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JANUARY 2017 building & facilities facilities management management


Hackney Community College saves £25K a year with second major Salix-funded LED lighting upgrade See page 26



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On the cover: January 2017

BFM Team Business Development Director

James Scrivens

Hackney Community College saves £25K a year with second major Salix-funded LED lighting upgrade. See page 26 for more details.


Creative Director

Sarah Daviner Accounts Manager

Katie Brehm

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Facilities for the Disabled



Allegion UK offers new hub for building, architectural industry professionals to collaborate



Panasonic introduces new VRF ECOi ME2 solution BFM_Magazine

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All contents © Abbey Publishing Ltd 2017 ISSN: 1470-5281

Health & Safety


Facilities managers need to be confident that health and safety has been considered for every aspect of the cleaning supply chain, from product selection to the final result, says Jangro Operations Director Joanne Gilliard.

Security & Access Control


Subscriptions are available to non-qualified readers for £50 per annum (postage incl.), £60 (Europe), and £70 (rest of the world) Cover Price: £5.00 No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without prior permission from the publishers. The publishers do not accept any responsibility for, or necessarily agree with, any views expressed in articles, letters or supplied advertisements.

Designing Accessible Washrooms

Julius Rutherfoord wants to see levels of security vetting improved across the professional cleaning industry, says operations director Chris Parkes.

Lighting Washroom


Facilities managers can boost the health and well-being of staff and visitors by encouraging hand hygiene compliance in the washroom, says Mike Sullivan, managing director of GOJO Industries-Europe.


Hackney Community College saves £25K a year with second major Salix-funded LED lighting upgrade

Special Feature


Photon Energy celebrates 10 years in the business

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Building & Facilities Management – January 2017



Allegion UK offers new hub for building, architectural industry professionals to collaborate

Allegion UK, global pioneers of door hardware plan to use their central Birmingham HQ as an industry meeting hub for door, building and architectural professionals.


ased in Aston, Birmingham, the offices house what they call their ‘Security and Safety Learning Centre’. Capable of holding up to 24 people at any given time in the meeting space, the aim is for the centre to be used as a hub for learning and discussion. Launched in October shortly after relocating from Walsall, the Centre has already held a function for industry body the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers, and the Door Hardware Federation has chosen the venue for an event in January. Plans are now in place to host more regular networking events, with the aim of improving dialogue amongst industry professionals. The Centre was developed after Allegion recognised that many of their customers and trade partners 4


would benefit from a centrally located and serviced meeting area to discuss industry issues. “Choosing Birmingham as our UK headquarters was a strategic decision meant to help unite professionals working within the industry,” said Suzanne Taylor-Turnbull, Allegion marketing, communications & brand leader in the EMEIA region. “The central location is key for us to bring together industry leaders and businesses for regular networking events, and by doing so we’ll be improving the relations between vendors, users and suppliers. It’s our hope that collaboration and knowledge across the industry improves overall, in turn helping to ensure the safety and security of building occupants.” The Security and Safety Learning

Centre offers a suite of aroundthe-doorway safety and security solutions set out by market sector, and contains working models of Allegion’s latest innovations and most successful products. Catering can be arranged for guests wishing to host a meeting or event. To book a visit to Allegion’s Security and Safety Learning Centre or learn more about what Allegion can offer at their offices, please visit: welcometothesecurity safetylearningcentre.html. Building & Facilities Management – January 2017


Building & Facilities Management – January 2017




New Distribution Contract for Hills Rotary Dryers Freudenberg Household Products LP has signed a new distribution agreement with DF Sales for their outdoor rotary dryers brand, Hills.


ills Rotary Dryers, which was established over 70 years ago in Australia, has long been a firm favourite within the building trade, due to its heavy duty design and durability. The brand is currently

stocked by builders’ merchants including Travis Perkins, Toolbank and independent hardware wholesalers. Commenting on the partnership Lora Finn, Laundry Shopper Product Manager said: “This marks a significant milestone in our journey to establish Hills as the number one rotary brand in the UK. Although we have already established significant contracts within the building trade sector, we are confident DF Sales is strategically placed to take further advantage of growth in the sector.” DF Sales, which also distributes Vileda in the sector, on behalf of Freudenberg Household Products LP, will sell the range of nine dryers and accessories, which are guaranteed for between two and ten years, depending on the rotary, and include: • 30m 4 arm Builders Special – an ultra-heavy duty fixed head rotary airer which allows the height of the lines that to be set at time of installation • 35m 4 arm Supex Hoist – an ultra-heavy duty fixed head rotary airer with a hoist mechanism and breeze brake to prevent rotation when loading • 60m 4 arm Supadry – a heavy duty domestic rotary clothes airer, with hoist mechanism, breeze brake, a ground socket with locking collar, coat hanger holder and inner and outer tensioning devices



• 35m 3 arm Handiline – a domestic rotary clothes airer, with twist grip lift and lock elevating mechanism, easy to use handgrip and line tensioning feature • 35m 3 arm Portadry and 45m 4 arm Portadry – a domestic rotary clothes airer, with twist grip lift and lock elevating mechanism, strong tubular steel stay supports, line tensioning device, coat hanger holders and painted arms • 30m 3 arm Airdry, 35m 3 arm Airdry & 40m 4 arm Airdry – a domestic rotary clothes airer which is compact and easy to fold, raise and lower and three position handgrip DF Sales managing director, Rob Austen added: “Our experience of working with Freudenberg Household Products LP has been excellent and we are totally committed to extending our sales expertise to encompass Hills. We are perfectly positioned to take the brand to the next level, using our dedicated sales team who already have established links in the industry.” Hills outdoor rotary airers offer a wide choice of drying options based on space, durability and cost. Made from durable galvanised steel to prevent rusting, the airers are phthalate-free, ensuring they meet the latest Health & Safety guidelines. For further information on Hills Rotary Dryers visit:

Building & Facilities Management – January 2017


Smoke control and the ‘Intelligent FM’


Bob Gate, UK Business Development and Marketing Manager at Brakel Airvent

had the pleasure of attending the Building Services Summit at the British Library late last year, and it got me pondering. It’s reassuring sometimes to have your own way of thinking reinforced by others in the industry, and the summit’s focus on attaining real value from buildings – rather than rueing their construction as a series of costly mistakes – is one that really resonates with the Brakel Airvent way of thinking, shared by all the smoke safety and ventilation specialists within our organisation. For us, the facilities management professional is often our core customer, and they’re concerned not only with ticking legislative boxes and keeping things up and running, but also with improvements, with cost-saving opportunities and with a desire to ensure that the buildings they’re working on are inherently constructed correctly in the first place. The summit highlighted the 10:80:10 ratio – that a building’s total cost is split between 10% construction, 10% demolition and 80% ongoing use, energy and maintenance costs. Investing more in getting things right at the start and doing everything possible to reduce the amount spent during a building’s lifetime will smooth out that equation and build a better, greener future not only for the construction industry but our whole country.

Smoke control Brakel Airvent’s specific take on the world of facilities management is coloured by a focus on life safety, asset protection, the ongoing health of building occupants and, naturally, cost savings. We specialise in smoke ventilation and control systems, utilising vents, fans, dampers, smoke curtains and control systems in tandem to create safe zones in the instance of a fire breaking out in a building. It’s well-known that smoke spreads faster than flames in such situations, creating havoc with escape routes and fire fighter access and endangering 8


lives as well as destroying assets. Our systems keep these escape routes and fire fighter access avenues clear by utilising either mechanical intervention or the natural buoyancy of hot smoke. They require all elements to work in tandem: blocking ductwork dampers to stop spread of smoke; dropping smoke curtains to compartmentalise smoke (keeping it warm and thus high above escape routes); activating fans to extract smoke; and opening AOV windows to allow fresh inlet air into the building. Understandably, that means if even one element is poorly maintained, or if the pre-set cause and effect protocols in place in the control unit aren’t kept up to date with the building’s geometry, significant risks can emerge.

Finding intelligence At a competent smoke control specialist, the people are all about innovation at every level of the business. To people like us the task is about so much more than fixing broken vents or testing system efficiency. It’s about working out ways to stop vents from breaking in the first place, or pioneering systems that are inherently focused on energy efficiency and the cost savings that go along with it. We understand that modern facilities managers take a rounded view of their responsibilities and want to work

with partners and specialists who share this forward-thinking mindset. It was mildly gratifying to know that the very building hosting this summit, the British Library, is itself under the watchful care of Brakel Airvent’s team as we are responsible for the smoke control systems and therefore both the building’s occupants and key works such as the Magna Carta or Leonardo da Vinci’s original notebooks.

Sustainability in the real world For far too long sustainability has been considered a luxury in the built environment. Construction firms often consider it a box-ticking exercise and while it’s important that construction materials and methods are environmentally-friendly, not enough focus is given to the impact the building will have on the environment for the years and decades after it’s finished. You need maintenance partners who can retrofit, refurbish, re-engineer and advise. Someone who can look at buildings with a pragmatic eye, to save FMs money and to lessen the carbon footprint of the structures for which they’re responsible. FMs might not be able to influence the construction of individual new builds, but by improving those that they manage they set in motion an upward trend toward a safer, more sustainable future. Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

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Safety [Safety]

We provide complete peace of mind that your people and assets are protected


When peoples’ lives are depending on your smoke control system you need to know that it works. From preventative maintenance packages to a UKwide, 24/365 emergency call out service, Brakel Airvent doesn’t just provide unrivalled engineering expertise – it provides peace of mind.

