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Talk. Build 's Entries

  • 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 
    0 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 0
  • 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
    0 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 0
  • 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
    0 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 0
  • 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
    0 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 0
  • 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
    0 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 0
  • 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
    0 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 0
  • 03 Jul 2018
    The much-hyped blockchain technology may well not have reached full maturity but this emerging technology has potential to revolutionise the built environment, and for the companies that adopt this technology it has already added tens of millions of pounds to their market value. In an industry which is slow to adopt new technologies and characterised by fragmentation and outdated systems in the flow of information, blockchain can bring transparency and efficiency to the supply chain. But what is blockchain and how can the construction supply chain benefit from it? Put simply, a blockchain is an electronic, tamper-proof database of transactions, with new deals added to a chain and then stamped and protected with a mathematical equation.  A blockchain takes out the middleperson such as a bank or a lawyer, and allows two or more parties to transfer money or a contract, or other information in real time and across borders without third-party intervention. Clearly a technology that is appealing to global financial and legal institutions, blockchain also offers impacts and opportunities across design, engineering and construction. Full transparency While technological advances both in terms of materials and computer sciences offer the built environment a great source of innovation, they also make it more fragmented. This is why blockchain can provide visible accountability across a project and can speed up processes, whilst at the same time being under scrutiny of all those involved. The technology provides new ways to track the flow of materials, payments and contracts within supply chains. In a blockchain, all parties will know in real-time which materials have arrived at a construction site, who handled them and where they originate from. As products move from one place to another, an insulation manufacturer for example will know how their products are moving and where they are. Manufacturers ultimately want to ensure goods get to where they're supposed to go and those purchasing the materials want to make sure it originated from a reputable source. By including both ends of that supply chain, it addresses the threat of counterfeit goods, fraud and theft. Blockchain technology offers great versatility and can add transparency to every type of agreement and transaction in a construction project. In terms of the supply chain, a blockchain will ensure that when any contract or agreement is amended, it is immediately seen by all parties. A blockchain ledger can also improve financial liquidity.  For example an aggregated record between manufacturers/distributors and buyers can also include the main contractors and developers, so that once all parties agree materials have been delivered, payments on invoices can be released. Smart contracts The construction industry is often litigious in nature particularly when it comes to late payments and the associated costs involved.  Blockchain technology could work as a trustworthy contract administrator through the creation of a smart contract which negates the need for lawyers. This smart contract functions on the if/then concept.  For example, if a contractor installs insulation products on a project then he asks for it to be inspected.  If the inspection is successful, then the contractor is paid. A smart contract can cover this if/then scheme which can be registered on the blockchain. This increased transparency leads to increased accountability and ultimately better control of the project. A more open building process will result in a greater alignment of industry and client interests whilst at the same time minimising disputes and risk. A challenging proposition While blockchain offers a wealth of benefits, there are of course challenges. In terms of audit transparency and validation, is validation self-proclaimed or would a third-party have to assure it?  An inherent advantage of blockchains is that they cannot be altered and therefore guarantee trust. But what if the input is a lie in the first place, then you are trusting lies. Therefore there needs to be a process that guarantees truth at the input stage. There also needs to be clarification as to who owns the data? Is it the blockchain creator, the people using it and adding data or is it collective? In an industry which is striving to be more efficient and sustainable, large public blockchains require huge amounts of energy to extract the information needed to create the blocks (i.e records) that are linked to form the chains. Is this not counterintuitive in the first place?  Blockchain applications require a great deal of effort and cost to work so it is paramount that there is inherent value in the effort and whether the final application is appropriate.  For what is essentially a database that’s validated by a wider community, the adoption of blockchain is expected to be slow and steady.  In terms of the insulation industry we know that there are already digital schemes in place such as BIM (Building Information Modelling).  Plans are also underway to digitise CE marking, as well as work on other schemes such as Lexicon and having product data templates for each sector. This will hopefully see the industry get to grips with the issue of product substitution, but we need to ensure that all these schemes do not compete with each other and that they are in fact complementary. With such a lot of hype across the globe around blockchain, the question will remain; what can it be used for and will it bring value to the construction sector? Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The much-hyped blockchain technology may well not have reached full maturity but this emerging technology has potential to revolutionise the built environment, and for the companies that adopt this technology it has already added tens of millions of pounds to their market value. In an industry which is slow to adopt new technologies and characterised by fragmentation and outdated systems in the flow of information, blockchain can bring transparency and efficiency to the supply chain. But what is blockchain and how can the construction supply chain benefit from it? Put simply, a blockchain is an electronic, tamper-proof database of transactions, with new deals added to a chain and then stamped and protected with a mathematical equation.  A blockchain takes out the middleperson such as a bank or a lawyer, and allows two or more parties to transfer money or a contract, or other information in real time and across borders without third-party intervention. Clearly a technology that is appealing to global financial and legal institutions, blockchain also offers impacts and opportunities across design, engineering and construction. Full transparency While technological advances both in terms of materials and computer sciences offer the built environment a great source of innovation, they also make it more fragmented. This is why blockchain can provide visible accountability across a project and can speed up processes, whilst at the same time being under scrutiny of all those involved. The technology provides new ways to track the flow of materials, payments and contracts within supply chains. In a blockchain, all parties will know in real-time which materials have arrived at a construction site, who handled them and where they originate from. As products move from one place to another, an insulation manufacturer for example will know how their products are moving and where they are. Manufacturers ultimately want to ensure goods get to where they're supposed to go and those purchasing the materials want to make sure it originated from a reputable source. By including both ends of that supply chain, it addresses the threat of counterfeit goods, fraud and theft. Blockchain technology offers great versatility and can add transparency to every type of agreement and transaction in a construction project. In terms of the supply chain, a blockchain will ensure that when any contract or agreement is amended, it is immediately seen by all parties. A blockchain ledger can also improve financial liquidity.  For example an aggregated record between manufacturers/distributors and buyers can also include the main contractors and developers, so that once all parties agree materials have been delivered, payments on invoices can be released. Smart contracts The construction industry is often litigious in nature particularly when it comes to late payments and the associated costs involved.  Blockchain technology could work as a trustworthy contract administrator through the creation of a smart contract which negates the need for lawyers. This smart contract functions on the if/then concept.  For example, if a contractor installs insulation products on a project then he asks for it to be inspected.  If the inspection is successful, then the contractor is paid. A smart contract can cover this if/then scheme which can be registered on the blockchain. This increased transparency leads to increased accountability and ultimately better control of the project. A more open building process will result in a greater alignment of industry and client interests whilst at the same time minimising disputes and risk. A challenging proposition While blockchain offers a wealth of benefits, there are of course challenges. In terms of audit transparency and validation, is validation self-proclaimed or would a third-party have to assure it?  An inherent advantage of blockchains is that they cannot be altered and therefore guarantee trust. But what if the input is a lie in the first place, then you are trusting lies. Therefore there needs to be a process that guarantees truth at the input stage. There also needs to be clarification as to who owns the data? Is it the blockchain creator, the people using it and adding data or is it collective? In an industry which is striving to be more efficient and sustainable, large public blockchains require huge amounts of energy to extract the information needed to create the blocks (i.e records) that are linked to form the chains. Is this not counterintuitive in the first place?  Blockchain applications require a great deal of effort and cost to work so it is paramount that there is inherent value in the effort and whether the final application is appropriate.  For what is essentially a database that’s validated by a wider community, the adoption of blockchain is expected to be slow and steady.  In terms of the insulation industry we know that there are already digital schemes in place such as BIM (Building Information Modelling).  Plans are also underway to digitise CE marking, as well as work on other schemes such as Lexicon and having product data templates for each sector. This will hopefully see the industry get to grips with the issue of product substitution, but we need to ensure that all these schemes do not compete with each other and that they are in fact complementary. With such a lot of hype across the globe around blockchain, the question will remain; what can it be used for and will it bring value to the construction sector? Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    Jul 03, 2018 0
