Tag Archives: structural

Latest Schöck BBA Certification raises the bar

Schöck Isokorb BBA Certification

The latest BBA Certification awarded to the Schöck Isokorb is the culmination of an unprecedented standard of assessment by the BBA.   It has resulted in a much more demanding new generation of Agrément Certificates for thermal break products and the emergence of a new ‘Leader Certificate’.   This new ‘Leader Certificate’ incorporates significantly more detailed content on structural stability and performance of the balcony connector.

The rigorous assessment by the BBA involved tests for structural stability, fatigue stresses and fire. As a result, the enhanced Certificate includes a full description and specification of each component. Specification of threaded steel bars to connect the system to steel balcony; limitation for deflection of the concrete slab and steel; the requirement for fatigue stresses due to different temperatures and for natural frequency of the external concrete slab and steel balconies; thermal bridging at the junction between the balcony and the wall. In addition, it covers behaviour in relation to fire.

The BBA’s Project Manager, Seyed Tajallifar, emphasises that: “All future Agrément Certificates of this sort will follow this format. The items covered in the Schöck Certificate will be included in any other balcony connector Certificate when they are due for Reissue.”

Chris Willett, MD at Schöck comments: “We have always welcomed our collaboration with the BBA, which dates back over several years. This new generation BBA Agrément Certificate takes a huge step in providing the highest level of assurance to the construction industry and we are certain that it will lead to further specifications of our product in the future”.

For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide and / or the Thermal Bridging Solutions brochure – contact the company on 01865 290 890 or visit www.schoeck.co.uk

 

London’s Riverwalk incorporates Passivhaus standard Schöck Isokorb

On the north side of the Thames in central London, the three riverside embankments, Chelsea, Victoria and Albert, are the result of extensive civil engineering works that reclaimed marshy land, narrowed the width of the river and provided a large-scale new area of development during the late 19th century.    Today almost 150 years later, much of the area is once again being transformed as the result of a scheme designed to replace many of the outdated buildings which have characterised these areas for so long. There will be high specification property construction, promenades and parks; and at Millbank, one of the major residential riverfront developments is Riverwalk.

Passivhaus standard Schöck Isokorb

Riverwalk features two organically shaped buildings of seven and seventeen storeys, connected by a central podium and incorporating 116 high specification one, two, three and four bedroom apartments, plus penthouses. The design focus is on light, space, service and exceptional views across the Thames.   Aesthetically the buildings are enhanced by horizontal bands of limestone on the curving facades between the glazing and ceramic panels, with the stonework wrapping around the lower parts of the balconies to create a continuous organic shape.

The avoidance of thermal bridging is critical

With such a high specification development, early consideration was given to the avoidance of the thermal bridging at the critical balcony connections. Thermal bridges would result in higher heat transfer through the assembly and colder surface temperatures on the warm side of the assembly.

Some of the consequences of this being higher energy use for heating and cooling, non-compliance with UK Building Regulations, potential building structure corrosion and the risk of mould growth and associated health concerns from respiratory problems. To help minimise any risk of thermal bridging, the structural thermal break module specified throughout the Riverwalk development is the latest generation Schöck Isokorb for concrete-to-concrete applications, the type KXT.

Isokorb type KXT

This latest example of Schöck engineering means even better performance, which is critical in meeting the inceasingly stringent EU guidelines and the imminent need for nearly zero-energy building standards. The Schöck Isokorb type KXT pushes the technical boundaries in meeting these demands.

In addition, through close collaboration with its clients, Schöck has also now optimised the load capacity of the Isokorb range. As a result, the load capacities most frequently in demand have been identified and appropriate refinements applied to the product portfolio.   The range now provides planners with not only a structurally optimised product solution for the construction of cantilevered components, but cost advantages as well.

Schöck Isokorb

Verifiable performance values

The product offers such a high level of insulation, that in Germany the Passivhaus Institute in Darmstadt has awarded the product with the low ‘thermal bridge construction‘ certificate and confirmed its suitability even for Passivhaus construction. The product has also just been awarded the very latest BBA certification.   All units meet full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations, which require that the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (fRSI) must be greater than or equal to 0.75 for residential buildings. The range also provides Local Authority Building Control Registration and there is compliance too with the UK government Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP 2012) concerning CO2 emissions from buildings and respectively heat losses through non-repeating thermal bridges.

Here, the lambda values of the Schöck Isokorb enable energy loss in various connective situations to be reduced by as much as 84% to 91%.

