Assessing the Risk of Climate Change for Roofing

This site provides information on a Partners In Innovation research project carried out by BRE and partners from the roofing industry.
Approach & strategy:

An initial desk study will be carried out to identify the climate changes predicted to occur in the U.K. These will then be related to roof design, specifications, construction and reported failures.

The project partners will identify a series of 'standard' designs used as a benchmark for current construction. These will be assessed for their suitability to withstand maximum climate changes as predicted to occur by the end of the century. Other existing and hence older property could reach the end of its useful life by 2050. Since these would be replaced they would be subject to climate change less severe than for currently constructed buildings. It is not intended to include historic buildings in the scope. However the outputs from this project will be relevant in part and could be used to mitigate the effects of climate change for these buildings.

Having identified a number of 'standard' designs it will be necessary to assess them for impact from predicted climate change. It will be necessary work from the design to the specification and construction stages. A number of roofs, provided by the partners, will be inspected and assessed for the impact of climate change. This will mean the likely mode(s) of failure will need to be identified.

The number of standard designs will be chosen to best reflect those found in U.K. building stock. There are also regional variations in construction particularly between England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. These have been driven to a certain extent by regulation but the regional variations are due mostly to climatic conditions i.e. more extremes of weather in the north.

The potential changes in construction will be identified and then related to the original specification for the roof. These will in turn be related to design principles. It is necessary to examine the relationship between the construction, specification and design process to ensure any modifications made to the design can in fact be achieved on a real roof construction site.

The current guides to good practice are well known to the Innovation. Suggested modifications to critical details will be produced and published.

The discussions on designs of roofs will also take into account how the roof itself could mitigate the effects of climatic change. This will be considered as a separate issue from the main thrust of the project. It will take into account the tenets for sustainable roofing recently published by RILEM WG083.