Hotels across the UK have some great environmental and social initiatives in place, but how do they tell their customers about them? Many sustainability and green messages fall by the wayside – lost in the standard paperwork of the hotel experience – menus, do not disturb signs and in-house print.What better way to improve customer experience and communicate the green message than by installing living walls? Green Walls offer a bold design method to differentiate your property from your competitors. Both interior and exterior applications of Living Walls improve acoustics, air quality, biodiversity and the urban heat island effect – all packed with a punch of beautiful green aesthetics to inspire any customer to think GREEN. The additional and proven benefits of incorporating living walls to reduce stress and enhance relaxation will ensure that guests enjoy their hotel experience that bit more.The wow factor of a living wall would also be a great starting point for customer engagement. We can monitor water use, explain why plant species are selected for biodiversity and to support pollinators, explain the thermal benefits of the living wall to the building and how this creates energy efficiency (supported by our own detailed research into the Thermal Benefits of living walls) – the discussion points are extensive.So which of the UK’s hotels have adopted the living wall trend? Famously the Athenaeum on London’s Picadilly sports the famous Patrik Blanc living wall – one of the first installed in London. The Rubens Hotel in Victoria is adorned with one of London’s largest living walls to improve air quality, the Scotscape team were sub-contracted to apply our experience to constructing this wall. The St James Hotel in Central London, The Bedford Hotel in Holborn, Moxhull Hall Hotel in the West Country – the list goes on. These smart hoteliers know that living walls are good news for telling their customers that they care about people and the environment , meaning that they are also likely to care about all aspects of hotel service.All industries have an obligation to communicate the green message – what better way to do so than a Living Wall?
Article by Ellina Webb ~ Marketing Specialist at Mitsubishi Electric
We’re all users of a home, whether we own it, rent it, or just occupy it and ensuring we have a comfortable and warm home environment is now seen as an expectation of modern life.
But it hasn’t always been possible to take a warm home for granted and things haven’t always been as easy as they are today.
Since the days when early man first discovered fire and used it to keep the ‘cave’ warm and the wolves from the door, we have found ways to refine how we use that flame.
From the wood-burning days through to the industrialisation of the Victorian age and the introduction of coal, lighting a fire has been the main source of heat for the home.
Until the turn of the 20th Century therefore, this open flame in a home wasn’t just for aesthetics – or to make you feel Hygge it was the only option available and for those petticoat wearing Victorian women, the hazard of accidental death from fire was a very real threat.
In the 1930’s, we started to see the introduction of electric forms of heating, and the introduction of a gas network from the 1950’s and 60’s, saw this fuel start to dominate the world of domestic heating.
However, it wasn’t until the 1970’s and 80’s that we started to see an increase in central heating, predominantly using gas boilers and this still remains the standard for most.
But a reliance on fossil fuels; gas, coal and oil will soon need to become history because as we all know, we cannot continue like this.
So what does the future of our home heating and hot water look like?
As a heat pump manufacturer, you would expect us to promote air source systems but we are not the only ones saying it – The UK government has already recognised that heat pumps have a major role to play in keeping our homes warm and cosy well into the future.
By extracting and harvesting ‘free’ heat energy from the outdoor air, heat pumps are recognised as renewable and qualify for government incentives in the form of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
This is designed to offset the slightly higher capital costs of investing in renewables and is starting to have a significant impact on the traditional heating market as more people accept that they have to play their part.
At the moment, this is also taking the form of adding a heat pump to an existing heating system but as pressure on new housebuilders grows to clearly demonstrate they are delivering sustainable homes for the future, the government fully expects heat pumps to become the norm for home heating.
The other important factor to consider is that as the nation ‘greens’ production of energy with the increased use of wind, solar and even tidal energy production, then heat pumps become even greener.
So, the history of home heating has been an interesting journey so far but has relied predominantly on burning something to produce heat – a large part of which is often wasted up a chimney or flue.
