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  • 08 Aug 2019
    Advancements in technology have improved most industries, including the construction and engineering sectors.  But could humans eventually find themselves redundant within these work spheres at the expense of technology?  Probably not!  After all, software is usually only as good as the human operating it… Computer-based assistance really is just that: a tool to assist. The successful link between computer programmes and engineering skill varies depending on which part of the AEC industry they are being used in. To understand how this factor can impact their relationship, we must first look at the three main stages of engineering design.  Concept design: At this stage, the majority of the design comes from the imagination of the engineer, supported by some simple sizing elements or calculations. Drafting and analysis: This stage brings the concept design into the real world more earnestly, checking that it is feasible and how it will succeed. This stage is predominantly computer-based, using, for example building design software, which strives to assist engineers work with regards to accuracy. Detailed design: This stage is when, as the name suggests, the design becomes much more detailed. At this point, the design is almost completely computer-based, with analysis happening in the background. It’s likely that such processes will always require an aspect of creativity and imagination — the ability to think outside the box and problem-solve in new ways. But it’s not just the imaginative aspect that machines cannot replicate in full: fine tuning, for example, still needs a guiding human hand in order to ensure the outputs are correct. While leaps and bounds are certainly being made in machine learning, whereby computers can now make decisions based on historical data and records, it is highly unlikely that this will develop to the point where human skill and judgement become obsolete. Naturally, human judgment is not flawless. Mistakes can be made when writing the programmes designed to support design, or further along the line when inputting data into these programmes. Either error will result in an inaccurate output. For this reason, the topic of automated checking — whereby computer programmes will check the input against previous projects and their success or failure — has been a hot point of discussion within the AEC industry lately. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the majority of engineering disasters have occurred due to something unusual; that is, something that has not happened in previous related projects. While rule-checkers help when situations where rules apply, they aren’t able to flag something that hasn’t happened in previous records, i.e. something unusual. There are many examples of such missed errors. For example, the Millennium Bridge’s well-known wobble was not picked up on at any point by the design’s code. Programmes failed to predict the wind instability of Tacoma Narrows. While engineers can make use of a value judgement, computer programmes do not. As the world changes, engineers will make a value judgement to adapt their designs accordingly. In order for both human and technological processes to be as accurate as possible, formulas need to be crafted. There are several structures and designs that have had formulas developed exclusively for them. For example, the original formula creation for shell structures had to be created by expert mathematicians to ensure success. Now, with Finite element Analysis, almost any form can be analysed — but that does not mean these forms are always sensible. There’s a certain amount of tension between architects and engineers surrounding this. Where engineers are seen as wanting functionality, architect are seen as wanting novelty first. But this disparity makes for the perfect partnership towards the best designs.        
    110 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Advancements in technology have improved most industries, including the construction and engineering sectors.  But could humans eventually find themselves redundant within these work spheres at the expense of technology?  Probably not!  After all, software is usually only as good as the human operating it… Computer-based assistance really is just that: a tool to assist. The successful link between computer programmes and engineering skill varies depending on which part of the AEC industry they are being used in. To understand how this factor can impact their relationship, we must first look at the three main stages of engineering design.  Concept design: At this stage, the majority of the design comes from the imagination of the engineer, supported by some simple sizing elements or calculations. Drafting and analysis: This stage brings the concept design into the real world more earnestly, checking that it is feasible and how it will succeed. This stage is predominantly computer-based, using, for example building design software, which strives to assist engineers work with regards to accuracy. Detailed design: This stage is when, as the name suggests, the design becomes much more detailed. At this point, the design is almost completely computer-based, with analysis happening in the background. It’s likely that such processes will always require an aspect of creativity and imagination — the ability to think outside the box and problem-solve in new ways. But it’s not just the imaginative aspect that machines cannot replicate in full: fine tuning, for example, still needs a guiding human hand in order to ensure the outputs are correct. While leaps and bounds are certainly being made in machine learning, whereby computers can now make decisions based on historical data and records, it is highly unlikely that this will develop to the point where human skill and judgement become obsolete. Naturally, human judgment is not flawless. Mistakes can be made when writing the programmes designed to support design, or further along the line when inputting data into these programmes. Either error will result in an inaccurate output. For this reason, the topic of automated checking — whereby computer programmes will check the input against previous projects and their success or failure — has been a hot point of discussion within the AEC industry lately. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the majority of engineering disasters have occurred due to something unusual; that is, something that has not happened in previous related projects. While rule-checkers help when situations where rules apply, they aren’t able to flag something that hasn’t happened in previous records, i.e. something unusual. There are many examples of such missed errors. For example, the Millennium Bridge’s well-known wobble was not picked up on at any point by the design’s code. Programmes failed to predict the wind instability of Tacoma Narrows. While engineers can make use of a value judgement, computer programmes do not. As the world changes, engineers will make a value judgement to adapt their designs accordingly. In order for both human and technological processes to be as accurate as possible, formulas need to be crafted. There are several structures and designs that have had formulas developed exclusively for them. For example, the original formula creation for shell structures had to be created by expert mathematicians to ensure success. Now, with Finite element Analysis, almost any form can be analysed — but that does not mean these forms are always sensible. There’s a certain amount of tension between architects and engineers surrounding this. Where engineers are seen as wanting functionality, architect are seen as wanting novelty first. But this disparity makes for the perfect partnership towards the best designs.        