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To find out how Brakel Airvent is leading the way to safer environments visit To ask a question or arrange a FREE no obligation meeting call 029 2077 6160

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Sub Metering: A risky afterthought during development projects


ub metering is often considered to be a relatively small part of a multi-let new build / re-development project. As a result, it is usually addressed at a later stage as part of the wider electrical and mechanical systems and is not given the attention it deserves. From an operational perspective, metering forms a critical element of the internal systems required for a property to run effectively. Without access to data relating to the quantity and distribution of energy usage across a site, it is not possible to effectively manage and minimise energy usage, nor accurately recharge tenants for their proportion of the total energy consumption. Failed or inadequate metering systems present property managers with a number of risks, not least the impact this has on cash flow where there is an inability to recover the costs paid out for energy from tenants. Due to the importance metering has on operations, it is necessary to take a comprehensive and joined up approach to the metering strategy which needs to start at design stage and be followed through to commissioning and building completion. Input needs to be given from all of the building stakeholders throughout the process. Getting the metering design, installation and commissioning right prior to practical completion saves unnecessary cost and hassle further down the line. We have witnessed a number of projects where the metering has been nothing short of a disaster, with remedial works required often costing more than the original system cost to install in the first place. The issues we have encountered cover the complete spectrum from the use of incorrect types of meters, to installation issues resulting in meters recording inaccurately, through to a complete lack of system commissioning. One example is a new build, mixed use, multi-occupied property we surveyed in the West End. Due to the building’s mixed use nature, it would not have been equitable to recharge electricity, heating, cooling or water costs proportional to the square footage occupied due to the different operating hours and loads placed on the system by the range of occupiers. Therefore an extensive metering system was installed comprising electrical, heating, cooling and water sub meters. 10


Joanne Merry, Technical Director, CARBON2018 However, upon inspection, more than 80% of the mechanical meters had problems including oversized meters which were therefore under recording, meters installed at the incorrect orientation to be able to record accurately, and a lack of commissioning of heat meters meaning that temperature probes and flow parts were located in the wrong pipes. The remedial work undertaken to get the system to a standard where it could be used for accurate tenant billing and management of energy in this complex building cost over £200k and included several meter replacements. To deliver a robust and reliable metering system that avoids these problems requires many considered steps to be taken. Firstly, to increase the attention given to metering on construction projects, the approach must treat metering as a specialist system in its own right, and not just an add on to the electrical and mechanical systems. Metering needs its own full design, specification and commissioning specialist to give it the attention it deserves. It shouldn’t be tucked away into three pages of a 300 page electrical and mechanical specification. It also needs to be recognised that whilst electrical and mechanical designers and installers are extremely good at what they do, they are not generally specialists in metering.

Engaging with a metering specialist for the project is paramount. Furthermore, consideration needs to be given to metering throughout every stage of the project including design. At design stage, the strategy developed must be informed by the objectives of the building stakeholders, which can only be established by engaging with them. All too often, metering strategies are based on meeting Part L of the building regulations. However, building regulations set only a minimum standard; simply ticking the Part L compliance box does not always address the other common objectives of metering such as tenant billing, participation in incentive schemes (like the Renewable Heat Incentive) and energy reporting. Each metering strategy should be tailored to the specific requirements of the project – cutting and pasting from one specification to another will guarantee that things are missed, or as we have seen in many cases, results in a jumbled ‘shopping list’ of requirements which are not even compatible with one another. There needs to be a clear direction and strategy. Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

News Ahead of installation, consideration also needs be given to the type of meters required. There are a myriad of meters on the market. The assessment must include factors such as the registers from which you wish to record the data, whether MID approval is required, the size of the supply and location. Whilst cost is also a factor, this should not be at the expense of addressing what is required to meet the objectives. Going for the cheapest option at the outset often ends up being the most expensive option in the long run as meters end up being replaced which is not only costly but is also very wasteful. Heat meters are a particularly expensive type of meter in comparison to other meters. We have witnessed numerous occasions where the cheapest heat meter option has been sought, which entails purchasing a standard low accuracy water meter as the flow part and bolting this together with a heat meter calculator. However, this solution can result in issues with compatibility between meters and data accuracy problems and consequently nearly always ends up with the meters being abandoned or replaced. The introduction of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations in 2015 means that where heat meters exist in multi-let buildings with communal heating and cooling systems (or for district systems), there

is a legal requirement to maintain them and use them for billing. Abandonment is therefore no longer possible and the only option is to spend out on remedial works to get the meters up to scratch. Having selected the right meters to be installed in the right positions, the final piece in the jigsaw is to ensure their correct installation and commissioning so the meters record accurately. Until recently, many metering systems saw no commissioning at all and issues were only identified once the system was in use. You wouldn’t install a heating system, cooling system, fresh air system etc. without full commissioning, and the same needs to be true of metering. This must include checking for the correct installation and setup of the meters themselves, point to point testing of the connectivity between the meters and AMR system, validation of the data on the AMR head end again meter registers, review of documentation and testing of the communications for remote access to data. In summary, implementing a best practice approach to metering which uses the objectives to inform the strategy, incorporates all relevant stakeholders’ views and includes regular reviews/ updates as required throughout the project lifecycle will result in a system which delivers and meets the needs

of building stakeholders once the site is operational. The key outputs derived from such systems can then include tenant billing with full and transparent backing data for tenants, energy performance dashboards indicating actual building performance against predicted, and exception reports/alarms to highlight the occurrence of anomalies and issues in order that these may be acted upon to minimise wastage.

About Carbon2018 Limited Carbon2018 has been providing energy solutions to the UK real estate sector for over 24 years. It takes great pride in its joined-up approach which is tailored to meet each client’s individual energy management, sustainability, and water service requirements. Its comprehensive range of technical experience means that all energy and sustainability related issues can be assessed for their impact on key stakeholders and the building’s ability to function. It focuses on demonstrating value by seeking to understand its client’s business goals then working in partnership to help achieve them. Carbon2018 believes that the key to any company’s success is its people and it is passionate about energy and the environment. To find out more, please visit its website:

Specify CFA members Specifying a CFA member for your next flooring project could mean the difference between success — or a flooring failure. Most of the UK’s largest and best known Manufacturers, Distributors, Contractors and Consultants are CFA members — and for good reason. • CFA members promote high standards, knowledge and expertise • Specifying CFA members will maximize your investment and minimize costly flooring failures • All members have to pass a vetting process

Tel: 0115 941 1126 Email: Building & Facilities Management – January 2017




Interserve wins £16 million contract extension with Ministry of Justice


nterserve, the international support services and construction group, has been awarded a one year contract extension to provide total facilities management services to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) worth £16 million. The account builds upon Interserve’s longstanding and wide-ranging relationship with the MoJ, which has seen the company provide facilities services to the department for eight years. Interserve also provides the MoJ with probation services for low and medium-risk offenders in five areas of England. Working in partnership with the National Probation Service, local charities and social enterprises, Interserve is responsible for supporting and rehabilitating around 40,000 offenders each year. The extended FM account will see Interserve continue to provide a wide range of services, including building maintenance, catering, cleaning, waste and utilities management, at over 450 sites across the north and southwest of England, the Midlands and Wales. Brian Talbot, managing director for central government and defence at

Interserve, said: “We have a strong understanding and insight into what really matters to the MoJ and this particular opportunity to extend our facilities management services affords us the

opportunity to continue make a real difference in helping the MoJ reduce reoffending and deliver more efficiently.”

Lusso secures £3m contract


usso, the specialist City caterer and part of CH&Co Group, has added the US-based multinational engineering firm, AECOM, to its client portfolio, continuing its successful period of growth. The new three-year contract, worth approximately £3million in turnover, will see Lusso provide quality catering, hospitality and concierge services for 1,200 AECOM employees at its new London head office in Aldgate Tower. Lusso will bring its expertise, Food Philosophy – the ethos that focuses on seasonality, sustainability, provenance and partnering with small local suppliers, and quality food and service offer to a variety of areas, including concierge, staff café, tea point consumables, and refreshments for an extensive hospitality and events service. Following an in-depth tender process, Lusso beat stiff competition to secure the contract. The team stood out for its innovative catering and service proficiency and solutions, and for clearly demonstrating that it understood AECOM culturally. AECOM was also impressed by 12


Lusso’s strength in concierge services, and by the site visits that showcased the company’s approach in action. Paul Hurren, managing director for Lusso, said: “AECOM is a fantastic addition to the Lusso portfolio and I congratulate the team on an exemplary tender process. As well as presenting a quality proposition of delicious, sustainable food and excellent service that understood and matched AECOM’s requirements, we showed that we

understood them on a cultural level too. This combination is a great foundation for building a strong client relationship. “It’s been an incredible year of growth for Lusso but delivering the very best for our clients remains at the heart of what we do. We look forward to forging an exciting, progressive partnership with AECOM, and to bringing quality, innovative solutions to its employees.” Discover more at

Building & Facilities Management – January 2017


Bury School wins first ever ‘building art’ competition run by Portakabin Pupils at East Ward Community Primary School in Bury are the proud winners of the first ever art competition run by Portakabin. This gave children the unique opportunity to have their artwork displayed on the outside of their new classroom building.


hildren from the after-school art club collaborated with their teacher to create the eye-catching graphics which feature a unique floral design to reflect the school’s ethos of growing and learning together. The winning design was then developed by Portakabin into a striking finish which was applied along the façade of the classroom building that has recently been installed at East Ward School. Commenting on the school’s success in the competition, Teacher Jill Ashton said, “We are all thrilled that Portakabin chose our design and our new classroom building looks fantastic. We used flowers and plants to symbolise our school motto which is ‘Growing and Learning Together’. We are all passionate about this theme which is at the very heart of our school. We absolutely love the fact that it is now reflected on our wonderful new classroom block.” Portakabin provided the new interim building at East Ward Primary School to accommodate an additional Year 2 class of 25 children by extending an existing modular building. It was delivered, installed and handed over in just two weeks. This approach was a much faster solution than site-based construction to help this over-subscribed school meet the increasing demand for places for the next three years. The building provides a bright and spacious primary classroom, two break-out areas for individual or small group learning and a kitchen area. A 200-tonne crane was used to lift the modules over an existing teaching block and the new classroom accommodation was in place in just one day. David Waites, Head Teacher, said, Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

