Tonight’s Grand Designs on Channel 4 features the Amphibious House – an innovative ‘floating’ house, the first of its kind in the UK. Here you can find out more about the zinc cladding that covers the roof and walls.


What is the Amphibious House?

The project is a private house which has been built on the banks of the Thames at Marlow in Buckinghamshire. Grand Designs follows clients Andy and Nicki Bruce and their architects Baca Architects through the build process.

The house is ‘amphibious’ in that for much of its life its sits on the ground in the normal way, but if there is flooding it is able to gently rise with the floodwater, settling back again when the floodwater recedes.

There has been a huge amount of interest in the Amphibious House, which has featured on the BBC Culture Show and in national newspapers.

Benefits of Zinc Roofing and Cladding

The house, which is relatively conventional in shape with a pitched roof, is clad on two sides and the roof with unusual diamond shaped zinc shingles.

The shingles are made with NedZink NOVA, a titanium zinc product that has a beautiful pre-weathered grey finish. The zinc was supplied by SIG Zinc and Copper and was cut to size in the UK.

Titanium zinc offers many benefits including:

  • NedZink NOVA: Chapel of Jeroen Bosch Hospital

    NedZink NOVA: Chapel of Jeroen Bosch Hospital

    Aesthetically very pleasing, especially over time

  • Naturally resistance to corrosion
  • Excellent long-life durability
  • Minimal maintenance
  • Flexible and malleable – easily fabricated into standing seam or roll cap roofing sheets as well as shingles
  • At least 95% recyclable; the original metal can be re-used without losing its properties
  • Can integrate easily with PV panels
  • Versatility in design for most roofing applications from private residences to commercial and public buildings

Amphibious House Zinc Shingles

Amphibious House Zinc Installation


Shingle Cladding on Ventilated Plywood (Typical)

Shingle Cladding on Ventilated Plywood (Typical)

Using the Zinc supplied by SIG Zinc and Copper, the shingles were manufactured and installed by Kingsley Specialist Roofing, part of the Kingsley Group based in West Sussex. Kingsley is a member of FTMRC, the Federation of Traditional Metal Roofing Contractors, who represent the leading UK specialists in metal roofing design and installation.

The shingles are typically fixed to softwood boarding or plywood using fixing clips, and installing them is a skilled business.

Typical Installation on Ventilated Plywood:
1. NedZink NOVA Shingles
2. Breather Membrane
3. 18mm WBP Plywood
4. Timber Batten
5. Breather Membrane
6. Insulation
7. Vapour Control Layer
8. Fixing Clip

Typical Nedzink Drip Detail

Typical Nedzink Drip Detail

Typical NedZink Corner Detail

Typical NedZink Corner Detail








The Reveal

Here’s a photograph of the building showing the beautiful NedZink NOVA shingles:

Amphibious Floating House Zinc Cladding

Amphibious Floating House Zinc Cladding

More Information

Read more about Zinc Roofing and Cladding in recent blog posts:

About the author – SIG Zinc and Copper Team

We are the team at SIG Zinc & Copper. We design and supply zinc, copper, aluminium and stainless steel roofing and cladding products all over the UK. We also publish blog posts! We're part of SIG Roofing. With over 120 branches nationwide, SIG Roofing is the largest supplier of roofing materials in the UK, providing our customers with impartial advice on the right roofing solution for their projects.

Registered Office: SIG Trading Limited, Adsetts House, 16 Europa View, Sheffield Business Park, Sheffield, S9 1XH. Registered in England No. 01451007 VAT No. GB 487 01733

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