Aluminium becomes a decking favourite



A manufacturer of patented aluminium open grilles has tapped into widespread demand for a more practical alternative to traditional timber decking.


Yorkshire-based neaco has received a high volume of specifications for its unique Techdek system as garden decking, sun terraces, external walkways and balcony flooring. Many architects, designers, landscaping professionals and contractors have been quick to appreciate Techdek’s advantages: the product is non-toxic, non-combustible, corrosive-free, extremely durable and easy to install without requiring hot works such as welding. A patented swage-locked construction between bars enables high structural efficiency and load-bearing capacity.

Techdek has served a wide variety of architectural uses & all products are backed by a Lifetime Guarantee.


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Thirty6 – New Thinking for The Smallest Room

Bathroom Brands launch new bathroom range designed with the British home in mind.

MyHome ™ 50cm Basin with Pedestal £105.10 shown with MyHome ™ Mini single lever basin mixer £82.76.

Despite the typical British bathroom being only six feet square or smaller, today’s bathroom remains one of the most considered spaces in home design. With new homes including two or more bathroom spaces as standard, most of which are small in dimension, builders and plumbers are actively seeking products that make the best use of available space for the homeowner. Consumer design expectations for these compact rooms is fuelled by TV programmes, magazines and brochures showcasing high design standards across the home. Understandably, homeowners want these same standards despite limitations on space.

With this in mind new bathroom brand Thirty6, launched this week, has rearticulated the bathroom with fresh thinking from design company Bluefrog. The result is MyHome™, the first instalment of a new range made for typical British bathroom spaces that will allow homeowners to stamp a unique identity in the one room where privacy is assured. MyHome™ has been designed to make the room feel more spacious whatever the size.”

Roger Cooper, Director for Thirty6, explains, “Photographing bathrooms for brochures or TV requires studio sets far larger than the usual British bathroom. In order to achieve the best from the set design, the physical spaces used never reflect real bathrooms. However, meeting a customer’s expectations in a space only 6-foot square can be achieved by innovative product design and clever room planning.”

As an example, super-thin basin rims that mean the washing area of a 50cm basin is as large as a 60cm size. Dual-flush compact toilets that have the shortest projections into the room are matched up with an elegant, slim cistern. Innovation with mini basin mixers designed to perfectly match with smaller basins and an Xofill fitting that does away with the need for bath taps, so leaving the bath rim clear of brassware. MyHome™ also includes a range of compact baths starting at just 150cm in length and a stylish range of furniture.

Close-coupled toilet, cistern and seat £255.88.

Stocked exclusively by the Plumb Center group, Thirty6 is the solution for builders, installers and plumbers who are looking for top quality, well-designed products at a highly competitive price. With availability from over 500 Plumb Center branches across the UK and Northern Ireland, Thirty6 can also be supplied by bathroom designers and retailers.

Bath/shower thermostatic combination with Xofill bath fitting, three-handle mixer and shower kit £270.42.

Roger Cooper commented “With rising house prices and space at a premium new homes will need to make small spaces seem big. This range meets the needs of housebuilders and those who are refurbishing existing buildings.”        Tel 01322 475 660             Tel 0344 292 7060


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Marshalls’ Mono Beany Wins Prestigious Innovation Award


Marshalls is proud to announce that it picked up the Innovation Award at the 2016 Mineral Products Associations (MPA) British Precast Annual Best Practice awards ceremony.

These prestigious awards are split into five categories: Innovation, Health and Safety, Project, Sustainability and Outstanding Contribution to Health and Safety, with the Innovation award acknowledging excellence within the British Precast membership, and promoting and encouraging innovation in the industry.

Marshalls beat off stiff competition from the likes of Charcon, PCE Limited, and Tarmac Building Products to scoop the award at the annual ceremony, which took place at the Marriott Hotel, Leicester.

The winning project from Marshalls was for their innovative drainage system Mono Beany, which is a combined kerb and drainage system and utilises Marshalls’ latest concrete mix technology M Tech, which is formed around a 100% recycled Polyethlene core.

Marshalls supplied 33,000 linear metres of Mono Beany over two phases of the new M1 smart motorway scheme, which was highlighted in the awards, where the challenge was to install a new infrastructure, including drainage attenuation, with minimal disruption, and to select a suitable product engineered to help the contractor meet deadlines and budget.

Alice Couldwell, Linear Drainage Product Manager, said: “We’re thrilled to win the innovation award for Mono Beany. It has been such a success for Marshalls, and has already been installed in numerous successful high profile projects.

“Winning this award is great recognition for all the hard work we have put into new product development lately. Thank you to everyone who has made Mono Beany such a success, especially the production team at our West Lane works.”

Some of the comments from the judges stated that there was “very clear innovation, but also speaks of quality of service too” and utilised a “new production technique.”

Marshalls was also shortlisted in the Innovation category for the new Pavement Design Guide by Professor John Knapton, as well as the Sustainability Award for its electronic energy action plan integration.

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Protect your wood in the sun

UV Protection Oil 425

Osmo UK, the eco-friendly wood and finishes expert has developed a finish to protect, maintain and restore exterior wood. Osmo UV-Protection-Oil has been specially designed to rejuvenate the wood, leaving it looking in top condition throughout summer months.

Protection of exterior wood is of the utmost importance as it can fade if untreated due to the extreme weather conditions. Osmo UV-Protection-Oil delays the greying process by shielding the wood against harmful UV rays, and algae and fungal decay. Additionally, the finish ensures a professional finish that will enhance and protect wood for many years to come.

“Exterior wood has to withstand harsh weathering conditions throughout the winter months and often leaves the material looking grey and tired” explains Steve Grimwood, Managing Director of Osmo UK. “UV-Protection-Oil strengthens the wood from within, allows it to breathe, moisture to evaporate and ensures a flawless finish both upon application and for many years to come.”

The full UV-Protection-Oil range consists of natural ingredients to eliminate algae and fungal decay and provide optimal protection against the sun. By absorbing into the wood, the oil allows the surface to remain healthy and elastic, preventing it from drying and becoming brittle, and will not crack, flake, peel or blister. Ideal for exterior decking, it provides a satin-matt, clear finish that not only protects the wood surface it can also enhance the natural look of the wood.

For raw wood application, two coats need to be applied, with just one required for surface renewal. Dry after just 12 hours, the environmentally friendly solution is safe to humans, animals and plants, complying with DIN 53160.

The range includes UV-Protection-Oil Clear, Cedar UV-Protection-Oil and Oak UV-Protection-Oil.

For additional information on Osmo’s range of eco-friendly wood finishes, please visit, or call 01296 481220.

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BIID contributes to new UKGBC report

Expert in sustainability in interior design and BIID affiliate, Anna Whitehead, contributed on behalf of the Institute to the latest UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) Task Group report – ‘Health and Wellbeing in Homes’. Published earlier this month, July 2016, the report is aimed at those with a role in developing, designing, delivering or managing housing, including interior designers. Using compelling evidence, the report calls for a concerted effort to focus and consider the mental, social and physical health and wellbeing of the people who occupy homes that are built and retrofitted.

“The BIID is committed to helping our members to drive sustainability and wellbeing in design, and welcomes this new report by the UKGBC,” comments Susie Rumbold, BIID President. “We are pleased to see that the report highlights the importance of addressing sustainability issues when approaching a design and build project and draws attention to the impact that design can have on the health and wellbeing of individuals. It’s important that professionals in the design, construction and property industry understand the positive effects that good design can have on individuals and their wider communities, and can utilise this knowledge when designing their projects.“

The ‘Health and Wellbeing in Homes’ report outlines how the home; both the location and the physical building, influences almost every aspect of our lives – from how well we sleep, to how often we see friends, to how safe and secure we feel. Some of the key findings and actions outlined in the document include:

  • Designers need to consider all three aspects of health and wellbeing – mental, social, and physical – equally.
  • Many design features that enhance health and wellbeing also bring positive environmental benefits.
  • Construction and property professionals have the ability to dramatically enhance the lives of the people they design and build for.
  • It’s important to engage with designers early in the development process, to undertake assessments and analysis of opportunities to promote health and wellbeing for residents.

To download the full ‘Health and Wellbeing in Homes’ report by UKGBC, please


About the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID)

Established in 1965, the BIID is the professional institute for interior designers in the UK.

The BIID’s growing national and international membership represents both the commercial and residential sectors, from heritage to cutting edge. In addition to rigorous entry requirements that assess training, experience and professionalism, the Institute requires members to continue their professional development throughout their career, ensuring their continued expertise in design process, practice and regulatory matters.

The BIID has been granted the prestigious and rare accolade of Institute status by the Minister of State. The Institute’s mission is to encourage and support creativity and competence in the field of interior design through facilitating best practice, practical professional support, development opportunities and education.

On the national stage, the BIID is a full member of the Construction Industry Council and, as a result, is now part of Government consultations to advise on new policy and legislation. Internationally, the BIID is represented on the board of the International Federation of Interior Architects and Designers. More details at

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach is thrilled with Kemper System solution

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Two of the popular rides at Blackpool Pleasure Beach have been upgraded to ensure they continue to thrill families of visitors for another generation thanks to Kemper System’s Kemperol V210 liquid waterproofing membrane.

Opened in 2000 at a cost of £15 million, indoor log flume ‘Valhalla’ is one of the 120-year-old Pleasure Beach’s most popular rides, offering visitors a thrilling Viking-themed journey.  The external façade features a ‘waterfall’ that dispenses 12,000 gallons of water per minute, splashing the covered waiting area below. It was this area of the ride that was upgraded with an overlay of Kemperol V210, a cold liquid applied waterproofing system that bonds directly to the substrate and forms a reinforced monolithic membrane that cannot delaminate and offers a BBA-accredited service life of 25 years.



Comments Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s Construction Manager, Tim Currey: “The volume of water constantly pouring on the queue shelter roof for Valhalla is far in excess of what any roof would normally have to deal with, so it needed a robust waterproofing membrane with no vulnerable seams and no risk of water penetration.”

The Kemperol V210 cold liquid resin system was applied by roofing contractor, Castle Roofing, in a single wet-on-wet process, applying resin immediately followed by a flexible reinforcement fleece and then more resin to ensure complete saturation of the fleece before the membrane was allowed to cure.

The same system was used to overlay the roof of the theme park’s Alice in Wonderland family ride, which was originally constructed in the 1950s and was suffering water ingress in some areas. Here, Castle Roofing cut out sections of the existing felt roof where it had split, filling these areas will a repair mortar made of Kemper System’s D Primer and quartz sand, before installing the Kemperol V210 system as an overlay.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Alice in Wonderland family ride

Tim adds: “The Kemperol V210 enabled the contractor to work on small sections of roof at a time and manage the programme around the operational demands of the business, while providing a robust, durable and flexible waterproofing solution.” 

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Paving the way for a luxury car manufacturer with a luxurious eye for detail


Nestled deep within the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France lies Automation Vénissieux – a huge outlet containing many world leading automotive brands and their showrooms.

In May 2016, Jaguar Land Rover opened the doors to their new showroom.  However, by March local suppliers were unable to fulfil their requirements for their resin bound paving.  In turn, they contacted SureSet and Dural.  Within weeks, both companies were able to work together to create a stunning resin bound paving complete with bespoke premium movement joints.

A luxury car manufacturer with a luxurious eye for detail

With the opening date looming for Jaguar Land Rover’s new showroom, the Architect and Developer were unable to find a suitable local resin supplier.  They had to look further afield, and in doing so turned to SureSet and Dural.

Dural quickly set to work to create the premium movement joints required for the installation.  The speckled infill had to match the SureSet natural aggregate resin bound paving – Norwegian Pearl.  Dural are able to colour match their range of expansion joints to any colour in the RAL range, and with the added speckled effect the joints would blend seamlessly with the resin bound flooring.


SureSet quickly arranged the delivery, complete with their own installation team, and completed the installation over two days at the beginning of April.  A total area of 407m2 of 6mm Norwegian Pearl had been laid over the grounds of the prestigious showroom.

The movement joints were laid at the end of the gate tracks, directly above the subfloor joints, where they provide effective stress relief and movement protection.  Here, the robust 15mm aluminium based profiles are designed to cope with heavy stresses and then distribute them evenly between the subfloor and resin bound floor covering.  The movement joints exceed BS5385 therefore Architects and Specifiers are given confidence that they are fit for purpose and will protect the integrity and aesthetics of the seamless resin bound paving.

Resin bound paving – the advantages

Resin bound paving is becoming more and more popular, covering many sectors including residential, commercial, industrial and others.  It is clear to see why.  The physical properties of the natural aggregate and resin combine to form an extremely durable surface which will give years of outstanding performance.  It is also virtually impossible for cracks or displacement, especially when used in conjunction with expansion joints.  The durability of the surface means it can withstand heavy loadings, for example cars.


In addition to the practical benefits of resin bound surfacing, the aesthetics are guaranteed for many years from UV degredation and colour discolouration.  So it will remain beautiful for many years to come.

Another advantage for resin bound surfaces is that they are fully permeable and as a result water is able to drain through the surface effectively, preventing any surface water build up.  A good quality resin bound surface will be fully compliant with the requirements of Sustainable urban Drainage Systems (SuDS), which was introduced in 2011 to better manage water run off in urban areas.

SureSet are specialists in permeable resin bound paving and have been supplying high quality resin surfacing for nearly 20 years.

For further information on Dural’s movement joints or range of flooring accessories, contact their flooring experts and they will be happy to provide further information.  High quality products are backed up by excellent, competent advice and design solutions.