“The building is absolutely brilliant. It has fitted in really easily and almost without anyone really noticing its arrival! The building has been well received by everyone, and children and teachers alike really love it.” “We understand the installation operation was quite complex but the Portakabin team made the project really very straightforward at every stage. At a busy school, that is exactly the sort of excellent customer service you need.” “We had not realised just how large and spacious the rooms would be. They are so bright and warm, particularly compared to our main school building which dates back to the 1930s. The teaching staff have found the ‘off-shoot’ rooms particularly beneficial, which we use for nurturing children having difficulties.” “The local Portakabin team was recommended to us by a number of other schools. We found their service to be superb from start to finish.” Portakabin undertook all groundworks for the project, constructed a link to the existing building, and installed fire escape steps and a climate control system. The school’s winning design was applied to the exterior of the classroom building using a vinyl wrap. This option

is available for all Portakabin interim buildings and is a low maintenance finish, which can feature a school’s colours or graphics to totally transform the exterior into a bespoke façade. Murals and more subtle colour schemes can be used to blend an interim facility into its surrounding environment and can help secure planning approval in environmentally sensitive locations. For further information about interim modular buildings for schools, visit, email or call 0845 401 0010. news



Two simple letters get top marks for drain management • Colour-coded manholes speed up drain maintenance at Scottish schools • Two letters – F and S – give schools greater confidence in drainage management • Sewer blockages that cause school closures are more easily avoided • Schools facilities management team already seeing benefits • Innovative system backed by costeffective preventative maintenance


rainage and asset maintenance specialist Lanes Group has transformed the way drains are managed in 23 schools in Scotland – with a simple spray of paint. Its engineers have marked foul drain manholes with a red F and the surface water drain manholes with a blue S. The colour-coding system has made it much easier to identify the location of any problems, like drain blockages. SPIE’s facilities technicians are more confident that they can look after the drains, and the schools are more confident they will not fail. This is crucial as drainage failure is one of the main causes of temporary school closures. Drainage engineers at Lanes Group’s Glasgow depot worked with facilities management specialists SPIE to introduce the innovation in 23 schools – 17 in South Lanarkshire and six in Dunbartonshire. SPIE Operations Manager Roy McGlynn said: “It’s an excellent idea, and a great solution for us, and for the schools. It’s added a significant amount of value to our service. It’s also given our schools greater assurance that SPIE is able to react more quickly and smartly to prevent a major drainage problem.” 14


Lanes Glasgow Area Development Manager Chris Fairbairn said: “Marking up manholes in this way is something that’s been done with public utility assets, but not with schools before. “It’s a simple idea but can make a big difference. Before, the schools’ on-site facilities technicians often had to rely on guesswork to lift the right manhole and find a problem. “Now the drains are clearly marked up and colour-coded. We’ve also supplied accurate maps of the drainage system. So, the technicians can quickly identify the source of the problem, and assess whether they can deal with it, or whether they need specialist help.” SPIE called in Lanes Group because it wanted to review the condition of drainage networks at all the schools. It was quickly established that full CCTV drainage surveys at all the sites would be too expensive. Therefore, it was agreed that the Lanes team would carry out less costly and faster visual asset condition surveys to establish the flow directions, connectivity and general condition of the drainage system at each school. SPIE approved a small additional budget to include the manhole painting. The Lanes engineers have also marked all fire hydrants on the drainage map, and jetted them clean. This

has improved access for firefighters, and made the safety-critical assets quicker and easier to maintain. An on-going preventative planned maintenance programme was the final element of a comprehensive drainage management plan for all 23 schools. Roy McGlynn said: “We’re already seeing the benefits. Over time, I believe this approach will reduce drainage costs for both SPIE and for the schools, and a little spray of paint and a visual check of all manholes during Lanes visits has been a big part of it.” Building & Facilities Management – January 2017


Introducing Accreditation Scheme for Distributors: CHSA continues to focus on standards


he Cleaning & Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) is adding to its three Manufacturing Standards Accreditation Schemes with the launch of a new Accreditation Scheme for Distributors. The Scheme went live on 1 January 2017, all distributor members of the CHSA being invited to apply to join. “Our focus is always on driving up standards in the industry; our existing Manufacturing Standards Accreditation Schemes widely recognized as already having done so,” explained Mike Stubbs, Chairman of the Accreditation Scheme Panels and Vice President of the CHSA. “The increasing number

of buyers of cleaning and hygiene products specifying our Schemes in their tenders provides evidence for this. “Establishing an Accreditation Scheme for distributors is a natural next step. We’re delighted to be able to give our distributor members the opportunity to apply for a marque that will signal their commitment to supplying product that can be relied upon to meet the Scheme Standards and the CHSA Code of Practice.” As with the Manufacturing Standards Accreditation Scheme, applicants will be admitted to the Scheme on the successful completion of an auditing process conducted by the CHSA’s

Independent Inspector, Martin Yates. Once they have successfully passed the audit and secured Accreditation Scheme status they will continue to be monitored periodically with a minimum of two audits each year, giving buyers of their products the certainty that standards are sustained. To join, distributors must also sign a declaration that they will only stock and offer for sale CHSA Accredited products or products that conform to the same Standards as required by the relevant CHSA Manufacturing Standards Accreditation Scheme.

Armstrong Ceilings showcases European projects in its A Book for 2017 A coffee-table visual delight is published by Armstrong Ceilings


roof that ceilings are no longer an afterthought in the design and build process is contained within the glossy new A Book for 2017 from Armstrong. While they hide unsightly soffits, reflect light, help to control the air quality, acoustics and temperature of a building space, and resist bacteria, ceilings are now all this and so much more – stunning designs guaranteed to inspire no matter the environment. And those stunning designs, dozens of them, are showcased within the 82-page coffee table-style brochure that snapshots new-build and refurbishments projects from the retail and leisure, education, office, healthcare and transport sectors throughout Europe. UK projects include metal tiles and baffles at the National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in Darlington, Axiom Knife edge canopies with integrated lighting at CFC Underwriting’s offices in London, wood tiles on a black bandraster grid at Global Mining and Resource Company’s offices in London, and a bespoke orange metal ceiling and wall at The Contact Company’s call centre in The Wirral. Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

Other European projects include metal baffles and opencell metal ceilings at Ernst & Young in Poland, Optima canopies at Pitney Bowes in Italy, metal baffles at H&M’s central European main store in Hungary and mesh metal ceilings for multi-media centre Mediathèque de Caen in France. Armstrong’s office in Prague also features in the book, with, understandably, the complete portfolio – mineral canopies and baffles, metal canopies, wood tiles and the first ceiling system comprising mineral tiles and grid to be awarded Cradle to Cradle certification. The manufacturer’s 150-yearold pedigree means all this comes with unparalleled expertise so the design process is simplified in a “Less is more” fashion. A two-minute video presentation of the A Book is available to view via commclgeu/eu1/uk/gb/video-library. html?channelId=5227721150001&medi aId=5275657551001.

The A Book for 2017 is available to download from and also features on the Armstrong Ceiling Systems app available from both the Apple store as well as the Google Play store, or by clicking on one of the following links with your mobile device: CeilingDownloads-Apple or CeilingDownloads-Android. news



Panasonic introduces new VRF ECOi ME2 solution Panasonic’s latest line of VRF systems – the ECOi EX series – provides a new benchmark for the heating and cooling industry, surpassing other models in regards to environmental performance, quality and comfort.


he new Panasonic ECOi EX 7 Series ME2 VRF range has been available since November 2016 and includes three sizes of single outdoor units ranging from 8HP to 20HP. Boasting a flexible combination design, installers are able to combine up to 80HP. The wide range of sizes enables Panasonic to provide a comprehensive heating and cooling solution for almost any application, from small scale commercial developments to large industrial facilities. The innovative design of the Panasonic ECOi EX range makes it the most efficient performing inverter on the market. The heat exchanger features three joined surfaces that increases the capacity and efficiency of the heat exchanger. The redesigned bell mouth also contributes to the increased efficiency of the unit. The new curved shape and integrated top and bottom components ensures a smooth exhaust flow providing a much greater air volume at the same sound level, requiring less power input for the same air volume. Lower sound levels can be particularly important in commercial, urban environments where noise disturbance must be minimised. The layout of piping inside the unit has also been optimised to ensure peak efficiency, increasing heat exchange performance by 5%. The efficiency of the new ECOi EX series enables the outdoor units to achieve market-leading performance in more extreme climate conditions. The robust and reliable new units can offer a very high cooling capacity in temperatures of 43°C, while at -25°C the units can still produce significant heating capacity, providing consistent indoor temperatures regardless of the climate. With the transition from direct online compressors to inverter compressors, Panasonic have developed their technology to produce greater capacity control with a lower power input. As a result, the ECOi Ex gives greater partial load control and 16


reduces power consumption due to the soft start nature of the inverters. The extended piping length and design has helped increase the market applications available to the ECOi EX series. Indoor units can be positioned up to 200m from the outdoor unit which is a considerable increase on previous models. The indoor unit can now also be placed up to 50m below the outdoor unit. The total piping length from one outdoor unit can now be up to 1,000m, offering complete flexibility to installers faced with a challenging or large-scale installation. The piping length has increased significantly from previous models, enabling Panasonic to provide their market-leading heating and cooling solution to a much wider range of applications, including larger commercial buildings and distributed properties. This new range features a unique 2-step Intelligent Oil Management System that drastically reduces oil recovery. Sensors are installed on each compressor to monitor the precise oil levels allowing an oil recovery of up to 90%. With regards to the indoor unit, Panasonic’s advanced ECONAVI sensor

detects human presence and adjusts the unit’s output so that energy is not wasted heating or cooling the area when it is unoccupied. The Panasonic AC Smart Cloud allows businesses to centralise control of Panasonic heating and cooling installations - using a tablet, smart phone or computer - to manage and schedule heating and cooling activities across entire networks of commercial buildings at unit level. This level of control enables organisations to make further energy and operational saving, in addition to those generated by Panasonic’s ECONAVI sensors. Part of Panasonic’s core strategy is reducing the environmental impact of heating and cooling solutions. The ECOi EX series is leading the way with an exceptionally high EER value – even during part-load operation – as well as the highest COP and ESEER values on the market. With a strong environmental performance combined with increased installation flexibility, the Panasonic ECOi EX series provides a comprehensive and cost-saving heating and cooling solution that surpasses the competition. For more information, please visit Building & Facilities Management – January 2017


