The winter can be an expensive and trying time for business owners and those in charge of managing their buildings. Cold weather and increased usage of essential HVAC equipment causes breakdowns, not to mention employee discomfort due to too hot or too cold working environments contributing to moaning, illness and a potential drop in productivity.
In order to find out what the biggest headaches are for UK companies this winter, ECEX is looking to hear from building and business owners, building services engineers, Facilities Managers and general maintenance staff about the problems they face during the colder months; from the equipment most likely to break down to what puts the largest dent in profit margins.
For every entry into the short survey, ECEX will donate £1 to the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children). The findings should paint a useful and interesting picture of the state of British buildings, while helping an important charity raise funds this Christmas.
So, if you’re involved in ‘buildings’ – either owning them, running them or looking after them – please take the time to answer ECEX’s questionnaire:
In possibly the only building of its kind in the UK, Sika Sarnafil single ply membrane has been used to waterproof a garden room with a live tree growing through it.
Hackney-based architect, Andrew Leckenby, specialises in working with private clients to improve their homes. But when it came to extending his family home, Andrew became his own client. Living in an urban area meant imagination was required to increase his living area.
Deciding to make the most of his home’s outdoor space, Andrew settled on a garden room. However, the rear of the garden contained a beautiful false acacia tree, which he did not want to remove. Thinking outside the box, Andrew drew up plans for a room that would incorporate the tree, making it the focal point of the space.
Andrew explained: “There are countless examples of trees being integrated with architecture – but these are generally found in countries where it doesn’t rain quite as much! To be able to achieve the same effect in the UK, we needed a roofing membrane that was flexible enough to allow the tree to sway and grow, as well as being durable enough to keep the building watertight.”
Andrew had specified Sika Sarnafil on many extensive commercial projects during his career working with larger architectural practices, so knew that the product would meet his requirements.
“Faced with a challenging roof design, I instantly thought of Sika Sarnafil. As the industry leading single ply membrane, after decades of specifying it for corporate clients, I was confident that I could trust its quality and durability. In addition, Sarnafil’s Registered Contractor scheme allowed me to identify an installer that had the training and experience to do the job – essential for detailing of this nature.”
The finished article is a striking, yet homely multi-functional space, used as a garden room that extends the summer season, a home office – and not to mention a unique sleepover location for Andrew’s son.
A member of the Sika Sarnafil technical team inspected the project once complete and awarded a 15 year guarantee on the roof. The low maintenance membrane means Andrew only has to check the waterproofing once a year to ensure the detailing around the tree is still sound. A small price to pay, says Andrew, for such a fantastic family space.
ECEX has successfully solved a roof safety and access problem for the University of Oxford by custom-fabricating and installing a galvanised steel sub-frame and non-slip grating designed to provide consistent, level and safe access to rooftop HVAC equipment.
Access across the roof of a complex of laboratory buildings at the university was obstructed by the pipework, cables and supports serving extraction and HVAC units, including chillers and condensers.
This caused a series of significant trip hazards to employees working on the rooftop, so the University’s engineering team called in an ECEX specialist to survey the area and improve access. The University was already familiar with the company and impressed by its work because ECEX has previously supplied and installed Air Intake Screens widely across the university’s 300-plus building estate.
ECEX uses the hierarchy of control measures determined by the Health & Safety Executive to decide the optimum solution in each specific case. John Grenville, managing director, explained: “In other words, the ultimate measure is to remove the hazard completely if this is practical. If not, the next measure down is to use collective fall protection such as guard railing so that someone without specialised training can move around the roof safely. The next level down would be the use of personal protective equipment such as a harness, and so on.”
ECEX’s means of access for the University of Oxford project was through occupied parts of the building so the company installed its gantry system out of hours to avoid disruption.
ECEX surveys, designs, manufactures and installs bespoke and off-the-shelf access safety solutions, including:
Roofers lacking formal qualifications can now enjoy CITB-funded training thanks to Redland’s accreditation as an approved provider of the Basic Competency Programme (BCP) for pitched roofing.
The BCP certificate – when combined with a Working at Heights CSCS Health & Safety Test pass – entitles both apprentices and ‘old hands’ to apply for the three-year Red ‘Experienced Worker’ CSCS ‘ticket’, allowing them to work on site while looking towards the next level of qualification.
The main objective of the BCP is to support roofers without either a full competency or an official roofing qualification in obtaining one; and help them to convert their green CSCS cards to the Blue Skilled Worker CSCS version. It will also help those in other trades, perhaps already holding higher level CSCS cards, to change sector or add to their skill sets. The BCP is endorsed by the CITB, the NFRC CompetentRoofer scheme and CSCS.
The two-day course covers areas such as pitch, scale, orientation, setting out, constants, estimating, understanding BS 5534; plus practical ‘how to’ sessions on the installation of roofing systems, both single lap interlocking and double lap plain tile and slate. The course is delivered from Redland’s National Training Centre based just outside Cirencester, Gloucestershire.
Heavily subsidised by Redland and the CITB, the course costs only £150 for both the training and certification. A CITB training grant may also be available to qualifying companies, bringing the total cost of the BCP certificate down to just £50.
