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Construction Update February 2016


20 38


February 2016 @ConstructionUpd

04| News 23| Heating 27| Eco 34| Bathrooms 50| Landscape

Editorial Lucy Harris

Publishing Director Tony Little 01843 595818

PUBLICATION Manager Ben Pritchard 01843 595818

Industry News February 2016

TRADA ready to champion timber at Ecobuild TRADA will again be exhibiting at Ecobuild in 2016 with an impressive stand dubbed the TRADA Timber Interactive Learning Zone. The leading authority on timber is again expecting a busy show, not least because of the launch of its latest publication ‘Hybrid Construction’, which looks at a number of mixed material construction (timber and steel) projects and explores the effectiveness of the buildings created as a solution. The introduction explains what a hybrid timber/steel structure is, its advantages and disadvantages as well as the most common structural forms. The book then looks at a number of case studies before concluding with the opportunities and challenges for these types of structure. TRADA is also planning a ‘Timber Surgery’ covering some of the most popular timber topics in engineering and timber frame, including EC5, connections, CLT, glulam, timber engineered wood products, timber cladding and species ID. Visitors to the stand can come armed with questions about any of these topics, or indeed anything related to timber – and have them answered by our experts! The morning session will focus on timber engineering, and will be led TRADA experts Keerthi Ranasinghe and Hugh MansfieldWilliams; the afternoon session will focus on timber frame, cladding and species ID and will be led by timber frame specialists Lewis Taylor and Robin Lancaster. In addition, there will be opportunities to discuss TRADA’s much-praised National Structural Timber Specification, with experts on the stand dealing with questions about the Specification that marks a significant step forward for the timber industry in terms of levelling the playing field against its competitive material set. Working with industry specialists, TRADA has developed a recognised comprehensive specification that covers information exchange, materials, fabrication, erection, protection and quality assurance. It’s a real game-changer for an industry that has – to this point – relied on using documentation from previous projects to fit the latest one. Representatives from TRADA’s Bookshop team will be on hand to discuss all of its latest publications, while visitors will also see the fruits of an exciting annual design competition with Oxford Brookes and Timbmet. In previous years, the winning design for the Timbmet Dan Kemp Memorial Pavilion has had its own stand, but for 2016, as it did for the first time last year, it will take pride of place on the main TRADA stand, E5140. TRADA membership and marketing manager Rupert Scott said: “TRADA has been involved with Ecobuild – both as an exhibitor and a partner – since its first show. During that time, we have seen the design and build community embrace timber as a viable, cost-effective and sustainable building material.” “Time and again, timber has proved itself as a natural choice of material for sustainable buildings. And, as the UK’s leading authority on wood, TRADA has worked hard to position itself at the forefront of all things green. This year’s Ecobuild show is an excellent opportunity to reinforce that message.”


Quinta Monroy Housing The challenge of this project was to accommodate 100 families living in a 30-year old slum, using a subsidy of USD $7,500 that in the best of the cases allowed for 36 square meters of built space in a 5,000-squaremeter site, the cost of which was three times what social housing could normally afford. The aim was to keep the families’ social and economic networks, which they had created close to the center city, instead of evicting the families to the periphery. And we wanted the families to live in houses able to achieve a middle-class standard instead of condemning them to an everlasting social housing one. None of the solutions in the market solved the equation. So we thought of a typology that, as buildings could make a very efficient use of land and as houses allowed for expansion. We provided the families with the “half a house” that would be difficult for them to build for themselves and we gave them space to “complete the house” as their means allowed. After a year, property values tripled and yet, all the families have preferred to stay and keep on improving their homes.

February 2016 Industry News

Old Oak Common masterplan unveiled Cargiant and their development partners London & Regional Properties have unveiled their illustrative Masterplan for the future of its 46-acre site at the heart of Old Oak Common. The plans will create up to 7,000 new homes and support around 8,000 new jobs in what will be an exceptional new piece of London.

Architecture and Arup, is being launched for public consultation following earlier consultations in the summer of 2015 and December 2014.

The illustrative Masterplan to transform the site, created by PLP

Connecting the site and wider Old Oak development areas to

The 7,000 new homes emerging from a series of distinct neighbourhoods will include a variety of different housing types and will be available at all price As momentum builds behind the ranges, meeting the needs of area’s regeneration significant Londoners. The Old Oak Park team progress has been made on the has revised its housing numbers proposals for Old Oak Park, the down from its early vision of largest privately owned site at Old creating 9,000 homes in order to Oak Common and the current home enhance the quality of the public of Cargiant, the world’s largest used realm; creating bigger parks and more open space. car dealership.

the neighbouring parts of West London will be 14 new bridges and underpasses. A new landscaped 25-metre pedestrian high street, called Old Oak Walk, will be the central artery that connects the existing and emerging communities and new transport connections – ensuring the jobs, homes, open spaces and opportunities of Old Oak are accessible to local people.

Caswell Surveyors has changed its name to Green Shield Environmental Ltd. Caswell Surveyors was the specialist arm of the company but was a separate business and was unaffected by the liquidation of Caswell Environmental Services. Bosses at Caswell Surveyors have now rebranded as Green Shield Environmental Ltd to avoid any further confusion. A spokesman said: “The name change marks a fresh new start

for us. “As independent asbestos consultants we have always had a great reputation for providing good value, high quality asbestos consulting services especially prerefurbishment and demolition surveys on commercial, retail and residential properties.

now operating out of new offices in Aston Herts. “We are planning to implement a series of initiatives including new IT systems aimed at further improvement to service delivery and facilitating company expansion.”

“We are extremely encouraged by the positive feedback from the clients and staff alike and are very optimistic about the outlook for the future.



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Industry News February 2016

Bad weather impacts Winter construction starts

The construction sector is suffering from its worst winter since 2013, according to the latest figures released today from Glenigan. The value of new work starting on site fell by a marked 20% in the three month period to the end of January, compared to the same period of 2014/15. Office construction was the only sector of the industry to edge higher, with starts declining across residential, non-residential and civil engineering work. Glenigan’s monthly barometer of project starts has been in negative territory for eight out of the last 10 months. However, the latest figures give the strongest evidence yet that construction’s prospects have weakened markedly since this stage a year ago. Commenting on this month’s figures, Allan Wilén, Glenigan’s economics director, said: “The atrocious weather has clearly halted project starts.” “This has exacerbated an already evident softening in workloads, with new construction activity now in the

worst period of decline since crashing in 2009.” He added: “The official output figures show R&M spending by both government and private institutions was already slowing in the second half of last year.” Wilén concluded: “Glenigan’s data on project starts suggests that new build activity will also be constrained in the coming months.” The dire weather impacted construction sites across the UK – only Wales saw starts hold above the level of a year earlier. Over the 12 month period to the end of January work is down across the UK as a whole, but the Midlands and Northern English regions are outperforming. Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East and West and the East and West Midlands are all in the black. By contrast, starts have contracted in the Capital and most of Southern England. Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland’s construction industries have all sunk lower over the last 12 months.

Remmers Deliver Food Grade Flooring Hygienic food grade flooring was required to the automated filling and packaging lines at the relocated premises of Nature Delivered ( A number of steel structure mezzanines were constructed to maximize space and house new sorting and packing machinery. Each mezzanine level required a complicated matrix of cross falls within the sub-screed and a hard wearing, hygienic, slip-resistant resin floor finish, with integral perimeter coving. Due to the fast track nature of the build process, an epoxy dampproof membrane was required prior to installation of the resin finishes. Remmers Haftfest Polymer was added to the sand/cement screed to improve its performance


characteristics, increasing compressive strength and reducing the potential for drying shrinkage cracking. The screed was laid to falls and subsequently primed with 2 coats of Epoxy

MT100 damp-proof membrane and topped with a nominal 8mm thick layer of Remmers Crete HF hard wearing polyurethane screed.

February 2016 Industry News

Inta Launches New Heat Interface Unit

Energy seminars take centre stage at Ecobuild

Ecobuild 2016 is set feature an ‘energy’ learning hub, featuring a series of case study-led seminars. The CPD-accredited programme is designed to provide exhibitors and visitors with practical knowhow to perform their jobs better, and the business case to help installers make more informed decisions to address these challenges.

Inta has introduced its ‘HIPER’ high performance heat interface unit (HIU), designed to deliver heating and hot water whilst improving energy efficiency and minimising costs in multidwelling developments. Installed in shared residential buildings, the HIU distributes heating and domestic hot water from a central plant system to individual properties. By removing the need for each area to have a conventional boiler, gas flue and hot water cylinder, the interface units dramatically reduce build costs for developers. HIPER HIU boasts a factory-set, non-electric temperature control valve which prevents risk of scalding in the event of a power supply failure, as well as features the an advanced dual-speed PID control (patent pending), intelligently controlling the heat into the plate heat exchangers by electronic modulation of a PICV (pressure independent control valve). A PICV is three valves in one: a differential pressure control valve, two-port flow regulating valve and a flow regulation valve. One PICV replaces three separate valves that would otherwise be required to maintain the maximum level of system control so the HIU can operate effectively. The HIPER HIU PICV valve can maintain control up to a pressure differential of 4 bar. Designed with serviceability in mind, its two heat exchange plates have been built to the front of the HIU, fixed with four allen key bolts. This means that the plates can easily be removed should they need maintenance. A large strainer mesh at the primary connections, four times larger than a conventional strainer, will prevent blockage and ensure the HIU continues working efficiently even if the unit has been neglected of cleaning. With Inta’s HIPER HIU, landlords can integrate renewable energy sources into the system, shrinking the size of a building’s carbon footprint and reducing energy costs for tenants, as well as improving reliability. Stuart Gizzi, managing director at Inta, said: “Developers are now having to look beyond insulation and sustainable materials, and are turning to energy efficient ways provide heat and hot water to their buildings as well. “By allowing landlords to use alternative, lower emission, energy sources without any inconvenience for tenants, our HIPER HIU is a flexible solution for a wide variety of multi-dwelling projects.”

The programme will be hosted by leading industry figures and organisations, with a focus on ways of reducing carbon emissions in buildings and providing low or zero carbon energy power. The seminars look at everything from ‘life after the Green Deal’ to delivering efficient and reliable low carbon heat. Among those making their compelling case will be representatives from some of the most powerful and influential voices in the building, engineering and energy sectors, including CIBSE, BRE and Sweett Group. Sessions include: ‘Future energy’ – chaired by Gavin Thompson, head of Energy Consulting at BuroHappold Engineering ‘Navigating the energy policy maze’ – chaired by Rob Parnell, managing director of Zero Carbon Hub ‘Life after the Green Deal’ – chaired by BRE chief executive Peter Bonfield. ‘Improving energy performance in public sector buildings’ – chaired by Robert Spender, RE:FIT London programme director at Greater London Authority. ‘Making renewables work in a subsidy free market’ – chaired by Barny Evans, Renewable Energy and Sustainability Development at WSP PB. BEAMA will also be hosting a seminar case study titled The Connected Home Demonstrator. This will turn the spotlight on SMART metering infrastructure for an insightful view on what it might mean for energy consumption.


