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New British Standard for fixing roofing tiles coming into force

6 Feb 15 There are important changes coming up next month for roofers.

The new British Standard BS 5534 becomes mandatpry in March 2015, requiring roofers to attach tiles mechanically. It is being described by roofing and facades manufacturer Marley Eternit as “the biggest change to pitched roof fixing requirements for 20 years”.

BS 5534 is designed to make roofs more secure in the face of increasingly extreme weather events. Every single lap tile will have to be mechanically fixed, with a degree of clipping required on most roofs and mortar alone will no longer be deemed sufficient to secure tiles and fittings to a roof.

As previously reported, the standard was introduced in September 2014 and becomes mandatory next month.

The advice from roofing and facades manufacturer Marley Eternit is that contractors and specifiers should consider the implications now and get new fixings specifications in place, rather than wait until the end of the month.

According to Marley Eternit, there is still some confusion about the changes and many of the BS 5534 enquiries received by its technical helpdesk are about the timing of the new standard.  The manufacturer is concerned that this confusion could mean contractors and specifiers won’t be ready when BS 5534 comes into force and is urging them to contact its technical advisory service for advice if they are unsure.

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Steve Bryceson, technical manager at Marley Eternit, explains: “Most queries we receive from contractors are still about timing of projects and the new standard.  The revised BS 5534 was announced in August but there has been a six month crossover period where the two standards (BS 5534:2003+A.1:2010 and BS 5534:2014) have coexisted.  However, from 1 March all new pitched roofing work using tiles, slates and shingles should be specified to the recommendations of the new standard, BS 5534:2014.  Some exceptions may apply to ongoing sites of multiple properties under the control of the NHBC, where contracts have been agreed to the old standard, in which case any outstanding roofs may be completed using BS 5534:2003+A.1:2010 up until 1st July 2015.”

Despite some NHBC exemptions, most ongoing schemes that cross over into the new standard will need a new fixing specification.

Steve Bryceson continues: “We are already seeing a big increase in the number of fixing specifications we are preparing for work under the new standard, not only over the phone but also via our free online TileFix service.  However, we suspect there are still contractors and specifiers out there who haven’t realised they will need new fixing specifications from 1st March.  If you are unsure at all about the new fixing requirements, contact our technical advisory service and we will be able to make sure your specifications are correct or provide you with new ones, saving potential cost or re-work at a later date.”

The manufacturer is also advising contractors to give early consideration to the impact the increased fixing requirements will have on their workload and installation programmes.

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