For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide and / or the Thermal Bridging Solutions brochure – contact the company on 01865 290 890 or visit www.schoeck.co.uk

Neaco decking chosen for another landmark bridge

 Neaco’s aluminium decking has been specified for another landmark bridge project at Bécon-les-Bruyères train station which forms part of the extensive redevelopment of the Zac des Bruyeres Courbevoie in Paris.

The striking new footbridge is the key feature of first phase of modernisation carried out by contractors, Groupe GCC. It now facilitates access to routes for travelers and allows residents the passage of Asnieres-sur-Seine at Courbevoie. Bécon-les-Bruyères is one of the busiest stations in the suburbs, with more than 20,000 passengers per day, and is set to become a major interchange with upgraded platforms and passenger buildings. The overall development is being led by joint project managers, RFF and SNCF.

Neaco’s National Sales Manager, Peter Melia, comments: “Neaco can now boast an outstanding list of high profile bridge projects which have specified our Techdek system for pedestrian and cycle paths. The product is featured on some of the most acclaimed designs in the UK and Ireland, including the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, the Media City Footbridge in Salford Quays, the Twin Sails Bridge in Poole, the Peace Bridge in Londonderry and the Living Bridge in Limerick. We are delighted to add Paserelle Becon-les-Bruyeres to that list.”

“Techdek’s T-Bar profile provides a 74 per cent contact area on the surface yet drains water efficiently and its swage-locked construction between the bars enables high load bearing capability. The system is durable, maintenance-free and comes with the option of a serrated anti-slip surface for safer footing. This combination of attributes makes Techdek an ideal specification for the high traffic demands of an urban bridge and its versatile modular system can adapt to unusual angles and curvatures, allowing it to meet the creative aspects of designs like Paserelle Becon-les-Bruyeres.”

As well as offering bridge-friendly qualities, Techdek has many environmentally friendly attributes: the system is non-toxic, non-combustible, corrosive-free and 100 per cent recyclable with no downgrading of its properties and very little energy required for re-melting. Precision-manufactured off site and easy to assemble with no welding required, Techdek is suitable for many other applications, including staging, modesty screens, solar shading, maintenance galleries and roof access walkways.

http://neaco.co.uk/

Cembrit Launches Windstopper Extreme in a Blaze of Glory

Windstopper

Cembrit, the leading roofing and cladding specialist, is pleased to announce the UK launch of Windstopper Extreme – a new sheathing board that is ideal for a range of uses on UK construction projects. To coincide with the launch, Cembrit tested the board to BS EN 1634-1:2015 / BS 476:22 at the Building Research Establishment (BRE). Cembrit is delighted to report Windstopper Extreme passed the test achieving a one hour fire rating.

Cembrit Windstopper

A sheathing board such as Windstopper Extreme is typically installed behind decorative rainscreen cladding to effectively ‘seal’ the internal environment of a building. It is an excellent alternative to cement particle board and has, following the successful fire test, proven fire resistance. Simon Mayes, National Sales Manager, Cladding and Building Boards, for Cembrit is sure that the architects, specifiers and contractors will appreciate the wide range of benefits that Windstopper Extreme offers: ‘The performance and versatility of Windstopper Extreme make it a noteworthy entrant onto the UK cladding and building board scene. We were already aware of its excellent qualities as a first class sheathing board and to add the one hour fire test on top of that extends the board’s appeal and application potential.’

Building Regulations and other documentation require building structural elements to provide minimum periods of fire resistance, usually expressed in minutes, which are generally based on the occupancy and size of the building. BS EN 1634-1:2015 / BS 476:22 determines the fire resistance of non-loadbearing elements, such as sheathing boards, of a building construction when subjected to certain heating and pressure conditions. When subjected to a 60 minute fire test, Windstopper Extreme passed with flying colours.

Cembrit Windstopper Extreme acts as a windproof membrane for exterior walls that can absorb and release moisture without affecting the durability, strength or performance of the board. This very low vapour transmission resistance, enables moisture generated inside a building to pass through to the outside. Insulation can be placed directly against the inner side of the board which is also resistant toward both rot and fungal growth. The Scandinavian heritage of Windstopper Extreme also ensures it can withstand considerable fluctuations in weather and climatic conditions.

For further information visit www.cembrit.co.uk, email info@cembrit.co.uk or tel: +44 (0)20 8301 8900.

