Home Designer & Architect - March 2021

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MAGAZINE March 2021

THERE IS NO PLAN(ET) ‘B’… OR ‘C’ says Rinnai UK managing director, Tony Gittings.

THERE IS NO PLAN(ET) CO-OPERATION AND UNITY OF ACTION NEEDED TO De-carbonisation of our entire societal structure can be achieved through close co-operation and unity of effort by all interested parties of the global energy industry in order to achieve the goal in the shortest possible timeframe. billions in revenue and years of time in design and manual labour. Replacing toxic fossil fuels with cleaner, friendlier, Hydrogen ensures harmful emissions will be nullified. Hydrogen is going to play a crucial role in domestic and commercial life at some time in the near future. “We are aware of reports which state that existing gas appliances can be converted from natural gas to Hydrogen in the same amount of time as a standard annual service of a domestic boiler. “

ossil based fuels have been conclusively proven too damaging to the global environment to continue any possible justification of their use, so there is a pressing need to quickly adopt alternative energy sources that assist in providing clean and continuous power to all urban and rural areas.


“In the UK we have welcomed the Government’s initiatives to change the energy consumption landscape. However, I believe that the industry, in total, can look to combine all its efforts and knowledge to promote far better awareness of energy efficiency as this is a vital part of the transition to the range of alternatives fuels and appliances for domestic heating and hot water – plus the needs of industry and commerce,” says Rinnai UK managing director, Tony Gittings.

“A collective realization is required by the public and industry alike, to the idea that not only is an energy transition imminent, but it is also urgently required. This country’s housing stock is over 24 million units and the UK had a total energy consumption increase by 1.1 per cent in 2018 to reach 143 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe), the highest level since 2013. “We believe that Hydrogen is the main contender for mass market consumption. But there are several primary fuels which can also do the job, especially the natural powers of solar, wind and wave. Hydrogen is set to be a key player in the energy sector and has widespread governmental, scientific and industry support. “Hydrogen can be transported through infrastructure already in place, saving

Hydrogen in the domestic setting is seeing up to £500 million government funding on trials for homes using hydrogen, starting with a Hydrogen Neighbourhood in 2023, moving to a Hydrogen Village by 2025, with an aim for a Hydrogen Town – equivalent to tens of thousands of homes – before the end of the decade. Of this funding, £240 million will be for hydrogen production facilities. Drawing attention to these matters: a Rinnai web information hub has been created to provide valuable information on the impact of a Hydrogen conversion as well as its benefits and potential future uses. The Rinnai Hydrogen Information Hub will be aimed at building services consultants, engineers, specifiers and end-users. It will be online and include webinars plus all requested digital or onsite meetings.

‘B’…OR ‘C’ ACHIEVE DECARBONISATION GOAL “Rinnai welcomes the UK government’s recent ‘Ten Point Plan’, the drive to decarbonisation using Hydrogen. Heating emissions are a huge issue and Hydrogen is one answer to the Energy Trilemma, as we have stated several times,” says Rinnai’s Chris Goggin who is also a board member of the ICOM Energy Association. Rinnai is a true global player in the manufacture of domestic and commercial appliances and operates in almost 50 countries. Rinnai is the world’s leading manufacturer of continuous flow hot water systems - it makes and sells 2 million units each year. The range of units can be manifolded to supply, limitless hot water to any site of any size. This means fast, efficient, temperature-controlled water on demand at the point of delivery – kitchens, showers, accommodation blocks, bathrooms, washrooms - and less space spent on plant rooms with no or little maintenance as all units are proven to be robust with a long, long working life.

Call 01928 531 870 or email engineer@rinnaiuk.com or sales@rinnaiuk.com alternatively use the smart online contact points “Help Me Choose”. or “Ask Us a Question”, all held on the website homepage at


No.1 Choice Electric Radiator Collection EHC offer a comprehensive Range of Electric Products that are all controlled by our DSR Smart Technology which enables you to select different Heaters and mix and match them as a Hybrid Heating System for the various rooms within your property to suit your design style and budget – the choice is yours.

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Industry News

Nicholas Burns nestles concrete chapel within grounds of Portuguese estate Architect Nicholas Burns has hidden a chapel made from concrete amongst trees and granite boulders on a large private estate in northern Portugal. Fittingly named Chapel and Meditation Room, the project was commissioned by the estate’s owners who wanted a space for both private and group reflection within the grounds. Australian-born and Bali-based architect Burns was given full rein on its design and location within the thirty-hectare site.

“The height was determined by the height of the trees growing in a few years and becoming taller, concealing the highest point of the building.”

Burns decided to build the chapel on a knoll bounded by gullies and covered in rocks and dense foliage, which grants it a protective and isolated feeling.

Burns chose concrete as the primary material for the Chapel and Meditation Room for its “plasticity”, which allowed him to achieve its continuous, sinuous form.

Its form responds directly to this setting, with a curving exterior that slots between the boulders and tree trunks. While minimising damage to nature, this is hoped to make the chapel appear as part of the landscape.

It also provides the building with a “neutral, consistent surface inside and out”, Burns said, which retains focus on the landscape.

“The idea that the landscape will grow around and envelope the building over time and become part of it,” Burns said. “The volumes of the various spaces were constrained by the location of the boulders and trees,” he continued. •4•

Photography is by Peter Bennetts.

industry news Rent out a spare room If you have the space then renting out a furnished spare room, loft, or annexe can be a great way to accrue additional income, either short or long term. Do your research so you know exactly what’s involved in being a landlord, and make sure you interview tenants first and ask them to sign a contract to avoid any complications.


ways to make money off your home

Looking to generate some additional income in 2021? In this article, Peter Watton from OddsMonkey shares his tips for making money at home. t’s always nice to have some extra money coming in. But, with Money reporting that 78% of people in the UK are starting off 2021 with personal debt, more and more of us are looking for new ways to generate additional income.


If you have credit cards, personal or payday loans, car loans, or overdrafts to pay off, or if you’d just like to have a little extra disposable income, you might be interested to know that the house you live in could be the key to doing just that. Below, I’ll take you through just some of the ways you can make money off your home.

Rent out your driveway or parking space

Thanks to the government’s Rent a Room Scheme, you can rent out as much of your home as you like and earn up to £7,500 per year tax-free. You’ll have to let your mortgage and insurance lenders know that’s what you intend to do, but in most cases it won’t affect your policies much. If you currently live alone, taking in a lodger will affect the single person discount on your council tax so you’ll have to factor in the loss of this 25% reduction. But you can rent out long term and even run a bed and breakfast under this scheme.

Run a shop Take advantage of unused space in your home by running an online shop. This can be as simple as searching in the sales to find discounted products, then selling them on through a digital

Renting out parking space is a great option if you live in the city centre, next to a notable transport link such as a train station, or even a hospital or football stadium. You could stand to make between £50 and £200 per month on average, with even more profit to be made in London boroughs where parking space is at a premium. Rules vary by council, but It’s important to note that you can only sell or rent out space on property you own, and not lease out your resident’s permit for on-street parking. You’ll also have to pay income tax, check your insurance and mortgage policies to see if they allow it, and — depending on where you live — acquire planning permission. Alternatively, you could consider renting out your car through a third party, especially if yours isn’t getting a lot of use at the moment. If the worst should happen, you’re usually covered by the company’s insurance and not your own, so it’s very easy to set up and do. However, you still have to let your insurance company know what’s going on and the additional mileage may affect your premium.

marketplace. Alternatively, if you’re good with your hands, you could use the extra room to set up a craft area in your home and sell what you make. As an online seller you can make up to £1000 taxfree on sites like eBay, Etsy, and Depop, but anything over that and you’ll need to register as self-employed with HRMC and pay the appropriate sales tax. There are so many ways to make money online aside from selling, too. From blogging and influencing to matched betting, our free guides to online side hustles can help you find the right option for you. The tips in this guide can help you find ways to make money off your home. Give them a try and you’re sure to generate some extra income.

Industry News

Construction begins on MVRDV’s mixeduse tower in San Francisco Construction has started on MVRDV’s 23-storey mixed-use building at Mission Rock in San Francisco. The project is one of four buildings in Phase 1 of a multiphase masterplan developed by the San Francisco Giants and Tishman Speyer. It is designed as part of a collaborative design process, with four architecture firms designing their plot in conversation with the other three offices. Alongside the MVRDV project, the masterplan also includes designs by the internationally renowned architecture firms Studio Gang, Henning Larsen, and WORKac. The Mission Rock masterplan turns 28 acres (11 hectares) of asphalt including a windswept parking lot into an exciting new neighbourhood and community gathering point for San Francisco residents and visitors. Its ensemble of mixed-use buildings is tied together by public spaces that surround the buildings and continues through their ground floors, connecting them seamlessly to the projected China Basin Park. The project is part of a public-private partnership established by the San Francisco Giants, Tishman Speyer and the Port of San Francisco with the aim to develop a mixed-use waterfront neighbourhood near Oracle Park. MVRDV’s design projects onto the block a topography inspired by Californian landscapes, forming an ensemble of low and high-rise sharing a publicly accessible canyon-like space that provides a more intimate space within in the open harbour-oriented masterplan. The block, called Building A, occupies a prime location, adjoining the “handshake plaza” that will greet visitors entering Mission Rock via the 3rd Street Bridge. Its internal, canyon-like street is an essential part of a sequence of public spaces, extending the landscape from China Basin Park through the building itself and into the heart of the Mission Rock masterplan, connecting the different plots.


