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May 2018

BOOSTING BUSINESS Morgan Sindall furthers the prosperity prospects of one Cambridgeshire village in major £37.5m regeneration scheme

It's in the air

Acoustic compliance

D-Day for GDPR

How PIV is helping landlords tackle issues with mould and condensation

Karndean Designflooringsponsored roundtable explores poor acoustics in schools

Are you ready for May 25th's regulation? Here, ICONFIRM prepares the public sector


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Welcome Note Editor

Rebecca Kemp

Editorial Assistant Paige Smith

Print & Digital Advertising Sam Ball

Morgan Sindall's involvement with Littleport's £37.5m regeneration masterplan saw the inclusion of a brand-new leisure complex and three-storey secondary school. See page 08.

Andrew Soper

Print Design Manager Jack Witcomb

Digital Design Manager David Perry

Production Assistant Sofia Franchi


Charlie Ivy

Managing Director Sam Ball Publisher

Mixed Media Information

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Welcome to the May issue of PSBJ... If 16th April 2018 is a date recalled in your calendar year, it's likely you're a parent getting ready to send your child off to their very first primary school. As May approaches, the UK’s nail-biting so-called ‘National Offer Day’ is all but a distant memory buried deep in the minds of British parents. This year’s primary school offer day has seen reports of fraudulence1, increased allocation within London boroughs amid Brexit qualms2 and disappointment due to high demand in many areas of the country. Reporters took to their desks last month to offer the nation’s parents advice on appeals, declining offers and observing waiting lists to help their children to get into the UK’s best primary schools for the academic year ahead. As parents go head-to-head to compete for the best education for their children, they remain blissfully unaware of the impediment that awaits many of the nation’s schoolchildren when they receive their school placement – hindered speech intelligibility. Children of all abilities and competencies enter the education system year-on-year and providing them with an appropriate learning environment should be at the top of all educational establishments’ priority lists; particularly schools that cater for those with special educational needs (SEN). Acoustics play a shining role in children’s education regardless of their capability, and acoustically-sound environments permit pupils to comprehend what’s being taught within the classroom and, therefore, allow them to learn. In this month’s issue, PSBJ reports on a recent roundtable event held in Mayfair’s Material Lab which centred around the impact poor acoustics have on the UK’s schoolchildren. Sponsored by luxury vinyl tile (LVT) specialist Karndean Designflooring, the roundtable brought together acousticians, architects and those passionate about good acoustic design within school environments. Issues such as faculty challenges in acoustically untreated areas, non-compliant spaces and potential solutions for the UK’s unfit acoustic schooling stock were addressed in a bid to raise further awareness of the complexities faced by academia. Turn to page 16 of this month’s issue to hear from Karndean Designflooring’s roundtable panellists on the importance of good acoustics in schools. I hope you enjoy this edition. Don’t forget, you can also access all of the magazine’s features, product news and supplier information at your fingertips via Public Sector Build Journal’s state-of-the-art app. To download your version free of charge, simply search ‘PSBJ’ on Google play or the App Store. 1



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

08 Upfront Morgan Sindall has furthered the prosperity prospects of one rural Cambridgeshire village. As the city’s largest settlement, Littleport’s education and leisure facilities were in desperate need of rejuvenation. Here, the construction company talks PSBJ through the council’s major masterplan.


14 Housing

20 Legal & Business

24 Talking Point

As an issue that’s a problem for at least one million homes in the UK, damp can cause many concerns within the social housing scene. Here, EnviroVent looks at one option to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) of housing stock.

Replacing the Data Protection Directive, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into play on the 25th of this month. Here, ICONFIRM offers a helping hand to ensure your compliance efforts are up to scratch.

According to Alan Davison at property consultancy Pellings there has been an upsurge in sole provider consultancy frameworks within the social housing sector. Here, he compares sole and multiple provider routes.

16 Roundtable

22 Education

26 Healthcare

The issues of poor acoustics in schools is well-documented, however, there still remains a lack of awareness surrounding the matter. Here, PSBJ reports on a recent Karndean Designflooring-sponsored roundtable event on the importance of good acoustic design within schools.

Weston College’s renovation at Westonsuper-Mare’s iconic Winter Gardens Pavilion has seen the specification of heating pioneer, Remeha’s energy-saving condensing boilers which deliver reliable and efficient heat throughout the building, and keep running costs down.

The BREEAM-rated ‘Excellent’ One Hatfield Hospital has been built to reduce energy consumption radically. In this article, Sean Conlon at Conlon Construction talks to PSBJ about how the Hertfordshire hospital’s principle can be rolled out to other healthcare schemes.

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40 28 Technical Focus

34 Fire Protection

NBT discusses why U-values should never be considered in isolation. Instead, thermal performance should be delivered by considering Y-values and airtightness, as well as the U-value, to deliver the low-energy public sector built environment we’re striving for.

Nearly a year after the disastrous Grenfell Tower fire, it’s imperative that the public sector seeks guidance on fire safety measures for all buildings. In this article, Promat looks at the basic understanding of technical performance.

30 Interiors: Damp-Proofing

38 Renewable Technologies

Damp and mould are ubiquitous in public sector applications; particularly within social housing stock. Offering an example on how to tackle such issues, Safeguard Europe discusses how it kept hygroscopic salts at bay in a recent refurb project for an unusual Victorian refurbishment project in Manchester.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to help achieve the Government’s 2050 zero emissions target. Turn to page 38 where Watts Industries looks at some of the renewable technology options on the market that can help meet public sector targets.

32 Leisure

Preserving the historical significance of Halifax’s Grade I Listed Piece Hall, Calderdale Council has specified Tarmac’s Limelite heritage renovating plaster for remedial work to ensure the renovation work was in-keeping with the structure’s original features.

The risk of Legionella growth within leisure centres is rife. Here, water and wastewater specialist, Biochemica Water, offers its topseven tips for eradicating the likelihood of Legionella in leisure centre applications.



40 Paints, Coatings & Finishes




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

provide evidence-based guidance on how to create healthy neighbourhoods, towns and cities, particularly in places of population growth and new development.

ISG appointed to £17.5m Bradford leisure centre scheme Bradford District Council has appointed ISG to deliver the new £17.5m Sedbergh Sports and Leisure Facility. The scheme is part of an ongoing investment programme by the council to replace outdated and inefficient leisure facilities, with modern, purpose-built amenities that better serve local communities and encourage greater participation in sports. The high-specification new-build leisure centre includes a 25m swimming pool, eight-court sports hall, 80-station fitness suite, dance studios and cafe as well as outdoor pitches for football and rugby. The two-storey steel frame building also boasts a 12m learner pool with a movable floor, to help younger or less able swimmers enter the water safely.

Building for a sustainable future Troldtekt is one of a select number of companies chosen to participate in Reversible Experience Modules – Europe’s largest collection of products designed for reversible or circular buildings. Chosen as one of the most forward-thinking and sustainable-driven companies, Troldtekt is perfect for this initiative which showcases products for the BAMB Materials Passport database concept. BAMB strives to deliver a circular building industry giving products a material passport. Materials Passports developed in BAMB are sets of data describing defined characteristics of materials in products that give them value for recovery and reuse at the end of a building’s life – avoiding the need for scrappage and sending to landfill but allowing for reuse and regeneration. The concept of Reversible Building Design is for the design of buildings which can be easily deconstructed, or where parts can be removed and added easily, without damaging the building or the products, components or materials.


Catalyst prepares to build 100% social rent scheme Castle announces major healthcare win Castle Building Services Organisation (Castle), one of the UK’s leading privately-owned building services design and installation contractors, has announced a recent contract win for its North East office on a new £9.8m state-of-the-art healthcare facility in York. Working on behalf of principal contractor, Kier Construction, Castle has been appointed to provide a full range of mechanical, electrical and plumbing services on a new seven-suite endoscopy facility for York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust Foundation under the NHS P21 Framework. The facility will also include recovery areas, interview-discharge rooms, offices and a plant room as well as ancillary spaces. The two-storey endoscopy facility is currently being constructed on top of an existing physiotherapy unit and adjacent to the neurosciences and renal departments.

IBI Group reappointed on next phase of NHS Healthy New Towns IBI Group has announced its continued involvement in the Healthy New Towns programme working with the King’s Fund, which has been appointed by NHS England to help produce an official NHS guidance publication, which will be released in spring 2019. IBI will be contributing to the Estates and Digital workstreams aspect of the Healthy New Towns guidance document and will be supporting the King’s Fund, an independent charity working to improve health and healthcare in England, and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA). The NHS England Healthy New Towns scheme was set out to rethink how we live, how healthcare services can be delivered and looks at improving health through the built environment. The new publication will

Catalyst is beginning the construction of 26 new homes for social rent on a vacant site in Southall, West London, with Bouygues UK as principal contractor. The site is adjacent to the Havelock estate, which Catalyst is regenerating in partnership with Ealing Council. The site, currently Toplocks Depot, will provide a vital link between existing neighbourhoods, with improved access roads and provision for parking. Catalyst is also delivering a footbridge over the adjacent dock, creating a new pedestrian and cycle link to the Havelock estate. The new bridge supports the Mayor of London’s goals to improve access to nearby green space. Designed by Conran + Partners, the scheme will protect and enhance the area’s biodiversity and green space.

Topping out ceremony marks major milestone at Suffolk primary school Progress on the construction of a new £4.9m primary school in Red Lodge, Suffolk, has been marked with a celebratory ceremony, hosted by construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall. Suffolk’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, Councillor Gordon Jones, led the topping out ceremony at the new Pines Primary School to celebrate the completion of the main structure of the new school building. The traditional ceremony was hosted on the roof and guests were given an exclusive tour of the school. The project for Suffolk County Council includes the construction of a new school building for up to 210 pupils and is scheduled to complete in time for the 2018 academic year.

New riverside residential quarter brings warehouse loftstyle living to Reading PRP and charitable housing association and leading developer L&Q have been granted planning consent by Reading Borough Council for Kenavon Drive, a new residential quarter on the banks of Reading’s River Kennet. The new, design-led quarter features bespoke warehouse-style penthouses, two new squares and a contemporary architectural language referencing the site’s Victorian industrial heritage. Designed by PRP for L&Q, Kenavon Drive provides 765 homes for residents on a range of incomes arranged in bespoke ‘loft-style’ penthouses, apartments, ground floor duplexes and contemporary townhouses. The high-quality homes, of which 157 are affordable for local people, will contribute to L&Q’s plan to enable the delivery of 100,000 homes nationally over the next 10 years.

‘Regal’ cinema redevelopment granted planning permission Planning has been approved by Waltham Forest Council to bring the beautiful Art Deco cinema in Highams Park back to life. The development is an ambitious multi-millionpound project which includes a cinema, retail outlet and 30 residential apartments. Loughton-based Clear Architects has been a driving force behind this project, working closely with LBWF planners, the site owner and stakeholders, and the Highams Park community to ensure the development suits all local criteria. As a local landmark and superior example of Art Deco architecture, the design for this redevelopment is key to ensure the integrity of the building is retained. The addition of 30 luxury apartments meets the criterion for increased residential accommodation within the area.

NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) has launched a new Construction Consultancy Services Framework, which is expected to save the public sector in the region of £16m over the next four years. Enabling organisations in both the NHS and wider public sector to access services such as quantity surveying, civil engineering and architecture, the framework provides a fully compliant route for public sector purchasing teams to access a comprehensive range of construction consultancy services. The new framework replaces the current agreement that has been in place since 2014 and has saved the public sector in excess of £12m, thanks to typical savings of between 10 and 15% compared with buying direct. It includes more than 200 suppliers ranging from SMEs to national providers, with new specialisms added for 2018, such as fire safety, energy-efficient products and services, and principal designer services.

maintaining Clapham Park’s unique character. Referencing Sir Thomas Cubitt, who once lived on Clarence Avenue, the masterplan draws inspiration from the neighbouring conservation areas and the historic London mansion block vernacular.


NHS SBS Framework set to save the public sector millions

New £44m Largs Campus handed over hub South West has successfully delivered one of the biggest projects it has ever undertaken, the new £44m Largs Campus, which is heralding a new era in education in the Ayrshire coastal town. It handed over the ambitious project on time and on budget to North Ayrshire Council. The primary schools incorporated into the new campus, Largs Primary and St Mary’s, moved in on 12th March along with Early Years nurseries. The relocated Largs Academy joined them on 18th April. The campus is part of North Ayrshire Council’s biggest ever investment. It includes two theatres, a gym hall believed to be the biggest in the UK and art classrooms with balconies.

Major progress for Leicester city centre regeneration Green light for £1.6bn flagship regeneration of Clapham Park Lambeth Council’s Planning Committee has approved Metropolitan’s new development proposal to build more than 2500 new homes and a wide range of community facilities at Clapham Park in South London. PRP, the award-winning architectural firm, designed the revised plan for Clapham Park. Strategically located between three local centres, Clapham, Brixton and Streatham Hill, the masterplan will create a vibrant, inclusive series of neighbourhoods with safe, secure streets, ample public and private green space, as well as new community facilities, while also positively

Masterplanned by AJ100 architect firm Stephen George + Partners, Leicester’s Connecting Spaces regeneration project will see the transformation of Great Central Station and the site of the former Stibbe factory with new hotels, offices and a traffic-free public space, together with a refurbishment of the Great Central Station itself. Having received planning permission in October 2017, the former Stibbe site will be redeveloped with a new 43,000ft2 office block and the refurbishment of the station, including its glass canopy and front facade, to designs by Stephen George + Partners; together with a 152-bed Novotel hotel and 100-bed Adagio ‘aparthotel’. At the heart of the proposal is a new traffic-free public space, which will include part of Great Central Street so that the refurbished station becomes integral to the development.



Construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall has recently delivered a major £37.5m scheme to rejuvenate Littleport’s education and leisure facilities

Project: Littleport Masterplan Location: Littleport, Cambridgeshire Construction and infrastructure company: Morgan Sindall

PLACING COMMUNITY AT THE HEART OF LITTLEPORT’S REGENERATION Regeneration in the East of England is shaping a new future for communities across the region, boosting the local economy and future-proofing its long-standing position as a location with the infrastructure and capability to provide an outstanding home for business. home to C ambridgeshire, world-leading universities and Europe’s largest technology cluster, is one of the UK’s fastestgrowing regional economies. The

region’s world-renowned research assets and location as a thriving hub for high-tech SMEs, means it is an internationally-recognised destination for business.

According to a recent study by Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economics and Business Research, Cambridge’s gross value added (GVA) – a measure

Littleport’s regeneration has repositioned the town centre as a sustainable and attractive space for both business and community to thrive in Cambridgeshire


of economic output – is growing at twice the rate of powerhouses like Manchester and Leeds, and is expected to hit £9.6bn in 2018. Although Cambridgeshire is generally prosperous, it is a region of two halves, with large areas where deprivation levels exceed or equal the national average, particularly regarding education, skills and training. Littleport is a rural community with an estimated population of more than 8800. Although the largest village by size in East Cambridgeshire, increased disparities in household income, education and facilities exist within the village. Construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall has recently delivered a major £37.5m scheme to rejuvenate Littleport’s education and leisure facilities, creating a new community hub in the heart of the town.


Littleport’s new education and leisure complex is the result of a joint working partnership between Cambridgeshire County Council and Morgan Sindall


Upfront The project was part of East Cambridgeshire District Council’s ‘Littleport Masterplan’, a framework designed to boost the town’s identity in the region

Ceilings: Rockfon

It is the largest construction project delivered by the Education Capital team at Cambridgeshire County Council with the highest value of any education project in the county

The new four-form entry secondary school, Littleport and East Cambridge Academy, will initially cater for 600 pupils aged 11 to 16, with the potential to expand up to 750 pupils

The project was part of East Cambridgeshire District Council’s ‘Littleport Masterplan’, a framework designed to boost the town’s identity in the region and create an environment where innovation thrives. The framework had identified several challenges facing the town’s development, with many of the existing community services in the area close to capacity or over-subscribed. As a result, it was agreed that investment in richer resources and infrastructure could help to alleviate this emerging problem. Prior to construction work, Littleport had already benefitted from fairly substantial housing development and the county council was keen to ensure that housing growth in the area was

The new four-form entry secondary school, Littleport and East Cambridge Academy, will initially cater for 600 pupils aged 11 to 16, with the potential to expand up to 750 pupils. The early years facility has been designed to cater for 52 children. The co-located Highfield Littleport Academy SEN school will eventually cater for 110 pupils between the ages of two and 19. Facilities include a hydrotherapy pool for swimming therapy programmes. The new two-storey Littleport Leisure Centre includes a sports hall, fitness suite, multi-use hall, changing facilities and social area, all of which are available for secondary school and wider community use.

matched by growth in job opportunities for the local population. In order to support and encourage this employment growth, residents made it clear that they wished to see Littleport repositioned as an area conducive to business, with great access to downtime activities like quality restaurants, retail and leisure, as well as excellent schools. Littleport’s new education and leisure complex is the result of a joint working partnership between Cambridgeshire County Council and Morgan Sindall and includes new early years provision, a three-storey secondary school, a special educational needs (SEN) school and a community leisure centre.

