• 21 Nov 2018
    Colour is in vogue in lieu of recent research into colour psychology. These five points will illustrate how and why businesses can inject colour into a building’s exterior in order to enhance and reflect a business’s identity writes   Ben Warren, Managing Director at Baumit. A colour scheme not only has to complement the space, colour choice is crucial to the people or business inhabiting the area. Whether businesses are selecting their own colours, or have a designer specifying a particular scheme, colour is still an important consideration. The following five points illustrate how businesses can make colour work for their spaces: Signify business identity As first encounters are inherently based on visual appearance, colour can be the distinguishing aspect of a business. Although there is a huge weight on the importance of colour, it is important to not feel intimidated by this process. Choosing the colour or colour scheme which reflects an organisation’s ethos is not an easy task, especially when it is designed to complement a business’s identity. Whilst it takes time to determine a colour scheme, it can be a rewarding process which allows businesses to really get to grips with who they are and what they do. Market business identity   Every colour has the capability to leave a lasting impression. Although it is important to select attractive colours, it is also worthwhile to use colour to market business identity. A clear, consistent identity speaks volumes on the aims, objectives and approaches of a business. Unclear and random colours set a confusing image for a business’s brand. Keep employees happy One of the misconceptions about colour is that it only affects mood; in fact, colours shape our physical, emotional and mental state. Typically, blue is known for its stillness and its ability to affect our frame of mind. However, different tones of blue have different meanings. For instance, a light blue will calm the mind and create the feeling of stillness, whereas a more saturated blue would stimulate the mind. If businesses want to utilise colours to increase employee wellbeing and productivity they need to: assess the tasks of the employees, how long they spend in the space and what they want to achieve in that space. Does the employee’s job require a calming environment or a stimulating one? If they are dealing with difficult phone calls all day perhaps a lighter, calming blue would suit the environment, but if they are focusing on mundane tasks for long periods a brighter blue might be preferable. For instance, an office space would be designed differently to a canteen if the required outcome was different. Happy employees say a lot about the business it is representing and having spaces that suit the requirements, whether within interiors or on exterior façades, makes a clear statement about a company’s relationship with its employees. Get support and invest time Selecting a provider who is an expert in colour technology is a crucial requirement. Injecting colour into a building which houses your business is a bold move. But, gaining the support of a provider who understands the technology and theory behind colour choice is a worthwhile investment. Take time to select the perfect colour. Businesses invest time and money developing and honing their strategies, and the same should apply when it comes to considering colour schemes. Follow the 60 – 30 – 10 rule This ratio is a well-known tool created by designers which businesses can choose to use or not. It just depends on whether some organisations require the added support. To ensure a colour scheme looks balanced and calculated, this 60 – 30 – 10 proportion is a useful device. It ensures that the colours are not out of place, nor are they random. Finding the right colours to complement a business’s identity can be a challenge. However, with the right amount of research, consideration and support, colour can be the defining aspect of a business. Whilst some might choose to go green to reinforce their focus on employee wellbeing, others might stay with more modest tones, such as whites and greys, and introduce a blue or yellow into the mix. Every business is different and that is why colour is a great option – it showcases individuality. Take time to find the right colours for your business and see what differences they make. Visit: https://baumit.co.uk
    374 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Colour is in vogue in lieu of recent research into colour psychology. These five points will illustrate how and why businesses can inject colour into a building’s exterior in order to enhance and reflect a business’s identity writes   Ben Warren, Managing Director at Baumit. A colour scheme not only has to complement the space, colour choice is crucial to the people or business inhabiting the area. Whether businesses are selecting their own colours, or have a designer specifying a particular scheme, colour is still an important consideration. The following five points illustrate how businesses can make colour work for their spaces: Signify business identity As first encounters are inherently based on visual appearance, colour can be the distinguishing aspect of a business. Although there is a huge weight on the importance of colour, it is important to not feel intimidated by this process. Choosing the colour or colour scheme which reflects an organisation’s ethos is not an easy task, especially when it is designed to complement a business’s identity. Whilst it takes time to determine a colour scheme, it can be a rewarding process which allows businesses to really get to grips with who they are and what they do. Market business identity   Every colour has the capability to leave a lasting impression. Although it is important to select attractive colours, it is also worthwhile to use colour to market business identity. A clear, consistent identity speaks volumes on the aims, objectives and approaches of a business. Unclear and random colours set a confusing image for a business’s brand. Keep employees happy One of the misconceptions about colour is that it only affects mood; in fact, colours shape our physical, emotional and mental state. Typically, blue is known for its stillness and its ability to affect our frame of mind. However, different tones of blue have different meanings. For instance, a light blue will calm the mind and create the feeling of stillness, whereas a more saturated blue would stimulate the mind. If businesses want to utilise colours to increase employee wellbeing and productivity they need to: assess the tasks of the employees, how long they spend in the space and what they want to achieve in that space. Does the employee’s job require a calming environment or a stimulating one? If they are dealing with difficult phone calls all day perhaps a lighter, calming blue would suit the environment, but if they are focusing on mundane tasks for long periods a brighter blue might be preferable. For instance, an office space would be designed differently to a canteen if the required outcome was different. Happy employees say a lot about the business it is representing and having spaces that suit the requirements, whether within interiors or on exterior façades, makes a clear statement about a company’s relationship with its employees. Get support and invest time Selecting a provider who is an expert in colour technology is a crucial requirement. Injecting colour into a building which houses your business is a bold move. But, gaining the support of a provider who understands the technology and theory behind colour choice is a worthwhile investment. Take time to select the perfect colour. Businesses invest time and money developing and honing their strategies, and the same should apply when it comes to considering colour schemes. Follow the 60 – 30 – 10 rule This ratio is a well-known tool created by designers which businesses can choose to use or not. It just depends on whether some organisations require the added support. To ensure a colour scheme looks balanced and calculated, this 60 – 30 – 10 proportion is a useful device. It ensures that the colours are not out of place, nor are they random. Finding the right colours to complement a business’s identity can be a challenge. However, with the right amount of research, consideration and support, colour can be the defining aspect of a business. Whilst some might choose to go green to reinforce their focus on employee wellbeing, others might stay with more modest tones, such as whites and greys, and introduce a blue or yellow into the mix. Every business is different and that is why colour is a great option – it showcases individuality. Take time to find the right colours for your business and see what differences they make. Visit: https://baumit.co.uk
    Nov 21, 2018 374
  • 20 Nov 2018
    The devil is in the detail when it comes to roofing, it only takes a minor oversight to cause a major issue writes Ian Weston, General Manager at Aperture. A roof’s weathertight protection requires more than a membrane and insulation. A commercial project is likely to include a host of plant facilities such as solar panels, rooflights, air conditioning units and fire escapes. Such details can lead to damp and ingress penetration, and the waterproofing system’s failure, if not sealed correctly. Therefore, the need for a proven solution is essential in ensuring plant penetrations and the roof itself remains watertight.    Ideal solution As with most, if not all roofing projects, selecting the appropriate waterproofing system is crucial in applications involving a plethora of plant penetrations, PV panels, air conditioning units, rooflights which require regular maintenance. A single-ply solution where an array of plant materials is present is not advised. When exposed to foot traffic and equipment used during maintenance visits, single-ply membrane is susceptible to damage. This in-turn is likely to lead to leaks and costly, long-term performance issues. Evolution Construction sites are a combustive mix of toil, tools and trades; therefore it’s not unusual for elements of a project to be left to the last minute. However, when this comes to waterproofing details all sorts of problems can arise. This is where a company such as Aperture comes into its own. Originally set up to deal with penetrations in composite roof panels Aperture has evolved over its 17-year history in the industry to combat any type of roof detail and penetration. Aperture liquid coatings are compatible with a wide range of existing substrates including, but not limited to, bituminous systems, asphalt, single-ply, concrete, timber and metal-profiled sheets. The Aperture system has permanent elasticity with a durable finish. It is hand applied by directly employed operatives, with minimal disruption and once complete, it is maintenance-free. Approved by Kingspan for use with its systems, the Aperture solution is backed by its own BBA certificate. Awkward details Due to the compatibility with most substrates, the Aperture solution is ideal for solving the sorts of problems encountered on new-build projects. These can vary from interfaces between two non-compatible waterproofing systems, awkward access details and most commonly, service riser penetrations. The application is totally cold-applied. Based in Manchester, Aperture carries out several hundred projects across the UK each year. Its operatives are first-aid trained and qualified to a minimum SSSTS standard. This provides the client and employer with additional peace of mind whilst waterproof installation teams are on site. Originally formed in 2000, Aperture was headed by Mick Philbin who retired in April 2018. To ensure the company continued along its successful path, Mick worked closely with new General Manager, Ian Weston, for the first four months of 2018 to ensure a smooth transition. Speaking of his new position, Ian said Aperture’s success is based on its ability to react to any type of situation in a short period of time. He said: “I’m sure our customers see us as the ‘go-to’ people when a difficult waterproofing detail arises. It’s my intention to not only continue this service, but to build upon it and improve our customer base, whether it’s a multi-million pound new-build or refurbishment, or a small building conversion, Aperture has a huge range of solutions to deal with the seemingly minor details.” Visit: https://aperturesp.co.uk
    348 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The devil is in the detail when it comes to roofing, it only takes a minor oversight to cause a major issue writes Ian Weston, General Manager at Aperture. A roof’s weathertight protection requires more than a membrane and insulation. A commercial project is likely to include a host of plant facilities such as solar panels, rooflights, air conditioning units and fire escapes. Such details can lead to damp and ingress penetration, and the waterproofing system’s failure, if not sealed correctly. Therefore, the need for a proven solution is essential in ensuring plant penetrations and the roof itself remains watertight.    Ideal solution As with most, if not all roofing projects, selecting the appropriate waterproofing system is crucial in applications involving a plethora of plant penetrations, PV panels, air conditioning units, rooflights which require regular maintenance. A single-ply solution where an array of plant materials is present is not advised. When exposed to foot traffic and equipment used during maintenance visits, single-ply membrane is susceptible to damage. This in-turn is likely to lead to leaks and costly, long-term performance issues. Evolution Construction sites are a combustive mix of toil, tools and trades; therefore it’s not unusual for elements of a project to be left to the last minute. However, when this comes to waterproofing details all sorts of problems can arise. This is where a company such as Aperture comes into its own. Originally set up to deal with penetrations in composite roof panels Aperture has evolved over its 17-year history in the industry to combat any type of roof detail and penetration. Aperture liquid coatings are compatible with a wide range of existing substrates including, but not limited to, bituminous systems, asphalt, single-ply, concrete, timber and metal-profiled sheets. The Aperture system has permanent elasticity with a durable finish. It is hand applied by directly employed operatives, with minimal disruption and once complete, it is maintenance-free. Approved by Kingspan for use with its systems, the Aperture solution is backed by its own BBA certificate. Awkward details Due to the compatibility with most substrates, the Aperture solution is ideal for solving the sorts of problems encountered on new-build projects. These can vary from interfaces between two non-compatible waterproofing systems, awkward access details and most commonly, service riser penetrations. The application is totally cold-applied. Based in Manchester, Aperture carries out several hundred projects across the UK each year. Its operatives are first-aid trained and qualified to a minimum SSSTS standard. This provides the client and employer with additional peace of mind whilst waterproof installation teams are on site. Originally formed in 2000, Aperture was headed by Mick Philbin who retired in April 2018. To ensure the company continued along its successful path, Mick worked closely with new General Manager, Ian Weston, for the first four months of 2018 to ensure a smooth transition. Speaking of his new position, Ian said Aperture’s success is based on its ability to react to any type of situation in a short period of time. He said: “I’m sure our customers see us as the ‘go-to’ people when a difficult waterproofing detail arises. It’s my intention to not only continue this service, but to build upon it and improve our customer base, whether it’s a multi-million pound new-build or refurbishment, or a small building conversion, Aperture has a huge range of solutions to deal with the seemingly minor details.” Visit: https://aperturesp.co.uk
    Nov 20, 2018 348
  • 13 Nov 2018
