Home Designer & Architect - January 2019

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MAGAZINE January 2019

Create without restraints Introducing Viiu – the sliding door sensation taking the UK by storm

Telephone 0800 877 0077 Email info@viiu.co.uk | www.viiu.co.uk

Unit D4, Access 12, Station Road, Theale, Berkshire, RG7 4PN

Ultra-slim sliding doors

– an insider Viiu Rod Tate, Sales Director, gives an insider’s perspective on the UK ultra-slim sliding door market

Is this product good enough? It’s a question that glazing businesses should be asking themselves all the time – but far too many don’t.


All in all, it was a Ford trying to sell itself as a Ferrari – and what I find so disturbing is that so many homeowners, installers and even architects have been taken in. I know some readers are just going to accuse me of attacking a competitor’s system to try and sell my own.

t Viiu, the products we offer must pass a very simple test: would I install it in my home? If the answer’s yes, we’ll sell it. If it’s no, no matter the price or the potential profitability, we won’t.

hour factory tours – and been shocked by the shoddy quality of some of the parts used. One supposedly ‘premium’ product we trialled used acrylic rollers costing all of three pounds each.

So in the interest of balance, let me say that Viiu is by no means the only prestige ultra-slim sliding aluminium door on the market. Skyframe and Keller, are excellent systems.

You might think that’s just common sense – standard practise among companies offering the sort of complex, high-end products that Viiu specialises in. But in my experience, that’s just not the case.

To be fair, this was a door with a maximum panel weight of 320kg – most prestige slimline systems have a maximum panel weight of 750kgs. And at first glance looked ok.

We obviously think Viiu has the edge, but these two are robustly built, and certainly don’t use the sort of sub-par hardware like other systems we could mention.

I’m frequently astounded by some of the claims I see in the trade magazine from some of our competitors.

But 320kgs is still a lot of glass. And I certainly wouldn’t want to pay for a ‘highend’ ultra-slim door and have it depend on critical rolling components that cost just three pounds to work properly. Would you?

The bottom line, as far as I’m concerned, is that if you want to truly see what a product is like, don’t just read the brochure, or the technical manual, or speak to the salesman – go in, and see it up close for yourself. If it’s one of the systems I referred to earlier, handling the rolling gear will tell you everything you need to know.

I know of sliding door systems that repeatedly claim to be ‘premium’, ‘highend’ and the like in the press – but, in actual fact, use components that cost less than a decent coffee. That’s not just hearsay. It’s something I’ve seen with my own eyes. I’ve examined these products up close – even flown abroad to have initially impressive three-

If the product offered flawless performance in spite of the bargain bin hardware, it would be at least a bit more understandable. But the wheels were extremely crude, requiring effort to move even panel sections weighing just 120kgs.

And if you’re interested in learning more about the UK’s only PAS24:2016-accredited ultra-slim sliding door, arrange a visit to your nearest Viiu showroom today. For more information call Viiu Ltd on 0800 877 0077 or visit www.viiu.co.uk

Create without restraints Viiu is the ground-breaking ultra-slim sliding door product taking the UK by storm. It’s success is no surprise – few systems can match its ingenious, unobtrusive design, minimalistic sightlines, and patented, PAS24-2016-accredited interlock section. Even fewer offer all that alongside... • Trusted, experienced Viiu installers all around the country • Direct delivery to your site or headquarters • In-depth technical support • Product training

Want to learn more? Talk to Viiu today. Telephone 0800 877 0077 Email info@viiu.co.uk | www.viiu.co.uk

UK Spares: your one-stop-shop for domestic and commercial electrical spares Call or email our friendly team TODAY... www.uk-spares.com or email sales@uk-spares.com Tel: 01454 620500 Twitter: @UKSpares Unit 1155, Aztec West, Almondsbury, Bristol BS32 4TF

january 2019


Image: Earth Born Paints p18

CONtact US Marc Hebden

Publication Manager

Jenna Burridge Editor

01843 581364


01843 595818


Consumers twice as likely to be satisfied with homes built by small house builders, new FMB research reveals Consumers are twice as likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of their new home if it was built by a small and mediumsized (SME) house builder, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB). Key results from the FMB’s research into satisfaction rates among people who have bought a home in the past five years show that twice as many people (36%) say they are ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of their new-build home if purchased from an SME house builder, compared with those whose home was built by one of the top 20 large builders (17%). Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “There is a popular misconception that new-build homes are poor quality compared to period properties that were built to last. Small local house builders, who hang their hat on delivering high-quality new-build homes, find this view immensely frustrating. Our research shows that you are twice as likely to be ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of your new home if it was built by an SME house builder as opposed to one of the large top 20 firms. This research draws a clear distinction between what is being delivered by SMEs and what is being delivered by larger firms.” Berry continued: “For a small, local builder, reputation is everything. They will typically reside in the same community that they’re building in and are therefore doubly motivated to deliver a high-quality product that the home buyer will love. Furthermore, SME building firms are more likely to work with a small team of broadly skilled tradespeople. For example, if an SME house builder only employs three bricklayers, they all need to have a wide range of skills and experience. Large house builders tend to use gangs of semi-skilled bricklayers who can lay row upon row of bricks in a line but only a handful of broadly skilled brickies who can turn corners, build chimneys and arches.” Berry concluded: “If we are to improve the image of the house building sector, all house builders, large and small, need to put quality at the heart of every project. Not only will this make our industry more attractive to new entrants, including children and young people, it will soften planning committees to the prospect of new developments. We are in the midst of a serious housing crisis and in order to win people over and make them more pro-development, we need to deliver fantastic new homes that local people would be proud to have built in their community.”


A tactile experience at Surface Design Show 2019 From 5-7 February Surface Design Show 2019 will take place at London’s Business Design Centre to provide a platform for architects, designers and specifiers, looking to discover more from the surface design industry. Surface Design Show 2019 will feature some 40 talks from over 50 industry professionals, including the Opening Night Live Debate from 6.30pm, Tuesday 5 February, organised in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and New London Architecture (NLA). Returning for 2019 is the ever popular PechaKucha Evening, hosted by Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects on 6 February from 6.30pm. The eight speakers will talk about 20 slides, each for 20 seconds discussing the topic; ‘Identities and Boundaries – Site Specific Responses to Modern Architecture.’ PechaKucha speakers include: Alison Brooks, Alison Brooks Architects; Ben Cousins, Cousins & Cousins Architects; Lucia Berasaluce, Haptic Architects; Simon Fraser, Hopkins Architects; Soraya Khan, Theis and Khan Architects; Nigel Ostime, Hawkins Brown; Stuart Piercy, Piercy & Co and Alex Scott-Whitby, ScottWhitbyStudio. Other speakers include Studio TILT‘s Oliver Marlow, who will meet with architectural correspondent Veronica Simpson

Pilkington UK recognised for ‘world-leading’ project at G Awards Pilkington has won ‘Commercial Project of the Year’ at the prestigious G18 Awards for its installation at 6 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. The glass manufacturer collected the accolade alongside project installer partner Charles Henshaw & Sons at the awards dinner last week, attended by more than 700 glass and glazing industry leaders. on the Main Stage on 6 February from 11:45am – 12:30pm, to discuss how the configurations of interiors can assist a more fluid, more creative and more effective way of operating. The CPD Hub also hosts a variety of talks including ‘Paper Composites in Architecture and Design’, which will be taken by Surface Matter on Wednesday 6 February from 11:30 – 12:15pm. From exquisite handcrafted surfaces to the latest technological advances in architectural lighting, Surface Design Show hosts over 150 exhibitors highlighting the very best in surface design. Products exhibited will include natural stone, acoustics, recycled materials, living walls and architectural lighting. Since 2013 the show has hosted the Surface Design Awards, now recognised as one of the most respected events in the design calendar. The 2019 awards received entries from across Europe, the USA, Australia, China, Korea and India. The shortlist consists of an impressive 43 projects across seven categories from architects such as Gensler, Lily Jencks Studio, BuckleyGrayYeoman, and Blee Halligan Architects. Of the finalists was Morpheus Hotel by Zaha Hadid Architects, an incredible entry, which is a finalist in three categories. All the judges highlighted their strong admiration of the colossal project, with judge Paul Edwards, Head of Creative Design for Airbus, adding ‘this is monumental and breath-taking’. The awards presentation at #SDS19 will take place on the morning of Thursday 7 February. www.surfacedesignshow.com

