Construction Update - May 2019

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Construction Update May 2019




12 May 2019 @ConstructionUpd 04| Industry News 12| Windows & Glazing Systems 18| Interior Design 34| Heating & Plumbing 42| External Works 50| Tools, Equipment & PPE

Editorial Lucy Harris

Publishing Director JOdIE Little 01843 595818

PUBLICATION Manager Cy D’Anjou 01843 595818

Industry News May 2019

LANDMARK DECISION FOR NOTTINGHAM AS PLANS TO TRANSFORM ISLAND SITE APPROVED NOTTINGHAM is on the cusp of creating “possibly the biggest regeneration scheme in the UK” as outline plans to transform the high-profile 40-acre former Boots Island site have been approved this week (17 April) by Nottingham City Council planning committee.

Conygar Investment Company PLC intends to transform the site, which has laid derelict for many years, into new homes, grade A office space, creative market space, a fivestar hotel, retail units, a ‘linear’ park and community space and student accommodation. The landmark decision, which was overwhelmingly supported, will see hundreds of jobs created, strengthening the local economy and helping to elevate Nottingham as one of the UK’s key regional cities for investors and employers. Christopher Ware of Conygar said this was a significant milestone in Nottingham’s story and one they were proud to be a part of. “I am really pleased that the outline plans have been approved by Nottingham City Council and I look forward to working with our partners to meet the requirements set out by the council to develop all aspects of the mixed-use scheme into a thriving community,” he said.


“We are passionate about delivering a sustainable development where people aspire to live and work. This is a long-term phased project which is likely to take up to ten years to

complete and will create hundreds of jobs in the region before and after the building work. “Nottingham is a vibrant and creative city where several exciting developments are taking place and our plans for the site are a key part of this regeneration. We believe this is a unique development which will help to elevate Nottingham’s position in the Midlands and the UK.” Councillor Chris Gibson, chair of the planning committee said the scheme was the biggest opportunity Nottingham had seen in years. He said: “This is Nottingham’s biggest regeneration scheme to happen in decades and currently the largest in the East Midlands and perhaps the UK.” Paul Seddon, director of planning and regeneration said this was the right time for the crucial site to redeveloped. “Now outline planning is in place we will continue to work very closely with Conygar to ensure the progress of this hugely important scheme for the city. It’s our priority to help make the Island Site a high quality and vibrant

part of the city that Nottingham deserves.” Lorraine Baggs, head of investment for Invest in Nottingham said: “This is a landmark decision which marks a significant milestone for Nottingham. These plans will breathe new life into a site which has sat unloved for many years and I’m confident they will be the catalyst our city needs to help strengthen our economy – particularly with the additional grade A office space which many businesses are interested in.” Greg Millers-Cheevers from urban regeneration specialists Lavignac added: “This decision has been more than two years in the making. We have worked very closely with Nottingham City Council, existing site occupiers and stakeholders in the city to develop these plans. We have also taken the time to listen to the public which has shaped how we plan to integrate the development into the city and neighbouring communities.” Work is expected to start on site during 2019, with the first phase of office and homes intended to be complete by 2020.

May 2019 Industry News

PlanGrid Delivers BIM Data in 2D and 3D Directly to Mobile Users in the Field

One of the construction industry’s most widely-used mobile technologies makes critical data accessible in the field with first major Autodesk integration after acquisition PlanGrid​, an Autodesk company and a leader in construction productivity software, today introduced ​PlanGrid BIM​ , a powerful new product integration with Autodesk Revit​ ®​ that enables users to immediately access Building Information Modeling (BIM) data, in either 2D or 3D, directly within PlanGrid on their mobile devices. Construction teams and facilities managers can now drill down into rich BIM data in an easy-touse 2D interface or 3D environment, empowering the field to build with greater accuracy, avoid rework and make decisions faster and with more confidence. “BIM has transformed the way architects and engineers design, and Revit is the industry standard during pre-construction,” said Jim Lynch, vice president and general manager, Autodesk Construction Solutions. “PlanGrid’s integration of Revit empowers its users to take full advantage of BIM beyond preconstruction with a wealth of data immediately at their fingertips. This joint initiative, the first of many following our acquisition of PlanGrid, will help Autodesk fulfill our mission to deliver a comprehensive, integrated platform that seamlessly connects the office, the trailer and the field.”

PlanGrid BIM connects rich BIM data from the design process to construction and operations Architects and engineers who design construction projects using BIM create 3D models to act as a virtual representation of how complicated work should be installed and building assets should interact. Models are embedded with rich property data such as the height of a counter, material type of a wall or manufacturer details of a lighting fixture. But when these models are sent out to the field, they’re “flattened down” into PDFs, and the data is lost to the teams doing the physical work of building or maintaining facilities. This loss of data, coupled with a lack of 3D visualization in the field, can lead to critical errors, lost time and rework.

PlanGrid BIM empowers construction and facilities teams to make better decisions in real-time, using the most comprehensive data available and a seamless transition between 2D and 3D. With PlanGrid BIM, users can see BIM data properties within familiar 2D drawings, or tap into 3D to better visualize assets within the surrounding environment — all from within PlanGrid’s software. Encompassing three core elements, PlanGrid’s new BIM functionality includes: • BIM-enabled Sheets: ​U sers can tap objects to access BIM data properties, such as an object’s dimensions, material type or manufacturer details, all within the familiar 2D environment. • 3D BIM Viewer: ​With a simple tap, users can instantly transition into a 3D view of a specific object, even if offline. The viewer, currently in open beta, includes features such as zoom and snap tools for taking measurements between model objects. • Revit Integration:​ Sheets are published directly from Revit into PlanGrid, guaranteeing accurate BIM data, as well as sheet titles and numbers; drawings continue to include PlanGrid features such as automatic callout detection and hyperlinking. With rich data immediately at their fingertips, field teams can decrease miscommunication, reduce defects at handover, increase safety and overall quality of work. “Communication on a jobsite can be challenging, particularly when team members may be missing vital information from interacting trades. A plumber may consult with a mechanical foreman several times before installing risers near HVAC ducts, and the build-out may still take longer than expected and require rework,” said Kendall Pouland, Director of Technology and Innovation at Tellepsen. “With PlanGrid’s new BIM functionality, any construction team member can quickly find all the details they need right from their mobile device.

And because our teams are already using PlanGrid on a daily basis, it will be easy for them to quickly learn and take advantage of this powerful new functionality.” “We know field workers and facilities teams need mobile solutions that can be used on the job site, which is why we built PlanGrid’s software with a mobile-first approach right from the start. We saw immediate adoption, and now more than 1.5 million projects around the world are using our technology,” said Tracy Young, head of PlanGrid at Autodesk. “We’re now bringing our mobile-first approach to BIM, empowering teams to build right the first time. With PlanGrid BIM, we are not only helping contractors work more efficiently, we’re also enabling architects to maintain their design intent and owners to reduce lifecycle costs. We’re delivering on our commitment to building powerful and easy-to-use software for the field, and developing an integrated workflow with Autodesk products. We’re changing the industry, again.” PlanGrid BIM is included with all PlanGrid subscriptions and is available today on iOS and web, with functionality on Android and Windows to follow in the future. PlanGrid will continue furthering its aim to help increase construction productivity with features to be added in the future that include integration with other design and project review software such as Autodesk Navisworks​ Ⓡ​ , twoway synch to update the master BIM model with data from the field, and the ability to generate tasks, RFIs and punchlists from model data. PlanGrid will host a webinar overview of “PlanGrid BIM for Design, Build and Operations” on the following dates; to register, ​please visit here​. • North America: May 7, 2019 at 11:00am PDT / 2:00pm EDT • EMEA: March 9, 2019 at 12 noon BST / 13:00 CEST / 15:00 GST • APAC: May 15, 2019 at 10:00am SGT / 12 noon AEST / 2:00pm NZST

You can also read more about PlanGrid BIM o ​ n the PlanGrid blog.


Industry News May 2019

Leading foundations contractor BAUER Technologies Ltd has re-appointed Michael Jones as its new managing director. Michael’s appointment provides continuity and underlines the stable growth plans for Bauer’s UK operation, following the retirement of Martin Blower, who has been Bauer Technologies managing director since 2014.

Pictured left to right: Martin Blower, Michael Jones – BAUER Technologies Ltd

Bauer Technologies Management Change to Continue Business Growth Speaking of this management change, Michael said: “Martin has had an exceptional career, with the result that he is held in such high regard as a leading figure in the UK foundations industry. He has done an excellent job in taking Bauer Technologies to the strong market position it occupies today. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to return to the UK and to the management of one of the most exciting and dynamic specialist foundation contractors in the UK.”


Michael originally set-up Bauer Technologies in the UK in 2007, and after a successful 5-year period as its managing director, moved to its parent company Bauer Spezialtiefbau GmbH, where he became

a member of the Management Board developing his career globally from Bauer’s Headquarters in Germany. Over the last 2 years Michael has held senior leadership positions for BAUER in Australia and USA. Bauer’s outgoing Managing Director, Martin Blower, said: “I can think of no better person to hand over the reins of the business to. Michael has a wealth of experience within BAUER and he is uniquely placed to leverage the synergies between BAUER subsidiaries and the parent company. His appointment will be pivotal to growing the business and making a positive difference, not only to how we work with our existing clients but in helping us to attract new ones.”

