Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

No more roof leaks

Conventional sealing materials for flat buildings' roofs will probably leak. A new material and guidance on its use could solve the problem.
No more roof leaks
Waterproofing a building's flat roof is an important but difficult procedure that requires melting together the edges of bitumen-based sheet material to create an impervious layer. Very often, gaps remain, resulting in leaks that would be undetectable until the building had already suffered significant structural damage.

The NU-ROOF project aimed to find a better way. The project, comprised of a15-member consortium, ran for 3 years to the end of 2012, with EU funding of nearly EUR 2 million. The project's goal was to support European roofing industry small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by standardising roofing components and making available best practice information. The project had two specific objectives. First, it aimed to obtain a novel and fault-tolerant roof-waterproofing system based on multifunctional materials. Second, the project aimed to establish a collaborative knowledge base, including a customisation support system.

At its conclusion, the project had successfully developed a waterproofing composite, based on partially recycled materials, including an upper reflective layer. The material is easy to produce, ages well and corresponds to market requirements. A patent application for the material is pending, and a licensing exploitation plan has been developed.

Additionally, NU-ROOF developed KM-base, the project's multilingual knowledge collective. The web-based software includes a document management system, collaboration tools, a customisation system, and a training and applications guideline. The application guidelines are in the form of movie files.

The project successfully found alternative materials to bitumen, and gained considerable useful technical knowledge in so doing. One successful candidate, a bituminous emulsion, will allow manufacturing at lower temperatures. The knowledge will facilitate further research outside the project's scope.

NU-ROOF also developed a novel measurement protocol linked to a testing setup. The testing showed the thermal response of different building configurations to solar heating throughout the day.

The NU-ROOF concept has been proven, and the product has received considerable interest for industrial uptake. For example, one project technician has been hired to advise architects, investors and other decision makers about the product. With potentially high demand, European SMEs are set to exploit the market.

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