• 15 Oct 2018
    High-rise curtain wall buildings have become architectural statements across the globe, their façades projecting image and a creative intent which sets them apart from other buildings across city skylines. While curtain walls offer formability, durability and weather resistance, it’s vitally important that passive fire protection and compartmentation measures are installed to limit the spread of fire, saving lives and property. Chris Hall, Commercial Development Officer at SIDERISE, feels that passive fire protection solutions such as firestops are crucial to prevent the passage of flames and noxious gases travelling from one compartment floor or room to the next. Fires in high-rise buildings can generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to one room. When the gap/cavity at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke can spread vertically to higher floors, and horizontally from one room to the next. Addressing these gaps/cavities by properly installing firestops maintains the floors’ fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related injury in the upper floors of the building, and adjacent rooms. Closing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartmentfloor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable, so the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability – compression and recovery – in order to accommodate serviceability movement, and more significant movement under fire load. It’s critical the firestop system does this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartmentfloor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through, and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rises above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features – density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression – which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, Certifire Approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits. The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls horizontally and vertically. These systems can offer tested fire rating options ranging from 30 minutes to five hours and accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Key design considerations The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative windloads as well as occupational live loads.  These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions and where fixing brackets are required these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and the façade is often a weak point acoustically.  Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Seal the voids At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers in the Dubai Marina, UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor Cladtech with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill lineargaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors.   Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing life saving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit: www.siderise.com
    61 Posted by Talk. Build
  • High-rise curtain wall buildings have become architectural statements across the globe, their façades projecting image and a creative intent which sets them apart from other buildings across city skylines. While curtain walls offer formability, durability and weather resistance, it’s vitally important that passive fire protection and compartmentation measures are installed to limit the spread of fire, saving lives and property. Chris Hall, Commercial Development Officer at SIDERISE, feels that passive fire protection solutions such as firestops are crucial to prevent the passage of flames and noxious gases travelling from one compartment floor or room to the next. Fires in high-rise buildings can generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to one room. When the gap/cavity at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke can spread vertically to higher floors, and horizontally from one room to the next. Addressing these gaps/cavities by properly installing firestops maintains the floors’ fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related injury in the upper floors of the building, and adjacent rooms. Closing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartmentfloor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable, so the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability – compression and recovery – in order to accommodate serviceability movement, and more significant movement under fire load. It’s critical the firestop system does this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartmentfloor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through, and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rises above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features – density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression – which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, Certifire Approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits. The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls horizontally and vertically. These systems can offer tested fire rating options ranging from 30 minutes to five hours and accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Key design considerations The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative windloads as well as occupational live loads.  These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions and where fixing brackets are required these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and the façade is often a weak point acoustically.  Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Seal the voids At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers in the Dubai Marina, UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor Cladtech with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill lineargaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors.   Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing life saving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit: www.siderise.com
    Oct 15, 2018 61
  • 09 Oct 2018
    London Mayor Sadiq Khan has already gone on record to state that he wants to make the Capital a zero-carbon city by 2050 writes Kevin Knapp, CEO, Ecolution Renewables. It will be a major challenge and one that will only be achieved if Londoners are willing to embrace green technology. The Mayor has already put his considerable political weight behind a Solar Action Plan to persuade homeowners and businesses across the Capital to install photovoltaic panels to generate green electricity – and thousands are taking advantage of this initiative, benefitting from reduced installation costs and long term energy savings. It’s a welcome step forward but more could be done if householders and businesses would be willing to accept the Mayor’s challenge and even better – be prepared to go that extra mile, to help reduce air pollution across the Capital while significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels. We call that extra mile #JointheEcolution which combines photovoltaic panels with advanced HyCube battery storage units further linked to electric charging points (EV) turning every household and business into its own virtual power station. With more electric cars on the road it means less pollution. Photovoltaics linked to storage units would also help to make buildings energy self-sufficient, with the ability to save and share that energy with others. It’s joined up green energy which could totally transform the way we power our homes and businesses in the future. The advantages are there for all to see. In the first month alone of 2018, London’s air pollution reached the legal limit for the entire year so anything that encourages the use of electric cars has to be welcome. Air toxicity has been at illegal levels in urban areas in the UK, including London, since 2010, resulting in around 40,000 early deaths a year. Add on our reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear and the word green seems a long way off. Now is the time to change all that and invest in renewables otherwise what will we leave for the next generation – London smog. As I recall - we have been there before and we did not like it. Visit: www.ecolutiongroup.com
    99 Posted by Talk. Build
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan has already gone on record to state that he wants to make the Capital a zero-carbon city by 2050 writes Kevin Knapp, CEO, Ecolution Renewables. It will be a major challenge and one that will only be achieved if Londoners are willing to embrace green technology. The Mayor has already put his considerable political weight behind a Solar Action Plan to persuade homeowners and businesses across the Capital to install photovoltaic panels to generate green electricity – and thousands are taking advantage of this initiative, benefitting from reduced installation costs and long term energy savings. It’s a welcome step forward but more could be done if householders and businesses would be willing to accept the Mayor’s challenge and even better – be prepared to go that extra mile, to help reduce air pollution across the Capital while significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels. We call that extra mile #JointheEcolution which combines photovoltaic panels with advanced HyCube battery storage units further linked to electric charging points (EV) turning every household and business into its own virtual power station. With more electric cars on the road it means less pollution. Photovoltaics linked to storage units would also help to make buildings energy self-sufficient, with the ability to save and share that energy with others. It’s joined up green energy which could totally transform the way we power our homes and businesses in the future. The advantages are there for all to see. In the first month alone of 2018, London’s air pollution reached the legal limit for the entire year so anything that encourages the use of electric cars has to be welcome. Air toxicity has been at illegal levels in urban areas in the UK, including London, since 2010, resulting in around 40,000 early deaths a year. Add on our reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear and the word green seems a long way off. Now is the time to change all that and invest in renewables otherwise what will we leave for the next generation – London smog. As I recall - we have been there before and we did not like it. Visit: www.ecolutiongroup.com
    Oct 09, 2018 99
  • 08 Oct 2018
    If you think that some of the tallest towers in the world are impressive now, then you’ve seen nothing yet. Not only will the next generation of skyscrapers be in amongst the tallest in the world, with one becoming THE tallest and by a long way, they are also far greener too. Below is a graphic that highlights these new cloud puncturing structures, what they’ll have inside them and the green features that have been incorporated as well. Visit: http://rubberbond.co.uk
    111 Posted by Talk. Build
  • If you think that some of the tallest towers in the world are impressive now, then you’ve seen nothing yet. Not only will the next generation of skyscrapers be in amongst the tallest in the world, with one becoming THE tallest and by a long way, they are also far greener too. Below is a graphic that highlights these new cloud puncturing structures, what they’ll have inside them and the green features that have been incorporated as well. Visit: http://rubberbond.co.uk
    Oct 08, 2018 111
  • 05 Oct 2018
    We’re in the middle of a shift in the world of architecture, construction, engineering and design writes Damian O'Neill, Director at Lyons O'Neill. We’ve just had London Design Festival, a week celebrating creativity and innovation in British design and inspiring the public and those in the industry to think about its future. This year’s festival had several arresting public installations: from Es Devlin’s roaring red poetry lion in Trafalgar Square and Kellenberger’s alphabet chairs to the Cross-Laminated Timber maze-pavillion in the V&A courtyard by Waugh Thistleton Architects. Architecture and design hit mainstream national headlines, reminding us of the great impact structures have. However, although each of these examples were uniquely thought-provoking, they all had something in common, reflecting a shift in thinking seen in the rest of the Festival as well as the architecture and design space as a whole. What linked these innovative projects was their exploration of the active relationship between a man-made structure and the environment, urban and natural. Both in terms of materials used, responding to the pressing need for environmental sustainability, and incorporation of their site-specific context, these projects demonstrate that in architecture we can no longer think of structures as static, monolithic objects, but as needing to adapt and relate to their surroundings and users. In addition to envisioning structures as relationships rather than objects, in conversation with the world, we’re also beginning to explore the impact buildings have on our natures. Research has shown that in the hippocampal part of our brain we have special cells which respond to the geometry and arrangement of the spaces we are in. And there are increasing studies being published which document the mental and emotional impact design has on the people who use a space. When designing, we therefore not only need to understand how a structure will affect and be affected by its natural environment, but the social role it plays. Alarge part of rethinking the built environment’s relationship with nature is by paying greater attention and respect to nature. In many ways, nature is the ultimate architect, displaying a breath-taking complexity and variety of design in its vast web of connections. Pioneering architecture and engineering is now about learning from this interconnection and seeking to work with, not against nature, designing structures to visually and physically integrate with their surroundings. And this new way of thinking isn’t just for design festivals and one-off flagship projects. A project of any scale should seek to marry nature with design and this begins right from the planning and drawings stage. Thoroughly researching the environmental conditions of an area will highlight which design elements and materials are most suited to the project and will minimise lasting disruption. For example, our award-winning Resedale House project came with a number of design considerations due to its sloping rural site and sustainability goals, but our close collaboration with Khoury Architects meant these were incorporated into the stunning and lightweight structure that was created. Using split levels to maximise space whilst minimising building height, as well as adding a lake area, meant the project was visually in tune with its surroundings. And strategically placed glazed facades meant the house’s inhabitants could enjoy the full benefit of the rural location and natural light. Architecture and design have many challenges ahead, both in the planning and construction stages. But this shouldn’t stifle creativity and inspiration but rather multiply it, as we understand that our structures, as well as ourselves, are in conversation with nature and all its beauty. Visit: http://www.lyonsoneill.co.uk    
    300 Posted by Talk. Build
  • We’re in the middle of a shift in the world of architecture, construction, engineering and design writes Damian O'Neill, Director at Lyons O'Neill. We’ve just had London Design Festival, a week celebrating creativity and innovation in British design and inspiring the public and those in the industry to think about its future. This year’s festival had several arresting public installations: from Es Devlin’s roaring red poetry lion in Trafalgar Square and Kellenberger’s alphabet chairs to the Cross-Laminated Timber maze-pavillion in the V&A courtyard by Waugh Thistleton Architects. Architecture and design hit mainstream national headlines, reminding us of the great impact structures have. However, although each of these examples were uniquely thought-provoking, they all had something in common, reflecting a shift in thinking seen in the rest of the Festival as well as the architecture and design space as a whole. What linked these innovative projects was their exploration of the active relationship between a man-made structure and the environment, urban and natural. Both in terms of materials used, responding to the pressing need for environmental sustainability, and incorporation of their site-specific context, these projects demonstrate that in architecture we can no longer think of structures as static, monolithic objects, but as needing to adapt and relate to their surroundings and users. In addition to envisioning structures as relationships rather than objects, in conversation with the world, we’re also beginning to explore the impact buildings have on our natures. Research has shown that in the hippocampal part of our brain we have special cells which respond to the geometry and arrangement of the spaces we are in. And there are increasing studies being published which document the mental and emotional impact design has on the people who use a space. When designing, we therefore not only need to understand how a structure will affect and be affected by its natural environment, but the social role it plays. Alarge part of rethinking the built environment’s relationship with nature is by paying greater attention and respect to nature. In many ways, nature is the ultimate architect, displaying a breath-taking complexity and variety of design in its vast web of connections. Pioneering architecture and engineering is now about learning from this interconnection and seeking to work with, not against nature, designing structures to visually and physically integrate with their surroundings. And this new way of thinking isn’t just for design festivals and one-off flagship projects. A project of any scale should seek to marry nature with design and this begins right from the planning and drawings stage. Thoroughly researching the environmental conditions of an area will highlight which design elements and materials are most suited to the project and will minimise lasting disruption. For example, our award-winning Resedale House project came with a number of design considerations due to its sloping rural site and sustainability goals, but our close collaboration with Khoury Architects meant these were incorporated into the stunning and lightweight structure that was created. Using split levels to maximise space whilst minimising building height, as well as adding a lake area, meant the project was visually in tune with its surroundings. And strategically placed glazed facades meant the house’s inhabitants could enjoy the full benefit of the rural location and natural light. Architecture and design have many challenges ahead, both in the planning and construction stages. But this shouldn’t stifle creativity and inspiration but rather multiply it, as we understand that our structures, as well as ourselves, are in conversation with nature and all its beauty. Visit: http://www.lyonsoneill.co.uk    
