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  • 13 Jul 2021
    Britain might be out of the EU but we still continue to mirror many of their policies - and that particularly applies to climate change, energy savings and sustainability. Fire risk following Grenfell, also remains a major factor and both continue to provide massive challenges for Facility Management companies – especially when it comes to roofing and waterproofing writes Justin Pitman, sales director for Proteus Waterproofing. In spite of these factors, it can be proven that Facility Management professionals prepared to work more closely with suppliers can more easily meet these challenges, get the best quality job and make significant budget savings at the same time. Every building needs a roof, but in today’s green environment it is not enough to simply provide the waterproofing. New levels of insulation are needed to meet updated regulations and in the case of flats there is the added requirement to insulate party walls and other sensitive areas while also taking fire risk into consideration. Insulation levels are 10 times higher than they were 50 years ago.  However, while fire regulations have not changed dramatically in recent years, amendments have been made following the Grenfell tower fire, in particular the ban on the installation of combustible materials in external walls on buildings with a height of 18 metres or more, introduced in October 2019. The Climate Change Act 2008 set in legislation, the UK's approach to tackling and responding to climate change. It introduced the UK’s long-term legally binding 2050 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% relative to 1990 levels. Since 2012 there has also been a need for all commercial buildings to have EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates). These include buildings used as places of worship and for religious activities. stand-alone buildings of less than 50 m2. industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand including temporary buildings, offices, pubs, shops – the list is endless. The lower the energy use, the more attractive the building to potential end users. With this kind of pressure, it means that the building sector is crucial in achieving Britain’s energy and environmental goals. The good news is that following the introduction of energy performance rules in national building codes and the increased levels of insulation, buildings today consume only half as much as typical structures from the 1980s, but the rules continue to become more stringent and that in turn squeezes budgets. This all adds up to increased pressure and with fire and energy savings setting the agenda, more and more Facility Management professionals are asking companies such as Proteus to help them remove unnecessary costs from all parts of the supply chain. On face value this means offering the most competitive prices on product, but it is a much bigger story than that when set against the much bigger challenge of energy savings and fire risk. In response Proteus has developed a system and product offering to enable them to offer Facility Management professionals a complete roof design package incorporating living roofs (green, blue or brown), solar roof options, safety fall arrest systems and wind uplift calculations alongside their established waterproofing, insulation and fire protection system solutions. This ‘one-stop shop’ approach has allowed the company to provide a more competitive quality to their clients, whilst supporting them through the entire design and installation process. This has resulted in the removal of unnecessary costs and other overheads. In spite of these challenges, upgrading roofing and the waterproofing of other public areas can be incredibly disruptive and unpleasant for residents or office workers who have to remain in the building. There is also the risk of fire when torch on or molten materials are used. The good news is that the development of cold applied, odour free waterproofing systems has significantly reduced this problem and when used in conjunction with plans to increase insulation levels and reduce fire risk, they offer an incredibly cost-effective solution for Facility Management companies. It all adds up to major changes in the way that Facility Management Companies should be dealing with end suppliers. Closer collaboration with everyone involved in the supply chain means that the end user gets the best possible job. It is also the most cost-effective solution for Facility Management professionals when they are prepared to work more closely with suppliers and installers by letting them take the strain in terms of design advice, risk assessment and all the other factors which now dominate the modern construction industry. It is no longer about fighting for the best product price so why let roofing and waterproofing be a challenge when all the expertise you need is on the doorstep.  
