The Association of the German Brick and Tile Industry describes the creations of its members in this way: "Regardless of whether brown or black, flat or sloping, with or without solar energy technology, German roof tiles can adapt as well as a chameleon. Depending on the wish of building owners or architects, their design can be adapted to the environment and can comply with various ecological and economic requirements with numerous technical features."
Discussions concerning sustainable and ecologically compatible construction are continuing to promote the demand for solar energy systems for heating drinking water and supporting heating systems. In this context, there is an increasing demand for aesthetically pleasing solutions, which fit harmoniously into new or already existing roof designs. The collector and covering frames are all too often offered as prefabricated units, which enable fast and easy installation. Flat designs and professional installation by a recognized building trade company ensure a uniform look.
The aluminium collectors on a roof can also be adapted with respect to shape and colour to the pan supports. "These can hardly be detected at the customary distance from which a roof is seen," Dieter Rosen, Technical Managing Director of the Association of the German Brick and Tile Industry in Bonn, explained the advantages of the new technology. Roof tile manufacturers also have tile accessories as part of their product range, which are designed specifically for laying the lines and attachment hooks of solar elements. The collectors even produce thermal energy from the surrounding heat of the air due to heat equalization when the sun does not shine. "That works the complete year, even at night and in winter," Mr. Rosen continued.
A lot is happening in the area of design too – and not just on Germany's roofs. Flat-sloped roofs in warm yellow or red-brown hues, actually characteristic for around the Mediterranean, represent a building style that is finding more and more fans in Germany and Central Europe too. Complete housing developments are being built in the style of the holiday regions of Spain or Greece. A current study conducted by the German Roof Centre demonstrates that more than every fifth building owner prefers a gently sloping roof.
Roofs normally have a slant of 30 degrees or more in Germany. This is due to the climate, because a lot of rain falls there and the wind often blows more strongly than in southern Europe. However, technically improved roof tiles and roofing stones also make flatter roofs possible. In addition, the size of flat roof tiles is advantageous; only seven tiles are required per square metre. This reduces the grooves in the roof area and consequently reduces work time for roofing.
You only need 7-10 tiles to cover a square metre when you use large-area tiles. Thanks to their size, the XXL roof tiles are especially interesting for architects and building owners, which are produced to be very economical and also have an innovative design. The subdued look and purist appearance of roofing with large-area tiles can be underlined with appropriate colours, e.g., in matte black hues. Clear lines and square contours create the impression of visually smooth and "light" roofs. For this reason, such roofing harmonises especially well with modern, functional building architecture.
You can find a list of the companies represented in the area of roofs/roof tiles at Bau 2011 at www.bau-muenchen.com/online-catalogue. The list is updated continually.
Additional trade information on the topic of bricks and roof tiles: www.ziegel.de