• 20 Jul 2018
    Architects’ love of curtain wall cladding for its flexibility, durability and weather resistance has led to it being the external skin of choice for high-rise buildings across the globe. These external finishes are generally constructions of aluminium and glass, and whilst they are lightweight and durable, passive fire protection and preventing the spread of potentially life-threatening fire and smoke from one part of the construction to another can be quite a challenge. Fires in high-rise buildings generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to only one room. When the gap at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke will spread vertically to higher floors. Addressing these linear gaps by properly installing firestops maintains the floor’s fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related deaths in the upper floors of the building. The width of these gaps can be quite wide to accommodate service movement and other design parameters. Sealing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartment floor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable and sometimes quite wide, therefore the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability - compression and recovery - to accommodate serviceability movement. What is critical is the firestop system must do this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartment floor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rise above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features - density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression - which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, the Certifire-approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits.The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the linear gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls both horizontally and vertically. The systems offer tested fire rating options ranging from 60 minutes to five hours and can accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Designability The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative wind loads as well as occupational live loads. These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, and where fixing brackets are required, these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third-party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and façade is often a weak point acoustically. Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Fire and smoke seal At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers, recently completed at the Dubai Marina in the UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor, Cladtech, with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill linear gaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry-fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors. Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing lifesaving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well-designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit www.siderise.com 
    73 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Architects’ love of curtain wall cladding for its flexibility, durability and weather resistance has led to it being the external skin of choice for high-rise buildings across the globe. These external finishes are generally constructions of aluminium and glass, and whilst they are lightweight and durable, passive fire protection and preventing the spread of potentially life-threatening fire and smoke from one part of the construction to another can be quite a challenge. Fires in high-rise buildings generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to only one room. When the gap at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke will spread vertically to higher floors. Addressing these linear gaps by properly installing firestops maintains the floor’s fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related deaths in the upper floors of the building. The width of these gaps can be quite wide to accommodate service movement and other design parameters. Sealing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartment floor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable and sometimes quite wide, therefore the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability - compression and recovery - to accommodate serviceability movement. What is critical is the firestop system must do this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartment floor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rise above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features - density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression - which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, the Certifire-approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits.The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the linear gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls both horizontally and vertically. The systems offer tested fire rating options ranging from 60 minutes to five hours and can accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Designability The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative wind loads as well as occupational live loads. These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, and where fixing brackets are required, these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third-party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and façade is often a weak point acoustically. Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Fire and smoke seal At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers, recently completed at the Dubai Marina in the UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor, Cladtech, with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill linear gaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry-fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors. Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing lifesaving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well-designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit www.siderise.com 
    Jul 20, 2018 73
  • 18 Jul 2018
    Good quality daylight is a must for all schools and is widely recognised as one of the best ways to improve the happiness and wellbeing of building occupants. It can not only maximise student performance and productivity, but also help lower a building’s energy use. While natural lighting should always be the main source of lighting in schools, daylight illumination falls off with distance from windows. This is why rooflights are playing an increasingly important role in the provision of daylight within our schools.   The school environment is critical for promoting the wellbeing and resilience of children.  After all, children spend more than 7,800 hours at school throughout their education and a large amount of time in the classroom. Studies have shown that students felt at their best under rooflight or natural lighting, whilst teachers appreciate the low glare, good colour rendition and good behaviour demonstrated under the conditions created by rooflights. Daylighting the interior environment has a direct and positive impact on student and teacher performance. A study released by the Herschong Mahone Group, Daylighting in Schools, looked at the effect of daylighting and human performance. Analysing maths and reading test scores for more than 21,000 students from elementary schools in different regions of the western United States, the results found that throughout one year, students with the most daylight in their classrooms progressed 20% faster in maths and 26% faster in reading, compared to students who had less natural daylight in their classrooms. The pressure on schools due to the combination of shrinking budgets and ever-changing teaching requirements has meant that teaching spaces need to be flexible and adaptable. By introducing rooflights, including domes, vaults, pitched skylights or panel glazing systems, manufacturers such as Brett Martin Daylight Systems can help specifiers deliver educational spaces that encourage learning, concentration and positive student behavior, helping to meet the specific needs of each school project. Daylight dividends According to The Department for Education Building Design Bulletin 90, ‘The school designer should assume that daylight will be the prime means of lighting when it is available’. With daylight considered a fundamental design criterion, rooflights can help maximise the transmission of natural light to the interior of a school. Correct use of natural light can help achieve BREEAM credits for Health and Wellbeing – including daylighting and glare control – as well as Energy Saving. An important consideration when specifying rooflights is ensuring compliance with the differing national regulatory frameworks. For example, when meeting the requirements of Part L 2013, the minimum performance standard for rooflights is 2.2W/m²K, which means all rooflights should be at least triple skin. For a building to meet its CO2 emission targets, however, specifying rooflights with a U-Value of 1.8 W/m²K - to match the performance of the rooflights in the Notional Building - is recommended. Installing 15% of the roof area in rooflights is a practical solution to ensure the lighting levels within the building are adequate and will reduce the artificial lighting requirement and energy use, which in turn reduces a building’s CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the passive solar gain achieved can provide free heat to the building. In addition to new build construction, architects and designers refurbishing and upgrading many older school buildings can reap the benefits of rooflights. Brett Martin Daylight Systems has offered guidance and advice to specifiers wanting to transform courtyards into classrooms, provide canopies and covered walkways, replace existing rooflights and develop bespoke daylight solutions for halls and circulation areas, leisure facilities and classrooms according to each project. Seeing the light For an inspiring, new academy in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham, a continuous vault rooflight system and glass domes from Brett Martin Daylight Systems have helped to deliver exceptional levels of diffused daylight into communal areas of the school. Built as part of the Priority School Building Programme and serving approximately 800 students, the new ARK Kings Academy has replaced a previously outdated school building. The rooflights package included the Marvault system which provided the optimum combination of high light transmission and diffusion. Glazed in 16mm structured polycarbonate, the Marvaults could be easily assembled into runs of more than 23 metres in length. The economic, simple-to-fit, barrel vault system complemented the new facility’s high quality external aesthetic. In addition, the sleek and modern styling of Mardome Glass, a flat glass rooflight, will further maximise natural daylight into areas where windows cannot reach. “We have partnered with local authorities, architects and schools on a significant number of school projects across the UK and Ireland,” commented Tony Isaac, National Commercial Sales Manager at Brett Martin Daylight Systems. “Our technical advisors can provide expert, impartial advice on the design, specification and installation of rooflights and are on hand to advise on the regulatory demands for daylighting the school of the future.” Lighting plays an important part in any building, and in schools the lighting design should enable students and staff to carry out their particular activities easily and comfortably in attractive and stimulating surroundings. In addition to improving the energy performance of the school building, rooflights can be fundamental to ensuring that attention, concentration and overall pupil behaviour is maximised to enhance academic performance. Visit: http://www.brettmartin.com