Morgan Sindall’s experienced project team was able to work strategically alongside the council and residents to turn Littleport’s vision into a reality. The construction company was committed to placing the local community at the heart of the development, ensuring that the facilities perfectly matched the town’s needs. During the construction, Morgan Sindall supported several apprenticeships and trainee placements from the local area, bringing direct benefits to the company, the individuals and the economy. Bob Ensch, Area Director at Morgan Sindall, said: “As East Anglia becomes an increasingly popular place to live, it’s key that we ensure our towns are


Upfront Littleport’s transformation is a leading example of community-led regeneration

sustainable and fitted with the necessary infrastructure and services to support a growing population. This investment will be vital to ensure the continued success of businesses and employment growth in the region. “Littleport’s transformation is a leading example of communityled regeneration, demonstrating an integrated approach to delivery and aligning sustainable economic growth alongside strategic priorities. Morgan Sindall is extremely proud to have been a part of this journey to deliver much-needed facilities, such as the new Littleport Leisure Centre, which will serve the whole community for years to come. “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed working closely with Cambridgeshire County Council and residents to deliver this outstanding project, which will breathe a new lease of life into Littleport’s education and leisure facilities.” Alison Revell at Cambridgeshire County Council said: “I have worked on the delivery of the Littleport and East Cambridge Academy since 2011 and saw it as an exciting opportunity for all of those involved in the project. It is the largest construction project delivered by the Education


Capital team at Cambridgeshire County Council with the highest value of any education project in the county. It is also the first purpose-built education campus in the county. “As a first of its kind, it was important to me to bring on board a team in whom I had confidence to perform to the best of their ability. A team that

had a record for perfect delivery, had received national recognition in the Considerate Contractor awards and had an outstanding health and safety record.” Scott Gaskins, Head of School at Littleport and East Cambridge Academy, said: “Littleport’s regeneration has repositioned the town centre as a sustainable and attractive space for both business and community to thrive in

Cambridgeshire. The council’s investment to achieve the vision in the masterplan for Littleport is significant, representing a step-change in the development of the town and its future. Morgan Sindall and the project team have created an amazing facility that will provide a wonderful legacy for the town and East Cambridgeshire.” 


The new two-storey Littleport Leisure Centre includes a sports hall, fitness suite, multi-use hall, changing facilities and social area

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English Housing Survey T herevealed recently that


Many social housing providers are recognising the benefits of retrofitting Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) systems into homes that are most at risk of issues with condensation and mould

John Moss, Head of Social Housing Sales at EnviroVent, looks at how the recently released English Housing Survey demonstrates why indoor air quality should be a priority for social landlords.

Condensation can be reduced and indoor air quality improved by retrofitting PIV (Positive Input Ventilation) systems


damp continues to be a problem for at least one million homes in England. The statistics showed that those living in rented properties, either social housing or private, were most likely to be living with ‘damp’, manifesting itself as condensation and mould growth. This was found to affect 586,000 households. As is widely known, condensation and mould are produced by activities in the home, such as taking showers and baths, boiling kettles, cooking, drying clothes and breathing. A family of four will contribute approximately four pints of water per person a day into the atmosphere, which is equal to over 100 pints of water vapour a week, creating high levels of humidity if internal air is not allowed to circulate and new drier air to enter the home. Before the days of energyefficient upgrades, such as double glazing, cavity walls and loft insulation, this humid, stale air would find its escape route through ill-fitting windows and doors, lofts and so on – otherwise known as draughts! In modern homes that have greater airtightness, there can be a lack of fresh air circulating around the house. Without a regular circulation of fresh air into a house, warm air hits a cooler surface and the water vapour within it condenses, leading to damp appearing on walls and around windows. Condensation can be reduced and indoor air quality improved by retrofitting PIV (Positive Input Ventilation) systems, which eradicates problems with high humidity leading to condensation and mould. PIV creates a fresh, healthy and condensation-free environment by drawing in a constant supply of fresh filtered air into homes through the loft space. Another interesting finding from the English Housing Survey was that the energy efficiency of England’s housing stock has improved significantly. Over the last 10 years, the percentage of homes achieving an energy efficiency rating between A and C increased from 5 to 28%. The proportion of homes in the lowest energy efficiency bands fell from 19 to 3%. This trend towards greater energy efficiency,


whilst it is a positive in terms of warmth and comfort, is one of the main reasons why mechanical ventilation is needed in homes. Many industry experts have pointed out that requirements for airtightness in new and renovated homes has increased, yet ventilation requirements have remained unchanged for many years. Regardless of this, many social housing providers are recognising the issue that tenants face and the burden that dealing with condensation and mould growth puts on their maintenance teams. Social housing providers are also aware of how poor ventilation can impact on the health of tenants, by exacerbating existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma. A persistent problem for housing maintenance teams, particularly in the colder months, involves dealing with issues caused by condensation and mould growth. As homes have been made more airtight, due to energy-efficient upgrades, this has had a direct impact on the internal environment by lowering the quality of the indoor air. Social housing providers are all too aware of the issues that tenants face with poor ventilation – which can worsen respiratory conditions, such as asthma.

A major issue with improving airtightness is that it traps pollutants in the home, resulting in a much higher concentration, unless it is adequately ventilated. There are a variety of natural and man-made airborne pollutants that exist in homes such as Radon, VOCs and pollen.

Continuous flow of fresh air Without a continuous flow of fresh air into and out of a dwelling to control the relative humidity, the internal atmosphere may reach a high relative humidity of around 70 to 80%, which then leads to condensation. The water droplets that form on colder surfaces can result in mould growth and, in some cases, damage to the building fabric itself. Condensation is often more noticeable in kitchens and bathrooms, because it is where most moisture is generated, for instance, from baths, showers and cooking. The situation is even worse when dwellings have internal bathrooms, with no windows, as often occurs in flats, which can be prone to serious condensation, especially if the extractor fan is inadequate or not working.

By upgrading the ventilation in a property, social housing providers can ensure that indoor air quality is improved and the burden on the maintenance team is reduced

In some cases, fans are switched off by tenants who believe they are expensive to run and, in other cases, the units may malfunction. This is why there is a clear need for education when ventilation systems are fitted, to advise tenants how they work and why they are essential. It is also worth considering ventilation systems that are tamper-proof, which means they can work effectively without restriction.

PIV Many social housing providers are recognising the benefits of retrofitting Positive Input Ventilation (PIV) systems into homes that are most at risk of issues with condensation and mould. Fit and forget systems like PIV are helping to improve

the indoor air quality for tenants across the country, whilst reducing the risk of mould and damage to the fabric of a building. Given that the onus is still on public sector housing providers to upgrade the airtightness of their homes, there is a very real need for ventilation to be given equal consideration to energy-efficient upgrades. By upgrading the ventilation systems too it means that for a relatively small investment, the level of complaints for issues of condensation and mould growth would be much reduced. By upgrading the ventilation in a property, social housing providers can ensure that indoor air quality is improved and the burden on the maintenance team is reduced. 


Social housing providers are also aware of how poor ventilation can impact on the health of tenants, by exacerbating existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma


Roundtable Sponsored by Karndean Designflooring



As our principal method of communication, speech allows us to interact with others, comprehend vocalisation and learn. So, when our auditory system is hindered, the communication between one person and another can be misconstrued, distorted or even unheard. For schoolchildren, acoustics play a leading role in speech intelligibility and, if inappropriately specified, can impede productivity, performance and, therefore, adversely reshape behaviour within the classroom. Recognising the growing need for audible comprehension, Karndean Designflooring offers a number of acoustically-sound luxury vinyl tile (LVT) solutions for public sector applications such as schools. As part of Karndean Designflooring’s engagement with acoustics, the LVT specialist recently sponsored a roundtable event at Mayfair’s inspirational design resource studio the Material Lab to discover just how acoustics have an impact on pupils’ learning capabilities. Here, PSBJ reports on the findings. your R emember schooldays? Listening to your favourite teacher introduce you to a newfound passion and developing your enthusiasm for an academic topic even further. Perhaps you’re feeling a sense of nostalgia as you sit at your desk reading this month’s issue of PSBJ, recollecting the very first time you were introduced to the captivating world of architecture. What we are taught in our younger years is deeply contributory


to our personal development and, ultimately, shapes our future career aspirations. When reflecting on your current profession, chances are you can accurately join the dots and identify just how and why you’ve ended up sitting at the desk you’re working from today – and it’s highly likely that the origin derives from your school years. Speech intelligibility has unquestionably contributed to your professional progression. Now, remove yourself from a somewhat dreamy haze and

fast-forward to May 2018 where today’s acoustics within school buildings – which, vitally, enable students to grasp what’s being taught – is in danger. For a child to absorb information, they require the right listening environment, and if a space is not acoustically fit; that child will suffer academically. Many simple measures can be introduced to achieve acoustic compliance, and floor, wall and ceiling solutions all contribute to an acousticallysound environment.

Peter Rogers Managing Director of Sustainable Acoustics

PANELLISTS: Emma Greenland Associate Director at WSP UK Richard Hinton Acoustic Consultant Professor Peter Barrett Emeritus Professor of Property and Construction Management Carys Fisher Architect at IBI Group Dr Sharon Wright Senior Associate at thelearning-crowd Marcel Hendricks Chairman at Alliance of Construction Networks Jonathan Goldsmith Commercial Business Manager at Karndean Designflooring Robert Mallett Commercial Business Manager at Karndean Designflooring

Sponsored by Karndean Designflooring

For the nine panellists that assembled around an oversized table on the ground floor of 10 Great Titchfield Street, London, on Wednesday 28th March, the issue of poor acoustics in schools was all too real. Chairing was Managing Director of Sustainable Acoustics, Peter Rogers, who opened the roundtable with the all-important topic ‘how does classroom design impact on inclusive learning?’. Focusing on faculty, Dr Sharon Wright initiated the discussion by highlighting that staff in schools are often overlooked: “...We tend to forget schools are workplaces,” commented Sharon, “and acoustics also impact the adults in a school...I often hear a lot of staff commenting that they struggle with voice issues due to the poor acoustics of a space.” Touching on inclusivity and Richard Hinton went on to SEN applications, Acoustic reference 2012 report ‘The Essex Consultant, Study – optimised We tend to Richard Hinton, classroom added: “Ideally, acoustics for all’, forget schools the idea for a an investigatory are workplaces, examination that classroom is that it should be and acoustics also explores the able to be used right acoustic impact the adults environment for by any student; regardless of all schoolchildren in a school their ability – inclusive of – Dr Sharon Wright, those with hearing or state. All classrooms Senior Associate at impairments. should be fit for the-learning-crowd Richard said: “... any child.” The Essex Study has indicated that students’ Loud and clear behaviours positively alter with the Marcel Hendricks, Chairman at more acoustic absorption that’s the Alliance of Construction added to a room. So, as you add Networks, remarked that when a space is acoustically treated; teachers are often the first to notice a discernible change, which he described as “a worry”. Marcel proceeded to refer to a study he conducted: “We carried out a test in which we studied two spaces in an existing school; one space was left untreated adjacent to a separate acoustically treated area. From day one, the teacher was the first to identify a difference. However, where pupils are concerned, it’s much more difficult, purely because they are frequently moving around; travelling from one space to another, and it’s challenging to quantify the influence of that improved space.”


Open your ears

absorption, not only do the noise levels decrease; schoolchildren’s behaviours also progress.” However, Professor Peter Barrett critiqued the Essex Study’s judgments and suggested the report’s classroom example was “a completely unnatural comparison.” He proceeded: “I’ve never seen a classroom with hard ceilings and no finishes, glass walls on both sides and hard flooring – this is the standard of the classroom they compared against the improvements. It truly is an entirely unusual classroom that has been used as a baseline, and so the contrast was apparent, and, yes, that sort of space will, of course, be problematic.”

Having led the 2015 HEAD project study on Clever Classroom Design, Professor Peter Barrett recollected an element of his own research: “We looked at primary schools which were about 55m2, had acoustic tiles on the ceilings, carpets on the floors and – almost without fail – included display material on the walls. We took into account the basic design of the classroom in those terms. The spaces were quite consistent, and the conclusion was that, for this (large) study sample, acoustic issues aren’t a large variable that explains the difference  in learning.”


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“Peter’s comment is extremely interesting,” mentioned WSP UK’s Emma Greenland. “The types of classrooms Peter was investigating in his study would no doubt comply with minimum acoustic standards. So, it’s highly unlikely that acoustics would be picked out as a challenging factor. Unless acoustics are bad, they are not noticeable. What reports like the Essex Study demonstrates is the improvements and drivers for better acoustics.” Emma earlier confirmed that school acoustics have a considerable impact on education. She unveiled the complexities previously encountered when liaising with design teams and highlighted the negligence of Designflooring’s representatives. speech intelligibility in areas such Commercial Business Manager, as school break-out spaces. She Robert Mallett, revealed stated: “When we think about the that a fundamental criterion range of learning activities taking for architects and specifiers place in a school, it’s important working on school projects is always to question which of removing the institutionalised those activities involve speech as ambience of academic spaces a mechanism to communicate, and transforming them into understand and, more “friendly” Professor Peter therefore, to environments. learn...The vast This “creates Barrett on the majority of them the mindset Essex Study: will include speech that students to a certain extent. want to attend It truly is an The importance to learn,” entirely unusual school of vocal said Robert. classroom that communication is He expressed the first sticking has been used as that architects point where the and specifiers a baseline, and so are striving to acoustic design is immediately the contrast did bring natural challenged.” ingredients from come out and, yes, the outdoors Emma moved on to demonstrate that sort of space into the interiors that good acoustic of public sector will, of course, be projects, such environments will benefit all. as schools and problematic Her examples healthcare clarified that acoustically treated schemes. Using Karndean environments will assist “people Designflooring’s LVT products as over the age of 40, anyone under a leading example, Robert talked the age of 15 whose speech and of materials that replicate colours language developments are still and textures found in nature, improving, individuals with any such as stone- and wood-effect form of hearing impairment – designs, being used in interiors from mild and temporary through to improve the wellbeing and to hearing loss – and those with a productivity of end-users. language processing disorder”. Robert’s associate Jonathan Goldsmith, fellow Commercial Comfort and Business Manager at Karndean stress reduction Designflooring, also commented From an aesthetic viewpoint, on the benefits of biophilic biophilic design – a concept design within school contexts. that seeks to re-establish our He recalled a recent parents’ lost connection with the natural evening: “After our appointment, world in the built environment I viewed one of the primary – appeared to be the running school’s new classrooms. My theme from Karndean daughter’s excitement was

what struck me the most when we entered the new space; the previous room we visited featured hard surfaces, unstimulating colours – and had an almost stagnant quality. The new classroom, however, is – what the school described as – bringing the outside, inside.” Jonathan noted that the new classroom’s features included nature-like components from the tones used for the flooring design that mimic those formed in natural environments and novelty designs such as mushroom- and log-inspired soft furnishings through to restorative colours and organic details. He continued: “Schools are recognising the relaxing benefits that bringing natural elements into a room has on the students within a school.” Architect Carys Fisher from the IBI Group further cemented Jonathan’s remark, affirming that: “A child’s emotions can play a huge part in how they react to their environment – whether they feel comfortable in a space. Providing places that are less stressful for children is vitally important.

"Stress levels today for students are increasing, so it’s about designing an environment that makes them feel comfortable – and that’s not necessarily just within the classroom; it’s all spaces throughout a school such as dining areas and corridors.” Sharon Wright agreed: “Inspirational learning environments can contribute to good education...It’s one of the many factors that will help deliver great teaching.” Continuing her discussion on classroom design, Carys said: “It’s key to think of the classroom as a whole. If you take on board the entire concept; the children’s uniforms, flooring and displays – as long as there’s a considered approach to all those aspects, you won’t end up with an underor overstimulating space.”

BB93 and early engagement Early engagement with professionals is a popular topic across the entire spectrum of the architectural and construction realm. What’s evident from Peter Rogers’ proposed question,


if architects engage with an architects are working to create a acoustic consultant early enough physical form,” declared Professor in the design stage, is, much like Peter Barrett. Architects “have other divisions of the industry; to consider which floors, walls, early engagement is an issue ceilings and finishes to include... that needs addressing. Carys These are all practical items. Fisher revealed that she believes Surely, if you can say that you’ve consultation with considered X, Y acousticians, and Z, a design Architects in fact, isn’t will pass the and specifiers undertaken early test?” he queried. enough. She Emma Greenland are striving to spoke of a typical responded: bring natural scenario: “You’re “The design involved in a ingredients of the elements can be scheme which you very accurately outdoors into the predicted present, and then an acoustician interiors of public to achieve, reviews the example, sector projects, for design. It would reverberation such as schools times.” She carried be helpful if an acoustician’s and healthcare on to explain that review were to for the majority schemes take place before of projects, an planning, so acoustician’s input – Robert Mallett, we know those is taken on board Commercial Business up to the planning key principles. Also, if acoustic Manager at Karndean or detailed design requirements are stage, but that Designflooring realised at the communication is briefing stage it would be a huge often lost during the construction step in the right direction.” phase, which could explain Karndean Designflooring’s the problem of inappropriate Robert Mallett announced: “From acoustics within schools. my experience of dealing with Marcel Hendricks, who has architects and designers at the personal experience of the early stage of design, regulation acoustic challenges faced by is not something that comes up in children with hearing impairments, discussion when I’m approached described the acoustic concerns at about a project. I’ve been asked his son’s school: “It’s a brand-new about the decibel rating of a building, and the vast majority of product, however, never classrooms would fail tests under the regulation.” BB93...I don’t see many schools “When designing a building, a being designed with acoustics ‘test’ isn’t being produced, rather in mind.”

