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Talk. Build 's Entries

  • 23 Apr 2021
    Sustainability has been at the top of the building agenda for many years, with an emphasis on its environmental and economic impact. Such outcomes are of major importance, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that buildings are created for people, and their health and wellbeing should be of the highest priority when it comes to the interior design and workings of offices and other workplaces. Stacey Lucas, Commercial and Marketing Director at Sontay, a market-leader in the manufacture of sensors specifically developed to improve the indoor environment and create healthier, more energy-efficient buildings, looks at how smart sensor technology is being employed for beneficial effect in the places we inhabit most.  Pre-pandemic we reportedly spent more than 90% of our lives indoors whether at home, school or in the workplace. Ventilation, temperature and pressure regulation contribute to maintaining an atmospheric happy medium, which in a work environment helps increase employee contentment, leading to increased productivity and fewer sick days. Building sensors installed as part of an efficient building management system, offer an ingeniously smart and effective way of remotely monitoring indoor conditions, as well as giving property owners more control over energy usage; a benefit that not only helps reduce heating and lighting costs, it facilitates a significant reduction in a building’s carbon footprint. Monitoring key criteria such as relative humidity, CO2 and air quality can also offer vital information on the likelihood of viral transmission in the indoor environment and instruct the BMS to increase ventilation to improve conditions. Their usage could therefore be a factor in driving environmental-initiatives, such as the UK government’s pledge for carbon-neutral status by 2050 as well as building confidence in us returning to office buildings in the future. Sensor solutions Sensors can control a myriad of elements that affect our indoor climate including temperature, which in relation to an office environment is found to be around 22°C. However, relative humidity, if not managed correctly can make a room feel hotter or colder than the actual temperature reading. It can increase the likelihood of bacterial spread at lower levels. A sensor can help overcome these issues by monitoring humidity levels, to ensure an ideal 50% reading is maintained. In terms of air quality, airborne volatile organic compounds (VOC), pollutants which are found in paints and other building materials, are known to have a detrimental effect. The same harmful chemicals are also present in hand sanitisers, aggressive cleaning products and detergents; the demand for which has been unprecedented since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Air quality sensors are able to measure VOC levels and provide data for when ventilation is needed to maintain occupancy comfort, or the need to take action when a potentially hazardous reading is recorded. Crisis management The COVID-19 pandemic has also focused a lot of attention on the amount of indoor space people should be allowed to share in order to maintain distance and prevent viral spread. A CO2 sensor provides a clear visual indication of when a workplace requires ventilation due to deterioration in the indoor air quality. When we exhale we emit CO2, which if left unchecked in a busy office environment for example, can lead to headaches due to increased discomfort levels. A CO2 sensor with an LED traffic light-style display can help alleviate this issue. When showing green, for instance, the sensor is indicating that a room isn’t over-occupied and the risk to air quality is low. Should the sensor show amber, it’s a sign that windows require opening or fewer people need to be in the room to maintain the same healthy indoors environment. When the sensor turns red it is a call to action, as it indicates there is not enough ventilationin the room. At these last two stages, if a sensor is connected to a building management system, it will activate relevant ventilation. Light level and occupancy sensors offer further relevance to the ongoing pandemic. In relation to the nationwide lockdown, many offices in towns and cities remain empty whilst lights and other energy sources continue to burn unmonitored within the buildings themselves. An estimated 40% of a building’s energy costs are attributed to light usage; therefore, installing a sensor which operates lighting based on a building’s occupancy and interior light levels has financial and environmental benefits. Though relatively small in size, building sensors can have a huge part to play in ensuring properties, particularly workspaces, are managed safely, sustainably and profitably. Like a friend we never knew we had, these smart little devices look out for us when we’re in the office, and look out for the office when we’re at home. They are becoming evermore vital to the way we work today, and in the future.
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Sustainability has been at the top of the building agenda for many years, with an emphasis on its environmental and economic impact. Such outcomes are of major importance, but it shouldn’t be forgotten that buildings are created for people, and their health and wellbeing should be of the highest priority when it comes to the interior design and workings of offices and other workplaces. Stacey Lucas, Commercial and Marketing Director at Sontay, a market-leader in the manufacture of sensors specifically developed to improve the indoor environment and create healthier, more energy-efficient buildings, looks at how smart sensor technology is being employed for beneficial effect in the places we inhabit most.  Pre-pandemic we reportedly spent more than 90% of our lives indoors whether at home, school or in the workplace. Ventilation, temperature and pressure regulation contribute to maintaining an atmospheric happy medium, which in a work environment helps increase employee contentment, leading to increased productivity and fewer sick days. Building sensors installed as part of an efficient building management system, offer an ingeniously smart and effective way of remotely monitoring indoor conditions, as well as giving property owners more control over energy usage; a benefit that not only helps reduce heating and lighting costs, it facilitates a significant reduction in a building’s carbon footprint. Monitoring key criteria such as relative humidity, CO2 and air quality can also offer vital information on the likelihood of viral transmission in the indoor environment and instruct the BMS to increase ventilation to improve conditions. Their usage could therefore be a factor in driving environmental-initiatives, such as the UK government’s pledge for carbon-neutral status by 2050 as well as building confidence in us returning to office buildings in the future. Sensor solutions Sensors can control a myriad of elements that affect our indoor climate including temperature, which in relation to an office environment is found to be around 22°C. However, relative humidity, if not managed correctly can make a room feel hotter or colder than the actual temperature reading. It can increase the likelihood of bacterial spread at lower levels. A sensor can help overcome these issues by monitoring humidity levels, to ensure an ideal 50% reading is maintained. In terms of air quality, airborne volatile organic compounds (VOC), pollutants which are found in paints and other building materials, are known to have a detrimental effect. The same harmful chemicals are also present in hand sanitisers, aggressive cleaning products and detergents; the demand for which has been unprecedented since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Air quality sensors are able to measure VOC levels and provide data for when ventilation is needed to maintain occupancy comfort, or the need to take action when a potentially hazardous reading is recorded. Crisis management The COVID-19 pandemic has also focused a lot of attention on the amount of indoor space people should be allowed to share in order to maintain distance and prevent viral spread. A CO2 sensor provides a clear visual indication of when a workplace requires ventilation due to deterioration in the indoor air quality. When we exhale we emit CO2, which if left unchecked in a busy office environment for example, can lead to headaches due to increased discomfort levels. A CO2 sensor with an LED traffic light-style display can help alleviate this issue. When showing green, for instance, the sensor is indicating that a room isn’t over-occupied and the risk to air quality is low. Should the sensor show amber, it’s a sign that windows require opening or fewer people need to be in the room to maintain the same healthy indoors environment. When the sensor turns red it is a call to action, as it indicates there is not enough ventilationin the room. At these last two stages, if a sensor is connected to a building management system, it will activate relevant ventilation. Light level and occupancy sensors offer further relevance to the ongoing pandemic. In relation to the nationwide lockdown, many offices in towns and cities remain empty whilst lights and other energy sources continue to burn unmonitored within the buildings themselves. An estimated 40% of a building’s energy costs are attributed to light usage; therefore, installing a sensor which operates lighting based on a building’s occupancy and interior light levels has financial and environmental benefits. Though relatively small in size, building sensors can have a huge part to play in ensuring properties, particularly workspaces, are managed safely, sustainably and profitably. Like a friend we never knew we had, these smart little devices look out for us when we’re in the office, and look out for the office when we’re at home. They are becoming evermore vital to the way we work today, and in the future.
    Apr 23, 2021 0
  • 15 Mar 2021
    In a world of smart buildings, the link between building management systems and IT has never been more important, but these computer-based systems require an army of efficient sensors to ensure a building’s performance is optimised. Stacey Lucas, Commercial and Marketing Director of smart sensor supplier, Sontay offers insight into the important role of sensing devices and how they help create smarter buildings. We reportedly spend more than 90% of our lives indoors whether at home, school or in the workplace, with air quality being crucial to the levels of comfort felt within these spaces. Ventilation, temperature and pressure regulation contribute to maintaining an atmospheric happy medium, which in a work environment helps increase employee contentment, leading to increased productivity and fewer sick days. Sensors can control a myriad of elements that affect our indoor climate including temperature, which in relation to an office environment is found to be around 22°C. However, relative humidity, if not managed correctly can make a room feel hotter or colder than the actual temperature reading. A sensor can help overcome this issue by providing data to a BMS managing humidity levels and ensuring an ideal 50% reading is maintained. In terms of air quality, airborne volatile organic compounds (VOC), pollutants which are found in paints and other building materials, are known to have a detrimental effect. The same harmful chemicals are also present in hand sanitisers, aggressive cleaning products and detergents, the demand for which has been unprecedented since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Air quality sensors are able to measure VOC levels and alert occupants of the need to take action when a potentially hazardous reading is recorded. Sensors enable accurate data Building sensors, installed as part of an efficient building management system, offer an ingeniously smart and effective way of remotely monitoring indoor conditions. Designers and consultants need to be sure the equipment being used will perform as efficiently as possible, which is why access to accurate, reliable data detected initially by a sensor will ensure products endure the test of time and help maintain the optimum environment for inhabitants. As well as assuring a system works efficiently once installed, a consultant must also consider whether the products they have specified will perform as intended. On handover, sensors give eventual asset owners more control over the performance of a building and its energy usage; a benefit that not only helps reduce heating and lighting costs, it facilitates a significant reduction in a building’s carbon footprint. As well as assuring quality, performance and efficiency, sensors could be a factor in driving environmental-initiatives, such as the UK government’s pledge for carbon-neutral status by 2050. The hidden workforce With clean lines and minimalist detail commonplace in modern building design, it is no wonder the humble sensor has been fashioned to look modest. However, do not be deceived; what the sensor lacks in size, it makes up for in power. One or two sensors on the wall are responsible for responding to and monitoring all the conditions of any controlled space. On the other side of the wall behind the scenes, there are scores of devices that are constantly managing the conditions of a controlled space. Air handling units are responsible for supplying and circulating air around a building, and also have to extract stale air from the premises. If fresh air is introduced into a building to ventilate a certain room, if it is freezing cold outside, the temperature of the air will have to be increased. It may also need to be filtered or dehumidified. Here, sensors come into their own, testing and monitoring the air so that data can be used to change the conditions of the controlled space. There will be sensors measuring the humidity and temperature of the air, sending information to the controller and in turn to the air handling unit on the other side so that air can be cooled and particles directed out. There’s an entire operation going on behind the scenes, of which sensors play an essential role in detecting whether an indoor environment is comfortable for occupants. Efficient installation Whether it is a new-build or refurbishment project, system integration is one of the key foundations for creating a smart, energy efficient building. Whilst sensors are an important element of a data-driven asset, for a Systems Integrator, a sensor’s installation must be as efficient as its eventual performance. Sontay understands that system integration is complex work, which is why its sensors offer ease of installation and commissioning. Many Systems Integrators need things immediately, and as a supplier Sontay is well-poised to swiftly deliver what is required. Though relatively small in size, building sensors can have a huge part to play in ensuring properties, particularly workspaces, are managed safely, sustainably and profitably. Like a friend we never knew we had, these smart little devices look out for us when we’re in the office, and look out for the office when we’re at home. They are becoming ever more vital to the way we work today, and in the future.  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In a world of smart buildings, the link between building management systems and IT has never been more important, but these computer-based systems require an army of efficient sensors to ensure a building’s performance is optimised. Stacey Lucas, Commercial and Marketing Director of smart sensor supplier, Sontay offers insight into the important role of sensing devices and how they help create smarter buildings. We reportedly spend more than 90% of our lives indoors whether at home, school or in the workplace, with air quality being crucial to the levels of comfort felt within these spaces. Ventilation, temperature and pressure regulation contribute to maintaining an atmospheric happy medium, which in a work environment helps increase employee contentment, leading to increased productivity and fewer sick days. Sensors can control a myriad of elements that affect our indoor climate including temperature, which in relation to an office environment is found to be around 22°C. However, relative humidity, if not managed correctly can make a room feel hotter or colder than the actual temperature reading. A sensor can help overcome this issue by providing data to a BMS managing humidity levels and ensuring an ideal 50% reading is maintained. In terms of air quality, airborne volatile organic compounds (VOC), pollutants which are found in paints and other building materials, are known to have a detrimental effect. The same harmful chemicals are also present in hand sanitisers, aggressive cleaning products and detergents, the demand for which has been unprecedented since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. Air quality sensors are able to measure VOC levels and alert occupants of the need to take action when a potentially hazardous reading is recorded. Sensors enable accurate data Building sensors, installed as part of an efficient building management system, offer an ingeniously smart and effective way of remotely monitoring indoor conditions. Designers and consultants need to be sure the equipment being used will perform as efficiently as possible, which is why access to accurate, reliable data detected initially by a sensor will ensure products endure the test of time and help maintain the optimum environment for inhabitants. As well as assuring a system works efficiently once installed, a consultant must also consider whether the products they have specified will perform as intended. On handover, sensors give eventual asset owners more control over the performance of a building and its energy usage; a benefit that not only helps reduce heating and lighting costs, it facilitates a significant reduction in a building’s carbon footprint. As well as assuring quality, performance and efficiency, sensors could be a factor in driving environmental-initiatives, such as the UK government’s pledge for carbon-neutral status by 2050. The hidden workforce With clean lines and minimalist detail commonplace in modern building design, it is no wonder the humble sensor has been fashioned to look modest. However, do not be deceived; what the sensor lacks in size, it makes up for in power. One or two sensors on the wall are responsible for responding to and monitoring all the conditions of any controlled space. On the other side of the wall behind the scenes, there are scores of devices that are constantly managing the conditions of a controlled space. Air handling units are responsible for supplying and circulating air around a building, and also have to extract stale air from the premises. If fresh air is introduced into a building to ventilate a certain room, if it is freezing cold outside, the temperature of the air will have to be increased. It may also need to be filtered or dehumidified. Here, sensors come into their own, testing and monitoring the air so that data can be used to change the conditions of the controlled space. There will be sensors measuring the humidity and temperature of the air, sending information to the controller and in turn to the air handling unit on the other side so that air can be cooled and particles directed out. There’s an entire operation going on behind the scenes, of which sensors play an essential role in detecting whether an indoor environment is comfortable for occupants. Efficient installation Whether it is a new-build or refurbishment project, system integration is one of the key foundations for creating a smart, energy efficient building. Whilst sensors are an important element of a data-driven asset, for a Systems Integrator, a sensor’s installation must be as efficient as its eventual performance. Sontay understands that system integration is complex work, which is why its sensors offer ease of installation and commissioning. Many Systems Integrators need things immediately, and as a supplier Sontay is well-poised to swiftly deliver what is required. Though relatively small in size, building sensors can have a huge part to play in ensuring properties, particularly workspaces, are managed safely, sustainably and profitably. Like a friend we never knew we had, these smart little devices look out for us when we’re in the office, and look out for the office when we’re at home. They are becoming ever more vital to the way we work today, and in the future.  