    82 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Good quality daylight is a must for all schools and is widely recognised as one of the best ways to improve the happiness and wellbeing of building occupants. It can not only maximise student performance and productivity, but also help lower a building’s energy use. While natural lighting should always be the main source of lighting in schools, daylight illumination falls off with distance from windows. This is why rooflights are playing an increasingly important role in the provision of daylight within our schools.   The school environment is critical for promoting the wellbeing and resilience of children.  After all, children spend more than 7,800 hours at school throughout their education and a large amount of time in the classroom. Studies have shown that students felt at their best under rooflight or natural lighting, whilst teachers appreciate the low glare, good colour rendition and good behaviour demonstrated under the conditions created by rooflights. Daylighting the interior environment has a direct and positive impact on student and teacher performance. A study released by the Herschong Mahone Group, Daylighting in Schools, looked at the effect of daylighting and human performance. Analysing maths and reading test scores for more than 21,000 students from elementary schools in different regions of the western United States, the results found that throughout one year, students with the most daylight in their classrooms progressed 20% faster in maths and 26% faster in reading, compared to students who had less natural daylight in their classrooms. The pressure on schools due to the combination of shrinking budgets and ever-changing teaching requirements has meant that teaching spaces need to be flexible and adaptable. By introducing rooflights, including domes, vaults, pitched skylights or panel glazing systems, manufacturers such as Brett Martin Daylight Systems can help specifiers deliver educational spaces that encourage learning, concentration and positive student behavior, helping to meet the specific needs of each school project. Daylight dividends According to The Department for Education Building Design Bulletin 90, ‘The school designer should assume that daylight will be the prime means of lighting when it is available’. With daylight considered a fundamental design criterion, rooflights can help maximise the transmission of natural light to the interior of a school. Correct use of natural light can help achieve BREEAM credits for Health and Wellbeing – including daylighting and glare control – as well as Energy Saving. An important consideration when specifying rooflights is ensuring compliance with the differing national regulatory frameworks. For example, when meeting the requirements of Part L 2013, the minimum performance standard for rooflights is 2.2W/m²K, which means all rooflights should be at least triple skin. For a building to meet its CO2 emission targets, however, specifying rooflights with a U-Value of 1.8 W/m²K - to match the performance of the rooflights in the Notional Building - is recommended. Installing 15% of the roof area in rooflights is a practical solution to ensure the lighting levels within the building are adequate and will reduce the artificial lighting requirement and energy use, which in turn reduces a building’s CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the passive solar gain achieved can provide free heat to the building. In addition to new build construction, architects and designers refurbishing and upgrading many older school buildings can reap the benefits of rooflights. Brett Martin Daylight Systems has offered guidance and advice to specifiers wanting to transform courtyards into classrooms, provide canopies and covered walkways, replace existing rooflights and develop bespoke daylight solutions for halls and circulation areas, leisure facilities and classrooms according to each project. Seeing the light For an inspiring, new academy in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham, a continuous vault rooflight system and glass domes from Brett Martin Daylight Systems have helped to deliver exceptional levels of diffused daylight into communal areas of the school. Built as part of the Priority School Building Programme and serving approximately 800 students, the new ARK Kings Academy has replaced a previously outdated school building. The rooflights package included the Marvault system which provided the optimum combination of high light transmission and diffusion. Glazed in 16mm structured polycarbonate, the Marvaults could be easily assembled into runs of more than 23 metres in length. The economic, simple-to-fit, barrel vault system complemented the new facility’s high quality external aesthetic. In addition, the sleek and modern styling of Mardome Glass, a flat glass rooflight, will further maximise natural daylight into areas where windows cannot reach. “We have partnered with local authorities, architects and schools on a significant number of school projects across the UK and Ireland,” commented Tony Isaac, National Commercial Sales Manager at Brett Martin Daylight Systems. “Our technical advisors can provide expert, impartial advice on the design, specification and installation of rooflights and are on hand to advise on the regulatory demands for daylighting the school of the future.” Lighting plays an important part in any building, and in schools the lighting design should enable students and staff to carry out their particular activities easily and comfortably in attractive and stimulating surroundings. In addition to improving the energy performance of the school building, rooflights can be fundamental to ensuring that attention, concentration and overall pupil behaviour is maximised to enhance academic performance. Visit: http://www.brettmartin.com
    Jul 18, 2018 82
  • 16 Jul 2018
    The roofing industry has undergone huge changes over the past decade, writes Shay Casey, Senior Sales Manager at Sika-Trocal. Technology has inspired its growth, with specification and design innovation keeping step with dynamic project visions. BIM modelling, digital presentations and even refurbishment surveys can be carried out using a drone or virtual programmes. Technical advancement has led to a marketplace brimming with new products and systems. Greater choice has led to increased competition, with contractors offering complete roofing and cladding packages – a major change in the specification and application process. The introduction of a wide range of new membranes has seen contractors adapt specifications to ensure the most cost-effective installation; an option not available to architects or clients who no longer have the power to uphold the original specification. This can result in them having to accept products of inferior quality, which isn’t ideal. Today’s roofing contractors need to be more financially aware than ever before, due to the rise of extended payment terms and retentions which have proven a huge burden to buyers and suppliers. Firms throughout the construction have also had to adapt to new ways of self-marketing. In previous years, a simple advert in the local newspaper or Yellow Pages was thought of as a most effective promotional tool. The internet, and more particularly, social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. Rather than rely on repeat business or word of mouth recommendations, a hefty LinkedIn or Twitter presence can spread positive word of a contractor’s service offering in a matter of seconds. Environmental concerns have also led to a welter of roofing industry changes, with the introduction of green and cool roofs, solar panels and further developments in roof lighting. The Green Guide has led to vast improvements in recycling, manufacturing footprint and roofing performance in terms of thermal values and sustainability. The knock-on effect of the drive for a ‘cleaner’ project delivery means sales teams not only have to be fluent in their products’ properties, an understanding of their compatibility with new technologies and environmental standards is also required.  Virtual reality has also revolutionised our personal interactivity. From simulated flight control and fairground rides, to historical battlefields and exotic holiday destinations, a world of artificial exploration is available for those with a taste for risk-averse exhilaration. It’s likely virtual reality will also prove useful to the roofing sector in the coming years, allowing stakeholders involved in a project to visualise how it will look when completed. This will help minimise misunderstandings between parties which can lead to frustrating, costly delays for the client. New technologies should – in theory at least – make for more rapid construction,with contractors able to tailor projects to a client’s specific needs. It might be that technology will replace people skills in certain areas of construction. In which case, with digital wizardry perhaps taking care of a project’s more technical aspects, it might mean the industry’s future workforce will merely require a broad range of abilities and knowledge to remain employable. Since I joined Sika-Trocal in 2004 my licensed contractors have installed more than 2million linear metres of Trocal membrane, which equates to more than 1300 miles of material – enough to cover the length of the GB and back again. During those 14 years my customer base has grown and I have thrived on the competition the market has imposed. Each day is a challenge to gain specification for Trocal products and our comprehensive range of services and accessories which include insulation, fixings and rooflights. Over the coming decade the roofing industry will doubtless face many challenges, and as practices and systems change, members will be required to adjust accordingly. With the support of trade associations such as SPRA and NFRC, the future should hold no fear for those involved in the roofing sector. Here’s to my next 2 million linear metres. Visit: http://gbr.sika-trocal.sika.com
