• 04 Sep 2017
    The construction industry has been experimenting with 3D printers since they were first invented in the 1980’s but in recent years as they have become less expensive, this technology is showing that it might well make a real contribution to buildings of the future. The technology can already be used to create construction components or to 'print' entire buildings and because of our detailed and stringent design processes our industry is well-suited to 3D printing as much of the information necessary to create components already exists. More recently, with the introduction of BIM modelling, we may well see this process being accelerated. A 3D digital model of a product or component can be created using CAD or a 3D scanner. The printer then reads that design and lays down successive layers of printing medium which are joined or fused to create the end component. There are many examples of successful 3D projects allied to construction. In 2014, engineers at Arup fabricated a sreel node for a lightweight structure and the University of California has developed a process of contour crafting using concrete to produce small-scale models of the external and internal wallos. According to sources from the BBC, Shanghai based WinSun Decoration Design Engineering has used large 3D printers to spray a mixture of quick drying cement and recycled raw materials which has enabled them to construct 10 small demonstration 'houses' in less than 24 hours. They are encouraged by the fact that each house costs just $5,000 dollar a time using this technology. Construction Manager Magazine reported in July 2014 that a Chinese company, Qingdao Unique Products had unveiled the World's largest 3D printer. Its first job was to print a 7m high Temple of Heaven. In Spain, the first pedestrian bridge printed in 3D in the world was inaugurated 14th of December of 2016 in the urban park of Castilla-La Mancha in Alcobendas, Madrid.  The bridge has a total length of 12 metres and a width of 1.75 metres and is printed in micro- reinforced concrete.  What all of these projects have in common is the potential for enormous cost savings with faster building times and fewer hours on site being an enormous attraction for an industry obsessed by price and it’s almost certain that 3D will carve out an enormous niche for itself in the market place. On the negative side, it will require enormous investment in specialist machinery and while we can still see a growing trend towards off site production, which is well suited to 3D this writer believes we still have a long way to go. So for the moment, traditional building materials are not under threat – or are they? By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    539 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry has been experimenting with 3D printers since they were first invented in the 1980’s but in recent years as they have become less expensive, this technology is showing that it might well make a real contribution to buildings of the future. The technology can already be used to create construction components or to 'print' entire buildings and because of our detailed and stringent design processes our industry is well-suited to 3D printing as much of the information necessary to create components already exists. More recently, with the introduction of BIM modelling, we may well see this process being accelerated. A 3D digital model of a product or component can be created using CAD or a 3D scanner. The printer then reads that design and lays down successive layers of printing medium which are joined or fused to create the end component. There are many examples of successful 3D projects allied to construction. In 2014, engineers at Arup fabricated a sreel node for a lightweight structure and the University of California has developed a process of contour crafting using concrete to produce small-scale models of the external and internal wallos. According to sources from the BBC, Shanghai based WinSun Decoration Design Engineering has used large 3D printers to spray a mixture of quick drying cement and recycled raw materials which has enabled them to construct 10 small demonstration 'houses' in less than 24 hours. They are encouraged by the fact that each house costs just $5,000 dollar a time using this technology. Construction Manager Magazine reported in July 2014 that a Chinese company, Qingdao Unique Products had unveiled the World's largest 3D printer. Its first job was to print a 7m high Temple of Heaven. In Spain, the first pedestrian bridge printed in 3D in the world was inaugurated 14th of December of 2016 in the urban park of Castilla-La Mancha in Alcobendas, Madrid.  The bridge has a total length of 12 metres and a width of 1.75 metres and is printed in micro- reinforced concrete.  What all of these projects have in common is the potential for enormous cost savings with faster building times and fewer hours on site being an enormous attraction for an industry obsessed by price and it’s almost certain that 3D will carve out an enormous niche for itself in the market place. On the negative side, it will require enormous investment in specialist machinery and while we can still see a growing trend towards off site production, which is well suited to 3D this writer believes we still have a long way to go. So for the moment, traditional building materials are not under threat – or are they? By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 04, 2017 539
  • 03 Sep 2017
    When you consider the global population is set to increase by another 2 billion by 2050 and with 70% of the world’s population living in cities, there will an unprecedented demand for energy across the planet. The opportunity for architects and stakeholders to create buildings which reduce energy use has never been more apparent.  But can energy efficiency be achieved whilst still maintaining architectural intent? One of the key challenges for architects is working in any way that is inclusive to others so that energy performance can be achieved. Once this challenge is overcome, it’s possible to look at what needs to be achieved in terms of design and energy performance, and then endeavour to make it happen.  The environmental integrity of any building, both in terms of design and operation, must be a key consideration in the design of new buildings and the renovation of existing ones. More and more architects and designers are realising that if you design to be energy efficient it improves quality of life and minimises the harmful impacts on our health.  At the same time, clients are reaping the benefits of more environmentally responsible buildings through future-proofing, reduced operating costs, and comfort and health benefits. Sustainability and environmental objectives can be made a priority in every building design and as such, the thermal performance of the building envelope can make a significant contribution to reducing the overall building energy usage.  The use of renewable energy sources such as wind, geothermal and solar along with the orientation of a building to take full advantage of seasonal changes in the sun’s position are all important steps that can be taken to design for energy efficiency. Indoor environmental quality and how occupants feel in a space is also intrinsic to how an architect strikes a balance between design and sustainability. A healthy indoor environment can be achieved through adequate ventilation, temperature control and the use of low VOC materials. So what is holding back some architects and building owners? Some remain sceptical about climate change while others are not familiar with the new tools and processes that have emerged in recent years to support energy-efficient design. Others might say it costs too much.  Yet evidence increasingly shows that higher performance need not mean higher costs.  It’s possible to integrate environmentally- conscious features and also make fundamental decisions regarding sustainability early in the design process which saves time and money in the long term. Some of the biggest successes in history have come about because of a problem and someone saying let’s work with someone else to try and resolve this problem. From the industrial revolution to the lightbulb to the moon landing, all have come about because of a problem and how we overcame it.  No one person has done it on their own; it’s been a collaboration.  When we collaborate, we achieve things that are far better than when we don’t collaborate. By Darren Evans, Managing Director, Darren Evans Assessments Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    408 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When you consider the global population is set to increase by another 2 billion by 2050 and with 70% of the world’s population living in cities, there will an unprecedented demand for energy across the planet. The opportunity for architects and stakeholders to create buildings which reduce energy use has never been more apparent.  But can energy efficiency be achieved whilst still maintaining architectural intent? One of the key challenges for architects is working in any way that is inclusive to others so that energy performance can be achieved. Once this challenge is overcome, it’s possible to look at what needs to be achieved in terms of design and energy performance, and then endeavour to make it happen.  The environmental integrity of any building, both in terms of design and operation, must be a key consideration in the design of new buildings and the renovation of existing ones. More and more architects and designers are realising that if you design to be energy efficient it improves quality of life and minimises the harmful impacts on our health.  At the same time, clients are reaping the benefits of more environmentally responsible buildings through future-proofing, reduced operating costs, and comfort and health benefits. Sustainability and environmental objectives can be made a priority in every building design and as such, the thermal performance of the building envelope can make a significant contribution to reducing the overall building energy usage.  The use of renewable energy sources such as wind, geothermal and solar along with the orientation of a building to take full advantage of seasonal changes in the sun’s position are all important steps that can be taken to design for energy efficiency. Indoor environmental quality and how occupants feel in a space is also intrinsic to how an architect strikes a balance between design and sustainability. A healthy indoor environment can be achieved through adequate ventilation, temperature control and the use of low VOC materials. So what is holding back some architects and building owners? Some remain sceptical about climate change while others are not familiar with the new tools and processes that have emerged in recent years to support energy-efficient design. Others might say it costs too much.  Yet evidence increasingly shows that higher performance need not mean higher costs.  It’s possible to integrate environmentally- conscious features and also make fundamental decisions regarding sustainability early in the design process which saves time and money in the long term. Some of the biggest successes in history have come about because of a problem and someone saying let’s work with someone else to try and resolve this problem. From the industrial revolution to the lightbulb to the moon landing, all have come about because of a problem and how we overcame it.  No one person has done it on their own; it’s been a collaboration.  When we collaborate, we achieve things that are far better than when we don’t collaborate. By Darren Evans, Managing Director, Darren Evans Assessments Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    Sep 03, 2017 408
  • 02 Sep 2017