    Mar 15, 2021 0
  • 02 Mar 2021
    After a long and cold winter spring is almost at the door. We all can’t wait to bask in some sunshine and enjoy again the outdoor. It is after all the most wonderful season of the year, bringing a sense of rebirth and reawakening our senses. Nature awakens from its slumber in an explosion of colours that wipe away the greyness and lifts our moods with it. A great way to maximize this wonderful feeling is to make sure that our home also looks fresh and springy. Choosing the right colour schemes, or even better, decorating your living room (of bedroom if you so prefer) with a themed tonality ensures that the good mood you took back from a walk in the park stays with you also when you close the door of your home behind you. Spring is also the best time of the year for embarking in a redecorating project, as the temperatures are neither too cold or too hot, ensuring that paint or glue dry at the recommended pace. The decision that needs to be taken is therefore whether to just repaint the living room with a fresh new coat of paint or to pick a flowery wallpaper and install it. Of course, the first seems easier to do it but the reality is not quite as it appears. Wallpaper technology has developed in leaps and bounds over the last few decades and it’s a far cry from the papery mess of a couple of generations ago.   Wallpaper advantages versus painting your walls Let’s take a look at the possible benefits of installing a wallpaper when compared to just adding a new coat of paint to your walls. A much broader variety of unique designs to choose from When picking a wallpaper, the possibilities are almost endless. Whether you go for a botanical design, choose minimalistic, geometric patterns or go for elusive and exotic material with a haptic surface feel, the range of possible combinations simply cannot be matched. This allows to customise the look of your home in a unique way so that it reflects your taste and aesthetics. Paint options are much more limited to a specific range of colours and shades. Better resistance Modern wallpaper is more resistant than a painted wall when it comes to  small bumps and little accidents.  It also stands better the test of time, so you can enjoy its design until you decide to give your room a new look. Easy to install A common misconception is that wallpaper is difficult to apply. This might have been the case 50 years ago, but nowadays nothing could be further from the truth. All you need to do is to be calm and careful when you apply it to the wall to avoid the occasion air bubble. Compare it with traditional paint, where very often you end up with unwanted shades and an uneven distribution of colour, requiring several coats to obtain a half decent result and it’s a no brainer. It can be cleaned Most contemporary wallpapers can be easily cleaned with a soft sponge, removing even smudges without problems. Of course, this does not apply to all wallpapers, as there are some materials that are more delicate than others, and it’s therefore a good idea to pay attention to the specific details of each models. This is a clear advantage over traditional paint, as all you need to do is dampen a sponge in some soapy water and the damage is gone. It can cover some imperfections Old walls show the signs of time and a coat of paid will not do anything to hide this. A wallpaper can instead conceal small imperfections on the wall without too much trouble. Small holes can be simply filled with a polyfilla and, once you apply the wallpaper, your wall will appear flat and new.  Choosing the right botanical wallpaper Picking a wallpaper is never easy as there are many models to choose from. If you want to bring that unique spring feeling in your home you are in luck as botanical wallpapers are very much in trend nowadays. Whether it’s a minimalistic and subtle motif, design to stay in the background to highlight a painting or some exquisite piece of furniture or a majestic and lush motive on a feature wall, designed to be the focal point of the room, it is up to your taste and the specifics of your interior design choices. Generally speaking if you go for a large motif it is better to pick a single wall and go monochrome on the other walls, picking the main colour theme of the motif. What is important however is to pick a design that makes you happy!  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • After a long and cold winter spring is almost at the door. We all can’t wait to bask in some sunshine and enjoy again the outdoor. It is after all the most wonderful season of the year, bringing a sense of rebirth and reawakening our senses. Nature awakens from its slumber in an explosion of colours that wipe away the greyness and lifts our moods with it. A great way to maximize this wonderful feeling is to make sure that our home also looks fresh and springy. Choosing the right colour schemes, or even better, decorating your living room (of bedroom if you so prefer) with a themed tonality ensures that the good mood you took back from a walk in the park stays with you also when you close the door of your home behind you. Spring is also the best time of the year for embarking in a redecorating project, as the temperatures are neither too cold or too hot, ensuring that paint or glue dry at the recommended pace. The decision that needs to be taken is therefore whether to just repaint the living room with a fresh new coat of paint or to pick a flowery wallpaper and install it. Of course, the first seems easier to do it but the reality is not quite as it appears. Wallpaper technology has developed in leaps and bounds over the last few decades and it’s a far cry from the papery mess of a couple of generations ago.   Wallpaper advantages versus painting your walls Let’s take a look at the possible benefits of installing a wallpaper when compared to just adding a new coat of paint to your walls. A much broader variety of unique designs to choose from When picking a wallpaper, the possibilities are almost endless. Whether you go for a botanical design, choose minimalistic, geometric patterns or go for elusive and exotic material with a haptic surface feel, the range of possible combinations simply cannot be matched. This allows to customise the look of your home in a unique way so that it reflects your taste and aesthetics. Paint options are much more limited to a specific range of colours and shades. Better resistance Modern wallpaper is more resistant than a painted wall when it comes to  small bumps and little accidents.  It also stands better the test of time, so you can enjoy its design until you decide to give your room a new look. Easy to install A common misconception is that wallpaper is difficult to apply. This might have been the case 50 years ago, but nowadays nothing could be further from the truth. All you need to do is to be calm and careful when you apply it to the wall to avoid the occasion air bubble. Compare it with traditional paint, where very often you end up with unwanted shades and an uneven distribution of colour, requiring several coats to obtain a half decent result and it’s a no brainer. It can be cleaned Most contemporary wallpapers can be easily cleaned with a soft sponge, removing even smudges without problems. Of course, this does not apply to all wallpapers, as there are some materials that are more delicate than others, and it’s therefore a good idea to pay attention to the specific details of each models. This is a clear advantage over traditional paint, as all you need to do is dampen a sponge in some soapy water and the damage is gone. It can cover some imperfections Old walls show the signs of time and a coat of paid will not do anything to hide this. A wallpaper can instead conceal small imperfections on the wall without too much trouble. Small holes can be simply filled with a polyfilla and, once you apply the wallpaper, your wall will appear flat and new.  Choosing the right botanical wallpaper Picking a wallpaper is never easy as there are many models to choose from. If you want to bring that unique spring feeling in your home you are in luck as botanical wallpapers are very much in trend nowadays. Whether it’s a minimalistic and subtle motif, design to stay in the background to highlight a painting or some exquisite piece of furniture or a majestic and lush motive on a feature wall, designed to be the focal point of the room, it is up to your taste and the specifics of your interior design choices. Generally speaking if you go for a large motif it is better to pick a single wall and go monochrome on the other walls, picking the main colour theme of the motif. What is important however is to pick a design that makes you happy!  
