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Public Sector Build Journal August 2021




Issue 108

INCREASING INCLUSIVITY WITHIN LEISURE FACILITIES GT3 Architects digs deeper into the issues people face when visiting leisure centres


Work completes on new £5.5m medical centre in St Leonards, Hastings

Should all social housing providers review firestopping specifications?

The role of thermal comfort in creating a healthier environment



Hannah Woodger

Rebecca Kemp

Print & Digital Advertising Sam Ball

Jim Moore

Print Design Manager Jack Witcomb

Digital Design Manager Matt Morse


GT3 Architects has undertaken a research piece to dig deeper into the issues people face when visiting leisure centres. See page 12.

Rachel Pike

Sales Support & Statistics

Klare Ball

Publisher Sam Ball Published by

Cross Platform Media Ltd.

30 The Shoreway, St Mary’s Island, Chatham, Kent, ME4 3SL 01622 946150

Welcome to the August issue of PSBJ... As the country settles into its new-found freedom – for however long that may be – it’s full steam ahead as far as construction is concerned, all the while remaining cautious with COVID-secure measures still in place. Meanwhile, as public-focused facilities start to re-open, it’s time to reflect on how these spaces can work harder, become more inclusive and be even more energy efficient. Leisure centres, for instance, are prime examples of facilities that don’t always function with the end-user in mind. Architect firm, GT3 Architects, has recently undertaken research to dig deeper into the barriers currently faced by leisure centre users, looking specifically at caregivers of young children. And with the summer holidays now in full swing, this has never been more relevant. Turn to page 12 to find out more. Elsewhere, with the ongoing battle to prevent COVID-19 in our care homes, infection control should be top of the list of priorities for care home providers. The maintenance and upkeep of the interior space can play a huge role in combatting infection rate, with antibacterial and microbicidal paint – when used in conjunction with established cleaning routines – going a long way to limit the spread. Turn to page 28 to read about how one council embarked on a suite of infection control works using Seddon’s paint division. Also in the issue, Brock Carmichael showcases a new medical centre designed for a new era, Daikin UK sheds light on Sustainable Warmth Competition funding and Marley discusses how to prevent the spread of roof fires in terraced and semi-detached housing.

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I hope you enjoy this issue. Don’t forget, you can also access all of the magazine’s features, product news and supplier information on PSBJ’s user-friendly and engaging website. Fully responsive, the website allows you to read all the latest stories on-the-go either on your phone or tablet. Simply visit


Hannah Woodger • Editor • Find us on Social Media:      @psbjmagazine



06 News

A round up of the latest industry news, including charity events, awarded contracts, completed projects and much more.

08 Upfront

Morgan Sindall Construction has been working on two new secondary schools in south Wales as part of the Government’s programme to replace existing sites.

12 Leisure

With UK sport and leisure facilities now reopening their doors, we need to consider who is using these facilities and what barriers they face. GT3 Architects explores.


14 Healthcare

18 Floors, Walls & Ceilings

22 Legal & Business

16 Housing

20 Roofing, Cladding & Insulation

24 Education

Liverpool-headquartered architecture firm Brock Carmichael has completed work on a new £5.5m medical centre in St Leonards, Hastings, built to BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

Nick Huston, Future Energy Business Manager at Daikin UK, discusses unlocking Sustainable Warmth Competition funding with heat pumps.

F. Ball and Co. talks through achieving a long-lasting professional floor finish in education settings, while working to tight deadlines.

With recent concerns about inadequate fire barriers in the roofs of some new-build homes, is it time social housing providers review fire-stopping specifications?

Sam O’Callaghan, a Lawyer in Capital Law’s construction, energy and projects team, explores why the length of time to resolve a construction dispute is taking longer.

Designed as an educational facility for secondary students, The Arcadia Secondary School is a new purpose-built school adjacent to The Arcadia Preparatory School.

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

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12 26 Talking Point

John Skivington, Group Director of LHC, dispels some of the myths of modern methods of construction (MMC) in the public sector.

28 Infection Control

Danny McCann at Seddon discusses why a proactive approach to design should be top of any care provider’s list in the pursuit of effective infection control.

14 30 Technical Focus

Luciana Kola from Uponor explores the role of thermal comfort in creating a healthier environment for patients in hospital facilities.

32 Town & City Regeneration

Bought by Chorley Council in 2013, Market Walk has been designed to offer a quality environment that enhances the town centre both aesthetically and economically.

32 34 Product Showcase

A dedicated focus of industry news, products and case studies to help specifiers and local authorities make informed decisions.

Prepare for the “new normal” and use access control for infection control with...

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INDUSTRY UPDATES Each month PSBJ rounds up the latest public sector construction updates, from new contracts to industry awards.

Works complete on new Urgent Treatment Centre at Lincolnshire hospital Construction works to build a new Urgent Treatment Centre at a Lincolnshire hospital – an emergency-funded project which was fast-tracked to help ease COVID-19 pressure – has now been completed by Midlands-based contractor G F Tomlinson. The £2.4m project involved the construction of a single-storey extension at Lincoln County Hospital, expanding the facility’s existing accident and emergency department, to create an urgent treatment centre, which also includes a new entrance into the accident and emergency department. Secured through Pagabo’s National Framework for Medium Works – which covers schemes between the value of £1m and £5m in the Midlands – the project was completed over a period of 24 weeks following planning approval, with the official handover taking place at the end of April. United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust submitted plans to City of Lincoln Council last year, after receiving a £7m national funding boost from the Department of Health and Social Care, which is part of a £150m capital funding programme to expand and upgrade 25 A&Es across the UK, to reduce overcrowding and improve infection prevention control in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New competition set to deliver significant energy savings CUBE, an innovative competition that enables commercial buildings in both the private and public sector to make a genuine contribution to net zero, has launched in the UK. Organised by Ampersand Partners alongside founder A4MT, the competition introduces gamification for energy consumption, cutting energy usage and equivalent costs by an average of 12% and up to 55% in a single year. Set up for landlords, building managers and occupiers, including local authorities and public sector tenants, CUBE is a community which understands that achieving net zero starts with reducing energy use in their buildings. For users and employees, it engages everyone in a friendly, fun and collaborative competition to facilitate improved energy performance – one building at a time. CUBE is about simple interventions that make a big difference. It sets a baseline based on the previous one to three years of energy consumption data, then collects utility bills monthly to assess performance, improvements and highlight successes. With a range of support, tools and ideas from previous competitions, it helps firms identify how to continue to slash energy use.


Specialist school, The Avenue, on track for completion Work is progressing at pace on The Avenue, a new school which will meet the growing demand for special school places by further improving provision for pupils with autism and complex needs within the London Borough of Brent. Sat on an extremely constrained site, the new inclusive learning environment has been designed by Pozzoni Architecture and will eventually cater for up to 104 pupils from the ages of four to 18. The school is being constructed by Galliford Try Building Southern as part of a £50m contract to build five SEND schools in the south of England, three of which (including The Avenue) are in Greater London. Pozzoni Architecture has designed four of these five schools. The team working on site anticipates the school will be ready for its planned completion date in February 2022. Catherine Mulley, Director at Pozzoni and head of the practice’s education team, said: “The Avenue is testament to how great things can come in small packages. Everyone involved in the project is working collaboratively to deliver a school that provides everything its pupils need – a safe, happy and secure learning environment where they can ‘love, learn and laugh’ together.”

John McAslan + Partners awarded George Square design contract Glasgow City Council has appointed John McAslan + Partners as the architect for a major public realm scheme focused on George Square. The commission is for Block C of Glasgow City Council’s ambitious Avenues Programme – funded by the Glasgow City Region City Deal – comprising George Square and approximately 2.5km of the surrounding streetscape. John McAslan + Partners has been commissioned to reconsider the synergy and balance between George Square and the surrounding streets in relation to contemporary life. This involves clarifying the architectural and spatial qualities of the Square and its relationship to the surrounding urban context. The scope of the improvements will include George Street and St Vincent Street as well as John Street and Dundas Street. The scheme is part of the wider £115m Avenues initiative aimed at improving pedestrian connectivity and priority throughout the city, amid new tree planting, rain gardens, cycleways and improved public transport. Sustainability and community are at the heart of the brief with the aim of substantially enhancing the urban environment and opportunities for residents and visitors.


Wates Construction begins work on new Edgar Wood Academy

Latest milestone celebrated at £73m aquatics hub National contractor Wates Construction has reached its latest significant milestone in the construction of the £73m Sandwell Aquatics Centre, in Smethwick, procured through SCAPE, one of the UK’s leading procurement authorities, with the laying of the first of 190,000 pool tiles. The occasion was marked with a ceremony held at the site, attended by the Minister for Sport and Tourism, Nigel Huddleston and the leader of Sandwell Council, Councillor Rajbir Singh and other partners. The first tile was laid by Nigel Huddleston, MP and Councillor Rajbir Singh, leader of Sandwell Council, along with other dignitaries and two work experience students, Howard Dunn and Kye Roseblade. With less than a year till handover, Wates is now focused on completing the interior of the state-of-the-art facility and finishing its three pools. This will see up to 190,000 tiles laid carefully to waterproof the 50m Olympic-sized pool, 25m diving pool and community swimming pool ready for use. Some 3000m 3 of concrete were used in the pools’ creation, which had to be carefully poured to an accuracy of mere millimetres to comply with Olympic standards.

Darwin Group to deliver a unique new build for Halliford School Modular construction specialist Darwin Group has started construction on a new Learning Resource Centre and set of classrooms for Halliford School in Shepperton. The 805m 2 build for the selective independent school is expected to be handed over in just 21 weeks to minimise disruption to the school and its local residents. Darwin Group will use its unique turnkey service, which covers all stages of design, planning and construction from start to finish. The eye-catching exterior of the brandnew build has been designed with numerous windows on each storey, creating a well-lit and spacious learning environment for the students and staff. Darwin Group will use modern methods of construction for the build utilising its highly controlled environment at the Shrewsbury-based factory. This will allow for quality control checks of the modules and means that, now works have started on site, waste will be minimised during installation.

