All posts by Kirsty Hammond

A comprehensive multi-media service on behalf of building product manufacturers with a mix of print, online and social media marketing activities, all designed to help clients reach their target audiences with maximum impact.

Independence, inclusivity and respect

With multigenerational living on the rise, Housing Association properties must accommodate the varying needs of residents of a range of ages and abilities.

Daniel Ward, Senior Ceramics Product Manager for Twyford, looks at the options in the bathroom; ensuring independence and inclusivity for all.

Sanitaryware

Housing Association properties need to deliver on a number of levels, meeting the needs of the variety of tenants that may walk through their doors, with robust, cost-effective yet quality products installed to withstand often high volumes of traffic. With the bathroom so essential to everyone, choosing solutions that are accessible and practical is very important. This is particularly relevant where more than one generation is living under the same roof – recent research* suggests households containing two or more families will rise from 1.5 million to 2.2 million by 2025.

Apart from the nuts and bolts of sanitation, other considerations, such as storage or easier cleaning, will make life easier for occupants.

AccessibilityThe first consideration for any bathroom is its accessibility; can it be used by most people? Can the basin be reached, the taps be turned on, is washing (bath or shower) safe and simple, and is getting on and off the WC an easy task? Basic but essential elements that will help tenants keep safe and those with mobility issues maintain their independence.

Taps: Choose thermostatic, lever taps that are easy to turn on for young or arthritic fingers and prevent scalding.

Showers: In general, showers are easier to access than baths. Flush to the floor shower trays will prevent slipping and the incorporation of a seat is a great option for anyone unable to stand for long periods of time.

Baths: Baths featuring head rests, seats and a wider edge (ideal for a parent or carer to sit on) will improve washing options for the very young and elderly.

Basins: Short projection, wide basins are easier to access by wheelchair users, as well as looking modern and stylish. When incorporated with short projection cupboard space underneath, easy-access storage is also covered.

⦁ WCs: Comfort height WCs are a great option for those with mobility issues and are far easier to get on and off if in a wheel chair, making no difference to able bodied users.

⦁ Flooring: Choose non-slip, textured flooring to prevent unnecessary falls.

PracticalityBeyond safety and usability concerns, a bathroom that works well for multiple occupants of varying ages and abilities must have storage at its core. Everyone needs their own space and by including well-thought out options to tidy away toiletries, the room will appear less cluttered and be easier to clean.
However cramped the conditions, there is usually some form of storage that can incorporated. Tall, tower units, for example, make use of the unused space up the wall, providing multiple shelves so all the family can have their own. In addition, storage can be included under basins, in the recess under the bath and even in movable stools.

Practicality also extends to how easy the room is to clean; a particular concern for vulnerable tenants. Promoting ‘easy cleaning’ is also something landlords will support, helping to encourage residents to keep properties in good order. When it comes to the WC, an area most associated with germs, Rimfree toilets, which were originally developed to meet the stringent demands on healthcare buildings, are an ideal solution.

bathroom design

Wall-hung WCs, basins and even furniture are the direction modern bathrooms are moving, offering stylistic as well as practical benefits. By removing pedestals, floor-standing pans and legs, dust and germs have nowhere to collect and cleaning around and underneath them is easy. Combining Rimfree technology with wall-hung is the perfect combination.

With an aging population, rising house prices, rents and tuition fees forcing young people to stay at home for longer and the benefits of ‘live-in’ babysitters for working parents, multigenerational living is a trend that’s set to endure. Housing Associations have a commitment to meet the requirements of the changing family, while keeping tenants safe. By choosing quality, fit for purpose solutions, bathrooms will not only last longer, they will hopefully also be respected.

http://www.twyfordbathrooms.com/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-36396217

Side Extension, Beltinge

Spacemaker Architects

Our clients have just bought a new house and wanted to remove the existing side extensions which were of poor quality, and replace them with a new extension. The new single storey extension creates a new entrance hall, study and a light and spacious new kitchen-diner which opens onto their garden. There are also alterations to the existing house to all together give a better use if space, and bring light and ventilation into the enclosed bathroom. The proposal blends well with the existing house and its surroundings.