    Aug 08, 2019 110
  • 19 Jul 2019
    Figures show one-in-six construction-based workers suffers from a form of mental illness. Even more alarming is the statistic that reveals suicide kills more people in the building sector than falls from height writes Steph Palmer, BriggsAmasco Training Officer. It’s also reported that two construction workers reportedly take their own life each day. Such distressing data highlights the urgent need for roofing companies and the industry as a whole to educate employees and ensure they have the best possible support in order to recognise mental stress symptoms in themselves and colleagues. In doing so, they will be taking a vital first step to making a full recovery from the debilitating effects of anxiety and depression.  Journey As a company, BriggsAmasco is facilitating an environment that encourages, where reasonably possible, improved mental health amongst employees. This journey began in 2017 when a workshop was staged as part of the company’s annual Health and Safety forum. It was held on behalf of contract-related staff and subcontractors in order to steer individuals seeking guidance towards the appropriate mental health support. Feedback from employees who attended the workshop was extremely positive. This was particularly encouraging, as BriggsAmasco aims to create an environment and culture where staff feel comfortable discussing their psychological state, whether it is good or bad.  Employers should take into account the fact that not all workers feel comfortable raising such issues with their manager, whereas others will view it as the best avenue to getting help. Listening to workers and addressing their specific needs is vital. Any staff member that is not comfortable speaking to a BriggsAmasco representative has access to the company’s Employee Assistance Programme that is 100% confidential and deals with anything from mental health issues to financial or legal problems they may be experiencing. New employees are issued with information cards, highlighting external organisations – The Lighthouse Club, Building Mental Health – which provide support to the construction community and their families. Mental health initiative BriggsAmasco hosts each new employee at its Birmingham head office for a two-day induction that includes a presentation and discussion on its mental health strategy, devised to ensure each employee has access to at least one mental health first aider on site and within its offices. Two members of BriggsAmasco staff are Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trained and available to deliver the courses throughout the business. Since March 2019, the company has trained 35 staff as mental health first aiders; a figure that will increase in the following year. The company’s board of directors will also undergo training in mental health awareness to help continue open conversations across the company, as proof of how seriously it takes its staff’s psychological welfare.   Mental illness has long been considered something of a taboo subject within the building industry. By bringing the issue to light through its education and training initiatives, BriggsAmasco is doing all it can to safeguard its employees’ peace of mind. Visit:https://briggsamasco.co.uk/
    145 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Figures show one-in-six construction-based workers suffers from a form of mental illness. Even more alarming is the statistic that reveals suicide kills more people in the building sector than falls from height writes Steph Palmer, BriggsAmasco Training Officer. It’s also reported that two construction workers reportedly take their own life each day. Such distressing data highlights the urgent need for roofing companies and the industry as a whole to educate employees and ensure they have the best possible support in order to recognise mental stress symptoms in themselves and colleagues. In doing so, they will be taking a vital first step to making a full recovery from the debilitating effects of anxiety and depression.  Journey As a company, BriggsAmasco is facilitating an environment that encourages, where reasonably possible, improved mental health amongst employees. This journey began in 2017 when a workshop was staged as part of the company’s annual Health and Safety forum. It was held on behalf of contract-related staff and subcontractors in order to steer individuals seeking guidance towards the appropriate mental health support. Feedback from employees who attended the workshop was extremely positive. This was particularly encouraging, as BriggsAmasco aims to create an environment and culture where staff feel comfortable discussing their psychological state, whether it is good or bad.  Employers should take into account the fact that not all workers feel comfortable raising such issues with their manager, whereas others will view it as the best avenue to getting help. Listening to workers and addressing their specific needs is vital. Any staff member that is not comfortable speaking to a BriggsAmasco representative has access to the company’s Employee Assistance Programme that is 100% confidential and deals with anything from mental health issues to financial or legal problems they may be experiencing. New employees are issued with information cards, highlighting external organisations – The Lighthouse Club, Building Mental Health – which provide support to the construction community and their families. Mental health initiative BriggsAmasco hosts each new employee at its Birmingham head office for a two-day induction that includes a presentation and discussion on its mental health strategy, devised to ensure each employee has access to at least one mental health first aider on site and within its offices. Two members of BriggsAmasco staff are Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) trained and available to deliver the courses throughout the business. Since March 2019, the company has trained 35 staff as mental health first aiders; a figure that will increase in the following year. The company’s board of directors will also undergo training in mental health awareness to help continue open conversations across the company, as proof of how seriously it takes its staff’s psychological welfare.   Mental illness has long been considered something of a taboo subject within the building industry. By bringing the issue to light through its education and training initiatives, BriggsAmasco is doing all it can to safeguard its employees’ peace of mind. Visit:https://briggsamasco.co.uk/
