Choosing sustainable roofing battens

Choosing sustainable roofing battens

 Jenni Forrest, quality manager for JB Red at Marley, explains how to cut timber waste and choose sustainable roofing battens.

Growing consumer and political pressure to take action on climate change means sustainability is an increasingly important issue for builders – from reducing the environmental impact of materials, to cutting waste and increasing recycling on site.

Timber is recognised as being one of the most sustainable building materials, providing it is sourced responsibly from well managed forests. However, there is still a high degree of timber waste generated on some construction sites and not all timber offers the same levels of quality and sustainability.

So, when it comes to timber roofing battens, how can you be certain you are making sustainable choices? There are a number of things to look out for

  • PEFC or FSC certification

Any roofing battens you use should have either FSC or PEFC certification listed on the documentation. This proves the timber is sourced sustainably, from well managed forests with excellent replanting programmes. All of our roofing battens carry either FSC or PEFC certification.

  • Third party accreditation

To comply with BS 5534, all roofing battens should be stamped to demonstrate compliance with the British Standard. However, there are concerns that not all battens stamped as BS 5534 compliant actually meet the grading standards. For peace of mind you should also check for third party assurance of batten quality and sustainability.

Our JB Red battens are covered by a BBA Agrément certificate and are stamped to prove that not only are they compliant with BS 5534, but also that they are responsibly sourced with high manufacturing standards.

  • Manufacturer recycling

If you want further proof, check the manufacturer’s own recycling practices. One of the benefits of our manufacturing process is that we don’t waste any of the timber and none of it is sent to landfill. All timber that is left over from manufacture, whether off cuts, chippings or shavings, is used to manufacture a number of products including chipboard, wood pellets, animal bedding and biomass wood chip.

Although timber is a sustainable material, it is still important to minimise waste where possible and make sure it is recycled, rather than being sent to landfill. As well as reducing your environmental impact, this will also cut the cost of materials and disposal.

There are several ways to minimise timber waste on site:

  • Buy quality battens from a trusted manufacturer

Buying a quality roofing batten will save a significant amount of waste. Our JB Red battens are manufactured using kiln dried, side-board timber which gives a straighter, stronger batten. All our battens are machine graded with the state-of-the-art Goldeneye laser scanner, this minimises waste because all battens are compliant and suitable for use. An inferior batten can contain non-compliant defects, which leads to more waste on site during the fixing process.

Our battens are also delivered with minimal packaging, so there is little waste for contractors to dispose of on site.

  • Order the right amount of batten, in the right length, for the project

When installing roof battens to comply with BS8000-6, the joints should be staggered up the length of the rafter, so it is advisable to purchase a variety of different lengths to minimise cutting and waste. JB Red battens are available in a number of lengths to suit your project, minimising the amount of cutting that you need to do. Your merchant should have a selection of different length battens for you to choose from. From minimum 3.6m to maximum 5.4m, increasing in 0.3m increments.

Get a new specification for every project and plan the roof layout in advance to make sure you are ordering the right amount of batten.  You can use the free specification tool on our website

  • Store battens properly

If you aren’t using battens immediately, store them securely to avoid wasting product.

Store battens and counter battens on sufficient bearers to prevent sagging or twisting.  Battens should also be protected from the elements whilst still maintaining air flow around the timber.

  • Set up re-use or recycling areas

If timber battens need to be cut to length on site, then set up a recycling or re-use area to ensure any waste is being disposed of sustainably.

Related posts