DLA appointed to design new landmark for leeds’ international pool site DLA Architecture has been appointed to design the much-anticipated new £270 million landmark development on the former International Swimming Pool site at Lisbon Street in Leeds city centre. The 2.8-acre strategic site has been used as a car park since the pools’ demolition in 2009 and has since been under much speculation about its future potential as one of the city centres’ last remaining sites prime for development. The news follows the recent announcement that joint venture partnership Marrico Asset Management and Helios Real Estate have been selected as preferred developer by Leeds City Council. Plans for ‘Lisbon Square’, which sits in the heart of the city’s West End business district, include Grade A office accommodation, student apartments, residential apartments, an aparthotel and further retail and leisure provisions. The partnership expects to submit a planning application in spring 2021. Leeds established DLA Architecture has a long-standing professional relationship with Marrico having already advised on its other major Leeds schemes including Central Square and the proposed new 300 bed hotel at Sovereign Square. DLA was selected to advise on Lisbon Street because of its expert knowledge of Leeds architectural landscape and council aspirations to enhance the city’s public realm and connect this part of Leeds with other parts of the West End district. Marrico’s Partner, Mark Barnes said: “We are excited by the Lisbon Square proposals, which would transform the former pool site and play a key role in bringing more investment and growth into the west end of the city centre. “Since selection we have spent the intervening period working with DLA to refine our design to meet the changing needs of occupiers and maintain momentum despite current economic challenges. The result is a scheme which would be a major asset to the city. We face challenges in the current environment, but we are confident that our design will be compatible with market demands going forward.” Jason Clarke, Director at DLA Architecture said, “We are delighted to be working with the whole team to design an inspiring new environment deserving of this critical site in Leeds city centre. Whilst it is important to realise the capital value of such a central location, it is also a pre-requisite that we balance this with strong public realm, creating strong linkages to neighbouring West End sites such as Park Square and Wellington Place.” “Our design proposals will balance impressive and engaging buildings with new green spaces in line with the Council’s ‘Our Spaces Strategy’. It will embody the joint vision for a 24/7 destination supporting sustainable growth, offering a dynamic transition between the city centre’s financial core and neighbouring residential and riverside localities.” DLA Architecture is an award-winning practice which employs over 75 architects, landscape architects, technologists and graphic designers. Established over 40 years ago the practice has offices in Leeds, Manchester and London.

Industry News

Bristan OPAC TMV3 Commercial Showers

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

There’s a variety of options to choose from to suit your specification requirements — all of which quality tested in our UKAS accredited in-house testing centre.

Discover the full range at www.bristan.com/ specifiers-home/opaccommercial-showers


Industry News

Planning approval for £50m landmark seaside regeneration project The £50 million regeneration of Queen’s Parade, a 13 acre (5.26 hectares) waterfront site in Bangor, near Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been granted planning permission by Ards and North Down Council. The scheme, designed by TODD Architects for Bangor Marine Ltd, will see Bangor’s Marine Gardens returned to its heyday of Victorian seaside elegance whilst creating a vibrant mixed-use development of residential, hotel, office, retail and cultural and recreation floorspace in the heart of the town centre. Nigel Murray, Associate at TODD Architects, says, “We are delighted to see this project being taken forward; it represents a tremendous boost for the whole region and a massive vote of confidence in Ards and North Down and its future economy.” “At a time when our already strained high streets and town centres are being fundamentally impacted by lockdown restrictions as a result of the pandemic, this project provides a template for future town centre renewal and recovery. Bringing new homes, office space and a hotel into the town centre will improve the town centre’s viability by creating a critical mass of people in one place that can sustain the town’s other uses more effectively, creating employment, attracting visitors and stimulating further investment for the town and the local area.” The Queen’s Parade project, led by Developer Bangor Marine Ltd, is being developed in conjunction with the Department for Communities and Ards and North Down Council. The project will create a premier year-round waterfront destination for Bangor and for Northern Ireland and is seen as critical to the future of the town and maximising the economic growth potential of the wider borough of Ards and North Down. It forms part of a combined investment of £110 million in Bangor over the next 10 years that is set to generate new jobs, shops, offices, homes and tourist attractions.

by unlocking and activating underutilised brownfield areas and back lands, providing instead a series of vibrant, active public streets, plazas and private courtyards, which are in turn served and activated by the proposed new buildings. The proposed new areas of public realm are all interconnected, providing both individual focal points with distinct characters, and an overall lattice which knits together the somewhat disparate elements of Bangor’s existing town centre in an entirely more coherent and accessible manner. The scheme seeks to reconnect people to both the town and the sea, with one of the key elements being the creation of an elevated Market Square looking over the Marina and to Belfast Lough beyond, offering the town a different relationship to the water and creating a distinctive character of space to the seafront Marine Gardens. The waterfront will be re-activated by creating all year-round places and spaces to enjoy the water. A lively and inclusive public realm, elegant contemporary promenade and flexible outdoor event space are complemented by the residential and hotel elements which are key to providing 24/7 footfall.

Bangor Marine Limited is a joint venture partnership between NI property development company Karl Group and leading NI contractor Farrans, created A prime objective has been to re-stitch the town specially to deliver the project. TODD Architects is the architect lead within a back together, with TODD Architects’ design multidisciplinary team that includes TURLEY, Park Hood, Atkins, RPS, Dorans for Queen’s Parade placing great emphasis together with Wayne Hemingway as a brand and vision consultant. on maintaining and creating connectivity


9 Step Closed Loop Recycling

These days, the word “sustainability” seems to crop up everywhere. Whether that’s in news reports, magazine articles, advertising campaigns or emblazoned on the side of lorries. But is it just another business buzzword, or are we genuinely making a shift in the way we think and act, in order to protect and preserve the world we live in for future generations? hile “Green Issues” like recycling and sustainability were on the fringe 20 years ago, these days they’re right at the heart of business with sustainability having a huge influence on every aspect of industry, especially at Eurocell.


PVC-U is a highly sustainable product, robust enough to be recycled and repurposed up to 10 times without its quality or performance deteriorating, giving it a lifespan in the construction industry of 350 years. At our recycling plants, we process up to 70,000 old PVC-U window frames per week, or around 39,000 tonnes per year. Once recycled, it is used to create a variety of new products, from thermal inserts to our revolutionary Modus window system. By doing this we are able to reuse almost 100% of our production waste.

2021 Targets Despite 2020 resulting in a number of challenges - Eurocell Recycle still managed to recycle an impressive number of PVC-U frames. Like most businesses, Eurocell Recycle closed it’s doors for a few months in 2020 to keep it’s staff and customers safe, and put in Covid-secure work processes. This being said, for the last 5 consecutive years, (2020 excluded) Eurocell Recycle has managed to beat it’s previous years total recycling number and we plan to make 2021 the biggest year yet, with a target of a record-breaking 3.5 million frames recycled.

The recycling process makes PVC-U stronger Products manufactured from recycled PVC-U are actually stronger than those made with virgin plastic because of the chemical transformation of the polymers it contains when it goes through the recycling process. At our consolidated operations in Ilkeston and Selby, Eurocell Recycle now offers the largest and most complete closed-loop process in the UK for collecting and processing used PVC-U frames to be re-extruded and turned into new windows, doors and building products.

We support business that remove a large amount of frames per month, so if you want to sign up for this service and help us reach our recycling targets, please contact us on 0333 777 3042 to arrange a collection.



MAKE LIGHT WORK (IN ‘SOHO’) A big impact of the Covid 19 Pandemic is that far more of us are now working from home. Ensure you maximise natural daylight in your home working environment – it’s good for your well-being says Crittall Windows… The small office/home office (SOHO) trend has been growing for some time. With the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically impacting on how - and where - we work, it looks set to be an even bigger part of modern living. Increased home working for more people will be the norm as the majority of businesses consider it to likely be a permanent feature. A survey of almost 1,000 firms by the Institute of Directors (IoD) shows that 74% plan on maintaining the increase in home working. Over half planned to reduce their long-term use of workplaces. While some companies are not likely to switch fully to home working, a smaller survey of bosses whose firms had already cut workplace use suggested 44% of them thought working from home was proving ‘more effective’. The BBC questionnaire found that 24 firms did not have any plans to return workers to the office. Other studies have revealed that nine in ten workers who worked from home during lockdown want to continue in some form and suggest most people working from home are as productive, if not more.

For example, the 2017 Nobel Prize for Medicine went to three American scientists working on understanding circadian rhythms – the 24-hour cycle also known as the internal body clock. Daylight suppresses the hormone inducing sleep and the ultraviolet wavelengths in natural light have a positive effect on the body’s immune system. Daylight induces wakefulness, cognitive function, productivity, general health and healing. No wonder in a 2018 survey 80% of UK office workers said daylight was important to them. That applies to the SOHO setting too.