    34 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Britain might be out of the EU but we still continue to mirror many of their policies - and that particularly applies to climate change, energy savings and sustainability. Fire risk following Grenfell, also remains a major factor and both continue to provide massive challenges for Facility Management companies – especially when it comes to roofing and waterproofing writes Justin Pitman, sales director for Proteus Waterproofing. In spite of these factors, it can be proven that Facility Management professionals prepared to work more closely with suppliers can more easily meet these challenges, get the best quality job and make significant budget savings at the same time. Every building needs a roof, but in today’s green environment it is not enough to simply provide the waterproofing. New levels of insulation are needed to meet updated regulations and in the case of flats there is the added requirement to insulate party walls and other sensitive areas while also taking fire risk into consideration. Insulation levels are 10 times higher than they were 50 years ago.  However, while fire regulations have not changed dramatically in recent years, amendments have been made following the Grenfell tower fire, in particular the ban on the installation of combustible materials in external walls on buildings with a height of 18 metres or more, introduced in October 2019. The Climate Change Act 2008 set in legislation, the UK's approach to tackling and responding to climate change. It introduced the UK’s long-term legally binding 2050 target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% relative to 1990 levels. Since 2012 there has also been a need for all commercial buildings to have EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates). These include buildings used as places of worship and for religious activities. stand-alone buildings of less than 50 m2. industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings with low energy demand including temporary buildings, offices, pubs, shops – the list is endless. The lower the energy use, the more attractive the building to potential end users. With this kind of pressure, it means that the building sector is crucial in achieving Britain’s energy and environmental goals. The good news is that following the introduction of energy performance rules in national building codes and the increased levels of insulation, buildings today consume only half as much as typical structures from the 1980s, but the rules continue to become more stringent and that in turn squeezes budgets. This all adds up to increased pressure and with fire and energy savings setting the agenda, more and more Facility Management professionals are asking companies such as Proteus to help them remove unnecessary costs from all parts of the supply chain. On face value this means offering the most competitive prices on product, but it is a much bigger story than that when set against the much bigger challenge of energy savings and fire risk. In response Proteus has developed a system and product offering to enable them to offer Facility Management professionals a complete roof design package incorporating living roofs (green, blue or brown), solar roof options, safety fall arrest systems and wind uplift calculations alongside their established waterproofing, insulation and fire protection system solutions. This ‘one-stop shop’ approach has allowed the company to provide a more competitive quality to their clients, whilst supporting them through the entire design and installation process. This has resulted in the removal of unnecessary costs and other overheads. In spite of these challenges, upgrading roofing and the waterproofing of other public areas can be incredibly disruptive and unpleasant for residents or office workers who have to remain in the building. There is also the risk of fire when torch on or molten materials are used. The good news is that the development of cold applied, odour free waterproofing systems has significantly reduced this problem and when used in conjunction with plans to increase insulation levels and reduce fire risk, they offer an incredibly cost-effective solution for Facility Management companies. It all adds up to major changes in the way that Facility Management Companies should be dealing with end suppliers. Closer collaboration with everyone involved in the supply chain means that the end user gets the best possible job. It is also the most cost-effective solution for Facility Management professionals when they are prepared to work more closely with suppliers and installers by letting them take the strain in terms of design advice, risk assessment and all the other factors which now dominate the modern construction industry. It is no longer about fighting for the best product price so why let roofing and waterproofing be a challenge when all the expertise you need is on the doorstep.  
    Jul 13, 2021 34
  • 26 Apr 2021
    Hospitals are the UK’s lifeblood, providing patients across the country with access to specialised medical care and treatment. A cornerstone of their communities, hospitals must undergo routine upgrade and maintenance work in order to ensure they continually deliver to their high standards writes Stacey Lucas from Sontay. King’s College Hospital in south London is a major inner-city hospital managed by King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. As well as being a leading facility for care and treatment, King’s is a large medical hub which is one in a trio of institutions belonging to the King’s College London School of Medicine. The hospital underwent an £80million extension to its existing coronary care unit (CCU) building to provide vital new CCU and isolation room bed space for patients. To ensure these critical areas are controlled and monitored accurately, it was decided that an extensive range of building control peripherals were needed. A myriad of solutions from market-leading specialist Sontay were specified as part of a sophisticated building management system (BMS). Siemsatec, a specialist in BMS design, installation and maintenance was tasked with installing the BMS for the new space. The system needed to give simple control over the extension’s HVAC plant to keep patients comfortable, help streamline the hospital’s budget and