FC&A March 21

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MARCH 2021

FC&A – MARCH – 2021


EDITOR’S NOTE Cross Platform Media LTD



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FUTURE CONSTRUCTOR & ARCHITECT MAGAZINE EDITORIAL Rebecca Kemp rebecca@crossplatformmedia.co.uk Hannah Woodger hannah@crossplatformmedia.co.uk P R I N T & D I G I TA L A D V E R T I S I N G Sam Ball sam@crossplatformmedia.co.uk Jim Moore jim@crossplatformmedia.co.uk PRINT DESIGN MANAGER Jack Witcomb jack@crossplatformmedia.co.uk D I G I TA L D E S I G N M A N A G E R Matt Morse matt@crossplatformmedia.co.uk ACCOUNTS/CREDIT CONTROL Rachel Pike Rachel@crossplatformmedia.co.uk

MARCH 2021

While there's been an omission of people within our cities of late, one thing that's been more apparent is the history that makes up our urban spaces. In last month's issue, Perkins&Will's Hala ElKhorazaty talked of the historical value of architecture in Cairo, Egypt, and explained how every stone had a story. Here in the UK, it's much the same. There are hundreds of centuries-old architectural places of interest. From Sir Christopher Wren's St Paul's Cathedral and 11 Downing Street and John Nash's Park Crescent in London to John Wood the Elder's prominent designs in Bath; the UK is steeped in history. While these notable buildings are beautiful to look at, unfortunately, time does take its toll, and many do fall into a state of disrepair. Luckily, our nation does not fall short on the architectural talent pool, and architects far and wide have come to the aid of many failing buildings. In this month's issue, we've focused on listed and period properties, exploring how we can integrate them with our modern-day skyline, both aesthetically and functionally, with complementary and sensitive materials. On page 32, CMD talks about electrical integration at the Grade II Listed 300,000ft2, nine-storey office building, Victoria House. Meanwhile, on page 28, Aurubis looks at how copper – one of the oldest building coverings – is patching up dilapidated buildings across the country, resulting in stunning effects. Lastly, on page 22, Phil Brown, European Regulatory Marketing Manager at Pilkington United Kingdom, discusses the role glazing can play in modernising heritage buildings while maintaining their original character. On another note, this month marks one whole year since we experienced our first taste of lockdown. Whilst it's been a difficult period for many, the construction and architectural industries have stayed strong and fought back against hindrances caused by the virus. I'm sure you'll all welcome me in thanking those that have continued to work through these difficult times and deliver the infrastructure needed to tackle the difficulties posed by the coronavirus.

PUBLISHER Sam Ball sam@crossplatformmedia.co.uk Te r m s a n d C o n d i t i o n s : Contributions are invited and when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and return addressed envelope. No responsibility will be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or in the editor’s hands. In the absence of an agreement the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographics or artistic belongs to Cross Platform Media Ltd. The publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise do not necessarily represent the view of the publisher. The publisher does not accept any liability of any loss arising from the late appearance or non-publication of any advertisement.


SALES SUPPORT & A D M I N I S T R AT O R Klare Porter klare@crossplatformmedia.co.uk

fcamagazine fcamagazine fcamagazine FC&A Magazine


REBECCA KEMP Editor, Future Constructor & Architect

ON THE COVER: We find out more about Stow-Away, a completely recyclable eco apart-hotel in South London’s South Bank.



FC&A – MARCH – 2021

FC&A – MARCH – 2021








Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, examines the role that the bathroom has to play in helping us escape from our ‘always-on’ world.

This month, our regular Columnist and RIBA Architect Christopher Sykes explores the latest design trends and runs through this year's Surface Design Awards.













BU ILD FOCU S: Listed & Period Properties:



Phil Brown, European Regulatory Marketing Manager at Pilkington United Kingdom, discusses the role glazing can play in modernising heritage buildings while maintaining their original character.

Premier Modular's David Harris looks at the role of offsite construction in the COVID-19 pandemic – from keeping construction moving to supporting the Government in delivering new housing to address homelessness.

When your lime plaster begins to appear aged and damaged, should you repair it or replace it? We've talked to Simon Ayres, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Lime Green Products, to find out.

Copper is particularly well-suited to enhancing the regeneration of period buildings with contemporary interventions, exemplified by a range of projects. Here, Graeme Bell from Aurubis looks at some examples.

Minimising thermal bridging throughout Lille’s Biotope building was critical. So, the architects, Henning Larsen Architects (Copenhagen) and Keurk Architecture (Lille), turned to building physics specialist Schöck for its expertise.

Victoria House, a Grade II Listed office building, is currently being revamped and requires significant upgrades to its building services. CMD’s 32A Power Hub is providing the ideal solution for the installation of the electrical distribution networks.

Lisa Sherburne-Kilby, Commercial Operations Director, Masonry UK at Leviat (the home of Ancon and Halfen), looks at how manufacturers who are able to offer world-class technical support can add value to drawings, to ensure projects are delivered as intended.






This month, we sat down with Henry Pescod, Project Director at Stow Projects, to find out more about Stow-Away, a completely recyclable eco apart-hotel in South London’s South Bank that’s made out of repurposed shipping containers.

‘Pinghe Bibliotheater’ is the core of OPEN Architecture’s latest project. A library, theatre and a black box interlock together like a Chinese puzzle to form this characteristic building that some call ‘the blue whale’ while others see it as an ocean liner.


FC&A – MARCH – 2021


ARC H IT EC T I N P RO F I LE Cynthia Leung, Design Manager at Canary Wharf Contractors, is a qualified Architect. After working in a practice for a number of years and keen to gain exposure in the front end of the industry in relation to construction and property development, she moved to Canary Wharf Contractors to build upon her experience. Here, Cynthia talks to FC&A about her professional experience. CANARY WHARF CONTRACTORS


Please tell us a little about yourself and your current role at Canary Wharf Contractors. During my time at Canary Wharf, I have worked on a number of buildings as part of the Wood Wharf development, a new 23-acre site that will welcome up to 3600 new homes, two million square foot of commercial space, 350,000ft 2 of retail space, nine acres of public spaces, plazas and parks. I am currently managing the design of several buildings across phase one and phase two of the development which include floating retail pavilions, a high-rise 20-storey aparthotel and a 42- and a 12-storey high-end residential tower, known as 10 Park Drive and 8 Water street. The latter will be run by Vertus, Canary Wharf Group’s new residential leasing and management company and is scheduled for completion later this year. My current role as Design Manager at Canary Wharf Contractors, part of Canary Wharf Group, is to manage and lead the design delivery with the consultant team and client/stakeholders to achieve a coordinated and coherent design that is in line with the programme, budget and brief. During construction, I maintain and coordinate the flow of design information between the design team and contractors to enable construction to proceed efficiently, as well as facilitating cost control, managing changes in the design and buildability issues.

www.group.canarywharf.com FC&A – MARCH – 2021

What does your role involve? Day-to-day, my role involves managing the design of the buildings, which entails working closely with the design consultants, our construction team on site as well as coordination of any design elements with the client (PAD). I get a holistic view of all aspects of the design and drive the delivery of it. I 6

need to stay on top of what is going on all the time and make sure that if I get early warning of the design impacting the construction, that this is tackled and unblocked. Is your role mainly desk-based or are you out on site regularly? My work involves regular site visits; it is not just confined to desk work, which gives me a good amount of variety in my day-to-day work life. What education and work history brought you to this job? I am a qualified Architect, so becoming a Design Manager was a natural progression for me. Having come from a consultant background, I definitely have a comprehensive understanding of the design process and level of work involved at each stage of the design. My past experience has allowed me to be more empathetic towards the team but also know exactly what needs to be delivered at each stage, plus have an appreciation for good quality design, detailing and construction. What part of your job do you find most satisfying and which parts are the most challenging? The most satisfying part of my job is when the design comes together and you see it physically being built on site. I enjoy being able to walk into a building and know the history of how it was conceived. Each building tells a story, and for me, that story is the most satisfying and what makes the building unique. I also enjoy having a holistic view of the project and have a key role in bringing the design together and know about all aspects that inform the design – its history and reasons why things are designed the way they are.


Aside from formal qualifications, are there personal skills and character traits that are useful for your kind of role? Soft skills are essential. In my job, being a good listener and openminded is crucial. The nature of my job relies on the support of the team to deliver the outcomes, so being able to work well as a team is crucial to the success of the project. My motto is to let everyone have a voice, to listen and make each opinion heard, so there is a sense of autonomy and ownership. To push the team to propose solutions rather than dictate or hand them the answers on a plate. I see my team as a partnership and building that trust between client and consultant is essential.

Is there something about the work culture at Canary Wharf Group that you particularly value? It is particularly interesting that the developer and contractor is all one organisation. It makes lines of communication somewhat easier and streamlined. I also value the respect and level of trust we have on our consultant teams too. Our attitude to stay open to ideas and constantly evolve with the times is also very refreshing. What career advice would you give to your younger self? Listen, listen and listen. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, learn from your mistakes. Gather as many supporters and mentors as you can, learn from them. Constantly challenge yourself and trust your gut instincts. 7

FC&A – MARCH – 2021

FC&A – MARCH – 2021




Millboard decking

GARDEN BUILDINGS – THE NEW GROWTH SECTOR FOR THE AGES There was a moment during the first lockdown when you could not buy a hot tub for love nor money. JAMES LATHAM


olidays had been cancelled, there was barely a cloud in the UK sky, and there was very much a feeling that if the mountain wouldn’t come to Muhammad, well, frankly, the next best thing was a new hot tub. However, once the summer holidays hit and the weather inevitably broke, many people’s thoughts turned to less frivolous matters around where and how they were going to be able to earn a living. What has become clear is that working from home is going to be the most radical change to emerge from the ongoing pandemic – a trend that will migrate from necessary to cultural by the time we can begin talking about COVID-19 in the past tense. According to pre-pandemic figures, there were just shy of three million home-based businesses in the UK with a turnover of around £300bn, and that figure is likely to have increased markedly over the past six months. Add to this number the amount of employed people who are currently working from home and planning a future that is more home-based than office, and it looks likely that the market for home office solutions is not only hot today but is heading on a staggering growth trajectory. A recent study by an insurance company found that around a million homeworkers have already invested in garden structures that the market refers to as ‘buildings for all-year-round use’. The same number again, at least, is considering the investment in the year ahead.


Two years ago, it was predicted that the construction value of the garden building sector – which includes sheds and greenhouses and buildings for all-yearround use would grow from £307m this year to £336m in 2022. With all that has happened in the last six months, this forecast would now appear woefully pessimistic – and for the UK timber industry, this is a sector that is likely to provide a vast opportunity in the years ahead. The number of specialist garden building manufacturers is currently increasing exponentially. It won’t be a massive surprise if we begin to see the volume housebuilders beginning to factor all-year-round garden buildings into their plans, particularly at the higher end of the market. The range of natural and engineered wood products on the market is already broad. It will continue to expand as this sector continues to mature with investments ranging from a few thousand pounds to a cost of a nice two-bedroom apartment in Albufeira. At the entry-level, garden rooms are often clad with Thermowood (a softwood), but other popular woods, including cedar, British oak, larch and red grandis, are also being used. However, driving the market from Lathams’ perspective has been Accoya, which offers both the required aesthetic and market-leading durability. It also comes in a wide range of finishes – from

0207 288 6417 9

a smooth and light New England finish to the popular charred finish for those who want something contemporary yet strangely more akin to a 15th-century Japanese fisherman’s house. One of the real positives to come from the recent pandemic is that it has been a great driver of innovation and that has been as true within this sector as any other. R&E Falkingham Joinery, for instance, has long been one of Lathams’ best Accoya customers, predominantly providing bespoke windows and doors for the residential market. However, this year, the York-based company has been trying something different and has developed a range of hugely successful Accoya-clad shepherd’s huts. Aside from cladding, Accoya is a perfect material for handrails and balustrades within any garden structure and is also popular for constructing adjoining gazebos. Still, this growth sector is also driving sales in a range of other materials. Garden decking – with or without a new garden building – has also been in high demand throughout the summer, with a significant proportion of this constructed from Millboard, a premium, non-timber composite that offers the necessary structural reinforcement. The market for MDF panelling for roofs and building skins has also taken a significant jump forward, while birch ply has become incredibly popular for internal cladding to help create that popular Scandinavian look and feel. This is clearly a really exciting market and one that will continue to evolve, which in turn will inevitably lead to new products coming to the market to meet changing needs and expectations in the sector. We just have to ensure they are easier to get hold of than a new hot tub.

info@lathams.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021

FC&A – MARCH – 2021



WOOD FINISH (PWF™) STILL POINTING THE WAY FORWARD Back in 2012, Powdertech Corby coated hundreds of wayfinding and information signs, and car park meter surrounds, for six Anglian Water reservoirs in the midland region. POWDERTECH CORBY


he reservoirs are all surrounded by beautiful natural or manmade landscapes, and the client’s brief was for signage that would be robust, blend in and require minimal maintenance. Strong signs and posts were constructed in aluminium and steel in various shapes and sizes. A bespoke shade was produced in Powdertech’s Wood Finish range called Anglian Elm – PWF061 – providing the warm, natural look of wood at the same time as giving the metal protection from everything

that might be (and has been) be thrown at it – wind, rain, snow, sunshine, grass cutters, dogs, bicycles, overgrown hedgerows and anything else that might be imagined in a public space. The signs were set up on a ‘fit-andforget’ basis, needing little maintenance apart from the occasional rinse down with clean water. The finish has been independently tested for colour and gloss stability and corrosion protection and meets architectural powder coating specification BS EN 12260-1.


