• 16 Aug 2018
    Construction output is on the rise globally, but limited resources and awareness of the need to be environmentally responsible mean that you must be conscious of the environmental impact of all building projects writes Tom Moverman. There are four ways that technology is helping “green” the construction industry. Energy-Efficient Building Features There is clear customer demand for builders to be knowledgeable about and experienced in working with the modern technologies that allow for sustainable and environmentally friendly materials to be used in both commercial and residential projects. The benefits are clear when considering the financial efficiency of these options, along with government tax incentives for homeowners and businesses that have incorporated green technology systems like • Photovoltaic cells • Solar heaters • Geothermal power • Wind systems • Updates to building envelope features on existing properties including doors, windows and skylights, roofs, and insulation These technologies may come with a greater investment up front compared to traditional options, but overall the cost savings for the future make them worthwhile. Building Information Modeling (BIM) BIM is not just a type of software, but the entire process of using this technology in the architecture, engineering, and construction fields to build 3D digital models. From concept planning to beginning the building design, BIM takes users through all of the necessary steps in construction and management of the project, while remaining conscious of the building's environmental impact. Building Information Modeling facilitates savings and improves efficiency in construction, based on the expectation that this system results in fewer mistakes and prevents potentially costly changes during the building process. BIM is a huge advancement on past practices of CAD design using 2-D drawings or 3-D models separated into multiple sections. With BIM, if a change is made in one area, it automatically updates throughout the entire project. Envisioning the completed design as a whole is effortless, and any potential issues are easy to spot early in the design process. Learn more about the benefits of using BIM technology here. According to a recent Market Research Engine report, the BIM market is anticipated to experience continued significant growth worldwide. In 2014, the global BIM market was valued at US$2.3 Billion, and is expected to reach a value of US$ 13.2 Billion by the end of 2024. Prefabricated Construction BIM has also helped increase the opportunities for industrialized construction sites that allow you to create prefabricated and modular buildings in controlled offsite environments. There are a number of benefits to building this way, including • Increased worker safety • Reduced costs on materials • Less waste • Greater energy-efficiency in the buildings produced • Tighter delivery timelines Virtual Reality VR is much more than just a tool for gamers. This technology allows for a construction planning process that includes realistic walk-throughs of planned projects. Developers can interact with their design, notice any potential problems, and see where improvements can be made, all before anything is actually built. This method is amazingly vivid compared to the past practice of working with static 3-D mock-up models. Virtual reality is also especially helpful for education, as now students who may have never been on an actual construction site can get a real feel for that environment, all from the safety of the classroom. Customers can also benefit from VR by being able to take part in making decisions about the functionality and flow of the building during the planning process. Technology is driving the construction industry now more than ever, and it is sure to continue to do so as future strategies and tools arise that will help designers, engineers and builders create even greater sustainability in construction. Author Bio: Tom Moverman established the Lipsig Law Firm with Harry Lipsig and his partners in 1989. The personal injury law firm focuses on products liability, personal injury, construction accidents, car accidents and medical malpractice. For more information, visit LipsigLawyers.com
    303 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Construction output is on the rise globally, but limited resources and awareness of the need to be environmentally responsible mean that you must be conscious of the environmental impact of all building projects writes Tom Moverman. There are four ways that technology is helping “green” the construction industry. Energy-Efficient Building Features There is clear customer demand for builders to be knowledgeable about and experienced in working with the modern technologies that allow for sustainable and environmentally friendly materials to be used in both commercial and residential projects. The benefits are clear when considering the financial efficiency of these options, along with government tax incentives for homeowners and businesses that have incorporated green technology systems like • Photovoltaic cells • Solar heaters • Geothermal power • Wind systems • Updates to building envelope features on existing properties including doors, windows and skylights, roofs, and insulation These technologies may come with a greater investment up front compared to traditional options, but overall the cost savings for the future make them worthwhile. Building Information Modeling (BIM) BIM is not just a type of software, but the entire process of using this technology in the architecture, engineering, and construction fields to build 3D digital models. From concept planning to beginning the building design, BIM takes users through all of the necessary steps in construction and management of the project, while remaining conscious of the building's environmental impact. Building Information Modeling facilitates savings and improves efficiency in construction, based on the expectation that this system results in fewer mistakes and prevents potentially costly changes during the building process. BIM is a huge advancement on past practices of CAD design using 2-D drawings or 3-D models separated into multiple sections. With BIM, if a change is made in one area, it automatically updates throughout the entire project. Envisioning the completed design as a whole is effortless, and any potential issues are easy to spot early in the design process. Learn more about the benefits of using BIM technology here. According to a recent Market Research Engine report, the BIM market is anticipated to experience continued significant growth worldwide. In 2014, the global BIM market was valued at US$2.3 Billion, and is expected to reach a value of US$ 13.2 Billion by the end of 2024. Prefabricated Construction BIM has also helped increase the opportunities for industrialized construction sites that allow you to create prefabricated and modular buildings in controlled offsite environments. There are a number of benefits to building this way, including • Increased worker safety • Reduced costs on materials • Less waste • Greater energy-efficiency in the buildings produced • Tighter delivery timelines Virtual Reality VR is much more than just a tool for gamers. This technology allows for a construction planning process that includes realistic walk-throughs of planned projects. Developers can interact with their design, notice any potential problems, and see where improvements can be made, all before anything is actually built. This method is amazingly vivid compared to the past practice of working with static 3-D mock-up models. Virtual reality is also especially helpful for education, as now students who may have never been on an actual construction site can get a real feel for that environment, all from the safety of the classroom. Customers can also benefit from VR by being able to take part in making decisions about the functionality and flow of the building during the planning process. Technology is driving the construction industry now more than ever, and it is sure to continue to do so as future strategies and tools arise that will help designers, engineers and builders create even greater sustainability in construction. Author Bio: Tom Moverman established the Lipsig Law Firm with Harry Lipsig and his partners in 1989. The personal injury law firm focuses on products liability, personal injury, construction accidents, car accidents and medical malpractice. For more information, visit LipsigLawyers.com
    Aug 16, 2018 303
  • 15 Aug 2018
    Slipform construction is a construction method in which concrete is poured into a continuously moving form. It is a method for vertically extruding a reinforced concrete section and is suitable for the construction of core walls in high-rise structures: lift shafts, stair shafts, towers, etc. Requiring little crane-time during construction, Slipform is a self-contained formwork system that can also apply to horizontal structures such as central reservations in road construction. Building a platform It is similar in nature and application to jumpform where the formwork is moved intermittently and used to form any regular shape or core. The formwork rises continuously, at a rate of about 300mm per hour, supporting itself on the core and not relying on support or access from other parts of the building or permanent works. Commonly, the formwork has three platforms. The upper platform acts as a storage and distribution area while the middle platform, which is the main working platform, is at the top of the poured concrete level. The lower platform provides access for concrete finishing. Slipforming is a quick and efficient construction technique. Because the height of the formwork is usually only around 1.20 metres and the hourly production rate is  normally between 15 to 30 cm, the concrete underneath is between four and eight- hours-old and must be stiff enough to bear its own weight  However, it must not have set enough for some of it to stick to the rising formwork (‘plucking’).The main requirement for slipforming without problems is concreting all areas at the same level at the same time, and then allowing the concrete to set consistently to allow the lifting of the formwork. Therefore, not only is consistent concrete required in terms of consistence and performance but also the temperature of both the concrete and the environmentare vitally important in understanding how the concrete will behave. Concrete for slipforming Modern concrete mixes for slipform construction vary considerably with a typical range of strengths between C40/50 and C76/95; a range of consistence values between S4 and self- compacting concrete and a range of controlled setting times to suit the particular construction project. The use of micro silica is becoming more prevalent with self compacting mixes. Both consistency and flexibility are required for the successful supply of concrete to slipform structures. Sika has both the knowledge and expertise to optimise the use of Viscoflow superplasticisers, with Sika retarders and stabilisers to optimise performance of the mixes and to ensure smooth operations on site. Points to consider Careful planning of construction processes can achieve high production rates. Since the formwork operates independently, formation of the core in advance of the rest of the structure takes it off the critical path – enhancing main structure stability. Availability of the different working platforms in the formwork system allows the exposed concrete at the bottom of the rising formwork to be finished, making it an integral part of the construction process. Certain formwork systems permit construction of tapered cores and towers. Slipform systems require a small but highly-skilled workforce on site. Correctly installed, slipform concrete can help our buildings stand tall for our long-term benefit. Visit: https://sikaconcrete.co.uk
    242 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Slipform construction is a construction method in which concrete is poured into a continuously moving form. It is a method for vertically extruding a reinforced concrete section and is suitable for the construction of core walls in high-rise structures: lift shafts, stair shafts, towers, etc. Requiring little crane-time during construction, Slipform is a self-contained formwork system that can also apply to horizontal structures such as central reservations in road construction. Building a platform It is similar in nature and application to jumpform where the formwork is moved intermittently and used to form any regular shape or core. The formwork rises continuously, at a rate of about 300mm per hour, supporting itself on the core and not relying on support or access from other parts of the building or permanent works. Commonly, the formwork has three platforms. The upper platform acts as a storage and distribution area while the middle platform, which is the main working platform, is at the top of the poured concrete level. The lower platform provides access for concrete finishing. Slipforming is a quick and efficient construction technique. Because the height of the formwork is usually only around 1.20 metres and the hourly production rate is  normally between 15 to 30 cm, the concrete underneath is between four and eight- hours-old and must be stiff enough to bear its own weight  However, it must not have set enough for some of it to stick to the rising formwork (‘plucking’).The main requirement for slipforming without problems is concreting all areas at the same level at the same time, and then allowing the concrete to set consistently to allow the lifting of the formwork. Therefore, not only is consistent concrete required in terms of consistence and performance but also the temperature of both the concrete and the environmentare vitally important in understanding how the concrete will behave. Concrete for slipforming Modern concrete mixes for slipform construction vary considerably with a typical range of strengths between C40/50 and C76/95; a range of consistence values between S4 and self- compacting concrete and a range of controlled setting times to suit the particular construction project. The use of micro silica is becoming more prevalent with self compacting mixes. Both consistency and flexibility are required for the successful supply of concrete to slipform structures. Sika has both the knowledge and expertise to optimise the use of Viscoflow superplasticisers, with Sika retarders and stabilisers to optimise performance of the mixes and to ensure smooth operations on site. Points to consider Careful planning of construction processes can achieve high production rates. Since the formwork operates independently, formation of the core in advance of the rest of the structure takes it off the critical path – enhancing main structure stability. Availability of the different working platforms in the formwork system allows the exposed concrete at the bottom of the rising formwork to be finished, making it an integral part of the construction process. Certain formwork systems permit construction of tapered cores and towers. Slipform systems require a small but highly-skilled workforce on site. Correctly installed, slipform concrete can help our buildings stand tall for our long-term benefit. Visit: https://sikaconcrete.co.uk
    Aug 15, 2018 242
  • 13 Aug 2018