Feelgood factor “Evidence suggests it’s important to have a feelgood factor inside your home. Our positive well-being depends on frequent exposure to light, and daylight is the most powerful way, especially during these times of the pandemic, with more of us working from home and creating a home office or working zone,” says Russell Ager, managing director of steel window and door manufacturer Crittall Windows.

Using natural light to define a space is a key element within a home’s design - and should be a significant consideration for your home working environment; whether it’s a home office, study, converted playroom, your bedroom, at the kitchen table or in a garden annex.

“Our homes play a big part in our sense of well-being and their design; lighting and exposure to natural light through windows and doors really do impact. Steel-framed windows are ideal with their inherent strength allowing large expanses of glass, elegantly slender frames and the slimmest of profiles.

In broad daylight

“Passive daylight reduces reliance on artificial lighting which in turn reduces energy consumption while ensuring their occupants benefit from being inside. The window is the most obvious component for assisting this design outcome.

Daylight flooding into workplaces, schools - and homes - has a positive impact on our daily lives, and that’s not just a vague feeling, it’s scientifically proven.


“Its size, positioning, frame and glazing play a key role in the ‘collection’ and ‘distribution’ of natural light through the interior. It’s time to do away with daylight robbery!” The hallmark of a Crittall window is the slender steel frame that is so much slimmer – and therefore admits so much more light – than alternative window systems which require far larger profiles due to the basic differences in the frame material and their relative strengths. Adding bright, beautifully crafted walls of glazing and slim-profiled windows can reflect the timeless style of a period house, adeptly define spaces in a townhouse, minimalist urban loft, warehouse apartment or a selfbuild project. Glazing expanses within external walls give a greater sense of space and light to achieve a beneficial connection with the outdoors. When working at home a clear outdoor view of a landscape, garden, patio, trees or a park can be inspirational for that great creative idea – and good for our well-being. For a new extension, combining outdoor space with an internal area under structural glazing, removing barriers so you have a level threshold, or creating a courtyard with stunning full-length glazing, are great ways to achieve impact and add value to your property.

Lighten up the inside A plentiful supply of natural daylight in to and throughout a building, combined with good insulation, adequate ventilation and acoustic control all form part of an elaborate jigsaw.

Courtesy: Nicola Hicks Design/Charlie Round-Turner/Lightfoot Windows (Kent)

On-trend steel interior screens and sliding doors offer open plan living with a different dimension - so you can partition areas to create contemporary ‘zones’ including your homeworking area, without impacting light or space. Crittall’s slim profile windows and Innervision internal glazed steel screens with sliding or hinged doors are designed for modern living, providing a sense of space without compromising aesthetics. Innervision’s understated beauty with clean lines, subtle detailing and excellent technical properties can transform your property. Combining style with functionality, a distinguished-looking installation makes a wonderful talking point. Slim profile steel windows and partitions give a retro-look with a contemporary twist; ideal for a home office extension with a dramatic steelframed glazed screen forming a lightfilled area off the kitchen, or a partition from bathroom to bedroom.

Advanced glazing options mean bespoke steel framed screens maximise natural illumination without compromising your security. Cosy for comfort in the cooler weather, enhanced acoustic properties keep noise at bay. Every iconic Crittall window, door and screen is tailored for each unique application, reinforced as authentic Crittall with the addition of a manufactured plaque which is factory-applied into the web of all opening windows and doors. Crittall Windows offer a complete service from start to finish via their Crittall Specialist Partners (CSPs) - an appointed, dedicated and experienced network who offer a stress-free service from initial enquiry through to installation and after-sales. They give free, no obligation, quotes and a warranty covering windows, doors, glass and installation.

Crittall Community Crittall has launched a Crittall Community for homeowners and renovators to display their installations and bespoke use of Crittall products. A new area on its website provides an open platform for members (customers with Crittall windows, doors or internal screens installed) to share ideas and inspire each other, showcasing their installations, and reinforcing their customer journey from start to finish of their project. An annual award will be given for the ‘Crittall Home of the Year’, which will be promoted via social media. Full details are available at crittall-windows.co.uk.

More Crittall Windows info www.crittall-windows.co.uk t: 01376 530800 e: hq@crittall-windows.co.uk


Heating & Ventilation

A useful app for homeowners and installers to visualise a free-standing stove installation

Have you ever wondered what a modern, log burning stove would look like in your house, especially as you don’t already have a natural chimney breast for a fireplace?

his App allows the user to see what it looks like, as well as calculating the components required. Stoves can easily be installed into existing homes, be it a newly built house on an estate or an existing, older house or even a self-build project. A stove can be installed going through the ceilings of each room and out of the roof, or along the outside and up the building.


The App gives you a choice of four basic stove designs, to give an impression of what a typical design would look like in your home. This amazing App then be used to assist the installer in selecting the parts required following a full site survey, which can then be ordered directly from their chosen distributor of the Schiedel product range. Please note that as conditions on site may vary, the final price for the system may change following the full site survey and may vary between distributors. Please note that the installer may advise on additional components or advise which components are not needed (for


example extra wall bands based on exact measurements and site surveys). The quote provided is Schiedel’s list pricing and these prices are different with their distributors, who can also provide some amazing discounts.

Don’t worry. Enter the approximate values and we can calculate the components. Your installer or Schiedel’s technical support team can verify if the set of components are accurate for the installation.


The pipe lengths are different.

What sort of phone can be used?

This is because it is not recommended to have a joint within a ceiling or a wall. However, this can be assessed when on site or can be discussed with our technical team.

A modern phone from the last few years should be okay to run the augmented reality part of the Builder. However, the recommended spec is for a device running Android 7.0 and iOS 11. The relevant app stores will advise if this can be installed. How accurate is this? The accuracy will depend on the information and dimensions fed into the app but should always be followed up by a full site survey carried out by an experienced installer. Schiedel recommends HETAS accredited installers for solid fuel installations. I’m not sure about the accuracy of my measurements.

Some of the options are missing if I choose internal or external. That’s correct, some measurements aren’t needed, plus some options are not available when choosing one of the other options. If you have an installation which is different to the standard ones, then fill in the details for the closest installation type and put information in the notes section for our technical team to look at. www.schiedel.com/uk/ augmented-reality-chimneybuilder-for-stoves/

Ask Mitsubishi Electric about sustainable heating In their latest podcast episodes, Max Halliwell from Ecodan talks to architect and Ecodan Brand Ambassador, George Clarke and other key speakers about Ecodan Heat Pumps. They discuss affordable warmth for UK social housing and consider the case for new-build developments versus fitting existing buildings with renewable technology. Listen at podcast.ecodan.uk heating@meuk.mee.com

The renewable heating alternative

Serious about sustainability


Heating & ventilation

LATEST DOMUS VENTILATION SYSTEMS INSTALLED INTO LONDON DEVELOPMENT Domus Ventilation’s HRXE Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) and CMXMULTI Mechanical Extract Ventilation (MEV) systems, along with Domus ducting, are being installed in to the new Kilburn High Road residential development in North West London: ilburn High Road is a development of one and two bedroom apartments from Kilburn Developments Ltd. Located on one of London’s busy main roads, indoor air quality has been a key consideration, which drove JP Electrical Ltd. to specify and install Domus Ventilation’s range of mechanical ventilation systems. Commenting on his choice, Director Nick Jordan stated: “They are really good units and easier to install than others I’ve used. I’ve never had a problem with them.” Jim also has praise for the service provided by Domus Ventilation: “Domus did all the design drawings for this project free of charge which massively helped and they have provided on-site support too.”


Domus Ventilation HRXE MVHR systems with NOX-FILT in-line carbon filter have been installed in the ground level apartments within a cupboard, with CMX-MULTI MEVs in the remaining apartments, fitted in the ceiling voids. The HRXE MVHR combine supply and extract ventilation in one system. They efficiently recover up to 90% of the heat typically lost in waste, stale air and use it to temper the fresh air drawn into the apartment via an advanced heat exchanger. The filtered, pre-warmed air is distributed to areas of the home such as living rooms and bedrooms, effectively meeting part of the heating load in energy efficient dwellings. The systems themselves use very little energy due to their efficient design, including a very low Specific Fan Power (SFP) down to just 0.57W/l/s.


To filter out harmful airborne contaminants prevalent in our cities, the HRXE has been fitted with Domus Ventilations NOX-FILT in-line carbon filter. Designed to work on the supply leg of the ducting system to the HRXE, NOX-FILT removes up to 99.5% of nitrogen dioxide (NO²) pollution from entering a home.

ducting and EasiPipe 125mm round rigid ducting have been used with the mechanical ventilation systems. These duct systems offer improved system performance through the exacting tolerances and engineered fit of the system, whereby pressure drops are minimised and air leakage virtually eliminated.