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Recently, Richard Besant, Powdertech Sales Director, visited the site as a local walking area and inspected some of the signs to judge the performance after eight to nine years. The coating looks as good as the day it was applied, and the posts look smart and durable – which is more than can be said for some wooden bins and painted signs nearby. Wood Finish from Powdertech is available in over 35 shades in smooth or textured finish and conforms to fire reaction standard A2,s1-d0.

pcl@powdertech.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021




This month, we sit down with Henry Pescod, Project Director at Stow Projects, to find out more about Stow-Away, a completely recyclable eco apart-hotel in London’s South Bank that’s made out of repurposed shipping containers.



Tell us about Stow Projects. Stow Projects is a family business set up 10 years ago as a property development and urban regeneration company by Charlie Fulford and his father, Bill. Bill co-founded Camden Lock Market in the early 1970s and operated the market for 40 years before selling in 2015. Charlie and Bill have also founded and run several property companies involved in mixed-use urban regeneration schemes throughout London. I met them in 2012 when hired as a Property Analyst at Camden Lock Market before joining Stow Projects after the sale. Following similar principles to what made Camden Lock Market a success, we launched the Artworks in 2014 to revitalise underused spaces in London and transforming them into creative workspaces and FC&A – MARCH – 2021

social hubs. The first site in Elephant & Castle (now closed) reused 40 shipping containers from a housing scheme in the Netherlands. Working closely with Lendlease, the scheme ran for five years providing F&B and office studio space for new businesses and residents as part of the regeneration of Elephant & Castle. The second site in Deptford (Creekside) is still going as a diverse creative and commercial workspace that houses F&B outlets, a vertical hydroponic farm, alongside a growing number of design studios, agencies and filmmakers. In 2018, we opened our first Stow-Away and are now fully focused on operating and growing that into a successful apart-hotel brand in multiple locations. Now, as Project Director, my role is to find new sites and oversee the operations of Stow-Away.

How did Stow-Away, the apart-hotel, come about? Stow-Away is an eco-friendly apart-hotel in London’s South Bank, built to be sustainable from the ground up. The building is made from repurposed shipping containers – all repurposed and designed to run as carbon-neutral as possible. The project came about through Charlie’s relationship with Network Rail (now The Arch Co.) following a previous joint venture. We had become interested in hostel and hotel opportunities with longer operating potential (not just the five to 10 years we had been used to with creative studio spaces). We had noticed a rising trend in the travel industry, predominantly among young professionals, of global nomads. We were inspired by projects like Zoku in The Netherlands that provide a “home-office hybrid with hotel services”. 12

These are small yet functional spaces to live (and work) in a central city location, from a few days to a few months without breaking the budget. Network Rail had a vacant plot of land by Waterloo station that had been underutilised since the war that seemed the perfect location for both holiday and business travellers. Stow-Away came from this idea of providing intelligently-designed studios around fun communal spaces (in our case, a wine bar!) for travellers to enjoy the city for business or leisure. We already had experience working with shipping containers from projects like the Artworks, and we witnessed how popular they were with tenants and customers. With some smart design, we thought their size and shape could be well suited to a hotel - and so the ‘Stow-Away: Apart-Hotel’ was born!


There was also a concern about a shipping container’s ability to remain warm and quiet inside – critical requirements for a good hotel. Shipping containers are designed in a very practical way to carry freight, and in their simplest form are not great at insulating heat and sound. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges for us was to combat this. We put extra seals around the doors to ensure a quiet night’s sleep. We also had to meet the planning authorities’ requirements to waste as little energy as possible. This meant we put a tremendous amount of effort into the heat insulation with layers of foam and timber lining the walls, and extra-thick double glazed glass windows which are the same spec as those used in The Shard. This challenge pushed us to use the very best in materials but as a result, turned the shipping containers into habitable and even luxury apartments. Building with recycled materials is tricky. Using second-hand shipping containers meant that although in theory, each container should be the same size and shape and easy to build with, the reality was containers get bashed and dented in their lifetime and each one exhibits small differences which can create problems in precise design. For example, as part of our design, we tailored highspec blackout blinds in each room which were all discovered to be slightly ‘off’ as each container was marginally different in size and required a lot of finetuning to get right. Things like that always crop up when you actually get into the build phase.

Can you tell us a bit more about the brief for the project? The brief was the idea of a modular building using sustainable materials and to have a positive environmental impact. We decided to go for a modular structure that can be dismantled and utilised elsewhere in the future due to having a long lease rather than owning the site freehold. Our electricity supply on site is solely from renewable energy suppliers. The roof has solar panels which generate electricity for the site and transfer any excess electricity back into the national grid. The air conditioning and hot water system recycles and recirculates energy to reuse excess heat from the air conditioning system to heat the hot water, reducing overall energy consumption. The rooms themselves are lined with ecofriendly timber cladding. All the waste from the hotel and the on-site restaurant is recycled – such as plastic, glass and paper

– working with First Mile charity, who are leading the way in this field. Recycling bins are placed in all the rooms to make it easier for guests to separate their waste. Finally, to minimise plastic use, large refillable bottles of shampoo and shower gel are provided in each bathroom. What challenges did you face during the build and how were these overcome? Our interest in modular building meant that we could complete much of the building off site and crane the shipping containers into position. Without Network Rail as our freeholder, we wouldn’t have got the site but with that, came some additional considerations. A huge priority for them, with the area close to the station, was, of course, to make sure that the rail line remained unaffected. The construction works had to be delivered in line with detailed method statements agreed in close collaboration with Network Rail. 13

What advice do you have for anyone wishing to embark on similar projects? My biggest piece of advice would always be to keep the end-user in mind, which was how hotel staff and guests would use the building. A hotel operation is very different from a residential building. At one point, we were considering wooden parquet flooring for the interior design before realising that the cleaners’ regular mopping would have completely destroyed this in a matter of months! Is there anything about this project that you’ll be applying to future projects? We’ll be sticking to the idea of modular building – although not necessarily always with shipping containers. We knew a lot about building with shipping containers before Stow-Away, and the reaction has been so good. However, they only come in a linear rectangular shape, so their use depends entirely on the space’s site and dimensions. What are your future plans? We are actively seeking new sites at the moment but keeping it London-centric for now. We aim to have what we’re calling a ‘hub and spoke’ model with the main hub surrounded by four to five smaller Stow-Aways around the city, all at a threeto five-mile radius of the centre. In locations that aren’t so central to London’s landmarks, we can focus on more of an extended stay-type model with many of the same principles of fusing design and technology to run projects as efficiently as possible. But for now, with the pandemic hitting the hospitality industry extremely hard, we’re looking forward to re-opening doors when restrictions lift and getting back to ‘normal’.

www.stow-away.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021

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READING BETWEEN THE LINES ‘Pinghe Bibliotheater’ is the core of OPEN Architecture’s latest project. A library, theatre and a black box interlock together like a Chinese puzzle to form this characteristic building that some call ‘the blue whale’, while others see it as an ocean liner. The unique form of the building and the free-flowing spaces not only cultivate students’ interests in reading and performing, but also encourage their imagination to roam freely in the ocean of knowledge. OPEN ARCHITECTURE


he Bibliotheater abuts an important corner of this villagelike school, at a junction where a major city highway and an ancient canal also meet. The slanted roof with spiky skylights, ship porthole-like round windows, and eye-catching blue colour leave a strong impression on passers-by. FC&A – MARCH – 2021

When OPEN Architecture was given the extensive programme of a new school for 2000 students aged between three and 18, the firm’s immediate thought was how dreadful it would be for a child to spend so many years fixed in one building. The practice decided to break away from the current trend of schools as megastructures. Instead, the original 16

programme was deconstructed and grouped into smaller and distinctive buildings, forming a village-like campus. The marriage of a library and theatre came from the architect firm’s belief that the act of extensive reading and thinking, and the act of expression through performances, should be critical components of education but are often ignored in test-driven educational systems. The distinctive qualities of these two programmes and the respective physical needs came to inspire the design of the building.

Above and below The proscenium theatre and the black box, which require the least natural light and the most acoustic isolation,




01 02


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01: Theater lobby 02: Cafe 03: Convenience store 04: Central reading area 05: Rooftop terrace 06: Terraced reading area 07: Open stacks, new books and periodicals and multimedia room 08: Library reception and book retrieval 09: Theatre 10: Stage and stage wing 11: Black box theatre occupy the lower part and the deep central area of the building, while the library occupies the upper part. A loop of different reading spaces rises and drops according to the varying heights of the theatre volumes below. This creates a terraced spatial sequence that climaxes at a central reading area that is surrounded by books and light.

Introvert and extrovert The experience of reading is inevitably introverted and highly personal. Facing readers from early years to young adults, OPEN Architecture created many comfortable reading zones of different qualities. A sunken roof garden gives children a breath of fresh air and an outdoor reading area when weather permits.

The experience of performing in theatres, on the other hand, is extroverted and exciting. The main entrance to the theatre is where the building is ‘cut’ diagonally to form a theatrical opening. The juxtaposition of warm wood panels and deep blue walls create a visually stimulating auditorium. The cafe on the ground floor also plays an important role. During normal school days, parents waiting to pick up their children can read and socialise in this space.

Lightness and darkness Light is crucial to the design of the library, not only fulfilling the functional needs but also giving form to the spaces and animating them with musical rhythm. Abundant skylights on the slanted roof bring filtered light to the central reading area, a giant oculus dropping 17

down from the ceiling illuminates the very centre in an almost spiritual way, forming an emotionally charged central space. While in the theatre, natural light is avoided entirely, and artificial lighting was carefully designed to meet functional requirements. In a sense, the Bibilotheater was conceived more broadly as a cultural centre for not only the school but also the surrounding communities. Carefully placed near the secondary entrance of the campus, the building may be used independently without disturbing the campus management. It is OPEN Architecture’s hope that the Bibliotheater will become the social energiser that brings together parents and community members.

www.openarch.com FC&A – MARCH – 2021


SENSORY DESIGN IN BATHROOMS Awareness of mental and physical wellbeing has never been greater, yet many of us are spending more time than ever online – and it’s taking its toll. Here, Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, examines the role that the bathroom has to play in helping us escape from our ‘always-on’ world and examines the importance of considering each of our senses in creating the perfect sanctuary. GEBERIT



he last year has undoubtedly had a huge impact on our wellbeing levels. The Office for National Statistics backed this up when it reported that, during the first nationwide lockdown, more than a third (37.4%) of adults said that the pandemic had affected their wellbeing. The same report found that the number of people reporting high levels of anxiety rose sharply during April and May – the peak months of lockdown. Yet, even before the pandemic took hold, it seems that many of us were affected in some way by the stresses of modern life. We carried out a YouGov survey in 2018 on the impact of our ‘always-on’ mentality and discovered that nearly three-quarters of us were struggling to find the time to relax, with an alarming amount of adults (7 out of 10) also telling us that they struggled to switch off from technology. Indeed, the survey found that the average adult checked their phone 56.2 times each day – over 20,500 times a year or over 1.3 million times in a lifetime. A damning snapshot of modern lives consumed by technology and our ‘always-on’ mentality. To put this dependence on technology in the context of today’s heightened and unusual times, let’s look again at how the pandemic has affected our behaviour during those early months. Britain’s internet users were, during the month of April, spending an average of four hours and two minutes online each day – 37 minutes more when compared to January and the average time spent on social media increased by 36%. It’s fair to assume that, two lockdowns later, we remain more plugged in than ever before. And in need of respite.

