• 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
    59 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 59
  • 18 Jun 2018
    Generation Rent is a popular term used to describe young adults, normally between the ages of 18 – 35, who live in rented accommodation because of high house prices, writes Lara Walsh. They are generally regarded as having little chance of becoming homeowners. However, how do the UK’s Generation Rent compare to others around Europe? In November 2017, Countrywide data showed that an average of 7.6% of homes listed to let had previously been listed for sale, which in turn has led to an increase in people renting in the United Kingdom. However, in Europe, Germany leads the way when it comes to the percentage of the population living in a rented dwelling, with a huge 54.3%. We’ve recently seen dynamic changes on the residential property market across Europe, with the average square metre cost of a property varying significantly. The United Kingdom still has the highest per square metre average transaction price in Europe of €4,628, despite a decrease of 9.0% due to the pound’s depreciation. This in turn has made it hard for new buyers to get onto the property ladder. Comparing the average cost of 4,628 EUR/m2 in the UK to other nations in Europe, you can get more space for the equivalent value elsewhere. This leads to higher rental costs, once the properties find their way onto the rental market. Back in the UK, we saw the average rental cost increase by 2.55% between August 2016 and 2017, with the South East being the only region to become more affordable with a percentage decrease of -0.2% in rental costs. In the previous 10 years, the increase in house prices has outpaced the rise in average salaries. This has led to first time buyers not being able to raise a deposit to purchase a property, which has led them to rent. However, research from the Yorkshire Building Society has shown that buying a home in Britain has become more affordable across 54% of the country over the past decade (07-17). Visit: https://money-pod.co.uk
    74 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Generation Rent is a popular term used to describe young adults, normally between the ages of 18 – 35, who live in rented accommodation because of high house prices, writes Lara Walsh. They are generally regarded as having little chance of becoming homeowners. However, how do the UK’s Generation Rent compare to others around Europe? In November 2017, Countrywide data showed that an average of 7.6% of homes listed to let had previously been listed for sale, which in turn has led to an increase in people renting in the United Kingdom. However, in Europe, Germany leads the way when it comes to the percentage of the population living in a rented dwelling, with a huge 54.3%. We’ve recently seen dynamic changes on the residential property market across Europe, with the average square metre cost of a property varying significantly. The United Kingdom still has the highest per square metre average transaction price in Europe of €4,628, despite a decrease of 9.0% due to the pound’s depreciation. This in turn has made it hard for new buyers to get onto the property ladder. Comparing the average cost of 4,628 EUR/m2 in the UK to other nations in Europe, you can get more space for the equivalent value elsewhere. This leads to higher rental costs, once the properties find their way onto the rental market. Back in the UK, we saw the average rental cost increase by 2.55% between August 2016 and 2017, with the South East being the only region to become more affordable with a percentage decrease of -0.2% in rental costs. In the previous 10 years, the increase in house prices has outpaced the rise in average salaries. This has led to first time buyers not being able to raise a deposit to purchase a property, which has led them to rent. However, research from the Yorkshire Building Society has shown that buying a home in Britain has become more affordable across 54% of the country over the past decade (07-17). Visit: https://money-pod.co.uk
    Jun 18, 2018 74
  • 15 Jun 2018
    It was once referred to as the forgotten pollutant and while some may think this issue is a fact of life, noise is an annoyance that can be bad for your health, whether it’s in the home, workplace or outside environment. In the world of education, noise can not only have a direct impact on teaching and learning, but for teachers, it can result in voice strain, hearing issues and stress-related illnesses. Good acoustics in schools should be a fundamental design element, so what are the challenges when it comes to creating the optimum teaching and learning environment? There is no escaping the fact that schools are busy and bustling environments, but students taught in quiet rooms which offer good acoustics learn and behave better than those in noisy rooms with poor acoustics. It can be hard to avoid in certain teaching situations, such as in group work or in music or drama lessons for instance. Noise from stairs and circulation routes can cause disturbances to classrooms and teaching spaces. There’s also the impact of external sources of noise which can affect noise levels in schools such as traffic, aircraft, plant rooms or even the weather. The move towards more open plan environments can also have a direct impact on acoustics as background noise and sound intrusion are difficult to minimise. With ever-tightening budgets, the uncertainty of class sizes and the need for private study areas, educational environments need to be flexible and adaptable, but this should not be at the expense of good acoustics. Design guidance for acoustics in new schools is provided by Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which is incorporated within the Building Regulations. It provides complex calculation methodology for the material dividing space to ensure each classroom or educational space meets the required acoustic performance. This could be ensuring the wall between a music practice room and a library was fit for purpose. Demountable glass partitions have become an intrinsic design element in creating flexible spaces that can be quickly transformed and reconfigured based on the requirements of an educational environment. With communication such an important factor when it comes to learning, glass partitions must offer good acoustic performance in order to aid interaction between teachers and students, as well as improving study activities. Glass partitions can achieve excellent acoustics, particularly double-glazed partitions. Credible test data should be obtained from the manufacturer that the specified system meets the required acoustic performance. When you look at the increasing pressure on the school estate and the conversion of existing buildings into educational facilities, the demand for good acoustics in education has never been higher. Teaching and learning are acoustically demanding activities, but well-designed teaching spaces - which have an attention to acoustic detail - will enhance learning and contribute to the wellbeing of both students and teachers alike.  Visit http://optimasystems.com
    86 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It was once referred to as the forgotten pollutant and while some may think this issue is a fact of life, noise is an annoyance that can be bad for your health, whether it’s in the home, workplace or outside environment. In the world of education, noise can not only have a direct impact on teaching and learning, but for teachers, it can result in voice strain, hearing issues and stress-related illnesses. Good acoustics in schools should be a fundamental design element, so what are the challenges when it comes to creating the optimum teaching and learning environment? There is no escaping the fact that schools are busy and bustling environments, but students taught in quiet rooms which offer good acoustics learn and behave better than those in noisy rooms with poor acoustics. It can be hard to avoid in certain teaching situations, such as in group work or in music or drama lessons for instance. Noise from stairs and circulation routes can cause disturbances to classrooms and teaching spaces. There’s also the impact of external sources of noise which can affect noise levels in schools such as traffic, aircraft, plant rooms or even the weather. The move towards more open plan environments can also have a direct impact on acoustics as background noise and sound intrusion are difficult to minimise. With ever-tightening budgets, the uncertainty of class sizes and the need for private study areas, educational environments need to be flexible and adaptable, but this should not be at the expense of good acoustics. Design guidance for acoustics in new schools is provided by Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) which is incorporated within the Building Regulations. It provides complex calculation methodology for the material dividing space to ensure each classroom or educational space meets the required acoustic performance. This could be ensuring the wall between a music practice room and a library was fit for purpose. Demountable glass partitions have become an intrinsic design element in creating flexible spaces that can be quickly transformed and reconfigured based on the requirements of an educational environment. With communication such an important factor when it comes to learning, glass partitions must offer good acoustic performance in order to aid interaction between teachers and students, as well as improving study activities. Glass partitions can achieve excellent acoustics, particularly double-glazed partitions. Credible test data should be obtained from the manufacturer that the specified system meets the required acoustic performance. When you look at the increasing pressure on the school estate and the conversion of existing buildings into educational facilities, the demand for good acoustics in education has never been higher. Teaching and learning are acoustically demanding activities, but well-designed teaching spaces - which have an attention to acoustic detail - will enhance learning and contribute to the wellbeing of both students and teachers alike.  Visit http://optimasystems.com
    Jun 15, 2018 86
  • 11 Jun 2018
    Modern technology has revolutionised many aspects of modern life, including the efficiency and safety of construction sites around the world writes Daisy Welch. However, it took a long time to reach our current level of health and safety. Here we take a look at some of the most deadly construction sites throughout history. The Panama Canal   Perhaps one of the best known human construction projects of all time, the Panama Canal, was started by France in 1887. The canal would connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and make maritime trade far easier. Ferdinand de Lessaps was charged with the task of planning and constructing the canal after his success with the Suez Canal. However, De Lesseps only visited the site a few times and the dense jungle and poor working conditions led to over two hundred deaths per month. Attempts to control the outbreak of disease were unsuccessful as it wasn't yet known that mosquitoes were carriers of malaria. An estimated 22,000 workers died during this initial building period. Work was transferred to a much smaller task force to try and minimise the number of deaths. The project was then taken over by the USA in 1904. The USA inherited a depleted workforce, damaged equipment and a mammoth task. The work continued and mosquito carried diseases were minimised by the end of construction thanks to the work of Dr. Carlos Finlay and Dr. Walter Reed. Improvements included mosquito nets, improved hygiene and the elimination of stagnant water. Despite these improvements, another 5,600 workers died during the American completion of the Panama Canal.  White Sea-Baltic Canal   The White Sea-Baltic Canal, or White Sea Canal as it is often known, is a ship canal in Russia constructed in the 1930s by Gulag prisoners. The Gulag's were forced labour camps created during Lenin's time in power and reaching their peak under Stalin. Until 1961 it was known as The Stalin White Sea-Baltic Canal. The canal is 141 miles long, running through several canalised rivers and Lake Vygozero. The canal was originally planned to improve trade and construction with the ability to move materials more efficiently. However, the water level is too shallow in many places to allow large boats to pass. Therefore, the canal still only carries light traffic of between ten and forty boats per day. The Soviet Union constructed the canal as part of their infamous five-year plan. The canal was completed four months ahead of time in an attempt to show the efficiency and strength of the Soviet Union. The canal was the first construction project using the Soviet Unions forced labour from Gulags. The camps and prisons supplied 100,000 convicts and this was advertised as an example of using prisoners but also helping them 'reforge' - a Soviet concept of rehabilitation. In reality though, prisoners survived in brutal conditions. Teams were forced to live in cramped, uncomfortable surroundings and competed against each other increasing working hours and the intensity of labour. 12,000 workers died during construction with numerous more injured. 12,000 workers were freed at the end of construction as a reward for their forced labour and as further propaganda for the success of the Soviet Union. The Burma-Siam Railway   Also known as The Death Railway, The Burma -Siam Railway was constructed by the Empire of Japan to support forces in Burma during World War Two. A similar route was considered by the British government as early as 1885, but the terrain which was divided by numerous rivers, was considered too difficult to undertake. In 1942, Japan seized control of the British colony of Burma and needed to supply troupes to the area. After the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the Japanese government decided the railway was crucial to their success and therefore the risk of difficult terrain was worth taking. Thousands of British and Australian POW were used to construct the railway, with 1,000 POW housed every five to ten miles on the route. The camps included open-sided barracks built on bamboo poles with bamboo roofs. 12,000 Japanese soldiers were employed on the railway as engineers, guards and supervisors of Prisoners of War. The Japanese soldiers at the time are now remembered for their cruelty to workers and Prisoners of War. The Karakoram Highway Also known as National Highway 35, the 1300km national highway in Pakistan extends to Hasan Abdal in Punjab, where it crosses into China. The highway is a popular tourist attraction, with one of the highest paved roads in the world. The mountainous terrain of the road led to many difficulties during construction, including multiple deadly landslides which killed hundreds of workers. Construction began in 1959 but realignment and the construction of tunnels around the highway continued until 2015. The Aswan Dam   The Aswan Dam in Egypt was constructed after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 to improve on the Low Aswan Dam constructed in 1902. The Dam would better control flooding and increase water storage for irrigation while also generating hydroelectricity. The dam was part of a wider plan of industrialisation. Attempts to build dams at Aswan go back to the 11th century but the current dam was create in 1960-1970. 25,000 Egyptian engineers and workers contributed to the construction. For the completion of the dam, 100,000 people were forced to relocate. During the work, 22 archaeological monuments were put in danger. Some were preserved or removed but the Buhen Fort, a ancient Egyptian fortress dating to 1860BC was flooded by Lake Nesser after construction of the dam. Of the 30,000 workers, 500 were killed and their deaths were caused by floods, poor living and working conditions and the spread of disease.   Visit: https://www.insulationexpress.co.uk    
