Construction Specialties’ (C/S) advanced internal protection systems have been specified as part of the Barts and The London New Hospitals Redevelopment Scheme being undertaken by Skanska which is the UK’s largest and most complex hospital redevelopment programme to date. Once complete, the state-of-the-art healthcare facilities will be among the best and most prestigious in Europe, with first rate interior environments that reflect the quality of its clinical care.


Hospitals in the trust that will benefit from the redevelopment include St Bartholomew’s (Barts) and The Royal London. C/S and its in-house installation team, Conspec Contracts, have provided and installed a bespoke range of solutions in both hospitals to meet the highest hygienic, disability and sustainability criteria.

The New Hospitals project is being carried out in phases. At St Barts Phase 1, which is now complete, included the construction of the new Cancer Centre of Excellence. As part of phase two, the second half of the hospital is currently being developed and will accommodate the Cardiac Centre of Excellence.

Phase 1 works at The Royal London Hospital are still under way with Conspec Contracts due to complete the installation of C/S products on the project in June. The new hospital will house the HQ of the London Air Ambulance, one of the UK’s largest children’s hospitals and one of Europe’s largest Renal Units and will open in spring 2012. Global completion of Barts and The London is due in Spring 2016.

Ian Dodds, Project Director at Skanska explained: “We worked closely with architect HOK International to ensure that the project’s internal finishes would meet the highest possible standards in hygiene, as well as have a durable and sustainable finish that would stand up to the rigours of day-to-day life in different areas of the hospital. Having worked with C/S previously, we knew the company would supply us with a range of solutions that would more than deliver.

“C/S’s installation team, Conspec Contracts installed the interior solutions with speed and ease. It is a real benefit to be able to rely on a team that has an in-depth knowledge of the products and their performance capabilities.”

C/S products that have been specified for the whole PFI project include Acrovyn impact protection, Wallglaze hygienic coatings, Pedisystems entrance matting and Allway expansion joint covers.

From the Acrovyn range, a selection of profiles and sheeting has been used to meet the protection requirements of different hospital areas. Two rows of CR200 crashrails were installed in FM areas and disposal holds to protect the walls from the impact caused by heavily laden trolleys. Part M compliant HR6CS handrails and CR200 crashrails were used in the main circulation areas, while HR6CS handrails and TP200 rub rails where installed in reception areas. Patient bedrooms, recovery areas and pre-operational areas featured BL300M vertical bed locators while SM20 and SM20 135° corner guards and Acrovyn sheeting were used throughout the hospitals.

Wallflex hygienic coating from the Wallglaze range was applied in operating theatres and anaesthetic rooms because of its durability, ease of maintenance and anti-microbial properties, which remain effective for the whole life of the product.

Pedigrid entrance matting was specified for all hospital entrances to provide efficient dirt and moisture removal. In addition, at The Royal London Allway Wall Expansion Joint Covers were installed on either side of the link bridge joining the two main hospital towers.

For more information on Construction Specialties’ products, please call 01296 652827, e-mail or visit

Chiltern International Fire addresses passive fire protection issues in popular training day

Chiltern International Fire (CIF) will stage a further ‘Passive Fire Protection Explained’ training day on 27th October 2011, with live fire demonstrations adding visual impact.

CIF Chief Operating Officer Jon Osborn said the event was designed to bring clarity to the issues surrounding passive fire protection (PFP) ‘for those whose day- to-day roles bring them into contact with this specialist area. We believe that everyone in the supply chain should take responsibility for ensuring fire safety, from the architect/designer and specifier, to the product manufacturer/supplier and main contractor.’

Wilf Butcher, Chief Executive Officer for the Association for Specialist Fire Protection (ASFP), who attended the course in May, said:  ‘The development of education in this specialist area is of paramount importance, both for the end user and the installer of PFP products. As the ASFP, we would also underline the importance of independent monitoring of installation through third-party certification.’

‘Passive Fire Protection Explained’ will take place on 27th October 2011 at CIF’s High Wycombe headquarters. Book online at

The Wood Awards – growing in stature

 TRADA’s senior consultant architect Patrick Hislop, senior partner at Purcell Miller Tritton and chairman of the Wood Awards Judges Michael Morrison, discuss how the use of timber is growing from strength to strength.The Wood Awards is a flagship for wood in the best of British architecture, furniture and design. Its message of inspiration and sustainability is backed every year by the stunning entries which use an impressive range of domestic and international wood species and wood-based products, and with 348 entries, 2011 has proved to be a record-breaking year.

