Kingspan Renewables Solar Thermal Collectors Give Athletes A Sporting Chance To Reduce Emissions

A new build sports pavilion in Yarborough, Lincolnshire has installed 90 Kingspan Renewables Thermomax vacuum tube collectors as part of a substantial investment from the City of Lincoln Council to reduce carbon usage levels, increase efficiency and create an excellent, sustainable facility for local sports teams and students from the neighbouring Riseholme School.


The installation of the HP200 Thermomax vacuum tube collectors provides up to 70 percent of the pavilion’s annual hot water needs for its showers and washbasins – and their unique design means athletes can count on top quality performance all-year-round.

Specifically tailored for Northern European climates, Thermomax vacuum tubes allow energy from the sun to be collected efficiently and effectively. They deliver an unrivalled transfer of this energy to heat so that hot water for the pavilion is always readily available. The vacuum inside each tube provides perfect insulation by protecting the system from outside influences, such as cold, wet or windy weather.

Robert Grimsley of Heat Pump Technologies Ltd specified the market-leading solar thermal collectors as part of a wider sustainability brief. He explains: “The council had a specific target to reduce CO2 emissions in the new pavilion and we worked closely with the architects and other consultants to make sure it was very much a Renewables building. As well as solar thermal water heating, it also has an air source heat pump, underfloor heating and rainwater harvesting.

“Having specified Kingspan Solar products in the past, I was confident that Thermomax vacuum tubes were the ideal choice to meet the pavilion’s hot water requirements for the changing rooms as well as the carbon reduction targets set out by the council.”

Thermomax vacuum tubes are both fast and simple to install due to their unique ‘plug and play’ design and are perfect for flexible building integration. In the case of the pavilion, they have been mounted directly onto the roof at the optimum angle, allowing for maximum solar energy collection without being visible from below.

Grimsley continues: “The tubes were specifically chosen to contribute solar-heated water to the building’s pre-heat system to maximise its efficiency. This means water enters the 1,000 litre pre-heat cylinder at around 45C, rather than being heated by the gas system from 5C, which is a costly, energy inefficient process.”

Comments Kingspan Renewables Managing Director Cameron Holroyd: “At Kingspan we are committed to providing top quality renewable hot water solutions for both New Build and refurbishment projects.

“Our state-of-the-art Thermomax vacuum tubes are purpose-designed for fast conductivity and transfer of energy into heat, which means they are up to 30 percent more effective than traditional flat plate panel equivalents. We are delighted that they have been chosen as part of a sustainable sports facility that is less reliant on carbon-based energy and benefits from real cost savings on annual fuel bills.”

Thermomax solar thermal vacuum tube collectors are available as part of a complete solar package solution from Kingspan Renewables. Tailored to deliver top performance and ultimate results, these include the highest level of customer support from initial advice, through to customised design, installation by Kingspan Solar Accredited Installers, final commissioning and technical support.

New ceiling to learning

Edinburgh based Architects LDN have specified the Hunter Douglas Luxalon 300A closed ceiling system for the lecture theatres and concourse areas at the University’s Adam Ferguson Building, where 452m2 of the product was recently installed by ceiling Contractor Gyplok on behalf of main contractor Interserve. The ease of cleaning and additionally, the standard perforated with a sound absorbing non-woven tissue glued into the panel, make the Luxalon panels ideal for applications such as the Adam Ferguson Building project where both hygiene and excellent acoustic performance is a requirement.


The 300A ceiling system is easily installed onto the carrier, with a shiplap edge detail closing off the void but also allowing the system to be fully demountable. Luxalon 300A panels, available as standard in 0.6mm stove enamelled galvanized steel strip or from 0.7mm thick pre-painted stove enamelled aluminium strip, are both lightweight and strong and are also fully recyclable. They can be supplied in any length up to 6000 mm (as standard) and are free spanning up to 2400mm length. Aluminium carriers in combination with aluminium panels and a special locking clip can also be used for exterior applications

The range of Hunter Douglas metal ceiling colours are available as standard and special finishes and colours for specific projects are available on request.

Amica introduces OptiGas™

 Leading Polish brand, Amica is delighted to have set a new standard with the introduction of OptiGas™.



Amica’s OptiGas™ is an innovative gas burning system, which optimises gas usage by increasing heating efficiency and lowering gas consumption by as much as 12%. Developed by and unique to Amica, all of its 50cm and 60cm freestanding cookers with gas hobs are now equipped with the OptiGas™ system, with burners designed for direct and precise contact between the crown of the flames and the bottom of a pan, heating the pan and not the room, burning and wasting less gas while cooking is unaffected.

