Raise the Roof Visits ROCKWOOL

THE ROOFING PROFESSIONALS diversity group, Raise the Roof enjoyed its first in-person meeting of the year with lunch and a tour of ROCKWOOL’s south Wales insulation manufacturing facility on 14 March.

Over lunch, ROCKWOOL Technical Director, Marianne Davies delivered a fascinating account of her career in engineering roles as a woman.

Challenging gender stereotypes Marianne has led all-male teams of 50 and her career included entering a male-focused culture at Port Talbot where women numbered just 5% of the workforce at that time.

She spoke of the drivers for cultural change in industry and the strategies she’s developed to build her own confidence and that of the women in her team.


Touring the ROCKWOOL facility floor, Raise the Roof members learned how stonewool insulation is manufactured at the site.

From the individual characteristics of volcanic rock sourced from various quarries, to the heating and blowing process that extrudes the stonewool fibres into a useable form, the group heard how ROCKWOOL’s three production lines are kept busy.

The group’s tour followed the manufacturing process starting at the furnace that heats the rock to 14400C, blowing it like candy floss onto a roller. From here, the stonewool fibres are bonded into layers (for roofing end use), and cured, before being cut and packaged ready for despatch.

Learning of ROCKWOOL’s non-combustible insulation, the Group heard how annual output has doubled since Grenfell. Attendees also heard described the process involving ‘Bertha’, the machine which recycles ROCKWOOL insulation back into production, making up about 40% of output.

Raise the Roof

After the tour, Raise the Roof group leaders, Kate Whatley, MD of SPV Special Projects (part of the Phoenix Consortia) and Denise Cherry, Chair of the National Roof Training Group celebrated the growth in group membership.

The group not only celebrated its 50th member (Kirsty Sewell, Business Development coordinator at SIG Building Solutions), but marked its total membership reaching 60. It has now set a target of 100 members this year and looks forward to welcoming all across the UK roofing sector.

With goals to educate, inspire and support its members, plans for further roofing sector manufacturer visits and attending various events were discussed. Up next, the group is hosting a table for members at the UK Roofing Awards in London on 10 May.

For more information email info@raisetheroof.org.uk

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