Category Archives: Construction

Neaco glass balustrade maximizes view

The unobstructed outlook enabled by Neaco’s toughened glass panels makes them a popular balustrade specification for developments which enjoy impressive views. The latest example is a stunning collection of luxury apartments overlooking the River Trent in Nottinghamshire.

Handrails and balustrade have been precision-engineered in aluminium featuring a powder coated finish in one of Neaco’s standard metallic colours which combines superbly with tinted glass infills to bring a stylish modern aesthetic to balconies and communal terraces enjoying panoramic views across the river. The development features a total of 58 highly specified properties planned across a four-storey complex.

Neaco’s Spectrum range of handrails, balustrade, balconies and structural glass offers a comprehensive choice of modular components with the versatility to suit virtually any design requirement and all types of built environment.  Available in powder coated aluminium or stainless steel – or a combination of both – Spectrum is characterized by smooth, clean lines offering a high architectural aesthetic which is maintenance-free. In addition to glass the range includes a comprehensive choice of alternative infills, including rails, mesh, tension wire and perforated panels. Structural glass balustrade is free-standing and requires no supporting uprights. Modular assembly is achieved with internal fixtures requiring no welding or hot works.

Aluminium Spectrum is available in a wide variety of solid, metallic and detailed wood-effect finishes which are warm to the touch. For industrial environments the mill-finished Spectrum Genesis is extremely durable, fully recyclable and corrosion-free. Neaco’s diverse product range also includes a wide choice of glass-panelled Juliet balconies, railed Juliet balconies, glass-panelled step-out balconies, adaptive bathing facilities and aluminium open grilles for flooring, screening and shading applications.

Further information is available at www.neaco.co.uk

Bespoke ceiling adds unique touch to university refurbishment

The University of Birmingham is one of the UK’s leading Russell Group universities, featuring in the top 15 of the University League Tables 2017.

The leafy Edgbaston campus is undergoing a series of major building projects and Hunter Douglas, the international leader in architectural building products, played its role in the refurbishment of a lecture theatre in the Avon Room.

Hunter Douglas

Designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects, the overhaul included Hunter Douglas wall and ceiling panels in real Cherry wood veneer, plus motorised blinds for the room.

What made this scheme stand out was that the panels, which were manufactured from engineered solid wood (ESW), differed from the usual ceiling system.

Typically, these panels would come in sizes 600x600mm, 1200x600mm or 1200x300mm. However, to meet the design brief of the architect, Hunter Douglas produced six “wings”, each of which were 4x2m, made up of four 1x2m panels.

These were produced with 9mm “dummy” circular perforations, which allowed the panels to be invisibly fixed to the suspension system, says David Harris, General Manager of Hunter Douglas Architectural. “The ‘wings’ within the central ceiling are a very unusual feature and they also incorporate some linear light fittings,” he said.

Hunter Douglas

“We worked closely with the ceiling contractor, Elmsmere Engineering, as the installation of both the ceiling and wall panelling was very challenging and needed a great deal of care to ensure a perfect finish.

“The project demonstrates clearly that Hunter Douglas has the technical expertise to create tailored solutions for architects and specifiers, ensuring that every finished look is fresh and new.”

Hunter Douglas also provided 158m2 of wall panels for the front and rear of the theatre, made of the same MDF core with a real Cherry veneer.

Approximately 105m2 of the wall panels were non perforated, while the remaining 53m2 were produced with 7mm x 97mm slot pattern that helps to maximise acoustic absorption.

The panels were produced in a variety of dimensions, from 650mm x 800mm to 2240mm x 740mm, and were installed using invisible fixing clips around the perimeter of the panels. They also have a small bevel where they meet, offering a neat design detail.

Hunter Douglas also supplied 15 240v motorised blinds to the two side elevations of the lecture room. Each pewter-coloured blind is made from Star fabric, which has a 3% openness factor, and measures approximately 2.5m wide with a 2.5m drop.

https://www.hunterdouglas.com

First FiT show appearance for Reynaers

Reynaers FiT Show

Leading aluminium systems company Reynaers is planning on making a big splash for its first appearance at this year’s FiT Show.

