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December 2020

Inspiring construction specifiers for over 40 years

Del Carmen:

The slate that started it all

In the 1980s, SSQ became the first company to bring outstanding Spanish slate into the UK. Our stunning blue-black Del Carmen slate is the result of millions of years of heat and pressure – and has the strength to take whatever nature throws at it. That’s why when architects, contractors and homeowners want to crown a property in style, they choose Del Carmen.

Want to find out more? Speak to SSQ. Call 020 8961 7725 or email info@ssq.co.uk www.ssqgroup.com PAGE 12



I want to see manufacturing marching towards construction

Is there any substance to Boris Johnson's plan?

The race to prevent another major tragedy





10 EDITORIAL Oli Ballard - Editor 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 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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Interview: Walter Boettcher


Project in Focus: Newton Waterproofing


Feature: Made in Britain


Products Showcase


Q&A: Keith Carey - Salto Systems


Feature: Sustainability


Feature: Future of Construction


Company in Focus: Create Bespoke


Feature: Future of the Office


Feature: Drainage & Flooding Defences


Project in Focus: Marley Alutec



Building Products magazine is designed and produced by Business Leader Ltd.

December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



Fenton Whelan appoint Ant Yapi to undertake £100m construction of London property development


Fenton Whelan have agreed a £100m design and build contract with multi-national contractor Ant Yapi to deliver the £500m Park Modern mixed-use development. The design and build contract is one of the largest agreed this year for a residential-led project in Prime Central London. Park Modern is fully funded to completion through a newly arranged senior construction funding facility and the continued support of Cheyne Capital, the project’s long term sponsor. Fenton Whelan has managed the construction site during demolition and groundworks and Ant Yapi will complete the development. In a prime location overlooking Kensington Palace Gardens, Park Modern is a 190,000 sqft development providing 57 oneto-six bedroom luxury residences, as well as 30,000 sqft of premium commercial space. Residents in the development will have access to valet parking, resident’s lounge, a 25 metre pool, gym, spa, cinema, and treatment salon. Sanjay Sharma, Co-ounding Director of Fenton Whelan said: “With the announcement of a vaccine and the return of confidence that by the Spring we will see the start of a return to normality, we made the descision to award in a single stage a £100m construction contract to Ant Yapi, the largest construction deal for a resi-led scheme awarded in London’s West End this year. We anticipate that the return to normal next year will unlock significant pent up demand in the London market and we want to be ready to be able to launch phase two in a strong market.”

A review to make it easier for people to build their own home has been announced by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick. Building or designing your own home plays an important part in helping people get a foot on the housing ladder. Currently there are around 15,000 of these types of homes built every year – an increase of 50% in two years. But there is still more to be done to support the self and custom build industry, last estimated be worth almost £4.5bn to the UK economy. The review will examine how effectively these arrangements support self and custom building, including whether they increase land available the to support these homes. Housing Secretary Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP said: "We are backing people who want to design and build their own home and today I have launched a review to ensure councils provide enough land and take proper consideration for these homes both when making planning decisions in their area. This will help more people get a foot on the housing ladder and support our building industry as we deliver the homes that this country needs."

PROPERTY PARTNERSHIP PROGRESSES £200M INVESTMENT IN SOUTH EAST OFFICE DEVELOPMENTS The Commercial Park Group, a partnership between Sir Robert McAlpine and the John Baker Group, has announced it will invest £200m to kick-start the development of two million sq ft of new offices across locations in the south east of England. The £200m investment is designed to fund a series of office developments in Crawley, Haywards Heath and Bromley. The funds will be focussed on delivering first phases across the three sites totalling almost 500,000 sq ft of offices, as well as associated leisure space, gyms, restaurants, gardens and public spaces for the enjoyment of office workers. 2

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

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CONSTRUCTION STARTS ON NEW GOVERNMENT HUB IN PETERBOROUGH Construction has begun on a major new government hub in Peterborough, Cabinet Office Minister Julia Lopez has announced. The new hub, due to be completed in 2022, will house 1,000 civil servants from HM Passport Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, at the Fletton Quays development in Peterborough city centre. This is part of a £120m regeneration of the Fletton Quays site led by Peterborough Investment Partnership and site developer Bride Hall. The new site is part of the Government’s Hub Programme, which is driving forward plans to move thousands of civil servants out of central London, to improve opportunity and level up across the UK. Cabinet Office Minister Julia Lopez said: "The new hub at Fletton Quays is a great example of the Government’s commitment to Peterborough and will provide a real boost to the area. Developments like these and others across the whole of the UK are a key part of our work to spread jobs, growth and prosperity. I look forward to seeing the progress the Government Hubs Programme makes and I know this development will create a wonderful new facility for Peterborough and the people who work here." The Government Hubs Programme has so far seen the development of 17 office hubs announced in areas including Glasgow, Belfast, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Cardiff, Birmingham, and Bristol to support around 60,000 civil servants. The aim of the programme is to relocate civil servants from existing poorly designed, often fragmented office locations, to modern, multi-departmental workplaces which will make the most of emerging working practices and technology. Government hubs are located close to public transport connections and local amenities, providing flexible workspace where the lessons from working from home over recent months can be incorporated to make offices a safe environment for civil servants to meet and work. 4

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

Quality non-combustible aluminium decking is the latest offering in F.H. Brundle’s extensive product range. Tested to EN13501, EN 12823 and EN ISO 1716, the 130-year old firm’s new Synergised decking system achieves A1 and A2fl-s1 ratings. Designed for the UK market, Synergised decking is made from structural-grade 6063 T6 aluminium, and finished with a 100 micron Qualicoat premium non-slip powder coating, making it ideal for high rise balconies, roof terraces, walkways and all other general decking applications. What’s more, it’s extremely quick and easy to install. Thanks to its innovative subframe and adjustable aluminium cradle base, it can be fitted with up to a 50% cost saving compared to other aluminium decking systems on the market. It’s also built to last, coming with a manufacturer’s limited warranty of ten years, and an expected product life expectancy of over 25 years. Synergised is available in three contemporary colours - Anthracite, Black and Serengeti Sand. F.H. Brundle Head of Marketing Paul Smith, comments: "We’re delighted to be bringing such a high-quality product to market.” “There’s huge demand for non-combustible decking products, and we’re confident that Synergised will help dozens of our customers win new business. “If you’d like to learn more about Synergised, don’t hesitate to get in touch to request a sample or a brochure, or visit our website for further information.” For over 130 years, generations of fabricators, building contractors, specifiers and others have trusted F.H. Brundle to meet their metal requirements.


HILL AND MARSHALL ANNOUNCE SECOND PHASE OF £550M NEW COMMUNITY IN CAMBRIDGE A joint venture partnership between property developer Hill Group and Marshall Group Properties will deliver the second phase of Marleigh, a new neighbourhood three miles east of Cambridge city centre, which will comprise around 1,300 homes once complete, with a gross development value of £550m. The second phase has outlined planning and a reserved matters planning application for 417 homes will be submitted later this year, with start on site anticipated mid-2021. The announcement marks the continuation of the partnership between Hill and Marshall (Hill Marshall LLP), which is currently delivering 547 homes. Andy Hill, Chief Executive, Hill Group, said: “We are delighted to continue our successful partnership with the Marshall Group to deliver the next instalment of this innovative new neighbourhood. As two family-run Cambridge companies, we share the same vision and commitment to building inspiring and sustainable communities, which will stand the test of time. Marleigh marks the first step in the creation of a new landmark district which will transform East Cambridge and we are proud to play a part in that legacy.”

AUTOMATIC WALL DIVIDES STEPPED LECTURE THEATRE As part of a £1.7m investment, Loughborough University recently remodelled Quorn Hall into an impressive 560-seat lecture theatre. Adding functionality to the new facility, Style was contracted to install a 57dB Dorma Hüppe Variflex ComfortDrive moveable wall system with fully automatic operation, allowing the vast space to be divided into two separate areas. A complex project, Style was specified by Core Architects to design a system that not only accommodated the exceptionally high ceiling but that also incorporated the stepped-rise of the seating. The final installation allows staff to divide the space at the press of a button, with the operable wall gliding effortlessly along a dedicated central channel between the seating. Creating an unparalleled acoustic barrier, substantial rubber seals expand to just the right pressure, allowing concurrent lectures to run completely undisturbed.

Quorn Hall, Loughborough University

supports into place by crane, lowering them via chains through pockets cut into the roof.

An integrated pass door provides access between the divided rooms whilst an oak laminate finish adds to the stunning interior design.

“Dividing such a cavernous lecture theatre with a fully automated moveable wall takes careful planning and the very best on-site project management,” said Steve Williams, sales director for Style Midlands.

Because of the complexity of the project, Style had to work particularly closely with Wildgoose Construction, who was responsible for lifting 2x26 metre steel

“We therefore developed a close working partnership with both the architect and contractor to install a product which is utterly breath-taking." December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



F. Ball and Co helps infection control at London hospital

Alutec Bio Coating Factory

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Products from F. Ball and Co. Ltd., including its Stopgap 300 HD levelling compound and Styccobond F46 pressure sensitive adhesive, have been used to create a high-quality flooring finish as part of the transformation of a former car showroom into a sterile and decontamination unit for the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust. Contractors from Fay Flooring Ltd. were called to install a combination of vinyl sheet and safety flooring over a total area of 3000m2 in what was once claimed to be ‘London’s largest indoor car hypermarket’, in Enfield. The subfloor preparation process commenced with the scabbling of the subfloor to remove layers of paint that were present. A moisture test was then carried out to ascertain moisture levels within the building’s concrete substrate, and it was determined that subfloor relative humidity (RH) levels were greater than 75%. Therefore, a waterproof surface membrane would be required to provide a barrier against moisture attacking adhesives and floorcoverings, potentially causing floor failure. F. Ball’s Stopgap F78 one-component waterproof surface membrane was applied in two coats, the second 30 minutes after the first. The product creates a barrier between residual construction moisture and floorcoverings where subfloor relative humidity values are up to 95%. Once the membrane had cured, F. Ball’s Stopgap 300 HD levelling compound was then applied to provide a smooth, hard-wearing base for the receipt of new floorcoverings. Patrick Fay, Contracts Manager at Fay Flooring Ltd., commented on the project: “The project initially appeared to be quite a challenge but with advice from the local F. Ball tech rep and their products, the job was straightforward and completed to a high standard. We use F. Ball products exclusively as they’re reliable, easy to use, and the manufacturer guarantees them.” For further information on F. Ball and Co. Ltd. call 01538 361 633, visit www.f-ball.co.uk or follow us on Twitter @FBallUK. 6

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

The Alutech Bio-Colour Collection - innovative health protection for your profile As we are now all too familiar, modern day living creates the perfect environment for a wide variety of microbes to successfully grow on almost every surface we touch. Doors, windows, equipment, stationery and work surfaces can all be affected by microbial growth. Cleaning will help prevent microbial growth on products, however, between cleaning cycles microbes will once again multiply on surfaces. Alutech antimicrobial BIO-coating works between cleans to protect the profile surface against microbial growth. Alutech profile systems and hardware Biocoating not only looks great but also has the performance you’d expect from AkzoNobel powder coatings, giving an additional level of protection against microbial growth on the coatings’ surface, making it easier to keep hygienically clean and helping to prevent odours and stains. Steve Hudson, MD at Alutech Systems commented: “In the current climate, hygiene is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the bio-coating on our profile provides that extra level of protection, and is perfect in spaces with a high volume of traffic, such as schools, shopping centres, hospitals and more.” For more details about our systems with a special antibacterial BIO-coating, and our wider product range call 01924 350 110, email enquiries@alutechsystems.co.uk, or visit www.alutechsystems.co.uk.





















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ALFRESCO FLOORS INTRODUCES A FULLY ADJUSTABLE A1 FIRERATED DECKING AND PAVING SYSTEM A-Rated external flooring specialists, Alfresco Floors, have introduced their latest non-combustible paving and decking system, The AR-Deck & AR-Pave, to facilitate the growing need for a safe, compliant and stylish solution for use in high-rise projects. Manufactured in the UK, the 100% aluminium system comprises of a fully adjustable pedestal, joist subframe and built-in slope corrector, and is aimed to significantly speed up installation time, whilst providing specifiers with a fully A-rated solution in very short lead times. As work gets underway to replace combustible cladding on buildings above 18 metres in height, the launch of the system comes at a time when fire-rated materials are a crucial component of any high-rise project. The AR-Deck and AR-Pave system allows specifiers to incorporate a variety of Alfresco Floors’ Class

A-Rated surface options, including Aluminium deckboards, Italianmade Porcelain Tiles and Concrete Paving to deliver a fully A-Rated paving and decking solution without compromising on style and at the most competitive rates on the market – a key message that the team are keen to promote. Alfresco Floors, which is the sister company to The Outdoor Deck Company and Buzon UK Ltd, have been at the forefront of fire related products, producing an e-Book on product requirements for A-rated external flooring, running CPDs for architects and landscape

professionals, and offering full technical site-specific advice. Mike Wilderink comments:“We identified a huge gap in the UK supply chain to the UK construction industry for a quality fire-rated external flooring system that would meet the new 2019 edition ‘Approved Document B’ - Building Regulations for England”. For further information on the ARDeck system or any other Class A-Rated external flooring solutions, visit www.alfrescofloors.com, call 020 8977 0904, or email info@alfrescofloors.co.uk.

