Every now and then you come across a product that is proven and adopted around certain parts of the world yet for some reason hasn’t made its way to our southern shores.
RapidRidge is one such product that fits the above scenario perfectly. In a country that experiences extreme weather – in summer power stations fail to keep up with the power demand from air conditioning systems running over time around the country. What if there was a product that could reduce cooling related electricity costs by up to 40 percent! Welcome, RapidRidge.
RapidRidge is an innovative mechanically fixed dry ridge and hip system that facilitates a natural cooling passive system across the whole roof to reduce heat transfer through the roof and ceiling into the living space.
RapidRidge Dry Ridge System with Ventilation is a brand-new concept in Australia. Although widely used throughout Europe for many years, in Australia we have not yet moved away from the traditional ‘wet’ method of mortar and pointing for securing ridge caps. This mortar and pointing method is messy, time-consuming, need several visits to complete and is a nightmare to repair and color match. RapidRidge is a mechanically fixed system, which is a more reliable installation method compared with the traditional mortar fixing.
Test 1: Installation
Any product that reduces mess by removing the wet aspect of mortar and pointing and significantly reduces installation time has to be a win for the builder or roofer. Australia can be a little slow to adopt innovations, but after seeing firsthand how easy it was to install the RapidRidge system, I have no doubt this product will take off in Australia.
The installation of the Ridge Cap System starts by installing the Eaves Comb filler, which sits on the eaves board under the last course of tiles and allows the air to continually circulate up under the tiles. This continuous circulating air prevents heat from the tiles radiating through the roof.
The next stage is installing the batten holder, which allows easy fixing of the ridge and hip batten and is designed to withstand a wind uplift load of 800 N/m. It can be bent and split by hand to suit various heights and rafter alignment.
UV stabilised fleece is then placed over the ridge with up to 50 per cent stretch for ease of installation and butyl strips for adhesion. Using an advanced labyrinth technology, the fire-resistant fleece allows air to be released but keeps the roof ridge weather tight (tested by CSIRO Aus/NZ 4046.9 ‘Dynamic Weather Resistance’).
Last but not least the ridge clips have been designed especially for the Australian market to fit the most common roof tile profiles. Each ridge cap is held securely in place with the clip to the ridge batten.
It has been timed and tested that installation of this system takes 50 per cent less time than the traditional Australian method of mortar and pointing.
Test 2: Efficiency
This system has been developed and perfected in Europe over many years. Some of the benefits include roof ventilation with a maintenance-free passive system.
Tests have shown cooling energy savings of up to 43 per cent by incorporating world’s best roof building practices for long-lasting functionality.
The dry installation technique is 50 per cent quicker to install reducing labour costs significantly. The first visit, to apply the mortar and then let it dry or cure for over 24hrs and then go back to site on the second visit and apply the pointing. Last but not least this system removes the need for roof penetrations for whirlybirds and alike, taking away any risk of leaks from roof penetrations.
This product has the potential to have a significant impact on the Australian building market. As much as we Australians can be a little slow to adopt innovations when it comes to energy, the environment and reducing our footprint, we are becoming more and more on the front foot. As far as I can see there is no reason why this product won’t kick some serious goals here in Australia. Another valuable point worth mentioning is that independent testing has supported that the system can provide up to half a star for Basix. This is the second seriously innovative product brought to the Australian market by Evo Building Products who also bought Wakaflex lead-free flexible flashings to Australia back in the early 2000s. Evo Building Product’s lead-free flashing is the most comprehensive range available in the Australian market today – these guys are here to stay and they mean business!