    Oct 05, 2018 300
  • 03 Oct 2018
    Bridges carry you across the water, or across a busy road, but you might not have bothered to pay much attention to what is under your feet. Then again, not all bridges are built equal. Some are built from sketches that were lost for 400 years. Some are said to be built by the Devil himself! Here, Oasys, structure analysis software providers, take a look at these fascinating structures…  1.      The Rolling Bridge – UK Photograph by Loz Pycock This amazing steel bridge was created by Heatherwick studios to cross an inlet in London. What makes this bridge so unique is that it can tidy itself away! When needed, this bridge curls up into an octogen shape to stand on one side of the canal until a boat passes. The bridge also curls up every day at noon, if you want to see it in action!  Da Vinci Bridge – Norway Photograph by Egil Kvaleberg This next bridge, in Norway, was built from designs intended to be used in Istanbul that were drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci. The original drawing had a single span of 240 metres, but the project did not go ahead as it was believed that such a design was not feasible. As the first major engineering feat from a da Vinci drawing, the bridge finally came into the world in Norway. The bridge has just three arches to support the structure. Though the Norwegian bridge is a smaller version of the original plans, it shows that the design works — one arch under the bridge, and two arches either side leaning inwards to spread the weight.  The Devil’s Bridge – Germany Photograph by A. Landgraf Known as Rakotzbrücke, the bridge’s appearance looks like a perfect circle. The bridge is said to have been commissioned by a knight in 1860. But the rocks and stones used for its creation are jagged and spikey, so it was dangerous to cross. The bridge’s design was deemed a masonry challenge, according to Earth Trekkers. The idea was that only Satan himself could help with a difficult build such as these bridges, and the first human who crossed the completed bridge would pay for the Devil’s helping hand by giving up his soul. The bridge is no longer open to be crossed, due to preservation measures. But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!  Fire-breathing dragon Bridge — Vietnam Photograph by Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures This next bridge might be the most flamboyant build on our list. Located in Da Nang in Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge is certainly a spectacular sight! The bridge is the result of an international competition by the Da Nang People’s Committee in order to improve travel in the city. The bridge has six lanes for vehicles, two lanes for pedestrians, and 2,500 LED lights. Of course, as a dragon, the bridge can breathe fire! In fact, the bridge can spout water or fire, and this display is often used for special occasions in the city.  Living Roots Bridges – India Photograph by Arshiya Urveeja Bose If ever there were living examples of the payoff of patience, these bridges are just that. These beautifully natural bridges were formed by guiding rubber tree roots with hollow canes so that they would grow outwards and meet from either side of a stream. It would take years to reach the opposite bank, but the hard work paid off as these Living Roots bridges can support the weight of a human. They were originally made by the Khasi tribe, who realised the bamboo bridges they were building would collapse or rot after a monsoon or heavy storm. Sources: https://bocadolobo.com/blog/architecture/10-of-the-worlds-most-beautiful-and-unique-bridges/ https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/g248/4335705/ http://boredomtherapy.com/unique-bridges-around-the-world/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea_and_Rhododendron_Park_Kromlau https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_root_bridges https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/rakotzbrucke-devils-bridge/ https://www.earthtrekkers.com/rakotzbrucke-fairytale-bridge-saxony-germany/ https://www.flickr.com/people/45649858@N08 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150218-indias-amazing-living-root-bridges https://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/ https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/rolling-bridge-london
    114 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Bridges carry you across the water, or across a busy road, but you might not have bothered to pay much attention to what is under your feet. Then again, not all bridges are built equal. Some are built from sketches that were lost for 400 years. Some are said to be built by the Devil himself! Here, Oasys, structure analysis software providers, take a look at these fascinating structures…  1.      The Rolling Bridge – UK Photograph by Loz Pycock This amazing steel bridge was created by Heatherwick studios to cross an inlet in London. What makes this bridge so unique is that it can tidy itself away! When needed, this bridge curls up into an octogen shape to stand on one side of the canal until a boat passes. The bridge also curls up every day at noon, if you want to see it in action!  Da Vinci Bridge – Norway Photograph by Egil Kvaleberg This next bridge, in Norway, was built from designs intended to be used in Istanbul that were drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci. The original drawing had a single span of 240 metres, but the project did not go ahead as it was believed that such a design was not feasible. As the first major engineering feat from a da Vinci drawing, the bridge finally came into the world in Norway. The bridge has just three arches to support the structure. Though the Norwegian bridge is a smaller version of the original plans, it shows that the design works — one arch under the bridge, and two arches either side leaning inwards to spread the weight.  The Devil’s Bridge – Germany Photograph by A. Landgraf Known as Rakotzbrücke, the bridge’s appearance looks like a perfect circle. The bridge is said to have been commissioned by a knight in 1860. But the rocks and stones used for its creation are jagged and spikey, so it was dangerous to cross. The bridge’s design was deemed a masonry challenge, according to Earth Trekkers. The idea was that only Satan himself could help with a difficult build such as these bridges, and the first human who crossed the completed bridge would pay for the Devil’s helping hand by giving up his soul. The bridge is no longer open to be crossed, due to preservation measures. But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!  Fire-breathing dragon Bridge — Vietnam Photograph by Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures This next bridge might be the most flamboyant build on our list. Located in Da Nang in Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge is certainly a spectacular sight! The bridge is the result of an international competition by the Da Nang People’s Committee in order to improve travel in the city. The bridge has six lanes for vehicles, two lanes for pedestrians, and 2,500 LED lights. Of course, as a dragon, the bridge can breathe fire! In fact, the bridge can spout water or fire, and this display is often used for special occasions in the city.  Living Roots Bridges – India Photograph by Arshiya Urveeja Bose If ever there were living examples of the payoff of patience, these bridges are just that. These beautifully natural bridges were formed by guiding rubber tree roots with hollow canes so that they would grow outwards and meet from either side of a stream. It would take years to reach the opposite bank, but the hard work paid off as these Living Roots bridges can support the weight of a human. They were originally made by the Khasi tribe, who realised the bamboo bridges they were building would collapse or rot after a monsoon or heavy storm. Sources: https://bocadolobo.com/blog/architecture/10-of-the-worlds-most-beautiful-and-unique-bridges/ https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/g248/4335705/ http://boredomtherapy.com/unique-bridges-around-the-world/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea_and_Rhododendron_Park_Kromlau https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_root_bridges https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/rakotzbrucke-devils-bridge/ https://www.earthtrekkers.com/rakotzbrucke-fairytale-bridge-saxony-germany/ https://www.flickr.com/people/45649858@N08 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150218-indias-amazing-living-root-bridges https://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/ https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/rolling-bridge-london
    Oct 03, 2018 114
  • 01 Oct 2018
    The ever-widening skills shortage faced by the construction sector is driving up wages and having a significant impact on the government’s ambitious plan to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone.   But it is not just building targets that need to be met, there are also the hugely important carbon reduction targets and the need to ensure buildings are properly insulated with high quality products and installed correctly to allow them to perform. With the demand for tradespeople across all sectors of the construction industry outstripping supply, the skills’ shortage is a key constraint to the housebuilding industry severely impacting the quality of new buildings, the ability to build to budget and ensuring that all performance characteristics meet both design and regulatory requirements. How can the construction industry put in place measures that might put an end to the skills’ crisis? The contributing factors of the construction skills’ shortage are well documented; from an ageing workforce not being replaced, to a younger generation not seeing the industry as an attractive and viable option. Britain’s decision to leave the EU has only added to the industry-wide fear over the building skills’ shortage. Of the UK’s 270,653 migrant construction force, about 45% are workers from EU countries. When or if the UK’s divorce from the continent is finalised, there is a real fear that many employees who have arrived from overseas will leave, taking their building skills and experience with them.  Reaching out to students Inspiring the next generation to take-up a career in construction is fundamental to filling the current skills’ gap over the long-term. Changing the outdated and negative perceptions of the industry is part of this. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently asked a group of 14 to 19-year-olds which careers interested them - construction only scored 4.2 out of 10. According to the survey, young people claimed that construction means ‘being outdoors and getting dirty’. Young people overlook the fact a career in construction is incredibly diverse and is an industry with cutting-edge technologies, such as robotics, digitisation and modular building techniques – key to attracting a tech savvy younger generation. Companies in the industry need to reach out and engage with students, parents and teachers to create a better image of construction, right through from manufacturing, engineered solutions to site management. The industry needs to expand its recruitment and attract more women and people from ethnic diversities, which are currently under-represented. Women represent just 13% of the workforce, a shocking statistic considering the skills shortage. A fundamental shift towards inclusiveness is necessary while a joined-up approach between industry, the government and education sector – beginning with young people at primary school and then throughout education – will pave the way towards a more inclusive and accessible industry. The government has launched a number of initiatives to help plug the skills gap and has set a new target of three million new apprentices by 2020 across all sectors.  A £34 million investment in construction training and an apprenticeship levy – estimated to raise £3 billion a year - might go some way to securing a skilled and stable workforce. Alternative educational models such as part-time degree apprenticeships will also widen the route into the industry. An off-site approach Modern methods of construction can also play a part in plugging the gap by reducing on-site labour whilst at the same time addressing the high demand for new buildings. The increased use of off-site fabrication and systems such as structural insulated panels (SIPS), modular buildings and pre-engineered insulated roof systems for example can encourage greater efficiency and higher productivity within the sector, give a much needed boost to the UK housing supply capacity and ensure that the regulatory targets for energy efficiency are met or even exceeded.  Rethinking the way we design, engineer and construct buildings will help deliver projects quicker, better and with a greater degree of precision. Schemes such as the Each Home Counts Quality Mark will go a long way to ensuring that insulation measures are properly installed by skilled tradespeople and link this in with the Energy Company Obligation, this will ensure that consumers get the standards they expect and deserve. When it comes to addressing the chronic skills’ shortage, there is no easy solution, but rather a broad range of measures which can relieve the pressure on construction companies trying to compete within their sectors. The built environment is evolving all the time and the demand for construction has never been greater which means addressing the skills’ gap is now more critical than ever.  It is down to construction companies, the government and our educational system to play their part in closing the skills’ shortage gap. Visit: www.insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    147 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The ever-widening skills shortage faced by the construction sector is driving up wages and having a significant impact on the government’s ambitious plan to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone.   But it is not just building targets that need to be met, there are also the hugely important carbon reduction targets and the need to ensure buildings are properly insulated with high quality products and installed correctly to allow them to perform. With the demand for tradespeople across all sectors of the construction industry outstripping supply, the skills’ shortage is a key constraint to the housebuilding industry severely impacting the quality of new buildings, the ability to build to budget and ensuring that all performance characteristics meet both design and regulatory requirements. How can the construction industry put in place measures that might put an end to the skills’ crisis? The contributing factors of the construction skills’ shortage are well documented; from an ageing workforce not being replaced, to a younger generation not seeing the industry as an attractive and viable option. Britain’s decision to leave the EU has only added to the industry-wide fear over the building skills’ shortage. Of the UK’s 270,653 migrant construction force, about 45% are workers from EU countries. When or if the UK’s divorce from the continent is finalised, there is a real fear that many employees who have arrived from overseas will leave, taking their building skills and experience with them.  Reaching out to students Inspiring the next generation to take-up a career in construction is fundamental to filling the current skills’ gap over the long-term. Changing the outdated and negative perceptions of the industry is part of this. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently asked a group of 14 to 19-year-olds which careers interested them - construction only scored 4.2 out of 10. According to the survey, young people claimed that construction means ‘being outdoors and getting dirty’. Young people overlook the fact a career in construction is incredibly diverse and is an industry with cutting-edge technologies, such as robotics, digitisation and modular building techniques – key to attracting a tech savvy younger generation. Companies in the industry need to reach out and engage with students, parents and teachers to create a better image of construction, right through from manufacturing, engineered solutions to site management. The industry needs to expand its recruitment and attract more women and people from ethnic diversities, which are currently under-represented. Women represent just 13% of the workforce, a shocking statistic considering the skills shortage. A fundamental shift towards inclusiveness is necessary while a joined-up approach between industry, the government and education sector – beginning with young people at primary school and then throughout education – will pave the way towards a more inclusive and accessible industry. The government has launched a number of initiatives to help plug the skills gap and has set a new target of three million new apprentices by 2020 across all sectors.  A £34 million investment in construction training and an apprenticeship levy – estimated to raise £3 billion a year - might go some way to securing a skilled and stable workforce. Alternative educational models such as part-time degree apprenticeships will also widen the route into the industry. An off-site approach Modern methods of construction can also play a part in plugging the gap by reducing on-site labour whilst at the same time addressing the high demand for new buildings. The increased use of off-site fabrication and systems such as structural insulated panels (SIPS), modular buildings and pre-engineered insulated roof systems for example can encourage greater efficiency and higher productivity within the sector, give a much needed boost to the UK housing supply capacity and ensure that the regulatory targets for energy efficiency are met or even exceeded.  Rethinking the way we design, engineer and construct buildings will help deliver projects quicker, better and with a greater degree of precision. Schemes such as the Each Home Counts Quality Mark will go a long way to ensuring that insulation measures are properly installed by skilled tradespeople and link this in with the Energy Company Obligation, this will ensure that consumers get the standards they expect and deserve. When it comes to addressing the chronic skills’ shortage, there is no easy solution, but rather a broad range of measures which can relieve the pressure on construction companies trying to compete within their sectors. The built environment is evolving all the time and the demand for construction has never been greater which means addressing the skills’ gap is now more critical than ever.  It is down to construction companies, the government and our educational system to play their part in closing the skills’ shortage gap. Visit: www.insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    Oct 01, 2018 147