6 St Andrew Square is a £90 million scheme in central Edinburgh that integrates five existing buildings into a contemporary mixed-use development that’s almost fully glass-fronted. Judges singled the development out for being ‘a wellexecuted project helped by the expertise of the specialist contractors and glass supplier’; adding that the project sends ‘a strong message that UK products can still lead the world’. Charles Henshaw & Sons worked closely with Pilkington to ensure the highest quality finish was achieved on the project. All glass installed was manufactured by Pilkington in the UK. The scheme’s ground floor retail units and the soffit glazing on the underside of the projecting spaces were achieved using a Pilkington Planar structural bolted system. Pilkington Suncool 66/33 T glass was specified across the whole building. This solar control and low-emissivity glass reportedly reduces transmission of heat from the sun to just 33%, while allowing 66% of visible light through. This ensures a comfortable climate for occupants all-year-round without compromising on bright interiors and spectacular views. 3,000m2 of Pilkington Insulight double glazed units were also supplied to the project. Michael Metcalfe, commercial sales manager at Pilkington, said: “We’re incredibly proud of what we achieved at St Andrew Square with the help of our partners, and it’s an honour to have this project recognised at the G18 awards. “Its location meant that it was essential that the building respected Edinburgh’s architectural heritage by using the highest quality materials and design. By using glazing in the entirety of the building envelope, we’ve managed to create a building that sits comfortably in a historically and architecturally sensitive setting. “The project also demonstrates the breadth of what we can offer, with both structural glazing and curtain-wall systems featuring in the build.”


he organisers listened and acted. JFS in 2019, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham from 20th-23rd January 2019, will introduce its new Contract Trail. It is the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle to fulfil all of the major requests received from visitors and it will identify all of the 150+ exhibitors who either regularly, or occasionally supply contract orders.


On arrival at the show visitors will be able to collect a handy fold out map which identifies the contract supplying companies in each hall. The Contract Trail will also available on the JFS website in advance of the show, making it easy for buyers to plan their stand visits in advance. Show Director Cleere Scammell said of the Contract Trail, “It is important that we give our buying visitors as much useful information as is feasible, to make their visiting time at JFS as productive as possible. Adding the Contract Trail was an easy decision given the number of requests we received for the information - and given the large number of contract suppliers that we have among our exhibitors.” Across the board in upholstery, cabinet, beds, lighting and accessories there are both UK


CONTRACT TRAIL FOR JANUARY FURNITURE SHOW Along with requests for more beds, more accessories and more lighting at the January Furniture Show (JFS), the organisers also received many requests for companies who supply contract furniture and furnishings to be identified.

and International suppliers who are fully apprised of the particular requirements of supplying contract and interior design orders. Many of the main contract suppliers are also leading names in the UK furniture industry including Duresta, Kingstown, Whitemeadow, Ashley Manor, Firstlight Products, The Libra Company and Silentnight. Leading international companies including Weimann, ALF UNO S.p.a. and Hartman are also on the Contract Trail list. Other new initiatives introduced at JFS in response to visitor requests include the new lighting sector – LIGHT, which features both UK and international companies showing everything from garden lanterns and bedside lamps to futuristic LED lights and statement chandeliers. BEDS at JFS brings together the largest number of bed companies ever seen at the show and will contain every kind of bed and mattress type available in the UK, with options for every budget level. Finally the space for accessories has increased by 20% with new exhibitors and some regular exhibitors taking extra space to show their abundant collections. To register to attend JFS and so see the full list of companies on the Contract Trail please go to: www.januaryfurnitureshow.com

Source new products, discover fresh trends, and meet 100s of suppliers at the UK’s biggest furniture show. Make yourself at home at the industry event of the year.

Register now at januaryfurnitureshow.com

Bisley Products from Bisley Direct ebonium are delighted to supply Bisley products under the online name of Bisley Direct. Bisley products have been manufactured in the United Kingdom for over 60 years and have developed a wide range of filing and storage solutions for both home and offices. With over 34 colours to choose from there is a design solution for everyone. Since BisleyDIRECTS inception service has been paramount with a focus on traditional customer service to back up the range of products. Bisley multidrawers are a design classic and with changing storage requirements the flexibility of drawers configuration is increasing demand. With 34 pastel, standard and vibrant colours the widest range of cabinets is available from BisleyDIRECT in a choice of 3, 5 6, 8, 9, 10 or 15 drawer versions. with A4 or A3 storage sizes and wide range of drawer inserts available to accommodate a variety of needs. All our Bisley filing and storage cabinets and Bisley office furniture is supplied directly from one of Bisley’s UK based manufacturing site from their factory in Newport.

“Too many companies just deliver to door, and do not handle products well and do not look after customers how we would want to be treated ourselves” Says Graeme Winship, Managing Director.

Bisley Directs F-series storage range is an example of cross over to home storage with practical designed storage

We want to offer a great range of products backed by our unique service and caring attitude. We believe in great service and to be honest that if something goes wrong, we will fix it and look after customers. This is what we do. For full details on the Bisley Office Furniture product range visit their website at www.bisleydirect.co.uk


World Beating Adhesive Technology

For Every Flooring


F. Ball’s specialist range of industry leading flooring adhesives provides solutions for every installation - from temperature extremes with the highly innovative Styccobond F49 Hybrid PS to adhesive technology for textile, resilient and wood flooring. F. Ball has adhesive recommendations for over 5000 floorcoverings from 200 leading floorcovering manufacturers. F. Ball is renowned for quality, innovation and technical know how. For videos and indepth technical information visit our website at www.f-ball.co.uk


F. Ball and Co. Ltd. Tel: 01538 361 633 • email: mail@f-ball.co.uk • web: www.f-ball.co.uk Cheddleton, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 7RS, UK

The Sussex Range

100% Stainless Steel Heated Towel Rails Telephone +44 (0) 1825 722988 info@jiseurope.co.uk www.sussexrange

The Ardingly, Pevensey, Cinder, Rusper and Lindfield Family of Stainless Steel Towel Rails The main feature of these towel rails are the larger than normal gaps within the bar spacing.


f course with this added spacing comes further practicability should you require more than one bath sheet or within a larger family bathroom. In fact, this rail very much marries practicability with the more minimalistic styling popular within design today. Favored by developers in new build developments where the rails are utilized as a secondary source of heating, i.e. drying of the towel rails; these rails are competitively priced and extremely practical. The baby of the range, the Cinder is also popular within kitchens, as it is small and compact.

This range of towel rails is available in three different heating formats: these being electric only, dual fuel and the ability to be utilized solely within the central heating system. The rails, as always, are suitable for open plumbing systems. Offered in a choice of either satin or a highly polished stainless steel surface, all of these towel rails are hand finished by the company’s craftsmen to ensure the highest quality is maintained; so it is no surprise that JIS is confident enough to offer its usual no-quibble 25 year guarantee.

All of the towel rails within the Sussex Range are entirely fabricated from 304 grade stainless steel, of which over 90% is from recycled source and the rail itself is 100% recyclable at the end of its life. There are no environmentally harmful chemical plating processes in the manufacture of stainless steel, the very fact that is is not plated ensures the rails will not rust, flake or corrode and small marks can simply be polished out. This makes them a durable, as well as an attractive, sustainable choice The Sizing’s are as follows: • Cinder 370mm high by 520mm wide • Rusper 700mm high by 520mm wide • Pevensey 975mm high by 520mm wide • Lindfield 1275mm high by 520mm wide • Ardingly 1580mm high by 520mm wide

The prices range from £145.95 for the baby of the family, the Cinder, climbing through the range to the Rusper at £179.95, the Pevensey at £248, the Lindfield at £294 and finally the Ardingly at £359.95, all prices are for central heating format. Please visit www.sussexrange.co.uk for further information or call us on 01825 722988.


David Clouting’s Interior Film Benif, is providing solutions for a wide range of applications and its popularity continues to grow. Benif Interior Film manufactured by LG Hausys and distributed in the UK by leading surface material provider David Clouting, is an innovative self-adhesive, interior film that is growing in popularity, particularly for use in refurbishment applications. Quick and easy to install, Benif Interior Film can be applied to almost any interior surface including: wood, metals, plasterboard, plastics and even melamine. This enables feature walls, office doors, furniture, skirting and architrave to be attractively and quickly refurbished at a fraction of replacement costs. Recent projects which demonstrate Benif ‘s versatility and range of applications include:

Weybourne Day Unit The Weybourne Day Unit in Norfolk (pictured ) provides an oncology and haematology service. The Unit’s team decided to use an interior film to cover the interior walls featuring artwork inspired by the flora and fauna of the surrounding area. The decision to use an interior film was determined by a number of factors including; infection control, ease of cleaning and fire safety.

Benif Interior Film was utilised to ‘wrap’ around strips of PVC board to frame the mirrored areas which feature extensively throughout the bar and seating areas.

After testing a range of films, Banif was selected, according to Project Coordinator Emma Jarvis, “because it not only passed a robust bleach test but the quality of the colour of the film was significantly better than the others we tested, it was also thicker, easier to apply and had better adhesion qualities “

Benif’s flexibility ensured that even the rebated edges of the PVC frames did not present a problem, creating a seamless smooth finish.