    Mar 02, 2021 0
  • 03 Dec 2019
    The importance of acoustic sound testing in a space should never be underestimated, especially when it comes to open-plan commercial offices writes Genghis Akay, Director at Planet Partitioning. With substandard acoustic performance one of the cardinal errors of a poorly-designed office, how important is it to test sound levels in life-like scenarios? More to the point, if an office’s acoustic performance is below par, it can have negative repercussions on employees, affecting concentration, productivity and health. Considering employees’ wellbeing is at the heart of every business, how crucial is it to test a space’s acoustic performance for the sake of its occupants? Test as true to life Whilst there are computer-simulated assessment tests available which can provide an estimate of a space’s acoustic performance, it isn’t necessarily conclusive or reliable. In most cases, these tests will not account for what happens in reality. Considering every item in a space can affect acoustic performance – from the kinds of glazing seals to the method of construction – it is crucial to test acoustics in conditions as close to its real-time use. For instance, in some testing locations, glass partition framework is buried into the ceiling and the floor. But what happens if the framework is exposed? How will this discrepancy – between testing design and real-time design – affect the space’s acoustics? Products must be tested in true-to-life scenarios to ensure there are no discrepancies between when the product is tested and when it is installed. By selecting a testing centre which analyses the real-time performance of a space, clients achieve an accurate picture and ensure noisy acoustics are kept to a minimum. As well as being more or less true to real-life use, acoustic testing must also be without influence or bias. Prior to product installation, it is essential for all acoustic testing to be executed by an independent body, in which testing locations are UKAS-accredited (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). Installation phase When it comes to product installation, flanking sound transmission is an important consideration when it comes to partitions. Flanking sound transmission is when sound passes over and is not absorbed by objects. Sound that passes around objects is more disruptive for occupants, and tends to be more present in spaces with flimsy or weaker partitions. In these kinds of spaces it is crucial to strike the right balance. If companies install a sophisticated acoustic performance glass partition between a raised access floor and a suspended ceiling, the raised access floor and ceiling must be treated properly to combat flanking sound transmission. Essentially, it is about taking a holistic snapshot of how the space will perform to ensure acoustic levels are kept to the correct minimum. Without installing the right products, the quality of the whole space will be compromised. All of the components – from the services, to the partitions, to the type of surface – have to work in harmony within the space to assure acoustic performance. Visit: https://www.planetpartitioning.co.uk/
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The importance of acoustic sound testing in a space should never be underestimated, especially when it comes to open-plan commercial offices writes Genghis Akay, Director at Planet Partitioning. With substandard acoustic performance one of the cardinal errors of a poorly-designed office, how important is it to test sound levels in life-like scenarios? More to the point, if an office’s acoustic performance is below par, it can have negative repercussions on employees, affecting concentration, productivity and health. Considering employees’ wellbeing is at the heart of every business, how crucial is it to test a space’s acoustic performance for the sake of its occupants? Test as true to life Whilst there are computer-simulated assessment tests available which can provide an estimate of a space’s acoustic performance, it isn’t necessarily conclusive or reliable. In most cases, these tests will not account for what happens in reality. Considering every item in a space can affect acoustic performance – from the kinds of glazing seals to the method of construction – it is crucial to test acoustics in conditions as close to its real-time use. For instance, in some testing locations, glass partition framework is buried into the ceiling and the floor. But what happens if the framework is exposed? How will this discrepancy – between testing design and real-time design – affect the space’s acoustics? Products must be tested in true-to-life scenarios to ensure there are no discrepancies between when the product is tested and when it is installed. By selecting a testing centre which analyses the real-time performance of a space, clients achieve an accurate picture and ensure noisy acoustics are kept to a minimum. As well as being more or less true to real-life use, acoustic testing must also be without influence or bias. Prior to product installation, it is essential for all acoustic testing to be executed by an independent body, in which testing locations are UKAS-accredited (United Kingdom Accreditation Service). Installation phase When it comes to product installation, flanking sound transmission is an important consideration when it comes to partitions. Flanking sound transmission is when sound passes over and is not absorbed by objects. Sound that passes around objects is more disruptive for occupants, and tends to be more present in spaces with flimsy or weaker partitions. In these kinds of spaces it is crucial to strike the right balance. If companies install a sophisticated acoustic performance glass partition between a raised access floor and a suspended ceiling, the raised access floor and ceiling must be treated properly to combat flanking sound transmission. Essentially, it is about taking a holistic snapshot of how the space will perform to ensure acoustic levels are kept to the correct minimum. Without installing the right products, the quality of the whole space will be compromised. All of the components – from the services, to the partitions, to the type of surface – have to work in harmony within the space to assure acoustic performance. Visit: https://www.planetpartitioning.co.uk/
    Dec 03, 2019 0
  • 10 May 2019
    Even though every business operates in a different way, in most cases, the commercial office has transformed into a contemporary working environment where employees no longer sit in the same seat for eight hours a day writes Genghis Akay at Planet Partitioning. Instead people are more mobile; transitioning between office locations on an hourly basis depending on the nature of the tasks at hand. In part, this change has been fuelled by the advent of agile working. With the agile workplace leading to changes in interior design, how can designers create workspaces which strike the fine chord between open, collaborative zones and more secluded areas where confidential meetings can take place? Agile working: the basics The definition of agile working is broad and wide-ranging. It exists as both an ideology and a practical approach to working, and can pertain to either flexible working or co-working zones within office areas. One element that is for certain is that agile working has been steadily on the increase over the past few years. Made fashionable by the likes of global co-working organisation, We Work, agile working not only enables employees to be flexible, it avoids long-term lease commitments and reinforces a working culture based on collaboration and community. As agile working is now a common component of the way businesses are run, it is changing the way contemporary commercial office spaces are designed and occupied. And with more and more companies requiring design schemes which enhance the employee health, satisfaction and productivity that agile working enables, there are now greater demands on design companies to satisfy these needs. Creating co-working spaces As indicated above, agile working is an umbrella topic housing a multitude of different ideas and methods. However, the strands of agile working relevant to designers creating office spaces include flexible working and co-working spaces. Flexible working is itself a large topic, but can be commonly interpreted as a style of working which allows employees to move to different locations; to either squeeze in a doctor’s appointment or to feel more motivated in a secluded area. Conversely, co-working spaces are mostly to do with improving cross-collaboration and communication between teams. It could be a collaborative bench space, a breakout space with soft seating for brainstorms or relaxing, or a touchdown space which people passing through can use as a base to log-on and recharge. Either way, each space should be designed to suit the different tasks employees undertake. Glass is the answer When designing the layout of an office, it’s imperative to get the balance right between collaborative and open agile spaces and the more enclosed quieter areas which give people their own territory. Glass office partitioning enables a design team to create a layout that provides privacy without compromising flexible working. The use of glass partitioning, and glass doors which can offer exceptional acoustic performance, gives the designer the tools to create secure areas which can be used for sensitive or confidential discussions, still offering visibility. These partition panels can also be tinted, with special films designed to ensure screen privacy without jeopardising the overall flow of the space. Excellent spatial planning is crucial in co-working spaces, where employees are filtering in and out throughout the working day. Due to this high amount of traffic, co-working spaces should be designed to be secure and acoustically sound. To maintain an open, agile aesthetic without compromising safety, high-performance glass sliding doors are great design considerations that hit the mark on visuals and practicalities. With a soft, soundless open-and-close function which maintains acoustic comfort, glass sliding doors are elegant, effortless design solutions perfect for agile working environments where user-comfort and maximising usable space is fundamental. Furthermore, full height, demountable glazed partitions can be used to create small booths or informal meeting rooms for the optimum co-working environment. What is more, demountable glass partitions can be easily removed, which in turn reduces the cost implications for future alterations. A staple of modern office design, the industrial-look has swept through commercial co-working spaces, creating spaces which employees feel motivated to work in. Considering employees move to different working environments as a way to boost productivity, it is crucial to have an attractive design motif which inspires them to work.   Agile working is here to stay; therefore it is crucial for designers to create office environments which complement this approach to work. By selecting pioneering design solutions such as glass partitioning, companies ensure they devise agile working environments which hit the right note when it comes to elegance and function.   Visit www.planetpartitioning.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Even though every business operates in a different way, in most cases, the commercial office has transformed into a contemporary working environment where employees no longer sit in the same seat for eight hours a day writes Genghis Akay at Planet Partitioning. Instead people are more mobile; transitioning between office locations on an hourly basis depending on the nature of the tasks at hand. In part, this change has been fuelled by the advent of agile working. With the agile workplace leading to changes in interior design, how can designers create workspaces which strike the fine chord between open, collaborative zones and more secluded areas where confidential meetings can take place? Agile working: the basics The definition of agile working is broad and wide-ranging. It exists as both an ideology and a practical approach to working, and can pertain to either flexible working or co-working zones within office areas. One element that is for certain is that agile working has been steadily on the increase over the past few years. Made fashionable by the likes of global co-working organisation, We Work, agile working not only enables employees to be flexible, it avoids long-term lease commitments and reinforces a working culture based on collaboration and community. As agile working is now a common component of the way businesses are run, it is changing the way contemporary commercial office spaces are designed and occupied. And with more and more companies requiring design schemes which enhance the employee health, satisfaction and productivity that agile working enables, there are now greater demands on design companies to satisfy these needs. Creating co-working spaces As indicated above, agile working is an umbrella topic housing a multitude of different ideas and methods. However, the strands of agile working relevant to designers creating office spaces include flexible working and co-working spaces. Flexible working is itself a large topic, but can be commonly interpreted as a style of working which allows employees to move to different locations; to either squeeze in a doctor’s appointment or to feel more motivated in a secluded area. Conversely, co-working spaces are mostly to do with improving cross-collaboration and communication between teams. It could be a collaborative bench space, a breakout space with soft seating for brainstorms or relaxing, or a touchdown space which people passing through can use as a base to log-on and recharge. Either way, each space should be designed to suit the different tasks employees undertake. Glass is the answer When designing the layout of an office, it’s imperative to get the balance right between collaborative and open agile spaces and the more enclosed quieter areas which give people their own territory. Glass office partitioning enables a design team to create a layout that provides privacy without compromising flexible working. The use of glass partitioning, and glass doors which can offer exceptional acoustic performance, gives the designer the tools to create secure areas which can be used for sensitive or confidential discussions, still offering visibility. These partition panels can also be tinted, with special films designed to ensure screen privacy without jeopardising the overall flow of the space. Excellent spatial planning is crucial in co-working spaces, where employees are filtering in and out throughout the working day. Due to this high amount of traffic, co-working spaces should be designed to be secure and acoustically sound. To maintain an open, agile aesthetic without compromising safety, high-performance glass sliding doors are great design considerations that hit the mark on visuals and practicalities. With a soft, soundless open-and-close function which maintains acoustic comfort, glass sliding doors are elegant, effortless design solutions perfect for agile working environments where user-comfort and maximising usable space is fundamental. Furthermore, full height, demountable glazed partitions can be used to create small booths or informal meeting rooms for the optimum co-working environment. What is more, demountable glass partitions can be easily removed, which in turn reduces the cost implications for future alterations. A staple of modern office design, the industrial-look has swept through commercial co-working spaces, creating spaces which employees feel motivated to work in. Considering employees move to different working environments as a way to boost productivity, it is crucial to have an attractive design motif which inspires them to work.   Agile working is here to stay; therefore it is crucial for designers to create office environments which complement this approach to work. By selecting pioneering design solutions such as glass partitioning, companies ensure they devise agile working environments which hit the right note when it comes to elegance and function.   Visit www.planetpartitioning.co.uk
    May 10, 2019 0
  • 26 Feb 2019
