Construction Update - December 2019

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The Future Homes Standard - ATNA

Also featured this issue:


December 2019

The Future Homes Standard


George Clarke rails against the government’s slow timetable on future homes The chancellor of the exchequer announced the Future Homes Standard in March 2019, but what is it? Well, it’s a standard that is expected to set us on a course to reduce carbon emissions to NET-ZERO by 2050 and the government now sees housing as being a key part in that – which it should as some claim that homes account for a third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. The government intends to introduce in 2020 ‘a meaningful but achievable uplift to energy efficiency standards as a stepping-stone to the future homes standard’ with the intention ‘to make new homes more energy efficient and to future-proof them in readiness for low carbon heating systems’ in readiness for the introduction of a further uplift in standards in 2025. So, a lifting of standards next year and then again in 2025 when the full Future Homes Standard is implemented.

Ambitious Now, this standard is very ambitious. The government claims it will achieve a 75-80% reduction in carbon emissions compared to a home built to the current building regulations.

This will be done through very high fabric standards and low carbon heating systems, so a combination of higher levels of insulation, triple glazing in all windows (both of which we should be doing anyway!),heat pumps, heat recovery ventilation, etc, etc. Their initial consultation seeks views on a number of things like this: Two options to increase Part L of the building regulations. 1. One is a 20% reduction in emissions delivered by very high fabric standards only (ie, insulation and triple glazing) 2. The other is a 31% reduction due to a combination of carbon-saving technology (ie. solar PV panels, etc) combined with better fabric standards, but not as high as option 1 so using double glazing rather then triple glazing. Now call me stupid, but I thought we already had to install double-glazing under the current building regs! Surely we should be doing both at maximum ecological capacity. Improving the building fabric (triple glazing should have been introduced as standard 10 years ago!) AND installing heat pumps and panels!

December 2019

We don’t have time for 5 years of chit chat to do what we all know is the right thing to do! George Clarke - Architect and TV Presenter

Talking shop

A complete joke

And then there is this.

And you may forgive my negativity when I tell you this.

The government ‘envisage research into the Future Homes Standard to commence from 2021, alongside the establishment of an industry Taskforce, with research continuing into 2023 . . . with the intention of consulting on the implementation of the Future Homes Standard in 2024.’ REALLY? Consulting on the implementation in 2024? It could all be too late by then!

It was urgent a year ago! Didn’t the government listen to David Attenborough’s People’s Seat address at COP24 in Poland in December 2018? I actually can’t believe that speech was nearly a year ago when he said: “Right now (and he really meant RIGHT NOW!), we are facing a man-made disaster of a global scale… If we don’t take action the collapse of our civilisations and the extinctions of much of the natural world is on the horizon.” We don’t have time for 5 years of chit chat and consultation to do what we all know is easy and is the right thing to do!

This ATNA government I hate being so negative. Believe me I’m one of the most positive and enthusiastic people in the world. But, for far too long, when it comes to raising building regulation standards, this government (and many before it!) have been what I’m now going to abbreviate as ATNA… ALL TALK NO ACTION! Are we really going to spend 5 years talking about whether to install more insulation, install triple-glazing and replace our gas boilers with low carbon air-source heat pumps? It’s too little and taking too much time.

A ZERO-CARBON HOMES POLICY was first announced by Gordon Brown in 2006. Every single new build home built in the UK by 2016 was to be zero-carbon! That policy was completely scrapped by the Conservative party in 2015 when they won a majority government in the general election! The policy of zero-carbon was scrapped “to reduce net regulations on housebuilders”! Rubbish! It is 13 years since that policy was first announced by Labour. And now, 4 years after the Tories scrapped it, they announce the ‘Future Homes Standard’ as if it is something amazingly new. Oh, but they need 5 or 6 years to think about it. WHAT A COMPLETE JOKE! I support the idea of the Future Home Standard, just as I supported the zero-carbon homes policy that Gordon Brown announced in 2006. But, government is far too slow and far too incompetent when it comes to doing the right thing in making the changes the home building industry and the environment desperately needs to see. We need big change and action right now. But instead, in the politically turbulent times, we’ll just continue with ATNA! George Clarke is an architect, writer, lecturer and TV presenter, a founder of TV production company Amazing Productions, and creative director of George Clarke + Partners.

















Construction Update December 2019

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17 December 2019 @ConstructionUpd 06| Industry News 10| Editor’s Choice 12| CU Company of the Year 16| Companies of the Year 28| Flooring 34| Workwear 40| Buildings & Design 50| Home Improvements & Building Supplies




December 2019

Traditional lantern roof light Lanterns differ from flat roof lights in that they’re a rectangular base where the sides slant upwards to create a 3D triangular shape, meeting in the middle at its highest point.


he advantage to these is that – as well as all that natural light - they add extra height to your room. This feeling of spaciousness is perfect if you want to open up a small room, or add even more light and space to a large family area. The traditional style is supported by aluminium spines, which are visible when you look up through the lantern. The added strength provided by these bars means traditional lanterns can be built to larger sizes, also making them ideal for big open-plan rooms or spacious kitchen-diners.


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Industry News December 2019

Improving productivity, efficiency and reputation Could your business benefit from greater productivity, increased efficiency, reduced costs, enhanced reputation and a safer workplace?


f so, now is the time to invest in Managing Safely, the marketleading safety and health course for businesses of all sizes. It has been delivered worldwide for over 25 years by a huge network of training providers. It is tried, tested and trusted. And there’s more: • It’s thorough but flexible. With the consequences of safety and health failure potentially fatal, you cannot rush training. Our three-day course takes the right amount of time to get learners up to speed. It’s available face-to-face or via e-learning to suit your business needs. • It’s business focused. IOSH works with business leaders in the development of flexible courses to ensure they deliver the insights and efficiencies you need to gain a competitive edge. • It’s unique. Managing Safely combines practical step-by-step guidance with an engaging and inspirational approach that will make your managers think afresh about how safety and health can positively impact the whole business. • It’s contextualised. The content of the course and the scenarios that are explored will directly reflect your sector, workplace and even factors relating to your location or business demographic. So, it’s easy to put everything they’ve learned into practice.


• It’s world-class. IOSH is the Chartered body for safety and health professionals and the quality of the training and the content of the course reflect that.

Who should attend?


This course is for anyone who manages or supervises people, in any industry sector or environment. They’ll learn to:

Here’s why:

• • • • • •

assess risks control risks understand responsibilities understand hazards investigate incidents measure performance

They’ll learn about the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’. Why should we look out for our colleagues? Why should we continue to innovate? How can I make a difference? Successful delegates are awarded an internationallyrecognised Managing Safely certificate. It’s a vital achievement and demonstrates that they have the knowledge to be more efficient, productive and safe in the workplace – to the benefit of all.

• Track record. Managing Safely from IOSH is the market leader in safety and health and we’ve trained 172,000 delegates on 23,000 training courses in 76 countries. • Vision. We can help you prepare for tomorrow. The world of work is transforming at a rapid pace and we want to ensure that you are ready to embrace those changes and profit from them rather than being left behind. • Status. We are a global organisation with 47,000 members in 130 countries, many of whom are business owners themselves, and we represent their views to governments and regulatory bodies to make sure business can continue to drive the positive change we all need and deserve. For further information, please see

There’s a reason Managing Safely doesn’t cut corners The consequences of rushing health and safety training can be fatal. So Managing Safely takes exactly the right amount of time to get participants up to speed. That’s why our three day health and safety course is the most popular for line managers, in any sector, worldwide.

Managing Safely Tried. Tested. Trusted.

Editor’s Choice December 2019

Heavy Duty Vacuums for the Construction Industry Previously we have looked at BVC Industrial Vacuums for ontool extraction and general cleaning duties. In this article we will look at the “big beasts” which find applications within primarily the construction materials supply chain.


uirepace have been manufacturing BVC heavy duty industrial vacuum cleaners since 2008 when they took over the business from Barloworld. However, the machine designs have a long pedigree stretching back to when British Vacuum Cleaners were part of the Goblin Empire, and are still manufactured using some of the castings and metal pressings that have stood the test of time. In 2016 Quirepace brought the metal pressings inhouse and now operate their own press-shop with two new 30 tonne and 55 tonne presses.


The largest range of BVC machines is designated “Centurion” and consists of two models; the Ti60 and Ti80 both of which are available with several choices and variations of motor size, capacity, filtration and hoses/tools. The range spans from 4kW up to 15kW. All units require a 3 phase supply, although petrol and diesel variations can also be supplied. The power of Centurion Industrial Vacuum Cleaners is required primarily when heavy aggregates and materials have to be cleaned and recovered, so customers are typically from cement processing, brick

December 2019 Editor’s Choice If materials to be cleaned are organic such as wood or plastic products and where fine material dusts may create an explosive atmosphere, it is necessary to use ATEX rated vacuum cleaners. Both Ti60 and Ti80 are available in ATEX rated versions with similarly rated hoses and tools.

works, lime processors, concrete products manufacturers and other similar industries. Ti60 and Ti80 have 60 litre and 80 litre collection tanks, but for heavier materials it is often appropriate to use an intermediate interceptor skip which can be both manoeuvred on its own wheels or picked up and carried by FLT. Similarly, Centurion Ti80 is equipped with fork lugs. Using a separate skip interceptor provides several advantages; a single vacuum unit can be shared between several interceptors; for emptying the vacuum unit does not have to be detached from the power supply, and having the vacuum plant separate from the collector reduces the weight to be carried from the work place to the disposal point. The motive power for Centurion Industrial Vacuum Cleaners is a combination unit consisting of a continuously rated 3 phase electric motor of a rating suitable for the application combined with a BVC multistage vacuum pump designed for heavy duty use. The BVC multistage design is much more forgiving in an industrial application than typical side channel exhausters and vacuum pumps found on competitor machines. Side channel units are very efficient at handling air, but the tight internal tolerances are rapidly destroyed should anything else find its way into the unit. BVC multistage vacuum pumps operate with much wider

tolerances between Impellers and casings and in most cases are not affected by accidental ingress of material or liquid, giving the units a very high durability in the toughest environments. As in all Industrial Vacuum Cleaners, filtration is as important as the machine power in determining the overall efficiency of the unit. Filters must not blind easily, or performance quickly degrades, and must also be robust enough to handle continual operation with aggressive materials. All BVC Centurion vacuum cleaners may be specified with either standard bag filters or, for finer materials, the unique BVC Clearflow filter which naturally agitates continually in use helping to prevent filter blinding. All standard filters may be combined with HEPA secondary filters for enhanced filtration where required. BVC Centurion machines are available with 38mm, 51mm and 76mm hoses and various combinations and lengths of hose may be used depending on the application. Additionally, the larger machines are capable of operating multiple users simultaneously through either Y pieces or fixed pipework systems. Similarly heavy-duty tools are available in several different designs depending on the application. For some materials special aerating tools are necessary to mix the material with air to enable it to flow easily

Whilst the BVC range of Industrial Vacuum Cleaners manufactured by Quirepace is available in a wide range of standard configurations, it is also possible to manufacture special units for particular applications. For example, it is possible to equip machines with PLC interfaces so that the equipment starts and stops automatically determined by external signals and processes. BVC Centurion Industrial Vacuum Cleaners are manufactured for durability in the most aggressive environments, and have stood the test of time in many diverse industries. Machines used in the UK are provided with a 5 year parts warranty against manufacturing defect, and spare parts are available for all units from a comprehensive warehouse in Fareham. Quirepace also provide spare parts for many older units up to 30 or more years old, and it is not unusual to find BVC vacuum cleaners still in use after several decades. BVC from Quirepace – Tough Machines for Tough Jobs.

Quirepace Ltd


British manufacturer Ecodek have been producing their unique Wood Polymer Composite boards system for over 15 years. In 2018 alone, the production of ecodek® material consumed more than 3600 tonnes of recycled plastic milk bottles and sustainably sourced hardwood fibres. ecodek® boards are available in three profiles, two finishes and five colours, so suitable for a huge range of applications both commercial and residential. ecodek® can be found across the UK and beyond, in public realm areas such as walkways, bridges, schools, care homes, stadia, restaurants – the list goes on.

Images Copyright Neil Kenyon at ArkiMag

ecodek® material comes with a 25 year warranty as standard, giving piece of mind to both specifier and end user. An independent life-cycle assessment considered the manufacture of ecodek® (from cradle to factory-gate) showed that production of ecodek® had a net effect of removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere rather than adding to




ecodek® AT and HD Reversible Grooved Ribbed boards are available in bespoke lengths and five colours. ecodek® Heritage Woodgrain Effect boards are available in standard 3.6m lengths and five colours. To improve safety and aesthetics for outdoor living and public realm spaces, Ecodek now offer DekGlo, an innovative form of lighting for the decking market, charging in daylight and glowing throughout the night.

Requiring no wiring, DekGlo is easy to install, sticking or screwing into decking or drilling a recess so the DekGlo discs lie flush with the surrounding surface. Guaranteed for 20 years, there is no ongoing maintenance issues giving peace of mind to the end-user. Edges of steps, decking and balustrades can be highlighted to provide a safe outdoor area year-

round, providing illumination without ongoing energy costs or damage to the environment. Contact us to find out more about this fantastic new product, as well as our decking range. 01978 667 840


Ecodek is a member of Made in Britain, an organisation established to promote and support British manufacturers, and proudly bear the Made in Britain Marque.