    Most people in the construction industry are aware of the enormous skills shortage in all of the building trades. Bricklaying is no exception and there are many anecdotal reports of brick layers earning the equivalent of a “Kings Ransom” as main contractors compete for their skills. So it comes as no surprise to learn that engineers have now developed robots to replace bricklayers and word is that they can do the job six times as fast and could eventually do away with the need to employ humans. Australian company Fastbrick Robotics - https://www.fbr.com.au/ has developed a proof of concept for a commercial bricklaying machine called Hadrian X. Using computer aided design, the Hadrian X robotic bricklayer is able to handle the automatic loading, cutting, routing and placement of all bricks to build a complete structure. The company claims it can build a four bedroomed house in just two days without any human assistance. In America, a company called Construction Robotics - http://www.construction-robotics.com/ - has developed the SAM100, a bricklaying robot designed to work with a human bricklayer by assisting with the repetitive and strenuous tasks of lifting and placing each brick. It’s said that the bricklayer will continue to be responsible for the site setup and final wall quality, but will be able to improve his or her efficiency through the operation of SAM. However, robots like this can lay six times as many bricks a day as human builders and some commentators are seriously suggesting that humans will soon be few and far between on building sites. There are reports that SAM100 is already beginning to replace humans on a handful of sites in America, and Construction Robotics has said that it is hoping to introduce these robots into Britain very soon. While many may now be thinking that “Terminator” is about to become science fact it is reassuring to emphasise that SAM, for the moment, only has the ability to pick up bricks, apply mortar and lay them.  The robot needs to be heavily supervised by humans who have to set up the machines, supervise health and safety and assist with laying bricks at difficult angles, as well as clearing up. But with advances in technology the commentators could be proved right in the long term with robots replacing all human craft skills - it’s a bleak thought. By John Ridgeway   Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    534 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Most people in the construction industry are aware of the enormous skills shortage in all of the building trades. Bricklaying is no exception and there are many anecdotal reports of brick layers earning the equivalent of a “Kings Ransom” as main contractors compete for their skills. So it comes as no surprise to learn that engineers have now developed robots to replace bricklayers and word is that they can do the job six times as fast and could eventually do away with the need to employ humans. Australian company Fastbrick Robotics - https://www.fbr.com.au/ has developed a proof of concept for a commercial bricklaying machine called Hadrian X. Using computer aided design, the Hadrian X robotic bricklayer is able to handle the automatic loading, cutting, routing and placement of all bricks to build a complete structure. The company claims it can build a four bedroomed house in just two days without any human assistance. In America, a company called Construction Robotics - http://www.construction-robotics.com/ - has developed the SAM100, a bricklaying robot designed to work with a human bricklayer by assisting with the repetitive and strenuous tasks of lifting and placing each brick. It’s said that the bricklayer will continue to be responsible for the site setup and final wall quality, but will be able to improve his or her efficiency through the operation of SAM. However, robots like this can lay six times as many bricks a day as human builders and some commentators are seriously suggesting that humans will soon be few and far between on building sites. There are reports that SAM100 is already beginning to replace humans on a handful of sites in America, and Construction Robotics has said that it is hoping to introduce these robots into Britain very soon. While many may now be thinking that “Terminator” is about to become science fact it is reassuring to emphasise that SAM, for the moment, only has the ability to pick up bricks, apply mortar and lay them.  The robot needs to be heavily supervised by humans who have to set up the machines, supervise health and safety and assist with laying bricks at difficult angles, as well as clearing up. But with advances in technology the commentators could be proved right in the long term with robots replacing all human craft skills - it’s a bleak thought. By John Ridgeway   Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    Sep 02, 2017 534
  • 01 Sep 2017
    The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) should be congratulated for their latest initiative to raise the profile of the workforce and improve standards. Chief executive James Talman has set out three objectives which he believes are needed to take the industry forward in what he calls “The Roofing Sector Workforce Development Strategy.” These are to: Establish roofing as a professional, modern respected and aspirational sector with clear career paths; able to attract the best and brightest apprentices, students and new works. Formalise and standardise a higher UK-wide training, accreditation and assessment infrastructure, to upskill and multi-skill its growing work force. Proactive engagement with all roofing sector companies, suppliers and trade associations and seeking endorsement and commitment from all procurement stakeholders; enabling growth increased training and access to grants and higher standards. In all the excitement it would be easy to forget that there is one key sector within roofing that successfully went down this path many years ago – and that would be the mastic asphalt industry. Most of the major contractors within mastic asphalt, via its trade association MAC, have successfully encouraged and supported apprenticeships for many years. All operatives have to have some three years of training before they reach the required craft skills - backed by CITB-approved training schemes, to a minimum of NVQ Level 2 and, ideally, to NVQ Level 3. It has resulted in the most highly trained workforce within roofing which has enabled the industry to support some of the most comprehensive guarantee schemes and warranties – knowing that it has a proven product that can only be installed by the very best. Until now there have been few other areas within roofing that offer the same high standards and support for building owners, architects and all other construction professionals, so it can only be hoped that James Talman will succeed with his new initiative. MAC successfully gives accreditation to all its members and over the years the NFRC has also ensured that it attracts the best operatives, but it only has around 1,000 members and these already represent the cream of the industry. Proof that the scheme will work will only be seen when this initiative goes out to a wider audience. We still have many thousands of so called “ladder and bucket” roofers which are traditionally hard to reach with any new message. We have even more general builders who call themselves roofing contractors when a potential job is in the offing – so it will be intriguing to see how the strategy will work in these areas. The rest of Europe does things slightly differently and roofing is seen for the highly skilled job it really is so I hope that this initiative will succeed at every level and root out the cowboys and make it impossible for them to operate. I fear that this is still a long way off – but you have to start somewhere – so all power to the NFRC. By John Ridgeway  Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    504 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The National Federation of Roofing Contractors (NFRC) should be congratulated for their latest initiative to raise the profile of the workforce and improve standards. Chief executive James Talman has set out three objectives which he believes are needed to take the industry forward in what he calls “The Roofing Sector Workforce Development Strategy.” These are to: Establish roofing as a professional, modern respected and aspirational sector with clear career paths; able to attract the best and brightest apprentices, students and new works. Formalise and standardise a higher UK-wide training, accreditation and assessment infrastructure, to upskill and multi-skill its growing work force. Proactive engagement with all roofing sector companies, suppliers and trade associations and seeking endorsement and commitment from all procurement stakeholders; enabling growth increased training and access to grants and higher standards. In all the excitement it would be easy to forget that there is one key sector within roofing that successfully went down this path many years ago – and that would be the mastic asphalt industry. Most of the major contractors within mastic asphalt, via its trade association MAC, have successfully encouraged and supported apprenticeships for many years. All operatives have to have some three years of training before they reach the required craft skills - backed by CITB-approved training schemes, to a minimum of NVQ Level 2 and, ideally, to NVQ Level 3. It has resulted in the most highly trained workforce within roofing which has enabled the industry to support some of the most comprehensive guarantee schemes and warranties – knowing that it has a proven product that can only be installed by the very best. Until now there have been few other areas within roofing that offer the same high standards and support for building owners, architects and all other construction professionals, so it can only be hoped that James Talman will succeed with his new initiative. MAC successfully gives accreditation to all its members and over the years the NFRC has also ensured that it attracts the best operatives, but it only has around 1,000 members and these already represent the cream of the industry. Proof that the scheme will work will only be seen when this initiative goes out to a wider audience. We still have many thousands of so called “ladder and bucket” roofers which are traditionally hard to reach with any new message. We have even more general builders who call themselves roofing contractors when a potential job is in the offing – so it will be intriguing to see how the strategy will work in these areas. The rest of Europe does things slightly differently and roofing is seen for the highly skilled job it really is so I hope that this initiative will succeed at every level and root out the cowboys and make it impossible for them to operate. I fear that this is still a long way off – but you have to start somewhere – so all power to the NFRC. By John Ridgeway  Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    Sep 01, 2017 504
  • 31 Aug 2017
    The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    1164 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    Aug 31, 2017 1164
  • 30 Aug 2017