    Creating sustainable buildings which make occupants feel better as well as happier and more productive should be a given writes Sarah Peake, Sustainability Manager for Sika.  After all, we spend much of our day indoors. The global sustainability standard BREEAM embraces many different facets of sustainability from materials to energy to water use with Health and Wellbeing representing one of the biggest proportions of credits available.  Other green building standards, such as the WELL Building Standard and the Living Building Challenge put the occupant’s health and wellbeing at the centre of the entire standard.  However you don’t have to be working to a green building standard to see the benefits of some simple measures that are easy to incorporate into a new build or even in some cases a refurbishment project. It has been estimated that staff costs, including salaries and benefits, typically account for about 90% of business operating costs. Therefore, what may appear to be a modest improvement in employee health or productivity can have a huge financial implication for employers – one that is many times larger than any other financial savings associated with an efficiently designed and operated building. Lighting in the workplace is a key consideration and must satisfy a variety of needs.  As well as allowing us to see the task in front of us, lighting can also affect many aspects of wellbeing, including comfort, communication, mood, health, safety and aesthetics. Poor visibility, glare, flicker and lack of control of the visual environment can all affect task performance, whilst visual discomfort may lead to headaches and eyestrain.  It is also important to note that not all colours of light have the same affect on the human body.  Blue wavelengths, as exhibited by electronic screens and energy efficient lighting, are useful during daylight hours in that they boost attention, reaction times and moods, but appear to be problematic at night with a potential link to disturbed sleep patterns, diabetes and obesity1. A Room With A View A recent study by neuroscientists suggested that office workers with windows received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night2. Workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction – all of which can be classed as circadian rhythm disorders. However, attributing these results solely to access to daylight is erroneous. Many researchers now believe that levels of exposure to white light is not the most significant factor and that in fact, views of nature and other biophilic experiences are more important.  As such, biophilic research is now increasingly focusing on physiological responses such as brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. When used appropriately, many Sika products can contribute towards a more sustainable building design potentially leading to a more positive impact upon the building occupant’s health and wellbeing.  For example, Sika sealants can be used to minimise the amount of window frame and maximise the amount of glazing, increasing the potential for natural lighting.  Also Sika’s Green Roof Systems can increase the opportunities for views of nature in heavily urbanised environments. Design in Good Air Quality Building occupants can be exposed to a range of airborne pollutants including chemicals, micro-organisms and other particles from a variety of sources such as carpets, finishes, cleaning products, office equipment and traffic.  Design strategies that ensure good air quality, both by allowing a supply of fresh air through ventilation and stopping pollutants at source by minimising emissions from materials, are essential for the development of a healthy and productive working environment.  Furthermore, the increasing availability of cost-effective wearable devices that measure CO2 levels means that design features - such as mixed-mode ventilation systems that consider thermal comfort and fresh-air requirements - will, in the future, be expected by millennials, generation Zs and top class candidates. Design out Volatile Organic Compounds While many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases from certain solids and liquids, are considered harmless others can adversely affect human health.  Many Sika products have very low VOC content, meeting European standards such as EMICODE EC1 Plus and the requirements of BREEAM New Construction 2018.  All new product creation projects at Sika have to consider all aspects of sustainability at the outset, resulting in the development of products that have been specifically designed to have lower emission levels. Standards of the Future Putting the focus on the end-user and their wellbeing is something the pioneering WELLBuilding Standardhas done for many years.  The recently releasedWELL v2TM pilot has expanded on this, reportedly consideringbuildings as “health intervention tools”.  In addition, the RICS SKA rating – an environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit-outs – is also undergoing an update that is expected to return the standard to its roots by focusing on a fit-out’s impact upon the buildings occupants. The ever increasing popularity and evolution of these standards clearly confirms that the impact of building solutions on the health and wellbeing of building occupants is a topic that is not going to go away. As such in order to appeal to the staff of the future, companies can no longer ignore the needs of the workers and must do more than simply providing a space to work. The 21st century workplace must offer good design that benefits both the planet and the occupants.  As a world class construction material manufacturer, Sika has a clear understanding that all aspects of sustainability and wellbeing impact each other and so can offer sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of building occupants. Visit: SikaEveryday
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Creating sustainable buildings which make occupants feel better as well as happier and more productive should be a given writes Sarah Peake, Sustainability Manager for Sika.  After all, we spend much of our day indoors. The global sustainability standard BREEAM embraces many different facets of sustainability from materials to energy to water use with Health and Wellbeing representing one of the biggest proportions of credits available.  Other green building standards, such as the WELL Building Standard and the Living Building Challenge put the occupant’s health and wellbeing at the centre of the entire standard.  However you don’t have to be working to a green building standard to see the benefits of some simple measures that are easy to incorporate into a new build or even in some cases a refurbishment project. It has been estimated that staff costs, including salaries and benefits, typically account for about 90% of business operating costs. Therefore, what may appear to be a modest improvement in employee health or productivity can have a huge financial implication for employers – one that is many times larger than any other financial savings associated with an efficiently designed and operated building. Lighting in the workplace is a key consideration and must satisfy a variety of needs.  As well as allowing us to see the task in front of us, lighting can also affect many aspects of wellbeing, including comfort, communication, mood, health, safety and aesthetics. Poor visibility, glare, flicker and lack of control of the visual environment can all affect task performance, whilst visual discomfort may lead to headaches and eyestrain.  It is also important to note that not all colours of light have the same affect on the human body.  Blue wavelengths, as exhibited by electronic screens and energy efficient lighting, are useful during daylight hours in that they boost attention, reaction times and moods, but appear to be problematic at night with a potential link to disturbed sleep patterns, diabetes and obesity1. A Room With A View A recent study by neuroscientists suggested that office workers with windows received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night2. Workers without windows reported poorer scores than their counterparts on quality of life measures related to physical problems and vitality, as well as poorer outcomes on measures of overall sleep quality, sleep efficiency, sleep disturbances and daytime dysfunction – all of which can be classed as circadian rhythm disorders. However, attributing these results solely to access to daylight is erroneous. Many researchers now believe that levels of exposure to white light is not the most significant factor and that in fact, views of nature and other biophilic experiences are more important.  As such, biophilic research is now increasingly focusing on physiological responses such as brain activity, heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels. When used appropriately, many Sika products can contribute towards a more sustainable building design potentially leading to a more positive impact upon the building occupant’s health and wellbeing.  For example, Sika sealants can be used to minimise the amount of window frame and maximise the amount of glazing, increasing the potential for natural lighting.  Also Sika’s Green Roof Systems can increase the opportunities for views of nature in heavily urbanised environments. Design in Good Air Quality Building occupants can be exposed to a range of airborne pollutants including chemicals, micro-organisms and other particles from a variety of sources such as carpets, finishes, cleaning products, office equipment and traffic.  Design strategies that ensure good air quality, both by allowing a supply of fresh air through ventilation and stopping pollutants at source by minimising emissions from materials, are essential for the development of a healthy and productive working environment.  Furthermore, the increasing availability of cost-effective wearable devices that measure CO2 levels means that design features - such as mixed-mode ventilation systems that consider thermal comfort and fresh-air requirements - will, in the future, be expected by millennials, generation Zs and top class candidates. Design out Volatile Organic Compounds While many volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases from certain solids and liquids, are considered harmless others can adversely affect human health.  Many Sika products have very low VOC content, meeting European standards such as EMICODE EC1 Plus and the requirements of BREEAM New Construction 2018.  All new product creation projects at Sika have to consider all aspects of sustainability at the outset, resulting in the development of products that have been specifically designed to have lower emission levels. Standards of the Future Putting the focus on the end-user and their wellbeing is something the pioneering WELLBuilding Standardhas done for many years.  The recently releasedWELL v2TM pilot has expanded on this, reportedly consideringbuildings as “health intervention tools”.  In addition, the RICS SKA rating – an environmental assessment method, benchmark and standard for non-domestic fit-outs – is also undergoing an update that is expected to return the standard to its roots by focusing on a fit-out’s impact upon the buildings occupants. The ever increasing popularity and evolution of these standards clearly confirms that the impact of building solutions on the health and wellbeing of building occupants is a topic that is not going to go away. As such in order to appeal to the staff of the future, companies can no longer ignore the needs of the workers and must do more than simply providing a space to work. The 21st century workplace must offer good design that benefits both the planet and the occupants.  As a world class construction material manufacturer, Sika has a clear understanding that all aspects of sustainability and wellbeing impact each other and so can offer sustainable solutions that have a positive impact on the health, wellbeing and productivity of building occupants. Visit: SikaEveryday
    Feb 26, 2019 0
  • 13 Nov 2018
    Insulation is a common element found in many buildings – whether they are residential or commercial. They are versatile in purpose – they can act as a sound barrier between spaces, a method of maintaining heat and cold temperatures, which in and of itself can benefit clients in terms of energy savings on their bills. When you combine with the functionality of an insulated access panel, they increase the functionality and make it a choice for contractors. Insulation 101 To better understand insulation – it is essential to know that there are two types to choose from. Open cell and closed cell. Open cell insulations typically come in spray foam; however, due to its application, it has a lower R-value in comparison to closed cell insulations. Closed cell insulations are great in preventing moisture built-up, which means avoiding any chances of moulds etc. With closed cell insulation, these have a higher R-value, and when it comes access panels installed on the exterior of a building, clients want to ensure contractors go with a quality closed cell insulation. While it will be slightly higher in costs, the benefits are well worth it. Insulated access panels can provide structural protection; however, pair that with insulation and coating, then one has maximized its ability to be thoroughly functional and versatile. Why insulation? When clients think of insulation, they do not associate it with access panels; however, they are a great addition to access panels. Typically, insulation is believed to be found only between walls, ceilings and roofs; yet, insulated access panels can be located in the exterior access panel, soundproof panels, as well as floor, hatches that people seek to have an airtight seal. Insulation provides this added support and seal. While insulation can come in a batting form or spray, the choice of application and the added layer will indeed depend on the type of access door selected. For example, if your contractor chooses a drywall access panel, the chances are they may ensure that there is batting in and around the area, as well as ensuring that the access panel is insulated once installed. This can mean applying spray insulation around the panel itself. This further enhances the access panels functionality but also improves it as well for the client. Picking the perfect pair of panel and insulation Deciding on an access panel can be hard – as you want to ensure your panel choice matches your needs and functionality. When you factor in insulation and the type of application, it is important to consider what is the best way to install insulation or if it is a combination of both spray and batting. A knowledgeable contractor who is seasoned with insulation will know what the best choice is as well as the client's needs for space. While some think insulation is just meant to keep homes warm, or insulated – the reality is that insulation is sometimes underrated in their purpose. With access panels, they offer a new range of versatility as insulation only increases the functionality of the panel. Imagine a security or floor panel, while access panels are made with everything from plastic to steel, these materials are not known to regulate or insulate. When you include or factor in insulation, now that steel access panel is insulated and is able to do more than just be a security panel, it is an insulated security access panel. Visit: www.accessdoorsandpanels.