An overview of the benefits of natural slate for roofing, cladding, walling, flooring, paving and aggregates is contained within a new RIBA-approved CPD from Welsh Slate Ltd.
The "Welsh Slate as a building material" presentation profiles the company, explains what slate is and what its advantages and applications are as a building material, and addresses problems caused by poor-quality slate. And topically, it explains the changes to BS 5534 in specifying natural slate.
The 80+ slide show gives advice on specification and installation, including taking into account environmental factors such as driving rain, terminology, the installation process, fixings and accessories, minimum performance data, guarantees and relevant standards.
It shows where slate deposits are still found in the UK, such as Scotland, Cumbria, Wales and Cornwall (although not all of these are currently being quarried) as well as an ever-growing choice of slates of varying qualities from other countries, such as Spain, India, America, Canada, China and Argentina.
As well as being naturally aesthetic, which is revealed in stunning case studies, the CPD explains how natural slate is also highly practical - exceptionally durable (a good-quality slate can last more than 100 years), unaffected by extremes of temperature and resistant to acids, alkalis and other chemicals. It retains its colour, even in UV light, and is impermeable to water.
The presentation also explains that while poor-quality slate can be used internally with few problems, when used externally problems can occur with, for example, ferrous metallic inclusions, high carbonate content causing discolouration and low strength.
Natural slate's unique ability to be split into thin sheets while retaining its strength and durability, a process which is shown in a video within the CPD, make it an outstanding building material that does not require manufacture.
So sustainably speaking, it does not have the high levels of carbon and energy associated with some other building products, like concrete, and roofing slate by-product is used to manufacture landscaping products, aggregates and industrial minerals.
The "Welsh Slate as a building material" CPD is available from Welsh Slate by calling 01248 600656 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.