    84 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The roofing industry has undergone huge changes over the past decade, writes Shay Casey, Senior Sales Manager at Sika-Trocal. Technology has inspired its growth, with specification and design innovation keeping step with dynamic project visions. BIM modelling, digital presentations and even refurbishment surveys can be carried out using a drone or virtual programmes. Technical advancement has led to a marketplace brimming with new products and systems. Greater choice has led to increased competition, with contractors offering complete roofing and cladding packages – a major change in the specification and application process. The introduction of a wide range of new membranes has seen contractors adapt specifications to ensure the most cost-effective installation; an option not available to architects or clients who no longer have the power to uphold the original specification. This can result in them having to accept products of inferior quality, which isn’t ideal. Today’s roofing contractors need to be more financially aware than ever before, due to the rise of extended payment terms and retentions which have proven a huge burden to buyers and suppliers. Firms throughout the construction have also had to adapt to new ways of self-marketing. In previous years, a simple advert in the local newspaper or Yellow Pages was thought of as a most effective promotional tool. The internet, and more particularly, social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. Rather than rely on repeat business or word of mouth recommendations, a hefty LinkedIn or Twitter presence can spread positive word of a contractor’s service offering in a matter of seconds. Environmental concerns have also led to a welter of roofing industry changes, with the introduction of green and cool roofs, solar panels and further developments in roof lighting. The Green Guide has led to vast improvements in recycling, manufacturing footprint and roofing performance in terms of thermal values and sustainability. The knock-on effect of the drive for a ‘cleaner’ project delivery means sales teams not only have to be fluent in their products’ properties, an understanding of their compatibility with new technologies and environmental standards is also required.  Virtual reality has also revolutionised our personal interactivity. From simulated flight control and fairground rides, to historical battlefields and exotic holiday destinations, a world of artificial exploration is available for those with a taste for risk-averse exhilaration. It’s likely virtual reality will also prove useful to the roofing sector in the coming years, allowing stakeholders involved in a project to visualise how it will look when completed. This will help minimise misunderstandings between parties which can lead to frustrating, costly delays for the client. New technologies should – in theory at least – make for more rapid construction,with contractors able to tailor projects to a client’s specific needs. It might be that technology will replace people skills in certain areas of construction. In which case, with digital wizardry perhaps taking care of a project’s more technical aspects, it might mean the industry’s future workforce will merely require a broad range of abilities and knowledge to remain employable. Since I joined Sika-Trocal in 2004 my licensed contractors have installed more than 2million linear metres of Trocal membrane, which equates to more than 1300 miles of material – enough to cover the length of the GB and back again. During those 14 years my customer base has grown and I have thrived on the competition the market has imposed. Each day is a challenge to gain specification for Trocal products and our comprehensive range of services and accessories which include insulation, fixings and rooflights. Over the coming decade the roofing industry will doubtless face many challenges, and as practices and systems change, members will be required to adjust accordingly. With the support of trade associations such as SPRA and NFRC, the future should hold no fear for those involved in the roofing sector. Here’s to my next 2 million linear metres. Visit: http://gbr.sika-trocal.sika.com
    Jul 16, 2018 84
  • 10 Jul 2018
    Sprinklers do not work. It’s a statement that I have just read and I find myself asking myself ‘really – has someone just said that writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance?’ With all of the evidence about how effective sprinklers are in controlling and extinguishing fires, across virtually every building type from residential to commercial and industrial - I find it astonishing that statements like this are still being made. So what’s the problem with sprinklers? Do they have an identity crisis? Are they misunderstood? I have just read an article in which a former Housing Minister indicated that sprinklers will not work on cooking fires or on electrical fires. Recently we have seen an eminent fellow from RICS suggesting similar issues with sprinklers. I have spoken in numerous meetings on the subject and heard similar. I work for an insurance company and when I mention sprinklers people react by telling me that I would suggest that. The logic being that insurance companies do not want to have major claims and want to limit losses (yes, we do not want to see our clients have major losses and we would like to help them have smaller interruptions). If the avoidance of large claims were the only reason and sprinklers were that ineffective would insurance companies really support their use? Fire and Rescue Services tackle fires across the country every day. They understand the challenges of those fires and the dangers, and the need to control them quickly to avoid loss of life and damage to property, and of course the danger they are exposed to when firefighting. So, if sprinklers are that ineffective why does the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) advocate their use? The NFCC supported a study of sprinklers for Optimal Economics which showed them to 99% effective. This was not an experiment, it was a not based on some staged fire test – it was real life. The study was based on data from our own Fire and Rescue Services up and down the country and fires involving a breadth of different types of buildings and uses. The insurance sector fire statistics show that electrical and cooking fires are the leading causes of fire in the UK. So if sprinklers systems were ineffective how come the research showed that they were 99% effective set against one of the biggest risks? I am an advocate for the use of the sprinklers. I am someone who has worked on issues surrounding fire for 25 years. One thing has always been clear to me though, when I am not sure about a product, system or process I need to ask questions, check the facts and educate myself. When it comes to sprinklers I wish others would do the same – I suspect they may be surprised to find out how they actually work, their effectiveness and that they do work in a remarkably broad set of situations. To put this into context, I have witnessed on numerous occasions people from all walks of life – from construction professional to politicians – being given a sprinkler head and asked if they know how it works. Nine times out of ten the answer is no, and when the principles of a sprinkler is explained there is a look of genuine surprise and intrigue on their faces. It therefore leads to me conclude that sprinklers are one of those things that we take for granted or dismiss with a pinch of salt – those people that understand them see the true benefits of them, or those that don’t understand them all too quickly dismiss them without really being able to justify why. No sprinklers are not sexy. No sprinklers don’t come with lots of apps and widgets. And no, the mechanism for operating sprinklers is simple and effective – but that’s the whole point. They work, they have always worked and as such they will continue to work. Maybe this is part of the problem – we are always looking for the next new things, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is the case with sprinklers – they work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    83 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Sprinklers do not work. It’s a statement that I have just read and I find myself asking myself ‘really – has someone just said that writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance?’ With all of the evidence about how effective sprinklers are in controlling and extinguishing fires, across virtually every building type from residential to commercial and industrial - I find it astonishing that statements like this are still being made. So what’s the problem with sprinklers? Do they have an identity crisis? Are they misunderstood? I have just read an article in which a former Housing Minister indicated that sprinklers will not work on cooking fires or on electrical fires. Recently we have seen an eminent fellow from RICS suggesting similar issues with sprinklers. I have spoken in numerous meetings on the subject and heard similar. I work for an insurance company and when I mention sprinklers people react by telling me that I would suggest that. The logic being that insurance companies do not want to have major claims and want to limit losses (yes, we do not want to see our clients have major losses and we would like to help them have smaller interruptions). If the avoidance of large claims were the only reason and sprinklers were that ineffective would insurance companies really support their use? Fire and Rescue Services tackle fires across the country every day. They understand the challenges of those fires and the dangers, and the need to control them quickly to avoid loss of life and damage to property, and of course the danger they are exposed to when firefighting. So, if sprinklers are that ineffective why does the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) advocate their use? The NFCC supported a study of sprinklers for Optimal Economics which showed them to 99% effective. This was not an experiment, it was a not based on some staged fire test – it was real life. The study was based on data from our own Fire and Rescue Services up and down the country and fires involving a breadth of different types of buildings and uses. The insurance sector fire statistics show that electrical and cooking fires are the leading causes of fire in the UK. So if sprinklers systems were ineffective how come the research showed that they were 99% effective set against one of the biggest risks? I am an advocate for the use of the sprinklers. I am someone who has worked on issues surrounding fire for 25 years. One thing has always been clear to me though, when I am not sure about a product, system or process I need to ask questions, check the facts and educate myself. When it comes to sprinklers I wish others would do the same – I suspect they may be surprised to find out how they actually work, their effectiveness and that they do work in a remarkably broad set of situations. To put this into context, I have witnessed on numerous occasions people from all walks of life – from construction professional to politicians – being given a sprinkler head and asked if they know how it works. Nine times out of ten the answer is no, and when the principles of a sprinkler is explained there is a look of genuine surprise and intrigue on their faces. It therefore leads to me conclude that sprinklers are one of those things that we take for granted or dismiss with a pinch of salt – those people that understand them see the true benefits of them, or those that don’t understand them all too quickly dismiss them without really being able to justify why. No sprinklers are not sexy. No sprinklers don’t come with lots of apps and widgets. And no, the mechanism for operating sprinklers is simple and effective – but that’s the whole point. They work, they have always worked and as such they will continue to work. Maybe this is part of the problem – we are always looking for the next new things, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is the case with sprinklers – they work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    Jul 10, 2018 83