Peter Rogers closed the roundtable stating: Acoustics “is just part of the bigger picture that needs to be considered, implemented and communicated to schools...Perhaps there’s work to do regarding educating the Reflecting on the educators. Cost remains a running roundtable’s previous discussion theme behind this roundtable. on the Essex Study, Chair Peter We cannot hide behind price Rogers asked if Marcel had because the cost of putting right witnessed schools such as those the problem is more than getting mentioned in the 2012 study. it right in the first place. From an “Yes, many times,” responded inclusive perspective, Peter revised: Marcel. “We used one classroom “The argument has been quite as an example for a school; strong that classrooms should be to show them how they could designed for SEN students. Or, in improve their acoustics. The a second scenario, there should classroom had large sash be a dedicated space available for windows on one pupils with special side and a glazed educational needs.” If acoustic corridor to the Acoustics aren’t policies are realised the only aspect other, with hard parquet flooring at the briefing stage of improving and a solid ceiling. the comfort of this would be a huge schoolchildren; The school, which housed 20 similar step in the right aesthetics were classrooms, met also established as direction compliance within a way to promote a day. For a price the happiness – Carys Fisher, of approximately Architect at IBI Group and wellbeing of £2500, we a pupil. As Peter managed to get it down to Rogers concluded: “Connection to virtually an SEN BB93 level.” nature is something we’re going to Sharon Wright later highlighted see much more of.” the importance of schools Addressing many of the issues recognising the need for good discussed within this roundtable, acoustics and suggested that Karndean Designflooring’s schools need to be approached Korlok rigid core collection with advice on simple methods boasts quieter sound absorption that can acoustically correct underfoot to rooms below, classrooms. She considered that, compared to traditional laminate understandably, schools may and real wood alternatives, with have other challenges to address, a pre-attached acoustic backing and budgetary constraints might for quick and easy installation. push acoustics down a school’s Available now, Korlok features priority list. “If you’re in an enhanced acoustic benefits and existing building and the roof is ideal for applications such as is leaking; that will, of course, educational environments, while need repairing before any other meeting the current trend of improvements take place,” designing spaces that connect us compromised Sharon Wright. back to natural habitats. 

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In a bid to raise awareness of poor acoustics in schools, Carys Fisher proposed: “What could help is to assess existing stock and new-builds, much like the Welsh Government are doing currently, and measure concerns such as acoustics then collate that information, identifying the issues and communicate that back to the Government.”

Sponsored by Karndean Designflooring Karndean Designflooring’s Korlok and additional acoustic LVT products are available for architects and specifiers to view first-hand at the Material Lab, 10 Great Titchfield Street, Mayfair, London, W1W 8BB or visit


Legal & Business

Mike McEwan is the UK CEO of SaaS-based GDPR solution, ICONFIRM. Prior to joining ICONFIRM, Mike enjoyed a long and successful career in Director and C-level commercial positions within the MedTech sector. Mike’s focus areas included the developments of digitalisation in healthcare, telemedicine, patient data collection/mining for managing chronic diseases.

PREPARING THE PUBLIC SECTOR FOR GDPR With the much-publicised General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect this month, the public sector is facing a range of challenges to ensure compliance in time for the deadline, writes Mike McEwan, UK CEO of SaaS-based GDPR solution ICONFIRM.


the nature of the D uewidetorange of services and enterprises the public sector encompasses, there is a natural requirement to hold and share a huge amount of personal data. Personal data can refer to anything that identifies a person including photographs, name and date of birth, home address, dependants, racial or ethnic origin, religious belief, health conditions, gender etc. Public sector organisations often deal with very vulnerable people making it all the more critical that personal information is kept secure. Personal data is regularly shared during the course of normal business and organisations are responsible for the protection of privacy in all cases. It is imperative that policies and procedures are in place for data storing and sharing but unfortunately in a broad sector where bodies are often under-resourced and working under tight budget constraints, these procedures may well be lacking. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) guidance explains that whilst GDPR for the UK market is an extension of the existing Data Protection Act (1998), there are significant differences and organisations will be subject to more scrutiny as a result

Legal & Business of the new regulation. Whilst the public sector is subject to some exceptions over the private sector, the need for compliance is still paramount. Organisations will be held much more accountable for the data they hold and must be able to provide evidence compliance in all transactions with individuals. Public sector organisations collect and hold vast amounts of data, much of which is of a sensitive nature. However, a common problem which is also relevant to the private sector is the relevance of the data they hold. Often, databases and filing systems are overloaded with mass amounts of outdated and unnecessary information. Organisations need to challenge themselves to identify what the data they hold is for, using the GDPR as an opportunity to clear the backlog. With increased data comes the need for more robust systems to cope with the volume and ensure secure data protection and this is where many organisations fall as legacy technology is often out of date and not equipped to meet the new requirements. The public sector is subject to some exceptions from the regulation which the private sector is not. For example, the right to be forgotten does not apply to the public sector if it

impedes the performance of a task carried out in the public interest of health or safety. However, as GDPR gives much greater control to data subjects allowing individuals greater visibility of their data with the right to access their personal information on request, organisations must be able to meet these requests in a timely manner. All individuals are entitled to make a Subject Access Request (SAR). Put simply, everyone is entitled to access their personal data on request and organisations are obligated to respond to requests within 30 days under GDPR regulations. Public bodies will need to ensure that robust data processing systems are in place to cope with the new rights to the data subject. This will undoubtedly create additional administrative work for all organisations within the public sector. A recent investigation conducted by Bluesource across 30 public sector organisations identified that less than a third had appointed dedicated staff to deal with SARs despite the risk of substantial fines under GDPR should an organisation be deemed in breach of the regulation. Once compliant, there is, of course, the ongoing management of the GDPR regulations. Public bodies will need to plan and schedule regular risk assessments to identify any weaknesses in data

processing systems to ensure the ongoing security of the data. It is imperative that public bodies take the opportunity to identify all people within organisations who ‘touch’ data and ensure they are thoroughly trained and knowledgeable of the changes and of individuals’ increased rights to access. The newly-empowered public will also be able to object to the processing of their data that is claimed to be in the public interest unless the relevant public body can prove that the information is necessary for this purpose. As part of these stricter requirements, consent must be explicit, and permissions must be easily understood with the minimum use of jargon. The regulation will empower individuals with control over their own personal data whilst also making organisations who deal with personal information more accountable for its security. A common problem within the public sector is that many individuals do not hold a digital footprint, so organisations need to be able to provide consent and consent management in hard copy as well as online. The process should be easy to understand, free of jargon and without the requirement for computer literacy. As the compliance deadline nears, GDPR appears to be talked about often but rarely

understood with a great deal of scaremongering and confusing noise around the regulation. A 2017 YouGov survey identified that as many as 71% of British people do not understand what GDPR is or fully appreciate their rights within the regulation. To many, GDPR appears to be a logistical nightmare, however, this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, GDPR can be considered an opportunity to separate valuable data from out-ofdate or junk information and spring clean databases making it easier to hold quality over unnecessary quantity data. The new regulation empowers the data subject allowing individuals to control their own information and offering a great opportunity for people to manage what details about them is shared. Public sector organisations must place their focus on the most important factor, the data subject, whilst also using the opportunity to clear a backlog of unnecessary information and provide a better, trusting and more secure service to the public. There is no doubt this will be a challenge and organisations will need to consider resourcing levels, legacy technology, training and overall procedures as part of the process. 






Additional learning space has been created for University Centre Weston in a newly-built twostorey extension

Project: Winter Gardens Location: Weston-super-Mare Supplier of heating solutions: Remeha

The iconic Winter Gardens in Weston-super-Mare has been sensitively renovated and remodelled by Weston College Group to create both community and new educational learning facilities. Chris Meir, Sales Director at Remeha, looks at the role of heating in this complex restoration project. Weston College W hen threw open the doors of its new Law and Professional Services Academy in Westonsuper-Mare last September, it may have achieved an educational first. The college’s sensitive redevelopment of the iconic Winter Gardens complex has simultaneously expanded the town’s further and higher education sector while securing the future of a landmark building. The transformation of the Winter Gardens came about when it was formerly transferred from North Somerset Council to Weston College in 2016. The year-long, £15m project involved Midas Construction redeveloping and modernising the little-used 1980s conference facilities at the Winter Gardens to create Weston


College’s brand-new academy. Additional learning space has been created for University Centre Weston in a newly-built two-storey extension. At the same time, the original 1920s seafront building has been sympathetically restored by the college to its former glory for community use. A new reception area has been created, the kitchens have been refitted and a suite of function and meeting spaces have been developed. Two new restaurants have opened, and the famous ballroom is hosting events once more, to a new generation of visitors.

Reliably warm and comfortable A key part of the complex project was the refurbishment of the heating system, which involved

installing energy-saving Remeha condensing boilers to deliver reliable, energy-efficient heating throughout the buildings. Heating is a critical service in all buildings – after all, if the heating fails, the building risks closure. At the same time, an efficient heating system avoids unnecessary energy waste and greenhouse gas emissions as well as keeping running costs down. And for educational establishments like Weston College, a reliable, wellcontrolled heating system is arguably particularly important as it helps create the optimum learning environment for students and staff. Ensuring consistenttemperature heating was equally essential at the Winter Gardens to help protect the listed fabric of

The Winter Gardens first opened its doors over 90 years ago on 14th July 1927. So popular was the venue that in its heyday, famous stars like David Bowie and Pink Floyd performed to packed audiences in its Art Deco Ballroom. In recent years, budget constraints caused the scale and frequency of public events to dwindle until, by 2014, more than half of the large events at the pavilion were academic celebrations and conferences organised by Weston College. Weston College is an Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ college of further and higher education, providing education and vocational training to nearly 30,000 learners across the country – and it had plans for expansion. To protect the Winter Gardens and its future use, North Somerset Council proposed transferring ownership of the building to Weston College in 2015 for the nominal fee of £1. An extensive £15m renovation programme restored the building’s public facilities and created an educational centre for law, finance and some universitylevel courses. In its 90th year, the Winter Gardens Pavilion reopened to the public, its future secured thanks to Weston College.

the historic pavilion and ballroom. High quality and longevity were, therefore, major considerations for the college when selecting the heating products.

Easy installation To meet all these requirements, consulting engineer Jones King in Bristol recommended installing three high-efficiency Remeha Gas 310 Eco Pro condensing boilers. The boilers, which provide space heating throughout the site and feed seven air handling units, were specified due to the high performance and quality of the products and brand. “The compact dimensions of the Remeha boilers also meant that they fitted well within the plant room design,” commented Mark Salisbury, Senior Mechanical Engineer at Jones King.


Ease of installation was a further influencing factor. The Remeha boilers are designed for simpler installation with integral wheels for easy manoeuvrability into and around the plant room. For Greg Spencer, Mechanical Contract Engineer at Priddy Engineering Services, installing the boilers was the easiest element of this intricate renovation programme. “As the Remeha boilers are compact and lightweight, wheeling them in and positioning them was easy. They can also be connected directly to the building management system, making connection to the existing BMS straightforward. We then added weather compensation controls to optimise boiler operation and maximise system efficiencies throughout the site. All in all, a seamless job!”.

The college’s sensitive redevelopment of the iconic Winter Gardens complex has simultaneously expanded the town’s further and higher education sector

Quiet operation The high efficiencies and low NOx emissions of the Remeha boilers pleased Kevin Curtis, Project Manager at Midas Construction, as did the attention to whole-life operation and reduced noise levels. “The Remeha boilers boast a digital diagnostic display and remote signalling options which will enable easy operation and maintenance,” explained Kevin. “Best of all, they are extremely quiet, which means improved comfort for all who teach and learn in the Winter Gardens, with little to no noise interruption.”

Warm and comfortable Fast forward to spring 2018 and Weston College’s new student cohort has been at the Winter Gardens site for two full terms. Just how warm and comfortable have the new college buildings been for its staff and students during one of the coldest winters experienced in recent years? “The boilers are proving super-efficient,” said Lynda Neate, Weston College’s Facilities Manager. “We’re very pleased with how they are running. Even in the recent cold spell we experienced no problems whatsoever – so we have happy staff and happy students!”.

Regenerating Weston The transformation of the Winter Gardens has been a success on

A key part of the complex project was the refurbishment of the heating system, which involved installing energy-saving Remeha condensing boilers to deliver reliable, energy-efficient heating

every level, as Dr Paul Phillips, the college’s Principal and Chief Executive, explained: “Weston has undergone huge investment lately, and the college’s continued investment is further contributing to the regeneration of the town and surrounding areas, not just by providing outstanding training for the local workforce, but also through projects such as the Winter Gardens development, which offers a place open and available for public use.” Midas Executive Director, Derek Quinn, hopes the remodelled building will be enjoyed by many future generations. He said: “I am immensely proud of the work carried out by Midas Construction to provide a modern and exciting new academy while sympathetically

renovating the pavilion and ballroom and external features. “This is a much-loved space that the community will be able to continue to use and enjoy for years to come.”

State-of-the-art facilities and advanced heating technology; a first-class college like Weston deserves nothing less. 


High quality and longevity were major considerations for the college when selecting the heating products


Talking Point

DO MULTIPLE OR SOLE PROVIDER CONSULTANCY FRAMEWORKS WORK BEST FOR CLIENTS? Here Alan Davison, Building Surveying Senior Partner at Pellings, weighs up the pros and cons of each consultancy framework option for the best results. a Senior Partner at A sPellings leading teams that design, procure and manage the planned repair, maintenance and improvement of social housing for local authorities and registered providers throughout London and the South East, I have noticed that the sole supplier route in the procurement of building surveying consultancy services has increased in popularity over the last couple of years and regularly consider whether this or the multiple consultancy framework produces better results for clients.


I believe that the uplift in the sole supplier option is something of a reaction to the industry’s long-term skills crisis, with clients seeking to secure their supply chain. Also, by offering a large ‘long-term’ opportunity to the market; clients believe they will encourage efficiencies and receive better value for money, as suppliers vie for a big prize. It also makes sense for clients to match their approach to procuring consultancy with that of the constructor and or reactive maintenance partner, and if a long

partnering approach is embedded into the client organisation at constructor level, it can make a lot of sense to extend that to the professional team. Whenever Pellings is appointed as a sole supplier, we apply processes within the first 100 days to ensure we get to know the client well, understand their working methods and become intimately knowledgeable about their housing stock. A key benefit client-side is that they only have a single point of contact

Alan Davison joined Pellings in 1993 and was appointed a Member of the LLP in 2004, heading up the building surveying operations in its Central and South London offices. Alan is recognised as an industry-leading figure in the social housing arena having delivered major external and internal refurbishment programmes for local authorities, ALMOs and RPs throughout London and the South East. He has unrivalled experience in applying the partnering approach and promotes collaborative working to develop long-term relationships.

Talking Point to manage. As a sole supplier, there are more opportunities to strategically support clients in their overall objectives; for instance, we have been looking with several clients at rooftop developments, where an understanding of both existing assets and development objectives is crucial. Driving out inefficiency is key to the success of any sole appointment. I am a great advocate for the benefits simple preventative maintenance offers. For example, regular cleaning and checking of rainwater goods can save potentially expensive damage to the fabric of buildings and unhappy residents who experience damp. It’s worth noting that many of the large private landlords Pellings works with are very focused on regular planned maintenance, and it is an area I feel public sector clients can make an improvement in. But is the sole provider scenario as beneficial for both parties as it first appears? It’s interesting to note that whilst we are seeing more sole consultancy procurement activity, my QS colleagues at Pellings are simultaneously seeing an uplift in requests to audit contractors, many of whom have long-term arrangements, for value for money. And this is the underlying challenge for client organisations. By going down the sole supplier route, how do you know that you are receiving long-term value for money without competitive tendering?

There are, of course, several approaches that can be taken to ensure that value for money is being delivered, and independent value for money audits and external benchmarking should be encouraged by all parties, however, ultimately there must be a high-level of trust between client and consultant. For many clients, the multiparty framework is better understood and less risky, and it is possible to replicate many of the benefits of a dedicated team. For example, we have worked with many clients where we have looked after the south of the borough, another consultancy has looked after the centre and another the north, thereby creating many of the benefits of a dedicated team, whilst retaining an element of

competition and allowing for benchmarking. Some clients take it further by reducing the number of consultants they use over the period of the framework, thereby in effect working towards a sole supplier who has been selected through real performance over a couple of years. Another issue that must be taken into consideration is whether the sole supplier has the capacity and skills to gear up its workload, whereas with multisupplier arrangements there is more flexibility in the supply chain. In that case, I can see the sense of having two or three consultants on a framework so that the work is more evenly spread, and risk reduced. There is no one best approach with consultancy frameworks. Sole provider and multiple

provider frameworks have their plus and minus points. In taking the sole provider route, a lot of consideration and planning is required both on the client's side before and during procurement and then by all the parties involved once the appointment is made. A sole consultancy appointment can bring significant ‘step change’ benefits but require a real commitment to collaborative working and ability to accept some risk. Multiparty frameworks, especially those with a small number of consultants can offer many of the benefits of sole consultancies, but ultimately whatever route is selected it is the balance of skills, capacity and real desire to deliver the best solution that makes the ultimate difference. 





At One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire, the £40m design and build project delivered by Conlon Construction has incorporated measures to enhance energy efficiency and environmental performance

Project: One Hatfield Hospital Location: Hatfield, Hertfordshire Construction company: Conlon Construction Architect: Manning Elliot

Sean Conlon from Conlon Construction discusses the design and construction of the BREEAMrated ‘Excellent’ One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire, highlighting the elements of best practice that could be rolled out to other healthcare environments. lots of commercial W hile environments attain BREEAM ‘Excellent’ ratings, achieving the required standard of energy efficiency and environmental performance is notoriously difficult in the healthcare sector. There are multiple reasons for this, including the high electrical loading requirements of a 24/7 operation, the need for extensive heating and

cooling, the use of advanced equipment and high levels of water consumption. At One Hatfield Hospital in Hertfordshire, the £40m design and build project delivered by Conlon Construction has incorporated measures to enhance energy efficiency and environmental performance to help drive down running costs while ensuring high standards of patient comfort.

