by Russell Jones ~ Communications Manager at Mitsubishi Electric
Russell Jones asks whether a whole day of electricity produced without burning a single lump of coal spells out the end of an era for the nation.
Last Friday, 21st April 2017 was a very special day for the UK as the country generated a whole day of electricity without needing to use coal-fired power stations.
This landmark moment is the first working day in since 1882, when the first public coal-fired generating plant opened in London when no coal has been needed to help supply power to the nation – as reported by many news outlets such as the BBC and the Financial Times.
Whilst low demand for electricity in the week after the Easter holiday is quite normal and Friday’s are the day of the working week with the lowest power demand, this move away from what has been a bedrock of the UK’s energy production since the start of the industrial revolution is a real achievement.
This shows how the nation’s energy system is changing to embrace low-carbon electricity production through the use of nuclear, solar panels, wind turbines and a switch from coal to biomass and gas-powered stations.
In 2016, the government reported that it was working to phase out the last coal plants by 2025 in an effort to cut overall carbon emissions.
As we move towards low carbon power generation, renewable technologies such as air source heat pumps become even more viable and attractive.
So it looks like we are really starting to see a greening of the electricity grid which is tremendous news for renewable technologies such as heat pumps, which consume electricity but use it to maximise renewable heating for our homes.
Earlier this year, we produced an infographic looking at the history of home heating so I’m delighted to see that we are starting to enter the last phase of that and set the scene for a low-carbon power generating grid, feeding low-carbon heating systems – all of which will help minimise energy bills for homeowners and aid the country as we strive to meet stringent carbon reduction targets.
We look forward to discussing this more on The Hub over the next few years as we strive to move towards a truly zero-carbon society.
At Mitsubishi Electric, we also love to discuss this topic over on our Green Gateway Twitter page, so please join the conversation.
Russell Jones is PR & Communications Manager for Mitsubishi Electric Living Environment Systems in the UK.
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In a unique collaboration, H+H UK Ltd and SIG Offsite have worked together to create the SIG I-House – an innovative housebuilding system incorporating Celcon Elements from H+H.
The SIG I-House provides all the speed of offsite construction with the familiarity of a traditional build, from foundations to roof in just five days.
The system can encompass the inner leaves of external cavity walls, floors, lintel, cavity closers, insulation and roof trusses. With the inclusion of soffit and fascia, the system delivers the internal skin of a property, fully wrapped and ready for follow-on trades.
Created at a time when there is a demand to increase the volume of house building and when skilled workers are in short supply, the system is a one stop shop for clients – with a single contractor required to deliver the whole house shell.
The system is intended for the construction of domestic houses of up to two storey height, replacing the structure of the inner leaf of external cavity walls, separating walls and internal partitions with storey height Celcon Elements.
Installed by the SIG Offsite team, Celcon Elements are craned into place and fixed using H+H element mortar. Timber I-Joist cassette floors are used in conjunction with the system to maintain the speed of build and roofs are either standard truss construction or the ‘Roofspace I-Roof’ – panelised roof system. All components are raised into position by crane.
Celcon Elements are manufactured from the same intrinsic material as aircrete blocks and have the same performance advantages including excellent thermal performance with reduced heat loss at thermal bridges.
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Neaco supplied a bespoke specification combining a railed Juliet balcony design with its contemporary glass balustrade to meet the aesthetic requirements of a prestigious development of luxury apartments in Sevenoaks, Kent.
Designed by BHD Architects, the project formed part of an extensive redevelopment of a site at the junction with London Road and Pembroke Road in Sevenoaks and included the construction of a new apartment complex comprising 22 properties with parking at basement level. The scheme was carefully designed to fit into the established pattern of development of the surrounding area, in terms of scale and appearance. The building incorporates a range of traditional elements, including Neaco’s railed balconies, to reflect the character of the town centre whilst incorporating contemporary features promoting sustainable techniques such as solar panels, a green roof and living wall and rainwater harvesting. In addition to its railed balconies Neaco supplied balustrade with glass infill panels for top floor terraces.
