Single Ply Roofing in Bespoke Colours – What you should know

By Andy Wells, Specification Manager (Northern)

We’re often asked to source coloured single ply roofing membrane. There are a number of aesthetic reasons why you might want to us a colour other than grey, but the most common is to comply with a planning condition.

There’s an example project later in this post, but first of all, if you’re thinking about a coloured single ply roof, here are some things you should consider.

It Probably Has To Be PVC

SIG Design & Technology designs, supplies and guarantees the installation of single ply membranes of a range of types, but only some of these have colour options.

  1. PIB is available in grey or with a copper/verdigris finish;
  2. TPOs and TPEs are available in a range of greys;
  3. EPDM is only available in black, but
  4. PVC can be made in any colour, including RAL colours•.

Tip: If you want a bespoke colour to your roofing membrane, unless you want a copper finish, it will have to be PVC.

Size Matters

Bespoke coloured PVC membranes are made in the same plant as conventional grey membranes. To make a bespoke colour, the manufacturer cleans down the machine, makes the new colour and then cleans the machine again, so the amount of membrane you need will affect the price considerably. To do this effectively you wouldn’t want to make less than around 5000m2 of the bespoke product, the amount usually made in one shift, along with detail membrane, metal and accessories.

As a result, we usually recommend that below 4000m2, a bespoke roof membrane colour produces a considerable price difference to alternatives, but this isn’t always the case, other factors may be involved.

Tip: If you want a bespoke colour for your roofing membrane, talk to us about the cost implications.

*Similar but not Exact RAL colours

PVC roofing membrane can be supplied in any colour, but because of limitations in the manufacturing process, matching a RAL colour exactly is unlikely.

A sample of the mixed proposed colour can be provided, but during the process of manufacture of the membrane this colour will change slightly, so a close match is the usual outcome. Given the process of manufacture, you should also not expect to be able to get a 1m2 sample of the finished membrane.

Tip: If you want a bespoke membrane colour, don’t guarantee to your client it will be an exact RAL match, advise of a near-RAL colour instead. If they query this, why not point them to this blog post for an explanation?

Allow for Extras

The manufacturer will need to make all of the coloured membrane in one go to guarantee consistency of colour and avoid additional costs, so plan for additional material to cover changes in the design, or repairs if required.

Tip: Of course if you use our service, we will advise you appropriately as to how much material should reasonably be produced.

An Example – Bottling Plant in the Peak District

This is a new bottling plant that has recently been completed in a rural location – the Peak District National Park. Planning Officers required the waveform roof finish to be bottle green to reflect the rolling hillside nearby.

Green PVC Roofing Membrane Armourplan Example

The architects, Fletcher-Rae, also had a preference for locally manufactured materials to assist in achieving a BREEAM Excellent sustainability rating.

As a result the ideal product was IKO Armourplan, the only PVC roofing membrane manufactured in the UK. The 12000m2 single ply roof was finished in bottle green (close to RAL 6007) Armourplan Premium over Reticel foil-faced insulation boards on a metal deck. As a curved roof the membrane, even at the bespoke colour, was competitive against alternative panel roofing systems.

You can read more about the project in our Case Studies Section.

Tip: As with any roofing design question – talk to us about what you’re trying to achieve, and we will suggest the best alternatives, as part of our free design service.

More Information

Read about the other differences between roofing membranes.

Read the Case Study about the bottling plant.

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