Sanctuary space Our 2018 YouGov respondents told us that the bathroom (43%) was the most popular place of escape from the pressures of modern life, followed by the bedroom (38%) and the living room (25%). FC&A – MARCH – 2021


The role of the bathroom is, clearly, of enormous significance in our lives and can provide many of us with some muchneeded respite. Yet, bathrooms can often be harsh and sterile places with poor acoustics and cold surfaces. Considering how we can improve both mental and physical wellbeing through a multi-sensory approach can help transform the humble bathroom into a modern-day sanctuary. Key to this approach is biophilic design, which encompasses everything from surfaces and design choices, to air quality, ventilation, acoustics and lighting. With this in mind, finding the formula for a well-considered bathroom space at home, at work or in hospitality could be the key to unlocking better lives. To do this, we must understand the four key senses of auditory (sound), visual (sight), kinaesthetic (touch) and olfactory (smell) and the impact they have on our wellbeing, before then applying this understanding to specify the bathroom technologies and innovations that can help reduce the impact of each.

Sound of silence Let’s start with auditory. Our ears work even when we’re asleep – and when we are awake, we need to consider the impact those seemingly mundane sounds could have on our mental wellbeing. Think about the impact that a dripping tap, for example, can have upon your mood.


In fact, as we discovered in our 2020 white paper on the importance of acoustic design in the home, these seemingly innocuous noises are indeed affecting us. We found that one in four adults (28%) were regularly disturbed by bathroom sounds at night or when trying to relax, and one in five (19%) were regularly disturbed by flushing toilets, running taps or pipes and drains. Managing the acoustics within a bathroom is, therefore, key and there are several ways to ensure noise is contained within a space, both inside the room and behind the scenes. Geberit’s Silent-db20 can reduce noise transfer from draining water from washbasins or showers; likewise, wall-hung toilets with concealed cisterns and pre-wall frames such as Geberit Duofix decouple from the construction, preventing noise from travelling down the wall and through the floor.


The eyes have it

Often overlooked, scent has a strong effect on our experiences because it’s processed in the olfactory cortex of the brain’s limbic system. Of course, it goes without saying that this can sometimes have a negative effect in the washroom. Lavatory odours are generally dealt with by masking the unpleasant smell with a scented spray. The latest thinking in odour extraction technology by manufacturers takes a more innovative approach. The new Geberit odour extraction unit can be installed in all concealed cisterns from the Sigma range and filters the air within the room to neutralise any unwanted odours.

There is no denying that lighting can also affect our mood. According to the Illuminating Engineering Society, the direction of a light source can transform a space and affect how a room might make us feel. The society advises, for instance, that lighting positioned above eye level can create a feeling of restraint, creating a more formal atmosphere. On the other side, lighting positioned below eye level can invoke a feeling of individual importance and help establish a more informal setting. Meanwhile, exposure to harsh light sources, especially in the middle of the night can shock us and stimulate our sense of alertness, disturbing our natural sleeping patterns. Opting for automatic lights or orientation lighting can help preserve the sanctuary of sleep and prevent overstimulation of the visual sense.

A deep understanding of the importance of touch has allowed bathroom designers and manufacturers to adapt and embrace the ways in which we interact with our spaces and the technology within them. In the bathroom, hygienic, presencedetecting no-touch taps, such as Geberit’s infrared Brenta and Piave wall-mounted taps, can make the space more userfriendly and tactile – particularly when it comes to heavy footfall public washroom environments. Geberit’s Sigma80 and Sigma10 touchless WC flush controls incorporate a sensor that allows the unit to flush as soon as the toilet has been used. The kinesthetic sense can also be awakened by incorporating textures into bathroom design, and this can be achieved by opting for materials such as rustic wood or slate for surfaces and flush plates.


A complete sanctuary Taken together, the potential for wellbeing is at its highest when the design of spaces is informed and uniquely enriched by all four of these senses. We are entering an exciting 19

new design paradigm, where we shift from creating just ‘bathrooms’, to thinking about how the design process itself can elevate this space by considering the potential for wellbeing. And, as we acknowledge just how crucial the bathroom space could be in relation to our wellbeing, it could be more important now than ever before for designers to consider how they can take wellbeing to the next level in bathroom design.

www.geberit.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021



Maggie’s Centres have been regular winners. This year, Maggie’s Leeds, designed by Heatherwick Studio, picked up both the Light + Surface Interior and Exterior categories.

PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 130647 Illuminating (Yellow)

Winner of both the Housing Interior and Exterior categories, Bumpers Oast was designed by London practice ACME for a private client in Kent


demonstrate. This is to look at surfaces not as a tactile, visual treat but in certain circumstances, as a vital help. Obviously, the character of glass and the design of curtain walling will change in the future. As Dr Ronan Daly, Head of FIAM (Fluids in Advanced Manufacturing) and Senior Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, is quoted as saying: “Smart technology applied to glass has the potential to perform a number of important tasks – from identifying the presence of bacteria on a hospital window to performing as a touchscreen display. “Conductive materials can already be printed onto flat surfaces, and alongside the NSG Group, we’re now overcoming the physical challenge of completing this for curved applications – this opens up new opportunities for designers to use glass technology to solve their modern design challenges”.

This is springtime. Historically, it is also the time to experience the annual Surface Design Show held annually in London. Sadly, that was not to be because of its COVID cancellation until February next year. Happily, the Surface Design Awards themselves were unaffected and this year attracted 113 entries from 18 different counties. The three main winners are illustrated here and detailed at the end.

Colour Colourful news to bring visual cheer was the announcement of Pantone’s ‘Colour of the Year’. It’s said to be a message of happiness supported by fortitude, the combination of PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray and PANTONE 130647 Illuminating (Yellow) is aspirational and gives us hope. We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter – this is essential to the human spirit. As people look for ways to fortify themselves with energy, clarity and hope to overcome the continuing uncertainty, spirited and emboldening shades satisfy our quest for vitality. PANTONE 13-0647 Illuminating is a bright and FC&A – MARCH – 2021

cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power. PANTONE 17-5104 Ultimate Gray is emblematic of solid and dependable elements which are everlasting and provide a firm foundation. The colours of pebbles on the beach and natural elements whose weathered appearance highlights an ability to stand the test of time, Ultimate Gray quietly assures, encouraging feelings of composure, steadiness and resilience.

Shade and shadows Another element of surface design which is rarely discussed but fundamental to the exterior design of buildings is the science of sciography. This is defined as a study of shades and shadows cast by simple architectural forms on plane surfaces. In other words, it is the effect of the sun shining from the left at a 45º angle and the resulting ever-changing three-dimensional effects this has. This is stunningly obvious in hot countries and where the sun is a constant influence. It is why classical architecture, such as the Acropolis in Athens stands out in a visitor’s memory because of the shadows of columns on the main wall set well back behind. Even in less warm climates, such as the UK, the addition of a balcony to an otherwise flat elevation (such as on some of those boring mass-market housing developments) makes a stunning difference. The shading of a surface and the changing intensity brings out patterns and colours that transform throughout the day, thereby helping to create a facade that can come alive.

Smart technology Another awakening in discussing surface trends is quite different from the stimulating aesthetic choices which this year’s winners 20


The winners For the second year running, a project based in India has picked up the prestigious ‘Supreme Award’. Designed by IMK Architects for the Symbiosis Society Pune, the 216-bed hospital was also awarded the winner of the ‘Public Building Exterior’ category. “This is a really beautiful solution using local materials and labour. The design of the facade is meaningful not just decorative; it shades the sun,” said the judges. “The design of the facade is very much part of their sustainable strategy.” 12 category awards were also announced. From these were the following two ‘double winners’: Winner of both the Housing Interior and Exterior categories, Bumpers Oast was designed by London practice ACME for a private client. It is a modern interpretation of a hop-drying kiln. Five tile-clad towers make up this Kent-based house. “A very sensitive design where the use of natural materials makes this a very sustainable project,” commented the judges.

Supreme Award, designed by IMK Architects, was given to the 216-bed Symbiosis hospital in India, also awarded the winner of the Public Building Exterior category

Maggie’s Centres have been regular winners over the nine-year history of the Surface Design Awards. This year, Maggie’s Leeds picked up both the Light +

Surface Interior and Exterior categories. Designed by Heatherwick Studio for Maggie’s, the lighting for the project was designed by Light Bureau.

“It is just beautiful and comfortable, which is what it was designed to be,” said the judges. “We love the concept of having just the right amount of light.”

Latest Schöck BBA Certification raises the bar. Thermal break technology you can trust.

No need to compromise on performance, quality or service. Schöck products meet full compliance with relevant UK building regulations, are approved by the BBA, LABC registered and classified as fire resistance class REI 120.


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19.02.21 08:04 FC&A – MARCH – 2021


Gwyn Hall

Gwyn Hall

THE ART OF RESTORING HERITAGE BUILDINGS WITH GLASS Phil Brown, European Regulatory Marketing Manager at Pilkington United Kingdom – part of the NSG Group – discusses the role glazing can play in modernising heritage buildings while maintaining their original character. PILKINGTON UNITED KINGDOM


he UK is a treasure trove of heritage buildings from throughout the ages, woven through and often defining many of our towns and cities. Protecting historic buildings is vital to preserving our nation’s heritage, and this is ensured by the practice of listing important buildings. The aim is to ensure that any future changes to a building do not result in the loss of its historical significance. But our expectations for what buildings can provide their owners and occupants have changed significantly, even in recent decades. With factors like accessibility, flexibility of use, energy performance and availability of natural light all increasing in importance. Accommodating these needs in historic buildings without compromising the existing architecture can present a challenge for designers. However, this is where glazing can create an elegant solution. FC&A – MARCH – 2021

Minimal intervention

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery

Glass is the perfect material for making additions to heritage buildings without burdening the original structure. The crisp aesthetic lines that can be achieved – especially with frameless, structural glazing systems – can create flawless connections that beautifully complement most heritage spaces. Whether you plan to enclose a previous outdoor space or link a new space to an existing one, frameless glazing allows this to be done with minimal aesthetic impact on the existing architecture. Linking two existing buildings was exactly the challenge that faced those involved in the redevelopment of the Grade II Listed Glynn Vivian Art Gallery in Swansea. In creating an extension to the existing building, the designers were keen to preserve the impressive symmetry of the original facade, and this meant creating a sense of physical separation externally between the extension and the gallery itself.

Glynn Vivian Art Gallery



Hox Haus

The connection At the same time, to deliver the best experience for visitors, the two elements needed to be well connected internally, with people able to flow freely between the spaces. The Pilkington Planar structural glazing system was chosen due to its sleek design and frameless construction to enclose the linking section of the extension, set back from the buildings’ facades. This link means that the two elements are connected on three levels, making the building feel unified to visitors while also allowing the historic facade to be appreciated in isolation from outside. This effect of being separate but connected is something that can be done particularly well using structural glazing, as the designer can avoid imposing new materials, colours or textures on the original fabric of the building.