The Conlon Construction team scored highly on the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) inspections, with scores of 41/50 and 43/50 on the two site visits


The hospital may be relatively small compared to many NHS Trust hospitals, but there are elements of best practice that can be shared and scaled up to benefit any UK healthcare environment.

Innovative approach One Healthcare works with the NHS, private medical insurers and communities to innovate in the way care is delivered, utilising advances in technology to facilitate a smoother patient journey with reduced hospital stays. The same focus on innovation has also led the healthcare provider to push standards of specification in order to reduce energy consumption, utilise renewable energy technologies effectively, conserve water and ensure that sustainability was built into the fabric of One Hatfield Hospital. To achieve these goals, early engagement with the delivery partners was essential as this was integral to both the energy strategy and building comfort. For example, consideration was given

to natural light at the earliest design stages as this influences both patient comfort and energy demand for electrical lighting. The result is a hospital that is permeated by ample natural light, with a ‘Zen Garden’ to provide a relaxing patient environment in the heart of the building. LED lighting throughout is controlled by a DALI-based system with absence detection and daylight linking to ensure electric lighting is only operational on an asneeded basis. The Conlon Construction team worked with architect practice, Manning Elliot, BREEAM consultant, Aegis, and M&E consultant, Walmsley Associates, from the outset, appointing the company’s own sustainability champion to the project to ensure the scheme met its lowcarbon and high comfort goals.

Energy strategy At the heart of the hospital’s low-carbon strategy is a combined heat and power (CHP) unit, which has a 37kW thermal output to provide the

Water management In addition to energy management, the building’s design and construction have also focused on minimising water consumption and waste as this is another area where healthcare environments tend to be heavy users. Rainwater harvesting provides the water for toilet flushing throughout the building with a 40m3 capacity water butt buried in the grounds. This water is pumped back into the building and filtered before being used in the plumbing system. The hospital’s sustainable drainage system also includes attenuation of all surface outfalls, minimising the discharge of water into public sewers to reduce the risk of localised flooding. All incoming mains water supplies are also treated with carbon filtering and UV treatment to safeguard against waterborne infections and bacteria. PIR no-touch taps throughout the building also aid infection control and ensure water is not wasted by taps being allowed to continue running when not in use.


low temperature hot water (LTHW) for the domestic hot water system and the radiators, radiant heating panels and air conditioning coils. Thanks to the constant LTHW load in the 24/7-occupied building, the CHP also provides 19kW of electrical output to contribute to the hospital’s energy requirements. In addition to the energy generated by the CHP, the hospital has also been fitted with a 32kW solar PV installation on the roof and air source heat pumps have been installed as the energy source for the heat exchangers in the air handling units, with all consulting rooms and en-suite patient bedrooms heated and cooled by VRF (variant refrigerant flow) HVAC systems with heat recovery.

Consideration was given to natural light at the earliest design stages as this influences both patient comfort and energy demand for electrical lighting

Insulated beyond mandatory building regulations requirements, the hospital has been specified with BRE Green Guide A+-rated materials throughout – including the cladding, glazing, roofing and flooring. This not only ensures that embedded carbon in the structure is reduced but also supports long-term sustainability in terms of lifecycle, recyclability and responsible material sourcing. To ensure that the designed thermal performance of the specified building fabric was realised in the completed building, a clear focus was also placed on achieving high standards of airtightness. The building design was tested using robust design and heat loss calculations and, following completion, thermographic and air quality checks were carried

out prior to client handover. The building passed these tests with flying colours demonstrating the building’s success in minimising heat loss to support improved energy efficiency.

Considerate constructors While the building design and specification were pivotal to the building’s low carbon credentials, the BREEAM assessment also takes into account the social value of the build process and the impact of the construction project on local residents. The Conlon Construction team scored highly on the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) inspections, with scores of 41/50 and 43/50 on the two site visits and commendations on actions taken to reduce disruption for

the local community. Measures taken included provision of an acoustic wall around the outside plant deck and consultation with residents to design an attractive landscape that would encourage biodiversity.

Setting high standards With 10 consulting rooms, a combination of in-patient and day care patient bedrooms, three next-generation integrated theatre suites and three treatment suites, including endoscopy, One Hatfield creates a benchmark for contemporary healthcare. Thanks to the focus on driving a progressive, low-carbon energy management strategy, the building also raises the bar for hospital construction. 


Building fabric Alongside the BREEAM points scored by the mechanical and electrical installation at One Hatfield Hospital, the building fabric and construction integrity of the building also boosted the score and the hospital’s longterm thermal performance.

Alongside the BREEAM points scored by the mechanical and electrical installation at One Hatfield Hospital, the building fabric and construction integrity of the building also boosted the score and the hospital’s long-term thermal performance


Technical Focus


To achieve genuine thermal performance, U-values should not be considered in isolation but in combination with psi values (thermal bridging) and airtightness

Andy Mitchell from NBT – a UK distributor of Pavatex wood fibre insulation – discusses the reasons why so many buildings fail to meet their designed thermal performance. on public sector P ressure budgets has prompted a more creative and strategic approach to planning and designing public sector property assets. Local authorities have not only reviewed their property portfolio and how

it can deliver best value; many have also embarked on rationalisation programmes, often involving the construction of new buildings fit for the 21st century, where services can be combined to reduce operational costs.

Wood fibre has a higher Lambda value than PIR but it is high density and can be applied to the external envelope of a building as a complete thermal wrap


Critical to that cost management goal is the sustainability of public sector buildings, in terms of thermal performance, maintenance requirements and service life. The insulation used and the way in which this is specified and installed as part of the building fabric is critical to all three sustainability parameters because it will determine heat loss, solar gain and the risk of issues associated with moisture build-up, such as damp, mould and condensation. The same principles apply to social housing properties, where longevity of the asset, minimising maintenance, reducing heating bills and ensuring tenant comfort are all important specification and design considerations. All of this may seem fairly fundamental and integral to Part L compliance. However,

there’s a hitch. Many buildings fail to meet their designed thermal performance due to issues with airtightness and thermal bridging, and there is no legal requirement to check if the energy performance of the building, once built, meets its designed energy performance. Meeting Part L is essentially a paper exercise, and this is a missed opportunity to work with the supply chain to simplify design details and ensure thermal coherence of the finished build, which would often result in a faster build programme and less waste too.

The U-value issue The most commonly quoted thermal performance criterion is the U-value, which is calculated based on the heat loss of a building’s principal areas – such as walls, roof, windows etc. – and

however, as much as one-third of a building’s heat can be lost through thermal bridging. Once again, the solution to this is delivering a thermal wrap around the principal building fabric, which can perform even better when solutions are incorporated to address high heat loss thermal bridge details, such as overlapping insulation onto window frames, for example.


Technical Focus

considers every component of each. However, to achieve genuine thermal performance this should not be considered in isolation but in combination with psi values (thermal bridging and airtightness. To achieve the required U-values, the specifier selects an insulation material with low thermal conductivity – the Lambda value. The lower the conductivity of the material, the higher performance it gives as an insulator. In theory, therefore, materials with very low conductivity, such as PIR insulation, can be specified in smaller quantities to achieve high levels of thermal performance in the finished structure. But there are a couple of problems with this assumption. Firstly, we don’t construct buildings using a single material in isolation, so the Lambda value of one element of the wall or roof build-up, i.e. the insulation, can be seriously compromised by the additional materials that surround it, often required for structural or weatherproofing purposes. Instead, the thermal conductivity of the insulation material needs to be considered in the context of the entire building envelope and floor structure. A good illustration of this is wood fibre insulation, like Pavatex. Wood fibre has a higher Lambda value than PIR, but it is high density and can be applied to the external envelope of a building as a complete thermal wrap requiring much smaller section fixings for external weathering surfaces such as cladding. Its thermal performance in practice is better, therefore, despite the fact that its Lambda value would suggest otherwise on paper. Consequently, it is vital that the specifier considers the verified Lambda value within the context of all the repeating components of the principal areas of the building envelope when designing a project. Secondly, the effectiveness of the building envelope also depends on the psi values (thermal bridging detailing), collectively known as the Y-value. Proportionately, thermal bridging has little impact on poorly insulated older buildings as there is so much heat loss through the principal areas. For a Part L-compliant building,



Achieving improved airtightness The other major cause of heat loss is air escaping from the building and we measure this as airtightness at m2/m3@50pa. The Part L requirement of 5m2/ m3@50pa is the equivalent of a hole the size of a 20p piece in every square metre of the building envelope: not quite the hermetically-sealed boxes that people fear airtightness will deliver! Insulation can only trap the heat within the building if the envelope provides good levels of airtightness because warm air will naturally escape through any gaps, increasing heat loss. While designers and specifiers cannot always control construction integrity, good airtightness can be aided at the design stage with simple details that are more easily executed on site. In most cases, airtightness is better delivered from the inside of the building envelope, enabling a pressure test at first fix to show up any issues so that the contractor can make good. Additionally, careful consideration should be given to the sequencing of the construction. We must be mindful also that incorporating elements to improve the thermal performance of our building changes the physics of the structure. We must, therefore, avoid creating new problems, such as trapped moisture or summer overheating as a byproduct of the focus on preventing heat loss. Ultimately, we must stop focusing on U-values alone; the most costly of the three ways of reducing heat loss. By delivering thermal performance through a combination of U-values, Y-values and airtightness, we are more likely to deliver the low-energy public sector built environment we need to drive performance, whilst reducing cost. 


3 5 4

6 7 8 9

KEY: 1 NBT PAVAFLEX flexible insulation

5 NBT DB 3.5 airtight membrane

2 NBT ISOLAIR or PAVATHERM-COMBI T&G wood fibre boards 3

Ventilation cavity








Service void


12mm OSB Class 3


1 2 3 4 5 6

KEY: 1

120mm PIR




Low-e membrane




Ventilated cavity


Internal poly membrane


Interiors: Damp-Proofing

The Drybase Flex system protects against dampness in walls without any need to drill or install plugs. Consisting of a 1.5mm-thick flexible polypropylene sheet, the membrane has a fleeced surface on both sides.


Keeping hygroscopic salts at bay in an unusual Victorian refurbishment was the role for a new type of flexible membrane from Safeguard Europe – a leading specialist in damp- and waterproofing, and masonry repairs. in the 19th century, B uilt the house in the Urmston district of Manchester suffered from extensive hygroscopic salt dampness issues (salt dampness), so the owner brought in Oldhambased Olympic Construction to tackle the problem. According to Director and Surveyor Adrian Dawson, the issue stemmed from the property’s conversion from being a terrace to a semidetached house. The neighbouring property to the right was demolished to make way for a housing development. This exposed the right-hand single-leaf party wall and chimney structures, which became the gable elevation, so the contractors constructed a further single-leaf party wall as the weatherproofing layer. “These works were very poorly executed, so that water penetrated into the roofline and chimney structures over a long period,” says Adrian. “This resulted in the hygroscopic salts, held within the chimneys, being taken up into solution, and that led to extensive dampness and degrading of the installed plaster to the internal elevations of the property.”


So, Olympic Construction rebuilt the gable, rear elevation, chimney and roof so the structure was watertight but, once the external defects had been addressed, the extensive hygroscopic salt migration to the inner leaf needed treatment. “I decided to install Safeguard’s Drybase system rather than other systems such as a cavity drained membrane, because it bonds to the brickwork, like wallpaper, which means there are no voids,

so should water ever penetrate the brickwork,” explains Adrian. “The Drybase Flex membrane will stop any water or salts leaking back into the structure. We’ve worked with Safeguard for a number of years, and have used the Drybase system in a number of different areas.” To date, the issues to the inner walls of the first floor were treated earlier this year, and Olympic Construction will return to the property to undertake the

second phase of the remedial works to the ground floor levels of the property in September. When finished, the property will not only be free from damp but will also be cheaper to heat because the system allows lightweight plasters systems to be applied, so the walls will have a higher thermal performance. In the short-term, this cuts drying downtimes so redecoration can start earlier but, in the longterm, the improved thermal properties result in lower fuel bills and a reduced risk of condensation and, consequently, mould growth. And it is a longterm solution – the service life of the Drybase Flex is 50 years. Comprising two components, the membrane and adhesive, the Drybase Flex system protects against dampness in walls without any need to drill or install plugs. Consisting of a 1.5mmthick flexible polypropylene sheet, the membrane has a fleeced surface on both sides. This ensures that there is a good key, or adhesion, for the adhesive that fixes the membrane to the wall and so plaster can be applied directly to the face. A polymer modified cementbased product, the adhesive is supplied in powder form ready to be mixed with water and applied using a suitable trowel. 


When finished, the property will not only be free from damp but will also be cheaper to heat because the system allows lightweight plasters systems to be applied so the walls will have a higher thermal performance


The duty care holder and any company or responsible person appointed to oversee any kind of monitoring work could be prosecuted if an individual contracted Legionnaires’ disease on site

PREVENTING THE GROWTH OF LEGIONELLA: SEVEN TOP TIPS Preventing the growth of Legionella is extremely important, especially in a leisure centre where so many water systems are in place. the Health and Safety U nder at Work Law, the duty care holder and any company or responsible person appointed to oversee any kind of monitoring work could be prosecuted if an individual contracted Legionnaires’ disease on site. Below, Biochemica Water has provided seven tips on preventing the growth of Legionella in a leisure centre. 1 Appoint a dedicated hygiene manager

This doesn’t have to be a specifically-hired manager, it could be a role assigned to an inhouse member of staff or it could be outsourced. However, this should be one of the first steps followed to help prevent the growth of Legionella. Monitoring all the water systems and carrying out the appropriate checks and treatments is a big task, especially in a leisure centre. Any missed checks or treatment could result in a Legionella outbreak. 2 Conduct a risk assessment

Risk assessments are key to preventing the growth of Legionella. A risk assessment


should provide details on any slight risk of Legionella growth. Things to look out for in the risk assessment are little-used outlets (disabled toilets are often at risk) and dead legs. The risk assessment should be thorough, so it is probably best to hire a company who specialises in this. However, it is not a legal requirement for a specialist company to conduct a risk assessment, so if you have someone in your company with the appropriate and up-to-date Legionella training; they can conduct the risk assessment. 3 Flushing those little-used outlets

As mentioned above, littleused outlets are often at risk of Legionella growth. This is because when they aren’t used the water can stagnate, then when they are used again there could be a potential Legionnaires’ outbreak. An example of a little-used outlet in a leisure centre could be shower units in a changing room. During the off-season, showers in these changing rooms can go unused for months. These little-used

outlets should be flushed at least once a week to stop the water from stagnating and preventing Legionella from growing. 4

Remove dead legs

Dead legs are a breeding ground for Legionella bacteria because the water is usually room temperature and it stagnates. This can become particularly dangerous when the water slowly releases itself back into the system. We will all recognise dead legs, most of us will have them in our homes, and in a leisure centre, it is almost certain you will find the odd dead leg. The remedy for a dead leg is quite simple, remove it. This should be done by a qualified plumber. 5

Taking temperatures

Temperature is everything when it comes to Legionella. Anything between 20 to 45º, and Legionella thrives. Therefore, the temperatures in hot and cold systems should be regularly monitored. If you have a fluctuation in the cold water temperatures, the cold water

pipe is heating up somewhere. This could be because the pipe is next to a hot water pipe or a heater, this will need to be assessed. If the hot water is not hot enough, the hot water heater may need turning up. Any fluctuations in temperature should really be reported to a plumber. If the temperature is right, the less likely Legionella is to grow. 6

Take regular samples

This may seem obvious, but is very important in preventing Legionella, besides, how do you know you are preventing the growth of Legionella if you aren’t checking for it? Again, this is something which should be outsourced because it requires the samples being sent to a laboratory to be checked for Legionella. If your sample does return positive, it allows you to pinpoint exactly where the Legionella is growing, and you can then reassess that area. 7

Chlorinate the system

Chlorinating the system should occur every six months to one year. This is where the system will



be drained, chlorinated, flushed and filled up again. This kills any lingering Legionella bacteria and gives the system a good clean. As mentioned above, flushing little-used outlets is a great way of preventing the growth of Legionella bacteria. Recently, Biochemica Water undertook a contract with a southern-based council which had a leisure centre with ongoing bacterial issues. The problems were in the football changing rooms, just outside the leisure centre. We came in and reviewed the current system when we discovered that they had a flushing regime that wasn’t adequate. After an initial assessment, we installed 42 new showers in 10 different changing rooms, eight of the changing rooms had four showers in each. We re-piped the whole building, removing the dead leg in the first three showers in each changing room, meaning they store no water. We installed a new battery-powered data logging auto-flushing shower in the last shower in each changing room. Each battery will last in excess of five years. Because the shower furthest away from the main water supply is more likely to contain Legionella, an autoflushing shower was installed so that the shower flushed itself in a set time period. The flush time can be changed to flush every hour, every couple of hours etc. In this case, it was best for the shower to flush automatically for three minutes every 12 hours. When we arrive to site, we download the information to prove to the council that the flushing has occurred. The autoflushing showers also have the capability to wirelessly download data, meaning that the data can be remotely accessed, and the flushing can be controlled from anywhere in the country. All the showers installed are water-saving showers, aimed at reducing the amount of water wasted. Because of this, if someone uses the auto-flushing shower, it won’t flush again for another 12 hours. The newly-installed system has had a positive effect on the football changing rooms at the leisure centre, with our first samples coming back as Legionella negative. 

