This literature shows the use of
in a protected membrane roofing system using either agravel or paving slab finish and as part of roof garden(or green roof) systems.Protected membrane roofing systems place the insulationabove the waterproofing layer and offer several advantagesover traditional warm and cold flat roof details.
The waterproofing system can be expected to have alife in excess of that obtained in an exposed situation asit is protected from mechanical damage, solar radiationand ultra violet degradation and temperature extremes(both daily and seasonal).
The roof is safe from condensation risk.
The roof achieves an EXT.FAA fire rating with protectivefinishes.
Insulation can be lifted to allow inspection of thewaterproofing system.
Additional insulation can be added at a later date.
The installation of the insulation is not weather dependant.Rigid extruded polystyrene insulation with its closed cellstructure and minimal water absorption is the only materialsuitable and approved for this application where it will besubject to freeze / thaw and wetting / drying cycles.
In the past, erroneously, the relative environmental sustainabilityof insulation materials has been compared on the basis of embodied energy and ozone depletion potential. It is nowrecognised that a much wider basket of embodiedenvironmental impacts (including those caused by theirembodied energy), rather than embodied energy alone, is theonly credible tool of comparison. Time has also annulled ozonedepletion potential as an issue as all insulation materials arenow banned from using CFC and HCFC blowing agents by law.For buildings designed to today's Building Regulations energyuse standards it is now also known that the embodiedenvironmental impacts of all of the materials and labour usedto create a building are insignificant in comparison with thelifetime operational environmental impacts of that building, andso are of very limited importance. Since it is operational energyuse that creates the vast majority of operational environmentalimpact, saving energy by specifying the lowest U–valuespossible is the most environmentally sustainable action to take.
However, one of the most neglected facts aboutenvironmentally sustainable buildings is that the longevity of their standards of operational energy use, and therefore thelongevity of their operational environmental impacts, is critical. The performance of some insulants, such as mineral fibre, candeteriorate rapidly if exposed to water penetration, airmovement or compression. This may increase operationalenergy use and hence compromise the environmentalsustainability of the finished building to an alarming degree.Other insulation materials, such as rigid phenolic or rigidurethane, are not vulnerable to any of these problems.In summary, designers should:(a)specify the lowest possible U–value regardless of insulationtype;(b)design out the risk of their chosen insulant not performingas specified; and(c)if the latter is not possible, choose an insulant that is at lowrisk of failure e.g. a cellular plastic insulation material. There is far more to sustainability than whether or not aproduct, process or company affects the environment in apositive or a negative way. A company can, and should,demonstrate its financial viability and social responsibility, aswell as ensure that its materials and methods do not addunduly to the burden placed on the planet. Kingspan Insulationhas now put the manufacture of its products at its Pembridgefacility in Herefordshire through a rigorous independentappraisal of its economic, social, environmental and naturalresource impacts using Arup's SPeAR
tool. The results show a well balanced performance in terms of sustainability, and that Kingspan Insulation is already meetinglegislation or best practice in most areas, even moving beyondbest practice in some. Kingspan Insulation is the first and onlyconstruction material manufacturer to have taken this boldmove and openly publish the results.
The suitability of the structure under consideration to acceptthe design imposed loads including the increased dead loadfrom the ballast layer plus snow loads and roof traffic shouldbe verified in accordance with BS 6399–3: 1988 (Loading forbuildings. Code of practice for imposed roof loads). The additional load from the ballast layer can be considerable.
Ballast LayerDead Load
50 mm thick paving slabs125 kg/m
Gravel (16–32 mm diameter)16 kg/m
per 10 mm depthSoil (intensive green roof)500 – 1000 kg/m
Soil (extensive green roof)100 – 200 kg/m
The ballast layer resists wind uplift, prevents floatation of the boards in heavy rains, prevents UV degradationof the boards and gives the roof the required external fireperformance.