Sto provides robust insulation for Housing Association

StoTherm Classic external wall insulation has been used to improve the energy efficiency of two estates owned by Broxbourne Housing Association, the largest provider of social housing in the Borough of Broxbourne.


The aim of the regeneration project is to improve the thermal efficiency of the 1970s blocks to exceed current building regulations. The regeneration, which qualified for funding under the CERT (Carbon Reduction Emissions Target) programme, provides residents with warmer, better looking homes and reduced fuel bills. The walls of both estates in this project have now achieved a U Value of 0.26 W/m2K

Woodward Ambrose Architects regarded external wall insulation as the only option to upgrade the solid wall structures. Where there were cavity walls, filling the cavity was considered, but because of extensive thermal bridging this was not a practical option.

StoTherm Classic was specified primarily because of its excellent durability. The reinforcing mesh that forms part of the system gives a market-leading impact resistance of up to 50 joules. This provides long-lasting surface integrity even in areas where the render is likely to receive rough treatment.

The specified render finish was StoLotusan, chosen because of its unique Lotus-effect finish that actively repels dirt and functions as a self-cleaning surface. StoLotusan is available in over 400 colours and in the Broxbourne project a range of colours was chosen to enhance the visual appeal of the buildings.

The StoTherm Classic system was installed using Turbofix – a quick adhesive system that can be used with almost any substrate. In this project the existing walls were a mix of cavity brickwork and no-fines concrete with a pebble dash finish. The EWIS could be applied directly without the need for extensive repair or renovation to the substrate.

The regeneration of Fishers Close in Waltham Cross, and Coopers Walk in Cheshunt, represent the final stage of the promises which were made to residents on transfer from Broxbourne Council. It equates to over a £7 million investment to upgrade 8 Blocks, 136 properties in all.

Broxbourne Housing Associations Chief Executive John Gieson said: When we bought the Councils housing stock in 2006 we promised residents we would make extensive improvements to Coopers Walk and Fishers Close. Despite working in a challenging economic climate, we have delivered on our promise. We are delighted that all our properties now meet the Decent Homes Standard and many exceed it.

Project information

Client: Broxbourne Housing Association

Architect: Woodward Ambrose Architects

Main Contractor: Lakehouse

Subcontractor: HA Marks


Sto Ltd

tel: 01256 337602 fax: 01256 810887


Aquamat dives into energy saving for Crystal Palace National Sports Centre

Aquamat pool covers have been specified to help tackle the energy efficiency requirements at the recently refurbished National Sports Centre at Crystal Palace, which will be used as a training facility during the lead up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.




The £13 million project at Crystal Palace has included an installation of a combined heat and power (CHP) based system which has been funded by the London Development Agency (LDA). 

The nationally-significant, mixed sports facility owned by the LDA and operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited, contracted Vital Energi to specify pool covers to help reduce total energy costs by up to £400,000 per annum.

For this, the biggest swimming complex in the UK today, Aquamat manufactured and installed covers and electric reel systems for the 50m x 20m Olympic sized pool, 20m x 20m diving pool, 7m x 20m infant pool and a 20m x 8m learner pool.

Dick Goodall, Proprietor at Aquamat commented, “We are extremely pleased to be involved in such a significant project with its connections to the 2012 Olympics. Aquamat’s covers were exactly what were needed to help save energy costs. If the pools were left uncovered at night, it would cost National Sports Centre about £100,000 in wasted energy.”

The use of Aquamat’s 6mm Heat Retention Covers on each pool were particularly suitable due to their heavy-duty closed polyethylene foam meaning it gave Crystal Palace huge savings on fuel bills from the reduction in heat loss from the surface of the pool.

Aquamat’s 3m high Opal roller was used for each pool, which was designed and wall mounted by them.  Due to Aquamat’s flexibility they were able to fit each roller to Crystal Palace’s requirements. Fitted with a 24v DC motor, the rolling tube will provide additional safety and keep running costs to a minimum each year.