Government investment in homes tops £1.8bn to support a housing-led economic recovery Investment delivered by Homes England through the government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund Forward Funding (HIF FF) has passed £1.8bn since its launch in 2017. Overall, £2.7bn of investment will be contracted through the fund, helping to accelerate the delivery of almost 175,000 homes outside of London. Councils have been working hard to secure the investment that will support the government’s target to build 300,000 new homes every year. The fund provides government money for local authorities to unlock land for new homes by building roads, bridges and sustainable travel links such as new cycling and walking routes. Robert Jenrick MP, the Housing Secretary, said: “This investment through our Housing Infrastructure Fund will help to build homes where we need them the most while also supporting existing communities by ensuring they get the new roads, schools and other public services that are needed.” 8

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020


• Designed & manufactured in Britain • Aluminium decking & sub-frame system • Adjustable from 28mm upwards • Slope correction up to 5% • Deckboards available in any RAL colour • 3 RAL colours held in stock - short lead times


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• Designed & manufactured in Britain • Aluminium sub-frame system • Suitable for porcelain & concrete pavers • Adjustable from 31mm upwards • Slope correction up to 5% • Spacer tab with two independent 3mm tabs


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BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020




alter Boettcher is the Chief Economist at Colliers International. A renowned global speaker and author, here he talks exclusively to Building Products about the construction and property sector.

WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT ASSESSMENT OF THE CONSTRUCTION AND PROPERTY SECTOR? Investment into the commercial property sector was up in September compared to the previous year and in October this year there was around £4bn worth of deals in the pipeline. I feel we are having a resilient year end, which could go a long way to patching things up from earlier in the year. There is appetite to finish deals from cross-border investors who are taking a longer-term view of the markets. The shorter play investor who wants in and out in a few months or years will have some worries though. It is true in the construction sector too – that in the last year there is a growing appetite for cross-border investors to team up with local partners to deliver regional developments. The key levers for growth remain the private rental sector and the build to let sector, along with mixed-use developments both inside and outside of London. What disappoints me is waiting for this dynamic to be supplemented with government investment and a coherent plan. You can understand why this has not happened because the focus has been on dealing with the pandemic but in terms of the levelling up agenda and regional infrastructure plan, there needs to be clarity on how it moves forward. To conclude, when you look at things globally the IMF is saying that because interest rates are so low, governments should think about borrowing more to stimulate the recovery through investing in fiscal policy. This is true of the UK because when you look at the sustainability of government debt you find some extraordinary numbers. A year ago, we had to pay £50bn a year on interest payments to service the national debt but even despite the huge recent borrowing, our interest payments have fallen to £42bn. This means that government still has some options and have not run of road in terms off a fiscal response. Cont. December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



HOW DO YOU SEE AN ECONOMIC RECOVERY BEING SHAPED? I think it will come in the consumer sector because when you look at the data carefully, financial services and office-based sectors have held up much better than the consumer driven ones which were effectively switched off. Household spending accounts for two thirds of the UK economy and retail is half of that, so it is a big part and if it recovers the economy will recover. We are in Quarter Four and the run up to Christmas should help with this and online will be a huge part of that. But will the frenzied pace of this spending and mass consumption in the run up to Christmas offset the huge hit that physical retail has taken throughout the year? It is hard to know. Will we have a double-dip recession? This latest period of lockdown may mean that we do. Quarter Three was good news but Quarter Four will be another period of contraction, so we are still on shaky ground but if we can keep from shutting the economy down, the recovery should happen.

sector and PRS schemes. I also look at the Irish economy in detail and the market there is on fire, regarding the appetite to get development sites. In the UK in October, cross-border investment accounted for two thirds of all commercial property investment, which gives an idea to how the sector is performing too. At the start of the pandemic, naturally there was a slow-down but the general perception for property and construction is that it is holding up. WHAT IMPACT WILL THE US ELECTION HAVE ON THE PROPERTY MARKET? I have come to the view – and I do not say this glibly – that it won’t make much of a difference. People think Trump would have been better for the UK as they will be able to strike a trade deal more easily because of Trump’s alignment with Boris, but I think this does a disservice to Boris.


Equally, people say that Biden will negotiate hard with the UK because he is anti-Brexit and has Irish ancestry. I think that the trade we have with the US is not on advantageous terms and I do not see what a trade deal will accomplish? It may help sectors like food and drink but in terms of a strategic shift for the UK sector, I just do not see it.

Since the pandemic came into the frame the sector is doing OK, with the standout parts being the residential

In this respect I am not sure the trade deal is the real issue. I revert to Ireland again, as they have had a

few people appointed to high-level positions in the EU and this suggests they will punch well above their weight now and with the UK out of the EU – let us remember the UK used to play a role as a conduit for the US to get ideas into the EU – they’re no longer the power brokers and the US may look to Ireland to do that for them. There are lots of dynamics that are sitting behind all this that will play out whether we would have had Biden or Trump as the US President. HOW SHOULD WE VIEW THE US ELECTION IMPACT THEN? The way to look at the impact of the US election is to see what happens to global financial markets, as this will affect the UK the most. This is because there is huge cross-border investment that comes into the UK and those guys are sensitive to exchange rate movements and the availability of capital. So, let us see what they do and how the market keeps reacting. MOVING BACK TO THE UK HERE AND NOW. IN YOUR OPINION, WILL WORKING FROM HOME BE THE NEW NORMAL? You have the doomsayers that say we will never go back to the office again and then there are those that say we’ll go back and never work from home again. The answer is in between isn’t it. In London there is a shortage of Grade A space and in the UK frankly, we are too densely packed. There is eight square metres for every employee in London, compared to 11 in Paris so this mixed approach to working could help solve this.



BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020


SO, YOU DON’T SEE OFFICES BEING TURNED INTO HOUSES OR INCUBATORS? Office occupation in the big cities will be slightly less but I do not see offices being abandoned and converted into other uses. Outside of the big cities, I think we will also see a rise in office working hubs. Not business parks but mixed-use schemes that combine leisure, retail, residential and working space. They will be places where you go in addition to working in the office and working from home. HOW ELSE DO YOU SEE OFFICE SPACES CHANGING? Well, let’s look at London. The growth there is shifting from corporates to SMEs and you’re seeing tech startups growing significantly and they’re asking for a whole different set of demand when it comes to their offices space. Like I said, I don’t see the big guys scaling back hugely; it’s more about looking at the demand from other parts of the economy and different sectors. There are lots of dynamics at play


and it’s hard to say demand will go up or down and I see a more neutral position over the next year, whilst everybody continues to process what is happening. Rents may fall in London though for commercial property and I think we’re seeing that already. But there is more stability than people think. When Brexit gets resolved and we know what the rules of the game are and we solve this COVID-19 crisis, the market will pick up and that’s why I see more subtle changes to the office sector. Despite the pandemic and Brexit, the metrics in the UK still look good for property and business investors.


BUT DO YOU SEE A TREND FOR MORE HOME OFFICES BEING BUILT? I think that companies will make more financial resources available to upgrade the internet connections and develop home offices for their staff. It’s interesting as there is a whole section in the Financial Times now about how to make your home office better, so it’s definitely something that is becoming a thing. There is a market for this and for garden offices and people are looking for houses with more space, so they can turn their sheds into high-tech clusters. The homeworking experiment has been greeted with enthusiasm and success and demonstrated there's lots we can do from home, but you can’t be a good business developer from home in my opinion. Is there a major sector that will spring up for developing homeworking spaces? I think yes partly, in addition to other building work firms do as their core, but I’m not sure people will be adding rooms to their houses and the development for homeworking will be more around telecoms and IT. 

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hen principal contractor Mace Group needed an expert to waterproof a basement with more than 2,250m2 floor space at the world-renowned London School of Economics, they turned to Newton Waterproofing Systems to help.

With a unique Membrane Recycling Service, Newton appealed to Mace Group’s aim of becoming a netzero carbon company in 2020. Coupled with expert technical advice, guaranteed waterproofing systems and Specialist Basement Contractor Cast Contracting Ltd (CCL), Newton was the perfect choice for the major project. Designed by Grafton Architects, the school’s Marshall Building at 44 Lincoln’s Inn Field includes an extensive two-storey, mixed-use basement that will house plant areas, squash courts, changing facilities and a sports hall. Newton Specialist Contractor CCL were appointed to design, supply and install the waterproofing, providing a completely dry, guaranteed solution by using the Newton CDM System. Otherwise known as Type C waterproofing, the CDM System is the safest and most reliable form of waterproofing and comprises of Cavity Drain Membranes, Drainage, Pumps and Control Systems. Prior to installation, CCL applied Newton 906 Lime Inhibitor to the new slab to prevent free lime from the concrete from affecting the drainage membranes. The Type A liquid waterproofing membrane Newton 103-S was also applied internally to many of the concrete surfaces as a barrier to water.


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

With preparations complete, over 2,250m2 of Newton 520 eco membrane was installed to the floor and over 570m2 of Newton 508 membrane installed to the walls to create the Newton CDM System. A drainage system of Newton Basedrain channels also directs any water captured by the membranes to the point of discharge, and the whole system was sealed with Newton OverTape. The result was hugely impressive, and Newton Waterproofing’s Managing Director Warren Muschialli said: “The Newton CDM System is a combination of decades of basement waterproofing experience and the highest quality BBA certified cavity drain membranes from Newton System 500, and is the most reliable and maintainable waterproofing solution for any below ground space. “Covering a total of 2,250m2 of floorspace presented a reasonable challenge for CCL and, despite requiring dedicated delivery slots and working to an extremely tight program of work, CCL were praised on the quality and speed of their installation, which was completed well within the deadline.” What also made a lasting impression was Newton’s


recycling service, which recycled 115kg of HDPE waste, therefore preventing more than 132kg of CO2 emissions. Alice Ashpitel, Sustainability Manager at Mace Group, commented: “The unique closed-loop recycling service provided by Newton bought real benefits to this project. It has helped us reduce our construction waste and supported our Time to Act campaign to reduce single use plastic waste across construction, all with no impact to on-site activities.” The closed-loop scheme works in collaboration with the company’s Specialist Basement Contractors, who are set up with tonne bags for storing offcuts of plastic

membranes, which are then collected by Newton. The virgin HDPE membrane is then processed and chipped into small granules at Newton’s headquarters in Tonbridge, Kent, before being collected by a national recycler who manufactures the granules into new products for the construction industry. Newton donate all profits made by the scheme to marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage. “Our recycling scheme adds a huge amount of value to a project and we have won contracts on the strength of it. We’re delighted that Mace Group recognised the benefits of it,” added Warren.

December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk





his feature is looking at building products that are made in the UK, and whether we are going to see a renaissance due to the pressures currently being placed upon global supply chains and many companies assessing where they source products. Brexit and the global pandemic have seen many construction firms and building products manufacturers review their supply chains and the products and services they use and procure. But with China and other emerging economies able to manufacturer products at a fraction of the cost, how much sway does ‘Made in Britain’ really hold and what trends can architects and specifiers expect to see in this space? Noble Francis is the Economics Director at the Construction Products Association and he has 16

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

an interesting take on the argument – revealing that most products are already made in the UK that are used in construction projects here. He says: “76% of construction products used in UK construction are actually made here in the UK, with the remaining 24% imported. For some products, imports have tended to be used as they are lower cost. However, that has to be balanced against the risk involved, which until recently has tended to be relatively low. “We saw after the EU Referendum

in 2016 that Sterling depreciated by 15%-20% against other currencies and consequently we saw in early 2017 that some imported product costs rose by 20%, such as timber and some types of insulation. “Given the end of the Brexit implementation period with an uncertain outcome on trade and the recent impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns on international supply chains, the risk around imports has increased considerably. CPA members have looked at their supply chains, whether they are firms that


"Also, UK manufacturing needs a level playing field. Manufacturers in the UK make products to a high standard meeting requirement of quality, environmental factors and ethical standards. It is essential that imported products meet these standards too, so there needs to be effective monitoring and enforcements of imports to ensure that they meet the standards of domestic made products." Value not cost is key Noble also says that government needs to do its part too – and consider value not cost when looking at the products it uses for it’s projects. He says: “In addition, government, as the largest client in construction, needs to ensure that it procures on value not cost. If it procures based on value then it incentivises investment in UK firms, as the initial cost may be higher but the benefits across a wider range of criteria may be considerably greater than using cheap imports.

import products or UK manufacturers that have looked at where they source materials and components from.

world, with more to be done when it comes to exporting British made construction products around the world.

“Most major product manufacturers that operate in the UK are global multinationals with head offices dotted around the world. What they are looking for is certainty of demand, a level playing field compared with imports and a focus on quality and value rather than cost.”

Noble comments on the international picture: “Manufacturing is high international investment upfront for a long-term rate of return, so firms need to have a degree of certainty that they will make better returns here rather than investing in another country where there is a faster growing market and it is cheaper to manufacturer. The UK government has helped by producing a National Infrastructure and Government Construction Pipeline of projects going into the mid-2020s but firms need to have certainty that this isn’t just a wish list and that the activity will actually occur within reasonable timelines.

Although, the issue remains around the UK’s poor balance of payments, whereby we still do not seem to export enough British made products around the world. It could be argued that the Made in Britain tag is overplayed when it comes to its significance around the


"Value can be based on the lifetime cost rather than the initial cost, the local employment created and the SMEs involved, the energy-efficiency and climate change impact. “It is also worth noting that some imports do serve a purpose at times. For instance, imports are also used as a buffer during periods of volatility in demand. If you look at construction product imports as a proportion of total construction output (see chart), it’s actually fairly stable over time, with imports of products averaging 9.6% of total construction output. “However, imports as a percentage of total construction output rises significantly during the initial stages of recovery after a recession as domestic capacity isn’t enough to meet demand. But, if the demand rises consistently the domestic manufacturers invest in new capacity, reopening mothballed factories and investing in new factories. Then the imports as a proportion of construction output falls.” Cont.