    Each and every day, we experience a symphony of sounds to make our lives richer writes Stuart Colam, Acoustic Engineer, SAS International. From the dawn chorus to the soothing sounds of a gentle stream, and the less desirable noises such as machinery and a baby crying; the auditory stimulus around us is vast and elicits a specific response in our minds. But what specifically issound? How is it made? How does it travel? And why can we hear it? If air was visible then it might make it easier to explain, but sound is essentially bits of air vibrating. These air molecules vibrate and bump into each other, which in turn results in a local increase in air pressure. This chain reaction happens quickly, with the speed of sound in air being about 770mph. One way to illustrate this is by a slinky spring sending pulses backwards and forwards along its length. If nothing makes your eardrum move you will not hear anything. If there is no variation in the air pressure there is no sound.  Air pressure varies with height, decreasing with increasing altitude. In other words, there are fewer air molecules at 8000 metres than at sea level, for instance. This is why at the summit of Mount Everest the air is thinner.   Chain reaction Something needs to happen to make the air molecules move, i.e. for sound to be produced. When this occurs, one molecule will bump into another and this chain reaction results in the molecules being closer together than they would have been. An increase in pressure commences, as the molecules are essentially being squashed together and passing on vibrational energy; molecule to molecule.  The movement of air propagates and that’s what we call sound. As they bump into each other there is an increase and decrease in air pressure. This push and pull of sound waves reaches your ear and vibrates your eardrum. This ultimately results in electrical signals being sent to your brain and interpreted as sound.  Sound travels at different speeds depending on the medium. In steel, sound travels 17 times faster than in air, while in water it travels about four times faster. Think about when you are swimming in the sea and how hard it is to gauge where the noise of a boat engine is coming from. Sound travels more efficiently and faster through water than air. All sound needs is something to vibrate and bump into, which is why in space the absence of molecules makes it impossible to transmit any kind of sound. Sound in the built environment is sometimes overlooked and should be an important consideration.  When designing modern interiors there is much more than meets the eye – we must consider the ear as well.  It’s an issue that has become particularly important due to the proliferation of open and agile working environments. Sweeping interiors are prominent in today’s commercial buildings; therefore there is a growing demand for ceiling designs to suit these interiors, whilst still controlling sound travel.  It’s why metal ceilings have become the go-to solution that ensures these open-plan designs are not jeopardised by noise levels. A client might well place greater emphasis on aesthetics, but a good design must deliver effective sound management and an acoustic landscape which positively impacts on the productivity and wellbeing of building occupants. Visit:  https://sasintgroup.com
    236 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Each and every day, we experience a symphony of sounds to make our lives richer writes Stuart Colam, Acoustic Engineer, SAS International. From the dawn chorus to the soothing sounds of a gentle stream, and the less desirable noises such as machinery and a baby crying; the auditory stimulus around us is vast and elicits a specific response in our minds. But what specifically issound? How is it made? How does it travel? And why can we hear it? If air was visible then it might make it easier to explain, but sound is essentially bits of air vibrating. These air molecules vibrate and bump into each other, which in turn results in a local increase in air pressure. This chain reaction happens quickly, with the speed of sound in air being about 770mph. One way to illustrate this is by a slinky spring sending pulses backwards and forwards along its length. If nothing makes your eardrum move you will not hear anything. If there is no variation in the air pressure there is no sound.  Air pressure varies with height, decreasing with increasing altitude. In other words, there are fewer air molecules at 8000 metres than at sea level, for instance. This is why at the summit of Mount Everest the air is thinner.   Chain reaction Something needs to happen to make the air molecules move, i.e. for sound to be produced. When this occurs, one molecule will bump into another and this chain reaction results in the molecules being closer together than they would have been. An increase in pressure commences, as the molecules are essentially being squashed together and passing on vibrational energy; molecule to molecule.  The movement of air propagates and that’s what we call sound. As they bump into each other there is an increase and decrease in air pressure. This push and pull of sound waves reaches your ear and vibrates your eardrum. This ultimately results in electrical signals being sent to your brain and interpreted as sound.  Sound travels at different speeds depending on the medium. In steel, sound travels 17 times faster than in air, while in water it travels about four times faster. Think about when you are swimming in the sea and how hard it is to gauge where the noise of a boat engine is coming from. Sound travels more efficiently and faster through water than air. All sound needs is something to vibrate and bump into, which is why in space the absence of molecules makes it impossible to transmit any kind of sound. Sound in the built environment is sometimes overlooked and should be an important consideration.  When designing modern interiors there is much more than meets the eye – we must consider the ear as well.  It’s an issue that has become particularly important due to the proliferation of open and agile working environments. Sweeping interiors are prominent in today’s commercial buildings; therefore there is a growing demand for ceiling designs to suit these interiors, whilst still controlling sound travel.  It’s why metal ceilings have become the go-to solution that ensures these open-plan designs are not jeopardised by noise levels. A client might well place greater emphasis on aesthetics, but a good design must deliver effective sound management and an acoustic landscape which positively impacts on the productivity and wellbeing of building occupants. Visit:  https://sasintgroup.com
    Aug 13, 2018 236
  • 10 Aug 2018
    The average UK household spends around £1,230 on fuel bills each year which can be up to 50% more than necessary due to the lack of energy saving measures being implemented in the home. Poor insulation is a major contributor to domestic energy wastage. To help combat this, the construction industry is increasingly turning to rigid foam PIR panels, rather than mineral fibre-based insulation solutions. Kevin Bohea, Commercial Director at leading UK PIR manufacturers, lists five ways in which insulation boards offer an advantage over the mineral-based equivalent. PIR insulation board has a closed cell structure that means it doesn’t absorb water. This allows the thermal performance and reliability of the panel to be retained over time. The panels are light and easy to transport as well as being simple to install, helping save on-site labour costs. Unlike fibrous insulation which deteriorates over time when damp sets in, PIR insulation’s structural strength enables a consistent performance that will last the lifetime of a building, negating costly repairs and maintaining its thermal and soundproof qualities. PIR insulation is also renowned for its flexible qualities, providing the ideal solution for a range of applications such as floors, walls, pitched and flat roofing. Innovative PIR solutions such as Eurowall+, manufactured by Recticel, features a unique tongue-and-groove joint on the board’s four sides to ensure a tight, secure lock. It means Eurowall+ board increases protection against wind-driven rain which can cause poorly-fitted mineral fibre products to deteriorate over time. Although mineral-based insulation is fairly flexible – it can be manipulated around wall ties, etc – its propensity to degrade over time, particularly if damp sets-in, means rigid PIR board is increasingly seen as a preferable cavity insulation option. It has a long-term cost benefit, too. For mineral wool to attain the same level of thermal performance as Eurowall+ board, it’s estimated 150mm-thick insulation would need to be installed, resulting in an accordant increase in the cavity wall size. Once the cavity width increases, wall-tie lengths have to be lengthened and window and door lintels expanded - the whole building process becomes more costly.  With developers looking to fit as many homes onto allocated plots as possible, maintaining a 100mm cavity in new buildings has become a necessity. Eurowall+ 90mm PIR board not only helps to achieve a 0.18 U-value in a 100mm cavity, the 10mm air gap makes for a less inconvenient fit for bricklayers when it comes to installing the insulation. Therefore, Eurowall+ maximises space whilst minimising cost for housebuilders, making it not only an ideal alternative to mineral-based insulation; it’s the superior PIR solution.  Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    288 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The average UK household spends around £1,230 on fuel bills each year which can be up to 50% more than necessary due to the lack of energy saving measures being implemented in the home. Poor insulation is a major contributor to domestic energy wastage. To help combat this, the construction industry is increasingly turning to rigid foam PIR panels, rather than mineral fibre-based insulation solutions. Kevin Bohea, Commercial Director at leading UK PIR manufacturers, lists five ways in which insulation boards offer an advantage over the mineral-based equivalent. PIR insulation board has a closed cell structure that means it doesn’t absorb water. This allows the thermal performance and reliability of the panel to be retained over time. The panels are light and easy to transport as well as being simple to install, helping save on-site labour costs. Unlike fibrous insulation which deteriorates over time when damp sets in, PIR insulation’s structural strength enables a consistent performance that will last the lifetime of a building, negating costly repairs and maintaining its thermal and soundproof qualities. PIR insulation is also renowned for its flexible qualities, providing the ideal solution for a range of applications such as floors, walls, pitched and flat roofing. Innovative PIR solutions such as Eurowall+, manufactured by Recticel, features a unique tongue-and-groove joint on the board’s four sides to ensure a tight, secure lock. It means Eurowall+ board increases protection against wind-driven rain which can cause poorly-fitted mineral fibre products to deteriorate over time. Although mineral-based insulation is fairly flexible – it can be manipulated around wall ties, etc – its propensity to degrade over time, particularly if damp sets-in, means rigid PIR board is increasingly seen as a preferable cavity insulation option. It has a long-term cost benefit, too. For mineral wool to attain the same level of thermal performance as Eurowall+ board, it’s estimated 150mm-thick insulation would need to be installed, resulting in an accordant increase in the cavity wall size. Once the cavity width increases, wall-tie lengths have to be lengthened and window and door lintels expanded - the whole building process becomes more costly.  With developers looking to fit as many homes onto allocated plots as possible, maintaining a 100mm cavity in new buildings has become a necessity. Eurowall+ 90mm PIR board not only helps to achieve a 0.18 U-value in a 100mm cavity, the 10mm air gap makes for a less inconvenient fit for bricklayers when it comes to installing the insulation. Therefore, Eurowall+ maximises space whilst minimising cost for housebuilders, making it not only an ideal alternative to mineral-based insulation; it’s the superior PIR solution.  Visit: www.recticelinsulation.co.uk
    Aug 10, 2018 288
  • 07 Aug 2018
    In the past few years significant progress has been made to make the construction industry accessible to women; whether that be lowering the gender pay-gap or increasing the amount of jobs on offer. Whilst the changes are positive and reassuring, there are still some gender imbalances which need addressing. Baumit, a global building materials manufacturer, is making a commendable effort to make the sector more inclusive for women, standing as a fine example of how the construction industry is levelling-out gender biases in the sector. Whilst the construction industry appears to be heading in the right direction, with women currently accounting for 18.8% of the sector’s workforce compared to 12.1% a decade ago, the figures still show how building and associated trades predominantly remain a man’s world. This is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed, and companies should be focusing on how they can change this. The industry is missing a trick by not tapping into the largely ignored talent pool at its disposal, and further attention needs to be paid to how women can access jobs within the construction industry. Whether by learning the skills to be a plasterer or becoming head of marketing for a building company, there are plenty of opportunities for women. They just need to be highlighted and made available.  A survey commissioned by house builder Keepmoat, for example, revealed that only 13% of women aged 16 to 25 would consider a career in construction. To find out why this figure is so low, certain questions need to be raised. For example, are women not encouraged to enter the industry, or are they simply not being given the right opportunities to make construction their career? Baumit’s current employment ratio of men to women is almost at 50%, showcasing how the company is leading a new generation of building manufacturers that are bringing women into the job sector. At Baumit, employees are hired on merit and credibility and the company is a known advocate for equal pay in the construction industry. Research carried out in 2016 by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that on average men earned £11,000 more than women in a similar role. This was up from a pay gap of £7,000 in the same survey a year earlier. At Baumit, both men and women in the same roles are paid similar rates, and both female and male employees are given equal opportunities. This equal environment allows women to cultivate their skillset while working for one of the leading innovators in the built environment. It is important that the construction industry continues to make positive attempts to promote inclusivity in the sector. Organisations such as Women in Roofing seek to inspire and support young women hoping to make their way into the trade. Hopefully, organisations such as this will help dismantle perceptions about the sector being inherently male. The annual Women in Construction conference is another important step, providing a space for discussion on equal rights and female representation throughout the industry. Change is happening because of these timely and honest conversations, but in the meantime, Baumit remains a testament to equal opportunities and gender equality in the construction workplace. Visit:  https://www.baumit.co.uk  
    372 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In the past few years significant progress has been made to make the construction industry accessible to women; whether that be lowering the gender pay-gap or increasing the amount of jobs on offer. Whilst the changes are positive and reassuring, there are still some gender imbalances which need addressing. Baumit, a global building materials manufacturer, is making a commendable effort to make the sector more inclusive for women, standing as a fine example of how the construction industry is levelling-out gender biases in the sector. Whilst the construction industry appears to be heading in the right direction, with women currently accounting for 18.8% of the sector’s workforce compared to 12.1% a decade ago, the figures still show how building and associated trades predominantly remain a man’s world. This is an issue that urgently needs to be addressed, and companies should be focusing on how they can change this. The industry is missing a trick by not tapping into the largely ignored talent pool at its disposal, and further attention needs to be paid to how women can access jobs within the construction industry. Whether by learning the skills to be a plasterer or becoming head of marketing for a building company, there are plenty of opportunities for women. They just need to be highlighted and made available.  A survey commissioned by house builder Keepmoat, for example, revealed that only 13% of women aged 16 to 25 would consider a career in construction. To find out why this figure is so low, certain questions need to be raised. For example, are women not encouraged to enter the industry, or are they simply not being given the right opportunities to make construction their career? Baumit’s current employment ratio of men to women is almost at 50%, showcasing how the company is leading a new generation of building manufacturers that are bringing women into the job sector. At Baumit, employees are hired on merit and credibility and the company is a known advocate for equal pay in the construction industry. Research carried out in 2016 by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that on average men earned £11,000 more than women in a similar role. This was up from a pay gap of £7,000 in the same survey a year earlier. At Baumit, both men and women in the same roles are paid similar rates, and both female and male employees are given equal opportunities. This equal environment allows women to cultivate their skillset while working for one of the leading innovators in the built environment. It is important that the construction industry continues to make positive attempts to promote inclusivity in the sector. Organisations such as Women in Roofing seek to inspire and support young women hoping to make their way into the trade. Hopefully, organisations such as this will help dismantle perceptions about the sector being inherently male. The annual Women in Construction conference is another important step, providing a space for discussion on equal rights and female representation throughout the industry. Change is happening because of these timely and honest conversations, but in the meantime, Baumit remains a testament to equal opportunities and gender equality in the construction workplace. Visit:  https://www.baumit.co.uk  