Specialist advisors to the National Sports Centre, Cynergin, assisted in matters both related to best practice in procurement as well as vetting tender proposals. Project Manager, Howard Stone, commented, “Aquamat designed, manufactured and installed the pool covers for Crystal Palace National Sports Centre within a short timescale. Since the project I have included Aquamat in recent tenders submissions for Cynergin and recommended them to our clients, a testament of my confidence in their abilities and product.”


Substantial savings in energy and carbon emissions on the whole project is being achieved with payback times on investment in less than three years. The project has estimated carbon dioxide savings of up to 1,850 tonnes per annum for 20 years. The savings in running costs will also greatly enhance the future viability of the Sports Centre.

By being innovative in design and by introducing new materials, techniques and products to the market, Aquamat have positioned themselves as UK leaders in their market. Aquamat has been manufacturing pool covers since 1965 and over the past 46 years they have gained great expertise.

Further information on the range of pool covers and reel systems from Aquamat is available by calling Andy Giles on 01453 884411 or by emailing or by visiting the company’s website at


Wind-battered building’s costly insurance claims for roof damage resolved with Sarnafil

Before it was refurbished with a Sarnafil roofing system two years ago, the Admirals Court residential block of flats on an exposed Scottish coastline in Inverclyde regularly lost roof tiles and, subsequently, racked up insurance claim after insurance claim as a result of storm damage.

Located on the coastal tip of Gourock, the building is battered by harsh weather and gale-force winds that easily dislodged and lifted off the existing lightweight concrete tiles. When the building’s insurers said they were considering withdrawing storm damage cover because of the excessive number of claims, Gerry Gilroy, director of building surveying from the building’s property manager, Ross & Liddell Limited, was charged with finding a lasting solution.


“Due to the nature of the roof structure we couldn’t re-cover with a more robust material than the existing tiles, so had to consider an alternative covering,” Gerry recalls. “I’d in the past re-roofed a building with Sarnafil to mimic a copper-covered roof, so I suggested using single ply to mimic a lead roof for this building. The idea was acceptable to the planning authorities and thereafter we sought a single ply membrane that could do the job. From a pricing exercise Sarnafil proved to be the most economical, and was instructed as a result.”

Scottish Sarnafil registered contractor WG Walker Limited won the tender to install the Sarnafil mechanically-fastened system. Specialising in roof refurbishment, WG Walker completed the project through Sarnafil’s Roof Management service, which can provide the client with a single-point responsibility guarantee covering design, materials and workmanship. What’s more, it particularly offered Ross & Liddell peace of mind that the roof would withstand wind uplift in future.

WG Walker’s Allan Thomson says the project would have been a breeze – but for the building’s extremely exposed location. “This was a challenging job due to the coastal location,” he reveals. “Work started in March when it was very windy and rainy. We had to strip the tiles, remove the rubbish and get the building watertight as soon as possible – with the building occupied throughout and surrounded by a public carpark this was no mean feat! Unfortunately on a few days it was just too windy for us to get up onto the scaffolding, but when conditions were kind to us we were able to get the job done relatively quickly.”


After making the roof watertight with a Sarnavap 5000E SA self-adhesive vapour control layer, Allan and his team secured 500sq m of S327-12EL single ply membrane in Lead Grey with timber batten roll profiles fixed to the roof’s joist posts, providing optimum protection against wind uplift. “This made the roof covering extremely secure,” he adds. “Overall, the project was a success and the new roof looks really good. I hear the residents are very happy because the old tiles used to ‘chatter’ at night in the wind, but there’s no noise now.”

Having successfully weathered two harsh winters already, the roof is set t o withstand the worst the Scottish weather can throw at it for years to come, thanks to Sarnafil’s 10-year extended products guarantee and BBA-certified life expectancy ‘in excess of 35 years’ for 1.2mm membranes of this type. 

