Construction Update - April 2021

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LOAD, SEAL, REPEAT 3 simple steps. If you want to make a positive difference to the environmental impact of your work it can be as easy as that to make a start.

See our editorial inside for more details, and visit The silicone solution to reducing pollution - you know it makes sense.

April 2021

Sustainable sealants – lock and Re-load

For most of us involved in the building industry, reducing our environmental impact is an increasingly important priority. One small step that can make a big difference is taking a fresh look at your use of sealants.


very year, it’s estimated that a staggering one hundred million used sealant cartridges are sent to landfill in the UK. That equates to around 6,000 tonnes of non-degradable waste - with at least some of it being produced by the glazing industry. One company which has found an innovative way of addressing this problem is Britishbased, Bond It. As David Moore, Managing Director at the manufacturer of sealants, adhesives, grouts and other building chemicals, explains: “For all businesses - including those in the sealant applicator sector - the case for adopting more sustainable products and working practices has never been stronger. Aside from protecting the environment for future generations, going greener can deliver major benefits in other areas such as potentially reduced costs and increased marketing opportunities. “It’s for this reason that Bond It remains committed to enhancing our range with environmentally friendly products that still offer all the performance of their more traditional, less green counterparts. A prime example of this can be found in our Reload range.”

Better by design Bond It’s Reload range of silicones employs a unique reusable design that helps to minimise waste to landfill offering a solution around sustainable packaging. The system is designed for use with special sausage refills. Currently being offered, three of Bond It’s most popular silicones and sealants,

WP100, Frame-Mate and Multi-Mate, with a view to rolling out the concept to other products in the range at a later date. How the Reload refillable system works is simple. The silicone is supplied in the form of EU3 aluminium foil sausages that can be replaced as needed. The end of this refill is removed with scissors before the nozzle is attached as normal. The sealant can then be dispensed using an ordinary skeleton gun and once the refill is used up, the aluminium slug can be simply and cleanly removed and disposed of before another refill is reloaded.

Going green As well as being incredibly easy to use, the Reload system also offers significant environmental benefits. In particular, both the cartridge and the nozzle are completely recyclable while Reload’s refillable nature also means that any excess silicone in the nozzle doesn’t go to waste. But the green benefits don’t stop there. The reusable nature of Reload also results in a considerable reduction in the amount of waste generated and subsequently requiring disposal. “Aside from helping to reduce the enormous number of sealant cartridges currently being sent to landfill, the Reload system also delivers a significant reduction in packaging use and subsequent waste,” explains David. “In fact, compared to traditional spent sealant cartridges, a used Reload refill is up to 60% lighter and 80% smaller in volume. “This offers major benefits against a backdrop where site waste disposal costs are now determined by waste type and weight. It’s also particularly pertinent when we take into consideration the legal requirement for Site Waste Management Plans (SWMP) on all building projects over £300,000 which seek to increase waste reduction, recovery and recycling.” Coupled with landfill shortages around the corner and increasing site costs imposed by the Government, this will lead

More information on Bond It and its range can be found at

to increased transportation costs as waste will need to travel further. As a further benefit, the aluminium foil packaging employed on the refills ensures that the silicone boasts twice the product shelf life of traditional cartridges. This helps to significantly reduce spoilage. Plus, the reduction in packaging also helps to make the refills lighter and more space effective than traditional alternatives. As David concludes: “As a business, Bond It has always had a firm focus on product development and on pioneering new solutions that meet the evolving needs of the industries we serve. As a result, we continue to enhance our range with products that not only set new standards in terms of performance and technical innovation, but also environmental credentials. “Reload is a prime example of this commitment. Its greener, more sustainable nature makes it an ideal choice for any organisation or individual that uses silicones and sealants and that wants to reduce their environmental impact.” Potentially it will also be a more cost effective option to consider if the Government pass legislation in 2022 to tax imported plastic packaging that does not contain at least 30% recycled content. With current cartridges being produced from 100% virgin plastic there will be a cost increase that inevitably will be passed on to end users of these products. Switching to greener systems, like the Reload concept, will reap commercial benefits as well as tackling the increasing issue of single use plastic and its devastating affect on the planet.

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Construction Update April 2021




Stella Rooflights

April 2021


Gilberts Data Centres


Stepnell Wins @ConstructionUpd Construction Update




April 2021 Jacksons Fencing supplied 161m of their 3m high Jakoustic® Reflective acoustic barriers to surround the perimeter of the car park and the drive-thru. The acoustic barriers are constructed from smooth planed timber tongue and groove boards which are profiled, and slot together between unique timber tuning fork posts, to minimise air gaps that sound could travel through. Due to the height of the barriers, the posts were supported with steel spur posts, which were galvanised and powder coated black for increased protection against corrosion. Its solid design with a flat contour means that the barriers also increase privacy and security. Jakoustic® Reflective is ideal for boundaries between commercial and residential properties, because its natural timber design is visually similar to a more robust version of an attractive tongue and groove garden fence. The barriers work by reflecting sound away from the flat profile, and can reduce noise by up to 28dB.

Excess noise - off the menu Jacksons Fencing has worked with McDonald’s and their franchises a number of times over the years, supplying them with quality timber acoustic barriers to reduce noise around newly built and existing developments.


cDonald’s has over 1,270 restaurants in the UK and employs more than 120,000 people. Looking to build over 300 more restaurants in the next ten years, a new restaurant and drive-thru has recently opened in Broadstairs, Kent. The new store offers something different to customers, with digital drive-thru menu boards that allow customers to see exactly what they’re ordering, and help reduce delays at the collection window. Additionally, there is a family room and children’s play area inside.


Formerly the location of a different restaurant chain, the site is next to a residential area, so a noise impact assessment was an essential part of the development process. The noise assessment determined that an acoustic barrier of 2.4m high was required to reduce the impact of noise on the nearby residents - in line with local council policies. The report considered the impact of various factors, such as vehicles using the drive-thru lane and

the car park, weekly deliveries, and customers making orders at the customer order displays. After a later review of the report, it was decided that 3m high barriers would be better suited to protect the residents from noise, and offer more privacy. The Noise Policy Statement for England (NPSE) explores the issue of sustainable development, a principle that underpins all government policy and should be pursued in an integrated way. It states that noise should not be treated in isolation of other factors, i.e. aesthetics and quality. With this in mind, the choice of noise mitigation solution needed to incorporate sustainability, protection and enhancement of the natural environment, and efficient use of resources and energy.

Jacksons Fencing’s acoustic barriers fit well with the sustainable principles of NPSE, as they are kiln dried and pressure treated for long-lasting protection from rot and insect attack, and come with a 25 year guarantee as standard. If you have a requirement for acoustic barriers for any type of development, or need advice on a project, contact Jacksons Fencing on 0800 408 4763.





















PEACE AND QUIET FOR 25 YEARS Timber acoustic barriers with a 25 year guarantee. For security, privacy, and noise reduction you can rely on.

Call 0800 408 4763 or visit


April 2021

Japanese Knotweed: It’s Knot to be Ignored In recent years we have seen a sharp rise in private litigation cases surrounding Japanese knotweed. 2018 saw the first successful documented case law for private nuisance in respect to Japanese knotweed. Now claims for Private Nuisance, Professional Negligence and Misrepresentation are more commonplace. New-Build House on Knotweed Contaminated Land (Sherwood Homes)

The presence of Japanese knotweed at the property was not disclosed at the time of sale.

risks and/or unintentional illegal removal of controlled waste from the site.

In 2019, Sherwood Homes was found guilty of professional negligence for failing to remediate Japanese knotweed properly prior to building houses on the site.

The defendant did not attend the trial and judgment was awarded in favour of our client in the sum of £52,000 plus £8,433.97 in interest.

Material Movements and Waste The development project may necessitate the removal of material from site and/or the importation of soil material onto the site. It is imperative that all necessary steps are taken to ensure these materials are free of knotweed.

Considerations for Developments with Knotweed Site Vegetation Strip/Clearance If knotweed is disturbed during vegetation clearance, translocation of the knotweed material to other areas of the site could occur, or even unintentional illegal removal of controlled waste from the site.

Expert evidence confirmed that Japanese knotweed was present on the site at the time of the purchase via photographs provided in the initial knotweed report. Furthermore, there were online Google Earth Street view images providing evidence of a historic infestation of mature Japanese knotweed across a large area of the site. The knotweed expert believed significant rhizome material would have been encountered by the contractors carrying out the earthworks and other general construction works.


The knotweed expert noted that it was likely that the defendant had undertaken a shallow soil “scrape” of the infested area, but such treatment would have been inadequate to remove the plant and prevent recurrence of growth.

Demolition Demolition could disturb knotweed onsite, resulting in the translocation of knotweed material to other areas of the site or even unintentional illegal removal of controlled waste from the site. Formation Level Excavations Groundwork excavation to reach construction formation levels may encounter knotweed contaminated ground. This can result in the translocation of knotweed material presenting structural risk and/or unintentional illegal removal of controlled waste from the site. Building Foundation Excavations Groundwork excavation for proposed building foundations may encounter knotweed contaminated ground. This can result in uncontrolled or untreated knotweed rhizome remaining under building footprints, presenting structural

Knotweed Impact to New Developments If Japanese knotweed is not correctly remediated, there can be severe impact to new developments. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA) governs the disposal of controlled waste, such as Japanese knotweed. There is a penalty of up to £5,000 or 2 years in prison if you allow knotweed contaminated soil or plant material to spread into the wild. Structural Risk

Japanese knotweed rhizome and crown growth has the potential to cause damage to services, structures and hard standing. Plot Saleability Japanese knotweed is a recognised property risk and will be flagged

April 2021 up on building surveys as part of the conveyancing process. Where knotweed has been identified, it can prevent lending agreements; on new residential development site this can stop sales of completed units. Contamination Un-managed Japanese knotweed growth can be disturbed by site maintenance activities such as grounds maintenance. This can quickly translocate material to other areas of the site and spread and worsen an infestation and associated risks.

Discovery: What to do

• Where possible, all areas affected by Japanese knotweed should be fenced off and isolated from any activities on site immediately, to avoid potential knotweed spread. The fencing should be erected at least 7 metres away from any visible knotweed growth to protect rhizome disturbance. • No material is to leave site from the knotweed areas, except as part of specially supervised knotweed treatment works. No new materials should be stored in or adjacent to Japanese knotweed areas. • Where there is a high risk of knotweed infestation from neighbouring land, contact the landowner and agree on a coordinated treatment programme.

eradication as the arising waste is transferred to landfill as “controlled waste”. Our approach and ethos put emphasis firmly on reducing quantities of waste removed to landfill. We accurately identify the location and full extent of the underground knotweed rhizome system. This ensures we only remove knotweed material and soils containing knotweed and not clean soils, therefore, reducing the client’s costs. This requires a waste carriers license and there will be a full waste tracking record on completion. Reduced-Level Excavation & Capping On construction sites the ground levels often need to be reduced to formation level. Where the formation level depth is less than the anticipated depth of knotweed rhizome there is an opportunity to carry out a reduced level dig of the knotweed. The knotweed is excavated to construction formation levels and then capped with suitable knotweed root barriers. The volume of knotweed waste to be removed from site is reduced and hence cost to the client. The knotweed waste can either be removed off-site or disposed on-site via burial or relocation. Complete Excavation and On-Site Burial

The dimensions, depth and location of the burial are recorded with the Knotweed Management Plan (KMP) for the site. The KMP should be included in the Operations and Maintenance Manuals for any development site. Land Remediation Tax Relief (LRTR) can be claimed for disposing of the excavated knotweed on-site Complete Excavation and On-Site Relocation Where there is sufficient space on site the knotweed can be fully excavated from its location and relocated to a more desirable location onsite. Often suitable to larger sites, or phased developments, relocation of Japanese knotweed can prove both cost-effective and provide a sustainable remediation solution. Excavated Japanese knotweed is carefully relocated over site to another area of the same site. In its new location, it is monitored and treated under a longer-term herbicide treatment programme. The dimensions and location of the relocation are recorded with the Knotweed Management Plan (KMP) for the site. The KMP should be included in the Operations and Maintenance Manuals for any development site.

