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  • 08 Jan 2019
    With the UK construction, operation and maintenance industry accounting for 48% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the focus of many innovations in construction is now on reducing the construction sector's CO2 output. Protection Supplies have uncovered the cutting-edge yet conscious building materials of the future before revealing how these materials are changing the way that buildings are now being constructed. The UK's construction industry also needs to build 300,000 homes a year to overcome the current housing shortage. As the industry is failing to do this, materials which can shorten the time it takes to build homes and make them more affordable are crucial for revolutionising the industry. Some of the benefits of these innovative materials include: Speeding up housing production Improving the longevity of buildings Helping buildings to adapt to their surroundings, such as in the event of earthquakes Increasing natural light Reducing fuel bills Making construction more environmentally friendly by lowering CO2 production 1. Transparent Wood Invented by Swedish researchers, wood can now be treated and compressed to become a transparent material. What it does: Researcher Lars Berglund creates the transparent wood by compressing strips of wood veneer in a process similar to pulping. This removes the lignin and replaces it with the polymer, making the wood 85% transparent. Benefits: This material will create a strong and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic and glass. The material has the strength of lumber but is far lighter. It can be used in the construction of homes to bring more light in and reduce the need for artificial light which can quickly use up a lot of power. It is as environmentally friendly and biodegradable as normal wood.   2. Hydrogel Architects at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona are in the process of creating walls which are able to cool themselves down, using the substance Hydrogel. What it does: Bubbles of Hydrogel are layered between two ceramic panels. These can then be installed into already constructed walls. Benefits: Hydrogel is able to absorb water when the air around Hydrogel heats up it evaporates and cools the room down by up to 5°C. The mechanism is inspired by the way the human body cools itself down. Once installed in buildings it will act as an alternative to the overuse of air conditioning which is detrimental to the environment, producing 100 million tonnes of CO2.   3. Cigarette **** Bricks Smoking is bad for your health and bad for the environment as discarded cigarettes make up an estimated 38% of all waste. Researchers at the Australian RMIT University have found that adding discarded cigarettes to bricks lessens the amount of energy needed for baking. What it does: The bricks made with the addition of cigarette butts, require less baking time than traditional bricks. This means they are cheaper and more eco-friendly to produce. Benefits: As the cigarettes within the brick reduce the time of baking bricks, they reduce the energy required to produce them by up to 58%. Additionally, the bricks are better insulators than those without cigarette butts within them and solve an ongoing pollution problem of what to do with discarded cigarettes to prevent contamination. 4. Super-hydrophobic Cement Scientists in Mexico have discovered that changing the microstructure of cement can make it absorb and reflect light, creating super-hydrophobic cement, also known as luminescent cement. What it does: The cement is able to absorb and reflect light, offering an alternative to street lighting as the ground would be lit up using this luminescent cement. Benefits: Often cement needs to be replaced within thirty to fifty years, however, this alternative product is far more durable and will last for up to hundred years. It also offers power free lighting and therefore can reduce the energy consumed and CO2 produced by lighting the streets of the world.   5. Synthetic Spider Silk A spider's web is the strongest material in the natural world. It is a naturally tough and strong material that for years scientists have been trying to create a synthetic version. Now, with the help of 3D printing, they are closer than ever. What it does: The synthetic spider's silk is created at room temperature using water, silica and cellulose which are all easily accessible. The finished product could be used as a biodegradable alternative to nylon and other tough fabrics. Benefits: The material will offer an alternative to the textile industry which is currently one of the biggest producers of CO2 in the world. The product will be used as an alternative to an array of strong materials such as parachutes and eventually it is hoped the Synthetic Spider Silk will be used in creating building materials such as blocks as well as in mechanics, making super strong car parts. 6. Breathe Bricks Acting as a secondary layer of insulation, these pollution absorbing bricks can remove 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles making air within office spaces and public buildings healthier to breathe. This is particularly useful in areas with poor air quality as a way to improve air within buildings. What it does: Composed of two key parts, concrete bricks and recycled plastic coupler, the aligned bricks create a route from the outside into the brick’s hollow centre. The surface of the bricks themselves helps to direct airflow and a cavity removes pollution. Benefits: This is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution as it requires no further maintenance once installed. It would be particularly helpful in developing countries where air quality is poor and other solutions could be too expensive to maintain.   7. Bamboo-reinforced Concrete A natural alternative to the steel reinforcement usually used in most countries, this Singaporean method of reinforcing concrete is far more sustainable. What it does: The use of bamboo rather than steel to reinforce concrete is more environmentally friendly and creates flexibility within the concrete that can better withstand earthquakes. Benefits: Bamboo grows at a high rate, meaning it absorbs a lot of CO2 as it grows and therefore increased production of bamboo would benefit the environment. It is also a great alternative to materials which cause harm as they are produced. Bamboo also has a higher tensile strength than steel because its fibres run axially and it is flexible so is great for use in earthquake-prone areas.   8. Super Wood Although wood has been used for millennia in construction, it isn’t as strong as metals used in building today. Scientists have now discovered a way to add strength to wood by boiling it in a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) before it is compressed so that the molecules within the wood are strengthened. What it does: The compressed wood is far stronger and more durable than wood in its natural state, therefore it can be used in a greater range on construction projects. Benefits: As this product relies on the already abundant and natural material of wood, it is still affordable and can be created in an environmentally sustainable way according to its creators at University of Maryland, College Park. The wood is so strong it can stop bullets but is far lighter than comparable materials of the same strength.   The diversity of these materials showcases how much the industry is starting to consider the environment and the affordability of construction. The construction industry is revolutionising the way that we live. Even the materials that make up our homes are increasingly innovative and futuristic. Visit: https://www.protectionsupplies.co.uk
    206 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With the UK construction, operation and maintenance industry accounting for 48% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the focus of many innovations in construction is now on reducing the construction sector's CO2 output. Protection Supplies have uncovered the cutting-edge yet conscious building materials of the future before revealing how these materials are changing the way that buildings are now being constructed. The UK's construction industry also needs to build 300,000 homes a year to overcome the current housing shortage. As the industry is failing to do this, materials which can shorten the time it takes to build homes and make them more affordable are crucial for revolutionising the industry. Some of the benefits of these innovative materials include: Speeding up housing production Improving the longevity of buildings Helping buildings to adapt to their surroundings, such as in the event of earthquakes Increasing natural light Reducing fuel bills Making construction more environmentally friendly by lowering CO2 production 1. Transparent Wood Invented by Swedish researchers, wood can now be treated and compressed to become a transparent material. What it does: Researcher Lars Berglund creates the transparent wood by compressing strips of wood veneer in a process similar to pulping. This removes the lignin and replaces it with the polymer, making the wood 85% transparent. Benefits: This material will create a strong and environmentally friendly alternative to plastic and glass. The material has the strength of lumber but is far lighter. It can be used in the construction of homes to bring more light in and reduce the need for artificial light which can quickly use up a lot of power. It is as environmentally friendly and biodegradable as normal wood.   2. Hydrogel Architects at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia in Barcelona are in the process of creating walls which are able to cool themselves down, using the substance Hydrogel. What it does: Bubbles of Hydrogel are layered between two ceramic panels. These can then be installed into already constructed walls. Benefits: Hydrogel is able to absorb water when the air around Hydrogel heats up it evaporates and cools the room down by up to 5°C. The mechanism is inspired by the way the human body cools itself down. Once installed in buildings it will act as an alternative to the overuse of air conditioning which is detrimental to the environment, producing 100 million tonnes of CO2.   