National contractor Wates Construction has begun work on a new £17m secondary school serving the local communities of Heywood, Middleton, Birch and Langley in Rochdale. The Edgar Wood Academy will be operated by the Altus Education Partnership (Altus), a multiacademy trust. The project was procured via the Department for Education’s (DfE) Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) Framework and is the first of six MMC projects to hit site that Wates is undertaking since its appointment to the framework in January 2020. Designed by architectural practice, Sheppard Robson, the 900-pupil school for 11 to 16 year olds, which has a footprint of 6720m2, is being developed in response to increased demand for secondary places following the expansion of local primary schools and will be ready for September 2022. It will comprise a three-storey teaching block containing 23 general classrooms and 34 specialist classrooms, a sports hall, sports pitches, soft and hard play areas, car parking and drop-off areas. At the same time, Wates has worked closely with the DfE to develop temporary accommodation to house The Edgar Wood Academy’s first 120 year 7 students when they arrive in September 2021. The accommodation will be located on a site about three miles away at Hopwood Hall College.

IG Masonry Support achieves carbon-neutral status Building product manufacturer IG Masonry Support is the first masonry support manufacturer to achieve carbon-neutral status and is on its way to becoming a net-zero energy company – the latest stage in IG Masonry Support’s sustainability journey. A manufacturer of innovative brickwork support systems, IG Masonry Support is leading the way in the Keystone Group, becoming the first company within the group as well as its sector to achieve carbon-neutral status. Speaking of IG Masonry Support’s latest achievement, Andy Neal, IG Masonry Support Managing Director, said: “We take our environmental responsibility seriously and are making the necessary changes within our business practices to become a net-carbon-zero company. I am proud that we have now achieved carbon-neutral status and are the first masonry support manufacturer in the UK to reach this goal. It is testament to our team’s passion and commitment to operating a sustainable business and to delivering sustainable products and solutions to our marketplace.”



BUILDING VALUE INTO SCHOOLS Today’s educational facilities must not only provide effective teaching environments, but must also provide a community hub that’s sustainable, long lasting and multi-functional. However, there are a number of ageing schools still in use that are just not designed to meet the expectations placed on contemporary buildings.


he imperative to construct a new generation of schools that meet a higher standard of operational, social and sustainable demands is illustrated by the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme. This was implemented to ensure that demand for new school places would be met with advanced establishments able to provide high-quality teaching spaces that would deliver maximum value for the local area. Morgan Sindall Construction has been working on two new secondary schools in south Wales as part of the 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme to replace existing sites. The Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School in Neath and the Whitmore High School in Barry showcase how to create contemporary educational facilities fit for the challenges they will face.

Colour, space and stairs at Cefn Saeson At the £27m Cefn Saeson project, which opened earlier this year three months ahead of schedule, a two-storey, 97,000ft 2 building was required with space for 800 pupils. This site incorporates a range of state-of-the-art facilities, including 48 classrooms, creative workspaces, art studios, a bespoke learning support centre for students with additional learning needs and ICT facilities with integrated mobile technology.


As a sports-oriented school, it has a number of high-end physical education areas, such as a competition level hockey pitch, 3G rugby pitch, an activity studio and four multi-use games areas. For the Neath Port Talbot Council, which commissioned the project as part of its Strategic School Improvement Programme (SSIP), it was important that the school avoided an “institutional” look and feel. Instead, the council’s preference is that the schools in its area convey a more architectural, university campusstyle aesthetic. A bright, open design with lots of texture and colour was developed to meet this requirement. Externally, the striking architectural features are immediately evident as the design played up to the school’s location. Being on top of a mountain, the building was built so that it would appear very prominent, as though it’s sticking out from the surrounding hillside. This makes the dark grey external cladding near the entrance all the more eye-catching, particularly as it’s on a raking angle that runs diagonally across the top half of the building, contrasting with the bricks that make up the bottom half. The vibrant red cladding that’s visible on the side of a building adjacent to the entrance provides a pop of colour that really distinguishes the facade from what you’d normally expect at a secondary school.

Internally, acoustic feature timber panelling was used in circulation areas such as the main atrium to break up the wall space. A number of architectural features were utilised in the dining room to create a vibrant atmosphere. Along with the timber panelling, this included a broad orange stripe across one wall that divides the white background, contrasting grey and white floor areas and floating, glass-fronted secondstorey offices above half the dining area. One particularly key feature was the inclusion of Hellerup stairs, the visually-iconic concrete staircase design that’s reminiscent of casual breakout areas in universities and large campuses. The wide, open-plan nature of these stairs allows students to sit and mingle while also easily being able to move between different areas.

Student-first design at Whitmore High School The 11,000m2 Whitmore High School will have a slightly larger capacity than the Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School, as it will provide places for 1100 pupils across its 70 classrooms, two drama and activity studios, a state-of-the-art music studio, art learning resource centre and multi-functional hall with retractable seating. It will also feature an inclusive ALN suite to support students with additional learning needs, as well as both indoor and outdoor sporting facilities, including an all-weather pitch and multi-use games court.

UPFRONT At the £29m Whitmore High School, which is due to be completed four months ahead of schedule in spring 2022, a Hellerup staircase was also an important aspect of the design. The old site had one and Morgan Sindall was tasked with retaining it in the new school. The canteen area of the site has a bright blue Hellerup staircase with white edge markings linking the openplan seating of the dining area to the building’s second storey. A number of comfortdriven design elements were incorporated into the classrooms to ensure that they would be effective learning spaces. The rooms themselves are 8% larger than required to improve the airflow and a lot of consideration was given to the orientation of the rooms, with high activity spaces being at the front of the building and north-facing to minimise direct sunlight and glare. Envelope materials were also chosen for specific insulation properties, such as windows which would provide solar protection to regulate the building’s temperature.

A high level of engagement with the school ensured that it would be ideal for the site’s future use. This was demonstrated by the attention to detail paid to the furniture, fixtures and equipment that would be required by the teaching staff. By ensuring a close level of collaboration between the construction team, the supply chain and the school, Morgan Sindall could ensure that each room would be appropriately set up. For example, bespoke teaching walls were installed in many classrooms which required short-throw projectors along with a whole host of associated details, such as connectivity, sockets and wall space. Getting all of this right during the design and build would ensure that the school would begin its operations smoothly.

Digital and green innovations A number of innovative techniques were implemented at both projects to streamline the construction process and ensure that they were delivered as sustainably as possible. BIM was an important part of both schools for a number of reasons, as not only did it help minimise design clashes and improve coordination between subcontractors, but it was also used to communicate the designs to stakeholders. QR codes were developed for each room so that the construction teams could easily access the appropriate 3D model and see an augmented reality overlay of the space. 





These QR codes were ideal for sharing the models and making sure that everyone knew what the area they were working on should look like and how it should be constructed. It also allowed Morgan Sindall to share the detailed models with students, teachers and the local authorities so they could understand what the new sites would be like. This ability to conduct virtual tours was especially useful given that work took place during the lockdown periods, which made real-life tours impossible. Both projects also required creative solutions for how to use the land on site in order to minimise the school’s carbon footprints. This was particularly crucial for the Whitmore High School, as the local authority is targeting a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’. This meant that all the earth and material dug up as part of the construction was used on site instead of being taken away, which avoids waste being taken to landfill and reduces the amount of transportation required. The same approach was employed at Cefn Saeson, but due to the building being on the side of a mountain and a whole new plateau having to be dug out, it had an especially large underground footprint. Two new tiers were added to the project at different levels to make sure all the earth and rock stayed on site.

Generating social value Aside from the actual creation of the new buildings, the 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme places a heavy emphasis on new developments generating significant social value for the local area. The Morgan Sindall Construction teams on each project fully embraced this aspect of the work and implemented a number of initiatives which, to date across the two schools, has seen over £38m of social value investment into the local communities. This took a number of forms, ranging from engaging a total of 1790 pupils in STEM-based curriculum activities, 660 donated hours of volunteer projects, creating 100 new entrant jobs for unemployed people and supporting the local economies by putting 100% of the project spend into local SMEs. At the Cefn Saeson school, approximately £11m of contracts was awarded to subcontractors in the south-west-Wales region. Morgan Sindall even took part in a new initiative by the Welsh Government in which a project bank account was set up through which Neath Port Talbot Council could have visibility on the payments to subcontractors. The Morgan Sindall Construction team at Whitmore High School went above and beyond the corporate social responsibility requirements of the 21st Century Schools and Colleges programme in a number of ways, employing three teachers on a part-time basis, collaborating with a council steering group to identify new ways that local businesses could get involved and even building a new allotment for the local community centre.

Next-generation construction As we can see from these projects, the definition of success for a new-build school has to take into account a long list of factors ranging from design and build quality to long-term environmental concerns and generating maximum benefit for the nearby residents. Achieving this requires close collaboration with every stakeholder and partner as well as a holistic approach to construction in which each component, technique and decision is assessed across a broad spectrum in order to truly understand its value. 



HOW CAN DESIGN MAKE LEISURE CENTRES MORE INCLUSIVE? Sport England estimates that inactivity causes one-in-six deaths and costs the NHS approximately £1bn per year. With UK sport and leisure facilities now reopening their doors, we need to consider who is using these facilities and what barriers they face. Architects, a leading G T3architecture firm specialising in sports and leisure, has undertaken a research piece as part of its Inclusive Design series to dig deeper into the issues people face when visiting leisure centres. “As people architects, we believe that a fundamental part of our role is understanding, anticipating and designing for the needs of our users,” says Paul Reed, Associate Director and Head of Sports and Leisure at GT3. “This means not only ensuring existing, active users are engaged, but also creating exciting, beautiful and wellbalanced facilities to support under-represented groups and demographics who don’t currently feel catered for at sports and leisure facilities. At present, leisure centres only cater for 16% of the population, so these issues need to be addressed if we are to get more people active. “Our Inclusive Design series forms part of a wider research and development push led by a team of architects, interior designers and engagement


specialists. For our first project, we looked specifically at caregivers of young children – this was defined as any adult who had experience taking a young child to a leisure centre. “We discovered that 85% of caregivers surveyed find it incredibly difficult to deal with the challenges of a leisure centre – such as where to put a child while you get changed or how to get into the pool safely if your child cannot stand by themselves – particularly when alone. “59% of people surveyed said they are usually the only adult responsible for their child or children during a visit and the word ‘stressful’ was used frequently, with caregivers feeling that the experience is more difficult than they would like. “Encouragingly, 58% of people surveyed would like to visit a leisure centre more often. We believe that if facilities were designed with caregivers in mind, they would use the facilities more, increasing both their own and their children’s exposure to water and/or fitness activities.”


