PSBJ July 2022

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Public Sector Build Journal July 2022




Issue 119

VENTILATION IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR How specifiers can achieve the ultimate balance between airtightness and sufficient ventilation in buildings


Stay up to date and compliant with the latest fire safety regulations

Law firm urges housing providers to gear up for new EV charging regs

An education in immersive, inclusive fun at Glasgow Science Centre


Year Warranty

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Hannah Woodger

Rebecca Kemp

Print & Digital Advertising Sam Ball

Jim Moore

Print Design Manager Jack Witcomb

Digital Design Manager Matt Morse

Gilberts Blackpool explains the importance of balancing the forces affecting ventilation in the public sector. See page 30.


Rachel Pike

Welcome to the July issue of PSBJ...

Sales Support & Statistics

In a committed drive to move the country towards its net-zero-by-2050 target, the industry saw significant revisions to Building Regulations last month with stop-gap measures taken to improve the energy efficiency of new homes, existing dwellings and non-domestic buildings.

Klare Ball

Publisher Sam Ball Published by

Red Hut Media Ltd. 5 Mansion Row, Brompton, Kent, ME7 5SE

Among the improvements, changes to enhance energy efficiency affected Approved Documents L (Conservation of Fuel and Power), F (Ventilation) and O (Overheating). Also released was the revised Approved Document S, which covers the provision of EV charge points for all new homes. In this month’s issue, we present timely comment from ventilation specialist Gilberts Blackpool, which addresses the current challenges associated with achieving the right balance of airtight but well-ventilated buildings, especially in our post-pandemic era. Add into the mix design and aesthetics, specification of all-round systems can often be considered a minefield. Help is at hand, however, with an overview of what a successful ventilation strategy looks like. Turn to page 30 to find out more. 01622 946150

Elsewhere, we hear from the legal experts at Winckworth Sherwood who offer guidance on meeting the requirements of Approved Document S relating to EV charge points. Here, social housing providers will welcome suggested issues to keep in mind, relating to contracts, electricity supply and associated risks. Flick to page 34 to learn more.

PSBJ is a proud supporter of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

Contributions are invited and when not accepted will be returned only if accompanied by a fully stamped and return addressed envelope. No responsibility will be taken for drawings, photographs or literary contributions during transmission or in the editor's hands. In the absence of an agreement the copyright of all contributions, literary, photographics or artistic belongs to Red Hut Media Ltd. The Publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise do not necessarily represent the view of the publisher. The Publisher does not accept any liability of any loss arising from the late appearance or non publication of any advertisement.

I hope you enjoy this issue. Don’t forget, you can also access all 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

The Cavendish School in Impington, on the outskirts of Cambridge, is the world’s first International Baccalaureate (IB) special free school for young people with autism, built off site through the McAvoy Group.

12 Education

Andrew Harper-Rowe, Area Director for Morgan Sindall Construction’s Essex business, talks to PSBJ about modern lessons in school building.

16 Leisure

Glasgow Science Centre has recently renovated its outdoor space with the inclusion of many sensory and inclusive items selected from Timberplay’s range.

18 Fire Protection

Simon Jones, Marketing Manager at Kidde Safety Europe, discusses the key updates to fire safety regulations and how landlords can apply a best practice approach to tenant safety.


08 20 Housing

24 Healthcare

22 Doors, Windows & Balustrades

26 Talking Point

The Government has recently proposed that housing land supply requirements may be removed in the case of local planning authorities (LPAs) with up-to-date plans. How will this impact on the delivery of new homes?

Glass balustrades make a stylish, minimal impression, but what considerations need to be given to installing this material?

Scott Camp, Managing Director of Wates Smartspace, shares his insight on the challenges and considerations when delivering fit-out works in healthcare environments.

James Latham discusses its goal to increase confidence amongst public sector architects and designers that they are making the greenest choice possible.



24 28 Renewable Technologies

Travis Benn BSC FCA, Technical Director at Lumify Energy, explores why councils should consider the opportunities contained within their existing renewable energy projects.


Ian Rogers, Sales Director at Gilberts Blackpool, a leading independent air movement specialist, explains the importance of balancing the forces affecting ventilation in the public sector.

32 Technical Focus

Here, Dr. Steve Holmes from Sika takes a closer look at the key issues that determine a successful car park refurbishment rather than demolition and building anew.

34 Legal & Business

Social housing providers are facing a raft of new legislation as the sector moves towards a net-zero-carbon future, says Ashley Pappin and Frederick Davies of Winckworth Sherwood.


32 36 Product Showcase

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



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

North East architecture GRAHAM charges ahead and design studio now with making all site defibs showing at new cinema complex available to the public North East architect and interior designer Studio Anyo has won a six-figure contract to support the next phase of a multi-millionpound cinema and leisure complex development in County Durham. The Stockton-on-Tees multi-discipline practice firm will provide a package of architecture services for Stage 5 of the £20m development scheme at the Fieldon Bridge Retail Park in Bishop Auckland for Fieldon Bridge Developments. The developer is the driving force behind the 150,000ft2 retail and leisure park on the 14-acre site on the east side of the current Tindale retail park. Studio Anyo has already completed work on earlier elements of the project including securing planning permission and detailed architectural design. It is now set to complete the design of onsite works as the next phase of development gets underway. This will involve technical design working alongside the principal contractor and wider design team to deliver this phase of the leisure-led development. The move comes as Studio Anyo continues to pursue ambitious growth and development, eyeing further success after a buoyant start to 2022 on the back of a rapidly increasing volume of work for regional and national clients.

Leading contractor GRAHAM, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, is urging all businesses to register their defibrillators onto the new UK-wide National Defibrillator Network to help save lives. The Circuit, the national defibrillator network, developed by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) in partnership with Resuscitation Council UK, St John Ambulance and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives, maps public access defibrillators across the UK. This, in turn, will enable ambulance services to direct bystanders to the nearest registered defibrillator if they witness somebody having a cardiac arrest in the local community. To help improve the odds of survival in the community, GRAHAM is in the process of registering over 70 of its defibrillators located across the UK, onto The Circuit. Jane Dunbar, Occupational Health Coordinator at GRAHAM, commented: “Our mantra at GRAHAM is to deliver lasting impact in everything we do and everywhere we go – from the projects we work on to the people we work with. Supporting local communities is core to our business, so we’re delighted to make what is potentially a life-saving contribution to our neighbours, by making all our defibrillators available to the public.”

ISG secures £32m Bishop Stortford school project

WBD advises on partnership agreement to deliver more rent-to-buy schemes

ISG is commencing work on a major new education development in Bishop Stortford for Hertfordshire County Council. The Avanti Grange Secondary School will provide 1200 pupil places and serve the new Stortford Fields and St Michael’s Hurst communities, across a large 11.4-hectare site that straddles either side of the A120. The scheme, procured via the Pagabo capital works framework, sees ISG construct a contemporarydesigned, two-storey concrete frame structure with brick facade. The southern zone of the split-site development features the main school campus, which has a linear form and incorporates a central full-height glazed spine to link classroom, breakout and communal spaces. The school boasts a large sports hall and a floodlit multi-use games area (MUGA), alongside car parking and drop-off areas. A large attenuation swale, or pond structure, will be formed to provide a natural drainage solution and to enhance biodiversity at the site. A roof-mounted photovoltaic array will provide the school with emission-free energy, alongside a range of other measures, including high-specification building materials and triple-glazed windows to reduce the building’s environmental impact.


Law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has advised long-standing client Rentplus-UK, the leading provider of affordable rent-tobuy homes, on its collaboration with new Registered Provider partner, South Devon Rural Housing. The partnership will deliver more affordable rent-to-buy schemes in South Devon, plus parts of the east side of Dorset and Somerset, offering a pathway to homeownership for working families on low or middle incomes in the region. The WBD team advising on the collaboration agreement was led by Legal Director Samantha Orluta, who specialises in the delivery of residential housing development for clients across the UK. Samantha commented: “We’re delighted to have advised our client on this exciting partnership with South Devon Rural Housing. This is a significant development for Rentplus and marks another big step in its journey to deliver award-winning affordable rent-to-buy homes in every English county. Our legal expertise in real estate alongside our understanding of the local market enabled us to secure the best possible outcome for our client.”


Berkshire lido gets green light on £5m upgrade Alliance Leisure has been given the go-ahead by West Berkshire Council to start work on the redevelopment of the lido at Northcroft Leisure Centre in Newbury. The £5m proposal was given the thumbs up following extensive consultation with local people on how they would like to see their lido developed and updated. Without this investment, the lido would have been at risk of closure as it needs important structural work. Residents favoured the creation of a new 50m Olympic-sized pool, which will now be developed alongside additional interactive water play features for children and young people. An outdoor pool has existed on the site since 1870. In 1914, it was extended and then in 1937 it was completely rebuilt, at which point, the 72m pool was thought to be the largest pool in the south of England. Councillor Howard Woollaston, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Leisure and Culture, says: “The lido is steeped in history and has provided happy memories for many generations of local residents. It is an integral part of our landscape and through this £5m investment we intend to ensure it remains so for many years to come.”

Opening ceremony to mark completion of new £3.4m fire station in Worksop Works on a new, state-of-the-art fire station for Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service have recently been completed by Midlandsbased main contractor, G F Tomlinson. A ceremony to mark the official opening of the new station took place on Monday 16th May – it was formally opened by representatives from Nottinghamshire County Council including Councillor Michael Payne, Chair of the fire authority, and Councillor Sybil Fielding, fire authority member and Councillor for Worksop West. Plans for the scheme were submitted by Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service at the beginning of last year and approved by Bassetlaw District Council. Built with the latest renewable technology, the new fire station has the capacity to self generate up to 50% of its energy consumption. The building comprises meeting rooms, offices, fire engine bays and a gymnasium for firefighters. Kevin Dodds, Construction Director at G F Tomlinson, said: “The fire station itself is completely state-ofthe-art meaning that it is not only incredibly energy efficient, but it provides the best possible facilities for firefighters to carry out their critical work and serve the surrounding Bassetlaw community. This project represents a huge investment for the local area and we are thrilled with the final result.”

Soho Housing launches Morgan Sindall Construction five-year plan to build and SCAPE achieve sustainable homes CHAMPION-level compliance Soho Housing, a cornerstone of the West End’s affordable to the Carbon Reduction Code housing market since the 1970s, has announced the launch of Morgan Sindall Construction and public sector procurement authority SCAPE have achieved CHAMPION level of the Carbon Reduction Code for the Built Environment, joining HS2 (the project) and Skanska UK in this highest category level. The code, which is a commitment scheme designed to facilitate action and collaboration in the built environment towards reducing carbon emissions (CO2eq) related to design, construction, maintenance, operation and decommissioning of built assets, forms part of the Construction Leadership Council’s Construct Zero initiative. The code is structured around commitments that stimulate action in different aspects of carbon reduction. All organisations who comply to the code must set out and publish plans to meet net zero by 2045, including annual targets, recognising that the majority of cuts need to be made by 2030, and publish progress against it annually. This is the minimum commitment for achieving PLEDGER status. There are three levels of compliance to the Code, PLEDGER, SIGNATORY, and CHAMPION. To comply with the criteria required to achieve CHAMPION level, an organisation must sign up to all of the further commitments of the code in addition to the core commitments.

its Development Strategy, which sets out its vision for Soho for the coming five years. The strategy outlines how Soho Housing intends to grow its asset base and continue providing quality, affordable homes for local people in central London. With the organisation’s 50th anniversary approaching, the plan also charts how Soho Housing plans to sustain diversity in the heart of the capital post-pandemic. Included within the strategy are specific development objectives that will help Soho Housing realise its ambitions over the next five years. These consist of: delivering at least 30 new affordable homes within central London by undertaking new acquisitions and Section 106 opportunities, along with improving how existing space is used to maximise full commercial value; working with innovative architects, developers, asset owners and investors to deliver a mix of affordable homes and commercial spaces in the West End and Camden; growing the commercial portfolio to optimise financial returns that support the improvement of residential stock; and proactively managing the entire portfolio to improve quality, energy ratings and overall sustainability through regeneration, development and targeted disposals.



