Submit your construction content here

Email us

  • 17 Jan 2018
    A proven waterproof solution is essential for safeguarding basements, car parks, tunnels and other belowground concrete structures against damp and water ingress. But which system is best suited to your building? A render-based product? A drainage system incorporating a membrane? Sika offers both solutions as part of its proven, wide-ranging concrete and waterproofing range, so let’s examine the benefits of each. Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged waterproofing system comprises watertight renders and screeds produced using the Sika®-1 Waterproofing Liquid and Sika®-1 Pre-Batched Mortars. The mortars consist of a blend of special cement and kiln dried graded aggregates. Packaged in four grades, each is specifically designed for optimum application performance and durability. Key considerations when specifying Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged: Once applied, it requires absolutely no maintenance It is more cost-effective when applied to areas of 300m2 or less The render system takes up minimal space Bonds directly to the substrate – follows the contours of any structure Withstands high water pressure Substrate preparation may be required  In terms of a water management solution, Sika® CD-Cavity Drain System uses a high density polyethylene internal drainage membrane to control water after it has penetrated a structure. The system is installed, loose-laid in flooring applications and attached to the wall with surface plugs in vertical installations. The system directs penetrating water into a drainage system and a collection sump before using a pump to discharge water from the building. A cavity drain provides protection from the ingress of water, vapour and gases. Key considerations when specifying Sika® CD-Cavity Drain System: System requires ongoing maintenance and running costs Requires more space to install Acts as a vapour barrier Limited surface preparation required Can be used where the substrate does not have the strength to resist stresses caused by water pressure Most cost-effective on areas larger than 300m2  Although varying in application and comprising different materials, the systems share common properties. For instance, Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged and Cavity Drain are suitable for new-build and refurbishment projects involving a range of belowground structures. As well as being BBA-approved, both systems carry a Sika guarantee when installed by an approved contractor. Other common properties include the systems’ suitability for use to grades 1-3 according to BS 8102-2009, and high water table according to BS 8102-2009. What then, must we conclude from this comparison? Well, by eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance, the Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged system is a more cost-effective solution over a lifespan of 60 years, particularly for structures 300m2 and below. Not as simple to apply as the pre-bagged system, on account of its additional components, Sika® CD-Cavity Drain System is a more ideal waterproofing solution for areas larger than 300m2. Ongoing running costs are incurred, as the system requires regular maintenance. Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged or Sika® CD-Cavity Drain system…whichever system you choose as your belowground solution, you are guaranteed the same quality: superb, long-term waterproof performance. Sika operates a Registered Contractors scheme, designed to help facilitate the selection of suitable contractors to install Sika waterproofing systems including Sika®-1 and Cavity Drain. Choosing a Sika Registered Contractor provides total quality control – from product to service and installation – giving clients added reassurance that they will receive the highest standards of professionalism at every stage. Visit: https://www.sikawaterproofing.co.uk/products-systems/sika-cd-cavity-drainage-system/  
    59 Posted by Talk. Build
  • A proven waterproof solution is essential for safeguarding basements, car parks, tunnels and other belowground concrete structures against damp and water ingress. But which system is best suited to your building? A render-based product? A drainage system incorporating a membrane? Sika offers both solutions as part of its proven, wide-ranging concrete and waterproofing range, so let’s examine the benefits of each. Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged waterproofing system comprises watertight renders and screeds produced using the Sika®-1 Waterproofing Liquid and Sika®-1 Pre-Batched Mortars. The mortars consist of a blend of special cement and kiln dried graded aggregates. Packaged in four grades, each is specifically designed for optimum application performance and durability. Key considerations when specifying Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged: Once applied, it requires absolutely no maintenance It is more cost-effective when applied to areas of 300m2 or less The render system takes up minimal space Bonds directly to the substrate – follows the contours of any structure Withstands high water pressure Substrate preparation may be required  In terms of a water management solution, Sika® CD-Cavity Drain System uses a high density polyethylene internal drainage membrane to control water after it has penetrated a structure. The system is installed, loose-laid in flooring applications and attached to the wall with surface plugs in vertical installations. The system directs penetrating water into a drainage system and a collection sump before using a pump to discharge water from the building. A cavity drain provides protection from the ingress of water, vapour and gases. Key considerations when specifying Sika® CD-Cavity Drain System: System requires ongoing maintenance and running costs Requires more space to install Acts as a vapour barrier Limited surface preparation required Can be used where the substrate does not have the strength to resist stresses caused by water pressure Most cost-effective on areas larger than 300m2  Although varying in application and comprising different materials, the systems share common properties. For instance, Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged and Cavity Drain are suitable for new-build and refurbishment projects involving a range of belowground structures. As well as being BBA-approved, both systems carry a Sika guarantee when installed by an approved contractor. Other common properties include the systems’ suitability for use to grades 1-3 according to BS 8102-2009, and high water table according to BS 8102-2009. What then, must we conclude from this comparison? Well, by eliminating the need for ongoing maintenance, the Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged system is a more cost-effective solution over a lifespan of 60 years, particularly for structures 300m2 and below. Not as simple to apply as the pre-bagged system, on account of its additional components, Sika® CD-Cavity Drain System is a more ideal waterproofing solution for areas larger than 300m2. Ongoing running costs are incurred, as the system requires regular maintenance. Sika®-1 Pre-Bagged or Sika® CD-Cavity Drain system…whichever system you choose as your belowground solution, you are guaranteed the same quality: superb, long-term waterproof performance. Sika operates a Registered Contractors scheme, designed to help facilitate the selection of suitable contractors to install Sika waterproofing systems including Sika®-1 and Cavity Drain. Choosing a Sika Registered Contractor provides total quality control – from product to service and installation – giving clients added reassurance that they will receive the highest standards of professionalism at every stage. Visit: https://www.sikawaterproofing.co.uk/products-systems/sika-cd-cavity-drainage-system/  
    Jan 17, 2018 59
  • 05 Jan 2018
