HOME-DESIGNER AND ARCHITECT
MAGAZINE DECember 2020
Dining in. The new going out with Hudson Valley Lighting Group
Dining in. The new going out with Hudson Valley Lighting Group
With staying in being the new going out, the dining room will see even more use in 2021. Whether for a casual lunch with friends, formal dinner party or a glamorous family Christmas celebration, a statement piece of lighting provides a focal point to the room and is the perfect way to create a space that reflects your personality and style. Providing a wide variety of glamorous and unique pendant lights, Hudson Valley Lighting Group will help you design a flexible, functional and visually engaging entertaining space. Fleming Chandelier: Credit to Beginning in the Middle
To make the discovery even easier, we have listed some of our favourite pieces that will spark dinner party discussions regardless of space, design and taste. Origami Origami is the perfect design to add a touch of glamour to your décor paying homage to the ancient art of paper folding. The hand-worked iron exterior has a depth and perspective that is unexpected in a metal piece, it is the variation in geometric shape, angles and actual thickness of the metal that contribute to the dynamic dimension, playing with perspective and offering a fresh and unique view from any angle. The beautiful shape of the fixture along with the black and gold palette gives a stunning focal point if used above a dining table. Origami is available in two sizes as a pendant and also as wall sconces. Lily Pendant
Turn your dining room into an enchanted garden of elegance with the Lily pendant from Corbett Lighting. It’s large diamond shape with rounded edges creates a soft yet mesmerising centre piece for any dining space. Decorated with an array of porcelain flowers on a vine like structure, the Lily pendant truly emulates its given name.
If looking for that modern or industrial style of interiors, the Fleming chandelier creates a modernist arrangement of converging x-y axes. The aged brass finish reinforces this sense of industrialism typical of many city housings such as warehouse homes, that could add modernity to more traditional homes or elevate an already modern home further.
The candelabra structure is discrete and well hidden behind the vine like structure and gentle florals throughout. An elegant way to make a statement. Finish the space with a neutral earthy palette to emulate the beauties of nature in your very own dining room.
Fleming contains a slight allusion to the Bauhaus in the oblate spherical shapes of its shades paired with its warm LED light bulbs throughout in numerous directions. These features create a multidimensional visual impression of warmth throughout the space, perfect mood lighting for entertaining guests in the evenings. Balboa Pendant Create a statement with the oversized Balboa pendant. The balboa pendant allows you to have a rustic look while also sourcing from ethical materials. Its sustainably harvested rattan creates a cylinder of natural textures that enhances rooms of both the most neutral tones and the most diverse of colour pallets. The fascinating decorative pendant is comprised of three layers: an inner candelabra body, middle fabric shade, and outer woven form. The family of three although all complimentary of one another, each brings a variety of options to suit your individual needs. intl.hvlgroup.com
Above: Lily Pendant: Credit to Joyelle West Main image: Origami Pendant: Credit to Mikel Irastorza Cover image: Balboa Pendant: Credit to Light Lab [Anne Sage + Caroline Lee]
No.1 Choice Electric Radiator Collection EHC offer a comprehensive Range of Electric Products that are all controlled by our DSR Smart Technology which enables you to select different Heaters and mix and match them as a Hybrid Heating System for the various rooms within your property to suit your design style and budget – the choice is yours.
Hybrid Heating for the modern home Available for Android & Apple devices
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Monitor electricity consumption.
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HOME-DESIGNER AND ARCHITECT
CONTENTS DECember 2020 4 Industry News 12 Heating & Ventilation 18 Bathrooms & Washrooms
26 Coatings & Paints 33 Sustainability 40 Outdoor Living
CONtact US Ben Pritchard
industry news “Our partnership with Energy Specifics, one of the few companies already operating under the PAS 2035 retrofit standards framework, will bring technical expertise, funding and compliance to help our customers upgrade their existing housing portfolio to create healthier homes to live in, reduce carbon emissions and help residents out of fuel poverty.” Tim Freeman, Director of Energy Specifics Ltd, added: “We are delighted to partner with Wates Living Space to lead the way on volume retrofit that combines our respective areas of expertise, and will help thousands of tenants enjoy lower fuel bills and create much improved living environments for them.”
Wates launches zero carbon home retrofit service
Social housing maintenance contractor Wates Living Space has launched a new service to retrofit homes to meet zero carbon targets. Wates has joined forces with energy efficiency specialist, Energy Specifics to offer a carbonreduction retrofitting service for social landlords. Wates works with more than 60 social housing providers, maintaining and repairing over 500,000 homes across the UK. They will now be offered a ‘whole house’ retrofit of each property with energy saving improvements. The UK Government has a target for all social housing to achieve an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of C and above by 2030 and for all homes to be net-zero carbon by 2050. David Morgan, Managing Director, Wates Living Space, said: “There are over five million social housing properties in the UK, and If we are to achieve the Government’s net-zero carbon housing targets by 2050, three homes every minute will need to be retrofitted with energy efficient improvements.
Wates is currently in discussions with selected social housing authorities ahead of a pilot scheme beginning in Spring 2021. How the service works A team of specialist retrofit Assessors and Coordinators examines each home and provides a breakdown of the energy saving requirements needed by that property before improvements are recommended and installed.
These can range from heating, lighting and hot water through to door and window replacements, insulation and renewable energy systems. Customers can also access enhanced Government ECO (Energy Company Obligation) funding and grants which will help reduce the cost of programmes whilst also supporting residents in fuel poverty. Wates’ resident engagement teams will keep residents informed throughout the improvement works and be on hand to demonstrate savings made following completion of the works.
Many self-builders conjure images of big family events and festivities as inspiration when they’re designing and planning their new homes.
Have a light and bright festive season with VELUX®
reating enough room for guests in a space that is warm and inviting but also bright and daylight-filled is a big driver. And while square footage can often be the immediate focus to help deliver dream spaces, it’s important not to forget about the impact that quality glazing, and in particular roof windows, can have on a space. Daylight makes a huge difference to a room’s feel, and roof windows ensure that new spaces are bright and airy, letting daylight in and helping increase natural ventilation, making rooms healthier for the whole family. For kitchens and living areas, roof window manufacturer VELUX® has a host of products which are perfectly designed for family gatherings – particularly with future festivities in mind. Grant Sneddon, product manager at VELUX®, shares some tips to create stunning spaces for the holiday season.
“For homes with great views, making sure roof windows are large enough to frame a beautiful winter panorama can guarantee visitors are wowed from the moment they walk in.
“VELUX also offers the INTEGRA® electric top hung roof window, which opens out from the bottom to create a feeling of extra space and the pre-paired wall switch ensures easy operation.
“The VELUX STUDIO roof window, for example, has three slimmer profile sashes in one frame, allowing more daylight to enter a room while also offering a panoramic view, as the roof window is twice as wide as it is high.
“Upgrading your roof window with VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO means you can even do this from your smartphone using the VELUX ACTIVE app. The smart home kit is also currently free until the end of December 2020 when you buy any VELUX INTEGRA® roof window*.”
The VELUX website has a host of self-build design and project ideas and inspiration at www.velux.co.uk/selfbuild
“Open plan rooms can be wider or longer than standard rooms in a home, so natural daylight has further to penetrate because vertical windows and glazed doors are further away from the heart of the room. “Roof windows can bring in twice as much daylight as vertical windows of the same size, and we recommend making sure that all glazing covers 15-20% of the floor space to create a bright, well ventilated room – ideal for cooking Christmas dinner as a family or enjoying time by the tree.
*- One free VELUX ACTIVE kit will be offered per invoice where a purchase of VELUX INTEGRA® electric and solar roof windows has been made. Terms and conditions apply, see velux.co.uk/activeupgrade for more details.
