New low pitch alternative to natural slate gives greater design flexibility

Marley Eternit’s fibre cement range has been further enhanced by the addition of new colours, including Flame Grey, to its Birkdale slates.  Closely resembling natural slate, the Flame Grey slate can also be used at a lower minimum pitch and is part of the manufacturer’s focus on offering tailored products and solutions to provide more design flexibility to specifiers and contractors. 

The new Flame Grey slate has a variegated colour to provide a similar aesthetic to natural slate, with a smooth surface and dressed edges to give a traditional look at a cost effective price. As with the rest of the Birkdale range, hook fixings are used to enable the new slate to be used down to a pitch of just 15 degrees. 

It has also been designed to complement Marley Eternit’s Vertigo architectural facades system, which was launched last year.  The new colour matches the Vertigo slates, so it can be used to create a seamless finish between the roof and facade, offering a solution for the growing specification trend of using fibre cement across the whole building envelope.

A Flame Brown colour option has also been added to the range, alongside the original Blue / Black and these also match the corresponding colour in the Vertigo range, providing aesthetic versatility.

Charlotte Hughes, product manager at Marley Eternit, explains: “We understand the need to offer the products and solutions to help specifiers and contractors designing and working on the cutting-edge projects of today.  For this reason, we have focused on ensuring our Birkdale fibre cement range offers both flexibility of design, as it is able to be used at a lower minimum pitch, as well as striking and versatile aesthetics.

“BS 5534, the Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling, recommends an absolute minimum pitch of 20 degrees for a natural slate roof but there are many projects where a lower pitch is necessary and resistance to water becomes a concern.  The new flame grey Birkdale is a very good alternative because it offers a similar aesthetic and can be used on most roof pitches, even as low as 15 degrees and specifiers and contractors can be very confident in its weather durability.  As part of rigorous testing, the slates are subjected to wind tunnel testing for driving rain and deluge conditions, equivalent to a once in 50 year extreme weather event.”

Marley Eternit’s fibre cement range is supported by the latest tools and services for specifiers including BIM objects.  It is also covered by an environmental product declaration (EPD) to enable the comparison of the environmental impact of the slates to other products to help make an informed choice.

Charlotte Hughes concludes: “The launch of our new Birkdale colours, together with the new Vertigo facades system we developed last year, is taking the design versatility of fibre cement slates to a different level and opening up new possibilities for creating imaginative and effective designs.  Fibre cement is no longer just a cost effective alternative to natural slate but a material that offers more aesthetic and installation possibilities to designers, as well as helping them to meet increasing sustainability targets.”

As part of Marley Eternit’s fibre cement range, Birkdale offers industry leading sustainability credentials; including the ability to achieve the best environmental rating (A+) in the BRE Green Guide and  BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing rating of ‘Very Good’.

Fibre cement also offers sustainability benefits throughout its whole life cycle, as it can be fully recycled at the end of its use.  Waste fibre cement can be ground down and used to replace limestone and shale in clinker production, the essential ingredients for Portland cement.

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