May 2019 Industry News

Milestone Achieved On Manchester Apartment Scheme A key milestone has been reached by a Manchester apartment scheme ahead of its opening next month. Contractor McGoff marked the completion of Phase Two’s concrete frame with a topping out ceremony at Downtown on Woden Street. When complete, Downtown will provide 374 apartments with high end facilities and hotel-style services including lobby with 24 hour concierge, gymnasium, spa, media room, postal room, dry and chilled storage, private dining, business centre as well as landscaped grounds and roof terraces. The first residents are due to arrive at the new development in May 2019. “The collaboration between McGoff Construction, Heyrod Construction, Alliance Investments, our legal team, architect and Wellesley has been incredible. Developing this bespoke partnership has enabled us to take

advantage of Downtown impressive sales success and start build of Phase II two much earlier than planned,” said Chris McGoff, director at the McGoff Group. “As we near the end of construction at Downtown, and reflect on its success, we can safely say that our collaboration was a truly unique and refreshing way to work in the construction industry. With all apartments selling quickly off-plan, the McGoff Construction team was agile with regards to the build programme, fully supported by Heyrod Construction, which not only saved money but also allowed us to accelerate the build of Phase II

without the need to negotiate based on better than envisaged sales. With such a solid partnership in place, and the results to prove it, Wellesley was happy to adapt and release funds for Phase II early. It really has been a success story with regards to both sales and construction on site,” he added.

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Industry News May 2019

Legal speed limits versus safe speeds The need for better measures Andy Walters, Managing Director of vehicle tracking provider, Quartix, describes how to redefine speed limits for your fleet and improve safety out on the roads. The idea behind his unique research received the 2018 Queens Award for Enterprise in Innovation.


rivers at every construction company travel considerable distances to reach sites every day, and a strong vehicle tracking system can go a long way to encourage safer driving habits. The majority of UK road deaths happen on rural roads despite the relatively low volume of traffic they carry. Accidents on these rural roads, however, often occur at speeds below the National Speed Limit, which raises the question - what is a safe speed and how can we define it for each road we travel on?

Safe speeds: How far below the legal limit are they?


On single carriageways, research show that only 8% of road users exceed the 60mph limit. With far fewer cases of speeding seen on the roads with the highest fatality rates, the need for a stronger, more robust safety measure than the legal speed limit was a clear focus for us at Quartix. The appropriate speed for any given road depends on its context, layout, width, surface, contour, conditions and time of day. A safe speed for most of a typical rural road is not 60mph, as frequent bends will require you to slow down.

Evidence suggests a driver’s risk of suffering an accident increases rapidly as they deviate above the average speed of moving vehicles on a specific stretch of road.

Putting the theory into practice: Improving your safety metrics Our SafeSpeed Database uses real traffic data to determine a more appropriate benchmark for safety. We collect over 30 million data points each day from 100,000 drivers and then match these against 2 million sections of UK roads.

A green score is awarded for any speed below the mean. Speeds ranking above 75% are marked in red and identified as dangerous. Our customers find that using this insight not only addresses the most significant danger that their drivers face, but also: • reduces the number of accidents by 5-20% • reduces liability and costs of accidents by 10% • reduces fuel costs by 25% To find out about the different plans available with Quartix, contact or call 01686 806 663.

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May 2019

Aluprof Unitised Systems Transforms Existing Belfast Building By Wojciech Brozyna - MD Aluprof UK

Unitised curtain wall is normally associated with new high rise building, but in Belfast, Aluprof systems are being used to help transform an existing office block with a completely new building envelope.


Located at Wellington Place in the heart of Belfast, the Merchant Square Office Development will offer over 200,000 sq.ft. of Grade A office accommodation. The existing seven storey office block was designed by McAlister Armstrong & Partners and completed in 1975. The new £18.5 million redevelopment will add two further floors and will consist of

a new Corten steel and aluminium high performance facade. The external envelope was originally specified in traditional stick construction curtain wall, but Clarke Facades worked with Aluprof to put forward a superior offer using a unitised option. Crucial to this specification change with Like Architects of Belfast and their

client, the Oakland Group, is that the proposal had to fall within the original facade budget. This was achieved using Aluprof’s MB-SE75 Capped Unitised Curtain Wall system. With the rise in use of unitised curtain wall systems in medium sized projects, the option of unitised systems is becoming a

May 2019 real alternative to a traditional curtain wall, especially as costs are becoming much more competitive. It is well known that unitised systems can offer up to a 50% time saving on installation which can offer significant savings on the project programme. Aluprof’s MB-SE75 Capped Unitised Curtain Wall system was then specified in an anodised finish, which then contrasts in accordance with the architects design, with the external Corten steel used in a vertical column emphasis. Facade installation started in early March and is expected to be completed in a matter of weeks, ensuring that the building envelope meets the tight installation programme. The Merchant Square project has been funded by the Northern Ireland Investment Fund and Fairfield Finance. The owner, Oakland Group is being advised by local firm Radius Corporate Finance. Guy Hollis from the Oakland Group states that the development will have a “transformative impact” on Belfast city centre and goes on to say: “Our project will have a multiplier effect around Wellington Place, Queen Street and College Square, and we are confident the Merchant Square project will make a major contribution to the redevelopment of Belfast going forward.” Installed by Clarke Facades of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, the project is due for completion in Autumn this year with a new anchor client, PwC, relocating approximately

2,000 staff to Merchant Square during summer 2020. Serving the whole of the UK and Ireland, Aluprof UK’s head office and extensive distribution centre is located in Altrincham, Cheshire. Aluprof systems are increasingly being specified on a wide range of residential and commercial projects across the UK. Systems are designed, fabricated and installed by selected, specially trained local companies, to ensure each fabricated product meets Aluprof’s exacting standards. Further information is available on the company’s website at and specialist advice is available directly from Aluprof’s UK head offices on +44 (0) 161 941 4005 or from their London office, based at the Business Design Centre, Islington, on +44 (0) 7908 781750.


Windows & Glazing Systems May 2019

A window into the future - consumers demand large, energy efficient windows with noise reduction features

New research has revealed the window design and features that consumers hope to see in their future homes. Consumers identified windows with higher energy efficiency (52%), ones that can shade against the sunlight (29%), frames made from sustainable materials (26%) and large floor to ceiling windows (23%) as the features or design trends that would be most appealing. In addition to this, 29% of consumers said that smart windows, for example windows that can turn into a mirror, or be used as a smart screen, are also desirable, according to research conducted by Eurocell plc, the UK’s leading manufacturer, recycler and distributor of PVC-U window, door, conservatory and roofline systems.

With the research clearly highlighting how important both natural light and technology are to consumers, it is critical that the construction sector utilises this insight to inform product development and architectural decisions around windows as it works to build the homes required to address the current housing crisis in the future.

These findings were presented to architects at leading studios Hawkins Brown, SimpsonHaugh and BDP, as well as property developer The High Street Group, to be analysed and garner expert insight. When talking about the future of windows, and what we can expect, Francesca Roberts, Hawkins Brown, commented: “It’s about careful placement of the windows and thinking about how light can be flooded into properties in all the right places. It’s not just about light either, you need to think about other factors, such as if the property is near a busy railway or a road and consider how this should impact the placement of windows.

You can see all of Eurocell’s findings from the survey in the Future Home Report which can be downloaded in full here

“It’s about finding that sweet spot, through proper testing and analysis. The placement of windows should not be determined by rolling out a standard house type across a site, with the window placement being left to chance. Instead, what’s right for each plot should be considered.”


As well as design trends, consumers were asked about the key drivers for investing in new windows. 52% of consumers identified improving energy efficiency as the most common driver, whilst 38% said increasing natural light and 35% said noise reduction were key drivers.

Meeting the needs of the next generation of home buyers and occupiers

Download our research report on the future of new homes To address the housing shortage and ensure that the housing stock deficit is erased the UK needs to build 340,000 new homes every year until 2031. As such, the residential construction sector is under increasing pressure to build the volume of homes the country so desperately needs, which will require not only meeting but exceeding the Government’s current pledge to build 300,000 new homes annually. It’s also critical that these homes meet the needs and demands of future homeowners. To gain insight into this, Eurocell surveyed 1,000 25-40-year old renters and home owners to investigate their views on the subject. Following this, Eurocell asked experts from Simpson Haugh, Hawkins Brown, BDP and The High Street Group to analyse the findings and provide insight into the trends that they are currently seeing in the market.

Download the full report at

Find out about the full Eurocell range. Call us on: 0800 988 7301 or visit us at:

Windows & Glazing Systems May 2019

Even more INvestment for membership Independent Network has collaborated with two of the UK’s favourite magazines, for the benefit of member companies across the country.


A joined-up marketing campaign has been built across House Beautiful and Sainsbury’s Magazines, which have a combined average monthly circulation of 594,994, not to mention an impressive online following. The campaign has been designed to utilise a combination of online and offline elements to best effect. Full page press ads and an eye-catching insert

are supported by social media posts, an incredible digital advent calendar that ran alongside the Sainsbury’s adverts, and interactive online adverts that link directly to the IN site. VEKA Group’s Marketing Director Dawn Stockell explains more: “For marketing to work most effectively, it must make best use of all appropriate channels and

May 2019 Windows & Glazing Systems

excited to share. These images will also be made available to members via the marketing portal. “Independent Network’s brand awareness was virtually doubled between 2017 and 2018 and we’re determined to carry on spreading the message even further. We want Independent Network and its membership to be the brand of choice when homeowners decide to improve their properties. “According to John Lewis Finance last year, more than 60% of the nation has some sort of project in the planning – but haven’t yet carried it out. We want to make sure that the Independent Network brand is at the forefront of people’s minds, as soon as they decide to take the plunge with high quality home improvements. “The ongoing campaign also coincides with the launch of Independent Network’s pioneering new website which has been completely redesigned with a wealth of new features. The site now includes an even clearer ‘Find Installer’ form, an informative Knowledge Area, a helpful ‘Visualiser’ price guide tool, a host of product information and much, much more.”