Monitoring all the water systems and carrying out the appropriate checks and treatments is a big task, especially in a leisure centre. Any missed checks or treatment could result in a Legionella outbreak.

It is not a legal requirement for a specialist company to conduct a risk assessment, so if you have someone in your company with the appropriate and up-to-date Legionella training; they can conduct the risk assessment

The role of a hygiene manager could be assigned to an in-house member of staff or it could be outsourced


Fire Protection


Testing at Etex’s Innovation and Technology Centre

As we approach a year since the tragic Grenfell Tower fire, its implications for local authorities and registered providers for housing design, construction and ongoing management remain unclear, says Nigel Morrey, Technical Director at Promat – part of Etex Building Performance. early regulatory S ome changes have started to come through. In February, many were surprised when the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government moved to include the use of desktop studies in its proposed amendments to Approved Document B, the fire safety guidance accompanying Building Regulations, for the first time. However, debate about the proper use of this route to regulatory compliance remains. Yet more sweeping changes to fire safety frameworks are anticipated this month, when Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report on Building Regulations and Fire Safety is expected to arrive.


With the pressure on to meet the nation’s housing demand and provide reassurance to residents, local authorities and registered housing providers cannot afford to become lost in this evolving regulatory landscape. Clarity is important for the many housing providers needing to refurbish existing high-rise stock as well as for those building to deliver the 300,000 homes annually that our country needs. Guidance on best practice must start with their design and construction partners, offering public sector bodies peace of mind that the homes they provide are both fire safe and meet duty of  care obligations.

Material systems testing at Etex’s Innovation and Technology Centre in France

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Fire Protection

the one originally tested. Where different materials are required, extra time must be allowed to verify the impact of the changes. A basic understanding of technical performance and the reasoning behind the original specification should be made clear to partners across the supply chain. This relies on knowledge sharing from material manufacturers and specifiers to the contractors who install the systems and, ultimately, local authorities and registered providers. Fire protection systems are only as good as the people responsible for their design, installation and ongoing maintenance so establishing competency within these processes is vital. Full-scale testing

Making the case for real-world testing The interim Hackitt report, published in December, called for a cultural shift across the housing supply chain away from doing things cheaply and passing on risk and responsibility. Particularly amid shifting regulations, the responsibility to provide clarity begins at the very start of the build process with designers and material manufacturers. Crucially, we need to see more real-world testing of material and their fire performance in systems. Where this is not practically possible, realistic test data and a scientific understanding of fire should form the bedrock of desktop studies, engineered judgements and assessments. The science behind compartment and structural fires is complex. No two incidents are the same due to varying causes of fire, the fire load, the building in question and its design. This makes the responsibility of specifying fire protection systems especially challenging, and official regulations should only ever be used as a minimum baseline. Absolute certainty can never be guaranteed when dealing with fire, but testing processes that closely mirror real-world conditions can improve our ability to anticipate how systems will perform in a genuine incident.


Considering the interaction of materials is critical. Current regulations tend to deal with design elements on an individual basis, but a fire’s behaviour is influenced by the performance and interaction of building systems as a whole. For example, how is a timber structure’s fire performance affected when it is abutted to a concrete frame construction? Other design details requiring careful consideration include the relationship between walls and ceilings, as well as the positioning of load-bearing elements. Material providers need to create testing regimes that study the performance of products working together but also how their performance will potentially change throughout their lifecycle. The partition system in a modern apartment will rarely mirror standard formats. It will be penetrated by plug sockets, telephone wires or television cables, potentially altering the way the overall system performs. It is hard to model for all eventualities but, at the very least, where full-scale system testing is not viable, an appreciation of the complexity of building fires and system performance in the desktop study, engineered judgement and assessment process is vital. We need to build up as much data as possible to allow housing providers, specifiers and design professionals to make informed decisions.

The true cost of value engineering

Preparing for the future

The scale of modern construction projects means that every contributor is expected to deliver efficiencies but cutting costs or ‘value engineering’ should never mean cutting corners when it comes to fire safety. Real-world testing can only raise standards if the fire protection systems that pass more robust development regimes are identical to the systems that are ultimately installed in a project. That means keeping to specifications and avoiding switching in alternative products or components. Substituting even one specified material for a cheaper substitute can compromise an entire fire protection system’s performance. There is no guarantee that the new material will behave in the same way as

More than ever the public sector needs guidance on fire safety measures from supply chain partners, who, in turn, must adopt a robust approach to material performance testing. A more sophisticated understanding of building fires should inform the entire design and construction process, ultimately allowing local authorities and registered providers to offer much-needed reassurance and peace of mind to their residents. It’s time to move beyond assumptions and adopt testing regimes which are transparent and accessible. Building design and safety should always be informed by credible data reflecting real-world conditions. 

Testing with service penetrations



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Renewable Technologies

RENEWABLE TECHNOLOGIES SUPPORT PUBLIC SECTOR TARGETS Dave Raynor, Product Manager at Watts Water Industries, discusses how the desire to reduce carbon emissions in public sector buildings is encouraging greater awareness of the components required to fulfil these objectives. awareness grows, an A sincreasing number of commercial projects are exploring the opportunities pertaining to, and specifying, renewable technologies to provide heating and hot water. Critical to the success of such systems is the specification of quality components and the correct installation of these products to engineer a robust system that is fit for purpose. With the Government stating that it would like all public


buildings to be close to zero emissions by 2050, there is clearly much to do both in new builds and in retrofit refurbishment projects in the public sector. One area where it is expected that pressure will grow on specifiers, architects and facilities managers to explore, is the possibilities of installing renewable energy systems and, as a fairly new and unfamiliar market, it is important that information relating to all elements is made available and is shared.

How could renewable systems work for me? A variety of renewable heating technologies will be able to support the Government’s zero emissions target including, but not exclusively, ground source and air source heat pumps and district heating systems. Ground source and air source heat pump systems draw on the heat generated by the earth and by the air whilst district heating systems are a centralised system which then serves multiple outlets with independent controls. Such technologies reduce carbon emissions negating the need for fossil fuels, and it will undoubtedly become necessary for such systems to be specified in all new-build public sector projects wherever practically possible. Coupled with an awareness to reduce emissions in dayto-day usage situations and an expected, more stringent approach by the Government, it remains everyone’s responsibility to implement all practical measures to achieve these targets.

Suitable for a host of public sector buildings such as schools, colleges, offices, business parks and housing developments, renewable heating technologies are set to play a significant part in achieving the current Government targets.

Importance of critical components Renewable heat systems have the potential to assist in achieving low-carbon building status, and specifiers and facilities managers are becoming ever increasingly obliged to explore the options available and the benefits that such systems could provide. Specification and installation of a renewable heat system is not just about the initial research and commission. To ensure the long-term reliability, and to keep maintenance and repair to an absolute minimum, (thereby further reducing the waste and emissions associated with the system) key components will be required to facilitate and maximise performance and efficiencies.

Microflex is also certified to EN 15632 (pertaining to district heating pipes – preinsulated flexible pipes) making it fully complaint for the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) certification, an attractive financial incentive that those installing renewable heat systems can apply for. Furthermore, it has a minimum service life of 30 years when operated at 80°C delivering reliability and longevity. Executing the Government’s vision for public sector buildings will not be without its challenges and will ultimately deliver environmental benefits for us all. As alternatives to products and procedures are sought, including the shift from traditional heating and hot water methods to renewable ones, the products that support this will become more apparent. Pre-insulated pipe become an intrinsic part of such system specifications with Microflex by Watts retaining its reputation for quality, reliability and efficiency. 

Renewable Technologies

The Microflex range from Watts UK provides installers with a high-quality pipework solution

 One such component is preinsulated pipework which will not only deal with the science part (keeping the fluid within the pipes at the required temperature throughout the system) but when highquality pipe is chosen, will ensure ongoing repair and maintenance costs are kept to a minimum. As the desire to install technologies which reduce carbon emissions grows, there will doubtlessly be an uplift in demand for these core products and the others associated with the installation process.

Quality and reliability The Microflex range from Watts UK provides installers with a high-quality pipework solution. Its core pipe is made of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) which is flexible and immune to corrosion whilst a multi-layer insulation is made of closed cell PEX foam, offering great flexibility whilst minimising heat loss from the core pipe(s). An outer jacket with twin-wall construction, made of impact-

proof polyethylene, provides high flexibility and resistance to burial loads, thanks to its corrugated profile. Simple yet robust fittings also mean that no specialist tools are required for installation. This provides installers with an opportunity to complete the entire installation on their own rather than using other specialist sub-contractors. Watts UK not only maintains a vast stock but also has a specialised cutting centre meaning lengths of any size can be ordered and delivered directly to site, ultimately necessitating fewer connections and speeding up installation time. For smaller installations and added simplicity, palletised packs of up to 25m can be delivered, fully palletised and containing all necessary connections and termination components. Sizewise, there is single (Uno) and twin (Duo) options from 25 up to 140mm. Microflex Quadro combines flow and return pipes for heating and hot water in one easy-to-use product.

An outer jacket with twin-wall construction, made of impact-proof polyethylene, provides high flexibility and resistance to burial loads

Microflex's core pipe is made of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) which is flexible and immune to corrosion


Paints, Coatings & Finishes

As part of Calderdale Council’s ambitious plans to conserve the building and transform it into a cultural and commercial hub for Halifax, a series of delicate remedial works were outlined to future-proof the structure’s original features

Project: Piece Hall Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire Building material company: Tarmac

CONSERVING A GRADE I LISTED BUILDING WITH RENOVATING PLASTER Halifax’s Grade I Listed Piece Hall is a true monument to the town’s industrial heritage. As part of Calderdale Council’s ambitious plans to conserve the building and transform it into a cultural and commercial hub for Halifax, a series of delicate remedial works were outlined to future-proof the structure’s original features and ensure it would be able to live up to the rigours of 21st-century life. the schedule of U nder works, Tarmac’s Limelite renovating plaster was chosen to provide a durable solution which was both sympathetic to the age of the building, yet robust enough to provide longlasting results.

The challenge First constructed in 1779, the Grade I Listed Piece Hall takes its name from its original use as a cloth hall, where local weavers were allowed to sell their ‘pieces’ at the height of the industrial revolution. As an iconic reminder of Halifax’s prominence in the


Georgian wool trade, the site is understandably a treasured landmark for local people. The aim of the Piece Hall transformation project was to conserve the historic fabric of the building and create an outstanding heritage destination fit for the 21st century. This would see the property, which consists of 315 rooms centred around a 66,000ft2 piazza, return to its previous grandeur and be reinvented as a new cultural and commercial centre for the town. The Piece Hall transformation project was delivered by Calderdale Council and was made possible by funding from

the council, a generous £7m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund – thanks to National Lottery players – and kind support from both the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Wolfson Foundation. Piece Hall is now operated by an independent body, the newly-formed charity The Piece Hall Trust. It was vital that a specialist heritage renovating plaster was specified, to ensure that any remedial work undertaken would be in keeping with the property’s original features and sympathetic to the materials used during the building’s original construction in 1779.

The plastering contractor chosen to undertake the work, Manchester Screeding Contractors (MSC), was challenged with plastering the inside of the iconic arches which surround Piece Hall’s piazza, as well as re-plastering walls within a number of rooms on the ground floor. Given the need to use a specialist heritage plaster, MSC turned to Tarmac’s Limelite team for help. For the interior work, damaged and ageing plaster had to be removed, revealing solid stone walls which needed to be plastered in keeping with the heritage of the building.

Paints, Coatings & Finishes It was vital that a specialist heritage renovating plaster was specified, to ensure that any remedial work undertaken would be in keeping with the property’s original features

Under the schedule of works, Tarmac’s Limelite renovating plaster was chosen to provide a durable solution

Time and weather had also eroded the exterior arches, and an appropriate solution needed to be found. Installation time was also a challenge on the project as the construction phase was nearing handover to The Piece Hall Trust, with the building due to be reopened to the public in August 2017.

The solution To satisfy the specification, MSC first chose to use Tarmac’s Limelite Easy Bond as a primer, given its ability to effectively control suction and salts, as well as improve the level of adhesion when working

with difficult substrates. Following this, two coats of Limelite Renovating Plaster were applied as a backing plaster to the surfaces to remove undulation. Tom Emery, Specifications Coordinator at Tarmac’s Limelite division, commented: “A traditional lime plaster could take months to dry out whereas renovating plaster only takes 24 hours to dry per coat. This was essential in helping the team to cope with the tight timescales of the project. “Moisture, damp and mould growth were also found in the building. Renovating plaster is ideal in scenarios like this, as the

Manchester Screeding Contractors (MSC) was challenged with plastering the inside of the iconic arches which surround Piece Hall’s piazza, as well as re-plastering walls within a number of rooms on the ground floor

level of breathability it offers will allow moisture to easily pass through it. It is this breathability that will significantly reduce the likelihood of damp occurring. Tom continues: “The renovating plaster was followed with a final coat of Limelite’s High Impact Finishing plaster. The High Impact Finishing plaster is extremely durable, which is ideal given the municipal use of the building. What’s more, it’s great for use in heavily trafficked areas as it provides a shell to the backing plaster.” In total, seven tonnes of product were supplied to the project in the two-month

timeframe, with MSC working through the weekends to get the job done. Karl Hodgkiss, Managing Director of Manchester Screeding Contractors, commented: “Internal and external plastering, as well as restoration plastering, are key specialist areas for our business, and this was a significant project for us that we were excited to be a part of. I had used Limelite’s renovating plaster before in smaller quantities and knew it would provide a breathable covering for the original stonework.” 




1. The majority of work undertaken on these locos is at low level; ensuring heat between the tracks on the platform and in the pits is vital. 2. Nor-Ray-Vac, due to its unique long lengths of a radiant emitter, is an ideal solution for heating the long distances between trains. 3. Some rail sheds are in excess of 300m in length. Due to the physical size of the sheds, the design of the heating system is paramount to ensure optimum zoning capabilities. Diesel loco sheds Many of these sheds derive from the steam era, and some still lack good insulation values for the fabric. Diesel locos also have hoods to collect the diesel fumes from the engines, but due to the general atmosphere within these sheds, the radiant heating system has to be designed to have ducted fresh air supply from outside to the gas burners.


HS2 will create thousands of jobs during its construction process as well as 2000 apprenticeships. Approximately 25,000 people are needed to build the project and to support this, Network Rail is providing two state-of-the-art colleges to train the next generation of rail engineers. The new pool of talent will all need to understand the challenges involved in HS electric railways of the future. Nick Winton, Divisional Manager for Reznor, explains what the next generation needs to know regarding the heating of train sheds. following factors T herepresent some of the prime considerations when assessing the impact of any heating solution in a train care environment: Train maintenance sheds are invariably long and narrow with large doors opening constantly, thus notoriously difficult to heat and even more difficult to keep warm. The doors often occupy the full width of the building and may be left open for many hours a day, thus creating a wind tunnel effect and cold air at high velocity is drawn through the shed. A heating system needs to be able to sustain a comfortable


environment in these conditions and provide rapid recovery once the doors are closed. Air curtains can mitigate the issue of air infiltration at the doors.

Radiant heating The primary source of radiant energy in the natural environment is the sun. By standing in the sun’s rays a feeling of warmth is experienced, whilst in the shade, it feels considerably cooler. Reznor has exploited this concept in its energy-efficient radiant heating systems. Radiant tube heaters, mounted overhead, produce infrared radiant heat that is directed

downward by a reflector. The infrared heat passes through the air without heating it and creates a comfortable all-round radiant warmth at low level, without wastefully heating the whole volume of the building or the roof space.

How heating specifications differ Steam loco sheds Due to the nature of the locomotive, vast amounts of steam are released, captured by massive hoods and released to the atmosphere. When designing a heating system, an account of these hoods in the roof space is critical.

Electric loco sheds (power via third rail) These sheds tend to be cleaner due to the lack of diesel fumes and do not require ducted air to the gas burners of a radiant heating system. The work on these trains is primarily at low level. Electric HS loco sheds (overhead power) Unlike the previous types of locos, work has to be undertaken on top of the loco to maintain the power unit. These sheds have personnel staging for access to the top of the trains. When designing a radiant heating system for such facilities, due regard to the staging has to be taken into account. The radiant emitter cannot be too close to the working area above the trains.

Evidence of success Amongst other successful train care applications, Reznor was able to provide the ideal heating solution for the National College for High-Speed Rail at Doncaster. Radiant heat (Nor-Ray-Vac) was specified as the heating system for the Large Scale Workshop comprising an area of 1906m2 within the facility.

   01384 489700

A new captain takes the helm at Evinox Energy Evinox is thrilled to announce that Terry Mahoney has taken the helm as its new Managing Director. Terry originally joined Evinox in 2010 and, through his most recent role as Operations Director, has been pivotal to much of the company’s recent success, including the delivery and ongoing support of key projects – such as Battersea Power Station; and the evolution of Evinox’s manufacturing capability. Terry said of his new position: “I’m delighted and flattered to be appointed as Managing Director at Evinox. This is

an exciting time for the business, with planning regulations and Government policy continuing to support the


deployment of district and communal heating, the market continues to thrive and evolve.” He continued: “As an established, market-leading heat interface unit manufacturer, Evinox, offers innovative products that are built with quality components and assembled to world-class manufacturing standards. This has been confirmed by the impressive efficiency performance achieved by the Evinox ModuSat heat interface unit, which was tested to the UK standard from BESA.” The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) UK test standard for heat interface units (HIUs) was recently introduced to enable designers and specifiers to evaluate the performance of HIUs on their network. Currently, only a handful of manufacturers have published results for the HIU test regime, with Evinox being one of the first to undertake the testing process. The results achieved provide a clear, independently-verified confirmation that the Evinox ModuSat XR HIU range delivers outstanding heating and hot water efficiency performance for modern heat networks – something the team at Evinox are very proud of.