Contact them today by telephone on 01924 360 110, email or refer to their website

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Keramag Design’s Citterio Collection inspires with timeless, Italian design

Keramag Design

Keramag Design’s Citterio Collection, designed by the world famous Italian architect Antonio Citterio, harmonises crisp geometric contours and organic shapes in one.

Citterio offers a sleek, timeless elegance which will appeal to a broad church of customers from high-end private properties to commercial projects.

The luxurious modular furniture, pictured in oak grey brown woodgrain with black glass fronts, complements the gentle curves of the inner washbasins and features compartmentalised storage and smooth-running soft-close drawers. The furniture is also available with the body in oak natural beige and the glass front in taupe.

The frames of the stylish illuminated mirrors match the vanity units to emphasise the crisp geometry of the furniture. Tall cabinets are available with glass fronts or open shelving, in addition to wall-hung toilets and bidets, to complete the sense of luxury.

For further information on Keramag Design visit

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Timber building is foundation for school expansion

Scotts of Thrapston

A new-build housing estate brought rising roll numbers and an urgent need for more classroom space at a village primary school near Chippenham.

Staff at Sutton Benger C of E Aided Primary School knew they needed a more permanent solution than that offered by mobile classrooms, but were also constrained by the design of the school building which left them with nowhere obvious to extend.

Leading joinery manufacturer Scotts of Thrapston was approached by the 162-pupil school to provide a new classroom.

Scotts of Thrapston

Traci Langford, finance officer at the school, said: “New housing in the village meant that we needed to provide an extra classroom to accommodate the increased pupil numbers.

“The school building, while fairly modern, doesn’t lend itself to an extension, the position of corridors and access would make it very complicated. Equally, we wanted to provide a permanent building, so a mobile classroom was not an option. The Scotts building provided the answer.”

Scotts of Thrapston

Scotts, who have been making and distributing timber products since 1920, first started creating education buildings in 2014 and like the rest of the company’s projects, Sutton Benger’s new classroom was constructed and ready for use in a matter of weeks.

Work began before the end of the summer term and the classroom was ready for the Year Six class to move in to when they started in September.

Traci added: “The builders were very good. A great deal of the work was done off-site, which does make the construction easier in a school environment, but there was a secure compound and the children were able to see the building progressing without being in any danger.

“I think many of the pupils enjoyed watching the developments and witnessing their new classroom being constructed. It was handed over to us during the summer holidays and the Year Six class started the autumn term in there in September.”

As well as a bright teaching area complete with wet zone the new building has a cloakroom, two toilets including one with access for the disabled.

Scotts offers a core range of education buildings but more often than not, provides bespoke solutions to meet its customers’ individual needs.

Philip Goldstone, Scotts of Thrapston’s business development manager, explains how the company perfectly combines traditional craftsmanship with the latest technology. He said: “Ultimately our education buildings are designed to make the best use of the space available and to provide optimum energy efficiency.

“We believe that the ideal learning environment begins with a building that inspires and motivates by its architectural form. To achieve their full potential, pupils need to feel comfortable in their environment and research has shown that acoustic conditions can have a profound impact on both children’s learning and staff performance. The feedback we have had from the pupils and the teachers who have used the new classroom is that they all enjoy their new environment.

“The Scotts design service takes into account all elements of the building design including light, ventilation, thermal comfort and acoustics. The right amount of light, both artificial and natural, is crucial. We advise on door and window positions based on a building’s orientation – avoiding light from south facing walls which can result in uncomfortable solar gain in summer and western aspects which can lead to unpleasant glare on winter afternoons.

“Space is also a huge consideration and a stand out feature of Scotts’ education buildings is the high ceilings that provide a feeling of spaciousness.

“The beauty of Scotts’ education buildings is that they can be completely tailored to suit the setting and are designed to precisely meet the end user’s specification. As well as the classroom the buildings include a lobby, cloakroom, washroom and store and we can also cater for any special needs requirements, accessibility issues or existing structures that need to be taken into consideration.”

For more information visit

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Wall to wall inspiration with MATCH panels


Rarely can we say that a new product, changes the face of interior design for professionals in the commercial world. However with MATCH, that statement is entirely true.  This new designer panel range from Vicaima removes the limitations experienced with more commonly used decorative finishes and allows limitless design possibilities with multiple applications ranging from wall panels to furniture. 


MATCH Kaleidoscope from the Lux collection

MATCH is a revolutionary decorative panel that uses innovative H2P technology and advanced production processes to create tailor-made graphic or pictorial solutions directly onto veneered and other base layers. In this way a collection of décor elements can be brought together to create synergy to a theme or chosen style, such as wall panels, integrated door systems, displays and furniture, untethering creative flair and removing the boundaries to realising unique concepts.

Depending upon the desired application, Vicaima MATCH is available in a selection of panel types with differing physical and mechanical properties, appropriate to their desired performance and covered by EN standards. These include plywood , MDF with improved resistance to fire or moisture , among others. The combination between the composition of the product and the advanced manufacturing technology used with the surface materials, allows Vicaima to achieve unparalleled results. This is perhaps particularly illustrated in the use of surfaces utilizing natural veneers, where the product is able to reproduce colors and original and unique designs to spectacular effect.

These new MATCH panels have been designed to provide a flexible answer to a broad scope of commercial project requirements with an offering that includes: choice of base materials including MDF, Superpan and Plywood; selection of surface layers and coatings, all in a choice of industry applicable dimensions. With outstanding performance, product flexibility and the ability to create a truly unique space, MATCH introduces a new level for commercial interior design. It’s the ideal inspiration for hotel and leisure applications, corporate environments, schools and public places, industry display and exhibitions together with so much more.


MATCH Acqua Triangles from the Geometric collection.

For specifiers needing a little steer to spark their imagination and who may not wish to create a totally bespoke design, MATCH also provides a wealth of stimulus with some truly creative collections. Containing 36 individual patterns within 6 contemporary and inventive themes, these include the opulence of Black Marble, the optically challenging Origami through to the traditional and authentic Portuguese Tile. 


MATCH bespoke design as used in furniture applications

For further details about how Vicaima MATCH can inspire you, technical specifications or to download a catalogue visit the Vicaima Match website today

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Unobtrusive edge protection takes off at Virgin Atlantic

Safesite has provided Virgin Atlantic with a collective roof edge protection system that ensures optimum roof top safety for maintenance and inspection teams and complies with all relevant health and safety regulations.

Located in Crawley, ‘The Base’ is one of two Virgin Atlantic buildings that house its global Headquarters in close proximity to Gatwick Airport and Crawley’s city centre.  The Base, which provides a training and technical facility for cabin crews, pilots and engineers, was built in the 70s and includes an extensive flat PVC roof split over several levels.Safesite

The building previously featured partially installed guardrails and failed demarcation systems which were deemed not fit-for-purpose. It therefore became necessary for the building to have a roof top safety upgrade comprising a complete roof protection system to enable safe access to the entire roof.

Work began in December 2015 to provide a continuous, co-ordinated roof safety system to the roof perimeter of the building and surrounding the roof lights enabling safer roof access.

Norland-based commercial property adviser, CBRE Group managed this project and contracted Safesite to specify and install a full guardrail scheme.  After removing all existing guardrails, demarcation bases and chain, Safesite installed 900 Lm raked and standard KeeGuard® systems.KeeGuard

“Once we became aware that the previous system wasn’t performing correctly, we wanted to ensure that the new system was compliant with regulations, provided a full safety solution and wasn’t obtrusive to the design of the building” says Stephen Earl, Project Manager, CBRE (Norland). “Safesite is the expert in this area, and as they can offer the full service, from site surveys to installation, it was clear that they were the right choice for this project.  The system that they have installed ticks all the boxes for us, and provides the client with the assurance that anyone accessing the roof will be safe.”

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Collaboration and Integration the Key to Success

By-line Article by Steve Thompson, Managing Director of EOS Facades

Steve Thompson

Celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, EOS Facades is a leading innovator in light gauge steel construction, specialising in the design, manufacture and supply of a wide range of light gauge steel frame solutions for the SFS facades and offsite construction sectors. Managing Director Steve Thompson shares his thoughts on why a partnership approach is essential in delivering successful projects.

“We are very much into partnering – we like to get involved right from the beginning, providing advice and guidance throughout the process. Partnerships are a core part of our business and our team strive to build excellent working relationships. Our philosophy is plain and simple – ‘do what you say you are going to do’ – which ensures we meet expectations. We offer a comprehensive expert partnering service, for conceiving, designing and manufacturing light gauge steel frame solutions for the exacting requirements of construction industry.

Working in such a project-based industry can be challenging due to the interactions taking place between many unfamiliar teams for a relatively short period of time. This can complicate an already demanding environment when it comes to communication, in which technical language and mixed skillsets are so prominent. Failure to establish clear and efficient procedures and collaborative practices across the teams can be problematic. However, when executed well, it is a great incentive for main contractors to retain project teams across numerous builds. By forming strategic alliances and good working practices – seamless collaboration can be achieved across the wider construction teams.

This approach is paying off not only in delivering highly prestigious projects, such as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, which is part of a £27 million state-of-the-art genome-sequencing hub for Genomics England and the David Attenborough Building at Cambridge University but also other projects that are smaller in scale where time restrictions are a factor and a critical path can be identified.

Lincoln Gateway_Metclad Ltd

Our ambition to become the leading player in light gauge steel frame technology has recently been accelerated following the announcement that our company has been acquired by the prominent dry construction solutions company – Siniat. Siniat manufactures drywall products and systems for partitions, ceilings, wall linings and external sheathing purposes – so there is a natural synergy between our product portfolios.

Our collaboration provides an outstanding opportunity to combine EOS Facades’ technical expertise and specialist knowledge with those of Siniat to create innovative new ‘through wall’ solutions for specifiers, designers, engineers and installers.

EOS team

It is clear that there is an imperative to improve industry performance, with increasing requirements to design and construct in a more detailed manner and at a rapid pace – these processes are reliant upon effective communication. Construction professionals must work together to steer the industry towards a more collaborative culture and through adopting a partnership approach, it can be mutually beneficial to all those involved.”

EOS Facades have worked on projects across all construction sectors, including education, healthcare, leisure, commercial and residential. Their portfolio of successfully completed projects and track record stretches back 10 years, so clients will benefit from a wealth of experience and expertise.

The EOS Facades product range includes:

  • Facade (Panels) – an innovative panel system which is fully engineered and assembled offsite in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The fully engineered framed solution is designed to accommodate the fixing of any type of facade panelling or curtain walling system.
  • Facade (Stud & Track) – bespoke system, custom-manufactured to exacting requirements to meet our client’s needs. Suitable for all types of infill panels into primary framed hot rolled Steel and In-situ concrete framed buildings.
  • Flooring System – flooring systems range from lattice beam solutions to fully panellised flooring systems. Suitable for all types of load bearing floors from intermediate separating floors to bespoke mezzanine flooring solutions.
  • Roofing System – extensive roofing range from truss and flat-to-pitch roofing systems to providing ground-breaking ‘room-in-the-roof’ solutions.
  • High Bay Walling – Can be used internally to provide single span stud walls up to 10m in a variety of sizes up to 250mm deep stud and track capability in gauges from 1.2 to 2mm thick allowing us to tailor sections to meet exact project requirements. 

  • Continuous Walling – used predominantly to maximise the internal floor area or in instances where cladding cannot incorporate horizontal deflection joints at each floor level.


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Kemperol Membranes Put Piccadilly Gate’s Roofs Back On Track

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Trend triumphs at the Business Matters Business Awards 2016


Trend Control Systems, the leading international manufacturer and supplier of state-of-the-art Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), is celebrating its success at the recent Business Matters Business Awards 2016. The company fought off stiff competition to walk away with the prestigious Manufacturing and Construction Award, which recognises the investment it has made in this element of its business, as well as the high standards it operates to. 

The Business Matters Business Awards highlight excellence within the circulation of the West Sussex County Times, Mid Sussex Times and the Crawley Observer, covering Horsham, Crawley, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill.  They are dedicated to recognising, rewarding and celebrating local businesses. Now in their fifth year, the 2016 awards event took place at the Gatwick Hilton Hotel and was hosted by Nick Wallis, BBC One Show presenter and Channel 5 reporter.

Sponsored by Sussex Chamber of Commerce, the Manufacturing and Construction Award was judged by an independent panel of individuals representing the local business community. The panel examined those enterprises that have demonstrated exceptional financial returns, innovation, strong growth and market leadership in the field of manufacturing and/or construction. Accepting the award, Alan Carter, Trend’s Research and Development Manager, said, ‘We are immensely proud of our long association with Sussex and believe that the region offers all the ingredients for business success. I am thrilled that Trend’s manufacturing and business excellence has been recognised in this way.’

As one of the area’s largest employers, Trend has a well established and highly successful apprenticeship programme, and firmly believes that the increasing popularity of building control technology offers a bright future for those wishing to work at the cutting edge of the green agenda. As such, two of its apprentices, Ryan Owner and Zak Tucker were nominated for the Young Achiever award and the company also sponsored the Training & Development Award, which is designed to acknowledge exemplary training programmes that make a real difference and saw Josh Hough, MAS Technicae ( International) Group Ltd emerge victorious.

Sue Sluce, Trend’s Learning and Development Manager, commented, ‘Trends’ Attitude Apprenticeship Scheme combines classroom based learning with on the job experience and since its launch in 2007 we have successfully helped 53 people become fully qualified, with a further 64 currently in training. We were delighted to sponsor the Training & Development Award for which the calibre of entrants was extremely high, and highlights how the Sussex region is leading the way in skills development.’