Kensa’s Social Housing Solution Shortlisted for Three Awards


ensa Heat Pumps is delighted to announce that it has been shortlisted in three categories in the H&V News Awards 2017 for its microdistrict ground source heating solution for retrofit social housing. Now in their 23rd year, the prestigious H&V News Awards are an annual celebration of excellence, forward thinking and the highest achievements across the HVAC and building services industry. Kensa’s retrofit work with Trent & Dove Housing, Hanover Housing Association, and Bromford Housing Association has successfully saved tenants typically 50% in heating costs making a substantial impact on fuel poverty and carbon reduction targets. The Kensa projects shortlisted in the H&V News Awards 2017 are: • District Heating Project of the Year (with Trent & Dove Housing) • Retrofit Project of the Year (with Hanover Housing Association) • Renewable Project of the Year – Residential (with Bromford Housing Association) The projects involved the replacement of night storage heaters with a Kensa

Shoebox ground source heat pump fitted inside bungalows, houses and flats, with each of the heat pumps connected to ‘micro’ communal ground arrays, where two or more properties share a borehole. The micro-district method removes the issues surrounding communal plantrooms and shared bills, and also creates access to upfront Energy Company Obligation (ECO) funding via Kensa’s partnership with EDF Energy. This in addition to the Government’s Non Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which combined with ECO allows the housing providers to fully recover their installation costs and create a regular income stream for 20 years to potentially fund other property improvement measures. Simon Lomax, Managing Director at Kenbsa Heat Pumps comments: “I am delighted that Kensa has been short-listed for three awards; it is a fitting tribute to our clients who have recognised our micro-district approach can deliver ground source heat pumps into the social

housing sector at a very affordable cost so tenants can benefit from the lowest cost and lowest carbon heat.” This follows on from a number of recent nominations for Kensa’s microdistrict ground source heat network solution, which has received accolades in the Regional Energy Efficiency & Retrofit Awards 2016, Regen SW Green Energy Awards 2016, and HVR Awards 2017, and is awaiting winner announcements in the National Housing Maintenance Forum Awards 2017, National ACR & Heat Pump Awards 2017, and Housing innovation Awards 2017. Winners of the H&V News Awards will be announced on the 20th April 2017.

Baxi Heating receives Investors in People Award


axi Heating has been rewarded for its efforts in developing and supporting employees across the UK and Ireland with a prestigious Investors in People Award. Baxi Heating is a residential and commercial heating and hot water manufacturer, and consists of Baxi, Potterton, Baxi Potterton Myson, Heatrae Sadia, Megaflo Andrews Water Heaters, Potterton Commercial and Remeha . As the only quality standard of its

Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

kind in the UK, the Investors in People scheme celebrates businesses that show dedication to the development of their workforce, through better business practices, training programmes and an approach that puts colleagues first. Baxi Heating was presented with the Investors in People Standard accreditation following assessment against criteria such as working culture, employee engagement and quality of leadership. A strong acceptance of and belief in Baxi Heating’s values (Positive and Passionate, Safety, Reliable and Responsive, Trust and Respect, and Innovation) was evident across the workforce. As part of its range of employee benefits and development programmes, Baxi Heating offers training opportunities throughout the business at every level, an innovation platform which allows all colleagues to share ideas and a Beyond the Call of Duty recognition scheme.

David Pinder, CEO of Baxi Heating in UK and Ireland, comments: “People development has always been a big focus for Baxi Heating. We are extremely proud that our commitment to employees has been recognised by such a wellrenowned body as Investors in People. “This award reflects a very healthy culture within Baxi Heating – employees who are engaged and enjoy what they do are crucial to the company’s success. And to receive this award in the same year as the Baxi brand turned 150 years old is an extra special birthday present and we look forward to building our relationship with Investors in People as we head into the next 150 years.” Martin Smith, Investors in People assessor, said: “Baxi Heating demonstrated strong evidence of successful people management and an ongoing commitment to staff development, of which they should be extremely proud.” hvac



Promoting a healthier facility


Facilities managers can boost the health and well-being of staff and visitors by encouraging hand hygiene compliance in the washroom, says Mike Sullivan, managing director of GOJO Industries-Europe.

n 19 November, 2016, it was the United Nation’s World Toilet Day – a day of action to raise awareness about a global sanitation crisis which even today sees 2.4 billion people struggle without a proper toilet. The ambitious goal behind this annual campaign is to ensure that everyone on our planet has access to toilets by 2030; making sanitation a global development priority. It is a sobering thought that access to a toilet is considered a luxury for so many people in the world, and one that perhaps we don’t reflect on often enough – we tend to take our washrooms and the sanitary benefits they bring to society for granted. 18


But this is no reason to be complacent. It is of course widely known that you should clean your hands thoroughly after using the washroom – after all, it is one of the first hygiene lessons we teach our children. And yet research shows that a quarter of people who use the washroom do not wash their hands, and 46% of people who do wash, don’t wash for long enough to be effective. These are troubling statistics, particularly considering how quickly infections can spread, and the fact that more than 80% of illnesses can be transmitted by the hands. The washroom should be considered a germ hot spot by facilities managers, and germs that

make their way on to the hands here can easily be transferred to other surfaces throughout a building. But having the correct dispensing equipment and signage in place can help increase hand hygiene compliance, and ultimately boost the health of a facility. The UK Office for National Statistics estimates that more than 400 million working days were lost due to sickness absence between 2013 and 2015, including 138.7 million working days lost in 2015 alone. But research suggests that a comprehensive hand hygiene programme in the workplace can have a significant impact on the health of employees, reduce absenteeism, and improve the perception of company concern for employee well-being. The World Health Organization’s latest infection prevention and control guidance also highlights hand hygiene as a core element to breaking the chain of infection in a facility. Access to the right products and systems plays a critical role in the promotion of healthy hand hygiene, and Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

Washroom Making hand hygiene accessible


esigned to bridge the gap between dispensers and bottles, the new PURELL ES™ Everywhere System is the smallest, most versatile PURELL system in the market. It combines premium aesthetics with the trusted PURELL® Advanced Hygienic Hand Rub, offering innovative placement options, ideal in a variety of settings, with the ultimate in germ-killing effectiveness. The PURELL ES™ Everywhere System expands the sanitiser category by providing access to hand hygiene solutions in previously challenging locations, such as food handling environments and mobile facilities. Constructed of robust materials, key features include a variety of mounting accessories, quick and easy maintenance and long term reliability with trouble free performance, giving this PURELL® product a unique place in the hand hygiene category. can increase hand washing and sanitising compliance in a building. Creating and improving a healthy environment can be as simple as adjusting or upgrading washroom facilities; enhancing the perception of a facility as well as increasing hand hygiene compliance in both staff and visitors.

Give visitors and workers options Dispensers can be wall-mounted, free-standing, push-activated or touchfree – the latter models intuitively sense the presence of hands and dispense just the right amount of product every time. The fact that they are touch-free also increases their hygiene rating. Meanwhile, soaps can come in gel or foam format, with or without fragrance; and hygienic hand rubs can also provide another level of protection in addition to washing hands. The best manufacturers will also offer sanitary sealed refills for dispensers. These are refill cartridges where the product inside has been protected from contamination thanks to being factory sealed. A fresh valve with each refill is also important, as this means that the soap is never open to the environment and so cross contamination from the air or other sources is prevented. Using products that both look and feel good can greatly enhance the washroom experience and they can also play a major role in encouraging healthy hand hygiene behaviour. To be truly successful, systems need to combine good aesthetics and accessibility, whilst being equipped with pleasant and effective hygienically advanced formulations. Hence, dispensers that look good and are easy to use, which are installed at convenient locations, are bound to be more popular. Efficacy is, of course, an important issue, so only those companies who can prove the effectiveness of their

soaps and hand rubs against germs through independent scientific testing should be considered. The best products will successfully combine this with soothing, moisturising ingredients that are gentle on the skin, meaning that the products can be used again and again, safe in the knowledge that hands will be kept in good condition. And just as the risk of infections doesn’t stop at the door to the washroom, nor should a facility manager’s investment in hand washing and sanitising tools. Hand hygiene solutions should be conveniently located throughout a facility as part of a carefully considered hand hygiene programme that factors in other germ hotspots such as desks, handrails and kitchen areas.

Raise awareness Facilities managers could also consider introducing public awareness posters about the importance of hand hygiene. As well as being located in washrooms, these could be found in reception areas, waiting areas and other communal places, such as cafeterias, where hand hygiene compliance is also paramount. The best hand hygiene companies can offer sound advice on the most effective approaches, and provide materials, based on their knowledge of your sector. By enhancing the washroom experience, not only will you reduce the risk of germs spreading, you can reduce staff absenteeism and improve the image of your building.