  • 09 Jul 2018
    The introduction of SAS International’s new integrated lighting portfolio will change the terrain of ceiling design. Leading experts in the design and manufacture of metal ceilings, SAS’ commercial office systems offer seamless lighting integration with high performance acoustic control. With 50 years of experience to call upon, SAS International has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to delivering integrated lighting plans to clients. The new lighting portfolio ensures that all angles of a project are accounted for; whether related to design, service, quality, dependability or all of these factors, SAS sets the benchmark for ceiling design in the industry. SAS has performed extensive research into the science and technology of light in order to make its lighting systems efficient and safe. Polar diagrams were used to generate light intensity, enabling clients to predict how the light would work in their office space. As well as light intensity, light quality had to be considered, especially in terms of how the type of light relates to wellbeing. SAS manipulated the spectrum of colours emitted by a given light source (termed as Special Power Distribution) to ensure light selectively highlights certain colours, softening harsher colours and heightening duller ones. Colour relates to wellness, which is a key argument in terms of workplace happiness. SAS researched how particular receptors in our eyes are sensitive to particular colours, including the colour blue. SAS used this insight, which forms the basis of most Circadian Lighting Design strategies, to find the perfect lighting environment for the human eye, ensuring efficiency and safety in the workplace. The launch of its new lighting portfolio brings new revisions to older systems. The well-established SAS330 design features heavily in many commercial buildings, mainly because its unobtrusive aesthetic meets the stringent specification demands of office spaces. SAS has developed the popular design by releasing SAS330i, featuring a fully integrated lighting profile which has all the versatility of SAS330 with a touch more elegance. The system is available in linear and tartan grid forms, combining monolithic design and high performance in equal measure. The SAS330i system was recently installed during a refurbishment at 20 Canada Square, Canary Wharf. In the building’s previous renovation the SAS330 system had been fitted, therefore the client simply desired an upgrade from a product they knew and trusted. SAS330i was the perfect solution as it was the same product but with new LED lighting guaranteed to deliver more than 90% peak light output after 60,000 hours of operation. The new revisions to existing SAS systems showcase how the company is committed to delivering the best, most dependable features to its customers whether new or old. SAS International has made further additions to another trusted system, SAS740. Known as the most versatile of SAS’ linear ceilings, the aluminium system now incorporates lighting to offer an aesthetic entirely different to traditional suspended ceilings. With the same LED light sources as SAS330i, SAS740 is an ideal option for clients who want to put an alternative spin on suspended ceilings. Not only has SAS developed new lighting products, it has researched into the impact light has on the people working in the spaces they create. SAS is committed to bringing the best ceiling design and technology to its customers, where the new lighting portfolio is an unparalleled addition to its multitude of ceiling systems. Visit:  https://sasintgroup.com
    99 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The introduction of SAS International’s new integrated lighting portfolio will change the terrain of ceiling design. Leading experts in the design and manufacture of metal ceilings, SAS’ commercial office systems offer seamless lighting integration with high performance acoustic control. With 50 years of experience to call upon, SAS International has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to delivering integrated lighting plans to clients. The new lighting portfolio ensures that all angles of a project are accounted for; whether related to design, service, quality, dependability or all of these factors, SAS sets the benchmark for ceiling design in the industry. SAS has performed extensive research into the science and technology of light in order to make its lighting systems efficient and safe. Polar diagrams were used to generate light intensity, enabling clients to predict how the light would work in their office space. As well as light intensity, light quality had to be considered, especially in terms of how the type of light relates to wellbeing. SAS manipulated the spectrum of colours emitted by a given light source (termed as Special Power Distribution) to ensure light selectively highlights certain colours, softening harsher colours and heightening duller ones. Colour relates to wellness, which is a key argument in terms of workplace happiness. SAS researched how particular receptors in our eyes are sensitive to particular colours, including the colour blue. SAS used this insight, which forms the basis of most Circadian Lighting Design strategies, to find the perfect lighting environment for the human eye, ensuring efficiency and safety in the workplace. The launch of its new lighting portfolio brings new revisions to older systems. The well-established SAS330 design features heavily in many commercial buildings, mainly because its unobtrusive aesthetic meets the stringent specification demands of office spaces. SAS has developed the popular design by releasing SAS330i, featuring a fully integrated lighting profile which has all the versatility of SAS330 with a touch more elegance. The system is available in linear and tartan grid forms, combining monolithic design and high performance in equal measure. The SAS330i system was recently installed during a refurbishment at 20 Canada Square, Canary Wharf. In the building’s previous renovation the SAS330 system had been fitted, therefore the client simply desired an upgrade from a product they knew and trusted. SAS330i was the perfect solution as it was the same product but with new LED lighting guaranteed to deliver more than 90% peak light output after 60,000 hours of operation. The new revisions to existing SAS systems showcase how the company is committed to delivering the best, most dependable features to its customers whether new or old. SAS International has made further additions to another trusted system, SAS740. Known as the most versatile of SAS’ linear ceilings, the aluminium system now incorporates lighting to offer an aesthetic entirely different to traditional suspended ceilings. With the same LED light sources as SAS330i, SAS740 is an ideal option for clients who want to put an alternative spin on suspended ceilings. Not only has SAS developed new lighting products, it has researched into the impact light has on the people working in the spaces they create. SAS is committed to bringing the best ceiling design and technology to its customers, where the new lighting portfolio is an unparalleled addition to its multitude of ceiling systems. Visit:  https://sasintgroup.com
    Jul 09, 2018 99
  • 06 Jul 2018
    Thanks to innovation in external paints and renders, a building’s façade can be as attractive as it is well protected. Ben Warren, Managing Director at Baumit; the leading building manufacturer of EWI paints and products, considers how the work of researchers and designers has improved colour technology to such an extent exteriors have become not only functional but reflective of the personality of the building. Imagine if we lived in a world where different coloured high-rises dominated the globe’s cityscapes. Or in rural areas where green buildings complement the scenery, intensifying the landscape. Instead of greys and whites, there might be deep turquoises or rich browns and oranges. These striking images seem more suited to a cartoon rather than any real environment. Try and tell a business to paint their building in a forest green and they might not take you as seriously as originally hoped. Unless their business or trade is within the realms of sustainability, horticulture or renewable energy, they might see colour as a way of compromising, rather than enhancing, their business. And this mentality really needs to change, particularly in light of new colour technology. Making colour last Prior to the advent of new colour technologies, colour experts were tasked with the complex process of improving how colour is perceived, especially in terms of longevity. Arguably, some building owners, or businesses who inhabit buildings, hesitate from painting their facades as they believe the colour will fade when exposed to adverse weather conditions and the like. No business wants a drab or tired-looking exterior after six months. Maybe the world would have more faith in colour, if the technology could ensure coloured facades were a sustainable and plausible investment. Luckily enough, the introduction of new colour technology means coloured facades will not be a thing of the future for much longer. Colour technology has developed further than dyes and inks, and now encompasses rigorous testing and measuring of colour quality. These processes evaluate colour quality to make the overall applications long-lasting, high-tech and sophisticated.   