I think the current Independent Network campaign utilises a great mix of online and offline media. “Carefully considered scheduling saw IN appear in three issues of Sainsbury’s magazine, including the bumper November issue, when average monthly circulation leaps from 139,442 to around 250,000. This was supported by an innovative digital advent calendar that encouraged high levels of web traffic and increased interaction with the brand. “We targeted magazines whose readership demographic aligns with IN’s own customer base, to further build valuable brand awareness for the Network across the country. “The adverts in Sainsbury’s and House Beautiful highlighted Independent Network’s unbroken chain of quality

and the commitment to craftsmanship that all members share. They also featured the ten-year insurance-backed guarantee message alongside striking and aspirational Bi-Fold Door imagery. “Bi-Folds were chosen for a number of reasons, not least because VEKA Group’s Imagine Bi-Fold Door has a host of winning features for fitters and homeowners alike and looks incredibly stylish on the page. Last year, in the UK, the term ‘BiFold Doors’ was searched online an average 40,358 times per month, so we also know these products remain extremely popular. “The insert in House Beautiful will go out at the beginning of May (coinciding with the key home improvement period that comes with the two May bank holidays) and includes stunning, new, aspirational window and door photography that we are particularly

Ross Heaver from Heavers of Bridport thinks the marketing support available to members is a key reason to join Independent Network: “One of the things we’ve always liked about Independent Network is the national awareness that the brand is getting. So regardless of whether you’re big or small, you’re still getting that vital national coverage.” Amy Ramshaw of Tyne and Wearbased NE&C Windows and Doors ltd was impressed with IN’s latest campaign; “We saw the ads during a visit to the Independent Network office before they went out to the public. It’s an excellent way to reach customers, especially at Christmas when many of us like to throw the Sainsbury’s magazine into our trolley during our Christmas food shop. As a member of IN, we appreciate the advertising the organisation does on behalf of members – securing space in major consumer titles that might not otherwise be attainable for independent, local companies like us.”


Windows & Glazing Systems May 2019


Interior Design May 2019

Wood for Good Marketing Summit to put health and wellbeing into practice Promoting timber’s health and wellbeing benefits is the focus for Wood for Good’s next Marketing Summit on 12 March at CILIP in London.

Christiane Lellig, Wood for Good campaign director, said: “The Summit is an opportunity to pinpoint how we can position, develop and market timber products within the health and wellbeing agenda. “Our previous summit identified the opportunities and challenges for the timber market, now it’s time to look at how we get our products up to speed and ideally ‘healthy material’ certified.”


The Summit will be in a workshop format with speakers including Christos Michael from CapitalHolz 100, Colin Wheatley from Medite Smartply and Kevin Underwood from the British Woodworking Federation. Christos and Colin will be sharing their experiences of bringing health and wellbeing to the forefront of their marketing and product development, while Kevin will delve into the results of BWF’s cradle-to-cradle feasibility study for joinery products.

The discussion will cover the key issues raised in the previous summit including certification and the practicalities of doing this, identifying sales channels and ideas on how to promote products as healthy. On the morning of the Summit, a workshop with Wood for Good supporters will take place to discuss the next six months of the campaign’s activity. Following both events, attendees are invited to the Building Centre for the launch of the annual Wood Awards plus an opportunity to view the Forest of Fabrication exhibition. Book your space for the Wood for Good Spring Marketing Summit.

May 2019 Interior Design

AHEC aims at red oak renaissance There’s never been a better time to buy American red oak in Europe. That’s partly because it’s in plentiful supply, partly because it’s eminently affordable, with the price differential versus European oak as wide as it’s ever been, on a par with US ash.

American Hardwood Export Council technical consultant Neil Summers acknowledges that both these positives for European buyers are to some extent due to a negative; the fact that China, as part of ongoing trade tension with the US, last year imposed a 10% tariff on American hardwood imports. The Chinese are easily the biggest buyers of US red oak, and indeed US hardwoods generally, recently accounting for 60% of American exports. So the tariff, which may rise to 25% early March, has left a lot of timber seeking new customers. The situation has been exacerbated by China’s economic slowdown, which US mills accept, demands a strategic market refocus, regardless of tariffs. However, going into 2019 they and AHEC are determined that current price and availability won’t be red oaks’ only attraction on the European market. They are also focusing promotional and communications resources squarely on its performance potential. AHEC is working with designers, makers and furniture students to underline red oak’s versatility, aesthetics and technical merits. The timber is being taken in new directions in processing, finishing and end use and it will take centre stage at exhibitions. The marketing campaign will also feature showcase projects Europe-wide, including last year’s massive use of red oak at the new European HQ of financial data and media colossus Bloomberg in London. The species’ sustainability credentials will be stressed too; notably that it is America’s most


Interior Design May 2019

prolific hardwood, with two cubic metres growing in the forest every second. Mr Summers doesn’t deny that Chinese tariffs pose a serious challenge for US mills, with red oak especially impacted and prices accordingly depressed. “Initially wet weather restricted felling, so the tariffs’ effect was muted, but harvesting has now picked up and mills heavily focused on China have found it tough,” he said. “If tariffs are raised further, and the Chinese currency remains weak against the dollar, it will be that much more difficult.” But on a positive, mills and end users are exploring and spotlighting new red oak opportunities. “It is being thermo treated, giving it greater durability and an attractive dark colour, while its grain and performance make it a natural substitute for US ash, particularly if supply continues to decline due to Emerald ash borer,” said Mr Summers. “There’s a trend to painted oak kitchen furniture too, which also logically points to using red oak.”


He describes it as ‘perplexing’ given its very similar aesthetic to other oaks, that red oak isn’t yet a volume item in Europe – attributable perhaps to a mix of market inertia and lack of awareness. But its current competitiveness, backed by new higher profile promotion, could open up possibilities.

“It’s more porous than white oak, so not suitable for barrels! But it machines just as well, finishes perhaps better, bends more easily and takes treatment well for external use,” he said. “It also has excellent strength properties, rated D40 under Eurocode 5, compared with European oak’s D30, and it can readily substitute a species like meranti, with its similar density, permeability and consistency.” Among red oak showcase projects this year, UK designer maker Sebastian Cox is making a bar area for the Wallpaper magazine Handmade feature at the Milan furniture show, with dye forced into the wood’s vessels under pressure. Additionally, AHEC is working with Polish furniture designer Tomek Rygalik on a red oak showpiece and at London’s Building Crafts College

May 2019 Interior Design

it is challenging students to create a table using 2ft 3 of the species each. The latter project follows the success of AHEC’s design initiative with students at Oxford’s Ryecotewood Furniture Centre last year. Their task was to make a red oak storage unit. Consequently, they steamed, bent, planed, turned, oiled and stained the timber, transforming it into everything from a coffee table with a miniature oriental garden under glass, to a shoe cabinet comprising woven red oak veneer strips. Interestingly the students said they’d readily use red oak again, as did Michael Jones,

Foster+Partners’ project architect on the Bloomberg building – and this used 37,160m2 for flooring, 1,858m2 for panelling and 1,350 m3 in glulam. The next major European airing for US hardwoods generally and red oak especially will be May’s Interzum show in Cologne. Here AHEC’s stand will feature red oak exclusively. “And reflecting mills’ interest in Europe, it is organising a US hardwood pavilion, which had to be extended due to demand to accommodate 28 companies,” said Mr Summers. “The aim is for more Europeans to discover the underexploited potential of red oak, and to emphasise that there’s never been a better time to do it.”


Interior Design May 2019

Armstrong Ceilings were an architec Black metal ceilings are a key feature of HSBC UK’s new headquarters. Armstrong Ceiling Solutions were specified for key features in a next-generation UK headquarters building because they are the architect’s trusted brand capable of supplying a complete system. Armstrong’s B-L302 jet black custom-mesh metal planks were complemented by the manufacturer’s Bandraster grid and Axiom blind box on levels 1 and 2 of the “university” reception, marketplace (canteen) and breakout areas for HSBC UK’s new headquarters at 1 Centenary Square at Arena Central in central Birmingham. They were selected by regular Armstrong users TP Bennett architects who, while referring to the client’s design guidelines, wanted at the same time to innovate to create a new kind of headquarters for HSBC UK to focus on retail banking and training for 2,500 people. Located on nine acres of a key regeneration area for the city and the former home of Carlton TV, the 11-storey, 210,000ft2 building with three basement levels is constructed of steel frame with rainscreen cladding and houses offices, the HSBC university, a staff gym, restaurant and café, and an executive suite with catering. Extensive landscaping and external public realm works help to create a new “urban meadow” and public square at what is now known as Bank Court for developers ACDL - a joint venture between Miller Developments and Pro Vinci Asset Management. The Armstrong systems form the main feature ceiling in the university reception area and the


key break-out and collaboration areas and comprise 283m2 of 1210mm x 687mm metal planks with 71% open mesh area along with 193 metres of 100mm Bandraster unslotted exposed suspension grid and 272 metres of 100mm Axiom Blind Box transitions, both also in jet black (RAL 9005). TP Bennett associate director and interior designer Francesco Tidona said: “We specified the Armstrong systems because they are a trustworthy company who are able to provide a full system which is convenient as it includes the mesh tiles and the supporting structure as well the proprietary Blind Boxes which we integrated with linear luminaires.” They were installed for main contractor GallifordTry over two months by a team of 10 from specialist sub-contractor Taylor Hart, a member of Armstrong’s national network of approved Omega installers. Managing director Phil Lewis said: “The Armstrong products were excellent, incorporating a Blind Box to allow M&E to install lights into the system in place of the Bandraster grid in various areas. The system was easily built and the colour march was of a high quality for each of the components.”