Platinum award success for Axis Cleaning and Support Services


he Axis Cleaning and Support Services teams at the Clacton Factory Outlet centre and the Harvey Centre have achieved the top ‘Platinum’ accolade at the 29th annual Loo of the Year awards, dubbed the ‘Toilet Oscars’. It is the sixth consecutive platinum award for the Clacton Factory Outlet and the fourth for the Harvey Centre. The awards, which celebrate the very best washrooms in the UK, are judged on high quality and consistent cleanliness and were presented at a high-profile industry ceremony at St John’s Hotel, Solihull on 2nd December, 2016. Simon Giles, Axis Cleaning Chief Operating Officer & Axis Group Finance Director, says Axis-cleaned washroom Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

facilities are consistently recognised by these Awards as best-in-class: “Both the Clacton Factory Outlet and the Harvey Centre are long-standing customers for Axis and achieving this Platinum award every year for six years and four years is testament to the excellent staff, as well as first-class training. Our congratulations to both teams, who have worked so hard to deliver the best results.” “We know that clean, presentable and tidy washroom facilities at retail outlets are central to a customer’s overall experience,” says Simon. “So our teams work hard to provide the right kind of environment, and this work ultimately supports the centres’ reputation.” washroom


Facilities for the Disabled

Designing Accessible Washrooms Brian Ford, Specification Manager, Dolphin Solutions


ne in five people in the UK has a disability. Workplaces and public spaces have the responsibility of ensuring that there are suitable accessible washroom facilities available for staff, visitors and customers. Whilst fully accessible washrooms require more accessories to make them fit for use, there is no reason that the washroom can’t be equally as striking as the building’s other facilities and match the same standards as the rest of the building. When designing an accessible washroom, to ensure that you are complying with Document Part M regulations or BS8300 2010, there are a number of considerations which need to be taken into account. Firstly, it’s no good creating a beautifully functional washroom if it’s inaccessible. There needs to be adequate space for manoeuvring outside the bathroom door, 1.5m x 1.5m is the minimum. Ideally, the door should open outwards and be light enough to be opened and operated with a clenched fist.

Inside the washroom Once you are inside the washroom, which should measure at least 2200mm x 1500mm, it needs to be visually clear and easy to use. Designers and architects must use Light Reflectance Value (LRV) ratings to ensure there is a good visual contrast between various elements of the building, including doorways, fixtures and fittings. Colours are rated on a scale of 0 to 100, with black being 0 and white being 100. Guidelines state that the LRV of the wall should be 30 points different from that of the floor and the ceiling, whilst the LRV of the door furniture should be 15 points different from that of the door to be compliant. Chrome plated accessories for example, tend to reflect the background colour of the surroundings and can in some instances make grab rails more difficult for the partially sighted to see. A satin finish or solid colour are the preferred options. Toilet seats must also have a colour contrast e.g. a white floor with a blue toilet seat.

A user-friendly washroom When looking at an accessible washroom, there is much more to the placement of the toilet, sink and 20

facilities for the disabled

accessories than is immediately obvious. For example, the sink unit must be placed close enough to the toilet so that users can wash and dry their hands whilst seated on the toilet, making it more accessible and easy to use for wheelchair users. A hand dryer and hand towel dispenser must also be near to the sink for this reason, and the use of both hand drying options is recommended to suit varying needs of accessible washroom users. A tap that can be operated using a clenched fist is important. A touch free sensor tap is an acceptable alternative which saves water and energy and helps reduce cross contamination. Toilet roll and soap dispensers must also be placed in a prominent location and easy to use for people with the use of only one hand. Government guidelines provide an interesting overview of a scenario highlighting the importance of washroom layout. To fully understand the difficulty of an awkwardly arranged washroom, try the following: “Whilst sitting on a chair, lift your legs off the ground, stretch your arms out in front of you and see how far you can reach forward without losing your balance. You will find it is not very far.” The usability of accessories can sometimes be overlooked, however if products are considered in a different way, a number of alternative uses can be identified. Shelving for colostomy bags is a good example – guidelines state that a shelf must be installed for colostomy bags, however if there is an exposed cistern in place, the top of this may also be used as a shelf.

Top tips for staying stylish Accessible washroom facilities

can be equally as contemporary and stylish as other washroom facilities. Here are some essential tips to keep front of mind when designing or updating an accessible washroom: There is no need to stick to plain white fittings. Washroom fittings come in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes so there is plenty of opportunity to make the most of the varying ranges available to make the final finish stylish. Streamlined accessible washrooms can be achieved by being clever about how washroom accessories are used. Doubling the use of certain fittings can save on space and money, whilst still looking great. For example, there needs to be a shelf adjacent to the door where a wheelchair user can place a bag. A wall mounted waste paper bin can be useful in this instance as they can double up as a shelf, assuming the hole for used towels is at the front of the bin and not on top. It’s essential to ensure that washroom accessories such as grab rails, in addition to the toilet and sink, are positioned and installed at the correct height to meet with building standards. Choosing options that are easier to clean such as roseless grab rails will keep the washroom looking smart for longer. For more information, visit: Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

Facilities for the Disabled

All change in Wellington


D Wetherspoon, which has already won national awards for its toilet facilities, hopes its new The Iron Duke – named after the Duke of Wellington – will continue its tradition: it is the latest of the chain’s venues to incorporate a Changing Places wheelchair-accessible toilet for anyone who also need additional equipment such as a bench and/or hoist. Supplied and installed by Clos-o-Mat, the Changing Places means children and adults who needs a carer’s help with their personal hygiene has the appropriate space and equipment to do so hygienically. The alternative would be to curtail their visit, lie their loved one on the toilet floor to change them, or not be able to enjoy a relaxing drink and meal out with friends and family. All toilets at The Iron Duke – women, men, baby change and the Changing Places – are accessed directly off the main bar area, with entry to the Changing Places toilet being via RADAR key.

Jon Matthews, Wetherspoon’s development manager, said, “Pubs traditionally are the focal point of any community. As a company we aim to ensure that all members of a community, including those with disabilities, can access and enjoy what we have to offer.” A Changing Places toilet is ‘desirable’ under Building Regulations Approved Document M 2015, and BS8300:2009, for all new build and refurbishment projects involving buildings to which numbers of the public have access. Under British Standards, it provides a minimum 12m2, and includes a peninsular toilet, washbasin, height-adjustable adult-sized changing bench and ceiling track hoist. Now, over 900 are open across the UK; JD Wetherspoon is the only leading brand of pub chain to incorporate the facilities wherever possible in its new build and refurbishment projects. Clos-o-Mat is the leading player in the

supply and installation of the away from home assisted accessible toilet facilities. Its ability to deliver design advice, project management, supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance across the ambit of accessible toileting equipment means it is uniquely provide a reliable, single source for the whole process. Further, its website, is an essential reference point for anyone considering installing a Changing Places toilet, offering white paper, 2D and 3D CAD drawings, standard layouts, and video. Tel: 0161 969 1199 Email:

Height adjustable toilet aids wheelchair transfer


ransferring from a wheelchair to the toilet can be an overwhelming experience for many frail or disabled users. The installation of the Pressalit Care height adjustable Select toilet bracket can make the world of difference, not just from a practical and safety point of view, but importantly in retaining the dignity and independence of the user. To meet with the requirements of the British Standard, toilets installed in bathrooms used by those with disabilities should be at the same height as a standard wheelchair, to limit the risk of falls. With the ability to raise or lower the toilet however, ease of transfer can be aided even more with the assistance of gravity. With the use of a hand-held control, the toilet pan can be adjusted to slightly below the level of the wheelchair, thus helping transfer across. To move back, simply raise the toilet back to a height slightly higher than the wheelchair. Andrew Lowndes, UK Sales Manager for Pressalit Care observes, “If you transfer from a wheelchair to a toilet higher than your sitting position, you would need significant upper body strength to transfer across and Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

pull yourself up. The risk of losing balance and falling, or the wheelchair toppling over, is also great. “Safety is of paramount importance. The height adjustable toilet bracket provides the flexibility to position the toilet to suit the position of the wheelchair user and ease transfer in a safe and controlled way.” The Pressalit Care Select toilet bracket, designed in a choice of contemporary colours to complement bathroom decor, features smooth lines and surfaces, with minimal slits and grooves, for ease of cleaning. Available in both electric and manual lifting options, the brackets allows for an adjustment of 300mm with the manual version, and 400mm with the electric version. The electric hand control is operated with the simple press of a button, and is ideal for multiuser bathrooms where frequent height adjustment is required. The manual option is operated by means of an easily accessible handle which can be mounted on either side of the toilet, and is the preferred option for bathrooms where periodic adjustment is the norm. The Select toilet bracket can be used alongside the Select height adjustable

basin bracket; integrated into the Pressalit Care Plus system, which features a horizontal track for additional flexibility; or can just as easily stand alone as a oneoff installation. Colour coordinated with anthracite, lime green or white brackets, optional coordinating hinge support arms can also be fitted. View a downloadable short film: =en#hospitals:hs2:hs2 Tel: 0844 8806950 Email: facilities for the disabled


Health & Safety

Health and Safety in cleaning Facilities managers need to be confident that health and safety has been considered for every aspect of the cleaning supply chain, from product selection to the final result, says Jangro Operations Director Joanne Gilliard.


ealth and safety must be at the forefront of any facilities manager’s mind when contracting cleaning and maintenance services for a building. Protecting workers and visitors and the wider environment is both a legal and moral obligation, and the responsibility lies with the entire cleaning supply chain. Safety does not come about by chance, and most accidents happen because action has not been taken to prevent them. The cleaning industry deals with chemicals that could be dangerous if handled inappropriately, as well as other tools and equipment that require proper training to operate. At the same time, cleaning operatives move around a lot on their job, and rely on the safety features of the facility that they are cleaning. For instance, it’s all very well fitting all cleaning machinery with cable retainers to avoid damage and stretching, and insisting that cleaning operatives use back-pack vacuum cleaners in buildings with carpeted stairs. However if there are no antislip nosings on the stairs, then there is still an accident waiting to happen. There are clear health and safety rules in place, of course, including the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health legislation which deals with exposure to hazardous substances in the workplace. But facilities managers who know what best practice looks like from the cleaning industry will be more alert to potential breaches of protocol, and will also be aware of their own responsibilities.

