How to get in touch

Call us on 03705 601000
Email us at
or Click Here

Home / News / 2019 / No Battle For BMI Redland Heathland Tiles At Hastings House

No battle for BMI Redland Heathland tiles at Hastings House

Award-winning architect Des Ewing, famous in Northern Ireland for his part in the television show House of the Year, chose the BMI Redland Heathland Ember plain tiles when he designed Hastings House, a substantial property overlooking the Belfast Lough.

The BMI Redland Heathland Ember is a concrete plain tile featuring variation in hanging length, irregular sides and subtle surface texturing, finished with randomly applied fine sands. The result is a tile that combines a natural weathered character with the performance of a machine-made tile in an attractive and cost-effective roofing product. An additional benefit, when compared to its handcrafted counterpart, is that it is a more sustainable product as it incorporates a significantly lower level of embodied carbon.

“The roof is a strong feature of this house, so it was essential that the roofing material chosen blended in with the overall design and all the other finishes that are employed, particularly the brick and render,” says Des.

“This roof tile ticked all the boxes and was also used in decorative details that bind the entire house into a unified whole rather than discrete elements attached to one another. These details include tiles on the sides and front of dormers, shoulders of the chimneys and a soldier course in the arch above the entrance.”

The 550mroof uses the ‘small element’ tile to achieve a complex overall roof shape that incorporates varying rafter pitches, vertical cladding and unusual details such as bellcast eaves and bonnet hips.

The roof pitch reduces as it slopes down, so there are no straight rafters from ridge to eaves, while the building itself is in a T-shape that is at an angle rather than square, adding to the complexity of the design and installation. 

There are four dormers, which necessitated vertical cladding to their cheeks and careful detailing where the cladding met the main roof. The cheeks of each dormer had four different perimeter pitches requiring careful setting out and use of tile and half to avoid small cuts, which look unsightly and are vulnerable to wind damage. 

The bellcast eaves required careful setting out to ensure even courses particularly where there were unequal pitches either side. The roof also incorporates an area of flat roofing, so close co-operation was required between the tradesmen to ensure correct weathering where the two roofing systems met.

More practically, the fixing specification considered the coastal site and the low pitch of the roof at the eaves. Both factors increase the risk of wind lift, so the tiles were double-nailed every fourth course – rather than every fifth as they would have been ordinarily – a result of BMI UK & Ireland’s rigorous design approach.

Unlike the handmade clay tiles it mimics, the modern BMI Redland Heathland Ember plain tile has undergone a robust programme of testing, subjected to driving winds and high rains, whipped up by BMI UK & Ireland’s engineers in the company’s testing wind tunnel. The tiles meet all the requirements of BS 5534: 2014 Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling, providing they are installed in compliance with BMI Redland’s fixing recommendations.


The roaring twenties - and 40's - sees BMI take shape

With BMI UK & Ireland’s iconic BMI Redland brand celebrating 100 years of concrete tile manufacture in the UK, making it the oldest concrete tile maker in the country; the company, ahead of its formal celebrations later in the year, continues to look back over its 180-year heritage.

BMI's training facilities claim academy status-12 09:59

BMI UK & Ireland has relaunched its National Training Centre as the BMI Academy. The UK’s first ever dedicated roof training centre, the BMI Academy – now a multi-site operation, with its hub in South Cerney, Gloucestershire – offers best-in-class training and comprises possibly the most comprehensive learning resource in the country. Not content with just being the UK’s first dedicated roof training centre, the BMI Academy looks forward to many more firsts as it aligns with the other training academies across BMI Group’s global operations.

Leeds duo take the honours at BMI Apprentice of the Year

Matthew Ford and Oscar Miller have been crowned the pitched and flat roofing BMI Apprentices of the Year as the competition ended in two days of intense scrutiny from a panel of industry-leading figures.

Search the Redland website

Start typing below (4 character minimum