Domus Ventilation’s CMX-MULTI is an extremely compact and highly energyefficient centralised MEV. It extracts indoor pollution and draws moisture-laden air out of wet zones, such as kitchens and bathrooms, depositing it outside for greatly improved indoor air quality and environmental comfort. At just 125mm in depth, the CMX-MULTI is the smallest and lightest MEV on the market, enabling it to readily fit into ceiling voids, as is the case at Kilburn High Road. As with the HRXE, the CMX-MULTI is energyefficient, with an extremely low Specific Fan Power down to 0.1457W/l/s - the lowest in the market today and well below Building Regulation Part L requirements of 0.5 W/l/s.

In line with Building Regulations, Domus Fire Collars have been used wherever a hole has been made in a compartment wall for the ducting to pass through in order to restore the walls’ fire rating. Domus Thermal ducting insulation has also been used where the ducting passes through unheated areas and voids, to prevent condensation forming.

To ensure maximum systems performance, Domus Supertube 204x60mm rigid

For further information on Domus Ventilation’s energy efficient mechanical ventilation solutions, please go to www.domusventilation.co.uk or call on 03443 715523.

Heating & Ventilation

VASCO expands designer radiator range with Wi-Fi controlled electric Niva and hybrid Niva Mix Electric radiators are the perfect partner for new ‘green’ builds and renovations; especially when combined with the installation of ground source heat pumps or solar panels. VASCO is expanding its range of electric heating solutions, to include an updated Wi-Fi-controlled electric radiator, the Niva together with a hybrid version of the designer radiator the Niva Mix. Electric designer radiator Niva gets an upgrade: available in 6 sizes with invisible controls The newly upgraded Niva range of electric radiators are easily controlled you can choose from a radio frequency version, which is not connected to your home internet and comes with a compliant thermostat as standard. If you wish to control your electric radiator via the VASCO Climate Control app on your mobile phone you will need the E-Volve Wi-Fi control version, this and the control unit can be ordered separately. The compact Wi-Fi module uses Bluetooth to communicate with a small temperature sensor located in the same room as the radiator. A third version, which allows you to control the radiator with your home automation system, is also available.

Mix hybrid radiator perfect for areas that need to heat up quickly when the central heating system is switched off, such as bathrooms. The minimalist, sleek and stylish electric Niva and Niva Mix radiators are available in an extensive range of colours that will work with any interior. Wide range of accessories All VASCO accessories that are suitable for the hydronic Niva radiators are also available for the upgraded electric Niva and the Niva Mix.

The Niva is a dry thermal panel electric radiator and does not contain any water; it heats up very quickly as it uses VASCO’s new infrared technology to generate a comfortable, radiant heat. The upgraded electric Niva allows you to control and limit the radiator’s surface temperature, which is an extremely practical feature in rooms where safety is paramount, such as nurseries, it is far lighter than a water filled radiator making it much easier to install based on a plug-and-play principle. Niva Mix: hybrid radiator available in 2 sizes The VASCO Niva Mix is an exciting new hybrid radiator. It is an ideal solution as it offers two options: it can be connected to a hydronic central heating system or run on electricity. This makes the Niva

www.vasco.eu •15•

Waterloo Air Products Case Study 55 DOUGLAS STREET, GLASGOW The transformation of a landmark office building in the centre of Glasgow has provided the city with much-needed grade A office space, using air distribution products by Waterloo Air Products Ltd.


ormerly known as the Cerium Building, this partrefurbishment, part-new build project, aptly located on the corner of Waterloo Street and Douglas Street, now offers 85,400 sq ft of offices and wellness facilities over seven floors. Glasgow is renowned for its spectacular Victorian and art nouveau architecture, built on the legacy of its prosperous history of maritime trade and shipbuilding. Today, the city centre is benefiting from a government strategy to address a shortage of premium office accommodation.


The renovation of 55 Douglas Street was supported by £12m of funding from the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) as part of the Building Scotland Fund. The scope of this project was extensive with the entire internal area being renovated and expanded to create large, versatile, virtually columnfree floorplates ranging from 6,000 to 16,000 sq ft. The original façade was largely adopted but the front exterior was completely transformed with a double height entrance and a 10,000 ft extension to increase the footprint of the building.

Working with M&E design consultants Hulley & Kirkwood, Waterloo became involved at the design concept stage of the development. “Waterloo’s product range always offers the high performance and quality that a project of this scope requires,” said Hulley & Kirkwood’s Technical

Director Allan West. “But it is equally important to us to find products that are both adaptable and aesthetically sympathetic to our design plans. Waterloo’s proposed products were a perfect fit with the architect’s ceiling design aspiration, so everything could quite literally slot into place without any need for adaptations.” The primary requirement was for a diffuser to run around the perimeter of the building’s upper floors that would integrate seamlessly in terms of both fit and appearance with the two sizes of perforated steel ceiling tiles. Waterloo’s aluminium continuous linear slot diffuser (CS-F) was selected as the best product for this installation due to its industry-leading aerodynamic and acoustic performance. A further advantage was that Waterloo could supply a variation of this diffuser (CS-M) that would exactly match the smaller tiles. Precise colour match was also an important consideration. Waterloo was able to provide the diffusers in exactly the same polyester powder coated RAL9003 paint finish as the tiles, which was very slightly different to Waterloo’s normal colour

for this product. Virtually anything is possible with Waterloo’s extensive range of products and finishes. Ceiling system manufacturer SAS International supplied Waterloo with the tiles and the CS-M slot diffusers were easily dropped into place thanks to the precise matching of the tile’s aperture with the diffuser’s dimensions. The combined tiles and diffusers were then delivered to the site, ready for installation. “Going the extra mile in this way really makes a difference to hitting our deadlines,” said Stephen Kane, Operations Manager at mechanical installation

contractor Weir & McQuiston. “This kind of collaboration helps us to deliver the outstanding results that our reputation relies on. It is always a pleasure to work with the team from Waterloo.” The ground floor and basement areas feature the full extent of wellness facilities that are considered essential to any modern office building. This includes bike racks, a cycle repair station, exercise studio, changing rooms and showers, car parking, electric vehicle charging points and Amazon lockers. Waterloo products used within these areas included circular swirl diffusers in a mill finish to complement the interior design of the reception area, exhaust valves for the toilet areas and external louvres in a finish to match the external fabric of the building. Jim Campbell of HVRS, which specialises in sales & marketing of key heating, ventilation and renewables products to the construction and building services industry, was Waterloo’s representative for this project. www.waterloo.co.uk


7 things that devalue a property, according to an expert deter some people away, especially if they are a young family. Broken fences are a common feature of an unkept garden, fences add a sense of privacy to a property, so ensure yours is fixed and solid. Your exterior doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but vibrant flowers, plant pots and cut grass will make a big difference to the ambience. Take some time to put TLC into your exterior as this is where first impressions are made. 3)

Retaining the value of your property is an importance to every homeowner. You want to maintain the elements that led you to purchase your house. Home improvements can be an expensive venture, but it’s no surprise that doing certain things, can enhance the value of your home. Over time, your property will need to be given a new lease of life in the form of refurbishment, redecorating or even a large renovation. However, some improvements to your property might make it less attractive to others. According to Bankrate UK’s October survey, 46% of buyers had their prospective property down valued. Many factors such as the location, square footage and local schools can determine the value of a property, but some things are in the homeowner’s control. There are several things that homeowners should avoid as they have a negative impact on the home and the property’s value. From outdated interior to dodgy DIY, we’ve asked Thomas Goodman, property expert at MyJobQuote.co.uk to share the top 7 things that devalue a property. 1)

Poor workmanship

A spot of DIY might seem like an


Loud interiors

Everyone has their own individual style, but loud interiors might not appeal to all buyers. A bright yellow wall in the kitchen could be comforting for you, but it might portray your room in a different light to others. The way forward is to innocent task to do around the house, keep things simple, quirky décor, such as but after time you’ll be able to tell the textured wallpaper, is best to be avoided. difference. Professional work is second to none in quality, when buyers step into Embrace neutral colour schemes and opt for warming hues such as light grey your home and agents do a valuation, and terracotta. They might seem far they will take note of details. Your DIY from exciting, but it’s the best way for tiling job might look appealing to you, but amateur work doesn’t have the same surveyors to see the potential and for finish. Uneven floors, unsafe electrics and buyers to imagine themselves residing poorly fitted kitchen units could all bring in your home. It’s the next best thing to a blank canvas. down the value of your property. Whilst some jobs can be of high standard, you should always hire a qualified tradesman 4) Old kitchens for areas including plumbing, heating and gas. If these jobs are not completed In terms of properties, kitchens have to a high standard, they may also be a been revolutionised the most due to potential hazard. technological advances. From the way we cook, to the size of the breakfast bar, Completing DIY jobs on the cheap usually they have changed throughout the years. backfires in the long term and will only The three most important elements are give the potential buyer and surveyor a the tabletops, cabinetry and appliances. chance to negotiate on selling price. A modern kitchen will help to sell a house. It can be expensive to have a complete overhaul and refit the entire 2) Dull exterior unit, but potential buyers might be put off if they must visualise the amount of work The outside of your house is as they need to do. important as the inside. Your exterior is the first thing people see when they This piece was brought to you by the arrive at your door. Estate agents name experts at www.myjobquote.co.uk this as ‘kerb appeal’, if your garden is unkept this will set the tone for the inside Read the rest of this article on our of your house. Artificial grass might be website, click here a low maintenance option, but it can

bathrooms & washrooms

As we move forward into 2021 and the challenges that continue to face us, we would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our policy of stockholding and how it is even more relevant at present

“‘These are challenging times for all businesses, and the last thing we need to make our projects even more stressful is a delayed chain of supply,” says Managing Director, JIS Europe, Richard Thelwell. “We are able to maintain the chain of supply quite simply due to our longstanding policy of stockholding providing further financial stability to ourselves but as importantly to our customers.”