Contact the Japanese Knotweed Experts

Excavation Options

This provides instant eradication of knotweed, and a sustainable remediation approach, where there is space onsite to accommodate a deep burial pit. Onsite disposal of the waste is often more cost effective than disposal of waste to landfill.

Complete Excavation & Off-Site Disposal This provides instant eradication of knotweed, although it’s the least sustainable method of knotweed

The excavated knotweed is buried deep onsite, with the waste encapsulated in root barrier, creating a cell, with the top of the cell residing at least 2 metres

• Any presence of knotweed off-site can present the likely potential for re-infestation of the site across site boundaries.

below finished ground levels as a precaution against future accidental human disturbance or burrowing animals.

Japanese Knotweed Ltd is a SafetyFirst, national knotweed company, with industry-leading expertise and an annual turnover of £4.6m. In 2020 we delivered approximately 200 excavation projects and we currently have over 5000 herbicide customers, completing approximately 12,000 herbicide programme treatment visits annually. T: 0333 2414 413 E:


April 2021

Building strong foundations for growth How Asset Finance is powering the Design & Build sector in 2021 As we move forward into the second quarter of 2021, demands on the Design & Build sector are rising. From the increase in costs of materials such plaster, steel and timber; to shortages of skilled labour; the on-site impact of the pandemic on working practices and the ever-present need to invest in the right equipment to complete the next project on time & on budget, the external pressures are mounting.


on Maycock, Commercial Director at Propel Finance, explains: “The resilience and commitment of the sector have stood out during the pandemic. It is the backbone of the UK economy and comes with a distinct set of working capital challenges and requirements. At Propel a number of our team members hold previous experiences of working with a variety of construction funding lenders; and understand the importance for businesses to continue to drive investment in the latest machinery and equipment to boost their productivity and growth.

With no need to pay for equipment upfront, you can put your capital to work elsewhere to drive profitability and growth. • Budget with confidence With fixed rentals throughout the term, you gain the benefits of predictability and performance. • Preserve your existing credit lines • Your existing credit lines, such as bank overdrafts and loans, remain untouched and are still available for your use.

• Access the latest equipment immediately Gain a competitive edge by harnessing the use of the most efficient equipment available. • Boost your cash flow Spread your equipment costs over time, simply, quickly and conveniently. • Unleash your working capital


Opportunity As the project progressed, it became clear that an innovative approach to funding would be required for it to be completed. Propel worked with the club to come up with an agreement which supported Llanishen with the initial financing of the project. Outcomes

“In the current challenging environment, asset finance has come into its own as a leading funding solution thus enabling businesses across the space to keep on going – and growing during the pandemic”, Jon continued. Rather than having to make substantial upfront payments in order to acquire expensive equipment and put even greater pressure on their cash flows, more and more businesses are turning to asset finance. The advantages are clear:

all, as managing director Ellis John explains: “Llanishen approached us to see how we could assist them in staged payments. I had worked with Propel previously and was well-aware of their flexibility and approach.”

Case Study: Tackling the toughest construction challenges Llanishen Rugby Club and Modex Spaces Ltd Objective Moves to bring clubhouse and changing room facilities in line with Llanishen Rugby Club’s brand new, state-of-the-art 3G pitch were potentially out of reach after unseen additional excavation costs had stretched their budget and also put new changing rooms in doubt. A base-level of funding was required for local company Modex Spaces Ltd to get the clubhouse project underway at

John Andrews, Llanishen Club Secretary, said: “Having to dig into the ground, and having to establish something with flood lighting so close to a residential area – it all created extra cost. Nobody from Propel shied away from the challenges we were facing; they looked both sympathetically and constructively at solving those issues.” Your budgets and deadlines matter. To discuss how you could benefit from a fast, flexible asset finance solution structured to power your cash flow, call Propel’s specialist team on 01633 982922 or email Finance is subject to status. Terms and Conditions Apply. Propel acts as a lender or a credit broker for business customers only.

Building your advantage Fast, flexible asset finance to power your business Propel is a specialist lender, helping more than 40,000 businesses across the UK to access finance to acquire business-critical equipment and plant & machinery quickly and easily. In these challenging times, it is crucial to work with an asset finance specialist that knows the challenges and opportunities that the Design & Build sector is facing, to help you drive your business forward. With Propel, you have direct access to an experienced and supportive asset finance partner with the strength and stability to help you secure and scale your success: Funding for all types of equipment Competitive rates Highly experienced team Strong knowledge of the Design & Build sector Flexible terms / deposits Bespoke approach to your asset finance needs Flexibility in financing older equipment / assets Asset refinance to unlock capital tied up in existing assets Machinery and equipment that Propel has financed recently, includes: Design Copiers Scanners Systems Telephone systems Wide format printers Office fit out

Build Bulldozers Compactors Concrete mixers & pumps Cranes Crushers Demolition equipment Dumpers

Excavators Graders Loaders Scaffolding equipment Site plant Vehicles And much more

Leasing, Hire Purchase and Asset Refinance options available.

Looking to build a stronger future for your business?

Contact our construction finance specialists today:

Finance is subject to status. Terms and Conditions Apply. Propel acts as a lender or a credit broker for business customers only.

01633 982922

Propel Finance Group includes Propel Finance PLC and Propel Finance No.1 Limited. Propel Finance Plc is registered in Wales, Company no 04015132. Propel Finance No. 1 Limited is registered in Wales, Company no. 10003271. Registered offices are at Unit 5, Langstone Business Village, Langstone Park, Newport, NP18 2LH, vat no. 252089996. Propel Finance Plc and Propel Finance No. 1 Limited are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

April 2021

’UK Conformity Assessment and What You Need to Know’ By Wojciech Brozyna - MD of Aluprof UK

Since the beginning of 2021 the UK now sits outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) complete with a late brokered ‘deal’ which helps businesses trade without tariffs between the EEA and the UK. Despite the increased levels of paperwork required for such imports and exports, it is ‘almost business as usual’. Over the last few years conformity with legislation and standards present in Europe has been a prerequisite for producing and selling any goods within the EEA, either produced in the EEA or from overseas. Known as ‘CE’ marking, it is applicable equally to the manufacture and sale of a paper clip to a curtain wall facade. So what is a ‘CE’ mark? A CE mark indicates conformity with a harmonised product standard, and assures the user that the product is classified to the relevant essential characteristics, within Annex ZA, for the member state whose market it is placed on. Construction products are different to say medical devices for CE marking as regulations differ. So now that we have left the EEA, what now?


The UK has set up its own conformity marking known as the ‘UKCA’ mark. Broadly the same as the current CE marking the new UKCA mark will allow the UK to begin to adjust its conformity standards to suit UK businesses and the UK’s legislative requirements in the longer term. As far as timing is concerned, CE marking is still fully accepted in the UK this year, but all companies manufacturing and selling in the UK must have UKCA marking on their products by the end of 2021. Importantly for

Aluprof UK, we will comply with the new UKCA marking and are already scheduling our products for conformity with UK ‘approved bodies’ this year. Now a note of caution, we often use Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the British Isles interchangeably, but this is not correct. ‘Great Britain’ consists of England, Scotland and Wales, the ‘United Kingdom’ consists of ‘Great Britain’ and ‘Northern Ireland’. The ‘British Isles’, consists of the ‘United Kingdom’ and ‘Ireland’, plus numerous smaller island groups, which include the Hebrides, the Shetland Islands, the Orkney Islands, the Isles of Scilly, and the Isle of Man. In Northern Ireland, matters get a little more complicated as manufacturers there have their own UK(NI) mark to comply with which must be used alongside the CE marking. Whilst Great Britain will accept the UK(NI)+CE marked products known as ‘unfettered access’, products manufactured in Northern Ireland only need

April 2021 to carry the CE mark if they are to be sold solely in the EEA. Part of the reason for the difference in Northern Ireland is that whilst Northern Ireland sits within the EEA, from the 1st January 2021, it is now outside the EU Customs Union. It must be reiterated that for products manufactured and sold in Northern Ireland, they must always carry both the CE mark and the UK(NI). It is also important to remember that a separate Declaration of Performance/Conformity (DoP) must be provided for each UKCA, UK(NI) and CE mark. Whilst at the moment these will broadly be the same, it is likely that with changes to legislation here and in the EEA over time, these will begin to differ. It has also been confirmed that both CE and UKCA marks can be used together on products as long as they are separate and are clearly visible. As the UK ‘approved bodies’ move to offer UKCA marking, CE marking ‘approved bodies’ for products to be sold in the EEA, can only be provided by an EU based ‘approved body’. Whilst new conformity marks are being introduced, UKCA and UK(NI), nothing else changes at this time regarding the products that require labelling. The marking convention and conformity continues for construction products as it has done for CE marking for the last few years. So what does this mean for supply of goods from the EEA to our customers in the British Isles and in particular, products imported by Aluprof? As a European manufacturer, we will continue with CE marking which will confirm with the requirements for Ireland and Northern Ireland, for Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) all our products can continue to be used with CE marking in 2021 are being lodged with a UK ‘approved body’ to ensure they can carry UKCA compliance markings. There is also one caveat to the conformity marking, that is the marking is only applied at the time

of manufacture, so there could be products manufactured in 2021 in compliance with CE marking that may enter the Great Britain market in early 2022. At this point we begin to get into some of the grey areas of compliance and the government is still working out some of the detail. What is known is that for our customers who manufacture our systems into products that go on site, you will need to demonstrate compliance with the new UKCA marking from the 1st January 2022. As ever with our loyal customers in the British Isles, we are on-hand at Aluprof to give any of our customers guidance on the compliance and marking convention.

With the company Project Office at the Business Design Centre in London, Aluprof has rapidly grown their specification influence in the UK with their high performance architectural aluminium systems. With overseas growth across Europe spreading into the Middle East and firm roots already in the East of the USA, the company is becoming a global player in facade supply. Further information is available on the company’s website at or direct from their UK office in Altrincham on 0161 941 4005.


