BDA announces launch of Design Day Brick Works!

LSE Saw Swee Hock

LSE Saw Swee Hock

The Brick Development Association is launching its inaugural Design Day Brick Works! To be held on 16 June at the Building Centre, London, Design Day Brick Works! is a meeting of contemporary architecture, specialist contracting and artistic interpretation: all focused on brick.  It is a high-profile event conceived by the BDA as the champion for current and future use of brick products.

The central focus will be an exploration of the creative potential for brick in contemporary architecture.  Designers as diverse as Joe Morris of Duggan Morris Architects, Alfred Munkenbeck from Munkenback and Partners and Stirling prize winner Alison Brooks will consider their own interpretations of the material amongst a host of other architectural speakers while leading contractors discuss the practical challenges faced in turning the designs into reality on site.

Alongside this discussion will be the opening of Brick Works! – a multi-media exhibition drawing together design, sculpture and photography to celebrate brick as an artistic medium.  The exhibition will feature original work from Britain’s Alex Chinneck, Chile’s Fernando Casasempre among a range of free-thinking designers and sculptors running from the 16th June – 10th July.

Carmelite Monastery - Liverpool

Carmelite Monastery – Liverpool

The objective of the event is to bring together boundary-pushing contemporary design with the professionals who turn concepts into reality.  It is a must-see event not only for specifiers looking to find out more about how brick inspires contemporary design but also for contractors and practitioners who will be able to further investigate the technical possibilities for this most flexible building materials.

The BDA Design Day is a ticket-only event that is CPD accredited.  Tickets are £40 each and are available via the BDA website: Student tickets are £22.

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

A Victorian addition to the Redland family


Redland is introducing a new tile colour to its hugely successful Rosemary Clay Craftsman range after seeing an increase in demand from customers. The Victorian colour is much darker and grittier than the original Albury and Hawkhurst colours giving roofs a greater depth of texture and character.

A unique manufacturing process gives the newly-released Victorian colour the look and style of a premium heritage tile combined with the strength and reliability of modern-day manufacturing. The Craftsman Victorian, with its distinctive black patterning and pitted surface imitates a well-weathered tile.

Launched in 2013 to mark the 175th anniversary of the first-ever Rosemary tile being sold in the UK, the Craftsman range replicates the aesthetics of genuine handmade clay tiles. All Craftsman tiles have a textured surface and underside, combined with textured and sanded sides and front edge. Other characteristics are the irregular front edge distortion and varying hanging length.

David Patrick, head of marketing at Redland, said: “Despite only being available for 18 months, the Rosemary Clay Craftsman range has proven itself to be highly popular with our customers, particularly those involved with refurbishments and renovations and small house builders.

“The new colour has been introduced as a result of market research we carried out with a selection of our customer base. They told us they liked the Craftsman tiles but wanted a darker, more aged-looking tile to fit in with areas of conservation, particularly around the South East. We have given them what they asked for.”

To find out more visit

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Biomass is still better for the environment


Reports in the Guardian suggested biomass was not that efficient or great for the environment, stating efficiencies of up to 20% less than previously claimed. Rather than throw in the biomass towel, the report must be viewed as a wake-up call to the biomass sector, says Simon Holden from Euroheat: “Wood burning technology should still be viewed as a much greener and cost-effective alternative to fossil fuels, as long as the equipment, installer and fuel are of the highest quality.”

Anyone reading the DECC biomass report featured in the Guardian this January, would be forgiven for thinking wood heating was a waste of time and money. According to the DECC study, the average efficiency rate for an installed biomass boiler was just 66.5%, 20% short of the 85% efficiency rate needed for a technology to be promoted as ‘renewable’. Worrying statistics, but in my view, these are not indicative of what a biomass system should actually achieve.

Wood burning has proved hugely successful and efficient in central Europe. The problems in the UK market, which is still a very young one, come down to the quality of some boilers, the installers that fit them and the fuel they burn – get these three things right and efficiencies of over 90% are certainly achievable, placing biomass as a worthwhile carbon cutting solution.

Substandard boilers are potentially infiltrating the market (at the moment there is no equivalent to the MCS standard for units over 45kW capacity) fitted by installers who may not have the appropriate product knowledge, experience or support. In addition, end-users may be using poor quality fuel, which has not been properly seasoned and, therefore, holds too much moisture.

Fuel issues

This autumn will see the introduction of new ‘fuel rules’ for all RHI installations in a bid to crackdown on poor quality fuel being used. Under the legislation, fuels must meet sustainability criteria in order to continue receiving RHI payments.

This will apply to all existing and new participants – even if you are already receiving RHI payments. In order to prepare for the changes, the simplest way to meet the criteria is to use sustainable fuel bought through the biomass suppliers’ list, which lists approved suppliers of wood fuels that meet RHI sustainability criteria.

Poor quality fuel can cause no end of issues with a biomass boiler, including:

  • reduced performance because of poor combustion
  • damaging tar deposits in the boiler and flue system
  • visible and troublesome emissions from the flue


In general, moisture must be 20 per cent or less for logs; 35 per cent for woodchip to ensure optimum boiler performance. Seasoned logs will have a higher energy value, providing more heat and lower emissions. It is important that logs are split and left to dry in a well ventilated area for 12 months or more for the most efficient results. Storing logs and wood chip is ultimately the end users responsibility to make sure they are kept accordingly, but it is vital that installers fully explain the fuel to their customer, ensuring they have a handle on buying quality and maintaining quality wood fuel in large quantities.

Wood pellets are more stable and should be delivered in the correct state if purchased from a reliable source. With pellets, boiler efficiency is the sole responsibility of the installer; if commissioned correctly, a quality biomass boiler with good fuel will burn at the efficiencies of 90 per cent or more, so getting this right is key.

A sense of proportion

When it comes to the DECC report, a sense of proportion is important – a DECC spokeswoman said that the study’s sample had been small and “more work now needs to be done to fully assess the performance of biomass boiler systems and installer competency”. I for one, look forward to further research; constant review and improvement is key to helping renewables become a common fixture in our homes and businesses.

In order for the UK to move away from its reliance on fossil fuels, constructive criticism of renewable technologies and how they’re delivered is welcome and imperative. Negativity that results in consumers and installers ‘giving up’ on going green is extremely harmful however; balance and proportion is essential.

For more information about our ranges of boilers, including our range of Energy Cabins, visit

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

In my Liverpool Home

university of liverpool press image

The University of Liverpool is using transom door closers from Alpro Architectural Hardware at student residences on its south campus adjacent to the Management School and Law Faculty.

Alpro’s overhead transom closers are a means of hydraulically controlling the opening and closing of aluminium doors and can have light, medium or heavy spring strengths to suit type of usage, with a 90 degree hold-open option.

Transom closers are well suited for use at universities and colleges since alternative options such as spring hinges and floor springs can restrict adjustment flexibility which is crucial for a student population. The newest accommodation hall at Liverpool offers catered and self-catering facilities for around 750 students. The university’s commitment to invest £660m in the ‘Student Experience’ has seen approximately £250m invested on facilities of this kind.

The £35m building meets Tourism England standards and provides conference accommodation outside term times. Architects Stride Treglown achieved a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating for a design based on sustainable features which include rainwater harvesting, solar thermal hot water and green and brown roofs.

Keith Parry, Divisional Sales Manager at Alpro, said: “Transom overhead door closers are designed to be contained within the transom header bar of the door. The concealed operation lends itself to academia and the clean Art Deco line of this particular project since the aesthetic appearance of doors is left uncompromised. The Liverpool campus is also using Alpro’s door handles and general door hardware. Our educational portfolio is widening and Alpro equipment is also protecting the University of Westminster and the University of Portsmouth.”

The transom closers at the University of Liverpool form part of aluminium doors installed by EYG Commercial Glazing Solutions who have a portfolio of multi-million-pound projects across sectors including student accommodation, modular buildings, health care and housing associations. The company is based in Kingston upon Hull and employs 300 plus personnel on curtain walling and commercial glazing projects and product development. A Special Projects Division is geared specifically to the Rail, MoD and aviation sectors.

The University of Liverpool began in 1881 as a university college. It is ranked among the top one percent of universities worldwide according to global benchmark the Shanghai Ranking and has produced eight Nobel prize winners. Notable post World War Two students include footballer and manager Steve Coppell, Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow and the current poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. The student population is over 21,000.

