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What is building paper?

Building Papers have been available for many years and are used in a wide range of primarily end-user defined applications. The term 'building paper' means different things to different people, but generally the accepted meaning is with reference to BS 1521 and BS 4016 papers, used primarily within the construction and temporary protection markets.

The BS 1521 grades are normally taken to be A1F, B1F and B2, or variants thereof (see below).

The BS 4016 grade is just one product, the BS 4016 Type 2 Blue Breather Paper.

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BS 1521 Building Papers

These types of building papers have been available for many years, and are a general or generic range of building membranes. Although over the years a number of typical uses for these products have been developed by a wide range of different customers, the BS 1521 specification does not define usage in any way, as it is purely a technical document. This situation clearly differs from, for example, roof breather membranes, which have been designed with a particular application in mind.

Typical uses for this product range include:

  • Cladding underlay in uninsulated buildings, eg shed lining
  • Vapour check within insulated structures
  • Separation layer
  • Flat lead roofing underlay
  • Temporary protection
  • Timber floor DPM
Due to the variety of potential uses of this highly adaptable product range, we can often only give general guidance, rather than defined recommendations within specific projects.

Only the standard A1F or A1F variants may be used in applications which are termed permanent. All other building paper products are normally only suitable for temporary applications.

Our full BS 1521 product range is:
A1F - Standard grade
Polybit - PE-coated variant of A1F
FF1 - Aluminium foil-faced variant of A1F
Building Paper Breather Membranes VCL Shed Lining Gas Barriers Temporary Protection Tapes Rust Inhibitor Specials
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