Without doubt one of the real benefits of SPRA is the level of integration between specialist manufacturer organisations to assist in delivering highly professional and quality orientated roofing systems. Membership of SPRA is not only open to membrane manufacturers and specialist contractor installers but is also crucially available and open to a broad range of companies who provide critical components that enable the best roofing systems to be designed. The single ply roofing system of course consists of many parts and we are fortunate at SPRA that accessory component manufacturers really engage within the technical sphere of the organisation. This is critical as manufacturers know best the capability and performance of their own products and are therefore in the best position to advise all. SPRA hopefully gives accessory product manufacturers the opportunity to share their knowledge on existing and new innovative product developments, while also gaining understanding of the requirements of the overall system.
Accessory products have evolved in recent years to allow better single ply systems to be developed. These include enhanced performance in the components required in a roofing system such as insulation (including cut-to-falls), attachment systems including range of fixings, seam and insulation plates, selection of adhesive types and improved methods of application for both mechanically fastened and adhesive technologies. Other necessary system components for example; a range of different types of air and vapour control layers (AVCL’s) that allow specific selection depending on any given factors that the system or building type has to cope with. We, as an industry, really have evolved in this area hence improving the overall performance of single ply roofing systems.
Taking a complete system approach to roof design and installation involves understanding and utilisation of the wide choice of accessory products available. A well-functioning system cannot perform to it’s optimum without ensuring that all components are carefully selected ensuring compatibility and where necessary meet required standards or code approval as a system not just an individual product.
The often ‘unsung’ hero in the accessory discussion is the system ‘protection’ products. The obvious components here are the walkway products. Again, there is such a variety available to ensure the correct type of protection to the system in regular access areas for maintenance as well as H&S provision. There are excellent products for ensuring lateral pipelines and plant are suspended properly protecting the finished system. In addition to plant at roof level we see an increasing amount of PV arrays post-installed covering the finished roof and again it is critical that the correct accessory specific to the PV array support and single ply membrane for waterproof detailing is used. These are available and can provide a ‘engineered’ solution that has been well thought out by the accessory component manufacturer ensuring a quality fit and lasting performance. Not only that, correct installation gives confidence to all involved that the system has been well thought out and put together.
One of the real advantages of our organisation is having high-quality product manufacturers with specific performance knowledge of their own products and also their ability to understand how they work as part of a single ply roofing system. They understand how single ply roofing systems work. They get it!
So, let’s encourage even more accessory development and continued technical engagement within SPRA. This drives our single ply industry forward and SPRA recognises the role played by all involved as we strive always to improve our system approach.
Dr Ronan Brunton B.Sc MBA GMICE