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Offering bespoke lengths to suit individual projects in both our AT and HD ranges means a welcome relief on site to the usual problem of waste materials. As ecodek® material is 100% recyclable, should any waste be generated on site, we can buy this back and put into the production of new boards.


it – hence carbon negative - a huge achievement in modern manufacturing and one that clearly illustrates our environmental credentials and commitment.

The boards will not warp, splinter or rot, and as ecodek® does not promote mould or algae growth, only require minimal maintenance, and do not require sanding or sealing.


20 1 9 C PAN OM

With the versatility to adapt to urban or traditional design schemes, ecodek® decking systems will allow the designer to transform outdoor spaces and gardens into feature areas. A range of specific screws, substructure bearers and beams are also available.




20 1 9 C PAN OM

Adek - Class A Fire Rated


CU Company of the Year December 2019

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British manufacturer Ecodek consistently strive to provide products and services incorporating the very latest Y 2 OF technology and developments within the Construction THE YE AR Materials sector. The company have a dedicated Research and Development resource tasked with ensuring the products supplied measure up against current rules and regulations. When considering fire events in high-rise buildings and subsequent changes within section B4 of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations, Ecodek have designed and developed a brand new, purpose made non-combustible outdoor flooring solution for the balcony and terrace market – the Adek system. In line with the core environmental principals of the Ecodek business, Adek is manufactured from 100% recycled aluminium and is completely recyclable. Adek carries an A2 fire-rating of A2-s1, d0. This is in accordance with the new legislation for materials incorporated into the envelope of high-rise buildings to be classed as noncombustible. A2-s1, d0 means that for smoke emissions and release of droplets, Adek has the highest rating for an A2 classed product. Aluminium is an ideal material for decking. It is lightweight and strong, highly resistant to corrosion, durable and aesthetically appealing. With in-depth knowledge of the market, Ecodek have designed the Adek boards to be extra-wide (295mm) and can be supplied in bespoke lengths, allowing installers a much faster fixing time. The boards are available in two thicknesses (20mm and 30mm) that allow spans up to 600mm and 1200mm respectively. With the ability to ‘rip’ the boards lengthwise with the addition of a support leg, the Adek system will give greater flexibility to balcony and terrace design.

The modern, sleek lines of Adek are preserved as a result of hidden screw-fix system, Adek boards are screwed directly into the substructure - no clips are involved at all. The revolutionary new Adek system has been specifically designed for the balcony and terrace market, rather than being an adaptation of an existing commercial product re-purposed in order to meet the new Building Regulations. The unique Adek board has a surface finish that is both slip resistant and friendly underfoot. Adek – the new era in high-rise balconies and terraces: • • • • • •


Non-combustible: Class A2-s1, d0 100% Recycled Aluminium: Fully recyclable Anti-slip coating: Friendly underfoot Long-span, extra-wide panels: Fast fix Concealed fixings: No clips Lightweight, robust and durable system, available in a range of profiles and colours.

01978 667 840

Companies of the Year December 2019

Osmo protects premium shepherd huts When Norfolk-based hut builder, The English Shepherds Hut Co, was looking for a product that would enhance the exterior of their bespoke huts, they turned to Osmo UK to provide them with a hardwearing, weather resistant, and aesthetically pleasing wood finish. The English Shepherds Hut Co has manufactured shepherd huts for the past seven years. Originally designed to accommodate shepherds guarding their flock, the huts are now used in a range of residential and commercial settings including luxury accommodation. By combining tradition with comfort, The English Shepherds Hut Co create bespoke huts tailored to individual requirements. The made to order huts consist of cedar, larch or redwood cladding and can be built in a range of sizes. Once built, they are handfinished by a team of skilled craftsmen in the company workshop in Norfolk. Protection of exterior wood is of the upmost importance as the colour can fade after harmful UV rays damage the lining within the wood. With this in mind, The English Shepherds Hut Co applies Osmo UV-Protection-Oil Extra 420 to the huts. This finish delays the greying process by shielding the wood against harmful UV rays, algae and fungal decay. Additionally, it ensures a professional finish that will enhance and protect wood for many years to come. Osmo UK finishes are also used inside the huts on kitchen worktops and wooden shelves to complement the classic wooden interior.


“It was important to us to use high quality materials to reflect our premium price-point” comments Rob, Operations Manager at The English Shepherd Hut Co. “We’ve been using Osmo finishes for around three years now – and haven’t looked back. What I like about Osmo UK is the standard of finish, the clear coating enhances the natural wood grain without discolouration, peeling or flaking”. Osmo UV-Protection-Oil contains active ingredients perfectly blended in order to reduce algae and fungal decay and provide optimal protection during winter periods. The finish is absorbed in to the wood, preventing it from drying or becoming brittle. The finish does not crack, flake, peel or blister and provides a clear satin finish. The water and dirt resistant oil reduces wood swelling or shrinkage, protecting the surface for many years to come. The product is extremely easy to apply, two coats are needed for untreated timber whereas only one is required for surface renewal. The product can be applied evenly by flat brush or roller and dries within 12 hours. Osmo UVProtection-Oil provides hard-wearing protection against UV rays whilst improving the overall appearance of the exterior timber.

For more information and to view the complete product range, visit and to find out more about The English Shepherds Hut Co, visit or phone 01603 397777.







For more information on the complete range of Osmo eco-friendly finishes, please visit


Designed to protect, maintain and enhance the wooden surface, Decking-Oil produces a smooth satin finish which is water and dirt resistant. The microporous finish consists of natural vegetable oils and waxes which allows the wood to breathe, reducing the risk of swelling and shrinkage over time. The professional nature of the finish means that it will not crack, flake, peel or blister providing the homeowner with peace of mind that his jetty will continue to look its best.


As the decking was brand new, it did not need a lot of preparation. The wooden decking was wiped down to remove any excess debris or dust, which ensures even coverage and distribution. Decking-Oil was then applied by a soft brush,

with 24 hours between each coat to allow for adequate drying time. The finish has enhanced the wood’s natural characteristics and provided protection for many years to come.



he boat is moored at the exterior of a suburban home and can be easily reached via the wooden jetty. As it is constantly exposed to the elements, the finish needed to be able to protect the wooden surface from water damage and cosmetic wear and tear. Impressed by the ease of use of Osmo UK finishes, Rob recommended Decking-Oil for this project: “I’ve used Osmo in many of my previous projects and it doesn’t disappoint. Decking-Oil is extremely durable, and my clients regularly comment on the highquality of the product.”


After installing a jetty to provide safe access to his boat, a marine enthusiast was looking for a product that would protect the wooden decking from the elements whilst also enhancing its natural grain. Painter and decorator, Robert Moore of R.F.M Painting & Decorating Services was contracted for the project and Osmo UK Decking-Oil was chosen to provide a highquality and professional finish.


Stunning jetty finished with Osmo UK












Osmo revives weathered timber cladding


Companies of the Year December 2019


The owner of a two-storey property in Brighton was looking for a wood finish to revive the exterior timber cladding on his family home.

After hearing about Osmo UK’s reputation for good quality sustainable finishes, she knew that its products would not only provide a long-lasting finish, but that it would enhance the natural character of the wood. Rachel Forrest felt that the timber shiplap on the front and rear of her home was beginning to look dull and tired, and wanted to find a wood finish that would rejuvenate the existing cladding and keep it in good condition for years to come.


Rachel chose Osmo UK UVProtection-Oil in 420 Clear. Specially designed to maintain the natural colouring of the wood, this product is ideal for exterior joinery as it slows down the greying process. Not only does this finish protect against harsh weather damage,

but it also prevents algae, mildew and fungal attacks. The project took two days to complete, with only one coat required to achieve the desired finish. A flat brush was used to apply the oil to the exterior cladding, which provided a thin, even coverage. “I was looking for a product that would protect the exterior cladding from harsh weather conditions” comments Rachel Forrest. “Osmo UK UV-Protection-Oil has brought the weathered timber back to life. I’m really impressed with the overall finish – the timber has retained its colour extremely well.” The UV-Protection-Oil range consists of active ingredients to eliminate algae and fungal decay and provide optimal protection against the sun’s UV rays. By

absorbing into the wood, the oil allows the surface to remain healthy and elastic, preventing it from drying and becoming brittle. The oil will also not crack, flake, peel or blister. Ideal for exterior decking, it provides a satin, clear finish that not only protects the wood surface it can also enhance the natural look of the wood. For raw wood application, two coats need to be applied, with just one required for surface renewal. Dry after just 12 hours, Osmo UK UV-Protection-Oil will provide a durable protection from UV rays whilst ensuring the exterior timber looks refreshed and new for years to come. For more information and to view the complete product range, visit

December 2019


Looking forward to


I’d like to start by thanking our readership

We are currently working with The Surface

and our loyal advertisers. Without you we

design Show 2020 and again looking at

would not be here.

another busy year.

This year has gone so quickly and we have

I would like to thank Debbie from Jooce

gone from strength to strength with our fresh

Marketing for their continued support this

new theme on Construction Update’s website.

year and look forward to another wonderful

This has given us the ability to reach more

year working with them.

readers and clients. Which in turn helps more

I would like to thank all of our advertisers for

of you.

all your hard work meeting deadlines and

We have gained a new member to the team; our new Publication manager Jake Page, who we are pleased to work alongside with. This year alone our readership has grown significantly. Every day we have new subscribers which is fantastic. This year we have certainly been very busy,

taking the time to work with us. We really appreciate all your hard work, so thank you. I would like to thank Lucy Harris, our Assistant Publication Manager, for all of her hard work. I would like to thank Jake Page for joining the team and making a real impact.

we have taken on a lot more clients who we

I would like to thank David for his continued

are pleased to work with.

hard work (late nights and early mornings).

We have been media partners with the

From the team at Construction Update have

landscape show and The Smart buildings

a great Christmas and a Brilliant Happy New

show 2019.



Companies of the Year December 2019

How vehicle tracking can help you manage your carbon emissions A vehicle tracking system can be a powerful tool to reduce a business fleet’s carbon emissions, save costs and improve productivity. However, many organisations start with vehicle tracking for a separate set of reasons, e.g. security of the vehicles and wanting to know where their drivers are at any point in time. Systems that specifically track and measure driver behaviour also allow an organisation to target uneconomical driving styles, lowering costs and carbon emissions and reducing fuel consumption by up to 25%*.

braking provide a solid basis for feedback, combined with your drivers’ average speeds on certain stretches of road compared with other professional road users in the Quartix database. When you improve your fleet’s driving style and minimise emissions, you also save fuel and reduce the of risk accidents on the road.

Reducing idling times

Trip reporting & route maps

Quartix real-time vehicle tracking offers an intuitive interface that provides actionable insight, letting you coach your drivers, lower your fuel costs and reduce the impact your fleet has on the environment. Through measuring vehicle idling times and mileage, the system also enables you to reduce unnecessary vehicle use, further supporting your green agenda.

Quartix displays your fleet’s total mileage, driving hours and idling time over a specified period in one simple report. Whether you need to report by driver or by vehicle, you can interrogate the data at the click of a button. Acting upon this insight can improve overall productivity and reduce employee overtime by up to 15%*. Quartix shows you exactly what routes your drivers are taking every day, letting you see where they overlap or involve avoidable areas of congestion - armed with this knowledge, you can ensure jobs are completed efficiently, at lower costs and in less time.

The Quartix vehicle tracking system has been installed in over 500,000 vehicles and helps a wide range of businesses improve productivity, cut costs and save on fuel every day. Providing commercial fleet tracking for cars, trucks, coaches and vans throughout the UK, US and Europe the system offers a host of valuable features for fleet managers.

Improving driving styles With Quartix, it is simple to see where driving styles can be improved. Driver scores based on speed, acceleration and

Knowing how your drivers are performing out on the roads can help you to decrease idling times by up to 30%*. Identifying where your drivers can decrease idling not only saves fuel, it also means greener results. *Frost & Sullivan 2015 About Quartix

Quartix vehicle tracking lets you: •

Cut costs, manage mileage and reduce fuel consumption

Enhance customer service and responsiveness

Manage risk and improve road safety through driver education

Support your green agenda and reduce carbon emissions

The Quartix vehicle tracking system provides benefits to both your organisation and its workforce, easily feeding data into your existing systems to streamline processes. With tiered packages, Quartix helps businesses identify their safest drivers, make sense of mileage and fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions significantly. Get in touch to discuss the best option for your business on 01686 806 663 or


Find out more at













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December 2019

Stabilising Soils at Arley Tunnel

The Arley Tunnel site dates to 1864, when it was opened by Midland Railway on the Whitacre to Nuneaton line, as part of the Birmingham to Leicester route.


he tunnel itself was constructed on the highest point along the route between Arley and Stockingford and was subject to subsidence inside the tunnel. In fact, the tunnel was closed completely to passenger traffic on 14 December 1948, to address settlement works, when part of the tunnel was opened out into cutting and drainage and pressure grouting were undertaken. Today the site continues to be a busy route in the Network Rail North West and Central region, carrying both passenger and freight trains, and because of its historic stability issues is monitored closely by Network Rail.