As Gerry concludes: “Following the roof’s re-covering in Sarnafil, we’ve experienced two winters; the most recent having several instances of strong gale-force winds. But the new roof covering has survived without the annual storm-damage remedial works previously required, which is terrific news.”

As part of the service, Sarnafil Roof Management surveyor John Potts saw the project through from tender and design to final inspection and guarantee. He too is pleased with the roof’s performance: “The roof’s lightweight design and vented ridge certainly gave us a challenge due to the building’s susceptibility to dreadful weather conditions. But the fact that it has now survived two winters is testament to the performance of the Sarnafil system. It also highlights how Roof Management can give clients peace of mind because we take full responsibility for the roof, ensuring they are protected against the risks of incorrect design, defective materials or poor workmanship.”

For further information on Sarnafil’s Roof Management refurbishment service, call 0800 1123 830, email or visit

Sika Sarnafil is based in Norwich at Robberds Way, Bowthorpe, Norwich, Norfolk, NR5 9JF. Call 01603 748985 or visit

Concave and Convex Cavity Walls – Caution with Window Openings and Abutments


As well as affecting the extent of localised water-wash passing over the surface of the masonry, curved cavity walls can also change the behaviour of water and its permeation of the outer skin.

In a concave situation, any window opening within the central arch of a wall predominately at 90 degrees to the wind-driven rain direction will experience a greater volume of permeating water.

The wind blows into and along the curve suspending immediate gravitation of water wash.

Whenever a window opening is encountered, it provides masonry edges into which the wash of water can cascade.

Thus, every opening acts as a recess into which water will initially flood and saturate the masonry.

Openings within curved walls require measures to cope with such volumes of water that can far exceed those commonly experienced within a flat surfaced wall.

The effect with a convex wall is far less severe, although water is usually blown around and away from the prevailing wind direction and will predominately be concentrated where gravitation takes hold and the water commences to run downwardly.

The reveal closer must integrate with the lintel arrangement whilst at sill level a sill closure tray can ensure any water that congregates externally at the reveal sill cheeks and permeates inwardly is arrested.

This is particularly relevant where masonry or tile sills are incorporated or pinch points exist between inner and outer skins.

Curved walls meeting horizontal and sloping abutments must incorporate appropriately dimensioned dpc trays that match the cavity width and provide unobstructed cavity compartment areas into which any volume of water tracking along a tie can discharge.

Curved trays within parapet walls and associated measures providing coping dpc support must harmonise with any dpc/ tray provision at lower levels.

In the case of tall buildings, arresting barriers at intermediate level(s) can lessen demands through aggregate gravitational accumulation and control water volumes.

Pending the wall type, structure and finish, evacuation out of a cavity wall can be via a variety of caviweeps.

Where wind-driven rain is of concern, the designer has the option of choosing models that use positive and negative air pressure to advantage.

There are also options that minimise the exit route aperture but require greater frequency.

Cavity Trays Ltd is the only cavity tray manufacturer awarded European Technical Approval and offers a take-off and evaluation service to industry disciplines.

The Company can advise ways to protect all styles of cavity wall.

Products are accompanied with a performance undertaking for the benefit of specifier, builder and client – and peace of mind.

Products and applications are contained within the new technical manual: ‘Protecting the Building Envelope’

Seminars available for Architectural Technologists upon request covering building envelope design protection and execution.

Available from Cavity Trays Ltd – Tel: 01935 474769  –

Granwax takes its inspiration from nature

Expert flooring company Granwax has launched an innovative new floor finish created from a unique blend of linseed oil based resins, made from 85% renewable resources. Specially designed to cause as little negative impact on the environment as possible, Granwax Nature is ideal for flooring projects that require a sensitive approach to choosing environmentally friendly products.

The super flat matt finish provides the ideal look and feel to any wooden floor. The warmth, texture and colour enhancements provided by Granwax Nature finish are equal to that of other solvent or wax based finishes, delivering aesthetic quality, as well as ethical value. With Zero VOC’s and Zero Solvents Granwax Nature is not only safe to use, it provides a hard-wearing, beautiful finish that enhances the look and feel of any natural wood floor.