L&G launches new suburban build to rent arm – with aims to deliver 1,000 new family homes a year Legal & General Capital (LGC) announces the launch of its new Suburban Build to Rent (SBTR) business which will develop large scale ‘single family’ rental communities in suburban locations across the UK. The new housing arm will partner with UK housebuilders and undertake a direct delivery programme to bring forward over 1,000 homes each year from 2024. As an investment market which is forecast to grow to in excess of £200bn, Legal & General aims to be the UK’s first choice SBTR platform creating much needed, high quality family homes in areas connected to schools, transport infrastructure and key amenities. In 2019 the operational UK BTR market was valued at c £10bn. As a Group, Legal & General has a strong track record within the sector. Having launched its Build to Rent Fund in 2017, it now has over 5,000 homes in operation or development across the UK’s major towns and cities. The SBTR sector, however, has lacked the same concentration of institutional investment, with less than 1% of the market having benefitted from patient capital investment compared to c. 6% for the urban sector. Recognising this untapped potential and the societal need for high quality family homes to rent, Legal & General is establishing a new product to meet the increasing demand. Legal & General’s SBTR schemes will be community focused and service-led, offering resident’s choice, security of tenure and flexibility. This level of offering is largely unavailable in the wider residential market, particularly
outside the UK’s urban centres. Legal & General’s SBTR developments will offer a mixture of houses and low density apartments, whilst being designed to reflect new ways of living, post-COVID, such as incorporating home offices and more extensive outdoor space. In line with Legal & General’s wider commitment to sustainability, SBTR will implement a robust ESG framework into its developments in order to enhance and create viable, long-lasting communities. Alongside Legal & General’s other housing businesses, SBTR will target to be operationally carbon net zero by 2030. Legal & General Capital is Legal & General Group’s alternative asset platform, creating assets that back pensions with an improved yield or deliver strong growth prospects with low correlation to equities. Its purpose is to achieve risk-adjusted returns for its shareholders and level up regional economies. It has built
its market leading capabilities in a range of alternative assets, including residential property; specialist commercial real estate; clean energy; alternative credit; and venture capital, delivering depth of resource, track record and intellectual property. It invests in the real economy, creating alternative assets that deliver a tangible impact, investing society’s capital for society’s benefit. As LGC grows its platform, SBTR will form a natural evolution to its investment strategy. SBTR will utilise Legal & General’s diverse capital streams, robust track record and commitment to socioeconomic investing to deliver wellmanaged, mass-market single family rental housing. LGC’s SBTR arm is headed up by Simon Century, who has led the investment and scale up of a number of major housing businesses, such as Legal & General Affordable Homes. He will be supported by David Reid, who will act as Managing Director of the new business, having joined Legal & General from Rowan Asset Management in January 2020. The wider SBTR team is now being established, seeking talent from a diverse range of backgrounds including investment, operational and residential development sectors. Nigel Wilson, CEO of Legal & General, says: “As we prepare for economic recovery, businesses like ours must continue to invest in our future. In light of the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we deliver the houses that our society needs to address structural shortages across every dimension of the market. We are still falling far short of the over 300,000 new homes needed each year. “To support this growing need, Legal & General has deployed institutional capital at scale to revolutionise affordable housing, later living, the urban rental market, build to sell and to speed up construction through modular housing. It’s now time that we play a significant role in the suburban single family rental housing market. Legal & General have the will, the capital and the deep sector knowledge to invest and drive real impact.”
Is good, good enough? Is good, good enough when it comes to customer service? As far as The IPG and its supplier Lecico are concerned – the answer is NO! any companies underestimate the importance of excellent customer service; great products on their own are not always enough to keep a customer’s loyalty, but outstanding service and customer satisfaction is - both The IPG and Lecico strive to offer just that.
Kevin Oakes, Director of Sales at The IPG stated: “ Only the businesses that find a way to make customer support a core element of their business strategy can thrive under today’s environment. We put The IPG member at the centre of what we do what’s right for them is right for us. We put members first and support them, our mantra is that we are Stronger Together” During recent times, The IPG has played its part in supporting its independent plumbing, heating and bathroom store members, for example, during the early days of the pandemic, the common message published across its marketing channels highlighted those member businesses that remained open, advising opening times and the level of service they were providing. It has continued to deliver positive messages to ensure that members customers continue to shop in their local area. Paul Barry (MD) from Four Ashes Plumbing Supplies, an IPG member based in Wolverhampton commented: “In a market place more competitive than ever, and with the challenges facing all independent businesses in the UK, we place great value in our partnership with The IPG. A collaborative approach between the group, it’s supply network and it’s members helps small businesses like ours to remain at the forefront of the industry and relevant to the communities we serve.” Customers do not forget companies that make them feel special, word of mouth is always the best recommendation,
without doubt, a customer service first approach has a very important role to play in business today. Antony Thompson, Managing Director at Lecico Bathrooms said: “Our ambition is to provide the highest levels of service to our customers in the industry, ‘we can, and we will’. He went on to say: “2020 has dealt us all challenges that we could not have predicted. The global response to the pandemic has had far reaching impacts, for Lecico bathrooms, the challenge has been to maintain our normally very high levels of service to our customers. Talking to others in our industry has indicated that this problem is not unique to us at Lecico. Our ambition has been to continue to operate our business as normally as possible and to continue to provide the high levels of customer service that our customers have become accustomed to and expect from us.
At Lecico we recognise that our customer service levels have played a significant role in the growth of our business, this has resulted in us establishing some strong, longstanding customer relationships which we are very proud of and a leading position in the market. We have a term that we often refer to internally to test our resolve to provide the best possible customer service levels – ‘we can, and we will’. As a minimum we aim to deliver what our customers expect, but we want to exceed customer expectations wherever possible.”
Housebuilders set to report 35% reduction in supply of new homes Housing completions are set to drop by at least a third according to new analysis by Close Brothers Property Finance, the specialist development finance provider. ousing completion levels (the number of homes built) by the seven largest UK housebuilders are down by 35% on average over the last 12 months, as evidenced by their annual results (Table 1). These top seven housebuilders are responsible for 43% of the new homes built across the UK (Table 2).
This sharp drop in supply from the major housebuilders is likely to be at least mirrored across the Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) housebuilding industry. In a recent survey conducted by Close Brothers Property Finance and the Home Builders Federation (HBF), close to 40% of SME’s projected their growth to be down this year by between 10-50%. Frank Pennal, CEO of Close Brothers Property Finance, comments: “Our analysis clearly shows that the UK’s housing supply is reducing, by over a third in the major housebuilders, and we anticipate the SME market to at least follow suit based on our research. If these supply and demand dynamics persist then we could see further house price inflation as a result. We need 2021 to be the year of build, build, build, to not only provide the homes which this country needs, but also to reap the wider economic benefits that this industry brings to local communities in terms of employment and the wider supply chain.” The much anticipated Planning For the Future reforms from the Government could hold the key to reversing this decline. SME’s overwhelmingly state planning as their largest barrier to growth (Table 3) and, as referenced in the initial consultation documents, are disproportionately affected by planning delays – often with only one or two active sites at any one time, where costly and lengthy planning delays can bring their business to a halt. Planning reforms would help to increase supply within the housebuilding sector but also provide SMEs with an even greater boost to their supply of homes – acting as a leveller to the market as a whole. Frank Pennal continues: “To reverse this decline in housing supply, we must remove the barriers in the way to delivery and also seek to redress the balance in the housing market away from what the Prime Minister has called the existing ‘oligopoly’. Planning
reforms will remove the constraints on supply t from the whole industry, but also act a spring board to SMEs – accelerating their supply chains and also creating greater diversity in design and innovation. Housebuilding is not a tap which can easily be turned on, developments take months, and sometimes years, to come to fruition, so time is of the essence to implement these reforms. ” Reforming the system to increase SMEs Within the housebuilding sector there is a significant divide between large and small, where SME’s are faced with additional barriers which disproportionately affect them. Earlier this year, Close Brothers Property Finance, alongside the Home Builders Federation (HBF) conducted the most comprehensive survey of SME housebuilders across the UK to highlight the barriers to growth within that market – State of Play: Challenges and Opportunities Facing SME Homebuilders SMEs play an important role in a healthy housing market. As well as the regional economic benefits from employment and supply chains, they are pivotal in bringing new talent into the industry, with apprentices comprising around 19% of an SME’s workforce – just under 1 in 5 employees. SME’s also develop smaller, often more challenging, development sites on disused land in urban centres, maximising the use of land across the country. Barriers to growth When asked about major barriers to growth
from a list of nine, SME’s overwhelmingly pointed to the Planning system as the major barrier – which came in first and second(Table 3). Indeed83% of respondents cited delays in securing planning permission or discharging of planning conditions by local authorities as a major barrier to increasing housing delivery over the next twelve months. A lack of resource in local authority planning departments was also second on the list (73%), Consumer Confidence in the property market came in third, with 45% of SME housebuilders seeing this as a major barrier, closely followed by the Effects of Covid-19(44%). On the other end of the scale, Development Finance was seen as the lowest barrier to growth, with 41% not considering this to be a barrier to growth. Given the challenging post Covid-19 environment, the availability and terms on which development finance is offered to SME developers is of considerable importance to stimulating growth, so this is very encouraging. Help to Buy The changes to Help to Buy remains a concern for SME’s, with76% of these businesses using the current incentive on 39% of their new homes sales (mean average). The new regional thresholds are expected to prove to be a barrier, with a number of SME respondents highlighting challenges in their specific regions(see Case Study below).This new Help to Buy regional price cap scheme is due to be introduced in March, at the same time as the Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday ends, creating a ‘cliff edge’ for the property market in the Spring of next year.
The renewable heating alternative
Serious about sustainability The Ultra Quiet Ecodan range of air source heat pumps from Mitsubishi Electric are some of the most advanced heating systems available. Designed specifically for UK conditions, Ecodan provides renewable, low carbon alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-burning heating systems. With an A++ ErP Rating label across the range, homes can be heated for less while cutting CO2 emissions.
Time to look at renewable heating Will the combination of the Green Homes Grant and the RHI herald a heating revolution?
By Max Halliwell - Communications Manager for Heating and Ventilation, Mitsubishi Electric. ith the announcement of the £2bn Green Homes Grant, which opened for applications at the start of October, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak has enabled homeowners and both social and private landlords to improve the energy efficiency of their home or housing stock.