April 2021

Ventilation sales sky-rocket to serve digital demand The surge in digital demand as a result of COVID is seeing a corresponding acceleration in specialised ventilation from Gilberts Blackpool.


ritain’s leading manufacturer of commercial ventilation supply options is reporting growing interest at home and abroad in its internal floor grilles and external ventilation louvres for data centres, specifically its GF Series heavy duty floor grilles and new WK Series kitform screening louvres. Inside the data centre, Gilberts’ GF Series delivers air volumes up to 500l/sec with a jet velocity of 3m/sec. Able to withstand point loading of up to 4.5KN, the GF grilles are available with slimline hit/miss dampers that are position lockable to give finite control over airflow without hot or cold spots. The dampers are attached to the body grilles and the grilles engineered to replace 600mm square floor tiles to simplify on-site installation and handling. Externally, Gilberts range of factory-built and site -assembled screening louvres provide the agility to address any through-façade ventilation, balancing 50% free ventilation with weather protection. WK is the latest variation, bringing a unique design of mullion which enables screening sections up to 3m high to be constructed on-site without the need for intermediate support. Its kit format means it is easy to precisely cut each blade on site to address specific façade considerations (services penetrations etc). The system can be infinitely accessorised with eliminator blades, insect screens, acoustic blanks and so on to tailor each screen to specific weather and performance requirements.


“The pandemic and its impact on our way of livinghome working, online shopping etc- has seen the UK designate data centres as part of the Critical

National Infrastructure (CNI), and staff therein as keyworkers. London alone has seen an almost doubling of digital deployments in the past year(1), meaning numbers of existing industrial units are having to be rapidly converted and remodelled,” explained Gilberts’ Sales Director Ian Rogers. “Good ventilation is critical to address the internal heatload generated from banks of servers. We have remained open for business throughout the various Lockdowns and have a reputation for quality product and service. Therefore we have been well-positioned to react and deliver single-source internal and external solutions that are quick to fit and effective in maintaining the precise ambient temperature and humidity (RH) crucial for such sensitive equipment.” Founded 60 years ago, Gilberts Blackpool is Britain’s leading independent air movement specialist, and is unique in its ability to develop air movement components, be it ‘mainstream’ or bespoke- entirely in-house, from initial design through tooling, production, testing and supply, at its 95000ft2 manufacturing facility. Its stateof-the-art test centre, designed and built inhouse, is one of the most technically advanced in the country.

Gilberts tel 01253 766911 E:

April 2021


April 2021

Bristan OPAC TMV3 Commercial Showers. Easy fitting, maintenance, efficiency and infection control. At Bristan we continually invest in new product development to ensure that our products excel in quality, safety and performance. That’s why we’ve recently improved our range of OPAC TMV3 Commercial Showers, designed with a host of new innovations to meet the needs of commercial sector environments. With a new patented built-in thermal flush mechanism, the OPAC range is designed for easy infection control and anti-legionella regimes. What’s more, a new front mounted one-piece cartridge makes for simple servicing and commissioning. And with TMV3 technology, you can rest assured that the highest level of safety and protection is guaranteed. There’s a variety of options to choose from to suit your specification requirements — all of which quality tested in our UKAS accredited inhouse testing centre. Discover the full range at


Find your local IPG stockist:

April 2021


April 2021

Living Roofs For Sustainable Rainwater Management With the UK now frequently experiencing record volumes of rainfall and increasing risks of flooding, building design must be more ecologically and sustainably driven to counteract climatic challenges. Keith Hills, Managing Director at EGR (Eco Green Roofs Ltd) explains how living roof systems can offer a proven solution to managing rainwater drainage in city spaces.


iving or green roof systems have been growing more common as planners and architects look to maximise green spaces in urban areas to meet local environmental action plans. This includes building envelope designs that incorporate increased biodiversity through the creation of new habitats for wildlife. However, green roofs can also play a vital role in managing the impacts of extreme weather and mitigating flooding. Global environmental change is already impacting the climate of the UK in clear and measurable ways with drier summers and wetter, milder winters. Met Office figures show that since 1998, we have experienced six of the ten wettest years on record. February 2020 saw more than twice the average rainfall for the month - making it the wettest February ever recorded - and capped off the 5th wettest and mildest winter since records began in 1862. According to analysis by the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, UK rainfall will continue to increase in intensity in the coming years as the climate continues to warm. Therefore, it is now more important than ever that the way our buildings, towns and cities are designed and constructed accounts for these climatic challenges and contributes to minimising the impact. In any area where development has taken place, including some more rural settings, one of the most common contributors to flooding is the presence of hard, impermeable surfaces. Instead of draining away slowly, the rainwater quickly runs off these surfaces and can overwhelm both drainage systems and watercourses leading to flooding. A report for the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) estimated that flooding causes around £1.1bn of damage each year in the UK, just one factor in how flooding can impact people’s lives. Implementing approaches to mitigate flooding aligns with the aim stated in the RIBA Sustainable Outcomes Guide of balancing social, environmental and economic value to deliver a triple bottom line of sustainability. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) are key to counteracting the effects of the urban environment and as such, are now a key part of planning policy. The Flood and Water Management Act 2010 requires developments to utilise elements of a SuDS approach to reduce the flood risk, and the current version of the London Plan specifies that new developments should aim to achieve greenfield run-off rates.


Green roofs have an important role to play in helping to achieve this by intercepting rainfall, providing opportunities for evapotranspiration from the vegetation and the storing of rainwater. These green roof systems can fulfil many of the key aims of the SuDS approach as it helps to manage the water as close as possible to where it falls, reduces the quantity and speed of runoff to prevent flooding and can also act as a filter to limit the pollution present in runoff.

Green roofs can also form part of meeting the RIBA Sustainable Outcomes, drawn from the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. In particular the systems have a role in the creation of a Sustainable Water Cycle and Sustainable Land Use & Ecology objectives. The performance and capacity of the green roof in managing rainwater will depend on a number of factors. These include the type and design of the system, the depth of the substrate, the type of vegetation and the level of moisture already in the soil. The Greater London Authority’s Living Roofs and Walls Report (2019) cites several studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of different roof types. Research carried out in Germany found that extensive green roofs with between 60mm and 100mm of soil can intercept 50% of annual rainfall and intensive roofs with deeper substrates (around 500mm) can intercept up to 90% of the rainfall. Furthermore, a study in the United States found that a green roof with a substrate depth of 89mm delayed the start of roof run-off by 5.7 hours and the peak run-off by 2 hours. Finally, with so many factors to consider, it is important that the right approach is adopted to ensure the system supports the planning and design objectives. Therefore, engaging with the right specialist partner who can provide technical advice and guidance on a full range of systems is essential. The chosen supplier should also comply with best practice schemes such as the Green Roof Organisation (GRO) Code of Practice and FLL guidance as due to the living components, expertise in design, installation and maintenance is crucial to the success and longevity of the roof. In addition, a blue roof is a system engineered to store rainwater and release it in a controlled way to limit the impact of heavy rain. This can be a standalone system or be integrated with a green roof element where the rainwater store can irrigate the vegetation. Green roofs are important to the future of our villages, towns and cities, not only as a way of creating much needed green spaces for both people and wildlife but in helping to mitigate the impacts of climate change. In the words of RIBA president, Alan Jones: “We must re‑construct our profession as the leaders of sustainable design teams if we are to combat climate change and meet the UK climate targets and our ethical responsibilities”. Working with an experienced and specialist supplier will help ensure that the value added by the living roof system can be maximised. To discuss an upcoming project, contact the EGR team at or to read more about its full service offering including green, blue and solar roof solutions and case study examples, visit



‘Build, Build, Build’ acknowledged in planned reforms to put infrastructure at the centre of the Government’s economic growth strategy. Part of this announcement has emphasised the importance in safeguarding the UK’s natural environment by utilising methods in ‘capturing and removing CO2 from the atmosphere, protecting precious biodiversity, and connecting people with nature’. (Gov.UK) Green roofs and roof terraces/podiums can provide mentally beneficial spaces for occupants, as well as the ability to combat extreme climate conditions. The key benefits gained from the utilisation of green roofs across developments in our inner cities include:



W: E: T: 01277 355705

April 2021

Hellberg Launch New Safety Eyewear Find Focus with Hellberg’s range of all-new specialist safety glasses and goggles.


Renowned for its hi-spec PPE that includes advanced hearing protection products, face protection and communication solutions, Hellberg Safety is launching a new range safety eyewear.

With a focus on enhanced safety in all conditions, Hellberg glasses and goggles have impact-resistant lenses with antiscratch and anti-fog coating on both sides and there are styles that can be worn over prescription glasses.

With a wide range of street-smart styles, from basic to premium - the new range ensures a consistently clear line of sight and safe vision for professional tradesmen and women wherever they’re working on site.

Around the lens, the ergonomic design, incorporates practical features, like a soft nose bridge and ‘adjustable temples’, making sure the glasses stay in place and fit safely allowing you to keep your focus all day long.

Built with lightweight, durable materials and specially developed lens technology, the eyewear provides complete protection, and comfort throughout the working day and can be easily combined with other PPE including ear defenders, safety helmets, and visors.

Getting more information on the Hellberg Eyewear range is easy. You can call the Helpline on 01484 854788; check out or email


nickers Workwear takes personal wellbeing at work very seriously. That’s why this range of Hi-Vis protective wear is streets ahead of anything else. With updated styles and designs added to the extensive range of Jackets, Trousers, Shorts, Toolvests, Shirts and Fleeces for men and women, there’s a host of garments in the range to satisfy the specific requirements of Classes 1, 2 and 3 protection levels.

April 2021

Enhanced Visibility and Safety With Snickers Workwear Hi-Vis. A Superior Range of Hi Vis Protective Wear – for all kinds of light conditions.

These ‘outstanding’ products combine Snickers’ unrivalled hallmarks of functionality and comfort with the requirements of the EN20471 standard for high visibility warning clothes. With advanced designs and high-tech fabrics that are windproof and water-repellent, all the garments have durable, colour-fast protection that will last for wash after wash, retaining shape and comfort throughout the life of the garments. Added to which, Snickers Workwear Hi Vis garments can be customprofiled to ensure ‘stand out’ coverage for your corporate brand.

Getting more information on the Snickers Workwear range of ProtecWork and Snickers Workwear Hi-Vis protective wear is easy. You call the Helpline on 01484 854788; check out and download a digital catalogue; or you can email


April 2021

Hultafors Group completes the acquisition of Fristads, Kansas and Leijona Workwear

They join Snickers Workwear in Europe’s marketleading portfolio of Protective Wear and PPE brands.


he Hultafors Group has completed the acquisition of the Fristads, Kansas and Leijona protective wear brands following approval by the relevant competition authorities.


Peter Dumigan, managing director of the Hultafors Group UK, says, ‘All three are well-known brands in professional workwear with well-established market positions in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and will complement the Snickers Workwear brand throughout the European market very well indeed’.

With a portfolio of premium PPE brands that includes Snickers Workwear, Hellberg Safety as well as EMMA, Solid Gear Safety Footwear and Hultafors Tools, it serves markets throughout Europe and North America. The Hultafors Group’s aim is to continue to driving the development of all its brands with a focus on customer value, product innovation and sustainability. For more information, please click here

April 2021

Plug and play CO2 monitor keeps workplace safe As offices begin to open up in the next few weeks, and safety comes to the fore, companies are being encouraged to install CO2 Monitors in the workplace.


entilation, in the current pandemic, is one of the most important factors in helping reduce the relative risk of the airborne transmission of COVID-19. A report produced by Sage’s Environmental and Modelling Group (EMG), and endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE), suggests that fresh air plays a significant role in keeping the virus at bay indoors, and that poor air quality could be highlighted with the use of a CO2 monitor. In response, a UK manufactured, USB powered ‘plug and play’ CO2 monitor has been launched in 2021 to provide a cost-effective solution. The Vision CO2 Monitor helps determine if further ventilation is required by providing a clear digital readout and focuses on a bold traffic light display to indicate that further ventilation is required when it matters.

