Stuart Nicholson, Roof Systems Director from Marley, discusses the standards and regulatory changes that contractors need to be aware of this year.
The standards surrounding pitched roofing have become increasingly stringent over the last seven years – from the revised BS 5534 back in 2014, which significantly changed the way roofs are fixed, through to BS 8612, the first ever dry fix standard, which was introduced in 2018.
While there shouldn’t be any such dramatic overhaul of roofing rules this year, there are some important revisions to British Standards and Building Regulations, as well as changes to product marking as a result of Brexit, that contractors need to be aware of.
1. CE / UKCA marking: The UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed) marking is a new product marking that is used for goods being placed on the market in Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland) after Brexit. It covers most goods which previously required the CE marking and is largely the same, with harmonised health, safety, and environmental standards.
The Government intends to end recognition of the CE mark in the UK by 1 January 2022 but, until that time, there will be a transition period where both the CE and UKCA mark will be accepted for construction products.
The responsibility for this lies with manufacturers. However, contractors do need to be aware that roofing products on the market in Great Britain, must have the following marking on the packaging or product:
• Construction product being placed on the GB market from 1 January 2021 until the end of 2021: UKCA or CE or CE & UK(NI).
• Construction product placed on the GB market from 1 January 2022: UKCA.
Products sold in the EU will still require a CE mark. This means that, in due course, Marley packaging will show both the UKCA and the CE mark. We are already starting this change and will be phasing in the UKCA mark onto all packaging throughout this year. We will also be adding the mark to customer paperwork.
2. British and EN roofing standards: BS 5534, BS 5250, BS 8612, and BS 8000-6:2013 are all British Standards Codes of Practice, so nothing will change when it comes to the actual practical application of roofing and the high standards of workmanship expected in the UK. British Building Regulations also stay the same, but some of these are already under review as part of the focus on improving building safety and reducing carbon emissions.
There are also over 400 European standards for construction products, which detail the quality criteria and specifications that products like roof tiles should meet. However, all these harmonised European Standards have now become the UK ‘designated standards’, so there is no change.
3. BS 5250: Aside from Brexit related changes, BS 5250:2013+A1:2016 ‘Code of practice for the control of condensation in buildings’ has been reviewed and the consultation has recently finished. We expect the revised version of the Standard to be launched in the next few months, so it will be important for contractors to make sure they comply with any new ventilation requirements.
BS 8000-6:2013: Workmanship on building sites. Code of practice for slating and tiling of roofs and claddings is currently under review and consultation, with an expected publication date around the middle of the year. We do not anticipate any significant changes, more of an alignment to BS 5534 2018.
4. Part L / Future Homes Standard: The Government published its response to the Part L and Future Homes Standard Consultation in January. The Future Homes Standard will require all new homes to be highly energy efficient, with low carbon heating, and be zero carbon ready by 2025. To ensure the industry is prepared for this, new homes will be expected to produce 31% lower carbon emissions from 2022 as part of changes to Part L regulations. So, we could see a huge increase in the number of new homes being built with solar technology. This is a great opportunity for roofing contractors to diversify and add integrated solar PV to their services.
5. Safety regulations: There will be further reforms to building safety regulations in 2021 following on from the Hackitt review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The government has announced the creation of a new national regulator of construction products to ensure homes are built from safe materials. This role will operate within the Office for Product Safety Standards (OPSS) working in conjunction with the Building Safety Regulator and Trading Standards, £10 million in funding has been provided to establish this position. As the whole construction sector prepares for this new Building Safety Bill, standards and competency will be under more scrutiny than ever before.
Roofing standards are updated regularly as the industry seeks to continually improve the safety, quality, and sustainability of pitched roofing. One of the best ways to make sure you are compliant with the latest standards is to use a full pitched roof system from one manufacturer, where products are designed and tested to work together. Not only does this guarantee product quality, compatibility, safety, and compliance, it also mitigates your own risk should anything go wrong. Our fully tested roof system is now available with, or without, solar integration and is backed up with a 15-year warranty for extra peace of mind.