Bermudian Engineers Introduce “Slate 2.0″

November 26, 2019

Bermudian structural engineers Philip Mason and Kelly Harris are introducing their new product, Slate 2.0, which they said is a “sustainable alternative to quarried limestone slate for roofs.”

A spokesperson said, “Bermudian structural engineers Philip Mason and Kelly Harris have developed a sustainable alternative to quarried limestone slate for roofs – “Slate 2.0”.

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“After 5 years of research, development and testing they have perfected and patented the formulation for their new product. Slate 2.0 is approved for use on local roofs and can be made here on the island using up to 75% of locally available recycled materials. The two structural engineers started looking into alternatives to quarried slate soon after Hurricane Gonzalo. ”

“We had a client who had to wait more than 3 months after Gonzalo for enough slate to be quarried before they could repair their roof,” said Mr. Mason. “Traditionally quarried slate simply cannot meet the demand for post hurricane repairs. In addition, the quality of stone can be so varied that there is a lot of abortive effort in trying to maintain a consistent supply.”

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“Slate 2.0 has been specifically designed for Bermuda roofs. It is exactly the same size and weight as limestone slate, cuts and lays like stone and can be cement washed and top coated just like traditional slate, but has one clear advantage, it can be made indoors and stockpiled in large quantities.

“It’s also durable and can be handled without breakage,” said Mr. Mason. “You can lose up to 20% of limestone slate by the time it gets manhandled and up on your roof. Slate 2.0 can be palletized and easily delivered intact up to the roof. “

“Slate roofs are a ballast type roof resisting the uplift forces from high winds simply by the sheer weight of the material,” explained Mr. Harris.

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“Slate 2.0 is also designed as a ballast type product but is made with a slotted hole for additional anchorage using stainless steel screws and large polypropylene washers. The new slate product has been independently tested and proven to be stronger and more durable than other slate products. When installed with the additional screws it will result in a roof with exceptional strength and resistance to uplift.

“It’s not uncommon now to see several Category 4-5 hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin each season. Climate change is having a direct impact on the size, speed and strength of hurricanes and it’s only a question of time before Bermuda sustains significant damage from a slow moving, powerful storm.

“Hurricane Humberto was a Cat 3 storm with its closest point 75 miles to the north of us, yet still there were reports of up to 600 homes with roof slate damage. Mr. Mason estimates that there are over 20,000 homes with slate roofs in Bermuda.

“If only 25% of those homes sustain slate loss of say 200 sq ft that would result in an instant demand for well over one million slate for repairs. There’s simply no way natural quarried slate can meet that demand. Add in schools, churches and commercial buildings and it soon becomes clear that we need to be better prepared.

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“Slate 2.0 can be manufactured in Bermuda and stockpiled for emergency, post hurricane repairs. Our product actually increases in strength with age and it can be made 24-7, indoors and stacked 3 pallets high,” said Mr. Mason.

“Our patented formulation uses recycled glass in the mix. An average sized home of say 1800 sq ft would utilise over 16,000 glass bottles and lock them away in roof slate for the next 100 years. We can now truly recycle our crushed glass, turning it into something valuable that every Bermudian can appreciate – roof slate.”

“We should be prepared for an increasing level of post hurricane repairs. It’s a source of pride that Bermudians have always been self sufficient when it comes to building strong homes with locally available materials and using our roofs to harvest and store rainwater.

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“Our roof structures fulfill a vital and basic human need to feel safe and secure in our own homes. We should continue to be forward thinking and have a plan in place to ensure that we don’t have to go cap-in-hand for outside help to rebuild after a hurricane,” said Mr. Mason.

“The two engineers have a pilot batch of Slate 2.0 ready for a trial installation and have identified a small local roof in Paget that sustained some damage. Mason and Associates Ltd are looking to license the exclusive rights to their patented formulation to a qualified local company or co-op of Bermudian contractors who want to start manufacturing the product and making it available in Bermuda.

“If you’d like to learn more about Slate 2.0 visit or contact Mr. Mason or Mr. Harris directly at Mason and Associates Ltd on 292-1327.”

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Comments (15)

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  1. Mike Hind says:

    Brilliant! Well done!

  2. Quinton B Butterfield says:

    Thanks for your innovation Philip Mason and Kelly Harris!!

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    A great achievement for 2 Bermudian engineers.

    Now, how fast can you start shipping to The Bahamas?

  4. Charles Dunstan says:

    Well Done Phil and Kelly. Bermudian ingenuity at its best! Looking forward to trying out the new product.

  5. Wahoo says:

    Well done you guys!

  6. Real Deal says:

    good. what else are they working on?

  7. Cory Powell says:

    Sustainable Slate 2.0. Bermudian Engineered, Sourced
    & Built. Congrats Phil and Kelly.

  8. JohnnyB says:

    I polish off about 16,000 Heinekens over Cup Match, just in time for hurricane season. Is there a discount for providing the bottles?

  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Excellent but the big question is, what is the cost vs traditional slate. Also believe that every home owner should have some slate on hand for storm damage.

  10. Price says:

    What is the price of the slate 2.0? There is nothing on their website also.

    • Stunty says:

      There won’t be a price yet. From the article, they are looking for a manufacturer.

  11. David Johnson says:

    Inspired thinking. Well done gents.

  12. Hannah Collins says:

    Slate 2.0 – “Made from 75% locally available recycled materials” – WOW. this is an amazing innovation. Congratulations!

  13. Gordon Ness says:

    Well done guys..! Solving a problem that has plagued the island for years..!
    Best of luck with this initiative.

  14. Pangaea says:

    The Bermuda Coral Slate Roof.

    We are all taught when we were younger about the big bad wolf ( Mr. “H” ) and the house made of straw.

    I am please to learn that there is an alternative to the Standard Bermuda Slate we have all been used to .

    As a temporary substitute a piece 1/2 ply wood cut to size is better than a blue drop cloth.

    If we go back in history I draw you attention to the traditional high Bermuda slate roof, there have been some more recent changes ,those change relate to the pitch or angle of the roof which today has be substantially reduced, possibly, with a view to saving money.

    ” A fools paradise for sure”.

    It is a known fact that the higher the pitch of the roof the stronger and more substantial the roof will be, but that is only part of the equation. Our for fathers knew what they were doing.

    As I see it with the lower pitched roof there is imbalanced ratio with the high pitched roof with respect to wind pressure.

    Low pitched roof say the common 7/ 12 pitch :- High wind will blow across the the roof causing a sucking or lifting effect and if the wind is strong enough will lift off the slate leaving the lumber in tact .

    e.g.: Blow across a drinking straw causing a powerful vacuum ,you can get the liquid to rise, or similar to paint spray can suction principal.

    The lower pitch roof down side is roof lumber sag ,which caused slate cracking ,you got a trampoline effect.

    High pitched roof say traditional built house 9/12 pitch or better :- High wind does two things to the higher roof.

    [1] High Wind blows across / over the roof causing a sucking effect as before .

    [2] With the added advantage of weight and pushing back down/ keeping the slate in place the roof is deemed to be in balance. very seldom do you see a high pitched church roof loose it slate.

    [3] I would also bring into question cement skimping as the cost cutting in which the slate is attached on low pitched roofs. with out the benefit of a key.

    [4]. Exceptions:-There are exceptions to hurricane wind pressure ; they are “micro bursts updrafts” and “tornado up drafts”. and thunder clap, from which the is no escape even with paladin enclosed eves.