Positive outlook for roofing products and builders’ merchants

Looking at the housing sector, which is vital for roofing, it is good to note demand is strong. Thanks to the Home Renovation Incentive (HRI) scheme, which exceeded an estimated Over €1.7 billion in works since it was introduced in 2013, volumes of roofing products were not impacted in recent years as much as they could have potentially been, with renovation of roofs being one area supported by the scheme.

The housing shortage continues to be an issue, with estimated demand of 35,000 homes required across Ireland in 2017, with only circa 10,000 being built. This will mean a pent-up demand resulting in house prices continuing to increase – which is not good in the short to medium term.

However, thanks to renewed buyer confidence, affordability, mortgage rates and improved access to mortgage finance, the Irish housing market is now expected to experience a favourable shift. The introduction of the first-time buyer rebate, coupled with the relaxation of deposit levels for first-time buyers should continue to have a positive impact on housebuilding levels, with completions set to reach 20,000 in 2018.

In further good news, a significant expansion of the social housing build programme is evident in the Q4 2017 Construction Status report published in April 2018 by the Department of Housing. The Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan shows the Government is now committed to providing €6 billion to support the accelerated delivery of 50,000 social housing homes by the end of 2021, through build (33,500), acquisition (6,500) and leasing (10,000) programmes to help meet the increased demand for housing across the country.

Looking at the CSO 2017 total planning permissions report, we can see there is growth in the new dwellings sector. A closer analysis of the housing sector shows the number of one-off houses granted permission has increased by 24%. Similarly, scheme house units are also up by 24%. There is an average 18-month period between planning permissions being granted and reaching roof level, so right now we are looking at planning permission figures from Q4 of 2016. In that period, there were 1,133 one-off houses and 2,112 scheme houses granted permission. The following graph shows the planning permissions
for one-offs and scheme houses in the last five quarters – with growth of 17% in one-offs and 41% in scheme houses over the year 2016–2017.

Planning permissions granted for one-off and scheme houses – source CSO.

SR82 New Irish codes of practice

In other news, January this year saw the NSAI publish the revised Irish Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling in Ireland, S. R. 82:2017, which is now being used by architects, building designers, structural engineers and roofers.

This document replaces and supersedes ICP2:2001 and makes changes to the exposure maps and requirements for battens, among other amendments. Fixing requirements have also been significantly increased.

For builders merchants, they need to also understand the new Codes – firstly, to be able to inform their customers and further instil confidence in them, but also when selling products such as breather membranes and battens to ensure they meet the new requirements.

The new SR82 Document is available on www.standards.ie

Tegral launch breather membranes

As part of their ‘Raising the Standards of Roofing’ initiative, Tegral have announced the upcoming addition of their vapour permeable breather membranes to their roofing components range. Their Ventex breather membranes will be available in the coming weeks and will accommodate a wide range of roofing requirements across Ireland.

Ventex are high-performance, breathable roof membranes for use in a range of pitched roof constructions. Packed full of features and benefits, they have been designed and manufactured to promote consistent installation to the new SR82 Irish Codes of Practice, as well as the BS 5534 British Codes, and are IAB and BBA approved.

Providing an effective wind barrier, they have unrestricted usage across all Irish wind zones. Manufactured using a multi-layer bonding process of polypropylene laminates, they are ultrastrong, durable, easy to install, and suitable for both warm and cold roof applications. They are available in 1.5m x 50m, together with a range of associated components.

Over the next few weeks, the Tegral sales team will be actively promoting the new Ventex range and associated products both on site and in store.

Ventex breather membranes will also be added to the Tegral Roofing Academy training schedule, where over 1,000 Irish roofers have now been trained.

Roofers’ code revised

NSAI has published the revised Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling, S.R. 82:2017, which is used by architects, building designers, structural engineers and roofers.

This document replaces and supersedes I.C.P. 2:2002 and makes changes to the exposure maps and requirements for battens, among other amendments. Fixing requirements have also been significantly increased.

The NSAI Slating and Tiling Committee, NSAI/TC 12, who drafted this revision of S.R. 82:2017, consists of members of the slating and tiling industry, professional and trade associations, and public authority representatives.

S.R. 82:2017 gives guidelines for the materials, design and application recommendations, and workmanship requirements for slates, tiles, and their associated fittings and accessories, used in the construction of pitched roofs and vertical cladding applications of ridge height not exceeding 10 storeys above adjoining ground level.