Looking ahead to 2015
With the construction sector expected to continue to grow in 2015, we have highlighted the key trends, challenges and opportunities to look out for next year.
BS 5534 changes
2015 will see one of the biggest changes in roofing standards for many years, with the introduction of the revised BS 5534, the Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling, at the end of February. The changes to the standard mean a degree of clipping will be required on most roofs in the UK. It is crucial specifiers are aware of this due to the potential liability impact as the standard is designed to future-proof a roof design from weather related failure.
To help address the changing requirements for roof fixing, Marley Eternit has prepared a short seminar to help construction professionals understand how they can incorporate the revision.
Products to meet design trends
In addition to responding to industry needs with the launch of SoloFix, the last year has also seen us work to meet design needs for now and in the future. We launched two ‘firsts’ for the UK market - the new Vertigo range for vertical tiling which can be easily fixed by roofing contractors with no specialist facades experience, and the Cedral Click tongue and groove fibre cement weatherboard system, which is a modern, contemporary alternative to traditional weatherboard.
We also recognised the need for continued development of low pitch tiles. As well as our low pitch fibre cement Birkdale and Thrutone roof slates, we launched Melodie, the lowest pitch clay pantile tile on the market and Maxima, a double roman interlocking tile, which is as easy to install as concrete.
Bringing back tradition
The start of 2015 will also see us bringing back some of our traditional skills with the launch of a genuine handmade clay tile range. The Canterbury range of tiles and fittings will be specifically targeted at premium handmade roofing projects and heritage sites.
In terms of product trends, we feel there is potential for growth in clay tile use in 2015, particularly among higher end housebuilding and private repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI). We have also seen huge growth in demand for thin, flat, grey tiles that give a slate aesthetic, such as our fibre cement and Edgemere products and we expect this to continue next year. It isn’t just a design trend that is driving this popularity of fibre cement slate, but also a preference for sustainable benefits and consistency in product quality and supply versus imported natural slate.
An environmental focus
With a more positive economic outlook forecast for 2015, the environment will once again become a key priority for the construction industry. Although there is still confusion about the Government’s zero carbon policy, there are clear signs that environmental product performance is definitely moving back up the agenda with Central Government, local authorities and specifiers. We are seeing growing demand not only for products that are environmentally friendly, but also those that are responsibly sourced and expect this to continue over the next 12 months.
2015 looks set to be another busy year, so we’ll continue to work with specifiers to provide the tools, advice and products they require to keep pace with changing legislative and design requirements.