    Jul 19, 2019 145
  • 02 Jul 2019
    The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published the BS 6229: 2018 - flat roofs with continuously supported flexible waterproof covering - code of practice – writes Martin Bidewell, Head of Technical and Product Management for Sika Roofing .   The latest guidelines, which were published in November, contain a number of changes in relation to general good practice guidance, updated terminology and definitions for flat roofs. These include an update of the previous definition for a “vapour control layer” to an “air and vapour control layer” (AVCL), as they perform two important functions. Changes now recommend avoiding the traditional cold roof construction, where the insulation is on the underside or cold side of the deck, due to the difficulty in forming an effective AVCL, cross ventilation and the subsequent increased risk of condensation. An additional “breather layer” is now shown over the insulation to provide an external air-leakage barrier and to help protect the insulation against any detrimental environmental factors. More specific reference on the minimum design and finished falls in formed gutters and a new definition for “zero falls” (roof slope between 0 and 1:80 with no back falls or ponding) is also now included. A small relaxation to minimum upstand heights at door thresholds to balconies and terraces only is adopted (following NHBC guidance) to allow designers to meet the Building Regulations for level access. For all other abutments, the waterproofing should still be terminated a minimum of 150mm from the finished roof level. Updated advice is available for the thermal design of inverted roofs, having now obtained improved practical experience of the actual performance of inverted roofs incorporating a water flow reducing layer (WFRL), designed to reduce the ‘cooling effect’ from rainwater. Interstitial condensation is covered in detail under its own standard, BS 5250, so has been removed from this standard. However, the updated code of practice does advise minimum thermal values for heated buildings (0.35W/m2K) are achieved at any point, to avoid surface condensation, all as per legislation guidance. Although it is anticipated many of the above mentioned amendments will take time to become established industry practice Martin Bidewell, Sika’s Head of Technical and Product Management, said those within the building sector should now be familiarising themselves with the code and following this updated guidance. He said: “Manufacturers, specifiers and the like should be obtaining copies of the standard. People need to understand what the detailed changes are and the affect it might have on our buildings. From here on in, companies should be doing their utmost to ensure all new designs incorporate the latest recommendations.” The code relating to flat roofs with continuously supported coverings was previously updated in 2003. Martin said the new guidelines provide more clarity for users. “The latest guidelines are more defined and help eliminate some of the grey areas that existed within the previous code,” he said. “The 2003 version really was an old standard, therefore the 2018 code brings it into line with the latest Building Regulations and other codes of practice. In my opinion, the latest guidelines are more streamlined and easier to understand, which can only be a good thing.” “The guidelines are vital to successful flat roofing,” Martin added. “The standard sets out the basics of how to properly design a flat roof. There will always be instances when the guidelines cannot be adhered to completely, particularly when the project involves the refurbishment of an existing roof. However, there should be no excuse to ignore the code in new-build scenarios. The BS 6229 code of practice is the go-to flat-roofing document, and along with relevant trade association guidance, should form the minimum standards the industry is looking to achieve for every roofing project.” For copies of BS 6229: 2018, visit: shop.bsigroup.com  
    235 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published the BS 6229: 2018 - flat roofs with continuously supported flexible waterproof covering - code of practice – writes Martin Bidewell, Head of Technical and Product Management for Sika Roofing .   