For further information please call Trend Marketing on 01403 211888 or email

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Future Energy Solutions prescribes LED lighting for Spire Healthcare’s National Distribution Centre

Formed in 2007, Spire Healthcare has grown to become the second largest provider of private healthcare in the UK. Now with a network of 38 private hospitals, 12 clinics and two specialist centres for the treatment of cancer, the organisation undertakes a wide variety of activities and offers a full range of integrated surgical, medical and diagnostic services.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable operating practices are very important to the company, with energy conservation guidelines available on Spire’s intranet for all its hospitals to minimise the amount of electricity and gas consumed. Nigel Sharp, National Engineering and Estates Manager at Spire Healthcare states, ‘As part of our ongoing process of improvement, we recognised the need to reduce our lighting related energy spend and also maintain good levels of illumination in our external car parking areas for the benefit of our staff, patients and visitors. LED technology also provides us with Health and Safety benefits with the reduction of maintenance activities at height due to the longevity of the product. So, in 2014 we began an extensive programme of upgrading 1,400 luminaires across 33 sites to light emitting diode (LED) technology.’

Firmly established as one of the world’s leading energy performance solutions providers, FES won the original tender and since then has completed two phases of the project. In order to maximise return on investment (ROI) on the designated capital expenditure (CapEx) budget, the first comprised 21 of the largest energy consuming sites, which achieved in excess of 73 per cent energy savings from a simple point-for-point replacement, while also providing 25 per cent better light output.

Future Energy Solutions

Spire Warehouse – Before

Future Energy Solutions

Spire Warehouse – After

The second phase concentrated on 12 further sites and Marcus Brodin, Commercial Director at FES, comments, ‘We calculated that Spire Healthcare will save in excess of £700,000 over a 10-year period thanks to lower energy costs, reduced maintenance, environmental tax savings related to its inclusion in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, and additional resource savings. The effect on the environment will also be significant as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be reduced by 11,928lbs per annum, mono-nitrogen oxide (NOx) will be lowered by 28lbs and sulphur dioxide (SO2) by 68lbs over the same period – this is the equivalent of four acres of forest being saved or two cars being removed from the road.’

The third phase has recently been completed and this focused on Spire Healthcare’s National Distribution Centre. Based in Droitwich, this 100,000ft² facility provides a platform to procure and supply goods and services to the company on a daily basis through its internal logistics network.

Commenting on the reasons for the change, Marcus Brodin says, ‘The importance of good quality lighting is often overlooked within warehousing and distribution based operations. This should not be the case though, as numerous studies have found that light has a profound effect on our physical and emotional health and wellbeing. Poor lighting can cause eyestrain, migraines and headaches, in addition to lethargy, irritability and poor concentration.’

There are no statutory workplace lighting levels in the UK and Regulation 8 of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations simply requires that lighting at work is ‘suitable and sufficient’. However, the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) Lighting at Work booklet (HSG 38) sets out minimum recommended safe lighting levels and the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers’ (CIBSE) offers guidelines regarding light levels required in correlation to workplace activities, stating that warehouses should have 150-200 Lux at floor level and 300 Lux in task areas.

As with the previous phases of the project, FES undertook a comprehensive a feasibility study to scope the objectives and to determine the optimal LED lighting solution for the offices, mezzanine and warehouse areas. It decided to replace 339 116W batten and 400W high bay luminaires with 59W LED battens and 178W high bay luminaires. These state-of-the-art products provide high efficacy of >110lm/W, low luminous decline, excellent colour rendering and unrivalled uniformity.

By incorporating zone based lighting sensors and daylight harvesting, this installation will achieve energy savings of over 75 per cent, with a 732kW saving per day, while providing significantly improved light levels. Also, since the rated life of the new devices are well in excess of the previous luminaires, Spire Healthcare will make a 90 per cent saving on its ongoing maintenance spend. With a 10-year gross energy saving of £338,000, the environment will benefit, with over 1,200 tonnes of CO2 saved over the duration of the business case.

The new lighting infrastructure has been given unanimous approval by those working in the facility. Spire Healthcare’s Nigel Sharp, concludes, ‘This latest installment in our LED replacement programme complements the excellent work already carried out by FES. Our initial plan was to design and deliver an optimal energy efficient scheme to replace all of our external lighting and realise an average reduction in energy consumption of 60 per cent across the 21 sites. This has been achieved and in addition, we have been able to lower energy use, save money, enhance our environmental credentials and provide a high quality lit working environment. FES has been professional, flexible, and delivered above our expectations. Marcus Brodin states that what our company offers should be catching the attention of all forward thinking companies operating in the distribution sector.’

Categories: Energy Saving, Environmental Control, Health & Safety, Healthcare Buildings, Lighting | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

City Multi helps out underneath the arches

Mitsubishi ElectricAn artisan pizza restaurant under railway arches in central Newcastle has solved the problem of summer overheating with the installation of a heat recovery VRF air conditioning system.

The Herb Garden is one of Newcastle’s quirkiest, fine food restaurants, specialising in fresh, stone baked pizzas and rustic Italian salads and sharers. The venue is also renowned for its feature lighting and is tucked away in Arch 8 of Westgate Road, just beside Central Station and Newcastle Castle Keep.

Siting a pizza oven inside a metal-clad railway arch had previously caused problems with a build-up of heat in the summer and the site had limited space for any plant, alongside restrictions on internal fittings because of the metal cladding.

“We needed a quiet, energy efficient solution that wouldn’t detract from our distinctive décor yet was able to cope all year round”, explained Ryan Darrington, the owner of the restaurant.

“There are also planning restrictions on what can be fitted to the front of the restaurant, so we had to find a solution that could be fitted in the small space at the rear”.

Tyne and Wear-based ADS Air Con Ltd, who operate throughout the UK, were called in to install a system whilst working around the restaurant’s opening hours.

“The arches are listed and owned by Network Rail and there were restrictions on the type of solution that we could install”, said David Short, Director of ADS Air Con.  “That’s why the two-pipe solution from Mitsubishi Electric has worked so well”.

A single City Multi outdoor unit has been installed in an empty space to the rear of the building and this can send simultaneous heating and cooling to the indoor units installed throughout the restaurant to maximise the efficiency of the whole system.

“City Multi units can also be installed and commissioned in different stages which meant we were able to work around opening times and keep disruption to a minimum”, added David Short. “Coupled with this is the fact that they are some of the quietest units available on the market and they can also be used to heat the restaurant in the winter”.

The arches are metal-clad to prevent water from the brickwork entering the building, so it was not possible to fix the internal air conditioning to this. The first floor VIP area in particular proved a real challenge due to the curvature of the building.

Options were proposed for low wall and cassette units however a ducted fan coil mounted on the roof of a storage room was finally selected as it offered easy installation and better air movement for the occupants.

For the ground floor restaurant, cassettes were hung from the structure for the first floor, however, it also required a unique solution that could cope with the decorative lighting and herb racks.  A ducted unit mounted on the top rack above the herbs provided a solution which didn’t affect the décor and provided comfortable air movement.

The control strategy for the system also had to be user-friendly and cost-effective. Based on those requirements, PAR-31 hard-wired controllers were used for the three control zones.  These are aesthetically pleasing, intuitive to use and offer energy saving functions along with a programmable time schedule.

“We’ve been delighted with the result and found David and his team completely professional and highly efficient”, said Ryan Darrington.  “We now have an energy efficient system that ensures our customers can enjoy their Italian experience in complete comfort regardless of the weather outside”.

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Jack Aluminium Pushes The Boundaries Of SBD

Jack Aluminium

Systems company Jack Aluminium now offers the most complete range of Q Marked PAS24 compliant aluminium doorset systems for the commercial building sector. It has invested significantly in testing to ensure that its products are Secured by Design ready, supporting fabricators and installers to meet the demand for highly secure and reliable commercial doors.

Jack Aluminium realized early on that its customers would need a suite of high usage door options to meet both Document Q and Secured by Design requirements.  Achieving SBD with a thermally approved door also ensures that fabricators can give architects and clients the higher energy efficiency demanding on new and refurbishment projects.

At the heart of the Jack Aluminium range is its successful TD68 thermal door system, the Jack Door, which offers the design options and durability needed for high traffic usage. It recently launched its largest SBD-ready thermal door, which features 1200 x 2400mm leaf, enabling one-metre clearance for wheelchair access, particularly beneficial for schools and hospitals.

The TD68 is also the basis for the TD68 Pivot Anti-Panic door and Mag Lock door, reflecting Jack Aluminium’s ability to deliver solutions for specific customer requirements.

The Anti-Panic door is designed to prevent the vulnerability which many panic and emergency doors face. With potential forced entry attempts in mind, the door includes; a striker plate which supports the lock when under attack, internal and external locking capabilities to secure the door from both sides and a lock strike plate to prevent tampering of the panic device.

The Mag Lock door is tailored to solve the problem of tampering with doors which are required to be secure at all times. It uses an automatic locking mechanism to lock as soon as it is closed, with a security pin to prevent tampering.

“We know that SBD doors are increasingly become specified as standard,” explains Jeff Pearson, Sales Director at Jack Aluminum. “This demand covers a number of commercial spaces, so it’s important that we provide a range of solutions to suit the varying needs of customers.”

Hospitals, schools, shops and places of work, all require doors which offer security and reliability. The SBD initiative aims to reduce the risk and fear of crime by providing practical defense against common crime trends. The group works with the glazing industry to ensure products can demonstrate effectiveness in preventing crime. PAS24 is the minimum door standard required for SBD compliance.

“Customers need to feel safe in the knowledge that our solutions offer security and durability. This is why we believe in the importance of testing all parts of our designs to make sure our range is PAS24 approved and ready for SBD,” added Pearson.

Jack Aluminum has been committed to testing its door systems over a number of years to achieve PAS24 approval, as well as its sister standard BS:EN 6375 that measures a door’s durability.

T: 024 7646 7449



Categories: Architecture, Commercial Buildings, Construction, Doors, Windows & Glazing, Safety & Security | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Comprehensive Schöck range meets Embassy Gardens demands


Stretching along the south bank of the Thames from Battersea to Vauxhall, the Nine Elms area in London, for so long a neglected stretch of industrial land, has become the largest development zone in Central London.   Over the next ten it will see 20,000 homes built, along with new schools, parks, cultural centres, a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Thames; and the opening of two new London Transport underground stations.

The residential and commercial heart of this huge development is Embassy Gardens, London’s new diplomatic precinct on the riverside.  It forms the backdrop to the new US Embassy, scheduled to relocate from Grosvenor Square during 2017.  The blocks are arranged around raised courtyards, with retail and commercial frontages at ground level that connect the Embassy Square, Linear Park and River Frontage through a network of streets and a central square.

There are differing building heights to minimise overshadowing and overlook and the buildings incorporate a wide array of public and amenity spaces including communal courtyards, roof gardens, private terraces and balconies.


The first release of apartments in Embassy Gardens is the Ambassador Building, which comprises six distinct cores, which house not only the residential apartments, but also a fully equipped private members club to rival the best in any international hotel.

The development has inevitably attracted a sophisticated level of residents who demand the highest standards of detail throughout these buildings; and one of the key features is the wide variety of balcony types, each governed by unit size and orientation.

OISD confirms need to minimise thermal bridging

With such a demanding specification involving different balcony types, the minimisation of any possible thermal bridging problems is crucial. This is something highlighted in research findings from the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes University.

It shows that with increasingly improved airtightness and fabric U-values in UK buildings, thermal bridge heat losses are responsible for an increasing percentage of the overall building heat loss.   It is common for thermal bridges to account for 20% – 30% of the heat loss in multi-residential units (as calculated by thermal modelling) and balcony connections can be a major contributor to the thermal bridge heat loss – if effective thermal isolation is not included in the design.    And the company able to offer the ideal range of solutions to the differing thermal connectivity demands posed by the complex balcony designs at the Ambassador Building is Schöck.

Isokorb type KS for concrete-to-steel

Verifiable performance standards and full compliance

The diverse range of Schöck Isokorb load-bearing thermal insulation products guarantees totally verifiable performance standards, meets full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations and offers BBA Certification and LABC Registration.   The specific requirements at the Ambassador Building involved firstly the Schöck Isokorb type K for concrete-to–concrete connectivity.

The type K units were incorporated into the cast in-situ cantilever balconies on the road facing external elevation; and where there was a shear force transfer element required, also involving concrete-to-concrete loggia’s or supported balconies, the Isokorb type Q was installed.  A further variation, Isokorb type K-WU units were also used as slab-to-wall thermal breaks.

Isokorb type KS for concrete-to-steel

The Isokorb type KS for concrete-to-steel were used on the internal courtyard balconies; and to assist the structural engineer in keeping the transverse beam continuous between the external columns, Schöck SLD dowels were also used to support the propped cantilever walkway externally.

In addition to providing highly effective connectivity solutions for concrete-to-concrete and concrete-to-steel thermal bridging situations, the Schöck Isokorb range also offers a modular product for steel-to-steel applications and even a maintenance free alternative to wrapped parapets.

When any Isokorb product type is incorporated into residential buildings, the required fRsi value – the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk that must be equal to or greater than 0.75 – is always comfortably met.