    70 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Modern technology has revolutionised many aspects of modern life, including the efficiency and safety of construction sites around the world writes Daisy Welch. However, it took a long time to reach our current level of health and safety. Here we take a look at some of the most deadly construction sites throughout history. The Panama Canal   Perhaps one of the best known human construction projects of all time, the Panama Canal, was started by France in 1887. The canal would connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and make maritime trade far easier. Ferdinand de Lessaps was charged with the task of planning and constructing the canal after his success with the Suez Canal. However, De Lesseps only visited the site a few times and the dense jungle and poor working conditions led to over two hundred deaths per month. Attempts to control the outbreak of disease were unsuccessful as it wasn't yet known that mosquitoes were carriers of malaria. An estimated 22,000 workers died during this initial building period. Work was transferred to a much smaller task force to try and minimise the number of deaths. The project was then taken over by the USA in 1904. The USA inherited a depleted workforce, damaged equipment and a mammoth task. The work continued and mosquito carried diseases were minimised by the end of construction thanks to the work of Dr. Carlos Finlay and Dr. Walter Reed. Improvements included mosquito nets, improved hygiene and the elimination of stagnant water. Despite these improvements, another 5,600 workers died during the American completion of the Panama Canal.  White Sea-Baltic Canal   The White Sea-Baltic Canal, or White Sea Canal as it is often known, is a ship canal in Russia constructed in the 1930s by Gulag prisoners. The Gulag's were forced labour camps created during Lenin's time in power and reaching their peak under Stalin. Until 1961 it was known as The Stalin White Sea-Baltic Canal. The canal is 141 miles long, running through several canalised rivers and Lake Vygozero. The canal was originally planned to improve trade and construction with the ability to move materials more efficiently. However, the water level is too shallow in many places to allow large boats to pass. Therefore, the canal still only carries light traffic of between ten and forty boats per day. The Soviet Union constructed the canal as part of their infamous five-year plan. The canal was completed four months ahead of time in an attempt to show the efficiency and strength of the Soviet Union. The canal was the first construction project using the Soviet Unions forced labour from Gulags. The camps and prisons supplied 100,000 convicts and this was advertised as an example of using prisoners but also helping them 'reforge' - a Soviet concept of rehabilitation. In reality though, prisoners survived in brutal conditions. Teams were forced to live in cramped, uncomfortable surroundings and competed against each other increasing working hours and the intensity of labour. 12,000 workers died during construction with numerous more injured. 12,000 workers were freed at the end of construction as a reward for their forced labour and as further propaganda for the success of the Soviet Union. The Burma-Siam Railway   Also known as The Death Railway, The Burma -Siam Railway was constructed by the Empire of Japan to support forces in Burma during World War Two. A similar route was considered by the British government as early as 1885, but the terrain which was divided by numerous rivers, was considered too difficult to undertake. In 1942, Japan seized control of the British colony of Burma and needed to supply troupes to the area. After the Japanese defeat at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, the Japanese government decided the railway was crucial to their success and therefore the risk of difficult terrain was worth taking. Thousands of British and Australian POW were used to construct the railway, with 1,000 POW housed every five to ten miles on the route. The camps included open-sided barracks built on bamboo poles with bamboo roofs. 12,000 Japanese soldiers were employed on the railway as engineers, guards and supervisors of Prisoners of War. The Japanese soldiers at the time are now remembered for their cruelty to workers and Prisoners of War. The Karakoram Highway Also known as National Highway 35, the 1300km national highway in Pakistan extends to Hasan Abdal in Punjab, where it crosses into China. The highway is a popular tourist attraction, with one of the highest paved roads in the world. The mountainous terrain of the road led to many difficulties during construction, including multiple deadly landslides which killed hundreds of workers. Construction began in 1959 but realignment and the construction of tunnels around the highway continued until 2015. The Aswan Dam   The Aswan Dam in Egypt was constructed after the Egyptian Revolution of 1952 to improve on the Low Aswan Dam constructed in 1902. The Dam would better control flooding and increase water storage for irrigation while also generating hydroelectricity. The dam was part of a wider plan of industrialisation. Attempts to build dams at Aswan go back to the 11th century but the current dam was create in 1960-1970. 25,000 Egyptian engineers and workers contributed to the construction. For the completion of the dam, 100,000 people were forced to relocate. During the work, 22 archaeological monuments were put in danger. Some were preserved or removed but the Buhen Fort, a ancient Egyptian fortress dating to 1860BC was flooded by Lake Nesser after construction of the dam. Of the 30,000 workers, 500 were killed and their deaths were caused by floods, poor living and working conditions and the spread of disease.   Visit: https://www.insulationexpress.co.uk    
    Jun 11, 2018 70
  • 06 Jun 2018
    The roofing industry has undergone huge changes over the past decade, writes Shay Casey, Senior Sales Manager at Sika-Trocal. Technology has inspired its growth, with specification and design innovation keeping step with dynamic project visions. BIM modelling, digital presentations and even refurbishment surveys can be carried out using a drone or virtual programmes. Technical advancement has led to a marketplace brimming with new products and systems. Greater choice has led to increased competition, with contractors offering complete roofing and cladding packages – a major change in the specification and application process. The introduction of a wide range of new membranes has seen contractors adapt specifications to ensure the most cost-effective installation; an option not available to architects or clients who no longer have the power to uphold the original specification. This can result in them having to accept products of inferior quality, which isn’t ideal. Communication revolution Today’s roofing contractors need to be more financially aware than ever before, due to the rise of extended payment terms and retentions which have proven a huge burden to buyers and suppliers. Firms throughout the construction have also had to adapt to new ways of self-marketing. The internet, and more particularly, social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. A large LinkedIn or Twitter presence can spread positive word of a contractor’s service offering in a matter of seconds. Environmental concerns have also led to a welter of roofing industry changes, with the introduction of green and cool roofs, solar panels and further developments in roof lighting. The Green Guide has led to vast improvements in recycling, manufacturing footprint and roofing performance in terms of thermal values and sustainability. The knock-on effect of the drive for a ‘cleaner’ project delivery means sales teams not only have to be fluent in their products’ properties, an understanding of their compatibility with new technologies and environmental standards is also required.  Virtual benefits Virtual reality is another hi-tech revelation. From simulated flight control and fairground rides, to historical battlefields and exotic holiday destinations, a world of artificial exploration is available for those with a taste for risk-averse exhilaration. It’s likely virtual reality will also prove useful to the roofing sector in the coming years, allowing stakeholders involved in a project to visualise how it will look when completed. This will help minimise misunderstandings between parties which can lead to frustrating, costly delays for the client. New technologies should – in theory – make for more rapid construction, with contractors able to tailor projects to a client’s specific needs. It might be that technology will replace people skills in certain areas of construction. In which case, with digital wizardry perhaps taking care of a project’s more technical aspects, it might mean the industry’s future workforce will merely require a broad range of abilities and knowledge to remain employable. Over the coming decade the roofing industry will doubtless face many challenges, and as practices and systems change, members will be required to adjust accordingly. With the support of trade associations such as SPRA and NFRC, the future should hold no fear for those involved in the roofing sector. Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    124 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The roofing industry has undergone huge changes over the past decade, writes Shay Casey, Senior Sales Manager at Sika-Trocal. Technology has inspired its growth, with specification and design innovation keeping step with dynamic project visions. BIM modelling, digital presentations and even refurbishment surveys can be carried out using a drone or virtual programmes. Technical advancement has led to a marketplace brimming with new products and systems. Greater choice has led to increased competition, with contractors offering complete roofing and cladding packages – a major change in the specification and application process. The introduction of a wide range of new membranes has seen contractors adapt specifications to ensure the most cost-effective installation; an option not available to architects or clients who no longer have the power to uphold the original specification. This can result in them having to accept products of inferior quality, which isn’t ideal. Communication revolution Today’s roofing contractors need to be more financially aware than ever before, due to the rise of extended payment terms and retentions which have proven a huge burden to buyers and suppliers. Firms throughout the construction have also had to adapt to new ways of self-marketing. The internet, and more particularly, social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. A large LinkedIn or Twitter presence can spread positive word of a contractor’s service offering in a matter of seconds. Environmental concerns have also led to a welter of roofing industry changes, with the introduction of green and cool roofs, solar panels and further developments in roof lighting. The Green Guide has led to vast improvements in recycling, manufacturing footprint and roofing performance in terms of thermal values and sustainability. The knock-on effect of the drive for a ‘cleaner’ project delivery means sales teams not only have to be fluent in their products’ properties, an understanding of their compatibility with new technologies and environmental standards is also required.  Virtual benefits Virtual reality is another hi-tech revelation. From simulated flight control and fairground rides, to historical battlefields and exotic holiday destinations, a world of artificial exploration is available for those with a taste for risk-averse exhilaration. It’s likely virtual reality will also prove useful to the roofing sector in the coming years, allowing stakeholders involved in a project to visualise how it will look when completed. This will help minimise misunderstandings between parties which can lead to frustrating, costly delays for the client. New technologies should – in theory – make for more rapid construction, with contractors able to tailor projects to a client’s specific needs. It might be that technology will replace people skills in certain areas of construction. In which case, with digital wizardry perhaps taking care of a project’s more technical aspects, it might mean the industry’s future workforce will merely require a broad range of abilities and knowledge to remain employable. Over the coming decade the roofing industry will doubtless face many challenges, and as practices and systems change, members will be required to adjust accordingly. With the support of trade associations such as SPRA and NFRC, the future should hold no fear for those involved in the roofing sector. Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    Jun 06, 2018 124
  • 31 May 2018