Patrick Hislop, TRADA’s senior consultant architect
As a former judge of the Carpenters Awards, the predecessor to the annual Wood Awards, I am very aware how the Awards have changed and expanded over the years, but also how the entries now reflect both the changes in attitude to the use of wood, and the technical developments that have occurred since that time.

In terms of change of attitude, the biggest difference is that the general use of wood is now much more part of the mainstream in architectural design. Using wood, whether for structure, cladding, windows or doors, is no longer exceptional in the UK, but has come much closer in practice to the situation elsewhere in Europe. A significant reason for this is the much greater awareness amongst architects of the environmental advantages of using wood, which, besides being reflected in legislation, also resonates well with inherent concerns about designing sustainably. This has overtaken the early concerns of the 90s against using wood because it involved ‘’cutting down trees’’.


These days, hardly a building illustrated in the journals does not now include some form of timber cladding, whether in Britain or abroad, a trend reflected in the Wood Awards entries.The majority of these designs still choose various species of softwood, albeitin increasingly imaginative ways, but as timber treatment technology and innovation develops, the pool of likely species continues to widen.

An obvious difference in recententries compared to the past is in the number of timber structures being submitted. This is reflected not only in an increased use of laminated wood, but also of other engineered wood products such as LVL, composite beams and cross-laminated timber panels,  all of which are relatively recent innovations. Possibly UK engineers are becoming less resistant to using timber generally, but one reason for this may be that many of these products are more predictable than solid wood and also come from manufacturers who provide sufficient engineering data to back their products. Even the fairly conservative UK timber frame industry is developing alternative manufacturing methods and materials, taking advantage of these new engineered products and other technical developments, and the Wood Awards have definitely been a driver in this.

Michael Morrison, Purcell Miller Tritton and chairman of the Wood Awards judges
When summarising the judging for last year’s Wood Awards I said that I hoped they would go “from strength to strength”. As the judges faced the daunting task of whittling down this year’srecord 348 entries to a manageable shortlist of 30, I was reminded that it is good advice to be careful what you wish for.

It has been a splendid year for wood. To have more than doubled the number of entries of such high quality and diversity is a credit to everyone in the industry which provides us with such an aesthetic and versatile material, but it did make the compiling of the shortlist, and choosing the winners, even harder.

The vast range of possibilities of timber as a constructional material were on display from the impressive Open Academy in Norwich, which is the largest building in the UK constructed from CLT, to the long span of Scottish larch used to create Far Moor Bridge in Yorkshire. 


We were privileged to see the Velodrome at the Olympic Park — a stunning building with meticulously applied Western red cedar cladding, and surely the most memorable building on the Olympic site. In other years this would have been a sure-fire winner, but this year it was edged out of contention by the Brockholes Visitor Centre near Preston and the Apex Auditorium in American white oak in Bury St Edmunds.


All the judges who visited Brockholes agreed it was a special piece of “place making”,and the use of timber is wholeheartedly and carefullymanaged in every detail.  But there is no doubt that our Gold Award winner – the Rothschild Foundation in Buckinghamshire – is a very special building indeed. A lovely design, a clever timber structure andsome wonderful craftsmanship.



A successful competition in a specific material, such as the Wood Awards, leads by example and is a real inspiration. Wood and wood products are in a unique position with a beautiful and truly natural building material which has huge environmental advantages, and the timber industry needs to maximise on this.

2011 has been a bumper year with an outstanding crop of entries. Whatever the reason for this – whether it’s because we are slowly working our way out of recession or simply that more architects, designers, contractors and clients are choosing to work with wood – it is clearly to the benefit of us all.

GAI Training Course Success

19 employees from Leaderflush Shapland have been involved in the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers Diploma (GAI) training programme achieving an overall course pass rate of 95%.


The GAI is solely dedicated to promoting the interests of the whole architectural ironmongery industry; the syllabus for the training programme is unique and leads to the UK’s only recognised qualification in ironmongery specification. No other scheme offers such a broad knowledge and understanding of architectural ironmongery.

The course takes 3 years to complete; the first two years dedicated to building up a sound understanding of the ironmongery products available and the third concentrating on the industry’s law and finance together with a comprehensive scheduling exam.