WORLD’S FIRST INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE SPECIAL AUTISM SCHOOL The Cavendish School in Impington, on the outskirts of Cambridge, is the world’s first International Baccalaureate (IB) special free school for young people with autism. Funded by the Department for Education and led by Eastern Learning Alliance, a multi-academy trust with schools across Cambridgeshire and East Anglia, the school is the culmination of years of planning. It opened in January 2022 and can accommodate a maximum of 80 students, ranging in age from seven to 19 years.


ulie Bailey, Chair of the school’s board of governors, explained the important role of the new facility: “The school will cater for students who would struggle in a mainstream school. These students find social communication and interaction difficult. The teachers will guide the students to become emotionally- and socially-confident adults, as well as teaching them a broad range of subjects that would be available in mainstream schools.”

Offsite and experience credentials win Built within the existing Impington Village College campus, McAvoy was selected through a competitive tender process and appointed as principal contractor under the Department for Education’s Construction Framework, to take the school through from planning to completion, including fit-out. The school was completed in 60 weeks. The combination of offsite manufacturing excellence and experience of similar projects helped McAvoy secure the complex job. The site was already in use, with a secondary school


and a separate school for children with disabilities, and The Cavendish School was to be built on land within a green belt, which made planning permission more difficult to obtain. This was similar to The Rise School, Feltham, which McAvoy delivered previously for young people with autism. Diarmad Reynolds, Preconstruction Manager with McAvoy, explains: “The Rise School was widely considered to be the breakthrough school in terms of design for pupils with autism, so we were selected for our expertise and experience, which evolved further throughout The Cavendish School project.”

The facilities include: Four primary teaching rooms Four secondary teaching rooms Art studio Science lab Music room Product design room Cooking room Sixth-form common area with flexible spaces for social activities Sports hall A self-contained ‘life skills’ room, laid out like a flat, where students can learn how to deal with day-to-day living Staff offices and meeting rooms Student and staff restroom facilities.

Design and build for transformative education

Externally, the design and build project included car-parking facilities, landscaping, including a large area of rubber crumb laid to enable the children to have a safe play area, complete with play equipment including a surface trampoline.

The Cavendish School consists of two detached buildings, one single storey and the other two storey, with younger children accommodated on the ground floor and older students on the first floor. Their layout and design were carefully developed to meet the needs of students, be conducive to learning and be sensitive to the social and emotional demands of the youngsters attending.

Interior requirements As a turnkey project, interior design and finish were of paramount importance. In addition to the standard requirement for durable, quality furnishings and decor to

UPFRONT meet all relevant standards, each part of the school had to be designed with the sensory and emotional needs of its students in mind. In terms of the building layout, operation and finishes, the planning and design were essentially a collaboration between McAvoy and the clients (the Department for Education and the Eastern Learning Alliance Trust) to ensure everything about the school was designed with the needs of its students at the core.

Offsite excellence in action Offsite construction comes with many benefits over traditional construction, not least among these that buildings can be delivered up to 50% more quickly and the McAvoy offsite solution, with its strong focus on sustainability, generates up to 70% energy savings as well. For The Cavendish School, almost two-thirds of construction was completed off site at the company’s 70,000ft2 purpose-built manufacturing facility. This included modular steel frames, external and internal partitions, electrical containment and 65% of the mechanical services installed, inclusive of plumbing pipe works and ventilation ductwork as well as pre-installed heat recovery units. All of the external glazing was also carried out within the McAvoy manufacturing facility. Due to sitting adjacent to a green belt and within a heritage zone, planning conditions stipulated specific architectural exterior finishes such as the use of brick. 



Project challenges McAvoy faced physical, political and health challenges during the 60-week, onsite build programme, which coincided with Brexit coming into force and the ongoing impact of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Of the two, Brexit had the greatest impact,” says Diarmad Reynolds. “We faced an immediate reduction of about 30% in our workforce and we had to reorganise to cope with that. Supply chains were another potential worry but McAvoy has the foresight, ability and capacity to carry large stocks so that was not a problem for us.” The greatest challenges came from the existing use of the site and the fact, already mentioned, that the site was beside a green belt and heritage zone. Diarmad Reynolds continues: “With one site entrance and other school buildings on the site, McAvoy worked closely with the school’s senior management team to develop and timetable a logistics plan to ensure other users had access when required. It is a big advantage of offsite construction that you can manage disruption better, but it was challenging. The Cavendish School was a brilliant client to work with and that made agreements much easier. We could agree in advance times when we would be able to use the access and times for the school to use it and our staff controlled the traffic.”

Eco and digital credentials As with every McAvoy project, the offsite design and build of The Cavendish School incorporated green technology to reduce the building’s carbon footprint. The design and building modelling was BIM compliant. The heating system is provided by low-carbon technology in the form of air source heat pumps linked using VRF to combine heating, cooling and ventilation units with integrated heat recovery function in each of the teaching spaces, staff room and sixthform common area.



The customer perspective Ryan Kelsall, Deputy CEO of The Learning Alliance, comments: “The challenges presented by COVID-19 alongside the planning issues related to building a new school in a green belt area on a site with a Grade I Listed building were significant. However, through adversity the relationship between ELA, McAvoy and the DfE developed rapidly and enabled us to successfully open the school in February 2022. “McAvoy were able to respond quickly and were flexible to the changes that were required to the original design. Fundamental to this was strong communication at senior level between the ELA strategic lead and McAvoy directors and project leads but also excellent relationships that were maintained between school leaders and the McAvoy team on the ground. “We are extremely grateful for the work that McAvoy have done to deliver us our new school that is now providing education for 60 young people with autism, 65% of whom were not accessing full-time education prior to joining.” Stephanie Smith, Deputy Headteacher of The Cavendish School, adds: “The Cavendish School has been an exciting project from start to finish. The enthusiasm and desire to provide a bespoke and purposeful school environment has been shared by all of the team at The McAvoy Group. “The leadership of the project was both supportive and flexible, and this was reflected in the practice on site. The site management was exemplary, with real thought and care being applied to the usage of the building as it began to take shape. The professional and collaborative approach that The McAvoy Group were able to provide meant that our pupils remained at the heart of the project.” 



MODERN LESSONS IN SCHOOL BUILDING Educational facilities present a unique challenge for those designing, building and refurbishing them. This stems from the fact that schools and nurseries need to be created in a way that inspires those that work and learn inside these buildings while simultaneously supporting the surrounding areas’ social, environmental and community goals. Andrew Harper-Rowe, Area Director for Morgan Sindall Construction’s Essex business, explains more.



he physical features that make up a school play an important part in making students feel valued, cared for and engaged. As any teacher will tell you, this can affect the pupil’s behaviour and attitudes and, therefore, can significantly enhance or impede the learning process. Tangible examples of this include making sure that the acoustics in each classroom allow the teachers and students to be heard when speaking at a normal volume. Effective acoustics are especially vital for ensuring that deaf or hard of hearing pupils can participate in the lessons. Having good-quality lighting is also key for facilitating non-verbal communication and ensuring that pupils don’t struggle to see learning materials. To add to the inherent complexity of an education development, there are a number of topical pressures that affect how schools are delivered. In particular, the rapidly-growing demand for more student places and the importance of reducing emissions throughout the lifetime of a building are both important factors that have to be considered. How a school is built, the materials it’s made from and how it will operate once the doors are open all affect its efficacy and need to be accounted for in the project’s blueprints and by the construction team’s onsite actions. At Morgan Sindall Construction, we’ve explored a number of methods in order to create educational environments that provide safe and inspirational spaces. This was illustrated at several recent renovation projects in Essex, at which

EDUCATION our ‘better, greener, faster’ approach to developing new public buildings was successfully employed. The comprehensive upgrades, which amounted to £9.5m in total, were undertaken at Colne Community School & College in Brightlingsea, Colchester, Clacton County High School in Clactonon-Sea and Sweyne Park School in Rayleigh. All of these projects were awarded to Morgan Sindall Construction’s Essex business by Essex County Council under the ECF2 Framework.

Modern methods of construction in action

This is perhaps one of the reasons why the public sector has been ahead of private developers in taking advantage of the benefits that MMC can bring and, as the following projects show, Essex County Council is amongst those leading the way. Modular offsite solutions were employed extensively at the three new school buildings previously mentioned, with prefabricated modular units manufactured by Eco Modular Buildings utilised on each project. In Brightlingsea, Colchester, a brandnew £4m teaching block was handed over

at Colne Community School & College on 14th December. This new development includes eight general teaching classrooms, two resistant material technology rooms, two food technology rooms, a seminar room and a plant room. To provide an extra 150 places for children of high school age in Rayleigh, a £2m standalone teaching block was built at Sweyne Park School. The block includes six general teaching rooms, a WC and staff rooms as well as special provisions and classroom enhancements to support suitable education for hearing impaired pupils. 

Having moved from a niche conversation to a mainstream approach in education, modern methods of construction (MMC) are becoming a valued tool in developing high-quality schools that can be built at a swifter pace and to a higher standard than would otherwise be possible. The ability to speed up construction timetables without sacrificing on quality is particularly useful for school renovation projects, as typically building work and teaching operations don’t mix very well. Schools are focused on education outcomes, this is a priority for both the facility’s management and the council, and so having a noisy and potentially disruptive construction team on site can be unwelcome. However, modular processes speed up the build time, reduce deliveries and require smaller onsite teams – making the whole renovation more convenient for the school, its students and the local community.



Morgan Sindall Construction also remodelled external areas to provide access to the adjacent 57-acre Sweyne Park. Movement patterns around the school and how staff and children would interact with the new facilities was all worked out in advance to ensure that the new block would feel like an integral part of the site. At Clacton County High School in Clacton-on-Sea, a £3.5m expansion project was completed on 15th December. This involved the construction of a brandnew standalone teaching block, creating 10 general teaching classrooms, a plant room and a four-court sports hall. This development increased the school’s offering from 1695 permanent places to up to 1800 for years seven to 11. The traditional sports hall at Clacton County High School consists of three small basketball courts and one full-size court. This hall was situated in between a number of modular elements, with academic classrooms at one end and storerooms at the other. Thanks to the team’s careful design process, the renovation achieved a seamless interface between all these elements. Clacton County High School was the only project of the three that wasn’t entirely modular. A hybrid approach was employed instead in which modular class bases were combined with a traditional steel-frame building. This was required to achieve the necessary spans for the hall and illustrates how the two methods, traditional and modular, can be effectively used together.