    Product substitution is an endemic problem across the construction industry.  A recent survey by the NBS showed that 78% of construction professionals believe product substitution is an industry issue, which leads to cheaper and/or inferior products being substituted in order to drive down build costs and maximise profits.  This means that what is designed is not what is built. Important decisions are often made with a lack of understanding of the consequences that the substitution can have on the building’s performance and lifecycle costs. Substituted products may well invalidate various contract conditions and warranties, and in some cases expose people to heavy liabilities should a failure happen. These products may also reduce the performance of the building as a whole. One such example would be in the specification of insulation products where, if a PIR insulation product were to be substituted by a product of the same thickness with poorer insulation properties, it would have a significant impact over the lifetime of the building.  This could result in the building not meeting its thermal performance, as determined by building regulations, increase the lifetime energy costs for the building occupants and reduce the carbon savings,  as well as potentially impacting on the health and wellbeing of the building occupants. Therefore digitalisation of construction products will provide some traceability of products across the supply chain and is seen by many as the best way to reduce the performance gap and increase performance certainty across the built environment. Ultimately, building owners need to know all the components used in a building’s construction and accurate product specification is now a critical part of the construction process. Specifications do allow the exchange of information between the client, the designer and the contractor but not everyone can know everything about a particular product on a build.  Therefore it is very important for manufacturers to provide the most up-to-date information in order that designers and contractors can make correct decisions quickly and minimise risks on projects. Digitalisation of this information is one way of achieving this. A digitally-connected world In an era of digital technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become tremendously important in the construction industry and has enabled manufacturers to share product information in more accessible forms. According to the NBS, three- quarters of manufacturers agree that BIM is the future of product information. Through the BIM Level 2 programme, building product manufacturers can provide a wealth of product information to specifiers online, in an immediate and standardised accessible digital structure. The BIM Library gives specifiers the ability to compare products on a like-for-like basis and as such, decisions can be made based on the quality of the product - such as performance, financial cost, environmental impact, durability, third-party certification and warranty - and not on the quality of the marketing spend. And where products need to be assembled to form a system, the user will be able to do this online through a user-friendly interface. This will reduce and hopefully eliminate the chances of specifying incompatible products in a system. Designers recognise the potential for BIM as it helps create new design possibilities and allows for traceability of products used on any particular construction project. Standardising product information One of the issues with supplying product information in a number of formats or templates is that it can cause confusion. There is also the question of what information needs to be shared. Led by the Construction Products Association (CPA) and developed by the UK Government’s BIM Task Group, the industry-led initiative LEXiCON has been designed to streamline data consistency and interoperability across the sector. This tool standardises product information by providing the construction industry with a plain language dictionary to share product information in a consistent way. LEXiCON utilises tools and templates that can be used across different software platforms. This will help to improve collaboration and exchange of information, rather like having a product’s DNA information attached to a product and is added to throughout its lifecycle.  It is now being considered as the basis for a new European standard. Smart CE Marking Introduced in 2013, the CE label for a construction product outlines valuable technical information. However, as it is available only in printed or PDF format, it cannot be used by software or BIM tool and is often extensive and too complex to be of any practical use for installers or end users. In a bid to create more user friendly information, the development of Smart CE Marking simplifies specification by enabling information in an xml format through a QR code or web link. It provides the link between the physical product and the Declaration of Performance (DoP). The results provide human or machine readable information which will hopefully empower designers to specify products in accordance with European standards.  Added to this, users will have certainty they are using products that match their specifications. As well as providing product information through Smart CE Marking, manufacturers can also connect directly with the users of the products in order to provide targeting information such as health and safety information, product guidance and installation videos.  Information can also flow back to manufacturers, which will allow them to trace products to their final place of use. Specifiers and manufacturers are in agreement that they want to reduce product substitution. Support from manufacturers at an early stage will help specifiers choose the right product quickly, and armed with more accurate specification through digitalisation, reduce the likelihood of substitution. Manufacturers who embrace digitalisation will be the winners, as the construction industry continues its drive towards a digital world. Companies which are slow to embrace this new way of doing things will run the risk of falling behind their rivals. Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    135 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Product substitution is an endemic problem across the construction industry.  A recent survey by the NBS showed that 78% of construction professionals believe product substitution is an industry issue, which leads to cheaper and/or inferior products being substituted in order to drive down build costs and maximise profits.  This means that what is designed is not what is built. Important decisions are often made with a lack of understanding of the consequences that the substitution can have on the building’s performance and lifecycle costs. Substituted products may well invalidate various contract conditions and warranties, and in some cases expose people to heavy liabilities should a failure happen. These products may also reduce the performance of the building as a whole. One such example would be in the specification of insulation products where, if a PIR insulation product were to be substituted by a product of the same thickness with poorer insulation properties, it would have a significant impact over the lifetime of the building.  This could result in the building not meeting its thermal performance, as determined by building regulations, increase the lifetime energy costs for the building occupants and reduce the carbon savings,  as well as potentially impacting on the health and wellbeing of the building occupants. Therefore digitalisation of construction products will provide some traceability of products across the supply chain and is seen by many as the best way to reduce the performance gap and increase performance certainty across the built environment. Ultimately, building owners need to know all the components used in a building’s construction and accurate product specification is now a critical part of the construction process. Specifications do allow the exchange of information between the client, the designer and the contractor but not everyone can know everything about a particular product on a build.  Therefore it is very important for manufacturers to provide the most up-to-date information in order that designers and contractors can make correct decisions quickly and minimise risks on projects. Digitalisation of this information is one way of achieving this. A digitally-connected world In an era of digital technology, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become tremendously important in the construction industry and has enabled manufacturers to share product information in more accessible forms. According to the NBS, three- quarters of manufacturers agree that BIM is the future of product information. Through the BIM Level 2 programme, building product manufacturers can provide a wealth of product information to specifiers online, in an immediate and standardised accessible digital structure. The BIM Library gives specifiers the ability to compare products on a like-for-like basis and as such, decisions can be made based on the quality of the product - such as performance, financial cost, environmental impact, durability, third-party certification and warranty - and not on the quality of the marketing spend. And where products need to be assembled to form a system, the user will be able to do this online through a user-friendly interface. This will reduce and hopefully eliminate the chances of specifying incompatible products in a system. Designers recognise the potential for BIM as it helps create new design possibilities and allows for traceability of products used on any particular construction project. Standardising product information One of the issues with supplying product information in a number of formats or templates is that it can cause confusion. There is also the question of what information needs to be shared. Led by the Construction Products Association (CPA) and developed by the UK Government’s BIM Task Group, the industry-led initiative LEXiCON has been designed to streamline data consistency and interoperability across the sector. This tool standardises product information by providing the construction industry with a plain language dictionary to share product information in a consistent way. LEXiCON utilises tools and templates that can be used across different software platforms. This will help to improve collaboration and exchange of information, rather like having a product’s DNA information attached to a product and is added to throughout its lifecycle.  It is now being considered as the basis for a new European standard. Smart CE Marking Introduced in 2013, the CE label for a construction product outlines valuable technical information. However, as it is available only in printed or PDF format, it cannot be used by software or BIM tool and is often extensive and too complex to be of any practical use for installers or end users. In a bid to create more user friendly information, the development of Smart CE Marking simplifies specification by enabling information in an xml format through a QR code or web link. It provides the link between the physical product and the Declaration of Performance (DoP). The results provide human or machine readable information which will hopefully empower designers to specify products in accordance with European standards.  Added to this, users will have certainty they are using products that match their specifications. As well as providing product information through Smart CE Marking, manufacturers can also connect directly with the users of the products in order to provide targeting information such as health and safety information, product guidance and installation videos.  Information can also flow back to manufacturers, which will allow them to trace products to their final place of use. Specifiers and manufacturers are in agreement that they want to reduce product substitution. Support from manufacturers at an early stage will help specifiers choose the right product quickly, and armed with more accurate specification through digitalisation, reduce the likelihood of substitution. Manufacturers who embrace digitalisation will be the winners, as the construction industry continues its drive towards a digital world. Companies which are slow to embrace this new way of doing things will run the risk of falling behind their rivals. Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    May 31, 2018 135
  • 28 May 2018
    Successful construction project management requires effective communication and uninterrupted data flow at every stage of the project writes Maria Vidal. Traditionally, each department of a construction project has their own way of recording and managing data. Since there is no centralized database to work with, each one of these managers has to go through handful of manual work to get the information they need. This can be problematic in four ways: Duplicate Data Construction companies that do not keep a centralized database often suffer from duplication of data. This occurs particularly between the production and accounting department. One may be doing estimating in one system and another places the order somewhere else. There is incorrect transfer of data and lack of control. Not only does this complicate the process, it also triples the paperwork. Paperwork Trail The most difficult and most time consuming area to manage in a project is accounts payable. With the traditional method, a manager needs to compare and review a lot of paperwork to come up with an accurate and justifiable invoice. Inaccurate Job Costing Without a centralized system, arriving at an accurate job costing may be a challenge. There is a huge risk of inaccurate job costing with ineffective record keeping especially if you’re dealing with a handful of them. Endless Reports While spreadsheets are great, it is mainly for a single user only not company wide application.  Data inconsistency is quite common using these as main tool for record keeping. With technology, the risks are minimized keeping your business moving up rather than moving down. Digital Breakthrough in the Construction Industry Today, technology allowed builders to improve communication flow and data management particularly providing solutions to generic flaws including data inefficiency, broken communication, and budget deficits. Project management software is on the front lines of the industry’s digital evolution.  It impacts operation efficiency and creates accountability for the managers. Collaborative project management software with defined workflows, controls, and engagement protocols can deftly manage changes in the processes especially when interacting with third-party contractors. Construction management software can cover for major construction project process. Aside from basic project management tasks, features may include seamless billing, invoicing options, collaboration tools, custom reporting, and other business tools, which make operations significantly more efficient especially for large scale projects like commercial building. Design is another major area technology has increasingly helped the industry. Integration with design software allows builders to update and publish drawings easily. It becomes readily available for subcontractors as well as their clients. Building Information Modeling (BIM) fulfills the need for a digital 3D design. It speeds up the need for collaborative tools in design creation and presentation. Technology is transforming the way the industry operates. BIM, planning, designing, and project construction are feasible without the risk of overlooking significant factors like material and logistics, contract administration, cost control, and project scheduling. With the recent adaptations resulting in the streamlined workflow at all levels in a process and higher profits, the future of construction industry awaits embracing technology properly. Maria Vida writes forThrive Technologies Australia – company that creates tailored construction business software solutions by actively sourcing the best software available to help you stay on top of the game. Visit: www.thrivetech.com.au
