is that, for

both new and refurbishment projects, there are some simple steps contractors can take to ensure roofs

are ventilated adequately and prevent problems appearing in the future. Paying attention to the following

roof-related areas will avoid harmful condensation build-up.

1Stick to the right standards Always comply

with BS 5250:2011+A1:2016 ‘Code of

practice for control of condensation in

buildings’ and BS 9250:2007 ‘Code of practice for

design of the air tightness of ceilings in pitched

roofs’. This means that a cold roof should have a

minimum of 10mm continuous ventilation at the

eaves and 5mm continuous ventilation at the ridge.

Contractors can use either a breathable or nonbreathable

underlay but must also make sure there

is the right amount of high- and low-level

ventilation to prevent condensation. This can be

achieved using an array of solutions, including

eaves ventilation, ventilated dry ridge systems,

ridge vents or multiple tile vents.

2A breathable membrane should not be

the only source of ventilation The term

‘breathable’ underlay is often

misunderstood because it suggests that

ventilation is not required. However, BS 5250,

‘Code of practice for the control of condensation

in buildings’, does not consider the situation

where it is proposed to provide no ventilation to

the roof void. As such, roofs will always require

some form of supplementary low- and high-level

ventilation in accordance

with BS 5250. This is also a

tried and tested approach

which avoids placing the heavy

long-term burden of effective roof

ventilation on one single element.

3Get a new specification for every

project Ventilation is a complex area,

with many different variables – e.g. the type

of roof covering, size of property, warm or cold roof

and whether it has a well-sealed ceiling.

Ventilation should not be dependent on one single

product or method. Just as contractors get a new

fixing specification for every project, it is advisable

to do the same with ventilation. Marley offers a

range of specification services to include the

appropriate choice of underlay and ventilation

systems to ensure secure pitched roof fitting and

the lowest possible risk of interstitial condensation.

4When increasing insulation, remember

the ventilation When looking to increase

loft insulation as part of a refurb project, then

time should be taken to check that the ventilation

has not been compromised as this can lead to a

Left: Stuart Nicholson, Director of Roof

Systems at Marley.

“Just as

contractors get

a new fixing

specification for

every project, it is

advisable to do the

same with ventilation”

condensation problem. If there is

eaves ventilation, then it is important

that the effective air path is not

blocked. Where insulation at

ceiling level is more than 300mm

deep, Marley provides the Universal

Eaves Vent Plus system (left), which has a

wider rafter roll and ensures good airflow.

5Full roof systems from a single

manufacturer Using a full pitched roof

system from one manufacturer guarantees

compliance with British Standards and minimises

call backs for issues such as condensation.

Marley’s full roof system includes a wide choice

of roof tiles or slates, as well as battens,

underlay, ventilation, dry fix systems and fixings,

backed by a 15-year system warranty. This

ensures the right level of ventilation and

guarantees the quality and compatibility of all

roof elements.

Contact Marley

01283 722588




Batten Guidance



The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recently published the fifth edition of Health and

Safety in Roof Work, and Shaun Revill, Trading Director at SR Timber, says it’s a timely

reminder of the importance of correctly fixing roofing batten on pitched roofs as part of wider

safe working practices at height.

It’s a very sobering reminder of the risks that

roofing contractors and the wider construction

industry face on a daily basis when you read

the opening lines of the HSE’s latest version of

HSG33 (June 2020), which says: “Working on

roofs is a hazardous activity because it involves

working at height. Roof work accounts for a

quarter of all deaths in the construction industry.

Falls through fragile materials, such as roof lights

and asbestos cement roofing sheets, account for

more of these deaths than any other single cause.

Not all the people killed while working on

roofs are trained roofers: many

people accessing roofs are

maintenance workers. There

are also many serious injuries,

often resulting in permanent


The HSE’s new guide is a mustread,

as it contains guidance on how to

plan and work safely on roofs, covering new

buildings, repairs, maintenance, cleaning and

demolition. It also includes some guidance for

people not directly carrying out work on a roof,

such as clients, designers and specifiers, as roof

work is an issue not just for construction

companies but also other workers who the

document says “can also fall from or through


It’s very comprehensive, and it has to be because

of all the different factors that need to be

considered – from safe access to a roof to

working near gas flues / extraction vents.

It reminded me of what a small but vital part fully

graded roofing batten plays in the bigger picture.

We champion the virtues of

correctly graded batten that is

compliant with BS 5534:2014

+ A2:2018, primarily in terms

of the quality of the product.

However, it’s at times like

these that issues such as the

strength of batten come to the fore

and remind us of the role that batten can

play in ensuring safe working practice at height –

which is why it being correctly fixed is so


Graded batten as a foothold

HSG33 makes it crystal clear

that graded roofing batten can

be used to walk the line of the

rafter/truss when fixed to

rafters set at 600 mm spacing –

the batten should be a minimum

size of 50 mm x 25 mm and should meet

the grading requirements specified in BS 5534.

Key points to fixing batten correctly

Roofing contractors should follow the safe system

of work, which includes the following key points:

• Use lengths of graded batten that are a

minimum of 1.2 m long so that they are able to

span at least three rafters. The reality is that

longer lengths are used – but it’s an important

reminder not to use offcuts that don’t span at

least three rafters.

• Not more than one in four battens should be

joined over one truss, and the best way to meet

this is to buy a spread of lengths so that joints

Shaun Revill, Trading Director at SR Timber.

can be staggered.

• Batten should be nailed to

the centre of the rafter. All

joints should be over a rafter,

with the batten square cut, with

each cut centralised to the rafter,

tightly butted and skewed nailed to avoid the

nails splitting the edge of the batten.

• For trussed roofs, the joints should be

staggered to avoid splitting the truss and to

provide bracing strength to the general structure.

The rule for this is:

– For gauges over 200 mm, you may only have

one joint on the same truss in any set of four


– For gauges under 200 mm, the ratio is still one

in four, but you may have three joints on the

same truss within any set of 12 courses.

• For abutments, eaves and top edges, the

batten should finish close to the side abutments

but not ‘digging into’ the underlay.

Although the above key points are drilled into

contractors, we’re happy to talk to anyone who

wants any further detailed information about how

we produce batten that conforms to British

Standards – and therefore within the parameters

of Health and Safety in Roof Work.

Contact SR Timber

01623 446800






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Perfectly Pitched



In his latest column, pitched roofing consultant John Mercer turns his attention to the

installation of traditional clay pantiles, and references two recent roof inspections he was

called out to where things had gone wrong…

In this, my third article in a series of case

studies of actual site investigations, I turn my

attention to traditional clay pantiles. I am

using examples from two recent roof inspections,

each involving clay pantiles, though from different


Clay pantiles have been a familiar

sight in the UK roofscape for

hundreds of years, dating back at

least as far as the 16th century,

though pantiles base their

appearance on the ‘over and

under’ tiles introduced by the


Traditional pantile design has not

changed much in all that time,

Above: Diagram shows the relationship between linear and

gauge adjustment.

though, of course, manufacturing

techniques have improved

hugely, enabling far greater

precision in the drying and

firing stages, as well as the

dimensional accuracy of the

finished products.

Traditional clay pantiles are

generally considered to be ‘fixed gauge’,

which means the contractor must determine

the most appropriate gauge for the batch of tiles

arriving on site. However, there is a relationship

between gauge and linear coverage such that

adjustment to gauge has an impact on linear

coverage, and vice versa. This means that, in

experienced hands, pantiles can be very versatile

in the way they are installed. But, in

inexperienced hands, that very versatility can

John Mercer, Pitched Roofing Consultant.

lead to all sorts of problems, as

I will demonstrate below.

Setting out

In this photo (below), the tile

gauge and the linear coverage

have been ‘stretched’ leading to large

gaps between the tiles at the mitre corners.

Apart from the untidy appearance of the tiling,

stretching the batten gauge reduces the effective

headlap between tile courses, so the combined

problems of large gaps and reduced headlap

increases the risk of driven rain ingress. To some

extent, the large gaps could be lessened by

decreasing the linear coverage, in other words by

Continued on page 26

Above: the tile gauge and the linear coverage have been ‘stretched’ leading to large gaps between the tiles at the mitre corners.


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Perfectly Pitched

Above: The tile gauge is too short for the tiles.

Continued from page 24

laying the tiles closer together across the roof,

though this would not compensate for the

reduced headlap.

In the above photo, the tile gauge is too short for

the tiles, causing the mitred corners of the tiles to

clash, leading to gaps between the tiles at the

headlaps. Too short a gauge makes laying the

tiles extremely difficult, with the roofer almost

having to ‘fight’ with the tiles to get them to lay.

Consequently, the resulting roof is neither

successful nor acceptable.

Tile manufacturers will tell you to check the

dimensions of the clay tiles on site to determine

the batten gauge, and with good reason. Clay

products shrink during the drying and firing

stages of production, so there is inevitably a

degree of size variation between manufacturing

batches. There is even a method for determining

tile gauge and side lap in the European clay tile

Standard, BS EN 1024. This method involves

laying out several tiles, with the specified

headlap, then taking measurements to ascertain

the average batten gauge. This method is better

suited to tiles that have a degree of adjustment in

their headlap; by measuring the tiles at minimum

lap, then again at maximum lap, an ideal average

gauge can be found. A similar method can also be

employed to determine the linear coverage.

For fixed gauge traditional clay pantiles, an

alternative way to determine the ideal gauge and

linear coverage – bearing in mind that these are

related – is to firstly lay a small panel of around

12 tiles on flat ground, without battens. By laying

out the tiles at the headlap and side lap specified

by the manufacturer, the ideal gauge and linear

Above: Mortared Ridge – “Failure to use dentils may result in premature failure of the mortar through cracking.”

coverage can be found.

Setting out and marking out across the roof is as

important as fixing the battens at the appropriate

gauge. This will not only make sure that the tiles

are laid at their correct linear coverage, it will

also enable the roofer to set the tiles in straight

lines from eaves to ridge, making for an

aesthetically pleasing result.

Mortar bedding ridges and hips

Many designers and building owners want to

preserve the traditional appearance of a clay

pantile roof by using mortar bedding for ridge and

hip lines, rather than modern, dry fix systems.

This is fine, providing it is done correctly, using

dentil slips to reduce the depth of mortar in

typical clay pantile troughs.

Failure to use dentils may result in premature

failure of the mortar through cracking, or even

slumping away from the ridges or hips before the

mortar has set. In both these roof inspections,

dentils had not been used and I found evidence of

the ridge bedding mortar cracking.

Traditionally, dentil slips can either be left

protruding from the mortar as a decorative

feature, or they can be fully hidden within the

mortar, particularly on bedded hips where the

pantile troughs do not form a regular pattern

along the length of the hip.

To comply with the requirements of BS 5534:

British Standard for slating and tiling, ridge and

hip tiles should be mechanically fixed to the

structure, i.e. using nails, screws, or clips to

supplement the mortar. The only exceptions to

this are buildings that are deemed to be

historically or architecturally important and a

traditional appearance must be preserved.

In summary:

• Always carefully check and measure the tiles

on site to determine the appropriate batten gauge

and linear cover.

• Always mark and strike out a roof to ensure

tiles are laid to straight lines from eaves to ridge.

• Remember to use dentil slips to reduce the

depth of mortar in each tile trough when mortar

bedding ridge and hip lines; these can be laid as

a decorative feature or completely hidden within

the mortar.

• Generally, ridge and hip tiles must be

mechanically fixed in addition to the mortar


Contact John Mercer




Low Pitch Focus


Nick King, Area Account Manager at Klober, shares why roofing contractors must specify

specific product solutions for low pitch roofing applications, or risk their reputation with a

poorly performing low pitch roof.