Simon Freear, country manager for Amica in the UK, comments: “We’re thrilled that Amica has once again demonstrated its lead in technology and dedication to caring for the environment, with OptiGas™. 12% is a significant saving, especially in the long term – in running costs as well as in the use and waste of one of our valuable natural resources and burning less gas is kinder to the environment. Of course, without flames crashing up the sides of the pan, cooking is also much safer. OptiGas™ is both economical and ecological, and one of the real innovations is that it’s designed to suit a range of typically-sized pans.”

Amica’s OptiGas™ burns less, optimising gas usage to help save money and care for the environment.                

Every cooking, refrigeration, dishwashing and laundry appliance in Amica’s portfolio is A rated or above for energy efficiency and comes with a highly saleable catalogue of features and functions as well as a decent profit margin, product support and the backing of a full two year guarantee for parts and labour. For further information, visit, email or call 01425 461600.

Leaderflush Shapland Consistently Supplies to Award Winning Projects

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) awards are given to acknowledge the design and construction of buildings that meet high architectural standards but that also make a substantial contribution to the local environment, meeting both modern aesthetic and performance standards.


Yet again, many of the UK’s RIBA award winning construction projects have benefited from the inclusion of Leaderflush Shapland performance doorsets with a total of over 1500 supplied to twelve buildings which were recognised at the 2011 RIBA Awards, including the Ravensbourne College, Bideford College and the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatre, which was also the winner of the building magazines project of the year award. Much of the focus of this year’s awards was on the design and production of buildings that meet high architectural standards and also make a substantial contribution to the local environment.

Doorsets supplied to projects varied from the Leaderflush Shapland Designer and Extended Performance ranges with performance characteristics of up to 120 minutes fire resistance and 44 RwdB sound reduction being achieved. EnduraCor – Leaderflush Shapland’s exclusive engineered performance core whose durability and stability make it especially suitable for harsh environments like schools and colleges, is manufactured using mainly man-made materials or materials which are either FSC or verified, legal and sustainable – this helped contribute to the Ravensbourne College building achieving a BREEAM Excellent status.

With innovative products such as Sentinel, Hygieniform and EnduraCor, Leaderflush Shapland has a history of supplying to RIBA award winning, prestigious projects: nine of the RIBA 2008 award winners including the University of Winchester and Pinewood Infant School; ten of the 2009 RIBA award winners including the Joseph Chamberlain College, the Castle Hill Hospital and the North Glasgow College and twelve of the 2010 RIBA award winners including the Stobhill Hospital, Downe Hospital and the Ashmolean Museum.

For more information about the UK’s leading performance doorset manufacturer, call 01773 530500 or visit

A new source of renewable information for architecture

The country’s architects have access to a new information source on renewable technology with the installation of a permanent exhibition stand at the Building Centre in London’s Store Street from Mitsubishi Electric which focuses on sustainability in the built-environment.



The company, which has long pioneered energy efficiency in our buildings, is using the space to highlight the potential that heat pumps offer in reducing the energy load required to heat, cool and ventilate both commercial and residential properties, and is also focusing on the energy producing potential of Photovoltaic panels.


“The Building Centre is renowned for providing essential information for all involved in the built environment, so it made perfect sense for us to use this venue to convey the energy saving potential of these technologies,” explained Sharon Oliver, Marketing Communications Manager for Mitsubishi Electric’s Photovoltaic and Domestic Heating Divisions.


Both air source and ground source heat pumps are classified as renewable technology by both the European Union and the UK Government because they harvest free, renewable energy from the air to maximise efficiency and minimise energy consumption.


Mitsubishi Electric has led the way in the use of heat pumps for commercial air conditioning and has pioneered air source heat pumps for both domestic and commercial heating systems.


The permanent stand at the Building Centre includes a touch screen panel which provides essential information on the technologies and highlights how their energy saving potential can be used to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes and other energy performance legislation.  In addition to gaining advice on reducing energy costs and emissions levels, architects can also source information on equipment to help with indoor air quality and ventilation.


“Everyone involved in the construction industry, whether new-built or retro-fit is under immense pressure to demonstrate how low carbon the buildings they design now are and we wanted to raise awareness of the potential that this equipment can offer,” adds Oliver.


The Building Centre – established in 1931 – has developed to become an independent forum dedicated to providing information and inspiration to all sectors of the built environment. It is open from 9:30am – 6pm, Monday to Friday and on Saturday’s from 10:00am to 5:00pm.