The proposal has now received planning permission and work is to start after having given building control approval and a builder has been appointed.

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How to utilise mezzanine floors safely

By Jason Godfrey, Safesite General Manager

Mezzanine floors in warehouses, when utilised properly, can hugely increase the productivity of the site by making use of space that would otherwise be wasted. Benefits of using mezzanine space include decreasing dispatch times and removing the need to expand into new premises.

SafesiteHowever, with these benefits come new risks, in the form of working at height. Though mezzanine floors are not inherently unsafe, any work where there is a risk of fall should be properly planned out, with measures put in place to remove or reduce the risk of injury.

Pallet gates are a fantastic way to protect workers on mezzanine areas without reducing productivity or affecting the benefits mezzanine floors provide.

The solution

The Mezzanine Pallet Safety Gate system offered by Safesite allows you to safely load and offload heavy items to and from a mezzanine floor by using a forklift. The range is easy to install or retro-fit to guardrails and barriers on mezzanines.

Each gate is counterbalanced for a positive open and close action, adding to the gate’s ease of operation. Workers above and below will be protected and items can be removed and replaced safely from below.

Constructed from Kee Klamp and Kee Lite fittings, the Pallet Safety Gate is available in both galvanised steel and aluminum, complies with EN 14122-3 and is cycle tested for guaranteed durability.

Utilising mezzanine space in your factory or warehouse has fantastic benefits, but you must always ensure the safety of your workers and other visitors to your site, making it a top priority. Pallet gates safely allow work to continue whilst providing fantastic protection.

http://www.safesite.co.uk

SpecMaster now features Geberit Bathroom Collection

Geberit Bathroom CollectionEnabling architects and designers to specify products from across the Geberit and Twyford brands, the Geberit Bathroom Collection now features on the online SpecMaster sanitaryware specification tool.

Developed in partnership with NBS, who provide technical information, specification and BIM tools to construction industry professionals, the online planning software previously included only Twyford products, with the Geberit Bathroom Collection being a natural addition.

The specification tool for architects, designers, specifiers and contractors is feature-rich yet user-friendly, offering an incredibly simple way to create and manage bathroom projects using Geberit and Twyford products.

The full Geberit Bathroom Collection now features on SpecMaster, with five series featuring ceramics, furniture and mirrors. Architects and designers can therefore specify across the Geberit and Twyford brands with one easy-to-use tool.

Providing users with all the product choices and details needed for any project, SpecMaster makes searching for items simple, with advanced browsing features, a drag-and-drop facility and an option for selecting multiple items.

Free to use, with no software to install, SpecMaster produces industry-standard reports and schedules that are compatible with NBS standards, offering specifiers an all-in-one online solution.

Register today at www.specmasteronline.com or visit www.geberitcollection.co.uk and www.twyfordbathrooms.com for product details.


EJOT Opticore Delivers Black and White Benefits for Membrane-faced Composite Panels

Ejot Opticore fastening system

In response to building application trends, EJOT UK has technically updated its Opticore fastening system. Opticore, the unique integral nylon fastener head, is manufactured with precision cutting fins that core through membrane faced insulated panels, with the encapsulated fastener self-drilling the substrate in one simple operation. Installation is via a bi-hex or internal torx dual-driving option.

EJOT’s research and development team has taken on board customer feedback by lengthening Opticore’s light section fastener within the range, to 32mm – thus taking into account multi-lap applications. The black encapsulated Opticore carbon steel specification offers a corrosion resistant ‘Climadur’ organic coating, whilst the white encapsulated A2 stainless range is manufactured from high quality grade 304 stainless steel. The Opticore range also includes stitchers, defined for site by a new grey encapsulation.

The overall result is a fastening range for hot and cold rolled steel as well as timber substrates, that cores, drills and fixes without compromise to the liner sheet – and improves thermal retention.

