Forticrete has invested close to £8 million to expand capacity at its Leighton Buzzard factory, increasing the volume and quality of concrete roofing materials for the growing UK housebuilding sector.
Supporting UK housebuilders as they kick start an upturn in activity, the company's bespoke new tile line has been purpose-built to produce two brand new large format tiles, the SL8 and PAN8. The innovative design of both tiles provide greater coverage than existing large format products; requiring just 8 tiles sqm compared with around 10 sqm required with many alternatives. With approximately 20% less tiles required per roof, the tiles are quicker and easier to lay, handle and transport. With less product required, the potential for damage on site and waste in the manufacturing process is also reduced, meaning cost and time savings; both critical to supporting the Government’s aspiration to 'get Britain building'.
The SL8 is a new large format, thin leading edge concrete roof tile, which replicates the aesthetic of natural slate more authentically than its competition thanks to its increased width which is more akin to traditional equivalents. Forticrete has also launched PAN8, an innovative large format, thin leading edge pantile roof tile designed to replicate a traditional clay pantile.
John Lambert, Managing Director at Forticrete, commented: "The typical feast or famine nature of the industry's workflow means the UK roofing industry is already on extended availability for the supply of roof tiles and slates. However, after inventing the tiles in 2005, we pre-empted the rebirth of the industry and began to make plans to expand capacity at our Leighton Buzzard factory in 2014 to ensure we’re well placed to support UK housebuilding for years to come.
"While the Government has outlined its commitment to accelerate housing throughout 2017 and beyond, construction output is predicted to rise by 3.6% over the next three years, with house building expected to be a key source of output growth. Not only does the factory investment increase capacity, but it has brought two new innovative tiles to market that require less to lay per roof, as well as the introduction of modern automation to the roofing industry, bringing increased operational efficiencies to the factory floor."
With the introduction of a brand new approach to roof tile manufacture using modern construction methods and technologies, Forticrete is reducing waste in the SL8 and PAN8 manufacturing process with much of the excess concrete and water collected and recycled back in to the mixing process - making for a more sustainable manufacturing process. The aesthetic appeal of both products are also enhanced by factory blending to ensure superior batch and colour consistency across the roofscape, something few, if any manufacturers have been able to offer previously. Beyond the requirements of BS EN490, with the new tiles pre-blended, there isn't the need for the installer to mix from multiple packs on site, which has long caused on-site health and safety concerns, unnecessary wastage and slowed down the process of installing the tiles.
For more information on Forticrete's range of products, visit www.Forticrete.co.uk