Further information can be sourced by visiting

Flame-free technology wins over welding in college building services

Grooved-end pipe joining was the contractor’s choice for HVAC systems in the new Sussex Coast College building. The weld-free solution saved time and money, was kind to the environment and enabled the project to be completed safely on schedule.

Sussex Coast College occupies a state-of-the-art, six-storey building in the heart of Hastings.  A modern high-tech building called for modern high-tech engineering services, and meeting the construction schedule for the landmark building was critical.  So wh en it came to selecting the best pipework systems for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, mechanical contractor, Halsion, chose grooved-end pipe-joining technology in favour of traditional welding for the £14m project.


Halsion not only needed to find an efficient and reliable means of connecting pipes to distribute water throughout the building, it also had to equip five mechanical plantrooms.  These were required for the chilled water, low-temperature hot water, and domestic hot and cold water systems. 

Cost savings

The contractor had used Victaulic couplings and fittings before and experienced the many advantages they offer over welding. The method works by forming a groove in the pipe end and fitting a coupling which houses a pressure-responsive gasket to form a strong, secure joint.  Just two bolts need to be tightened to install the coupling and create a union at each pipework joint.  “Whenev er I’ve used Victaulic I’ve found it to be the most economical and most ozone-friendly method,” said Peter Hanson, Halsion construction manager for the project. “It’s clean, quick and cost-effective with no welding and no hot works.”

Being quick and easy to install, the couplings save time and cut labour costs but Hanson identified other benefits. “You don’t have to wait for hot works permits or have a fire watch after you’ve finished welding and there are fewer health and safety risks,” he said.  “It’s easier to flush and clean the system as you don’t get swarf in the strainers so it’s a big advantage when it comes to commissioning.”  


Plantroom pluses

Grooved valves were also used in the mechanical rooms for ease and speed of installation and added reliability.  Whilst a traditional flanged pump arrangement with an inside diameter of 3” (80mm) would have required upto 120 bolts, grooved valves were installed in a fraction of the time. With just two bolts to tighten for each of the 12 couplings and two flange adapters, the number of bolts was reduced to 40.  The need for costly and bulky rubber bellows was eliminated by placing three flexible couplings either side of each pump set and chillers for superior noise and vibration attenuation.  The compactness and light weight of the grooved systems used also helped reduce the plantroom footprint.


By eliminati ng welding and flanging and sourcing all the items needed from a single supplier, Halsion was able to deliver a quality result on time and on budget.  Grooved technology is now the company’s number one choice. “Whenever we get a project and it specifies welding in plantrooms I get it changed straightaway if I can,” Hanson said.  “It takes a lot to convince me to move from one system to another but Victaulic products speak for themselves. I’m a 100% convert.”  

For further info please visit or call 01438 310 690




Following significant success in the US, Kee Safety, the tubular structures specialist, has launched its Kwik Kit® series of value for money, pre-assembled kits for handrail and guardrailing applications into the UK and Europe.


The Kwik Kit® series features a total of nine kit solutions, these include 3m long straight handrailing sections, a corner kit and an extension kit for flat surfaces, all available in either steel or lightweight, self-colour aluminium. Kee Safety also offers two steel only, fixed length handrailing kits, one for steps (30-45o gradients) and one designed for ramp applications (0-11o inclines), and a column guard kit ideal for protecting supporting columns from damage in car park applications. All kits are supplied complete with horizontal 48.3mm diameter tubes, uprights, flat fix baseplates and appropriate fittings from the Kee Klamp® or Kee Lite® range.

“Creating safe environments for people quickly and cost-effectively is our top priority” says Ian Page, Kee Safety’s Product Manager. “The new Kwik Kit® range is perfectly suited for many of the straightforward applications where handrails or guardrailing are required. They provide a great solution, fully compliant with Building Regulation requirements and other statutory obligations, and can be installed with the minimum of disruption typically associated with welded, fabricated or specialist solutions.

Steel kits are supplied with galvanised posts and safety yellow powder coated horizontal rails, with all fittings hot dip galvanised for added durability. All kits should be secured with proprietary fixing anchors (not included) to suit individual floor constructions.  Available to buy online or at trade counter stockists, Kwik Kit® are individually boxed for easy delivery.

Visit for more information.