offer a healthy environment to patients through effective temperature control. A further consideration was to ensure the hospital could maintain the efficient running of the building and enable energy and cost savings. Working collaboratively with Sontay, Siemsatec undertook full system design and management of the project from start to finish. Siemsatec installed a Trend IQ4 and 963 BMS, along with a range of Sontay solutions, which monitor all of the air handling units as well as the LTHW & CHW plant within the CCU bed spaces. The versatility of Sontay’s solutions means a range of field devices can monitor all aspects of a commercial building. This allows the likes of Siemsatec to select exactly what is required for each application. The Sontay products that were specified included temperature and combined temperature, and humidity sensors to monitor environmental conditions on the wards for patient and staff wellbeing. Immersion and frost thermostats, air and water differential pressure switches, air differential sensors, flow grids, smoke detectors, water detection and thyristor controllers were also specified to monitor the building service equipment. “The new control system ensured the facilities team could manage and monitor the system with ease in order to improve overall efficiency and respond to the needs of both patients and staff in the building,” commented Joe Bailey, Project Manager at Siemsatec. “We decided to use Sontay because of its reliability and the quality of the products. All of the solutions were easy to install and worked well once in place.” This project was extended within a fixed budget and delivered to a tight deadline to ensure the existing CCU unit remained operational. It was essential for the space to remain functional during the renovation process and give patients immediate use of the services. “The prompt delivery Sontay offered really helped us deliver the completed project on time,” continued Joe. Following the installation and completion of the project, the facilities management team at the hospital can now manage, monitor and adapt the control system quickly and easily. They will also ensure the hospital is operating as efficiently as possible and respond to the needs of both patients and staff within the building. The presence of Sontay’s solutions on King’s College Hospital’s new CCU unit will enable a vital medical facility to keep delivering and pioneering treatment for patients for years to come.  
    160 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Hospitals are the UK’s lifeblood, providing patients across the country with access to specialised medical care and treatment. A cornerstone of their communities, hospitals must undergo routine upgrade and maintenance work in order to ensure they continually deliver to their high standards writes Stacey Lucas from Sontay. King’s College Hospital in south London is a major inner-city hospital managed by King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. As well as being a leading facility for care and treatment, King’s is a large medical hub which is one in a trio of institutions belonging to the King’s College London School of Medicine. The hospital underwent an £80million extension to its existing coronary care unit (CCU) building to provide vital new CCU and isolation room bed space for patients. To ensure these critical areas are controlled and monitored accurately, it was decided that an extensive range of building control peripherals were needed. A myriad of solutions from market-leading specialist Sontay were specified as part of a sophisticated building management system (BMS). Siemsatec, a specialist in BMS design, installation and maintenance was tasked with installing the BMS for the new space. The system needed to give simple control over the extension’s HVAC plant to keep patients comfortable, help streamline the hospital’s budget and offer a healthy environment to patients through effective temperature control. A further consideration was to ensure the hospital could maintain the efficient running of the building and enable energy and cost savings. Working collaboratively with Sontay, Siemsatec undertook full system design and management of the project from start to finish. Siemsatec installed a Trend IQ4 and 963 BMS, along with a range of Sontay solutions, which monitor all of the air handling units as well as the LTHW & CHW plant within the CCU bed spaces. The versatility of Sontay’s solutions means a range of field devices can monitor all aspects of a commercial building. This allows the likes of Siemsatec to select exactly what is required for each application. The Sontay products that were specified included temperature and combined temperature, and humidity sensors to monitor environmental conditions on the wards for patient and staff wellbeing. Immersion and frost thermostats, air and water differential pressure switches, air differential sensors, flow grids, smoke detectors, water detection and thyristor controllers were also specified to monitor the building service equipment. “The new control system ensured the facilities team could manage and monitor the system with ease in order to improve overall efficiency and respond to the needs of both patients and staff in the building,” commented Joe Bailey, Project Manager at Siemsatec. “We decided to use Sontay because of its reliability and the quality of the products. All of the solutions were easy to install and worked well once in place.” This project was extended within a fixed budget and delivered to a tight deadline to ensure the existing CCU unit remained operational. It was essential for the space to remain functional during the renovation process and give patients immediate use of the services. “The prompt delivery Sontay offered really helped us deliver the completed project on time,” continued Joe. Following the installation and completion of the project, the facilities management team at the hospital can now manage, monitor and adapt the control system quickly and easily. They will also ensure the hospital is operating as efficiently as possible and respond to the needs of both patients and staff within the building. The presence of Sontay’s solutions on King’s College Hospital’s new CCU unit will enable a vital medical facility to keep delivering and pioneering treatment for patients for years to come.  