  • 29 Jun 2018
    Floor installation in large commercial and industrial premises can be an extremely arduous challenge. Coordinating the project’s various elements such as specification, installation and aftercare requirements - not to mention obtaining a guarantee of the flooring system’s long-term performance - can involve a myriad of companies whose systems must be compatible with each other and the surface to which they are being applied. Single-point service Time is money in business, which is why every aspect of a commercial floor’s refurbishment must run as seamlessly as possible in order to minimise disruption to staff and production levels. This is achieved with fewer issues and - potentially - far less cost when a single supplier is responsible for the start-to-finish delivery of new flooring. This includes providing all the technical expertise, quality materials, workmanship and a single-point warranty as part of a service as seamless as the finished flooring itself. It’s an offering Sika has been successfully providing for clients far and wide for many years.   Each floor has a unique set of requirements: from traffic and mechanical wear to chemical resistance and temperature or fire resistance and rapid curing, to name but a few. A single-point supplier is able to negotiate that convoluted path of possible solutions to specify and provide precisely the right materials for the appropriate job, thus relieving the client of dealing with a crucial issue that will ultimately decide whether a project succeeds or fails.   This single point of contact approach simplifies logistics which is also good news for the installer. Instead of having to juggle the delivery of each separate flooring element from a number of suppliers, it’s possible to break down your shipment so you receive delivery of the correct product when you need it, keeping your build programme on track. And when you consider that most sites have limited space, it’s best to avoid all flooring materials arriving at the same time. With more than 40 years’ experience and a leader in the development of innovative flooring systems, Sika is well placed to provide specifiers and installers with a range of products that take into account design life, operational requirements, construction joints and installation details. No matter what the application, Sika can provide the one-stop-shop total flooring solution. On the level Sika can start with the substrate, with a new range of self-levelling cementitious compounds which can meet an almost unlimited combination of substrate requirements to create a perfectly flat finish each and every time. No matter what the material is below or whatever finish you require on top, the new portfolio of self-levelling compounds and primers are easy to apply, quick drying and have very low shrinkage, ready for a huge range of floor coverings. Used in conjunction with Sika’s Flooring range, these new Sika screeds enable the company to become one of the select few manufacturers to offer a total floor specification solution backed-up with a single guarantee for total build up. With the Schonox range of products allied to the rest of the Sika Screed range there is now five different new self-levelling compounds and three primers, allied to the rest of the comprehensive Sika range, there is now a Sika cementitious flooring solution for every type of non-industrial project – from homes to offices, schools and healthcare premises. Furthermore, you will find the perfect substrate for all the popular types of floor finish, including parquet, vinyl, linoleum and LVT or resin flooring. Thanks to Sika’s one-stop-shop solution, it’s never been to ensure your business is equipped with suitable, high-quality flooring that is installed to last. Visit: www.sika.co.uk.  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Floor installation in large commercial and industrial premises can be an extremely arduous challenge. Coordinating the project’s various elements such as specification, installation and aftercare requirements - not to mention obtaining a guarantee of the flooring system’s long-term performance - can involve a myriad of companies whose systems must be compatible with each other and the surface to which they are being applied. Single-point service Time is money in business, which is why every aspect of a commercial floor’s refurbishment must run as seamlessly as possible in order to minimise disruption to staff and production levels. This is achieved with fewer issues and - potentially - far less cost when a single supplier is responsible for the start-to-finish delivery of new flooring. This includes providing all the technical expertise, quality materials, workmanship and a single-point warranty as part of a service as seamless as the finished flooring itself. It’s an offering Sika has been successfully providing for clients far and wide for many years.   Each floor has a unique set of requirements: from traffic and mechanical wear to chemical resistance and temperature or fire resistance and rapid curing, to name but a few. A single-point supplier is able to negotiate that convoluted path of possible solutions to specify and provide precisely the right materials for the appropriate job, thus relieving the client of dealing with a crucial issue that will ultimately decide whether a project succeeds or fails.   This single point of contact approach simplifies logistics which is also good news for the installer. Instead of having to juggle the delivery of each separate flooring element from a number of suppliers, it’s possible to break down your shipment so you receive delivery of the correct product when you need it, keeping your build programme on track. And when you consider that most sites have limited space, it’s best to avoid all flooring materials arriving at the same time. With more than 40 years’ experience and a leader in the development of innovative flooring systems, Sika is well placed to provide specifiers and installers with a range of products that take into account design life, operational requirements, construction joints and installation details. No matter what the application, Sika can provide the one-stop-shop total flooring solution. On the level Sika can start with the substrate, with a new range of self-levelling cementitious compounds which can meet an almost unlimited combination of substrate requirements to create a perfectly flat finish each and every time. No matter what the material is below or whatever finish you require on top, the new portfolio of self-levelling compounds and primers are easy to apply, quick drying and have very low shrinkage, ready for a huge range of floor coverings. Used in conjunction with Sika’s Flooring range, these new Sika screeds enable the company to become one of the select few manufacturers to offer a total floor specification solution backed-up with a single guarantee for total build up. With the Schonox range of products allied to the rest of the Sika Screed range there is now five different new self-levelling compounds and three primers, allied to the rest of the comprehensive Sika range, there is now a Sika cementitious flooring solution for every type of non-industrial project – from homes to offices, schools and healthcare premises. Furthermore, you will find the perfect substrate for all the popular types of floor finish, including parquet, vinyl, linoleum and LVT or resin flooring. Thanks to Sika’s one-stop-shop solution, it’s never been to ensure your business is equipped with suitable, high-quality flooring that is installed to last. Visit: www.sika.co.uk.  
    Jun 29, 2018 0
  • 28 Jun 2018
    There is an aerial revolution happening across the globe. Drones have emerged as a highly viable commercial tool with applications in numerous sectors, most notably, construction. This isn't surprising, as their benefits range from on-site safety to a level of project monitoring which wasn't previously possible. A market set to be worth billions over the coming years, there's no denying the unstoppable rise of commercial drones. Read on to find out how these flying cameras are revolutionising everything from workflow to safety.  DRONES IN CONSTRUCTION Industries ranging from agriculture to entertainment and media are taking full advantage of the benefits drones offer. However, it’s clear that one of the most rapidly growing sectors is infrastructure development which includes construction. The chart below shows which industries are the largest adopters of commercial SUAs (Small Unmanned Aircraft) according to PwC and how much of the market they control.  UK CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES EMBRACE DRONES The success of drones within the construction sector is down to savvy early adoption by numerous high-profile companies – see below for examples of big-name firms currently using drones as part of their offering…  HOW ARE DRONES USED ON A CONSTRUCTION SITE? In the construction industry, drones provide easy access to large or difficult sites as well as complex or tall structures. They can gather aerial data, mapping information and images used for: THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION Find out what the future of construction looks like due to the rise of smart solutions, automation and drone usage. Drones are available on Amazon: Click Here BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM) BIM is the process of creating and managing information on a construction project across its lifecycle. It creates a shareable digital description of every aspect of the structure which all necessary stakeholders can update. The UK is at the forefront of this methodology which is being hailed as a ‘digital revolution’ for the construction industry. Drones contribute to this approach in various ways including… AUTOMATED CONSTRUCTION SITES In Spring 2018, leading Chinese manufacturer DJI announced the largest ever order of commercial drones. Partnering with US tech firm Skycatch, this is an unprecedented shipment that sets a benchmark for construction firms around the world to take note of. Japanese construction giant Komatsu will receive 1,000 aircraft to help survey and monitor their projects. There are also plans in place for these drones, known as the ‘Skycatch Explore1’ to control robotic construction vehicles. If successful, this could pave the way to a fully automated construction site. MARKET OVERVIEW Regardless of sector, drones are big business. Countries across the globe are pouring investment into this relatively nascent technology. The hope is that it can bring revolutionary change across industries. Find out who is leading the way with our map of global drone investment. THE LAW As of Spring 2018, the UK government released a new set of regulations concerning the use of drones. The bill's intention is to increase overall drone safety while ensuring that Britain remains at the forefront of drone tech development. These measures also seek to expand their use with businesses and infrastructure.   