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Insulation is a common element found in many buildings – whether they are residential or commercial. They are versatile in purpose – they can act as a sound barrier between spaces, a method of maintaining heat and cold temperatures, which in and of itself can benefit clients in terms of energy savings on their bills. When you combine with the functionality of an insulated access panel, they increase the functionality and make it a choice for contractors. Insulation 101 To better understand insulation – it is essential to know that there are two types to choose from. Open cell and closed cell. Open cell insulations typically come in spray foam; however, due to its application, it has a lower R-value in comparison to closed cell insulations. Closed cell insulations are great in preventing moisture built-up, which means avoiding any chances of moulds etc. With closed cell insulation, these have a higher R-value, and when it comes access panels installed on the exterior of a building, clients want to ensure contractors go with a quality closed cell insulation. While it will be slightly higher in costs, the benefits are well worth it. Insulated access panels can provide structural protection; however, pair that with insulation and coating, then one has maximized its ability to be thoroughly functional and versatile. Why insulation? When clients think of insulation, they do not associate it with access panels; however, they are a great addition to access panels. Typically, insulation is believed to be found only between walls, ceilings and roofs; yet, insulated access panels can be located in the exterior access panel, soundproof panels, as well as floor, hatches that people seek to have an airtight seal. Insulation provides this added support and seal. While insulation can come in a batting form or spray, the choice of application and the added layer will indeed depend on the type of access door selected. For example, if your contractor chooses a drywall access panel, the chances are they may ensure that there is batting in and around the area, as well as ensuring that the access panel is insulated once installed. This can mean applying spray insulation around the panel itself. This further enhances the access panels functionality but also improves it as well for the client. Picking the perfect pair of panel and insulation Deciding on an access panel can be hard – as you want to ensure your panel choice matches your needs and functionality. When you factor in insulation and the type of application, it is important to consider what is the best way to install insulation or if it is a combination of both spray and batting. A knowledgeable contractor who is seasoned with insulation will know what the best choice is as well as the client's needs for space. While some think insulation is just meant to keep homes warm, or insulated – the reality is that insulation is sometimes underrated in their purpose. With access panels, they offer a new range of versatility as insulation only increases the functionality of the panel. Imagine a security or floor panel, while access panels are made with everything from plastic to steel, these materials are not known to regulate or insulate. When you include or factor in insulation, now that steel access panel is insulated and is able to do more than just be a security panel, it is an insulated security access panel. Visit: www.accessdoorsandpanels.com
    Nov 13, 2018 0
  • 06 Nov 2018
    Noisy air conditioning systems in workplaces can help to contribute to excessive background noise and can have a profound, negative impact on employee productivity, increasing stress and anxiety levels. It is serious enough for the Department for Health to warn that elevated workplace or environmental noise “can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance and sleep disturbance.” Companies across the world are now looking seriously at ways to minimise such noise says Denis Kerr Sales Director at Krantz Limited, who makes an informed case as to why we should choose sophisticated air-distribution systems which minimise or even remove noisy acoustics at work, looking at why the right products can significantly help to improve the office environment. In modern office spaces and further afield, exposed ceilings and soffits are a prominent design trend. Whether developers choose to reveal ceiling beams for aesthetic purposes or turn to design-savvy solutions to keep costs to a minimum, exposed ceilings are a thing of the future for modern commercial spaces.   As exposed soffits are now a common design feature in such environments, it is crucial to manage acoustic levels accurately. Without the correct products to minimise such noise there is the risk of creating a harsh atmosphere, with a cacophony of different sounds ricocheting around the environment. The challenges It is important to keep acoustic levels controlled within these spaces, especially in environments where people work. The combination of higher ceilings, exposed services, computer monitors and human voices create an impractical environment, increasing stress levels in the workplace. With exposed soffits, there isn’t a natural method for the architecture to control or reduce acoustic levels; essentially there isn’t any material for sound absorption. The ceiling is completely revealed to the human eye, with its services (the fans, ductwork and lighting) on view they can directly contribute to the background noise levels resulting in a poor acoustic performance of the space. What are the options? Many elements come into play when managing a space’s acoustics, including the way air-conditioning systems are designed. To create a peaceful, workable and visually-engaging environment, the right air-distribution system must be selected. Some environments often require tailor-made, bespoke solutions to minimise noisy acoustics; there are, for example, these kinds of air-distribution systems in acoustically-sensitive buildings such as the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany. A concert hall on this scale demanded acoustically-advanced solutions; bespoke sound control was completely necessary in this location as noise could interfere with the artist’s focus and the paying audience’s enjoyment. But in terms of air-distribution systems for commercial spaces, products such as the Krantz AVACs system (Air Ventilation And Cooling system) keep acoustic interference to a minimum and can actively improve the space. These systems are designed to great detail and sophistication; they do not contain any moving mechanical parts so the systems cannot generate any noise. Through convective radiant panels, AVACs heat and cool without the use of a fan, completely removing the presence of disruptive sounds. All of the acoustic absorption can be hidden within the panelling, and they are acoustically-designed to reduce noise and improve the reverberation time of the space. More importantly, by selecting a multifunctional system which heats, cools and controls acoustics, the occupants’ comfort is not compromised. These systems distribute fresh air around a space, ensuring thermal and acoustic comfort, which is of particular significance to employee wellbeing and happiness. According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that the annual cost to Europe from excessive noise levels is £30 billion. This extortionate sum accounts for lost working days, healthcare costs and reduced productivity. Acoustic control is a complete design necessity in commercial workspaces. Although exposed ceilings are perfect for new build and future retrofits and make maintenance easier, it is important to take all elements into consideration when planning an acoustically-sound space. In terms of air-distribution products, there are sophisticated, multifunctional solutions available on the market which, simultaneously, control acoustics and heat and cool spaces. As commercial office spaces tend to be acoustically-demanding areas, flexible, state-of-art air-distribution technologies should be a priority, particularly as they can assure thermal comfort without any unwanted background noise inconveniencing the occupants. Visit: http://www.krantzuk.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Noisy air conditioning systems in workplaces can help to contribute to excessive background noise and can have a profound, negative impact on employee productivity, increasing stress and anxiety levels. It is serious enough for the Department for Health to warn that elevated workplace or environmental noise “can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance and sleep disturbance.” Companies across the world are now looking seriously at ways to minimise such noise says Denis Kerr Sales Director at Krantz Limited, who makes an informed case as to why we should choose sophisticated air-distribution systems which minimise or even remove noisy acoustics at work, looking at why the right products can significantly help to improve the office environment. In modern office spaces and further afield, exposed ceilings and soffits are a prominent design trend. Whether developers choose to reveal ceiling beams for aesthetic purposes or turn to design-savvy solutions to keep costs to a minimum, exposed ceilings are a thing of the future for modern commercial spaces.   As exposed soffits are now a common design feature in such environments, it is crucial to manage acoustic levels accurately. Without the correct products to minimise such noise there is the risk of creating a harsh atmosphere, with a cacophony of different sounds ricocheting around the environment. The challenges It is important to keep acoustic levels controlled within these spaces, especially in environments where people work. The combination of higher ceilings, exposed services, computer monitors and human voices create an impractical environment, increasing stress levels in the workplace. With exposed soffits, there isn’t a natural method for the architecture to control or reduce acoustic levels; essentially there isn’t any material for sound absorption. The ceiling is completely revealed to the human eye, with its services (the fans, ductwork and lighting) on view they can directly contribute to the background noise levels resulting in a poor acoustic performance of the space. What are the options? Many elements come into play when managing a space’s acoustics, including the way air-conditioning systems are designed. To create a peaceful, workable and visually-engaging environment, the right air-distribution system must be selected. Some environments often require tailor-made, bespoke solutions to minimise noisy acoustics; there are, for example, these kinds of air-distribution systems in acoustically-sensitive buildings such as the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany. A concert hall on this scale demanded acoustically-advanced solutions; bespoke sound control was completely necessary in this location as noise could interfere with the artist’s focus and the paying audience’s enjoyment. But in terms of air-distribution systems for commercial spaces, products such as the Krantz AVACs system (Air Ventilation And Cooling system) keep acoustic interference to a minimum and can actively improve the space. These systems are designed to great detail and sophistication; they do not contain any moving mechanical parts so the systems cannot generate any noise. Through convective radiant panels, AVACs heat and cool without the use of a fan, completely removing the presence of disruptive sounds. All of the acoustic absorption can be hidden within the panelling, and they are acoustically-designed to reduce noise and improve the reverberation time of the space. More importantly, by selecting a multifunctional system which heats, cools and controls acoustics, the occupants’ comfort is not compromised. These systems distribute fresh air around a space, ensuring thermal and acoustic comfort, which is of particular significance to employee wellbeing and happiness. According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that the annual cost to Europe from excessive noise levels is £30 billion. This extortionate sum accounts for lost working days, healthcare costs and reduced productivity. Acoustic control is a complete design necessity in commercial workspaces. Although exposed ceilings are perfect for new build and future retrofits and make maintenance easier, it is important to take all elements into consideration when planning an acoustically-sound space. In terms of air-distribution products, there are sophisticated, multifunctional solutions available on the market which, simultaneously, control acoustics and heat and cool spaces. As commercial office spaces tend to be acoustically-demanding areas, flexible, state-of-art air-distribution technologies should be a priority, particularly as they can assure thermal comfort without any unwanted background noise inconveniencing the occupants. Visit: http://www.krantzuk.com
    Nov 06, 2018 0
  • 29 Oct 2018
    The world of acoustics can be baffling to the untrained. How many of us know the difference between attenuation or frequency for example? And what exactly is the sound absorption coefficient? Such is the complexity, acoustics is a subject that has been frequently described as a ‘dark art’, particularly when it relates to the application within buildings.  In a bid to demystify the definitions and notations for the non-acousticians amongst us, Stuart Colam, Acoustics Advisor of SAS International delves into some of the more basic principles and common acoustic terminologies. Sound absorption is a measure of how much sound is absorbed by a surface or object. When sound comes into contact with a surface, such as a wall or ceiling that is not particularly sound absorbing, it will be reflected back into the space. This can result in a room becoming noisy or reverberant because the sound is ‘trapped’ and continues to ‘bounce around’.  Excessive reverberation results in poor clarity of speech which is problematic in schools and transport hubs, for example. As more sound absorption is introduced into a space, the noise level will reduce and the sound will decay more quickly. A material’s sound absorption properties are described by the sound absorption coefficient (αs), which is a value between 0 and 1.  A value of 0 means total reflection while 1 means all sound is absorbed by the surface and not returned to the room.  Sound absorption of a surface is not the same for all frequencies of sound. For example, a porous surface like carpet is more efficient at absorbing mid and high pitched sound than low pitched sound.  The sound absorptive properties of a material are defined in standard BS EN ISO 11654:1997. Sound insulation (sometimes referred to as sound attenuation) describes the extent to which sound is limited when passing through a building element or elements.  The associated term sound reductionis used to define the drop in sound level after passing through an element such as glazing, partitioning or ceiling. This ‘single pass’ descriptor is abbreviated as Rwwhere ‘R’ refers to reduction and the subscript ‘w’ refers to weighted (a type of average). In short, the Rw figure is a simplified indication of the difference in sound level from one side of a building element to the other. Sound insulation is also quantified in terms of the reduction in level due to a flanking or a double pass route.  The abbreviation Dnfw is used which means a sound level difference via a flanking route that is normalised and weighted. It basically defines how much sound is blocked by passing through the same element twice, such as ceilings, which span more than one room and have a common void. The fact that acoustic terminology can be confusing to the uninitiated has made it increasingly important for specifiers to ask the right questions to ensure they have been completely understood.  Acoustic comfort in the built environment has become a concern to society and a challenge to designers. The acoustic performance of a space within a building will ultimately have a dramatic effect on the performance of tasks taking place in those spaces. Visit: https://sasintgroup.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The world of acoustics can be baffling to the untrained. How many of us know the difference between attenuation or frequency for example? And what exactly is the sound absorption coefficient? Such is the complexity, acoustics is a subject that has been frequently described as a ‘dark art’, particularly when it relates to the application within buildings.  In a bid to demystify the definitions and notations for the non-acousticians amongst us, Stuart Colam, Acoustics Advisor of SAS International delves into some of the more basic principles and common acoustic terminologies. Sound absorption is a measure of how much sound is absorbed by a surface or object. When sound comes into contact with a surface, such as a wall or ceiling that is not particularly sound absorbing, it will be reflected back into the space. This can result in a room becoming noisy or reverberant because the sound is ‘trapped’ and continues to ‘bounce around’.  Excessive reverberation results in poor clarity of speech which is problematic in schools and transport hubs, for example. As more sound absorption is introduced into a space, the noise level will reduce and the sound will decay more quickly. A material’s sound absorption properties are described by the sound absorption coefficient (αs), which is a value between 0 and 1.  A value of 0 means total reflection while 1 means all sound is absorbed by the surface and not returned to the room.  Sound absorption of a surface is not the same for all frequencies of sound. For example, a porous surface like carpet is more efficient at absorbing mid and high pitched sound than low pitched sound.  The sound absorptive properties of a material are defined in standard BS EN ISO 11654:1997. Sound insulation (sometimes referred to as sound attenuation) describes the extent to which sound is limited when passing through a building element or elements.  The associated term sound reductionis used to define the drop in sound level after passing through an element such as glazing, partitioning or ceiling. This ‘single pass’ descriptor is abbreviated as Rwwhere ‘R’ refers to reduction and the subscript ‘w’ refers to weighted (a type of average). In short, the Rw figure is a simplified indication of the difference in sound level from one side of a building element to the other. Sound insulation is also quantified in terms of the reduction in level due to a flanking or a double pass route.  The abbreviation Dnfw is used which means a sound level difference via a flanking route that is normalised and weighted. It basically defines how much sound is blocked by passing through the same element twice, such as ceilings, which span more than one room and have a common void. The fact that acoustic terminology can be confusing to the uninitiated has made it increasingly important for specifiers to ask the right questions to ensure they have been completely understood.  Acoustic comfort in the built environment has become a concern to society and a challenge to designers. The acoustic performance of a space within a building will ultimately have a dramatic effect on the performance of tasks taking place in those spaces. Visit: https://sasintgroup.com
