North-West-based Total Vibration Solutions (TVS) is completing work on two of the country’s most prestigious education sector projects, highlighting the company’s emerging position as one of the country’s fastest-growing acoustics specialists.

TVS was selected by main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine to design, install and commission 2,169m2 of concrete and steel reinforced acoustic jack-up floors over five levels of new a state-of-the-art contemporary building for the UK’s largest music school Manchester’s renowned Chetham’s School of Music.Currently nearing completion, it is thought to be the largest acoustic jack-up floor project of its kind ever undertaken in the UK, involving the complete isolation of 58 individual music rooms and a 100-seat recital hall.


The acoustic floors, constructed of 110-mm deep steel-reinforced concrete, were subsequently jacked-up 50mm to allow acoustic separation between the finished room floor and the original building sub-slab.The recital hall also required the most stringent acoustic performance levels. It has a 150mm steel-reinforced concrete floor supported by 366 individual jack-up mounts to support the weight and high point loadings from steel columns supporting the roof beams, mezzanine floor and walls of this box-within-a-box structure.

In the Midlands, meanwhile, a multi-million-pound Performance Hub is nearing completion on the University of Wolverhampton’s Walsall campus integrating music, dance and drama facilities. Once again, TVS was selected, this time by main contractor, VINCI Construction, to provide 1,633m2 of acoustic floating floors for the drama rooms, music rehearsal facility, recording studios and black box theatre. The work involved equipping 23 rooms with a 160mm deep timber acoustic floor, one room with a 350mm deep acoustic floor and 5 further rooms with a 160mm deep acoustic concrete flooring system. TVS was selected not only because its floating floor system met the University’s stringent acoustic specification but also, importantly in these budget-constrained times, because its tender offered the university significant cost savings.


Ceilings in the building were also supported on TVS acoustic hangers, specified by acoustic consultants ARUP, allowing British Gypsum’s MF ceiling system to be installed as normal but helping it to offer much greater acoustic isolation efficiency.

TVS Managing Director Paul Lafone, who has more than 20 years’ experience in engineering, noise and vibration suppression, says the prestige projects demanded cutting-edge solutions. “Both projects called for the latest acoustic design techniques and materials so we were delighted to have been chosen.”

His Haslingden-based company is currently overseeing a string of contracts ranging from the isolation of a transformer room in the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, to sound and vibration solutions for health clubs and hotels across the UK.

Total Vibration Solutions Ltd

Unit 9, The Courtyard, Grane Road, Haslingden, Rossendale

Lancashire BB4 4QN. Tel: +44(0) 1706 260 220

Stormsaver takes centre stage

 Stormsaver, the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of rainwater harvesting systems, has won a new contract with Harrogate International Centre.
The centre is currently expanding its exhibition offer with the addition of two new exhibition halls due to open later this year. The £13 million development will provide greater exhibition capacity and increased flexibility for exhibitors and conference providers.

Stormsaver has been contracted to supply a non-pressurised 23,000L above ground rainwater harvesting system. It is predicted to collect approximately 833 m3 of rainwater and save an estimated £1,900 per annum, drastically reducing water bills and reliance on mains water supply.

The expansion project is scheduled for completion in August 2011 and will be opened shortly afterwards.

For further information about Stormsaver or the company’s rainwater harvesting solutions visit or phone 0844 884 0015.


Ash & Lacy Publish New Warranty Guide

Ash & Lacy Building Systems has produced a comprehensive guide to their unique AWM Warranty scheme, which offers the client confidence in their “as built” products and systems.

Entitled “Your Building – Freely Ashured”, the guide is aimed at providing construction professionals with an overview of all the company’s warranty options.

The guide primarily focuses on the AWM Protector Warranty. This is available free of charge and provides an independent drawing and design review. Weekly inspections are carried out to audit workmanship and verify compliance with current building regulations and good working practice.

“Your Building – Freely Ashured” explains how the Protector Warranty significantly differs from standard types of warranty.