    Insulation is a common element found in many buildings – whether they are residential or commercial. They are versatile in purpose – they can act as a sound barrier between spaces, a method of maintaining heat and cold temperatures, which in and of itself can benefit clients in terms of energy savings on their bills. When you combine with the functionality of an insulated access panel, they increase the functionality and make it a choice for contractors. Insulation 101 To better understand insulation – it is essential to know that there are two types to choose from. Open cell and closed cell. Open cell insulations typically come in spray foam; however, due to its application, it has a lower R-value in comparison to closed cell insulations. Closed cell insulations are great in preventing moisture built-up, which means avoiding any chances of moulds etc. With closed cell insulation, these have a higher R-value, and when it comes access panels installed on the exterior of a building, clients want to ensure contractors go with a quality closed cell insulation. While it will be slightly higher in costs, the benefits are well worth it. Insulated access panels can provide structural protection; however, pair that with insulation and coating, then one has maximized its ability to be thoroughly functional and versatile. Why insulation? When clients think of insulation, they do not associate it with access panels; however, they are a great addition to access panels. Typically, insulation is believed to be found only between walls, ceilings and roofs; yet, insulated access panels can be located in the exterior access panel, soundproof panels, as well as floor, hatches that people seek to have an airtight seal. Insulation provides this added support and seal. While insulation can come in a batting form or spray, the choice of application and the added layer will indeed depend on the type of access door selected. For example, if your contractor chooses a drywall access panel, the chances are they may ensure that there is batting in and around the area, as well as ensuring that the access panel is insulated once installed. This can mean applying spray insulation around the panel itself. This further enhances the access panels functionality but also improves it as well for the client. Picking the perfect pair of panel and insulation Deciding on an access panel can be hard – as you want to ensure your panel choice matches your needs and functionality. When you factor in insulation and the type of application, it is important to consider what is the best way to install insulation or if it is a combination of both spray and batting. A knowledgeable contractor who is seasoned with insulation will know what the best choice is as well as the client's needs for space. While some think insulation is just meant to keep homes warm, or insulated – the reality is that insulation is sometimes underrated in their purpose. With access panels, they offer a new range of versatility as insulation only increases the functionality of the panel. Imagine a security or floor panel, while access panels are made with everything from plastic to steel, these materials are not known to regulate or insulate. When you include or factor in insulation, now that steel access panel is insulated and is able to do more than just be a security panel, it is an insulated security access panel. Visit: www.accessdoorsandpanels.com
    431 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Insulation is a common element found in many buildings – whether they are residential or commercial. They are versatile in purpose – they can act as a sound barrier between spaces, a method of maintaining heat and cold temperatures, which in and of itself can benefit clients in terms of energy savings on their bills. When you combine with the functionality of an insulated access panel, they increase the functionality and make it a choice for contractors. Insulation 101 To better understand insulation – it is essential to know that there are two types to choose from. Open cell and closed cell. Open cell insulations typically come in spray foam; however, due to its application, it has a lower R-value in comparison to closed cell insulations. Closed cell insulations are great in preventing moisture built-up, which means avoiding any chances of moulds etc. With closed cell insulation, these have a higher R-value, and when it comes access panels installed on the exterior of a building, clients want to ensure contractors go with a quality closed cell insulation. While it will be slightly higher in costs, the benefits are well worth it. Insulated access panels can provide structural protection; however, pair that with insulation and coating, then one has maximized its ability to be thoroughly functional and versatile. Why insulation? When clients think of insulation, they do not associate it with access panels; however, they are a great addition to access panels. Typically, insulation is believed to be found only between walls, ceilings and roofs; yet, insulated access panels can be located in the exterior access panel, soundproof panels, as well as floor, hatches that people seek to have an airtight seal. Insulation provides this added support and seal. While insulation can come in a batting form or spray, the choice of application and the added layer will indeed depend on the type of access door selected. For example, if your contractor chooses a drywall access panel, the chances are they may ensure that there is batting in and around the area, as well as ensuring that the access panel is insulated once installed. This can mean applying spray insulation around the panel itself. This further enhances the access panels functionality but also improves it as well for the client. Picking the perfect pair of panel and insulation Deciding on an access panel can be hard – as you want to ensure your panel choice matches your needs and functionality. When you factor in insulation and the type of application, it is important to consider what is the best way to install insulation or if it is a combination of both spray and batting. A knowledgeable contractor who is seasoned with insulation will know what the best choice is as well as the client's needs for space. While some think insulation is just meant to keep homes warm, or insulated – the reality is that insulation is sometimes underrated in their purpose. With access panels, they offer a new range of versatility as insulation only increases the functionality of the panel. Imagine a security or floor panel, while access panels are made with everything from plastic to steel, these materials are not known to regulate or insulate. When you include or factor in insulation, now that steel access panel is insulated and is able to do more than just be a security panel, it is an insulated security access panel. Visit: www.accessdoorsandpanels.com
    Nov 13, 2018 431
  • 06 Nov 2018
    Noisy air conditioning systems in workplaces can help to contribute to excessive background noise and can have a profound, negative impact on employee productivity, increasing stress and anxiety levels. It is serious enough for the Department for Health to warn that elevated workplace or environmental noise “can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance and sleep disturbance.” Companies across the world are now looking seriously at ways to minimise such noise says Denis Kerr Sales Director at Krantz Limited, who makes an informed case as to why we should choose sophisticated air-distribution systems which minimise or even remove noisy acoustics at work, looking at why the right products can significantly help to improve the office environment. In modern office spaces and further afield, exposed ceilings and soffits are a prominent design trend. Whether developers choose to reveal ceiling beams for aesthetic purposes or turn to design-savvy solutions to keep costs to a minimum, exposed ceilings are a thing of the future for modern commercial spaces.   As exposed soffits are now a common design feature in such environments, it is crucial to manage acoustic levels accurately. Without the correct products to minimise such noise there is the risk of creating a harsh atmosphere, with a cacophony of different sounds ricocheting around the environment. The challenges It is important to keep acoustic levels controlled within these spaces, especially in environments where people work. The combination of higher ceilings, exposed services, computer monitors and human voices create an impractical environment, increasing stress levels in the workplace. With exposed soffits, there isn’t a natural method for the architecture to control or reduce acoustic levels; essentially there isn’t any material for sound absorption. The ceiling is completely revealed to the human eye, with its services (the fans, ductwork and lighting) on view they can directly contribute to the background noise levels resulting in a poor acoustic performance of the space. What are the options? Many elements come into play when managing a space’s acoustics, including the way air-conditioning systems are designed. To create a peaceful, workable and visually-engaging environment, the right air-distribution system must be selected. Some environments often require tailor-made, bespoke solutions to minimise noisy acoustics; there are, for example, these kinds of air-distribution systems in acoustically-sensitive buildings such as the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany. A concert hall on this scale demanded acoustically-advanced solutions; bespoke sound control was completely necessary in this location as noise could interfere with the artist’s focus and the paying audience’s enjoyment. But in terms of air-distribution systems for commercial spaces, products such as the Krantz AVACs system (Air Ventilation And Cooling system) keep acoustic interference to a minimum and can actively improve the space. These systems are designed to great detail and sophistication; they do not contain any moving mechanical parts so the systems cannot generate any noise. Through convective radiant panels, AVACs heat and cool without the use of a fan, completely removing the presence of disruptive sounds. All of the acoustic absorption can be hidden within the panelling, and they are acoustically-designed to reduce noise and improve the reverberation time of the space. More importantly, by selecting a multifunctional system which heats, cools and controls acoustics, the occupants’ comfort is not compromised. These systems distribute fresh air around a space, ensuring thermal and acoustic comfort, which is of particular significance to employee wellbeing and happiness. According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that the annual cost to Europe from excessive noise levels is £30 billion. This extortionate sum accounts for lost working days, healthcare costs and reduced productivity. Acoustic control is a complete design necessity in commercial workspaces. Although exposed ceilings are perfect for new build and future retrofits and make maintenance easier, it is important to take all elements into consideration when planning an acoustically-sound space. In terms of air-distribution products, there are sophisticated, multifunctional solutions available on the market which, simultaneously, control acoustics and heat and cool spaces. As commercial office spaces tend to be acoustically-demanding areas, flexible, state-of-art air-distribution technologies should be a priority, particularly as they can assure thermal comfort without any unwanted background noise inconveniencing the occupants. Visit: http://www.krantzuk.com
    340 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Noisy air conditioning systems in workplaces can help to contribute to excessive background noise and can have a profound, negative impact on employee productivity, increasing stress and anxiety levels. It is serious enough for the Department for Health to warn that elevated workplace or environmental noise “can cause hearing impairment, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, annoyance and sleep disturbance.” Companies across the world are now looking seriously at ways to minimise such noise says Denis Kerr Sales Director at Krantz Limited, who makes an informed case as to why we should choose sophisticated air-distribution systems which minimise or even remove noisy acoustics at work, looking at why the right products can significantly help to improve the office environment. In modern office spaces and further afield, exposed ceilings and soffits are a prominent design trend. Whether developers choose to reveal ceiling beams for aesthetic purposes or turn to design-savvy solutions to keep costs to a minimum, exposed ceilings are a thing of the future for modern commercial spaces.   As exposed soffits are now a common design feature in such environments, it is crucial to manage acoustic levels accurately. Without the correct products to minimise such noise there is the risk of creating a harsh atmosphere, with a cacophony of different sounds ricocheting around the environment. The challenges It is important to keep acoustic levels controlled within these spaces, especially in environments where people work. The combination of higher ceilings, exposed services, computer monitors and human voices create an impractical environment, increasing stress levels in the workplace. With exposed soffits, there isn’t a natural method for the architecture to control or reduce acoustic levels; essentially there isn’t any material for sound absorption. The ceiling is completely revealed to the human eye, with its services (the fans, ductwork and lighting) on view they can directly contribute to the background noise levels resulting in a poor acoustic performance of the space. What are the options? Many elements come into play when managing a space’s acoustics, including the way air-conditioning systems are designed. To create a peaceful, workable and visually-engaging environment, the right air-distribution system must be selected. Some environments often require tailor-made, bespoke solutions to minimise noisy acoustics; there are, for example, these kinds of air-distribution systems in acoustically-sensitive buildings such as the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Germany. A concert hall on this scale demanded acoustically-advanced solutions; bespoke sound control was completely necessary in this location as noise could interfere with the artist’s focus and the paying audience’s enjoyment. But in terms of air-distribution systems for commercial spaces, products such as the Krantz AVACs system (Air Ventilation And Cooling system) keep acoustic interference to a minimum and can actively improve the space. These systems are designed to great detail and sophistication; they do not contain any moving mechanical parts so the systems cannot generate any noise. Through convective radiant panels, AVACs heat and cool without the use of a fan, completely removing the presence of disruptive sounds. All of the acoustic absorption can be hidden within the panelling, and they are acoustically-designed to reduce noise and improve the reverberation time of the space. More importantly, by selecting a multifunctional system which heats, cools and controls acoustics, the occupants’ comfort is not compromised. These systems distribute fresh air around a space, ensuring thermal and acoustic comfort, which is of particular significance to employee wellbeing and happiness. According to the World Health Organisation, it is estimated that the annual cost to Europe from excessive noise levels is £30 billion. This extortionate sum accounts for lost working days, healthcare costs and reduced productivity. Acoustic control is a complete design necessity in commercial workspaces. Although exposed ceilings are perfect for new build and future retrofits and make maintenance easier, it is important to take all elements into consideration when planning an acoustically-sound space. In terms of air-distribution products, there are sophisticated, multifunctional solutions available on the market which, simultaneously, control acoustics and heat and cool spaces. As commercial office spaces tend to be acoustically-demanding areas, flexible, state-of-art air-distribution technologies should be a priority, particularly as they can assure thermal comfort without any unwanted background noise inconveniencing the occupants. Visit: http://www.krantzuk.com
    Nov 06, 2018 340
  • 01 Nov 2018
