When a homeowner in Norwich was looking to transform his 1920s bungalow into a contemporary home that featured the most aesthetically pleasing building products on the market, he turned to Cembrit Westerland slates to provide a natural roof finish that complemented the new look of the property.

Previously a brick building with red Norfolk pantiles, the property looked run down, outdated and was badly insulated. Once the outside walls were insulated and rendered and new triple glazed aluminium windows were installed, Jon Barrell, the owner of the property, turned his attention to the roof.

“We became aware of Cembrit Westerland slates after researching what roofing materials are available” commented Jon Barrell. We wanted a light weight option that would look natural in its surroundings and would colour match the windows. The Cembrit Westerland slates ticked all these boxes. Not only that, but thanks to the thinness of the slate, we were able to raise the rafter line by 3″ to allow for an extra 2″ of insulation. We achieved this without having to alter the existing roofline or the need for planning permission.”

A total of 3,000 Westerland slates and 30 metres of Cembrit Slate Duopitch Ridge Ventilation were used to complete the re-roof, which was completed by Scott Sell Roofing. Jon didn’t want to introduce cement edges to the gables as a finishing detail, so opted for Cembrit PVC dry verges, which provided the perfect colour match to create a consistent finish across the roof. Following the project, Jon fed back to Cembrit that the roofing team enjoyed working with the Cembrit slates, as they found them easy to cut and fit.

“We had so many problems with the pantiles we used to have on our roof, and all of these issues have stopped now that we have had the Cembrit slates installed” adds Jon. “We no longer have moss growing and rolling down the gutters. Due to the surface of the ridges, the birds that used to sit on the ridges and leave mess no longer perch on the roof, meaning the roof always looks spotless! With the slates being installed in the correct tight-fitting manner, there is no draught between the slates or any vermin or other insects that used to be able to get in. We weighed the old pantiles against the Cembrit slates and have reduced the weight on the roof by 4 tons, which means no more creaking timbers or rattling tiles on a windy day. We feel that by opting for the Cembrit slates, we have achieved a classier looking project without the expense of a more costly product, which is not easy to do these days. We are over the moon with our new roof.”

Cembrit’s Westerland slate has a surface texture and dressed edge similar to that of natural slate but does not need grading and sorting prior to installation. Finished with a semi-matt acrylic coloured coating to the top face and edges and a tinted high-performance binder to the back face, the finish is of the highest quality. Easy to work with, as no power tools are needed to re-size the slates, Cembrit’s fibre cement slates simplify the install period and act as an economic alternative to natural roofing materials.

Westerland slates are manufactured in accordance with a quality assurance system to BS EN ISO 9001-2015 standard and to the requirements of BS EN 492: 2012 product specification for fibre cement slates and their fittings. Westerland slate has been awarded the BBA Certificate No. 03/4041. Cembrit’s fibre cement slates achieve the highest approvals from local national and international agencies in the fields of product quality and sustainability.

Cembrit Slate Duopitch continuously ventilated ridge tiles are specifically designed to provide a high level of ridgeline ventilation. Colour matched for use with Cembrit fibre cement slates, the ridge is suitable for pitched roofs ranging from 20° to 40°. The range includes start and end caps for a neat finish. Weighing 4kg, the product is lightweight, making it easy to transport and carry up to roof level. At 530mm in length, it is possible to carry two linear metres of ridge at a time.

Cembrit Slate Duopitch Ridge Ventilation is a fibre cement product that complements the smooth, flush look of the fibre cement slates. The ridges are lighter in weight than concrete alternatives, making them easier to install for a roofer working at height. The ridges do not require electric power for cutting, or any dust suppression equipment, equalling a much easier and quicker fitting process. They can be dry fixed with readily available colour matched Torx countersunk screws and installation is not dependent on getting the correct mortar mix, or having to wait for dry weather.

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Cembrit is delighted that its Moorland fibre cement slates have been specified and installed at the new campus development at the University of Northampton. Situated on the River Nene the new Waterside Campus features a mixture of academic buildings and student accommodation. Specified by Stride Treglown and installed by Russell Roofing, the Moorland slates dressed edge provides an aesthetically pleasing natural looking roof covering, for the new prestigious student accommodation blocks at the university, at a lower installed cost than natural slate.

Located on a former brownfield site, the development responds to the industrial heritage of the site in a contemporary way. The student residences are located immediately adjacent to the new academic accommodation and incorporate a variety of additional facilities including a health centre, multi-faith chaplaincy, convenience store, bank, hotel school and launderette. The additional facilities within the development take a holistic approach to urban regeneration as well as giving the university an opportunity to consolidate its campus estate into one location. The new student residences, which are being developed in two phases, consist of a mixture of shared townhouse and cluster flat accommodation with the Moorland slates being installed on pitched roof areas including the main roof and mansard sections.

Keystone Roofing have supplied Russell Roofing with over 47,000m² Moorland slates so far and Frazer Simpson, Director of Russell Roofing is delighted with how the project is taking shape: “The development is a great looking project and looks particularly impressive with its waterfront location. The Moorland slates fit in perfectly with the surrounding and with their dressed edge and lightweight construction add a classy, but easy to install quality to the project. We’ve used them before and definitely will do again.”

Cembrit Moorland slates are designed with a dressed edge and smooth surface, they are light weight, pre holed and easy to cut with hand tools making them a cost effective product an added benefit for the University of Northampton. Moorland slates random, dressed edge creates a roof slope with a natural appearance, they are fully coated with a high quality, semi-matt acrylic pigmented finish which ensures the natural appearance is visible from street level.

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The importance of BBA (British Board of Agrément) certification is well-known as an independent mark of approval for suppliers to the construction industry, and Cembrit has the distinction of having its complete range of fibre cement fully accredited by the organisation.

The BBA is the UK’s major authority offering approval and certification services to manufacturers and installers supplying the construction industry. BBA certification is a sought after accreditation, and one which is incredibly important to architects. Cembrit holds five BBA Certificates for its fibre cement slate range, ensuring that whichever system is chosen, architects can be confident in the specified product. To achieve this status, Cembrit fibre cement slates completed a comprehensive testing process and successfully met all the requirements set out by the BBA.

“BBA certification enables architects to specify Cembrit fibre cement slates with confidence,” says Ged Ferris, Marketing Manager of Cembrit. “Our fibre cement slates range provides a high quality roofing finish that is both attractive and long lasting. Architects specify the slates for use on both residential and commercial properties, and have in the past, praised the product for delivering the desired results.”

The Cembrit range of fibre cement slates includes Westerland, Moorland, Zeeland, Jutland and Diamond, all offering their own unique appearance. The slates are ideal for use on conventional pitched timber roofs with a rafter pitch of 20° and over, or hung vertically as cladding on external walls. The slates are complemented by matching fibre cement ridges, ventilation solutions and fixings.

Manufactured to the highest European standards using Portland cement together with a formulation of superior blended synthetic and cellulose fibres, Cembrit fibre cement slates are finished with a high quality, semi-matt acrylic coloured coating to the face and edges and a tinted, high performance binder to the back face. Cembrit fibre cement slates are the most accredited on the UK market.

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Cembrit has developed a Fibre Cement Slates guide to provide specifiers, craftsmen and trades people with the relevant information for the successful design and installation of pitched roofing with the ever popular fibre cement slates.

The book demonstrates how all forms of slating and fibre cement technology offers users peace of mind not available from other suppliers and highlights the wide range of slates and accessories the company offers. The 80-page document, entitled ‘A Guide to Double Lap Slating with Fibre Cement Slates’ provides a full explanation on technical specification, design considerations, colour availability and installation advice.

“Cembrit has been manufacturing fibre cement products for over 80 years” explains Ged Ferris, Marketing Manager of Cembrit. “The content of the brochure draws on that depth of experience to offer detailed advice to anyone wanting to specify and install fibre cement slates. Fibre cement man-made slates continue to grow in popularity due not only to the cost and installation benefits but also aesthetic advantages over concrete tiles. Our aim is to support this move by providing a useful document that covers the key aspects of fibre cement specification.

The Cembrit range of fibre cement slates has grown over the years and now includes Westerland, Moorland, Zeeland, Jutland and Diamond, all offering their own unique appearance. The slates are complemented by matching ridge, ventilation and fixings. Manufactured to the highest European standards using Portland cement together with a formulation of superior blended synthetic and cellulose fibres, Cembrit fibre cement slates are finished with a high quality, semi-matt acrylic coloured coating to the face and edges and a tinted, high performance binder to the back face. Cembrit fibre cement slates are the most accredited on the UK market.

To download the brochures and to find out information on all other Cembrit products, visit