Drones over 250g will have to be formally registered. Drone pilots will have to sit a safety awareness test before they’re allowed to fly. The police will have powers to ground drones if suspected of a criminal activity or unsafe flying. They will then be able to seize the drone parts for evidence. Drone pilots will have to be able to present their registration documents if requested by the police. Drone pilots will have to use apps to ensure their planned flights are safe and legal. Restricted areas will be easier for pilots to view such as schools and military bases. Drones may be completely banned from flying near airports or over 400ft. Geofencing development through a government, CAA and NATS (National Air Traffic Service) collaboration. This will help pilots comply with the guidelines.  There are exemptions to these guidelines for commercial operators. However, they must speak to the CAA on a case-by-case basis to lay out their intended use case and how they plan to ensure on-site safety.  THE ANATOMY OF A COMMERCIAL DRONE There are many options available for businesses looking to purchase a commercial drone. See below for the types of equipment available and how they benefit a range of industries including construction. This guest post haas been provided by www.roof-stores.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There is an aerial revolution happening across the globe. Drones have emerged as a highly viable commercial tool with applications in numerous sectors, most notably, construction. This isn't surprising, as their benefits range from on-site safety to a level of project monitoring which wasn't previously possible. A market set to be worth billions over the coming years, there's no denying the unstoppable rise of commercial drones. Read on to find out how these flying cameras are revolutionising everything from workflow to safety.  DRONES IN CONSTRUCTION Industries ranging from agriculture to entertainment and media are taking full advantage of the benefits drones offer. However, it’s clear that one of the most rapidly growing sectors is infrastructure development which includes construction. The chart below shows which industries are the largest adopters of commercial SUAs (Small Unmanned Aircraft) according to PwC and how much of the market they control.  UK CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES EMBRACE DRONES The success of drones within the construction sector is down to savvy early adoption by numerous high-profile companies – see below for examples of big-name firms currently using drones as part of their offering…  HOW ARE DRONES USED ON A CONSTRUCTION SITE? In the construction industry, drones provide easy access to large or difficult sites as well as complex or tall structures. They can gather aerial data, mapping information and images used for: THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION Find out what the future of construction looks like due to the rise of smart solutions, automation and drone usage. Drones are available on Amazon: Click Here BUILDING INFORMATION MODELLING (BIM) BIM is the process of creating and managing information on a construction project across its lifecycle. It creates a shareable digital description of every aspect of the structure which all necessary stakeholders can update. The UK is at the forefront of this methodology which is being hailed as a ‘digital revolution’ for the construction industry. Drones contribute to this approach in various ways including… AUTOMATED CONSTRUCTION SITES In Spring 2018, leading Chinese manufacturer DJI announced the largest ever order of commercial drones. Partnering with US tech firm Skycatch, this is an unprecedented shipment that sets a benchmark for construction firms around the world to take note of. Japanese construction giant Komatsu will receive 1,000 aircraft to help survey and monitor their projects. There are also plans in place for these drones, known as the ‘Skycatch Explore1’ to control robotic construction vehicles. If successful, this could pave the way to a fully automated construction site. MARKET OVERVIEW Regardless of sector, drones are big business. Countries across the globe are pouring investment into this relatively nascent technology. The hope is that it can bring revolutionary change across industries. Find out who is leading the way with our map of global drone investment. THE LAW As of Spring 2018, the UK government released a new set of regulations concerning the use of drones. The bill's intention is to increase overall drone safety while ensuring that Britain remains at the forefront of drone tech development. These measures also seek to expand their use with businesses and infrastructure.   Drones over 250g will have to be formally registered. Drone pilots will have to sit a safety awareness test before they’re allowed to fly. The police will have powers to ground drones if suspected of a criminal activity or unsafe flying. They will then be able to seize the drone parts for evidence. Drone pilots will have to be able to present their registration documents if requested by the police. Drone pilots will have to use apps to ensure their planned flights are safe and legal. Restricted areas will be easier for pilots to view such as schools and military bases. Drones may be completely banned from flying near airports or over 400ft. Geofencing development through a government, CAA and NATS (National Air Traffic Service) collaboration. This will help pilots comply with the guidelines.  There are exemptions to these guidelines for commercial operators. However, they must speak to the CAA on a case-by-case basis to lay out their intended use case and how they plan to ensure on-site safety.  THE ANATOMY OF A COMMERCIAL DRONE There are many options available for businesses looking to purchase a commercial drone. See below for the types of equipment available and how they benefit a range of industries including construction. This guest post haas been provided by www.roof-stores.co.uk
    Jun 28, 2018 0
  • 25 Jun 2018
    The Confederation of Construction Specialists (CCS) has been supporting the ‘Aldous Bill’ path through parliament because it is an attempt to protect SMEs’ retentions from spurious deductions and upstream insolvencies writes Gerald Kelly. More than £10.5bn of SMEs’ potential working capital is locked up in retentions every year and £7.8bn was unpaid in the last three years, with upstream insolvencies leading to £700m being entirely lost to SMEs in a three-year period. This Bill attempts to provide a solution that will help all parties involved in construction by stabilising and securing cash-flow – including main contractors and clients.The Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill, otherwise known as the Aldous Bill, proposes that cash retentions be held in trust accounts to protect the supply chain. Although this is not an ideal solution, it is certainly a step in the right direction. However, whether it will ever become adopted is debatable as there are problems. One such problem is that if all the retention money is put in deposit schemes, it becomes money that is not being used. Main Contractors should not be using retention money to pay bills, but they do, so what will happen in the short term if that money is not available? The Confederation of Construction Specialists believes that the Government has realised this and  is concerned about the stainability of the construction industry if the billions in retention money is made unusable, which is a reason why the ‘Aldous Bill’ will most likely be kicked further into the long grass. Indeed, the second reading has been postponed again until October 26th. The ideal solution to the retention issue is that contractors do not take retentions and pay their bills on time, which is why it is such good news that, as reported in the press, Network Rail has announced an overhaul in its contract payments which sees the rail industry becoming the first sector within the wider UK construction industry to enforce 28-day payments and a ban on retentions. The changes will mean tier one contractors are banned from using retentions and told to pay suppliers within 28 days of work being carried out.. It is clear that following the Carillion collapse and the pressure from federations, including the Confederation of Construction Specialists and other industry bodies that movement is happening that could eventually rid the industry of retentions altogether. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists, an organisation which fights for fair and ethical contracts within the construction industry. Visit: http://constructionspecialists.org
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The Confederation of Construction Specialists (CCS) has been supporting the ‘Aldous Bill’ path through parliament because it is an attempt to protect SMEs’ retentions from spurious deductions and upstream insolvencies writes Gerald Kelly. More than £10.5bn of SMEs’ potential working capital is locked up in retentions every year and £7.8bn was unpaid in the last three years, with upstream insolvencies leading to £700m being entirely lost to SMEs in a three-year period. This Bill attempts to provide a solution that will help all parties involved in construction by stabilising and securing cash-flow – including main contractors and clients.The Construction (Retention Deposit Schemes) Bill, otherwise known as the Aldous Bill, proposes that cash retentions be held in trust accounts to protect the supply chain. Although this is not an ideal solution, it is certainly a step in the right direction. However, whether it will ever become adopted is debatable as there are problems. One such problem is that if all the retention money is put in deposit schemes, it becomes money that is not being used. Main Contractors should not be using retention money to pay bills, but they do, so what will happen in the short term if that money is not available? The Confederation of Construction Specialists believes that the Government has realised this and  is concerned about the stainability of the construction industry if the billions in retention money is made unusable, which is a reason why the ‘Aldous Bill’ will most likely be kicked further into the long grass. Indeed, the second reading has been postponed again until October 26th. The ideal solution to the retention issue is that contractors do not take retentions and pay their bills on time, which is why it is such good news that, as reported in the press, Network Rail has announced an overhaul in its contract payments which sees the rail industry becoming the first sector within the wider UK construction industry to enforce 28-day payments and a ban on retentions. The changes will mean tier one contractors are banned from using retentions and told to pay suppliers within 28 days of work being carried out.. It is clear that following the Carillion collapse and the pressure from federations, including the Confederation of Construction Specialists and other industry bodies that movement is happening that could eventually rid the industry of retentions altogether. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists, an organisation which fights for fair and ethical contracts within the construction industry. Visit: http://constructionspecialists.org