    183 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Successful construction project management requires effective communication and uninterrupted data flow at every stage of the project writes Maria Vidal. Traditionally, each department of a construction project has their own way of recording and managing data. Since there is no centralized database to work with, each one of these managers has to go through handful of manual work to get the information they need. This can be problematic in four ways: Duplicate Data Construction companies that do not keep a centralized database often suffer from duplication of data. This occurs particularly between the production and accounting department. One may be doing estimating in one system and another places the order somewhere else. There is incorrect transfer of data and lack of control. Not only does this complicate the process, it also triples the paperwork. Paperwork Trail The most difficult and most time consuming area to manage in a project is accounts payable. With the traditional method, a manager needs to compare and review a lot of paperwork to come up with an accurate and justifiable invoice. Inaccurate Job Costing Without a centralized system, arriving at an accurate job costing may be a challenge. There is a huge risk of inaccurate job costing with ineffective record keeping especially if you’re dealing with a handful of them. Endless Reports While spreadsheets are great, it is mainly for a single user only not company wide application.  Data inconsistency is quite common using these as main tool for record keeping. With technology, the risks are minimized keeping your business moving up rather than moving down. Digital Breakthrough in the Construction Industry Today, technology allowed builders to improve communication flow and data management particularly providing solutions to generic flaws including data inefficiency, broken communication, and budget deficits. Project management software is on the front lines of the industry’s digital evolution.  It impacts operation efficiency and creates accountability for the managers. Collaborative project management software with defined workflows, controls, and engagement protocols can deftly manage changes in the processes especially when interacting with third-party contractors. Construction management software can cover for major construction project process. Aside from basic project management tasks, features may include seamless billing, invoicing options, collaboration tools, custom reporting, and other business tools, which make operations significantly more efficient especially for large scale projects like commercial building. Design is another major area technology has increasingly helped the industry. Integration with design software allows builders to update and publish drawings easily. It becomes readily available for subcontractors as well as their clients. Building Information Modeling (BIM) fulfills the need for a digital 3D design. It speeds up the need for collaborative tools in design creation and presentation. Technology is transforming the way the industry operates. BIM, planning, designing, and project construction are feasible without the risk of overlooking significant factors like material and logistics, contract administration, cost control, and project scheduling. With the recent adaptations resulting in the streamlined workflow at all levels in a process and higher profits, the future of construction industry awaits embracing technology properly. Maria Vida writes forThrive Technologies Australia – company that creates tailored construction business software solutions by actively sourcing the best software available to help you stay on top of the game. Visit: www.thrivetech.com.au
    May 28, 2018 183
  • 25 May 2018
    With the ‘Beast from the East’ striking three times in succession, March was certainly one of the coldest anyone can recall for a long time.  This of course meant that people needed to heat their homes for longer periods than they would normally. For those on low incomes and those living in fuel poverty this can sometimes mean making difficult choices about whether to heat or eat.  The consequences of fuel poverty are well-documented and include discomfort, ill health, mental illness and debt. Fuel poverty is also linked to increased winter mortality with a rise in winter deaths associated with cold homes. Such is the problem that according to a study by the Association for the Conversation of Energy (ACE), living in a cold home kills more people than road accidents, alcohol or drug abuse. But it is not just the vulnerable, frail, and elderly who become a statistic.  A cold home can mean lower educational attainment and lead to social exclusion for young children. There are also links to rising costs within the NHS in the fight to treat conditions worsened by insufficiently heated homes, particularly heart and respiratory diseases. We all know that energy efficiency improvements should play their part in helping those in fuel poverty to keep up with rising energy costs, but with government-backed delivery of home energy efficiency improvements stalling, we inevitably end up playing political football with the issue whilst the poorest and most vulnerable in society suffer.  The government’s 2015 Fuel Poverty Strategy, which introduced a statutory target to ensure that as many fuel poor homes as practically possible achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C by 2030, will only be reached if we can upscale installation of high performance thermal insulation, to the nation’s housing stock. In short, we have to agree the process, ensure that the work has been carried out to a decent standard and is value for money. This is the real challenge we face. Firstly, is the need to provide an accurate upfront assessment of the existing building by a competent assessor, who can then interpret the findings and prescribe appropriate energy improvement measures. There will be various measures required to refurbish a building, but to ensure the right result is achieved there has to be coordination between all retrofit activities. Getting the fabric of the building well insulated should always be the starting point.   With examples of poor practice in retrofit on the increase, it is important that a comprehensive set of standards: the assessment, installation and commissioning, are all carried out correctly; and the consumer has a retrofit that works. Professional co-ordination coupled with consumer motivation, will deliver a successful retrofit and this is one of the key objectives of the Each Home Counts1 review which recommends that there be a quality mark for all energy efficiency and renewable energy measures to ensure that the consumer receives excellent levels of consumer protection, companies adhere to a strict code of conduct when operating in the energy efficiency arena and that products are installed to approved codes of practice.  Retrofitting insulation works for a whole host of reasons from saving money to reducing carbon and being good for our health.  Whether it is an internal or external insulation application, it is vitally important we bring the nation’s homes up to or beyond an acceptable standard by getting the fabric of the building as energy efficient as possible. Using the highest performing products, such as PIR insulation, will go a long way to achieve this. Only then will we be able to provide a long-term asset that can be passed onto future generations. Visit: www.insulationmanufacturers.org.uk  Each Home Counts, The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Communities and Local Government published December 2016
    159 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With the ‘Beast from the East’ striking three times in succession, March was certainly one of the coldest anyone can recall for a long time.  This of course meant that people needed to heat their homes for longer periods than they would normally. For those on low incomes and those living in fuel poverty this can sometimes mean making difficult choices about whether to heat or eat.  The consequences of fuel poverty are well-documented and include discomfort, ill health, mental illness and debt. Fuel poverty is also linked to increased winter mortality with a rise in winter deaths associated with cold homes. Such is the problem that according to a study by the Association for the Conversation of Energy (ACE), living in a cold home kills more people than road accidents, alcohol or drug abuse. But it is not just the vulnerable, frail, and elderly who become a statistic.  A cold home can mean lower educational attainment and lead to social exclusion for young children. There are also links to rising costs within the NHS in the fight to treat conditions worsened by insufficiently heated homes, particularly heart and respiratory diseases. We all know that energy efficiency improvements should play their part in helping those in fuel poverty to keep up with rising energy costs, but with government-backed delivery of home energy efficiency improvements stalling, we inevitably end up playing political football with the issue whilst the poorest and most vulnerable in society suffer.  The government’s 2015 Fuel Poverty Strategy, which introduced a statutory target to ensure that as many fuel poor homes as practically possible achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C by 2030, will only be reached if we can upscale installation of high performance thermal insulation, to the nation’s housing stock. In short, we have to agree the process, ensure that the work has been carried out to a decent standard and is value for money. This is the real challenge we face. Firstly, is the need to provide an accurate upfront assessment of the existing building by a competent assessor, who can then interpret the findings and prescribe appropriate energy improvement measures. There will be various measures required to refurbish a building, but to ensure the right result is achieved there has to be coordination between all retrofit activities. Getting the fabric of the building well insulated should always be the starting point.   With examples of poor practice in retrofit on the increase, it is important that a comprehensive set of standards: the assessment, installation and commissioning, are all carried out correctly; and the consumer has a retrofit that works. Professional co-ordination coupled with consumer motivation, will deliver a successful retrofit and this is one of the key objectives of the Each Home Counts1 review which recommends that there be a quality mark for all energy efficiency and renewable energy measures to ensure that the consumer receives excellent levels of consumer protection, companies adhere to a strict code of conduct when operating in the energy efficiency arena and that products are installed to approved codes of practice.  Retrofitting insulation works for a whole host of reasons from saving money to reducing carbon and being good for our health.  Whether it is an internal or external insulation application, it is vitally important we bring the nation’s homes up to or beyond an acceptable standard by getting the fabric of the building as energy efficient as possible. Using the highest performing products, such as PIR insulation, will go a long way to achieve this. Only then will we be able to provide a long-term asset that can be passed onto future generations. Visit: www.insulationmanufacturers.org.uk  Each Home Counts, The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Department for Communities and Local Government published December 2016
    May 25, 2018 159
  • 22 May 2018
    Mastic asphalt is a waterproofing material that has really stood the test of ages. Some say it was used by Noah to waterproof the Ark and there is considerable evidence to show that it has been used since ancient times. Most architects would say they know everything there is to know about mastic asphalt and many probably regard it as a bit old fashioned when compared to many so called alternatives. But they would be wrong because mastic asphalt still remains full of surprises and one company Bell Asphalte based in Bexley, Kent, is turning a few heads, especially with specifiers with a new kind of “Terrazzo” flooring and paving. It uses mastic asphalt as its base material mixed with stone chippings to produce a magnificent affect which is marketed as Merazzo to reflect the distinctive look of traditional Italian flooring and paving, at a highly affordable price. Slip resistant, seamless and available in a wide range of colours and finishes, Merazzo offers infinite design possibilities and applications and is already being specified and installed on a wide variety of projects. It is produced in one of five distinctive colours, black, red, grey, beige or brown and is completed by a choice of stone chippings, also available in a wide range of different colours. The Merazzo floor or paving is then installed and finished to the correct specification - either highly polished, matt, smooth or simply rough. Merazzo is a decorative floor which means it can be easily used in shopping malls, schools or hospitals offering years of trouble free service. Its high strength and durability means that Merazzo is equally suitable for outdoor roads, car parks and pavements. Without doubt it is the biggest innovation for mastic asphalt in – well – thousands of years and well worth checking out. Visit: http://www.bellasphalt.com/ See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRJP8194Lzw