A specifier’s sample pack is available directly from the manufacturer.

Introducing FlexiSet® by SureSet Permeable Paving

SureSet are excited to boost their ever-expanding commercial paving product range.

Made from 50% recycled rubber and 50% 6mm natural aggregate and resin, lightweight and flexible, FlexiSet is ideal for woodland trails, jogging paths, pedestrian areas, cycle tracks, equestrian centres, drainage channels, golf course pathways, pool surrounds, roof gardens, tree pits and boat decks.

FlexiSet is made from shredded bus and truck tyres so the recycled rubber itself is black, but by adding natural aggregate to the mix SureSet are able to bring a subtle colour to the surface.

PERMEABLE PAVING

A combination of the absorption and flexible properties of recycled rubber and the strength and durability of natural aggregate, bound together with quality resin, creates an external surface suitable for pedestrian use.

SureSet permeable paving have been manufacturing and installing high quality resin bound paving since 1997. Offering an 18-year guarantee, SureSet work with both residential and commercial customers across the UK and overseas.

PERMEABLE PAVING

PERMEABLE PAVING

For more information about SureSet resin bound paving please visit www.sureset.co.uk, call 0800 612 2083 or email contact@sureset.co.uk

‘Eastern promise’ with Gerflor

The council-run Eastern Leisure Centre in Cardiff had more than 250,000 users last year, but was in urgent need of modernisation. New features have been an open reception area, improved changing rooms, gym and soft play facilities; a new dance studio and spin room.

Gerflor

Councillor Peter Bradbury, cabinet member for community development, Co-operatives and social enterprise, said at the time, “The modernisation of Eastern Leisure Centre has enjoyed strong support from both the community and elected councillors so this multimillion-pound investment will be welcome news.”

The project would be a perfect ‘fit’ for international flooring and interiors specialist Gerflor. They would provide their high-end Taralay Impression Control safety flooring in ‘Infinity Greige’ and ‘Esterel Chocolate’ colours, together with their uber-performing Taraflex® sports flooring in ‘Maple’ and ‘Lagoon’ to the appointed installers Cardiff-based Puma Floors Ltd.

Puma Floors Ltd was founded in November 2001, expanding over the years they now have their own premises together with a fleet of branded vehicles. With a hard-working, talented team of floor-layers, Puma Floors confidently deliver their ability as a company to meet the demands and expectations of their expanding client base, providing specialist flooring work across Wales and the rest of the UK.

Matthew Graves, Commercial Director, Puma Floors Ltd, commented, “We originally provided a quotation at the tender stage when the main contractor was appointed and progressed our sales activity to secure the work by providing a new quotation, which subsequently meant we were appointed”.

With Taralay Impression Control and Taraflex® Sport M Performance from Gerflor being included in the original tender document the project was clearly aiming for high quality products throughout the 1600m2 element of the re-fit.

Gerflor won the 2016 CFJ/CFA product of the year category with their Taralay Impression Control range.

This safety flooring collection is perfect for both refurbishments and new builds. A multi-purpose floorcovering available in 2m sheet format with a Group T wear rating, it’s ideal for a host of heavy traffic environments where slip resistance is a must.

Available as a dual collection: – ‘Safety in Wood’ and ‘Safety in Design’, the range includes realistic woods in contemporary colours and modern all over designs. Taralay Impression Control also has a Pendulum Test value +36, meets HSE guidelines (BS 7976-2) and R11 ramp test value (DIN 51130), together with providing 24 design-led colourways and is suitable for healthcare, education, retail, public spaces, offices and other commercial interiors.

Taralay Impression Control also offers a hygienic solution thanks to a revolutionary UV cured PUR surface treatment for easy cleaning and maintenance. With the Protecsol® Control surface treatment it’s easy to clean, is 100% recyclable offers a state-of-the-art flooring solution for a myriad of applications.

