Providing a Roof for Refugees

Providing a Roof for Refugees

An innovative lightweight roofing tile from BMI made it possible to convert an old building into much-needed facilities for 500 people.

Repurposing an old structure

Plans for converting an old structure at Weeze airport in the lower Rhine region of Germany into a refugee center hit a snag when it came to the roof. The original building, a mess hall from 1949 military base, used corrugated sheet metal roofing and was not designed to support the load of standard materials.
Creating a safe, functional roof for the proposed center without rebuilding the structure’s foundation presented a critical challenge to the project architects and engineers.

Putting innovation to work

The answer was Aerlox, the latest roof tile innovation from BMI. Aerlox is made from a new lightweight concrete which makes the tile 30% lighter than traditional tile. Its strength and slim profile make it ideal for buildings whose structural engineering impose restrictions on the roof.
The frost-resistant and rainproof Aerlox tiles provided an effective, economical solution for the project team. The tiles allowed completion of the new 10,500-square meter center, with much-needed facilities for refugees, including a language school, cafeteria, childcare, youth cafe and offices.


  • An Aerlox tile weighs just 3kg compared to 4.5kg for the typical tile.
  • Aerlox tiles they have the same profile as standard BMI Doppel-S tiles and the same installation process, but impose less strain on the roofers.
  • Roofing of the refugee center was completed ahead of the two-month schedule.