Cavity Trays latest building envelope solutions at the Scotland Build Show 2016

The only cavity tray company in the UK awarded European Technical Approval and the longest-established in its specialised filed is displaying its latest products at the Scotland Build Show 2016.

Cavity Trays of Yeovil has a history dating back to the 1920’s and its approved products are accompanied with a performance warranty.

Its know-how and expertise derived over almost a century is available for the benefit of Architect, Builder and Client and its latest handbook is being distributed from the stand.

The Type X cavitray for gable abutments provides a swift and effective way of arresting and controlling rain penetrating masonry above a sloping abutment.

Trays are available to suit all styles and sizes of masonry from brick to block to stone.

Each approved Type X cavitray has a ready-shaped flashing already attached, and an adjustable back upstand that now extends to cover an even wider range of cavity widths, ensuring compatibility at all times.

The Type BWVC

Type BWVC Bay Window Vertical Cavitray links lintel with the higher level roof DPC/tray and prevents damp horizontal transference between the two.
Type BWVC Bay Window Vertical Cavitray links lintel with the higher level roof DPC/tray and prevents damp horizontal transference between the two.

The full name of this new product is the Bay Window Vertical Cavitray and it overcomes a problem experienced by many during the 2013/2014 wet winter: lateral transference.

Lateral transference or ‘sideways soak’ as it is often termed, refers to exterior skin masonry becoming saturated and then permitting saturation to permeate ‘sideways’ into the structure.

It can occur to the sides of a bay window between bay roof intersection level and the lower level where the lintel runs across the bay to support the wall above.

The Type BWVC cleverly links the two whilst maintaining masonry bonding and coursing.

Its presence halts horizontal wet permeation.

This product is compatible for use with other approved cavitrays for horizontal and sloping roofs.

Preformed damp courses and trays

A range of preformed damp courses and trays for use with timber frame construction demonstrate the benefits of building using pre-shaped damp-protection solutions rather than relying on site forming and fabrication.

Pre-shaped extends the protective qualities beyond just one face of the element requiring protection, guarding against misplacement and ensuring every touch-point is both uniformly and consistently addressed.

One of over 120 designs of preformed cavitray available to suit timber construction. This model provides the requisite damp protection requirements as well as extending through the cavity and across the oversite so the arrangement protects against rising gases such as radon.
One of over 120 designs of preformed cavitray available to suit timber construction. This model provides the requisite damp protection requirements as well as extending through the cavity and across the oversite so the arrangement protects against rising gases such as radon.

 

Caviclosers

The designer now has a wider choice of caviclosers capable of reveal closing cavity widths up to 240mm wide.

The latest models include new fire-rated models that are immediately identifiable by a red prefix, eg: Cavi 60.

This signifies the cavicloser has a sixty minutes fire integrity rating.

The range extends from one hour to four hours (Cavi 240).

The Specifier is able to instantly identify and select a model with the requisite protection and cavity width qualities.

The Type RFC  – Reveal Face Closer

A reveal face closer that permits full fill insulation to be continued unpunctuated to the reveal face.

It provides a novel way of eliminating the need for separate insulating elements being required within a fully insulated cavity wall that is able to meet the thermal requirements demanded.

The Type RFC (Reveal Face Closer) may be used to close compliant cavity walls with cavity widths from 50mm to 150mm.

Visit Cavity Trays on Stand E19.
Scotland Build 2016 – 23rd & 24th November 2016

http://www.cavitytrays.co.uk

Safety Critical Fixings – What happens when it goes wrong?

construction fixings

As recently appointed full members of the Construction Fixings Association, EJOT UK is helping to promote the work of the CFA by alerting those involved in the specification and installation of safety critical fixings, to the serious consequences of “getting it wrong”.

We are all familiar with this engineering teaser:

Question: What is the most important component on a car?

Answer: The nut that holds the steering wheel in place!

Take away the humour element, and the reality is exactly the same when you apply this to countless structural scenarios. The somber truth is that life and limb are the ultimate casualties when either the correct specification or installation process fails.

Brian Mack is technical business development manager for EJOT in the UK:

“The selection, installation and certification of construction fixings on any construction project is comparatively small in terms of time and resource when taking the overall project into consideration. Yet, at EJOT we have seen on countless occasions, the results of wrongly specified fixings and the many mistakes that have presented a serious threat to life.