Stainless steel is 100% recyclable, and manufactured from over 90% recyclable material. It does not rust, flake or corrode. It is the sustainable, durable choice.

Furthermore the Sussex Range is manufactured from 100% stainless steel including our recently introduced Black Edition of powder coated rails.

We offer 3 formats of rail throughout the range: Electric, dual fuel and central heating only and we offer both a polished and satin finish as well as the Black Edition Range.

“More and more people are coming round to the durability and sustainability of stainless steel, particularly after the year we have just had, we all need to be aware of our environmental and social impact.”

“The cornerstones of our business are quite simply quality, stock holding and ultimately customer service. The three work hand in hand.”

“On a practical note our customers don’t want to go to the expense and disruption of fitting out their bathroom to 2 years down the line find that an inferior mild steel rail rusts, leaks and they then need a complete re-tile when the replacement isn’t dimensionally identical to the original.”


We source our rails ethically and take our social responsibility seriously, from our sourcing to our manufacture to our charity initiatives.

“Wishing you all health and good will in 2021” Should you require further details please visit our website www.sussexrange.co.uk or contact us on 01825 722988 and info@jiseurope.co.uk

Black Edition Stainless Steel Towel Rails by JIS Europe 100% stainless steel towel rails 01825 722988 www.sussexrange.co.uk info@jiseurope.co.uk

Bathrooms & Washrooms

Scudo to become part of the BathCom community Harrison Bathrooms, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of bathroom products to retailers and distributors, has been approved to supply its Scudo range to BathCom. BathCom, the online community of independent bathroom retailers, offers increased profit opportunities to its nationwide members through group buying power. The community members will now have access to Scudo’s full range of bathroom products as part of the new partnership. Scudo offers a quality product at a valuable price point from sanitaryware and shower enclosures to bathroom furniture and brassware. With more than 1200 products and a stock value of £6m, retailers will benefit from delivery within 24-hours from Harrison Bathrooms’ 18-van delivery fleet. David Allinson, sales director of Scudo, said: “Scudo not only offers retailers a full suite of quality bathroom products, it can also increase profit opportunities, especially when purchased through an independent group such as BathCom. We look forward to becoming part of the online community and increasing our distribution channels nationwide.” Scudo is part of Harrison Bathrooms, a longestablished, family-run business with roots within the industry spanning more than 100 years. Mike Nicholls, managing director of BathCom, said: ““Our mission is to offer members access to quality products with increased profit opportunities from the UK’s leading suppliers. Our community aims to ensure member retailers maintain their independence whilst benefiting from the buying power of a national group. The new partnership with Scudo meets this objective offering our members access to some of the UK’s leading quality bathroom products.” For more information on Harrison Bathrooms or to stock the Scudo range, visit: www.harrisonbathrooms.com


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Industry news

Home improvement trade body warns Government not to ignore tradespeople & independent retailers as UK set to open up for business An institute representing thousands of tradespeople and independent retailers has called on the Government to support the home improvement industry to play a full part in the economic recovery that will be needed now that the route out of lockdown is clear. ommenting on the day that the Prime Minister announces how the UK will emerge from lockdown over the coming months, the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation (BiKBBI) has called for immediate action to help independent retailers open their doors and installers get to work, as well as longer-term interventions that stimulate consumer demand, open up supply chains and support skills development.


Damian Walters, Chief Executive of BiKBBI, said: “Tradespeople and independent businesses in the home improvement industry cannot afford to be ignored by the Government as we finally begin to open up the country. “Our industry has felt the economic impact of the pandemic more than most. Installers in England and Wales invested time and money into Safe Operating Procedures that allowed them to continue serving customers through the


most recent lockdown, but our members north of the border were forced to down tools as the Scottish Government took a much more restrictive approach. As a result, far too many tradespeople have struggled to make ends meet due the additional expenditure needed to work safely or the loss of income from being unable to work at all.

immediately declassifying independent Kitchen, Bedroom and Bathroom retailers from being ‘non-essential’ so that they can compete on a level playing field with large trade suppliers. It also means working with the Scottish Government to ensure that installers in Scotland can get back to work as quickly as possible.

“Meanwhile, the industry’s independent retailers were forced to close their doors while larger competitors carried on trading thanks to loopholes that allowed them to classify as trade suppliers. The loss of business could force many shops to close for good, doing further damage to high streets that are already struggling.

“Beyond that, it must include efforts to stimulate the market through tax incentives that encourage people to invest in their homes; moves to quickly unlock supply chains that have slowed over recent months; and continued support for the education and training initiatives needed to maintain a skilled workforce.

“Our industry is one of the cornerstones of the UK economy, providing products and services in demand across every part of the country and offering a route to skilled work for people from all walks of life. It’s vital that every effort is made to help it quickly recover from the hit it has taken over the past year. This means

“The Prime Minister has offered a glimmer of hope to tradespeople and independent retailers who have had to contend with such huge challenges over the past year, but more will be needed to help them play a part as the national recovery gets underway.”

Ultimate Kitchens offers the industry leading cabinet, manufactured in our 12,000 sq foot factory, using the highest quality materials, offering over 100 cabinet colours, with Blum integrated soft close hinges and Legrabox drawers as standard. It doesn’t matter if you're looking for a kitchen cupboard 511mm wide, or even 900mm deep, our factory is set up to manufacture bespoke kitchen, bedroom and bathroom cabinets along with living furniture. Having full control over what we can manufacture means that we can provide the right solution for your project. Our cabinets are delivered rigid and now, as we continue to improve our service, you can have all doors, drawer fronts and wireworks fitted in our factory to save you time during the installation.

Our service: • We manufacture and supply cabinets only for kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and living areas. • We manufacture and supply complete kitchen solutions. • We cut and edge laminate worktops, made to measure. • We offer a door drilling service.

For more information follow the links below: Take a tour of our factory – www.pkbtrade.co.uk/PKB-Trade-Factory See the quality features of our cabinet – www.pkbtrade.co.uk/cabinet-construction Have a look at the ranges available – www.ultimatekitchens.co.uk

• We offer a door hanging service. • We can install internal wireworks in our factory for you. • We offer a single or two man delivery service – direct to site or to your premises. • We offer a 72 hour delivered remedial service. • We have 30 day credit accounts available. If you’re looking for a supplier to save you time and money whilst delivering a quality product and high level of service contact us today. Call us today on 01733 295565 or email sales@pkbtrade.co.uk

coatings & Paints

CT1- The Healthiest choice for your home now available in Jewson stores

CT1, commonly known as the Snag List Eliminator, is officially the product that the professional tradesperson uses. Contractors, Site Managers, Project Officers, Specifiers and Architects are now demanding that CT1 is used on the jobs. All jobs. ith over 25 accreditations to its name, it’s the construction sealant and adhesive that has stood the test of time. With over 25 certificates and accreditations, not only testing its strength and versatility, but CT1 has also been awarded the much sought after certifications such as EC1 (Very Low Emission), A+ for the lowest indoor emissions and the very prestigious NAAF (The Norwegian Asthma and allergy association). CT1 is the ONLY sealant and adhesive in the world to be awarded this label. But what does that mean to you the reader? You, the professional person in the construction industry. The Norwegian Asthma and Allergy Association have now formed a Nordic Label with Sweden, Norway and Finland. They are one of the world’s most stringent and authoritative bodies on what causes and reduces Asthma and Allergy in the home.


Since all housing has become more passive and well insulated, studies have shown that homes have now become a breeding ground for the nasties that create allergy and asthma in the home. CT1 has gone under vigorous testing and has the stamp of approval from this body, that CT1 being used in the home will in fact REDUCE the risk of asthma and allergy attacks in the home. Now Local Government with new builds, Architects and diligent tradesmen are demanding that CT1 is used. This is because of its enormous versatility to bond almost any material and under any circumstances – under water, adverse weather conditions, and seal leaks immediately and indefinitely.