February 2016

SketchUp 2016 has arrived!

SketchUp 2016 has recently launched and with this release we’re integrating Trimble Connect directly into SketchUp.

When you reference a file from any of these services (.skp or otherwise), LayOut will notify you when an update is available for your ‘web reference.’

As a refresher, Connect is Trimble’s platform for storing, syncing, referencing, sharing, and collaborating on design/build projects. Sign up for a free account, then start uploading .skp, .pdf, .dxf, .ifc. files. With this integration, we’re packaging the current Trimble Connect Extension into the installer.

Say goodbye to missing references when different people are working on the same .layout document within a cloud sync folder that also contains the referenced files.

The TC integration is accessible from the File menu, and will allow users to upload, pull down, and update SKP’s from Trimble Connect project folders. As you’re modelling you can even pull in and update reference SketchUp models as if they were locally hosted components. Learn more about Trimble Connect... In SketchUp 2016, a context click on a component gives you the opportunity to reload (or swap out) a new component directly from 3D Warehouse. This action will reload every instance of that component in your model (similar to the same action in the Components Browser), so it’s a helpful method for working with proxy models. And if your component was downloaded from 3D Warehouse, you can also use the context-click to quickly access its 3DWH details page. With this release, LayOut’s reference objects are now web friendly. That means your LayOut projects can reference and update files that are stored and synced with services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Trimble Connect Sync.


We’re proud to announce our first step towards an extension ecosystem for LayOut. Using this new API, developers can now create and customize .layout files from SketchUp models. Practically, this means that other applications can import or export the *.layout file format using the C API. (This includes creating a .layout file from SketchUp.). We have several sample scripts for developers to try out at release, along with a blog post where they can learn more. Learning and utilising SketchUp’s inference engine makes for fast and precise modelling. In this release, we’ve oiled that engine to provide slicker inferencing and locking across the board. This improvement is actually an entire set of smart tweaks we’ve made to inferencing and locking. You can download SketchUp Pro 2016 for free on a 30 day trial. After this time, the software will revert to SketchUp Make. Elmtec is the distribution partner for SketchUp in the UK. Contact us for more information on 01844 263750 or visit

SketchUp 2016 is here!

Connected, refreshed and best of all....still SketchUp.

SketchUp, Connected Reference, sync, comment, report, and share: SketchUp 2016 is more connected than ever to the projects, information, and people you work with.

Simple, intuitive, just right Every day, we obsess over making SketchUp seamless and efficient. Here’s what our obsession yielded in SketchUp 2016. • • • •

Enhanced inferencing and tool improvements Customiseable Utility Trays on Windows Refreshed Textures LayOut Layers

SketchUp Pro licensing is now friendlier than ever before. Every SketchUp 2016 download starts with a 30-day trial of Pro features.

Contact Elmtec, Sketchup’s distribution Partner in the UK


T: 01844 263750


February 2016

The Ultimate Accolade for the Leadwork Craftsman At the beginning of October, some 57 LCA members, associates and their guests assembled at the Fawsley Hall Hotel, near Daventry for the announcement of the winners of the 2015 Murdoch Award and Murdoch Sponsors Award competitions.


he Awards are presented each year in recognition of the very best in leadwork design and installation, carried out by the specialist members of the Lead Contractors Association - in effect the ultimate accolade for the craft of working with lead.


Award (for projects under 5 tonnes).

As part of a pre-dinner reception hosted by Jamestown Metals, guests were able to assess the entries for the 2015 Awards and try to pick the overall winner from the keenly competitive and high quality nominations.

In addressing the gathering at Fawsley Hall, Chairman of the Judging Panel Richard Murdoch once again paid tribute to the very high standard of the entries for the 2015 competition. He noted that this year there had not been any large scale, extravagantly decorated entries which might have stood out and distracted the judges, so all entries were subjected to particularly close scrutiny, down to the very fine details, in order to determine the deserved winners.

The panel of Judges had met some three weeks previously and had eventually selected D Blake & Co (Edinburgh), Lead-Tech Roofing (Worcester Park) and Norman & Underwood (Leicester) as the finalists of the Murdoch Award and N Lee & Sons (Whitney), Leadwise Contracts (Co Antrim) and SWG Roofing (Dunmow, Essex) as finalists of the Murdoch Sponsors

Before announcing the winners, Richard again thanked Associated Lead Mills for continuing their long standing sponsorship of the Murdoch Award, in support of the LCA’s quality standard ethic. He noted that once again, all the main Murdoch Award Finalists were being hosted by Associated Lead for the evening as part of their sponsorship.

He also thanked them for their foresight in introducing the Murdoch Sponsors Award in 2006 for projects under five tonnes, which had since given some of the smaller LCA members the chance for wider recognition. Indeed he noted that there were in fact three new members entered for the Sponsors Award and two of them, Leadwise Contracts and SWG Roofing, had made it to the final, although perhaps Leadwise should be regarded as a returning, rather than an entirely new member, having previously been in the LCA from 1998 until 2008. Turning to the actual entries from the Sponsor’s Award finalists, Richard noted that guests had previously viewed photographs of the dome with unusual weatherings from N Lee & Son, the tile replacement leadwork at Stormont Castle from Leadwise and the dome and spire from SWG Roofing and he again commended the consistently high standard of

February 2016 Leadwise Contracts Ltd – The Parliament Building, Stormont, Co Antrim NI

both the design and workmanship that was evident throughout each project. However the judges had to pick a winner and Richard announced that Leadwise Contracts were the winners of the Murdoch Sponsors Award for 2015 and in the absence of Martin Cahalan from Leadwise, Ian Harvey stepped forward to receive the Award on their behalf from Alan Barker of sponsors Associated Lead Mills. Turning to the Murdoch Award itself, Richard noted the presence of two quality leadwork heavyweights who regularly reached the finalists stage, in the form of D Blake & Co (twice previous winners) and Norman & Underwood. Up against them this time was Lead-Tech Roofing who in 2013 had won the Sponsors Award and were now going after the main prize. Again the projects were not eyecatchingly spectacular, with the focus more on precision detailing and consistent setting out, but in all cases completed with fine workmanship.

SWG Roofing Ltd – Dome and Spire – Esher Private House

Whilst the judges had applauded the unusual pitched roofing over a thick stone substrate at Brothwick Castle by D Blake and the work carried out by Norman and Underwood to the flat roof at Staunton Harold Church, in their unanimous view it was the large flat and pitched roofing and cladding project completed by Lead-Tech Roofing at Rygar House in London that deserved to be the winner of the 2015 Murdoch Award.

Paul Mulry, who had worked extensively on Rygar House stepped forward to receive the Award on behalf of Lead-Tech from LCA Chairman Stuart Bailey. Lead-Tech MD Martin Walsh was delighted for Paul to receive such public recognition of his individual craft skills and workmanship and was very proud that his company had continued the quality standards ethos that had enabled them to win the Sponsors Award two years ago. Barry Smith, Managing Director of sponsors Associated Lead Mills, was delighted that this years awards in both categories had featured “new blood” challenging the more established LCA members. “It’s great to see new faces coming through for these awards” he said. “Not only does it show that anyone stands a chance of being a finalist or even winning if their work is good enough, but also that the craft of working with lead is alive and well and in very good hands.”

2015 Murdoch Sponsors award Winner - The Parliament Building, Stormont - Leadwise Contracts, Co Antrim NI In a role reversal of recent trends, lead sheet replaced a failing stepped tile design in a project that relied heavily upon close teamwork between the architect and the traditional crafts Martin Cahalan reports that Leadwise were delighted to be

involved in the project at the Parliament Buildings, Stormont, an iconic Belfast landmark on an elevated site overlooking large swathes of the city and a building that has had, and continues to have today, huge relevance for all the citizens of Northern Ireland. The work itself was to the front sloping pediments and was necessitated by a longstanding failing in the existing stepped tiling arrangement. After discussing the various options, the project team from Hamilton Architects led by Mr Paul Millar took the decision to replace the tiled roofing with lead roofing that would mimic the detailing of the tiled roof as far as possible. It was at this point that Leadwise were able to offer some advice as to the necessary sub-structure, sizing and ventilation needs and these were incorporated into the final design. With the aesthetics now of paramount importance it was essential that the joinery work be of a very high standard and consistent throughout and thankfully this was achieved by the Contractor, Tracey Bros of Enniskillen. With the lead to BSEN:12588 sourced from Jamestown Metals, the 110 sheets of Code 6 lead needed were pre cut, formed and sent to site for installation. A building paper to BS 1521 Class A was laid onto the decking and the wood rolls then put in place as the work progressed. In total there were some 2600 copper nail heads that were individually dotted and everything was checked and rechecked to ensure continuity and it was through this attention to detail and pride in the project that such a pleasing outcome was obtained. Whilst Leadwise are delighted to have their contribution recognised by their peers it’s important to appreciate that it was the contributions of others also that made for overall success. The project Architect, Mr Mark Knight and Tracey Bros can take great credit too for all their input and desire to leave a lasting legacy on this landmark building.


February 2016

Lead-Tech Roofing Ltd – Rygar House, London

2015 Murdoch Award Winner – Rygar House, London - Lead-Tech Roofing Ltd Consistency of design and workmanship was the key to the aesthetics of this large project involving flat, pitched and vertical panels and again working in partnership with the architect enabled design changes to be made to improve the long term integrity of the roof Martin Walsh reports that this new development is set in the heart of Mayfair in central London. LeadTech were appointed through the Main Contractor 800 Group Ltd to install all the roof timbers and new code 6 lead sheet to the crown flat roof, as well as the 70º Mansard Roof and the vertical sections, which also included code 6 lead to dormers and associated flashings. The total project was some 20


tonnes of lead sheet, supplied by Associated Lead Mills. A key factor in securing the project was that as an LCA member, Lead-Tech could offer the 25 year insurance backed guarantee. Once again the contractor and architect worked in close partnership and during the process of building the roof Lead-Tech were able to identify potential technical issues which might arise with the planned detailing and more importantly how the new lead roof would be ventilated. In most cases the Architects Drawings had been well thought out but when approached by Lead-Tech about their concerns, the architects allowed details to be altered as required. Once the main roof construction had been completed and Lead-Tech commenced installing the new code 6 lead, they decided to reduce the setting out of the wood rolls

to 575mm centres, thus ensuring the lead was installed well within its design limits. The wood rolls were staggered and included a ventilation ridge detail which was achieved using the Nicholson Air Track Products. On the Mansard 70º degree pitched roof slope, Code 6 sheet was again installed at 575mm centres and the length of the bays were also reduced to 2.00 lm overall. At the head 3 rows of staggered fixings were installed using 38mm copper ring shanks. The sizing and fixing of the bays have therefore been set well within its design limits, thus eradicating any future problems and potential failure of fixings, which is particularly significant as access would be problematic and costly. It is this attention to detail that was recognised by the Murdoch Award judges