Time is taken to outline enhanced warranty schemes available from Ash & Lacy, such as Pioneer and Pathfinder.

The reader is also guided through the Ashure Partnership scheme. This enables Ash & Lacy to work closely with suppliers and customers to provide a complete service and total peace of mind to the building owner.

The guide is now available to download from the Ash & Lacy Building Systems Website –

Lamilux rooflights now available in the UK

Daylight & Ventilation Solutions (DVS) are proud to introduce Lamilux rooflights and roof glazing to the U.K. market. Expansion into the U.K. now sees Lamilux rooflights being supplied and installed into over 20 countries.


DVS have many years’ experience in the rooflight industry and Lamilux have been manufacturing rooflights since 1955 – and so together they are fast becoming one of the industry’s leading authorities and suppliers.

With a comprehensive product portfolio ranging from rooflight domes to large area roof glazing and barrel vaulted rooflights to premium aluminium framed glass rooflights, DVS can offer a solution for almost any application. All rooflights can be supplied as a fixed or opening model, with options for natural comfort ventilation or smoke and heat e xhaust ventilation in accordance to EN 12101-2.






These quality daylight systems have many applications including; industrial and commercial buildings, education and healthcare projects, community and amenity facilities, retail and residential.

All products are manufactured in Germany to the exacting standards that we have come to expect from German engineering and continual research and development ensures compliance with all current regulations. Total product U-values are available for all DVS rooflights and have been calculated to the international standard EN ISO 10077-2, so can be completely verified.

DVS offer a complete range of services including; supply only, supply and installation, site survey and consultation service, specification assistance and certified CPD seminars to architects.


DVS have experienced technical advisors that regularly meet with architects and contractors to offer detailed specification assistance.

If you would like more information about the product range or book a meeting, please call 01284 749051 or visit

David Wilson Homes – Southern Adopts Insulslab SFRC as Preferred Foundation Technique

David Wilson Homes – Southern, has adopted Insulslab SFRC, the super insulated and fully integrated foundation system, as its preferred foundation technique for all new projects. Following a successful pilot of the system at its Chatsworth Park development in Winnersh, David Wilson Homes – Southern will now use Insulslab SFRC wherever site conditions allow.   

Constructed of interlocking expanded polystyrene (EPS) pods with steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) poured on top, Insulslab SFRC is an extremely efficient foundation technique that requires minimal ground excavation. Insulslab SFRC integrates high levels of insulation into the system design in order to offer superior thermal performance without increasing floor depth.


Recognising the time and performance benefits which Insulslab SFRC could deliver, David Wilson Homes – Southern piloted the system on two plots at Chatsworth Park. During construction  site access was restricted and wet weather conditions caused a two day delay to the two week foundation programme. In spite of the adverse conditions, Insulslab SFRC proved quick and easy to install – resulting in the programme completing three days ahead of schedule.

Richard Palmer, Commercial Director, David Wilson Homes – Southern, comments: “As an innovator ourselves, we are constantly seeking out new methods of construction that will deliver increased efficiencies and performance. The pilot of Insulslab SFRC proved that the system will stand up commercially, even under difficult site conditions.”

Using traditional foundation techniques, the ground conditions at Chatsworth Park would have demanded a 450mm x 750mm deep trench fill. In contrast, Insulslab SFRC required only a 150mm – 200mm strip to prepare the ground for construction. From a site management perspective, this negated the need for vehicles to cart away soil and reduced the risk of trench collapse.

Richard continues: “The minimal ground preparation proved a key success factor during the pilot. If we had been using traditional techniques, we not only would have had a lot of soil to remove from site, the wet weather conditions would have made the soil moist and heavier – which would have increased the cost of removal. Cost and performance-wise, Insulslab SFRC is now our preferred foundation system, wherever a site will allow.”

