The national objective to construct new buildings with improved thermal performance, as guided by the latest Building Regulations, is offering manufacturers fresh opportunities to develop new products both in the UK and in Europe. This product review examines roofing systems launched at a trade fair in Germany, considers the difficulties of working to the harmonised European standards and describes other new roofing products in the UK The largest trade fair in Europe that specialises in roofing, wall and waterproofing technology is the annual Dach und Wand International Convention, which was held this year in Hamburg. Eight exhibition halls were filled with exhibits from companies representing 20 different countries, promoting their products and new developments.
In contrast to UK construction exhibitions, students and children were welcome.
In Germany it is common for whole family groups to attend such trade fairs.
Entertainment is laid on at many stands, offering something of interest for all generations, including practical demonstrations.
Other stands sell quality tailored clothes worn by roofing tradesmen on site, something largely unheard of in the UK.
Some visitors remarked that this year's exhibition was smaller than last, with the cost of stands and staff time becoming too high for some manufacturers. This follows the trend in the UK, with some expecting the Dach und Wand exhibition to become a a good opportunity to see at first hand a diverse range of new products, construction machinery and ideas, many of them applicable to the UK construction industry.