Essential character with a modern twist

Sustainable solutions

Another project where the aim was to add a bright, modern space to a much-loved historic building was Gwyn Hall in Wales. The hall is a Grade II Listed building with a rich cultural history and has provided a stage for many famous figures, including Prime Minister David Lloyd George, as well as hosting concerts, plays, musicals and even wrestling matches. A £4m restoration started in 2007 but was abandoned just months before completion when the building was destroyed by a fire. However, Gwyn Hall has now been restored to its former glory as part of a £7m renovation project that introduces modern design elements to the building’s original Victorian architecture. Pilkington Planar was used to create an elegant glazed extension that adds the wow factor to the new and improved Gwyn Hall. A 20m-long rooflight was installed to help flood the building with natural light, while ensuring that its existing original architecture had a contemporary, crisp aesthetic edge. 23

Heritage buildings tend not to be energy efficient and, as a result, have high energy bills. To make these buildings fit for the future, it is important that sustainability is considered – but striking the right balance between benefit and harm is not easy. Hox Haus is an extended and re-modelled Grade II Listed Victorian gymnasium which is now used as student accommodation at the Royal Holloway University of London. It was important that the building kept an ideal temperature all year round without excessive heating and cooling costs, or compromising on the advantages large areas of glazing bring to a building. The glass specified for Hox Haus was Pilkington Suncool 66/33, a superior solar control glass. Allowing just 33% of the sun’s energy to pass through, it significantly helps to reduce interior overheating. And, with a light transmission of 66%, it ensures plenty of daylight to maintain excellent brightness and external views. Further solar control is provided by the shading created by anodised metal fins that project from the glazed wall in key areas, a feature that also adds a distinctive contemporary aesthetic to the design. Ultimately, making heritage buildings suitable for years to come requires designers to walk a fine line between improving the amenity offered to the building’s users to bring it up to modern standards and preserving the character of the original architecture. Thanks to its capacity to create spaces with the least possible visual interventions, in many cases glazing can be the perfect solution.

www.pilkington.com/en-gb/uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021


THE IMPORTANCE OF OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION IN A PANDEMIC In this article, David Harris, Managing Director of offsite construction specialist Premier Modular, looks at the role of offsite construction in the COVID-19 pandemic – from keeping construction moving to supporting the Government in the delivery of new housing to address homelessness. PREMIER MODULAR


he impact of COVID-19 in the UK has been far-reaching and has challenged every aspect of our society and the country’s economy. In these incredibly difficult times, the offsite sector has most definitely switched up a gear – both to help the Government in its response to the crisis and to keep projects moving forward safely.

proves how offsite solutions can mitigate the effects of the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 and demonstrates how the approach can radically reduce risk on time-sensitive and fast-track projects. As a result, there has been a renewed focus on offsite manufacturing in every sector – from hospitals and schools to housing.

Social distancing in a factory setting

Helping the Government’s COVID-19 response

It has been well documented for many years that offsite construction offers improved safety, reduced risk and greater certainty of completion on time and budget. The fact that our factories continued to operate safely and at capacity from the very start of the pandemic is clear evidence of this. It is far easier to maintain COVID-safe social distancing in a controlled factory environment than on site – and reducing the number of people on a construction site is a significant advantage for contractors operating in a pandemic. Work continued on almost all Premier sites at every stage of the pandemic. This

The COVID-19 crisis has definitely shone a spotlight on the offsite sector. It has raised awareness of just what is possible with a higher level of collaboration, the use of offsite manufacturing, and pushing of boundaries to support the NHS and public health. There has been a genuine partnership working to deliver numerous healthcare projects to the most incredible timescales. An example of this is the Nightingale Hospital Exeter. The programme for this new 116-bed hospital was reduced from around 12 months to just 57 days. This could not have been achieved with a traditional contractual way of working.

FC&A – MARCH – 2021


There was a tremendous ‘can-do’ attitude at every level – from the main contractor BAM to the modular specialist (Premier), fit-out and M&E specialists who all worked as one genuine team. The project involved conversion of a repurposed retail unit into a hospital which was doubled in size with the installation of 1700m 2 of modular buildings for facilities including the pharmacy, staff welfare, catering, utility rooms and patient transfer. The scale of this modular building project would typically have taken around four months from receipt of order to handover – but here was reduced to just four weeks.

COVID-19 test centre rollout The same partnership approach has been adopted for the rollout of the COVID-19 testing sites. Premier was awarded a multi-million-pound contract to deliver fully-serviced community testing centres across the UK, from Inverness to Portsmouth. We have brought together a range of suppliers to install up to three sites per week. The centres are often handed over just a week after receiving the initial notification, which is a phenomenal achievement. Each standalone test site has a 110m 2 purpose-designed testing building prefitted with eight patient cubicles, hygienic walls, separate staff entrance and exit, test collection, and drop-off zones, and a family testing room.


Procured through the Crown Commercial Service, Premier’s contract also includes the supply of welfare facilities in three buildings to accommodate a PPE room, stores, test preparation, staff rest room, kitchenette, and toilets, as well as essential services – datacomms, water supply, effluent collection and electricity generators.

Helping to meet Government targets for addressing homelessness There is also an urgent need across the UK for emergency accommodation for people, who, often through no fault of their own, have become homeless. These individuals and families need housing for a short period of time, while a more permanent place is found for them to live. Offsite construction is very well-suited to building this type of accommodation. As well as meeting the required standards for quality and sustainability, the approach can reduce the completion time to deliver new temporary homes more quickly for people on emergency housing waiting lists. Increasing the housing stock is even more vital in the current pandemic. Premier currently has two schemes to address homelessness on site. In High Wycombe, we have installed 58 apartments for Buckinghamshire Council in a £9m contract. The project is an innovative partnership between principal contractor Premier and Claritas Group to deliver the best value for the client and a highly sustainable scheme, which will be completed in a much shorter timescale than with traditional build.

The one-bedroom apartments were fully fitted-out offsite at our factory in East Yorkshire, complete with shower rooms and kitchens pre-installed. Another modular housing scheme for homeless families is nearing completion in Barking. The new homes are developed by Be First, the regeneration arm of Barking and Dagenham Council. The £1.5m contract was awarded to Premier by main contractor Jerram Falkus and will provide 20 two-bedroom apartments in two blocks, all manufactured offsite. The use of an innovative modular housing solution for this project is reducing the programme to just 15 weeks for the procurement, manufacturing and fittingout of the apartments, installation on site and commissioning.

Advancements in offsite technology and increased capabilities There is now much greater confidence in the ability of the offsite sector to deliver high-quality building solutions rapidly – whether for temporary or permanent applications. Offsite technology has improved significantly over the last five to 10 years as has the sector’s ability to manage the delivery of these projects with the least disruption possible. The sector is now much more mature, and the technical and project management capabilities among the leading offsite specialists have advanced hugely – to the benefit of construction clients who need fast solutions to expand capacity. 25

As offsite specialists have embraced lean manufacturing techniques, productivity has also increased. The sector is simply doing things better. This means even shorter lead times for both temporary facilities and bespoke buildings and extensions. Manufacturers have widened their skillsets and improved project management and BIM capabilities, giving clients and contractors much greater assurance of delivery on time, reduced programmes, stringent quality standards and with the least disruption possible. Early engagement with the offsite specialist is still absolutely critical. Design for offsite from the outset, and you will optimise the benefits of standardisation – shorter lead times, less work on site and manufacturing to accurate tolerances for enhanced build quality.

www.premiermodular.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021


SHOULD I REPAIR OR REPLACE LIME PLASTER? Lime plaster is extremely hard-wearing. It can last for hundreds of years, flexing as buildings move, regulating moisture and ensuring the building remains dry over time. Many older houses or historical buildings include lime plaster that is centuries old. LIME GREEN PRODUCTS


ime’s qualities, such as flexibility, breathability, durability and damp resistance, allow it to be repaired in a wide range of situations. But, when your lime plaster begins to appear aged and damaged, should you repair it or replace it? Simon Ayres, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Lime Green Products, shares the key indicators that can help you to decide whether repairing or replacing is the best option for you, sharing the techniques for doing so successfully. Replacing plaster can be expensive, so it’s important to ensure you make the right decision. Identifying problems and determining which method is suitable requires skill and knowledge. However, there are methods of salvaging and reattaching old ceilings and walls, so damage doesn’t necessarily mean replacement.

For most renovation projects, there are four options to breathe new life into older lime plaster: patch repair, reskim, replace or repair the key from above.

What are the options?

2. Reskimming

It’s difficult to replace older plasters to the same standard they once were, so, wherever possible, salvaging and repairing the existing material is key. Repairing can also provide a more authentic result, which can last for another lifetime or two. When refurbishing any existing plaster, it’s important to evaluate the materials and choose a complementary plaster for repair work. This is important to ensure the materials bond properly and stand the test of time.

It’s not uncommon to need a fresh top layer of plaster. In this process, it’s important to use a primer to ensure the new materials bond well with the old. Be sure to select a primer that matches the plaster. For example, when using lime plaster, consider using a primer that isn’t acrylic to retain breathability.

FC&A – MARCH – 2021

1. Patch repairs For small, aesthetic cracks caused by movement, patch repairs can be particularly effective. It’s important to evaluate whether a smooth and consistent finish can be attained, without the necessity to reskim the entire wall or ceiling. Specific plaster repair systems are available for small patchwork repairs, created to consolidate lime-lath plaster and historical limework.


3. Replacement For replacement, it’s still important to review the original structure of the wall to determine if any existing materials can be salvaged and rejuvenated in the remedial work.

4. Repairing the key Ceilings made from lath and plaster or highly ornate fibrous plaster can still be aesthetically pleasing, but they may be slowly detaching from the wooden or hessian supports holding them in place. The material can then eventually come loose and fall to the ground. This has been a common problem in theatres. There are now rules in place to survey and repair plasterwork ceilings in public buildings. The material can be repaired from above, by stabilising the hidden support structure and re-bonding the plasterwork.

Possible damage and how to repair Before undertaking any renovation or refurbishment work, you will need to address the issue that caused the damage in the first place, to prevent the possibility of the same issue reoccurring. Types of damage may include:


Impact damage/wear and tear Lime’s traditional appearance means it can often carry some small blemishes without the need for repair, as it can add to the character of the building. Generally, impact damage can be solved simply with patch repair, using a matched plaster. However, in some circumstances, such as home renovations, you may be left with holes in the walls for cabling, for example. This can be difficult to patch, and an additional layer of plaster may be needed to create a consistent finish.

Movement of other materials Damage caused by the movement of other materials is particularly common in ceilings, as they can weaken as timbers flex or laths rot over time. Where the structural robustness of a ceiling is decreasing, it is likely you will need to replace the materials.

Overpainting Overpainting, particularly with nonbreathable paints, can cause damage to lime plaster. Removing the incompatible paints is often simple, and can salvage the wall’s breathability. You can then reach the surface of the lime plaster and inspect any damage from there, making repairs where necessary. You can then repaint with a breathable paint or limewash.

Salts If there is a white crystal growth on the lime plaster, and it’s noticeably crumbling, this damage is most likely to be caused by salts. Salts in the masonry or brickwork can crystalise and move when the wall dries out. For example, a leaking gutter can allow salts to move through the wall and spoil the plaster inside. If you use a paint which is non-breathable, it may begin to blister or bubble as the plaster underneath crumbles. 27

Modern gypsum plasters can allow the presence of salt in masonry, which will cause degradation in older buildings. Lime can help to prevent the presence of salt in masonry and is less affected than other types of plaster, as it allows moisture and salts to pass through. When repairing salt damage, it’s important to cut off the cause of water. Check the external pointing, monitor any leaks and repair any guttering work. With salt damage, it’s likely the plaster will need replacing.

www.lime-green.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021


Aberdeen Art Gallery. Photo: ©dapple photography.

Post Hotel, Gothenburg. Photo: ©Chris Hodson.