    Aug 07, 2018 372
  • 03 Aug 2018
    With ever-greater pressure being applied to the private and commercial sector purse strings, the need for building projects to be completed on time without minimum fuss becomes more significant writes James Wilkinson. There is little margin for error for contractors working to tighter-than-before deadlines, and that includes ensuring the correct specification of a waterproof, durable flat roof system. But what are the challenges facing architects and contractors when selecting suitable flat roof insulation? And why do such roofs sometimes fail?  As a building’s first line of defence and prominent thermal feature, a roof must maintain long-term, maximum performance. Therefore, every aspect of its installation should be considered to ensure it remains watertight, problem-free and energy-efficient during its lifetime. The specification of bespoke, single-layer tapered systems can help alleviate risk when it comes to flat roofing. This outcome is easiest and best achieved in conjunction with Gradient, a specialist roof insulation manufacturer which works closely with customers on the design and manufacture of tapered solutions for a wide range of roofing applications. Fitting solution Placing the insulation process - from start to finish - into the hands of highly-experienced and skilled professionals not only maximises control standards in roof design, manufacture, performance and sustainability, it results in a better-conceived flat roof which is improved in value, performance and complies with all relevant legislative standards. Gradient is able to supply specialist technical support to provide customers with flat roof solutions - whatever a roofing project’s stage. However, it’s fair to say most problems occur when clients fail to engage such companies at the very start of the roof specification process which minimises the risk of future problems. The close proximity of door thresholds to roof decks, for example can result in underperforming U-values and is a common issue. It’s an oversight which can lead to water-ponding and possible insect infestation, but can easily be avoided with early involvement from Gradient. In such cases, a tapered roof insulation scheme can be applied, but the thermal performance will not be as good as it ought to be due to the aforementioned fault at the design stage. Encouraging developers to consider roof insulation performance long before they start construction is key to trouble-free roofing. When a building’s shell and certain fixtures and fittings are in position before roofing issues have been fully-addressed, it can often lead to height limitations being imposed on the insulation installed. Thus, flat guttering, the same thickness as the insulation is seen as a solution. Whilst this might be seen as a perfectly acceptable system for installers, developers would quite reasonably prefer a completely run-dry roof on which water is pushed to all available outlets. Condensing the risk Constraints on insulation height will sometimes rule-out the use of a fully-tapered roofing scheme, therefore a compromise on a particular roofing detail may have to be reached. It could lead to a roof design which doesn’t necessarily reflect best practice, but is nonetheless the best scheme with all factors considered. Compromise can take the form of a lower U-value, or the installation of a hybrid roof scheme in which insulation is applied below the deck. The latter solution is not ideal, as condensation is often a by-product. However, roofing firms such as Gradient are able to carry out calculations for a hybrid roof that will eliminate the risk of condensation. Whichever roofing insulation specified, its performance is only as good as the installer. Selecting a proven contractor to carry out installation work is vital - a task becoming more challenging by the day with Britain facing its biggest skills shortage for a generation, particularly in the roofing industry. If a contractor omits to fully-tackle air gaps, for example, in a perfectly-designed roof, the potential for condensation remains. Stark assessment For developer, contractor and customer, time is money in the construction industry. However, quality must not be lost in the rush to reach the deadline. For refurbishment projects in which an existing roof is overlaid, Gradient is able to design a tapered scheme, with surveys made all the easier due to the visibility of the building’s falls. It’s part of the company’s service to carry out the same assessment when a roof is stripped to its deck. Time restrictions will often lead to contractors refusing the offer of a second visit, even though the stripped roof could reveal a deck to be damaged or uneven and in need of a rethink as to how the insulation should be applied to improve its long-term performance. Again, the answer is good preparation. Building extra time into a roof’s installation before installers arrive on site will help avoid unseen issues which may crop-up as the process continues. Quality roof insulation, which protects against the ravages of the elements and time, as part of a long-term, waterproof system, doesn’t arrive by accident - it’s most definitely the result of excellent design and installation. Visit: http://gradientuk.com About the author: James Wilkinson is Design Team Leader at Gradient  
    342 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With ever-greater pressure being applied to the private and commercial sector purse strings, the need for building projects to be completed on time without minimum fuss becomes more significant writes James Wilkinson. There is little margin for error for contractors working to tighter-than-before deadlines, and that includes ensuring the correct specification of a waterproof, durable flat roof system. But what are the challenges facing architects and contractors when selecting suitable flat roof insulation? And why do such roofs sometimes fail?  As a building’s first line of defence and prominent thermal feature, a roof must maintain long-term, maximum performance. Therefore, every aspect of its installation should be considered to ensure it remains watertight, problem-free and energy-efficient during its lifetime. The specification of bespoke, single-layer tapered systems can help alleviate risk when it comes to flat roofing. This outcome is easiest and best achieved in conjunction with Gradient, a specialist roof insulation manufacturer which works closely with customers on the design and manufacture of tapered solutions for a wide range of roofing applications. Fitting solution Placing the insulation process - from start to finish - into the hands of highly-experienced and skilled professionals not only maximises control standards in roof design, manufacture, performance and sustainability, it results in a better-conceived flat roof which is improved in value, performance and complies with all relevant legislative standards. Gradient is able to supply specialist technical support to provide customers with flat roof solutions - whatever a roofing project’s stage. However, it’s fair to say most problems occur when clients fail to engage such companies at the very start of the roof specification process which minimises the risk of future problems. The close proximity of door thresholds to roof decks, for example can result in underperforming U-values and is a common issue. It’s an oversight which can lead to water-ponding and possible insect infestation, but can easily be avoided with early involvement from Gradient. In such cases, a tapered roof insulation scheme can be applied, but the thermal performance will not be as good as it ought to be due to the aforementioned fault at the design stage. Encouraging developers to consider roof insulation performance long before they start construction is key to trouble-free roofing. When a building’s shell and certain fixtures and fittings are in position before roofing issues have been fully-addressed, it can often lead to height limitations being imposed on the insulation installed. Thus, flat guttering, the same thickness as the insulation is seen as a solution. Whilst this might be seen as a perfectly acceptable system for installers, developers would quite reasonably prefer a completely run-dry roof on which water is pushed to all available outlets. Condensing the risk Constraints on insulation height will sometimes rule-out the use of a fully-tapered roofing scheme, therefore a compromise on a particular roofing detail may have to be reached. It could lead to a roof design which doesn’t necessarily reflect best practice, but is nonetheless the best scheme with all factors considered. Compromise can take the form of a lower U-value, or the installation of a hybrid roof scheme in which insulation is applied below the deck. The latter solution is not ideal, as condensation is often a by-product. However, roofing firms such as Gradient are able to carry out calculations for a hybrid roof that will eliminate the risk of condensation. Whichever roofing insulation specified, its performance is only as good as the installer. Selecting a proven contractor to carry out installation work is vital - a task becoming more challenging by the day with Britain facing its biggest skills shortage for a generation, particularly in the roofing industry. If a contractor omits to fully-tackle air gaps, for example, in a perfectly-designed roof, the potential for condensation remains. Stark assessment For developer, contractor and customer, time is money in the construction industry. However, quality must not be lost in the rush to reach the deadline. For refurbishment projects in which an existing roof is overlaid, Gradient is able to design a tapered scheme, with surveys made all the easier due to the visibility of the building’s falls. It’s part of the company’s service to carry out the same assessment when a roof is stripped to its deck. Time restrictions will often lead to contractors refusing the offer of a second visit, even though the stripped roof could reveal a deck to be damaged or uneven and in need of a rethink as to how the insulation should be applied to improve its long-term performance. Again, the answer is good preparation. Building extra time into a roof’s installation before installers arrive on site will help avoid unseen issues which may crop-up as the process continues. Quality roof insulation, which protects against the ravages of the elements and time, as part of a long-term, waterproof system, doesn’t arrive by accident - it’s most definitely the result of excellent design and installation. Visit: http://gradientuk.com About the author: James Wilkinson is Design Team Leader at Gradient  
    Aug 03, 2018 342
  • 02 Aug 2018
    The construction industry is struggling with its image writes Jayne Hall.  The media coverage of Grenfell and the collapse of Carillion are all negative stories which fuel a general outlook which is not good for the industry as a whole. Even a TV programme like Cowboy Builders paints a picture of an unattractive industry that hasn’t got a grip on itself.  Unfortunately that’s what prevails in people’s minds and it’s a stereotypical perception. It’s hardly surprising then the industry’s ever-widening skills shortage is getting worse. Modernisation should be the order of the day and with that it should be addressing what is sadly the worst gender balance of any industry.  So how can we challenge the typical, often negative stereotypes of an industry where less than 14% of workers are women? Dirty, dangerous and macho is the age-old, stereotypical image of construction and many women, even now, think that they will get wolf-whistled or ogled when they pass a building site.  But that is not the reality; it’s something that happens rarely. In fact, it hardly ever happens. Thankfully, the construction sector has moved on from this scenario and there are positive advances. There remains however a pressing need to do more to encourage gender diversity in the workplace, which in turn will make it more attractive. As someone who champions inclusivity for CABE, I firmly believe the industry needs to sharpen up its image and make itself appear attractive to women and ethnic minorities. Despite construction being one of the largest employees in the UK, progress is slow. It needs to come across as more professional and dispel the myths of misogyny and glass ceilings. Of course this is much broader than construction - industries as a whole are reducing their talent pool.  Diversity is a key driver of innovation.  A report on gender diversity by Mckinsey called Women Matter, suggests that the companies where women are most strongly represented at board or top management level are the same companies that perform best. The more diversity you have on a team, the more experienced and broader you are.  Otherwise it is self-limiting.    At fifteen or sixteen years old young people are asked to choose options but the stereotypes discourage them. They don’t want to be outnumbered and the only girl on a physics or technology course for example. Educational institutions need to address this imbalance to get true equality. Girls end up making unconscious assumptions but if you can engage them earlier to tackle these limiting and harmful gender stereotypes, it will encourage girls into the profession. Sadly colleges don’t do as much as they should to attract and encourage women on engineering courses. A young girl would have to encounter the uncomfortable situation of walking into a male dominated classroom.  The lack of encouragement, and a curriculum that isn’t inclusive as it should be, has meant we are damaging both the potential of women but also the potential of the economy as a whole.  We need to show young women there is a career path at every level. By fully understanding that diversity within the built environment is a contributing factor to the skills shortage and other issues, CABE plays an active role in reaching out to a diverse audience and ensuring we make the case for a truly inclusive built environment which caters for all.   With the 100th anniversary of women having the vote, gender equality and diversity is high on the agenda. The engineering profession as a whole is making progress on gender and inclusivity with many women, like myself, who have forged happy and successful careers in engineering. It’s a great industry to be part of.  Tackling gender diversity will widen the talent pipeline, improve the image of the sector and will go some way to tackling the skills shortage. Visit:www.cbuilde.com. About the author: Jayne Hall is Building Control and Planning Enforcement Manager for South Gloucestershire Council  