Landlords, including local authorities and housing associations in England, can apply for vouchers worth up to £5,000 to make their properties more energy efficient. The vouchers cover up to two-thirds of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £5,000 a property and can be spent on insulation, new windows, renewable heating, solar power and other measures that improve the overall efficiency of the property. However, the work must be completed by the end of March next year, which must surely limit the number of properties that can be tackled over the coldest part of the year. It is also not possible to get the Green Homes Grant for newly built homes which haven’t yet been occupied, so social housing landlords will need to focus on empty properties or find temporary accommodation for any tenants that won’t be able to stay in the home whilst the work is underway.
Look at the fabric As a representative of a heat pump manufacturer, you might expect me to focus on the significant benefits to both tenants and landlords of renewable heating and in particular, air source heat pumps. However, we would always advocate making sure that the fabric of the building is as energy efficient as possible first, so that the heating technology can work as efficiently as possible. It’s what we call a ‘Lean, Mean, Green’ approach and by this, we mean be ‘Lean’ and reduce the need for overall energy consumption first. Look at the fabric of the building by stopping heat loss and leaks, and improving the overall insulation. Next we propose a ‘Mean’ approach, where any energy used in the property is used as efficiently as possible. Low energy
lightbulbs are an easy example but any electrical appliance should be looked at to ensure that it is as efficient as possible. The same applies to the heating system but this is where the ‘Green’ approach kicks in. It is still easy to just replace an existing oil or gas boiler and a modern boiler will increase the efficiency of the heating system over an antiquated boiler. However, this is simply not sustainable into the future and does nothing to decrease the carbon footprint of either the home, or the housing association.
UK investment And this is where air source heat pumps really come into their own as they are now a reliable, proven technology and, in the case of our own Ecodan for example, are built in the UK and designed specifically for UK conditions. Over the last decade and more, we’ve fitted tens of thousands of heat pumps from the Isle of Wight to the Isle of Skye. In modern, upgraded homes and in ancient, listed buildings, and in both single properties and whole apartment blocks. At our Scottish factory, we have invested heavily in R&D actually going as far as building two comparable houses in the car park. One has a modern gas boiler and the other has an Ecodan heat pump and both homes are tested and tested on their performance. Whichever renewable heating system you choose, it is worth looking at performance, reliability and operating noise levels as these will have a real impact on acceptance with tenants, keeping them warm and happy throughout the winter.
These provide reliable, renewable heating and hot water production for a wide range of installations. The system is available in 8.5kW and 11.2kW sizes with market-leading sound levels that are three times quieter than previous models making passing permitted development requirements much easier.
Listen at your leisure Ecodan Ambassador, architect and TV Presenter, George Clarke At Mitsubishi Electric, we always stress the need to look at Seasonal Efficiency rather than the standard performance levels written in the sales blurb. For us, this is a bit like miles per gallon (mpg) with a car. We all know that the car manufactures show off the highest mpg possible, but this is always from a laboratory test, in optimum conditions. Once you get your car on the road, at all speeds and in all weathers, that is where you really see what the performance is. The same is true of any heating system so always ask about the seasonal efficiency won’t you?
Shh, people are sleeping Another key area that will affect adoption of renewable, energysaving air source heat pumps is noise, to ensure tenants and their neighbours aren’t disturbed, which is why permitted development exists. In the residential environment, sound is important because low sound increases the flexibility of where a heat pump can be positioned. As heat pumps are adopted in more homes, noise will become an increasingly important factor and many are sited close to windows, where the unit’s apparent low noise during the day, can become a different matter in the quiet of the night. Permitted development requires sound levels to meet certain limitations, with the sound pressure level not exceeding 42 decibels, dB(A) when measured at a point one metre away from the neighbour’s nearest door or window.
To help people understand the full benefits of air source heat pumps, we’ve created a series of podcasts all about renewable heating with our Ecodan Ambassador, architect and TV Presenter, George Clarke and in one of the latest, we look specifically at the social housing sector. George and I talk about social housing in the UK, ‘affordable warmth’, and the need to educate the entire sector, from government, developers, housing associations, and residents about heat pump technology. We also consider the case for new-build developments versus retrofitting the UK’s existing social housing stock to be more sustainable and energy-efficient. In another, more recent podcast, I talk with Rob Hicks, Innovation Manager at Sovereign Housing Association and we discussed Sovereign’s decision to invest in sustainable heating technology to meet their long-term, ‘affordable warmth’ objectives for residents. In the podcast, Rob reflects on the housing association’s ten-year relationship with Ecodan, and the educational challenges they overcame when introducing new technology. With the government recognising how important air source heat pumps will be for the future of low carbon heating in the UK and forecasting one million sales a year by 2030, the time could not be better to look at improving the heating future for tenants. Not only could you benefit from £5,000 per property, if the work is completed before the end of March, the property could also be eligible for the Renewable Heat Incentive, earning quarterly payments for the next seven years. But there’s no time to lose as both the Renewable Heat Incentive and the Green Homes Grant end on the 31st March 2021.
That is exactly why we as a manufacturer have looked beyond performance and focused heavily on developing some of the quietest units ever available, which we have appropriately named ‘Ultra Quiet’.
To listen to any of the podcasts, visit podcast.ecodan.uk Rob Hicks, Innovation Manager at Sovereign Housing Association
If you want further information, give us a call or visit www.ecodan.co.uk. •11•
Heating & Ventilation
Hybrid Heating for the modern home – the choice is yours EHC offer a comprehensive Range of Electric Products that are all controlled by the well-established DSR Technology Control System. It enables you to select a Hybrid Heating Solution from the range for the various rooms within your property to suit your design style and budget – the choice is yours. All DSR Controlled Heaters are manually operated using the “easy to use” Controller located on the Heater. They also have Wi-Fi capability that can be activated when you purchase the optional DSR Smart Gateway which will allow you to control your Heaters Anytime, Anywhere 24/7 up to a maximum of 30 Heaters using our free bespoke APP. When used with the EHC Smart Gateway you can take advantage of the in-built Wi-Fi ready capability and are able to program your heaters individually or in groups. The DSR Control APP has many features designed to enhance your comfort levels and provide essential information regarding your heating
The DSR Range of Heaters all offer partial heat retention via the internal storage tiles. They are designed to provide an even heat across the surface area of the Heaters and in turn provide a combination of Convected and Radiant Heat. The comprehensive range of Heaters which are available in various Outputs are: • EHC Combination Heaters • Edge • Solaris • Visage
system. There is also an optional Power Meter Clamp available for Load Shedding Control. Popular features within the APP • Setting Times to suit lifestyle • Adjust each room temperature to suit using the manual boost • Limit electricity consumption to avoid exceeding maximum power available • Monitor your electricity consumption history • View the Temperature history by room • Alexa and Google Home commands
For further information or a free Brochure contact 01698 820533 or visit
Ask Mitsubishi Electric about sustainable heating In their latest podcast episodes, Max Halliwell from Ecodan talks to architect and Ecodan Brand Ambassador, George Clarke and other key speakers about Ecodan Heat Pumps. They discuss affordable warmth for UK social housing and consider the case for new-build developments versus fitting existing buildings with renewable technology. Listen at podcast.ecodan.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
The renewable heating alternative
Serious about sustainability
Heating & Ventilation
Defra approved / Highest EcoDesign rating
- Steel and Volcanic Pumice Stove packages introduced
Schiedel Chimney Systems are the UK’s No.1 manufacturer of stainless steel chimneys and liners and have been manufacturing in the UK since 1967 at their Head Office and plant in Washington, Tyne and Wear, with further offices and distribution centres at Poole in Dorset and Coalisland in Northern Ireland. In another 1st for Schiedel, we're proud to have launched our first stove packages in the UK. These packaged systems, Sirius 1 and Sirius 3G with their bespoke Permeter Smooth Air flue system and the Celsius, with its Isokern Air system, are all room sealed appliances and are DEFRA exempt across the UK,as you would expect, but Schiedel have then gone much further with these designs in terms of efficiency and in reducing emissions. All three appliances have been classified as reaching the top level of the ClearSkies cer tification scheme Level 5, which exceeds the minimum performance level for Ecodesign on a stove by more than 27% - a stunning performance from these three stunning appliances. With a simplified pricing system, pricing is set around a bungalow package or a two storey house package with all the stove and flue components included, making these ideal for log cabins, holiday villages and pods, retrofit, new build projects and luxury developments. The pumice block version can also be supplied with the base pre-built and pre-rendered, making it ideal for modular developments All systems can be delivered direct to site.
The Sirius 1 and 3G are contemporary steel systems in black with all the materials provided, whereas the Celsius is an Insert stove within a volcanic pumice frame (sourced from the Hekla Volcano in Iceland)
For more information on the Celsius – The volcanic pumice DEFRA exempt log burning stove package CLICK HERE For more information on the Sirius – The Complete DEFRA Exempt Wood Burning Stove Package CLICK HERE
Stand tall with this years hottest colour
Vita & Softline Column
Vita & Softline Concord Slimline
Vita & Softline Plan
Vita & Softline Deco
Stelrad Vita and Softline vertical radiators now in stock and available in NEW Anthracite Grey as well as white. Check out stelrad.com for more information.