CONTEMPORARY COPPER REGENERATION Although copper was one of the first metals used by man and one of our oldest building coverings, it has been rediscovered by architects as a thoroughly modern material. But with its timeless and naturally developing qualities and a growing palette of colours, surfaces, forms and applications, copper is particularly well-suited to enhancing the regeneration of period buildings with contemporary interventions, exemplified by a range of projects. Here, Graeme Bell, Nordic Copper Sales & Marketing Manager at Aurubis, looks at some examples. AURUBIS


ith the 20th century and international modern movement came a fresh approach to architectural copper away from its historic role as a durable roof covering to a thoroughly contemporary material, recognising unique architectural properties and characteristics. Copper is now used as a skin for facades, roofs, interiors and architectural elements of all shapes with minimal constraints and a real sense of design freedom. The natural development of a distinctive patina defines copper with colours changing over time, determined by and reflecting location environmental conditions. But modern factory-applied surface treatments now provide straightaway the distinctive and unique brown oxidisation and blue/green patination to selected levels. Essentially, they bring forward natural environmental changes without taking away the integrity of copper as a living material. Copper alloys, including brass and bronze, add to the extensive material palette available today. FC&A – MARCH – 2021

Aberdeen art gallery A clear demonstration of copper’s use as a contemporary cladding material referenced by historic architectural use of the material, without simply copying the old, can be seen at the Aberdeen Art Gallery. Part of Hoskins Architects’ award-winning regeneration scheme, a striking contemporary rooftop addition is clad in copper panels, reinforcing copper’s historic presence on the city’s civic roofscape. The extension was designed as a highly sculptural element, responding to the proportions and colours of the historic granite frontages. It is defined by vertical, scalloped panels – some perforated for transparency – of light brown pre-oxidised copper: a thoroughly contemporary design but sharing materiality with the buildings’ classical copper dome. Repairs to the dome itself were carried out using green prepatinated copper, complementing its existing historic patination. As with the 28

original, all the new copper will develop naturally over time, characterised by its local environment.

Post Hotel, Gothenburg In Gothenburg, Sweden, original copper detailing heavily influenced major additions transforming the redundant central Post Office building – a listed national monument – into a 500-bedroom landmark hotel. Architect firm Semrén & Månsson’s deceptively simple strategy was to close up the gap in the original building’s horseshoe-shaped plan with a new twin-tower intervention. This comprises one wing clad in green prepatinated copper, the other slate – both materials used on the old Post Office roof. Where the wings meet, they rise up together, as a pair of monolithic forms – a pair of hands in prayer, above the original roof seen from the main square. Copper was central to the architect’s concept from the start, referencing the original: the new building was perceived as a young relative with the same DNA. Three different intensities of green prepatinated surfaces were selected, created by varying the amount of green over a dark brown background. The combination of these elements enabled the creation of rich, animated copper surfaces for the new tower. Corners are expressed with a modern take on traditional vertical ‘quoins’, seen on the original building, expressed as thin strips, sometimes incorporating flush glazing amongst the copper.


Ram Quarter, London. Photo: ©Anthony Weller.

Ram Quarter, London

Railway Terrace House, London

Inspiration for copperclad interventions to period buildings need not follow directly from historic architectural use of the material. Regeneration of the former Young’s brewery, with restoration and new build, into a mixed-use development at the heart of the London Borough of Wandsworth is an interesting example. Here, EPR Architects were inspired by old copper brewing vessels from the site and decided to clad the upper two floors of the tallest new residential buildings in green pre-patinated copper. Adjacent to the old brewery, a playful vertical expression was added to one of the new buildings – a nod to the industrial vats that were once housed on the site – raised from the ground, with softer rounded corners and vertically-ribbed profiled pre-patinated copper cladding.

Even less literal material references – but nonetheless appropriate – are shown by additions to a 19th-century terraced house backing onto a railway embankment in Herne Hill, London. The project – designed by Michael Collins Architects LLP – involved extensive refurbishment of the original house and contemporary extensions to the rear, conceived as two cubic volumes embedded within a plinth. The language of the new extension was inspired by the honesty and simple poetry of self-built ‘add-ons’ seen along the rear of railway terraces. They give a nod to local heritage through their dark materiality, with pre-oxidised copper alongside charred timber cladding. The choice of materials was informed by a robust environmental agenda but also inspired by the location, as Michael Collins explained: “There is a charm to the aged sootiness of the London stock brickwork facing the old railway. We wanted the cladding to relate to this historic context, and the changing finish of dark preoxidised copper alludes to the age of steam.”

Railway Terrace House, London. Photo: ©Michael Collins.

Paramount House Hotel, Sydney. Photo: ©Katherine Lu.

Paramount House Hotel, Sydney This final project demonstrates how innovative contemporary copper cladding can transform a period building while reflecting and developing the narrative of its locality, rather than referencing historic materials themselves. Set amid a suite of heritage and interwar buildings in Sydney’s Surry Hills, Paramount House Hotel now occupies a disused 1930s brick warehouse. Its design by Breathe Architecture reflects this historic context with chevron screens formed of copper tiles announcing the new hotel and celebrating neighbouring Art Deco buildings and its film precinct location. The copper screens crown the building’s three-storey brick shell, enwrapping an added storey. The chevron facades, with a combination of perforated and opaque Nordic Copper tiles – plus their selective omission – curate views to the city, as well as modify daylighting and reduce glare. Breathe Architecture said: “The delicate jewel-like copper chevron crown captures the spirit and excitement of the golden era of film. The project explores the narrative between artefact and ornament, of place and of home.”

www.nordiccopper.com 29

FC&A – MARCH – 2021


SCHÖCK BUILDING PHYSICS EXPERTISE FOR ICONIC FRENCH BIOTOPE The Biotope building, located in the middle of the important European business district of Euralille, in the French city of Lille, is an iconic 30,000m² seven-storey architectural complex that transforms conventional office accommodation into a selfsustaining ecological community. It is an ultra-energy-efficient building, and minimising thermal bridging throughout was critical. The architects turned to building physics specialist Schöck for its expertise in this area. SCHÖCK


esigned by Henning Larsen Architects (Copenhagen) and Keurk Architecture (Lille), the Biotope was originally planned to accommodate the European Medicines Agency (EMA). However, due to a change of circumstance, the building now houses ‘The European Metropolis of Lille’, an intercommunal public authority responsible for transport and infrastructure across 85 cities in the north of France. The building is conceived as a ripple made of glass, light and natural vegetation. These three core elements form the building blocks of the design – with everything geared towards the wellbeing of the staff. The heart of the building is a light-flooded atrium with an imposing spiral staircase which rises upwards in a sweeping curve. Like everything else in the Biotope, the angled glass panels are both beautiful and functional; with

FC&A – MARCH – 2021


double-skin facades regulating the interior temperature, reducing carbon emissions. The serpentine floorplan roughly follows a figureof-eight path, a dramatic departure from the traditional corridor-style office building. Instead, employees circulate through a winding trail of sky bridges, balconies and rooftop gardens. Large glass units link interior office spaces seamlessly, and every floor has access to the numerous exterior open spaces. In terms of functionality, the ground floor features a large reception hall, a 300-seat auditorium, a cafeteria and a bilingual nursery. The first floor is dominated by meeting and conference rooms; the secondto-sixth floors house offices with team and communal areas; and the seventh floor is a panoramic restaurant, which like the floors below has terraces, gardens and balconies.


Minimising thermal bridging is critical A critical design consideration was the minimisation of any risk of thermal bridging, with its inherent problems of local heat loss and the formation of condensation. To counter such problems, especially at the balcony detailing, Schöck Isokorb loadbearing thermal insulation elements are used. These thermally separate the components from each other, while also forming an integral part of the structure. The Schöck Isokorb offers the architect complete freedom of design. There are no restrictions when insulating curved shapes, balconies with offset heights, or supported balcony variants. Another special feature is earthquake resistance – which had to be guaranteed at specific installation points – and this too is assured with the use of the Isokorb.

Additional Schöck solutions The exterior walls are also designed to be energy efficient, and the Biotope is characterised by a high proportion of precast concrete elements. On the ground floor, for example, there are core insulated double walls, and this demanded another Schöck solution. The Isolink is an energy-efficient alternative to conventional stainless steel lattice girders, when connecting the concrete skins of core-insulated sandwich and element walls. It is used here as a spacer and connecting element, where the individual components are reliably thermally separated from each other and thermal bridging reduced to a minimum. On the upper floors, yet another Schöck product is installed where expansion joint construction is required. The Schöck Dorn is used to reinforce the non-loadbearing interior walls horizontally. This serves as a safe, shear force connection between concrete components and as a result, the transverse forces occurring in the area of the expansion joints can be transmitted without any problems.

Ultra-energy efficient and built using BIM Unsurprisingly, this ultra-energyefficient building, which is designed and built entirely using BIM, meets the most stringent environmental standards and has been awarded numerous certifications. BREEAM (for ecological and sociocultural aspects of sustainability); WELL (for the health and wellbeing of users); BiodiverCity (for conservation of biodiversity in urban areas); E+C- (for 31

a positive energy balance and carbon reduction); and WiredScore (as an evaluation of connectivity). Overall, with the Biotope, the architects have created a sustainable building that impresses with its bright, functional and flexible rooms, ingenious visual connections, its successful blend of interior and exterior elements – and, of course, its optimally-integrated climate concept.

www.schoeck.com FC&A – MARCH – 2021


32A POWER HUB SYSTEM TACKLES HERITAGE VOID DEPTHS AT LONDON’S VICTORIA HOUSE London has a wealth of heritage architecture and listed buildings that chart its success as a city and map its fortunes as a centre of commerce and banking. Preserving those buildings is important, but transforming them into assets that can continue to be useful and relevant to 21stcentury businesses and working practices is equally vital. That’s exactly what’s happening at Victoria House; a Grade II Listed office building in Holborn constructed in the 1920s in the Neo-Classical style, which is being revamped by flexible workspace developer, LABS. CMD


s with many heritage buildings, the property requires significant upgrades to its building services to ensure that it meets the power and connectivity needs of contemporary occupiers. As a flexible workspace development, the flexibility of its building services is also important so that configuration of the interior space can be adapted as required. Typically, the specification for retrofit electrical networks with future flexibility is a plug-and-play powertrack busbar system. This is not only quick to install but also allows tap-offs for electrical services wherever they are required across the floorplate, and the ability to move or increase these over time. One of the common challenges of heritage refurbishments, however, is shallow and inconsistent floor voids, which can make use of a standard powertrack busbar system more challenging. In this scenario, a hub system provides similar flexibility, FC&A – MARCH – 2021

while fitting into a reduced floor void depth. CMD’s 32A Power Hub, designed and manufactured in Rotherham, is providing the ideal solution for installation of the electrical distribution networks at Victoria House.

Fitting into the void An imposing 300,000ft2, nine-storey building, Victoria House is being refurbished by TSK with interior fit-out undertaken by Run Interiors. The ground floor is being converted for leisure and retail purposes and levels one to nine will be flexible and contemporary offices that preserve the character and heritage of the building while offering spacious, openplan layouts and 21st-century connectivity to support modern ways of working. LABS is known for the high quality of its interior fit-outs and the contemporary look and feel of its office environments. Victoria House will feature high-calibre engineered timber floor finishes, exposed high-level 32

services and a spacious, open-plan layout, retaining the existing floors and grandeur of the original ceiling heights. The office accommodation may be spacious but, in some locations, the floor void is just 50mm deep. Consequently, the plug-and-play powertrack system initially chosen for its speed of installation, cost, future flexibility and ease of maintenance was not viable. Mark Bacon from the project’s M&E Consultancy, Scotch Partners, explains: “We were originally looking at CMD’s Betatrak powertrack system for the project but it became clear that it would not fit in some locations, despite scabbling of the slab in some areas to maximise the available void. “The CMD team worked with us to develop an alternative power distribution design based on a 32A Power Hub system, which enables four to be located on the side of shallow Hub units. These Hub units will be used to create an underfloor distribution network, enabling us to utilise familiar technology in a different format.”

Compact capacity and convenience The four on each Hub unit ensure that each workstation location has plenty of power capacity to cope with the electrical load of multiple devices on each desk, along with sufficient redundant capacity to allow for potential additional load requirements in the future. Each flexible metal conduit tap-off will deliver power locally to the required locations across the floorplate via grommets in the floor.


Although a conventional powertrack would have been viable for some areas of the building, it quickly became apparent that the Power Hub system would offer additional benefits for the project. The interior design includes sealing the floor void with engineered timber flooring, which means that maintenance of the underfloor power distribution network, or any future modifications, will have to be carried out via the grommets. Mark continues: “The grommets are flush to the floor and lock away the under-floor services neatly, but also provide access to the Hub units in the void. This means that the electrical distribution network will be easy to maintain or upgrade as occupiers’ needs change.”

