Category Archives: Company News

VEKA reservist soldier celebrates Reserves Day with Certificate of Commendation

Mark Schofield, a VEKA employee who also serves in the Army Reserve has been commended for his Distinguished Service as part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus.

#SupportOurTroops Reserves DayThe reserve chef was among a select group of 15 from a company of around 250 to receive the certificate from Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Royce. The award comes before Army Reserves Day (21st June 2017), which highlights and recognises the invaluable contribution made by reservists, and sees them wearing Armed Forces uniform at their ‘regular’ places of work. 

During Mark’s recent tour of Cyprus – his third – representatives of The VEKA UK Group joined other employers invited by the Army to learn about reservists’ military work and how it complements their ‘everyday’ roles. Operations Director Paul Armstrong attended the four-day trip for The VEKA UK Group, which has held ‘Investors in People’ status since 1994, and proudly supports its staff with training and other opportunities.

The UK Army’s role as part of The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is Britain’s longest running overseas mission. Ownership of the island is disputed between the Turkish north and the Greek south, with the UN patrolling a Buffer Zone or ‘Green Line’ across the capital, Nicosia.

The visitors followed a packed itinerary, including talks at the hotel and the UN base; training activities from the Joint Services Adventure Training scheme (a week-long course run in Cyprus for Army, Army Reserve, RAF and Navy service people); and tours around the UN-patrolled area.

Paul commented: “The effects of the conflict on the island are clear, with crumbling buildings and abandoned vehicles, many peppered with bullet holes. Some buildings have been repurposed, such as The Ledra Palace; once a five-star hotel that hosted Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor but now a base for troops within the buffer zone. Others remain ‘time capsules’, such as Nicosia’s abandoned airport, or the deserted car showroom – still stocked with dust-covered 1970s Toyotas!”

Mark has worked for both the Army Reserve and VEKA for around 23 years, now serving as a chef in The 4th Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment after 12 years as an infantryman. Paul continues: “The rapport that Mark has with his colleagues is great. He’s particularly valued as a chef – in fact, one soldier described food as ‘the morale of the troops and the most important thing, next to pay!’”

Besides their peacekeeping duties in Cyprus, reservists pick up skills that benefit both their Army and civilian work. Operating in arduous conditions, thinking on their feet, taking on responsibility, and assessing risk are among the challenges that reservists face, developing their confidence in the process.

Austerity measures have seen regular Army numbers reduced from 104,000 to 82,000 in recent years, offset by an increase in reservist capability. It’s planned that there will be a total of 30,000 reservists by 2019 (currently there are around 24,000), with larger employers such as The VEKA UK Group needed to support their staff in taking up such roles, and offering jobs to retired service people.

Paul added: “After gratefully being given the chance to learn more about Mark’s military work, it’s clear to see why VEKA will long continue to support the Army in this way. It’s an invaluable service with benefits for all parties involved, and we’re proud to see Mark commended for his efforts.”

www.vekauk.com
salesenquiry@veka.com

 

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/

 

The Architectural Technologists Book & Go!Public

Go!PublicThe deadline for the next issues of The Architectural Technologists Book and Go!Public is fast approaching so there is no better time to send your latest press releases.

Unique in their design-led approach and print quality for maximum reader appeal, The Architectural Technologists Book and Go!Public target UK-based Architectural Technologists and Public Sector building specifiers respectively.
Go!PublicDelivery to our email readership of over 13,000 building specifiers also ensures that our digital versions are widely read online, and we promote all news through our social media channels to deliver more than 40,000 opportunities to see.

Editorial deadline is Thursday 25th May at 5.00pm.
Simply email kirsty@l2media.uk with your press release and accompanying photo, and we’ll be in touch right away.

Or if you would like to discuss further editorial opportunities for The Architectural Technologists Book, Go!Public and other titles in the L2 Media architectural publishing portfolio, please call me on 07973 507 929 or email kirsty@l2media.uk

Double Success for Vent-Axia Winning Two Major Awards on One Night

VENT-AXIA

Vent-Axia is celebrating winning not one, but two categories in the prestigious H&V News Awards 2017. Within the Air Movement category the company scooped the award for its Lo-Carbon Revive, designed specifically for social housing ventilation. Meanwhile, in the Domestic Ventilation Product of the Year category, Vent-Axia collected the award for its innovative Sentinel Kinetic Advance Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) unit. The Sussex-based company received the accolades on Thursday 20 April 2017 at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, London. Attended by the biggest names in the heating and ventilation sector the event was hosted by comedian Russell Kane.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have won two awards at the prestigious H&V News Awards,” said Jenny Smith, Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia. “Our company has just celebrated 80 years of innovation in the ventilation sector and is committed to improving indoor air quality. We are therefore very proud to have been acknowledged for our pioneering Sentinel Kinetic Advance and our revolutionary Lo-Carbon Revive which lead the market with the latest ventilation innovations.”

Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Kinetic Advance is a new breed of MVHR unit. With best in class performance and offering near silent, energy efficient and high pressure operation, it is perfect for New Build residential properties as well as care homes and student accommodation. ‘Advance’ extracts warm, moist air from ‘wet’ rooms through ducting which passes through the heat exchanger bef ore being exhausted outside. Fresh incoming air is preheated via the integral heat exchanger which recovers over 93% of the heat energy that would otherwise be wasted.

Designed for air-tight thermally efficient new build properties, the Advance is the first UK-manufactured web-enabled App-controlled MVHR unit, providing energy efficient ventilation and pioneering control. Featuring groundbreaking commissioning and control via the App, Advance encourages best practice and high performance through simplified commissioning, saving installers time on site.

The Advance also tops the PCDB list as the best performing MVHR system in its class, boasting a specific fan power of 0.38W/l/w with 93% heat recovery and airflow of 100l/s at 150Pa, offering high pressure development. This new breed of MVHR is not only efficient, it is also extremely quiet with trickle settings up to 40% staying below 20dBA, achieving the Holy Grail of high efficiency and low sound levels. Advance also features a revolutionary programmable summer bypass to ensure year-round thermal comfort.

Meanwhile, the intelligent Lo-Carbon Revive is a new filter-less unitary fan designed to meet the specific needs of social housing, boasting powerful, quiet, efficient ventilation. It improves indoor air quality and comfort for tenants while being quick and easy to install, low maintenance and reliable. Highly versatile the Revive offers a choice of run speeds for multiple installation options and can be ducted or through the wall, making specification easy. Revive is also low maintenance since its market-leading Multi-Vortex™ technology does not require a filter and the highly sculpted interior actively repels dust, avoiding clogging, thus helping to avoid call backs. Revive also boasts reliability backed by up to seven years’ warranty.

Featuring Smart Sense™ intelligent technology Revive is quick and easy to install with the fan featuring a simple alpha numeric LED display which is clear and easy to read and a three-button menu for commissioning and data gathering. Smart Sense™ also provides real-time data via an intuitive interface to communicate the fan’s energy efficiency; a Day Logger which tracks how many days a fan has been running to ensure it is used as intended; and features an ambient response humidistat to avoid nuisance tripping. Tenants will appreciate that Revive has been designed to be powerful enough to remove moist air to avoid mould and condensation and ensure good IAQ, but at the same time quiet enough not to disturb them, while remaining energy efficient.

The H&V News Awards recognise and reward the achievements of the UK’s diverse heating and ventilating sector with the winners selected by an expert panel of judges. Attended by the biggest names in the sector the H&V News Awards have firmly established themselves as the awards for the building services industry.

For further information on the Sentinel Kinetic Advance MVHR and the Lo-Carbon Revive, as well as other products and services offered by Vent-Axia, telephone 0844 856 0590.

H+H and SIG Offsite collaboration helps meet housing demand

Celcon Elements

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.

https://www.hhcelcon.co.uk

Specifier Select – The building products resource for specifiers

Specifier Select is a building products resource for specifiers, showcasing the latest building products, projects, services and company profiles/announcements.

Specifier Select is published monthly and circulated to over 20,000 architects, architectural technologists, contractors, developers, interior designers and installers.

building product directory

Specifier Select is an effective tool, providing a fast and direct route to product manufacturers websites. The bespoke website is product grouped and presented in an easy to use, logical and attractive format with the additional benefit of a reader enquiry service.