As a fully integrated system, Insulslab SFRC is engineered to deliver efficiency gains on-site. With no need for trenches, labour time is significantly reduced whilst the absence of rebar and use of EPS pods minimise manual handling.

In addition to the time and cost savings which Insulslab SFRC offers developers, its superior thermal insulation contributes to Part L and Code for Sustainable Homes compliance by achieving very low U-values (typically 0.10 – 0.13W/m2K depending on P/A ratio).

Mark Gray, Technical Manager, Insulslab SFRC, concludes: “The cost and time savings as well as the performance benefits of Insulslab SFRC are well documented. However, the absolute best way to demonstrate the positive impact it can have on site programmes is to put the system to the test. By piloting Insulslab SFRC, David Wilson Homes – Southern was able to see first hand how it would help their developments and we are really looking forward to working with them on future projects.”

For further information on Insulslab SFRC and full technical and specification support materials, please visit 

Solar and Sarnafil roofing solutions – The perfect pairing

Sika Sarnafil is encouraging building owners and developers to partner solar technology with a proven, high-performance roofing system to safeguard their investment and maximise a roof’s overall performance.


“More and more owners/developers are looking to capitalise on the energy- and revenue-generating potential of their roof space by investing in solar technology,” says the company’s head of technical, Phil Jarratt. “Therefore, anyone undertaking a new build or refurbishment should consider solar as a viable option. Although the Government feed-in tariff for PV installations over 50kWp could be cut this August pending its review, the proposals will still allow for a typical roof refurbishment fitted with solar PV, and including thermal upgrade, to pay for itself in a relatively short period. However, there’s no point in making the investment in solar without investing in the overall performance and lifespan of a roof – and that’s where we can help.”

With this in mind, the Sarnafil system now benefits from a comprehensive range of solar roofing solutions – from the newly added Solyndra solar system, white solar reflective membrane to the Sarnafil Solar Support Post – as part of its commitment to providing roofing solutions to accommodate most available solar PV and solar thermal systems.

Now a platinum Solyndra solution provider, the company has teamed up with a number of specialist suppliers to ensure its Sarnafil single ply roofing system is fully compatible with the latest solar solutions. This includes an exclusive new working relationship with renewable energy solutions specialist Renewable Resources, further strengthening its solar supply chain, which already spans Photovoltaic (PV), solar thermal and cool roofs.

Suitable for both new-build and refurbishment projects, Phil says Solyndra offers maximum return on investment. “This couples our specially manufactured white solar reflective membrane – which boasts the highest CIGS solar reflectance factor on the market of 95 percent – with cylindrical solar modules. As a result, a Solyndra system is capable of harvesting 360 degrees of sunlight – direct, diffused and reflected – significantly increasing the amount of power generated per square metre of useable roof space compared to conventional rigid flat PV panels. This represents maximum return on a solar investment.”

What’s more, with the Sarnafil system benefiting from a BBA-certified life expectancy ‘in excess of 40 years’, and with guarantees available up to 25 years, customers can be confident their solar investment is protected by a proven roofing solution that offers unbeatable longevity and a strong environmental performance.

“Investing in solar but not the roof as a whole is, quite simply, a false economy,” Phil adds. “But by coupling solar with our market-leading roofing system and ancillary products, you can be sure your investment is secured, is very bankable and adds value – vital given that solar is the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source.”

For further information on Sarnafil’s solar products and services, call 01603 748985, email: or visit


In response to the growing demand for door assemblies that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of specialist heath sector projects, Vicaima have introduced a new brochure offering solutions in both new build and refurbishment applications.


The Vicaima Performance Doors – Hospital Range brochure contains products which have been developed through extensive research and development to make them ideal for areas where compromise is not an option. Combining both appealing aesthetics and technical enhancements, these door assemblies are suited to hospitals, medical centres and many other heath sector environments.  