It will be showcasing its range of aluminium window and door products at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in May and has some big, brand new systems that will feature on its stand, N10.

Marketing Manager Rebecca Cope said: “We will be making our mark at this year’s show with new products, which have been developed by our highly-regarded design team.

“Trade visitors will be able to find out about our comprehensive range of systems, and also how we can help provide the tools to market and sell them too.

“The show is taking place not far from our brand new HQ in Birmingham and we will have big products, a big stand and innovative products that have never been seen before. Watch this space for more news!”

Reynaers has helped to shape the urban landscape for more than 50 years and its products feature in some of the world’s most beautiful buildings. Find out more at www.reynaers.co.uk.

FiT 2017 takes place in Halls 6-8 at the NEC from 23-25 May. Further details are available from: Reynaers Limited on 0121 421 1999 or reynaersltd@reynaers.com.

The Accoya® cladding that’s exciting architects

As the UKs biggest independent distributor of timber and panel products, James Latham has announced the latest addition to its portfolio, a new range of charred Accoya® cladding.

Accoya cladding

James Latham has been a leading distributor of Accoya wood in the UK for more than six years and has seen its popularity grow significantly, to the point where it is now becoming the material of choice for exterior applications as it can be used for virtually anything, from windows to doors, decking to cladding and siding.

This latest innovative use of Accoya – developed by Exterior Solutions Limited – pays homage to the traditional Japanese technique of “Shou-Sugi-Ban” in which timber is burned to provide a beautiful, distinctive, unique and long lasting wood cladding and it has already made a big impact with architects.

Accoya cladding

Richard Mosson, Group Cladding and Decking Manager, James Latham, explained, “The reaction so far from the market and our customers who have seen Shou-Sugi-Ban is astonishing, it really does have the wow factor and the enquiries we are receiving are growing by the day.

“And because it has been developed using the most durable and stable timber available and has the credibility of a product that is the result of decades of research and development which brought together a long-established, extensively proven wood modification technique and leading-edge patented technology, I have no doubt in my mind that it will be a big success for us.”

Richard continued, “Charred timber cladding is becoming increasingly popular in the specification market and this is a modern application of the ancient Japanese art of burning timber to provide a beautiful and long lasting wood cladding. Traditional techniques are used to give uniqueness to each individual project and there are lots of finishes and textures available for both interior and exterior projects – from the traditional, highly charred, heavily textured looking cladding to the sleek and contemporary finish.”

Shou-Sugi-Ban Accoya Cladding is available across Lathams nationwide network of depots in finished dimensions of 19mm x 145mm (planed tongue and groove profile) and in three charring stylesShosai, Shizen and Tenki. Other section sizes and profiles are available on request.

For more information on Lathams full range of materials: phone 0116 257 3415, e-mail marketing@lathams.co.uk  or visit

www.lathamtimber.co.uk

Tameside Council goes au naturel at Ashton Market

Aggregate Industries

Charcon, the commercial hard landscaping division of Aggregate Industries, has successfully completed delivery of over 4,000m2 of natural stone to Ashton Market Square in Tameside, Greater Manchester.

Part of a masterplan to transform the historic square into a modern and vibrant place, Tameside Council were looking for a paving solution that would preserve the character of the area, add design interest and showcase the space at its best.

Inspired by Salford City Council’s successful Greengate public realm project, Tameside specified 4,100m2 of Italian Porphyry natural stone paving, including all of its ten distinct colour variations and hues. In addition to its striking aesthetics, Italian Porphyry was selected for its hard wearing, frost and skid resistant properties ensuring it would perform on durability in an area of high footfall.

Charcon attended multiple design meetings and provided technical laying and delivery support for the Council’s in-house contracting team. A well-established supply network in Northern Italy meant that sourcing the full range of colour variations from a variety of different quarries was no issue.