    The introduction of Sewers for Adoption 7 (SfA7) has meant that engineers can now specify plastic inspection chambers instead of those made from concrete. Offering a substantially lighter, structurally sound, watertight chamber and one that benefits from exceptional loading capabilities, Paul Grills of Brett Martin takes a fresh look at modern plastic materials which are fast becoming the go-to alternative to traditional concrete chambers. With the intention of standardising the performance and installation of all ‘adoptable’ drainage installations, the SfA7 guidance provides installers with general specifications for drainage.  But when is an inspection chamber adoptable and when is it not? Adoptable inspection chambers serve two or more properties and are the first inspection chamber back from an adoptable lateral drain.  Non-adoptable chambers are installed within the property boundary and serve individual properties. Building a case for plastic One of the major step changes with SfA7 is that tried and tested engineered plastic inspection chambers are now being accepted for use in adoptable areas as an alternative to traditional materials such as concrete and offer significant cost and time benefits. Through the introduction of newly-defined design specifications and by bringing in installation standards for all adoptable drainage networks, SfA7 provides the specifier with Typical Access Chamber Details for flexible material (plastic) versions. This means that traditional rigid concrete chambers are no longer the only authorised option for adoptable drainage installations down to 3 metres. Plastic inspection chambers are now required to be designed, tested and manufactured to meet the requirements of BS EN 13598 under SfA7 guidance. Part 1 of the standard covers installations down to a maximum of 1.2m invert depth, and Part 2 covers deeper installations, including critical areas. Traditionally there has been some reluctance towards plastic inspection chambers from water authorities, even for Part 1 compliant installations. However with any lateral drain or sewer serving two or more properties and connections to the public sewer now able to be adopted by a water company, a traditional 1.2m concrete inspection chamber would not be practical in a lot of these instances. This change, enshrined in SfA7, has begun to result in a change of attitude from the water companies. Independently tested One of the reasons why plastic systems are becoming more accepted is due to the rigorous testing program set out in BS EN 13598. These independent tests include dimensional assessments, load testing, pressure testing and elevated temperature cycling to name just a few. Furthermore, a product certified by a third party (such as BSI) will be subject to this robust test program on an ongoing basis, ensuring that companies are consistently producing a product which meets this high standard. This impartial testing and certification should not only give water companies confidence in the system which they have installed, but also builders, surveyors and homeowners as well. Modern plastic systems are seeing increased interest due to their important set of benefits compared with concrete, including performance characteristics such as structural integrity, watertightconstruction and strong loading capabilities. And the substantially lighter weight offered by polypropylene chambers means there is no need for the craning required for the traditional concrete solutions, and that health and safety concerns on site are drastically reduced. Plastic sewer systems are also known for a very smooth internal surface in comparison to a concrete system. This reduced friction coefficient helps the flow of foul water, reduces the risk of blockages and means that the jetting pressure required for a plastic system is significantly reduced against a concrete pipe.  Ease of installation Along with being durable and robust, these modern plastic systems can be integrally socketed for improved pipe alignment thereby easing installation and performance, a vital consideration for a long design life.  An additional benefit of the integral socket is the system can be manufactured specifically to be compatible with other standardised plastic sewer products (such as BS EN 1401 pipe and fittings). This further improves on installation time and removes the need for additional adaptor pieces which go between concrete and plastic systems. With the official Sewers for Adoption 7 guidance now supporting the specification of plastic for adoptable solutions, local authorities can be sure they gain all the benefits of fit-for-purpose alternatives, and be fully in compliance with all standards. Visit: www.brettmartin.com
    93 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The introduction of Sewers for Adoption 7 (SfA7) has meant that engineers can now specify plastic inspection chambers instead of those made from concrete. Offering a substantially lighter, structurally sound, watertight chamber and one that benefits from exceptional loading capabilities, Paul Grills of Brett Martin takes a fresh look at modern plastic materials which are fast becoming the go-to alternative to traditional concrete chambers. With the intention of standardising the performance and installation of all ‘adoptable’ drainage installations, the SfA7 guidance provides installers with general specifications for drainage.  But when is an inspection chamber adoptable and when is it not? Adoptable inspection chambers serve two or more properties and are the first inspection chamber back from an adoptable lateral drain.  Non-adoptable chambers are installed within the property boundary and serve individual properties. Building a case for plastic One of the major step changes with SfA7 is that tried and tested engineered plastic inspection chambers are now being accepted for use in adoptable areas as an alternative to traditional materials such as concrete and offer significant cost and time benefits. Through the introduction of newly-defined design specifications and by bringing in installation standards for all adoptable drainage networks, SfA7 provides the specifier with Typical Access Chamber Details for flexible material (plastic) versions. This means that traditional rigid concrete chambers are no longer the only authorised option for adoptable drainage installations down to 3 metres. Plastic inspection chambers are now required to be designed, tested and manufactured to meet the requirements of BS EN 13598 under SfA7 guidance. Part 1 of the standard covers installations down to a maximum of 1.2m invert depth, and Part 2 covers deeper installations, including critical areas. Traditionally there has been some reluctance towards plastic inspection chambers from water authorities, even for Part 1 compliant installations. However with any lateral drain or sewer serving two or more properties and connections to the public sewer now able to be adopted by a water company, a traditional 1.2m concrete inspection chamber would not be practical in a lot of these instances. This change, enshrined in SfA7, has begun to result in a change of attitude from the water companies. Independently tested One of the reasons why plastic systems are becoming more accepted is due to the rigorous testing program set out in BS EN 13598. These independent tests include dimensional assessments, load testing, pressure testing and elevated temperature cycling to name just a few. Furthermore, a product certified by a third party (such as BSI) will be subject to this robust test program on an ongoing basis, ensuring that companies are consistently producing a product which meets this high standard. This impartial testing and certification should not only give water companies confidence in the system which they have installed, but also builders, surveyors and homeowners as well. Modern plastic systems are seeing increased interest due to their important set of benefits compared with concrete, including performance characteristics such as structural integrity, watertightconstruction and strong loading capabilities. And the substantially lighter weight offered by polypropylene chambers means there is no need for the craning required for the traditional concrete solutions, and that health and safety concerns on site are drastically reduced. Plastic sewer systems are also known for a very smooth internal surface in comparison to a concrete system. This reduced friction coefficient helps the flow of foul water, reduces the risk of blockages and means that the jetting pressure required for a plastic system is significantly reduced against a concrete pipe.  