Category Archives: Architecture

Find the Flowcrete Floor for You at Ecobuild 2017

South Cheshire College Green Floorzone

On stand C147 of Ecobuild 2017, Flowcrete UK will be showcasing its range of resin finishes and sub floor screeds that have been designed to create superior, environmentally friendly floors as well as introducing new concrete repair products to the UK market!

Flowcrete UK’s green flooring solutions have been utilised by a long list of high profile locations around the country thanks to the ability of these systems to combine sustainability with both functionality and longevity.

The fast drying Isocrete Alpha Screed is particularly popular among developers of large-scale, high-rise and demanding construction projects thanks to the fact that large quantities of it can be quickly and easily installed. It is also one of the greenest screeds on the market, as 95% of the system’s alpha hemi-hydrate calcium sulphate binder is reclaimed from industrial by-products, minimising the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Isocrete Alpha Screed is an evolution of traditional anhydrite flowing screeds, as it has a 20% faster drying time and its laitance free finish means that sanding is not required prior to applying a coating – significantly speeding up the overall installation timescale.

At Ecobuild 2017, attendees will also be able to learn about the Floorzone package, which enables specifiers and architects to source each element of a floor build up from only one place! The Floorzone includes decorative finishes such as the seamless resin terrazzo Mondéco range, green screeds, energy efficient under floor heating and noise reducing acoustic insulation.

As of this year, Flowcrete UK is now also able to supply a range of Euclid Chemical concrete repair mortars. There are many factors that must be considered before selecting a concrete repair solution such as location, climate, in-service conditions, and potential corrosives to name just a few. Having access to Euclid Chemical’s high quality products, which have been the repair mortars of choice in the US for a long time, will ensure that developers can easily access the right option for them.

Flowcrete UK’s Managing Director, Kevin Potter, said: “We’re always looking to develop our products to ensure that the construction industry can easily source the systems required to solve what can be very complex and demanding challenges.

“We constantly evaluate our finishes, screeds, subfloor components and repair materials to get the perfect balance of functionality and application practicality while limiting any environmental impact.”

Flowcrete UK has analysed its products and manufacturing processes in order to make its solutions more environmentally friendly. This has led to limiting the use of substances such as Ordinary Portland Cement as well as supplying its products in UN Certified Intermediate Bulk Containers to reduce packaging waste. The durability of Flowcrete UK’s resin systems also provides end users with green benefits, as the longevity of its floors avoids the environmental damage incurred by a flooring refurbishment.

Thanks to the environmentally pro-active credentials of its systems, Flowcrete is able to assist architects and specifiers to qualify for green building credits through initiatives such as BREEAM and LEED®.

To find out more about sustainable flooring and the newly launched Euclid Chemical concrete repair products, talk to Flowcrete UK’s expert team on stand C147 of Ecobuild 2017, which is taking place from 7-9 March at the ExCel London.

www.flowcrete.co.uk 

Early specification provides time savings with Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior

 Knauf Aquapanel

Early specification of Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior at the design stage of a 60-bed care home in Winnersh has provided both speed and cost savings for specialist care home developers Castleoak Group.

By utilising the lightweight performance of the Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior panels, compared to brick and block construction, designers were able to reduce the size and weight requirements of the foundations. 

Castleoak turned to Knauf to create an imaginative faceted façade in Winnersh near Wokingham for care operator Abbeyfield.

The Abbeyfield Winnersh care home is formed of four striking circular clusters that create a unique community to deliver innovative dementia care. Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior cement boards were used as a substitute façade system to brick and completed with a rendered finish.

Castleoak deployed lean construction techniques to optimise the build process. Work began on site in March 2015 and was completed in April 2016.

Facing cost pressure and difficulty securing brick and block supplies, Castleoak Operations Director Neil Robins and his colleagues were charged with designing a build strategy without the use of brick.

 “With inhouse timber frame design and manufacturing, Castleoak was able to offer our customer a really innovative build solution,” Neil said.

“The design was challenging, but we weren’t daunted. We knew we had to try something different.”