As a busy, active market place, open seven days a week, the Council wanted minimal disruption. Upgrade works had to be phased, with parts of the market closed off during certain stages and supporting traffic measures put in place. Partnering with local merchant, Benchmark Building Supplies, Charcon was able to store all of the natural stone to be supplied at their Ashton compound, calling off necessary stocks as required on the job just a couple of miles down the road.

Mike Davies, Category Manager for Charcon, said: “We were delighted to not only supply Tameside Council with the volume of Italian Porphyry natural stone required, in the full range of hues, but also to support them with design and delivery. Our partnership with Benchmark was also critical to ensure we were able to supply the project in a timely fashion. With natural stone taking care, attention and time to lay correctly, being able to call off smaller quantities at a time really assisted project delivery.

“Premium natural stone, such as our Italian Porphyry, is becoming more and more popular in public realm spaces. It’s distinctive and looks great, is incredibly hard wearing and is reasonably easy to maintain because of its low absorbance rate giving it higher resistance to staining. It’s a great choice for high footfall city centre applications.”

The redevelopment of Ashton Market will see the introduction of new stalls and kiosks, high quality landscaping and trees, a performance area, seating areas as well as new street furniture and lighting. The project will not only provide a brand new modern market for traders and shoppers but will also complement the multi-million pound “Vision Tameside” masterplan.

For further information about Charcon range of products, visit www.charcon.com or call 01335 372 222.

Why you need to tread carefully on fragile roofs

By Soni Sheimar, General Manager, Easi-Dec

Every year nine people on average fall to their deaths from fragile roofs or through roof lights. Many more suffer serious, life-changing injuries.

Falls through fragile roofs or materials usually occur on the roofs of factories, warehouses and farm buildings where workers are carrying out repairs, maintaining or installing equipment, cleaning gutters and skylights, or whilst carrying out general roof work.   All these accidents are fully avoidable through careful planning and ensuring safe working procedures.

roof safety

What is a fragile surface?

Work on fragile surfaces is high risk, and as a result, the HSE requires that effective precautions are taken for any form of work on or near fragile surfaces.  Accidents can be avoided as long as suitable equipment is used and those carrying out the work are provided with adequate information, training and supervision.

Access onto a roof is often required for maintenance, inspection, cleaning or general repairs.   Fragile surfaces such as the ones we are reading about are typically found on factories and warehouses and can include:

·     Roof lights and skylights

·     Corroded metal sheets

·     Non-reinforced fibre cement sheets

·     Roof slates and tiles

·     Glass such as wired glass

How to tread carefully

The principles of working on fragile surfaces are exactly the same as any other form of work at height, so if you apply the hierarchy of control you should be able to ensure that the work can be carried out safely. 

In an ideal world, the preferred option is to avoid working at height, but as we all know this isn’t always possible, so the next consideration would be to look at methods which would allow work to be carried out without actually stepping onto the roof itself, such as MEWPs.

If access onto the fragile roof cannot be overcome then you will need to look at how the area can be accessed safely and then put into place measures that can alleviate the distance and consequences of a potential fall.   

This can be done in a number of ways, such as protecting the edge of the roof with guardrail, using staging or platforms with edge protection on the roof to spread the load or by protecting fragile roof lights and skylights with a cover to prevent access onto the surface itself.  

roof safety

When access is needed to run from the eaves to the ridge, mesh walkways could be used to spread the weight across the support battens so that workers can safely move along the full length of the systems.

Lightweight mobile walking frames on the other hand are ideal for maintenance of valleys and box gutters on fragile roofs and can provide safe access for up to two people.

A responsible approach

Falls through fragile surfaces account for nearly a fifth of all fatalities as a result of a fall from height in the construction industry.  The worker in the case I highlighted at the start of this post was lucky in that he survived.  However he did suffer serious injuries to his back and sternum and wore a full body brace for six weeks following the incident.

Companies have a legal duty to ensure they have done all they can to prevent accidents and with the range of products available today, particularly for working on fragile materials, there really is no reason for these accidents to still be happening.