‘This CO2 monitor is particularly appropriate for offices, site cabins, and schools where there are installation constraints, facilitating a fast but reliable method of monitoring the risk of COVID transmission,’ commented Andy Green, who developed the unit. Elevated CO2 levels not only provide an indication that airborne contaminants may be present, but they also reduce cognitive function, productivity and can have long term adverse effects on health and general wellbeing. ‘Most buildings are naturally ventilated and rely on opening windows for fresh air, or use air recirculation systems that have been switched off, so without a CO2 monitor there is no way of knowing if spaces such as offices and classrooms are adequately ventilated,’ commented Andy Green. ‘There are a number of ‘cheap’ units available online, however these focus on gimmick displays

rather than the required traffic light indication. We also offer UK support with a guaranteed supply chain if larger quantities are required.’ ‘The Vision CO2 Monitor removes any uncertainty and provides an immediate indication that further ventilation is needed,’ he added. ‘If risk reduction for COVID is an issue in your workplace or school I strongly recommend getting in touch,’ Andy concluded. For more information visit or email


April 2021

Exceptional lambda value prompts Keltbray switch to Ravatherm XPS X 500SL for White City Place development Collaboration between Ravago Building Solutions, SIG Distribution, and Keltbray has seen Ravatherm XPS X insulation selected for the prestigious Gateway Central development at White City Place. The new eleven storey building meets significant demand for office space in West London and will serve as headquarters for such companies as L’Oreal UK and Ireland. With construction being managed by Sir Robert McAlpine, the development is set to open in 2022 and will feature Ravatherm XPS X 500 SL flooring insulation.


roduced in King’s Lynn, UK, Ravatherm XPS X 500 SL is the perfect solution for heavyduty applications; manufactured by extrusion production procedure, its closed-cell structure means it offers high compressive strength and resists deterioration. With a declared lambda of 0.031 or 0.032 dependent on thickness, and resistance to water and frost, it is a highperforming and long-lasting thermal insulation. Chris Gimson, Commercial Director UK & Ireland, Ravago Building Solutions, said: “Our partnership with SIG and Keltbray for this project has ensured that the Gateway Central building will benefit from high performance thermal insulation, securing significant savings on energy costs and usage – a key consideration for buildings of this size.”


Noel Healy, Drylining Director, SIG added:

“Dealing with construction engineering specialists like Keltbray and supplying them with innovative insulation solutions from a company with the pedigree of Ravago is part of SIG’s heritage. It is a privilege to work with them both as part of the supply chain for Gateway Central at White City Place.” Andrew Healey, Project Manager for Keltbray added: “We were greatly impressed by Ravago’s swift and effective collaborative approach to providing a solution for this project that satisfied both structural and thermal requirements, ensuring outstanding quality without compromise to our budget and programme constraints.”

Ravatherm XPS X from Ravago Building Solutions, Europe’s largest extruded polystyrene insulation manufacturer, offers architects and building specifiers market-leading XPS insulation for roofs and floors.

For technical support and to learn more about our products please contact:

April 2021

Artificial Plants & Trees for Businesses Our master craftsmen construct each bespoke order with painstaking care and attention, to create an exceptionally ‘real’ artificial showpiece, and we offer bespoke solutions to suit the needs of your space, business and tastes.


hether you need simple plants and trees that don’t need tending to or you’re going for a full artificial landscape with turf, hedges and more, we have existing products and the capacity to create custom designs for any need and budget. We’ll offer a no obligation quote to help you plan your projects and we can tailor our service to ‘fir’ your needs.

Full Support Whatever your choices, we have the design experience and know-how needed to make you stand out. We can work with your design to make your premises look incredible, whatever the space and whatever the industry. We can even help you develop the design, drawing on years of experience.

Who Have We Supplied? Major companies in many industries including ITV, BBC, Channels 4 and 5, Mulberry, Innocent Drinks, Monsoon, Bella Italia, Tescos, Big Brother, The Only Way is Essex, Coronation Street, Dancing on Ice, Park Resorts, Volkswagen, and more. We’ve also sold to house builders, zoos, hotels, restaurants, shopping


centres, theme parks, colleges and schools, cruise ships, theatres… the list goes on! We have tens of thousands of satisfied customers in the UK, in Europe, and across the World. We can provide offers for procurement managers and corporate buyers on bulk orders and for trade, to help you finalise your design. Our quotes are no obligation - so call us today. We look forward to working with you!

Get in Touch! Call us today on 01524 858888 or email – Browse our Web Store online for our full stock range and more info on our bespoke solutions on offer.

Artificial plants & trees for businesses At Just Artificial, we work with interior designers, decorators, set dressers, architects and more to set your premises apart from the rest. Our artificial plants, flowers and trees are highly realistic to look and touch, as well as being durable and attractive. | 01524 858888 |

April 2021

Unrivalled performance from Schöck modular connectivity solution Phase three of the Elephant Park regeneration project comprises Park Central (North) and East Grove.

These developments provide more than 800 new homes and the thermal performance at the design detailing involving the balconies and the unitised façades needed careful consideration if thermal bridging was to be minimised After the widespread devastation of the Second World War, the Elephant and Castle district of London was clumsily redeveloped during the 1950s. The resulting offices, housing estates and shopping centre were impressive in their time, but at best outmoded in recent times.


However, the area has remained an important part of Central London and the current £2.3 billion Elephant Park regeneration project now aims to create one of the most sustainable inner-city regeneration projects in Europe. Overall there are five phases at various stages in the masterplan, with the third currently live alongside the

New Kent Road. There are eleven buildings in this phase, divided into two plots – Park Central (North) and East Grove – providing 829 homes in total. There are brick-finished midrise blocks to 11 and 12-storeys throughout and each plot also features a main tower, one at 24-storey, the other 25-storey, both part of the family of tall buildings in the masterplan. Construction of the towers uses around 19,000 m2 of aluminium unitised façade panels. The façade panels for the towers, supplied by FKN and Lindner, were delivered complete with integrated sliding doors and openings ready for the connection of ventilation devices. There are also hundreds of cantilever steel balconies throughout the project. These were supplied by Sheffield based Dearneside Fabrications Ltd. and were also pre-fabricated, including

flooring and glazed balustrades. Avoidance of thermal bridging is critical With steel having such a high conductivity when compared with other construction materials the avoidance of thermal bridging is critical throughout the project. Local heat loss is a major factor, resulting in more energy being required to maintain the internal temperature of the building. Also, low internal surface temperatures in the area of any thermal bridge can cause condensation. This in turn is likely to result in structural integrity problems with absorbent materials, such as insulation products or plasterboard. Mould growth is also a possible risk, which in a residential situation can cause asthma and allergies. With both Park Central (North) and East Grove the thermal performance at the connectivity

April 2021 points involving the balconies and the commercial façades needed careful design consideration if heat flow was to be minimised. The Schöck Isokorb structural thermal break is universally recognised for its capability with balcony design detailing. However, it is less widely known for its ability to dramatically improve the thermal performance involving façade engineering. On this project the thermal zone sits outside of the slab zone and the Isokorb is the ideal solution. The specific product that offers so many benefits is the Schöck Isokorb T type S. Unique and versatile The versatile Schöck Isokorb T type S structural thermal break is the ideal connectivity solution for project applications involving steel-to-steel applications. There are two variants, the T type S-N for tensile force and the T type S-V for transferring compression and shear forces. It is the only approved thermal break product for steel construction that satisfies the loadbearing and thermal insulation requirements of steel design. Also, being a modular unit, it can be adapted to all profile sizes and load bearing capacity requirements – plus it can be used in both new construction and renovation projects.

Totally verifiable performance Although the Schöck product types used in phase three at Elephant Park are for steel-to-steel connectivity, the comprehensive Isokorb range also offers solutions for concrete-to-steel, concrete-toconcrete – and even a maintenance

free alternative to wrapped parapets. The requirement described in BRE IP1/06 and cited in Building Regulations Approved Documents Part L1 and L2 and Section 6 in Scotland, that the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (fRSI) must be greater than, or equal to, 0.75 for residential buildings is easily met by incorporating the Isokorb. The range also complies with the Government Standard Assessment Procedure, SAP 2012, concerning CO2 emissions from buildings and respectively heat losses through non-repeating thermal bridges. Products meet full compliance with the relevant UK building regulations, have NHBC approval and offer LABC Registration. There is also the security of independent BBA Certification. Contact Schöck on 01865 290 890; or visit the website at for full details of the Isokorb T type S and all other Isokorb solutions



Titon FireSafe® Air Brick

The new Titon FireSafe® Air Brick Range is a unique high flow terminal designed for powered ventilation systems offering low resistance to airflow, but high resistance to fire as set out in Approved Document B (fire safety) volume 1: Dwellings, 2019 edition. Constructed from sheet steel (A1) and polyester powder coated to classification A2-s1, d0. The Titon FireSafe® Air Brick is designed to be built into external wall types during construction. • Material 1.2mm electrogalvanized sheet steel, fire class A1 ‘no contribution to fire’ • Designed for both 204x60 & 220x90 ducting • Bezelled version for use with exterior cladding instead of brickwork • Extensive versatile range for different installation options • Optional lengths available at request

• Polyester powder coating meeting EN13501-1 classification A2-s1,d0 • Performance tested to BS EN13141-2:2010 • Corrosion resistance - salt spray tested to BS EN ISO 9227:2012 • Special paint finishes available depending on quantity • Topic related CIBSE approved CPD available

Titon - the manufacturer you can build a relationship with

April 2021

Titon launches new CPD on metal air bricks for building applications into external walls Titon are pleased to announce they have a new CIBSE approved CPD ‘on the use of metal air bricks for building applications in external walls’ specifically looking at Fire Safety.


he CPD was developed in part to the response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations in her post Grenfell Tower review of building safety, for external walls of buildings to meet a Class A2 specification. The CPD challenges cu rrent practices and legislation in place, specifically looking at Residential/ Domestic applications within Approved Document B. The CPD focuses on: • Analysing high flow terminals for powered ventilation systems and how they affect the fire safety of a system depending on the application and product • Challenging current ethos and mentalities of current designs and specifications • Reviews ‘good practice’ and looks at current system designs

The Titon FireSafe® Air Brick is a specialist product developed and manufactured by offering low resistance to airflow, but high resistance to fire as set out in Approved Document B (fire safety) volume 1: Dwellings, 2019 edition. The Titon FireSafe® Air Brick is designed and tested to BS EN13141-2:2010 specifically for mechanical ventilation systems. Made from 1.2mm electrogalvanized sheet steel, fire class A1 ‘no contribution to fire’ and polyester powder coating meeting EN13501-1 classification A2s1,d0. The Titon FireSafe® Air Brick is ideal for fire safety applications. For more information please go to To request a CPD email


April 2021

Stepnell Secures Multiple Major Framework Wins COMPLETE construction partner Stepnell has recently secured its spot on two new construction frameworks – the Public Sector Construction Works Framework, managed by NHS Shared Business Services, and Procure Partnerships Framework. The frameworks, which both offer Stepnell the opportunity to win work across the UK, will help to boost its ever-growing portfolio of public sector projects. Stepnell has been appointed to the Public Sector Construction Works East Midlands, West Midlands, South West and South East Framework regions, for public sector and healthcare projects in two lots - up to £2.5m and £2.5m to £5m. It is now also on Procure Partnerships East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, South East and South West Frameworks for both its £1m to £4m and £4m to £12m lots. Richard Wakeford, director at Stepnell, said: “This really is an exciting time for Stepnell. It’s been a difficult year for the industry as a whole, so to end 2020 in such a strong position is not something we take for granted. “By joining these frameworks and expanding our portfolio of public sector work, we’re not only positioning ourselves as a leading contractor in the construction sector, but we’re also helping the UK to get back on its feet by pushing forward with important regeneration and development projects – many of which will be expanding on facilities for the NHS, which has been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19.”