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The 35 Collection from Landscape Forms grows with a new generation of high performance products.

The 35 Collection of street furniture has been expanded with the addition of three exciting new products; the Loop cycle stand, Signal exterior light, and Guide bollard.




This stunning family of street furniture elements was designed in collaboration with Frog design to promote social interaction in outdoor spaces. With a youthful spirit and strong identity, the 35 Collection now includes nine elements in total. In addition to the three new products, the collection consists of; the Chill seat, Mingle table and seats with accompanying shade, the Sit seat, Stay bench and Pitch litter receptacle.






Aluminium and steel parts are powder coated in sophisticated colours form the Landscape Forms’ designer palette.

Bailey Artform – Tel: 0800 542 8118

Categories: Architecture, Furniture, Landscape Architecture, Landscaping, Lighting | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pop Up Power Supplies® specified at Covent Garden


Pop Up Power Supplies® recently supplied six retractable service power units for installation in the Piazza at Covent Garden. The 450kg units are buried out of site beneath the famous cobbled piazza and are raised out of the ground when required by a turning handle. When not in use the units do not impact on the historic appearance of the Piazza as they are barely noticeable.

Covent Garden Technical Services Team needed a power solution for temporary stalls and events that are put on throughout the year.  The solution was Pop Up Power® retractable service units located near to the Transport Museum and next to the Portico of St Paul’s Church in the Piazza.


The Covent Garden Services team staff now has access to a combination of 16A and 32A sockets in both single and three phase all with RCBO protection.

Pop Up Power® also supply electricity through Inground Units with flip top lids and Bollards in a variety of designs to suit the surroundings.

For more information please visit or call 02085518363 / 02082270208.

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Groundbreaking Train Factory to be Protected by CDS Security & Fire and Advanced

Hitachi Site

Hitachi Rail Europe has specified industry-leading MxPro multiprotocol fire panels from Advanced to protect its new UK manufacturing facility in County Durham, the first brand new rail vehicle manufacturing facility to be built in the UK for over 100 years.

Advanced’s benchmark MxPro 4 fire panel range was specified for its flexibility, reliability and ease of use. The fully integrated five-panel network will cover all areas of the new manufacturing facility and comprises 942 components in total, including over 200 smoke detectors and 150 sounder beacons, as well as an aspirating system.

Rosie Abbott, spokesperson for CDS Security and Fire, the Project’s Fire, Security and DA installer: “We use Advanced panels in almost all of our installations where bespoke solutions are required and we knew that the MxPro panels would be suitable for the installation at Hitachi, providing up to date fire safety for the new plant.”

CDS Security and Fire cover the entire North East of England as well as working directly with end users, they also work with main contractors, architects, electrical consultants and facilities management companies throughout to ensure the effective design support and integrity of their (and their clients’) systems.

The Newton Aycliffe facility, which is set to create circa 730 jobs, will initially construct new InterCity Express trains for the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line, replacing existing rolling stock that is circa 40 years old. The £5.7 billion order comprises 122 five and nine-carriage trains in total, as well as 27.5 years’ of maintenance of the trains.

The Hitachi facility is located at Merchant Park in Newton Aycliffe as part of a development currently being undertaken by Merchant Place Developments Ltd. The MxPro 4 panels at the site will be connected with a high speed, fault-tolerant network, interfaced with a PC-based graphical control system, and supporting Apollo devices.

Neil Parkin, sales manager for Advanced, commented: “We’re delighted that Advanced fire systems have been specified on such a high profile project. Hitachi is investing millions in the plant and it’s important that the staff, the technology and the factory itself benefit from the latest fire systems, offering the potential for future upgrades and expansion.

“We believe that MxPro ticks all the boxes, combining proven reliability with innovation and ease-of-use. It delivers a future-proof solution, with the promise that it can be easily upgraded and supplemented in future.”

MxPro is the fire industry’s leading multiprotocol fire solution, 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 multi-loop, high speed, 200 panel networks covering huge areas and thousands of field devices.

MxPro 4 is fully compliant with EN54 Parts 2 and 4, and backed up with Advanced’s renowned customer care and technical support. The MxPro 5 is Advanced’s highest performance analogue panel. It is EN54 2,4 and 13 approved and is backward compatible with MxPro 4 offering long-term security for MxPro customers.

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 locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s 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

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Independant tests prove Mori dMEV’s low running costs and carbon savings


The innovative Mori dMEV decentralised mechanical extract ventilation unit took centre stage on stand N5172 at Ecobuild 2015, as Elta Fans’ presented impressive independent test results from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) that highlight the unit’s low running costs, carbon footprint savings and multi application functionality.

One of the striking facts to come out of the testing is that the Mori dMEV has an annual running cost of less than £1 per year in kitchens and just £0.75 in bathroom/utility areas. Power consumption for continually running the Mori dMEV equates to just a third of the energy of an 18W low energy light bulb in use four hours a day. The unit also has exceptionally low noise levels that make it quieter than a ticking watch (typically 13 dB(A) for bathroom/utility.

The product brings, to house builders, housing authorities and social landlords, unprecedented efficiency. Each Mori dMEV also saves 1.96 kg per year of CO2 compared to the next best unit on the market.

Shortlisted for the H&V News ‘Domestic H&V Product of the Year – Sustainability and Safety’ award, the Mori dMEV constant volume unit is designed for System 3 ventilation in new build or refurbishment for social housing, and private housing applications. Elta Fans also contends that its latest Mori dMEV is 62% more efficient than the dMEV which won the H&V Award two years ago.

During two years of intensive and stringent design and product testing, started in February 2012, the Mori dMEV has been meticulously developed by Elta Fans.  For the impeller alone, more than 35 3D models were created, 19 of which became prototypes with the most recent of these becoming the unique ‘BLADELET’ impeller. The result is a product which has the lowest SFP (0.09 W/(L/s)) and provides the lowest running costs of any dMEV to date.

Elta Fans Residential Division, is part of the Elta Group – a family of businesses with operations in seven countries on four continents – the 2015 Ecobuild exhibition is an important opportunity to demonstrate the value of the Mori dMEV for the housing sector and, in particular in social housing.

Elta Group Building Services Head of Sales, Mathew Axford said: “Our company is committed to providing exceptional indoor air quality in the most cost effective way for the health of the nation.

“Our focus is to engage with social landlords and building companies to expand our message of being the ‘Home of Ventilation’ offering market leading, innovative products,” explained Matthew Axford.

Other features of the Mori dMEV include:

Low energy, highly efficient EC motor with onboard electronics, Operates up to 50°C, TMP safety tested of domestic fans to IEC 60335-1 AND 60335-2, Low energy, 2.5W EC motor with inbuilt constant volume control. Compliant with ISO/IEC 17025, 3 year warranty and many more.

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Opening the door to dementia care doesn’t prove an enigma at Bletchley

A.SMY FlowersH_661

A unique development in the historic location of Bletchley Park, Flowers House is a new scheme of 34 specially designed flats that provide assisted living for dementia sufferers.

Reynaers window and door systems are used extensively throughout the development which was brought about by a ground-breaking partnership between Aragon Housing, a subsidiary of Grand Union Housing Group, and Milton Keynes Council assisted by a successful application for £2.3m grant funding from the Homes and Communities Agency.

Designed by architects CMYK (Planning & Design), Flowers House provides a safe, secure environment, giving families peace of mind, yet in an unobtrusive way. It incorporates a number of key features such as memory shelves, colour coded flooring and individually coloured doors, all designed to assist residents with orientation throughout the building. The environment is designed to stimulate occupants and deliver life-changing support to sufferers of dementia and their families.

A.SMY FlowersH_651

The high specification building facilitates maximum independence and individual apartments all have a fitted kitchen and wet room, while a specialist dementia care trained team provides 24 hour, individually tailored care and support where needed. Several of the flats have dual occupancy, allowing partners to stay together.

Complementing the clean, modern lines of Flowers House, Reynaers ES 50 window and door systems combine aesthetic design with energy efficiency and ease of operation. Highly functional frames with hidden fittings and opening vents facilitate elegant looks.

Large floor to ceiling windows are a feature on communal areas maximising unobstructed light penetration into the heart of the building adding to the bright, light interior design.

All external doors on the building are Reynaers Vision 50 door systems in single and double door configurations. Suitable for high usage in busy areas they offer stylish design combined with excellent performance and low threshold solutions.