Greener school designs The Government’s net-zero target is currently shining a spotlight on the importance of low-carbon developments. These projects are a great showcase of how to design, construct and manage building projects with significantly reduced levels of carbon emissions. Utilising sustainable, modular technologies meant the schools could have a number of energy-efficient, carbon-reducing advantages built into the fabric of the classrooms and corridors. This included adding solar panels, air source heat pumps and lowenergy ventilation into the design as well as incorporating a metering system that gathers data on energy usage in order to continually improve how the school operates. Regular monitoring and regulation of the sites once the pupils and staff have moved in will ensure that the energy performance maintains the required high standards. Eco Modular’s prefabricated modular units exhibit a superior standard of insulation and airtightness levels. This thermally-efficient nature, when combined with the green energy tech, means the schools can generate as much power as they require.


For Essex County Council, a key objective was to support the county’s carbon-neutral plan, as set out in the Essex Climate Action Commission report. The carbon reduction aspect of the designs was, therefore, an important benefit, as was the fact that the reliable materials and low-energy requirements would mean that each school had more money to spend on educating children rather than paying bills and maintenance.

Collaborative projects When taking a new approach to a problem, it’s important that every stakeholder and partner is integrated into the process so that they can feed in their insights and remain updated at all times. This saw the Morgan Sindall Construction team maintain a close and collaborative relationship with Essex County Council as well as the local community and key stakeholders. As an example, the head teacher of Clacton County High School as well as council representatives were taken on tours of the modular factory to explain the design and the process that would go into expanding each site. Having such

a high level of communication not only helps keep the project running smoothly, but it also provided ample opportunities to incorporate their feedback into our team’s processes, meaning they would be managing the school with an advanced level of insight into its construction.

Building better solutions for today’s schools The success of the approach outlined above means that right now it is also being employed at Ormiston Rivers Academy, a secondary school in Burnhamon-Crouch, Essex. Currently, our team is on site working to expand the school via MMC processes and materials to create even more school places in the county. The standardised nature of MMC inherently lends itself to repeat projects like this, as many efficiencies can be found when working at volume. As an approach, it is, therefore, well suited to the challenges of school building outlined in this article – which can be boiled down to creating more, high-quality student places at speed while minimising carbon emissions. 

© Lars Ditlev Pedersen


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IMMERSIVE, INCLUSIVE FUN AT GLASGOW SCIENCE CENTRE Glasgow Science Centre is one of the most popular paid-for visitor attractions that Scotland has to offer. The centre was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001 and plays a significant role in scientific education within Glasgow and beyond.


ome 20 years later, Glasgow Science Centre – having visited the Richter Spielgeräte play workshop and having attended many play presentations by Timberplay – found the funding to renovate its outdoor space with the inclusion of many sensory and inclusive items. The overall project promotes active travel, enhances biodiversity, improves accessibility and encourages interaction with new external science exhibits and interpretation.

Creating successful links to the city The external space has been renewed to create a new and exciting experience as part of a legacy from the COP26 Green Zone in November 2021. It improves links between the Science Centre and Glasgow city centre, focusing on playful encounters as a route through the area for cyclists and pedestrians. Since its opening, the outdoor space has been popular with visitors at all times of day, with playful experiences complemented by lighting and street furniture to create a great social hub on the riverside. The design focused majorly on creating safe and sustainable cycling routes with a two-way bike lane that has been formed by repurposing car parking spaces and a cycle park.

Learning through CPD Glasgow Science Centre has always had a desire to add educational play experiences to its offering for young visitors. The centre was driven by a desire to improve its external spaces, to match the tremendous indoor experiences that are on offer at the centre and threshold into the attraction. It has worked with


LEISURE Timberplay for many years and, before deciding to go ahead with the project, had attended many Timberplay seminars and playground tours. It also visited the Richter Spielgeräte, workshop (Timberplay’s manufacturer) in Frasdorf, Germany. From this, it was sold on the vision of using playful experiences to engage children in education and providing sensory equipment to create inclusive opportunities too.

Play exhibits The external area features several ‘play exhibits’ within the space. The elements include a wide range of sensory encounters and create playful opportunities around the centre. Amongst these is the visually-striking turning stone, a large stone boulder situated atop a rotating base. The stone has grooves running along its edge; inquisitive minds are invited to try and push the cumbersome rock round on its pedestal to see how fast they might set it spinning. The stone is a practical lesson in energy, weight and force, educating visitors on how these relate and promoting the use of touch to engage with their senses. By interacting with the equipment, visitors can playfully create music, experience visual phenomena and explore the physics of water and rotation. The stone xylophone, dance chimes, conferences, kling klang disc and sound leaves all bring together the use of sound and communication to encourage the public to experiment with different

tones and how varying forces can affect volume. A walk-in kaleidoscope provides an optical illusion mirroring the user in different ways. Whilst sensory rotating discs also offer optical illusions focusing on sight and the changing of patterns with speed. The whirlpool column allows users to experiment with water forces and better connect our relationship with the elements. Carefully-considered interpretation for each exhibit helps visitors to delve deeper into their understanding of the pieces, if they wish, and are not only fun for the young ones but people of all ages. As well as being great for play, the scale of the sound leaves and turning stone act as sculptural gateway features to the new public realm.

Award nominated The outer space at Glasgow Science Centre has been nominated for prestigious design awards with fantastic work from the landscape architect, the client and all stakeholders. The project has been shortlisted in the 2022 Pineapples Awards ‘Public Space’ category; the prestigious landscape award winner will be announced as part of the Festival of Place in London this month. Furthermore, the outdoor space has also been shortlisted in the 2022 Scottish Design Awards in the ‘Landscaping/Public Realm’ category. The new space has become immediately popular, and the beautiful use of lighting ensures that the area is utilised throughout the day and into the evening.

As well as visitors to the Science Centre, people walking and cycling through the space are frequently observed stopping and taking a moment to engage with the exhibits and each other. A credit to the broader landscape design, this unique and beautiful space has playfulness at its heart, delivering on a variety of levels. Dr Gillian Lang, Deputy Director of Science at Glasgow Science Centre, comments: “We’ve created a safe, welcoming, outdoor learning space with exciting hands-on exhibits and opportunities to connect with science. The aim was to create an outdoor space that is loved, social and interactive, connecting the science centre to the community, to the environment and to the city, we can’t wait for more visitors to come and explore.” Mark Grimshaw, Business Development Manager at Timberplay Scotland, added: “Being able to work so closely with the client at Glasgow Science Centre and with the Landscape Architects Austin:Smith Lord was a pleasure. It is great to see a leisure attraction so determined in creating inclusive spaces that are sustainable and align with our vision of creating child-friendly spaces. This project was very special to work on and is key in developing child education through play in Glasgow and beyond; its award nominations really back the great work of all involved in this project. We congratulate all on creating such an amazing place for people.” 




STAY UP TO SPEED ON FIRE SAFETY REGULATIONS With a number of amendments to fire safety regulations recently announced, it is vital that housing providers are up to date to ensure compliance. Here, Simon Jones, Marketing Manager at Kidde Safety Europe, discusses the key updates and how landlords can apply a best-practice approach to tenant safety.

ast year, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 in a bid to make social housing safer for tenants. Under the proposed law, landlords in England will be required to install a smoke alarm on every storey that is used as living accommodation, and carbon monoxide alarms in any room where an existing, or new fuel-burning combustion appliance is fitted (excluding gas cookers). Landlords are also legally obliged to repair or replace alarms that are notified as faulty. Wales has also recently implemented several improvements. The Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022 now stipulates that landlords in Wales (private and social) must install a working smoke alarm on every storey of a property – and that these smoke alarms must be mains powered and interconnected. The Renting Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) (Wales) Regulations 2022 also require landlords to ensure a carbon monoxide alarm is present in any room with a gas-, oil- or solid-fuelburning appliance installed. Scotland has introduced a number of important legislative updates under the Housing (Scotland) Act and set by the Building Standards Domestic Technical Handbook to improve fire safety for all types of housing and householder, beyond just those in the private sector. As of February 2022, all homes in Scotland (private, social, owned, rented, new-build and existing properties) must have interlinked alarms installed. Notably, it also includes a requirement for heat alarm installation. The regulations include: One smoke alarm in the living room (or the room that is used most regularly by the occupant) One smoke alarm in every hallway or landing One heat alarm in the kitchen Each smoke and heat alarm should be ceilingmounted and interlinked Carbon monoxide alarms must also be installed in rooms where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance or flue. Where this is a batteryoperated alarm, it requires sealed-in batteries that last the full product lifetime. The amendments to the regulations in Scotland are a significant step towards improved occupant safety and we recommend landlords throughout the UK follow these as part of a best practice and proactive approach. Indeed, recent research found that 20% of social renters in the UK do not have a smoke alarm on each storey of their home, and 44% of social tenants surveyed do not have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in their property. With the updates to the regulations in England, Wales and Scotland now underway, we hope to see these figures improve. With over 100 years of experience in the field of fire safety, Kidde offers a range of high-quality, reliable and compliant products – including the new Cavius range of smoke, heat and carbon monoxide alarms that provide even more choice for residential applications, alongside the company’s existing Firex and Slick product collections. 




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EMERGING LEGISLATION AND LOCAL PLANS The Government has recently proposed that housing land supply requirements may be removed in the case of local planning authorities (LPAs) with up-to-date plans. How will this impact on the delivery of new homes? Is there a paradox that local housing targets might be weakened in the case of those local authorities that have made the most progress? And how does this align with the Government’s intention of ‘streamlining’ planmaking? Peter Canavan, Partner at Carter Jonas (Oxford), explores further.

2022 was a busy month for M aystrategic planning policy. The Queen’s Speech announced the intended Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which was published just days later. The draft bill proposes wide-ranging changes to Local Plans including the removal of the duty to cooperate and proposals for a suite of policies to be published separately to Local Plans. There is an expectation that planmaking will have to adhere to ‘set clear timetables for plan production’; that plans are produced within 30 months and updated at least every five years, and – perhaps most controversially – that the five-year housing land supply may be scrapped for authorities which have adopted a Local Plan within the past five years. We also saw the publication of the Government’s response to the Select Committee report on the 2020 Planning White Paper (which has largely been superseded by the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill) and some wide-ranging ministerial comment on housing targets, both of which add to the uncertainty of future strategic planning procedures. The proposal to remove housing land supply requirements for authorities with up-to-date plans would appear to conflict


with the aspiration to deliver 300,000 new homes each year: there is a paradox in that local housing targets might be lessened, or housing sites allocated through a Local Plan review to keep local plans ‘up to date’, but those sites need not be delivered in the first five years. And yet the purpose of Local Plans is to plan for much-needed housing. Surely, these local authorities should be obliged to support the delivery of their housing targets? This seems a short-term approach to getting Local Plans adopted; one which fails to see the long-term benefit of maintaining a supply of development land. Furthermore, checking the supply once every five years falls below the level of monitoring that is required. Without a five-year land supply, the delivery of homes would be reduced and there is no penalty for under-performance. The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill makes clear the Government’s intention to ‘streamline’ plan making, but due to the tinkering with land supply questions (or even removing them from the debate), the argument will move to one of scrutinising deliverability and the robustness of development trajectories and land supply in Local Plans, which will add time and complexity to the process.