May 2019 Interior Design

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More information is accessible via the Armstrong Ceilings website.


Interior Design May 2019

Bruceshaw and team complete RAF Club Centenary Extension Bruceshaw has completed the development of the centenary extension at the prestigious Royal Air Force Club, Mayfair, London. The Club, which was founded in 1918 and opened its doors in 1922, has approximately 25,000 members and serves serving and formerserving Officers and their families. Bruceshaw was appointed as Project Manager in the autumn of 2015. The project began on site in Q3 of 2016, Bruceshaw worked closely on this project with Paul Murphy Architects, Glanville Group and Jnoad Ltd. Due

to the restricted access and complexity of the project, the scheme was split into two contracts, an enabling works and main build contract, which allowed the works to commence whilst Bruceshaw and the project team worked with the RAF Club to develop the detailed design. The RAF Club had identified a need for more bedrooms for the exclusive use of its members, improved

business facilities and a fitness centre with contemporary facilities. As a Grade 2 listed building, located in one of the most expensive areas of London, property is at a premium and an innovative solution was sought to deliver the client’s requirements that would also work with the existing building structure and floor levels. Through extensive discussions amongst the architects and the profession team, a solution was devised whereby two under used squash courts could be redeveloped. Meticulous planning enabled the creation of 17 further bedrooms (12 doubles, 2 accessible rooms and 3 singles) 3 of which enjoy roof top views. In addition, a new business suite on the first floor, fitness centre on the ground floor, staff canteen and laundry facilities were also delivered.


Construction of the project began with the assembly of an eightstorey steel frame to create the structure for the new rooms including a stair and lift core. All construction took place whilst the rest of the Club remained in operation. This presented a number of challenges, not least

the requirement to install a tower crane to erect the new wing, which entailed closing Piccadilly over two weekends to allow access. The organising of this procedure was very complex due to the number of stake holders involved and took up to six months to plan. Miles Pooley FIH MI, RAF Club Chief Executive said: “The centenary extension delivered exciting new facilities for RAF Club members in our 100th year. An underutilised space within the building has been transformed into a stylish, contemporary area of the Club for members to stay, work and exercise.” The RAF Club was completed in time to welcome the Club’s Royal Patron since 1952, Her Majesty the Queen, to celebrate its centenary year. The Queen, during her visit, officially opened the new centenary extension, as well as unveiling a series of newly-commissioned artworks.

March 2019 Interior Design



The Solid Wood Flooring Company | Case Studies | Commercial and Leisure | Architects | Contractors | Choosing Wood Flooring


May 2019 Interior Design

The Place Apart Hotel Central Manchester • • • •

Featured Product Product Code TW-E962 Fumed Antique Chevron Parquet Band Sawn Finish Wood Flooring

Project - The Place Apart Hotel Executive Architects - Archer Humphryes Architects Main Contractor - Cost Consultants Wood Flooring Supplier - The Solid Wood Flooring Company

We were asked by the Cost Consultants to manufacture a chevron board that met the budgetary requirements of their client. We met with the Architects who are Archer Humphryes Architects to ascertain exactly what the clients required and then produced samples. We managed to produce 3 variations and the client confirmed the one they wanted. We received signed control samples back so that we can manufacture what the client wants. Refurbishment of this apartment hotel began in 2017 and the chevron has been designed to fit in with the history of the building. We are also in the process of making matching skirting boards. A PIECE OF MANCHESTER’S HISTORY

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Awarded Grade II listed status by English Heritage in 1998 as an acknowledgment of its important cultural and architectural legacy, this former railway warehouse was built in 1867 during the peak of Manchester’s prominence as the world’s number one centre for the cloth trade. The building is the only remaining of four warehouses erected by the Manchester

& Birmingham Railway Company and was known as the London Warehouse. Also in 1998, the building was transformed into The Place Aparthotel, retaining many of the building’s original features, including the impressively crafted iron, stone and brick work. These can be seen in the original Victorian railings manning the balconies, the barrel ceilings, the stupendous façade and the large, spacious public area which makes The Place unique. In its former life, the building’s interior was dominated by massive cast iron columns supporting large riveted wrought iron beams. This huge, flexible and cavernous construction gave uninterrupted floor space for the movement of cloth. The cast iron columns and other impressive features remain today, including iron girders and the tastefully retained Romanesque window arches, but instead of vast warehouse flooring, the seven storeys now hold 107 apartments, supporting a spectacular atrium where cranes would once have dangled their loads.


Interior Design May 2019


THE MAIN STAGE Looking for texture, colour, ambience, finish, performance? You’ll find all these and more at this year’s Flooring Show which takes place from 15-17 September in Harrogate.


This is where flooring in all its forms is given the starring role.

Visit the show and be the first to see…

The show is widely recognised as the UK’s National Flooring Event, and this year marks its 57th edition, a record performance for a b2b trade show, and 2019 is set to be The Flooring Shows best year with a resurgence in visitor numbers and interest in recent years. The perfect show for flooring retailers and contractors, The Flooring Show also attracts plenty of interest across the board from fitters keen to spot new products and offers, and specifiers and designers for whom the show delivers a great overview of what’s new and who’s new as well as great networking opportunities.

Lifestyle Floors return to the show for an exciting few days of networking, join the likes of Cormar Carpets’, Furlong Flooring, Cavalier Carpets, Westex, Abingdon Flooring, Gooch Oriental Carpets and Distinctive Flooring to name but a few. You can catch up with companies from all across Europe including Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. All the big names are here plus over 20 new exhibitors which will continue to grow including William Armes and its well-known Dandy brand, Oneflor-Europe.

Bill Beaumont Textiles Ltd, Barrentine Product Ltd, The Sanctuary Group Ltd and Dri-Tac Flooring Products, LLC will all be attending The Flooring Show 2019. A full exhibitor list from the previous year can be found on the show website Show Essentials: Dates: 15-17 September 2019 Venue: Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate Register: via the show website Travel: Free parking at venue /25% discount off train travel

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Interior Design May 2019

Aspex develops bespoke doorsets for student accommodation Aspex, one of the UK’s leading architectural ironmongery and doorset companies, has secured a contract to supply a bespoke range of doorsets to the 900 bed Paradise Street student accommodation scheme in Coventry. Working alongside FBM Architects, Aspex has created a custom-built version of its Novista Riser Steel Doorsets. The system features a bottom and over panel to create a full height door with a slim flush frame allowing more space for the M&E equipment for the project. Over 700 Novista Riser Doorsets are being supplied and a project specific fire test was carried out at BM Trada. This included a 50mm high Nullifire Batt board above the overpanel for the M&E services to pass through. Aspex is also supplying the internal timber doorsets and the access control system which includes an electronic lock on all of the bedrooms, allowing students to access the building and their rooms with a card or their smartphone for enhanced safety.


Ashley Burberry, Managing Director at Aspex, says: “The student accommodation sector has been hugely successful for us. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to create a bespoke version of our doorsets which emphasises the versatility of our Novista Riser system. The access control system ensures students remain safe, allowing us to take safety to new heights.” David Taylor, Senior Architect at FBM Architects, adds: “For this particular project, we required a frameless doorset that we could paint on site to match the walls. The Novista system met our requirements and we are really pleased with how the doors look and blend into the surroundings.” For more information, visit

May 2019 Interior Design

Office Principles provides agile space for Cornerstone Office Principles has designed and delivered a complete new agile working model for Cornerstone, the UK’s leading infrastructure services company, in its move from a 38,000 sq ft space to 22, 000 sq ft, with a seven to ten desk sharing ratio, to make more efficient use of the new space, drive higher performance and increase staff engagement.


he fast-track fit out process was completed in approximately 11 weeks and included carpets, partitioning, ceilings, kitchen, extra shower and feet washing facilities, all decor and the creation of a dedicated wellbeing room. The award-winning design and workplace consultant acted to maximise the value of the project while working around other contractors within a tight time frame. Work on the project followed a workplace study, conducted by Office Principles, which included a utilization study and a staff engagement process, to give Cornerstone a thorough understanding of how it could change its culture and working practises to increase greater teamwork and collaboration, while reducing its occupied space.

on the client side, to promote better engagement; to increase productivity; and to support staff wellbeing. Careful planning was needed to ensure the best results and so the visionary and research stages were integral to the whole project.”

“We wanted this new office project to, essentially, be about the people and, with Office Principles’ consultancy and support, we have secured an inspirational working space that will accommodate fluid team working and client engagement.”

Ginette Kilroy, people director for Cornerstone is excited by the game-changing position that the completed project has brought the company to: “This has provided us with a cultural shift and whole new dynamic. We have set out an expectation, bringing the team on board at the earliest opportunity, and created an environment that is in tune with our people, our corporate values, and how they come together and work.

Holding a strong and varied commercial portfolio, Office Principles has worked with bluechip brands such as Exterion Media, Telegraph Media Group, Meet in Place, Visa Europe, GE Capital, Fitness First, Tata Communications, ResMed, Direct Marketing Association, Land Securities, Mothercare, and Kuoni. For further information on Office Principles and its services, visit

Joint managing director of Office Principles, Cyril Parsons explains: “Cornerstone visited one of our other recent projects and immediately saw the value in creating an agile working space, intelligently designed around staff, team and individual needs. “The Cornerstone project was driven by a desire,


May 2019


James Latham has just announced the addition of three new collections to its popular high-end range of decorative panels, Xylocleaf.


ombining outstanding Italian design with classleading standards in melamine processing, for Xylocleaf, the feel of a surface is just as important as the contemporary, on-trend look. The inspirational new collections include; Mosaico, which offers a weaved leather surface, Duna, comprising a registered, embossed stone surface and Alpaca, featuring a soft cotton texture.