The training was available to all employees with applications coming from various departments including sales, estimating, scheduling, technical, purchasing and the shop floor as well as other areas of the group such as Longden and Fitzpatrick.

Leaderflush Shapland’s Architectural Hardware Manager, David Ratcliffe commented, “As part of the strategy to increase our sales of doorset related ironmongery, we looked for individuals to undertake the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers distance learning course. We were keen to develop our own internal talent to provide sound product knowledge and a technical service to reinforce our commitment to supply a complete doorset solution. Since the course started back in 2007 we have had 19 new diploma holders including 2 award winners.”

Training such as this is a key part of Leaderflush Shapland’s support and development programme which ensures that employees are skilled to do their jobs and offer the best service, information and technical expertise possible.

For further information about Leaderflush Shapland, the leading performance doorset manufacturer, call 01773 530 500 or visit the website


As a national distributor of Accoya®, James Latham has seen sales of this highly durable and dimensionally stable certified softwood steadily increase.

Lathams’ has a strong track record in successfully marketing new and innovative products and Accoya® is now available from all ten of its distribution points covering the UK.

Accoya® is a high performance product, which can be safely recycled and is as impressively durable as the highest quality tropical hardwoods.  Produced using modified fast growing species, Accoya® is a quality, long lasting product that is suitable for a wide range of external joinery applications


Accoya® is also helping to protect the world’s precious hardwood resources and is guaranteed for 50 years in exterior use and 25 years when used in the ground. This long life also provides an added benefit – helping to reduce carbon emissions.

Chris Sutton, Director at James Latham, said:  “As well as our established customer base of joiners who are increasingly opting for Accoya®, we’ve also seen it open up opportunities with new customers as demand for sustainably modified products continues to grow. Whether for windows, doors, decking, cladding or other joinery applications, it’s a fantastic material for external specification and fits perfectly with our already established range of sustainable products.”

To learn more about Latham’s complete product range please visit or by calling: 0116 257 3415.

Independent Monitoring of Innovative Glasgow House Delivers Excellent Results

The Glasgow House project, an innovative prototype housing development in the West of Scotland, which aimed to significantly reduce energy consumption costs and address fuel poverty, has been applauded by authorities after monitoring outcomes confirmed it is performing far better than current regulatory levels require.


The pilot project, a three-way partnership between PRP Architects, City Building and Glasgow Housing Association, consists of two masonry houses, and two highly insulated timber frame houses.

Both house types used the James Jones & Sons’ IntelliRoof, which combined highly insulated JJI-Joist pre-fabricated roof sections; 300mm Rockwool flexi insulation; and either concrete or rubber roof tiles, the latter manufactured from recycled car tyres. Designed to deliver U-values of 0.13W/m^2K, the roof structure also offered the potential of a highly insulated loft space for future adaption.

Jim Cooke, City Building’s Head of Design and Partnerships, explains that the IntelliRoof’s capability to host a ‘room in the roof’ made specifying the product an easy choice:


“It’s what we like to call the Glasgow House’s ‘hidden secret’ – from the outside it looks like a two-storey building, but thanks to the IntelliRoof we have been able to accommodate a third storey.”

Bryan Galloway, City Building’s Head of New Housing Construction also paid tribute to the IntelliRoof’s pre-fabricated manufacturing process:

 “Attaching a roof to a building is usually a stick-by-stick process, but we were simply able to crane in the IntelliRoof, which saved a significant amount of time. It also reduced the risks associated with on-site construction.”

For further information please contact 01309 696 116

or visit   

Unilin Systems completes the square with E-cube

Leading manufacturer of structural insulated panels, Unilin Systems, has supplied the University of Ghent with factory-built thermally efficient sandwich panels for its E-cube project; a step towards affordable DIY housing that is solar-powered.

Ghent University’s unique two-storey home was designed as part of the U.S Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011. The competition challenges 20 of the world’s universities to design, build and operate solar powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.



Specified for the whole building envelope, the wall and roof panels comprised boards with a total thickness of 204mm – 180mm PIR (polyurethane foam) and 12mm plywood.  For the floors of the E-cube, which demand additional support thicker plywoodboards of 18mm were used within the same 204mm thickness of panel. The panels are highly thermal efficient and were one of the few SIPs systems that meant the University could design the E-cube house to the Passive House standard. Furthermore, the factory built panels can also be fitted without specialist knowledge, helping the E-cube to uphold its DIY construction methodology.