    Moving into a building should be a hitch-free experience but sadly not all building projects are handed over successfully writes Susan Lowrie. It’s often a case of simply a handover date rather than a process of transition where there is a transfer of knowledge from the project team to the building users. While most project teams want a smooth handover, buildings often don’t match the client’s intentions. How can we handover projects better and reduce the gap between designed and as-built performance? From the outset it is important to consider who is specifying the building and are they actually the people who are going to be using the building. Who is the client? Is it the person who might be saying we need a room here, a room there, or is it the person who is saying make it ten stories high? Or is the client the person who is going to have to maintain, use or access that building? One only has to look at a spectacular atrium built for an NHS hospital. A marvel to look at and filled with natural light, but had the designers thought how easy it was to simply change a lightbulb which didn’t involve scaffolding? Hospitals might also be designed for more patients but this at the expense of other spaces such as storage.  Managers don’t see the point of creating storage areas, while nurses do. It’s why a patient room ends up being used as an ad-hoc storage facility. Similarly, we might arrive at the point of handover, but the last step of securing an operator and maintenance manual doesn’t always happen. The handover could well be to the client team who were involved in the design but they are not the actual people who are using the building. So you might end up with a maintenance team who has never seen a fire alarm system working.No one has asked the question ‘are you happy with what is being handed over?’ It’s critical that we look at how we manage what we are left with as a building residual. Buildings that are handed-over may have an engineered design, but then down the line the people who are made aware of that engineered design no longer work there.  So what was an engineered design suddenly becomes a problem because the users want to change things as the building evolves. But the ability is not built-in to allow the building to evolve. A building will be designed to a specification but then you may well be speaking to the owner/manager of a building and not the user. There needs to a smooth transition from design to operation, along with the full support of designers and contractors, in order to fine-tune a building and ensure there is no gap between design intent and reality. The construction industry is after all a service industry delivering buildings to end users.  Visit: https://www.cbuilde.com  
    356 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Moving into a building should be a hitch-free experience but sadly not all building projects are handed over successfully writes Susan Lowrie. It’s often a case of simply a handover date rather than a process of transition where there is a transfer of knowledge from the project team to the building users. While most project teams want a smooth handover, buildings often don’t match the client’s intentions. How can we handover projects better and reduce the gap between designed and as-built performance? From the outset it is important to consider who is specifying the building and are they actually the people who are going to be using the building. Who is the client? Is it the person who might be saying we need a room here, a room there, or is it the person who is saying make it ten stories high? Or is the client the person who is going to have to maintain, use or access that building? One only has to look at a spectacular atrium built for an NHS hospital. A marvel to look at and filled with natural light, but had the designers thought how easy it was to simply change a lightbulb which didn’t involve scaffolding? Hospitals might also be designed for more patients but this at the expense of other spaces such as storage.  Managers don’t see the point of creating storage areas, while nurses do. It’s why a patient room ends up being used as an ad-hoc storage facility. Similarly, we might arrive at the point of handover, but the last step of securing an operator and maintenance manual doesn’t always happen. The handover could well be to the client team who were involved in the design but they are not the actual people who are using the building. So you might end up with a maintenance team who has never seen a fire alarm system working.No one has asked the question ‘are you happy with what is being handed over?’ It’s critical that we look at how we manage what we are left with as a building residual. Buildings that are handed-over may have an engineered design, but then down the line the people who are made aware of that engineered design no longer work there.  So what was an engineered design suddenly becomes a problem because the users want to change things as the building evolves. But the ability is not built-in to allow the building to evolve. A building will be designed to a specification but then you may well be speaking to the owner/manager of a building and not the user. There needs to a smooth transition from design to operation, along with the full support of designers and contractors, in order to fine-tune a building and ensure there is no gap between design intent and reality. The construction industry is after all a service industry delivering buildings to end users.  Visit: https://www.cbuilde.com  
    Nov 01, 2018 356
  • 31 Oct 2018
    As building owners become more environmentally aware, enquiries to convert existing flat roofsinto green roofs have never been higher. On face value this would seem an easy task but with modern building regulations demanding increased levels of insulation as well as practical challenges such as the heights of parapet walls and other upstand restrictions – the entire process can in reality be a lot more difficult writes Justin Pitman of Proteus Waterproofing. Many buildings, particularly those constructed in the 50s and 60s were never designed to take green roofs. Even assuming that the deck could handle the weight of an extensive sedum roof there are still several major obstacles to overcome, but none are insurmountable. In recent months Proteus has developed a new waterproofing system using its exclusive Cold Melt® membrane with an advanced hybrid insulation that enables a warm roof application to be easily installed on a refurbished deck. A green roof is laid over the top and a combination of the hybrid together with the added insulation properties of the additional soil and plantings, ensures that all current building regulations are met - and here comes the added bonus – the combined insulants are thinner than conventional boards which means that in most cases there is still at least 150 mm of upstand available to safely encapsulate the roof around the borders. Such green roofs are usually applied in urban or built up areas where there is a high risk of disruption or annoyance from odours when the membrane is installed. The advantage of Cold Melt® is that it is odour free and totally seamless making it ideal for a green roof. It is BBA accredited to last for the lifetime of the roof structureand best of all, the membrane itself incorporates recycled material making it one of the greenest on the market. What it does is to make available the opportunity for every building owner to actually consider a green roof application, particularly in the light of recent climate change warnings. Every green roof is of course different and will require its own calculations to ensure the right levels of insulation are used but the answer is no longer – NO – giving every building owner the chance to do their bit for the environment. Visit: www.proteuswaterproofing.co.uk See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDvhkiczqYc 
    467 Posted by Talk. Build
  • As building owners become more environmentally aware, enquiries to convert existing flat roofsinto green roofs have never been higher. On face value this would seem an easy task but with modern building regulations demanding increased levels of insulation as well as practical challenges such as the heights of parapet walls and other upstand restrictions – the entire process can in reality be a lot more difficult writes Justin Pitman of Proteus Waterproofing. Many buildings, particularly those constructed in the 50s and 60s were never designed to take green roofs. Even assuming that the deck could handle the weight of an extensive sedum roof there are still several major obstacles to overcome, but none are insurmountable. In recent months Proteus has developed a new waterproofing system using its exclusive Cold Melt® membrane with an advanced hybrid insulation that enables a warm roof application to be easily installed on a refurbished deck. A green roof is laid over the top and a combination of the hybrid together with the added insulation properties of the additional soil and plantings, ensures that all current building regulations are met - and here comes the added bonus – the combined insulants are thinner than conventional boards which means that in most cases there is still at least 150 mm of upstand available to safely encapsulate the roof around the borders. Such green roofs are usually applied in urban or built up areas where there is a high risk of disruption or annoyance from odours when the membrane is installed. The advantage of Cold Melt® is that it is odour free and totally seamless making it ideal for a green roof. It is BBA accredited to last for the lifetime of the roof structureand best of all, the membrane itself incorporates recycled material making it one of the greenest on the market. What it does is to make available the opportunity for every building owner to actually consider a green roof application, particularly in the light of recent climate change warnings. Every green roof is of course different and will require its own calculations to ensure the right levels of insulation are used but the answer is no longer – NO – giving every building owner the chance to do their bit for the environment. Visit: www.proteuswaterproofing.co.uk See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDvhkiczqYc 
    Oct 31, 2018 467
  • 29 Oct 2018
    The world of acoustics can be baffling to the untrained. How many of us know the difference between attenuation or frequency for example? And what exactly is the sound absorption coefficient? Such is the complexity, acoustics is a subject that has been frequently described as a ‘dark art’, particularly when it relates to the application within buildings.  In a bid to demystify the definitions and notations for the non-acousticians amongst us, Stuart Colam, Acoustics Advisor of SAS International delves into some of the more basic principles and common acoustic terminologies. Sound absorption is a measure of how much sound is absorbed by a surface or object. When sound comes into contact with a surface, such as a wall or ceiling that is not particularly sound absorbing, it will be reflected back into the space. This can result in a room becoming noisy or reverberant because the sound is ‘trapped’ and continues to ‘bounce around’.  Excessive reverberation results in poor clarity of speech which is problematic in schools and transport hubs, for example. As more sound absorption is introduced into a space, the noise level will reduce and the sound will decay more quickly. A material’s sound absorption properties are described by the sound absorption coefficient (αs), which is a value between 0 and 1.  A value of 0 means total reflection while 1 means all sound is absorbed by the surface and not returned to the room.  Sound absorption of a surface is not the same for all frequencies of sound. For example, a porous surface like carpet is more efficient at absorbing mid and high pitched sound than low pitched sound.  The sound absorptive properties of a material are defined in standard BS EN ISO 11654:1997. Sound insulation (sometimes referred to as sound attenuation) describes the extent to which sound is limited when passing through a building element or elements.  The associated term sound reductionis used to define the drop in sound level after passing through an element such as glazing, partitioning or ceiling. This ‘single pass’ descriptor is abbreviated as Rwwhere ‘R’ refers to reduction and the subscript ‘w’ refers to weighted (a type of average). In short, the Rw figure is a simplified indication of the difference in sound level from one side of a building element to the other. Sound insulation is also quantified in terms of the reduction in level due to a flanking or a double pass route.  The abbreviation Dnfw is used which means a sound level difference via a flanking route that is normalised and weighted. It basically defines how much sound is blocked by passing through the same element twice, such as ceilings, which span more than one room and have a common void. The fact that acoustic terminology can be confusing to the uninitiated has made it increasingly important for specifiers to ask the right questions to ensure they have been completely understood.  Acoustic comfort in the built environment has become a concern to society and a challenge to designers. The acoustic performance of a space within a building will ultimately have a dramatic effect on the performance of tasks taking place in those spaces. Visit: https://sasintgroup.com
    306 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The world of acoustics can be baffling to the untrained. How many of us know the difference between attenuation or frequency for example? And what exactly is the sound absorption coefficient? Such is the complexity, acoustics is a subject that has been frequently described as a ‘dark art’, particularly when it relates to the application within buildings.  In a bid to demystify the definitions and notations for the non-acousticians amongst us, Stuart Colam, Acoustics Advisor of SAS International delves into some of the more basic principles and common acoustic terminologies. Sound absorption is a measure of how much sound is absorbed by a surface or object. When sound comes into contact with a surface, such as a wall or ceiling that is not particularly sound absorbing, it will be reflected back into the space. This can result in a room becoming noisy or reverberant because the sound is ‘trapped’ and continues to ‘bounce around’.  Excessive reverberation results in poor clarity of speech which is problematic in schools and transport hubs, for example. As more sound absorption is introduced into a space, the noise level will reduce and the sound will decay more quickly. A material’s sound absorption properties are described by the sound absorption coefficient (αs), which is a value between 0 and 1.  A value of 0 means total reflection while 1 means all sound is absorbed by the surface and not returned to the room.  Sound absorption of a surface is not the same for all frequencies of sound. For example, a porous surface like carpet is more efficient at absorbing mid and high pitched sound than low pitched sound.  The sound absorptive properties of a material are defined in standard BS EN ISO 11654:1997. Sound insulation (sometimes referred to as sound attenuation) describes the extent to which sound is limited when passing through a building element or elements.  The associated term sound reductionis used to define the drop in sound level after passing through an element such as glazing, partitioning or ceiling. This ‘single pass’ descriptor is abbreviated as Rwwhere ‘R’ refers to reduction and the subscript ‘w’ refers to weighted (a type of average). In short, the Rw figure is a simplified indication of the difference in sound level from one side of a building element to the other. Sound insulation is also quantified in terms of the reduction in level due to a flanking or a double pass route.  The abbreviation Dnfw is used which means a sound level difference via a flanking route that is normalised and weighted. It basically defines how much sound is blocked by passing through the same element twice, such as ceilings, which span more than one room and have a common void. The fact that acoustic terminology can be confusing to the uninitiated has made it increasingly important for specifiers to ask the right questions to ensure they have been completely understood.  Acoustic comfort in the built environment has become a concern to society and a challenge to designers. The acoustic performance of a space within a building will ultimately have a dramatic effect on the performance of tasks taking place in those spaces. Visit: https://sasintgroup.com