    Jun 25, 2018 0
  • 21 Jun 2018
    Having a fully working boiler that provides you with hot water and heating is essential. It doesn’t matter whether your boiler is a commercial boiler or a domestic one; what is important is that if there is a fault with it you contact someone to come and look at it as soon as possible and get it repaired writes Krysta Jakson. Having your boiler serviced on an annual basis is a good idea. It will make sure that your boiler is running properly, and any small issues are dealt with before they become bigger problems. This also has the added advantage in the event of an unexpected issue you can contact the company who carry out your commercial boiler servicing, who will already be familiar with your boiler, and they will be happy to come and take a look at it sooner rather than later. Cost Whilst having your boiler repaired might be one of those costs that you could do without, it is important to make sure that any fault on your boiler is repaired as soon as you notice there is an issue. If you do not act promptly, then there is potential that your boiler could become worse. It doesn’t take long for this to happen and I could ultimately result in a costlier boiler repair later down the line. In winter this could be as a result of the pipes freezing and then also needing to be repaired. Not only might the repairs be more serious and end up costing you more but if your boiler is leaking it has the potential to damage other things such as floors, all of which could end up adding to your final repair bill. Winter Whilst there is no legal minimum, or indeed maximum, temperature in the UK in respect of the workplace there is a requirement for employers to make sure that during working hours the temperature in any indoor workplace is kept at a reasonable level. The gov.uk website recommends that in the case of employees working in an office this should be a minimum of 16ºC. Alternatively, in the case of employees who do physical work, it should be around 13ºC. If your boiler breaks in the winter and you are not able to keep your business warm enough for your employees to work in comfortably, you may end up sending everyone home. This will of course mean you would end up losing money. Whether this happens as a result of lost manufacturing or through the need to pay your employees even though they are not actually working the result will of course be the same. Winter boiler failure could even mean you lose future business when customers find that they are unable to contact you and decide to take their business elsewhere. This is why prompt commercial boiler repair can be vital to any business and why you want to use a company who can repair your boiler as soon as possible. Dangers If your boiler, and therefore your heating system, run off gas or oil, any fault that it develops has the potential to give off carbon monoxide. Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide is both odourless and tasteless which make it very difficult to detect. It only takes a very short while for carbon monoxide to take its hold and inhaling the gas can result in either a coma or death. Faulty heating is linked to the deaths of around 50 people each year with the deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. If you suspect that there is something wrong with your boiler then it is certainly worth making that call and having it checked out as soon as possible. Fixing a problem sooner can not only benefit your health, but your pocket as well. Visit: http://www.jchlondon.co.uk  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Having a fully working boiler that provides you with hot water and heating is essential. It doesn’t matter whether your boiler is a commercial boiler or a domestic one; what is important is that if there is a fault with it you contact someone to come and look at it as soon as possible and get it repaired writes Krysta Jakson. Having your boiler serviced on an annual basis is a good idea. It will make sure that your boiler is running properly, and any small issues are dealt with before they become bigger problems. This also has the added advantage in the event of an unexpected issue you can contact the company who carry out your commercial boiler servicing, who will already be familiar with your boiler, and they will be happy to come and take a look at it sooner rather than later. Cost Whilst having your boiler repaired might be one of those costs that you could do without, it is important to make sure that any fault on your boiler is repaired as soon as you notice there is an issue. If you do not act promptly, then there is potential that your boiler could become worse. It doesn’t take long for this to happen and I could ultimately result in a costlier boiler repair later down the line. In winter this could be as a result of the pipes freezing and then also needing to be repaired. Not only might the repairs be more serious and end up costing you more but if your boiler is leaking it has the potential to damage other things such as floors, all of which could end up adding to your final repair bill. Winter Whilst there is no legal minimum, or indeed maximum, temperature in the UK in respect of the workplace there is a requirement for employers to make sure that during working hours the temperature in any indoor workplace is kept at a reasonable level. The gov.uk website recommends that in the case of employees working in an office this should be a minimum of 16ºC. Alternatively, in the case of employees who do physical work, it should be around 13ºC. If your boiler breaks in the winter and you are not able to keep your business warm enough for your employees to work in comfortably, you may end up sending everyone home. This will of course mean you would end up losing money. Whether this happens as a result of lost manufacturing or through the need to pay your employees even though they are not actually working the result will of course be the same. Winter boiler failure could even mean you lose future business when customers find that they are unable to contact you and decide to take their business elsewhere. This is why prompt commercial boiler repair can be vital to any business and why you want to use a company who can repair your boiler as soon as possible. Dangers If your boiler, and therefore your heating system, run off gas or oil, any fault that it develops has the potential to give off carbon monoxide. Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide is both odourless and tasteless which make it very difficult to detect. It only takes a very short while for carbon monoxide to take its hold and inhaling the gas can result in either a coma or death. Faulty heating is linked to the deaths of around 50 people each year with the deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. If you suspect that there is something wrong with your boiler then it is certainly worth making that call and having it checked out as soon as possible. Fixing a problem sooner can not only benefit your health, but your pocket as well. Visit: http://www.jchlondon.co.uk  
    Jun 21, 2018 0
  • 20 Jun 2018
    In the EU, approximately 4.1 million patients acquire a Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) each year and at least 37,000 patients die as a result writes David Hockley. Therefore, when it comes to floor selection in hospitals and medical establishments, maintaining the highest hygiene standards must take precedence when it comes to specification. SEAMLESS SOLUTION Examination rooms, MRI suites, operating rooms, inpatient rooms, nurses’ stations, administrative offices, restaurants and retail stores; each space in a healthcare facility has unique floor, ceiling and wall finish requirements based on the room’s purpose, occupants and equipment. In terms of flooring, a smooth, seamless, slip-resistant finish not only minimises the risk of trips and falls - the second most common cause of injuries in work spaces - it creates easy-to-clean surfaces where germs could fester. Additionally, seamless flooring materials and wall finishes have become an increasingly common specification in helping reduce the risk of transmission of infection in hospitals and medical environments.    To achieve this standard of building and the high quality, safe and efficient healthcare within, the quality and fitness-for-purpose of the healthcare estate is vital. The Department of Health’s HBN: 00-10 details the key requirements of every floor, wall and coating systems and divides them into three main performance themes – infection control, life cycle maintenance and fire performance. Sika has a range of high performance resin floor systems, including Sika Comfortfloor®, which are suitable for the most demanding healthcare environments.  The company’s Sikagard® range of seamless hygienic coatings for walls and ceilings can be specified to mirror design life requirements, construction joints, floor to wall connections, surface design and installation details to meet and exceed HBN 00-10 guidelines. FEEL-GOOD FACTOR Patient comfort is paramount in hospitals. Their increased satisfaction aids rehabilitation, hence the need for flooring that reduces noise – a by-product of a busy, public environment. Highly-durable flooring is also key to creating comfortable, ‘feel good’ spaces. Surfaces with excellent resistance to heavy equipment and footfall will remain looking smarter for longer and help create a positive, welcoming atmosphere and improve the healthcare ‘experience’ for staff, visitors and patients. Regular maintenance will help uphold a floor’s aesthetic properties as well as most importantly, help facilitate a healthy interior finish. The more durable the wear layer, the less chemicals and labour will be required for routine maintenance and surface renovations. In addition, flooring with greater resistance to ultraviolet (UV) radiation has greater colour stability and is likely to look better for longer than systems with low UV resistance that are more susceptible to fading. Visit: https://gbr.sika.com/flooring/en/sika-flooring.html