3. Cigarette **** Bricks Smoking is bad for your health and bad for the environment as discarded cigarettes make up an estimated 38% of all waste. Researchers at the Australian RMIT University have found that adding discarded cigarettes to bricks lessens the amount of energy needed for baking. What it does: The bricks made with the addition of cigarette butts, require less baking time than traditional bricks. This means they are cheaper and more eco-friendly to produce. Benefits: As the cigarettes within the brick reduce the time of baking bricks, they reduce the energy required to produce them by up to 58%. Additionally, the bricks are better insulators than those without cigarette butts within them and solve an ongoing pollution problem of what to do with discarded cigarettes to prevent contamination. 4. Super-hydrophobic Cement Scientists in Mexico have discovered that changing the microstructure of cement can make it absorb and reflect light, creating super-hydrophobic cement, also known as luminescent cement. What it does: The cement is able to absorb and reflect light, offering an alternative to street lighting as the ground would be lit up using this luminescent cement. Benefits: Often cement needs to be replaced within thirty to fifty years, however, this alternative product is far more durable and will last for up to hundred years. It also offers power free lighting and therefore can reduce the energy consumed and CO2 produced by lighting the streets of the world.   5. Synthetic Spider Silk A spider's web is the strongest material in the natural world. It is a naturally tough and strong material that for years scientists have been trying to create a synthetic version. Now, with the help of 3D printing, they are closer than ever. What it does: The synthetic spider's silk is created at room temperature using water, silica and cellulose which are all easily accessible. The finished product could be used as a biodegradable alternative to nylon and other tough fabrics. Benefits: The material will offer an alternative to the textile industry which is currently one of the biggest producers of CO2 in the world. The product will be used as an alternative to an array of strong materials such as parachutes and eventually it is hoped the Synthetic Spider Silk will be used in creating building materials such as blocks as well as in mechanics, making super strong car parts. 6. Breathe Bricks Acting as a secondary layer of insulation, these pollution absorbing bricks can remove 30% of fine particles and 100% of coarse particles making air within office spaces and public buildings healthier to breathe. This is particularly useful in areas with poor air quality as a way to improve air within buildings. What it does: Composed of two key parts, concrete bricks and recycled plastic coupler, the aligned bricks create a route from the outside into the brick’s hollow centre. The surface of the bricks themselves helps to direct airflow and a cavity removes pollution. Benefits: This is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution as it requires no further maintenance once installed. It would be particularly helpful in developing countries where air quality is poor and other solutions could be too expensive to maintain.   7. Bamboo-reinforced Concrete A natural alternative to the steel reinforcement usually used in most countries, this Singaporean method of reinforcing concrete is far more sustainable. What it does: The use of bamboo rather than steel to reinforce concrete is more environmentally friendly and creates flexibility within the concrete that can better withstand earthquakes. Benefits: Bamboo grows at a high rate, meaning it absorbs a lot of CO2 as it grows and therefore increased production of bamboo would benefit the environment. It is also a great alternative to materials which cause harm as they are produced. Bamboo also has a higher tensile strength than steel because its fibres run axially and it is flexible so is great for use in earthquake-prone areas.   8. Super Wood Although wood has been used for millennia in construction, it isn’t as strong as metals used in building today. Scientists have now discovered a way to add strength to wood by boiling it in a solution of sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and sodium sulfite (Na2SO3) before it is compressed so that the molecules within the wood are strengthened. What it does: The compressed wood is far stronger and more durable than wood in its natural state, therefore it can be used in a greater range on construction projects. Benefits: As this product relies on the already abundant and natural material of wood, it is still affordable and can be created in an environmentally sustainable way according to its creators at University of Maryland, College Park. The wood is so strong it can stop bullets but is far lighter than comparable materials of the same strength.   The diversity of these materials showcases how much the industry is starting to consider the environment and the affordability of construction. The construction industry is revolutionising the way that we live. Even the materials that make up our homes are increasingly innovative and futuristic. Visit: https://www.protectionsupplies.co.uk
    Jan 08, 2019 206
  • 04 Jan 2019
    The importance of science within today’s economy should not be underestimated writes Mark Gatrell, Head of Research & Development, Sika UK.  It’s essential for a country’s prosperity, environment, health, and quality of life. So when it comes to the next generation of scientists for industry, how do you inspire and find them, to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global innovation? Graduate training programmes and internships are an ideal way to train and develop a workforce of homegrown talent. While construction product manufacturers are perhaps not household names as far as prospective interns are concerned, Sika is a globally renowned name within the industry, something that is recognised by new applicants and highly valued. Sika's UK Research & Development department offers four graduate internships, operating in either polymer synthesis; coating formulation; sealant and adhesive formulation; or cement chemistry. These posts are based at our three sites, in Preston, Leeds and Welwyn Garden City, and run for a one year, fixed term. There are significant benefits of internships for both the company and the intern. Sika has been extremely impressed with the students who have participated within the scheme since it commenced, and the skills and knowledge that they have brought to the business. It is seen as a valuable route to develop relationships with a group of highly talented people, who will soon be looking to build careers within companies such as Sika. The graduate programme brings a new influx of ideas and initiatives every year, which have contributed significantly to the development of new products, and the growth of intellectual property. The scheme offers interns a meaningful placement, with engaging work in product development and testing. Time is usually split evenly, between contributions to the ongoing development programmes, and a single dedicated project. This is selected on the basis of its value to Sika, and applicability to being the subject of the intern’s thesis. For the intern, the opportunity to spend a full year in employment within product development teams, and surrounded by some of Sika's leading experts within their field, is an engaging and highly motivating experience. There is incredible progress in their understanding of the business and its products over this time, as well as significant growth in their capability, presentation skills, and business acumen. The company invests heavily in its people, and the graduates join and benefit from our learning and development activities. Sika is a firm believer in the merits of industrial placements, and often experiences stronger performance at interview from those students who have completed industrial placements. For many of the company’s interns, an industrial placement potentially marks the beginning of a career path. Understanding of the importance of networking, effective time management, presentation skills, and organisation, are rapidly developed. Success in this environment is seen to offer greater intrinsic rewards, though the consequences of failure are far more significant and apparent. Sika believes this exposure provides an engaging challenge for candidates entering the workplace, and provides the impetus for developing new skills. Visit www.sika.co.uk.