Geologically, the site is comprised of soil overlying natural rock, part of

the Whitacre Member of the Upper Carboniferous Salop Formation, with the land immediately surrounding the area heavily impacted by the local coal mining industry, prior to the railway being constructed. Having presented problems in the past, this mixture of natural and man-made landscape still poses a risk of instability of the cutting, potentially leading to rock fall or landslides affecting the operational railway and as such Network Rail put out a tender to address the issue. The scheme was as part of Britain’s Railway Upgrade Plan, and John Murphy and Sons was awarded the contract to design and build the required earthworks and drainage scheme. Ground Investigation (GI) works at the site were undertaken by Central Alliance back in 2015 and consisted of four boreholes being drilled

on the crest of the cutting and five trial pits on the cutting slope. Data obtained was used by JBA Consulting to design new drainage systems and a geotechnical stabilisation solution, with a specified 120-year design life, to address the instability of the cutting across its full 530m length. Influencing the design, the cutting itself tapers from flat surround ground furthest from the tunnel portal, down to over 20m deep at the entrance to the tunnel, with the whole cutting heavily vegetated including mature trees. The slope angle steadily increases with the depth of the cutting, from low angled soil slope to a 60-degree steep mixed soil and rock slope at the tunnel portal. For approximately 300m of the shallow end of the cutting, a drainage upgrade was specified, which consisted of

December 2019 clearing existing crest drainage and refurbishing the existing rock blanket slope drainage ribs. A new mid slope drain was also specified along the North side of the cutting, and the crest drainage on the South side of the cutting was upgrade and extended. The steeper section of cutting, adjacent to the portal and totalling 230m in length, posed a higher risk of ground instability than could be addressed with drainage measures alone. The solution was to split this section into two zones, based on the geology; Zone 1 being the very steepest and deepest part of the cutting, with the lower half of the cutting here consisting of weathered soil slope and the upper half consisting of soil overlaying partially exposed bands of competent siltstone and mudstone. Zone 2 consisted of soil slope only, with no competent rock present. In the soil slope areas 6m length R32 self-drilling hollow bar soil nails were specified and where rock was anticipated to be encountered, 3m length 28mm solid bar rock bolts were specified. In total over 2200 soil nails and rock bolts were specified, with 8500m2 of erosion matting and high tensile steel mesh facing specified over the whole Zone 1 and Zone 2 areas. J Murphy and Sons undertook selfdelivery of the drainage element of the scheme but approached CAN Geotechnical to sub-contract the Geotechnical component. CAN Geotechnical determined that longreach 360 excavators fitted with drill masts would be the most efficient way to undertake the drilling on the upper slopes, however the depth of the cutting would require the use of on-slope drill rigs to drill on the mid and lower slope where the long reach plant could not reach. The very bottom row of soil nails at the base of the cutting were also too close to the track itself to safely drill with the line open and CAN Geotechnical determined that they would need to be drilled using RRV mounted drill masts during possession. Safety was obviously paramount throughout the project, so in order to allow safe working of the onslope drill rigs with the line open to traffic, CAN Geotechnical proposed installing a bespoke lightweight temporary catch fence. Rock fall

trajectory analysis was carried out and informed a temporary works design, requiring a 1.5m height fence. This would be attached to the RRV drilled lower row of permanent soil nails using angled adapters, creating a 1.5m catch fence running along the base of the cutting to protect the line from any material dislodged by the slope drill rigs. However, with the vertical spacing between each row of soil nails in the initial design being less than 1m, there would be insufficient space above the catch fence to fit a slope mounted drill above it to drill row 2. This would therefore require the bottom 2 rows of soil nails to be drilled during possession, with a catch fence fitted to row 1 soil nails allowing row 3 to be drilled with slope mounted drill rigs. As a busy rail route, possession opportunities were limited to a short working window on each Saturday night, with a substantial amount of the de-vegetation work and tree felling also needing to be carried out during these periods. To enhance the progress CAN Geotechnical proposed a number of possible adjustments to the soil nailing design layout in order to minimise the quantity of soil nails that would need to be drilled during possession. The solution adopted by the scheme designer was to increase the vertical spacing between the bottom row of soil nails and row 2 to 1.75m and at the same time steepen the installation angle of row 2 soil nails, with a corresponding reduction in the vertical and horizontal spacing between soil nails from row 2 upwards to offset the reduced number of soil nails at the very base of the slope. This adjustment to the soil nailing design layout allowed overall soil nail quantities to remain the same, but the bottom row only to be drilled during the limited possessions available. With the temporary catch fence installed secured to row 1 this then allowed the remaining soil nails and rock bolts including row 2 to be drilled during normal daytime working with the line open. This halved the requirement for RRV drilling within possession, significantly decreasing costs and programme duration. John Murphy and Sons mobilised to site in early March 2019 to carry

out enabling works and undertake renewal and upgrade of the drainage. CAN Geotechnical’s work elements commenced in late March 2019, beginning with vegetation clearance and the installation of the upper rows of soil nails and rock bolts using long reach plant. The scheme design specified soil nails or rock bolts based on visual inspection of the cutting only, with no detailed information available to confirm the underground conditions. Suitability testing was used to confirm the exact areas where the cutting transitions from soil to rock. In total 20 suitability rock bolts and soil nails were installed early in the site works phase spread over site and pull out testing undertaken. A high proportion of these were sited on the assumed border between soil and competent rock, enabling review of the drill logs and results of pull-out testing by the scheme designer. This allowed the exact determination of where soil nails and rock bolts should be installed, according to known conditions on site. A complex programme was devised for the Geotechnical works, where the short working window on Saturday nights would be utilised to focus on one of 10 sub sections of Zone 1 & 2 at a time. In each section vegetation clearance, tree felling, RRV drilling soil nails and installation of the temporary catch fence would be undertaken, which created a safe, clear working area for midweek works to commence, with subsequent areas opened in turn on each Saturday night possession. The possession works were completed ahead of programme, with less possessions required overall than programmed. This allowed the main midweek works to progress as planned, and with up to 6 drill rigs working at a time the geotechnical element of the scheme has progressed well, with the drainage works being undertaken concurrently. CAN Geotechnical’s work on the site was completed at the end of August 2019, with J Murphy and Sons’ elements completed the end of September 2019.


December 2019

One of the UK’s Largest Ever Temporary Modular Water Treatment Systems Deployed for Welsh Water Resilience Project

Siltbuster has designed and mobilised one of the UK’s largest ever temporary modular water treatment solutions, in just two weeks, to assist JN Bentley during essential maintenance work on the Castell Nos Reservoir infrastructure in South Wales, as part of a resilience project for Welsh Water.


uring the maintenance work, JN Bentley needed to carry out a drain down of the reservoir. This meant that an alternative raw water supply was required from a neighbouring reservoir in order to ensure an undisrupted supply of water was provided to Welsh Water customers. In addition, work had to be completed in a tight time frame due to strict constraints set by Natural Resources Wales due to the imminent return of migratory salmon to spawn in the river in which the treated waters were to be discharged into.


However, the water main, which connected the potable water treatment works with the alternative source, had been dormant for over 10 years and itself needed rehabilitation. Before it could be used, the main needed a high velocity pipe flush to ensure the removal of any residual sediments, which had accumulated during

its inactivity. JN Bentley engineers specified that the pipeline needed to be flushed at a flow rate of 750m3/ hr for a minimum of six hours, to ensure the sediments were removed and the raw water treatment process at the works was protected.

Siltbuster was selected for the project because it was the only company that could have provided a water treatment solution to remove the suspended solids from such a large volume of flush water before it was discharged to the watercourse, and handle such an exceptionally high flow rate. Prior to choosing Siltbuster, the design teams at JN Bentley considered other plans of action. The primary factors dictating the decision-making were, the remote rural location, restricted access which included public rights of way, neighbouring rural villages and towns, and sensitive environmental constraints. Tankering was considered socially and environmentally unsustainable, primarily due to the implications of running more than 280 tankers into this remote area of Wales. On top of this, the cost of this type of offsite disposal was prohibitive, with each tanker costing around £1,000.

December 2019 performance could be reviewed, giving major stakeholders the proof and reassurance that the discharge criteria were being met. The data being recorded by both the infeed and discharge monitoring was easily accessible 24/7 using Siltbuster’s newly launched Clarity reporting system, which gives clients real time data at their fingertips via a web portal.

Temporary settlement lagoons were ruled out as they would need to be extremely large if they were to provide a sufficient and effective settlement area to successfully remove the anticipated slow settling solids from the volume of water. Open lagoons were also considered a potential risk given the public right of way which went right through the site. Following a site consultation, Siltbuster’s team of experienced technical engineers designed a solution, selecting from the company’s hire fleet, which is the largest in the UK. This solution comprised of three containerised dosing units, three 30m3 multistage reaction tanks, 18 HB50 Clarifiers and a 30m3 sludge storage tank with associated pipework.

Tristan Hughes, Construction Sales Manager at Siltbuster, said: “Where other companies would struggle, the range and size of readily deployable hire equipment and technical expertise we have within the company, combined with the proven history of completing similar projects for Severn Trent, enabled us to tackle this huge undertaking with confidence and within the tight window outlined by Natural Resources Wales. I am confident the pedigree that is associated with Siltbuster was one of the main reasons JN Bentley sought our professional input into this Welsh Water resilience project”. James Stanley Ball, Works Manager at JN Bentley, concludes: “This was a challenging project, but Siltbuster was professional from the initial delivery of its documents through to the actual implementation of the system on site. As far as we are concerned, finding an organisation that was not only able to work to extremely tight deadlines and create a bespoke system to fit our exact needs, but also cope with such unusually high flow rates, was a dream come true. Everything it introduced worked better than expected, making our lives easier on site.”

It took only 22 lorry movements to get this enormous treatment chain to site - a stark contrast to the 280 lorry movements which tankering would have required. Furthermore the Siltbuster system was on site and operating within two weeks, meeting the tight deadline set by Natural Resources Wales. Siltbuster’s unique system was fitted with inlet monitoring telemetry which enabled the control of chemical dosing. The addition of chemicals could be automatically suspended when infeed waters were recorded below the target discharge levels; preventing any unnecessary dosing of chemicals and bringing cost savings to the scheme. Monitoring systems were also fitted at the end of the treatment chain so the


Flooring December 2019

Garden Trends for 2020

With careful observation and research, Global Stone provides the best natural stone and porcelain paving to meet on trend demand, for any type of garden, home and personality.


Relaxation & Wellbeing

Outdoor Kitchens

Wellbeing is at the forefront of garden trends for 2020 and beyond.

Due to its low absorption of moisture, porcelain is the perfect worktop, walling and flooring for outdoor kitchen and eating areas. Splashes of fat on the worktop, wine spills on the ground and general foody leftovers will not soak into the porcelain, meaning it is easier to clean and maintain.

There are many ways to create a garden with positive wellbeing in mind. One way is to plant a sensory garden, which is designed to boost sense of touch, taste and smell. Plant herbs such as rosemary and lavender; they smell beautiful when you run your hands over them and taste great in a meal. Plant herbs such as chamomile and thyme in between paving to soften the borders and add to your edible garden. For tranquillity and calm, add a water feature to your garden. For a traditional garden, use a sandstone drilled sphere; the water gently trickles over the top of it, or, for a contemporary twist, create a water wall using porcelain cladding.

If it’s natural stone you’re after, granite and marble do not absorb as much moisture as much as other stones and are easier to clean if there are any spillages whilst preparing food and cooking. Darker Coloured Paving Throughout 2019, grey was top of the list of trending colours. Fast forward to the 2020’s: darker paving such as black and earthy colours are leading the trend in the new decade.

December 2019 Flooring

We love being known for our forward thinking and always staying on trend, if not creating the trend!

Picking a bold feature colour for furniture, plants or fencing allows the dark paving to ‘pop’, and vice versa. Within smaller landscapes, darker paving gives the illusion of space, especially when used alongside large format paving. Darker coloured paving within the natural stone collection include Old Rectory in Monsoon, Limestone in Midnight or Carbon from the Slate collection. For an earthy character, porcelain paving colours include Corten Steel from the Metallics range or Hudson and Westland from Siena. For even darker colours, Albero in Blackened or Twilight from the Context range are proving popular.

advantage of all the garden space, including using wall and fence space. Not only are green walls striking to look at, but depending on what you plant, they can be a great source for food. When it comes to the hard landscaping, use large format paving to give the illusion of larger space. Premium Sandstone in York Green comes in a large single size 1140x570mm, and Porcelain in Context, Toscana and Mixed Size Series are available in size 1200x600mm and come in a variety of beautiful colours.

Living Green Walls for Small Spaces In recent years, living walls have become increasingly popular. Green walls are proven to provide more oxygen and directly boosts wellbeing to those who are around it. As new build gardens are made smaller, it’s important to take


Flooring December 2019

Encouraging Good Practices in Structural Waterproofing and Ground Gas Protection Kevin Dodds, Director at Delta Membrane System Limited, explores the complexities and challenges on structural waterproofing projects which also require ground gas protection.

Waterproofing structures offers protection to structural components, buildings, and installations from the penetration of water; it reduces risk and will prolong the life time of the structure. However, some below ground construction projects require protection from both water ingress and gas contamination.