To avoid problems with low pitch roofing

performance, the right membrane solution

needs to be specified and installed correctly.

If a contractor does cut corners, then a poorly

constructed low pitch roof can become problematic

as water can collect, and with nowhere to drain the

likelihood of water ingress is increased.

Roofing contractors can change the way that low

pitch roofs are perceived if they raise the roofing

standard by only using low pitch specific roofing

application products, including low pitch


Why choose a low pitch membrane?

There are many practical and even financial

reasons behind the decision to choose a low pitch

roof, which depending on the roof covering could

be lower than 15 degrees. Usually, for residential

extension projects such as side extensions like

kitchens or bathrooms, a low pitch or a flat roof is

necessary in order to finish beneath second-storey

upstairs windows. Furthermore, opting for a low

pitch roof solution can also save money on the

upfront material costs and reduce the installation

time, when compared to other methods.

For a low pitch roof, a high quality membrane

solution is the key to safeguarding any roofing


Membranes explained

To explain, roofing membranes are strong

weathering barriers installed underneath the

roofing covering to protect against wind driven

rain and snow. The most common types of

pitched roofing membranes fall into two types –

breathable and non-breathable membranes. Both

provide the essential secondary barrier needed to

protect the property from unexpected water

ingress, but latest innovations have seen Klober

develop a membrane that is

capable of serving as a primary

barrier as long as it is covered

by a UV stable covering, such as

slate or tiles.

Other low pitch weathering

options do exist, but generally these will be more

costly and time consuming when compared to

using a specific low pitch membrane (a

membrane will need to be installed in most

situations anyway). A secondary build-up layer,

like a thin decking, can be used, or alternatively

some systems are available that incorporate

weathering devices which need to be installed

underneath every single tile or slate. With these

options, however, it is often mandatory to install

them alongside the manufacturer specific

membrane, which decreases flexibility and limits

the product choices for roofing contractors.


Over the years, membranes have become more

technical and specific in design. This is especially

true for low pitch applications that need specific

membrane solutions to succeed or will otherwise

fail. To solve the challenges represented by low

pitch roofing, Klober’s Permo Extreme (above) has

been developed to precisely deliver solutions

where other membranes can’t and caters for

pitches as low as 12.5º for interlocking tiles, 15º

for slates and 22.5º for plain tiles. Permo Extreme

is also much stronger than the average underlay

on the market, in order to greatly reduce the risk of

ripping and tearing whilst installation takes place.

To complement the strides taken to improve

membranes, significant investments have been

made into the development of accessories such

as membrane tapes, and this has also improved

roofing performance. One example of such

innovation is Klober’s Permo

Extreme, which comes with double,

self-adhesive strips to provide a

guaranteed permanent seal of

overlaps, and in the case of

Klober's Butylon tape should also

be used to seal around any batten

nail penetrations. It is important to choose wisely

and recognise that not all tapes are made equally.

Failure to use tapes compatible with the chosen

membrane can lead to subsequent failures.

Why it’s important

The correct low pitch roofing membrane will

ensure that roofing contractors can overcome low

pitch roofing installation challenges with both

confidence and security that the roof will perform.

This cannot be underestimated, as even with all

the right precautions taken in terms of water

drainage and overall roofing performance, low

pitch applications represent a particularly unique

challenge. This is why selecting a highperformance

membrane solution can make all the

difference in such applications.

Roofing contractors can now complete projects

with the peace of mind and reassurance that in a

low pitch roofing application, performance doesn’t

have to be compromised when the correct

products have been chosen. With the help of

manufacturers who continue to innovate

membrane performance and target specific

project applications, building and roofing

contractors can be supported with the most up to

date roofing product solutions, specification

support and installation guidance.

Contact Klober

01332 813 050








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By Julian Thurbin, Director at Wallbarn.

Anew British Standard, which aims to

address the fire performance of at-height

balconies and terraces, is a welcome step

in a very positive direction to prevent or reduce the

severity of blazes involving residential multi-storey


Work on BS 8579 Guide to the Design of

Balconies and Terraces began well before the

2019 fires in multi-storey buildings including The

Cube in Bolton, De Pass Gardens in Barking and

Worcester Park, south west London, underlining

how relevant the new standard will be.

The standard will support Approved Document B

in the prohibition of combustible materials on

new high-rise homes. It is believed that all

construction elements for balconies and terraces

located more than 18m above ground level will

have to be non-combustible.

Confusion created

However, we are concerned that its introduction

has created some confusion within the market

and opened the door for inferior quality, noncompliant

products to be installed in the place of

tried-and-tested, quality building and roofing

materials. We feel it would be a travesty if, in a

move to improve safety standards, lower

performance products find acceptance with


Our sector – pedestal systems which support

suspended balcony and terrace decking/paving –

is a good example of this. Traditionally, pedestals

were heavy duty polypropylene plastic but to

satisfy BS 8579 they will have to be metal when

installed at height. These products are available

– Wallbarn has developed MetalPad, an allmetal,

Class A1 rated pedestal that is fully

compliant with BS 8579 – but we know that

systems have come to market that are seemingly

compliant but have rubber or

plastic elements labelled as

‘gaskets’. These gaskets

shouldn’t be included, in our

opinion, and pose a fire


Quality and testing concerns

We are also concerned

about the quality and

testing regimes of

some metal pedestal

solutions. From sampling the

market we worry that not all products offer the

level of performance we feel is required, with

some pedestals modified from interior usage.

There’s also the question of product testing, a

crucial factor given these systems are used atheight.

Load-bearing is critical. However, our

advice is always to consult with your original

supplier (whatever the product and even if they

do not supply a Class A alternative) to at least

understand the questions you should be asking of

a new supplier.

This situation has the potential to affect a wide

range of building components within balcony and

The Metalpad Pedestal

Wallbarn’s new Metalpad pedestal (above) is

rated non-combustible Class A1 to BS EN

13501-1 and has been specifically designed

for exterior high-rise balconies, terraces and

flat roofs. The product is manufactured from

2mm thick galvanised steel and has a solid

stem for superior weight tolerances – over

1,000kg per pedestal. The manufacturer has

more than 40 years’ experience in the market

and prides itself on developing solutions that

are fully tested and fit for purpose.

Left: The Metalpad Pedestal

from Wallbarn.

terrace construction. We are

receiving high volumes of calls from

construction professionals confused about the

current regulatory situation and the products that

can – and cannot – be considered. We’ve also

heard reports of completed and fully legal

multi-storey projects being revised,

with materials removed post signoff

and replaced with Class A

systems, in extreme cases across an

entire build and not just 18m and above.

Designed for purpose

Product provenance is also an issue to be

considered; recent industry talk suggests that

imported product was rejected by two main

contractors upon arrival at site due to quality

concerns. It is good to hear that, despite the

inevitable project delays and additional costs

such action would have created, quality was

considered more important. Again, our advice is

to ask the right questions during specification to

ensure that the solution selected is designed for

purpose, fully tested and supplied by a trusted


Post-Grenfell, with duty of care being a shared

responsibility throughout the design, supply and

installation chain, contractors installing pedestals

at-height must be assured that their product of

choice can withstand the rigours and loadings of

exterior locations. System failure at height has

the potential for tragic consequences.

Contact Wallbarn

020 8916 2222






Glidevale Protect’s next generation roofing underlay offers

superior air permeability and strong wind uplift resistance.

Building products

manufacturer Glidevale

Protect has launched Viking

Air, an air and vapour permeable

(LR) roofing underlay for cold and

warm pitched roofs.

Air and vapour-permeable membranes are

becoming an option of choice for specifiers due to

the ability of the underlay to provide airflow and

ventilation into the roof space of the dwelling.

Protect Viking Air delivers the solution to this

requirement through class-leading air and vapour

permeability. This reduces the risk of condensation

in line with BS 5250, without the need for additional

ventilation, which is acceptable to the NHBC for a

cold roof construction.

Viking Air’s resistance to wind uplift

ensures suitability for use in wind

zones 1-4 at 345mm batten gauge

to BS 5534, with no need to tape

laps or use additional counter

battens. When the membrane is installed at

310mm batten gauge or on sarking, it also meets

wind zone 1-5 requirements, ensuring unrestricted

use across the UK and Ireland.

With a unique grid design to make precise cutting

simple, the underlay can be laid straight over the

ridge without cutting material short, ensuring the

roof is instantly watertight during the construction

stage, and, because the membrane is

hydrophobically treated, it provides extra water

shedding properties and a high resistance to water

Above: Protect Viking Air is suitable for cold and warm

pitched roofs and has a unique grid design to make precise

cutting simple.

penetration. The product is independently certified


Viking Air forms an integral part of Glidevale

Protect’s roofing membrane family. This includes LR

vapour permeable and airtight options, alongside

impermeable HR underlays which can be twinned

with Glidevale Protect ventilation products and

accessories, giving specifiers and contractors a

single source solution, whatever their pitched roof


Contact Glidevale Protect

Email: info@glidevaleprotect.com


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Coating Developments


Guy Williams, Managing Director of Blocksil, discusses recoating technology for pitched

steel roofs and industrial buildings, and outlines the advantages he sees of incorporating

Graphene to assist with corrosion resistance into the Alltimes Advantage range ...

The recoating of aged, worn and corroded

pitched steel roofs on commercial and

industrial buildings is an established

market both here in the UK and overseas. But

coating development tends to be gradual with

incremental improvements in the base resins or

the additives, with very little brand new

technology happening.

Blocksil’s very existence is centred around

coatings innovation. In recent years we have been

working on improving the somewhat moribund

roof coating market and, with our distributor

Alltimes Coatings of Stroud, Gloucestershire, who

sell the coating under their Advantage brand,

have taken the UK market by storm. Our roof

coating uses the latest generation hybrid

chemistry and is significantly quicker to apply

than other, older technology systems. This helps

reduce time on the roof and cost for all


As part of our ongoing ethos of product

development, we came up with the idea of adding

Graphene to our roof coating to further enhance

its corrosion resistant properties.

So, what is Graphene?

Graphene was first isolated in 2004 at The

University of Manchester. They used sticky tape

to remove single layers from the surface of

graphite and deposit them onto a silicon wafer.

The isolation of Graphene was a breakthrough

which ultimately won the 2010 Nobel Prize for


In its purest form Graphene, has a molecular

structure comprising of a single layer of

Carbon atoms bonded in a hexagonal structure.

Graphene possesses an unsurpassed

Above: Application of the Alltimes Advantage range on both a roof and gutter.

combination of mechanical, electrical and

thermal properties. The Graphene used in

Blocksil’s corrosion resistant coating is

manufactured using a synthetic, bottom up

process that is repeatable, proven and almost

completely free of Graphitic impurities, Graphene

Oxide or transition metals.

The number of atomic layers varies but our

Graphene typically has a 1 to 10 nanometre

thickness with 1 to 15 microns lateral diameter,

resulting in aspect ratios up to 1:1000.

To put this into perspective, the surface area of

ten grams will cover a football pitch!

This large surface area provides an exceptionally

long and tortuous path for any corrosive liquid to

work its way through a coating.

Our Graphene manufacturer and supplier, Applied

Graphene Materials (AGM), was founded by

Professor Karl Coleman in 2010, with its

operations and processes based on technology

that he initially developed at Durham University.

The creation of their Graphene is through a

proprietary, patented process.

Andy Gent, Commercial Director at AGM, has

worked with Blocksil from the beginning of this

project and explains: “Blocksil’s idea to use our

Graphene within their corrosion resistant roof

coating has taken everyone forward in terms of

coating technology.”