For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide and / or the Thermal Bridging Solutions brochure – contact the company on 01865 290 890 or visit

Categories: Architecture, Construction, Sustainable Development | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vent-Axia CPD Webinar Reveals Importance of Good Indoor Air Quality


Recent studies prove the quality of the air we breathe is critical, which is why leading British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia is to present a crucial ‘Continuous Professional Development’ CPD webinar on ‘The Future of Indoor Air Quality’. Currently, 40,000 people are dying in the UK every year due to air pollution and, if things don’t improve, it’s thought that by 2050 the number of people suffering with asthma could increase by 80% from current levels. These sobering figures come from the latest indoor air quality research and form part of Vent-Axia’s CPD webinar which will highlight the future challenges and opportunities for electricians, specifiers and end-users.

The CPD webinar hosted by Voltimum will take place at 1pm on Wednesday 20 July 2016 and will see Jenny Smith and Tom Emson, from ventilation specialists Vent-Axia, review the current issues indoor air quality is generating. The webinar will also examine the causes and consequences of poor indoor air quality in our homes and practical information on what can be done to counter this. Plus the webinar will reveal the growing awareness of the health implications associated with poor IAQ and the latest research findings.

“As new homes become more air tight and existing properties undergo energy efficiency measures to improve their insulation and air tightness, indoor air quality is an increasingly important consideration,” says Jenny Smith, Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia. “With mould and condensation a blight in many homes, our webinar will offer electricians and specifiers the latest IAQ information and includes solutions that they can offer their customers to provide good comfort in the home and peace of mind.” 

IAQ has recently come to the forefront following research on the subject by high profile organisations. The Royal College of Physicians’ report “Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution” states that around 40,000 people are dying in the UK every year due to air pollution. Exposure to indoor air pollutants such as kitchen products, faulty boilers, air fresheners and second-hand smoke further add to these figures and impact on indoor air quality. This report backs up the findings of other recent research, including “The Future of Indoor Air Quality in UK Homes and its Impact on Health”. This found that as new and refurbished homes become ever more air tight to meet the Government’s carbon emission targets for 2050, the number of people suffering with asthma could increase by 80% from current levels. This report suggests that the solution for good IAQ is continuous ventilation and, in new build homes, continuous mechanical ventilation, preferably with heat recovery (MVHR) is the most efficient and effective option.

Vent-Axia is working with Voltimum, a leading portal for the electrical industry, to provide electricians and specifiers the latest information on indoor air quality via the CPD webinar.

To access the indoor air quality CPD webinar registrar now by visiting and sign up now.

For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit

Categories: Environmental Control, Health & Safety, Heating & Ventilation | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Network VEKA and FCD to the rescue

– taking the ‘pane’ out of troublesome conservatory issue

Bury St Edmunds-based Network VEKA member Frames Conservatories Direct (FCD) has stepped in to help a new customer solve an old problem.

Local resident, Mrs White was on the verge of despair after a nearby contractor installed her a conservatory that, it soon became evident, was far from fit for purpose. Adrian Lewis, MD at FCD explains: “A conservatory with a ‘lean-to’ roof had been constructed, with a projection that was far too long to support the considerable amount of glass involved. The panes were incorrectly fitted, and were shattering as they expanded and contracted with the weather, showering poor Mrs White and the interior of the conservatory with broken glass.”



Network VEKA

Aware of the firm’s outstanding reputation, Mrs White contacted FCD to help resolve the situation.

“We were keen to start work on fixing the conservatory”, Adrian continues, “and also wanted to help the customer gain some compensation – both for the shocking standard of the installation, and the distressing and dangerous situation it had left her in.



“Network VEKA was founded in reaction to the kind of unscrupulous trader Mrs White had dealt with. It protects consumer’s interests with a series of guarantees, safeguarding their investment, even if their chosen member company should unexpectedly cease to trade. In this case, the original installation was completely unrelated to Network VEKA, but we empathized with the customer and wanted to help her regain some of the money she had invested with the previous company.

“Through our Network VEKA membership we have access to the services of Technical Consultant Don Waterworth who is trained as a Private Practice Building Surveyor and Building Engineer. He was able to work on Mrs White’s behalf to gain compensation from the original contractor and, in this case, his fee was covered through our membership, obviating any cost to the customer.

“We were pleased to fit a completely new roof, suited to the size of the conservatory, to ensure that Mrs White was able to enjoy the light and welcoming space she desired in the first place.

“At FCD, we are completely committed to quality and service – the main reason we joined Network VEKA. It instantly shows customers that ours are the highest standards. Besides replacing Mrs White’s roof, we helped ‘right a wrong’ and got our customer refunded for the original installation.”

Mrs White was delighted with the service she received and sent a letter of thanks to Don Waterworth:“I can not find the right words to express my gratitude and appreciation. ‘Thank you’ seems inadequate, but I was in despair until Adrian Lewis gave me your name and contact details, only then did I begin to have a glimmer of hope. The men from Frames Conservatories Direct were so nice and a pleasure to have in my home”.

Network VEKA, 01282 473170

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Vicaima takes centre stage at theatre inspired Porto Hotel

Vicaima coloured laminates and performance door solutionsVicaima coloured laminates and performance door solutions have been selected to take pride of place at the recently refurbished 4 star Mercure Porto Centro Hotel, close to an historic setting and UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Mercure Porto Centro Hotel, part of the Accor Hotels Group, is situated at the very heart of Porto city in Northern Portugal. 

The Mercure Porto Centro Hotel

Located in the culturally important Batalha district, the hotel has undergone a complete renovation in which inspiration has been drawn from the theatre to present unique spaces that combine the art and essence of Porto and its historic past.

To enhance the refined interior of this important leisure refurbishment, the hotel chose Olive Grey as the theme colour from Vicaima’s Dekordor HD Colours Range. 

This hard wearing continuous pressure laminate finish is ideal for such situations, affording durability and an extensive tonal range to cater for a multitude of interior design requirements.


When it came to performance, room entrances were specified to have the Vicaima Portaro door system, which creates a completely matching door and frame.  These units also afforded fire resistance to 30 minutes (FD30) and with acoustic soundproofing to 41dB. 


As a finishing flourish and to evoke the theatrical element, Vicaima were also asked to provide an integrated side panel with a built in LED strip. This custom element cast expressive ambient light and emphasized the beauty of the Vicaima door entrance system.

Vicaima Grey Portaro Door System

Vicaima Olive Grey Portaro door system at Mercure Porto Centro Hotel, Porto

Dekordor HD in Olive Grey is just one of 22 attractive and contemporary laminate colour options from this exciting and recently introduced Vicaima range.  With its easy to maintain and durable surface the product finish is ideally suited to hotels, student accommodation, medical, educational and commercial applications.

Vicaima offer an extensive range of innovative design options, with fire, acoustic and security performance.

For further details about these and other products from the many Vicaima collections, visit the Vicaima website   alternatively, call 01793 532333 for additional information.

Categories: Doors, Windows & Glazing, Interior Design | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Chelsea Flower Show – Brewin Dolphin Garden

RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing was laid to a floating pathway running through an award winning garden at Chelsea Flower Show 2016. The aggregate selection included crushed glass blends of green, blue and purple.

The Project
“Forever Freefolk” the silver medal winning garden at the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show was designed by Rosy Hardy and sponsored by Brewin Dolphin, the main contractor was Bowles Wyer. The garden is based on Freefolk, Hampshire and the high security paper-making industry supported by the River Test located near the designer’s nursery.
Ronacrete Approved Contractor, Graveltech were selected as installers of the RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing on the raised pathway that wound itself through the garden.
“I wanted a path that sparkled picking up the colours of my planting. The glass resin paving fitted the bill completely, looking great in bright sunlight and duller conditions.” Rosy Hardy, Garden Designer

Rosy Hardy’s nursery is situated on chalk downland close to the River Test which is a typical example of a chalk stream. The chalk provides an excellent filter for the water so that it is extremely pure. For this reason the water in the River Test was used by the Huguenots, when they moved to the area in the 1730s, to watermark banknotes. The Huguenots also realised the importance of preventing forgery and so ran a silver thread through the bank note, this is reflected in the garden by the stream running through it and by the resin bound pathway that follows the stream.

Visitors are led along the path through a dry chalk stream bed towards its source. The route takes them through shady, dry chalk, grassland and damp areas with appropriate plants for each landscape.

Another idea came from a picture of a fishing hut floating above the River Test, this resulted in the creation of the floating pathway running through the garden. A spherical aluminium sculpture provides the focal point of the garden and hovers above the resin bound pathway. This was inspired by how the chalk beds were formed. Coccospheres are the calcium carbonate skeletons of plankton that washed up on the seabed and form the main constituent of chalk. So a coccosphere was sculpted from aluminium and placed in the garden.

Product and Application
The RonaDeck Resin Bound surfacing was laid to the floating pathway by Hertfordshire based, RonaDeck Resin Bound Approved Contractor Graveltech. A selection of specialist aggregate blends were included that included crushed glass in green, blue and purple.



Of the 160.000 visitors attending this great British summer event, a great percentage will have visited this award winning garden and stood on the resin bound pathway to admire not only the surrounding colours but those beneath their feet.

01279 638700

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Celebrate the best in precision building design and delivery at the Offsite Awards

The Reward for Well Done Work is the Opportunity To Do More!
Celebrate the best in precision building design and delivery at the Offsite Awards
There are so many ‘glittering’ reasons for entering awards but having a good night out is not top of the list when it comes to business imperatives! With the deadline looming for the Offsite Awards on the 31 July 2016 – here are just five reasons why entering these awards is a sound business decision:
  • Taking centre stage at such a high profile event showcases your outstanding projects, innovative products or dynamic people at a national level – maximising industry exposure and creating new business opportunities.
  • Winning awards is great PR – it is the highest form of endorsement from an independent, knowledgeable and well respected peer group. Ultimately awards help shape perceptions and publically position your business as an industry innovator.
  • Reaching the finals increases credibility and through strategic selection of categories, awards can draw attention to areas of the business in which you excel.

  • Awards can open the doors to new clients, finding new supply chains and entering new markets. They are an ideal networking opportunity and by being involved, can act as a springboard to forming new business relationships.
  • Winning such an award can have a hugely positive impact on staff morale and productivity – award success is testament to good work and innovation. A big ‘pat on the back’ for all those involved and the potential to attract new talent to your business!
The Offsite Awards are now considered one of the highlights of the offsite construction calendar, where national business leaders and distinguished figures from the construction sector assemble to honour the industry’s finest.
If you have an outstanding project, innovative product and/ or dynamic people promoting excellence in offsite construction across the UK, then enter the Offsite Awards by 31 July 2016 to receive the recognition you deserve!
Or if you are interested in sponsoring this prestigious event please contact Julie Richards on: 01743 290001 or
Categories: Architecture, Construction, Events/Exhibitions, Sustainable Development | Tags: , | Leave a comment

VEKA fabricator Darwen Windows gets Secured By Design

Secured by Design

Darwen Windows, a Lancashire-based fabricator of industry-leading PVC-U window and door systems from The VEKA UK Group has announced its recent attainment of the revered Secured By Design (SBD) accreditation and British Standard PAS24 certification.

The Secured By Design initiative, established by the UK Police in 1989, aims to ‘design out crime’ by recognising companies that incorporate fail-safe security features into their windows, doors, locks and other licensed products.

Dave Connell, Works Manager at Darwen Windows explains: “To gain an SBD accreditation, a company’s products must withstand a series of rigorous physical tests – carried out by a Police-approved independent testing centre – simulating the forces that may be exerted by a potential intruder.


“We attended ERC Testing in Leigh – a brand new UK testing house, affiliated with the Glass and Glazing Federation and, therefore, well placed to assess products in our industry. Two of our windows were tested to British Standard PAS24 for security, as well as a series of weather tests to comply with BS6375. We are delighted to announce that the windows surpassed all of the test criteria.

“We have used VEKA systems since Darwen Windows was established, a little over two years ago, and our MD, Bill Ainsworth has more than three decades’ history with the Group from his former company – our predecessor – S&A Developments.

“VEKA systems have been highly instrumental in securing this attainment as, from the outset, they are designed with safety and security as priorities. We’re excited to now be able to offer PAS 24 / Secured By Design-accredited products to both our trade and consumer customers. It’s said that, to use SBD products in the average home costs only an additional £170 – a small price to pay for such peace of mind, and certain to be viewed favourably by insurance providers.”

Dave Jones, Managing Director of The VEKA UK Group commented: “Darwen Windows is a company that is proactively using VEKA systems to their fullest and optimising their offering to homeowners and installers. We congratulate them on this significant achievement and the many opportunities that will arise as a result – well done to all involved!”

VEKA plc, 01282 716611

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Brett Revives Courtyard At National Centre For Circus Arts


Brett Landscaping recently supplied over 700m2 of paving to installers Marshall K Paving Contractors Ltd for installation at the National Centre for Circus Arts in London.

The centre, which is based within a former Victorian power station in Hoxton Square, is of one Europe’s leading circus skill educators and was the training ground for performers involved in the 2012 Paralympic and Olympic opening ceremonies.  In addition, the impressive building is a sought after venue and offers a unique selection of city spaces for event hire.

Director of the Centre, Jon Dix explains:

‘One area of the building, the Courtyard, was earmarked for renovation, but due to a seven-day-a-week timetable and the area being in continual use, this had to be done within a very tight timeframe.’

The Operations Team at the National Centre, headed by Jon, investigated potential solutions at the 2015 London Home Building & Developer Show held at ExCeL in September, and discovered that Brett Landscaping, with its strong focus on customer relationships, could offer more than just the essential materials.