Lead Contractors Association

Lead-Tech Roofing Ltd – Rygar House, London Winner of the 2015 Murdoch Award The Ultimate Accolade for the Leadwork Craftsman

Choose a specialist LCA Member Contractor - and experience, expertise, quality standards and peace of mind are all guaranteed! • LCA members can guarantee their work for 25 years

• LCA members have their work inspected and graded on a regular basis to ensure quality standards are maintained

• There are now projects worth more than £7M registered under the LCA 25 Year Guarantee Scheme

• LCA members that do not correct a fault identified during a vet can lose their membership

• The LCA 25 Year Guarantee Scheme is insurance backed and independently underwritten

• Regular attendance at technical seminars is a mandatory CPD requirement for LCA members

If you don’t see the Logo

• More than 80% of the holders of the CSCS Heritage Skills Card are LCA members • LCA members are required to work to BS6915 and the ‘Lead Sheet Manual’ • LCA members will help detail your lead sheet requirement to conform to BS6915 (Code of Practice for lead sheet design and specification)

You don’t see the Specialist


Centurion House, 36 London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex, RH19 1AB • Telephone: 01342 317888 • Email: • Website:

February 2016

Integrated solar approach recognised at roofing awards Forster Roofing has picked up the ‘Solar’ award at the National Federation Roofing Contractor’s (NFRC) annual Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Awards, for integrated roofing and solar works at Bellway Homes’, Cowdenbeath development. Forster was recognised by the judges for its pioneering approach to integrating traditional roof tiling with in-roof solar Photovoltaic (PV) installation services at the 49 plot social housing development. The electricity generated by each solar array is being fed directly into tenant’s homes, reducing their requirement to buy in electricity from the grid, thereby empowering them to take greater control of their energy bills. Forster Technical Manager, Alan Collins collected the award at a special luncheon hosted by BBC Scotland News presenter and

reporter, Catriona Shearer at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow. The award is Forster’s seventh Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year Award in six years, with previous award winning projects including the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, Fife Housing Innovation Showcase and Barratt Homes Evolution development in Aberdeen.

Are you making the most of your membership…?

The benefits of being a CompetentRoofer registered contractor All domestic roof refurbishments up to a value of £50,000 will be automatically issued with a 10 year warranty. Insurance warranties are also available for large, industrial and commercial projects where the building is four storeys or less.

020 7448 3189 or 01375 650 675 @CompetentRoofer


The NFRC Scottish Roofing Contractor of the Year awards recognise and reward outstanding standards of workmanship and technical expertise in the roofing industry within Scotland. Find out more via

Don’t forget that as a Co mpetentRo contractor, ofer registe you can self red certify for Bu Regulations ilding Compliance Certificates following dis (BRCC) under ciplines: the

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envisage a not too distant future where solar PV will be installed on every new build home.”

Forster Roofing Managing Director Steve Scott said: “We are delighted to pick up this award as it highlights the industry’s recognition of the huge benefits created by combining solar with roofing works. We are seeing demand for our integrated roofing and solar offer grow, as more and more developers recognise solar as a key measure in achieving the latest stepped change in the Scottish Low Carbon Building Standards. We

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February 2016

Welsh Slate Launches New Roofing Brochure A guide to specifying and installing natural roof slates is launched by Welsh Slate.


OOFING by leading UK manufacturer Welsh Slate is the newly-published natural slate roofing guide.

The 32-page guide advises architects and roofing contractors how to specify and install natural roof slates and includes the revised recommendations in the recently amended BS 5534 code of Practice for Slating and tiling plus all relevant references and standards. It also provides information on slates’ many advantages and details design specifications such as terminology, driving rain index, minimum recommended headlaps, general properties, colours, sizes and weights, coverage, and battening and holing gauges. Technical details are also supplied on the slating process, battening, eaves and verges, valleys, hips,

abutments, ridges and changes in roof pitch as well as roofing ventilation and vertical slating.

more than 100 years of collective experience in natural slate roofing within the technical support team.

The new brochure is complemented by the technical support available to specifiers and contractors regards specification writing, sample services and CAD drawings backed by

A copy of the new roofing brochure is available from or 01248 600656 or for download click here.

Get value for money? Cheap work has hidden cost implications Your property is one of the most expensive and important things that you can own so risking any building work to unregistered contractors, simply because it is the cheaper option, is false economy. •

Cowboy builders can leave your roof unsafe or unfit for purpose, and put the safety of others at risk

their work could also invalidate your building insurance

T: E:

020 7448 3189 or 01375 650 675 @CompetentRoofer

You need to either notify your roof refurbishment work via your building control or you can register it via CompetentRoofer, a Government-licenced Competent Person Scheme that allows roofers to self-certify their own work, meaning: •

we notify the council when the work is completed

you have the added reassurance that the contractor has already been vetted prior to becoming a member and will continue to have their work checked

you will automatically receive a ten year insurancebacked warranty, which includes breach of Building Regulations and contractor insolvency.


Industry News February 2016

Bouygues to start £40m Cheltenham student village Bouygues has got the green light to start building a 570-room student village for the University of Gloucestershire, thanks to a £40m government guarantee. It’s the first time that a guarantee has been given to a privately-financed university accommodation project. The Pittville campus scheme in Cheltenham is being developed by Uliving, the company formed by Bouygues Development and Derwent Living. The development, which involves the delivery of 577 new bedrooms and the refurbishment of the 214 existing bedrooms, as well as the media centre, will be built by Bouygues UK while Derwent Living is responsible for operational and facilities management elements. Chancellor George Osborne said: “Better infrastructure is about improving people’s

lives, and that’s why we are determined to get Britain building again. “Our initial deal will deliver a modern, new student village to give the next generation of students the first-class facilities they deserve. “In my Spending Review we announced that we’re extending our UK guarantees scheme to March 2021 to help kickstart other exciting infrastructure projects like this one right across the country.” Nicolas Guérin Director at Uliving, said: “The financial model for the new student village in Cheltenham is an innovative funding solution, which was backed by the government. “Now we’re able to start the delivery of this scheme which will upgrade the university’s existing student facilities and, we hope, attract more students and investment to Gloucestershire.”

Window firm put West End shoppers at risk The company was also caught on video dropping part of a window onto the street below, narrowly missing a pedestrian.

None of the workers had received any formal training and no one was appointed to supervise the work.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard Ideal Glazing (Euro) Ltd carried out window installation work at Aldford House, Park Street, London, between 19 and 20 January 2015 that put their workers and members of the public at risk.

The risks associated with the work had not been sufficiently assessed.

The HSE carried out an investigation into the work after a member of the public provided photos of workers leaning out of window openings eight meters above the ground. They also provided a video showing the workers dropping part of a window which fell to the ground and missed a nearby pedestrian.


The company had failed to provide equipment such as scaffolding which would have prevented the workers and window falling.

The court heard the company had failed to invest in equipment for working at height and had a health and management system which relied entirely on the company’s managing director despite his lack of relevant training and experience. The work at Aldford House was halted when HSE served a Prohibition Notice. The court heard the company had previously been given advice by HSE in connection with work at height and that an audit by Ideal Glazing’s bank had previously identified a range of relevant health and safety failings.The court heard that neither written warning was heeded by the firm.

February 2016 Industry News

Opinion: Is the London Fire door warning luxury resi boom over? following fatal tower The luxury residential market in London has been a one-way bet for developers, speculators and – to a lesser extent – contractors for years now. Prices have soared fuelled by foreign investment and a bullish property market in the capital.

block blaze

But worrying signs are starting to emerge of oversupply in London. The specific problem is the number of £500,000+ apartments being built in large tower blocks. Areas like Battersea and Nine Elms on the south bank of the Thames are saturated with similar developments. While other pockets like Aldgate in east London have a huge concentration of look-a-like towers. Things were rosy for everyone involved on sites while buyers were queuing round the block to invest in the London market. But a glance around sites like Rightmove reveals a glut of unsold new flats and speculators looking to offload their investments. There are thousands of flats for sale – most priced at £1m+ for an average looking two bedder in a standard block. The market has the whiff of a price correction and property experts are waiting for the first developer to run into trouble and send prices spiraling downwards. The London luxury market has been a good friend to contractors providing a steady stream of work. But firms are now getting wary of pricing jobs as doubts grow about a finite number of buyers at current values. A report by consultants Property Vision estimates more than 54,000 homes costing at least £1m are planned for London over the next few years. Many are luxury high-rise flats aimed at foreign speculators. Once a market turns it often takes everyone by surprise how quickly things move. Contractors should be wary of how the next few years play out and pick-and-choose residential jobs with one eye on the sales office.

Housing manager Lewisham Homes has been fined £40,000 for breaking fire safety laws following a fatal blaze in a Deptford tower block in which two women died. Lewisham Homes were sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to failing to properly maintain fire doors and failing to review an existing fire risk assessment. Sentencing the housing manager, His Honour Judge Justice Christopher Hehir said the prosecution should act as a “wake up call” to the risks of not maintaining fire safety features in residential high rise buildings. He also stated that had Lewisham Homes been a profit making company and not a not-forprofit organisation the fine would have been considerably higher. Lewisham Homes is an Arms Length Management Organisation, which manages a significant proportion of the housing stock owned by the London Borough of Lewisham. The prosecution was brought by the London Fire Brigade following the blaze in February 2011. More than 100 firefighters were called to the fire at Marine Tower on Abinger Grove in Deptford which started in a flat on the 16th floor. Crews rescued two women from another flat on the same floor but both were pronounced dead at the scene. The fire was started deliberately and in 2012 Sandra Clarke, a resident in the flats, was prosecuted and convicted of two counts of manslaughter at Woolwich Crown Court.


February 2016

Innovation set to make buildings healthier featured at Vision London A number of innovations are emerging to help measure and enhance wellbeing in buildings, and they are starting to be rolled out in the UK. A new standard, the WELL Building StandardR, has been developed in the US to embed wellbeing priorities in the built environment, evaluating such factors as air and water quality, and noise, light and temperature levels. Saint-Gobain has created the Multi-Comfort standard – a way of designing sustainable, healthy and comfortable buildings that also achieve the Passivhaus standard in energy efficiency. The first UK project built to the standard, a new sports and drama hall for King’s Hawford Junior School in Worcester, designed by Associated Architects, is close to completion. As well as promoting high levels of energy efficiency and thermal comfort in the school, the standard focuses on audio, indoor air and visual comfort to create a quality learning environment for teachers and students. Saint-Gobain technical director Mark Allen and residential sector director Stacey Temprell will be outlining the Multi-Comfort


concept and the story of the debut UK project as part of the Building Health & Wellbeing seminar programme on 7 June 2016 at Vision London. This opening day of the two-day building design and innovation event at Olympia London will also feature an in-depth look at indoor air quality, as well as a range of approaches including RENSON UK’s Healthy Residential ConceptR, which notably combines ventilation and sun protection. The focus on wellbeing in buildings is being prompted by many factors. The quest to create more efficient, high quality buildings in a changing climate is posing challenges, ranging from summer overheating in heavily glazed urban apartment blocks to questions about air quality in some tightly-sealed new energy

efficient homes. Sick Building Syndrome continues to plague office workers, with a 2015 survey by YouGov for developer Lendlease finding that more than a third of respondents felt unhealthy at work. At the same time, the green buildings in our towns and cities – there are more than 500,000 BREEAM certified buildings alone – are demonstrating the benefits of a good quality working environment. There is now a growing body of evidence showing that green buildings are both good for health and can help raise staff productivity levels. Vision London takes place from 7-8 June 2016 at Olympia London. Over the course of two days, the event showcases today’s most exciting materials, technologies, products, projects and thinking. Register for your free visitor pass today at

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February 2016

Chimflue helping to bring a slice of Napoli to the UK The interior of Craft London. Our flue was specially designed to wrap around the curved architecture.