    290 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The importance of science within today’s economy should not be underestimated writes Mark Gatrell, Head of Research & Development, Sika UK.  It’s essential for a country’s prosperity, environment, health, and quality of life. So when it comes to the next generation of scientists for industry, how do you inspire and find them, to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of global innovation? Graduate training programmes and internships are an ideal way to train and develop a workforce of homegrown talent. While construction product manufacturers are perhaps not household names as far as prospective interns are concerned, Sika is a globally renowned name within the industry, something that is recognised by new applicants and highly valued. Sika's UK Research & Development department offers four graduate internships, operating in either polymer synthesis; coating formulation; sealant and adhesive formulation; or cement chemistry. These posts are based at our three sites, in Preston, Leeds and Welwyn Garden City, and run for a one year, fixed term. There are significant benefits of internships for both the company and the intern. Sika has been extremely impressed with the students who have participated within the scheme since it commenced, and the skills and knowledge that they have brought to the business. It is seen as a valuable route to develop relationships with a group of highly talented people, who will soon be looking to build careers within companies such as Sika. The graduate programme brings a new influx of ideas and initiatives every year, which have contributed significantly to the development of new products, and the growth of intellectual property. The scheme offers interns a meaningful placement, with engaging work in product development and testing. Time is usually split evenly, between contributions to the ongoing development programmes, and a single dedicated project. This is selected on the basis of its value to Sika, and applicability to being the subject of the intern’s thesis. For the intern, the opportunity to spend a full year in employment within product development teams, and surrounded by some of Sika's leading experts within their field, is an engaging and highly motivating experience. There is incredible progress in their understanding of the business and its products over this time, as well as significant growth in their capability, presentation skills, and business acumen. The company invests heavily in its people, and the graduates join and benefit from our learning and development activities. Sika is a firm believer in the merits of industrial placements, and often experiences stronger performance at interview from those students who have completed industrial placements. For many of the company’s interns, an industrial placement potentially marks the beginning of a career path. Understanding of the importance of networking, effective time management, presentation skills, and organisation, are rapidly developed. Success in this environment is seen to offer greater intrinsic rewards, though the consequences of failure are far more significant and apparent. Sika believes this exposure provides an engaging challenge for candidates entering the workplace, and provides the impetus for developing new skills. Visit www.sika.co.uk.
    Jan 04, 2019 290
  • 03 Jan 2019
    Without tower cranes, it’s likely that many iconic buildings and structures we know and love would not be standing. Not only do these steel giants look striking, they are also integral to modern construction and development. Tower cranes are the go-to tool used to bring even the largest and grandest construction projects to life. To help you develop a better understanding of how these mammoth machines do the seemingly impossible, we’ve outlined the key mechanisms that make tower cranes work. Building a Tower Crane There are an abundance of tower cranes in cities. So much that you may be fooled into believing that they reach sky-scraping heights with ease.  In reality, erecting a tower crane takes weeks of prior preparation. To make the erection process as efficient as possible crew members typically stick to a predetermined set of sequences. Assembly procedures differ depending on the type of tower crane used. Broadly speaking, tower cranes typically fall into general categories of either Luffing Jib or Trolley Jib types.  Luffing jib tower cranes have jib arms that “luff” or pivot up/down similar to ground based mobile cranes.  Trolley jib tower cranes have a horizontal jib arm and a trolley assembly that positions the load along the length of the jib.  We’ve outlined the assembly process for a freestanding, trolley jib tower crane as these are some of the most commonly used tower cranes nationally. The Crane Base The process of erecting a crane begins with creating a secure foundation from which the structure will be built upon. The integrity of the base is crucial in supporting the crane’s structure and balance for assembly and operation. Prior to the crane’s arrival on site, the first piece of the vertical mast is secured to a concrete foundation using heavy duty anchor bolts or embedded stools. The exact quantity of concrete needed will depend on various factors including the configuration of the tower crane and the local code requirements, but the entire weight of the base usually exceeds 400,000 lbs. Crane Transportation    The next order of business is the transportation of the equipment to the worksite, this may sound simple enough, but for the crew many factors have will need to be taken into account. Transportation considerations include: Transportation Budget – To transport the parts of the tower crane heavy hauling services are required, this will incur additional costs. Transportation Routes – Particular road routes and travel times are restricted when hauling loads over a certain weight or dimension. Transportation Schedule -The transportation of equipment requires precise coordination, to ensure the tower crane components arrive on site in the order needed, along with any additional equipment needed for the assembly. Erecting a Crane The tower crane will arrive on site in multiple parts.  First, the vertical mast is erected by adding additional mast sections on top of the base using other types of lifting equipment such as mobile or crawler cranes. Once the desired mast height has been reached, the operator’s cab and a turntable, which provides rotation, will be placed and secured atop the lengthy mast, this section is usually the heaviest element of a tower crane. The apex of the crane is then attached – aptly named the tower top. A working arm or jib is connected to the turntable and extends horizontally.  Attached to the jib is a trolley mechanism, hoist & hook.  These provide the various functions needed for lifting. Behind the cab and in alignment with the working jib is the counter-jib.  This section contains counterweights, motors, and electronics. For the tower crane to become functional, ropes must be attached and connected to the working elements. Operating a Tower Crane The majority of cranes are designed to be operated from the cabin at the top of the crane. For efficiency and safety, a team of skilled individuals are employed to oversee the operation of the crane. Each member of the team resumes responsibility for various processes. For example, ‘the appointed person’ has a range of duties including assessing risk and managing the overall planning of the lift. A ‘crane coordinator’ will take on the responsibility of scheduling the lifts, managing the sequencing the lifts and ensuring clashes do not occur.  A “Signal person” is responsible for acting as the operator’s second set of eyes and communicating to the operator which direction(s) to move the load. The ‘crane operator’, obviously, is responsible for operating the crane and lifting/positioning loads as required and directed by others.  Dismantling Tower Cranes The basic steps to dismantle a tower crane are the same as assembly, just in reverse order.  However, it must be consider that when a tower crane is erected, typically the jobsite is mostly empty as the primary structure hasn’t started without the tower crane.  When it comes down, the opposite is true as the completed structure usually occupies most of the available space on the site.  Hence, with limited room to setup a mobile crane or set the tower crane components down, dismantlement is often a far more complicated task. Maxim Crane is a coast-to-coast provider of crane rental and lifting services. As specialists within our field, we offer innovative solutions to meet your project’s needs. Situated in over 50 locations, each branch is able to provide management services, including transportation, risk management, safety and insurance programs that are unparalleled in the industry. Visit: https://www.cranerental.com