   01372 722277

Altecnic MD hands over the reins after 18 years Altecnic’s Managing Director, Alan Sherwin, is stepping down after 18 years with the Stafford-based plumbing and heating specialist. Having spent the last eight years as MD, Alan is retiring and handing over the role to Gary Perry, current OEM Sales & Technical Director. Throughout his career, Alan refused to subscribe to the autocratic style of management and is proud that all of the substantial milestones that Altecnic has achieved since becoming MD have involved the buy-in of the entire workforce. This has developed a culture in which everyone works hard for the benefit of the business and not the individual.



 01785 218200

Bosch launches series of high-efficiency air conditioning solutions Providing efficient, effective and environmentallyfriendly temperature control, Bosch Commercial and Industrial has launched its comprehensive range of residential air conditioning (RAC) solutions. The Bosch Climate RAC air conditioning units, suitable for new installations in domestic and small commercial properties, come paired with a comprehensive after-sales service. This comprises five years of parts and labour warranty, a contact centre open 364 days a year, and Bosch-trained engineers providing national coverage and quick onsite response time. The new range can also be used in conjunction with larger commercial air conditioning systems, such as the Bosch Climate 5000 VRF, to support temperature-critical areas.


 0330 123 3004

Green energy firm’s innovative heating system to make a splash A swimming pool is at the forefront of a renewable energy revolution which creates heat from waste water. In the first project to be delivered by a new joint venture between Scottish Water Horizons and East Midlands-based SHARC Energy Systems and one of the first of its kind in the UK, Campbeltown’s Aqualibrium leisure centre will be heated by the use of ground-breaking technology which places a focus on sustainability. The centre and swimming pool is operated by Argyll and Bute Council and the £1m project will meet 95% of the facility’s heating needs and use just 25% of the energy it currently takes to heat it with gas.

   0115 870 0021


Doors & Windows

No excuses – fire safety now has to be construction’s highest priority Last summer, after decades on the sidelines, fire safety was finally centre-stage – for the worst possible reasons. Grenfell was a national catastrophe – one of those traumatic moments that scar a generation and ensures that, for better or for worse, things will never be the same again.


It’s a tragedy that it took a disaster on that horrifying scale to make us sit up and take notice. But we’re now faced with a once-in-a-generation chance to drastically improve fire safety standards throughout

construction – and in the glass and glazing sector, we can start with the most basic fire safety product of them all; fire doors. It’s an undeniable fact – fenestration’s attitude towards fire doors has been shockingly poor in many cases. It’s frighteningly common for manufacturers to fire test their door components separately, rather than testing the completely assembled doorset. That can lead to products with FD30 ratings that only last a fraction of the time they’re supposed to. At West Port, the company has come across manufacturers offering FD30 fire doors that fail in under 15 minutes, which is simply unacceptable. Every door component must be tested as part of a complete doorset. And the 30 minutes in FD30 has to be seen as a bare minimum, not a target. In a fire, seconds count – and that means every manufacturer has a moral responsibility to make their fire door products as good as they can possibly be. Subjected to rigorous testing by both Cambridge Fire Research and BRE, West Port’s own FD30 fire door managed to withstand temperatures in excess of 800ºC for 42 minutes, seven seconds, or 40% longer. West Port is also now able to offer an FD60 door.

   01900 814225

P C Henderson wins Export Award at this year’s North East Business Awards

Richard Reeve to take Axim to new heights

Sliding and folding door hardware manufacturer, P C Henderson, has been crowned the winner in the Export category at this years’ North East Business Awards – Durham, Sunderland and South Tyneside region. The awards are the biggest of its kind in the UK and aim to celebrate successful and innovative businesses that are achieving fantastic things. P C Henderson will now go on to compete against the winners of the Northumberland and Teesside heats in order to win the overall Export Award. Trevor Cossins, Managing Director at P C Henderson, said: “We are delighted to once again be recognised for our exporting achievements. Taking a tailored and localised approach to each specific market has allowed us to significantly grow and sustain the exporting side of the business.”

TPG, The Parkside Group, is pleased to announce that Richard Reeve, Sales Director, will be exclusively looking after one of its major divisions, Axim Architectural Hardware. Richard is excited to take the hardware brand to even greater heights. He said: “Axim is one of the most trusted brands in the industry for reliability and quality. Axim celebrated 30 years of business last year and, having worked throughout the industry, I know that the Axim TC-8800 series of concealed transom closers is well known for its superb long-term performance – and, as part of TPG, Axim is backed up by market-leading delivery to its European-wide network.” Over the last 30 years, Axim has developed its product range to include all hardware that top-quality commercial doors require.

   0191 377 7345

   0208 685 9685

Doors & Windows

Eurocell Modus sends sound attenuation into Orbit New ‘no compromise’ PerryShield fire door ironmongery combines fire safety and cost compliance As legislation continues to tighten in the wake of recent fire catastrophes, A. Perry & Co is launching its new CE Marked and CERTIFIRE-approved PerryShield range of fire door ironmongery. The complete, integrated, fire rated range of door hinges, locks and latches and intumescent protection kits has been designed at a price point that enables specifiers to fit fireapproved ironmongery onto applications without having to worry about spiralling costs. The high-quality fire-resistant door hardware and intumescent kits are designed to ensure there is no compromise to fire door integrity in an emergency, providing a fire rating of either 30, 60 or 120 minutes.

   01384 414001

Orbit Housing’s Fordham House in Stratford-upon-Avon aims to raise the bar for rented accommodation. Designed for key workers in the town, the 82-apartment block will provide enhanced protection against noise, a superior maintenance and repair strategy and additional facilities such as secure internal bike storage rooms. Much of the budget for these above-and-beyond features have come from the specification of Modus PVC-u windows from Eurocell in place of the aluminium frames originally specified. “We saved a significant amount without compromising on the specification or the design,” says Orbit Commercial Director, Adam Cooper. “And from a planner’s point of view, they look identical.”



 0800 988 3049

ASSA ABLOY Security Doors launches fire doors safety whitepaper The Grenfell Tower incident raised many questions surrounding how we can prevent the spread of fires in commercial and social housing buildings. With fire doors being one of the most important and effective elements of a building’s passive fire protection, ASSA ABLOY Security Doors, a UK division of ASSA ABLOY, the global leader in door opening solutions, has launched a thought-provoking white paper focusing on the critical subject of fire door safety. The white paper covers key topics of fire door safety which includes the purpose and effectiveness of fire doors, fire door regulations, manufacturing and installation, and will be available to download from


  0289 266 2200

SFS pushes the envelope in new RIBA-approved CPD seminar programme

SFS has launched a new RIBA-approved CPD seminar programme for building specification professionals, providing the latest technical insights into creating high-quality and safe building envelopes. Five complimentary CPD seminars are now available to book, which can be delivered at clients’ offices and are worth double points to RIBA Chartered Architects. All the seminars provide up-to-the-minute technical information and guidance for designing in longevity, safety, security, legislative compliance and client satisfaction. With seminar topics including support systems for rainscreen cladding, envelope airtightness and thermal efficiency, fixing of warm roofs, designing roof safety systems and hinge technology, the CPD seminar programme utilises a wealth of technical know-how from right across the SFS Group.



 0113 208 5500

Sustainability assurance for door closers The appeal of Powermatic-controlled, concealed door closers has been further enhanced by the issue of an Environmental Products Declaration (EPD). The EPD is the result of an independent lifecycle assessment of the door closers, detailing the ‘cradle to grave’ environmental impact of all processes involved in their manufacture. The declaration will provide specifiers with added assurance of Powermatic’s suitability for particular projects, adding to the comprehensive performance and specification documentation available, which includes CE Marking, fire resistance, quality management and BIM data. Sales Manager, Lloyd Blewett, commented: “The EPD reinforces our commitment to the specifier by providing clear information on Powermatic’s environmental impact.”



 0121 766 4200

Celebrating the best in Scottish architecture

GEZE UK will be celebrating the best in Scottish architecture when it sponsors the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Awards Dinner for the fourth year running. The event will take place at The Hilton Glasgow, on 20th June 2018. Awards will include the announcement of the RIBA Awards for Scotland, the Forestry Commission Scotland/Wood for Good Timber Award and Historic Environment Scotland Conservation, among others. The 2018 awards have a 25-strong shortlist which comprises a diverse range of projects including; Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Oriam, Scotland’s Sports Performance Centre, in Edinburgh, and the redevelopment of the 19th-century McEwan Hall, also in Edinburgh – all of which feature GEZE products.

   01543 443000


Floors, Walls & Ceilings

Being an old building, the corridors were out of square to the main entrance but Zanetti & Company had the resourcefulness to overcome this by taking out the tolerance in the border

MARBLE PROVIDES EXQUISITE ENTRANCE FOR AWARD-WINNING FIVE-STAR HOTEL The magnificent marble entrance hall at the award-winning Gainsborough Bath Spa Hotel has been created by National Federation of Terrazzo, Marble and Mosaic Specialists (NFTMMS) member Zanetti & Company. his is a perfect example “ T of the high-quality of craftsmanship for which federation members are renowned,” commented NFTMMS Secretary, Brian James. Zanetti was commissioned to install 220m2 of Calacatta Oro, Grigio Carnico and Nublado natural marble to the entrance hall and corridors areas of this five-star hotel, named England’s top hotel in the AA Hospitality Awards 2017. “We worked closely with contractor Galliford Try and EPR Architects on this project,” said Mr Zanetti. “Recognition of our experience and expertise in being able to undertake and deliver the high-quality work required, together with a competitive price, helped us win the contract.” The Gainsborough Bath Spa is housed in a historic Grade II Listed building in the centre


of Bath, a World Heritage site. With distinguished Georgian and Victorian facades, the building was the city’s original hospital and now a hotel named after one of Bath’s most famous residents, the highly-acclaimed Artist, Sir Thomas Gainsborough. The hotel is centred around Spa Village Bath and has privileged access to the natural thermal, mineral-rich waters. “In addition to the entrance hall, we supplied and installed bespokecut, natural marble benches, plus a stunning mosaic feature in the sauna and steam room areas,” said Mr Zanetti. “In any project of this size, there were inevitably issues we had to overcome. For example, being an old building, the corridors were out of square to the main entrance but we had the resourcefulness to overcome this by taking out the tolerance in the border.”

The NFTMMS represents companies which wish to maintain and improve the standards of craftsmanship and technical control on which the industry depends. It includes organisations involved in terrazzo, mosaic, marble,

granite, limestone and quartz and NFTMMS members freely offer technical advice and assistance with specifications.

   0845 609 0050

Zanetti was commissioned to install 220m2 of Calacatta Oro, Grigio Carnico and Nublado natural marble to the entrance hall and corridors areas of this five-star hotel

Floors, Walls & Ceilings

Good acoustics for art and design Bedales School is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the edge of the South Downs National Park in Hampshire. Its new art and design building, designed by architect firm Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, has a strong sense of countryside drawing references from traditional agricultural buildings by creating a series of connected barn forms. Materials were used in their natural state throughout. This includes renewable natural products including sustainablysourced timber for cladding and Troldtekt’s wood-wool panels for acoustics, all of which help to reduce the embodied carbon in the construction. The form and east-west orientation of the pitched roofs on the five new buildings define a series of carefully scaled, north-lit studio spaces. Their dramatic pitched ceilings comprise Troldtekt acoustic panels on one side to absorb sound and improve acoustics. On the other side, natural light is maximised and the need for artificial lighting reduced. In what is otherwise a lightweight building, the thermal mass of exposed concrete surfaces contributes to a stable internal temperature.

Specified throughout the UK and Europe, the benefits of 100% Troldtekt natural wood-wool panels include high sound absorption, high durability, natural breathability, low-cost lifecycle performance and sustainability as documented by Cradle to Cradle certification at ‘Silver’ level. They are specified to improve acoustics in many different projects such as schools, leisure centres, pools, commercial, private and public buildings. Available in various sizes and four grades from extreme fine to coarse, they can be left untreated or painted in virtually any RAL colour.

   01978 664255

Designer Contracts launches new ranges Designer Contracts has added two new soft carpet ranges to its product portfolio. With super-soft carpets now a top-choice floorcovering, the company has launched Valencia and Magnificence. Valencia is a 100% polypropylene, two-ply soft twist range available in eight stylish colours. It comes in 4 and 5m widths, and is both luxurious and practical, mixing a soft deep pile with hard-wearing, stain-resistant properties. It can also be bleach cleaned, making it perfect for family living. Magnificence is a luxury, deep pile Saxony carpet, with the same hard-wearing properties as Valencia. Magnificence is available in 10 colours, in 4 and 5m widths, meaning no seams in rooms under 5m wide.

   01246 854577

Polysafe flooring helps bring hospital wards to University of Derby campus Polysafe safety flooring products from Polyflor were chosen to create a new learning environment for health and social care students at the University of Derby’s Chesterfield Campus. The Grade II Listed St Helena Building has been renovated as part of a £6.7m project for the university. Polysafe safety flooring was installed around the campus, including in a clinical skills suite, six-bed NHS-standard mock ward and an immersive simulation suite. Polysafe Wood fx PUR vinyl safety flooring in Sun Bleached Oak was used alongside textileeffect Polysafe Arena in Steelwool in communal break areas. Polysafe Verona PUR flooring in the Dolphin Grey and Café Noir shades was selected for the mock hospital ward learning areas.



 0161 767 1111

Remmers exhibits at Hayward Gallery The world-renowned Hayward Gallery is a contemporary art gallery within Southbank Centre, London. As part of a two-year restoration project, Remmers’ restoration products were selected by Cemplas to complete extensive concrete repair and renovation works to the internal architectural concrete elements of this prestigious major arts venue. Remmers’ Arte Mundit was applied to remove the decades of superficial dirt that had built up on the concrete walls and ceilings. Arte Mundit is a self-vulcanising cleaning paste that dries into a peelable natural latex. It provides thorough water-free removal of residues to varied substrates, and there is no development of dust making it the ideal product for specialised restoration projects.

   01293 594010


Floors, Walls & Ceilings

Winning with permeable paving An exemplary sustainable drainage (SuDS) scheme – designed by SuDS consultant and landscape architect Robert Bray Associates, and featuring innovative applications of concrete block permeable paving – has won the top prize at the 2017 Landscape Institute Awards.

Bridget Joyce Square in Australia Road, White City, London, is a SuDS park with community at its heart. Its design introduces the innovative concept of concrete block permeable paving as a thin overlay, replacing a tarmac road surface, on the original road base. In this SuDS landscape, designed in association with McCloy Consulting, rainwater is removed straight from the surface without gulleys, then attenuated and treated within the paving before being released horizontally via stainless steel slots into adjacent, well-planted basins. Finally, flow control chambers on outlets from the basins protect the combined sewer. Thus, rainfall remains within the landscape until storms have passed and the sewer can deal with water again. Consultation with local people and a realisation of the potential for the site led to an integrated design that linked two disconnected spaces and created a social arena celebrating rainfall. Concrete block permeable paving was used to break the existing formal road alignment and introduce a ‘piazza’. Local residents were keen to retain memories of a low wall in front of the school, used as a balance beam in their youth. From this, a thematic ‘Wiggly Wall’ was born and became part of a ‘ribbon’ motif that united the linear spaces and symbolised the bringing together of the community.

   0116 232 5170

Isocrete 1500 specified for development in top London luxury neighbourhood 12,000m2 of Flowcrete’s fast-drying, high-strength, self-levelling screed system, Isocrete 1500, have been installed at a prestigious development in London’s sought-after Mayfair district. Set over 10 floors, Clarges Mayfair features stunning views over Green Park and Buckingham Palace and exceptional private wellness facilities, including a 25m swimming pool, fully equipped gymnasium, sauna and steam room, as well as a private cinema screen and 24-hour concierge and security. 12,000m2 of Isocrete 1500 was specified for the development to deliver a solid platform along with excellent strength and performance drying times. Isocrete 1500 can be walked on in as little as two hours, speeding up construction schedules and allowing follow-on trades early access to the site,


therefore no longer having to wait days or weeks for the screed to cure. Isocrete 1500 can be both hand (0 to 20mm) or pump applied (4 to 20mm) for the easy levelling of concrete floors. For pumped application, at least 8mm average thickness would be a typical expectation on a reasonably level base. Around 2000m2 of Isocrete 1500 can be pumped per day, under suitable conditions. Isocrete 1500 has been designed primarily for new construction where finishes such as carpets, ceramic tiles, vinyl, linoleum wood block or cork need to be applied quickly. It may be used as a screed to receive an epoxy resin finish in areas taking light traffic.

A second system from Flowcrete, Isopol SBR, was also used in the spa and swimming pool area on accounts of its moisture tolerance.

   01270 753000









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Floors, Walls & Ceilings

With an R10 slip resistance rating, 2.0mm thickness and 0.3mm wear layer, the new designs are ideal for use in offices, classrooms, boutique retail spaces, cafes or private healthcare clinics

NEW DESIGNS UNVEILED AS PART OF KARNDEAN DESIGNFLOORING’S NEW-LOOK COLLECTION Karndean Designflooring is introducing 15 new contemporary designs to its popular Knight Tile collection including eight woods, three stones and four exclusive smaller plank designs. well as expanding its A smodern oak offering with popular light, neutral tones and statement slates, it is the first time the collection will feature Spotted Gum and Scandinavian Pine designs.