Ease of installation Along with being durable and robust, these modern plastic systems can be integrally socketed for improved pipe alignment thereby easing installation and performance, a vital consideration for a long design life.  An additional benefit of the integral socket is the system can be manufactured specifically to be compatible with other standardised plastic sewer products (such as BS EN 1401 pipe and fittings). This further improves on installation time and removes the need for additional adaptor pieces which go between concrete and plastic systems. With the official Sewers for Adoption 7 guidance now supporting the specification of plastic for adoptable solutions, local authorities can be sure they gain all the benefits of fit-for-purpose alternatives, and be fully in compliance with all standards. Visit: www.brettmartin.com
    Jan 05, 2018 93
  • 03 Jan 2018
    As an industry, we could be accused of focusing on the past rather than looking to the future – in fact, this is a condition that the country suffers from as a whole, and one that can stifle progress. Ultimately, positive, forward thinking, and innovation will attract fresh blood to our industry. But we must learn from our experiences and select important lessons for ourselves and the next generation, as my reality was very different. I stumbled into this sector very much by accident, as many do. After leaving school, I found myself a summer job with a housebuilder as a joiner’s labourer. This helped me through my college years, and I then moved into the equipment hire industry, and construction products sales, where I first gained real perspective on how job sites operated – and how specifications had a big influence on the construction of a building. From there, I began an adventure into aluminium systems, fenestration and the building envelope. The journey into roofing had a familiar feel, then managing a commercial specification team was exciting, and a real challenge as I again was able to influence construction in a tangible way. Joining Sika has really provided a wider opportunity, the company enabled me to move from a regional role, to a national role, and I’m now responsible for a business unit of over £60 million, three branded organisations – Sika Sarnafil, Sika Liquid Plastics and Sika-Trocal – and a team of over 70.    Today, the construction landscape looks very different. There’s a greater focus on Health & Safety, more challenging site restrictions, and a real focus on safe working. Specifications are ever more tested, but we continue to learn and improve. Sustainability, product innovation, logistics, and disposal of waste, have all developed massively. We have a lot to celebrate and share. Training has come on leaps and bounds, making a real contribution to strengthening the sector. We are more aware than ever of how we approach construction and what our roles and responsibilities are. Now I realise that project success, business success and the success of the industry as a whole, is dependent on more than the physical bricks and mortar, it is the people that make the difference. Throughout the years I’ve been lucky to work with some great characters, who invested in my career, and me as an individual, provided great coaching and gave me opportunity to grow. It seems natural that we can now do the same for others. A key focus for me is people development. We talk every day about our teams, where they are in their evolution, what projects are their focuses and how we can provide better support for our employees. Recently, we had the opportunity to contribute at a college careers open day, where one of our team who had progressed in the last few years, told his story. This inspired a number of students, all of whom hadn’t necessarily considered the breadth of roles that the construction industry offers. We were overwhelmed at the interest, and quickly made the decision to move forward. On the back of this, and stimulated by the Apprenticeship Levy, I am overjoyed that we will be welcoming two new apprentices to the Sika Roofing family this year. These young people will join in a general business administration role, and work across all areas for the rest of this year. We will see where their strengths take them, with operations, sales and marketing, and technical services, all offering great opportunities for development. Working in construction really does allow you to ‘choose your own adventure’ and work to your skills and potential. There is even the chance of international roles, a very exciting opportunity. Our apprentices will benefit from a sponsor, a coach, and a long term plan to integrate them into our business culture, and see what the industry is about. Sika’s group values provide a real spirit of entrepreneurship, opportunity and progression.   It’s clear that society and technology have changed younger people’s career choices. The perception of the construction industry and the long term opportunities are different than they were – sometimes negative and occasionally, non-existent. As a career choice from a young age, there is less focus on the traditional jobs, and the skills attached, which is one of the contributing factors to our skills shortage. We’re not going to be able to rely on people ‘falling’ into the industry like we used to – the deficit is too large. Our focus must be to bring young people through our business – actively promoting and educating about the opportunities open to them. If I could give our new apprentices one piece of advice, it is to be open. When I started out all those years ago, I wish I’d know how important it is to listen, to invest in yourself, and have a plan. Also, to take opportunity when it’s presented and forge relationships. I look forward to the new energy they will bring to the business, and call for more manufacturers to take action in telling the positive stories from our industry and developing the stars of tomorrow – we have so much to offer young people and they in turn to offer us. By Rod Benson, Business Unit Manager for Sika Roofing
    125 Posted by Talk. Build
  • As an industry, we could be accused of focusing on the past rather than looking to the future – in fact, this is a condition that the country suffers from as a whole, and one that can stifle progress. Ultimately, positive, forward thinking, and innovation will attract fresh blood to our industry. But we must learn from our experiences and select important lessons for ourselves and the next generation, as my reality was very different. I stumbled into this sector very much by accident, as many do. After leaving school, I found myself a summer job with a housebuilder as a joiner’s labourer. This helped me through my college years, and I then moved into the equipment hire industry, and construction products sales, where I first gained real perspective on how job sites operated – and how specifications had a big influence on the construction of a building. From there, I began an adventure into aluminium systems, fenestration and the building envelope. The journey into roofing had a familiar feel, then managing a commercial specification team was exciting, and a real challenge as I again was able to influence construction in a tangible way. Joining Sika has really provided a wider opportunity, the company enabled me to move from a regional role, to a national role, and I’m now responsible for a business unit of over £60 million, three branded organisations – Sika Sarnafil, Sika Liquid Plastics and Sika-Trocal – and a team of over 70.    