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everything we hoped to achieve in life went according to plan? If every car we bought lived-up to its showroom tag of being a ‘good, reliable, runner’; if every holiday destination was as idyllic and desirable as it appeared in the brochure; if every day at the office was as productive and rewarding as we convinced ourselves it would be when we arrived at 9am. The harsh reality is, however, no matter how diligently we prepare for the best possible outcome in any given situation, events, sometimes beyond our control, cause our best-laid plans to go awry. Poured concrete installation, a vital process in the construction of new buildings, roads and other critical infrastructure, doesn’t always run smoothly. From the presence of small pin-holes due to water damage, to low cover of concrete by insufficient material quantity; there are a number of defects that can be caused by on-site application error or environmental factors. When such issues occur, the availability of quick and easy-to-use products is key to addressing failings and returning a project to its correct course. In Sika, the construction industry has a manufacturer which can be relied upon to supply the right product for the right repair.  Concrete issues Before we consider the solutions, let’s examine the problems that can arise during poured concrete installation. The aforementioned surface pin-holing or honeycombing can occur due to insufficient aggregate in the original pour, leading to a less-than smooth finish. Voids, or small chasms in concrete are another potential issue. Incorrect application of a release agent, water or air can lead to this issue, resulting in a surface that appears damaged or cracked. Shutter removal in freshly-poured concrete can be damaging, as can rainwater landing on recently cast slag, leading to an uneven and imperfect slab. There is potential for cracking in concrete when there’s excess water in the poured mix, or rapid drying takes place. In places of high traffic, damaged edges can occur, whilst incorrect placement of the formwork or damage to the original cover is a cause of low concrete cover. A lack of steel strengthening in the original build can also weaken a concrete installation over time. In all the above instances repairs need to be quick, effective and make the poured concrete look as good as new. Sika has a wide range of proven concrete repair solutions for a wide range of issues. These include: Surface pin-holing: Sika® MonoTop®-620 Honeycombing: Sika® MonoTop®-615, Sika® MonoTop®-614F Shutter damage: Sika® MonoTop®-620 Spalled -Small areas: Sika® Monotop®-612, Sika® Monotop®-615, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Spalled – Large areas: Sikacem® 133S Gunite, Sikacem® 133F Gunite Cracking: Sikadur®-31, Sikadur®-52  Damaged edges: Sikadur®-41, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Low Concrete Cover: Sika® Ferrogard®-903+, Sika® MonoTop®-610, Sika® MonoTop®-615, Sika® MonoTop®-612, Sika® MonoTop®-614F, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Rain Damaged Slab: Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar, Sika® MonoTop®-614F Sika® Screed Hardtop- 60 Errors of judgement are a fact of life and some are more costly than others, particularly on-site. It’s how we react to these indiscretions that count, and in the construction industry it often requires a response that is as rapid as it is effective to prevent seemingly minor issues creating obstacles to a building project’s long-term stability. Make no mistake, whatever the issue; Sika has a proven, quality concrete repair solution. By Charles Pierce, National Sales Manager – Technical Manager Refurbishment, Sika Visit:  www.sika.co.uk
    419 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everything we hoped to achieve in life went according to plan? If every car we bought lived-up to its showroom tag of being a ‘good, reliable, runner’; if every holiday destination was as idyllic and desirable as it appeared in the brochure; if every day at the office was as productive and rewarding as we convinced ourselves it would be when we arrived at 9am. The harsh reality is, however, no matter how diligently we prepare for the best possible outcome in any given situation, events, sometimes beyond our control, cause our best-laid plans to go awry. Poured concrete installation, a vital process in the construction of new buildings, roads and other critical infrastructure, doesn’t always run smoothly. From the presence of small pin-holes due to water damage, to low cover of concrete by insufficient material quantity; there are a number of defects that can be caused by on-site application error or environmental factors. When such issues occur, the availability of quick and easy-to-use products is key to addressing failings and returning a project to its correct course. In Sika, the construction industry has a manufacturer which can be relied upon to supply the right product for the right repair.  Concrete issues Before we consider the solutions, let’s examine the problems that can arise during poured concrete installation. The aforementioned surface pin-holing or honeycombing can occur due to insufficient aggregate in the original pour, leading to a less-than smooth finish. Voids, or small chasms in concrete are another potential issue. Incorrect application of a release agent, water or air can lead to this issue, resulting in a surface that appears damaged or cracked. Shutter removal in freshly-poured concrete can be damaging, as can rainwater landing on recently cast slag, leading to an uneven and imperfect slab. There is potential for cracking in concrete when there’s excess water in the poured mix, or rapid drying takes place. In places of high traffic, damaged edges can occur, whilst incorrect placement of the formwork or damage to the original cover is a cause of low concrete cover. A lack of steel strengthening in the original build can also weaken a concrete installation over time. In all the above instances repairs need to be quick, effective and make the poured concrete look as good as new. Sika has a wide range of proven concrete repair solutions for a wide range of issues. These include: Surface pin-holing: Sika® MonoTop®-620 Honeycombing: Sika® MonoTop®-615, Sika® MonoTop®-614F Shutter damage: Sika® MonoTop®-620 Spalled -Small areas: Sika® Monotop®-612, Sika® Monotop®-615, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Spalled – Large areas: Sikacem® 133S Gunite, Sikacem® 133F Gunite Cracking: Sikadur®-31, Sikadur®-52  Damaged edges: Sikadur®-41, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Low Concrete Cover: Sika® Ferrogard®-903+, Sika® MonoTop®-610, Sika® MonoTop®-615, Sika® MonoTop®-612, Sika® MonoTop®-614F, Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar Rain Damaged Slab: Sika® Rapid Repair Mortar, Sika® MonoTop®-614F Sika® Screed Hardtop- 60 Errors of judgement are a fact of life and some are more costly than others, particularly on-site. It’s how we react to these indiscretions that count, and in the construction industry it often requires a response that is as rapid as it is effective to prevent seemingly minor issues creating obstacles to a building project’s long-term stability. Make no mistake, whatever the issue; Sika has a proven, quality concrete repair solution. By Charles Pierce, National Sales Manager – Technical Manager Refurbishment, Sika Visit:  www.sika.co.uk
    Aug 30, 2017 419
  • 29 Aug 2017
    In 2013 the Government set out its strategy for the construction industry. Over 70 pages long it looked at all aspects of building and outlined a number of key aspirations. In broad terms the strategy set out to lower costs by 33%; reduce construction time by 50%; lower carbon emissions by 50% and increase exports by the same amount. This was of course all pre Brexit and while some may argue that all bets are now off, there are still certain factors within that strategy which will never change – most notably Climate Change – and how we in the construction industry will respond. One thing is for sure – we are still a long way off in terms of reducing carbon emissions, but, if you can for the moment put aside any pre-conceived ideas you might have about climate change – it does tend to provoke strong views on both sides – we do have to consider the long lifespan of our buildings. Some 87% of existing buildings will still be standing in 2050 so if there are going to be major changes in the weather as predicted by some experts then we need to be planning now. These experts claim that we are likely to experience hotter drier summers, warmer wetter winters, a rise in sea levels and an increase in extreme weather events which means our buildings need to adapt.  OK, so far nothing new and if you are a regular reader of the trade press there are numerous examples of manufacturers, architects and other construction professionals striving to produce greener buildings and a better environment. Trouble is it can be expensive to go green and for an industry that is cost averse there are just as many other examples where green products have been rejected in favour of something less environment friendly – even on Government and local authority owned buildings. We have seen tariffs on solar panels significantly reduced decimating this once thriving market; households are paying up to £200 a year more on their energy bills. In America they estimate that the price of going green will cost US tax payers some $1 trillion dollars every year for the next 45 years, which probably explains why Donald Trump is complaining.. Dealing with climate change is a challenge to the construction industry and one that must not be shirked but while cost remains a major factor then progress will continue to be slow. So while the construction industry should be proud of what it has achieved so far then it is probably down to Government to set the agenda as it once did with solar panels. Money is the best motivator to going green with possible subsidies on more environment friendly building materials and lower costs for those that really are trying to offset climate change. However – for the moment – this is a debate that will run and run. By Talk Builder. Follow me on Twitter @TalkBuilder    
    384 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In 2013 the Government set out its strategy for the construction industry. Over 70 pages long it looked at all aspects of building and outlined a number of key aspirations. In broad terms the strategy set out to lower costs by 33%; reduce construction time by 50%; lower carbon emissions by 50% and increase exports by the same amount. This was of course all pre Brexit and while some may argue that all bets are now off, there are still certain factors within that strategy which will never change – most notably Climate Change – and how we in the construction industry will respond. One thing is for sure – we are still a long way off in terms of reducing carbon emissions, but, if you can for the moment put aside any pre-conceived ideas you might have about climate change – it does tend to provoke strong views on both sides – we do have to consider the long lifespan of our buildings. Some 87% of existing buildings will still be standing in 2050 so if there are going to be major changes in the weather as predicted by some experts then we need to be planning now. These experts claim that we are likely to experience hotter drier summers, warmer wetter winters, a rise in sea levels and an increase in extreme weather events which means our buildings need to adapt.  OK, so far nothing new and if you are a regular reader of the trade press there are numerous examples of manufacturers, architects and other construction professionals striving to produce greener buildings and a better environment. Trouble is it can be expensive to go green and for an industry that is cost averse there are just as many other examples where green products have been rejected in favour of something less environment friendly – even on Government and local authority owned buildings. We have seen tariffs on solar panels significantly reduced decimating this once thriving market; households are paying up to £200 a year more on their energy bills. In America they estimate that the price of going green will cost US tax payers some $1 trillion dollars every year for the next 45 years, which probably explains why Donald Trump is complaining.. Dealing with climate change is a challenge to the construction industry and one that must not be shirked but while cost remains a major factor then progress will continue to be slow. So while the construction industry should be proud of what it has achieved so far then it is probably down to Government to set the agenda as it once did with solar panels. Money is the best motivator to going green with possible subsidies on more environment friendly building materials and lower costs for those that really are trying to offset climate change. However – for the moment – this is a debate that will run and run. By Talk Builder. Follow me on Twitter @TalkBuilder    
    Aug 29, 2017 384
  • 28 Aug 2017
    Building owners have become increasingly nervous in recent years about sanctioning the use of any kind of naked flame at roof level, traditionally a long standing method of applying waterproof membranes. This has resulted from increased pressure from insurance companies concerned about fire risk and some have banned the use completely of naked flame at roof level following several high profile incidents. The industry has responded with a huge range of cold applied membranes – some more effective than others – but now there is a new trend which could totally transform the way flat roofs are waterproofed. It is called Cold Melt®, an application registered by Proteus Waterproofing which offers building owners a membrane with all the advantages of the seamless application offered by mastic asphalt and hot melt products – with none of the perceived risks associated with other types of membrane. It must be emphasised that the roofing industry has an exemplary safety record with flame applied membranes and modern torches used for products such as felt significantly reduce the potential for fire risks, but cold melt seems to offer a lot more than a simple health and safety boost. By eliminating the need for heat then Cold Melt can be applied significantly more quickly by helping to reduce labour costs, but more importantly the membrane, according to the BBA (British Board of Agrement) will, when correctly applied will last for literally as long as the building remains standing. That’s quite a claim but when endorsed by the BBA it suggests that roofing membranes are now entering a new era but what is Cold Melt? Let’s look at the Commercial. Cold-Melt® is claimed to incorporate recycled rubber crumb and other organically grown products to create an elastomeric, seamless, cold applied membrane that can be applied to a wide range of substrates including concrete, asphalt and timber. As it exhibits extremely low odour, Cold-Melt® can also be applied in confined working spaces. So it seems there is a new kid on the block with some healthy credentials to back up his performance and if nothing else – it will keep the insurance companies happy. Visit: http://proteuswaterproofing.co.uk  
    474 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Building owners have become increasingly nervous in recent years about sanctioning the use of any kind of naked flame at roof level, traditionally a long standing method of applying waterproof membranes. This has resulted from increased pressure from insurance companies concerned about fire risk and some have banned the use completely of naked flame at roof level following several high profile incidents. The industry has responded with a huge range of cold applied membranes – some more effective than others – but now there is a new trend which could totally transform the way flat roofs are waterproofed. It is called Cold Melt®, an application registered by Proteus Waterproofing which offers building owners a membrane with all the advantages of the seamless application offered by mastic asphalt and hot melt products – with none of the perceived risks associated with other types of membrane. It must be emphasised that the roofing industry has an exemplary safety record with flame applied membranes and modern torches used for products such as felt significantly reduce the potential for fire risks, but cold melt seems to offer a lot more than a simple health and safety boost. By eliminating the need for heat then Cold Melt can be applied significantly more quickly by helping to reduce labour costs, but more importantly the membrane, according to the BBA (British Board of Agrement) will, when correctly applied will last for literally as long as the building remains standing. That’s quite a claim but when endorsed by the BBA it suggests that roofing membranes are now entering a new era but what is Cold Melt? Let’s look at the Commercial. Cold-Melt® is claimed to incorporate recycled rubber crumb and other organically grown products to create an elastomeric, seamless, cold applied membrane that can be applied to a wide range of substrates including concrete, asphalt and timber. As it exhibits extremely low odour, Cold-Melt® can also be applied in confined working spaces. So it seems there is a new kid on the block with some healthy credentials to back up his performance and if nothing else – it will keep the insurance companies happy. Visit: http://proteuswaterproofing.co.uk  
    Aug 28, 2017 474
  • 27 Aug 2017
    Most economists look at the construction industry as a real barometer in terms of trying forecast our financial future – all the more so since we voted to leave Europe. Government figures for building have been erratic at best over the last year but we are now starting to see a few glimmers of light. While the latest statistics show that construction output fell three month on three month by 1.3%, following a growth spurt of 1.1% in the first quarter of 2017, things are not looking entirely gloomy. Yes, there is still much uncertainty, particularly in the commercial sector. The latest figures reveal that output has been driven by falls in all new work, and repair and maintenance, which fell 1.3% and 1.4% respectively. Add on the fact that month-on-month construction output also fell in June 2017, contracting for the third consecutive month and decreasing by 0.1% compared with the previous month, you might feel that this writer is being a little optimistic. However, construction output still grew 0.9% compared with June 2016. The month-on-month decline of 0.1% in June 2017 was driven by a 1.1% fall in all repair and maintenance, but was offset by a 5.1% increase in private housing, which reached its highest level on record. To use the Government’s words: “The estimate for construction growth in Quarter 2 (April to June) 2017 has been revised from negative 0.9% in the preliminary estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) to negative 1.3%, which has no impact on quarterly GDP growth to one decimal place.” If you look beyond the jargon it means – no change. OK, so the figures are not as good as the start of the year when UK construction activity rose to a four-month high, but these merely demonstrate the level of uncertainty and wait and see attitude from some of the country’s largest clients. Many manufacturers of construction materials are privately reporting big order books which are just waiting for the green light from contractors and clients to start work. Pessimists will take this to read that things will just get worse as clients are not prepared to press the go button, but as I write this short blog we are seeing some massive new contracts being won in recent weeks and a new sense of optimism. It could just be that construction once again leads the way and lights the path for a prosperous future outside of Europe. By Talk Builder  Follow me on Twitter  @TalkBuilder      
    361 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Most economists look at the construction industry as a real barometer in terms of trying forecast our financial future – all the more so since we voted to leave Europe. Government figures for building have been erratic at best over the last year but we are now starting to see a few glimmers of light. While the latest statistics show that construction output fell three month on three month by 1.3%, following a growth spurt of 1.1% in the first quarter of 2017, things are not looking entirely gloomy. Yes, there is still much uncertainty, particularly in the commercial sector. The latest figures reveal that output has been driven by falls in all new work, and repair and maintenance, which fell 1.3% and 1.4% respectively. Add on the fact that month-on-month construction output also fell in June 2017, contracting for the third consecutive month and decreasing by 0.1% compared with the previous month, you might feel that this writer is being a little optimistic. However, construction output still grew 0.9% compared with June 2016. The month-on-month decline of 0.1% in June 2017 was driven by a 1.1% fall in all repair and maintenance, but was offset by a 5.1% increase in private housing, which reached its highest level on record. To use the Government’s words: “The estimate for construction growth in Quarter 2 (April to June) 2017 has been revised from negative 0.9% in the preliminary estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) to negative 1.3%, which has no impact on quarterly GDP growth to one decimal place.” If you look beyond the jargon it means – no change. OK, so the figures are not as good as the start of the year when UK construction activity rose to a four-month high, but these merely demonstrate the level of uncertainty and wait and see attitude from some of the country’s largest clients. Many manufacturers of construction materials are privately reporting big order books which are just waiting for the green light from contractors and clients to start work. Pessimists will take this to read that things will just get worse as clients are not prepared to press the go button, but as I write this short blog we are seeing some massive new contracts being won in recent weeks and a new sense of optimism. It could just be that construction once again leads the way and lights the path for a prosperous future outside of Europe. By Talk Builder  Follow me on Twitter  @TalkBuilder      
    Aug 27, 2017 361
  • 26 Aug 2017
    Theft from construction sites has always been a major problem and losses are now estimated to exceed some £900 million pounds every year, a figure that has changed little since the Government last took a serious look at the situation back in the year 2000. Advice to the industry in terms of increasing security measures on site has not changed much either, but as high levels of theft continue then it can only be assumed that the message is not getting through. According to the police and most other security experts, one of the biggest reasons tools, materials and plant are damaged or stolen is because they have no designated storage areas. With losses this high you would consider this to be a priority but clearly there are many sites that have not created storage spaces or created storage areas with robust security fencing. As an added layer of protection say the experts, it is possible to install commercial intruder alarms to help alert the police or act as a deterrent for other would-be thieves. Controlled entrance check points, engraving expensive tools, regular checks, security cameras all seem obvious precautions, but once again the assumption is that many of these measures are not in place in spite of numerous warnings A recent review conducted by leading insurer Allianz Cornhill, reveals that over £70 million of construction plant alone, including excavators, compressors and even cranes, has been stolen from construction sites in the last year, despite initiatives by the Government to encourage plant manufacturers to improve in-built security features. The insurer has also discovered that thieves have become more sophisticated in the methods they employ, even posing as plant manufacturers maintenance workers in order to remove vehicles from site. The problem, in part, stems from the tight deadlines which many construction projects operate under. Ease of use is of primary importance and the equipment needs to be available for operation immediately, without the need to disable immobilisation systems or search for unique keys. This has led manufacturers to develop plant with a single common key operation system, leaving much equipment on site wide open to thieves who can easily obtain keys says the insurer. The rate of theft is often made worse by the common practice on building sites of leaving keys somewhere in or near the equipment. Of those pieces of equipment that are locked up, a large majority are secured with a small chain and padlock that are easily removed. Thieves are also attracted to plant because of the very low recovery rates – less than 10 per cent compared with motor vehicles, which enjoy a recovery rate of around 55-60 per cent. This is because items of plant have few identifying marks that can be readily and easily seen and lack of registration documents mean it is difficult for the police to identify stolen plant and return it to the owner. Alan Harris, Allianz Cornhill Engineering Director, said: “The UK construction industry can ill afford to continue to lose equipment to theft at this rate. We knew the problem was bad but had not realised the massive economic impact this must have on the industry. As the commercial and residential property markets slow and the construction industry sees increasing pressure on profits, it cannot sit back and let more and more equipment be snatched from under its nose. ”Construction companies must wake up to the fact that small investments in security and registration can pay dividends. Money spent on security measures such as physical locking devices, covert identification marking of equipment and effective site and depot security can quickly be recovered through insurance discounts, reduced claims and less downtime. This will mean lower rates of theft and, ultimately, a lower cost to the industry” But we have heard it all before of course so the assumption probably means that contractors will be hit by even higher insurance premiums and when that cost becomes totally prohibitive – then maybe we will see real action to stop the theft epidemic. Shame it has to be that way By Talk Builder  Follow me on Twitter @TalkBuilder
    454 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Theft from construction sites has always been a major problem and losses are now estimated to exceed some £900 million pounds every year, a figure that has changed little since the Government last took a serious look at the situation back in the year 2000. Advice to the industry in terms of increasing security measures on site has not changed much either, but as high levels of theft continue then it can only be assumed that the message is not getting through. According to the police and most other security experts, one of the biggest reasons tools, materials and plant are damaged or stolen is because they have no designated storage areas. With losses this high you would consider this to be a priority but clearly there are many sites that have not created storage spaces or created storage areas with robust security fencing. As an added layer of protection say the experts, it is possible to install commercial intruder alarms to help alert the police or act as a deterrent for other would-be thieves. Controlled entrance check points, engraving expensive tools, regular checks, security cameras all seem obvious precautions, but once again the assumption is that many of these measures are not in place in spite of numerous warnings A recent review conducted by leading insurer Allianz Cornhill, reveals that over £70 million of construction plant alone, including excavators, compressors and even cranes, has been stolen from construction sites in the last year, despite initiatives by the Government to encourage plant manufacturers to improve in-built security features. The insurer has also discovered that thieves have become more sophisticated in the methods they employ, even posing as plant manufacturers maintenance workers in order to remove vehicles from site. The problem, in part, stems from the tight deadlines which many construction projects operate under. Ease of use is of primary importance and the equipment needs to be available for operation immediately, without the need to disable immobilisation systems or search for unique keys. This has led manufacturers to develop plant with a single common key operation system, leaving much equipment on site wide open to thieves who can easily obtain keys says the insurer. The rate of theft is often made worse by the common practice on building sites of leaving keys somewhere in or near the equipment. Of those pieces of equipment that are locked up, a large majority are secured with a small chain and padlock that are easily removed. Thieves are also attracted to plant because of the very low recovery rates – less than 10 per cent compared with motor vehicles, which enjoy a recovery rate of around 55-60 per cent. This is because items of plant have few identifying marks that can be readily and easily seen and lack of registration documents mean it is difficult for the police to identify stolen plant and return it to the owner. Alan Harris, Allianz Cornhill Engineering Director, said: “The UK construction industry can ill afford to continue to lose equipment to theft at this rate. We knew the problem was bad but had not realised the massive economic impact this must have on the industry. As the commercial and residential property markets slow and the construction industry sees increasing pressure on profits, it cannot sit back and let more and more equipment be snatched from under its nose. ”Construction companies must wake up to the fact that small investments in security and registration can pay dividends. Money spent on security measures such as physical locking devices, covert identification marking of equipment and effective site and depot security can quickly be recovered through insurance discounts, reduced claims and less downtime. This will mean lower rates of theft and, ultimately, a lower cost to the industry” But we have heard it all before of course so the assumption probably means that contractors will be hit by even higher insurance premiums and when that cost becomes totally prohibitive – then maybe we will see real action to stop the theft epidemic. Shame it has to be that way By Talk Builder  Follow me on Twitter @TalkBuilder
    Aug 26, 2017 454
  • 25 Aug 2017
    From Brent Cross in London to Union Square in Aberdeen, Bluewater in Kent to Kirkgate in Bradford, shopping malls across the UK must not only provide an attractive, modern shopping environment with a good tenant mix, they must provide a secure, high-quality and low maintenance environment.  Faced with the worst of Britain’s weather, these large retail spaces have all opted for one building material, mastic asphalt, a waterproofing system which delivers the kind of performance that building owners and modern retailers expect. According to the Mastic Asphalt Council, mastic asphalt remains a long established waterproofing membrane and continues to be the system of choice for many new and existing retail developments across the country.  When you consider that at many malls the car park deck and roof are one of the same, it’s absolutely critical that water ingress is prevented – a leak or failure of any kind could have catastrophic results. Structural waterproofing is crucial for the exposed areas of rooftop and multi storey car parks. Without it, water ingress occurs, weakening the concrete structure and corroding the steel reinforcements – which can prove fatal to any building - however, good waterproofing is only part of the story.  Any type of car park surface must also be immensely durable to tolerate constant vehicle trafficking. Modern mastic asphalt, developed over years of intensive research, has proven itself superior to many of the expensive systems on offer today.  Mastic asphalt offers superb value owing to its longevity and ease of installation.   Highly suitable for car park and roofing applications – mastic asphalt is not to be confused with tarmac is a void less blend of bitumen and graded limestone. Though wholly waterproof – it can withstand the heavy passage of vehicles that car park applications require and has high standards of skid resistance. Take the Kirkgate Shopping Centre Car Park in Bradford, a refurbishment where contractors resurfaced 11,000 square metres of the main top deck in just eleven weeks. The area provides the main customer access to the shops below and access was maintained at all times throughout the project, ensuring minimal disruption to traders and shoppers throughout the project. Mastic asphalt has one further advantage over other types of waterproof membrane – it is carbon neutral – a massive bonus for the nation’s retailers, anxious to show their green credentials and, when it has reached the end of its useful life, it can be recycled or used as roof screed, minimising the impact on the environment. Offering such a wealth of benefits, it’s easy to see why mastic asphalt remains the first choice for so many shopping centres that are not prepared to risk anything else. Visit: www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk    
    358 Posted by Talk. Build
  • From Brent Cross in London to Union Square in Aberdeen, Bluewater in Kent to Kirkgate in Bradford, shopping malls across the UK must not only provide an attractive, modern shopping environment with a good tenant mix, they must provide a secure, high-quality and low maintenance environment.  Faced with the worst of Britain’s weather, these large retail spaces have all opted for one building material, mastic asphalt, a waterproofing system which delivers the kind of performance that building owners and modern retailers expect. According to the Mastic Asphalt Council, mastic asphalt remains a long established waterproofing membrane and continues to be the system of choice for many new and existing retail developments across the country.  When you consider that at many malls the car park deck and roof are one of the same, it’s absolutely critical that water ingress is prevented – a leak or failure of any kind could have catastrophic results. Structural waterproofing is crucial for the exposed areas of rooftop and multi storey car parks. Without it, water ingress occurs, weakening the concrete structure and corroding the steel reinforcements – which can prove fatal to any building - however, good waterproofing is only part of the story.  Any type of car park surface must also be immensely durable to tolerate constant vehicle trafficking. Modern mastic asphalt, developed over years of intensive research, has proven itself superior to many of the expensive systems on offer today.  Mastic asphalt offers superb value owing to its longevity and ease of installation.   Highly suitable for car park and roofing applications – mastic asphalt is not to be confused with tarmac is a void less blend of bitumen and graded limestone. Though wholly waterproof – it can withstand the heavy passage of vehicles that car park applications require and has high standards of skid resistance. Take the Kirkgate Shopping Centre Car Park in Bradford, a refurbishment where contractors resurfaced 11,000 square metres of the main top deck in just eleven weeks. The area provides the main customer access to the shops below and access was maintained at all times throughout the project, ensuring minimal disruption to traders and shoppers throughout the project. Mastic asphalt has one further advantage over other types of waterproof membrane – it is carbon neutral – a massive bonus for the nation’s retailers, anxious to show their green credentials and, when it has reached the end of its useful life, it can be recycled or used as roof screed, minimising the impact on the environment. Offering such a wealth of benefits, it’s easy to see why mastic asphalt remains the first choice for so many shopping centres that are not prepared to risk anything else. Visit: www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk    
    Aug 25, 2017 358
  • 24 Aug 2017