“Our solution was to prefabricate all panels, floors cassettes, and for the first time, apply external render panels at the Castleoak factory for this build. This strategy offered a great quality solution – and enabled us to better control the build programme with less dependency on subcontractors.”

The decision to use Knauf AQUAPANEL® was made easier due to its characteristics as a directly applied render carrier board.  The cement board combines the benefits of brick and block and, because it consists of aggregated Portland cement with coated glass fibre mesh embedded in the back and front surfaces, provides the ideal key for render.

Knauf AQUAPANEL® was introduced very early in the design stage allowing for further time saving.  Knauf’s Specification Team assisted at the design stage where the decision was made to assemble much of the external façade system offsite. Exterior panels were constructed at the Castleoak factory before being delivered to site to be installed by Sequoia Joinery.

Morgan Palmer, Operations Manager at Castleoak was satisfied with the performance of the Knauf products on the Abbeyfield Winnersh project.

“The installation of the Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior panels went to plan. The design and materials were well specified and performed. The programme remained on track.”

Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior is ideal for offsite installation. Factory fitting, transport and site installation has no adverse effect on its final performance.

Rigorously tested and certified by the BBA for use as a ventilated exterior wall panel system on timber frame and steel frame buildings, Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior provides a solid, dry base that can withstand the extreme weathering effects of wind, rain and snow.  It is also ideal for creating exterior soffits and the illusion of an internal ceiling continuing through the façade to the outside of the building.

www.knauf.co.uk

Homes transformed with Accoya® doors and windows

With summer fast approaching, many homeowners will be planning to use the milder weather to start thinking about renovations. Upgrading tired doors and windows with certain types of wood will help weather-proof and better insulate homes for many years to come. Beautifully crafted Accoya wooden window frames and doors best equip your home to withstand the UK weather all year round as well as helping to breathe new life into older properties.

timber windows and doors

Leading modified wood product Accoya is considered by most installers, builders and DIY enthusiasts as the best wood for the job. With a reputation for being exceptionally low maintenance, Accoya has a long lifespan and comes with a 50 year warranty. The wood also has outstanding environmental credentials and is one of the greenest wood products on the market.

joinery

For UK homeowners, the most important factor when choosing doors and windows is that the product is resilient enough to withstand the changeable and often harsh UK weather. With driving rain and a stark contrast in summer and winter temperatures, wood used for windows and doors needs to offer superior insulating capabilities, be hard-wearing and require little maintenance over its full life cycle.

timber windows and doors

Accoya windows, doors and shutters are proven to be durable, with no risk of warping or rot due to the process with which the wood is made. This makes any coatings, paints or varnishes last two times longer with Accoya than traditional woods, and require less preparation and sanding.

Accoya wood is also fantastically versatile and has been successfully installed in new build homes as well as historic properties. The wood can be used to create a wide range of designs, from the simple to the complex, offering a great choice of finishes and colours which makes it an ideal material for a multitude of properties – from bijou city apartments to grand Victorian villas.

Not only does the addition of bespoke Accoya doors and windows really complement the overall appearance of a home, homeowners can be safe in the knowledge that they will last for decades to come.

With years of research and product development, Accoya is modified through to its core to make it one of the most advanced wood products on the market today. Accoya is therefore one of the best quality woods for doors and windows on the market, with examples from around the UK and the world demonstrating its key features and benefits.

Fairlight Home, Hastings

Accoya architecture

Accoya architecture

Designed by London based architecture firm Alma-nac, this split level home replaces a 1950’s bungalow and run-down barn which sits on a hilltop in the village of Fairlight, on the southern coast of England.

Accoya was used for windows, window reveals and doors for the stylish property. The owners were keen to build an environmentally friendly home which took advantage of its picturesque hilltop location. Using Accoya allowed the family to install windows and doors which were developed with the highest green credentials and would withstand the exposed coastal location.

Berkshire Home, London

Accoya woodIn the heart of Berkshire, Accoya doors were tailor-made by SB Joinery to help create a stunning new home.