There are now products on the market which have been engineered to such a high standard that a red, yellow or green façade will not lose its intensity when exposed to sunlight. This kind of advanced technology will revolutionise the way we paint our buildings, where these new mechanisms will give businesses more confidence in colour choice as they know colour will last. Practicality and performance Colour isn’t simply about aesthetics. Whilst it is important for the new technologies to eliminate colour-fade and ensure colours keep their lustre, colour must also protect and optimise the performance of a building’s façade. Colour technology can now improve a building’s long-term performance without compromising on the colour’s intensity. Highly-engineered acrylic façade paints guarantee excellent coverage without having mucilaginous or sticky consistencies. These specific kinds of paints can be based on mineral binders to increase a wall’s breathability. Furthermore, there are paints designed to reduce water absorption. These paints contain a silicone resin binder, which repels water from the surface. Finally, there are also paints which contain UV resistance properties, acting as a protective barrier to shield a façade from intense sunrays and potential sun damage. If these technologies didn’t seem inventive enough, façade paints are also available in a whole host of colours and effects, including metallic or glitter veneers. When exposed to sunlight these layers illuminate a building, protecting it from the sun in the process. With the assistance of colour technology, colour façades are gaining in momentum, delivering on both aesthetics and performance.   Human factors It is a very well-known fact across the globe that colour has an intrinsic ability to positively affect people’s state of mind. Through colour association, we align blue notes with feelings of tranquillity and yellow shades with optimism and health. Different colours take on different meanings across various cultures; whilst red might mean thrill in more western cultures, it is the sign of death in Africa. Colour is evocative and stimulating, so why aren’t we seeing more colours on our streets when it is scientifically proven to improve our wellbeing?   Colours possess a certain dynamism which, when utilised effectively, emphasise a building’s personality. Drawing on the psychological properties of colour, business owners might paint their façades in a soft-bluey grey to reinforce coolness or intelligence, for instance. Conversely, colours can be combined to create brilliant exteriors which complement a company’s multidimensionality. Duck-egg blue fits perfectly with a bright orange, juxtaposing calmness with a splash of fun and originality. Not only does colour inject vibrancy into a façade, it improves the health and wellbeing of its occupants. Colours make people smile, meaning workers enter their places of work in more productive and happier moods. New colour technology has drawn on the psychological benefits of colour to create exteriors which stimulate the minds of a building’s inhabitants, actively improving employee health wellbeing. Although some might believe colour is more important in interiors rather than exteriors; think on this. Isn’t a building’s exterior the first thing we see? Can exteriors be the first point to create an affect in the beholder? With the assistance of colour technology, exteriors have become just as important as interiors. Colour specialists have created new technologies which ensure colour is both aesthetically-stimulating and practically-efficient. This balance, functionality and appearance, is crucial. Suddenly colour never looked so attractive. Visit: https://www.baumit.co.uk
    111 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Thanks to innovation in external paints and renders, a building’s façade can be as attractive as it is well protected. Ben Warren, Managing Director at Baumit; the leading building manufacturer of EWI paints and products, considers how the work of researchers and designers has improved colour technology to such an extent exteriors have become not only functional but reflective of the personality of the building. Imagine if we lived in a world where different coloured high-rises dominated the globe’s cityscapes. Or in rural areas where green buildings complement the scenery, intensifying the landscape. Instead of greys and whites, there might be deep turquoises or rich browns and oranges. These striking images seem more suited to a cartoon rather than any real environment. Try and tell a business to paint their building in a forest green and they might not take you as seriously as originally hoped. Unless their business or trade is within the realms of sustainability, horticulture or renewable energy, they might see colour as a way of compromising, rather than enhancing, their business. And this mentality really needs to change, particularly in light of new colour technology. Making colour last Prior to the advent of new colour technologies, colour experts were tasked with the complex process of improving how colour is perceived, especially in terms of longevity. Arguably, some building owners, or businesses who inhabit buildings, hesitate from painting their facades as they believe the colour will fade when exposed to adverse weather conditions and the like. No business wants a drab or tired-looking exterior after six months. Maybe the world would have more faith in colour, if the technology could ensure coloured facades were a sustainable and plausible investment. Luckily enough, the introduction of new colour technology means coloured facades will not be a thing of the future for much longer. Colour technology has developed further than dyes and inks, and now encompasses rigorous testing and measuring of colour quality. These processes evaluate colour quality to make the overall applications long-lasting, high-tech and sophisticated.   There are now products on the market which have been engineered to such a high standard that a red, yellow or green façade will not lose its intensity when exposed to sunlight. This kind of advanced technology will revolutionise the way we paint our buildings, where these new mechanisms will give businesses more confidence in colour choice as they know colour will last. Practicality and performance Colour isn’t simply about aesthetics. Whilst it is important for the new technologies to eliminate colour-fade and ensure colours keep their lustre, colour must also protect and optimise the performance of a building’s façade. Colour technology can now improve a building’s long-term performance without compromising on the colour’s intensity. Highly-engineered acrylic façade paints guarantee excellent coverage without having mucilaginous or sticky consistencies. These specific kinds of paints can be based on mineral binders to increase a wall’s breathability. Furthermore, there are paints designed to reduce water absorption. These paints contain a silicone resin binder, which repels water from the surface. Finally, there are also paints which contain UV resistance properties, acting as a protective barrier to shield a façade from intense sunrays and potential sun damage. If these technologies didn’t seem inventive enough, façade paints are also available in a whole host of colours and effects, including metallic or glitter veneers. When exposed to sunlight these layers illuminate a building, protecting it from the sun in the process. With the assistance of colour technology, colour façades are gaining in momentum, delivering on both aesthetics and performance.   Human factors It is a very well-known fact across the globe that colour has an intrinsic ability to positively affect people’s state of mind. Through colour association, we align blue notes with feelings of tranquillity and yellow shades with optimism and health. Different colours take on different meanings across various cultures; whilst red might mean thrill in more western cultures, it is the sign of death in Africa. Colour is evocative and stimulating, so why aren’t we seeing more colours on our streets when it is scientifically proven to improve our wellbeing?   Colours possess a certain dynamism which, when utilised effectively, emphasise a building’s personality. Drawing on the psychological properties of colour, business owners might paint their façades in a soft-bluey grey to reinforce coolness or intelligence, for instance. Conversely, colours can be combined to create brilliant exteriors which complement a company’s multidimensionality. Duck-egg blue fits perfectly with a bright orange, juxtaposing calmness with a splash of fun and originality. Not only does colour inject vibrancy into a façade, it improves the health and wellbeing of its occupants. Colours make people smile, meaning workers enter their places of work in more productive and happier moods. New colour technology has drawn on the psychological benefits of colour to create exteriors which stimulate the minds of a building’s inhabitants, actively improving employee health wellbeing. Although some might believe colour is more important in interiors rather than exteriors; think on this. Isn’t a building’s exterior the first thing we see? Can exteriors be the first point to create an affect in the beholder? With the assistance of colour technology, exteriors have become just as important as interiors. Colour specialists have created new technologies which ensure colour is both aesthetically-stimulating and practically-efficient. This balance, functionality and appearance, is crucial. Suddenly colour never looked so attractive. Visit: https://www.baumit.co.uk
    Jul 06, 2018 111
  • 02 Sep 2016
    In the absence of a crystal ball it is almost impossible to predict how construction companies will fare following the vote to leave the EU… Within days of the vote being announced it was clear that there would be winners and losers and it will probably be a least another six months or so before certainty returns to the market. But it would seem that, for companies willing to grasp the opportunities in Europe’s second largest construction market, the future could look very good indeed and some organisations are predicting that UK manufacturers could do extremely well if they are willing to be bold. The BBA is one such organisation that has identified an unexpected trend in the market and a mood of optimism from companies that believe they can succeed – by simply being better than their competitors – particularly in the areas of quality and excellence. It has long been accepted that a BBA accreditation is a standard of excellence that manufacturers of construction products should aspire to, but there are some who clearly want to go to the next step by driving quality forward still further to leave the competition behind. In short there seems to be a growing number of companies out there prepared to go that extra mile to get the best possible accreditations for their products to ensure that they have a greater advantage in a highly competitive market. There is no doubt that such companies will succeed against a background where building owners and specifiers are not prepared to risk anything but the best and it could be that the BBA has identified a positive move to even greater quality in the marketplace – although it must be emphasised they do not claim to have any definitive answers regarding the future. So it seems, then, that Britain could once again be a byword for quality, and if the BBA is right – then the entire UK construction market stands to benefit – and what’s wrong with that? http://www.bbacerts.co.uk/