Main contractor on the project was Bellcross Homes and the fabricator was London Architectural Glazing Ltd.

Further details are available from: Reynaers Limited, Tel: 0121 421 1999, or email: , website: .

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Eaton expands touchpoint to include new website & rewards scheme


Eaton’s Security business has announced the launch of its new look touch point website and new rewards scheme. As well as providing its customers with access to first class online information and technical support, Eaton now offers installers and alarm engineers the chance to participate in a brand new rewards-based incentive scheme where they can collect touch points and choose from a selection of great prizes.

As one of the security industry’s most established customer support initiatives, touch point will continue to provide a range of services that are specifically designed to help installers get the best out of Eaton’s security business industry leading products and systems. In addition, the company has developed a new online portal with a more intuitive design, so that information to be accessed more quickly and easily. Installation manuals can be downloaded and a new product compatibility feature even suggests devices that can work together in the same system.

Free-to-join, touch point still offers installers access to numerous other benefits such as product education, post-sales telephone based technical advice and support, and a web browser that allows remote access to control panels from anywhere in the world. Regular software updates can also be downloaded to allow alarm systems to operate to the latest performance and regulatory standards.

An exciting new element of touch point is a rewards based initiative, which allows members to collect points through the purchase of Eaton security products and redeem them against a wide selection of fantastic goods. Called touch points,installers will be able to collect them on all kits, the latest addition being all control panel and keypad kits. The single box solution provides not only excellent features, but also offers great value.

Various products will be rewarded with points throughout the year and touch points are accumulated by entering a code into an installer’s online account. All of the rewards can be accessed online, allowing members to save up for a particular item.

The incredible products that are available include Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One game consoles, high street vouchers, TVs, home entertainment systems, experience days, cameras, coffee makers and watches. A range of highly desirable Apple products is up for grabs too, such as iPads, iPad Minis, iPod Touches and iPod Nanos. Eaton’s security business will regularly update and refresh the reward range, so that there’s always something for everyone to save for.

Trystan Bevan, UK sales manager at Eaton’s security business, commented, ‘We are incredibly proud of the benefits that being part of the touch point brings to our valued customers. I firmly believe that the improvements we have made to it make it an even more attractive proposition and the ability to collect touch points and redeem them for some excellent rewards makes it the complete information, technical support and rewards package.’

touch point is for security professionals and is completely free to join. Visit www.touch point

Eaton Security House Vantage Point Business Village Mitcheldean Gloucestershire GL12 0SZ
+44 (0) 1594 541 932

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New Skyroom Is Heavenly For Hamstead Family




Cantifix worked with Tasou Associates and London City Construction Ltd to create a ‘Skyroom’ extension at the back of this Hampstead townhouse. The family wanted to replace the existing brick and UPVC conservatory with a more modern space – and this structurally glazed enclosure with Sky-Frame sliding doors was the perfect answer.

The new Skyroom links the kitchen, dining room and hallway – and is used as a cosy TV room by the family. The Sky-Frame doors open on all 3 sides of the enclosure – allowing easy access to the garden and bringing an airy feeling to the indoor space.downshire_hill_website_image_template_slide4


The footprint of the extension is quite small, but the wide expanses of glass and unobstructed views make it feel indulgent and spacious. A huge 3.6 m2 rooflight floods the space with natural light – and features a SunGuard SN70 coating on the glass to minimise both heat loss and heat gain.downshire_hill_website_image_template_slide6

From the outside; the clean, straight lines of the Skyroom and the lightness of its structure compliment and accentuate the style of the original building.

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Leading the way in public realm innovations Marshalls launches commercial new products for 2015

Marshalls has launched a comprehensive new range of products proving it continues to lead the way in public realm innovations, supplying the highest quality materials.

The latest products from Marshalls, the UK’s leading hard landscaping manufacturer,  combine clever engineering and technology, with imaginative ways to save time and costs across all disciplines, from innovative paving options, to sustainable urban drainage systems and the very latest in creative street furniture solutions.

Marshalls’ new paving and concrete block paving products include Myriad which can be used to create a vast array of laying patterns, available in nine plan sizes and four colours, Renaissance, a high-recycled material which achieves a minimum of 80% recycled content and Blister concrete block tactile paving, a durable DDA compliant solution for crossing points available in three colours.

Marshalls' Myriad allows designers to create standout urban landscapes

Marshalls’ Myriad allows designers to create standout urban landscapes

The new Cambrian sandstone range carries Marshalls’ ethical Fairstone trademark. These stones are extremely strong and capable of carrying heavy loads. Stonespar Cambrian sandstone allows for previously unseen stone paving design and style opportunities, available in six attractive pre-designed colour blends.

Marshalls has extended its suite of water management solutions with two innovative products. Pencil Edge Priora permeable paving has been developed to provide the ideal surface for car parks and cycleways, providing excellent hydraulic and structural performance due to the patented Priora nib. Marshalls’ Priora Flag large-sized permeable paving comes in three plan sizes and two contrasting colours, ideal for large pedestrian areas and has been engineered and tested to withstand occasional heavy loading.

For cycle landscapes, Marshalls has developed the Bristol Bollard, designed to create safe cycleways, available in a natural smooth grey finish as standard. Marshalls also offers a new Cycle Segregation Unit which has been designed to integrate seamlessly into the landscape, available in four infil options including Yorkstone.

Tel: 0370 442 7702

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Future Energy Solutions’ LED lighting installation for NCP triumphs at the British Parking Awards 2015

Parking Awards

16th March 2015 …. Future Energy Solutions (FES) and National Car Parks (NCP) are celebrating following the win of a prestigious accolade at the British Parking Awards 2015. The partnership beat off stiff competition to secure the Sustainable Parking Award for an installation of light emitting diode (LED) lighting technology in the NCP estate.

Now in its fourteenth year, the British Parking Awards is one of the most highly anticipated events in the UK parking calendar. Created and hosted by Parking Review magazine, the 2015 ceremony took place in the four star surroundings of the Lancaster London hotel, where over 500 industry professionals gathered to witness awards being presented for leading examples of car park management, enforcement, design and teamwork.

Accepting the Sustainable Parking Award from television presenter and wheelchair basketball player, Ade Adepitan, who also compered the event, Marcus Brodin, Commercial Director at FES, stated, ‘As one of the biggest and most successful rollouts of LED lighting anywhere in Europe, we are incredibly proud that our work with NCP has been recognised in this way. Our unique funding model has allowed NCP to enjoy energy savings of over 65 per cent, lower its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 11,000 tonnes per annum and reduce its mono-nitrogen oxide (NOx) output by 248lbs over the same period – all with no upfront capital expenditure.’

With over 150,000 spaces across more than 500 car parks, NCP wanted to address the rising costs associated with its previous T8 and T12 fluorescent lamp based lighting infrastructure, and approached Future Energy Solutions (FES) in early 2013 with a number of improvement objectives. These included a reduction in energy lighting bills; lower maintenance costs; and an overall enhanced lumen output to provide an enhanced customer experience.

Phase 1 of the project involved installing over 66,000 energy efficient LED luminaires in over 150 multi-storey car parks throughout the UK, and was finished in July 2014. Phase 2 & 3 are now underway and will see the installation of a further 35,000 luminaires across a number of surface sites, station car parks, local authority sites and other multi-storey car parks, and is set to start in mid-2015. All of the products FES has installed are performance guaranteed and maintained for the life of the contract at no cost to NCP, taking away the hassle of maintenance and reducing the company’s operational costs.

The prestigious judging panel of industry experts was impressed with the way in which FES clearly identified the environmental issues and how it went about achieving the targets set by NCP. Of particular note were the funding model and the technological and operational innovations used to deliver the improvements.

‘I’m thrilled that our work with FES has resulted in this Sustainable Parking Award,’ commented Tim Duke, NCP’s Technical Director. ‘The challenge we presented was significant and the results have exceeded all of our expectations. Our customers are already experiencing the benefits of LED technology and we are expected to save in excess of £25m over the lifetime of the new luminaires. In addition, I’m particularly pleased that it has enabled us to reduce our carbon footprint and it now plays an important role in helping us fulfil our sustainability based objectives.’