For more information, visit www.easi-dec.co.uk

Make sure you choose low maintenance timber windows and doors

Any homeowners considering buying timber windows and doors will know that there is always a high level of maintenance and upkeep required. External facings on timber windows and doors need regular coatings to ensure they do not rot, as well as making sure they look good for aesthetic reasons.

Accoya Wood

Traditional exterior windows and doors, in oak or other hardwoods, need to be checked several times a year, to ensure there are no cracks in paintwork or varnish. Wear and tear in exterior coatings means that damp and moisture can creep in, which can see the onset of rot if not seen to straight away. The movement in oak timber, particularly, can cause cracks within the wood and coatings.

The majority of homeowners don’t actually realise that they have the option to choose the appearance of timber windows but without the high maintenance aspect. This choice – Accoya wood – is hugely growing in popularity and is already well-known within the joinery industry.

Accoya Wood

Accoya is a modified sustainable wood product which is highly durable and therefore, very low maintenance compared to traditional timber windows and doors. The non-toxic Accoya process prevents any water bonding with the wood, greatly reducing the chance of rot and creating a highly stable product.

In fact, the Accoya wood is so durable it comes with a 50 year guarantee against rot above the ground. Its improved durability and coatings performance means Accoya offers significantly lower maintenance and upkeep costs over the lifetime of the product.

An additional benefit of using Accoya is it is a 40% better insulator than hardwoods, so using Accoya external doors and windows can offer significant savings in energy costs for homeowners.

Accoya is a non-toxic product and has won many sustainability awards for its environmental credentials.

You can find your nearest Accoya supplier by clicking here.

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

 

 

Top Tips for Safe Spring Maintenance

By Soni Sheimar, Easi-Dec General Manager

With the arrival of spring, and winter firmly behind us, now is the time for business owners and landlords to take a look at the roofs of their premises to see what damage the colder months left in their wake.

Whether you are a contractor or the owner of the premises, it is important you know the best way to safely inspect and maintain a building, to ensure the safety of yourself and any contractors in your care.

Planned maintenance can include both plant and equipment as well as repairs to the roof itself, dependent on the type of roof.

If you follow these top tips, you’ll be able to ensure you avoid any issues, such as serious injury or worse, when carrying out spring maintenance.

1. It doesn’t matter what height you’re working at, work at height is by nature dangerous, even more so in the months after winter, when all manner of horrible damage can be hiding away. When possible, try to avoid having to work at height, if this isn’t possible then look at alternative ways to do the work. For example, if cleaning windows, use a reach and wash system rather than a ladder. if you absolutely have to use a ladder then always take advantage of the Easi-Dec Ladder accessories range to provide further support.

Easi-Dec ladder safety

2. Make sure that you always carry out a risk assessment before starting the work to determine what equipment you will need and to identify who could potentially be in danger or be affected by your work. Is there the possibility that someone could be hit by falling objects?

3. When using a ladder, carry out pre-use checks to identify any defects or damages which could prevent safe use. Areas to inspect include the stiles, feet, rungs, steps/treads, platform and locking mechanisms. Make sure the ladder is long enough or high enough for the specific task. Make sure the ground is firm and level and clear of any debris.

4. Always make sure that the user is competent to carry out the work. Competency is essential. Only those who are fully trained in working at height and using equipment such as ladders safely will have the correct skills, knowledge and experience to work safely.

5. And perhaps most importantly of all, always plan the work carefully. This is even more vital after the winter months when there could be hidden risks.

Working at height can be dangerous at the best of times, so remember, if you are not sure about anything or do not believe you are competent or capable of carrying out the task at hand, always seek professional advice.

Good to know: Easi-Dec offers many different products and systems to make working at height all year round safer and more efficient.

http://easi-dec.co.uk/

Curved Cavity Wall Changes the Roof Pitch?

Preformed curved Cavitrays

The pitch of an abutting roof may be constant where it strikes a flat cavity wall, but if the wall is curved the actual angle of intersection changes throughout the slope. For a brief moment at the commencement of the slope the intersection may be horizontal, but as the wall turns the angle changes and those changes continue until the top of the roof slope.

