Optigreen, the specialist green roof systems supplier, have released an updated version of their fully comprehensive Technical Brochure.
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.
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.
The 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.”
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.
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.
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.
With temperatures soaring to scorching levels across the UK, off come the shirts on many building sites throughout the country, as workers attempt to deal with the intense heat. Whilst this might feel like a good idea at the time, this can often put them at an even greater risk of skin cancer.
The Imperial College London carried out a survey which showed 48 deaths and 241 cases of melanoma skin cancer each year are caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun at work, and construction workers account for a staggering 44 per cent of these deaths.
Katie Prestidge, who is running roofing systems provider Marley Eternit’s Safe in the Sun Campaign, said: “These latest findings show that there is no room for complacency when it comes to sun safety on site. Most people are careful about applying sun cream when they are abroad on holiday, but wouldn’t necessarily think of taking the same precautions when spending seven hours outside in the summer at work yet, it is just as, if not more, dangerous.
“It is thought that working in the sun could lead to one death and around five new cases of melanoma each week. Yet, 90% of all skin cancer deaths are preventable if workers on site take simple, sun safety precautions.”
With these shocking new figures in mind, we have put together a list of simple, easy-to-follow tips which can help you stay safe in the sun, and may prevent the development of a serious condition such as melanoma in the long term.
> Instead of removing clothes to beat the heat, try to wear long, loose clothing, made from close woven fabric, as this protects your skin from UV rays.
> Make sure you protect your neck and head. 80% of skin cancers develop here, so covering these areas can go a long way to preventing skin cancer. Wear a hat with a brim or flap to cover your ears as well as the back of your neck. Aim for fabrics which have a UPF of 30+
> Avoid the midday sun if possible. UV levels are highest from April until mid-September, so try to stay in the shade during breaks, specifically between 11am and 3pm.
> Despite common belief, having a tan does not protect you from further sun damage. Always make sure you use a high factor sunscreen and reapply regularly. Though this seems obvious, many people don’t apply enough protection to exposed areas or leave enough time for the cream to soak in before going out.
> Drinking plenty of water keeps you from getting dehydrated, and keeps your skin healthy.
> Check your skin often: catching melanoma earlier improves the chances of any treatment, so keep an eye out for any irregular moles or spots. If you find anything out of the ordinary, see your doctor as soon as possible. Moles are the most aggressive form of skin cancer so pay extra attention to these.
> Check the UV index regularly. There are apps which can give you the UV rating as part of the weather forecast, or you can visit the Met Office website.
Remember, 90% of all skin cancer occurrences are preventable, and following the advice in this article will go a long way to keeping you, or your workers, safe in the heat. Click hereto view or download our safe working in the sun infographic.
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.
City 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
The road outside Derriford Hospital has been widened to allow buses to travel in both directions, helping to reduce congestion outside the main entrance and making bus journeys to and from the hospital quicker and more reliable. The scheme will provide better waiting areas for bus and taxi passengers and those getting dropped off or picked up by car, four additional bus stops, and widened footpaths to provide more space for waiting passengers.Developed in partnership with Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, the scheme cost just over £2 million and was part funded through the Heart-of-the-South-West Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
The Derriford Hospital Interchange scheme is part of a master plan of highway improvements on and around the city’s ‘northern corridor’, connecting with the new Marjon Link Road and complementing other schemes such as the Derriford Transport Scheme, where construction is now under way.
A cost effective lifetime cost was the key aspect of the project, along with a robust system which would never need to be replaced as there is a high level of trafficking within the area; Derriford hospital is Plymouth’s 2nd busiest bus interchange, and the constant bus overrun meant a high loading drainage solution was crucial.
Marshalls’ Concrete topped Drexus Pave Drain was chosen as it provides a cost-effective solution, which is robust enough to withstand frequent heavy vehicle overrun. Even with the heavy trafficking, the system will never need to be replaced keeping the lifetime costs extremely low.
Through Marshalls’ concrete expertise and heritage in natural stone, the company developed Drexus Pave Drain to complement its most popular paving products. By having a coordinating top unit, the drainage can blend seamlessly with the surrounding paving, with no need to break up the overall aesthetic with a traditional grated solution, whilst also retaining an excellent inlet and loading capacity.
Engineer Amey utilised Marshalls’ complimentary design service for the drainage packaging of the scheme which ensured a fast turnaround. This was important as the scheme was delayed by 3-4 months before construction works could proceed, which affected travel in the surrounding area, so speed of construction was essential.
Marshalls was ultimately able to deliver a drainage solution which met all the necessary requirements outlined by the client, and which is tough enough to withstand the heavy trafficking throughout its lifetime.
Industry-leading PVC-U systems supplier The VEKA UK Group has demonstrated its commitment to the commercial sector once again. The Burnley-based company has invested a significant amount in creating highly intelligent, data rich, parametric, three dimensional models of its most popular systems for the Building Information Modelling (BIM) sector in order to benefit architects, specifiers, engineers, designers and developers.
These new models are hosted on bimobject.com, arguably the World’s best known content platform of this kind. This makes them easily accessible to all, along with the relevant, up-to-date technical spec information, meaning that a commercial user can drop these products into designs and plans quickly and simply.
The VEKA UK Group’s Head of Commercial Richard Garland explains: “The VEKA UK Group has always invested heavily in research, development and testing so that our high quality systems meet all the relevant specification requirements you would expect from a World-leading brand. This makes our products absolutely ideal for commercial applications.
“From a manufacturer’s point of view, these models and associated data are BIM Level 2 compliant and meet the requirements set out in PAS 1192-2:2013.
“These 3D objects are intelligent pieces of data that maintain their proportions when resized for various project plans and can help streamline information sharing and informed decision making when it comes to the final specification process. The information-rich models improve the quality of information provided at the design and construction phases to save costs by eliminating waste.
“The VEKA UK Group has always been committed to investing in plant, people and technology in order to support our customers, and this is the latest in a long line of investments in our commercial offering. We are one of the founding members of the BIM4M2 which forms part of the UK Government’s BIM Task Group and our staff have the relevant training carried out in conjunction with the BRE. We are also proud to support architects, engineers, designers and developers with a host of services, including everything from CAD feasibility drawings and RIBA-approved CPD seminars, to technical downloads, specification templates and more.”
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 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.
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.
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.
For more information on the complete Vicaima collections visit www.vicaima.com
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.
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.
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.