On-site storage Some contract cleaners will elect to store cleaning products on-site when delivering a cleaning service. This poses an obvious health and safety risk to a facility, and it is vital that a


health & safety

comprehensive risk assessment is performed for every cleaning agent or tool that is going to be stored on site. If possible find a secure, locked place to store them, safely out of the reach of workers or members of the public. Quality contract cleaners will work together with facilities managers to perform this and other risk assessments. Most chemicals used for cleaning are not dangerous if used properly, and if the operative knows what to do if something goes wrong (such as spillage). But some chemicals need more careful handling than others. Knowledge of the basic ‘dos and don’ts’ of the cleaning industry will also help facilities managers to identify health and safety breaches. Quality suppliers will provide guidance on dilution rates and encourage responsible usage and dosage control, while mixing products should be a clear red flag – any reputable supplier would tell cleaning operatives never to do this. Mixing products could cause a chemical reaction, even producing hazardous gasses. Placing cleaning products in unmarked containers is another major mistake to be avoided at all times. The consequences of putting bleach in a water or drink bottle do not bear thinking about. If the worst does happen, it’s important to have contingencies in place in an emergency. Has the facilities manager communicated to the cleaning team where first aiders can be found and how to contact them in the building?

Does the cleaning team know where to find your safety data sheet?

Quality control Only suppliers that can prove tight quality control procedures should be considered by cleaning contractors. Look for companies that comply with recognised quality standards such as BS EN ISO 9001:2000 model for production, installation and servicing, as well as other international safety and quality standards. By having these stringent standards in place, cleaning product suppliers take the burden off those further down the supply chain and their clients, including contract cleaners and facilities managers, giving them confidence in the products being used. But health and safety is about more than just complying with legislation – continually reviewing, updating and improving systems in place is crucial. Reputable cleaning companies will also provide the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) for cleaning operatives, as well as training – not just at induction, but ongoing throughout their career. The correct training is essential to ensuring that health and safety standards are properly adhered to, and should be accessible and cost-effective – e-learning modules are a highly effective way of providing high quality training to a large audience, for instance. Jangro is a dynamic force in the cleaning supply industry and is the largest network of independent janitorial distributors in the UK and Ireland. For more information go to Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

Health & Safety

Appliance testing provides platform for broader health and safety management at FTS


he extended data collection capabilities of advanced PAT technology is helping an established electrical safety testing business to successfully broaden its service base. For over ten years the core business of Milton Keynes based FTS Safety Solutions Ltd has been the provision of portable appliance testing services for a wide range of industrial and commercial clients. Over the last two years the company has grown and expanded its market by incorporating a range of non-electrical tests into its service offering, providing clients with a more comprehensive health and safety testing service. As well as the traditional PAT testing work, FTS now carry out: thermal imaging surveys, emergency lighting inspections, fire extinguisher servicing and fire alarm maintenance. Development Director, Andrew Mitchell, attributes the success of these additional services to the Apollo 600 and the data it collects. Mr Mitchell says: “We have used Seaward PAT Testing machines since we started the business 10 years ago and I just can’t fault them. They are reliable precision pieces of

equipment that we have built our business around.” A recent upgrade to the data logging capabilities of the Apollo 600 has expanded the options available for the creation of special user-defined inspection forms to record and store all the vital information associated with work place preventative maintenance tasks, tests and inspections. This means that users can create ‘custom inspection’ forms for non-electrical health and safety checks in the same way that visual inspection data is logged for appliances. To aid faster working this has also been linked to the inclusion of bespoke lists in dropdown menus requiring less data entry, quicker testing and consistency of data. The improvements in data handling and storage means FTS test engineers are now working much more efficiently and the company has recently secured the ISO9001 quality management standard. FTS Development Director, Andrew Mitchell goes on to say: “Clients have

definitely appreciated our ability to provide a single source range of health and safety test and inspection services. Testing the safety of electrical appliances is still the core service for the company, but being able to record the data from other tests and inspections with the PAT tester has significantly reduced the admin activity involved. This has improved our productivity and shortened the time required onsite, which in turn is a cost saving for us and minimises the disruption for our clients. ” More details at and

Ansell introduces Microflex® 93-260


nsell has announced the introduction of Microflex® 93-260, the thinnest chemical resistant, single use glove available on the market today. This breakthrough solution offers tough protection against a broad range of chemicals, while still providing the dexterity and tactility of a thin, disposable glove. Traditional disposable gloves are designed to provide protection against chemicals for only short periods of time – in the event of a splash; while chemical gloves typically have a thicker, sturdier design for longer lasting protection. The new Microflex 93-260 is a thin, disposable glove designed to offer higher levels of protection against chemicals for longer periods of time than ordinary single use gloves. The glove achieves this through an innovative three-layer design that resists a wide range of aggressive chemicals. Its exterior nitrile Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

layer delivers maximum protection against several organic solvents, while the soft neoprene middle layer provides acid and base resistance. A final interior layer provides a continual dry feel, while also easing the donning and doffing, or putting on and removing, process. The glove is just 0.19mm thick, so it offers this superior protection while also providing enhanced tactility and dexterity for easy handling of small parts and tools. The thin design and chemical resistance of the Microflex 93-260 makes it an excellent hand protection solution for a broad range of applications, including laboratory work, paint shop work, assembly and fabrication and general maintenance and repair. The glove is also a reliable choice for aircraft engineers and maintenance workers because it resists common hydraulic fluids used in the aerospace industry. As a thin, comfortable hand protection solution that effectively

resists chemicals, workers across a wide range of industries are more likely to wear the glove, ensuring greater levels of compliance with safety programs. Microflex 93-260 gloves are available in sizes XS to XXL (5.5-11) and feature textured fingers and an extended cuff for added protection. In addition, the glove meets ASTM D 3577, D6977, EN 420, EN 388 Abrasion Level 2 and EN374-JKL performance standards.

health & safety


Security & Access Control

Security in cleaning

Hundreds of thousands of people work illegally in the UK, and unscrupulous employers have taken advantage of this in the past. Julius Rutherfoord wants to see levels of security vetting improved across the professional cleaning industry, says operations director Chris Parkes.


espite facing fines of up to £5,000 LONDON CLEANING SERVICES per worker for employing illegal workers, some • 20 years’ experience of commercial cleaning Since 1994 Julius Rutherfoord has built a employers not only take reputation as London’s most professional and • 300 clients across London this risk, but also use reliable contract cleaning company. According to the Home • Most thorough staff security vetting in the industry Are the Thorough and ongoing the vulnerable status of In 2013 our head office in Battersea won the 2013 Office, an estimated personnel Kimberly-Clark Golden Service Award for the UK’s • Fully accredited staff training academy illegal workers to exploit who undertake the healthiest workplace. • Always embracing innovation and new technology to cleaning of your also benefits cleaning operatives, them. According to facilities really The work undertaken to win this prestigious award • Winners of the Healthy Workplace award helping make their workplace forms the basis from which we have written this UK Home Office data, who they foreigners work illegally guide - to help you to improve your workplace an estimated 500,000 claim to be? in Britain, mostly in the capital. well-being. to 900,000 people work illegally in Britain, many in the capital. 6) Does the service provider follow 1) Is the workforce legal? recognised standards? During the initial security vetting of 2) What steps are in place to check Unfortunately, the 7) How does the service provider the employee’s identify? ✔ share this guide staff Julius Rutherfoord inherit, confirm they know where staff are? 3) Has the identify documentation cleaning industry has 8) What is the process for recording been verified using reliable, secure I.D. we often this? databases? ✔ attracted attention for 9) How does the service provider 4) What extra steps have been reject check whether people are suitable taken to screen candidates and ✔ between to work with children or vulnerable employees? this issue in the past. people? 5) Is vetting of staff an ongoing due to forged ✔ 10) Have you considered your own role process? It is a sector wellor out-of-date in making the workplace safe and secure? known for its high staff turnover, and while the best contract cleaners At Julius Rutherfoord, keeping track of over 2,000 cleaners at 350 sites across London is no mean feat. are working hard to We embrace new and innovative technologies and employ multiple tracking attendance systems. improve staff retention Find out more by reading our Best Practice Guide to Security. Click here through training and development, some seek to victimise workers, placing them and be moving towards a more system’s managers that the right people are the facilities they clean at risk. based approach to vetting staff and on the right site at the right time. However, corrupt and unscrupulous improving the safe delivery of cleaning. employers have sought to take advantage Responsibilities of illegal workers in the past. In one Forged or out-of-date IDs We all have responsibilities to case, members of management at a During the initial security vetting ensure that facilities being cleaned and cleaning contractor which employed tens of staff Julius Rutherfoord inherit cleaning operatives themselves stay of thousands of operatives working in through TUPE, we often reject safe and secure. Cleaning operatives the healthcare sector were arrested for between 20-40% due to forged or often access facilities out of normal allegedly blackmailing illegally-employed out-of-date IDs. That shows just how working hours, and cleaning contractors cleaning operatives. The resulting complacent some contractors have must have effective vetting procedures media attention also had implications become – and how strong security in place to safeguard the security of for the reputations of the healthcare measures need to be. Fake documents a site and the cleaning team, whilst facilities that were being cleaned, as should not pass if rigorous security guaranteeing a high level of service. well as for the company involved. vetting procedures are in place. Julius Rutherfoord has published This serves as just one example of The best cleaning contractors will a new best practice white paper – why facilities managers need to know go above and beyond Disclosure & Security in Cleaning – together with what best practice looks like when it Barring Service checks when verifying an accompanying infographic to comes to security vetting in contract identities, and have extra document highlight the challenges of ensuring the cleaning. All staff, from directors to authentication and pre-employment safety and security of facilities being cleaners, whether recruited directly screening processes in place. cleaned and the operatives cleaning or inherited through the Transfer Cleaning operatives can also be them. We have developed tried and of Undertakings process (TUPE), protected while working thanks tested processes which we want to must have the legal right to work in to biometric time and attendance share – staff and contractors have the the UK and pose no threat to your recognition, and GPS fleet monitoring right to work in a safe environment. business. As technology advances, the – technology that also assures professional cleaning industry should cleaning supervisors and facilities guides/

Fresh thinking in cleaning


Security best practice checklist 500,000 900,000

security vetting

safe and secure.