The Eastern Leisure Centre would need a top-performing sports floor to meet the rigours demands of this hugely popular facility which has high levels of sports and leisure traffic.

http://www.gerflor.co.uk/

Taraflex® vinyl sports flooring from Gerflor has been used in many international and local sporting events and is available in 17 colours and three wood-effect designs.

It is available in various solutions meeting different levels of the EN 14904 Standard delivering the full scope of indoor sports surfaces from P1 to P3 solutions. Taraflex® is recognised for providing durability, safety and comfort without impairing performance.

A unique value proposition, the Comfort range offers greater than 45% force reduction, making it unrivalled in the marketplace in terms of offering comfort for users. Taraflex® meets the EN Standard of 22196 for anti- bacterial activity (E. coli – S. aureus – MRSA) (3) returning >99% levels of growth inhibition.

The product is also treated with Protecsol®, which renders polish redundant and is triple action meaning no polish is ever required, it contributes to easy maintenance and is anti-friction burn and slide/grip. Taraflex® has a double density foam backing and with another bonus, it’s environmentally friendly.

Gerflor offers several installation solutions for Taraflex® including the Eco-Fit System which is a fast, free floating installation and it’s versatile enough to be used in various multi-specialist applications.

Matthew Graves finally concluded by saying, “we would definitely specify Gerflor products again. The Eastern Leisure Centre has been a good contract to be involved in, hopefully the refurbished building will be used and enjoyed by the local community for years to come”.

Learn more about Gerflor solutions: ask for a free sample or contact us to speak to a specialist today by calling 01926 622 600, emailing contractuk@gerflor.com, or visiting gerflor.co.uk for the latest innovations.

Fawcetts Yard taps into rich seam of Neaco style

Neaco’s glass balustrade and aluminium grille systems

Neaco’s glass balustrade and aluminium grille systems are once again proving their value in contemporary design schemes following a specification at Fawcetts Yard, a new development of luxury homes in Harrogate.

Designed by Bramhall Blenkharn and built by HACS Construction, the select development comprises four stylish three-storey homes alongside a workshop/studio. The balconies on the upper floor of each home feature Neaco’s Techdek aluminium grille decking as well as their Elan semi-structural balustrade system with aluminium stanchions and handrails in a grey powder coated finish. The result is an attractively minimalist aesthetic in keeping with the development’s modern design and finish which incorporates distinctive Terracotta cladding.

Ric Blenkharn of Bramhall Blenkharn said: “I’m more than happy with the service and products supplied by Neaco – their combination of decking and balustrade has been excellent choice for this development. I’m familiar with the products, having used them on a number of other projects as well as my own home.”

Most balustrade designs secure glass infill panels in place by attaching them to the stanchions with a clip, but Elan’s glass panels are secured by a top rail above and a subtle floor channel below. The result is a sleek appearance, an economical use of materials and an easy-to-install solution. Designed for non-raked installations, Elan is often specified as a balcony solution complete with Techdek aluminium grille flooring.

Elan offers all the classic characteristics that define Neaco’s Spectrum balustrade and balcony range. To complement its aesthetics virtues, the system offers many practical qualities, including maintenance-free durability, exceptional design versatility and fast, low-energy installation with no welding or hot works required. The powder coating applied to Elan handrails provides a non-chip, warm-to-touch finish and the glass is toughened with tinting options available.

As well as balustrade, balconies and metal grating systems, Neaco also manufactures a wide range of bathroom mobility aids including true level access showers, shower seats, grab rails, drop-down rails and half-height shower doors. Further information is available at www.neaco.co.uk

Cupa Pizarras roofing slate for a prestigious development located in a conservation area

Easton Square, an exclusive development of four bespoke, luxury 6-bedroom houses, features CUPA 12 R Excellence roofing slates.  The product was selected for its superior qualities including its adaptability, longevity and polished finish.   

CUPA 12 slate

The exclusive Langton Homes development is set in large private grounds in Great Easton.  Each property features over 5,500 square feet of accommodation and has been tailored towards the individual needs of each occupier.  CUPA 12 slate has been used across all four Easton Square dwellings including the properties’ associated outbuildings and garages. 