    174 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Mastic asphalt is a waterproofing material that has really stood the test of ages. Some say it was used by Noah to waterproof the Ark and there is considerable evidence to show that it has been used since ancient times. Most architects would say they know everything there is to know about mastic asphalt and many probably regard it as a bit old fashioned when compared to many so called alternatives. But they would be wrong because mastic asphalt still remains full of surprises and one company Bell Asphalte based in Bexley, Kent, is turning a few heads, especially with specifiers with a new kind of “Terrazzo” flooring and paving. It uses mastic asphalt as its base material mixed with stone chippings to produce a magnificent affect which is marketed as Merazzo to reflect the distinctive look of traditional Italian flooring and paving, at a highly affordable price. Slip resistant, seamless and available in a wide range of colours and finishes, Merazzo offers infinite design possibilities and applications and is already being specified and installed on a wide variety of projects. It is produced in one of five distinctive colours, black, red, grey, beige or brown and is completed by a choice of stone chippings, also available in a wide range of different colours. The Merazzo floor or paving is then installed and finished to the correct specification - either highly polished, matt, smooth or simply rough. Merazzo is a decorative floor which means it can be easily used in shopping malls, schools or hospitals offering years of trouble free service. Its high strength and durability means that Merazzo is equally suitable for outdoor roads, car parks and pavements. Without doubt it is the biggest innovation for mastic asphalt in – well – thousands of years and well worth checking out. Visit: http://www.bellasphalt.com/ See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRJP8194Lzw
    May 22, 2018 174
  • 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
    171 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 171
  • 16 May 2018
    From their design to their hygiene, washrooms must be maintained regularly to make sure students feel comfortable using the services. Even a loose or a broken toilet door lock could compromise a child’s education; if a child feels as if he or she cannot use a facility comfortably, they may well return to a class unrelaxed, unfocussed and not in the best mind-set for learning. It is striking and even surprising to see how seemingly minor concerns such as toilet door locks have a negative effect on a child’s education and state of mind. Wellbeing is becoming more prominent in discussions on students mental and physical health; schools not only have a responsibility to educate, they must cultivate safe spaces for young people in the key stages of personal and individual development. Each area of a school building must be maintained to a standard which ensures a child’s education and wellbeing is not compromised, where their comfort should be of fundamental concern to school staff and the wider education sector at large. On the surface of things, it seems hard to envision why unequipped toilets could impact a child’s education and wellbeing. But if a child uses a toilet facility which does not have any soap, and then let’s say for some reason falls ill, then they will miss crucial learning time in the classroom. Maintaining clean and efficient toilets curbs absenteeism as children are healthy enough to attend lessons. But the argument does not just revolve around physical health, as mental health and wellbeing is a chief concern for school staff. If a washroom is not maintained appropriately, students will feel anxious using them, resulting in a decreased-attention span whilst at school. Whether it is lack of soap, broken toilet seats, or cracked mirrors, it is important to take into account these factors to address the broader concern of how it might impact a child’s frame of mind. More responsibility must be taken to improve toilet facilities in school environments, in order to increase student wellbeing, health and productivity. Schools must also shift their perspectives towards small concerns such as these as they will improve the school’s larger function. At the moment, poorly facilitated toilets are affecting attendance and wellbeing, thereby threatening the overall performance of a school. By shifting perspectives and taking more accountability when it comes to the state of school washrooms, we might enhance students’ wellbeing and find solutions to prevent absenteeism. Visit: https://www.interfixgroup.com
    170 Posted by Talk. Build
  • From their design to their hygiene, washrooms must be maintained regularly to make sure students feel comfortable using the services. Even a loose or a broken toilet door lock could compromise a child’s education; if a child feels as if he or she cannot use a facility comfortably, they may well return to a class unrelaxed, unfocussed and not in the best mind-set for learning. It is striking and even surprising to see how seemingly minor concerns such as toilet door locks have a negative effect on a child’s education and state of mind. Wellbeing is becoming more prominent in discussions on students mental and physical health; schools not only have a responsibility to educate, they must cultivate safe spaces for young people in the key stages of personal and individual development. Each area of a school building must be maintained to a standard which ensures a child’s education and wellbeing is not compromised, where their comfort should be of fundamental concern to school staff and the wider education sector at large. On the surface of things, it seems hard to envision why unequipped toilets could impact a child’s education and wellbeing. But if a child uses a toilet facility which does not have any soap, and then let’s say for some reason falls ill, then they will miss crucial learning time in the classroom. Maintaining clean and efficient toilets curbs absenteeism as children are healthy enough to attend lessons. But the argument does not just revolve around physical health, as mental health and wellbeing is a chief concern for school staff. If a washroom is not maintained appropriately, students will feel anxious using them, resulting in a decreased-attention span whilst at school. Whether it is lack of soap, broken toilet seats, or cracked mirrors, it is important to take into account these factors to address the broader concern of how it might impact a child’s frame of mind. More responsibility must be taken to improve toilet facilities in school environments, in order to increase student wellbeing, health and productivity. Schools must also shift their perspectives towards small concerns such as these as they will improve the school’s larger function. At the moment, poorly facilitated toilets are affecting attendance and wellbeing, thereby threatening the overall performance of a school. By shifting perspectives and taking more accountability when it comes to the state of school washrooms, we might enhance students’ wellbeing and find solutions to prevent absenteeism. Visit: https://www.interfixgroup.com
    May 16, 2018 170
  • 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.  
    185 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 185
  • 10 May 2018
    In an ever-changing world of design and our eager desire for the latest products, we often find ourselves reaching for the latest trends and fashions.  Believe it or not, this is also very much the case in the world of rooflights. The want for new, sleek, modern-looking products is forever something that rooflight manufacturers seek to provide and serve. This is particularly the case when it comes to the choice of glazing with many different options, colours and versatilities available from polycarbonate to GRP to glass. It is commonplace on existing and new builds to find daylight beaming into a building, the benefits of which have been reported widely for many years, particularly in the world of health and education.  While the health, productivity and wellbeing benefits remain, the trends change. Glass has become very prominent within today’s wants and designs, and has become a trendsetter across the rooflight industry.  Many options exist from Flat Glass Rooflights, Curved Glass, Mono Pitches, Dual Pitches and Atria. Designability When glass is combined with a quality rooflight system it can look exceptional, work well, be energy efficient as well as offering a whole host of additional features and benefits.  From stunning, jaw-dropping architectural masterpieces snaking their way across a roof to huge atria systems which catch your eye the moment you are beneath them; to the more commonplace flat glass and modular systems available, glass rooflights play a major part in contemporary architecture. Designed to meet a myriad of project requirements, glass rooflights offer versatility so it’s imperative that specifiers look at the options available to assess the most appropriate product for a project. When looking around for your best solution it is vital to look at all factors or noted ‘benefits’ of the product including thermally broken frames, U-values, acoustic performance and even self-cleaning glass. It’s also vital to consider the safety issue.  Many of us spend time, often without actually realising it, standing beneath or working on a roof within the vicinity of glass. Glass rooflights may look the same to the untrained eye but there can be stark differences between the costs of these units. There is usually a good reason for this and more often than not, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find significant differences in the glazing specification, which makes big differences to both thermal performance and safety. The most economic solution is often not the best, or as efficient as you first thought. Safety first When assessing the options available and whilst trying to find the best product at the best price, it’s important to take time to understand the following: glass rooflights should always be specified to consider the safety of both building users beneath the rooflights, and anyone above who may inadvertently step and fall onto the rooflight. Industry regulatory guidance (for example see NARM Glass specification guide, at http://www.narm.org.uk/products/glass/specific-guide states that all glass rooflights should have a laminated inner pane to minimise risk of any glass falling into the room if the inner pane should break, even though BS5516 does set out certain circumstances/locations when a toughened inner pane can be used, subject to satisfactory risk assessment. In addition to using a laminated inner pane to protect building users, rooflights can be specified and designed to be non-fragile to CWCT Technical Note 92, and ACR[M]001. This is intended to ensure the safety of anyone on the roof in the vicinity of the rooflight and to ensure that anyone accidentally walking or falling onto the rooflight will not fall through, even if the glass is broken or the rooflight is damaged.  The preferred specification should always be for rooflights which are both non-fragile and which have a laminated inner pane, protecting both anyone beneath the rooflight and anyone on the roof in the vicinity of the rooflight. Across the industry, there is now an infinite variety of rooflight shapes, sizes and glazing options to suit flat, pitched and curved roof applications, whether it is a small dome-light in a domestic kitchen or polycarbonate and GRP sheeting used in stadium canopy applications. To summarise, choose a rooflight manufacturer that provides a great looking product at a reasonable price and one that can back up and support their claims of performance and service. This might appear to be a time consuming exercise, but this is far outweighed by the safe and long-lasting benefits of a great product. Through the synergy between rooflight manufacturers and specifiers working together, it is possible to design, produce and achieve some of the most beautiful ‘daylight enhancements’ ever dreamt of on a building.  Visit: http://www.brettmartin.com/
    177 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In an ever-changing world of design and our eager desire for the latest products, we often find ourselves reaching for the latest trends and fashions.  Believe it or not, this is also very much the case in the world of rooflights. The want for new, sleek, modern-looking products is forever something that rooflight manufacturers seek to provide and serve. This is particularly the case when it comes to the choice of glazing with many different options, colours and versatilities available from polycarbonate to GRP to glass. It is commonplace on existing and new builds to find daylight beaming into a building, the benefits of which have been reported widely for many years, particularly in the world of health and education.  While the health, productivity and wellbeing benefits remain, the trends change. Glass has become very prominent within today’s wants and designs, and has become a trendsetter across the rooflight industry.  Many options exist from Flat Glass Rooflights, Curved Glass, Mono Pitches, Dual Pitches and Atria. Designability When glass is combined with a quality rooflight system it can look exceptional, work well, be energy efficient as well as offering a whole host of additional features and benefits.  From stunning, jaw-dropping architectural masterpieces snaking their way across a roof to huge atria systems which catch your eye the moment you are beneath them; to the more commonplace flat glass and modular systems available, glass rooflights play a major part in contemporary architecture. Designed to meet a myriad of project requirements, glass rooflights offer versatility so it’s imperative that specifiers look at the options available to assess the most appropriate product for a project. When looking around for your best solution it is vital to look at all factors or noted ‘benefits’ of the product including thermally broken frames, U-values, acoustic performance and even self-cleaning glass. It’s also vital to consider the safety issue.  