Introducing the Graphene into the roof coating

was and is a complex process as it cannot just be

poured into the mix. The detail of the process is

confidential but we can say that there had to be

some work on pigmentation. Graphene is Carbon

which is black of course. And as soon as you

change one constituent another needs tweaking.

But it is here now and all can benefit from the

enhanced performance.

Our standard roof coating will give some 5,000

hours of salt spray (ISO9227 – Neutral Salt

Spray, with testing in continuous 5% Sodium

Chloride solution at 35ºC). The addition of

Graphene takes us past 10,000 hours! The

coating has also been successfully tested to

EN13501-5:2016 and BS476:Part 3:2004 as well

as EN45545-2:2013 for the railway industry.

Continued on page 34


Coating Developments

Continued from page 32

For steel roofs, a 30 year product warranty is


Our distributor, Alltimes Coatings, has created a

fantastic Continuous Professional Development

(CPD) entitled “Rust Never Sleeps”. This highly

professional online CPD presentation explains in

great detail just how the Graphene Enhanced Top

Coat benefits steel surfaces. The CPD is available

via Alltimes Coatings


How does the Alltimes Advantage range

benefit the operative?

The coating is solvent, isocyanate and VOC free,

has no membrane and is applied as a single coat

once the surface has been prepared. Because of

its impressive spread rate, contractors can cover

much larger surface areas than before and its

stop / start technology also means Advantage can

be applied in stages without any time restrictions.

This gives contractors a new level of freedom and

flexibility and no more adhesion problems with

day edges and cut ins around rooflights and


Thanks to its one coat nature, speed of

application is quicker and, with contractors only

having to traverse the roof once, foot traffic can

be reduced by 50% compared with other

offerings. This makes Advantage more efficient

and economical.

Scaffolding is needed for less time and safety is

greatly improved with operatives spending less

time working at height. Advantage does not need

‘hazardous storage’, which makes onsite logistics

of handling and storage easy.

The Advantage system is designed for a wide

range of roof types and purposes. As well as

roofing, Advantage can be used on guttering

which makes stock ordering and control much

easier for the contractor.

“As well as roofing, Advantage can be used on

guttering which makes stock ordering and

control much easier for the contractor”

So where else can Graphene be used

within the coating industry?

Blocksil is certainly working on incorporating it

into other coatings, paints and treatments to take

advantage of the enhanced corrosion resistance


And what other developments are there

for roof coatings?

Work is underway looking at developing improved

infra-red reflectance. The idea is for a roof

coating that reduces the amount of infra-red

radiation absorbed by the coating, thereby

reducing the amount of heat passed through into

the building. This modification to the coating will

add nothing to the weight of the paint as we will

be modifying the pigments and additives already

in use. This is an important point – a number of

roof coatings currently offered on the market

require multiple applications which can lead to

some alarming weights being needed to be

carried by the roof.

Application of the paint would be by conventional

means, so there would not be any additional or

particular specific requirements and existing

colour schemes would be honoured, so there

would not be any obvious difference. The

increased cost of the modified coating will be

insignificant when compared with application

(which has to be carried out anyway).

To summarise, Alltimes Coatings are continuing

to have success with the Advantage Graphene

Enhanced Top Coat for steel roofs and we expect

this success to continue. Blocksil will continue

our efforts to bring the very latest ideas and

technology to the roof coating industry, through

Alltimes Coatings. Chris Knowles, Chief Technical

Officer at Blocksil comments that “we believe it

is time the industry moved into the 21st Century

and away from older, less efficient coatings and

we’re certainly well placed to help that happen.”

Contact Blocksil / Alltimes Coatings







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NARM, the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers, says it has recently received

a number of complaints relating to glass rooflights which have either been sourced from

a disreputable manufacturer, or fabricated by a non-specialist builder. Jeremy Dunn,

NARM Product Standards Representative, highlights a number of concerns regarding

such products...

Over recent years, there’s been a huge

surge in popularity for modular flat glass

rooflights which are widely specified for

domestic and commercial projects – and with

good reason. There’s a large range of excellent,

very high quality examples available from

reputable suppliers, all of which offer superb

aesthetics and very high performance with

excellent U-values.

However, NARM has recently received a number

of complaints regarding product performance

from individuals who have installed or

commissioned what they believed to be high

quality products, only to be disappointed. More

importantly, a number of these instances have

also revealed major safety concerns.

As the trade association representing bona fide

high quality UK rooflight manufacturers, we’re

concerned that this minority of ‘rogue’

manufacturers are giving our industry a bad

name and we’d like to set the record straight. So,

here are the reasons why you should reject

under-spec rooflights and how you can avoid

being ‘sold a dud’.

1Safety of building occupants To ensure

those below the rooflights are safe, the

first choice for the inner pane of a rooflight

should be a laminated glass, as this

minimises the risk of any glass falling into the

room beneath and consequent injury, if the inner

pane should break.

Toughened glass inner panes bring a risk of

“NARM is aware of

some manufacturers

taking advantage of the

fact that the term

‘toughened’ implies


shattering and falling into the room beneath –

occasionally spontaneously, but certainly if

impacted. NARM is aware of some manufacturers

taking advantage of the fact that the term

‘toughened’ implies safety. In this instance, it

does not.

British Standards define that inner panes must

always be laminated wherever rooflights are more

than 5 metres above floor level (increased to 13

metres in limited circumstances) or are located

over water (e.g. swimming pools). The British

Standard may permit use of toughened inner

panes in other applications but only if a stringent

risk assessment is carried out, confirming that its

use does not give any additional risk to those

below the rooflight. It is difficult to see how use of

a toughened rather than laminated glass inner

pane doesn’t present a risk to anyone beneath the

rooflight, so you should always ensure that the

inner pane is laminated glass.

Some more economical designs consist of nothing

more than a double glazed unit stepped on all

four sides with no perimeter frame, with the outer

pane sealed to the top of an upstand and the

inner pane hanging inside the upstand. Such

designs are not preferred, having much greater

reliance on quality of site installation, but if they

are used it is essential that the installer provides a

continuous support for the inner pane on all four

sides, to avoid risk of the whole rooflight dropping

into the building beneath if the outer pane should

be broken. Should this be overlooked or the work

carried out to a poor standard, there is a serious

risk of injury to anybody below should the outer

pane of glass break or the edge seal fail.

2Safety for personnel accessing the roof

In addition to using a laminated inner pane

to protect building users, rooflights can

also be specified and designed to be non-fragile.

This is intended to ensure that anyone

accidentally walking or falling onto the rooflight

will not fall through it, even if the glass is broken

or the rooflight damaged. In this instance, a

9.5mm or 11.5mm laminated inner pane is

usually necessary (depending on rooflight size) to

comply with non-fragility requirements.

CDM Regulations require that a risk assessment

should be carried out for every construction

project, and this should define the measures

required to prevent significant risk of anyone

falling through a rooflight. Wherever there may be

risk of anyone ever being on a roof near a

rooflight that they could accidentally step or fall

onto (e.g. for maintenance purposes), you should

specify a non-fragile rooflight.

Continued on page 38



Continued from page 36

3Watertightness and water run-off

Another major cause for complaints has

been leaking rooflights causing damage to

roof structures and interior decorations. NARM

has been contacted regarding instances where

the glazing frame has been poorly designed, or

the rooflight has been installed poorly and/or

without sufficient pitch to allow water run-off,

resulting in water building up on the glazing and

eventually penetrating edge seals.

Most high quality glass rooflights incorporate a

glass unit factory bonded into a fully thermally

broken aluminium frame, which includes a drip

detail to ensure the unit is fully watertight as

soon as it is fitted onto an upstand. They should

be sealed to the upstand on site (for airtightness

as well as watertightness), but the seal is only a

secondary seal, rather than the primary means of

preventing water ingress. In some more economic

designs there is no frame, and the glass is simply

sealed to the upstand on site. The absence of any

drip detail on a frame means water can easily

track back on the underside of the glass, and

watertightness of the units becomes entirely

dependent on the quality of the site-applied seal

(often onto an upstand which is not flat and level,

after the upstand itself has been weathered),

which can cause leaks: this style of rooflight

should therefore be avoided.

Glass is not completely rigid and any glass rooflight

will bow slightly under the effect of gravity. Flat

glass rooflights should therefore always be

installed at a slight pitch to avoid ponding (which

would otherwise occur if the bow created a

negative pitch). Typically, smaller rooflights should

be installed at 3 degree pitch, and larger flat glass

rooflights should be installed at 5 degree pitch. You

should always make sure that the contractor who

is building the upstand is aware of this pitch

requirement, to avoid the unsightly problems

associated with ponding (including rapid dirt buildup,

and potentially water ingress).

Some rooflights are offered with “self-cleaning”

glass, which is misleading: true self-cleaning glass

“We’re aware of

rooflights being

supplied for domestic

use with no mention of

Part Q”

(such as Pilkington Activ) works best at pitches

above 30 degrees, with a minimum pitch of 10

degrees so is not suitable for flat glass rooflights.

Some grades of low maintenance or easy clean

glass can be used, but still require regular cleaning.

4Security For domestic properties, Part Q

Building Regulations states that rooflights

deemed as easily accessible need to be

proven to resist criminal attack or incorporate

features that are proven to reduce crime. We’re

aware of rooflights being supplied for domestic

use with no mention of Part Q. Even rooflights

supplied with a laminated inner pane may not

pass Part Q testing as the outer could be broken

and then the inner pane just lifted out of the hole.

5Thermal performance It’s important that

manufacturers state ‘whole product’ U-

values to ensure thermal performance

which will allow compliance with Part L Building

Regulations. Some manufacturers are quoting

‘centre pane’ U-values which do not take into

account edge spacers and frame construction.

The thermal performance of a rooflight must be

considered for the whole assembly, because while

glazing may be compliant, poor frame design can

affect thermal performance. This can result in

higher energy bills for building users and

subsequent unwanted higher CO2 emissions.

Above left & inset: The glazing on this rooflight was not

properly fixed, resulting in it being blown off in windy

weather and ending up in a nearby garden. Luckily, no one

was injured in this instance.

Remember: a great looking rooflight isn’t

necessarily a great rooflight

NARM has noted that in many cases where

complaints have occurred, the manufacturer is

targeting homeowners with sophisticated

websites and literature focusing heavily on the

aesthetics of the product and often claiming

excellence in quality standards. Some have even

referenced NARM documents on their marketing

materials; beware!

In a crowded marketplace, where some

manufacturers are making confusing or untrue

claims, careful consideration needs to be given to

rooflight choice if problems of water ingress,

ponding or worse still, inadequate safety, are to

be avoided.

The good news is that there are many excellent,

trustworthy UK suppliers of properly designed

rooflights which will offer years of safe and

reliable service. One simple and certain way to

ensure you’re dealing with such a company, is to

establish whether your supplier is a NARM

member company. NARM has stringent

membership criteria, a key part of which is that

any product supplied by a member company is

fully compliant with Building Regulations and

meets all required specification and safety


Contact NARM




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Daylighting: Commercial Projects



The experts at VELUX Commercial discuss the range of support they can offer to contractors

and installers to ensure projects run smoothly...

Since 2018, The VELUX Group has been

working to create a new division, VELUX

Commercial, which focuses on bringing

daylight and fresh air into commercial and public


VELUX Commercial has expanded its product

offering in the UK by bringing together

organisations Vitral, Xtralite and VELUX Modular

Skylights, enabling us to offer more to our

customers under one roof. As well as the

solutions we offer, our expertise, knowledge and

support offering has also vastly increased.