    Oct 29, 2018 0
  • 17 Oct 2018
    Flooring in food and beverage environments must be slip-resistant, easy to clean, durable and hygienic. These factors pose significant challenges to flooring designs; not only do most floors have to be purpose-built, they must be functional, meeting the strict criteria stipulated above. So what kinds of design considerations need to be made to ensure floors meet hygiene standards at the point of specification? Keeping it clean Floor finish is a key design consideration which should fulfill a variety of standards in the European Food Safety Directive. In food preparation areas, flooring must be seamless and easy to clean to meet hygiene levels, particularly as the spread of bacteria must be prevented in food environments at all times. Flooring must also be rinsed thoroughly to remove wash-down residues and any viruses, bacteria or pests that might be present. The finish should also be compatible with certain solvents, including cleaning agents, for the quality of the finish to remain uncompromised. A finish needs to be impermeable and made to a high specification otherwise employee and consumer safety could be put at risk. An excellent finish,often best provided by dense resin-rich systems, will prevent flaking, cracking and discolouration, making sure a floor looks professional and performs to its best. Drainage must be placed in correct areas and never under processing equipment as it obstructs important cleaning procedures. With the assistance of gravity, gradients ranging between 1:100 and 1:80 can be useful for moving any liquids towards drains. Efficient drainage systems are fundamental design considerations as they guarantee cleanliness is maintained at an optimum standard in food environments. Slip-resistanc Floor finishes must also be slip-resistant. Slips and trips are the most common causes of injury at work, accounting for an average 33% of total work injuries. Injuries tend to occur most often in areas where meat, fruit, vegetable, fat and other residues are present. To counteract this, companies can choose flooring that has an optimum combination of grip and wash-ability to keep employees safe and the facility supremely clean. The most common method of providing grip to new flooring is to apply aggregate onto the top of the wet surface before it hardens. Aggregate varies in size and type and can create numerous profiles. The most common types are silica, quartz, flint, and aluminum oxide. Durable designs Flooring in food environments must be able to withstand high-impact shock and abrasions, whether from large mechanical shocks or a drop of a heavy knife. In the food sector, floors will be put under a significant amount of stress given the nature of the environment, therefore cleanliness, durability and safety are complete priorities. Flooring solutions must also be compatible with cleaning agents to ensure longevity. Floors with low chemical resistance not only wear down faster, they also create traps for bacteria and viruses can hide.Be mindful of the volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by various floor, wall, ceiling, and other finishes. Flooring products with low VOC emission means air is kept clean, resulting in safer food production and a healthier working environment for employees. Finding the right flooring system which fulfills a variety of challenging design aspects is difficult, especially in relation to the food industry. With countless years of experience, Sikafloor® systems are created and installed to meet all of these challenging requirements thanks to their flexible design possibilities. From floor finish to drainage system, to durability, Sikafloor® has companies covered.  Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Flooring in food and beverage environments must be slip-resistant, easy to clean, durable and hygienic. These factors pose significant challenges to flooring designs; not only do most floors have to be purpose-built, they must be functional, meeting the strict criteria stipulated above. So what kinds of design considerations need to be made to ensure floors meet hygiene standards at the point of specification? Keeping it clean Floor finish is a key design consideration which should fulfill a variety of standards in the European Food Safety Directive. In food preparation areas, flooring must be seamless and easy to clean to meet hygiene levels, particularly as the spread of bacteria must be prevented in food environments at all times. Flooring must also be rinsed thoroughly to remove wash-down residues and any viruses, bacteria or pests that might be present. The finish should also be compatible with certain solvents, including cleaning agents, for the quality of the finish to remain uncompromised. A finish needs to be impermeable and made to a high specification otherwise employee and consumer safety could be put at risk. An excellent finish,often best provided by dense resin-rich systems, will prevent flaking, cracking and discolouration, making sure a floor looks professional and performs to its best. Drainage must be placed in correct areas and never under processing equipment as it obstructs important cleaning procedures. With the assistance of gravity, gradients ranging between 1:100 and 1:80 can be useful for moving any liquids towards drains. Efficient drainage systems are fundamental design considerations as they guarantee cleanliness is maintained at an optimum standard in food environments. Slip-resistanc Floor finishes must also be slip-resistant. Slips and trips are the most common causes of injury at work, accounting for an average 33% of total work injuries. Injuries tend to occur most often in areas where meat, fruit, vegetable, fat and other residues are present. To counteract this, companies can choose flooring that has an optimum combination of grip and wash-ability to keep employees safe and the facility supremely clean. The most common method of providing grip to new flooring is to apply aggregate onto the top of the wet surface before it hardens. Aggregate varies in size and type and can create numerous profiles. The most common types are silica, quartz, flint, and aluminum oxide. Durable designs Flooring in food environments must be able to withstand high-impact shock and abrasions, whether from large mechanical shocks or a drop of a heavy knife. In the food sector, floors will be put under a significant amount of stress given the nature of the environment, therefore cleanliness, durability and safety are complete priorities. Flooring solutions must also be compatible with cleaning agents to ensure longevity. Floors with low chemical resistance not only wear down faster, they also create traps for bacteria and viruses can hide.Be mindful of the volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by various floor, wall, ceiling, and other finishes. Flooring products with low VOC emission means air is kept clean, resulting in safer food production and a healthier working environment for employees. Finding the right flooring system which fulfills a variety of challenging design aspects is difficult, especially in relation to the food industry. With countless years of experience, Sikafloor® systems are created and installed to meet all of these challenging requirements thanks to their flexible design possibilities. From floor finish to drainage system, to durability, Sikafloor® has companies covered.  Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    Oct 17, 2018 0
  • 20 Aug 2018
    Our interior spaces have evolved to such an extent ceilings have become a vitally important element in the design and acoustics of commercial space writes Phil Smith, Group Sales Director, SAS International. Gone are the days of dull and functional mineral fibreceiling tiles, and into the mix enters everything from polynodal ceilings to colourful baffles, open-cells to rafts – all of which create aesthetically pleasing features as well as offering a wide range of acoustic, thermal, fire and lighting options. Versatile, sustainable and visually-enigmatic, metal ceilings offer countless design possibilities. Lighting Finding a lighting system which is sustainable as well as seamless is prerequisite for modern commercial buildings. Open office spaces in particular are wide and expansive, requiring a sophisticated lighting design that satisfies the demands of developers and architects. Lighting must be cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and distinctive in equal measure - a challenging balance to strike in large spaces. Integrated-lighting delivers on efficiency and visuals, illuminating a space with its discreet, stunning finish and encouraging optimum light flow. LED lighting is a favoured, sustainable design choice delivering 90% of its peak output after operating for 60,000 hours. Integrated-lighting works in complete harmony with a variety of ceiling plans, including suspended ceilings and baffles. Integrated-lighting exemplifies how seamless, sustainable lighting can be achieved, showcasing the impressive innovation metal ceiling designs are capable of. Acoustic Clever acoustic technology is a key consideration in modern building design, especially as sound reverberation occurs in constructions made predominantly from glass and concrete. Open, agile working environments which enhance employee wellness are gaining in popularity – the days of small office spaces are numbered. Sweeping interiors are prominent in modern commercial buildings; therefore there is a growing demand for ceiling designs to suit these interiors, whilst still controlling sound travel. Although metal seems an unlikely product for ceiling design, it is in fact extremely successful at sound absorption. Metal ceilings assure excellent acoustic regulation, minimising echo and other occupational noise. Perforated metal ceiling tiles can be designed creatively depending on the level of acoustic control desired. These can be inlaid with mineral wool infills to provide acute sound control far more advanced than other ceiling materials. In a time where open-plan designs cannot be jeopardised by noise levels, metal ceilings are a worthy solution. Thermal Maintaining a comfortable temperature in commercial buildings has its challenges, particularly from sustainability and wellbeing perspectives. These two factors are key considerations in modern building design; if a building is too hot it affects employee productivity, and if too much heat is emitted it is costly for both the environment and those renting the spaces.   Thermal mass cooling is a desirable method which controls an interior space’s temperature. It operates most effectively in buildings made from dense materials such as concrete, as these materials guarantee optimum heat absorption. Sunlight is absorbed during the day to heat the building at night, in order to provide cool temperatures when people are at work. Baffles and rafts are examples of metal ceiling solutions which expose the concrete soffit to encourage heat absorption. Both solutions meet practical, aesthetic requirements, showcasing how metal ceilings can draw on unique, natural air conditioning systems to create beautiful, sustainable interior designs.  Fire Fire protection is a design imperative in modern interior spaces, whereby architects and developers must ensure their projects comply with current building regulations. Metal ceilings are naturally resistant to fire due to metal’s atomic structure. Although it is not recommended for suspended ceilings to protect a building’s larger structure, metal ceilings nonetheless provide a unique solution to fire-resistance. Whilst all metal ceilings must be certified in accordance with UK and European standards, the design still assures safety and protection from the plight of fire. Aesthetic Metal is a highly malleable element, meaning the aesthetic possibilities of metal ceilings are limitless. Offering cool, sleek designs which can be shaped to reflect, complement, or heighten a building’s identity, metal ceilings are a favourable choice for developers wanting to put their unique stamp on a project. Whether it is colourful baffles or a distinctive motif, bespoke metal ceilings guarantee complete design flexibility – even the most ambitious of designs can be made a reality. The days of conventional mineral fibreceiling tiles are quickly vanishing, as the rise of metal ceilings grows from strength to strength. It is no wonder metal ceilings are dominating the design world; their ability to combine design versatility, sustainability and striking aesthetics is a secure investment for any developer desiring a high-impact and beautiful interior space.  Visit: https://sasintgroup.com/metal-ceilings  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Our interior spaces have evolved to such an extent ceilings have become a vitally important element in the design and acoustics of commercial space writes Phil Smith, Group Sales Director, SAS International. Gone are the days of dull and functional mineral fibreceiling tiles, and into the mix enters everything from polynodal ceilings to colourful baffles, open-cells to rafts – all of which create aesthetically pleasing features as well as offering a wide range of acoustic, thermal, fire and lighting options. Versatile, sustainable and visually-enigmatic, metal ceilings offer countless design possibilities. Lighting Finding a lighting system which is sustainable as well as seamless is prerequisite for modern commercial buildings. Open office spaces in particular are wide and expansive, requiring a sophisticated lighting design that satisfies the demands of developers and architects. Lighting must be cost-effective, environmentally-friendly and distinctive in equal measure - a challenging balance to strike in large spaces. Integrated-lighting delivers on efficiency and visuals, illuminating a space with its discreet, stunning finish and encouraging optimum light flow. LED lighting is a favoured, sustainable design choice delivering 90% of its peak output after operating for 60,000 hours. Integrated-lighting works in complete harmony with a variety of ceiling plans, including suspended ceilings and baffles. Integrated-lighting exemplifies how seamless, sustainable lighting can be achieved, showcasing the impressive innovation metal ceiling designs are capable of. Acoustic Clever acoustic technology is a key consideration in modern building design, especially as sound reverberation occurs in constructions made predominantly from glass and concrete. Open, agile working environments which enhance employee wellness are gaining in popularity – the days of small office spaces are numbered. Sweeping interiors are prominent in modern commercial buildings; therefore there is a growing demand for ceiling designs to suit these interiors, whilst still controlling sound travel. Although metal seems an unlikely product for ceiling design, it is in fact extremely successful at sound absorption. Metal ceilings assure excellent acoustic regulation, minimising echo and other occupational noise. Perforated metal ceiling tiles can be designed creatively depending on the level of acoustic control desired. These can be inlaid with mineral wool infills to provide acute sound control far more advanced than other ceiling materials. In a time where open-plan designs cannot be jeopardised by noise levels, metal ceilings are a worthy solution. Thermal Maintaining a comfortable temperature in commercial buildings has its challenges, particularly from sustainability and wellbeing perspectives. These two factors are key considerations in modern building design; if a building is too hot it affects employee productivity, and if too much heat is emitted it is costly for both the environment and those renting the spaces.   