    194 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Without tower cranes, it’s likely that many iconic buildings and structures we know and love would not be standing. Not only do these steel giants look striking, they are also integral to modern construction and development. Tower cranes are the go-to tool used to bring even the largest and grandest construction projects to life. To help you develop a better understanding of how these mammoth machines do the seemingly impossible, we’ve outlined the key mechanisms that make tower cranes work. Building a Tower Crane There are an abundance of tower cranes in cities. So much that you may be fooled into believing that they reach sky-scraping heights with ease.  In reality, erecting a tower crane takes weeks of prior preparation. To make the erection process as efficient as possible crew members typically stick to a predetermined set of sequences. Assembly procedures differ depending on the type of tower crane used. Broadly speaking, tower cranes typically fall into general categories of either Luffing Jib or Trolley Jib types.  Luffing jib tower cranes have jib arms that “luff” or pivot up/down similar to ground based mobile cranes.  Trolley jib tower cranes have a horizontal jib arm and a trolley assembly that positions the load along the length of the jib.  We’ve outlined the assembly process for a freestanding, trolley jib tower crane as these are some of the most commonly used tower cranes nationally. The Crane Base The process of erecting a crane begins with creating a secure foundation from which the structure will be built upon. The integrity of the base is crucial in supporting the crane’s structure and balance for assembly and operation. Prior to the crane’s arrival on site, the first piece of the vertical mast is secured to a concrete foundation using heavy duty anchor bolts or embedded stools. The exact quantity of concrete needed will depend on various factors including the configuration of the tower crane and the local code requirements, but the entire weight of the base usually exceeds 400,000 lbs. Crane Transportation    The next order of business is the transportation of the equipment to the worksite, this may sound simple enough, but for the crew many factors have will need to be taken into account. Transportation considerations include: Transportation Budget – To transport the parts of the tower crane heavy hauling services are required, this will incur additional costs. Transportation Routes – Particular road routes and travel times are restricted when hauling loads over a certain weight or dimension. Transportation Schedule -The transportation of equipment requires precise coordination, to ensure the tower crane components arrive on site in the order needed, along with any additional equipment needed for the assembly. Erecting a Crane The tower crane will arrive on site in multiple parts.  First, the vertical mast is erected by adding additional mast sections on top of the base using other types of lifting equipment such as mobile or crawler cranes. Once the desired mast height has been reached, the operator’s cab and a turntable, which provides rotation, will be placed and secured atop the lengthy mast, this section is usually the heaviest element of a tower crane. The apex of the crane is then attached – aptly named the tower top. A working arm or jib is connected to the turntable and extends horizontally.  Attached to the jib is a trolley mechanism, hoist & hook.  These provide the various functions needed for lifting. Behind the cab and in alignment with the working jib is the counter-jib.  This section contains counterweights, motors, and electronics. For the tower crane to become functional, ropes must be attached and connected to the working elements. Operating a Tower Crane The majority of cranes are designed to be operated from the cabin at the top of the crane. For efficiency and safety, a team of skilled individuals are employed to oversee the operation of the crane. Each member of the team resumes responsibility for various processes. For example, ‘the appointed person’ has a range of duties including assessing risk and managing the overall planning of the lift. A ‘crane coordinator’ will take on the responsibility of scheduling the lifts, managing the sequencing the lifts and ensuring clashes do not occur.  A “Signal person” is responsible for acting as the operator’s second set of eyes and communicating to the operator which direction(s) to move the load. The ‘crane operator’, obviously, is responsible for operating the crane and lifting/positioning loads as required and directed by others.  Dismantling Tower Cranes The basic steps to dismantle a tower crane are the same as assembly, just in reverse order.  However, it must be consider that when a tower crane is erected, typically the jobsite is mostly empty as the primary structure hasn’t started without the tower crane.  When it comes down, the opposite is true as the completed structure usually occupies most of the available space on the site.  Hence, with limited room to setup a mobile crane or set the tower crane components down, dismantlement is often a far more complicated task. Maxim Crane is a coast-to-coast provider of crane rental and lifting services. As specialists within our field, we offer innovative solutions to meet your project’s needs. Situated in over 50 locations, each branch is able to provide management services, including transportation, risk management, safety and insurance programs that are unparalleled in the industry. Visit: https://www.cranerental.com
    Jan 03, 2019 194
  • 02 Jan 2019
    Being in a building dispute can be a pain. But if it is not immediately resolved, it can cause worse problems for you. This could be in the form of delays, unfinished work, additional costs, and it can take much of your time. How will deal with it can determine the success of the construction project? An Australian construction lawyer gives his views. Building disputes can be anything. It could be about poor workmanship, payment issues, contract breaches, or any concern that involves a constructed building. It can also be a test on how you could manage your relationships with the others involved in the building project. With a harmonious relationship, you can easily work together to finish the building properly. But, handling building disputes sounds easy but it could be hard when you are in the actual situation. This applies especially when the person you are dealing with could be difficult to work with. So, here as some tips to help you handle building disputes better: Talk and Negotiate with empathy. Do not let your emotions rule you when talking to your builder. They are people too, and they can make mistakes. You must learn to listen to their story with understanding what are the events that led to the dispute. With a clear head, you can already know what your next action to resolve this mess. But while being understanding, you should still know how to distinguish the difference between excuses from facts. It will lead you to know the truth and the way to resolve the problem. Take note and document every detail. Having a copy of everything related to the building project is a helpful practice for you when things go wrong. You can easily track where the dispute happened, and even keep your work organized. You can even have it as solid legal proof. Your contract, payment claim, invoices, pictures and other documents can help you handle the dispute as objective as possible. You can use it to plead your case properly to the parties involved and you can easily pinpoint who is at fault. And in some cases, they can hold the key to a resolution for the issue. Know your rights. Different construction laws protect you from different building disputes. There are laws for building defects, laws for late payments and laws that can protect your rights whichever role you are taking part in the building project. So, you have to do your best to enforce it. The law is on your side so if the other parties in the project are not doing their job well, you can confront them about it. It is in your hands on how you should remind them of these laws, but remember that the law is also solid proof of their incompetence.   Talk to a specialist construction lawyer. If you feel that you do not have the confidence to confront the other party yourself, you can ask the help of a construction lawyer to mediate in between. They can help you understand your rights in the building disputes and what you can do about them. They can guide you through each step of any legal process you would have to undergo due to the dispute. They can also give you expert legal advice, so you are sure that your building dispute gets resolved as cost and time- efficient as possible. So that, you get to enforce your legal rights and handle your building dispute with ease. Visit: https://www.contractsspecialist.com.au/building-dispute-lawyer-sydney  