    Apr 26, 2021 160
  • 23 Apr 2021
    Sustainability has been at the top of the building agenda for many years, with an emphasis on its environmental and economic impact. Such outcomes are of major importance, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that buildings are created for people, and their health and wellbeing should be of the highest priority when it comes to the interior design and workings of offices and other workplaces. Stacey Lucas, Commercial and Marketing Director at Sontay, a market-leader in the manufacture of sensors specifically developed to improve the indoor environment and create healthier, more energy-efficient buildings, looks at how smart sensor technology is being employed for beneficial effect in the places we inhabit most.  Pre-pandemic we reportedly spent more than 90% of our lives indoors whether at home, school or in the workplace. Ventilation, temperature and pressure regulation contribute to maintaining an atmospheric happy medium, which in a work environment helps increase employee contentment, leading to increased productivity and fewer sick days. Building sensors installed as part of an efficient building management system, offer an ingeniously smart and effective way of remotely monitoring indoor conditions, as well as giving property owners more control over energy usage; a benefit that not only helps reduce heating and lighting costs, it facilitates a significant reduction in a building’s carbon footprint. Monitoring key criteria such as relative humidity, CO2 and air quality can also offer vital information on the likelihood of viral transmission in the indoor environment and instruct the BMS to increase ventilation to improve conditions. Their usage could therefore be a factor in driving environmental-initiatives, such as the UK government’s pledge for carbon-neutral status by 2050 as well as building confidence in us returning to office buildings in the future. Sensor solutions Sensors can control a myriad of elements that affect our indoor climate including temperature, which in relation to an office environment is found to be around 22°C. However, relative humidity, if not managed correctly can make a room feel hotter or colder than the actual temperature reading. It can increase the likelihood of bacterial spread at lower levels. A sensor can help overcome these issues by monitoring humidity levels, to ensure an ideal 50% reading is maintained. In terms of air quality, airborne volatile organic compounds (VOC), pollutants which are found in paints and other building materials, are known to have a detrimental effect. The same harmful chemicals are also present in hand sanitisers, aggressive cleaning products and detergents; the demand for which has been unprecedented since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Air quality sensors are able to measure VOC levels and provide data for when ventilation is needed to maintain occupancy comfort, or the need to take action when a potentially hazardous reading is recorded. Crisis management The COVID-19 pandemic has also focused a lot of attention on the amount of indoor space people should be allowed to share in order to maintain distance and prevent viral spread. A CO2 sensor provides a clear visual indication of when a workplace requires ventilation due to deterioration in the indoor air quality. When we exhale we emit CO2, which if left unchecked in a busy office environment for example, can lead to headaches due to increased discomfort levels. A CO2 sensor with an LED traffic light-style display can help alleviate this issue. When showing green, for instance, the sensor is indicating that a room isn’t over-occupied and the risk to air quality is low. Should the sensor show amber, it’s a sign that windows require opening or fewer people need to be in the room to maintain the same healthy indoors environment. When the sensor turns red it is a call to action, as it indicates there is not enough ventilationin the room. At these last two stages, if a sensor is connected to a building management system, it will activate relevant ventilation. Light level and occupancy sensors offer further relevance to the ongoing pandemic. In relation to the nationwide lockdown, many offices in towns and cities remain empty whilst lights and other energy sources continue to burn unmonitored within the buildings themselves. An estimated 40% of a building’s energy costs are attributed to light usage; therefore, installing a sensor which operates lighting based on a building’s occupancy and interior light levels has financial and environmental benefits. Though relatively small in size, building sensors can have a huge part to play in ensuring properties, particularly workspaces, are managed safely, sustainably and profitably. Like a friend we never knew we had, these smart little devices look out for us when we’re in the office, and look out for the office when we’re at home. They are becoming evermore vital to the way we work today, and in the future.
