23 December 2015

What is BS 5534 Roofing Batten Standard

BS5534:2014 Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling, including shingles

The requirement for battens hasn’t change with the publication of the new standard October 2014. What has changed is the expectation that only Roofing Battens should be used to roofing works and that only roofing battens graded to BS5534 can be called roofing battens

This requires that roofing battens meet requirements set out in section 4.11 and are graded in accordance with Annex ‘D’. Each batten must be marked in accordance with section and be accompanied by documentation set out in section


  • Name of supplier
  • Origin (i.e. species code)
  • Graded in accordance with BS5534
  • Basic size
  • Type of preservative and method of treatment

Marking, each batten should be indelibly marked with:

  • Supplier
  • Origin (i.e. species code)
  • Graded BS5534
  • Size

Before 2005, factory or pre-graded timber roofing battens were not available and the NFRC published TB33 – Graded Battens for Slating & Tiling, as an interpretation document and guidance note; this formalised the option of grading on site.

The requirement for all the delivery documentation to conform grading to BS5534 and the requirement to mark EVERY batten with BS5534 made on site grading almost practically impossible.

Until recently, many battens have been incorrectly marked BS5534 having had scant or no grading; this situation is now improving but care is still advised. BS5534 recommends that machine graded battens are produced under a UKAS Quality Assurance Scheme. This is good advice for any factory or pre-graded batten, as the method and extent of grading needs to be confirmed.


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