The theory of the E-cube project fits well with Unilin Systems approach to providing innovative solutions to modern construction and social problems that can work towards a better future.  Therefore, the manufacturer’s involvement in the project was a natural one:

“E-cube presents a potential solution to the problems that we face today and that we will almost certainly have to address in the future,” explains Kris Bulckaen, sales director, Unilin Systems. “The DIY methodology of the house is a big step in our systems approach to construction and proves that with factory engineered solutions such as our SIPs panels it is possible to build thermally efficient housing quickly, simply and at a low cost.”

Unilin Systems has been furthering the advancement of SIPs for 30 years and invests heavily in continuous research and development to ensure that it offers the best possible performance from its range of roof and wall panel solutions. Manufactured to tolerances that reduce waste on-site, the panels are built on a highly automated production system that helps to minimise energy and material consumption.Unilin Systems offer a range of insulation materials for its SIPs panels, including mineral wool and timber fibres, as well as a range of interior finishes.

Unilin Systems have a dedicated UK support team on hand to help with further information and any enquiries. 

Contact Unilin Systems on 0032 (0)56 73 50 91

e-mail or visit 

Setting the scene

David Chipperfield’s Architects specified Sto’s seamless acoustic ceilings at the world-class Turner Contemporary in Margate, Kent. This helped to create an atmosphere of tranquillity to complement the natural lighting and views which inspired JMW Turner’s work over a century ago.


The StoSilent Panel acoustic ceiling system installed with StoSilent A-Tec Alu Panels within the Clore Learning Studio minimises visitor noises that reverberates from any sound-reflectant surfaces. Sprayed with StoSilent Superfine, this provides a seamless finish that perfectly compliments the Turner Contemporary’s crisp design. A smooth StoSilent Top finish was used for the acoustic ceilings in the cafeteria.

The work was carried out by David Andrews Construction Ltd. Contractor Terry Matthews explains: ‘The effects of adding acoustics are very noticeable indeed. The StoSilent A-Tec Alu Panels are far better than a simple plasterboard ceiling as the result is an aesthetically pleasing and seamless finish.’

Neil Brownlie, Sto’s Product Manager for Accoustics adds: ‘We are very pleased to be involved with the Turner Contemporary. The feedback from the visitors has been incredible. The reverberation time within the Clore learning Studio was under 1 second. This compared favourably with over 3 seconds in the other galleries of equal size and shape where no Sto ceilings were installed. The public instantly notice the difference that our acoustic cielings make to the quality of their visit.’

The Turner Contemporary is named after the famous painter JMW Turner who often visited the seafront in Margate for artistic inspiration. The Clore Learning Studio facilitates the ‘We are Curious’ learning programme which offers schools a unique approach to learning within a gallery. The StoSilent Panel seamless acoustic ceilings help to create the perfect environment for learning and creativity.


Sto Ltd
Tel: 01256 337602  Fax: 01256 810887

PVC-U recycling in windows

The ‘R’ Word

VEKA plc Sales & Marketing Director Colin Torley says the road to acceptance of recycled windows was not an easy one.

Not many years ago, no prestige consumer brand manufacturer in their right mind would own up to making their products out of ‘scrap’. Today, even a brand as globally revered as BMW shouts it out with pride.

It was just the same in the PVC-U window industry and, little over a decade ago, we at VEKA were not alone in distancing ourselves from the ‘R’ Word – in the days when the ‘R’ Word was not ‘Recycling’ but ‘Regrind.’ It doesn’t matter that they are nearly the same thing to the analytical chemist; they are worlds apart to our customers.

It is no coincidence that VEKA, like BMW, originates in Germany. For years, that country’s politicians and industry leaders has been utterly committed not just to recycling but all facets of environmental responsibility while, until recently, such talk in the UK was dismissed as the ramblings of sandal-wearers.

In the last few years, we all watched with frustration as housing bodies and other commercial clients stood cautiously, each waiting for another to be the first to sign to a recycled window. We are very proud to say that when that leap of faith was made – by the Places for People housing body – it was a VEKA window that was specified. More recently, Luton Borough Council became the first local authority in the UK to commit to using only PVC-U replacement windows – again the Infinity system.