Today, the construction landscape looks very different. There’s a greater focus on Health & Safety, more challenging site restrictions, and a real focus on safe working. Specifications are ever more tested, but we continue to learn and improve. Sustainability, product innovation, logistics, and disposal of waste, have all developed massively. We have a lot to celebrate and share. Training has come on leaps and bounds, making a real contribution to strengthening the sector. We are more aware than ever of how we approach construction and what our roles and responsibilities are. Now I realise that project success, business success and the success of the industry as a whole, is dependent on more than the physical bricks and mortar, it is the people that make the difference. Throughout the years I’ve been lucky to work with some great characters, who invested in my career, and me as an individual, provided great coaching and gave me opportunity to grow. It seems natural that we can now do the same for others. A key focus for me is people development. We talk every day about our teams, where they are in their evolution, what projects are their focuses and how we can provide better support for our employees. Recently, we had the opportunity to contribute at a college careers open day, where one of our team who had progressed in the last few years, told his story. This inspired a number of students, all of whom hadn’t necessarily considered the breadth of roles that the construction industry offers. We were overwhelmed at the interest, and quickly made the decision to move forward. On the back of this, and stimulated by the Apprenticeship Levy, I am overjoyed that we will be welcoming two new apprentices to the Sika Roofing family this year. These young people will join in a general business administration role, and work across all areas for the rest of this year. We will see where their strengths take them, with operations, sales and marketing, and technical services, all offering great opportunities for development. Working in construction really does allow you to ‘choose your own adventure’ and work to your skills and potential. There is even the chance of international roles, a very exciting opportunity. Our apprentices will benefit from a sponsor, a coach, and a long term plan to integrate them into our business culture, and see what the industry is about. Sika’s group values provide a real spirit of entrepreneurship, opportunity and progression.   It’s clear that society and technology have changed younger people’s career choices. The perception of the construction industry and the long term opportunities are different than they were – sometimes negative and occasionally, non-existent. As a career choice from a young age, there is less focus on the traditional jobs, and the skills attached, which is one of the contributing factors to our skills shortage. We’re not going to be able to rely on people ‘falling’ into the industry like we used to – the deficit is too large. Our focus must be to bring young people through our business – actively promoting and educating about the opportunities open to them. If I could give our new apprentices one piece of advice, it is to be open. When I started out all those years ago, I wish I’d know how important it is to listen, to invest in yourself, and have a plan. Also, to take opportunity when it’s presented and forge relationships. I look forward to the new energy they will bring to the business, and call for more manufacturers to take action in telling the positive stories from our industry and developing the stars of tomorrow – we have so much to offer young people and they in turn to offer us. By Rod Benson, Business Unit Manager for Sika Roofing
    Jan 03, 2018 125
  • 02 Jan 2018
    The perception and benefit of rooflights, and more importantly daylight, has evolved to such extent it has become a fundamental element of contemporary architecture. ‘Daylight’ might be a simple word, but for many years it was given little thought or high consideration during the design or construction process.  With architects, clients and consumers all searching and wanting the latest offering, what steps can specifiers take to find the best rooflight product which offers the most benefits at an affordable price, whilst being aesthetically pleasing to the eye?  Naturally, with this evolution of opinions and desire comes product development.   Manufacturers work hard to launch new products regularly, with a solution available for whatever the requirement may be. This has resulted in an infinite variety of rooflight shapes, sizes, colours and glazing options to suit flat, pitched and curved roof applications. Irrespective of the number or extent of rooflights required for residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural structures, if the basics are followed the process can be as easy as 1-2-3:  design and specification, a market leading manufacturer and finally installation. Design and specification The choice of daylighting holds the key.  With so many options available, the early involvement of a rooflight manufacturer or daylight consultant at the design and specification stage of a project is critical as they can provide good advice and influence the right rooflight decision.  This could be in terms of the rooflight area required, benefits on energy saving or ventilation options as well as ensuring the most appropriate type of product is chosen for the individual requirements of a particular project. Working together during this time will ensure all requirements and benefits are achieved.  While a part of this requirement is meeting current legislation, it is also about meeting budgets whilst at the same time choosing the best product for the application that is quick and easy to install. This is not always an easy task when regulations need to be adhered to.  Smoke extraction, airtightness, u-values, solar gain, wind-loadings, watertightness are just some of the many considerations and requirements. It is therefore important to work with a rooflight manufacturer that can demonstrate, support and back-up their product’s performance and technical claims. Compliance with the differing national regulatory frameworks must be considered, with rooflights subjected to mandatory legislation and standards covering key performance factors including fire, thermal insulation, safety, and in certain applications, security. Care should be taken to ensure that any specification and installation meets the relevant standards, with a hierarchical approach often best practice. Meeting the relevant fire standards is paramount, insulation standards are important to meet energy efficiency standards, while safety requirements must also be satisfied. In particular, in the UK and Ireland, much assistance in meeting regulatory requirements is provided in extensive industry guidance, for example NFRC, MCRMA, NARM, ACR. Manufacturers at the top of their game Using a manufacturer which has a wide range of products will ensure the most reliable and cost effective option can be selected for any roof type or project requirement as they can offer unbiased advice on differing product types and applications to ensure that the project’s requirements of performance, aesthetics and budget is most appropriately met. A company with a more limited range of products could be more likely to recommend only the product that they supply rather than what is best for your project. A project can often benefit from using different rooflight products on the same roof, where specific performance, budgetary and aesthetic requirements can be matched to individual areas of the roof to ensure the most cost-effective overall budget. The perfect fit In a world where health and safety is paramount and with site labour, welfare and plant potentially so expensive, choosing the right manufacturer or product for your daylighting is crucial.  For contractors wishing to reduce site time on a roof and enhance safety, factory assembled rooflights are manufactured to tight tolerances, ensuring an accurate and reliable fit on site leading to time saved on installation, and reduced fitting costs. They say time is money, and costs can spiral out of control if the wrong choices are made.  With margins low and budgets tight, it’s important to recognise the value of UK quality standards for rooflights and check the origins and evaluate objectively the credentials of rooflight products.  Selecting an apparently lower cost rooflight might well compromise performance requirements and lead to higher costs in the long term.  Choosing the right rooflight manufacturer will ultimately give you peace of mind.  They can offer great quality, long lasting and compliant products that are quick and easy to install and backed up and supported by superb technical support. Through the synergy between rooflight manufacturers and specifiers working together and by taking a simple three step approach, it is possible to design, produce and achieve some of the most beautiful ‘daylight enhancements’ ever dreamt of on a building.  Visit: http://www.brettmartin.com/