Find out more at Stelrad.com Not just any rad. Stelrad. Now there’s even more variety in the popular Stelrad Vita and Softline Series. The Deco, Plan, Concord and Column vertical now available in Anthracite Grey. QUALITY PRODUCTS | EXTENSIVE RANGE | FOR EVERY TASTE | EASY INSTALLATION
Stylish residential apartment block in Oslo sets new standard for sustainable construction Norwegian apartment block completes with striking Kebony wood facade •16•
new stylish 7,000 sq/m residential project from developers, Usbl is now complete with the addition of an exceptional and sustainable Kebony façade. Striking the balance between eco-conscious construction and luxury living in Norway, the new apartment blocks are equipped with private roof terraces and open communal spaces. Kebony wood, a global leader in the production of sustainable modified wood was chosen by the architects to clad the buildings, prioritizing eco-luxury in the centre of the bustling builtup area in suburban Oslo.
Designed by alt.arkitektur, the project comprised three phases, with 159 apartments built as part of Phase 1 and 2, and an additional 56 as part of Phase 3, bringing the total number of units to 215. The state-of-the-art apartment blocks have been completed with Kebony wood, which was favoured by the architects for the material’s award-winning sustainable credentials. The wood was also selected to clad the stylish façades, due to its dimensional strength, durability, and unique appearance.
Highly resistant to wear and weathering, Kebony requires no maintenance beyond normal cleaning and adopts a beautiful silver-grey patina over time. Tom Hellesvik, Project Manager in Usbl said, “The team at Usbl is very proud to have completed this ambitious project, which has really positive values for the community and environment at its core. Kebony wood was a great asset, and we would like the opportunity to use the wood in more projects in the near future.”
Developed in Norway, Kebony’s revolutionary technology is an environmentally friendly process, which modifies sustainably sourced softwoods by heating the wood with furfuryl alcohol - an agricultural by-product. By polymerising the wood’s cell wall, the softwoods permanently take on the attributes of tropical hardwood including high durability, hardness and dimensional stability. Kebony’s environmental credentials and enhanced physical properties made it the ideal material for the new apartment building. Mette Valen, Sales Manager Norway at Kebony added: “We are delighted to see Kebony wood being used so extensively in this stunning apartment building, which really sets a new standard for environmentally-friendly construction on a large scale. It was a pleasure to work with the team to realise the vision for the innovative project.” www.kebony.com www.exli.se @KebonyWood
Bathrooms & Washrooms
Wickes launches biggest bathroom collection yet with 800 new products Including smart showers, black fixtures and premium accessories
ickes’ collection of Showroom and takeaway bathrooms has been extended with 800 new products, offering those looking to update their bathroom even more choice. Featuring smart showers, brass accessories, together with the introduction of black showers, taps, fixtures and much more, the new trendled range offers a breadth of stylish options to suit different aesthetics. Budding interior designers can opt for a Scandi look with geometric mermaid shower panels, or add a modern, yet classic twist with the addition of mint tiles. Equally, brass homewares are a good choice for those looking to create a luxurious and premium feel in their bathroom and is a trend that has gone from strength to strength in recent years.
baskets help keep your day-to-day products in one place, making cleaning that ever bit easier.
Products within this new range for the home improvement retailer include smart showers – which can be controlled at the touch of a button, automatically and precisely setting the water temperature and the introduction of cold start taps, which help the unnecessary use of hot water – perfect for those who are more eco-conscious.
Paul Bangs, Category Director of Kitchens & Bathrooms at Wickes, says “From design to installation, essentials to accessories, Wickes is the perfect onestop-shop when it comes to bathroom renovations. We’re excited to launch our biggest range launch yet, which we hope customers can seek inspiration from our range as we’ve updated it to reflect the latest styles, innovative products and remains on trend.”
Small touches can also make a big difference – Wickes’ bamboo extending bath bench – which can hold anything from soaps to a glass of wine is the perfect accessory for winding down, and the addition of rust-free coated shower
Available from October, the launch of 800 new products is Wickes’ biggest bathroom range yet and is sure to cater to any home renovators needs, whether it is a small or big project.
Not only can customers buy their new bathroom from Wickes, they can complete the look with tiles, paint and flooring at the same time. Using our
award winning Wickes Installation Service means we’ll turn your dream bathroom into reality; from plumbing to fitting, lighting to tiling. Earlier this year Wickes also announced the launch of a new Virtual Design Service which allows customers to create their dream kitchen or bathroom from home if they don’t want to come in store. Customers are able to request their appointment via the Wickes website, or via phone. Once confirmed, a Design Consultant will be on hand every step of the way, from arranging either the virtual or face-to-face session, to providing inspiration, advice and guiding through the design process. Information on how the service works can be found here on the brand’s virtual design page, this includes a video with their Design Consultants describing the process, together with showing customers where to go to book their appointment.
Bathrooms & Washrooms
Don’t be afraid to go bold in your bathroom designs Rob Holroyd is contracts manager at Easy Bathrooms The perfect bathroom varies so much from person to person, meaning that when choosing products for new build schemes, designers often opt for pared back designs. And there’s nothing wrong with that; a simple, functional look is a safe bet to appeal to the majority of people. But there are scenarios where daring to go bold can pay off. Buyers are increasingly becoming interested in interior design, which is often why show homes are the first units in a new build scheme to be reserved – people want the ‘interior designed’ look. With unlimited access to Instagram and Pinterest, society is more attuned to the world of interior design than ever before – and it is important that housebuilders are harnessing this interest. When working on developments where the prospective buyer is easy to ‘profile’, developers are able to home in on the trends that they are demanding. For example, at the very top end of the market, with stately-style properties, the buyers are often families who are looking for the perfect luxury home. In this instance, specifiers are able to make choices that appeal to a high-end, grand style, such as a copper freestanding bath with marble covered walls and floors. On the other hand, if developers are building country-style homes, they are able to tap into timeless designs that have been seen in English homes for many years, such as herringbone floors. This can be incorporated into the bathroom in a modern way with the installation of letterbox tiles in a herringbone format. On the other hand, Scottish residents often opt for Nordic styles, embracing the concept of ‘hygge’, pastel tones and clean lines, meaning that rustic, wood-effect plank tiles could be a good option. When profiling buyers in such a way, it is important to speak to them about their likes, dislikes and overall style, and transform it into a scheme that is going to work for them, their families and their everyday lives.
100% Stainless Steel Towel Rails 25 Year Guarantee 01825 722988 www.sussexrange.co.uk email@example.com
bathrooms & Washrooms Firstly, we would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our customers all the best for this festive season and thank them wholeheartedly for all their support in this most trying of times. Managing Director, JIS Europe, Richard Thelwell, discusses their policy of stockholding and how it is even more relevant today. “Currently, we are answering calls from customers on a daily basis, asking if we have stock to fulfill their orders, the simple answer is ‘yes, we do’ ” “We are able to maintain the chain of supply quite simply due to our longstanding policy of stockholding providing further financial stability to ourselves but as importantly to our customers whose projects do not need to see any further delays” The Sussex Range is manufactured from 100% stainless steel including our recently introduced Black Edition of powder coated rails “We have recently seen an increase in demand for our powder coated black rails, and also our satin finish rails”
“More and more people are coming round to the durability and sustainability of stainless steel” “My customers don’t want to go to the expense and disruption of fitting out their bathroom to then 2 years down the line find an inferior mild steel rail rusts, leaks and they then need a complete re-tile when the replacement isn’t dimensionally identical to the original” Stainless steel is 100% recyclable, and manufactured from over 90% recyclable material. It does not rust, flake or corrode. It is the sustainable, durable choice. We source our rails ethically and take our social responsibility seriously, from our sourcing to our manufacture to our charity initiatives.
We offer 3 formats of rail throughout the range: Electric, dual fuel and central heating only and we offer both a polished and satin finish as well as the Black Edition Range. “The cornerstones of our business are quite simply quality, stock holding and ultimately customer service. The three work hand in hand”
“Wishing you all health and happiness in 2021” Should you require further details we have a large selection of gallery shots, showing the visual diversity of our rails, on our website www.sussexrange.co.uk do have a look and should you wish any further details, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01825 722988 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bathrooms & Washrooms
Unidrain Introduce New Outlet Unit Low installation height for faster installation
fficient and cost effective building solutions are always being sort within the industry. A product that is easy to install, reduces not only the number of materials needed but the time it takes to complete the building process, is destined to be in high demand. This is especially true, when the unit is introduced by a company with an award -winning reputation for excellence. Unidrain have expanded their range; to include a newly developed outlet unit with an extra low installation height - just 69 mm. The solution includes a brand new water trap with a height of 50 mm. This new outlet unit is almost 20 mm lower than the manufacturer’s existing outlet units. “We’ve developed a solution where the building height is lowered by almost 20 mm, which actually means a lot in construction. The extra-low outlet unit and water trap provide several benefits on site which combine to make installation both easier and faster. It is particularly beneficial for renovation and conversion projects as they benefit from a lower drainage installation that’s easier to build into an existing floor,” says Lasse Lyck, Technical Manager at Unidrain.
A lower solution with lots of capacity The water trap effectively guides the water out of the shower and eliminates odour; the water capacity in the new water trap is 32 litres per minute; making the solution well above the minimum requirement of 24 litres per minute. The water trap can easily be dismantled for cleaning and if a rear facing outlet is required the trap can be rotated as needed. “We kept the height as low as possible, so the installation also ends up being very low but without compromising on either function or effectiveness. We’ve optimised the solution in terms of size whilst at the same time retained all its benefits and lots of capacity,” says Lasse Lyck. In addition to being VA-approved, the product meets all common Danish standards, such as BR18 (including SBi Guideline 252) and DS 432. In addition, the solution meets the important European standard EN1253 and is approved in most European countries.