Many of us spend time, often without actually realising it, standing beneath or working on a roof within the vicinity of glass. Glass rooflights may look the same to the untrained eye but there can be stark differences between the costs of these units. There is usually a good reason for this and more often than not, if you dig a little deeper, you’ll find significant differences in the glazing specification, which makes big differences to both thermal performance and safety. The most economic solution is often not the best, or as efficient as you first thought. Safety first When assessing the options available and whilst trying to find the best product at the best price, it’s important to take time to understand the following: glass rooflights should always be specified to consider the safety of both building users beneath the rooflights, and anyone above who may inadvertently step and fall onto the rooflight. Industry regulatory guidance (for example see NARM Glass specification guide, at http://www.narm.org.uk/products/glass/specific-guide states that all glass rooflights should have a laminated inner pane to minimise risk of any glass falling into the room if the inner pane should break, even though BS5516 does set out certain circumstances/locations when a toughened inner pane can be used, subject to satisfactory risk assessment. In addition to using a laminated inner pane to protect building users, rooflights can be specified and designed to be non-fragile to CWCT Technical Note 92, and ACR[M]001. This is intended to ensure the safety of anyone on the roof in the vicinity of the rooflight and to ensure that anyone accidentally walking or falling onto the rooflight will not fall through, even if the glass is broken or the rooflight is damaged.  The preferred specification should always be for rooflights which are both non-fragile and which have a laminated inner pane, protecting both anyone beneath the rooflight and anyone on the roof in the vicinity of the rooflight. Across the industry, there is now an infinite variety of rooflight shapes, sizes and glazing options to suit flat, pitched and curved roof applications, whether it is a small dome-light in a domestic kitchen or polycarbonate and GRP sheeting used in stadium canopy applications. To summarise, choose a rooflight manufacturer that provides a great looking product at a reasonable price and one that can back up and support their claims of performance and service. This might appear to be a time consuming exercise, but this is far outweighed by the safe and long-lasting benefits of a great product. Through the synergy between rooflight manufacturers and specifiers working together, it is possible to design, produce and achieve some of the most beautiful ‘daylight enhancements’ ever dreamt of on a building.  Visit: http://www.brettmartin.com/
    May 10, 2018 177
  • 09 May 2018
    Which came first – the chicken or the egg? Who would have thought the age-old question would apply to construction material selection, but it certainly is relevant for contractors working on projects pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) version 4 (v4) certification writes Tommy Linstroth, founder and CEO of Green Badger. LEED is the predominate green building certification in the US and is required on most federally funded projects as well as many state, local and university projects. Odds are, if you’re a contractor who does any public work, you’re faced with LEED certification (it also often required in the private sector, with 80+% of Fortune 100 companies requiring it). While many contractors are familiar with the requirements of the older version of LEED, Version 4 (which became mandatory for projects registered last year and new) is a whole new challenge – specifically, the availability of compliant materials. So back to the chicken or the egg - in the case of LEED v4 and the materials market – the answer is abundantly clear. LEED v4 came much sooner than manufacturers and project teams were ready for. To earn the credits in v4, products must now have Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) or Health Product Declarations (HPDs). There are other contributing certifications, but these two are the most recognizable. The challenge is there aren’t all that many products that have either one. The process for a manufacturer to generate an EPD could take over a year – so even those jumping on board today won’t have products that comply until 2019. So where can contractors look to find products that meet the criteria? First, let’s talk about what they need. To earn the credits, contractors need to use 20 products with EPDs, and/or 20 products with HPDs (there are 2 separate credits available, one for each). To make it even more complicated, EPDs come in two versions – industry wide, which only count as ½ a product, or product specific, which count in full. Industry wide means any product in that category complies, regardless of manufacturer. For example, Type X Gypsum board has an industry-wide EPD – any type X gypsum board from a manufacturer who is a member of the North American Gypsum Association can utilize that industry-wide EPD. While it only counts for ½, it is a broad enough certification that you can start to find a lot of products with it. Product specific, on the other hand, is an EPD for a specific product from a certain manufacturer – i.e ½” Fire Rated Gypsum Board from ABC Co – and counts in full. Between the two, contractors need to get a total of at least twenty to earn the point (this could be 10 industry-wide, and 15 product specific, or any combination of, etc). That still bodes the question – of the thousands of products and components that make up a building being constructed, where can contractors narrow their search for compliant products? Below are some categories of products contractors can start with before they dive down rabbit holes to find an EPD or HPD.  WOOD Most wood in North America will fall under the American Wood Council’s Industry Wide EPDs (that only count as a half-point each), but include softwood plywood, softwood lumber, OSB, LVLs, Glu-Lam timbers, I-joists, MDF, and particle board. You can easily pick up a handful of those w/o much work. Huber’s popular ZIP, Advantech an TruSpec products all have Product Specific Type 3 EPDs as well. WALLS, CEILING TILES AND GRID One of the most robust categories, Armstrong, CertainTeed and USG all offer a host of options with EPDs, HPDs and other Material Ingredient Reporting. Since you can use up to 5 products per manufacturer, if you are savvy, you can get a quarter of your EPD and MIR accounted for just in your ceilings. National Gypsum has over a dozen products with HPDs, and there is an industry-wide EPD for Type X Gyp Board. INSULATION Insulation is another opportunity to get multiple products within the same manufacturer. While the choices are somewhat limited, CertainTeed and Knauff both offer thermal, acoustical, and mechanical insulation products with EPDs (and some with HPDs) FLOORING Flooring is the mother lode of EPDs and HPDs. Contractors could probably find all twenty products for each credit in this category alone, with products that include carpet, tile, VCT, linoleum, rubber flooring, cove base and all the associated adhesives behind them. Consider yourself in good shape with products from Armstrong, Beaulieu, Bentley Mills, Crossville, American Olean Tile, Daltile, ECORE, Emser, Forbo, Interface, Milliken, Mohawk, Patcraft and Shaw, while Laticrete, WF Taylor and XL Brands provide plenty of options to hold those products in place. ROOFING Contractors have options on top of the building almost no matter what type of roof is specified. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has industry wide EPDs for asphalt-based roofs, including mod-bit, built-up and shingles, while multiple manufacturers have EPDs for PVC membrane roofs including Carlisle, Duro-Last and GAF. PAINTS Paints have you covered (ha!) as well. Benjamin Moore, PPG, Sherwin Williams and ECOS all have a line (or more) that have EPDs and/or MIR compatibility. Also note, each sheen counts as a distinct product, so you can count a primer, flat, semi-gloss and gloss as 4 individual products for both EPDs and HPDs. METALS Products that are using structural steel or metal studs are in luck. There are industry wide EPDs for structural steel, joists, and deck, and some product specific EPDs for Rebar from Gerdeau, CMC, and Re-Steel and interior metal framing and accessories from Merino+Ware – enough to pick up another 5 products. DOORS/WINDOWS/HARDWARE This category offers an unexpected wealth of options. If your project has commercial entries/windows/storefronts, a number of options exist from YKK, Assa Abloy and Kawneer, and there are a surprising number of door hinges, locks, stoppers, openers and hardware that have EPDs from the likes of Norton, Pemko, Sargent and Schlage. While this of course is not a comprehensive list of all the products and categories that offer EPDs or HPDs, these 8 product categories are found on most commercial construction projects. Contracts can focus their efforts around these categories to not spend hundreds of hours trying to track down information on every nail and screw, and instead focus on getting their projects complete on time and on budget – while still reaching their certification goals. Visit: http://getgreenbadger.com
    195 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Which came first – the chicken or the egg? Who would have thought the age-old question would apply to construction material selection, but it certainly is relevant for contractors working on projects pursuing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) version 4 (v4) certification writes Tommy Linstroth, founder and CEO of Green Badger. LEED is the predominate green building certification in the US and is required on most federally funded projects as well as many state, local and university projects. Odds are, if you’re a contractor who does any public work, you’re faced with LEED certification (it also often required in the private sector, with 80+% of Fortune 100 companies requiring it). While many contractors are familiar with the requirements of the older version of LEED, Version 4 (which became mandatory for projects registered last year and new) is a whole new challenge – specifically, the availability of compliant materials. So back to the chicken or the egg - in the case of LEED v4 and the materials market – the answer is abundantly clear. LEED v4 came much sooner than manufacturers and project teams were ready for. To earn the credits in v4, products must now have Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) or Health Product Declarations (HPDs). There are other contributing certifications, but these two are the most recognizable. The challenge is there aren’t all that many products that have either one. The process for a manufacturer to generate an EPD could take over a year – so even those jumping on board today won’t have products that comply until 2019. So where can contractors look to find products that meet the criteria? First, let’s talk about what they need. To earn the credits, contractors need to use 20 products with EPDs, and/or 20 products with HPDs (there are 2 separate credits available, one for each). To make it even more complicated, EPDs come in two versions – industry wide, which only count as ½ a product, or product specific, which count in full. Industry wide means any product in that category complies, regardless of manufacturer. For example, Type X Gypsum board has an industry-wide EPD – any type X gypsum board from a manufacturer who is a member of the North American Gypsum Association can utilize that industry-wide EPD. While it only counts for ½, it is a broad enough certification that you can start to find a lot of products with it. Product specific, on the other hand, is an EPD for a specific product from a certain manufacturer – i.e ½” Fire Rated Gypsum Board from ABC Co – and counts in full. Between the two, contractors need to get a total of at least twenty to earn the point (this could be 10 industry-wide, and 15 product specific, or any combination of, etc). That still bodes the question – of the thousands of products and components that make up a building being constructed, where can contractors narrow their search for compliant products? Below are some categories of products contractors can start with before they dive down rabbit holes to find an EPD or HPD.  WOOD Most wood in North America will fall under the American Wood Council’s Industry Wide EPDs (that only count as a half-point each), but include softwood plywood, softwood lumber, OSB, LVLs, Glu-Lam timbers, I-joists, MDF, and particle board. You can easily pick up a handful of those w/o much work. Huber’s popular ZIP, Advantech an TruSpec products all have Product Specific Type 3 EPDs as well. WALLS, CEILING TILES AND GRID One of the most robust categories, Armstrong, CertainTeed and USG all offer a host of options with EPDs, HPDs and other Material Ingredient Reporting. Since you can use up to 5 products per manufacturer, if you are savvy, you can get a quarter of your EPD and MIR accounted for just in your ceilings. National Gypsum has over a dozen products with HPDs, and there is an industry-wide EPD for Type X Gyp Board. INSULATION Insulation is another opportunity to get multiple products within the same manufacturer. While the choices are somewhat limited, CertainTeed and Knauff both offer thermal, acoustical, and mechanical insulation products with EPDs (and some with HPDs) FLOORING Flooring is the mother lode of EPDs and HPDs. Contractors could probably find all twenty products for each credit in this category alone, with products that include carpet, tile, VCT, linoleum, rubber flooring, cove base and all the associated adhesives behind them. Consider yourself in good shape with products from Armstrong, Beaulieu, Bentley Mills, Crossville, American Olean Tile, Daltile, ECORE, Emser, Forbo, Interface, Milliken, Mohawk, Patcraft and Shaw, while Laticrete, WF Taylor and XL Brands provide plenty of options to hold those products in place. ROOFING Contractors have options on top of the building almost no matter what type of roof is specified. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has industry wide EPDs for asphalt-based roofs, including mod-bit, built-up and shingles, while multiple manufacturers have EPDs for PVC membrane roofs including Carlisle, Duro-Last and GAF. PAINTS Paints have you covered (ha!) as well. Benjamin Moore, PPG, Sherwin Williams and ECOS all have a line (or more) that have EPDs and/or MIR compatibility. Also note, each sheen counts as a distinct product, so you can count a primer, flat, semi-gloss and gloss as 4 individual products for both EPDs and HPDs. METALS Products that are using structural steel or metal studs are in luck. There are industry wide EPDs for structural steel, joists, and deck, and some product specific EPDs for Rebar from Gerdeau, CMC, and Re-Steel and interior metal framing and accessories from Merino+Ware – enough to pick up another 5 products. DOORS/WINDOWS/HARDWARE This category offers an unexpected wealth of options. If your project has commercial entries/windows/storefronts, a number of options exist from YKK, Assa Abloy and Kawneer, and there are a surprising number of door hinges, locks, stoppers, openers and hardware that have EPDs from the likes of Norton, Pemko, Sargent and Schlage. While this of course is not a comprehensive list of all the products and categories that offer EPDs or HPDs, these 8 product categories are found on most commercial construction projects. Contracts can focus their efforts around these categories to not spend hundreds of hours trying to track down information on every nail and screw, and instead focus on getting their projects complete on time and on budget – while still reaching their certification goals. Visit: http://getgreenbadger.com