  • 27 Sep 2018
    The construction industry faces many challenges. One of these is around delivering projects on time and on budget writes Fiona Irvine LIoR, Technical Services Advisor, Sika UK. Refurbishment projects is one area where accurately predicting cost and time is notoriously difficult as all too often unforeseen factors come into play when a project starts, typically as a result of stripping away part of the building and finding something unexpected. Thermal imaging is one area where technology is helping to overcome this and is now a key part of Sika roof refurbishment offering. Infrared thermography (IRT) and thermal imaging technology detect radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 9,000–14,000 nanometers or 9–14 µm). This produces an image called a thermogram. Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects with a temperature above absolute zero, thermography makes it possible to see an environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature. Therefore, thermography allows you to see variations in temperature. When viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm objects stand out well against cooler backgrounds. Thermography has a long history, but its use has increased dramatically with the commercial and industrial applications of the past fifty years. Typical uses include firefighters who use thermography to see through smoke, to find people and to localise the base of a fire. Maintenance technicians use thermography to locate overheating joints and sections of power lines, which are a sign of impending failure. In the construction industry it has been traditionally used to identify heat leaks in faulty thermal insulation and to improve the efficiency of heating and air-conditioning units. Sika has been using thermal imaging technology since 2014. Investment in the technology was driven by the Sales Management Team as a way of adding value to clients. Sika has also invested in me as an individual to become a certified Level 1 thermographer, with training conducted by the world renowned Infrared Training Centre (ITC). As a global leader, working across a variety of market sectors from construction to automotive (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z) investing in technology and adding value across our supply chain is an essential part of what we do - everyday. We have predominantly used thermal imaging on refurbishment projects to track the extent of damage to the existing roof build up. It provides a much more comprehensive survey report and enables the creation of a more appropriate and suitable specification. It also helps to highlight, in advance, any issues that would have otherwise been unforeseen, helping to reduce risk and avoid any delays or additional costs. For example, we can locate saturated insulation within a roof build up. This can then be backed up with core samples to determine if a roof can be locally stripped to remove damaged insulation or whether a full strip is required. This means we can be more accurate when working with contractors, helping them to accurately price work and identify the most suitable approach, such as removal and replacement of localised roof areas. Thermal imaging provides a wealth of information the naked eye cannot see. It allows us to narrow down the locations where destructive core samples are required. It also provides a visual representation of how the roof is performing thermally. Sika is always striving to be ahead of the competition and utilsiing thermal image is one element of this. However we don’t intend to sit on our laurels. There are several ways to survey a roof and we will continue to look at how technology can aid this. However it shouldn’t stop there. Sika has successfully proven that thermal imaging can add value to roof refurbishment projects and we must now consider what other construction applications it has beyond a roof. For example, how can it be used on flooring, or structural strengthening or concrete repair applications? We will continue to invest in technology that helps us reduce clients risk and deliver projects more effectively. It’s what’s makes Sika that little bit different – it’s what we do every day. Visit:  http://gbr.sika.com/en/group/about-us/sika-everyday.html    
    153 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry faces many challenges. One of these is around delivering projects on time and on budget writes Fiona Irvine LIoR, Technical Services Advisor, Sika UK. Refurbishment projects is one area where accurately predicting cost and time is notoriously difficult as all too often unforeseen factors come into play when a project starts, typically as a result of stripping away part of the building and finding something unexpected. Thermal imaging is one area where technology is helping to overcome this and is now a key part of Sika roof refurbishment offering. Infrared thermography (IRT) and thermal imaging technology detect radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 9,000–14,000 nanometers or 9–14 µm). This produces an image called a thermogram. Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects with a temperature above absolute zero, thermography makes it possible to see an environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature. Therefore, thermography allows you to see variations in temperature. When viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm objects stand out well against cooler backgrounds. Thermography has a long history, but its use has increased dramatically with the commercial and industrial applications of the past fifty years. Typical uses include firefighters who use thermography to see through smoke, to find people and to localise the base of a fire. Maintenance technicians use thermography to locate overheating joints and sections of power lines, which are a sign of impending failure. In the construction industry it has been traditionally used to identify heat leaks in faulty thermal insulation and to improve the efficiency of heating and air-conditioning units. Sika has been using thermal imaging technology since 2014. Investment in the technology was driven by the Sales Management Team as a way of adding value to clients. Sika has also invested in me as an individual to become a certified Level 1 thermographer, with training conducted by the world renowned Infrared Training Centre (ITC). As a global leader, working across a variety of market sectors from construction to automotive (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z) investing in technology and adding value across our supply chain is an essential part of what we do - everyday. We have predominantly used thermal imaging on refurbishment projects to track the extent of damage to the existing roof build up. It provides a much more comprehensive survey report and enables the creation of a more appropriate and suitable specification. It also helps to highlight, in advance, any issues that would have otherwise been unforeseen, helping to reduce risk and avoid any delays or additional costs. For example, we can locate saturated insulation within a roof build up. This can then be backed up with core samples to determine if a roof can be locally stripped to remove damaged insulation or whether a full strip is required. This means we can be more accurate when working with contractors, helping them to accurately price work and identify the most suitable approach, such as removal and replacement of localised roof areas. Thermal imaging provides a wealth of information the naked eye cannot see. It allows us to narrow down the locations where destructive core samples are required. It also provides a visual representation of how the roof is performing thermally. Sika is always striving to be ahead of the competition and utilsiing thermal image is one element of this. However we don’t intend to sit on our laurels. There are several ways to survey a roof and we will continue to look at how technology can aid this. However it shouldn’t stop there. Sika has successfully proven that thermal imaging can add value to roof refurbishment projects and we must now consider what other construction applications it has beyond a roof. For example, how can it be used on flooring, or structural strengthening or concrete repair applications? We will continue to invest in technology that helps us reduce clients risk and deliver projects more effectively. It’s what’s makes Sika that little bit different – it’s what we do every day. Visit:  http://gbr.sika.com/en/group/about-us/sika-everyday.html    
    Sep 27, 2018 153
  • 26 Sep 2018
    Summer has ended and September has begun, meaning it is back-to-school week for all children across the UK. Sadly, this won’t be the case for pupils at Roding Primary School, Dagenham, as a huge fire tore through half the school’s premises, reducing classrooms, break-out-areas and equipment to ruins and preventing the school from opening. This disaster brings into sharp focus the destructive impact of fire in a school, but what are the wider effects of fire on education and how can its impact be averted? Taking place a day before the start of term, the fire at the school’s campus on Hewett Road has caused significant disruption, with the school forced to close down on one of the most important weeks in the academic calendar. Not only has the fire damaged the school’s building; the repercussions will be felt at a time where young students are most sensitive, particularly as adjusting to a new school routine can be a pretty daunting prospect. Whilst most students settle into school-life, young pupils at Roding Primary School have to face fire’s disruptive effects on their education. So how does fire impact on a child’s education? According to recent statistics, there are up to 700 school fires a year in the UK; 184 fires in London schools in 2017 alone; and 47 fires in London schools this year. These figures highlight fire’s ability to cause a substantial amount of stress and disruption to children and families, with school closures and refits reducing the amount of time in the classroom. Cost of school damage Last month, London fire commissioner Dany Cotton stressed that every year millions of pounds of government money is wasted on repairing schools destroyed by fire. Furthermore, statistics from the Fire Protection Association indicate the average repair cost rose from £330,000 per fire in 2009 to £2.8 million in 2014. Fire’s effect on education Fire can have negative effects on children’s productivity levels, especially if a costly refurbishment is necessary after a large fire. Not only does a considerable refit pose huge financial cost to the affected school, it can also disturb children’s education, with low grades jeopardising a child’s career and potential. The children at the Roding School will be provided with assignments to do at home but they will miss lessons. When they do return, temporary classrooms are by no means ideal teaching conditions and do not encourage students to feel comfortable and secure in their learning spaces. And the bigger the fire, the more costly the refit, meaning students will be forced to spend more time in these uninspiring and possibly inapt temporary classrooms. Combined with the added noise levels from construction equipment, this hardly makes for a productive learning environment for young students. The government acknowledges that missing lessons has an impact on attainment at key stages. They track attendance and have commissioned reports to confirm it. The pursuit of parents who take children out of education for holidays is backed by government spokespeople affirming the detrimental impact on educational attainment of missing a single day of education. The impact of these fires and the disruption that they cause can reduce the results of the students, and the government’s own statistics therefore affirm this. Surely, if government understands the importance of missing a days’ worth of education, and is willing to pursue and fine parents to ensure attendance, then more effective solutions must be implemented to quell the spread of fire? What is the solution? Government do understand the solution. Their own guidance, Building Bulletin 100 (BB100) highlights the importance of minimising the effects of fire on teaching, limiting the effects of interruption to operation of the school and seeking to have the school operational within 24 hours. It supports the use of property protection and an expectation of the use of sprinklers. Roding Primary School is split between two sites: one on Cannington Road and one on Hewett Road, the campus destroyed by the fire. Cannington Road is the newer build out of the two and the one featuring sprinklers, presenting the question: would the Hewett Road site still be standing if sprinklers were installed? Even though the government understands the impact on education, it is currently reviewing Building Bulletin 100 (BB100). It has suggested that the ‘sprinkler expectation’ will be removed. The number of new schools being erected with sprinklers installed has fallen to just 30% from a high of 70%. The BSA wants the government to explicitly maintain and reaffirm the ‘sprinkler expectation’ in the revised BB100 so that fewer schools are damaged and destroyed by fire. This is backed by Dany Cotton and the Fire Protection Association which has called for sprinkler installation in schools. The government has the opportunity to do this when it reviews the fire safety technical guidance of the building regulations later this year. It is evident that when sprinklers do operate they extinguish or contain the fire on 99% of occasions across a wide range of building types, so why are they not considered a necessity in building design?[1] Undoubtedly, fire is a huge educational and monetary cost to schools, with the fire at Roding Primary School exemplifying the short and long term effects fire can have on a school’s function. From disruption to education, to its impact on finances, fire in schools must be avoided. Although sprinkler systems are a celebrated solution to resolve this crisis, their effectiveness has not led to successful implementation across the UK’s schools. How many more fires need to occur and children’s educations disrupted before sprinkler installation becomes a prerequisite of school design and safety? Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org [1] Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom: An Analysis from Fire Service Data – Optimal Electronics May 2017