Bathrooms & Washrooms
NEXT GENERATION MIRROR PROVIDES HEALTHY ECO-FRIENDLY OPTION A lead and solvent-free mirror, demonstrating huge health benefits and environmentally friendly credentials to eco-conscious customers has been launched by Saint-Gobain Glass. MIRALITE PURE is made from 30% recycled glass and uses water-based rather than chemical solvents in its manufacture. Saint-Gobain removed lead from its mirrors more than 10 years ago and the next step has been to remove the solvent used in the silver protection paint. This has now been achieved with MIRALITE PURE and the solvent has been replaced by a water-based paint, which is a real technical achievement due to the complexity of the process involved. This advancement helps to improve indoor air quality when in the end application as it avoids the release of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and formaldehydes into the atmosphere, which can cause eye irritation,
respiratory problems, and other health issues. The healthy and environmentally friendly mirror reflects high levels of light and is extremely versatile and durable for a wide range of interior design projects. MIRALITE PURE is ideal for use in residential properties such as in bathrooms and hallways, as well as in commercial premises including hotels, restaurants, offices, retail and sports facilities. It can be framed or unframed, or simply used as a decorative feature to line a wall or add to furniture such as tabletops, doors and other surfaces. Its black coated backing also means it is perfect for creating backlighting effects such as use with LED lights.
It can be easily cut to many different shapes and sizes and does not flake or chip when drilled, bevelled or cut. For added design flexibility it can be customised with a logo, a sandblasted design or engraved. Jenni Young, Market Manager - Premium Residential and Design & Deco said: “MIRALITE PURE is another example of Saint-Gobain going above and beyond the minimum requirements of legislation and industry standards and putting the health of consumers and environmental protection first. This philosophy results in next-generation products that are future-proofed and anticipate the needs of health and environmentally aware designers and their customers.” MIRALITE PURE is the latest addition to the Saint-Gobain range which also includes MIRALITE VERSAILLES (clear) and three colour choices (grey, bronze and clear) in the MIRALITE ANTIQUE range of vintage decorative interior mirrors, which have been designed to have the appearance of aged mirrors whilst being produced to the latest quality, manufacturing and environmental standards. For more information visit https://uk.saintgobain-building-glass.com/en-gb/hub/ products-applications/mirrors. Follow Saint-Gobain Glass UK and Ireland on LinkedIn or Twitter @SG_GlassExperts.
At the Cutting-edge of Design
The NEW Genesis Tile Collection from CTD Architectural Adding both depth and character to interiors, the new Genesis wall tile collection from CTD Architectural is a magnificent celebration of colour, shape and texture. Ideal for creating feature walls in commercial, residential and hospitality spaces, Genesis stimulates touch and visual sensations, delivering masterfully decorated walls in projects of all styles and sizes. •24•
From crimson red to luxurious gold, Genesis is a colourful and textural range. A true statement collection, the eye-catching tiles provides designers, specifiers and architects with ten different glazed ceramic structures in bold colours and metallic finishes in three sizes: 450 x 1200, 350 x 1000 and 300 x 600mm. Whether applied boldly using one design or as a combination of plain and décor pieces, Genesis is guaranteed to deliver a unique finish to bathrooms, restaurants, bedrooms and lobbies alike.
Part of the Saint-Gobain family, CTD Architectural Tiles specialises in the supply of high quality ceramic tile finishes and tiling solutions across all sectors in the UK commercial specification market. With clients in a variety of sectors including the leisure, retail, hospitality industries, CTD Architectural Tiles is committed to bringing customers the latest innovations in product and in service. With unparalleled expertise and technical knowledge, the team works with industry leading, innovative manufacturers to offer a complete portfolio of ceramic and porcelain tile ranges to suit the architect, interior designer, developer and specification professional. www.ctdarchitecturaltiles.co.uk 0800 021 4835
Coatings & paints CT1 - The Snag List Eliminator, voted many times and regarded as the UK’s Number 1 Sealant and Adhesive, have again secured their position in the industry as the leader of technology in the building industry. T1 who were the first to introduce the Hybrid Polymer 20 years ago, listened to the industry and realised that Hybrid technology was becoming dated.
CT1 were the first to introduce a product that replaced several products in one and could work in wet. CT1 can actually seal and bond under water, with competitor sealants trying to imitate and match the technology. Realising the need to maintain the number 1 position, and keep introducing the latest technology into the building industry, CT1 has again blown the industry away with TRIBRID® Technology. A revolutionary formula that can’t be imitated or even be regarded as similar. TRIBRID® now surpassing Hybrid technology, is 3 times stronger, has much longer colour retention, elongation and other super enhanced properties.
Architects, Specifiers and Developers rely on products that can guarantee its worth and that will work on a project and stand the test of time. CT1 with over 25 accreditations fits that bill, and is widely specified on jobs as the only sealant that will perform on almost every possible application. CT1 the only sealant and adhesive that could stand up and deliver on jobs such as The Wave in Bristol, Diana’s Memorial Fountain, the construction of the London Olympic Village, and so on. Made in Britain, CT1 with British Design and British Technology, guarantees a local technical service. CT1 is the only sealant globally to be awarded The NAAF accreditation. The Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association are the most stringent body in the world for testing products that either reduce or increase the chances of Asthma attack in the home. CT1 sailed through the test. Using CT1 in your home, school, hospital will reduce the chance of asthma or allergy attacks.
A product that is so technically advanced with over 25 accreditations and certificates, fits the bill for Wickes, and their architect teams also. Wickes with a strong team of architects and inhouse designers, tailor make and design bespoke kitchens and bathrooms across the UK. Using only the highest standards of products, clearly CT1 was a choice for Wickes. Wickes who supply the industry both trade and DIY have formed a fruitful partnership with CT1. Wickes providing bathroom design and installation services across the UK, were really impressed with CT1’s performance and accreditations, even more so with The NAAF certificate. They can safely say they are using the most eco compliant and heathiest product in the installation of their design. Use Wickes for Architectural accredited products, such as CT1. Buy CT1 on the Wickes Online Store https://youtu.be/VhCE9E7krao
Coatings & paints
House Renovation with Osmo Osmo customers Steph and James Lynch had bought a house in 2017 which was a project property. ith a lot of wood featuring both internally and externally, the couple needed to find a company that provides a high-quality finish that protects and enhances the wooden surface.
“We fitted solid oak parquet flooring in the living room and kitchen and the connecting hallway,” commented James. “With these rooms being two of the most used spaces in the house, we required a product that was very waterproof as well as hard wearing. I also wanted a product that would not overly change the appearance of the original, unfinished parquet flooring, and for this reason, we selected Polyx-Oil 3062 Clear, Matt from Osmo UK.” The surface was given a very light sand with a hand sander, before two coats of the finish were applied. Due to the size of area inside, it took a couple of hours to apply the finish and it was left overnight to dry. Having a consultation with the Osmo UK team through Instagram, James realised that this product could also be used on the solid wood kitchen worktops, so he went ahead and applied two coats of the PolyxOil finish to this surface. Offering all the professional features of a traditional oil-based finish, Polyx-Oil allows the natural texture of the wood to still be apparent. Polyx-Oil also offers a high level of wear protection that can occasionally be topped up without sanding when required. The finished surface is also spot repairable. Polyx-Oil’s natural components penetrate deeply into the wood to create a micro-porous finish. This allows the wood to breathe naturally. After treatment, the wood is nourished from within and retains its elasticity. It becomes water repellent, stain resistant and more hard-wearing, because it meets the wood’s natural demands and does not crack, flake, peel or blister. For more information pop onto the Osmo website! www.osmouk.com | 01296 481220
Waterproofing for Homeowners – when waterproofing is required For many homeowners waterproofing is a mystery. It is a niche, unseen element required for any below ground structure. ou have appointed an architect, you have the plans and the builder in place to create your new basement extension, but in what order is everything going to happen and why are waterproofing design consultants required?