The Compton Cross

The Pixel Building in Essex was refurbished using 90% recycled materials.

The Compton Cross formerly known as Molly Moggs, a legendary pub and cabaret venue in Soho, was refurbished by the new owners who wanted to retain its character while developing it into a more stylish cocktail bar.


The Pixel Business Centre

Benif Interior Film was specified to refurbish 50 old wooden doors featuring metal and glass portholes and

also to give a smooth seamless finish to the reclaimed plywood used for the buildings’ cafe walls, bar area and the washroom/toilet block walls. Benif Interior Film provides the perfect finish, even to curved or complex shapes, it’s easy to apply, clean, is hardwearing and remains stable when exposed to heat, humidity or low temperatures. Available in a range of over 400 designs and finishes, Benif Interior Film is CE and IMO Certified so can be specified with confidence. For further information, contact: marketing@davidclouting.co.uk www.davidclouting.co.uk

Make your space the place



Benif™ interior film Commercial use for walls, decorative panels, doors, architrave and furniture. Benif™ is a range of self-adhesive interior films which will bring any room to life.

Call: +44 (0)1376 518037

HISTORIC GREENHOUSES FOR MODERN HOMEOWNERS Lancashire-based greenhouse and glasshouse manufacturer Hartley Botanic celebrated its 80th anniversary this year – marking 80 years of making its stunning handmade, made-to-order greenhouses and glasshouses. ounded in 1938, the company is one of Britain’s oldest and most trusted greenhouse manufacturers and, was to their knowledge, the first to develop and make entirely aluminium structures, representing a new class of greenhouse building in terms of practicality and engineering design. Since then, Hartley Botanic has built a name and reputation amongst the horticultural elite synonymous with excellence, receiving commissions from some of the UK’s most eminent gardeners, designers and horticultural institutions. In February last year, The Royal Horticultural Society officially recognised the company’s enduring



commitment to British craftsmanship by endorsing its entire product range . Today, greenhouses are no longer the exclusive preserve of elderly men with pipes and wellies pottering with trowels. These days they’re just as likely to be used for parties, entertaining and as trendy, curated lifestyle spaces as homeowners see them, not just as a route to healthier and eco-friendly living, but as luxury design accessories. Homeowners are increasingly using greenhouses as multifunctional al fresco spaces which are often connected directly to a property. 30 percent of Hartley Botanic customers specifically buy a greenhouse as an al fresco ‘garden room,’ allowing them to extend

the length of time it is possible to entertain outdoors for socialising 8 or 9 months of the year. In terms of look and style, Hartley Botanic’s traditional Victorian range remains the most popular greenhouse design chosen by customers. A grand, classic Victorian aesthetic is the perfect way to set-off a continuing horticultural trend for exotic plants, succulents and dramatic ferns. All Hartley Botanic’s greenhouses and glasshouses are handmade, bespoke and made to order. They are the only aluminium greenhouse manufacturer endorsed by the RHS. Customers interested in purchasing a Hartley Botanic greenhouse or glasshouse should visit: www.hartley-botanic.co.uk or call 01457 819 155 for more information.

THE HISTORY OF THE POCKET DOOR Finding extra room in the home has been an architectural conundrum for hundreds of years. Here we chart the rise of a leading proponent of domestic space saving - the humble pocket door.

The pocket door was popularised in Britain and the USA in Victorian times and remains a recognisable feature of many buildings preserved from the era. Driven by a demand for extra room in domestic and public properties, the concept gained prominence as early as the 1850’s. Initial designs used a floor mechanism to achieve the sliding door system required, however this method was both noisy and susceptible to malfunction. Wear and tear would often cause the sliding mechanism to break, whilst functional issues arose when floorboards became bowed and uneven. By the 1880’s pocket doors had undergone a significant design change. There were now a number of patented top-hung systems on the market that solved the issues of the antiquated floor based design, and popularity had increased accordingly.

Pocket doors were now commonplace, used as simple room dividers in homes but also as elaborate entrances to public buildings such as libraries and courtrooms. The popularity of the design would continue well into the mid 1920’s when traditional hinged door systems began to gain favour.

Revival Pocket doors regained prominence in the 1950’s alongside a surge of postwar housing development and a need for space saving solutions in new homes. The system remains popular to the modern day, used as an attractive and efficient space saving solution often used in bathrooms, closets, utility rooms and offices. Advancement in design and technology make the modern pocket door installation more versatile and functional than ever, including the development of ceiling tracks, floor tracks and multi-pass sliding doors.

Hotelier & Hospitality Design

Victorian Era



Pocket doors are a great way to free up spaces within rooms by removing the footprint created by traditional hinged doors. This allows you to realise the maximum potential of the available space. With a typical space saving of 2.6m² per door compared to hinged doors, pocket doors are fast becoming the ideal solution where space is at a premium.

THE CASSETTE SYSTEM The Scrigno cassette system comes pre-assembled and is ready to install straight into the wall. It is the quickest to install of the two systems and each kit is built to accommodate a specific door size (there are imperial and metric sizes) weighing up to 100kg. An FD30 fire rated version and a double door system are also available. Several accessories are available for the kit •16•

including a conversion kit to allow the fitting of a glass door, a slow damper, a glass slow damper, a dynamic auto closer and simultaneous opening and closing system for double doors. Cassette/Pocket - The preassembled cassette is made from 0.5mm galvanised steel on the sides and 0.8mm on the top and bottom profile sections. The cassette sides are formed

using a single piece of pressed steel and the corrugations spaced from 10mm apart give the cassette excellent rigidity. Horizontal Profile Sections Further reinforce the structure and allow plasterboard to be fixed directly to the cassette. Save Time - The cassette system is quick and easy to install saving time compared to conventional pocket doors.

THE KIT SYSTEM The kit system is the simple self-assembly version of the cassette. The kit is much lighter and easier to handle and install, but still provides the same sturdy result as the cassette. A single kit can be adjusted to accommodate multiple door sizes weighing up to 100kg. A double door system is easily achievable by joining two kits together using parts that are included.

Self-Assemble Kit - The kit system allows for extra versatility as a single kit covers multiple door widths. The kits come in metric and imperial sizes and cover 626 - 1026mm and 2ft 3ft door widths. Simple Assembly - Each kit is easy and intuitive to assemble. The kit features a ‘snap-together’ positioning system and comes pre-marked for various door thicknesses.

Compact Packaging - As the kits are self-assembly, the amount of packaging has been vastly reduced. This also means each kit takes up less space in a warehouse or construction site.

Dale Hardware is one of the UK’s leading distributors of high quality architectural hardware. You can see our range of Scrigno pocket doors at www.dalehardware.com/ranges/scrigno-pocket-door-systems/ Email us sales@dalehardware.com or call us on 01924 262621 •17•

High quality, environmentally friendly paint finishes

The environmentally aware specification for Overhill Cottage included Claypaint in Donkey Ride on the kitchen walls and Marbles on the ceiling.fugiat nulla pariatur.

There’s a growing interest in environmentally friendly paints, but you don’t have to sacrifice performance or looks for environmental benefits. Harmful ingredients Conventional, acrylic based paints contain two potentially harmful components: volatile organ-ic compounds (VOCs) and acrylic softeners. Both escape into the atmosphere during paint-ing and for many years after application, contributing to greenhouse gases. These toxic ingredients can also find their way into drains and groundwater when washing out brushes and disposing of paint tins in landfill. They can cause chest complaints, aggra-vate allergies and cause sick building syndrome. Acrylic based paints can also adversely affect walls. They prevent a wall from breathing, which can lead to moisture damage such as blown plaster. Sustainable specification High levels of VOCs generally are associated with oil based paints,

but they are found to var-ying degrees even in water based paints. The EU limit for
paints to be classed as minimal VOC is 30g/L. However, this is relatively high and it is advisable to seek out those containing a maximum of just 0.5g/L VOC. The easiest way to ensure you’re creating a sustainable, environmentally sound specification is to check the paint is EU Ecolabel approved. This stringent standard covers every aspect of a product’s manufacture, use and disposal. Earthborn paints have achieved this demanding standard. Made without oils or acrylics, they are virtually VOC free and highly breathable. That means they do not give off any toxic Winner of two Daily Telegraph Homebuilding and Renovating Awards, the restoration of two miners’ cottages by Design Storey called for Claypaint on the rough sawn timber panelling and Ecopro Matt Emulsion on plastered walls. (Photo courtesy: Design Storey)


emissions, so are much better for the environment as well as the health of building occupants. The breathability means moisture can permeate out through the paint, preventing damage to walls and significantly reducing their maintenance lifecycle. Aesthetics and performance Earthborn’s carefully selected ingredients and technologically advanced manufacturing pro-cesses create stylish, high performance products that are safer to use and sound for the environment. Claypaint, for example, is a unique, clay based emulsion that is highly breathable, covers exceptionally well and gives a distinctive, ultra matt finish. More commonly used on plastered walls, it works equally well on timber substrates. The Ecopro trade paint range features matt and low sheen water based emulsions, and an eggshell. Their unique formulations cover well and are durable. Eggshell’s smooth, flexible finish allows wood to breathe and will not fade or discolour with time. Ecopro emulsions and eggshell are available in the full BS4800 colour range, while Claypaint has a signature palette of 72 inspirational shades. Bespoke colours can be developed through Earthborn’s nationwide network of stockists.