According to the 2018/19 Active Lives Children and Young People Survey by Sport England, it was estimated that only 46% of the nation’s children are meeting the recommended level of activity. This has dropped even further with COVID-19 restrictions to just 19% of children being active for 60 mins per day. Paul continued: “It is critical to identify the barriers faced by users and ensure that any design meets the physical, mental and social needs of caregivers. “By including a few simple additions – such as safe parking and access to the facility, a waiting area in reception, clear wayfinding, buggy stores near the changing rooms and considered family changing rooms – it can have a massive impact on how caregivers use the space and ultimately create an improved experience. “Design is more than just shaping the physical environment. It involves addressing standards, practices and behaviours as well as changing the way users are engaged. By considering space, layout, technology and visual aspects, we can create a more familyfriendly and safer design that will ensure modern leisure centres are used and loved. “As an industry, we need to fully understand how our designs can be used to provide more welcoming and inclusive facilities for all, improving both the physical and mental health of our communities in the process. As architects, we can play a part in encouraging activity, especially now that leisure centres are re-opening, and we need to see this opportunity as a much-needed contribution to public health.” Judith Atkinson, Project Architect at GT3, led on the survey. She added: “This is the first report in our Inclusive Design series, so we really wanted to dig into the issues and barriers people face when attending a leisure centre. As a parent of a toddler myself, I felt it really important to highlight the difficulties caregivers often face when using facilities – it can be difficult taking a young child out of the home environment, particularly when facilities don’t meet your – or your child’s – basic needs. “Even small things – such as making sure windows are in children’s sight line and they can hold a handrail when going into the water – make a big difference. I firmly believe that by understanding these caregivers’ experiences – such as knowing that 50% consider a waiting area within the reception important or that 96% would prefer a family-friendly cubicle – we can make leisure centres more inclusive. “Our caregivers research was such a success; we’re currently doing a similar piece of research into autism and dementia. Our hope is that we will be able to provide proven design solutions for our clients, which, in turn, will ensure their end-users feel supported. The result will be a far more inclusive, welcoming space for the whole community, and will hopefully encourage far more people to use exercise to support a healthy lifestyle. A winwin for everyone.” 



BOLD MEDICAL CENTRE DESIGN FOR A NEW ERA Work has completed on a new £5.5m medical centre in St Leonards, Hastings. The three-storey 20,000ft2 building houses two GP surgeries and a pharmacy in Bexhill Road next to West St Leonards Community Centre. It was designed by Liverpool-headquartered architect firm Brock Carmichael as a strikingly modern building, part of a vision by funder Assura for the 2030 health and wellbeing centre of the future. Medical Centre now acts as a modern health hub S tforLeonards up to 20,000 patients in the south west area of Hastings. It houses the Carisbrooke Surgery, previously operating from portacabins, and the High Glades Medical Centre on Bexhill Road and provides on-site parking for patients’ use. As a health hub, it is able to facilitate services currently given by other providers more locally as well as easing pressure on the local hospital. Over the past few years, West St Leonards had to cope with the closure of two surgeries, South Saxon and Essenden Road, with patients having to travel further to access healthcare. The need for this development was very clear. The building – funded and acquired by Warrington-based specialist primary care investor, Assura – was delivered by Till Developments and constructed by locally-based Westridge Construction working closely with Brock Carmichael. It was designed to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ with rooftop HVAC plantroom, 26 consulting rooms, two GP surgeries, pharmacy, six treatment rooms and a Skype-enabled consulting and training suite. Construction commenced in August 2019 and continued through the pandemic. Westridge Construction put site management measures in place to reduce all opportunity for social contact on site to continue construction, despite the challenges of coronavirus, in line with Government advice, HSE and CIC guidance. Construction was completed both on time and to budget.


Senior Partner at Carisbrook Surgery, Nick MacCarthy, said: “The new building is vital for our patients, which opens at a time when the role of primary care and health services in the community has never been more important.” Senior Development Manager at Assura, Ashley Seymour, said: “We are delighted to have helped this important primary care centre come to fruition and really pleased with the team who have managed to deliver it on time, despite the pandemic. We are confident that the new facility will transform healthcare provision in this area and have a positive long-term impact on the community.”

Assura’s CEO, Jonathan Murphy, added: “Our mission is to try to create places – buildings and exterior environments – which move forward from the sense of a patient waiting for something to happen to them. Having primary care in the right place in the health ecosystem – literally and metaphorically – is where that shift can happen. Infrastructure could be truly transformational for the NHS.” He continued: “The Health Infrastructure Plan was launched by the Government in 2019 with the pledge of £850m for hospital maintenance and upgrades to acute facilities. Since then, the operating environment for all of the NHS’ buildings has changed dramatically. Where last year,

HEALTHCARE workers across organisations, such as hospitals, health centres and mental health sites. Assura also asked what they would want to see in community medical centre buildings of the future, based on their experiences of care during the pandemic so far. The most called-for features were:

trusts and primary care teams were battling to stay on top of the maintenance backlog and capacity challenges of an estate which – in some places – pre-dates the health service itself, the NHS’ premises have now become crucial tools in the ongoing management of the pandemic. “More than £4bn has been pledged for immediate hospital facilities improvements and maintenance, and for preparations to cope with a second wave of coronavirus cases. But thinking about ‘building back better’ and investment in social infrastructure, are we thinking enough about the transformative power of the NHS’ local places and spaces in primary care?”

The medical centre design of the future Assura has been working on the medical centre design of the future – exploring how the physical design and layout will work with primary care’s growing use of digital technology, remote consultation and diagnostics. Assura’s CEO, Jonathan Murphy, said: “2021 has shown us just how important this work is. Working with YouGov, we asked doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals for their reflections on the healthcare premises they’ve worked at or visited since March. While just over half (55%) said sites they’ve used were fit for purpose during the pandemic so far, 27% said premises had not worked that well or at all well for the services provided within.” Concerns about lack of space to implement social distancing in both clinical and staff areas, infection risk in older buildings and inflexible layouts were among the challenges flagged by

More flexible space which can be adapted quickly when needed (70%) The ability to divide the building or isolate specific areas (64%) Both face-to-face consulting rooms and smaller remote consulting spaces (52%) External spaces for both patients and staff (49%) Intercom systems for communicating with patients outside the building or in different zones (42%) Room for more onsite diagnostic options away from hospital (42%) Room for more onsite treatments away from hospital (41%). Jonathan Murphy, Assura’s CEO, continued: “With the NHS Long Term Plan and experiences of the pandemic to guide us, the common denominator is flexible, modern capacity in primary care. Hospital upgrades are desperately needed, but as the NHS attempts to address care backlogs and as GPs look ahead to a future where clicks and consultations combine, the most transformative infrastructure investment would be in creating the right space for consultation (both digital and traditional), diagnostics and treatment close to home. “Clearly, we all hope we’ll never experience a situation like the pandemic again – but there is so much we can learn from it to create the health spaces of the future. By the time we get to 2030, our design vision of the future, a 2030 health and wellbeing centre will be old news. But today, we hope it at least acts as a starting point for conversations, ideas and innovation.” 



UNLOCKING SUSTAINABLE WARMTH COMPETITION FUNDING WITH HEAT PUMPS The UK has committed to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and housing will play a key part in making that viable. Nick Huston, Future Energy Business Manager at Daikin UK, talks to PSBJ about recent changes to the LAD Scheme and explains how local authorities can be supported in their application process for funding.


boilers are set to be G asbanned in new homes

Supporting an ambitious target

from 2025 – and there’s a need to retrofit the country’s existing housing stock with sustainable heating solutions at the same time. The role heat pumps have to play in decarbonising the UK’s housing stock is widely acknowledged, and the Government’s target is for 600,000 to be installed per year by 2028. These new deadlines and targets mean that, for local authorities in particular, creative ways are needed to deliver green homes, critically, that don’t add to the acute financial pressures they’re already under.

While there is substantial Government funding available to local authorities to make housing improvements, the landscape is fast-moving, with various schemes, funds and grants launching and closing all the time. In July 2020, the Government launched the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Scheme, with up to £500m of support for English Local Authorities to use when improving the energy efficiency of homes occupied by those on low incomes. Phases 1a, 1b and 2 of the LAD Scheme have been awarded, with all projects’ allocated funding due to be

finished by December 2021. And in mid-June of this year, the Government announced a change of plan regarding Phase 3. £200m from Phase 3 of the LAD Scheme has now been combined with £150m from the Home Upgrade Grant (HUG), to create a new £350m fund called the Sustainable Warmth Competition. Local authorities, and the social housing providers they are associated with, can apply for funding, with applications subject to a minimum bid of £250,000.

The new fund is split into two elements: 1. The LAD Scheme Phase 3 This element is to deliver upgrades to low-income households in the most energy-inefficient homes in England – that are on the gas grid. This is in addition to the £500m already awarded via the earlier phases of the LAD scheme. The main criteria for on-gas grid properties will remain the same as those in the first two phases of LAD, including the cost caps for owner/occupier and private or social landlord rented properties. For owner/occupier properties, the maximum average subsidy is £10,000, with no contribution towards the cost of the upgrade required. For rented properties, the maximum is £5000 and the landlord must fund at least one third of the total cost.

HOUSING 2. The HUG Phase 1 This element focuses on off-gas grid properties. The cost of upgrading energy performance of an off-gas grid property tends to be higher, and funding is needed to support the installation of multiple measures per home.

The time to apply is now Applications for funding from the Sustainable Warmth Competition are open until 4th August. The ambition is for the funding to be allocated this autumn, with work to get underway in January 2022. The Government is asking that all local authorities submit rigorously thought-out applications that they are confident can be delivered in full by 31st March 2023. Local authorities must show that their applications meet various key eligibility criteria for funding, including showing that properties identified for upgrades have an EPC rating of band D, E, F and G. Funding must also be targeted at low-income groups with a combined household income of no more than £30,000 – and a robust methodology will be needed to demonstrate how these households will be identified and verified. Previously, funding through the LAD Scheme was guaranteed for each and every local authority through regional Energy Hubs across the country. But with this new competition format, funding is not guaranteed for all, and local authorities must go up against each other with their bids.

Help is at hand There’s no doubt that the funding application process can be complex and time-consuming – but local authorities don’t have to go it alone. By teaming up with a partner like Daikin, housing providers can access free support to develop their proposals – across the planning, application and delivery process. Our team consists of dedicated experts, experienced in securing funding from similar schemes, grants and competitions.