    Oct 29, 2018 306
  • 26 Oct 2018
    One of the biggest problems facing contracting companies is the ability to keep in touch with the workforce, particularly when they are scattered over several sites writes John Ridgeway. It is particularly difficult to know when workers have turned up and what time they leave. In this “Big Brother” world no employer wants to be seen to be tagging staff but there is considerable anecdotal evidence of abuse by workers who clock in late and leave early. As well as losses for the company, employers have to prove a duty of care particularly with staff who might be working alone. Strict health and safety rules also mean that bosses should know where their workers are at all times – and of course what they are doing. Over the years employers have tried different tracking devices, mostly on vehicles but this does not give you any idea where individuals are located. To counter this some companies have looked at personal trackers most of which have failed to deliver – mainly for not being accurate or tough enough to face the challenging environments of building sites. But now it seems, there could be an answer with a new type of tracking product from www.trackmyworld.net which offers huge potential for the construction industry. It’s a tough and robust personal tracker, especially developed for people with equally tough and demanding jobs. Its waterproof built to cope with rough handling and will continue to deliver even under the most difficult conditions. The suppliers claim that it is rapidly becoming the personal tracker of choice for employers who need to keep in contact with key members of staff working in the most challenging and difficult environments. The tracker clips on to a belt or other item of clothing and in the event of an emergency there is an SOS button to instantly summon help. Tests show that it will tell you exactly when your team arrives on site and when they leave using advanced geo fence technology with the addition of real time pin point location to keep in touch and get alerts if speed limits are broken and much more. The device is controlled using an advanced App which will allow an administrator to monitor a limitless number of teams or individuals anywhere in the world from a mobile phone. The TMW GPS Tracker also offers a long battery life and can be easily recharged from the mains or via a cigar lighter in a vehicle. It’s the tough tracker for tough jobs say TMW – and when it’s vital to keep to keep in touch – it appears to have no equal. Visit: www.trackmyworld.net  
    529 Posted by Talk. Build
  • One of the biggest problems facing contracting companies is the ability to keep in touch with the workforce, particularly when they are scattered over several sites writes John Ridgeway. It is particularly difficult to know when workers have turned up and what time they leave. In this “Big Brother” world no employer wants to be seen to be tagging staff but there is considerable anecdotal evidence of abuse by workers who clock in late and leave early. As well as losses for the company, employers have to prove a duty of care particularly with staff who might be working alone. Strict health and safety rules also mean that bosses should know where their workers are at all times – and of course what they are doing. Over the years employers have tried different tracking devices, mostly on vehicles but this does not give you any idea where individuals are located. To counter this some companies have looked at personal trackers most of which have failed to deliver – mainly for not being accurate or tough enough to face the challenging environments of building sites. But now it seems, there could be an answer with a new type of tracking product from www.trackmyworld.net which offers huge potential for the construction industry. It’s a tough and robust personal tracker, especially developed for people with equally tough and demanding jobs. Its waterproof built to cope with rough handling and will continue to deliver even under the most difficult conditions. The suppliers claim that it is rapidly becoming the personal tracker of choice for employers who need to keep in contact with key members of staff working in the most challenging and difficult environments. The tracker clips on to a belt or other item of clothing and in the event of an emergency there is an SOS button to instantly summon help. Tests show that it will tell you exactly when your team arrives on site and when they leave using advanced geo fence technology with the addition of real time pin point location to keep in touch and get alerts if speed limits are broken and much more. The device is controlled using an advanced App which will allow an administrator to monitor a limitless number of teams or individuals anywhere in the world from a mobile phone. The TMW GPS Tracker also offers a long battery life and can be easily recharged from the mains or via a cigar lighter in a vehicle. It’s the tough tracker for tough jobs say TMW – and when it’s vital to keep to keep in touch – it appears to have no equal. Visit: www.trackmyworld.net  
    Oct 26, 2018 529
  • 25 Oct 2018
    Building quicker and with better quality is the much-needed panacea for the UK housing crisis.  For these two reasons alone, it’s why volumetric modular construction has attracted so much interest from policy makers to businesses as a way to modernise the industry and create great places where people choose to live. By no means a new concept, offsite construction offers architects more control over detailed design and an opportunity to reclaim build quality. Changing delivery and construction methods has sadly meant the decision-making process has been steered from architects towards contractors. Volumetric modular construction allows an architect to gain a stronger voice on construction projects as they are involved from design to completion. It tends to avoid the architect being pushed around by contractors looking to value-engineer and do things more cheaply.  The architect is not caught on the back foot, because the solution is already there, and if changes do have to be made, then at least the architect gets paid for them. This avoids the common scenario where developers chop and change architects, which in turn loses that thread of knowledge throughout the build process.    Offsite technology not only addresses quality issues in design and build contracts, it is an increasingly important way to meet tough performance targets and counter climate change.  The thermal and acoustic performance of a building can be improved as modules are assembled off-site, where they can be easily checked and tested in factory conditions.  Fast and efficient builds can be achieved as difficult coordination issues on-site including production substitution can be avoided.  Furthermore, there are fewer defects, the snagging process is minimised and the process helps overcome skills shortages. The HTA-designed Apex House in Wembley represents the benefits of modular construction.  The 29-storey student accommodation was built using 679 off-site fabricated modules and is the tallest modular building in Europe. Resembling shipping containers and complete with kitchen, bathroom, services and a bed base, 11 modules can be installed per day. This results in a 12-month construction programme and built in half the time it would take to construct a concrete or steel-framed equivalent.  From concept to completion in 30 months, the project is an exemplar of what modular construction can bring to UK construction.  The true potential of modular construction as a solution to the housing crisis will surely be the HTA-designed paired towers at 101 George Street in Croydon.  This 38 and 44-storey build-to-rent scheme is currently under construction, and when complete will offer 546 new homes in what will be the tallest modular building in the world.  It will be delivered in just 24 months from construction starting to residents moving in. The housebuilding industry has lacked innovation for some time, but volumetric modular construction has potential to revolutionise the way we build homes. We just need to be able to convince the sceptics amongst us.  Perhaps we should use the analogy of building a car.  What would the quality of a car be that is built on the side of a road in a field? I’m not convinced the build quality would be anywhere close to that of one built in factory-controlled conditions. Visit: https://www.cbuilde.com
    317 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Building quicker and with better quality is the much-needed panacea for the UK housing crisis.  For these two reasons alone, it’s why volumetric modular construction has attracted so much interest from policy makers to businesses as a way to modernise the industry and create great places where people choose to live. By no means a new concept, offsite construction offers architects more control over detailed design and an opportunity to reclaim build quality. Changing delivery and construction methods has sadly meant the decision-making process has been steered from architects towards contractors. Volumetric modular construction allows an architect to gain a stronger voice on construction projects as they are involved from design to completion. It tends to avoid the architect being pushed around by contractors looking to value-engineer and do things more cheaply.  The architect is not caught on the back foot, because the solution is already there, and if changes do have to be made, then at least the architect gets paid for them. This avoids the common scenario where developers chop and change architects, which in turn loses that thread of knowledge throughout the build process.    Offsite technology not only addresses quality issues in design and build contracts, it is an increasingly important way to meet tough performance targets and counter climate change.  The thermal and acoustic performance of a building can be improved as modules are assembled off-site, where they can be easily checked and tested in factory conditions.  Fast and efficient builds can be achieved as difficult coordination issues on-site including production substitution can be avoided.  Furthermore, there are fewer defects, the snagging process is minimised and the process helps overcome skills shortages. The HTA-designed Apex House in Wembley represents the benefits of modular construction.  The 29-storey student accommodation was built using 679 off-site fabricated modules and is the tallest modular building in Europe. Resembling shipping containers and complete with kitchen, bathroom, services and a bed base, 11 modules can be installed per day. This results in a 12-month construction programme and built in half the time it would take to construct a concrete or steel-framed equivalent.  From concept to completion in 30 months, the project is an exemplar of what modular construction can bring to UK construction.  The true potential of modular construction as a solution to the housing crisis will surely be the HTA-designed paired towers at 101 George Street in Croydon.  This 38 and 44-storey build-to-rent scheme is currently under construction, and when complete will offer 546 new homes in what will be the tallest modular building in the world.  It will be delivered in just 24 months from construction starting to residents moving in. The housebuilding industry has lacked innovation for some time, but volumetric modular construction has potential to revolutionise the way we build homes. We just need to be able to convince the sceptics amongst us.  Perhaps we should use the analogy of building a car.  What would the quality of a car be that is built on the side of a road in a field? I’m not convinced the build quality would be anywhere close to that of one built in factory-controlled conditions. Visit: https://www.cbuilde.com
    Oct 25, 2018 317
  • 19 Oct 2018
    As specialist contractors carry out the vast majority of construction work in the UK, isn’t it about time the construction industry acknowledged their role writes Gerald Kelly.  Specialist contractors and suppliers will together produce the bulk of the detailed design work and will manufacture, fabricate, supply, install, commission and maintain the components which make up the finished building or structure.  However, this is conveniently forgotten when Main Contractors deal with the Client. The Main Contract Agreement between the Client and Main Contractor is considered as the most significant contract, even though the expertise of specialist contractors is indispensable. Specialist contractors invariably end up having no direct contractual link to the client, operating as sub-contractors to the Main Contractor and having to deal with Main Contractors unloading risk down through the supply chain. So, why is there a reluctance to acknowledge the functions of specialist contractors and suppliers? Could it be that it is far easier to abuse contractual positions if specialist contractors are relegated to being functional accessories to the Main Contractor rather than being recognised for the crucial role that they perform. Of course, Main Contractors will argue that their supply chain is extremely important and are recognised and rewarded for the expertise they bring to construction projects. However, if this were the case, why do Main Contractors alter standard forms of subcontract, insist on onerous Terms and Conditions and participate in late payment practices. A quick look at data compiled by Build UK on their members’ payment performance, using data published under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance, highlights the appalling late payment practices of many Main Contractors. Company Name          % of invoices NOT paid within agreed terms   Average time taken to pay invoices (days) Clugston                                             13                                                 32 Willmott Dixon                                   8                                                   33 Canary Wharf Contractors                 8                                                   34 VolkerWessels                                  19                                                   35 Bouygues                                          31                                                   40 AECOM                                              52                                                   40 Skanska                                            11                                                   41 ISG                                                    48                                                  42 Multiplex                                           47                                                  43 Seddon                                               7                                                   44 Morgan Sindall                                 24                                                  44 Wates                                               62                                                  44 Mace                                                 43                                                  45 BAM Construct                                 49                                                  45 Keltbray                                           11                                                  47 Galliford Try                                    26                                                  47 Sir Robert McAlpine                        70                                                  49 Interserve                                       83                                                  50 William Hare                                   29                                                  51 Vinci                                                36                                                  52 John Sisk & Son                              64                                                  52 Kier                                                  48                                                  54 Balfour Beatty                                 54                                                  54 Engie                                                 1                                                   61 Murphy Group                                 66                                                   66 The Guidance to reporting on payment practices and performance specifies that the average time taken to pay should be measured from the date of receipt of invoice to the date the supplier receives payment. For construction contracts in scope of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, businesses must use the earliest point at which they have notice of an amount for payment, which would generally be the date they receive an application for payment. It truly is the time for the construction industry to move forward. A good start would be to recognise the worth of specialist contractors, issue fair contracts, pay on time and stop all detrimental payment practices. The construction industry has many problems; however, they can be solved if all work together and put aside the adversarial attitude that is prevalent within the industry. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists, an organisation which fights for fair and ethical contracts within the construction industry.  Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org    