Noble Francis December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



Supporting UK manufacturers To get the perspective of a UK building products manufacturer, BP spoke to Leigh Matthews, Managing Director of Plasloc, suppliers of unique hoarding solutions for major infrastructure and construction projects. On the importance of Made in Britain, he says: “Supporting UK manufacturers means supporting the UK economy, which has never been so important with Brexit pending and the challenges being faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “When UK businesses help each other, they help themselves. Working together helps boost the economy and creates employment, and working with UK manufacturers has many benefits, including better quality control, shorter lead times and better relationships and communication. "We don’t buy any components manufactured outside of the UK for two reasons – to support both British manufacturing and the environment. Our whole ethos at Plasloc is to provide sustainable, responsible, solutions and the reduced carbon footprint thanks to vastly reduced transportation means less harm to the planet.” Leigh also thinks that the combination of Brexit and the global pandemic, means there is renewed focus on products made in the UK. He explains: “Uncertainty around Brexit has provided more than a few difficulties for businesses, and the extent of a resurgence in UK manufacturing will depend on the result of trade deal talks between the EU and the UK. Delays at the UK-EU border, for example, would mean added costs for doing business and a disruption of supply chain links.


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

“Given the pressures currently being placed upon global supply chains and many companies assessing where they source products, a renewed focus on UK manufacturing is a must. "Ultimately, those that work with manufacturers in the UK will have less risks associated with their supply chain as they don’t need to import.” Tony Brooks, who is Managing Director at Moda, agrees that the double whammy of Brexit and the pandemic has made the sector look more closely at supply chains. He says: “The UK construction market is looking at a stronger UK based supply chain, driven predominantly by the ongoing impact of Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. Certainty of delivery has become the main factor in selection of products and materials. With the initial lockdown effect in early 2020, where manufacturing facilities were closed across both the UK, Europe and globally, availability of product became critical. “The UK manufacturing businesses reacted positively and quickly as the lockdown rules were eased, which has pushed construction businesses towards UK manufacturers to secure products and materials. We have

seen a significant delay in material coming in from the Far East caused by the knock-on of manufacturing shutdowns and delivery backlogs. “I’m sure the Far Eastern market will strengthen again as demand continues, particularly in the strong UK residential sector, but the resilience of the UK Manufacturers that we have engaged with has been a great reminder of what this country can deliver, especially when the global circumstances have put extraordinary pressure on the industry. “At Moda Living, we have always promoted a strong UK manufactured supply chain through all our projects including structural materials, kitchens, bathroom pods, M&E, furniture and numerous other products across the portfolio. We also look further than the core building materials of our projects and support UK driven technology solutions on our projects that assists in the delivery of true smart buildings. “The certainty of using British manufacturers and quality of the products that they have produced has been a great reminder of what a strong manufacturing heritage this country has and we will look to continue that support further into the next phases of Moda projects.” 


Why British is best:

The successful specification of flexible floor access covers construct the access cover can withstand the high frequency of pedestrian footfall and the subsequent weight loading requirement for the chosen environment. Lightweight aluminium floor access covers offer both resilience and ease of use, whilst also being resistant to corrosion, a key requirement for the healthcare and education sectors due to the high level of cleaning and sanitisation required. Compatibility with a wide range of flooring materials is also an important part of this stage of the specification process. Here professionals should look to specify solutions that are suitable for installation with all types of flexible floor finishes, including vinyl, linoleum, rubber and carpet.

▸ 100 Howe Green Visedge Access Covers were installed as part of the construction of Southmead Hospital, Bristol, due to heavier loading for service vehicles and bulky medical equipment.

The prevention of dirt and water ingress should also be considered to maintain the highest levels of hygiene. Here it’s recommended to explore access covers that have been specifically designed to bond and weld the sheet flooring to create an impermeable, flat and permanent joint.

When specifying suitable access solutions for underground services in demanding public sector environments, architects should choose British designed and manufactured solutions to ensure the highest standards in quality, sustainability and aesthetics. Here Chris George, Business Development Manager at Howe Green, which has recently been awarded the official Made in Britain accreditation, explores the latest floor access solutions available to architects and specifiers to meet a diverse criteria of requirements, including ensuring safety and hygiene at all times, while seamlessly integrating with the wider surroundings. For professionals working on renovation or new build projects within the education, healthcare and high-end hospitality sectors, there are a breadth of varying specifications that must be addressed at the design stages to ensure the long term suitability and compliance of the building components installed. With regard to floor access covers in particular, durability and functionality are two of the first areas that must be considered. This includes assessing whether the materials used to

Due to their light weight, aluminium covers can be extremely versatile as they support quick and easy installation, which also delivers an accurate and unobtrusive finish that doesn’t require continuous upkeep. By choosing a UK manufacturer, architects can not only support sustainable construction, but ensure the most stringent product standards and compliance with relevant regulations are achieved, as the products are supported by comprehensive British documentation and certification. Howe Green is a proud member of the Official Made in Britain organisation, which recognises its commitment and continued investment in both the regional and national economies, through the procurement of local high quality materials. The accreditation is also a reflection of its unfaltering commitment to manufacturing excellence, with every product designed, manufactured and distributed from its UK headquarters by its in-house teams of experts. Howe Green’s unique Visedge® Series is regularly specified for high profile healthcare developments across the UK. For further information on the Visedge® Series and Howe Green’s complete range of floor access solutions, visit www.howegreen.com or call 01920 463230.

December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk





The Antiguan external roller blind with its slim profiles and sleek design is a seamless addition to any vertical glazed area. Zip locking technology, built into the side guides, physically locks the fabric in place at every position. This renders the blind windproof along with preventing any light shining between the edge, whilst the weighted lead rail ensures the fabric stays under optimum tension. A clever twopart side guide conceals all fixings. FEATURES

A cost effective facade solution comprising of 20-30mm natural stone panels with a 90 degree horizontal kerf. The panels are secured to the Generix lite vertical rail using the patented one piece four way stainless steel clip attached by tek screws. Generix lite allows architects and building specifiers to provide a material with a natural finish to complement and harmonise with stone built conservation areas. FEATURES


Up to 6m (w) x 6m (H) (max 18m )

Fast track construction technique


Available in 100’s of hardware and fabric colours

Universal substructure arrangement

Energy Rating

g-tot as low as 0.03

Fully sustainable


Vertical, horizontal, sloping

Cost effective


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

Varied panel options

For more information, call 01922 716 480 or visit: generixfacades.com

RESIDENCE 9 WINDOWS TASTEFUL 19TH CENTURY REPLICATION Residence 9 (R9) is a luxury timber effect window designed to look just like a 19th Century flush sash. R9 windows are so called because of their 9-chamber profiles, which are 100mm wide and able to accommodate the highest performing 44mm triple glazed units or 28mm double glazed units. The 9-chamber design enables R9 to achieve A+ Window Energy Ratings, U-Values as low as 0.8, and offer superior acoustic and security performance. Made by Dekko Window Systems, Residence 9 windows are so aesthetically authentic that they are regularly accepted for use in conservation areas as timber window replacements. While typically specified in period properties, they are often installed in modern homes as a high-performance alternative to standard uPVC. FEATURES Size

Unique 100mm thick profile


Available in a range of wood effect and unfoiled matt finishes. Also available in dual colour finish

Energy Rating

A+’ Window Energy Rated as standard


1.2 W/m2k double glazed &0.8 W/m2k triple glazed

For more information, call 0161 406 0055 or visit: dekkowindows.com/doors/raum-patio-doors 20

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020



Secondary Glazing

Part of a broader range of secondary glazing, the Series 20 slimline vertical sliding unit is extremely suited to raising the performance of Georgian and Victorian sash windows in Listed properties, where the originals cannot be changed. The independent slimline secondary frame will mimic the primary window, matching the sightlines and blend in seamlessly with the surrounds. FEATURES Unit

Series 20 slimline vertical slider


White as standard or customised to any RAL colour or woodgrain finish


1.8 W/m2.K

Rw dB reduction

45 (set with 150mm cavity)


Blast mitigation EXV45

For more information, call 01727 837271 or visit: selectaglaze.co.uk Features:



THERMAL BREAK SYSTEM Crittall, the originator of the steel window and the sector’s leading manufacturer, has launched T60 - a highly innovative thermally broken steel window and door system. T60’s slim profiles replicate original Crittall steel windows, combining traditional aesthetics with 21st Century levels of performance. T60 SPECIFICATIONS Material

Steel, cold rolled

Glass Thickness

Up to 44 mm / 13/4”


Full range of RAL/BS colours


As low as U-value 0.8 W/m2K / 0.14 BTU


Up to Rw46dB

Air Permeability

Up to 600 Pa / 12.48 PSF

Water Tightness

Up to 300 Pa / 6.24 PSF

Wind Resistance Up to 2500 Pa / 52.2 PSF

For more information, call 01376 530800 or visit: crittall-windows.co.uk/commercial

World-class quality powder coating solutions for every cladding and architectural need

Chrome-free, eight stage pre-treatment process

Qualicoat approved / Akzo Nobel approved applicator

More than 1,000 standard colour options – in gloss, matt and satin finishes

A range of super durable powder coating, available in a selection of specialist finishes such as Anodic, Textura, Ultra-matt, Futura, Structura and Brilliance.

As only one of 20 Akzo Nobel approved applicators with Qualicoat accreditation in the UK, Prism Powder Coating provides specifiers of cladding, guttering and other architectural features with an unrivalled service and quality. With a fully integrated, UK-based facility, Prism Powder Coating can fulfil both planned and urgent project requirements thanks to its location and capability. Running a modern, high-volume process as well as a controlled spray booth facility gives Prism the flexibility to offer specifiers the best of both worlds – responsiveness and world-class quality. All powder coating is undertaken using chrome-free, environmentally-friendly processes.

For more information, call 01236 734242 or visit: prismpowdercoating.co.uk December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



FAÇADE SOLUTIONS High-performance, multi-purpose extruded polystyrene (XPS) boards for the thermal insulation of domestic and industrial floors, basement and/or cellar perimeter walls. Ravatherm XPS X 200 SB thermal insulation is manufactured by an extrusion process, which results in a homogeneous, closed-cell material structure, smooth surface skin (extrusion skin) and many favourable material characteristics.

Architects and specifiers are increasingly looking for highly responsive, cost-effective cladding manufacturers that work in partnership to create unique, high performance and safe façade solutions. MSP are unique in offering a one-stop-shop solution for specifiers looking for cladding solutions that meet the specific requirements of their next project.



Declared lambda as low as 0.030 W/mk

Bespoke manufacturer of rainscreen cladding

ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 certified

Made to order in a range of different materials & finishes

Available in a range of compressive strengths from 200 kPa to 700 kPa

Complete turnkey cladding solution, including the fabrication: Etex, Trespa, Cembrit, Valcan, Steni

Low water absorption (0.7% by volume)

UK wide supply of facade solutions

For the full product range please download our Building App at ravathermapp.com

For more information, call 01236 729591 or visit: www.mspcladding.co.uk

RÄUM PATIO DOORS SMOOTH SLIDING ALUMINIUM PATIO DOORS Räum aluminium patio doors combine uninterrupted views, flexible design and fantastic aesthetics, including a cornerless opening which allows you to open up the interior of a property, creating a breathtaking architectural statement. Exclusively manufactured by Dekko Window Systems, Räum patio doors are available as either a horizontal triple track sliding door or with an innovative lift and slide opening system. The horizontal sliding system activates when the lock is engaged and slides effortlessly open. The lift and slide variation is activated once the handle is turned 180 degrees, enabling the whole sliding sash to be raised and slide smoothly along the track. Räum patio doors achieve industry leading thermal performance, helping keep your customer’s house cosy and warm. FEATURES Size

Max. door pane weight of 300kg and max. height of 2.7m


Available in over 200 RAL colours

Energy Rating

A rated as standard


From as low as 1.38 W/m2k

For more information, call 0161 406 0055 or visit: dekkowindows.com/doors/raum-patio-doors 22

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Manufacturer and Supplier of Secondary Glazing Selectaglaze Ltd. St Albans

Secondary Glazing


Secondary glazing seamlessly integrated to make your environment:

WARMER 1.9 U-values with low-E glass or 1.27 with enhanced thermal sealed units

QUIETER 48dB reduction with traditional primary windows or 56dB reduction with modern high performance primary windows

Blue Mills, Essex 22 windows have been treated with Selectaglaze secondary glazing at the Grade II* Listed Blue Mills. A number of window styles were used : fixed light, vertical sliding and side-hung casements This stunning former water mill dates back to the 11th Century. Today it has been reinstated to it’s 18th century version. With the key issue being heat retention, the owners are delighted with their decision to use Selectaglaze as the secondary glazing has proved to have significantly reduced heat loss, along with high performance seals eliminating draughts.

T:01727 837271 E: enquiries@selectaglaze.co.uk www.selectaglaze.co.uk

SAFER Intruder resistance : SBD & LPS 1175 SR1-SR3 Blast mitigation : EXV15 - EXV45 Ballistic resistance to FB4



MECHSLIP MechSlip is a unique and innovative, lightweight brick cladding system cut from bricks produced throughout the UK and applied to an aluminium support system produced in the Midlands.

Our Sprinkler plugin safely delivers a fire suppressing supply of water from the centre of a Lumi-Plugin Downlight, ensuring no water or electricity mix – it’s like having your own firefighter in every room. SPRINKLER SPECIFICATIONS

MechSlip enables architects and specifiers to achieve a non-combustible, through-coloured brick façade with the efficiency and versatility of a mechanically-fixed, brick slip cladding system.