Under-desk power system Once the electrical supply comes up through the grommets, it will feed Rotasoc power module units, manufactured by CMD which are located under each workstation, before connecting to desktop power modules. The Rotasoc units utilise 32A busbar technology to create robust sockets that rotate a full 360º without losing contact. The Rotasoc units form part of a modular under-desk power distribution system that can provide power, data and circuit protection in a customisable plug-and-play format for each desk. Mark continues: “The combination of the 32A Power Hub system and modular Rotasoc under-desk power module system have given us the design flexibility to create a scheme that brings the distribution network direct to the desk, while working with the existing fabric of the building and ensuring a legacy of ease of maintenance and modifications.”

Fast-track installation The Cat A and Cat B fit-outs have already been completed for levels four and five of Victoria House, with levels two, three and six currently underway and levels seven to nine due to begin soon. In total, 828 32A Hub units have been installed so far, with 1100, and a rolling release is scheduled for completion in 2021.

www.cmd-ltd.com 33

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Transparency and collaboration

THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL: A MANUFACTURER’S PERSPECTIVE The UK construction industry is continuing to weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic but is still facing ongoing challenges when it comes to design detail and the specification process. All too often, information is missing from drawings, leaving decisions to those on the ground, who may invariably take the opportunity to reduce costs by substituting products. This can lead to a loss of design intent and quality. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. How then can manufacturers play their part in the specification process and ensure that value engineering is not simply cost cutting at the expense of quality – but rather, a method of ensuring the client gets the best possible value for money with products that improve the functionality and quality of the project? Lisa Sherburne-Kilby, Commercial Operations Director, Masonry UK at Leviat (the home of Ancon and Halfen), investigates. LEVIAT


n her report, ‘Building A Safer Future’, Dame Judith Hackitt said that the term ‘value engineering’ should be driven out of construction, saying that she would be “happy to never hear [it] again”. The term has divided the industry because simply reducing cost at the expense of quality is not value engineering. The process can, in some instances, involve substituting or swapping quality products for cheaper

FC&A – MARCH – 2021

and inferior alternatives that do not meet relevant industry standards because seemingly they appear ‘better value’. In the long term, this can compromise the overall effectiveness of a building and have more serious implications in terms of fire, health and safety. Product substitution should only occur where there is a clear comparison in performance against the required specification.


In its simplest terms, true value engineering is problem-solving, which is why the relationship between building product manufacturer and specifier has never been more important. At Leviat, one of our core values is customer focus that we express as ‘we put our customer at the heart of it all’; this means we are committed to understanding and achieving their vision. We will review an engineer’s or architect’s principal concepts and advise the suitability of products, highlighting any design concerns early so they do not become costly surprises later in the supply process. A well-engineered and -understood product will add value and not cause a contractor issues during installation or the building owner during its lifecycle. Whilst being able to provide a range of standard products which specifiers can select to a set performance and criteria is part of what we do, a large part of our work is ‘designed bespoke’ to overcome engineering challenges. In other words, we will take a standard product, adapt it for a project and then ensure it is fit for purpose. This was the case on a project in Nightingale Place, south London. In order to help the customer avoid the need for additional restraint fixings into the post-tensioned (PT) slab and the use of expansion bolts into high-stress zones, we created a stiffened channel to the underside of our brackets allowing flexibility of the joint position. In short, all our designs start from the principle of providing an engineered solution that the customer will be confident safely delivers the performance aspirations for the project. Each project is unique in its needs which is why many of our product innovations are driven by our understanding of frequent design demands in complex projects or novel solutions to unusual design challenges and then offering that new product solution to the wider market.


Early engagement As a manufacturer, the earlier our technical engineers and sales team engage in the specification process, the better, so we can have an understanding of the facts at the front end and be able to identify the areas which are most at risk of costs escalating. To reduce the risk of surprise, we need to align our design with the client’s design in order to allow for flexibility on site. 3D modelling software enables collaboration during the design stage as it gives all parties a view on how products will fit together and if there is likely to be any clashes or interferences. In an ideal world, collaboration and early engagement amongst all stakeholders on a construction project should become the norm as it will ensure all parties have a deeper understanding of a project resulting in a more accurate specification process and huge benefits to the end outcome. Furthermore, when practiced correctly and at the early stages of a build, value engineering will optimise the value of a project, improving performance and quality. As a manufacturer of engineered construction technology, we take our responsibilities very seriously. The design and construction of buildings is a joint responsibility across the entire supply chain from architects and designers to contractor, consultants and manufacturers. Organisations such as the CPA (Construction Products Association) are helping to bridge the divide that has existed – following two years of engagement with industry, they have developed a Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) and are about to undertake a consultation on its new 11-point agenda. This is aiming to set a level playing field for all construction product manufacturers to ensure that the information they provide, in whatever format that might be, is clear, accurate, up to date and unambiguous. This mirrors how we operate and, as such, we welcome this step towards creating a better built environment.

www.leviat.com 35

FC&A – MARCH – 2021



THE ARTS AND CRAFTS OF SECONDARY GLAZING IN A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY HOME A quaint family home in the South Downs conservation area has recently seen upgrades to its noise and thermal insulation with Selectaglaze secondary glazing, making it much more peaceful and cosy to live and relax in. SELECTAGLAZE


01727 837271

he property was built between 1650 and 1660 as two farm cottages. Then in 1907, the building was purchased by Architect, William Frederick Unsworth (18511912), who based his studio there as well as making it his home. Over the years, the building was extended to the front and sides and given a new look and feel in line with the emerging Arts and Crafts movement. The building is quite striking with a large sweeping catslide roof to the rear, hanging pin tiles to the front and square leaded iron casements, set in dark oak frames. Whilst looking around and discussing their plight of finding a solution for the windows, an acquaintance was quite bemused by the fact that the owners had been told that secondary glazing could only be supplied in white; he suggested that contact was made with Selectaglaze. A total of 13 Series 10 two- and threepane horizontal sliders were specified and installed across the front elevation openings in 8014 matt sepia. Noise ingress was reduced by installing the units with a 100mm cavity and 6.8 laminated glass. Draughts have been dramatically reduced with the high-performance seals and close fitting of the secondary glazing. Selectaglaze is the leading specialist in secondary glazing, established in 1966 and Royal Warrant Holder since 2004.


What’s new in the 2021 IDS?

NEW DOORS FOR A NEW AGE With the world in turmoil, changing attitudes, social and economic upheaval everywhere, you could be forgiven for thinking that innovation within the interior doors market was likely to be on hold for a while. However, at Vicaima, the desire to move forward and push boundaries in design and performance has never lost momentum, even in the face of such challenges. And so, with the introduction of the 2021 Interior Door Selector; Vicaima brings new doors for a new age. VICAIMA


icaima’s latest brochure contains over 100 pages of inspiration for professionals looking to transform homes, hotels and other private and public spaces that are fit for tomorrow. With its easy-to-navigate layout, ideas

and solutions go hand-in-hand. Whether the criteria is for cost-effective simplicity or high-end performance and trend-setting designs, the 2021 Interior Door Selector (IDS) has something for everyone.

www.vicaima.com FC&A – MARCH – 2021

01793 532333 36

While some existing ranges have been developed, Vicaima has also taken the opportunity to introduce some striking new interior door products for 2021. Using its expertise and understanding of design trends and modern build requirements, this fresh approach allows specifiers the opportunity to expand their senses with ideas that engage in both sight and touch; either capturing nature or taking it to another level. These new ranges include: Naturdor Stained Extra: Vertical and horizontal semi-translucent stained veneers Heritage Oak: Real oak veneer with random grain and knots Dekordor 3D Vertical: Embossed face in two new oak designs Dekordor SD Touch: Subtle textured foil in rich tones Visual Sensations: Cross directional woodgrain in forest and alpine designs. Naturally, all the new designs in the Vicaima range for 2021 are available to meet the latest performance specifications. With certified solutions in fire, security and acoustics, it really is the complete package.



FC&A – MARCH – 2021



CUSTOM COLOUR MIXING WITH OSMO Country Colour just got even more exciting. Along with the 19 standard colours Osmo offers, the exterior wood finish Country Colour is now available in over 2000 custom colours, which are made to order from your local Osmo dealer. OSMO


o matter what finish you want to give your life – Osmo has the right colours. The best part is you get to choose: soft, warm or bold. Our do-it-yourself mixtures make it all really easy to create new colours. Country Colour will bring out the best in wood surfaces in the home and garden. What nature has invented we cannot make any better. This is why Osmo focuses on oil- and wax-based finishes that work naturally. The oil penetrates deep into the wood, protecting it from inside; the waxes form a microporous surface – allowing the wood to ‘breathe’. At the same time, we pay attention to the right balance between good application properties and safety for you and your family: only quality oils and waxes are used. Not to forget, our production guarantees quality: the high content of colour pigments offers hiding power from the very first coat.

01296 481220


THE NEXT EVOLUTION IN STAIR NOSING DESIGN FOR SPECIFICATION Quantum Flooring is excited to announce the release of its new and most innovative stair nosing to date, which marks a new evolution in stair nosing specification. QUANTUM FLOORING

This range ensures that these stair nosings can be used with practically any floorcovering. Q-Range DUO offers a solid colour for the whole stair nosing by matching the riser colour along with the slip-resistant tread, which is recommended as best practice. There is a choice of 25 colours, from an LRV of 6 to 81. This offers a wide range of options when specifying for any project.



-Range DUO measures 55 x 55mm for both the tread and the riser. This complies with BS 8300:2:2018, The Equality Act and Part M and Part K of the Building Regulations. Like all of Quantum’s Q-Range Stair Nosings, Q-Range DUO has an all-over tread design. This helps to reduce the risk of slips on stairways. The Q-Range DUO profiles are available in three different versions: QRd-SF153 is for use with resilient floorcoverings QRd-SF153r has a ramp back for use with no floorcovering QRd-HF153 is for use with carpet or carpet tile.

www.quantumlooring.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021

0161 627 4222 38

Material/finish: QRd-SF153, QRd-SF153r, QRd-HF153 Inserts: Colour/light reflectance value (LRV): Black (6), Claret (6), Dark Blue (11), Desert (77), Fawn (21), Flint (15), Granite (11), Spruce (11), Ivory (51), Jade (30), Light Grey (26), Lime (53), Mist (64). Peat (10), Photoluminescent (69), Polar Grey (49), Poppy (13), Regency (11), Royal Blue (16), Rustic (10), Sky (52), Sun (56), Mist (64), Yellow (97), Photoluminescent (69), Desert (77), White (81) Adhesive: Q-Fix/approved similar.



BDA LAUNCHES BRICKMAKERS QUALITY CHARTER FOR MANUFACTURERS The Brick Development Association has launched a new Brickmakers Quality Charter (BQC) to provide the whole UK supply chain, from client to end-user, with assurances as to the product, manufacturing and ethical standards of BQC holders. THE BRICK DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (BDA)


upported in the UK by the Builders Merchants Federation, the Association of Brickwork Contractors and others, any clay brick manufacturer, irrespective of where they operate, can apply for the BQC. To be approved and accepted, companies must demonstrate their compliance with a range of existing, internationally-recognised protocols and standards. They are:

“We have noticed a growing percentage of imported bricks that are coming into the UK from a global supply chain of which we know very little about. With a postBrexit focus on self-reliance, coupled with international cooperation through competitive trade, we are convinced that there is greater room for error when purchasing and using clay bricks from unregulated and largely unrecognised sources. We want to make sure that the UK and European sectors that are using clay bricks continue to enjoy the high reputation it has built up over decades.” The BQC rules reflect this new global trade reality. All clay brick manufacturers wishing to participate will be subject to an initial desktop audit of relevant certifications. Those meeting the basic requirements will be awarded the charter, all be it at varying levels which will allow firms room to improve whilst recognising that they meet the basic requirements. Keith continues: “Clay brick is one of the few building materials that are proven to last for centuries. We want to ensure that this doyen of UK construction and housebuilding is manufactured, marketed, sold and used with due diligence, and with assurances having been provided to clients, specifiers and customers. We want there to be no question mark over the consistent quality of this wonderful material.

