Specifying the right materials

When starting on a new project, careful thought and consideration should be placed on the specification process to ensure the job is compliant. Here, Lewis Turnbull, Technical Manager at Forticrete discusses the importance of care in the initial stages of building development and what important factors you should consider when choosing the right roofing materials.

Ensuring compliance during the build process is not only impacted by the build’s capacity to meet the prerequisites set out by standards and regulations, but also by the development’s ability to meet the aesthetic style of its local surroundings. As such, the specification process should be given time and consideration. Choose the wrong tile, fittings or fixtures, and a build can be stalled and held up in planning meetings, negotiations and in worst-case scenarios, in appeals if planning permission is refused altogether. 

During the specification process, there are some key considerations that architects and developers must pay attention to. For instance, while architectural design and the uniqueness of the property should be at the forefront when specifying, the surroundings of the property should also be considered when deciding the type of materials that should be used. Not only does this ensure the right materials are chosen but means the build adheres to standards such as BS 5250, the standard addressing control of condensation in buildings. For instance, if a build is closely located to the coast, cedar roof shingles should not be used due to the likelihood of the moist air causing premature wood-rot and condensation, which can impact the building’s ability to ventilate effectively.

One area, which is key when considering planning permissions, is the colour and material of a roof tile used and as such, specifiers should take time to consider the aesthetic of the other buildings that have been developed locally to ensure the job is in keeping with this. Colour variations can also occur in materials that haven’t been factory blended, which can lead to an issue once the roofing materials have been handled and laid. To overcome this, specifiers should take care in their selection of tile by ordering samples. Holding samples side by side offers specifiers the opportunity to visualise the complete roof using the sample on-site.

Moreover, the type and size of the roof should be considered before selecting the roof tile for the building. In instances where the pitch is particularly steep or shallow, some tiles could prove to be unsuitable. Generally, a roof with a pitch lower than 17.5° is considered to be a low pitch roof. This means that clay roof tiles that usually have a minimum pitch of 30° would be unsuitable, while concrete tiles with interlocking features that can be used at a 15° pitch will be far better suited to the build.

Specifiers should take time to consider the handling capabilities of the build and the weight of tile it would be able to withstand. Roof tiles can be heavy, as such a survey should be undertaken before specifying a tile to ensure the roof structure, and walls beneath it can support the weightiness of concrete tiles.

These concerns should be addressed during the initial specification stage to ensure that the right roofing material is being specified for the project. If the right materials are chosen it can contribute towards a smooth build process. However, get it wrong, the build can be stalled and in worst-case scenarios cause developments to go over budget if it means replacement materials are having to be ordered if the original materials specified are neither practical nor suitable.

The time spent on a build should be carefully considered by specifiers and architects. Various roofing materials can result in lengthy installation processes, which can add unnecessary delays to the project due to the number of tiles that are needed to be handled and laid. As such, an interlocking roof tile should be considered as an innovative alternative.

Forticrete’s SL8 roof tile offers the visual characteristics of natural slate while offering specifiers superior benefits. The thin design offers an impressive 8 tiles per m2 coverage compared to the usual 10 per m2 that can be found in other alternative products. SL8 also offers the added benefit of including only two nail holes, offering a far more flexible fixing for roofing contractors to work with. 

For further information on our market leading offering, contact us via our web form or call 01525 244900.