    172 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Sustainability has been at the top of the building agenda for many years, with an emphasis on its environmental and economic impact. Such outcomes are of major importance, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that buildings are created for people, and their health and wellbeing should be of the highest priority when it comes to the interior design and workings of offices and other workplaces. Stacey Lucas, Commercial and Marketing Director at Sontay, a market-leader in the manufacture of sensors specifically developed to improve the indoor environment and create healthier, more energy-efficient buildings, looks at how smart sensor technology is being employed for beneficial effect in the places we inhabit most.  Pre-pandemic we reportedly spent more than 90% of our lives indoors whether at home, school or in the workplace. Ventilation, temperature and pressure regulation contribute to maintaining an atmospheric happy medium, which in a work environment helps increase employee contentment, leading to increased productivity and fewer sick days. Building sensors installed as part of an efficient building management system, offer an ingeniously smart and effective way of remotely monitoring indoor conditions, as well as giving property owners more control over energy usage; a benefit that not only helps reduce heating and lighting costs, it facilitates a significant reduction in a building’s carbon footprint. Monitoring key criteria such as relative humidity, CO2 and air quality can also offer vital information on the likelihood of viral transmission in the indoor environment and instruct the BMS to increase ventilation to improve conditions. Their usage could therefore be a factor in driving environmental-initiatives, such as the UK government’s pledge for carbon-neutral status by 2050 as well as building confidence in us returning to office buildings in the future. Sensor solutions Sensors can control a myriad of elements that affect our indoor climate including temperature, which in relation to an office environment is found to be around 22°C. However, relative humidity, if not managed correctly can make a room feel hotter or colder than the actual temperature reading. It can increase the likelihood of bacterial spread at lower levels. A sensor can help overcome these issues by monitoring humidity levels, to ensure an ideal 50% reading is maintained. In terms of air quality, airborne volatile organic compounds (VOC), pollutants which are found in paints and other building materials, are known to have a detrimental effect. The same harmful chemicals are also present in hand sanitisers, aggressive cleaning products and detergents; the demand for which has been unprecedented since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Air quality sensors are able to measure VOC levels and provide data for when ventilation is needed to maintain occupancy comfort, or the need to take action when a potentially hazardous reading is recorded. Crisis management The COVID-19 pandemic has also focused a lot of attention on the amount of indoor space people should be allowed to share in order to maintain distance and prevent viral spread. A CO2 sensor provides a clear visual indication of when a workplace requires ventilation due to deterioration in the indoor air quality. When we exhale we emit CO2, which if left unchecked in a busy office environment for example, can lead to headaches due to increased discomfort levels. A CO2 sensor with an LED traffic light-style display can help alleviate this issue. When showing green, for instance, the sensor is indicating that a room isn’t over-occupied and the risk to air quality is low. Should the sensor show amber, it’s a sign that windows require opening or fewer people need to be in the room to maintain the same healthy indoors environment. When the sensor turns red it is a call to action, as it indicates there is not enough ventilationin the room. At these last two stages, if a sensor is connected to a building management system, it will activate relevant ventilation. Light level and occupancy sensors offer further relevance to the ongoing pandemic. In relation to the nationwide lockdown, many offices in towns and cities remain empty whilst lights and other energy sources continue to burn unmonitored within the buildings themselves. An estimated 40% of a building’s energy costs are attributed to light usage; therefore, installing a sensor which operates lighting based on a building’s occupancy and interior light levels has financial and environmental benefits. Though relatively small in size, building sensors can have a huge part to play in ensuring properties, particularly workspaces, are managed safely, sustainably and profitably. Like a friend we never knew we had, these smart little devices look out for us when we’re in the office, and look out for the office when we’re at home. They are becoming evermore vital to the way we work today, and in the future.
