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  • 08 Feb 2022
    Just before Christmas last year, government gifted a mandate which would see a 30% cut in carbon across all new residential buildings. The updates to Part L of the Building Regulations, which is to do with energy use, Part F for ventilation and the introduction of a new Part O for overheating will reportedly pave the way for a greener built environment. But do the updates go far enough? Ellen Huelin, Associate Director at Whitecode Consulting takes a closer look. Part L updates We have been expecting the changes for some time. This is the biggest update to Part L of the Building Regulations since 2013, where we will see a 30% reduction in carbon in new homes. As highlighted in the updates to Part L, the reduction will be achieved through fabric improvements and carbon saving technologies, i.e., the addition of PV panels or air source heat pumps. The announcements were set out in the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)’s response published last month to a public consultation, which ran from January to April 2021 on the Future Buildings Standard. It details interim uplifts to Parts L and F of the Building Regulations and the introduction of Part O. Part L applies to all projects after 15 June 2022, except projects where a building notice has been given. The new regulations will apply to all projects regardless from 15 June 2023. During the consultation an array of options was considered, but they decided to go for a higher uplift that’s not just based on building fabric but carbon saving technologies too. Taking a magnifying glass to the updates, the performance metrics for Part L 2021 include: -         Primary energy target -         CO2 emission target -         Fabric energy efficiency target (FEES – DFEE/TFEE) -         Minimum standards for fabric and fixed building services In many ways the updates to Part L will prepare many companies for the change that will come when the Future Homes and Buildings Standard comes into force in 2025. It is in that sense an important stepping stone. These latest updates to Part L mean that residential buildings built from 2023 are more prepared for the 2025 change. Furthermore, the focus on fabric-first approach and carbon saving technologies will therefore steadily remove dependency on gas boilers which are to be banned in new homes from 2025. Many GLA schemes that the likes of Whitecode Consulting work on are already installing heat pumps instead of gas boilers. The biggest challenge will be ensuring this change happens outside of London. As well as a focus on carbon technologies, a tighter building fabric will need to be achieved in preparation for the Future Homes Standard. The focus here isn’t so much on walls or doors but windows, which lose around 18% of a house’s total heat. To provide a solution to this issue, there is a need for windows to have stronger U-values. We will, then, see triple glazing with a 0.8 U-value expected by 2025. Closer inspection Businesses would do well to start putting these changes into motion as there are new requirements that have to be met. As part of the change and to assure compliance, photographs will be required during the construction of properties to prove correct installation; all plots must be air tested; accredited construction details (ACDs) for thermal bridging will be scrapped; and plot specific approach to transitional arrangements. Taking a closer look at the transitional arrangements is key, as there are details that must be considered. For Part L 2021 the site-wide approach for transitioning will change to a plot/building specific approach. Therefore plots/buildings that do not start within a year of the regulation’s application, even if on the same site, would need to be built to the latest standards. New Part O Another regulation that has been newly introduced is Part O for overheating. Here at Whitecode Consulting we have been performing overheating analysis for many years. Overheating can cause huge discomfort to homeowners and compromise their wellbeing. But, up until now it hasn’t ever been regulated. It is assuring, therefore, to see the introduction of Part O. Previously, TM59 overheating assessments were performed in order to assure compliance with the London Plan. Whilst this rigorous assessment will still be a method of choice on some projects, as it can offer more design flexibility, Part O certainly offers a more simplified, formulaic method which will be desirable on projects. It’s key to look closely at the changes Part O includes. Projects will not, for instance, be able to use internal blinds to comply. Blinds have been continually used in developments to prevent overheating. Now, with the new Part O, schemes will need to include other kinds of shading including external to comply. Whichever route is selected, Whitecode Consulting has the experience and expertise to help clients navigate their chosen path.  All in all, the updates to Part L, Part F and the introduction of Part O are highly welcomed. The updates to Part L in particular will go some way to preparing us for the Future Homes Standard in 2025. The changes, however, are severely overdue and could have gone further, as the reality is that the change has to be done now. Given that we are living in a climate emergency, will the industry be quicker to adopt the change? We’ll have to wait and see. 