SB Joinery installed Accoya doors in the main Manor house as well as the Lodge House and outbuildings. Accoya wood was selected to complement the property’s appearance. Plus, the 50 year warranty was also a major factor when choosing Accoya over other woods.joinery blog

Winchester Home, Hampshire Accoya wood

This striking new build property in Winchester was built to last, with Accoya sliding sash windows, bifold doors, French doors and frames from SB Joinery’s Stockbridge range. Naturally insulating and highly durable, the owners were particularly impressed with the finish of the Accoya doors and windows and their performance in a range of weather conditions.

Accoya wood

Weybridge Home, Surrey

Manufactured by SB Joinery, Accoya was selected for French and bi-fold doors throughout this beautiful home in Weybridge, Surrey.Accoya Wood

The owners were after a natural wood finish which could also stand up to the elements. Accoya was used to provide a seamless finish, enhancing the overall look of the property. The doors were completely bespoke, designed to the highest specification throughout the property. Accoya was also selected due to the fact it does not shrink or swell during seasonal weather changes.

Country Home, Bath

Accoya Wood

Accoya was selected for the windows and French windows and doors throughout this stunning country home on the outskirts of Bath.

wood

All of the windows and doors were completely bespoke and crafted using traditional methods by the team at Bath Bespoke. Working closely with the clients and architects, a combined mixture of styles – some sleek, contemporary elements as well as some period style mouldings – where created to complement the exposed stone throughout the property.

timber window

Laura Keily, head of marketing for Accsys Technologies, commented: “Accoya is a fantastic product to add the finishing touches to your home. All of these stunning properties are great examples of the different types of doors and windows that can be made from one of the world’s most sustainable, resilient and best performing woods.

“Not only does the addition of the Accoya doors and windows really complement the overall appearance achieved by the properties, the homeowners can relax and enjoy them knowing they will last for many years so come. We hope to see many more residential projects featuring Accoya in the UK in the near future.”

Accoya windows and doors can be purchased through a selection of joinery firms across the UK. For more information click here.

Cembrit BBA certified slates rise to the challenge

Roof Slates

The flexibility, aesthetically pleasing and easy to install attributes of Cembrit Jutland fibre cement slates have been illustrated on a newly built apartment block in Poole, as the slates have provided a stunning finish to what was a challenging roof.

Inverclyde House is a newly built three storey development that consists of 18 two and three bedroom flats. Located on the south coast of England in Poole, the apartments are central to schools, hospitals and the town centre.

Bournemouth-based contractor, AST Roofing installed 7,000 600x300mm blue/black Cembrit Jutland fibre cement slates, covering approximately 450m2. The roof on this project was interesting, yet challenging for the contractor, as it included a number of pitches and a turret. This unique roof demanded a high quality roofing product that would be easy to handle, install and wouldn’t require any sorting or grading.

“The roof design posed a major challenge, but we were confident that our choice in product would allow us to deliver the desired result,” says Paul Stevens, Managing Director of AST Roofing. “We had to take great care in achieving a neat mitred hip detail, and Cembrit Jutland slates allowed us to do so. The consistency in quality with these slates was impressive. Not only does it mean that the product is easy to work with, but it provides a smooth finish that can’t be achieved with other roofing materials.”

Jutland slates feature a smooth surface and are pre-holed, square edged and lightweight. They do not need to be graded and sorted like natural slates. These qualities combine to make them easy to handle and install and an ideal solution for a fast-track construction environment. Jutland slates are available in Graphite, Blue/Black, Russet and Autumn Brown colours.

Jutland slates are manufactured to the highest European standards using Portland cement together with a formulation of superior blended synthetic and cellulose fibres. Cembrit fibre cement slates are finished with a high quality, semi-matt acrylic coloured coating to the face and edges and a tinted, high-performance binder to the back face. The slates are manufactured in accordance with a quality assurance system to ISO 9001 and to the requirements of BS EN 492:2012 product specification for fibre cement slates and their fittings. Jutland slates have been awarded the BBA Certificate No. 03/4041.