So what really needs to change to speed up Local Plan-making? In each local planning authority (LPA), the process needs to begin with a better understanding of what is currently slowing down plan-making and the delivery of new homes: is it a physical constraint, a lack of infrastructure, or a lack of political will to deliver a spatial strategy? The Government’s proposed solution is a reduction in the 30-month Local Plan timeframe. But this seems unlikely to speed up delivery, because it is not possible to check whether a strategy is deliverable within just 30 months: a reduction in the timeline would almost certainly result in a less effective Local Plan. In fact, it might be more effective to require a clearer structure, with timeframes attached to each stage – collecting evidence, consulting on evidence, spatial strategy and determining that the proposed plan is deliverable. Furthermore, Local Plans should pay greater attention to the amount, distribution, and deliverability of development, which includes greater scrutiny of evidence. The bill’s proposal to include design codes in the strategic planning process could potentially

HOUSING water down these most important elements, as a code for a wide area by definition becomes less site relevant. There is another inherent paradox: are design codes a strategic or non-strategic matter? To my mind, it is the latter – a matter of site-specific detail. Local Plans should remain based on evidence, not aesthetics. The proposal to include design codes within Local Plans will add to their timeframes and fails to address their core purpose. The Government has recently announced £15m in funding to support 43 specific garden cities and villages, with further new settlements of this type proposed in the future. The delivery of such large-scale developments would also require a longer (rather than the proposed shorter) approach to plan-making, along with the flexibility to incorporate new settlements when funding is announced. A significant programme of new settlements would benefit, as it did in 1946, from a new New Towns Act,

which would create development corporations to expedite some substantial planning proposals. Many of us in the planning and development sector were looking forward to a Planning Bill to follow the publication of the 2020 Planning White Paper, Planning for the Future. But as the report of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee on the White Paper (not to mention the public outcry) demonstrated, the proposed reforms were unlikely to make it onto the statue book. So in its place, we have the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill which on first impressions is a wide-ranging, Leviathan piece of legislation that lacks definition and has the potential of slowing down, rather than streamlining, planmaking and reducing, rather than increasing housing supply. As the bill progresses through Parliament, it will be interesting to see whether the inherent paradoxes and inconsistencies can be rectified. 



A TIMELESS IMPRESSION WITH GLASS BALUSTRADES Glass balustrades make a sleek, stylish and minimal impression, but what considerations need to be given to installing this material when using it in public spaces? Here, Simon Boocock, Managing Director of CRL Europe, looks at the challenges and possible solutions available.


ighly durable and visually appealing, glass balustrades are a popular choice for exterior and interior styling. Whether chosen to create a seamless impression on residential dwellings or to act as a form of crowd control in public places, the visual outcome is one of sleek minimalism. Glass offers many practical benefits, such as thermal insulation, solar control, acoustics, fire protection, safety and security. Aesthetically too, glass is a versatile material that can be combined easily with any decor, used to spruce up

existing buildings or to add to the modern ambience in new. Internally, one of the biggest challenges of modern architecture is a lack of natural light and particularly so when refurbishing older, public buildings; where the goal is to create a light-filled, inspiring space, often with good acoustics too. The use of glass on balustrades and internal staircases is an effective way of encouraging natural light to flow as much as possible, while also creating a modern feel, where noise and privacy levels are contained as necessary.

In public areas, safety glass is also widely used as a form of crowd control, without interrupting the aesthetics or flow of the space overall. The cost effectiveness of glass is another advantage, and a particularly important one in the public sector. This very durable material will last a long time and creates a timeless impression, so shouldn’t need to be frequently replaced with any modernisation of a building’s interior. Letting natural light through can save on energy bills, making glass a very costeffective and sustainable resource – an important practical concern for building managers today. It was these qualities that led to glass balustrades being chosen for the refurbishment of The Fire Station, a live music and performance venue in the heart of Sunderland’s city centre. Steeped in history, the building is a familiar landmark in the local area. Successfully blending old with new, this is an impressive restoration of the 1908 Central Fire Station. Now housing a stateof-the-art auditorium and the Engine Room bar and bistro, the use of glass balustrades throughout the interior is a natural choice that brings a modern twist to this most traditional of settings. A frameless structure was preferred to enhance the aesthetics, which with its clean sightlines and minimal hardware improves the view from all angles, and particularly so as the balustrades run throughout a significant expanse of the interior. However, public safety was very much a priority for the refurbishment’s main contractor Brims Construction, which was keen to ensure no compromises were made in terms of aesthetics either. That meant using reliable solutions for installation of the balustrades, with CRL’s MEGAgrip meeting all the requirements, installed by Dale Fabrications. The requirement was for a fullyadjustable 3kN commercial balustrade system designed as a highly-durable public safety barrier. In such a busy public venue, the strength-to-weight ratio was an important consideration, with extruded aluminium with a geometrically hollowedout core meeting the necessary standards for safety and security. Having worked with CRL adjustable balustrade systems on previous projects, the team at Dale Fabrications knew that it would meet their needs and fulfil the brief. Such dry-glazed systems require no specialist tools, making it easy to remove the glass and replace it if required for maintenance purposes. On this project, it was also important to be able to align the glass within the channel from either side of the base shoe ensuring a straight line. Internal glass clamps then enable the glass to be moved forwards and backwards to achieve the perfect fit. 




HEALTHCARE FIT-OUT: ‘SUPPORTING CRITICAL SYSTEMS IS THE PRIORITY’ Earlier this year, Wates Smartspace completed a fit-out project at Winchester’s Royal Hampshire County Hospital, an upgrade programme that became the second fit-out delivered by the team on behalf of Hampshire Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust. Scott Camp, Managing Director of Wates Smartspace, shares his insight on the challenges and considerations when delivering fit-out works in healthcare environments.



pgrading services in healthcare environments is a privilege and one we never take for granted. Healthcare customers ultimately need trust and assurance that we are a safe and capable pair of hands; they have critical systems that must be managed with care. It is not enough to simply say disruption will be kept to a minimum. Disruption must be completely mitigated. Earlier this year, we completed a fit-out project at Royal Hampshire County Hospital, providing substantial refurbishments to the pathology department. We upgraded the mechanical and electrical services across two floors and extended the office area, all of which has enabled the implementation of new specialised equipment serving the hospital’s blood sciences departments. This became our second project at Royal Hampshire County Hospital following our fit-out of the Burrell Wing Pharmacy in 2021. This saw the Wates Smartspace team create a new robotic pharmacy, including administration office space, meeting rooms, an automated dispensing system and a shell for a future hospital radio station.

to maintain building access, have back-up power supplies or even just to keep noise levels down. It’s our job to undertake our work while accommodating those needs, but for healthcare estates this is much more critical. For the fit-out of the robotic pharmacy at the Burrell Wing, we were working in close proximity to the audiology department, so we needed to work within noise and logistical restrictions to allow vital surgeries to be carried out without disturbance. The only way we could overcome this challenge while keeping the project on track was to meticulously plan the phases of our work; we had to prevent any slips in the programme and ensure precision at all times, a challenge that we also enforced on our supply chain partners. We worked collaboratively with key stakeholders to overcome issues and develop positive relationships by having a continuous presence on site to review the project’s progress. This enabled us to undertake our work while keeping the hospital’s critical systems operational.

A robust health and safety strategy

Understanding customer needs

No matter the fit-out project, obviously health and safety is our number one priority – particularly when it comes to working in live environments. Much of our work is done while keeping our customers operational, whether they need

As with any customer relationship, developing a mutual understanding is the most effective way of running a successful project. If you understand each other’s drivers, challenges and aspirations, then you can very quickly get on the same page with

how a project should be delivered. This is one of the greatest successes of our work for Hampshire Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust. Having worked with the trust twice, we understand their vision and their challenges. Having this insight means we can become part of the solution, which is the biggest benefit we can bring to all customers but particularly those in the public sector.

Efficient procurement is of great value As is the case with all public sector investment, budgets are tight and every penny spent must show value for money. Here, it would be tempting to consider the costs of design, materials and labour, all of which are important but they are only a proportion of the project where cost efficiency can be created. Wates Smartspace was appointed to Hampshire Hospitals Foundation NHS Trust’s two recent fit-out projects through the Crown Commercial Services (CCS) Construction and Associated Services Agreement, which is designed for the use of all public sector bodies to commission the construction and maintenance of schools, hospitals, universities, prisons, housing and offices. Framework procurement is, of course, not new, but when used for the procurement of healthcare upgrades, it can significantly reduce the cost and time of procurement. This means that essential projects can be fast-tracked and budgets can stretch further.


A humbling experience It is important in our line of work that we care about our customers’ needs; our job is to create and enhance the space in which they carry out their work. If we didn’t open our minds to what our customers need then we would run the risk of delivering projects that weren’t fit for purpose. By paying close attention to what our customers need, we approach projects in complete alignment to their objectives. This creates a great deal of mutual respect. When working in healthcare, particularly over the course of the past two years, this side of our work has been truly humbling. We are very proud to have been able to work so closely with a sector that is tirelessly dedicated to helping people when they are most in need. Through our work in healthcare, we see first-hand the skill, expertise, attentiveness and care that goes into our health service. For fit-out contractors, it is our duty to provide the healthcare sector with a service that befits their unwavering commitment to doing good. 



CALCULATING CONFIDENCE FOR GREEN SPECIFICATION Stuart Devoil, Group Head of Marketing at James Latham, talks to Public Sector Build Journal about the industry’s drive to become more conscious of the embodied carbon of specified materials in line with the requirements of their project brief. net-zero targets W ith drawing ever closer, sustainability is no doubt front of mind for almost every UK specifier, particularly those working in the public sector. Particularly, carbon assessments and reporting are increasingly becoming an essential component within the design brief, stipulating a stringent set of sustainability criteria which must be met at each phase of design and construction. Demanding an extensive amount of accurate and up-to-date information, it can cause a considerable headache for specifiers when tracking down all the relevant data to meet the conditions of the brief. Of course, a central requirement is to select the highest-performance, lowestcarbon but best-value product


possible. However, it can be difficult to know where to start. Traditionally, information around sustainability has been nebulous, leading to technical directors having to explore multiple sources to get the information they require. It’s an inefficient process and one that individual architects and practices we speak to find frustrating, so we decided to try and simplify the process, taking at least one pain point out of the reporting process. At Lathams, we have a proud track record of only stocking responsibly-sourced, ethically-produced materials, and we’re keen to be at the heart of the move to a carbonneutral future. We also want to support our clients to do so too. So this challenge fitted well alongside our overall approach to sustainability.

However, whilst it’s easy to talk the talk around product sustainability, walking the walk is a harder task. I believe that anyone reading this would find it hard to argue that timber is, without doubt, a lower carbon option than materials like concrete and steel, but we also realise that not all materials in the category are created equal. We’ve already ensured we only work with partners that operate to a strict set of sustainability standards, whose products originate from sustainable and correctly-managed forests, but we wanted to go further. Comprehensive information around supply chain sustainability is incredibly important and something our various audiences consistently highlight as a growing request when carbon reporting.

Stuart Devoil is Group Head of Marketing for leading materials distributor James Latham. With a career of over 30 years in the construction sector, Stuart has witnessed many changes, trends, regulatory impacts, none more significant than the global drive to low-carbon and sustainable building.

Always looking to go that extra mile, and provide a coherent proof point for our diverse portfolio’s green credentials, we embarked on an intensive period of research and development, which would eventually result in our proprietary Carbon Calculator. An online tool, developed with the Biocomposites Centre at Bangor University, the Carbon Calculator is a back-end tool, designed to achieve transparency and give specifiers confidence when selecting for sustainability.