The latest guidelines, which were published in November, contain a number of changes in relation to general good practice guidance, updated terminology and definitions for flat roofs. These include an update of the previous definition for a “vapour control layer” to an “air and vapour control layer” (AVCL), as they perform two important functions. Changes now recommend avoiding the traditional cold roof construction, where the insulation is on the underside or cold side of the deck, due to the difficulty in forming an effective AVCL, cross ventilation and the subsequent increased risk of condensation. An additional “breather layer” is now shown over the insulation to provide an external air-leakage barrier and to help protect the insulation against any detrimental environmental factors. More specific reference on the minimum design and finished falls in formed gutters and a new definition for “zero falls” (roof slope between 0 and 1:80 with no back falls or ponding) is also now included. A small relaxation to minimum upstand heights at door thresholds to balconies and terraces only is adopted (following NHBC guidance) to allow designers to meet the Building Regulations for level access. For all other abutments, the waterproofing should still be terminated a minimum of 150mm from the finished roof level. Updated advice is available for the thermal design of inverted roofs, having now obtained improved practical experience of the actual performance of inverted roofs incorporating a water flow reducing layer (WFRL), designed to reduce the ‘cooling effect’ from rainwater. Interstitial condensation is covered in detail under its own standard, BS 5250, so has been removed from this standard. However, the updated code of practice does advise minimum thermal values for heated buildings (0.35W/m2K) are achieved at any point, to avoid surface condensation, all as per legislation guidance. Although it is anticipated many of the above mentioned amendments will take time to become established industry practice Martin Bidewell, Sika’s Head of Technical and Product Management, said those within the building sector should now be familiarising themselves with the code and following this updated guidance. He said: “Manufacturers, specifiers and the like should be obtaining copies of the standard. People need to understand what the detailed changes are and the affect it might have on our buildings. From here on in, companies should be doing their utmost to ensure all new designs incorporate the latest recommendations.” The code relating to flat roofs with continuously supported coverings was previously updated in 2003. Martin said the new guidelines provide more clarity for users. “The latest guidelines are more defined and help eliminate some of the grey areas that existed within the previous code,” he said. “The 2003 version really was an old standard, therefore the 2018 code brings it into line with the latest Building Regulations and other codes of practice. In my opinion, the latest guidelines are more streamlined and easier to understand, which can only be a good thing.” “The guidelines are vital to successful flat roofing,” Martin added. “The standard sets out the basics of how to properly design a flat roof. There will always be instances when the guidelines cannot be adhered to completely, particularly when the project involves the refurbishment of an existing roof. However, there should be no excuse to ignore the code in new-build scenarios. The BS 6229 code of practice is the go-to flat-roofing document, and along with relevant trade association guidance, should form the minimum standards the industry is looking to achieve for every roofing project.” For copies of BS 6229: 2018, visit: shop.bsigroup.com  
    Jul 02, 2019 235

  • 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 550
  • 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 647
  • 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 1161
  • G-Cloud 11 enables cloud service providers – such as GroupBC – to offer digital, contract-based facilities to public sector organisations, by ensuring suppliers are compliant with, and have met the standards laid out in the G-Cloud framework . Launched in 2012, the initiative has done well to expedite and ease the procurement process, radically changing the route to market for Government departments, agencies, local authorities and education establishments. Divided into three ‘lots’ – cloud hosting, cloud software and cloud support – GroupBC, under the registered name Business Collaborator Ltd), entered into the cloud software (SaaS) category and was once again successful in its application. The G-Cloud service enables GroupBC to continue delivering their leading Project to Asset Information Management Common Data Environment (PIM / AIM CDE) for Clients wanting to securely digitise their estate in order to optimize performance. Speaking on its success, Stuart Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at GroupBC said: “We’re delighted to have again been successful on the G-Cloud framework. In previous years we have been selected by prominent organisations such as Highways England and most recently, University of Birmingham, and look forward to working with more customers who recognise and are enthusiastic about the benefits of digital technologies, and in particular, how the BC CDE underpins the ‘golden thread’ of information throughout their assets lifecycle.” Visit:https://www.digitalmarketplace.service.gov.uk/g-cloud/services/450429126643230
    Jul 31, 2019 75
  • Winners of the 2019 Single Ply Roofing Association (SPRA) Awards were announced on Thursday, June 13th during a ceremony held at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire. Two projects completed using Sika-Trocal roofing solutions were ‘Highly-Commended’ by industry judges. IPC Church in Ealing, west London, a complex roof installation project carried out by Ithaca Roofing using Sika-Trocal detailing, was ‘Highly Commended for Best Detailing’. Additionally, Lagland Street, a new-build residential development in Poole, Dorset received ‘Highly Commended Best New Build’. The project saw contractors, Volsen, install Sika-Trocal SGK 1.5mm membrane to a mansard roof as part of a system including Sika-Trocal S-Vap 5000E (VCL), and Trocal InnoFix 100mm insulation. Richard Ptiman at Sika-Trocal, said: “The commendations are a wonderful validation of our quality roofing solutions. In conjunction with the superb work carried out by both contractors, we are extremely proud to have received recognition at these esteemed awards.” Sika was one of a number of sponsors to support the 2019 SPRA Awards, the fifth time it has been staged.