    With people having far less control over indoor air quality in their offices, schools and hospitals, for example, than in their homes, the onus on creating a healthy indoor environment is down to the property owner or facility manager.  Too often, routine design and construction decisions can end up with indoor air quality (IAQ) issues. But it doesn’t have to be that way as it’s possible to achieve good IAQ without incurring undue expense or using practices that are beyond the capabilities of the building trade.  Often the challenge comes down to the monitoring aspect, which poses the question, what should we be monitoring against? Pollutants in buildings range from volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and emissions from products and cleaning products - gases such as nitrogen dioxide; ozone and carbon monoxide; particulate matter and fibres, and biological particles such as bacteria, fungi and pollen. Common building standards such as BREEAM and WELL help building owners and occupants operate healthy buildings, but along with RESET and the Green Building Council of Australia, these organisations have recently joined forces to establish a coordinated set of standards and guidelines for indoor and outdoor environmental monitoring systems and sensors. Better air quality inside office buildings will make employees happier and more productive and it can impact performance in schools and health outcomes for patients in hospitals. It’s why the interest in indoor environmental performance of buildings is growing rapidly across the industry. Under the WELL standard, building owners can install sensors that are monitoring pollutants in the air which will then inform the building management system.  If someone paints a wall with an oil-based paint for example, the chances are it will show up on the management system of the building because the detector in the extract air system will realise there is something that has contaminants in it. Environmental standards are also making sure that during construction and refits, contractors haven’t put something in the environment that, from a ventilation point-of-view, will impact the air quality to the detriment of occupants both now and in the longer term. All of our installations must conform to VOC guidelines, which in turn will ensure the environmental quality of the building. If we are working on one floor of a multi-story building, it’s imperative that we put suitable filters on the extract system, particularly if we can’t turn the system off because it’s providing air conditioning to other floors. There is a responsibility for the contractor to ensure the correct temporary filtration is used on the air systems to make sure dust and pollutants don’t get into the system.  The last thing a building owner wants is a lot of hazardous dust and contaminants being blown around a building to the detriment of the occupants. In any building, you are trying to control the temperature, the fresh air, the humidity, and reduce the complex mixture of pollutants. As the industry moves toward high performance green buildings, building professionals must become more knowledgeable about indoor environmental air quality and ensure IAQ strategies are incorporated throughout the build process. By Steven Argent, Construction Director at QOB Group Visit: http://www.qobgroup.com/  
    455 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With people having far less control over indoor air quality in their offices, schools and hospitals, for example, than in their homes, the onus on creating a healthy indoor environment is down to the property owner or facility manager.  Too often, routine design and construction decisions can end up with indoor air quality (IAQ) issues. But it doesn’t have to be that way as it’s possible to achieve good IAQ without incurring undue expense or using practices that are beyond the capabilities of the building trade.  Often the challenge comes down to the monitoring aspect, which poses the question, what should we be monitoring against? Pollutants in buildings range from volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and emissions from products and cleaning products - gases such as nitrogen dioxide; ozone and carbon monoxide; particulate matter and fibres, and biological particles such as bacteria, fungi and pollen. Common building standards such as BREEAM and WELL help building owners and occupants operate healthy buildings, but along with RESET and the Green Building Council of Australia, these organisations have recently joined forces to establish a coordinated set of standards and guidelines for indoor and outdoor environmental monitoring systems and sensors. Better air quality inside office buildings will make employees happier and more productive and it can impact performance in schools and health outcomes for patients in hospitals. It’s why the interest in indoor environmental performance of buildings is growing rapidly across the industry. Under the WELL standard, building owners can install sensors that are monitoring pollutants in the air which will then inform the building management system.  If someone paints a wall with an oil-based paint for example, the chances are it will show up on the management system of the building because the detector in the extract air system will realise there is something that has contaminants in it. Environmental standards are also making sure that during construction and refits, contractors haven’t put something in the environment that, from a ventilation point-of-view, will impact the air quality to the detriment of occupants both now and in the longer term. All of our installations must conform to VOC guidelines, which in turn will ensure the environmental quality of the building. If we are working on one floor of a multi-story building, it’s imperative that we put suitable filters on the extract system, particularly if we can’t turn the system off because it’s providing air conditioning to other floors. There is a responsibility for the contractor to ensure the correct temporary filtration is used on the air systems to make sure dust and pollutants don’t get into the system.  The last thing a building owner wants is a lot of hazardous dust and contaminants being blown around a building to the detriment of the occupants. In any building, you are trying to control the temperature, the fresh air, the humidity, and reduce the complex mixture of pollutants. As the industry moves toward high performance green buildings, building professionals must become more knowledgeable about indoor environmental air quality and ensure IAQ strategies are incorporated throughout the build process. By Steven Argent, Construction Director at QOB Group Visit: http://www.qobgroup.com/  
    Aug 24, 2017 455
  • 23 Aug 2017
    Europe has led the world in improving building standards with the UK having played a key role in their development.  But after the momentous day that was June 23rd and the UK economy appearing now to have weathered that initial vote-to-leave shock, where does that leave the construction industry in terms of EU regulations?  The British Standards Association (BSI) is one of 33 voting members of CEN (European Committee for Standardisation). However CEN rules state that you can only join CEN if you are a member of the EU or about to become a member.  In the case of non-EU countries including Norway and Switzerland, their membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) qualifies them as well.  When the UK finally leaves the EU it will therefore be essential for the UK to rejoin EFTA otherwise the BSI will have to argue for a change in statutes of CEN so that they can continue their membership of this organisation.  And in that scenario, there may well be a lot of political pressure to keep us out. But then what does that mean for the UK and what is the scenario of the UK walking away from the EU standard table?  Any product intended for sale in the EU must meet the relevant EU standard. Non-compliance will clearly restrict markets. One of the key things about EU standards is that they do ensure a level playing field and are considerably better than each country having a different standard and system of compliance. To add to this, the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) has, since 2014, mandated that all products produced for sale in the EU provide a declaration of performance and visible CE mark. In their BREXIT negotiation, the UK Government would be able to ignore the CPR and revert to BS standards instead of BS EN standards.  This scenario seems unlikely as this would complicate matters with the possibility of two-tier standards.  And that might a have a knock-on effect for manufacturers with variable production runs and increased stock levels. And how does an EU standard compare to BS? Some BS testing is outdated and not as relevant to real-life scenarios. We tend to cling to some out of ‘habit’ when more representative standards exist. One such example is the adherence/preference of the UK to BS476 testing regimes for curtain wall perimeter fire barriers, when a specific EN test standard EN1364 offers a far more representative test option.  The BS 476 standard tests curtain wall perimeter fire barriers in a static assembly, whereas the EN1364 tests simulate the dynamic movement of the curtain wall façade, which we would contend is a far more sensible and robust option. Siderise is amongst a very few suppliers who have opted for the EN1364 test, as we see it as far more representative of “real life”. At the moment the UK has a vote and we can influence EU standards, and on occasion we could in theory ‘block’ standards that we did not like or at least modify them.  One scenario is that we can go to meetings post-BREXIT, provide technical input, but in the end not have a vote – unless of course we negotiate some arrangement whereby we are allowed to vote.  But that would appear to be fraught with difficulties.  Whatever the outcome, we must not fall out of step with Europe.  The costs to industry of totally abandoning EU standards are so vast as to be too horrible to contemplate.   Visit: http://www.siderise.com/
    376 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Europe has led the world in improving building standards with the UK having played a key role in their development.  But after the momentous day that was June 23rd and the UK economy appearing now to have weathered that initial vote-to-leave shock, where does that leave the construction industry in terms of EU regulations?  The British Standards Association (BSI) is one of 33 voting members of CEN (European Committee for Standardisation). However CEN rules state that you can only join CEN if you are a member of the EU or about to become a member.  In the case of non-EU countries including Norway and Switzerland, their membership in the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) qualifies them as well.  When the UK finally leaves the EU it will therefore be essential for the UK to rejoin EFTA otherwise the BSI will have to argue for a change in statutes of CEN so that they can continue their membership of this organisation.  And in that scenario, there may well be a lot of political pressure to keep us out. But then what does that mean for the UK and what is the scenario of the UK walking away from the EU standard table?  Any product intended for sale in the EU must meet the relevant EU standard. Non-compliance will clearly restrict markets. One of the key things about EU standards is that they do ensure a level playing field and are considerably better than each country having a different standard and system of compliance. To add to this, the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) has, since 2014, mandated that all products produced for sale in the EU provide a declaration of performance and visible CE mark. In their BREXIT negotiation, the UK Government would be able to ignore the CPR and revert to BS standards instead of BS EN standards.  This scenario seems unlikely as this would complicate matters with the possibility of two-tier standards.  And that might a have a knock-on effect for manufacturers with variable production runs and increased stock levels. And how does an EU standard compare to BS? Some BS testing is outdated and not as relevant to real-life scenarios. We tend to cling to some out of ‘habit’ when more representative standards exist. One such example is the adherence/preference of the UK to BS476 testing regimes for curtain wall perimeter fire barriers, when a specific EN test standard EN1364 offers a far more representative test option.  The BS 476 standard tests curtain wall perimeter fire barriers in a static assembly, whereas the EN1364 tests simulate the dynamic movement of the curtain wall façade, which we would contend is a far more sensible and robust option. Siderise is amongst a very few suppliers who have opted for the EN1364 test, as we see it as far more representative of “real life”. At the moment the UK has a vote and we can influence EU standards, and on occasion we could in theory ‘block’ standards that we did not like or at least modify them.  One scenario is that we can go to meetings post-BREXIT, provide technical input, but in the end not have a vote – unless of course we negotiate some arrangement whereby we are allowed to vote.  But that would appear to be fraught with difficulties.  Whatever the outcome, we must not fall out of step with Europe.  The costs to industry of totally abandoning EU standards are so vast as to be too horrible to contemplate.   Visit: http://www.siderise.com/
    Aug 23, 2017 376
  • 22 Aug 2017
    Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    1749 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    Aug 22, 2017 1749
  • 21 Aug 2017
    Plastics is rapidly becoming a dirty word for environmentalists across the globe who are now laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of this ubiquitous material for polluting the world’s oceans. In reality, only around 4% of the planet’s oil production is converted into plastics but because it’s a product that tends to stick around for a long time, it is seen to be anything but green. The construction industry would certainly be the poorer without the massive range of largely maintenance free plastic based materials, used across a huge range of products such as rainwater goods, doors, windows, cladding – the list is almost endless. But at some time those building materials will need to be replaced and we must also take into account the huge amount of plastic based packaging such products arrive in – so what happens next? Well some will go into landfill and it will take up to 1,000 years to rot, much to the annoyance of the ultra-green, but the construction industry is doing its bit in a remarkable number of innovative and ground breaking ways. In India they are now actively looking at recycling plastic waste into new roads. They have found that they can use 1.5 tonnes of waste plastic mixed with bitumen for every new kilometre of road laid and the bonus is – that such roads – last twice as long as conventional asphalt. India’s Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) claim that bitumen mixed with plastic or rubber improves the quality and life of roads although construction costs using this method were around 6% higher. However, such a surface also delivered more than satisfactory performance, good skid resistance, and good texture value, was stronger and provided a lesser amount of progressive unevenness. More generally, plastics have a very good environmental profile which is why we should give the industry much more credit for being kinder to the environment.  In construction, in particular, plastics have a huge role to play. If all buildings were upgraded to optimal standards across Europe using plastic based insulation, according to industry sources, then it is estimated that 460 million fewer tonne’s of CO2 would be generated each year. Plastic pipes use less energy in manufacture compared to concrete or iron, are lighter and more reliable on a whole range of construction situations It must also be emphasised that plastics recycling takes place on a significant scale in the UK and the rest of the worldt to ensure that it can used again and again. So maybe we should be looking more kindly at the plastics industry which is really doing its bit to protect the environment as much as it can - and perhaps be placing the blame more firmly on the millions of anti-social people who carelessly discard their plastic waste each year expecting mother nature and the rest of us to clear up their mess. By Talk Builder Follow me on Twitter @TalkBuilder  
    595 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Plastics is rapidly becoming a dirty word for environmentalists across the globe who are now laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of this ubiquitous material for polluting the world’s oceans. In reality, only around 4% of the planet’s oil production is converted into plastics but because it’s a product that tends to stick around for a long time, it is seen to be anything but green. The construction industry would certainly be the poorer without the massive range of largely maintenance free plastic based materials, used across a huge range of products such as rainwater goods, doors, windows, cladding – the list is almost endless. But at some time those building materials will need to be replaced and we must also take into account the huge amount of plastic based packaging such products arrive in – so what happens next? Well some will go into landfill and it will take up to 1,000 years to rot, much to the annoyance of the ultra-green, but the construction industry is doing its bit in a remarkable number of innovative and ground breaking ways. In India they are now actively looking at recycling plastic waste into new roads. They have found that they can use 1.5 tonnes of waste plastic mixed with bitumen for every new kilometre of road laid and the bonus is – that such roads – last twice as long as conventional asphalt. India’s Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) claim that bitumen mixed with plastic or rubber improves the quality and life of roads although construction costs using this method were around 6% higher. However, such a surface also delivered more than satisfactory performance, good skid resistance, and good texture value, was stronger and provided a lesser amount of progressive unevenness. More generally, plastics have a very good environmental profile which is why we should give the industry much more credit for being kinder to the environment.  In construction, in particular, plastics have a huge role to play. If all buildings were upgraded to optimal standards across Europe using plastic based insulation, according to industry sources, then it is estimated that 460 million fewer tonne’s of CO2 would be generated each year. Plastic pipes use less energy in manufacture compared to concrete or iron, are lighter and more reliable on a whole range of construction situations It must also be emphasised that plastics recycling takes place on a significant scale in the UK and the rest of the worldt to ensure that it can used again and again. So maybe we should be looking more kindly at the plastics industry which is really doing its bit to protect the environment as much as it can - and perhaps be placing the blame more firmly on the millions of anti-social people who carelessly discard their plastic waste each year expecting mother nature and the rest of us to clear up their mess. By Talk Builder Follow me on Twitter @TalkBuilder  
    Aug 21, 2017 595
  • 20 Aug 2017
    Flat roofing repairs, particularly in confined spaces, have long been known to cause discomfort to operatives and those living or working nearby. Fumes, odours and vapours can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and lung irritation. They may also irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat. These effects are usually mild and temporary. Although contractors and building occupants may experience short term problems, the fumes and vapours generally do not pose a health hazard and symptoms usually resolve within hours after exposure to the odour has ended. Most of the problems from fumes seem to relate to asphalt which contains many chemicals and studies, mostly US based, have reported that these have potential long term risks for operatives. Because of this some commentators are suggesting that this could be the beginning of the end for bitumen based products. Manufacturers of roofing materials have known about the problem for many years and have sought to develop more user friendly waterproofing system – and now it seems there has been a breakthrough which could see an end to high levels of discomfort caused by fumes and other noxious vapours. Companies such as Proteus Waterproofing are leading the way with new Cold Melt systems which are high in solids such as recycled rubber crumb and other organically grown products making them virtually fume free and totally odourless. It would also seem that quality and longevity have not been compromised as the new systems, which are PUR based, are claimed to last for the life of the building when correctly installed to the manufacturer’s specification. Nevertheless, bitumen based waterproof membranes still account for the lion’s share of the flat roofing market and we are unlikely to see a major shift to new materials in the near future. But there is clearly a detectable trend towards greener roofs which would suggest the PUR technology, although part chemical based, probably offers a good long term solution for flat roofing projects particularly in confined areas. Cold Melt system are likely to increasingly dominate the market as more is known about potential health issues, but it is probably a little too early yet to say goodbye to bitumen – but it could be the start. Visit: http://proteuswaterproofing.co.uk/product/cold-melt/
    483 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Flat roofing repairs, particularly in confined spaces, have long been known to cause discomfort to operatives and those living or working nearby. Fumes, odours and vapours can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea and lung irritation. They may also irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat. These effects are usually mild and temporary. Although contractors and building occupants may experience short term problems, the fumes and vapours generally do not pose a health hazard and symptoms usually resolve within hours after exposure to the odour has ended. Most of the problems from fumes seem to relate to asphalt which contains many chemicals and studies, mostly US based, have reported that these have potential long term risks for operatives. Because of this some commentators are suggesting that this could be the beginning of the end for bitumen based products. Manufacturers of roofing materials have known about the problem for many years and have sought to develop more user friendly waterproofing system – and now it seems there has been a breakthrough which could see an end to high levels of discomfort caused by fumes and other noxious vapours. Companies such as Proteus Waterproofing are leading the way with new Cold Melt systems which are high in solids such as recycled rubber crumb and other organically grown products making them virtually fume free and totally odourless. It would also seem that quality and longevity have not been compromised as the new systems, which are PUR based, are claimed to last for the life of the building when correctly installed to the manufacturer’s specification. Nevertheless, bitumen based waterproof membranes still account for the lion’s share of the flat roofing market and we are unlikely to see a major shift to new materials in the near future. But there is clearly a detectable trend towards greener roofs which would suggest the PUR technology, although part chemical based, probably offers a good long term solution for flat roofing projects particularly in confined areas. Cold Melt system are likely to increasingly dominate the market as more is known about potential health issues, but it is probably a little too early yet to say goodbye to bitumen – but it could be the start. Visit: http://proteuswaterproofing.co.uk/product/cold-melt/
