30 Jun 2017

Next generation roofing solution for low-energy homes

L-Ments, an innovative prefabricated roof system that enables the installation of a fully insulated pitched roof in a matter of hours, has been specified for an eco-house in one of Britain’s leading tourist spots.


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Created by PIR manufacturer, Recticel Insulation, the self-supporting system enables a safe, fast method of creating a watertight structure.

The detached, four-bedroom home located in Burley, the heart of Hampshire’s glorious New Forest, has been designed and built by Architect, Nick Lacey. For the two-storey property – constructed using passive and active solar techniques – Mr Lacey required solutions that would offer fast, quality construction along with high performance. For the roof, L-Ments met this brief, providing a prefabricated system with superb thermal performance that quickly waterproofed the partially-built home and helped to speed-up the construction process. Such was the ease of application, the construction of the pitched roof was completed in just seven hours.

Mr Lacey commented: “The roof’s prefabricated element was key to its specification as I urgently needed to speed-up building works on this project. I’m glad to say I made the right decision. L-Ments is built for rapid installation as well as containing all the necessary thermal properties to ensure the completed house meets the near-zero carbon standard. Working with the L-Ments system proved to be a very good choice.”

The 200m² Burley house is the first project to use the innovative L-Ments system in the UK. Designed to offer U-values of between 0.13 and 0.19W/m²K, it comprises breather membrane, counter battens and integral structural timber along with high-performance PIR insulation, all incorporated into lightweight, cost-effective, modular roofing panels.

To create a total roof solution, the vapour permeable underlay felt is pre-glued with self-adhesive overlaps. Counter battens are fixed to the panel, while the multi-layered facings act as a vapour and air barrier on the inside. The PIR insulation core offers low thermal conductivity at 0.023W/mK, and the timber rafters incorporated within the core offer sufficient strength for self-support. During the production process, the foaming takes place around the rafters which means that the panels are completely airtight as well as highly vapour-resistant. The L-Ments system can be covered with a range of finishes such as tiles, slates and zinc.

Available in four thicknesses and five lengths, 195m² of 200mm-thick x 1200mm x 6500mm, L-Ments panels were used in the Burley pitched-roof’s construction. The panels, which feature shiplap joints to ensure they lock together and are lifted into position via a crane, were easily adapted to address the roof’s pitch of 60° on the north side and 30° on the south side.

Mr Lacey added: “L-Ments really is an ingenious concept – a prefabricated roofing system which not only saves energy, it saves time and money on installation. It also offers a safer way of constructing.”

L-Ments, with its easy-to-install, thermally-efficient properties, has gone a long way to ensure that this superb example of comfortable, stylish, environmentally-friendly living will be completed ahead of schedule.

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