For further information please contact Marcus Brodin on +44 (0) 207 908 3921 or

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Chronos makes a splash in the style stakes

Inta is introducing its slickest showering range to date, with a family of beautiful Italian-crafted, highly polished chrome products that give users the most emotive and desirable bathroom experience yet.

chronos column1

The infinitely stylish Chronos range boasts patented technology that enables users to exercise complete control over the temperature and flow of the products, which includes a thermostatic bath tap, a bidet tap and a host of aesthetically appealing showers.

Alongside game-changing design, quality and control, the Chronos range also has green credentials, with an in-built eco button that can override settings to deliver energy-conscious flow rates and temperatures. This, a measure that can be implemented at the push of a button, means households can save money as and when they feel necessary.

The new products, which Inta is hailing its most desirable bathroom range yet, are designed to meet the style requirements of high-end, boutique-inspired bathrooms. Combating the age-old trade off between style and safety, Chronos retains all of Inta’s famed anti-scald features, with cool-touch bodies being standard across the entire range.

Stuart Gizzi, director at Inta, said: “We believe the Chronos range marks a step change in terms of the quality and visual appeal of showering products in the market. The cutting-edge design and elegant Italian craftsmanship make for a truly beautiful, highly desirable range.


“The ability to easily fine-tune the Chronos family to make the perfect bespoke shower and taps, without compromising on design or durability, is taking bathroom products to dizzy new heights.”

For more information on the Chronos range, or any other Inta product, visit

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Premium surface technology now available at Lathams

XyloCleaf bedroom

The innovative and highly textured range of premium, Thermo Structured Surface (TSS) decors – XyloCleaf – which offers a variety of wood grains, linens and other unique materials – is now available through James Latham.

Unlike anything else on the UK market, XyloCleaf is a highly original and exclusive range of decors which are created using a unique process of thermal fusing in which decorative papers are treated with melamine resins, that under heat and pressure become part of the panel itself, hence the term Thermo Structured Surface.

XyloCleaf dining and restaurant

This process provides not only a stunning end result, but also a product that is strong, durable and highly scratch and chemical resistant, meaning that as well as looking great, it will stand up to the toughest of challenges when used in high traffic areas.

The sensational and inspiring new XyloCleaf collection is perfectly suited to premium domestic design schemes such as kitchens, bedrooms and bathrooms as well as for wall panelling and furniture and it has already proved particularly popular within high end commercial, leisure and hotel specifications.

XyloCleaf shelving unit

XyloCleaf shopfitting

The deep textures and intricate detail of XyloCleaf makes it difficult to distinguish from the real material it is designed to mimic and the portfolio includes 50 different colours and patterns, all of which come with ABS edging as standard.

Paul Morson, James Latham’s Group Product Champion for Melamine said, ”XyloCleaf represents a new generation of panel product and one which offers extraordinary potential, delivering a complete solution of innovative products to suit all interior decorative tastes, trends and applications.   I have no doubt at all that it will become a big success for us.”

XyloCleaf kitchen

XyloCleaf is available directly from stock through James Latham’s nine panel distribution sites and is supplied in panel sizes of 2800 x 2070 x 18mm with matching ABS edgings.

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

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Vent-Axia Expands Horizontal Sentinel Kinetic Range

Sentinel Kinetic Horizontal 200ZP

Vent-Axia has added the 200ZP to its popular Sentinel Kinetic horizontal range of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) solutions. Part of the company’s innovative Lo-Carbon™ initiative, the new compact addition to the series has been designed specifically for small apartments and boasts an impressive 86% thermal efficiency. Developed for modern thermally efficient homes the range features revolutionary summer bypass to ensure year-round thermal comfort.

To ensure year-round thermal comfort in increasingly air tight properties, Vent-Axia’s 200ZP includes in its range an innovative programmable summer bypass which operates when a home’s temperature rises above a pre-set comfort temperature. Meanwhile, in winter the unit utilises frost protection to stop frost building up on the intake side of the heat exchanger and so preventing damage.Featuring on SAP Appendix Q the series offers exceptional performance and boasts a specific fan power (SPF) as low as 0.62W/l/s. The 200ZP’s performance is further enhanced by the latest high efficiency backward curved impeller design ensuring lowest possible energy consumption and ultra-quiet operation.

The summer bypass is pioneering since it is fully automatic and truly intelligent, a first. The summer bypass is set for both comfort temperature and minimum external temperature. These settings enable the controls to determine whether it is winter or summer allowing it to run without homeowner intervention.

For further cooling the 200ZP summer bypass has an evening purge feature that boosts early evening and then runs on a timer until about 10pm so there is no nuisance noise at night. Additional cooling is also available for periods of several days of high temperatures and warm nights. Here the 200ZP utilises a Night-Time Purge. This allows a home to be pre-cooled for the following day by taking advantage of cooler night-time temperatures.

Manufactured in the UK, the 200ZP features horizontal rectangular spigots, which allow installation directly into 204 x 60 ducting, rather than using a connector. It is easy to install and maintain with a control box that slides down on both sides and the easily accessible heat recovery cube is protected by two removable G3 filters. It is also very light, weighing in at only 14kg, making it easy to lift by one person.

Combining supply and extract ventilation in one unit the 200ZP extracts warm, moist air from ‘wet’ rooms through ducting and passes it through the heat exchanger before being exhausted outside. Fresh incoming air is preheated via the integral heat exchanger, which recovers up to 86% of the heat energy that would otherwise be wasted. The unit’s two energy saving Vent-Axia Lo-Carbon EC DC motors further improve efficiency and carbon reductions and ensures long life – typically over double the life of AC motors.

In addition, heat recovery ventilation reduces excessive moisture in the air, combating condensation and subsequent mould growth, saving money on maintenance and decoration. Home owners or tenants are further aided through better indoor air quality which has the duel health benefits of reducing microscopic fungal growth and eliminating the conditions in which house dust mites thrive, both of which are linked to allergic reactions and asthma.

Meeting the latest requirements of Building Regulations Approved Document F for whole house system ventilation: System 4, the 200ZP has three fully adjustable speeds and a purge setting. The range is supplied with a digital controller that can be used to pre-set the speeds to any required air-flow within the performance range.

Featuring multiple plug and play control options and BMS connectivity, the 200ZP has five Volt-free sensor inputs allowing boosting from a full range of Vent-Axia controllers including humidistats, PIR, CO2, Vent-Wise and timers, as well as wireless remote. The 200ZP also features two terminals with 0-24V outputs allowing 0V to 10V proportional control by sophisticated controllers such as CO2 sensors and proportional humidistats. Switched live for boosting via light switches (LS) or manual normal/boost switches the connection benefits from a ‘delay on’ feature which prevents the unit boosting unnecessarily.

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

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

Sapa focuses on the next generation

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Aluminium systems specialist Sapa Building System has unveiled the third edition of its Reference Book, showcasing a selection of architecturally striking projects from across the world.

With a strong focus on sustainability, Sapa offers a glimpse into the future of urban city living and shares the top five trends identified from market research.

The impressive portfolio boasts projects in retail, health and office space including the visually stunning Scottish National Arena and the pioneering AZ tower in Brno, the tallest building in Czech Republic. For each project, Sapa describes the facade and curtain walling systems used, and how it contributes to the sustainability of the building, accompanied by remarkable photography.

Jon Palethorpe, commercial director at Sapa Building System, comments: ‘We’ve had the privilege of being involved in some really inspiring and architecturally innovative projects and the newly updated Reference Book captures the highlights.

‘We know that the future of architecture is sustainable structures that are built to last with the next generations in mind and this is an opportunity to share our predictions about preserving the future landscape.’

For more information contact Sapa Building System on 01684 853500 or email

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

Trend’s BEMS used to pioneer a technical first in Biomass Boiler control and efficiency at Atlantic College

When Atlantic College’s biomass boilers failed to operate correctly due to problems with the heating system’s internal process controllers, a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) from Trend Control Systems came to the rescue.

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Established in 1962, Atlantic College was the first United World College (UWC) and has been providing pupils from all over the world with an educational experience centred on shared learning, collaboration and understanding.  Based at the stunning St Donat’s Castle – a 12th Century castle near the town of Llantwit Major on the South Wales coast – it was among the first educational institutions in the world to follow the international baccalaureate curriculum and currently has 350 students from more than 90 countries.

Back to the future

St Donat’s Castle acts as the main building of the College and is used for assemblies and performances, a library, staff offices, student common areas and a wide variety of academic departments.