    637 Posted by Talk. Build
  • As specialist contractors carry out the vast majority of construction work in the UK, isn’t it about time the construction industry acknowledged their role writes Gerald Kelly.  Specialist contractors and suppliers will together produce the bulk of the detailed design work and will manufacture, fabricate, supply, install, commission and maintain the components which make up the finished building or structure.  However, this is conveniently forgotten when Main Contractors deal with the Client. The Main Contract Agreement between the Client and Main Contractor is considered as the most significant contract, even though the expertise of specialist contractors is indispensable. Specialist contractors invariably end up having no direct contractual link to the client, operating as sub-contractors to the Main Contractor and having to deal with Main Contractors unloading risk down through the supply chain. So, why is there a reluctance to acknowledge the functions of specialist contractors and suppliers? Could it be that it is far easier to abuse contractual positions if specialist contractors are relegated to being functional accessories to the Main Contractor rather than being recognised for the crucial role that they perform. Of course, Main Contractors will argue that their supply chain is extremely important and are recognised and rewarded for the expertise they bring to construction projects. However, if this were the case, why do Main Contractors alter standard forms of subcontract, insist on onerous Terms and Conditions and participate in late payment practices. A quick look at data compiled by Build UK on their members’ payment performance, using data published under the Duty to Report on Payment Practices and Performance, highlights the appalling late payment practices of many Main Contractors. Company Name          % of invoices NOT paid within agreed terms   Average time taken to pay invoices (days) Clugston                                             13                                                 32 Willmott Dixon                                   8                                                   33 Canary Wharf Contractors                 8                                                   34 VolkerWessels                                  19                                                   35 Bouygues                                          31                                                   40 AECOM                                              52                                                   40 Skanska                                            11                                                   41 ISG                                                    48                                                  42 Multiplex                                           47                                                  43 Seddon                                               7                                                   44 Morgan Sindall                                 24                                                  44 Wates                                               62                                                  44 Mace                                                 43                                                  45 BAM Construct                                 49                                                  45 Keltbray                                           11                                                  47 Galliford Try                                    26                                                  47 Sir Robert McAlpine                        70                                                  49 Interserve                                       83                                                  50 William Hare                                   29                                                  51 Vinci                                                36                                                  52 John Sisk & Son                              64                                                  52 Kier                                                  48                                                  54 Balfour Beatty                                 54                                                  54 Engie                                                 1                                                   61 Murphy Group                                 66                                                   66 The Guidance to reporting on payment practices and performance specifies that the average time taken to pay should be measured from the date of receipt of invoice to the date the supplier receives payment. For construction contracts in scope of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, businesses must use the earliest point at which they have notice of an amount for payment, which would generally be the date they receive an application for payment. It truly is the time for the construction industry to move forward. A good start would be to recognise the worth of specialist contractors, issue fair contracts, pay on time and stop all detrimental payment practices. The construction industry has many problems; however, they can be solved if all work together and put aside the adversarial attitude that is prevalent within the industry. Gerald Kelly is General Manager of the Confederation of Construction Specialists, an organisation which fights for fair and ethical contracts within the construction industry.  Visit: www.constructionspecialists.org    
    Oct 19, 2018 637
  • 17 Oct 2018
    Flooring in food and beverage environments must be slip-resistant, easy to clean, durable and hygienic. These factors pose significant challenges to flooring designs; not only do most floors have to be purpose-built, they must be functional, meeting the strict criteria stipulated above. So what kinds of design considerations need to be made to ensure floors meet hygiene standards at the point of specification? Keeping it clean Floor finish is a key design consideration which should fulfill a variety of standards in the European Food Safety Directive. In food preparation areas, flooring must be seamless and easy to clean to meet hygiene levels, particularly as the spread of bacteria must be prevented in food environments at all times. Flooring must also be rinsed thoroughly to remove wash-down residues and any viruses, bacteria or pests that might be present. The finish should also be compatible with certain solvents, including cleaning agents, for the quality of the finish to remain uncompromised. A finish needs to be impermeable and made to a high specification otherwise employee and consumer safety could be put at risk. An excellent finish,often best provided by dense resin-rich systems, will prevent flaking, cracking and discolouration, making sure a floor looks professional and performs to its best. Drainage must be placed in correct areas and never under processing equipment as it obstructs important cleaning procedures. With the assistance of gravity, gradients ranging between 1:100 and 1:80 can be useful for moving any liquids towards drains. Efficient drainage systems are fundamental design considerations as they guarantee cleanliness is maintained at an optimum standard in food environments. Slip-resistanc Floor finishes must also be slip-resistant. Slips and trips are the most common causes of injury at work, accounting for an average 33% of total work injuries. Injuries tend to occur most often in areas where meat, fruit, vegetable, fat and other residues are present. To counteract this, companies can choose flooring that has an optimum combination of grip and wash-ability to keep employees safe and the facility supremely clean. The most common method of providing grip to new flooring is to apply aggregate onto the top of the wet surface before it hardens. Aggregate varies in size and type and can create numerous profiles. The most common types are silica, quartz, flint, and aluminum oxide. Durable designs Flooring in food environments must be able to withstand high-impact shock and abrasions, whether from large mechanical shocks or a drop of a heavy knife. In the food sector, floors will be put under a significant amount of stress given the nature of the environment, therefore cleanliness, durability and safety are complete priorities. Flooring solutions must also be compatible with cleaning agents to ensure longevity. Floors with low chemical resistance not only wear down faster, they also create traps for bacteria and viruses can hide.Be mindful of the volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by various floor, wall, ceiling, and other finishes. Flooring products with low VOC emission means air is kept clean, resulting in safer food production and a healthier working environment for employees. Finding the right flooring system which fulfills a variety of challenging design aspects is difficult, especially in relation to the food industry. With countless years of experience, Sikafloor® systems are created and installed to meet all of these challenging requirements thanks to their flexible design possibilities. From floor finish to drainage system, to durability, Sikafloor® has companies covered.  Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    319 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Flooring in food and beverage environments must be slip-resistant, easy to clean, durable and hygienic. These factors pose significant challenges to flooring designs; not only do most floors have to be purpose-built, they must be functional, meeting the strict criteria stipulated above. So what kinds of design considerations need to be made to ensure floors meet hygiene standards at the point of specification? Keeping it clean Floor finish is a key design consideration which should fulfill a variety of standards in the European Food Safety Directive. In food preparation areas, flooring must be seamless and easy to clean to meet hygiene levels, particularly as the spread of bacteria must be prevented in food environments at all times. Flooring must also be rinsed thoroughly to remove wash-down residues and any viruses, bacteria or pests that might be present. The finish should also be compatible with certain solvents, including cleaning agents, for the quality of the finish to remain uncompromised. A finish needs to be impermeable and made to a high specification otherwise employee and consumer safety could be put at risk. An excellent finish,often best provided by dense resin-rich systems, will prevent flaking, cracking and discolouration, making sure a floor looks professional and performs to its best. Drainage must be placed in correct areas and never under processing equipment as it obstructs important cleaning procedures. With the assistance of gravity, gradients ranging between 1:100 and 1:80 can be useful for moving any liquids towards drains. Efficient drainage systems are fundamental design considerations as they guarantee cleanliness is maintained at an optimum standard in food environments. Slip-resistanc Floor finishes must also be slip-resistant. Slips and trips are the most common causes of injury at work, accounting for an average 33% of total work injuries. Injuries tend to occur most often in areas where meat, fruit, vegetable, fat and other residues are present. To counteract this, companies can choose flooring that has an optimum combination of grip and wash-ability to keep employees safe and the facility supremely clean. The most common method of providing grip to new flooring is to apply aggregate onto the top of the wet surface before it hardens. Aggregate varies in size and type and can create numerous profiles. The most common types are silica, quartz, flint, and aluminum oxide. Durable designs Flooring in food environments must be able to withstand high-impact shock and abrasions, whether from large mechanical shocks or a drop of a heavy knife. In the food sector, floors will be put under a significant amount of stress given the nature of the environment, therefore cleanliness, durability and safety are complete priorities. Flooring solutions must also be compatible with cleaning agents to ensure longevity. Floors with low chemical resistance not only wear down faster, they also create traps for bacteria and viruses can hide.Be mindful of the volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by various floor, wall, ceiling, and other finishes. Flooring products with low VOC emission means air is kept clean, resulting in safer food production and a healthier working environment for employees. Finding the right flooring system which fulfills a variety of challenging design aspects is difficult, especially in relation to the food industry. With countless years of experience, Sikafloor® systems are created and installed to meet all of these challenging requirements thanks to their flexible design possibilities. From floor finish to drainage system, to durability, Sikafloor® has companies covered.  Visit: www.sika.co.uk
    Oct 17, 2018 319
  • 15 Oct 2018
    High-rise curtain wall buildings have become architectural statements across the globe, their façades projecting image and a creative intent which sets them apart from other buildings across city skylines. While curtain walls offer formability, durability and weather resistance, it’s vitally important that passive fire protection and compartmentation measures are installed to limit the spread of fire, saving lives and property. Chris Hall, Commercial Development Officer at SIDERISE, feels that passive fire protection solutions such as firestops are crucial to prevent the passage of flames and noxious gases travelling from one compartment floor or room to the next. Fires in high-rise buildings can generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to one room. When the gap/cavity at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke can spread vertically to higher floors, and horizontally from one room to the next. Addressing these gaps/cavities by properly installing firestops maintains the floors’ fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related injury in the upper floors of the building, and adjacent rooms. Closing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartmentfloor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable, so the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability – compression and recovery – in order to accommodate serviceability movement, and more significant movement under fire load. It’s critical the firestop system does this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartmentfloor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through, and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rises above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features – density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression – which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, Certifire Approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits. The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls horizontally and vertically. These systems can offer tested fire rating options ranging from 30 minutes to five hours and accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Key design considerations The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative windloads as well as occupational live loads.  These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions and where fixing brackets are required these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and the façade is often a weak point acoustically.  Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Seal the voids At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers in the Dubai Marina, UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor Cladtech with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill lineargaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors.   Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing life saving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit: www.siderise.com
