Manufacturing with BIM: The Cubicle Centre Story

Cubicle Centre (Main)

BIM video channel The B1M and cubicle manufacturer Cubicle Centre have today released a groundbreaking new BIM documentary.

Manufacturing with BIM: The Cubicle Centre Story” is a six-minute clip that explores how BIM has helped streamline the design-to-manufacture process at the 25-strong West Yorkshire based firm.

It reveals a projected five-working week efficiency saving as a result of making product data available to design teams in 3D component form, enabling works orders, fabrication drawings and cutting lists to be produced faster and with improved accuracy.

Cubicle Centre Brand and Marketing Director, Craig Sewell explained:

“Some people think a cubicle is just a cubicle, but we take our business seriously. BIM has enabled us to improve lead times and increase productivity, so it was a no-brainer really.”

The video forms part of a series by The B1M lifting the lid on various organisation’s BIM journeys and freely sharing the results on YouTube.

The B1M Co-Founder, Fred Mills commented:

“Cubicle Centre’s BIM journey is an inspirational story locked inside modest people. They’re doing a great job but don’t really realise it.

What we shine a light on here is people – normal people like you and I – seeing real benefits to their business and working lives as a direct result of using BIM.”

The video is freely available on YouTube, accompanied by a more light-hearted set of outtakes from the filming sessions.

You can see both clips here:

Manufacturing with BIM: The Cubicle Centre Story

B1M Bloopers: Cubicle Centre

About Cubicle Centre
Family owned since 1998, Cubicle Centre specialise in the manufacture of washroom panel products with some of the shortest lead times in the cubicle industry. An extensive range of toilet cubicles and washroom panel systems are available on a manufacture and supply basis.

About The B1M
The B1M (‘BIM one million’) is an online video resource for BIM, focused on inspiring one million people through the easy and engaging medium of film. Our website is targeting a million members and video views to help bring BIM to a wider audience. Since launching, we have grown to over 1,000 members, 8,000 social media followers and 12 hours of content. We reach students, professionals and project teams across six continents.

Categories: Company News, Kitchen & Bathroom | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Where’s Beanie Been?

Featured image

H+H is launching its first ever Tweet-To-Win competition! We have been sending out a number of our very special H+H beanie hats to builders and merchants across the UK for the last couple of months. Now we want to see how far around the globe our beloved beanies have gone. That’s why we are giving away a £50 voucher to two lucky people every month for their beanie snaps on Twitter.

To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is Tweet us a picture of your beanie with the hashtag #wheresbeaniebeen and a location. The prize will be offered to the most imaginative and fun pictures at the end of the month.

If you would like to get your hands on a beanie, Tweet us with the hashtag #wheresbeaniebeen along with your request and we’ll send one out to you.

Good luck everyone!

Click here for T&C’S.

Follow H+H on Twitter: @CelconBlocks

Categories: Company News, Construction | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Designing for Climate Change – a World Water Day event


To mark World Water Day 2015 Roca is hosting a special event at the Roca London Gallery on Monday 23 March, in order to highlight the role that designers and architects play in responding to the risks of extreme weather, such as flooding, in the UK.

The theme for World Water Day 2015 is ‘Water and Sustainable Development’. As a manufacturer with strong sustainability and environmental values, this is a particularly important topic for Roca.

Entitled ‘Designing for Climate Change’, the event at Roca London Gallery will see leading experts from the fields of architecture and landscape architecture sharing ideas about how we can work with water when designing homes and public spaces, and how we can inspire future designers.

Organised by the We Are Water Foundation and supported by Roca and the Landscape Institute, the World Water Day event looks to raise awareness about water, weather and the importance of good design. Guests will hear from speakers including Sue Ilman, Managing Director of Ilman Young Landscape Design and Andrew Scarce from Baca Architects.

Through the We Are Water Foundation, an initiative of Roca’s, the charitable organisation aims to mitigate the negative effects associated with the lack of adequate water resources, raising overall awareness and supporting projects in some of the world’s most deprived areas.

Designing for Climate Change – a World Water Day 2015 event

Monday 23 March at Roca London Gallery, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

To RSVP visit:

For more details telephone 0207 610 8503 or visit

To learn more about World Water Day, visit

Categories: Company News, Kitchen & Bathroom, Sustainable Development | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

New addition to Schueco range of Passive House certified systems


Newly available from leading sustainable building envelope specialist, Schueco UK Limited, is the Schueco AWS 90.SI+ window, one of a growing number of Schueco window, door and façade systems to have received full Passive House Certification.

The window’s outstanding thermal performance – it delivers a U value of 0.8 W/m2K with 0.7 W/m2K triple glazing – is the result of advanced insulation technology and enables it to make a positive contribution to the overall energy efficiency of a building.

In addition to its attractive appearance, Schueco AvanTec concealed fittings impart an impressive degree of security, helping the Schueco AWS 90.SI+ system to deliver either RC 2 or RC 3 levels of burglar resistance to EN 1627.

Two other windows in the AWS 90 window range, the Schueco AWS 90.SI+ Green and the Schueco AWS 90 BS.SI+, have thermal insulation to Passive House levels. Like the Schueco AWS 90.SI+, they are able to satisfy exacting structural requirements while delivering the greatest possible architectural freedom.

The Schueco AWS 90.SI+ Green is part of Schueco’s new generation of ecologically friendly window systems. It incorporates polyamide insulating bars, which together with its foam and gaskets, include significant proportions of renewable raw materials in their composition.

The Schueco AWS 90 BS.SI+ offers a complete and elegant solution for concealed vent windows in single- and now double-vent designs. It features slender 77 mm face widths and has a basic frame depth of 95 mm.

For further details on Schueco’s range of innovative window systems, please email

Categories: Architecture, Construction, Doors, Windows & Glazing, Sustainable Development | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Affordable luxury at BLOC hotel

Roca's Element brassware offers style & function

Roca’s Element brassware offers style & function

A range of Roca’s bathroom products, including the luxury, Armani/Roca range, have been used at the BLOC hotel in Gatwick, helping owner, Colin Graham, create a new concept in affordable accommodation; something which he describes as ‘pared-down chic’.

Offering a high-end look and luxurious experience at prices that won’t break the bank, at BLOC the very best materials are used but in a way that’s focused on utilising space to the maximum. This approach allows BLOC hotels to be stylish and comfortable, in prime city-centre locations, but at room rates more akin with budget competitors.

Why Roca?
With products ranging from functional to high-end, and everything in between, Roca offered the ideal levels of versatility Colin needed to create usable, yet luxurious wash rooms. Sanitaryware and furniture was chosen to meet the individual needs of each space – BLOC’s rooms are priced on three levels; basic, executive and luxury.

“Throughout the project, my priority has been to work with major brands that are genuinely enthusiastic about what we are trying to do,” said Colin. “Roca has been fantastic in that regard, offering a range of options for every room type.”

Roca’s Element brassware has been used in BLOC’s ‘Snug’ and ‘Vista’ rooms, with the innovative water-saving W+W, which re-uses water from the basin to fill the cistern, featuring in the mid-priced, ‘Aspire’ bedrooms. For the ‘Presidential’ and ‘VIP’ rooms Armani/Roca adds the perfect finishing touch.

Armani/Roca lifts BLOC's high-end rooms

Armani/Roca lifts BLOC’s high-end rooms

Colin explained why Roca fitted his dream for BLOC. “At the high-end of the scale, the inclusion of Armani/Roca wash basins and brassware has enabled me to provide that high-quality feel that premium paying guests expect, while enjoying the kudos of being associated with a major luxury brand.

“For the more cost-competitive rooms, Roca delivered products that are affordable, yet stylish and functional. W+W is my personal favourite; its ground breaking, working perfectly with our pared down, luxury take on the hotel market.”

“For me, Roca offered the perfect balance of design and quality,” Colin concluded.

Categories: Interior Design, Kitchen & Bathroom | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Raise a Glass to PV

Hungry Horse - Bristol

The new Hungry Horse pub in Brislington, Bristol achieves a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating and a reduction in carbon emissions from the notional building design having opted for Redland Ministonewold Solar PV tiles.

The Hungry Horse chain understands the importance of investing in cleaner energy whilst not wanting to compromise on the aesthetic value of its establishments. Harnessing solar energy is one of the most sustainable means of generating zero carbon, renewable energy for use in buildings and as Solar PV tiles are integrated into the whole roof system, they allow for a relatively unobtrusive appearance.

Redland’s Ministonewold PV tiles are designed for performance and ease of installation and blend in beautifully with the built environment. The installation can also be expanded at a later date giving maximum flexibility the home owner maximum flexibility.

One hundred square metres of PV was specified for the project. Craig Shepherd at King Associates, the Building Services consultant working for Hungry Horse explained: “Planning conditions stated a need for a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions from the notional building and this was nearly all achieved through the PV cells. Aesthetics were also a key element so we’re pleased with the outcome.”

He went on to say: “Hungry Horse is concerned with all aspects of a more sustainable business model. For example all of its commercial kitchens are electrically fuelled and have heat recovery systems which is why a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating was awarded.”

The full range of Redland products can be viewed at

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

Vent-Axia Welcomes New Indoor Air Quality Research


Vent-Axia, a leader in low carbon ventilation, has welcomed new research which highlights issues with indoor air quality in UK homes.

According to a new YouGov consumer survey, conducted on behalf of BEAMA, over half of respondents had experienced mould or condensation in their homes. Added to this, a new independent study by Prism & Waverton Analytics, backs up this research showing that a large number of homes are experiencing, or are at risk of aggravated health problems due to poor indoor air quality.

The data in both studies makes sobering reading with the YouGov survey stating 58% of respondents have suffered from mould or condensation in their homes and 19% of those have already suffered from respiratory or dermatological condition with the remaining 81% being considered at risk. Meanwhile, the home study by Prism & Waverton Analytics confirms the health risks of poor indoor air quality in no uncertain terms. According to the research, a staggering 91% of homes tested for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in the air were above the recommended level. As the total VOC level increases into the moderate, elevated or severe levels, aggravated health problems become a more likely issue and so the need to address VOC levels becomes more critical.

According to BEAMA, only 2% of UK homes have mechanical ventilation systems installed throughout their homes, placing many households at risk of elevated VOCs. Evidence shows that if care is not taken to ensure adequate levels of ventilation, in line with Part F of the Building Regulations, then high levels of humidity can lead to a growth in dust mite populations, condensation and mould resulting in health and comfort issues. BEAMA’s recommended approach to a balanced refurbishment involving internal or external insulation improvements is to specify continuous ventilation at low cost and low risk.

“At Vent-Axia we welcome this new research which confirms there is no doubt that indoor air quality has an impact on health, with mould and condensation being key factors of poor indoor air quality and health risk,” says Lee Nurse, Marketing Director at Vent-Axia. “With many people spending the majority of their time indoors, improvements in indoor air quality must be seen as a priority. Continuous ventilation is a simple solution to air quality problems.”

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.

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 MVHR system which boasts an impressive 94% thermal efficiency. For refurbishments, there are continuous Decentralised Mechanical Extract Ventilation (dMEV) systems, such as Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Response.

Sentinel Kinetic MVHR unit

Sentinel Kinetic MVHR unit

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.

As the Government continues to drive energy efficiency in homes, these ventilation solutions will become even more important with properties set to become more air tight through insulation and double glazing. If ventilation is not considered in these air tight homes it will only go to increase the risk of households experiencing aggravated health problems due to poor indoor air quality.

Currently there is guidance on the total VOC limit for indoor air in the Building Regulations Part F ‘Means of Ventilation’ within Appendix A which specifies a limit of 300 ng/L over 8 hours (post-construction, but pre-occupancy). Similar guidance is given in the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). However, this new research suggests that there is now a need to provide the building industry with further standard guidelines for ventilation system installation.

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

BM TRADA opens booking for sell-out seminars

PR0025 FDE seminar

With the first of its 2015 events already sold out, BM TRADA is recommending early booking to assure a place on one of its highly popular Fire Doors Explained CPD seminars.

Delivered by experts, the highly interactive events use live fire demonstrations and pre-recorded film footage, as well as traditional seminar sessions, to provide an excellent overview of fire door design, manufacture, testing, installation and certification.

Aimed at anyone with a responsibility for the manufacture, installation, maintenance or inspection of fire doors, the seminars provide all those attending with an in-depth understanding of the structure and each of the components that make up a fire-resisting doorset, fire test requirements and the role of third party certification. They will also learn how to install a fire door correctly and to identify issues which will determine whether or not a doorset will achieve the required performance.

An integral part of each seminar is a live fire door test, which offers delegates an opportunity to see first hand the crucial role played by fire doors in saving lives and property. The hour-long fire resistance test features two identical doors subjected to a prolonged period of fire. One of the doors will have been correctly specified and fitted, while the other will demonstrate many of the common mistakes made.

The test will clearly expose the significant difference in fire resistance between the two doors, highlighting the importance of appropriate specification and installation and clearly demonstrating why a door must be adequately maintained throughout its life.

With all of the places at the first event in February fully booked well in advance, delegates are advised to book now to avoid disappointment.

The remaining 2015 seminars, priced at just £349 + VAT (£299 + VAT for TRADA members), are scheduled to take place at the company’s world class testing laboratories in High Wycombe on: 28 April; 30 June; 15 September and 24 November.

For further information or to book, visit the BM TRADA website:;  email:; or tel: +44 (0) 1494 569744

Categories: Events/Exhibitions, Fire Protection, Health & Safety | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sika Sarnafil chosen for Walkie Talkie’s curved walkways

At a dizzying 160m (525ft) tall, London’s distinctive Walkie Talkie building required an exceptional roofing solution. Fenland Roofing and Sika Sarnafil single ply were up to the challenge.


Fenland Roofing working off harness installing Sika Saranafil on the Walkie Talkie building roof, with stunning views across London.

Designed by architect Rafael Viñoly and costing over £200 million, 20 Fenchurch Street is a 34-storey commercial skyscraper in London, known as the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building due to its top-heavy form. A large viewing deck, bar, restaurants and Sky Garden are included on the top three floors.

