The Building Envelope


Compared to pre-industrial times, average land temperatures have risen about 1.2 °C. By 2052, global temperatures will likely exceed pre-industrial levels by 1.5 °C. The Met Office is warning that heat waves will become more frequent and more intense, predicting prolonged heat waves every other year from 2050 onwards, with temperatures exceeding 40 °C. How will the UK housing stock fare in all this? Not well, as two major 2021 studies have shown.


UK manufacturing is at a seven month high, accounts for around 10% of economic output and employs around 2.6million workers, whilst construction accounts for around 7% of economic output and employs approximately 1.4million workers.

Increased labour rates and shortage of skilled labour is going to be an issue in traditional construction and it will drive prices up and cause project programmes to lengthen.

I hear every day from roofing contractors across the UK and other areas of construction, of how less and less trades people are now available.

lightweight roofing

For a number of years now, we have used the line ‘The Roof Tile Has Evolved’ in our advertising and branding. Metrotile isn’t just an alternative roofing tile – it’s the next evolutionary step. Roofing has evolved frequently as long as it’s been needed, and despite being a long way from widespread use of the thatched roof, living in the 21st century doesn’t mean that the design and materials of the roof should remain stagnant; there are certain alternative roofing materials that exceed the benefits of what can be expected from a roof tile.

Solar PV

The impending introduction of Part L of the Building Regulations is the latest step on the journey to generate more low carbon and energy efficient social housing across the UK.

Add in the current unprecedented escalation in energy prices and the impending cost of living crisis for many tenants, and homes provided by the public sector must now, more than ever, be both sustainable and help to mitigate consumer energy cost worries.  

Stuart Nicholson from Marley says the strategic specification of proven, easy to install and energy efficient solar PV as part of a sustainable roofing solution, can have a positive impact for local authorities and their tenants.

Wall Insulation

Safeguard Europe, experts in waterproofing, have developed a series of Webinars that are completely free to attend. These offer both technical and practical advice on moisture management in buildings. One of these webinars is focused around the causes & treatment of penetrating damp, which will only become more prevalent in the coming years. With the help of the Association for Environment Conscious Building and Simmonds Mill Architects, they carried out a case study in a bid to develop an easy solution to help protect vulnerable homes from heavy rainfalls.

building regulations

As social housing landlords grapple with decarbonisation, the need to invest in the right renewable technology is vital. Big decisions made now are likely to have long-term implications. But with the government still to fully outline the best technologies to make homes more energy efficient, landlords are faced with the quandary of which systems to invest in. They have to balance their journey to net zero with ensuring they don’t make costly mistakes that could catch up with them down the line.

With changes to Part L of the building regulations coming in this year that will affect all new build homes, Stuart Nicholson, roof systems director at Marley, covers key considerations.