We can help carry out stock analysis and feasibility studies, setting out which properties are best suited to heat pumps and most likely to be approved for funding. This includes helping local authorities meet the competition’s criteria and highlight how the proposed funding will help those most in need, by effectively assessing the EPC ratings of their properties and identifying households living in fuel poverty. We can also support through overseeing consultations with local residents, bringing them on board through regular communications, easy-to-read guides, YouTube videos and even mobile showrooms where they can familiarise themselves with heat pump technology and understand how it will benefit them. We’re also on hand to advise and provide training to local plumbing and heating businesses and supply chains, to maximise the opportunities for the local economy to grow and feed off the work created by funding.

The right technology for the job Heat pumps are a leading technology for the decarbonisation of UK homes and deliver a wide range of benefits compared with other options in the mix. Heat pump technology can deliver substantial carbon savings of approximately 2600kg of CO 2 per year, which is far beyond many of the alternative solutions on the market – and it’s well-established enough to be rolled out at scale. Heat pumps are also a great solution for projects with tight timescales, as they’re readily available, can easily be installed in a couple of days and don’t require planning permission. We’re working hard to support housing providers, installers and residents when it comes to commissioning, operating and fully understanding these low-carbon heating systems – to ensure all parties reap maximum benefits from heat pumps, as together we build clean, green, happy communities, fit for the future. 



FAST-TRACK FLOORING INSTALLATIONS FOR EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES Flooring installations in schools, colleges and universities often face severe time constraints, as well as needing to be able to withstand significant levels of wear, including high foot traffic. Neil Sanders, Technical Director at one of the UK’s leading subfloor preparation product and adhesive manufacturers, F. Ball and Co., talks through achieving a long-lasting professional flooring finish in these locations while working to tight deadlines, including avoiding common causes of floor failure.

First steps Before undertaking any flooring installation, a thorough assessment of the subfloor should be completed to ensure it is sound, smooth and free of contaminants. If the subfloor is a newlyinstalled screed, laitance (the crust of cement and fine aggregates that form on the surface of the screed as it dries) may still be present, and floors that are being refurbished may be contaminated with old adhesive residues. To avoid costly floor failure, both laitance and contaminants should be mechanically removed before proceeding with a flooring installation. Dust or debris should also be swept away, and damaged subfloors should be repaired with an appropriate floor repair compound.

Safeguarding against moisture


nsuring a long-lasting, professional flooring finish in any environment requires following the basic principles of subfloor preparation, as well as using products that will enable flooring to withstand anticipated levels of wear and environmental factors. Incorrect or insufficient preparation can create the potential for floor failure, leading to


costly recalls and remedial work. Projects in educational settings also frequently have to be completed over a weekend or during a holiday. Fortunately, the latest fast-track subfloor preparation products and adhesives for floorcoverings mean that flooring installations that have once taken a week can be done in a day, without compromising on quality.

The next stage in any flooring installation should be to conduct a moisture measurement test to ascertain subfloor moisture levels. Unmanaged subfloor moisture, whether residual construction moisture or rising damp, is one of the leading causes of floor failure, causing adhesives to de-bond, carpet underlays to rot, wooden floors to warp and resilient floorcoverings to blister. Moisture can also lead to the growth of mould and bacteria, which may present a health risk. To comply with British Standards, subfloor relative humidity (RH) levels within the subfloor should be measured using a pre-calibrated hygrometer. If RH levels exceed 75%, or 65% when installing timber floorcoverings, a moisture management solution will be required to stop excess subfloor moisture potentially causing floor failure.

FLOORS, WALLS & CEILINGS Liquid waterproof surface membranes are the usual moisture management solution. The best-performing epoxy waterproof surface membranes will isolate excess subfloor moisture where relative humidity values are up to 98%, with a single-coat application, which will fully cure in as little as three hours. Quicker, two-coat, water-based systems are available that will create an effective barrier against residual construction moisture where relative humidity values are up to 95%. The first coat cures in 15 to 20 minutes, and a further 30 minutes curing time is required for the second coat.

Prime importance Once the subfloor is suitably sound, smooth and dry, with a suitable moisture management solution in place if required, it will be essential to prime the subfloor in almost all circumstances. When used over non-absorbent surfaces, such as epoxy waterproof surface membranes, priming promotes the adhesion of subsequently applied levelling compounds. Applied over absorbent subfloors, such as concrete, sand and cement screeds or plywood, priming also prevents the unacceptably rapid loss of water from the levelling compound into absorbent substrates, maintaining its working time. Priming also prevents ‘pinholing’: small holes in the levelling compound that have the appearance of pinholes or blisters caused by the slow escape of air from absorbent surfaces as the levelling compound cures.

Creating a base Once the subfloor is primed, the application of a levelling compound is recommended to create a perfectly smooth and sturdy base for the receipt of new floorcoverings. The fastest setting products on the market are walk-on hard in 30 minutes and ready to receive new floorcoverings from 45 minutes. In refurbishment applications, where old adhesive residues are present, an alternative fast-track solution is available: specialist high-performance levelling compounds that can be applied directly over bitumen and old adhesive residues, eliminating the need for mechanical removal. One such product, F. Ball’s Stopgap 1200 Pro, takes as little as 60 minutes to set and is ready to receive floorcoverings from as little as four hours. When the product is applied over old adhesive residues, it is not essential to prime beforehand, saving further time.

Where installations are expected to be subject to heavy loads and high foot traffic, the application of a heavy-duty levelling compound will ensure the long-term performance of the installation.

Choosing the right adhesive Once the levelling compound has cured, the contractor can then select a suitably fast-working adhesive to install appropriate floorcoverings. The choice of adhesive will often be determined foremost by what type of floorcoverings are to be installed and where, but there are options for when timesaving is a priority. Nowadays, adhesives are available that build up a strong enough bond to allow for foot traffic in less than an hour after the application of floorcoverings. Carpet tile tackifiers are available that only take 30 minutes to form a permanently tacky film, which will prevent tiles from moving laterally under everyday traffic, while allowing individual sections to be easily lifted and replaced if damaged or worn.

Compatibility check A final note on adhesive selection: it is always advisable to check the compatibility of particular floorcoverings and adhesives to ensure against floor failure. To do this, contractors should consult the adhesive manufacturer’s Recommended Adhesives Guide or see the floorcovering manufacturers’ instructions. 



PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF ROOF FIRES IN TERRACED AND SEMIDETACHED HOUSING With recent reports raising concerns about inadequate fire barriers in the roofs of some newbuild homes, Stuart Nicholson, Roof Systems Director at Marley, says all social housing providers should review fire stopping specifications. are an unseen, F irebutbarriers very important, product when installing a pitched roof on terraced or semidetached housing. When a roof is compartmentalised, fire stopping is required between the top of the party wall and the roofcovering, acting as a seal to prevent spread of flames and smoke between properties in case of fire. However, there have been some house fires in recent years where the fire has spread across the line of the party wall and caused damage to neighbouring properties. This issue of fire spreading in roof


voids was addressed in separate reports from the BRE and BBC Watchdog, which raised concerns that some modern homes could have inadequate, incorrectly installed and, in some cases, no fire barriers at all. In fact, investigations found that 650 new homes in one region of the UK had missing, or incorrectly installed, fire barriers. Whilst the research took place in private new builds, it is equally concerning for the social housing sector, which has a large proportion of terraced and semi-detached

homes, multiple occupancy buildings and flats (which also require fire breaks in the roof). Clearly, any home without fire stopping is in breach of the Building Regulations and this is very worrying. However, the fact that, in some cases, fire barriers had been installed but they may not have worked effectively, is just as troubling. Unfortunately, there are a few reasons why a fire barrier could end up being inadequate or incorrectly installed. Fire stopping is often achieved with a flexible mineral fibre quilt or sock, but a potential fire passage still exists at the line of the roofing battens, above the rafters, which can span across the junction between properties. In addition, standard details, such as spandrel panels in

timber frame construction, may be used to satisfy fire separating requirements but don’t provide fire stopping to the underside of the roofcovering. There are fire barrier products available on the market to close this gap but feedback from contractors suggests that these can be bulky and difficult to install in line with the roof tiles, especially with deep-profiled tiles. It is also difficult to see if the fire protection is in the correct place once the tiles have been laid. This means there is a risk that social housing providers have specified a fire barrier and it is present, but it may not be installed correctly, or might not be sufficient to fully seal the gap.


What can social housing providers do to reduce risk?

1. Ensure fire stopping is specified in line with Part B of the Building Regulations Approved Document Part B provides guidance on specifying and providing compartmentation within the roof. 2. Take more control of fire barrier specification Give careful consideration to fire stopping in the roof of semi-detached and terraced housing, as well as fire breaking in blocks of flats. Provide specific detailing and a named product, don’t leave it open to interpretation by non-specialist contractors. 3. Specify an easy-to-install intumescent fire barrier, that can fill all gaps in case of fire To give social housing specifiers peace of mind, we have launched our new Marley Roof Defence fire barrier. It is simple to install, which gives confidence that it is

correctly fitted and will provide full fire protection, from one roof to the next, achieving up to a 60-minute fire rating. The Roof Defence fire barrier features two strips of intumescent material bonded at 90°, with an inverted T design, that can simply be installed under tiles and between roof battens to close all gaps in the event of fire. Whereas some other systems are rigid, Roof Defence is flexible, lightweight and is supplied on a roll, so it can easily be taken onto a roof and rolled out over the party wall. When activated by heat, the inverted T intumescent seal expands, filling the space between roofing battens and sealing all spaces under the tiles, slates, and other roofing elements. It has outperformed all fire testing requirements and fills every void from the party wall to the bottom tile, meaning smoke and fire cannot pass through.

Roof Defence can also be specified as a comprehensive fire barrier in larger roofs, or as a fire break in expansive buildings with large footprints such as apartment blocks, schools, care homes, offices and hospitals. 4. Consider specifying a full-pitched roof system with a fire barrier included For ultimate peace of mind, social housing providers can specify a full Marley roof system, including JB Red battens, underlay, tiles or slates, fixings, accessories, Roof Defence fire barrier and optional solar PV, backed up by our 15-year warranty. This ensures that every roof on every property is fully compatible and compliant with all regulations, as well as reducing the risk of product substitution. 



Sam O’Callaghan is an Associate in the Construction, Energy & Projects team at Capital Law, with expertise in complex contentious construction matters. Sam has expertise in all forms of dispute resolution relevant to large construction/ commercial disputes, with a notable focus on construction adjudication.