In reality though, it’s quite scary to see how slow things have changed. It’s only now that the clock to a low carbon future really is ticking so we have to pull together to ensure we pick up the pace and move with the times.
Danny Phelan, National Sales Manager at Panel Systems, looks at how building designers and architects are using innovative cladding materials, such as timber, to create modern and environmentally sustainable building designs.
“There have been great leaps forward made in green building techniques over the past decade and, as a result, we have seen building product manufacturers adapt to develop innovative and sustainable new products to meet demand.
In 2013, it was reported that around 28 per cent of architects, engineers, contractors, building owners and building consultants around the world were focusing construction work upon sustainable building design. The UK specifically has embraced the idea of sustainable construction, with UK developers expecting to complete at least 60 per cent of their construction projects using green materials by 2018. The top developments which plan to do this include:
· New low-rise residential (40%)
· Retrofits (44%)
· New institutional buildings (37%)
The increase in production of green building developments within the UK is leading to a rise in demand for construction materials that require much less energy to process, such as timber. The exterior of these buildings plays a major part in making them attractive whilst still achieving the energy efficiency ratings required, therefore the choice of cladding material is very important.
Materials like timber are now more popular than ever with building designers and architects and a growing number of timber clad buildings can be seen within our towns and cities. With naturally appealing tones and the ability to reduce the overall carbon footprint of any development, Timber is favoured in order to create aesthetically pleasing building designs that achieve a green status. Modern timber clad panels are regularly used on a range of construction projects and can be pre-fabricated to incorporate insulation which enhances the thermal properties of a building.
As a very strong and renewable source, timber is 100 per cent recyclable meaning that it can be re-used at the end of its life. Aside from timber’s desired sustainable properties, its visual appeal helps architects and building designers achieve a finish that can help a building to complement its surroundings.
This was one of the many reasons why timber clad panels were chosen for a recent new build project in Glasgow. The £15m Eastwood Health Centre project serves the Eastwood area of East Renfrewshire and houses five existing GP practices and community health and care services. For this project, we supplied over 140m2 of Aluminium insulated panels which were clad with Siberian Larch to the front face. The timber facing was also given a special fire retardant coating, for added safety. In order to meet the intricate shape requirements of the insulation and panel, the core was carefully fabricated using 3 and 5-axis CNC equipment, meeting the architect’s design aspiration’s and ensuring the panels could be easily installed on site.
The centre now sets the standard for affordable, quality and sustainable healthcare facilities across Scotland.
As the popularity of timber cladding increases, we continue to invest in our fabrication facilities to ensure we can meet market demand and provide architects and building designers with innovative cladding materials.”
If asked what they consider to be the best timber for external windows and doors, the majority of British homeowners would possibly say oak. The much-loved native British tree is well-known for creating a hard, sturdy and long-lasting timber. And when freshly machined and coated, there is certainly no doubt that it is a really beautiful wood.
For centuries, oak has been used as a building material and there are countless old buildings across the UK where interior oak beams have survived hundreds of years. However, despite all of this, oak is not actually the best material to use for external windows and doors, or any other outside joinery.
Although oak has a very good rot resistance, it is notorious for movement and it can be very difficult to maintain that beautiful golden colour over time. Tannins within the timber cause discolouration, and movement within the wood means that it needs re-sealing and coating frequently.
So many homeowners ask if there a timber that looks as good as oak and doesn’t need as much maintenance when used for external windows and doors? Yes there is and it’s called Accoya.
Accoya is a modified wood product, which uses a non-toxic formula to create a product which rivals the performance of the best hardwoods, while being highly sustainable and ethically sourced at the same time.
One of many the advantages of Accoya is that it is much less prone to shrinking and swelling with changes in humidity than other types of wood, and therefore doesn’t suffer from the movement issues of oak.
And because it is a much more stable timber, it requires far less maintenance than other timbers and does not need to be re-coated as often.
Though Accoya is naturally a lighter colour than oak and has a different grain pattern it can be stained to match the colour of oak such that from any distance it is hard to tell the difference.