Awarded the project in February 2014, Cambridge-based contractor Fenland Flat Roofing was required to provide a lightweight walkable roof area for the access walkways and perimeter edges of the glazed roof to the garden and restaurant. The roofing product had to be carefully selected as it needed to curve in two directions due to the unique design of the building.

Sarnafil G410-12EL single ply provided the perfect solution to this design criteria, thanks to its excellent flexibility and weldabilty, while offering outstanding resistance to weathering, including permanent UV irradiation. This was installed in Lead Grey to the BMU Track and covered with SarnaTred walkway tiles, allowing durable and slip resistant access for maintenance workers – a vital safety consideration.

The second part of the project was to provide a flexible high performance waterproofing membrane to the bespoke Shoulder areas in white, to match in with the steelwork structure colour. Again, Sarnafil had the product to suit the application, Sarnafil G410-15EL Traffic White.


The Walkie Talkie project stands out due to its sheer size and height, creating challenging access issues. As there was no scaffold available, the Fenland team had to work off harnesses and safety lines on a leading edge and had to traverse the glass roof of the building to access the work area. All tools and equipment had to be properly secured at all times. To maintain the most stringent health and safety standards required diligence and planning, rewarding workers with stunning views across London.


High skill levels were required to overcome the various tricky details on the roof and the team had to interface with multiple trades. Fenland completed the project in August 2014 on time and to budget.

Internally the Walkie-Talkie provides a mixture of 13,000sq ft of retail space and 680,000sq ft of top quality offices with panoramic views of London. It is designed to have a BREEAM excellence rating.

For more information on Sika Sarnafil’s products and services, call 01707 394444, email or visit

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

Elegance is back

Imago Lift&Slide Doors on villa

Italian hardware company AGB has brought Imago Lift & Slide to the UK. It’s a luxury wide span timber door that oozes elegance. It’s everything anyone wants from a door, more glass, slim and stylish frames and a smoothness that even George Clooney will find hard to beat.

The sheer luxury of the wood is combined with the componentry from Italian hardware specialists AGB. There’s no other door like Imago. AGB’s philosophy is technology must be beautiful, and nowhere in its range is that more apt than with Imago Lift & Slide doors.

The Imago Lift & Slide door is highly energy efficient. Imago features the advanced AGB Uni-V Central Point to ensure a consistent weatherseal and thermal break between the interlocking timber door sash and frame. It’s tested to extreme levels of water, air, wind and impact. To make it even more efficient, Imago has the unique Climatech flush threshold made from reinforced fibre glass. It guarantees high thermal performance and sits at the same level as the floor, so it looks amazing.

As with any door, security has to be a top priority. AGB’s Poseidon high security locking system is a real innovation in keeping homes safe and it looks beautiful. Its low profile twin hook, central bolt lock secures to a concealed security striker, providing the highest protection for Imago Lift & Slide Doors. So Imago’s technical credentials are more than a match for its beauty.

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

Altro Flooring brings massive benefits to pioneering dementia ward at Warrington Hospital

Altro and Warrington Hospital 2

Nearly a year after Altro safety flooring was installed in a pioneering new dementia ward at Warrington Hospital, statistics have revealed that the products are helping to vastly improve life for patients and staff.

This is effectively setting the standard for flooring in clinical environments where creating a relaxed, calming and safe environment is paramount.

The £1m Forget Me Not ward opened at Warrington Hospital in May 2014, with the aim of leading the way in providing the best quality care for hospital patients with dementia.

The ward features a number of innovative design features, including its own mock bus stop, lounge area with traditional-look fireplace, quiet room with a 1960s-style TV, and a special dementia garden area. Everything is designed to provide relaxation and stimulation for patients who need hospital care, and who also have dementia.

Lee Bushell, Warrington Hospital’s Estates Officer, Capital Projects, said: “The results we have seen so far are astounding and show that we have got it right. There are fewer patient attacks on staff, fewer slips, trips and falls, and patients with a history of violence are quickly calm and relaxed after arriving at the unit.

“The length of stay on the ward has vastly reduced — which for a unit with only 21 beds is a major consideration — and there is less sickness and absence among staff because they are happier in their working environment.

“There are no issues with cleaning at all, and the flooring still looks good and is performing very well.”

Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was one of the largest beneficiaries from the £50 million national King’s Fund, which helps shape health policy and practice.

Lee Bushell said: “Warrington’s Forget Me Not ward has been designed to look different to a typical ward. The needs of patients with dementia are very specific. Our aim was to cater to these absolutely in the creation of the new ward, and provide a calm and relaxing environment for care using the latest design principles, colour and light.

“There are many different types of dementia and because everyone is unique, everyone is affected by it in different ways. But there are several things that many sufferers experience, such as forgetfulness, disorientation of time and place, difficulty planning ahead and with short-term memory, and occasionally hallucinations. Understandably, this can often lead to patients becoming anxious or distressed.

“By understanding how dementia affects sufferers, we were able to create a dementia-friendly environment that both minimises the stresses that patients experience, while providing positive stimuli in a homely, calming space.”

Forget Me Not ward is a very clearly defined space, prioritising what is most important. The lighting is much brighter than normal, and there is good tonal contrast between flooring, skirtings, walls and doors, and glare is avoided.

Strong colours have been used, and feature walls make rooms look more three-dimensional. Frequent ‘cues’, such as familiar objects and pictures, are also vital as they help with orientation.

Flooring plays an important role in dementia-friendly design, because dementia patients need to feel confident moving around the space. Using matt flooring is essential, as reflective surfaces can cause confusion, and speckling or sparkles need to be avoided. Flooring must be safe underfoot, as well, and with a tone and texture that is warm and comforting.Altro and Warrington Hospital

“We chose Altro Wood SafetyTM and Altro AquariusTM flooring for the new ward because we have used them both at Warrington Hospital before with great success, so I knew they would be the right choice for this project,” explains Lee.

Altro Wood Safety has been installed throughout the ward and public areas. Its timber-look design is warm and familiar, which is a key issue for patient wellbeing. Plus of course it provides slip-resistance underfoot for the patients.”

The Altro Wood Safety™ range of 16 wood-look designs offers a combination of classic, contemporary classic and on trend designs, which are ideal in locations where first impressions count and you can’t afford to compromise on safety.

The palette enables mood to vary from cool and classy for spas and lobbies, to warm and nurturing for the healthcare and educational sectors. The sparkle-free finish makes it particularly ideal for application in dementia settings.

The range benefits from Altro Easyclean Maxis PUR Technology for optimum, long term cleaning and maintenance performance.

Altro Aquarius has been fitted in the ward’s showers, bathrooms and toilets. “The benefit of Altro Aquarius is that it’s safe underfoot in wet areas with both bare feet and shoes, so for an environment where staff wearing shoes will be assisting patients with bare feet, it’s ideal,” Lee says. “It’s also a very hygienic product which has been specifically developed for clinical environments.”

Altro Aquarius™ was developed for lasting performance in wet and dry, shoes or barefoot. Achieving a pendulum test value of TRRL ≥50 and Class B to DIN51097 for barefoot use, Altro Aquarius provides optimum lifetime sustained slip-resistance in wet and dry environments. This innovation revolutionises product selection for potentially wet areas, because it removes the uncertainty of how and where to specify and install safety flooring for mixed barefoot and shoe use. It’s a 2mm safety floor that has been extensively tested on a variety of shoe types to ensure top performance in a host of environments – bathrooms, changing areas, hospital wards. Anywhere you can expect a wet and dry floor environment. It’s also easy to clean, with Altro Easyclean Maxis PUR technology, meaning it’s at the forefront of safety floor cleaning.

“Overall, this is a real success story, and one that we are using to replicate in other areas of the hospital — specifically a stroke unit, where patients often have the same needs and issues,” says Lee.

“But we believe that this type of environment is beneficial across the board in clinical areas, where you can use flooring that has the homely warm look of a vinyl, but with the benefits of excellent safety and hygiene.

“We have proved Altro flooring works extremely well, and we want to take this forward and bring its benefits to other areas of the hospital.”

Categories: Flooring, Health & Safety, Healthcare Buildings, Interior Design | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Protecting the Building Envelope

Front Cover 2015 Product Guide

The 2015 edition of ‘Protecting the Building Envelope’ (volume 27) is a full colour A5 manual of 147 pages containing the latest best practice building details.

This latest edition includes more than 168 enhancements plus additional construction solutions and numerous upgraded products.

Published by Cavity Trays Ltd of Yeovil, here are some application examples:

Type GBOT Type G Balcony Opening Tray

The Type GBOT is a Type G compatible cavitray for use at door openings where water penetrating in and around the reveal / closer must be prevented from continuing its usual gravitational path.

Appropriate for use where a doorway opens onto a balcony or deck area under which is a continuation of the building/enclosed area.

Type BWVC Bay Window Vertical Cavitray

Prevents lateral transference experienced when wind-driven rain saturates the external masonry skin around a bay window or similar where the level of the bay-spanning lintel and the level at which the roof intersects are different.

Type X Gable Abutment Cavitray

Now manufactured to suit a wider range of cavity widths and available with synthetic flashing options as well as traditional lead flashing.

Timber Frame and SIPS DPC Profiles

An increased range of profiles offering protection extending three dimensionally.

The above are just a few of the new specification solutions detailed within this new publication from Cavity Trays Ltd of Yeovil, that is the longest established specialist within its field and also the only cavity tray manufacturer in the UK awarded European Technical Approval.

Readers might also wish to secure a copy of an accompanying handbook in the Best Practice series called:

The Latest Book of Wise Decisions’.

Both are essential reading for all industry disciplines.

Categories: Construction | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Instant Attraction with Vicaima

The moment they entered the room one look was enough, they could tell that it was love at first glance and that without doubt there was an instant attraction.

Ambiente Dekordor 3D

Ambiente Dekordor 3D

Your design and build quality is often assessed by first impressions and what better way to set the right note than by your choice of interior door and door assemblies.  By choosing Vicaima products, with a reputation for design flair and innovation, it can speak volumes about your own values and specification and demonstrate the passion you have for quality products.

Vicaima offers Housing designers, developers and contractors real scope to put their own stamp on things with imaginative options in quality veneered and laminated finishes.  Design and performance solutions are constantly evolving to meet the needs of an ever changing market and to inspire fresh ideas that present real differentiation for interior living standards.  Two recent examples where Vicaima’s contemporary design ideas has drawn plenty of admiring glances, is in the introduction of the Dekordor 3D and the Naturdor Oak stained ranges.

Vicaima’s Dekordor 3D embossed face finished doors have really made a big impression, with their highly tactile yet surprisingly durable face finish.  Its striking horizontal embossed surface cries out to be touched and yet it offers excellent abrasion and moisture resistance and is so easy to clean.  Used widely in apartments and luxury living accommodation, Dekordor 3D presents a modern door option with real uniformity of colour and texture. Available in 5 popular finishes including Grey and a recently introduced Oak.vicaima

For specifiers keen to reflect the recent trend for stained Oak floors and kitchens, Vicaima have also developed an exciting selection of real Oak veneered doors with the added charm of staining to bring out the natural beauty of wood in new and less common hues, such as chocolate, hazel and grey, in addition to limed oak, wenge and walnut.  The faces, which are available in either a textured or smooth finish, have been enhanced with a matt lacquered stain finish which requires no further treatment once fitted. Truly different, this range will add charm to both modern and traditional homes.

Vicaima Portaro SBD

Vicaima Portaro SBD

No matter which design you choose, it is worth remembering that door and frame go hand in hand.  So a completely matching door assembly like the Vicaima Portaro system avoids the need for oddly painted frames and ensures you have perfect harmony.

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

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

Fire safety makes an entrance

Glazing solutions from Vetrotech Saint-Gobain have provided high standards of fire protection for a striking new atrium at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.


The Atria Building adjacent to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) has a stunning glass atrium which has been created using CONTRAFLAM by Vetrotech Saint-Gobain.

CONTRAFLAM has a class A safety rating consisting of two sheets of toughened safety glass which are separated by a transparent advanced intumescent interlayer. When exposed to fire, the interlayer turns opaque and expands to form a fully insulating heat shield. This effectively reduces the transmission of radiated and conducted heat. The layers also provide an integrity barrier against smoke, flames and hot gases for maintained integrity in excess of 120 minutes. The opaque insulating interlayer blocks the view of the fire helping to minimise panic and acts as a guide for emergency services to indicate the presence of fire.

CONTRAFLAM can be used for internal and external applications, for installation into steel, aluminium or timber frames, partitions and doors.

Manufactured by Vetrotech, at its dedicated Coventry production facility, two types of CONTRAFLAM were supplied for the EICC project to suit the different requirements within the new atrium.

Installed by leading facade designer and contractor Charles Henshaw & Sons, the fire rated glass atrium provides a light and spacious reception point to allow access to the venue’s 1,600 m2 multi-purpose Lennox Suite which accommodates up to 2,000 people.

Henshaws installed 1,500 m2 of EI30 CONTRAFLAM (30 minute integrity and insulation) in screens within the main atrium and 250 m2 of EI60 CONTRAFLAM (60 minutes integrity and insulation) in screens on the ground floor areas.

Graham Chung, Sales Director at Henshaws, said: “The EICC was already a landmark Edinburgh building, but the impressive new Atria building makes it very special and it’s a project we’re proud to have been involved with. CONTRAFLAM has enabled us to meet the demanding brief extremely well thanks to working with Vetrotech.”

The £85m extension to one of Edinburgh’s most iconic buildings was designed by BDP Architects and completed by main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine, with project management by Mace Group.

Vetrotech is a leading producer of fire resistant glass products. Being a member of the Saint-Gobain Group, Europe’s biggest producer and processor of glass, Vetrotech knows all aspects of this material. With innovative research and development and state-of-the-art production technologies, solutions of the highest level of quality and complexity can be created. Vetrotech products comply with the strictest impact safety requirements and are also suitable for multi-comfort applications and meet the aesthetic demands of modern architecture.