K factor



Cover plate size

60mm (2-3/8”)



Fusible link

6063T6-grade aluminium rail support system

Max. working pressure

12.1 bar (175psi)

Temperature rating

Sprinkler: 72 C (162 F)

Fire tested and classified A1 to EN 13501-1

Cover plate: 60oC (140oF)

Pre-spaced 10mm vertical and horizontal mortar joints

60mm (2-3/8”)

Over 50% lighter than traditional masonry

Cover plate size


Available in a range of styles and finishes o

For more information, call 0330 380 1329 or visit: lumi-plugin.com/resource/sprinkler

For more information, call 0808 223 9080 or visit: aquariancladding.co.uk


34 Models Portaro® & Easi-Fit Fire, Security & Acoustics Easy Installation From leading interior door manufacturer Vicaima comes new door assembly solutions for project specifiers. Choose either Portaro Kits with their completely matching and finished door and frame assemblies or Easi-Fit Door Sets which combine a choice of door with standard primed frames for on-site finishing. Subdivided into 4 main categories for ease of specification, these include: Non-fire, Fire, Fire and acoustics and Security solutions. Within these categories an array of configurations are made possible, with inverse, sliding and pocket systems among them. With regulatory performance being a hallmark of Vicaima, products also provide third party accreditation where applicable and are tested to BS and/or EN Standards. In addition, as care for the environment is paramount; everything is covered by FSC® certification. 24

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

For more information, call 01793 532333 or visit: vicaima.com/files/catalog/vicaimaportaro-easi-fit-brochure.pdf

NEXT GENERATION KEYLESS ACCESS CONTROL Smart access control technology platform designed to give users ultimate freedom of choice regarding system layout, type and number of access points as well as level of security.

TOTALLY WIRE-FREE: Stand-alone, virtually networked, wired and wireless smart locks, all working within a single access control technology platform. BUILT TO COVER EVERY ACCESS POINT: Extensive range of electronic locks, cylinders and readers to cover all the needs of any type of building. EASY TO INSTALL: Designed to be installed in doors with existing locks, with no need for additional modifications or wiring. SECURE KEYLESS ACCESS: Complete mobilecompatible electronic locking platform, increase in security, control and convenience.

SALTO Systems LTD - United Kingdom +44 01926 811979 I info.uk@saltosystems.com I www.saltosystems.co.uk




n each edition of Building Products Magazine, we will be talking to an industry leader to get their views on the future of the sector. For this special interview feature, we spoke to Keith Carey from Salto Sytems to look at the trends shaping access control technology.

What are the trends you are seeing around access control technology? Mobile applications are set to grow rapidly – accelerated by the pandemic – through the development and use of cloudbased services, as well as the ability to access security devices through a smartphone or web-based browser. What are the products that will shape the future within this space?

The advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) is another growing trend. It will become increasingly important therefore for access control manufacturers to embrace IoT and ensure their products and technologies are compliant – and this is already happening. How is technology influencing product design and creation? It is influencing product design through the ability to use developing and emerging technologies to do things in more advanced, efficient ways and to be able to miniaturise electronics and physical components to provide not only more secure but more compact, design-led products to fit design briefs.

Smarter mobile solutions and facial recognition technology (perhaps replacing biometrics, particularly the use of fingerprint readers which some organisations have put off limits thanks to the pandemic and the need for increased hygiene standards) and the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will grow. Facial recognition access control systems are evolving which can be integrated with many existing access control systems and can provide an extra layer of security to detect and match faces.



BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

What do architects and specifiers need to know about these products and how to incorporate them? While the architect's motto is that form is integral with function, any design professional will resist including security products that cannot be integrated smoothly and unobtrusively with the appearance of a building. A security product that therefore blends seamlessly with the design ethos of the building or its decor is both appreciated by the architect and may indeed be better suited to the client’s security needs, simply because it does not draw attention to itself. Fighting against this aim however is that conventional design has dictated that hardwired access



control systems have been fitted to peripheral doors; with internal doors secured by conventional mechanical locks. This has one major problem – key control. Many architects and their clients have moved away from this outdated solution of which there are surprisingly large numbers of doors still using keys. But many want to ‘throw away the key’ and embrace the latest in standalone battery operated wire free, wireless, mobile or cloud technologies for their building security needs - creating modern keyless buildings that are smart to own, operate and manage. Can we learn anything from other countries regarding keyless access products? Many countries use similar products and technologies. The top five global access control companies are all

international, with global office networks, and offer broadly similar products (with many more smaller companies claiming their products offer the same functionality and security provided by the top five – which they do not), what tends to differ is the technology functionality between the companies. Are these products more important now than ever, in the context of the pandemic? Yes. Many buildings have legacy access control systems, which in reality means that they can have a bit of everything. It is not unknown for larger sites to have a mix of mechanical keys, pin code locks, older contact access control such as magstripe swipe cards, etc. While many users have been updating such sites to contactless access control, we (SALTO) have been seeing an update in the migration

to the use of mobile and cloud technology over the last two years. The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated this. From a hygiene point of view, contactless cards are touch free on the door but with mobile there is not even a card to consider or issue. The user can have an app on their smartphone to grant access and ‘keys’ can be sent over the air, with the phone again being contactless to use at the door – without the need or cost to issue cards. This has been particularly useful in the university world, where instead of having to issue cards to all new students at the start of term, with queues at registration day, their ‘key’ can be sent straight to their smartphone. 

December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



Building a Sustainable Future – by John Osborne


n a bid to create a more sustainable and healthier environment, the Government in Westminster has set ambitious targets. John Osborne considers whether they can be met and the implications for the British building and construction industry.

Improving the environment is one way that politicians can brighten the lives of people living in the United Kingdom. With so many people forced to work at home and so many commercial buildings such as concert halls and conference buildings empty due to the coronavirus regulations, now is the ideal time to survey premises and assess what needs to be done to reduce the carbon footprint of commercial and residential premises. Joanna Clarke is an architect and Design Manager at SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre, Swansea University. SPECIFIC Innovation & Knowledge Centre is an academic and industry collaboration, established in 2011 to develop affordable solar energy technologies for buildings that can


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

be manufactured at scale and reused or recycled at the end of their life. Their research area is broad, extending from the fundamental science of materials and products to full-scale demonstration on buildings. She is acutely aware of the enormous challenges. Mrs Clarke is architect of the Active Classroom and Active Office. These two award-winning buildings at Swansea University’s Bay campus demonstrate the integration of solar energy technologies, energy storage and smart controls. They are the first examples of Active Buildings, which support the energy network by integrating renewable energy technologies for heat, power and transport. “No new gas boilers will be installed in homes in the United Kingdom after 2025”, said Mrs Clarke. “This means that alternative, low carbon heating solutions will be needed, such as air source and ground source heat pumps. New social housing developments in Wales are already deploying electric heating systems to prepare for a net zero carbon future. As the electricity grid decarbonises, through the mix of renewable

energy sources feeding into the grid, decarbonisation of heating will become easier.” “There is a huge upskilling challenge,” explained Mrs Clarke, who added that “regulation is needed to drive the transition to a low carbon-built environment. Without regulation, it is difficult for project design and delivery teams to justify the additional costs currently required for some of the low carbon solutions. Building projects tend to be driven by capital expenditure and there is a need to shift to whole-life thinking in delivering projects to meet 2030 and 2050 targets for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.” Mrs Clarke believes that the early adopters of new low carbon emission buildings will be housing associations because they have a vested interest in eliminating fuel poverty for their tenants and in the


▴ Joanna Clark Architect & Design Manager, SPECIFIC

▴ Brian Berry Chief Executive, Federation of Master Builders

maintenance of the buildings they own. Another challenge is quality control. Mrs Clarke said that, to her knowledge, Sero Homes is one of the few housebuilders to employ clerks of works to monitor quality control during construction. There is an urgent need for more building quality control officers to prevent tragedies such as Grenfell Tower occurring again and to ensure that home owners are not landed with bills for remediation that they cannot afford. On Friday 6th November 2020 Sero Homes announced that a major consortium, including half of the social landlords in Wales, had won £7m Welsh Government funding to deliver an optimised retrofit programme across more than 1,300 Welsh homes. The collaboration of 68 partners, including 26 social housing

▴ Steve Hemmings Head of Environment and Sustainability, Etex

providers, and managed by Sero, has been awarded more than £7m by Welsh Government to deliver a pioneering programme that, as well as decarbonising more than 1,370 Pathfinder homes, will create the tools required to roll out the large scale decarbonisation of homes across Wales. The Optimised Retrofit approach will deliver a whole house, pragmatic route to decarbonising existing homes. The pathfinder programme will use a combination of building fabric improvements, low and zero carbon technologies (such as solar panels, battery storage and heat pumps), and intelligent ongoing operational controls to take each home to its lowest achievable carbon footprint. The approach is designed to support incremental home upgrades over multiple steps, in a coordinated way. The scheme enables delivery

▴ Gian-Carlo Grossi MD, Roofing Megastore, Green Homes Grant

of a more comprehensive level of genuine zero carbon, typically for less cost, by supporting and aligning with the decarbonisation of the energy grids that will take place over the coming decades. This complexity is then rationalised into a simple ‘Zero Carbon by…’ forecast year – the year that individual home is expected to achieve net zero operational carbon emissions. Representing over half the social housing stock in Wales, the Optimised Retrofit collaboration will use the Pathfinder homes to refine a range of digital tools that enable each home to be easily and quickly surveyed, and ‘Pathways to Zero' carbon identified. This includes forecasting the year that each home will achieve zero carbon, based on the recommended stepped improvements as the grid becomes greener. Cont.

December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



Following the completion of the Optimised Retrofit Pathways programme, these digital tools will be made available to Welsh social housing providers, academia, government, and subsequently private homeowners. This will enable the long-term delivery of a legacy of tools, skills, frameworks and an evidence base that will allow others to follow and enable the decarbonisation of Wales’ homes to quickly gain scale and pace. Talking about the project, Andy Sutton, Co-founder of Sero that is managing the consortium said: “Despite the acute problem of the pandemic, the Climate Emergency and Biodiversity Crisis are a chronic condition that remains existential for Wales and our world. Carbon emissions from home life represent up to 40% of total emissions in the UK – and compared to aviation, farming and heavy industry, this large part of our carbon footprint can be resolved here and now. “Sero is already delivering, either on our own or with development partners, hundreds of new homes that are zero carbon, or that will automatically become zero carbon in the near future as the grid decarbonises. Optimised Retrofit turns our attention to the 1.4m existing homes in Wales, and 29m in the UK, to provide effective, practical pathways to bring these homes to zero. The collaboration will address barriers across a broad spectrum to transform residential decarbonisation from a high-level good intention into a reality for the homes of Wales. "The funding has been awarded through the Welsh Government’s Optimised Retrofit Programme that was introduced this year as part of the Innovative Housing


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

Programme, to help reduce the carbon footprint of existing social housing in Wales, make energy bills more manageable for residents and provide new job and training opportunities." Talking about the Government’s Programme, the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Julie James, said: “Our goal as a government is to deliver a more prosperous, equal and greener Wales. These values remain as valid today as they did before the pandemic. This is an approach that could create a sustainable, longterm retrofit industry that supports thousands of local jobs and training opportunities as we act to meet our 2050 carbon targets."

The Green Homes Grant is one of the main ways that the government in Westminster intends to reduce Britain’s carbon footprint. Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “The Green Homes Grant Scheme is a positive step forward but it is not enough. We need a national retrofit strategy that takes a more holistic and long-term approach to decarbonising our buildings. A strategy will ensure that we meet our legal obligations of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It will also support the creation of sustainable and skilled jobs in every community. The Government must bring forward the full £9.2bn pledged in its manifesto and cut VAT on home improvements to 5% to make this work.”

Gian-Carlo Grossi, Managing Director, Roofing Megastore, called the Green Homes Grant “A fantastic initiative, which will undoubtedly improve the energy efficiency of British homes, many of which feature outdated insulation and poorly glazed windows. In future, we’d like to see a greater emphasis not only on improving the level of insulation in homes, but also a much stronger consideration of the materials used in their construction. As well as the highly-modern materials mentioned above, some traditional options such as natural slate or fibre cement are far less energy-intensive to produce than many alternatives, allowing developers and architects to reduce the carbon footprint of their projects.” Russell McQuillan is Chief Operating Officer of Clevernet, an Irish tech start-up which has developed a platform that enables commercial buildings to be run more efficiently. He said there have been some problems with the Green Homes Grant. He said: “It has been widely publicised and its impact has been to stimulate and kickstart the residential sector in reducing its carbon footprint, with the added incentive of saving money at zero capital cost. There has been much demand for the grant scheme and what it covers. "Demand has outstripped supply; the number of approved installers for the scheme being one problem, as well as the total amount of the grant


available from Government, which will only cover a fraction of the housing stock in need of the available primary measures to meet net-zero carbon. "Financial incentives are expected to help reduce Britain’s carbon footprint, but other issues need to be addressed if the UK is to achieve the ambitious targets. Etex is a building materials supplier. Plasterboard is one of the many products it supplies."

recyclable raw material, cork is not only carbon negative — retaining more CO2 than it emits — but the production process of cork products aligns with the highest standards in environmental protection and green building practices as well. "Moreover, cork offers exceptional thermal benefits due to its natural cellular structure. Its minute, air-filled cells minimise heat dispersion and improve temperature regulation, making it a uniquely valuable material for sustainable construction.”

