the roof is falling!

The tile roofs atop Sydney houses are too flimsy and unable to withstand the onslaught of a summer storm season, new research has found.

And, if climate change proponents are correct, the problem could get worse, with hailstorms of greater intensity and regularity wreaking untold property damage.

Professor Alan Jeary, a structural design specialist from the University of Western Sydney’s school of engineering, issued a warning at the start of this year’s summer storm season that hail damage had been largely ignored by regulators, builders and manufacturers.

Insurance Council of Australia chief executive Karl Sullivan said the once-in-a-generation review was an opportunity to change the mindset that building standards was only about protecting lives.

Mr Sullivan said making properties more durable and resilient also was required in the face of challenges raised by climate change.

He said tougher buildings would lead to a small increase in construction costs, which would be offset by lower routine maintenance and lower repair bills after naturally occurring hazard events.

Sydney Morning Herald, 7 Dec 2008