Put quite simply, structural waterproofing is a long-term costeffective way to maintain the value of your home. British Standard BS8102:2009 (Code of Practice for Protection of Below Ground Structures Against Water from the Ground) is the standard which governs the waterproofing industry and is often used as a benchmark in failed litigation cases. These stringent standards cover durability, exposure and stress conditions ensuring effective waterproofing is the cornerstone of project success. Section 4.2 of BS 8102:2009 under the heading “Design Team” states “A waterproofing specialist should be included as part of the design team so that an integrated waterproofing solution is created.”. For all below ground structures, waterproofing is a necessity to provide a dry internal environment. It should be assumed that at any stage during the life cycle of a below ground structure, water will come to bear on it. From changing weather patterns to a periodic rise in the water table. Failure to protect any below ground structure will most definitely lead to a physical attack on the structure itself, from compromising on water tightness to durability and a reduction in the life cycle. A waterproofing design consultant should be appointed at the earliest stages of a project, but can be brought
onboard at any time – even when waterproofing solutions haven’t been included in original plans and works have already commenced (although we do not encourage this). Waterproofing below ground structures is achieved through careful design, the right choice of materials and professional workmanship. A Waterproofing Design Specialist will consider a number of factors when specifying a suitable waterproofing system. • •
The client’s requirements The internal use of the structure
• • • •
External effects on the structure, such as soil and ground conditions Whether options are limited to the confinements of the project Maintenance of the system Possible future failure and designing out risks
Installation of structural waterproofing systems are usually undertaken by expert contractors. If during COVID you have decided to extend your family home, why not consider digging down. Feel free to contact us and we will point you in the right direction in choosing
expert architects, quality materials and specialist contractors from the onset. At Delta we pride ourselves that we’ve built a team of highly qualified, reliable approved Registered Installers who operate throughout the UK, who specialise across our sector, meaning you can be confident of a quick, efficient installation, carried out with the minimum of disruption and fuss. Our team of Registered Installers cover construction, waterproofing systems, along with annual maintenance agreements offering all round reassurance of long-term success.
Let in the light Bi-fold doors can help you maximise space, light and personality
he average size of a new build home increased from 2,479 square feet in 2007, to 2,584 feet in 2019. New places might be gradually growing, but the common design objectives of most homeowners are to create the impression of additional light and even more space. Instead of looking for a bigger home, opting for bi-folding doors could bring these aspirations to life. Here Nick Cowley managing director at windows and doors manufacturer Euramax, runs through the top considerations when investing in bi-fold doors. Bi-folding doors are an increasingly popular design choice in UK homes. Homeowners have been able to install planning permission-free single story rear extensions since 2019, cutting the red tape for those who desire a larger living space. However, building more room isn’t feasible for every homeowner. Instead, the large, concertina panels of bi-fold doors are a favourable choice for those that want to create the illusion of more space.
A room with a view Having ample natural light often gives the impression of more space. Natural light also boasts a variety of health benefits, such as boosting vitamin D production and, according to research, improving morale while promoting feelings of calmness. An unhindered view of your outdoor space is a great way to harness the benefits of natural light, while creating a wider entrance point gives the impression of a larger room. For homeowners that want to admire the view of their garden, there are a couple of options to consider. Sliding doors that are made of a few larger panels of glass require less frames, so are less likely to obstruct the view of the garden. Those opting for sliding doors should choose ones made from two large panels, with one sliding over the other, to give two wide apertures. However, bi-fold doors are able to open further to give a wider entrance space than sliding doors. It’s therefore important to consider how you want the doors to look when they’re open and shut. Bi-folds are also better space savers for those with smaller rooms. Due their folding mechanism, bi-folds do not have the arc-of-opening that traditional French doors possess, so space is enhanced both in the room itself and as a wider access point.
In the frame While favoured for their large number of glass panels, bi-folding doors still require sturdy frames. When choosing the frame material, homeowners should consider their property’s aesthetic, as well as potential upkeep. A period property may suit a hardwood such as timber. However, these frames will need regular re-staining to maintain their appearance. Wood also risks twisting and warping in the heat, so you should select either an engineered wood or a different material altogether. PCVu is the best choice for those on a budget, and requires far less maintenance. Standard white PCVu frames may easily match existing windows to create a consistent look. However, frames are also available in a range of modern colour options, such as on-trend grey, so they can easily match any home’s aesthetic.
Thermal performance Large glass panes can be a chillier replacement for solid wall. To maximise energy efficiency and keep heating bills down, good thermal performance is crucial. Energy-conscious buyers should look for bi-folds with the lowest rated U-value, which indicates the heat lost in watts per square metre. To comply with building regulations, bi-fold doors must be 1.8W/(m2k) for replacements, or 2.0W/(m2k) in new builds and extensions. There’s nothing to stop you from aiming lower. Euramax products have a U value of 1.4 W/(m2k), making them a superb option for those wanting to keep their brighter, lighter space warm during winter. We can supply French, sliding and bi-fold doors to suit a range of preferences, and all our windows and doors are rated A+ for energy efficiency by the British Fenestration Rating Council. Whether you are renovating a house to let in more light or to save on space, bi-folds are a great way of achieving multiple design ambitions in one fell swoop. By maximising light and space anyone can turn a simple room into an optimally used space.
We asked eco-materials supplier Ecomerchant to pick some of the standout products from 2020 and asked if their popularity could be linked to current and proposed regulations. Liquid applied airtight membranes first arrived in the UK around 5 years ago. The idea that an airtight membrane could be spray or brush applied was groundbreaking despite the use of similar means of application for protective coatings and waterproofing. Blowerproof was first introduced to the UK by Ecomerchant in early 2016. The product became BBA certified (the first to do so) in 2017 and was quickly picked up by the Passive House sector. Over the past two years, liquid applied membranes have seen exceptional growth as the demand for airtight buildings increased. The ultimate application came in spring 2019 when the Imperial War Museum archive used Blowerproof to create the most airtight building in the UK (ACH 0.03) for storing its priceless archive of documents. For the refurb sector, the use of liquid applied membranes is a game-changer. The water-based VOC free liquid can be applied to almost any surface even in the trickiest and most demanding applications it creates a permanent flexible layer which allows airtightness to be delivered where previously achieving high levels were nigh on impossible. Wood fibre flexible batts and rigid carrier boards. Insulation is a key component of most retrofit projects and the increase in wood fibre use over the past few years has been steady - but the take up this year has been exceptional. Wood fibre is a versatile product, which offers desirable performance characteristics for new build and renovations. Being vapour permeable it helps buffer moisture, its density (up to 250Kg/m3) protects against overheating
Blowerproof BBA certified liquid applied airtight membrane applied direct to blockwork prior to application of dot & dab plasterboard. An effective, simple and secure way to achieve passive levels of airtightness.
and its natural makeup alleviates concerns over synthetic ingredients, off gassing and poor indoor air quality. The flexible batts are popular for installation between studs and the dense rigid boards for carrying render or plaster either internally or externally on timber frames or direct to masonry or brick.
Calcium silicate boards; the elimination of mould and subsequent reduction in health issues has driven sales of SkamoWall Board. The calcium silicate board is part of a system which includes adhesive, primer and plaster that combine to create a buffer to manage moisture, improve insulation and eliminate mould.
Steico Special Dry used as a roof sarking board on a Sussex Passive standard build. Building by Kithurst Builders using naturally insulated passive panels and Steico I joist roof. Airtightness materials Blowerproof and Pro Clima.
Sustainability No carrot but no stick either! On the subject of what is mandated and what is not 2020 is ending with a familiar scenario of promised changes and little real regulatory progress. The government has finally published plans for a new version of Approved Document L (for energy efficiency), a new F (for ventilation), and confirmed a new regulatory standard for managing summer overheating is on the cards. This consultation phase is still in progress.
Skamowall Board calcium silicate board used to line a basement retrofit, Skamowlall board insulates and buffers moisture and prevents mould growth. System comprises Skamol fungicide (optional), adhesive and finishing plaster. The whole system is vapour open.
The board’s inert chemical structure renders it incapable of supporting mould growth. The improved insulation and breathability of the system allow ventilation to harmlessly remove moisture from the building. The plastered board acts as a vapour control layer whilst remaining breathable. The SkamoWall Board has been a favourite of landlords and owners of older buildings with solid walls where persistent problems often cause unwelcome maintenance costs and tenant complaints.
Education is a key specification tool The use of these products is exclusively a matter of personal choice so why are they so popular? There are several answers but largely this is to do with how educated the buyer is about building features that are desired but not mandatory within building regulations. For non-developer new build this demand is clear and growing, driven by a client who include improved building performance and occupant health within the brief. For retrofit one reason may be the limits on design imposed where a significant uplift in performance can be achieved through upgrading the building fabric where options such as orientation, outward changes to shape or ‘look’ and modifying the footprint are not possible so forcing a more open approach to problem-solving. The UK construction sector knows that there are widespread problems with
carbon, energy, moisture, ventilation and health in our housing stock. But they persist in partial and piecemeal solutions, apparently oblivious to the interactions between these problems and the need for a holistic approach. A change of attitude and major upskilling of the workforce, especially in refurbishment projects, is required to deliver effective solutions to the enormous backlog of remedial works required to deliver the healthy, comfortable and affordable homes that are essential if the UK is to meet its carbon targets.
Health matters Since lockdown in March increased awareness of the way our buildings actually perform has been consequence of many of us spending more time at home, we have experienced how our buildings perform at times we would usually be absent i.e. during the day when we would otherwise have been at work. Increased focus on our health has broadened the interest and understanding of how building design and fabric can have a direct effect on our wellbeing, at the least this is shown as a precautionary approach to avoid known producers of toxins such as VOC’s or formaldehyde (prompted by the lockdown boom in home decorating and refurbishment) or on insufficient insulation or ventilation; at best our focus has shifted to including building health and indoor air quality (not mandated through building regulations) as part of what we need to demand from our homes and workplaces.