IS THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY BECOMING LESS LITIGIOUS? According to the 2020 Global Construction Disputes report by Arcadis, the length of time to resolve a construction dispute in the UK has increased by 28% since 2018, taking just over a year. Sam O’Callaghan, a Lawyer in Capital Law’s construction, energy and projects team, explores why it is taking longer and how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the industry’s attitude towards disputes. disputes can be a complicated R esolving process with many moving parts. Exacerbated by the measures and restrictions taken to tackle COVID-19, it has made an already slow and technical process even more cumbersome. Physical court closures and postponement of hearings have undoubtedly extended the length of time it takes to resolve commercial disputes. It is an unavoidable reality that COVID-19 has placed, and will continue to place for some time, a heavy burden on the already over-stretched court system. Construction, however, is an entirely different story from general commercial disputes. Taken purely in isolation, construction as an industry has continued to operate throughout the pandemic – and has continued to refer disputes to tribunals.


The Technology & Construction Court quickly pivoted to allow for video hearings. With adjudication business being dealt with just as rapidly by the courts as pre-pandemic, only large court cases took the brunt of delays in waiting for physical hearing dates. The court’s focus on pushing through adjudication business lines up with a growing trend for the past 15 years, and the introduction of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, for the parties to rely solely on adjudication and to avoid the courts – resulting in lower referrals to court (and supposedly quicker resolution to disputes). As the Arcadis report indicates, the rise of adjudication has not necessarily resulted in an equivalent decrease in the duration of resolving

disputes. Anecdotally, when serious disputes do happen on a contract, the parties tend to engage in serial adjudications, before eventually ending up in litigation or arbitration. This means that adjudication has only served the purpose of extending the duration of the dispute. Even if adjudication is ultimately accepted by the parties without going to court, it is becoming less common for there to be only one adjudication. In an effort to move away from the traditional arguments and practices, “collaboration” has been pushed as a solution and it is amazing when it works. Even when it doesn’t work, it should, at least, limit the legal and contractual points in issue and, therefore, the cost of resolving differences. Perhaps counter-intuitively, this collaborative approach can extend the period in which parties are in dispute. This is largely due to the fact that time is spent attempting to work a solution between the parties before referral to a tribunal. Given the pressure of low-profit margins, and the desperate need for cash flow in the supply chain, COVID-19 has reinforced the benefits of choosing to settle or engage in alternative forms of dispute resolution, rather than litigate or arbitrate. What is clear is that construction will, at least for the short term, remain a contentious industry. 

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SUSTAINABLE FLOORING CHOICE FOR NEW SECONDARY SCHOOL Designed as an educational facility for secondary grade students, The Arcadia Secondary School is a new purpose-built school adjacent to The Arcadia Preparatory School. Echoing the school’s bright, safe and sustainable design, Milliken’s Culture Canvas carpet tiles were chosen for the Arcadia school library.

building, designed to T heaccommodate up to 800 students, has the majority of ground-floor classrooms extending out onto open protected spaces to the rear, providing children with safe access to play areas from their classrooms.


The campus covers a total teaching space of 6000m2, including the classrooms, shared learning and labs. Other facilities within the campus include a library, music and dance rooms that together cover an area of 1500m2.

Internally, classrooms are bright with ample daylight and with large corridors providing social spaces for children. Recreational play areas include a soccer pitch and sports courts, multipurpose hall and swimming pool, which

are provided on different levels of the building. The school is designed in line with sustainable building practices to provide an optimally safe, healthy, comfortable and productive learning environment for students and a pleasant working environment for faculty and staff. Arcadia School is the second in a series of community-based schools delivering the vision of Mohan Valrani and the Al Shirawi Group. The Arcadia School’s secondary campus is the second school designed and built by Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ) Architects as part of a series of community-based schools for Arcadia Education. Located within Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Triangle, close to the primary school, the orientation of the new secondary campus and the functions within it have been optimised to exploit the view out over the central Jumeirah Village Triangle Park. Drawing inspiration from The Arcadia School’s primary campus, the reception is bright and airy, opening out into a large casual seating zone with a unique 12m-high indoor climbing wall feature. The new secondary school features a full-sized artificial pitch, a 25m swimming pool and MUGA court, which can be accessed by the primary school when required.

EDUCATION This sharing of facilities also helps with the transition from primary to secondary education building confidence for the students about to move to the next stage of their education. GAJ has been designing and building schools for many years, and understands and values the opportunity to create unique buildings for school operators. Each one is tailored to the specific requirements and brand identity of the school. With this new school, the team wanted to ensure brand consistency and a design approach to support the ethos and visual identity of Arcadia. Jason Burnside, Partner at Godwin Austen Johnson, explains: “Due to the limited site area, we agreed with the client early in the design process that the central atrium needed to provide a focal point for the entire school. It needed to be more than just a simple entrance and more of a window into the school. As well as the operational functions of the reception, lobby and administration, the atrium focuses on a large vertical climbing wall and central atrium stair that doubles as a seating area for assemblies for students, staff and parents. “Our main challenge was to overcome the single vehicular entry point permitted to the site. Combined with the limited plot area and the fact that the site was enclosed on three of the four sides, we used a basement for staff parking and lifted the street-side accommodation above the street level to the first floor, which improves privacy for the classrooms but also allowed us to create a cover bus and car drop-off and collection area.” Commenting on the choice of materials and finishes used in the interior, Jason Burnside continues: “Schools need to be robust and easy to maintain, but to

avoid a utilitarian design, we wanted to create a strong connection with the palette of the junior school to create a warm and welcoming interior. The choice of materials was critical to achieving the client’s sustainability objectives so lowVOC products were selected throughout with energy-saving fittings installed where possible. Lots of natural light and acoustic wall and ceiling panels ensure high-quality teaching environments.” Milliken’s Culture Canvas carpet tiles were chosen for the Arcadia School Library. With their tufted, textured surface, they provide a luxury look and feel, while still giving all the practical benefits of carpet tiles. The design is inspired by street art and the layering of the spray-painted images on the concrete wall are re-graffitied on a nightly basis. Culture Canvas is produced in an ISO14001-certified facility in Wigan, UK, using ethically-sourced and, wherever possible, locally-produced materials.

Culture Canvas carpet tiles feature 90% recycled content cushion backing offering underfoot comfort, improved acoustics and superior appearance retention leading to extended product life. To further reduce its environmental impact, Culture Canvas can be supplied with Milliken’s patented TractionBack, an innovative backing system that enables adhesive-free installation and, therefore, improves indoor air quality, speeds installation and reduces materials usage. Culture Canvas is BRE certified, CRI Green Label Plus, GuT Certified and contributes to WELL points. Culture Canvas with TractionBack is eligible for LEED points. Responsible end-oflife re-use is assured with the option to return used Culture Canvas carpet through Milliken’s Re-Vision Carpet Take Back programme. 



DISPELLING THE MYTHS OF MMC IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR John Skivington, Group Director of LHC, talks to PSBJ about the benefits of MMC, and alleviates some of the common concerns associated with this construction technique.


t feels as though we’re on the cusp of a boom in the adoption of modern methods of construction (MMC) in public sector housebuilding. Demand will be driven partly by the Government; Homes England has specified that, as part of its latest Affordable Homes Programme, its strategic partners must deliver at least 25% of its housing using MMC. That means every home within that 25% must have a pre-manufactured value (PMV) of 55% or above – that is, the value of the property produced through MMC processes. On top of that, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is setting up an MMC Task Force, with £10m of seed funding, to accelerate its adoption across the sector.


At LHC, we’re also seeing demand driven directly by local authorities and other registered providers themselves – for example, our north and central England local hub, CPC, has recently helped both Sheffield and Middlesbrough councils deliver domestic and non-domestic projects respectively. This is perhaps thanks to a growing recognition of the cost and speed benefits, but also due to the increasing pressure to deliver more new homes, while simultaneously having to retrofit for safety and energy improvements. But despite all of this, there is still trepidation within the sector to be the first, the ‘early adopters’. I believe this could be down to a misunderstanding of the barriers to entry into MMC, and complications with public sector procurement constraints. The Government is clearly recognising the benefits of MMC in the face of its target to deliver 300,000 new homes a year. In the face of this, there’s a desperate need to accelerate local construction. MMC buildings can be delivered much quicker than with traditional building methods, resulting in more homes and less disruption to the local area.

John Skivington has been at the helm of LHC – a leading not-for-profit public sector purchasing consortium – as its Group Director for nearly 17 years, and is one of only three directors of the organisation since it was founded 55 years ago.

For example, the project I mentioned in Sheffield saw residents move into their new homes less than five months after the building modules were lifted into place. A recent report published by CAST Consultancy and HTA Design indicates that offsite technology can result in a 40% reduction in emissions when compared to traditional construction, with a dramatic improvement in embodied CO 2 emissions.

So, why the remaining concern over MMC? Firstly, I think many people in the sector see it as an expensive luxury, given the initial project costs. Some feel that because of this, it’s an unviable option. But, in reality, MMC homes have lower overall lifecycle costs – project delivery is much faster, so the sale or rent revenue starts to come in much earlier. They also benefit from reduced maintenance costs thanks to the quality-controlled manufacturing process. We can drive further reductions in cost through economies of scale – with more housing providers and developers procuring MMC, we’ll expect costs

TALKING POINT to come down as the market matures. We may see this start to happen as the Affordable Homes Programme progresses. Secondly, there’s a perception that public procurement constraints limit a local authority’s ability to develop the right relationships required for MMC. The view is that because a consistent pipeline of work is required for the manufacturers, local authorities are not in a position to create that long-term demand for one supplier. There’s also the concern that MMC housing schemes are too complex to manage, with more stakeholders and more technical areas to keep on top of. However, through framework agreements, contracting authorities are able to manage the process much more easily through a single point of contact and with the aid of technical expertise across all RIBA Plan of Work 2020 stages. Framework agreements, such as LHC’s Offsite Construction of New Homes (NH2), therefore, allow the necessary relationships to flourish over a longer-term period, helping to set out an integrated supply chain. We’ve also found in the past that some local authorities have struggled to deal with the unique challenges associated with MMC, in particular, understanding project risks and ensuring smooth delivery. In response, we developed the Offsite Project Integrator framework to provide technical support at every stage, making available specialist consultants to help make the business case for MMC housing.