    88 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The perception and benefit of rooflights, and more importantly daylight, has evolved to such extent it has become a fundamental element of contemporary architecture. ‘Daylight’ might be a simple word, but for many years it was given little thought or high consideration during the design or construction process.  With architects, clients and consumers all searching and wanting the latest offering, what steps can specifiers take to find the best rooflight product which offers the most benefits at an affordable price, whilst being aesthetically pleasing to the eye?  Naturally, with this evolution of opinions and desire comes product development.   Manufacturers work hard to launch new products regularly, with a solution available for whatever the requirement may be. This has resulted in an infinite variety of rooflight shapes, sizes, colours and glazing options to suit flat, pitched and curved roof applications. Irrespective of the number or extent of rooflights required for residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural structures, if the basics are followed the process can be as easy as 1-2-3:  design and specification, a market leading manufacturer and finally installation. Design and specification The choice of daylighting holds the key.  With so many options available, the early involvement of a rooflight manufacturer or daylight consultant at the design and specification stage of a project is critical as they can provide good advice and influence the right rooflight decision.  This could be in terms of the rooflight area required, benefits on energy saving or ventilation options as well as ensuring the most appropriate type of product is chosen for the individual requirements of a particular project. Working together during this time will ensure all requirements and benefits are achieved.  While a part of this requirement is meeting current legislation, it is also about meeting budgets whilst at the same time choosing the best product for the application that is quick and easy to install. This is not always an easy task when regulations need to be adhered to.  Smoke extraction, airtightness, u-values, solar gain, wind-loadings, watertightness are just some of the many considerations and requirements. It is therefore important to work with a rooflight manufacturer that can demonstrate, support and back-up their product’s performance and technical claims. Compliance with the differing national regulatory frameworks must be considered, with rooflights subjected to mandatory legislation and standards covering key performance factors including fire, thermal insulation, safety, and in certain applications, security. Care should be taken to ensure that any specification and installation meets the relevant standards, with a hierarchical approach often best practice. Meeting the relevant fire standards is paramount, insulation standards are important to meet energy efficiency standards, while safety requirements must also be satisfied. In particular, in the UK and Ireland, much assistance in meeting regulatory requirements is provided in extensive industry guidance, for example NFRC, MCRMA, NARM, ACR. Manufacturers at the top of their game Using a manufacturer which has a wide range of products will ensure the most reliable and cost effective option can be selected for any roof type or project requirement as they can offer unbiased advice on differing product types and applications to ensure that the project’s requirements of performance, aesthetics and budget is most appropriately met. A company with a more limited range of products could be more likely to recommend only the product that they supply rather than what is best for your project. A project can often benefit from using different rooflight products on the same roof, where specific performance, budgetary and aesthetic requirements can be matched to individual areas of the roof to ensure the most cost-effective overall budget. The perfect fit In a world where health and safety is paramount and with site labour, welfare and plant potentially so expensive, choosing the right manufacturer or product for your daylighting is crucial.  For contractors wishing to reduce site time on a roof and enhance safety, factory assembled rooflights are manufactured to tight tolerances, ensuring an accurate and reliable fit on site leading to time saved on installation, and reduced fitting costs. They say time is money, and costs can spiral out of control if the wrong choices are made.  With margins low and budgets tight, it’s important to recognise the value of UK quality standards for rooflights and check the origins and evaluate objectively the credentials of rooflight products.  Selecting an apparently lower cost rooflight might well compromise performance requirements and lead to higher costs in the long term.  Choosing the right rooflight manufacturer will ultimately give you peace of mind.  They can offer great quality, long lasting and compliant products that are quick and easy to install and backed up and supported by superb technical support. Through the synergy between rooflight manufacturers and specifiers working together and by taking a simple three step approach, it is possible to design, produce and achieve some of the most beautiful ‘daylight enhancements’ ever dreamt of on a building.  Visit: http://www.brettmartin.com/
    Jan 02, 2018 88
  • 12 Dec 2017
    There can be fewer buildings more important than a child’s place of learning. It’s therefore vital their educational surroundings are able to withstand the test of time and the worst of the elements which means obtaining maximum performance from a building’s first line of defence - the roof. As Dave Maginnis, Managing Director of leading roofing and waterproofing contractor, BriggsAmasco, explains, whatever the roofing system being installed – bur, single ply, hot melt, green roof, rooflights or solar PV - getting the small details right is essential or roof failure will fast become a very expensive problem. Standing water, membrane blistering, wind uplift damage…the causes of roof failure are as varied as they are destructive. Unfortunately, there is no ‘magic wand’ solution to common structural problems, but by taking into account a well-known phrase: “fail to prepare or prepare to fail” designers and builders can do much to ensure a structure’s highest and most important feature remains intact.  Even for the most site-hardened architect or surveyor, specifying the best flat roofing and waterproofing system can be a complex decision. From a humble flat to the grandest, awe-inspiring commercial structure, the materials applied to the roof will go a long way to deciding its long-term future. So how can you ensure a roof not only looks good, but remains weathertight and even thrives for years to come? The importance of technical support, surveying, estimating and contract management can play a vital role in waterproofing success, but initial specification is key. When Ceredigion County Council, based in south west Wales, announced it was to merge five schools to form a £34 million super school, every aspect of the new building had to aspire to the authority’s precise specification – including the roof.  