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RCI March 2018

MARLEY ETERNIT COLUMN WET & DRY FIX THE ENVELOPE Raising the bar in quality 016 RCIMAG.COM MARCH 2018 and performance Dry fi x roofi ng accessories and fi ttings have developed considerably over the last couple of years as an alternative to mortar bedding. Bob Richardson, head of technical and training at the National Federation of Roofi ng Contractors, explains how the federation is backing the introduction of a new dry fi x standard for UK roofi ng While I appreciate that the not-sosnappily titled BS 8612: Dry-fi xed Ridge, Hip and Verge Systems for Slating and Tiling might not sound like scintillating reading, it is a vital step forward in embracing best practice in this area of our industry. After all, for the fi rst time ever it sets out the minimum performance requirements for dry fi x products, following concerns about the durability and weather-tightness of some systems. Following guidance from the National Housing-Building Council (NHBC) in 2012, and the resulting changes in 2014 to BS 5534 regarding the use of mortar in roofi ng, there was a surge in demand, mainly from developers, for dry fi x systems due to their speed in installation, compared to that of double-fi xed wet systems. This surge in growth of the market has attracted suppliers who are keen to capture market share, resulting in an array of options for specifi ers and installers that may not be of appropriate standard. A cause for concern for many as there was no standard in place to govern them. Until now. Here at the National Federation of Roofi ng Contractors (NFRC), we are backing this new standard from the British Standards Institution, because we are keen to ensure there is a minimum performance quality in place, which products have to meet. We hope this standard will address the ongoing pressure for contractors to drive down costs for their customers, which is translating into products originally specifi ed by architects, designers or clients being substituted for an under-performing equivalent. This should then alleviate problems, which arise in relation to quality, guarantees, weather-resistance, and overall environmental performance. Embrace best practice Launched at the end of January, the aim of BS 8612 is to prevent lower quality products being produced, thus giving the roofer, builder or contractor peace of mind when selecting products, as well as how to install them correctly. Poor quality dry fi x systems or the failure to install good quality products correctly have lead to roofs with problems. Something we, here at the NFRC, are keen to eradicate. As the voice of the roofing industry, we have long worked with our members to embrace best practice in the industry, and see this new standard as an important landmark for UK roofing. BS 8612 covers dry fi xed ridge and hip systems connected to timber ridge and hip battens, ridge boards or hip rafters and dry-fi xed verge systems, which are installed with slating and tiling. It also introduces new guidance on dry verge fi xing. Dry verge products can no longer be installed with just a nail fi xing into the end grain of the batten. Instead, mechanical engagement must be on the faces of the batten. Although not a legal requirement, it’s hopeful that this will push for suppliers to make sure compliant products are used by all specifi ers on their projects. By doing so, there will be greater transparency by manufacturers regarding the quality of their product, while making it easier for installers and specifi ers to choose the best product for the job. Essentially, we hope that this will encourage the eradication of dry fi x products of questionable fi tness for purpose being available on the market. This is a welcome introduction to our sector, which in turn, will raise standards of the industry as a whole, and one we absolutely endorse. To view the standard in full visit: https://shop. bsigroup.com/. If you have any queries or would like to discuss the standard with a member of the NFRC team, contact us via our website: https://www.nfrc. co.uk/contact-us. As the voice of the roofi ng industry, the NFRC has long worked with its members to embrace best practice in the industry, and sees the introduction of BS 8612 as an important landmark for UK roofi ng


RCI March 2018
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