So, we are seeing local authorities starting to look past these barriers to entry and realise the value MMC provides; in fact, our MMC framework has already led to a pipeline of nearly 5000 homes across 133 projects. I think we’ll start to see this number increase even further, not just because of the Government’s ever-growing preference for MMC, but also because housing providers are seeing all of the benefits that MMC brings. But, it should be recognised that overstretched local authorities need proper resourcing and technical and practical guidance, as well as help to recognise where the value for money is to be found. This is where LHC’s experience, local procurement expertise and MMC knowledge can help. MMC is undoubtedly the future for housebuilding, and local authorities can help to lead the way. 



When used in conjunction with established cleaning and sanitisation protocols, it offers passive protection and further peace of mind. COVID-19 still poses a significant risk, so delivering essential redecoration works using these products is an indirect way of limiting the spread of many other harmful infections, easing the burden on healthcare teams at this difficult time.

EFFECTIVE INFECTION CONTROL IN CARE HOMES Danny McCann, Painting Services Manager for Seddon, discusses why a proactive approach to design should be top of any care provider’s list in the pursuit of effective infection control. ongoing battle to curb COVID-19 T heoutbreaks in our communities has highlighted the need for maintaining the utmost levels of hygiene in all settings. For care environments, now more than ever it is vital to ensure spaces are designed to reduce the transmission of potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. No matter the healthcare environment, well-designed interiors can play a key role in helping to bolster infection control, protecting vulnerable people in the process. Even selecting which paint to use when refurbishing an area can play a huge role in creating safer places.

Passive protection It goes without saying that exemplary hygiene is paramount in care settings, and simple interior design choices, such as the types of paint being used, can provide added safety. Antibacterial or microbicidal paints are fortified with substances or active ingredients that effectively kill harmful bugs on surfaces; they work by preventing the growth of microbes that cause infection, including common infections, such as MRSA or E. coli. An antibacterial paint can be applied wherever there is a risk of contamination – from corridors and waiting rooms, to bathrooms or entrances.

Antibacterial paint in practice In November 2020, Seddon was tasked by Derby City Council to refurbish Perth House, which provides care home services, without nursing, for up to 36 older people. Seddon carried out a suite of infection control works to the home, which remained open during the 16-week programme. To minimise the risk of COVID-19 spread, the works were completed in phases, with residents being moved out of four wings before the job started. Overall, the project included the soft strip of all fabrics and materials, such as curtains, chairs and light shades that could potentially harbour dirt and germs. They were replaced with more sterile materials, such as wipeable blinds, LED lighting and stainless-steel surfaces in the home kitchen. A specialist Sterishield paint containing an in-film bactericide, which inhibits bacteria and reduces populations of MRSA and E. coli, was applied also. When combined with appropriate cleaning practices, the paint helps to promote a more hygienic environment, for the benefit of residents and staff alike. Plus, no specialist applicator training is needed to apply the paint, which ensured Seddon met the strict time constraints. Following all refurbishment works, the team completed a full deep clean before handing back the care home, ready for the residents to move back into with the new infection control measures in place. 









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HEALTHY BUILDING, HEALTHY PATIENTS: THE IMPORTANCE OF THERMAL COMFORT STANDARDS Healthcare facilities around the world have been thrown into the spotlight like never before during the recent pandemic, and the pressure on hospitals to provide a safer and more hygienic environment has increased tenfold. Here, Luciana Kola from Uponor, discusses the role of thermal comfort in creating a healthier environment for patients. person produces a T hebaseaverage production rate of around 60W of heat on average whilst sleeping, which increases with the more activity we do. For example, when doing normal office work, we generate around 140W, with this increasing to around 250W for physical activity. Therefore, we need to balance out our heat production with


heat loss in order to be comfortable and feel physically well. We lose heat from our body in four ways: by evaporation, radiation, convection or conduction. To achieve thermal comfort, we must be in thermal balance with our surroundings, meaning that we equal the loss of heat from our bodies with the rate that we produce heat.

Thermal comfort is particularly important in places such as healthcare facilities as it reduces the risk of people developing further illnesses, such as respiratory problems, dehydration or hyperthermia. The temperature, humidity, air circulation and air quality of a building are but a few factors that determine thermal comfort within a facility and it is crucial that these are considered during the initial design stages of any building which will be providing healthcare services.

Top of the agenda So, how should healthcare facilities be designed to create the most thermallycomfortable environment possible for patients? During the early design stages, operative temperature, humidity and fresh air supply rate should be discussed in order to specify the optimum comfort solution for a facility. Other aspects that must be considered at this stage include seasonal temperature changes, conditions in different-sized spaces and rooms, and whether a building is naturally ventilated or uses air conditioning. These considerations are crucial because however



innovative or well-regarded a system is, it cannot be deemed a success if it fails to achieve the conditions required by staff, and, more importantly, patients.

UFH as a viable option A building’s heating system is obviously fundamental when it comes to achieving thermal comfort but there are a number of decisions to be made when considering the most appropriate heating system to be used in a healthcare facility. While it’s often tempting to stick with what you know, it’s imperative for developers and specifiers to take time to explore all options available, and consider the pros and cons of traditional heating systems, such as radiators, versus more modern methods such as underfloor heating. Radiators work by heating the air surrounding them using convection. The heated air rises towards the ceiling, and once it has cooled down it falls back to ground level to be heated by the convection of the radiator. The convection of warm air can cause a reduction in humidity, meaning the heated area can feel stuffy, dry and uncomfortable.

In addition to discomfort, the rising air temperature through convectional heating can lead to a reduction in oxygen levels and even breathing difficulties if the air is too warm. This can cause significant issues in healthcare facilities where patients may already be suffering from respiratory issues. Conversely, underfloor heating works by providing a consistent temperature of heat across a wider area. If the entire floor of an area is heated up to a consistent temperature, it gives an even spread of radiant heat across the entire space, whereas convectional heat can lead to hot spots and overheating as people turn the temperate up at the source to compensate for cooler areas. Underfloor heating can be controlled by room or by zone, with a thermostat controlling each area. This is a more efficient way of heating a building as it provides heighted thermal comfort whilst also reducing the amount of energy required. By heating specific areas of a building, rather than an entire facility, underfloor heating can also be more cost effective, allowing a facility to make economic savings in the long term.

What’s more, underfloor heating can also be a safer option in hospitals and facilities where there are vulnerable patients, as there is no physical heat source that a patient could touch, or trip and fall over, which could lead to potential accidents and burns.

Putting patients first As previously mentioned, thermal comfort is a crucial consideration in the design of any building, but within a healthcare or hospital environment, it is absolutely mandatory. The nature of patients’ sickness directly changes their thermal sensation, metabolic rate and regulatory response, so a comfortable environment makes a significant contribution towards patient recovery and wellbeing, which is the primary focus of any hospital. Therefore, specifying the correct heating solution for healthcare facilities has never been more important, and with innovation across the sector, heating systems can now provide energy-efficient, cost-effective solutions that ultimately improve the welfare of the nation’s most vulnerable. 



FACADE DELIVERS ARCHITECT’S DESIGN INTENT Bought by Chorley Council in 2013, Market Walk already comprised more than 30 shops and an outdoor parade, with excellent local parking. The local authority has since rolled out ambitious plans to attract both big-brand stores and independent retailers to Chorley town centre. £17m Market Walk project T heincludes a new six-screen Reel Cinema, an M&S Food Hall, an Escape Entertainment bowling and adventure golf complex and a Loungers bar and restaurant, along with public realm improvements. The high-calibre project has been designed to offer a quality environment that enhances the town centre, both aesthetically and economically, and the specification of the SureClad Ceramic Granite system from Shackerley supports both of those goals. The SureClad system delivers a high-end and resilient appearance for the facades, while engaging a local manufacturer, with Shackerley based just minutes from the project.

Building the custom experience into the specification A key element of the strategy for constructing the Market Walk extension was to encourage local residents to stay and spend in Chorley and attract footfall from surrounding districts.


Explains Councillor Alistair Bradley, Leader of Chorley Council from Chorley Council: “Since we acquired Market Walk, it has played a key role in our town centre strategy, adding to the existing draw of our traditional markets and providing a knock-on effect throughout the town centre by attracting footfall both during the day and in the evening. “The new extension builds on that success by creating compelling reasons for people to come to Chorley and for local people to spend their time and money locally. That’s why it was so important that the specification for the project complements the character of the town and offers a high-quality, enjoyable experience.”

Practical approach The Market Walk project was designed by AEW Architects. The practice’s brief was to design a building that would create impact, and this was achieved by using materials that combine a natural aesthetic drawing inspiration from the local built environment, with metallic, anodised aluminium. Initially, the planning department required the use of natural stone but the AEW team suggested Shackerley’s SureClad Ceramic Granite system as a practical and attractive alternative. Explains Bernard Lam from AEW Architects: “The planning department stipulated natural stone to maintain consistency of materials with other local landmark buildings, but we were concerned that using stone would involve longer lead times, along with cost and material handling implications.

TOWN & CITY REGENERATION “As we needed to maintain access to the town centre for both market traders and their customers, we were keen to find an alternative that would answer planning expectations. We also wanted to find a solution that would maintain high quality standards and provide the natural aesthetic that the client wanted, while offering practical advantages. We had used Shackerley’s SureClad Ceramic Granite system for a previous retail project in Manchester and we knew it would be an ideal solution.” AEW suggested the use of Shackerley’s SureClad Ceramic Granite in Lopar; a creamy beige colourway, which has natural variegation on each panel to give a stone-like appearance. The design team compared samples of the ceramic granite with local churches to demonstrate that it would offer an appearance in-keeping with the local architectural context. Produced at one of Shackerley’s ISO 9001-accredited factories, each 1198 x 598mm panel was just 11mm thick, making the SureClad elements of the facade more lightweight, easier to handle and faster to install than natural stone alternatives. Bernard Lam continues: “The Shackerley SureClad Ceramic Granite system provided cost savings as compared to natural stone and, because it is nonporous, those cost advantages will be felt throughout the lifespan of the building because the facade will offer a low-maintenance solution. It will not discolour over time due to weathering and offers resistance to both algae growth and graffiti.”

Easier installation Specification of Shackerley’s SureClad Ceramic Granite system also aligned with Chorley Council’s social value objectives for the project, by allowing facade procurement through a local supply chain. Councillor Alistair Bradley continues: “Using a local supply chain wherever possible means that the development benefits all aspects of the local economy throughout the build and operational phase. It’s not always possible to procure materials locally but, in this case, we were able to acquire the ideal facade system for the project while supporting local jobs.”