We understand the importance of supporting

contractors and installers throughout a project

programme, from product selection and technical

support, through to installation and aftersales

service across all commercial projects.

And all of this has culminated in VELUX

“VELUX Commercial’s solutions help deliver

project certainty in the early phases and their

customer service is always focused on assisting

with the delivery of the project”

Chris Allen, Design Manager at Bowmer + Kirkland

Commercial being able to provide a truly ‘onestop-shop’

approach for all our customers,

ensuring trusted support throughout

manufacturing, delivery, installation and after

sales service for our solutions.

Here are some of the ways our trusted support

approach benefits you, the contractor, at every

stage of your project:

• We are your partner all the way: We are

available for support and guidance to make the

project a success for you, your partners, and your


• Planning of delivery: Know the delivery time

to accurately plan installation schedules

providing product certainty.

Continued on page 42


Daylighting: Commercial Projects

Contractors on Oasis Academy project benefit from VELUX Commercial’s support

A recent project delivered by VELUX Commercial demonstrated the true benefits of this collaborative

approach. Having engaged in the early stages of the Oasis Academy project in Leesbrook, VELUX

Commercial worked closely with Pozzoni Architects and Galliford Try to create a more commercially

viable solution. This early collaboration and use of the VELUX Daylight Visualizer simulation tool

enabled the delivery of a significantly lower cost solution to the project, whilst improving the daylight

and ventilation performance for the academy.

The original design introduced six roof areas with 24 horizontal penetrations of varying sizes to yield

sufficient daylight provision. The Daylight Visualizer tool simulated the daylight factor (DF),

luminance and illuminance to accurately predict the daylight levels, quantity, distribution and the

appearance of the space when lit by natural light. The data was interpreted and presented in a

daylight report by VELUX Commercial providing some unexpected results.

The suggestions for five of the design areas was to reduce the number of skylights from 24 to 18 and

in one area to eliminate skylights altogether, resulting in significant savings also whilst maintaining

the optimum daylight into the building’s various rooms.

Continued from page 40

• Safe installation: We can provide various

types of installation support and assistance for

you and your teams from training to

comprehensive guides and providing our own

installation teams – dependant on the solutions


Before considering the results of the Daylight Visualizer recommendations, the design was oversized

in terms of roof openings. The suggested reduction from 24 to 18 openings would see a 33% cost

reduction in supply and install, equating to savings of approximately £49,000.

“We understand the importance of supporting

contractors and installers throughout a project


• Technical support: Get technical help all the

way from design and specification to installation

and commissioning.

• Project optimisation: Let us help you optimise

your solution in terms of indoor climate and

structural design.

• Dedicated Aftersales service: If, for some

reason, the system requires professional service

our technicians are never far away and ready to

solve the problem.

Working together to bring daylight and

ventilation to commercial projects

Whatever the solution to be installed from our full

range, VELUX Commercial will ensure you have

everything you need to install our products

efficiently, safely and to the highest possible


Our solutions are backed by comprehensive

guarantees for your peace of mind, and our

dedicated experts are available to discuss your

installed solutions should you have any queries

throughout the product’s lifecycle.

From product and installation support, to our

comprehensive aftersales service, VELUX

Commercial’s ‘one-stop-shop’ approach

ensures we are always there when you need us.

Contact us on the details below to discuss your

next commercial project in greater detail, or to

download VELUX Commercial’s comprehensive

brochures covering our solutions and services:

Contact VELUX Commercial




Roofing Updates

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


Cost-effective and guaranteed for 20 years,

the bespoke solution devised by BMI UK &

Ireland and contractor Watershed Roofing

gave a Yorkshire primary school roof a new

lease of life and solved its ponding problems.

Working on behalf of Delta Academies Trust,

surveyors David Yeadon called in Watershed

Roofing to inspect the roof at Simpsons Lane

Academy in Knottingley, West Yorkshire. The trust

was concerned because the school roof had large

areas of ponding water that had arisen as a

result of its prefabricated design which used

CLASP componentry, a prefabricated, lightgauge,

steel building system widespread

throughout the late 1950s and 1960s.

These original buildings had been extended

several times without due consideration for the

roof and its drainage. For example, the

prefabricated units were supplied with internal

drainage on the assumption that they would be

separate buildings, and this was still in place –

sometimes just covered with boarding, despite

the units being part of a complete school complex.

Working together with David Yeadon Surveyors,

Watershed and BMI determined that stripping out

the existing roof would be complex and

unnecessary as an alternative less invasive

system that offered better value for the academy

was identified. The refurbishment roof

specification included utilisation of the existing

system as the substrate, with the subsequent

application of the BMI Thermaweld FireSmart

warm roof system, incorporating a new cut-tofalls

insulation scheme.

“We’ve got a good working relationship with BMI

and its technical support team,” explained Craig

Bull, David Yeadon Project Manager. “The cut-tofalls

system that it designed addressed the issues

that we had with the sub-base and did so with

very detailed drawings and a clear specification.”

Careful preparation being paramount, Watershed

had to remove and re-size all the glazing to the

high-level roof of the hall, raise the masonry

The roof at Simpsons Lane Academy, West Yorkshire.

upstands, remove several redundant rooflights

and vents, and then make good. The internal

drainage, which was often covered by a board

between two neighbouring units, was removed and

replaced with external drainage for the new roof.

The cut-to-falls insulation scheme was carefully

designed to accommodate the increase in system

height whilst working within the threshold

parameters. Watershed Roofing demonstrated

excellent workmanship, showing specific attention

to the tapered insulation and complex detailing.

“It was a fairly challenging scheme to lay, not

only because of the complex board construction

but also the alterations and detail required to

accommodate the raised height,” explained Mark

Atha, Director of Watershed Roofing.



Marley has launched an enhanced Ashdowne clay handcrafted range, following

manufacturing innovations.

Above, Ashurst: Available in two colour options – Ashurst

and Aylesham Mix – the Ashdowne tiles can create the

warmth and character of a traditional hand-made roof.


Thanks to advancements in processing technology, the new Ashdowne tiles feature subtle distressed

edges and irregularities, replicating a hand-made tile aesthetic. The evolution of this popular tile enables

contractors to achieve a unique, hand-made look, with all the benefits and cost effectiveness of a

machine-made clay tile. In addition, the Ashdowne range is fully compatible with the Marley full roof

system, complemented by a range of fittings and accessories, and covered by a 15-year guarantee.


The Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association (MCRMA) has published a new Advice Note, AN 06 Safe working practices on roofs:

the distinction between ‘walkable’ and ‘non-fragility’.

MCRMA says two commonly used phrases within the roofing industry to describe specific aspects of roofing systems, products and components are

‘walkable’ and ‘non-fragile’, but the phrases are not the same and are not interchangeable in scope or in their meaning. As such, this document is intended

to remind all those involved in roof work that they have a responsibility to be aware of the most up to date advice on safe working practices and also be

compliant with the legal requirements; buildings must be designed with safety in mind, not only for the construction period itself but also throughout the

normal life of the building, including the safety of people involved in maintenance, installations, inspections, repair and even demolition. www.mcrma.co.uk



Roofers and contractors are being encouraged to ask their suppliers whether their timber roofing batten is dipped or

pressure-treated with preservatives.

SR Timber is making the call after a preservative manufacturer reported an increase in cases of batten that has been dipped rather than

pressure-treated. The company says that to the naked eye, dipped and pressure-treated batten can look the same, especially if the batten is dyed a specific colour.

However, the preservative does not penetrate the batten in the same way when the batten is dipped rather than pressure-treated, and this can impact the long-term

performance of the batten. SR Timber’s Trading Director Shaun Revill said that the company that supplies the preservative treatment for Premium Gold had been

tipped off about the rise in the number of cases of batten being dipped instead of pressure-treated. “We’re suggesting that roofers and contractors ask their suppliers

a simple question: has it been dipped or pressure-treated? – particularly if the price of the batten seems extremely competitive,” said Shaun. “If they’re still unsure,

they could go one stage further and ask their suppliers for treatment certificates, as these stipulate details on how and what the batten has been treated with. There

is also a specific marking on the side of a length of batten. In our case, we use the Q symbol as a sign of certification for the Q Mark. This denotes that the batten has

been independently assessed by third-party quality assurance experts and shows that the grading, preservative treatment, product marking and management

processes have all been independently audited and verified by a good third-party body, in our case a UKAS-accredited expert.” www.sr-timber.co.uk


As more roofing and building professionals are looking online for advice, guidance and

technical information, Klober has fast-tracked a project to overhaul its digital suite of assets.

With the pandemic influencing many companies to change direction in terms of 2020 priorities,

Klober decided early on in the lockdown to invest more time into improving its online offering. Central

to Klober’s strategy was the fact that most internet traffic now comes from mobile devices – 52.2%

of worldwide traffic coming from mobile phones in 2019 compared with 16.2% in 2013.

The main part of the project has centred around a new website launch and product brochure that will

make it easier for customers to digest information ‘on-the-go’. Stuart Stockley, Managing Director at

Klober, said: “As we adjust to life in the context of Coronavirus I am moved by what our industry has

achieved when everyone is focused on achieving the same goals. The speed at which suppliers,

merchants and contractors have adapted is phenomenal, and the advancement of digital services

has been impressive for an industry which traditionally thrived around human interaction. The latter

is something we felt we could improve upon to support our customers through such a challenging

time, so I’m really proud of what our team has achieved in such a short timeframe.”

Klober’s online overhaul is due to continue with the

business now looking into new ways to make product

data more accessible to merchants and stockists. The

business is also looking at ways to evolve its training

offer to work remotely, and will be developing a helpful

video series.

The new site features Klober’s first advanced stockist locator, easier navigation and improved

technical information. www.klober.co.uk


Russell Roof Tiles has invested £35,000 in upgrading its dry fix machinery to enable the business to increase capacity

of its roofing accessories.

Daniel Hancox, Russell

Roof Tiles.

The firm has purchased a new injection moulding machine from Borche. The new machinery will assist with the production of dry fix

system components at Russell Roof Tiles’ Wetmore Lane site in Burton. Daniel Hancox, Business Support Manager at Russell Roof

Tiles, said: “This new equipment replaces two older machines and will enable us to increase overall production output by around

30%. More high-tech equipment also allows us to continue to be more energy efficient. Over the past five years, we have invested

significantly in manufacturing processes to increase efficiencies and reduce our environmental impact.” www.russellrooftiles.com


New Roofing products Updates

For further updates visit www.total-contractor.co.uk


Langley Waterproofing Systems has explained why it turned to the British Board of Agrément for independent

testing and certification of its Paracoat Cold Polyurea Liquid Balcony and Walkway System.

Langley continues to demonstrate the importance of an independently certified system approach to construction,

contributing to client confidence and the confirmation of key data, including performance of 25 years+, as delivered by

Daren and the Langley team with the BBA team.

independent BBA Certification. Daren Fraser, Langley’s Head of Technical, explained further: “We have a long-standing relationship with the BBA to facilitate testing of

our products and systems, the integrity of which is paramount to us. BBA Certification provides our customers with confidence that our systems are suitably

compliant with current UK Building Regulations and consistently and reliably offers robust, compliant, independent assurance. We benefitted from the thorough and

reliable attention from the BBA’s Dr Mike Wiseman and a team of Project Managers, with collaborative, hands-on involvement from contract assessment stage

through to product assessment.” added Daren.