    134 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Summer has ended and September has begun, meaning it is back-to-school week for all children across the UK. Sadly, this won’t be the case for pupils at Roding Primary School, Dagenham, as a huge fire tore through half the school’s premises, reducing classrooms, break-out-areas and equipment to ruins and preventing the school from opening. This disaster brings into sharp focus the destructive impact of fire in a school, but what are the wider effects of fire on education and how can its impact be averted? Taking place a day before the start of term, the fire at the school’s campus on Hewett Road has caused significant disruption, with the school forced to close down on one of the most important weeks in the academic calendar. Not only has the fire damaged the school’s building; the repercussions will be felt at a time where young students are most sensitive, particularly as adjusting to a new school routine can be a pretty daunting prospect. Whilst most students settle into school-life, young pupils at Roding Primary School have to face fire’s disruptive effects on their education. So how does fire impact on a child’s education? According to recent statistics, there are up to 700 school fires a year in the UK; 184 fires in London schools in 2017 alone; and 47 fires in London schools this year. These figures highlight fire’s ability to cause a substantial amount of stress and disruption to children and families, with school closures and refits reducing the amount of time in the classroom. Cost of school damage Last month, London fire commissioner Dany Cotton stressed that every year millions of pounds of government money is wasted on repairing schools destroyed by fire. Furthermore, statistics from the Fire Protection Association indicate the average repair cost rose from £330,000 per fire in 2009 to £2.8 million in 2014. Fire’s effect on education Fire can have negative effects on children’s productivity levels, especially if a costly refurbishment is necessary after a large fire. Not only does a considerable refit pose huge financial cost to the affected school, it can also disturb children’s education, with low grades jeopardising a child’s career and potential. The children at the Roding School will be provided with assignments to do at home but they will miss lessons. When they do return, temporary classrooms are by no means ideal teaching conditions and do not encourage students to feel comfortable and secure in their learning spaces. And the bigger the fire, the more costly the refit, meaning students will be forced to spend more time in these uninspiring and possibly inapt temporary classrooms. Combined with the added noise levels from construction equipment, this hardly makes for a productive learning environment for young students. The government acknowledges that missing lessons has an impact on attainment at key stages. They track attendance and have commissioned reports to confirm it. The pursuit of parents who take children out of education for holidays is backed by government spokespeople affirming the detrimental impact on educational attainment of missing a single day of education. The impact of these fires and the disruption that they cause can reduce the results of the students, and the government’s own statistics therefore affirm this. Surely, if government understands the importance of missing a days’ worth of education, and is willing to pursue and fine parents to ensure attendance, then more effective solutions must be implemented to quell the spread of fire? What is the solution? Government do understand the solution. Their own guidance, Building Bulletin 100 (BB100) highlights the importance of minimising the effects of fire on teaching, limiting the effects of interruption to operation of the school and seeking to have the school operational within 24 hours. It supports the use of property protection and an expectation of the use of sprinklers. Roding Primary School is split between two sites: one on Cannington Road and one on Hewett Road, the campus destroyed by the fire. Cannington Road is the newer build out of the two and the one featuring sprinklers, presenting the question: would the Hewett Road site still be standing if sprinklers were installed? Even though the government understands the impact on education, it is currently reviewing Building Bulletin 100 (BB100). It has suggested that the ‘sprinkler expectation’ will be removed. The number of new schools being erected with sprinklers installed has fallen to just 30% from a high of 70%. The BSA wants the government to explicitly maintain and reaffirm the ‘sprinkler expectation’ in the revised BB100 so that fewer schools are damaged and destroyed by fire. This is backed by Dany Cotton and the Fire Protection Association which has called for sprinkler installation in schools. The government has the opportunity to do this when it reviews the fire safety technical guidance of the building regulations later this year. It is evident that when sprinklers do operate they extinguish or contain the fire on 99% of occasions across a wide range of building types, so why are they not considered a necessity in building design?[1] Undoubtedly, fire is a huge educational and monetary cost to schools, with the fire at Roding Primary School exemplifying the short and long term effects fire can have on a school’s function. From disruption to education, to its impact on finances, fire in schools must be avoided. Although sprinkler systems are a celebrated solution to resolve this crisis, their effectiveness has not led to successful implementation across the UK’s schools. How many more fires need to occur and children’s educations disrupted before sprinkler installation becomes a prerequisite of school design and safety? Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org [1] Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom: An Analysis from Fire Service Data – Optimal Electronics May 2017
    Sep 26, 2018 134
  • 20 Sep 2018
    Time is of the essence in business, particularly the roofing business. Delays, however minimal, incurred during commercial new-build or refurbishment projects can lead to disproportionate costs to the client writes Mahroof Hussain, Area Technical Manager at Sika-Trocal . When someone falls behind schedule in a multi-trade works programme, the knock-on effect can be disastrous. If a roof’s waterproofing is held-up, for instance, interior works are also likely to be delayed with the building not-yet weatherproof. This means the installation of floors, walls, electrics, plumbing and the like are also invariably put on hold. The accumulative effect of this type of stalling could set a project back weeks and months, rather than hours or days.  Rapid development Product innovation and the streamlining of the building process itself is vital to helping contractors, developers  etc, fulfilling the country’s need for more housing, for example.  Sika-Trocal’s Type S 1.5mm waterproof roof membrane presents a fine example of a system created specifically for the 21st century roofing market. Suitable for new and refurbishment projects, the Type S system uses specially formulated Sika-Trocal laminated discs to fasten the membrane and the insulation to the substrate. The mechanical-fixing process has been proven to speed-up the roof waterproofing process by up to 30%. The improved rapidity is aided by the solvent-welding method devised to fuse the overlapping membrane rolls; a practice pioneered by Sika in the UK. Employing this method process, rather than the more traditional heat-welding practice, also results in a neater, more attractive waterproof finish. Heat welding requires a temperature of more than 350°C in order to successfully fuse membrane layers. Although there is no naked flame involved, in inexperienced hands a membrane is at risk of burning using this method. Mechanically-fixed, solvent-welded membranes also require less equipment to install. This benefit, along with its time-saving attributes which help reduce on-site working hours, means the Type S system helps cut pollution caused by machine-based emissions. Wind resistant  The Type S system comprises a vapour control layer and insulation, which is held in place by the Sika-Trocal discs. These are spot-welded to the membrane. The fixings mean the whole system is mechanically-fastened to a roof’s structural deck. The added strength this provides makes the Type S membrane an ideal waterproof solution for roofs located in exposed areas where high wind uplift is a common hazard. Speed of installation and reliable, long-term performance are the properties which attract contractors and renowned commercial brands to specify Sika-Trocal’s Type S. Supermarket stores nationwide such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda have recently been fitted with the system. Its rapid delivery minimises disruption to businesses, hence its specification in September for a new Morrisons store where its installation across a 600m2 roof area was completed in an incredible three days. The system’s speedy installation doesn’t compromise its quality, however. It is why Sika-Trocal’s Type S system is the rapid, long-term solution when it comes to waterproof roofing. Visit: http://gbr.sika-trocal.sika.com
    156 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Time is of the essence in business, particularly the roofing business. Delays, however minimal, incurred during commercial new-build or refurbishment projects can lead to disproportionate costs to the client writes Mahroof Hussain, Area Technical Manager at Sika-Trocal . When someone falls behind schedule in a multi-trade works programme, the knock-on effect can be disastrous. If a roof’s waterproofing is held-up, for instance, interior works are also likely to be delayed with the building not-yet weatherproof. This means the installation of floors, walls, electrics, plumbing and the like are also invariably put on hold. The accumulative effect of this type of stalling could set a project back weeks and months, rather than hours or days.  Rapid development Product innovation and the streamlining of the building process itself is vital to helping contractors, developers  etc, fulfilling the country’s need for more housing, for example.  Sika-Trocal’s Type S 1.5mm waterproof roof membrane presents a fine example of a system created specifically for the 21st century roofing market. Suitable for new and refurbishment projects, the Type S system uses specially formulated Sika-Trocal laminated discs to fasten the membrane and the insulation to the substrate. The mechanical-fixing process has been proven to speed-up the roof waterproofing process by up to 30%. The improved rapidity is aided by the solvent-welding method devised to fuse the overlapping membrane rolls; a practice pioneered by Sika in the UK. Employing this method process, rather than the more traditional heat-welding practice, also results in a neater, more attractive waterproof finish. Heat welding requires a temperature of more than 350°C in order to successfully fuse membrane layers. Although there is no naked flame involved, in inexperienced hands a membrane is at risk of burning using this method. Mechanically-fixed, solvent-welded membranes also require less equipment to install. This benefit, along with its time-saving attributes which help reduce on-site working hours, means the Type S system helps cut pollution caused by machine-based emissions. Wind resistant  The Type S system comprises a vapour control layer and insulation, which is held in place by the Sika-Trocal discs. These are spot-welded to the membrane. The fixings mean the whole system is mechanically-fastened to a roof’s structural deck. The added strength this provides makes the Type S membrane an ideal waterproof solution for roofs located in exposed areas where high wind uplift is a common hazard. Speed of installation and reliable, long-term performance are the properties which attract contractors and renowned commercial brands to specify Sika-Trocal’s Type S. Supermarket stores nationwide such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Asda have recently been fitted with the system. Its rapid delivery minimises disruption to businesses, hence its specification in September for a new Morrisons store where its installation across a 600m2 roof area was completed in an incredible three days. The system’s speedy installation doesn’t compromise its quality, however. It is why Sika-Trocal’s Type S system is the rapid, long-term solution when it comes to waterproof roofing. Visit: http://gbr.sika-trocal.sika.com
    Sep 20, 2018 156
  • 19 Sep 2018
    It makes a difference when it comes to relationships, but having the right chemistry is also a key ingredient in the creation of polyurethane coatings, adhesives, and sealants. Like any good relationship, it’s something you must work hard at in order to achieve the best result. This is why custom chemistry is often seen as one of the best ways to create tailored products that will continually take performance to new levels. So, what is the secret to custom chemistry, and how can it make a difference in a market saturated with so much choice? The secret to any great relationship starts through conversation. As a leading global manufacturer of specialist resin and polymer technologies, Incorez has a team of chemists who listen to their customers, so they can solve their problems. It could be a new resin, or a matter of tweaking an existing formulation. It might be helping a customer achieve the finish they have been wanting, or pass a regulation they have failed for years. Regardless of the requirement, custom chemistry will help improve a customer’s product in the long term. Let’s look at osmotic blistering, a common problem in the coatings industry. Traditional polyurethane coating applications have a slow and haphazard curing process, which allows moisture or humidity to cause unwanted reactions, generating CO2 bubbles. These create pinholes or blisters, which weaken the film integrity, and spoil the finished appearance. The fact that these bubbles occur during the curing process would be seen by many as unavoidable, but oxazolidines speed up curing, and prevent the generation of CO2. In other words, oxazolidine technology will eliminate bubbling during application, helping to preserve aesthetics, and minimise pinhole defects. This ensures a better finish, and improved film integrity. Moisture-triggered chemistry enables curing in all temperatures and humidity conditions, with the same end result – a tougher, more durable film. Chemically related to oxazolidines, Incorez also offers an aldimine latent hardener, Incozol BH, which hydrolyses on exposure to moisture, to give you a reactive amine crosslinker ideally suited for use in high-build polyurethane systems, such as sealants and adhesives. This unique latent curing agent not only speeds up the cure of low NCO-containing prepolymers, but also allows for faster through-cure with no bubbles from the formation of carbon dioxide, giving you a perfectly cured product no matter what the environment. The huge rise in resin flooring has seen customers demand greater levels of performance for specific applications, but much depends on the nature of the amine curing agent. There are many perceived weaknesses of water-based curing agents, one being that they cannot achieve the same performance as solvent-based technology. Incorez has taken performance to a new level, developing a hardener that has good universal compatibility with all epoxy resin types, and addresses fundamental challenges with water-based technology, such as low-temperature cure, blushing, and water resistance. This coupled with physical characteristics such as excellent abrasion and impact resistance, together with high chemical, water and solvent resistance, make Incorez curing agents the perfect choice for user-friendly industrial and decorative concrete floor paints. But, when it comes to customised solutions, there are few technologies that can match waterbased polyurethane dispersions for versatility and performance.  The launch of the Dispurez product range in 2015 was the start of a new era for these waterbased products, delivering high performance with environmentally and user-friendly chemistry.  With the recent addition of a new tough, chemically and hydrolytically stable product, Dispurez 103, the product range offers a great starting point for the development of next generation, high performance products.  However, if these don’t quite suit your needs then our skilled and experienced research team in Preston can go one step further and tailor these to deliver exactly what you want. The search for products that help improve the performance of formulated systems is constantly evolving whatever industry you are in. By working closely with our customers, continually innovating and breaking new ground Incorez can make a real difference where it counts. Visit https://incorez.com/
    179 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It makes a difference when it comes to relationships, but having the right chemistry is also a key ingredient in the creation of polyurethane coatings, adhesives, and sealants. Like any good relationship, it’s something you must work hard at in order to achieve the best result. This is why custom chemistry is often seen as one of the best ways to create tailored products that will continually take performance to new levels. So, what is the secret to custom chemistry, and how can it make a difference in a market saturated with so much choice? The secret to any great relationship starts through conversation. As a leading global manufacturer of specialist resin and polymer technologies, Incorez has a team of chemists who listen to their customers, so they can solve their problems. It could be a new resin, or a matter of tweaking an existing formulation. It might be helping a customer achieve the finish they have been wanting, or pass a regulation they have failed for years. Regardless of the requirement, custom chemistry will help improve a customer’s product in the long term. Let’s look at osmotic blistering, a common problem in the coatings industry. Traditional polyurethane coating applications have a slow and haphazard curing process, which allows moisture or humidity to cause unwanted reactions, generating CO2 bubbles. These create pinholes or blisters, which weaken the film integrity, and spoil the finished appearance. The fact that these bubbles occur during the curing process would be seen by many as unavoidable, but oxazolidines speed up curing, and prevent the generation of CO2. In other words, oxazolidine technology will eliminate bubbling during application, helping to preserve aesthetics, and minimise pinhole defects. This ensures a better finish, and improved film integrity. Moisture-triggered chemistry enables curing in all temperatures and humidity conditions, with the same end result – a tougher, more durable film. Chemically related to oxazolidines, Incorez also offers an aldimine latent hardener, Incozol BH, which hydrolyses on exposure to moisture, to give you a reactive amine crosslinker ideally suited for use in high-build polyurethane systems, such as sealants and adhesives. This unique latent curing agent not only speeds up the cure of low NCO-containing prepolymers, but also allows for faster through-cure with no bubbles from the formation of carbon dioxide, giving you a perfectly cured product no matter what the environment. The huge rise in resin flooring has seen customers demand greater levels of performance for specific applications, but much depends on the nature of the amine curing agent. There are many perceived weaknesses of water-based curing agents, one being that they cannot achieve the same performance as solvent-based technology. Incorez has taken performance to a new level, developing a hardener that has good universal compatibility with all epoxy resin types, and addresses fundamental challenges with water-based technology, such as low-temperature cure, blushing, and water resistance. This coupled with physical characteristics such as excellent abrasion and impact resistance, together with high chemical, water and solvent resistance, make Incorez curing agents the perfect choice for user-friendly industrial and decorative concrete floor paints. But, when it comes to customised solutions, there are few technologies that can match waterbased polyurethane dispersions for versatility and performance.  The launch of the Dispurez product range in 2015 was the start of a new era for these waterbased products, delivering high performance with environmentally and user-friendly chemistry.  With the recent addition of a new tough, chemically and hydrolytically stable product, Dispurez 103, the product range offers a great starting point for the development of next generation, high performance products.  However, if these don’t quite suit your needs then our skilled and experienced research team in Preston can go one step further and tailor these to deliver exactly what you want. The search for products that help improve the performance of formulated systems is constantly evolving whatever industry you are in. By working closely with our customers, continually innovating and breaking new ground Incorez can make a real difference where it counts. Visit https://incorez.com/