These documents currently apply to new-build homes in England, but we can expect further publications to pick up on Welsh standards, non-domestic development and existing buildings. Notice that retrofit is still not a priority despite estimates that around 80% of the homes we will be occupying in 2050 already exist. The UK GBBC report ‘Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition’ which was launched at the Houses of Parliament in April 2019 provides a framework on how to achieve net-zero carbon buildings in both construction and operation (in-use energy consumption), whilst beginning to provide direction for addressing whole life carbon in the industry. Again this projects well into the future with targets set for 2030 for new build but not until 2050 for existing buildings. The much-vaunted PAS2035 (linked to the requirement to implement PAS2030) launched last summer is still not a mandatory requirement except for certain types of funded retrofit project, this excellent standard is advised rather than imposed so, therefore, is unable to deliver the intended improvements to existing homes at scale for the moment. Mandatory inclusion of PAS 2035 is currently scheduled from July 2021 for ECO (Energy Company Obligation) projects only. We are yet to feel the full effects of the Hackitt review and to cap the year off nicely we still have an unresolved Brexit to muddy the waters and prolong inaction. If we are to ‘build back better’ the connection between buildings that are low in embodied carbon, low energy users, that manage moisture through material choice and design, are healthy and nontoxic to the occupants and
PH15 System build Steico I joist construction, Vapourblock airtight racking board, Steico rigid woodfibre sheating, blown insulation cellulose or woodfibre.
durable, can be summed up by a requirement to simply build healthier buildings an ambition that is sadly lacking from almost all the current providers.
The housing crisis has not gone away We still have a crisis within the housing sector to deal with and a lot of this is tied in with energy efficiency and energy use. The nature of the problem is neatly encapsulated by Richard Tibenham director of Greenlite Energy Assessors and associate lecturer of building physics at the University of Lincoln. Tibenham refers to The Committee on Climate Change report ‘UK Housing: Fit for the Future?’ which claims that emissions reductions from the UK’s 29m homes have stalled, while energy use in homes
increased between 2016 and 2017. It further claims that we will not meet our legally binding targets for emissions reduction under the Paris Agreement without near-complete decarbonisation of the housing stock by 2050. At present, there is no agreed solution to modify the built environment such that it can operate in a carbon-neutral fashion by 2050. The problem can be made substantially less dire, however, by not adding yet further energy demand at this critical time. So whether it is carbon reduction in building operation, energy generation, design or materials choice we are facing the absolute need to decarbonise the sector, and this will need to be backed by mandatory regulations.
New build can rapidly become a retrofit problem. Lord Deben Chair of the UK CCC sums this all up rather neatly saying “there are other influences on housing emissions. For example, there is the fact that the Government still have not raised the standards for new buildings. At the moment, we are building more trouble every year1” in essence poor standards for existing buildings just increases the size of the retrofit market. They condemn most of what we are building now to retrofitting in the future a frankly crazy notion when we are already faced with the challenge of upgrading the energy performance of the entire housing stock, it is nonsensical to be continuously making the problem worse by allowing new homes to be built that will also need to be
Beltane Drive Wimbledon: Architect Tim Gledstone Construction PH15 System from Passivhaus Homes Ltd. Energy/Carbon Target: Passivhaus PLUS or net zero operational carbon. PH15: Delivering best energy performance using low embodied, healthy, building materials. Materials Steico wood fibre insulation Steico I Joists, Unilin Vapourblock airtight racking board, Pro Clima airtight tapes.
retrofitted, which begs the question why not build better now especially if this is straightforward to achieve. This situation is made worse by the various ways in which the law allows buildings to be built to historic standards2 astoundingly Government data shows that 62 per cent of homes that Persimmon built in 2018 were to standards that pre-date the 2013 Building Regulations, as were 52 per cent of Taylor Wimpey’s and 47 per cent of Barratt’s. They are not alone as government data shows that 12 per cent of the new homes built in 2018 were rated EPC C, whilst 7 per cent were rated D or below3. So little remains in terms of positive regulatory drivers for the present. One option is to elect to use a voluntary standard such as The Passivhaus Institute developed ‘EnerPHit Certificate’ (a quality-approved energy retrofit with Passivhaus components). This certificate sets a slightly different standard requirement to the full Passivhaus standard. Each home and building is unique and poses specific problems and solutions to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and ultimately achieve greater energy security.
However, EnerPHit does not directly address the issues of moisture and occupant health although it could be argued that they are mitigated by improved fabric and performance. In retrofit, in particular, there does need to be sympathy between the existing structure and the intended use, ensuring that the building functions without the likelihood of creating unforeseen problems that may later degrade the fabric. This requires a holistic approach and the use of a range of materials
and resolutions to create a long-lasting energy efficient healthy building. The use of non-standard materials like the ones highlighted by Ecomerchant does indicate to us that this process is underway and that there are many who will not wait for legislation to catch up. In fact they may well reap extra benefits in the future when others are faced with costly upgrades simply to bring buildings into compliance.
For more information please contact Ecomerchant: Web: www.ecomerchant.co.uk email: email@example.com Tel: 01793 847 444.
1 Lord Deben, Chairman, Committee on Climate Change Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Oral evidence: Energy Efficiency, HC 1730 Tuesday 26 March 2019 2 See notes 131-4 Select Committee BEIS Energy efficiency and net zero 12th July 2019 https:// publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmbeis/1730/173009.htm#footnote-047 3 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Live tables on Energy Performance of Buildings Certificates (2018)
Sustainable composite decking manufacturer Composite Prime creates nationwide jobs The UK’s leading manufacturer of sustainable composite decking and cladding Composite Prime, has launched a free, online training programme for labouring professionals to become accredited installers of the brands luxury decking products. ollowing a surge in garden renovations and home improvements in 2020, Composite Prime is bolstering its brand with the introduction of the ‘PRO Installers Network’, a dedicated sales force with the skills to sell and install Composite Prime decking products. The programme is suitable for both self-employed individuals and commercial landscape companies to drive further revenue.
Hosted entirely online, the training programme enables participants to become fully qualified via online video training, exams and one-on-one tuition. Following completion of the application and training elements, applicants can be approved and ready to work within a week. Charles Taylor, Sales Director at Composite Prime, said: “There were a few benefits during the height of the pandemic besides being able to stay home and safe with family. One change that is set to stay is the appreciation and use of outdoor space, particularly the garden. “Large or small, lockdown saw homeowners create valuable and nonexpendable spaces from outdoor dining areas and home offices, to safe spaces for children to play. This extension of the home and use of outdoor space is a trend set to continue as individuals and families create garden havens for yearround use. “We saw a huge increase in demand for composite decking during the lockdown period. Composite Prime decking is sustainable and unique as it is made using 100% recycled plastic and FSC® certified oak wood flour. The demand is continuing and the launch of PRO Installer Network is our way to meet this demand and provide an inclusive purchase-to-fit experience for our customers.
“Our products are the very best on the market and are manufactured to stand the test of time. They’re stylish, durable and easy to keep looking like new. Plus, with a huge range of choice for consumers and the added benefit of the Composite Prime financial payment plan, we’re prepared to see demand surge even further.”
Approved installers will act as accredited salesmen and will be promoted on Composite Prime’s website as accredited partners to install Composite Prime decking products for consumers. The Pro Installers will have access to a free design software and the opportunity to sell customers decking by utilising Composite Prime’s exclusive monthly financial payment plan.
Charles continued: “The soft launch of the scheme has been extremely successful and we have had a vast amount of interest that we hope will continue to grow whilst benefiting the economy with new jobs nationwide. We’re urging professionals who may be looking for new sources of income, those who may be out of work or existing landscaping companies who want to expand into offering their customers the very best decking on the market to get in touch and sign up to the programme. It’s really easy to apply, the application can be saved and completed in segments - or completing it in a timely manner could mean applicants are accredited within a week.” Composite Prime is the UK’s leading manufacturer of composite decking and flooring products. The company is ethically minded and has saved the equivalent of 90 million plastic milk bottles from landfill and 280 plastic bottles per square meter of decking are recycled. Composite Prime manufactures a range of nine products, including cladding, decking and flooring, which are tested against the latest requirements to measure strength, impact resistance, weathering, extreme temperature cycles, UV resistance and water absorption. For more information about the Composite Prime product range, please visit www.composite-prime.com/products/ For more information on how to apply to become a PRO Installer please visit: www.composite-prime.com/ composite-product/install/
ocated in the northeast corner of Norway overlooking the Barents Sea, the new Domen Viewpoint has just opened to tourists visiting the unique destination. Offering unparalleled views of the vast untouched area, the sustainably designed building, comprising hardwearing Kebony wood, provides much-needed shelter from the harsh arctic climate, and has already become a landmark for adventurers on their journey to discover the natural beauty of the Norwegian countryside.
Open for Business: Breath taking Domen Viewpoint in Norway offers visitors stunning views of arctic landscape Sustainably designed with Kebony wood to help visitors connect with nature
At the peak of a mountain, the rest and viewpoint building is drawing crowds of adventurers largely due to the magnificent views it offers of Arctic land, fjords and the sea - perfect for nature enthusiasts to enjoy the amazingly rich wildlife and stunning landscape. Designed by biotope Architects, the dome consists of three small buildings designed with a steel frame, clad with whitewashed pine panel and Norwegian-made Kebony wood on the inside, with a light pink tinge in the glass. Situated in Vardø, the only community in Norway to still sit within the arctic climate zone, the surrounding area is characterized by long, cold winters and short, cool summers. Built by local company,Finnmark Entreprenør, and commissioned by the National Scenic Routes of Norway, the viewpoint has been stylishly designed in white to blend with the winter landscape experienced for half of the year, while the interiors are sustainably clad with Kebony wood.