CONTRAFLAM is one of three product ranges in the Clear Fire Resistant range by Vetrotech. PYROSWISS, VETROFLAM and CONTRAFLAM STRUCTURE make up the portfolio of products. Vetrotech also provides blast, bullet and attack-resistant glass with its PROTECT range.

All Vetrotech UK-manufactured products are UV stable and carry a Class A safety rating as standard. Available as single-pane or double-glazed units, they can incorporate acoustic or solar control options for added comfort, safety and practicality. There are also additional aesthetic options, including patterned, tinted and acid-etched glass.

Since July 2013, it has been mandatory for all UK construction products placed on the EU market to carry the CE mark and Vetrotech products are CE marked as standard. Additionally, all Vetrotech products come with a Declaration of Performance (DoP) – an official document that contains the data relating to the performance of the product.

Categories: Architecture, Construction, Doors, Windows & Glazing, Fire Protection, Health & Safety | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

LSE Building designed in brick is selected for shortlist at Design of the Year Awards

London School of Economics’ Saw Swee Hock Student Centre, by award winning architects O’Donnell + Tuomey, is a stunning example of a contemporary building designed in red brick.


It joins a host of impressive nominees from around the world in the shortlist for Design of the Year 2015, hosted by Design Museum in London. Winning would mean another award for the building having won the Supreme award at the Brick Development Association’s 2014 Brick Awards. The project was also nominated for the RIBA Stirling Prize.


Located in London’s ‘city of bricks’ themulti-faceted structure’s dynamic shape is guided by the jumbled streets it lies among. Approximately 175,000 handmade bricks form the solid and perforated façade. Natural light infiltrates the perforated sides in the evening hours creating a complex geometric pattern.


The Saw Swee Hock Student Centre is named in recognition of Professor Saw See Hock who funded the project. The building hosts a series of conference rooms, entertainment spaces, a café, bar, a basement night club, multi-faith prayer rooms and a gym.

Design of the Year 2015’s Architecture category represents the fullest range of the built environment from small scale domestic to public parks. Other categories include digital, fashion, graphics, products and transport and all will feature in an exhibition at Design Museum from 25 March to 23 August.

Categories: Architecture, Construction, Events/Exhibitions | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making History


A homeowner in Cambridge selected the Redland Rosemary Clay Craftsman roof tile due to its heritage look on a complete re-roofing job done on his mansion house.

Cambridge is a town of quintessential English charm, famous for its top university and frequented by scholars from all over the world.  Both Latham Road and Chaucer Road, the oldest streets in Cambridge, were put under a conservation order in 2000. This means that any external work carried out on the buildings in these streets, including this property must fit in with the traditional aesthetic. Craftsman tiles have the rustic appearance of an old tile teamed with the strength and durability of a new tile, offering the best of both worlds to history conscious homeowners who want to maintain an authentically dated appearance for their property.

Speaking about the project, Kieran McGinty, owner of K McGinty Roofing said “The property on Latham Road is well over a hundred years old and had undergone some roof repair work in the 1980’s due to a leak. We were contracted to strip down all of the existing roof tiles and start from scratch after the repair job began to fail. I suggested the Craftsman due to its rustic quality which I felt suited the essential characteristics of the area. I showed a sample of the tile to the homeowner and he said yes straight away.”

Kieran went on to say: “I have used the Craftsman tile on a number of other recent projects and find that it is easy to work with and the customer is always pleased with the end result”

The full range of Redland products can be viewed at

Categories: Roofing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

ColourCloud set to transform laser scans with fast point cloud colourisation overlay

11th Century church captured with 9 laser scans, colourised in HDR within 15 minutes using ColourCloud

11th Century church captured with 9 laser scans, colourised in HDR within 15 minutes using ColourCloud

  • Breakthrough for architects and surveyors will mean end of stitching, processing images and manually clicking placement points
  • iSTAR camera captures a 50 million pixel image within 20 seconds – the same resolution scan (without colour) would take around 20-30 minutes

NCTech Limited, creators of the ground-breaking iSTAR® 360º panoramic digital imaging device, is launching ColourCloudTM, the world’s fastest automatic HDR point cloud colourisation software. This offers architects and surveyors speedy, pixel-perfect overlay to support iSTAR files and e57 industry standard laser scan outputs from leading scanner manufacturers including Trimble, Leica Geosystems and Faro.

This now means that for architects and surveyors working on location, HDR images are captured at each scan position in just 20 seconds which significantly reduces the time spent ‘on site’, and the ColourCloudTM batch processing capability reduces post-capture scan colourisation to a fraction of the time normally taken.

The ColourCloudTM process provides fully automatic colourisation which speeds up workflow rates, requires no stitching, resolves parallax issues and is precision calibrated to sub-pixel accuracy. The end result is full colour HDR overlay from any laser scan to within +/-2 pixels.

Neil Tocher, Chief Technical Officer of NCTech Limited, explains the concept and development of ColourCloudTM:

“From our research, we know Architecture and Surveying professionals want the ability to speed up workflow rate where laser scanning and imaging is concerned. ColourCloudTM is designed to use a single open file format to integrate into the existing output from software across all manufacturers scanning devices and is a significant improvement on existing processes which can take a professional considerable time to colourise a single 3D scan from a scanner.

“This means that hundreds of millions of 3D scan data points can be colourised from an iSTAR image in seconds. We are redefining the colourisation process with total automation in a fraction of the time it currently takes.”

As a comparison, NCTech Limited highlights an example in which the iSTAR camera captured a 50 million pixel image within 20 seconds; the same resolution scan (without colour) would take around 20-30 minutes.

A high dynamic range capture of up to nine exposures takes just over two minutes with iSTAR. This is a fully automatic process, done at the push of a button.

NCTech Limited’s CEO, Cameron Ure, adds:

“This is a significant milestone in offering the laser scanning market an innovative step-change solution for Architects and Surveyors, whilst delivering a leap in visual quality and detail.

“Via current and prospective clients we know that companies in these professions have been waiting for this product. It saves time, seamlessly assists the entire workflow and the ability to automatically colourise an entire point cloud is ground-breaking for the laser scanning industry.”

More details are available at

NCTech will be holding a webinar on the 10th March to mark the launch of their exciting new ColourCloud automated point-cloud colourisation software. The webinar will demonstrate how the software works and why it is so significant to the laser scanning community. Two sessions will be held to accommodate different global time zones, the first at 09.00 UK time and the second at 17.00 UK time. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Link to the registration page:


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

Apartments in the market for design-led bathrooms from Laufen

Examples of urban living don’t come much greater than Markthall Rotterdam, an iconic new marketplace with apartments above, each of which are fitted with Laufen bathrooms.

Markthall Rotterdam -u00AE Steven Scholten,

The first of its kind in Europe, Markthall Rotterdam integrates living and shopping in a unique way, this hybrid between market hall and housing is designed in a distinctive horse shoe shaped arch, consisting of housing from the third to the eleventh floor.

With three, four or five bedrooms, each apartment has a unique view over Rotterdam, including the river Meuse or the Laurenskerk. All of the 102 the rental properties within the building share a common theme, with the bathrooms fitted with Laufen Pro sanitaryware.

Markthal Rotterdam, MVRDV architecten

For the project’s architects, MVRDV, Laufen Pro was the ideal choice for a design that caters for the needs of contemporary living in the Netherlands.The collection is characterised by a clean, timeless design, combining form with function to create bathroom spaces that are stylish and practical. Products chosen for the residential apartments in Markthall Rotterdam include the Pro corner basin, 60cm washbasin and Pro wall-hung WC.

L1 L2

Eric Meijer, Managing Director for Laufen Netherlands, comments: “Markthall Rotterdam is an iconic project, bringing residential living right into the heart of the city.

“Laufen Pro sanitaryware is the ideal fit for the bathrooms in each of the rental apartments, maximising on space and giving designers the freedom to be creative in what is a truly urban setting.”

For details on the complete range of bathroom solutions available from Laufen visit or call 01530 510007.

For more information on Markthall Rotterdam visit

Categories: Interior Design, Kitchen & Bathroom | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brett Landscaping provides a ‘natural’paving solution for police training centre

BRE20501 West Yorkshire Police

A new training school, developed for West Yorkshire Police in Carr Gate, Wakefield, has recently had its external landscaping completed using UK sourced natural stone, single size Fens Moss Yorkstone paving along with Omega block paving in Burnt Oak – another impressive project that’s been undertaken using the design and supply services of Brett Landscaping.

The building, which has been developed by Interserve, has been purposefully designed to accommodate facilities for West Yorkshire Police training including crime, driver, IT, recruit, firearms and public order.

After a comprehensive design and build process, the completed training school is notable for the use of cedar cladding to complement the surrounding environment.  During construction, it was felt that the building’s striking design merited a landscaping solution to equal its appearance; however, associated plans had not been drawn to accomplish this aspect of the design.

To meet this requirement, a paving partnership had to be established, as James Derry, Procurement Manager at Howard Civil Engineering, the development’s groundworking contractor explains:

“As groundwork contractor, it became part of our remit to specify and install a product of appropriate material and size to complement Interserve’s excellent landscaping drawings.”

Brett Landscaping was recommended due to its proven experience in supping paving for civic buildings.  The company presented Howard Civil Engineering with a portfolio of product choices to enhance the area.  Each option would provide appropriate drainage and allow maintenance to be both feasible and realistic, once the chosen solution had been installed.

From these suggestions, Howard and Interserve selected 1,200 sq.m of Fens Moss, a Yorkstone flag paver from the Brett natural stone range.  It was felt that Fens Moss, a fine grained Yorkstone, blue / grey stone, supplied as a single sized flag, as opposed to the more typical approach using a constant gauge but with random lengths, thereby helping to create a unique aesthetic for the project. This was matched with 600 sq.m of Omega block paving in Burnt Oak for a pedestrian ramp to provide the perfect finish to complement both the building itself as well as the surrounding Yorkshire landscapes.

“From assessing the site, and working with Howard Civil Engineering to adhere to the budget, we knew the best recommendation would be to install natural stone slabs, of appropriate size to sit effectively within the building’s design.  We then worked to design and supply the right solution, efficiently, and to budget,” explains Jamie Gledhill, Civils Sales Manager at Brett Landscaping.

While advising on product selection, Brett’s assistance also extended to providing technical support and guidance relevant to the required British Standards for installation of natural stone; the depth of beds needed and foundation recommendations.

The aesthetic result is extremely effective; as has been the working relationship between Brett and Howard Civil Engineering, as James Derry points out:

“We’re all extremely pleased with the paving at Carr Gate, which has worked to complete the building to great effect.  Fulfilling the project in conjunction with Brett has also been a positive experience, and has led to Howard Civil Engineering starting new discussions with Brett to supply for another scheme we’ll be working on soon.”

Categories: Construction, External Works, Landscaping | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Five-star cleanliness, comfort and luxury from Geberit at the Chedi Andermatt Hotel

Offering guests five-star luxury throughout their stay, the bathrooms in the Chedi Andermatt Hotel are fitted with Geberit AquaClean 8000 shower toilets.

Offering guests five-star luxury throughout their stay, the bathrooms in the Chedi Andermatt Hotel are fitted with Geberit AquaClean 8000 shower toilets.

Shower toilets offer guests the chance to experience spa-like cleanliness and give hoteliers the opportunity to raise the comfort levels above their five-star status. That is why Geberit AquaClean 8000plus was the natural choice for the bathrooms in the luxurious Chedi Andermatt Hotel located in the beautiful Swiss Alps.

With luxury and comfort being at the heart of the hotel’s design, the bathrooms feature high quality fittings throughout, with large bathtubs, natural stone floors with underfloor heating and separate rain showers. Completing the spa-like luxury for guests are Geberit’s top-of-the range shower toilets, fitted in each of the hotel’s 106 rooms and suites.

Geberit_Chedi15_04_14-25184_BenHuggler (1) copy

Offering the ultimate in wellness for guests, the Geberit AquaClean 8000plus combines the functions of a toilet and a bidet in one compact unit. At the touch of a button the shower toilet washes the user clean with a gentle, airy water spray at body temperature. The WC also features an integrated warm-air dryer and an automatic odour extraction function, which fills the room with fresh, clean air addressing the important issue of ventilation in the hotel bathroom.

“For us, luxury primarily means ensuring personal comfort for our guests,” explains Senior Vice President of General Hotel Management Lt, Hansjörg Meier. “It goes without saying that the shower toilet is a standard feature in our bathrooms. Our guests are made up of international clientele that are used to a certain lifestyle. Most also have shower toilets at home and certainly won’t want to have to live without them when on vacation.

The shower toilet from Geberit perfectly fulfils all our requirements with respect to quality, hygiene and comfort. We can therefore rest assured that we are offering our discerning guests the very best.”

Geberit – 0800 032 9629 

Categories: Interior Design, Kitchen & Bathroom | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New air source heat pump and biomass boilers launched at Ecobuild

  • New Vitocal 300-A three-phase air source heat pump provides higher outputs and quiet operation for commercial properties
  • Compact, manual feed, domestic biomass boiler will tempt mainstream market by fitting into utility rooms
  • Vitoligno 300-H cements Viessmann’s position in the medium power commercial biomass boiler range
  • UK’s first PEM domestic fuel cell system, the Vitovalor 300-P, is also on display.

Viessmann is launching three new renewable heating products at Ecobuild (March 3-5, 2015; ExCel; stand no. 3130) alongside other examples of its current products and future innovations.

The Vitocal 300-A three-phase air source heat pump , in 10.5 or 12 kW outputs (up from 8.6 kW for the single-phase version), is designed for commercial properties requiring a maximum flow temperature of up to 65 °C. The all-in-one package of variable speed fan, modulating compressor and quiet air duct design is a freestanding, external unit that earned a special mention in the German Design Awards 2015 for its statuesque, cylindrical design.


Along with a high Coefficient of Performance of 3.5 (air 2 °C/ water 35 °C) , the Vitocal 300-A has a sound level of just 54 dB (A), even lower at night, making it one of the quietest heat pumps in the market.

