Project1_Layout 1 07/05/2013 MARLEY ETERNIT UNCOVERED
Helping traditional clay roofs meet
James Seawell, area sales manager at Marley Eternit, says achieving a BS 5534 compliant clay roof doesn’t mean compromising on tradition
Traditional clay roofs are an important
feature of many of Britain’s oldest towns
and villages, playing a key role in the
rural landscape. This is certainly the case
in my area of the country, Yorkshire,
where we have three Areas of Outstanding Natural
Beauty and three National Parks. Therefore,
preserving the heritage of traditional clay roofs in
these areas is very important.
Yet at the same time, the ongoing challenges
of increasingly extreme and volatile weather in
the UK, means that clay roofs need to conform
to modern fixing standards. Since the revised BS
5534 was introduced, there has been some real
concern among roofing contractors and builders
about how to balance the traditional aesthetic
with stricter fixing requirements. This is of
particular concern in parts of the country that
have very strict planning stipulations.
There seems to be a misconception that in
order to comply with BS 5534:2014, a dry fix
system must be used for all single-lap tiles.
However, this isn’t the case. While on a modern
building, in a non-conservation area, dry
fix will undoubtedly be the most secure and
cost-effective option, for some traditional and
heritage builds it simply won’t be appropriate.
That’s why BS 5534 does allow for mortar
bedding, as long as it is also accompanied by
At Marley Eternit, our technical experts are
here to help contractors working in Areas of
Outstanding Natural Beauty, so that they can
create a traditional roof which meets planning
requirements, but is also fixed to modern
In addition to our dry fix systems, we also
offer mortar-bedded mechanical fixing kits
and verge clips that can be used for traditional
builds, as well as our SoloFix one piece clip
and nail that can reduce roof clipping time by
30%. We also sell double dentil slips, which we
recommend are used for mortar-bedded projects.
These slips are inserted into the mortar along
ridges and hips to prevent it from cracking.
With some listed and historic buildings, it
can be difficult to find a practical, or acceptable
aesthetic, way to fix the tile mechanically on
the roof. Earlier this year, BS 5534 was revised
to clarify this situation and the standard now
states that the recommendations may not
always be appropriate for old roofs, especially
for historically or architecturally important
buildings. In these cases, it is now recommended
to consult with the local planning authority or
appropriate conservation organisation.
Yet in many cases, contractors will actually
want to use dry fix on a traditional clay roof
because of the security and time-saving benefits.
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In these cases, we have a range of dry fix
systems that can be used to help create the right
aesthetic. For example, a traditional clay pantile
can’t usually be used with a dry fix system, but
our Lincoln interlocking pantile can.
Comply, don’t compromise
Pantiles are widely used in my area in Yorkshire,
as well as other parts of the country such as
Lincolnshire, East Anglia, Norfolk, Humberside
and Eastern Scotland. Some roofers may never
have to fit them, but they are often stipulated by
planning in conservation areas and they are wellknown
for being difficult to install, requiring lots
of sorting and setting out time.
However, our Lincoln interlocking product,
while looking like a traditional clay pantile,
is designed to reduce the amount of time
contractors spend on a roof. It has a completely
‘open-gauge’ to speed up installation, providing
flexibility, without the need for complicated
setting out or specialist skills.
There is a misconception that clay interlocking
pantiles might not be accepted by planning.
However, our Lincoln tiles have already been
used on projects in conversation areas across
the country. For example, they were recently
used on a double barn conversion in the Teversal
conservation area in Nottinghamshire. Our Lincoln
pantiles in Rustic Red were chosen to replace the
roofs on the historic barns because the tiles were
easier to install, but still gave the traditional curved
rustic aesthetic dictated by planning.
Recently I spoke with many planning
departments across Yorkshire on this subject,
and all but one sub-planning group, said they
have no issues at all with an interlocking clay
pantile like the Lincoln because of its hidden
cloaked interlock, which gives the appearance
of a non-interlocking tile when laid on a roof. In
fact, it can be used almost anywhere in Yorkshire
and this is a similar picture across the UK.