Paint to help your walls breathe • • • •

Highly breathable, reducing damp Perfect for lime plaster Thick & creamy with excellent coverage No nasty paint smells







Used extensively in historic buildings, Claypaint is highly breathable, minimising condensation and deterring mildew. The ideal partner to lime plaster and traditional materials, its ultra-flat matt finish softens and enhances the light in your room. Available in 72 glorious colours.

Croft introduce seven new Mortice Knob designs to the portfolio Where design and quality meets modern day functionality’

Croft announce the inclusion of seven classically designed, contemporary in appearance Mortice Knobs to the range. With an emphasis on achieving impeccable quality and sophisticated designs, the new additions are a welcome extension to the Croft portfolio and fitting for the highest end of the residential, hospitality and commercial markets. These classic, timeless products are instilled with luxe modern design touches and crafted from the finest quality British brass. Using a blend of state of the art machinery and hand craftsmanship, the new Mortice Knobs are manufactured by a skilled team of artisans in the Croft factory, deep in the heart of England. Available in over 20 stunning finishes, the new mortice knobs are specifically designed with correlating covered Roses to achieve an intense luxurious look and feel on the door. The tried and tested two part Concealed Rose provides the best of both worlds: secure and easy to fit, whilst covering the fixings to create a contemporary aesthetic. This is particularly well-suited for today’s modern living. To support the launch, Croft have produced a new online brochure showcasing the new releases. Download from their website. For further details or to discuss your project requirements, contact the Croft team.


www.croft.co.uk sales@croft.co.uk + 44 (0) 1902 606 493

Porcelain meets terrazzo in revamped range Natural stone and terrazzo specialist Diespeker & Co has relaunched its range of porcelain tiles with updated contemporary design options suitable for both commercial and residential clients. Whilst Diespeker has always offered porcelain as an option for floors and walls, the creative team agreed a fresh look was needed. The result is a collection of handpicked tiles offering a mixture of strong and subtle terrazzo designs, reflecting Diespeker’s dominance of this market in the UK. Unlike traditional terrazzo, which is a combination of marble chippings and cement or resin, the porcelain style terrazzo is actually printed on to the tile. Although the material doesn’t have the exact appearance of terrazzo, it offers a number of advantages such as increased durability - as porcelain tiles are heated at high temperatures the result is a rigid material impenetrable to moisture. Other benefits include: • • • • • •

Lightweight material Thin profile Suitable for indoor and outdoor use and adverse weather conditions As it is non-slip, it can be used for pools and other wet areas Stain resistance Three finishes: polished, honed and non-slip

Of the eight tiles currently available to order, three are based on Diespeker’s most popular standard terrazzo designs including TE007, recreated as porcelain and aptly named PC007. The tiles are only 10mm thick and with four sizes available, they offer versatility for a wide variety of wall or floor projects.

“With a thinner profile and non-slip properties, the tiles open up additional design possibilities for our clients - including mix and match with our real terrazzo.”

Diespeker MD, John Krause said: “We’re very excited about the opportunities presented by the new range of terrazzo effect porcelain tiles.

Samples of the new range are ready for ordering on Diespeker’s website by clicking here

Diespeker plans to extend the range over the next few months with further popular terrazzo designs.


Bathroom Storage Solutions Storage solutions are essential for bathrooms and washrooms of all sizes. They maximise space and efficiency of a room whilst providing interior design statements.

Metlex provide a selection of wall mounted and free standing accessories that offer storage ideal for commercial, public, health and leisure facilities. Within professional bathrooms and commercial washrooms the demands on storage are even greater as products must not only enhance organisation but also be robust enough to sustain heightened usage. The Metlex collection caters for all possible requirements with a varied selection of not only product types but also compositions and finishes. For larger storage solutions mirrored cabinets are ideal. Featured within the Metlex range are choices of one or two door options in either 304 or 201 grade stainless steel compositions. Additionally they all feature high shine mirrored glass and polished finishes which ensure a high end look and feel. The cabinets also feature pin handles to guarantee finger marks are not left on the glass which in a busy commercial environment helps to maintain a clean look. Within public and commercial settings having a place for everything is necessary in keeping the space as tidy as possible. This should also assist in saving time and costs relating to maintaining the space. Secure fitting wall mounted storage accessories assist with this whilst providing sophisticated cohesion to any room. Metlex offers toilet roll holders, towel rings and rails, robe hooks and glass shelves in a choice of finishes to ensure optimal use of any space. Lockable storage products enhance security within busy locations and also provide piece of mind that consumables will not be tampered with. The Kepler range from Metlex offers wall mounted soap and paper towel dispensers, all of which feature a durable brushed stainless steel finish making them worthy investments. Another storage solution that can be incorporated into any bathroom is wall mounted wire-ware. Freeing up surface space maintains a tidy look whilst making any room feel larger. Available from Metlex are a selection of aluminium and stainless steel baskets in a range of sizes and designs. The rust free finish and easy draining design ensure suitability for in or out of shower storage. If you would like to know more about the storage solutions that Metlex provide you can visit www.metlex.co.uk.



Durable products ideal for commercial, public, health and leisure facilities

For more information about Metlex visit www.metlex.co.uk or call +44 (0) 3300 417191

2019 – the year of healthy building As most people spend 90% of their time indoors, our workplaces and homes have a significant impact on our lives. A building – whatever its purpose – has the potential to be life-enhancing in how it supports our physical and mental health. “There’s been lots of talk about healthy buildings but we’re determined to make 2019 the year of action,” says Adrian Judd, Steico director. “We’re all about the future of healthy buildings and Futurebuild 2019 is aligned with that. “We’re going to make a concerted effort to get the UK construction industry – all of us – building healthier – homes, offices, factories – by being aware that ‘there is another way’.

“That ‘other way’ begins with better materials, processes or techniques.” Occupants rightly expect more but the construction supply chain is overwhelmed with choice and loaded with conflicting and confusing claims of how best to achieve those improvements. What’s clear is that in an ideal world everyone wants their building to have low energy consumption, zero toxicity, maximum fire safety and the highest possible indoor air quality.

2018 – the turning point There was a turning point in 2018 when the ideal world met the real world. Natural materials were finally able to compete ON PRICE with synthetic alternatives making them affordable for all. The case for natural building materials enhancing the performance of a building is proven. They offer a myriad of advantages over their synthetic competitors but what stands out is how they are often easier and quicker to use and greatly improve the health of a building and its occupants.

Quick wins – 3 cost-equivalent swaps for a healthy building boost Sarking Steico Universal used to sark an existing roof over Steico Flex. The tongue and groove sarking boards are fixed through the tile battens.

Insulation Steico Universal Dry used on a pitched roof over Steico I joists ventilated via a dry ridge system on a Tata steel roof. [Credit: Kithurst Builders]

Why healthier buildings are good for people: • Healthier internal environment – enabled by great design and healthy products. • Higher indoor air quality – natural materials contain no harmful chemicals and are vapourpermeable helping keep occupants in good health.

• Maximise natural light which helps both regulate sleep cycles and raise worker productivity by improving concentration, stamina and sleep quality. • Higher acoustic qualities – keeping noise in and out. • Healthier buildings consume 25% less energyii so they’re kinder to the environment and fuel is only going to get more expensive.

Natural building materials give you a higher performing, healthier and more efficient building right down to they generate less waste. One day all buildings will be built this way so let’s make 2019 the year where people – right across the industry - started raising the UK’s standard of living healthily.

