Self-cleaning roofing solutions

A research project on innovative “self-cleaning” roofing solution was officially kicked off

Fletcher Steel has always been dedicated to providing the best solutions by bringing the newest innovative technologies to our customers.

Recently, we have spent a lot of time focusing on how we can improve the design life of our roofing/cladding products. New and better materials are, of course, a constant focus for us but we can all understand that proper maintenance will prolong the life of any roof. 

Yet roofs aren’t exactly the easiest of surfaces to keep clean. Not only is access an issue, but also the rules around working at heights can be restrictive. Some local environments (traffic pollution, trees, geothermal) may also mean that the requirements for maintenance can be more onerous than others, all depending on the individual location. Water collection is important, and therefore preventing bacteria and fungal growth, in particular, from starting was identified as key criteria for us.

Over the past year, we’ve been investigating a variety of new technologies, from a range of different industries and academic institutions. We’ve wanted to uncover and employ any exciting new developments in coatings technology that would reduce the need for maintenance. In short, we want what we optimistically call “a self-cleaning roof.” One that reduces the risk and cost of maintenance to homeowners, while also extending the design life the product.

Nano-coatings is a bit of a buzzword at the moment, but there is no doubt that there is a lot of work going on in this space. While we were exploring in this field, one particular technique caught our eye. Our innovation centre took this initiative to the University of Auckland’s Biocide Toolbox Research team for comment. Collectively, we ran a series of workshops to develop possible strategies to achieve a new solution, and we were very excited by the concept. So we took action and approached Callaghan Innovation, the Government’s science and research funding agency.

As a result, we are delighted to announce that, in collaboration with Fletcher Building’s Innovation unit, Fletcher Steel and the UoA’s Biocide Toolbox have been successful in gaining funding support from Callaghan Innovation. This co-funding between Fletcher Building and Callaghan Innovation will support a PhD student at the Biocide Toolbox to work full-time on this issue for the next 3 years to investigate what could be a revolutionary new way for us to coat roofs.

We are also fortunate to have attracted the skills of a talented researcher in Lakashini Dilesha, who started to work on this project this month. We warmly welcome her to the Fletcher Steel family.

As a leader in the industry, Fletcher Steel strives to bring world’s best technology to the New Zealand market, and we believe that the official launch of this project will bring us the next milestone in the history.


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