    May 09, 2018 195
  • 07 May 2018
    It took about 50 years for television to transform from black and white to glorious technicolour; the availability of pigmentation to give concrete shades other than grey took infinitely longer writes Lee Baldwin, Product Development Manager at Sika. The wait was worth it, however, as the colourisation of this otherwise drab-looking material has given it a new lease of life in terms of its usage; brightening our commercial and domestic worlds in the process.   From industrial units to art installations, coloured concrete has become a go-to solution for designers and the like who want their structures to look good as well as last. For the past 15 years or so, Sika has been among those leading the way in the development of the precious pigment that has allowed concrete structures be seen in a different light… and shade. The colourisation process involves adding liquid or powder-form pigmented metal oxides - mainly iron oxide – to a concrete mix. The dosage is normally 0.5 – 5.0% of the cement weight. Higher dosages do not enhance the colour intensity but may adversely affect the concrete quality. A range of primary colours are available such as yellow, red, black and white, which can be used to create a spectrum of shades.  No limits With concrete now able to sport coats of many colours there is no limit to how and where it can be used, dependent on whether it is designed to stand-out or blend-in with its environment. A good example of pigmented concrete’s harmonious capabilities can be seen at Payers Park, Folkestone where it was used in the formation of sandstone-coloured steps as part of a recent Sika-based project. The same properties also saw Sika’s colour range bring a certain gravitas and style to a humble seaside public toilet, which was deemed so at one with its coastal surroundings, the installation won a design award. Other recent commercial projects to benefit Sika Coloured Concrete include specification at the new Concorde Museum in Bristol, where it will be used to create dark grey flooring – a perfect accompaniment to the brilliant white supersonic plane it is to support. It’s also been selected as a colourful base for a skate park, the bright shades and tones in-keeping with the lively, fun-packed environment.   Solid alternative Pigmented concrete is also gaining favour as a domestic installation. Its durable, maintenance-free properties have led to its specification for driveways as a more solid alternative to tarmac. Chips and minor damaging to coloured concrete does little to spoil its look. The pigment runs throughout the concrete, therefore the surface and the underlying colour is the same. Kitchens, where coloured concrete creates hard, marble-like flooring, are also ideal. Sika Coloured Concrete was also used to create an attractive art installation at Queen Elizabeth Park in London. Pigmentation has added a new flexibility to concrete, this most unyielding of materials. Its grey days are over and a brighter, more colourful new era awaits.  Visit www.sika.co.uk.
    187 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It took about 50 years for television to transform from black and white to glorious technicolour; the availability of pigmentation to give concrete shades other than grey took infinitely longer writes Lee Baldwin, Product Development Manager at Sika. The wait was worth it, however, as the colourisation of this otherwise drab-looking material has given it a new lease of life in terms of its usage; brightening our commercial and domestic worlds in the process.   From industrial units to art installations, coloured concrete has become a go-to solution for designers and the like who want their structures to look good as well as last. For the past 15 years or so, Sika has been among those leading the way in the development of the precious pigment that has allowed concrete structures be seen in a different light… and shade. The colourisation process involves adding liquid or powder-form pigmented metal oxides - mainly iron oxide – to a concrete mix. The dosage is normally 0.5 – 5.0% of the cement weight. Higher dosages do not enhance the colour intensity but may adversely affect the concrete quality. A range of primary colours are available such as yellow, red, black and white, which can be used to create a spectrum of shades.  No limits With concrete now able to sport coats of many colours there is no limit to how and where it can be used, dependent on whether it is designed to stand-out or blend-in with its environment. A good example of pigmented concrete’s harmonious capabilities can be seen at Payers Park, Folkestone where it was used in the formation of sandstone-coloured steps as part of a recent Sika-based project. The same properties also saw Sika’s colour range bring a certain gravitas and style to a humble seaside public toilet, which was deemed so at one with its coastal surroundings, the installation won a design award. Other recent commercial projects to benefit Sika Coloured Concrete include specification at the new Concorde Museum in Bristol, where it will be used to create dark grey flooring – a perfect accompaniment to the brilliant white supersonic plane it is to support. It’s also been selected as a colourful base for a skate park, the bright shades and tones in-keeping with the lively, fun-packed environment.   Solid alternative Pigmented concrete is also gaining favour as a domestic installation. Its durable, maintenance-free properties have led to its specification for driveways as a more solid alternative to tarmac. Chips and minor damaging to coloured concrete does little to spoil its look. The pigment runs throughout the concrete, therefore the surface and the underlying colour is the same. Kitchens, where coloured concrete creates hard, marble-like flooring, are also ideal. Sika Coloured Concrete was also used to create an attractive art installation at Queen Elizabeth Park in London. Pigmentation has added a new flexibility to concrete, this most unyielding of materials. Its grey days are over and a brighter, more colourful new era awaits.  Visit www.sika.co.uk.
    May 07, 2018 187
  • 04 May 2018
    Choosing the right companies to work with can sometimes seem like a complicated process – CAD Design is no exception writes Krysta Jakson. The big question is - how do you know if you have picked the best company for your needs? A lot of the decisions you make will be based on personal choice, but there are a few things that you can consider that will help you narrow down that decision. 1.Location It is never a bad idea to look for a local company who can meet your requirements. Discussing what you need on the phone is one thing but it usually far easier to meet face to face and talk through your ideas and any problems. This is especially true when looking for a CAD building Design Company. You want to be able to look at the actual designs rather than just images sent to you on a computer screen. It will also make it easier for both you and the CAD designer to look at the designs and check for any issues or problems and make any amends that might be needed. 2.Experience Trusting another company to help you with your project can be a daunting process so ask to see examples of previous projects they have worked on. Ask if they have experience of working on projects like yours, this will give you a good indication of how they will be able to tackle the work you want from them and also whether they are aware of any of the problems that might occur. 3.They know and rules and regulations Where possible it is a good idea to choose a company located in the same country as your business. They will understand more about any local regulations and constraints that may need to be taken into consideration with your project. Picking a company in the same time zone means that it will be much easier for you to communicate. 4.What services do they offer? Ask what CAD services the company has to offer. Some of them will also offer BIM services. This will allow you to have several aspects of any product or project you are designing carried out under one roof, and ultimately will help with any alterations. 5.Can you talk to them? It’s always very important when finding a company to work with to find one you feel you can talk to properly or you may struggle to make changes. Finding the right CAD company for your next project shouldn’t be a snap decision. Do your research and ask questions to choose one that fits all your needs, and not just your budgetary ones. Visit: http://thecadroom.com/
    157 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Choosing the right companies to work with can sometimes seem like a complicated process – CAD Design is no exception writes Krysta Jakson. The big question is - how do you know if you have picked the best company for your needs? A lot of the decisions you make will be based on personal choice, but there are a few things that you can consider that will help you narrow down that decision. 1.Location It is never a bad idea to look for a local company who can meet your requirements. Discussing what you need on the phone is one thing but it usually far easier to meet face to face and talk through your ideas and any problems. This is especially true when looking for a CAD building Design Company. You want to be able to look at the actual designs rather than just images sent to you on a computer screen. It will also make it easier for both you and the CAD designer to look at the designs and check for any issues or problems and make any amends that might be needed. 2.Experience Trusting another company to help you with your project can be a daunting process so ask to see examples of previous projects they have worked on. Ask if they have experience of working on projects like yours, this will give you a good indication of how they will be able to tackle the work you want from them and also whether they are aware of any of the problems that might occur. 3.They know and rules and regulations Where possible it is a good idea to choose a company located in the same country as your business. They will understand more about any local regulations and constraints that may need to be taken into consideration with your project. Picking a company in the same time zone means that it will be much easier for you to communicate. 4.What services do they offer? Ask what CAD services the company has to offer. Some of them will also offer BIM services. This will allow you to have several aspects of any product or project you are designing carried out under one roof, and ultimately will help with any alterations. 5.Can you talk to them? It’s always very important when finding a company to work with to find one you feel you can talk to properly or you may struggle to make changes. Finding the right CAD company for your next project shouldn’t be a snap decision. Do your research and ask questions to choose one that fits all your needs, and not just your budgetary ones. Visit: http://thecadroom.com/
    May 04, 2018 157
  • 03 May 2018
    In September 2017, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) launched new regulations across America to address a worsening crisis in the labour world - silica exposure -constituting the first major shift in silica policy since 1971 writes Joshua Clark. Silica, if you work in construction, is a particle 100 times smaller than sand that is present in many building materials, particularly those containing quartz. Millions of these particles are released into the air during grinding, sanding, drilling, and similar processes. Without respiratory protection, it is easily inhaled and sucked into the deepest crevices of the lungs, where it remains lodged for the rest of the worker’s life. Scar tissue forms around the particles and eventually progresses to the point of silicosis, which has ended many careers and lives over the years. Kidney and obstructive pulmonary disease have also been documented. With approximately 2.3 million workers affected every year in the US, new regulations were long overdue. The six months that have passed have seen a flood of citations, with many more surely to come. There’s also been time for the National Association of Home Builders to initiate dialogue with OSHA to clarify ambiguous language in the rules. Progress will be gradual, but the prognosis looks good for a robust culture of prevention to develop, which is a long time coming for a workforce that has been suffering with this menace for generations. Under OSHA’s regulations, a workplace must be tested if it’s a candidate for silica exposure above the action level (25 μg/m³). If the reading is between 25 and 50, the test will be done periodically every six months to keep a record. If PEL can’t be brought below 50, official signage must be posted at all entrances marking the space as off-limits to anyone without protection. OSHA will be back every three months to test the levels. A comprehensive exposure control plan must be drafted by the employer, describing the tasks in the workplace that involve exposure. At least 30 days out of the year starting June 23, 2018, medical surveillance will be implemented on every worker who operates within the contaminated space.  On June 23, 2020 this requirement expands to all employees exposed above the action level. It is also the employer’s responsibility to inform their workers of the conditions they are working under, and the steps being taken to limit the hazards. At Enviro, we do our part by providing the best products on the market at highly competitive prices. The slight inconvenience of respiratory protection is totally worth it to avoid the devastation that silica can cause. You’ll find a curated selection of products that work great for silica protection here, and our general respiratory selection can be found here.  Guest blogger Joshua Clark, represents Enviro Safety Products, one of the oldest e-commerce sites online.  
