The Roofing Frontier
It is important to review each external envelope project on an individual basis to ensure systems and materials selected meet the installation, aesthetic and environmental requirements. Here, Richard Price, Technical Director at Catnic explains why pre-coated, standing seam roofing and cladding systems can provide a versatile solution for both residential and commercial developments.
When selecting a roofing and/or cladding material, the ideal option would be one that combines durability with performance, simple installation with energy requirements. All without compromising the architect’s design vision for the project. On the face of it, not an easy task. However today’s pre-coated metal standing seam roofing and cladding systems are emerging as an extremely advantageous choice.
A Lightweight Alternative
Weight implications of a roofing system are critical, not only in relation to the ease of on site installation but also with regards to retrofit situations where the new system is often installed over an existing roof. With the ability to be up to seven times lighter than more traditional roof tiles, selecting a lightweight, standing seam roofing and cladding system can ensure handling on site is both swift and safe.
There are also pre-coated metal standing seam systems, such as Catnic’s SSR2® system, that arrive prepared with pre-punched fixing holes and a range of standard trims allowing for a fast and effective installation.
Additionally Catnic’s SSR2® roofing and cladding system is not reliant on roll forming or seaming on site, providing a real advantage for contractor teams to ensure workmanship levels remain consistent and that there is a robust approach to quality control.
Combining Sustainability With A Modern Aesthetic
Another key attribute to consider when deciding on a roofing and cladding system for a project is its ability to withstand the changeable British weather, preferably with minimal maintenance required. Pre coated, metal standing seam roofing and cladding systems like our own are guaranteed up to 40 years, whilst meeting all legislation for wind loadings, weather tightness and fire performance. They can also be installed safely to pitches as low as 5° providing a durable alternative to the popular zinc and aluminium systems.
However, all these benefits are somewhat redundant unless the material can create the contemporary aesthetics and clean structured lines currently desired by both architects and end clients. This trend is prevalent in new build developments and refurbishment projects, and those in charge of finalising product specification should ensure its appearance is just as integral to the decision as the other criteria.
High on the agenda for housebuilders and developers, as well as local authorities, is building in line with green standards. As the roof is a vital part of the building envelope that can contribute to the overall energy efficiency of the building, it is best to opt for those standing seam products that are BRE Green Guide ‘A Rated’.
Those wanting to specify environmentally friendly materials should check with ISO 14001, BES 6001 certification as well as BBA certification, which can help to maximise the potential for obtaining credits under the Responsible Sourcing of Materials section of BREEAM.
Standing seam roofing and cladding systems also have the ability to easily incorporate solar panels, to further increase the energy efficiency of the project. A fixing bracket can be screwed into the standing seam upstand to allow photovoltaic panels to be installed without needing to place any holes through the roof; therefore reducing the time spent installing the technology whilst still maintaining the roof’s integrity.
A Viable Option
With the objective of all construction projects, regardless of size or scale, to deliver both a successful and profitable end product, it is worth noting that we are witnessing material cost reductions as a result of standing seam metal roofing specification. When compared to zinc or aluminium, costs are decreasing by as much as 40% on some projects.
Finding the balance between ensuring the project has a strong eco focus, as well as other wider elements such as durability, performance, ease of installation and the overall aesthetic is often a challenge for housebuilders and developers. And although there will be occasions when turning to more traditional, familiar products is the preferred option, it is important to consider the innovative alternatives now available.
For some projects, pre-coated metal standing seam roofing and cladding systems will be able to match and even exceed the advantages of traditional specifications and are beginning to make a real impact in the construction industry.