In addition, three new products have also been added to the Fusion collection. Fusion is totally unique in that it has linen textile bonded to its surface, with a thin layer of protecting resin, thus combining a natural surface – the fabric, with the industrial process of creating a decorative panel. Fusion surfaces were developed in Italy by XyloCleaf and it is the only manufacturer worldwide that can create them.

May 2019

Xylocleaf is already extremely popular for premium commercial, retail and leisure specifications as it is strong, durable and highly scratch and chemical resistant, so as well as looking great, it is particularly well suited for high traffic areas. These features also make Xylocleaf a popular choice for residential applications as it can be used to manufacture all kinds of interior furniture from worktops and cupboard doors in kitchens and bathrooms to tables, desks, shelving, wall panelling and even internal doors. Paul Morson, James Latham’s Group Product Champion for Melamine commented, “ These latest additions offer even greater choice to architects, interior designers and furniture makers who are looking to add dimension, depth and texture to their projects. “Xylocleaf has become a real success story for us and is now one of our most popular decors, particularly with our

customers in the residential and leisure sectors.” Because Xylocleaf surfaces are made in the form of panels, laminate sheets and matching ABS edge banding, textures, finishes and colours can be blended, allowing different parts of a commercial or residential design scheme to feature matching or contrasting items, creating a fluid and contemporary finish throughout. For more information and samples, contact your local James Latham depot or call into Latham’s Produc t Specif ication Showrooms in either London or Manchester. Details can be found at:


Heating & Ventilation May 2019

Eileen Ash Hall, Hewett Academy

Gaia were asked by their client PJ Plumbing Heating & Maintenance to provide a total floor heating solution including insulation and screed works to a new sports facility in Norwich. The sports hall, built at the Hewett Academy is expected to be used by Jane Austen College, the Hewett Academy, Charles Darwin Primary, and the new Wherry School, an independent specialist free school. As the facility will be used by students, they supplied tamper-proof room thermostats, a popular product in schools and public areas. The centre has been named after Eileen Ash, a pioneering female test cricketer who lives in Norwich and is now 107 years old. The official opening took place last Autumn. The hall has since been kitted out with new equipment, supporting a range of sports offered at the schools including netball, cricket, trampolining and basketball.


The head of Jane Austen College David Thomas said in a recent article “This is a great new facility for both our students and those from Hewett Academy, and a great example of how our schools work together across the Inspiration Trust.” And Academy Principle Rebecca Handley Kirk of Hewett Academy said “The Hewett Academy already has some of the best sports facilities in the city and we regularly welcome pupils from nearby schools for swimming, hockey and football. This brilliant new centre is a great way to continue that tradition.”

The system installed was Gaia Wet Underfloor Heating into screed, and placed in the changing facilities and lobby areas. Senior Account Manager William Theobald who oversaw the project for Gaia said “We worked closely with a trusted screeding contractor to deliver the total package including screed laid to falls in the shower areas. The project was a joy to work on, and there was great communication from PJ Plumbing and the main contractor from start to finish” For further information, please contact Gaia on 01359 242 400 or visit

May 2019 Heating & Ventilation

TAKING THE STRESS OUT OF FIT-OUT Ensuring the performance of architectural ventilation solutions can be secured from every perspective by taking advantage of additional services from Gilberts Blackpool.

The UK’s leading independent air movement specialist is known for its ability to deliver solutions to maintain appropriate airflow and temperature into commercial environments. The ambit has been extended to include installation of its entire range of screening & ventilation louvres, plus its natural ventilation products. The service delivers more than the assurance the products are properly fitted. As Gilberts manufactures every component in-house, by undertaking supply and install, it can look at the project as a whole, and manufacture the

components in the most efficient way possible to address site issues. Explains Gilberts Sales Director Ian Rogers, “With natural ventilation and louvres particularly, it really matters in terms of ongoing building performance that they are fitted properly. They are, more often than not, in difficult to access areas. Using Gilberts’ team of validated installers ensures the completed installation is accurate, robust, weathertight and compliant. The client is assured of a job well done. “We have a reputation for value engineering. Offering installation takes that reputation for value a stage further.”

Family-owned Gilberts has a heritage spanning more than 60 years, with a management team recognised as experts within their respective fields. 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. Products are predominantly manufactured in-house, to the extent it even designs and manufactures its own jigs and tools; ventilation products are validated in its purpose-designed on-site, inhouse test facility.


Heating & Plumbing May 2019

The IPG to give away 25 knee pads to help battle ‘The Problem of Plumber’s Knees’

Plumber’s Knees: it’s the underlying health issue known by plumbers nationwide – but may still come as quite a shock to those not in the trade. It’s the news that was recently revealed in an article, published by The IPG last year, that found a staggering 75% of working plumbers will experience problems with their knees as a result of the hard graft and constant kneeling associated with the profession. And perhaps even more worryingly, it was also found that a mere 41% of those asked had taken action, and actually discussed their ailment with their GP. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that poor health and safety can cause big pay-outs for companies, not to mention a substantial loss of revenue for independents or those in self-employment. To put it into context, over the year 2017-18, a staggering 30.7 million working days were lost due to work-related illness and injury, costing an estimated £15 billion. If plumber’s knees aren’t enough to make your eyes water – that price tag certainly is!


The study, which was conducted by The IPG, the UK’s largest and fastest growing membership group for independent plumbers, heating and bathroom specialists, also found that 57% of plumbers surveyed felt that they would need to undergo a knee replacement surgery in the future, as a result of the

demanding nature of the job. A further 59% felt that they would be forced to retire early as a result, and with the state pension in the UK currently 66, and the possibility of it rising to 67 in future years, it’s a very real issue currently facing the future of many tradespeople in the UK. That’s why, following the findings of their study, and in a bid to continue to raise awareness of the condition currently sweeping the plumber’s nation, The IPG are set to run a campaign this month on their social media channels, giving their followers the chance to snap up a free pair of knee pads, kindly provided by Lecico. The competition, which will commence on Friday 15th February, will give The IPG’s followers the chance to win 1 of 5 pairs of knee pads every Friday for a month. To get involved, entrants will need to follow The IPG on their social channels and keep a look out each week for details on how to enter. Good luck! You can follow The IPG on Facebook (@TheIPG), Twitter (@ipg_the), Instagram (@the_ipg) and on LinkedIn (The IPG).

For more information on The IPG, head to their website

May 2019 Heating & Plumbing

The GB162 now boasts a new pump group which offers the combination of lower hydraulic resistance and more residual pump head, which is ideal for single boilers and single heating circuit installations to reduce installation costs and energy bills, as there is no need to run an external system pump.

State-of-the-art control

Bosch enhances popular gb162 light commercial boiler • New GB162 is available as an 85kW model for increased flexibility • Overpressure flues have been introduced for simpler installation into existing chimneys


osch Commercial and Industrial has made a series of enhancements to its popular GB162 light commercial gas boiler, for improved installation, servicing and operation.

Increased flexibility For the first time, the GB162 is available as an 85kW model, meaning the boiler is now available in outputs of 50kW, 65kW, 85kW and 100kW. With the condensing boiler’s innovative cascade design, it can cater for large heat demands of up to 1.6MW, coming into and out of operation when required to ensure even load matching. A key feature of the new GB162 is the introduction of overpressure flues which result in reduced installation height and increased flexibility. With each flue containing a flue gas non-return valve, the need for a large cascade flue

• Compatible with the Control 8000 commercial boiler control for simple and remote control

header is removed, while flue gases are prevented from re-entering cascaded boilers which aren’t firing. This results in reduced installation costs due to smaller flue diameters, and makes the solution even better suited for buildings with narrower chimneys and in plant rooms with low ceilings and restricted space, making it retrofit friendly.

Advanced commissioning and servicing The new boiler model also features an improved syphon with a threaded connection for a secure fit, offering peace of mind to the commissioning engineer, while 360° insulation helps to reduce heat loss and energy consumption. The addition of a single sided removable cover also improves access to internal components to simplify servicing and maintenance, particularly for cascades in tight plant rooms.

Crucially, the updated GB162 is compatible with the leading connected commercial boiler control. The Control 8000 allows for medium and large commercial heating systems to be monitored and controlled remotely via a computer or tablet, helping service engineers to know exactly what is wrong with the heating system before they come to site. Tim Davies, Business Development Director at Bosch Commercial and Industrial, comments: “The GB162 is an extremely popular product in our commercial boiler portfolio due to its ease of installation, reliability, and high performance. By listening to feedback from heating engineers and building a number of enhancements into the model, we have been able to make it even more versatile for a wider variety of large domestic and commercial installations, from large homes to schools and care facilities.” For more information on Bosch Commercial and Industrial and its range of heating, cooling and hot water technologies, please visit

Alternatively, follow Bosch Commercial and Industrial on Twitter (@BoschHeating_UK) and LinkedIn (Bosch Commercial and Industrial UK).