Thermal mass cooling is a desirable method which controls an interior space’s temperature. It operates most effectively in buildings made from dense materials such as concrete, as these materials guarantee optimum heat absorption. Sunlight is absorbed during the day to heat the building at night, in order to provide cool temperatures when people are at work. Baffles and rafts are examples of metal ceiling solutions which expose the concrete soffit to encourage heat absorption. Both solutions meet practical, aesthetic requirements, showcasing how metal ceilings can draw on unique, natural air conditioning systems to create beautiful, sustainable interior designs.  Fire Fire protection is a design imperative in modern interior spaces, whereby architects and developers must ensure their projects comply with current building regulations. Metal ceilings are naturally resistant to fire due to metal’s atomic structure. Although it is not recommended for suspended ceilings to protect a building’s larger structure, metal ceilings nonetheless provide a unique solution to fire-resistance. Whilst all metal ceilings must be certified in accordance with UK and European standards, the design still assures safety and protection from the plight of fire. Aesthetic Metal is a highly malleable element, meaning the aesthetic possibilities of metal ceilings are limitless. Offering cool, sleek designs which can be shaped to reflect, complement, or heighten a building’s identity, metal ceilings are a favourable choice for developers wanting to put their unique stamp on a project. Whether it is colourful baffles or a distinctive motif, bespoke metal ceilings guarantee complete design flexibility – even the most ambitious of designs can be made a reality. The days of conventional mineral fibreceiling tiles are quickly vanishing, as the rise of metal ceilings grows from strength to strength. It is no wonder metal ceilings are dominating the design world; their ability to combine design versatility, sustainability and striking aesthetics is a secure investment for any developer desiring a high-impact and beautiful interior space.  Visit: https://sasintgroup.com/metal-ceilings  
    Aug 20, 2018 0
  • 13 Aug 2018
    Each and every day, we experience a symphony of sounds to make our lives richer writes Stuart Colam, Acoustic Engineer, SAS International. From the dawn chorus to the soothing sounds of a gentle stream, and the less desirable noises such as machinery and a baby crying; the auditory stimulus around us is vast and elicits a specific response in our minds. But what specifically issound? How is it made? How does it travel? And why can we hear it? If air was visible then it might make it easier to explain, but sound is essentially bits of air vibrating. These air molecules vibrate and bump into each other, which in turn results in a local increase in air pressure. This chain reaction happens quickly, with the speed of sound in air being about 770mph. One way to illustrate this is by a slinky spring sending pulses backwards and forwards along its length. If nothing makes your eardrum move you will not hear anything. If there is no variation in the air pressure there is no sound.  Air pressure varies with height, decreasing with increasing altitude. In other words, there are fewer air molecules at 8000 metres than at sea level, for instance. This is why at the summit of Mount Everest the air is thinner.   Chain reaction Something needs to happen to make the air molecules move, i.e. for sound to be produced. When this occurs, one molecule will bump into another and this chain reaction results in the molecules being closer together than they would have been. An increase in pressure commences, as the molecules are essentially being squashed together and passing on vibrational energy; molecule to molecule.  The movement of air propagates and that’s what we call sound. As they bump into each other there is an increase and decrease in air pressure. This push and pull of sound waves reaches your ear and vibrates your eardrum. This ultimately results in electrical signals being sent to your brain and interpreted as sound.  Sound travels at different speeds depending on the medium. In steel, sound travels 17 times faster than in air, while in water it travels about four times faster. Think about when you are swimming in the sea and how hard it is to gauge where the noise of a boat engine is coming from. Sound travels more efficiently and faster through water than air. All sound needs is something to vibrate and bump into, which is why in space the absence of molecules makes it impossible to transmit any kind of sound. Sound in the built environment is sometimes overlooked and should be an important consideration.  When designing modern interiors there is much more than meets the eye – we must consider the ear as well.  It’s an issue that has become particularly important due to the proliferation of open and agile working environments. Sweeping interiors are prominent in today’s commercial buildings; therefore there is a growing demand for ceiling designs to suit these interiors, whilst still controlling sound travel.  It’s why metal ceilings have become the go-to solution that ensures these open-plan designs are not jeopardised by noise levels. A client might well place greater emphasis on aesthetics, but a good design must deliver effective sound management and an acoustic landscape which positively impacts on the productivity and wellbeing of building occupants. Visit:  https://sasintgroup.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Each and every day, we experience a symphony of sounds to make our lives richer writes Stuart Colam, Acoustic Engineer, SAS International. From the dawn chorus to the soothing sounds of a gentle stream, and the less desirable noises such as machinery and a baby crying; the auditory stimulus around us is vast and elicits a specific response in our minds. But what specifically issound? How is it made? How does it travel? And why can we hear it? If air was visible then it might make it easier to explain, but sound is essentially bits of air vibrating. These air molecules vibrate and bump into each other, which in turn results in a local increase in air pressure. This chain reaction happens quickly, with the speed of sound in air being about 770mph. One way to illustrate this is by a slinky spring sending pulses backwards and forwards along its length. If nothing makes your eardrum move you will not hear anything. If there is no variation in the air pressure there is no sound.  Air pressure varies with height, decreasing with increasing altitude. In other words, there are fewer air molecules at 8000 metres than at sea level, for instance. This is why at the summit of Mount Everest the air is thinner.   Chain reaction Something needs to happen to make the air molecules move, i.e. for sound to be produced. When this occurs, one molecule will bump into another and this chain reaction results in the molecules being closer together than they would have been. An increase in pressure commences, as the molecules are essentially being squashed together and passing on vibrational energy; molecule to molecule.  The movement of air propagates and that’s what we call sound. As they bump into each other there is an increase and decrease in air pressure. This push and pull of sound waves reaches your ear and vibrates your eardrum. This ultimately results in electrical signals being sent to your brain and interpreted as sound.  Sound travels at different speeds depending on the medium. In steel, sound travels 17 times faster than in air, while in water it travels about four times faster. Think about when you are swimming in the sea and how hard it is to gauge where the noise of a boat engine is coming from. Sound travels more efficiently and faster through water than air. All sound needs is something to vibrate and bump into, which is why in space the absence of molecules makes it impossible to transmit any kind of sound. Sound in the built environment is sometimes overlooked and should be an important consideration.  When designing modern interiors there is much more than meets the eye – we must consider the ear as well.  It’s an issue that has become particularly important due to the proliferation of open and agile working environments. Sweeping interiors are prominent in today’s commercial buildings; therefore there is a growing demand for ceiling designs to suit these interiors, whilst still controlling sound travel.  It’s why metal ceilings have become the go-to solution that ensures these open-plan designs are not jeopardised by noise levels. A client might well place greater emphasis on aesthetics, but a good design must deliver effective sound management and an acoustic landscape which positively impacts on the productivity and wellbeing of building occupants. Visit:  https://sasintgroup.com
    Aug 13, 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 May 2018
    What makes a great working space? Must it increase individual and group productivity or does it need to improve employee wellbeing? How do spaces strike a balance between private and open areas? All of these factors are important considerations when creating a positive, working environment. The current concern, however, is whether we can have visual privacy without compromising natural light. Natural sources of light maintain a healthy mind and disposition, making for a happy environment. Daylight has been found to be the number one wanted natural feature in the workplace. For this reason, workplaces are facing increasing demands to have open spaces which encourage light flow and prevent darkness. However, in busy offices large expanses aren’t always practical when it comes to managing acoustic and visual privacy levels. In essence the question is: how can natural light be utilised effectively when privacy is also a demand? The following solutions will offer some insight into how visual and acoustic privacy can be attained without losing light. Glass Partitions Double and single glazed partitions allow natural sources of light to pass through whilst maintaining privacy in the workplace. Not only can the glass partitions manage acoustics, they create private areas which encourage natural streams of light throughout the space. Get Creative Visual privacy can be achieved through a design which is manifested over a series of glass partitions. Whether it’s an applied film or a decorative interlayer, these designs not only look aesthetically pleasing, they control the amount of natural light in private spaces. The manifestation gives designers a chance to inject some creativity into the scheme whilst also ensuring natural light is maximised within the space. Go Technical In cases where lighting is important, Tech Panels are a great solution to control lighting levels in rooms. Tech Panels are an efficient way to manage ambient lighting where visual and acoustic privacy outweigh the need for natural light. The panels house various types of technology like air conditioning controls and room booking systems.  Switch It Some work spaces promote the flow of natural daylight but need to provide visual privacy on occasion. Switchable glass can provide visual privacy at the flick of a switch, turning the glass opaque. When you’ve finished just switch back, the glass goes clear and the flow of natural light is resumed.  Natural light improves mood, reduces stress and positively impacts circadian system functioning. Where better to employ the best use of natural light than in a hospital environment. The clever use of blinds within the glass cavity promotes the flow of light but also creates a private space when the blinds are closed.  Re-Plan Your Space Demountable walls offer more versatility as companies can manage the changing needs of the workforce. As visual and acoustic privacy needs develop and the workforce changes, workspaces can be adapted. Not only is this a cost effective solution but it’s also environmentally friendly. There are many solutions to ensuring the natural flow of light is maximised within private spaces. Find the right glass partition for the right space; get creative, reduce stress and enjoy the positive results on your happy workforce. Visit: https://optimasystems.com
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • What makes a great working space? Must it increase individual and group productivity or does it need to improve employee wellbeing? How do spaces strike a balance between private and open areas? All of these factors are important considerations when creating a positive, working environment. The current concern, however, is whether we can have visual privacy without compromising natural light. Natural sources of light maintain a healthy mind and disposition, making for a happy environment. Daylight has been found to be the number one wanted natural feature in the workplace. For this reason, workplaces are facing increasing demands to have open spaces which encourage light flow and prevent darkness. However, in busy offices large expanses aren’t always practical when it comes to managing acoustic and visual privacy levels. In essence the question is: how can natural light be utilised effectively when privacy is also a demand? The following solutions will offer some insight into how visual and acoustic privacy can be attained without losing light. Glass Partitions Double and single glazed partitions allow natural sources of light to pass through whilst maintaining privacy in the workplace. Not only can the glass partitions manage acoustics, they create private areas which encourage natural streams of light throughout the space. Get Creative Visual privacy can be achieved through a design which is manifested over a series of glass partitions. Whether it’s an applied film or a decorative interlayer, these designs not only look aesthetically pleasing, they control the amount of natural light in private spaces. The manifestation gives designers a chance to inject some creativity into the scheme whilst also ensuring natural light is maximised within the space. Go Technical In cases where lighting is important, Tech Panels are a great solution to control lighting levels in rooms. Tech Panels are an efficient way to manage ambient lighting where visual and acoustic privacy outweigh the need for natural light. The panels house various types of technology like air conditioning controls and room booking systems.  Switch It Some work spaces promote the flow of natural daylight but need to provide visual privacy on occasion. Switchable glass can provide visual privacy at the flick of a switch, turning the glass opaque. When you’ve finished just switch back, the glass goes clear and the flow of natural light is resumed.  Natural light improves mood, reduces stress and positively impacts circadian system functioning. Where better to employ the best use of natural light than in a hospital environment. The clever use of blinds within the glass cavity promotes the flow of light but also creates a private space when the blinds are closed.  Re-Plan Your Space Demountable walls offer more versatility as companies can manage the changing needs of the workforce. As visual and acoustic privacy needs develop and the workforce changes, workspaces can be adapted. Not only is this a cost effective solution but it’s also environmentally friendly. There are many solutions to ensuring the natural flow of light is maximised within private spaces. Find the right glass partition for the right space; get creative, reduce stress and enjoy the positive results on your happy workforce. Visit: https://optimasystems.com