    333 Posted by Talk. Build
  • High-rise curtain wall buildings have become architectural statements across the globe, their façades projecting image and a creative intent which sets them apart from other buildings across city skylines. While curtain walls offer formability, durability and weather resistance, it’s vitally important that passive fire protection and compartmentation measures are installed to limit the spread of fire, saving lives and property. Chris Hall, Commercial Development Officer at SIDERISE, feels that passive fire protection solutions such as firestops are crucial to prevent the passage of flames and noxious gases travelling from one compartment floor or room to the next. Fires in high-rise buildings can generate large quantities of smoke that tend to spread vertically throughout the building, even if the fire is contained to one room. When the gap/cavity at the perimeter edge between the floor and curtain wall is not properly sealed, flames and smoke can spread vertically to higher floors, and horizontally from one room to the next. Addressing these gaps/cavities by properly installing firestops maintains the floors’ fire compartmentation of the building. This delays vertical smoke-spread and reduces the risk of smoke-related injury in the upper floors of the building, and adjacent rooms. Closing the gap The perimeter barrier firestops seal the gap between the edge of the compartmentfloor slab and external curtain wall. Due to project designs and site tolerances, this linear gap can be variable, so the firestop system used needs to have a degree of ‘dynamic’ movement capability – compression and recovery – in order to accommodate serviceability movement, and more significant movement under fire load. It’s critical the firestop system does this in combination with the primary functional requirement, which is to maintain continuity of fire resistance between the compartmentfloor and the external wall. The installed firestop system needs to match the same period of fire resistance as the compartment floor. All firestop systems need to be tested to two criteria – Integrity and Insulation (EI). Integrity (E) refers to the ability of the system to prevent the passage of flame, smoke and combustible gases either through, and around the material or through joints in an assembly; while Insulation (I) refers to a measure of the increase in conducted heat transferred from the exposed to unexposed surfaces of 180°C rises above ambient. These two criteria are critical in the development of curtain wall perimeter firestop products. The most effective products combine a number of material features – density, thickness, resin content, fibre structure and controlled compression – which together determine the resistance properties. When looking at the Integrity (E) criteria, the material chosen must be impervious to the transfer of flame and gases, easy to install with minimal site management and accommodate all real-world requirements at interfaces, joints and details. In order to meet the fire and smoke stop requirements in all external façade applications, Certifire Approved perimeter barrier and firestop systems offer an unrivalled combination of fully-qualified performance, practical installation and service benefits. The principal function of these systems is to maintain continuity of fire resistance by sealing the gap between the compartment floors or walls and external curtain walls horizontally and vertically. These systems can offer tested fire rating options ranging from 30 minutes to five hours and accommodate void widths up to 1200mm. In addition to providing an effective seal against the passage of smoke and fire, the products will also function as an effective acoustic barrier and plenum lining. Key design considerations The firestop should be installed under compression and must have test evidence to show that it is capable of accommodating movement of a façade. It is imperative that the installed seal is able to function effectively with due regard to all designed movement serviceability limits.  Curtain walling and cladding façade systems will deflect due to positive and negative windloads as well as occupational live loads.  These criteria are covered by EN 13116:2001.  Typically, a project may stipulate that the curtain walling system may have the following allowable deflection limits: Under the declared wind loads the maximum frontal deflection of the curtain walling’s framing members shall not exceed L/200 or 15mm, whichever is less, when measured between the points of support or anchorage to the building’s structure in compliance with EN 13116. (Extract from EN 138300) These factors may inevitably combine to preclude the suitability and therefore, use of certain systems e.g. high density material slab products. Perimeter barriers must be installed to provide horizontal compartmentation at every floor level.  Vertical cavity barriers should be provided as a minimum to fall in line with any compartment wall and more frequently if dictated by the fire strategy of the building. Products should be fitted tightly around all bracketry to restrict the passage of smoke.  Where there is potential for gaps, the product must be sealed with a sealant that carries the same fire insulation and integrity rating as the perimeter barrier. All installations should be in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions and where fixing brackets are required these should be fitted and spaced in accordance with a certified fire test report. Products used for fire safety installation should carry an independent third party certification in order to ensure that the product supplied is the same as that tested. The gap between the slab edge and the façade is often a weak point acoustically.  Any products used to improve the acoustic performance must not contribute to the fire load or inhibit the performance of the perimeter barrier. Seal the voids At the $135 million Al Fattan Crystal Towers in the Dubai Marina, UAE, fire safety was paramount in a development which houses hotel rooms, suites and residential apartments. With both vertical and horizontal fire compartmentation requirements, the specification of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops provided the contractor Cladtech with a one-stop-shop solution that could maintain a fire and smoke seal in one product and could successfully fill lineargaps at the podium levels in excess of 300mm. For the two towers, Cladtech installed 12,000 LM of SIDERISE CW-FS 120 firestops including horizontal (floor slab) and vertical compartmentation. With the timeline on the project critical, the use of this dry fix system enabled the work to be completed quickly and efficiently, ready for handover to subcontractors.   Throughout the application, SIDERISE provided comprehensive support including drawing assistance, liaison with the authorities for approval, installation training and periodic site inspection and assistance. Whilst specifying the correct product is vital, the quality of installation is equally as important.  Contractors installing life saving measures such as perimeter barriers and firestops must have adequate training on the particular manufacturer’s products and be qualified to install it in the first place.  When it comes to saving lives and protecting businesses and property, a well designed and installed system can make the difference.  Visit: www.siderise.com
    Oct 15, 2018 333
  • 09 Oct 2018
    London Mayor Sadiq Khan has already gone on record to state that he wants to make the Capital a zero-carbon city by 2050 writes Kevin Knapp, CEO, Ecolution Renewables. It will be a major challenge and one that will only be achieved if Londoners are willing to embrace green technology. The Mayor has already put his considerable political weight behind a Solar Action Plan to persuade homeowners and businesses across the Capital to install photovoltaic panels to generate green electricity – and thousands are taking advantage of this initiative, benefitting from reduced installation costs and long term energy savings. It’s a welcome step forward but more could be done if householders and businesses would be willing to accept the Mayor’s challenge and even better – be prepared to go that extra mile, to help reduce air pollution across the Capital while significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels. We call that extra mile #JointheEcolution which combines photovoltaic panels with advanced HyCube battery storage units further linked to electric charging points (EV) turning every household and business into its own virtual power station. With more electric cars on the road it means less pollution. Photovoltaics linked to storage units would also help to make buildings energy self-sufficient, with the ability to save and share that energy with others. It’s joined up green energy which could totally transform the way we power our homes and businesses in the future. The advantages are there for all to see. In the first month alone of 2018, London’s air pollution reached the legal limit for the entire year so anything that encourages the use of electric cars has to be welcome. Air toxicity has been at illegal levels in urban areas in the UK, including London, since 2010, resulting in around 40,000 early deaths a year. Add on our reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear and the word green seems a long way off. Now is the time to change all that and invest in renewables otherwise what will we leave for the next generation – London smog. As I recall - we have been there before and we did not like it. Visit: www.ecolutiongroup.com
    416 Posted by Talk. Build
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan has already gone on record to state that he wants to make the Capital a zero-carbon city by 2050 writes Kevin Knapp, CEO, Ecolution Renewables. It will be a major challenge and one that will only be achieved if Londoners are willing to embrace green technology. The Mayor has already put his considerable political weight behind a Solar Action Plan to persuade homeowners and businesses across the Capital to install photovoltaic panels to generate green electricity – and thousands are taking advantage of this initiative, benefitting from reduced installation costs and long term energy savings. It’s a welcome step forward but more could be done if householders and businesses would be willing to accept the Mayor’s challenge and even better – be prepared to go that extra mile, to help reduce air pollution across the Capital while significantly reducing reliance on fossil fuels. We call that extra mile #JointheEcolution which combines photovoltaic panels with advanced HyCube battery storage units further linked to electric charging points (EV) turning every household and business into its own virtual power station. With more electric cars on the road it means less pollution. Photovoltaics linked to storage units would also help to make buildings energy self-sufficient, with the ability to save and share that energy with others. It’s joined up green energy which could totally transform the way we power our homes and businesses in the future. The advantages are there for all to see. In the first month alone of 2018, London’s air pollution reached the legal limit for the entire year so anything that encourages the use of electric cars has to be welcome. Air toxicity has been at illegal levels in urban areas in the UK, including London, since 2010, resulting in around 40,000 early deaths a year. Add on our reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear and the word green seems a long way off. Now is the time to change all that and invest in renewables otherwise what will we leave for the next generation – London smog. As I recall - we have been there before and we did not like it. Visit: www.ecolutiongroup.com
    Oct 09, 2018 416
  • 08 Oct 2018
    If you think that some of the tallest towers in the world are impressive now, then you’ve seen nothing yet. Not only will the next generation of skyscrapers be in amongst the tallest in the world, with one becoming THE tallest and by a long way, they are also far greener too. Below is a graphic that highlights these new cloud puncturing structures, what they’ll have inside them and the green features that have been incorporated as well. Visit: http://rubberbond.co.uk
    374 Posted by Talk. Build
  • If you think that some of the tallest towers in the world are impressive now, then you’ve seen nothing yet. Not only will the next generation of skyscrapers be in amongst the tallest in the world, with one becoming THE tallest and by a long way, they are also far greener too. Below is a graphic that highlights these new cloud puncturing structures, what they’ll have inside them and the green features that have been incorporated as well. Visit: http://rubberbond.co.uk
    Oct 08, 2018 374
  • 05 Oct 2018
    We’re in the middle of a shift in the world of architecture, construction, engineering and design writes Damian O'Neill, Director at Lyons O'Neill. We’ve just had London Design Festival, a week celebrating creativity and innovation in British design and inspiring the public and those in the industry to think about its future. This year’s festival had several arresting public installations: from Es Devlin’s roaring red poetry lion in Trafalgar Square and Kellenberger’s alphabet chairs to the Cross-Laminated Timber maze-pavillion in the V&A courtyard by Waugh Thistleton Architects. Architecture and design hit mainstream national headlines, reminding us of the great impact structures have. However, although each of these examples were uniquely thought-provoking, they all had something in common, reflecting a shift in thinking seen in the rest of the Festival as well as the architecture and design space as a whole. What linked these innovative projects was their exploration of the active relationship between a man-made structure and the environment, urban and natural. Both in terms of materials used, responding to the pressing need for environmental sustainability, and incorporation of their site-specific context, these projects demonstrate that in architecture we can no longer think of structures as static, monolithic objects, but as needing to adapt and relate to their surroundings and users. In addition to envisioning structures as relationships rather than objects, in conversation with the world, we’re also beginning to explore the impact buildings have on our natures. Research has shown that in the hippocampal part of our brain we have special cells which respond to the geometry and arrangement of the spaces we are in. And there are increasing studies being published which document the mental and emotional impact design has on the people who use a space. When designing, we therefore not only need to understand how a structure will affect and be affected by its natural environment, but the social role it plays. Alarge part of rethinking the built environment’s relationship with nature is by paying greater attention and respect to nature. In many ways, nature is the ultimate architect, displaying a breath-taking complexity and variety of design in its vast web of connections. Pioneering architecture and engineering is now about learning from this interconnection and seeking to work with, not against nature, designing structures to visually and physically integrate with their surroundings. And this new way of thinking isn’t just for design festivals and one-off flagship projects. A project of any scale should seek to marry nature with design and this begins right from the planning and drawings stage. Thoroughly researching the environmental conditions of an area will highlight which design elements and materials are most suited to the project and will minimise lasting disruption. For example, our award-winning Resedale House project came with a number of design considerations due to its sloping rural site and sustainability goals, but our close collaboration with Khoury Architects meant these were incorporated into the stunning and lightweight structure that was created. Using split levels to maximise space whilst minimising building height, as well as adding a lake area, meant the project was visually in tune with its surroundings. And strategically placed glazed facades meant the house’s inhabitants could enjoy the full benefit of the rural location and natural light. Architecture and design have many challenges ahead, both in the planning and construction stages. But this shouldn’t stifle creativity and inspiration but rather multiply it, as we understand that our structures, as well as ourselves, are in conversation with nature and all its beauty. Visit: http://www.lyonsoneill.co.uk    