Chimflue had a busy year in 2015 working with a number of the UK’s best pizzerias helping to bring authentic wood fired cuisine to hungry connoisseurs. This included an ever growing number of restaurants throughout London and with more and more chains moving out to locations such as Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool, we have been busy working nationwide. We are pleased to have worked with the likes of Rossopomodoro, Franco Manca and Home Slice who have over 30 branches

between them and are looking at further expansion in 2016. Other pizzerias we have been proud to work with include Sacroe Cuore, Santa Maria, Pizza Union, Pizzeria Apollo, all with branches throughout the London area, as well as Craft London who are based on the Greenwich Peninsula. We hope to strengthen our relationship with all these businesses in 2016 as the industry continues to expand. We have been installing specially designed flues and water based filtration systems on pizza ovens,

for many of these customers in 2015 to ensure they have the correct extraction in place -keeping them cooking day and night! MD of Chimflue, Sam Ford comments…” It’s been a real pleasure to work with such an incredible range of customers in the industry and it’s clear to see they have a real passion for what they do. From the larger chains to the smaller independent setups, the common theme we see is a genuine care for good quality, sustainably sourced ingredients

February 2016

Above: interior of Home Slice at Neals Yard, Covent Garden., and right: the pretty façade

and an amazing authentic taste!� Fitting in with their authentic Italian style, the wood-fired pizza ovens are often finished in stunning mosaic or tile and form the centre piece of the restaurants. The connecting flues from these ovens run into a SMOKI water filtration unit - a revolutionary product which removes a large amount of soot particles and odour from the smoke finally going on to terminate above the roof to atmosphere.


February 2016

“As the official registration body for gas engineers, exhibiting at PHEX provides us with a fantastic opportunity to interact face-to-face with Gas Safe registered engineers and those looking to become Gas Safe registered,” said Rachel Boon from the Gas Safe Register. “The feedback we gain is invaluable and data capture from the barcode scanners provided has proven very useful in the past. We have been exhibiting at PHEX for a number for years now and the shows are always well attended, at prestigious locations and very well organised.” Having celebrated its 21st anniversary last year, the Plumbing & Heating Exhibition has established itself as the leading regional trade show for the industry. Providing installers with a platform to meet with numerous manufacturers and learn more about the latest products, PHEX helps visitors stay up-to-date with the market without taking too much time away from the job. While it has grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of the industry, the show remains a wellrespected and essential event in the HVAC calendar, having maintained it’s ethos to ensure a practical and worthwhile day off the tools. “The original idea was that installers could do the whole show in half a day,” said event organiser, Claire Tilbury. “Obviously it’s grown from there. Visitors wanted more than just an exhibition, so we introduced seminars and allowed manufacturers more room to demonstrate their products. As such, the show now takes a little longer to make your way round, but those who need to keep it short and sweet are still able to do so.” PHEX now runs three shows throughout the year: PHEX Manchester, PHEX Chelsea and PHEX+ at Alexandra Palace for those visitors whose business crosses into the commercial sector. As well as allowing manufacturers to promote their products, the PHEX seminar programme gives industry bodies such as BEAMA and Gas Safe Register the chance to interact with the guys on the ground, explaining their role in the sector and how installers can get involved.


The success of the first show at Old Trafford in 1998 sparked the tradition of holding PHEX at different football stadiums, and the tours still remain a popular pull! The shows have received unrivalled support from the trade over the years, offering small and large businesses alike the opportunity to get in front of their customers on a level playing field. From boiler and pipe manufacturers to tools and bathroom suppliers, PHEX works with over 95 exhibitors, all of whom have technical experts on hand to explain their offering and answer questions. PHEX also partners with both national and independent merchants to provide free transport to each of its venues, allowing visitors to network with other installers in their area and build relationships with their local reps. For more information and to register for your free ticket, visit

The domesTic and commercial Trade exhibiTion

e c a s l r a e r P u t a 016 c r a d f u n n a ay 2 a x m e l g A 19 M n i d a e l e 18ucts ll th

d g o n r i p t See a a t e s e h t e a l h t e h f t o e g a r View e v o c d e l l a v s t Unritor n u o sc i d sec & s r & e s f r f a o n i w o m h e s S g n i n i a r t tions E E FR onstra dem

For free entry, free parking, free merchant travel and free food register online:

February 2016

Bespoke fireplaces for the home Designer fireplaces that can be crafted to suit any space are becoming the ideal accessory for the modern home.

SmartFire, the UK’s sole distributor of EcoSmart Fire, provides elegant fires that are fuelled entirely by bio-ethanol, which means they need no chimney, flue or extraction system. These fires provide an energy efficient and cost effective answer to indoor heating that provides warmth, ambience and a stunning focal point. The EcoSmart Bio-Ethanol Fire Box has become a popular choice with architects and interior designers looking for versatility whilst designing their own fireplace. The fires have been designed to suit a wide range of building materials meaning they can compliment both a traditional or modern look.


The fuel is stored in the device’s internal reservoir meaning that there are no pipes or cables required during the installation process. All the workings of the fire are managed from inside the box so they can simply be installed into a standard frame or inside an existing fireplace. For an alternative to the Fire Box, the EcoSmart Bio Ethanol Burners are the obvious choice for creating a design statement. Their versatility means they can be placed anywhere – within the middle of a table for a talking point over dinner, around the pool or in the centre of a stylish lounge. The Designer range is ideal if you want a contemporary focal or talking point within a room.

Perfect for any home, these fires can be created to bespoke requirements to suit all needs. Paul Holt, from SmartFire UK said: “Bio-ethanol is a fantastic resource as it removes many of the design constraints surrounding traditional fires. “Because there is no need for a chimney or a flue, less space is required and no heat is lost. Additionally there are no issues dealing with mains gas as the fire has it’s own independent supply of fuel. “Versatility means they can create a true design statement – a fireplace becomes not only than just a heat source but a talking point within a home and a central part of its design.”


Chimflue are specialists in the design, fabrication and installation of flue and chimney systems. With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, we can provide technical advice and assistance from the early design stages of a project right through to full on site installation. Andover


Chimflue Ltd, Unit 5 Viscount Court, SouthWay, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 5NW, UK.

Unit 10, Alpha Business Pk, Travellers Close, Welham Green, Hatfield, Herts, AL9 7NT, UK.

+ 44 (0)1264 332878

+ 44 (0)1264 332878

February 2016

Armstrong launches its latest


solutions guide to floating ceilings

ProgrAmmAble lighting control

A dynamic guide for flexible, acoustic canopies and baffles has been published by Armstrong.

PIR occupancy switching and adjustable photocell for daylight control Real time scheduling for switching, lux control or function changes Switching / dimming functions can be controlled by sunset and sunrise prediction Automatic time adjustment for BST Innovative twin level time lag function for even greater energy savings Versions for Switching Only, DALI Dimming and 1-10V Dimming Functionality uploaded by Android phone or tablet. For more information call us on:

Expert advice on the almost endless range of dramatic design and acoustic possibilities that can be achieved with canopies and baffles, including Optima Baffles Curves, the first curved mineral baffles in the industry, is contained within a new floating ceilings brochure from Armstrong. Floating ceilings inspire great spaces by introducing new shapes and add depth, scale and rhythm to internal areas, creating a contemporary aesthetic for modern building designers in the transport, education, commercial and retail sectors.

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Armstrong’s new floating ceilings brochure is available to download

Simply Saving Energy at SERVOMEX The Project: Lighting refurbishment at SERVOMEX Office, Crowborough, East Sussex. The Brief: To install a lighting control system suitable for switching and dimming LED lighting panel s. The Solution: DANLERS ‘ControlZAPP’ the programmable lighting control. Richard Allison, Project Director for AMG Electrical Services explained “I was contacted by office refurbishment specialist, Saracen Interiors Ltd and asked to install a lighting control system that would be suitable for switching and dimming a recently installed LED lighting system. After some research, we found DANLERS ‘ControIZAPP’ ticked all the boxes. This programmable device with Bluetooth ‘Smart’ communication was straight forward to install and enabled SERVOMEX to have full control over the entire LED lighting system.


This new installation means lights are now no longer needlessly left on when the office is unoccupied - plus individual work areas can be programmed to dim and switch up automatically delivering light at a pre-set control. Throughout the process the DANLERS team provided us with great support resulting in a cost effective yet flexible solution for SERVOMEX together with significantly reducing the energy consumption within this newly refurbished office.” DANLERS Limited, Email:, Web:






ISOSONIC TIMBERFLOOR -a high performance system for ‘problem’ timber floors

ISORUBBER TOP -low cost, simple, high performance cork rubber mat solution suitable for all floor constructions and finishes

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February 2016


ith just a 60mm frame depth, the MB-60E EI can achieve a fire resistance class of EI15 or a EI30 according to DIN EN 13501-2 + A1. Complete with polyamide thermal breaks, the door system is ideal for use in both external or internal applications. Door sets can be manufactured with both fixed lights and opening, single or double doors, to create extensive screen assemblies. For specification flexibility, the MB60E EI door can be specified with glazing thicknesses of between 5 to 41 mm and can be manufactured up to 2,300 x 1,300 mm in size per door leaf. Being fully compatible with Aluprof ‘MB’ systems, specifiers do not have to sacrifice sight-lines between fire rated areas and normal glazing requirements. The competitively priced MB-60E EI system joins a wide range of windows, doors, screens and curtain wall systems which can achieve ratings of up to EI160. Aluprof also offer a comprehensive RIBA approved CPD for specifiers titled ‘The Use of Glazed Screens to Control the Spread of Smoke and Fire in Buildings’. Aluprof’s head office and extensive distribution centre is located in Altrincham, Cheshire. Aluprof systems are increasingly being specified on a wide range of residential and commercial projects across the UK. Systems are designed, fabricated and installed by selected, specially trained companies, to ensure each fabricated product meets Aluprof exacting standards. Further information is available on our company’s website at and specialist advice is available directly from Aluprof on 0161 941 4005.

Aluminium Fire Screens Too Expensive - Think Again! One of the UK’s leading systems suppliers of aluminium fire screens has launched a new system, the slim MB-60E EI.