    Aug 20, 2017 483
  • 19 Aug 2017
    One of the world’s oldest and most traditional waterproofing materials, mastic asphalt is a truly versatile performer, outlasting other materials and proven time and time again on everything from sealing dams to flooring, flat roofs to sports facilities, walkways to balconies and car parks to bridges. Successfully used to provide unbeatable protection from water penetration for centuries, in recent years mastic asphalt has been reformulated to include advanced polymers for increased durability, combining its traditional strengths with modern technology.   Mastic asphalt is highly resistant and robust enough to withstand all types of weather situations and attacks from thermal shock (rapid temperature changes), which are a frequent source of break down in many other types of membrane.It’s also non-toxic and non-flammable. Its durability and seamless application means that it is one of the few membranes able to handle consistent heavy foot and vehicular traffic, including from Heavy Goods Vehicles, and still maintain its waterproof integrity. With no application too tricky, it is also easy to repair should alterations or damage occur. Another major advantage with mastic asphalt is that it can be laid at speed, reducing the project costs significantly. It also cools very rapidly, allowing foot traffic within two to three hours, dependent upon ambient temperature. Providing such excellent wear against the extremes of weather – and with a life expectancy of 50 years and more - the waterproof membrane is fast becoming the material of choice for a manner of different buildings including, schools, offices, shopping centres, hotels and even churches. Mastic asphalt has one further advantage over other types of waterproof membrane – it is carbon neutral – a massive bonus for any building owner anxious to show their green credentials and, when it has reached the end of its useful life, it can be recycled or used as roof screed, minimising the impact on the environment. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membrane. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice, so whether it’s a 31 mile bridge in Hong Kong or St Paul’s Cathedral, this market- leading product is revered across the world. Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/    
    478 Posted by Talk. Build
  • One of the world’s oldest and most traditional waterproofing materials, mastic asphalt is a truly versatile performer, outlasting other materials and proven time and time again on everything from sealing dams to flooring, flat roofs to sports facilities, walkways to balconies and car parks to bridges. Successfully used to provide unbeatable protection from water penetration for centuries, in recent years mastic asphalt has been reformulated to include advanced polymers for increased durability, combining its traditional strengths with modern technology.   Mastic asphalt is highly resistant and robust enough to withstand all types of weather situations and attacks from thermal shock (rapid temperature changes), which are a frequent source of break down in many other types of membrane.It’s also non-toxic and non-flammable. Its durability and seamless application means that it is one of the few membranes able to handle consistent heavy foot and vehicular traffic, including from Heavy Goods Vehicles, and still maintain its waterproof integrity. With no application too tricky, it is also easy to repair should alterations or damage occur. Another major advantage with mastic asphalt is that it can be laid at speed, reducing the project costs significantly. It also cools very rapidly, allowing foot traffic within two to three hours, dependent upon ambient temperature. Providing such excellent wear against the extremes of weather – and with a life expectancy of 50 years and more - the waterproof membrane is fast becoming the material of choice for a manner of different buildings including, schools, offices, shopping centres, hotels and even churches. Mastic asphalt has one further advantage over other types of waterproof membrane – it is carbon neutral – a massive bonus for any building owner anxious to show their green credentials and, when it has reached the end of its useful life, it can be recycled or used as roof screed, minimising the impact on the environment. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membrane. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice, so whether it’s a 31 mile bridge in Hong Kong or St Paul’s Cathedral, this market- leading product is revered across the world. Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/    
    Aug 19, 2017 478
  • 18 Aug 2017
    Our Members of Parliament are getting themselves into a bit of a tizz about Big Ben and the fact that its iconic bell will be silenced for up to four years while essential refurbishment work takes place. It’s all in the cause of health and safety of course and it’s easy to be sentimental when you’re talking about one of the world’s best known monuments. But in reality, exposure to noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage. It is one of the most common health problems and can be difficult to detect as the effects build up over time – and in the case of Big Ben, the experts are probably right – worker health and safety should come first. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claim that industrial hearing loss remains the occupational disease with the highest number of civil claims accounting for about 75% of all occupational disease litigation. If noise levels exceed 85 decibels there is a duty to provide hearing protection and protection zones. Big Ben certainly meets that requirement and while contractors can wear ear protection, the work is going be hard enough up in that tower without having additional distractions. If in doubt, the Health and safety executive provide good advice regarding hearing if you visit their website - https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg362.html Hearing loss caused on construction sites does not make the headlines that often, so in an ironic way we should be thanking politicians for at least drawing attention to the issue – albeit for the wrong reasons There are a range of different types of hearing loss that can be caused from noise in the workplace, from temporary to permanent loss of hearing and conditions such as tinnitus or accoustic shock syndrome.  Certai professionms such as construction where there will inevitably be loud noise generated on an ongoing basis, workers are more liable to suffer conditions such as acoustic shock. This is because the construction industry involves the use of many machines which produce excessive noise. Workers who are exposed to this without adequate hearing protection can suffer from reduced hearing which becomes evident as the worker ages – often many years after exposure to the noisy machinery. The main culprits on building sites are: 1. Pneumatic drills These produce a large amount of excessive noise and are used in various different ways in the construction industry. 2. Circular saws Circular saws are typically used for cutting of wood and other materials used in the construction industry, such as cutting of floorboards in houses or frame work structure for dividing walls. 3. Nail guns or Hilti gun This gun fires nails in to steel which can be used for the construction of various different structures, such as buildings and bridges. 4. Staple guns Staple guns are used for various tasks in mining and this equipment has been known to produce excessive noise. 5. Grinders Grinders are used to cut and shape metal which if used frequently produces not only excessive noise but quite often excess vibration running the risk of hearing problems and vibration conditions such as VWF. All of these require contractors to where ear protection at all times – so you should answer the question – is this happening on your building site? In the case of Big Ben – I am sure we can all put up with a little silence for a few years – to ensure that a life time of silence is not an option for those that work there. By Talk Builder
    582 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Our Members of Parliament are getting themselves into a bit of a tizz about Big Ben and the fact that its iconic bell will be silenced for up to four years while essential refurbishment work takes place. It’s all in the cause of health and safety of course and it’s easy to be sentimental when you’re talking about one of the world’s best known monuments. But in reality, exposure to noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage. It is one of the most common health problems and can be difficult to detect as the effects build up over time – and in the case of Big Ben, the experts are probably right – worker health and safety should come first. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claim that industrial hearing loss remains the occupational disease with the highest number of civil claims accounting for about 75% of all occupational disease litigation. If noise levels exceed 85 decibels there is a duty to provide hearing protection and protection zones. Big Ben certainly meets that requirement and while contractors can wear ear protection, the work is going be hard enough up in that tower without having additional distractions. If in doubt, the Health and safety executive provide good advice regarding hearing if you visit their website - https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg362.html Hearing loss caused on construction sites does not make the headlines that often, so in an ironic way we should be thanking politicians for at least drawing attention to the issue – albeit for the wrong reasons There are a range of different types of hearing loss that can be caused from noise in the workplace, from temporary to permanent loss of hearing and conditions such as tinnitus or accoustic shock syndrome.  Certai professionms such as construction where there will inevitably be loud noise generated on an ongoing basis, workers are more liable to suffer conditions such as acoustic shock. This is because the construction industry involves the use of many machines which produce excessive noise. Workers who are exposed to this without adequate hearing protection can suffer from reduced hearing which becomes evident as the worker ages – often many years after exposure to the noisy machinery. The main culprits on building sites are: 1. Pneumatic drills These produce a large amount of excessive noise and are used in various different ways in the construction industry. 2. Circular saws Circular saws are typically used for cutting of wood and other materials used in the construction industry, such as cutting of floorboards in houses or frame work structure for dividing walls. 3. Nail guns or Hilti gun This gun fires nails in to steel which can be used for the construction of various different structures, such as buildings and bridges. 4. Staple guns Staple guns are used for various tasks in mining and this equipment has been known to produce excessive noise. 5. Grinders Grinders are used to cut and shape metal which if used frequently produces not only excessive noise but quite often excess vibration running the risk of hearing problems and vibration conditions such as VWF. All of these require contractors to where ear protection at all times – so you should answer the question – is this happening on your building site? In the case of Big Ben – I am sure we can all put up with a little silence for a few years – to ensure that a life time of silence is not an option for those that work there. By Talk Builder
    Aug 18, 2017 582