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In the EU, approximately 4.1 million patients acquire a Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) each year and at least 37,000 patients die as a result writes David Hockley. Therefore, when it comes to floor selection in hospitals and medical establishments, maintaining the highest hygiene standards must take precedence when it comes to specification. SEAMLESS SOLUTION Examination rooms, MRI suites, operating rooms, inpatient rooms, nurses’ stations, administrative offices, restaurants and retail stores; each space in a healthcare facility has unique floor, ceiling and wall finish requirements based on the room’s purpose, occupants and equipment. In terms of flooring, a smooth, seamless, slip-resistant finish not only minimises the risk of trips and falls - the second most common cause of injuries in work spaces - it creates easy-to-clean surfaces where germs could fester. Additionally, seamless flooring materials and wall finishes have become an increasingly common specification in helping reduce the risk of transmission of infection in hospitals and medical environments.    To achieve this standard of building and the high quality, safe and efficient healthcare within, the quality and fitness-for-purpose of the healthcare estate is vital. The Department of Health’s HBN: 00-10 details the key requirements of every floor, wall and coating systems and divides them into three main performance themes – infection control, life cycle maintenance and fire performance. Sika has a range of high performance resin floor systems, including Sika Comfortfloor®, which are suitable for the most demanding healthcare environments.  The company’s Sikagard® range of seamless hygienic coatings for walls and ceilings can be specified to mirror design life requirements, construction joints, floor to wall connections, surface design and installation details to meet and exceed HBN 00-10 guidelines. FEEL-GOOD FACTOR Patient comfort is paramount in hospitals. Their increased satisfaction aids rehabilitation, hence the need for flooring that reduces noise – a by-product of a busy, public environment. Highly-durable flooring is also key to creating comfortable, ‘feel good’ spaces. Surfaces with excellent resistance to heavy equipment and footfall will remain looking smarter for longer and help create a positive, welcoming atmosphere and improve the healthcare ‘experience’ for staff, visitors and patients. Regular maintenance will help uphold a floor’s aesthetic properties as well as most importantly, help facilitate a healthy interior finish. The more durable the wear layer, the less chemicals and labour will be required for routine maintenance and surface renovations. In addition, flooring with greater resistance to ultraviolet (UV) radiation has greater colour stability and is likely to look better for longer than systems with low UV resistance that are more susceptible to fading. Visit: https://gbr.sika.com/flooring/en/sika-flooring.html
    Jun 20, 2018 0
  • 18 Jun 2018
    Generation Rent is a popular term used to describe young adults, normally between the ages of 18 – 35, who live in rented accommodation because of high house prices, writes Lara Walsh. They are generally regarded as having little chance of becoming homeowners. However, how do the UK’s Generation Rent compare to others around Europe? In November 2017, Countrywide data showed that an average of 7.6% of homes listed to let had previously been listed for sale, which in turn has led to an increase in people renting in the United Kingdom. However, in Europe, Germany leads the way when it comes to the percentage of the population living in a rented dwelling, with a huge 54.3%. We’ve recently seen dynamic changes on the residential property market across Europe, with the average square metre cost of a property varying significantly. The United Kingdom still has the highest per square metre average transaction price in Europe of €4,628, despite a decrease of 9.0% due to the pound’s depreciation. This in turn has made it hard for new buyers to get onto the property ladder. Comparing the average cost of 4,628 EUR/m2 in the UK to other nations in Europe, you can get more space for the equivalent value elsewhere. This leads to higher rental costs, once the properties find their way onto the rental market. Back in the UK, we saw the average rental cost increase by 2.55% between August 2016 and 2017, with the South East being the only region to become more affordable with a percentage decrease of -0.2% in rental costs. In the previous 10 years, the increase in house prices has outpaced the rise in average salaries. This has led to first time buyers not being able to raise a deposit to purchase a property, which has led them to rent. However, research from the Yorkshire Building Society has shown that buying a home in Britain has become more affordable across 54% of the country over the past decade (07-17). Visit: https://money-pod.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Generation Rent is a popular term used to describe young adults, normally between the ages of 18 – 35, who live in rented accommodation because of high house prices, writes Lara Walsh. They are generally regarded as having little chance of becoming homeowners. However, how do the UK’s Generation Rent compare to others around Europe? In November 2017, Countrywide data showed that an average of 7.6% of homes listed to let had previously been listed for sale, which in turn has led to an increase in people renting in the United Kingdom. However, in Europe, Germany leads the way when it comes to the percentage of the population living in a rented dwelling, with a huge 54.3%. We’ve recently seen dynamic changes on the residential property market across Europe, with the average square metre cost of a property varying significantly. The United Kingdom still has the highest per square metre average transaction price in Europe of €4,628, despite a decrease of 9.0% due to the pound’s depreciation. This in turn has made it hard for new buyers to get onto the property ladder. Comparing the average cost of 4,628 EUR/m2 in the UK to other nations in Europe, you can get more space for the equivalent value elsewhere. This leads to higher rental costs, once the properties find their way onto the rental market. Back in the UK, we saw the average rental cost increase by 2.55% between August 2016 and 2017, with the South East being the only region to become more affordable with a percentage decrease of -0.2% in rental costs. In the previous 10 years, the increase in house prices has outpaced the rise in average salaries. This has led to first time buyers not being able to raise a deposit to purchase a property, which has led them to rent. However, research from the Yorkshire Building Society has shown that buying a home in Britain has become more affordable across 54% of the country over the past decade (07-17). Visit: https://money-pod.co.uk
    Jun 18, 2018 0
  • 15 Jun 2018
    It was once referred to as the forgotten pollutant and while some may think this issue is a fact of life, noise is an annoyance that can be bad for your health, whether it’s in the home, workplace or outside environment. In the world of education, noise can not only have a direct impact on teaching and learning, but for teachers, it can result in voice strain, hearing issues and stress-related illnesses. Good acoustics in schools should be a fundamental design element, so what are the challenges when it comes to creating the optimum teaching and learning environment? There is no escaping the fact that schools are busy and bustling environments, but students taught in quiet rooms which offer good acoustics learn and behave better than those in noisy rooms with poor acoustics. It can be hard to avoid in certain teaching situations, such as in group work or in music or drama lessons for instance. Noise from stairs and circulation routes can cause disturbances to classrooms and teaching spaces. There’s also the impact of external sources of noise which can affect noise levels in schools such as traffic, aircraft, plant rooms or even the weather. The move towards more open plan environments can also have a direct impact on acoustics as background noise and sound intrusion are difficult to minimise. With ever-tightening budgets, the uncertainty of class sizes and the need for private study areas, educational environments need to be flexible and adaptable, but this should not be at the expense of good acoustics. Design guidance for acoustics in new schools is provided by Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which is incorporated within the Building Regulations. It provides complex calculation methodology for the material dividing space to ensure each classroom or educational space meets the required acoustic performance. This could be ensuring the wall between a music practice room and a library was fit for purpose. Demountable glass partitions have become an intrinsic design element in creating flexible spaces that can be quickly transformed and reconfigured based on the requirements of an educational environment. With communication such an important factor when it comes to learning, glass partitions must offer good acoustic performance in order to aid interaction between teachers and students, as well as improving study activities. Glass partitions can achieve excellent acoustics, particularly double-glazed partitions. Credible test data should be obtained from the manufacturer that the specified system meets the required acoustic performance. When you look at the increasing pressure on the school estate and the conversion of existing buildings into educational facilities, the demand for good acoustics in education has never been higher. Teaching and learning are acoustically demanding activities, but well-designed teaching spaces - which have an attention to acoustic detail - will enhance learning and contribute to the wellbeing of both students and teachers alike.  Visit http://optimasystems.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It was once referred to as the forgotten pollutant and while some may think this issue is a fact of life, noise is an annoyance that can be bad for your health, whether it’s in the home, workplace or outside environment. In the world of education, noise can not only have a direct impact on teaching and learning, but for teachers, it can result in voice strain, hearing issues and stress-related illnesses. Good acoustics in schools should be a fundamental design element, so what are the challenges when it comes to creating the optimum teaching and learning environment? There is no escaping the fact that schools are busy and bustling environments, but students taught in quiet rooms which offer good acoustics learn and behave better than those in noisy rooms with poor acoustics. It can be hard to avoid in certain teaching situations, such as in group work or in music or drama lessons for instance. Noise from stairs and circulation routes can cause disturbances to classrooms and teaching spaces. There’s also the impact of external sources of noise which can affect noise levels in schools such as traffic, aircraft, plant rooms or even the weather. The move towards more open plan environments can also have a direct impact on acoustics as background noise and sound intrusion are difficult to minimise. With ever-tightening budgets, the uncertainty of class sizes and the need for private study areas, educational environments need to be flexible and adaptable, but this should not be at the expense of good acoustics. Design guidance for acoustics in new schools is provided by Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which is incorporated within the Building Regulations. It provides complex calculation methodology for the material dividing space to ensure each classroom or educational space meets the required acoustic performance. This could be ensuring the wall between a music practice room and a library was fit for purpose. Demountable glass partitions have become an intrinsic design element in creating flexible spaces that can be quickly transformed and reconfigured based on the requirements of an educational environment. With communication such an important factor when it comes to learning, glass partitions must offer good acoustic performance in order to aid interaction between teachers and students, as well as improving study activities. Glass partitions can achieve excellent acoustics, particularly double-glazed partitions. Credible test data should be obtained from the manufacturer that the specified system meets the required acoustic performance. When you look at the increasing pressure on the school estate and the conversion of existing buildings into educational facilities, the demand for good acoustics in education has never been higher. Teaching and learning are acoustically demanding activities, but well-designed teaching spaces - which have an attention to acoustic detail - will enhance learning and contribute to the wellbeing of both students and teachers alike.  Visit http://optimasystems.com