TALKING POINT Built using official, publicly-available data and manufacturer product information, the Carbon Calculator collates and aggregates the environmental impact of a chosen material, according to three criteria: 1. Carbon footprint – the level of carbon emitted during production and delivery 2. Embodied carbon – carbon removed from the atmosphere and stored within the timber’s structure 3. Data confidence – Lathams’ confidence in the strength of the data used to enable the calculation of the first two criteria (e.g. provenance, integrity of detail). Once evaluated, the product receives a confidence rating from 1 to 4 (one being the best). The lower the score, the higher the availability and quality of data points reviewed (e.g. published EPDs). The final rating, including carbon data can then be accessed by the specifier through a dedicated portal on our website, delivering a tangible, codified proof point. This ensures a robust audit trail for the product, providing valuable information for future carbon reporting and responding to sustainability briefs. Here, it is important to caveat, even the lowest-rated materials still meet our stringent supply requirements, so a sustainable choice will be made regardless. Essentially, the Carbon Calculator’s rating is intended to highlight the quality and range of available product information, certification and documentation, informing the specifier if data is based on an estimate or actual performance.

It’s the latest milestone in an exciting journey towards low-carbon specification across the entire building, construction and design community, and we hope our peers take note. A trailblazing tool, we hope it sets a precedent for best practice. By providing a methodology through which the value of sustainability information and certification can be holistically appreciated, we feel we’ve achieved this. However, we’ve only just scratched the surface of the Carbon Calculator’s potential. There’s plenty more to be done. We have only just completed the first phase of the project, which has focused on our purely timber-based

products, covering around 70% of our entire portfolio. We hope to be able to add the massive range of over 1400 decors, which we also stock, to the system over the next 12 months, to provide the most comprehensive set of sustainability-based data available from a UK materials distributor. Ultimately, our goal is to increase confidence amongst public sector architects and designers, that they are making the greenest choice possible, in line with the carbon reporting requirements of their project brief. 



WHERE THE OPPORTUNITIES ARE IN RENEWABLES FOR COUNCILS Councils will play a vital role in achieving the UK’s net-zero targets, and many have declared climate emergencies, recognising the importance of decarbonising local communities. In this article, Travis Benn BSC FCA, Technical Director at Lumify Energy, discusses where the opportunities are in renewables.


There’s no time like the present

ere, we’ll take a look at some simple ways in which councils can unlock hidden revenues within the renewable energy projects that currently exist on their land.

Does your council own a waste recycling and landfill site? Most councils have waste recycling and landfill sites that serve their local communities and many (including those that have ceased accepting household waste) produce renewable electricity by capturing the gasses released from decomposing organic waste. This provides many councils with a valuable long-term income stream that can last for 30 or more years. According to energy regulator Ofgem, the average UK landfill site produces enough electricity to power 1800 UK homes per year. Therefore, based on current high energy prices, we would expect a typical landfill site to earn between £1.2m and £2m each year in revenues from the sale of electricity. However, most councils currently outsource their landfill gas management to third-party contractors, in return for a minority share of the revenues earned from the renewable electricity produced by their landfill site. The share of revenue retained varies enormously


Travis Benn

across councils, due to a lack of visibility and access to market payment data when each council is negotiating their own renewable energy contract. For example, we’ve seen some councils retaining as little as 7.5% of the gross revenues generated from the renewable electricity produced on their landfill site, whilst their contractor keeps the remaining 92.5%. Unfortunately, this is often also the case for wind farms and other renewable projects built on councilowned land. This is in stark contrast to projects built on land owned by companies, who often receive up to half or a majority share of the gross revenues generated from renewable electricity produced on their land, due to their commercial approach to negotiations.

Regardless of whatever stage has been reached in their renewable energy project, councils should carry out a thorough review of all income received. We estimate that up to 85% of projects have missed income, and some councils have retrospectively recovered hundreds of thousands of pounds in missed income following such reviews. This can commonly occur when a contractor sells the electricity produced to third parties on behalf of the council through a power purchase agreement (PPA), the terms of which are not typically disclosed to councils, due to the commercial sensitivity of the PPA. Often, a contractor will pay the council a percentage of the gross revenues earned from the sale of electricity under the PPA (subject to a minimum rent). However, there’s often no automatic link (such as in a smart contract) between the revenues received under the PPA and the sums paid to the council, enabling some income to be omitted. For example, this can occur if energy prices suddenly change or if a new revenue stream arises that was not originally contemplated by the council, which might be retained by the contractor by default or based on a narrow interpretation of the contract without the council’s knowledge or awareness.

RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES It’s vital that councils are fully aware of these risks and proactively review all income received from electricity sales on an ongoing basis, as there are strict deadlines for recouping missed income.

Check when all key contracts are due for renewal Many councils can significantly increase their income by renegotiating a greater share of revenues earned from the renewable electricity produced on council-owned land. Depending on the circumstances, this could be done partway through the contract (e.g. at fixed points in time or whenever the PPA is replaced) or coming towards the end of a contract. This applies regardless of whether the site contractor has security of tenure, since the rent payable under a new lease should be the current open market rate. However, in order to negotiate successfully, councils must take the initiative in ascertaining the true value of their contract (e.g. this might involve forecasting the value of landfill gas remaining over the life of the project) and the magnitude of payments being received by other councils and companies with similar sites across the UK. This should enable councils to develop a

strong and compelling case in preparation for upcoming negotiations. Moreover, councils should begin preparing for renegotiations at least 12 months before the expiry of their contract and should not rely upon their current contractor to prompt or initiate this, as there will be fewer options available as the date of expiry approaches. Further, it is well worth renegotiating in the current market of high energy prices, as a 5% increase could result in your council receiving up to an extra £102,000 per year for each landfill site owned. Further, councils could consider switching to a different contractor when their contract expires, who is willing to share a higher proportion of the renewable electricity produced on council-owned land. Councils would need to consider this option at least 12 months before their current contract expires to allow for sufficient time to invite and review offers from third parties, and to begin the process of transitioning the environmental permit, grid connection, ROC accreditation and other agreements to a new contractor, if necessary. Similarly, councils could consider bringing the operation of some projects in-house, allowing them to keep all revenues generated

from the project, in return for taking responsibility for running costs and compliance with the required permits.

Creating income from underutilised landfill sites Most council-owned landfill sites have spare grid capacity (think of an aeroplane only half full flying from New York to London), which is a valuable financial asset that often sits unrealised and unutilised for many years. This spare grid capacity will increase over time since the amount of landfill gas produced by most UK landfill sites is gradually diminishing. Councils may be able to use this spare capacity to add an extra project (such as a wind or solar farm) alongside their existing landfill gas project. This

has already been successfully achieved at several UK landfill sites, including most recently at Ling Hall landfill site in Warwickshire, which has historically supplied renewable electricity to 692 UK homes per month and is generating an estimated £70,000 in monthly revenues. In June 2021, solar panels were added to Ling Hall landfill site, and now supplies renewable electricity to a further 1300 UK homes per month, generating an estimated £104,000 of extra monthly income, based on current energy prices. Therefore, councils should consider the potentially untapped opportunities contained within their existing renewable energy projects. 



BALANCING THE FORCES AFFECTING VENTILATION IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR Ian Rogers, Sales Director at Gilberts Blackpool, one of Britain’s leading independent air movement specialists, talks to PSBJ about the benefits of hybrid ventilation in public buildings.


ow, probably more than ever, public sector building designers are faced with a difficult balancing act when specifying ventilation. Carbon reduction, energy efficiency and soaring fuel bills are driving the need to build tight, to stop heat escaping. But that has to be balanced against allowing adequate ventilation/ fresh air in. COVID has focused our minds on indoor air quality (IAQ). But IAQ goes far beyond that – it encompasses our health and wellbeing. A single human being sitting or working in a building generates 70g or more of water vapour/hour 1 – moisture that needs to be expelled to avoid a damp or humid internal environment; then there are the matters of wellbeing – we don’t like to be too hot, or sat in a draught; how many of you reading this have spent hours in a poorly-ventilated air conditioned building and suffered ‘sick building syndrome’? Then there are the new requirements resulting from the revised Building Regulations Approved Document F (Ventilation) and L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) which came into force last month (June 2022). The first is particularly pertinent, requiring increased ventilation rates (of 10 litres/second/person or 1l/s/ m 2 floor area, whichever has the higher rate) and inclusion of CO 2 monitors to maintain good indoor air quality.


Most of the buildings that will be in use in 2050 – the net-zero carbon target date – are already built, meaning these will have to be remodelled inevitably requiring compromise on the ideal: you are having to work within existing physical and financial constraints rather than starting from scratch. That’s all without taking into account the interior design aesthetics. The Education & Skills Funding Agency, when it revised Building Bulletin 101 in 2018, was (in hindsight) leading the charge, advising hybrid ventilation as the most effective means of ensuring adequate ventilation and IAQ whilst addressing increased energy usage. It recognised the benefit of the then new technology (which Gilberts pioneered).

Hybrid ventilation – the way ahead? Hybrid ventilation centres around natural ventilation, complemented by an as/ when-needed mechanical boost, usually via a low-energy fan. The system works by mixing the incoming fresh air with the warmer internal exhaust air to maintain compliant IAQ in each stand-alone space. It is possible to adjust the system to run on 100% fresh air, using an optional heat coil to temper the incoming air temperature (COVID mode). This keeps a cleaner and safer environment, whilst ensuring indoor temperatures are not compromised at all, thereby avoiding cold draughts without the

need to boost heating systems to maintain internal comfort levels. Using the heat coil can also eliminate the need for radiators, which optimises useable floor space. Hybrid systems can also be configured to work in conjunction with heat pumps, utilising that source of warmth provide both ventilation and heat for each space. As solely ventilation, they cost as little as £5/space/year to run; even when serving as the heating, the cost is increased by only £2.19/space/year2. As hybrid systems are stand-alone units for each space, they also help comply with the changes in Approved Document F with regard to reducing rigid ducting: there is no ducting at all. Although initially devised as a solution for educational estates, hybrid ventilation is proving its potential beyond schools. Plymouth City Council’s Endeavour House is a three-storey, open-plan office block aired using hybrid ventilation (Gilberts’ MFS Fusion). The development has been rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’. The key to any successful ventilation strategy is ensuring all spaces within receive an appropriate level of fresh air.

Beyond hybrid ventilation Hybrid ventilation is a stand-alone option, with a unit for each designated zone. Being pragmatic, there are inevitably some public buildings that are not suitable for hybrid ventilation systems.

HVAC Natural ventilation can often be utilised, provided suitable air paths can be configured. It has worked well for centuries, before global warming was even conceived, and is surely the ultimate zero-carbon solution. It works purely by harnessing the physics of air movement: hot air rises; nature abhors a vacuum, thus drawing fresh air in behind the thermal current. The key to successful ventilation is getting the fresh air where it is needed – the grilles and diffusers, which, with careful selection, can also contribute towards the overall energy efficiency and carbon emissions. Thermal control may be one answer to prevent wasted energy, and ensure occupants are comfortable, without having to spend money and time connecting ventilation to building management systems. The technique means the ventilation inlet – the swirl diffuser – is a stand-alone solution, that adjusts airflow depending on the internal and supply air temperatures without any supplementary energy/power. It cleverly provides rapid entrainment and mixing harnessing physics principles to achieve a constant comfortable internal environment, whether warming or cooling is required. Thermally-controlled diffusers – also known as jet nozzles – deliver omni-directional, rotating warm air in the vertical, and cool air in a horizontal direction, thereby eliminating draughts whilst providing rapid and efficient initial warm up and eliminating potential cold spots at low level. Merseyside Police’s new HQ has employed this technology in its atrium, contributing towards the force’s predicted quarter of a million pound savings in operating costs for the building.

