Page 56

RCI January 2018

FLAT ROOFING & WATERPROOFING SYSTEMS The technical touch: roofs that stand the test of time Carl Bailey, technical manager at Firestone Building Products, discusses the importance of technical support in delivering roofing installations that 054 JANUARY 2018 RCIMAG.COM perform to a high standard and stand the rest of time While every roofing system manufacturer will tell you – quite understandably – that their products offer the best performance and the most hard-wearing solution available, in reality, any commercially available roofing system should offer good protection for a defined service life. But there is one proviso: it must be installed well and to manufacturer’s guidelines. In practice, we can all cite examples of roof installations that have not performed well and this can be for a number of reasons, most of which are connected to the level and quality of support offered by the system supplier throughout the project. From specification, through to detailed scheme of works, installation and final inspection, therefore, technical support is vital for adding value, underpinning performance and supporting industry best practice. Trained to perform While roofing systems fit into a number of generic categories, each product is different and productspecific training of all members of the installation team is an essential part of ensuring that the finished project is completed to best practice standards aligned to manufacturer guidelines. Training should be thorough and certified, with a focus on general use of the system along with detailing techniques. It should also be refreshed and supported by site visits where the supplier’s technical representatives can provide training in tackling site-specific detailing requirements and inspect the installation at various stages of its progress to ensure that it will deliver the full potential performance of the system. At Firestone, for example, we have invested in a training centre to enable us to offer comprehensive training to installers. This not only ensures that our RubberGard EPDM system is installed to a high standard on site but also prevents product wastage by demonstrating how to optimise the membrane for common details. Specification support Whether the specification is architect or contractor led, the manufacturer should ideally be involved from the earliest stages to ensure that the specified system provides the right solution for the project, because every roof is different. This includes considerations including the building design, roof substrate and build up, building location and client’s requirements. Often, Carl Bailey: “We can all cite examples of roof installations that have not performed well and this can be for a number of reasons, most of which are connected to the level and quality of support offered by the system supplier throughout the project” early engagement with the product supplier can prevent unnecessary costs from over-specification. Equally, it can help to avoid costly underperformance from unnecessary specification mistakes. Technical support input from the manufacturer of the specified system is also vital during any value engineering process as money saving decisions made at this point could have far-reaching implications for the long-term performance and operational costs of the building in the long term. Conversely, by working with the system supplier’s technical team, the project team can take an informed approach to optimising materials and minimising the complexity of the installation on site, which could pay dividends in terms of both labour cost savings and performance . If the installation will involve mechanical fixings, the supplier should verify site specific pull-out values


RCI January 2018
To see the actual publication please follow the link above