    1 Posted by BBA
  • By BBA
    In the absence of a crystal ball it is almost impossible to predict how construction companies will fare following the vote to leave the EU… Within days of the vote being announced it was clear that there would be winners and losers and it will probably be a least another six months or so before certainty returns to the market. But it would seem that, for companies willing to grasp the opportunities in Europe’s second largest construction market, the future could look very good indeed and some organisations are predicting that UK manufacturers could do extremely well if they are willing to be bold. The BBA is one such organisation that has identified an unexpected trend in the market and a mood of optimism from companies that believe they can succeed – by simply being better than their competitors – particularly in the areas of quality and excellence. It has long been accepted that a BBA accreditation is a standard of excellence that manufacturers of construction products should aspire to, but there are some who clearly want to go to the next step by driving quality forward still further to leave the competition behind. In short there seems to be a growing number of companies out there prepared to go that extra mile to get the best possible accreditations for their products to ensure that they have a greater advantage in a highly competitive market. There is no doubt that such companies will succeed against a background where building owners and specifiers are not prepared to risk anything but the best and it could be that the BBA has identified a positive move to even greater quality in the marketplace – although it must be emphasised they do not claim to have any definitive answers regarding the future. So it seems, then, that Britain could once again be a byword for quality, and if the BBA is right – then the entire UK construction market stands to benefit – and what’s wrong with that? http://www.bbacerts.co.uk/
    Sep 02, 2016 1
  • 02 Sep 2016
    Finding themselves priced out of rural areas where they grew up, younger residents are leaving to find housing they can afford. Thanks to new Permitted Development planning laws however disused farm buildings can be transformed into good quality homes for rent or sale, meaning families can stay in the area and an asset is brought back into use for farmers. A mismatch between housing supply and demand in rural areas is forcing many residents to move to cities to find good affordable housing for themselves and their families. A solution which could defuse this demographic time bomb, while also giving disused farm buildings a new lease of life, is being trialled by one company across several farms in Cambridgeshire. In April 2014 the Government confirmed that permitted development rights within the 2012 National Policy Framework would enable change of use of agricultural buildings to residential, flexible (i.e. commercial) or educational use. With many farmers having disused and dilapidated barns or other buildings on their land which are no longer fit for purpose and present a maintenance headache, the potential to turn them into desirable and practical rural family homes and generate income in the process is tempting. In reusing existing building assets the idea is environmentally sustainable as well as being economically sustainable as a new long-term revenue stream for farmers. As one example in Cambridgeshire, contractor Richardson & Peat has been commissioned by AgReserves Ltd which owns farmland across the county to put together a design team to convert under permitted development their semi-derelict barns into high quality homes for rent to local people. Permitted development rules The following rules form a basic guide to developing an agricultural building under permitted development rights:• Developments cannot be larger than 450m² and must fall within existing footprint.• The previous use must be solely agricultural. • The maximum number of separate dwellings on one site is three.• The building cannot be Listed. • No previous permitted developments can have been accepted or built on the same farm.• The site is not in a safety hazard area or site of scientific interest or of military use.• The site complies with any requirements if it falls within a flood zone. • The building will comply with current Building Regulations when constructed. To proceed with taking on this challenge a good architect is essential in understanding not only rural design and planning but also the needs of future occupants. It’s unlikely that an existing barn will be in a condition in order to meet new housing standards in Building Regulations so the adaption of the existing barn must provide a new thermal envelope as a key component to the construction alongside good natural light levels from windows and doors. Structural engineers can also be critical particularly if you are looking at older barns where substantial work is going to be needed to strengthen existing foundations and new and existing floors and walls. Above all the final design should provide a good practical living environment for a family. With this planning option available farm living gives local people wishing to stay in the area an opportunity that would otherwise not be available and it also opens up the possibility for people looking to move back to a rural surrounding from an urban environment. From a farmers prospective it’s crucial that the building is laid out thoughtfully to maximise its asset value as this is a once only application under permitted development rules. The Cambridgeshire project will widen the housing choices for local residents, but could provide a template for other farmers looking to take up the idea which would create a major impact across the UK. From a financial position farmers looking to develop are likely to be given a fair hearing from lenders given that the land is already a free asset and would bring an impressive return on any borrowing, meaning there is a realistic opportunity to turn thousands of obsolete rural buildings into badly-needed homes for future generations.
    1 Posted by Natasha Wills
  • Finding themselves priced out of rural areas where they grew up, younger residents are leaving to find housing they can afford. Thanks to new Permitted Development planning laws however disused farm buildings can be transformed into good quality homes for rent or sale, meaning families can stay in the area and an asset is brought back into use for farmers. A mismatch between housing supply and demand in rural areas is forcing many residents to move to cities to find good affordable housing for themselves and their families. A solution which could defuse this demographic time bomb, while also giving disused farm buildings a new lease of life, is being trialled by one company across several farms in Cambridgeshire. In April 2014 the Government confirmed that permitted development rights within the 2012 National Policy Framework would enable change of use of agricultural buildings to residential, flexible (i.e. commercial) or educational use. With many farmers having disused and dilapidated barns or other buildings on their land which are no longer fit for purpose and present a maintenance headache, the potential to turn them into desirable and practical rural family homes and generate income in the process is tempting. In reusing existing building assets the idea is environmentally sustainable as well as being economically sustainable as a new long-term revenue stream for farmers. As one example in Cambridgeshire, contractor Richardson & Peat has been commissioned by AgReserves Ltd which owns farmland across the county to put together a design team to convert under permitted development their semi-derelict barns into high quality homes for rent to local people. Permitted development rules The following rules form a basic guide to developing an agricultural building under permitted development rights:• Developments cannot be larger than 450m² and must fall within existing footprint.• The previous use must be solely agricultural. • The maximum number of separate dwellings on one site is three.• The building cannot be Listed. • No previous permitted developments can have been accepted or built on the same farm.• The site is not in a safety hazard area or site of scientific interest or of military use.• The site complies with any requirements if it falls within a flood zone. • The building will comply with current Building Regulations when constructed. To proceed with taking on this challenge a good architect is essential in understanding not only rural design and planning but also the needs of future occupants. It’s unlikely that an existing barn will be in a condition in order to meet new housing standards in Building Regulations so the adaption of the existing barn must provide a new thermal envelope as a key component to the construction alongside good natural light levels from windows and doors. Structural engineers can also be critical particularly if you are looking at older barns where substantial work is going to be needed to strengthen existing foundations and new and existing floors and walls. Above all the final design should provide a good practical living environment for a family. With this planning option available farm living gives local people wishing to stay in the area an opportunity that would otherwise not be available and it also opens up the possibility for people looking to move back to a rural surrounding from an urban environment. From a farmers prospective it’s crucial that the building is laid out thoughtfully to maximise its asset value as this is a once only application under permitted development rules. The Cambridgeshire project will widen the housing choices for local residents, but could provide a template for other farmers looking to take up the idea which would create a major impact across the UK. From a financial position farmers looking to develop are likely to be given a fair hearing from lenders given that the land is already a free asset and would bring an impressive return on any borrowing, meaning there is a realistic opportunity to turn thousands of obsolete rural buildings into badly-needed homes for future generations.