UK, using by-products like the leaves and cobs left over from maize.” Steve Bennett, Managing Director, Dura Products believes there are considerable challenges ahead. He said: “The Government’s Clean Growth Strategy outlines its plans for decarbonising all sectors of the economy, with the aim of decreasing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 . The construction industry is a prime sector to strive for sustainability, as the built environment is responsible for an estimated 45% of total UK carbon emissions, with 27% coming from residential properties and 18% from commercial buildings. "Furthermore, the construction industry is the largest consumer of natural resources in the UK, using 400 million tonnes of materials and producing 100 million tonnes of waste each year. Construction and demolition waste (CDW) accounts for just over a third of all waste sent to landfill, and consists of materials such as plastic, concrete, metals, and glass.

Steve Hemmings, Head of Environment and Sustainability at Etex, commented: “Building more sustainably means not only specifying materials that can be sourced responsibly, but also ones which can be recovered and re-used at the end of a building’s lifetime. Gypsum, the main material in plasterboard, is a prime example. It can be infinitely recycled but historically most waste has ended up in landfill. "Above all, the system can only work if construction makes the switch to specifying recyclable materials and managing waste responsibly.” Another material which could make a considerable difference is cork. James Scully, Managing Director of Quadrant which supplies modern flooring products, said:“Cork is the perfect example of an emerging product set to revolutionise the commercial building space. A completely natural, renewable and

Composites used in building and construction could also be transformed by demand for more natural building materials. Cambond Limited is a new Cambridge start-up company which is developing and commercialising technology using readily available biopolymer and biomass to manufacture a next generation adhesive platform to cover the wood panel industry, packaging, medical devices, cosmetics, and other niche applications. According to the BBC, which talked about what Cambond is doing in the edition of ‘Farming Today’ broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday, 21 October 2020, the firm is “using left over grain from distilleries to make a resin, which can be mixed with various types of plant-based by-products to make a composite material a bit like MDF.” The BBC added that Cambond “has made various prototypes and is now hoping to scale up production in the

"Currently, an impressive 90% of CDW is recovered in the UK, with heavy materials such as brick and asphalt making up the majority as they are downcycled to produce aggregates for use in roads. However, vast amounts are still sent to landfill, the UK’s second most used waste treatment taking nearly a quarter of all our waste. Plastic makes up a sizeable portion of this as its use in construction is responsible for 23% of the UK’s total consumption, with 40% sent to landfill. "In a bid to improve the sustainability of the construction industry and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, there has been a surge in demand for construction products made from recycled materials, primarily plastic. This trend is taking place in both residential and commercial construction, with a range of products being manufactured from recycled plastic such as roofing, cladding, fencing, and decking. Industry professionals choosing to use recycled plastic building products will find the environmental advantages obvious. "The challenges of creating a more sustainable future are enormous. However, the signs ae encouraging. It will be interesting to see what happens."  December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



Are we serious about saving the planet – or are we just ticking boxes? Energy Carbon founder Nick Gander says it’s time for UK construction to get serious about sustainability. Before coronavirus, at least, it was hard to get away from talk about climate change. Schoolchildren were striking, scientists were issuing increasingly dire forecasts, and seemingly every brand on the planet was trying to convince us that they were passionately committed to sustainability.

Understanding net zero ‘Net zero’ is another of those phrases you hear a lot, but it’s important to grasp exactly what it entails. To reach net zero carbon emissions, we need to almost totally eliminate the carbon produced by building, heating, power generation, transport, manufacturing and every other area of human activity – and find ways of removing emissions that are completely unavoidable from the atmosphere. The scale of the task ahead of us is staggering – and if we’ve got any chance of achieving that daunting objective by 2050, every business in Britain needs to be taking action.

However, it was a lot rarer to see any of that talk translated into action.

In heating and construction more broadly, the sector we specialise in, it’s especially urgent.

At times, it feels like ‘sustainability’ is at risk of becoming just another corporate buzzword that every business has to say it signs up to, but doesn’t mean much beyond the flashy marketing.

Between now and 2050, in fact, heating is likely to be the key battleground in the fight for zero carbon – and it’s time that the construction sector acknowledged that.

The latest report from the UK’s Committee on Climate Change seemed to recognise this – calling for the country to overhaul its approach to sustainability, and reminding us that while the challenge ahead of us is daunting, it can and must be achieved using the sustainable technology we have now.

No magic bullet There’s no magic bullet solution to low-carbon heating, and in 2050, we’re likely to draw on a variety of different technologies to help us heat homes both sustainably and efficiently. Air-source and ground-source heat pumps could be part of the solution – but they come with their own issues. The first relates to their longevity. Heat pumps aren’t just very expensive, they require increasingly expensive annual maintenance visits, and even then, a heat pump product installed today is likely to need replacing a number of times between now and 2050. That means a huge amount more embodied carbon – and many heat pump products use refrigerants that themselves contribute to global warming when they’re released into the atmosphere. What’s more, heat pumps are extremely complex products – meaning any maintenance or replacement work requires the services of specialist engineers.

▴ Energy Carbon far infrared heating products can be plastered into the ceiling or fitted behind the plasterboard to provide the same safe, healthy far infrared heat that babies receive in incubators. Perfectly suited for the modular and new-build sectors, homeowners can control the system with a smartphone app.


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

Fit it ... forget it – could far-infrared lead the way? However, we believe the solution with the biggest potential to help make British homes fit for 2050 is far-infrared heating. Students at the University of Stuttgart worked for six years to perfect a infra-red heating solution




Barratt Developments becomes first national housebuilder to have science-based carbon reduction targets approved that was easy to fit, extremely energy efficient, and exceptional enough to earn some of Germany’s most stringent accreditations, including TUV certification. The fleece can be plastered into the ceiling/walls becoming invisible and part of the fabric of the building or in the case of our new DryTec solution, placed behind plaster board if no wet trades are on site - to provide safe, healthy far-infrared warmth. Infrared refers to a division of the electromagnetic spectrum. Within that division, there are three types of infra-red radiation: near infrared, mid infrared and far-infrared – and it’s far-infrared that’s by far the most beneficial for heating homes. In fact, it’s the exact same frequency of light called 'the light of life' generated by the sun, invisible to the naked eye, but capable of warming us directly. Far-infrared radiation warms the objects in a room, rather than the empty space – and those objects then go on to radiate heat themselves. Its fast reaction times mean occupiers feel the benefits within minutes of the thermostat switching back on. With objects in the room being heated directly and then adding to the heat you can dial back a couple of degrees on IR heating using up to 12% less electricity than other standard direct electric heating, resulting in lower energy bills and smaller carbon footprints. It’s extremely durable with a design life of 50+ years – you, fit it ... forget it. It’s also zone controllable, the app can integrate with all smart devices, and, crucially, uses much less energy than other forms of direct electric heating – we believe it will make a major contribution to the collective effort to reach zero carbon by 2050. 

Barratt Developments, which is currently building more than 8,000 new homes across the South West, has become the first major national housebuilder to have its science-based carbon emissions targets officially approved. The company, which owns Barratt and David Wilson Homes, took the lead for the housebuilding industry back in February, announcing its commitment to reduce direct carbon emissions by 29% by 2025 and to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its own operations by 2040. These targets have now been approved by the steering committee of the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). The SBTi commended Barratt on its ambitious 1.5°C-aligned target, currently the most ambitious designation available through the SBTi process. The housebuilder will reduce its direct carbon emissions from its business operations (its offices and building sites) by 29% by 2025. To achieve these ambitious targets on site, Barratt will cut its direct emissions by first focusing on reducing diesel use in generators, vehicles and plant machinery. Ian Menham, West regional director for Barratt Developments, which is currently building 36 new communities across the South West said: "We are proud to be building 8,000 new homes across the South West and are committed to playing our part in the UK's green recovery, so we're delighted that our science-based targets have been approved. We believe every business needs to take responsibility to tackle climate change and we will continue to work with all our stakeholders to safeguard the environment." December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk




Challenging perceptions for a zero-carbon future


ith the government setting its zero carbon emissions 2050 target, the construction sector is under increasing pressure to build in a more environmentally friendly way. Here, Chris Williams, MD of Green Life Buildings (GLB), discusses why perceptions of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and concrete must change if we are genuinely serious about cutting carbon – and how GLB’s Advanced Building System can play a vital role.

There’s no denying that the government’s 2050 zero carbon emissions target is a daunting task, but studies have shown that it is an attainable goal if we start now. A zero carbon economy will have a much greater need for energyefficient building materials and energy-efficient structures, which means the construction sector has huge opportunities over the short and long term to reduce carbon emissions. But perceptions of those materials need to be challenged to give us the best chance of hitting the target, none more so than when it comes to Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and concrete. Changing perceptions We are a herd species, and most of the time we don’t have the patience to unlearn preconceptions and prejudices.

When someone says concrete is bad, what they really mean is cement – but on the whole, cement only makes up a fifth of the material that goes into concrete. Sand and gravel, the other key ingredients, have just 1g of CO2 per kg – not even timber is that good. Results that speak for themselves The GLB building system (using M2 technology) is a modular panel comprising two wire meshes made of galvanised welded steel, joined by connectors and enclosing an expanded polystyrene sheet. These are then assembled and sprayed with shotcrete on site to complete the structure. The rigid panel is more than 90% air, providing the best carbon footprint per U value, while just 80mm of our low carbon concrete provides a structural wall with a carbon footprint of only 33kg/m2. When you consider that a brick/block wall insulated to the same U value with mineral wool would be 177kg/ m2, the difference is huge - and each home built using the GLB system could save 40 tonnes of carbon. The home can also reduce energy expenditure and carbon emissions by 65% compared to traditional builds, where the thickness of the EPS can be increased, but still be slimmer than a traditional cavity wall.

The time is now Our sector is under increasing pressure to provide affordable materials that produce top quality construction with less impact on our environment. To achieve this, we must integrate the fabric of the building with its use, and help the industry transition to modern heating, lighting systems, renewable power systems and localised waste management. The GLB building system is lightweight, but has a compression strength of at least 10 times that of a breezeblock, and integrates metal lattices throughout the insulation. That means that instead of insulation being an add on, it provides tensile strength and means less concrete (and cement) is needed. The design and combination of the three materials is why it works so effectively - and why the GLB building system can be even better than using wood based products if we are genuinely serious about cutting carbon. We already know how to make a zerocarbon home, and moving forward, buildings should not be costing the earth – literally and figuratively. But to achieve that, we need designers and specifiers to understand what is already capable.

There is a perception that Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) and concrete have a negative impact on the environment. But polystyrene has been recognised as the insulation product with the lowest environmental impact and concrete is the lowest CO2 structural building product you can get. While concrete might raise an eyebrow, society and our industry do not fully understand CO2 figures and the embodied carbon content. 34

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

Carbon Footprint 177kg/m2

Carbon Footprint 33kg/m2

Standard brickwall

Structural wall using the GLB systems




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Building Products spoke to the team at Future Build – who have profiled the products most likely to shape the future of construction.

Here Martin Hurn, Event Director at built environment event Futurebuild, speaks to specifiers about some of the sustainable products and technologies that will influence the future of construction. He said: "Around half of nonrenewable resources we consume globally are used in construction. We know that the industry is one of the largest contributors to material use, waste generation and carbon emissions — we also know that this must change. "The Government plans to end the UK’s contribution to global warming and bring all greenhouse emissions to net zero by 2050. 85% of the buildings that exist in 2050 will be built by 2030, so the industry only has a few years to transform the built environment. As a result, architects, specifiers, manufacturers, contractors and others in the supply chain are developing or investing in products, processes and technologies to deliver sustainable, high-quality and ong-lasting infrastructure." 36

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

NATURAL INSULATORS Heating of homes, businesses and industry is responsible for a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Insulating homes efficiently can stop heat escaping, reducing emissions as well as energy bills for residents.

not rely on artificial irrigation. Adding to its appeal, the plant is a natural weed deterrent due to its rate of growth and can be grown without the use of any chemical pesticides or herbicides.”

Home insulation is far from a new concept, but traditional, synthetic materials can contain toxic components that pose a risk to our health. Now, specifiers are looking to natural insulators to improve house insulation. Materials such as hemp and mycelium, thin root-like fibres from fungi, are popular alternatives. These durable and non-toxic materials are naturally resistant to water, mould and fire and have a high thermal mass to retain heat and regulate temperature.

These materials are also a great way to reduce both our reliance on nonrenewable materials and the need for excessive land to grow them. Once these materials come to the end of their useful life, they can be composted and builders can simply grow more.

“Hemp insulation’s eco credentials stem from the plant’s high rate of growth, versatility, biodegradability and non-toxicity”, explained Liv Andersson, Sustainability Engineer at Buro Happold: “Able to grow in diverse conditions, hemp needs minimal amounts of water and does

“Mycelium can grow in a small space in any location,” explained Duncan Baker-Brown, Co-founder of BBM Sustainable Design Limited. “This offers a benefit over sustainable materials like timber and straw, which require excessive land to grow. Instead of finding fields, forests or other large spaces to sustainably grow materials, construction teams can grow mycelium in a shipping container or in any building on or near the site.”


SOLAR POWER Homeowners are becoming more aware of their environmental impact and are taking action. More than one million homes in the UK have invested in renewable energy and installed solar panels. The introduction of the Government’s Green Homes Grant in summer 2020 may cause this number to rapidly increase in the near future. Architects may also want to integrate solar energy into their designs but may be wary of how traditional panels interfere with the aesthetics of the building. Some architects overcome this barrier with glass mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels. Unlike conventional solar panels, the glass is layered with a thin PV film. This means that windows could generate

the solar power needed to generate a percentage of the electricity of homes. We may also see architects use these glass panels as part of a building’s design. Glass mono buildingintegrated photovoltaics (BIPV), a panel that has monocrystalline solar electric silicon wafers laminated between two sheets of glass with three millimetre gaps that transmit daylight, has been an influential technology for architects. “BIPVs are game changing technologies because you can seamlessly integrate solar power generating products into the design of a building,” explained Bill Dunster OBE, architect and founder of ZEDfactory.