20-40% IDs


security & access control

Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

Security & Access Control

The latest in EMKA Biometrics: Dual Format Authentication


s our complicated world technologically evolves, challenges naturally ensue to harness and properly use the technology. These challenges become much more serious and difficult when the rate of technological change increases. As customers know, significant time is often necessary to understand, implement, experience, and adjust to the new technology if it is to be employed efficiently and effectively. If we are to embrace the productivity, operator value and other rewards that technological advances offer, the reality is that it is morphing at a historically high speed and there is every reason to believe that it will only continue accelerating with no pause in sight. Without doubt, the most notable thing about biometrics is that, when used properly as a method of identification, it is completely accurate. Only you are you. And unlike a card, fob, token, password, PIN, photo or key, you are never misplaced, broken, forgotten or expired. The individual is ultimately the most convenient, definite and accessible verification of themselves – and since The Internet of Things increasingly forces technological interaction with everything, it is more important that access to all these things is enabled only by those who have the proper authority to do so. That is why EMKA/Digitus Biometrics exists with a uniquely and properly designed biometric security to protect the things that it should, without compromising personal privacy, while providing ready access into and out of secure areas and enclosures to protect critical data, systems and assets. When it comes to accessing enclosures that house IT equipment, systems, hazardous materials, valuable assets and even private conversations, companies rightly need to objectively ensure that only those persons with a need to access the enclosure – the rack, cabinet, room, cage, vault – are allowed to do so under the parameters set by the organization’s security policy. Cards alone can be awkward to manage. Aside from having to carry them or look geeky wearing them, they get lost, get technologically bypassed, require inventory management, and worse, get counterfeited and stolen. Biometrics, on the other hand remove all of these negatives. It used to be said that, by its nature, biometrics eliminated the Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

plausible deniability that the unauthorised person had no fault in the breach. How many times has a security officer been told, “It wasn’t me!” claiming that the card/ key/fob/token/password/ PIN must have been misappropriated. But with Biometrics access solutions, not only is plausible deniability forever gone, but there is no longer any breach to even get to that point. EMKA/Digitus Biometrics now provides the ultimate access security with devices to secure data equipment enclosures and pedestrian entrances, they recently announced the best of both worlds. The new DualLock combines biometrics and card technologies. Built directly into the data centre cabinet’s handle is the fingerprint reader and card reader, requiring dual-authentication at the cabinet! No longer are “you” required to authenticate with just a card, or just a finger, or at the end of the row. Finally, there is an access security product on the market that ensures, without any doubt

– at the enclosure door – that “you” are “you”, that you are permitted, and that you are doubly verified. The greatest fear of advancing technology is that it outstrips our privacy and practical security. EMKA/ Digitus products are designed to provide the best of all possibilities and yes, it integrates with your enterprise access control software. Further information on EMKA products can be found on the EMKA website – Readers can find the latest information and news on the EMKA blog – or follow them on twitter –

New Distribution Channel Manager


ntegrated security manufacturer TDSi is pleased to announce the appointment of the company’s new Distribution Channel Manager, Andy Cross. Andy is excited to be joining the TDSi team and has clear objectives in mind for his new role: “As Distribution Channel Manager my goal is to further strengthen TDSi’s working relationship with our partners. This will include the provision of more product training and extensive sales support, both for sales teams and Integrators.” He continued, “I will also be assisting the continued growth of the TDSi products portfolio and ensuring it meets and exceeds our customers’ requirements and expectations. Part of this is ensuring our customers continue

to be fully informed about forthcoming and new products and when they will be available to the market.” Andy started his career as an apprentice engineer for Chubb Alarms and progressed through roles including installation engineer, service engineer and engineering supervisor before moving to Business Development at Norbain SD Ltd and then onto Area Sales Manager for UK and Ireland at HID Global. For further details on TDSi’s security portfolio please visit or phone +44 (0)1202 723535. security & access control



Hackney Community College saves £25K a year with second major Salix-funded LED lighting upgrade


ollowing a successful LED conversion project by Energys Group in 2015, 2016 has seen the East London college make a further investment in the latest Energys lighting technology. Energys estimates that combined savings of the two projects will be £95K per year. During the second half of 2015, Hackney Community College (HCC) in Shoreditch, East London, implemented a substantial lighting upgrade that resulted 26


in more than 4,900 lamps being converted to LED. The new systems were supplied and installed by Energys Group, which also provided boiler optimisation controls and specialist insulation as part of a far-reaching energy efficiency initiative. With expected annual savings of £70,000 and a return on investment (RoI) of only 2.8 years on the lighting side of the project alone, its impact has been significant. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that HCC recently decided to move ahead with a second lighting upgrade

– this time focusing on internal spaces not covered by the earlier project, as well as external areas of the campus. “The Energys LED lighting has brought a definite, cost-efficient improvement to the quality and comfort factor of lighting inside the college, and it made sense to optimise the remaining areas in a similar fashion,” says HCC Communications Director Ruth Lomax. “This time work focused on the dance and performing arts studios, a number of classrooms and offices, corridors, Building & Facilities Management – January 2017


and outdoor areas of the campus.” Energys’ Business Development Manager, Raj Gunasekaran, adds: “As with the previous project, it was evident that the latest generation LED lighting could deliver significant cost reductions for the college. We specified a number of our most popular current products during the Phase Two upgrade, which took place over the course of four weeks in autumn 2016.”

Salix success again As in Phase One, Energys was able to bring its comprehensive knowledge of the Salix funding scheme to the table. Once again, the college secured financial assistance under the Salix College Energy Fund with the assistance of the Energys team. The project called on a variety of products from Energys Group’s industryBuilding & Facilities Management – January 2017

leading New Vision range. In the internal areas, specified items included LED tubes, panels, downlighters, wall lights, dimmable solutions and spot lights. Outside, the new installation comprises a blend of LED uplighters, bollard lights, eyelid wall lights, photocell units, floodlights and path lights. The project was completed to a stringent and quick-turnaround timetable, but its benefits are likely to be longlived indeed. Energys estimates that the new internal lighting will save the college £16K a year, with a return on investment (RoI) of 2.6 years. Meanwhile, forecasts indicate that the new external lighting will save £9K a year, giving the college an RoI of 4.5 years. “These are compelling figures,” says Gunasekaran, “and underline the benefits that LED lighting has both in terms of immediate and longer-term

energy savings. With increasingly stringent carbon targets in mind, more and more schools and colleges are now converting to all-LED infrastructures, and we expect that trend to intensify in 2017 as awareness continues to grow.” The college is full of praise for the Energys team’s ability to supply and install such a substantial amount of new lighting technology in what was a very limited timeframe. “The project went smoothly and there was no impact on college activities,” said Ruth. “But above all we would highlight the quality of the new lighting – it is much more consistent and comfortable for staff and students. “We had high expectations of Energys and its LED lighting systems after Phase One, and we are delighted to confirm that they have been fully satisfied.” lighting



Bespoke LED lighting system for historic village hall


.C. Special Projects Ltd. (ACSP) has specified, supplied and installed a multi-purpose, energyefficient LED lighting system for Pearson Hall – a historic community hall in the village of Sonning, Berkshire. Situated at the heart of the village, the much loved Victorian building has acted as the local community’s social hub since 1889. It continues to be used for all variety of functions and productions, including events linked to the bi-annual Sonning Festival in May. The project brief for Pearson Hall was to provide a low-cost yet highperformance, multi-purpose lighting solution. Flexibility and energy-efficiency were key. The system not only had to work for everyday activities, but also had to be able to provide a range of sophisticated ambiances through the use of colour, for premium social events. Thanks to a specification tailor-made for the architectural detailing of the hall, AC-SP won the tender to manage the whole project. The company supplied and installed the full LED lighting system, and provided training for key users.

AC-SP installed six ProLights LUMIPAR12HPROs fixtures onto three existing wooden beams that support the roof void in the main hall. Chosen to enhance the space for social functions, these powerful yet compact PARs – which are equipped with high-efficiency LED light sources offering full control on colour saturation and temperature – create a wide variety of moods. To provide a warm tungsten-style glow over the stage area, AC-SP installed four ProLights EVO90F fixtures on an internally pre-wired bar. Featuring an LED source, the efficient yet very powerful Fresnels generate hardly any heat – making for a more comfortable environment. In addition, their DMX remote-controlled focusing allows transition from a 10° spot to a 60° flood beam. In addition, AC-SP worked with Reggiani to specify a simple track light system featuring their luminaires. Used to light the general floor area with an even wash, these lights’ electrical circuitry is separate from the optical compartment – thereby assuring excellent thermal

dissipation and a balanced design. As Pearson Hall is a community facility, it is essential that village residents can easily programme and operate the lighting. Accordingly, ACSP selected the Traxon Technologies e-cue Butler XT2 lighting processor, which is connected to a user-friendly, wall mounted glass touch panel. A committee member commented “We have received good reports back from people who have used the hall regarding the state-of-the art lighting system supplied by A.C. Special Projects, and are very happy with the service we received during this project.”