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“Incidents such as tunnel collapses, scaffold collapses and ducting/ME failures due to incorrectly specified, installed or set critical fixings can easily be avoided. It is vital that the correct anchoring system is chosen and that it is installed to the manufacturers recommendations; that includes drilling and preparation of the installation hole through to insertion and setting of the anchor. The Code of practice for the selection and installation of post-installed anchors in concrete and masonry, BS 8539:2012, underpins the whole process from design and testing, right through to final installation. It is a valuable document and THE source of reference for safety critical fasteners”.

rebars
Rebars

Established in 1979, the CFA is non-profit making industry-wide body comprising the major manufacturers of construction fixings that have a significant UK presence.

The Association’s work in actively promoting best practice guidance through a range of resources, makes it the leading authority on construction fixings in the UK. The CFA has been instrumental in the development and publishing of BS8539 – a British Standard Code of Practice designed to assist the specification to installation chain, with a thoroughly comprehensive guide to the roles and responsibilities in providing a high quality and safe fixing installation.

Brian Mack continues:

“As a trade association, the CFA is providing education, advice, training and technical support to all functions involved in the provision of safety critical fixings in the industry.  Here at EJOT UK, we are delighted to be now involved with this process”.

In brief, the CFA are currently providing these resources:

For Specifiers: CPD seminars reviewing the design and selection of fixings in line with BS 8539 and current European Technical Approvals.

For Contractors: CPD seminars designed to explain their responsibilities and how to implement these duties under BS 8539. This also looks at creating ‘competent installers and testers’ for projects.

Construction Fixings Association

For Installers: Certified training in the correct installation of all construction fixings to concrete and masonry.

For Testers: Certified training in the correct procedures for testing to the requirements of BS 8539 – both for proof testing and allowable load determination.

For further information about the Construction Fixings Association, its full members and its comprehensive toolkit for BS 8539, visit the Construction Fixings Association website at www.the-cfa.co.uk

http://www.ejot.co.uk/

Natural frequency and vibration behaviour of free cantilever steel balconies

Lightweight support structures, such as free-cantilevered steel balconies, can be prone to vibration when people move about on them more heavily than usual.    As designs become ever more lightweight and competitive in cost terms, particularly with very large cantilevers, the vibration behaviour of a structure takes on even more importance. 

On this scheme, the balconies are an unusually demanding 2.3m in depth
On this scheme, the balconies are an unusually demanding 2.3m in depth

So when considering the development and structural design of steel balconies, there are a whole host of influencing variables that should be taken into account.  In selecting the method of connection to the building slab, the challenge lies not only in choosing a component that ensures effectiveness as a thermal break; but one that offers a safe structural design solution as well.  An additional factor is that it also needs to be compliant with the necessary serviceability requirements.

Acceptability of vibrations

The Building Regulations Part L defines the limit values for thermal bridges; and Eurocode 3 specifies the required verifications, such as for vibration, in serviceability limit state. Such verification is the responsibility of the structural engineer, whose function it is to calculate the natural frequency of the construction depending on its utilisation.    That being said, when considering the design of the balcony construction and thermal insulating element, it is prudent to ensure that the natural frequency is greater than the limit frequency specified by the structural engineer.     Generally, vibration of floors is considered to be a serviceability issue, primarily related to discomfort.   As the perception of discomfort varies from one individual to another, no precise limit can be imposed that will guarantee satisfaction for everyone during the lifetime of the balcony.    Assessment of acceptable vibration is therefore not straightforward. However, a logical approach is to design structures so that their natural frequency is sufficiently beyond potential excitation frequencies.

Depending on the type and utilisation of the structure, published data indicates limit frequencies of between 4 Hz and 7.5 Hz.   Experience has shown that adopting a limit frequency of 7.5 Hz for steel balconies not only eliminates the possibility of undesirable vibration, it also enables the design of cost efficient structures. 

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The Schöck Isokorb performs above recommended limit frequencies

If planned properly, the Isokorb type KS for concrete-to-steel thermal connectivity allows almost any balcony geometry to be designed without constraints.     To assess how prone to vibration separated balconies using the Isokorb type KS might be, Schöck has employed the latest Natural Frequency Calculator software package.  This is a free service which uses geometric and material variables and enables project teams to identify the optimum solution for steel cantilever balcony connections early in the design process.     In most cases it will be found that the natural frequencies of normal balcony constructions are still above the recommended limit frequencies when utilising the Isokorb type KS.  