To view the latest issue please visit www.specifierselect.co.uk

To be featured in the next issue, please contact me on 07973 507 929 or email Kirsty@L2Media.uk

Latest Schöck BBA Certification raises the bar

Schöck Isokorb BBA Certification

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

 

The VEKA UK Group secures Secured by Design for three more years

VEKA
Mark Barsby

Industry-leading PVC-U systems supplier, The VEKA UK Group, has been awarded membership once again of the national crime prevention initiative, Secured by Design (SBD), for both its VEKA and Halo brands.

The VEKA UK Group partnered with Secured by Design several years ago and has maintained its strong relationship with the team, thanks to a shared ethos of designing out crime at the product development stage.

Secured by Design was established in 1989 and works to reduce crime by bringing Police Forces, developers and planners together at the design stage to include security into the built environment, such as natural surveillance and landscaping, and by encouraging manufacturers of products, such as doors and windows, to attain SBD’s coveted ‘Police Preferred Specification’.

Mark Barsby, Accreditation Manager of The VEKA UK Group, explains: “’Designing out crime’ means that security features are incorporated within products during the design and development stage, rather than being an ‘add on’ to the finished product.

“VEKA and Halo have always taken this approach, with security, style and energy efficiency being primary concerns at the concept stage of a new product development. Our SBD ‘licence’ and display of the SBD logo helps us to illustrate to customers and specifiers our commitment to this initiative.

“Since Part Q of the Building Regulations came into effect in England in October 2015, we are seeing increasing relevance for enhanced security standards, particularly PAS 24. SBD plays a significant part in marking out those companies, like The VEKA UK Group, that go above and beyond when it comes to security.”

The SBD initiative cites some impressive results:

– SBD developments (those using products and materials that meet SBD Standards) are up to 75% less likely to be burgled and show a reduction of 25% in criminal damage compared to non-SBD sites.

– The additional cost of using SBD standards in the average home is only around £170.

– The Association of British Insurers has estimated that the introduction of SBD standards across the UK would bring more than £3.2 billion worth of savings to the economy over 20 years.

Mark added: “With Government White Papers on the housing market coming to the fore, and potential incentives emerging for the new build sector, we are very likely to see new housing developments in the near future – which will likely list an SBD requirement as part of the specification process.

“Security is a concern in any part of the country, but is perhaps at the forefront of more people’s minds in built-up and inner city areas. With government proposals encouraging ‘brownfield’ development sites, companies that carry the SBD licence are well placed to tender for such work. Here at The VEKA UK Group, we’re proud to demonstrate our continuing commitment to raising quality and improving security across the building, development and home improvement industries.”

SBD Development Officer Alfie Hosker was pleased to provide The VEKA UK Group with its renewed SBD licence: “They are a nationally recognised systems company and play a significant role in encouraging and working with fabricators to manufacture doors and windows to meet Police Preferred Specification standards in order to reduce crime and keep residents safe. I am delighted that they are continuing to work with us.”

VEKA plc, 01282 716611
www.vekauk.com
salesenquiry@veka.com

British Manufacturer Vent-Axia Wins at Prestigious CIBSE Awards

Vent-AxiaLeading British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia is celebrating winning ‘Energy Efficient Product or Innovation of the Year’ at the prestigious Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) Building Performance Awards 2017. Scooping the award for its revolutionary Sentinel Kinetic Advance Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR), the Sussex-based company received the accolade at Grosvenor House, Park Lane in London on Tuesday 7th February at an event that was attended by the biggest names in the industry.

Now in its 10th year, these respected awards recognise excellence in the built environment. This year over 750 people came to hear England International rugby star, Matt Dawson, announce the winners. The esteemed CIBSE Building Performance Awards recognise outstanding new and innovative products which significantly improve building performance. The awards focus on actual, measured performance, not design intent or performance specifications so only proven products are shortlisted and award winners are acknowledged as best in class.

Judged by a distinguished panel of industry leaders the ‘Energy Efficient Product or Innovation of the Year’ award recognises building services solutions that reduce the amount of energy used in buildings through the efficient use of energy by the innovation itself. Following a rigorous judging process the ground-breaking Sentinel Kinetic Advance was chosen as the winner of the award. The Judges were impressed by the Sentinel Kinetic Advance’s ingenious use of very modern technology, its ability to “deliver strong performance” as well as “ease of installation” and that internally it is made from all recycled materials. 