Heating & Plumbing May 2019

HEATING OUR HOMES - A policy pathway to developing a viable heat pump market NIBE Energy Systems has developed a policy pathway paper for phasing out high carbon fossil fuels in response to the Government’s 2017 Clean Growth Strategy, a vision for driving down emissions throughout the next decade, which included phasing out high carbon fossil fuels in off gas grid properties. properties. To enable the required uptake of low carbon heating, NIBE recommend:

This week DEFRA published the Clean Air Strategy 2019 which recognises how technology can support multiple aspects of clean growth. It recommends reducing demand through improved energy efficiency and opting for technologies that mitigate climate change and improve air quality at the same time. NIBE Energy Systems welcomes the continued commitment by Government to tackle climate change, improve air quality and move away from high carbon fossil fuels however, stresses that further work is needed to facilitate greater and smoother transition from fossil fuels to renewables in off gas grid properties.


NIBE’s new policy paper, Heating Our Home - Phasing out Fossil Fuels, raises awareness of the need to tackle the decarbonisation of heat urgently and suggests steps which can be taken in the UK

now, to move towards cleaner, more efficient heating systems: 1. Commit to a concrete date for high carbon fossil fuel phase out in the 2020s to provide certainty 2. Low carbon heating must be deployed in buildings capitalising on key trigger points 3. The groundwork for widespread uptake must be set; this means ensuring homes are renewables ready, recognising improvements in energy performance in property values and providing support to enable and encourage adoption. Building Regulations, and specifically the upcoming review of Part L, represent a significant opportunity to drive down the carbon emissions from new build

Set tight new build standards that will in effect render renewable heating the primary option for new build where these systems make immediate sense

Where fossil fuel heating systems are installed, these should be low temperature ready

The maximum dwelling emission rate is reduced over time to encourage continuous improvement.

It is important that action is taken now rather than later to combat climate change. NIBE Energy System’s Managing Director Phil Hurley said: “We must significantly reduce the role of oil and other high carbon fuels in new and existing buildings by the early 2020s. Setting a clear end date for fossil fuel installations is the low hanging fruit which will drive decarbonisation more widely. This report looks at policy levers which could be pulled to make it easier to switch and ensure that it happens at the rate required. We look forward to engaging with policy makers in 2019 to make these recommendations a reality through the development of an ambitious policy framework for heat in buildings.” A copy of the NIBE policy paper can be found here about-nibe/news/2019/2019-0116-heating-our-homes---a-policypathway-to-developing-a-viableheat-pump-market

May 2019 Heating & Plumbing

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SVANTEK SUPPLIES SV 307 NOISE MONITORING STATIONS FOR MAJOR LONDON DEMOLITION PROJECT Latest environmental noise monitoring systems chosen for Class 1 sound level meter with GPS and lifetime MEMS warranty plus 24/7 real time data and remote access Svantek ( – leading manufacturer of high performance noise and vibration instrumentation for environmental and occupational health monitoring applications – has recently supplied four SV 307 noise monitoring stations to First Choice Hire Ltd for a major 13-week demolition project as part of phase one of the London Borough of Merton’s High Path Estate regeneration initiative. The High Path Estate project involves the phased regeneration of an existing 1950’s estate in the London Borough of Merton to create a vibrant mixed-use, mixed


tenure community. It will include up to 1,700 homes across the whole development and over 10,000sqm of commercial, retail, office and community uses. First Choice Hire Ltd was chosen by Tower Demolition Limited, a leading specialist in sustainable demolition, to provide real-time noise monitoring on a 24/7 basis during the demolition of residential garages and factory buildings at High Path. Paul Dwyer, Director at First Choice Hire comments: “We have an excellent relationship with Tower Demolition having worked with them

on other projects. As a result, they were confident in our experience and ability to provide the best noise monitoring solution for High Path. “There were several key reasons for choosing Svantek’s SV 307 noise monitoring terminal. As well as being small, compact and unobtrusive, it features an accurate Class 1 IEC 61672 sound level meter with 3G modem for fast data transfer and MEMs microphone with lifetime warranty. Plus the GPRS hardware module meant we knew where the instruments were located at all times, as well as providing measurement time synchronisation.”

May 2019 The Svantek SV 307 noise monitoring stations were installed on the four corners of the High Path site with two systems located to the right of a block of flats and factory building and the others on a main road, close to factories and offices. Throughout the demolition phase, the two SV 307 instruments located to the rear of the site were closely monitored as they were positioned next to a residential area. The small, lightweight SV 307 system features a new Class 1 MEMs microphone for major cost benefits and sleeve type case for easy mounting. Offering optional airport and community characteristics, a Class 1 MEMs microphone comes with lifetime warranty and enables wide frequency range up to 20 KHz with the measurement data stored on a microSD card. The energy efficient SV 307 incorporates an innovative patented system check with an inbuilt reference sound source producing level of 100dB at 1 KHz. As an option, the SV 307 can perform real-time frequency analysis in 1/1 and 1/3 octave bands and save results with the time history data. In addition, it can record the audio signal as standard WAVE files for noise source recognition. Paul continues: “The SV 307 is much easier to install and set up than similar noise monitoring equipment. You simply fix in position, switch on and it starts reporting immediately. Plus there is less down time as configuration can be done remotely.” A large colour OLED display and 10 push buttons enable easy configuration of the SV 307 in the field removing the need for an external handset or reconnection to a PC. The large windscreen is highly efficient in reduction of a wind noise effects even at high wind speeds. Metal spikes protect the SV 307 from birds. The SV 307’s waterproof casing can be easily mounted to a post and removed for quick access to the user interface. It also offers protection against extreme weather conditions whilst fulfilling Class 1 accuracy. “The SV 307’s internal Li-Ion battery really came into its own on the High Path project,” Paul adds. “The main power at the site was turned off each evening but the SV 307 instruments would switch to battery power throughout the night ensuring 24/7 continuous operation as required by the client.

“What’s more, the SV 307 would alert me to the fact it had been removed from the main power and was now using its battery. I don’t believe other noise monitoring systems do this which is a major advantage.” A waterproof mains adapter for charging the battery and powering the station is also included for continuous operation in the field. Svantek’s SvanNET cloud service monitors the wireless communication, powering and access to the SV 307 data. The scope of the basic SvanNET can be extended with multipoint project management that offers data storage in the cloud, data sharing, advanced alarming and reporting features. SvanNET is an online solution which means it doesn’t require software installation and is accessible through a web browser. The responsive design enables use of SvanNET on various devices such as smartphones or tablets. Talking about SvanNet, Paul says: “Simply inserting a sim card into the SV 307 connects it to SvanNET. It meant I had access to each station and measurement data 24 hours a day. It also allowed me to change parameters remotely if required. In fact, I made some alterations from Holland at one point. “Because SvanNET is accessible from SvanPC++ reporting application, I was able to easily provide monthly reports for Tower Demolition.” SvanNET data storage is a quick access to the measurement data due to an unlimited download speed. In the case of long term measurements, the stored data can be conveniently browsed and downloaded by the time range. The SvanPC++ Environmental Measurements feature is designed for post processing of data recorded by the SV 307 system. It offers a powerful calculator and an automated noise event finder for noise source identification. The option for 1/3 octave real-time analysis allows measurement of the noise frequency contents and is used for verification of noise sources in the environment. Plus time domain signal recording to WAVE format works during measurement and is logged in parallel to a time history. Once downloaded to PC it can be played back. The SV 307 is supplied with a factory calibration certificate and 36-month warranty card. “We have been very pleased with the overall performance of all four SV 307 noise monitoring stations, and the service from Svantek has been excellent. As a result, I wouldn’t hesitate to use them again on other projects,” Paul concludes. Svantek is part of the AcSoft Group which also comprises AcSoft Sound & Vibration, AcSoft Health & Safety and GRAS UK.


External Works May 2019


Established in 2004, we have many years’ experience as one of the UK’s leading suppliers of high quality artificial plants, trees, silk flowers and related accessories, which we offer at competitive prices.


e have a range of fantastic options which will set your space apart from the rest, allowing you to create an indoor Eden. Our products are highly realistic, durable, and designed with particular care and attention by our master craftsmen, all of whom are experts in their field. We’re able to create a product which is exceptional in its rendering, offering bespoke designs to suit the needs of your space, your business, and your tastes.

What Do We Sell? Our range is always growing, supporting current modern trends as well as traditional needs, for indoor and outdoor use, tailored to complement any house, home office, or business. We offer a complete product range for both domestic and business solutions including silk flowers and display arrangements, artificial plants, replica trees, topiary, plant and tree displays in a planter ready to go, hedges, fruit & veg, hanging baskets, Ivy trails and garlands, synthetic lawn grass and AstroTurf, planters & troughs, Christmas Trees and decorations etc. We pride ourselves on how lifelike our products are and you can view close-ups on many of our products to see for yourself – we’ve taken full advantage of the amazing advances in manufacture and realism that have been made over the years. Whatever your choice, we have the design experience and the tools to make your space stand out. We can make your design look incredible, wherever you choose to site it.

Sourcing and Manufacturing We can usually source what you need even if we don’t already list it. If you require a


large enough quantity and your project timescale and budget fit (4-6 months or so) we can even get products manufactured to your specifications from scratch.

Who Do We Sell To? Practically anyone anywhere? We handle large, bespoke bulk orders for refurbishments and refits on behalf of specification buyers, procurement management, architects, interior designers, and garden landscapers but we also handle small oneoff orders from the general public. Whatever the case, we have the perfect solution for your décor – one which will transform your space into something extraordinary.