CT1 who were the first to introduce a hybrid sealant 18 years ago replaces mastic, wood and P.U. adhesives, silicone, sanitary, acrylic and butyl rubber sealants in just one product, have now introduced TRIBRID® leaving Hybrid sealants with dated technology. CT1 is now 3 times stronger than a Hybrid, longer colour retention, and increases anti-fungal properties. CT1 has again introduced a new era of sealants. Always the first with latest technology, this revolutionary TRIBRID® formulation will take decades to be matched. Free from solvents, and Isocyanates, it’s the healthiest choice for your home. Designed to outlast any other sealant. CT1 is also designed to reduce a building projects carbon footprint, dramatically reducing the amount of cartridges being used on a site. Usually needing 100’s of different types of sealants and adhesives on site, you now only need 1. CT1. CT1 has been the only product that was capable of repairing many of the UK’s iconic landmarks such as Diana’s Memorial Fountain, the Olympic Village, the London Eye, the Connaught Hotel, the new Wave in Bristol, built for surfing and Olympic games in surfing… and many many more! Visit our website for more information: www.ct1.com

Heating & ventilation

First 100% UV cured wood coatings open window of opportunity for AkzoNobel Window manufacturers can now make their production process more efficient and sustainable with a new instant drying solution from AkzoNobel. he company’s RUBBOL 100% UV cured exterior range of Sikkens wood coatings is the first of its kind. By cutting out up to 16 hours of drying time, the coating system is able to significantly save on production time and energy costs, while providing leading performance.


Since the product range produces zero emissions and requires no mixing, it makes the production process more sustainable, another important factor for many of our large-scale customers. “We know the benefits of transitioning


to a UV production line have to add up because, while it’s an exciting prospect for many of our customers, it also represents a big investment,” says Simon Parker, Director of AkzoNobel’s Industrial Coatings business. “Our 100% UV RUBBOL range now offers compelling cost savings to go along with the excellent performance. So, there’s never been a better time to make the switch.” The coating system consists of a putty, primer and topcoat for wood window frames and a topcoat for PVC window applications. Despite fast-tracking the application process,

the products continue to deliver on the high expectations of the Sikkens brand – offering very good adhesion, excellent durability and strong technical performance. The new 100% UV RUBBOL range is part of AkzoNobel’s global weathering program. With weathering test locations in Europe, North America and AsiaPacific, AkzoNobel is able to evaluate more than 200,000 samples in a variety of climate conditions and monitor their long-term durability. For more information, go to: www.sikkens-wood-coatings.com

Protects with a Natural Look 3062 MATT Natural Ingredients Highly water repellent Extremely hardwearing Natural look, light reflections are defused.

Don’t risk mixing products, warns roofing specialist With new innovations constantly coming to market, contractors are forced to navigate an abundance of flat roofing products before each installation. Adrian Buttress, managing director of EPDM rubber roofing specialists Permaroof, discusses how to choose the right solution to ensure a high-quality result each time.

Permaroof’s head office in Alfreton, Derbyshire

Quite simply, using a system where all products are purchased from one source and designed to work together harmoniously makes the resulting performance reassuringly predictable. Things are designed and made to go together, and this is no different for a roofing system. In an increasingly difficult and competitive market, this type of guarantee can go a long way to strengthen reputation, as well as aiding traceability.

Adrian Buttress, MD of Permaroof

he flat roofing market has seen plenty of change with everevolving products across torch-on or EPDM rubber ruffing. This constant flurry of products coming to market means it is no surprise contractors can feel like they are faced with a complex decision every time they visit the trade counter.


While many will have a favourite product they have used for years and are comfortable with, this can mean they are keeping to what are now outdated methods and have less exposure to innovations that could save them time and deliver better results.

Avoid cross-using products This vast product choice – alongside the relative lack of associated education – is something I see as a


real issue for the industry and one that does us no favours in terms of offering a consistent and quality service. Having started ‘on the tools’ myself, I see cross-usage of roofing products as a problem. And although this has been a long-standing issue in relation to flat roofing, it is not something that is openly discussed or addressed by those working in the sector.

In addition to utilising industry-proven systems, ensuring the products have a CE mark and BBA certificate are essential to delivering a high standard of installation. These industry recognised markers of quality protect the contractor if there is a fire or a warranty claim is required. While contractors may feel that keeping to tried and tested favourites is less of a risk, it potentially means missing out on innovative solutions that will deliver better results or a more efficient installation.

However, it is crucial this changes as utilising various products within different systems can lead to unpredictable and untested results – inevitably causing problems and failures down the line.

However, a full system from a reputable brand will usually mean the inclusion of a warranty, which will go towards mitigating any risk they may feel at trying out a new set of products. For example, Permaroof offers a 20year membrane warranty with every installation by a registered installer.

A quick fix

Keeping on top of training

Fortunately, there is a simple solution – contractors need to take a full system approach, which includes a membrane, adhesive, tape and primer.

As an industry, we need to push for anyone purchasing roofing products to fully understand their capabilities and how they are used.

Permaroof’s warehouse in Alfreton, Derbyshire

Purchasing a system from a single brand increases the chance of there being training and technical support to, again, support the highest possible installation standards. As the UK operator of the National Training Centre for Firestone RubberCover, this is something we take seriously and have seen the positive benefits of offering to merchants and contractors first-hand. Once contractors are using full systems and seeing the benefits for themselves, it is worth reiterating that this approach needs to be followed – even if the type of project changes. For example, I have seen those who go from domestic to commercial projects be easily lured back into using a mix of products. My warning is that domestic and commercial projects are completely different animals with many variances. The assurances and quality of finish that taking a full system approach delivers still applies and so contractors should remain conscious of that fact when discussing requirements with a merchant.

Permaroof’s warehouse in Alfreton, Derbyshire

Raising standards The reputation of the roofing industry, and flat roofing in particular, has always been inconsistent. For me, this is why contractors must use proven full systems whenever possible, making the most of the training and technical assistance that’s on offer, to prevent against potentially damaging performance issues and delivering the best possible result.

Permaroof is the UK’s leading importer and distributor of Firestone RubberCover roofing products. For further information on Permaroof UK, please visit www.permaroof.co.uk.


Social housing sector running out of time to meet sustainability targets, say industry experts Nine in ten social housing construction professionals believe the sector is in urgent need of new government guidelines if it is going to successfully meet sustainability targets, new research has revealed. In a survey of 150 decision makers involved in the specification of building materials used for social housing developments, 88% agreed that the sector cannot wait for the pending Decarbonisation Fund and Decent Homes Standard review to define how it is going to become more sustainable – it needs this detail now. The research by Wienerberger, a leading provider of wall, roof and landscaping innovations, explored several key social housing issues, including the housing shortage, sustainability and building quality. It found that the sector was in desperate need of support and guidance if it is to overcome the challenges it’s facing. This guidance was expected to be included in the Social Housing Whitepaper which was released late last year, but it failed to clarify a number of key details the sector was waiting on. When asked when the sector would need guidance by, a quarter said that it was too late and that further detail was required in 2020 if it was going to adapt in time to meet


the government’s sustainability targets. 29% of the sector believe that there is still time, but only if the government provides further guidance in the first half of this year. Not only must the UK build more sustainably, but it also needs to increase the rate at which new homes are built to reach the government’s target of 300,000 new homes by 2025. 100% of the housebuilders surveyed said that, like with sustainability, significantly more guidance and support is required from the government if it’s to meet this target. Nearly half the social housing sector (47%) believe that to solve the housing crisis, central government must give local councils more money and powers to build social housing in their area. As well as building greater volumes in a more environmentally friendly manner, the UK’s social housing stock needs to maintain a high standard of build quality. 38% of the sector said that the government needs to allocate more funding to achieve this.

Wienerberger discussed its research findings with a panel of senior decision makers from across the social housing sector during a virtual roundtable. During the discussion, Marian Burke, Director at Marke Property Consultancy, said: “We should be aspiring to build good quality, well designed homes, and drive it forward. It’s a concern for me that the targets are centred around driving the industry to build things quickly rather than to a better quality.” On the housing shortage, Mark Murphy, Land, Planning & Development Director at MLN (Land & Properties) Ltd, said: “It’s right to have the target, so long as this is a minimum and not a ceiling figure. Last year, we built around 240,000 homes so while that’s still short, we are proving it’s doable.” For more information on Wienerberger and the solutions it offers, please visit: www.wienerberger.co.uk


We asked eco-materials supplier Ecomerchant to pick some of the standout products from 2020 and asked if their popularity could be linked to current and proposed regulations. Liquid applied airtight membranes first arrived in the UK around 5 years ago. The idea that an airtight membrane could be spray or brush applied was groundbreaking despite the use of similar means of application for protective coatings and waterproofing. Blowerproof was first introduced to the UK by Ecomerchant in early 2016. The product became BBA certified (the first to do so) in 2017 and was quickly picked up by the Passive House sector. Over the past two years, liquid applied membranes have seen exceptional growth as the demand for airtight buildings increased. The ultimate application came in spring 2019 when the Imperial War Museum archive used Blowerproof to create the most airtight building in the UK (ACH 0.03) for storing its priceless archive of documents. For the refurb sector, the use of liquid applied membranes is a game-changer. The water-based VOC free liquid can be applied to almost any surface even in the trickiest and most demanding applications it creates a permanent flexible layer which allows airtightness to be delivered where previously achieving high levels were nigh on impossible. Wood fibre flexible batts and rigid carrier boards. Insulation is a key component of most retrofit projects and the increase in wood fibre use over the past few years has been steady - but the take up this year has been exceptional. Wood fibre is a versatile product, which offers desirable performance characteristics for new build and renovations. Being vapour permeable it helps buffer moisture, its density (up to 250Kg/m3) protects against overheating


Blowerproof BBA certified liquid applied airtight membrane applied direct to blockwork prior to application of dot & dab plasterboard. An effective, simple and secure way to achieve passive levels of airtightness.

and its natural makeup alleviates concerns over synthetic ingredients, off gassing and poor indoor air quality. The flexible batts are popular for installation between studs and the dense rigid boards for carrying render or plaster either internally or externally on timber frames or direct to masonry or brick.