    231 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Being in a building dispute can be a pain. But if it is not immediately resolved, it can cause worse problems for you. This could be in the form of delays, unfinished work, additional costs, and it can take much of your time. How will deal with it can determine the success of the construction project? An Australian construction lawyer gives his views. Building disputes can be anything. It could be about poor workmanship, payment issues, contract breaches, or any concern that involves a constructed building. It can also be a test on how you could manage your relationships with the others involved in the building project. With a harmonious relationship, you can easily work together to finish the building properly. But, handling building disputes sounds easy but it could be hard when you are in the actual situation. This applies especially when the person you are dealing with could be difficult to work with. So, here as some tips to help you handle building disputes better: Talk and Negotiate with empathy. Do not let your emotions rule you when talking to your builder. They are people too, and they can make mistakes. You must learn to listen to their story with understanding what are the events that led to the dispute. With a clear head, you can already know what your next action to resolve this mess. But while being understanding, you should still know how to distinguish the difference between excuses from facts. It will lead you to know the truth and the way to resolve the problem. Take note and document every detail. Having a copy of everything related to the building project is a helpful practice for you when things go wrong. You can easily track where the dispute happened, and even keep your work organized. You can even have it as solid legal proof. Your contract, payment claim, invoices, pictures and other documents can help you handle the dispute as objective as possible. You can use it to plead your case properly to the parties involved and you can easily pinpoint who is at fault. And in some cases, they can hold the key to a resolution for the issue. Know your rights. Different construction laws protect you from different building disputes. There are laws for building defects, laws for late payments and laws that can protect your rights whichever role you are taking part in the building project. So, you have to do your best to enforce it. The law is on your side so if the other parties in the project are not doing their job well, you can confront them about it. It is in your hands on how you should remind them of these laws, but remember that the law is also solid proof of their incompetence.   Talk to a specialist construction lawyer. If you feel that you do not have the confidence to confront the other party yourself, you can ask the help of a construction lawyer to mediate in between. They can help you understand your rights in the building disputes and what you can do about them. They can guide you through each step of any legal process you would have to undergo due to the dispute. They can also give you expert legal advice, so you are sure that your building dispute gets resolved as cost and time- efficient as possible. So that, you get to enforce your legal rights and handle your building dispute with ease. Visit: https://www.contractsspecialist.com.au/building-dispute-lawyer-sydney  
    Jan 02, 2019 231
  • 20 Dec 2018
    When Fosters + Partners announced in 2013 it was exploring the possibilities of 3D printed buildings on the moon using lunar soil, the concept of 3D printed buildings as a viable commercial alternative to current construction techniques was one step closer to reality writes Martin Liska, Research and Development Manager, Sika. Five years later, this ‘disruptive technology’, a term defined by American scholar Clayton Christensen, may well still be in its infancy, but remains on track to being a game-changer in the construction industry with buildings and their components having the potential to quite literally raise themselves. The digitisation of the construction industry is changing every aspect of construction and the entire lifecycle of a building from design to maintenance. As part of this, 3D concrete printing is just one of the new tools for architects and contractors to change the rules of the game and allow a more efficient and sustainable design. The technology may not yet be at the point where we can build high spec homes or fifty storey buildings but in its infancy it is showing to have remarkable technical, economical as well as sustainability potential. If 3D concrete printing is to compete with traditional and economical construction methods, then structures need to be printed efficiently. As a 3D concrete printing pioneer, Sika has consolidated all the technologies and knowledge resulting in a developed complex system which ensures that concrete is printed rapidly, inexpensively and precisely.  The system includes the robotics, the Sika Pulsement process control system, the Sika MiniShot extrusion system, 3D mortar system and Sika ViscoCrete® technology.   One of the major parts of the robotics system is the print head developed by the Sika 3D research team. It is a high performance tool that ensures an efficient printing process through precise management of not only the head movement, but also with the 3D mortar system and the ViscoCrete technology, the properties of the extruded material. Consistence, colour, strength rate development, dimensional stability and durability of the 3D printed concrete are controlled through a tailored selection and dosage of raw materials and proprietary additives. The concrete extruded through the print head then creates building components layer-by-layer. The material cures within seconds and bonds with the layer placed previously. This way, conventional as well as complex shapes can be constructed rapidly with the highest efficiency of the material use. This allows for the realisation of previously inconceivable architecture, from dynamic curves to futuristic interlinked structures, all of which can be printed directly and efficiently from digital plans. 3D printing does not require formwork or any additional equipment as the concrete is directly moulded into the construction. It is therefore possible to print concrete quickly and competitively. 3D printing offers a wealth of sustainability benefits, directly fulfilling one of Sika’s core values. The process aims to significantly increase the speed of construction and eliminate waste through utilisation of virtually all material extruded from the printing head. The efficient use of materials is such that they become multifunctional; they are not only strong enough to support the structure, but act as an effective insulation in the case hollow wall segments are 3D printed - thus achieving more with less. The method will allow for building bespoke houses available for the wider market, addressing, for example, the ever-increasing need for housing at a competitive price. 3D printing will also be dependent on fewer logistical processes and a shorter supply chain, both contributing to a faster design and construction time. The construction industry has a reputation for being slow to adopt innovation and new methods, but the obvious potential and benefits of 3D concrete printing technology is astonishing and should not be underestimated.  Sika is perfectly positioned to lead the field and is prepared to play an important role in the 3D concrete printing market. Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    170 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When Fosters + Partners announced in 2013 it was exploring the possibilities of 3D printed buildings on the moon using lunar soil, the concept of 3D printed buildings as a viable commercial alternative to current construction techniques was one step closer to reality writes Martin Liska, Research and Development Manager, Sika. Five years later, this ‘disruptive technology’, a term defined by American scholar Clayton Christensen, may well still be in its infancy, but remains on track to being a game-changer in the construction industry with buildings and their components having the potential to quite literally raise themselves. The digitisation of the construction industry is changing every aspect of construction and the entire lifecycle of a building from design to maintenance. As part of this, 3D concrete printing is just one of the new tools for architects and contractors to change the rules of the game and allow a more efficient and sustainable design. The technology may not yet be at the point where we can build high spec homes or fifty storey buildings but in its infancy it is showing to have remarkable technical, economical as well as sustainability potential. If 3D concrete printing is to compete with traditional and economical construction methods, then structures need to be printed efficiently. As a 3D concrete printing pioneer, Sika has consolidated all the technologies and knowledge resulting in a developed complex system which ensures that concrete is printed rapidly, inexpensively and precisely.  The system includes the robotics, the Sika Pulsement process control system, the Sika MiniShot extrusion system, 3D mortar system and Sika ViscoCrete® technology.   One of the major parts of the robotics system is the print head developed by the Sika 3D research team. It is a high performance tool that ensures an efficient printing process through precise management of not only the head movement, but also with the 3D mortar system and the ViscoCrete technology, the properties of the extruded material. Consistence, colour, strength rate development, dimensional stability and durability of the 3D printed concrete are controlled through a tailored selection and dosage of raw materials and proprietary additives. The concrete extruded through the print head then creates building components layer-by-layer. The material cures within seconds and bonds with the layer placed previously. This way, conventional as well as complex shapes can be constructed rapidly with the highest efficiency of the material use. This allows for the realisation of previously inconceivable architecture, from dynamic curves to futuristic interlinked structures, all of which can be printed directly and efficiently from digital plans. 3D printing does not require formwork or any additional equipment as the concrete is directly moulded into the construction. It is therefore possible to print concrete quickly and competitively. 3D printing offers a wealth of sustainability benefits, directly fulfilling one of Sika’s core values. The process aims to significantly increase the speed of construction and eliminate waste through utilisation of virtually all material extruded from the printing head. The efficient use of materials is such that they become multifunctional; they are not only strong enough to support the structure, but act as an effective insulation in the case hollow wall segments are 3D printed - thus achieving more with less. The method will allow for building bespoke houses available for the wider market, addressing, for example, the ever-increasing need for housing at a competitive price. 3D printing will also be dependent on fewer logistical processes and a shorter supply chain, both contributing to a faster design and construction time. The construction industry has a reputation for being slow to adopt innovation and new methods, but the obvious potential and benefits of 3D concrete printing technology is astonishing and should not be underestimated.  Sika is perfectly positioned to lead the field and is prepared to play an important role in the 3D concrete printing market. Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    Dec 20, 2018 170