A new compact, biomass, pellet boiler joins Viessmann’s Vitoligno range as an option for domestic homeowners who want the performance of a gas boiler and a renewable energy source. As it requires no fuel storage or automated feed device, the manually-fed Vitoligno 300-C is ideal for space-restricted areas inside the home such as utility rooms. The 300-C has an output of between 2.4 kW and 12 kW and a high efficiency of up to 95.3 per cent. The ash box only needs empting once or twice a year. Operation and system monitoring is easy via Viessmann’s Smartphone Vitotrol App.



Bringing new, higher rated outputs of 80, 99 and 101 kW, suitable for district heating networks, the new Vitoligno 300-H commercial biomass boiler cements the Viessmann Group’s coverage of the biomass market, the company manufacturing wood heating systems between 2.4 kW and 1,700 kW.


The 300-H system can be selectively fed pellets or wood chips, from either the left or right of the boiler. It features an efficient automatic ignition with lower power consumption and fully automatic ash removal from the sliding frame and heat exchanger. Its unique design, including an upright heat exchanger enables less ash to settle in it, which makes for long intervals between cleaning. Emptying of the large, lockable ash box is nearly dust-free.

With its weather compensated Ecotronic control and a modulation range of 1:3, the Vitoligno 300-H tailors its performance exactly to suit the heating demand, resulting in low fuel consumption.

“Under the banner ‘Innovations Today for Tomorrow’s Future’, Viessmann is showing it has a heating product for every application at this year’s Ecobuild, from domestic gas condensing boilers through wood, heat pump and solar renewable ranges to commercial CHP and boiler units, and finally to our new fuel cell system.  In addition to our technology messages, we’ll be helping contractors better understand the ErP product and system labelling requirements being introduced in September 2015,” says Darren McMahon, marketing director.

About Viessmann Ltd.

Viessmann Limited is part of the Viessmann Group of Companies which is one of the leading international manufacturers of heating systems. Founded in 1917, the family business is overseen by the chairmanship of Managing Partner Dr. Martin Viessmann. The Group has annual turnover of EUR 2.1 billion and employs a staff of approximately 11,400. Viessmann’s comprehensive product range encompasses all fuel types and applications, allowing it to deliver high quality, efficient and fully integrated solutions. With an output range of 1.5 to 120,000 kW, Viessmann offers oil and gas-fired boilers, solar thermal and photovoltaics, combined heat and power modules (CHP), ground, air and water sourced heat pumps and biomass boilers.

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

Leading London Property Company Selects Advanced

Amanda Hope, Advanced’s UK business development manager with Broadgate’s David Powell'

Amanda Hope, Advanced’s UK business development manager with Broadgate’s David Powell’

One of London’s most high-profile commercial property management companies has selected fire systems from Advanced to protect its landmark buildings as part of a multi-million pound investment programme.

So far 13 buildings managed by Broadgate Estates have been fitted with Advanced’s MxPro panels, ranging from simple three-panel networks to far more complex installations with 60 panels or more. Every fire system is linked to the local Building Management System (BMS) and monitored from a central control room.

David Powell, Technical Systems Manager for Broadgate Estates, commented: “We are committed to maintaining our estate to the highest possible standards and this includes updating or replacing fire systems. We evaluated a number of products and settled on Advanced’s MxPro range as they are easy to use and very robust.”

MxPro is Advanced’s flagship range of multiprotocol panels, offering customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support. MxPro panels can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200 panel networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration and wide peripheral range make it customisable to almost any application.

The 13 buildings equipped so far include 159 MxPro panels, twinned with detectors, sounders and other peripheral devices from Apollo and Hochiki, both long-standing partners of Advanced.

Amanda Hope, Advanced’s UK Business Development Manager, said: “For clients like this one, with property portfolios valued at billions of pounds, high quality and reliable fire systems are absolutely essential. We’ve worked closely with the in-house team and their installers to ensure that each building has a system which is high performance, easy to use and offers future flexibility.

“The performance and flexibility of the MxPro range makes it well suited to all manner of installations. It can scale quickly from single panel single loop to cover huge, challenging sites with 200 network nodes and 1000s of field devices.”

Advanced MxPro 5 panels are one of the few systems that are fully approved to EN54 Part 13. This is a compatibility and integrity standard that constantly checks all transmission paths for loop, sounder and network loading. It is capable of indicating partial short and partial open conditions for all possible loads, which might otherwise remain hidden until a fire occurs. This means that the fire system will continue to perform to its maximum capability during a fire incident.

Advanced has also provided custom-built panels and control units for several buildings through its AdSpecials division. The company’s Advanced360 customer support and service is legendary, ensuring customers get exactly what they need from specification through sales, installation and maintenance.

Advanced is a world leader in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. Its legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use sees its products used in prestigious and challenging locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control and fire paging systems. More details can be found on the website at

Categories: Fire Protection, Health & Safety | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Steelcase Solutions supports new college

Commitment to innovative education

By Nick Lyons, Business Development Director, Scotland, Steelcase Solutions.

Media House 2

Steelcase Solutions, the UK’s leading office interiors company, has underlined its commitment to innovative education by supporting a new college which offers alternative education programmes for teenagers.


Newlands Junior College in Glasgow has been established to deliver new form of education involving alternative educational programmes aimed at young people aged 14 to 16 years old who have potential but may find their current secondary school education does not suit their learning styles or goals.

The college, which was created by entrepreneur Jim McColl,  is recruiting 30 pupils from local schools and put them through an alternative approach to their education in years S3 and S4 which, in addition to academic subjects, will combine vocational training and motivational training with sports, nutrition and outdoor activities.

Steelcase Solutions has been working with the college, based on the south side of Glasgow, since its inception and has provided advice on creating inspiring learning environments as well as products which support active learning.

Nick Lyons, Business Development Director for Steelcase Solutions in Scotland, said: “We are pleased and privileged to be part of this extremely worthwhile project.

Media House 3

“One of the biggest frustrations for teachers and educators today is the unsuitability of the learning environment. We see new schools emerging but time and again the actual learning spaces are still adhering to designs that belong to previous centuries.

“Despite revolutionary technology, the information explosion, and an interconnected planet, not to mention improved teaching and learning methods, the typical college classroom is often fixed in time like a museum.

“Of course,  there’s often a computer in the corner that can pull up a YouTube video, maybe even an electronic whiteboard. But the scene rarely changes: rows of hard chairs with little tablet arms, a writing board attached to the wall, an instructor’s lectern – in short, everything geared to the lecture format developed back when the only iPad was a chalk slate. Can 19th century classroom design be the best way to prepare students for the 21st century knowledge economy? I doubt it.IMG_0025

“Students today are far more connected but schools generally haven’t accommodated what students can do, or adjusted what educators  try to do with them. You see students using laptops or other devices, but the instruction often isn’t designed to take up on the fact that they’re coming to class with those tools.

“The ethos of Newlands Junior College is to stimulate and engage teenagers, who may not find mainstream education suits their needs, and to help them realise their potential. This involved creating active learning environments which make a significant difference in the engagement of students.


“This new approach is taking root in schools and colleges across the country and  Newlands is pioneering in its approach. We are pleased to play a part in realising its own ambitions.

Studies shows that classrooms designed for active learning—i.e., where physical space supports a focus on engaging experiences for students and faculty— have a significant effect on student engagement.

Media House 4

“A Steelcase Education research programme was undertaken to build upon and contribute to this growing body of evidence that the learning environment impacts students’ success and engagement is a key predicting factor.

“A robust survey instrument, titled the Active Learning Post Occupancy Evaluation (AL-POE) tool, was developed specifically for measuring the impact of classroom design on student engagement. Engagement is widely recognised as a highly probable predictor of student success.

“The majority of students and faculty reported that the new classrooms contributed to higher engagement, the expectation of better grades, more motivation and more creativity

“Decision makers at educational institutions, architects and designers can be assured that investments in solutions intentionally designed to support active learning can create more effective classrooms and higher student engagement. Furthermore, there’s now evidence that these classrooms encourage and enable educators to practice active learning methods.

Media House 1

Iain White, Principal of Newlands Junior College said: “It has been fantastic to be in partnership with Steelcase Solutions.  Their furniture meets our needs in terms of quality and flexibility and ease of use.  Being involved with a company that understands our requirements and is passionate about providing an optimum learning environment is a joy.”

Categories: Educational Buildings, Furniture, Interior Design | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Qualplas manufactures VEKA door and window order for challenging West African beachfront development


St Helens-based VEKA fabricator, Qualplas has recently fulfilled one of the more unusual contracts of its 25-year history by manufacturing windows, doors and French doors for a residential project, under construction in Ghana!

The contract was referred to Qualplas via The VEKA UK Group website following initial contact from contractor Barry Alger, who is coordinating the project from his beachfront property nearby.

Andrew Smith, Qualplas‘ Managing Director explains: “Barry was sold on using VEKA systems having been so impressed with the durability of the units installed on his own property, which neighbours the new development.

The VEKA UK Group referred the project to us as Barry had specified that he wanted to use a reputable fabricator with a long-standing relationship with VEKA. His other main criterion was our closeness to the Liverpool Docks, purely for the comparative ease of shipping the finished units to West Africa.”

The new development is situated on Victoria Beach near Takoradi, Ghana, and will consist of 24 serviced apartments, office facilities, a bar and restaurant area overlooking the seafront and a bathing area / swimming pool. Oil has recently been discovered in the region and it is envisaged that a company involved in that industry will lease the entire purpose-built development for the use of its workers.

The significant size of the project meant Qualplas received an order comprising around 40 Matrix 70 windows, 19 sets of French doors and additional residential doors. VEKA door and window systems are therefore used exclusively throughout the development, paying testament to Barry’s confidence in their weather resistance and technical performance.

Andrew continues: “The photos Barry has sent us of the construction site demonstrate just how exposed the new development is to the elements. Not only will the window and door installations have to withstand savage sea winds, rain and salt water erosion but, with the changing seasons, there will be huge variations in temperature from extreme heat to bitter chill.”

Colin Torley, Sales and Marketing Director for The VEKA UK Group added: “Qualplas‘ commitment to fabricating VEKA systems not only secured the company this fascinating contract but reassured the customer that the products he chose have been thoroughly tested to withstand the world’s most unforgiving climates.

“VEKA subjects its systems to prolonged testing in extremes of heat and cold as part of its development and ongoing quality control process, ensuring that the challenges presented by developments like Barry’s are comprehensively catered for. We can’t wait to see pictures of the finished project and are proud that systems from The VEKA UK Group, fabricated by Qualplas – a long-standing, UK-based VEKA fabricator are being championed on a world stage.”

VEKA plc, 01282 716611

Categories: Doors, Windows & Glazing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Take full control of heating your home with myComfort

Windhager74 MyComfort App highres

Forgot to turn your heating controls on before leaving for work, or want to come home to a warm cosy house after a long vacation or a cold winters day? Introducing myComfort from Windhager, a revolutionary remote heating control mobile app for all of the Windhager biomass range of boilers, which is set to launch at Ecobuild.

myComfort allows every homeowner to quickly and simply control their individual heating systems everyday from any recognised smartphone or tablet. The app can be retro fitted to all Windhager boilers with MES plus controls* and requires a fixed LAN cable to the householders router.

Whether at home or abroad, the heating system is always under control and can be regulated from any location via any recognised smartphone. myComfort provides an intelligent way to have two-way communication with the Windhager boiler. Push messages can to be received from the boiler to a smartphone about its status, such as; fuel levels, emptying the ash pan and service reminders.

myComfort is an innovative and stylish application that has enabled us to answer all our customers needs. The mobile app allows the temperature of our boilers to be set even before you come home or to save energy when you leave your house. It offers bespoke controls to suit any individual need for how they want to heat their home. As industry leaders in biomass boilers it is important for Windhager to stay at the forefront of heating technology and provide our customers with as much flexibility as they require when using our products- myComfort achieves exactly that. commented Oliver Duckworth, Commercial Director.

For quick and simple decisions extra pre-programmed functions, Eco or Comfort mode can be chosen automatically when bespoke heating is not required. With the weekly overview option available within the app, it is easy to set up and organise the heating programme and heating modes can be changed, such as the single domestic hot water refill mode that charges the hot water cylinder outside the usual hot water programs.

The myComfort-heating app will be released at Ecobuild and for full demonstrations and access visit Windhager UK in the South Hall on stand number 2040.

A demo version of the Windhager myComfort heating app is now available on Apple and Android devices which can be downloaded via

Categories: Ecobuild, Energy Saving, Environmental Control, Events/Exhibitions, Heating & Ventilation | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Practical advice on offer as Mitsubishi Electric joins Practical Installer at Ecobuild


Leading heat pump manufacturer, Mitsubishi Electric has announced that it is bringing its renewables experts to Ecobuild 2015 (3-5 March) as part of Plumb Center’s Practical Installer arena.

The company will be working alongside a selection of renewable solution providers to deliver tailored business advice to the seasoned MCS- accredited installer and gas installers keen to break into the green energy market.

“We will be presenting a series of seminars each day and giving installation demonstrations to show how Ecodan air source heat pumps can help installers grow their business”, explains Matthew Gee on behalf of Mitsubishi Electric.

“We want to work alongside Practical Installer in offering the best advice and show the heating industry how to use renewables to take advantage of a rapidly growing market”.

The fifth generation of Ecodan air source heat pumps continues to lead the market and Mitsubishi Electric has recently revamped the entire line-up using a plate heat exchanger to increase efficiency.

This year Practical Installer will be debuting its “Business Clinic”, acting as Ecobuild’s business hub, giving renewable installers, old and new, hints and tips on heat pumps. The clinic will feature one-to-one sessions, promoting opportunities across the renewable sector.

The Mitsubishi Electric seminars cover topics including the use of Apps to make system sizing easier, best practice for air source heat pumps and guidance on installation.

A full timetable of all the Practical Installer events can be found on at where visitors can also register for free tickets.