“On behalf of my team and I, it has been a pleasure to work with Daren and his colleagues at Langley Waterproofing Systems,” said Dr Wiseman, BBA Team

Manager – Construction Products. “We independently assessed and certified that Paracoat Cold Polyurea Liquid Balcony and Walkway System was fit for purpose on

new or existing flat or pitched roofs with limited access and for waterproofing balconies, terraces and podiums.” www.bbacerts.co.uk / www.langley.co.uk


Rainclear Systems says it can work with Hargreaves, a working foundry with its own pattern

making shop and dedicated design team, on your behalf to produce non-standard cast iron

rainwater components to replicate existing perished components and replace like-for-like.

Rainclear Systems has a strong relationship with

Hargreaves, a working foundry, so can help with all your

non-standard rainwater requirements.

Rainclear says heritage properties often contain atypical building shapes and designs, so if your

project has non-standard specifications, it can help source and supply guttering with non-standard

angles or special configurations, and through its relationship with Hargreaves, meet all your nonstandard

rainwater requirements. www.rainclear.co.uk


Bauder says it has launched a cold applied moisture-triggered polyurethane (PU) liquid

waterproofing specifically for use on projects that require a value for money solution with a

comprehensive guarantee.

The Bauder LiquiTop PU system is BBA certified, and is suitable to install on a wide variety of

substrates, providing flexibility for complex roof areas, whilst maintaining manageable costs and

quick installation times. The system has an option for a two coat or three coat solution to match

clients’ expectations for durability, lifespan, and guarantee duration. Importantly, Bauder says the

system has been tested and meets current fire regulations.

Above: The Bauder LiquiTop PU system.

Mike Bradbury, Product Manager for cold liquid applied systems at Bauder, said: “This is a terrific

flat roof waterproofing system that has many benefits for roofing contractors, installers and clients.

The Bauder LiquiTOP System is quick to install, forms a monolithic membrane that contours to

detailing and the roof shape, making it ideal when a roof area presents challenging elements. On

refurbishment projects where the current roof is sound and does not require stripping, minimal

waste is generated as overlaying is a solution making it ideal for when the project requires a rapid

turnaround with minimal disruption to the occupants. Roofing contractors will be interested to know

that an unopened LiquiTOP PU product retains its optimum usability over its whole shelf life and

does not thicken in the tin over a few months.” www.bauder.co.uk


X-TWO from

VELUX Commercial Xtralite

X-TWO sets a new standard in PVCu rooflights, featuring innovative interlocking and interchangeable kerbs that can be raised

or lowered to any depth. The unique construction used on X-TWO offers a flexible solution with a host of Xtra benefits:

Triple glazed with U d

value of 1.6 W/M2.K

Reduced risk of cold bridging & condensation

Unique mounting systems for easier attachment and installation

Up to 40% more light transmission with vertical kerb option

Increased ventilation levels

Easy opening and ventilation control

Available in either polycarbonate or glass

Four glazing colour options available

Enhanced security options

20 year insurance backed guarantee

X-TWO is offered as a bespoke construction product with a wide range of shapes and sizes

available in manual or electrically operated systems.

Get in touch for a fully comprehensive

site survey & technical advice.

Call us on 01670 354 157 or visit xtralite.co.uk

Project Focus


Total Contractor hears about the use of Proteus’ systems at the Institute of Physics in London.

The first ever public building for the Institute

of Physics (IOP) has become the latest

development in London to feature a

combination of eye-catching cladding panels

from Proteus Facades.

The IOP was looking to relocate from Portland

Place and open a new public institute to house

the organisation’s membership activities, support

its ambition to engage different communities, and

make physics more accessible to a wider


Based in ‘the Knowledge Quarter’, part of a 19th

century Keystone conservation area in Kings

Cross, the new headquarters provides education

and exhibition facilities alongside a combination

of office and public space with a basement

auditorium and exhibition gallery, which are both

open to the public.

Located at the junction of Caledonian Road and

Balfe Street, the new IOP building replaces

vacant shops that were in desperate need of

regeneration. Architects TateHindle recognised

this as the ideal space for the new headquarters

and created a design that is both state-of-the art,

but respectful to the historical character of the


As conservation was key in this project, two main

external brick facades on the original structure

were retained, with an entrance bay inserted to

create a visual slot through to the completely

refurbished interior. In addition, the 5-storey

development features floor-to-ceiling windows

along Caledonian Road which also acts as a

‘shopfront’ and provides views of the exposed

concrete walls within.

TateHindle added a one-and-a-half-storey

extension to the original structure, which houses

a corporate meeting space for hire. Clad in solid

Proteus HR 1.0mm VM Zinc panels with a

Installed by Longworth Building Solutions, Proteus HR was specified for the Institute of Physics project in London.

Pigmento Blue finish, the façade remains in

keeping with the uniformity of shopfronts on

Caledonian Road; whilst perfectly complementing

the brick and glass exterior on the lower levels

and concrete interior.

Optically flat aesthetic

Installed by Longworth Building Solutions, Proteus

HR was specified because it is a lightweight,

strong and versatile system that creates an

optically flat aesthetic. The integrated modular

rainscreen panels feature an aluminium

honeycomb core, structurally bonded between

two thin gauges of lightweight metal skin to

create an optically flat panel.

Each panel is supported by the Proteus

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 strips of lighter cladding built into the

design to compartmentalise the flat elevations.

A distinctive and punctuating feature of this

upper storey façade is a series of state-of-the-art

ventilation stacks, also clad in a combination of

solid and perforated single skin Pigmento Blue

Proteus HR Zinc panels, with built-in aluminium

stiffening frames.

The stacks, which replace the original chimneys,

are designed to draw in cold air at roof level and

deliver it through floor-level grilles, using physics

to reduce the carbon footprint of the building. A

vertical column marking the main entrance to the

building and a third floor façade facing onto

Caledonian Road also feature Proteus HR VM


Taking the architect’s design from the outside in,

Proteus SC perforated panels in 2mm aluminium

with an RAL 7031 finish feature internally, with

20mm diameter holes carefully placed in an

offset triangular pattern, to match those featured

on the ventilation stacks.

Proteus SC is an engineered panel system that is

offered in either solid, perforated or mesh panel

formats. By utilising an extensive range of

metals, colours, textures and forms it can add

another dimension to any façade cladding project.

The system can be manufactured in a variety of

metals and from 1mm to 6mm in thickness. For

internal applications, like the IOP, Proteus

Facades provides contrasting fabric inserts and

an acoustic insulation layer can be encapsulated

within the perforated panels.

With a striking design that flows throughout the

building, TateHindle, alongside main contractor

Murphy Group and Proteus Facades, have

together created an outward-looking and

contemporary building; perfectly answering the

client’s brief for a space that makes physics

accessible and embodies how it is woven into our

everyday lives.

Contact Proteus Facades

0151 545 5075







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Load a high quality silicone sausage into the

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el: +44(0)1422 315300, Fax: +44(0)1422 315310, Email: sales@bond-it.co.uk

Join the Experts ...


Gain Access to:

· Technical committee that keeps abreast and

influences legislation effecting the industry

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CPA updates and industry reports

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product development

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For more information please contact us:

Email: info@lrwa.org.uk





Vivalda’s ‘Life After Lockdown’ series gives an interesting insight into the cladding sector.

Vivalda Group has released a series of five

short videos which provide a snapshot of

the industry in the wake of the Covid-19


Comprising ‘talking heads’ style comment from

managers based in Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester,

London and Birmingham, the films provide a timely

insight into the impact the virus has had on the

construction sector.

Bucking the trend seen in many other sectors of

construction, all Vivalda branches reported a

significant uplift in sales of high performance

cladding as soon as lockdown was lifted. Alan

Reece, Assistant Manager from Vivalda

Manchester, said: “Demand has gone up

considerably. In July we saw output rise by around

40% compared to the same time last year.”

Andy Thomas, Branch Manager in

London, said: “Things have been

different since lockdown. We’ve

seen a real boom in smaller

domestic projects, which has

probably been driven by people with

more time on their hands. While we

undertake major commercial work, these home

improvement projects are sometimes more

interesting. It’s opened up a new revenue stream

for us.”

While work in Scotland was slower to restart, due

to different rules north of the border, MSP (which

Vivalda Group acquired last year) is now back up

to full speed. Gillian Thomson, Branch Manager,

said: “We’re doing a lot of projects in England to

replace unsafe ACM with our non-combustible A1

panels. Looking ahead, while we’re delighted that

the government has provided £1.6bn

funding to replace faulty cladding,

the problem lies with who does the

work. There are lots of people that

could do the work, but there are

only a few real experts with a proven

track record. We need to be careful to

ensure the right people are doing this vital work.”

The video series also contains a selection of

recent projects each Vivalda branch has

completed, which demonstrates the sheer

versatility of innovative cladding as well as the

value of the more consultative approach provided

by the business.

View the videos on Roof-Tube




A combination of external wall insulation and brick

slips from Sto were specified for a major new

landmark building in Birmingham. The StoTherm

Mineral K insulation system and StoBrick were

chosen for the city’s new Toybox student

accommodation building for their ability to

combine outstanding thermal performance with a

traditional brick appearance, and blend with other

construction materials.

“We wanted to create a visually striking appearance

that would give this new building a unique identity

within the area,” explained Tony Mead of project

architects Corstorphine + Wright. “In order to

achieve that, and also provide a high level of

thermal insulation, we worked with Sto to specify a

combination of Sto thermal insulation, and different

types and colours of Sto brick slips. Combined with

the glazing and the external zinc panels this gave us

lots of flexibility to translate our designs into reality.”

The StoTherm Mineral K insulation

system uses mineral fibre boards

which were adhesively fixed to the

substrate. This allowed for fast and

easy installation, and the

accommodation of the curved

surfaces found on the building’s

façade. The system provides a high

level of thermal performance,

outstanding fire protection and effective sound

insulation. Its single-leaf external construction also

does not reduce the interior space of the building.

To create the impressive ‘shark fin’ appearance for

the completed building and extend the range of

surface textures used, Corstorphine + Wright

specified glazed ceramic StoBrick slips, in a

contrasting green colour to the grey Sto resin brick

slips used on other areas of the façade.

StoBrick has been developed as a brick cladding

solution for use with mineral-fibre

based insulation systems, to provide

architects with the opportunity to

incorporate genuine clay brick

finishes into their façade designs,

whilst also achieving the required

A2-s1, d0 fire rating.

“The slips themselves are extremely lightweight and

are bonded directly onto the substrate, opening up

the range of design options for recreating the

appearance of traditional brickwork in architectural

designs,” commented Graham Chadwick of Craft

Interior who installed the Sto materials.

Contact Sto


Left: A combination of StoTherm Mineral K

external wall insulation system and

StoBrick brick slips were specified for the

new Toybox student accommodation

building in Birmingham. Image: Tom Bird.






For metal-based roofing and

cladding systems, products and services.

Representing, Promoting

and Supporting

• Systems manufacturers

• Component manufacturers

• Systems installers

• Independent roofing and cladding inspectors

• Industry support services providers

Visit www.mcrma.co.uk

to find out more about the MCRMA and its members.

The ‘MCRMA The Building Envelope Authority’ is a registered Collective Trademark of the Metal Cladding and Roofing Manufacturers Association Limited.

ETICS and Fixings


The experts at EJOT discuss best practice guidance for attaching to externally insulated

walls without compromising performance.

Meeting the goal of achieving ‘net zero’

greenhouse gases by 2050 will require

significant upgrading to the external

envelope of many of the UK’s existing buildings.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by

using external wall insulation (EWI) systems –

also known as external thermally insulating

composite systems (ETICS) – which have

become a popular refurbishment solution over the

past two decades.