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February 2016

Paint-on- airtightness... really, are you kidding?

the fundamental building property relating to infiltration (the Airtightness isuncontrolled leakage of air through cracks, interstices or other unintentional openings of a building, caused by pressure effects of the wind and/or stack effect) often exacerbated by poor design, poor quality construction, bad choice of materials and a failure to work with a holistic approach. The whole purpose of having a workable definition of, and testable levels of, airtightness is so we build better, more durable, healthier energy efficient houses. In the UK the Building Regulations provide minimum standards describing airtightness as ‘…the resistance of the building envelope to infiltration with ventilators closed. The greater the airtightness at a given pressure difference across the envelope, the lower the infiltration.’ Defined as air leakage rate per hour per square metre of envelope area at a test reference pressure differential across the building envelope of 50 Pascal (50 N/m2). In the UK current Regs stand at 10 m3/ (m2h) is not a particularly high standard and is usually met by draught-proofing and the use of mastic. A score below 3 m3/ (m2h) is reckoned to be pretty good. The gold standard of low-energy house building – Passive House – requires an airtightness score of just 0.6 m3/ (m2h). Any product that can improve the security of airtightness, is long lasting, inexpensive, and versatile that requires low skill levels to apply is therefore potentially a winner when it comes to helping UK builders get a building’s performance down from 10 m3/ (m2h). This is not only for new build but importantly in refurbishment. Such a product exists it has been used extensively across much of Europe from Estonia to Portugal; in many of these countries legislation is a key driver for constant improving airtightness standards. It has never been available in the UK before. The product – called Blowerproof - is a wet applied airtightness membrane for sealing wall/floor, wall/ceiling joints, penetrations and window jambs. There are two types: a brush version (more thick, fibre reinforced) and a spray version (more liquid) currently undergoing its BBA certification the manufacturers claim it is:-


• Simple to apply • Quick to apply • Can be applied on humid surfaces • Only one product needed for all applications • Easy application for electrical lines/pipes for example on a floor/wall connection -see photo • Can also be applied direct onto mineral wool

insulation • Can be applied on polyurethane foam, mainly on window jambs. • Highly resistant to puncture • Thoroughly tested over many years

Early feedback from users in the UK suggests that this represents a significant change in the way we make buildings airtight. Spray and paint application broadens the potential to achieve better results, by helping eliminate installation errors. Blowerproof is quick to apply over a wide range of substrates using only one product plus the bonus of solving ‘tricky’ and ‘difficult to reach’ applications such as joist ends, kicker joints and penetrations. As UK construction moves towards ever improving airtightness standards this will definitely be a product to watch.

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February 2016

How doors can affect t This is an excellent question that is very difficult to measure. Typically in the past, builders would source and supply doors based on a brief description of what the client wanted. There wasn’t much to it really. Now, for multiple reasons, choosing what doors to have is not so much of a simple task. New laws setting out requirements for fire doors and improvements in manufacturing techniques have helped pave the way for an ever growing market that demands more and more uniqueness and eye-grabbing designs. Until not too long ago, the ‘standard’ height for a door was 6ft 6 (or 1981mm). By today’s standards, that seems a bit short, doesn’t it? Natural selection ensures our population keeps on getting taller, so naturally the doors must grow too! With some larger houses having ceilings as high as 3 metres, you can easily imagine how it’d dwarf a door less than two thirds its height! Having doors up to 2400mm or even 2700mm (fire rating permitting) will no doubt leave a huge impression on anyone facing these behemoths. This is another contributing factor to the growth of the bespoke doors market. When people want a taller door, the only option they are really left with is the bespoke route. Doors are a major aesthetic and practical part of a house that more often than not gets overlooked. The first thing someone sees when approaching a house is usually the front door. From the moment you ring that doorbell, you are stuck there, facing it until someone arrives to let you in. Then there are more doors. Doors everywhere. Each one must be approached up close and personal before you may see what is hidden behind it. Despite our frequent encounters with these long, rectangular pieces of wood, they just simply weren’t something most of us gave much thought; until now. Imagine walking up to a house and seeing your face reflected on the paintwork of a shiny piece of timber and ironmongery. You’d be easily forgiven for thinking you’ve arrived at 10 Downing Street. High gloss finishes are creeping their way across homes around the country. With good reason: they increase the value of your property. Now that’s a bold statement to make. Are there measurable statistics to back up this claim? Probably not. But that goes the same with various other forms of redecoration. No one can say with a guarantee: “If we repaint your kitchen, it will add x% value to your property”. It varies depending on the situation. But you could say with certainty that it would add some value (usually more than what was originally invested). All forms of home improvements make the place more saleable. You just have to invest your money into things potential buyers will see the most. Funnily enough, doors are one of those. Below is an example of a refurbishment, showing the original doors. There was nothing wrong with the originals, except that there was also nothing special about them. They blended into the surroundings like a chameleon, not provoking much thought or inspiration; which is absolutely fine.


The replacements however, with the striking walnut finish and unusual modern features just scream quality and good taste. In fact, it’d almost be a crime to not replace the doors with ones that keep in line with the modern and trendy refurbishment. Now the tables have turned: no longer do they blend into the background and mind their own business; it’s now a major aesthetic factor in the overall look of the house.

February 2016

the value of a property It is without question of a doubt that a good looking house will sell for a far higher price than an ugly one. It’s almost absurd to imagine how much little thought we would give doors in the past. In the picture to the left, what is the sole feature that would dictate if the house is modern or traditional? The doors! If they alone were changed to have panelled features with perhaps a mortice knob, the entire look and feel of the hallway would be dramatically altered. As mentioned earlier, interior designers would hardly ever consider what doors should a property have, leaving it to the builders, but now they have merged with the furnishing. It is a widely accepted fact that good interior design will add value to a home, so naturally it makes sense that the architrave, finish and ironmongery are in line with the décor. Interestingly, in the past us Brits would typically replace leafs only (usually to a white frame and architrave) when it came to renovations, whilst in Europe it was a much more common thing to replace pre-hung doorsets. As a result of people being more conscious of the property value when refurbishing, opting for set has become much more important, ensuring the finish of the leaf and surrounding architrave matches the theme of the house it lives in. Because of this, unique finishes such as stains and high gloss have become much more significant, reinforcing the value being added to the house. It is not just looks alone that dictate how much value doors add to a home. The mechanical function of it opening and closing, the weight, the tactile feedback from the handles and locks will also play a contributing role. Pushing down a sturdy lever, feeling the extra durable mechanisms sending vibrating clunks up your hand, arm and spine will make someone at least subconsciously acknowledge the quality of the building they are in. A handle with loose screws or mechanisms, connected to a lightweight door will only tell stories of cheapness surrounded by the seemingly beautiful room. Another extremely important factor that rarely pops to mind is warping. Over the years, doors would typically be made out of solid wood which people quite easily mistake for as a good thing. As you probably guessed by now, they will indeed warp over time. How many times have you come across doors that close very awkwardly, or seem to have gaps between the leaf and frame? A modern-built door with an engineered core overcomes this problem (and is also essential for fire ratings). Some people may be surprised to learn that using these modern manufacturing techniques can still be used to create a traditional, panelled looking door. Still, some people yearn for solid wood doors. There are solutions out there that claim to be solid wood with a fire rating, but in practice, the panels would be veneered whilst the rest of the door remains solid pieces of wood. It’s a clever way some suppliers are using to trick people into thinking they have planks of wood with fire ratings and is worth noting before forking out lots of money on what is essentially just a marketing gimmick. So to wrap up this article, there are three main features a door can add value to a house. The physical appearance is a hugely important factor, and would most definitely play a large role in someone’s first impressions of the property. Upon further inspection, the mechanical properties will help reassure the quality of it and the house. Apart from light switches, the door handles will be some of the very few things people touch when doing a viewing. Lastly, the elimination of warping will stop negative seeds being planted in someone’s head. As a dramatic example could be if a door warps, someone may wrongly assume there could be cracks in the foundation and the house is moving more than it should.


Bathrooms February 2016

Thermostatic Shower Range

from Showering ‘One Stop Shop’


Group’s impressive ‘one stop shop’ range of shower and bathroom products continues to be welcomed by the building trade looking for high quality, reliable products for new developments and refurbishment projects up and down the country.

The response to the new products added in the past twelve months has been phenomenal with current and new customers keen to find out more about the extended offering that features in the new ‘MX Collection’ catalogue, available in printed form or online by visiting the MX web site – at Shower trays, electric showers, thermostatic showers, shower enclosures, taps and mixers and shower accessories – it’s a huge range of products. In particular, the range of thermostatic shower options has caught the imagination. MX has launched an impressive new range of thermostatic mixer shower valves, offering its usual combination of quality, great looking product, excellent warranties and keen pricing. MX has added a significant number of new options to this range, with options available for every application. From stylish and modern to the more traditional single lever options, they are all fully thermostatically controlled and suitable for both high and low pressure systems. You can select from many different types of showers ranging from bar valves, concentric mixers with concealed or exposed options, to sequential single lever options. The Atmos range comes with three or five year warranties, are ROHS compliant and are manufactured to TMV standards, BS1111 and BS1287. The Options range has a one year replacement guarantee. All materials used are WRAS approved and Phthalate free where applicable. MX remains the leading shower tray manufacturer in the UK, manufacturing 100s of different tray sizes, in 6 main product types, meaning that it can cater for the specific needs of customers around the UK. It continues to be a growing influence in the Electric Shower marketplace too. Its QI – Quick installation – range of electric showers sets new standards for simple installation. Featuring eight entry points for water and electric – these showers offer the simplest shower installation available.


Call 01684 293311 or go to the website at for a catalogue or information.



New YOUNG collection from Novellini. Designed and manufactured in Italy. All Young 1BS bi-folding screens come with rise and fall metal hinges, double seals and chrome optional anti-splash trim for a secondary seal. Equally suited for tray and tiled floor installations . *Available nationwide

Bathrooms February 2016

Why wipe? Just demista™ ! T hink about it. A damp, misted up mirror in your steamy bathroom. Don’t wipe, install a demista™ heated mirror pad in the bathroom, and the mirror will be fully steam free in just a few moments. Using your hand is unpleasant and leaves streaks, even using a cloth is time consuming. Large mirrors, shaped mirrors, or mirrors fitted in bathroom cabinets can all be fitted with demista™ and if the mirror is


very large, the pads can be fixed in multiples, so that the whole area remains steam free. Bespoke sizes are also available on request. New build properties or refurbished bathrooms are now more often than not, being fitted with heated mirror pads. This is a safe, inexpensive product, manufactured in the United Kingdom to meet all required safety standards, both here and

abroad. demista™ is the original heated mirror pad, and has been successfully installed in executive apartments and houses for more than 23 years.

Easy to fit, just wired in to the lighting system, this is a simple way of adding value to the bathroom design. So, if redecorating the bathroom, install a heated mirror pad and keep the mirror clear and clean.