Sheathing Steico Protect M used to externally clad the wall beneath an external cavity and block wall faced with flint using lime mortar. [Credit: Kithurst Builders]

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Supplying a wide range of Modern & Traditional Style Cast Iron Radiators for Electric installation or Central Heating Systems

Bohemia Retro


All Heatec Electric Radiators are Fitted with Room Temperature Thermostat Control or Fixed Temperature Controls

Imperial Victorian

Cast Iron Heights available from 430mm – 980mm. Outputs from 550 - 3000 Watts. All Radiators Manufactured in the EU


Also supplying High Efficiency Aluminium Radiators and Towel Rails Electric Radiator Thermostatic Control

Towel Rail

Forte Plus

Forte Plus Aluminium Radiators low liquid content and intelligent design give up to 40% energy savings against conventional Radiators. Available Heights 431mm – 881mm, Outputs 550 – 3000 Watts. Any RAL colours. Low level Finn (Trench) Radiators also available Full Catalogue available on request Heatec, Stoneygate Close, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear. NE10 0AZ Tel: 0845 8726667 sales@heatecev.com www.heatecev.com

MiniMatic Below Ground Sewage Pumping Station from Pump Technology Ltd For small projects such as extensions, basements and garden rooms, where gravity flow from the new facilities like bathrooms, utility rooms, and kitchens is not possible, but the property has existing mains gravity drainage, the new Pump Technology Ltd, MiniMatic below ground sewage pumping station offers a reliable and affordable solution. his pumping station collects waste water and sewage from the property. When the float activation level is reached the pump starts and discharges the waste up to the main sewer. When the level falls to the pre-set position the pump stops again. In the event of a pump failure, a high-level float triggers an alarm.


The system consists of a 160L capacity, below ground, polypropylene tank, a single free standing 50mm vortex free flow float activated submersible pump, manhole cover, high level float and alarm panel. MiniMatic pumping stations are held in stock for next day delivery and are supplied complete with easy to follow installation instructions. Pump Technology Ltd, have been helping civil consultants, builders and end users with their wastewater and sewage pumping requirements for decades. The company, who manufacture their own pump stations inhouse, have an experienced application team to advise on every aspect of pump selection. Standard or customised, a below ground pumping station can be matched to each property’s needs taking into account tank size, number and position of inlets, pump types, controls and alarm systems. Customers, Elliott Wood Engineering, comment: “We have worked with Pump Technology Ltd for over 10 years. We continue to specify their products on developments where reliable, submersible packaged pumping stations are required. Their design team provides professional advice and are always available to discuss specific requirements.” All Pump Technology Ltd, products are supported nationally by their service team and service partners.

TOP: A Pump Technology MiniMatic Pump Station and fittings ABOVE: Part of the Pump Technology Stores LEFT: One of the Pump Technology Service and Support team


RINNAI SOLO FOR LOW NOX CONTINUOUS FLOW ON DEMAND HOT WATER……BUT WITH A STORE…. Rinnai Infinity Solo condensing and low NOx water heater is said to be the first of its kind in the UK to combine the advanced technology of low NOx wall mounted continuous flow water heaters with a stainless steel storage cylinder, all in one compact footprint. he design parameters of this product allow specifiers, designers, installers and engineers to benefit from unique Rinnai technology in applications it was once not previously possible. For instance, the Infinity Solo features both 35kW and 54kW sized appliances, ensuring sites with a smaller gas meter can readily use this technology. The larger Infinity Solo model will also act as a high-efficiency alternative to gas fired storage appliances that exist in today’s market.


The cylinder is stainless steel and this reduces the weight compared to glass lined models, and it makes transportation, handling and installation a lot easier. As well as the difference in weight, the cylinders also have extremely low heat loss figures (as low as 1.41kW/h day), so the user pays less to maintain the heat within the tank. Another benefit of the Infinity Solo with stainless steel cylinder is that the life expectancy of the material is far greater than that of a glass-lined equivalent as glass suffers from thermal shock causing it to crack after a period of time. The Infinity Solo range is also renewables compatible and supplied pre-fitted with a coil, meaning that the primary energy source will always be from renewable gains and the complementary Rinnai water heater will only apply the precise amount of gas to boost the difference in temperature. Rinnai manufactures the energy efficient Infinity range of low NOx gas fired continuous flow water heaters and space heaters. The Infinity brand carries the widest range of condensing water heaters on the market today with the most impressive efficiencies in operation, leading the field in technological innovation. For more information on the RINNAI product range visit www.rinnaiuk.com


Two Floor Lift for Statfold Barn Railway ome to one of the largest collections of narrow gauge locomotives in the UK, Statfold Barn Railway near Tamworth in Staffordshire is a special place for railway enthusiasts.


Statfold Barn Railway hold a number of ‘enthusiast days’ every year where attendees can enjoy seeing classic locomotive machines at these special events. To aid access to both floors of the building, the organisation recently contacted Invalifts to speak with one of their platform lift experts and get a recommendation for a suitable lift. Invalifts were able to supply and install a bespoke MC2000 platform lift which was customised to exactly meet the customer’s requirements. Due to the placing of the lift, an open through configuration was decided on, so that the doors on each floor open on opposite sides of the lift shaft. Fully glazed


doors and shaft were chosen to maximise light through the lift whilst giving users a great view as they travel between floors. The lift shaft size was kept to a minimum, with a footprint of just 1250mm x 1560mm, whilst still delivering a Part M compliant platform size of 1120mm x 1480mm. To match the building environment, the shaft was colour matched to a beautiful ivory colour, whilst the platform itself has a chequer plate, hard wearing floor.

Finally, to minimise building disruption, no 60mm recess was required under the shaft, as the lift was supplied with a small ramp at the lower level, with the unit being fixed securely to the concrete floor. Statfold Barn Railway looks forward to many years of enabling access to all floors with their beautiful new lift. To find out more about the MC2000 platform lift, 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 MC2000 lift (right) - a high quality enclosed platform lift with a unique chain drive, and the option of glazing on all 4 shaft sides. With a fantastic guarantee, and 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

Can your insulation really affect your health? By Will Kirkman, managing director at Ecomerchant

A well-insulated house or office will protect your health, comfort and lifestyle but how many of us know and understand how to achieve this? Ecomerchant and Steico UK have joined forces to launch a protection campaign. It aims to champion the benefits of using natural insulation products. How we select insulation needs to be about having a real choice and for specifiers to be equipped with the right knowledge to compare materials on a like-for-like basis. To design a well-insulated building, you need to make informed decisions throughout all phases of a construction project to ensure your building performs as you envisage. However, selecting the right insulation is about more than just reaching building regulation compliance or ‘keeping in the heat’. It’s about ensuring a building protects its occupants’ entire well-being and comfort in the following ways.


How well does insulation keep the heat out? In the UK, thermal insulation to protect from the cold is essential, particularly given ever-increasing energy costs. However, as demand for usable square footage of buildings increases, basement and loft conversions are the routes many now take. However, these parts of a home or office, are the spaces most prone to extremes in temperature. They therefore need more thought – i.e. how do you keep a space warm in winter but, for a loft, how to keep it cool come summer. Compared with synthetic insulation materials, wood fibre insulation has a much higher density. This higher density means that natural insulation makes for a better heat buffer as the high midday temperature will only reach the internal side and be lost at night when the temperature is already cooler outside.

How a building’s breathability is hurting our health A breathable structure is one that allows the passage of moisture. With 90 per cent of all building construction problems associated with water in some way, breathability is essential in measuring a building’s performance and preventing the accumulation of harmful water within the building’s fabric. These are fundamental in reducing health risks from mould, mites that those suffering from respiratory illnesses such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are particularly susceptible to. For effective breathability, there are four essential components that need to be considered: • • • •

a moisture pathway a driving force a sorptive fabric vapour control.

Natural fibre insulation is most effective as it suppresses potentially harmful water by binding and releasing moisture which helps regulate humidity levels as the moisture moves.

Easy-to-fit insulation A well-designed building takes into consideration how a material performs throughout the building’s entire life cycle. This includes ease of installation. Steico’s wood fibre insulation is simple and easy to fit (either packed or friction-fitted), eliminating installer error, keeping construction programmes, tight and costs, low.

How sustainability will save you time and money While all insulation is helping the environment by limiting energy being burnt for heat, natural fibre insulation materials are comparatively more robust. This means that when it comes to disposal, they can be composted – i.e. no specialist waste facilities or landfill. Throughout their lifecycle they will additionally have a much lower, and often, negative carbon footprint.

More than just protecting your home from fire All insulations will meet fire safety standards, but this is a minimum rating. The key differentiator between natural and synthetic is that natural insulations will prevent the spread of fire and if burnt, will not give off toxic fumes such as cyanide as polyisocyanurates (PIR) might.

Will the house be standing in 100 years? Condensation is one of the costliest risks to buildings causing huge maintenance repairs and structural damage. Natural materials are better able to absorb and release water whilst remaining dry meaning it is better able to protect from and buffer moisture thereby becoming a key part of healthy living.

Comfort for occupants When selecting insulation for a building, there are implications for the health of the occupants, the structure of the building, its impact on the environment, its acoustic properties, durability and carbon footprint.