    Apr 23, 2021 172

  • 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 1866
  • 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 1837
  • 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 2438
  • The online presentation, which takes place at 11.00 am on Friday, 18th June, includes an in-depth look at the pioneering floor solution; an effective alternative to dry screeds for building projects where a conventional screed is unsuitable due to a building’s load-bearing capacity. With a minimum layer thickness of only 14mm, Schönox Renotex 3D is thought to offer the thinnest floating screed in the world. Gavin White, Marketing and Product Manager at Sika said: “We’re extremely excited to be giving Schönox Renotex 3D its official launch via our webinar. It’s yet another Sika product that lives up to our reputation for innovation. The Schönox Renotex 3D system’s versatility is its strength and we believe this system is a real asset to the industry. The webinar is an opportunity for flooring professionals to learn how Schönox Renotex 3D can benefit them.” A hybrid system, Schönox Renotex 3D comprises a patented mesh which in combination with Schönox HS 50 – a low-stress hybrid levelling compound – allows for the application of extremely thin layers of screed. Despite its slender composition, the screed creates an extremely robust substrate to receive floor finishes in commercial and industrial environments with a prevalence of foot traffic. Such is its strength, Schönox Renotex 3D refurbishes contaminated and damaged floors without the need to deconstruct them, resulting in a time and cost-effective application. In terms of its adaptability, Schönox Renotex 3D can be used in conjunction with underfloor heating, fire insulation and sound insulation. Suitable with most floor coverings, rapid-apply, self-stablising Sika-patented Schönox Renotex mesh is key to the system’s outstanding performance. In addition, it has low installation height and requires minimal preparation, hence it is user-friendly and long-term effective. This powerful set of properties add up the overall impact of Schönox Renotex 3D – an exceptional versatile, rapid-drying screed system for the worst possible flooring. Further information regarding the system and its application is available via the webinar, which will last for approximately one-hour and includes a Q&A session with Sika Floor’s expert technical team. There is also a chance to discover more about Sika’s full range of Schönox screeds, floor adhesives, primers and waterproof membranes. Gavin White added: “Those with a vested interest in the development of products which increase the scope of a screed’s application and performance will not want to miss this webinar. We look forward to seeing you all on 18th June.” To book a place on the webinar, or for more information visit: https://sika.webex.com/sika/onstage/g.php?MTID=e071013c47e2a446fdbeca40af4ce6937
    Jun 10, 2021 96
  • For many in-patients, the prospect of daily visits from their loved ones is what gets them through each day. However, as the pandemic has caused all healthcare sites to crack down on health and safety to minimise viral spread, routine visitations have had to be side-lined.   Terry Smith, CPI EuroMix’s plant manager at Beaconsfield has connections at Wycombe Hospital. With the current restrictions preventing hospital visits, many patients spend all day on their own with no company or communications beyond the hospital’s four walls. CPI EuroMix was asked if it could help in some way. CPI EuroMix personally delivered its donation of 15 DAB radios to the ward’s sister, Kirsty. The radios will bring a piece of home to patients’ beds and enable them to feel better connected with the outside world. Stuart Russell, Contracts Manager at CPI EuroMix said: “It was really important for us to be involved in some way and put a smile on hospital patients’ faces. It must be such an isolating time staying at hospital right now, so knowing we’ve made a difference to someone’s day is truly heart-warming.”      
    Apr 12, 2021 141
  • About 125 firefighters and 25 fire engines were called to battle the blaze at the Self-Storage Tameside facility in Denton on 21st February. Thankfully, there were no injuries, but the wider impact to the hundreds of people who had rented units and lost stored goods will be felt long after the fire was extinguished by the fire and rescue service. Self-Storage Tameside customers included Rebecca Dakin, a business owner who reports losing £100,000 of stock from a new start-up, and Donna Hilton who lost her worldly possessions. These fires are challenging to contain due to the large quantity of furniture and often unknown materials which are normally tightly-packed into facilities of this type. These incidents create large fires that burn hard for a long time, creating a lot of smoke which in this case could be seen across Manchester, causing the evacuation of nearby residential areas and the closure of the nearby M67 motorway. The fire in Denton follows similar fires from the Safehouse fire in 2017, Shurgard as we left 2018 and through to the Twinwoods Business Park fire in 2019. The catastrophic Shurgard Self Storage fire in Croydon, which also had no sprinklers, destroyed every one of its 1198 storage units. The cause of the blaze was filed as undetermined. Shurgard’s new replacement four-storey facility opened last year with the owners making the decision to include sprinklers in the rebuild despite not being required by building regulations. “One of the big questions with these self-storage facilities is how anyone can claim protection against fire based on the light separation between units and the lack of knowledge of what people are putting into their individual units,” said Iain Cox, Chair of the Business Sprinkler Alliance. “Can self-storage operators assume that a fire will be contained in such circumstances and therefore offer comfort to their customers?” It’s another painful reminder that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a self-storage warehouse, a university, a car park or an office, fires happen on a regular basis. However, they can be contained and extinguished by systems such as sprinklers to ensure that life is not put at risk and businesses, jobs and the economy are protected. Sprinklers are a proven method of controlling fires. They allow fire crews the time to safely gain access and extinguish fire and we welcome their consideration as a way of ensuring that properties of all types are adequately protected.    