    Jul 10, 2019 98
  • Designed by Grimshaw Architects, and containing striking architectural metalwork manufactured and installed by SAS International, London Bridge station was the ‘natural winner’; commended for its sustainability, ingenuity and modest grandeur. Judges praised all those involved in the design and installation, using the project’s superior design and delivery as an example of construction at its very finest. The judges celebrated Grimshaw’s original design, explaining it ‘reconnects the tissue of the city’, in what has now become a core civic environment for London’s population. Speaking on SAS International’s crucial involvement in the London Bridge station project, Construction Director, Rik Lenney said: “We are delighted London Bridge station has won another incredible accolade. An outstanding achievement for all those involved”.   Grimshaw Architects were also recipients of the ‘Practice of the Year’ award at the AJ100 ceremony. The UK’s largest architecture awards, the annual AJ100 awards honour excellence in architecture. This year’s ceremony was attended by over 500 architects, clients and industry figures, in what was a jubilant evening for all.  
    Jun 25, 2019 193
  • The Melody Gardens and Corporation Road projects were designed to increase the number of available affordable homes in Salford. Watson Homes carried out the work on both developments, which were built on behalf of Places for People and ForHousing. For Melody Gardens it involved the building of a four-storey block comprising 48 apartments; nine two-storey houses, and a bungalow. The properties were being built on a 0.4-hectare site once occupied by a Catholic church. Due to the superb reputation of its products and service, Recticel was selected to supply the development’s cavity wall and ground floor insulation. As part of Recticel’s quality PIR range, Eurothane GP, a low-thermal conductivity panel, provided Melody Gardens’ ground floor insulation. With a low-thermal conductivity of 0.022W/mK, the Eurothane GP panel’s dimensional stability and super-flat surface help create homes which excel in terms of comfort and wellbeing. Such a solution is crucial for multiple-occupancy buildings where the risk of damp and increased noise levels is greater than single occupancies. For the buildings’ walls, Eurowall Cavity was installed. The closed-cell, rigid polyisocyanurate foam board helps regulate temperature to create a warm and even interior climate. The use of a residual 50mm clear cavity means Eurowall Cavity may be used in any exposure zone. It’s estimated the Melody Gardens building project will be completed in November 2019. Eurothane GP and Eurowall Cavity were also used as respective floor and wall insulation for the Corporation Gardens project. A total of 2,525m2 of insulation was installed during the development carried out by Watson Homes. It comprises 18, one-bed and 15, two-bed apartments. The easy usability of both products proved essential in ensuring contractors were able to meet the client’s strict deadline and complete building works to the highest specification in May 2018. Mike Watson, Construction Director at Watson Homes, said: “Recticel’s high-quality products were essential to ensuring the fabric of both developments was fitted with insulation that will fulfil the occupants’ long-term domestic needs. In terms of installation, the panels’ easy-fit properties made quicker, lighter work of a potentially challenging project.” The durability and thermal performance facilitated by Eurothane GP and Eurowall Cavity panels will help create damp-free and moisture-free interiors at Melody Gardens and Corporation Road. It will result in these developments becoming a welcome and much-valued addition to Salford’s social housing portfolio. Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    Aug 05, 2019 54
  • Located a tranquil distance away from Portsmouth Harbour and a mere 120-minute drive from central London, the Ordnance Yard development in Gosport, Hampshire was delivered by Elite Homes and designed to take the breath away. It features nine, ultra-modern, luxury homes which not only reflect the proud heritage of their surroundings; in terms of style, comfort and sustainability they are dream-living made reality. Ordnance Yard, which resides on the banks of the Priddy’s Hard peninsula, was born following the regeneration of a listed, 200-year-old former munitions depot. It led to a superb selection of contemporary homes being built within enormous blast walls once occupied by shell-filling and emptying rooms which powered Britain’s Victorian and wartime armouries. Sustainably-built using local materials and contractors, these thermally-efficient, open-fronted properties are a metal-clad reminder of the site’s naval heritage and a splendorous innovation in themselves. However, the two elevated houses which bookend the development are its architectural tour-de-force. Clad in a lighter, metal grey, the striking former Trotyl melting room structures