Cembrit A/A+- rated fibre cement slates can contribute to achieving an environmentally outstanding building. The five variations (Jutland, Zeeland, Westerland, Moorland and Diamond) allow designers to achieve the highest ratings for roof specifications and are currently the only fibre cement slate certificated.

www.cembrit.co.uk

ROCKWOOL reaches new heights in Manchester’s skyline

ROCKWOOL insulation has been specified and installed on a landmark project in the centre of Manchester, providing two new tower blocks with a façade system that ticks all the boxes: fire prevention, thermal insulation and an aesthetically pleasing external appearance.

The Cambridge Street development includes two and three bedroom apartments, built to alleviate Manchester’s growing population. Originally a vacant brownfield site, the project will provide 282 residential flats in a highly accessible location within Manchester’s City Centre.

Although the location is one of the development’s biggest selling points, it presented a challenge for the construction teams. As well as abiding to the local surroundings, the contractor required an insulation solution that complied with all building regulations, including a U-value of 0.18 W/m²K, and would withstand external elements to ensure a quick and undisruptive installation phase.  The materials also had to conform or exceed the regulation for limited combustibility defined in section B4 of Approved Document B External Fire Spread.

Due to ROCKWOOL RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB® being approved by the Local Authority Building Control (LABC) as an acceptable solution for projects above 18 meters, Manchester-based building contractor, Renaker Build specified 13,000m2 of 125mm RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB®.

“As a project manager, I have to make many decisions each day, but specifying RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB® for this project was one of the easiest decisions I had to make,” comments Pete Cregeen of Renaker Build.  “We had a strict technical specification to meet, which RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB® effortlessly achieved. I am most impressed with the company’s streamline route to fire compliance with Approved Document B and fire safe solutions for high rise buildings over 18m. In comparison to other insulation solutions, there was no alternative.”

As a fibre based product, RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB® can be amalgamated to slot into very tight spaces, leaving no empty gaps and achieving optimum thermal performance. It features a dual density insulation board that incorporates a robust outer surface and a resilient inner face. By compressing the primary fleece onto the top 50mm of the insulation, the product can be used, unprotected, in conditions of severe climatic exposure, including strong wind and rain, as experienced at high altitudes. In addition, the RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB® requires fewer fittings compared to other standard stone wool slabs, minimising installation time.

“We are delighted with the ease of installation and the speed at which we could erect the building’s rainscreen,” comments Pete. “ROCKWOOL goes beyond supplying the product and provided fantastic support. Designated technicians were regularly on site during the planning stages and are readily available throughout the installation phase to ensure satisfactory product installation. This additional service provides invaluable support for our men during construction.”

Based in the city centre of Manchester, the final appearance of the building was crucial in the design and specification stage. ROCKWOOL insulation can be easily rendered to accommodate the project’s strict aesthetic requirements using a wide range of available aesthetic tissue faces.

www.rockwool.co.uk

AluFoldDirect Aluminium Glazing Design Centre is a ‘Lancashire Hot Spot’ for Architects

aluminium windows and doors

Architects can discover the full design potential of aluminium at the new AluFoldDirect Aluminium Glazing Design Centre – a Lancashire ‘Hot Spot’ for aluminium windows and doors.

The specially designed centre is part of the leading aluminium fabricator’s new factory premises based in Blackburn and customers are invited to call in to see, touch and feel the full range of modern aluminium glazing products available for their project.

“The new centre has been designed to help our customers choose the best products to develop their projects,” explains Craig Miller, Managing Director of AluFoldDirect. “We have installed full-size, working displays of our range so they can see just how many options they have.

“The AluFoldDirect Aluminium Glazing Design Centre aims to be a useful resource where the whole supply chain, from specification to end user, can get the best advice on how to choose aluminium glazing, backed by top customer support.

“The centre has been split into two separate zones, domestic and commercial and each area has been designed to reflect the look of a typical installation. The domestic zone has a homely feel and the commercial area is a coffee bar, providing a perfect place for customer consultations over a brew.

“It’s the ideal place to ask our on-site aluminium experts to help specify their project and get it right first time. We’ll listen to what our customers need and help them to realise their designs through our precise manufacturing, fast lead times and delivery direct to site.”

