Part 2: Demand for alternative energy driving innovation in metal roof systems
Anticipating the current spike in rooftop solar panel installations, Safintra became the sole agency for S-5 clamps.
This article is part of a series on metal roofing and cladding systems that promote sustainability.
Escalating electricity prices and Eskom’s supply constraints have forced South African building owners to look at alternative energy sources, particularly solar energy. Therefore, rooftop solar panel installations have seen a dramatic spike in demand.
This issue was presaged by SANS 10400-XA legislation, which specifically promotes thermal efficiency of buildings. It requires that the roof structure achieves specified R-values to contribute to improved energy efficiency and reduced consumption – prophetic indeed.
“As a result of both these factors, the local roofing industry, which had seen little change in decades, has suddenly started making giant strides in improved roofing installation practices and new products to meet needs for alternative energy co-generation, as well as with the SANS XA requirements,” says Rainer Straussner, business head of Safintra Southern Africa.
Anticipating this change over a year ago, Safintra obtained the sole agency rights for S-5 clamps, the world’s leading clamp and PV attachment systems for metal roofs.
“The need is for components that are able to secure solar panels to the roof with the least weight, and in the case of concealed fix roofs, to do so without any fastener penetration which will void roof material warranties,” Straussner explains.
“An equally important issue is the matter of warranties on the various components that make up a roofing system. For example, a solar panel commonly has a warrantee of 30 years and a steel roof has a warrantee of 15 years or more, but most PV mounting systems offer a limited warrantee, if any at all, meaning that expensive and possibly damaging maintenance is required during the service life of the roof in order to replace small components that have weathered,” he adds.
Safintra will furnish clients with a long term warrantee on its entire roofing system, including the steel roof, fasteners, clamps and PV attachment components, all of which match the life of the PV panel and minimise maintenance costs, according to Straussner.
And as part of its total solutions drive, Safintra has set up a specialised engineering department to assist owners, architects, specifiers and engineers with calculations pertaining to thermal efficiency in buildings.
Is metal roofing the way forward?
Steel is a sustainable material that is 100% recyclable. It is a product with exceptional green credentials, which is increasingly being specified by environmentally conscious companies building for Green Star ratings which reduce energy usage, and is therefore particularly attractive to tenants. By creating a roof system which has high thermal performance and is ideal for solar panel attachment, the roof is becoming the hardest working part of the building envelope.
“And we continue to innovate . . . this is just the start of a range of offerings which make steel roofing the greenest option around. Safintra will continue to lead the field, not only in South Africa but in the greater sub-region,” states Straussner.
Safintra South Africa
Tel: 011 323 6300
Website: www.safintra.co.za and www.safintra.com
Branches in South Africa: Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.
Further operations in: Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and East Africa.