John Brash & Co Ltd believes its recent achievement in securing membership of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau (CSSB) could be a tipping point that could see Western red cedar shingles increase in market share in the UK.

The company, a leading importer of Western red cedar shingles and shakes, explains that its membership will provide a conduit for greater access to a range of detailed technical information from the Canadian-based, non-profi t organisation, which champions the worldwide Certi-Label standard of quality for cedar shingles and shakes.

The company’s chairman Christian Brash says that information is the key to enabling a greater uptake and usage of western cedar shingles on a range of projects.

"We see it very clearly that customers and roofers who work with western cedar shingles regularly are massive fans – to the point that they are almost evangelical in their adoration of them," he said.

"Western cedar shingles that are used as either roof tiles or cladding create very stunning-looking buildings, and we’ve seen a range of projects from the tree house at Alnwick Castle to the social housing development at Beveridge Mews, Stepney, and the Love Pod within TV’s Big Brother house.

"But it’s equally understandable why some sections of the roofing industry shy away from using them – which is why our membership of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau will help us to champion greater usage in the UK."

The company is drawing on all the resources of the CSSB to produce installation guides and product literature that are specific for the UK to enable greater uptake on the use of western cedar shingles that originate from trees in British Columbia.

John Brash says it is happy to work with everyone – from architects to builders’ merchants – in order to promote the benefits of the roofing and cladding solution. It is especially beneficial on developments where issues such as renewability, low carbon and sustainability are factors because the Certi-Label standard is able to tick many boxes.

"Western cedar shingles have the lowest carbon footprint of widely used building materials, when designed as part of low- or zero-carbon projects," added Mr Brash. "A recent Canadian study, using the PAS 2050 methodology and a minimum 50-year service life, has shown that cedar shingles can be a net carbon sink, even after transport and manufacturing."

They are also covered by accreditations such as Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) chain of custody. Certi-Label blue label western cedar shingles carry a guarantee to be 100% clear, with no sapwood, no flat grain, no defects and 100% edge grain.

They are sourced from heartwood, which has the right balance of resins, phenols and terpenes to give the wood its natural durability and resistance to decay. John Brash said this combination enables it to offer a 40-year guarantee on the product. "We would love to see greater adoption of western cedar shingles because they are such a durable, natural product that is easy to fit and weathers beautifully," said Mr Brash.

"And through the resources made available to us via the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau, which we can in turn pass onto roofers and architects, there is a real opportunity help people to make informed choices about the benefits of using western cedar shingles.

In reality when installed they are no more expensive than clay plain tiles."