A complete roof build-up system comprising Tata D100 steel decking, 160mm IKO Enertherm insulation and IKO Armourplan single plan membrane proved the ideal solution to ensure the school’s 1,000 primary and secondary pupils have robust and reliable all-weather protection. As well as providing shelter, a well-designed roof can help in the creation of a calm, ambient school environment. Natural light plays a crucial role in modern educational buildings, helping improve concentration levels and productivity; hence mono-pitch rooflights were installed as part of the super school’s specification. To complete the application and provide safe roof access for repairs or maintenance tasks, a Latchways Mansafe fall protection system was also installed. With schools and colleges looking to increase student awareness in terms of bio-diversity as well as allowing more recreation and growing of different plant species, green roofs are becoming a familiar feature in education establishments nationwide.  At the University of Greenwich in London, 22 separate roofs were waterproofed in  IKO PermaTEC hot-melt as part of a multi-tier rooftop garden on the new £38 million Stockwell Street building. Of the 22 flat roofs, 14 were converted into green roofs. IKO PermaTEC hot melt system was specified for the project as it can accommodate a wide variety of roof types and be applied in a range of weather conditions. With a proven track record of durability and long-term performance, PermaTEC provides outstanding protection that will last the entire design life of the building. Correct specification paid dividends for the university and contractors as the 14 roofs - landscaped with plants, trees, sedum and high tech terraces - were awarded an innovation credit from BREEAM. The green roofs are now home to wetland; climate-controlled greenhouses; an apiary of bees; outdoor vegetable grids and herbaceous landscapes. A well-appointed, expertly installed roof doesn’t happen by accident – it takes careful planning and attention to the smallest details. However, with diligence comes reward in terms of peace of mind - and in some cases – a regular crop of homegrown fruit and vegetables. Visit: https://briggsamasco.co.uk/  
    109 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There can be fewer buildings more important than a child’s place of learning. It’s therefore vital their educational surroundings are able to withstand the test of time and the worst of the elements which means obtaining maximum performance from a building’s first line of defence - the roof. As Dave Maginnis, Managing Director of leading roofing and waterproofing contractor, BriggsAmasco, explains, whatever the roofing system being installed – bur, single ply, hot melt, green roof, rooflights or solar PV - getting the small details right is essential or roof failure will fast become a very expensive problem. Standing water, membrane blistering, wind uplift damage…the causes of roof failure are as varied as they are destructive. Unfortunately, there is no ‘magic wand’ solution to common structural problems, but by taking into account a well-known phrase: “fail to prepare or prepare to fail” designers and builders can do much to ensure a structure’s highest and most important feature remains intact.  Even for the most site-hardened architect or surveyor, specifying the best flat roofing and waterproofing system can be a complex decision. From a humble flat to the grandest, awe-inspiring commercial structure, the materials applied to the roof will go a long way to deciding its long-term future. So how can you ensure a roof not only looks good, but remains weathertight and even thrives for years to come? The importance of technical support, surveying, estimating and contract management can play a vital role in waterproofing success, but initial specification is key. When Ceredigion County Council, based in south west Wales, announced it was to merge five schools to form a £34 million super school, every aspect of the new building had to aspire to the authority’s precise specification – including the roof.  A complete roof build-up system comprising Tata D100 steel decking, 160mm IKO Enertherm insulation and IKO Armourplan single plan membrane proved the ideal solution to ensure the school’s 1,000 primary and secondary pupils have robust and reliable all-weather protection. As well as providing shelter, a well-designed roof can help in the creation of a calm, ambient school environment. Natural light plays a crucial role in modern educational buildings, helping improve concentration levels and productivity; hence mono-pitch rooflights were installed as part of the super school’s specification. To complete the application and provide safe roof access for repairs or maintenance tasks, a Latchways Mansafe fall protection system was also installed. With schools and colleges looking to increase student awareness in terms of bio-diversity as well as allowing more recreation and growing of different plant species, green roofs are becoming a familiar feature in education establishments nationwide.  At the University of Greenwich in London, 22 separate roofs were waterproofed in  IKO PermaTEC hot-melt as part of a multi-tier rooftop garden on the new £38 million Stockwell Street building. Of the 22 flat roofs, 14 were converted into green roofs. IKO PermaTEC hot melt system was specified for the project as it can accommodate a wide variety of roof types and be applied in a range of weather conditions. With a proven track record of durability and long-term performance, PermaTEC provides outstanding protection that will last the entire design life of the building. Correct specification paid dividends for the university and contractors as the 14 roofs - landscaped with plants, trees, sedum and high tech terraces - were awarded an innovation credit from BREEAM. The green roofs are now home to wetland; climate-controlled greenhouses; an apiary of bees; outdoor vegetable grids and herbaceous landscapes. A well-appointed, expertly installed roof doesn’t happen by accident – it takes careful planning and attention to the smallest details. However, with diligence comes reward in terms of peace of mind - and in some cases – a regular crop of homegrown fruit and vegetables. Visit: https://briggsamasco.co.uk/  
    Dec 12, 2017 109
  • 07 Dec 2017
    Children with autism have a range of particular needs when it comes to the ideal learning environment, and these are unlikely to be provided for by standard classroom design. The Government’s current drive to bring school provision for children with autism into mainstream schooling raises questions over whether the environments they are expected to be taught in will be appropriate. Having been involved in several design and construction contracts to create classrooms for autistic children in mainstream schools we have become specialists in the area. In our experience using existing classrooms has created difficulties for both students due to the everyday challenges posed by autism. Unfortunately in many schools second grade portable buildings long past their use by date have been allocated to provision for an intake of autistic children, and in some cases children and staff have even had to use unused spaces like old lobby areas and cupboards. The drive to allow children with autism to grow and develop within a ‘normal’ school environment is to be applauded however it needs to be accompanied by a commitment to providing spaces which are worthy of the commitment being made to their education. We have found when designing for autistic children there is a need to assess the level of severity before jumping to a conclusion that the rooms need to be of a highly secure nature. Children being bought into a normal school environment are expected to take part in general school activities at different stages of the day so it’s important to design to a level that’s robust enough without going over the top. The brief we have applied to all buildings we have worked on is to secure a user-friendly design and deliver the finished project for a standard school construction budget. Working within a moderate budget does not mean the design needs to be compromised, but it does need to be thought through. We have identified eight key areas to consider when aiming to create learning spaces which support autistic children as follows: Flexible space: teaching tends to take place either in small groups or on a one-to-one basis so sub-dividing rooms using partitions allow staff to create areas depending on the requirements of the pupils needing to use them at that time. It is better to choose movable furniture so the layout can be readily changed, as opposed to the restricted all-facing-front design of a standard classroom space.   