028 GGP 0315

GGP March 2015

28 I N S TALLER WORLD Thumbs up for polycarb! Richard Brown, general manager of SIG Sheet Materials (formerly Formerton Sheet Sales), looks at the demand for polycarbonate roofing and why it remains a popular Most of you will probably only ever associate polycarbonate roofing with conservatories. And if glass manufacturers are to be believed, it won’t in fact be around for much longer as glass is now considered to be far more energy efficient and weather resistant. However, let’s not be too hasty in writing off this tried and trusted material. There are many instances where polycarbonate roofing actually holds clear advantages over glass and it can be used across a wide variety of applications – well beyond the conservatory. Toughness, durability and lightness Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic that is exceedingly tough, resistant to ultraviolet rays and provides an attractive look. It can have several advantages over glass; such as its high impact resistance, its weight is much lower than glass and this makes fitting it much easier, as well as creating lower transportation and labour costs. It also provides good acoustical insulation and is weather and UV resistant, whilst still letting in adequate sunlight and heat. Other properties of polycarbonate roofing include its wide service temperature range. Glass VS polycarbonate conservatories With many homeowners still keen to add value to their properties and maximise their living space, conservatories remain a lucrative sector for installers. As well as being incredibly functional, conservatories are visually pleasing and serve as a stunning addition to any home. Choosing the right type of roof is critical, however, and here begins the alternative to glass. great glass versus polycarb debate. Whilst it is generally accepted that glass conservatories are naturally better at retaining heat, are quieter and less prone to damage, polycarbonate roofing still wins hands down when it comes to pricing. In some cases, polycarbonate roofs can be three or four times cheaper than a glass roof. Hence, for those working on a strict budget, they are much more affordable. One of the other major benefits of glass is that it is more energy efficient, helping to retain heat and so keeping everyone warmer in the cooler winter months. This in turn can help save money on energy bills by ensuring there is little need for energy-hungry heating appliances such as electric heaters. However, new technological advancements in polycarbonate roofing means that it is now possible to buy solar inserts or heat guard panels which allow homeowners to enjoy the luxury of a warm, cosy conservatory but without the expense. Polycarbonate conservatories may never match all the advantages that glass brings, but this is something that you and the homeowner would have to consider and possibly sacrifice in exchange for low cost and functionality. Beyond the conservatory Polycarbonate roofing is not just for conservatories. Because of its flexibility, lightweight and stylish appearance, it has become popular for a wide range of small and large structures including greenhouses, car ports, lean-to roof areas and canopies, patio coverings and pergolas, and even roofs for stadiums and shopping malls. Basically, polycarbonate is what you're looking for if you need to cover a roof structure, but still want to allow light to filter in. Polycarbonate panels can be manufactured in clear glass-like shades or obscured/tinted/coloured or with solar-reflective heatguard layers, adding to the flexibility of use. The panels are also resistant to sunlight, rain and snow. This enables these panels to last in the outdoors for many years without showing www.ggpmag.com March 2015 signs of fading, yellowing or discoloration. Over recent years, there has been tremendous growth in demand for multi-wall polycarbonate. Ideal for conservatory, lean-to roof areas and commercial green houses, as well as cladding and glazing applications, this is a lightweight polycarbonate sheet – approximately 1/6th the weight of glass – with high-impact strength, superior thermal insulation properties and high-light transmission. Multi-wall polycarbonate enhances daylight when integrated into roofing systems, walls, and skylights and helps creates a more comfortable ambience. It is easy to install and cut and requires minimal maintenance. It can also be cleaned using warm water containing a mild detergent. For unbreakable strength, a solid sheet is also available. Choose wisely So, when it comes to polycarbonate roofing, there’s more than first meets the eye. Different polycarbonate roofing products have different features and warranties, so it’s important to find the right one for your project. With many polycarbonate materials available on the market, it pays to do your homework and to ensure that your customers receive quality products with no hassles and complete peace of mind. Look for those suppliers that offer rigid quality assurance checks to ensure all aspects of the quality and the condition of the polycarbonate are in a perfect condition prior to dispatch to the customer. Also, don’t cut corners. Choose a supplier that can provide a cut to size service backed by all the technical expertise and advice you may need.


GGP March 2015
To see the actual publication please follow the link above