Brett was subsequently considered, alongside other suppliers and contractors, as part of a tendering process to select the right partner for the paving scheme.  He explains:

“After comparing a number of different paving products, all of which had their merits, the range of options we had from Brett faired strongly and provided us with an excellent starting point for the project. In addition, the service we experienced from the team was very thorough, which made our experience more than about simply ‘picking the best brick’, or ‘nicest material’, not just with Brett, but with the subcontractor too.”

“Aesthetics were a key consideration. There aren’t many Victorian power stations in the heart of London that are still standing, let alone operating with a new purpose, so we felt it imperative to re-lay and improve the Courtyard area of the circus centre as sympathetically as possible so as to do justice to the building’s impressive looks.

Jon goes on to explain how 700 m2 of Brett Aura block paving in Silver Fleck was selected to create an extremely effective Courtyard visual; however the building’s central Hoxton Square location meant more than just the right materials were needed for the job.

The area prohibits the use of articulated lorries in fulfilling deliveries, a complication which meant both supplier and installer needed the logistical capabilities to work with restricted motorised equipment, as well as the aptitude to turn the project around within two weeks, in time for a scheduled acrobatic symposium.

Jon Mathias, the Brett Approved Installer Area Manager for the South East, explains that because Brett successfully operates its own ‘Brett Approved Installer Scheme (BAI)’, it can recommend installation specialists with the right match of skills and infrastructure to accomplish every project.

“We recommended three of our BAIs to Jon Dix and his team, enabling them to receive quotes and completed work examples from each, alongside quotes from other independent contractors.”

Based on Brett Landscaping’s recommendation, installer, Marshall K Paving of Cricklewood, was selected as the most appropriate choice, and since appointment, has worked within impressive time constraints to complete what the company’s Director, Kevin Canning, has described as a ‘fantastic project in a challenging location’.  He explains:

“Owing to the vehicular constraints in the Hoxton Square area, Brett arranged special delivery of materials to the Deben Buildbase in New Southgate, from which 18 tonne flatbed deliveries to the circus centre site were made, with appropriate crane off-load at the Hoxton Square end.  This logistical process proved successful, and avoided the expensive option of closing roads around the Shoreditch area.

“Our installation team then worked to complete the Courtyard in five days, over the course of a two week time period, despite adverse weather conditions and complex parking restrictions.

“The finished result looks extremely effective and we’re delighted to have completed the project in advance of the acrobatic symposium event.”

“Being part of the BAI scheme improves standards across the board. Brett only selects hard landscaping contractors who are able to install materials to the approved British Standard, and because Brett regularly assesses our work, the benchmark remains high.

Brett supports its approved installers too, not only in helping to procure business, but to purchase equipment and publicise their services.”

Now completed, the Courtyard at the National Centre for Circus Arts is being put to use, and has a busy itinerary of event bookings to look forward to.
Jon Dix concludes: “We’re delighted with the finished Courtyard. Our objective was to revive the area with re-laid setts that were sympathetic and appropriate to the aesthetic of the building.  By working with Brett Landscaping, and Marshall K Paving, we have achieved exactly that.”

Categories: Construction, External Works, Landscape Architecture, Leisure & Recreation | Tags: , | Leave a comment

James Latham supports community project with Accoya®



James Latham has supplied a community project with Accoya – the high performance, modified and long life wood – that has transformed an abandoned, overgrown area in Bristol into a thriving pocket park designed for storytelling.

The Accoya was used to create an eye-catching piece of sculpture in the form of a snaking bench which was designed by architecture students from UWE (University of the West of England) and was made by contemporary furniture makers Ooma Design of Corsham (


Through consultation with local residents, it was decided that sharing stories is a group activity that can be enjoyed by all ages and provide a platform for communication.

Dr Rachel Sara, Associate Professor in Architecture at UWE commented, “The team wanted to create a piece of sculpture, that when placed on site, transformed the area into a space tailored for storytelling.  The sculpture is expressed as a continuous curved bench containing and sheltering a focused story circle and the seating can accommodate small groups and individuals.


“We are extremely grateful to James Latham’s depot at Yate for having supplied Accoya wood.  Accoya is an extensively proven and high performance wood and because of the modification technique that is used, it is ideal for outdoor use and challenging applications.  I know both the students and the team at Ooma Design have been really impressed with it.”

Andy Duffin, Operations Director of Lathams Limited said, “By creating this park, the team has inspired the community to engage with and maintain a unique area of green space within the urban street scape of Bedminster which otherwise would have remained an overgrown, disused space to store building waste.  We were delighted to help and to see how Accoya had been used in such and imaginative and original application.”


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Vent-Axia’s Prestigious Royal Warrant is Renewed


Sussex-based British fan manufacturer Vent-Axia, a leader in low-carbon ventilation, is delighted to announce that its prestigious Royal Warrant has been renewed. Vent-Axia was originally granted the warrant by HM the Queen in 1985 as ‘Suppliers of Unit Ventilation Equipment to the Royal Households’ and has held it ever since. The company is now celebrating having held this high status honour for over 30 years.

Royal Warrants are a mark of recognition to people or companies who have regularly supplied goods or services for at least five years to HM The Queen; HRH The Duke of Edinburgh; HRH The Prince of Wales, or their respective Households. Royal Warrants have always been regarded as a mark of excellence, quality and service and are highly prized. At present only around 800 firms hold Royal Warrants of Appointment.

We are thrilled to have our Royal Warrant renewed it is a great honour to have this recognition. The Royal Warrant is a mark of excellence which is recognised all over the World and its renewal is testament to our commitment to high quality, innovation and excellence,” said Mark Hoskins, Managing Director at Vent-Axia.

A company steeped in British heritage and innovation Vent-Axia’s is also celebrating its 80th birthday this year. Since 1936, when Joe Akester invented the world’s first electrically-operated, window fan, Vent-Axia has set the standard for ventilation.

A dynamic British manufacturer, Vent-Axia is the ventilation sector’s clear leader, chief innovator and forerunner in energy-saving ventilation. Sir Winston Churchill was one of the company’s first customers with Vent-Axia supplying ventilation for No 10 Downing Street during World War II. Continuing to fly the flag for Great Britain, the company’s innovations are now present in a wide range of landmark projects from buildings in Her Majesty’s Royal Estates to the White House.

Providing the sector’s most comprehensive choice from any single manufacturer, Vent-Axia’s range covers not just air movement and ventilation technologies but heat recovery, electric heating, cooling and hygiene products for residential, commercial, public sector and industrial applications.

Headquartered in Crawley, West Sussex, Vent-Axia continues to set the standard in controlling the flow of fresh air. From volume development to landmark projects, Vent-Axia’s solutions provide reliability and ‘fit-for-purpose’ performance. Each year the company supplies ventilation system solutions for over half a million installations across the residential, commercial and industrial sectors in the UK and around the World.

For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit

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The Offsite Construction Awards


Celebrate the best in precision building design and delivery at the Offsite Construction Awards. The Awards will reward outstanding examples of prefabrication and factory-based methods, products, systems and disciplines that increasingly strive to develop a sustainable, streamlined and cost-effective way to deliver a better built environment.

Offsite manufacture removes much of the construction process from the construction site, leading to far-reaching and vital benefits. Across key sectors of UK construction, the Awards will showcase innovation, celebrate best practice and recognise overall expertise in offsite construction through landmark projects, influential people and material and manufacturing excellence in this dynamic arena.

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No slip-ups, be it indoors or outdoors

Looking for a tile that provides a smooth finish on internal floors, but a more resistant, anti-slip finish for external ones?

The Dalby range is unique in the portfolio of products by Porcelain Wood, as it is available in two different finishes; Textured (for a hand-scraped, anti-slip finish) and Silk (offering a smoother and slightly glossier feel).

These two ranges can be combined to maintain a consistent appearance across areas that have different requirements. This would allow the running of the same wood effect tile inside your house in the Silk finish, through to an exterior balcony or patio in the Textured, ant-slip finish.

This is also ideal for bathroom or wetroom areas, where Textured tiles can be applied to the floor, complimented with a Silk finish on the walls.

Wood effect tile, anti-slip tiles, anti-slip wood effect tile, R11 wood tiles, wood tiles for outdoor use, wood effect tiles outdoors, wood effect patio tiles, wood effect decking tiles, porcelain wood patio tiles, porcelain wood decking Wood effect tile, anti-slip tiles, anti-slip wood effect tile, R11 wood tiles, wood tiles for outdoor use, wood effect tiles outdoors, wood effect patio tiles, wood effect decking tiles, porcelain wood patio tiles, porcelain wood decking

Manufactured in a range of minimal, lime washed wood grains, the Dalby (Silk) range provides a deliberately understated floor covering that echoes the aesthetic of a beach-side boardwalk.

Explore the Dalby range >>>

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Geberit helps stately home go green


Geberit Mapress Carbon Steel has been chosen for its ease of installation and no hot works credentials to install a biomass system at Saltram House, a magnificent National Trust owned Stately Home in Plymouth.

One of many National Trust premises to get a renewable makeover as part of a general drive to improve the environmental credentials of its buildings, Saltram now enjoys heating and hot water courtesy of a biomass system, consisting of 220kW and 95kW boilers fuelled by pellets. A district heating system services the main house and the majority of other buildings on the site.


The installers’ choice

“We use Geberit Mapress on 95% of our jobs,” said James Howard, from Dunster Biomass, which installed the system at Saltram House. “It’s quick to install, easy to use and reliable. The fact there’s no need for hot works makes it ideal for historic buildings.

“At Saltram House, the new biomass system had to be installed within the confines of the existing building and its heating system, while ensuring that it could be easily removed if required. Faced with narrow doorways and cramped spaces, Geberit Mapress was the ideal solution.

“The age of the building and cramped environment also meant that solder was just not an option because of the fire risk. Geberit Mapress and its press fit assembly is particularly well-suited to jobs of this nature.”

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Vent-Axia Completes the Set


Leading British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia has added the high performance Sentinel Kinetic F to its popular Lo-Carbon Sentinel Kinetic range of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) units. This latest addition means that Vent-Axia now offers a full set of MVHR solutions to meet all applications from one-bedroom apartments to light commercial projects, such as student accommodation.

Manufactured in the UK the exceptional Sentinel Kinetic range from Vent-Axia now offers MVHR options with airflow from 15l/s to 200l/s. The Sentinel Kinetic F sits in the middle of this range and offers outstanding performance for its size. It features the latest high efficiency, backward curved impeller design which provides higher flow and pressure and ensures the lowest possible energy consumption. This all adds up to the Sentinel Kinetic F being the best product in its class.

The Sentinel Kinetic F combines supply and extract ventilation in one unit. Warm, moist air is extracted from ‘wet’ rooms through ducting and passed through the heat exchanger before being exhausted outside. Fresh incoming air is preheated via the integral heat exchanger, which recovers nearly 90% of the heat that would otherwise be wasted.

The integral humidity sensor increases speed in proportion to relative humidity levels, saving energy and reducing noise. The sensor also reacts to small but rapid increases in humidity, even if the normal trigger threshold is not reached. This unique feature ensures adequate ventilation, even for the smallest wet room. The night time relative humidity setback feature suppresses nuisance tripping as humidity gradually increases with falling temperature.

The Sentinel Kinetic F also improves indoor air quality, which recent research has identified as a major health risk. It reduces excessive moisture in the air, combating condensation and potential for mould growth. These are important issues since poor indoor air quality is linked to allergic reactions, asthma and heart disease. MVHR is cited as the most cost-effective solution for achieving an air exchange rate to help protect human health, whilst still satisfying energy efficiency requirements.

The lightweight Sentinel Kinetic F also offers ease of installation since it can be mounted vertically in a roof space or with a horizontal duct option for space-saving installations. Meanwhile, the combination of spigot options allows installation in confined locations. If vertical and horizontal connection is required on the same outlet/inlet, additional spigots can be supplied offering siting flexibility. Plus the positioning of the condensate drain is also versatile. The condensate drain can be taken out through the back, side or bottom of the unit. Using the fittings supplied, the final condensate connection is made outside the unit and can be completed after installation. In addition, an integrated digital controller offers simple and accurate commissioning.

Featuring multiple plug and play control options and BMS connectivity, the Sentinel Kinetic F has sensor inputs allowing boosting from a full range of Vent-Axia controllers including humidistats, Vent-Wise and timers, as well as a wireless remote.

Switched live is available for boosting via light switches and benefits from a ‘delay on’ feature which prevents the unit boosting unnecessarily and a ‘delay off’ timer that ensures effective moisture removal. Alternatively manual boost switches are available. The unit’s BMS capability is ideal for those commercial applications where landlords or property managers want to monitor and optimise building performance and maintenance. The Kinetic BMS can provide status information and self-diagnosis for simplified fault finding.

For further information on the Sentinel Kinetic F, as well as other products and services offered by Vent-Axia, visit or telephone 0844 856 0590.

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The VEKA UK Group unveils the NEW M70 system


The Matrix 70 Window System from VEKA has led the industry for decades, with its classic good looks and impressive technical performance.

Now, thanks to ongoing investment in the supplier’s PVC-U systems, a new, even more energy-efficient M70 system has been launched with five chambers within the profile, along with its predecessor’s tried and tested steel reinforcements.

MD Dave Jones said: “The VEKA UK Group constantly strives to update and improve our product range to ensure it is constantly evolving. We know that to maintain our position as the industry leader, our products have to be the best they can be. In our 30th year of UK manufacturing, we’re proud to have designed and launched the next generation of M70.