Break out spaces: these are critical for diffusing challenging situations with pupils; staff are able to see when a child is starting to become difficult or is finding a situation uncomfortable, and being able to move that child into a nearby non-intimidating space that is not intimidating can reduce the chance of confrontation and other children getting involved. Also a quiet area or room can work both for the children and staff - many schools pay close attention to children’s needs at the expense of staff who are often under stress and sometimes need a space to regain composure or just relax for five minutes. The inclusion of a teaching kitchen and an exercise area would complete the ideal range of spaces.   Wider corridors: an element that has become central to our designs is opening corridor areas up into larger spaces for uses beyond just access to include desk space or for a small group meeting area. This more open layout has the benefit of giving students a clear sight-line to classrooms which makes them feel more comfortable and less intimidated, providing a lighter feel to what is typically a building’s central core of a building. This can be further enhanced by substituting curves for right angled corners.   Providing a focal point: entrance areas are key as a focal point for the children; a good reception space is essential to allow them time to settle down and feel reassured before the day begins. It also provides parents with a dropping in point and an opportunity for an informal chat with a staff member if required. With a slight expansion on a standard design, entrances can be transformed from spaces to get through to important and useful spaces for autistic pupils.   Natural light: Most teachers will agree that natural light is essential, but a general rule with autistic children is that windows offering too much visual stimulation are a problematic distraction. Providing the views are fairly non-descript however there is no major issue with normal level windows especially if room layouts can be adapted to focus easily distracted children away from walls with windows. High level windows and rooflights go a long way to helping to achieve good natural light levels if there is an issue with the external areas in terms of normal level windows. We have found that creating high ceilings in particular sloping to the shape of the roof plus rooflights enables natural light to work well throughout the space and gives a fresh feel to the environment.   Key to all areas is the need for a high level of acoustic performance; classrooms need to have good sound absorption and reverberation. We have worked with acoustic ceilings specialist Ecophon to install acoustic tiles to ceilings to provide a high level of performance and walls designed to achieve the required acoustic levels for specialist teaching. Robust details for wall construction help with sound and impact.   To create a calming influence within the building the colour palette for internal finishes is one of the most critical areas that need to be addressed. After experimenting with various colour schemes we have settled on a combination of pastel colours and a feature wall with a bolder contrasting colour. Although still subtle this contrast can help to highlight the layout of the building for pupils. There has been much research into beneficial colours of finish for autistic children but we have a general policy to look for colours that are non-intimidating yet interesting enough to give the spaces character.   Enlivening Exteriors: if planning is in agreement, greater definition of the exterior external appearance of a classroom or area of a school can not only add character but can also help students focus on where they need to go when starting the school day, which can be of major benefit. We have found by using various external treatments such as timber, render and composite coloured panels, entrances can be brought to life and give students a positive entry point to the building, reducing confusion especially when arriving with all of the other school pupils each morning. Bearing all of these success factors in mind, one question stands out. If we take on board the points mentioned as being a way to achieve a better teaching space for autistic children and we accept that construction costs must stay within standard school budgets then why are more class spaces not being built along these lines? What is good for teaching children who see the world slightly differently must be at least as good for everyone else, and if we accept this then there would be no need for ‘specialist classrooms’ they would all just be ‘classrooms.’  By Martin Peat, Director, Richardson & Peat Visit: http://www.richardsonandpeat.com/
    119 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Children with autism have a range of particular needs when it comes to the ideal learning environment, and these are unlikely to be provided for by standard classroom design. The Government’s current drive to bring school provision for children with autism into mainstream schooling raises questions over whether the environments they are expected to be taught in will be appropriate. Having been involved in several design and construction contracts to create classrooms for autistic children in mainstream schools we have become specialists in the area. In our experience using existing classrooms has created difficulties for both students due to the everyday challenges posed by autism. Unfortunately in many schools second grade portable buildings long past their use by date have been allocated to provision for an intake of autistic children, and in some cases children and staff have even had to use unused spaces like old lobby areas and cupboards. The drive to allow children with autism to grow and develop within a ‘normal’ school environment is to be applauded however it needs to be accompanied by a commitment to providing spaces which are worthy of the commitment being made to their education. We have found when designing for autistic children there is a need to assess the level of severity before jumping to a conclusion that the rooms need to be of a highly secure nature. Children being bought into a normal school environment are expected to take part in general school activities at different stages of the day so it’s important to design to a level that’s robust enough without going over the top. The brief we have applied to all buildings we have worked on is to secure a user-friendly design and deliver the finished project for a standard school construction budget. Working within a moderate budget does not mean the design needs to be compromised, but it does need to be thought through. We have identified eight key areas to consider when aiming to create learning spaces which support autistic children as follows: Flexible space: teaching tends to take place either in small groups or on a one-to-one basis so sub-dividing rooms using partitions allow staff to create areas depending on the requirements of the pupils needing to use them at that time. It is better to choose movable furniture so the layout can be readily changed, as opposed to the restricted all-facing-front design of a standard classroom space.   