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March/April 2021

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Riverstone’s got you covered Speak to SSQ. Call us today on 020 8961 7725

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INTERVIEW: PAUL LAKE

BUILDING FOR WELLBEING

FEATURE: HVAC

Saint Gobain Weber MD shares his plans for the future

Exploring the concept influencing urban planning?

How is HVAC helping control the current COVID-19 virus?


Cool. Comfortable. Sustainable.

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CONTENT

EDITORIAL Oli Ballard - Editor/Director E: oli.ballard@buildingproducts.co.uk Barney Cotton - Digital Editor E: barney.cotton@buildingproducts.co.uk DESIGN/PRODUCTION Adam Whittaker - Senior Designer E: adam.whittaker@buildingproducts.co.uk Melissa Larkin - Website Development E: melissa.larkin@buildingproducts.co.uk Josh Dornbrack - Head of Multimedia E: josh.dornbrack@buildingproducts.co.uk SALES James Morgan - BD Manager E: james.morgan@buildingproducts.co.uk

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CIRCULATION Adrian Warburton - Circulation Manager E: adrian.warburton@buildingproducts.co.uk ACCOUNTS Jo Meredith - Finance Manager E: joanne.meredith@buildingproducts.co.uk

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56 IN THIS EDITION 2

News

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Project in Focus

10

Sector Debate: Glass & Glazing

12

Interview - Paul Lake, Saint Gobain Weber MD

18

Opinion: Glass & Glazing

22

Feature: Brexit & Builidng Products

24

Product Showcase

28

Product in Focus: Roof Windows

34

Feature: Building for Wellbeing

36

Company in Focus: Aquarian Cladding

42

Company Review: Newton Waterproofing

46

Sustainability: SSQ

48

Feature: Flooring

52

Feature: HVAC

56 March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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NEWS

Government to bring an end to unsafe cladding with multi-billion pound intervention

Real regeneration to transform derelict site into homes A derelict Tyneside site that has laid dormant for more than 20 years is set to be rejuvenated by the creation of 59 affordable homes.

Hundreds of thousands of leaseholders will be protected from the cost of replacing unsafe cladding on their homes, as Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick unveiled a fivepoint plan which will provide reassurance to homeowners and bring confidence to the housing market. With an unprecedented £5bn investment in building safety, including £3.5bn, the Housing Secretary confirmed to the House of Commons that the government will fully fund the cost of replacing unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in residential buildings 18 metres (6 storeys) and over in England. This will ensure funding is targeted at the highest risk buildings in line with longstanding independent expert advice and evidence, with Home Office analysis of fire and rescue service statistics showing buildings between 18 and 30 metres are four times as likely to suffer a fire with fatalities or serious casualties than apartment buildings in general. Lower-rise buildings, with a lower risk to safety, will gain new protection from the costs of cladding removal with a generous new scheme offered to buildings between 11 and 18 metres. This will pay for cladding removal – where it is needed – through a long-term, low interest, government-backed financing arrangement. Under the scheme, no leaseholder will ever pay more than £50 a month towards the removal of unsafe cladding. This will provide reassurance and security to leaseholders, and mortgage providers can be confident that where cladding removal is needed, properties will be worth lending against. 2

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

Regeneration specialist, Vistry Partnerships North East, has been given planning permission to build on land adjacent to Maria Street, in Benwell, by Newcastle City Council and construction is expected to begin in April. It will work, once again, with Riverside, one of the largest social housing providers in the UK, to help meet the needs of the local neighbourhood, providing affordable housing for social rent in the heart of the Benwell community. The scheme, made possible through a £4m grant from Homes England.

Hinkley Point C to open later than scheduled and will cost an extra £500m The new nuclear power station being built in Somerset by EDF, Hinkley Point C, is now set to open later than expected and will now cost an extra £500m in order to be completed. The construction site in Bridgwater has had a series of delays in recent years, but the French energy firm has insisted that it has made progress since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Following today’s news, the nuclear plant will open in June 2026 and the total cost could hit more than £23bn. Previous costings for the site had been between £18bn and £22.5bn. This would now mean that the construction would take a decade from receiving government approval in 2016 – and 15 years after plans were submitted. Once the site is complete, it will generate electricity for up to six million homes across the UK.


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NEWS

Deanestor completes £1.3m fit out of new specialist critical care centre in Wales

OFFSITE SOLUTIONS RELEASES STRONG RESULTS FOR LAST FINANCIAL YEAR

Deanestor, the furniture and fit out specialists, has completed a £1.3m contract for Laing O’Rourke for the manufacture, supply and installation of furniture and fittings for the new £350m Grange University Hospital in South East Wales. Designed by BDP, the project for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board is believed to be Wales’ biggest ever health infrastructure project and is Deanestor’s 17th contract for Laing O’Rourke. Completion of the new hospital was accelerated in the coronavirus pandemic to make 350 new patient beds available early. This allowed the health board to take possession of 50% of the hospital just four weeks later. To help achieve this, Deanestor installed over 1,000 soap and towel dispensers and 263 PPE centres, and manufactured and fitted 48 HTM71 pharmaceutical storage solutions, all in less than three weeks. Deanestor manufactured around 3,000 items of furniture for the 55,000m2 hospital, including laboratory furniture, shelving, base and wall cabinets in compliance with all relevant HTMs. Its team procured and fitted more than 22,000 products for around 1,450 rooms – from mirrors and medi rails to drug cabinets and specialist catheter storage units.

Offsite Solutions, the UK’s leading bathroom pod manufacturer, has announced a 73% increase in pre-tax profits on a turnover of £33.3m. These results have put Offsite Solutions in a stronger position to minimise the impact of the current pandemic. All its factories remained open throughout the coronavirus lockdowns this year, operating with Covid-secure processes and procedures in place and at reduced levels as a number of construction projects were delayed. However, by maintaining production, all pod deliveries were made to the dates required for every customer which is a major achievement. Enquiries remain at a high level and have grown monthon-month throughout the pandemic. The quote bank is now valued at a record £325m. £26m of new orders have been received with a number of projects already in manufacture for 2021.

Darren Cann, Works and Estates Manager at The Grange University Hospital, said: “This was a large-scale and complex hospital fit-out project. We had stringent requirements for robust, long-lasting furniture and fittings which would be easy to clean and maintain to meet the highest standards of infection control. Deanestor was able to accommodate our specific requirements, such as sloping worktops to facilitate cleaning, and to help us meet all relevant HTMs and HBNs.

James Stephens, Managing Director of Offsite Solutions, comments: “The outlook remains positive for our business, despite the economic uncertainties and challenges around Brexit and Coronavirus. We anticipate a significant increase in turnover from the end of the second quarter of 2021. We have a strong financial base and high levels of repeat business from both contractors and developers, which exceed 80% and this has definitely helped us minimise the impact of the pandemic.

“Deanestor has a good reputation in the healthcare sector so we had confidence that their bespoke furniture and fit out services would meet the Trust’s expectations. The finished installation looks great and we propose to continue to use their team for some further work at the hospital.”

“We remain extremely proud of our teams across the business and this year more than ever. They have consistently risen to the challenges we have faced to help us mitigate the impact of the pandemic on our business and our customers, and have found new ways to do what is needed and with such a positive attitude.”

For further information, call 01623 420041 or visit www.deanestor.co.uk/healthcare

For further information, call 01278 780807 or visit www.offsitesolutions.com

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BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021


NEWS

Heras UK welcomes the acquisition of the Danish fencing and security specialist SER Hegn Heras – a Dutch company with branches in the UK that designs, manufactures, installs and services permanent and temporary perimeter protection solutions – has welcomed the news that its parent company, Heras Group, has acquired the Danish fencing and security specialist SER Hegn. The acquisition strengthens the Group’s position as a leading European end-to-end supplier of premium perimeter protection. It also enables the UK market to benefit from the group’s growing expertise as a provider of solutions for multiple sectors. Country Manager UK, Andrew McMenzie, said: “Heras specialises in fencing, railing and welded mesh, entrance control, sliding, swing and bi-fold gates, detection and PIDS - and the acquisition is another big step forward for us as we strive to be recognised as Europe’s premium perimeter protection brand.

Heras Group announced the agreement to acquire Hegn in December and the move adds Denmark to Heras group’s Nordic operations in Sweden and Norway.

"The acquisition of SER Hegn, especially in the middle of a global pandemic, shows the ambition of the company, and it is an exciting time to be part of the Heras Group as it looks to continue its strong growth trajectory based on the core group vales of reliability, commitment and expertise.”

Heras Group CEO Gilles Rabot said: “We are very impressed by the people of SER Hegn, its sales, installation and service organisation in Denmark, which has shown its strength over several years. Bringing the businesses together will give us a clear and leading position in the Nordic region and set up a strong base for further growth.”

Contact us today for a quote

01200 452904

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A BETTER LANTERN ROOF! Innovative fully thermally broken lantern roof system. Stratus is discreet, yet stylish with sizes up to 3m x 6m.

March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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NEWS

Prime Minister gives green light for The Glazing Summit

Mechan and Winvic collaborate on new logistics hub Sheffield-based Mechan is supplying a multidisciplinary main contractor, Winvic Construction, with a bespoke rail traverser for a new £29 million Intermodal Rail Freight Terminal that is being constructed for Prologis at its DIRFT intermodal logistics park in Northamptonshire. The rail depot equipment specialist is one of few UK firms with the ability to design and build traversers, holding the record for the largest installation in the country at the Port of Felixstowe. Known as DIRFT III, the project comprises a 344-hectare logistics site, which will include a state-of-the-art rail freight terminal. Mechan’s traverser will be situated outside the terminal building, at the end of 9km of new lines, being constructed by Winvic, who is also responsible for installing three new bridges and a 79,000m² terminal slab. The traverser will be used to move Class 66 locomotives in a perpendicular direction to the tracks, so they can return to service after loading/unloading. This has allowed the terminal length to be shorter, as a head shunt isn’t required.

Average salaries in construction industry fall by 2% Economic uncertainty has seen average salaries in the construction industry fall by 2% on the year, with construction professionals across a range of on-site and office-based roles securing average salaries of £44,115 in 2020, compared to £44,999 in 2019. Prior to 2020 salaries in the industry had been increasing, and still sit 12% higher than 2016. At the same time regional disparities between salaries and household expenses are creating a cost-of-living gap amongst construction professionals. According to research into 7,500 permanent placed construction jobs and current vacancies from 6

specialist recruiter Randstad Construction, Property & Engineering, candidates seeking construction roles can have up to 50% of their salary remaining after household and essential expenses by securing a job in the North East of England, where average salaries sit just above the national average at £45,875. Randstad’s data shows that while London continues to provide workers with the highest average salaries in the industry at an average £50,630, monthly expenses of £2,861 continue to outstrip the rest of the country, meaning workers are left with just 10% of their salary at the end of the month.

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

Andrew Scott Founder, Glazing Summit

With the Prime Minister announcing a ‘roadmap to recovery’ with all restrictions lifted by June, the industry can once again come together, and the Glazing Summit has already seen a surge of excitement. The Glazing Summit is the annual industry conference, held in October, and brings together industry leaders for a day-long series of panel debates, discussions and networking with experts from across the world sharing trends and developments that affect the sector. Andrew Scott, founder of the Glazing Summit said: “The window, door and conservatory industry has always been a face-to-face sector where people want to meet, discuss business and share ideas. With the restrictions lifted from June, there is already a buzz of excitement for the Glazing Summit.” “After over a year of restrictions the industry is bursting with ideas, innovations and developments and the Glazing Summit gives industry leaders the opportunity to come together in a safe, professional setting to once again discuss the future of the industry, debate issues and connect with like-minded industry leaders.” Despite the restrictions being lifted, the organisers will ensure the event takes place in a safe environment, so numbers will be restricted. “At the previous Glazing Summit, we had over 400 guests and the event sold out within 8 weeks, this year we’ll restrict the numbers but we’ve already had over 100 seats booked” added Andrew. The Glazing Summit Conference takes place at Edgbaston Stadium and Conference Centre, Birmingham in October. The event is supported by industry giants such as Yale, Reynaers aluminium, Edgetech and ODL. For further details visit glazingsummit.co.uk


NEWS

Keylite Roof Windows take Margate housing development to new heights Over 60 Keylite Roof Windows have been installed to new homes and flats in the Brooke Close housing development in Margate, offering clean and modern aesthetics as well as peace of mind for the building contractor, PCR Projects Ltd. The Roman Fields development situated in the village of Garlinge beside Brooke Avenue in Margate comprises 43 homes that come with integrated kitchen appliances, a ten year warranty, built in wardrobes and parking. Designed by architectural firm Urban Surveying and Design Ltd and built by contractors PCR Projects, the development required 60 Keylite Polar White PVC Centre Pivot, Thermal Glazing Roof Windows to be installed in each of the houses, and two Keylite White Painted Centre Pivot, Thermal Glazing Roof Windows, with Smoke Ventilation Kits in each of the block of flats. Scott Ridgen, Managing Director at Urban Surveying and Design Ltd said: “We are very much a design led practice and so the aesthetics of Keylite Roof Windows really appealed to us, especially knowing how they would sit on the roof lines and create a point of differentiation for this particular project.”

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For more information about Keylite Roof Windows, please visit www.keyliteroofwindows.com, call 01283 200 158

The Futureproof Green Homes Grant Skills & Certification programme Your route to winning Green Homes Grant voucher scheme work. Offer ends 15 April

There’s lots we do at Futureproof other than the Skills & Certification programme. See futureproof.uk.net

We have 100 generously subsidised places for builder or contractor businesses to undertake retrofit training, certify in PAS2030 and become Trustmark registered. A further 200 retrofit training places are available for contractors from the same company.

This subsidised package will allow you to take on Green Homes Grant voucher scheme works straightaway. And you’ll be equiped to enter the growing retrofit market where customers are demanding energyefficient & low-carbon home improvements. Full details on the website of our training partner, The Green Register

greenregister.org.uk/futureproof

March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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NEWS

Premier Modular completes apartment installation phase for £9m emergency housing scheme in High Wycombe Premier Modular, one of the UK’s leading offsite construction specialists, has completed the installation of 58 apartments for a new £9m emergency housing scheme for Buckinghamshire Council in High Wycombe. Due for completion this summer, the project is being delivered by an innovative partnership between Premier Modular and Claritas Group. Manufactured and fully fitted out offsite, these highly sustainable apartments are being completed in a much shorter timescale than with in-situ construction to help meet the rising demand for housing for homeless people. The one-bedroom apartments, each weighing around 10 tonnes, were installed using a 250-tonne crane and in around two weeks. Each home arrived on site complete with shower rooms and kitchens. The apartments are built around a central courtyard which will provide a valuable amenity space for residents.

Dan Allison, Director of Premier Modular, said: “There is an urgent need across the UK for emergency accommodation for people, who, often through no fault of their own, have become homeless. These individuals and families need housing for a short period of time, while a more permanent place is found for them to live. Offsite construction is very well suited to building this type of housing. As well as meeting the required standards for quality and sustainability, we can reduce the completion time to deliver new homes more quickly for people on emergency housing waiting lists. “With fabrication and fitting out of the apartments taking place offsite, we can also reduce the number of construction workers on site – an important health and safety benefit in the current pandemic.” The building has been designed to enhance the local area and to deliver a high standard of environmental performance. The energy-efficient ‘fabric first approach’ to the development’s construction will increase the level of insulation, reduce heat loss and air infiltration, and will use roof-mounted solar panels to generate electricity. Built on the highly constrained site of a former car park, the three and five storey scheme will be finished in a palette of colours including terracotta, slate grey and off white to complement the surrounding local area. The apartments will be accessed by lifts and staircases in two towers built using in-situ construction. There will be two accessible apartments, each with a parking space.