Students live in seven accommodation houses, while lessons take place in modern academic blocks, converted medieval estate buildings and the Castle itself. The facilities include a state-of-the-art gymnasium and a converted tithe barn, which is also open to the public as a theatre, arts centre and cinema. This building with its contemporary glazed extension by notable local architect, Chris Loyn, has received much praise in the architectural community as well as from groups interested in building conservation.

Atlantic College.Middle Eastern ConferencePic Gareth Iwan Jones

Heat of the moment

Atlantic College also has a strong focus on local and global sustainability and does all it can to operate in the most environmentally friendly ways possible.

Nick Grenfell-Marten, Director of Operations at Atlantic College, explains, ‘In 2004 we installed a 1.2MW biomass heating system, featuring two biomass boilers. Brought in to replace an ageing and unreliable oil based boiler system, it runs on locally sourced sustainable woodchip biomass. It makes the campus currently the largest site in the UK to be heated in such a way.’

However, by 2010 the original biomass boilers’ process controllers were regularly failing. This was due to ageing mechanical components causing the process controllers to burn out due to a lack of motor protection. Replacement parts were expensive and difficult to source, which meant the College had to rely on a back-up LPG boiler and the older oil fired boiler, which increased running costs, reduced its ability to provide heat and hot water and hampered its sustainability based efforts.

Solution provider

Atlantic College contacted Gloucestershire based Global Building Controls (GBC) with a view to specifying and installing a new control system.

Paul Martin, Director at GBC, comments, ‘We work within a diverse range of environments and pride ourselves on always finding an appropriate solution to any problem. After carrying out a site visit we concluded that most of the modern controllers available would need a lot of mechanical modification to make them compatible with the existing system. To address this issue, we decided to design and manufacture a process control system that would work in harmony with the existing mechanical components utilising a BEMS from Trend.’

The Trend BEMS now facilitates control of processes including cold start, manual restart, slumber mode, burn back protection, automatic burn back monitoring and water dosing, oxygen level monitoring, flue fan control variable speed drives (VSDs), stoker feed control and cooling jacket pump control.

Finger on the pulse

A Trend IQ controller adjusts the boiler output demand according to the measured boiler temperature, in order to maintain the set temperature, which is user adjustable. The combustion fan blowers are regulated independently by pulsating the blowers with short pulses at low output, while the flue fans are also optimised through the use of Trend’s VSDs.

The oxygen sensor influences the fuel feeding process and is controlled by the Trend IQ controller using a 0-10V signal. If the oxygen level is too high and the boiler demand is also high, but the boiler temperature is still low, the Trend IQ controller will add more fuel into the combustion chamber. At lower boiler demand, The Trend IQ controller will permit a higher level of oxygen to avoid too much fuel being fed into the combustion chamber.

Commenting on the advantages this offers, GBC’s Paul Martin states, ‘In this way variable boiler outputs are achieved and the boiler controllers will shift into slumber mode when the boiler flow temperatures are satisfied against their desired set points.’

Smart thinking

The system features a wide range of intelligent technology. The feed and ash auger motors are protected with smart motor protection overloads that can stop the motors automatically when they sense overcurrent due to a jam. The control system has been designed to allow an automatic attempt to clear the jam by reversing the motors for a few seconds before re-starting in the correct direction.

Paul Martin says, ‘We have built in a lockout feature, whereby an engineer can be alerted through the local Trend IQView4 display or the site 963 Supervisor, a graphical, real-time user interface that acts as a window to the BEMS and is connected via a local area network (LAN). Wood jams are further prevented by flush fitting proximity sensing probes with LED colour change indication mounted in the wood hopper. The visual indication on the probes helps to identify where the jam has occurred.’

Burn backs are prevented by first automatically dosing wood chips with water through the pulsing water solenoid valves. Then, once the overheat sensors are satisfied, the stoker motors are reversed to draw back the wood chips from the flames, thereby preventing it happening again. As soon as the system detects a stable condition, the process will attempt to restart.

Atlantic College has also commissioned GBC to improve the energy efficiency of its swimming pools. Inverters are now used to drive the pool pumps and reduce the pump speeds during low pool turnover periods. The pool dosing equipment monitoring system has also been integrated into the 963 Supervisor, so that pool water quality conditions can be logged by the BEMS.

Role play

Atlantic College’s Nick Grenfell-Marten is delighted with what’s been achieved and concludes, ‘The installation of Trend BEMS boiler process control has played a vital role in achieving additional energy reductions and lowering the site’s overall carbon emissions, as the new controls have enabled a reduction in the amount of wood chips needed, without a loss of heating output. It is an excellent result for us and I’m looking forward to discovering new ways of using the Trend BEMS to make further savings.’

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

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

A new horizon for the Lumen bespoke range of rooflights

Lumen has launched its new rooflight, the Horizon.  The timber rooflight is handmade in the UK from Accoya which is renowned for its durability, stability and sustainability.


The Lumen Horizon incorporates a high performance triple glazed Pilkington Activ self-clean unit and is crafted entirely from sustainable sourced Accoya timber. The Lumen Horizon is produced from Accoya as it provides compelling environmental advantages over other hardwoods, has superior dimensional stability and boasts exceptional durability, offering a 50 year life span.  The Horizon is available in a variety of colours on both the inside and out.

Available as a fixed casement design, manual or electric actuation for ventilation, the Lumen Horizon is designed for use on a flat or low pitch roof construction including lead, zinc sheet, copper and asphaltic material. It can be supplied with or without Lumen’s unique Horizon insulated kerb system.

Lumen Managing Director, Paul Trace, said: “As the UK’s leading supplier of bespoke rooflights we understand that builders, architects and homeowners do not always want an off the shelf product. That’s why we offer more choice in the specification process than any other rooflight manufacturer.

“With the Horizon, we have developed a ground-breaking British made rooflight, using only the highest quality products. The combination of the Accoya timber frame and Pilkington triple glazed units allow the Horizon to boast an impressive thermal and environmental performance.”

The Lumen Horizon combines the latest in rooflight technology with British craftsmanship to provide an extremely durable, low maintenance rooflight, proven to withstand all types of external environments.

For information on the new Horizon rooflight please contact Lumen on 0330 300 1090, email, or visit

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

Bathrooms for all your building’s visitors

Buildings in the public sector have to cater for a range of visitors, including those with mobility issues, and, with an ageing population, this requirements is only set to increase. Ensuring hospitals, care homes, schools and other public buildings are accessible to everybody is Part M of the Building Regulations, with subsection, Doc M, covering bathrooms specifically. Georgina Spencer, Marketing Manager for Roca, explains what installers and specifiers need to know when it comes to creating bathrooms suitable for all building visitors.

About Part M

Part M applies to all new non-domestic buildings, existing non-domestic buildings undergoing alterations, or change of use to a public building, as well as new builds with downstairs WCs. The drive behind this standard is to ensure that these spaces are usable by all members of the public; be they in a wheelchair, or simply carrying heavy bags.

Taking into consideration the requirements of the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act), Part M imposes duties on employers, trade organisations, service providers and landlords, addressing the practical use of a site; from the plot boundary, in terms of gaining access, through to the usability of each room.

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With 18% of the population having a mobility issue and the number of over 85s set to double by 2030, Part M is key for creating an inclusive society.

Bathrooms for all users

The bathroom is an essential convenience, one that everyone has a right to access. Making sure this space is user friendly for a variety of visitors allows independence to be maintained for some of society’s most vulnerable groups.

Document M (a sub-section of Part M) provides guidance on bathrooms situated on the level where daytime living occurs – i.e. ground floor conveniences in public buildings. The key elements of this guidance are as follows:

  • Accessible WCs must be provided with an outward opening door
  • A wheelchair should be able to approach within 400mm of the WC pan with sufficient space to manoeuvre
  • There must be adequate space to transfer from a wheelchair to the loo seat (750 mm is advised)
  • As the basin has the potential for obstructing the approach of a wheel chair and the transfer to the loo, clearances above and below the sink are critical
  • Space should not be reduced by obstructions such as radiators, with a preferred minimum compartment of 1000mm
  • If a WC is located beneath the stairs a practical headroom height is required – 2m at the front of the pan is considered reasonable
  • Finger basins should be adjacent to WCs to enable easy hand washing while sat down

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Ambulant bathroom users

Doc M is not just about making bathrooms usable for those with mobility issues, it also covers ambulant users, which includes the visually impaired and mothers with children. In conveniences with multiple WCs, at least one cubicle should meet the criteria for ambulant users. The colour of the seat, rails and walls should be contrasting and grab rails must be fitted next to the WC, basin and the inside of the door.