    Jun 15, 2018 0
  • 11 Jun 2018
    Modern technology has revolutionised many aspects of modern life, including the efficiency and safety of construction sites around the world writes Daisy Welch. However, it took a long time to reach our current level of health and safety. Here we take a look at some of the most deadly construction sites throughout history. The Panama Canal   Perhaps one of the best known human construction projects of all time, the Panama Canal, was started by France in 1887. The canal would connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and make maritime trade far easier. Ferdinand de Lessaps was charged with the task of planning and constructing the canal after his success with the Suez Canal. However, De Lesseps only visited the site a few times and the dense jungle and poor working conditions led to over two hundred deaths per month. Attempts to control the outbreak of disease were unsuccessful as it wasn't yet known that mosquitoes were carriers of malaria. An estimated 22,000 workers died during this initial building period. Work was transferred to a much smaller task force to try and minimise the number of deaths. The project was then taken over by the USA in 1904. The USA inherited a depleted workforce, damaged equipment and a mammoth task. The work continued and mosquito carried diseases were minimised by the end of construction thanks to the work of Dr. Carlos Finlay and Dr. Walter Reed. Improvements included mosquito nets, improved hygiene and the elimination of stagnant water. Despite these improvements, another 5,600 workers died during the American completion of the Panama Canal.  White Sea-Baltic Canal   The White Sea-Baltic Canal, or White Sea Canal as it is often known, is a ship canal in Russia constructed in the 1930s by Gulag prisoners. The Gulag's were forced labour camps created during Lenin's time in power and reaching their peak under Stalin. Until 1961 it was known as The Stalin White Sea-Baltic Canal. The canal is 141 miles long, running through several canalised rivers and Lake Vygozero. The canal was originally planned to improve trade and construction with the ability to move materials more efficiently. However, the water level is too shallow in many places to allow large boats to pass. Therefore, the canal still only carries light traffic of between ten and forty boats per day. The Soviet Union constructed the canal as part of their infamous five-year plan. The canal was completed four months ahead of time in an attempt to show the efficiency and strength of the Soviet Union. The canal was the first construction project using the Soviet Unions forced labour from Gulags. The camps and prisons supplied 100,000 convicts and this was advertised as an example of using prisoners but also helping them 'reforge' - a Soviet concept of rehabilitation. In reality though, prisoners survived in brutal conditions. Teams were forced to live in cramped, uncomfortable surroundings and competed against each other increasing working hours and the intensity of labour. 12,000 workers died during construction with numerous more injured. 12,000 workers were freed at the end of construction as a reward for their forced labour and as further propaganda for the success of the Soviet Union. The Burma-Siam Railway   Also known as The Death Railway, The Burma -Siam Railway was constructed by the Empire of Japan to support forces in Burma during World War Two. A similar route was considered by the British government as early as 1885, but the terrain which was divided by numerous rivers, was considered too difficult to undertake. In 1942, Japan seized control of the British colony of Burma and needed to supply troupes to the area. After the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the Japanese government decided the railway was crucial to their success and therefore the risk of difficult terrain was worth taking. Thousands of British and Australian POW were used to construct the railway, with 1,000 POW housed every five to ten miles on the route. The camps included open-sided barracks built on bamboo poles with bamboo roofs. 12,000 Japanese soldiers were employed on the railway as engineers, guards and supervisors of Prisoners of War. The Japanese soldiers at the time are now remembered for their cruelty to workers and Prisoners of War. The Karakoram Highway Also known as National Highway 35, the 1300km national highway in Pakistan extends to Hasan Abdal in Punjab, where it crosses into China. The highway is a popular tourist attraction, with one of the highest paved roads in the world. The mountainous terrain of the road led to many difficulties during construction, including multiple deadly landslides which killed hundreds of workers. Construction began in 1959 but realignment and the construction of tunnels around the highway continued until 2015. The Aswan Dam   The Aswan Dam in Egypt was constructed after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 to improve on the Low Aswan Dam constructed in 1902. The Dam would better control flooding and increase water storage for irrigation while also generating hydroelectricity. The dam was part of a wider plan of industrialisation. Attempts to build dams at Aswan go back to the 11th century but the current dam was create in 1960-1970. 25,000 Egyptian engineers and workers contributed to the construction. For the completion of the dam, 100,000 people were forced to relocate. During the work, 22 archaeological monuments were put in danger. Some were preserved or removed but the Buhen Fort, a ancient Egyptian fortress dating to 1860BC was flooded by Lake Nesser after construction of the dam. Of the 30,000 workers, 500 were killed and their deaths were caused by floods, poor living and working conditions and the spread of disease.   Visit: https://www.insulationexpress.co.uk    
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Modern technology has revolutionised many aspects of modern life, including the efficiency and safety of construction sites around the world writes Daisy Welch. However, it took a long time to reach our current level of health and safety. Here we take a look at some of the most deadly construction sites throughout history. The Panama Canal   Perhaps one of the best known human construction projects of all time, the Panama Canal, was started by France in 1887. The canal would connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and make maritime trade far easier. Ferdinand de Lessaps was charged with the task of planning and constructing the canal after his success with the Suez Canal. However, De Lesseps only visited the site a few times and the dense jungle and poor working conditions led to over two hundred deaths per month. Attempts to control the outbreak of disease were unsuccessful as it wasn't yet known that mosquitoes were carriers of malaria. An estimated 22,000 workers died during this initial building period. Work was transferred to a much smaller task force to try and minimise the number of deaths. The project was then taken over by the USA in 1904. The USA inherited a depleted workforce, damaged equipment and a mammoth task. The work continued and mosquito carried diseases were minimised by the end of construction thanks to the work of Dr. Carlos Finlay and Dr. Walter Reed. Improvements included mosquito nets, improved hygiene and the elimination of stagnant water. Despite these improvements, another 5,600 workers died during the American completion of the Panama Canal.  White Sea-Baltic Canal   The White Sea-Baltic Canal, or White Sea Canal as it is often known, is a ship canal in Russia constructed in the 1930s by Gulag prisoners. The Gulag's were forced labour camps created during Lenin's time in power and reaching their peak under Stalin. Until 1961 it was known as The Stalin White Sea-Baltic Canal. The canal is 141 miles long, running through several canalised rivers and Lake Vygozero. The canal was originally planned to improve trade and construction with the ability to move materials more efficiently. However, the water level is too shallow in many places to allow large boats to pass. Therefore, the canal still only carries light traffic of between ten and forty boats per day. The Soviet Union constructed the canal as part of their infamous five-year plan. The canal was completed four months ahead of time in an attempt to show the efficiency and strength of the Soviet Union. The canal was the first construction project using the Soviet Unions forced labour from Gulags. The camps and prisons supplied 100,000 convicts and this was advertised as an example of using prisoners but also helping them 'reforge' - a Soviet concept of rehabilitation. In reality though, prisoners survived in brutal conditions. Teams were forced to live in cramped, uncomfortable surroundings and competed against each other increasing working hours and the intensity of labour. 12,000 workers died during construction with numerous more injured. 12,000 workers were freed at the end of construction as a reward for their forced labour and as further propaganda for the success of the Soviet Union. The Burma-Siam Railway   Also known as The Death Railway, The Burma -Siam Railway was constructed by the Empire of Japan to support forces in Burma during World War Two. A similar route was considered by the British government as early as 1885, but the terrain which was divided by numerous rivers, was considered too difficult to undertake. In 1942, Japan seized control of the British colony of Burma and needed to supply troupes to the area. After the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the Japanese government decided the railway was crucial to their success and therefore the risk of difficult terrain was worth taking. Thousands of British and Australian POW were used to construct the railway, with 1,000 POW housed every five to ten miles on the route. The camps included open-sided barracks built on bamboo poles with bamboo roofs. 12,000 Japanese soldiers were employed on the railway as engineers, guards and supervisors of Prisoners of War. The Japanese soldiers at the time are now remembered for their cruelty to workers and Prisoners of War. The Karakoram Highway Also known as National Highway 35, the 1300km national highway in Pakistan extends to Hasan Abdal in Punjab, where it crosses into China. The highway is a popular tourist attraction, with one of the highest paved roads in the world. The mountainous terrain of the road led to many difficulties during construction, including multiple deadly landslides which killed hundreds of workers. Construction began in 1959 but realignment and the construction of tunnels around the highway continued until 2015. The Aswan Dam   The Aswan Dam in Egypt was constructed after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 to improve on the Low Aswan Dam constructed in 1902. The Dam would better control flooding and increase water storage for irrigation while also generating hydroelectricity. The dam was part of a wider plan of industrialisation. Attempts to build dams at Aswan go back to the 11th century but the current dam was create in 1960-1970. 25,000 Egyptian engineers and workers contributed to the construction. For the completion of the dam, 100,000 people were forced to relocate. During the work, 22 archaeological monuments were put in danger. Some were preserved or removed but the Buhen Fort, a ancient Egyptian fortress dating to 1860BC was flooded by Lake Nesser after construction of the dam. Of the 30,000 workers, 500 were killed and their deaths were caused by floods, poor living and working conditions and the spread of disease.   Visit: https://www.insulationexpress.co.uk    