For further information, visit www.premiermodular.co.uk, call 0800 316 0888 or email info@premiermodular.co.uk.

Homes England and United Trust Bank launch £250m Housing Accelerator Fund Homes England, the Government’s housing delivery agency and United Trust Bank (UTB), an established specialist lender, have today announced a £250 million fund to support small and medium-sized builders with development finance at up to 70% Loan to Gross Development Value. The Housing Accelerator Fund will provide construction loans between £1m and £10m. The alliance will improve access to finance offered to smaller builders and drive the continued diversification of the housing market over the coming years. Applications are being accepted from today and prospective borrowers should contact UTB. 8

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021


CASE STUDY

EXCEPTIONAL LAMBDA VALUE PROMPTS KELTBRAY SWITCH TO RAVATHERM XPS X 500SL FOR WHITE CITY PLACE DEVELOPMENT Collaboration between Ravago Building Solutions, SIG Distribution, and Keltbray has seen Ravatherm XPS X insulation selected for the prestigious Gateway Central development at White City Place. The new eleven storey building meets significant demand for office space in West London and will serve as headquarters for such companies as L’Oreal UK and Ireland. With construction being managed by Sir Robert McAlpine, the development is set to open in 2022 and will feature Ravatherm XPS X 500 SL flooring insulation. Produced in King’s Lynn, UK, Ravatherm XPS X 500 SL is the perfect solution for heavy-duty applications; manufactured by extrusion production procedure, its

closed-cell structure means it offers high compressive strength and resists deterioration. With a declared lambda of 0.031 or 0.032 dependent on thickness, and resistance to water and frost, it is a high-performing and long-lasting thermal insulation.

and supplying them with innovative insulation solutions from a company with the pedigree of Ravago is part of SIG’s heritage. It is a privilege to work with them both as part of the supply chain for Gateway Central at White City Place.”

Chris Gimson, Commercial Director UK & Ireland, Ravago Building Solutions, said: “Our partnership with SIG and Keltbray for this project has ensured that the Gateway Central building will benefit from high performance thermal insulation, securing significant savings on energy costs and usage – a key consideration for buildings of this size.”

Andrew Healey, Project Manager for Keltbray added: “We were greatly impressed by Ravago’s swift and effective collaborative approach to providing a solution for this project that satisfied both structural and thermal requirements, ensuring outstanding quality without compromise to our budget and programme constraints.”

Noel Healy, Drylining Director, SIG added: “Dealing with construction engineering specialists like Keltbray

www.ravagobuildingsolutions.co.uk March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

9


PROJECT IN FOCUS

Student halls – but not as you know them:

Edgetech excels on stunning Danish project From a bird’s eye view, it looks like a meandering path through a leafy city park. But get a bit closer, and you realise it’s actually a building – one of the most ambitious, spectacular and sustainable buildings Scandinavia has ever produced. BaseCamp Lyngby is a 415,000 square-foot student accommodation block in Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s a winding, undulating structure with an 800-metre running and walking track, grass, plants and trees covering the entirety of its roof.

The structure is made out of trapezoidal modules stacked to different heights, allowing for the sloping walkway on its roof. But it’s not just impressive to look at it – it’s also been designed to put cost-effectiveness and sustainability at the forefront.

Made of glass and façades in three different shades of oak, the building itself contains a total of 786 apartments, 639 of them for students, 48 for retired residents.

The building’s ventilated curtain wall was insulated with rock wool and clad with slabs made of pressed volcanic basalt rock from Rockpanel, while its green roof is covered in solar panels to generate electricity. Any rain that falls on the structure is disposed of via evaporation, reducing the ambient temperature and strain on the sewer system.

Completed to serve Copenhagen’s Lyngby University of Technology, the project took just two and a half years.

It required more than 4,000 IGUs, which had to conform to the irregular shape of the building – and that,

▴ Chris Alderson UK Managing Director, Edgetech 10

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021


EDGETECH

combined with the need for outstanding thermal performance, made Super Spacer® T-Spacer™ Premium Plus the obvious choice.

“Scandinavia is a global pioneer in sustainable construction, and a major growth market for warm-edge technology.

Danish IGU manufacturer Glaseksperten, who were contracted to work on the project, operate a fullyautomated, state-of-the-art Super Spacer line.

“We’re confident that Super Spacer® T-Spacer™ Premium Plus will offer the building’s residents outstanding performance for many decades to come.”

"Super Spacer is of key importance to Glaseksperten in supplying quality products which also ensure we are a leading company in economical and ecological terms", comments Sales Manager Jesper Hønning. “The fully automated continuous application of spacer from the reel saves time and money, while guaranteeing top-class product quality.” Chris Alderson, Edgetech Managing Director, comments: “We’re absolutely delighted to see Edgetech products used in such a stunning building.

About Edgetech Edgetech’s Super Spacer® flexible foam-based spacer systems acts as energy-efficient warm edge spacers in insulating glass windows. They significantly reduce energy loss to the outside, largely prevent condensation and also contribute to the lifetime of a window. On average, worldwide, more than 300 million metres are sold annually in over 100 countries. March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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SECTOR DEBATE

People are bored of spending on their homes and wanting to go on holiday and enjoy themselves We look at the trends shaping the glass and glazing sector

F

or its latest sector review – Building Products looks at the Glass and Glazing sector. To gauge the levels of optimism, we have brought together a panel of leaders and professionals from the sector for a debate.

WHAT KIND OF YEAR DO YOU EXPECT 2021 TO BE FOR THE GLASS AND GLAZING SECTOR? Kurt Greatrex – Dekko Window Systems: "I expect 2021 to be a strong year for the glass and glazing sector, despite everything that’s going on. In 2020, the window industry enjoyed one of its most buoyant periods in history, and I believe that consumers will continue to spend money on home improvements and that the industry will continue to thrive." Jeremy Phillips – CDW Systems: "It depends on so much that we can’t really control but the potential is there. There was strong domestic demand in 2020 as people couldn’t

go on holiday so spent money on their homes, and I think once things start to gradually relax as far as COVID-19 is concerned it will have a slightly detrimental effect on the domestic side of things, with people bored of spending on their homes and wanting to go on holiday and enjoy themselves. "I think commercial demand will bulk up and replace the domestic. The glass shortage in the industry and prices increasing is no bad thing. Everyone tends to see price rises as a negative but it’s not always the case as it adds value to things and, provided you can manage it; it can be a positive."

"THERE WAS STRONG DOMESTIC DEMAND IN 2020 AS PEOPLE COULDN’T GO ON HOLIDAY SO SPENT MONEY ON THEIR HOMES." Jeremy Phillips

Allan Barr - Technal UK: "Already it feels more optimistic than 2020 compared with six months ago. We are seeing an uplift in enquiries and more commercial opportunity across many sectors within our own customer base – especially for projects with sustainable or low carbon requirements. Some of the projects held in 2020 are now becoming live and feedback from our customers is that they are open for business, as we are. "Whilst last year companies had to adapt quickly to the new ways of working as a result of COVID-19, not just internally but on sites too, this year will be about developing these new ways in a more sophisticated way with digitalisation supporting at every step. "In certain instances, face-to-face meetings are undeniably the most effective way to communicate. However, digital methods will most definitely sit alongside traditional ways of working to greater extent moving forwards."

THE PANEL THAT TOOK PART IN THIS DEBATE WERE:

▴ Kurt Greatrex Sales Director, Dekko Window Systems 12

▴ Jeremy Phillips Chairman, CDW Systems' Group

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

▴ Allan Barr Sales Director, Technal UK

▴ Martin Hitchin CEO, Rehau


GLASS AND GLAZING

Martin Hitchin – Rehau: "2021 will not be without challenges. As the glass and glazing sector continues to navigate COVID-19 restrictions and their implications, flexibility will be required of all businesses. Last year saw significant changes in consumer spending patterns with people being at home much more. "Due to reductions in travel and other spending habits, homeowners have been investing heavily in home improvements, but we can expect changes as the vaccine is rolled out and some level of normality returns. "We will also look to ensure supply chain robustness throughout 2021, and anticipate installers and

fabricators are looking for stable polymer suppliers to help weather pandemic-based upheaval." WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU EXPECTING TO SEE AROUND PRODUCTS IN THE SECTOR? WHAT ARE THE KEY ISSUES AFFECTING YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS? Kurt Greatrex: "Aluminium is becoming increasingly popular in the domestic market, and this trend is set to continue, with wide span aluminium patio doors proving particularly popular. "The rise of home working has also had a huge impact on the sector. Now in our third national lockdown, millions of people are spending

most of their time in their homes, and demand for home offices and garden rooms is only going to rise, along with general home improvements. "The main issue affecting Dekko is supply chain shortages. While the industry welcomed a surge in demand, the supply chain struggled to keep up, and there have been shortages of profile, glass and hardware, which has had a knock-on effect across the industry. "

Cont. March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

13


SECTOR DEBATE

"ALUMINIUM IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY POPULAR IN THE DOMESTIC MARKET, AND THIS TREND IS SET TO CONTINUE, WITH WIDE SPAN ALUMINIUM PATIO DOORS PROVING PARTICULARLY POPULAR." Kurt Greatrex

"INTRODUCTION OF SMART TECHNOLOGY IS SOMETHING WE EXPECT TO SEE EMERGING MORE AND MORE IN 2021, AS EVERSAVVIER CONSUMERS FURTHER FAMILIARISE THEMSELVES WITH SMART HOME SOLUTIONS. "

"Enhanced acoustic requirements are also another major focus for many of the projects we’re working on now, especially in urban environments. Clients are looking to their consultants and specialist package contractors to deliver both high performance and innovative ways to achieve façade solutions that meet some pretty tough specifications. "

Martin Hitchin

Jeremy Phillips: "I think we’ll still see a good demand for patio doors and large glazed areas, and we will also see more demand for acoustically efficient products as well as acoustic performance is being built into the spec more and more. "We will also see a shift towards thermally efficient commercial products. Although there is still good demand for the old fashioned nonthermal systems, that will perhaps start to wane a little in favour of products with good thermal efficiency. "The supply chain issues will carry on being a challenge, and accessories in general seem to be the main problem. We can make it, but we cannot put a lock or handle on it and that is slowing us down and that will carry on slowing us down if the supply chain doesn’t improve." Allan Barr: "We are expecting to see more products designed for extreme weather conditions and noisier, high-rise cities (albeit they’re likely much quieter than normal times at present) - increasing levels of performance are becoming more and more important. 14

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

"In terms of aesthetics, achieving slimmer sightlines and bigger and better views for occupants is still the architect’s passion. Systems that push the boundaries safely and improve their performance will succeed – enhancing comfort for occupants and creating successful buildings simultaneously. "Although we are still awaiting the update to the Building Regulations, specifications are continuing to command improved thermal performance of curtain walls, windows, and doors in line with the commitment to ensure all new buildings operate at net zero by 2030.

"SYSTEMS THAT PUSH THE BOUNDARIES SAFELY AND IMPROVE THEIR PERFORMANCE WILL SUCCEED – ENHANCING COMFORT FOR OCCUPANTS AND CREATING SUCCESSFUL BUILDINGS SIMULTANEOUSLY. " Allan Barr

Martin Hitchin: "Introduction of smart technology is something we expect to see emerging more and more in 2021, as ever-savvier consumers further familiarise themselves with smart home solutions. As such, we expect future Rehau solutions will incorporate innovations like smart shading and smart privacy, reducing heat transfer and turning windows non-transparent at the touch of a button. "Additionally, stay-at-home orders have led to consumers conducting greater levels of research into their purchases, windows included. As such we expect growing demand for individualised, bespoke solutions, with greater uptake of frame accessories and an increased demand for a wide variety of coloured foils." WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON SUSTAINABILITY AND HOW THE SECTOR IS DEVELOPING PRODUCTS TO MEET DEMAND? Kurt Greatrex: "The glazing industry has become much more sustainable over the past decade, both in its products and processes, and with changes to Building Regulations happening in 2025, which requires all new-build homes to be future-proofed with low carbon heating and world-leading levels of energy efficiency, this is only going to increase."


GLASS AND GLAZING

Jeremy Phillips: "The move towards more thermally efficient products is coming and as a manufacturing business the processes are becoming more scrutinised now and it’s bound to become more of a prerequisite on projects. I think perhaps the focus has gone off because of COVID-19 and it has slipped off the agenda, but it will always be there and carry on being a factor." Allan Barr: "We are seeing more tender specifications detailing sustainable requirements all the time. The sector is responding but there is a whole lot more to be done. Architectural aluminium systems manufactured using ‘recycled content’ are more visible on the market than ever before. To

differentiate that recycled content covers both pre-consumer and postconsumer scrap, it’s worth noting that the higher the post-consumer recycled content,the lower the carbon footprint."

ensure they source frames from socially responsible providers with extensive operations dedicated to reducing landfill and recycling older material back into the circular economy via co-extruded products.

Martin Hitchin: "The focus on sustainability will continue, in terms of how products are sourced, manufactured and recycled. The inclusion of closed loop supply chain considerations right from the start of the product development is vitally important, especially with homeowners becoming increasingly eco-conscious.

"At Rehau, we continue to invest heavily in eco conscious product design, incorporating innovations like co-extrusion technology and trackable materials. As an innovative and sustainable method that processes recycled materials in the core of the profile, co-extrusion is a vital means of improving sustainability within the window manufacturing sector.

"Consequently, suppliers must ensure they are offering green solutions. For example, with uPVC windows, installers and fabricators should

"INTRODUCTION OF SMART TECHNOLOGY IS SOMETHING WE EXPECT TO SEE EMERGING MORE AND MORE IN 2021, AS EVER-SAVVIER CONSUMERS FURTHER FAMILIARISE THEMSELVES WITH SMART HOME SOLUTIONS." Martin Hitchin

"Additionally, developments that make it easier for customers, installers, and fabricators to opt into the circular economy for polymers will be vital to further enhancing the sector’s sustainability. To that end, we are currently working on a Windows ID Tracker that we hope to launch in 2021 to make it easier to identify the material composition of our products." 

Energy Efficient, Timber Window and Door Specialists Providing Tailor Made Solutions For Your Project. Period Property Experts. Supply Only, Supply and Install, Draught Proofing.