Shower vs bath

In most cases, a shower is easier for users with mobility issues to access – particularly those in a wheel chair. As such, according to Doc M, where bedrooms are included, an en-suite is preferable, with at least as many en-suite showers as general bathrooms. Where baths are installed, a transferable seat should feature. Safety is key, with thermostatic taps ideal for preventing scalding.

In general, the flooring must be slip resistant when wet, with room doors opening outwards including a horizontal closing bar on the inside face. An emergency assistance pull chord should also be included. Controls, switches and socket outlets should be located in an accessible zone between 450-1200mm above floor level, including light switches.

Fit for the future bathrooms

Creating buildings that meet the needs of a range of users is essential. In the domestic sector, this approach can enhance quality of life and allow people to stay in their own properties for longer – something that benefits the end user and the economy at large, with home improvements much less financially draining than putting people in a care facility. With an ageing population, Part M will become increasingly important so building managers, specifiers and installers must ensure they familiarise themselves with this Building Regulation.

Roca provides a range of Doc M packs, including the sanitaryware, brassware and grab rails needed to comply with the building regulation.

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

Imago redefines timber sliding doors

Imago frames the english countryside

Perfect for the UK climate, Imago Lift & Slide is the definitive timber wide-span door for design led homes. The super-slim wooden frame makes it an exciting choice for extensions, sunrooms and orangeries where style and performance is paramount.

Imago is the stunning timber lift and slide door system from AGB, Italy’s largest window and door hardware manufacturer. Widely specified, Imago is a leading wooden sliding door in mainland Europe. In Italy there are 130 companies installing Imago Lift & Slide Doors and 600 architects subscribing to its online design and specification service.

Imago frames the view with a sightline down to just 2cm. Unlike most wooden doors, Imago has a sash slimmer than even some aluminium lift and slide doors. The hardware disappears into the frame and the silky smooth slide mechanism is invisible. The Imago Lift & Slide Door is so innovative it has been selected as one of the best industrial designs by the ADI Index 2014, alongside an impressive line-up of new offerings from luxury brands renowned for beauty and performance including Ferrari, Maserati and Ducati.

The result is a huge glazed window door that offers an uninterrupted view. The combination of elegant style and industry leading thermal and weather performance has redefined what is possible from a timber door. Our British weather means large doors stay firmly shut for most of the year. Open or closed, Imago’s slim design means there aren’t multiple frames to break up the view, creating a light filled space.

Installation companies and timber manufacturers who target the premium market will find Imago Lift & Slide Doors a big attraction for homeowners and designers. AGB has everything architects need with easy to download drawings and specifications to add straight into their design project. Manufacturers are given all the high performance test certification needed to produce fully CE compliant doors. Companies can find out more about Imago Lift & Slide Doors by emailing

Categories: Doors, Windows & Glazing, Timber in building | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Sika Sarnafil specified for UK Border Agency

The UK Border Agency in Cardiff now boasts a total of 750sq m of Sika Sarnafil single ply roofing after a skilful refurbishment by Reading-based Owlsworth Roofing.

UK Border Agency 1

In 2013 The UK Border Agency facilities management team contacted construction company Interserve with severe concerns about the flat roof on their building. Substantial areas of standing water had formed on the existing coverings and the large quantity of roof-mounted air conditioning plant would likely hamper the effectiveness of any repairs.

In November 2013 Interserve tasked Owlsworth Roofing with advising on the most suitable long-term waterproofing solution for the roof. With 30 years’ experience within the construction industry, solving some of the most complex flat roofing problems, Owlsworth was well placed to lend its expertise to the project.

Following a site assessment, Owlsworth recommended a full roof refurbishment before any major problems began to occur, which would include the difficult task of removing and reinstating all of the existing roof plant.

The scaffolding went up in February 2014 and in March the works began in earnest with cut-to-falls insulation bonded to the existing roof coverings to help reduce standing water. Then, in order to provide a long-term and cost-effective waterproofing solution for the building, Owlsworth chose to install Sika Sarnafil roof coverings. Sarnafil G410-15ELF was selected thanks to its outstanding resistance to weathering and ease of installation.

The internal upstand kerbs needed to be raised to fully surround the stone parapet around the external elevations of the building. This was in order to accommodate the increased thickness of insulation, which exceeded 300mm in places.

To further guarantee a watertight finish and to keep the roof sound for years to come, the stone parapet was covered with a layer of Sarnafil G410-15EL membrane, finished with pre-fabricated Sarnametal edge trims around the entire perimeter. Sarnafil rain water scuppers were then installed to carry rainwater through the parapets into the existing external hoppers and downpipes, thereby removing any chance of standing water.

The original roof mounted plant was carefully reinstated on a combination of G445-13 protection sheet and inverted G410-15ELF sacrificial pads and then reconnected. This was followed by reinstalling the roof mounted handrails and adding a new non-slip Sarnatred walkway for future access and maintenance. The project was completed in April 2014.

Peter Mably, Owlsworth Roofing, said: “The UK Border Agency project is a fantastic example of how a single ply roof should look even when used in conjunction with lots of plant. The complex level of detail on this refurbishment was a challenge but our skilled team and the quality of the Sarnafil product produced fantastic results for the client.”

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

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

Achieving an Enduring All-White Aesthetic

A new range of hard wearing white floors has been launched by Flowcrete UK to help the designers of commercial spaces create crisp and gleaming white surfaces that evoke an elegant, luxurious ambiance.

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The Mondèco Arctic systems are the latest floors in Flowcrete UK’s seamless epoxy resin terrazzo range. The minimalist chic of these deluxe floors is the sumptuous epitome of elegance, luxury and style, as it produces a bright, light filled space that entices visitors inside and bathes them in an indulgently welcoming glow.

Featuring three new colours, Alaska, Glacier and Polar, and providing superior UV light resistance, these floors help large-scale commercial locations to retain a seamless, visually appealing finish for an extended period of time.

The three Mondèco Arctic systems combine a white binder with a blend of light coloured aggregates, mirror glass and metallic particles in differing quantities, creating stylised white surfaces with subtly differing aggregate patterns.

Mondèco floors provide large-scale commercial environments with a wealth of creative possibilities. An innovative application technique allows for bespoke and intricate designs to be installed across wide swathes of flooring and even the precise colour, shimmer and lustre of a Mondèco floor can be adapted to suit the style and image of each site.

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Flowcrete UK’s Marketing Manager, Ian Jones, said: “Many commercial environments desire an all-white aesthetic to enhance brand identity, attract customers and create a pleasant visitor experience.

“The Mondèco Arctic range means that architects can specify an attractive hard-floor covering, with all the design possibilities of the Mondèco range, that has been specifically tailored to provide this modern, upmarket image.

“These three new systems have been designed to combine the high-end looks, design potential and durability of Flowcrete’s premier decorative flooring range with an enhanced level of UV light resistance. This is an advantage that will pay the venue back over its lifetime thanks to the reduced need to repair or refurbish the floor in the years to come.”Miele  192

The seamless and impermeable nature of Flowcrete UK’s resin floors also helps commercial sites to maintain a clean and hygienic interior by facilitating the quick and easy removal of dirt, spillages, bacteria and contaminants from the area.

Architects eager to find out more about the aesthetic and functional properties of Flowcrete UK’s new Mondèco Arctic range can sign onto the resin flooring specialists’ new CPD seminar ‘Specifying Seamless Resin Terrazzo’.

Categories: Flooring, Interior Design | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Ecodan Toolbox offers simple access to renewable sales tools


Mitsubishi Electric has launched a single online platform to provide immediate access to a host of sales tools and resources, aimed at helping heat pump installers engage with homeowners and grow renewable heating sales.

The Ecodan Toolbox provides a visually appealing landing page with simple descriptions of the tools and resources currently available as well as those coming soon.

“We’ve put everything in one place to simplify access to all of the tools available for our customers both now and in the future,” explains Graham Temple, Marketing Manager for the company’s heating systems.

“The site is readily accessible and includes smartphone Apps, an online design tool, metering packages, presentations, documents and case studies”.