Doors within the Hospital Range include a wide selection of configurations including single and double leaf, with or without over panels and even sliding options thereby providing answers for rooms and corridors throughout the building. Naturally as medical establishments are subjected to high levels of people traffic, the Viciama hospital range of products has been developed with durability and easy maintenance in mind. A wide choice of both frame and door finishes allow specifiers to match or compliment interior designs, especially important where refurbishment is taking place. 


As one would expect from Vicaima, the performance characteristics of their new Hospital Range exceed in every way.  Fire rating complies with BS EN standards to appropriate classifications and acoustic sound reduction can be achieved up to 41dB.  Mobility and access requirements are achieved within the dimensions offered and where required, anti-radiation door and frame assemblies are available.  For the environmentally minded, many Vicaima products are available with FSC certification and have been manufactured to ISO 14001 standards. Their technical team are on hand to provide advice on all technical and certification matters, making the specification process even easier.

For builders, developers and specifiers involved in the health sector, the Vicaima Performance Doors – Hospital Range brochure provides an indispensable tool, helping to identify the right product, application solution and design choice to suit the project requirements.

Download a copy of the Hospital Range brochure today by visiting or for further information call Vicaima on 01793 532333, or email



Rainwater Harvesting now mainstream says UK’s longest supplier of systems

Following hard on the heels of their involvement with the ‘Best in Show’ garden at the Malvern Spring Gardening Show, Rainharvesting Systems Ltd are pleased to be part of another award-winning design – this time the ‘Home of the Year’ in the Grand Designs Awards 2011. The two awards together indicate to the UK’s longest-standing advocate of rainwater harvesting just how much this sustainable method of water supply has been integrated into mainstream thinking, and is now seen as part and parcel of modern developments. 


The judging panel of the Grand Designs Awards, which included Kevin McCloud who’s well-known as the presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Design programme, gave one of the top honours to a contemporary home which was built to replace a 1970’s bungalow.  The new dwelling had to provide space for a growing family and take advantage of a hill-side setting.  Venner:Lucas Architects, who designed the house, also wanted to use environmentally-friendlier features as part of the day-to-day functioning of the home.  Rainwater harvesting was chosen as the water source for flushing 4 toilets and to water the garden, and Rainharvesting Systems Ltd was chosen to supply the system.  

The rainwater harvesting system collects the 600mm annual rainfall from the 140m2 roof, cleans it, and stores it in the 4,000 litre tank which is underneath the house.  This should mean that 38,000 litres of water used in the house every year comes from rainfall and not the mains water supply.  This also helps to reduce water bills by £40 each year.  

Derek Hunt, MD of Rainharvesting Systems said “When the founders of Rainharvesting Systems started selling these systems 15 years ago, the only people interested were ‘eco-warriors’ building their own homes.  Now we supply systems to large mainstream construction companies, and architects are including rainwater harvesting in their designs as a matter of course.” 

He added “Harvested rain water can be used around the home when drinking-quality water isn’t essential – for example washing machines, toilet flushing, watering the garden, and cleaning the car.  Surprisingly 50% of water we use in the home is for reasons other than drinking or cooking.  Using rainwater means that water isn’t taken from the mains supply and this can really help to reduce the amount of water drawn from reservoirs and rivers that supply our water in the first place.  Believe it or not, on average the UK has a lower amount of raining falling per head of population than in the Mediterranean, and the Environment Agency predicts that climate change could reduce the amount of water in rivers by up to 80% by 2050.  The dry spring this year was a taster of how short of water we may be in the future.  So we really need be re-think where we collect our water from and how it’s managed.”

The Hepworth Wakefield

The seamless, suspended, acoustic system, StoSilent Panel, is specified for use in the Hepworth, Wakefield, a new art gallery designed by David Chipperfield Architects, named in honour of twentieth century artist Barbara Hepworth.


The StoSilent Panel is specifically designed to cope with high humidity environments and the plenum ceilings, used in areas that are subject to increased air movement, allow for air circulation, making it perfect for application in the gallerys café area.