It’s now possible to produce a waterproofing design which incorporates both a waterproof and gas proof protection system, however these types of projects require a different strategy and methodology as to what would be classed as a typical waterproofing design. Both BS8102:2009 and BS8485:20015+A1:2019 are intertwined. Basements and below ground structures which need to

be watertight and gas proof are not anymore complex to design but require further considerations at the design phase and throughout the project. The object of structural waterproofing is to protect a structure for its lifetime from water ingress. The object of ground gas protection is to prevent a build-up of gasses against a structure. When it all goes wrong Gorebridge, a town just south of Edinburgh has recently hit the headlines all for the wrong reasons. Midlothian council developed a former mining area for 64 new homes. The council had taken all appropriate measures to ensure there would

be no ground gas contamination in these homes. The council engaged with architects, principal engineers, contaminated land specialists, structural engineers and ground investigation engineers. What could go wrong? Seemingly there was no gas proof membrane incorporated in the floor slab construction. It wasn’t specified. 22 residents of the 64 homes complained of dry coughs, dizziness, headaches and anxiety. Six ended up in hospital and a £12m legal battle commenced - who was to blame for this error. The Gorebridge incident could be an exceptional event or ground gas contamination may be a more widespread issue yet to be detected.

December 2019 Flooring Combining Waterproofing Design with Ground Gas Protection Innovations within the waterproofing sector have seen the introduction of Ground Gas Protection Systems, which are capable of offering both gas protection and waterproof solution. A Waterproofing Design Specialist will be able to interpret the requirements of BS8102:2009 and BS8485:2015:A1:2019 to produce a waterproofing design which incorporates both a waterproof and gas proof protection system.

Methods of Structural Waterproofing There are 3 Types of waterproofing methods. These are defined as: •

Type A Tanked or Barrier Protection. Cementitious or bitumen-based products applied internally, externally or sandwiched within the structure.

Type B Structurally Integral Protection. Reinforced or prestressed concrete designed through composite and integrated details such as water bars to be water resistant.

Characteristic Situation Score and Hazard Assessment If a site has been identified with a gas or hydrocarbon contamination it will have been given a Characteristic Situation Score. The Characteristic Situation Score is defined according to how severe the gas flow from the ground is. All sites which have been characterised with a gas situation score will require a gas protection system and where identified a waterproof protection barrier. Methods of Gas Protection Gas protection is a technical solution to prevent or to control gas penetration into properties. The control of gas migration is normally achieved by blocking the pathway or removing the source of the gas generation. There are several methods available to achieve the protection to existing/new build properties. Gas protection measures available to achieve the minimum points score requires a combination of two or more of the following protection measures be used: •

The Structural Barrier

Ventilation Measures

Gas Resistant Membrane

Type C Drained Protection. Cavity Drainage Systems which allow for water ingress but in a controlled fashion.

Evaluation of groundwater conditions, risk assessment and options for drainage outside the structure should always be considered. The Dangers of Ground Gases Hydrocarbons Hydrocarbons derive from the petrol chemistry industry and are highly toxic. Most Hydrocarbons have the potential to cause cancer. Methane An odourless flammable gas that is explosive when released into the atmosphere at levels as low as 5% and exposed to a source of ignition. Methane is formed where there is below ground degradation of organic substances e.g. landfill sites, sewage treatment areas, mining operations and peat bogs. Methane can migrate through subsoil and through cracks and fissures into buildings and structures. A build-up of methane to hazardous levels will cause harm to health and compromise safety. Carbon Dioxide Carbon Dioxide is an odourless and colourless toxic gas. In high concentrations can result in asphyxiation. The gas is formed by the oxidation of carbon compounds such as that which occurs in landfill sites. When Carbon Dioxide levels reach a concentration of 3%, symptoms of headaches and shortness of breath will occur, becoming severe at 5% between 7-10% will cause suffocation.

Radon Radon occurs naturally in the environment, this radioactive gas is, colourless, odourless and tasteless. Radon can migrate into any building that is built over a source. If it accumulates in a building, it increases the risk of lung cancer for occupants. Radon is the cause of 15% of lung cancers worldwide (World Health Organisation ‘WHO’ 2009). Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are organic compounds that easily volatise under normal atmospheric conditions/ environments to become vapours or gases. Along with carbon, they contain elements such as hydrogen, oxygen, fluorine, chlorine, bromine, sulphur or nitrogen. Typical VOCs encountered on brownfield and industrial sites include: Petroleum, benzene, toluene, butylbenzenes, chlorinated ethenes, Nitrogen, sulphur and tetrahydrofuran. VOCs in the air react with oxides of nitrogen in the presence of sunlight to form ozone. Structural Warranty Provider Requirements Structural Warranty Providers such as NHBC stipulate that it is a mandatory requirement that a CSSW qualified Waterproofing Designer is involved in the waterproofing design process and other warranty providers such as Premier Guarantees and LABC are following suit. How do you find a Waterproofing Design Specialist? The Property Care Association has devised a Register which provides a central point for individuals with the relevant waterproofing design skills. The PCA register allows developers, architects, builders etc to quickly locate vetted and approved Waterproofing Design Specialists who can assist in the design and planning of underground waterproofing. A Waterproofing Design Specialist will work with architects, surveyors, contractors and engineers alike to provide a design service which complies with BS8102:2009 and BS8485:2015+A1:2019 and offers detail to design. The ability to easily identify and engage a Waterproofing Design Specialist will allow a design team to conform to the recommendation set out in BS8102:2009 and BS8485:2015+A1:2019.


Flooring December 2019

New ALUCOBOND® Surfaces – Bring Your Construction to Life

ALUCOBOND®, from 3A Composites GmbH, has a vast range of colours and surface finishes available, allowing architects and building designers the creative freedom to bring a building have been recently enhanced with the addition of many new surfaces available within each collection.

All ALUCOBOND® surfaces are compatible with ALUCOBOND® A2, the company’s non-combustible aluminium composite panel, which as a result of its mineral-filled core, is fully compliant with the many strict fire regulations and requirements worldwide. The surface finishes are also a no-compromise application with the ALUCOBOND® A2 composite panels retaining its many advantages such as being both thin and light, but also possessing high levels of flexural and tensile strength. Its ALUCOBOND® solid colours offer a uniform appearance without special effects and the addition of two new surfaces Basalt Grey, a dark grey and Platinum Grey, a light grey, pick up on popular colour nuances in architecture to stunning effect.


Three new surfaces have been added to the ALUCOBOND® metallic collection; Atacama Bronze Metallic, Colorado Gold Metallic and Siena Copper Metallic, which all have a typical metallic gloss finish,

but which is accentuated by changing lighting conditions and different perspectives. ALUCOBOND® sparkling, which brings bright sparkling and burnished metal effects to the face has been enhanced further, with the addition of Deep Blue Metallic MG and Cosmic Grey Metallic MG, to create a subtle yet elegant impression to any building. White Silver MG, Anthracite Silver MG and Black Metallic MG surfaces within the collection have also been improved from high gloss (75-99 %) to medium gloss (55-65 %), which accentuates the sparkling effect. The addition of these new surface finishes offers architects the freedom to create distinctive visual spaces that positively influence a building’s individual character and ambience. For details about ALUCOBOND®, its surface colours and finishes, or information about the company’s products and services, visit the company’s website at or call + 44 (0) 75 84 68 02 62.

December 2019

CAN Geotechnical Awarded Rockfall Catch Fence Installation at the Port of Dover Geotechnical engineering specialist CAN Geotechnical Ltd, has been awarded the contract to install rockfall catch fences within the Port of Dover in Kent, a project commissioned by Dover Harbour Board. Specifically, CAN Geotechnical will remove over 220 linear metres of existing life-expired catch fence from the lower Eastern Docks cliff and install a new a Geobrugg GBE500A 500kJ impact energy-rated catch fence, designed by JUBB Consulting Engineers. Posts for the new fence will be secured to anchorages drilled and grouted into the chalk rock face, with the 250 linear metre new 5m-height catch fencing secured to these posts and anchors. With safety paramount, scaling of the upper cliff will be undertaken utilising CAN Goetechnical’s rope access team to make the lower worksite safe, with the remainder of the work being undertaken using Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) from the Port below, to ensure safe access. Speaking about the project, CAN’s Business Development Director, Ben Foulger, said: ”With the cliff face and surrounding land designated a Site of Special

Scientific Interest (SSSI), as well as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) all work has to be planned carefully to protect these environmentally and ecologically sensitive areas. In particular, there is a rare chalk grassland environment containing species such as the Adonis Blue butterfly and the nationally rare Early Spider Orchid and it is important that CAN’s work has absolutely zero impact on the areas recognised features.” The award of the contract follows on-going annual inspections of the chalk cliffs above the Port, undertaken as part of the Port’s holistic asset management strategy, the inspections assist the Port to identify any areas for potential instability and rockfall from the existing rockface. For details about CAN’s recent projects, or any of the company’s products and services, visit the company’s website at or call 01474 538100.


Work Wear December 2019

‘X-TREME’ 4-WAY STRETCH FLEXIBLE COMFORT FROM ENGEL WORKWEAR Recognised for its comprehensive range of well fitting, stylish and practical workwear, Danish manufacturer ENGEL build further on their reputation in the UK with the introduction of their new ‘X-Treme’ 4 - Way Stretch’ work trousers.


esigned to allow as much flexibility as possible

tool pockets can be attached to the waist; the

whilst kneeling or bending, the slim-fit trousers

trousers also have extra deep hems so that lengths

feature a 4-way stretch ‘breathable’, cooling fabric which quickly absorbs and dries light perspiration. The knee-pad pockets are reinforced with hard wearing Kevlar Teramid and have two options for pad height adjustment; in addition to the many


can be increased if required. Made from 73% nylon, 17% cotton and 10% elastine, the ‘Engel X-Treme 4-Way Stretch’ work trousers are available in a variety of colour combinations and in all popular sizes.

useful pockets for keeping essential tools and

For more information contact Gareth Bladen –

accessories immediately to hand, some of which

email: Telephone: +44(0) 7759

have either Velcro or zip closures, optional hanging

520034 or visit:

December 2019 Work Wear

Experts in Textile Solutions For more than 85 years, ENGEL WORKWEAR has been selected by customers from all over Europe as the first choice for all-round protection and maximum comfort no matter what a work situation may demand. Founded in 1927 by Carl J. Engel Senior

Firmly established in the UK, the

and now 4th generation family-owned, the

company has an impressive seven

company has 850 employees based at its

collections (along with a large choice

Headquarters in Norgesvej, Denmark and

of accessories), all ‘bespoke’ for a wide

2 factories in Lithuania. Since it first began,

range of industries with each item of

with the importing of denim from the U.S. as a

clothing designed to give maximum

hard wearing fabric, the company’s aims have

freedom of movement and reliability;

always been the same – to provide superior

particularly suitable for those working

quality, value for money workwear designed

in construction are the new ‘4-Way

for a perfect, flexible fit and to give long

Stretch X-Treme’ slim-fit trousers which

lasting, reliable service.

have patches of highly stretchable and

The original fabric was called Bull Denim which was made from 100% cotton. Over the years the materials and manufacturing processes have been continually developed to incorporate many new practical and beneficial

ventilated material at the backs of the knees and seat areas to help keep cool and provide maximum flexibility whilst bending or kneeling. Optional hanging tool pockets can be easily attached.

design details with the versatility of the fabric

Another top selling name is ‘Combat’;

improved by adding the yarn combination of

this durable and stylish, uni-coloured

polyester and cotton.

collection has contrasting and reflective

New colours have been introduced and many businesses are now recognized by the specific colour combination and design of their Engel corporate workwear where not only is it valued for its practical uses but also as a significant part of a company’s professional statement.

piping for greater visibility on jackets and trousers, many of which are made from 100% cotton. Almost all the trousers in the range feature such useful detail as ruler-pockets, hammer straps and a mobile phone pocket and the leglength can be extended an extra 4-6cm

Development is an ongoing process as new

if required. Other labels to look out for,

smart colour combinations and materials

each with their own unique benefits,

are continuously created and tested, with a

include ‘Cargo’, ‘Galaxy’ and ‘Work Zone’;

constant emphasis on innovation, comfort,

the company also offers a comprehensive

durability and environmental awareness.

selection of high visibility ‘Safety’ clothing.

For more information contact Gareth Bladen – email: Telephone: +44(0) 7759 520034 or visit: 35

Work Wear December 2019

Full support from Redbacks Cushioning Redbacks Cushioning Limited was formed by Chairman Cliff Lockyer in 2011 in order to develop a new cushioning technology designed to help protect knees and body from injury whilst kneeling. Despite the wide availability of kneepads over many years, there were still high numbers of people working on their knees suffering pain and damage. Clearly there was a need for something new and more effective. Having thoroughly researched the protective clothing market, it confirmed Cliff Lockyer’s belief that existing knee pads did little to cushion, comfort or protect the user’s knees or the body from long term damage.

The honeycomb matrix and the leaf-spring are made from the same thermoplastic injection-moulded material, ensuring a high compression rate which unlike foam or gel ensures a 100% recovery to its original shape; the combination gives the unique controlled distribution and deceleration of pressure thus protecting the rest of the body from the impact forces whilst kneeling giving the wearer unrivalled, all-day comfort and long-term knee protection, with the added benefit of helping to prevent back and neck pain”.

Says Lockyer, “We discovered then that statistics were even worse than they are now with the NHS carrying out over 106,000 knee replacements per year and 9.6 million adults in the UK suffering from muscoloskeletal (MSK) conditions affecting joints, bones and muscles. We knew that for our knee pads to be really effective they needed to be made with soft, flexible material and not foam or gel, as pressure from kneeling causes them to eventually flatten or disintegrate. Redbacks pocket kneepad


. The secret to our own science therefore lies in the use of a special moulded leaf-spring suspended in an arch by a flexible honeycomb matrix. When pressure is applied directly above the spring it bends, dispersing pressure and distributing weight evenly. The matrix provides a holding mechanism for the spring to control its bend and stabilise the entire structure, allowing pressure to be distributed evenly time after time.