Aligning the scales With a little thought, it is possible to achieve the perfect balancing act, of good ventilation and air quality within an airtight building. The trick for architects, going forward, is to work with experts such as building services consultants and ideally manufacturers. Working with such issues on a daily basis, they have the in-depth knowledge to guide you. You can then be sure that the systems you specify are as energy efficient and environmentally friendly in all aspects as possible. And you will still deliver the appropriate quality of internal air and comfort, and the desired aesthetics. 

Sources 1.

On current energy tariffs




SETTING THE STAGE FOR SUCCESSFUL MULTI-STOREY CAR PARK CARE As they are so important to town and city centres, car park repairs need to be carried out quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, safely. Good-quality refurbishment can extend a car park structure’s lifespan and presents a more cost-effective and sustainable option than demolition and building anew. Here, Dr. Steve Holmes from Sika takes a look at the key issues that determine a successful car park refurbishment.


Setting the right tone

he main function of car park decking systems is to protect the reinforced concrete slab, preventing the ingress of water and corrosive deicing salts. Therefore, when it comes to specifying a repair solution, a product’s waterproofing and crack-bridging properties will be essential to ensure that they can accommodate a parking structure’s movement. Steel-frame composite structures and exposed concrete areas within car parks are also at risk from corrosion due to the traffic-induced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Thus, resistance to carbonation should also be considered when specifying a long-term repair system.

Benefits of stress and corrosive-resistant flooring Car park entrances and ramps are typically subject to the highest, sustained traffic loads, making them more exposed to mechanical stress. Replacement decks need to withstand such pressures, which are compounded by vehicles turning, braking and accelerating (at significant speed on occasion). Therefore, excellent slip resistance and the capability to withstand turning torque and shear stress is crucial for car park flooring in these areas. This will increase driver and pedestrian safety by helping prevent cars from crashing into curbs, walls or barriers, as well as reduce the risk of vehicle damage. The possibility of car tyres carrying mud and slush and causing abrasion should also be accounted for when specifying flooring for car park ramps


and decks. Furthermore, new surface coatings should be impenetrable to, and undamaged by grease, as well as oil and petrol leakages from vehicles. With regards to walking surfaces in underground car parks and exterior sites, these should optimise safety by displaying excellent impact and abrasion resistance, as well as elastomeric waterproofing qualities in order to cope with the rigours of constant traffic.

Well-lit car parks with brightly-coloured, clearly-marked interiors are known to provide a more pleasant visitor experience. They create a less intimidating environment, reassuring members of the public that their personal safety and their car – along with the possessions therein – are better protected. This cultivated sense of wellbeing is particularly welcome in walkway and staircase areas, which, along with the entrance points, are viewed as a car park’s business card. Hence, floor and wall coatings not only need to fulfil all technical requirements – excellent traction and cleanability is of particular importance in these areas – but they must also succeed on an aesthetic level. This means selecting the right colours and tones to inspire an ‘inviting’ look to visitors. Such an outcome and maintaining a safe, smart appearance in that particular part of the building will be crucial to attracting and retaining custom. Car park owners are legally obliged to maintain their car park in a safe condition. It’s a challenge that is more effectively met by engaging with a company such as Sika, which has 40 years of experience within car park new build, strengthening and refurbishment. As specialists in the concrete refurbishment sector, Sika has produced a range of highperformance solutions that are ideal for the long-term upgrading of multi-storey and underground car park decks, ramps and roofs. Their concrete refurbishment range includes advanced repair mortars, hydrophobic impregnation solutions, corrosion inhibitors and joint sealing systems. The quality of these products, coupled with the speed and ease with which

TECHNICAL FOCUS they are installed enable repair projects varying in size and profile to be completed with minimal disruption. Sika’s unique technical support is included as part of its product offering. From pre-project assessments and guidance, in relation to product or system specification, through to onsite support and quality control recommendations, the company’s all-round service is dedicated to ensuring concrete projects involving car parks – and other vital infrastructure – stand the test of time.

Sika case study: Merrion Centre Shopping Centre car park Sika provided a range of concrete repair, structural strengthening and corrosion management systems to completely transform the Merrion Centre Shopping Centre car park in Leeds. The 950-space, multi-storey facility required a range of systems to meet different outcomes across each level, with durability and resistance to chemicals and abrasion being a core requirement. The external top decking, for example, required superb crack-bridging properties to accommodate freeze-thawing and the dynamic movement associated with reinforced concrete structures and exposure to UV. In other areas of the car park, an uplift in strength of the reinforced concrete was a must. For these, Sika supplied its carbon-fibre structural strengthening system comprising SikaWrap anchors and the high-performance SikaWrap-300, a reinforced carbon-fibre fabric, which was used for the flexural and shear strengthening of slabs within the building structure. Sika Galvashield sacrificial anodes were applied to the concrete patch

repairs to protect against incipient anode corrosion. Sika Ferrogard-903+ was sprayapplied to the remaining areas of the concrete slab to protect against further corrosion occurring to the steel reinforcement due to the presence of chlorides and carbonation. For the intermediate decks, a system featuring Sikafloor-161, Sikafloor-375N Elastic and Sikafloor-358 was chosen. Sikafloor-161, a two-part epoxy resin, was used as a highly moisture-resistant primer. It was then covered with a layer of Sikafloor375N Elastic, a solvent-free highly-elastic polyurethane membrane with crack-bridging properties and a seal coat of Sikafloor-358. Broadcast with quartz aggregate for anti-slip qualities and resistance to abrasion, it is an ideal choice for car park applications. For the exposed top decks, which were failing and delaminated in large areas

exposing the concrete deck to water ingress, the company’s Sikafloor Pronto decking system combined long-term waterproofing integrity and exceptional resistance with a fast application that minimised car park closure times. Featuring PMMA (polymethyl methacrylic), the resin flooring system is ready for foot traffic after one hour and fully cured after two. Sika’s concrete repair products and expertise were essential in transforming Merrion Centre Shopping Centre car park – Leeds’ busiest car parking site. Following its rapid and cost-effective transformation, which was facilitated by Sika’s marketleading products, it is also one of the most modern and technologically-advanced car parks in the city. 



Ashley Pappin is a Senior Associate and Frederick Davies is a Solicitor in the Social Housing and Construction teams at law firm Winckworth Sherwood

SOCIAL HOUSING PROVIDERS MUST GEAR UP FOR EV CHARGING REGS Social housing providers are facing a raft of new legislation as the sector moves towards a net-zero carbon future, says Ashley Pappin and Frederick Davies from law firm Winckworth Sherwood.


ew regulations regarding electric vehicles (EVs), coming into force this year, will affect many social housing projects, particularly those with onsite parking. From 15th June 2022, new laws required the installation of EV charge points in both new and renovated residential buildings.

Electricity supply networks Providers must also consider the impact on electricity supply networks when planning and managing social housing developments. The following questions should be asked:

Changes affecting social housing projects include requirements for installation of: EV charge points in all new homes with onsite parking At least one EV charge point per dwelling with parking, and EV cabling for all parking in existing residential buildings undergoing renovation which have 10 or more onsite parking spaces.

Is there enough capacity in the electricity network? The new requirements for EV charge points, and potential electrification of heating, will increase electricity demand. If the local electricity distribution network does not have capacity, providers will need to factor in additional cost and time that may be needed to reinforce the network. Ofgem propose to reduce upfront reinforcement costs from April 2023, however, the risk to providers of a shortfall in network capacity relative to demand needs to be managed.

On 30th June 2022, additional regulations came into force governing technical requirements for EV charge points and ‘smart cables’ which are used to exchange information with EVs.

There are a number of issues social housing providers must keep in mind Construction contracts When negotiating and agreeing the construction contracts, careful attention to provisions governing design and installation responsibility will be essential. Making sure works comply with the new rules requires equal measures of commercial acumen and effective legal drafting. Management of the risks associated with regulatory changes that take effect while works are underway is also key. For example, who bears the risk of technical changes to the requirements for EV charge point installation midproject, and is that risk allocation effectively dealt with in the contracts?


Is it possible to integrate with onsite energy networks? The Government expects developers to consider ‘agile’ solutions to network capacity issues. This would mean working closely with network operators to address those capacity issues and considering onsite solutions. Government suggestions include introducing battery storage or load-management systems.

Should providers, therefore, integrate EV charge points with onsite energy networks and battery storage solutions? Could this not only alleviate capacity issues, but also improve asset value and green finance prospects by lowering a development’s carbon footprint, and reduce energy costs for both social housing providers and residents? Who will own and operate the EV charge points? Will providers own the charge points and appoint operators to manage them on the provider’s behalf? Or, will providers enter concession agreements with operators, allocating risk but also revenue opportunities to the operator? Is a PAYG or subscription model preferable? To capture the opportunities and mitigate the risks presented by the new rules, careful attention to the legal detail in construction and development contracts is essential. Independent and professional administration of the contracts governing social housing development projects is also a powerful ally. 

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ADVANCED WELCOMES FIRE SAFETY GUIDANCE FOR NEW HIGH-RISE RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS Fire protection solutions manufacturer, Advanced, has welcomed the amended Approved Document B of the Building Regulations as a “positive step in the right direction to improve fire safety in new high-rise residential buildings”. Published on 1st June 2022, Part B (Fire Safety) offers new improvements to fire safety guidance to ensure tall buildings are made safer in England, as part of a wider package of reforms. A ‘significant’ addition to the document is the mandatory requirement for new residential developments over 18m to incorporate an evacuation alert system, offering new clarity for those involved in the design or construction of residential developments. An evacuation alert system is vital to help fire and rescue services inform residents of a change in evacuation strategy during an incident. This gives fire and rescue services an additional tool to use on the ground, alongside existing methods of evacuation, improving safety for residents. To comply with the amended Part B, an evacuation alert system should be provided in accordance with BS 8629 Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of evacuation alert systems for use by fire and rescue services in England. Amended Part B is designed to meet recommendations from Phase One of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. Currently, the Part B requirement for an evacuation alert system only covers new-build, high-rise residential buildings. However, since the Grenfell Tower Inquiry also recommends evacuation alert


systems for high-rise residential buildings “already in existence”, further regulation may follow. Ken Bullock, Business Development Manager for Evacuation Alert Systems at Advanced, said: “We welcome the amended Part B of the Building Regulations and the clarity it gives when it comes to fire safety. An evacuation alert system gives fire and rescue services a valuable tool which allows them to evacuate residents at risk in a safer, managed way. At Advanced, our EvacGo Evacuation Alert System is designed as an easy way to meet BS 8629:19, and so can it offer peace of mind to those responsible for a building that by choosing this system they are complying with Building Regulations. “We appreciate that new regulation can be confusing, so not only have we carefully designed the EvacGo to take away the hard work for building owners, end users and, importantly, frontline fire and rescue services, we also offer a CPD presentation on evacuation planning and BS 8629 Code of Practice. The CPD is suitable for consultants, fire risk assessors and anyone else who needs a better understanding of the requirements of the British Standards Institution code of practice BS 8629.”