Inspired by Northern Scandinavian Pine, all three designs – Natural Scandi Pine, Grey Scandi Pine and Washed Scandi Pine – feature the natural slow-growing properties and tight grain

As well as expanding its modern oak offering with popular light, neutral tones and statement slates, it is the first time the collection will feature Spotted Gum and Scandinavian Pine designs


found in this type of natural wood. Interestingly, Karndean’s in-house product designers also hand-selected complementary flowery boards from the same region to create a more balanced variation of planks. Whereas Natural Scandi Pine offers a true likeness of the original design, typical of on-trend Scandinavian interiors, Grey Scandi Pine enhances the darker grain patterns, creating a twist on the classic neutral look, and Washed Scandi Pine brings a white-washed effect for a crisp, fresh finish. Looking to create something unique and distinctive away from the traditional Australian spotted gum wood, Karndean cleverly opted to combine this design in its raw form with the Northern European and North American grey tones of choice. The result is a modern twist on a traditional design, ideal for specifiers looking for a contemporary grey.

With an R10 slip resistance rating, 2.0mm thickness and 0.3mm wear layer, the new designs are ideal for use in offices, classrooms, boutique retail spaces, cafes or private healthcare clinics, to name but a few. With the growing desire to match designs ‘room to room’ in commercial environments set to continue, Knight Tile also welcomes Washed Scandi Pine, Grey Limed Oak, Pale Limed Oak and Lime Washed Oak in a new 18 x 3" small plank design. The new plank size can be perfectly placed alongside the matching 36 x 6" full-length plank and laid in a herringbone or block design to create a sense of direction or zone out individual areas in openplan spaces. “We’re thrilled to be updating our Knight Tile collection with new contemporary and characterful wood and stone options to inspire architects, interior designers and contractors looking to specify our designs,” explains Paul Barratt of Karndean Designflooring. He continued: “Knight Tile is extremely versatile and popular in commercial spaces where specifiers are looking for a high slip resistance rating or smaller plank or tile design. “Having the option to introduce a smaller plank design in a herringbone or block designs against our matching full-length plank adds a new visual element for specifiers to consider. For those looking for stone options, Knight Tile features our larger 18 x 12" stone options in three new slate designs.” There are also design strips and border options to consider when looking at adding extra features including a new Quadrant with its tessellated wood feature and Windsor border with its block design. With a 10-year commercial guarantee, Karndean’s newlook Knight Tile collection now features 22 woods, four small woods and 16 stone designs.

   01386 820100

Altro integrated package brings feel-good factor to flagship spinal injury centre An integrated package of Altro floors, walls and ceilings has been installed in a brand-new flagship Spinal Injury Centre in Dorset, run by charity Livability. A spokesperson for the Livability estates team said: “Choosing the Altro products was very much a collaborative effort. The design team was all very much of one mind, in that we wanted to create

a feel-good ‘wow factor’, with a warm, homely colourful look; non-clinical, using contrasting designs and colours to be both decorative and help with wayfinding and accessibility.

Floors, Walls & Ceilings

“We felt that wood-look flooring would be ideal for the areas in which residents would be relaxing. It has a warmth that can make an environment feel like home. Altro Wood Safety is ideal for this environment. “We wanted this same flooring to work hard for us in other ways too, so we also used it for decorative edging around the corridors, reception and communal areas. This was coupled with Altro Reliance 25 heavy-duty safety flooring. “The homely yet professional theme was continued for the wetrooms and ensuite bathrooms. For the floors, we chose Altro Pisces, an excellent safety surface for wet environments.” Altro products were used elsewhere in the unit too. Altro Stronghold 30 specialist safety flooring was used in the kitchens and food servery, whilst Altro’s wall protection system provides a much-needed solution, as Livability’s spokesperson explains: “There is a lot of traffic in the unit, from wheelchairs, trolleys and other equipment that could potentially damage the walls, so Altro recommended we install their Altro Fortis Titanium wall protection. This is not only a very practical product, but it looks good too.”

   01462 707604

Long Rake Spar unveils Natural Selection brochure Long Rake Spar is pleased to announce the launch of its new Natural Selection brochure for 2018. The brochure showcases over 20 new products for 2018, alongside Long Rake Spar’s exclusive Platinum range. Featuring high-resolution wet and dry product photos, inspiring lifestyle images and helpful information icons; the brochure can be used in-store or on-site to guide product choice. The new brochure is part of a programme of retail support products that Long Rake Spar is introducing for UK stockists. The brochure is available to view on the company’s website, and copies can be requested via the sales office.



 01629 636210

Expona Flow helps to complete Chesterfield cancer centre project Expona Flow sheet vinyl flooring from Polyflor was recently installed at the new NGS Macmillan Unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, a pioneering centre for people affected by cancer across North Derbyshire. Expona Flow PUR vinyl flooring in the Light Grey Concrete and Cool Concrete shades was installed throughout the NGS Macmillan Unit in the reception area, circulation areas, corridors, staircases and wards. 2000 PUR homogeneous sheet vinyl flooring in Stream was also used for the staff kitchenette area. Ian Summers, Estates Project Engineer at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, commented: “The Expona Flow concrete designs give a sophisticated, modern look to the new unit that is far removed from the clinical look of traditional hospitals.”



 0161 767 1111

StoCretec concrete repair solution ensures a long life for Brandy Bridge A package of StoCretec concrete repair products recently introduced into the UK market have provided the perfect solution for the refurbishment of a major road bridge in Wales. The project has seen the completion of the first of three piers of Brandy Bridge at Merthyr Tydfil fully restored using StoCrete TV 308 flowable mortar, TG 203 repair mortar, TF 204 fairing coat, StoCryl GQ primer and StoCryl V700 protective coating. The StoCrete TV 308 polymer-modified, flowable repair mortar was used to reinstate various parts of the cross-head beams and columns supporting the longitudinal bridge deck. Pumping the StoCrete TV 308 allowed the material to be applied at a rate of one and a half tonnes per hour.

   0141 892 8000


Floors, Walls & Ceilings

Images ©Tim Soar

ARMSTRONG CEILINGS PROVE THEIR METAL FOR THE METROPOLITAN POLICE SERVICE Metal ceiling systems from Armstrong feature on the redevelopment of New Scotland Yard. metal ceiling C ustom systems from Armstrong World Industries have brought form and function to the awardwinning transformation of that bastion of island security – New Scotland Yard. Armstrong’s metal F-H 600 hook-on tiles and swingdown rectangular planks with concealed G-Profile grid and acoustic fleece, and metal T-Clip F tiles with Spring-T grid, were specified by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris architect practice for the £65m remodelling, refurbishment and extension of the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police. With a constrained floor-toceiling height, the Armstrong systems met the demands for electrical servicing and lighting while mechanical services, data and small power outlets were installed in a raised access floor void.


As well as the circulation spaces, corridors and lift lobbies, Armstrong’s custom micro-perforated metal systems, which perform up to sound absorption Class A, were also used for the ground-floor multi-use and press rooms where acoustic absorption and integration of lighting were key design considerations. Architect Steven McCloy said: “The existing building had compromised and varying ceiling heights with complex service requirements. Due to the constraints of the existing building, tile lengths were manufactured to suit. “The ceilings are generally acoustic plasterboard apart from the doughnut of service runs on each floor which are made from the Armstrong demountable metal ceiling planks. These have an aesthetic and practical application,

Armstrong’s metal F-H 600 hook-on tiles and swing-down rectangular planks with concealed G-Profile grid and acoustic fleece, and metal T-Clip F tiles with Spring-T grid, were specified by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris architect practice

allowing the integration of light fittings and so on, and can be demounted for access or change in the future.” He added: “The Armstrong systems were detailed with minimal interfaces with other surfaces, thus avoiding trimming or cutting.” The redevelopment of the former Curtis Green building (named after its Architect William Curtis Green) on Victoria Embankment involved demolition, a new structural steel frame, new cladding and interior remodelling to make a 21st-century smart workplace with an engaging public realm. AHMM’s design is a radical remodelling and extension of the 1930s stone-fronted building. The core objectives of the brief were to create modern, flexible and efficient

office environments, extend available floor space and facilitate agile working with more interaction between staff and visitors. The design has transformed the building with the addition of an elegant curved glass entrance pavilion, a new rooftop pavilion, extension of the floor plates to the west and the reworking of the existing accommodation which has expanded the building’s floor area from 8691m2 to around 12,000m2. The contemporary design of the new extensions sensitively complement and enhance the architectural features of the original NeoClassical building and respond in materials, colours and proportions to neighbouring Whitehall buildings. Inside, AHMM has created a flexible office environment to facilitate collaboration and interaction. The rooftop extension provides multi-use conference space and terraces and is illuminated to give presence at night, symbolising the 24/7 nature of policing the nation’s capital along with creating a civic presence. New Scotland Yard has won numerous awards including an AJ Retrofit award for ‘Best Office Over 10,000m2 2017’, Building Magazine’s ‘Project of the Year 2017’, and the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award 2017, along with a RIBA London Region Award 2017 and RIBA National Award 2017.

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With a constrained floor-to-ceiling height, the Armstrong systems met the demands for electrical servicing and lighting

Laminates for a sound performance by absorption Abet Laminati’s continuing partnership with Print Acoustics – a division of Belgian company Triplaco – has proven popular in helping combat the ongoing problems of sound reverberation in commercial, public sector, school, restaurant, retail and residential environments. Modern design trends for minimalist interiors coupled with hard surfaces creates issues with sound pollution bouncing

around interior spaces affecting ambient noise levels and the associated discomfort for users.

Floors, Walls & Ceilings

Noise can also impact on the success of a space. In education, for example, many studies have shown that noise impacts learning. A Bronzaft and McCarthy study showed that New York City students were hampered in their reading skills by elevated noise levels. Students 70m from an elevated subway track lagged behind their peers on the quieter side of the building, between three months and as much as one year. There are over 500 Abet colours and woodgrain finishes available for use as wall cladding, for cabinet doors or freestanding units. They are specially designed to embrace the hospitality, retail, commercial, education and residential sectors where noise pollution can be a problem particularly in meeting rooms, music rooms, restaurants, school halls, sports halls and shops. Various micro-perforations or groove patterns present a deeply embossed surface giving a sculptured and tactile feel coupled with an aesthetically-appealing look, whether used as individual modules for localised sound dampening or installed across a whole wall to create an attractive and sound-absorbing feature with a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) up to 0.85.

   0207 473 6915

Fibo to exhibit highperformance panels at Housing 2018, stand B22 Fibo UK will be showcasing its range of bathroom and kitchen wall panels at Housing 2018 at Manchester Central from 26 to 28th June. Managing Director, Scott Beattie, comments: “Housing 2018 is the perfect opportunity for us to exhibit our unique bathroom, kitchen and wetroom wall panels. We understand how important it is for councils, housing associations and their residents to have confidence in the quality of products used to refurbish properties. Show visitors are looking for innovative, cost-effective solutions and we’re confident that our high-quality wall panels will exceed expectations.” With a unique 15-year guarantee, Fibo’s wall panels are a real alternative to ceramic tiling for social housing, retirement homes and sheltered accommodation.



 01494 771242

Altro retains place in prestigious Sunday Times Top 100 Altro has been ranked 83 in the coveted Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2018 list. This is the 11th time the family-founded company has featured in this prestigious list. With more than 1000 companies registered to take part, it is considered the most extensive research into employee engagement carried out in the UK. Altro’s 350 UK employees were invited to take part in the survey, which asked questions about the support they receive from the company, their training and development and opportunities for career growth, amongst others. The company again scored well, showing a continued commitment to employees.



 01462 707604

YBS SuperQuilt specified by sciencebased builder A regional-based building contractor has used large quantities of YBS SuperQuilt during the conversion of a five-bedroom Oxfordshire home into two high-quality flats. Khalil Khabiri of Renovat3d commented: “Building control favoured the use of Celotex or a similar rigid insulation material, but that would have encroached too much into the room, and been a lot more expensive than using SuperQuilt. We ended up buying some 28 rolls of SuperQuilt through John Nichols, a local builders’ merchants, and have used it to improve the thermal performance, doing minimum damage while effectively making each flat into a ‘bubble’. It has also provided a significant improvement in terms of sound reduction between spaces.”

   01909 721662


Floors, Walls & Ceilings

The most efficient decking system on the market Cost-effective. Faster install. No visual fixings. Premiumquality timber, guaranteed for up to 50 years. This is GRAD... The new GRAD decking range from Alfresco Floors is a fast-fit, invisible fixings system that gives you prestigious, high-end results – with significantly less effort than traditional installation methods. Alfresco Floors introduced its GRAD decking system to the UK in 2017, and since then most of its decking contracts have used it. The company considers GRAD to have three clear advantages over traditional timber decking, which combine to make it the most efficient and effective system we have ever seen in the UK.

GRAD’s first advantage is the aluminium support rails on which it sits. GRAD’s second advantage is the unique ‘hidden fixing’ clip system it uses to instantly secure the specially profiled boards onto the support rails. GRAD’s third advantage is the latest timber technology used for its board options. Finally (and most importantly), what does all this mean to the aesthetics and economics of a commercial decking

contract? The GRAD system means that you can now enjoy high-end, high-spec, composite or premium-quality timber decks – installed with no visible fixings in about half the normal time. Compared to the best-performing composite and hardwood systems, a GRAD deck is cheaper to buy, quicker to build and visually stunning.

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Formica Group introduces the next generation of surfacing Bostik provides the right formula for Swansea University chemistry labs Bostik has been selected by commercial flooring contractor, Artisan Flooring, to provide subfloor preparation products as part of a £60m refurbishment project at the Singleton Park Campus at Swansea University. Prior to work commencing, Bostik carried out a site survey across the 1000m2 flooring space, which revealed that the area had uneven floor levels. To alleviate the issue of uneven floor levels, Bostik’s technical team recommended the use of Screedmaster Deep. The versatility of the Screedmaster Deep levelling compound allows for application between 5 to 50mm in a single step. It can also withstand foot traffic in as little as 90 minutes, meaning the project’s timescales would not be compromised. To improve the flow and curing characteristics of the levelling compound, an even coating of Screedmaster Epoxy Primer was first applied.

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A material like no other, Formica Infiniti uses technology developed by Formica Group to deliver an anti-fingerprint and anti-marking surface with a colour palette that is unrivalled in the market. The post-formable properties of the product means Formica Infiniti will maintain its shape and integrity. Architects and designers now have more freedom to create streamlined interiors and, with the option of curved matt surfacing, an additional tool to bring design concepts to life. An evolution in surfacing Formica Infiniti’s contemporary matt finish marks the introduction of a new generation of laminate, designed to add the sensorial dimension of touch to material. Suitable for vertical and horizontal application in commercial environments, Formica Infiniti offers 20 decors.

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H+H Celcon blocks support homeless veterans into employment

H+H Celcon blocks were used in an award-winning landmark self-build housing development in Plymouth. 24 one-bedroom homes were constructed in George Place – 12 were built for and by ex-servicemen; six homes were built for people with learning disabilities and six for general needs affordable rent. A quarter of the homes within the development are wheelchair-accessible, and all are designed to be capable of meeting criteria for Lifetime Homes.

Floors, Walls & Ceilings

12 former servicemen now live in the homes they helped build during the project which was a partnership between local housing association DCH, the Community Self Build Agency (CSBA) and Plymouth City Council. Funding was provided by the Homes and Communities Agency and Plymouth City Council. Main contractor, Interserve, was responsible for delivering the scheme. Local architect practice, Form Design, specified the use of lightweight blocks in order to achieve ‘robust details’ for acoustic and thermal performance. Phil Roberts, Senior Design Manager at Interserve, said: “Although other lightweight blocks were initially considered, in the end, we chose to use H+H Celcon Blocks. This decision was made primarily on the company reputation of H+H.” H+H 100mm High Strength blocks 7.3N and 140mm Standard Grade blocks 7.3N were used for the outer leaf on the external cavity wall to meet Robust Details E-WM-23 and 24. Two leaves of the High Strength aircrete blocks were used with traditional mortar and a 100mm cavity in between. The fully-filled cavity solutions, designed to address the thermal insulation requirements of Part L, have the added benefit of providing a high acoustic performance which exceeds the requirements of Part E of the Building Regulations.

   01732 220111


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Roofing, Cladding & Insulation This is a large installation of some 3600m2, with the auditorium and the higher level roof over the sports complex, both featuring the use of the Magply boards. They are being mechanically fixed to the decking prior to installing the two layers of ROCKWOOL and then the Sarnafil membrane.


The Gateway on the outskirts of Ballymena is one of the most ambitious private developments ever undertaken in Northern Ireland, Green Pastures spokesperson Jason Kennedy says: “We believe that the Church of Jesus Christ should have a relevant and influential position at the heart of the community. We are focused on meeting the needs of our local communities and committed to bringing the hope of the Gospel of Jesus to the local area." continued: "The new H efacility is the first stage of a larger, long-term, not-for-profit legacy project, desiring to play a part in bringing spiritual, social and economic revival to our city.” The 12,000m2 church facility comprises a 1650-seat auditorium with wrap-around malls and recreational, training and other ancillary facilities all extending across some 24-acre site, where the highly complex roof construction is making use of Magply boards as part of a highperformance specification. Located on the outskirts of the town, the project has taken shape due to the rapid growth in popularity of the Green Pastures Church, with planning permission having been obtained to include other activities, which will be of such value to the people of County Antrim. The Green Pastures Church is currently located in a smaller purpose-built facility in Galgorm, Ballymena, and has sold its current facility to


adjacent business, WrightBus. In 2016, however, the church leadership team signed a multi-million-pound contract with main contractor Martin & Hamilton to construct what has been described as a state-ofthe-art church facility, the like of which has not been seen in the UK or Ireland. Designed by HPA Architects from Craigavon, it will be the new home for Green Pastures Church family and the support base for all its ministries operating throughout the wider region. The recently-completed 3600m2 roof over the auditorium and sports hall uses perforated metal decking to span the main steelwork, with an infill of ROCKWOOL insulation. This is then covered by a vapour check membrane and a layer of 12mmthick Magply boards, specified to carry 150mm of Hardrock DD underlay and a further 60mm of Hardrock Multifix insulation which is weathered by a Sarnafil singleply roofing membrane.