Using precisely the same technology the company produces two versions of kneepads, one which is curved to fit comfortably around the knee and slide easily into work trouser pockets and a strapped alternative which is offered with a choice of Neoprene strap fastenings buckled, for use in dusty conditions and ‘loop & hook’; they have a water resistant cover and are designed Cross-section of Redbacks kneepad to be worn on showing the red leaf-spring bare skin without chafing, or over trousers, whilst ensuring that they stay in the correct position when kneeling, walking Buckle Redbacks strapped ‘loop & or sitting. knee pads


Both the Redbacks pocket and strapped kneepads have a soft, breathable, inner fabric that wicks away sweat whilst providing thermal protection from warm or cold surfaces.

December 2019 Work Wear The company has also introduced a Kneeler pad which has multiple applications in and around the home and office as well as being a practical, every-day ‘tool’ for many trades and professions.

’Redbacks Kneeler’ pad with 28 multi-directional leaf springs

The ‘Redbacks Kneeler’ features 28 multidirectional leaf-springs giving all-round pressure-distribution and knee and body support; comfortable to kneel, sit and even stand on for short or long periods it is non-slip, waterproof, penetration resistant, easy to carry and as with all Redbacks products, washable at 0c and 100% recyclable.

Redbacks Cushioning Limited is a member of and has won a number of awards for its kneepad design, one of the most significant being the prestigious SATRA Best Innovation Occupational PPE Award in 2012; professional tradespeople who are readers of some of the UK’s leading trade publications have also voted in nationwide polls for Redbacks as award winning products. All Redbacks Cushioning products are patented worldwide. For more information and to order visit Redbacks Cushioning (@redbacks_cushioning) • Instagram .. email: or telephone: + 44 (0) 1327 702104

Knee and body protection from Redbacks Cushioning Redbacks Cushioning Limited, developers of the award winning, ‘Leaf-Spring’ cushioning technology offers a range of products to help protect the knees and body from damage caused by kneeling The Redbacks Pocket Kneepad, specifically designed to fit work trousers, features a flexible leafspring held within a thermoplastic honeycomb matrix which unlike foam or gel ensures a high compression rate and 100% recovery to its original shape.

conform to CE EN14404 Type 2 Level 1 help to protect against possible injury from sharp objects, wick away sweat and provide thermal protection from warm or cold surfaces; they are machine washable at 30°c and 100% recyclable.

This combination and the inherent ‘memory’ aspect gives unique controlled weight distribution; the deceleration of pressure protects both the knees and body from potentially damaging impact forces and gives long lasting, anti-fatigue support; traditional foam or gel solutions create pointpressure which focus the force or energy to a point which is then transmitted back into the knee joint and beyond.

For more information visit email: sales@redbackscushioning. com or telephone: 01327 702104

Easy to slide in and curved to fit comfortably around the knee, the water-resistant pads which


Workwear December 2019

Snickers Workwear’s

NEW Hoodies and Sweatshirts

The new range of Hoodies and Sweatshirts for craftsmen and women are probably the most comfortable we’ve ever designed.


he ‘Full Zip’ or ‘Overhead’ Sweatshirt and Hoodie choices are ideally combined with Snickers’ First and Second Layer Undergarments and can comfortably be worn under a jacket on chilly days. Street-smart and great for on-site or leisure activities there’s a range of styles and colour options to choose from. They’re made from a cosy, durable polycotton fabric for extra ruggedness and have a soft-brushed finish on the inside for extra comfort plus handwarmer pockets at the front. They also feature an unmistakable Snickers logo and are ideal for company profiling. For more information on Snickers Workwear call the Hultafors Group UK Helpline on 01484 854788, checkout the website and download a digital catalogue at


December 2019

bauer TECHNOLOGIES CONDITIONALLY achieves INVESTORS in Diversity award Bauer Technologies has been accredited as an Investor in Diversity by the National Centre for Diversity.


he Investors in Diversity Award is a nationally recognised equality and diversity accreditation that recognises excellence in this area.

The Investors in Diversity Award is an allencompassing approach to the effective management of equality, diversity and inclusion. It enables organisations to take a structured and planned approach to embedding equality and diversity at the heart of what they do and provides a simple framework in which to do so. Bauer Technologies has conditionally received the accreditation following an assessment based on various criteria, including staff interviews and customer surveys and a tangible commitment to Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement (FREDIE) within their organisation. Solat Chaudhry, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Diversity, commented “We are delighted that Bauer Technologies have conditionally achieved the Investors in Diversity Award, and I would like to extend our congratulations to their leaders, staff and learners on their success to date.”

to Bauer Technologies, as it confirms Bauer’s commitment to FREDIE and its overall approach to treating people equally.” Bauer Technologies already has good consultation practice in place, and they will continue to develop this as part of their on-going action plan as they progress on their journey to achieving the Leaders in Diversity standard. This has helped Bauer Technologies to focus on developing real measureable change and has set the company on a strong journey towards becoming a leader in this area. Solat Chaudhry, Chief Executive added; “By engaging wholeheartedly with the Investors/ Leaders in Diversity programme, they have demonstrated a real and tangible commitment to Fairness, Respect, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement (FREDIE) and to continuous improvement in this area. We are confident that staff, customers and Bauer Technologies’ wider communities will continue to work on improving and adapting and look forward to working with them in years to come.”

Achievement of the National Centre for Diversity’s Investors in Diversity Standard demonstrates that an organisation has not only committed to building a culture of fairness, respect, equality, diversity, inclusion and engagement (FREDIE), it also shows that it can evidence this in a practical way. Through completion of staff engagement activities and a review of activities, organisations that achieve the Standard have shown that they have an approach to FREDIE that is structured, planned and embedded at the heart of what they do in terms of strategy, leadership, recruitment, recognition and positively influencing their supply chain. Speaking about the award, Michael Jones, Managing Director at Bauer Technologies, said “Achieving this accreditation was of great importance


Buildings & Design December 2019

New Partnership to Develop Next Generation of Building Trade MKM Building Supplies Ltd, the UK’s largest independent builder’s merchant has joined forces with the John Whitgift Academy in Grimsby, to support the Academy’s new BTEC Level 2 Construction course launched earlier this year.


he new partnership was the idea of Nigel Jackson, a newly appointed governor at the Academy and former MKM Grimsby Director, who recently retired following almost 50 years in the trade. On his retirement, Nigel was keen to ensure that the specialist building skills he had learned throughout his career were passed onto the next generation. The Academy added the construction course to its’ programme in September this year and it is already oversubscribed. It teaches students aged 14-16 a variety of building trade skills including; brick making, brick-laying, block-work, joinery, carpentry, painting, decorating and plastering. Once students complete the course they can then move onto a higher level of study or an industry apprenticeship. MKM’s Grimsby branch is providing students with building materials, uniforms, signage and other resources for the course, as well as running tutorials in school. Outside the classroom, the MKM team will work with teachers to facilitate field trips and site visits within the construction


environment, giving ‘real life’ context to the students’ classroom learning. Robert Spendlow, Headteacher, John Whitgift Academy commented: “Education and industry working together can have such a positive impact on young people’s learning. It is fantastic to have MKM on-board in our construction programme they bring a raft of experience and specialist knowledge into lessons, not only helping to equip students with the practical skills they need, but also giving them an understanding of what is expected in the world of work. Classroom learning can only go so far. For many years business has been saying that young people leaving education need to be more work ready and acutely skilled. This partnership with MKM means we are marrying vocational, hands-on skills with educational excellence, ultimately giving these young people the best opportunity to succeed in their chosen careers.” Nigel Jackson, former Director, MKM Grimsby commented: “Sustaining a skilled workforce is one of the biggest challenges to the building industry. As a business we are keen to develop industry skills locally. We believe that by supporting young people early in their careers, and passing on expertise

and knowledge we can help develop the next generation of Grimsby’s building trade.” The John Whitgift Academy, takes a fully comprehensive approach to education applying traditional academic rigour with a localised strategy to ensure students are equipped for careers in their own towns. Robert continued: “In the past, the education system has lost many children by not providing adequate and appropriate training and qualifications … it is our goal to ensure all of our students have career aspirations and strive to fulfill their potential. MKM’s involvement in the Academy is helping our students to realise their goals.”

December 2019 Buildings & Design

Airing the principle of partnering to achieve results Ensuring design and aesthetics integrated effectively has enabled an office refurbishment to deliver a smart working environment for Axa Insurance in Dublin.


fundamental element of the scheme’s success has been the partnership between the fit out team of consulting engineer Axiseng, HVAC engineer Keane Environmental, and air movement specialist Gilberts. As a result, more than 500 of Gilberts’ diffusers have been utilised throughout the four floors of the project, to create modern, functional, open plan workspaces. A combination of GSL linear slot diffusers, GSFK fixed swirl omni directional high induction diffusers, and GSFE circular swirl with perforated fascia diffusers was deemed by the team to deliver appropriate, draught-free air volumes. A key design element was the contrast of the linear exposed structural beams with hexagonal ceiling tiles.

To Keane’s brief, Gilberts developed a bespoke version of the GSFE circular swirl diffuser, that could integrate seamlessly into hexagonal coanda plates to continue the overall aesthetic. “The redesign meant that although a ceiling was in place, it was not of conventional design, so threw up a raft of issues regarding control and effective distribution of fresh air,” observed Keane Environmental Sales Engineer Ryan Caldwell. “Gilberts’ GSFE is designed to provide excellent horizontal airflow, and high air change compared to conventional diffusers, so was an ideal base from which to work. “Gilberts’ in-house design and manufacturing capability enabled us to tweak the design for smooth integration into the coandas. The combination meant we could achieve rapid entrainment and mixing without cold ‘dumping’, and

the level of air change required to maintain a comfortable working environment for the human occupants and their computers.” Founded 55 years ago, Gilberts Blackpool is unique in its ability to develop components- whether ‘mainstream’ or bespoke - entirely in-house, from initial design through tooling, production, testing and supply, at its 90,000 ft2 manufacturing facility and head office in Lancashire. Its state of the art test centre, designed and built in-house, is one of the most technically advanced in the country. Gilberts tel 01253 766911 E:


Buildings & Design December 2019

Gilberts’ bespoke capability helps minimise impact of green belt development The environmental impact of a £15m, 4000m2, threestorey Centre in the heart of the Surrey green belt, within a Grade II listed park, is being controlled by optimisation of natural resources.

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ith its in-house design and manufacturing capability, Gilberts was able to engineer a tailormade rooftop ventilation terminal (penthouse) design to deliver the required air flow and a weathertight fit onto and through the omni-directional curves of the roof. In total, 16 PHH75 roof terminals, each 1900mm x 100mm x 14mm, with boost fans in those over the main sports hall area, have been fitted to the Glulam beam and CLT panel roof. Almost all of the penthouses provide natural ventilation into the sports hall below; those over the lower areas of the roof feature additional fan assistance to ensure adequate delivery of fresh air in their more sheltered location.

On the four vertical facades, 30 x Mistrale Façade WHC75 high performance ventilation louvres in a deep channel frame have been integrated into the rainscreen cladding to provide ventilation to the café, viewing platform, fitness suites, studio, toilets and changing rooms. Louvres up to 5570mm x 800mm were produced to create an aesthetic solution. A further 12no louvres providing air for the sports hall also include LTHW heating coils, to reduce temperature differentials between fresh, incoming air and the existing internal atmosphere, and deliver appropriate quantities of fresh air across the 30m clear spans within the main hall. A further 2no WHC75 provide screening and ventilation to the rooftop plant, and 2no louvre double doors ventilate the switch room and plant room.

December 2019 Buildings & Design

“St George’s Activity Centre has been just the sort of challenge that inspires the team at Gilberts,” observed Contracts Manager Stefan Bamber. “It empowers us all to work together to develop a solution that meets stringent demands in terms of performance and quality, that will work now, and for the lifetime of the building.”

The internal design capability, combined with in house test laboratory, 3D modelling and Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) software puts Gilberts in a unique position to develop from scratch, test, validate, supply and install bespoke solutions to meet specific requirements.

Gilberts is acknowledged as the UK’s leading independent air movement specialist; at its 95,000 sq ft head office facility, it designs, manufactures and supplies a comprehensive range of components designed to deliver efficient air movement strategies in commercial environments, from internal grilles and diffusers to roof penthouses. Products are predominantly manufactured in-house, to the extent it even designs and manufactures its own jigs and tools.

Family-owned Gilberts has a heritage spanning almost 60 years, and a team recognised as expert within its respective fields. Gilberts Blackpool:, e:, tel 01253766911


Buildings & Design December 2019

LES Provides GIS Hoists for Production Workshop Facility Lifting Equipment Store (LES) supplied four 500kg capacity D8+ GIS electric chain hoists for installation on two identical beams installed in a new production workshop facility in Lewes, East Sussex, UK.

The so-called Production Hub is conveniently located near the stage door of Glyndebourne’s 1,200-seat opera house. In order to continue to meet demand for elaborate scenery and props, and to take more performance-related construction work in-house, the venue invested millions of pounds in a new building—with the hoists centre stage.