    May 18, 2018 0
  • 14 May 2018
    There is no denying that the specification of metal ceilings has seen huge growth over the past 30 years. Metal is now the go-to ceiling material, superseding mineral fibre as the mainstay of modern workplace and infrastructure projects. An indispensable tool in the architect’s design arsenal, metal is a cost-effective and desirable material meeting contemporary interior demands. Metal creates visual impact, provides essential acoustic control and allows specifiers to add drama and confidence to an interior. So what is the secret to metal’s desirability and popularity as a ceiling material? Buildings sympathetic to the changing needs of occupiers is increasingly key. The rise of open plan offices with diverse, agile and collaborative spaces is the new norm. This requires designers to pioneer solutions that meet these changing occupier demands. As a reflective material, specifying a metal ceiling might seem counterintuitive for effective acoustic control. However, they provide excellent acoustic regulation, controlling reverberance and occupational noise. The level of acoustic absorption required will depend on the size of space, materials used and occupier density. A range of acoustic infill panels combined with appropriate perforations will effectively control unwanted noise in the majority of spaces. Depending on performance demands, metal ceilings will typically offer the benchmark ‘Class A’ acoustic absorption. Design flexibility In today’s changing spaces, manufacturers have had to develop multi-functional, yet beautiful solutions. Metal ceiling systems allow the designer curved, waveform, trapezoidal and even multi-faceted options. Transition and perimeter trims also offer the advantage of specifying different metal systems within one coherent and integrated design. In addition, metal ceilings can now incorporate a wide range of finishes and effects. Another advantage of metal ceilings is they work flexibly with partitioning allowing occupiers to rethink space. As traditional working practices change, the ability to adapt spaces cost-effectively is increasingly attractive. Maintenance and Durability A long-term investment for any project, metal maintains its appearance considerably longer than lower quality ceiling materials. Metal ceilings are impervious to many of the common factors you would associate with ceiling degradation. For example, a non-porous material, metal does not suffer from increased loading, sagging or unsightly stains from burst water pipes. Neither will dust and grime permeate the surface. This robust, hardwearing material maintains its appearance, offers ease of maintenance and full access to ceiling voids. Sustainability Steel and aluminium are the most widely recycled and reused materials in construction, the benchmark for waste reduction. These highly sustainable materials can be 100% recycled and re-used repeatedly without degradation of quality. Value A recent report by SAS International considered the long-term value of metal over other ceiling materials. When considering the increased life expectancy and ease of maintenance, metal demonstrated a 47% cost saving over a 20-year period. Service Integration Ceilings often combine with or discretely hide otherwise unsightly M&E services. Metal has always been an ideal material to integrate lighting and other services within a considered and functioning design. As part of a fire protection system*, metal ceilings can also accommodate additional services such as sprinklers and smoke detectors. However, as we move closer and closer to more intelligent and smarter buildings, the possibilities of integrating technology are endless. The world’s most sustainable office Metal allows architects the freedom to work in a material that offers performance and durability alongside aesthetics. However, it allows for far more than this. For example, take the petal leaf ceiling in the Foster + Partners designed Bloomberg building – the world’s most sustainable office. The Integrated Ceiling Panels (ICPs) combine acoustics, lighting and ambient temperature control. This played a crucial part in the building achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating. Sustainability was an overarching objective for Michael Bloomberg from day one. He insisted on a considerate design from an architectural and performance perspective. For SAS’ Special Projects team - which oversaw the design, manufacture and eventual installation of the scheme onsite - this was a truly collaborative project and one that saw the company deliver 24,000m2 of SAS product. The stunning petal-shaped ceiling is aesthetically striking and plays a significant part in a building that pushes the boundaries of sustainability. In total, 3,916 Integrated Ceiling Panels (ICPs) were manufactured and installed with an impressive 2.5 million petals attached to them. The petal shape is not just an architectural feature; it has been optimised by specialist software modelling to give the best possible acoustic, thermal and light reflecting performance. The sculpted shape maximises surface area to improve heat exchange and optimises airflow to maximise convection. The slots allow air to pass through, which also improves performance. In short, and from a temperature control perspective, the design exceeds Category A Thermal comfort, the highest level achievable for an office. In terms of lighting, the role that LED lighting takes is a lesson in efficiency and sustainable design. The ICPs feature 500,000 LED lights and use 40% less energy than a typical office design. Due to the number of LEDs used, they run significantly below maximum output for the required light levels. They are even more efficient when cooled and operate with an increased life expectancy. The cumulative effect is an incredibly efficient design, consuming significantly less energy than is typical in office space. Acoustically, the design of the metal ceiling performs exceptionally well. The slotted petals and the perforations mean that the surface is sufficiently open to allow enough sound to come through to the mineral wool behind. Tested to Class A absorption levels, the ceiling impressively and precisely manages acoustic reverberation across the open plan offices. The ceiling is a first for the UK, if not globally, and unlikely to be achieved in any other material. Commenting on the project, Foster + Partners’ Michael Jones said: "Without the ceiling the sustainability wouldn't be what it is." Metal allows architects the freedom to work in a material that offers performance and durability alongside aesthetics. However, it allows for far more than this. For example, take the petal leaf ceiling in the Foster + Partners designed Bloomberg building – the world’s most sustainable office. The Integrated Ceiling Panels (ICPs) combine acoustics, lighting and ambient temperature control. This played a crucial part in the building achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating. The ceiling is a first for the UK, if not globally, and unlikely to be achieved in any other material. Commenting on the project, Foster + Partners’ Michael Jones said: "Without the ceiling the sustainability wouldn't be what it is." When it comes to metal as a material for ceilings there are virtually no limits to what can be achieved; it is possible to turn an imaginative concept into a colourful and truly inspired design. By working closely with leading manufacturers such as SAS International, there is an opportunity to bring an architect’s vision to reality. Visit: https://sasintgroup.com/ * It is not recommended that a suspended ceiling be relied upon to protect the structural elements of a building. Metal ceiling systems should be tested and certified in accordance with UK and European standards.  
    0 Posted by Talk. Build
  • There is no denying that the specification of metal ceilings has seen huge growth over the past 30 years. Metal is now the go-to ceiling material, superseding mineral fibre as the mainstay of modern workplace and infrastructure projects. An indispensable tool in the architect’s design arsenal, metal is a cost-effective and desirable material meeting contemporary interior demands. Metal creates visual impact, provides essential acoustic control and allows specifiers to add drama and confidence to an interior. So what is the secret to metal’s desirability and popularity as a ceiling material? Buildings sympathetic to the changing needs of occupiers is increasingly key. The rise of open plan offices with diverse, agile and collaborative spaces is the new norm. This requires designers to pioneer solutions that meet these changing occupier demands. As a reflective material, specifying a metal ceiling might seem counterintuitive for effective acoustic control. However, they provide excellent acoustic regulation, controlling reverberance and occupational noise. The level of acoustic absorption required will depend on the size of space, materials used and occupier density. A range of acoustic infill panels combined with appropriate perforations will effectively control unwanted noise in the majority of spaces. Depending on performance demands, metal ceilings will typically offer the benchmark ‘Class A’ acoustic absorption. Design flexibility In today’s changing spaces, manufacturers have had to develop multi-functional, yet beautiful solutions. Metal ceiling systems allow the designer curved, waveform, trapezoidal and even multi-faceted options. Transition and perimeter trims also offer the advantage of specifying different metal systems within one coherent and integrated design. In addition, metal ceilings can now incorporate a wide range of finishes and effects. Another advantage of metal ceilings is they work flexibly with partitioning allowing occupiers to rethink space. As traditional working practices change, the ability to adapt spaces cost-effectively is increasingly attractive. Maintenance and Durability A long-term investment for any project, metal maintains its appearance considerably longer than lower quality ceiling materials. Metal ceilings are impervious to many of the common factors you would associate with ceiling degradation. For example, a non-porous material, metal does not suffer from increased loading, sagging or unsightly stains from burst water pipes. Neither will dust and grime permeate the surface. This robust, hardwearing material maintains its appearance, offers ease of maintenance and full access to ceiling voids. Sustainability Steel and aluminium are the most widely recycled and reused materials in construction, the benchmark for waste reduction. These highly sustainable materials can be 100% recycled and re-used repeatedly without degradation of quality. Value A recent report by SAS International considered the long-term value of metal over other ceiling materials. When considering the increased life expectancy and ease of maintenance, metal demonstrated a 47% cost saving over a 20-year period. Service Integration Ceilings often combine with or discretely hide otherwise unsightly M&E services. Metal has always been an ideal material to integrate lighting and other services within a considered and functioning design. As part of a fire protection system*, metal ceilings can also accommodate additional services such as sprinklers and smoke detectors. However, as we move closer and closer to more intelligent and smarter buildings, the possibilities of integrating technology are endless. The world’s most sustainable office Metal allows architects the freedom to work in a material that offers performance and durability alongside aesthetics. However, it allows for far more than this. For example, take the petal leaf ceiling in the Foster + Partners designed Bloomberg building – the world’s most sustainable office. The Integrated Ceiling Panels (ICPs) combine acoustics, lighting and ambient temperature control. This played a crucial part in the building achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating. Sustainability was an overarching objective for Michael Bloomberg from day one. He insisted on a considerate design from an architectural and performance perspective. For SAS’ Special Projects team - which oversaw the design, manufacture and eventual installation of the scheme onsite - this was a truly collaborative project and one that saw the company deliver 24,000m2 of SAS product. The stunning petal-shaped ceiling is aesthetically striking and plays a significant part in a building that pushes the boundaries of sustainability. In total, 3,916 Integrated Ceiling Panels (ICPs) were manufactured and installed with an impressive 2.5 million petals attached to them. The petal shape is not just an architectural feature; it has been optimised by specialist software modelling to give the best possible acoustic, thermal and light reflecting performance. The sculpted shape maximises surface area to improve heat exchange and optimises airflow to maximise convection. The slots allow air to pass through, which also improves performance. In short, and from a temperature control perspective, the design exceeds Category A Thermal comfort, the highest level achievable for an office. In terms of lighting, the role that LED lighting takes is a lesson in efficiency and sustainable design. The ICPs feature 500,000 LED lights and use 40% less energy than a typical office design. Due to the number of LEDs used, they run significantly below maximum output for the required light levels. They are even more efficient when cooled and operate with an increased life expectancy. The cumulative effect is an incredibly efficient design, consuming significantly less energy than is typical in office space. Acoustically, the design of the metal ceiling performs exceptionally well. The slotted petals and the perforations mean that the surface is sufficiently open to allow enough sound to come through to the mineral wool behind. Tested to Class A absorption levels, the ceiling impressively and precisely manages acoustic reverberation across the open plan offices. The ceiling is a first for the UK, if not globally, and unlikely to be achieved in any other material. Commenting on the project, Foster + Partners’ Michael Jones said: "Without the ceiling the sustainability wouldn't be what it is." Metal allows architects the freedom to work in a material that offers performance and durability alongside aesthetics. However, it allows for far more than this. For example, take the petal leaf ceiling in the Foster + Partners designed Bloomberg building – the world’s most sustainable office. The Integrated Ceiling Panels (ICPs) combine acoustics, lighting and ambient temperature control. This played a crucial part in the building achieving a BREEAM Outstanding rating. The ceiling is a first for the UK, if not globally, and unlikely to be achieved in any other material. Commenting on the project, Foster + Partners’ Michael Jones said: "Without the ceiling the sustainability wouldn't be what it is." When it comes to metal as a material for ceilings there are virtually no limits to what can be achieved; it is possible to turn an imaginative concept into a colourful and truly inspired design. By working closely with leading manufacturers such as SAS International, there is an opportunity to bring an architect’s vision to reality. Visit: https://sasintgroup.com/ * It is not recommended that a suspended ceiling be relied upon to protect the structural elements of a building. Metal ceiling systems should be tested and certified in accordance with UK and European standards.  
    May 14, 2018 0