An additional benefit of Accoya is that it has significantly better insulation properties than oak, so using Accoya means much warmer rooms, with lower heating bills as well.
On top of all this, Accoya will actually last much longer than oak windows and doors. The results of standard long term tests on the rot resistance of different types of wood show that Accoya outlasts oak and other popular timbers for outdoor use as well.
So if you want long lasting high performance windows and doors windows that have the appearance of oak without its problems, then Accoya is undoubtedly the best solution for homeowners.
Inspired by design? Visit Accoya’s new blog to view a selection of project stories.
This is how Scadinavian design looks like. This family home is a perfect combination of energy efficiency, sustainability, comfort and design. Developed by Ovaform Arkitekterne, the “future house” combines natural materials to get the highest efficiency.
The natural slate rainscreen cladding system named CUPACLAD® has an extremely low heat transfer coefficient, and in combination with an insulation layer, means less heat loss overall from the structure.
CUPACLAD® solutions are lightweight, easy to install and they help to create a modern building appearance. In new constructions and in renovation works, CUPACLAD® slate cladding systems can be adapted to every architectural design.
Phone: +44 (0) 1312 253 111
Neaco have supplied a contemporary glass balcony railing and balustrade specification for a new 60-bed residential care home in Barrow.
The £7m Parkview Gardens care home has replaced four older Cumbria Care homes as part of a wider modernisation programme of care for older people in the Barrow area. Cumbria County Councillor Beth Furneaux described the home as “the gold standard for dementia care and central to how we will deliver services in Barrow in the future.”
Architects Alston Murphy Associates specified Neaco’s powder coated aluminium balustrade with glass infill panel. In contrast to many care homes, the building was designed to provide outdoor space on every floor, including first floor terraces featuring Neaco’s balustrade and glass balcony railing was installed to an extended height to provide additional safety. The terraces also include Neaco’s Techdek metal grating as terrace decking.
Iain Murphy of Alston Murphy said: “We have used Neaco a number of past projects, including care homes at Brook House in Denton and Melton House in Gosforth which were designed on behalf of the Mathotra Healthcare Group. Neaco’s products are high in quality and we like the simplicity of their design. Neaco’s capabilities provide a one-stop shop for design consultation, measuring, manufacturing and fitting, so working with them removes a lot of the agony that can occur on some projects. They submitted an excellent glass balcony railing and balustrade solution for Parkview Gardens and we’re very pleased with the result.”
Neaco’s Spectrum balcony railing and balustrade systems are based on a versatile modular construction – adaptable to virtually any design permutation – and available stainless steel or aluminium in a wide range of power coated finishes, including wood-effect. Available in six different profiles, Techdek metal grating is also suitable for use as sunscreens, modesty screens, mezzanine floors, stair treads, balustrade infills, staging and suspended ceilings. Neaco also manufactures a wide range of mobility aids for the bathroom, including true level access showers, half height shower doors, grab rails, shower seats and drop-down support arms.
Further information is available at www.neaco.co.uk
The new Geberit tap system changes the thinking behind touchless technology in the washroom, with slimline elegant deck and wall-mounted taps that combine aesthetic appeal with optimum hygiene and clever thinking.
Electronic washbasin taps are the hygienic, water-saving option for washrooms, and now they are as big on aesthetic values as they are on practical advantages, thanks to the new Geberit tap system. Making installation straightforward and creating a clean, minimal finish, all the fixings are neatly behind the wall with a Geberit Duofix installation frame. This means that all the key components, including the robust mounting plate for the wall-mounted tap, function box, washbasin fastening and the drain, are height-adjustable, with the installation frames easy to adapt to suit virtually any installation.
The Geberit tap system works in perfect conjunction with the Geberit Duofix installation frames. All you see in front of the wall are the essential functional elements – the tap and the IR sensor. All of the controls are completely separate and housed in a clever function box in the installation frame, where they are easy to access yet well protected against moisture and manipulation.