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The Schöck Isokorb type KS incorporates 80mm of insulation and is 180 mm wide and between 180 and 280mm high, to allow flexible adjustment for differing slab thicknesses.     It can be prefabricated, reducing assembly time on site and can bear extremely heavy loads.    This combination of features makes the unit ideal in meeting the various thermal and structural demands involved in the design of modern balconies. Which in the case of cantilever steel balconies, with a thermally broken connection to a concrete slab, normally sees the elements exposed to both vertical and horizontal bending moments and shear forces.   The KS has a shear-bending interaction which, based on project specific loadings, allows for a much more flexible design and results in greater tolerance when designing steel balconies. 

Schock

Recommendations for planning and designing steel balconies

The following factors influence the natural frequency and therefore the vibration behaviour of free cantilever steel balconies. Particular attention should be paid to these factors when planning and designing thermally broken steel balconies:

·     Balcony geometry, especially the cantilever length and spacing between the connections

·     Rigidity and proper execution of the stub bracket, especially on stepped thresholds

·     Sufficient transverse rigidity of the balcony construction

·     Incorporation of the stiffness of the chosen thermal insulating element into the planning process

Demandingly large balconies at Rathbone Market

A good example of unusually large cantilever steel balconies being incorporated is on the Rathbone Market scheme, part of the Canning Town and Custom House regeneration programme. A three-phase development delivering a new library, around 652 new homes and a new market square at the heart of the scheme.  Here the balconies are an unusually demanding 2.3 metres in depth.

www.schoeck.co.uk

HOOLA precast balconies a team effort from Schöck and Thorp

the HOOLA

Tidal Basin Road in East London, gateway to the soon-to-be regenerated Royal Victoria Docks area and a short stroll from the Excel Exhibition Centre, is now home to a new twin tower glass-clad landmark building – the ‘HOOLA’.

This £80m development has transformed a brownfield site into two rippling 23 and 24 storey glass towers that effectively sit on a ‘landscaped lid’; which covers the single level basement and accommodates parking and refuse plant spaces.

The buildings are super-insulated and the concrete frame will act as a heat sink – absorbing heat on warm days and releasing it back into apartments when it cools.

An innovative link-up with the neighbouring ExCel Exhibition Centre will also see excess heat piped directly into the two towers.

the HOOLA

There are 360 apartments with a mix of studios, along with one, two and three-bedroom units.  All apartments have floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors with balcony access, so a critical design requirement for such a super-insulated building was the avoidance of any risk of thermal bridging at the many concrete-to-concrete balcony connectivity points.

Highly efficient structural thermal breaks were therefore required throughout and the preferred solution was the Schöck Isokorb type K for cantilever balconies.

With its innovative HTE pressure-bearing module and Neopor® core, the unit provides extremely high thermal resistance; and is also a load-bearing element which transfers bending moment, stress and shear forces.

Complex balcony detailing for Thorp Precast

The balconies on the HOOLA, which are all precast in a Reconstituted Portland Stone Concrete, meant that thermal break suppliers Schöck had to work closely with specialists Thorp Precast of Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Luke Smerdon-White, Technical Director at Thorp, takes up the story:

“We had to design, manufacture and deliver 1410 precast concrete balcony sections that had to then be cast integrally with the in situ concrete structure.

The design and detailing coordination on our part was taken from the 2D consultant’s information, which we converted into 3D Tekla modelling.

The balcony detailing is complex. The exposed front-face is curved, with almost 50 different dimensional configurations, while the internal face has a facetted line that had to correlate with the glazing line and opening doors.

The ability to integrate the Schöck Isokorb thermal breaks using 3D BIM details was critical; as we had to both accommodate the slab and column reinforcement – and achieve the finite positioning of the connection modules for structural and cost efficiency”.

the HOOLA

On super insulated buildings, balcony insulation is especially critical

Research at the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes University shows that as a result of airtightness and fabric U-values being improved in UK building, thermal bridge heat losses are responsible for an increasing percentage of the overall building heat loss.

It is common for thermal bridges to account for 20% – 30% heat loss in multi-residential units (as calculated by thermal modelling) and balcony connections can be a major contributor to the thermal bridge heat loss if effective thermal isolation is not included in the design.

Schöck offers a number of highly effective solutions to various thermal bridging situations.   In addition to concrete-to-concrete capability, the Isokorb range provides totally verifiable solutions for concrete-to-steel, steel-to-steel and even a maintenance free alternative to wrapped parapets.