    Jun 11, 2018 0
  • 06 Jun 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. Communication revolution 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. The internet, and more particularly, social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. A large 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 benefits Virtual reality is another hi-tech revelation. 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 – 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. 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. Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    0 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. Communication revolution 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. The internet, and more particularly, social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. A large 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 benefits Virtual reality is another hi-tech revelation. 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 – 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. 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. Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    Jun 06, 2018 0
  • 31 May 2018
    Product substitution is an endemic problem across the construction industry.  A recent survey by the NBS showed that 78% of construction professionals believe product substitution is an industry issue, which leads to cheaper and/or inferior products being substituted in order to drive down build costs and maximise profits.  This means that what is designed is not what is built. Important decisions are often made with a lack of understanding of the consequences that the substitution can have on the building’s performance and lifecycle costs. Substituted products may well invalidate various contract conditions and warranties, and in some cases expose people to heavy liabilities should a failure happen. These products may also reduce the performance of the building as a whole. One such example would be in the specification of insulation products where, if a PIR insulation product were to be substituted by a product of the same thickness with poorer insulation properties, it would have a significant impact over the lifetime of the building.  This could result in the building not meeting its thermal performance, as determined by building regulations, increase the lifetime energy costs for the building occupants and reduce the carbon savings,  as well as potentially impacting on the health and wellbeing of the building occupants. Therefore digitalisation of construction products will provide some traceability of products across the supply chain and is seen by many as the best way to reduce the performance gap and increase performance certainty across the built environment. Ultimately, building owners need to know all the components used in a building’s construction and accurate product specification is now a critical part of the construction process. Specifications do allow the exchange of information between the client, the designer and the contractor but not everyone can know everything about a particular product on a build.  Therefore it is very important for manufacturers to provide the most up-to-date information in order that designers and contractors can make correct decisions quickly and minimise risks on projects. Digitalisation of this information is one way of achieving this. A digitally-connected world In an era of digital technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become tremendously important in the construction industry and has enabled manufacturers to share product information in more accessible forms. According to the NBS, three- quarters of manufacturers agree that BIM is the future of product information. Through the BIM Level 2 programme, building product manufacturers can provide a wealth of product information to specifiers online, in an immediate and standardised accessible digital structure. The BIM Library gives specifiers the ability to compare products on a like-for-like basis and as such, decisions can be made based on the quality of the product - such as performance, financial cost, environmental impact, durability, third-party certification and warranty - and not on the quality of the marketing spend. And where products need to be assembled to form a system, the user will be able to do this online through a user-friendly interface. This will reduce and hopefully eliminate the chances of specifying incompatible products in a system. Designers recognise the potential for BIM as it helps create new design possibilities and allows for traceability of products used on any particular construction project. Standardising product information One of the issues with supplying product information in a number of formats or templates is that it can cause confusion. There is also the question of what information needs to be shared. Led by the Construction Products Association (CPA) and developed by the UK Government’s BIM Task Group, the industry-led initiative LEXiCON has been designed to streamline data consistency and interoperability across the sector. This tool standardises product information by providing the construction industry with a plain language dictionary to share product information in a consistent way. LEXiCON utilises tools and templates that can be used across different software platforms. This will help to improve collaboration and exchange of information, rather like having a product’s DNA information attached to a product and is added to throughout its lifecycle.  It is now being considered as the basis for a new European standard. Smart CE Marking Introduced in 2013, the CE label for a construction product outlines valuable technical information. However, as it is available only in printed or PDF format, it cannot be used by software or BIM tool and is often extensive and too complex to be of any practical use for installers or end users. In a bid to create more user friendly information, the development of Smart CE Marking simplifies specification by enabling information in an xml format through a QR code or web link. It provides the link between the physical product and the Declaration of Performance (DoP). The results provide human or machine readable information which will hopefully empower designers to specify products in accordance with European standards.  Added to this, users will have certainty they are using products that match their specifications. As well as providing product information through Smart CE Marking, manufacturers can also connect directly with the users of the products in order to provide targeting information such as health and safety information, product guidance and installation videos.  Information can also flow back to manufacturers, which will allow them to trace products to their final place of use. Specifiers and manufacturers are in agreement that they want to reduce product substitution. Support from manufacturers at an early stage will help specifiers choose the right product quickly, and armed with more accurate specification through digitalisation, reduce the likelihood of substitution. Manufacturers who embrace digitalisation will be the winners, as the construction industry continues its drive towards a digital world. Companies which are slow to embrace this new way of doing things will run the risk of falling behind their rivals. Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Product substitution is an endemic problem across the construction industry.  A recent survey by the NBS showed that 78% of construction professionals believe product substitution is an industry issue, which leads to cheaper and/or inferior products being substituted in order to drive down build costs and maximise profits.  This means that what is designed is not what is built. Important decisions are often made with a lack of understanding of the consequences that the substitution can have on the building’s performance and lifecycle costs. Substituted products may well invalidate various contract conditions and warranties, and in some cases expose people to heavy liabilities should a failure happen. These products may also reduce the performance of the building as a whole. One such example would be in the specification of insulation products where, if a PIR insulation product were to be substituted by a product of the same thickness with poorer insulation properties, it would have a significant impact over the lifetime of the building.  This could result in the building not meeting its thermal performance, as determined by building regulations, increase the lifetime energy costs for the building occupants and reduce the carbon savings,  as well as potentially impacting on the health and wellbeing of the building occupants. Therefore digitalisation of construction products will provide some traceability of products across the supply chain and is seen by many as the best way to reduce the performance gap and increase performance certainty across the built environment. Ultimately, building owners need to know all the components used in a building’s construction and accurate product specification is now a critical part of the construction process. Specifications do allow the exchange of information between the client, the designer and the contractor but not everyone can know everything about a particular product on a build.  