    344 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry is struggling with its image writes Jayne Hall.  The media coverage of Grenfell and the collapse of Carillion are all negative stories which fuel a general outlook which is not good for the industry as a whole. Even a TV programme like Cowboy Builders paints a picture of an unattractive industry that hasn’t got a grip on itself.  Unfortunately that’s what prevails in people’s minds and it’s a stereotypical perception. It’s hardly surprising then the industry’s ever-widening skills shortage is getting worse. Modernisation should be the order of the day and with that it should be addressing what is sadly the worst gender balance of any industry.  So how can we challenge the typical, often negative stereotypes of an industry where less than 14% of workers are women? Dirty, dangerous and macho is the age-old, stereotypical image of construction and many women, even now, think that they will get wolf-whistled or ogled when they pass a building site.  But that is not the reality; it’s something that happens rarely. In fact, it hardly ever happens. Thankfully, the construction sector has moved on from this scenario and there are positive advances. There remains however a pressing need to do more to encourage gender diversity in the workplace, which in turn will make it more attractive. As someone who champions inclusivity for CABE, I firmly believe the industry needs to sharpen up its image and make itself appear attractive to women and ethnic minorities. Despite construction being one of the largest employees in the UK, progress is slow. It needs to come across as more professional and dispel the myths of misogyny and glass ceilings. Of course this is much broader than construction - industries as a whole are reducing their talent pool.  Diversity is a key driver of innovation.  A report on gender diversity by Mckinsey called Women Matter, suggests that the companies where women are most strongly represented at board or top management level are the same companies that perform best. The more diversity you have on a team, the more experienced and broader you are.  Otherwise it is self-limiting.    At fifteen or sixteen years old young people are asked to choose options but the stereotypes discourage them. They don’t want to be outnumbered and the only girl on a physics or technology course for example. Educational institutions need to address this imbalance to get true equality. Girls end up making unconscious assumptions but if you can engage them earlier to tackle these limiting and harmful gender stereotypes, it will encourage girls into the profession. Sadly colleges don’t do as much as they should to attract and encourage women on engineering courses. A young girl would have to encounter the uncomfortable situation of walking into a male dominated classroom.  The lack of encouragement, and a curriculum that isn’t inclusive as it should be, has meant we are damaging both the potential of women but also the potential of the economy as a whole.  We need to show young women there is a career path at every level. By fully understanding that diversity within the built environment is a contributing factor to the skills shortage and other issues, CABE plays an active role in reaching out to a diverse audience and ensuring we make the case for a truly inclusive built environment which caters for all.   With the 100th anniversary of women having the vote, gender equality and diversity is high on the agenda. The engineering profession as a whole is making progress on gender and inclusivity with many women, like myself, who have forged happy and successful careers in engineering. It’s a great industry to be part of.  Tackling gender diversity will widen the talent pipeline, improve the image of the sector and will go some way to tackling the skills shortage. Visit:www.cbuilde.com. About the author: Jayne Hall is Building Control and Planning Enforcement Manager for South Gloucestershire Council  
    Aug 02, 2018 344
  • 01 Aug 2018
    When you look on a food label, chances are you will see some ingredients you have never heard of, some of which you might even find hard to pronounce. Found in many products, silicon dioxide or silica is, for example, one such ingredient writes Gregory A. Cade . What is silica? Silica is a natural element, composed of two of the earth’s most common materials: oxygen and silicon, more precisely: one atom of silicon and two atoms of oxygen – from where the chemical formula SiO2. Quartz represents the most ordinary form of crystalline silica and is the second most common mineral on earth. It is found in almost every type of rock and thus in nearly all mining operations. The first industrial use of silica was most likely related to the glass making activity in three to five thousand years BC. It continued to support progress throughout history, being an important factor in the industrial revolution, especially in the construction, ceramic and glass industries and it contributes even today in key branches of technology, providing material for silicon chips and computer mice. Quartz is the solely natural silica mineral used in significant quantity: millions of tons are annually consumed by industry. Crushed sandstone is used in the construction of roads and railways, relatively pure quartz is important as ingredient for glass and porcelain manufacture and high purity quartz is fused to achieve premium optical glass. Quartz and its derivatives were also used since antiquity as semiprecious gems or ornamental stones. Precious opal, which is a form of silica, has been a gemstone since the Roman period. When does silica represent a danger? Silica is found in many materials from construction sites, including sand, soil, concrete, rock or granite. The dust created when any of those materials are drilled, cut or disturbed in any way can contain small silica particles. The particles are so small that they cannot even be seen and it can take only a minor amount of airborne silica dust in order to create a health problem. Yet it is important to know that repeated exposures to silica dust can even raise the chances of developing a serious lung disease. What kind of diseases can silica lead to? Extended and aggressive exposure to fine particles of silica dust can lead to the very well known occupational illness called silicosis, but lung cancer, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or even autoimmune diseases cannot be ignored as well. Silicosis is one of the world’s oldest occupational illnesses. It is a nodular progressive fibrosis caused by the deposition of fine respirable silica particles in the lungs. This disease mainly affects people exposed in the workplace, as environmental exposures to silica dust are not dangerous enough to cause this occupational disease. Because silicosis has a very long latency period, the new cases registered today are due to exposure of a few decades ago. There is no specific treatment, removing the source of exposure is often important in preventing the disease from getting worse. Any potential cancer risk due to respirable crystalline silica exposure is limited to lung cancer and any cancer effect is actually secondary to silicosis. A recent study determined that between 3,600 and 7,300 cases of silicosis occur annually in the United States. The Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. has successfully represented people with silica-related diseases, so if you have been diagnosed with such an illness, they are able to help you file an action against responsible parties. The most common silica containing products A lot of materials contain silica and when they are used in large quantities at workplace, they can generate silica dust. Among these materials are abrasives, concrete, dirt, coal dust, filter aids, natural graphite, mineral products, paint, pavement, asphalt, cosmetics, cleansers, bricks and tiles. Who is at risk? Industries where significant amounts of respirable silica dust are present include mining, quarrying, mineral processing, bricks and tiles and constructions. So the people who are at risk in developing a silica-related illness are mainly workers from these occupational fields. Another important aspect is that the response of an individual is likely to depend on the nature of the silica dust, the dust fraction, the duration and frequency of the exposure and also the smoking habits. “People should be well aware of the dangers silica particles actually represent and to protect themselves accordingly by avoiding industrial sites that perform high-energy operations such as cutting, drilling or crushing stone or by carefully reading the list of ingredients from cleansers or cosmetics.” said Gregory Cade, attorney specializing in asbestos and environmental law.  However, if you or a loved one have already been exposed to silica dust and unfortunately have developed a silica related illness, you should seek medical attention right away and waste no time in contacting a law firm for legal representation, as it would not be advisable to let reckless companies get away with it. About the author: Gregory A. Cade has been an attorney for over 20 years, specializing in environmental, mesothelioma & asbestos law. His firm, Environmental Litigation Group, has processed over 200.000 claims and has recovered more than $1 billion for asbestos victims. Gregory always treats his clients with professionalism and compassion and he always fights to ensure that they get the help they need.
    262 Posted by Talk. Build
  • When you look on a food label, chances are you will see some ingredients you have never heard of, some of which you might even find hard to pronounce. Found in many products, silicon dioxide or silica is, for example, one such ingredient writes Gregory A. Cade . What is silica? Silica is a natural element, composed of two of the earth’s most common materials: oxygen and silicon, more precisely: one atom of silicon and two atoms of oxygen – from where the chemical formula SiO2. Quartz represents the most ordinary form of crystalline silica and is the second most common mineral on earth. It is found in almost every type of rock and thus in nearly all mining operations. The first industrial use of silica was most likely related to the glass making activity in three to five thousand years BC. It continued to support progress throughout history, being an important factor in the industrial revolution, especially in the construction, ceramic and glass industries and it contributes even today in key branches of technology, providing material for silicon chips and computer mice. Quartz is the solely natural silica mineral used in significant quantity: millions of tons are annually consumed by industry. Crushed sandstone is used in the construction of roads and railways, relatively pure quartz is important as ingredient for glass and porcelain manufacture and high purity quartz is fused to achieve premium optical glass. Quartz and its derivatives were also used since antiquity as semiprecious gems or ornamental stones. Precious opal, which is a form of silica, has been a gemstone since the Roman period. When does silica represent a danger? Silica is found in many materials from construction sites, including sand, soil, concrete, rock or granite. The dust created when any of those materials are drilled, cut or disturbed in any way can contain small silica particles. The particles are so small that they cannot even be seen and it can take only a minor amount of airborne silica dust in order to create a health problem. Yet it is important to know that repeated exposures to silica dust can even raise the chances of developing a serious lung disease. What kind of diseases can silica lead to? Extended and aggressive exposure to fine particles of silica dust can lead to the very well known occupational illness called silicosis, but lung cancer, tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or even autoimmune diseases cannot be ignored as well. Silicosis is one of the world’s oldest occupational illnesses. It is a nodular progressive fibrosis caused by the deposition of fine respirable silica particles in the lungs. This disease mainly affects people exposed in the workplace, as environmental exposures to silica dust are not dangerous enough to cause this occupational disease. Because silicosis has a very long latency period, the new cases registered today are due to exposure of a few decades ago. There is no specific treatment, removing the source of exposure is often important in preventing the disease from getting worse. Any potential cancer risk due to respirable crystalline silica exposure is limited to lung cancer and any cancer effect is actually secondary to silicosis. A recent study determined that between 3,600 and 7,300 cases of silicosis occur annually in the United States. The Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. has successfully represented people with silica-related diseases, so if you have been diagnosed with such an illness, they are able to help you file an action against responsible parties. The most common silica containing products A lot of materials contain silica and when they are used in large quantities at workplace, they can generate silica dust. Among these materials are abrasives, concrete, dirt, coal dust, filter aids, natural graphite, mineral products, paint, pavement, asphalt, cosmetics, cleansers, bricks and tiles. Who is at risk? Industries where significant amounts of respirable silica dust are present include mining, quarrying, mineral processing, bricks and tiles and constructions. So the people who are at risk in developing a silica-related illness are mainly workers from these occupational fields. Another important aspect is that the response of an individual is likely to depend on the nature of the silica dust, the dust fraction, the duration and frequency of the exposure and also the smoking habits. “People should be well aware of the dangers silica particles actually represent and to protect themselves accordingly by avoiding industrial sites that perform high-energy operations such as cutting, drilling or crushing stone or by carefully reading the list of ingredients from cleansers or cosmetics.” said Gregory Cade, attorney specializing in asbestos and environmental law.  However, if you or a loved one have already been exposed to silica dust and unfortunately have developed a silica related illness, you should seek medical attention right away and waste no time in contacting a law firm for legal representation, as it would not be advisable to let reckless companies get away with it. About the author: Gregory A. Cade has been an attorney for over 20 years, specializing in environmental, mesothelioma & asbestos law. His firm, Environmental Litigation Group, has processed over 200.000 claims and has recovered more than $1 billion for asbestos victims. Gregory always treats his clients with professionalism and compassion and he always fights to ensure that they get the help they need.
    Aug 01, 2018 262
  • 25 Jul 2018
    Contractors generally begin a project with an estimate of how much it will cost writes Eric Block, but no construction company wants to budget for the price of an accident. A safety incident on a job site can do more than disrupt a schedule and increase costs. It also can take a human toll that can have a much greater impact than any line item in a budget.   From start to finish, operating a project safely is a construction company’s most important obligation. Everyone involved in construction shares the responsibility for a safe working environment. Executives and managers must build and reinforce a culture of safety. Workers must be mindful of the proper procedures related to their roles. Because there is so much at risk at all times, no task is too small to do safely.   For example, something as simple as hammering a nail must be done with the utmost attention to proper techniques and procedures. These include wearing safety goggles, inspecting tools for signs of wear and taking periodic breaks to avoid repetitive stress injuries.   Operating heavy equipment also requires workers to pay attention to safety protocols. Such rules include surveying the surrounding area to ensure you will have enough clearance and having a spotter check your blind spots. Construction projects are costly. No contractor wants to add to the price of a project through accidents, especially those that can be avoided. The accompanying guide lays out many of the most important safety tips crews should keep in mind before they begin the workday.   Author bio: Eric Block is VP of Sales and Marketing at USA Hoist. He has been in the industry for 15 years, and has the experience and knowledge to help achieve the most effective hoisting solutions for general contractors — assisting with everything from value engineering to logistics plans.
    336 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Contractors generally begin a project with an estimate of how much it will cost writes Eric Block, but no construction company wants to budget for the price of an accident. A safety incident on a job site can do more than disrupt a schedule and increase costs. It also can take a human toll that can have a much greater impact than any line item in a budget.   From start to finish, operating a project safely is a construction company’s most important obligation. Everyone involved in construction shares the responsibility for a safe working environment. Executives and managers must build and reinforce a culture of safety. Workers must be mindful of the proper procedures related to their roles. Because there is so much at risk at all times, no task is too small to do safely.   For example, something as simple as hammering a nail must be done with the utmost attention to proper techniques and procedures. These include wearing safety goggles, inspecting tools for signs of wear and taking periodic breaks to avoid repetitive stress injuries.   Operating heavy equipment also requires workers to pay attention to safety protocols. Such rules include surveying the surrounding area to ensure you will have enough clearance and having a spotter check your blind spots. Construction projects are costly. No contractor wants to add to the price of a project through accidents, especially those that can be avoided. The accompanying guide lays out many of the most important safety tips crews should keep in mind before they begin the workday.   Author bio: Eric Block is VP of Sales and Marketing at USA Hoist. He has been in the industry for 15 years, and has the experience and knowledge to help achieve the most effective hoisting solutions for general contractors — assisting with everything from value engineering to logistics plans.
