Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Technology hits the roof

New features and technologies are being incorporated in the roofing sector. Better standards and guidelines in this area will enable the field to maintain its competitiveness.
Technology hits the roof
Europe boasts an excellent reputation in the construction sector and is known for the quality of its building technology worldwide. An integral part of construction is roof-building and materials used therein, addressing issues like weather, ecology, resistance and natural disasters.

The EU-funded project 'European performance requirements and guidance on active roofs' (Euractive Roofer) empowered the European roofing trade and roofers to keep the sector competitive. It supplied cutting-edge knowledge and tools for integrating roof accessories and fittings, as well as migrating from supplying roof tiles to delivering total roofing solutions. These overall solutions keep the sector competitive, minimise failures and ensure a higher quality standard.

Euractive Roofer built a sophisticated database of existing and future roof technologies and systems. It classified design aspects such as materials, roof types, physics and form, as well as applications such as renewable energy, ventilation, smoke/heat evacuation and energy storage. The database also documented safety, assembly and maintenance, providing holistic solutions and systems for the sector.

The project team then produced a best practice catalogue of solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) integration in roofs, collating information from the project partners, roofing organisations, contractors and manufacturers. The catalogue covers pre-fabricated elements, building materials and traditional products for different kinds of roofs.

Another best practice guide on legislation and safety includes secure access to the roof, working platforms, guardrails, hooks/anchors and fall arrest systems. Recommendations for safety were also elaborated in the guide, as well as test methods and proposals for standards.

As part of its solution for the sector, Euractive Roofer outlined how solar energy systems can be applied to roofs. It established guidelines and standards for design and application of roofs with advanced technology, known as 'active roofs', covering solar panels, roof lights, insulation, and ventilation and safety devices.

These publications and guidelines will raise the standards of the industry, enabling Europe to maintain its primacy in the roofing sector. The benefits to the European construction sector and roofing sector are expected to be significant.

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