“The NEW 2016 M70 is a fully-integrated, multi-chambered, bevelled 70mm system with steel reinforcement sections. Additional chambers have increased the thermal performance to meet the demanding current and future requirements for more energy-efficient products, while an updated contemporary bevel will complement any style of home or commercial property.

“The demand for bevelled systems within the commercial and social housing markets remains as strong as ever, with this style of profile accounting for the majority of installations in these sectors. The clean bevelled lines of the new M70 will also appeal to homeowners looking for contemporary aesthetics to enhance their home.

“During the design process of the new M70, we also took the opportunity to completely redesign our bay pole system based on feedback from customers. The new system is quicker and simpler to fabricate and faster to fit, while enhanced jacking poles provide easy access to allow for on-site adjustment. A choice of neat trim covers in plain or featured finishes offers excellent aesthetics for the homeowner, while minimising any risk of damage.

“Our well-respected Infinity recycled profile system will also be relaunched, offering all the same added features and benefits of the new M70, along with a recycled core containing up to 80% recycled content – ideal for commercial applications.

South Kirkby-based VEKA fabricator Bennion and Sons Ltd was one of the very first companies to adopt the new system, and the team couldn’t be happier with the outcome. Director Sam Bennion explains: “Bennion and Sons was established as a building contractors more than 100 years ago and we have a long-standing reputation for quality and service.

“We’ve been using VEKA systems for years now, as we know the company shares our commitment to quality. We had no hesitation in adopting the new M70 system because VEKA products are second-to-none and we know that our customers will be thrilled with the increased potential for energy efficiency.

“The changeover was particularly straightforward as The VEKA UK Group helped us take care of everything, and the new system is fully compatible with VEKA’s existing range of ancillaries. The new M70 is available in all the colours and woodgrains from the popular Variations colour range, which gives us something a bit ‘extra’ to offer our discerning customers.

“We’ve found the new M70 system to be simple to fabricate, producing great results, and we’re looking forward to working with The VEKA UK Group for many years to come.”

The VEKA UK Group, 01282 716611

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Reynaers provides façades for impressive Manchester development


Manchester’s newest independent film hub and visual arts centre has an impressive façade using curtain wall products from Reynaers.

The external cladding and roofing work on Home, found on the city’s First Street, was carried out by Prater. This was made possible due to funding from the European Union for a joint venture between Ask Developments and Manchester City Council.

Overall, a total of 51 units of Reynaers’ curtain walling product CW 50 were installed, as well as Reynaers’ CS 68 aluminium windows.

Reynaers was consulted about the design of the façade in the prefabrication stages to help ensure the system allowed for building movement and live loads.

Rebecca Cope, Marketing Manager at Reynaers, said: “Lead architect Ernst ter Horst’s brief was to make the building of the highest quality and present itself as warm and welcoming. He was inspired by ideas of filling the building with life and the playful interaction with daylight.

“Our curtain walling system Concept Wall 50 offered unlimited design freedom and maximum transparency for this build.”

Netherlands-based architects Mecanoo International wanted to ensure there was a strong connection between inside and out. Home also needed a strong identity, so it developed a dramatic cantilevering prow to mark the front entrance to the building and shelter an external café terrace. The building’s triangular shape combined with soft, curved corners sets it apart from the adjacent developments, with its elevations articulated to protect against solar gain.

Ian McHale, project manager at Prater said: “We chose Reynaers because of the vast experience it has with bespoke high-end, complex commercial projects, as well as the team’s outstanding product knowledge and expertise.”

Categories: Architecture, Cladding & Insulation, Construction | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Ahmarra Doors make their debut at the O2!


Specialist fire door manufacturer, Ahmarra, supplies and installs doorsets for the new InterContinental London – The O2

Ahmarra supplied and fitted over 300 severe duty timber fire doors in an FSC cherry veneer for the new 5-star hotel situated on Greenwich Peninsula. 

Ahmarra’s contract consisted of manufacturing and installing fire rated doorsets for the public areas including reception, restaurants, meeting rooms, ballroom, toilets and spa areas. 



“Our experience of manufacturing doors for luxury hotels has enabled us to offer a premium product, which not only looked great, but was priced to fit the strict budget controls” said Sam Doran, Ahmarra’s Sales Director. 

The InterContinental London – The O2 is adjacent to the world-renowned arena, The O2, and close to Greenwich’s famous attractions. The stunning 453-room hotel brings a new level of luxury accommodation to the area. Alongside its five destination-inspired restaurants and bars, including The Peninsula Restaurant and rooftop sky bar, Eighteen, the hotel boasts a world-class health spa and sumptuous accommodation – including 59 suites – and the most breath-taking, far-reaching views of London.


The hotel’s dedicated conference centre boasts a 3,100sqm pillar-free ballroom – one of the largest in Europe – with an additional 19 meeting rooms and an impressive 1,600sqm pre-function space exposing dramatic views of Canary Wharf.


Hasham Soliman, General Manager of the hotel, said: “We are thrilled to have opened the doors to our eagerly awaited luxury hotel in one of the capital’s most vibrant new entertainment and events districts. At InterContinental London – The O2, we have truly exceptional facilities for business and leisure travellers visiting the city and an incredible team ready to put this hotel firmly on London’s centre stage.”


Ahmarra’ s reputation for excellence has led to it supplying timber doors for some of the UK’s finest interiors, from private homes to luxury hotels and commercial buildings. Current 5-star London hotel projects include The Mondrian at Sea Containers House, The Metropolitan by Como and The Mandarin Oriental, which are both on Park Lane.

For more information, call Ahmarra Door Solutions on 02392 389 076 or visit

Categories: Architecture, Construction, Doors, Windows & Glazing, Fire Protection, Timber in building | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Being an aïr Accredited Retailer works for Windows Etc.


“We’ve been an aïr Accredited Retailer from the beginning,” says Joe Solomons, Managing Director at Windows Etc. “We were looking for the next generation in aluminium sliding and bi-folding doors and we found aïr, just before it was launched.”

“The aïr brand attracts a different type of client. They’re more design-aware and they’re looking for large panes of glass to let lots of light into their homes. They want something that’s both stylish and cost-effective — aïr meets those needs.

“It’s not unusual for us to have a client come in and talk to us about the ins and outs of a door for over an hour, because they’re savvy. They do their research and they know what they want.”

In this particular project, Window Etc’s clients wanted to create a multifunctional, open-plan living space, where they had plenty of room for entertaining. They were looking for wide-span glazed doors to merge their indoor and outdoor living spaces.

They chose an aïr 600LS – a 6.3m wide, three pane sliding door with a flush threshold that blurs the lines between their stunning garden decking area and new open plan living extension.

“It’s a really well-designed door system,” continues Joe. “We love the sightlines and the very square profile of the frame. The clever engineering of the stainless steel wheels gives the heavy panes a really easy glide.

“It’s these things that make aïr stand out from other aluminium sliding and bi-folding doors – things like the hardware range and the textured paint options give extra choice to customers.”

aïrcoat, the textured paint, is available in 14 different aïrcoat colours and gives a stunning finish to this kind of modern installation.

“Selling aïr has also helped us to increase our aluminium sales and expand our offering. It’s a lovely range from a great brand. We like Everglade’s easy ordering system and they offer great technical support, too. We always receive precision-manufactured products, so installations for our customers go really smoothly.”

Windows Etc. officially opened its new showroom in April. As part of the launch, an impressive new aïrzone, featuring a triple track aïr 600LS, two pane aïr 500LS and an aïr 800 bi-folding door was unveiled.

For more about aïr, or becoming an Accredited Retailer, visit

To find out more about Windows Etc, visit

Everglade Windows Limited

Phone:      020 8998 8775


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Notifier gets a view from the top at the Royal Liver Building


Dominating one of the most famous waterfront skylines, Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building is now the centre of the city’s business district. Fire detection technology from Notifier by Honeywell is protecting staff and visitors at one of the world’s largest international banking institutions, which is located there.

Overlooking the River Mersey, when Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building was finally completed in 1911 it was dubbed the UK’s first skyscraper. It remained the tallest inhabited building in Europe until 1934 and the tallest in the UK until 1961. An enduring symbol of Liverpool’s history as a great seaport, the building has an unusual architectural style that combines Byzantine and Baroque elements, along with other distinct styles.

Now a place of business for local, regional and international companies with high expectations of accommodation and management levels, it is currently home to one of the largest banking and financial services organisations in the world. When the company moved into the Royal Liver Building, it sought to redesign one of the floors and install a set of high specification building services, including a new life safety system. Having worked together for many years AMD Environmental, the M&E contractor, called on the services of Kent based Triple Star Fire & Security to provide its expertise.

Daren Pool, Triple Star’s Managing Director, takes up the story and states, ‘Since forming in 2006 we have earned an enviable reputation for the quality of our work. We supply, install and maintain a huge selection of life safety equipment, only using the best quality technology such as that offered by Notifier.’

With Grade 1 listed status, everything possible is put in place to protect the building. After carrying out an extensive survey of the bank’s premises and taking into account the needs of the occupants, Daren and his team specified a fire detection solution based around Notifier’s innovative Pearl intelligent addressable control panel.

Pearl’s advanced design offers the best in class performance, scalability and functionality demanded by the end user. Daren Pool explains, ‘In selecting a fire alarm solution we required a system that was highly robust in minimising the risk of false alarms, was cost-efficient both to purchase and maintain and would integrate with the main building’s fire alarm system.’ 

In addition to the Pearl control panel, over 60 Notifier optical detectors were installed across the occupied area.   Sounder beacons are also used at the Royal Liver Building to complement the audible warning with a supplementary visual alert. The Notifier system has also been fully integrated to the Royal Liver Building’s house fire detection system, it forms part of the whole building’s broader C&E matrix, ensuring a strictly-controlled response throughout the site in the event of any alarm, wherever it arises.

The installation was completed on schedule and for Richard Cook, Project Manager at AMD Environmental, this experience confirmed the excellent relationship the company has with Triple Star. He concludes, ‘When working with such a prestigious client, we only have one chance to get things right, which is why we trust Triple Star to specify, install and maintain fire detection systems of the highest quality. The customer at the Royal Liver Building is delighted with the Notifier Pearl system, which is simple for security and other staff to operate, looks good and has had no unwanted alarms since it was first commissioned. All in all, a great result.’

For further information please call 01444 230300 or visit

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ECEX expansion to better service its customers


Metal fabrication specialists and supplier of Air Intake Screens, ECEX, has moved to new premises in Newbury to improve the flexibility of its manufacturing operation, allowing the company to better service customers across a range of sectors, including construction, M&E and Facilities Management. Now residing in a two-storey, 9,000 sq ft building, comprising offices and a workshop, ECEX can manufacture in-house to provide a faster, more responsive turnaround.

The move has enabled ECEX to tighten up planning and organisation, and take on work on a larger scale. Managing Director, John Grenville explained: “While still servicing our smaller clients, we are also starting to get construction-sized steelwork throughout the building, especially in the data centre sector. This is not necessarily just steelwork for buildings, but also for plant support and plant decks.”

To support the move to a larger building, ECEX is investing in new plant and equipment including lifting gear and building a mezzanine floor to provide additional storage facilities for stock components.

John added: “We hold stock including steel and guardrail components so that we can fulfil orders quickly. This has smoothed the production operation, boosted our versatility in terms of meeting customer deadline expectations and it also makes us far more agile.”

The company has recruited three new welder-fabricators and a sales person to help grow its manufacturing capability still further.

Unit H,
Venture House,
Bone Lane,
Berkshire RG14 5SH

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Geberit Sigma30 expands the popular flush plate range

has expanded its best-selling Sigma range of flush plates with the addition of the Geberit Sigma30. With a choice of either a single or dual flush version the Sigma30 is perfect for a modern finish in any bathroom.
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Manufactured from high quality materials, the Geberit Sigma30 has an easy flushing action for user comfort and is simple to install, with tool-free fast adjustment.

A stylish addition to the bathroom and the perfect accompaniment to wall-hung sanitaryware, the Geberit Sigma30 has a large rectangular profile with chrome design detail.

The Sigma30 dual flush plate is available in six colours including white, black, gloss chrome, and matt chrome variants, while the Sigma30 single flush plate is available in three colours: white, gloss chrome and brushed chrome.

The rangealso includes a choice of urinal flush plates, including the Geberit Sigma30 available in six colours which match the Geberit Type10 WC flush buttons and zinc die cast plates.

Geberit – 01926 516800

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Keramag Design’s Silk collection is the ideal for the hotel and leisure sectors

km2Keramag Design’s Silk collection, designed by the internationally renowned product designer Michael Schmidt, combines elegance, precision detail and design flexibility. It is ideal for designers and specifiers looking to create distinctive bathrooms in luxury hotels, spas and resorts, and in high end private properties.

Six sizes of lay on basin, 400mm, 570mm, 600mm, 800mm, 1000mm and 1200mm, are precision crafted with gentle, elegant curves and feature a flat, wide rim that provides a useful area for guests to use for soaps and toothbrushes.


The basins are combinable with washbasin plates available in five sizes to offer a wide choice of layout combinations, while also creating extra shelf space for toiletries. The basins also come with the flexibility to add vanity units, with half height and tall cabinets also available, to create additional storage if required.

The water-and-humidity resistant washbasin plates and furniture are available in high quality real wood veneers of oak and Wenge Pangar, or high gloss white.

For more information contact Keramag Design on tel: 01926 516800,

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New 3D i-See Sensor matches air conditioning to room occupancy


Mitsubishi Electric has launched a new slim line cassette with a 3D i-See Sensor which scans a room to detect exactly how many people are in it and switches off the air conditioning when a room is empty.