Cancelling out the noise for a peaceful night’s sleep The higher density of natural insulations - such as wood fibre - makes them better at reducing noise. Sounds external to the building, such as traffic or music, as well as those from within the building, through walls and ceilings are attenuated better by wood fibre than synthetic equivalents. In providing better protection from acoustic pollutants, occupants often report a building as being more restful and relaxing thereby encouraging better mental health. When a building is well-designed and well-built, occupants should be at their peak comfort. With the average person spending approximately 80% of their lives in enclosed rooms, an occupant’s well-being is imperative . Therefore, the products used to achieve this, should cover all the issues affecting a building’s construction, its impact on both its occupants and nature. For a free audit of whether natural insulation’s right for your project, visit www.ecomerchant.co.uk/protexion or call 01793 847 445.



Established in 1999, Trees Direct is a family run business in Shropshire. We supply quality trees and shrubs to designers, councils, contactors and educational trusts, together with plantings for country estates and co-ordinating with companies wanting environmentally friendly corporate gifts. Always caring to preserve the environment and wildlife we keep many of our trees and shrubs on site while working with leading reputable suppliers both in the UK and abroad.


Trees Direct specializes in sourcing trees and shrubs with suggestions, ideas and plans for those who do not have the time, contacts or knowledge to organise plantings. We have co-ordinated and put together many plantings and are proud to have worked with The Woodland Trust, The Conservation Foundation, The Royal Institute and many other Wild Life Trusts. We have been involved in many wonderful regeneration projects which are able to combine commercial ventures while helping to protect the environment both for humans and our precious wildlife. We are aware that every project is important to the client and our participation calls for commitment. Therefore we are always available on the phone to discuss and advise our clients with help with plans and suitability before commencement of projects to ensure total satisfaction in our service. We are as happy to help source that one special tree as to working with clients for large plantings. However small or large the job, we are here to guide, advise, plan and deliver.

For more information please visit www.treesdirect.co.uk or email info@treesdirect.co.uk or call 01584 878878

Suppliers of Quality Trees and Shrubs Trees Direct has over 20 years of experience of working with wholesale and retail trade. We are always available to give advice and guidance by email or over phone.

www.treesdirect.co.uk Tel: 01584 878 878

Email: info@treesdirect.co.uk

Priors Halton House, Nr Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 2JN

Stone Age launches dazzling new showroom in Hertfordshire as it celebrates its 30th Birthday Stone Age, the experts in stone and porcelain have opened their latest showroom in Hertfordshire. Located on the beautiful Boxted Farm business estate in Hemel Hempstead, the showroom gives customers – both consumer and trade – the chance to see the stone up close and in detail. Ranging from marble to porcelain, natural stone to wood, the showroom will be staffed with industry experts able to give fantastic advice on what works best for their clients’ requirements.

The showroom sits beside the company’s new factory which houses a team of talented expert craftsmen with years of masonry experience as well as impressive machinery that can create stunning bespoke pieces such as worktops, vanity tops and fire hearths in a matter of minutes. Since taking over as CEO in 2016, Gary Walters has transformed the company – taking Stone Age into the modern age by investing over £750,000 into state-of-theart technology and completely refurbishing the Hertfordshire location. The showroom will also have a section dedicated to Root London which specialises in exceptional bespoke wide plank and parquet engineered oak wood flooring, using sustainably sourced wood crafted in Italy. Available in eight classic colours


and treated only using natural materials, it is the perfect complementary offering to the Stone Age family. CEO of Stone Age, Gary Walters says: “Our aim is to create a space where interiors buyers can see so many options in one place. When you’re refurbishing a property – either commercially or your own – you need to consider the best materials for all rooms – and whether that’s marble or porcelain, ceramics or wood – we can give our customers the best advice and great value for money as it’s all done under one roof. And we support them along the way - from choosing the material they want, to template design, manufacturing and installation.” Stone Age produces beautiful, high-end stone for interior and exterior projects – ranging from flooring to one-off bespoke

elements. First launched 30 years ago in 1988, the company has grown organically, building up a network of trusted suppliers which provide the very best materials available worldwide. Stone Age currently has a turnover of £4.5 million and employs 35 members of staff and the future plan is to diversify further and open more showrooms across the country. They currently have locations in Parsons Green in London and Clifton Village in Bristol. Founder of Root London, Darren Hopkins says: “We are delighted to offer visitors the chance to view our sample flooring in the new Stone Age showroom in Hertfordshire. Root uses carefully selected wood chosen and cut by artisans with years of experience using advanced equipment and techniques to produce the finest engineered

oak flooring. We want to give visitors inspiration – they may have stone flooring in one room and wood in another; the new Stone Age showroom gives home owners, interior designers and architects that perfect choice.” The new Hemel Hempstead showroom is located at Boxted Farm, Berkhamsted Road, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP1 2SG. To celebrate the launch, Stone Age is offering new customers an incredible 20% off their first order until Sunday 23rd December. Opening times: Monday – Friday 9am – 5.30pm. Saturday 8.00 am – 2.00 pm Telephone: 01442 229292 / Email: info@stone-age.co.uk / www.stone-age.co.uk

Gaia underfloor heating warms listed chapel conversion Housing developer, Beechcroft, has chosen Gaia’s low-temperature hot water underfloor heating (UFH) system to create a warm, comfortable living space inside a Grade II listed former chapel.

orming part of Beechcroft’s prestigious Fitzroy Gate development in Isleworth, West London, the chapel was designed in 1901 by the renowned ecclesiastical architects, Pugin & Pugin, in the Gothic Revival style.


Beechcroft’s Special Projects team spent months on the careful renovation and conversion of the chapel to create four luxurious new homes which retain nearly all the original features, including stained glass and vaulted ceilings. “Conventional radiators were quickly ruled out at a suitable heating solution due to the unique layout of the interior”, says Beechcroft commercial director, Ben Goss: “Some of the ceilings are 12m high – all the heat would have disappeared straight up into the roof-space.” The advantage of underfloor heating (UFH) in such instances is that, by filtering up through the floor, it warms the occupants of the room rather than the airspace. In any case, says Ben, Beechcroft installs

underfloor heating in virtually every one of its developments. “We’re very customer-driven and the market wants UFH. It frees up space inside the home, creates a comfortable environment and is very efficient. In most new-build projects, underfloor heating is installed within a screed laid on top of a concrete floor. But at Fitzroy Gate, Gaia installed its low-temperature hot water (LTHW) system between the original timber floor joists, with aluminium thermal plates from Autron Heating Products to distribute the heat evenly and reflect it upwards and into the room.

new-build applications, fitting a LTHW system in an existing building can be tricky, as Harriet explains: “The main challenge here was the irregularity of the levels and joist spacing. We overcame this by using different widths and adapting during installation. “Access to the chapel was also limited as the main stairway was shut off to avoid damage to the original staircase. Gaia had to maximise the output of the system as the large ceiling voids increased the heat loss. We did this by increasing the flow rate and temperature.”

“The plates are located between the joists and held in place by screws of nails,” says Gaia’s Senior Account

According to Ben Goss, Beechcroft installs Gaia’s UFH systems in approximately 80% of its developments.

Manager Harriet Burroughs. “Because they are between the joists, they don’t increase the floor built-up.” Grooved overlay was also used on the existing sub-floor at 25mm where the sub-floor could not be lifted. The systems are supplied with hot water from gas-fired boilers and control is via Gaia’s WT-D digital thermostats. Unlike

“We’ve worked in partnership for a long time now. It’s a good reliable system at a competitive price and we know the guys at Gaia provide a good service,” says Ben. For further information on Gaia Underfloor Heating, please contact 01359 242400 or visit www.gaia.co.uk



Metlex consists of durable products that are ideal for commercial, public, health and leisure facilities. All collections feature a variety of compositions and finishes guaranteeing a solution for any requirement. Innovation is inherent throughout the Metlex brand in the form of ergonomic designs, quality finishes and simple fixing mechanisms. From wall mounted accessories to inclusive products the Metlex stamp of quality is apparent throughout all collections.


Quality and durability are integral to the Metlex product range. As such all products are covered by the Metlex guarantee against all faults arising due to defective materials or manufacture during normal commercial bathroom and washroom use only. For details please see page 63.

Service Condition

The below mentioned service conditions are referenced throughout the Metlex collection. Service Condition 2 (Moderate) - Exposure indoors in places where condensation of moisture may occur, as in kitchens and bathrooms. Service Condition 3 (Severe) - Service outdoors where occasional or frequent exposure to rain, dew, strong cleaners and saline solutions may occur.

www.metlex.co.uk •36•

The Quatreau® Collection of multifunction taps are designed & manufactured in the U.K. by


CHILLED, BOILING, SPARKLING OR AMBIENT WATER FROM A QUATREAU MULTIFUNCTION TAP Quatreau® combines function, design and quality for the ultimate multifunction and smart taps. Manufactured in Great Britain from solid 316 stainless steel for durability and minimal environmental impact, Quatreau® is the most energy-efficient collection of multifunction taps available.

One tap, five functions the only touchscreen tap of its kind.