The local supply chain also provided benefits in terms of speed of procurement and helped to shorten the build programme. Panels were delivered to site on a just-in-time basis and were installed as part of a Kingspan Facades’ QuadCore Karrier Panel system. This innovative external envelope solution brings together Kingspan’s high-performance structural insulating QuadCore panels with the premium appearance and longevity of Shackerley’s fully-prefabricated ceramic granite cladding and the installation benefits of Shackerley’s patented Queen’s Award-winning SureClad Access System. The combined Shackerley and Kingspan system enabled cladding contractor, Axis Envelope Solutions, to make the building watertight with the installation of the structural panels prior to installation of the SureClad facade. The completed Shackerley/Kingspan system also delivers excellent airtightness and low U-values post-installation, helping to ensure a high standard of comfort and energy efficiency. Paul Cox from Axis Envelope Solutions comments: “The Shackerley system provided us with a pre-fabricated product which is simple and quick to install helping us to achieve the required onsite installation period.

“Shackerley provided both standard pre-fabricated large-format panels and bespoke requirements to site, aligned to our installation schedule. Projecting feature piers and reveals into glazing and door reveals helped to create crisp detailing at junctions, interfaces and corners.”

High quality, low maintenance Shackerley’s SureClad Ceramic Granite system played a key role in delivering the aesthetic goals of the project while providing buildability benefits. The result is a project that completed on time with a high-quality, low-maintenance facade that delivers the architect’s design intent within the public sector budget. 



SMART WINDOWS TO EASE PRIVACY CONCERNS WHEN CONVERTING SHOPS INTO FLATS Architectural campaigners have recently raised alarm to potential privacy issues caused when converting the UK’s many empty shops into flats, saying big floor-to-ceiling windows and fully-glazed doors will leave people feeling ‘exposed’. However, polymer supplier REHAU has responded to say a potential solution lies in the form of a new innovation known as Smart Privacy.

Ongoing developments around smart technology in the fenestration sector could potentially address this privacy issue, with innovations like Smart Privacy letting full windows or individual sections, become nontransparent by the touch of a button. REHAU’s particular solution is due to be launched later this year and will be the first of its kind to be able to be produced industrially, and can be implemented on both commercial and residential buildings. It can also be conveniently controlled via a speciallydeveloped app or a Smart Sense controller on the window. The campaign also highlights the issue of how permanent shutters, blinds or curtains would then create really dark interiors and impact wellbeing due to a lack of daylight. Russell Hand, Head of Product Management and Technical at REHAU, comments: “The classic curtain option is not in vogue for many people, particularly when it comes to design options for certain target groups, like city dwellers. Even existing permanent milky films are not an appropriate solution for privacy as they permanently block the view and can make the room appear smaller. Finally, roller shutters cannot be applied to all window groups, and are even prohibited on certain buildings.” 01989 762600

NEW FROM ENFIELD: BUILD YOUR BESPOKE PAS24 FD60 DOOR Enfield Speciality Doors is now offering custom-built, highsecurity one-hour fire doorsets. The PAS24 FD60 internal entrance doors are certified for fire and security and are ideal for apartments for social housing, students or private landlords. Enfield’s new entrance doors meet BS 476 for fire resistance and smoke control, as well as PAS24 for enhanced security, which is required for the police-backed Secured by Design certification. 30-minute fire door options are also available with PAS24 certification. Single doorsets in this range come with up to 33 dB acoustic performance. The high-security fire doorsets are all built to order, with a variety of finishes and veneers to choose from. They incorporate a severe-duty core with a hardwood frame and a range of high-quality ironmongery available in satin or polished stainless steel. Options include anti-snap letterplates, lift-off hinges, lever handles and push-on escutcheons, plus a choice of surface-mounted and concealed door closers. A Fortress 3* thumbturn cylinder with hardened pins for anti-drill, anti-pick and anti-bump resistance offers ultimate peace of mind.

0208 805 6662


TORMAX CREATES TIMELESS ENTRANCE Delivering invisible door automation, OAG specified TORMAX UK to install its iMotion 1401 underfloor operator to a swing door on a Grade II Listed building within the Woolwich Works development, Greenwich. Featuring elegantly-arched brickwork, a row of three swing doors give entry into one of the creative community spaces, with one door providing clear and easy access for everyone, thanks to the TORMAX automatic door drive. The iMotion 1401 is ideally suited to period properties where an externally situated operator would detract from the aesthetics of the building. Concealed in a steel box situated in the floorspace below the door, the Swiss-engineered motor has been precisiondesigned for a long lifespan and exceptional reliability, featuring none of the working parts that generally need replacing, such as gears or brushes.

01932 238040


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. As well as renovating any floor with a fresh and lasting finish, PU Sealer offers added protection for flooring areas prone to heavy traffic. Such areas with a high foot volume tend to wear very quickly when they don’t have a hard-wearing 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, eco-friendly 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. 01296 437827

Subfloor preparation products and adhesives from F. Ball and Co. have helped to deliver style and performance at the world’s largest museum of design, the V&A, in Kensington, London. Olivers Contracts applied F. Ball’s Stopgap F77 solvent-free, two-part epoxy resin waterproof surface membrane, which isolates residual construction moisture or rising damp where subfloor relative humidity levels are up to 98%, with a single application. The area was then primed using F. Ball’s Stopgap P141 primer. F. Ball’s Stopgap 1200 Pro levelling compound was then applied. Commenting on the project, Steve Lampkin, Director of Olivers Contracts, said: “Everything went according to plan, and there were zero problems or snagging issues. Fast-track products meant that work could be completed quickly, in stages, allowing access to other trades when required, so the entire project could be completed on time.”

01538 361633

SETCRETE EXTERIOR CREATES SHOWROOM FINISH FOR GARAGE FLOOR Setcrete Exterior levelling compound proved to be the perfect choice to smooth and prepare the floor of an industrial building, prior to the application of an epoxy resin finish, during the building’s conversion into a car mechanics’ garage. Designed for smoothing and levelling outside areas that are subject to varying climatic conditions, Setcrete Exterior is also suitable for semi-external spaces, such as garages, that are partially exposed to the elements. Commenting on Setcrete Exterior, Builder Tim Ireland said: “Setcrete Exterior is a fantastic product; it’s easy to work with, flows superbly and delivers a super-smooth surface.”

01538 361633

LONG-LASTING LEGACY FOR GERFLOR’S TARAFLEX AT UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH WALES In July 2010, The University of South Wales (USW) in Treforest had the foresight to install 923m2 of Taraflex Performance vinyl sports flooring in Maple and Blue from international flooring specialist Gerflor. This highquality installation was also partnered with a Gerflor Taraflex Combisport system for a new building located at the university’s sports park. It was a vision that would prove to yield fantastic results for the next 11 years. Taraflex Performance is available in 17 colours and three wood-effect designs as standard, with an addition of 110 solid colour options available. It offers a P2 category shock absorbency of 35 to 45% and is also treated with the Triple Action Protecsol surface treatment.




Approved Document Part E of UK building regulations, stipulates a performance requirement of 29 Rw. Furthermore schools and particularly music rooms in schools are covered in the regulations. To meet the basic 29Rw requirement we developed and tested a selection of 'Soundtrap Systems'. • Frame seals for the door frame • Rabbeted thresholds for the floor • Automatic dropseals for the door bottom • Adjustable seals for the meeting stiles All sets independently tested to BS EN ISO 140-3:1995 sound insulation tests by UKAS accredited laboratory.




PERMAROOF COMMERCIAL SNAPS UP MAJOR CONTRACTS IN FIRST YEAR Within its debut year, PermaRoof Commercial, part of PermaGroup, has secured several major contracts across the sector, including its recent appointment as a specification supplier for an architect’s ‘House on Stilts’ in Bevere. After dominating the domestic EPDM rubber flat-roofing market for the past two decades, a leading UK importer and distributor of Firestone RubberCover expanded into the commercial sector in December 2020.

Since then, PermaRoof’s commercial arm has successfully secured or completed 20 tenders and specifications on a whole host of different projects across the UK, with a further 37 in the pipeline for the remainder of 2021. Having almost completed a

NEW KLOBER TEAM STRUCTURE AIMS TO SUPPORT MERCHANTS As part of Klober’s ongoing sales team investment, Ben Edge has been appointed as Divisional Sales Manager (North UK and Ireland). With 38% of architectural practices expecting workloads to grow in Q3 according to RIBA Future Trends Workload Index, this timely appointment bodes well amid construction industry growth. Joining the Klober team from Unilever, Ben will draw on his sales and account management experience to help merchants access a wealth of industry knowledge and support with sales enquiries across the region. Alongside this, Ben has over three years’ experience in the property development market as a private investor, which has helped him to establish relationships with contractors and other building professionals. This appointment comes at a time of expansion and change for the Klober sales team, following on from the hiring of Chris Nicholl as Commercial Director in early 2021. Over the last six months, Chris has reshaped the team to improve Klober’s sales proposition, including the promotion of Richard Pitman to Divisional Sales Manager for the South. 01332 813050


four-product solution at St Andrews in Northampton, PermaRoof is now making progress on a private school 3000m2 installation and Leeds University. Sunny Lotay, National Commercial Manager, said: “It’s fantastic to see just how far PermaRoof Commercial has come in the first seven months. The scale and volume of the different tenders we’ve undertaken goes to prove that there’s not only an increasing demand for our services and specification support but also reflects the value of our expertise throughout the industry.” PermaRoof’s diversification formed part of the firm’s strategy to increase and deliver large-scale installations, which has already been bolstered by a number of projects, including the announcement of a 500m2 Firestone RubberGard EPDM installation at Imperial College, London. Adrian Buttress, Managing Director, said: “After having specialised in Firestone membranes for more than 17 years, I’m thrilled to see PermaRoof Commercial already forging such a strong reputation in such a short space of time. The calibre of tenders Sunny and his team are winning is a real testament to this and I’ve no doubt that this is just the beginning of a really exciting venture for PermaRoof.” 01773 608839

NEW ROCKWOOL SOLUTION SIMPLIFIES RAINSCREEN FIRE-STOPPING Responding to the market’s need for simplified specification of fire-stopping solutions in rainscreen systems, ROCKWOOL has streamlined its range of open-state cavity barriers (SP Firestop OSCB) to provide a two-hour performance rating for both 25 and 44mm open cavities. Designed for use in conjunction with ROCKWOOL RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB*, SP Firestop OSCB is fully tested to ASFP TGD-19 and is proven to provide up to 120 minutes fire integrity and insulation. ROCKWOOL SP Firestop OSCB is now available for cavity widths up to 600mm, inclusive of a 25mm open air space (OSCB 25), or cavities up to 425mm with a 44mm air space (OSCB 44). To learn more about SP Firestop OSCB, visit the ROCKWOOL Ventilated Facade Resource Hub. *