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Bathrooms February 2016


The Avenue in Ross-on-Wye is arguably the most desirable area of this riverside town in rural Herefordshire, yet the contemporary style of these nine quite excellent homes is something very different for a town that is a ‘tad’ conservative. But clever design, excellent use of materials and the retention of the beautiful mature trees, for the full length of this development, allows these exceptional new build homes to blend in perfectly with their impressive, if more staid neighbours. And the heating system is as impressive as everything else about these excellent four detached houses, three majestic apartments and two exquisite lodges – that form The Avenue development. As is common


in new build developments these days, the properties benefit from the latest high efficiency condensing boilers that power the underfloor heating on the ground floor, and traditional radiators on the upper floors – although traditional is a bit misleading. The designers of these homes have plumped for high quality Compact with Style radiators from Stelrad in the bedrooms and on the landings, and attractive tubular chrome finish towel rails in the wet rooms and en-suite bathrooms. Compact with Style radiators are slimline, flat fronted, minimalistic radiators with horizontal folds that match other elements of the décor. Increasingly, particularly in upper market quality new homes, the use of decorative and designer radiators is taking over from the stock in trade steel panel radiators that were until a few years ago, the standard answer to the functional heating role in virtually all new build homes. Joint Chief Executive of Freeman Homes – Luke Freeman, who are responsible for The Avenue development says the selection of radiators is as important as any other component of these stunning new homes: “The selection of radiators had to be right. So much thought and

care has gone into these homes that we were not prepared to devalue the overall ambience of the homes by settling for anything less than the best – and Stelrad’s Compact with Style met the requirements perfectly. We’re very happy with them and the impression they make and initial feedback from customers and potential purchasers has been extremely favourable.” “Compact with Style is just one of the many premium radiators we offer in the Stelrad range,” says Sarah Baker, Marketing Communications Manager for the leading radiator manufacturer in the UK. “The design of the radiators compliments the intense feeling of spaciousness in these homes – with the four bedrooms, all with en-suites, spread over the first and second floors, designed to benefit from as much light from the outside as possible. Large rooms, benefitting from radiators that cope perfectly with the heating demand from well insulated homes designed to be as energy efficient as possible. They’re a perfect match.” Full details of the Compact with Style radiators and the rest of the impressive range of Stelrad radiator designs can be found at

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The Radiator & Bathroom Gallery Ltd

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621 Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, London SW18 4SX. Tel: 020 8944 2001

140 Hermon Hill, South Woodford, E18 1QH. Tel: 0208 530 7555

Opening times:

Opening times:

11-5pm Tue-Fri, 11-4pm Sat, closed Sunday & Monday

10-5pm Mon-Fri, 10-4 Sat, closed Sun.


February 2016

2016 will see the biggest and best Surface Design Show to date Future Thinking is Surface Design Show’s annual look at the future of materials, highlighting colours, topics and surface trends for 2017, new for 2016 will be Surface Spotlight Live curated by Sally Angharad. The two sector spotlights highlighted will be Health + Wellbeing and Retail Design featuring materials that make a significant contribution to both areas. Retail Design is sponsored by Concord. New for 2016 is Stone Gallery which has been introduced to reflect the importance of the rapidly growing stone market in the UK. Hosted on the mezzanine level, the gallery will focus on natural stone from across the world.

Surface Design Show is the only event in the UK that focuses solely on interior and exterior surfaces, connecting innovative and exciting materials with a specifying audience of architects and designers. Returning to London’s Business Design Centre between 9-11 February, the 2016 show will be the largest and most exciting show occupying both the ground floor and all of the mezzanine level for the first time. 2015 saw 5,586 professional and trade visitors, an unprecedented increase of 49% on the previous year. 80% of the audience came from architectural, interior design, lighting design or multi design practices with 5% of these visiting from abroad. Since its inception in 2005 the show has become the destination for industry people to see, touch and explore the latest materials for the built environment, gain new insights and network with likeminded designers, architects and suppliers. Surface Design Show 2016 will be full of new ideas and firm favourites, refreshed to provide our specifying audience with a unique visiting experience. The packed programme of events and entertainment will include the Preview Evening Live Debate and the ever popular PechaKucha Evening - an informal and fun presentation of inspirational slides.


First introduced to Surface Design Show in 2014 Light School has established itself as the UK’s main event for architectural lighting. Light School is presented by Light Collective and supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals and consists of three parts: The School Room, Product School and the School Newspaper sponsored by Xicato. The School Room, sponsored by iGuzzini will provide architects and designers with education and knowledge about lighting design and lighting products. Registration to attend is now live

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February 2016

Project: The Gulbenkien Café Location: Kent University, Canterbury. Contracted company: SW Flooring (South East) Limited

The Gulbenkien Café at Kent University The job/challenge: The initial project was to replace the existing vinyl floorcoverings in the cafe as bubbles had appeared in certain areas. The initial area was 150 – 200 m2, but the floor area increased to 400 m2 after problems were encountered. The work was to be undertaken out of normal working hours, so that the cafe could stay operational during the day, to serve students and Staff members alike. SW Flooring were instructed to remove the existing floorcovering, prepare the subfloor with 1 coat of a smoothing underlayment, and replace with a variety of Dalhaus Sheet Rubber, and Karndean Vinyl woodplank. The works was due to be completed over a period of 10 working nights. SW Flooring removed the existing floorcoverings, and it became apparent that there was a moisture problem with the subfloor. SW Flooring were also presented with a variety of subfloors, ranging from 50 mm paving slabs laid onto 75 mm of sand, adjoining timber sections, ceramic tiles and screed. All with their own extremities and movement tolerances. Previous installations had been undertaken by other contractors by applying DPMs and latex smoothing compounds on top of each other at each stage of failure, which resulted in the moisture present in the subfloor, just constantly working its way to the surface failing each layer of preparation as it went. SW Flooring approached Kent University and advised them of the findings. Upon conversations with the Senior Building Surveyor, they agreed for SW Flooring to carry the work out using the correct methods. This created an increased expectation from the University to deliver a fault free solution. SW Flooring also had to appease the Client of the Estates Department, which was the Cafe`, to ensure that their customers were not inconvenienced in anyway.

The solution / implementation: SW Flooring started by removing all the existing latex smoothing compounds by hand with a small mechanical Kango drill. The timber section was replaced incorporating a structural DPM, and then was overlaid with a 6 mm of plyboard to increase rigidity. SW Flooring had to ensure the cafe was open at 8:00 am each morning during the project. This was achieved by making up the level differences with sand each night and then covering with Cordex to eliminate any trip hazard. SW Flooring needed high quality products from a manufacturer that instilled them with confidence, and also had products that could be used for this situation. SW Flooring had a very good relationship with the Richard Boorman, the UZIN Representative and he produced an UZIN specification for the project. He met SW Flooring on site at midnight at least twice a week to discuss the progress of the project, and offered valuable support, to enable the project to be completed. The specification was to apply 2 coats of Uzin PE480 to the paving slabs, incorporating an accelerator to speed up the drying time, for the reopening of the cafe in the morning. The second coat was fully blinded to create a mechanical key for the smoothing compound, and UZIN NC 182 was used in isolated sections to repair where the different substrates joined. The timber and plywood areas were primed using UZIN PE 630 and UZIN NC 175 fibrereinforced smoothing compound was applied between 6 mm to 10 mm. This created a subfloor, that was suitable to receive any floorcovering of the Universities choice.

The result: The new floorcoverings have been laid for 10 months now, and apart from a slight settlement from the various substrates, the University are very pleased with the workmanship and specification that was created for this project.


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February 2016

Dickies Keep Hands Safe For decades there have been major advances in the improvement of safety products. With respiratory protection, for example, fit testing has led to better and more suitable facemasks.

Gloves now are improving dramatically, from very simplistic polka dot work gloves or the traditional “rigger” gloves, to highly engineered ergonomically 3D designed items with multi measurement points. Hand and finger incidents can account for anywhere from 50% to 70% of work related injuries which make this area perhaps more important than others when it comes to reducing injuries and accidents at work. Obvious injuries like bruising, cuts and crushing are common in industry, but there are other less obvious injuries caused, for example, by the continual use of power tools like drills or jackhammers, which in extreme cases can cause hand arm vibration syndrome. This is an irreversible but avoidable condition with nerves, blood vessels, and joints in the hand and wrist all possibly affected, often resulting in a permanent numbing or tingling sensation along with a loss of grip, strength and dexterity in the hand for everyday life. Outdoor workers will compound this even more and run the risk of it being aggravated due to the cold and damp.

Dickies, in collaboration with Kong, have carefully developed a new range of safety gloves, including Impact gloves with a glove to suit the most demanding of environments and tasks. The Dickies glove range is intended to offer something across a wide range of industrial sectors: construction, e n g i n e e r i n g , automotive, utility, mining and oil & gas. Dickies Impact gloves are manufactured from a wide range of carefully selected materials all combining to provide optimum safety, comfort and dexterity.

The most incredible part of these Dickies gloves however is the fit and comfort, which is immediately apparent when trying on a Dickies impact glove. Dickies gloves are highly engineered, ergonomically 3D designed items with multi measurement points and when pulling on via the specially designed TPR Cuff puller tab in some variants, the embracing Tricot or Cut Resistant liner welcomes the hand. Some models have an adjustable Teflon treated Neoprene Cuff or the Teflon treated synthetic suede fourchette. These gloves not only make the job safer but also make it easier and improve the quality of the job making them a sensible investment.

Depending upon the intended end use of the glove, padding and shock absorbent material, or Duraclad Rope Channel reinforcement, can be added to the palm. Other materials, such as foam nitrile, allow for an excellent grip. An EN 388 cut level 5 knit (ANSI/ISEA Level 4) can add additional protection. Waterproof variants are also available, as is a patented Diamond clad Silicone fused palm (Patent D568003), for the For more information on ultimate grip on wet and oily objects. Dickies workwear, visit High visibility options are also available in the range.


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Case Study February 2016

AluK systems specified for Birm

The Advanced Manufacturing Hub in Birmingham is one of six economic zones created to provide growth environments for key sectors in the city. The first tenant to move into the hub will be an international hydraulic manufacturer, HydraForce. The company received an award of £1.8 million from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund towards its £17 million investment to move its European headquarters 2 miles (3.2km) away from its existing plant to occupy the newly constructed state-of-the-art facility in Aston, Birmingham. In constructing the new facility, multi-disciplinary contractor Buckingham Group engaged fabricator, Window & Door Commercial Ltd, to supply and install the complete aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling to the façade of the factory office. Fitted in 10 weeks, the project utilised AluK’s 58BW window systems, 58BD and GT55 TB door systems as well as SL52 curtain walling, using 340m2 of aluminium profile. Industrial development specialist, First Industrial, wanted to create a manufacturing unit that met specific sustainability requirements; the AluK systems specified helped the project to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating, as well as meet the architect’s design intent of slim sightlines and profile sizes. Lee Wong, Director, Stephen George & Partners comments: “The aim with this project was to flood the main entrance atrium and staircases with natural light, hence the specification of full height AluK curtain walling. We incorporated a vertical Brise Soleil system to the design in order to reduce solar gain and enhance the occupants’ visual comfort as the façade was south facing.” The architects did not want to disguise the curtain walling restraint beams by using lookalike panels and framing, therefore rectangular hollow aluminium pieces were merged and finished to match the transoms so as to be viewed as part of the system. “The window configuration was designed to allow as much reflected light off the suspended ceiling as possible by positioning the head at ceiling level” adds Lee Wong. “A fixed light beneath ensured that the opening casement was at a level to be easily unlocked. For this section, horizontal Brise Soleil was incorporated to achieve the BREEAM credits required.”