To learn more about Quatreau Collection visit pureh2o.co.uk Alternatively, call The Pure H2O Company on 01483 617000 to discuss your requirements.


Stand-alone drinks station ideal for drink or food prep areas.


Back to the Roots – How to create restful retreats in your home Satisfying needs instead of creating needs – that’s the central idea of the interior designs trend ‘escapism’.


lso known as ‘digital detox’ the trend from the US became popular already in 2017 and still is a guiding concept in interior design as the digital age is leaving more and more traces, making us feel stressed and overwhelmed, desperately longing for a calm space to rest.

In these stressful times, creating a peaceful retreat from the digital world in your own four walls with the help from Posterlounge can be one step towards calming your mind and improving your everyday life.

Digital detox – no time for distractions Escapism or the escape from reality is a well-known concept among digital natives. Our digital environment has a huge influence over our general state of health. And while everything is in constant motion, there is one thing we all yearn for: just a few moments of calm. In terms of interior design, this means a trending towards cosy sanctuaries without any entertainment electronics, creating a calm and safe space in an ever-changing world.


Often, it is best to start small by adding new wall art to your decor which is an easy and effortless way of introducing focal points to any room, drawing the gaze away from the screens. With a wide selection of prints and pictures that range from the soft brushstrokes of the old masters to breath-taking nature photography, Posterlounge provides the means for you to find your favourite wall pictures to help slow down a busy mind.

Analogue decorating has to be learnt Wall decor is an essential part of introducing a new and calmer vibe to any home. On the one hand, it shifts the focus away from technological devices; on the other hand, you can achieve a specific effect by choosing the right images with the matching finish. Pictures featuring tranquil motifs, little motion and little distraction work particularly well with a peaceful room design and can be properly rounded out with a matching frame in a harmonising colour. Prints on wood can help create a feeling of warmth and being close to nature, especially when you chose floral images or soothing watercolours that show the natural wood grain beneath. Low-key colour variations as opposed to crass hues are a perfect choice under appropriate lighting conditions. Nature photography and photocollages with peaceful subjects as well as macro photography with soothing light and colour play can equally make for a pleasant eye-catcher. Find soothing artwork for creating little islands of calm in your home at the Posterlounge online shop.

Attaching and removing panels the right way Tony Wills - Buttonfix Limited director and partner at design consultancy Wills Watson+Associates A classic dilemma: Your plumber needs to provide access to some pipework behind a panel so cannot glue it in place but as the client, you don’t want to see ugly screw heads on your expensive finished panel. Also, the plumber doesn’t want to go through a lengthy marking out process or spend time on the equally long and frustrating task of trying to locate pairs of components which are hidden from view. We faced this exact problem when designing a commercial washroom system. The same issues arise in fitting domestic bath panels, hotel or office wall panels and auditorium acoustic panels – in fact almost any panel that you might want to change or remove - or simply not wish to see the

fixing method. We couldn’t find the right fixings anywhere, so we took the bold step of designing and manufacturing our own. The principles of designing a classic product is that it must do the job well, look pleasing to the eye and be a joy to use. This looks like a simple brief but is much harder to deliver whilst making the result look effortless. Our answer is Button-fix; a range of panel fixings made in the UK from very tough polymers to meet a wide range of panel mounting challenges. The experienced product design team are all hands on ‘DIYers’, so had to be satisfied the products would meet their own exacting standards before professional fitters got their hands on them.

The secret weapons are the two marker tool accessories which attach to the Fixes and show you exactly where to drill for the screws, making the process both fast and easy. Another satisfying feature is the audible ‘click’ when the panels are pushed home. Each Button-fix version has been designed with a specific purpose in mind: Type 1: where extra strength is essential Type 1 Flush: for flush fixing Type 1 Bonded: for thin materials Type 2: For simple push on/pull off panels For example, bath panels are usually attached with Type 2 but larger, heavier panels are mounted onto walls using Type 1 or Type 1 Flush. Glass panels backed with steel sheet can be mounted with Type 1 Bonded. For this sort of application, an acrylic based structural adhesive provides impressive strength. For guidance; when using Button-fix Type 2, make sure the panels are moisture resistant, flat and balanced on both sides since warped panels are difficult to fit and hold in place. For removing smooth surfaced panels, an inexpensive vacuum lifting pad is useful. The Button-fix website has in depth instructions, useful videos, test data and a list of stockists. https://button-fix.com


Five reasons why blinds are the perfect way to keep your home warm this winter (and how research shows they are better at the job than curtains!) It’s no secret that exposed windows are one of the main causes of heat loss in homes during the winter. Glass isn’t a good insulator – meaning it allows warmth out and the cold in, in winter. It’s no secret that exposed windows are one of the main causes of heat loss in homes during the winter. Glass isn’t a good insulator – meaning it allows warmth out and the cold in, in winter. Turning your heating up is one way to warm your room but covering your windows is essential to reduce draughts and cut your heating bills. With recent predictions from the MetOffice that Britain is expecting the coldest winter for a decade and snow could arrive as early as November, now is the time to start preparing your home for the coming chilly season. Blinds don’t just look good, they are practical, cost-effective and energy efficient too. Read on to find out why blinds are an excellent choice for keeping homes warm through what might be a very icy winter. Honeycomb style blinds are probably the most effective blind to keep heat in a room. Along with being great


for privacy, honeycomb blinds (also known as cellular blinds) create a barrier between the room and the window surface whilst trapping air in the fabric’s cells. Honeycomb blinds have been proven by Glasgow Caledonian University to be more efficient at preventing heat loss than heavy curtains. Where heavy curtains can reduce heat loss by 39%, honeycomb blinds were found to reduce heat loss via single glazing by a massive 60%. When deciding on new blinds, choosing a thicker fabric and one with a reflective coating is another excellent way to ensure your space stays toasty this winter. Blinds fitted in frames (sometimes called cassettes) or with channels at the side will also help retain more heat. When you fit blinds, they can either be fitted inside or outside of the reveal. To maximise blinds heat retaining abilities, fitting outside the reveal is preferable. This is because it covers the whole window, making it

thermally more efficient as there are fewer gaps for the cold air to pass through. However, there is one exception to the rule of fitting outside the reveal and that’s shutters. Shutters are one of the most efficient choices for warmth due to their snug fit inside the window frame and because thick wood is a great insulator. To get blinds or shutters that are specifically tailored to your home, speak to a local British Blind and Shutter Association member. They will be able to inspect your space and make suggestions on the best fabric, blind style, fit and finish to ensure the blinds or shutters you choose provide the best defence against the cold weather this winter. Don’t forget to keep blinds open to harvest any winter sun and close them as the sun goes down to help retain this free energy - motorised blinds can even do this for you automatically.

IBC.qxp_Layout 1 19/04/2017 10:13 Page 1

The ‘Ultimet’ Energy Saving Blind 3 Window Blinds in 1 Insulation improved – reducing heating costs Heat gain from the sun reduced – lowering cooling costs Lighting costs down – controlled levels of natural light

All in One Blind The Ultimetal fabric with the high levels of solar reflectance and low levels of emissivity afforded by its metallised coating provide industry leading levels of shading performance. The 50+ years’ experience of weaving glass-fibre based shading fabrics producing the highest levels of performance from the thinnest of materials. The Ultimetal fabric is less than one quarter of a millimetre thick, permitting a blind of over 3.0 metres in height to be stored in a cassette of less than 55mm square. Powder coated to match the window frames, the blinds become almost invisible.

Reflex-Rol supplying demonstrably scientific shading solutions. Contact us today 01989 750704 www.reflex-rol.co.uk

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Light transmission levels for the fabric in single figures can remove glare, improving workspaces and comfort zones alike. Solar reflectance (Rs) of over 70% can reduce heat gain through the glass by 25%, 40% to over 50% dependant on glass properties. The blinds also improve the insulation of the window by 15%, 20%, 30% or more, reducing temperature loss.

www.reflex-rol.co.uk • info@reflex-rol.co.uk • 01989-750704 • Ryeford Hall, Ryeford, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire HR9 7PU

Knock on wood

What to look for in a front door

Whether it’s to hide behind or make a statement with, your front door is the defining element of the public facing exterior of your home. It’s the strangers’ first impression as they call on you, and it’s the portal to your own little haven after a long day. It is also crucial for your home security and can play a significant role in your home’s energy performance. As such, it needs to be robust and expertly fitted as well as looking stylish, so it’s worth taking the time to consider what you should look out for when you’re fronting up to getting a new door. Bespoke joiners David H Wright advocate that a solid wood door remains the wise choice for an Englishman to choose for his castle, large or small. Technology in terms of wood door manufacture has come a long way since the builders of the Middle Ages constructed their mighty doors - which even so have stood the test of centuries, as you can see in many of our listed properties. Today, new techniques in timber treatment mean that timber now outstrips the plastic imposter, UPVC, in terms of performance, as well as excelling in terms of aesthetic appeal. Solid wood front doors are without doubt the clear choice for home owners with period homes and for newer home owners who are interested in an environmentally superior product for their property. Manufactured in the traditional way using mortis and tenon joints, a new solid wood front door will endure for the lifetime of the property. There is plenty of scope for contemporary styling as well as traditional designs. David H Wright finds that the classic panelled door remains a firm favourite with customers. Available in a choice of woods, you can choose glass panels and stunning paint finishes to really have your door tailor-made to suit your taste and the style of your property. Sidelights, fans and arches all add character and the use of special clima-control glass helps to control the temperature regardless of the external conditions. Safety and security is paramount. The firm recommends that doors are fixed with either a traditional style five lever mortise locking system, or the European standard Multi point locking system which comes fitted with a 3 star rated cylinder providing the ultimate in security. The door furniture is as much a part of the design as the door itself. From traditional hinges and handles to state-of-the-art fixtures, there is plenty of choice for you to add the final touch.