Mat Woodyatt, technical training manager at Redland, said: “Obviously it’s an honour for Redland to be recognised as the only one currently capable of meeting BCP certification training demands for pitched roofing. But beyond that, it’s fantastic for us to be involved with bringing through the next generation of roofers, as well as setting older hands off on the qualification pathway. It’s great for us, great for them and great for the industry”.
Using wood elements allows faster building turnaround. This leads to more profitable construction projects and shorter investment payback times. The pace of construction is kept at the desired level, because prefabrication reduces some of the most common risks at construction sites.
Utilizing prefabricated wood elements is a surprisingly fast option for on-site construction. For example, up to 1500 m2 of Kerto® LVL (Laminated Veneer Lumber) roof panels can be assembled within a single working day.
“An example of rapid building is in the construction of the headquarters of the Diesel-Benelux Company in Amsterdam. An extremely tight building schedule of only nine months resulted in choosing Kerto LVL roof panels – under which the rest of the construction work could be finished in time,” project subcontractor in charge of the wood construction,Lambert van den Bosch from Heko Spanten, mentions.
Clever on-site weather protection with no additional costs
One of the most important construction phases is to get the on-site protection done quickly to eliminate weather-related risks. Today, the alternatives for on-site weather protection include applying fast construction methods, such as prefabrication or building under a tent.
Prefabricated wood elements shield the building site beneath, providing protection that’s superior to temporary options – especially when it comes to snow loads and heavy winds.
“For example, erecting Kerto LVL roof elements used at the logistic centre of DB Schenker, Finland provided a roof over the entire building in just 15 days. This is the same amount of time that erecting a temporary tent would have required. Using prefabricated roof panels ensured that the rest of the work could be completed in a protected environment and without additional costs for temporary protection,” says Matti Kuittinen, architect and researcher from Aalto University.
Minimizing the risk of accidents
When the construction work takes place in controlled indoor conditions at the prefabrication plant, there is less risk of accidents and consequent delays at the building site. This is because some of the dangerous on-site phases are no longer needed.
“Assembling ready-made wood elements can replace the potentially more dangerous process of having to build a roof from beams, panels and bitumen at the heights of an unfinished building. On-site accidents are of course not frequent, but every single one of them should be avoided,” van den Bosch concludes.
Prefabrication “pays off” at the construction site
According to construction professionals interviewed by McGraw-Hill Construction, nearly 70% of projects that used prefabricated elements had shorter schedules and 65% had decreased budgets1. In addition to faster building projects leading to faster revenue, there is also other benefits that become apparent at the construction site.
“Utilizing prefabricated wood elements can help in significantly reducing other inconveniences such as unloading building materials in the neighbourhood, as well as the amount of on-site waste and the need to transport it,” Kuittinen adds.
·Prefabrication pays off: 70% of projects had shorter schedules and 65% decreased budgets.
Choose your sleek, slimline driverless LED floodlight, add a wiring block with your choice with integrated PIR or photocell switching, add more floods to loop out as slave lights if you want – and you’re good to go.
Thin and beautiful – and tough. Timeguard NIGHTeye Plus floods the area with light, while also making a stylish design feature of its prismatic lenses and tough, rust-proof polycarbonate reflector plates that do away with the need for ugly front ‘windows’
All-white models, with white casing and matching white reflector plates will hardly be seen when mounted on a white soffit board.
NIGHTeye plus is offered in black or white designs, with outputs of 10W (650L), 20W (1400L), 30W (2050L) and 50W (3600L). The plug-in PIR sensor and Photocell units are rated to switch up to 140W of LED lighting.
With house builders and interior design specialists looking to find products that will set them apart in an ever crowded marketplace and home owners becoming much more demanding and discerning in their choice of living space, its little wonder that the innovative and designer led inspiration offered by Vicaima door products is more sought after than ever before.
With the launch of the new 2016/17 Interior Door Selector, Vicaima offer even more to meets the needs of today’s housing.
As one of Europe’s leading manufacturers, Vicaima interior doors and doorsets offer specifiers a wealth of choice in performance suitability, designer inspiration and cost effective solutions to cater for every budget. Available both in printed format and for download via the Vicaima website, the new 64 page catalogue sets out product ranges in a clear and concise format.
Each section includes quality colour imagery to illustrate the range design potential, together with easy to reference individual door pictures to ensure the chosen door is right for the project. In addition it includes a new Price Indicator Tool, which enables easy price comparison across different ranges to help find the right solution within a particular budget.
Making a first appearance in the Interior Door Selector for 2017 are some exciting new ranges which demonstrate that interior doors need not be confined to the often seen and used plain painted doors, which have little or no imagination. These new Vicaima products include Stained Ash veneer with groove designs, horizontally embossed Dekordor 3D with aluminium inlays, Foil faced visual sensations and a modern take on tradition, with the K Range shaker style panel in a wide spectrum of attractive face finishes.
As you would expect from such a leading interior door specialist, a comprehensive choice of constructional core options from lightweight hollow core to solid and fire rated doors are offered for most ranges, with each being available in both imperial and metric sizes. The scope and design possibilities make selection easy, with glazed options, extra height dimensions, mobility widths and even a customised section, where you can create a design to suit individual tastes. If this were not enough, the new Interior Door Selector also includes additional information such as technical advice, a guide to performance and even door care.
To download your copy of the new 2016/17 Interior Door Selector, visit www.vicaima.com and select brochures, alternatively call 01793 532333 to request a printed copy or for further information.