Break out spaces: these are critical for diffusing challenging situations with pupils; staff are able to see when a child is starting to become difficult or is finding a situation uncomfortable, and being able to move that child into a nearby non-intimidating space that is not intimidating can reduce the chance of confrontation and other children getting involved. Also a quiet area or room can work both for the children and staff - many schools pay close attention to children’s needs at the expense of staff who are often under stress and sometimes need a space to regain composure or just relax for five minutes. The inclusion of a teaching kitchen and an exercise area would complete the ideal range of spaces.   Wider corridors: an element that has become central to our designs is opening corridor areas up into larger spaces for uses beyond just access to include desk space or for a small group meeting area. This more open layout has the benefit of giving students a clear sight-line to classrooms which makes them feel more comfortable and less intimidated, providing a lighter feel to what is typically a building’s central core of a building. This can be further enhanced by substituting curves for right angled corners.   Providing a focal point: entrance areas are key as a focal point for the children; a good reception space is essential to allow them time to settle down and feel reassured before the day begins. It also provides parents with a dropping in point and an opportunity for an informal chat with a staff member if required. With a slight expansion on a standard design, entrances can be transformed from spaces to get through to important and useful spaces for autistic pupils.   Natural light: Most teachers will agree that natural light is essential, but a general rule with autistic children is that windows offering too much visual stimulation are a problematic distraction. Providing the views are fairly non-descript however there is no major issue with normal level windows especially if room layouts can be adapted to focus easily distracted children away from walls with windows. High level windows and rooflights go a long way to helping to achieve good natural light levels if there is an issue with the external areas in terms of normal level windows. We have found that creating high ceilings in particular sloping to the shape of the roof plus rooflights enables natural light to work well throughout the space and gives a fresh feel to the environment.   Key to all areas is the need for a high level of acoustic performance; classrooms need to have good sound absorption and reverberation. We have worked with acoustic ceilings specialist Ecophon to install acoustic tiles to ceilings to provide a high level of performance and walls designed to achieve the required acoustic levels for specialist teaching. Robust details for wall construction help with sound and impact.   To create a calming influence within the building the colour palette for internal finishes is one of the most critical areas that need to be addressed. After experimenting with various colour schemes we have settled on a combination of pastel colours and a feature wall with a bolder contrasting colour. Although still subtle this contrast can help to highlight the layout of the building for pupils. There has been much research into beneficial colours of finish for autistic children but we have a general policy to look for colours that are non-intimidating yet interesting enough to give the spaces character.   Enlivening Exteriors: if planning is in agreement, greater definition of the exterior external appearance of a classroom or area of a school can not only add character but can also help students focus on where they need to go when starting the school day, which can be of major benefit. We have found by using various external treatments such as timber, render and composite coloured panels, entrances can be brought to life and give students a positive entry point to the building, reducing confusion especially when arriving with all of the other school pupils each morning. Bearing all of these success factors in mind, one question stands out. If we take on board the points mentioned as being a way to achieve a better teaching space for autistic children and we accept that construction costs must stay within standard school budgets then why are more class spaces not being built along these lines? What is good for teaching children who see the world slightly differently must be at least as good for everyone else, and if we accept this then there would be no need for ‘specialist classrooms’ they would all just be ‘classrooms.’  By Martin Peat, Director, Richardson & Peat Visit: http://www.richardsonandpeat.com/
    Dec 07, 2017 119

  • It is easier than it looks to build a raised timber deck.  Timber decks can be designed to meet most design situations. According to the Timber Decking and Cladding Association Desired service life options of 15, 30 and 60 years are given in European/British standards. It should be noted that 15 years is considered to be the minimum standard.  For new the NHBC insists on a 60 year service life in accordance with TDCA Code of Practice TDA/RD 08/01. Building a simple timber deck is straightforward and is considered less expensive and more environmentally acceptable than bricks or flagstones. The following step-by-step guide covers and is consistent with most of the basic applications to install timber decking and while these instructions are for guidance only please always remember to check with supplier specifications. Step 1: Make sure you plan in advance to ensure that boards will be flush with your frame. Prepare a level area for the framework by cutting the timber to the required length, then join using exterior wood screws. Check the frame is square by measuring from corner to corner and adjust if necessary Step 2: If you need to raise the frame, cut four blocks of timber to the desired height. Screw these to the inside of the frame at each corner, ensuring they're flush with the top. As these legs will be taking all the weight ensure you use at least three screws per block, Step 3: Place blocks or slabs underneath edge leg to spread the load and provide a level, stable base if your deck is sitting on grass or soil. Position and adjust checking the frame is level using a spirit level Step 4: Three joists are sufficient (one in the middle and the others at the centre-point between the edge of the frame and the centre joist) if you are building a small deck. Mark across one side of the frame first, then repeat on the opposite side. On larger decks, set joists at 400mm centres Step 5: Ensure that you measure across the inside of the frame at the joist marks before cutting lengths of the timber to suit. Fix the joists by tapping them with a rubber based mallet until flush with the top, then screw them in place from the outside of the frame Step 6: Support the joists with additional legs, spaced at 1m intervals. Follow the same method as shown in steps 2 and 3 for these legs, ensuring each is supported by a suitable block or slab Step 7: For the facing, measure the length of the outer sides of your frame and cut the decking boards to suit. Mark the cutting lines with a square to ensure a straight edge. Countersink the facing and screw to the frame, ensuring the facing is flush with the top Step 8: Now you are ready to start laying the deck. Measure across the top of the frame and cut a board to length. Place the first board flush with the outside edge of the frame and facing, and perpendicular to the joists. Mark the location of each joist on the board Step 9: Mark and countersink screw holes over the centre of each joist. Be sure to use a sharp countersink that will leave a clean hole. If necessary, drill a pilot hole to prevent splitting. Use at least two screws per joist for each decking board Step 10: Ensure you have a 5mm expansion gap between each board (as timber expands and contracts according to outdoor temperatures). Use a spacer to do this. Step 11: Continue the process until you have completed the job.  
    Sep 16, 2017 158
  • Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/
    Sep 14, 2017 318