The amended Part B forms a portion of a wider update to tighten Building Regulations and provide clearer fire safety rules for the design and construction of residential developments. The Building Safety Act names HSE as the new Building Safety Regulator in England and as such will enforce compliance of the Building Regulations. The Building Safety Act will place formal responsibilities on those involved in the design, construction of any buildings to ensure compliance with Building Regulations, and will give the regulator greater powers to prosecute for non-compliance. It will be the duty of the people responsible for a building to put in place and maintain a golden thread of information, with their responsibility continuing for the life of the building. Other key changes within Part B include the requirement for all new residential buildings over 11m to include a secure information box that will give fire and rescue services access to important details about a building in the event of a fire. In addition, the Government has introduced tougher standards for external wall materials on new, medium-rise blocks of flats. 0345 894 7000



The Anzeiger-Hochaus in the centre of Hannover, built in 1928 and 51m high, with its characteristic facade in the style of ‘brick expressionism’, is a unique example of German skyscraper construction. The city’s planetarium was once located under the 17m-high dome, and subsequently the highest cinema in Germany. The 2019 renovation included a completely new Nordic Copper Special Patina dome roof meeting strict listed building protection.

SUSTAINABLE RESTORATION WITH NORDIC COPPER Although considered to be a thoroughly modern material offering limitless possibilities for contemporary architectural design, copper is also – of course – one of our oldest building materials, traditionally covering the domes and spires of city skylines. Nordic Copper Special Patina has been developed specifically to help with repairs, restoration or extensions to historic buildings. Copper’s unique architectural qualities are defined by its naturally-changing patina – which cannot be successfully replicated using other materials with surface coatings. Within a few days of exposure to the atmosphere, a copper surface begins to oxidise, changing from the ‘bright’ mill finish to a chestnut brown, which gradually darkens over several years to a chocolate brown. Continued weathering can then result in the development of the distinctive green patina – or blue in coastal locations. This process is an expression of the metal’s propensity to revert to mineral compounds that resemble the ore from which it originally came. Some rainwater is needed for the patina to form and its rate of development will depend on the water ‘dwell time’ on a surface. As a result, vertical cladding and sheltered surfaces will take much longer to patinate naturally than exposed roofs.


Natural surface treatments

Airborne pollution also increases the rate of patination, which, therefore, takes longer in more remote, cleaner environments than in cities or industrial areas. The complex combination of factors determines the nature and speed of development of patination, giving copper unique, living visual characteristics developing over time in response to local conditions.

All these naturally-developing surfaces can be provided straight away with the ‘Nordic Copper’ range. The factory processes involved are generally similar to those taking place over time in the environment utilising copper mineral compounds, not alien chemical processes. The surfaces form an integral part of the copper, generally continuing to change over time, and are not lifeless coatings or paint. The architectural range includes Nordic Standard ‘mill finish’ and Nordic Brown preoxidised copper, offering lighter or darker shades of brown determined by the thickness of the oxide layer. Copper alloys include Nordic Bronze and Nordic Brass, which can also be supplied pre-weathered. The innovative Nordic Royal is an alloy of copper with aluminium and zinc, retaining its golden colour and simply losing some of its sheen over time with exposure to the atmosphere to give a matt finish.


But of particular interest to architects and conservation specialists working with historic buildings are the extensive Nordic Blue, Nordic Green and Nordic Turquoise ranges. They have been developed with properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas all over the world. As well as the solid patina colours, ‘Living’ surfaces are available for each with other intensities of patina flecks revealing some of the dark oxidised background material.

Individually developed special patinas

Suomenlinna Church, built in 1854, is on the UNESCO world heritage list as a unique example of military architecture. The presence of the church on the Helsinki skyline is significant, and patination of the master tower – which doubles as a lighthouse – is particularly important. The new Nordic Copper Special Patina roof does not just resemble the old one but was actually made from recycling the original copper.

Suomitalo is a major, unique office building in the heart of Helsinki dating back to 1911. Its complete roofscape has been replaced using Nordic Copper Special Patina to match the original material, which has been recycled for new applications.

Copper’s patina film provides impressive protection against corrosion and can repair itself if damaged, defining the exceptional longevity of copper cladding – counted in hundreds of years. But repairs and restoration – following substrate or structural failures, or other damage – or extensions to historic copper buildings may still be needed. The Nordic Copper Special Patina system is designed specifically to help architects with restoration projects. Aurubis has several decades of experience in developing unique patinated architectural copper products, successfully applied to historic – including listed – buildings in the UK and abroad. With Nordic Copper Special Patina, unique pre-patinated copper material can be produced to match naturally-patinated copper, especially for historic buildings. An original sample from the building is used, but initial development can be started with the help of a Special Patina Tool (which can be downloaded from and printed). The card is simply placed on the original copper surface and photographed. Once a specific patina mixture has been established and product supplied, the project mix is retained in case of follow-up orders.

100% recycled material Aurubis can also recycle the original copper removed from a project. All of our architectural copper products are manufactured using 100% recycled raw material. Copper’s ability to be recycled repeatedly, without any loss in performance, is an important sustainability benefit. 01875 812144



purify the air. SprayCork is made using all natural ingredients which means that there are no synthetic chemicals or artificial binding solutions in the product. With so many benefits and stellar ethical credentials, it’s clear to see why SprayCork is quickly becoming a go-to choice for specifiers up and down the country.

Thermal protection

LOOK TO CORKSOL FOR A SUSTAINABLE, NATURAL RENDER SOLUTION CorkSol UK is dedicated to the distribution of innovative, natural building products in an age driven by sustainability. Established in the UK in 2017, CorkSol has since carried out over 3000 projects across the nation and has an extensive network of approved applicators spanning the country. CorkSol UK prides itself on robust environmental credentials and has an ambitious vision to change the future of building facades, offering a superior, high-performance solution which is 100% sustainable. The exclusive distributor of SprayCork to the UK market, CorkSol UK first discovered the product being used in Europe as a coating for modular housing. Since then, the SprayCork formula has been enhanced and developed to provide specifiers with a thermal, breathable, acoustic solution for walls and roofs on existing and newbuild properties.

Championed by Kevin McCloud, Presenter of TV’s Grand Designs as a ‘green hero’, SprayCork is an alternative to traditional plaster and render products. The product itself is manufactured in Spain, where there is a high volume of cork – the raw material needed to make the coating. The bark is stripped from the tree and grows back naturally over time, meaning no tree is felled and there is no long-lasting impact on the environment, unlike quarried materials. In fact, during the regeneration process, cork oak trees absorb higher levels of carbon dioxide, helping to

SprayCork has been scientifically proven to reduce heat loss through walls by 30%, which is guaranteed to have a positive impact on the overall energy performance of properties over time. A high-performance, sprayapplied cork coating, SprayCork provides a thermal, breathable, acoustic solution for walls and roofs, including conservatory roofs, where heat loss is an unavoidable problem.

Unrivalled versatility SprayCork can be used to tackle many common render problems including oversprays, cracks and discolouration – all of which taint the overall aesthetic of a building. By improving the external finish, the facade is repaired and brightened, giving it a new lease of life.

Safeguarding against British weather Each year, Britain’s homes are exposed to their fair share of bad weather. Between driving rain, gale-force winds and freezing temperatures, our homes have to be able to withstand harsh conditions and the effects of weathering, but SprayCork offers a strong external coating with superior weatherproofing properties to help better protect homes.

Standing the test of time With CorkSol having the utmost confidence in its product as a long-term, low-maintenance solution for damaged render, the product warranty has now been increased to 25 years, meaning that years down the line, a home coated with SprayCork will look as good as the day it was sprayed. 01484 442420



Products from F. Ball’s System LVT range, including the company’s fast-track, fibre-reinforced transitional adhesive, Styccobond F58 PLUS, have been used to install luxury vinyl tiles in an ambitious, modern self-build property in rural Cambridgeshire. F. Ball’s technical service team recommended treating the subfloor as a newly-installed screed for the purposes of moisture management, despite being installed months earlier, as it had been left exposed to the elements since. Therefore, F. Ball’s Stopgap F77 waterproof surface membrane was used to create a barrier to prevent excess subfloor moisture attacking adhesives and floorcoverings, potentially causing floor failure. Once the waterproof surface membrane had cured, the surface was primed using F. Ball’s primer for use over non-absorbent surfaces, Stopgap P141. The company’s Stopgap 300 HD heavy-duty levelling compound was then applied over the entire ground floor to create a perfectly-smooth base for the receipt of floorcoverings. The contractors then used Styccobond F58 PLUS and F. Ball’s Styccobond F49 Hybrid PS temperaturetolerant, moisture-resistant, pressure-sensitive adhesive to install wood-effect LVTs over the 372m2 area.

Leading UK ceiling solutions manufacturer Zentia is moving its apprenticeship scheme up a gear in a link up with its local college. The company formally launched its in-house scheme seven months ago with the recruitment of six apprentices for a variety of roles at its two factories manufacturing ceiling tiles and grid/suspension systems, in Gateshead, Tyne and Wear. Now, in a partnership with its next-door neighbour on Kingsway South, Team Valley, Gateshead College, Zentia is offering another six positions. The new positions range from lean manufacturing operative through to metal fabricator to electrical engineer. While most of the training is on the job, the college will host Zentia’s new apprentices one day a week, providing them with outstanding facilities in which to learn and develop their new skills. Zentia’s Head of HR, Nicky Gallagher, said: “Partnering with a local education institution such as Gateshead College is a natural fit and the ideal medium towards providing quality manufacturing positions in the North East and boosting and retaining important skills in the region.”

01583 361633



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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 • CFA members will maximize your investment and minimize costly flooring failures — which is good for your client, good for your reputation and also helps promote future business • All members have to pass a vetting process

See the “Downloads” section at and download our leaflet TODAY

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Images courtesy of Robert Bray Associates

PUBLIC REALM REGENERATION WITH PERMEABLE PAVING A new case study explores recent urban realm regeneration projects in Tottenham, London, exemplifying the synergy of concrete block permeable paving and street trees to address climate change while delivering SuDS. It demonstrates important new techniques applicable to all urban areas. Completed in 2018, the regeneration of White Hart Lane in north Tottenham, by muf architecture/art, was a pilot designed using ‘healthy streets’ principles. These aim to create: “Streets that feel pleasant, safe and attractive. Streets where noise, air pollution, accessibility and lack of seating and shelter are not barriers…Streets with seating, shade and greenery, and reduced dominance of vehicles by designing for slower vehicle speeds.” The project delivers these aspirations and was one of the first to use the ‘healthy streets’ indicator as a metric.

Multifunctional permeable paving But it also applies innovative sustainable drainage (SuDS) techniques introduced by design collaborator Robert Bray Associates. This approach reduces flooding and pollution of the hidden Moselle River


through the integration of bioretention raingardens to collect and treat polluted road runoff. In addition, extensive concrete block permeable paving (CBPP) surfaces not only act as SuDS elements – attenuating and treating rainwater runoff – but also enable essential air/CO2 exchange and optimised water supply for tree roots, using a range of techniques.