"It’s also becoming more affordable. So, for the same price as a terracotta rainscreen, you can cover almost any building in a translucent energy harvesting skin. "A design team can use this material to ensure the final building generates more renewable electricity every year than it consumes — generating enough carbon credits from fossil powered grid avoidance to repay their embodied CO2 debt over their lifetime.”

Cont. December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES Businesses across different sectors are investing in digital technologies to transform their industries and achieve Industry 4.0 — the built environment industry is no different. The industry is more aware of the value of creating, gathering and analysing data to make more informed decisions about designs. Building information modelling (BIM) framework has been influential in the building design process for many years. A digital representation of physical assets allows stakeholders, architects and contractors to collaborate on a central 3D model so that they can create the optimal design before construction begins. Architects can take this further and use technology that helps them make better decisions about materials and processes when improving energy efficiency and sustainability of a new or existing building. “We use thermal energy modelling software on all of our projects to help design both cost-efficient and low carbon buildings,” continued Baker-Brown. “The software allows us to insert all the relevant data about an existing or future building, such as its location, current utility bills, the level of insulation and its orientation, as well as how exposed it is to the elements, in order to understand the energy performance of a building. “Once we know the performance based on its exact location, we can start to run


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

different scenarios to understand how to improve the building’s energy efficiency. Instead of suggesting ideas that generally improve energy efficiency, the model will come out with a bespoke solution that works best for that building and its users. For example, we could suggest that we install underfloor heating to reduce heating bills elsewhere and the model may suggest that it would be more cost and energy efficient to only install it in certain rooms. "The model also has cost benefit analysis capabilities so that we can choose the best combination of design and materials for a low carbon building that also meets the budget.”

FUTURE GAME CHANGERS Speaking to specifiers has shown us that a lot of the innovative products we need to improve sustainability and reduce emissions already exist. But there are always opportunities to develop more products to improve the industry, to develop high-quality, healthy homes and buildings. “As humans, we spend nearly all our time indoors,” explains Chaline Church, interiors architect and founder of Freespace Design.

“In the near future, I’d like to see a range of circular products be brought to market to create healthy interiors. For example, healthy bonding agents could replace bad glues and resins in furniture to reduce toxicity, which could boost our comfort and immune systems.” Futurebuild is a platform for the industry to come together and for future innovators to showcase their game changing products in front of specifiers. According to the 2020 post-event report, 75% of Futurebuild’s audience attend to find new innovations and 64% come to see new product launches. Futurebuild is also launching a digital offering to allow the industry to connect virtually. Game Changers Live connects innovative brands with forward thinking specifiers to cover trends such as digital twins, clean energy and circular materials. The invention of the smartphone transformed how we communicate with each other, how we relate to technology and how we consume information. Similarly, sustainable materials and digital technologies can transform how we design, build and retrofit. By encouraging the widespread adoption of these technologies and using materials more responsibly, the industry can reduce its contribution to material use, waste and emissions, helping us achieve our net zero goals. 

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CRAFTED THROUGH VISION In each edition of Building Products Magazine we profile a leading company in the industry. For this edition, we look at Create Bespoke ....


espoke. Once, it would’ve conjured images of Saville Row, and tailors labouring over made-to-measure suits.

But today, the word’s become much more common. You’ll hear talk of ‘bespoke’ software and ‘bespoke’ holidays - even ‘bespoke’ wines.

So, in 2020, what does it actually mean? "Something ‘bespoke’ is unique. It’s been made, usually by hand, for a specific client, to their exact specifications,” says Andy Young, Founder of London-based home improvement specialists Create Bespoke.


“In a sense, it’s bringing the values of art into the commercial realm. Making something bespoke requires skill, creativity and perseverance. It’s not easy – it has to be a real labour of love. But in the end, the results are more than worth the effort.” Fittingly, Andy was an artist before he committed his talents fully to the world of home improvement. Fascinated by the relationship between nature and the man-made landscape, his pieces explored the often false distinctions we make between the two.

His work, including life-size sculptures of trees made from bare electrical wiring, has been exhibited at Kew Gardens and Somerset House among other prestigious venues, and he collaborated with Anthony Gormley’s Quantum Cloud company. But then his passions took him in another direction – and led him to start a very different sort of home improvement business. That was the beginning of Create Bespoke. Spaces that tell a story “Fundamentally, art is about making something meaningful – something that tells a story, and that enhances the space it’s in,” Andy continues. “And the spaces that are most important to us are our homes. “Since the mid-2000s, we’ve seen an incredible boom in home improvements. Shows like Grand Designs have transformed the way millions of people think about the spaces they live in, and this huge industry has sprung up around it. “But I still saw a gap in the market for a company that offered homeowners something totally bespoke – a service completely tailored to them, right down to the light fittings, using next to nothing that’s off-the-shelf.”

Cont. December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk




At the heart of the Create Bespoke philosophy is a passionate belief that spaces matter – that they fundamentally affect our health, mood and sense of wellbeing – and that you make the best spaces by filling them with unique objects that mean something to the people who live there. Look at Create Bespoke’s portfolio, and you find an array of stunning interiors that prove it’s possible to make spaces that are intimate and convivial without being stuffy, sleek and contemporary without feeling cold. Each project the company takes on is fundamentally shaped by the tastes and desires of the customer. But there are still hallmarks of a Create Bespoke design clean lines and soothing, neutral tones, mixed with eye-catching pops of colour and striking centrepieces, usually one-of-akind items, crafted almost entirely by hand. Furniture is one particular Create Bespoke speciality – reflecting Andy’s enduring passion for the outdoors. “I obviously love everything we do, but I’ll admit I’m especially fond of our live edge tables,” he explains. “We use all sorts of timber – American walnut, chestnut, oak and more – but the principle is the same. I like celebrating the imperfections of the natural world, and making something practical out of materials that you can clearly see were once part of a tree.” The team are equally well-versed at crafting characterful yet functional storage solutions, too – wardrobes, alcoves, wine cellars, libraries and more have all featured in previous renovations. But it’s arguably the communal areas like kitchens and living rooms that best encapsulate the Create Bespoke ethos - that spaces are about people, and a house that doesn’t reflect the needs, the tastes and the personality of its occupants will never be a home. Like-minded collaborators “Some of the most satisfying experiences we’ve had as a business are when we’ve had a great client, with some amazing spaces to work with, and been able to collaborate with fantastic architects and others to bring their vision to life,” says Andy. “When you find another business that shares your philosophy, and come together to work on a project that plays to both of your strengths, that’s pretty special." 


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020


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uilding Products investigates what the future may be for commercial offices and what this may mean for the products suppliers to them and how they are refurbished and renovated may change going forward. And could we see a boom in office space being turned into residential?

The future of commercial real estate has been a burgeoning topic since March as the virus gripped the nation. On one hand we have seen a proliferation of homeworking and the realisation – for many companies – that it’s possible, but on the other hand you have the issue of many companies having expensive assets and overheads to service. The vaccine coming into play has to also be considered as this may mean that normal office life will resume quicker than expected; or will you see more companies follow Twitter and offer a homeworking for life policy?


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

Deborah Wilder, who is Head of Research and Strategy at Interaction – a workplace fit-out business – believes that a return to normal is most likely when it comes to what will happen with offices and their use. She comments: “The glow is wearing off homeworking. Many individuals are feeling isolated and demotivated, and many businesses are concerned that their common sense of purpose and belonging are fading. "Undoubtedly we are seeing a shift in office requirements, but this is mostly borne out by a London exodus where rents are extremely high, and a consolidation of multi-office portfolios, with a greater emphasis on destination (hub) workplaces and smaller (spoke) offices distributed locally.” In regards to how some offices might be re-purposed and what this means for building product suppliers, Deborah comments: “Post-lockdown we expect to see a dramatic increase in co-working

spaces as well as the flexible ‘space as a service’ workplace model in which businesses can rent a space for a day or two, or a week or two, rather than pay to occupy it 365 days a year. Interiors will need to be spacious, technology enabled, comfortable, and inspiring, with the aim of making people want to go there when they don’t necessarily need to go there. There will be a greater focus on community, wellbeing and sustainability and a decreased focus on high-density 'desk farms'. Despite the tough times most of us are going through due to the pandemic, these are exciting times for the future of work and workplace interior design.” £13 Billion cost In regards to what commercial office environment we will return to, a report by Space Three Two recently revealed a startling statistic that unused office space after coronavirus could cost London-based businesses almost £13bn. The report says that this is because employees want to spend an


average of 2.7 days back in the office once all COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, on the basis they had the resources to work from home comfortably (e.g. the right equipment, home office set-up, etc). The total London commercial rental market, according to Costar, is worth an approximate £17.9bn. Prior to coronavirus, office workers spent an average of 4.2 days a week in the office. If this drops to an average of 2.7 days after coronavirus, the utilisation rate per office (e.g. the percentage of time that desks in any given office are in use), would drop from 44% preCOVID-19 to 28% post-COVID-19. Insights from the report show London offices are only using desks 28% of the time, equating to a 72% rate of wastage. As a result, unused desks could cost businesses £12.84bn in total. This means 72% of all office rent paid by businesses in London would be spent on empty desks. Furthermore, analysing office rental data from commercial real estate information company, Costar, along with pre-COVID-19 utilisation rates provided by The British Council for Offices, shows that a combination

of factors could be about to lead to a seismic shift in the way that the commercial property sector functions. It is this combined financial and logistical challenge that has led to the emergence of this brandnew category of office timeshare – building on the point made by Deborah Wilder from Interaction. Office timeshare is where two businesses share a single office on different days of the working week. Businesses are able to specify days where they have exclusive use of the space with their timeshare partner, with both parties benefitting from the reduced cost of office rental fees. If this trend materialises, it will change the way many offices look and feel. Sustainability and the future To assess what the future holds for commercial office space, Building Products also spoke to Paul Williams – who is a Director at Avison Young.

Paul Williams Director, Avison Young

have imposed in response. Phrases such as ‘social-distancing’ have entered our vocabulary, and we are all now dedicated Zoomers, gaining intriguing ‘through the keyhole’ style insights into the homes of our colleagues and peers.

He comments: “Understandably, companies of all shapes and sizes are reviewing their office space needs in the light of the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns, which many countries December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk


FEATURE “Business leaders such as Jes Staley, the Chief Executive of Barclays, and James Gorman, the Chief Executive of Morgan Stanley, have both expressed a view that their real estate needs are likely to be significantly down-scaled in the future, as home-working and a dispersed office network potentially take the place of the large corporate headquarters offices of today.” Williams continues: “At least temporarily, office occupation densities will be reduced, initially managed by seating policy and behaviour rather than more expensive desk reconfiguration. Video calls will continue to replace many meetings and most business travel. “In the long term, despite the comments from Barclays and Morgan Stanley, we don’t necessarily foresee a wholesale reduction in the amount of workspace occupied by most businesses. Homeworking is only a viable option for a small proportion of workers, and for many people the lack of normal social interaction is one of the main things they have missed about working in an office environment." On the implications of some businesses deciding to downsize, Williams comments: “If some organisations do decide to downsize their office footprint, this may not be easy to do in the short term as they will be tied into leases with fixed expiry dates or breakpoints. Over time however, we could see a percentage of the office stock coming to the market and, as always, the speed with which this is absorbed by other occupiers will depend on factors such as location and quality – with the better specified and located buildings likely to be snapped up by companies who may have previously struggled to find space in prime locations."



BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

Paul Williams Director, Avison Young

Commercial to residential If we do see a decline in office stock – could this mean many offices being turned into residential developments? To look into this particular point, Building Products spoke to Nick Wright, a commercial property expert. He comments: “Change of use is nothing new. Barn conversions and warehouse loft living are two obvious examples of buildings created for work being transformed into residential spaces. They are also deeply symbolic. They represent points of transition: from the first industrial revolution to the second; from the second to the third. "As many now herald the arrival of the fourth industrial revolution – which is creating more fundamental change than even the pandemic - it is reasonable to assume it will bring forward further repurposing of commercial space. Indeed, the one consistent theme across all revolutions has been the insatiable demand for more places to live. So, this is a trend that is certain to continue.” Nick also talks about permitted development rights in the context of the pandemic. He says: “It is worth remembering that Permitted Development Rights was introduced as a temporary measure in 2013, formalised in 2016 and has been subjected to much tinkering during and since. And there’s more to come. Until recent times, the focus of the changes to PDR has been within usage classes, not between them. Changes between classes – for example offices to resi – has therefore been far from a free hit for developers. If it hasn’t been

John Bryce Director, KWB

easy, there has also been a lack of incentive. Until the last six months, demand for office space has been extremely robust. Where we have seen the demand and the incentive has been from retail to office use.” He continues: “The pandemic has created a crisis in commercial real estate. To date, the crisis has largely created panic around surviving the short-term and a hope that, somehow, things will return to how they were before. The CRE sector is inherently conservative and there is an innate desire to perpetuate existing models (for example around valuations, expected returns and funding). There are too many vested interests for it to be otherwise. Meanwhile, the pandemic has not only accelerated the work from anywhere trend; but institutionalised it. "So, the CRE industry will need to react to the trend and they will. The trigger will be as commercial leases either expire and prove not to be renewable, or default and prove not to be sub-lettable. This trend is undoubtedly going to accelerate over the next three years.” The new normal will be the old normal Building Products also spoke to John Bryce, Director at KWB offices, who has dismissed predictions that urban office markets will be changed forever by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some pundits believe transformation lies ahead, and that the ‘new normal’ will be unlike anything previously seen, as occupiers switch to remote working in their droves. But Bryce disagrees: “I’ve been working in this industry for 40


years, and it’s certainly not the first occasion when the market has been brought to its knee. But however much economic damage is wrought in the short-term, I don’t believe the fundamentals will have changed once lockdown fully ends. “Inevitably, very few people are inquiring about office space and existing tenants are seeking to renegotiate their lease terms and conditions, and, of course, the serviced office sector has been very badly hit.” Bryce thinks that as business models evolve during lockdown, some tenants in traditional office space are likely to dedicate their meeting rooms and conference suites to office use to achieve better social distancing. “Serviced operators could then also benefit from letting out their meeting rooms on an hourly basis, to these traditional office users whilst their own meeting rooms are out of action.” Although the KWB team has become avid users of Zoom and other videoconferencing apps during lockdown, Bryce does not expect that remote working will replace traditional office environments when the crisis ends. He comments: “There’s no doubt that some companies looking to reduce their overheads, because their finances have been crippled during

lockdown, will, in future, make greater use of technology, and that some of their employees will continue working from home.