The Public Sector Construction Works Framework will tender work for the NHS with the aim of enhancing the quality of its services across the country. The framework can be accessed by all public sector organisations, including local authorities, educational institutions and housing associations. Direct awards are also available under the Public Sector Construction Works Framework, with the option of mini-tender. Stepnell entered its official period of agreement on the 17 December 2020, gaining the opportunity to win work that will range from new build schemes to the renovation of existing public sector facilities.

April 2021 Richard continued: “We’re incredibly happy to join both of these frameworks and expand our remit even further into these regions. The team is looking forward to getting stuck into a new selection of projects and expanding our client base with both frameworks. We have already been lucky enough to have been awarded work through the Procure Partnerships Framework, and we look forward to this continuing on both frameworks over the next two years.” Stepnell has recently won two public sector renovation projects on the Procure Partners Framework, which will both start on site this year.

The £2.5m renovation of Northampton General Hospital is one of these schemes and includes the refurbishment and replacement of critical mechanical systems within the hospital. Stepnell has also succeeded in winning a project at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading – a £1.5 million refurbishment of its pathology service facilities and general office space in the Harborne building. Faye Dolan, national framework manager at Procure Partnerships Framework, said: “We are proud to have Stepnell on board as one of our contracting partners as they have extensive experience within the public sector. We look forward to developing our relationship even further with Stepnell over the years to come.

To find out more about Stepnell visit: or join the conversation at @Stepnellltd.


April 2021

£6.4m warehouse underway at Wakefield Hub Located on Newmarket Lane, Wakefield, the new warehouse unit will employ up to 130 full and part time staff and boasts excellent transport links being in close proximity to the M1, A1 and M62. This is the second scheme to be built at the 200-acre Wakefield Hub development. Andrew Sewards, managing director at G F Tomlinson said: “We’re delighted to be delivering this high-quality warehouse unit for Newmarket Lane Ltd. We have previously worked with HBD on the construction of three units at the flagship Markham Vale development, so it’s a pleasure to be working with them once again and with developer Yorkcourt for the first time. “We have extensive experience in the warehouse and logistics sector and are pleased to be expanding this into more geographical regions.


We’re currently in the early stages of works which are progressing very well, and we look forward to handing over the project once complete in the summer.” Simon Ross, development surveyor at HBD, said: “We’re pleased to be able to welcome Kitwave to Wakefield Hub and look forward to seeing their bespoke premises take shape. “The interest in Wakefield Hub is a real vote of confidence in the city as a place to invest. One of the largest regeneration projects of its kind in the North of England, the scheme will bring a significant number of jobs to the area and inject millions in inward investment.”

Scott Mackie, director of Newmarket Lane Ltd said: “Yorkcourt and the directors of Newmarket are pleased we secured Kitwave as a tenant on this prestigious site. We look forward to welcoming many other occupants to the development in the very near future.” G F Tomlinson has worked on a number of high-profile industrial units over the last few years, and most recently it handed over five new industrial units at Ashroyd Business Park, Barnsley, for developer Network Space.

April 2021

Mecalac dealer expands Kent headquarters Versatile Equipment, Mecalac’s official dealer for the south-east of England, has expanded its headquarters in Kent with a purpose-built new facility. An expert in equipment rental, sales and servicing, the move will enable significant long-term growth while simultaneously enhancing aftersales for local customers.


ith an additional 5,000 square feet of floorspace, the new facility will expand Versatile’s highly regarded sales, marketing and aftersales support capabilities. This will be further boosted by the appointment of five new employees. Located in Borough Green, Kent, Versatile is renowned by operators across the region. The move will allow for a larger stock capacity, while a new on-site showroom will make it easier to view Mecalac’s latest compact models.

throughout the south-east. Having a designated showroom will help us to showcase Mecalac’s latest models, while additional employees and space will further enhance the customer experience and our aftersales support provision. With pioneering equipment that combines performance, safety and innovation, we are proud to be a Mecalac dealer.” Paul Macpherson, Commercial Director at Mecalac Construction Equipment UK, added: “Purpose-built and furnished to the highest standard, Versatile’s impressive new facility will prove pivotal to increasing the dealership’s reach across the south-east of England. It’s great to see continued investment in its headquarters, as well as expanding the team, which will undoubtably drive long-term growth and further increase market share.” For more information about Mecalac’s latest products, or to find your nearest dealer, visit For more information about Versatile Equipment, visit

Established in 2003, Versatile Equipment has continued to expand in line with growing demand from customers across the south-east of England. Alongside equipment sales, many clients rent from the business’ fleet of class-leading compact equipment. Barry Gass, Business Manager at Versatile Equipment, commented: “We are thrilled to be expanding our facilities in Kent, which will benefit customers


April 2021

OFF-GAS IDYLL GETS SUSTAINABLE OMNIE AIR SOURCE AND UFH SOLUTION The traumas of lockdown have prompted a boom in the popularity of rural living, though the reality is that most ‘chocolate box’ country cottages lack contemporary comforts. However, this will not be a worry to the purchasers of two newbuild homes in the Cotswolds idyll of Long Compton: thanks to their highly insulated construction and a truly sustainable building services package supplied by sector specialist, OMNIE. Now known as Gold Stone, the pair of four-bedroom detached houses have been developed by local builder, DG Carpenter Ltd. on land adjoining an existing bungalow, fully reflecting the architectural heritage of the area through the use of coursed, reclaimed Cotswold limestone rather than reconstituted masonry. The stylish appearance continues throughout the homes’ living spaces where, as well as supplying plentiful hot water to the multiple bathrooms, high efficiency LG air source heat pumps will feed underfloor heating circuits to maintain temperatures during the area’s notoriously cold winters. The plumber from nearby Moretonin-Marsh, a past user of OMNIE products, carried out all of the installation work for the heating and hot water services. He explains: “I work right across Gloucestershire and the neighbouring counties, while I’ve had past experience of installing OMNIE underfloor heating: including on a large domestic build at Lower Swell, near Stow-on-the-Wold. “ “For DG Carpenter on the Gold Stone houses, they sourced the complete package through Jewson at Chipping Norton and I undertook the installation of the heat pumps, the underfloor heating and the controls, while Simon and Andy Carpenter fitted the Zehnder heat MVHR systems which will provide the ventilation in what are very airtight


builds. Downstairs we installed the pipework over 100mm of Celotex insulation using the Staple system, which is very quick. Then upstairs we switched to OMNIIE’s LowBoard panels which are just so easy to fit and look really neat when they’re done. While OMNIE provides all the layout drawings electronically as well as in printed format, I normally print them out at A3 and laminate them, to keep them clean and dry on site. It took approximately two days per floor to do the install on each house before a flooring specialist laid all the limestone and engineered oak.” Because they run so quietly, the outdoor units could be located close to each home’s back wall, where they will continue to harvest latest heat from the atmosphere even in sub-zero temperatures. The Cylinder and components have been fitted in ground floor plantrooms. As well as leaving the room interiors free of radiators, the OMNIE underfloor heating has the added benefit of keeping the heat pumps running efficiently over extended periods, which reduces component wear. Together with the MVHR, this will also ensure the occupants of the Gold Stone

properties will enjoy low energy bills while the heat pumps themselves carry 7-year warranty cover. “OMNIE was absolutely fine about it and the background heat did the job while once they’re occupied, the OMNIE room thermostats, as well as floor sensors in the bathrooms, will keep the system in perfect balance for the owners.” For further information on OMNIE’s underfloor heating renewables, ventilation and control products, please contact : OMNIE, 18 APPLE LANE, SIDMOUTH ROAD, EXETER, DEVON, EX2 5GL. TEL: 01392 363605 FAX: 01392 364871 EMAIL: WEB:

April 2021

Marmox Thermoblocks Used For Parapet Wall Construction on Brighton Student Building The development of a new student accommodation building in one of the South Coast’s most popular towns has included the use of the proven-in-practice and very versatile Marmox Thermoblocks: specified to combat cold-bridging at the junction of its parapet walls with the property’s roof decks.


n total 800 of the 600mm long, 215x65mm Thermoblocks were supplied for the project by Dagenham based Encon Insulation Ltd., for the main contractor, Henry Construction, to lay during the development of the nine storey ‘Student Castle’ on Brighton’s Pelham Terrace. The work also involved using some 60 cartridges of Marmox MSP-360 sealant to secure the stepped overlap joints. The nineinch (225mm) thick brick walls have been built directly on top of the Thermoblocks which are themselves bedded around the perimeter of the RC terraces and main roof slab. The site agent for Henry Construction, John Keeley commented: “I have used Marmox Thermoblocks on a number of projects in the past – including with previous companies and always found them ideal for applications such as this, easy to cut and lay, while also being very robust. In the case of the Student Castle here in Brighton we have employed them for a series of parapet walls at first floor level, then at the perimeter of floors 6, 8 and 9, where the private penthouse apartments are located. Inside the line of the parapet wall and the Thermoblocks, we are installing a felt membrane, covered by rigid insulation and then a single ply cap sheet, dressed up the inside of the wall, to complete the roofing work.”

Marmox Thermoblocks are available in widths of 100, 140 or 215mm and are formed from sections of XPS (extruded polystyrene) encapsulating two rows of high strength, epoxy concrete mini-columns. These are attached at either end to the top and bottom layers of glassfibre reinforced polymer concrete, to ensure a good bond with the rest of the structure. As well as combatting cold-bridging at the base of blockwork walls, Thermoblocks are also often utilised to support timber frame construction or at vulnerable upper floor junctions including, as in the case of the Brighton project, beneath parapet walls. Crucially, a variety of details have been thermally modelled by the BRE to provide

insulation values for use in SAP or other calculations, avoiding the punishing ‘default’ figure. Despite the disruption caused by the Coronavirus lockdown, the project is still on course to be completed in time for the start of the next academic year this autumn, providing a total of 189 high specification student bedrooms, as well as five private apartments. For further information, please contact: Marmox (uk) ltd. Caxton house 101103 hopewell drive chatham kent me5 7np. Tel: 01634 835290 fax: 01634 835299 EMAIL: WEB:


April 2021

MAGPLY DOUBLES UP ON SHORELINE PROPERTY TO WITHSTAND THE ‘SANDS OF TIME’ A striking new three bedroom beachfront home on the East Sussex coast has been designed to not only respect its location within an area of Special Scientific Interest, but also withstand the challenging weather conditions as well as shifting sands, with Magply boards specified as part of both the roof and wall construction. Sea Breeze at Camber Sands is being built by Coast View Property Ltd., with RX Architects being the locally based design practice leading the project. The unique residence’s amenities will include a wellness spa with a steam pod, sauna and plunge pool, while the open plan living accommodation offers large expanses of glazing looking out across the beach.

