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Are breathable roof membranes bad news for bats?
Are breathable roof membranes bad news for bats?
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Breathable roofing membranes are probably not the first thing that spring to mind when someone mentions bats. Yet as the built environment sector strives to become more sustainable, breathable membranes are being employed in roof spaces, with the joint aims of reducing heat loss and combating condensation - some of these roof spaces are home to roosting bats. Little is known about the impact these membranes have on bats or even the effects bats could have on the membranes. Stacey Waring reports.

This is a three page article. First published in June 2010

When bats and breathable roofing membranes come together, anecdotal evidence suggests it may not end well for either party. There have been some reports of bats becoming entangled in membranes and damage to membranes caused by bats, but it is not understood how often either situation occurs, because there has been little scientific work on the issue. So a new collaborative, four-year research partnership between the School of Construction Management and Engineering at the University of Reading and the Bat Conservation Trust (BCT) sets out to provide a better understanding of the interactions between bats and breathable roof membranes. This project is also guided with the help of...

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