    Sep 02, 2016 1
  • 22 Aug 2017
    Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    1237 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    Aug 22, 2017 1237
  • 24 Nov 2017
    Biodiversity is something that is all too often overlooked in building design and built environment projects, especially on inner city, industrial and commercial projects. Often seen as exclusive for urban development, biodiversity has taken on a new importance and is something that should be considered on every project. Drawing from a pioneering and collaborative strategic ecological framework, BREEAM helps design teams consider how to incorporate biodiversity on every project by looking at the science behind biodiversity, encouraging alignment of relevant processes and promoting consideration of the environmental, social and economic benefits that ecological protection and enhancements can bring. There have been significant developments over the past decade in best practice for evaluating, protecting and enhancing ecological features. In response to industry feedback BRE Global’s BREEAM team has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to understand how to progress development of its ecology assessment content which covers master planning, infrastructure and buildings. Strategic Ecology Framework for BREEAM Scheme Development Following extensive feedback from ecology and landscape professionals and others commonly engaged with BREEAM assessments, the BREEAM team concluded that the ratings scheme should take a more strategic approach to encouraging high ecological standards. As a result, the treatment of ecology in UK BREEAM schemes has therefore been extensively reviewed in order to develop a Strategic Ecology Framework (SEF) for improving and evaluating the ecological performance of buildings, assets and developments. The SEF has been developed to reflect the advances in the field of ecology and landscape management. It forms the basis for future development of relevant ecology-related assessment criteria according to the respective life cycle stages covered by UK BREEAM schemes Measuring and Specifying for Ecological Performance BREEAM UK’s Ecology related content encourages project teams and facilities managers to reduce and manage impacts on the natural environment and local biodiversity/habitats and identify opportunities for enhancement. It does this by identifying ecological value on and around a site and the risks and opportunities that arise as a result of the design, construction and operation of an asset. It focuses on processes and actions that protect features of value, mitigate unavoidable impacts, and enhance habitats. Importantly, it also seeks to promote best practice regarding long term biodiversity management practices and strategies for assessed sites and ecologically associated surrounding areas to maximise the outcomes. Assessment content relate to the use of land of low ecological value, mitigation and enhancement of ecological value, long term ecological and biodiversity management and seek to maximise the wider benefits to occupants and the broader society through provision of additional amenity and economic value in a manner which is context specific. There are four key issues which make up the Ecology content: Identifying and understanding the risks and opportunities for project Managing negative impacts on habitats and biodiversity Enhancement of ecological value Long term biodiversity management and maintenance Part of each issue focuses on looking at how ecology, biodiversity and soft landscaping can support and link other core specification areas such as landscape and habitat management, surface water run-off management, flood risk management, light and noise pollution, health and wellbeing, and recreational space. Promoting consideration and where appropriate specification of elements which support sustainability and resilience on the site. Process of implementation With the SEF published in the spring of 2016, the process of implementation is underway through the BREEAM scheme development update process. BRE has brought together a group of ecologists, landscape architects and many others involved in the design, construction, handover and operational aspects of the built environment to advise on the development of a methodology for implementing the SEF which could be used across all BREEAM schemes. These individuals span all of the BREEAM schemes. This includes the following BREEAM new build suite of schemes currently being updated: BREEAM UK Non Domestic New Construction Home Quality Mark Next version of CEEQUAL (incorporating BREEAM Infrastructure pilot scheme) These schemes will be the first to take account of the updated ecology content informed by the Strategic Ecology Framework. Specifying and Creating a Sustainable Built Environment It is vital that we aspire to a built environment that is optimal in terms of ecology, and not only in terms of technology and costs. Of course not all projects can be ecologically ambitious, but they can take steps to protect and enhance the ecological value of buildings and sites, such as preserving natural areas, maintaining ponds, promoting bee-friendly planting and very many others. Protecting and improving ecology and how it relates to the built environment can contribute greatly to the environmental quality of our increasingly urbanised world and – as a growing body of evidence shows – improve the health, wellbeing and even productivity of building users. The new and comprehensive ecological framework developed by BREEAM will be key to both promoting and rewarding. By Yetunde Abdul, BREEAM Scheme Development Manager, BRE Global Visit: www.breeam.com/sef.
    1061 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Biodiversity is something that is all too often overlooked in building design and built environment projects, especially on inner city, industrial and commercial projects. Often seen as exclusive for urban development, biodiversity has taken on a new importance and is something that should be considered on every project. Drawing from a pioneering and collaborative strategic ecological framework, BREEAM helps design teams consider how to incorporate biodiversity on every project by looking at the science behind biodiversity, encouraging alignment of relevant processes and promoting consideration of the environmental, social and economic benefits that ecological protection and enhancements can bring. There have been significant developments over the past decade in best practice for evaluating, protecting and enhancing ecological features. In response to industry feedback BRE Global’s BREEAM team has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to understand how to progress development of its ecology assessment content which covers master planning, infrastructure and buildings. Strategic Ecology Framework for BREEAM Scheme Development Following extensive feedback from ecology and landscape professionals and others commonly engaged with BREEAM assessments, the BREEAM team concluded that the ratings scheme should take a more strategic approach to encouraging high ecological standards. As a result, the treatment of ecology in UK BREEAM schemes has therefore been extensively reviewed in order to develop a Strategic Ecology Framework (SEF) for improving and evaluating the ecological performance of buildings, assets and developments. The SEF has been developed to reflect the advances in the field of ecology and landscape management. It forms the basis for future development of relevant ecology-related assessment criteria according to the respective life cycle stages covered by UK BREEAM schemes Measuring and Specifying for Ecological Performance BREEAM UK’s Ecology related content encourages project teams and facilities managers to reduce and manage impacts on the natural environment and local biodiversity/habitats and identify opportunities for enhancement. It does this by identifying ecological value on and around a site and the risks and opportunities that arise as a result of the design, construction and operation of an asset. It focuses on processes and actions that protect features of value, mitigate unavoidable impacts, and enhance habitats. Importantly, it also seeks to promote best practice regarding long term biodiversity management practices and strategies for assessed sites and ecologically associated surrounding areas to maximise the outcomes. Assessment content relate to the use of land of low ecological value, mitigation and enhancement of ecological value, long term ecological and biodiversity management and seek to maximise the wider benefits to occupants and the broader society through provision of additional amenity and economic value in a manner which is context specific. There are four key issues which make up the Ecology content: Identifying and understanding the risks and opportunities for project Managing negative impacts on habitats and biodiversity Enhancement of ecological value Long term biodiversity management and maintenance Part of each issue focuses on looking at how ecology, biodiversity and soft landscaping can support and link other core specification areas such as landscape and habitat management, surface water run-off management, flood risk management, light and noise pollution, health and wellbeing, and recreational space. Promoting consideration and where appropriate specification of elements which support sustainability and resilience on the site. Process of implementation With the SEF published in the spring of 2016, the process of implementation is underway through the BREEAM scheme development update process. BRE has brought together a group of ecologists, landscape architects and many others involved in the design, construction, handover and operational aspects of the built environment to advise on the development of a methodology for implementing the SEF which could be used across all BREEAM schemes. These individuals span all of the BREEAM schemes. This includes the following BREEAM new build suite of schemes currently being updated: BREEAM UK Non Domestic New Construction Home Quality Mark Next version of CEEQUAL (incorporating BREEAM Infrastructure pilot scheme) These schemes will be the first to take account of the updated ecology content informed by the Strategic Ecology Framework. Specifying and Creating a Sustainable Built Environment It is vital that we aspire to a built environment that is optimal in terms of ecology, and not only in terms of technology and costs. Of course not all projects can be ecologically ambitious, but they can take steps to protect and enhance the ecological value of buildings and sites, such as preserving natural areas, maintaining ponds, promoting bee-friendly planting and very many others. Protecting and improving ecology and how it relates to the built environment can contribute greatly to the environmental quality of our increasingly urbanised world and – as a growing body of evidence shows – improve the health, wellbeing and even productivity of building users. The new and comprehensive ecological framework developed by BREEAM will be key to both promoting and rewarding. By Yetunde Abdul, BREEAM Scheme Development Manager, BRE Global Visit: www.breeam.com/sef.