Who Have We Supplied? Major companies in many industries including ITV, BBC, Channels 4 and 5, Mulberry, Innocent Drinks, Monsoon, Bella Italia, Tescos, Big Brother, The Only Way is Essex, Coronation Street, Dancing on Ice, Park Resorts, Volkswagen, and more. We’ve also sold to house builders, zoos, hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, theme parks, colleges and schools, cruise ships, theatres… the list goes on! We have tens of thousands of satisfied customers in the UK, in Europe, and across the World. For procurement managers and corporate buyers we can provide quotes and advice for bulk orders and trade, to help bring your design to life - contact Just Artificial today! 01524 858888 sales@justartificial.

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1 Swimming Pool ‌ 4 PoolLock Automatic Covers To cover the pool surface on this very particular design of pool, PoolLock supplied one automatic slatted cover and three automatic safety covers, including a customized V4XXL safety cover system spanning an 11m width. Thanks to its many years of experience designing and producing automatic covers, PoolLock is able to work with customers and architects to create tailored solutions to cover almost any kind of pool.


oolLock’s unique hydraulicdrive system means that you do not need any electrical components near your pool. The electrical power pack used to operate the cover and drive the two hydraulic motors can be placed as far from the pool as required. Opening and closing the pool is as easy as turning a key switch, which means that the cover (and the pool) are actually used once installed. PoolLock safety covers provide a solid barrier between the water and surrounding area, effectively preventing


May 2019 External Works

any access to the water and making them the safest covers on the market. In addition, all PoolLock covers will reduce the amount of heat, water and chemicals lost through evaporation, which means pool owners can save money on electricity and chemical usage. In addition to the standard fabric options, PoolLock also offers HeatLock Thermofoam canvas with enhanced insulation properties. Thanks to the foamed insulation layer applied to one side of the canvas, heat transfer across the membrane is reduced by a factor of 3 when compared to standard fabrics for similar

PoolLock Safety Covers

applications. HeatLock’s closed-cell foam structure ensure that PoolLock covers are not only the safest, but also the most energy-efficient available on the market. PoolLock Automatic Covers offer you the safest, most convenient, most reliable and energy-efficient way to cover your pool. With over 30 years of experience, and installations in over 20 countries, PoolLock is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of automatic safety and slatted covers for swimming pools.

PoolLock Slatted Covers

With over 30 years of experience, PoolLock is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of automatic and manual safety covers, automatic slatted covers and heat pumps for swimming pools. Thousands of satisfied customers in Britain over the past 10 years bear testament to the quality, service and reliability of PoolLock products. In 2013, PoolLock opened its first UK production facility in Gatwick, London, with installation teams that are available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. The result: even better service and faster delivery times for our UK customers.

For more information on our complete range of products, please contact us at


External Works May 2019

British manufacturer Ecodek have been producing their unique Wood Polymer Composite boards system for over 15 years.

46 Images Š David Barbour

May 2019 External Works

In 2018 alone, the production of ecodek® material consumed more than 3600 tonnes of recycled plastic milk bottles and sustainably sourced hardwood fibres. Ecodek have secured national distribution agreements with the UK’s premier national and independent merchant groups. Travis Perkins have taken ecodek® as their preferred solid WPC decking, and now have stock available across the UK from their Range Centres. In addition, we now have a significant number of other Independent distributors – both Large and Small, for Ecodek products who are based all across the UK. Ecodek have also secured a national agreement with NMBS (National Merchant Buying Society) as the preferred Composite Decking to the true Independent Merchant sector. All of whom can be viewed on our Stockist Finder tool on the Ecodek website 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. 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.

Images © David Barbour

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 be buy this back and put into the production of new boards. 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. 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 it – hence carbon negative - a huge achievement in modern manufacturing and one that clearly illustrates our environmental credentials and commitment. 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.

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. Should you need more information about finding an ecodek® stockist, give the Sales Team a call. 01978 667 840


May 2019 Photographs courtesy Berekely Group

HIGH-SPEC BRIDGE FOR LUXURY APARTMENTS IN CHELSEA To complete the hard landscaping around the Chelsea Creek luxury apartment development, London developer, Berkeley St George needed a statement bridge. The 24m long bridge comprises a deceptively simple, elegant concept incorporating acrylic rods into the painted steel frame at close centres which, when lit from their base, provide an illuminated enclosure, while a stripped down secondary internal handrail provides pedestrian restraint.


CTS were appointed to undertake design, manufacture and installation and offered different structural options to best achieve the architectural intent, resulting in “hidden� structural supports to minimise beam depth. They worked closely with Elite

May 2019

Landscapes, the Principal Contractor, to ensure all trades were coordinated to deliver a successful scheme. To achieve the desired simple lines, careful detailing was required to house the lighting rods and conceal their power supply and driver units discreetly.

Precision fabrication was needed to realise this ambition. The final result is a stunning illuminated bridge that provides a stylish focal point over the meandering waterway the Chelsea Creek development.

If you need a bridge as a focal point in your scheme contact CTS Bridges for a full design, build and installation package - 01484 606416

DESIGN BUILD INSTALL Delivering quality structures across the UK


01484 606416


Tools, Equipment & PPE May 2019

Best feet forward

BASE boots have a flexible sole, to make them comfortable to wear even when bending. Next time you buy a pair of work boots, do the flex test.


May 2019 Tools, Equipment & PPE

Protecting your feet while you work is important, but will a bog-standard pair of safety boots be enough to cover all eventualities, or is investing a few more pounds worth it to protect your feet and provide maximum comfort in the long-term? Hyde’s Sales and Marketing Director, John Dabb investigates.


afety boots are an essential part of PPE which no installer should be without, but all too often we can be led by price rather than comfort when choosing footwear for work. However, choosing footwear that you will spend upwards of 8 to 10 hours a day walking, standing, bending and stretching in should mean that you take time and invest the necessary cash in ensuring your feet will be comfortable all day long. In the long-term, making do with ill-fitting and comfortable footwear can slow you down and even be detrimental to your health. It isn’t just about spending more money on the appropriate safety footwear either, researching the many different options and trying them on for size is also important. So what are the key things to look out for to ensure your next pair of safety boots are really made for working? As a rule, all safety footwear must meet the minimum safety standards set out by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), with EN ISO 20345:2011 being the current standard for safety

S3 safety boots such as these ones by BASE offer more protection for your feet and extra comfort for the whole foot, all day long.

footwear across Europe (EN). This stipulates that all safety footwear must have toe protection against a 200-joule impact, meaning the amount of energy the toe region can absorb before breaking. SB safety boots meet this minimum legal requirement. However, for a little additional cost, S3 boots have a puncture resistant midsole, anti-static properties, resistance to fuel oil on the outsole and energy absorption in the heel region, plus water resistant upper and cleated outsole. With S3 boots, safety combines with comfort in a way that is not guaranteed with standard SB footwear.

Perhaps the biggest test of comfort and durability for safety boots can be found in the cleat. The majority of SB boots have thick cleated soles made from polyurethane, which is solid and inflexible and therefore don’t give when bending. While most people choose boots because they look robust with thick cleated soles, they are in fact incredibly uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. Research has proven that they require significantly more force to bend the foot than a flexible soled boot that has the same safety built in. Therefore, a much more effective rule of thumb is to do a flex test: how well does the boot bend at the sole?


Tools, Equipment & PPE May 2019 Much emphasis is placed on the need for safety boots with protective toe caps to ensure your feet end the day in the same state as they started. While this is of course an unarguably important safety measure for builders, working in conditions that are wet underfoot presents just as much of a risk to health and safety as dropping heavy objects on to your feet, as by their very nature building sites are wet and boggy places, becoming even more so during the winter months. The problem goes beyond having to put up with working in soggy socks; being exposed to such conditions can actually have quite serious consequences on the state of your feet. In a very short space of time, foot immersion can

cause problems, with one of the most common, and troublesome of complaints being trench foot which if not treated effectively can have potentially serious consequences. Caused by exposure to damp, cold conditions, trench foot is essentially the blood vessels constricting in an attempt to keep warm, by reducing blood flow to the extremities. This reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients to the feet, which can result in tissue and nerve damage. The foot become numbs, changes colour, swells and starts to smell due to damage to the skin, blood vessels and nerves in the feet. Left untreated, tissue and nerve damage occur, swelling increases and a constant pins and needles sensation begins. In extreme cases, blisters and ulcers develop, skin starts to peel off and tissues begin to die, resulting in gangrene.

Unlike with frostbite, trench foot doesn’t require freezing temperatures, in fact it can develop in temperatures up to 16°C. Any wet environment, be it from excessive sweating to wearing damp socks and shoes can cause the condition. Worryingly, it can take less than a day of exposure to poor conditions for trench foot to develop and it can take up to six months to fully recover. The best way to avoid such a painful and potentially career limiting condition, is for builders to choose suitable footwear, with a waterproof and light-weight breathable barrier to keep feet dry, cool and comfortable in all weathers. For just a few pounds more than a standard SB boot and a few minutes spent trying the footwear on before you buy, an S3 safety boot and one that is water proof offers a wealth of protection and comfort that you can’t really put a value on when it comes to looking after your feet.

Feet stay dry and comfortable all day long with Be-Dry Mid boots from BASE.

For more details, call Hyde on 0121 704 2324 or visit 52

May 2019 Tools, Equipment & PPE

Snickers FLEXIWork Stretch Shorts – For Cool Comfort This Summer. Work Shorts for the flexible working environment - designed to deliver superior comfort and freedom of movement. While Fabric, Functionality and Fit are hallmarks of Snickers Workwear, it’s the innovation and fabric technology in the design of the new FlexiWork Stretch Shorts for men and women that really set these new garments apart. These shorts are great for working in the warmer months. Delivering superior flexibility and comfort, these lightweight work shorts come in a hi-tech body-mapping design and are made from a selfventilating stretch fabric with Cordura reinforcements for allround mobility and durability when you need it most.