    Sep 19, 2018 179
  • 14 Sep 2018
    Attention has been quite rightly focused on fire safety issues in new and existing buildings since the terrible events at Grenfell Tower writes Richard Harral, Technical Director at CABE. It is vital that the problems identified within the Hackitt review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety are addressed, and that the lessons emerging from the public inquiry are studied and learnt from. This will require extensive change in industry culture, custom and practice, procurement and competency, most of which is long overdue and, driven through as these changes must be, will undoubtedly prove to be broadly beneficial in curing many of the industry’s structural ills. As industry and government work to clarify how this change will be implemented, it is vital that time is also given to broader consideration of the value we need to place on our relationship with our built environment both individually and as a society. What would we conclude if the lens of public opinion was focussed on more clearly defining what society should expect the building industry to deliver? Firstly, it is clear that the public expect government and industry to act responsibly in protecting them from harm. Establishing safety is, however, not a static condition - construction is increasingly sophisticated and evolving by necessity at a pace far faster than the historic norm to address rapidly emerging issues of national and global concern which reach beyond fire safety. The overheating issue As the threat of hosepipe bans becomes reality and temperatures continue to remain high through a glorious but parching summer, it must now be clear that the impact of climate change will require the way we shape our built environment to evolve further to protect us better. The risk of overheating is becoming more tangible, and periods of sustained high temperature pose life safety risks to many thousands of people as well as degrading working conditions for many millions in poor performing buildings. The Committee on Climate Change predicts that premature deaths from overheating will increase by two-thirds by the 2020s which places the risks associated with overheating in clear perspective. There is a growing body of evidence to show that the risk of overheating is increasing, especially in new homes, and that the current regulatory checks for overheating contained in the current Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) have fallen behind and need to be updated. Heavy rain amid such dry weather risks flash flooding as water runs off baked ground – but similar extreme weather events also increase the risk of flooding in the non-summer seasons. We need to be sure that the way we design and renovate our buildings provides protection and resilience where these events are likely to occur. Closing the gap We must also continue to look to play our part in limiting climate change by making our buildings more energy efficient. The expectation in the UK’s Climate Change Act is that the entirety of the UK Building Stock is carbon neutral by 2050, a date which no longer feels in the distant future. The well recognised performance gap that exists between the way buildings are intended to perform and the way they perform in practice may be closing but needs to be closed entirely. The reasons for poor performance are numerous, with many potentially energy efficient systems not operating as the designer intended as a result of not been properly checked and signed off. This has only emphasisedthe importance of testing and commissioning to ensure systems actually work at least at the point of handover when new systems are installed. The necessary step change in energy efficiency will also need to be achieved safely. Airtightness is critical to reducing heat loss, but in achieving the desired low levels of leakage, adequate ventilation becomes a critical concern to avoid risk of moisture and condensation (which can cause respiratory problems) and degraded air quality that similarly affects health. Ensuring that we have good indoor air quality requires good design, specification installation and commissioning, and evidence continues to grow that on all counts the industry is struggling to deliver the right performance consistently.Government is currently looking at and considering key changes to both energy and ventilation requirements which is a step in the right direction. Societal changes also need to be properly considered. Our understanding of the impacts on equality resulting from the way we design and manage our buildings, workplaces and public spaces are also changing and it is absolutely right that we now expect places to be inclusive for the widest possible range of users. These are only a few of the areas where the decisions we make as clients, designers, engineers, constructors and operators of buildings are likely to impact on public safety and welfare. Which is why now is the right time to pause and step back to look at the bigger picture. Many of the recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s review are relevant to ensuring the construction industry has the ability to deliver against this wider agenda of health, safety, sustainability and welfare. We have a once in a generation opportunity to move away from bad business models based on lowest price towards an industry that is focused on lifetime value and as a result is more profitable, more productive and more valued for the work it does. Extending many of the Hackitt review’s proposals for structural reform beyond high risk buildings will be key in ensuring that the necessary changes to business practice and culture required to embed this step change in performance take effect. We must also ensure that industry improves its expenditure on research and development to deliver higher levels of confidence in system performance and to support policy makers in making informed decisions. At the same time we should recognise the need to invest more in our people to ensure they are competent and empowered to work in an ethical way. Government clearly has a key role in ensuring that the right regulatory measures are in place to enable industry to meet the wider public expectation that they are adequately protected and to ensure that safety standards are consistently delivered on. Fire safety will rightly be at the forefront of thinking, but as Ministers start the process of reshaping the building safety policy landscape, it is important that they also take into account the broader scope of building regulations and policies that will be needed in the future to keep people safe. Visit www.cbuilde.com
    205 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Attention has been quite rightly focused on fire safety issues in new and existing buildings since the terrible events at Grenfell Tower writes Richard Harral, Technical Director at CABE. It is vital that the problems identified within the Hackitt review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety are addressed, and that the lessons emerging from the public inquiry are studied and learnt from. This will require extensive change in industry culture, custom and practice, procurement and competency, most of which is long overdue and, driven through as these changes must be, will undoubtedly prove to be broadly beneficial in curing many of the industry’s structural ills. As industry and government work to clarify how this change will be implemented, it is vital that time is also given to broader consideration of the value we need to place on our relationship with our built environment both individually and as a society. What would we conclude if the lens of public opinion was focussed on more clearly defining what society should expect the building industry to deliver? Firstly, it is clear that the public expect government and industry to act responsibly in protecting them from harm. Establishing safety is, however, not a static condition - construction is increasingly sophisticated and evolving by necessity at a pace far faster than the historic norm to address rapidly emerging issues of national and global concern which reach beyond fire safety. The overheating issue As the threat of hosepipe bans becomes reality and temperatures continue to remain high through a glorious but parching summer, it must now be clear that the impact of climate change will require the way we shape our built environment to evolve further to protect us better. The risk of overheating is becoming more tangible, and periods of sustained high temperature pose life safety risks to many thousands of people as well as degrading working conditions for many millions in poor performing buildings. The Committee on Climate Change predicts that premature deaths from overheating will increase by two-thirds by the 2020s which places the risks associated with overheating in clear perspective. There is a growing body of evidence to show that the risk of overheating is increasing, especially in new homes, and that the current regulatory checks for overheating contained in the current Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) have fallen behind and need to be updated. Heavy rain amid such dry weather risks flash flooding as water runs off baked ground – but similar extreme weather events also increase the risk of flooding in the non-summer seasons. We need to be sure that the way we design and renovate our buildings provides protection and resilience where these events are likely to occur. Closing the gap We must also continue to look to play our part in limiting climate change by making our buildings more energy efficient. The expectation in the UK’s Climate Change Act is that the entirety of the UK Building Stock is carbon neutral by 2050, a date which no longer feels in the distant future. The well recognised performance gap that exists between the way buildings are intended to perform and the way they perform in practice may be closing but needs to be closed entirely. The reasons for poor performance are numerous, with many potentially energy efficient systems not operating as the designer intended as a result of not been properly checked and signed off. This has only emphasisedthe importance of testing and commissioning to ensure systems actually work at least at the point of handover when new systems are installed. The necessary step change in energy efficiency will also need to be achieved safely. Airtightness is critical to reducing heat loss, but in achieving the desired low levels of leakage, adequate ventilation becomes a critical concern to avoid risk of moisture and condensation (which can cause respiratory problems) and degraded air quality that similarly affects health. Ensuring that we have good indoor air quality requires good design, specification installation and commissioning, and evidence continues to grow that on all counts the industry is struggling to deliver the right performance consistently.Government is currently looking at and considering key changes to both energy and ventilation requirements which is a step in the right direction. Societal changes also need to be properly considered. Our understanding of the impacts on equality resulting from the way we design and manage our buildings, workplaces and public spaces are also changing and it is absolutely right that we now expect places to be inclusive for the widest possible range of users. These are only a few of the areas where the decisions we make as clients, designers, engineers, constructors and operators of buildings are likely to impact on public safety and welfare. Which is why now is the right time to pause and step back to look at the bigger picture. Many of the recommendations from Dame Judith Hackitt’s review are relevant to ensuring the construction industry has the ability to deliver against this wider agenda of health, safety, sustainability and welfare. We have a once in a generation opportunity to move away from bad business models based on lowest price towards an industry that is focused on lifetime value and as a result is more profitable, more productive and more valued for the work it does. Extending many of the Hackitt review’s proposals for structural reform beyond high risk buildings will be key in ensuring that the necessary changes to business practice and culture required to embed this step change in performance take effect. We must also ensure that industry improves its expenditure on research and development to deliver higher levels of confidence in system performance and to support policy makers in making informed decisions. At the same time we should recognise the need to invest more in our people to ensure they are competent and empowered to work in an ethical way. Government clearly has a key role in ensuring that the right regulatory measures are in place to enable industry to meet the wider public expectation that they are adequately protected and to ensure that safety standards are consistently delivered on. Fire safety will rightly be at the forefront of thinking, but as Ministers start the process of reshaping the building safety policy landscape, it is important that they also take into account the broader scope of building regulations and policies that will be needed in the future to keep people safe. Visit www.cbuilde.com
    Sep 14, 2018 205
  • 12 Sep 2018
    Flooring in schools isn’t just a necessary part of a building’s fabric; it can help create the ideal learning environment in which children can thrive. Design and specification is key, however, to a floor living up to expectation in terms of performance.  Durability ought to be a major factor in the surface selection process, as flooring installed in schools and places of higher education will need to withstand a huge amount of footfall during its lifetime. Maintenance or repairs to damaged flooring could leave a large hole in a school or education authority’s budget; unnecessary expenditure when councils, in particular, are having to tighten the purse strings like never before. No slip-ups Health and safety standards are another prime aspect when it comes to floor selection. A non-slip surface is essential to minimising falls and potential injury. Even wet flooring, caused by outdoor-to-indoor foot traffic or spillages, should remain non-slip. In densely-populated interior spaces, such as schools and higher education establishments, hygiene is paramount. Infection and disease can spread like wildfire in such areas, therefore flooring that is smooth and easy to clean is critical. Colour science When it comes to design, school flooring should be selected for its inspirational qualities as well as its practical properties. The colour of interior walls and floors, for example, is scientifically proven to affect people’s mood and behavior. Red is known to inspire anger and aggression whilst shades of green can instill a sense of calm and tranquility. Patterns or logos can be incorporated into modern flooring design, presenting an opportunity for schools to display its motto or a particularly inspiring image. Suits you In schools, it’s possible that each floor will have a different set of requirements depending on the area of learning. A woodwork class, for instance, might be suited to a surface specifically designed to withstand heavy machinery, whilst flooring highly-resistant to corrosive liquids would be ideal for a science lab. Lifecycle benefits Traditionally, the default flooring materials specified for educational facilities have been vinyl or linoleum sheet flooring. Compared to polyurethane resin floor systems - which are widely used in northern Europe - the lifecycle of sheet materials is short, generally lasting between five and 10 years before being consigned to landfill. In contrast, Sika's (polyurethane) Comfort Floor system has a lifecycle of 40 years. Of its many benefits, Sika Comfort Floor - in the event of damage – can be seamlessly spot repaired, rather than replaced. Unlike sheet materials, which have joints where bacteria can build-up over time, Comfort Floor’s super-smooth finish facilitates a rapid and simple cleaning regime, minimising the threat of germs and infection-spread. Resin systems are also extremely simple to install, in a process that takes just three days to complete. As the 21st century proceeds, so the demand for epoxy resin flooring, with its abundant qualities, will increase. Its new technologies are helping take flooring to exciting places in terms of design without compromise to its core properties – smoothness, strength and durability for the safety and comfort of youngsters during their school years. Visit www.sika.co.uk .