Providing the necessary monolithic finish and excellent acoustic properties of 0.49 NRC – 0.45 αW (250-2000 Hz), the StoSilent Panel system also prevents staining due to air filtration in humid rooms.

Nick Hill, of David Chipperfield, explains, As the acoustic system is installed in a lively cafe space with many hard surfaces, it was critical that we could achieve the level of sound absorption that the Sto system offered.

The StoSilent Panel Alu system was specified because we required a smooth, seamless finish for the ceiling and did not want the standard perforated systems that would be more difficult to coordinate with the irregular shape of the room. Equally it was important for us that the ceiling treatment appeared consistent with ceilings elsewhere in the building.

Applicator, Matthew Buckmaster of Aztec Solutions, comments, We regularly use Sto products as they perform well and are often specified at the very early project stages.

The system is installed onto a rigid metal grid suspended ceiling frame which is hung from the concrete soffit. The boards are then fixed to the metal grid, incorporating light troughs every two metres.

The StoSilent Panel Alu suspended ceiling system is made from 15mm thick rigid acoustic board, manufactured from 96% recycled glass granulate and is finished with the fibre free, acoustically transparent coating, StoSilent Superfein.

The Hepworth, Wakefield, yet to be completed, is already a landmark building with a façade constructed of pigmented concrete. Set to open its doors to the public in May 2011 The Hepworth, Wakefield, will show art works by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore, as well as a programme of changing exhibitions by contemporary artists.

Sto Ltd

Tel: 01256 337602 Fax: 01256 810887


CMS Vibrations Lays The Law Down With Kinetics RIM-C

The high performance Kinetics RIM-C (Rollout Isolation Material) system from CMS Vibration Solutions has been used to isolate a rooftop plant room at the new civil justice centre in Bristol, preventing machine-induced vibrations from propagating into the building and noise sensitive spaces.

Developed by Miller Construction, the new build civil justice centre comprises of eight civil courts, six hearing rooms and one family proceeding room. A six storey building, the plant room housing all associated equipment to service the centre, including chillers, pumps and air conditioning units, was situated on the roof. Effective isolation of the area was essential to stop the vibrations from becoming structural noise and travelling into the building, which could potentially have caused interference with court proceedings and intelligibility of evidence.


Kinetics RIM-C was specified by acoustic consultants, Deane Austin Associates, to deliver complete isolation of the plant room floor concrete slab. Offering excellent impact and airborne noise ratings, the system achieves its performance by ‘floating’ the concrete floor slab and creating an air void between it and the sub structure. At Bristol Civil Justice Centre, a 100mm air void was a critical factor in the system design, which achieved a natural frequency of 14Hz on-site.

The Kinetics RIM-C system was used to isolate a total area of 137m2 and was installed by CMS Vibrations’ preferred installation partner, Pace Installations. 

The system was constructed by first laying the Kinetics Isolation Pads (KIPs) in fibreglass matting at 600mm centres and flanking the area with Perimeter Isolation Board (PIB). The critical 100mm air void was subsequently created by installing a C-section channel and timber batten. Finally, plywood and a damp proof membrane were used to cover the area before the concrete slab was cast on top.

As a pre-compressed fibreglass isolator, it is the KIP component of the system which enables Kinetics RIM-C to maintain a constant natural frequency over a wide range of static and dynamic loads. Moreover, there is no appreciable degradation in the isolation performance during the projected lifetime of the floor.

Jim Herbert, technical sales manager, CMS Vibrations, concluded: “With access to the broadest range of anti-vibration and structural isolation systems on the market, we are able to provide the most cost effective and high performing solution to any vibration challenge – backed up by unrivalled technical support. In the case of Bristol Civil Justice Centre, we were able to offer detailed design guidance and see this through to installation.”

CMS Vibrations is the exclusive supply partner of the Regupol RAV and Kinetics Noise Control ranges in the UK. For further information on the range of products available from CMS Vibrations email, call 01925 582899 or visit

Construction Industry News & Views

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