For domestic glazing, the AluFoldDirect Aluminium Glazing Design Centre includes the new Technic-AL RD1 residential door as well as AluFoldDirect’s best-selling range of aluminium bi-folding doors and slimline windows.

Commercial customers can see aluminium entrance doors and curtain walling using the highly-respected Jack Aluminium system.  The door is equipped with the ISEO Multiblindo lock, the latest advance in versatile commercial security.

Craig adds: “The AluFoldDirect Aluminium Glazing Design Centre is open 8:30am – 5:30pm, Mon to Fri, so feel free to drop by to discuss your project with us or visit http://www.alufolddirect.co.uk/aluminium-showroom.html to find out more.”

New plywood guaranteed to be popular for James Latham

As the UK’s biggest independent distributor of panel products and timber, James Latham has announced the latest addition to its portfolio, a new range of Poplar Plywood.

James Latham

Responsibly sourced and ethically verified, this new range of plywood, which is both PEFC and FSC certified, is being supplied by Spanish processing giant Garnica and for distribution will be exclusively available through James Latham in the UK.

Offering exceptional quality and outstanding performance properties, Poplar Plywood is very lightweight, it has a superior surface quality, is strong, exceptionally stable, easy to machine and is also easy to transport.  It is suitable for both interior and exterior applications and is particularly well suited for the manufacturing of furniture, caravans, partitions, speakers, boat building or exhibition stands, in fact, anywhere that weight may be an issue.

James Latham

Andrew Wright, Director of Lathams Limited, explained, “It’s great news that we now have a European manufacturer of high quality plywood with the reputation, substance and credibility of an organisation like Garnica.  Right from the start, we have been really impressed, not only with the products, but also the set up and the people, and I can already see lots of opportunities within markets and applications where Plywood may have been previously discounted or not even considered because of concerns over either the quality of the product, the price or the provenance.

James Latham

Garnica has invested more than 30 million Euros in recent years, developing their product offering to ensure that they are at the cutting edge of global plywood manufacturing and as the exclusive distributor, we are very excited to be able to offer some of these innovative products, which much of the UK market won’t have even seen yet.”

James Latham

“Poplar offers tremendous flexibility and numerous features and benefits and once these have been introduced and marketed in the UK, I am confident that it will soon become a cornerstone of the plywood purchased in this country.”

With seven different product families, the range is extensive and initially, James Latham will focus on offering four of these; Efficiency Poplar, in which the core and faces are made of poplar from controlled and sustainable European plantations. Duraply® where the panel offers exceptional durable properties due to an innovative ply-to-ply treatment making it fungi and insect resistant even under the most adverse weather conditions. Fireshield offering a panel which has been modified through an innovative ply-to-ply process that gives it exceptional flame retardant properties, and through which, unlike other treatments, its properties remain intact when working or sanding the panel. And finally, Elegance Birch, a Poplar panel with a birch veneer to the face and back.  All products in the Elegance range are particularly noted for the beauty of their faces.

 www.lathamtimber.co.uk

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Is oak really the best choice of timber for external windows and doors?

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.

oak windows doors

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.

oak windows doors

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.

The Future House

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.

Cupaclad

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.

Future House

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.

cupaclad

rainscreen cladding

The use of highly durable tectonic slate, new fixing systems and rainscreen cladding efficiency make CUPACLAD® a competitive, totally sustainable alternative for cladding any type of facade.

green building

sustainable building

www.cupapizarras.com/uk/rainscreen-cladding

Email: uk@cupapizarras.com

Phone: +44 (0) 1312 253 111

Bathwick Apartment, Bath

Located in the picturesque heart of the historic city of Bath, this modern apartment combines Georgian period charm with contemporary comfort. The location alone is spectacular, as it is positioned on Bathwick Street making it easy to explore all the attractions of the city.

Accoya Wood

Bath Bespoke specialise in using Accoya wood for all of their painted joinery projects. Accoya was chosen for the Bathwick Apartment as the client requested a robust and beautiful wood. Accoya was also selected thanks to its low maintenance benefits – the form stability and reduced swelling of Accoya windows removes the stress on paint finishes.

Inspired by design? Visit Accoya’s new blog to view a selection of project stories.