The building was constructed on similar principles to a traditional Sussex barn. A steel frame was erected on a concrete slab to provide the internal and external load-bearing structure. The heart of the building is a central area for assembling large props and

scenery. It is two storeys high (approx. 12m to the ridge of the roof) and approx. 11m wide by 17m long, with a margin all round overhung by the first floor. Above are the two beams, spanning approx. 10m. Paul Brown, head of props at Glyndebourne, said: “On a recent build we were making giant puppets and the hoists were in use every day. The puppets were permanently hung from the beams while we were working on them, lowered in by the hoists to be worked on and then taken back up again. In the old workshop, when we used to have large pieces like that to work on, we’d have lifted

December 2019 Buildings & Design them manually with a block and tackle. It would have been a rope through a pulley and two or three people pulling on the other end, which is far from ideal. That’s why one of the things we specified for the Production Hub was to get some hoists in so we could lift safely—it was one of the first things down on the piece of paper.” The assembly area gives access to a series of enclosed workshops which provide facilities for working in wood, metal, plastics, fabric and paint—all equipped as necessary with tools, plus dust and fume extraction. Notably, the columns holding up the first floor are inset from the corners to facilitate manoeuvrability of larger pieces. The design team was appointed in January 2017; work commenced 12 months later. It was completed earlier this year—on time and on budget. Lift Turn Move Ltd. (LTM; LES’s go-to provider of specialist lifting solutions for entertainment and cleanroom installations) delivered the LP500 hoists, manufactured in Switzerland. The biggest challenge was in that the hoists were only

sourced once the beams were installed in the completed building. Symon Horton, sales manager at LES, said: “The brief we received was for four single-speed chain hoists, mounted on a single-speed trolley, with chain falls of approx. 9-10m. They didn’t want trailing cable and preferred not to operate the equipment with pendant controls. Moreover, they wanted us to arrange delivery and installation to the tight time schedule that was in place; we noted that the £6m-plus project was powered by fund raising endeavours.” Stuart Fraser, head of entertainment products at LTM, said: “As this is a workshop but on a theatre site, we proposed an entertainment hoist, and always typically do. There are occasions where workshop technicians might walk close to or even under the load, so a hoist to D8+ [applicable standard] is ideal for the static suspension of the application—and a safe working environment.” He added: “We do a lot of work with permanent installations in venues and stage engineering applications. Chain hoists have always been an integral part of most theatre installations, due to the robustness, ease of installation, and the ability to move them to a different location, if required.” Fraser said that the control option chosen was a Guardian four-

channel, wall-mounted system complete with remote handset, enabling operation of all four hoists from one location. “Operation is with a simple toggle switch hoist directional selection, and then a push to run the hoist,” he said. “This is an extremely good value multi-hoist control system for this purpose, and is installed in venues in multiple countries. The hoists can be used in conjunction with each other to lift larger items.” Brown added: “The hoists have been really useful to us. They’ve made things safer because we’re no longer doing manual lifts; we’re able to use the hoists to lift in a much more controlled way. We’re lifting irregular loads—really unusual pieces sometimes—so the flexibility of having four hoists allows us to look at different combinations of lifts. We recently lifted an engine out of a car; we were able to lift the whole engine out and onto a pallet. That’s something we wouldn’t have been able to do in-house before.” Installation of the hoists, festoon system and control panel was completed by BJ Designs, an independent engineering design and project management company. Glyndebourne delivers performances to 150,000 people across a summer festival and an autumn tour. The hoists are an important part of the back-stage process for every show.


Buildings & Design December 2019

Top of the class:

How ceilings are aiding learning for today’s youth A school is a world in itself. A self-contained eco-system which, like our wider world, is experiencing over-crowding, with class sizes rising, and a distracted population, and ever-more social media outlets clamouring for attention. For this, teachers face more and more challenges each day, and when it comes to engaging and holding students’ attention, they need all the help they can get. This is where the school’s physical environment comes into play. Here, Ian Clarke, Armstrong Ceiling Solutions’ commercial technical manager, outlines a few ways the ceiling itself can aid and promote learning, as well as some of the critical considerations for designing spaces in which learning can thrive.

Sound principles Research clearly shows acoustics have a profound impact on learning. In their study of two schools in London, for example, Evans and Maxwell1 concluded that

poor acoustics can result in many students struggling to understand one in four words spoken. And, as classroom sizes grow and teachers strain to be overheard, acoustic performance in a ceiling is always the first thing architects turn to for aiding learning. However, it’s not as simple as it may seem. Minimising classroom din is not just about specifying ceilings with the highest levels of sound absorption because while diminishing class noise, it would - by extension mute teachers’ voices, leading to vocal strain and fatigue for tutors, and classes being unable to hear lessons. A balance is needed between sound absorption and attenuation, between removing and reflecting sound to enable students to hear and teachers to be heard.

Light learning Research has also shown a conclusive link between the provision of natural light and academic success - with one study2 showing that students working in classrooms with higher levels of daylight achieve 7% to 18% higher test scores. Another - Clever Classrooms3 - suggests that classroom design has a c25% impact, positive or negative, on students’ academic progress. Flooding interiors with natural light is a way not just to improve student performance but also to reduce reliance on artificial lighting. Combining highly-white, highly-reflective mineral ceiling tiles with larger windows or floor-toceiling glazing is an easy solution but again, it’s key to maintain balance. Too much natural light can cause eye strain or create glare for students and staff alike, so reflectance must be balanced with diffusion.

Stimulating design Every architect wants to create stimulating spaces for learning but there’s a wealth of complications in designing ceilings for learning environments.


For example, in classrooms accommodating children with special educational needs, the ceiling specification requires particular consideration to avoid designs that could exacerbate their conditions. Best practice, in line

December 2019 Buildings & Design

with UK Government standards like BB93, also includes minimising reverberation, keeping ceilings low (below 2.4m) and using Class A absorbent finishes. A balance needs to be maintained between aesthetics and practicality.

placement, from pressure drops (and ‘fluttering’ when doors open) to dust collection and access to the plenum space above the ceiling.

While exposed soffits may help reduce schools’ heating footprint, these carry their own problems for acoustics and aesthetics - a challenge that can be solved through the disguise of unsightly features using suspended ceilings and canopies.

So, we’ve addressed a few of the key concerns for how the ceiling can actively aid learning but the educational institution encompasses libraries and canteens, auditoria and offices, kitchens, cloakrooms, toilets and

A world in itself

corridors too. Architects should take a comprehensive approach to ‘zoning’ throughout a school or college, with each zone part of a wider, self-contained ecosystem. A world in itself - that can make a world of difference to future generations. To learn more about how Armstrong Ceiling Solutions can help you create better spaces for learning, visit https://www. en-gb/applications/school-ceiling-

Context is everything Beyond sound, light and aesthetics, ceilings within the learning environment need to be safe and durable, compliant with legislation and meet the unique challenges of each environment. Other vital considerations are ease of installation and maintenance. Omni-directional tiles can eliminate many installation errors for an easier fitting process and reduced need for correction. There are also myriad issues to consider in ceiling


December 2019

Key Considerations When Specifying Ladders


December 2019

Tony Stevens, Technical Estimator at Bilco UK outlines some of the key factors to be considered when specifying ladders for accessing a roof area. Where is the ladder going to be used? If the ladder is required to gain access to the roof and to be mounted externally it will require a safety cage and guard rail to enter the roof safely. What is the ladder going to be used with? You need to have a clear understanding of the type of access product the ladder is going to be used with. For a small hatch, such as the Bilco E-50TB, which has internal dimensions of 915mm x 915mm, a fixed vertical ladder should be specified. A retractable ladder would not be recommended for the E-50TB as the ladder angle would hinder access when you get close to the hatch. Where frequent access to the roof area is required for maintenance personnel, tools and equipment a companionway roof hatch, like the CS-50TB which is a larger elongated access hatch, is generally required. In this instance a companionway ladder or a retractable ladder can be specified (the maximum size for companionway would be 2440mm and 1500mm for retractable). The companionway ladder is a 75 degree angled, rigid ladder providing permanent access to the roof hatch. Retractable ladders are ideal for use in areas, such as schools and hospitals, where the floor space must be kept clear. They can be mounted above a ceiling and be offered with additional vertical backboards with steps and a handrail. They can also be supplied with fire rating. Where access is required to the roof area via a smoke ventilator, like the Bilco ESW-50REM, a retractable ladder is not an

option. The very nature of the mechanism of a retractable ladder would prevent the flow of smoke through the vent. It would therefore be counterproductive to use a retractable ladder with a smoke vent, although we have seen this specified on more than one occasion! The only recommended ladder for use with a smoke ventilator is a fixed vertical ladder, due to the small footprint of this type of ladder. Ladder Height Knowing the height of the floor to underside of roof access hatch that you wish to access may seem incredibly obvious, but you may be surprised by the number of ladders that are specified either too short or too long for the height required! Roof Void Height When specifying a retractable ladder it is essential that you know the height of the roof void - the space between the ceiling and the roof. This is to ensure the ladder box liner will fit inside the space once retracted.

What happens if you get the specification wrong? If you specify a small hatch for use with either a companionway ladder or retractable ladder it will be difficult to access, so it will not be functional. If you specify a large length hatch, it will be difficult to access from a fixed vertical ladder. The worker will have to overstretch to open and close the hatch, putting themselves into an unsafe position. If you specify a retractable ladder with a smoke ventilator you will compromise the integrity of the smoke ventilator by blocking the flow of smoke. To conclude, specifying ladders might seem like a straightforward aspect of a building project but the health and safety and functionality implications are far reaching. Always ensure you specify the right type of ladder and hatch that will provide the safest and easiest access to the roof area. If you need some help with the specifying the right ladder to use for roof access please contact Tony –


1st Folding Sliding DoorsLtd Ltd 1st Folding Sliding Doors 1st Folding Sliding Doors Ltd Bespoke Glazing Solutions Bespoke Glazing Solutions

Bespoke Glazing Solutions

WeWe offer thethe installation slidingdoors, doors, bi-folding doors, glass offer installationofofspecialist specialist bespoke bespoke sliding bi-folding doors, glass roof structures, windows and frameless glass balustrades. We manufacture and roof structures, windows and frameless glass sliding balustrades. We manufacture andglass We offer the installation of specialist bespoke doors, bi-folding doors, design innovative, frameless glazing systems. systems. We closely with established design innovative, frameless glazing Wealso alsowork work closely with established roof structures, windows and frameless glass balustrades. We manufacture and manufacturers, offering both UK and Offshore designed systems, with lead times as as manufacturers, offering both UK and Offshore designed systems, with lead times design innovative, frameless glazing systems. We also work closely with established quick as one week on specifi c items. quick as one week on specifi c items. manufacturers, offering both UK and Offshore designed systems, with lead times as quick as one week on specific items. We have many years experience in overcoming the technical difficulties involved in designing, manufacturing, We have many years experience in overcoming the technical difficulties involved in designing, manufacturing, and installing, a bespoke product. Our full on-site survey ensures that we can work with the timescale required, andhave installing, bespoke product. Our full on-site ensures that we can work with the manufacturing, timescale required, We many ayears experience in overcoming the survey technical difficulties involved in designing, and will assist with any technical issues your builders, architects or project manager may have. andinstalling, will assistawith any technical issues builders, or project and bespoke product. Our fullyour on-site surveyarchitects ensures that we canmanager work withmay the have. timescale required, and Together will assistwith with any technical issueswe your builders, or project manager may and have. this technical support, have in place,architects our fully trained ‘in-house’ installers, also, the support Together with this technical support, we have in place, our fully trained ‘in-house’ installers, and also,onthe we offer our trade customers; this gives us the confidence to promote the best overall package available thesuppor Together this technical support, we have in place, our fully trained ‘in-house’ installers, and also, the support we market offer with our trade customers; this gives us the confi dence to promote the best overall package available on the today. we offertoday. our trade customers; this gives us the confidence to promote the best overall package available on the market If you require any further information, or a quotation for your project, please do not hesitate to contact us. market today. If you require any further information, or a quotation for your project, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you require any further information, or a quotation for your project, please do not hesitate to contact us. • +44 (0) 208 997 2448 • +44 (0) 208 997 2448 • • +44 (0) 208 997 2448 • •


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Home Improvements & Building Supplies December 2019

Rooflight Manufacturers, First Glass Roofs Ltd, have reported vast growth since the start of their trading 5 years ago. The successful company is one of the only Rooflight manufacturers in the UK with a minimalist frameless design across the whole of their product range. First Glass Roofs provides quality, bespoke, made to order Rooflight products from 12 – 14 working day lead time, as well as offering full technical and marketing support to their customers. With a variety of distributors across the UK, getting your hands on one of their products couldn’t be any easier. Due to the demand in certain areas of the frameless glazing industry, the company has brought to market 1-2 new products on average per year and will be launching yet another new product in January 2020. With your bespoke requirements in mind, First Glass Roofs are able to tailor

their products to suit your exact requirements. Being a systems company, we are able to cater for all needs. As well as being able to purchase your product ‘Fully Bonded’ from us, we also offer some of our profiles as a ‘manufactured frame only’ option for those who already have connections with glass suppliers. Flat Rooflight Our Flat Rooflight system was the first system designed by First Glass Roofs, boasting large thermal breaks for unrivalled truly tested U-Values. Keeping a minimalist aluminium structure is always key to our designs, while also being very versatile in its design construction allowing triple glazed and quadruple glazed to be achieved yet remain flush with

the frame, making this system one preferred by installers across the UK. Our Flat Rooflights should be pitched at a minimum of 5 degrees as an industry standard to ensure minimal pooling on the Rooflight, and will suit roof pitches of up to 45 degrees. We only use top specification glass in the manufacture of the flat rooflight for product safety and longevity. Roof Lantern The ultra-modern Roof Pyramid / Lantern is one of the slimmest designs on the market today, providing more light transmittance than most. Traditionally, other companies use bars which makes them bulky and obtrusive and U values are also affected, making ours more efficient and aesthetically pleasing. Consisting of glass to glass joins both internally & externally, with thermal foam barrier and using a glass of just 1.0 U value, this product will keep you warm even in the harshest of conditions. Along with Solar reflective toughened glass, it keeps the suns UV rays down to a minimum. Integrated Glass Balustrade This is a revolutionary new design of fully integrated frameless glass balustrade system which is thermally broken and is fully integrated to fit Bi-fold, Dliding, French Doors and Tilt and Turn window systems. It has been designed by First Glass Roofs and has been tested to BS6180 and surpassed current regulations. This


December 2019 Home Improvements & Building Supplies

will be a choice for architects and for people who have specific design requirements Glass Box Our Frameless Glass Box incorporates the latest in glass bonding and structural glass incorporated into a seamless glass box structure, fully integrated into the building making a feature of any location its situated in.

