Category Archives: Architecture

New Technical Brochure for Optigreen

Optigreen, the specialist green roof systems supplier, have released an updated version of their fully comprehensive Technical Brochure.

Green roof systems

Consisting of 96 pages, the brochure combines basic and specialist knowledge of roof greening and gives safe and approved solutions in accordance with GRO and FLL Green Roofing Guidelines.

Each green roof system solution is presented with the most relevant data, system build-ups, accessory products and a brief description.

The brochure also includes some new Optigreen products and system solutions for blue roofs, pitched roofs and roof planters.

Webcodes included in the new brochure, mean you will always be able to access up to date information on all our optimised products and systems through our website www.optigreen.co.uk. The online version of the continuously updated brochure has interactive features and links to further information and services.

To request a free copy of the new Optigreen technical brochure, please contact info@optigreen.co.uk

Metsä Wood launches ‘Open Source Wood’

A pioneering open innovation project to accelerate growth in large scale wood construction.

Metsä Wood’s Open Source Wood initiative is a call to action to architects, designers and engineers to join forces, share innovation and contribute knowledge about large-scale, modular wood construction. By creating an open innovation platform around modular wood construction, Metsä Wood’s aim is to connect the local wood construction industry with global knowledge to facilitate collaboration and growth.

Metsa Wood

Today the construction industry is dominated by two materials – steel and concrete. Only a fraction (5-10%) of global urban construction is wood, due in part to the fact that the industry is fragmented and local. Wood, however, is an optimal material for urban construction as it enables faster building processes; its lightness leads to more affordable structures and it is the most environmentally friendly building material, battling climate change through carbon storage.

Metsa Wood

Metsä Wood’s Executive Vice President, Esa Kaikkonen, explains: “Not enough knowledge about modular wood design and building is shared, so wood construction remains niche. There is plenty of innovation but it is difficult to find, so Open Source Wood is our solution. We believe that with open collaboration the industry can achieve significant growth.”

Inspired by open source ideology

The initiative takes its inspiration from open source ideology, championed by the software industry, to drive innovation further and faster, and to increase speed to market.

Metsä Wood is taking the first step by sharing its own intellectual property for modular Kerto® LVL wood elements, making them available freely for everyone.

Metsä Wood to award €30,000 prize

Additionally, Metsä Wood will award innovation in modular element design by offering 30k euro in prize money during 2017 to exceptional designs, submitted as part of the initiative, using its Kerto LVL material.

By 2050, approximately 70% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas. This means that we need living space for billions. At the same time, cities contribute to up to 70% of the total greenhouse gas emissions and we need to fight climate change. One way to fight climate change is to make construction more sustainable and that’s possible when building with wood on a global scale.

Eric Karsh, an engineer at Vancouver-based Equilibrium Consulting, adds: “We fundamentally need to challenge the way we build. Timber technology is now progressing so fast that knowledge transfer is often the bottleneck. Those of us who have expertise have a responsibility to share, and the fastest way is an open source approach promoting knowledge and innovation from all corners of the world. That’s why Metsä Wood is launching the initiative and makes the first step in giving away knowledge and intellectual property for prefabricated elements, allowing systematic creativity and efficiency in building.”

Open Source Wood is a continuation of Metsä Wood’s project Plan B, launched in 2015 as an ambitious blueprint to explore the possibilities of using wood in urban construction.

Learn more about Open Source Wood and how you can participate: www.metsawood.com/opensourcewood

Join the initiative.Metsa Wood

Contact: opensourcewood@metsagroup.com

www.metsawood.com/uk/

 

Heradesign® offers multi-functional versatility on a grand scale

City of Glasgow College is the largest and most diverse tertiary education establishment in Scotland. Its Riverside campus opened its doors in 2015 aiming to lead the global maritime college community. City campus opened in 2016 creating twin site, flagship Super College and powerhouse of technical and professional skills.

HeradesignCity campus, which is currently on the shortlist for the RIAS and RIBA Awards 2017, houses a purpose built 3000m² x 10m high Construction Workshop that’s divided into smaller bespoke teaching areas. Heradesign® from Knauf AMF is installed throughout to control reverberation and enhance the industrial design aesthetic.

Controlling reverberation was the main driver for choosing Heradesign® for the multi-functional workshop. The individual teaching areas are separated by 4m high open-top walls. Loud machinery is often in use in one space whilst elsewhere at the same time tutorials are taking place. Heradesign® provides Class A sound absorption which helps control the ambient sound level, reduce reverberation and increase speech intelligibility, ensuring lessons can take place without disruption.