While the Decent Homes Standard, published in

2000, was the catalyst for greater use of EWI,

modern methods of construction (MMC) have

additionally opened up new possibilities for these

systems in the delivery of new build projects too

where a client is seeking to optimise

sustainability, speed and convenience in

combination with high thermal standards.

Retrofit presents the major opportunity for EWI,

however, with the UK’s existing housing stock

regarded as being amongst the oldest in the

world. That is why PAS 2035: 2019 is so

important, providing a specification for the energy

retrofit of domestic buildings and detailing best

practice, which TrustMark holders will be required

to comply with.

PAS 2035 supports the drive to improve energy

efficiency and the Near Zero Energy Buildings

(NZEBs) target in-line with EU objectives by

championing technically sound and responsible

domestic retrofit work. Key to this is the improved

functionality and durability of buildings, as well

as improved energy efficiency, reduced

environmental impacts of buildings, and

minimising the performance gap that often occurs

with regard to a shortfall of perceived


But in order to ensure that an EWI or ETICS

“It is important

that careful


is given to the

way external

elements are


system delivers on its intended performance level

and that it maintains its long-term integrity, it is

important that careful consideration is given to

the way external elements are attached. If not,

something as simple as attaching a downpipe

bracket has the potential to lead to much more

significant and costly problems with the EWI


Consider the make-up of an EWI system. In

simple terms, the insulation is typically attached

securely to the wall structure, treated with

coatings and mesh, and finished in the chosen

render, brick-slips or other external treatment.

The main depth of the EWI system is the

insulation board, and whilst this should generally

be very securely fixed to the building substrate, it

will not have the necessary structural strength to

allow for load bearing attachments, such as Juliet

balconies, canopies or railings.

Also remember that any attempt to achieve a

secure fix by driving through to the original

building substrate could compromise the thermal

insulation level. Unless a fixing is used that

incorporates insulating materials as part of its

design, the thermal barrier will be broken, and

cold bridging will result. This is one of the criteria

of PAS 2035, where it needs to be demonstrated

that any cold bridging effects have been designed

out of the chosen energy efficiency measure, in

particular EWI.

Left: Iso-Dart anchors securely into

substrates and accepts screws upto

9.0 mm diameter

As the number of UK

homes and buildings

treated with EWI or ETICS

increases – retrofit or new

build – it is inevitable that

more incidences will be faced

where a load-bearing element will need

to be attached in what will still be, for many – for

now at least, a non-standard wall construction.

That’s why it is important to understand the

different types of anchors that must be used.

Plan ahead where possible

Where a medium to heavy element will feature as

part of the newly insulated façade, it is important

to plan for the location of the attachment as the

EWI is constructed so a secure fix can be

achieved. For example, when planning for a

window which has a Juliet balcony, an installation

angle or corner bracket, such as EJOT’S ETAapproved

Iso-Corner, can be used to allow for a

secure attachment back to the original building


Made from polyurethane hard foam, the

installation angle provides a clear and

dependable location for a load-bearing

attachment to be made, whilst at the same

time preventing thermal bridging. In the case of

the EJOT product, a cantilever arm with a length

of between 80mm and 300mm ensures any EWI

system depth can be accommodated. A similar

principle can be used where a sub-assembly,

compression backing or pressure pad is

required, by ensuring that an insulating

material such as EJOT’s Iso-Bloc is attached to

the building substrate as part of the EWI makeup.


…and choose the right approach for

fitting unplanned lighter elements

Whilst planning for heavier elements is not only

good practice but crucial, it is simply not possible

to predict the fixing locations of every external

element. That is why there are other very effective

approaches which are equally uncompromising

and secure for lighter weight elements, such as

downpipe brackets, house numbers, letterboxes

and exterior lights.

For fixing points up to a 5kg load in walls

insulated with foam-type insulation such as

polystyrene or polyurethane, one way to provide a

secure fixing location is to use a spiral-shaped

plastic assembly anchor, complete with sealing

washer and integrated threaded sleeve (finished

with silicone sealant). The design of this, as with

EJOT’s Iso-Spiral anchor, is such that it embeds

very securely because of its design into the

insulation without creating a cold bridge.

Light-to-medium weight mounted elements – up

to 15kg per fixing point – will, however, still need

Above: The engineered quality of Iso-Corner is now rubberstamped

with an ETA.

securing to the building substrate. This can be

achieved with a longer fixing comprising a plastic

bush, EPDM washer and a façade anchor. Within

the EJOT range this is known as the Iso-Dart (see

opposite page), and it is a type of fixing that can

be used in EWI applications with an insulation

thickness of up to 320mm.

Installation is straightforward, with the concrete,

brick or block substrate drilled firstly to allow for

the anchor to be inserted, after which the plastic

bush and seal are attached, silicone sealant is

applied, and then external elements can be

attached. The length of the fixing and the fact that

its design incorporates plastic and EPDM

components not only delivers a secure fix into the

original substrate, but it also minimises thermal

transmission as a result of thermal decoupling.

Don’t take a risk – seek specialist advice

The potential that EWI and ETICS offer for

enhancing the energy performance of UK

properties is huge, but it is vital that we don’t

allow compromising factors like the attachment

of external elements to undermine the goals of

clients, architects and system providers. That’s

why innovative fixing solutions like those in the

EJOT ETICS range are so important, meaning that

installers can achieve the right result every time,

whether it is a medium-heavy or lightweight

element to be mounted onto the façade.

Accessing the right support in this area is easy, with

plenty of help available online in the form of

technical brochures, datasheets, video installation

clips and more, as well as directly from EJOT.

Contact EJOT





SPRA membership – A close community of

businesses working together to


a quality single ply roofing industry

In these difficult times we want to highlight the very

good support services offered by:



For more information 0845 1547188 enquiries@spra.co.uk





Acoustic Considerations


Simon Blackham, Technical Manager at Recticel Insulation, looks at how insulation can

help improve a home’s acoustics and increase occupant interior comfort and wellbeing.

The UK housing crisis has put a premium on

suitable development sites. This is likely to

result in people living in properties

constructed ever-closer together, as builders look

to optimise available plot space. Compact

housing schemes serve a practical purpose as

enablers for local authorities to fulfil building

quotas and would-be homeowners to climb the

property ladder. However, noise pollution in closeknit

urban areas is a growing issue. Disturbance

from road and air traffic is being supplemented

by neighbour disruption, leading to stress and

disharmony all-round.

There is no doubt that building design,

particularly in relation to largescale

developments, is increasingly being influenced by

the need to minimise a property’s footprint.

Space-saving measures include applying fewer

materials to walls, floors and roofs,

which although may

prove cost-effective in

the short-term, occupiers

risk paying a price in terms of noise


Sound interference isn’t limited to that generated

by road traffic and neighbouring households. If

not insulated sufficiently, individual living space

can become intolerable due to unfiltered noise

emanating from different rooms of the same


Noise impacts

Although an invisible menace, persistent

exposure to invasive noise can have serious

consequences. According to a European

Environment Agency (EEA) report, one in five

people in Europe are subjected to levels of sound

considered harmful to health. It estimates that

long-term exposure to noise such as busy traffic,

railways and aircraft causes 12,000 premature

deaths per year in Europe alone.

Mental health and wellbeing are

also found to be negatively

impacted by ‘environmental

turbulence’, whilst the Oxford

University reported a

correlation between increased

levels of traffic noise over long

periods of time and obesity.

Sound solution

Having highlighted the real issues noise pollution

presents, how can householders protect

themselves against its unabating interference?

And if we want to enjoy our music or TV as loud

as we can stand, how is this possible without

upsetting the neighbours or other members of the

household? Insulation presents a viable and

trusted solution to this common domestic

conundrum. A proven example being Silentwall

acoustic insulation panels

produced by

Recticel Insulation

(left), which are

designed to prevent exterior

noise infiltrating a building, whilst providing a

barrier to sound transmitting between rooms

within the property.

Comprising of a combination of fibres and

recycled polyurethane foam, Silentwall panels

provide an 87% sound reduction between walls;

a truly stunning performance which does much to

increase the comfort and wellbeing of occupants

closeted from incessant, everyday noise pollution.

Silentwall’s popularity isn’t solely based upon its

sustainably-inspired composition which results in

a slightly thinner, but much better-performing

wall from an acoustic point of view; its simple

installation is another major benefit. It is easily

bonded to a wall’s surface, with plasterboard

Left: Simon Blackham, Recticel Insulation.

Below: Silentwall acoustic insulation panels.

fitted on top to provide a

finished surface.

The bonding process is crucial

to acoustic performance, as it

eliminates vibration between the

two surfaces and dampens

excessive sound transmission. Silentwall

offers a cleaner, easy-to-apply, reliable

alternative to more traditional acoustic solutions

such as mineral wool, which would need to be

applied with significantly greater density in order

to attain a similar level of noise reduction.

Future innovation

Silentwall is a signifier of Recticel’s commitment

to the circular, sustainable economy. It’s on a

second lifespan and our technicians will already

be looking at ways to adapt upon its current

purpose. In terms of what lies ahead for the

development of acoustic insulation, its wider use

within retrofit applications will likely depend on

the adoption of thermal technology as part of its

package. This ‘best of both worlds’ approach

would seem the most logical progression. With

communities continuing to live evermore tightly

together, a sustainable insulation solution which

offers acoustic and thermal performance will be

crucial to creating a harmonious environment

inside and outside of the home.

Homeowners in large communities shouldn’t feel

entitled to live in a noiseless vacuum, but relative

peace and quiet ought not to be too much to ask

for either. Choosing quality acoustic insulation is

a first step to creating an effective sound barrier.

Contact Recticel Insulation

01782 590470






By QI (Quantum Insulation Ltd)

Is non-combustible insulation required over

Compartment walls?


Document B Regulation 7

Confused as to why a section of the regulations not directly related to

For 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


a statement that

carried over the wall’ ,

Approved Document B it will




The experts at A Proctor Group ask ‘does energy efficiency only matter for new build


Clearly regulations for energy efficiency

relate to both new build and

refurbishment, but should they not allow a

relaxation in refurbishment that takes into

account the difficulties of meeting this level due

to aspects such as floor zones etc? Regulations

for acoustics take into account new build

properties and the difficulties of existing

buildings, so why don’t we for energy efficiency?

When we get to the ‘other side’ of Coronavirus,

the way we come out will be different; we will

unlikely go back to the ‘old norm’. The effect of

Coronavirus will have rebooted the way we think

about various things such as, what’s important in

life, appreciation of what we have, and the effects

of climate change.

So, is it time for the government to look at the

existing housing stock and assess how their

efficiency can be improved? – the same way as Part

E and Section 5 recognise, instead of hammering

the easy target of new build properties where the

targets set provide the new minimum requirement

to design down to as cheaply as possible, rather

than a worse case minimum.

As stated, Part E and section 5, acoustic regulations

are considerate of the difficulties of trying to design

existing buildings with its existing issues to the

same performance levels of new builds built from

scratch. With acoustics, even in refurbishment the

acoustic measures will invariably be better than

before, but with thermal improvements there could

be knock-on effects such as structural damage due

to hidden moisture issues from trying to improve the

building’s energy performance. Therefore, a good

understanding of HAMM (Heat, Air and Moisture

Movement) are critical to get the balance of

improved energy efficiency with moisture issues.

The government aims to reduce green house gas

emissions by 80% by 2050 and this requires a

change of emphasis which goes

away from just new build to

looking at existing housing stock.

