Proposed Amendments to BSEN 5534

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Proposed Amendments to BSEN 5534

In the autumn of 2014, a number of changes to BSEN 5534 (the British Standard for Slating and Tiling) will be introduced. These proposed changes will undoubtedly have a significant impact on the industry as a whole, especially on those who work on tiled and slated roofs in the UK.
 
These new guidelines will replace existing advice on the fixing of roof tiles and ridges. The new guidelines will also affect the type of membrane being fitted. However, despite the cost and practical implications for some contractors, the proposed changes will come as a welcome remedy to many on-going recurring and costly issues.
Why is BSEN 5534 Being Amended?
 
The modern day roof is very different to roofs constructed in the past. It is lighter and much more flexible. However, this greater flexibility poses a problem- even the slightest movement in the roof’s structure has the potential to cause the mortar that affixes the ridge and hip tile to fail. To deal with this potential issue, it will now be recommended that ridges and hip tiles are mechanically fixed – heralding a move towards the widespread use of dry-fix ridge systems. Mortar may still be used in addition to this new method, but arguably, mechanical fixing renders the use of mortar as somewhat redundant.
What Other Changes are Being Introduced?
 
The amendments also call for wind-loading calculations to be revised- in some cases by up to 100%. This change will bring UK industry standards in line with European norms. The calculations, however, will vary greatly, depending on location, exposure, design of the roof and the type of tiles being used. This essentially means that in practice, partial nailing will be replaced by full nailing, or even full nailing and clipping in certain exposed areas. In addition, it will be expected that anyone fitting a roof should request a fixing specification from the relevant tile manufacturer. The fixings that are used must be those that are recommended for that particular tile, and should not be used elsewhere or on different roofs.
 
BSEN5534 Amendment Proposals LBS
In addition, the amendments will subject underlay membranes to more stringent testing. As with roof tiles, there will be new wind loading calculations applied. After all, membranes need to be rigid enough to withstand increasing wind loading, without showing any discemible movement or impact with the tiles themselves. Unsupported underlay is notorious for having the potential to ‘balloon up’ in high winds, dislodging the tiles and potentially causing critical failure in the roof.
 
As with most major changes to existing building regulations, there will be a split of advocates and detractors. However, the changes being introduced are designed to improve the industry as a whole and ensure that roofs are securely fixed, making them much less susceptible to failure in the temperamental British climate. Initial costs may be higher, but in the long run, the reduced need for maintenance and repair should negate the initial charge.
 
Our technical team would be love to hear your view on these proposed changes. GET IN TOUCH
 
Author
Susan Burrows works for Lagan Building Solutions Lisburn Northern Ireland – she has 15 years experience in both the concrete roof tile and slating sectors.
 
Resources
 
LBS are owners of the Penrhyn Bangor Blue quarry in Wales and are Ireland’s largest independent supplier of natural slate and clay roofing products. They have offices in Lisburn, Dublin and Belfast and have a helpful friendly team of technical reps covering all 32 counties.
 
www.BlueBangorSlates.ie
www.BangorBlueSlate.com
www.lbsproducts.com
 

2017-02-05T02:48:29+00:00