01344 868 668

www.sashwindow.com March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

15


NEWS

BREAKING THE CHAIN OF INFECTION THROUGH INNOVATION Could new door furniture product be game changer for specifiers? One of the biggest challenges in any building is keeping regularly touched surfaces, or ‘hotspots’ clean and free from bacteria and viruses. Door furniture is among the ‘most-touched’ of all hotspots in business premises and is one of the fastest ways for infections and viruses to spread. The typical handle in a public toilet is home to up to 40,000 germs per square inch, and standard handles are without doubt the largest carrier of healthcare associated infections. P-Wave® Sales and Marketing Manager Mark Wintle says that his company has found a solution to this problem. He explains: “What if the door furniture was antimicrobial and anti-bacterial, creating a permanent solution, which is effective against bacteria and viruses and continues to protect in between your standard cleaning intervals? “P-Wave® is delighted to introduce the perfect solution, which is not only affordable, but also features an additive which lasts for the entire lifecycle of the product.” P-Wave’s Steri-Core antimicrobial silver ion technology door furniture helps reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses. Tested and proven effective against MRSA, E-Coli, Salmonella and Norovirus, the products feature a high concentration of antimicrobial which is blended with the polymer during the manufacturing process and forms part of the molecular structure of the product. This ensures that the silver Ion technology is active all the way through to the core of the handles. So unlike coated products or films, even if they become scratched or damaged, Steri-Core handles will continue to kill pathogens effectively for the life of the product, and each handle has a 10 year manufacturer guarantee. To withstand heavy usage, the handles are one-piece injection-moulded from strong polymer material with rounded edges and no joints or joins, 100% recyclable and scratch and water resistant, the unique material will not rust, unlike standard metal handles. Available in two widths (75mm or 100mm), in blue, black or grey/silver, 16

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

the handles are fire rated and UV and fade resistant, making them perfect for indoor and outdoor use. The non-porous polypropylene material stops dirt embedding and staining the surface, making the removal of dirt and bacteria easier compared with traditional materials. The material used in the Steri-Core products enables quick effective all over cleaning using detergents, steam cleaning, and chlorine disinfectants (BS EN 12720:20091). Patents have been granted for the range and independent tests prove that P-Wave’s Steri-Core products are made from the world’s only material clinically proven to kill the non-enveloped EPA FCA Strain F9 of Human Norovirus (ISO 22196:2011). P-Wave® is currently awaiting results of tests to prove that its Steri-Core products are also effective against Coronavirus, which – according to the American Chemistry Council – is an enveloped virus and easier to kill2 than non-enveloped viruses. The BS EN 12720:2009 standard specifies a method for the assessment of the resistance to cold liquids of all rigid furniture surfaces regardless of materials. 2 https://blog.americanchemistry.com/2020/03/cbc-answers-your-questions-aboutcovid-19/ 1


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hello@insightdata.co.uk @insightdata March/April 2021www.insightdata.co.uk • BuildingProducts.co.uk 17


INTERVIEW

Interview:

Paul Lake – Managing Director, Saint Gobain Weber UK

P

aul Lake was recently named as the new managing director at SaintGobain Weber UK. In this regular Building Products feature – we talk to Paul about his plans in the new role and get his views on the current issues and trends shaping the construction sector.

CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND? I am Saint-Gobain through and through, with a passion for the high performance building products we create, promote, sell and see all around us. I started my career with the Saint-Gobain Group in 2001 at Saint-Gobain Ecophon as an area sales manager covering South West England. I held several senior roles before becoming MD in 2012. I then became managing director of SaintGobain’s ceilings businesses in the UK, Ireland, Benelux and South Africa. Before joining Saint-Gobain Weber, I was sales director for British Gypsum for just over two years. As you can see from my history, Saint-Gobain really does support, encourage and equip those who want to stretch themselves and develop within the business.

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BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR YOUR NEW ROLE? My first priority is keeping the whole team safe and ensuring their wellbeing. Everyone's facing slightly different experiences throughout this pandemic. Last year, when I first joined Weber, we had colleagues coming back from furlough, but there were also colleagues who had worked throughout and had been doing so under very challenging circumstances. I am mindful not just of their physical health but also the team’s mental wellbeing. As a business, we are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment so everyone can thrive and perform at their best. I want our company vision ‘we care’ to really resonate and be felt by all our colleagues and our customers. Next on my priorities is putting all our energy and resources into enhancing customer satisfaction, ensuring we continue to delight and be considered a truly trusted partner. Our customers are themselves facing all sorts of challenges as we move further forward into this

New Year. I’m a strong advocate of putting yourself in your customer’s shoes; seeing everything from their perspective. We need to truly understand our customers' biggest challenges, add value with every interaction and work with them to find the most effective solutions. If it is important to our customer, it is important to us. As I said, the vision at Weber is 'we care' and the team here live and breathe this. It means caring about people and the places they care about, and it applies as much to our colleagues as it does to our


PAUL LAKE

customers. There is also a clear line of sight between Weber’s vision and the purpose of our parent company Saint-Gobain: "Making the world a better home". I’m also focusing on growing the business, maximising all opportunities in an ever-evolving market place. Weber has a very diverse range of products and systems, and we want to continue to improve our offering through development of new solutions. We are constantly striving to enhance our knowledge and expertise across our many market segments, to enable us to offer the best possible support and advice to our customers. WHAT DO YOU FEEL ARE THE MAIN ISSUES FACING THE CONSTRUCTION SECTOR NOW? As we adapt to the new realities of supply chain management post-Brexit, I think one of the most important issues is around ensuring the safe, sustainable and steady supply of building products to the many stakeholders who are working tirelessly to keep construction going. Technical competence and addressing the industry’s shortage of skilled workers are also major themes, not just for this year but most likely for several years to come.

THE SAINT-GOBAIN GROUP WAS FOUNDED IN FRANCE AND OPERATES GLOBALLY – WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON BREXIT AND FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES? The UK construction industry has seen lots of change over the past year. As it was impossible to predict the effects of COVID-19, it is equally as difficult to say how Brexit will impact construction over the longterm. Obviously, there are uncertain times ahead. But for me and the wider Weber executive team, we’re preparing the business for what we’ve all come to know as the 'new normal'. Although we operate globally, Weber UK products are actually manufactured here in the UK. We have three plants, with a high percentage of materials coming from local sources, which helps to ensure that products are produced close to the markets they supply, and that product quality is maintained throughout. Yes, things are different. But this also presents us with huge opportunities and new avenues to explore: our interaction with our customers; driving further efficiencies into our manufacturing processes; further enhancing the technical knowledge of our team; and developing exciting new products and systems to help our customers achieve all of their desired outcomes. We’ve shown how agile we can be over the last year in the way we have adapted to new

ways of working and living. I want the team at Weber to evolve constantly, adapting to the changes we see in front of us. We must continue to act as entrepreneurs without fear of failure, learning quickly and adapting at pace.

"I THINK ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES IS AROUND ENSURING THE SAFE, SUSTAINABLE AND STEADY SUPPLY OF BUILDING PRODUCTS TO THE MANY STAKEHOLDERS WHO ARE WORKING TIRELESSLY TO KEEP CONSTRUCTION GOING."

REGARDING SKILLS – WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE IN RECRUITING THE TALENT YOU NEED? This industry has been discussing the impending ‘skills crisis’ for decades. It’s not just related to Brexit, but it could potentially intensify the problem as there are estimated to be more than 100,000 skilled workers in construction who have come from the EU that we risk losing. This doesn’t necessarily impact on us, but it does impact on our customers. That’s why Weber is so committed to upskilling the industry through our Training Academy. We are also firm supporters of new initiatives like the Construction Leadership Council’s Construction Talent Retention Scheme, which is helping to connect employers with candidates – from apprentices to highly experienced managers – through to a free-to-use, governmentbacked portal.

March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

19


INTERVIEW

PAUL LAKE

"ONE OF THE AREAS THAT EXCITES ME MOST IS AROUND MODERN METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION (MMC) – WEBER HAS ENTERED THAT MARKET WITH ITS NEW WEBERWALL BRICK PRODUCT WHICH IS A REAL GAME CHANGER." Paul Lake

HOW IS TECH AND INNOVATION IMPROVING THE SECTOR IN YOUR OPINION? The construction sector is a fascinating place to be right now, as it is going through nothing short of a technological and digital revolution. One of the areas that excites me most is around modern methods of construction (MMC) – Weber has entered that market with its new weberwall brick product which is a real game changer. It’s a lightweight brick effect product supplied on mesh sheets, in a range of highly realistic brick finishes. As a UK factorymanufactured product that falls into category six of the Government’s MMC definition framework, it is particularly suitable for applications where a housebuilder needs to achieve a high quality brick effect finish, without having to use specialist trades on site. Innovation also comes from small, incremental changes that have a big impact for customers. Our R&D team is constantly working on new products to respond to these market needs or those they don’t yet realise they need. So, for example, Weber developed webercem spray RSF to

respond to the health and safety concerns from specialist contractors. They often have to put themselves in a high-risk environment to complete projects, such as structural repairs to tidal defences, so wanted a product that would help to reduce time on site. We listened, acted and can now confidently offer this to the market. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE? I believe in authenticity, honesty and consistency. I value those qualities in my team. I want to be known as someone who is approachable, creating high challenge, high support environments. My preference is to create a workplace where the team is enthusiastic about solving problems because they know they are empowered to do so, in a safe, supportive culture. I also encourage life-long learning and curiosity, and not just about work. I’m a big advocate of audible learning and recently listened to Brian Tracy’s ‘Eat That Frog’, which is all about the notion that we are all very busy and can’t do everything, so get certain tasks done first. It helps to focus the mind and helps to stop procrastination. 

Energy Carbon’s ground-breaking infra-red heating bolstered by BSRIA test pass Energy Carbon, the company championing far infrared heating and its game-changing potential for low-carbon construction, has become the first firm of its kind to have its products pass stringent BSRIA testing. BSRIA in one of Britain’s most respected independent testing centres specialising in construction, with a worldwide reputation for impartiality and expertise, and getting their approval is a huge boost for the South Coast heating experts. Energy Carbon supplies fast, cost-effective and energy efficient heating technology developed over six years by experts from the University of Stuttgart, working alongside one of Germany’s largest industrial corporations. By harnessing the power of infra-red, the innovative products Energy Carbon provide heat the objects in a room rather than the empty space, meaning homeowners can switch it on and quickly be feeling the benefits. Getting the green light from BSRIA is a major milestone, as company co-founder and director Rod Davies explains. 20

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

“We’re delighted that, after being comprehensively examined by one of the most respected testing centres of its kind, our products have been found to be safe, and to do what it says on the tin – and we’re confident that this will only accelerate its adoption by housebuilders across the country.”


Warmer

Quieter

Safer

PROJECT STORY

Selectaglaze secondary glazing receives a warm reception in top London PR office Premier Public Relations’ office is a self-contained 19th century industrial building spread over five floors in Bucknall Street, London. Premier has over three decades of experience delivering marketing communications campaigns for the entertainment, arts and cultural industries and was awarded ‘PR Moment Large Agency of the Year’ in 2017. Originally used as a warehouse, the thermal and acoustic controls in the large yellow brick Victorian building were inadequate for its new use as an office space due to the inefficient single glazed original windows. Premier approached Selectaglaze for a cost-effective window improvement to their offices. This was to ensure a more agreeable working environment to achieve a high level of thermal insulation. Selectaglaze installed 115 windows across the ground, first, second and third floors. A wide range of products were combined for the specification, the majority of which were two and three pane horizontal sliders. The Series 30 lift-out unit was used for one particular opening to allow easy access for cleaning. Another primary window was fitted with a single side hung casement, designed to suit the existing fenestration. ‘Sustainable St Albans’ provided Selectaglaze with a thermal imaging camera which measured the changes in the thermal integrity of the primary windows before and after the addition of secondary glazing. The successful installation of secondary glazing has greatly enhanced the working environment, with staff noticing a significant difference in thermal retention, with draughts virtually eliminated. It has also improved the working environment considerably across all the office floors.

For further information, please contact Selectaglaze on 01727 837271. Email: enquiries@selectaglaze.co.uk March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

21


OPINION

CONSTRUCTION WITH CONSERVATION IN MIND Considering the environmental impact of a new building

I

nspired by the Italian novel The Baron in the Trees, Bosco Verticale — or Vertical Forrest in English — are two tower blocks situated in Milan, Italy. What makes these structures significant is the abundance of greenery that encapsulates them. To be specific, the towers hold 900 trees, 5,000 shrubs and 11,000 perennial plants. The aim — to eliminate city smog and improve air quality. So, what can the UK’s construction industry learn from these environmental structures? Nick Cowley, Managing Director at uPVC windows and uPVC doors manufacturer, Euramax explores.

Towns and cities across the globe constantly require new buildings. The UK alone needs to build 340,000 new homes every year until 2031 if its housing supply is to meet demand. While we cannot fail to fulfil this need for more buildings, it’s equally important that the building and construction industry acknowledges the environmental impact of building more. Bosco Verticale Considered the European capital of fashion and football, Milan is also one of the most polluted cities in Europe. In fact, the city was named Europe’s most polluted city in 2008. The industrial region is surrounded by mountainous terrain that gathers heavy smog. To help reduce the health and environmental impact of Milan’s atmospheric pollutants, Italian architect Stefano Boeri conjured up the concept of Bosco Verticale. Constructed in 2014, the towers are designed to combat air pollution by using the trees and plants to produce more oxygen. It’s 22

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

predicted that the trees and plants in the towers convert approximately 44,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.

England is dedicated to rebuilding sustainable ecosystems and protecting habitats, species and landscapes to help nature thrive.

The greenery also helps to moderate temperatures in the buildings during winter and summer, by shading the interiors from the sun and blocking harsh winds. This use of vegetation is an effective way to reduce the towers’ energy emissions as there is less need for thermostat heating and air conditioning.

The Chair of Natural England, Tony Juniper, has called for the government to change its thinking towards housing and ensure that environmental considerations are incorporated into the design of new housing estates. He believes that politicians and developers must incorporate green thinking into the design of new infrastructure.

Furthermore, the towers’ variety of plant species attracts different birds and insects to the city, improving wildlife conservation. This is important because building and construction often causes irreversible damage to the natural habitats of wildlife and plants. While Milan is proactively reducing pollution and emissions, what’s happening in the UK?

“WE NEED HEALTHY NATURE TO CATCH CARBON, TO CLEAN UP RIVERS, TO REDUCE FLOOD RISK, TO IMPROVE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELLBEING. ALL OF THESE HAVE ECONOMIC UPSIDES, WHICH I FEAR HAVE BEEN INVISIBLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING PROCESS.” Natural England Natural England is the government's statutory adviser for the natural environment. The group supports the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan, its ambitions for agriculture, fisheries and the natural environment and commitment to becoming a net zero country by 2050. Natural

According to Juniper: “We need healthy nature to catch carbon, to clean up rivers, to reduce flood risk, to improve public health and wellbeing. All of these have economic upsides, which I fear have been invisible in the development planning process.” Much like the concept of Bosco Verticale, using vegetation to reduce emissions and pollution is something that Natural England wants the government to recognise. Green Homes Grant As well as Natural England’s support, the government announced its Green Homes Grant in July 2020. As part of the scheme, the government will provide vouchers up to £10,000 to make homes more energy efficient. The scheme will run from September 2020 to March 2021 in an attempt to reduce energy emissions and costs. Homeowners and landlords must apply for the vouchers that will fund around 66% of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of their properties. The renovations that qualify for vouchers are categorised by primary and secondary measures. Primary includes a range of insulation and low carbon heating such as biomass


GLASS AND GLAZING

boilers and solar thermal. Secondary measures involve draught proofing, double glazing and replacing and updating thermostats. For new buildings and those that need updating, it’s important to minimise their environmental impact where possible, and maximise the energy benefits of the buildings. Updating windows and doors is one action that can offer major energy saving benefits. Using double glazed low emissivity glass units, Euramax’s windows and doors have been A-rated for their energy efficiency by The British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC). The council rates fenestration products from A to G, with A the most energy efficient, helping to cut emissions and costs to

run the building. The Energy Savings Trust UK states that a detached home could save up to £160 on energy bills each year with A rated double glazed windows. While meeting housing demand is vital, so is minimising the environmental impact of construction projects. The UK has already made efforts to improve the sustainability of its buildings with the Green Homes Grant, but it must also demonstrate environmental support from the very start of a construction project. In addition to investing in sustainable materials and energy efficient windows and doors, the UK could take a physical leaf out of Bosco Verticale’s book and rely on natural sources to make construction greener. 

▴ Nick Cowley Managing Director Euromax March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

23


FEATURE

BREXIT UPDATE:

WHAT’S THE REALITY FOR THOSE ON THE GROUND IN THE BUILDING PRODUCTS SECTOR?

I

n this special Building Products Magazine feature, we talk to businesses and leaders in the sector to get their take on Brexit and the impact it is having.

When it comes to Brexit, it is important to distance yourself from the partisan political camps of leave and remain and look at the actual reality of what is happening. The arguments from those in camp leave or remain are so polarised that you cannot help feeling that the reality of what Brexit will mean for the UK is somewhere in the middle. You can spend hours, months and years talking about the vote and whether we have the best deal. Instead, this article will look at what business owners in the sector are feeling right now and whether they are experiencing some of the challenges that they were told they would face.