In the case of the habitable roof-space, the contractors are applying a single ply Renolit rubber membrane over a sarking board and then bonding aluminium rails along the line of the rafters, to which the two overlapping layers of Magply are fixed with stainless steel screws. The pink coloured finish is then applied as a primer, base and pigmented topcoat.

The building is making use of non-traditional construction methods, which features twin 12mm layers of the rugged and versatile Magply boards as a carrier for a render like finish, applied by the Micro Cement Company across the entire envelope. Some 190 of the 12mm boards have been supplied to the site through the Rye branch of Parker Building Supplies.

The Associate at RX Architects leading the project, Rob Pollard, commented: “We have specified Magply for a number of projects, generally where there were fire protection issues due to the closeness of other buildings. We know once it has been used to sheath the structure that we have the fire rating to safely timber clad over the top or use any other material. In the case of Sea Breeze it also makes an ideal substrate for the Micro Cement finish, being so stable. The designs are focused on creating a really robust covering for the rubber membrane that still allows us to obtain the warranty for it.” Nick Browne from Coastal View Property, added: “Weighing 38 kg each, the Magply boards are fairly easy to handle and cut, while we are having to predrill them here because of fixing into the aluminium channels bonded across the Renolit single-ply membrane. We expect to be finished by the end of October, ready for the Micro Cement system to be applied.” Magply offers a fire-safe and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plywood or OSB products. Additionally, the unique production process keeps the chloride content to just 0.01%, enhancing both stability and long-term durability. The different thickness of panels are also widely used as a substrate board for the direct application of proprietary render systems, as well as for flooring and flat or pitched roof build-ups. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: GORDON PIRRET, MD or JOHN MALONE, UK NATIONAL SALES MANAGER IPP LTD. BRADWELL HALL BRADWELL ON SEA ESSEX CM0 7HX. T.01621 776252 F.01621776688 EMAIL: or


April 2021

The new R400 laser cutter from Trotec will enable small businesses to benefit from highquality cutting technology at an affordable price.


Trotec launches new affordable laser cutter

esigned by Trotec with Austrian engineering and built to exacting standards, the R400 laser cutter features a 1030 x 630mm working area and CO2 laser power from 60W-100W. It retails from £6,995 (excluding VAT) making it an affordable option for small businesses looking for a productive and reliable laser cutter.

Bryan Jater, Sales Director for Trotec UK and Ireland said: “Too often we see businesses buy into cheap laser cutters because the lower initial outlay is attractive to them. Unfortunately, many soon realise that the laser doesn’t live up to expectations or the frequent costs and downtime for its upkeep are holding the business back. “The R-series is designed and engineered with the dependability and ease-of-use which is synonymous with Trotec, but the DC laser source enables us to sell it at a lower price point. So, it’s accessible for businesses who have a limited budget to start with but don’t want to compromise on quality and reliability.”

Trotec has six laser showrooms across the UK and Ireland and also offers online demonstrations for the R-series as well its range of large format cutters, Speedy series engravers and galvo laser markers.

The R400 is the latest addition to the R-series of CO2 glass tube laser cutters which already includes the R500 with a 1300x900 mm working area.

For more information on the R-series contact us via or call 0191 580 1182.


April 2021

What is a conservation rooflight? If you know that you need conservation rooflights for your project, the chances are that you have searched online and found plenty of choice. But what is a conservation rooflight and are they all the same? To better understand what makes a rooflight a conservation style, it is important to understand the history behind this type of glazing and why the design is so sought after, not just on period properties but also more modern projects.

A Guide to Conservation Rooflights There’s a huge variety of choice in the conservation rooflight market and selecting the right product can be confusing. Paul Trace from Stella Rooflight offers some advice on things to consider when planning your project. 38

Without the ingenious concept of a rooflight the vision of transforming unconventional space into a well-lit property would be a daunting task, and in some cases an impossible option. For that reason, the conservation rooflight could be considered a highly influential building feature, which has given the construction industry a solution to introducing natural light into a property. Although rooflights, or skylights as they are sometimes known as, have been around for centuries they became more prominent during the Victorian era as technology and building aspirations were stretched and roof glazing boomed. One of the most famous Victorian building projects was the Crystal Palace, which in 1851 used glazing on an unprecedented scale to showcase just what could be achieved. Mass-produced Victorian rooflights for residential use tended to be made from cast iron and the earliest examples would have smaller, lighter panes of glass. This was partially down to limits of glass technology at the time but also because of excise duties, which were imposed on glass by weight in the mid-18th century. These slim, single glazed rooflights with multiple panels of glass were unobtrusive in design and sat flush in the roof. Today it is this minimalist appearance that many people are seeking to achieve in their glazing designs.

April 2021 As a result of their popularity, there are lots of conservation roof windows on the market, which can make choosing the right one virtually impossible unless one can identify what the differentiations are. An effective way to make this distinction is to look closer at the attributes of a true replica of a Victorian conservation rooflight.

What material is the conservation rooflight manufactured from? If a conservation rooflight is all frame, then there is little point in having one. Genuine conservation designs should be manufactured with slim clean lines and a low-profile to match the roofline. A number of skylight companies try to produce conservation rooflights using modern bulky aluminium profiles, which sit proud of the roofline, particularly slate. It is widely accepted that most authentic conservation rooflights are manufactured from steel because it provides great strength while offering a slim profile and excellent glass to frame ratios. There are many types of steel conservation rooflights and for unrivalled protection and lifespan, all Stella rooflights are manufactured from marine grade 316 stainless steel. Internally Stella rooflights are finished with real wood linings. American ash is the most popular choice, but we can produce these from any timber required. The use of real wood gives a neat, warm appearance to the internal element of your conservation rooflight. Nowadays most rooflight suppliers tend to use cheaper soft wood or plastic, which is painted white as an internal finish and these liners can result in deeper frame profiles or reduced viewable areas. While a white internal frame can be sold as ‘clean’ or ‘neat’, these can sometimes feel a little soulless and is a finish more often associated with modern flat rooflights than traditional conservation products.

Single or double glazed? Victorian rooflights would have been single glazed, however, today’s modern building standards are much higher and so single glazing does not meet the minimum requirements for thermal efficiency (Part L). Double glazing is now the most popular option for genuine conservation rooflights because glazing technology is such that a modern double glazed unit can provide a number of benefits while remaining reasonably slender. The units used in a Stella conservation rooflight offer both self-clean and solar control elements, while also providing excellent thermal efficiency with an inner pane of Planitherm One. Using warm edge spacer technology and argon gas our units are also silicone edge sealed, which gives them greater protection against UV light.

Some conservation rooflight suppliers are keen to boast about offering triple glazing in their products but while this does offer a slightly improved thermal performance it comes at the expense of appearance. The optimal spacer bar thickness is 16mm so any decent triple glazed unit is going to be almost 50% thicker than a double glazed version. Now with a flush fitting profile being one of the main requirements of a conservation rooflight, the introduction of triple glazing makes that almost impossible on some roof types.

Glazing bars? It is often a stipulation from the Conservation Officer that a conservation rooflight should have a glazing bar to replicate that original Victorian appearance. It is not always the case but it is definitely worth checking whether you need them before purchasing any conservation rooflight. If your conservation rooflight does require a glazing bar then it should be a genuine one. This is an area that separates those producing close replicas to the original Victorian rooflights and those who are trying to pass off modern skylights as something more traditional. A genuine glazing bar should be something which not only divides the glazing but also provides additional strength to the casement. So many conservation rooflights have something simply stuck or glued onto the outside of the glass which neither looks good nor provides any benefit to the rooflight. In addition, these stuck on bars (usually plastic) often attract dirt and mould and the lifespan of anything which is simply held on by tape or glue is unlikely to compare with a genuine steel glazing bar. A stuck on glazing bar is one step up from a felt pen but certainly should not be seen as a way to make a modern bulky framed profile meet the criteria of a conservation rooflight.


April 2021 difference is between their conservation rooflight and those used on modern buildings and the answer is a stuck on glazing bar, then you should avoid at all costs. Likewise, there are many elements which go into a genuine conservation design and price is always a reflection on quality.

Is there anything else I should consider when choosing my conservation rooflight? With the UK Government pursuing a carbon neutral environment it is imperative that every action is taken to reduce energy consumption. Rooflights are energy efficient as they let in large amounts of natural light thus reducing the need for artificial lighting. Bringing natural daylight into your home is about much more than creating a bright, welcoming environment, it’s about protecting your health and wellbeing and achieving a more positive way of life. One way to ensure that you maximise the amount of available light is to increase the size of your rooflights… or is it? Just because you have a large rooflight this does not always guarantee lots of light and you should always check what the finished viewable (often referred to as clear viewable) area of the rooflight will be. You might think that a conservation rooflight with a whole frame size of 900mm (w) x 1200mm (h) would have a similar clear viewable area regardless of the manufacturer, but you would be wrong and bulky framed modern types or the flat rooflights posing as pitched conservation styles will let in considerably less light than a genuine steel framed version.

Top hung or centre pivot? Once again, if you are looking for a close replica of a Victorian rooflight then a top hung profile will be the one you should opt for. Not only does a top hung design offer a more authentic appearance, it maximises the space below because the casement doesn’t stick into the room. Smaller top hung rooflights also utilise beautiful brass ironmongery to operate the casement whereas centre pivot designs tend to rely on modern plastic handles, which are out of reach and offer nothing to enhance the internal aesthetics.

Is any old conservation rooflight suitable for my project? Just because something is sold as a conservation rooflight, that doesn’t automatically make it suitable for all building types. If your building is Listed or in a conservation area then the criteria for using conservation rooflights are much stricter and you should always gain approval, not only for their use but also the manufacturer that you would want to use.