    171 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Flooring in schools isn’t just a necessary part of a building’s fabric; it can help create the ideal learning environment in which children can thrive. Design and specification is key, however, to a floor living up to expectation in terms of performance.  Durability ought to be a major factor in the surface selection process, as flooring installed in schools and places of higher education will need to withstand a huge amount of footfall during its lifetime. Maintenance or repairs to damaged flooring could leave a large hole in a school or education authority’s budget; unnecessary expenditure when councils, in particular, are having to tighten the purse strings like never before. No slip-ups Health and safety standards are another prime aspect when it comes to floor selection. A non-slip surface is essential to minimising falls and potential injury. Even wet flooring, caused by outdoor-to-indoor foot traffic or spillages, should remain non-slip. In densely-populated interior spaces, such as schools and higher education establishments, hygiene is paramount. Infection and disease can spread like wildfire in such areas, therefore flooring that is smooth and easy to clean is critical. Colour science When it comes to design, school flooring should be selected for its inspirational qualities as well as its practical properties. The colour of interior walls and floors, for example, is scientifically proven to affect people’s mood and behavior. Red is known to inspire anger and aggression whilst shades of green can instill a sense of calm and tranquility. Patterns or logos can be incorporated into modern flooring design, presenting an opportunity for schools to display its motto or a particularly inspiring image. Suits you In schools, it’s possible that each floor will have a different set of requirements depending on the area of learning. A woodwork class, for instance, might be suited to a surface specifically designed to withstand heavy machinery, whilst flooring highly-resistant to corrosive liquids would be ideal for a science lab. Lifecycle benefits Traditionally, the default flooring materials specified for educational facilities have been vinyl or linoleum sheet flooring. Compared to polyurethane resin floor systems - which are widely used in northern Europe - the lifecycle of sheet materials is short, generally lasting between five and 10 years before being consigned to landfill. In contrast, Sika's (polyurethane) Comfort Floor system has a lifecycle of 40 years. Of its many benefits, Sika Comfort Floor - in the event of damage – can be seamlessly spot repaired, rather than replaced. Unlike sheet materials, which have joints where bacteria can build-up over time, Comfort Floor’s super-smooth finish facilitates a rapid and simple cleaning regime, minimising the threat of germs and infection-spread. Resin systems are also extremely simple to install, in a process that takes just three days to complete. As the 21st century proceeds, so the demand for epoxy resin flooring, with its abundant qualities, will increase. Its new technologies are helping take flooring to exciting places in terms of design without compromise to its core properties – smoothness, strength and durability for the safety and comfort of youngsters during their school years. Visit www.sika.co.uk .
    Sep 12, 2018 171
  • 11 Sep 2018
    Now that students have opened their A level and GCSE results, it brings a fresh reminder that the construction sector is facing a major skills challenge writes Kevin Bohea. Government has pledged to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. The issue we have is that we simply don’t have a workforce to achieve this. The sector is also facing questions over the quality to which we build. So what do we need to do to make sure we have a skilled workforce that can deliver high quality buildings that are fit for purpose? The big challenge is that many people perceive the construction industry as an outdated, uninspiring and manual work based sector- to these people it simply doesn’t seem like a attractive sector in which to find an exciting career. However, for those that work in the sector we know that that couldn’t be further from the truth. The construction sector is exciting, varied, constantly evolving and full of opportunity. In June, the Government launched the Construction Skills Fund. Part of the government's National Retraining Scheme in England, the scheme aims to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retraining adults in areas for which public funding is not available.It will fund on-site training to allow learners to apply their knowledge in the real-world. The £22 million fund is being administered and implemented by CITB and will run for 18 months. The plan is that employers, housing associations and other interested bodies such as LEPs and local authorities submit expressions of interest. From these submissions, 20 on-site training hubs will be created. This will be on major construction project across England and will provide work experience and placements for people working to join the industry. On the face of it this seems like a great idea – offering real hand on work experience for young people as well as opportunities for returning adults and those looking for a pathway for a career switch. But does it go far enough to address the bigger issue – that is making the industry appealing for people to want to join in the first place? We still need to overcome our outdated image. Recticel has created a graduate development programme and a graduate intern programme to help introduce young talent to industry. As a company we invest time engaging with young people to help them understand what we can offer as a business and how a step with us could lead them on to a really fulfilling career in the construction sector. And it’s working. We have a growing intake of young people who are excited the sector offers and who are enthusiastic to learn. I’m confident that once young people start working in the construction they will get a completely different opinion of it. And – as many of us can relate to – once you start work in the construction sector, you very rarely leave. You may go on to take up different roles (one of the advantages of a diverse sector) but it is unlikely you will change sectors completely. The Construction Skills Fund is a step in the right direction although I would be interested to understand what happens after the 18 month period - I just hope it isn’t canned in favor of another Government initiative. We can’t keep having one step forward, one step backwards. Skills is a shared responsibility. If we get it right we can deliver the ambitious targets we have been set and at the same time take a big step forward in terms of improving built quality. Recticel will continue to play its part in attracting the next generation, as well as those returning to work or looking for a career change and I hope that the rest of sector will continue to keep reminding young people construction can be highly rewarding. Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    136 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Now that students have opened their A level and GCSE results, it brings a fresh reminder that the construction sector is facing a major skills challenge writes Kevin Bohea. Government has pledged to deliver 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s. The issue we have is that we simply don’t have a workforce to achieve this. The sector is also facing questions over the quality to which we build. So what do we need to do to make sure we have a skilled workforce that can deliver high quality buildings that are fit for purpose? The big challenge is that many people perceive the construction industry as an outdated, uninspiring and manual work based sector- to these people it simply doesn’t seem like a attractive sector in which to find an exciting career. However, for those that work in the sector we know that that couldn’t be further from the truth. The construction sector is exciting, varied, constantly evolving and full of opportunity. In June, the Government launched the Construction Skills Fund. Part of the government's National Retraining Scheme in England, the scheme aims to support innovative ways of training new entrants and retraining adults in areas for which public funding is not available.It will fund on-site training to allow learners to apply their knowledge in the real-world. The £22 million fund is being administered and implemented by CITB and will run for 18 months. The plan is that employers, housing associations and other interested bodies such as LEPs and local authorities submit expressions of interest. From these submissions, 20 on-site training hubs will be created. This will be on major construction project across England and will provide work experience and placements for people working to join the industry. On the face of it this seems like a great idea – offering real hand on work experience for young people as well as opportunities for returning adults and those looking for a pathway for a career switch. But does it go far enough to address the bigger issue – that is making the industry appealing for people to want to join in the first place? We still need to overcome our outdated image. Recticel has created a graduate development programme and a graduate intern programme to help introduce young talent to industry. As a company we invest time engaging with young people to help them understand what we can offer as a business and how a step with us could lead them on to a really fulfilling career in the construction sector. And it’s working. We have a growing intake of young people who are excited the sector offers and who are enthusiastic to learn. I’m confident that once young people start working in the construction they will get a completely different opinion of it. And – as many of us can relate to – once you start work in the construction sector, you very rarely leave. You may go on to take up different roles (one of the advantages of a diverse sector) but it is unlikely you will change sectors completely. The Construction Skills Fund is a step in the right direction although I would be interested to understand what happens after the 18 month period - I just hope it isn’t canned in favor of another Government initiative. We can’t keep having one step forward, one step backwards. Skills is a shared responsibility. If we get it right we can deliver the ambitious targets we have been set and at the same time take a big step forward in terms of improving built quality. Recticel will continue to play its part in attracting the next generation, as well as those returning to work or looking for a career change and I hope that the rest of sector will continue to keep reminding young people construction can be highly rewarding. Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    Sep 11, 2018 136
  • 07 Sep 2018
    It is high time the misconceptions surrounding renewable energy were demystified. With the effects of climate change a pressing concern, now more than ever it is important to turn to renewable energy resources, such as solar energy, to preserve our planet. Andrew Knapp addresses the top five misconceptions surrounding renewable solar energy, offering insight into how eco-friendly energy is a cost-efficient, effective and secure investment for the future. ‘Renewable energy is unaffordable’ This is probably the most important myth to debunk. So many people repel at the idea of installing renewable energy systems, even when the products are a safe and cost-effective solution. In fact, solar energy is actually cheaper than coal and nuclear energy. It is even said that, in time renewable energy will gradually become cheaper than gas. In 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) reported that solar and wind energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 countries It is inefficient and unreliable It is a common misconception that solar energy just needs sun to function. Many people believe solar panels do not work when the weather is bad; this is false. Solar energy will still convert 10-25% energy on a cloudy day, which means it is still being productive even when the sun is not shining. It will decrease the value of property Solar panels can actually add value to your home which will in essence futureproof it. They can do this firstly, by raising the home’s EPC (energy performance certificate) grade, which can have a significant effect on house values. Not only this but solar pv can increase your homes appeal via the Feed-In-Tariff, which is an ongoing payment the government offers homeowners for creating clean, renewable energy. This will provide you with an extra income and an attractive prospect for any future buyer. Solar Panels require no maintenance As long as you are using a reliable and credited manufacturer, your solar power system will never give you a headache. Companies such as Ecolution, which install PV panels and energy storage systems, provide an annual service including: quality check, performance and safety checks. The maintenance process is uncomplicated, easy and worth its cost. Excess energy goes to waste As mentioned above, there are some companies which provide smart energy storage systems, allowing you to convert renewable energy and use it at another time. It means you can control your own energy supply and resources, without being chained to the big energy suppliers. These systems are completely functional and reliable; you have the ability to utilise your own energy. As these systems store energy, you will ultimately reduce your carbon footprint and total energy bills. Not only do you save the environment, you save the pennies too. Hopefully, these five myths have demystified what seems to be quite a hazy topic. Most people lack the information to pass judgement on renewable resources; it has this stigma of only attracting the wealthy, planet-conscious people. However, as the demand continues to grow, prices will become more attainable for the majority – it is just part of the process. And as products, such as energy storage systems, infiltrate into the public eye, people will recognise the benefits of this cost-effective and reliable energy solution. Renewable energy, whether wind or solar, is paving the way towards a climate-friendly future. Visit: www.ecolutiongroup.com
    213 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It is high time the misconceptions surrounding renewable energy were demystified. With the effects of climate change a pressing concern, now more than ever it is important to turn to renewable energy resources, such as solar energy, to preserve our planet. Andrew Knapp addresses the top five misconceptions surrounding renewable solar energy, offering insight into how eco-friendly energy is a cost-efficient, effective and secure investment for the future. ‘Renewable energy is unaffordable’ This is probably the most important myth to debunk. So many people repel at the idea of installing renewable energy systems, even when the products are a safe and cost-effective solution. In fact, solar energy is actually cheaper than coal and nuclear energy. It is even said that, in time renewable energy will gradually become cheaper than gas. In 2016, the World Economic Forum (WEF) reported that solar and wind energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 countries It is inefficient and unreliable It is a common misconception that solar energy just needs sun to function. Many people believe solar panels do not work when the weather is bad; this is false. Solar energy will still convert 10-25% energy on a cloudy day, which means it is still being productive even when the sun is not shining. It will decrease the value of property Solar panels can actually add value to your home which will in essence futureproof it. They can do this firstly, by raising the home’s EPC (energy performance certificate) grade, which can have a significant effect on house values. Not only this but solar pv can increase your homes appeal via the Feed-In-Tariff, which is an ongoing payment the government offers homeowners for creating clean, renewable energy. This will provide you with an extra income and an attractive prospect for any future buyer. Solar Panels require no maintenance As long as you are using a reliable and credited manufacturer, your solar power system will never give you a headache. Companies such as Ecolution, which install PV panels and energy storage systems, provide an annual service including: quality check, performance and safety checks. The maintenance process is uncomplicated, easy and worth its cost. Excess energy goes to waste As mentioned above, there are some companies which provide smart energy storage systems, allowing you to convert renewable energy and use it at another time. It means you can control your own energy supply and resources, without being chained to the big energy suppliers. These systems are completely functional and reliable; you have the ability to utilise your own energy. As these systems store energy, you will ultimately reduce your carbon footprint and total energy bills. Not only do you save the environment, you save the pennies too. Hopefully, these five myths have demystified what seems to be quite a hazy topic. Most people lack the information to pass judgement on renewable resources; it has this stigma of only attracting the wealthy, planet-conscious people. However, as the demand continues to grow, prices will become more attainable for the majority – it is just part of the process. And as products, such as energy storage systems, infiltrate into the public eye, people will recognise the benefits of this cost-effective and reliable energy solution. Renewable energy, whether wind or solar, is paving the way towards a climate-friendly future. Visit: www.ecolutiongroup.com
    Sep 07, 2018 213
  • 05 Sep 2018
    The waterproofing of existing below ground structures, particularly ageing ones, needs as much careful planning as a new-build project in terms of materials and process writes Stuart Benham. System options, however, tend to be more limited when it comes to putting a watertight seal on a basement or belowground area already in use. In general, two systems are up for consideration as far as waterproof refurbishment is concerned. A Firstly a waterproof render solution, such as BBA approved Sika-1 Pre-bagged Structural Waterproofing System, is one popular option. This consists of a 3 coat render system for use on walls and overhead surfaces, and a screed system for use on the floor. Sika-1 pre-bagged ensures specifiers meet the requirements of a waterproofing project without the need for ongoing maintenance. The pre-bag system is factory-controlled quality, with each layer to the optimum mix ratio. Site batched versions should not be considered as the quality cannot be relied upon. Cavity drain systems are also popular with retrofit waterproof installers. Sika® CD – Cavity Drainage System, for instance, controls water after it has penetrated a structure. Loose-laid  for flooring applications and attached to a wall with surface plugs in vertical installations, Sika® CD - Cavity Drainage System directs penetrating water into a drainage system and a collection sump before using a pump to discharge water from the building. This is also a proven, reliable system, but unlike the pre-bagged option, the cavity drainage system requires maintenance programme which at a minimum is annual A combination of both is also an option often used. Early intervention Existing fissures and cracks in the structure should be addressed at the earliest opportunity. Left untreated, defects could potentially lead to greater issues and costly, time-consuming repair. Failure to make good the structure at the earliest stage of deterioration could also affect the overall structural integrity of the building, which in-turn may adversely affect any waterproofing system installed. For manufacturers, a key aspect of retrofit waterproofing is interaction and compatibility between different waterproofing interfaces. It’s a challenge Sika is able to meet, as it offers Type A, B and C systems - A (barrier protection); B (structurally integral protection); C (drained protection) - each of which can connect to form the highest-quality waterproof solution. As a full range provider, Sika is able to offer unbiased advice and tailor the solution to the requirement, thus avoiding specifying solutions unsuitable for the product. As for contractors, the challenge is to ensure installation teams are sufficiently-skilled to correctly fit the waterproofing system. Through toolbox talks and site visits, Sika is able to offer full, technical support to installers. This is a value-added service which comes at no extra cost. In addition, contractors are able to obtain official recognition of their skills by becoming a ‘Sika-approved’ installer of as the  Sika-1 Pre-bagged system where candidates are vetted, trained and assessed before being given registered status. As well as having access to on and off-site technical support.  Only Sika 1 Registered contractors benefit from the Sika guarantee on the Sika 1 pre-bag product. With Sika Cavity drain systems, it is always best to use a specialist waterproofing contractor, but if the works are being done by a general contractor, Sika do offer site tool box talks and on site support as part of the guarantee process. At your service In terms of the specifier, the biggest challenge is ensuring the specified waterproofing product is fit for purpose and meets the required performance level. This is where - once again - Sika’s service offering comes to the fore. The company not only provides a range of watertight solutions for a host of concrete applications, its CSSW-qualified specification managers have a wealth of experience to offer expert guidance to ensure products are fit for purpose, specified and installed correctly. This helps ensure projects are completed successfully. Sika can also recommend specialist contractors for a particular scheme, whilst its guaranteed BBA-certified products assure users that they are in possession of goods of the optimum quality.  Visit www.sika.co.uk.