Kee Safety Ltd is the UK division of Kee Safety International, a global safety company with offices in Canada, China, France, Germany, Poland, UAE and USA. The Kee Safety International business is divided into four sectors; Safety Components, Safety Systems, Safe Access Solutions and Safe Fixings. Safety Components incorporates the top-selling Kee Klamp® fittings, the corrosion-resistant Kee Lite® range and DDA compliant Kee Access® fittings typically used in handrailing and other tubular structure applications. Safety Systems incorporates a number of collective and personal fall protection solutions, including KeeGuard® roof edge fall protection, Kee Dome® skylight guardrail, Kee Walk® rooftop walkway system and the Kee Anchor® portable deadweight man anchor system. Safe Access Solutions covers the industrial flooring and hand railing systems provided by the group’s British Standard Gratings business. Finally, in Safe Fixings the company offers the versatile BeamClamp® and BoxBolt® steelwork fixing solutions widely used in curtain walling and other secondary steelwork applications.


Ceilings pass test at Uni


Hunter Douglas have supplied a variety of their 80B, 130B and 180B Multi-Panel ceilings, in black for the futuristic new £35million City Campus for Newport’s University, which will be home for the Newport Business School and the design, film and digital media aspects of the Newport School of Art, Media and Design. The new building is on schedule for it’s opening early next year. Construction work on-campus, the first phase of an intended £50m development for the University with partnership funding from Newport City Council and Newport Unlimited, is being carried out by Willmott Dixon.
The Multi-Panel Ceiling System consists of box-shaped panels in five varying widths and use of this system affords the opportunity to create a finished design with different widths and heights in one ceiling.
All panels can be clipped onto a standard carrier which allows a combination of narrow, wide or deep panels to be installed in a random or uniform pattern. The standard 20mm joint formed between the panels can either be left open or alternatively be filled using the standard recessed U-Joint or recessed V-Joint profiles to create a completely closed system. If the joint is left open, this can be beneficial for any application requiring a greater open area for acoustic or airflow reasons. Additionally where more acoustic control is required, the panels can be supplied perforated with a non-woven textile membrane bonded to the inside face. These panels will then absorb higher levels of sound leading to a reduction in reverberation time. The panels are demountable for full access to services and equipment in the plenum, are available in any length from 800mm up to 6000mm as standard and are manufactured from lightweight yet strong aluminium, which is 100% recyclable.

Hunter Douglas Multi-Panel ceiling panels are roll-formed from 0.35 mm (30B), 0.5 mm (30BD / 80B / 130B) or 0.6 mm (180B) thick pre-painted aluminium coil. The tough and durable 2-layered polyester finish in a nominal thickness of 20 microns, is stove enamelled in a continuous coil-coating process ensuring uniform coating thickness and absolute adhesion. The system is available in a standard range of colours with special colours being available on request.
Tel: 01543 275757


Health, safety and access issues have been important considerations during the design and construction of one of Europe’s tallest buildings – Heron Tower at 110 Bishopsgate in the heart of London – undertaken by Skanska on behalf of Heron International.

Roof hatch, smoke vent and access equipment supplier Bilco UK ( has played its part in providing essential materials and ensuring the construction work remained on course for completion.

Heron Tower is a state-of-the-art glass and stainless steel clad 46-storey office tower standing over 230 metres in height and is currently the city’s tallest building.

Bilco delivered various orders and equipment to CMF Ltd of Feltham, Middlesex, which was responsible for architectural metalwork at Heron Tower. The products supplied included four roof access hatches and two smoke vents. One of the hatches was given ‘express treatment’ to meet construction deadlines.

“We managed to build and deliver a D-50T double-leaf hatch within four weeks after receiving the order for the extra hatch that was required for this project,” said James Fisher, Bilco UK/Europe general manager.

Their efforts were appreciated by CMF. Commercial manager Paul Wassell said: “Bilco pulled out all the stops so we received the extra hatch in time. They turned it round in under five weeks instead of the usual eight. Not only did they do everything that was expected of them, they went a good deal further. That is really adding value.”

The D-50T hatches will provide access to the roof areas for cleaning and maintenance activities. The hatches have overlapping covers and a spring operated system which provides easy-to-operate access at all times. The hatch’s heavy gauge construction and positive latching mechanism ensure it is secure while closed and equally that the covers remain in a locked and stable open position while access is gained to and from the roofing area.

Two single leaf natural smoke vents were also supplied with associated equipment including control panels and smoke detectors. In the event of a fire the REM vents automatically open to 140 degrees to rapidly disperse heat, smoke and noxious gases.


Bilco manufactures and distributes a range of access doors and hatches, smoke vents and other safety-related products to meet specific customer requirements for construction and engineering industries across the world.

The company has established a reputation among architects, building engineers, specifiers and the construction trades for product and service excellence for providing the right access solution.


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