There are only a handful of companies that specifically make conservation rooflights and even fewer who design, manufacture and assemble in the UK. Many conservation rooflights available online are simply other products which have been spruced up to look like they meet the requirements of that type of product. If you ask a supplier what the main

With so many choices available, choosing the right conservation rooflight can be a bit of a minefield but with the right guidance and advice it need not be a stressful experience. At Stella we focus on each element of our conservation rooflight and our attention to detail is second to none, providing a realistic yardstick to measure the performance of other conservation rooflight designs. Our aim has always been to provide the best looking and best performing conservation rooflight on the market. Whether you are building from the ground up, renovating an existing environment or extending to create more room, we know that quality is important to you and getting it wrong is just not an option. We go further than anyone else to ensure only the finest quality materials are used in the manufacture of all our rooflights. We are the only rooflight manufacturer to use marine grade 316 stainless steel, offer a marine grade paint coating (C5 application) and provide a real wood internal finish on all our rooflights as standard. No other company provides such a high specification for conservation rooflights. For further information or to discuss your conservation rooflight requirement contact the Stella Rooflight team on 01794 745445 or email

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April 2021

Works start on key SEND schools in Lincolnshire as investment continues Four Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) schools in Lincolnshire are set to be expanded as part of Lincolnshire County Council’s £86 million investment programme - to improve and develop special schools across the county - landscape architect Influence has announced.


our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) schools in Lincolnshire are set to be expanded as part of Lincolnshire County Council’s £86 million investment programme - to improve and develop special schools across the county landscape architect Influence has announced. Working alongside contractor Willmott Dixon, Newarkbased Influence is providing landscape design services to Willoughby School in Bourne, Eresby School in Spilsby, St Bernard’s School in Louth and The Priory School in Spalding. The council’s investment strategy seeks to create an extra 500 SEND school spaces across the county, to meet the increasing demand and to combat families having to make long journeys to school. Of the improvement works at the four schools, Willoughby, Eresby and St Bernard’s achieved planning permission in 2020 to construct extension buildings to

existing sites, enabling more school places for pupils, as well as additional space for improved facilities. Works are now progressing on the £6.5million expansion plan for Eresby School in Spilsby, which will deliver five new classrooms, a hall, IT and science spaces, small group rooms, meeting spaces and hygiene facilities. Works also include enlarging the school’s car park, installing a canopy link, introducing new vehicle access points and fencing and landscaping around the site. The £4.25 million works to Willoughby School in Bourne will see 74 new car parking bays provided, along with capacity for 20 minibuses and a new drop off and pick-up point at the start and end of the school day. New fencing, lighting and CCTV security systems will also be installed, with safe, segregated vehicular and pedestrian access routes included as part of the site design. Works at St Bernard’s School, Louth, will see the demolition of two existing buildings and construction of a new twostorey building, remodelling of existing buildings and the creation of additional car parking and hard play areas.


Construction on the schools is due to begin early this year, with completion expected by early 2022.

April 2021

Plans for The Priory School, Spalding are nearing completion and are expected to be submitted for planning shortly. Shona Hatton, associate director at Influence, said: “We are proud to be managing the landscape designs of the extension and improvement plans for Willoughby, Eresby, St Bernard’s and The Priory Schools, in partnership with Willmott Dixon and Lincolnshire County Council and alongside their architects Kier Specialist Services. “The building works are part of the council’s ambitious investment plans to improve and expand SEND schools in the area, offering more places and improved facilities to children who will benefit hugely from having safe, engaging and enjoyable spaces to learn and interact. “We have worked on a number of schools in the East Midlands, including other SEND projects, and it is especially rewarding to see plans come to fruition that positively impact the services and quality of education available within our local communities.” Nick Heath, director of delivery at Willmott Dixon, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be working on these amazing schemes. With only 20 special education schools currently operating in Lincolnshire, we want to do everything we can to increase school places across the county to allow students of all ages easier access to the education they deserve.

Despite currently being in a national lockdown, the team will continue to operate by adhering to stringent safety procedures and enhanced social distancing measures. This optimisation of risk management means that we will be able to deliver the project to the agreed timescales and improve educational facilities for students across Lincolnshire as soon as possible. At Willmott Dixon, we pride ourselves on leaving a legacy in the local communities we work among; therefore we are delighted to be working in collaboration Influence to help Lincolnshire County Council establish a school system that provides education that is accessible to all who need it.” Cllr Mrs Patricia Bradwell OBE, executive member for children’s services, said: “We want to ensure that all children can access high-quality education, as near to their family and local community as possible. To help achieve that, we’re investing £86m in improving our special schools over the next few years. “Our ambitious programme will mean more pupils with SEND can attend a local school rather than having to travel large distances for their education, which will be of great benefit to both the children and their families. “I’m delighted to see construction getting underway at Eresby School and Willoughby School, and I look forward to seeing the projects progress.”


April 2021

Hayward Utility Services Celebrate Quality, Environmental And Health & Safety Award After Continuing To Deliver For Their Customers Throughout Covid One of South Wales’ key providers of civil engineering services to the utility industries has successfully navigated various pandemic-related issues to successfully increase business at the same time as getting its quality, environmental and health & safety management systems recertified.


ayward Utility Services, based in Bridgend, provides services around enabling works and civil engineering for projects in power generation and renewables across the UK.

Even though their work was classed as essential, the family owned and run business found it difficult in the early stages of the pandemic to manage suppliers, materials, deliveries and site operations while the country got to grips with the new way of working. But they quickly overcame these issues and, through careful management, saw a steady increase in turnover as major companies came to rely on their professionalism and competencies.


Chris Lawless, Managing Director, said: “We’re thrilled that, despite often extremely trying circumstances, we’ve shown how we’ve still been able to give our clients a high level of service and this has been recognised in

the achievement of our ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 recertification. “There were a number of complex issues which we had to tackle when lockdown first took hold, but we worked around these successfully. “We spent significantly on sanitiser, face masks, gloves, etc and put sanitisers on every site to make sure workers had enough for their personal use as well as providing disinfectant cleaning products for cleaning touch points such as machinery controls and door handles after use. We closely followed government guidelines and amended our working procedures to take into account the risks associated with the spread of the virus which was then also reflected in our work instructions. “Fortunately a lot of our work meant it was not necessary for workers to get too close to each other and we created a policy for our vans to contain only one member of staff, meetings were to be socially distanced and out in the open, where they could not be held remotely.

“We also introduced a raft of other measures such as regular cleaning, the stopping of visitors coming to site, and office-based meetings being held via videoconference. On-site signage was made up to warn staff, customers and members of the public of the requirement to maintain social distancing and PPE had social distancing messages printed on it. “We now enter 2021 full of confidence and have purchased new tools, vehicles and machinery. “The health and wellbeing of our own people and that of our customers was our key priority and, still today, we continually monitor Government guidelines on social distancing to implement, as appropriate, their recommendations. “I’d just like to thank our whole staff, who have delivered a magnificent response to keep our level of service as high as it has been in extremely testing circumstances. I’d also like to extend our gratitude to The Ideas Distillery who were brilliant in getting us ready for our ISO recertification,” he said.

April 2021

Valley Road STOR - 5MW capacity reserve power facility exporting to the grid (WPD) at 11kV: works involved the civil & structural design and build of all of the foundations for the site including fencing, ducting, drainage & footpaths. The very compact site presented several challenges including contaminated ground, poor ground quality, a busy public highway and frequent vehicle and crane movements from a busy industrial yard next door, which formed the main access to the works. The works were carried out safely and without incident despite the logistical challenges of the site and the initial effect of the COVID-19 pandemic which was taking effect as the works progressed. Hayward Utility Services often carry out work on brownfield sites and are used to dealing with complex problems related to previous site uses, working through them to find solutions that will ensure successful project delivery and conformance with safety, quality and commercial targets.

Russell Lawson, Managing Director from The Ideas Distillery, said: “We would like to extend our most heart-felt congratulations to Hayward Utility Services who really stepped up to the plate for their customers in very turbulent times.

They were quick to set up a COVID strategy which revolved around:

“Their great commitment to their quality, environmental and health & safety management system is readily evident and it was no surprise when they were recertified to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 despite all of the issues they have had to overcome over the past months.

• Setting up a dedicated Management Team who met daily. • Issuing new guidelines to all field operations staff including providing them with the appropriate PPE. • Ensuring a constant supply of hand sanitiser and disinfectant cleaners within the business. • Introducing agile working for many support functions including working from home, where possible, and removing any non-essential travel.

“We’ve no doubt that they’ll continue to deliver for their customers in the coming months, no matter what else is thrown at them,” he said.


April 2021

Prime Minister visits MTX fast-track ‘Project Speed’ at Hereford County Hospital “Build better. Build greener. Build faster” –Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. After declaring the UK Government’s intention to deliver ‘Project Speed’, including a £3billion capital investment into the NHS, we were excited to welcome the Prime Minister to visit our latest £12million, fast-track ward project at Hereford County Hospital.


oris visited our latest scheme on 11th August, keen to see for himself the progress of the new ward project aimed to give the NHS a total of 72 extra beds across 3 state-of-the-art wards, in just 11 months. Part of the Government initiative to ‘to build better, to build greener, to build faster’ the new ward scheme is being constructed using our most innovative fast-track methods aimed to reduce build time by up to 50%. With the Government’s ‘Project Speed’ well underway, described as “the most radical reforms of our planning system since the end of the second world war”, we believe our offsite methods are a clear way to deliver on the PM’s promises.


“The first of the 20 new hospital upgrades that this government has embarked on… The beginning of a record programme of investment in our NHS” - Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

April 2021

MTX Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) delivers:

‘Build Better’ • An engineered solution • Exceptional factory QC process • Reduced vehicle movements • Reduced on-site operatives • Safer construction sites • Minimised disruption to operational estates

‘Build Greener’ • Increased opportunity to recycle • Upto a 60% reduction in waste from construction activities • Improved building energy performance • Reduced carbon emissions during construction

‘Build Faster’ • Programme savings of up to 50% • Sub-structure and super structure constructed in parallel • Utilisation of pre-manufactured MEP services • Utilisation of off-site finishes

Find out more details about Project Speed We’d love to talk to you about how we can help you use Project Speed to fast-track your ethical construction projects. Feel free to get in touch to find out more.


April 2021


onstruction industry professionals and homeowners across the UK and Ireland can now benefit from an extra rewards boost this spring, thanks to roof window manufacturer VELUX®. Introduced in 2015, VELUX Rewards is a scheme designed to provide installers, builders and homeowners an opportunity to further benefit from buying roof windows from the premium roof window brand by providing access to vouchers redeemable at top high street and online brands each time they make a purchase. Rewards can be claimed for all purchases of VELUX roof windows, flat roof windows, sun tunnels, blinds or selected combination flashings throughout the year. While rewards typically range from £3 to £30 depending on the product, for this March and April only VELUX is offering £35 of rewards for every white polyurethane roof window. Ideal for bathroom and kitchen projects where daylight is key and rooms can be at risk of condensation. The extra rewards are redeemable at a range of retailers and restaurants including well-known brands Argos, M&S, John Lewis, Adidas and Tesco. The last day customers can submit a claim is 14 May 2021.

Velux Rewards Scheme Offers Up to £35 For Purchases This Spring Installers and builders can take advantage of extra rewards with top retail and high street brands when purchasing selected roof windows VELUX Certified Installer Bruce Poll and his family have received hundreds of pounds from the reward scheme. He said: “We’ve got a John Lewis nearby, so that’s where we tend to spoil ourselves, it’s a little treat that’s

come from VELUX. We’ve also taken the staff out for a meal at Pizza Express and did our entire Christmas food shop at M&S!” Scott Leeder, Market Director from VELUX said: “Spring is traditionally a busy time for the industry, with homeowners keen to expand their homes in time for summer. With renovations keeping installers busy, we were keen to provide an extra boost to our rewards scheme to ensure installers, builders and homeowners benefit even more by choosing VELUX. The range of rewards mean that there’s something for everyone, including home tech and furnishings. Sign up now and you could earn literally hundreds of pounds worth of rewards just by purchasing VELUX products.” To receive rewards from VELUX, upload your invoice at


April 2021


As one of the leading manufacturers in the field of sealing technology, ISO-Chemie is now able provide architects and specialist planners with BIM-ready product data for its sealing and in-front-of-wall installation solutions.


uilding Information Modeling (BIM) is playing an increasingly significant role in the implementation of large and complex planning tasks. The first step was to create a range of BIM data from the “joint sealing tapes”, “multifunctional joint sealing tapes” and “in-front-of-wall installation systems” product families; these are available for downloading as BIM-ready objects. More products are at the planning stage. The BIM data can be used free of charge, either via the in-house ISO-PORTAL at or using an external BIM database. It can also be used in CAD software such as Autodesk Revit. An electronic CAD product catalogue will be available as a supplement to this. The BIM model-based planning method is intended to facilitate planning, execution and management of buildings across all the trades involved using a common data model for all participants. The important factor is that all the relevant building data is digitally recorded, combined and interlinked in a model.