  • 19 Dec 2018
    Private homes are estimated to be responsible for about one fifth to one fourth of global carbon dioxide emissions; and for that reason, eco-friendly construction or green building is becoming more and more of a necessity. If you’re looking to move home and are wanting something more eco-friendly, Roof Stores have been investigating some alternative types of housing that will help you cut down your carbon footprint… Earthship Earthship designs are made completely from natural and upcycled materials. They are built with the intention of being “Off-The-Grid ready”. This means the require minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are also constructed to use available natural resources in particular energy from the sun and rain water Sub-Types Packaged: Prefabricated construction packages available making it easier to construct. Most economical and versatile. Modular: Provides more sculptural and variety of rooms. Every room has thermal mass and stability. Eco-Friendly Elements Constructed using natural and upcycled materials. Thermo-solar heating and cooling. Solar and wind electricity. Self-contained sewage treatment. Water harvesting and long-term storage. Advantages Grow food inside thanks to greenhouse interaction zones. Thermal mass keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter. Ease of construction. Can be constructed using materials that are free and would otherwise be landfill. Inexpensive. Models start at $20,000. Little to no utility bills. Disadvantages While materials are free, they take time to collect. Most Earthships are constructed with the aid of concrete, which contributes 10% of the world’s greenhouse gases. If not done by yourself, it can be costly to construct. Can take 2-3 years to find its median temperature. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 2/5 Cost To Build $225 per square foot.Or, from as little as $10,000. Earth Sheltered   Earth Sheltered Houses are typically built into the side or underneath the ground. This could be through ‘Earth Berming’ where earth is piled up against exterior walls and packed, sloping away from the house. Or, they could be classed as ‘in-Hill Construction’ where the home is set into a slope or hillside. There is usually only one wall visible, the rest are surrounded by earth. Some houses are completely underground, otherwise known as Fully Recessed Construction. This is where the ground is excavated, and the house is set in below grade. Eco-Friendly Elements Thermal mass: Generated by the earth surrounding the building, warming the house in winter and cooling it in summer. Advantages Lower Bills: Energy usage will be minimal from heating. Storm Resistant: Thanks to being mostly underground, the impact on your home from high-winds will be minimal or non-existent. Thermal Mass: Energy Usage can be slashed by up to 50%-80% Disadvantages If the earth shelter has not been properly designed, you will find the following; Water Seepage Internal Condensation Bad Acoustics Poor Indoor Air Quality Due to the threat of water seepage, non-biodegradable substances, like concrete and plastics, tend to be used, which isn’t eco-friendly Lack of natural light. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 1/5 Cost $100-$120 per square foot Prefabricated   Pre-fabricated designs are houses that are constructed off-site. Once complete they are shipped to your chosen location and even assembled for you. Sub-Types Manufactured: Built on nonremovable steel frames, known as chasses, which are used to transport the home and for permanent support and are relatively low cost. Modular: Consist of units or modules that are constructed in factories and joined together on site. They often use costlier materials and are bigger than manufactured homes. They also tend to have more customisation options Panellised: Have separate units joined together on-site and are more structured then Modular. The panels fit together in a unique order, rather than the random method of modular. Eco-Friendly Elements Green Construction: Prefabricated houses use less energy during construction. Green Materials:Typically built with environmentally friendly and recyclable materials like wood and steel. Wastage: There’s less wastage during construction. Advantages Air-Tight: Tight seams and state-of-the-art windows keep heat in and thus reduce energy bills. Also have a reputation to withstand natural disasters. Speed Of Assembly: Thanks to being pre-made assembly is very quick, as walls and ceilings just need to be joined together. Affordability: Cheaper than standard stick-built homes. Disadvantages Increased up-front costs due to pre-construction and assembly before you can move in. Hooking up utilities can be problematic. Transportation can be difficult depending on where you want to live. Buying the land to put your home on can be very expensive. Environment Rating 3/5 Practicality Rating 5/5 Cost Can range from $50,000 - $500,000. Shipping Container Homes made out of shipping containers! They have grown in popularity over the past several years due to their inherent strength, wide availability, and relatively low expense. Eco-Friendly Elements Reusing Steel: For each recycled shipping container 7,000 pounds of steel become reused. Less Concrete & Cement: The only concrete that you will need will be for the foundations. Advantages Low Cost: Containers and much cheaper than materials such as brick and steel. Quick Construction: Due to the walls, floors and ceilings being already constructed, moving in time is radically decreased. Durable: Containers are already made to resist extreme weather conditions. Off Site Construction: Containers can be converted off-site so only assembly and interior design in needed on-site. Disadvantages Temperature Control: Temperature control can be difficult due to the metal’s absorption quality. Space & Shape: You are restricted to the length and width of the containers. Cargo Spillages: You never know what the container was storing before you owned it. Solvents: Solvents released from paint and sealants used in manufacture might be harmful. Environment Rating 2/5 Practicality Rating 3/5 Cost $2,000 per container. Tiny House Movement Tiny houses have become so popular that they have their own ‘movement’. Generally, they are under 500 square feet. Eco-Friendly Elements Less building materials required. Easier to build with recycled, repurposed and salvaged materials. Reduced life cycle cost of materials. Smaller space to heat. Can be mostly powered off solar and wind resources due to size. Composting toilet. Catch and filtration of rainwater. Advantages Many tiny houses can be built with wheels enabling it to be a mobile home. Affordability. Disadvantages Less living and storage space. Limited entertaining space. Minimalist lifestyle. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 3/5 Cost $19,000 - $50,000 Visit: https://www.roof-stores.co.uk              
    230 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Private homes are estimated to be responsible for about one fifth to one fourth of global carbon dioxide emissions; and for that reason, eco-friendly construction or green building is becoming more and more of a necessity. If you’re looking to move home and are wanting something more eco-friendly, Roof Stores have been investigating some alternative types of housing that will help you cut down your carbon footprint… Earthship Earthship designs are made completely from natural and upcycled materials. They are built with the intention of being “Off-The-Grid ready”. This means the require minimal reliance on public utilities and fossil fuels. They are also constructed to use available natural resources in particular energy from the sun and rain water Sub-Types Packaged: Prefabricated construction packages available making it easier to construct. Most economical and versatile. Modular: Provides more sculptural and variety of rooms. Every room has thermal mass and stability. Eco-Friendly Elements Constructed using natural and upcycled materials. Thermo-solar heating and cooling. Solar and wind electricity. Self-contained sewage treatment. Water harvesting and long-term storage. Advantages Grow food inside thanks to greenhouse interaction zones. Thermal mass keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter. Ease of construction. Can be constructed using materials that are free and would otherwise be landfill. Inexpensive. Models start at $20,000. Little to no utility bills. Disadvantages While materials are free, they take time to collect. Most Earthships are constructed with the aid of concrete, which contributes 10% of the world’s greenhouse gases. If not done by yourself, it can be costly to construct. Can take 2-3 years to find its median temperature. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 2/5 Cost To Build $225 per square foot.Or, from as little as $10,000. Earth Sheltered   Earth Sheltered Houses are typically built into the side or underneath the ground. This could be through ‘Earth Berming’ where earth is piled up against exterior walls and packed, sloping away from the house. Or, they could be classed as ‘in-Hill Construction’ where the home is set into a slope or hillside. There is usually only one wall visible, the rest are surrounded by earth. Some houses are completely underground, otherwise known as Fully Recessed Construction. This is where the ground is excavated, and the house is set in below grade. Eco-Friendly Elements Thermal mass: Generated by the earth surrounding the building, warming the house in winter and cooling it in summer. Advantages Lower Bills: Energy usage will be minimal from heating. Storm Resistant: Thanks to being mostly underground, the impact on your home from high-winds will be minimal or non-existent. Thermal Mass: Energy Usage can be slashed by up to 50%-80% Disadvantages If the earth shelter has not been properly designed, you will find the following; Water Seepage Internal Condensation Bad Acoustics Poor Indoor Air Quality Due to the threat of water seepage, non-biodegradable substances, like concrete and plastics, tend to be used, which isn’t eco-friendly Lack of natural light. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 1/5 Cost $100-$120 per square foot Prefabricated   Pre-fabricated designs are houses that are constructed off-site. Once complete they are shipped to your chosen location and even assembled for you. Sub-Types Manufactured: Built on nonremovable steel frames, known as chasses, which are used to transport the home and for permanent support and are relatively low cost. Modular: Consist of units or modules that are constructed in factories and joined together on site. They often use costlier materials and are bigger than manufactured homes. They also tend to have more customisation options Panellised: Have separate units joined together on-site and are more structured then Modular. The panels fit together in a unique order, rather than the random method of modular. Eco-Friendly Elements Green Construction: Prefabricated houses use less energy during construction. Green Materials:Typically built with environmentally friendly and recyclable materials like wood and steel. Wastage: There’s less wastage during construction. Advantages Air-Tight: Tight seams and state-of-the-art windows keep heat in and thus reduce energy bills. Also have a reputation to withstand natural disasters. Speed Of Assembly: Thanks to being pre-made assembly is very quick, as walls and ceilings just need to be joined together. Affordability: Cheaper than standard stick-built homes. Disadvantages Increased up-front costs due to pre-construction and assembly before you can move in. Hooking up utilities can be problematic. Transportation can be difficult depending on where you want to live. Buying the land to put your home on can be very expensive. Environment Rating 3/5 Practicality Rating 5/5 Cost Can range from $50,000 - $500,000. Shipping Container Homes made out of shipping containers! They have grown in popularity over the past several years due to their inherent strength, wide availability, and relatively low expense. Eco-Friendly Elements Reusing Steel: For each recycled shipping container 7,000 pounds of steel become reused. Less Concrete & Cement: The only concrete that you will need will be for the foundations. Advantages Low Cost: Containers and much cheaper than materials such as brick and steel. Quick Construction: Due to the walls, floors and ceilings being already constructed, moving in time is radically decreased. Durable: Containers are already made to resist extreme weather conditions. Off Site Construction: Containers can be converted off-site so only assembly and interior design in needed on-site. Disadvantages Temperature Control: Temperature control can be difficult due to the metal’s absorption quality. Space & Shape: You are restricted to the length and width of the containers. Cargo Spillages: You never know what the container was storing before you owned it. Solvents: Solvents released from paint and sealants used in manufacture might be harmful. Environment Rating 2/5 Practicality Rating 3/5 Cost $2,000 per container. Tiny House Movement Tiny houses have become so popular that they have their own ‘movement’. Generally, they are under 500 square feet. Eco-Friendly Elements Less building materials required. Easier to build with recycled, repurposed and salvaged materials. Reduced life cycle cost of materials. Smaller space to heat. Can be mostly powered off solar and wind resources due to size. Composting toilet. Catch and filtration of rainwater. Advantages Many tiny houses can be built with wheels enabling it to be a mobile home. Affordability. Disadvantages Less living and storage space. Limited entertaining space. Minimalist lifestyle. Environment Rating 4/5 Practicality Rating 3/5 Cost $19,000 - $50,000 Visit: https://www.roof-stores.co.uk              
    Dec 19, 2018 230

  • For your convenience we have listed 10 of the best “How to plaster a wall” blogs and guides and as we have no affiliations to any individual suppliers, it is for you to decide what works for you. Building Materials Company One of the better guides showing how to plaster a wall in nine easy steps  https://www.buildingmaterials.co.uk/knowledge/how-to-plaster-a-wall       2. British Gypsum As one of the country’s leading manufacturers this How to guide is obviously aimed at its own products but also gives a more general guide to all types of plastering and may be better suited to the beginner. https://www.british-gypsum.com/product-range/plaster-products/how-to-plaster         3. Homebuilding and Renovating This is a more interesting guide as it tries to give useful tips covering a range of different plastering challenges. https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/plastering-walls          4. DIY Doctor This website readily acknowledges that plastering can be difficult but concentrates on the finished job, the actual final coat or skim, which obviously has to look flat on completion. https://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/skim.htm           5. Dave’s Tips We like this site as it really tries to appeal to the beginner. Dave is an experienced plasterer and reckons it’s easy – but then it probably is for him. https://www.davesdiytips.com/plastering-for-beginners            6. Able Skills This is a site that assume you have never plastered a wall before and really does get down to the basics. We all know of course it’s not as easy as it’s made out – but well worth a look. https://www.ableskills.co.uk/blog/tutorials/how-to-apply-your-first-coat-of-plaster          7. Real Homes This is advice for those of us who live in old homes. Plastering is a more of a challenge in such buildings and this is where you will get the best tips if you have an older property. https://www.realhomes.com/advice/plaster-in-old-homes          8. The Spruce Keeping on the theme of old homes The Spruce takes it one stage further by discussing plaster and lath. If your home features such walls and ceilings then this is for you. https://www.thespruce.com/plaster-and-lath-came-before-drywall-1822861             9. Artex Ltd Probably one of the biggest plastering challenges and a throwback to all those 80’s style properties this How to guide shows you the best way to plaster over Artex. Good luck. https://www.artexltd.com/repair-hub/plastering-over-artex             10. Dummies Finally in our top 10 and the one that most find easier is a guide to how to repair cracks. These easy to follow instructions are worth a look. https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/walls-ceilings/how-to-fix-small-cracks-in-plaster
    Dec 13, 2018 132
  • Once you have planned where your shed will go you need to make sure you have all the right tools and products to complete the job such as: Pegs and string Building sand Standard cement Timber for base formwork Tape measure Spade Sweeping brush 1. Prepare the base When you do this allow enough distance from hedges or fences for easy access to all sides. Use the pegs and string to mark out a base 2” (5 cm) larger than the area of the building on each side. Make sure the area is square by using a level diagonally across the area 2. Pay attention to the hardcore Ensure that you have at least 3” (7.5 cm) of compacted hardcore underneath a 3″ concrete layer. The base can be level with the ground or raised above it. If you want it to be level, dig to a depth of 6” (15 cm), to allow for the hardcore layer and 3” (7.5 cm) of concrete. Level the area with a rake and spade and remove the pegs. 3. Make sure it’s level Measure, cut and fit timber to the shape of the base in order to contain the concrete. Check diagonal measurements to ensure the formwork is square and level as this will determine whether your shed base is 100% sturdy. Spread the hardcore and cover with a good level of sand. Ensure it is well compacted and flattened using a compacting tool or roller. 4: Next the concrete Mix concrete using one part cement to five parts all-in-one ballast, or use bags of dry-mixed concrete and just add water. Be careful not to add too much water as this may make the cement too runny. Spread the concrete evenly and slightly above the formwork. This can be then levelled off with a long straight edge of timber resting on the formwork. Use a sawing motion slowly over the entire surface of the freshly laid concrete. In extreme weather conditions – both hot and cold – ensure that you base is covered to allow it to cure slowly, minimising the risk if shrinking or cracking – and there you have it – the perfect base for your new shed. You could of course then decide to build your own shed but as we discussed earlier – why would you want to when there are so many brilliant alternatives that have been prefabricated offsite and ready to be place on your new base. Talk.Build never makes recommendations but as a starting point you might want to visit:  Sheds