Paul King, Marketing Director at Vicaima – a manufacturer and supplier of interior timber doors and wardrobes. The business has a manufacturing facility in Portugal and Paul says that planning has been key to ensuring business continuity. He explains: "We had been preparing for the end of the transition period well in advance of this January. We had taken the opportunity to review all possible scenarios, including the potential for material shortages and I am pleased to say all this forward planning paid off. At the present time we have experienced no interruption to our shipments and with a stock holding at our Swindon, Wiltshire base in excess of 100,000 doors, we are successfully supplying developers and contractors nationwide.” So far so good then for Paul and his

business, and he is positive about the future too. He says: “It is likely that additional UK regulation will be introduced and is to be expected. However, in respect to performance standards, especially for products such as fire doors; our rigorous testing regime to UK criteria is likely to see further opportunities for the company. Having been based in the UK since 1988, we are confident specifiers will value manufacturers who truly understand the local market, rather than speculative importers with no vested interest. “Also, for those concerned that a departure from Europe somehow means an end to European design influences, Vicaima can assure specifiers that its very much a case of new doors for a new age. Innovation is at the heart of what we do and with a presence in more than 30 countries worldwide, we are constantly monitoring new trends and ideas for the benefit of the UK market.” So far, so good It is a case of so far, so good too for Paul Richards who is the Managing Director of Aquarian Cladding, which is a specialist supplier of external brick and terracotta cladding systems.

"WE’VE BEEN MAKING DELIVERIES INTO THE UK FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR AND ALL HAVE ARRIVED ON TIME, AND TO OUR CUSTOMERS SATISFACTION, SO I CAN ONLY DESCRIBE IT AS BEING 'SO FAR SO GOOD'." Paul Richards

24

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021


BREXIT & BUILDING PRODUCTS

He says: “We’ve been making deliveries into the UK from the beginning of the year and all have arrived on time, and to our customers satisfaction, so I can only describe it as being 'so far so good'. “As any sensible business should, we’ve had ‘Managing Brexit’ on our agenda for a very long time. We have taken it very seriously and therefore planned for it for well over a year, taking external legal, financial and logistics advice throughout. “Like many businesses, we have had our fair share of fear and concern about its potential impact on the business, especially as we were never going to truly know to what extent until we loaded a lorry in Belgium and sent it off to the UK. Our team has worked closely with our supply partners to manage and avoid any problems on the way. They deserve full credit for getting the lorries through and arriving on site on time. So, for us it is a case of so far so good.

“We are taking nothing for granted though, as there are suggestions that we are not yet out of the woods. January has been relatively quiet, due to stock imported and stored pre-2021, so the roads and ports will get busier. "In addition, full customs declarations for construction products are not required until July, which may also lead to delays. That said, we feel we have now got a good handle on what’s required to bring materials through.” Positive sentiment Paul says he is generally positive about the future too but does see some challenges. He explains: “The fresh produce guys are struggling more than those of us importing construction materials, so we shouldn’t underestimate we’re in a slightly different position. "From a logistics perspective, it is not as bad as I first feared but we prepared ourselves for the worst. I

would like to think that is why the impact has been negligible for us so far, but only time will tell. “One thing for sure though is there are additional fixed costs associated with processing import and export paperwork. As a result, the transport cost has increased by approx. 10% for a full load and someone must pay for that.” 76% of products made in the UK It is interesting to hear from Paul Richards and Paul King about how steady it has been so far but with the consideration of potential challenges - and busier times - to come. To try to extrapolate the assessment of sentiment further, Building Products also spoke to Noble Francis, who is Economic Director at the Construction Products Association – which represents hundreds of companies in the sector.

Cont. March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

25


FEATURE

▴ Paul King Marketing Director, Vicaima

▴ Paul Richards Managing Director, Aquarian Cladding

In how his members are reacting, Noble says: “It’s clearly early days as the Brexit implementation period only ended on 31 December and it is worth remembering that 76% of products used in UK construction are made here. Of the products that are imported, two-thirds are imported from the EU. Some firms had built up stocks to deal with any potential disruption that may occur in January. “There were products in which demand exceeded supply even before the end of last year due to the rapid recovery in house building, refurb and DIY after the first lockdown. In addition, there were already delays at some ports before 31 December due to capacity issues and COVID-19 safety issues. As yet, we have not been made aware of new products supply issues as a result of the end of the Brexit implementation period, it is still early days and construction activity tends to be quieter in late December and early January.

"FOR SOME IMPORTED PRODUCTS, THE INCREASE IN ADMIN AND CERTIFICATION COSTS MAY MEAN THAT THERE MAY BE UK SUBSTITUTES THAT WILL PROVE EASIER TO SOURCE, WHILST FOR SOME OTHER IMPORTED PRODUCTS CHANGES IN THE UK’S GLOBAL TARIFFS MAY MEAN A SHIFT AWAY FROM THE EU TO OTHER COUNTRIES" Noble Francis 26

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

▴ Noble Francis Economic Director, Construction Products Associations

“The complexity of the UK-EU Free Trade Agreement means that there remain issues on rules of origin - and whether manufactured goods qualify as locally sourced - as well as the mutual recognition of conformity assessment or test results in which the changes will occur on 1 January 2022, so the Brexit issues and impacts are not over yet for industry.” On the longer-term impact, Noble says: “Longer-term it may change the distribution of supply chains. For some imported products, the increase in admin and certification costs may mean that there may be UK substitutes that will prove easier to source, whilst for some other imported products changes in the UK’s global tariffs may mean a shift away from the EU to other countries where it is cheaper to produce and now have a lower tariff. "However, for the vast majority of imported products, the end of the implementation is unlikely to make a major difference apart from raising costs due to additional admin and certifications, plus potentially higher shipping costs.” Skills One of the issues that has been bubbling in the sector is skills and access to labour; and whether a decline in workers from the EU is causing problems. Noble says: “There were already issues around EU skilled labour in construction even before the end of the implementation period, particularly in London which is the region most reliant on non-UK

▴ Stuart Dantzic Managing Director, Caribbean Blinds

construction labour. The number of EU construction workers in London has fallen by 54% since 2018 Q2 due to workers going home and not coming back or being replaced by others coming from the EU. It is too early to tell the extent to which this will be exacerbated by the new points-based immigration system, but it will undoubtedly make bringing people over from the EU considerably more difficult given that the system is employer sponsored, whilst 41% of workers in UK construction are selfemployed. “In addition, 86% of construction workers are in small and mediumsize firms, which are the least able to sponsor workers to come over due to the cost and admin burdens involved. House building and refurb activity is currently higher than preCOVID-19 but, overall, construction output is still lower than it was before the pandemic. If construction output returns to pre-COVID-19 levels or surpasses it, where will we get the skilled construction workers from?” Resurgence of British products Moving back to how businesses themselves are coping, Stuart Dantzic, who is Managing Director of Caribbean Blinds, says that Brexit has been a positive for the business and is seeing renewed interest in British made products. He says: “Despite the initial delays in raw materials coming in from abroad, which we had expected and factored in to our model by increasing our stock holding preBrexit, Brexit has been positive for our business for a number of reasons.


BREXIT & BUILDING PRODUCTS The key for us is that both our trade partners, along with end consumers, are actively looking for products that are made in Britain, rather than shipped in as a ready-made product from abroad. “The origin of manufacture is a key purchasing factor – UK made products for consumers not only mean they are supporting the economy (which is on everyone’s minds with the pandemic), but also guarantees them shorter lead times, reassures them of high-quality construction and, above all else, great service. They are dealing with businesses and people based in this country which makes a big difference, whether for initial advice or after sales service if a part needs replacing.”

"THE SLIGHT HEADACHE OF ADDITIONAL ADMIN IS FAR OUTWEIGHED BY CONSUMERS DESIRES TO BUY BRITISH AND ALL ITS ASSOCIATED VALUES." Stuart Dantzic

STRIKINGLY VERSATILE

Stuart also says he is wholly positive about the future for the sector in this new Brexit context. He explains: “The slight headache of additional admin is far outweighed by consumers desires to buy British and all its associated values. I also believe that over time, as businesses evolve in the UK, there will be more partnerships created (businesses working together to grow), and UK businesses will look to source raw materials from within the island where possible. “I would also say that the combination of the global pandemic and Brexit has actually provided a great opportunity and boost for not just the shading industry, but the whole home improvement sector. "With the stay-at-home mantra and holidays abroad cancelled for the time being, the focus is on our homes, which have become our whole world, and with consumers also wanting to buy British made products there has been a boost for the sector that I do not believe will slow down anytime soon.

“Furthermore, monies invested in homes and gardens will show consumers a return when moving (or re-mortgaging) and I believe there will be a new mindsight going forward; consumers making considered purchase decisions and ditching long haul flights & holidays, for creating a holiday destination right there in their back gardens, that can be enjoyed and utilised 365 days a year.” Conclusion Certainly, it is early days, but Building Products Magazine is positive about the early signs for the sector and the positivity that those who are making and selling products are feeling. Yes, there is likely to be challenges and more time is needed to assess the situation fully, but you can’t help but feel the chasm between the academics and commentators who predicted Armageddon for the UK economy and those on the ground living the reality is edging a little wider.

With the Gebrik cladding system, you are assured of a simpler, faster brick façade that performs precisely as it should. Tried, tested and simple to install, our solutions provide you with the freedom to create strikingly versatile buildings.

To find out more, visit our website www.aquariancladding.co.uk  0044 (0)808 223 9080  info@aquariancladding.co.uk  @aquarian_cladd

March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE

CAYMAN EXTERNAL ROOF BLIND BY CARIBBEAN BLINDS The Caribbean Blinds Cayman external roof blind has been specifically designed to incorporate a wide range of mounting brackets, allowing it to be installed on to roof glazing of all sizes and inclinations – from fixed and opening roofs to skylights and conservatories, pergolas, verandas and glass rooms. Its concealed tear-resistant Dyneema cables tension a hi-tensile double coiled spring, which in turn keeps the fabric taut at every position. The lead rail runs within strong U-shaped side channels to ensure the blind runs perfectly square, whilst also preventing any light leakage. When retracted, the full cassette casing neatly encloses the fabric, guaranteeing an easy and low-maintenance solution. Operation is effortless thanks to the integral tubular motor which can be controlled by remote or via an app, and its function is fully automatic when linked into a range of intelligent weather sensors. FEATURES Size

Up to 18m² in a single unit (can be linked)

Colours

Available in over 200 RAL (metalwork) colours

Energy Rating

g-values as low as 0.03

Styles

Over 100 material designs and options

For more information, call 0344 800 1947 or visit: cbsolarshading.co.uk/external-blinds/cayman/

FURTHER PUMPS ADDED TO THE RANGE Saniflo is well known for its range of pumps, macerators and lifting stations which provide the ability to discharge black and grey water waste when gravity drainage is not an option. The company has added two new products to its range enabling the completion of larger projects. Sanifos 1300 Underground Pumping Station The highly flexible Sanifos 1300 is available in a variety of configurations to suit any situation that requires the discharge of waste from large buildings or multiple smaller properties. The single-phase version can be supplied with a vortex impeller or grinder, whilst the three-phase version has a vortex impeller only. The 1300 litre tank features two pumps and a choice of inlet position and an optional 40mm extension is available. It has a float activation system and the pumps are mounted on a cast iron base with stainless steel guide bars for easy removal and maintenance. Sanicubic 2 SC Floor Standing Lifting Station A high performance pump designed to lift black water from public spaces, the Sanicubic 2 SC features 2 x three-phase pumps with a choice of 4 pump sizes with single channel impellers. Large tank volumes, up to 20,000 litres, and free passage up to 80mm (3 & 4 kW versions) and 100mm (5.5 & 7.5kW versions) make this ideal for continuous evacuation applications in hospitals, schools and other commercial buildings. It is supplied complete with a remote control box.

For more information please visit www.saniflo.co.uk 28

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

▴ Saniflo 1300 underground pumping station


PRODUCT SHOWCASE

ASPECT FLUSH FRENCH DOORS

B.O.S.S - BRICK ON SOFFIT SYSTEM

FULLY ADJUSTABLE BUTT HINGE FOR AN ELEGANT FINISH

FEATURES Size

Max. size: 2000w x 2100h

Opening

Inward or outward

Glazing

Available double or triple glazed

Colour options

Available in the full range of 7 Aspect foil colours, with an exact colourmatch guarantee - this means the colour is precisely matched to all Eurocell window, door and conservatory roof products, creating a coordinated, consistent look across any property

Accreditation

Tested to BS6375 and PAS24 so comply with Part Q

Warranty

Windows Profiles – 10 year guarantee All Hardware – 5 year guarantee

Threshold

Standard frame or Part M compliant low aluminium threshold

Eurocell, the UK’s leading manufacturer, distributor and recycler of PVC-U building products in the UK, has launched a new, flush sash French door. Creating a seamless look has never been easier; the new door design uses the slim, stylish profile and attractive chamfered glazing rebate of the Aspect bifold door system and perfectly complements Logik S Flush and Modus windows Alongside the seamless finish, the view from the outside is enhanced by the use of elegant butt hinges rather than the conspicuous exterior flag hinges dictated by a rebated door. The adjustable pencil hinge design preserves the smooth exterior lines of the frame and sash in keeping with today’s design trends and overall aesthetic effect.

Find out more at eurocell.co.uk/aspectflush

An advanced and lightweight prefabricated brick slip soffit system from IG Masonry Support, manufactured to meet A1 fire rating regulations and suitable for applications over 18 metres, is now available. It is the B.O.S.S. A1, a prefabricated brick slip soffit system, designed to be quickly and easily bolted to IG’s Welded Masonry Support (WMS) and meets a growing market need for improved fire safety on tall buildings. The prefabricated components are delivered to site complete with brick slips adhesively bonded and mechanically secured to the brick carrier unit using only A1 Fire-Rated materials making it Document B: Fire Safety compliant – suitable for all building heights. B.O.S.S. A1, is the first product of its kind to be carbon neutral, offering architects and building owners the ability to deliver visually stunning designs alongside a solution that offers zero environmental impact. Andy Neal, Managing Director of IG Masonry Support, commented: “It is clear that there has been a considerable need to develop systems that will provide a genuine A1 fire rating for buildings over 18 metres high. I am also proud that we have been able to respond to this market need with B.O.S.S. A1, which combines adhesives with mechanical fixings to deliver the performance demanded while at the same time delivering an innovative carbon neutral solution.” B.O.S.S is an established and successful product with a proven track record. The A1 solution is the third generation of its type within the range. Since its original launch the product has earned numerous industry accolades including the Commercial Innovation of the Year award in 2015. Its latest incarnation provides further evidence of IG Masonry Support’s commitment to enhance and offer solutions which are tested above what is expected in the industry whilst taking a responsible approach to climate change.

For more information, call 0128 320 0157 or visit www.igmasonrysupport.com March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

29


PRODUCT SHOWCASE

EXPANDING THERMAL COLLAR BY KEYLITE UK

Thermal comfort is the outcome of a well-balanced combination of building systems that strike a balance between insulation measures, solar gain, thermal inertia and airtightness and ventilation. FEATURES Size

Upto 3m x 6m Thermally efficiency Upto +65% more than conventional aluminium roof systems Styles

Available in 2-way, 3-way, 4-way or contemporary designs

Colour options

2 hard-wearing exterior powder coated finishes, with the option of a white or grey interior finish.