Granwax has almost a century of flooring experience and is committed to developing its products whilst reducing the company’s impact on the environment. Carl Blythe comments “Granwax has always been a forward-thinking company. We’re committed to providing a wide range of finishes with as little negative impact on the environment as possible. This includes looking at more efficient and effective ways of manufacturing, packaging and recycling both in our own raw material consumption and in the finished product we present to the market place. We’re very proud to launch Granwax Nature – it is the ideal finish for customers looking for an ethical product, without compromising on style or performance.”


Granwax Nature is available in Super Matt finish in a 5 litre recyclable bottle from selected hardware stores and distributors. For further information go to or call our experts on 01773 541177

Axter’s fully integrated photovoltaic roof membranes generate 17,600 kWh renewable electricity per year

Southbury Road, Enfield


Planning permission for this private residential block required 10% CO2 emissions savings through the use of renewable energy. Axter’s MCS accredited General Solar photovoltaic roofing, chosen on cost grounds, was designed to generate 17,600 kWh and save 10,000 kgs of CO2 /year. The installation could earn £5,500 from the feed-in tariff and save owners a further £1,000 in annual electricity charges.

The renewable energy requirement was provided by a fully integrated warm roof construction incorporating a thin film photovoltaic array. The construction also included a small extensive green roof.

For further information contact Axter on 01473 724056 or email

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Custom Fit. You design, we supply

Designing your own doors offers unlimited scope to get the doors you really want, to complement architectural or interior styling, or contrast for a bold individual statement.  And because they are designed by you, they don’t carry a ‘designer’ price tag.

Vicaima Doors has produced an attractive range of standard door bases that greatly increases design options for the humble timber door, and offers house builders and developers in particular the opportunity to create a truly individual interior environment. 

The standard door bases in this new Custom Fit range are available as veneered, foil or laminate in beech, ash, cherry, maple, oak and wenge, with a number of different design elements that can be chosen to make an individual door.  For instance, contrasting inlays can be used to create stunning contemporary styles, with colour or veneer marquetry effects to mirror panel designs or vertical lines. 


Grooved options open up a world of design possibilities, where patterns are etched onto the door face to produce a geometric look, and can be stained in a range of colour options to give contrast if desired.  Vicaima’s Custom Fit collection also allows for decorative glazing where better ingress of light is required, or simply as a design feature in itself.

There are two big benefits in choosing from the Custom Fit range; firstly the lead times are considerably shorter than buying bespoke doors, and secondly, they are also less expensive, making it a viable option for all manner of house styles and prices.

Doors in the Custom Fit range are available in non-fire, fire, and security performance, and also as Easi-Fit kits that come complete with frame and components and can be installed in less than thirty minutes, thus drastically reducing on-site time.


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

Fitzpatrick Metal Doorsets Secure Hornsey Road Apartments

Hornsey Road Apartments are part of the £36 million redevelopment of the former Victorian baths near London’s Finsbury Park. The impressive grade 2 listed gatehouse forms the entrance to 150 contemporary 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments.


Approximately 150 Fitzpatrick Securicel doors were specified internally for the project which achieved a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating as well as winning a Building for Life Gold Standard Award and being a finalist at the London Planning Awards.

The internal steel doorsets were designed to meet a high security specification for the apartment entrances – PAS23 & PAS24 certification and subsequent SBD (Secured by Design) accreditation – and were polyester powder coated to a matt black finish to offer a combination of contemporary aesthetics with high levels of protection for residents, meeting performance characteristics of 60 minutes fire resistance. Fitzpatrick undertook all the security testing to ensure that the requirements of the project specification were met.

Fitzpatrick has manufactured metal doors and doorsets since the 1940s which provide a highly adaptable solution for internal or external applications; the physical properties of steel – durability, flexibility, strength and high fire-resistance – offer significant security and performance advantages over other materials. Fitzpatrick metal doors and doorsets are not just for external use, they are also a stylish and versatile option for interiors.