CUPA 12 slate

Supplied through Castle Roofing Supplies, CUPA 12 is a dark grey slate with thin laminations and a smooth matt surface. Available in six sizes, it has exceptional consistency of thickness and surface appearance; it is split to an average thickness of 5mm and 6mm.  In addition, the slates conform to the product specification requirements of BS EN 12326-1 and are certified for resistance to freeze or thaw. 

CUPA 12 slate

Commenting on the choice of CUPA 12 slate for Easton Square, Jonathan Arksey, at BRP Architects said: “Our aim was to deliver an uncompromising design to reflect the natural beauty of the homes’ surroundings, with excellent quality of build, intricate craftsmanship and superior finishes.  CUPA PIZARRAS slate’s timeless appearance not only complements all the external materials that make up the dwellings, but is also in harmony with roofing used throughout the neighbouring Conservation Area of Great Easton”.

CUPA 12 slate

Robert Cannon from roofing installers R and N Roofing, said: “CUPA 12 slate is a heavy and durable material which is not only straightforward to work with, but also allows for the extensive coverage required to reach the desired quality of finish.  Also, due to the dwellings’ pitched roofs it is important that the materials can adapt to the demands of varying gradient levels, which CUPA 12 slate does perfectly”.

For more information on Cupa Pizarras, please visit www.cupapizarras.com/uk.

SI-Modular: Sustainable building system with timber I-beams

Architect Hans-Ludwig Stell from Münster, Germany, has developed a sophisticated modular system for one and two-storey house construction. This quick, easy, and self-explanatory timber construction, SI-Modular, is based on Metsä Wood´s I-beam Finnjoist®.

an easy, quick and self-explanatory timber construction

Hans-Ludwig Stell, the managing partner of the Stellinnovation GmbH, was asked to develop a house type for use in development-aid that could be assembled as simply as possible. The SI-Modular system enables the houses to be constructed from timber completely without screws, by simply using interlocking connections in the installation.

without screws

I-beam modules supported by Kerto® LVL

“I was architecturally inspired by steel construction”, the architect thinks back: “nevertheless, our architect team excluded steel construction specifically from this application. Timber I-beams by Metsä Wood turned out to be a suitable solution.

interlocking connections

The construction of timber I-beams is similar to that of steel I-profiles: the OSB web in the middle separates the top and bottom flanges that run parallel to each other. The latter are made of high-strength Kerto-S, in a single piece and can bear enormous pressure and tensile loads permanently. The Finnjoist® timber I-beam is a very versatile building product that fulfilled all the required characteristics for this house type.

Hans-Ludwig Stell further extended the house type to comply with today’s European standards, for example, the German EnEV energy saving ordinance.

half storey home with duo pitched roofMetsa Wood

Easy to build with a fixed grid

The SI-Modular system is based on a fixed grid. The distances are exactly one metre. Five bays, i.e. five metres, form the maximum width – the length may be any amount on the grid. For certain applications, such as plaster surfaces, the clear span can be halved by inserting an intermediate stud in the system.

modular construction

Due to the high load capacity, Metsä Wood I-beams are used for the walls, floors and roof. The I-beams are fixed to the horizontal rails which are anchored to the floor plate.

When erecting the walls, the transversely running beams are visible. The beams and rails, as well as the connections and reinforcements are made of load-bearing and bracing Kerto-Q or the dimensionally stable Kerto-S. The individual timber components are connected using precisely interlocking connections.

 load-bearing and bracing

Due to the dimensional stability of the I-beams and the precise milling, no assembly errors arise and the construction is very stable. Only a hammer is necessary for the assembly.

“Even if it is said that timber moves, it certainly isn’t the case here!” Hans-Ludwig Stell sums it up.

Learn more about SI-Modular wood framing system:

www.metsawood.com/global/news-media/references/Pages/SI-modular-wood-construction-system.aspx