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Building Products December 2017

RENEWABLES AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY THE HIDDEN POWER One of the challenges of installing renewable energy solutions is the visual impact that systems such as solar panels can have, especially in heritage areas. Here, Nigel Tozer, UK sales manager at Cupa Pizarras, discusses how solar collectors installed beneath slate roof tiles can provide the benefits of a solar thermal system while ensuring the building blends in with its surroundings. In Europe, natural slate was first used as a roofing material in the 1300s and the mass production processes developed in the nineteenth century made it affordable for a wide range of applications. The versatility of slate has meant that the way it has been used architecturally has changed over time and once again, it is evolving to help meet the needs of buildings in the modern world – whether a newly built structure or a renovation. There are a number of reasons why slate remains a popular choice. From a practical viewpoint, slate’s lifespan of around 150 years with little in the way of deterioration throughout has contributed to its status, especially where structures have been designed to last. Slate also requires minimal maintenance due to its durability and natural properties. In addition to the practical advantages, natural slate is versatile and can be utilised in a number of ways to suit the application and achieve the desired finish. Depending on the quarry it is extracted from, the slate’s natural shades range 66 BUILDING PRODUCTS | DECEMBER 2017


Building Products December 2017
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