“Equally, we’ve seen times when home working has been particularly in vogue, but then the appeal of working in a traditional office resurfaces. “To me, an office provides a collaborative environment, and helps organisations and employers deliver a sense of unity and purpose, which is inevitably missing from a home office. “We will certainly see occupiers in traditional office space seeking increased flexibility in their leases, allowing them to reduce their overheads more quickly in the event of future recessions, and landlords

can expect to see lease break demands to be more frequent. “Naturally, they will want to resist such changes, as it will affect the investment value of their properties, but if they want to compete with the serviced office world, then more flexibility is something they will need to swallow.” After the crisis, Bryce accepts that demand will tumble for serviced offices in the short-term, as potential occupiers rebuild their finances, but is convinced that the sector’s ability to supply quality space and ICT, on short-term leases, will see it steadily recover. He concludes: “I suspect too that the serviced office sector will attract tenants from traditional space, especially if landlords are unwilling to accept occupiers’ needs for greater flexibility. “Across the piece though, and regretfully some businesses will fail to survive, I see changes ahead for our office markets, but certainly neither the catastrophe, nor the cataclysmic changes, which some are forecasting.”  December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



A VERY MODERN SOLUTION W ▴ Julian Venuss - Sales Director, Aquarian Cladding

ith the coronavirus pandemic showing little sign of stopping, modern methods of construction (MMC) will play a key role in helping construction adapt moving forward. Julian Venus, Sales Director of brick cladding systems supplier Aquarian Cladding Systems, has seen the rise of MMC first-hand and explains why it will become even more important as the industry gets to grips with the ‘new normal’ – and how the benefits of brick cladding will provide a huge advantage.

Technology and the use of data are hailed as the solution for most industry sectors to become safer, more predictable, and more profitable in increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) times. It could be argued that the construction industry has always experienced degrees of VUCA, but this time the case for the use of MMC as a solution is more compelling than ever, as it addresses the increasing number of challenges that we face. Builders have always been under pressure to reduce construction costs and complete buildings on time. They must also consider the use of sustainable and thermally efficient materials. Having greater control over the construction process is vital and the controlled environment of offsite manufacturing or design and assembly of fewer components on site ticks most boxes. MMC is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution and options vary from full turnkey, volumetric solutions to panellised

▸ Top Marks: The Bobby Moore Academy in East London provides perfect showcase for Gebrik 48

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

or factory-assembled components – designed using the very latest visualisation and scheduling software technology. Key to the use of MMC is its ability not to compromise the appearance or performance of a building. AN INCREASINGLY POPULAR CHOICE As brick facades seem more popular than ever in British architecture, so brick cladding systems are increasingly being used to give a building its traditional appearance and robust protection, with the advantage of being a modern method of construction. We are experiencing greater demand than ever for our cladding solutions, as they offer all the benefits of an offsite solution but with the hybrid flexibility to be adapted on site too. Speed of delivery and installation, reduced build programmes and reduced prelim costs, including replacing scaffolding with mechanical access, are all major benefits of MMC.


Our brick cladding systems come in a wide choice of natural colours and finishes. Using brick slips formed from fired clay and pointed with natural mortar, a building will therefore still have a familiar, traditional appearance. Even tired looking buildings can benefit from a new lease of life, with negligible extra load and overall wall thickness.

used on many award-winning projects throughout the UK and Europe. It’s BBA certified for application to most common substrates and has been successfully tested to CWCT test methods for weathertightness. It has also been fire tested on a number of occasions with different interfaces to BS8414 and on each occasion successfully met the BR135 ‘Pass’ criteria.

Brick cladding systems are lightweight and versatile and therefore suitable for application either offsite or onsite. The reduced weight and support requirements mean reduced line loads, framing and foundations, with greater productivity and cost efficiency.


They are also more sustainable and will therefore reduce the environmental impact of conventional brickwork, due to the use of thin brick slips and less mortar. There is less material and embodied energy in production, fewer deliveries to site, reduced movement and storage on site, and less waste disposal. PEDIGREE Despite being classed as a modern method of construction, brick cladding systems are not quite as modern as many might think. Our Gebrik system is a factory-produced, panelised alternative to conventional brickwork and is supplied in a kit of parts, including all components needed to create a brick façade. It has been produced since 1982 and so used across Europe for almost 40 years. Here in the UK, it has been used on buildings exposed to most extreme UK conditions including height, coastal conditions, and high pedestrian access.

With Building Regulations changing across the UK, the only route to compliance for residential buildings above 18m is for the use of non-combustible, or limited combustible, i.e. A1 or A2, materials. Our Mechslip and NaturAL-X brick cladding systems use brick ‘tiles’ with unique profiles to enable them to each be mechanically secured onto metal cladding support rails and subsequently pointed.Both systems are BBAcertified, having been tested to CWCT test methods for weathertightness, and under EN13501, are classified as A1, so are suitable for use on buildings in excess of 18m (as well as those below). For those wanting to minimise the risks associated with traditional construction and yet still achieve a familiar appearance, brick cladding systems are a modern method of construction which simply can’t be ignored. Gebrik, Mechslip, NaturAL-X or Terreal have been used on many award-winning buildings across a wide range of sectors. Working with architects, contractors, developers and installation specialists, Aquarian’s team of cladding experts will provide the right solution, whatever the project.

Gebrik is fully tried, tested, and certified, and has been December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk





BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020


PROTECT & SURVIVE – by John Osborne


loods may not happen all that often, but when they do they can be devastating for businesses as well as home owners and tenants. John Osborne considers the products available to prevent flooding, the importance of a new standard for flood protection products, and some drainage solutions, including a novel approach suitable for supermarkets.

"BS851188 brings in dynamic impact testing and overflow testing to reflect FM2510. It also adds checks on operating forces and cycle testing of flood doors (5,000 open-close-lock cycles) as a clear improvement on FM2510, as well as demanding superior leakage performance in a logical series of tests to explore the products for weakness or failure.”

It is often said that “prevention is better than a cure”. A flood may hit a town once in a century but when it does, the effects can be catastrophic. It raises the question of how much money and effort should be spent and where?

“Flood doors are, more often than not primarily used as a door”, explained Aquobex. “With flood resistance being a secondary function perhaps performed once in 10 years. Flood door manufacturers have for years been able to side-step good product design by adding numerous or difficult secondary locking operations such as sash-jammers or extra handles. In the case of residential doors, they could over-compress on their seals and over-work the locks.

According to Aquobex, a firm which design flood protection solutions; “flood protection products; such as door barriers, flood doors and mobile flood barriers can be a significant investment, but with enormous benefits. The trouble has been that no full national standards have existed anywhere in the world, and so confidence in products has been under question. In the UK, a publicly available standard (PAS1188) has been in existence since 2003, whilst in the commercial world a standard (FM2510) promoted by FM Approvals in the commercial property insurance sector has been the most recognised standard.” FM Approvals is a firm which claims to be 'an international leader in third-party testing and certification services.' Aquobex says: “The standard was drafted by a team of experts including the Environment Agency, DEFRA and HR Wallingford, with the perspective of the flood protection industry being represented by Aquobex co-founder Gavin George. The aim was to offer realistic but practical testing for the widest range of flood protection products, improving on both PAS1188 and FM2510.

Why are these improvements so important?

"In either case, this may lead to a product which is not practical to use or prone to failure. "BS851188 will drive the industry and buyers toward higher standards, and will crucially engender the confidence of insurers and planners. "Other national standards bodies and governments are already looking at the new BS851188 and industry-leading companies such as Aquobex will be meeting the demand for reliable, confidence-inspiring products certified to BS851188.” Products can save the lives of home owners and tenants but often it is necessary to call in property experts in order to protect businesses.

Cont. December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



Cluttons, the property consultancy, has designed and provided project management services for major manufacturing site flood defences to the James Walker Group, which specialises in the manufacture and development of elastomeric materials and components. The firm’s Cockermouth site in Cumbria is one of the region’s largest employers and was left underwater in 2009 and 2015 due to flooding. More than 400 staff are employed at the site and thanks to Allerdale and Cumbria councils, support from the Environment Agency, and a significant investment through the Local Growth Fund from Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (Cumbria LEP), new £2.6m defences now protect the site from flooding and the firm hopes to expand and create new jobs. The protection plan includes: A flood wall around the firm's production buildings made from sheet piling; Automated floodgates built-in for the main vehicle access points and pedestrian floodgates at key access points; and two high-volume pumping stations with a capacity to pump over 21,000 litres of water per minute. The Cluttons’ team led by Ian Paton, which has extensive experience in flood risk consultancy, provided detailed ground water monitoring and flood risk assessment to ensure the risk to the site was accurately determined. The team designed and project managed the installation of flood defence schemes to ensure the buildings and facilities are protected now and in the future.



BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

Ian Paton, Head of Flood Risk at Cluttons, said: “The project was complex with the Cockermouth site having been badly hit by flooding twice. We have provided a complete flood risk consultancy and developed a defence strategy to ensure that the future of the business is safeguarded from flooding.” Most people think of sandbags when considering how to protect commercial premises, flats and houses from the immediate threat of flooding. However, a massive awardwinning scheme in northern England shows that protection is more complicated than building walls consisting of sandbags. According to www.hullccnews.co.uk “A £22m scheme to help protect homes and businesses in Hull and the East Riding from flooding has won two top awards. "The Anlaby and East Ella Flood Alleviation Scheme (AEEFAS) has won in the Infrastructure Category and Project of the Year at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) Social Impact Awards 2020 Yorkshire and Humber. "The flood scheme involves a series of lagoons, watercourses and tunnels designed to capture and store thousands of tonnes of surface water running off the nearby land at times of heavy rainfall to prevent waterflooding homes and businesses in the area.” Rachel Glossop, Flood Risk Planning Manager, Hull City Council explained that the scheme “was a partnership between Hull City Council, the Environment Agency

and led by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council as it reduces flood risk to property and land within both councils. "The scheme is part of three large west Hull schemes which form the largest surface water scheme in the UK. The schemes are all designed to capture and store overland flows of land drainage/surface water which is then discharged back into the sewer system once the storm event has dissipated. AEEFAS does this by capturing flows at the top of the catchment and diverting through a new tunnel to store in a large and adjacent smaller lagoon at the bottom of the catchment.” Glossop pointed out that property flood resilience (PFR) products were not used on those large scale flood schemes. However, PFR products were used in Yorkshire Flood Resilience, which is one of three DEFRA-funded pathfinder partnership projects nationwide that are working to raise awareness of property flood resilience and its benefits among



home and business owners, as well as those working in the insurance, construction and property sectors. PFR is a term used to describe measures that reduce the risk of flood damage to properties, speed up recovery and help occupants to move back into properties more quickly after flooding. These measures are installed in homes or businesses to make them less vulnerable to flooding. PFR solutions are bespoke to each property and, when installing them, the aim is to identify the measures that are most appropriate for the property, the type of flooding, and the need to minimise damage and give peace of mind. Different types of PFR include measures to make properties more flood resistant, which prevent, delay or limit the amount of water entering the property. This approach gives the occupier more time to move belongings above ground level and move the family and pets to safety.

PFR also includes measures to improve the flood recoverability (or resilience) of a home, which include using materials, products and construction techniques to adapt the inside of the property to minimise the damage caused if floodwater enters. This approach can reduce the likelihood of permanent damage to the home or business, and speed up recovery after a flood. Flood resistance measures include flood barriers. They are panels that slot into a frame outside a door to form a watertight seal that stops water seeping under it. Water must go somewhere. This is why drainage is so important. “In many parts of the UK, drainage infrastructure is insufficient” claims Steve Bennett, Managing Director of Dura Products said: “and responsible for widespread floods causing approximately £1.3bn of damage per year. "This is largely due to population growth and urbanisation, which has

driven the replacement of natural ground with hard, impermeable surfaces that are prone to flooding. As a result, there is a huge market for products with increased drainage efficiency. However, sustainability must also be a prime focus in forthcoming developments, as the construction industry accounts for approximately a third of all waste and 36% of all carbon dioxide emissions generated in the EU.” According to Bennett: “There is a growing demand for more environmentally responsible solutions to surface drainage and this is a trend we are experiencing in the UK and across Europe. This is demonstrated by our recent partnership with global construction company, Gridiron Spa, who now incorporate our range and distribute in Italy, Switzerland and Slovenia.”