Andy Swift, ISO Chemie’s sales & operations manager, UK & ROI, said: “Systematically maintained building data helps the operator throughout the structure’s life cycle with the knowledge of what has been installed and where. If a window has to be replaced in 30 years’ time, it will be clearly identifiable which products were used and which component connections are affected. So renovations can be planned efficiently and carried out under controlled conditions.” With the future-focussed project BAUFUGE 4.0, the building sealing solutions manufacturer is providing important support for architects and specialist planners by digitising processes, thus ensuring a high level of reliability in terms of predictive planning, efficient implementation and a smooth workflow. ISO-Chemie is one of Europe’s main producers of impregnated foam sealants, specialising in the manufacture of foam products from polyethylene (EPE), polypropylene (EPP) and polyurethane (PUR) using the latest production techniques. With hundreds of pallets in UK stock for next day delivery, the company can service the whole industry. More at


April 2021

Solar shading company reduces air conditioning usage by up to 68% at NHS hospital in Hampshire, solving Covid-19 ventilation problem.

Smartlouvre are the only manufacturers of the world’s thinnest and lightest sustainable louvred metal fabrics, MicroLouvre. The lightweight screens that easily attach to the outside of any windows have exceptional solar shading, natural ventilation and daylighting capabilities. Laboratory tests and previous case studies have proven that MicroLouvre can save up to 68% in air conditioning usage (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2016, 3). This extraordinary finding makes MicroLouvre the solution not just for heat reduction, but also the serious issues with COVID-19 caused by inadequate and dangerous ventilation systems. MicroLouvre has provided huge benefits for both patients and staff at an NHS Hospital in Hampshire.


The fact that coronavirus is transmissible by airborne particles (The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 2020:1159) means it has been recommended that hospitals, care homes, schools and public buildings find ways to naturally ventilate and reduce

temperatures inside the building (Health and Safety Executive, 2021). In high rise buildings (such as hospitals) temperatures on wards can reach staggering heights of 30+ degrees centigrade (Siddique, 2021). Considering that germs breed in hot climates, this is a serious concern in the upcoming months. In April 2020, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Smartlouvre was commissioned to install MicroLouvre screens on the Microbiology laboratory at an NHS Hospital in Hampshire on a trial run basis. The installer, Tim Powell, was met with initial resistance from the laboratory technicians as they were concerned that they wouldn’t be able to use their mobile air conditioning units which hang out of the windows. As chance would have it, whilst Tim Powell was explaining that the introduction of the MicroLouvres Screens would render their portable air conditioning units redundant, a Ward Sister walked past overhearing the exchange, and found that the product was exactly

what they needed on her ward. She demanded that the Facilities Manager provide them for her ward, after receiving continuous complaints from staff and patients that the living and working conditions were unbearably hot especialliy when heavily covered in PPE. Despite questions over budget, by June 2020, MicroLouvre screens had been installed for the laboratory and the entire ward. The vast improvement was soon noticed, and the hospital no longer needed 40 new mobile air conditioning units, the laboratory technician air con machines were made redundant, and the windows could easily be opened for natural ventilation. In 2015, Smartlouvre bought the rights to produce MicroLouvre, previously known as Koolshade, which has been being installed onto properties all around the world for more than 60 years. Due to the louvres being woven from corrosion-resistant, noncombustible, 90% recycled copper alloys, MicroLouvre are able to stand the test of time, proven with

April 2021 industry and solve the ventilation issue during the current COVID-19 pandemic. For more information or to book your free sample, head over to https://www.smartlouvre. com or call on +44 239 245 6333. References

the many buildings that had the product fitted in the 1960s, still benefiting, with zero maintenance from the initial installation. Its eco-friendly properties make it a revolution in clean energy, with the product being 100% recyclable and drastically reducing the need for artificial cooling systems. In 2020, Smartlouvre teamed up with simulation software company, Simscale. Using a simulation of the exact metrics of the product, they were able to calculate and prove the efficiency of MicroLouvre for today’s building modelling, previously only determined from practical use. Imputing a face-on open area of 67%, which increases to a phenomenal 80% at the 17° louvre angle, and a weight of only 1.1kg/m2, the pressure drop measured for 220mm x 220mm was only 40Pa, a discharge coefficient equivalent to a 400mm x 400mm square top hung window tilted outward 45deg nearly 3.5 times bigger! The simulation also showed that air passing through the angled louvres created an upward laminar airflow, inducing a current of air that moves across the ceiling and more effectively distributes clean air through the room (Simscale, 2020). Based on the above simulations, Smartlouvre and Simscale were able to prove that the product passes the threshold for multiple accreditations under the world’s leading sustainability assessment method, BREEAM, including HEA4 Credit for thermal comfort and reducing overheating risk, and ENE1 Energy Credit for reducing cooling demand leading to lower electricity use and carbon emissions. It also

surpasses the GLA overheating criteria to reduce high risk of solar gains and thermal comfort issues on glass buildings, LEEC EA Energy Credit to reduce demand, use free energy, and increase efficiency, as well as the Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ) for Ventilation Effectiveness, Thermal Comfort, and Daylight and Views. Additionally, studies carried out by the California Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for a leading US Energy Company (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2016, 65), concluded that the larger the surface area that MicroLouvre is covering, the more effective it is likely to be. Furthermore, using their data for CO2 emissions reduced by MicroLouvre, Smartlouvre calculated the approximate CO2 savings over the lifespan of a building with MicroLouvre. LBNL’s study used results based on two clear sunny days in October 2015, with both buildings with and without MicroLouvre having south facing windows, glazing and HVAC system, and a room temperature of 21 degrees centigrade. The results showed that you save 0.78kWh/m2 per day, which means, using The United States Energy Information Agency’s publication from 2018 that 0.99lbs of CO2 is produced to deliver 1kW of electricity, assuming that an average building has a lifespan of 50 years, and you would usually need air conditioning for around five months of the year, you would save approximately 2.9 short tonnes (US) of CO2, or 2.6 metric tonnes of CO2/m2! Smartlouvre has the opportunity to revolutionise the clean energy solar

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (2016) Technology Assessments of High Performance Envelope with Optimized Lighting, Solar Control, and Daylighting. Available at https://windows.lbl. gov/publications/technologyassessments-high-performanceenvelope-optimized-lighting-solarcontrol-and. [Accessed 1 March 2021]. (2020) Covid-19 Transmission - up in the air. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 8 (12) 1159. Available at:, [Accessed 17 February 2021]. Health and Safety Executive (2020) Ventilation and air conditioning during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Available at: https:// equipment-and-machinery/airconditioning-and-ventilation. htm. [Accessed 26 February 2021]. Siddique, H. (2018) NHS faces ‘summer crisis’ as heatwave sees record numbers at A and E. The Guardian. Available at: society/2018/jul/26/uk-heatwavecreating-summer-crisis-fornhs-says-labourb. [Accessed 17 February 2021]. Simscale (2020) Smartlouvre Technology Ltd. Validates the Performance of a MicroLouvre™ Screen for Low Energy Building Design With SimScale’s Cloud-Based Platform. Available at: https:// smartlouvre-technology-ltd/. [Accessed 25 February 2021]. Contact Information Joe Reynolds Technical Product Manager Smartlouvre 0239 245 6333


April 2021

It’s not Springtime yet... For many of us, the last weekend in February brought the long-awaited return of the sunshine; however, it may have been just a false start. Yes, it felt like Springtime but some weather forecasters are predicting a return for the ‘Big Freeze’!


f you’re working outside, March is far too early to forget about winter hand protection. And if you work in a cold environment, you’ll need to protect your hands all year round. It’s not enough to pull on a pair of woolly gloves; you need to consider the industrial hazards and that means specialist hand protection. The correct thermal and industrial protection will enable you to work confidently and efficiently regardless of the cold.

Get the right specialist hand protection for you... MCR Safety has the technology to produce specialist gloves for the cold that keep hands warm, insulated, protected and comfortable. You may need varying levels of protection depending on the particular task or the nature of your work. The gloves in our range each offer a set of slightly different protective properties. You should consider the task you’re carrying out and your environment and decide which glove is best for you.

WL1048HP A nylon glove with HTP coating and a cosy terry towelling lining. Protection from the cold with great, flexibility, dexterity and comfort.


The HTP coating has a SpongeTouch finish for outstanding grip in wet, dry and oily conditions. It’s seamless, breathable and also sanitised for great hand hygiene.

Designed for precision handling tasks in very cold environments both indoors and out. CE Standards: EN388:2016 3231X EN511: X2X

Zestos If you need cut protection Zestos is the glove for you. It’s a thermally insulated work glove with a warm fleecy lining, a water-resistant outer and a level of cut protection not normally associated with a winter glove.

Its finely textured surface repels water droplets and provides powerful wet and dry grip. On the interior, the super-soft, micro-fleece lining is incredibly comfortable. Ideal for industrial protection in winter conditions. CE Standards: EN388:2016 2X42C EN511: X1X Find out more about Specialist Winter Hand Protection please click here

The handmade, traditional art of neon signage is still preserved by a few bespoke providers. We are based in Kent but cover the whole of the UK so drop us a line and we’ll be happy to quote to bring that classic, striking look to your business. 0800 9175526 | 07944 298554 CafeCulture Ltd, 6 Edith Road, Orpington, Kent. BR6 6JQ

April 2021


CONSTRUCTION UPDATE Recommended Suppliers The Solid Wood Flooring Company manufactures and supplies high quality, hardwood flooring material across the UK. 01666 504015 Unit 1 Helena Court, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, GL8 8JN

We are the UK’s trusted Japanese knotweed treatment and remediation company with a proven track record in working successfully for local authorities, developers, construction companies and private landowners. T: 0333 2414 413

Pool lock safety pool cover you will no longer have to worry about your loved ones. +44 1293 77 44 14 +44 1293 77 44 33 PoolLock UK Ltd, Gatwick Business Park, Unit 2B, Kennel Lane, Hookwood, RH6 0AH, Horley, United Kingdom

We design and supply bags and cradles globally that secure non-standard loads ready for lifting to height using winches and cranes. 0114 3241224 PafBag Limited, Unit C14, Alison Business Centre, Alison Crescent, Sheffield, S2 1AS, United Kingdom

SAiGE Longlife Decking Ltd are proud of the high quality composite products that we supply to the UK, Irish and European Markets. +44 (0) 1789 721 576

SAiGE Longlife Decking Ltd, Vicarage Barns, Lower Quinton, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, United Kingdom, CV37 8SG