Separating the outlet from the control provides more flexibility to create elegant designs for touchless taps, which now take on a slim, timeless and elegant form. Designed by renowned industrial designer, Christoph Behling, both Piave and Brenta are available as wall-mounted or deck-mounted options and can be combined with practically any washbasin design. The wall-mounted taps are supplied in lengths of 170mm or 220mm and leave the washbasin free for ease of cleaning, while the deck-mounted option has a high outlet, giving the user more space for hand washing.
With three power supply options which can be changed at any time – mains, battery or self-sustaining via a generator unit driven by the presser of the tap water – operation costs are minimised, while all the components for regulating and maintaining the tap, water supply and mains connections are housed in the function box under the washbasin, where they stay safe and dry.
Remedying the general shortcomings of touchless taps in one smart solution, the Geberit tap system results in sophisticated ergonomics for hand washing, optimised hygiene and ease of cleaning and outstanding aesthetics for washroom design.
For more information call Geberit on 01926 516800 or visit www.geberit.co.uk
- Sports court style flooring provides Yegin Industries with the ideal space to showcase products.
- Flowsport chosen for the project thanks to its durability and design potential.
- The interior design elements of Yegin Industries’ new facility were a key priority.
Flowcrete has created a floor that will help Yegin Industries bounce, dribble, volley and dunk its way to success!
The sports ball manufacturer Yegin Industries specified a selection of high performance resin flooring solutions from Flowcrete in order to install a creative and unique floor finish throughout its brand new office in the Long Giang Industrial Park, which is situated in Tien Giang Province, Vietnam.
The office was part of a large-scale, multifaceted facility that included an administrative centre, production factory and chemical warehouse as well as utilities areas, a canteen, car park, swimming pool and green spaces.
The plan for the new site was to incorporate the theme of sports into the very fabric of the building itself. The dual purpose of this design scheme was to provide employees with a fun and enjoyable atmosphere while also creating the ideal environment to showcase its products to prospective clients.
This interior design ethos was exemplified in the office’s showroom – which came with a built-in basketball court! Across the building staff areas were also designed to emulate sports courts and gyms to give employees the space and motivation to get active.
The appearance and functionality of the floor in the basketball court style showroom was a priority, as the floor would need to impress clients and provide an engaging space for Yegin Industries to demonstrate its products.
To achieve this appearance as well as ensure that the floor would withstand people running, jumping and playing across the surface, Flowcrete supplied a flooring build-up that was formulated to be robust and able to maintain its visuals for an extended period of time.
1,750 m2 of Isocrete K-Screed was first applied in a 50mm layer so that the substrate would deliver a high-strength platform for the resin coating. Isocrete K-Screed is a semi-dry cementitious screed that incorporates a proprietary additive to produce an early drying, high strength screed.
To showcase the company’s “work hard, play hard” attitude, the designer specified 100 m2 of FlowSport with Deckshield UV Linemarker. This was applied in the showroom and gym room, as it would provide the bright colours and clear patterns necessary to create sports-court style finishes. The resilience of FlowSport’s polyurethane technology was perfect for the gym room, where employees would be exercising during the working hours.
FlowSport is a composite surface that creates a synthetic and flexible sports floor. This system delivers a resilient and uniform surface with a cushioned effect for added spring as well as the easy to clean advantage of a completely seamless surface.
1,650 m2 of the antimicrobial system Flowfresh MF in a light grey colour was also chosen for hygiene critical areas of the building, such as the office, canteen and dormitory areas. This system was specified thanks to its understated aesthetics and superior cleanliness properties. Floors in the Flowfresh range incorporate the Polygiene® antimicrobial additive, which inhibits the growth of bacteria on the floor surface by up to 99.9%.
Rockfon work at the forefront of technology, developing high quality acoustic ceiling and wall solutions. They are proud to exhibit their latest innovation, new generation Rockfon Mono Acoustic in the Project Pavilion during Clerkenwell Design Week, London in May 2017.