All doorsets are designed and manufactured using sophisticated computerised equipment to be accurate, robust and low maintenance. They can be supplied primed for on-site painting or powder coated to any BS or RAL colour.

The design, specification, manufacture and installation of metal doorsets is a complex and technical process; Fitzpatrick can offer assistance to specifiers and architects to ensure that products meet expectations. A complete installation service includes on-site survey, measurement and installation.

As part of Leaderflush Shapland, the UK’s leading performance doorset manufacturer, Fitzpatrick can draw on a wide range of expertise, knowledge and experience. For more information and details of the many recent projects which have benefited from the performance characteristics and visual appeal of Fitzpatrick doorsets, please visit or alternatively call 01773 530500.

Group consolidates for growth

Following their acquisition of the Faber Group, manufacturer of finished roller blinds, blackout systems, Venetian, vertical and domestic roller blinds and also supplier of component parts to contract, retail and wholesale operating divisions, in June 2010, Hunter Douglas have now released further detail on the restructuring and consolidation of the group, designed to achieve the planned for business growth over the next five years.

In September 2010 Faber Blinds UK Ltd products were withdrawn from the retail sector and their UK customer base transferred under the Luxaflex banner. Also at this time production of Venetian blinds and domestic roller systems was discontinued at their Kilvey Road facility in Northamptonshire and these particular products will now be available through other Hunter Douglas group companies.

Plans for 2011 included transfer, at the end of March, of the wholesale components supply business to Benthin UK Ltd, which brought to an end their association with the Faber Blinds UK Ltd group. This change leaves Fabers focus firmly on the UK Commercial roller, blackout systems, installation and contracting markets. It has also been confirmed that Faber Blinds new UK administrative facility will be at Pondwood House, Pondwood Close, Northampton NN3 6RT where all manufacturing marketing and sales operations will be located.


Faber Blinds
Pondwood House
Pondwood Close

Hochiki publishes Emergency Lighting BS5266 Guide

Hochiki Europe, a leading manufacturer and supplier of fire detection and emergency lighting systems, has announced the publication of a free A6 guide to BS5266, the code of practice for emergency lighting.


UK fire safety legislation states that people in premises must be able to find their way to a place of total safety if there is a fire by using escape routes that have sufficient lighting. BS5266 provides guidance for the maximum viewing distances and luminance conditions for safety signs, the positioning of emergency luminaires, minimum height levels, Lux levels, acceptable glare levels and minimum routine testing schedules.

All emergency lighting installations must adhere to the requirements set out in BS5266 and Hochiki’s new guide examines the constituent parts of the standard and explains their key points in a clear, concise and easy to read format. It also identifies the various types of emergency lighting systems on the market, where they can be used and outlines what installers should consider when specifying them.

Hochiki Europe, which is a member of ICEL (Industry Committee for Emergency Lighting) has produced this publication to complement its innovative FIREscape emergency lighting system.

Manufactured in the UK and BS5266 compliant, Hochiki’s FIREscape emergency lighting system comprises of an addressable emergency lighting control panel with battery back-up. It features addressable, self-contained light emitting diode (LED) luminaires and signage connected via low voltage (40V) cabling. The luminaires are also equipped with battery back-up, making sure they will function in every situation. The unique features of this system mean significant cost, energy and maintenance savings.

Stuart Davies, Hochiki’s marketing manager, commented, ‘Hochiki’s new guide to BS5266 is an invaluable reference tool for anyone involved with the installation, design and specification of emergency lighting systems. The correct positioning of exit signage and emergency lighting is essential in saving lives and by explaining the key elements of this important standard we hope to encourage a greater understanding of it.’

Visit Hochiki Europe’s website to download the free guide to BS5266 “The design, installation and wiring of emergency lighting systems”.  It is also available in a handy and durable A6 hard copy format that can be requested by completing the form on the Hochiki Europe website

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