SP Firestop OSCB is only compatible for use in conjunction


The world leader in timber preservation technology ®


THE DURABLE CHOICE CELCURISED TIMBER, THE TRUSTED TIMBER PROTECTION FOR LONG STANDING PRESERVATIVE PERFORMANCE FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit: Email: Call: +44 (0)1628 486644 Fax: +44 (0)1628 476757 Protim Solignum Limited, Fieldhouse Lane Marlow, Buckinghamshire SL7 1LS ™ Protim Solignum Limited trading as Koppers Performance Chemicals. Koppers is a registered Trademark of Koppers Delaware, Inc. Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information contained in this document, Protim Solignum Limited gives no undertaking to that effect and no responsibility can be accepted for reliance on this information. Information will be updated when the need arises. Please ensure you have an up to date copy. All products are produced by independently owned and operated wood processing facilities. All other trademarks are trademarks of their respective owners. Koppers Performance Chemicals, Protim Solignum Limited, Fieldhouse Lane, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, SL7 1LS. Visit:, Email:, Call: +44 (0)1628 486644, Fax: +44 (0)1628 476757. Registered in England 3037845. © Copyright 2018.

by Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Manufacturers Of Wood Preservatives Protim Solignum Ltd Marlow, Buckinghamshire


EXTERIOR OSMO FINISHES Most homes have wood of some sort in their garden, be it decking, door and window frames, sheds, cladding and fencing. Wood has the ability to shrink, crack, peel and discolour – all things that will leave the surface looking old and tired. External wood requires a finish to provide UV protection in the summer and protection against wind, rain, frost and snow in the winter months.

Sun protection for wood Suitable for cladding, summer houses, fences, windows, doors and furniture UV-Protection-Oil Tints is essential for exterior wood as it provides 12 times the UV protection in comparison to untreated wood. Designed to protect, maintain and restore all types of wood from the effects of the environment, it not only protects the wood surface, but also enhances the natural look of the wood and will prevent damage. It is moisture regulating and reduces swelling and shrinking of the wood. This product overcomes the need for a heavy stain or a flaking varnish to keep wood looking natural.

It’s only natural Suitable for cladding, summer houses, fences, doors, windows, carports and decking Natural Oil Woodstain provides a decorative and protective finish for all exterior wood. It offers a high-quality finish that allows the wood to breathe and reduces the risk of swelling and shrinkage. Acting as a protection against all weather conditions, it prevents mould, algae and fungal decay, as well


ensuring the wood doesn’t crack, flake, peel or blister. Osmo also offers an ‘effect’ range to provide attractive silver/metallic tones. Meeting modern architectural demands, these finishes are designed to give the natural greying effect, added silver metallic pigments.

Pop of colour Suitable for cladding, balconies, windows, fences, pergolas, garden furniture and summer houses Available in 19 shades, Country Colour promises premium durability and a rich colour, hiding the natural colour and grain of the wood yet maintaining the wood’s natural texture. The solution not only rejuvenates the wood but leaves it protected against the unpredictable British weather. It can be applied to a range of wood species, including oily and exotic materials. Requiring only two coats, it can be applied using a roller or brush and has an approximate drying time of eight to 10 hours. 01296 481220

AKW LAUNCHES NEW BEAUTIFUL SHOWERING COLLECTION AKW, one of the UK’s leading providers of accessibility solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of its new Beautiful Showering collection. AKW has compiled all of the company’s most stylish shower enclosures, trays, electric and mixed showers and accessories into one highly-versatile collection.

01905 823298


Beautiful Showering offers specifiers, installers and end-users alike everything needed to create beautiful, contemporary yet durable shower rooms. AKW’s Beautiful Showering collection combines style and longevity, ensuring that the installation can withstand high levels of usage, whilst still looking good and requiring minimum maintenance over the long term. Many of the bathroom products come with ‘made for life’ guarantees and the collection has been developed to deliver quality you can trust, no matter the size of the space or the installation budget. AKW’s Beautiful Showering collection brings the same level of contemporary, low-maintenance design to both adapted and non-adapted spaces. The collection includes AKW’s stylish Larenco and Level Best glass screens, TriForm and Tuff Form8 wetroom formers and Onyx shower trays, bringing everyday luxury to the showering area. AKW’s Sulby 2 shower tray has also been included for installations or refurbishments that involve an unbreachable floor. A range of contemporary AKW Origins and Marlbrook wall panels, tiles, vinyl anti-slip flooring, AKW Livenza Plus sanitaryware and brassware products, mixer and electric showers and bathroom furniture have also been included to complete the collection. In addition, Beautiful Showering also features the AKW Onyx Care Pod – a stylish yet functional standalone shower cubicle for fast, convenient installation with minimum disruption to the end-user.


GILBERTS HELPS CREATE THE RIGHT LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR EXCELLENCE The Harper & Keele Veterinary School has opened its doors to students. Ventilation from Gilberts Blackpool is playing a key role in helping to create the right learning environment internally. On Harper Adams’ campus in Newport, the whole school building is ventilated using grilles from Gilberts. The two-storey lecture theatre features Gilberts’ GSJA omni-directional swirl diffusers to accommodate adequate air supply across the width and height of the seating area which rises to some 5m high. Gilberts engineered the GSJA diffusers to incorporate bespoke electrical operation in place of the conventional thermal actuation to provide an instantaneous switch between horizontal and vertical discharge.

Premier Modular, one of the UK’s leading offsite construction specialists, has been awarded a place on the £1.6bn NHS Shared Business Services modular construction framework. Premier was successful in all seven lots applied for and scored highly in the top quartile of modular specialists. The NHS Shared Business Services framework will run for up to four years and can be used by a range of public sector clients in the education, healthcare and residential sectors. To qualify, Premier had to demonstrate its expertise and experience in offering a full turnkey construction solution, including feasibility studies, planning applications, architectural design, enabling works, site works, landscaping and commissioning.

0800 316 0888

WATERLOO STRENGTHENS PRODUCT OFFERING WITH NEW DISPLACEMENT RANGE Waterloo has replaced its displacement range with the full portfolio of Swegon displacement products. The new range of displacement terminals effectively discharge air at low velocity to ensure good comfort in rooms. This can have significant advantages on indoor air quality and efficiency in large spaces such as airports and supermarkets. Substantial energy savings can be gained by installing the displacement terminals with Varizon, as only the occupied zone needs to be cooled from the low level of displacement installation. By integrating selected airborne products from the Swegon group, Waterloo is now in the position to offer the strongest and widest range of room unit products on the UK market. 01253 766911

01622 711500



SYSTEM UPGRADE DELIVERS SHIP-SHAPE FIRE PROTECTION HMS Belfast, the most significant surviving Royal Navy warship from the Second World War, has been equipped with leading fire protection from Advanced. Permanently moored as a museum ship on the River Thames in London, the decommissioned Royal Navy warship, HMS Belfast, is owned and operated by Imperial War Museum (IWM). As part of ongoing fire system upgrade works taking place across

the museum’s estate, an eight-loop and a two-loop MxPro 5 fire panel, along with a TouchControl touchscreen remote control terminal and repeater, have been installed across six of the battleship’s nine decks, as well as in its on-shore visitor pavilion.

Hörmann UK has announced that its innovative, bollard-based mobile vehicle blocker, OktaBlock, now holds a CPNI Vehicle Attack Delay Standard (VADs) rating when used in specific configurations. This further enhances its capability to provide hostile vehicle mitigation for open-air events and publicly-accessible locations, whilst providing the highest standards in safety and flexibility for pedestrian access. OktaBlock has been designed to replace temporary concrete barriers, providing the highest standard in safety and flexibility whilst being easy to deploy without the costs normally associated with fixed security bollards or blockers. Certified as a single module, OktaBlock has been designed to be unobtrusive, making it ideal for specification throughout public spaces, whilst its exterior can be customised to feature bespoke information or advertising space. Impressively, a single OktaBlock can stop a 7.5 tonne truck travelling at 50km per hour and is certified according to international crash standards PAS68/IWA14-1.

42 0345 894 7000



Facilities services company Atalian Servest Fire & Security was responsible for the installation, commissioning and networking of the fire panels in accordance with BS 5839. The panels were integrated with around 700 Apollo Xp95 detectors and interfaced with VESDA aspirating smoke detection. Shane Robinson, Project Manager at Atalian Servest Fire & Security, said: “Following a number of successful MxPro 5 installation projects across numerous buildings operated by the IWM estate, Advanced’s solutions were our first choice when recommending a fire system for HMS Belfast. The fire alarm control and indicating equipment is both modern and extremely user-friendly for clients to operate, with the added functionality and aesthetics of the TouchControl panel.” TouchControl is the low-profile, highresolution touchscreen repeater that makes it easy to check fire system status via interactive maps and zone plans, while complementing a wide range of interiors. When in standby, it can be used to display branding, advertisements and information, but will instantly revert to fire operation when a fire condition occurs.

01530 516868

Airtech, the condensation, mould and radon specialist, is encouraging landlords to put in place planned maintenance over the summer period to protect their residents from the effects of radon. Airtech will recommend an appropriate solution to fit the levels of radon present. This could be installing positive input ventilation (PIV), which forces contaminated air out of a home by introducing fresh air into the property. Alternatively, in properties with very high levels of radon, they may need to have an active radon sump, fitted with a fan. Sumps work effectively under solid floors, and under suspended floors if the ground is covered with concrete or a membrane. Once installed, it is important the equipment is serviced to ensure it remains in good working order to maintain maximum efficiency and keep radon at safe levels. Social housing providers can be assured that Airtech can offer a complete solution to radon prevention.

01823 690292

Keep inspiration flowing Expert ventilation solutions for the education sector

A hybrid ventilation system for better indoor air quality, thermal comfort and improved wellbeing. The Hybrid Plus2 Aircool®: a quiet, multi-mode system with boost function to maximise fresh air supply, making it ideal for educational and commercial settings. Easy to install within a wall or window construction, it can also be ceiling-mounted or ducted. For further information, technical support or to request a CPD, contact Passivent today.

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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

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