Blending high quality components into a remarkable ultra slim edge design, this product also benefits from polyamide thermal breaks and maximising glass for better U values. Opening Rooflight Our Opening Rooflight is available in both Electric or Manually operated versions, boasting market leading U-values along with industry leading water tightness using our own triple seal system. A first of its kind which is fully frameless internally, allowing more sky and less frame, and externally keeping framework to a minimum to achieve the slimline appearance which aesthetically compliments the range of our fixed Rooflights. This, together with our Flat Rooflight, boasts only the best in high end components for safe working and product longevity. As usual, our Opening Rooflight comes with Solar Reflective SelfCleaning Glass as standard on all our Rooflights. With a glass U-value

of just 1.0, this is unrivalled in its design and performance. Fixed Window Our latest product launched is our Frameless Fixed Window. This will be another great preforming system with larger thermal breaks than most, to achieve unrivalled U-values. Mainly used for larger applications of fixed window, it will be document Q tested for safety. Not to mention its ultra slim frame of only a 35mm sight line, we think this will be a hit for architects and for people with specific design requirements. We have a great network of distributors and installers and, as we continue to grow, we are always looking for new partners who share our high-quality vision. If you are ready to provide some of the best glazing solutions to your customers, get in touch and talk to our team. We’d love to work with you!


Home improvements & Building Supplies December 2019

Climbing the proverbial ladder: how Bobtrade CEO Shneor Crombie is transforming the future of the building supplies market


ine years ago, Shneor Crombie (35), CEO of, moved back to London where his family was originally from. “For years, it had been my dream to move and live in this amazing city: London.” is the new online building supplies marketplace, currently taking the construction industry by storm. Headed up by CEO Shneor, Bobtrade is revolutionising the sector by connecting builders and merchants across the UK to deliver a more efficient way of buying and selling building materials.


“I was born an entrepreneur, I don’t remember any other version of myself.” At a time many of his peers were busy playing football, Shneor was beginning his entrepreneurial story, setting up a car wash at the ripe age of 11, where he recruited 15 of his friends to work for him – and learnt some invaluable life lessons in the process.

“As the boss, you have to work harder than everyone else,” Shneor begins, “at the beginning, I thought I was a big boss! Walking around telling everyone what to do, how to do it. It wasn’t until a good friend came to me, and said ‘why don’t you show us how to do it, then we can all learn from you?’ It was a pennydrop moment – from that point onwards, one of my biggest rules in management was to always lead by example.” Construction was – and continues to be – a beloved hobby of Shneor’s, so it seemed fitting that the beginning of his time in London, armed with very little English, was spent working on a construction site. It was during this period – spent driving from one builders’ merchant to another – looking for materials, that ignited both a spark of frustration and inspiration; then an idea, which would eventually lead Shneor to start his online building supply start-up.

“I thought to myself, this is one of the biggest industries in the world and one that has such a huge impact on almost every person in the world – how is it functioning like this, and more importantly what can I do to change it?” Fast forward a few years, Shneor was running his UK-based business, a code development house for start-ups and companies. “Because of my knowledge and experience in the construction industry,” Shneor comments, “companies kept coming to me with a request to develop solutions for them.” Soon he realised the need to build a solution for the entire industry. A solution that would offer builders a product which removes all the hassle when buying supplies, making that complicated process much faster and easier. In 2015, however, life threw a curveball: Shneor was diagnosed with cancer. Life as he knew it was

December 2019 Home improvements & Building Supplies

building supplies online with one click and have it delivered to their site the next day. It also provides better control and full visibility of their projects, budget and clients. Supporting independent businesses is a big part of what Bobtrade stands for; “By working with independent builders and merchants, we can optimise the market and give them more opportunities and more power when they buy and sell through Bobtrade.”

turned upside down; days in the office were swapped for days in and out of hospital preparing for major, life-saving surgery. Despite a not very optimistic diagnosis from his doctors, this turn of events was hardly enough to stop Shneor’s entrepreneurial spirit – on the contrary! Once the surgery date was set, Shneor understood that it would take a long time to recover and he’d need somewhere to work from home. He set out to build an extension for a home office, during which he faced again countless issues with late

deliveries and sourcing supplies. Shneor decided, upon his recovery, to follow through and create Bobtrade, a company to heal the problems with buying building supplies. “During the days after my surgery, I came up with the Bobtrade design, features and plan – so it’s always a bit of a running joke amongst our team, that I designed everything while high on pain medication!” Today, Bobtrade is 20-people strong and growing. It gives builders a powerful yet simple procurement platform, where they can order all

Shneor admits that there have been challenges, “No one thought that construction could evolve and digitise. I took Bobtrade to many investors and they all said, ‘Yes, it’s a huge market and you have a very interesting idea - but the construction industry won’t change!’ But guess what? It’s changing rapidly, and I am proud that Bobtrade is leading the front of the building supplies procurements.” And the next steps for Bobtrade? Transforming the construction industry in the UK and overseas. “We will continue working hard to build our product so that we can provide a reliable service to more and more builders. Bobtrade will be everywhere, helping builders build the future of the world easier, faster and more efficiently.”


Home Improvements & Building Supplies December 2019

Boost energy efficiency this winter with Logic4training’s latest guide Living in a cold home can negatively impact both mental and physical health, yet its estimated that one-in-nine households in England struggle with fuel poverty. With winter on the way, Logic4training has released the latest in its series of free guides for building services installers, focusing on home energy efficiency improvements that boost living conditions and cut costs. Heating installers are a trusted source of information and are perfectly placed to educate and empower consumers to take control of their energy usage. The guide is packed full of tips on how to boost home energy efficiency, from behavioural changes and energy-saving quick wins to more costly installations that pay for themselves over time. You can view the guide for FREE at: Mark Krull, Director at Logic4training, said: “It’s hard to believe that in 21st century Britain, with all the knowledge and technology that we have access to, our housing stock is still some of the least energy efficient in Europe. Making improvements in this area will result in warmer homes that cost less to run, are better for health and have less impact on the environment. “Heating installers are uniquely positioned to provide valuable and potentially lifesaving advice to homeowners. In this guide, we’ve put together a host of information, statistics and tips that installers can use to encourage customers to be more energy efficient, while at the same time promoting their services, things like boiler maintenance and heating controls that can improve comfort and reduce energy wastage.”


Key topics:

• • • • • •

Logic4training’s free Energy Efficiency guide is the ideal resource for heating installers looking to provide extra value this heating season.

Improving boiler efficiency Heating controls Smart thermostats Preventing heat loss Engaging with energy use Smart meters

Habitual changes to reduce energy usage

December 2019 Home Improvements & Building Supplies

HOMEOWNERS REMINDED TO KEEP SAFE & SECURE THIS SEASON Anglian Home Improvements reveal top tips for securing your home this winter October marks the start of National Home Security Month (NHSM), and homeowners are being reminded to take a few simple steps to enhance home security this season. As the clocks go back and the cold winter nights draw in, millions of homes could be left vulnerable to opportunistic thieves. Fear not, as Anglian Home Improvements has revealed its top tips on how property owners can safeguard their home and stay protected this winter: 1. Appearance matters Burglars are often opportunists and will take advantage of your home looking obviously unoccupied. If you are out and about this winter, keep up the illusion of usual routines as much as possible. Consider installing timers so lights, televisions and music systems are switched on and off in your absence. Outdoor movement activated lights also act as a deterrent, as burglars don’t like drawing attention to themselves. 2. Up close and personal If you’re heading off for some much-needed winter sun, resist the temptation to shout about this on your social media channels; and always be sure to let a trusted neighbour know you’ll be away so they can keep an eye out for anything suspicious. Your Facebook photo album of your winter escape can wait until you are home! 3. Alert your alarm company To ensure your alarm company can react as efficiently as possible in case of a break-in, make sure you alert them before you go away.

On average, 97% of burglar alarms are false, therefore it will help to let your alarm company know before you leave to ensure it is appropriately reactive in case of an alert. 4. Lock. Check Did you know three out of ten burglaries occur without intruders needing to use force, by taking advantage of open or weak locks – and with 30% of all break-ins occurring through windows? Fitted with state of the art cylinder locks as standard, Anglian’s brand new composite doors offer a high level of security. If you are unsure about the security of any of your fittings or locks, consider replacing them immediately to ensure you can leave your home with peace of mind at all times. Caroline Mills, Head of Marketing Communications for Anglian Home Improvements, said: “We know

home burglaries spike during certain times of the year, which is why we’re urging people to take time to review basic home security this winter. Whilst in a lot of cases it is simply just unfortunate bad luck with their home being targeted, there are simple steps homeowners can take to deter opportunistic thieves. “For more than 50 years, Anglian Home Improvements has played an important role in helping homeowners have a cosy winter, safe in the knowledge their doors and windows won’t let them down. We realise the importance of providing peace of mind to our customers. This is why we focus on the security features of our windows and doors to prevent any unauthorised access to your home.” For more information on Anglian Home Improvements, please visit


December 2019

Johnson Controls unveils new FireClass Addressable Fire Alarm Panels Advanced panels give system designers and end users more flexibility and ease of use Johnson Controls introduces two new FireClass Addressable Fire Alarm Panels, the FC702 and FC708, to its wide range of fire detection solutions. Featuring ergonomically engineered 8.4-inch Thin-Film-Transistor (TFT) color touchscreens and Intelligent User Guidance, the new panels offer improved aesthetics, advanced usability, and a great deal of flexibility. An attractive state-ofthe-art design makes these panels ideal for use in reception areas and prestige building environments.

The FC702 is a two-loop addressable panel while the FC708 provides a robust eightloop protocol to perform in the most challenging environments. An increased loop capacity of one Ampere per loop helps meet the increasing demand for visual alarms in addition to traditional audible alarms. Each addressable loop can be connected as one high power (HP) loop or two shared power (SP) loops. This provides the system designer the flexibility of allocating all available power and

250 addresses to the HP loop or to share resources across two SP loops. The FC708 comes standard with 80-way zonal display, as required in the United Kingdom. “These new FireClass Addressable Panels give our customers high-end, reliable, future-proof fire detection technology to help avoid false alarms and protect lives,” said Peter Hauser, senior global product manager, Johnson Controls. “They deliver intuitive, intelligent fire detection for even the most complex applications including education, commercial buildings, hotels, transportation and healthcare.” With USB configuration and USB firmware upload/ download, the FC702 and FC708 are easy to install, program, operate, and service while providing remote connectivity and backwards compatibility for long-term support and reduced lifetime cost. Touch-sensitive status LEDs provide an event summary for instant access to detailed event information, while a programmable graphic quiescent display offers custom branding opportunities. The panels also offer the ability to selectively view and print from the extensive 10,000 event log using dynamic filters with effective event diagnostics, which helps to quickly resolve site investigations.


December 2019

Additional key features of the FC702 and FC708 Addressable Fire Alarm Panels include: •

Context-sensitive help and on-screen operator instructions reduce the need for user training and provide support for infrequent users.

A user configurable on-screen site map helps eliminate additional site plans.

Comprehensive point management and disable functions provide the user with full control to reduce service and maintenance effort.

Keyless log-on using RFID tags identifies and logs user actions.

An integral, easily expandable slot card cage provides a range of slot card options.

