Slated for greater things: an eco-alternative to natural slate roofing


In the hierarchy of roofing materials few products outperform natural slate for aesthetics and efficacy. On the downside, natural slate can be very costly and, as it is a stone, it can be very heavy, requiring extra structural support.

Viking EcoStar tiles are an eco-alternative to natural slate roofing, offering all of the aesthetic and performance benefits of its natural counterpart in a lightweight, sustainable package, says Viking Roofspec’s Shingle and Tile Roofing Category Manager Artur Lyalyushko.

“Designed to emulate the look of Welsh slate, EcoStar tiles are injection moulded and the range features 46 different moulds, each with a slightly different profile, which mimic the surface and edge details of natural slate. Tonal variations are also accounted for, further enhancing the aesthetic appeal and offering great flexibility of design.”

“Additionally, the Viking EcoStar system—including the timber-sarked substrate on which it is installed—is less than half the weight of slate roofing. This lighter weight, along with the added bracing of the building’s structure due to the timber sarking, means less stress on the building.”

The EcoStar range features 46 different moulds—each with a slightly different profile—which mimic the surface and edge details of natural slate.

“Natural slate is renowned for its sustainability, due in large part to its longevity, however, we still need to be mindful of the fact that it is a natural resource and, like many natural resources, there is a finite supply. Also, as citizens of Planet Earth, we have a responsibility to be as conscious of other peoples’ local environments—and the damage being done to them—as we are our own.

“That’s where products such as EcoStar step in. They fulfil people’s aesthetic requirements for the natural product and have equally impressive eco-credentials. EcoStar tiles are composed of 80 per cent post-industrial recycled rubber and plastics—including old car bumpers, door mouldings, radiator hoses and even off-cuts from the manufacture of disposable nappies. They are also 100 per cent recyclable at the end of their usable life.

“All EcoStar products come with a 50-year product warranty and we are fully confident that they will last well beyond that.”

Tonal variations are another feature of EcoStar tiles, further enhancing the aesthetic appeal and offering great flexibility of design.

The list of benefits goes on and on…

“Thanks to their rubber/plastic composition, Viking EcoStar tiles are flexible and won't warp or crack when subjected to climatic variations. Extensive testing within a Xenon-arc weathering chamber subjected EcoStar tiles to 10,000 hours at 0.70 watts/m2 and all samples were clear of any cracking, crazing or other such defect affecting service life. To put this in context, the international minimum for construction products is 5200 hours.

“Safety during catastrophic events is also a consideration. Slate, concrete and clay tiles are heavy and during an event such as an earthquake, should individual pieces work free and fall from the roof, they could potentially kill people. With EcoStar tiles being installed on a continuous timber sarked substrate, they form, arguably, the safest roof to be under during such an event. They are also highly impact resistant; providing protection against the most extreme conditions such as rain, hail and snow and have undergone testing to UL 790 standards for fire resistance,” says Artur.

“In the event that any of the tiles become damaged, they can be replaced quickly and easily without the need to remove all of the surrounding tiles.

“Because of these attributes, Viking EcoStar tiles are a practical solution for period homes and historic buildings, or for modern buildings requiring a timeless slate finish, without the expense; weight and impracticality.”

Preserving Natural Slate One Ecostar Tile At A Time Preview