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Surfing on the roof

A complete range of technical information is now available on Lafarge Roofing's revised, enlarged and redesigned website

For Redland Roofing Systems, the publication of comprehensive technical information has always been of vital importance - the famous Red Book was an essential tool for students and architects for more than 20 years.

To coincide with the company name change to Lafarge Roofing, the Red Book will be republished and the website has been updated following discussion with focus groups. As well as the website and the book, the company has a range of computerised services - DesignMaster, SpecMaster, QuantMaster and FixMaster - which offer complete packages of appropriate technical information to architects, structural engineers, quantity surveyors, builders, roofers, and merchants.

On the web

For the last two years, readers of the Barbour Index have voted the Redland website, www. redland. co. uk, the best buildingmaterials site in the industry. It has now been revised, enlarged, redesigned and renamed www. lafarge-roofing. co. uk (www.lafargeroofing. ie in Ireland).

A complete package of technical information is available on the website. It is designed for all the members of the building team, but particularly for architects, who can download elements of the CAD design package, DesignMaster, directly from it. The site is divided into sections, outlined below.

Products

The full Redland range of products is catalogued on the site, including a new addition, Kami metal roofing products. Two new tools for finding specific information have been introduced:

Product Finder. Research showed that a search facility, giving fast access to information, was one of the most important areas for architects. Product Finder allows users to search through the database for tiles, fittings and accessories in specific colours and surface finishes. All products are displayed with an image.

Photo Gallery. The user can search a site database of Redland tiles used on a variety ofresidential and commercial buildings in the UK. For instance, one can locate all Stonewold tile projects in Scotland or all UK commercial projects. Each project includes details of the architect, roofer and site.

ViewMaster

A new online facility that is unique to Lafarge Roofing is ViewMaster. It shows how using Redland tiles with different profiles and colours would affect the appearance of a range of typical house types.

Viewers select one of these house types and a specific tile and colour; the roofscape then changes to reflect their choice.

The site also allows specifiers to order samples and literature. There is also a selection of typical technical queries, in a question and answer format (see box below), and specific queries can be forwarded to the company.

SpecMaster

To save time in working out specifications, Lafarge Roofing has documented a huge library of specification clauses for roof coverings, based on the National Building Specification, which can be tailored to suit the roof details of individual projects. These clauses include a tile and batten specification, and also cover related areas such as mortar bedding and lead work. Specifiers complete a form, available on the website or via their local sales representative, and pass it to Lafarge Roofing.Once the specification is complete, the company offers to take design liability from the architect for the roof, together with a formal guarantee.

FixMaster

Available on the website or via the local sales representative, FixMaster is a specification and calculation service for tile and batten fixing. It will specify the fixing patterns of tiles, how they should be fixed and with what type of fixing.

QuantMaster

QuantMaster is a computerised estimating package for quantity surveyors, roofing and builders' merchants. It ensures the accurate measurement of the roof and reduces dramatically the time taken to produce an accurate schedule of materials.

DesignMaster

Designed for architects, DesignMaster is a comprehensive CAD library of high-quality roofing drawings together with technical literature on all products, which can be downloaded directly onto CAD drawings. It is suitable for Mac and Windows in DFX or DWG format. A new version is being released in April; it contains additional detailed CAD drawings bringing the total to about 5,000, all updated to comply with the latest Building Regulations, including Part L. Each drawing - of, for instance, eaves or ridges - is available for all tiles and slates and for up to six different pitches. All relevant building-fabric and insulation details are included, together with a full range of dimensioned product drawings and key vertical tiling details for plain tiles and Cambrian Slates. Every drawing has a complementary National Building Specification-based clause attached.

DesignMaster

EXAMPLE OF A TECHNICAL QUERY

Question

What is the minimum pitch for Cambrian Slates with a RedVent EavesVent?

Answer

The RedVent EavesVent tray fits over the rafter below the tiling batten. The front of the tray sits on top of the fascia board.

At low pitches with tiles with small batten gauges such as Cambrian Slates, there is a negative fall on the tray between the bottom of the first batten and the top of the fascia board.

Where rigid sarking and counterbattens are used, this negative fall will be even greater as the tray sits below the sarking board. The thicker the counterbattens, the greater the negative fall.

For this reason the minimum rafter pitch for Cambrian Slates when used with RedVent EavesVent is 25degrees, and when these products are used with rigid sarking, the minimum pitch is 30degrees.

TRAINING CENTRE

Lafarge Roofing has a purpose-built National Training Centre at South Cerney in Gloucestershire where company personnel, customers, suppliers and specifiers regularly undertake in-depth classroom and practical 'hands-on' training. Since it opened 20 years ago, more than 20,000 people have trained at the centre.

Lafarge Roofing is a member of the RIBA CPD Providers Network and is developing CPD seminars designed to help specifiers identify potential roofing problems and provide practical solutions. CPD seminars are offered at the training centre or at a location to suit architects. Trained and accredited Lafarge Roofing representatives are available to present the following one-hour seminars on location:

An introduction to pitched roofing

How to avoid problem pitched roofs

How to avoid problems at the eaves

How to avoid problems at the ridge

Condensation and ventilation in cold pitched roofs

Unventilated cold pitched roofs

Sustainable roofing systems

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