Predominantly, waterproofing membranes have only been available in white, black or grey, and those tones have serviced the New Zealand waterproofing industry for half a century.
But times are changing: we’re building on more complex sites, and in higher density, in and around our cities. More low-slope roofs are becoming visual and in many cases, being used as a key feature of a building’s design.
And it’s in this context that colour becomes important, whether it be that the building needs to blend in with its surrounds, or simply that an element of interest is required.
“We often come across homes, especially in more rural locations, where the neighbour’s elevated home looks down from the hills onto the roof,” Viking Roofspec’s Brendon Sutton says.
“It’s in these situations, black can look coarse, or the harsh glare from a stark white roof for example, can be deemed ‘unneighbourly’. Some councils even require a building’s cladding materials (including the roof) to have LRVs (light reflective values) of no more than 40% in order to minimise ‘visual pollution’ caused by glare. Additionally, it’s great to have the option of some earthy colours that will blend in with natural surroundings better than the classical black, grey or white.”
The same can be said for urban environments where higher density invariably means low-slope roofs become visible to neighbouring properties.