This would provide not just reduced

emissions, but potentially less burden on

the NHS and lower living costs to heat homes. We

must be considerate of what the placement of

insulation would have in old homes – one issue

being solid wall homes.

A good option

Solid walls have been a good choice through the

years for a country that lives in a climate where

there is a lot of rain. These walls can be built

thicker, depending on their exposure to rain to

reduce the amount of water penetrating the external

wall. These walls were traditionally built of stone

work in such a way that they also “breathed”,

thereby drying the walls when the climate allowed

which can be effective but not efficient thermally.

According to NIA, the current housing stock in the

UK stands at 24.5 million dwellings. Of these, 6.6

million properties have solid walls which represent

31% of the total housing stock; 48% of the 326,000

high rise flats in England have solid walls. These

solid walls are deemed hard to treat as they cannot

benefit from the easier energy efficient method of

cavity fill. They can only be treated internally with

internal wall insulation (IWI) or with external wall

insulation (EWI). Both of these options come with

the benefit of potentially improving the insulation

levels in the dwellings but with more difficulties,

especially with internally applied insulation.

With IWI, more does not always mean better and

there is a real case for balancing energy efficiency

with good moisture control and understanding. In its

most simplistic form, more insulation (thicker) will

come at the expense of space internally, in some

cases making double bedrooms into singles and

singles into box rooms. So we strive for more energy

Left: Spacetherm from A Proctor.

efficient insulation to reduce the

thickness required which can be an efficient

option, but this can compromise the vapour

permeability of the wall and reduce its

“breathability”. In most cases, the strive for more

efficient thermal insulation at a lower thickness

needs to compromise the vapour permeability and

the constant balancing of these factors becomes an

ever-increasing conundrum – until recently.

Now you can balance improving the thermal

efficiency, decrease water absorption and maintain

the intended breathability with the introduction of

nano technology called Spacetherm insulation. Our

Spacetherm insulation gives high levels of thermal

insulation with a low thermal conductivity of 0.019

W/mK while still offering breathability and

exceptional levels of water repellence. Solid wall

properties can be transformed with thin insulation

in terms of green house gas emissions, yet without

a vast reduction in room size.

The Spacetherm WL board comes in just 13mm

thickness including the 3mm MgO hard wearing

surface which is adhesively bonded to the wall. This

can reduce a solid wall U-value from 1.5 W/m²K

(and in some cases 2.1 W/m²K) to below 0.7

W/m²K. This is halving the heat loss through a solid

wall at around half an inch thick! If the government

was to relax the conversion levels to this level, then

nearly a third of the UK’s existing housing stock can

reduce its heat loss dramatically without major

disruption to properties, whilst still maintaining

the structural integrity due to the breathing wall

and less risk of built-in moisture issues from vast

changes in a structure’s temperature, and

therefore in-built condensation problems.

Contact A Proctor Group






Struggling to achieve the u-value on an inverted roof due to low upstand heights?

Quantum Insulation have the solution; the only BBA Certified Vacuum Insulated Panel (VIP)

for inverted roof applications. Suitable for use on any BBA Certified zero falls inverted roof

waterproofing the Quantum PLUS + VIP insulation system was specifically developed for

use wherever build-up thickness is critical to making the roof or roof terrace construction

viable. Accepted by the NHBC in inverted roof applications Quantum PLUS + VIP can be up

to 5 times thinner than EPS or XPS inverted roof insulation boards.

With our comprehensive design and calculation service, and a wide-ranging understanding

of the flat roofing market, QI support contractors in finding insulation solutions and

demonstrating compliance.




Expanded Extruded Quantum PLUS +

0.038 W/m . K 0.034 W/m . K 0.007 W/m . K

The depth of board to achieve an R-value of 6.250 m 2 K/W - rounded up to the nearest standard depth

For further information please contact:


Insulation Updates


As part of continued investment in tools which

help to save specifiers’ time and make it easier

to identify the correct insulation solutions for

facades, walls, floors and roofs, ROCKWOOL has

launched the new Red Book – a fully interactive

guide which provides digital access to technical

data, product certification and a wide range of

specification support materials.

Always well regarded by specifiers, the

ROCKWOOL Red Book has been out of print for

several years. Now back and digitally revamped

to meet the needs of building professionals, the

Red Book provides an essential and practical

resource that brings all the relevant specification

data for ROCKWOOL acoustic, fire and thermal

solutions, into a single place.

Application-driven, the Red Book provides detailed

guidance for designing ROCKWOOL stone wool

insulation into façade, wall, floor and roof buildups.

This includes NBS Clauses, BIM objects, BBA

certification and technical datasheets.

A Victorian vicarage which has been

converted into flats for homeless people in

Kent has achieved an astonishing band B

EPC rating – up from Band E – thanks to its

use of Actis Hybrid insulation.

The builders and project surveyor are

delighted, but not surprised, that the

refurbished building is so energy efficient.

The property, Christchurch Lodge, bought and

refurbished by Ashford Borough Council as a

more stable and cost-effective alternative to

B&B accommodation for those without a roof

over the heads, opens to its first residents this

month. The choice of Actis Hybrid was made by

the council’s development surveyor, Darren

Parrett, who was struck by the ability of the

products to reduce thermal bridging when he

took part in an Actis CPD training session a few

Recognising the

importance of being

able to find a

product’s reaction to

fire ratings, users can

verify the Euroclass

rating of a product as

the Red Book links

directly to the

Declaration of Performance database on the

ROCKWOOL website. This enables the specifier to

quickly evidence the non-combustibility of their

chosen ROCKWOOL solution, whilst seeing other

key performance characteristics that are

declared as part of the product’s CE marking.

In addition to technical documentation,

application pages give specifiers direct access to

online calculation tools for U-values and

acoustics, making it easier to evaluate the

potential performance of façade, wall, floor and

roof build-ups.

years ago.

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

“This is a significant achievement in

building energy performance, made

all the more remarkable given the

physical limitations of an existing

19th century building compared to a

blank canvas design of a new-build

scheme,” said Darren.

Contractors Jenner created an

internal stud wall inside the original

brick, filling it with 125mm honeycomb

insulation Actis Hybris, and then adding

insulating vapour control layer H Control Hybrid

to eliminate thermal bridging – something with

which the construction team were particularly


Hybris and H Control Hybrid were also used in

Paul Barrett, Head of

Product Management,


commented: “Since

we last produced the

Red Book, the world

has become much

more of a digital

place. We’ve

responded to this by creating a specification

support tool that makes all the relevant online

and electronic resources directly accessible from

within the Red Book. Our objective was to create

a practical guide that is easy to use, helping to

save time while maintaining the robustness of

the specification process. We believe we’ve

achieved this and will be regularly releasing new

updates to ensure the content remains relevant

and accurate, as well as evolving it in line with

market feedback.”

To download a copy of the ROCKWOOL Red Book,

please visit www.rockwool.co.uk/redbook.


Liane Bayliss, Actis South

East and London Area Sales

Manager with Darren Parrett,

the council’s development


the roof, with Hybris on its own in

the ceilings. As well as noting

that the building feels very warm

and cosy in colder weather,

Darren also observed how cool it

had been during the recent

heatwave. The contractors said

the products were very quick and

easy to install – a comment

frequently heard by the Actis

team! Actis’ Liane Bayliss said:

“Darren was absolutely delighted to have

achieved such an impressive EPC. It confirmed

in real life what he’d learned on our CPD

training course a few years ago. It was also

good to hear that Jenner, the contractors,

found it so easy to use. SO many builders tell

us this.”




Cutting Blades



Dominic Waring, Technical Sales Manager at Norton Clipper, Saint-Gobain Abrasives,

explains how you can ensure you’re using the best diamond blade or cutting disc for a job.

Using the wrong type of diamond blade or

cutting disc can lead to inadequate

results and damaged products, while also

wasting a contractor’s time and resources. But

with so many different types of abrasives on the

market, finding the right one can be a minefield.

At Norton Clipper, our absolute top advice for any

contractor working with cutting equipment is:

don’t be afraid to ask. There can be endless

variables that determine what type of product is

ideally suited for certain applications, so if you’re

ever unsure, it’s always best to ask those in the

know. Your local builders’ merchants will always

be happy to lend a hand, but don’t forget to also

check a manufacturer’s website, as there will

often be pages of information on which blade is

best for which job, and may even feature product

guides or demo videos.

Instead of looking towards the cheapest option or

using the same product for every job, first ask

yourself some questions: what quantity do I need

to cut?; what materials will I be cutting?; and

what tools will I use to cut it with? – the answers

will help you determine which size and type of

product you need, and whether you need a cutting

disc or a diamond blade.

A cutting disc is a lightweight and cheap cutting

option that delivers a decent cut for smaller

projects. These discs are thinner and less durable

than their diamond blade counterparts, meaning

they can wear out fairly quickly. When looking to

make lots of cuts, or when working on tough

materials, this often means using up numerous

cutting discs. Fitting and removing the worn down

discs may only take a couple of minutes each, but

can quickly add up to hours of lost time on site –

proving a less cost effective option for those

bigger projects.

This being said, the cost and

ease of use of cutting discs

make them a great option

when cutting just a couple of

roof tiles. As they are

lightweight, these discs also

make a good accompaniment for

cordless power tools, using less power to start

up and saving on battery life.

“For roof tiles we would

recommend a

continuous rim, which

offers a smoother cut

with a reduced risk of


For many contractors though, jobs require the

faster and longer-lasting performance found in

diamond blades. These blades offer a more

comfortable and safer cut for the user as

vibration is reduced, decreasing the effects of

fatigue and the chances of getting white finger.

But the main attraction to diamond blades is, of

course, their unrivalled ability to work longer,

faster, and achieve a better finish – helping to

save both time and money on a job.

Two main types of diamond blade

What many tradespeople aren’t aware of,

however, is the extensive variety of diamond

blades. There are two main types of diamond

blades – a segmented rim and a continuous rim.

For roof tiles we would strongly recommend a

continuous rim, which offers a smoother cut with

a reduced risk of chipping – minimising any

worries of wastage or damaged tiles.

Left: Norton Clipper Multipurpose 230mm.

There are diamond blades

available for almost every

material and application, and

using the right one can really

determine a job well done. When

using an incorrect diamond blade, the

tools used have to work harder to achieve

the desired result, whilst the blade can prematurely

wear and no longer cut effectively, and may even

damage the material you are trying to cut.

In general, a multi-material or general buildingmaterial

continuous rim blade is the perfect fit for

roof tiles, and will help achieve smooth cuts time

after time. Whether you opt for cutting discs,

diamond blades or a combination of the two, it is

always advised that you check that they are

suitable for the product you will be cutting.

At Norton Clipper, we’ve worked hard to make it

as easy as possible for contractors to take the

stress out of the selection process. Each type of

Norton Clipper diamond blade is colour coded and

clearly states its application type, meaning

tradespeople can find a suitable product by

simply scanning the shelves, or taking a quick

look at our website beforehand to find out what

they should be looking for.

Above: Colour coding for diamond blades.

Contact Norton Abrasives

01785 279553




Comprehensive product range

30 to 75 year market-leading warranties available

Reproduction & Fibre Cement ranges

Tailored ranges in stock in your area

Full support & guidance

Natural Slate Ranges






Vehicle Checks


Motoring specialists from LeaseVan.co.uk have revealed three essential tyre checks drivers

should make regularly to stay on the right side of the law, be safe and avoid £2,500 fines

and penalty points…

British drivers have been urged to check

tyre treads, pressure and general wear

and tear in order to avoid hefty £2,500

fines and penalty points.