The purpose designed Stratus Thermal Lantern Roof is discreet yet stylish. Every element has been designed to be exceptional. From the low profile 20˚ pitch that keeps sightlines to a minimum and slimline bars, views of the sky are maximised. The discreet black finish of the perimeter beam ensures that the view of the lantern from above is perfect too - all you’ll see is glass. Designed around an innovative thermally broken system, it provides excellent thermal performance that minimises condensation - while delivering the architectural refinement you’d expect of a high end aluminium lantern system. Available in a range of designs, with sizes up to 3m x 6m, this high end, high performance lantern roof is ideal for modern living. Stratus is high-quality British engineering at its best.

Contact us today for a quote: 01200 452904 or orders@stratus-lantern.co.uk or visit www.stratus-lantern.co.uk/ 30

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

Using the correct glazing specification and proper installation can provide a well-balanced heat gain and loss ratio by using free heat from solar gain, as well as maintaining natural light in the building. Devil is in the detail When it comes to thermal comfort and performance one of the biggest issues for developers and contractors is thermal bridging and condensation, and all too often double glazing is seen as the main culprit of this. However, despite meeting relevant standards it’s often in the installation of a product where cold bridging can occur, leading to unpleasant mould left on windows and reducing its thermal efficiency. Installation of roof windows is often left to the manufacturer’s discretion. With most stipulating that a 20mm gap is required around roof windows to enable for onsite adjustments and ease of installation. This gap is supposed to be ‘filled in’ after installation to reduce the impact of thermal bridging. However, this is rarely stipulated. To make houses more comfortable and energy efficient the onus should be taken away from the installers and products should be designed and specified with optimum thermal comfort in mind. Manufacturers should design in features that eliminate thermal bridging reduces the risk of non-compliance and delivers a build that is closer to the expected energy performance. Keylite Roof Windows has helped to bridge the gap between design and build, giving architects and specifiers peace of mind that what they design and specify on paper can be achieved when built.

For more information, visit www.keyliteroofwindows.com/the-gap/


www.generixfacades.com | 01922 716 480 | enquiries@generixfacades.com


PRODUCT SHOWCASE

ALULOCK - THE NEW SECURITY-ENHANCED LOCK FOR ALUMINIUM BIFOLDS Yorkshire-based aluminium systems supplier, Alutech, are offering their fabricator customers the ultimate security kit for aluminium bifolding doors, with the exciting launch of their new AluLock kit. Alutech MD, Steve Hudson, explains, “AluLock is available exclusively for Alutech customers, providing a top security solution for their bifold doors in one easy to order kit, which combines a 1-star barrel, with the option to upgrade to the Ultion 3-star barrel for double the sacrificial protection, along with the Brisant Sweet Handle, offering a 10-year anti-corrosion guarantee for peace of mind and stops gripping tools designed to snap off handles during break ins, and an exclusively designed Duplex Double Hook Lock, providing a 6-point locking system instead of 3-hook, for additional security.” “The AluLock kit has been designed to remove the headache for our fabricators of sourcing locking hardware separately and provides premium security and aesthetics to help them differentiate their product above that of their competitors.”

To find out more, please download the brochure from our website at: alutechsystems.co.uk/downloads, contact your Alutech Sales Representative on 01924 350 110 or email sales@alutechsystems.co.uk

SYNERGISED™ ALUMINIUM DECKING SYSTEM Synergised™ is a new stunning aluminium A1 and A2fl-s1 fire rated decking system designed for both residential and commercial environments such as high-rise balconies, walkways, roof terraces, pubs, gardens, and all other decking applications, especially in high traffic public areas. Available at F.H. Brundle, the Synergised™ range of aluminium decking products comes in three contemporary colours and is manufactured from structural grade 6063 T6 aluminium with a 100-micron Qualicoat™ premium powder coating that is low slip and provides low surface temperatures underfoot. With an innovative cradle base and joist support system that offers 50% cost saving compared to other solutions, installation couldn’t be easier. Once installed, the system is long lasting and low maintenance, with a manufacturer’s limited warranty of 10 years on the coating and an expected product life expectancy of over 25 years.

FEATURES Achieves Euroclass Classifications of A1 & A2fl-s1 Tested to EN 13823, EN 13501 and EN ISO 1716 Low surface temperatures Lightweight and easy to install Mill finish subframes and cradles

For more information, call 01708 398 048 or visit www.fhbrundle.co.uk 32

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021


ECLISSE Syntesis® Flush Concealed Frame Collection

The simple beauty of a flush finish without the distraction of architrave Minimalist and elegant, the ECLISSE Syntesis® Flush Collection of pocket door systems, concealed door frames and flush skirting are used world wide in residential projects and multi-million pound developments. Our innovative range of fully engineered products have a specially designed edge profile for a beautiful, crisp plaster finish.

ARCHITRAVE FREE POCKET DOORS | CONCEALED FRAME HINGED DOORS | FLUSH SKIRTING

CALL 0333 5770828 TO REQUEST A COPY OF OUR LATEST BROCHURES

Contact our ECLISSE UK product experts on: 0333 5770828 info@eclisse.co.uk www.eclisse.co.uk


PRODUCT IN FOCUS

NOVOLUX BRINGS LIGHT INTO LIVING WITH NEW RANGES An abundance of natural light in the home has substantial benefits for our health and happiness, not to mention the value of a property. Here, Novolux National Sales Manager Craig Weatherley reveals new product ranges designed to let in as much light as possible… With the home improvement market doing better than ever, there’s been a huge demand for stylish, functional and competitively priced products that can help homeowners improve ventilation and let in more natural light. That’s why Novolux, a new supplier of high quality polycarbonate sheet, has added a wide selection of roof windows and roof lanterns to their extensive range. Roof windows The company offers four roof window systems – Velux, Dakea, Aurora, and Liteleader – all of which are made by roof window and skylight manufacturer VKR Holding. 34

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

The first selection is Velux – recognised as the market leading brand in roof windows, Novolux can offer them at competitive trade prices and fast delivery. Second is the Dakea range, a very popular choice in the trade market. This roof window combines high pivot with quality glazing, providing exceptional comfort and allowing homeowners to see more out of their window. The unique pivot also makes adjusting the window easier and provides greater flexibility in terms of installation height.

Next, the Aurora range offers similar features and benefits as wellknown brands, but is much more competitively priced – allowing Novolux customers to increase their margins. These roof windows are suitable for all applications with a pitch range of 15 to 90˚, and are extremely thermally efficient. They offer a brilliant way to let in natural light, come with a 100% PEFC certification, are environmentally friendly, and have excellent insulation, saving on heating and energy costs.

“WE’RE VERY PROUD OF BOTH OUR ROOF WINDOW AND ROOF LANTERN RANGES, AS THEY’RE THE IDEAL PRODUCTS FOR LETTING IN NATURAL LIGHT INTO HOMES, SOMETHING WHICH IS EXTREMELY POPULAR RIGHT NOW." Craig Weatherley


ROOF WINDOWS Finally, the Liteleader range is a highquality roofing solution that meets the demands for current design trends whilst providing excellent performing and robust windows. Liteleader’s Ecolite+ is a centrepivot pine window that comes with a durable frame and a ventilation valve, maximising natural light and fresh air. The EcoWhite is also a modern and versatile centre-pivot, while the EcoSolid, a PVC roof window, is perfect for high-humidity areas. With its robust frame and steel centre core making it extra strong, it’s the perfect roof window for bathrooms and kitchens. More sky, less roof As with their roof windows, Novolux also supplies roof lanterns from major suppliers such as Atlas and Korniche. Their Aluminium Roof Lanterns are the slimmest, strongest, and most thermally-efficient on the market. Combined with their beautiful design, they’re the perfect product to enhance any conservatory, extension, or orangery installation. Meanwhile, Novolux’s Contemporary Roof Lanterns also combine good looks, outstanding strength, and intelligent detailing. Using a contemporary design, they have no clunky bars or supports cluttering the ridge, and no thick, chunky profiles dominating the glazing. Their strong, light, 40mm box rafters create slim, elegant roof profiles with excellent thermal performance, providing that sought after feeling of more sky, less roof. Both roof lanterns are available in a range of sizes and finishes, and also come with a selection of optional extras and accessories, including

vent poles and Aurora electric openers and rain sensors. One stop shop As well as their wide range of roof windows and roof lanterns, Novolux offers high-quality polycarbonate sheet products. These include the Policarb™ range of multiwall UV-protected polycarbonate sheets which are structured with air chambers to ensure excellent thermal insulation and impact resistance, and the Policomp™ range, which contains solid polycarbonate sheets that are UV protected on both sides. “While polycarbonate sheet has been our main focus, it’s always

important to us to offer our customers high-quality products that allow them to tap into growing markets,” says Novolux National Sales Manager Craig Weatherley. “We’re very proud of both our roof window and roof lantern ranges, as they’re the ideal products for letting in natural light into homes, something which is extremely popular right now. “If you’re interested in capitalising on the huge opportunities in the polycarbonate market, or if you’re already supplying polycarbonate and are on the lookout for a reliable, high-quality supplier, then give us a call today.”

March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

35


FEATURE

'BUILDING

FOR WELLBEING' – THE TIME IS NOW

I

- yet the wellbeing impacts of the pandemic may be just as significant in the long term and change how we feel about our offices, our homes and all the spaces in between.

You could argue that we will look back at this current period and the zeitgeist in the construction space will have been health and wellbeing; and not just how we look after ourselves but also our urban spaces and buildings.

“Unsurprisingly, people living in small apartments with poor quality views were four times more likely to report negative impacts on their wellbeing and work productivity, and lockdown saw all age groups spending more time in nature daily, with the vast majority reporting that it was very important to them.

n this feature Building Products explores the idea of building for wellbeing. What does it mean and how is the concept influencing how we think about buildings and urban planning?

Building for Wellbeing is not a new concept but together with the burgeoning sustainability agenda, Grenfell - and the numerous shoddy construction projects that people are still living with – and of course the renewed focus on public health due to COVID-19, it is one that seems to be getting more airtime as we think carefully about how we live and what living means. Anna Hollyman, who is Sustainability Advisor at the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), explains its importance. She comments: “Health is quite objective and encapsulates both physical and mental health, while wellbeing hints at broader feelings or perceptions of satisfaction and happiness that can be very subjective. Rarely have we been as focused on public health as we have been over the past year - the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised how critical effective health systems are to our economy 36

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

“I think we are realising wellbeing isn’t a soft and fluffy nicety to have, but a major contributor to helping people (and organisations) be more resilient, more creative, and start to thrive through the challenges we face.” Examples we can follow In regard to a benchmark of what projects and spaces are good examples of building for wellbeing, Anna says that there are two standout ones. She says: “Cundall‘s London office at One Carter Lane always springs to mind, as it was the first building in Europe to achieve WELL Certification. It was also certified BREEAM Excellent and SKA Gold. It focused on improved indoor air quality, including continuous monitoring of carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It was estimated to save the company £200,000 per year due to a reduction in absenteeism and a 27% reduction in staff turnover.

▴ Anna Hollyman Sustainability Advisor UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)


BUILDING FOR WELLBEING

“Pollard Thomas Edwards New England Garden Quarter also stands out because of its focus on creating a new family community with shared gardens and play areas and highquality, low-energy homes, full of daylight. The quality of their homes and access to nearby green spaces made an enormous difference to people’s wellbeing during lockdown.” Sustainability As touched on earlier, Building for Wellbeing is intrinsically linked to helping the environment. Anna says: "Wellbeing encourages an inherently people focused approach, and when we start to

think of the built environment as something that could improve people’s quality of life, rather than just turn a profit, it immediately changes how we think about it. Sustainability is essentially about planning for people’s long-term wellbeing, 'meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs', as the Brundtland report initially framed it. “WorldGBC’s new H&W framework is also helpful in this respect, as it more explicitly makes the connection between wellbeing and sustainability, through addressing

broader socio-economic concerns and wider environmental issues – for example, the health impacts of climate change. The framework also talks about all stages of the project lifecycle, so raising awareness of wellbeing issues faced by construction workers and through supply chains.” Shaping the future So, what should architects and surveyors be aware of in regard to trends and products linked to Building for Wellbeing?

Cont. March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

37


FEATURE

Anna continues: “In offices, employees will be increasingly aware of their own health and wellbeing and how the office environment may affect it. Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is becoming more and more important, ensuring there is adequate ventilation and air filtration – no-touch products will continue to be expected. With increasing focus on IAQ, low VOC materials with be expected and the renewed appreciation of nature is extending to the indoors, through consideration of biophilic design, use of natural products and colours that affect people’s mood, as well as increased numbers of plants. Similarly, there has been an increased demand for access to outdoor space. “At the other end of the scale, I think there’s a heightened awareness of the public health impacts and costs associated with not building for wellbeing, for example poor housing conditions have been associated with greater spread of COVID-19. In the same way that there is evidence of ‘brown discounts’ being applied to inefficient offices, we are likely to see a ‘well premium’ applied to spaces that can demonstrate they have a positive impact on wellbeing.”

▴ Nick Fairham Architect Director Global Architecture Practice BDP

Nick Fairham, Architect Director at the Bristol studio of global architecture practice BDP, agrees that wellbeing and creating environments that build for it will be the future. 38

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

He says: “We are seeing a focus on wellbeing and the work-life balance becoming more prevalent, and design must reflect this demand. We expect to see significant shifts in the expectations of the workforce; they will vote with their feet and go elsewhere if employers do not deliver high quality, flexible working environments.

readily and easily measurable in 2021, with the Well Certification – think BREEAM for wellness – likely to be more commonly used.”

"WE ARE SEEING A FOCUS ON WELLBEING AND THE WORK-LIFE BALANCE BECOMING MORE PREVALENT, AND DESIGN MUST REFLECT THIS DEMAND." Nick Fairham

“The workplace must adapt to offer a distinction to the home – we are seeing moves away from desk-based activity to spaces which encourage collaboration and a sense of belonging to the culture of an organisation. This reduced demand for space allows repurposing to flexible areas which can cater for activities from collaborative workshops to yoga. “This trend can also be seen in our public spaces, with the widening of pavements to support hospitality and retail businesses going hand in hand with more welcoming, attractive places for people to sit and relax, as well as more sustainable transport options such as better bike provision coming to the fore. Improved connections to nature are also vital, for example by way of community gardens, which also bring food production closer to home. “Wellbeing hubs that provide flexible space for a number of different community uses also provide huge benefits. For example, Mulberry Park in Bath, which we designed for Curo, has a school, nursery, enterprise space, café and flexible community spaces for a range of activities, from yoga to ante-natal classes. So, a parent could drop the children off at school, use a flexible workspace, network at the café followed by a mindfulness workshop in the community space. “Wellbeing absolutely must be at the heart of future city design; indeed, we expect this to become more

▴ Robert Delius Divisional Director & Head of Sustainable Design at Stride Treglown

Living indoors Robert Delius, who is Divisional Director and Head of Sustainable Design at Stride Treglown, says that spending so much time indoors due to the response to the pandemic is also driving change. He says: “We now spend on average 90% of our time indoors, which is a very recent development in our evolution and no doubt very bad for us on all sorts of levels – so providing opportunities for outside living, access to nature and just spending less time spent sat at a computer should be priorities for designers “For me, most important is daylight. A well-lit space boosts the mood and there is a lot of science about how we need a certain intensity of daylight for a good night’s sleep. “Everyone acknowledges now how vital nature and natural rhythms are to our mental and physical health what is called biophilia. Water can also be an important ingredient in that regard. "Opportunities for integrating water into external space design can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure, while moving water produces negative ions which boost serotonin levels… improving mood, alertness, anxiety and even depression.” 