All solutions meet full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations and offer BBA Certification and LABC Registration. The requirement that the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (the fRsi value), in residential buildings, must be equal to or greater than 0.75 is comfortably met by incorporating the Isokorb.

For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide and / or the Thermal Bridging Solutions brochure – contact the company on 01865 290 890 or visit www.schoeck.co.uk

Comprehensive Schöck range meets Embassy Gardens demands

Schock

Stretching along the south bank of the Thames from Battersea to Vauxhall, the Nine Elms area in London, for so long a neglected stretch of industrial land, has become the largest development zone in Central London.   Over the next ten it will see 20,000 homes built, along with new schools, parks, cultural centres, a pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Thames; and the opening of two new London Transport underground stations.

The residential and commercial heart of this huge development is Embassy Gardens, London’s new diplomatic precinct on the riverside.  It forms the backdrop to the new US Embassy, scheduled to relocate from Grosvenor Square during 2017.  The blocks are arranged around raised courtyards, with retail and commercial frontages at ground level that connect the Embassy Square, Linear Park and River Frontage through a network of streets and a central square.

There are differing building heights to minimise overshadowing and overlook and the buildings incorporate a wide array of public and amenity spaces including communal courtyards, roof gardens, private terraces and balconies.

 Schock

The first release of apartments in Embassy Gardens is the Ambassador Building, which comprises six distinct cores, which house not only the residential apartments, but also a fully equipped private members club to rival the best in any international hotel.

The development has inevitably attracted a sophisticated level of residents who demand the highest standards of detail throughout these buildings; and one of the key features is the wide variety of balcony types, each governed by unit size and orientation.

OISD confirms need to minimise thermal bridging

With such a demanding specification involving different balcony types, the minimisation of any possible thermal bridging problems is crucial. This is something highlighted in research findings from the Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes University.

It shows that with increasingly improved airtightness and fabric U-values in UK buildings, thermal bridge heat losses are responsible for an increasing percentage of the overall building heat loss.   It is common for thermal bridges to account for 20% – 30% of the heat loss in multi-residential units (as calculated by thermal modelling) and balcony connections can be a major contributor to the thermal bridge heat loss – if effective thermal isolation is not included in the design.    And the company able to offer the ideal range of solutions to the differing thermal connectivity demands posed by the complex balcony designs at the Ambassador Building is Schöck.

Isokorb type KS for concrete-to-steel

Verifiable performance standards and full compliance

The diverse range of Schöck Isokorb load-bearing thermal insulation products guarantees totally verifiable performance standards, meets full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations and offers BBA Certification and LABC Registration.   The specific requirements at the Ambassador Building involved firstly the Schöck Isokorb type K for concrete-to–concrete connectivity.

The type K units were incorporated into the cast in-situ cantilever balconies on the road facing external elevation; and where there was a shear force transfer element required, also involving concrete-to-concrete loggia’s or supported balconies, the Isokorb type Q was installed.  A further variation, Isokorb type K-WU units were also used as slab-to-wall thermal breaks.

Isokorb type KS for concrete-to-steel

The Isokorb type KS for concrete-to-steel were used on the internal courtyard balconies; and to assist the structural engineer in keeping the transverse beam continuous between the external columns, Schöck SLD dowels were also used to support the propped cantilever walkway externally.

In addition to providing highly effective connectivity solutions for concrete-to-concrete and concrete-to-steel thermal bridging situations, the Schöck Isokorb range also offers a modular product for steel-to-steel applications and even a maintenance free alternative to wrapped parapets.

When any Isokorb product type is incorporated into residential buildings, the required fRsi value – the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk that must be equal to or greater than 0.75 – is always comfortably met.

For a free copy of the Schöck Thermal Bridging Guide and / or the Thermal Bridging Solutions brochure – contact the company on 01865 290 890 or visit www.schoeck.co.uk

Building Better with BIM

By-lined Article by Steve Thompson, MD of EOS Facades

eos1

The digital age is evolving. We are constantly adapting technology in order to enhance all aspects of the modern world. We have changed the way we socialise, the way we travel and the way we work in order to integrate the latest technology in our everyday lives.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is at the front and centre of the latest digital technology in today’s built environment. There is now almost a universal recognition of BIM within the construction industry, as well as widespread private sector investment in the implementation of BIM.

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So why is BIM so crucial to transforming the industry?