For more information on FireClass Addressable Panels, visit


December 2019

RSS Delivers LOLER and Other Services to Galvanising Plant Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) delivered a series of testing and inspection services to Galvanize UK’s hot-dip galvanising plant in South Kirkby, UK last month (November). RSS completed tests on a variety of equipment, including testing stands, trestles, and a dross spoon, in addition to Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) tests prior to production resuming. The lifting and rigging gear supplier also ensured the installations met the requirements of the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. Mick Gill, senior testing engineer at RSS, said: “As we know, LOLER places duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment, while all new machinery in the scope of the Machinery Directive has to be designed and constructed to meet common minimum European requirements for safety. Galvanize UK required our expertise in both areas, particularly as it pertains to the stands that are so important during production.” Gill, who provided the bulk of the services onsite, explained that throughput at the galvanising plant principally revolves around handling smaller items to which the protective zinc coating is applied,

mainly to prevent rusting. However, the business generates significant volume, keeping the facility operational 24-hours-a-day, six days per week. “Once the furnace is up to temperature, it stays that way yearround,” Gill added. The scope of work, accepted by RSS’s Rotherham depot, was a follow-up to initial services delivered when the facility was being setup six months ago. Gill explained that there are five main stands positioned around the facility that are used at various stages of production, whether it be to hold a product while it is drying or prior to being dipped. Two overhead cranes, both with two 2t capacity twin hoists, are used to move the products around the production area. The dross spoon, meanwhile, is also lifted by the hoists and clears excess zinc from the baths in between dipping applications. The removed matter is recycled, Gill said. He added: “We had already tested the jigs / frames that sit on the stands— the product hangs from them—but here, to ensure ongoing compliance, we did new calculations for each stand

Here, a lift truck lowers additional weight onto a test stand.

and utilised Boliden zinc blocks that were already onsite because they were known weights. These weights were clearly stated on the side of each one. Using different numbers of blocks, and whatever lifting and rigging method suited the testing process, we were able to complete the tests efficiently and provide the necessary documentation to the customer.” RSS will deliver lifting and riggingrelated services to Galvanize UK’s hot-dip galvanising plant as the operation continues next year and beyond.


Four zinc blocks were used to test this stand.

Boliden zinc blocks served as known weights.

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Miscellaneous October 2019

First Mats launch new AntiStatic Floor and Bench Mat Kits Protecting workers and equipment from sudden electrical discharges is now easier than before, thanks to the new AntiStatic Mat Kits from First Mats. The rapidly growing retailers of industrial health and safety matting, First Mats have recently expanded their range of Anti-Static Matting products to provide greater choice and flexibility for customers.


In the workplace, a sudden discharge of static electricity (ESD) can be hugely damaging to sensitive electrical components. Anti-Static Mats can safely ground this energy keeping components

these new kits, we make buying Anti Static Matting easier than ever before.”

and workers protected. For these mats to work however, they need to be correctly connected to both the user (usually via a wristband) and to the earthing point (using a grounding plug). The problem is that as these items are normally purchased separately, choosing the right items can be confusing. First Mats aim to tackle this problem by offering customers Anti-Static Mat Kits which along with the mat, also include the cables, plugs and other accessories needed for them to work. “Convenience for our customers is something we have always aimed to provide” states Richard O’Connor, the Marketing & Strategy Director at First Mats. “and with

Two kits are currently available, a Bench Mat Kit for use on a worktop and another designed to be used on the floor which also improves comfort for its users thanks to the Anti-Fatigue properties. In addition to the existing range of multi-layered Bench Mats, First Mats have also added a brand new Heavy Duty Anti-Static Floor Mat called DeckStat, which as well as providing protection from ESD and significantly improving comfort for its users, also promises a longer lifespan – even in tough industrial environments. For more information about the DeckStat Floor Mat, the Matting Kits and the rest of the Anti-Static Range, visit the First Mats website –


December 2019

FORTICRETE OFFERS THE LEADING EDGE IN ARCHITECTURAL MASONRY Forticrete, an Ibstock brand, is meeting the demands for architectural creativity and flexibility when producing distinctive facades with its extensive Architectural Masonry range. Combining decorative concrete facing blocks, and bespoke precast solutions, the range offers a maintenance free solution suitable for interior and exterior projects. The collection is available in an extensive selection of colours and textures including Fairface, Splitface, Shot-Blasted, Etched and Polished Florentine. Forticrete is the originator of Specification Masonry in the UK with five decades of experience in its manufacture and application. The architectural masonry range opens up a completely new aesthetic for buildings, whilst still maintaining the durability and low maintenance attributes associated with one of its most enduring building materials. Ian Raper, Area Sales Manager for Forticrete, commented: “As with all our product ranges we ensure that we work closely with architects and contractors to provide valuable guidance to allow optimum performance on site, reducing operating costs and creating aesthetically pleasing facades. “The Architectural Masonry range offers many textures and colours to create a range of dramatic new effects that take architecture to a new level and means no compromises need to be made when it comes to choosing exactly the appearance you want.” Forticrete has set the standard in dense concrete masonry innovation, and its Architectural Masonry range achieves consistently high standards throughout its extensive product range. In addition, Forticrete’s Quality Assurance scheme guarantees all its products offer high durability, colour consistency and customer satisfaction. For further information on Forticrete’s Architectural Masonry offering, visit: or call 01525 244900.


December 2019


December 2019

Office Principles completes Llamasoft European headquarters project Design, fit out and workplace consultancy, Office Principles has completed a full design and fit out for supply chain software design company, Llamasoft’s new European headquarters in Solihull.


ork on the £600k project covered 11,000 sq ft, over two floors, taking approximately eight weeks to complete, having been undertaken as a fast-track project to accommodate the building’s occupants.


Business development director for Office Principles, Gary Tailby is delighted to complete the project: “We worked with Llama Soft to create an agile working environment, designed with people and customer experience at its heart. The intention was to appeal to the company’s current mix of staff members while following the aesthetic of the global portfolio and, hopefully, providing an office that would play a part in future staff attraction.

“Taking into account working patterns, the completed project demonstrates the perfect balance of professionalism and creativity appropriate to Llama Soft’s business. “It’s great to add to our growing roster of projects in the Midlands, working with yet another client who embraces a collaborative and creative approach. It certainly gives us a real opportunity to showcase our design excellence and to demonstrate our understanding of Llamasoft’s culture and brand.” Work was undertaken by Office Principles’ Birmingham office, which was opened earlier this year to grow the company’s market share in the Midlands and to enable some of the region’s great organisations

to benefit from Office Principles’ design ability.

Serviced by a team of top level directors, creative and technical designers, senior commercial surveyors and operations managers, the award-winning design, fit out and workplace consultancy has managed to achieve immediate commercial success since its launch and boasts a bulging forward orders book. Led by business development director, Gary Tailby and project director, Tina Batham, most of the members of the senior team are well-known to the Midlands commercial property scene having been active in the region for some time and have a long-standing reputation for their knowledge and expertise. Joint managing director of Office Principles, Cyril Parsons explains why Birmingham was selected as a base from which to serve the company’s growing national portfolio: “We invested in Birmingham as it’s a location pitched between our Manchester office and our showcase Reading and London

December 2019 offices. It fits with our strategy to put down roots in areas that will appeal to those clients looking for a second base outside of London and it’s a vibrant, welcoming city that can’t help but draw its many visitors in. “We hadn’t expected such an immediate response from new clients in the locale, keen to move within their city and to maximise and make the best use of rental space however, we’re delighted by this early success and hope to build on it in the months and years to come.” “We are currently looking at ways to expand the service offering, addressing new markets and optimising our existing business in the region to explore ways in which to achieve the best results.” Office Principles has recently added to its team in the Midlands to accommodate the workload and enable it to source and manage further opportunity. It has strengthened its design capability, enabling the company to offer further creative expertise at the consultation stage of the design and fit out process, and has introduced a new commercial manager and an operations manager. Expert at creating agile workspaces, Office Principles has built a strong and varied commercial portfolio over the years to include blue-chip brands such as Exterion Media, Telegraph Media Group, Visa Europe, GE Capital, Fitness First, Tata Communications, ResMed, Direct Marketing Association, Land Securities, Mothercare, and Kuoni. Its offering includes office design, workplace consultancy, interior fit out, office refurbishment, office relocation, office furniture and project management services. Working exclusively for organisations that value their staff and want to create spaces that better serve and support them, the company undertakes projects from all over the UK. For further information on Office Principles and its services, visit


December 2019

More than 50 new enhancements and powerful integrations unveiled across construction management solutions enable the construction industry to improve collaboration, reduce risk and increase profitability


Las Vegas, Autodesk University – 18 November 2019 – Today at Connect & Construct Summit, Autodesk, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSK) unveiled Autodesk Construction Cloud™, which combines advanced technology, a unique builder’s network and predictive insights to connect people and data across the entire building lifecycle, from design to operations.

powerful new artificial intelligence functionality that helps construction teams identify and mitigate design risks before problems occur – reducing delays, rework and costs.

At the centre of Autodesk Construction Cloud are best-of-breed construction solutions Assemble, BuildingConnected, BIM 360 and PlanGrid. Autodesk Construction Cloud brings these solutions together and, with Autodesk’s established design authoring tools, connects headquarters, office and field teams to increase collaboration and productivity.

1. Advanced Technology: Best-inclass software solutions built for simplicity and power – uniting headquarters, office and field teams from design to construction and operations. 2. Builder‘s Network: The industry’s largest network of owners, designers, builders and trades, enabling each to connect with the right partners and projects. 3. Predictive Insights: AI-driven analysis of previously siloed project data provides builders with powerful insights to predict outcomes and reduce risk.

Autodesk Construction Cloud includes more than 50 new product enhancements, as well as deeper integrations between each product to allow data to flow across all stages of construction. It also includes

Autodesk Construction Cloud includes three core elements that give construction companies a competitive advantage in the industry:

Autodesk Ushers in New Era of Connected Construction with Autodesk Construction Cloud ‘Despite the tremendous challenges construction companies face to connect huge volumes of data and people, no one has delivered on the promise of unified construction from design to operations – until now’, said Jim Lynch, vice president and general manager, Autodesk Construction Solutions. ‘With Autodesk Construction Cloud, we’re introducing a new era of connected construction and offering unrivalled integration between headquarters, office and field teams. We’ve never been more dedicated nor clearer in our mission to empower designers, contractors and owners to meet the world’s rapidly expanding construction needs, while helping to make building more predictable, safe and sustainable.’ ‘We need to be able to measure ourselves, look to the future and anticipate project risk. This insight is what’s missing today and is a key driver in moving the industry forward’, said Jenny Moshea, head of technology at Sellen Construction. ‘Autodesk Construction Cloud brings together advanced technology, which Autodesk has always been known for, with the network of the building community – which is the core of what we do as an industry – underpinned by predictive insights. This is the next evolution, the connected tissue that brings it all together so the construction lifecycle is no longer disjointed.’ 1. Autodesk Construction Cloud increases technology depth with 50+ new enhancements and makes data flow with integrations across all products As part of the launch of Autodesk Construction Cloud, the company is unveiling more than 50 new product

December 2019 enhancements that span the entire building lifecycle from design to operations. Most enhancements are available today, with a few rolling out over the next several weeks. Highlights of the new innovations include: •

• •

Expanding support within Assemble for the latest version of Autodesk design tools AutoCAD, Revit and Navisworks. Empowering subcontractors to immediately quantify 2D views in BuildingConnected Bid Board Pro. Enabling greater collaboration, field teams can now take videos directly within the PlanGrid app. Along with improved photo management, teams are able to provide richer commentary from the jobsite. Enhancing all BIM 360 modules, along with deeper feature integrations – such as between Construction IQ and BIM 360’s design review capabilities, called Design Risk Management, which helps reduce the likelihood of RFIs and change orders originating from design issues.

To empower construction teams to reduce miscommunication, errors and rework, Autodesk is focused on providing the entire construction team with access to crucial data whenever it is needed. Over the past 18 months, the company has rolled out 18 different integrations, allowing data to flow between all its construction products. These include integrations between Revit and PlanGrid, BIM 360 Design and Civil 3D, BuildingConnected and

PlanGrid and BIM 360 and Assemble, to name just a few. Built with BIM 360’s common data environment (CDE), Autodesk Construction Cloud ensures the whole team is collaborating on an integrated record set. Beyond the current capabilities, Autodesk is investing in supporting our customers in meeting ISO-19650. Learn more about other major product enhancements unveiled today on the new Autodesk Construction Cloud blog. 2. Industry’s largest network of construction professionals helps bring together the right teams Autodesk Construction Cloud encompasses the industry’s largest ecosystem of owners, designers, builders and trades, including nearly one million subcontractors who use BuildingConnected. The Builder’s Network enables owners and builders to connect to the right partners to create the best teams for any project anywhere – reducing risk, decreasing rework and increasing profitability. 3. AI-powered analytics identifies risks before they become rework Autodesk Construction Cloud encompasses powerful artificial intelligence that helps construction teams identify and mitigate risks before problems occur – helping to reduce delays, rework and cost. Technology such as TradeTapp, which arms general contractors with subcontractor risk analysis during the planning phase, and

Construction IQ, which uses algorithms to prioritise the highest risk projects, subcontractors and issues that need attention during the build phase, gives teams the insight and confidence to make informed decisions and build right the first time. For example, according to Autodesk’s data science team, more than 70 percent of RFIs in construction are attributed to design issues or documentation errors, which often escalate into costly change orders and even larger litigation disputes. Design Risk Management applies Construction IQ’s machine learning capabilities to the design review process that happens within BIM 360’s Document Management module, enabling GCs to easily identify and predict as early as possible the design and constructability issues that may turn into costly RFIs. ‘Autodesk’s end-to-end system for the entire building lifecycle – from design to long-term maintenance – is giving us a competitive advantage. Using the advanced technology and predictive insights of Autodesk Construction Cloud, we achieved a 20% gain in quality and safety on a high-profile project’, said Michael Murphy, digital construction operations manager at BAM Ireland. ‘Autodesk Construction Cloud is bringing us one step closer to a unified solution with all our data in the same platform, so that information is no longer in a silo or lost. We’re strongly aligned with Autodesk in pursuit of better construction across the globe.’




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