BUILDING FOR WELLBEING

BUILDING FOR WELLBEING PROJECT IN FOCUS: FINZEL REACH, BRISTOL

◂ Peter Walford, Director at Bristol developer Cubex, talks about the project: “Wellbeing is at the heart of our design approach, whether it’s a smart technologyenabled office scheme, inspiring public realm or a balanced, mixeduse community. We fully recognise the importance of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors for both the prosperity of communities in which we deliver schemes, but also to respond to the considerations that have become increasingly important in attracting and retaining occupiers and investors. “At Finzels Reach, this is integral to our latest project on the former fire station site where we are pressing ahead with work on Millwrights Place, our second major new

build-to-rent scheme, which will benefit from professional management on site, a concierge, and most importantly, strong emphasis on building a community through extensive, versatile communal spaces. “The roof terraces will provide much-needed outdoor space for residents and their guests to relax and, in time, provide the option to grow herbs or vegetables, connecting people to nature and building on a similar approach at Finzels Reach phase one where we created a beehive to support biodiversity. Alongside this, we are providing 66 high quality, affordable homes for social rent and shared ownership. Communal facilities will be to the very same high standard, with roof garden and extensive cycle parking.” “Meanwhile, on the same site in the heart of Bristol city centre we are creating Halo, a cutting-edge new office building which is not only set to be one of the UK’s greenest office buildings, but also has an important focus on promoting staff wellbeing with accredited awards achieved to ensure we are achieving the highest possible standards. “Key features include outdoor space on the rooftop, a bike park with high quality shower and changing facilities, and a glazed façade to maximise views and allow daylight to fill the space.”  March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

39


COMMENT

TRADITIONS ARE MEANT TO BE BROKEN

T

he British construction sector has always been notoriously slow to embrace new ideas, ways of working and technology. After all traditional building methods and materials such as concrete, bricks and mortar have been used to build houses in Britain for the last 100 years or so, so why change?

But with the current Government declaring its preference for Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), and consultant Mark Farmer warning the industry must modernise or die, traditional methods are facing a serious challenge. One company helping the drive to modernise the British construction industry and safeguard its future is Green Life Buildings (GLB). The Corby-based company’s advanced building system uses prefabricated insulated panels enclosed in galvanised steel mesh with connectors which, once in position onsite, are sprayed with a structural fine concrete coat to provide unbeatable strength. The panels can form walls, floors, landings, roofs, stairs, and internal partitions can be curved to meet demanding architectural specifications, meaning a single, family home can be constructed almost entirely from the material. With the technology having been used to construct over 1 million buildings worldwide, GLB’s MD Chris Williams says it’s only a matter of time before the sector wakes up to the

"YOU NEED ALMOST 10,000 BRICKS TO BUILD A TYPICAL THREE BED HOME, WHICH ALSO THEN NEED TO BE LAID BY HAND. INSTEAD OF BUILDING A BRICK WALL, YOU CAN JUST PUT UP A PANEL IN A FRACTION OF THE TIME" 40

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

product – and traditional methods are consigned to history. “Traditional construction methods have produced some truly wonderful buildings over a prolonged period, but architects and developers are under increasing pressure to cut construction costs, time, and build in a cleaner, greener, and safer way. “This is impossible to do using traditional building methods such as bricks, and the GLB building system will need to be adopted for the construction sector to move forward into the future and hit housing and sustainability targets the Government has set.” Reduced installation times and cost The ultra-light EPS panels, which weigh no more than 5kgs per square metre before concrete coating, can be installed in all-weather conditions and installation is typically much faster than traditional brickwork; a complete house can be built in just five-six weeks with GLB and one truck can deliver all the materials for one house. The lightness of the panels also eliminates the need for cranes or other external equipment as everything can be carried on site by hand, reducing the risk of onsite accidents. “You need almost 10,000 bricks to build a typical three bed home, which also then need to be laid by hand. Instead of building a brick wall, you can just put up a panel in a fraction of the time,” said Chris. A better design and build The GLB system can be made to any specification and tailored to work with any design. And as the panels

are factory made they can be made to each customer’s design to a 2mm tolerance, allowing for greater quality control throughout the process and a more consistent and predictable product. Chris said: “The versatility and adaptability of the panels enable the designer to achieve their desired design without restrictions or compromise, while it can be dressed in a range of finishes, including bricks, timber, tiles or render as standard.” A sustainable solution There is a much greater need for energy-efficient manufacturing of building materials and energyefficient structures, and the GLB system can dramatically reduce the impact on the environment. The systems embodied carbon is over 40% less than a traditional home, and once constructed can reduce the occupants carbon footprint by up to 65% less when in use when compared to a traditional masonry and timber roofs. The reduced volume of materials also means deliveries to site are reduced. “The panels provide less waste in design and production, and as just one truck is needed to distribute the material for one house, transporting is more economical,” said Chris. “This means a home’s whole-life carbon emissions, from its creation to its maintenance and use, is much lower.” While traditional methods of construction have been the accepted norm for a long time, the emergence of MMC and the GLB system can revolutionise every aspect of the building process.


ADVERTORIAL

GRC – A BUILDING BLOCK OF WELLNESS?

▴ James Butler Commercial Director

First identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 1984, Sick Building Syndrome was the cause of headaches, sore throats, dizziness and even nausea among people working in sterile, poorly designed, inadequately ventilated structures. Since then, architects have become more aware of the impact of bad building design, promoting the idea of ‘wellness’ much further up the agenda. This global trend is now being seen among specifiers who are keen to adopt building products that actively support the wellness agenda right the way through the supply chain. One product that has recently grown in popularity on the back of this movement is Glass Reinforced Concrete, commonly known as GRC. James Butler is Commercial Director of London-based Pura Façades, which has seen a significant increase in architects looking for more natural products that contribute to the ‘health at work’ agenda. He said: “Our latest financial results posted in 2020 show a marked increase (of more than 50% on the previous) for GRC products. While much of this growth was due to pent up demand in the market, I am convinced a good proportion of this rise was down to the growing appreciation of GRC as a ‘natural’, textured product which can contribute to the wellness agenda.” While Butler points to the environmental low carbon/low heat aspects of the product’s manufacturing process, GRC’s endless ability to be recycling and re-used certainly ticks the box when it comes to the planet’s health. He said: “Being made from naturally occurring elements such sand, aggregate, cement and water, GRC is easy to break down and re-use. Manufacturers such as Rieder are also innovative when it comes to maximizing product use, creating its Oko Skin plank from larger GRC panels, all to environmental EPD standards.

"Once on the building, GRC is proven to retain heat, thanks to its relatively high U-value – thus reducing bills and keeping people comfortable. Even better, there are plans to incorporate capillary heating tubes within Rieder products due to its excellent insulation. Unlike many manmade cladding products, GRC is very tactile, with textures providing a warm engaging surface either internally or externally. The wide range of subtle, natural colours available also add to the overall sense of wellbeing." Butler continues: “Wellness at work is not just about the science and performance of building. The way a product makes people feel is equally important. GRC is totally natural and resembles stone and I think we all respond positively to this aspect of the material, even on a subconscious level.” Pura Façades is the UK’s sole distributor of Rieder products, which provide a high spec finish to building projects. Butler concludes: “We’re seeing GRC now being used for both domestic and commercial projects – providing tactile surfaces that are also aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Whether at home or work, people appreciate high quality and GRC enables developers to bring this aspect to new buildings without breaking their budgets.”

T:0203 269 2052 E:ask@purafacades.co.uk

www.purafacades.co.uk

March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

41


COMPANY IN FOCUS

Significant restructure sees Aquarian Cladding ready for 2021 opportunities

A

fter a challenging 2020, specialist external brick and terracotta cladding systems supplier Aquarian Cladding Systems has made some recent significant structural changes to the business to make sure the company is in position to grasp the opportunities that present themselves in 2021.

▴ Paul Richards Managing Director

Specialist external brick and terracotta cladding systems supplier Aquarian Cladding Systems has made significant structural changes to the business for 2021 and beyond.

Managing Director Paul Richards explained: “Last year provided us with renewed focus to regroup and reshape the business to ensure we optimise our position in the marketplace.

Julian Venus has moved into the role of Business Development Director, whilst Jazz Rigden has joined the board as the new Sales Director, having joined the company in 2015 as Technical Sales Manager in the South of England.

“Optimism in the construction industry is at a four-year high, and there are plenty of opportunities for a company like Aquarian to contribute to the Government’s agenda of an increased use of Modern Methods of Construction and ‘Build, Build, Build’.

Chris Gill, who joined the company in 2012 has also been promoted and will become the Operations Manager, where he will take greater responsibility for management of the company’s Approved Installer Network and its operational infrastructure.

▸ SOLID STRUCTURE: (L-R) Business Development Director Julian Venus, Sales Director Jazz Rigden, and Operations Manager Chris Gill 42

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

"We therefore need to continue to be strategic on how we build the company and Julian will be working more closely with our supply chain to leave no stone unturned. He’s got the experience, knowledge, and contacts and we want to utilise that in a more productive way by building even stronger relationships.


AQUARIAN CLADDING

"OPTIMISM IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IS AT A FOUR-YEAR HIGH, AND THERE ARE PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR A COMPANY LIKE AQUARIAN TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE GOVERNMENT’S AGENDA" Paul Richards

“We’re focussed on organic, sustainable growth as a result of investing in our existing members of staff, whilst also adding to the team, such as the appointment of Grant Softley in Scotland towards the end of 2020.

“Jazz has the dynamism, knowledge, connections and respect of her colleagues and industry peers. She has rightly earned the opportunity to build on Julian’s success and lead our external sales team. “In fact, we are already working on drafts of the job descriptions to add to both the external team and our office-based team in North Somerset, as we enter an exciting future for the company.” At the beginning of 2020, Aquarian introduced MechSlip, an innovative non-combustible, mechanically-fixed cladding solution developed by Ibstock and Ash & Lacy, to its portfolio to sit alongside its panellised Gebrik Insulating Brick Cladding System. Later in the year, it added its second A1-rated mechanically-fixed solution, NaturAL-X, also developed by Ash & Lacy, to a product range that includes the A1-rated Terreal Terracotta Rainscreen System. Aquarian has also launched its new high-end website as it looks to hit the ground running in the first quarter

of the year, which can be viewed by visiting www. aquariancladding.co.uk. “Not many companies do what we do in the way that we do it. We don’t just supply cladding systems,” added Paul, “we continue to challenge ourselves by ensuring we add value across our whole supply chain, which includes our Approved Installer Network, our dedicated relationships with a small, focussed number of suppliers, and our strategic relationships with materials suppliers who interface with our systems.” “We also liaise with warranty providers, testing facilities, and ensure we understand our role in the market via membership of organisations such as Constructing Excellence and the Centre for Window & Cladding Technology. It’s what defines our USP and the culture of Aquarian’s people. “We will continue to develop it even further and, having widened our portfolio and made these structural changes to the business, we are increasing our exposure to market opportunities, while also developing the business further, for example using IT and automation to create simplified processes. “We have never really had the capacity to do that, and the restructure will enable us to do it with greater speed and focus. We have the right people in place to make it happen by utilising the skills that they, and we, have invested in. “Our business has always been about the people within it – it’s Aquarian’s people that make things happen and that will never change. With these changes, we see exciting times ahead.” March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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MARKETING

THE IDEAL PARTNER TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS taken a back seat due to COVID-19, it will be back on the agenda this year. “The pandemic will have given many companies the time to rethink their business strategies and goals, and 2021 will be the time to strike.” Marketing a must Businesses have already had to react and adapt their marketing strategies due to the pandemic, with some scaling back and others stopping altogether.

D

espite the country being in the clutches of another national lockdown, and the economic impact and uncertainty around COVID-19, the outlook for the construction and building products industry looks to be positive.

And with opportunities set to present themselves in the year ahead, partnering with the right marketing company will help your business take advantage. Full-service marketing agency Purplex helps companies in the building products industry thrive. Founded in 2004 by Andrew Scott, the leading marketing expert in the building products and glazing industry, Purplex has almost 170 clients and has seen rapid year on year growth for the last 16 years. And with more than 30 years in the industry, Andrew can see a big year ahead. “All the indications are there that optimism is at a four year high in the construction industry,” said Andrew. “With the Government planning huge investment into infrastructure projects and pledging to ‘build, build, build,’ opportunities will be there for forwardthinking companies. And while the focus on sustainability has perhaps 44

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Maintaining and increasing your marketing presence will be vital for the next 12 months and the companies that don’t will the ones who struggle. “Building and executing a successful marketing strategy takes a huge amount of work and is not easy but, if done right, it can propel your business to the next level,” said Andrew. “Getting the right messages out on the right channels is vital. With the pandemic forcing most of the population online it’s paramount that your digital presence and website is right for 2021 and beyond. But you need to be sitting across print, social and, if relevant, broadcast media to reach key decision makers too.” Choosing the right company to work with, then, is vital. An industry leader Very few organisations can effectively manage the complex mix of channels, tools and content that are a ‘must’ these days, so employing a full-service marketing agency means you bring together all the key marketing disciplines under one roof. It’s one of two reasons why Purplex is the perfect marketing partner, with clients backed by a team of more than 80 marketing and media professionals, including experts in PR, design, web design, marketing, video production and social media. Andrew explained: “Using multiple

agencies is counter-productive, creates delays, further expense and a lack of cohesion – not to mention costing you unnecessary time and resources. Being able to offer the whole package is why our clients use us.” Knowledge is power The second reason why Purplex is the perfect marketing partner? It combines marketing knowhow with industry knowledge to get results. One of the issues companies in the building products sector find is that most marketing agencies won’t understand their industry or products, but with Purplex that is never an issue. Purplex clients in the building products industry cover a wide spectrum of areas, including cladding, waterproofing, slate, heating technology, and modern methods of construction such as advanced panelised building systems. “We continue to invest in infrastructure, resources and expertise to provide our clients with a team of talented people who understand their business and their products, know the market and know how their customers think and act,” added Andrew. “And as the construction industry evolves we are also working with innovative companies in the green construction space who are providing eco-friendly solutions to help hit the Future Homes Standard and net-zero carbon emissions target. “The key to a successful marketing strategy is that it needs to be right for the client. It’s about listening to our client’s needs and using our expert industry knowledge to come up with a bespoke marketing campaign that will meet their objectives.”

For more information visit www.purplexmarketing.com or call 01934 808 132


PURPLEX ADVERT

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COMPANY REVIEW

NEWTON WATERPROOFING CONTINUES TO DRIVE SUSTAINABILITY WITH BES 6001 CERTIFICATION

W

ith the Government setting a net zero carbon target for 2050, the drive in the building products sector is towards sustainably sourced or recycled building products.

Leading from the front is Newton Waterproofing, the UK’s leading independent designers and suppliers of guaranteed structural waterproofing systems for everything from large-scale commercial developments to new-build and existing domestic properties. Having launched its award-winning Recycling Service in 2017, the familyrun company has had sustainability as its focus ever since. The closed-loop recycling scheme works in collaboration with the company’s nationwide network of Newton Specialist Basement Contractors (NSBC), who store offcuts of Newton’s plastic membranes, which are then collected by Newton when they arrive at the site to deliver new products. The HDPE membrane is then processed and chipped into small granules at Newton’s headquarters in Tonbridge, Kent, before being collected by a national reprocessor who recycles the granules ready to be made into new products for the construction industry. Newton then donate all profits made by the scheme to the marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage.