Heradesign® was recommended to Reiach and Hall Architects Director Angus Wilson as a cost-effective ceiling solution that satisfied the design and acoustic brief. “The acoustic performance of Heradesign® prevents the large industrial workshop from acting like an echo chamber. This was the main reason for switching products. I liked how the textured surface of Heradesign® worked well with the raw materials that are used elsewhere in the space.” Angus Wilson has specified Heradesign® since for a number of education and refurbishment projects.

Heradesign® is manufactured from sustainably sourced wood-wool and has a naturally woven surface. For the Construction Workshop, Heradesign® was specified in a natural colour, but its surface can be matched to a virtually endless range of custom colours including those using RAL,  NCS or StoColor.

Roskel Contracts Ltd carried out the ceiling installation in the workshop. Director Richard Spinelli explained how the versatility of Heradesign® ensured the work went smoothly. “Heradesign® was fixed directly to the concrete soffit using wooden battens. We left spaces between the panels to allow a metal framing grid to be inserted which the services attached to. The metal grid and Heradesign® dovetailed together to form a neat, clean finish.

Heradesign® is ideal for educational buildings because it offers long-lasting durability, has high impact resistance and provides excellent fire safety (Class 1A).

If you’re working on an educational project, the team at Knauf AMF can provide technical support and specialist product knowledge to help you achieve your desired result. Contact info@knaufamf.co.uk or visit www.knaufamf.com for more information.

About Knauf AMF

Comprehensive expertise in modular ceiling systems – a one-stop shop thanks to its strong product brands.

Knauf AMF is one of the top European manufacturers of modular ceiling systems. The company is based in the Bavarian city of Grafenau, where its state of the art factory develops and manufactures innovative products for the global market. With its strong brands, AMF Thermatex, AMF Ventatec, Heradesign and Donn, Knauf AMF provides a sophisticated range of products for a wide range of applications: from administration buildings to learning institutions and health facilities. Knauf AMF develops optimum solutions for a diverse range of interiors while meeting the most demanding functional requirements.

AMF THERMATEX – “functional and innovative “

These wet-felt tiles are an international benchmark in terms of quality standards and functional product properties. By combining design components with product innovation, AMF THERMATEX® is a trailblazer when it comes to the functional-aesthetic design of modular ceilings.

HERADESIGN® – “creative, varied and unconventional”

This is what sustainable acoustics solutions look like. These high-quality, ecologically-friendly wood wool products provide an almost unrestricted design palette and make a significant contribution to to the overall ambience of any room, promoting a sense of well-being and improving concentration, efficiency and performance.

AMF TOPIQ® – “premium efficiency”

Fleece-lined rock mineral wool panels with a colour coating on the visible side and edges form the technological basis for the AMF TOPIQ® soft board product. They are refreshingly light-weight and easy to work with. These products maximise sound absorption without being thick or having to be suspended a long distance from the ceiling.

AMF VENTATEC® – “high-quality and flexible “

High-quality materials and precise manufacturing define these grid systems which allow you to specify a ceiling that meets the most demanding specifications, particularly when combined with AMF THERMATEX®. The high-performance product design guarantees stability, safety and flexibility during construction.

DONN® –”capable and compatible”

The renowned DONN® DX technology and the patented golden Quick-Release TM cross-bar clip have been considered a guarantee of high-quality ceiling sub-structures for many years. A varied range of products guarantees consistent, flexible and certified system compatibility.

Knauf AMF Ceilings Limited
E-mail: info@knaufamf.co.uk.  Telephone: 0191 518 8600   www.amfceilings.co.uk

Follow Knauf AMF on Instagram
Follow Knauf AMF on Instagram

 

Boarded-up Houses by Katharina Fitz

ARCHatlas

In the words of the artist Katharina Fitz:

Boarded-up Houses In Europe today there are around 11 million empty and unoccupied homes, of which 610,000 are in England. Large scale vacancy in cities is often a sign of great upheaval within the urban space.

e9a74bae-5b8d-4cae-a700-89bb595afcea © Katharina Fitz

Focusing on typical Victorian working class terraced houses in post-industrial Liverpool and Manchester, the project highlights the sheer volume of long-term vacancies in the UK to create a critical reflection about the extensive amount of unoccupied homes in England as well as in Europe in relation to the social housing market. When before, these historical houses symbolized the collective past of a flourishing industry and a strong working class and community, nowadays in some former industrial cities many hundreds of houses in fairly good conditions stand abandoned and boarded-up awaiting demolition.