The new facility includes a large production area of 100,000 sq ft which incorporates associated goods in/out and dispatch areas. Also located within the production area is space for the engineering department & CNC machines. As part of the production process, a quality laboratory and product application area were created together with a new canteen, locker areas and spacious WC facilities for the staff. In addition, a large office area of 20,000 sq. ft. of space will be utilised and spread across three floors. With the additional 75,000 sq ft of space, the company intends to fill at least 200 jobs over the next five years and increase manufacturing capacity with the addition of more equipment. HydraForce currently employs 280 people at its European headquarters at Aston, Birmingham and is moving to the new facility in response to a huge increase in demand for its products. It is expected that the company will nearly double its turnover by 2018. The project was completed in July 2015.

February 2016 Case Study

mingham’s innovative Advanced Manufacturing Hub

AluK products used: SL52 curtain walling system The SL52 curtain walling system is a flexible capped solution designed to offer high performance. The flexibility of the SL52 design enables specifiers to create impressive façades that not only enhance the aesthetics of a building but also provide the specific functionality and performance required to meet and exceed current standards. The SL52 curtain walling system is available with fully integrated vent options including POV, Tilt and Turn, Top Hung, Side Hung and Fixed Light.

58BW window system The 58BW window system offers a cost effective, high performance solution in a wide range of configurations and formats to suit your building design. Certified under the Secured by Design scheme, its unique polyamide thermal break design improves thermal performance. Available in single or dual colour option, polyester powder coating and anodised finishes. GT55 TB door system The GT55 TB door system provides the ultimate combination of security and performance. The system is ideal for a range of heavy duty commercial and public sector applications including offices, hospitals, schools, warehousing and other industrial applications. The GT55 TB is one of the most robust thermally broken commercial door systems available on the market. The system has been fully tested and can be integrated with AluK’s GT55 ground floor treatment system and has recently completed rigorous testing regime to PAS24. This robust and low maintenance door provides complete flexibility in entrance solutions and is available in a wide range of colours and finishes to suit any project. 58BD door system Available in a wide range of styles and formats, the 58BD aluminium door system is suitable for both light and medium duty use and offers a competitively priced, flexible solution that ensures that your property is safe and secure. Secured by Design certified, it has multi point locking mechanisms for enhanced security. The system to available in a comprehensive range of standard and RAL colours and can be single or dual colour.


Landscaping February 2016

NEW SPECIALIST COLOURED MATERIAL FROM BITUCHEM The Bituchem Group has introduced a new colour to its best-selling Natratex Cotswold hard landscaping range. The company is now producing a Salmon alternative offering a pink shade of the natural asphalt material which is both durable and aesthetically pleasing. Natratex Salmon uses coloured stone pigments sourced from specific quarries to offer a naturally coloured surface for a wide range of commercial and domestic applications. The coloured aggregates of Natratex Salmon are fully bonded using a clear


resin binder to form a hardwearing surface with an attractive natural stone finish.

which have all required a colourful yet natural landscape.

The material allows specifiers and architects to add a touch of soft colour to brighten up rural or heritage areas whilst still reflecting the character of the surrounding landscape and architecture.

The mechanics and functionality of the Natratex range is similar to traditional asphalt as it is laid and compacted at the same nominal thickness, using conventional equipment.

Like all Natratex products, the Salmon material is extremely versatile and can be used for any new, overlay or regeneration application that sees light vehicular or pedestrian use, including car parks, domestic driveways, footpaths and parks.

The Bituchem design team can work with architects and specifiers to suggest ideal solutions for the individual requirements for each application and tailor the aggregate type to each contract specification.

Bituchem have completed many successful applications of the Natratex Salmon surface at a number of National Trust properties, domestic areas, care homes and decorative footpaths

Further information is available from Bituchem on 01594 826768 or 07584 311266, by emailing: or by visiting the company’s website at

Formpave Aquaflow SuDS System

Formpave Aquaflow SuDS System provides an affordable solution to the challenges of storm water disposal and treatment, water conservation, recycling and re-use. • • • • •

Collects and cleans storm water Can be used with rainwater harvesting Improved water quality Low construction costs A specialist team of engineers to design your permeable paving needs completely FREE OF CHARGE

• Over 20 years’ experience in designing permeable paving • 6 year design warranty, covered by our own PI insurance for all Aquaflow schemes designed or approved by Formpave • With you from concept to completion • An attractive range of block sizes, colours and aesthetic finishes 01594 836999

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Landscaping February 2016

Formpave proves perfect paving solution for new homes at old mill A 52

development of new homes in and around a converted 18th Century mill building in Worcestershire is using Formpave’s Aquaflow sustainable urban drainage system (SuDS). The new homes by Metis Developments at Nash Court, in Belbroughton, share a car park built above a culverted stream which used to power the old mill. The location and volatility of the stream meant it was not possible to connect

the houses to the soakaways on the other side of the culvert, so Metis Developments came to the experts at Formpave to see if they could engineer a permeable pavement that could deliver the solution.

To drain surface water from the car park and roofs, Formpave designed an infiltration system within the pavement itself, making use of the natural

February 2015 Landscaping

park the development was finished and ready for customers. Paul Webb, Commercial Director at Metis Developments, said, “We needed effective permeable paving to be put in place at Nash Court to comply with the planning conditions, and so we didn’t hesitate in choosing Formpave’s Aquaflow and Aquapave SuDS. “These were not only extremely effective but were also aesthetically pleasing and in keeping with the design of our luxury new homes at the development.” Duncan Short, of contractors Logmoor Limited, who installed the SuDS, said, “This was a challenging site to design, due in part to the stream beneath the parking area, which meant connecting the homes’ external drainage to the culvert was not an option, and a standard Tarmac base layer could not be used, as surface water would not have drained effectively. “We opted for 1,200m2 of Formpave’s Aquaflow and Aquapave SuDS, as this solved our drainage issues and was also the most cost-effective infiltration system of its type.” The whole process was made simple by Formpave’s experienced design team who provided the detailed design to overcome the site issues. Formpave’s Aquaflow and Aquapave offer systems capable of dispersing up to 4,500mm of run-off water per square metre per hour. They are among a range of cost effective, sustainable permeable paving solutions provided by the company for traditional hard landscaping and urban drainage installations. Established in 1989, Formpave is a worldleading authority in permeable paving. Its systems clean and drain surface water run-off in a controlled way and can also store water for purposes such as flushing lavatories, watering plants and washing cars.

The completed Aquapave installation, in the car park area of Nash Court in Belbroughton.

permeability of the ground. Hidden distribution boxes below the car park connect to the rainwater downpipes from each home delivering roof runoff straight into the permeable paving system. The special sub-base aggregate ensures water can then gradually soak into the ground over a wide area. Metis Developments selected a block paved finish from Formpave’s wide range of products and in no more time than it takes to construct a normal car

Formpave offers a comprehensive free design service to suit all requirements, including technical and professional advice, preparation of draft proposals and validation of the client’s own designs. All designs provided by Formpave are covered by professional indemnity insurance and benefit from the company’s 20 years experience in designing permeable paving systems. For more information please visit the website, at and You can also follow the companies on Twitter via @ForterraUK and @Formpave


February 2016




udstech is one of the latest porous paving products introduced to the SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Solutions) market, with the impressive ability to transfer up to 50,000 litres of water per square metre per hour.

The highly porous, low-maintenance material is created using sustainable products and is designed to allow the natural infiltration method of the water cycle for an easy and environmentally-friendly drainage system. Suitable for all private and public applications, including domestic driveways, public footpaths, golf clubs and car parks, Sudstech can be used as an alternative to standard asphalt hard landscaping materials, whilst offering the same aesthetics and durability as some of the most established products in the market, with the added benefit of a cost-effective water management service. The porous material is created using natural stones sourced in the UK and can be specified in a wide range of colours and finishes, offering a solution to complement or contrast with any architectural colour scheme. The coloured stones are combined with a specially developed resin, which allows rainfall to evenly saturate through the surface into the ground and eventually finding its way to the water course. The material also uses three recycled car tyres per square metre to form the sub base layer of the surface. This not only makes the product an environmentally-friendly solution, but it can also be taken up and reused to form a base layer for future projects. Sudstech uses varying grades of angular aggregates to deliver maximised strength and durability for a sleek, porous surface that can withstand all usages without compromising the quality of the material. Sudstech is also unaffected by severe weather conditions, with the rubber sub base layer designed to allow any expansion and contraction caused by the constant freeze/thaw process


of water within its voids, so eliminating delamination that can occur in other porous paving. Following many years of research, development and testing, Sudstech conforms to the latest SUDS legislations created alongside the Water Management Act 2010, which requires porous materials to completely prevent surface water run-off and build up. With its large water capacity, Sudstech can contribute to the control of flooding caused by climate change in domestic areas and other environmental impacts of hard paving water build up. Sudstech has been used for many commercial and domestic schemes, including the new Canary Wharf Crossrail Station’s ‘Living Roof’, as well as sites for the London 2012 Olympics, housing associations, NHS properties, golf courses and landscapes for World Heritage sites. All applications of Sudstech can be modified to meet each specification requirement, such as colour variation and weight loading capacity and can provide up to 9 BREEAM accreditations. Due to its SUDS compliancy, applications of Sudstech do not require planning permission. Further information on Sudstech is available from Langford Direct Ltd. on 0161 2121617, by emailing: or by visiting the company’s website at

TOP: Sudstech is one of the latest porous paving products introduced to the SUDS (Sustainable Urban Drainage Solutions) market, with the impressive ability to transfer up to 50,000 litres of water per square metre per hour. INSET: Suitable for all private and public applications, including domestic driveways, public footpaths, golf clubs and car parks, Sudstech can be used as an alternative to standard asphalt hard landscaping materials.

February 2016

Let the Experts Take Care of your Domestic Waste Water Problems When it comes to off mains sewage, many people can be blown away by all the information and differing products available on the internet, Google “domestic sewage treatment plant” and the consumer is bombarded by plants of all shapes and sizes which is why dealing with a specialist manufacturer, installer and servicer of treatment plants like We Build It Ltd can give the consumer piece of mind and confidence they are getting the right information, the right solution and the right system. We Build It Ltd are based in the heart of some of Shropshire’s most outstanding countryside. As one of the UK’s largest manufacturers of domestic sewage treatment plants, we focus on high quality, affordable products. All of our sewage treatment plants are based on the successful and simple extended aeration method. We can design, manufacture, install and service sewage treatment plant for single houses, small developments, rural industrial units, campsites, pubs, hotels, offices, barn conversions and commercial applications. Our products can also be used after an existing septic tank to enable the effluent to be discharged directly to a water causeway, if your existing soak away has failed.