Tridonic extends CPD offering with three new modules

All modules CIBSE certified


ridonic, a leader in the provision of LED lighting control and technology, has announced the availability of three new CPD modules. This brings the total number of modules available to nine, all of which have been certified by CIBSE. Any organisation interested in taking up booking modules should contact Kirstie Abbott by email at The three new modules are: • Emergency Battery technology – This provides information on the different battery technologies used in self- contained emergency luminaires in the UK and lists their advantages and limitations. It goes on to give information on the extensive testing performed by inverter manufacturers to ensure battery lifetime and compatibility with their products. 28


• LED handling and precautions – With the rapid move to LED usage the lighting industry is undergoing a large technological change which includes dealing with electronic components that can be damaged by the voltages generated through static buildup in the human body and other objects. This module explains the need for the correct storage and handling of static sensitive products and how this can be achieved. • LED Terminology - The introduction of LEDs within the lighting industry has brought new terminology which must be understood in order to correctly use these products. This CPD explains the new terms found on LED module and LED driver documentation. One company whose staff have already benefitted from some of Tridonic’s earlier modules is Fagerhult, where eight members of staff with

varying levels of knowledge and experience, attended sessions earlier this year. “In order to offer the best service and support to our customers it is important that our engineers keep abreast of the latest developments. The CPD modules that Tridonic delivered brought the team up to date on both LED modules and LED driver technology and will help them in their day to day roles when talking to potential customers about the benefits of these new approaches,” said Les Thomas, Technical Manager, Lighting Solutions, Fagerhult. Simon Blazey, Strategic Solution Sales Manager at Tridonic, said; “CPD is an accepted part of many traditional professional roles. Here at Tridonic we understand the importance of investing in continuous training for both our staff and customers. We are delighted that we now have a broad portfolio of resources available and will continue to review and develop new modules as our own products and solutions evolve.” Building & Facilities Management – January 2017


Aura Light introduces easy-upgrade LED tubes


ura Light has introduced a new energy-efficient, easy-install LED light source to replace traditional fluorescent tubes. The OptiT8 is one of the latest additions to Aura Light’s diverse range of products that offer excellent light quality and significant energy savings. Designed to be a quick solution to reduce costs of existing luminaire installations, the OptiT8 is a retrofit solution to replace T8 fluorescent tubes operated by magnetic ballasts. This allows facility managers to safely upgrade the existing lighting scheme to LED technology with minimal effort and no expensive installation costs. With a high output of 4000 lumens and efficacy of up to 160 lumens per watt, Aura Light has designed the OptiT8 to deliver a high quality of light to improve the light levels within the room. It is also a particularly versatile option and

can be used for applications in offices, supermarkets, retail, signs and cold refrigerated areas, or anywhere where fluorescent lighting is currently being used. With excellent thermal and electrical design features, all applications will benefit from a full 50,000 hour system lifetime, supported by a five year guarantee, which eliminates all frequent maintenance or replacement costs. The tubes are also equipped with 90° rotatable end caps so users can fine-tune the direction of light once it is installed. Aura Light has used the latest LED technology to ensure the OptiT8 achieves its maximum performance and capabilities. The tube incorporates a reliable LED engine which helps to promote the long life as well as an integrated driver and heat sink

which help to maintain the quality of light throughout the lifetime. The OptiT8 tubes are available in 1200mm and 1500mm lengths and a range of colour temperatures, including 3000K, 4100K and 5000K with a CRI of more than 80. This range of colour temperatures allows users to match their new light source to the desired appearance, including matching the same colour temperature as the previous fluorescent tubes whilst generating significant energy savings.

Venture Industrial luminaires used to help company save energy


enture Lighting Europe’s high performance industrial luminaires have been used to upgrade the lighting at two depots owned by vehicle maintenance and repair company, Marshall Fleet Solutions. Over 50 of Venture’s 150W Highbay Professional luminaires were used across the two sites to upgrade the company’s lighting scheme from 400W Metal Halide lamps to help achieve the company’s aim to reduce its energy consumption. By replacing the lighting with Venture’s LED luminaires, Marshall Fleet Solutions are expected to receive over £7,000, approximately 66%, in annual energy cost savings, which also significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the two sites. Venture’s 150W Highbays were specified due to their competitive price and ability to meet the energy saving requirements that Marshall Fleet Solutions were aiming to achieve. The new lighting schemes across the two depots in Garforth and Salford, were designed and specified by Luminous Solutions Ltd, a key partner of Venture Lighting., and were installed by electrical contractors GWR Electrical & Data Comms Ltd, who are both also working to Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

upgrade the lighting to Venture’s LED luminaires across other sites owned by Marshall Fleet Solutions. The lighting schemes were designed by Luminous Solutions to 300 lux AVE which is in line with the latest BS EN 12464 regulations on the lighting of work places and the requirement for general vehicle servicing, repair and inspection. Since installing Venture’s LED Highbays, the lighting across the two depots has noticeably improved and now provides a bright white light to offer workers a better and clearer working environment. The Venture LED Highbay Professional luminaires also offer a significantly improved life of up to 50,000 hours which eliminates the need for regular lamp replacement and maintenance, which can be disruptive to operations when replacing or fixing. The enhanced lifetime of the luminaires also reduces the likelihood of lamp failure which may compromise the overall light levels across the depots. Venture’s LED Highbay Professional luminaires have proved to be a popular

and beneficial product for industrial applications such as maintenance workshops, due to the quality of light and low energy consumption. The 150W LEDs have a high output of 15,000 lumens and system efficacy of 100 lumens per circuit watt to ensure that a high power, quality light is emitted at a lower energy rate than traditional light sources. The luminaire comes with a 120° beam angle as standard and can be adapted using a range of reflector accessories to offer 60°, 70° and 90° angles depending on the light distribution required. lighting


Special Feature

Photon Energy celebrates 10 years in the business Jonathan Bates, MD of Photon Energy, reflects on a decade in the solar PV business and looks to the future where feed-in tariffs are increasingly irrelevant.


ast month, we celebrated 10 years of Photon Energy – making us positively ancient in the UK’s solar PV industry. In the last 10 years, we’ve seen the UK’s solar PV industry develop from a small, niche industry that employed at most, 1,000 people to an industry that, at its height in 2015, employed over 35,000 people – more than the nuclear industry. When we started, back in 2006, the UK had a total of 14.3 MW of solar PV installed. After our first year, this had risen to 18.1 MW and by the end of 2009, just before the start of the feed-in tariff, there was around 30 MW of installed capacity. Those early days were largely marked by a government that was unconvinced by the potential for solar, and by stopstart grant schemes such as the Major Demonstration Programme which saw the installation of around 200 systems having been billed as the UK’s answer to the German 100,000 roofs programme. By 2007, the Low Carbon Buildings Programme had started which was originally intended to ‘establish the UK as a credible player... alongside Germany and Japan’ and was a catalyst for the establishment of Photon Energy. In the first year of the scheme, 3.8 MW of solar PV was installed, with a further 4.4 MW added in 2008; in 2010, the final year of the scheme, a total of 40 MW was installed. This compares to the 7,411 MW installed in Germany and the 991 MW installed in Japan in the same year. Does this lack of ambition, stopstart schemes, continual policy changes all sound a little bit familiar? Another innovation in 2006 was the introduction of the voluntary Code for Sustainable Homes which set progressively tightening environmental criteria for new homes. It was adopted by many housing associations creating a new market for solar PV and solar thermal systems. This complemented the increasing popularity of the “Merton rule” where local planning authorities 30

special feature

could require new commercial buildings over 1,000 m2 to generate at least 10% of their energy from renewable energy. By 2008 the Planning and Energy Act enabled all councils in England and Wales to adopt the Merton Rule. However, it was the unpredictability of the various grant schemes and the introduction of the Code for Sustainable Homes and the Merton Rule that led us to concentrate our early efforts on the new-build market – both residential and commercial. By keeping this as a major part of our client base, we have been protected from the extreme boom and busts of the feed-in tariff and ROC schemes. Fast forwarding to 2017, the feed-in tariff has done a great job in helping to kick-start the UK’s solar PV industry: there are now over 870,000 solar powered buildings with some 3.5 GW of rooftop solar installed in the UK. Photon Energy has installed over 21 MW of roof-mounted PV and boasts an impressive array of clients in both the new build and retro-fit markets. But what now? The feed-in tariff has been effectively scrapped, the Renewables Obligation scheme has been closed, but they have by and large done their job. For the last 5 years, the rationale for installing solar has been to maximize the revenue from a subsidy, and so the decision to install a rooftop solar system has been a financial one and not an energy one. This will change. With the value of “displaced”electricity worth between 5 and 6 times more than the generation tariff, the revenues

from the feed-in tariff are increasingly irrelevant. Rooftop solar systems are now being designed to maximise onsite energy use rather than fitting as many panels as possible on a roof to maximise income from a subsidy. Today, a 250kW system installed for £900/kWp, on a building where all of the electricity is used on site, an IRR of 7% can be achieved with no feed-in-tariff; the same calculation for a 50kW system installed for £1000/kWp gives an IRR of 5%. The solar industry needs to be planning for a post-subsidy world and we need to be working now to ensure that we influence the landscape. Mechanisms such as Enhanced Capital Allowances for solar PV should be introduced, priority grid access maintained with guaranteed export revenues. This would allow us to continue our journey towards subsidy free solar… and be free of the meddling and interference by politicians.

About Photon Energy Photon Energy is one of the UK’s leading independent companies in the solar PV industry, designing, supplying and installing systems for commercial, agricultural and other private sector applications and the public sector. It is a certified installer under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme The company’s strengths lie in its technical and engineering excellence and its insistence on providing every customer with a top quality service and excellent value for money. Building & Facilities Management – January 2017

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