Therefore it is very important for manufacturers to provide the most up-to-date information in order that designers and contractors can make correct decisions quickly and minimise risks on projects. Digitalisation of this information is one way of achieving this. A digitally-connected world In an era of digital technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become tremendously important in the construction industry and has enabled manufacturers to share product information in more accessible forms. According to the NBS, three- quarters of manufacturers agree that BIM is the future of product information. Through the BIM Level 2 programme, building product manufacturers can provide a wealth of product information to specifiers online, in an immediate and standardised accessible digital structure. The BIM Library gives specifiers the ability to compare products on a like-for-like basis and as such, decisions can be made based on the quality of the product - such as performance, financial cost, environmental impact, durability, third-party certification and warranty - and not on the quality of the marketing spend. And where products need to be assembled to form a system, the user will be able to do this online through a user-friendly interface. This will reduce and hopefully eliminate the chances of specifying incompatible products in a system. Designers recognise the potential for BIM as it helps create new design possibilities and allows for traceability of products used on any particular construction project. Standardising product information One of the issues with supplying product information in a number of formats or templates is that it can cause confusion. There is also the question of what information needs to be shared. Led by the Construction Products Association (CPA) and developed by the UK Government’s BIM Task Group, the industry-led initiative LEXiCON has been designed to streamline data consistency and interoperability across the sector. This tool standardises product information by providing the construction industry with a plain language dictionary to share product information in a consistent way. LEXiCON utilises tools and templates that can be used across different software platforms. This will help to improve collaboration and exchange of information, rather like having a product’s DNA information attached to a product and is added to throughout its lifecycle.  It is now being considered as the basis for a new European standard. Smart CE Marking Introduced in 2013, the CE label for a construction product outlines valuable technical information. However, as it is available only in printed or PDF format, it cannot be used by software or BIM tool and is often extensive and too complex to be of any practical use for installers or end users. In a bid to create more user friendly information, the development of Smart CE Marking simplifies specification by enabling information in an xml format through a QR code or web link. It provides the link between the physical product and the Declaration of Performance (DoP). The results provide human or machine readable information which will hopefully empower designers to specify products in accordance with European standards.  Added to this, users will have certainty they are using products that match their specifications. As well as providing product information through Smart CE Marking, manufacturers can also connect directly with the users of the products in order to provide targeting information such as health and safety information, product guidance and installation videos.  Information can also flow back to manufacturers, which will allow them to trace products to their final place of use. Specifiers and manufacturers are in agreement that they want to reduce product substitution. Support from manufacturers at an early stage will help specifiers choose the right product quickly, and armed with more accurate specification through digitalisation, reduce the likelihood of substitution. Manufacturers who embrace digitalisation will be the winners, as the construction industry continues its drive towards a digital world. Companies which are slow to embrace this new way of doing things will run the risk of falling behind their rivals. Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    May 31, 2018 0
  • 28 May 2018
    Successful construction project management requires effective communication and uninterrupted data flow at every stage of the project writes Maria Vidal. Traditionally, each department of a construction project has their own way of recording and managing data. Since there is no centralized database to work with, each one of these managers has to go through handful of manual work to get the information they need. This can be problematic in four ways: Duplicate Data Construction companies that do not keep a centralized database often suffer from duplication of data. This occurs particularly between the production and accounting department. One may be doing estimating in one system and another places the order somewhere else. There is incorrect transfer of data and lack of control. Not only does this complicate the process, it also triples the paperwork. Paperwork Trail The most difficult and most time consuming area to manage in a project is accounts payable. With the traditional method, a manager needs to compare and review a lot of paperwork to come up with an accurate and justifiable invoice. Inaccurate Job Costing Without a centralized system, arriving at an accurate job costing may be a challenge. There is a huge risk of inaccurate job costing with ineffective record keeping especially if you’re dealing with a handful of them. Endless Reports While spreadsheets are great, it is mainly for a single user only not company wide application.  Data inconsistency is quite common using these as main tool for record keeping. With technology, the risks are minimized keeping your business moving up rather than moving down. Digital Breakthrough in the Construction Industry Today, technology allowed builders to improve communication flow and data management particularly providing solutions to generic flaws including data inefficiency, broken communication, and budget deficits. Project management software is on the front lines of the industry’s digital evolution.  It impacts operation efficiency and creates accountability for the managers. Collaborative project management software with defined workflows, controls, and engagement protocols can deftly manage changes in the processes especially when interacting with third-party contractors. Construction management software can cover for major construction project process. Aside from basic project management tasks, features may include seamless billing, invoicing options, collaboration tools, custom reporting, and other business tools, which make operations significantly more efficient especially for large scale projects like commercial building. Design is another major area technology has increasingly helped the industry. Integration with design software allows builders to update and publish drawings easily. It becomes readily available for subcontractors as well as their clients. Building Information Modeling (BIM) fulfills the need for a digital 3D design. It speeds up the need for collaborative tools in design creation and presentation. Technology is transforming the way the industry operates. BIM, planning, designing, and project construction are feasible without the risk of overlooking significant factors like material and logistics, contract administration, cost control, and project scheduling. With the recent adaptations resulting in the streamlined workflow at all levels in a process and higher profits, the future of construction industry awaits embracing technology properly. Maria Vida writes forThrive Technologies Australia – company that creates tailored construction business software solutions by actively sourcing the best software available to help you stay on top of the game. Visit: www.thrivetech.com.au
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Successful construction project management requires effective communication and uninterrupted data flow at every stage of the project writes Maria Vidal. Traditionally, each department of a construction project has their own way of recording and managing data. Since there is no centralized database to work with, each one of these managers has to go through handful of manual work to get the information they need. This can be problematic in four ways: Duplicate Data Construction companies that do not keep a centralized database often suffer from duplication of data. This occurs particularly between the production and accounting department. One may be doing estimating in one system and another places the order somewhere else. There is incorrect transfer of data and lack of control. Not only does this complicate the process, it also triples the paperwork. Paperwork Trail The most difficult and most time consuming area to manage in a project is accounts payable. With the traditional method, a manager needs to compare and review a lot of paperwork to come up with an accurate and justifiable invoice. Inaccurate Job Costing Without a centralized system, arriving at an accurate job costing may be a challenge. There is a huge risk of inaccurate job costing with ineffective record keeping especially if you’re dealing with a handful of them. Endless Reports While spreadsheets are great, it is mainly for a single user only not company wide application.  Data inconsistency is quite common using these as main tool for record keeping. With technology, the risks are minimized keeping your business moving up rather than moving down. Digital Breakthrough in the Construction Industry Today, technology allowed builders to improve communication flow and data management particularly providing solutions to generic flaws including data inefficiency, broken communication, and budget deficits. Project management software is on the front lines of the industry’s digital evolution.  It impacts operation efficiency and creates accountability for the managers. Collaborative project management software with defined workflows, controls, and engagement protocols can deftly manage changes in the processes especially when interacting with third-party contractors. Construction management software can cover for major construction project process. Aside from basic project management tasks, features may include seamless billing, invoicing options, collaboration tools, custom reporting, and other business tools, which make operations significantly more efficient especially for large scale projects like commercial building. Design is another major area technology has increasingly helped the industry. Integration with design software allows builders to update and publish drawings easily. It becomes readily available for subcontractors as well as their clients. Building Information Modeling (BIM) fulfills the need for a digital 3D design. It speeds up the need for collaborative tools in design creation and presentation. Technology is transforming the way the industry operates. BIM, planning, designing, and project construction are feasible without the risk of overlooking significant factors like material and logistics, contract administration, cost control, and project scheduling. With the recent adaptations resulting in the streamlined workflow at all levels in a process and higher profits, the future of construction industry awaits embracing technology properly. Maria Vida writes forThrive Technologies Australia – company that creates tailored construction business software solutions by actively sourcing the best software available to help you stay on top of the game. Visit: www.thrivetech.com.au
    May 28, 2018 0