Neaco’s National Sales Manager, Peter Melia, said: “Our glass balustrade and balcony solutions have attracted an exceptional level of demand in the residential market across a broad range of developments and The Pembroke is yet another example, but it’s also a reminder that we are able to offer a more traditional aesthetic with our railed balcony options also being utilised. We offer standard railed balcony designs but The Pembroke required a bespoke railed solution which demonstrates the design versatility of our technical team.”
Neaco’s range of handrails, balustrade and balconies offers a host of design options. The company’s product range also includes structural glass, adaptive bathing facilities and aluminium grilles for flooring, screening and shading applications. All products are backed by a class-leading Lifetime Guarantee.
Further information is available at www.neaco.co.uk
The latest BBA Certification awarded to the Schöck Isokorb is the culmination of an unprecedented standard of assessment by the BBA. It has resulted in a much more demanding new generation of Agrément Certificates for thermal break products and the emergence of a new ‘Leader Certificate’. This new ‘Leader Certificate’ incorporates significantly more detailed content on structural stability and performance of the balcony connector.
The rigorous assessment by the BBA involved tests for structural stability, fatigue stresses and fire. As a result, the enhanced Certificate includes a full description and specification of each component. Specification of threaded steel bars to connect the system to steel balcony; limitation for deflection of the concrete slab and steel; the requirement for fatigue stresses due to different temperatures and for natural frequency of the external concrete slab and steel balconies; thermal bridging at the junction between the balcony and the wall. In addition, it covers behaviour in relation to fire.
The BBA’s Project Manager, Seyed Tajallifar, emphasises that: “All future Agrément Certificates of this sort will follow this format. The items covered in the Schöck Certificate will be included in any other balcony connector Certificate when they are due for Reissue.”
Chris Willett, MD at Schöck comments: “We have always welcomed our collaboration with the BBA, which dates back over several years. This new generation BBA Agrément Certificate takes a huge step in providing the highest level of assurance to the construction industry and we are certain that it will lead to further specifications of our product in the future”.
For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide and / or the Thermal Bridging Solutions brochure – contact the company on 01865 290 890 or visit www.schoeck.co.uk
Arguably the most important building in the entire canon of British architectural history” (Jane Sidell, Historic England), this shockingly modern building – for its time – was designed by Inigo Jones and commissioned by Anne of Denmark.
Queens House is now part of the Royal Museums Greenwich complex. It houses a stunning collection of paintings, including one by Orazio Gentileschi from the Royal Collection, commissioned by Henrietta Maria and Charles I for the house in the seventeenth century. The new exhibition also includes hundreds of paintings from the Greenwich collection, including works by Canaletto, Hogarth, Romney and Stubbs, and the magnificent Armada portrait of Elizabeth I, once owned by Sir Francis Drake.
In order to help protect these masterpieces, Histoglass supplied its MONO system featuring cylinder glass, including UV and solar protection and increased security ratings. The system achieves an impressive acoustic and thermal energy performance.
Worldwide leaders in demountable flood protection systems, IBS, have just released their smallest, lightest system to date.
Called the SL25, the new lightweight system is targeted at the property sector of the flood protection market and aims to capitalise on the company’s strong brand and product reputation in the wider flood risk management industry.
Drawing on all their experience from more than 2 decades in the global flood defence sector, IBS have designed the SL25 to be as easy as possible to install and more importantly, to require minimum effort to deploy before floodwater arrives. Major advantages of the new SL25 lightweight system include the ability to use it without intermediate posts for widths of up to 2.5m and for heights of up to 1m, as well as not requiring a ground rail* or recess along the bottom edge.
With a patent applied for and pending, this new system will allow IBS to continue leading the way in the provision of innovative new solutions for those people, businesses and communities that find themselves at risk of flooding.
To request a brochure for this system or the company’s other products, please get in touch with the sales office on 01302 630015.
The SL25 lightweight barrier will be available for delivery from June onwards.
Tel: 01302 630015
IBS Engineered Products Ltd is a leading supplier of flow control and flood protection equipment. The main product range includes penstocks, stoplogs, glass flood defences, demountable flood barriers/walls and floodgates.