Motoring specialists from LeaseVan.co.uk have

revealed three essential tyre checks drivers

should make regularly to stay on the right side of

the law, be safe, and avoid unwanted fines.

A recent survey of 2,000 drivers showed a

staggering 17 per cent of motorists had never

checked their tyre pressures.

This is despite the fact that under or over inflated

tyres can cause unpredictable vehicle behaviour

and affect handling and grip, potentially causing

dangerous collisions.

As well as tyre pressure, motorists should check

their vehicle’s tyre depth regularly, and inspect

them for any cuts, bulges, and signs of cracking.

If a driver is stopped by the police and found to

have one or more tyres with a tread depth below

the legal limit, they could receive a hefty fine of

£2,500 and three penalty points per tyre.

So, if it turns out that all four tyres are breaking

the law, drivers could be required to pay £10,000

and risk losing their licence altogether.

A spokesperson for LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Tyres

are arguably one of the most vital components of

any vehicle, and as such they require a

reasonable amount of upkeep.

“Drivers can prioritise their and other road users’

health and safety by regularly checking their tyres

to make sure they’re road legal. Having a

sufficient tyre tread depth is vital to ensure that

your car can grip the road properly, and tyre

pressure can greatly affect the way a vehicle

handles. Incorrectly inflated tyres also waste

money because they can

increase fuel consumption and

tyres will wear out more

quickly. You should also inspect

tyres for cuts, bulges, and signs

of cracking. If you notice anything

unusual, get it looked at by a

professional and replace if needed.”

1. Tread Depth

Tread depth refers to the

measurement between the

top of the tread rubber –

the part of the tyre that

contacts the road – and the

bottom of the tyre’s deep

grooves. Having a sufficient

tread depth is vital to ensure that

your car can grip the road properly. Without

it, you’re increasing your chances of having an

accident. It’s also important to note that if you

are involved in an accident and your car has tyres

with a tread depth below the legal limit, your

insurance claim could be deemed invalid.

In the UK, the law states that every tyre on a car

must have a minimum tread of 1.6mm across the

central three quarters of the tread around the

circumference. If you’re stopped by the police and

found to have one or more with a tread depth

below the legal limit, you could receive a hefty

fine of £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre.

You can use a tread depth gauge to measure it or

use the ‘20p test’. Simply insert a 20p coin into

the grooves of the tyre and check if you can still

see the outer band of the coin. If you can’t, your

tyre is above the legal limit. If you can see the

outer band of the coin, it’s likely the tyre is

unsafe and needs swapping for a newer model.

2. Pressure

Without the correct pressure in

each tyre, you run the risk of

not being in total control of your

vehicle. Under or over inflated

tyres can cause unpredictable

vehicle behaviour and affect

handling and grip. This is especially

dangerous when you’re driving at high

speeds. Incorrectly inflated tyres

also waste money because

they can increase fuel

consumption and tyres will

wear out more quickly.

To find out the correct

pressure for your tyres, you

should refer to your car’s manual.

This should tell you the pounds per

square inch (PSI) in relation to your vehicle’s

tyres – this is the number your tyres should be

inflated to. Checking your tyres’ pressure is quick

and simple, and you can do this by using a digital

tyre pressure gauge. You can pick one of these

devices up from a garage and keep it in your car

or van at home.

3. Wear and tear

To keep your tyres in good condition, you should

get into the habit of inspecting them regularly. If

you notice anything unusual, get it looked at by a

professional and replace if needed. When you’re

checking them over, make sure you look at the

surface of the tyre and use your hand to feel for

anything that might be stuck in the rubber. You

should also inspect them for cuts, bulges, and

signs of cracking.

Contact LeaseVan.co.uk



Postponed to

Friday 28 May 2021


We have postponed the 2020 awards as social distancing guidelines are likely to be in place for at least the

short-to-medium term. The safety of the attendees must come first—so we’re planning a bigger and better

combined 2020/21 roofing awards event in May 2021 and we look forward to seeing you all there.

Friday 28 May 2021 | InterContinental London—The O2

For more details or to book your table, contact 020 7638 7663

or head to roofingawards.co.uk

All tickets already purchased remain valid for 2021. Nominations for awards will reopen later this year.

Drinks Reception

and Category Sponsor

Headline Sponsor

Awards Knowledge Partner

Coronavirus Advice for UK roofing industry


0330 123 4714 coronavirus@nfrc.co.uk


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


Makita UK has launched a new, lightweight

folding mitre saw stand, making it easier than

ever to quickly and accurately complete a

range of cuttings tasks.

The portable WST07 mitre saw stand has been

designed with ease of use and operator

productivity in mind. Unlike previous models, the

WST07 includes tool-less adjustable mitre saw

bracket levers, so operators can effortlessly

install, adjust and remove the saw from the

stand. The sliding rail design also makes it easy

to position the mitre saw at the desired angle.

With a maximum extension length of 3,830mm

and adjustable extension arms (both left and

right), the WST07 can be easily altered for each

individual task and can support up to 225kg in

weight for cutting efficiency. The WST07 also

includes an adjustable levelling foot, to prevent

the saw stand from wobbling when working on

uneven floor surfaces.

The WST07 is easy to manoeuvre around site and

transport between jobs. Weighing just 18kg, the

inclusion of castors allows operators to

effortlessly move the saw stand, even when a

mitre saw is mounted. The stand has also been

designed for ease of transportation between jobs

with two convenient single-handed carry handles

(one pre-fixed) for maximum carrying comfort.

The WST07’s compact design (it has a minimum

length of just 1,765mm) and folding legs means

that it can be easily loaded onto the bed of a

standard 1,800mm wide pickup truck.

For increased flexibility, the WST07 is compatible

with a wide range of Makita products, including

slide compound saws, mitre saws, cordless slide

compound saws and cordless mitre saws.

Kevin Brannigan, Marketing Manager at Makita,

said: “We are delighted to add the WST07 Mitre

Saw to our ever-growing accessory portfolio. This

fantastic stand provides workers with a valuable

tool for easier material cutting. The light weight

and compact design of the WST07 means that

Above: The portable WST07 mitre saw stand from Makita.

users can quickly put up and take down the saw

stand with minimum disruption – even with the

tool still mounted.”



WernerCo’s Director of Product Engineering, Steve Lock, has recently been promoted to take on new

responsibilities for EMEA projects and aligning the European offering.

WernerCo’s Steve Lock has recently

been promoted.

With over 15 years of experience leading multi-disciplined engineering teams to deliver product solutions for customers,

including five years as Technical Director at J.P Hare Ltd, Steve is now responsible for delivering EMEA projects and the

European business, which aligns all major products and utilises the wider company expertise in this field. Steve now also

leads product engineering and development across all UK brands as WernerCo bids farewell to Paul Bruton, who retired

last month after 45 years spent in the ladder industry, following an in-depth transition period. www.wernerco.com


Hi-tech fabrics and body-mapping designs in the new multi-purpose ALLROUNDWork 4-Way Stretch Trousers

from Snickers Workwear ensure maximum working mobility wherever you are on site.

The 4-way stretch fabrics integrated into these work trousers deliver maximum freedom of movement for all kinds of

work all year round, as well as improved ventilation and overall comfort. With great fit and superb value for money,

they have a slimmer tailored fit for better all-round looks and protection against snagging, plus reinforced stretch

Cordura in the certified KneeGuard System for greater flexibility, comfort and durability. They’re specially designed to

take the new D30 ERGO Craftsman Kneepad. www.snickersworkwear.co.uk



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


FEIN has simplified its product range, grouping

its multitools together to form one new

MultiMaster family. The MultiMaster 300, 500

and 700 series, formerly known as the

MultiTalent, MultiMaster and SuperCut, will

now form one “unrivalled” family of multitools.

Scheduled to launch this September nationally

across the UK with the aim of streamlining

product lines for end-users and dealers alike, the

range will now encompass the three oscillating

power tools. Each product will also be available

as both cordless and mains-powered options.

“The MultiMaster range provides a one-stopshop

for a breadth of jobs, be it cutting, sawing,

sanding or polishing, due to its incredibly

extensive catalogue of compatible accessories,”

commented Raphael Rudolph, Managing Director

of FEIN UK. “Whether you’re on site for eight

hours a day or completing a quick DIY project,

the three new products offer a range of

performance classes, from entry-level to super

powerful for the most demanding requirements.”

The MultiMaster family is compatible with a total

of 180 accessories, enabling end-users to

complete a range of jobs with just one tool. The

MultiMaster 700 series, formerly known as

SuperCut, has the ability to saw wood, metal and

plastics, while also cutting out tiles, silicone

joints and carpets rapidly to precision, and

removing adhesive residues and tile adhesive.

The 700 series comes in various packages,

including up to 60 accessories, making it ideal

for all levels of the construction process and

everyone from general builders and roofers, to

plumbers, carpenters and electricians.

“Due to its robust design, the MultiMaster 700

can cope with the toughest conditions and is able

to operate with all Starlock accessories,

including Starlock, Starlock Plus and Starlock

Max,” added Raphael.

The MultiMaster 500 series, formerly known as

MultiMaster, can be adapted to complete a range

FEIN’s multitools are now part of the MultiMaster family.

of interior jobs such as sawing wood and metal,

as well as sanding and removing tiles, and is

available with different packages including, the

AMM 500 Plus TOP with more than 30

accessories. Meanwhile, the MultiMaster 300

series, previously known as MultiTalent, is

designed for sawing wood, metal, plasterboard

and plastics and can be purchased with a variety

of basic accessories. Both MultiMaster 300 and

500 series multitools are compatible with

Starlock and Starlock Plus accessories.

As part of the product range expansion, the

company will also be offering up to £100 in

Amazon vouchers to any customers trading in

their old non-Starlock FEIN tools for the new

MultiMaster 300, 500 or 700 series, when they

register for the three-year FEIN Plus warranty.



The team at Guardian Tools have worked closely with roofing contractors to launch the Guardian Roof Tile Jig.

The traditional practice to secure and stabilise any roof tile whilst cutting is to stand on it. However, this brings the foot

closer to the cutting blade and creates significant risk of a serious accident. Once water has been included in the

Above: Guardian’s Roof Tile Jig.

process for suppressing silica dust, the risk is further increased because the operator is cutting whilst trying to follow a quickly disappearing line. Guardian

says the Jig simply replaces the operator’s foot and does not change the process. The tile is aligned on the base of the Jig with a ‘stop’ and held in place by

pushing a clamp down on the top of the tile, and Guardian Tools says this then gives the user an edge to follow and makes the cutting safer, more accurate

and easily repeatable. By using the Jig in the cutting process, not only does the risk of harm substantially reduce, it also saves time and therefore money.

Andy Fitzmaurice, Guardian Tools Director, explained: “For a number of years we have worked across different sectors of construction with Stihl and

their cut-off machines. Through this, we have been able to gain an in-depth understanding of the ways in which cut-off machines can be supported to

improve the key roles they have on a construction site. For roofers, the cut-off machine is a valuable tool, so to help improve its ease of use and its

safety, plus reducing overall cutting time, is a benefit to both the contractor and their client. Even the simple benefit of raising the tile off the scaffold

boards and avoiding the frequent cutting of boards will have a positive impact on site.”

Guardian Tools says the benefit of working with roofing contractors is that they have been able to develop a product that roofers would use and can do

so without expecting them to change the way they work. Jason Wright, MD at J Wright Roofing Ltd., explained: “We have looked at the Jig with different

types of tiles, including ridge tiles. We can see the benefits of the Jig from both the safety and time-saving aspects and are looking to include this

innovative and practical tool with our teams for everyday use.” www.guardiantools.co.uk




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