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

Ideal Standard to showcase water saving innovations and design at Ecobuild 2015

Dea Lifestyle 3 Low

Ideal Standard, a leading provider of innovative and design-driven bathroom solutions, is set to return to Ecobuild, the world’s leading event for sustainable design, construction, energy and the built environment – starting Tuesday 3rd March at ExCeL Exhibition Centre, London.

During the three day event which attracts over 40,000 visitors, Ideal Standard will present a range of products highlighting the company’s commitment to water efficiency and how its eco-friendly products do not need to compromise on design.

A highlight of the Ideal Standard exhibition will be the award-winning Dea range, designed by Dick Powell of leading consultancy, Seymourpowell. The range brings together beautiful design, with impeccable functionality, whilst also meeting Code level 3 for water-efficiency at just 105 litres per person, per day. The range has already been commended for its smooth lines, ease of use and luxurious appearance, but at Ecobuild, Ideal Standard will demonstrate the range’s efficient water usage.Ecobuild will also see Ideal Standard cement its commitment to BIM with a plan to have more than six times its current amount of BIM specified products by the end of the year. Currently there are 600 models available under BIM. The stand will have a dedicated BIM area demonstrating how Ideal Standard’s BIM can integrate to offer improved bathroom and washroom specifying. The bathroom manufacturer will also be giving away BIM drawing USB sticks to visitors to the stand.

Tony Rheinberg, Head of Commercial Marketing and Water Saving Expert at Ideal Standard, said: “At Ideal Standard water efficient technology is a real priority and we work to provide innovative and sustainable solutions to all of our customers, be they residential or commercial.

Ecobuild is a key event in our calendar offering not only the opportunity to showcase our latest products and services, but also receive feedback from new and existing customers.”

Ideal Standard is exhibiting at Stand S2014. Opening hours are as follows:

Tuesday 3rd March                 10:00 – 18:00
Wednesday 4th March             10:00 – 18:00
Thursday 5th March                10:00 – 16:00

Ecobuild 2014 takes place at ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, London E16 1XL.  

For more information see

Categories: Ecobuild, Events/Exhibitions, Kitchen & Bathroom | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Design Meets Security: Boon Edam Launches Revolutionary Access Control Barrier Series in Europe

Edam, The Netherlands – The business world is ever changing. With people passing through all day long, the security of sensitive areas of buildings, as well as the personal safety of the people visiting must be guaranteed. Recognising this, Boon Edam has created a brand new security product range to manage the flow of people in and around a building.  But how can a secure entrance environment be achieved whilst still being inviting?


The Ultimate Entry Experience

The ever changing business world has seen traditional 9-5 working days being replaced with a twenty-four seven culture. With this, a new view on building security is required as it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of who is in the building, where and when. Using new technologies and premium materials, Boon Edam has developed the New Speedlane Lifeline Series. An innovative and highly customisable security barrier for access control, which launches across Europe this January.

On their journey to determine the requirements for the new product range, Boon Edam studied the behaviour of pedestrian mobility and listened to architects, building managers and tenants alike. This insight opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the company to create something truly unique.

As work environments become increasingly dynamic, the need for increased security measures within buildings grows. Knowing this, we started seeing things from a new perspective to step ahead and meet changing demands.” explains Product Manager Daan van Beusekom.

As the name ‘Lifeline’ indicates, the product is alive and living. A sophisticated entry management system, we have designed the Speedlane Lifeline Series to be intuitive, interacting with all who approach it and guiding visitors through a secure gateway to their destination.”

Intuitive, Interactive, Innovative

Taking into consideration their findings, Boon Edam has launched the exquisitely designed, Speedlane Lifeline Series. The new product range, which includes the slimmest security barrer in the industry, consists of three models, the Slide, Swing and Open, each of which are available in a variety of options. Whether it’s for a higher security level or disabled access, numerous combinations are possible. Recognising that each installation is different, the modular systems mean the product is highly customisable. Customers can accentuate their chosen product by selecting from an array of different colour options and finishes. Whether making a statement, fitting with corporate identity colours or creating a harmonious interior design.

The Speedlane Lifeline Series is available as of 26th January 2015, and can be ordered via Boon Edam subsidiaries and distributors across Europe.  Interested customers also have the opportunity of visiting Boon Edam’s showroom in Edam, The Netherlands, to see the full product range first hand. Visits can be arranged via their website

About Royal Boon Edam

With work environments becoming increasingly global and dynamic, the entry has become the centre of activity in many buildings. As the importance of the entry as a mobility hotspot increases, the demands we put on managing the passage of people through them grow. Royal Boon Edam is a global market leader in entry solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, with 140 years of experience in engineering quality, we have gained extensive expertise in managing the movement of people through office buildings, airports, healthcare facilities, hotels and many other types of buildings. We are focussed on providing an optimal experience for our clients and their clients. By working together with you, our client, we help determine the exact requirements for the mobility hotspot in and around your building and develop a solution that is customised for you in three key areas: sustainability, security and service.

You can find more news about Boon Edam on

Categories: Commercial Buildings, Educational Buildings, Healthcare Buildings, Safety & Security | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Bound at the Bush

What is believed to be the largest single resin bound surfacing project in the UK has been completed using Ronacrete’s RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing System where more than 7,500m2 has been laid.

You don’t have to live in London to have heard of Shepherd’s Bush! Home to the BBC, Queen’s Park Rangers, the Shepherd’s Bush Empire and (fictitiously) Steptoe and Son! It is thought that Shepherd’s Bush may be so called because shepherds would rest on the green in the centre on their way to Smithfield market. Shepherd’s Bush Green is a triangular area of open grass surrounded by trees and covers approximately eight acres, various paths for cyclists and pedestrians run across it. There are pavements on all three sides of the perimeter, edging on to three busy shopping streets.

Visitors to the area today won’t see any sheep or shepherds roaming the green, but if they look down and around they will be able to see RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing!


The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham appointed specialist contractor FM Conway to lay 7700 square metres of resin bound surfacing to the paths and to paved areas within the park. This was part of a refurbishment project which included improving the routes across and around the Green as well as the planting of further trees and the creation of two children’s play areas.

The RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing system was supplied as a two-component UV stable polyurethane resin, this was to be mixed with the Maple Harvest aggregate which the Borough had selected.  The resin components were mixed with a slow speed drill and paddle before being added to a large forced action mixer containing the aggregate.  Once the aggregate was fully coated with resin FM Conway operatives spread RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing to level and smoothed the surface with a steel float.  The finished surface was ready for foot traffic in four hours.

Ronadeck Resin Bound Surfacing satisfies SuDS requirements, allowing rainwater to quickly and easily drain through the porous surface.  All blends have been tested for slip resistance in wet and dry conditions; test results show the risk of slip to be low.

RonaDeck Resin Bound Surfacing is a UV stable resin bound aggregate surfacing; its functional properties and decorative appearance make it an attractive choice for a wide range of paving applications.

  • 15 year guarantee available
  • Range of natural aggregate blends offers a choice of colours and shades
  • Highly porous allowing free drainage of rainwater (SuDS compliant)
  • UV stable resin prevents yellowing, maintaining the appearance of the surfacing
  • Recycled aggregates available
  • Complies with the DIN 51130 slip resistance test (suitable for swimming pool surrounds)
  • Suitable for public spaces, footpaths, car parks, driveways, pool surrounds, podium decks, water features and many more applications
  • Installed by approved contractors
  • Good slip resistance

01279 638700

Categories: Construction, External Works, Landscaping | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Timber models are top draw on BM TRADA stand


BM TRADA will be showcasing its timber expertise to the masses at this year’s Ecobuild with an interactive stand featuring two timber models to showcase its timber credentials.

Visitors to the international testing, inspection, certification and compliance body will be able to find out information on its wide range of services. With everything from timber technology to timber frame, investigations to condition and structural surveys, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to gain the knowledge of BM TRADA’s wide-ranging service provision.

From its stand at S6052, BM TRADA’s technical experts will all be on hand to answer any technical questions from visitors in what promises to be a busy three days for the team.

BM TRADA experts will showcase the company’s timber testing capabilities with a model that will test the strength and show the difference in durability between various pieces of timber. Delegates will also be able to have a go using the machine: it will be a very practical and informative session!

They’ll also be able to discover the intricacies of a timber-frame construction with another model, this one a scaled down version of a timber-framed house, complete with decked area, lighting and insulation!

Next to the BM TRADA will be the ‘University’ stand, where TRADA University Engagement Programme manager Elizabeth Turner will be answering questions about the programme, the National Student Design Competition – Airspeed – as well as displaying models from the runners up in this year’s Dan Kemp Memorial Competition.

BM TRADA Stand S6052 tel: 01494 569600

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

Mobilane to unveil two new live products at Ecobuild

***STAND S3096, ECOBUILD 2015***


Mobilane, the market leading developer and supplier of sustainable living systems for interior and exterior use, will be exhibiting two exciting new additions to its product portfolio at the Ecobuild 2015 sustainable design and construction marketplace event at ExCel London.

As well as its well-established LivePanel vertical green wall system, Mobilane will be introducing Ecobuild visitors to its new LiveDivider room dividing system, as well as new sizes in the LivePicture range of living picture systems.

LiveDivider is an interior room divider which is planted on both sides, offering not only privacy, but a range of health and wellbeing benefits. Consisting of a metal frame on either a fixed or mobile base, LiveDivider features six exchangeable plant cassettes on either side to deliver an attractive and useful room divider that also reduces ambient noise, as well as reducing levels of carbon monoxide and pollutant particles. The choice of plants used is at the discretion of the user. LiveDivider requires no power, and only needs watering every four weeks.

Also for interior use, LivePicture is a living picture system that uses plants to create a healthier and more attractive working environment. The health advantages of plants in the workplace are well understood, however, they can take up valuable space. Mobilane has developed LivePicture to deliver these benefits without the loss of floor space. LivePicture also requires no power and the plant cassettes can be changed in moments and need watering only every 6 weeks.

“There is a definite move toward increased use of plants in the workplace,” explains Paul Garlick, National Sales Manager for Mobilane. “The health benefits are well known, but as companies look to deliver healthier and more pleasant working environments through the introduction of plants, they have to balance this against the physical practicality of having plants in the busy office environment.

Mobilane is a company that strives to innovate and deliver systems that are both easy to integrate and to manage. Our interior planting systems have been developed to be both functional and hassle-free, and they are certainly eye-catching.

“As well as our new LiveDivider and LivePicture systems we will also have our LivePanel living wall system on display. This system has set the standard for exterior reliable living wall systems. We look forward to meeting new faces at Ecobuild and the chance to introduce our product portfolio to visitors who are looking for superior interior and exterior living systems.”

Mobilane UK Ltd will be on stand no S3096 at the Ecobuild 2015 event, which takes place 3-5 March at ExCel London.

Categories: Events/Exhibitions, Sustainable Development | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Carbon Negative Masonry Block

Leading masonry products manufacturer, Lignacite, has launched the world’s first carbon negative building block. Named ‘The Carbon Buster’, the new building block from Lignacite is a British innovation, which has been developed by the company in partnership with Carbon8 Aggregates, using their award winning Accelerated Carbonation Technology.


The Carbon Buster incorporates more than 50% recycled aggregates and combines this with Carbon8’s carbonated aggregates derived from by-products from waste to energy plants. The result is a high performing masonry product, and the first ever building block, which has captured more carbon dioxide than is emitted during its manufacture; 14kg CO2 per tonne to be exact.

Carbon8’s Technical Director, Dr Paula Carey, explains: “On the back of research carried out at The University of Greenwich’s School of Science, Carbon8 identified an end use for thermal residues from waste to energy plants. By mixing the residue with water and carbon dioxide, we were able to transform the material into what the Environment Agency has agreed is a product suitable as a virgin aggregate replacement.”

Following the EA review, Carbon8 erected a £1 million carbonation plant in Brandon, Suffolk, adjacent to Lignacite’s masonry plant. Here, the residue is carbonated, mixed with binders and fillers before being pelletised and used as a key ingredient in the Carbon Buster block.



Lignacite uses sand and gravel from its quarry adjacent to the block plant. This, combined with the use of recycled waste material, such as wood shavings, glass and shells meant the company’s masonry products always had a minimal carbon footprint. Despite these efforts, however, the cement content previously used made it impossible to generate products that were carbon negative. Thanks to carbonated aggregates, however, the Carbon Buster now boasts a negative CO2 content.

For Lignacite, which is a family owned company that dates back nearly 70 years, the use of carbonation technology is simply an extension to their long standing commitment to sustainability: “We were the first block manufacturer in the country to introduce recycled and waste materials into our products, and one of our ranges already contained 90% waste materials,” explains Lignacite’s Chief Executive, Giles de Lotbiniere. “However, we firmly believe that constant innovation is key to creating a more sustainable future for everyone. We are now working with a number of forward thinking architects and specifiers and are incredibly excited to be taking this strategy to the next level with the launch of the Carbon Buster.


“With the Government’s commitment to zero carbon homes, we are confident the Carbon Buster has an important role to play in helping to meet the 2016 targets.”


Lignacite is a leading UK manufacturer of masonry products designed for internal or external use. Founded in 1947, it remains a family owned company managed by Giles de Lotbiniere. The Lignacite masonry range incorporates a range of recycled and waste materials, including glass, wood particles and shells. The company also provides products to encourage biodiversity in construction. The company uses aggregates from its own local quarry in Brandon, and has supplied many high profile buildings in the UK, including the Shard, the Gherkin and the Olympic Village.

For more information, visit


Carbon8 provides Accelerated Carbonation Technology (ACT) for the treatment of industrial waste and contaminated soils. By using carbon dioxide to produce materials for re-use, or for cheaper disposal, we deliver a unique combination of benefits, including significantly shorter treatment times. The technology can utilise waste CO2 emissions from local sources, capturing significant volumes of CO2. When carbonation is used in the recovery and recycling of waste, an end product with real value is created.