1. Business Quality Management System (ISO 9001) 2. Responsible Sourcing System (BES 6001) 3. Energy Management System (ISO 50001) 4. Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) 5. Health & Safety Management System (ISO 45001 or OHSAS 18001 or the BCC H&S Pledge) 6. Employment Practice System (that meets the brickmaker’s national standard) 7. Anti-Modern Slavery Policy and Procedures (that meets the brickmaker’s national standard) 8. CPR Compliance in all clay brick products (CE Mark or UKCA/UKNI Mark to EN771-1). The charter also aims to help firms meet the incoming stringent requirements mooted through Environmental, Social and Governmental (ESG) thinking. BDA Chief Executive, Keith Aldis, outlines the thinking behind the charter, saying: “Use of the charter provides merchants and customers with a massively valuable ‘shortcut’, identifying responsible clay brick and other clay product manufacturers.


0207 323 7034 39

ABOUT THE BRICK DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION (BDA): The BDA is the national authority on clay bricks. Its membership accounts for almost 100% of the industry’s productivity in the UK, which deliver excellent quality through a reliable supply chain. As such, the BDA collates the latest and most authoritative statistical data on UK clay brick production, distribution and sustainability commitments. UK brick manufacturers provide free technical guides, advice and CPDs through the BDA. Whether your procurement teams seek advice on how best to manage the supply of bricks; your architects seek guidance on design specifications; or your on-site teams seek certainty about good site practice and workmanship, the BDA is your source of impartial, expert information.

“We have had a universallypositive reaction from manufacturers and are delighted to be able to point to the fact that all of our members – representing over 98% of UK clay brick manufacturing and 90% of UK clay brick use – are ready to meet those standards and we welcome other manufacturers doing so too.”

brick@brick.org.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021



A refurbishment at the Bat and Ball Community Centre in Sevenoaks features Magply boards as the substrate for a through-coloured render system. The work is being led by the BJF Group, with Theis + Khan Architects responsible for design work. Site Agent for the BJF Group, David Murray, said: “The refurbishment included a steel-framed structure around the low-pitched roof, in the form of a parapet. There is insulation over the old corrugated roof to improve energy performance and a new single-ply membrane running into internal gutters. A membrane was fitted across the outside of the steel framework, along with four by two (100 x 50mm) timbers, to which our dry liner fixed the Magply boards.”



01621 776252



The ease of installation and all-round performance characteristics offered by Marmox Multiboard have led to a leading dry-lining contractor recommending the versatile tile-backer boards to a client engaged in the redevelopment of a former convent near Kettering. Bedford-based Conroy Dry Lining originally learnt about Multiboard through the trade press, but the directors of the family-run business became converts after purchasing a pack for a trial installation. Now, the company is making rapid progress employing large quantities of the 12.5 x 1200 x 2400mm boards, plus metal washers, for the bathrooms within the 60, three-storey townhouses as well as the apartments being created in the old listed building.

Products from F. Ball and Co. have been used to install grey, pink and blue Paragon and Balsan carpet tiles in the sixth-form study room at The Charter School in North Dulwich, London. Forbo vinyl sheet was also installed in a number of classrooms, using Stopgap 700 Superflex levelling compound and Styccobond F46 pressuresensitive adhesive. In five of the school’s classrooms, Styccobond F46 pressuresensitive adhesive was also used to install grey vinyl sheet. The classrooms’ raised access panel subfloors were first primed using a general-purpose primer, before being smoothed using Stopgap 700 Superflex levelling compound.

www.f-ball.co.uk www.marmox.co.uk

01634 835290


01538 361633 mail@f-ball.co.uk





Crown Trade’s Clean Extreme Anti-Bacterial paint range offers the best of both worlds – a paint with added anti-bacterial protection which will not diminish over time, no matter how many times it is scrubbed clean. Healthcare settings, workplaces, schools and hospitality venues all demand exceptional levels of cleanliness and need to be able to withstand more intensive cleaning regimes than ever. Crown Trade’s Clean Extreme Anti-Bacterial paint, which is formulated to help create hygienically-clean walls and ceilings, offers the solution. It is enhanced through the use of the independently-tested SteriTouch silver ion technology, which not only inhibits the growth of any bacteria that comes into contact with the surface but also prevents bacteria from multiplying. And, unlike other anti-bacterial paints available, its ‘built-in’ silver ion anti-bacterial protection can’t be washed off no matter how many times the surface is scrubbed clean. It also offers exceptional stain resistance for ease of maintenance.

The British Council has moved into a creative new office facility in S9, an ‘Outstanding’ BREEAM-rated building in the International Quarter London (IQL). Prioritising the adaptability of available space, partitioning expert Style was brought in early to work with 5plus Architects and main contractor, BW Interiors. As a result, the expansive ground floor concourse benefits from seven bespoke, 5m-high Dorma Hüppe movable wall elements. Operating on a complex tracking layout, they can be used to form an innovative display screen, to create individual exhibition boards, or to screen the cafe from the conference suites. One side of the panels is finished with magnetic, writable laminate, encouraging casual meetings where teams can collaborate and share ideas, whilst the other side includes an Autex board, providing essential acoustic sound absorption in this high-ceilinged space. Elsewhere, Style installed a further eight Dorma Hüppe 60 dB semi-automatic movable wall systems, creating various-sized meeting spaces.


www.style-partitions.co.uk 01202 874044 sales@style-partitions.co.uk

FC&A – MARCH – 2021

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NEWTON LATENT DEFECTS GUARANTEE IS THE ULTIMATE IN WATERPROOFING INSURANCE Newton Waterproofing, a UK-leading independent designer and supplier of guaranteed structural waterproofing systems, has launched its new Latent Defects Insurance – and it is the only such policy available through a UK waterproofing supplier. NEWTON WATERPROOFING


ith experience of more than 170 years, the family-run business based in Tonbridge has been providing clients with an unrivalled service for decades. Now, the Newton Latent Defects Insurance will provide customers with the ultimate protection. Newton Waterproofing’s MD, Warren Muschialli, said: “In 2019, the construction insurance guarantees market underwent significant change, with a number of insurers withdrawing from the sector. Early in 2020, there was a further reduction in the number of rated insurers able to provide insurance for waterproofing. “By its very nature, waterproofing is a risky business, and it’s very tough to find good guarantees in the waterproofing sector. A lot of companies will provide self-guarantees, but there is no insurance provided, while others will provide warranties that are not insurance-backed. But, with our Newton Latent Defects Insurance, we have managed to provide a unique policy which is backed by an A-rated, UKbased insurer.”

Peace of mind guaranteed With a policy term of up to 12 years, the Latent Defects Insurance is available on qualifying projects which use multiple Newton waterproofing products to achieve a minimum score of 3.0 on the Newton Waterproofing Index (NWI). The NWI is a unique specification tool that provides specifiers and designers with a scoring system to accurately assess the level of risk and potential success involved in any waterproofing design. The application for the guarantee is made via the installer directly to Newton’s A-rated insurer, and for the first two years of the policy, the responsibility for repairing any leaks and defects lies with the installing contractor. Once this period has expired, all repairs are the responsibility of the insurer. Newton’s Specialist Contractors have been specifically audited to ensure that they meet the necessary requirements to be able to provide the guarantee, while Newton’s waterproofing solutions and products have also successfully passed a rigorous auditing process to ensure that they are of sufficient quality to support the guarantee. “Instead of a 10-year policy term, we are offering a 12-year option which gives us a competitive edge,” said Warren. “No other waterproofing supplier in the UK can provide this level of protection, and this is the best waterproofing guarantee on the market from a UK insurer that you can get. It comes through us and is backed by us – we are the broker’s client, so the specifier knows that we will take responsibility for the waterproofing.”


01732 360 095 41

Value added every step of the way Specifying Newton will provide you with class-leading waterproofing products, all covered by a Newton Product Warranty, as well as the peace of mind of dealing with a business with over 170 years’ experience. Newton’s nationwide network of specialist contractors also provide meaningful installation guarantees and, if required, the Newton Insurance Backed Guarantee too. The Newton Latent Defects Insurance is then available as the ultimate level of protection. “We have always prided ourselves on providing specifiers, contractors and homeowners with the best products and service, and adding value at all stages of the waterproofing process – from design, supply, installation, guarantees and sustainability,” added Warren. “Now we can supply a meaningful, single-point waterproofing guarantee that provides complete protection for the client, the specifier and the contractor. And as it’s underwritten by our A-rated insurer, there is no better protection available in UK waterproofing – and it makes Newton Waterproofing the safest partner when specifying below-ground waterproofing.” Newton provides the best waterproofing systems for all structures, from new and existing domestic properties to large-scale commercial developments. For the right waterproofing help and advice with your next project, contact Newton Waterproofing.

info@newtonwaterproofing.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021


WHAT WILL INSPIRE YOUR NEXT NATURAL STONE PROJECT? When Goldman Sachs called upon Gross Max and the City of London to provide plans to landscape the area surrounding its newly-built headquarters, nobody could envision the unique designs they would dream up. MARSHALLS


he aim was to create a harmonious outdoor space for workers and visitors to move around and relax. A space that felt like it belonged, marrying with the surroundings. Marshalls was honoured when approached by Gross Max and the City of London to be part of the team needed to make its plans a reality.

Intricate features including a bespoke retaining wall and planters Hand masonry, skilled engraving, 3D printing and excellent craftsmanship were all called upon to help deliver a design-led, functional scheme that pays homage to the local history and surrounding streets. Seven bespoke Callisto granite planters were etched into Farringdon Street and Shoe Lane’s plans. Each planter was given a flamed texture finish, with one of the planters chosen to include a carved and hand-painted address for 25 Shoe Lane. Anti-skate details were sympathetically incorporated into the design curves that cleverly replicate the outline of the Goldman Sachs building, all housed within 3500m2 of Scoutmoor paving. A highly intricate, interlocking and overlapping retaining wall features on

the aptly-named ‘Stonecutter Street’, which integrates two flights of steps and an intermediate landing. The designs embrace the interchanging levels of the area, creating the illusion of a seamless space. A desire to create a look as though the feature had come straight from the quarry was proposed – a nod to the Stonecutter Street that they would sit upon. Prospero granite was chosen as the canvas with hand masonry providing the unique split-faced finish texture. What would seem like irregularplaced large solid blocks of natural stone interrupting the perimeter, and providing an integrated security solution were also included in the designs.

Taking a plan and making it a reality Christian O’Keefe, Contract Project Engineer at City of London, said: “The level of detail from the Marshalls team facilitated us with the design and construction of these bespoke products. 3D modelling, unit scheduling, design parameters, logistics and installation guidance were among the key features provided as part of the overall service that aided to deliver this worldclass public space.

www.marshalls.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021

0370 4112 266 42

“The City has a long standingrelationship with Marshalls, a marketleading supplier of natural stone products, providing the highest quality and sustainable stone in the world. Marshalls were our first choice of suppliers for this major public realm project, where both bespoke elements and standard paving choices are abundant throughout. "The team, headed up by Dave Stanger, Gordon Hines and Jason Taljaard, provided the knowledge, technical expertise and passion to convey this landscape architect’s vision into delivered bespoke products to the streets of the City of London.” Dave Stanger, Trading Director at Marshalls, added: “These are exactly the sort of projects we love to get involved with. Designs that challenge us and make individuals from different skillsets come together to make them a reality. These sorts of projects call upon our skilled designers to collaborate with landscape architects and contractors. They allow us to utilise the close working relationships we have forged with our suppliers and the expertise and passion we have for natural stone.”




