Metrotile Lightweight Roofing – Ideal for Offsite & Modular Construction

Modular homes

We, the residents of the United Kingdom, have been here before. Unfortunately housing shortages are nothing new. A well known example of a UK housing crisis would be post World War II, when the Government of the day began to invest in non-traditional housing types – also known to many somewhat disparagingly as ‘prefabs’ – such as Cornish Units or BISFs.

Today, we’re fortunate enough to not be rebuilding a post-war country yet tales of a housing crisis have been commonplace in the news for years. There are many reasons: generally building is unable to keep up with need and house prices are constantly on the increase pricing many out of getting on to the housing ladder. People are living longer and holding on to family homes for longer as a result, and less people are living in the average house than the approx five household members from around 70 years ago.

One of the touted solutions to this crisis is not dissimilar than the easy-to-erect prefabs from years ago – modular housebuilding. Full homes, built off-site then trucked to location, installed and plugged into the grid. Given that prefab homes were supposed to be a temporary solution and many still stand, consider the potential of a similar concept with today’s technology and engineering.

Modular Housebuilding: The Benefits

Design, engineering and materials have all evolved since the inception of the prefab home. Modular/offsite housebuilding has now moved things forward and homes – and many other building types –  can be fabricated using controlled methods in a factory to construct modules that can be delivered to site or as a complete home.

This speed of building can rapidly decrease the shortage of affordable homes on the market. Instead of 6-8 months for a traditional build home, modular can be completed from start to finish in just 8 weeks, due to  these homes being both modular and of lightweight construction.

Highly secure yet just one seventh of the weight of ‘traditional’ roofing materials such as slate or clay, Metrotile Lightweight SteelRoofing tiles are the ideal roofing solution for the modular and offsite marketplace. The company now has a constantly-expanding range of 14 different profiles with development ongoing for new profiles to meet the market’s requirements. All tiles are manufactured in 0.4 steel from Metrotile Lightweight Roofing’s manufacturing plant ensuring high quality of production and control on materials all the way through the manufacturing process.

All the tiles can come with a stone and acrylic glaze coating which gives the tile stunning aesthetics and also soundproofing, so a Metrotile lightweight steel roof has the same decibel rating as a concrete tile. We can manufacture tiles in any RAL colour to meet other requirements and have a soundproof backing to ensure we still have the decibel rating.

A lightweight steel  tile has many advantages against traditional tiles:

  • Up to 1/7ththe weight of a concrete tile, reducing the requirement the amount of structural supports required and trusses can be spanned at 1200mm centres if required.
  • Speed of installation up to 3 times quicker than traditional tiles, Cutting back on programme time and saving on labour.
  • All the profiles have a BBA certification.
  • Fire Rated to 90 minutes.
  • Profiles can be installed down to a minimum pitch of 10 degrees, allowing the roof to be shallower and also making a cost saving on materials.
  • All tiles can be mechanically fixed down allowing for the tiles to be transported on the roof to site so allowing for less work on site to make the roof watertight.
  • Metrotile roofs have a  40 year manufacturer’s warranty.

Metrotile Lightweight Roofing has already been able to work closely with some of the Modular Housebuilders and come up with a roofing solution and specification to help them with the design of the roofs. We are always looking to evolve our services and have now a full BIM library available for architects/developers to use and help them with their designs long before the homes go into production.

As a company Metrotile does not limit itself to the manufacturer of roofing materials:  involvement with the design, the technical and thermal calculations, pitch of the roof and water drainage is also an essential component of the Metrotile Lightweight Roofing service package.

Metrotile is constantly moving forward with designs such as PV panels that can be installed onto the roof in the factory or on site or even retrofitted on a roof completed in the past. We can provide companies with designs, KWH , inverters and battery packs per individual house or as a whole estate requirement ie back to the grid. Metrotile even works with Local Authorities to ensure the preservation of wildlife such as bats, designing the details for wildlife preservation-friendly roof designs.

Furthermore, Metrotile supplies a full condensation risk analysis and interstitial condensation calculation for all roof system build ups and free take off for Metrotile products tailored to individual roof requirements.

If you are a modular/offsite construction company looking for the ideal pitched roofing solution for your project, contact Metrotile via 01249 658514 Mon-Fri, or via our website We already have a portfolio of industry clients including Ilke Homes, Cygnus Homes, Quantum Evolution, Modularize, Lesko Modular, Totally Modular and Durham Modular, ensuring we are ready to meet the requirements of your project.

*this editorial was previously published in the May 2019 edition of HA Magazine