    149 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In September 2017, OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) launched new regulations across America to address a worsening crisis in the labour world - silica exposure -constituting the first major shift in silica policy since 1971 writes Joshua Clark. Silica, if you work in construction, is a particle 100 times smaller than sand that is present in many building materials, particularly those containing quartz. Millions of these particles are released into the air during grinding, sanding, drilling, and similar processes. Without respiratory protection, it is easily inhaled and sucked into the deepest crevices of the lungs, where it remains lodged for the rest of the worker’s life. Scar tissue forms around the particles and eventually progresses to the point of silicosis, which has ended many careers and lives over the years. Kidney and obstructive pulmonary disease have also been documented. With approximately 2.3 million workers affected every year in the US, new regulations were long overdue. The six months that have passed have seen a flood of citations, with many more surely to come. There’s also been time for the National Association of Home Builders to initiate dialogue with OSHA to clarify ambiguous language in the rules. Progress will be gradual, but the prognosis looks good for a robust culture of prevention to develop, which is a long time coming for a workforce that has been suffering with this menace for generations. Under OSHA’s regulations, a workplace must be tested if it’s a candidate for silica exposure above the action level (25 μg/m³). If the reading is between 25 and 50, the test will be done periodically every six months to keep a record. If PEL can’t be brought below 50, official signage must be posted at all entrances marking the space as off-limits to anyone without protection. OSHA will be back every three months to test the levels. A comprehensive exposure control plan must be drafted by the employer, describing the tasks in the workplace that involve exposure. At least 30 days out of the year starting June 23, 2018, medical surveillance will be implemented on every worker who operates within the contaminated space.  On June 23, 2020 this requirement expands to all employees exposed above the action level. It is also the employer’s responsibility to inform their workers of the conditions they are working under, and the steps being taken to limit the hazards. At Enviro, we do our part by providing the best products on the market at highly competitive prices. The slight inconvenience of respiratory protection is totally worth it to avoid the devastation that silica can cause. You’ll find a curated selection of products that work great for silica protection here, and our general respiratory selection can be found here.  Guest blogger Joshua Clark, represents Enviro Safety Products, one of the oldest e-commerce sites online.  
    May 03, 2018 149
  • 01 May 2018
    As a marketing agency we’re often asked to create websites for our construction and building based clients. When we sit down with them to discuss the site, one of the first questions we ask the client is “have you got your sitemap?” to which we often receive a blank expression or the response “eh, no”. All too often the sitemap is completely disregarded and very little, or no, consideration has been given to the planning or structure of the website. The sitemap is the most important part of planning a website, yet is often the most overlooked. Companies undervalue a good sitemap so the below tips will hopefully help you see the value, importance and difference a well thought out sitemap can make. What is a sitemap? Put in simple terms, a sitemap is the page structure of your website. It shows every page of your website, how these pages are linked and the various levels of content within your site. It illustrates how everything in your website is connected. Why is a sitemap so important? It makes you think about the content you place on your site and plan how users get to this content. It prompts you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask “what do I want from this website and how do I find what I need?” It provides you with the opportunity and means to dictate the user journey. Sitemaps make visitors follow the path you want them to. It allows you to determine the number of clicks a user makes to get to a particular part of your website and then provides the opportunity to amend the content path if this proves to be a high number – remember the 3 click rule! Sitemaps influence design. We’re often asked to produce designs before a sitemap has been created and whilst we can do this, we don’t recommend it as the design often changes as a result of the sitemap. You wouldn’t design a kitchen without planning where best to place the appliances and the type of cupboards you want etc. so why design a website before you’ve planned the structure? It’s crucial for helping deliver a website within budget. Producing a sitemap makes you think about why you want a new website, the content, the user journey and more. If you can finalise this before you start the design and build, it can save you money as changes = cost. Sitemaps help search engines to index your website as accurately as possible. A clear, well-planned sitemap leads to more efficient crawling and more accurately displayed search results for your website. How do you start creating a sitemap? Sitemaps take a lot of planning and research. We suggest you ask yourself these questions: Why do you want a website? Do you want to sell products, generate leads, raise brand awareness etc.? Who are your target audiences and what do they want from your website? What are the measurable goals/calls to actions the website needs to achieve (for example, sample requests, marketing literature, bookings etc.)? What do your competitors offer in comparison to your company? How do you differ from your competitors? What information and level of information do you want to provide? How do you want to present your information (for example case studies, brochures, technical sheets etc.)? Do you want any sections/items of content to be searchable? If yes, what are the search criteria and can they be achieved via your CMS? Where do you want the user journey to end? For example, once a user has found the service they’re interested in, does their journey end here or do you direct them to relevant case studies? How do you want to group information? How many clicks does it take for the user to complete their journey? Once you have all this information you can begin plotting your sitemap. Start with your site’s top level navigation. What should these main sections be? Refer back to your objectives and what your customers want to help establish this. Remember these will be visible throughout the site so they need to be right. Try and keep things simple – with the number of sections and their titles. You want the design of the website to be clean and impactive so bear this in mind when deciding on the top level navigation. Once complete, you can look at the secondary pages – these tend to be where the more detailed information is held. Again, think about the user journey when planning these and how you want to provide information. Remember too many dropdown menus can be off-putting for users. Review and amend With your sitemap complete, you can start to visualise your website and the user journey. Ask others to review it as a fresh set of eyes can provide valuable input. It can take several attempts to get a sitemap right so don’t be afraid to make changes or to invest the time needed to get it right for your business. A final note Sitemaps really are the most important part of planning a website. They can aid with the planning and production of content, the user journey, timescale and budget, design and more. Investing time in producing a good sitemap won’t be wasted, so give it a go and reap the benefit. Visit: https://www.wearefabrick.com/home  
    204 Posted by Talk. Build
  • As a marketing agency we’re often asked to create websites for our construction and building based clients. When we sit down with them to discuss the site, one of the first questions we ask the client is “have you got your sitemap?” to which we often receive a blank expression or the response “eh, no”. All too often the sitemap is completely disregarded and very little, or no, consideration has been given to the planning or structure of the website. The sitemap is the most important part of planning a website, yet is often the most overlooked. Companies undervalue a good sitemap so the below tips will hopefully help you see the value, importance and difference a well thought out sitemap can make. What is a sitemap? Put in simple terms, a sitemap is the page structure of your website. It shows every page of your website, how these pages are linked and the various levels of content within your site. It illustrates how everything in your website is connected. Why is a sitemap so important? It makes you think about the content you place on your site and plan how users get to this content. It prompts you to put yourself in your customer’s shoes and ask “what do I want from this website and how do I find what I need?” It provides you with the opportunity and means to dictate the user journey. Sitemaps make visitors follow the path you want them to. It allows you to determine the number of clicks a user makes to get to a particular part of your website and then provides the opportunity to amend the content path if this proves to be a high number – remember the 3 click rule! Sitemaps influence design. We’re often asked to produce designs before a sitemap has been created and whilst we can do this, we don’t recommend it as the design often changes as a result of the sitemap. You wouldn’t design a kitchen without planning where best to place the appliances and the type of cupboards you want etc. so why design a website before you’ve planned the structure? It’s crucial for helping deliver a website within budget. Producing a sitemap makes you think about why you want a new website, the content, the user journey and more. If you can finalise this before you start the design and build, it can save you money as changes = cost. Sitemaps help search engines to index your website as accurately as possible. A clear, well-planned sitemap leads to more efficient crawling and more accurately displayed search results for your website. How do you start creating a sitemap? Sitemaps take a lot of planning and research. We suggest you ask yourself these questions: Why do you want a website? Do you want to sell products, generate leads, raise brand awareness etc.? Who are your target audiences and what do they want from your website? What are the measurable goals/calls to actions the website needs to achieve (for example, sample requests, marketing literature, bookings etc.)? What do your competitors offer in comparison to your company? How do you differ from your competitors? What information and level of information do you want to provide? How do you want to present your information (for example case studies, brochures, technical sheets etc.)? Do you want any sections/items of content to be searchable? If yes, what are the search criteria and can they be achieved via your CMS? Where do you want the user journey to end? For example, once a user has found the service they’re interested in, does their journey end here or do you direct them to relevant case studies? How do you want to group information? How many clicks does it take for the user to complete their journey? Once you have all this information you can begin plotting your sitemap. Start with your site’s top level navigation. What should these main sections be? Refer back to your objectives and what your customers want to help establish this. Remember these will be visible throughout the site so they need to be right. Try and keep things simple – with the number of sections and their titles. You want the design of the website to be clean and impactive so bear this in mind when deciding on the top level navigation. Once complete, you can look at the secondary pages – these tend to be where the more detailed information is held. Again, think about the user journey when planning these and how you want to provide information. Remember too many dropdown menus can be off-putting for users. Review and amend With your sitemap complete, you can start to visualise your website and the user journey. Ask others to review it as a fresh set of eyes can provide valuable input. It can take several attempts to get a sitemap right so don’t be afraid to make changes or to invest the time needed to get it right for your business. A final note Sitemaps really are the most important part of planning a website. They can aid with the planning and production of content, the user journey, timescale and budget, design and more. Investing time in producing a good sitemap won’t be wasted, so give it a go and reap the benefit. Visit: https://www.wearefabrick.com/home  
    May 01, 2018 204