    Jul 30, 2018 337
  • We have seen many different types of architectural software over recent years and while it seems that most do very good jobs there have also been many adverse comments that products are not delivering. Understandably most professionals are confused with the wide range of products on offer. Many look at niche options which do not quite hit the mark but with the right software and a modern computer, the entire plan of a building can be rendered and checked for structural and design flaws before it even leaves the drawing board. This is more efficient, less wasteful, and a lot more convenient as well. BIM Modelling has also demanded that architects design and produce in both 2D and 3D and as a result there have been major development in design software which allows professionals to draw and visualise house floor plans more quickly and easily One such company, Elecosoft, seems to have gone further than most with its own bespoke package, “Arcon Evo”, which combines visual design, professional CAD capabilities and clear project execution in a single program. The new software also offers an extensive range of architectural CAD tools for all aspects of building design allowing architects to construct to the smallest level of detail. It also produces detailed plans, automated 3D models, elevations, section details and working drawings and much more. At the front end it will also generate detailed drawing sets for planning applications with many additional features which many of my colleagues in the trade press are endorsing as a major leap forward. To some extent I guess I am doing the same but rather than list all the benefits, which can be seen on the company’s website – the link is featured at the bottom of this article - I am more interested in how architects themselves have responded. In the past, as mentioned earlier, we have seen many different software packages which all claim to bring architects and building professionals into the 21st Century but have failed to deliver when it matters. According to the professionals “Arcon Evo” does exactly what it says on the tin and is more than capable of producing detailed 2D and 3D designs and it seems a whole lot more. Guess it is down to our readers to decide. Visit: www.3darchitect.co.uk
    Jul 26, 2018 817
  • Once water begins to come through the roof most sheds, by the very nature of their soft wood structure, quickly rot and if remedial action is not taken then most will soon be looking for a replacement. Replacing a felt roof is not as hard as it looks and only requires basic DIY skills and a little help from a friend or neighbour. Simply follow these easy steps and your shed will be as good as new. You will need at least half a day to complete the project and will require Shed Felt, Roofing Felt Adhesive and Clout Head Nails. Make sure you also have the right tools such as a tape measure, sharp knife gloves, an old cloth, straight edge hammer 2” or 3” and a disposable paint brush. Before you start clean and tidy up the surrounding area, including the floor. To ensure you are properly prepared for later, unpack and roll your shed felt onto a clean and dry surface. This allows it to relax or straighten after being rolled up. Roofing felt is harder to work at low temperature so try to avoid working with it below 10° or in wet or windy conditions. Prepare the surface of the shed roof by removing any old roof felt or nails. Ensure the surface is flat, clean and dry. If the roof is rotten or damaged, you may want to apply a complete new sheet of ply. Measure your shed by running a tape measure along the bottom of the roof (the eaves), and up the diagonal end (the gable). Write down these measurements (it’s easiest to use metric as shed felt normally comes in 8m or 10m rolls). Remember too that you will need the felt to overhang each gable end, and the eave of the shed by at least 50mm (so you need to add this to your measurements). Calculate how many lengths of roof felt are needed: The felt will be applied in strips, with each strip overlapping the previous one by at least 75mm. A final length sheet will be required along the ridge. Calculate how many strips and of what length you will need. Cut your roof felt to length: Using your straight edge and sharp knife, carefully cut your felt to the correct length (don’t forget to include the extra 50mm overhang at each end!) Nail on the first length: Position the first length of roof felt along the lowest part of the shed roof. Ensure that it overhangs the eaves and each gable end of the roof by 50mm. Nail along the top edge of the strip with the galvanised clout nails. Space the nails at 500mm centres. Fold over the gables and eaves: Starting at the centre of the eave, and taking care not to rip or tear the felt, fold the overhanging felt over the edge of the roof. Fix the overhanging felt using galvanised nails at 50mm. Fix the next length of shed felt: Take your second length of felt. Position this strip so that it overhangs the top of the first sheet by 75mm. Nail along the top of this strip at 500mm. Where the sheets overlap, apply roofing sheet adhesive using a disposable brush. Using a downwards brushing motion, firmly press the top layer of roofing felt onto the adhesive, taking care to ensure that the strip of felt does not ripple or crease. Nail in place at 50mm spacing along the bottom of the strip. Use an old cloth or rag to remove any excess felt adhesive. Continue to work up the complete side of the roof in the same method. Felt the second side of your shed: Repeat the same process for the opposite side of the roof. Fix the capping sheet: The roof should be finished with a capping sheet along the ridge. Place along the ridge of the shed so that it equally overhangs each side of the roof. Always ensure that it overlays the top strips of felt by at least 75mm. Apply roofing felt adhesive to the underside of both sides of the ridge and press the capping sheet into place. Nail along the bottom of each side of the capping sheet at 50mm intervals. And that is all there is to it to ensure that your shed continues to provides many more years of useful life. You can source the materials you need from most local builders merchants or go on line. You can click the link below to Amazon to a supplier that has a five star rating if you prefer to have materials delivered. Click Link for Amazon
    Apr 25, 2018 570
  • Roofs, conservatories, balconies, terraces and walls are extremely prone to water penetration and left alone will ultimately result in major refurbishment. Until fairly recently construction professionals would use a variety of different sealants to tackle an equally wide variety of leak situations, but thankfully science has come to the rescue. There are several companies that have developed advanced ranges of waterproofing solutions that can be simply brushed or rolled onto surfaces, seeping into cracks and other vulnerable areas to produce a barrier, once fully cured, against even the worst weather. Many of these solutions are transparent and virtually invisible once applied which makes them ideal for all types of glass such as conservatory roofs and roof lights. They can also be used on terraces and exposed brickwork helping to enhance the colour of the stone while adding total protection. The good thing is that such solutions can be applied by without any special skills saving householders massive labour costs, but as in all cases, particularly when a leak is at roof level, it is usually best to call in the professionals. If you are planning to do it yourself then make sure that you have enough material; to complete the job. A 20Kg tin will cover around 25 sq metres of surface area depending on the thickness of the coating. Ensure that everything is cleaned up before any solution is laid to ensure maximum performance and ideally three layers should be used on the surface area. Coverage is based on application by roller onto a smooth surface in optimum conditions. Factors like surface porosity, temperature and application method can alter consumption. Installed correctly your roof, conservatory, balcony, terrace or wall will continue to giver many more years of service keeping out the worst of the weather.  If you are looking for such a product then why not check out Maritrans, which is available via Amazon.  Click here for Amazon
    Apr 24, 2018 563
  • 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. There are many different sources for Timber Decking but we recomend the following link to AMAZON. Click here for Amazon
    Sep 16, 2017 1612
  • 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 2888