    Jul 25, 2018 336
  • 25 Jul 2018
    For eighteen years, Sika® Galvashield® Anodes have been successfully employed to prevent corrosion in reinforced concrete. The method behind the solution, however, was devised a long time before then - 194 years to be precise. In 1824, Sir Humphrey Davy deduced the simple principle of a sacrificial anode for the Royal Navy, which has led to the development of management systems as a time and cost-effective solution for concrete structures at high risk of corrosion. HISTORY Galvanic anodes for reinforced concrete structures were developed in the late 1990s and are produced from zinc encased in a formulated porous cementitious mortar surrounded by a specifically developed activator with a pH>14.5. Their manufacture has proved a major success in the treatment of chloride-induced corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete structures. Chlorides can be introduced into the concrete in multiple ways: cast in during construction; use of sea dredged aggregates, chemical works and deicing salts or seawater leading to the localized breakdown of the normally passive steel reinforcement in the form of pitting corrosion. In structural trials at sites across the UK, zinc galvanic anodes were shown to be successful in providing adequate cathodic current to the steel reinforcement around the periphery of a patch repair for a period of 18.5 years and continue to work. The process involves the activation of the anode’s sacrificial zinc core by the surrounding specially-formulated cementitious mortar. The anode is quickly and easily fastened to the exposed reinforcing steel, and once installed, corrodes preferentially to the surrounding rebar.  The system, which contains integral lead wires, can be targeted at specific high-corrosion risk areas within structures or over large areas for widespread corrosion protection and control.  Patch repair alone is a less reliable solution than total corrosion management, as its long-term effectiveness is hampered by the prevalence of chlorides in other areas of the concrete. Whilst removing and making good the most visibly spalled section of the structure might initially appear to resolve the issue, the repair of sites which are actively corroding in a chloride-contaminated structure is likely to stimulate corrosion at sites adjacent to the repair – a phenomenon known as the incipient anode, ring anode or halo effect. REPAIR AND RESIST Therefore, a long-term management solution that includes Sika® Galvashield® XP - which comprises embedded galvanic anodes - addresses the source of the corrosion and is a far more cost-effective repair solution as it minimizes ongoing maintenance costs and extends the life of the structure. Galvanic anodes can eliminate the need for long-term power supplies and control equipment to ensure low-running costs and an attractive option for remote structures. They can also negate the need to break-out large areas of contaminated concrete, reducing environmental disruption and the need for structural propping.  A zinc core encased by a small, cementitious shell, Sika® Galvashield® sacrificial anodes might not demonstrate a particularly dynamic presence, but they’ve proved a mighty effective weapon against the corrosive elements which threaten the structural integrity of concrete structures the world over. Visit: https://gbr.sika.com/en/group.html  
    243 Posted by Talk. Build
  • For eighteen years, Sika® Galvashield® Anodes have been successfully employed to prevent corrosion in reinforced concrete. The method behind the solution, however, was devised a long time before then - 194 years to be precise. In 1824, Sir Humphrey Davy deduced the simple principle of a sacrificial anode for the Royal Navy, which has led to the development of management systems as a time and cost-effective solution for concrete structures at high risk of corrosion. HISTORY Galvanic anodes for reinforced concrete structures were developed in the late 1990s and are produced from zinc encased in a formulated porous cementitious mortar surrounded by a specifically developed activator with a pH>14.5. Their manufacture has proved a major success in the treatment of chloride-induced corrosion of steel reinforcement in concrete structures. Chlorides can be introduced into the concrete in multiple ways: cast in during construction; use of sea dredged aggregates, chemical works and deicing salts or seawater leading to the localized breakdown of the normally passive steel reinforcement in the form of pitting corrosion. In structural trials at sites across the UK, zinc galvanic anodes were shown to be successful in providing adequate cathodic current to the steel reinforcement around the periphery of a patch repair for a period of 18.5 years and continue to work. The process involves the activation of the anode’s sacrificial zinc core by the surrounding specially-formulated cementitious mortar. The anode is quickly and easily fastened to the exposed reinforcing steel, and once installed, corrodes preferentially to the surrounding rebar.  The system, which contains integral lead wires, can be targeted at specific high-corrosion risk areas within structures or over large areas for widespread corrosion protection and control.  Patch repair alone is a less reliable solution than total corrosion management, as its long-term effectiveness is hampered by the prevalence of chlorides in other areas of the concrete. Whilst removing and making good the most visibly spalled section of the structure might initially appear to resolve the issue, the repair of sites which are actively corroding in a chloride-contaminated structure is likely to stimulate corrosion at sites adjacent to the repair – a phenomenon known as the incipient anode, ring anode or halo effect. REPAIR AND RESIST Therefore, a long-term management solution that includes Sika® Galvashield® XP - which comprises embedded galvanic anodes - addresses the source of the corrosion and is a far more cost-effective repair solution as it minimizes ongoing maintenance costs and extends the life of the structure. Galvanic anodes can eliminate the need for long-term power supplies and control equipment to ensure low-running costs and an attractive option for remote structures. They can also negate the need to break-out large areas of contaminated concrete, reducing environmental disruption and the need for structural propping.  A zinc core encased by a small, cementitious shell, Sika® Galvashield® sacrificial anodes might not demonstrate a particularly dynamic presence, but they’ve proved a mighty effective weapon against the corrosive elements which threaten the structural integrity of concrete structures the world over. Visit: https://gbr.sika.com/en/group.html  
    Jul 25, 2018 243
  • 23 Jul 2018
    Plans to turn every home, office and business into virtual power stations have been announced by Ecolution Group Britain’s fastest-growing supplier of renewable, energy solutions. The launch, supported by an invitation to everyone in the UK and Ireland to #JointheEcolution, is part of a massive green energy initiative that will link together photovoltaic panels, smart energy storage units and EV (electric vehicle) charging points. In short – it will give every home, office and business the opportunity to store, share and sell green energy, totally transforming the way we generate electricity and the way we use it in our houses, in our companies and on the road. Ecolution, supplier and installer of photovoltaic panels and EV charging points, has partnered with HYCUBE, the German manufacturer of smart energy storage units, to produce virtual power station solutions that can be adapted to fit the needs of every type of building – regardless of size. “What we are talking about is nothing short of an energy revolution,” said Andrew Knapp, Ecolution Chief Executive. “We call it #JointheEcolution because it is literally that – a revolution in green energy that makes it possible and affordable for the very first time to combine electricity generation with smart storage and distribution.” “We are literally putting the power into the hands of everyone as a first major step towards energy independence. It starts here and it starts today.” The Ecolution/HyCube system gives the building owner total flexibility. The Sun supplies the green energy which charges up the storage unit with FREE electricity. This ingenious technology is encased within a smart, modular design, enabling this game-changing energy provider to become part of the furniture. When the unit is fully charged any additional power can be sold on to the national grid or shared with other Ecolution/HyCube users Thousands of similar systems have already been successfully installed across Europe and Ecolution believe that British householders and businesses will also wish to #JointheEcolution with prices for a full system in an average house from £8,000. Ecolution, with existing offices in Kent and Norfolk, is investing heavily in the business with plans to open a network of sites nationwide over the next two years. Ecolution and Hycube are re-energising the way we use power; leading the charge for a greener, cleaner tomorrow. They are ready to put the power in your hands – are you?  #JointheEcolution Visit: www.ecolutiongroup.com
    445 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Plans to turn every home, office and business into virtual power stations have been announced by Ecolution Group Britain’s fastest-growing supplier of renewable, energy solutions. The launch, supported by an invitation to everyone in the UK and Ireland to #JointheEcolution, is part of a massive green energy initiative that will link together photovoltaic panels, smart energy storage units and EV (electric vehicle) charging points. In short – it will give every home, office and business the opportunity to store, share and sell green energy, totally transforming the way we generate electricity and the way we use it in our houses, in our companies and on the road. Ecolution, supplier and installer of photovoltaic panels and EV charging points, has partnered with HYCUBE, the German manufacturer of smart energy storage units, to produce virtual power station solutions that can be adapted to fit the needs of every type of building – regardless of size. “What we are talking about is nothing short of an energy revolution,” said Andrew Knapp, Ecolution Chief Executive. “We call it #JointheEcolution because it is literally that – a revolution in green energy that makes it possible and affordable for the very first time to combine electricity generation with smart storage and distribution.” “We are literally putting the power into the hands of everyone as a first major step towards energy independence. It starts here and it starts today.” The Ecolution/HyCube system gives the building owner total flexibility. The Sun supplies the green energy which charges up the storage unit with FREE electricity. This ingenious technology is encased within a smart, modular design, enabling this game-changing energy provider to become part of the furniture. When the unit is fully charged any additional power can be sold on to the national grid or shared with other Ecolution/HyCube users Thousands of similar systems have already been successfully installed across Europe and Ecolution believe that British householders and businesses will also wish to #JointheEcolution with prices for a full system in an average house from £8,000. Ecolution, with existing offices in Kent and Norfolk, is investing heavily in the business with plans to open a network of sites nationwide over the next two years. Ecolution and Hycube are re-energising the way we use power; leading the charge for a greener, cleaner tomorrow. They are ready to put the power in your hands – are you?  #JointheEcolution Visit: www.ecolutiongroup.com
    Jul 23, 2018 445
  • 20 Jul 2018
    Architects’ love of curtain wall cladding for its flexibility, durability and weather resistance has led to it being the external skin of choice for high-rise buildings across the globe. These external finishes are generally constructions of aluminium and glass, and whilst they are lightweight and durable, passive fire protection and preventing the spread of potentially life-threatening fire and smoke from one part of the construction to another can be quite a challenge. Fires in high-rise buildings generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to only one room. When the gap at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke will spread vertically to higher floors. Addressing these linear gaps by properly installing firestops maintains the floor’s fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related deaths in the upper floors of the building. The width of these gaps can be quite wide to accommodate service movement and other design parameters. Sealing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartment floor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable and sometimes quite wide, therefore the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability - compression and recovery - to accommodate serviceability movement. What is critical is the firestop system must do this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartment floor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rise above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features - density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression - which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, the Certifire-approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits.The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the linear gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls both horizontally and vertically. The systems offer tested fire rating options ranging from 60 minutes to five hours and can accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Designability The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative wind loads as well as occupational live loads. These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, and where fixing brackets are required, these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third-party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and façade is often a weak point acoustically. Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Fire and smoke seal At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers, recently completed at the Dubai Marina in the UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor, Cladtech, with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill linear gaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry-fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors. Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing lifesaving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well-designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit www.siderise.com 
    349 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Architects’ love of curtain wall cladding for its flexibility, durability and weather resistance has led to it being the external skin of choice for high-rise buildings across the globe. These external finishes are generally constructions of aluminium and glass, and whilst they are lightweight and durable, passive fire protection and preventing the spread of potentially life-threatening fire and smoke from one part of the construction to another can be quite a challenge. Fires in high-rise buildings generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to only one room. When the gap at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke will spread vertically to higher floors. Addressing these linear gaps by properly installing firestops maintains the floor’s fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related deaths in the upper floors of the building. The width of these gaps can be quite wide to accommodate service movement and other design parameters. Sealing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartment floor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable and sometimes quite wide, therefore the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability - compression and recovery - to accommodate serviceability movement. What is critical is the firestop system must do this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartment floor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rise above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features - density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression - which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, the Certifire-approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits.The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the linear gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls both horizontally and vertically. The systems offer tested fire rating options ranging from 60 minutes to five hours and can accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Designability The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative wind loads as well as occupational live loads. These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, and where fixing brackets are required, these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third-party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and façade is often a weak point acoustically. Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Fire and smoke seal At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers, recently completed at the Dubai Marina in the UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor, Cladtech, with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill linear gaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry-fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors. Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing lifesaving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well-designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit www.siderise.com 
    Jul 20, 2018 349
  • 18 Jul 2018
    Good quality daylight is a must for all schools and is widely recognised as one of the best ways to improve the happiness and wellbeing of building occupants. It can not only maximise student performance and productivity, but also help lower a building’s energy use. While natural lighting should always be the main source of lighting in schools, daylight illumination falls off with distance from windows. This is why rooflights are playing an increasingly important role in the provision of daylight within our schools.   The school environment is critical for promoting the wellbeing and resilience of children.  After all, children spend more than 7,800 hours at school throughout their education and a large amount of time in the classroom. Studies have shown that students felt at their best under rooflight or natural lighting, whilst teachers appreciate the low glare, good colour rendition and good behaviour demonstrated under the conditions created by rooflights. Daylighting the interior environment has a direct and positive impact on student and teacher performance. A study released by the Herschong Mahone Group, Daylighting in Schools, looked at the effect of daylighting and human performance. Analysing maths and reading test scores for more than 21,000 students from elementary schools in different regions of the western United States, the results found that throughout one year, students with the most daylight in their classrooms progressed 20% faster in maths and 26% faster in reading, compared to students who had less natural daylight in their classrooms. The pressure on schools due to the combination of shrinking budgets and ever-changing teaching requirements has meant that teaching spaces need to be flexible and adaptable. By introducing rooflights, including domes, vaults, pitched skylights or panel glazing systems, manufacturers such as Brett Martin Daylight Systems can help specifiers deliver educational spaces that encourage learning, concentration and positive student behavior, helping to meet the specific needs of each school project. Daylight dividends According to The Department for Education Building Design Bulletin 90, ‘The school designer should assume that daylight will be the prime means of lighting when it is available’. With daylight considered a fundamental design criterion, rooflights can help maximise the transmission of natural light to the interior of a school. Correct use of natural light can help achieve BREEAM credits for Health and Wellbeing – including daylighting and glare control – as well as Energy Saving. An important consideration when specifying rooflights is ensuring compliance with the differing national regulatory frameworks. For example, when meeting the requirements of Part L 2013, the minimum performance standard for rooflights is 2.2W/m²K, which means all rooflights should be at least triple skin. For a building to meet its CO2 emission targets, however, specifying rooflights with a U-Value of 1.8 W/m²K - to match the performance of the rooflights in the Notional Building - is recommended. Installing 15% of the roof area in rooflights is a practical solution to ensure the lighting levels within the building are adequate and will reduce the artificial lighting requirement and energy use, which in turn reduces a building’s CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the passive solar gain achieved can provide free heat to the building. In addition to new build construction, architects and designers refurbishing and upgrading many older school buildings can reap the benefits of rooflights. Brett Martin Daylight Systems has offered guidance and advice to specifiers wanting to transform courtyards into classrooms, provide canopies and covered walkways, replace existing rooflights and develop bespoke daylight solutions for halls and circulation areas, leisure facilities and classrooms according to each project. Seeing the light For an inspiring, new academy in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham, a continuous vault rooflight system and glass domes from Brett Martin Daylight Systems have helped to deliver exceptional levels of diffused daylight into communal areas of the school. Built as part of the Priority School Building Programme and serving approximately 800 students, the new ARK Kings Academy has replaced a previously outdated school building. The rooflights package included the Marvault system which provided the optimum combination of high light transmission and diffusion. Glazed in 16mm structured polycarbonate, the Marvaults could be easily assembled into runs of more than 23 metres in length. The economic, simple-to-fit, barrel vault system complemented the new facility’s high quality external aesthetic. In addition, the sleek and modern styling of Mardome Glass, a flat glass rooflight, will further maximise natural daylight into areas where windows cannot reach. “We have partnered with local authorities, architects and schools on a significant number of school projects across the UK and Ireland,” commented Tony Isaac, National Commercial Sales Manager at Brett Martin Daylight Systems. “Our technical advisors can provide expert, impartial advice on the design, specification and installation of rooflights and are on hand to advise on the regulatory demands for daylighting the school of the future.” Lighting plays an important part in any building, and in schools the lighting design should enable students and staff to carry out their particular activities easily and comfortably in attractive and stimulating surroundings. In addition to improving the energy performance of the school building, rooflights can be fundamental to ensuring that attention, concentration and overall pupil behaviour is maximised to enhance academic performance. Visit: http://www.brettmartin.com
    241 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Good quality daylight is a must for all schools and is widely recognised as one of the best ways to improve the happiness and wellbeing of building occupants. It can not only maximise student performance and productivity, but also help lower a building’s energy use. While natural lighting should always be the main source of lighting in schools, daylight illumination falls off with distance from windows. This is why rooflights are playing an increasingly important role in the provision of daylight within our schools.   The school environment is critical for promoting the wellbeing and resilience of children.  After all, children spend more than 7,800 hours at school throughout their education and a large amount of time in the classroom. Studies have shown that students felt at their best under rooflight or natural lighting, whilst teachers appreciate the low glare, good colour rendition and good behaviour demonstrated under the conditions created by rooflights. Daylighting the interior environment has a direct and positive impact on student and teacher performance. A study released by the Herschong Mahone Group, Daylighting in Schools, looked at the effect of daylighting and human performance. Analysing maths and reading test scores for more than 21,000 students from elementary schools in different regions of the western United States, the results found that throughout one year, students with the most daylight in their classrooms progressed 20% faster in maths and 26% faster in reading, compared to students who had less natural daylight in their classrooms. The pressure on schools due to the combination of shrinking budgets and ever-changing teaching requirements has meant that teaching spaces need to be flexible and adaptable. By introducing rooflights, including domes, vaults, pitched skylights or panel glazing systems, manufacturers such as Brett Martin Daylight Systems can help specifiers deliver educational spaces that encourage learning, concentration and positive student behavior, helping to meet the specific needs of each school project. Daylight dividends According to The Department for Education Building Design Bulletin 90, ‘The school designer should assume that daylight will be the prime means of lighting when it is available’. With daylight considered a fundamental design criterion, rooflights can help maximise the transmission of natural light to the interior of a school. Correct use of natural light can help achieve BREEAM credits for Health and Wellbeing – including daylighting and glare control – as well as Energy Saving. An important consideration when specifying rooflights is ensuring compliance with the differing national regulatory frameworks. For example, when meeting the requirements of Part L 2013, the minimum performance standard for rooflights is 2.2W/m²K, which means all rooflights should be at least triple skin. For a building to meet its CO2 emission targets, however, specifying rooflights with a U-Value of 1.8 W/m²K - to match the performance of the rooflights in the Notional Building - is recommended. Installing 15% of the roof area in rooflights is a practical solution to ensure the lighting levels within the building are adequate and will reduce the artificial lighting requirement and energy use, which in turn reduces a building’s CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the passive solar gain achieved can provide free heat to the building. In addition to new build construction, architects and designers refurbishing and upgrading many older school buildings can reap the benefits of rooflights. Brett Martin Daylight Systems has offered guidance and advice to specifiers wanting to transform courtyards into classrooms, provide canopies and covered walkways, replace existing rooflights and develop bespoke daylight solutions for halls and circulation areas, leisure facilities and classrooms according to each project. Seeing the light For an inspiring, new academy in the Kings Norton area of Birmingham, a continuous vault rooflight system and glass domes from Brett Martin Daylight Systems have helped to deliver exceptional levels of diffused daylight into communal areas of the school. Built as part of the Priority School Building Programme and serving approximately 800 students, the new ARK Kings Academy has replaced a previously outdated school building. The rooflights package included the Marvault system which provided the optimum combination of high light transmission and diffusion. Glazed in 16mm structured polycarbonate, the Marvaults could be easily assembled into runs of more than 23 metres in length. The economic, simple-to-fit, barrel vault system complemented the new facility’s high quality external aesthetic. In addition, the sleek and modern styling of Mardome Glass, a flat glass rooflight, will further maximise natural daylight into areas where windows cannot reach. “We have partnered with local authorities, architects and schools on a significant number of school projects across the UK and Ireland,” commented Tony Isaac, National Commercial Sales Manager at Brett Martin Daylight Systems. “Our technical advisors can provide expert, impartial advice on the design, specification and installation of rooflights and are on hand to advise on the regulatory demands for daylighting the school of the future.” Lighting plays an important part in any building, and in schools the lighting design should enable students and staff to carry out their particular activities easily and comfortably in attractive and stimulating surroundings. In addition to improving the energy performance of the school building, rooflights can be fundamental to ensuring that attention, concentration and overall pupil behaviour is maximised to enhance academic performance. Visit: http://www.brettmartin.com
    Jul 18, 2018 241
  • 16 Jul 2018
    The roofing industry has undergone huge changes over the past decade, writes Shay Casey, Senior Sales Manager at Sika-Trocal. Technology has inspired its growth, with specification and design innovation keeping step with dynamic project visions. BIM modelling, digital presentations and even refurbishment surveys can be carried out using a drone or virtual programmes. Technical advancement has led to a marketplace brimming with new products and systems. Greater choice has led to increased competition, with contractors offering complete roofing and cladding packages – a major change in the specification and application process. The introduction of a wide range of new membranes has seen contractors adapt specifications to ensure the most cost-effective installation; an option not available to architects or clients who no longer have the power to uphold the original specification. This can result in them having to accept products of inferior quality, which isn’t ideal. Today’s roofing contractors need to be more financially aware than ever before, due to the rise of extended payment terms and retentions which have proven a huge burden to buyers and suppliers. Firms throughout the construction have also had to adapt to new ways of self-marketing. In previous years, a simple advert in the local newspaper or Yellow Pages was thought of as a most effective promotional tool. The internet, and more particularly, social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. Rather than rely on repeat business or word of mouth recommendations, a hefty LinkedIn or Twitter presence can spread positive word of a contractor’s service offering in a matter of seconds. Environmental concerns have also led to a welter of roofing industry changes, with the introduction of green and cool roofs, solar panels and further developments in roof lighting. The Green Guide has led to vast improvements in recycling, manufacturing footprint and roofing performance in terms of thermal values and sustainability. The knock-on effect of the drive for a ‘cleaner’ project delivery means sales teams not only have to be fluent in their products’ properties, an understanding of their compatibility with new technologies and environmental standards is also required.  Virtual reality has also revolutionised our personal interactivity. From simulated flight control and fairground rides, to historical battlefields and exotic holiday destinations, a world of artificial exploration is available for those with a taste for risk-averse exhilaration. It’s likely virtual reality will also prove useful to the roofing sector in the coming years, allowing stakeholders involved in a project to visualise how it will look when completed. This will help minimise misunderstandings between parties which can lead to frustrating, costly delays for the client. New technologies should – in theory at least – make for more rapid construction,with contractors able to tailor projects to a client’s specific needs. It might be that technology will replace people skills in certain areas of construction. In which case, with digital wizardry perhaps taking care of a project’s more technical aspects, it might mean the industry’s future workforce will merely require a broad range of abilities and knowledge to remain employable. Since I joined Sika-Trocal in 2004 my licensed contractors have installed more than 2million linear metres of Trocal membrane, which equates to more than 1300 miles of material – enough to cover the length of the GB and back again. During those 14 years my customer base has grown and I have thrived on the competition the market has imposed. Each day is a challenge to gain specification for Trocal products and our comprehensive range of services and accessories which include insulation, fixings and rooflights. Over the coming decade the roofing industry will doubtless face many challenges, and as practices and systems change, members will be required to adjust accordingly. With the support of trade associations such as SPRA and NFRC, the future should hold no fear for those involved in the roofing sector. Here’s to my next 2 million linear metres. Visit: http://gbr.sika-trocal.sika.com
    211 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The roofing industry has undergone huge changes over the past decade, writes Shay Casey, Senior Sales Manager at Sika-Trocal. Technology has inspired its growth, with specification and design innovation keeping step with dynamic project visions. BIM modelling, digital presentations and even refurbishment surveys can be carried out using a drone or virtual programmes. Technical advancement has led to a marketplace brimming with new products and systems. Greater choice has led to increased competition, with contractors offering complete roofing and cladding packages – a major change in the specification and application process. The introduction of a wide range of new membranes has seen contractors adapt specifications to ensure the most cost-effective installation; an option not available to architects or clients who no longer have the power to uphold the original specification. This can result in them having to accept products of inferior quality, which isn’t ideal. Today’s roofing contractors need to be more financially aware than ever before, due to the rise of extended payment terms and retentions which have proven a huge burden to buyers and suppliers. Firms throughout the construction have also had to adapt to new ways of self-marketing. In previous years, a simple advert in the local newspaper or Yellow Pages was thought of as a most effective promotional tool. The internet, and more particularly, social media has revolutionised the way we communicate. Rather than rely on repeat business or word of mouth recommendations, a hefty LinkedIn or Twitter presence can spread positive word of a contractor’s service offering in a matter of seconds. Environmental concerns have also led to a welter of roofing industry changes, with the introduction of green and cool roofs, solar panels and further developments in roof lighting. The Green Guide has led to vast improvements in recycling, manufacturing footprint and roofing performance in terms of thermal values and sustainability. The knock-on effect of the drive for a ‘cleaner’ project delivery means sales teams not only have to be fluent in their products’ properties, an understanding of their compatibility with new technologies and environmental standards is also required.  Virtual reality has also revolutionised our personal interactivity. From simulated flight control and fairground rides, to historical battlefields and exotic holiday destinations, a world of artificial exploration is available for those with a taste for risk-averse exhilaration. It’s likely virtual reality will also prove useful to the roofing sector in the coming years, allowing stakeholders involved in a project to visualise how it will look when completed. This will help minimise misunderstandings between parties which can lead to frustrating, costly delays for the client. New technologies should – in theory at least – make for more rapid construction,with contractors able to tailor projects to a client’s specific needs. It might be that technology will replace people skills in certain areas of construction. In which case, with digital wizardry perhaps taking care of a project’s more technical aspects, it might mean the industry’s future workforce will merely require a broad range of abilities and knowledge to remain employable. Since I joined Sika-Trocal in 2004 my licensed contractors have installed more than 2million linear metres of Trocal membrane, which equates to more than 1300 miles of material – enough to cover the length of the GB and back again. During those 14 years my customer base has grown and I have thrived on the competition the market has imposed. Each day is a challenge to gain specification for Trocal products and our comprehensive range of services and accessories which include insulation, fixings and rooflights. Over the coming decade the roofing industry will doubtless face many challenges, and as practices and systems change, members will be required to adjust accordingly. With the support of trade associations such as SPRA and NFRC, the future should hold no fear for those involved in the roofing sector. Here’s to my next 2 million linear metres. Visit: http://gbr.sika-trocal.sika.com
    Jul 16, 2018 211
  • 10 Jul 2018
