Shelter Store releases range of tensile canopies in time for summer, the complete online street furniture store, has released a new range of tensile canopies to celebrate the arrival of summer. The canopies are ideal for shade in all kinds of outdoor seating areas, such as parks, outdoor teaching areas, restaurants and pubs. The different canopies vary in design in order to suit a variety of different tastes and purposes.

At the entry level of the range are the Flare, Eclipse and Star canopies which feature classic ‘sail’ designs and provide extremely cost effective shade coverage. Modules are often linked together to form large arrays or combined with other module designs. The open aspect of the artistic design allows for a free flow of movement that defines space.


98% of harmful UV and UVB rays are blocked by the canopies, which means that the canopies not only protect you from the sun, but also it’s potentially harmful rays. The canopies are made from a light, breathable material allowing air circulation and a refreshing cooling effect in warmer weather. All of the Shelter Store ‘sail canopies’ are available in a variety of natural and contemporary colours and benefit from robust steel poles.

The mid-range canopies, the Sail and Umbrella canopies both feature white, low maintenance, PVC Conical roofs complemented by robust steel posts. These canopies can however, be upgraded from PVC to Silicone Glass roofs which have a ‘life-expectancy’ of up to 30 years.

The Aurora is a contemporary shade, ideal for alfresco dining areas – featuring a distinctively elegant design consisting of curved support poles and a Ferrari 502 and Verseidag Commercial Grade PVC/PES membrane canopy. This versatile canopy can have heaters and lighting fitted to it if necessary. The canopy also benefits from robust, galvanised steel construction with an attractive satin finish.

All Shelter Store tensile canopies are manufactured from sustainably sourced steel, resulting in a significantly reduced carbon footprint for both the products containing it and the businesses that use it.

For more information about Shelter Store, visit

Ashzip rises high above the rest

Sandwell Homes has managed numerous high rise Decent Homes refurbishments in partnership with Sandwell Council’s Urban Design team, including Lancaster House in Oldbury, West Midlands. In order to sufficiently meet the Decent Homes standard a complete refurbishment of the building was necessary, and Ash & Lacy Building Systems was chosen to provide the roofing solution.


Lancaster House contains 112 flats over 10 storeys and is situated on a busy through road in view of the motorway. In addition to the residential space, there are 15 shop units and a building that hosts activities for the whole community. Furthermore there is a basement level used for refuse and storage, which is accessed from the rear of the block.

Upon initial structural investigation, it became clear that Lancaster House was suffering from problems inherent with flat roofs including degradation of brickwork and concrete. Further problems included access to the block, as residents and service vehicles experienced heavy congestion from the busy main entrance. A new entrance at the rear of the block was stipulated to alleviate the congestion problems. To allow for the new entrance, some external garages and the community room were demolished and replaced with a larger car park and a three storey atrium was created.

Sandwell Council’s Urban Design decided that Ash & Lacy’s standing seam roofing system was the perfect choice to fulfil the refurbishment requirements. Ash & Lacy supplied 2000m2 of Ashzip 400 to offer a solution for covering the existing roof, the atrium and also cladding the curved roof of the lift and motor room.

The standing seam roof provided a lightweight solution that also ensures protection against harsh weather conditions thanks to the unbroken sheets that are impenetrable to the elements. The steel frames of the new roof structure could be reduced in size thanks to the strength provided by the Ashzip jointing technique which helped to reduce the loadings imposed to the existing structure. A further advantage of Ashzip is the ability to cut and form the material on site. This was particularly useful for the nature of this project as the block was built in the 1960s and does not have a uniform profile. As well as giving an attractive result, the challenge of the curved roof on the lift motor room was met without any problems by the Ashzip system.

The project received recognition for its sustainability and technical viability by receiving a commendation in the refurbishment category of the Ash & Lacy Awards 2010.

Tony Davies, Principal Design Team Leader at Sandwell Council’s Urban Design commented ‘The project presented challenges initially due to the building not being a uniform shape, but Ashzip met the requirements perfectly and the only problem we have is that being eleven storeys up, no-one else can see how well the product performs. Not only is the product excellent, but Ash & Lacy service and delivery can always be relied upon’.

Tel: 0121 525 1444
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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

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