Rockfon Mono Acoustic quickly became a preferred solution for leading architects, when the system was first developed, as a contemporary, high performance, versatile alternative to traditional gypsum and plasterboard walls. Now Rockfon have taken the solution a step further by adding marble powder to the render to create an even smoother, whiter and more refined surface that enhances any interior environment. There is now no compromise between aesthetics and acoustics.
Ideal for any space, Rockfon Mono Acoustic offers true versatility. It can be installed on sloping, flat or curved surfaces either in a suspension grid or mounted directly on existing ceilings or walls. The timeless, monolithic look of Rockfon Mono Acoustic is suitable for renovation projects as it complements the character and original architecture of historical buildings. For new builds, Rockfon Mono Acoustic can be installed in any size of room as seamless spans, ceiling islands and walls.
The new white surface of Rockfon Mono Acoustic is extremely bright and offers 99% light diffusion and 87% light reflection. The combination of high light reflection and diffusion leads to a uniform and regular spread of natural light in a room, reducing the need for artificial light and energy costs. Comfortable lighting is important for wellbeing and performance at work. Rockfon Mono Acoustic can be specified in an unlimited number of custom colours, offering true creative freedom.
Mono Acoustic allows for easy incorporation of light wells, lighting, air conditioning, ventilation systems and inspection hatches and offers Class A2 fire protection. The tiles are dimensionally stable at up to 100% relative humidity and can be installed in temperatures ranging from 0°C to 40°C, allowing installation before windows are fully sealed, without the risk of distortion. Rockfon provides technical support and training courses for installers to ensure a high-quality finish and performance. All Rockfon products are backed with a 15 year guarantee and are fully recyclable.
The Rockfon team embody unrivalled expertise and knowledge when it comes to finding the perfect acoustic and aesthetic solutions for any interior design. They look forward to welcoming you to the Project Pavilion at CDW 2017 and to discussing how Rockfon can help turn your design into a reality.
ROCKFON specialise in manufacturing ceiling systems that provide acoustic control whilst at the same time enhance the character of the architecture and interior design. For more information, visit or email .
British heating and plumbing product manufacturer Inta has introduced its ActivFlo range of domestic and commercial water conditioners to the market.
With 60% of the UK being affected by hard water, there is a significant market forreliable and effective water conditioners. ActivFlo and ActivFlo Pro provide an efficient solution to hard water issues and limescale buildup without requiring the addition of a chemical limescale inhibitor, the removal of any waste product, or regular maintenance.
ActivFlo extends the service life and improves efficiency of heating equipment, as well as preventing costly equipment failure. The addition of an ActivFlo to an existing water system will also reduce existing limescale.
Using a unique alloy that changes the chemical structure of limescale-forming calcium carbonate in water, ActivFlo converts calcite, a form of calcium carbonate that causes hard water, into aragonite. These aragonite crystals do not build up or form deposits and remain suspended in the water, flowing harmlessly through the system and eventually out to the drain.
Created with installers in mind, ActivFlo’s clean ‘in-line’ design allows for quick and easy installation in new build and retrofit applications. Its patented fitting system incorporates a collar at either end of the device, allowing it to be removed from an in-line installation without modification of the existing pipework.
Conforming to Part L building regulations, the WRAS-approved ActivFlo catalytic water conditioner is available with 15mm to 2” connections with a class-leading 15 year warranty. For commercial installations, the ActivFlo Pro is available with connections from 22mm to 10” and boasts a lifetime warranty. ActivFlo Pro also features optional building management system (BMS) connectivity for remote monitoring and integration with smart building solutions.
Stuart Gizzi, managing director at Inta, said:
“We’re excited to be bringing the ActivFlo range to the market for the first time. It uses proven technology to remove and prevent the buildup of limescale, and helps prevent blocked pipes and damaged components, while boosting efficiency and reducing environmental impact. In hard water areas, it will also help reduce stubborn deposits on taps and showers.“
With no ongoing maintenance costs, it is a desirable option for installers lookingfor a reliable water conditioner that is a true fit-and-forget product. We’ve designed it be clean and simple, and have matched it with premium packaging and superb aftercare support. Such is our confidence in the range, we’re offering a 15 year warranty with the domestic ActivFlo, and a lifetime warranty and money-back guarantee with the commercial ActivFlo Pro.”