For more information, please visit

Categories: Architecture, Construction, External Works, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Materials | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Coram Shower Pods: Combining ease of installation and reliability

The perfect solution for any development

Showerpod 115mm Tray

Coram Shower Pods offer an innovative and stylish showering solution ideal for specifiers in the hospitality and leisure sectors specifically working with hotel, gym and leisure park brands.

Coram Showerpods confidently guarantee a quick and straightforward installation solution which is both easy to clean and maintenance free.

Installing a shower tray and tiling a bathroom requires the work of a carpenter, plasterer, tiler and plumber and can take up to three days for the installation to be completed. Coram Shower Pods allow for just one labourer to successfully install a leak-proof pod.

With a Shower Pod, there is no need for tiling, grouting and drying time. The assembly can be completed in one visit, reducing time taken to install, making it an ideal product for large scale developments where installation time is of the essence.  

Coram Shower Pods have an overlapping construction plus the company’s unique and patented Waterguard, an angled lip around the outer edge of the walls and shower tray which provides extra watertight protection.

Available in a range of sizes and different heights, Coram Shower Pods can accommodate many different bathroom sizes and configurations, including alcove and corner spaces giving the specifier choice and flexibility. There is no need for pre-assembly or extra installation space making them perfect to install in bathrooms with limited space.

Design options include Quadrant, Corner, Bi-fold Alcove and Sliding Alcove. Each pod comes complete with a beautifully finished high quality shower door which opens smoothly and silently.

A bespoke RAL colour matching service allows designers and specifiers to match colour requirements and specifications exactly to the individual design palette of their project. This service complements the full range of RAL colours and textures available as standard across the range, which includes stylish slate and a recently added range of granite effects.

Bespoke shower pods are delivered in two weeks for standard white and up to four weeks of the initial order for the granite effect and bespoke RAL pods.

All Coram Shower Pods are designed and built in Britain to suit British building requirements and come with a 25 year guarantee.

To view the full Coram Showerpods range visit  or for more information call 0115 9400644

Categories: Kitchen & Bathroom | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

A Bright Future

LED technology has created a revolution in the lighting industry and Marcus Brodin, Commercial Director at Future Energy Solutions (FES), examines what the future holds for this technology and those using it.

Marcus Brodin

Marcus Brodin

The lighting industry has experienced significant change over recent years thanks to light emitting diode (LED) technology and its long life, low carbon emissions, greater energy efficiency and quality of light have helped it gain an every growing market share. The Electronics and Optoelectronics Research Laboratories (EORL) at the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has suggested that the global LED lighting market value was estimated to be worth $30.5bn in 2014 and will increase to $51.6bn in 2018. Clearly it has a bright future but it is a constantly evolving market that is set to see further significant changes over the next few years, as the technology matures.

In the early days of its existence, the biggest barrier to widespread adoption of LED lighting was its price. This changed in 2012 when increased competition and lower production costs resulted in improved return on investment (ROI). Easier access to components means manufacturers are now able to make their own LED light sources by mounting LEDs on to light engines to determine levels of light output and energy use, making the solution more flexible.

This will also determine the luminous efficacy of available LED light sources. This is defined as the total luminous flux emitted by the light source divided by the lamp wattage, and is expressed in lumens per watt (lm/W). At present, most LEDs offer an average of 115lm/W, yet some leading manufacturers have already demonstrated the capability to produce 200lm/W light sources, which need less than 5W of energy to produce the same amount of light as a traditional 60W bulb.

Some manufacturers claim that their products could last up to 100,000 hours, based on design and operating temperature. Such claims about product lifetimes are now under greater scrutiny and independent testing will be needed to separate fact from fiction.

When referring to the lifetime of an LED, it means the period after which the luminaire outputs only 70 per cent of its original light. Called the L70 rating, lumen maintenance is the term used to measure the light produced by a light source when brand new, compared with its light output at a certain point in the future. So, if a light source emits 1,000 lumens when new and 700 lumens after 60,000 hours of use, it has a lumen maintenance of 70 per cent at 60,000 hours. In other words, it has an L70 of 60,000 hours. L70 is used because the human eye cannot detect the difference in a light’s output until it has reduced by 30 per cent of its initial light output.



SPIRE offices - AFTER

SPIRE offices – AFTER

Interchangeability of LED lighting products will be very important in the years ahead and The Zhaga Consortium is leading the way in this area. Its members include hundreds of companies from throughout the global lighting industry and it is developing specifications that enable LED light sources made by different manufacturers to be used in place of each other. In December 2014 it signed a liaison agreement with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) to help define new standards in this area, which should be published over the next few years and will lead to enhanced choice, increased affordability and greater uptake.

While this is a positive step, the lack of recognised and enforced standards has resulted in a dramatic variation in the quality of products on the market. One of the biggest problems has been the proliferation of low cost and poor quality lighting products originating in China. These products usually have a poor colour rendering index (CRI), which measures the way objects appear under a given light source – the maximum value being 100.

In September 2013 a European directive, DIM2, came into force and LEDs with a CRI below 80 are now banned from sale in Europe. DIM2 sets minimum performance requirements and has created a more level playing field by forcing low quality lamps from the market. LED luminaires sold on the European market should, by law, also carry the CE mark, which is a statement by the manufacturer that the product complies with all the relevant EU legislation, including product safety standards and directives. As the market matures the amount of low quality product should diminish even further.

With LED lighting becoming mainstream, the next generation of this technology is already creating interest. Organic LED (OLED) lighting works by passing electricity through one or more extremely thin layers of organic semiconductor material. Mass-market adoption of OLED lighting is not projected to occur for at least two years, but it is already being used in TVs and phones.

The ROI argument for using LEDs involves a number of considerations including energy, maintenance, life, colour quality, colour consistency and using best available technology. However, LED lighting is on the radar of everybody from multinational corporations to homeowners and will become even more attractive and affordable as time goes on.

Categories: Energy Saving, Environmental Control, Lighting | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Perth Arena takes to the world stage featuring Reynaers architectural systems throughout


Alongside the Swan River in Perth, Western Australia, a stunning new arena has opened its doors featuring Reynaers curtain walling and architectural aluminium systems.

Designed by architects ARM+CCN, a joint venture of ARM Architecture and CCN Architects, Perth Arena is defined by nine unique façades and links the city’s business district with Northbridge. Its vivid colours and dynamic geometry provide a vibrant and eye-catching new international entertainment venue attracting world-renowned artists to the capital of Western Australia.

Taking the form of interconnecting polygons the façades feature a bespoke curtain wall solution designed and developed by Reynaers and based on the CW 50 Structurally Clamped system.  As part of the development programme the bespoke curtain wall system was extensively tested to ensure its ability to withstand all wind loads, thermal and structural movement as well as the system loads imposed by the building’s diagonal transoms.

Fundamental to the design concept developed by the architects the glazing had to be as one with the other façade materials, presenting a uniform and uninterrupted exterior. Laced with bold colours blue, white and black, the façades merge seamlessly with cladding in bold geometric patterns while parallel sashes of irregular shaped windows appear almost nonexistent when viewed from the outside. Internally, however, it is a different story as the fenestration highlights the design features while bringing in all important natural light, combined with skylights, to vital areas of the arena. This visually stunning achievement led to the building been awarded The Australian Window Association’s ‘Best use of Windows and Doors Commercial – New Construction’ award.


As day turns to night a transformation takes place as the arena comes to life with pulsating streaks of light chasing along the clean lines of the building like a huge spacecraft on the landscape it instinctively draws people towards it.


Energy efficiency and the environment play a significant role in the day-to-day operation of Perth Arena which utilises mixed-mode natural ventilation aided by the installation of parallel openers in the curtain walling. An expansive roof area accommodates a large photovoltaic array and low energy displacement air conditioning is utilised throughout the venue. With U-values of approximately 1.5 and a Solar Heat Gain Coefficient ranging from 0.23 to 0.6, the CW 50 curtain wall systems assist the building’s energy efficiency.


Contained within the highly complex arena is a concert venue and multi sports stadium with complete flexibility to stage A-listed music concerts alongside international and national sports tournaments, the equal of any venue in the world. In addition to the 15,500 capacity arena topped by a 56 metre by 35 metre retractable roof that opens in just seven minutes, there are five high quality and distinctive function areas, 36 corporate suites, six food and beverage outlets and a 686-bay underground car park. All are interlinked by vast 50 metre high atriums and walkways for ease of navigation throughout the arena complex.

Main contractors on the project were BGC Construction, Perth and Fabricators were Alcom Fabrications, Perth.

For full details contact: Reynaers Limited, Tel: 0121 421 1999, email: , website:


Categories: Architecture, Cladding, Construction, Doors, Windows & Glazing, Energy Saving, Sustainable Development | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Latham’s all set for Surface Design Show 2015

The UK’s biggest independent decorative panel distributor, James Latham, is all set for Surface Design Show 2015 (10th-12th February) where it will unveil a number of exciting new products which are certain to create plenty of interest among visiting Architects and Interior Designers. The innovative surfaces on show at James Latham’s stand (number: 206) will include:


HI-MACS® solid surface is a highly versatile and extremely durable material which can be easily machined and thermoformed to almost any 3D-shape imaginable, offering endless design possibilities and producing a surface that is flowing, functional and visually seamless.


One of the major attractions of this innovative material is the extensive choice of colours on offer. There are almost 100 in the portfolio and it is supplied in thicknesses of 12mm, 9mm and 6mm. Plus, the range now also includes 22 designs of sinks – available in over 60 colours.


Architects and interior designers will also be keen to know that the full range of HI-MACS® colours is now available for download in CAD software-compatible format by clicking on

Natural Touch

Part of the highly popular Kronodesign range, Natural Touch is the first ‘embossed-in-register’ melamine board where the grain texture precisely matches the surface finish. Now, the authentic look and feel of real timber – the graining, the subtle variations of shade and tone – is accessible on almost any project.


Natural Touch is pre-finished, extremely durable, easy to work with and offers consistency in both colour and grain. This means that architects, interior designers, contractors and furniture makers can now achieve an authentic rustic realism using melamine.

With Natural Touch, the applications are almost limitless. It can be used for cladding walls, building furniture, creating fixtures as well as making striking punctuations to spaces and surfaces and the versatility of this product has made it particularly popular within the shop fitting and hospitality sectors.

Shinnoki 2.0

Shinnoki 2.0 is a range of ready to use veneered panels that are supplied already stained and lacquered, requiring no further finishing.


With Shinnoki 2.0, the veneer is applied to an MDF base, rendering the panels sturdy and easy to use. In addition, the panels are produced in both a single or double sided finish, with the first having a melamine faced-reverse.
Veneers are mismatched, but stained and textured to create a consistent finish that shows the natural aspects and beauty of the species.


The extensive Shinnoki 2.0 range is supplied in designs which are completely in tune with current design trends and includes matching real wood and ABS edge banding. The 17 designs are also supplied in separate 3-ply veneer sheets, perfect for curved surfaces, doors or other interior requirements.

A revolutionary new wood material that offers extraordinary design possibilities, Luminoso are wood panels that transmit light, allowing designers to create visually stunning effects that are exceptionally unique.



The transparent wood effect is achieved with fibre optics that allow natural or artificial light to be transmitted. When the panel is unlit it appears to be a solid piece of wood as the fibre optics are only visible upon very close inspection but once illuminated, all kinds of impactful and eye-catching effects can be achieved.


Customised designs, logos and images can be incorporated and even ‘movable’ images, such as programmable messages can be transmitted.


A totally original and award winning product, Valchromat is a coloured engineered fibreboard in which the colour runs throughout the entire board.


Exclusive to James Latham, it’s already proving popular within the UK shop fitting and furniture making sectors offering a total of 11 bold and impactful colours including Grey, Black, Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue and Green.


Valchromat offers almost limitless decorative applications. Plus, as well as the interior design and furniture making sectors, it’s also proving to be popular option in the children’s sector for both toys and furniture, having been approved by the British Standards Association.


James Latham will be showing a number of new additions to its already extensive range of Egger decors. With the growing popularity of textured wood grain frontals and panels, six new textures have been added to its market leading ZOOM collection.



Three use Egger’s synchronised pore effect, a revolutionary concept which ties the decor and the surface texture together on both sides of the board creating a deeper and more natural texture and giving a look and feel that is almost exactly like solid wood or veneer. Plus, they also have the added advantages of colour consistency over the lifetime of the furniture as well as being hard-wearing and low-maintenance.

Décor Eco

Décor Eco is a range of coloured plywood panels available in six eye-catching and vibrant colours. Each panel is made from tough Finnish Birch Plywood that has been coated on both sides with a translucent, tinted lacquer to produce a hardwearing, crack resistant and durable material.


The surface of Décor Eco has also been overlaid with a protective transparent melamine film, giving it a smooth and superior finish, making it an ideal option for the joinery and furniture making sectors.

As well as joinery and furniture making, this innovative, pre-finished decorative birch plywood can be used for a wide range of interior applications including: shopfitting, POS, displays, exhibition stands, interior wall panels, shelving, kitchens and bespoke interior design.

Accoya® LathamCLAD

Created from sustainably sourced wood and completely non-toxic, Accoya®LathamCLAD is a modified, highly durable and dimensionally stable certified timber cladding.


And with the 15mm profile having recently received TRADA approval for use as an external cladding product, it’s the perfect solution for exterior cladding, siding and façades where the wider board offers numerous features and benefits including enhanced aesthetics, less frequent maintenance and improved insulation values.



Plus, with a 50-year guarantee when used externally and 25-years when used in the ground, Accoya®LathamCLAD’s low maintenance requirements add to its ‘whole life’ cost effectiveness and environmental credentials and this versatility makes it ideal for use in residential, commercial and industrial applications.

UPM Profi Deck;

Available in eight fresh and modern colours UPM ProFi Deck allows you to bring style to outdoor living and once created, your design will continue to look great through the years, requiring minimal maintenance.



UPM ProFi Deck sets new standards in colour durability. Plus, it’s extremely environmentally friendly too, the materials used to make it are specially selected from the by-products of other industrial processes, which would otherwise be disposed of in landfill or incineration.



