27 February 2018

What architects need to know about BS 8612

On January 31st, 2018, British Standard BS 8612 was published. Covering dry-fixed ridge, hip and verge systems for slating and tiling, this new standard sets out performance recommendations and expands on the existing BS 5534 (code of practice for slating and tiling).

BS 8612 was created as a response to concerns about the durability and weather tightness of some dry ridge systems. the standard aims to ensure that all dry-fixed ridge, hip and verge systems are fit for purpose, and it should help to give architects and other specifiers, as well as contractors and homeowners, increased confidence in the performance of their pitched roofs.

What does this mean for architects?

In the past, architects wouldn’t have had much involvement with the dry fixing methods, and decisions about which system to use were typically left up to the contractor.

However, now that the standard is in place, architects should be specifying dry-fix products that meet the requirements of BS 8612 (or which are marked as BBA-compliant). Failing to specify these products runs the risk of contractors substituting inferior products later in the project - and leaving the architect liable should problems occur.

The standard may not be a legal requirement, but compliance will be enforced by industry bodies such as the National House-Building Council (NHBC) and the Local Authority Building Control (LABC).

BS 8612: the basics

After BS 5534 was revised back in 2014, there was a significant rise in the number of dry-fix systems on the market. But while they may all look similar, the durability and performance of the products varies significantly and, in many cases, quality is compromised to keep costs down.

BS 8612 should help to improve consistency and eliminate some of the inferior systems that are currently on the market. Specifically, it covers dry-fixed ridge and hip systems connected to timber ridge/hip battens, ridge boards or hip rafters, as well as dry-fixed verge systems that are installed with slating and tiling.

To demonstrate compliance, systems will be subjected to a variety of tests to determine if: 

● The dry-fixed ridge, hip and dry verge elements provide sufficient resistance against both vertical and horizontal wind loads.
● The dry verge products can shed water without staining the gable wall.
● The ridge-roll maintains a secure fit to the profile tiles without damage.
● The ridge products provide adequate ventilation.
● Materials used in manufacture are suitably durable when exposed to conditions such as freeze-thaws, heat, humidity and UV light.

BS 8612 has also introduced new guidance on dry verge fixing, stating that dry verge products cannot be installed with only a nail fixing into the end grain of the batten - mechanical engagement must be on the face of the batten.

Specifying compliant roofing

One of the best ways for architects to ensure compliance with the BS 8612, as well as BS 5534, is to specify a full roof system from a trusted manufacturer. Not only does this help to maintain better control over the supply chain, but it also reduces the chance of product substitution later on.

Here at Marley Eternit we offer a range of roofing systems that meet the requirements of the new standard. Our roof system is also backed by a full 15-year system guarantee for additional peace of mind.

To find out more about BS 8612 and how it could affect your project, please contact one of our technical advisors on 01283 722588.

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