018 RCI 0417

RCI April 2017

THE ENVELOPE The changes in profiled cladding and sheeting: an update The sheeting and cladding industry has changed out of all recognition since the NFRC brought out its definitive “Blue Book” – Profiled Sheet Roofing and Cladding – A guide to Good Practice way back in 1991. Innovation has gained rapid momentum since then both in product and installation, driven by regulations, cost, health and safety and even fashion and trends. While the basic principles of good roofing installation and design remain unchanged, the variety of products and systems available to the designer has provided alternatives for even the most humble of projects. Following the last printed Edition 3, which was released some years ago, there have been major changes in the industry resulting from increasing regulations to improve the energy efficiency of UK buildings both new and existing. At the time of the publication of Edition 3, the standards for thermal efficiency of industrial and commercial buildings were light years away from the requirements of today. These changes have challenged designers, manufacturers and contractors alike with the result being that traditional products and methods of construction have resulted in the high performance envelopes of the 21st Century. Innovation has been the keyword which in turn has put demands on the roofing and cladding contractor where impeccable workmanship and attention to detail is required to ensure the systems perform as designed. 018 RCIMAG.COM APRIL 2017 Profiled sheeting has been successfully used for many years as a roof and wall covering primarily in the industrial market, but also increasingly in domestic applications. After being relatively easy to use when cladding the basic industrial units of the latter half of the 20th century, in more recent times regulations have driven manufacturers to develop systems that are a world away from the designs that produced the tin sheds of the 70s. The goal of zero carbon buildings that started a decade ago has meant that the roofing contractor and his operatives need to be more knowledgeable and skilled than ever before to provide a product that functions as designed. While it used to be sufficient to ensure that the roof was watertight and hopefully remained so for its design life, nowadays the same contractor will be responsible for the building’s air leakage, ensuring that the thermal performance is as designed, the fitting of solar equipment and renewables and provision of safety and access equipment. In the past a roofer’s main worries were getting enough compression on a fastener’s sealing washer without dimpling the sheet – and getting paid at the end of the job. Today it’s whether the building passes its air tightness test – and, as we all know, getting paid at the end of the job. BS 5427, the British Standard Code of Practice for the use of profiled sheet for roof and wall cladding on buildings was revised last year, and a further amendment is currently underway which reflects the changing standards. The Blue Book has also been updated as the above changes have necessitated, however, in more recent times the need to revise various sections has increased. This, together with the preference by users for electronic documentation, has required the format to be changed to an electronic one. This enables the experts on the NFRC Technical Committee to revise elements as required and have the new sections available to contractors and designers without delay. Each subject has been separated into parts and can be downloaded from the NFRC website: https://www.nfrc.co.uk/documents The various sections are: 1: Common Requirements for Lightweight Profiled Cladding 2: Building Regulations – Conservation of Fuel and Power 3: Building Regulations – England and Wales 4: Built Up Metal and Wall Cladding 5: Insulated Panels 6: Profiled Rooflights 7: Fasteners and Fixings 8: Sealants and Profiled Fillers 9: Roof Drainage Systems • 9: Appendix – Gutter Linings 10: Metal Flashings for Roof and Wall Cladding 11: Fibre Cement Sheeting 12: Health and Safety. By Ian Henning, technical officer at the NFRC A library of these and other technical guidance documents are available to download free of charge from the NFRC Knowledge Hub, on completion of a simple form. Visit: www.nfrc.co.uk A guide to design and best practice from the NFRC “These changes have challenged designers, manufacturers and contractors alike with the result being that traditional products and methods of construction have resulted in the high performance envelopes of the 21st Century” “In the past a roofer’s main worries were getting enough compression on a fastener’s sealing washer without dimpling the sheet – and getting paid at the end of the job”


RCI April 2017
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