The online platform coincides with the launch of a new tool designed to help installers explain all the features and benefits of Ecodan to a homeowner in a non-technical manner.

The simple but comprehensive ‘Homeowner’ presentation looks at how heat pumps work either alone or in tandem with other technologies, what makes Ecodan unique, financial incentives and customer testimonials.

“This is all about providing the tools that our customers need to help them educate homeowners,” adds Temple.  The market for heat pumps is now starting to grow and we want our partners to be able to take full advantage of increasing demand”.

The toolbox is located in the ‘installer’ area of the company’s heating website, and is publicly available.

For further details visit    

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

Sustainability & Green Design in Street Furniture

“Sustainability” and the concerted effort to “reduce environmental impact” has been a key priority for businesses around the globe for a number of years now. Nowhere is this more so than in the construction industry where designers and specifiers are charged with making their projects as environmentally friendly as possible.

This means not only considering the way people will interact with the outdoor spaces they have created (whether it be installing litter bins in the right places to reduce litter & encourage recycling or incorporating cycle parking to promote low carbon transport).



The landscape architects and building contractors who design & deliver these external works projects also have to consider the overall ecological impact of a scheme from conception to completion (and beyond). This includes all materials and products used, as well as the sustainability credentials of potential supply chain partners.

As suppliers of design-led street furniture to some of the most prestigious public space projects, we at Bailey Artform decided to ask some searching questions in order to assess our own green credentials and commitment to sustainability

  1. What part do we currently play in making public spaces and urban development greener overall?
  2. How can we as external furniture suppliers keep our own environmental impact as low as possible?
  3. Who else is doing this well at the moment and how?

The True Cost of Buying Cheap

A green supply chain is only as strong as its weakest link…

Bailey Artform has three supply chain partners each with a distinct and unique offering in high end, design-led street furniture. We chose them not only based on the quality of their products, but also because their values and principles matched our own. A key consideration for us was their commitment to the environment and a sustainable approach to product design and manufacturing

Categories: Architecture, Furniture, Landscape Architecture, Landscaping | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Vicaima add to 1930’s charm at Meyerhold Opera Paris Hotel

Vicaima walnut door with sunrise effect in hallway

Vicaima walnut door with sunrise effect in hallway

Interior doors specialist, Vicaima, was selected to renovate the 1930’s inspired ambiance of the sophisticated Meyerhold Opera Paris Hotel, one of the most recent hotel properties located in the heart of the French capital.  The primary objective of this renovation and rehabilitation project; set in an historic building, located near the Grands Boulevards neighbourhood, was to improve the comfort of the guests and to create a refined environment in an urban setting.  Challenged by the Atlani family – the owner of the development and by the designer Anne Gelbard – leader of the project – Vicaima presented exclusive and ambitious solutions for the development, including technical doors with high performance acoustic insulation, unique design and tailor-made details.

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Vicaima walnut door with sunrise effect in bedroom

For the room entrance, the choice made was for the Vicaima Portaro® AC42dB EI30, a solution which includes door, adjustable frame to wall thickness and accessories in one single piece, and therefore, of rapid and efficient installation, due to its adaptation to existing building structures. This solution is certified by accredited international laboratories for 30 minute fire resistance and acoustic insulation up to 42dB, responding to the high demands and regulation standards for this type of hotel projects.

Inspired by the hotel’s setting, Vicaima door solutions were exclusively developed, in quarter cut walnut veneer with a sunrise effect and matt finish, matching the environment recreated at the hotel and inspired by the Bahaus constructivism. Amongst the solutions provided are also the sliding doors in the interior the suites, with tailor-made details, which combine with the glamorous ambiance of the hotel.

“Our contact with international markets enabled us to know and identify Vicaima as the one that best corresponded to the expectations of our hotel project. The Meyerhold Opera Paris Hotel is distinguished by its refined details, which are no more than a reflection of the luxury and refinements sought by our customers. Vicaima is notable for its ‘savoir-faire’ [experience and know-how], for the quality of its products and for always being attentive to the exclusivity that we seek, “emphasizes Mr. Atlani, owner of Meyerhold Opera Paris Hotel.

At the Meyerhold Opera Paris Hotel, each room has its own identity and concept, in a balance between the contemporary furniture and the antique collection that the owners wanted to maintain in the overall decor. Specializing in technical and exclusive solutions for hotel renovation, Vicaima now adds the Meyerhold Opera Paris Hotel to its portfolio of premium projects with acoustic performance. In other recent examples, Vicaima were responsible for two major hotel renovations in southern Portugal, including the Vila Galé Collection Hotel and a project for the B&B Hotel Group.

For further details regarding Vicaima hotel and leisure market solutions or to review products from the Vicaima interior door collections, visit the Vicaima website   Alternatively, call 01793 532333 for additional information.

Categories: Doors, Interior Design | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Brett Piatto brings ‘rock hard’ paving to Deaconess House

BRE201506 Deaconess House

Aesthetics, product quality and specifier support are amongst the reasons behind the selection of Brett Landscaping to supply its premium Piatto block paving for a prestigious student accommodation development at the University of Edinburgh.

Deaconess House is a former hospital dating back to 1894 and the new development retains the frontage of the original building, combined with new modern construction to the rear.

Mace Real Estate acquired the site following the relocation of hospital services by NHS Lothian to a new administrative centre.  During the planning process, the University of Edinburgh expressed an interest in using Deaconess House for student accommodation and a deal was agreed.

Given the building’s proximity to Holyrood Park, the planning conditions specified the use of indigenous stone for all paving on the project – initially, the stipulation was as strict as to state that the material must originate from within 20 miles of the site.  However, on researching the available options, Mace recognised not only that this was impractical, but that the Piatto range from Brett Landscaping would provide an equally effective and versatile solution to the project’s needs.

“While the plans required a minimalist, aesthetically pleasing paving solution, we were also mindful of the need to install something hard-wearing,” explains Martin Scott, Associate Director at Mace.  “Piatto is primarily concrete but features a natural granite aggregate face finish, providing the ideal combination of robustness, durability and good looks.”

The natural aggregate facemix of Piatto ensures colour stability over the life of the product, making it ideal for specification – especially with 12 colours available in textured and ground finishes for maximum design flexibility.  For Deaconess House, Piatto has been supplied in Silver Granite and Dark Basalt to provide an attractive colour contrast to the scheme.

This colour contrast was used to create an intricate design of the building exterior, which provided another challenge incorporating two widths (3.6m and 1.8m) in contrasting colours to demark walkways.  Brett Landscaping needed to minimise on-site cutting while ensuring consistent gaps between blocks, something it achieved by proposing modern laying patterns that were practical to install and that also accentuated the aesthetic qualities of the Piatto blocks to complement the Deaconess site.

Graham Construction, main contractor of the Deaconess House development, then incorporated the paving into all areas with the exception of the main access road.   Brett Landscaping provided the paving pre-cut so as to reduce on-site risk.

“Brett Landscaping has been extremely helpful throughout the project, and both Mace and the University of Edinburgh are delighted with the choice of Piatto to complement the high-quality look of the Deaconess House accommodation,” confirms Martin Scott.

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

The VEKA UK Group adds a newly-designed Patio Door to its innovative Imagine suite

The VEKA UK Group has introduced the third product in its innovative Imagine range with the addition of a new, in-line sliding Patio Door.

Imagine Patio Door

The door was previewed at the 2014 FIT Show where it drew much attention for its contemporary stepped outerframe styling.

Sales and Marketing Director for The VEKA UK Group, Colin Torley explains: “With the Imagine Patio Door we’ve developed a truly versatile product – easily tailored to existing design schemes and available in 18 colours and woodgrains from the Variations range.

“Homeowners can choose two, three or four pane configurations, double or triple glazing, and internal or external sliding sashes – there’s even the option for both doors to slide.”

With this product, The VEKA UK Group offers a choice of chamfered or sculptured sashes and beads, and the option of a matching midrail – ideal for letterplates, house numbers and other door furniture.

Colin continues: “Great looks aren’t the only consideration when it comes to an exterior door. As you’d expect from The VEKA UK Group, the Imagine Patio Door represents a formidable barrier against intruders. It’s PAS 24 and Secured By Design-ready and features anti-lift blocks, anti-bump, drill or pick cylinders, and multi-point locking as standard. It’s also available with a choice of thresholds including a low, easy-access option for homeowners who struggle with mobility.