Calcium silicate boards; the elimination of mould and subsequent reduction in health issues has driven sales of SkamoWall Board. The calcium silicate board is part of a system which includes adhesive, primer and plaster that combine to create a buffer to manage moisture, improve insulation and eliminate mould.

Steico Special Dry used as a roof sarking board on a Sussex Passive standard build. Building by Kithurst Builders using naturally insulated passive panels and Steico I joist roof. Airtightness materials Blowerproof and Pro Clima.

Sustainability No carrot but no stick either! On the subject of what is mandated and what is not 2020 is ending with a familiar scenario of promised changes and little real regulatory progress. The government has finally published plans for a new version of Approved Document L (for energy efficiency), a new F (for ventilation), and confirmed a new regulatory standard for managing summer overheating is on the cards. This consultation phase is still in progress.

Skamowall Board calcium silicate board used to line a basement retrofit, Skamowlall board insulates and buffers moisture and prevents mould growth. System comprises Skamol fungicide (optional), adhesive and finishing plaster. The whole system is vapour open.

The board’s inert chemical structure renders it incapable of supporting mould growth. The improved insulation and breathability of the system allow ventilation to harmlessly remove moisture from the building. The plastered board acts as a vapour control layer whilst remaining breathable. The SkamoWall Board has been a favourite of landlords and owners of older buildings with solid walls where persistent problems often cause unwelcome maintenance costs and tenant complaints.

Education is a key specification tool The use of these products is exclusively a matter of personal choice so why are they so popular? There are several answers but largely this is to do with how educated the buyer is about building features that are desired but not mandatory within building regulations. For non-developer new build this demand is clear and growing, driven by a client who include improved building performance and occupant health within the brief. For retrofit one reason may be the limits on design imposed where a significant uplift in performance can be achieved through upgrading the building fabric where options such as orientation, outward changes to shape or ‘look’ and modifying the footprint are not possible so forcing a more open approach to problem-solving. The UK construction sector knows that there are widespread problems with

carbon, energy, moisture, ventilation and health in our housing stock. But they persist in partial and piecemeal solutions, apparently oblivious to the interactions between these problems and the need for a holistic approach. A change of attitude and major upskilling of the workforce, especially in refurbishment projects, is required to deliver effective solutions to the enormous backlog of remedial works required to deliver the healthy, comfortable and affordable homes that are essential if the UK is to meet its carbon targets.

Health matters Since lockdown in March increased awareness of the way our buildings actually perform has been consequence of many of us spending more time at home, we have experienced how our buildings perform at times we would usually be absent i.e. during the day when we would otherwise have been at work. Increased focus on our health has broadened the interest and understanding of how building design and fabric can have a direct effect on our wellbeing, at the least this is shown as a precautionary approach to avoid known producers of toxins such as VOC’s or formaldehyde (prompted by the lockdown boom in home decorating and refurbishment) or on insufficient insulation or ventilation; at best our focus has shifted to including building health and indoor air quality (not mandated through building regulations) as part of what we need to demand from our homes and workplaces.

These documents currently apply to new-build homes in England, but we can expect further publications to pick up on Welsh standards, non-domestic development and existing buildings. Notice that retrofit is still not a priority despite estimates that around 80% of the homes we will be occupying in 2050 already exist. The UK GBBC report ‘Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition’ which was launched at the Houses of Parliament in April 2019 provides a framework on how to achieve net-zero carbon buildings in both construction and operation (in-use energy consumption), whilst beginning to provide direction for addressing whole life carbon in the industry. Again this projects well into the future with targets set for 2030 for new build but not until 2050 for existing buildings. The much-vaunted PAS2035 (linked to the requirement to implement PAS2030) launched last summer is still not a mandatory requirement except for certain types of funded retrofit project, this excellent standard is advised rather than imposed so, therefore, is unable to deliver the intended improvements to existing homes at scale for the moment. Mandatory inclusion of PAS 2035 is currently scheduled from July 2021 for ECO (Energy Company Obligation) projects only. We are yet to feel the full effects of the Hackitt review and to cap the year off nicely we still have an unresolved Brexit to muddy the waters and prolong inaction. If we are to ‘build back better’ the connection between buildings that are low in embodied carbon, low energy users, that manage moisture through material choice and design, are healthy and nontoxic to the occupants and



PH15 System build Steico I joist construction, Vapourblock airtight racking board, Steico rigid woodfibre sheating, blown insulation cellulose or woodfibre.

durable, can be summed up by a requirement to simply build healthier buildings an ambition that is sadly lacking from almost all the current providers.

The housing crisis has not gone away We still have a crisis within the housing sector to deal with and a lot of this is tied in with energy efficiency and energy use. The nature of the problem is neatly encapsulated by Richard Tibenham director of Greenlite Energy Assessors and associate lecturer of building physics at the University of Lincoln. Tibenham refers to The Committee on Climate Change report ‘UK Housing: Fit for the Future?’ which claims that emissions reductions from the UK’s 29m homes have stalled, while energy use in homes


increased between 2016 and 2017. It further claims that we will not meet our legally binding targets for emissions reduction under the Paris Agreement without near-complete decarbonisation of the housing stock by 2050. At present, there is no agreed solution to modify the built environment such that it can operate in a carbon-neutral fashion by 2050. The problem can be made substantially less dire, however, by not adding yet further energy demand at this critical time. So whether it is carbon reduction in building operation, energy generation, design or materials choice we are facing the absolute need to decarbonise the sector, and this will need to be backed by mandatory regulations.

New build can rapidly become a retrofit problem. Lord Deben Chair of the UK CCC sums this all up rather neatly saying “there are other influences on housing emissions. For example, there is the fact that the Government still have not raised the standards for new buildings. At the moment, we are building more trouble every year1” in essence poor standards for existing buildings just increases the size of the retrofit market. They condemn most of what we are building now to retrofitting in the future a frankly crazy notion when we are already faced with the challenge of upgrading the energy performance of the entire housing stock, it is nonsensical to be continuously making the problem worse by allowing new homes to be built that will also need to be


Beltane Drive Wimbledon: Architect Tim Gledstone Construction PH15 System from Passivhaus Homes Ltd. Energy/Carbon Target: Passivhaus PLUS or net zero operational carbon. PH15: Delivering best energy performance using low embodied, healthy, building materials. Materials Steico wood fibre insulation Steico I Joists, Unilin Vapourblock airtight racking board, Pro Clima airtight tapes.

retrofitted, which begs the question why not build better now especially if this is straightforward to achieve. This situation is made worse by the various ways in which the law allows buildings to be built to historic standards2 astoundingly Government data shows that 62 per cent of homes that Persimmon built in 2018 were to standards that pre-date the 2013 Building Regulations, as were 52 per cent of Taylor Wimpey’s and 47 per cent of Barratt’s. They are not alone as government data shows that 12 per cent of the new homes built in 2018 were rated EPC C, whilst 7 per cent were rated D or below3. So little remains in terms of positive regulatory drivers for the present. One option is to elect to use a voluntary standard such as The Passivhaus Institute developed ‘EnerPHit Certificate’ (a quality-approved energy retrofit with Passivhaus components). This certificate sets a slightly different standard requirement to the full Passivhaus standard. Each home and building is unique and poses specific problems and solutions to reduce carbon emissions, improve energy efficiency and ultimately achieve greater energy security.

However, EnerPHit does not directly address the issues of moisture and occupant health although it could be argued that they are mitigated by improved fabric and performance. In retrofit, in particular, there does need to be sympathy between the existing structure and the intended use, ensuring that the building functions without the likelihood of creating unforeseen problems that may later degrade the fabric. This requires a holistic approach and the use of a range of materials

and resolutions to create a long-lasting energy efficient healthy building. The use of non-standard materials like the ones highlighted by Ecomerchant does indicate to us that this process is underway and that there are many who will not wait for legislation to catch up. In fact they may well reap extra benefits in the future when others are faced with costly upgrades simply to bring buildings into compliance.

For more information please contact Ecomerchant: Web: www.ecomerchant.co.uk email: info@ecomerchant.co.uk Tel: 01793 847 444.