The Numbers As well as preventing 4.31 tonnes of plastic from going to landfill in 2020, the scheme has helped avoid 4.95 tonnes of carbon emissions and save approximately 19,356 Kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy, which equates to approximately 688,234 mugs of tea. In total, since launching the service in 2017, Newton has been able to recycle over 18 tonnes of HDPE membrane, avoiding 20.70 tonnes of emissions and saving 80,900 kWh – enough energy to make almost three million mugs of tea. And by collecting the waste HDPE on delivery back-loads, the service avoids creating any additional carbon emissions too. It’s no wonder the scheme is multi-award winning, and Newton

Waterproofing’s Managing Director and creator of the scheme, Warren Muschialli, said: “Despite the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak, our dedicated team worked hard to ensure our clients have continued to be fully supported throughout and it’s fantastic to see our recycling service has continued to thrive. “Before this service there was a complete lack of any such scheme in the UK, which resulted in the waterproofing industry sending hundreds of tonnes of plastic membrane to landfill every year. To be able to have recycled more than 18 tonnes since 2017 is an excellent achievement from everyone involved so far. “We’re not stopping there though, and we will continue our partnership with Surfers Against Sewage as part of their 250 Club of top donors.” Another UK First Newton Waterproofing recently became the first UK waterproofing supplier to have an entire waterproofing solution, the Newton CDM System for below-ground cavity drain waterproofing, certified to BES 6001 by BRE Global. BES 6001 is the framework standard for the responsible sourcing of construction products and is an

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NEWTON WATERPROOFING increasingly important and valuable standard for customers looking to procure building products. Certification is a voluntary process and demonstrates a supplier’s commitment to reducing the environmental and societal impacts of their construction products, through sound environmental credentials, social awareness, and ethical practices. The certification can be added to Newton’s long list of environmental/sustainability memberships and accreditations already held, including ISO 14001, Constructionline Gold, the Supply Chain Sustainability School, the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), and the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS). “The BES 6001 certification was a long audit process, so we are delighted to achieve it,” said Warren. “We are also the first company in the UK waterproofing industry to have achieved it. As part of this certification, we will now be listed on Green Book Live alongside other products and services that can help reduce environmental impacts: www.greenbooklive.com/.” Continuing the Drive The company will soon be putting together guidance on how specifying Newton will help to maximise BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) points on construction projects. BREEAM is the longest standing and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings in the UK, and Newton’s sustainability initiatives will help to maximise a site’s score as part of the ‘MAT 03: Responsible Sourcing for Materials’ and ‘WST 01: Construction Waste Management’ credits, without any compromise on performance, choice, or budget. Customers can also improve their eco credentials with Newton’s 100% recycled waterproofing product range and their recycling service expansion to include plastic tubs and containers. “We are always investigating ways to expand the service to include more kinds of recyclable waste,” added Warren. “We sell over 7,000 products with recyclable tubs and containers each year, so that gives an indication as to how much we can potentially recycle with this expansion. “We are committed to helping shape the green agenda and providing sustainable construction by helping combat the industry’s waste problems. And we want all our customers to know that when you work with Newton, you are using a socially responsible company with sustainability at the top of its agenda.”

NEWTON LATENT DEFECTS GUARANTEE IS THE ULTIMATE IN WATERPROOFING INSURANCE Newton Waterproofing, the UK’s leading independent designer and supplier of guaranteed structural waterproofing systems, has launched its new Latent Defects Insurance – and it is the only such policy available through a UK waterproofing supplier. With experience of more than 170 years, the family-run business based in Tonbridge has been providing clients with an unrivalled service for decades. Now, the Newton Latent Defects Insurance will provide customers with the ultimate protection. Newton Waterproofing’s MD Warren Muschialli said: “In 2019, the construction insurance guarantees market underwent significant change, with a number of insurers withdrawing from the sector. Early in 2020, there was a further reduction in the number of rated insurers able to provide insurance for waterproofing. “A lot of companies will provide self-guarantees but there is no insurance provided, while others will provide warranties that are not insurance-backed. “But with our Newton Latent Defects Insurance we have managed to provide a unique policy which is backed by an A-rated, UK-based insurer.” With a policy term of up to 12 years, the Latent Defects Insurance is available on qualifying projects which use multiple Newton waterproofing products to achieve a minimum score of 3.0 on the Newton Waterproofing Index (NWI). The NWI is a unique specification tool that provides specifiers and designers with a scoring system to accurately assess the level of risk and potential success involved in any waterproofing design. The application for the guarantee is made via the installer directly to Newton's A-rated insurer, and for the first two years of the policy the responsibility for repairing any leaks and defects lies with the installing contractor. Once this period has expired, all repairs are the responsibility of the insurer. Newton’s Specialist Contractors have been specifically audited to ensure they meet the necessary requirements to be able to provide the guarantee, while Newton's waterproofing solutions and products have also successfully passed a rigorous auditing process to ensure that they are of sufficient quality to support the guarantee.

March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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SUSTAINABILITY

As the fight against climate change gathers pace,

Could natural slate be the roofing material of the future?

R

ichard Cook FloR, Technical Director at SSQ, makes the case for natural slate and Phyllite as two eco-friendly roofing products ideally suited for the coming ‘net zero’ age.

Think of eco-friendly alternatives to carbon-intensive roofing, cladding and flooring materials, and natural slate might not be the first option to come to mind. Hundreds of millions of years in the making, and a feature of man-made buildings for centuries, it’s not exactly something you’d commonly associate with futuristic, carbon-neutral construction. But slate is actually among the greenest materials of its kind. And now, with less than thirty years before the UK hits its 2050 deadline for achieving total carbon neutrality, it’s possible that one of the world’s oldest roofing materials could become increasingly common. Longer life spans, less need for replacement So what is it that makes natural slate green? One of its biggest advantages is its age and longevity. The millions of years that products like natural slate – and Phyllite, which is even older, and that SSQ supplies as our celebrated Riverstone range – have spent slowly developing underground have given them incredible strength and durability.

Quality slate and Phyllite products can last multiple times longer than many other roofing materials provided they’re installed correctly. Tiles made of fibre cement and concrete, both extremely common around the world, can last up to thirty years, while clay tiles can last forty. In all three cases, that’s considerably less than the lifetime of the average building. Fitting a roof, like any sort of construction activity, has an environmental impact. Materials have to be manufactured or processed, transported by air or sea, fitters and other tradespeople have to travel by car or van to the installation site, and so on – all of which has a certain cost in terms of carbon emissions. One of the best ways of reducing a project’s environmental impact, then, is simply using products that last – products that won’t require you to carry out those same carbon-intensive processes all over again in just a few decades. The best slate and phyllite can last over a hundred years (at SSQ, we guarantee our finest Ultra-grade Riverstone and Del Carmen products for a century). That’s more than three times as long as some other commonly used materials – and means that quality slate often outlives the building it was originally installed on, and can then be recycled for use on other properties. Low carbon intensity ‘Quarry’ is another word you might not immediately associate with sustainability. Try and picture one in your head, and you’ll probably imagine large amounts of gas-guzzling machinery. But the reality – particularly at the quarries SSQ work with in Spain, and the Phyllite quarry we own in Argentina – is often a lot different. Material is extracted with electric diamond cutters that use very little electricity, and, in many cases, it’s still split into individual slates by hand. This is in sharp contrast to the industrial, polluting process used to produce man-made slate alternatives. To make clay tiles, kilns are kept burning 24 hours a day, with inevitable impacts on the environment. Ceramic and porcelain tiles are even worse – the kilns have to be at higher temperatures. This accounts for major differences in carbon intensity between different roofing materials.

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SSQ

Concrete tiles create 0.19kg of CO2 per kilogram. Clay tiles are worse – they produce 0.43kg per kilo. Natural slate, however, contains far less – between 0.005-0.054kg per kilo. Slate for a sustainable society At SSQ, our commitment to sustainability extends beyond the products we offer and how they’re quarried. We also take steps to minimise our environmental impact in other ways – like investing in carbon offsetting. Between January 1st 2019 and December 31st 2019, for example, we were responsible for producing 1,343 tonnes of CO2.

project, which provides clean drinking water to people in impoverished parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Our investment allows the Borehole project to significantly improve its energy efficiency to the value of 1,343 tonnes of carbon. As such, we’ve also been presented with a Carbon Neutrality Certificate from the Carbon Neutral Organisation, which you can view on our website. All in all, we believe that we – and the array of stunning, sustainable natural slate and phyllite products we provide – can make a significant contribution to the country’s quest to cut its carbon emissions.

We’ve responded by offsetting that carbon by supporting the Gold Standard VER East Africa Borehole March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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ADVERTORIAL

Passivhaus standard construction company undergoes significant factory expansion to greatly ramp up capacity

L

eading Passivhaus design and construction company Beattie Passive has successfully expanded into a significantly larger facility in Norwich, to greatly ramp up production of their signature Passivhaus standard modular homes for clients across the UK, creating 80+ new jobs in the process.

Beattie Passive, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of advanced Passivhaus standard homes, has recently expanded into a significantly larger site, which will allow them to ramp up production to meet an everincreasing number of orders. To support this expansion, 50 new jobs have so far been created at a variety of levels, from apprentices to skilled carpenters and factory management and support roles. Beattie Passive are passionate about skills development and training; therefore all employees undergo a rigorous training programme to build the necessary skills to deliver Passivhaus standard housing. Beattie Passive are not only providing a positive impact on the local community through significant employment, but are also sourcing materials and subcontract suppliers for the modular homes from local supply chains wherever possible. This combined is leading to positive economic and social benefits for the local community. The factory will be manufacturing Beattie Passive’s Haus4 range from Haus4Studio’s, Haus4one and Haus4two through to 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom volumetric apartments. The Haus4 range offers modular, relocatable homes that can meet the clients immediate housing requirements, whilst delivering both the exceptional performance of Passivhaus and the higher quality of a Beattie Passive build. Beattie Passive have seen a considerable increase in demand for their Haus4 range since the outbreak of Covid-19, 50

BuildingProducts.co.uk • March/April 2021

due to the increasing pressure on Housing Association and Councils to find housing solutions for the growing homelessness population. Ron Beattie, Managing Director, said “Following considerable time and investment in R&D we are delighted to have moved to a larger facility to start delivering our modular solution at scale. This is the first of a number of large scale Beattie Passive factories across the UK and we are excited for the opportunity to not only deliver high quality Passivhaus standard housing at scale but also for the employment, training and positive economic and social benefits this will bring to the local areas." Cardiff Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “Cardiff Council is extremely pleased to be working with Beattie Passive to provide innovative and sustainable solutions to help tackle housing need in the city. “The flexibility of this fully demountable system means they can be moved elsewhere in the future if required, enabling us to respond to changing housing need over time.”

Stacy Thomas, Director of Homes and Places, Merthyr Valleys Homes, added “We are investing in Beattie Passive Haus4 products to urgently increase the supply of single person accommodation within our Borough. They provide options for accessible, affordable, sustainable homes as well as help to meet local and national strategies. The main reason we started investing in these homes is that they are lovely homes and allow people to live comfortably with dignity in a space they can feel proud of. Beattie Passive are a great organisation to work with, they just get us and what we are trying to achieve! The team work really closely with us to ensure our products are exactly as we specify and are ready when we need them.”

www.beattiepassive.com @beattiepassive


Riverstone’s got you covered

With every roof installation, your reputation is on the line. But with Riverstone, you don’t have to worry. Riverstone isn’t slate – it’s phyllite, dug from SSQ’s own quarry in La Repressa, Argentina. Subject to incredible heat and pressure over millions of years, it delivers outstanding aesthetics, durability and all-round performance. And that’s what makes it one of the hardest, toughest, longest-lasting roofing materials in the world.

Want to find out more? Speak to SSQ. Call us today on 020 8961 7725 or email info@ssq.co.uk

www.ssqgroup.com


FEATURE

STAY ON TREND specified, such as floor coverings. Flooring plays a crucial role in the design of any building. In fact, it not only complements the interior design of a space, but it can also help to create better and healthier indoor environments for occupants.

▴ Janet Lowe, Head of Marketing (UK & Ireland) at Forbo Flooring Systems, provides the lowdown on the current trends affecting the flooring industry and how the latest product innovations can offer an effective solution for architects and specifiers. As the world is consistently changing and regulations are becoming more stringent, we are seeing new challenges arise within the industry, which must be tackled with the appropriate solutions. This can range from the materials used to construct buildings to the internal finishes 52

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ACOUSTIC CONTROL Acoustics has become a prominent topic across the industry. Whether at work or at home, excess noise can become a real nuisance if left unchecked. Incessant noise is not only distracting, affecting productivity and concentration, but it can also manifest in physical ailments. In fact, across a number of studies, researchers have demonstrated that people who live and work in noisy environments tend to be more likely to develop harmful health conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure. For those designing buildings, the best way to reduce sound is at the source. As impact sound is generated by traffic contacting the floor surface, specifying acoustic floors are key when it comes to reducing impact noise – especially in multi-occupancy buildings. Historically, acoustic vinyl has tended to offer one of the highest levels of noise-reduction performance.

RAPID AND REUSABLE Due to the nature of commercial buildings, demanding timescales are a pressing issue when it comes to refurbishments. Work will often need to be conducted outside of business hours or staff, customers and occupants may need to be relocated, causing disturbance to daily operations. In addition, in the current climate, where client budgets may be tightened and tradespeople spending less time on site to reduce the risk of infection is preferred as far as possible, the benefits of ensuring a rapid refurbishment has driven the uptake of adhesive free products. Adhesive free floor coverings can be laid straight down onto the subfloor, or even over an existing floor, including raised access floors found in offices, with minimal preparation in many cases. This reduces installation time by over 50% and work can be carried out over the weekend, overnight or even whilst the premises are still in use. What’s more, no setting or drying time needs to be factored into the project due to the fact that the installation is completely free of adhesives and the floor is ready to be walked on immediately after it is fitted. From a sustainability


FLOORING

perspective, floor coverings can be easily lifted and reused or removed and recycled at the end of its long service life. FOCUS ON WELLBEING A report by Allergy UK estimated that there are at least 12 million people 'allergic to their own home' – with 58% citing house dust mites as a key trigger. However, the issue should also not be ignored in other buildings too, such as schools and workplaces, where occupants spend a prolonged period of their time. The importance of the choice of floor coverings in creating better indoor environments should not be overlooked. With increased focus on wellbeing, specifiers should look for products that have been awarded with the prestigious ‘Seal of Approval™’ from Allergy UK. Indeed, with the correct cleaning regime, products like Marmoleum and Flotex will not harbour allergens or house dust mites. Marmoleum is also independently proven to inhibit the growth and spread of infections such as MRSA, Norovirus and C Difficile, as the natural floor covering is manufactured from 97% natural raw materials, including linseed oil.

MODULAR MATTERS Finally, in spaces where flexibility to redesign layouts and raised access floors are a concern, modular floor coverings prove to be a smart choice thanks to their ease and speed of installation. Damaged tiles and planks can also be individually lifted and replaced without interfering with the whole floor. While carpet tiles and luxury vinyl tiles are often the ‘go-to’, flocked floor coverings prove to be a viable alternative – especially as they can offer the best of both worlds – and have seen a huge rise in popularity over recent years. The unique construction of flocked flooring combines the comfort, warmth and sound absorbing properties of a carpet with outstanding durability and cleanability. With designs such as the versatile Flotex Planks range being introduced to the market, specifiers can mix and match colours and designs and create patterns easily, such as weave or herringbone, to produce stimulating and inspiring environments. TOWARDS A NET-ZERO FUTURE Looking to the future, as the country strives towards achieving net-zero over the next 30 years, if

climate change targets are to be met, decarbonisation of the built environment will need to intensify. For architects and specifiers, this means making a conscious effort towards reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint of buildings, both during construction and whilst in operation. Building a carbon neutral world can begin with the floor. To help decision makers make responsible choices, flooring manufacturers are continuing to look for new ways to be more sustainable and to minimise the environmental impact of their products and processes wherever possible. Indeed, the path to carbon neutral buildings is made from natural raw materials, not plastic. As new trends are constantly emerging, it is recommended that architects and specifiers work closely with a reputable flooring manufacturer to keep up to date with the latest developments affecting the industry and to ensure that the most suitable solutions are selected for their projects. March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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ADVERTORIAL

THE IMPORTANCE OF

SUBFLOOR PREPARATION

F

ollowing best practice in subfloor preparation prior to the installation of new floorcoverings is essential to avoid an unsightly finish or even complete floor failure, leading to costly remedial work – the leading cause of which is still unmanaged excess subfloor moisture. Neil Sanders, technical director at leading manufacturer of subfloor preparation products, F. Ball and Co. Ltd., goes through these processes.