As well as being street-smart with men’s and women’s designs, they’re packed with comfort and functionality and specially designed for the fast-paced professional who’s always on the go and always delivering top class work on site. For professionals who rely on their gear in demanding environments, they’re a must for everyone who wants the ultimate in cool comfort this summer. To get more information on what’s right for you in the Snickers Workwear range, visit the website at alternatively, call the Snickers Helpline on 01484 854788.

The NEW 37.5® Technology - Climate Control Fleeces These new styles from Snickers Workwear deliver AllroundWork warmth and cooling comfort. Not only will you stay warm with these new 37.5® Technology Fleeces, you’ll look and feel cool too.

With styles for both professional tradesmen and women, they excel at ventilation and moisture transport to keep you working comfortably wherever you are on site. The 37.5® Technology fabric in the Fleece is a very quickdrying material that captures and releases moisture vapour – like your sweat - for superior coolness and dry working comfort.

After all, keeping a balanced work temperature is not just about staying cool and in great shape, it’s a matter of your wellbeing and job safety. So, to make sure you get the right protection, visibility, flexibility, durability and ventilation, check out the new Snickers Workwear 37.5® Technology Fleeces, to fit your workday. For more information on the new 37.5® Technology Fleece, visit alternatively, call the Snickers Workwear Helpline on 01484 854788.


Tools, Equipment & PPE April 2019

Counting down the days to Plantworx… Which will come first Plantworx or Brexit?

Hot on the heels of Bauma Munich, the Plantworx Construction Machinery Exhibition hosted by the CEA (Construction Equipment Association) is almost upon us! It’s just 70-days until the show opens its doors to visitors from the construction sector. The 4th biennial working construction event is taking place at its brand-new home at the East of England Arena in Peterborough from 11-13 June. The show will benefit from 20% more exhibition space than at its previous location in Leicestershire and spans more than 140,000 square metres – that’s an area bigger than 20-premier league football pitches. Rob Oliver, Chief Executive of the CEA (Construction Equipment Association) said, “After Bauma, Plantworx will be the first opportunity to see new products from many of the major OEMs. With the advent of Stage V engine requirements – and more entrants into the electric-powered arena, Plantworx 2019 promises to be the best yet to see new machines”. Rob added, “Ground conditions at the East of England venue are first rate for Plantworx which should reduce the need for wellington boots at the show. A lot of the car parking will be on hard standing and we have the option to rotate the grass parking areas to protect both the turf and visitors’ cars.”


“We are not sure what will come first – either Brexit or Plantworx – but we can honestly say that Brexit has not impacted on companies wanting to exhibit at the event and trade! We are expecting 20,000 visitors to attend the event and we are already ahead of ourselves from previous shows in terms of pre-registration.” Here are the latest companies that have signed on the dotted line to exhibit at Plantworx. The sales team have had 15 exhibitor bookings in last week – with more flooding in daily. The show now has 356 exhibitors in total and an impressive 121 (34%) are brand new to the event. A full exhibitor list can be found on the Plantworx website. • • • • • • • • • • •

EmiControls – New IPAF Lumag Distribution Ltd – New Tex Engineering Limited – New Vehicle Vision International – New WHOTZHOT Ltd – New Cyberhawk (Drone Zone) – New Fire and Safety Solutions & Rotarex Partnership – New Geith International Ltd ITH Bolting Technology – New Linco – New

• • •

MachineMax – New MPA Group – New Tracked Carriers – New

Registration for free fast track entry tickets is now open – follow the link to reserve your pass to the biggest working construction event in 2019 tickets. Put the 11th, 12th, 13th June 2019 in your diary the Plantworx team look forward to welcoming you all to East of England Arena and Events Centre, Peterborough for Plantworx and Railworx. Contact Angela Spink for more details on Plantworx stands at  and for Railworx contact Jolene Price

May 2019 Tools, Equipment & PPE

JCB WORKWEAR - NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH Progressive Safety who hold the sole distribution rights for the manufacture of safety footwear and workwear under the world famous JCB brand are pleased to introduce a new and improved website. RE-ENGINEERED TO BE USER FRIENDLY JCB Workwear are launching their new and improved website in May

2019, offering consumers an easier buying process and a more enjoyable experience. With a cleaner, easy to navigate look and feel, more product details with clearer pricing, consumers will certainly be drawn back to the website time after time. Customers will be able to order a JCB Workwear Catalogue, or browse on-line and with the new ‘Customise Your Workwear’ facility will be able to have their workwear branded with a company logo and delivered straight to their door!

If you prefer to see the products before you buy, their is a ‘Find your nearest Stockist’ portal, all you need to do is pop in your postcode. Also launched in May, is the new JCB Workwear Spring/Summer 2019 catalogue, with the latest additions and fantastic new lifestyle photography. For more information e-mail: Progressive Safety Footwear & Clothing Ltd
 101 Worthing Road, Sheffield, S9 3JN
 Tel: 0114 273 8349 Fax: 0114 275 2452



May 2019

Putting the health back into health and safety In what is a ground-breaking move for an SME in the waste sector, O’Donovan Waste Disposal have introduced and completed the implementation of an internal wellbeing strategy called the ‘Dynamo Welfare Project’ (Dynamo), continuing their commitment to prioritising the workplace wellness of their 165 employees alongside their physical safety. This huge investment in terms of time and money strengthens the companies unique pledge to staff development and the delivery of the highest standard to clients. The multi award-winning family-run waste management business is widely regarded as an innovator and a champion for health and safety, training and environmental excellence.


May 2019

Research by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) – Waste Statistics in the UK 2018, found that workers in the waste sector statistically suffered more from workrelated ill-health than other workers across all industries. Dynamo assists staff in maintaining positive health and wellbeing by teaching self-awareness techniques and the tools to manage a range of negative emotions including anxiety. The programme includes interactive ongoing training modules for all staff which is delivered inhouse. The training increases the ability of participants to maintain their composure and stabilise emotions as they face day-today challenges in their work and private lives.

which allows them to deal more effectively with any work-related challenges as well as helping them to manage any struggles they may face in their personal lives. To complement this programme, trained Welfare Champions are also appointed throughout the company, equipped with the skills to support colleagues on a confidential peer-to-peer level.

MD Jacqueline O’Donovan said “Family values sit at the very heart of our business and our employees are our biggest asset. We consider safeguarding their physical and mental health a top priority. We feel that the introduction of this policy sends the strongest message to staff that their wellbeing is of paramount importance. The training we have implemented can help us all manage day to day challenges The aim of the strategy is to take a more holistic and inclusive approach to staff health better, not just at work but in our personal lives too, which greatly benefits everyone - staff, and wellbeing resulting in a safer, more clients and the company” efficient and engaged workforce operating at the highest standards. Staff also benefit by having better physical and mental health


May 2019

Why climb when you could walk? Falls from a height stubbornly remain the number one cause of death and injury in the construction industry. Despite a gradual improvement – history has shown us that not enough resources have been put into preventing these incidences – the biggest single factor affecting safety in the industry. Gravity is not something that we think about as we go about our daily lives – even though it is an essential and ever present part of our lives…..and therein lies the rub. We are unable to function without it but as soon as we elevate ourselves off the ground to carry out a task - it becomes a latent danger. The second that we make an error, it impartially, indifferently and ruthlessly takes its toll. The risk is at its greatest wherever the working at height is temporary, that is why construction along with related activities are so severely affected from even a relatively low height fall which can produce serious or devastating injuries. Faced with this – the only logical conclusion is that anything that can be done to reduce or eliminate this risk has to be worthwhile considering. A ladder is an adequate device as a means of access to temporary works in many cases. This is only valid however providing that it is suitably positioned, secured, the user has both hands unencumbered and is focussed on the task of using the ladder. In reality - in a construction environment, these conditions are frequently not met and certainly can almost never be the case where an individual is working from the ladder. Even when selected and positioned to be an access device, the frequent requirement to move materials and tools between levels means that the ladder has the potential to become highly dangerous.


May 2019 European Work at Height regulations have already begun the push to move from ladders to stairways as a means of access to temporary works. Viewing ladders as “the last choice as a means of access or place of work” – means we can presumably expect any updating of the UK’s WAHR to follow suit

– and rightly so. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on working at height is due to issue their delayed report this month. It will be interesting to see what their document – snappily entitled “Preventing serious injuries and fatalities while working at height” has to say on the subject.

Temporary access stairways allow operatives to walk up a staircase rather than climbing ladders. As well as improving health and safety standards and site working conditions, stairways deliver production, financial and technical benefits.

Made of corrosion resistant, structural quality aluminium extruded profiles for strength and reliability, the Alto Universal Scaffold Stair is a light enough to be handled conveniently, simple and versatile solution to the working scaffolders needs.

As a leader in the provision of safe solutions for working at height, Alto has introduced a portfolio of products which make safety at height easier and more comprehensively available.

Often a tower is the practical solution to safe working at height – the newly re-engineered version of the Alto Stair HD Tower with self-closing intermediate access gates allows options for “odd” heights and an internal balustrade at the working platform.

The Alto Universal scaffold stair unit is an allaluminium solution for safe, compliant access covering a range of levels in scaffolding that can fit in with the specific site application without the need for a separate stair tower.

The internal balustrade gives convenient, safe and versatile access – with no inconvenient hatches or potentially risky ladders.


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Bespoke work a speciality - contact us for your next project, we'd love to hear from you! Tel. 0333 666 2122 email: