Installed across the pitched roofs of two new apartment buildings in Castle Lane – a mixed use development overlooking the historic Swansea Castle, SSQ’s Del Carmen Ultra slate has helped to create an impressive look and feel that is also in keeping with conservation requirements.
With the local planning authorities stating a strict need for natural slate to be used, as artificial slate would not meet heritage guidelines, SSQ’s Del Carmen Ultra was the perfect fit.
Having been used on previous projects where the need to meet heritage standards was of primary importance, Del Carmen was ideal. Julian Morgan from Holder Mathias Architects agreed: “SSQ proactively supplied samples and photographs from previous installations to help assist us in discussions with the local planning authority. This ultimately led to the specification of SSQ’s Del Carmen Ultra slate as it made it easier to prove that it met these very important requirements,”
“Castle Lane is located within a conservation area – immediately adjacent to Swansea Castle, which is Grade I listed and Scheduled Ancient Monument. Whilst heritage acceptance was obviously very important, we needed to be sure that chosen materials would not look out of place with the surrounding architecture. SSQ’s Del Carmen blends in beautifully with the look of the landscape and complements the apartment buildings perfectly.”
She continued: “Considering aesthetics, SSQ’s Del Carmen offers a look that is similar to that found with Welsh slate but with added benefits – not only is it available at a significantly lower cost, it is incredibly durable, having undergone significant testing prior to being supplied. These points coupled with the impressive 100-year guarantee made the choice an easy one.”
From a quality perspective, SSQ’s Del Carmen Ultra slate is also tested to NF228 standards – a strict quality standard introduced in France which tests for water absorption levels, flexural and transversal strengths, density and the carbonate and non carbonate content. This independent testing procedure ensures that NF certified slates will not rust or leach and importantly, will not fade over time.
Whilst this standard is not obligatory within the UK market, taking it into account does help to ensure that any slates supplied are of a better quality since they will have been subjected to a more rigorous testing process. Whereas CE certification only states what results were achieved, the NF mark indicates that the slate has actually passed the criteria of a Pass/Fail test, helping to further ensure better quality slate in the process.
Using slates that are NF228 certified ensures a greater quality of slate and also provides a much better level of traceability. In fact, every pallet of NF 228 certified slate is stamped with the NF mark meaning it can be thoroughly traced throughout the process.