Specifier Review

Spanish natural slates fit the supermarket bill

The attractive, durable and easy to handle properties of Cembrit Duquesa natural slates have meant that a large roofing project, spanning 3,200m2, could be completed in just 14 weeks.

Following approval from East Herts Council, a disused estate has been regenerated to include a multi-million pound supermarket and maltings. The site is now home to a large ASDA store, which has brought more than 100 jobs to the local community in Ware, Hertfordshire.

Bracknell Roofing was appointed as the roofing contractor for this project by the main contractor, Mace Group.  Working closely together, the two companies specified suitable roofing materials to meet the major criterion for this project – achieving a balance between cost and quality aesthetics. Due to its attractive appearance, and cost effective benefits, Cembrit Duquesa natural slates were specified.

Approximately 40,000 500x250mm grey Duquesa slates were installed by Bracknell Roofing. The natural slates provide a striking design on the new 2000m2 mansard roof, and the existing 800m2 building, which now serves as the back of house for the main store.


“Due to the tight deadline for this project, we needed to work with a product that we are familiar with, and have confidence in,” says Peter Edwards, National Project Manager, Bracknell Roofing.

“Cembrit Duquesa slates deliver on all aspects, as they are a cost effective natural material, provide the finish that the client requires, and are easy to cut and install, which helps us when trying to complete a project quickly and effectively.”

Cembrit has a reputation for sourcing Spanish slates, and can be relied on to supply the best value and most appropriate slates for all project types. Duquesa is a high quality natural slate from Cembrit which is produced by some of the finest quarries in Spain. Regarded as one of the best Spanish natural slate brands available in the UK, it is a tough material with a smooth texture that will provide an attractive and long lasting roof covering for a wide variety of projects.


Duquesa is available in a variety of sizes to suit individual requirements.  It has a smooth, even texture, which, as well creating an attractive appearance, also aids the preservation of the finish.

The hard surface also ensures the slate can withstand the most severe weather conditions and remain unaffected by sunlight, ultraviolet light and even acid rain.  When laid correctly, Duquesa will last the lifetime of a building and is ideal for use on any major project including supermarkets, schools, city offices and prestige homes.

Duquesa slate is a tough natural material which has been tested to ensure it meets the current national standard, BS EN 12326-1:2004.  This requires detailed and regular testing of the output from every source marketed within the EU.  Cembrit ensures all its slates meet the relevant regulations, as it gives specifier’s the peace-of-mind that any product coming from Cembrit is up to standard.

For more information,  visit www.cembrit.co.uk  Follow us on Twitter at @CembritUK and Facebook at Cembrit UK.