Available immediately for the popular Mr Slim and City Multi 600 x 600 cassette ranges, the slim unit is only 245mm in height above ceiling, making it ideal for narrow spaces.

“The 3D i-See Sensor is likely to get all the headlines because it can recognise when the air conditioning is needed and when it’s not, but we have packed this new cassette with a host of other features as well”, explains Mitsubishi Electric Product Manager Carl Dickinson.

The SLZ/PLFY cassette units have also been designed to make installation easier, with temporary hanging hooks, a drop-prevention cord, and hexagonal screws which can be removed even if the screw hole becomes worn.

Designed to fit snugly to ceilings, the unit provides clear lines for excellent aesthetics which work well in offices or retail environments.

Occupant comfort is also improved with a new airflow feature which can direct air horizontally across the ceiling, helping eliminate uncomfortable drafts, and a new 3D turbo fan which reduces sound levels.

Mitsubishi Electric has produced a short video highlighting the main features which can be seen at the company’s Youtube channel:

Further can also be found at the dedicated digital library ( ) or by emailing .

Categories: Environmental Control, Heating & Ventilation | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Of sound design

Based on findings from its dedicated acoustics laboratory, Victoria Willis, Product Manager for Geberit, explains the importance of taking a complete system approach to designing out the nuisance sound of sanitary noise.

Good bathroom acoustics requires a holistic approach, beginning at the design and specification stage and culminating in exact installation practices. For a completely satisfactory outcome where no-one is disturbed by sanitary noise within a building every element must be considered; from where the bathroom resides in the building, to the type and configuration of drainage pipes, sanitaryware and how it is installed. Measuring the noise from running water in drainage pipes alone does not give an accurate picture of the overall acoustic levels in real buildings, which is why Geberit has a dedicated sound laboratory at its Swiss headquarters where scientists perform sound measurements on the complete system, inclusive of cistern, WC, wall structure and drainage, under realistic conditions. Such tests and their results enable Geberit to make informed and reliable recommendations for ensuring everyone within a building can look forward to a sound night’s sleep.


Generally, bathrooms should produce no more than 40dBs of noise and in the UK, bathrooms are considered to be performing at a reasonable level when up to 44dB of associated sounds can be heard in an adjoining room. Scientists at the Geberit acoustics lab found that using a combination of Geberit systems sound readings can be taken down as low as 25dB. Thislow sound rating was achieved in two true-to-life test scenarios: In a room with timber stud walls, 15mm plasterboard and timber pre-wall fitted with a wall-hung WC and Geberit Silent-db20 pipework, and in a room with Geberit Duofix metal stud walls, 15mm plasterboard, wall-hung WC s fitted back-to-back and Geberit Silent-db20.

Noise is in the air

Sound travels through the air (airborne) or walls (structure-borne). Airborne sound can be minimised by using insulating material around pipes, for example. Structure-borne sound, which causes sound to travel through a building – a particular problem in multiple-floored buildings incorporating several bathrooms – can be tackled by keeping individual components apart from one another. As a general rule of thumb, installation walls should not border areas that are intended to be quiet, such as bedrooms, while de-coupling the WC from the fabric of the building (both the structural wall and the floor) also goes a long way to ensuring a building is acoustically sound.geb2

It is for this reason that wall-hung sanitaryware is a more effective sound reducing option than back-to-wall or close-coupled WCs, eliminating noise travelling through the floor. Research in Geberit’s own state-of-the-art sound laboratory found that lightweight pre-wall has a significant effect on sound insulation by moving the WC away from the main fabric of the building. This kind of structure can also be given additional sound-absorbing properties using a thin foam layer facing the floor or ceiling.

Frame it

In addition, rubber brackets, elastic connections and insulating layers, can all help to prevent solid-borne sound. A Geberit Duofix frame optimises acoustic values, with integrated rubber tipped push rods to reduce noise from the flush plate when pressed for flushing, a polythene jacket insulating the cistern, circlips on threaded rods to eliminate movement and sound absorbing seals on drainage brackets.

When installing any WC, an insulation mat on the wall, as well as sound insulation sleeves for fastening screws, will also help reduce noise. Geberit insulation tape can be used between panels, system rails and building structures to maximise results.

In terms of piping, always choose pipe brackets with rubber lining and make sure they are not tightened toofirmly. Cement should not be used to fasten components to the wall, as this could result in sound bridges. Instead, by selecting Geberit pipe brackets with the appropriate diameter and tightening them fully, optimum fastening and sound insulation conditions can be achieved.geb

In the pipeline

One of the vital steps to reducing pipework noise is minimising the number of off-sets in the pipe runs. For example, a 45 degree bend creates 9dBs as opposed to just 5dBs from a 15 degree bend. Multiplied by the numerous pipes used within a many-floored building this equates to considerable sound savings.

Where possible choose pipework with integral noise reduction, such as Geberit’s Silent-dB20 which includes stone composite to deaden water sound as it runs through. Geberit Silent-db20 also has sound insulating ribs on the impact zones, further minimising sound development as waste water travels through the pipes.

By taking such a complete system approach to building acoustics, Geberit offers everything needed to reduce noise: a fully integrated system of silent and easy-to-install products as well as specialised know-how in planning and installation. The effect is not only audible, but visible too, because silent Geberit installations are an ideal basis for great bathroom design.

Geberit – 01926 516800 

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Vent-Axia Helps Raise Awareness of Lung Disease with Breathe Easy Week

Vent-Axia is delighted to be supporting Breathe Easy Week 13-19 June 2016, the annual awareness week which focuses on lung health and is run by the British Lung Foundation (BLF). Every year the BLF holds the event which is designed to highlight the widespread effect of lung disease which affects about one in five people in the UK.

The theme for this year’s Breathe Easy Week is ‘breathlessness’. Millions of people ignore being out of breath in situations where they would not expect to be, like taking a short walk, unaware that it is one of the most common symptoms of lung disease. This Breathe Easy Week, the British Lung Foundation are encouraging anyone who experiences this kind of unexpected breathlessness to visit their GP.

The BLF’s Breathe Easy support groups will be holding events across the country to help raise awareness of lung health and offer support. Throughout the week the BLF aims to communicate the seriousness of maintaining lung health and the risk factors that can affect lungs causing a number of major lung conditions, for example, lung cancer, asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many more. With 230 Breathe Easy support groups around the country, people can locate their nearest group and see what they are doing by visiting the BLF’s Breathe Easy website:

“Vent-Axia is delighted to be supporting Breathe Easy Week this year. The British Lung Foundation’s aim is that one day everyone will breathe clean air with healthy lungs. At Vent-Axia we support this and are committed to helping to achieve this by providing effective, energy efficient ventilation to help provide good indoor air quality in our homes,”says Jenny Smith, Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia.

Indoor air quality is an important issue to lung health. The Royal College of Physicians recently published the report,“Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution” which states that around 40,000 people are dying in the UK every year due to air pollution. Exposure to indoor air pollutants such as kitchen products, faulty boilers, open fires, fly sprays air fresheners and second-hand smoke further add to these figures and impact on indoor air quality. And with health problems such as lung disease, cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease, diabetes, obesity and dementia all linked to poor air quality, it’s clear that this needs to be urgently addressed in every household.

This new report backs up the findings of other recent research, including the new BEAMA survey “My Health My Home” which revealed that over one third of UK homes are at an elevated or severe risk of having polluted indoor air. It follows on from the IAQ research “The Future of Indoor Air Quality in UK Homes and its Impact on Health”. This found that as new and refurbished homes become ever more air tight to meet the Government’s carbon emission targets for 2050, the number of people suffering with asthma could increase by 80% from current levels. It also found that indoor pollutant levels could increase to the upper end and beyond of World Health Organisation recommended limits. The report suggests that the solution for good IAQ is continuous ventilation and, in new build homes, continuous mechanical ventilation, preferably with heat recovery (MVHR) is the most efficient and effective option.

Designed to work with the natural air infiltration, continuous ventilation systems control the air path through the home. As a result, they prevent the migration of damaging humidity and pollutants, providing near silent energy efficient ventilation. There are a number of options available, both for new builds and for retrofitting and the latest continuous ventilation systems also offer heat recovery.

The Sentinel Kinetic Advance is a continuous whole house Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery system

The Sentinel Kinetic Advance is a continuous whole house Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery system

For new build homes there are continuous whole house Mechanical Extract Ventilation (MEV) and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) solutions, such as Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Kinetic Advance– an MVHR system which boasts an impressive 93% thermal efficiency. For refurbishments, there are continuous Decentralised Mechanical Extract Ventilation (dMEV) systems, such as Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Response. In addition, there are also dMEV single room heat recovery units available, such as Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Tempra, which can be simply retrofitted through a 100mm diameter hole in the wall allowing standard wet room extract fans to be easily replaced.

For up-to-date ventilation guidance and an overview of the research visit For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit

Categories: Energy Saving, Environmental Control, Events/Exhibitions, Heating & Ventilation | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

New-build home is first to use cutting-edge Ecodan QUHZ


A new-build home in Leicestershire is demonstrating how anyone can achieve a highly efficient property that provides a warm, comfortable environment, using existing technologies and readily available building techniques.

The spacious 3-bedroom, detached home has been built by Keyplan Developments Ltd to exceed current UK building standards, paying particular attention to high levels of insulation and air tightness.

With the space heating energy requirement being lower than the hot water energy requirement, any heating system installed has to be able to cope with hot water production as the dominant load.

This is where the new Ecodan QUHZ 4kW air source heat pump is playing such an important role as it has been specifically designed with new-build standards of insulation and lower heating loads in mind.

Mechanical heat recovery ventilation and PV systems are also installed, giving this 180m2 property a peak heat loss of just 3.8kW. The family sized home has 2 bathrooms and an en-suite meaning the hot water demand on certain occasions can be high.


“One aspect of using the techniques employed in this house is that it needs far less heating than a traditional British home and this places a different requirement on the heating system,” explains Jon and Maureen Fox, the homeowners.

“When we were approached by Mitsubishi Electric to trial their innovative Ecodan QUHZ, we were delighted to work with them to deliver a system which achieves exceptional energy efficiency”, adds Jon Fox. “We time clock the hot water to come on at intervals to meet our needs. The heat pump runs at night and we are very impressed with how quiet it is”.

The Ecodan QUHZ unit is MCS-Approved and straightforward to install, delivering water at 70°C to a packaged 200 litre thermal store. From this thermal store, mains water is heated directly up to 65°C via Mitsubishi Electric’s plate heat exchanger, meaning the Fox family receives hot water whenever they need it.

The system uses CO2 as a refrigerant and ensures a large delta T between the flow and return temperatures to and from the outdoor unit.

This delivers the high levels of efficiency that enable the Ecodan QUHZ to meet the high hot water, low heating requirements of the property.

The heating system was designed and fitted by TSG Building Services, who are an accredited Ecodan installer. Mr and Mrs Fox also asked TSG to install an MVHR air circulation system and solar PV panels to help maximise the eco-house’s heating efficiency and minimise running costs.

Under floor heating throughout the ground floor gives a comfortable, gentle background heat. Traditional radiators provide heating to the bedrooms.ME2

The Ecodan QUHZ heat pump connects directly to the heating circuit and targets the appropriate flow temperature for the ambient condition. This operation maximises system efficiency whilst still providing a comfortable environment.

“The ground floor is lovely and warm when get up in the morning and we’ve hardly needed the heating on upstairs as the eco-house retains such a lot of heat”, explains Mrs Fox.

The QUHZ model also offers exceptional noise levels with a whisper-quiet 41.2 dB(A) at 1.5 metres from neighbouring properties, making it ideal for almost any new-build scenario.

The renewable heating includes automatic in-built in energy monitoring, using Mitsubishi Electric’s MELCloud, internet-based system, which allows for full control and monitoring from anywhere in the world.

Categories: Energy Saving, Environmental Control, Heating & Ventilation, Sustainable Development | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The Structural Timber Awards


Stora Enso: Sponsor of Architect of the Year 


Stora Enso has now joined a growing list of industry specialists at this year’s Structural Timber Awards, sponsoring the Architect of the Year category.

Stora Enso provides versatile wood-based solutions for building and housing. Their product range covers all areas of urban construction including massive wood elements and housing modules, wood components and pellets. They offer a variety of sawn timber goods. Their customers are mainly construction and joinery companies, merchandisers and retailers.

The Awards provide one of the most effective platforms for targeting the timber industry, presenting the ideal opportunity to maximise industry exposure and penetrate this economically important market. The Structural Timber Awards will reward outstanding projects, innovative products and dynamic people – all promoting excellence in structural timber across the UK.

Architect of the Year: Deadline 30 June 2016

Open to any size of practice. This award will celebrate a professional architect or architectural technologist that has specified timber and used it as a defining feature within a completed building in the UK. Emphasis will be given to the technical and creative reasons why timber was specified and how this was communicated within the project team. Particular note will be given to the use of leading edge building techniques and originality to construct inspirational examples for future building design, within a framework of cost, deliverability and timescale.

The 2016 Awards will be presented at a high profile dinner on 19 October 2016 at The National Conference Centre, Birmingham.

Enter before 30 June 2016 to be in with a chance to be recognised and rewarded at this fantastic event:

Event Sponsors:


Categories: Architecture, Construction, Events/Exhibitions, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Materials, Timber in building | Tags: | Leave a comment

Exova BM TRADA offers training on fire doors – June 28th/29th


Expert construction industry training provider, Exova BM TRADA, will be running the next in its series of popular fire door training courses at the end of June.