Highly resistant to wear and weathering, global leader in the production of sustainable wood, Kebony requires no maintenance beyond normal cleaning and adopts a beautiful silver-grey patina over time. Commenting on the use of Kebony, Tormod Amundsen, Architect said,‘The warm colouring of Kebony contrasts the cold white landscape and exterior cladding very well. Kebony itself is a supreme material, and we look forward to seeing how it will gain a nice patina over time.’ Developed in Norway, Kebony’s revolutionary technology is an environmentally friendly and patented process which modifies sustainably sourced softwoods by heating the wood with furfuryl alcohol - an agricultural by-product. By polymerising the wood’s cell wall, the softwoods permanently take on the attributes of tropical hardwood including high durability, hardness and dimensional stability. This unique process also provides Kebony with its characteristic appearance, which will age with the natural landscape surrounding the Domen viewpoint. Mette Valen, Sales Manager Norway at Kebony added: “We are delighted to being used so extensively in this stunning viewpoint, which really sets a new standard for environmentallyfriendly construction. It was a pleasure to work with the team to realise the vision for the innovative project.”
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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.
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Changing the face of facades: Millboard launches ground-breaking cladding collection A major new range from the award-winning company his week, Millboard has launched a suite of cutting-edge cladding materials that will cement the company’s reputation as one of Britain’s leading home and garden material manufacturers.
In its thirteen-year history, Millboard has continually broken new ground, notably for its flagship UV, split, rot and slipresistant decking product that has been used in builds as prestigious as the Burj Al Arab, Kew Gardens and Wimbledon. The new range of cladding takes its cue from the first-rate attributes of the decking range. Available in two styles (‘V Groove’ and ‘Board and Batten’) and a wide range of colours, it provides the same assurance of UV resistance and
eliminates the risk of warping, twisting or rotting. And just like the decking range, the cladding has been hand-moulded from carefully selected natural timbers, to provide an unmistakably organic look. From the smooth finish of the V Groove to the pleasing grain variance of the Board and Batten style, there’s a Millboard cladding style for every property type. A year in development, this product is perfectly designed to stand the test of time and to require minimal maintenance. In fact, the distinctive chamfered cut of the profiles enables the rain to wash the boards, dramatically reducing the need for manual cleaning. The boards are made from a polyurethane-mineral composite that boasts greater eco credentials than rainforest-depleting timber.
The unique properties of this enduring material mean that you’ll never suffer from streak marks around window seals, be disappointed by dramatic colour changes, or have to maintain it with expensive and timeconsuming treatments. The extra-wide sizing of the boards means that the cladding can be mounted quickly, providing a lightning-fast renovation of the exterior of a property, and the boards can also be used internally, for feature walls and dividers. Additionally, the cladding can be mounted vertically or horizontally to suit the tastes of the architect or homeowner. As well as providing an instant refresh to a property, the boards can also help homeowners to achieve a better energy rating. As it is made from polyurethane foam, Millboard cladding has good insulation properties and protects against extreme heat or extreme cold. With a growing domestic focus on thermal efficiency, cladding can help to sell your property, or to achieve the energy rating you need to rent it out. Some homeowners have struggled with building regulations for putting bigger windows in, but with the insulation provided by cladding, it can often be possible to design bigger apertures into the building. The team at Millboard are excited about their latest development, and the launch of the new cladding range represents a significant milestone for the company. The new cladding collection marks Millboard’s expansion into a broader range of high-calibre home and garden products. Millboard Cladding was officially launched November 2020. For more information about the product range, visit Millboard’s website or contact the team today on 02476439943 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Let in the light Bi-fold doors can help you maximise space, light and personality he average size of a new build home increased from 2,479 square feet in 2007, to 2,584 feet in 2019. New places might be gradually growing, but the common design objectives of most homeowners are to create the impression of additional light and even more space. Instead of looking for a bigger home, opting for bi-folding doors could bring these aspirations to life. Here Nick Cowley managing director at windows and doors manufacturer Euramax, runs through the top considerations when investing in bi-fold doors.
Bi-folding doors are an increasingly popular design choice in UK homes. Homeowners have been able to install planning permission-free single story rear extensions since 2019, cutting the red tape for those who desire a larger living space. However, building more room isn’t feasible for every homeowner. Instead, the large, concertina panels of bi-fold doors are a favourable choice for those that want to create the illusion of more space. A room with a view Having ample natural light often gives the impression of more space. Natural light also boasts a variety of health benefits, such as boosting vitamin D production and, according to research, improving morale while promoting feelings of calmness. An unhindered view of your outdoor space is a great way to harness the benefits of natural light, while creating a wider entrance
point gives the impression of a larger room. For homeowners that want to admire the view of their garden, there are a couple of options to consider. Sliding doors that are made of a few larger panels of glass require less frames, so are less likely to obstruct the view of the garden. Those opting for sliding doors should choose ones made from two large panels, with one sliding over the other, to give two wide apertures. However, bi-fold doors are able to open further to give a wider entrance space than sliding doors. It’s therefore important to consider how you want the doors to look when they’re open and shut. Bi-folds are also better space savers for those with smaller rooms. Due their folding mechanism, bi-folds do not have the arc-of-opening that traditional French doors possess, so space is enhanced both in the room itself and as a wider access point. In the frame While favoured for their large number of glass panels, bi-folding doors still require sturdy frames. When choosing the frame material, homeowners should consider their property’s aesthetic, as well as potential upkeep. A period property may suit a hardwood such as timber. However, these frames will need regular re-staining to maintain their appearance. Wood also risks twisting and warping in the heat, so you should select either an engineered wood or a different material altogether.
PCVu is the best choice for those on a budget, and requires far less maintenance. Standard white PCVu frames may easily match existing windows to create a consistent look. However, frames are also available in a range of modern colour options, such as on-trend grey, so they can easily match any home’s aesthetic. Thermal performance Large glass panes can be a chillier replacement for solid wall. To maximise energy efficiency and keep heating bills down, good thermal performance is crucial. Energy-conscious buyers should look for bi-folds with the lowest rated U-value, which indicates the heat lost in watts per square metre. To comply with building regulations, bi-fold doors must be 1.8W/(m2k) for replacements, or 2.0W/(m2k) in new builds and extensions. There’s nothing to stop you from aiming lower. Euramax products have a U value of 1.4 W/(m2k), making them a superb option for those wanting to keep their brighter, lighter space warm during winter. We can supply French, sliding and bi-fold doors to suit a range of preferences, and all our windows and doors are rated A+ for energy efficiency by the British Fenestration Rating Council. Whether you are renovating a house to let in more light or to save on space, bi-folds are a great way of achieving multiple design ambitions in one fell swoop. By maximising light and space anyone can turn a simple room into an optimally used space.
All New Home Lift arrives at Invalifts Style blended with functionality is the key to the new home lift. The back wall of the lift is available with a choice of 8 stunning designs allowing you to personalise your lift your way. And it doesn’t stop there... You can adjust the ceiling and carriage lighting to an infinite number of different colours using the app on your smart phone, giving you a choice to match your home or your style! The lift has been designed by by renowned Swedish designer Alexander Lervik. Building the new design around glass and light gives the client the freedom to change the features of the home lift when ever the mood takes them.
Invalifts are pleased to announce the arrival of their all-new home lift, the Inva Home Lift. The lift offers a range of platform sizes to fit a variety of spaces from 600mm wide by 830mm deep to 1100mm wide x 1400mm deep. So you can be sure there will be a size to suit your needs. To find out more about the Inva Home Lift or other lift products, you can give Invalifts a call on 0845 468 2543 and speak to one of their friendly experts.
Platform Lifts Our range of platform lifts includes the Commercial Platform Lift (right) - a premium quality enclosed platform lift with a customisable finish, and the option of glazing on 3 sides. Designed for offices, schools and public buildings with small footprints available, this is a premier platform lift. We also offer stair platform lifts and a range of platform lifts for both internal and external use.
The Platform Lift Experts
Tel: 0845 4682543 Web: www.invalifts.com
HOME-DESIGNER AND ARCHITECT
Rinnai UK Main Office: 9 Christleton Court, Manor Park, Runcorn WA7 1ST London Office: 5th Floor Hyde Park Hayes 3, 11 Millington Road, Hayes UB3 4AZ
Rinnai is a global leader in gas appliance manufacturing, striving for reliable and consistent quality. Rinnai specialise in the development of Commercial and Multi-point water heaters.
Leaders in the electric heating and hot water industry for 15 years. Electric Heating Company Unit 40 Block 5, Third Road Blantyre Industrial Estate Blantyre Glasgow G72 0UP
With more than 30 years of experience, selling to more than 120 countries around the world, Panasonic is unquestionably one of the leaders in the heating and cooling sector. SAiGE Longlife Decking Ltd Vicarage Barns, Lower Quinton, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom, CV37 8SG