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Our Top Ten Roofing Design Blog Posts of 2018

10 Jan 2019

It’s January, we need a distraction from the dreaded Brexit shenanigans, and as per tradition, we’re counting down the top ten SIG Design & Technology blog posts from last year.

We publish three blogs – one on flat roofing, one on metal roofing and cladding, and a third on school roof repair and replacement, so there were a lot of interesting posts last year.

10. Best Roofing Photo March 2018: Workshops Before and After
This year we ran a ‘Best Roofing Photo of the Month’ competition for our field technicians who visit and inspect hundreds of roofing projects across the UK. The competition produced some fascinating issues to showcase including this project re-roofing an industrial unit in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

Billy Lavender, who won this month’s competition, took before and after photographs of the reroofing of this project by new DATAC installers DVC Roofing. The project showed how well trained the contractor team were, and they’ve gone on to install many other IKO Armourplan roofs over the year. Read about the project and see the photos here.

9. Vote for The Alchemist in the NFRC Awards!
Once again a Zinc project makes it in at number nine again, but this year it’s a little special. The Alchemist, that folded gold box on the Bund at Media City Salford, was entered for the NFRC Roofing Awards 2018 as a Industry Choice, which meant that anyone could vote for it to win the award.

We were keen to encourage people to vote for it, and unsurprisingly it won the inaugural Industry Choice Award by a substantial amount – indeed it was the runaway winner! Thanks to everyone who voted. You can check out our plea for you to vote here, and see all the award winners on the NFRC UK Roofing Awards Website.

8. Single Ply Flat Roof Drainage Best Practice
This post was originally published in Architecture Today and features falls, drainage techniques and best practice for flat roof maintenance, including a tapered insulation scheme drawing and illustrations from housing, commercial and education projects. As we provide a one-stop approach to design, installation and warranties, getting the falls, drainage and maintenance regime is supremely important to us.  Check out the article here.

7. Best Roofing Photo February 2018: Geodesic Domed Roof
One of the most interesting roofs we’ve seen presented by our field technicians this year was the geodesic domed roof at St Thomas More, in Patcham, Brighton. A Geodesic Dome is a thin lattice shell based on a geodesic polyhedron made up of triangular elements, in this case built of timber. Geodesic domes were popularised by Richard Buckminster Fuller in the 1950s and 60s, and several churches used them to cover their worship spaces.

Field Technician Jamie Dunsmore took the photos of St Thomas More during his inspections. The roof was installed by DATAC installers A J Lucas Roofing Contractors, Take a look at it here.

6. Job Vacancy: AutoCAD Designer – Flat Roofing
We would never have imagined that a job vacancy post would make it into our top ten, but here it is! Our first half of the top ten concludes with a vacancy we posted in February – our call for a new AutoCAD designer to join the team in Shepshed is the sixth most visited blog post of the year. You can see it here.

We will spare the blushes of the successful candidate and move on swiftly…

5. Putting a Cable Through a School Flat Roof – How Not to Invalidate Your Warranty
We often visit roofs after installation, as part of planned maintenance services. Once in a while we come across a change or two. Flat roofs are very popular for keeping things on, and often those things require electricity supplied from down below. In this case we came across this cable that had been put through the flat roof.

This post was published on our blog and was particularly popular because it was shared on social media and attracted quite a few comments from roofers! In the post we look at why people put cables through flat roofs, why it can invalidate your warranty, and what you can do instead. Check it out here, you can also subscribe to get updates to this blog via a form on the page.

4. Best Roofing Photo of the Month – June 2018: Mansard Roof
Field Technician Jamie Dunsmore wins our ‘best of the best’ competition for Roofing Photo of the Month with his June entry of a mansard roof in West Byfleet, Surrey. The building was formerly a commercial property and had been refurbished to provide residential accommodation, so appearance (or ‘curb appeal’) was important. For this reason the roof was specified in the very cost effective Armourplan PSG and Armourplan P and fitted with Armourplan PVC Standing Seam Profile which gives the very attractive appearance of a standing seam metal roof.

The project was executed by two DATAC accredited contractors, Brix Limited and All Seasons Roofing Group Limited. Take a look at the post to find out why two different types of membrane were used on the roof and how the membrane was mechanically fixed to take account of the wind load calculation results.

3. The Effects of Wind Uplift on Roofs
Talking of wind load… this incredibly popular post by our business development manager Andy Wells was inspired by a truly shocking video he spotted on Linkedin which showed a flat roof membrane which had been damaged by wind uplift to such an extent that it was billowing like an unruly tablecloth!

Read the post here where Andy looks at what wind uplift is, how it happens and what can be done to mitigate against its effects. He talks about wind load calculations for flat roofs and how they can help specify the number and type of fixings required for the exposure your roof is likely to encounter.

2. Flat Roof Insulation – The biggest cost
When you’re designing a flat roof, cost is often a major factor, and you may think that the membrane, given that it must withstand all weathers, would be the costliest element. However, insulation is by far the costliest material in a flat roof – as much as 50% of the material cost in some cases, or even higher if tapered schemes are involved.

In this interview with Christa Coe we talk about insulation, why it is important and some things to consider when designing a roof to make sure you manage the cost implications of the insulation. We look at different types of insulation and some of the key things to avoid if you want to stop costs getting out of control. Take a look at the post here. Well done Christa for your helpful advice!

1. Minimum Pitch Zinc Roof – how low can you go?
Returning to our tradition of having a metals blog post at the top of the pile after the blip last year, we wind up our top ten with a hugely popular post about the lowest possible pitch that you can safely install a zinc standing seam roof. One of the most common questions our technical team get asked, and one of the most common enquiries via our website, is “How low pitch can you make a standing seam zinc roof?” so this post was always going to be popular.

We don’t just answer the question “What is the minimum pitch for a zinc roof?” we also look at what is wrong with pitching your zinc roof too low, and what our advice is on how to manage low pitch zinc roofing so that you don’t come a cropper. Check out our answers here over on the SIG Zinc and Copper blog.

Tell us what you want to read
So we’ve shared our top ten most popular posts of 2018. We love answering architects’ questions about flat roofing, metal roofing and all types of roofing challenges, so why not ask yours? You never know, we might write a blog post about it.

Keep exploring