appear to symbolise the bold ambition that fuelled the beautiful transformation of this once barren site. Although separated from Portsmouth’s bustling centre by a relatively narrow stretch of water - Forton Lake, an inter-tidal site of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Protection area for birds - Ordnance Yard is a world away from the bump and grind of everyday urban life. The site lies within the Priddy’s Hard Conservation Wildlife Area. From the peninsula’s peaceful shore a seagull’s cry or the muffled bellow of a ship’s horn, as it passes far on the horizon, evoke a tantalisingly-diametric sense of belonging and escape. For this is a place to live, relax, explore and discover; befitting of the modern mantra for residential environments which enhance the health and well-being of occupants. As well as bearing an inspiring aesthetic, the homes are a benchmark for comfortable, sustainable living. Each exceeds building regulation levels for energy performance due to a plethora of carbon-limiting features. An 8kw-capactiy air source heat pump is installed within each property along with windows specifically designed for solar gain. Expert design, augmented by quality workmanship and materials ensure low-level, U-value performance and excellent airtight readings are upheld throughout each of the nine homes.  A standalone development, Ordnance Yard is nonetheless the instigator for the wider regeneration of the Priddy’s Hard site. Future plans include the restoration of other buildings to create more homes as well as an armed forces museum and a gin distillery As Priddy’s Hard gradually returns to life, it’s anticipated many jobs and much investment will follow. As the game changer for the area’s long-term emergence, Ordnance Yard is an exemplar of how architectural vision can be applied to spectacular effect in creating daring, desirable housing developments that live comfortably alongside Britain’s industrial past. Visit: http://elitehomesltd.co.uk/
    Jun 27, 2019 139
  • One of Scotland’s largest regeneration projects, Quartermile is located on the historic 19-acre former site of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Masterplanned by Architects, Foster + Partners, Quartermile is one of the largest and most comprehensive regeneration schemes in Scotland. Combining new build with selective refurbishment. The development provides over 1,000 apartments along with 370,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation, 65,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space and seven acres of open landscaping. SIDERISE was approached by Edinburgh based façade specialists Charles Henshaw & Sons for its technical expertise in acoustics to find a bespoke solution that would meet the acoustic performance criteria requirements for Quartermile’s Q20 - Q25 apartment buildings, all of which feature curtain walling. The principal challenge was to achieve an on-site test value in excess of the 53dB DnT,w requirement for Building Regulations in Scotland. The target was 56dB DnT,w. For Henshaw this meant that the façade system, a potential weak point for flanking sound transmission, needed to achieve between 61-66dB Dnf,w flanking via the façade, past the floor slab areas, to exceed building regulations and provide the architect, client and project noise consultant RMP with a solution that offered high acoustic performance and a quality build.  Commenting on the collaborative working relationship with SIDERISE, Design Director Donald Fraser at Henshaw said: “We had very informative and lengthy discussions with Mike Carrick of SIDERISE, who helped us in achieving a far better detail at the slab edge, which not only met with the approval of RMP, it also proved to be the optimum solution.” SIDERISE recommended using its CW-FS 120 curtain wall firestop along with their AB10 acoustic matting solutionand CVB/C10 cavity barrier solution. Used to improve floor-to-floor acoustic performance and form a simple, high performance sound barrier, the acoustic matt was held up with 40mm x 20mm x 1.6mm galvanised angles to stop it sinking. SIDERISE mullion inserts were also specified to further increase the acoustic performance at the critical mullion detail.  “This comprehensive floor detail from SIDERISE has been used at Quartermile to good effect, with all the test data showing it passed and indeed exceeded the target ratio. It’s also extremely quick and easy to install,” added Donald Fraser. Involved in projects throughout the world and having manufactured acoustic and fire insulation products for more than 40 years, SIDERISE offers a large range of tried and tested product enhancements specifically developed for the façade industry. Designed to reduce vertical and horizontal sound transmission in curtain wall buildings, this range includes a choice of effective and proven sound reduction solutions that deal with all common sound path problems and are frequently used to assist in reducing flanking transmission between adjacent internal areas. Visit www.siderise.com