    Apr 12, 2021 147
  • Many building managers are now adhering to certain principles – including keeping Rh at optimum levels – to prevent bacterial spread. Smart sensors installed as part of a building management system (BMS) are designed to consistently monitor indoor spaces, assuring they are the optimum environments for people’s health, wellbeing and safety. Sensors are a form of dialogue that represent real-time building performance. If they detect any untoward changes to the environment, they quickly react to return it where it should be. Sensors’ ability to closely monitor room humidity – which if too low or high can contribute to bacteria growth – was a requirement for Dammam Medical Tower, a large hospital in Saudi Arabia. An effective control strategy was created to combat detrimental changes in air humidity within the Dammam Medical Tower’s isolation rooms. A space mounted relative humidity and temperature (RH&T) sensor was supplied, which uses the latest high-accuracy technology to improve and maintain a healthy indoor environment. Smart and self-managing sensors are the best method to assure infection control. These small yet mighty devices mean all indoor environments are of the highest quality, keeping us humans safe and healthy in the process.
    Apr 15, 2021 128
  • Situated in the southern gateway to the Lake District, Stonecross Meadows is a stylish development of three, four and five-bedroom semi-detached and detached homes. In order to achieve the desired aesthetics, developer Jones Homes required a weatherproof render which offered ease of application and would successfully complement the homes’ natural stone façade. This led to the specification of Parex Monorex GM, a one-coat weather resistant and breathable render, for the various house elevations. Jones Homes specified Parex Monorex GM in Pale Yellow and Smokey Grey for the homes, garages and surrounding walls of the development. Parex Monorex GM was sprayapplied to the concrete blockwork and to provide additional reinforcement and crack resistance at stress locations around openings, Parex TV10 Mesh was embedded into the render during the application process. More than 5000m2 render was applied by Parex registered applicator North West Render Ltd who said: “We recommended the use of Parex Monorex GM for this development due to the product’s ease of application and superior finish having used it on previous projects. Once again, the spray-applied application ensured a consistent, high quality finish”.  Furthermore, Parex’s quick response with samples and a full system specification also helped secure the project with Jones Homes, one of the UK’s leading home builders. Monorex GM is suitable for machine spraying or hand application and can be finished in a range of styles from medium scraped, light tyrolean to heavy roughcast textured finishes. Client: Jones Homes Main Contractor: North West Render Ltd PAREX PRODUCTS USED: Parex Monorex GM, Parex TV10 Mesh
    Apr 13, 2021 242
  • Bernat Klein House in High Sunderland, Selkirk, set in three acres of glorious Scottish countryside, is a triumphant example of mid-20th century architectural enterprise. Built in 1957 and designed by renowned modernist architect Peter Womersley, the open plan, single-storey property offers a stylish lesson in how to introduce an expansive feel to a house with a relatively small floor area. The rectangular-shaped building, originally commissioned by Serbian textile designer Bernat Klein, is essentially subdivided into 8ft modules. The continuous, walk-through design includes four bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room and a dining area. Such is the exceptional nature of the property's architecture it has Category A listing – the highest grade of listing given by Historic Environment Scotland. For the house's 133m2 roof refurbishment Gradient, in conjunction with contractors Laurence McIntosh, was selected to design a tapered insulation scheme that was as rapid to install, as it was efficient in preventing unwanted ponding on the flat roof. It led to the specification of Eurothane Eurodeck - Gradient's premium, high performing rigid PIR insulation board. Ideal for use under mechanically-fixed, single-ply membranes across new-build and refurbishment projects, Eurothane Eurodeck's high compressive strength is complemented by its low thermal conductivity (0.022 W/mK). With this exceptional PIR solution, dimensional stability and a super-smooth surface are guaranteed. Further, the system was made-to-measure and therefore eliminated on-site cutting, which significantly reduced on-site labour times and material waste. Gordon Dickson, Contracts Director at Laurence McIntosh, said: “Due to the high-profile nature of this project, we required a quality insulation that offered excellent performance in terms of thermal conductivity and ease of installation. Thanks to the conjunctive efforts of Gradient's technical team in designing a bespoke tapered solution, the made-to-measure system ensured it met the client’s brief and incurred minimal material waste. This added to the project's cost-effectiveness, whilst enhancing its environmental credentials.” The roof was finished with a single-ply membrane and thanks to the combined expertise that led to the specification, design and installation of Gradient's Eurothane Eurodeck tapered insulation, this historic Scottish house will remain an astonishing architectural feature of Selkirk’s wild and wonderful countryside for many years to come.  