    789 Posted by Talk. Build
  • We’re in the middle of a shift in the world of architecture, construction, engineering and design writes Damian O'Neill, Director at Lyons O'Neill. We’ve just had London Design Festival, a week celebrating creativity and innovation in British design and inspiring the public and those in the industry to think about its future. This year’s festival had several arresting public installations: from Es Devlin’s roaring red poetry lion in Trafalgar Square and Kellenberger’s alphabet chairs to the Cross-Laminated Timber maze-pavillion in the V&A courtyard by Waugh Thistleton Architects. Architecture and design hit mainstream national headlines, reminding us of the great impact structures have. However, although each of these examples were uniquely thought-provoking, they all had something in common, reflecting a shift in thinking seen in the rest of the Festival as well as the architecture and design space as a whole. What linked these innovative projects was their exploration of the active relationship between a man-made structure and the environment, urban and natural. Both in terms of materials used, responding to the pressing need for environmental sustainability, and incorporation of their site-specific context, these projects demonstrate that in architecture we can no longer think of structures as static, monolithic objects, but as needing to adapt and relate to their surroundings and users. In addition to envisioning structures as relationships rather than objects, in conversation with the world, we’re also beginning to explore the impact buildings have on our natures. Research has shown that in the hippocampal part of our brain we have special cells which respond to the geometry and arrangement of the spaces we are in. And there are increasing studies being published which document the mental and emotional impact design has on the people who use a space. When designing, we therefore not only need to understand how a structure will affect and be affected by its natural environment, but the social role it plays. Alarge part of rethinking the built environment’s relationship with nature is by paying greater attention and respect to nature. In many ways, nature is the ultimate architect, displaying a breath-taking complexity and variety of design in its vast web of connections. Pioneering architecture and engineering is now about learning from this interconnection and seeking to work with, not against nature, designing structures to visually and physically integrate with their surroundings. And this new way of thinking isn’t just for design festivals and one-off flagship projects. A project of any scale should seek to marry nature with design and this begins right from the planning and drawings stage. Thoroughly researching the environmental conditions of an area will highlight which design elements and materials are most suited to the project and will minimise lasting disruption. For example, our award-winning Resedale House project came with a number of design considerations due to its sloping rural site and sustainability goals, but our close collaboration with Khoury Architects meant these were incorporated into the stunning and lightweight structure that was created. Using split levels to maximise space whilst minimising building height, as well as adding a lake area, meant the project was visually in tune with its surroundings. And strategically placed glazed facades meant the house’s inhabitants could enjoy the full benefit of the rural location and natural light. Architecture and design have many challenges ahead, both in the planning and construction stages. But this shouldn’t stifle creativity and inspiration but rather multiply it, as we understand that our structures, as well as ourselves, are in conversation with nature and all its beauty. Visit: http://www.lyonsoneill.co.uk    
    Oct 05, 2018 789
  • 03 Oct 2018
    Bridges carry you across the water, or across a busy road, but you might not have bothered to pay much attention to what is under your feet. Then again, not all bridges are built equal. Some are built from sketches that were lost for 400 years. Some are said to be built by the Devil himself! Here, Oasys, structure analysis software providers, take a look at these fascinating structures…  1.      The Rolling Bridge – UK Photograph by Loz Pycock This amazing steel bridge was created by Heatherwick studios to cross an inlet in London. What makes this bridge so unique is that it can tidy itself away! When needed, this bridge curls up into an octogen shape to stand on one side of the canal until a boat passes. The bridge also curls up every day at noon, if you want to see it in action!  Da Vinci Bridge – Norway Photograph by Egil Kvaleberg This next bridge, in Norway, was built from designs intended to be used in Istanbul that were drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci. The original drawing had a single span of 240 metres, but the project did not go ahead as it was believed that such a design was not feasible. As the first major engineering feat from a da Vinci drawing, the bridge finally came into the world in Norway. The bridge has just three arches to support the structure. Though the Norwegian bridge is a smaller version of the original plans, it shows that the design works — one arch under the bridge, and two arches either side leaning inwards to spread the weight.  The Devil’s Bridge – Germany Photograph by A. Landgraf Known as Rakotzbrücke, the bridge’s appearance looks like a perfect circle. The bridge is said to have been commissioned by a knight in 1860. But the rocks and stones used for its creation are jagged and spikey, so it was dangerous to cross. The bridge’s design was deemed a masonry challenge, according to Earth Trekkers. The idea was that only Satan himself could help with a difficult build such as these bridges, and the first human who crossed the completed bridge would pay for the Devil’s helping hand by giving up his soul. The bridge is no longer open to be crossed, due to preservation measures. But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!  Fire-breathing dragon Bridge — Vietnam Photograph by Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures This next bridge might be the most flamboyant build on our list. Located in Da Nang in Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge is certainly a spectacular sight! The bridge is the result of an international competition by the Da Nang People’s Committee in order to improve travel in the city. The bridge has six lanes for vehicles, two lanes for pedestrians, and 2,500 LED lights. Of course, as a dragon, the bridge can breathe fire! In fact, the bridge can spout water or fire, and this display is often used for special occasions in the city.  Living Roots Bridges – India Photograph by Arshiya Urveeja Bose If ever there were living examples of the payoff of patience, these bridges are just that. These beautifully natural bridges were formed by guiding rubber tree roots with hollow canes so that they would grow outwards and meet from either side of a stream. It would take years to reach the opposite bank, but the hard work paid off as these Living Roots bridges can support the weight of a human. They were originally made by the Khasi tribe, who realised the bamboo bridges they were building would collapse or rot after a monsoon or heavy storm. Sources: https://bocadolobo.com/blog/architecture/10-of-the-worlds-most-beautiful-and-unique-bridges/ https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/g248/4335705/ http://boredomtherapy.com/unique-bridges-around-the-world/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea_and_Rhododendron_Park_Kromlau https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_root_bridges https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/rakotzbrucke-devils-bridge/ https://www.earthtrekkers.com/rakotzbrucke-fairytale-bridge-saxony-germany/ https://www.flickr.com/people/45649858@N08 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150218-indias-amazing-living-root-bridges https://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/ https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/rolling-bridge-london
    431 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Bridges carry you across the water, or across a busy road, but you might not have bothered to pay much attention to what is under your feet. Then again, not all bridges are built equal. Some are built from sketches that were lost for 400 years. Some are said to be built by the Devil himself! Here, Oasys, structure analysis software providers, take a look at these fascinating structures…  1.      The Rolling Bridge – UK Photograph by Loz Pycock This amazing steel bridge was created by Heatherwick studios to cross an inlet in London. What makes this bridge so unique is that it can tidy itself away! When needed, this bridge curls up into an octogen shape to stand on one side of the canal until a boat passes. The bridge also curls up every day at noon, if you want to see it in action!  Da Vinci Bridge – Norway Photograph by Egil Kvaleberg This next bridge, in Norway, was built from designs intended to be used in Istanbul that were drawn up by Leonardo da Vinci. The original drawing had a single span of 240 metres, but the project did not go ahead as it was believed that such a design was not feasible. As the first major engineering feat from a da Vinci drawing, the bridge finally came into the world in Norway. The bridge has just three arches to support the structure. Though the Norwegian bridge is a smaller version of the original plans, it shows that the design works — one arch under the bridge, and two arches either side leaning inwards to spread the weight.  The Devil’s Bridge – Germany Photograph by A. Landgraf Known as Rakotzbrücke, the bridge’s appearance looks like a perfect circle. The bridge is said to have been commissioned by a knight in 1860. But the rocks and stones used for its creation are jagged and spikey, so it was dangerous to cross. The bridge’s design was deemed a masonry challenge, according to Earth Trekkers. The idea was that only Satan himself could help with a difficult build such as these bridges, and the first human who crossed the completed bridge would pay for the Devil’s helping hand by giving up his soul. The bridge is no longer open to be crossed, due to preservation measures. But it is still an oddly beautiful sight to behold!  Fire-breathing dragon Bridge — Vietnam Photograph by Ehrin Macksey / Noi Pictures This next bridge might be the most flamboyant build on our list. Located in Da Nang in Vietnam, the Dragon Bridge is certainly a spectacular sight! The bridge is the result of an international competition by the Da Nang People’s Committee in order to improve travel in the city. The bridge has six lanes for vehicles, two lanes for pedestrians, and 2,500 LED lights. Of course, as a dragon, the bridge can breathe fire! In fact, the bridge can spout water or fire, and this display is often used for special occasions in the city.  Living Roots Bridges – India Photograph by Arshiya Urveeja Bose If ever there were living examples of the payoff of patience, these bridges are just that. These beautifully natural bridges were formed by guiding rubber tree roots with hollow canes so that they would grow outwards and meet from either side of a stream. It would take years to reach the opposite bank, but the hard work paid off as these Living Roots bridges can support the weight of a human. They were originally made by the Khasi tribe, who realised the bamboo bridges they were building would collapse or rot after a monsoon or heavy storm. Sources: https://bocadolobo.com/blog/architecture/10-of-the-worlds-most-beautiful-and-unique-bridges/ https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/design/g248/4335705/ http://boredomtherapy.com/unique-bridges-around-the-world/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azalea_and_Rhododendron_Park_Kromlau https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Living_root_bridges https://www.bemytravelmuse.com/rakotzbrucke-devils-bridge/ https://www.earthtrekkers.com/rakotzbrucke-fairytale-bridge-saxony-germany/ https://www.flickr.com/people/45649858@N08 http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150218-indias-amazing-living-root-bridges https://www.flickr.com/photos/blahflowers/ https://www.visitbritain.com/gb/en/rolling-bridge-london
    Oct 03, 2018 431
  • 01 Oct 2018