    May 21, 2019 140
  • Gary will oversee the order and despatch operation at VJ Technology’s headquarters in Ashford, Kent. He will manage 30 staff, compromising three supervisors and a team of ‘picking and packing’ operatives. Gary commented, “This is a new and exciting role, which I’m delighted to have taken on. VJ Technology is a growing brand within the construction sector and I’m looking forward to playing a part in its future success.” Prior to joining VJ Technology, Gary was General Manager at the Aylesford office of delivery firm DPD UK. His logistics-based career has also included senior roles at TNT and the Royal Mail. His experience will be critical as VJ Technology is in the process of installing a new state of the art warehouse management system. Designed to optimise orders operations, this transition to a digital-based service, which is expected to be completed by August, will be one of Gary’s initial tasks.    “The management system will facilitate a huge change in the way VJ Technology processes orders,” Gary said. “I’m here to lead staff through the new phase and ensure they have all the support they need. It’s a big challenge for us all, but one we’re well-equipped to meet.  The warehouse management system is another VJ Technology initiative to further streamline our superb customer service offering.”
    May 21, 2019 195
  • FBP joined the Single Ply Roofing Association in September 2016 as part of an initiative to include EPDM manufacturers and ensure that SPRA was fully representative and driving quality across the whole of the single ply roofing sector. John said “I am very pleased to have been voted onto the SPRA Council by fellow membrane manufacturer members. I am looking forward to supporting SPRA activities and driving its initiatives to create a more productive and commercially successful construction sector. I am particularly interested in how we attract new talent into the single ply sector, raise awareness of SPRA with stakeholders, and ensure that we lead the roofing industry as an influential and effective voice.” John has 27 years’ experience in the construction industry, initially working as a charted architect and most recently as the General Manager of Firestone Building Products UK and Ireland. As well as having an understanding of the key factors behind design and specification of building elements in the context of the complete building; John has gained a full understanding of how roofing components are developed, marketed, technically supported and sold into the various supply chains through his various roles working for a building product manufacturer. Martyn Holloway, SPRA Chair said “I am very pleased to welcome John onto SPRA Council. His depth of knowledge and determination to improve the sector and attract new talent will be invaluable”. Cathie Clarke, CEO said “I am delighted that John is joining the leadership team. He will play an important role helping to drive our business plan and representing the EPDM sector on the SPRA Council. John joins Ian Muddiman (SIKA), Mike Crook (SIG D&T) and Steve Downey (DANOSA) as the four Membrane Representatives on the 12-strong SPRA Council. Their collective experience, enthusiasm & knowledge is a great asset to SPRA and has been a key element in the growth in influence of this dedicated and focussed specialist trade association”.Want to find out more about SPRA ? Visit: www.spra.co.uk -
    Mar 26, 2019 233
  • With more than 20 years’ construction-based sales and development experience to call upon, Donna is perfectly suited to the role. She joins Sika from Building Innovation Ltd where she held the position as Key Account Management for roofing and tapered insulation. Donna, who will be working with Area Technical Managers and the applications team, said: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for me. Sika-Trocal is a leading light in the roofing industry and renowned as an innovator of high-quality solutions. I hope my experience will prove beneficial and further the company’s superb service offering.” Donna commenced her appointment with Sika-Trocal in February. “The chance to work for such a high-profile employer as Sika proved too great to resist,” she added. “It offers a huge, but very rewarding challenge. I’m looking forward to meeting my new colleagues and taking this next valuable step in my career. I’m particularly excited about being involved with the Bombardier and Rock Roofing projects and hope to hit the ground running.” Outside of the workplace, Donna cites her hobbies as walking and spending time with family and her dog. She said having the desire to improve personal and professional skills is key to career success. “Forging excellent account relationships and possessing good industry knowledge are traits I like to think have helped me progress in my chosen field,” she said. “It sounds old-fashioned, but I truly believe success is built on hard work and a willingness to learn.”
    Mar 14, 2019 295