UPM ProFi’s stone like surface is non-porous so unlike with wood and many other composite decking, wine, oil and other liquid spills are not readily absorbed and can be easily cleaned.


Chris Sutton, Managing Director of James Latham commented, “We are really looking forward to this year’s Surface Design Show as it’s a great platform for us to meet with the most forward thinking architects and designers in the industry.

“We have a history and expertise in bringing new and innovative products to the UK market and I’m certain that these latest additions will have a big impact within the A&D sector.”

For more information on Latham’s full range of surface materials: phone 0116 257 3415, e-mail or visit

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

The VEKA UK Group makes room for windows, bi-fold doors and more

VEKA Showroom - 013

Industry-leading PVC-U systems supplier, The VEKA UK Group, has created a new showroom more than three times the size of the previous display space.

The new showroom sits alongside the new customer meeting room and the two brand new spaces are linked by the new Imagine Bi-Fold and Imagine French Door Systems.

Colin Torley, Sales and Marketing Director at The VEKA UK Group, explains: “The new showroom is a great asset for us. Our Sales Team can really demonstrate the products to their full extent so that customers, old and new, can get to grips with the full range.

“The showroom has been designed to offer a light-filled modern space that fits with our branding. Windows have been installed with a ‘floating’ effect and there are corner samples on display to see the various details of different systems. There are 14 complete Halo and VEKA windows, along with five doors on display. The Bowater Doors area includes two new doors from the contemporary collection.

VEKA Showroom - 031

“As well as showing off our products, the showroom has also allowed us to tell more of our ‘story’ with graphics that detail The VEKA UK Group and VEKA Worldwide, Network VEKA, VEKA Recycling and the NEW Approved Installer Scheme.

“We’re very pleased with the finished space and we’ll be happy to welcome any fabricators, installers or specifiers to come and take a closer look at the products that have made us an industry leader.”

VEKA plc, 01282 716611

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

Clever biomass for the home!


Natural energy company, Euroheat has unveiled a new range of high performance pellet boilers for domestic properties, which qualify for tariff payments under the government’s Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).

The PNA Thermocomfort features four models ranging from 15kW to 30kW, designed for maximum efficiency and minimal user maintenance. There is a choice of pellet storage systems including a 170 litre hopper located on the side of the boiler, to a variety of different bulk storage solutions featuring either vacuum or auger transfers.

Simon Holden, co-founder of Euroheat, explained: “We are delighted to launch the PNA Thermocomfort range, which allows suitable domestic properties to benefit from high efficiency machines, with technology more usually seen in larger boilers. Starting at 15kWs, homes of all sizes can benefit from the green credentials of biomass, as well as generating an attractive income stream from the domestic RHI.

“Unusually for domestic pellet boilers, the new range includes a lambda and flame temperature sensors, ensuring great combustion control and maximum efficiency at all times. Clever remote monitoring technology also enables the boilers to be controlled via tablet, PC or smart phone from anywhere in the world!”.

Top features include:

  • High-grade refractory combustion chamber means residual heat remains for many hours, reducing the need for electrical ignition and speeding up the start phase
  • Automatic heat exchanger cleaning and patented de-ashing system, allowing the boilers to run for long periods at maximum efficiency
  • Quiet at night! The boilers tipping grate and heat exchanger cleaning system do not operate at night
  • Lower costs! The low power consumption of the 270 watt ignition element means less expenditure with an average cost of just 1/3 penny per ignition.

PNA Thermocomfort boilers can also be integrated to a heating system with weather compensation technology, further improving system efficiency and helping to reduce annual fuel costs by as much as 20 per cent.

For more details on the new PNA Thermocomfort range of pellet boilers, call 01885 491100 or visit

Categories: Energy Saving, Environmental Control, Heating & Ventilation | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Top marks for Ahmarra!

Ahmarra Door Solutions launch the Education Range.

Education range_new_thumb-01

Specialist timber fire door manufacturer,  Ahmarra have launched a new range of doorsets for the education sector.

Managing Director, Tim Doran said “Our many years experience of manufacturing doors within the education sector has led us to develop this range of made-to-order doorsets tailored to meet the requirements of schools, colleges and universities. Our aim is to make the entire process as simple and practical as possible”.

The range consists of 22 door types each with an associated ironmongery pack to perform a specific function. The materials and ironmongery have been carefully considered, balancing durability, usability, aesthetics, performance, legislation and cost.

 “Our aim is to provide cost effective doorset solutions. This range has been born from our extensive knowledge of this sector as well as research and consultation with architects, contractors and schools. Clients will be able to make significant cost savings by eliminating the need to re-define doorsets and ironmongery for every project.” said Tim Doran.

Whilst the aim of the range is to simplify the design process, Ahmarra recognise that every project will have its own specific requirements and Ahmarra’s high quality doorsets will be made-to-order on a project by project basis. The brochure for the Education Range can be downloaded from

As one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of made to order doorset solutions, Ahmarra have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the education sector and this new range will further establish their expertise in this area.

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

Future Energy Solutions calculates the perfect lighting solution for Computacenter

One of the true success stories in British IT history, Computacenter was formed in 1981 during the early days of personal computing by two entrepreneurs, Philip Hulme and Peter Ogden. Such was the interest in what the company had to offer that by 1983 it had achieved a turnover of £1.5m. Having always strived to exceed the expectations of its customers, in 2012 Computacenter received the highest satisfaction rating in a KPMG survey of UK IT service providers and their customers, coming top for customer satisfaction and innovation.

Computacenter is proud of its status as Europe’s leading independent provider of IT infrastructure services. It advises organisations on IT strategy, implements the most appropriate technology, optimises performance, and manages its customers’ infrastructures. In doing this it helps companies maximise productivity and the business value of IT for internal and external users.

As well as helping its customers adopt green IT practices, Computacenter has its own rigorous corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda and does all it can to reduce its energy consumption and lower its CO2 emissions. Since 2007, it has been committed to the 10 core principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), aimed at demonstrating ethical, environmental and social responsibility towards its workforce and in its business interactions within each community and country in which it operates.

Computacenter’s UK headquarters is based in the Hertfordshire town of Hatfield and the site also houses its 350,000ft2 customer fulfilment centre (CFC). A vital part of the company’s operation, Computacenter’s Head of Facilities, Kevin Graham, was concerned that the lighting system used in the CFC was inefficient and not producing a desired level of light output. He comments, ‘I realised that the sodium lamps and fluorescent tubes in-situ were yesterday’s technology and that far more efficient alternatives were available. While the light output was a concern, so too were the costs associated with lighting the CFC, as we had used 738,814kW/h of energy in the previous 12 months.’

Having been made aware of Future Energy Solutions (FES), he invited the company in to discuss the various options available and it soon became apparent that a light emitting diode (LED) lighting solution would offer the best return on investment (ROI). Commenting on the benefits of LED lighting, Marcus Brodin, Commercial Director at FES, states, ‘Our experience has indicated that using this technology can reduce lighting bills by up to 65 per cent. What’s more, LED luminaires are also environmentally friendly, as they are 100 per cent recyclable and free from mercury and other hazardous chemicals that are harmful to the environment. This is important for any organisation like Computacenter that is committed to CSR.’

With the lighting in the CFC being on for anything up to 18 hours a day, FES and Computacenter decided that replacing the 700 luminaires would offer the most immediate benefits. FES is agnostic in selecting the right technology package, so after narrowing down the most suitable options to two brands from its panel of manufacturers, Brodin provided case studies that looked at how each product set could meet all the operational and environmental requirements based on price, energy savings, aesthetics and enhancements. Finally, it was decided that LED fittings from Whitecroft’s range would be the best option, thanks to their ability to deliver low energy usage and high comfort lighting with minimal through life maintenance.





The 11 week long installation programme was completed on time and on budget, and the result is that the CFC will have a post upgrade energy use of 334,290kW/h per year – a massive 54.75 per cent improvement. In addition, the maintenance of the previous infrastructure used to cost Computacenter in the region of £4,000 per year and this will now be negligible for the next five years at least, and a fraction of the existing maintenance costs thereafter. The new luminaires are also installed with a five year advanced replacement warranty that provides a faster substitution of any defective parts.

As one of the nation’s 2,000 largest organisations Computacenter has to comply with the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme. Therefore, it is required to monitor its energy use, and report its energy consumption on an annual basis. The cost to the company of CRC compliance was £6,500 per year, a figure that has now been reduced to £3,000.

Creating the correct environment for the safe operation of equipment within the facility was also a key objective, as although the previous lighting levels were meeting CIBSE guidelines regarding Lux levels required in correlation to workplace activities, Graham felt that more could be done. The LED lighting upgrade has increased Lux levels by 25 per cent, which as well as enhancing the health and safety of employees, will also increase productivity and general wellbeing.

Computacenter’s Kevin Graham is delighted with the results, and concludes, ‘Not only did FES meet the agreed deadline, its project management and delivery capabilities were second to none. The new lighting infrastructure will not only offer a fast ROI and make a significant contribution to our environmental agenda, it has also made the CFC a more pleasant place to work. I’m looking forward to hopefully working together again with FES on future projects.’

FES has produced a time-lapse video of the entire Computacenter installation, which can be viewed at

Categories: Energy Saving, Environmental Control, Lighting | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Sitting on the Roca the bay


Roca’s bathroom products have been used across a range of apartments and town houses currently being built in Cardiff Bay. Developed by Portabella, the project includes new builds as well as the refurbishment of an old Art Deco hospital. Designed to appeal to Cardiff’s young professional crowd, Portabella’s homes boast contemporary styling and cool, stand-out fixtures and fittings, which include Roca’s sanitaryware, brassware and bathroom furniture.

Cardiff Bay is Europe’s largest city centre waterfront and has fast established itself as a vibrant location with plenty of restaurants, clubs and bars to keep its’ cosmopolitan clientele happy. Portabella’s current development is taking place over two-phases – the first phase ‘Dixie’, is complete, with the re-purposing of St Winnifred’s Hospital, the second phase, due for completion next August.

Dixie comprises 43 apartments, each designed with lifestyle in mind. Ranging from one and two bedrooms, balanced layouts have been optimised for space and comfort, with added extras such as a communal yoga space in the block’s courtyard. In the bathrooms, Roca’s products have been used throughout with extra wide shower cubicles featuring the Essential Shower Column, which includes a hydro massage function, sleek and stylish Kalahari and Element basins, and Meridian-N Compact back to wall WC, to help make the best use of space.


It’s not just the sanitaryware Roca’s contributed; brassware comes courtesy of L20, which includesan eco-disc cartridge to minimise water wastage and mixer taps, Loft Elite. Roca also supplied a range of bathroom furniture from its The Gap Unik and Kalahari ranges, providing functional storage options that also look the part.

“We chose Roca because we like them the best,” said Peter Reilly, Director at Portabella. “Their products are well-designed and of a high quality, with modern styling that matches the overall look of our apartments. The versatility of options is perfect for niche developments like ours and the customer response has been fantastic. Our clients are a fashion conscious crowd and Roca’s range has certainly met their expectations.

“It wasn’t just the products we liked, either,” he added. “The Roca team have proved hugely helpful and we wouldn’t hesitate to work with them again on future projects. Our new development, St Winnifred’s Hospital will be getting the ‘Roca’ treatment next year.

Roca products at Portabella:

  • The Gap Unik – basin and furniture
  • Esme brassware
  • Nexo WC
  • Loft Elite brassware
  • Meridian -N compact, back to wall/close coupled WC
  • Essential shower
  • Happening basin
  • PL1 flush plate
  • Kalahari basin and furniture
  • Monodin-N brassware
  • Victoria T shower
  • L20 brassware

Categories: Interior Design, Kitchen & Bathroom | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Burst pesky system bubbles with Inta-Vent

Inta is making trapped wind a thing of the past with a new tool that automatically extracts air bubbles from sealed heating systems using a powerful vortex filtration system.

The Inta-Vent Daerator puts paid to common problems in commercial and domestic heating appliances, such as noisy pipes, increased wear on system components, cold spots in radiators and corrosion.

The filter works by forcing water in the system to pass through a tight coil of stainless steel mesh, generating a vortex within the the filter body. This action exposes and captures micro bubbles, which then combine and rise before being discharged.

As well as reducing the risk of system wear and tear, Inta-Vent increases fuel efficiency by ensuring systems are operating with optimum conditions, increasing both their longevity and day-to-day performance.

Boasting a sturdy solid brass construction and available in 22 and 28mm, the filter is quick and easy to fit, with full 360° installation.intavent brass air separator

Stuart Gizzi, director at Inta, said: “Fitting an Inta-Vent is the ultimate way to guarantee a smooth running, efficient heating system. The vortex action is simple but incredibly effective and will keep oft-complained issues relating to trapped air at bay. As with all Inta products, quality and ease of installation is a given. Pair it with our magnetic dirt separation filter, Intaklean, for a truly killer combo.”

For more information on the Inta-Vent, or any other Inta product, visit or call 01889 272 180.

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

Turn Key’s specialised design removes the need for hotel leak detection


The installation of new air conditioning system into a Buckinghamshire hotel is demonstrating how the clever use of design and specification can remove the need for leak detection equipment in occupied spaces.

The Crowne Plaza, Gerrards Cross is a 147-bedroomed hotel and conference centre which has undergone a complete refurbishment having been bought by the Cairn Hotel Group.

Specialist air conditioning contractors , Turn Key Air Conditioning Ltd has installed a Mitsubishi Electric City Multi heat recovery system into the hotel, to offer guests the ultimate in modern complete comfort and style.

Current legislation restricts the use of refrigerants in buildings, with EN378 in particular intended to minimise possible hazards to persons, property and the environment from refrigerating systems and refrigerants.

Under EN378 legislation, which is particularly applicable for hotels, leak detection equipment must normally be provided if, in the case of R410a, a concentration of 0.44 kg/m3 refrigerant could be exceeded, if all of the refrigerant from a system were to leak into a single room.