    167 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The waterproofing of existing below ground structures, particularly ageing ones, needs as much careful planning as a new-build project in terms of materials and process writes Stuart Benham. System options, however, tend to be more limited when it comes to putting a watertight seal on a basement or belowground area already in use. In general, two systems are up for consideration as far as waterproof refurbishment is concerned. A Firstly a waterproof render solution, such as BBA approved Sika-1 Pre-bagged Structural Waterproofing System, is one popular option. This consists of a 3 coat render system for use on walls and overhead surfaces, and a screed system for use on the floor. Sika-1 pre-bagged ensures specifiers meet the requirements of a waterproofing project without the need for ongoing maintenance. The pre-bag system is factory-controlled quality, with each layer to the optimum mix ratio. Site batched versions should not be considered as the quality cannot be relied upon. Cavity drain systems are also popular with retrofit waterproof installers. Sika® CD – Cavity Drainage System, for instance, controls water after it has penetrated a structure. Loose-laid  for flooring applications and attached to a wall with surface plugs in vertical installations, Sika® CD - Cavity Drainage System directs penetrating water into a drainage system and a collection sump before using a pump to discharge water from the building. This is also a proven, reliable system, but unlike the pre-bagged option, the cavity drainage system requires maintenance programme which at a minimum is annual A combination of both is also an option often used. Early intervention Existing fissures and cracks in the structure should be addressed at the earliest opportunity. Left untreated, defects could potentially lead to greater issues and costly, time-consuming repair. Failure to make good the structure at the earliest stage of deterioration could also affect the overall structural integrity of the building, which in-turn may adversely affect any waterproofing system installed. For manufacturers, a key aspect of retrofit waterproofing is interaction and compatibility between different waterproofing interfaces. It’s a challenge Sika is able to meet, as it offers Type A, B and C systems - A (barrier protection); B (structurally integral protection); C (drained protection) - each of which can connect to form the highest-quality waterproof solution. As a full range provider, Sika is able to offer unbiased advice and tailor the solution to the requirement, thus avoiding specifying solutions unsuitable for the product. As for contractors, the challenge is to ensure installation teams are sufficiently-skilled to correctly fit the waterproofing system. Through toolbox talks and site visits, Sika is able to offer full, technical support to installers. This is a value-added service which comes at no extra cost. In addition, contractors are able to obtain official recognition of their skills by becoming a ‘Sika-approved’ installer of as the  Sika-1 Pre-bagged system where candidates are vetted, trained and assessed before being given registered status. As well as having access to on and off-site technical support.  Only Sika 1 Registered contractors benefit from the Sika guarantee on the Sika 1 pre-bag product. With Sika Cavity drain systems, it is always best to use a specialist waterproofing contractor, but if the works are being done by a general contractor, Sika do offer site tool box talks and on site support as part of the guarantee process. At your service In terms of the specifier, the biggest challenge is ensuring the specified waterproofing product is fit for purpose and meets the required performance level. This is where - once again - Sika’s service offering comes to the fore. The company not only provides a range of watertight solutions for a host of concrete applications, its CSSW-qualified specification managers have a wealth of experience to offer expert guidance to ensure products are fit for purpose, specified and installed correctly. This helps ensure projects are completed successfully. Sika can also recommend specialist contractors for a particular scheme, whilst its guaranteed BBA-certified products assure users that they are in possession of goods of the optimum quality.  Visit www.sika.co.uk.
    Sep 05, 2018 167
  • 31 Aug 2018
    The UK may be experiencing one of the driest summers on record but the thought of flooding should not be far from people’s minds.  Flooding is not restricted to the winter months.  A parched landscape results in dry, compacted soils that will mean any rainfall is less easily absorbed into the ground. This will only increase the likelihood of flooding if the country experiences storms. With recent years showing us all the devastating effects that floods can have on people’s lives, we need to consider how we build new homes to address this risk. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) offer developers and housebuilders a way to manage excess stormwater on their developments. The pressing need for more homes has only led to us to build on flood plains and urbanise our green spaces. As these developments go ahead, there is a knock-on effect as we have less land for rainfall to be able to soak away into the ground. It’s imperative that water is managed where it falls, reducing the demand on built drainage and the sewerage infrastructure. Planning guidance requires all major new housing developments of 10 houses or more to incorporate SuDS for the management of surface water run-off. However this doesn’t apply to smaller developments or the retrofitting of SuDS in urban environments. An integrated flood prevention solution By taking a SuDS approach to managing water, housebuilders and developers can manage the risk of surface flooding, integrating these solutions into developments, whilst at the same time influencing other aspects of the site and reducing impermeable areas wherever possible. Sustainable drainage mimics natural drainage processes by allowing rainfall to soak into the ground where possible or by delaying discharges. Reducing both the volume and rate of surface water run-off to sewers and watercourses, this helps to improve water quality, ecology and amenity value of watercourses. It is important, however, to remember that there is no single drainage solution for any one site. There are a number of options from natural above ground SuDS solutions including swales, detention ponds, basins and permeable surfaces, to engineered solutions such as concrete culverts, plastic pipes, attenuation tanks and soakaways. Faced with rising costs and stricter deadlines, modularisation is growing in popularity as contractors look to find the next generation of efficient and economical products and systems. Due to the numerous benefits both on and off site, underground modular geocellular units such as StormCrate from Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage have become an increasingly popular choice at every stage of the supply chain, from the architect and specifier to the contractor and client. Modular and stackable Weighing in at only 18kg per module and measuring 1200mm x 600mm x 420mm, the StormCrate modular units can be easily lifted by hand and then laid or stacked in rows. The units are suitable for a range of applications including residential, commercial and industrial projects. StormCrates can either be wrapped in a geotextile, which allows stored water to slowly seep into the surrounding ground and back into the water table, or a more common practice, wrapped in an impermeable geomembrane to create a sealed underground tank.  The outlet from this tank is then controlled to facilitate a slow release of the stored water back into the drainage system over a longer period. Manufactured from recycled plastic, StormCrates have a high void ratio of 95% which means that the units are highly efficient at storing up to 300 litres of water in the event of heavy rains. If inspectability is required for future maintenance, then Brett Martin can offer StormCrate Inspect Crates. There are no limits on the use and design of the surface over the system and StormCrates may be successfully installed under parking areas, driveways and landscaped areas. Ideal for domestic soakaways, only 250mm of cover is required above the crates for driveway applications, which results in less dig and site spoil.  When a minimum of 500mm cover is used, the high strength crate has a lorry bearing capacity of 60 tonnes. Managing a storm For a new housing development in Coventry, surface water management was a key consideration to prevent any future flooding, hence Brett Martin’s StormCrates were used to create an underground attenuation tank for the temporary storage of stormwater, reducing the demand on built drainage. The development of 15 new homes - a mixture of two, three and four-bed semi-detached terraced and detached houses – was built on an area which is susceptible to flooding.  In order to manage rainwater within the site and prevent flooding during periods of bad weather, contractor O’Flanagan Homes, required a drainage solution that could be integrated within the site and found the solution in StormCrate.    Brett Martin provided O’Flanagan Homes with 180 StormCrates which were used to create a 54.5m3 underground storage tank, constructed in three layers at a depth of 2 metres beneath the entrance road, to offset stormwater run-off from the developed area.  Commenting on the installation, Danny O‘Flanagan of O’Flanagan Homes commented: “We have used StormCrates on other projects and they are an ideal solution for managing stormwater run-off.  Lightweight, easy to move and incredibly strong, we used them to create an underground tank beneath the permeable paving in the entrance road of the development.” The use of StormCrates from Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage ensured this new housing development had a proven rainwater attenuation solution which will reduce demand on built drainage and the sewerage infrastructure. Visit: www.brettmartin.com
    148 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The UK may be experiencing one of the driest summers on record but the thought of flooding should not be far from people’s minds.  Flooding is not restricted to the winter months.  A parched landscape results in dry, compacted soils that will mean any rainfall is less easily absorbed into the ground. This will only increase the likelihood of flooding if the country experiences storms. With recent years showing us all the devastating effects that floods can have on people’s lives, we need to consider how we build new homes to address this risk. Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) offer developers and housebuilders a way to manage excess stormwater on their developments. The pressing need for more homes has only led to us to build on flood plains and urbanise our green spaces. As these developments go ahead, there is a knock-on effect as we have less land for rainfall to be able to soak away into the ground. It’s imperative that water is managed where it falls, reducing the demand on built drainage and the sewerage infrastructure. Planning guidance requires all major new housing developments of 10 houses or more to incorporate SuDS for the management of surface water run-off. However this doesn’t apply to smaller developments or the retrofitting of SuDS in urban environments. An integrated flood prevention solution By taking a SuDS approach to managing water, housebuilders and developers can manage the risk of surface flooding, integrating these solutions into developments, whilst at the same time influencing other aspects of the site and reducing impermeable areas wherever possible. Sustainable drainage mimics natural drainage processes by allowing rainfall to soak into the ground where possible or by delaying discharges. Reducing both the volume and rate of surface water run-off to sewers and watercourses, this helps to improve water quality, ecology and amenity value of watercourses. It is important, however, to remember that there is no single drainage solution for any one site. There are a number of options from natural above ground SuDS solutions including swales, detention ponds, basins and permeable surfaces, to engineered solutions such as concrete culverts, plastic pipes, attenuation tanks and soakaways. Faced with rising costs and stricter deadlines, modularisation is growing in popularity as contractors look to find the next generation of efficient and economical products and systems. Due to the numerous benefits both on and off site, underground modular geocellular units such as StormCrate from Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage have become an increasingly popular choice at every stage of the supply chain, from the architect and specifier to the contractor and client. Modular and stackable Weighing in at only 18kg per module and measuring 1200mm x 600mm x 420mm, the StormCrate modular units can be easily lifted by hand and then laid or stacked in rows. The units are suitable for a range of applications including residential, commercial and industrial projects. StormCrates can either be wrapped in a geotextile, which allows stored water to slowly seep into the surrounding ground and back into the water table, or a more common practice, wrapped in an impermeable geomembrane to create a sealed underground tank.  The outlet from this tank is then controlled to facilitate a slow release of the stored water back into the drainage system over a longer period. Manufactured from recycled plastic, StormCrates have a high void ratio of 95% which means that the units are highly efficient at storing up to 300 litres of water in the event of heavy rains. If inspectability is required for future maintenance, then Brett Martin can offer StormCrate Inspect Crates. There are no limits on the use and design of the surface over the system and StormCrates may be successfully installed under parking areas, driveways and landscaped areas. Ideal for domestic soakaways, only 250mm of cover is required above the crates for driveway applications, which results in less dig and site spoil.  When a minimum of 500mm cover is used, the high strength crate has a lorry bearing capacity of 60 tonnes. Managing a storm For a new housing development in Coventry, surface water management was a key consideration to prevent any future flooding, hence Brett Martin’s StormCrates were used to create an underground attenuation tank for the temporary storage of stormwater, reducing the demand on built drainage. The development of 15 new homes - a mixture of two, three and four-bed semi-detached terraced and detached houses – was built on an area which is susceptible to flooding.  In order to manage rainwater within the site and prevent flooding during periods of bad weather, contractor O’Flanagan Homes, required a drainage solution that could be integrated within the site and found the solution in StormCrate.    Brett Martin provided O’Flanagan Homes with 180 StormCrates which were used to create a 54.5m3 underground storage tank, constructed in three layers at a depth of 2 metres beneath the entrance road, to offset stormwater run-off from the developed area.  Commenting on the installation, Danny O‘Flanagan of O’Flanagan Homes commented: “We have used StormCrates on other projects and they are an ideal solution for managing stormwater run-off.  Lightweight, easy to move and incredibly strong, we used them to create an underground tank beneath the permeable paving in the entrance road of the development.” The use of StormCrates from Brett Martin Plumbing and Drainage ensured this new housing development had a proven rainwater attenuation solution which will reduce demand on built drainage and the sewerage infrastructure. Visit: www.brettmartin.com
