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lead Sheet Association

The Lead Sheet Association (LSA) is the foremost independent technical authority on the design, specification and application of Rolled Lead Sheet to BS EN 12588: 2006 in the construction industry, together with access to Lead Sheet Training available from the LSA and Lead Sheet Manufacturers.

Lead Sheet Association

Lead Sheet Association Website

New research highlights lead's green and economic credentials

LEADer Newsletter issue 8 spring 2012

Research by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and Franklin + Andrews into the use of rolled lead sheet in construction shows it outperforms competing manmade products such as flashings, and hard metals, on many fronts.

The carbon footprint of lead, compared with other hard metals, is extremely low making it a very environmentally friendly material. Its lifespan also means it lasts a generation without having to be replaced - on average more than three times longer than other proprietary flashing products. There is also an established recycling infrastructure so almost 100% of the waste can be re-used. Lead’s longevity means that architects can safely use it in designs needing to comply with Eurocode requirements for a 60 year design life.

Alongside these qualities Franklin + Andrews highlighted the economic benefits of using lead. Over a 40 year period lead can be up to 50% cheaper than most manmade flashing products and over 65 years it is almost 100% cheaper. Lead is seen as being so safe and reliable that it is possible to obtain a 25 year guarantee covering the material and its installation when installed by an LCA accredited lead contractor. Notwithstanding the guarantee, with lead there is almost no risk of leakage and little inspection or maintenance required, providing peace of mind for building owners.

the LEADerIn these tough economic times it can be tempting to opt to purchase, or specify, seemingly cheaper alternative materials, but this research emphasises what many in the construction industry have known for years – with lead, you get a great result, that not only looks fantastic, but lasts longer, costs less and is fully recyclable.

Alongside this research, the LSA also undertook installation trials in its workshop using some of the proprietary products. These trials gave rise to some interesting results that are often overlooked.

For example, lead can be installed in almost any conditions, whereas other products are sensitive to weather conditions and are dependent on adhesives which can be problematic at low temperatures and damp environments. Unless the weather is dry and the temperature above 5°C, there can be installation delays and adhesion issues. Specifiers need to consider these factors as there can be potential delays if roofing work is scheduled for completion during the wet and cold winter months.

The LSA also discovered that in the literature accompanying some of these products there were warnings about degradation under UV light. The range of temperatures experienced in the UK also seemed capable of causing brittleness to some proprietary products and the UV light could impact on their effectiveness. In terms of life span, most of these products have yet demonstrated they, or their jointing materials, will last beyond one third of the life of lead.

Whilst there are a number of alternatives on the market this external research coupled with trials in our workshop demonstrates the cost effectiveness, green credentials and ease of installation which makes lead a great product for use in everyday situations, as well as for truly special applications.

Lead Sheet Association
Unit 10, Archers Park, Banbridges Road, East Peckham, Kent TN12 5HP