A focal point of the scheme is a new Pocket Park, enabled by the relocation of a bus stop and removal of extensive asphalt paving. The park is separated from the road by bioretention raingardens, intercepting runoff from the whole width of the ‘side-hung’ carriageway, which acts as a catchment. It also includes long planters to accommodate

mature and new trees, and other green infrastructure, incorporating seating. This also enabled de-paving around a mature but suffocated and asphalt-locked Plane tree. Love Lane, which runs perpendicular to White Hart Lane in front of the new landmark Underground station, is now a concrete block permeable paved, adopted highway. CBPP can also accept runoff from White Hart Lane and other impermeable surfaces. At two points, structural tree pits span the full width below the road surface connecting road-narrowing tree planters on each side in readiness for future planting. Based on the ‘Stockholm solution’ for urban tree planting, the deep structural soil zones form sumps which are hydraulically connected to the coarse graded aggregate sub-base of the permeable paving.

Healthier, resilient street trees

Permeable paving in harmony with trees

This means that in heavy or prolonged rain, once percolated runoff begins to move laterally along the interface between the subbase and subgrade, it moves toward the structural tree pits where it begins to be attenuated. Once the pits fill to the level of the base of the road sub-base, the attenuation and infiltration spread out over the whole road zone. This pattern of flow and attenuation means that trees benefit from rainwater collected from an extended catchment, making them healthier and more resilient to drought. Although initially unfamiliar with the structural tree pits, with support and advice, the installation contractors soon became comfortable and are now installing them elsewhere. At the renovation of Broad Lane Square in south Tottenham, the same designers take forward these principles with further innovations. In particular, ‘inverted raingardens’ protect existing trees and new green infrastructure, supplied with a gradual supply of clean water from extensive CBPP catchments.

Concrete block permeable paving and street trees have been proven to work together in synergy. CBPP – whether full construction with sub-base or applied as an overlay on an existing impermeable road base – can collect rainfall away from the canopy and convey it to the tree. It can then simply discharge horizontally into a raingarden, with overflow into existing adapted gulleys. The raingarden stores water during heavy rain for SuDS, retains soil moisture during dry weather and provides additional water quality ‘polishing’, as well as irrigation. Alternatively, CBPP can be used over standard tree pits, proprietary tree planters, Stockholm system or other structural soil installations, enabling irrigation and simple air/carbon dioxide exchange essential to trees – without additional reservoirs or pipes. CBPP also avoids tree root disruption common with other paved surfaces. Concrete block permeable paving technology will prove invaluable in delivering the street trees now demanded by planning policies for new developments as well as regeneration.


Structural tree pits connect roadnarrowing tree planters on each side, based on the ‘Stockholm solution’



Safe movement – well-placed grab rails and shower seats with arm rests reduce fall risks. Remember: Use two colours where the light reflective value (LRV) difference between both colours is greater than 30. AKW’s grab rails and shower seats are available in a range of colours to aid those with visual impairments. Colour contrast is best achieved with contrasting shades of the same colour rather than different colours.

LOOKING AT THE BATHROOM FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE For many with visual impairments, the area of greatest risk is the bathroom. Here, Stuart Reynolds, Head of Product and Marketing at AKW, explains how simple bathroom design changes can improve the lives and safety of such tenants. Lighting – avoidance of shadows, dark areas and glare is key to safe movement around a bathroom. Install: LED task downlights with a narrow 30° beam angle over specific ‘task-based

areas’ such as the shower, bath, sink or toilet (such as those provided in AKW’s task lighting kit). Ambient lighting to maintain general light levels throughout the bathroom space.

Floor safety – to minimise trip hazards, think about the flooring and, if installing a shower, choose one that is level access: Use non-slip vinyl safety flooring that has a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) rating of ≥36, such as AKW’s safety flooring. Use AKW’s Mullen shower tray, which creates a defined level-access showering area that is ideal for use by those with visual impairments. The tray is slip resistant and features a textured surface for added safety. Simple adjustments can increase the safety of tenants with visual impairments, reducing their risk of accidents. To find out more, download AKW’s latest infographic here: document/visual-impairment-infographic/

01905 823298

PREMIER MODULAR PROVIDES DECANT CLASSROOMS ON TOP OF ANOTHER MODULAR STRUCTURE Premier Modular, a leading offsite specialist, has delivered a highly unusual project to provide decant teaching facilities at Douay Martyrs Catholic Secondary School in Ickenham. The temporary classrooms, science laboratories and SEN spaces have been sited on top of a permanent modular building and while that building was under construction. In total, 36 bespoke modules were installed on this highly-constrained school site. These provided general classrooms, an IT suite, science classrooms with a shared preparation room and SEN spaces. To provide access, Premier installed both a platform lift and internal staircases which interfaced seamlessly with the permanent structure.

0800 316 0888

FROM FLOORS TO WALL PANELS, IDS HAS IT COVERED AT HOUSING 2022 Decorative surface materials distributor IDS is showcasing its strength as a specialist supplier of flooring and wall panelling at Housing 2022 on stand D17, where it will display a host of innovative new and existing products from its expansive portfolio. Wall panelling solutions on display include a host of new products and popular sellers from leading industry names Showerwall, PanelStyle and BerryAlloc Wall & Water, which collectively give customers access to 150 decors spanning all design tastes and project budgets. Catering for a wide variety of residential applications, a huge range of flooring solutions will be on display from luxury vinyl tile (LVT) brands Malmo, LiViT and BerryAlloc, while laminate options being showcased include BerryAlloc, Xtra-Step and LOC Floor from Unilin.

MAGPLY GAINS COVETED BBA CERTIFICATION Magply magnesium oxysulfate (MOS) boards have recently undergone a stringent testing programme by the British Board of Agrément (BBA), which helps clients validate their processes and mitigate risk offering greater confidence for specifiers of the products tested. After a painstaking two-year process, Magply’s faith in the multipurpose panel was justified by the BBA’s issue of a much-coveted Agrément certificate no. 22/6050. Stages involved the BBA carrying out a full audit of Magply’s existing testing regime – along with undergoing a number of the authority’s own rigorous trials. These included a six-month evaluation of the board for leeching, which, thanks to the material’s inherent stability, resulted in a zero score.

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SOLVING THE HEALTHCARE ENERGY TRILEMMA The energy trilemma – the need for reliable, affordable and sustainable energy – is one of the most pressing problems within the UK and globally. For the healthcare sector, a secure and stable power supply is critical, at a time when budgets are stretched more than ever. At the same time, the NHS has laid out binding net-zero targets with the aim of becoming the world’s first net-zero national healthcare service. To support NHS Trusts and healthcare providers to balance their energy priorities, Powerstar, a leading designer and manufacturer of behind-the-meter energy management technology, has published a new white paper covering each aspect of the energy trilemma, specifically as it impacts the health sector.

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The white paper offers an overview of the energy trilemma and why balancing the competing agendas of reliability, affordability and sustainability are so important in the current climate. It considers each arm of the trilemma, highlighting the issues facing the NHS and healthcare providers. Alastair Morris, Chief Commercial Officer at Powerstar, explains the rationale behind the publication: “The NHS has the UK’s most ambitious targets for achieving net zero and decarbonising such a vast organisation presents massive challenges. Addressing one aspect of the energy trilemma can impact negatively on the remaining two priorities. For example, a fully decarbonised energy supply is, even in the current economic climate, more expensive than a continued reliance on fossil fuels. Renewables are inherently inflexible, meaning that a complete shift to renewables, while meeting sustainability imperatives, can lead to a less affordable, less secure energy supply. Clearly, these competing agendas must be carefully balanced. Our healthcare white paper is founded on insights gained working with NHS Trusts and healthcare providers and on our own expertise and investment in R&D.” 0333 230 1327



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H+H ACHIEVES BES 6001 ‘EXCELLENT’ RANKING H+H, one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of aerated concrete blocks, is delighted to have achieved the much sought-after ‘Excellent’ ranking under BES 6001 framework for responsible sourcing. The standard requires manufacturers to demonstrate compliance with and oversight of many aspects of environmental and sustainability performance. They must also demonstrate that their own supply chain is similarly committed to continuous environmental improvement. This certification is a demonstration of collaboration throughout the supply chain – something which is essential if overall carbon reduction and broader environmental standards within the built environment are to be met. Organisations demonstrate compliance with BES 6001 with their level of achievement ranked as: Pass, Good, Very Good and Excellent, and are re-examined annually. Graham Sargeant, Development and Management Systems Manager at H+H, commented: “The degree of collaboration required for H+H to achieve its Excellent ranking sits very comfortably within our overall strategy to be ‘partners in wall building’. It is a way of working that needs to be embedded throughout the industry and, as an industry, we must work together. Environmental improvement is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it is essential.”

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FIS ACOUSTIC VERIFICATION SCHEME RECOGNISED ON NBS SOURCE The Finishes and Interiors Sector (FIS) and NBS, a leading specification platform for the construction industry, has announced that NBS has now formally recognised the FIS Acoustic Verification Scheme within its product selection tool, NBS Source. This change means that specifiers can simply search for partition and operable wall systems that have been through the FIS Acoustic Verification Scheme (AVS). This update to the NBS system builds on the partnership NBS and FIS announced in August 2020 that is aimed at driving up standards and compliance through information sharing and best practice amongst construction professionals. The FIS Acoustic Verification Scheme was established to introduce standard methodology and support honest and consistent declaration of acoustic performance for partitions and operable walls. The FIS partnership with NBS means that specifiers will also clearly be able to see which products on NBS Source have AVS certification and which do not. Details of the scheme have also been built into the NBS Chorus cloud-based specification writing platform.

0121 707 0077

WIRELESS ACCESS CONTROL ENABLES LOCKDOWN OF PREMISES REMOTELY Abloy UK is highlighting the functionality of its SMARTair wireless access control solution that gives facilities managers full control to lock down access to areas of or an entire building, quickly and safely in an emergency. SMARTair offers intelligent access control – opening, locking or maintaining access – to individual doors or zones to deal with an emergency. With a single command, doors equipped with SMARTair devices may be set to ‘Block Mode’ and can only be unlocked with a specific credential. With the SMARTair solution, full building lockdown may be initiated from the system’s software interface or Web Manager. It can also be activated via an emergency push-button connected to a SMARTair HUB.

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FIREFLY APOLLO LITE CREATING HALF HOUR FIRE BARRIERS IN NEW RESEARCH BUILDING A specialist contractor undertaking all of the fireproofing within a new medical research building in Surrey has been making use of two well-proven, flexible fire barrier products from the TBA’s FIREFLY range. Dartford-based CLM Fireproofing is a leader in the fields of both passive fire protection and fire-stopping, working in a variety of sectors on projects right across the UK. A regular user of the FIREFLY range, in this instance, CLM is employing Apollo Lite and the Collaroll product in tandem to protect the ceiling voids. The spaces which typically house pipework, power cables and air conditioning units above the suspended ceiling grid, are provided with 30 minutes of integrity and insulation through the installation of the flexible Apollo Lite barrier.

ALTRO WHITEROCK NOW GUARANTEED FOR 30 YEARS Altro Whiterock marks 40 years of nocompromise performance this summer and, to celebrate, Altro has increased its guarantee to 30 years. Altro Whiterock White is a premium hygienic wall sheet that offers robust performance for life. It is ideal for areas that need the highest levels of hygiene and durability – including prisons, operating theatres and commercial kitchens. This new, industry-leading 30-year guarantee reflects the proven performance of Altro Whiterock. Altro Whiterock was the first tough hygienic solution to the problems associated with tiles and painted surfaces. The system boasts the most extensive, independently-verified certifications, accreditations and tests on the market, and it is 100% recyclable through Recowall.

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