Ensuring a long lasting, visually attractive finish involves following a few basic steps, including making sure the subfloor is in a suitable condition before work begins, applying a levelling compound to ensure a perfectly smooth base for the receipt of floorcoverings and remembering to prime beforehand. Although these processes should be routinely undertaken, this doesn’t always happen, resulting in lost time and unforeseen expenditure. Subfloor preparation The first step in any flooring installation is to make sure the subfloor is suitably sound and smooth. If the subfloor is a newly-installed screed, contractors will need to ensure that any laitance, the crust of cement and fine aggregates that forms on the surface of the screed as it dries, is ground off. The normal method of removing laitance is using a rotary sanding or abrading machine. If the project is part of a refurbishment, the condition of the subfloor will need to be assessed once old floorcoverings have been removed. It may be discovered that the subfloor is cracked or damaged, in which case extra preparation will be required. In most cases, cracks as deep as 50mm can be filled with a floor repair compound. Old adhesive residues will also need to be removed mechanically unless a levelling compound that is suitable for use over old adhesive residues is to be used. 54

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Moisture test Contractors need to be particularly aware of the problems posed by excess subfloor moisture in the base. Whether the result of rising damp or residual construction moisture, unmanaged subfloor moisture can attack adhesives and floorcoverings, possibly causing complete floor failure.

with a single coat application, which will fully cure in as little as three hours.

For these reasons, F. Ball and Co. Ltd. recommends that a moisture test is conducted using a calibrated digital hygrometer to determine subfloor relative humidity (RH) levels as part of any flooring installation. Where a moisture test indicates that subfloor RH levels are above 75% (65% if wood floorcoverings will be installed), a moisture management solution will be required to suppress excess subfloor moisture levels and prevent floor failure.

General-purpose levelling compounds are available for many situations, as well as products with a wide variety of specialist applications.

Dealing with damp The application of a waterproof surface membrane is the typical solution for effectively controlling damp. The best-performing epoxy waterproof surface membranes will isolate excess subfloor moisture where relative humidity values are up to 98%,

Quicker, two-coat systems are available that will create an effective barrier against residual construction moisture where relative humidity values are up to 95%. The first coat cures in 15-20 minutes, and a further 30 minutes curing time is required for the second coat.

Compatibility check Once the levelling compound has cured, contractors can proceed to install floorcoverings using an appropriate adhesive, making sure to check the compatibility of particular floorcoverings and adhesives. To do this, contractors should consult the adhesive manufacturer’s Recommended Adhesives Guide or see the floorcovering manufacturers’ instructions. For further information on F. Ball and Co. Ltd. Call 01538 361 633, visit www.f-ball.co.uk


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Experts in Class A Fire-Rated External Flooring Systems alfrescofloors.com - info@alfrescofloors.co.uk - 020 8977 0904

March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

55


FEATURE

Countering Coronavirus and the race to install heat pumps and hydrogen heating Written by John Osborne

M

anaging and eliminating coronavirus is as big a crisis as World War II was. John Osborne considers how recent developments in heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) are helping control this deadly virus, and how heat pumps and hydrogen could change the way we heat our homes.

We cannot escape it. It is with us day and night. The pandemic dominates our lives. Sadly, it looks as if it will kill more civilians in the United Kingdom than were killed in the UK in World War II. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The United Kingdom is full of brilliant people. The expertise is available to eliminate this enormous threat to our way of life. B.E.S.A. is ahead in the battle. The Building Engineering Services Association claims it is the UK's leading trade organisation for building engineering services contractors. B.E.S.A. represents the interests of firms active in the design, installation, commissioning, maintenance, control and management of engineering systems and services in buildings. The main way the virus spreads is through air. “We have long campaigned on the subject of air pollution and indoor air quality,” explained Graeme Fox, Head of Technical, B.E.S.A. “We are about to publish A Beginner’s Guide to Indoor Air Quality produced in conjunction with the British Lung Foundation, Clean Air Day 2021, and Mitsubishi, to clarify the terminology used and the urgent need to address this public health emergency.”

"HVAC SYSTEMS ACCOUNT FOR 51% OF THE TOTAL ENERGY USAGE IN COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS AND 20% OF GLOBAL GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS." Blake Standen

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Education and measures which are easy to understand and implement such as wearing a mask and social distancing are low tech solutions. There is more though to running HVAC systems than preventing the transmission of viruses. Some technologies are emerging which will make it easier and more efficient for owners and occupiers of buildings to operate HVAC equipment. There are also numerous challenges. Blake Standen, Solutions Engineer at BrainBox AI, said: "Even as IoT (Internet of Things) technology advances, commercial building HVAC systems are still, for the most part, fixed systems and programmed for a static environment, even though weather, seasons, and tenant behaviours are fluid and dynamic. "The built environment has not kept up with technology advancements. The commercial real estate design model is still very segmented and focused on unique structures that are difficult to utilize efficiently.” Blake added: “In addition, energy efficient technology opportunities during the design phase are often value-engineered out prior to the construction of the building due to budget constraints. All of these elements have led to the inefficiency of building HVAC systems that continue to contribute to higher energy bills and maintenance costs while negatively impacting the environment. HVAC systems account for 51% of the total energy usage in commercial buildings and 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions that originate from buildings.” Chris Irwin, Vice President Sales EMEA & VP Global Marketing, J2 Innovations, believes that there “Is no one single trend that stands out but several that will have profound effects. The trend for increasing 'modularisation' of HVAC products with standardized factory fitted controls will continue, as all players (manufacturers, contractors, etc) seek to reduce on-site costs and simplify delivery of working systems.

Cont.


HVAC

▴ Chris Irwin Vice President Sales EMEA & VP Global Marketing, J2 Innovations

▴ Dennis Marcell Victor Research Analyst, Frost & Sullivan

▴ Anthony Coates-Smith Managing Director, Insite Energy

▴ Eleanor Blacklock Project Manager, Insite Energy

March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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FEATURE

"Another accelerating trend is the desire for easy remote access to sites for performance monitoring, alarms and fault diagnostics. Both factors require more sophisticated but easy to configure controls software with secure remote connectivity." He continued: “A newer trend, accelerating since the widespread adoption of IP (Internet Protocol) connectivity, and the increasing availability of more powerful 'edge' electronics hardware, is the disaggregation of the software and hardware required for HVAC control. Previously, each manufacturer would develop its own proprietary solutions but this 're-inventing the wheel' approach is becoming prohibitively expensive. Specialist software suppliers will increasingly provide the basis for the controls systems, customised for each manufacturer’s needs and running embedded on 'standard' hardware platforms." Dennis Marcell Victor, Senior Research Analyst in Frost & Sullivan's Energy & Environment practice, believes that the “Digital transformation of HVAC equipment and services will form the backbone in achieving various energy-related targets for the future. Original

Equipment Manufacturers have started investing in technology that can increase the efficiency of products and explore new revenue streams.” Dennis said that according to Michael Ellis, Executive Vice President and Chief Customer and Chief Digital Officer at Johnson Controls: "Digital offerings that integrate a number of systems are more of a priority than ever for organizations evaluating their investment plans for 2021". Another issue is the way HVAC is run.

"WITH THE DEMAND FOR REMOTELY MONITORED HVAC SYSTEMS ON THE RISE, THE HVACAAS MARKET COULD ATTRACT LARGE BUILDINGS THAT PLAN TO UPGRADE THEIR EXISTING HVAC SYSTEMS. BY 2026, AN ESTIMATED 7–8% OF THE HVAC MARKET REVENUES COULD BE ATTRIBUTED TO SUBSCRIPTIONBASED SERVICES.” Dennis Marcell Victor

“HVAC as a service (HVACaaS) is a subscription-based model for HVAC equipment that could be a gamechanger for daring and innovative manufacturers”, explained Dennis. “Offering products and services as a bundle reduces the burden on the customer to operate, monitor, and maintain the equipment, as the manufacturer oversees all of it. "With the demand for remotely monitored HVAC systems on the rise, the HVACaaS market could attract large buildings that plan to upgrade their existing HVAC systems. By 2026, an estimated 7–8% of the HVAC market revenues could be attributed to subscription-based services.” Metering is another big issue concerning the HVAC business. Anthony Coates-Smith, Managing Director, Insite Energy, explained that: “On Friday, 6th November 2020, BEIS (The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) released its latest amendments to the Heat Network (Metering & Billing) Regulations, which came into force on Friday, 27th November 2020. They require all “heat suppliers” (landlords including developers, housing associations, local authorities and managing agents) to install metering

Meeting the skills shortage will be a massive challenge already set a target of one million a year by the 2030s towards an eventual total of 19 million to achieve the government’s net-zero targets.

▴ Graham Wright Former Chairman, Heat Pump Association

Heat pumps were highlighted by Boris Johnson, the current Prime Minister in the United Kingdom, as a key technology for delivering many of the government’s decarbonisation goals. He wants the industry to be installing 600,000 a year by 2028. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has 58

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This represents a “massive surge in the market that will both excite and alarm the industry”, according to Graeme Fox, Head of Technical, B.E.S.A. “We will have to rapidly scale up our capacity and we will need considerable investment in skills to deliver all of this,” he said. Graham Wright, Former Chair of the Heat Pump Association, said "The sector was currently installing just 30,000 heat pumps a year, a figure that could grow to 71,000 in 2021". He said "the CCC target represented an enormous leap

when we are already contending with a skills gap. "The H.P.A. was working with B.E.S.A. to set up a training scheme that could help upskill existing heating and plumbing engineers to carry out this work. He called on the government to make it mandatory to ensure installations were of sufficient quality so that the technology could operate to its full potential. “If there are lots of poor installations, it could harm the reputation of the whole technology,” said Graeme. Industry estimates suggest more than 17,000 new heat pump installers will be needed to meet demand over the next decade.


HVAC

devices on existing non-compliant housing stock where it is cost-effective and technically feasible to do so, as well as to bill individual consumers based on their actual energy consumption. “ He added: “The timescales are short considering the work some building managers will need to undertake. We’re urging affected organisations to speed up the process of assessing their buildings to meet the deadlines. The amendments call for the installation of heat metering devices, which can be heat meters or heat cost allocators (HCAs) with hot water meters, by September 2022 in all existing (and mid-construction) buildings connected to a district heat network or communal heating system.” Another concern is the increasing digitalisation of heat network metering. Eleanor Blacklock, Project Manager at Insite Energy, says: ”Heat networks are growing, so an increasing number of new buildings will require the specification of metering and billing platforms. Over the past few years there has been a move from credit billing customers for their energy to installing smart prepayment or pay-as-yougo (PAYG) meters, which have traditionally required hard-wired wall-mounted devices to be fitted in each property. "To make PAYG more affordable, flexible, functional, easy to install and cheaper to run than the established alternatives, there is a trend towards web-app based metering platforms, accessible via a smart device. Insite Energy and SAV Systems have recently developed the world’s first digital smart metering, pay-as-you-go web-app for heat networks, called KURVE, and the UK’s first installation at Greenside Views, a development in London, has just taken place.“ Advances in HVAC equipment should make our homes and offices, and other buildings, more comfortable and more efficient to heat and ventilate. In 2021, the battle to eliminate coronavirus and efforts to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels will continue on many fronts. Arguably the biggest challenge though will be persuading people to adopt measures designed to protect them, and implementing new and unfamiliar heating technologies. 

"HEAT NETWORKS ARE GROWING, SO AN INCREASING NUMBER OF NEW BUILDINGS WILL REQUIRE THE SPECIFICATION OF METERING AND BILLING PLATFORMS." Eleanor Blacklock

THE FUTURE OF HEATING Martyn Bridges is Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch. He discusses the latest field trials of hydrogen and what potential this has for future heating. A number of successful trials and tests have taken place. One such project was HyStreet in Northumberland, part of H21. H21, amongst other things, sets out to prove that the UK’s natural gas grid can safely carry 100% hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is a promising carbon-free alternative to the fuel we use currently, particularly because when burned its only bi-product is water. HyStreet consists of three specially built houses which have seen over 200 tests to prove the safety of converting homes and gas networks to hydrogen. A number of prototype appliances, including our own, are installed and running there as part of the trial. The potential for hydrogen in existing properties is promising. It is very difficult, by contrast, to lower the carbon emissions of an existing heating and hot water system with the alternative, an electric heat pump. A large proportion of UK homes are powered by a gas fired combi boiler, so anything other than replacing the system with a carbon free gas system is prohibitively expensive. Trials such as HyStreet are accelerating the adoption of hydrogen. There may be no choice but to opt for a heat pump installation initially, and that brings with it a number of challenges. The largest issue for housing associations would be the sheer cost of heat pump installations replacing boilers. There have been a handful of cases where a heat pump system was installed instead of a boiler, such as Leeds City Council. It undertook a small trial. Here, the cost per house was around £27,000, which is quite a large figure! By comparison, early indicators show that replacing your existing boiler with a hydrogen-fired alternative will be more or less the same cost as replacing a boiler today would cost. Another challenge for converting existing homes to an electric heat pump is disruption to the home owner and space limitations. Combi boilers are popular for their efficiencies. They provide both heating and hot water from one space-effective product. However, a heat pump requires a sizeable hot water cylinder, which would need to be located in a home either on a landing, airing cupboard or bedroom. It takes up valuable space which may not be readily available in the current home layout. March/April 2021 • BuildingProducts.co.uk

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ANNOUNCEMENT

LATHAMS LAUNCHES

NEW A&D SPECIFICATION TEAM

A new team at materials supplier James Latham will connect architects, designers and specifiers with the most innovative and exciting products on the market today. Bringing together expertise and insight from around the company, the Lathams Specification Team has been launched as a one-stop solution for materials specifiers. There is a strong focus on products with unique benefits, including solid surfaces, hardwearing laminates, antimicrobial acrylics and robust exterior cladding. Aesthetics are well catered for too, with the team able to recommend a range of surfaces, finishes, colours and styles suitable for any project. These include products that mimic other materials, such as decors that replicate the look and feel of various stones, woods and linens. “There are many high-quality, advanced products being brought to market all of the time. It’s easy for specifiers to lose track of what’s available or just stick to what they know”, said Rob Goodman, who leads the team. “What they are often unaware of is the broad range of options available to achieve that final finish that a customer has requested. By creating a single point of contact we can better support the A&D community and help them to find the right solution for their client’s brief.” The team’s knowledge incorporates a broad product portfolio including solid surfaces such as HI-MACS and Avonite and decorative laminates and veneers from 60

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manufacturers including Egger, Xylocleaf, Kronospan and Decospan. While currently offering consultancy via video conferencing, the team will support customers throughout the UK, corresponding with the locations of Lathams various showrooms and depots. The specification team comprises Debbie Northall (London), Joe Sepede (Yate, Thurrock and Hemel Hempstead), Natasha Smith (Dudley and Leicester), Mark Robinson (Leeds, Ireland and North West England) and David Schofield (Leeds, Gateshead and Scotland). To coincide with the announcement of the new team a solid surfaces website has also gone live, providing an additional detailed product resource for specifiers and customers. Featuring product information, case studies, videos and inspirational images from HI-MACS, Avonite and Studio Collection brands, it offers guidance and support on the specification of solid surfaces for a range of architectural applications, both internally and externally.

To find out more visit www.lathamsolidsurface.co.uk


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