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Home / News / 2019 / BMI Delivers High Aesthetic Down By The Waterside

BMI delivers high aesthetic down by the waterside

Offering a 21st century modern material performance with the appearance of a weathered hand-made tile, the BMI Redland Heathland Autumn concrete plain tile - from BMI UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest manufacturer of flat and pitched roofing and waterproofing solutions - proved ideal for a planning-sensitive canal-side housing development just outside Oxford.

When Aquinna Homes received planning permission for an eight-unit development at the Boatyard in Yarnton; it was required to deliver houses that were in keeping with the local architecture, yet not uniform, as most of the nearby canal buildings date from different periods and are in different styles.

In order to help achieve this patchwork of housing design, Aquinna opted to build two of the properties using the Heathland Autumn tile. David Chidlow, Technical Director at Aquinna Homes, explains, “The planners made it clear that they didn’t want eight boxes and, with each house having to have a different look, we chose the Heathland tile because the colour choice is tried and trusted by us, and its sanded finish works well with the facing brick that we like to use”.

One of the four-bed houses features a catslide roof that extends right from the ridge down to just over the rear door, while its other roof extends over a dormer window and a large car port to the front of the house. “In our opinion, Heathland is better than a smooth tile in appearance and we’ve used it in many of our other developments. The roofs are a prominent expanse of tiling and a major part of the house so you need to make the right choice, “ David concludes.

Along with its great looks, the Heathland tiles offer irregular sides and varying hanging lengths, and surfaces that are subtly textured with fine sands. The result is a tile that combines a natural weathered character with machine-made performance in an attractive and cost-effective roofing material. Autumn is just one of the colours in the Heathland palette of period colourings that complement its handmade appearance. Wealden Red, Ember and Elizabethan share the sanded finish of Autumn while Manor House is granular.

The combination of traditional colours, rustic surfaces and seemingly hand-made shapes make modern BMI Redland Heathland Autumn concrete plain tile a superbly accessible choice for challenging conservation or planning environments; and delivered the perfect bespoke finish for Aquinna Homes at its striking waterside development.


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When building charity Band of Builders learnt of the challenges faced by plasterer Iain Dodd’s family, it was eager to do what it could to help. Band of Builders – “run by tradespeople, for tradespeople” – aims to help members of the construction industry community when times get tough: and tough describes the Dodd’s family situation.

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