    The ever-widening skills shortage faced by the construction sector is driving up wages and having a significant impact on the government’s ambitious plan to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone.   But it is not just building targets that need to be met, there are also the hugely important carbon reduction targets and the need to ensure buildings are properly insulated with high quality products and installed correctly to allow them to perform. With the demand for tradespeople across all sectors of the construction industry outstripping supply, the skills’ shortage is a key constraint to the housebuilding industry severely impacting the quality of new buildings, the ability to build to budget and ensuring that all performance characteristics meet both design and regulatory requirements. How can the construction industry put in place measures that might put an end to the skills’ crisis? The contributing factors of the construction skills’ shortage are well documented; from an ageing workforce not being replaced, to a younger generation not seeing the industry as an attractive and viable option. Britain’s decision to leave the EU has only added to the industry-wide fear over the building skills’ shortage. Of the UK’s 270,653 migrant construction force, about 45% are workers from EU countries. When or if the UK’s divorce from the continent is finalised, there is a real fear that many employees who have arrived from overseas will leave, taking their building skills and experience with them.  Reaching out to students Inspiring the next generation to take-up a career in construction is fundamental to filling the current skills’ gap over the long-term. Changing the outdated and negative perceptions of the industry is part of this. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently asked a group of 14 to 19-year-olds which careers interested them - construction only scored 4.2 out of 10. According to the survey, young people claimed that construction means ‘being outdoors and getting dirty’. Young people overlook the fact a career in construction is incredibly diverse and is an industry with cutting-edge technologies, such as robotics, digitisation and modular building techniques – key to attracting a tech savvy younger generation. Companies in the industry need to reach out and engage with students, parents and teachers to create a better image of construction, right through from manufacturing, engineered solutions to site management. The industry needs to expand its recruitment and attract more women and people from ethnic diversities, which are currently under-represented. Women represent just 13% of the workforce, a shocking statistic considering the skills shortage. A fundamental shift towards inclusiveness is necessary while a joined-up approach between industry, the government and education sector – beginning with young people at primary school and then throughout education – will pave the way towards a more inclusive and accessible industry. The government has launched a number of initiatives to help plug the skills gap and has set a new target of three million new apprentices by 2020 across all sectors.  A £34 million investment in construction training and an apprenticeship levy – estimated to raise £3 billion a year - might go some way to securing a skilled and stable workforce. Alternative educational models such as part-time degree apprenticeships will also widen the route into the industry. An off-site approach Modern methods of construction can also play a part in plugging the gap by reducing on-site labour whilst at the same time addressing the high demand for new buildings. The increased use of off-site fabrication and systems such as structural insulated panels (SIPS), modular buildings and pre-engineered insulated roof systems for example can encourage greater efficiency and higher productivity within the sector, give a much needed boost to the UK housing supply capacity and ensure that the regulatory targets for energy efficiency are met or even exceeded.  Rethinking the way we design, engineer and construct buildings will help deliver projects quicker, better and with a greater degree of precision. Schemes such as the Each Home Counts Quality Mark will go a long way to ensuring that insulation measures are properly installed by skilled tradespeople and link this in with the Energy Company Obligation, this will ensure that consumers get the standards they expect and deserve. When it comes to addressing the chronic skills’ shortage, there is no easy solution, but rather a broad range of measures which can relieve the pressure on construction companies trying to compete within their sectors. The built environment is evolving all the time and the demand for construction has never been greater which means addressing the skills’ gap is now more critical than ever.  It is down to construction companies, the government and our educational system to play their part in closing the skills’ shortage gap. Visit: www.insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    388 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The ever-widening skills shortage faced by the construction sector is driving up wages and having a significant impact on the government’s ambitious plan to build 300,000 homes every year in England alone.   But it is not just building targets that need to be met, there are also the hugely important carbon reduction targets and the need to ensure buildings are properly insulated with high quality products and installed correctly to allow them to perform. With the demand for tradespeople across all sectors of the construction industry outstripping supply, the skills’ shortage is a key constraint to the housebuilding industry severely impacting the quality of new buildings, the ability to build to budget and ensuring that all performance characteristics meet both design and regulatory requirements. How can the construction industry put in place measures that might put an end to the skills’ crisis? The contributing factors of the construction skills’ shortage are well documented; from an ageing workforce not being replaced, to a younger generation not seeing the industry as an attractive and viable option. Britain’s decision to leave the EU has only added to the industry-wide fear over the building skills’ shortage. Of the UK’s 270,653 migrant construction force, about 45% are workers from EU countries. When or if the UK’s divorce from the continent is finalised, there is a real fear that many employees who have arrived from overseas will leave, taking their building skills and experience with them.  Reaching out to students Inspiring the next generation to take-up a career in construction is fundamental to filling the current skills’ gap over the long-term. Changing the outdated and negative perceptions of the industry is part of this. The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently asked a group of 14 to 19-year-olds which careers interested them - construction only scored 4.2 out of 10. According to the survey, young people claimed that construction means ‘being outdoors and getting dirty’. Young people overlook the fact a career in construction is incredibly diverse and is an industry with cutting-edge technologies, such as robotics, digitisation and modular building techniques – key to attracting a tech savvy younger generation. Companies in the industry need to reach out and engage with students, parents and teachers to create a better image of construction, right through from manufacturing, engineered solutions to site management. The industry needs to expand its recruitment and attract more women and people from ethnic diversities, which are currently under-represented. Women represent just 13% of the workforce, a shocking statistic considering the skills shortage. A fundamental shift towards inclusiveness is necessary while a joined-up approach between industry, the government and education sector – beginning with young people at primary school and then throughout education – will pave the way towards a more inclusive and accessible industry. The government has launched a number of initiatives to help plug the skills gap and has set a new target of three million new apprentices by 2020 across all sectors.  A £34 million investment in construction training and an apprenticeship levy – estimated to raise £3 billion a year - might go some way to securing a skilled and stable workforce. Alternative educational models such as part-time degree apprenticeships will also widen the route into the industry. An off-site approach Modern methods of construction can also play a part in plugging the gap by reducing on-site labour whilst at the same time addressing the high demand for new buildings. The increased use of off-site fabrication and systems such as structural insulated panels (SIPS), modular buildings and pre-engineered insulated roof systems for example can encourage greater efficiency and higher productivity within the sector, give a much needed boost to the UK housing supply capacity and ensure that the regulatory targets for energy efficiency are met or even exceeded.  Rethinking the way we design, engineer and construct buildings will help deliver projects quicker, better and with a greater degree of precision. Schemes such as the Each Home Counts Quality Mark will go a long way to ensuring that insulation measures are properly installed by skilled tradespeople and link this in with the Energy Company Obligation, this will ensure that consumers get the standards they expect and deserve. When it comes to addressing the chronic skills’ shortage, there is no easy solution, but rather a broad range of measures which can relieve the pressure on construction companies trying to compete within their sectors. The built environment is evolving all the time and the demand for construction has never been greater which means addressing the skills’ gap is now more critical than ever.  It is down to construction companies, the government and our educational system to play their part in closing the skills’ shortage gap. Visit: www.insulationmanufacturers.org.uk
    Oct 01, 2018 388
  • 27 Sep 2018
    The construction industry faces many challenges. One of these is around delivering projects on time and on budget writes Fiona Irvine LIoR, Technical Services Advisor, Sika UK. Refurbishment projects is one area where accurately predicting cost and time is notoriously difficult as all too often unforeseen factors come into play when a project starts, typically as a result of stripping away part of the building and finding something unexpected. Thermal imaging is one area where technology is helping to overcome this and is now a key part of Sika roof refurbishment offering. Infrared thermography (IRT) and thermal imaging technology detect radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 9,000–14,000 nanometers or 9–14 µm). This produces an image called a thermogram. Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects with a temperature above absolute zero, thermography makes it possible to see an environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature. Therefore, thermography allows you to see variations in temperature. When viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm objects stand out well against cooler backgrounds. Thermography has a long history, but its use has increased dramatically with the commercial and industrial applications of the past fifty years. Typical uses include firefighters who use thermography to see through smoke, to find people and to localise the base of a fire. Maintenance technicians use thermography to locate overheating joints and sections of power lines, which are a sign of impending failure. In the construction industry it has been traditionally used to identify heat leaks in faulty thermal insulation and to improve the efficiency of heating and air-conditioning units. Sika has been using thermal imaging technology since 2014. Investment in the technology was driven by the Sales Management Team as a way of adding value to clients. Sika has also invested in me as an individual to become a certified Level 1 thermographer, with training conducted by the world renowned Infrared Training Centre (ITC). As a global leader, working across a variety of market sectors from construction to automotive (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z) investing in technology and adding value across our supply chain is an essential part of what we do - everyday. We have predominantly used thermal imaging on refurbishment projects to track the extent of damage to the existing roof build up. It provides a much more comprehensive survey report and enables the creation of a more appropriate and suitable specification. It also helps to highlight, in advance, any issues that would have otherwise been unforeseen, helping to reduce risk and avoid any delays or additional costs. For example, we can locate saturated insulation within a roof build up. This can then be backed up with core samples to determine if a roof can be locally stripped to remove damaged insulation or whether a full strip is required. This means we can be more accurate when working with contractors, helping them to accurately price work and identify the most suitable approach, such as removal and replacement of localised roof areas. Thermal imaging provides a wealth of information the naked eye cannot see. It allows us to narrow down the locations where destructive core samples are required. It also provides a visual representation of how the roof is performing thermally. Sika is always striving to be ahead of the competition and utilsiing thermal image is one element of this. However we don’t intend to sit on our laurels. There are several ways to survey a roof and we will continue to look at how technology can aid this. However it shouldn’t stop there. Sika has successfully proven that thermal imaging can add value to roof refurbishment projects and we must now consider what other construction applications it has beyond a roof. For example, how can it be used on flooring, or structural strengthening or concrete repair applications? We will continue to invest in technology that helps us reduce clients risk and deliver projects more effectively. It’s what’s makes Sika that little bit different – it’s what we do every day. Visit:  http://gbr.sika.com/en/group/about-us/sika-everyday.html    
    376 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The construction industry faces many challenges. One of these is around delivering projects on time and on budget writes Fiona Irvine LIoR, Technical Services Advisor, Sika UK. Refurbishment projects is one area where accurately predicting cost and time is notoriously difficult as all too often unforeseen factors come into play when a project starts, typically as a result of stripping away part of the building and finding something unexpected. Thermal imaging is one area where technology is helping to overcome this and is now a key part of Sika roof refurbishment offering. Infrared thermography (IRT) and thermal imaging technology detect radiation in the long-infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum (roughly 9,000–14,000 nanometers or 9–14 µm). This produces an image called a thermogram. Since infrared radiation is emitted by all objects with a temperature above absolute zero, thermography makes it possible to see an environment with or without visible illumination. The amount of radiation emitted by an object increases with temperature. Therefore, thermography allows you to see variations in temperature. When viewed through a thermal imaging camera, warm objects stand out well against cooler backgrounds. Thermography has a long history, but its use has increased dramatically with the commercial and industrial applications of the past fifty years. Typical uses include firefighters who use thermography to see through smoke, to find people and to localise the base of a fire. Maintenance technicians use thermography to locate overheating joints and sections of power lines, which are a sign of impending failure. In the construction industry it has been traditionally used to identify heat leaks in faulty thermal insulation and to improve the efficiency of heating and air-conditioning units. Sika has been using thermal imaging technology since 2014. Investment in the technology was driven by the Sales Management Team as a way of adding value to clients. Sika has also invested in me as an individual to become a certified Level 1 thermographer, with training conducted by the world renowned Infrared Training Centre (ITC). As a global leader, working across a variety of market sectors from construction to automotive (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z) investing in technology and adding value across our supply chain is an essential part of what we do - everyday. We have predominantly used thermal imaging on refurbishment projects to track the extent of damage to the existing roof build up. It provides a much more comprehensive survey report and enables the creation of a more appropriate and suitable specification. It also helps to highlight, in advance, any issues that would have otherwise been unforeseen, helping to reduce risk and avoid any delays or additional costs. For example, we can locate saturated insulation within a roof build up. This can then be backed up with core samples to determine if a roof can be locally stripped to remove damaged insulation or whether a full strip is required. This means we can be more accurate when working with contractors, helping them to accurately price work and identify the most suitable approach, such as removal and replacement of localised roof areas. Thermal imaging provides a wealth of information the naked eye cannot see. It allows us to narrow down the locations where destructive core samples are required. It also provides a visual representation of how the roof is performing thermally. Sika is always striving to be ahead of the competition and utilsiing thermal image is one element of this. However we don’t intend to sit on our laurels. There are several ways to survey a roof and we will continue to look at how technology can aid this. However it shouldn’t stop there. Sika has successfully proven that thermal imaging can add value to roof refurbishment projects and we must now consider what other construction applications it has beyond a roof. For example, how can it be used on flooring, or structural strengthening or concrete repair applications? We will continue to invest in technology that helps us reduce clients risk and deliver projects more effectively. It’s what’s makes Sika that little bit different – it’s what we do every day. Visit:  http://gbr.sika.com/en/group/about-us/sika-everyday.html    
    Sep 27, 2018 376