    Mar 30, 2021 171
  • Tom joined Sika in 1992. Based at the Welwyn Garden City Head Office, he has a breadth of experience in Sales, Marketing and Product Management, joining the Management Team in 2007 as the Business Unit Manager for the Concrete division. Further to the successful management of this part of the business, he assumed responsibility for the Waterproofing division in 2013. In 2018, Tom assumed additional responsibilities for managing the Everbuild brand – A Sika Company, playing a key role in its integration, establishing this area of the business as a substantial part of Sika Limited, with record growth in sales and profitability. The new appointment will see him build on the already well-established Sika brand in the UK. In 2021, the company is aiming to achieve 15% growth in net sales whilst maintaining profitability levels. Major focuses that will help the company achieve this centre on key initiatives to grow e-commerce channels, further develop its network of specifiers, strengthening relationships with key specialist distributors and add to the Sika contractor networks. The company will also continue to focus efforts on developing inter-company business. “I strongly believe that continued focus on our people and their development, will allow us to grow, and this, coupled with investment in technology, will lead us to become the employer of choice,” commented Tom. “The safety of our staff has been a high priority during the pandemic and will continue to be so going forward. Relationships inside the company and towards our customers are the main drivers for sustainable results. Sika Limited in the UK, is a strong and focused company, and I am looking forward to the challenge of growing our brands in the UK under one combined entity.” Sika UK has grown steadily over the past few years, reaching one of the highest sales and profit results of Sika globally, despite operating in challenging market conditions.
    May 08, 2021 119
  • The demand for healthier indoor environments and optimised energy use is meaning more and more commercial and residential schemes are utilising building management systems to assure occupancy comfort levels and conserve energy. As smart devices in the form of building sensors are a core element of this drive, Sontay is seeing a growing demand for its solutions. It is why Sontay introduced the new role of Quality Assurance Engineer, to meet with this industry-wide need and assure Sontay is consistently exceeding its high standards. Within this role, Raj will be responsible for the design and delivery of all quality control and assurance activities and objectives at Sontay. As well as being tasked with reviewing and managing manufacturing materials and processes against quality requirements, Raj will be leading a culture of continuous improvement within the quality system. He will develop inspection and test procedures to ensure no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of quality. The position is part of Sontay’s wider goal to continually offer high levels of quality and customer service. Speaking on his new role Raj said: “Sontay is one of the market-leading providers for the building industry. I can see my experience (30 years in the defence sector) will be very useful to the company. It will give me great satisfaction to work in a fresh and vibrant role. It is an exciting time to move into construction and the HVAC sectors!”
    Apr 20, 2021 118
  • From the beginning of 2021, Jon Bailey, (pictured below) with more than 17 years’ experience in the construction industry, will join the Proteus New Build Division, concentrating on the south of England.  He is joined by Adam Draycott, (Above) who joins the company’s growing sales team in the north of England. For the last three years Jon has been involved with generating roofing specifications working alongside main contractors, sub-contractors, architects and surveyors helping to match client needs with end customer expectations. Adam Draycott has worked in the roofing industry since the age of 18, initially in an admin role and three years later as a salesman in the north west. He later helped to establish waterproofing sales for another leading company prior to joining Proteus. With the addition of two new Technical Sales Managers, Proteus can now launch the next stage of an ongoing expansion programme which has seen the company grow out of its south east base to become a leading national player in the waterproofing industry.  
    Feb 03, 2021 234