For more information on refining your front door, contact Sharon Wright and the team on 01977 681832 or at www.dhwjoinery.co.uk •42•

SCHUECO’S NEW PANORAMIC SLIDING DOOR HAS ADDITIONAL DESIGN BENEFITS Leading sustainable building envelope specialist Schueco UK has just launched a new version of its highly successful ASS 77 PD panoramic door system. Designated the Schueco ASE 67 PD, the new door provides the same minimal sightlines with an outer frame that remains concealed in the building structure, resulting in a huge panoramic area of clear glass. However, it offers a number of additional benefits. First, the door can now be configured in a variety of opening combinations utilising two, three or four leaves, each up to 3.2 metres wide and 3.5 metres high. Depending upon the particular specification and the level of insulation required, the moving vent can be double- or triple-glazed. Using a simplified method of construction which makes it easier to manufacture, the Schueco ASE 67 PD door is available in two options with different outer frames. The slimmer of the two options, which has a 57 mm frame, is especially suitable for use in renovation projects; it offers a lower overall frame cost but without impacting on excellent levels

of sound insulation (up to 46 dB). A completely flat threshold is designed to eliminate the possibility of accidents, while still allowing the door to deliver watertightness to 300 Pa and wind resistance to Class C3. The deeper 90 mm option caters for even greater weather performance as it delivers watertightness to 600 Pa while maintaining the aesthetics and sound insulation of the 57 mm system. Both versions offer a very slim central mullion width of 31 mm and can accommodate glass widths ranging from 36 mm to 49.6 mm. A choice of two locking options, one in the centre and one on the side, ensure that this new system offers maximum design flexibility and a high level of security. For full details of the new Schueco ASE 67 PD panoramic sliding door, please email mkinfobox@schueco.com


The woodford 5kw and widescreen 5kw Luxury SIA eco design ready stoves that are modern classics Now in stock, The Woodford 5kw and Widescreen 5kw are premium, multi-fuel stoves that boast a clean aesthetic, meaning they are suitable for any type of installation and are designed with modern living in mind. Beautiful to look at and built to last, these elegant centrepieces will fit all standard rooms and look right at home in any fireplace opening. The Woodford 5kw and Widescreen 5kw are among the most efficient products related to fuel consumption on the market and are both certified SIA Eco Design Ready. This means that they supersede the stringent environmental regulations on emissions that are being introduced to the UK in 2022


and help to support future clean air strategies throughout the EU. Furthermore, these eco-friendly stoves have been approved by the industry’s governing body, HETAS, and are exempt from smoke control zones due to their unique clean burn technology and high efficiency ratings. Truly ticking all of the boxes, The Woodford 5kw and Widescreen 5kw are designed, manufactured and tested exclusively in Great Britain, meaning that customers are fully supported with absolutely any aftercare, parts, services or maintenance they might require. In addition, the body of the stoves are backed by a no quibble, lifetime warranty that guarantees

Features include as standard: • 100 per cent made in Great Britain • SIA Eco Design Ready • HETAS approved • Ultra clean burn technology • A&A + rating

• Multi-fuel • Direct air intake • Smooth, hidden and easy to use controls • Adjustable feet • Classic design • Next day delivery

an enduring customer service experience. They also come complete with an optional, easy to use multi-fuel kit and heatshield, if needed. With other fully compliant models to follow in due course, The Woodford Collection’s extensive range of stoves and bespoke, premium quality limestone fireplaces are exquisite both as standalone installations and equally when paired with matching hearths, back panels and chambers. Handcrafted from a selection of limestone, quartz and slate, every component within The Woodford Collection is designed to suit all fuel appliances and can be made to measure, whatever your requirement. Visit www.woodfordcollection.co.uk today to find out more about our full range of products, which are now available for speedy same and next day dispatch. You can also contact The Woodford Collection’s official distributors, Flue & Ducting Ltd, to find your nearest stockist or discover where to buy online. Simply email sales@flue-ducting.co.uk or call 0161 480 2994.


hopspec_glazingexcellence-2018:Firman 01/03/2018 17:04 Page 1

Established in 1975 Firman Glass is one of the leading

independent glass processors in the UK, manufacturing toughened glass, laminated glass and specialist sealed units.

Based in Harold Wood Essex within 5 minutes of junction 28 of the M25 and half an hour from Central London we are ideally situated to service our ever growing and diverse customer base.

Manufacturing all forms of processed toughened glass,

with comprehensive stocks of clear float, low iron, satin,

body tinted, mirrors, laminated glass, acoustic laminated and fire rated glass.

With some of the most advanced capabilities in place

Firman Glass is able to manufacture high quality products

for all markets sectors including architectural, retail, leisure and domestic

Glass Excellence Products • • • • •

Toughened glass Processing CNC shaping Laminated glass Toughened and laminated constructions • EVA and Vanceva coloured interlays • Fabric and decorative interlays • Structural interlays

• • • • • • • • •

Specialist insulating glass units Anti–slip glass Fire rated glass UV bonding Electric switchable glass Heated glass Decorative glass Sandblasting ColorfirmTM back painted glass

Applications • • • • • • •

Structural glazing Glass floors Partitions Roof lights Balustrades Full height barriers Canopies

• • • • • • •

Staircases Treads and stringers Shower screens Shelving Glass doors Acoustic reduction Fire rated

• • • • • •

Decoration Wall cladding Splashbacks Privacy Technical Support Nationwide Coverage

Further information is available from our sales and technical offices or visit www.firmanglass.com Firman Glass,19 Bates Road, Harold Wood, Romford, Essex RM3 OJH Tel: 01708 374534 Fax: 01708 340511 Email: sales@firmanglass.com In association with


d3 design & display are proud of our Yorkshire roots and of maintaining the great British tradition of manufacturing. Manufacturing out of a purpose built 80,000 sq. ft. factory in the beautiful Calder Valley, we have been supplying furniture and product displays for over 25 years and we are incredibly proud of our client list which includes Radley, O2 and Fortnum & Mason.


A contracts division was added to the business in 2016 and whilst retail remains at the heart of the business, the company has forged strong links with property developers and construction companies. As a result, d3 has supplied and fitted bedroom & bathroom furniture to a number of apartment hotels and luxury residential developments in London and the South East. Our purpose built, production facility operates on a 24 hour cycle ensuring


we deliver on time, every time. State of the art CNC machines, precision beam saw, edgebanders, thermoforming and laminating machinery mean we have everything on site to manufacture your project into a premium product. With an award winning, in-house design team we work with clients offering innovative design solutions which focus on their needs as well as taking the opportunity to provide quality and value. Investment in the latest 3D CAD software enables the design team to provide technical drawings for machining. The design team work closely with production

to create the most efficient, and therefore cost effective, methods for design and manufacture. Offering principal and main contractor services our experienced in-house contracts team guarantee outstanding service and incredible interiors. We can undertake a full fit-out installation from conception to completion incorporating joinery, building alterations, all aspects of flooring, partitions, ceiling, mechanical, electrical and decoration works up to a value of ÂŁ2m. We have considerable experience of both Retail and Commercial fit-outs covering petrol stations, hospitals and universities. We are ISO 9001 Quality Management and ISO 14001 Environmental Management Certified, SafeContractor accredited and FSC Certified. Using our award winning design team, streamlined manufacturing, own warehousing and distribution, your project can be managed from concept to full install.

debbie.smyth@d3uk.com 01422 887 362 www.d3uk.com

design & display design develop deliver

Commercial & Retail Interiors

A recognised name in design, manufacture and installation of quality bespoke joinery.

w: d3uk.com t: 01422 378000 e: sales@d3uk.com

Lowfields Business Park Lowfields Way, Elland West Yorkshire, HX5 9DA