For more information, visit www.intatec.co.uk or call 01889 272 180.
New Altro CantataTM, the company’s first adhesive-free flooring for areas with a low slip risk, is already demonstrating its capabilities at Warrington Hospital, providing a tough time and cost-saving solution in a busy non-clinical corridor.
Lee Bushell, the hospital’s acting head of capital projects, said: “The service corridor is an area that gets an enormous amount of traffic. It’s in constant use during the day.
“After many years of this treatment, the existing vinyl flooring was really showing the strain. It looked tired, scruffy and we needed to find a hard-wearing, affordable, long-term solution that could be laid with minimal disruption in this busy area.
“We have a very good relationship with Altro and their flooring is proving very successful elsewhere in the hospital, so we asked them to have a look at the corridor and give us some guidance.
“They suggested we use their new Altro Cantata flooring because it could be laid straight down onto the existing flooring, without adhesive, which would mean a fast installation.
New Altro Cantata is a decorative, adhesive-free flooring that creates maximum impact with minimum downtime.
Using Altro’s award-winning adhesive-free installation method, it can be welded and walked on the same day, and at the end of its life removed easily, allowing it to be reused or recycled.
It is ideal for busy public spaces where disruption needs to be minimal, such as hospitals, with the durability needed for medium-to-high-traffic areas. Plus, there are no associated adhesive odours.
Altro Cantata’s 16 soft-look shades, which range from subtle naturals to beautifully vivid, allows you to create just the right colour scheme or tone.
Bushell said: “I was sceptical that Altro Cantata would be able to meet our needs, but I am very pleased that I have been proved wrong and it has been perfect for us in so many ways.
“There was a very-short window for installation because the corridor is in use until 7pm, but the process went very smoothly and was completed in just one night.
“A flooring that needs adhesive would have taken 3-4 days to fit. Altro Cantata has delivered a massive saving in cost and the corridor was back in full use the next morning.
When speaking of the floor handling foot and wheeled traffic, he added: “It’s standing up to the demands well with no signs of movement, bubbling or rippling, which proves it truly is a long-term solution and not just a temporary fix.
“In terms of aesthetics, the flooring looks superb. There are some great colour choices. We selected a pale ice blue, which perfectly matches the colour scheme of the corridor.
“And ceaning is proving to be a revelation. The black scuffs and wheel marks from the trolleys were always tough to remove on the old flooring. Initially our cleaning team was doubtful they could get the marks off the new flooring, and nervous of using the scrubber and buffer because they thought they might do some damage.
“But we are delighted to report that the flooring comes up like new after every nightly cleaning regime and even the stubborn black wheel marks are gone. Scrubbing machines and buffers are doing a wonderful job, with no damage.
“Sustainability is also an important factor for us. Because Altro Cantata is an adhesive-free flooring, it means that in the future, if we need to make repairs, we can simply cut out a section and replace it without having to re-lay the entire area. And the product is 100% recyclable as well.
“Overall, Altro Cantata is meeting all our needs in terms of cost saving, durability, looks and hygiene.
“This is vital at a time when the NHS is looking to make savings where possible, while also maintaining the highest standards.”
The hospital is now looking to place the product in another non-clinical area where there are similar issues with installation time.
Altro Cantata was installed at Warrington Hospital by Cheshire Contract Flooring. Director, Dave Hunt, said: “The beauty of Altro Cantata is that it can be laid straight down on to the subfloor, or existing flooring, with minimal preparation.
“There is no need to grind the floor, or put down a DPM, or prime, screed or use adhesive. This is a massive time and cost saver, a real fast-track solution.
“Plus there is no need to wait for adhesive to dry and cure, so the flooring can be used and walked on immediately.
“It’s an ideal product for busy areas with heavy traffic where quick installation is paramount.”
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