“We are delighted that our innovative Sentinel Kinetic Advance MVHR has won the “Energy Efficient Product or Innovation of the Year’ award at the CIBSE Awards 2017. To be recognised by the industry in this manner, and in such important awards for the built environment, is a real honour” said Ian Mitchell, Product Marketing Manager – New Build Residential,. “At Vent-Axia we are committed to innovation and continuous development and the Advance really is a new breed of MVHR unit.”

With best in class performance and offering near silent, energy efficient and high pressure operation, Advance is perfect for care homes and student accommodation as well as New Build residential properties. It extracts warm, moist air from ‘wet’ rooms through ducting which passes through the heat exchanger before being exhausted outside. Fresh incoming air is preheated via the integral heat exchanger which recovers over 93% of the heat energy that would otherwise be wasted.

Designed for air-tight thermally efficient new build properties, the Advance is the first UK-manufactured web-enabled App-controlled MVHR unit, providing energy efficient ventilation and pioneering control. Featuring groundbreaking commissioning and control via the App, Advance encourages best practice and high performance through simplified commissioning, saving installers time on site. USB functionality also allows pre-commissioning, thus saving time on developments with same specification builds.

There are many other benefits that this new technology brings. Firstly a key specification driver is efficiency. The Advance tops the PCDB list as the best performing MVHR system in its class, boasting a specific fan power of 0.38W/l/w with 93% heat recovery and airflow of 100l/s at 150Pa, offering high pressure development. This new breed of MVHR is not only efficient, it is also extremely quiet with trickle settings up to 40% staying below 20dBA, achieving the Holy Grail of high efficiency and low sound levels.

Offering a range of features that improve indoor air quality (IAQ) the Advance features a unique and innovative free App which residents can download onto their smartphones to allow them to control their IAQ. Via the App residents can boost the unit and view efficiencies and temperatures. Filters up to F7 grade ensure that even buildings in heavily urbanised areas can filter out most impurities, including damaging PM2.5 particles. A filter check warning tells building occupiers via the App or email when filters need changing, thus helping to maintain the quality of incoming air.

Developed for modern thermally efficient buildings, Advance also features a revolutionary programmable summer bypass to ensure year-round thermal comfort. The summer bypass is pioneering since it is fully automatic and truly intelligent, a first. The summer bypass is set for both comfort temperature and minimum external temperature. These settings enable the controls to determine whether it is winter or summer allowing it to run without resident intervention. 

For further cooling the Advance summer bypass has an evening purge feature that boosts early evening and then runs on a timer until about 10pm so there is no nuisance noise at night. Additional cooling is also available for periods of several days of high temperatures and warm nights. Here the Advance utilises a Night-Time Purge. This allows a building to be pre-cooled for the following day by taking advantage of cooler night-time temperatures.

For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit www.vent-axia.com. For further details visit on the CIBSE awards, visit www.cibse.org/building-performance-awards/2017-winners

Redland boosts tile manufacture with multimillion-pound investment

DuoPlainRedland – the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of pitched roof systems – has announced that it is to build a new manufacturing line for its plain-tile appearance product, DuoPlain, and large-format concrete tiles and slates. The multimillion-pound investment will help secure supply of these products into a UK market that is currently experiencing huge demand and extensive lead times.

The new line, which will come on stream later this year, will be located at the company’s Shawell plant, its most centrally located facility. Work on the installation is underway, and a number of new skilled jobs will be created when production commences.

Commenting on the announcement, Georg Harrasser, CEO of the Braas Monier Building Group, Redland’s parent, said: “This is a significant investment at an important time in the UK housebuilding industry. The new line gives us not only increased capacity, but also increased flexibility, improving our ability to meet the growing UK market demands for specific roof tile formats. This flexibility will be welcomed by the market as a whole, which is experiencing long lead times for these high-growth products”.

Andy Dennis, Country Manager UK & Ireland, added: “The drive to build more homes, fueled by Government targets and a generally buoyant housing market, has put enormous pressure on manufacturers like ourselves. The UK’s ability to build more homes is restricted by the availability of roof tiles and other construction materials. Demand currently outstrips supply, especially for large-format and plain-appearance tiles, which housebuilders have been increasingly adopting as their preferred formats”.

He continues: “The new line at Shawell demonstrates not only a commitment to our customers and the industry, but also shows the confidence that the Braas Monier Building Group has in Redland. We will, as a result of this investment, be better placed to meet the challenges faced by the UK housebuilding industry”.

www.redland.co.uk