Preformed curved Cavitrays by Cavity Trays of Yeovil are individually computer calculated to take into account the arc of the wall, the masonry coursing and the tray position up the slope. Each tray is numbered so the builder can literally lay by numbers – with assured interfacing and compatibility.

Cavitrays also take into account how the wall (and its flashings) will behave during storm conditions. A concave or convex wall accentuates the water-wash being blown across the curved surface. Provision must be made for weathering functionality into the direction of each flashing lap as well as with the direction of the lap.

The Cavitray lapping flashing arrangement provides a second layer of water arrestment and the flashing anchoring within a bosem jaw guards against capillary ingress.

The use of recessed pointing on any curved masonry is best avoided as it can act as a conduit along the wall surface. Flush pointing around flashings is favoured as it offers an uninterrupted consistent surface finish and promotes a solidity of masonry and tray bond. In terms of cost effectiveness, flush pointing also eliminates the need for further attention from the mason. Only the tray flashings require dressing later in the build programme.

Cavity Trays of Yeovil operates concept design and advisory services for which no charges are applied. The Company is the only cavity tray manufacturer awarded European Technical Approval.

http://www.cavitytrays.co.uk/

 

Cembrit PB provides ‘seamless’ base of render

Cembrit

Bicester Village, one of the UK’s major outlet shopping villages, has recently undergone a major extension. The work has added additional shopping space and car parking, and Cembrit PB has been used as a render-backer on the exterior facades of the extension.

Bicester Village receives visitors from across the world and the major works to extend the development began in August 2015. Set for completion in January 2016, the building work will add an extra twenty eight shops and over 500 parking spaces. Stockford Construction of Thame, Oxfordshire has a reputation for being one of the UK’s leading specialists in external render system installation working in close collaboration with internationally-renowned material manufacturers. Stockford installed 800m² of Cembrit PB to the steel frame structure and encapsulated it with the stunning MonoTherm TXF system manufactured and supplied by Monocouche Render Systems Ltd to achieve the decorative weather proof finish you see today at the premises.

“We were delighted with the performance of Cembrit’s PB board as it gave us a good, stable base for our external treatment,” comments Anthony Gordon, Operations Director. “The impressive dimensional stability and low water absorption ensured there was no expansion and contraction, so the project went very smoothly. We and the client are delighted with the results.”

Lightweight, tough and stable, Cembrit PB offers a solid base for render as well as tiling due to its excellent adhesion. The boards contain polystyrene beading, which greatly reduces the weight of the board in comparison with stone, block and concrete. Cembrit PB can be scored and snapped rather than requiring mechanical cutting, making for a simpler installation and user-friendly application. This was important benefit on this project as the shopping village has remained open throughout the construction work.

Cembrit PB’s double-wrapped structure maximizes stability at the butt joints and forms a tough structure to ensure a long-lasting result over the lifetime of the installation. Strengthened with nylon mesh, Cembrit PB also boasts an especially developed reinforced, chamfered edge to allow the board to be fixed within 10mm of its edge. Cembrit PB is also tried and tested in all climates across North America and Europe and is supported by both British Standard and North American performance tests. Highly resistant, Cembrit PB impedes both fungus and mould to sustain a healthy, durable environment.

Using skills built up over 80 years, Cembrit offers a wide range of fibre cement slates, corrugated sheets, and cladding and building board panels, as well as natural slates. Our factories operate Environmental Management Systems (EMS) to EN14001. Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) are available on all Cembrit manufactured ranges. Cembrit fibre cement slates are listed on the Greenbooklive.com register of environmental products. Quality levels at group factories are rigorously maintained to high standards with many products manufactured under the control of ISO 9001 and British Board of Agrément. Cembrit UK is a member of Cembrit Holding A/S of Denmark.

For further information on Cembrit visit www.cembrit.co.uk, email sales@cembrit.co.uk or call tel: +44 (0) 208 320 1184.

www.cembrit.co.uk