Healthier homes—all under one roof - Building NZ
Healthier homes—all under one roof

Healthier homes—all under one roof

With a combination of world-leading products and long-standing industry experience, Equus has the expertise to provide the right waterproofing solutions for residential and commercial applications.

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

New Zealand company Equus considers itself to be a solutions-driven business. It has been manufacturing and supplying specialist coatings, waterproofing and flooring systems to the New Zealand market for nigh on 40 years.

“This gives us the depth of experience to be able to come up with a system or solution for just about every project we are asked to work on,” says Architectural Technical Consultant Kelsey Torbet.

“Our product range is flexible enough to allow us to look at a job and come up with a project-specific solution. To underpin this, we have invested heavily in creating a technical support team with a high level of expertise.”

Among its product suite are Soprema DuO and DuOtherm, membrane roofing systems that are geared to both the residential and commercial markets. The flexibility of the Equus range is one of its big advantages. This enables the building owner to have the ultimate roofing system for them because the best products are customised for their individual project.

The Soprema DuOtherm Warm Roof solution was specified for the South Brighton Surf Lifesaving Club to provide the protection needed with a high-end aesthetic.

Equus: proven experience and expertise

So, when an architect, developer, builder or homeowner approaches Equus, the team sets to work.

The first step is to really understand the project and ask all the right questions. From there, Equus undertakes a roof system analysis—to ascertain the R value for the insulation, check the risks for condensation, and assess the wind uplift conditions, taking into account the exact location of the build. All of this information goes into the Equus building consent package that’s produced for each specifier. This demonstrates that everything has been accounted for, and nothing is missing.

Over the course of the build, the architect, applicator and building owner are provided with technical advice and on-site support. All of this is coordinated via the specially developed Equus E-hub portal, giving them access to specifications, updated plans, the Equus technical team and Zoom help desks. Additionally, Equus applicators can order materials through the hub; and all the information needed for council inspections is also available there.

“Equus prides itself on both the high standard of its technical and advisory service and on its products,” says Kelsey.

Those products are ever changing as new technology develops. Historically, most New Zealand buildings had a cold-roof system, which still has its place, particularly in commercial buildings where cost and speed are prime considerations. This is where the DuO roof membrane range is perfectly suited for direct application to plywood and concrete substrates. It can also be retrofitted to existing buildings. This membrane provides hard, stable, UV-resistant bituminous surface and is finished with coloured natural slates for an attractive appearance.

These slate chips are pressed into the cap sheet using a special production process, which ensures very low chip loss over time and protects the membrane from damage by the harsh UV from the sun in NZ. DuO is suitable for old, new, flat and near-flat roofs and decks. It comprises a 2.5mm base sheet and a 4mm cap sheet that may be torch applied, mechanically fixed or glue-adhered to the substrate. Traditionally, this system has been used when internal temperature control is less of an issue and direct cost, together with speed of installation, is seen as more important.

But increasingly around the world the benefits of warm-roof systems—warmer, drier, healthier buildings are making this the preferred option.

The Rutherford Regional Science and Innovation Centre (RRSIC) at the University of Canterbury features the Soprema DuOtherm Warm Roof System.

Soprema and Equus: improving indoor environments in New Zealand buildings

“For residential builds, we see increasing numbers of New Zealanders realising that investing in the envelope for the building, the bits you don’t always see, brings added benefits for them such as reduced heating costs, along with reductions in condensation levels and mould build-up, which are common in older homes,” says Kelsey. “A warm dry environment is becoming increasingly important for families. However, people should also expect the same level of indoor comfort whether they are working, studying or being taken care of in hospital. DuOtherm is the answer.”

The DuOtherm warm roof utilises the benefits of the DuO membrane system as the waterproofing protection for the building, but incorporates high-tech insulation above the plywood, concrete or metal substrate.

DuOtherm helps regulate the internal temperature of the building by retaining heat in winter and cooler air in the summer, plus it controls humidity and condensation. The DuOtherm system contributes to the overall energy efficiency of the building and additionally provides a warm, healthy environment for the occupants. This is suited to all types of buildings such as residential homes, educational buildings and hospitals.

If the architect, client or homeowner opts for a DuOtherm warm roof system, the standard insulation layer is PIR thermal insulation board, but an option for building owners looking to achieve green-star ratings is the Soprarock mineral wool, which can be installed instead. As a non-combustible product, Soprarock mineral wool can also be used where added fire protection is required. Other Equus options include additional acoustic protection for buildings requiring better control of sound transmission.

“Depending on the building design, what you want to achieve, the use of the roof, and the impact on the internal space, we can customise our waterproof roofing systems to suit.”

Because of their impervious nature, DuO and DuOtherm can be used if a green roof is part of the building design. “A green roof extends the life of the membrane, reduces pollution and improves the thermal rating of the building,” says Kelsey. “Plus, they look fantastic!”

DuO and DuOtherm are available in four standard slate colours, which are exclusive to Equus in New Zealand. DuO and DuOtherm roofing systems come with a 20-year standard warranty from Equus, along with an insurance-backed warranty from the manufacturer, Soprema.

Learn more about two-layer waterproof membrane roofing systems here.

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