Inverted roofs are making a big impact in the construction industry, offering a new take on traditional roofing systems. You might have heard them referred to as the “upside-down revolution” and for a good reason. These innovative roofs, which are popular in Europe, Canada, and the United States, are turning the conventional warm roof on its head.

Picture this: instead of placing insulation below the waterproofing layer, inverted roofs flip the script. The waterproofing layer is bonded directly to the roof deck, with insulation on top.

Why do we rate them so much? Well, for starters, inverted roofs provide far greater protection for the waterproofing membrane. By shielding it from mechanical damage, UV radiation, and other environmental conditions, inverted roofs last up to three times longer than conventional systems, translating into lower maintenance costs.

Inverted roofs are a cost-effective and time-saving solution, particularly for roof terraces, podiums, and areas with high foot traffic. Their robust properties makes them ideal for flat roof construction, providing thermal stability. They’re highly resistant to extreme temperatures and weather conditions, ensuring year-round performance in even the harshest New Zealand winters. And installation can continue during bad weather which means fewer disruptions in the construction process.

In addition to durability and energy efficiency, inverted roofs offer improved sound insulation, enhanced fire protection, and aesthetic appeal. They seamlessly integrate with green building initiatives, promoting sustainability and biodiversity.

As the demand for sustainable building solutions grows, inverted roofs are set to become the preferred choice for building owners and architects. They’re increasingly used in urban developments for green and blue roofs, addressing the growing demand for additional living spaces.

Reasons to choose a Neuchâtel Permatec Inverted Roof System:

  • CodeMark certified.
  • Less susceptible to extreme temperatures.
  • Simple, robust detailing – easy specification.
  • Outstanding durability – lasts for the design time of the building.
  • Less waste to control and dispose of – zero waste packaging.
  • Easily recyclable.
  • Rapid setting, easily joined and rejoined, ideal for staged developments.
  • Superior external fire rating.
  • Protection of waterproofing membrane.
  • Conventional vapour barriers not required.
  • Insulation can be removed for easy access.
  • Insulation & ballast work can continue even in bad weather.
  • And last but not least, they’re a cost effective solution – no need to ‘tent’ the site during construction!

Neuchâtel, a leading supplier of inverted roof solutions in New Zealand, offers a CodeMark certified range of high-quality systems backed by an expert technical team, on-site supervision. and a 20-year warranty. The Neuchâtel Permatec waterproofing system provides unparalleled durability, along with IKO enertherm XPS insulation ensures outstanding energy efficiency and moisture resistance.

The benefits of inverted roofs signify a step towards a greener, more resilient future for the built environment. To find out more, contact Neuchâtel’s technical team at

Neuchâtel Permatec Inverted Ballasted Roof System at Te Uru Apartments, Hobsonville Point

A History of Inverted Roofs

The history of inverted roofs traces back centuries, with early examples found in Scandinavia. Modern inverted roofs gained prominence in the mid-20th century, with notable installations like the Florida State University Student Union Building. Over time, they’ve become increasingly popular for their durability, energy efficiency, and environmental benefits. Inverted roofs grace prominent landmarks like London’s Shard, Battersea Power Station and even Edinburgh Castle.

Inverted roofs have a rich historical lineage dating back centuries. While their current popularity stems from their remarkable benefits in contemporary architecture, their origins tell a tale of innovation and adaptation to environmental challenges.

Historically, inverted roofs were not a novelty but a necessity, particularly in regions prone to harsh weather conditions. Early examples of inverted roofs can be traced back to Scandinavia in the 9th century. These roofs, typically constructed with turf or sod laid over a layer of wood or stone, provided insulation and protection from the elements. The weight of the material helped keep the roof intact, making it an ideal solution for the region’s climate.

Today, inverted roofs are celebrated for their durability, energy efficiency, and environmental benefits. They offer a versatile solution for modern architectural challenges, seamlessly integrating with green building initiatives and promoting sustainable urban development.

In conclusion, while inverted roofs may seem like a contemporary innovation, their roots run deep in history. As the construction industry embraces sustainable practices, inverted roofs stand as a testament to the enduring legacy of adaptive architecture and environmental stewardship.

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