Understanding - BSEN 12588:2006

Rolled Lead Sheet for building purposes

Manufactured to BS EN 12588:2006 – the status of a British Standard as published by the BSI.

“The performance of a building element made with these products depends not only on the properties of the product as it is required by the standard, but also on the design and quality of the fabrication of the building element and on the design, construction and behaviour of the part of the building concerned in relation to the environment and conditions of use."


(source: BSEN 12588:2006)

  Metric   Imperial (equivalent)
Colour code Nominal thickness (mm)
Green 1.25 to 1.32
Yellow 1.50 to 1.59
Blue 1.75 to 1.80
Red 2.00 to 2.24
Black 2.50 to 2.65
White 3.00 to 3.15
Orange 3.50 to 3.55
Note: The thickness given are used in practice

General overview of 12588:

  • For use intended for roofs, flashings, weatherings, claddings, pre-formed panels, damp-proof courses and similar building work. 
  • The selection of a products thickness shall be determined by building practices, installation techniques and national custom and practice. For use in line with national codes of practice. 
  • For building and construction purposes a thickness less than 1.25 mm for any application is not recommended. 
  • Thicknesses not included in the above table may be agreed between the Manufacturer and the Customer.
  • The Colour Codes given in this table are used on the label or product to designate the thickness of the product with a nominal thickness shown in millimeters.
  • The material number is not a part of the product designation because 12588 standard contains only one material.

Tolerances as specified within 12588...



The length, width and thickness, 'agreed between the purchaser and the supplier', within the following limits:

  • Thickness: up to and including 6 mm
  • Width: from 100 mm up to and including 2500 mm
  • Length: up to and including 12 m in coiled form



  • Thickness - maximum deviation from the ordered nominal thickness, not to exceed ± 5 %.
  • Width - maximum deviation from the ordered nominal width, not to exceed ± 5 mm.
  • Length - maximum deviation from the ordered nominal length shall not exceed 50 mm.


Surface condition


The surface shall be smooth, free from holes, cracks, dross inclusions and laminations.


Note: Lead sheet sourced from different suppliers may present a different surface appearance.


Note: To Abbey Metals 'smooth' means BARMARK FREE.

How to specify:


Example:  Lead Sheet   BSEN 12588   1.25

  • Denomination = Lead Sheet
  • Number of BSEN standard = 12588
  • Nominal thickness in millimeters = 1.25


How to order:


Example: Ordering details for 10 pieces lead sheet in accordance with 12588, nominal thickness 2.00 mm, nominal width 1000 mm, nominal length 3.0 m, delivered in coils:


10 pieces Lead sheet to 12588:

  • Red Code
  • Nominal thickness 2.00 mm
  • Nominal width 1 000 mm
  • Nominal length 3.0 m
  • Rolls


Note: BSI — British Standards Institution: BSI is the independent national body responsible for preparing British Standards. It presents the UK view on standards at the international level. It is incorporated by Royal Charter.


Note: BSEN 12588 was given the status of a national standard with all conflicting national standards withdrawn no later than June 2007.