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Breathable roofing membranes and bats: interactions, outcomes and predictions

Waring, S. D. , Essah, E. E., Gunnell, K. and Bonser, R. H. C. (2012) Breathable roofing membranes and bats: interactions, outcomes and predictions. In: BSA 2012 – Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Building Sustainability Assessment, 23-25, May 2012, Porto-Portugal.

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In order to achieve sustainability it is necessary to balance the interactions between the built and natural environment. Biodiversity plays an important part towards sustainability within the built environment, especially as the construction industry comes under increasing pressure to take ecological concerns into account. Bats constitute an important component of urban biodiversity and several species are now highly dependent on buildings, making them particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic and environmental changes. As many buildings suitable for use as bat roosts age, they often require re-roofing and traditional bituminous roofing felts are frequently being replaced with breathable roofing membranes (BRMs), which are designed to reduce condensation. Whilst the current position of bats is better in many respects than 30 years ago, new building regulations and modern materials, may substantially reduce the viability of existing roosts. At the same time building regulations require that materials be fit for purpose and with anecdotal evidence that both bats and BRMs may experience problems when the two interact, it is important to know what roost characteristics are essential for house dwelling bats and how these and BRMs may be affected. This paper reviews current literature and knowledge and considers the possible ways in which bats and BRMs may interact, how this could affect existing bat roosts within buildings and the implications for BRM service life predictions and warranties. It concludes that in order for the construction and conservation sectors to work together in solving this issue, a set of clear guidelines should be developed for use on a national level.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Technologies for Sustainable Built Environments (TSBE)
Science > School of the Built Environment > Energy and Environmental Engineering group
ID Code:29887
Additional Information:Published as ebook IBSN 9789899567160 Editors: Rogério Amoêda, Ricardo Mateus, Luís Bragança and Cristina Pinheiro

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