But for us that was far from the beginning of the greening of PVC-U.

We were already recycling 50,000 tonnes a year of PVC-U and had been since 1993 at the world’s first purpose-built plant of its kind, at Behringen in Germany, where the product is so pure it can be put straight back into window frames. We had seen the first BFRC ‘A’ Rating awarded to a VEKA window. And of course, we have now brought all our recycling know-how into a completely new system under the name of Infinity, which has up to 80% recycled PVC-U locked in a co-extruded virgin outer skin for unsurpassed colour stability. The product is completely indistinguishable from conventional profile, in looks and performance, and has its own distinctive branded protective tape to avoid any mix-up by fabricators or installers.

But why go to all this trouble in the first place? To answer that, you have to think back to the earlier days of PVC-U windows. The fashion was for disposable everything, from razors and nappies to mountains of plastic packaging and no one cared as long as landfill dumps were invitingly empty and there was plenty more oil in the ground.

The transformation from that mindset has happened easily, though gradually, but the acceptance of a quality, recycled window has been a different matter and I believe the battle for hearts and minds is far from over. The ground-breaking moves by Places for People and Luton Borough represented a courageous step that has opened the door for other bodies. But how will the consumer take to it? Even for a system supplier like VEKA with a strong commitment to the social sector, the core business is still the domestic market and there is every chance that 20million householders will have 20million different opinions on the matter. Just a few weeks ago however, we celebrated the first installation of a recycled window into a UK private house – again Infinity naturally – and are confident that, seeing someone else’s toe in the water, others may take it to their hearts as naturally as they have to a recycled carrier bag.

It could even open up the entire concept of PVC-U to the most hardcore tree-huggers who wouldn’t otherwise be seen dead using the stuff.

At the most optimistic, I might say the question is not ‘whether’ but ‘when.’ But I do know that whatever the future holds for recycling in PVC-U, we at VEKA are ready and waiting to lead the market just as we have done in so many other things.

Tarkett Accessories provide the perfect finish

Tarkett is a worldwide leader in the provision of flooring solutions and offers a range of accessories to add the perfect finishing touch to the look of any floor. Designed exclusively for the building industry, Tarkett’s accessories range is a complete package of solutions to ensure that you have the right product, for the right place and at the right price.

Tarkett accessories can be used with all Tarkett heterogeneous and homogeneous vinyl and linoleum floorings. The range includes a wide variety of coordinating and contrasting colours and technical features, and is completed by Tarkett vinyl and linoleum welding rods.


Tarkett’s professional quality adhesives, such as the new TarkoSpray, allow fast, efficient installation of new flooring. The aerosol spray ensures even coverage, while using up to 80% less glue than traditional trowel-applied adhesives. Welding can be done immediately and the finished floor is ready for use the same day.

Tarkett stair profiles help to enhance and protect flooring on stairs, providing an additional level of safety and accessibility for users. Available in PVC and aluminium, they can be used to co-ordinate with the flooring or to act as a contrast for better visibility. They provide a tactile warning, alerting users to the presence of stairs, with slip-resistance as they descend. Tarkett also offers a wide range of wall bases for both technical and decorative purposes. Welded to the floorcovering and glued to the wall, Tarkett PVC skirtings create a seamless, watertight finish. 

A smooth passage from one floor type or height to another is important for safety and comfort, and for ease of use by people and wheeled traffic. Tarkett’s accessories range includes a wide choice of aluminium and PVC threshold and transition profiles in different sizes for use with all types of flooring. They provide an easy and efficient solution to eliminating abrupt variations in flooring thicknesses and creating a safer environment.

With over 25 years of experience worldwide in wetroom design, Tarkett provides a complete solution including floor and wall-coverings, drains, etc. Tarkett wetrooms put users at the heart of the design process to offer a combination of well-being and practicality ideal for sectors such as sport, education, healthcare and aged care, as well as for people with physical impairment.

Whether for decorative or practical purposes, Tarkett produces its accessories range to the same high standards as its floors. Every accessory is made to last as long as the floors they are used with, meeting all the current standards and regulatory requirements for safety and accessibility.

For product information contact: The Customer Services Department, Tarkett Limited, Lenham, Maidstone, Kent ME17 2QX.  Tel: 01622 854040.





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