Cont. December 2020 • BuildingProducts.co.uk



He added that across all industries there has been constant pressure to become more sustainable, and the construction sector is not exempt. The global climate crisis and high levels of plastic pollution – caused by the polymers simply being sent to landfill, rather than being recycled - is fuelling increased investment into the development of environmentally friendly building materials. Bennett explained:“Traditionally, CKD units and linear surface drains are made from concrete, which is unsustainable due to the sheer levels of greenhouse gas emissions it produces. At Dura Products, we have developed Duradrain, a robust CKD system, as well as Durachannel which is a heavy-duty linear surface drainage system made from recycled plastic waste. Both of which are comprised of 70% recycled polymer and each unit contains the equivalent of at least 182 plastic bottles. "The future of drainage in both residential and commercial construction projects revolves around CKD and linear drainage systems due to their adaptability and efficiency. The use of recycled plastic units is likely to become the norm due to the sustainability and safety benefits they offer.” Drowning is often the medical condition that most people associate with water. However, as 2020 has shown, humans also need protection from things which are impossible to see with the naked eye and which can exist in water. Some experts in biofilm formation have developed a technology which they claim prevents biofilm formation,

Steve Bennett Managing Director, Dura Products


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

Recycled & Recyclable Heavy Duty Linear Surface Drainage System

slime, and reduced contamination in condensate drainage systems used for refrigeration systems in supermarkets. Supermarket refrigeration display cabinets globally suffer from a build-up of bacteria known as Pseudomonas. This type of bacteria is known for its self-produced mucus that latches onto the internal surfaces of the wastewater drainage pipes where they continue to grow and generate larger forms of biofilms and slime. Over a period of time, the build up is so severe that it causes a full blockage of the drainage pipe which results in water leaks, maintenance issues, service call-outs and possible outbreaks of pathogens. On average, a typical supermarket can have over 20 service call-outs for blocked drains and water leaks over a period of six months. Each call-out can mean there is water on the floor of the supermarket with the possible threat of customers slipping and getting injured. It can mean the chiller or freezer needs to be switchoff and cleaned out, storing the products elsewhere. And it usually leads to a significant amount of time and chemicals used to clean the drainage system to get rid of the blockage and biofilm build-up, which is not always successful, leading to a full dismantling of the drainage system.

Recycled & Recyclable Heavy Duty Combined Kerb & Drainage System

It is clear that supermarkets encounter significant costs on these occasions, not mentioning the disruption for the staff and the customers in the store. And the adequate action is required immediately to prevent hazardous circumstances to occur. With a strong corporate-wide focus on being more sustainable, using harsh chemicals down the drain on each occasion is no longer a preferred solution. UK-based Bio Products Group recognized the issues with the refrigeration drainage systems encountered by European Union supermarkets and teamed up with antimicrobial plastic developer Parx Plastics from The Netherlands. Integrating their innovative solutions in the Bio Pipe® and Bio Pad products created a sustainable solution that can reduce call-outs by up to 100% over a period of time, saving supermarkets chains a lot on costs and disruption involved with blocked drains. Humans have lived with water for thousands of years. The threats are likely to exist for the foreseeable future. However, better products are now available and standards for flood defence products have improved. The future is bright for specifiers looking for innovative solutions to drainage and flooding problems. 

BIOPIPE DRAINAGE SYSTEM A HYGIENICALLY CLEANER PLASTIC PIPE SYSTEM FOR SOIL AND WASTE Proven to reduce water leaks by 97% or higher Saves time and improves performance Green sustainable procurement supporting the commitments of Corporate SocialRe sponsibility and Environmental Policies Step-change in approach being adopted by clients who realise Total Cost of Ownership benefits this innovation delivers 100% safe, a technology that departs from biomimicry, Improving plastics physical characteristics



HOW TO DO PR WELL IN THE COVID AGE for the next 12 months and if your customers are not talking to you then you can bet they are talking to your competitors. And with its ability to shape perceptions and build credibility, PR is the cornerstone of all marketing endeavours and is even more important in the current climate.


ith 2020 providing a huge challenge with the Covid-19 crisis, it looks like there will be little let-up as 2021 approaches. It’s even more important that companies remain visible during this continued unprecedented time. Here, Purplex MD Andrew Scott discusses how companies can make the most out of PR to gain success.

Despite the economic impact and uncertainty around Covid-19, the outlook for the building products industry appears to be positive. With Boris Johnson’s plans to accelerate a £5 billion investment into infrastructure projects and ‘build, build, build’ our way to economic recovery, a commitment to the housing market, and the government’s future environmental and net-zero carbon targets, the sector has a big year ahead. The companies that are pro-active, understand the market and put their ‘ducks in a row’ will be the ones that move forward, while those that don’t will be left behind. Businesses have already had to react and adapt their marketing strategies to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, with some scaling back and others stopping altogether. Maintaining and increasing your marketing presence will be vital 56

BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

green homes agenda has taken a backseat. But with a vaccine now being rolled out, there is light at the end of the tunnel – and focus will soon be back on hitting the Future Homes Standard by 2025 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

During uncertain times, consumers gravitate towards brands they know they can trust and there is no better way to build trust in your brand than through good PR.

The green agenda is set to drive the construction and building products industries in a big way and making sure your PR is centred around these challenges and opportunities will be vital.

One thing the Covid-19 pandemic has done is make the nation more addicted to news, media, and their mobile phones – and it’s vital that you sit across all those channels with your PR.

The need to embrace Modern Methods of Construction to provide the eco-friendly solutions needed for the future will see those innovative companies emerge from the crowd through the power of PR.

But how do you secure the coverage you need and reach your customers in this new Covid age? Here are my tips to make sure your PR delivers.

Don’t forget the fundamentals Of course, the fundamentals of PR don’t change, whether you are in a global pandemic or not, and, despite the digital shift, the best way to build your brand is offline.

Be where your customers are Being where your customers are is vital. The digital shift since Covid-19 has been rapid as more and more people have migrated to digital-first in their daily lives. When ‘normality’ returns, we will be living in a new era of digital and it’s important that your PR has a strong presence online. Almost every publication or media outlet will have a website so, even if you can’t get your story in print, editors should still put it up online. These stories can also be easily shared on social media, with LinkedIn the place to maximise customer engagement and brand exposure. As the largest global community of business professionals, decisionmakers, and influencers, sharing your PR will get you noticed and grow your brand through word-of-mouth. After all, when it comes to brand, people trust people. Go green With the coronavirus pandemic understandably causing a distraction for almost all of 2020, the

Radio, local PR, print media, supporting charities and sponsorship all instil trust and credibility and as a result, amplify online results. Cut through the noise and deliver the quality content editors are looking for and show your customers you are taking the lead by commenting on the issues and challenges facing the industry Your marketing strategy for 2021 will be crucial to you increasing your market share next year – and PR should play an important role in it. Andrew Scott is a leading industry consultant who has acquired, built, and sold several successfully companies in the industry, including manufacturers, distributors, and retail businesses. He is the founder and MD of Purplex Marketing and Insight Data. For more information visit www.purplexmarketing.com or call 01934 808 132

IN UNCERTAIN TIMES YOU NEED A MARKETING PARTNER YOU CAN TRUST Sometimes, you need a safe pair of hands to help you navigate your journey. Purplex is the marketing consultancy that supports companies across trade, retail and commercial sectors. With deep industry knowledge and commercial insight, we have the skills and resources to support your business. Strategic Marketing Consultancy Industry Insight and Analysis PR and Marketing Comms

Advertising and Lead Generation Websites and Online Marketing Branding and Creative

Contact us now for a no obligation review or confidential advice. @Purplexuk /Purplex-marketing /Purplexmarketing /Purplexmarketing

Contact Us Call 01934 808 132 E: grow@purplexmarketing.com www.purplexmarketing.com


Add warmth and texture with Hunter Douglas Architectural HeartFelt®


unter Douglas Architectural’s awardwinning HeartFelt® modular felt system is an innovative solution for creative and playful ceilings and walls.

Suitable for use in multiple environments, including: corporate, retail, leisure, public space, hospitality, healthcare, education or residential, the system has superior acoustic performance and is easy to install on specially designed carriers. Since its launch in 2017 as a linear panel, which won a Red Dot Award in the Product Design category, demand for Heartfelt® has grown and thanks to its increasing popularity, the global architectural products company has gone on to introduce a rounded panel and a baffle to the portfolio, providing architects and designers with even greater design freedom. In 2020, the baffle was also recognised in the Red Dot Best of the Best Awards. “The HeartFelt® range of felt acoustic solutions has become one of our most important product groups, with architects and designers exploiting the range of colour and panel sizes to meet both their acoustic and aesthetic goals,” said David Harris, General Manager of Hunter Douglas Architectural UK. “While the systems were originally designed for ceiling applications, we have delivered many education and commercial projects where our HeartFelt® linear panels have been used on vertical walls, to improve the acoustic performance of the space.” HeartFelt® is an advanced system that helps to create a comfortable ambience and to precisely manage

Hunter Douglas Heartfelt Modular Felt Ceiling System

the acoustics of every space, with ceiling absorption values (αw) of between 0.45 (M100) and 0.70 (M50) achievable. It is made from non-woven thermoformed PES fibres, which are 100% recyclable, and complies with regulations for use in non-polluting buildings. It also meets the indoor European standard EN 15251, and EN 13501 Class B, S1, d0 fire certification, and has C2C Bronze certificate from the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute.

For more informartion, call +44 (0)1604 648229 or email info@hunterdouglas.co.uk www.hunterdouglas.co.uk


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

The linear panels are available in up to 6m lengths and in heights of 55, 80 and 105 mm, while the baffles are available in 40-80mm wide and 100-500mm deep, with a maximum length of 2000mm. The rounded linear panels are 40mm wide and 64mm deep. The 55mm deep linear panels are available in five shades of grey and five earth tones, with the 64mm, 80mm, 105mm linear and all of the baffles are available in five shades of grey.



CONTINUES INTRODUCING THE NEXT CHAPTER IN THE HEARTFELT速 RANGE Successfully launched as a ceiling, then developed as a wall, now created as a baffle. The HeartFelt速 journey continues. Inspire your audience with our innovative new range of HeartFelt速 Baffle ceiling systems. Lightweight, soft in appearance and with flexible acoustic properties, we can now deliver all the advantages of a baffle ceiling in a lightweight natural material that is sustainable by design.

Designed to work for you www.hunterdouglasarchitectural.eu info@hunterdouglasarchitectural.eu




arley Alutec, the UK leader in aluminium guttering and eaves systems, was specified to deliver a range of products, including a bespoke window trim solution, to update the dated façade of Tynings, a seafront property in North Devon.

With its technical team working closely with the project’s contractor, Marley Alutec provided the bespoke design to facilitate a simple installation process. Originally built in the late 1960s overlooking Woolacombe Bay and the Bristol Channel, the residential property’s coastal location is subject to increased wind exposure. After discovering Marley Alutec’s Evoke fascia, soffit and coping solution online, the project’s contractor Nick Pullen of St Michaels Properties, approached the manufacturer as the system offered both the necessary rigidity and site workability needed for the window trim.

The full refurbishment consisted of an internal and external upgrade with the correct blend of modern and natural materials needed to sharpen up the property’s façade to meet aesthetic and performance requirements. As part of the refurbishment, the existing windows were replaced with modern alternatives with narrower frames. This left a gap around the new frames, which required closing with a neat, colour matched trim solution to complement the window finish. “Once I saw how tight the radius of each fold in the Evoke system’s material could be, I knew we could create the sharp edges I needed – impossible with folded sheet aluminium,” commented Nick Pullen. “I was also impressed with the rigidity of the panels compared to sheet aluminium, the ease of cutting and the workability was a bonus.” Prior to carrying out the project on site, Marley Alutec’s technical team worked collaboratively with Nick to produce a practical design in

order to prevent potential on-site challenges. With the Evoke system’s installation carried out by a local tradesman, the early design input provided by Marley Alutec’s technical team enabled the project to be completed without issue.


“The technical support from Marley Alutec was invaluable. I explained to Alutec what I wanted to achieve, and we worked together to design a solution that would be possible to implement,” added Nick. In addition, matching Evoke fascia, soffits and coping were also installed on the façade, with further coping used around Tynings’ stone chimney. Nick also specified Marley Alutec’s square rainwater downpipes and balcony outlets - ensuring a consistent and complementary aesthetic across the entire property. Due to the balcony outlets having a circular spigot as standard, Marley Alutec adapted each unit to have a square spigot. This enabled the connection between the outlet and downpipe to be a simple process of pushing them together, neatly concealed within the balcony’s soffit. Kevin Wallis, Category Manager at Marley Alutec commented:“When you consider its stunning location, the project’s visual aesthetic and material durability were crucial. By working closely with Nick and the team, we were able to meet the requirements of the brief on both counts. We then created a unique product code so that the team could order easily via a local merchant. We look forward to working with Nick on more projects in the future.” 


BuildingProducts.co.uk • December 2020

Think of this as Light Steel Framing

EJOT’s advanced fastening capability spans global market sectors, providing solutions to a world of assembly applications. Lightweight vehicle assembly is just one example. It’s the sharing of this ‘make-lighter-build-stronger’ know-how, that is helping to create new products and installation techniques for the modern construction envelope, on and off site. Here in the UK our Applitec centre is at the hub of everything we design, test and manufacture; working with the EJOT Group worldwide and forming academic partnerships to embrace the challenges of a changing industry in a rapidly changing world.

EJOT® The Quality Connection


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.



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

Profile for BuildingProductsMagazine

Dec 2020 Building Products Magazine  

Dec 2020 Building Products Magazine