    Aug 31, 2018 148
  • 30 Aug 2018
    When a façade is constructed, the insulation used for fire, thermal and acoustic performance is often hidden so its impact from a building control point of view is very difficult to see writes  William McDowell, Business Development & Product Manager, SIDERISE. Whether the insulation is there or not, it is extremely hard to determine if it has been installed correctly. Building control therefore has an unenviable task to ensure buildings comply with building regulations and local agreements.   One of the biggest difficulties is that building control officers are covering a wide range of building performance criteria. Materials are constantly evolving and enter the marketplace on a frequent basis while challenging designs are commonplace. This means that building control are presented on a daily basis with situations that they don’t 100% know. Invariably, they default to a very conservative position.  If ‘x’ is required then they won’t move from that standpoint even if there is a good argument to suggest that allowance needs to be made. Understandably, they end up being very conservative in their approach and only react on the information they have. To help building control, it’s very important that manufacturers of building products are able to technically support their products with a great deal of knowledge and a comprehensive database supported by appropriate and current test data. If building control were to speak to the technical team at SIDERISE for example, they can respond with confidence and knowledge, to help steer them toward a sensible conclusion.  Building control officers won’t be swayed by a salesperson; they will be speaking to a technical expert who can show them they understand the application. They can demonstrate they have the appropriate technical knowledge and test data to support the argument which in turn can help building control move towards a viable decision. Furthermore, manufacturers have a responsibility to demonstrate how to use their products by offering installer’s toolbox talks and providing product literature that demonstrates how products should be correctly used. It’s not uncommon to learn that someone has installed something incorrectly because they didn’t know how to install it in the first place. With building regulations lagging behind the development of new materials and their impact on design, it has become increasingly important for manufacturers of construction products to provide advice and assistance at every stage of a project’s process, from conception through to construction and after. Visit: www.siderise.com
    188 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When a façade is constructed, the insulation used for fire, thermal and acoustic performance is often hidden so its impact from a building control point of view is very difficult to see writes  William McDowell, Business Development & Product Manager, SIDERISE. Whether the insulation is there or not, it is extremely hard to determine if it has been installed correctly. Building control therefore has an unenviable task to ensure buildings comply with building regulations and local agreements.   One of the biggest difficulties is that building control officers are covering a wide range of building performance criteria. Materials are constantly evolving and enter the marketplace on a frequent basis while challenging designs are commonplace. This means that building control are presented on a daily basis with situations that they don’t 100% know. Invariably, they default to a very conservative position.  If ‘x’ is required then they won’t move from that standpoint even if there is a good argument to suggest that allowance needs to be made. Understandably, they end up being very conservative in their approach and only react on the information they have. To help building control, it’s very important that manufacturers of building products are able to technically support their products with a great deal of knowledge and a comprehensive database supported by appropriate and current test data. If building control were to speak to the technical team at SIDERISE for example, they can respond with confidence and knowledge, to help steer them toward a sensible conclusion.  Building control officers won’t be swayed by a salesperson; they will be speaking to a technical expert who can show them they understand the application. They can demonstrate they have the appropriate technical knowledge and test data to support the argument which in turn can help building control move towards a viable decision. Furthermore, manufacturers have a responsibility to demonstrate how to use their products by offering installer’s toolbox talks and providing product literature that demonstrates how products should be correctly used. It’s not uncommon to learn that someone has installed something incorrectly because they didn’t know how to install it in the first place. With building regulations lagging behind the development of new materials and their impact on design, it has become increasingly important for manufacturers of construction products to provide advice and assistance at every stage of a project’s process, from conception through to construction and after. Visit: www.siderise.com
    Aug 30, 2018 188
  • 29 Aug 2018
    ‘Significant’ concerns that Britain’s labour force was under-skilled compared with other nations was a major driving force for learning and development programmes in the 19th century – how times haven’t changed, writes Jayne Fergusson, Operations Director at NCTS,. A definitive solution to the current skills shortage within the UK construction industry has yet to be found, increasing the need for training courses which offer candidates of all ability to gain a recognised qualification. A vocational NVQ Level 2 certificate and a Construction Skilled Certification Scheme (CSCS) Blue Skilled Worker card are vital accessories for those looking for a long and fulfilling career in the building trade. A CSCS card is increasingly required to gain access to construction sites as proof that individuals possess, or are in the process of, working towards a recognised qualification in the work they carry out. Signing-up to a Basic Competency Programme (BCP) or OSAT can be the first step towards achieving this. Qualification routes Basic Competency Program (BCP) Aimed at those who have neither a full competency or an official Lead, Stainless-Steel and Aluminium roofing qualification, BCP provides candidates with an opportunity to become qualified and convert their Green ‘labourer’ CSCS card to a Blue ‘skilled worker’ CSCS card, via a Red Experienced Worker card. The Lead Contractors Association (LCA), in conjunction with the Federation of Traditional Metal Roofing Contractors (FTMRC), are providing BCP training for Lead, Stainless-Steel and Aluminium roofing. Those who complete the programme will not only have covered sections of the Level 2 qualification, they will be in receipt of a certificate of competency in the knowledge and understanding of product systems, health, safety and welfare at a recognised level in the industry. The relevant roofing industry trade body will profile roofing operatives and advise the best route for further training or assessment to ultimately achieve an NVQ Level 2 and means to a Blue Skilled Worker CSCS card. Kick-start Certificated BCP operatives are able to apply for a three-year Red Experienced Worker CSCS card which will put them on the path to becoming competent and qualified.  The Red Experienced CSCS cannot be renewed and the qualification must be achieved within a three-year period. The BCP courses are being run in various locations in the UK to save time and travel with many available dates so that employers can be flexible with staff attendance. Ultimately, the BCP, which is endorsed by CITB, NFRC, Competent Roofer, Roofing Industry Alliance and CSCS, offers operatives a kick-start towards official recognition for the everyday work they carry out, instilling confidence in themselves and others that they possess the knowledge and skills to complete projects safely and to the highest quality. On-Site Assessment Training Alternatively, a Level 2 NVQ and Skilled Worker CSCS card can be obtained via On-site Assessment Programme (OSAT) - for roofing contractors with many years’ experience, but not in possession of a recognised industry qualification. The programme involves assessments of candidates’ on-site performance; their skills and abidance to practices such as health, height, safety and environment. Trainees and employers will be provided with a detailed report on their performance whilst outlining areas of improvement where necessary.  As the innovative programme is part-funded by the CITB, members are eligible for a grant towards OSAT fees. Following successful completion of a health, height, safety and environment test, they can register for a Level 2 NVQ which can be completed within three-to-nine months.  On completion a Blue Skilled Work CSCS card can be applied for. If, according to the well-known phrase, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, BCPs and OSATs are the innovative response to the country’s desperate need for a qualified and talented workforce to help solve the current property crisis. Visit: www.ncts.org.uk
    195 Posted by Talk. Build
  • ‘Significant’ concerns that Britain’s labour force was under-skilled compared with other nations was a major driving force for learning and development programmes in the 19th century – how times haven’t changed, writes Jayne Fergusson, Operations Director at NCTS,. A definitive solution to the current skills shortage within the UK construction industry has yet to be found, increasing the need for training courses which offer candidates of all ability to gain a recognised qualification. A vocational NVQ Level 2 certificate and a Construction Skilled Certification Scheme (CSCS) Blue Skilled Worker card are vital accessories for those looking for a long and fulfilling career in the building trade. A CSCS card is increasingly required to gain access to construction sites as proof that individuals possess, or are in the process of, working towards a recognised qualification in the work they carry out. Signing-up to a Basic Competency Programme (BCP) or OSAT can be the first step towards achieving this. Qualification routes Basic Competency Program (BCP) Aimed at those who have neither a full competency or an official Lead, Stainless-Steel and Aluminium roofing qualification, BCP provides candidates with an opportunity to become qualified and convert their Green ‘labourer’ CSCS card to a Blue ‘skilled worker’ CSCS card, via a Red Experienced Worker card. The Lead Contractors Association (LCA), in conjunction with the Federation of Traditional Metal Roofing Contractors (FTMRC), are providing BCP training for Lead, Stainless-Steel and Aluminium roofing. Those who complete the programme will not only have covered sections of the Level 2 qualification, they will be in receipt of a certificate of competency in the knowledge and understanding of product systems, health, safety and welfare at a recognised level in the industry. The relevant roofing industry trade body will profile roofing operatives and advise the best route for further training or assessment to ultimately achieve an NVQ Level 2 and means to a Blue Skilled Worker CSCS card. Kick-start Certificated BCP operatives are able to apply for a three-year Red Experienced Worker CSCS card which will put them on the path to becoming competent and qualified.  The Red Experienced CSCS cannot be renewed and the qualification must be achieved within a three-year period. The BCP courses are being run in various locations in the UK to save time and travel with many available dates so that employers can be flexible with staff attendance. Ultimately, the BCP, which is endorsed by CITB, NFRC, Competent Roofer, Roofing Industry Alliance and CSCS, offers operatives a kick-start towards official recognition for the everyday work they carry out, instilling confidence in themselves and others that they possess the knowledge and skills to complete projects safely and to the highest quality. On-Site Assessment Training Alternatively, a Level 2 NVQ and Skilled Worker CSCS card can be obtained via On-site Assessment Programme (OSAT) - for roofing contractors with many years’ experience, but not in possession of a recognised industry qualification. The programme involves assessments of candidates’ on-site performance; their skills and abidance to practices such as health, height, safety and environment. Trainees and employers will be provided with a detailed report on their performance whilst outlining areas of improvement where necessary.  As the innovative programme is part-funded by the CITB, members are eligible for a grant towards OSAT fees. Following successful completion of a health, height, safety and environment test, they can register for a Level 2 NVQ which can be completed within three-to-nine months.  On completion a Blue Skilled Work CSCS card can be applied for. If, according to the well-known phrase, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’, BCPs and OSATs are the innovative response to the country’s desperate need for a qualified and talented workforce to help solve the current property crisis. Visit: www.ncts.org.uk
    Aug 29, 2018 195