1 Lord Deben, Chairman, Committee on Climate Change Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee Oral evidence: Energy Efficiency, HC 1730 Tuesday 26 March 2019 2 See notes 131-4 Select Committee BEIS Energy efficiency and net zero 12th July 2019 https:// publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201719/cmselect/cmbeis/1730/173009.htm#footnote-047 3 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Live tables on Energy Performance of Buildings Certificates (2018)


Outdoor Living

Taggart Homes begins construction on innovative new outdoor multifunctional work pods Taggart Homes has commenced works on the first phase of 100 high spec outdoor work pods suitable for home working and a range of small businesses including beauty salons and gyms.


£10,000 + vat.

he pods will come in a variety of sizes and designs and will be available to the public in the UK and Ireland, as well as buyers of Taggart Homes properties this week, at a starting price of

With the rising trend in home working due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many business closures causing economic uncertainty, the pods will offer customers an outdoor office option, and a dedicated outdoor space, from which many sole traders and small business owners such as personal trainers and beauty therapists can run their own businesses away from the rest of the house, with room for supplies and equipment. There is also scope to be creative with the pods for personal use – as a personal gym, bar, or a place to rest and relax, or to indulge in a hobby. The first phase of garden pods by Taggart Homes will be available to purchase from this week, and existing Taggart homebuyers will be offered the opportunity to have a pod installed on their property. Selling agent Pygott and Crone has been appointed as the UK agent to launch the garden rooms. Michael Taggart, CEO of Taggart Homes, said: “As living and working habits continue to shift for many given the present circumstances, there is a growing movement to home working and as people look to optimise their living environment, and they are looking to upgrade properties. “With this trend for home working and many businesses having to close their doors – the outdoor work pod is a versatile asset and can work as a home office, or a space for small business owners – adding value and versatility to homes. “We are excited to introduce these pods to the public and will be offering our existing Taggart homeowners the chance to snap one up for their property. This is just the first phase and we plan on creating more in the future as we believe they will continue to be a desirable and valuable


addition to any home. “At Taggart Homes, we always put ourselves in the mind of the customer and we have a duty of care to the buyer. Practicality, aesthetic and energy efficiency are all key aspects that we try to incorporate into all of our homes to guarantee value for money and quality that will last several lifetimes of wear.” Tim Downing, director at Pygott & Crone, said: “With a change in people’s working practices and a shift to working from home - the Taggart garden rooms offer an ideal solution and the team at Pygott and Crone are receiving an incredible number of enquiries.”


PoolLock Safety Covers

PoolLock Slatted Covers


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

For more information on our complete range of products, please contact us at www.poollock.com

Outdoor living

Unfortunately for the construction industry, the price of structural steel has once again increased. ndustry giants British Steel have now increased their prices for the fifth time since July 2020 and, in the UK, the price of structural steel has rocketed from approximately £500 per tonne to over £700 per tonne. This sudden surge has been blamed on the sharp increase in raw material costs and further price hikes are expected.


What does this mean for your project?

What can you do to reduce the cost of structural steel?

This spike in structural steel prices has huge repercussions for the construction industry as project budgets are being vastly and unexpectedly exceeded. With enough consideration at the design stage, this price increase can be offset by reducing the number of steels that are required.

If the cost of structural steel supports is crippling your budget, it may be time to look into the spanning capabilities of your chosen balcony decking. By using a modular decking system that is able to span a lot further than traditional plank decking, you will be able to reduce the number of structural steel supports that are required and reduce your overall costs. How can choosing modular decking save you money? Using modular decking as opposed to plank decking is the easiest and most effective way to offset the increased steelwork costs down. Firstly, modular


can provide huge savings on the cost and time of installation. Cost Comparison Choosing a plank system may initially appear to be the most cost-effective solution, however when considering steelwork, fixings and installation, this is often not the case. Because of the reduced supporting structure requirements, the modular solution offers a 20% saving in material costs - a detailed analysis for your scheme can be provided. Combine this with an installation speed that is more than ten times faster and the modular decking solution is the clear choice! decking is constructed to bespoke panel sizes in a factory so less time and manpower is needed on site. Modular decking is manufactured to precise measurements so there is much less material waste and call backs can be avoided. Another considerable saving

that can be made by incorporating modular decking is that of installation time. Modular decking is pre-fabricated, banded and cut-outs are already in place when the decking arrives on site; this means that, compared to plank decking, modular decking is over 12 times faster to install. On a large-scale project, this

To take advantage of our free specification service, send us some drawings or find out more about our products, please email sales@neaco.co.uk, call 01653 695 721 or visit www.neaco.co.uk.


Let in the light Bi-fold doors can help you maximise space, light and personality he average size of a new build home increased from 2,479 square feet in 2007, to 2,584 feet in 2019. New places might be gradually growing, but the common design objectives of most homeowners are to create the impression of additional light and even more space. Instead of looking for a bigger home, opting for bi-folding doors could bring these aspirations to life. Here Nick Cowley managing director at windows and doors manufacturer Euramax, runs through the top considerations when investing in bi-fold doors.


Bi-folding doors are an increasingly popular design choice in UK homes. Homeowners have been able to install planning permission-free single story rear extensions since 2019, cutting the red tape for those who desire a larger living space. However, building more room isn’t feasible for every homeowner. Instead, the large, concertina panels of bi-fold doors are a favourable choice for those that want to create the illusion of more space. A room with a view Having ample natural light often gives the impression of more space. Natural light also boasts a variety of health benefits, such as boosting vitamin D production and, according to research, improving morale while promoting feelings of calmness. An unhindered view of your outdoor space is a great way to harness the benefits of natural light, while creating a wider entrance


point gives the impression of a larger room. For homeowners that want to admire the view of their garden, there are a couple of options to consider. Sliding doors that are made of a few larger panels of glass require less frames, so are less likely to obstruct the view of the garden. Those opting for sliding doors should choose ones made from two large panels, with one sliding over the other, to give two wide apertures. However, bi-fold doors are able to open further to give a wider entrance space than sliding doors. It’s therefore important to consider how you want the doors to look when they’re open and shut. Bi-folds are also better space savers for those with smaller rooms. Due their folding mechanism, bi-folds do not have the arc-of-opening that traditional French doors possess, so space is enhanced both in the room itself and as a wider access point. In the frame While favoured for their large number of glass panels, bi-folding doors still require sturdy frames. When choosing the frame material, homeowners should consider their property’s aesthetic, as well as potential upkeep. A period property may suit a hardwood such as timber. However, these frames will need regular re-staining to maintain their appearance. Wood also risks twisting and warping in the heat, so you should select either an engineered wood or a different material altogether.

PCVu is the best choice for those on a budget, and requires far less maintenance. Standard white PCVu frames may easily match existing windows to create a consistent look. However, frames are also available in a range of modern colour options, such as on-trend grey, so they can easily match any home’s aesthetic. Thermal performance Large glass panes can be a chillier replacement for solid wall. To maximise energy efficiency and keep heating bills down, good thermal performance is crucial. Energy-conscious buyers should look for bi-folds with the lowest rated U-value, which indicates the heat lost in watts per square metre. To comply with building regulations, bi-fold doors must be 1.8W/(m2k) for replacements, or 2.0W/(m2k) in new builds and extensions. There’s nothing to stop you from aiming lower. Euramax products have a U value of 1.4 W/(m2k), making them a superb option for those wanting to keep their brighter, lighter space warm during winter. We can supply French, sliding and bi-fold doors to suit a range of preferences, and all our windows and doors are rated A+ for energy efficiency by the British Fenestration Rating Council. Whether you are renovating a house to let in more light or to save on space, bi-folds are a great way of achieving multiple design ambitions in one fell swoop. By maximising light and space anyone can turn a simple room into an optimally used space.

Four Stop Platform Lift for historic Old Portsmouth We’ve just fitted our Home Lift in a historic property overlooking the harbour in Old Portsmouth. ld Portsmouth is the area of Portsmouth which was covered by the original medieval town of Portsmouth. It is steeped in history, and contains many historic buildings including Portsmouth Cathedral and Portsmouth Point.


Our client was a resident of a rare, historic four storey property overlooking the harbour and the Solent. They were in need of a lift to enable access to all floors of the property, and contacted the lift experts at Invalifts for a solution. After an initial site survey, Invalifts recommended and installed their Home platform

lift, with a custom footprint of 910mm x 870mm optimising the available space. The Home Lift was the perfect solution, as a quiet and efficient platform lift, with a capacity of 250Kg. The carriage controls are clear and easy to operate whilst the aluminium handrail located just below the carriage push button enhances the feeling of Swedish quality and design. The home lift was installed with glazed 800mm wide landing doors at every level. The client was thrilled with the quick and hassle-free installation and now has easy access to all of the floors of their property.

If you would like to know more about our platform lifts or other access solutions, please contact the Invalifts team on 0845 468 2543 or alternatively, email sales@invalifts.com


Platform Lifts Our range of platform lifts includes the Commercial Platform Lift (right) - a premium quality enclosed platform lift with a customisable finish, and the option of glazing on 3 sides. Designed for offices, schools and public buildings with small footprints available, this is a premier platform lift. We also offer stair platform lifts and a range of platform lifts for both internal and external use.

The Platform Lift Experts

Tel: 0845 4682543 Web: www.invalifts.com



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