    Nov 24, 2017 1061
  • 21 Sep 2017
    The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    858 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    Sep 21, 2017 858
  • 31 Aug 2017
    The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    829 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    Aug 31, 2017 829
  • 18 Aug 2017
    Our Members of Parliament are getting themselves into a bit of a tizz about Big Ben and the fact that its iconic bell will be silenced for up to four years while essential refurbishment work takes place. It’s all in the cause of health and safety of course and it’s easy to be sentimental when you’re talking about one of the world’s best known monuments. But in reality, exposure to noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage. It is one of the most common health problems and can be difficult to detect as the effects build up over time – and in the case of Big Ben, the experts are probably right – worker health and safety should come first. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claim that industrial hearing loss remains the occupational disease with the highest number of civil claims accounting for about 75% of all occupational disease litigation. If noise levels exceed 85 decibels there is a duty to provide hearing protection and protection zones. Big Ben certainly meets that requirement and while contractors can wear ear protection, the work is going be hard enough up in that tower without having additional distractions. If in doubt, the Health and safety executive provide good advice regarding hearing if you visit their website - https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg362.html Hearing loss caused on construction sites does not make the headlines that often, so in an ironic way we should be thanking politicians for at least drawing attention to the issue – albeit for the wrong reasons There are a range of different types of hearing loss that can be caused from noise in the workplace, from temporary to permanent loss of hearing and conditions such as tinnitus or accoustic shock syndrome.  Certai professionms such as construction where there will inevitably be loud noise generated on an ongoing basis, workers are more liable to suffer conditions such as acoustic shock. This is because the construction industry involves the use of many machines which produce excessive noise. Workers who are exposed to this without adequate hearing protection can suffer from reduced hearing which becomes evident as the worker ages – often many years after exposure to the noisy machinery. The main culprits on building sites are: 1. Pneumatic drills These produce a large amount of excessive noise and are used in various different ways in the construction industry. 2. Circular saws Circular saws are typically used for cutting of wood and other materials used in the construction industry, such as cutting of floorboards in houses or frame work structure for dividing walls. 3. Nail guns or Hilti gun This gun fires nails in to steel which can be used for the construction of various different structures, such as buildings and bridges. 4. Staple guns Staple guns are used for various tasks in mining and this equipment has been known to produce excessive noise. 5. Grinders Grinders are used to cut and shape metal which if used frequently produces not only excessive noise but quite often excess vibration running the risk of hearing problems and vibration conditions such as VWF. All of these require contractors to where ear protection at all times – so you should answer the question – is this happening on your building site? In the case of Big Ben – I am sure we can all put up with a little silence for a few years – to ensure that a life time of silence is not an option for those that work there. By Talk Builder
    473 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Our Members of Parliament are getting themselves into a bit of a tizz about Big Ben and the fact that its iconic bell will be silenced for up to four years while essential refurbishment work takes place. It’s all in the cause of health and safety of course and it’s easy to be sentimental when you’re talking about one of the world’s best known monuments. But in reality, exposure to noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage. It is one of the most common health problems and can be difficult to detect as the effects build up over time – and in the case of Big Ben, the experts are probably right – worker health and safety should come first. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claim that industrial hearing loss remains the occupational disease with the highest number of civil claims accounting for about 75% of all occupational disease litigation. If noise levels exceed 85 decibels there is a duty to provide hearing protection and protection zones. Big Ben certainly meets that requirement and while contractors can wear ear protection, the work is going be hard enough up in that tower without having additional distractions. If in doubt, the Health and safety executive provide good advice regarding hearing if you visit their website - https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg362.html Hearing loss caused on construction sites does not make the headlines that often, so in an ironic way we should be thanking politicians for at least drawing attention to the issue – albeit for the wrong reasons There are a range of different types of hearing loss that can be caused from noise in the workplace, from temporary to permanent loss of hearing and conditions such as tinnitus or accoustic shock syndrome.  Certai professionms such as construction where there will inevitably be loud noise generated on an ongoing basis, workers are more liable to suffer conditions such as acoustic shock. This is because the construction industry involves the use of many machines which produce excessive noise. Workers who are exposed to this without adequate hearing protection can suffer from reduced hearing which becomes evident as the worker ages – often many years after exposure to the noisy machinery. The main culprits on building sites are: 1. Pneumatic drills These produce a large amount of excessive noise and are used in various different ways in the construction industry. 2. Circular saws Circular saws are typically used for cutting of wood and other materials used in the construction industry, such as cutting of floorboards in houses or frame work structure for dividing walls. 3. Nail guns or Hilti gun This gun fires nails in to steel which can be used for the construction of various different structures, such as buildings and bridges. 4. Staple guns Staple guns are used for various tasks in mining and this equipment has been known to produce excessive noise. 5. Grinders Grinders are used to cut and shape metal which if used frequently produces not only excessive noise but quite often excess vibration running the risk of hearing problems and vibration conditions such as VWF. All of these require contractors to where ear protection at all times – so you should answer the question – is this happening on your building site? In the case of Big Ben – I am sure we can all put up with a little silence for a few years – to ensure that a life time of silence is not an option for those that work there. By Talk Builder
    Aug 18, 2017 473
  • 04 Jul 2017
    One of the world’s oldest and most traditional waterproofing materials, mastic asphalt is a truly versatile performer, outlasting other materials and proven time and time again on everything from sealing dams to flooring, flat roofs to sports facilities, walkways to balconies and car parks to bridges. Successfully used to provide unbeatable protection from water penetration for centuries, in recent years mastic asphalt has been reformulated to include advanced polymers for increased durability, combining its traditional strengths with modern technology.   Mastic asphalt is highly resistant and robust enough to withstand all types of weather situations and attacks from thermal shock (rapid temperature changes), which are a frequent source of break down in many other types of membrane.It’s also non-toxic and non-flammable. Its durability and seamless application means that it is one of the few membranes able to handle consistent heavy foot and vehicular traffic, including from Heavy Goods Vehicles, and still maintain its waterproof integrity. With no application too tricky, it is also easy to repair should alterations or damage occur. Another major advantage with mastic asphalt is that it can be laid at speed, reducing the project costs significantly. It also cools very rapidly, allowing foot traffic within two to three hours, dependent upon ambient temperature. Providing such excellent wear against the extremes of weather – and with a life expectancy of 50 years and more - the waterproof membrane is fast becoming the material of choice for a manner of different buildings including, schools, offices, shopping centres, hotels and even churches. Mastic asphalt has one further advantage over other types of waterproof membrane – it is carbon neutral – a massive bonus for any building owner anxious to show their green credentials and, when it has reached the end of its useful life, it can be recycled or used as roof screed, minimising the impact on the environment. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membrane. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice, so whether it’s a 31 mile bridge in Hong Kong or St Paul’s Cathedral, this market- leading product is revered across the world. By Mastic Asphalt Council. Visit MAC: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/      
    461 Posted by Talk. Build
  • One of the world’s oldest and most traditional waterproofing materials, mastic asphalt is a truly versatile performer, outlasting other materials and proven time and time again on everything from sealing dams to flooring, flat roofs to sports facilities, walkways to balconies and car parks to bridges. Successfully used to provide unbeatable protection from water penetration for centuries, in recent years mastic asphalt has been reformulated to include advanced polymers for increased durability, combining its traditional strengths with modern technology.   Mastic asphalt is highly resistant and robust enough to withstand all types of weather situations and attacks from thermal shock (rapid temperature changes), which are a frequent source of break down in many other types of membrane.It’s also non-toxic and non-flammable. Its durability and seamless application means that it is one of the few membranes able to handle consistent heavy foot and vehicular traffic, including from Heavy Goods Vehicles, and still maintain its waterproof integrity. With no application too tricky, it is also easy to repair should alterations or damage occur. Another major advantage with mastic asphalt is that it can be laid at speed, reducing the project costs significantly. It also cools very rapidly, allowing foot traffic within two to three hours, dependent upon ambient temperature. Providing such excellent wear against the extremes of weather – and with a life expectancy of 50 years and more - the waterproof membrane is fast becoming the material of choice for a manner of different buildings including, schools, offices, shopping centres, hotels and even churches. Mastic asphalt has one further advantage over other types of waterproof membrane – it is carbon neutral – a massive bonus for any building owner anxious to show their green credentials and, when it has reached the end of its useful life, it can be recycled or used as roof screed, minimising the impact on the environment. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membrane. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice, so whether it’s a 31 mile bridge in Hong Kong or St Paul’s Cathedral, this market- leading product is revered across the world. By Mastic Asphalt Council. Visit MAC: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/      
    Jul 04, 2017 461