Steve Thompson, MD of EOS Facades, specialists in the design, manufacture and supply of a wide range of steel sections for panelised or volumetric offsite solutions, shares his views on the positive impact that BIM will have on today’s construction industry:

“In terms of procurement, BIM is a powerful tool that allows construction companies to quantify the requirements of their projects. This enables control of spending and time management resulting in the reduction of wastage in these areas. It is essential that BIM is used in the early design stages of a project to ensure that there is capacity to not only clearly identify the elements of the project but through the use of BIM, companies are able to anticipate when they need to procure any given material or element. It is extremely difficult to transport the appropriate knowledge across all construction partners at the same time without the use of BIM, this can lead to the teams procuring the wrong materials at the wrong time, in different volumes.

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In 2011 the government committed to the use of ‘Level 2’ collaborative 3D BIM on all centrally-procured government projects by this year. This is strategically planned as part of a larger overall strategy to combine the use of BIM with the latest modern technology, leading to the collaboration of the government and construction industry working to enhance skills and reduce the cost of infrastructure. The aim of this strategy is ultimately to position digitally enhanced construction as a prerequisite across the UK construction industry.

There has been scepticism, however, from some parts of the industry over the government’s BIM strategy. There seems to be a strong theme of companies claiming that there is a crucial lack of training in this area and that it is too costly and time consuming to invest in, particularly for SME’s.

Despite these claims the overall acceptance that BIM has gained still seems particularly prominent. From my experience, the general consensus from our industry implies that the growing integration of BIM will have a positive effect with only a small percentage of construction companies stating that they will not be using the technology. More money is now being invested in BIM, with large jobs kicking off this year applying the use of BIM in more sophisticated ways than ever before.

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I feel that the government’s implementation of BIM Level 2 will have a positive effect on our industry by bringing about progressive changes to the way that we work. Through the execution of this strategy, it is predicted that BIM will bring many employment opportunities, particularly for niche software developers and offsite manufactures, as well as upskilling current employees within our industry. By creating critical mass and certainty of demand, businesses should feel confident when investing in the development of BIM within their companies.

BIM is a key enabler for integrating offsite technology into construction practices – this is something crucial within government projects as there is an acute need for time efficient construction, as well as a vital responsibility for our industry and government to reduce our carbon footprint through the application of low energy buildings – resulting in lower costs for the end user.

BIM helps to provide the platform for teams to integrate and work together, as well as delivering valuable information to confirm that the finished project will meet performance expectations. It is the ideal tool for connecting the whole life cycle analysis of a project – embracing new technology and a new culture of working. This is something that I feel the industry would benefit greatly from and would help to deliver projects with heightened quality through efficiency of communications and accuracy of planning and design. I am eager to see the industry take this advanced method of construction to the next level.”

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CPD Factory Tours

To celebrate their tenth anniversary and following the investment in their fifth Howick FRAMA Machine – the first in the UK –  EOS Facades have launched a series of CPD Factory Tours at the company’s  state of the art facility in County Durham. These tours are FREE to attend and are suitable for architects, contractors, engineers and clients. To find out more visit: www.eos-facades.co.uk/our-services/cpd-accredited-factory-tours/

EOS Facades have worked on projects across all construction sectors, including education, healthcare, leisure, commercial and residential. Their portfolio of successfully completed projects and track record stretches back 10 years, so clients will benefit from a wealth of experience and expertise.

The EOS Facades product range includes:

  • Facade (Panels) – an innovative panel system which is fully engineered and assembled offsite in our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. The fully engineered framed solution is designed to accommodate the fixing of any type of facade panelling or curtain walling system.
  • Facade (Stud & Track) – bespoke system, custom-manufactured to exacting requirements to meet our client’s needs. Suitable for all types of infill panels into primary framed hot rolled Steel and In-situ concrete framed buildings.
  • Flooring System – flooring systems range from lattice beam solutions to fully panellised flooring systems. Suitable for all types of load bearing floors from intermediate separating floors to bespoke mezzanine flooring solutions.
  • Roofing System – extensive roofing range from truss and flat-to-pitch roofing systems to providing ground-breaking ‘room-in-the-roof’ solutions.
  • High Bay Walling – Can be used internally to provide single span stud walls up to 10m in a variety of sizes up to 250mm deep stud and track capability in gauges from 1.2 to 2mm thick allowing us to tailor sections to meet exact project requirements. 

  • Continuous Walling – used predominantly to maximise the internal floor area or in instances where cladding cannot incorporate horizontal deflection joints at each floor level.

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