We often get asked: How does it work? What does it cost? Does it use electric? And how much? Do I have to maintain it? How do I install it? How big is it? Do I need to empty it? What can go into the plant? What happens to the waste? Do I need planning permission? Do I need to inform the Environment agency? How long will it last? DOES IT SMELL!!!!!????? All of these questions can be answered by We Build It experts who know their products inside out; ask a middle man with no knowledge of the industry, product or process these questions and the customer is often baffled by terms such as BOD, COD, NH4, but do they really need to know this? All the homeowner, builder or architect wants to know is that the product will work with the minimum effort from them during the life of the plant. We Build It Ltd offer straight forward, easy to follow advice for your sewage treatment needs. All of our sewage treatment plants come with easy to follow installation and service manuals, as well as free telephone assistance by specialist installers. We can also offer full or assisted installations at very competitive rates. We pride ourselves on offering the best GRP products on the market backed up by proper good old-

fashioned customer service - (dial straight through and speak to our specialists, no automated service or queuing system) buying a sewage treatment plant can be quite daunting, which plant is best for my situation?? What are the regulations?? What about the Environment agency?? Etc. but be assured we will be with you every step of the way, making sure you have the right solution designed around your requirements. You deal direct with the manufacturer, with over 25 years waste water experience, 24-7-365 days of the year For the self-builder the right treatment plant is simple to install providing they have taken the manufacturers advice, be aware some plants need complete concrete backfill which can add to install costs, a well-constructed plant such as the BioPure can be backfilled with pea gravel. Consider whole life costs, not just the cost of the treatment plant, factor in install costs, power consumption, servicing, consumable spare parts, product life cycle (guarantee) and emptying charges, We Build It Ltd offer a 25 year guarantee on the treatment plant and 2 Years on the air pump.

The Bio-Pure Simple Solution Sewage Systems Any plant up to 50 people (pe 50) should be manufactured and tested to EN12566-3, this gives the consumer confidence they are getting the right treatment plant for their application, but always ask to see the certificate and test results as these can be manipulated and not show the true outcome of the test.


Sizing the plant for a single house is simple its number of bedrooms plus two, so a three bedroom house is a 5 person treatment plant, for multiple dwellings using the same treatment plant speak to the manufacturer for the correct size unit, most manufactures range are in increments 1-5, 1-7, 5-13 etc. up to 50 person. (See Our Range Below)

February 2016 The treatment plant you choose should be around 95% efficient thus allowing long intervals before de-sludge is required. The waste water must be cleaned to a standard meeting the usual discharge level requirement, you must apply for either an exemption certificate or permit, before making a discharge we can assist with this and advise on the method of discharge, be it a ditch, stream, watercourse or soakaway. As the system breaks down and aerates the solids, the introduction of non-degradable items such as wipes, sanitary products etc. should be avoided at all times in any treatment plant, this will clog up the system and increase

A simple Schematic of a BioPure Treatment Plant

the need to empty the unit, follow this instruction and typical emptying will be around 3-5 years, it is also recommended no medicines, or harsh chemicals enter

A BioPure Treatment Plant

the unit, try to stick to Eco brands and stagger washing throughout the week.

The Flow-Path Simple Solution Sewage Systems We Build it has developed its range of package sewage treatment plants utilising proven SAF (submerged aerated filter) technology for maximum performance and reliability, using the most reliable energy efficient aeration blowers with a prolonged integral FlowPath system to maximise effluent quality. A BioPure Treatment Plant

All our Flowpath treatment plants are designed in accordance with the British Water Code of Practice for flows and loads, this range can be designed to meet your population and consent requirements, our standard range can accommodate up to 300 pe. This range of products can be designed for larger scale commercial applications such as camping sites, leisure facilities, schools, hotels, offices and industrial applications Maintanance, Spares And Servicing The consumer needs easy to follow advice for their sewage treatment needs especially when servicing their plant, maintaining any sewage treatment plant, is a very important part of ensuring the efficiency of the system and that you adhere to any operating and maintenance manual and annual servicing.

assessing the aeration pattern, sludge levels and effluent quality. • All labour expenses for servicing and call outs are covered so there are no hidden costs. • The cost of all serviceable parts will be free of charge. This includes rebuilding the air pump, replacing the diaphragms and also the air filters. • Sludge return is carried out as required. This is the removal of settled sludge from the outer scum ring back into the centre chamber to be re digested and treated again. This helps to keep the emptying period low. • Emptying is NOT included in the agreement as the Bio-Pure does not require emptying for 3-5 years. • The service agreement lasts for 12

months and will also help you meet your Environment Agency obligations regarding your Consent to Discharge. This includes keeping records of service, de-sludging and maintenance work for a minimum of 5 years.

Our Other Products include: • Mini SAF’s (for offices and outbuildings up to 4 persons) • Pump Stations (standard and bespoke) • Septic Tank Conversion Units (used as secondary treatment for underperforming septic tanks) For a full range of our products and servicing visit:

We strongly advise servicing the system on an annual basis and this will take on average less than an hour to complete. It will also help you to meet your legal requirements with the Environment Agency. We Build It Ltd Service Contracts • Emergency breakdown cover for 12 months. If you have any problem with your unit, call us and we will come out and fix it free of charge. • One service visit where all necessary checks are carried out. This includes


Industry News February 2016

Lighthouse Club challenges industry to raise £1.5m The Lighthouse Club is challenging construction companies to hit a £1.5m fund-raising target this year. The industry charity has launched its “One day… to help our own” initiative to coincide with its 60th anniversary year. The fund will help look after more families affected by illness, injury or fatalities on site. And the Lighthouse Club is also looking to increase its work supporting education and training schemes to get the unemployed back into work in construction and to create health and safety innovation projects to proactively reduce accidents and promote health initiatives. The latest drive challenges all 360,000 companies in the sector to take just one day of their year and make it “Lighthouse Day” and raise funds for the charity. Lighthouse CEO Bill Hill said: “We want to make our 60th year a definitive one in our ongoing evolution. A year where we can say that we institutionalized a National Lighthouse Day. “If we can reach the 360,000 companies in construction and just one per cent register for a National Lighthouse Day, who in turn raise just £500 each, then we could see the charity raise £1.5m. “I would encourage everyone in the sector to sign up to help us reach our target.”

Environmentally efficient home in Houston responds to urban context Zui Ng’s flexible design for the Shotgun Chameleon house dates back to the 2006 Venice Biennale, where he exhibited plans for his post-Katrina New Orleans prototype. The Shotgun Chameleon, a part of the U.S. pavilion exhibition Rebuilding After Katrina (organized by Architectural Record for the Biennale), was never constructed. Nevertheless, the idea stuck with Ng for almost a decade and in 2015, he built the home in Houston’s historic Fourth Ward neighborhood for himself and his young family. The designer says he fell in love with the site, which lies in the midst of “a constantly evolving urban fabric,” where older homes compete with new condominiums and residential towers. “The house had to reconcile with all the contradictions around it,” he says. Studying the vernacular architecture of New Orleans, Ng noted how owners of old shotgun houses often rent out their front rooms—which have their own entries— for extra income. That observation prompted him to add an external staircase to the Shotgun Chameleon, making the building easily divisible into a duplex or live-work space. Much of the design-build project’s modest budget (less than $300,000 for 2,000 square feet) went to the concrete foundation and steel-frame structure, filled in with 2-by-6-inch studs and plywood. Multiple windows in every room foster cross-ventilation: breezes flow through the south-facing porch and balcony to ventilate the house passively, while wooden slats on the sides and a perforated stainless-steel screen on the front afford privacy. Ng calculated the angle of the roof over the balcony to shield the interior from the high summer sun but allow lower winter rays in. Other energy-efficient choices—a tankless water heater and mini-split air conditioners minimize energy consumption. Spray foam insulation and low-E, argon-gas-filled windows help maintain comfortable temperatures inside. With 16-foot-high ceilings, the second floor living and dining room opens up to the balcony via sliding glass doors, creating an expanded living space. “We wanted to sustain the culture and history of the area,” Ng says, “so we built the porch and balcony to be able to interact with our neighbors.”


Faced with a diversity of architectural styles and a rapidly evolving neighborhood, the Shotgun Chameleon takes a subtle and smart approach to fitting in. “In Chinese, we have this saying: Slow water cuts rocks. Rather than confronting conflict head-on,” says Ng, “the philosophy is about moving slowly to mediate dissonance all around.”


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Industry News February 2016

Start date for 600-home Salford Quays PRS scheme Build to rent developer Grainger has struck a deal to kick-start work on a 600-home scheme in Salford Quays. Under the deal Grainger has undertaken to acquire the Clippers Quay private rental scheme for £100m. This allows work on the five-block project, which has planning, to start in the Spring. The transaction is pending the finalisation of a construction contract with Sir Robert McAlpine tipped as a frontrunner for the job. Last week Grainger set out its ambition to become one of the country’s leading private landlords with a plan to invest over £850m in the private rented homes over the next 3-5 years.

The new tram line will be a direct link to Trafford Park and the Trafford Centre. Helen Gordon, chief executive of Grainger, said: “This is one of the largest build to rent developments outside of London and a major boost to our focus on growing our private rented sector portfolio. “At over 600 homes, Clippers Quay adds further scale to Grainger’s established PRS platform. Once fully let, it should deliver over £7.5m of gross rent per annum. The scheme is of a scale that will enable Grainger to implement its full service private rental model.”

Grainger will acquire the completed development from Amstone Ventures on phased payment terms over three phases. The development includes the construction of a footbridge that will land at the Wharfside tram stop.

Balfour Beatty clinches £245m Warwickshire highways deal Balfour Beatty has won a seven-year, £245m highways maintenance contract for Coventry City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council. The three councils have joined forces in the hope of achieving greater efficiencies of scale across the region. Balfour Beatty Living Places has delivered highways maintenance services across Warwickshire over the last five years. Now a 120-strong directly employed workforce, including 30 local apprenticeships and 10 graduate placements, will deliver a variety of services to over 5,000km of roads, winter maintenance across 2,000km of roads and maintenance of over 55,000 street lights. Leo Quinn, Balfour Beatty Group chief executive said: “This contract award is a real endorsement of the excellent service we have provided across Warwickshire since 2011 and gives us the opportunity to build upon our successes.”


Last week Balfour Beatty Living Places also secured a £55m, two-year extension to its West Sussex

Oxford Uni Tinbergen Building revamp approved Planning permission has been granted to refurbish and extend the University of Oxford’s Tinbergen Building to create new chemistry teaching laboratories. The scheme will enable an expansion of the existing Sir Leslie Martin building to meet the Chemistry Department’s growth projections beyond 2020. Designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, the redevelopment plan has been drawn up to be sympathetic to its brutalist style and stepped structure. Work is expected to start this month and will involve several building pod extensions to the existing complex. CPC Project Services is project managing the refurbishment works on behalf of the University, which will include a new entrance, student hub and improved teaching laboratories.

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