b2138f7f-4721-4fb9-982f-932f9530b27e © Katharina Fitz

From an aesthetic point of view, boarded-up windows…

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Class War on Woodberry Down: A National Strategy

architectsforsocialhousing

Woodberry Down in Manor House is one of the most sinister places I’ve ever visited. The council estate, built between the 1950s and 1970s, sits either side of the Seven Sisters Road, cradled in a bend of the New River flowing south. But turn down Woodberry Down itself and behind the Edwardian terraces and red-brick façade of St. Olave’s Church, overlooking the two large pools of Stoke Newington Reservoir, and a strange new world is emerging. Behind a wall of glass sweating office workers run towards you but never arrive. Maps of the surrounding area are reproduced on every corner with arrows indicating ‘you are here’. Hoardings lining the street display huge colour photographs of people smiling or shopping or jogging or pointing. Banners bearing company logos hang from lamp posts next to children’s drawings enlarged by professional artists. Boards and windows are covered with obscure phrases like ‘Designed…

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The ideal collaboration between design, client, project manager, contractor and subcontractor

FORMWORK

UK, May 5, 2017.- Trimble MEP has developed the study: “BIM & Design: From Architects to Subcontractors – Who Does What ?”. From DOKA UK make reference to Trimble MEP and thank them for their insight and contribution to advancing Construction. We briefly summarize the interesting content of this analysis in three sections and recommend its complete reading: 

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Redland Craftsman Albury crowns eco-home with period twist

As experienced self-builders Richard and Jo Collings had high standards for their final project – a four-bedroomed energy efficient house in rural Warwickshire – so they chose the Albury tile from the Rosemary Clay Craftsman range developed by Redland, the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of pitched roof systems.

clay roof tiles

“We’re in a conservation area, so we had to be careful what we chose, and we really liked the look of these tiles. We’ve had a lot of compliments and the planners were happy as they stipulated that it should be ‘of a pleasing design’ and “not jar”, says Mrs Collings.

The planners at Stratford District Council were concerned not simply because the house was in a conservation area, but also because it would be next to a historic church, parts of which date back to Norman times.

“We reckoned it would take two years in all, a year to get planning and a year to build”, says Mrs Collings. “And we were right overall but it took 14 months to get the planning permission”. The new home replaces a 1960s bungalow and its roof now complements that of the recently re-roofed church.

Mr and Mrs Collings are experienced in running construction projects, having previously built their own factory unit and refurbished a historic cottage, and so designed the house themselves, using a local surveyor, Paul Upfield, to draw up the plans to gain planning permission. Among the eco-friendly features are a heat recovery system in the roof that extracts heat from outgoing air to heat incoming fresh air and a ground source heat pump that draws heat from 85 metres below ground. “It’s been very satisfying and we’ve had a great sense of achievement but we won’t be doing this again. They’ll take us out in a box”, Mrs Collings jokes.

The Albury tile is one of three tiles in the Rosemary Clay Craftsman range and, in common with the Hawkhurst tile, has a fine orange-red sanding over the surface and random black patterning to recreate a weathered look. The latest addition to the range, Victorian, has a darker and grittier texture to give roofs a greater depth of texture and character. All three tiles are versatile and can be laid on a variety of roof configurations, as there is a full range of compatible fittings and accessories.

clay roof tiles

Combining the look and feel of an aged handmade tile with 21st century performance, the Rosemary Clay Craftsman range has textured surfaces, irregular distortions to the front edge and varying hanging lengths.

Although the Rosemary Clay Craftsman looks like a reclaimed tile, it meets all the requirements ofBS5534: 2014 Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling – providing Redland fixing recommendations are followed. Redland engineers have subjected the tile to driving winds and high rains in the Group’s wind tunnel in a set of rigorous tests to ensure that it meets or exceeds current standards. Visit www.redland.co.uk/craftsman for more details.

www.redland.co.uk

 

Glazed doors, the clear choice

Summer is upon us, bringing with it increased light levels to building interiors.  This natural borrowed light is invaluable, illuminating dark spaces and reducing the need for artificial light.  With this in mind its worth giving closer consideration to the use of glazed interior doors that can transform both living and communal space. 

Vicaima glazed door

Vicaima doors are of course renown for innovative designs in an extensive range of finishes and performance characteristics to suit a multitude of applications. It’s little wonder then that this range is complimented by a comprehensive array of glazed options to match the needs of today’s social housing market. 

