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Metal roof panels have been around for years and any walk in the country is likely to feature corrugated tin sheets on farm sheds.

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In many sectors of business and industry, technology is moving at incredible speed.  We now have paperless offices and do business remotely by text, scan and email.

So why do we still have men on building sites laying bricks and clay tiles just as they were 50 years ago?

Is it a case that old habits die hard ? Do houseowners literally prefer to invest in ‘bricks and mortar’ ? Or are there simply no alternatives to the traditional ways we roof and clad our homes ?

The recent growth in modular build and the use of SIPS panels in certain sectors of housebuilding seems to have encouraged the use of other less traditional roofing and cladding materials, as we look to build more quickly and efficiently.

Metal roof panels have been around for years and any walk in the country is likely to feature corrugated tin sheets on farm sheds.

Corrugated sheets have largely been replaced by the more efficient trapezoidal or ‘box’ profile sheeting and these can be used to good effect on new build or refurbishment projects.

The reinvention of the colour coated metal sheet into more state of the art standing seam roof panels creates a less agricultural appearance and one that complements fresh open plan spaces with glazed facades and atriums. Individual factory made panels can clad the roof or wall of a house in a morning with folded flashings to ridge and gable that don’t require buckets of mortar to bed them in….

Factory-made panel systems in coated steel or aluminum start at around £20 per square metre supplied to site, with installed costs at less than £50.

So modern materials can make a difference to construction time on site and be cost-effective. They can also help satisfy the demand for renewables in new build being made by clients – and planning authorities.

ProSeam Poweroof from Bradclad is a standing seam metal system with a built in solar panel. Incorporating Flextron modules from Newport-based BIPVCO, it produces electrical output similar to the more familiar crystalline glass panels but without the glass or the framework required to fix it. The Poweroof module is proving an attractive option to both architects and housebuilders.

Modular build is of course not restricted to the residential sector and modern metal roofing systems are equally applicable to other sectors. Timber structures on schools and office buildings can be clad quickly and cost effectively, providing a practical and modern look which will stand the test of time.

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