BUILDING DELIVERED ON BUDGET AND AHEAD OF SCHEDULE FOR GEORGE ELIOT HOSPITAL George Eliot Hospital required a new 30-bed ward for orthopaedic elective and general elective patients as part of the trust’s five-year estate strategy. A high-quality, HTM and DDA-compliant building was required urgently. WERNICK BUILDINGS


0800 112 4640 43

ernick Buildings was appointed under a Pre-Contract Services Agreement to design the building through to RIBA Stage 3. After demonstrating that it could provide an economically-viable, single-storey solution, Wernick was formally appointed as principal contractor. By engaging with a modular provider before producing a design, the hospital was able to work with Wernick to take full advantage of the benefits of modular construction, which included maximising the amount of fit-out that could take place in the factory to reduce time on site. It also facilitated closer collaboration on the building’s specialist requirements, for example, using the hospital’s preferred contractors to provide medical gasses. Manufacturing the building in a factory environment gave the project several advantages. Firstly, the building could be constructed while the foundations were being prepared, drastically reducing programme length. Manufacture was also not affected by site conditions like the weather, making the programme even more reliable. The building comprised 33 modules, including a unit to link the new wards to an existing building on site, which were manufactured in Wernick’s dedicated factory in Port Talbot. These were transported to site by lorry, then craned into position and bolted together to form the complete building. While the initial programme was 20 weeks, the coronavirus outbreak made the hospital’s requirement more urgent. By implementing longer hours and working weekends, Wernick condensed the programme to just 14 weeks. Determined to deliver the project on time, Wernick worked with its sub-contractors and the hospital to devise working methods that would allow them to continue work on site, including strict social distancing measures. These new working methods were communicated through daily briefings and site signage. The closer collaboration early in the process, which had minimised the amount of work needed on site, also facilitated safer working while maintaining the programme. Reduced time on site also meant minimum disruption to the rest of the hospital during this crucial period. The completed single-storey building, delivered on time and on budget, consists of 1000m2 of gross internal floor space comprising 33 modular units. The fit-out includes bedhead trunking incorporating medical gasses, nurse call systems, access control and CCTV, fire escape ramps and nurse stations. Externally, the building is finished to match existing buildings on site. Kirstie Webb, Head of Estates & Facilities for George Eliot NHS Trust, commented: “Excellent product, finished ahead of time and within budget. This is particularly impressive as it coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic first wave.”

enquiries.buildings@wernickgroup.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021


A MODERN METHOD OF CONSTRUCTION WITH NO LIMITATIONS Modular construction based on a timber frame is a more flexible system and can meet a large variety of needs, explains TG Escapes. TG ESCAPES


s a modern method of construction, sectional modular buildings using timber frame are far more versatile than you might think. Each building can be designed to the specific needs of the customer and make best use of the available space. This means that there is no limit to how this construction method can be used. TG Escapes provides modular ecobuildings in education, leisure and business with over 700 complete projects in the UK. All our buildings have been designed by our in-house architects delivering projects from 60m2 to 2000m2. They include flat and pitched roofs, two storeys, large-span studios and intimate breakout spaces. They are used for canteens, chapels, changing facilities, kiosks, training centres, cafes as well as offices and classrooms. TG Escapes’ sectional modular process saves time and money versus a traditional build. This means less time on site, causing less disruption, which is particularly important in education where educational continuity is paramount. “The school and city council really liked the end-product concepts and we worked to benchmark TG Escapes against other providers as well as visiting a scheme in progress beforehand,” comments one building consultancy project manager.

Fully inclusive turnkey service TG Escapes offers a full design and build service undertaking all principal designer and principal contractor duties. Our turnkey solutions include planning permissions (where required), site preparation by dedicated groundworks experts and full safety compliance. We have a dedicated team including inhouse design and pre-contract resource committed to supporting consultants with tenders, grants and bids. We offer a variety of finishes including timber or composite cladding, render in a range of colours and brick slips. “TG Escapes were very efficient and accommodating, the team fitted into the school perfectly and the children loved watching the builders work on the new project,” explains a chartered building surveyor.

Long-lasting and highly energy-efficient structures Our buildings are permanent structures built using sustainable materials. Our timber frames are highly insulated and perform exceptionally well versus a cavity wall construction. Our buildings are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, ergonomic and highly practical but, just as

www.tgescapes.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021

0800 917 7726 44

importantly, they are built to last 60 years or more with appropriate maintenance. Education needs and approaches may well be very different in the future and our timber buildings are far more adaptable than a rigid brick option. A significant consequence of the way in which our buildings are constructed is that they are highly energy-efficient to run and are classed at least as A-rated structures. With suitable PV solar panels, these buildings can be classified as net-zero in operation. We provide several warranties upon the completion of the build. Each building comes with a 10-year structural warranty (covering foundations, floors, walls), and we provide an additional one-year warranty for all fixtures and fittings. Our roofs use an Evalon singleply membrane from an international leader in rubber roof manufacture. A Construction Line Gold member, an approved partner of the Institute of School Business Leadership (ISBL) and a member of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), customers score us 4.9 out of 5 based on 154 reviews. One customer, an estates and facilities manager, commented: “Working with TG Escapes was very good. The buildings provide a better quality environment for staff and students.”




A development of three detached, five-bedroom homes in the market town of Raunds near Northampton is utilising renewable heat packages featuring air source heat pumps, delivered by whole-house systems specialist, OMNIE, part of the Ridgespear Group. The solution makes use of quiet running heat pumps positioned at the rear of each home, with OMNIE’s Staple underfloor heating system installed over Cellecta Tectris insulation on the ground-floor slabs with the manufacturer’s versatile LowBoard panels and pipework serving the bedroom levels. The installation has been carried out by the developer’s in-house team, with OMNIE completing the commissioning work.


01392 363605



Never before has there been so much emphasis on the sanitisation and disinfection of surfaces we come into contact with. The ongoing battle against COVID-19 means it is essential for our health and wellbeing that surfaces are sanitised efficiently, especially in public spaces. VORTICE has now introduced the UVLOGIKA – an environmental sanitiser suitable for the disinfection of surfaces in domestic, commercial and industrial environments. The UVLOGIKA system is a UV-C lamp that eliminates up to 99% of bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms without any emission of ozone. Its compact dimensions make the unit discreet enough to be installed in a variety of applications such as classrooms, lifts and hospital waiting rooms.

www.vortice.ltd.uk Wire Rope

01283 492949



Königstone, with an impressive reputation for high-quality surface materials and worktops, now supplies stunning semiprecious materials for spectacular kitchens. Königstone has access to beautiful materials from across the globe, and these breathtaking surfaces will truly set the kitchen apart from the rest. Whether homeowners opt for a bold splashback, a contrasting feature within a worktop or even a whole worktop or feature wall, the materials available are sure to transform the kitchen. The intricate patterns and transparency of the materials allow these one-of-a-kind pieces to be backlit. The illumination creates a striking effect by highlighting the captivating natural characteristics of these beautiful features.

www.konigstone.co.uk 0333 577 2903 info@konigstone.co.uk

Stainless Handrails

Frameless Glass


Pro-Railing stainless steel handrail component system requires no welding. Simply cut, glue & screw on site to create stunning handrail & balustrades, that will look great for years to come. Whatever the project we have a cost effective solution.

01708 25 35 11 sales@brundle.com www.fhbrundle.co.uk 45

FC&A – MARCH – 2021


BRAND-NEW IDENTITY FOR AMRON ARCHITECTURAL Over the past few months, Amron Architectural has been hard at work developing its brand. Although its name will stay the same, there’s a lot of change in store for the architectural metal mesh supplier. To find out more about the company’s brand-new identity, FC&A’s Editor, Rebecca Kemp, sat down with Amron Architectural’s Managing Director, Jonathan Reed. AMRON ARCHITECTURAL

RK: What is the history behind the Amron Architectural brand? JR: The history of Amron Architectural is built around our customers. As a husbandand-wife startup in 2002, our humble beginnings have seen us gain expertise across the built environment and develop relationships with some of the industry’s most influential brands. RK: What was the drive for this re-brand? JR: The Amron Architectural brand has undergone a significant and exciting transformation. Deconstructing what the business and our services really meant to us allowed us to take a creative and versatile look and feel, ensuring our new identity has been developed to highlight our ambitious plans for the future. RK: What do you hope to achieve from this re-brand? JR: We represent ourselves as a business that understands the built environment, the issues, the people and, most importantly, the challenges facing this industry. With an extensive range of products and knowledge to educate our

audience, our ethos influences choice, engagement and inspiration. These core values support the work we are doing, our future work and defining a prosperous future for our team and customers. RK: What has changed about the Amron Architectural brand? JR: Our name will stay the same, but what we look like and sound like is changing. Metal mesh is a popular material for interiors and exteriors – not only is it versatile, but it also offers a design functionality like no other. The new look is bold, fresh, simplified, creative and versatile: words that all reflect our product and service offering. RK: What can we expect to see from you throughout this year? JR: Throughout the year, Amron will continue to educate the market with new and innovative products. We will also be releasing new and exciting initiatives including ‘Ask Amron’, where new and existing customers can request one of our many educational offerings to help with their project – whether it be a

www.amronarchitectural.co.uk FC&A – MARCH – 2021

01795 228583 46

‘Lunch and Learn’, a ‘Mesh Surgery’ or simply just a chat. The concept helps encourage customers to ask for advice to obtain the best creative mesh solution for any project. We want to help create a memorable distinction and make a difference in developing projects for the built environment.




s well as renovating any floor with a fresh and lasting finish, PU Sealer offers added protection for flooring areas prone to high traffic. Such areas with a heavy foot volume tend to wear very quickly when they don’t have a hardwearing product applied. Not only can this cost money, but it can be a time-consuming issue to fix. By applying the PU Sealer, flooring can be kept in a great condition for many years. The water-based, ecofriendly PU Sealer can be applied to most types of flooring, including vinyl, tiled and epoxy resin. Adding 40 microns of protective thickness to floors, PU Sealer extends the lifespan by up to six times and provides a lasting clear matt finish. Thanks to the permanent sealing, it protects against friction and discolouration from chemical spillages. Due to the product's special water-based substance, the PU Sealer also reduces dirt adhesion and the time needed for day-to-day maintenance.

DR. SCHUTZ PU SEALER – MAKING LONGER-LASTING FLOORING Dr. Schutz, the German floor care company, offers PU Sealer, an innovative solution that quickly and easily transforms tired, damaged or old floors, at a fraction of the time and cost of an entire floor replacement. DR SCHUTZ


01296 437827


Jon Dore, one of the building envelope sector’s most prominent commercial experts, is to join CA Group as the firm’s Business Development Manager in a newly-created role that will see further expansion of its existing commercial department. Jon will make the move this month, with his new position designed to draw upon his technical engineering background and 25year global construction experience in the building envelope sector, focusing on UK contracts, supply chain relationships and product application. Working alongside the sales, development, technical and marketing teams, he will be responsible for supporting and developing the firm’s client base, growing market share and innovative product application..


01388 834 242



A trio of Welsh schools have received upgrades to their thermal insulation thanks to a package of products provided by Sto. Ysgol Glan Morfa, Howardian Primary School and Ysgol Hamadryad in Cardiff have had the company’s StoTherm Mineral external wall insulation system applied to significantly improve their thermal performance. StoTherm Mineral external wall insulation system features mineral fibre insulation boards and combines unrivalled fire protection and high thermal performance with excellent impact resistance, making it ideal for both new-build and refurbishment projects. It was installed using Sto-Rotofix Plus, a unique and easily adjustable spiral fixing which can accommodate any unevenness in the substrate to create a perfectly smooth outer finish.


0141 892 8000

info.uk@sto.com 47


Deanestor has completed a £750,000 bespoke kitchen and bedroom fit-out contract at Affinity Living’s luxury urban living scheme in the centre of Manchester. Built by Sir Robert McAlpine and designed by architect firm Denton Corker Marshall, Riverside provides 190 studios and one-, two- and three-bed apartments for rent in a stunning 16-storey tower overlooking the river and the cityscape. The sleek, high-end open-plan kitchens have marbled white granite-effect worktops, an oak-effect finish to the breakfast bars for two to six people, and moulded cabinet doors with integrated handles. The base units and drawer fronts were finished in contemporary indigo blue and contrasting white for the wall cabinets.

www.deanestor.co.uk/buildtorent 01623 420041 enquiries@deanestor.com FC&A – MARCH – 2021

Introducing Pilkington SaniTise™, a world-first in glazing. Coated with a layer of titanium dioxide, the glass provides antimicrobial properties. Tested by leading universities it helps protect against enveloped viruses. Pilkington SaniTise™. For a healthier, cleaner, safer world. For further information visit pilkington.co.uk/sanitise

FC&A – MARCH – 2021