All the materials were supplied by Pawling’s Insulation & Supplies of Belfast and installed by McCavery Roofing, creating a roof construction offering excellent thermal, acoustic and fire performance, as well as the ability to cope with snow and wind loadings as well as other climatic conditions. The Site Manager for McCavery Roofing, Stevie Jones, commented: “This is a large installation of some 3600m2, with the auditorium and the higher level roof over the sports complex, both featuring the use of the Magply boards. They are being mechanically fixed to the decking prior to installing the two layers of ROCKWOOL and then the Sarnafil membrane.” Magply features an MgO formulation to offer a fire-safe and environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional plywood or OSB products. Additionally, the unique production process keeps the chloride content to just 0.01%,

enhancing both stability and long-term durability. Crucially, Magply carries internationallyrecognised accreditations confirming the board’s ability to deliver 90 minutes’ integrity and insulation under test conditions. The church facility is scheduled for completion in autumn next year, and it also has its own restaurant, coffee shop, gym, dance studio, sports hall, training college and recording studios. The wider Gateway development includes housing, a hotel, supermarket, car showrooms, riverside restaurants, an outdoor pursuits centre, a training and education centre, student accommodation, a nursing home, an all-weather football pitch and a wedding chapel. This will be an ongoing development over the next 10 years or so.

   01621 776252

Healing daylight at Benenden Kalwall translucent cladding is the architectural focus of the new £45m development of Benenden Hospital in Cranbrook, Kent. The scheme, designed by architect practice C A Vaughan Blundell with assistance from SR Architects, has created a wonderfully light and airy entrance atrium designed to welcome and create an enhanced patient and visitor experience with maximised

natural daylight. The extensive break-out and catering facilities support theatres, en-suite rooms, an outpatient department and ophthalmic suite along with diagnostic imaging, rest and recovery areas. The main contractor was Willmott Dixon Construction.

Roofing, Cladding & Insulation

The Kalwall skylights provide additional light in the large atrium projecting it deep into the interior. They were specified complete with highly insulating Nanogel which achieves an impressive U-value of 0.28W/m2K, helping the project attain a BREEAM status of ‘Good’. This is particularly impressive given the amount of curtain walling and clerestory glazing involved in the scheme. The skylights have a unique ability to bathe interior spaces with diffused and glare-free daylight, which creates a stimulating and healthy environment. In addition, their heavily insulated composition eliminates glare and hotspots, thereby reducing the load on temperature control systems and the need for artificial lighting. Kalwall is a popular choice for projects where performance, long lifecycle and low maintenance are required, coupled with an aesthetic finish. The aluminium or thermally-broken grid core with interlocking I-beams gives Kalwall incredible strength. The lightweight system reduces the need for supporting structures while offering the highest protection in terms of windborne debris and resistance to impact, abrasion and point loads.

   01233 501504

New dry verges to meet and beat BS 8612 from Redland Exposed estate weathers storms with Redland specification One of the highest housing estates in the UK has survived 100mph+ winds without any damage to the roofing after employing SpecMaster, the free-ofcharge roof specification service offered by Redland. Built at 1100ft above sea level, Penrhys was always going to suffer from very high winds, but the issue was worsened by monopitch roofs, a design feature rumoured to have been inspired by a Portuguese holiday complex. Altogether, 15 two-storey blocks of flats, a total of 86 apartments, were re-roofed with Mini Stonewold Tudor Brown and Slate Grey interlocking concrete slates with a very tight fixing specification that stipulated that the first seven courses were both nailed and fixed.

   01293 666700

Redland has launched two new dry verge products to coincide with the publication of ‘BS 8612: Dry-Fixed Ridge, Hip and Verge Systems for Slating and Tiling' – the new British Standard which aims to ensure that dry-fixed products are adequately designed and installed to be fit for purpose. Redland’s new dry verges – the DryVerge and Rapid DryVerge – are specifically designed to not only meet the requirements of BS 8612, but also to be best in class. The dry verges have been designed to be even easier and faster to fix than their predecessors. The verges feature an effective stop-ended starter unit that makes it far harder to get fitting wrong.



 01293 666700

Redland components get construction back on track Time-saving proprietary products from Redland have contributed towards Fosse Specialist Roofing of Stroud being able to install a complex roof in Saxon 10 Slate in Black ahead of schedule and despite delays. Complex from the very start, the roof incorporated both skylights and more than 40 dormers so many tiles had to be cut to a high level of accuracy, while lead flashings to the large amount of side abutments, the many vents and the large flat roof in middle of the site all contributed to the difficulty of the work. To produce a neat finish, Fosse installed Redland dry-fix ridge and hip complete with block ends, as well as Dry Verge and GRP Valleys.



 01293 666700


Focus & Innovation


Technology has emerged as a pivotal focus for many organisations, firms and professional bodies. While it is certain that innovation will trigger a disruption in property management, how organisations adapt to this is less clear. Royal Institution of T heChartered Surveyors (RICS) has recently hosted a series of discussions between thought leaders to consider how the industry is changing with the advancement of technology. The discussions tackled wideranging topics, but three themes emerged as central to the issue: professionalism, adoption of standards and the competition for skilled workers. “Real estate is undergoing a tectonic shift, with professionally trained and equipped talent defining success in this new environment,” said Toby Dodd, Executive Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield.


There was a consensus that critical thinking and analytical skills are becoming increasingly vital for property professionals around the globe, as datadriven decision making and developments in technology continue to accelerate the rate of change within the industry. As data entry and repetitive tasks are increasingly automated, the role of the property manager will also evolve to focus on human skills that cannot be automated for firms to continue to provide value to clients. “Interpersonal skills, professional skills, advisory skills; technology cannot replace these,” argued Clint Kissoon, Academic Chair at George Brown College.

As algorithms become more sophisticated, questions around how to regulate them also become more difficult to answer. What standard are we holding the machines accountable to? How should we assess the quality of the decision-making process? What information has the decision been based on? How has that information been interpreted? It is part of the role of a professional to start engaging with these questions; “the role of standards and being a professional is becoming more and more important,” stated John Hughes, Partner at Hemson Consulting and RICS President.

Advancement in technology will reshape the market, putting increased emphasis on the adoption of standards to ensure any data collected is applied according to good judgement and industry ethics. “Real estate is a good place to work… to continue to attract the best talent, we need to be the best industry to work in, it’s about standards, experience, fellowship and professionalism… and we have to show people that there is a future,” added Bob Courteau CEO at Altus Group. Many of the areas covered during these roundtables are set to be debated further at the RICS Digital Built Environment Conference 2018 on 21st June in London. Key topics include collaborative approaches to BIM, using data to improve the maintenance and operation of buildings, and the potential of smart infrastructure and buildings in reducing lifecycle costs. View the full programme and speaker line up at: RICS has also launched a Technology Affiliate Program to increase awareness and adoption of technology in the Real Estate and Built Environment sectors. To find out more, visit



Porcelain paver system and coordinating internal tiling The Deck Tile Co’s new website now has +150 colours and finishes in their Levato Mono 20mm porcelain ranges plus co-ordinating internal tiling – enabling seamless visual transition between internal and external spaces.

20mm porcelain pavers 40x80 45x90 60x60 75x75 80x80 30x120 40x120 60x120 ‘Floating floor’ – installation over single ply membranes Eternal product - zero maintenance required – offering massive over-life savings

Highly abrasion and stain resistant Highly slip resistant ; R11 AB+C Lightweight – 45kgs per m2 High load bearing and impact resistance Timber, stone & cementitious effects Completely non porous


Ideal for balconies, roof terraces and piazzas, for both commercial and residential use Frost proof Height adjustable/slope correcting support system ranging from 9mm up to 550mm

Focus & Innovation

Powdertech Evolution – a perfect complement to a C16th barn The EvolutionTM range of architectural polyester powder coatings, from Powdertech Corby, comprises over 70 stunningly original shades. Taking inspiration from natural elements, Evolution celebrates the versatility of powder coating and allows architects and designers to achieve the look they need, together with using the most appropriate materials for the job and satisfying planning requirements on a local level. ‘Peat Fire’, a shade from Evolution Stone Age, has recently been used in rural Hertfordshire, to coat the aluminium roof of a barn conversion. Using materials, shades and textures that work in harmony with rural surroundings is always an important consideration for designers and planners. The new roof of the C16th barn is constructed with Cadisch Welltec perforated profiled aluminium panels over a waterproof membrane. Visible rooflights on such an ancient barn were not permitted but some light is able to penetrate through unobtrusive rooflights which are entirely

covered by the perforated Welltec. The outline of the windows can just be made out in the photograph. The corrugated effect already lends a rustic charm to the roof. To complete the look, the panels and ridge cappings totalling over 200m2, were pre-treated in a chrome-free system and powder coated in Evolution ‘Peat Fire’ at Powdertech’s Corby plant, before being delivered to site for installation. “The earthy Peat Fire coating instantly gives an aged look to the roof,” said Richard Besant, Director Powdertech. “This is a shade that one might expect on a weathered ‘tin roof’

– but in this case the metal stands no risk of becoming weathered – it is benefitting from the high-performance protection afforded by the Evolution system.”

   01536 400890

Visqueen builds trade relationships with launch of Specialist Centres network

AG (Acheson + Glover) is to increase its focus on the professional market with the appointment of a new head of specification sales. For Rodney Davidson, it is a return to the company after a seven-year stint working in Kenya as a missionary charity worker. Rodney, who worked for the company for 18 years, returns to Northern Ireland after spending seven years living in Kenya. The former Sunday School Teacher began his career as a Dispatch Clerk before rising up the ranks to become Group Specification Manager prior to moving to Kenya. Commercial Director, Stephen Acheson, said: “For many years, Rodney was a great asset to AG, and he’s one of the key people who have helped build the company to the point where it’s at today.”

Visqueen has developed an initiative to develop a more prosperous and structured working relationship with the trade. The new Visqueen Specialist Centres enable builders’ merchants to become recognised specialists in Visqueen’s product solutions across four key areas – masonry, structural waterproofing, gas and damp protection. Merchants will be recognised as an official Specialist Centre in partnership with Visqueen and will gain access to its products at the best available market rates. Specialist Centres will also have access to Visqueen’s Training Academy which provides the most up-to-date ground waterproofing and gas protection training courses available. The launch of Visqueen’s Specialist Centres builds upon existing relationships, providing improved lead times and terms as well as real support to merchants through access to valuable services.

   0121 747 0202

   0333 202 6800

AG’s head of specification on a mission


Advanced protection for Chichester College More than 15,000 students and staff at Chichester College, one of the largest education institutions in the South of England, are now being protected by industry-leading fire panels from Advanced. MxPro 5 panels from Advanced were selected to protect the college’s new facilities, which were built by Amiri Construction. Chichester-based PA Fire

Systems installed the new system, which also includes an Advanced TouchControl touchscreen repeater panel and over 300 individual components.

Focus & Innovation

Mark Cook, Managing Director at PA Fire Systems, commented: “This refurbishment and extension project, which includes public restaurants and a cafe, was a major investment for Chichester College, so a cutting-edge fire system was needed to protect it. As a long-standing Advanced partner, we felt that MxPro was the obvious choice to meet the stipulated requirements for the fire system.” The MxPro 5 is the leading multiprotocol fire panel range available and offers highperformance fire detection and alarm control across multi-panel networks and multiple sites. MxPro 5 panels are EN 54 parts 2-, 4- and 13-approved. They can be used in single-loop, single-panel format or easily configured into high-speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. Phil Calvey, Advanced Sales Manager for the South West, commented: “Advanced panels are now installed in a number of educational establishments from Edinburgh University to Brighton College. MxPro offers an unbeatable mix of innovation, quality and reliability, combined with intuitive operation, training and support, making it ideal for installations like this one.”

   01670 707111

Offsite Solutions launches new premium concrete and steel bathroom pod solution Offsite Solutions has launched a new premium bathroom pod which incorporates a concrete base – and becomes the only UK pod manufacturer to offer this type of factory-built wetroom. This latest innovation from Offsite Solutions provides a fully waterproofed pod solution for high-specification wetrooms and bathrooms. It features cold-rolled steel-framed walls with a cast concrete base which removes the need for visible shower trays to create a clean, contemporary appearance. The steel and concrete pods are precision manufactured, fitted out and factory tested for exceptional performance and quality control. Applications include high-specification luxury apartments, military residences and healthcare schemes where a premium wetroom solution is required.


  01278 780807

Damp for the discerning with new Safeguard CPDs Safeguard Europe has revised its CPD seminar programme on the two major, and commonly confused, causes of damp to simultaneously provide either broad or in-depth briefings on this troublesome property defect. When tackling any kind of damp, the single most important factor is correct identification of, first, type and then, second, cause. The first in the new RIBA-accredited CPD series from Safeguard – 'Dealing with Dampness' – is an overarching introduction to the problems of rising and penetrating damp that will give architects, builders and other specifiers enough information to help them tell the difference between the two and determine sources, while giving options on how to remedy the situation.


  01403 210204

McAvoy uses BIM technology for complex off-site Surrey school building The McAvoy Group has handed over a new school building at West Hill School in Leatherhead, bringing the number of education projects now completed by McAvoy for Surrey County Council to more than 40. The project at West Hill featured extensive use of BIM to help address the complexities of the site. It was manufactured off site to reduce disruption and was ready for occupation on time and after less than eight months on site. The scheme links the traditionally-constructed main building and an existing modular classroom block on a highly constrained, fully operational school site. The new building expands the teaching spaces for children with learning and additional needs.

   0288 774 0372


Focus & Innovation

Shackerley’s SureClad elevates Royal Holloway Library Building Shackerley’s SureClad ceramic granite ventilated facade system has been used to create the optical illusion of an ‘elevated’ building at Royal Holloway, University of London’s new library and student services centre, the Emily Wilding Davison Building. Designed by Associated Architects, which has previously specified the SureClad system for the University of Birmingham’s £44m library, the new £42m Emily Wilding Davison Building has been named after the prominent suffragette and Royal Holloway alumna and provides panoramic views of the Grade I Listed Founder’s Building. The BREEAM-rated ‘Excellent’ and EPC A-rated building features the SureClad system at ground floor level in a textured charcoal grey ‘Rio Black Strutt’ ceramic granite. Combined with glazing, this darker, recessed ground floor creates the impression that the building is open at ground floor level, providing contrast with the lighter upper storeys, which appear to be ‘lifted’ off the ground.

In addition to making a pivotal aesthetic contribution to the strong design concept of the building’s feature wing being ‘elevated’, Shackerley’s SureClad ceramic granite was also selected as a robust and durable material with longevity of performance and appearance in an area of high pedestrian traffic. Shackerley’s large-format ceramic granite panels were specified as part of a Kingspan BENCHMARK Karrier Panel system. This innovative external envelope solution brings together Kingspan’s highperformance structural insulating panels with the premium appearance and longevity of Shackerley’s fully-pre-fabricated ceramic granite cladding and the installation benefits of its SureClad Access System.

Dulux Trade assists in Vision West Nottinghamshire College £50m redevelopment Vision West Nottinghamshire College’s redevelopment has allowed for new buildings, facilities and opportunities, and Dulux Trade is proud to have played a part in the update of these state-of-the-art facilities. The original brief was to create a colour scheme designed for a more grown-up client than the rest of the site which is a 16+ college. From this, Dulux Trade, with direction from IBI Architects, Manchester, was able to create the desired effect. The aim was to use on-trend shades of mustard and dark-watery teal across the three floors of the building to reflect the local landscape, while still introducing strong pops of colour. The two main colours used were 44YY 65/034 and 44YY 65/034 on the broad walls, ceilings and doors.

   0333 222 7070


   01257 273114

Aggregate Industries supplies Plymouth Community Homes’ Passivhaus development Aggregate Industries has successfully supplied its Masterdenz concrete blocks to Plymouth Community Homes for a 72-home low-energy development in Whitleigh, Plymouth. The scheme has been carefully designed to meet Passivhaus principles, which uses specific materials and construction methods to reduce heating demand in the home and therefore primary energy consumption. To help meet these standards, Aggregate Industries has supplied 14,300m² of its Masterdenz concrete building blocks. A high-strength, dense and robust product, the blocks were laid flat in the homes to enable a quick build speed, as well as an airtightness of 0.6 ACH (air changes per hour). Combined with triple-gazed windows, the Masterdenz blocks will retain heat within the new builds, meaning that only one radiator is required for the home.

   01291 318630

PSBJ May 2018  

In this issue, Morgan Sindall has furthered the prosperity prospects of one rural Cambridgeshire village. Elsewhere, PSBJ reports on a recen...

PSBJ May 2018  

In this issue, Morgan Sindall has furthered the prosperity prospects of one rural Cambridgeshire village. Elsewhere, PSBJ reports on a recen...