“It’s extremely fitter-friendly and, with its completely flush inner frame, provides an exceptionally neat plaster line.”

The VEKA UK Group is proud of the Patio Door’s thermal performance. Colin explains: “As with the entire Imagine suite, our Patio Door’s thermal insulation has been achieved through a range of technical innovations. Triple chamber sashes, double brush seals on all four sides and a unique quadruple-seal interlock combine to keep the warmth in and the cold wind, rain and even snow out!

This Patio Door joins a technically-advanced Bi-Fold and French Door in the Imagine range, both of which feature a stunning flush finish.

“The launch of each Imagine product has been exciting for all at The VEKA UK Group and the new Patio Door is no exception. As with every door in the Imagine range, the Sliding Patio Door spent a significant amount of time in the design and development stage to ensure it combined style, security and easy operation. We think it’s perfect for homeowners and installers, with a range of fitter-friendly features.

“We’re proud of what has been achieved with the new Imagine Patio Door and we’re looking forward to hearing feedback from our fabricators and installers.”

VEKA plc, 01282 716611

Categories: Doors | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Controlling Indoor Air Quality – A Modern Phenomenon

Article by Alan Macklin – Elta Group Technical Director


As a leading provider of ventilation solutions, one of Elta Fans’ greatest priorities is to provide, through its products, excellent indoor air quality (IAQ) for all environments.

Nowhere is this more important than in homes.  The launch of the Elta Fans’ Mori dMEV decentralised mechanical extract ventilation unit is a great example of how the effects of IAQ influenced and drove the intensive two year design and development programme.

Why is IAQ so important?

Indoor air quality is vital to the health of our nation. Statistics tell us that the average UK citizen spends a staggering 90% of their time indoors and that 70% of this time is in their own homes.  So it’s not surprising that indoor air quality is vital to the wellbeing of our population.

Today’s concern is that with so many properties being designed to be as near air tight as possible – to keep energy bills to a minimum and to prevent warm air escaping – there is evidence that adequate ventilation is put at risk.  With that fact in mind, it’s no surprise that the stale, contaminated and humid air that we are breathing in our homes is bringing serious illness to many of our population.

The phrase ‘Toxic Home Syndrome’ refers to a person’s health deteriorating as a result of the air circulating in their home. The condition affects more than 15.3 million homes across the UK.

Mould is the enemy


Airtight homes, created by double glazing, insulation, draught proofing, blocked chimneys and other building modifications, bring with them problems of mould and condensation which provide an attractive environment for pollutants.

Mould is a type of fungi, a parasite that thrives on water, a food source and warm temperatures, which can wreak havoc in our homes. Germinating in as little as 4-12 hours, some moulds produce toxins that severely compromise IAQ and sometimes affect our immune systems.

The air we breathe

So who says this is a problem? The World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) for one. The W.H.O. published a paper that concluded that the air we breathe is polluted with, at its worst, a mixture of cancer causing substances.  Other effects include respiratory illnesses, nasal stuffiness, coughing/wheezing, eye or throat irritation, skin rash, headaches and fatigue.

The UK press have recently released articles, bringing these issues and warnings to the fore of the public’s mind, graphically depicting the many air pollutants and contaminants that are sharing our homes.

Implications for housing stock

For those involved in owning and managing housing stock, dealing with the consequences of poor ventilation can be costly and severe, year on year.

There’s a vicious circle at work in poorly ventilated properties, condensation problems lead to investigations that result in repairs and treatments that prompt others to complain.

Within new build projects, it is becoming evermore imperative that IAQ requirements, based on a number of factors including location, occupancy activities, construction materials and many, many others are considered at the very beginning of the development and design process.

Bringing IAQ and ventilation requirements to the table for discussion in the early stages makes it easier, and more effective, to provide good IAQ at no added or reduced cost. Through a ventilation system that has considered all the potential issues and loads from lighting, glazing and building material selections.

The solution

This frightening situation has a relatively simple solution – effective ventilation.  A balance between energy efficiency and indoor air quality is the aim. Good ventilation ensures that moisture is controlled and reduces air pollutants, leading to some significant benefits including: reducing condensation, air draughts, controlling dust mite populations, and allergenic materials.

Buildings need a constant supply of fresh air to ensure the good health of occupants. A well thought through ventilation strategy can, in the case of rented properties; help reduce maintenance budgets, the risk of tenant complaints and call outs. There are many well proven ventilation fans and products that can solve problems that often arise in kitchens, bathrooms, shower areas etc.

The innovative Elta Fans Mori dMEV decentralised mechanical extract ventilation unit has been designed around the need for good and reliable IAQ. Independent test results from the Building Research Establishment (BRE) highlight the unit’s low running costs, carbon footprint savings and multi application functionality.


The Mori dMEV has an annual running cost of less than £1 per year in a kitchen and just £0.75 in a bathroom/utility area. So for a typical house (kitchen + 3 wet rooms) average running costs would be £3.25 per annum.

Power consumption for continually running the Mori dMEV equates to almost a third of the energy of an 18W low energy light bulb in use four hours a day.

The unit also has exceptionally low noise levels that make it quieter than a ticking watch (typically 13 dB(A) for bathroom/utility. The product has brought to the house building and social housing markets, unprecedented efficiency. Each Mori dMEV saves 1.96 kg per year of CO2 compared to the next best unit on the market.

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

New ‘Thermal Bridging Guide’ available free from Schöck

Thermal Bridging Guide

Minimising energy use in buildings, and thereby improving the thermal performance of building envelopes, has become increasingly important in the drive for sustainability and energy efficiency.   Schöck recognises this can be a challenging area and to help designers, specifiers and engineers deal more easily with the various complex issues involved, the company has produced a comprehensive new ‘Thermal Bridging Guide’.

The new Guide – which is free on request – aims to provide a better understanding of how heat moves through building assemblies, affecting surface temperatures and condensation.  It demonstrates calculation methods to gauge the impact of thermal bridges on the energy flows, temperature and moisture performance of building enclosures.  Examples show how the impact of thermal bridges can be mitigated during the design stage, both in general terms and by incorporating appropriate Schock Isokorb thermal breaks.

It deals with performance requirements stipulated by the Building Regulations (Part L1 and L2 in England and Wales; and Section 6 in Scotland); and stresses how critical the surface temperature factor (fRsi) calculation is in identifying areas where there is a risk of condensation.

For over 30 years Schock has been researching and developing product solutions specifically designed to mitigate or eliminate structural thermal bridges in commercial and residential building construction. The information presented in the new publication combines that experience with stringent independent performance testing and guarantees “verifiable thermal break technology you can trust.”

To request your free copy of the ‘Thermal Bridging Guide’, contact Schöck on 01865 290 890 or visit

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Kemperol V210 gives great performance at Odyssey Arena


The likes of One Direction and The Who may be confident of a warm welcome when they play Belfast’s Odyssey Arena this year, but even they stand no chance of razing the roof thanks to a roof refurbishment using Kemper System’s Kemperol V210.

Carried out by roofing contractor, GBS Roofing Ltd, the refurbishment involves repairs to the joints on the roof of the 10,800 capacity stadium, which plays hosts to a wide range of sporting events and exhibitions as well as providing a venue for the world’s pop and rock royalty.


Originally opened in 2000 as a millennium project, the arena has a domed metal roof, constructed in ‘cake slice’ sections, and the original membrane used to waterproof the ridges that connect each slice was starting to fail.

With its BBA-accredited 25-year service life, Kemperol V210 was specified as a long-term replacement.

The size, height and steep curve of the roof surface meant that the GBS team had to gain rope access to the roof and a safety line was erected. The installation team began by thoroughly cleaning each joint and removing any loose material before applying Kemper System’s ‘D’ Primer.

Once the primer had cured, the Kemperol V210 resin was applied onto each joint. The resin saturates a reinforcement fleece and cures to form a tough, durable membrane that is UV stable and permanently elastic.

Explains Barry Mairs from GBS Roofing, “The size, height and design of the roof mean that it is very difficult to access for repairs and refurbishment so it was very important for us to select a waterproofing membrane that will provide a long service life.

“Because of the access and safety considerations it was quite a painstaking process but the Kemperol V210 system meant that we could focus on completing each individual joint in a single process, one at a time.”

For further information contact Kemper System on, 01925 44 55 32,

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

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.

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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

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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

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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: , , | 1 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.

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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.

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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

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