    Sprinklers do not work. It’s a statement that I have just read and I find myself asking myself ‘really – has someone just said that writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance?’ With all of the evidence about how effective sprinklers are in controlling and extinguishing fires, across virtually every building type from residential to commercial and industrial - I find it astonishing that statements like this are still being made. So what’s the problem with sprinklers? Do they have an identity crisis? Are they misunderstood? I have just read an article in which a former Housing Minister indicated that sprinklers will not work on cooking fires or on electrical fires. Recently we have seen an eminent fellow from RICS suggesting similar issues with sprinklers. I have spoken in numerous meetings on the subject and heard similar. I work for an insurance company and when I mention sprinklers people react by telling me that I would suggest that. The logic being that insurance companies do not want to have major claims and want to limit losses (yes, we do not want to see our clients have major losses and we would like to help them have smaller interruptions). If the avoidance of large claims were the only reason and sprinklers were that ineffective would insurance companies really support their use? Fire and Rescue Services tackle fires across the country every day. They understand the challenges of those fires and the dangers, and the need to control them quickly to avoid loss of life and damage to property, and of course the danger they are exposed to when firefighting. So, if sprinklers are that ineffective why does the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) advocate their use? The NFCC supported a study of sprinklers for Optimal Economics which showed them to 99% effective. This was not an experiment, it was a not based on some staged fire test – it was real life. The study was based on data from our own Fire and Rescue Services up and down the country and fires involving a breadth of different types of buildings and uses. The insurance sector fire statistics show that electrical and cooking fires are the leading causes of fire in the UK. So if sprinklers systems were ineffective how come the research showed that they were 99% effective set against one of the biggest risks? I am an advocate for the use of the sprinklers. I am someone who has worked on issues surrounding fire for 25 years. One thing has always been clear to me though, when I am not sure about a product, system or process I need to ask questions, check the facts and educate myself. When it comes to sprinklers I wish others would do the same – I suspect they may be surprised to find out how they actually work, their effectiveness and that they do work in a remarkably broad set of situations. To put this into context, I have witnessed on numerous occasions people from all walks of life – from construction professional to politicians – being given a sprinkler head and asked if they know how it works. Nine times out of ten the answer is no, and when the principles of a sprinkler is explained there is a look of genuine surprise and intrigue on their faces. It therefore leads to me conclude that sprinklers are one of those things that we take for granted or dismiss with a pinch of salt – those people that understand them see the true benefits of them, or those that don’t understand them all too quickly dismiss them without really being able to justify why. No sprinklers are not sexy. No sprinklers don’t come with lots of apps and widgets. And no, the mechanism for operating sprinklers is simple and effective – but that’s the whole point. They work, they have always worked and as such they will continue to work. Maybe this is part of the problem – we are always looking for the next new things, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is the case with sprinklers – they work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    210 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Sprinklers do not work. It’s a statement that I have just read and I find myself asking myself ‘really – has someone just said that writes Tom Roche, Secretary of the Business Sprinkler Alliance?’ With all of the evidence about how effective sprinklers are in controlling and extinguishing fires, across virtually every building type from residential to commercial and industrial - I find it astonishing that statements like this are still being made. So what’s the problem with sprinklers? Do they have an identity crisis? Are they misunderstood? I have just read an article in which a former Housing Minister indicated that sprinklers will not work on cooking fires or on electrical fires. Recently we have seen an eminent fellow from RICS suggesting similar issues with sprinklers. I have spoken in numerous meetings on the subject and heard similar. I work for an insurance company and when I mention sprinklers people react by telling me that I would suggest that. The logic being that insurance companies do not want to have major claims and want to limit losses (yes, we do not want to see our clients have major losses and we would like to help them have smaller interruptions). If the avoidance of large claims were the only reason and sprinklers were that ineffective would insurance companies really support their use? Fire and Rescue Services tackle fires across the country every day. They understand the challenges of those fires and the dangers, and the need to control them quickly to avoid loss of life and damage to property, and of course the danger they are exposed to when firefighting. So, if sprinklers are that ineffective why does the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) advocate their use? The NFCC supported a study of sprinklers for Optimal Economics which showed them to 99% effective. This was not an experiment, it was a not based on some staged fire test – it was real life. The study was based on data from our own Fire and Rescue Services up and down the country and fires involving a breadth of different types of buildings and uses. The insurance sector fire statistics show that electrical and cooking fires are the leading causes of fire in the UK. So if sprinklers systems were ineffective how come the research showed that they were 99% effective set against one of the biggest risks? I am an advocate for the use of the sprinklers. I am someone who has worked on issues surrounding fire for 25 years. One thing has always been clear to me though, when I am not sure about a product, system or process I need to ask questions, check the facts and educate myself. When it comes to sprinklers I wish others would do the same – I suspect they may be surprised to find out how they actually work, their effectiveness and that they do work in a remarkably broad set of situations. To put this into context, I have witnessed on numerous occasions people from all walks of life – from construction professional to politicians – being given a sprinkler head and asked if they know how it works. Nine times out of ten the answer is no, and when the principles of a sprinkler is explained there is a look of genuine surprise and intrigue on their faces. It therefore leads to me conclude that sprinklers are one of those things that we take for granted or dismiss with a pinch of salt – those people that understand them see the true benefits of them, or those that don’t understand them all too quickly dismiss them without really being able to justify why. No sprinklers are not sexy. No sprinklers don’t come with lots of apps and widgets. And no, the mechanism for operating sprinklers is simple and effective – but that’s the whole point. They work, they have always worked and as such they will continue to work. Maybe this is part of the problem – we are always looking for the next new things, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This is the case with sprinklers – they work. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    Jul 10, 2018 210
  • 09 Jul 2018
    The introduction of SAS International’s new integrated lighting portfolio will change the terrain of ceiling design. Leading experts in the design and manufacture of metal ceilings, SAS’ commercial office systems offer seamless lighting integration with high performance acoustic control. With 50 years of experience to call upon, SAS International has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to delivering integrated lighting plans to clients. The new lighting portfolio ensures that all angles of a project are accounted for; whether related to design, service, quality, dependability or all of these factors, SAS sets the benchmark for ceiling design in the industry. SAS has performed extensive research into the science and technology of light in order to make its lighting systems efficient and safe. Polar diagrams were used to generate light intensity, enabling clients to predict how the light would work in their office space. As well as light intensity, light quality had to be considered, especially in terms of how the type of light relates to wellbeing. SAS manipulated the spectrum of colours emitted by a given light source (termed as Special Power Distribution) to ensure light selectively highlights certain colours, softening harsher colours and heightening duller ones. Colour relates to wellness, which is a key argument in terms of workplace happiness. SAS researched how particular receptors in our eyes are sensitive to particular colours, including the colour blue. SAS used this insight, which forms the basis of most Circadian Lighting Design strategies, to find the perfect lighting environment for the human eye, ensuring efficiency and safety in the workplace. The launch of its new lighting portfolio brings new revisions to older systems. The well-established SAS330 design features heavily in many commercial buildings, mainly because its unobtrusive aesthetic meets the stringent specification demands of office spaces. SAS has developed the popular design by releasing SAS330i, featuring a fully integrated lighting profile which has all the versatility of SAS330 with a touch more elegance. The system is available in linear and tartan grid forms, combining monolithic design and high performance in equal measure. The SAS330i system was recently installed during a refurbishment at 20 Canada Square, Canary Wharf. In the building’s previous renovation the SAS330 system had been fitted, therefore the client simply desired an upgrade from a product they knew and trusted. SAS330i was the perfect solution as it was the same product but with new LED lighting guaranteed to deliver more than 90% peak light output after 60,000 hours of operation. The new revisions to existing SAS systems showcase how the company is committed to delivering the best, most dependable features to its customers whether new or old. SAS International has made further additions to another trusted system, SAS740. Known as the most versatile of SAS’ linear ceilings, the aluminium system now incorporates lighting to offer an aesthetic entirely different to traditional suspended ceilings. With the same LED light sources as SAS330i, SAS740 is an ideal option for clients who want to put an alternative spin on suspended ceilings. Not only has SAS developed new lighting products, it has researched into the impact light has on the people working in the spaces they create. SAS is committed to bringing the best ceiling design and technology to its customers, where the new lighting portfolio is an unparalleled addition to its multitude of ceiling systems. Visit:  https://sasintgroup.com
    345 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The introduction of SAS International’s new integrated lighting portfolio will change the terrain of ceiling design. Leading experts in the design and manufacture of metal ceilings, SAS’ commercial office systems offer seamless lighting integration with high performance acoustic control. With 50 years of experience to call upon, SAS International has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to delivering integrated lighting plans to clients. The new lighting portfolio ensures that all angles of a project are accounted for; whether related to design, service, quality, dependability or all of these factors, SAS sets the benchmark for ceiling design in the industry. SAS has performed extensive research into the science and technology of light in order to make its lighting systems efficient and safe. Polar diagrams were used to generate light intensity, enabling clients to predict how the light would work in their office space. As well as light intensity, light quality had to be considered, especially in terms of how the type of light relates to wellbeing. SAS manipulated the spectrum of colours emitted by a given light source (termed as Special Power Distribution) to ensure light selectively highlights certain colours, softening harsher colours and heightening duller ones. Colour relates to wellness, which is a key argument in terms of workplace happiness. SAS researched how particular receptors in our eyes are sensitive to particular colours, including the colour blue. SAS used this insight, which forms the basis of most Circadian Lighting Design strategies, to find the perfect lighting environment for the human eye, ensuring efficiency and safety in the workplace. The launch of its new lighting portfolio brings new revisions to older systems. The well-established SAS330 design features heavily in many commercial buildings, mainly because its unobtrusive aesthetic meets the stringent specification demands of office spaces. SAS has developed the popular design by releasing SAS330i, featuring a fully integrated lighting profile which has all the versatility of SAS330 with a touch more elegance. The system is available in linear and tartan grid forms, combining monolithic design and high performance in equal measure. The SAS330i system was recently installed during a refurbishment at 20 Canada Square, Canary Wharf. In the building’s previous renovation the SAS330 system had been fitted, therefore the client simply desired an upgrade from a product they knew and trusted. SAS330i was the perfect solution as it was the same product but with new LED lighting guaranteed to deliver more than 90% peak light output after 60,000 hours of operation. The new revisions to existing SAS systems showcase how the company is committed to delivering the best, most dependable features to its customers whether new or old. SAS International has made further additions to another trusted system, SAS740. Known as the most versatile of SAS’ linear ceilings, the aluminium system now incorporates lighting to offer an aesthetic entirely different to traditional suspended ceilings. With the same LED light sources as SAS330i, SAS740 is an ideal option for clients who want to put an alternative spin on suspended ceilings. Not only has SAS developed new lighting products, it has researched into the impact light has on the people working in the spaces they create. SAS is committed to bringing the best ceiling design and technology to its customers, where the new lighting portfolio is an unparalleled addition to its multitude of ceiling systems. Visit:  https://sasintgroup.com
    Jul 09, 2018 345
  • 06 Jul 2018
    Thanks to innovation in external paints and renders, a building’s façade can be as attractive as it is well protected. Ben Warren, Managing Director at Baumit; the leading building manufacturer of EWI paints and products, considers how the work of researchers and designers has improved colour technology to such an extent exteriors have become not only functional but reflective of the personality of the building. Imagine if we lived in a world where different coloured high-rises dominated the globe’s cityscapes. Or in rural areas where green buildings complement the scenery, intensifying the landscape. Instead of greys and whites, there might be deep turquoises or rich browns and oranges. These striking images seem more suited to a cartoon rather than any real environment. Try and tell a business to paint their building in a forest green and they might not take you as seriously as originally hoped. Unless their business or trade is within the realms of sustainability, horticulture or renewable energy, they might see colour as a way of compromising, rather than enhancing, their business. And this mentality really needs to change, particularly in light of new colour technology. Making colour last Prior to the advent of new colour technologies, colour experts were tasked with the complex process of improving how colour is perceived, especially in terms of longevity. Arguably, some building owners, or businesses who inhabit buildings, hesitate from painting their facades as they believe the colour will fade when exposed to adverse weather conditions and the like. No business wants a drab or tired-looking exterior after six months. Maybe the world would have more faith in colour, if the technology could ensure coloured facades were a sustainable and plausible investment. Luckily enough, the introduction of new colour technology means coloured facades will not be a thing of the future for much longer. Colour technology has developed further than dyes and inks, and now encompasses rigorous testing and measuring of colour quality. These processes evaluate colour quality to make the overall applications long-lasting, high-tech and sophisticated.   There are now products on the market which have been engineered to such a high standard that a red, yellow or green façade will not lose its intensity when exposed to sunlight. This kind of advanced technology will revolutionise the way we paint our buildings, where these new mechanisms will give businesses more confidence in colour choice as they know colour will last. Practicality and performance Colour isn’t simply about aesthetics. Whilst it is important for the new technologies to eliminate colour-fade and ensure colours keep their lustre, colour must also protect and optimise the performance of a building’s façade. Colour technology can now improve a building’s long-term performance without compromising on the colour’s intensity. Highly-engineered acrylic façade paints guarantee excellent coverage without having mucilaginous or sticky consistencies. These specific kinds of paints can be based on mineral binders to increase a wall’s breathability. Furthermore, there are paints designed to reduce water absorption. These paints contain a silicone resin binder, which repels water from the surface. Finally, there are also paints which contain UV resistance properties, acting as a protective barrier to shield a façade from intense sunrays and potential sun damage. If these technologies didn’t seem inventive enough, façade paints are also available in a whole host of colours and effects, including metallic or glitter veneers. When exposed to sunlight these layers illuminate a building, protecting it from the sun in the process. With the assistance of colour technology, colour façades are gaining in momentum, delivering on both aesthetics and performance.   Human factors It is a very well-known fact across the globe that colour has an intrinsic ability to positively affect people’s state of mind. Through colour association, we align blue notes with feelings of tranquillity and yellow shades with optimism and health. Different colours take on different meanings across various cultures; whilst red might mean thrill in more western cultures, it is the sign of death in Africa. Colour is evocative and stimulating, so why aren’t we seeing more colours on our streets when it is scientifically proven to improve our wellbeing?   Colours possess a certain dynamism which, when utilised effectively, emphasise a building’s personality. Drawing on the psychological properties of colour, business owners might paint their façades in a soft-bluey grey to reinforce coolness or intelligence, for instance. Conversely, colours can be combined to create brilliant exteriors which complement a company’s multidimensionality. Duck-egg blue fits perfectly with a bright orange, juxtaposing calmness with a splash of fun and originality. Not only does colour inject vibrancy into a façade, it improves the health and wellbeing of its occupants. Colours make people smile, meaning workers enter their places of work in more productive and happier moods. New colour technology has drawn on the psychological benefits of colour to create exteriors which stimulate the minds of a building’s inhabitants, actively improving employee health wellbeing. Although some might believe colour is more important in interiors rather than exteriors; think on this. Isn’t a building’s exterior the first thing we see? Can exteriors be the first point to create an affect in the beholder? With the assistance of colour technology, exteriors have become just as important as interiors. Colour specialists have created new technologies which ensure colour is both aesthetically-stimulating and practically-efficient. This balance, functionality and appearance, is crucial. Suddenly colour never looked so attractive. Visit: https://www.baumit.co.uk
    253 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Thanks to innovation in external paints and renders, a building’s façade can be as attractive as it is well protected. Ben Warren, Managing Director at Baumit; the leading building manufacturer of EWI paints and products, considers how the work of researchers and designers has improved colour technology to such an extent exteriors have become not only functional but reflective of the personality of the building. Imagine if we lived in a world where different coloured high-rises dominated the globe’s cityscapes. Or in rural areas where green buildings complement the scenery, intensifying the landscape. Instead of greys and whites, there might be deep turquoises or rich browns and oranges. These striking images seem more suited to a cartoon rather than any real environment. Try and tell a business to paint their building in a forest green and they might not take you as seriously as originally hoped. Unless their business or trade is within the realms of sustainability, horticulture or renewable energy, they might see colour as a way of compromising, rather than enhancing, their business. And this mentality really needs to change, particularly in light of new colour technology. Making colour last Prior to the advent of new colour technologies, colour experts were tasked with the complex process of improving how colour is perceived, especially in terms of longevity. Arguably, some building owners, or businesses who inhabit buildings, hesitate from painting their facades as they believe the colour will fade when exposed to adverse weather conditions and the like. No business wants a drab or tired-looking exterior after six months. Maybe the world would have more faith in colour, if the technology could ensure coloured facades were a sustainable and plausible investment. Luckily enough, the introduction of new colour technology means coloured facades will not be a thing of the future for much longer. Colour technology has developed further than dyes and inks, and now encompasses rigorous testing and measuring of colour quality. These processes evaluate colour quality to make the overall applications long-lasting, high-tech and sophisticated.   There are now products on the market which have been engineered to such a high standard that a red, yellow or green façade will not lose its intensity when exposed to sunlight. This kind of advanced technology will revolutionise the way we paint our buildings, where these new mechanisms will give businesses more confidence in colour choice as they know colour will last. Practicality and performance Colour isn’t simply about aesthetics. Whilst it is important for the new technologies to eliminate colour-fade and ensure colours keep their lustre, colour must also protect and optimise the performance of a building’s façade. Colour technology can now improve a building’s long-term performance without compromising on the colour’s intensity. Highly-engineered acrylic façade paints guarantee excellent coverage without having mucilaginous or sticky consistencies. These specific kinds of paints can be based on mineral binders to increase a wall’s breathability. Furthermore, there are paints designed to reduce water absorption. These paints contain a silicone resin binder, which repels water from the surface. Finally, there are also paints which contain UV resistance properties, acting as a protective barrier to shield a façade from intense sunrays and potential sun damage. If these technologies didn’t seem inventive enough, façade paints are also available in a whole host of colours and effects, including metallic or glitter veneers. When exposed to sunlight these layers illuminate a building, protecting it from the sun in the process. With the assistance of colour technology, colour façades are gaining in momentum, delivering on both aesthetics and performance.   Human factors It is a very well-known fact across the globe that colour has an intrinsic ability to positively affect people’s state of mind. Through colour association, we align blue notes with feelings of tranquillity and yellow shades with optimism and health. Different colours take on different meanings across various cultures; whilst red might mean thrill in more western cultures, it is the sign of death in Africa. Colour is evocative and stimulating, so why aren’t we seeing more colours on our streets when it is scientifically proven to improve our wellbeing?   Colours possess a certain dynamism which, when utilised effectively, emphasise a building’s personality. Drawing on the psychological properties of colour, business owners might paint their façades in a soft-bluey grey to reinforce coolness or intelligence, for instance. Conversely, colours can be combined to create brilliant exteriors which complement a company’s multidimensionality. Duck-egg blue fits perfectly with a bright orange, juxtaposing calmness with a splash of fun and originality. Not only does colour inject vibrancy into a façade, it improves the health and wellbeing of its occupants. Colours make people smile, meaning workers enter their places of work in more productive and happier moods. New colour technology has drawn on the psychological benefits of colour to create exteriors which stimulate the minds of a building’s inhabitants, actively improving employee health wellbeing. Although some might believe colour is more important in interiors rather than exteriors; think on this. Isn’t a building’s exterior the first thing we see? Can exteriors be the first point to create an affect in the beholder? With the assistance of colour technology, exteriors have become just as important as interiors. Colour specialists have created new technologies which ensure colour is both aesthetically-stimulating and practically-efficient. This balance, functionality and appearance, is crucial. Suddenly colour never looked so attractive. Visit: https://www.baumit.co.uk
    Jul 06, 2018 253
  • 03 Jul 2018
    The much-hyped blockchain technology may well not have reached full maturity but this emerging technology has potential to revolutionise the built environment, and for the companies that adopt this technology it has already added tens of millions of pounds to their market value. In an industry which is slow to adopt new technologies and characterised by fragmentation and outdated systems in the flow of information, blockchain can bring transparency and efficiency to the supply chain. But what is blockchain and how can the construction supply chain benefit from it? Put simply, a blockchain is an electronic, tamper-proof database of transactions, with new deals added to a chain and then stamped and protected with a mathematical equation.  A blockchain takes out the middleperson such as a bank or a lawyer, and allows two or more parties to transfer money or a contract, or other information in real time and across borders without third-party intervention. Clearly a technology that is appealing to global financial and legal institutions, blockchain also offers impacts and opportunities across design, engineering and construction. Full transparency While technological advances both in terms of materials and computer sciences offer the built environment a great source of innovation, they also make it more fragmented. This is why blockchain can provide visible accountability across a project and can speed up processes, whilst at the same time being under scrutiny of all those involved. The technology provides new ways to track the flow of materials, payments and contracts within supply chains. In a blockchain, all parties will know in real-time which materials have arrived at a construction site, who handled them and where they originate from. As products move from one place to another, an insulation manufacturer for example will know how their products are moving and where they are. Manufacturers ultimately want to ensure goods get to where they're supposed to go and those purchasing the materials want to make sure it originated from a reputable source. By including both ends of that supply chain, it addresses the threat of counterfeit goods, fraud and theft. Blockchain technology offers great versatility and can add transparency to every type of agreement and transaction in a construction project. In terms of the supply chain, a blockchain will ensure that when any contract or agreement is amended, it is immediately seen by all parties. A blockchain ledger can also improve financial liquidity.  For example an aggregated record between manufacturers/distributors and buyers can also include the main contractors and developers, so that once all parties agree materials have been delivered, payments on invoices can be released. Smart contracts The construction industry is often litigious in nature particularly when it comes to late payments and the associated costs involved.  Blockchain technology could work as a trustworthy contract administrator through the creation of a smart contract which negates the need for lawyers. This smart contract functions on the if/then concept.  For example, if a contractor installs insulation products on a project then he asks for it to be inspected.  If the inspection is successful, then the contractor is paid. A smart contract can cover this if/then scheme which can be registered on the blockchain. This increased transparency leads to increased accountability and ultimately better control of the project. A more open building process will result in a greater alignment of industry and client interests whilst at the same time minimising disputes and risk. A challenging proposition While blockchain offers a wealth of benefits, there are of course challenges. In terms of audit transparency and validation, is validation self-proclaimed or would a third-party have to assure it?  An inherent advantage of blockchains is that they cannot be altered and therefore guarantee trust. But what if the input is a lie in the first place, then you are trusting lies. Therefore there needs to be a process that guarantees truth at the input stage. There also needs to be clarification as to who owns the data? Is it the blockchain creator, the people using it and adding data or is it collective? In an industry which is striving to be more efficient and sustainable, large public blockchains require huge amounts of energy to extract the information needed to create the blocks (i.e records) that are linked to form the chains. Is this not counterintuitive in the first place?  Blockchain applications require a great deal of effort and cost to work so it is paramount that there is inherent value in the effort and whether the final application is appropriate.  For what is essentially a database that’s validated by a wider community, the adoption of blockchain is expected to be slow and steady.  In terms of the insulation industry we know that there are already digital schemes in place such as BIM (Building Information Modelling).  Plans are also underway to digitise CE marking, as well as work on other schemes such as Lexicon and having product data templates for each sector. This will hopefully see the industry get to grips with the issue of product substitution, but we need to ensure that all these schemes do not compete with each other and that they are in fact complementary. With such a lot of hype across the globe around blockchain, the question will remain; what can it be used for and will it bring value to the construction sector? Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    313 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The much-hyped blockchain technology may well not have reached full maturity but this emerging technology has potential to revolutionise the built environment, and for the companies that adopt this technology it has already added tens of millions of pounds to their market value. In an industry which is slow to adopt new technologies and characterised by fragmentation and outdated systems in the flow of information, blockchain can bring transparency and efficiency to the supply chain. But what is blockchain and how can the construction supply chain benefit from it? Put simply, a blockchain is an electronic, tamper-proof database of transactions, with new deals added to a chain and then stamped and protected with a mathematical equation.  A blockchain takes out the middleperson such as a bank or a lawyer, and allows two or more parties to transfer money or a contract, or other information in real time and across borders without third-party intervention. Clearly a technology that is appealing to global financial and legal institutions, blockchain also offers impacts and opportunities across design, engineering and construction. Full transparency While technological advances both in terms of materials and computer sciences offer the built environment a great source of innovation, they also make it more fragmented. This is why blockchain can provide visible accountability across a project and can speed up processes, whilst at the same time being under scrutiny of all those involved. The technology provides new ways to track the flow of materials, payments and contracts within supply chains. In a blockchain, all parties will know in real-time which materials have arrived at a construction site, who handled them and where they originate from. As products move from one place to another, an insulation manufacturer for example will know how their products are moving and where they are. Manufacturers ultimately want to ensure goods get to where they're supposed to go and those purchasing the materials want to make sure it originated from a reputable source. By including both ends of that supply chain, it addresses the threat of counterfeit goods, fraud and theft. Blockchain technology offers great versatility and can add transparency to every type of agreement and transaction in a construction project. In terms of the supply chain, a blockchain will ensure that when any contract or agreement is amended, it is immediately seen by all parties. A blockchain ledger can also improve financial liquidity.  For example an aggregated record between manufacturers/distributors and buyers can also include the main contractors and developers, so that once all parties agree materials have been delivered, payments on invoices can be released. Smart contracts The construction industry is often litigious in nature particularly when it comes to late payments and the associated costs involved.  Blockchain technology could work as a trustworthy contract administrator through the creation of a smart contract which negates the need for lawyers. This smart contract functions on the if/then concept.  For example, if a contractor installs insulation products on a project then he asks for it to be inspected.  If the inspection is successful, then the contractor is paid. A smart contract can cover this if/then scheme which can be registered on the blockchain. This increased transparency leads to increased accountability and ultimately better control of the project. A more open building process will result in a greater alignment of industry and client interests whilst at the same time minimising disputes and risk. A challenging proposition While blockchain offers a wealth of benefits, there are of course challenges. In terms of audit transparency and validation, is validation self-proclaimed or would a third-party have to assure it?  An inherent advantage of blockchains is that they cannot be altered and therefore guarantee trust. But what if the input is a lie in the first place, then you are trusting lies. Therefore there needs to be a process that guarantees truth at the input stage. There also needs to be clarification as to who owns the data? Is it the blockchain creator, the people using it and adding data or is it collective? In an industry which is striving to be more efficient and sustainable, large public blockchains require huge amounts of energy to extract the information needed to create the blocks (i.e records) that are linked to form the chains. Is this not counterintuitive in the first place?  Blockchain applications require a great deal of effort and cost to work so it is paramount that there is inherent value in the effort and whether the final application is appropriate.  For what is essentially a database that’s validated by a wider community, the adoption of blockchain is expected to be slow and steady.  In terms of the insulation industry we know that there are already digital schemes in place such as BIM (Building Information Modelling).  Plans are also underway to digitise CE marking, as well as work on other schemes such as Lexicon and having product data templates for each sector. This will hopefully see the industry get to grips with the issue of product substitution, but we need to ensure that all these schemes do not compete with each other and that they are in fact complementary. With such a lot of hype across the globe around blockchain, the question will remain; what can it be used for and will it bring value to the construction sector? Visit: http://insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    Jul 03, 2018 313