    213 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Just before Christmas last year, government gifted a mandate which would see a 30% cut in carbon across all new residential buildings. The updates to Part L of the Building Regulations, which is to do with energy use, Part F for ventilation and the introduction of a new Part O for overheating will reportedly pave the way for a greener built environment. But do the updates go far enough? Ellen Huelin, Associate Director at Whitecode Consulting takes a closer look. Part L updates We have been expecting the changes for some time. This is the biggest update to Part L of the Building Regulations since 2013, where we will see a 30% reduction in carbon in new homes. As highlighted in the updates to Part L, the reduction will be achieved through fabric improvements and carbon saving technologies, i.e., the addition of PV panels or air source heat pumps. The announcements were set out in the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)’s response published last month to a public consultation, which ran from January to April 2021 on the Future Buildings Standard. It details interim uplifts to Parts L and F of the Building Regulations and the introduction of Part O. Part L applies to all projects after 15 June 2022, except projects where a building notice has been given. The new regulations will apply to all projects regardless from 15 June 2023. During the consultation an array of options was considered, but they decided to go for a higher uplift that’s not just based on building fabric but carbon saving technologies too. Taking a magnifying glass to the updates, the performance metrics for Part L 2021 include: -         Primary energy target -         CO2 emission target -         Fabric energy efficiency target (FEES – DFEE/TFEE) -         Minimum standards for fabric and fixed building services In many ways the updates to Part L will prepare many companies for the change that will come when the Future Homes and Buildings Standard comes into force in 2025. It is in that sense an important stepping stone. These latest updates to Part L mean that residential buildings built from 2023 are more prepared for the 2025 change. Furthermore, the focus on fabric-first approach and carbon saving technologies will therefore steadily remove dependency on gas boilers which are to be banned in new homes from 2025. Many GLA schemes that the likes of Whitecode Consulting work on are already installing heat pumps instead of gas boilers. The biggest challenge will be ensuring this change happens outside of London. As well as a focus on carbon technologies, a tighter building fabric will need to be achieved in preparation for the Future Homes Standard. The focus here isn’t so much on walls or doors but windows, which lose around 18% of a house’s total heat. To provide a solution to this issue, there is a need for windows to have stronger U-values. We will, then, see triple glazing with a 0.8 U-value expected by 2025. Closer inspection Businesses would do well to start putting these changes into motion as there are new requirements that have to be met. As part of the change and to assure compliance, photographs will be required during the construction of properties to prove correct installation; all plots must be air tested; accredited construction details (ACDs) for thermal bridging will be scrapped; and plot specific approach to transitional arrangements. Taking a closer look at the transitional arrangements is key, as there are details that must be considered. For Part L 2021 the site-wide approach for transitioning will change to a plot/building specific approach. Therefore plots/buildings that do not start within a year of the regulation’s application, even if on the same site, would need to be built to the latest standards. New Part O Another regulation that has been newly introduced is Part O for overheating. Here at Whitecode Consulting we have been performing overheating analysis for many years. Overheating can cause huge discomfort to homeowners and compromise their wellbeing. But, up until now it hasn’t ever been regulated. It is assuring, therefore, to see the introduction of Part O. Previously, TM59 overheating assessments were performed in order to assure compliance with the London Plan. Whilst this rigorous assessment will still be a method of choice on some projects, as it can offer more design flexibility, Part O certainly offers a more simplified, formulaic method which will be desirable on projects. It’s key to look closely at the changes Part O includes. Projects will not, for instance, be able to use internal blinds to comply. Blinds have been continually used in developments to prevent overheating. Now, with the new Part O, schemes will need to include other kinds of shading including external to comply. Whichever route is selected, Whitecode Consulting has the experience and expertise to help clients navigate their chosen path.  All in all, the updates to Part L, Part F and the introduction of Part O are highly welcomed. The updates to Part L in particular will go some way to preparing us for the Future Homes Standard in 2025. The changes, however, are severely overdue and could have gone further, as the reality is that the change has to be done now. Given that we are living in a climate emergency, will the industry be quicker to adopt the change? We’ll have to wait and see. 
    Feb 08, 2022 213
  • 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.  
    469 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 469
  • 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.  
    554 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 554

  • 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 2321
  • 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 2244
  • 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 2924
  • As a result of this redevelopment, the Wishaw site is projected to allow the production of up to 35,000 tonnes of mortars and 12,000 tonnes of Sika’s market leading single coat render, Monorex per year - bringing the combined total for all Sika UK sites to over 100,000 tonnes of both mortars and façade products annually. Previously dedicated to the manufacture of Enewall products, the site will now focus on the production of SikaWall; a range of renders and systems from the trusted Sika brand. Incorporating Sika’s renowned high levels of customer service with a quality product, the newly rebranded SikaWall range is one which customers and applicators can have confidence in. The redevelopment of the Wishaw site further strengthens Sika’s capability to manufacture market leading products within the UK and consequently improves our ability to mitigate supply chain issues which have affected the building industry over the last two years. Commissioning of the Wishaw site was carried out at the beginning of April with production scheduled to commence later in the month.  
    May 04, 2022 41
  • Sika MonoTop®rewrites the rule book in terms of low-carbon concrete by generating fewer CO2emissions compared to other concrete repair solutions – up to 1 tonne of CO2 per 100m2. In order to promote the range and Sika’s commitment to sustainability, the company is to host a webinar at 11am on Monday, January 31st. Presented by James Collett, Sika’s Area Specification Manager – Specialist Construction Solutions, and Sustainability Manager, Dr Sarah Peake, the course is an opportunity for contractors, specifier and architects to learn about how MonoTop® – a proven, high-performance concrete repair solution – can also reduce their carbon footprint. John Baron, Specialist Construction Solutions, Business Unit Manager at Sika said: “The new sustainable Sika MonoTop® concrete repair range is a result of our unique mindset and development efforts. We’re proud of this product, as it proves more performance and more sustainability is possible.” MonoTop® sets new standards in sustainable concrete repair. It comprises Sika MonoTop®-1010, Sika MonoTop®-3020 and Sika MonoTop®-4012 and as well as generating fewer emissions than comparable concrete repair systems, its dust-reducing properties limit particle emissions by up to 70% during application, thus resulting in safer, less-polluted, more comfortable on-site working conditions for operatives. MonoTop®’s environmentally-friendly credentials are also essential to achieving BREEAM/LEED requirements. Each British Standard-approved product within the system, including the bonding binder and the concrete and levelling mortars, contains recycled waste materials. John added: “With MonoTop®, we’ve developed a concrete repair solution that benefits the construction industry and the environment. Join our webinar to find out how MonoTop® can benefit your next project.”  
    Jan 18, 2022 181
  • The new products launched as part of the MonoTop® range consist of the following: - Sika MonoTop®-1010, Sika MonoTop®-3020, MonoTop®-4012, which generates less CO2emissions compared to other concrete repair solutions – up to 1 tonne ofCO2 per 100m2 – earned its CRA nomination in the ‘Innovation’ category. Ideal for new-build and refurbishment projects, MonoTop® rewrites the rule book in terms of low-carbon concrete repair. Its sustainability is enhanced by its dust-reducing properties which limit particle emissions by up to 70% during application, resulting in safer, less-polluted, more comfortable on-site working conditions for operatives. John Baron, Specialist Construction Solutions Business Unit Manager at Sika, said: “The MonoTop®range highlights Sika’s commitment to developing products which achieve new levels of sustainability without compromising the company’s primary function as a trusted repair resource. The CRA nomination, of which we’re extremely proud, is in recognition of this ability. MonoTop®’’s production is a testament to the technical ingenuity of our superb research and development teams.” MonoTop®’s environmentally-friendly credentials are essential to achieving BREEAM/LEED requirements. Indeed, each British Standard-approved product within the system, including the bonding binder and the concrete and levelling mortars, contains recycled waste materials. Category winners of this year’s CRA awards will be announced onFriday, December 3rd at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Bloomsbury Street Hotel, London.    
    Dec 01, 2021 263
  • 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 437
  • 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 657
  • 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 584
  • 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 470
  • 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 497
  • 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 631