The first course, Fire Doors Explained, is a full-day CPD certified session being held on June 28th that considers the importance of correctly specified, installed and maintained fire doors through a series of classroom based modules and a one hour live fire resistance test on a full scale fire door.

This course is aimed at those who are involved in building safety and fire protection; such as fire officers, construction companies and installers, architects and specifiers. The course is delivered by Simon Bailey, a member of Exova BM TRADA’s passive fire protection product assessment team.

On 29th June two follow-on courses will be run as a part of Exova BM TRADA’s Q-Mark Fire Door Certification Scheme.

The Q-Mark Fire Door Installation course offers detailed guidance on fire door installation, door plugging and the Q-Mark certification process and is aimed at those individuals and organisations involved in the installation of these life critical products.

The Q-Mark Fire Door Maintenance course considers how to correctly maintain fire doors, a requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order, referencing the scheme’s unique Accepted Repair Technique (ART) procedures. The fire door maintenance course is aimed at those individuals and organisations directly involved in maintaining a building’s fire doors. 

Both the installation and maintenance courses build on the training provided in the Fire Doors Explained seminar and will be delivered by Paul Judd, Compliance Manager at PRJ Compliance, who has extensive experience of fire door manufacturing, installation and maintenance certification.

Exova BM TRADA runs additional fire door courses throughout the year which can be offered in-house or within a client’s premises and provides management systems courses and general management training.

For more information on these and other courses, or to book a place, go to: or contact 01494 569 750 or email

Download the full training brochure here:

Categories: Company News, Doors, Windows & Glazing, Events/Exhibitions, Fire Protection, Health & Safety, Safety & Security | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Universal appeal for clay


To satisfy demand for angular ridge and hip tiles made in clay, Redland has developed the Clay Universal Angle Ridge and Hip Tiles.

These new ridges and hips are the clay equivalent of the ever-popular Universal Angle Ridge and Hip tiles manufactured from concrete. The clay tiles are suited for use with all types of natural and fibre cement slates as well as our own Cambrian Slates or Rosemary Clay Classic plain tiles in Red.

Although Redland already offers Rosemary clay ridge and hip tiles, these are round in profile. Where angular ridges were required, concrete had to be used, which was sometimes unacceptable for planning or aesthetic reasons.

The new ridge and hip tiles can be used with all Redland dry fix ridge and hip systems, including DryVent Ridge, Rapid Vented Ridge, Dry Hip, Rapid Hip and Uni-Vent Rapid Ridge/Hip. They can also be mortar bedded utilising the new Redland Mortar Bedded Fixing Kit (purchased separately).

Produced in both Black and Red, the Clay Universal Angle Ridge and Hip Tiles are ideal for both the new build and renovation sectors across the country but are expected to be particularly popular in the private renovation sector where similar tiles are in need of replacement.

The colour of the Black ridge and hip tile is achieved by the application of black engobe over the top surface and ends of the tile. Engobe is a ceramic material applied prior to firing. The high clay content of the engobe ensures that when the tile is fired, the tile and engobe fuse together becoming one, such that the engobe will last as long as the tile itself.

The Black tiles also have manganese added to the clay to darken the body. This ensures a dark appearance is maintained if the tiles are cut.

The tiles are produced from the finest clays at a factory utilising the highest standards in clay processing technology.  This results in products that are strong, smooth and geometrically accurate for a consistent look.

Further information can be found on the Redland website at

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Vent-Axia Supports Noise Action Week


Leading British fan manufacturer Vent-Axia is delighted to be supporting Noise Action Week (23-28 May 2016), which is coordinated by Environmental Protection UK. Sound levels are an important comfort issue for households with nuisance noise causing unnecessary stress in the home. Vent-Axia is therefore committed to reducing sound levels in its products to help create a peaceful home environment.

Vent-Axia leads the way in ventilation providing some of the quietest products on the market. In existing homes Vent-Axia offers a solution to noisy extract fans with its innovative Silent Fan which is ideal for refurbishment projects. Holding the Noise Abatement Society’s Quiet Mark 2016, the Silent Fan is the quietest intermittent fan available, operating at just 14dBA. Plus the launch of its new improved and redesigned Silent Fan now offers ‘visual’ silence as well as acoustic silence. The new aesthetics of the fan boast simple, clean lines with an attractive slimline fascia that looks like a bathroom tile ensuring it is unobtrusive for households.va2

Meanwhile, the social housing sector has very specific set of needs when it comes to ventilation. Vent-Axia’s new Lo-Carbon Revive has been designed to meet these needs providing good indoor air quality and comfort for tenants while being quick and easy to install, low maintenance and reliable. With tenant satisfaction vital, Vent-Axia’s R&D department has developed Revive’s innovative Multi-Vortex™ technology which has a high-pressure hybrid impellor that is powerful and efficient, yet quiet. The fan operates discreetly providing continuous ventilation, removing moisture and stale air, leaving a comfortable home environment.

For the New Build sector, Vent-Axia has achieved the holy grail of high efficiency and low sound levels with its Sentinel Kinetic Advance Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR). Topping the PCDB list with exceptional efficiency, near silent operation, high pressure development and improved indoor air quality, the Advance also features time-saving commissioning and control via a unique web-enabled App. Featuring trickle settings of up to 40% that still stay below 20dBA the Advance boasts a specific fan power (SFP) as low as 0.38W/l/s, combined with 93% heat recovery and a high pressure airflow of 100l/s at 150Pa. Maximised airflows and minimised noise and energy are achieved through cutting-edge EC motor and highly sculpted interiors.

We are delighted to be supporting Noise Action Week again this year since the initiative focuses attention on the problems excessive noise can cause for us all. At Vent-Axia we are committed to developing ventilation solutions that meet our customers’ needs. Sound levels are very important to our customers so our R&D department works hard to lead the way in developing quiet ventilation technology. At Vent-Axia we are serious about sound levels which is why we have invested in our sound laboratory and use computational fluid dynamics to ensure we can provide the quietest ventilation on the market,” said Jenny Smith, Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia.

The Quiet Mark 2016 is the international mark of approval from the UK’s Noise Abatement Society, endorsed by DEFRA, awarding the quietest high performance technology and solutions to reduce unwanted noise in our environment. The Quiet Mark is awarded following rigorous testing and approval from accredited acoustic experts, including the Association of Noise Consultants. The Quiet Mark award enables users to easily select quieter products via the online Quiet Mark Directory

For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit

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Building Better with BIM

By-lined Article by Steve Thompson, MD of EOS Facades


The digital age is evolving. We are constantly adapting technology in order to enhance all aspects of the modern world. We have changed the way we socialise, the way we travel and the way we work in order to integrate the latest technology in our everyday lives.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is at the front and centre of the latest digital technology in today’s built environment. There is now almost a universal recognition of BIM within the construction industry, as well as widespread private sector investment in the implementation of BIM.


So why is BIM so crucial to transforming the industry?

Steve Thompson, MD of EOS Facades, specialists in the design, manufacture and supply of a wide range of steel sections for panelised or volumetric offsite solutions, shares his views on the positive impact that BIM will have on today’s construction industry:

“In terms of procurement, BIM is a powerful tool that allows construction companies to quantify the requirements of their projects. This enables control of spending and time management resulting in the reduction of wastage in these areas. It is essential that BIM is used in the early design stages of a project to ensure that there is capacity to not only clearly identify the elements of the project but through the use of BIM, companies are able to anticipate when they need to procure any given material or element. It is extremely difficult to transport the appropriate knowledge across all construction partners at the same time without the use of BIM, this can lead to the teams procuring the wrong materials at the wrong time, in different volumes.


In 2011 the government committed to the use of ‘Level 2’ collaborative 3D BIM on all centrally-procured government projects by this year. This is strategically planned as part of a larger overall strategy to combine the use of BIM with the latest modern technology, leading to the collaboration of the government and construction industry working to enhance skills and reduce the cost of infrastructure. The aim of this strategy is ultimately to position digitally enhanced construction as a prerequisite across the UK construction industry.

There has been scepticism, however, from some parts of the industry over the government’s BIM strategy. There seems to be a strong theme of companies claiming that there is a crucial lack of training in this area and that it is too costly and time consuming to invest in, particularly for SME’s.

Despite these claims the overall acceptance that BIM has gained still seems particularly prominent. From my experience, the general consensus from our industry implies that the growing integration of BIM will have a positive effect with only a small percentage of construction companies stating that they will not be using the technology. More money is now being invested in BIM, with large jobs kicking off this year applying the use of BIM in more sophisticated ways than ever before.


I feel that the government’s implementation of BIM Level 2 will have a positive effect on our industry by bringing about progressive changes to the way that we work. Through the execution of this strategy, it is predicted that BIM will bring many employment opportunities, particularly for niche software developers and offsite manufactures, as well as upskilling current employees within our industry. By creating critical mass and certainty of demand, businesses should feel confident when investing in the development of BIM within their companies.

BIM is a key enabler for integrating offsite technology into construction practices – this is something crucial within government projects as there is an acute need for time efficient construction, as well as a vital responsibility for our industry and government to reduce our carbon footprint through the application of low energy buildings – resulting in lower costs for the end user.

BIM helps to provide the platform for teams to integrate and work together, as well as delivering valuable information to confirm that the finished project will meet performance expectations. It is the ideal tool for connecting the whole life cycle analysis of a project – embracing new technology and a new culture of working. This is something that I feel the industry would benefit greatly from and would help to deliver projects with heightened quality through efficiency of communications and accuracy of planning and design. I am eager to see the industry take this advanced method of construction to the next level.”


CPD Factory Tours

To celebrate their tenth anniversary and following the investment in their fifth Howick FRAMA Machine – the first in the UK –  EOS Facades have launched a series of CPD Factory Tours at the company’s  state of the art facility in County Durham. These tours are FREE to attend and are suitable for architects, contractors, engineers and clients. To find out more visit:

EOS Facades have worked on projects across all construction sectors, including education, healthcare, leisure, commercial and residential. Their portfolio of successfully completed projects and track record stretches back 10 years, so clients will benefit from a wealth of experience and expertise.

The EOS Facades product range includes:

  • Facade (Panels) – an innovative panel system which is fully engineered and assembled offsite in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The fully engineered framed solution is designed to accommodate the fixing of any type of facade panelling or curtain walling system.
  • Facade (Stud & Track) – bespoke system, custom-manufactured to exacting requirements to meet our client’s needs. Suitable for all types of infill panels into primary framed hot rolled Steel and In-situ concrete framed buildings.
  • Flooring System – flooring systems range from lattice beam solutions to fully panellised flooring systems. Suitable for all types of load bearing floors from intermediate separating floors to bespoke mezzanine flooring solutions.
  • Roofing System – extensive roofing range from truss and flat-to-pitch roofing systems to providing ground-breaking ‘room-in-the-roof’ solutions.
  • High Bay Walling – Can be used internally to provide single span stud walls up to 10m in a variety of sizes up to 250mm deep stud and track capability in gauges from 1.2 to 2mm thick allowing us to tailor sections to meet exact project requirements. 

  • Continuous Walling – used predominantly to maximise the internal floor area or in instances where cladding cannot incorporate horizontal deflection joints at each floor level.


Categories: Architecture, Construction, Flooring, Roofing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kemper System answers towering challenge in New York


Kemper System’s Kemperol 2K-PUR cold liquid applied membrane has been used as the waterproofing system for the tallest building in the Western hemisphere: the 1,776ft One World Trade Centre in New York.

Rising to 104 storeys and constructed in a $3.9 billion project lasting more than a decade, the One World Trade Centre, also known as the “Freedom Tower” is the centrepiece of the re-built World Trade Centre complex constructed on the site of ground zero.

The 1800m2 roof is not only extremely high, but also features extensive exposed steel details and up to 400 penetrations, including the spire, with no area larger than 10ft x 10ft without some form of penetration; all of which had to be sealed effectively using a system that could be applied by a small team, with restricted access and without the use of hot works or heavy equipment.


Kemper System’s Kemperol 2K-PUR liquid-applied resin membrane was specified for the main roof and the louvre areas on lower floors. The penetrations, drains, curbs and perimeters were all protected and then overlapped by the membrane in the larger expanse to provide a seamless, durable and reinforced waterproofing membrane across the entire roof. As the cold-applied resin bonds directly to the substrate it is particularly effective in coping with wind-uplift which was a major consideration for the chosen system.

In line with US Building Code requirements, the system was completed with a white reflective coating to reduce the urban heat island effect.

Stuart Hicks from Kemper System comments: “Few projects are as iconic or as challenging as the One World Trade Centre scheme but Kemperol 2K-PUR’s ease of application and long-term waterproofing performance made it ideally suited to both the installation challenges and the long-term requirements of the building.”


Kemperol 2K-PUR resin system is 80 percent from renewable materials, which fit with the overall design goals for the project. Nearly 75 percent of 1 WTC is made from recycled or eco-friendly building materials, and the building’s green design earned LEED Gold Certification.

Categories: Architecture, Commercial Buildings, Construction, Roofing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Introducing Specifier Select…


Specifier Select is a building products resource for specifiers, showcasing the latest building products, projects, services and company profiles/announcements.

Specifier Select is published monthly and circulated to 20,000 architects, architectural technologists, contractors, developers, interior designers and installers.

Specifier Select is an effective tool, providing a fast and direct route to product manufacturers websites. The bespoke website is product grouped and presented in an easy to use, logical and attractive format with the additional benefit of a reader enquiry service.

To view the latest issue please visit

To be featured in the next issue, please contact me on 07973 507 929 or email

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