Of course light is just one of the many factors to consider when selecting glazed interior doors for social housing. Safety must of course be of paramount concern, whether directly from the use of safety glass or less apparent but no less important where fire doors are concerned. 

interior door

Vicaima is a leader in fire door technology with one of the widest ranges of FD30 and FD60 doors and doorsets (i.e. designed to resist a fire for 30 and 60 minutes respectively) in the UK. The company’s particular appeal is that it makes fire doors which are also beautifully designed. At Vicaima all fire doors are supplied factory glazed to ensure risks are removed.

interior glazed door

Glazing is a particular concern for fire doors as, unless correctly installed, it can create a weak area in the door. Historically, 6mm thick wired glass was the only option, however modern glass technology has led to the development of much more aesthetically pleasing glazed fire doors.

Another important consideration in the selection of glazed doors is of course the requirements for clear visibility as stipulated under Part M of the Building regulations. Again here many Vicaima glazed door designs address this issue, providing complete mobility solutions.

Selecting the right glazed door is a simple process with help and assistance from the Vicaima Interior Door selector.  This handy guide, available both in print and digital format via the Vicaima website, enables quick and easy choice of door design. 

A wide variety of glazing models can be offered, so it’s just a matter of deciding which finish is required and then paring it with the chosen aperture pattern.  Of course non-standard or bespoke designs can also be provided in many instances, so that specific design requirements can be accommodated.

And in addition to flush doors and door sets, Vicaima have recently introduced a new Classic K range.  This modern twist on the conventional panelled design also includes glazed options, making it ideal where traditional and contemporary styling needs to meld.

Glazed interior door

For more information on the complete Vicaima collections visit www.vicaima.com

The Green Eyed Monster

Open any trade magazine or visit supplier websites and you will find numerous articles and products offering exceptional ‘green’ credentials.  Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the glass and glazing industry as each manufacturer attempts to outperform the next by offering astounding figures for thermal performance.

What is surprising however, is the regular use of terms such as ‘environmentally friendly’ or ‘green’ simply because a product offers a low u-value.  As more buildings are constructed to Passivhaus standards there appears to be a blurring of the lines between what is good for the environment and what is thermally efficient.  Whilst there is no doubt that increased thermal efficiency contributes to a reduction in burning of fossil fuels; this alone should not be the deciding factor in whether a product is actually environmentally friendly.

The majority of flat rooflights on the market today are manufactured from either PVC or aluminium and both of these require an exceptional amount of energy to produce and extract a lot of resources from the planet without putting anything back.

rooflight

While most companies will adopt some sort of environmental policy, telling customers that their products use a percentage of recycled material, this is more likely to be about cost rather than any real environmental intentions.  After all recyclables are recycled because it is the cheapest available option and it makes more financial sense to do so rather than to send them to a landfill – with Landfill tax currently over £84 per tonne, plus the gate fee on top.

It stands to reason that consuming vast amounts of natural resources to produce the raw materials of a product negates the environmental benefits further down the chain, regardless of what the product becomes.  This has often been overlooked in the rooflight industry because of the low maintenance and long life that aluminium and PVC can offer the end user.  For decades these two materials have been unrivalled and it was widely accepted that flat rooflights should be manufactured from one of these materials; until now.

There is now a real alternative in the flat rooflight market that not only offers exceptional thermal performance, but is also a genuine environmentally friendly product in every sense.  The Lumen Planus is manufactured in the UK using Accoya® wood which is a material that has been thoroughly tested for dimensional stability, durability, paint retention and in-ground conditions to ensure optimal performance.  It offers a new standard in high performance, sustainable and low maintenance applications.

In addition to the outstanding performance, Accoya® wood is one of the very few building products to have acquired Cradle to CradleSM Certification on the elusive Gold level. Cradle to Cradle (C2C) provides a means to tangibly and credibly measure achievement in environmentally-intelligent design including the use of environmentally safe and healthy materials and instituting strategies for social responsibility.

A carbon footprint assessment was executed for Accoya® wood by Verco in line with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and World Resources Institute’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Protocol best practice guidelines, based on a cradle to factory gate scenario. This includes sourcing, harvesting and processing of the input timber, as well as all energy and raw material consumption and waste production. The results are shown in the graph below.

rooflight

Today there are some exceptional flat rooflight products available for specifiers to choose from.  It is a fact that both aluminium and PVC are very good at providing superb thermal performance and that modern technology has reduced the end of life environmental impact.  That said, if your project requires a truly environmentally friendly product then Accoya® provides compelling environmental advantages in every stage of the life cycle.

For more information on the right products for your project information contact Lumen Rooflight on 0330 300 1090, email info@lumenrooflight.co.uk or visit www.lumenrooflight.com

Neaco balustrade specified for ‘gold standard’ care home

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.”

neaco

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