Turn Key has developed an on-going relationship with The Cairn Group since providing maintenance service and advice on the Newcastle International Hotel.  Swirles and his team have extensive hotel experience and this gave the Cairn Group the confidence to bring Turn Key in at an early part of the design process.

“We worked closely with The Cairn Group from day one to design a system that meets all requirements in terms of guest comfort, energy efficiency and legislation,” added Swirles.

In close association with Mitsubishi Electric Value Added Reseller (VAR) PACAIR, Turn Key designed the system with the minimum amount of refrigerant in each bedroom to comply with EN378.

PACAIR also helped ensure that the equipment design was modular to allow the hotel to continue trading during the refurbishment and minimise the disruption to both the business and its guests.  This is where the unique two-pipe, heat recovery City Multi system comes into its own as it provides much more flexibility of design and installation.

“Each room is fairly unique so we also had to ensure that the design was flexible enough to cope with the different sizes and layouts,” said PACAIR Managing Director, Nigel Palmer.

PACAIR also used its specialist knowledge of the complete Mitsubishi Electric range to advise on the installation of a Melcotel hotel control system which links each individual room to the Ving cards, so that systems will not operate when unoccupied.

The hotel has been refurbished to the highest standards The entire project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2015. Turn Key has also fitted the infrastructure to the ground floor and designed the installation process to allow it to be completed in five distinct phases to minimise disruption.

In addition to ducted fancoil units in the rooms, City Multi ceiling cassettes are being installed in all public areas, whilst Lossnay mechanical ventilations with heat recovery is being used to energy-efficiently maximise the amount of fresh air within the building.

“When we were asked to help with this project, we saw it as ideal opportunity to design out the need for leak detection,” explained Swirles. “We are now looking at how we implement this in other situations with The Cairn Group.”

For further information on the solutions available from Turn Key visit the website:

For more information on the added services available from PACAIR, visit:

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

Super-slim Imago Lift & Slide fills a big gap in the market

Imago Lift&Slide Doors on villa

Imago Lift & Slide, the slimmest timber frame lift and slide door hardware system in the market is now available from AGB.

The trend for ‘Grand Design’ style homes with open spaces that let in light, give great views and allow easy access is here to stay. Imago’s super-slim design fills a real gap in the market for companies wanting to offer customers maximum glass area and minimum frame width.

“We know that UK homeowners want to open up their homes but we understand that Britain’s climate doesn’t match the sunshine of the Med. So most of the time these impressive sliding and folding doors will remain closed,” says Marco Zen, UK sales manager for AGB Hardware. “The view to the garden becomes more important, Imago’s slim frames and large glazing give better views.

“The market for bifolding doors is shifting towards lift and slide doors as aspirational buyers move away from doors with separate door leafs that break up the view. Imago Lift & Slide offers customers a panoramic view, beautifully framed in timber.”

AGB’s hardware technology has put timber at the cutting edge of slim-frame lift and slide door design. The new Imago Lift & Slide timber door system means companies can manufacture a frame visible thickness of just two centimetres.

The market leader in Italy, AGB has established a reputation in the UK for high quality engineered hardware. It has more than 60 years’ experience creating beautifully designed hardware for windows and doors. It supplies a range of cylinder locks, multipoint locks, hinges, as well as lift and slide components through a network of distributors across UK and Ireland.

Imago has been hugely popular since we launched it in Italy last year and we believe Imago will be a success for our customers in the UK,” adds Marco.

Imago is a new concept with Italian style at its core. It is a complete timber lift and slide door brand with a dedicated website where architects, designers and homeowners will be able to find inspiration and specification advice.

To find more about Imago Lift & Slide Doors go to

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

Lathams’ latest cladding gets TRADA approval

Accoya®’s low maintenance requirements add to its ‘whole life’ cost effectiveness

Accoya®LathamCLAD – the modified, highly durable and dimensionally stable certified timber cladding – is now available from all eight of James Latham’s timber depots.

Created from sustainably sourced wood and completely non-toxic, Accoya®LathamCLAD is a revolution in wood technology. And with the 15mm profile having recently received TRADA approval for use as an external cladding product, Accoya®LathamCLAD is a perfect solution for exterior cladding, siding and façades where the wider board offers numerous features and benefits including enhanced aesthetics, less frequent maintenance, dimensional stability, durability and improved insulation values.

Suitable for horizontal or vertical installation, Accoya®LathamCLAD can be used to create simple or complex designs.  And with a choice of factory coating finishes, it can be opaque coated or, for those wishing to enjoy the natural look of wood, translucent coated.

Accoya®LathamCLAD's low maintenance requirements add to its ‘whole life’ cost effectiveness (2)

Plus, with a  50-year guarantee when used externally,  Accoya®LathamCLAD’s low maintenance requirements add to its ‘whole life’ cost effectiveness and environmental credentials and this versatility makes it ideal for use in residential, commercial and industrial applications.

Paul Leach, James Latham’s Group Product Sales & Development Manager for Accoya said, “When it comes to cladding, Accoya®LathamCLAD ticks all the boxes and is the perfect solution for many exterior applications which were once only feasible with non-sustainable material. Use of the wider cladding boards is allowed by the improved dimensional stability, plus cladding joints do not open, tolerances remain tight and twist is prevented. In addition, the wood’s natural appearance is retained for longer, thanks to the superior resistance to the effects of UV exposure.”

Accoya®LathamCLAD  is a quality, long lasting product that is suitable for a wide range of external joinery applications

He added, “Accoya®LathamCLAD is a fantastic material for external specification and fits perfectly with our already established range of sustainable products.”

In addition to cladding, sidings and facades,  Accoya® wood is also ideal for windows, doors and decking.

ACCOYA® and the Trimarque Device are registered trademarks owned by Titan Wood Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Accsys Technologies PLC, and may not be used or reproduced without written permission.

To learn more about Latham’s complete product range please visit Information is also available from Latham’s marketing department by e-mailing: or by calling: 0116 257 3415



Categories: Cladding, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Materials, Timber in building | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

BRE Partners Ecobuild 2015


BRE the independent research, knowledge and advice organisation for the built environment sector and beyond, is the lead research and innovation partner for this year’s Ecobuild 2015.

Key figures from within BRE including Paul Littlefair, BRE’s Principal Lighting Consultant and Jonny Williams, Director BRE National Solar Centre and BRE South West, will attend the world’s largest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, which takes place at London ExCel from 3-5 March 2015. During the three day event, the 2015 winners of the BREEAM Awards will be announced.

Also attending will be Rufus Logan BRE Director for Scotland who will be on hand to share recent experiences with delegates. Notable amongst these was Rufus’ recent visit to China when BRE was appointed by Hongsheng Construction & Investment Group Co. Ltd as Chief Sustainability Advisor on a pioneering project to develop a major construction industry zone in ShangRao, China, a major conurbation located in the Jiangxi province which, with the opening later this year of the high speed rail-link, will be just 100 minutes from Shanghai.

Rufus Logan

BRE Director – Rufus Logan

Closer to home, colleague Dr David Kelly, Group Director BRE Innovation Park Networks will also attend EcoBuild. David oversees the global development of BRE’s Innovation Parks and the monitoring of demonstration projects on the BRE Innovation Park @ Ravenscraig. The Scottish Park is a mini-demonstration community of homes and buildings on the former steel works site that is tapping into the UK’s legacy of world changing invention and innovation. Indeed both were on hand to meet Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment Angela Constance, when she unveiled two of the latest projects at the Park.

Angela Constance

Angela Constance, Dr David Kelly & Rufus Logan

Throughout EcoBuild, senior representatives from BRE will be available to meet delegates in the North Arena on stand N4120/N5214.

Categories: Events/Exhibitions, Sustainable Development | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Vent-Axia Shortlisted for Prestigious H&V News Award

Waste House Front on_May 2014 small

Leading British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia is proud to announce that it has been shortlisted for a prestigious Heating and Ventilation News Award 2015. The Sussex-based company has been recognised in the ‘Building Services Project of the Year’ category for the Waste House project at the University of Brighton that features a Sentinel Kinetic Plus Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) system, which Vent-Axia donated and installed.

Designed by University of Brighton senior lecturer and architect at BBM Sustainable Design Duncan Baker-Brown, the Waste House was built by over 350 students from City College Brighton and Hove and the University, with main contractor Mears Group, running the construction site. As well as being an exemplum of sustainable design and zero carbon living, the Waste House is a ‘live’ research project, the base for the University’s Sustainable Design MA, and an open venue for schools and local community groups wanting to learn more about ‘green’ issues and solutions.

Toothbrushes for wall insulation

Described as Britain’s first house made almost entirely from thrown-away rubbish, the cavity walls are packed with materials otherwise destined for landfill – denim, VHS tapes, audio cassettes, floppy discs, remnant wallpaper, carpet tiles etc. As the structure is highly-insulated and airtight, an MVHR system was specified to provide ventilation and heat distribution. Vent-Axia therefore donated a Sentinel Kinetic Plus and, in the true spirit of the project, it is an ex-test model.

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for a prestigious H&V News Award for our involvement in such an innovative project as the Waste House. At Vent-Axia we are committed to designing products that reduce a building’s energy consumption and carbon footprint, we are therefore very proud to have been recognised by our peers for a project and a product that does just this,” said Ian Mitchell, Product Marketing Manager – New Build Residential at Vent-Axia.

The ‘Building Services Project of the Year’ category aims to award the highest standards of excellence in a single building services installation project and has a heavy weighting towards environmental considerations and how they were incorporated into the project. The Waste House project certainly met this brief since it is made from approximately 85% discarded materials, enabling it to achieve an impressive negative carbon footprint. Plus the project leads the way in efficiency as one of the first buildings in the UK to gain an ‘A’ rated Energy Performance Certificate, with the Sentinel Kinetic Plus MVHR a significant factor in achieving this.

Mr Baker-Brown said, “I am thrilled the Waste House has been shortlisted in the H&V News Awards. The purpose of the Waste House is to show that we can re-use materials in building so re-using Vent-Axia’s second-hand MVHR system is an important part of the picture. The unit was a significant factor in the Waste House being awarded its A’ rated Energy Performance Certificate. Keeping the system very visible inside the building draws attention to it. Students ask what is it and soon learn how our current and future buildings rely upon MVHR to achieve super low carbon emission targets. It’s a great learning tool for all of us.”

Manufactured in the UK, Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Sentinel Kinetic Plus MVHR offers a whole house heat recovery system combining 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 up to 92% of heat energy that would otherwise be wasted. The unit’s energy saving Vent-Axia DC motors further improve efficiency and carbon reductions.

Considered to be the ‘Oscars’ of the Building Services Sector, winners of the H&V News Awards will be announced at a glittering ceremony on the 16th April 2015 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane. Over 1,000 heating and ventilation specialists from across the supply chain will be in attendance, with winners selected by a panel comprised of over 50 respected industry experts. For more information on the awards and details of how to book tickets, please visit

For further information on the Sentinel Kinetic Plus Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery as well as other products and services offered by Vent-Axia, telephone 0844 856 0590.


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

Pop Up Power Supplies: There when you need it, hidden when you don’t!

Pop Up Power supply retractable service units that provide electricity, water and air supply to public spaces ranging from historic sites and market places to town squares and parks. Our retractable service units provide legacy for special-purpose stadiums. 

Our projects include installations for Markets, Heritage, Parks, Town Centres, Universities and Sports Stadiums.


Due to their retractable nature, our units can be used in a variety of places that require subtlety and the ability to disappear when not required. They offer possibilities for more varied uses, giving stadiums new life long after their planned functions.

A series of standard products are available as well as bespoke units with recessed tops that can accommodate different paving.

We also supply electricity through In Ground Units with flip top lids and Street Bollards in a variety of designs to suit the surroundings.

We’ve worked with clients up and down the country, providing efficient, sympathetic utility solutions in busy public areas.

For more information please take a look at our website or call us on 02085518363.

Categories: Construction, External Works | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Dural Expansion Joints specified at Cheltenham Racecourse


Dural UK Ltd recently supplied an order for 160 metres of Speckled Effect Expansion Joints to SureSet UK Ltd for their installation at the Garden Terrace at Cheltenham Racecourse.

The Garden Terrace area has a concrete base so Expansion Joints were an unavoidable requirement when laying the Permeable Resin Bound Paving.

Dural colour matched the epoxy resin within their Expansion Joint to the chocolate coloured Permeable Resin Bound Paving laid by SureSet. The speckled texture within the expansion joint also matches the resin floor texture creating the impression of a seamless floor finish.

Sureset installed their 6mm Chocolate Permeable Resin Bound material from their Natural Aggregates Range.

The Main Contractors were Keir Construction, the project was designed and specified by Illman Young Landscape Design, SureSet provided the new paving and Dural provided the Expansion Joints.

Rachel Parkinson SureSet Operations Manager said “Dural were very helpful throughout the Cheltenham project. This was the first order SureSet placed for the speckled Dural expansion joints. SureSet weren’t overly aware of the slightly longer lead time however, Dural did everything in their power to ensure we had the expansion joints to use at the required time. Excellent service, good communication skills and friendly!”

For more information on Dural products and service please visit or phone 01924360110.

Categories: Construction, External Works | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fire Glass Specialists – Vetrotech Saint Gobain


Vetrotech Saint-Gobain supply a product range that not only provides total protection against fire and smoke threats they have also been specifically designed to accommodate other multifunctional requirements such as: energy conservation, sound reduction, impact safety and physical security.

With innovative research and development combined with state-of- the-art production technologies, Vetrotech creates bespoke solutions of the highest quality, consistency and complexity.

Vetrotech Saint-Gobain provides the specifier with optimal glass solutions for every fire-protection demand whilst perfectly blending with non-fire glass types.

With over 30 years experience, a world leading international company and dedicated local presence you can trust Vetrotech Saint-Gobain to deliver the perfect solution to meet your fireglass needs.

For more information on our products and services visit our website or call on 0247 654 7620.

Categories: Construction, Doors, Windows & Glazing, Fire Protection, Safety & Security | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at The Adventure Journal Theme.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,216 other followers

%d bloggers like this: