• 22 Sep 2017
    The introduction of unisex toilets in UK primary and secondary schools remains a contentious issue, particularly for some parents, but there seems little doubt mixed-gender washrooms will soon be accepted as the norm. There is no official record of the number of mixed-used toilets installed throughout UK schools since the first facility was built at Bramhall High School, Stockport in 2000.  Deemed controversial at the time - government officials had tried to rule the scheme illegal - official research found the facility reduced bullying and made pupils feel safer. Such was its success, the Department for Education and Skills issued guidance encouraging all new schools to feature unisex toilets.  According to research, mixed-gender toilets dissuade students from loitering in the area, behaviour that encourages instances of bullying and antisocial acts. This is due to youngsters becoming more sensitive about their appearance as they approach their teens, making them less likely to present a less-than flattering image of themselves in public areas. Resistance to mixed facilities continues, however. Last year, a 700-signature petition was drawn-up by parents protesting at the planned installation of unisex toilets at Buxton School in east London. The scheme went ahead, but parents argued the shared toilets would ‘rapidly sexualise their children’, as well as disrupting their ‘hygiene, privacy, safety, security and wellbeing’. In backing the scheme, the school’s headteacher, Kath Wheeler, said the toilets provided a ‘safe space where pupils respect each other’ and were in keeping with Department for Education and local council regulations. Typically, unisex toilets comprise full-enclosed cubicles that open into a public washbasin area. In separate-gender areas, partially-enclosed cubicles in a closed-off space are the norm, creating an ‘intimidating space’ for some. In contrast, mixed-use areas are designed to encourage a more open and welcoming sanitary environment. As such, some schools have taken to installing windows in washrooms that overlook corridors to enable staff to quickly spot instances of bullying or antisocial behaviour. Staff intervention when such issues arise is made easier with access to a mixed-gender toilet, compared to the potential discomfort of entering a toilet of the opposite ***. Whilst the idea of our children sharing toilet facilities will never sit comfortably with some, there is enough evidence to suggest we should trust authorities which embark on such schemes, that the unisex option will serve the wellbeing of school and student alike. Vist: http://www.interfixgroup.com/   
    350 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The introduction of unisex toilets in UK primary and secondary schools remains a contentious issue, particularly for some parents, but there seems little doubt mixed-gender washrooms will soon be accepted as the norm. There is no official record of the number of mixed-used toilets installed throughout UK schools since the first facility was built at Bramhall High School, Stockport in 2000.  Deemed controversial at the time - government officials had tried to rule the scheme illegal - official research found the facility reduced bullying and made pupils feel safer. Such was its success, the Department for Education and Skills issued guidance encouraging all new schools to feature unisex toilets.  According to research, mixed-gender toilets dissuade students from loitering in the area, behaviour that encourages instances of bullying and antisocial acts. This is due to youngsters becoming more sensitive about their appearance as they approach their teens, making them less likely to present a less-than flattering image of themselves in public areas. Resistance to mixed facilities continues, however. Last year, a 700-signature petition was drawn-up by parents protesting at the planned installation of unisex toilets at Buxton School in east London. The scheme went ahead, but parents argued the shared toilets would ‘rapidly sexualise their children’, as well as disrupting their ‘hygiene, privacy, safety, security and wellbeing’. In backing the scheme, the school’s headteacher, Kath Wheeler, said the toilets provided a ‘safe space where pupils respect each other’ and were in keeping with Department for Education and local council regulations. Typically, unisex toilets comprise full-enclosed cubicles that open into a public washbasin area. In separate-gender areas, partially-enclosed cubicles in a closed-off space are the norm, creating an ‘intimidating space’ for some. In contrast, mixed-use areas are designed to encourage a more open and welcoming sanitary environment. As such, some schools have taken to installing windows in washrooms that overlook corridors to enable staff to quickly spot instances of bullying or antisocial behaviour. Staff intervention when such issues arise is made easier with access to a mixed-gender toilet, compared to the potential discomfort of entering a toilet of the opposite ***. Whilst the idea of our children sharing toilet facilities will never sit comfortably with some, there is enough evidence to suggest we should trust authorities which embark on such schemes, that the unisex option will serve the wellbeing of school and student alike. Vist: http://www.interfixgroup.com/   
    Sep 22, 2017 350
  • 21 Sep 2017
    The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    1045 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    Sep 21, 2017 1045
  • 20 Sep 2017
    What makes a great building great? Is it the design? Is it the purpose it serves? Is it innovative use of materials, technology and its environmental impact? It is all of these things, but the biggest factor is the client - behind every great building there is a great client - a client that has vision, aspiration and isn’t afraid to be brave and try something new every so often. But this is only part of the challenge. To truly deliver an exceptional building, clients need supply chains that share their aspirations and goals - but that is easier said than done. If there is going to be something that derails or detracts from a project - with the exception of cost - it is understanding. As construction projects become increasingly complex, supply chains and delivery teams get bigger-and-bigger. With this comes the challenge of ensuring buy-in from all parties and making sure they are fully on board with the client’s goals, aspirations and objectives. If a client can convey to all parts of their supply chain the passion that is driving them and the end result they are looking to achieve, then they are on course to achieve an outstanding building. If they can go one step further and get a supply chain that totally buys into what they want to achieve and is willing to go that step further and help to enhance the design or build, then the truly exceptional is possible. However, in reality this rarely happens. All too often there will be an opportunity for a contractor to deviate from the original plan. Sometimes this is down to value engineering, with the good of the client and their budget in mind; sometimes it is down to a lack of understanding of the reason why something has been specified; and sometimes it is as a way of doing it cheaper, quicker and easier. However, in many instances, alternative products and “cheaper and quicker” means compromising the project objectives, and it is done because outcomes and objectives are not understood or bought into. When delivering truly aspirational buildings, it is essential that all parties are on board with the client’s goals. These need to be shared goals, not just client goals. For it to really work, all members of the supply chain need to understand where the client is coming from; believe in the goals and want the project to succeed. As such, it is essential at tender stage that contractors are judged on their enthusiasm for the project; their willingness to get behind the client and deliver their vision, and for what added value they can contribute. This means clients have to be strong and make sure that cost isn’t the overriding factor. This is very much the case with BREEAM, the internationally-recognised measure of sustainability for buildings and communities. Clients choose BREEAM for many reasons - to provide recognition of a building that places people, the environment and economics at the forefront; to drive energy efficiency, innovation or best practice; to add value through creating properties that are more attractive to tenants; to create environments that are more conducive for working, living and learning. The problem comes when the supply chain doesn’t understand the reasons for choosing the accreditation. Simply disregarding it as a “box-ticking” exercise or believing it just adds a layer of complexity, is a sure-fire way of making the process unnecessarily difficult. It could even add time delays, costs and result in a building that doesn’t meet expectations. By finding a supply chain that fully understands BREEAM and knows how it can improve both the design and build processes, and why a client has chosen it, is key. The same principle goes for other components of a project - a team that understands your decisions and supports them will ensure that corners are not cut and decisions made that can compromise a project. Yes, at a time when everyone is under increasing pressure to deliver faster and cheaper, it can be difficult to find partners that truly understand your goals. However, never underestimate the value of an empowered, enthusiastic and supportive supply chain. By Darren Evans, Managing Director, Darren Evans Assessments  
    497 Posted by Talk. Build
  • What makes a great building great? Is it the design? Is it the purpose it serves? Is it innovative use of materials, technology and its environmental impact? It is all of these things, but the biggest factor is the client - behind every great building there is a great client - a client that has vision, aspiration and isn’t afraid to be brave and try something new every so often. But this is only part of the challenge. To truly deliver an exceptional building, clients need supply chains that share their aspirations and goals - but that is easier said than done. If there is going to be something that derails or detracts from a project - with the exception of cost - it is understanding. As construction projects become increasingly complex, supply chains and delivery teams get bigger-and-bigger. With this comes the challenge of ensuring buy-in from all parties and making sure they are fully on board with the client’s goals, aspirations and objectives. If a client can convey to all parts of their supply chain the passion that is driving them and the end result they are looking to achieve, then they are on course to achieve an outstanding building. If they can go one step further and get a supply chain that totally buys into what they want to achieve and is willing to go that step further and help to enhance the design or build, then the truly exceptional is possible. However, in reality this rarely happens. All too often there will be an opportunity for a contractor to deviate from the original plan. Sometimes this is down to value engineering, with the good of the client and their budget in mind; sometimes it is down to a lack of understanding of the reason why something has been specified; and sometimes it is as a way of doing it cheaper, quicker and easier. However, in many instances, alternative products and “cheaper and quicker” means compromising the project objectives, and it is done because outcomes and objectives are not understood or bought into. When delivering truly aspirational buildings, it is essential that all parties are on board with the client’s goals. These need to be shared goals, not just client goals. For it to really work, all members of the supply chain need to understand where the client is coming from; believe in the goals and want the project to succeed. As such, it is essential at tender stage that contractors are judged on their enthusiasm for the project; their willingness to get behind the client and deliver their vision, and for what added value they can contribute. This means clients have to be strong and make sure that cost isn’t the overriding factor. This is very much the case with BREEAM, the internationally-recognised measure of sustainability for buildings and communities. Clients choose BREEAM for many reasons - to provide recognition of a building that places people, the environment and economics at the forefront; to drive energy efficiency, innovation or best practice; to add value through creating properties that are more attractive to tenants; to create environments that are more conducive for working, living and learning. The problem comes when the supply chain doesn’t understand the reasons for choosing the accreditation. Simply disregarding it as a “box-ticking” exercise or believing it just adds a layer of complexity, is a sure-fire way of making the process unnecessarily difficult. It could even add time delays, costs and result in a building that doesn’t meet expectations. By finding a supply chain that fully understands BREEAM and knows how it can improve both the design and build processes, and why a client has chosen it, is key. The same principle goes for other components of a project - a team that understands your decisions and supports them will ensure that corners are not cut and decisions made that can compromise a project. Yes, at a time when everyone is under increasing pressure to deliver faster and cheaper, it can be difficult to find partners that truly understand your goals. However, never underestimate the value of an empowered, enthusiastic and supportive supply chain. By Darren Evans, Managing Director, Darren Evans Assessments  
    Sep 20, 2017 497
  • 19 Sep 2017
    And now for some good news…Construction Industry Forecasts for 2017 to 2019 estimate an overall rise of 7.4% for new-build infrastructure in the UK this year, with a continuation of 6.4% next year. It’s news that bodes equally well for leading suppliers of concrete repair and protection solutions such as Sika, as an increase in new buildings will inevitably lead to defects in newly-poured concrete requiring onsite attention. So, what is this positive outlook for the country’s new building output based upon? Well, a number of factors across a number of key infrastructural sectors appear to be driving the optimism. Forecasts for the harbours and waterways sector are particularly encouraging, with year-on-year growth predicted thanks to huge waterside projects planned across the country in the coming years. There’s the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion project for example. Commencing in September this year, the £350 million scheme – due to be completed in 2020 – will see the existing site expanded to include a facility for oil industry decommissioning work. Other upcoming UK harbour projects include a £135 million redevelopment of the port of Dover, and a £10 million project to build a new link-span bridge at the Port of Heysham in Lancashire. Water spend Upgrades in water treatment works are also continuing nationwide as part of Asset Management Period 6 which runs from 2015 to 2020. Water firms will have spent more than £44 billion in that time on improvement works agreed by water industry regulator, Ofwat, thatinclude the Severn Trent Water’s Birmingham Resilience project, Wessex Water’s integrated supply grid, and the modernisation of United Utilities’ Davyhulme wastewater treatment plant. Work on London’s £4.2 billion Thames Tideway Tunnel project, which is being financed and delivered by an independent provider, is also boosting construction in this sector. Spending on road maintenance is also expected to rise. Highways England has a maintenance budget of £1.3 billion over its first fixed five-year investment period, which began in 2015/16. In 2017/18, expenditure on maintenance is set to increase to £258 million, from the £254 million allocated for 2016/17. Thereafter, it is expected to increase in 2018/19, before slowing in 2019/20. However, 97% of the roads network is governed by local authorities, which are financially-constrained due to cuts in central government funding since 2010. Whatever monetary restrictions councils face there is little doubt the condition of the country’s roads require urgent address, as an Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey (ALARM) report revealed a 13-year backlog of local roads maintenance in England. Energy drive Infrastructure repair and maintenance is also expected to increase in order to maintain the country’s energy provision. With a delay in the building of nuclear power stations, National Grid announced it would be retaining the services of existing power plants initially earmarked for closure. Structural maintenance is likely to be required to extend the lifespan of the plants which will be held in reserve to boost electricity supplies if and when required. Construction Industry Forecasts – headline figures for 2017 to 2019 Construction output to grow by 1.6% in 2017 and 0.7% in 2018 Private housing starts to rise by 3.0% in 2017 and 2.0% in 2018 Infrastructure construction to grow by 7.4% in 2017 and 6.4% in 2018 Construction Industry Forecasts for public housing repair, maintenance and improvement is a little less encouraging, with output in this sector expected to remain flat in 2017 and 2018, whilst commercial offices output is expected to fall by 1% and 12% during the same period. However, prospects for the builders of the nation’s infrastructure, and the contractors and manufacturing firms required to maintain it remain distinctly good. It would seem the UK is building towards a brighter future. By Charles Pierce, National Sales Manager - TM Refurbishment    
    340 Posted by Talk. Build
  • And now for some good news…Construction Industry Forecasts for 2017 to 2019 estimate an overall rise of 7.4% for new-build infrastructure in the UK this year, with a continuation of 6.4% next year. It’s news that bodes equally well for leading suppliers of concrete repair and protection solutions such as Sika, as an increase in new buildings will inevitably lead to defects in newly-poured concrete requiring onsite attention. So, what is this positive outlook for the country’s new building output based upon? Well, a number of factors across a number of key infrastructural sectors appear to be driving the optimism. Forecasts for the harbours and waterways sector are particularly encouraging, with year-on-year growth predicted thanks to huge waterside projects planned across the country in the coming years. There’s the Aberdeen Harbour Expansion project for example. Commencing in September this year, the £350 million scheme – due to be completed in 2020 – will see the existing site expanded to include a facility for oil industry decommissioning work. Other upcoming UK harbour projects include a £135 million redevelopment of the port of Dover, and a £10 million project to build a new link-span bridge at the Port of Heysham in Lancashire. Water spend Upgrades in water treatment works are also continuing nationwide as part of Asset Management Period 6 which runs from 2015 to 2020. Water firms will have spent more than £44 billion in that time on improvement works agreed by water industry regulator, Ofwat, thatinclude the Severn Trent Water’s Birmingham Resilience project, Wessex Water’s integrated supply grid, and the modernisation of United Utilities’ Davyhulme wastewater treatment plant. Work on London’s £4.2 billion Thames Tideway Tunnel project, which is being financed and delivered by an independent provider, is also boosting construction in this sector. Spending on road maintenance is also expected to rise. Highways England has a maintenance budget of £1.3 billion over its first fixed five-year investment period, which began in 2015/16. In 2017/18, expenditure on maintenance is set to increase to £258 million, from the £254 million allocated for 2016/17. Thereafter, it is expected to increase in 2018/19, before slowing in 2019/20. However, 97% of the roads network is governed by local authorities, which are financially-constrained due to cuts in central government funding since 2010. Whatever monetary restrictions councils face there is little doubt the condition of the country’s roads require urgent address, as an Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance Survey (ALARM) report revealed a 13-year backlog of local roads maintenance in England. Energy drive Infrastructure repair and maintenance is also expected to increase in order to maintain the country’s energy provision. With a delay in the building of nuclear power stations, National Grid announced it would be retaining the services of existing power plants initially earmarked for closure. Structural maintenance is likely to be required to extend the lifespan of the plants which will be held in reserve to boost electricity supplies if and when required. Construction Industry Forecasts – headline figures for 2017 to 2019 Construction output to grow by 1.6% in 2017 and 0.7% in 2018 Private housing starts to rise by 3.0% in 2017 and 2.0% in 2018 Infrastructure construction to grow by 7.4% in 2017 and 6.4% in 2018 Construction Industry Forecasts for public housing repair, maintenance and improvement is a little less encouraging, with output in this sector expected to remain flat in 2017 and 2018, whilst commercial offices output is expected to fall by 1% and 12% during the same period. However, prospects for the builders of the nation’s infrastructure, and the contractors and manufacturing firms required to maintain it remain distinctly good. It would seem the UK is building towards a brighter future. By Charles Pierce, National Sales Manager - TM Refurbishment    
    Sep 19, 2017 340
  • 18 Sep 2017
    It is now possible to go from green concrete to green roof in just three days. There will of course be many who say it cannot be done, but they are being proved wrong by a company that is leading the market with a new kind of waterproofing technology – and it’s confounding the traditionalists. With increasing pressure on building costs and owners strictly enforcing projects to be delivered on time and within budget, any roof waterproofing system that can save almost a calendar month in time and allow other trades to begin work within days of new concrete being laid, has to be welcome. At present it is generally considered that green concrete cannot be waterproofed until around 28 days after installation. The maximum amount of trapped water contained in the concrete has to be allowed to escape for the concrete to cure properly which effectively means that the project can be on hold during that time. So all credit to Proteus Waterproofing, one the fastest growing companies of its kind, for developing such a system - Cold-Melt® - which is making all other waterproof membranes look obsolete. It’s a seamless application consisting of two main waterproofing layers – the first of which can be laid over green concrete after just three days sealing the building while still allowing the concrete to cure and continue drying out in the usual way. The system is so advanced that the first layer is all that is needed to waterproof the building and if the project demands it, then the final layer does not have to be applied until all other trades have completed their work. This is another significant plus as other trades frequently damage membranes leading to costly repairs and delays. Cold-Melt® is not as prone to such damage, is easily repaired and will have an additional finishing waterproof layer as the project progresses. In fact the BBA have certified that the Cold-Melt® system is so tough that it will last for the life time of the building on which it is installed. No one is saying that Cold-Melt® will replace all other types of waterproof membrane – each has its own particular place in the market – but there is no doubt that this is a unique product that is ticking a lot of boxes for building owners and specifiers. As well as the fact that it can be rapidly installed, Cold-Melt® as the name suggests, does not use any naked flame or molten material and because it is virtually odour free, delivers maximum health and safety and minimum disruption. It is manufactured from recycled rubber crumb and other environment friendly materials such as castor oil and other organically grown products to create an elastomeric, cold applied membrane so sustainability also gets the thumbs up. But let’s get back to the beginning – green concrete to green roof in just three days is now a reality. This seems to be a system that is ready for anything and for the moment - there is nothing else like it in the roofing market. Visit: http://proteuswaterproofing.co.uk/
    654 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It is now possible to go from green concrete to green roof in just three days. There will of course be many who say it cannot be done, but they are being proved wrong by a company that is leading the market with a new kind of waterproofing technology – and it’s confounding the traditionalists. With increasing pressure on building costs and owners strictly enforcing projects to be delivered on time and within budget, any roof waterproofing system that can save almost a calendar month in time and allow other trades to begin work within days of new concrete being laid, has to be welcome. At present it is generally considered that green concrete cannot be waterproofed until around 28 days after installation. The maximum amount of trapped water contained in the concrete has to be allowed to escape for the concrete to cure properly which effectively means that the project can be on hold during that time. So all credit to Proteus Waterproofing, one the fastest growing companies of its kind, for developing such a system - Cold-Melt® - which is making all other waterproof membranes look obsolete. It’s a seamless application consisting of two main waterproofing layers – the first of which can be laid over green concrete after just three days sealing the building while still allowing the concrete to cure and continue drying out in the usual way. The system is so advanced that the first layer is all that is needed to waterproof the building and if the project demands it, then the final layer does not have to be applied until all other trades have completed their work. This is another significant plus as other trades frequently damage membranes leading to costly repairs and delays. Cold-Melt® is not as prone to such damage, is easily repaired and will have an additional finishing waterproof layer as the project progresses. In fact the BBA have certified that the Cold-Melt® system is so tough that it will last for the life time of the building on which it is installed. No one is saying that Cold-Melt® will replace all other types of waterproof membrane – each has its own particular place in the market – but there is no doubt that this is a unique product that is ticking a lot of boxes for building owners and specifiers. As well as the fact that it can be rapidly installed, Cold-Melt® as the name suggests, does not use any naked flame or molten material and because it is virtually odour free, delivers maximum health and safety and minimum disruption. It is manufactured from recycled rubber crumb and other environment friendly materials such as castor oil and other organically grown products to create an elastomeric, cold applied membrane so sustainability also gets the thumbs up. But let’s get back to the beginning – green concrete to green roof in just three days is now a reality. This seems to be a system that is ready for anything and for the moment - there is nothing else like it in the roofing market. Visit: http://proteuswaterproofing.co.uk/
    Sep 18, 2017 654
  • 17 Sep 2017
    In a world of global warming, environmental regulations and our quest for a more sustainable built environment, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is clearly here to stay. A method for evaluating and measuring a product’s environmental impact during their lifecycle from cradle to grave, the LCA of products used in construction enables specifiers to make informed decisions about the comparative environmental impacts as well as the cost and durability of rival products. This is as crucial in the choice of industrial flooring as in any other sector.    Faced with daunting 2050 greenhouse gas reduction targets, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is increasingly recognised by the construction industry as the most credible and comprehensive method for assessing and comparing the environmental impacts of products over their entire life cycle. For the specifier, an LCA is a useful tool, enabling them to compare quantitative data on products and systems’ sustainability against an accepted method of measurement. It may mean that two competing products which have similar performance may have very different LCA scores, which will mean a specifier is able to deliver the performance needed but also increase their sustainability credits. This can be particularly beneficial where projects require green certification such as those with BREEAM requirements within their planning permission. The European standard EN 15804, which governs Environmental Product Declarations, includes eight impact categories which must be covered by LCAs. Of these, three are deemed particularly relevant for flooring: Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) - the total amount of primary energy consumed by a product from renewable and non-renewable resources. Global Warming Potential (GWP) - The product’s potential contribution over its life cycle to climate change, focusing on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2 (also known as ‘carbon footprint’) Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP), or “summer smog” - the formation of reactive chemical compounds, e.g., ozone, by the action of sunlight on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Sika evaluates products systematically on environmental performance via regular and comprehensive LCAs according to ISO 140040 which describes the principles and framework for LCA, as well as EN 15804. The company undertakes LCAs from both a Cradle to Gate and Cradle to Grave perspective, the former seeing most of the environmental impacts connected to the raw materials used and the latter seeing most impacts in the in-use and end-of-life phases. The impacts in these phases will be highly dependent on the different maintenance and refurbishment requirements over the life-cycle, which are in turn highly dependent on a floor’s intended use. To make life easier when specifying products, Sikafloor has developed an Eco Tool at its Swiss Research Institute which will quickly and easily provide customers with LCA information on a specific product as well as useful Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) information projected over the life of a product, from Cradle to Grave. In addition to the LCA of a product, the Eco Tool will provide details to specifiers, architects and building owners of a product’s whole service life, including transport impact, application cost, cleaning costs and other operational costs. The tool also enables comparison between products and against various sustainability and operational criteria, to enable an informed decision to be made. A new family of hybrid industrial flooring systems, called PurCem® Glossy, harnesses polyurethane cement hybrid technology to also provide strong eco credentials. As well as the essential moisture tolerance, toughness and chemical resistance characteristics needed for industrial sector projects, the flooring’s LCA, undertaken by Sikafloor, shows it has a lower CED over a 15-year lifetime compared with other flooring technologies.  In addition its very low VOC emissions have seen PurCem® Glossy gain AgBB approval in accordance with ISO standards. Ideal in industrial applications such as food and beverage dry and wet areas, chemical plants and warehouses, the durability of Purcem Glossy is a key part of its sustainability. No refurbishment is needed to prolong its durability over 15 years; plus it is a solvent-free solution that allows application close to on-going production process areas. This means that repair and renovation of existing floors can be undertaken without shutting down the plant or production lines. Sika Flooring has put a major focus on using less energy and resources when compared with other technologies and systems to help meet green goals as a society.  This means offering a lower Global Warming Potential (carbon footprint) and low or even zero VOC options to deliver health benefits for both public and private sector buildings.  visit www.sika.co.uk.
    437 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In a world of global warming, environmental regulations and our quest for a more sustainable built environment, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is clearly here to stay. A method for evaluating and measuring a product’s environmental impact during their lifecycle from cradle to grave, the LCA of products used in construction enables specifiers to make informed decisions about the comparative environmental impacts as well as the cost and durability of rival products. This is as crucial in the choice of industrial flooring as in any other sector.    Faced with daunting 2050 greenhouse gas reduction targets, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is increasingly recognised by the construction industry as the most credible and comprehensive method for assessing and comparing the environmental impacts of products over their entire life cycle. For the specifier, an LCA is a useful tool, enabling them to compare quantitative data on products and systems’ sustainability against an accepted method of measurement. It may mean that two competing products which have similar performance may have very different LCA scores, which will mean a specifier is able to deliver the performance needed but also increase their sustainability credits. This can be particularly beneficial where projects require green certification such as those with BREEAM requirements within their planning permission. The European standard EN 15804, which governs Environmental Product Declarations, includes eight impact categories which must be covered by LCAs. Of these, three are deemed particularly relevant for flooring: Cumulative Energy Demand (CED) - the total amount of primary energy consumed by a product from renewable and non-renewable resources. Global Warming Potential (GWP) - The product’s potential contribution over its life cycle to climate change, focusing on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2 (also known as ‘carbon footprint’) Photochemical Ozone Creation Potential (POCP), or “summer smog” - the formation of reactive chemical compounds, e.g., ozone, by the action of sunlight on volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). Sika evaluates products systematically on environmental performance via regular and comprehensive LCAs according to ISO 140040 which describes the principles and framework for LCA, as well as EN 15804. The company undertakes LCAs from both a Cradle to Gate and Cradle to Grave perspective, the former seeing most of the environmental impacts connected to the raw materials used and the latter seeing most impacts in the in-use and end-of-life phases. The impacts in these phases will be highly dependent on the different maintenance and refurbishment requirements over the life-cycle, which are in turn highly dependent on a floor’s intended use. To make life easier when specifying products, Sikafloor has developed an Eco Tool at its Swiss Research Institute which will quickly and easily provide customers with LCA information on a specific product as well as useful Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) information projected over the life of a product, from Cradle to Grave. In addition to the LCA of a product, the Eco Tool will provide details to specifiers, architects and building owners of a product’s whole service life, including transport impact, application cost, cleaning costs and other operational costs. The tool also enables comparison between products and against various sustainability and operational criteria, to enable an informed decision to be made. A new family of hybrid industrial flooring systems, called PurCem® Glossy, harnesses polyurethane cement hybrid technology to also provide strong eco credentials. As well as the essential moisture tolerance, toughness and chemical resistance characteristics needed for industrial sector projects, the flooring’s LCA, undertaken by Sikafloor, shows it has a lower CED over a 15-year lifetime compared with other flooring technologies.  In addition its very low VOC emissions have seen PurCem® Glossy gain AgBB approval in accordance with ISO standards. Ideal in industrial applications such as food and beverage dry and wet areas, chemical plants and warehouses, the durability of Purcem Glossy is a key part of its sustainability. No refurbishment is needed to prolong its durability over 15 years; plus it is a solvent-free solution that allows application close to on-going production process areas. This means that repair and renovation of existing floors can be undertaken without shutting down the plant or production lines. Sika Flooring has put a major focus on using less energy and resources when compared with other technologies and systems to help meet green goals as a society.  This means offering a lower Global Warming Potential (carbon footprint) and low or even zero VOC options to deliver health benefits for both public and private sector buildings.  visit www.sika.co.uk.
    Sep 17, 2017 437
  • 16 Sep 2017
    A proven all-rounder, mastic asphalt screed offers the versatility and speed of application that other more traditional cement screeds just can’t match.   With deadlines, timelines and budgetary issues taking centre stage on projects, it’s important to know there’s a screed which is always up for the challenge.  No matter what the application, a mastic asphalt screed will offer a stable and cost-effective base for all manner of waterproofing applications from green roofs to car parks. Made from selected bitumens, limestone filler and specially graded aggregates, its flexibility and fast curing time enable the applicator to achieve precise falls quickly and more efficiently, level out uneven substrates and provide a stable base for a specified roofing deck system. It’s designed for use on in-situ, pre-cast concrete bases, timber and plywood and is suitable for use below cold roofs, insulated warm roofs, inverted insulated roofs and all green roofs.  Furthermore, it is a proven solution in balcony, terrace applications as well as walkways, footbridges and car park/HGV service decks. It can receivemastic asphalt, felt systems, hot melt, liquid coatings and single-ply roofing. Busy building sites and inclement British weather may present an issue for some screeds, but in projects where a screed needs to be trafficked or overlaid quickly, mastic asphalt screed offers a rapid cooling process, a fast-track application and won’t impact on project timelines. This is because mastic asphalt has zero water content, which eliminates the time taken for moisture to evaporate in traditional screeds. Also, there is no risk of cement stained water getting into the underlying structure. With the screed thickness itself up to 80% less than traditional materials, it is also much lighter than conventional materials and ideal for both refurbishments and new builds. Available in three grades – light, medium and heavy - mastic asphalt screed can be supplied directly to site in purpose-built, hot-charge transporterscapable of holding 6 to 18 tonnes of material.  As an alternative, it is also available in block form for re-melting on site. When it comes to screeds, a contractor wants a solution that is reliable, simple to apply and is proven time and time again.  Mastic Asphalt screed does just that and is the flexible, versatile all-rounder that has the performance to match.   Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/        
    394 Posted by Talk. Build
  • A proven all-rounder, mastic asphalt screed offers the versatility and speed of application that other more traditional cement screeds just can’t match.   With deadlines, timelines and budgetary issues taking centre stage on projects, it’s important to know there’s a screed which is always up for the challenge.  No matter what the application, a mastic asphalt screed will offer a stable and cost-effective base for all manner of waterproofing applications from green roofs to car parks. Made from selected bitumens, limestone filler and specially graded aggregates, its flexibility and fast curing time enable the applicator to achieve precise falls quickly and more efficiently, level out uneven substrates and provide a stable base for a specified roofing deck system. It’s designed for use on in-situ, pre-cast concrete bases, timber and plywood and is suitable for use below cold roofs, insulated warm roofs, inverted insulated roofs and all green roofs.  Furthermore, it is a proven solution in balcony, terrace applications as well as walkways, footbridges and car park/HGV service decks. It can receivemastic asphalt, felt systems, hot melt, liquid coatings and single-ply roofing. Busy building sites and inclement British weather may present an issue for some screeds, but in projects where a screed needs to be trafficked or overlaid quickly, mastic asphalt screed offers a rapid cooling process, a fast-track application and won’t impact on project timelines. This is because mastic asphalt has zero water content, which eliminates the time taken for moisture to evaporate in traditional screeds. Also, there is no risk of cement stained water getting into the underlying structure. With the screed thickness itself up to 80% less than traditional materials, it is also much lighter than conventional materials and ideal for both refurbishments and new builds. Available in three grades – light, medium and heavy - mastic asphalt screed can be supplied directly to site in purpose-built, hot-charge transporterscapable of holding 6 to 18 tonnes of material.  As an alternative, it is also available in block form for re-melting on site. When it comes to screeds, a contractor wants a solution that is reliable, simple to apply and is proven time and time again.  Mastic Asphalt screed does just that and is the flexible, versatile all-rounder that has the performance to match.   Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/        
    Sep 16, 2017 394
  • 15 Sep 2017
    It’s a dilemma faced by all school-leavers and is one of the most important decisions of their lives – what to do next? They stand at the crossroads to their future, not knowing whether to take on the financial burden of three years at college or university, go straight into a job or look at a delay tactic such as a gap year. There is of course another option and one that is increasingly becoming a popular choice with over 900,000 people across the UK – an apprenticeship where they can earn while they learn. Apprenticeships come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common - a ladder of opportunity to a great career.  Apprenticeships are essentially structured training programmes which help young people gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen industry. Trainees gain an advantage as they are employed earlier and obtain a foothold in a good salary earlier in their life. In a bid to address the skills shortage in the aging construction industry, apprenticeships within the sector are on the up, as more and more young people realise there are a number of careers they can take up in the industry. For a company which is demonstrating its commitment to protecting the future of its workforce, Darren Evans Assessments has had tremendous success with apprentices employing a number of local young people and accessing funding for their role including training at college.    New school leaver Sophie Pine is an apprentice in business support at Darren Evans and is studying towards her Business Administration Apprenticeship at SGS Filton College.  She says her first job was always going to be a big change, but she didn’t find it a stressful experience, far from it.  “I definitely think getting an apprenticeship was the best decision as I prefer coming to work every morning than going to school. I also enjoy what I do every day and the advantage is that I am learning and gaining experience at the same time.” “I find the construction industry interesting because it has opened my eyes and has made me more aware of things that I wasn’t aware of before. There is also a lot of scope within this field, as people will always need the services we provide,” said Sophie. Sophie is also a prime example of how younger women can gain a foothold in the male-dominated construction sector. Fellow apprentice Oliver Janes is also reaping the benefits of an apprenticeship at the firm, whilst studying Business Administration one day a week at SGS Filton College.  “When I joined Darren Evans Assessments I didn’t really have much of an idea about the industry, however, since joining my knowledge has grown and constantly does so. I like that this is a competitive industry and that as a company we are thriving,” said Oliver. Commenting on the school-to-work transition, Oliver added, “I feel the change in my life from school to office has been really good and I enjoy the working life. I have learned so many different things since starting at Darren Evans, from administrative tasks such as invoices, to undertaking SAPs and EPCs within the technical team. “Six months ago I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to start my career or where I was going to go to start it. However, since working at Darren Evans, they have given me the opportunity to improve myself and also help me get an understanding in what I want to do for the foreseeable future,” he said. Michelle Clark, Office/HR Manager said: “Offering Sophie and Ollie an apprenticeship has given Darren Evans Assessments a chance to play an active role in moulding our future workforce and creating the future skills that we need to help our business grow.  I am so proud to be part of watching Sophie and Ollie grow into young professionals whilst gaining a recognised qualification at college.  They have both settled into the world of work, are enthusiastic and an asset to our company already.”  The benefit to the business is clear: Darren Evan Assessments is able to place people in the company who it knows to be experienced, competent and can hit the ground running. These apprenticeships are seen as a positive choice for young people. Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    417 Posted by Talk. Build
  • It’s a dilemma faced by all school-leavers and is one of the most important decisions of their lives – what to do next? They stand at the crossroads to their future, not knowing whether to take on the financial burden of three years at college or university, go straight into a job or look at a delay tactic such as a gap year. There is of course another option and one that is increasingly becoming a popular choice with over 900,000 people across the UK – an apprenticeship where they can earn while they learn. Apprenticeships come in many different shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common - a ladder of opportunity to a great career.  Apprenticeships are essentially structured training programmes which help young people gain the skills and knowledge to succeed in their chosen industry. Trainees gain an advantage as they are employed earlier and obtain a foothold in a good salary earlier in their life. In a bid to address the skills shortage in the aging construction industry, apprenticeships within the sector are on the up, as more and more young people realise there are a number of careers they can take up in the industry. For a company which is demonstrating its commitment to protecting the future of its workforce, Darren Evans Assessments has had tremendous success with apprentices employing a number of local young people and accessing funding for their role including training at college.    New school leaver Sophie Pine is an apprentice in business support at Darren Evans and is studying towards her Business Administration Apprenticeship at SGS Filton College.  She says her first job was always going to be a big change, but she didn’t find it a stressful experience, far from it.  “I definitely think getting an apprenticeship was the best decision as I prefer coming to work every morning than going to school. I also enjoy what I do every day and the advantage is that I am learning and gaining experience at the same time.” “I find the construction industry interesting because it has opened my eyes and has made me more aware of things that I wasn’t aware of before. There is also a lot of scope within this field, as people will always need the services we provide,” said Sophie. Sophie is also a prime example of how younger women can gain a foothold in the male-dominated construction sector. Fellow apprentice Oliver Janes is also reaping the benefits of an apprenticeship at the firm, whilst studying Business Administration one day a week at SGS Filton College.  “When I joined Darren Evans Assessments I didn’t really have much of an idea about the industry, however, since joining my knowledge has grown and constantly does so. I like that this is a competitive industry and that as a company we are thriving,” said Oliver. Commenting on the school-to-work transition, Oliver added, “I feel the change in my life from school to office has been really good and I enjoy the working life. I have learned so many different things since starting at Darren Evans, from administrative tasks such as invoices, to undertaking SAPs and EPCs within the technical team. “Six months ago I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do to start my career or where I was going to go to start it. However, since working at Darren Evans, they have given me the opportunity to improve myself and also help me get an understanding in what I want to do for the foreseeable future,” he said. Michelle Clark, Office/HR Manager said: “Offering Sophie and Ollie an apprenticeship has given Darren Evans Assessments a chance to play an active role in moulding our future workforce and creating the future skills that we need to help our business grow.  I am so proud to be part of watching Sophie and Ollie grow into young professionals whilst gaining a recognised qualification at college.  They have both settled into the world of work, are enthusiastic and an asset to our company already.”  The benefit to the business is clear: Darren Evan Assessments is able to place people in the company who it knows to be experienced, competent and can hit the ground running. These apprenticeships are seen as a positive choice for young people. Visit: http://www.darren-evans.co.uk/
    Sep 15, 2017 417
  • 14 Sep 2017
    Bentonite, a clay substance which is often generated from the alteration of volcanic ash, is renowned for its water absorption. These properties make it a valuable material for a wide range of uses and applications, particularly as a waterproofing material in construction of belowground structures such as basements. Bentonite’s availability in the marketplace in various product forms is well-known - it’s been around for hundreds of years. However, the appearance of natural sodium bentonite in Sika BentoShield MAX LM, a fully-bonded, needle-punched membrane and integrated polyethylene flexible laminate, represents a unique offering. The polymer-modified product, which is applied to external surfaces of belowground structures exposed to ground water, is the only bentonite system that’s BBA-approved to BS EN 1928:2000 standard relating to flexible sheets for waterproofing. Superior The sealing technology of Sika BentoShield MAX LM combines the superior swelling performance of the sodium bentonite with high strength polypropylene geotextiles. The two geotextiles are interlocked by a needle-punching process forcing fibres from the non-woven layer through and beyond the woven layer. This process forms a physical link between the geotextiles and locks the bentonite granules in between, keeping them contained. The system is finished with a polyethylene membrane which is laminated to the back which gives an additional level of protection. Fully Bonded During installation, the woven geotextile layer bonds to the fresh concrete due to the non-woven layer that is pulled through and beyond from the needle punching process. When the polymer-enhanced natural sodium bentonite granules get wet they form a dense waterproof gel protecting the structure. Sika BentoShield MAX LM is designed for use in belowground construction. It differs from other BBA-accredited geosynthetic clay liners as it contains specially formulated polymers to enhance performance in contaminated land with a high salt concentration. As well as basements, it is used in cut-and-cover tunnels, backfilled walls and in a variety of more demanding applications, depending on whether water is to be kept in or out. The seams for vertical applications of many bentonite membranes are vulnerable to failure. Sika BentoShield MAX LM laps, however, are sealed with a tape to provide a watertight solution as well as protect against debris and water intrusion during backfilling the system. The seams on horizontal sections can be lapped and protected with a bed of paste created by mixing BentoShield granules with water. Alternatively, tape can be used on higher risk sites. Secure Sika BentoShield MAX LM can also be post-applied to concrete structures where pre-applying is not possible. The membrane is securely held in place with a robust fixing system. Tested and approved to the latest industry standards, Sika provides a 10-year guarantee or 15 when it is used as part of a dual system from Sika. Sika also provides, free of charge: Full specification and detailing support Sika tool box talk training Site support and inspection Easy to install, flexible and robust, Sika BentoShield MAX LM doesn’t require a primer or protection board. Its ability to mechanically bond with the concrete, which in turn virtually eliminates water tracking in the event of damage, makes it the ideal membrane for belowground structures dependent on retaining long-term watertightness. By Nick Powell, Sika Waterproofing Business Development Manager   For more information visit: http://www.sikawaterproofing.co.uk/products-systems/sika-bentoshield-max-lm/
    483 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Bentonite, a clay substance which is often generated from the alteration of volcanic ash, is renowned for its water absorption. These properties make it a valuable material for a wide range of uses and applications, particularly as a waterproofing material in construction of belowground structures such as basements. Bentonite’s availability in the marketplace in various product forms is well-known - it’s been around for hundreds of years. However, the appearance of natural sodium bentonite in Sika BentoShield MAX LM, a fully-bonded, needle-punched membrane and integrated polyethylene flexible laminate, represents a unique offering. The polymer-modified product, which is applied to external surfaces of belowground structures exposed to ground water, is the only bentonite system that’s BBA-approved to BS EN 1928:2000 standard relating to flexible sheets for waterproofing. Superior The sealing technology of Sika BentoShield MAX LM combines the superior swelling performance of the sodium bentonite with high strength polypropylene geotextiles. The two geotextiles are interlocked by a needle-punching process forcing fibres from the non-woven layer through and beyond the woven layer. This process forms a physical link between the geotextiles and locks the bentonite granules in between, keeping them contained. The system is finished with a polyethylene membrane which is laminated to the back which gives an additional level of protection. Fully Bonded During installation, the woven geotextile layer bonds to the fresh concrete due to the non-woven layer that is pulled through and beyond from the needle punching process. When the polymer-enhanced natural sodium bentonite granules get wet they form a dense waterproof gel protecting the structure. Sika BentoShield MAX LM is designed for use in belowground construction. It differs from other BBA-accredited geosynthetic clay liners as it contains specially formulated polymers to enhance performance in contaminated land with a high salt concentration. As well as basements, it is used in cut-and-cover tunnels, backfilled walls and in a variety of more demanding applications, depending on whether water is to be kept in or out. The seams for vertical applications of many bentonite membranes are vulnerable to failure. Sika BentoShield MAX LM laps, however, are sealed with a tape to provide a watertight solution as well as protect against debris and water intrusion during backfilling the system. The seams on horizontal sections can be lapped and protected with a bed of paste created by mixing BentoShield granules with water. Alternatively, tape can be used on higher risk sites. Secure Sika BentoShield MAX LM can also be post-applied to concrete structures where pre-applying is not possible. The membrane is securely held in place with a robust fixing system. Tested and approved to the latest industry standards, Sika provides a 10-year guarantee or 15 when it is used as part of a dual system from Sika. Sika also provides, free of charge: Full specification and detailing support Sika tool box talk training Site support and inspection Easy to install, flexible and robust, Sika BentoShield MAX LM doesn’t require a primer or protection board. Its ability to mechanically bond with the concrete, which in turn virtually eliminates water tracking in the event of damage, makes it the ideal membrane for belowground structures dependent on retaining long-term watertightness. By Nick Powell, Sika Waterproofing Business Development Manager   For more information visit: http://www.sikawaterproofing.co.uk/products-systems/sika-bentoshield-max-lm/
    Sep 14, 2017 483
  • 13 Sep 2017
    The energy-deficiency of the UK’s ageing housing stock was once again thrown into sharp focus with the publication of a recent report by the UK Green Building Council. The ‘Building Places That Work for Everyone’ policy paper stated 25 million homes across the country will not meet required insulation standards by 2050 – a significant year for the government, as by then it has to have met its legally-binding pledge to cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from the 1990 baseline. An enormous task, particularly as poorly-insulated homes account for 25% of emissions released in the UK. The UK Green Building Council, which produced the report in conjunction with the construction industry, has urged the government to impose a countrywide programme of home renovation to increase energy-efficiency and improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of occupants. However, sceptics have already raised doubts over the potential success of such a scheme, citing the failure of the government’s ‘Green Deal’.  Launched in 2013, the scheme offered loans to homeowners embarking on domestic energy-saving measures. It was scrapped two years later after figures revealed only 14,000 householders took-up the option. The £50 million government loan outlay fell a long way short of its £1.1 billion forecast, with high interest rates for insulation given as a reason for ‘the Deal’s’ ultimate collapse. There can be no doubt the thermal performance of UK buildings needs urgent address. Even though the 2050 ‘emissions deadline’ might be viewed by some as ‘an issue for tomorrow’, the spiritual and fiscal comfort of today’s home owner/occupiers can be vastly improved with a building that excels in terms of thermal performance and energy-efficiency. Go public  Understandably, perhaps, much attention is paid to the insulation of a building’s roof, windows and doors, as these are its biggest source of energy loss. However, if the government makes good its promise to act ‘as soon as possible’ and devise appropriate policies in response to the building council’s report, let’s hope measures include a concerted education programme that informs housebuilders and homeowners of the many simple and cost-effective ways a property’s thermal performance can be maintained. The message the government needs to get across is ‘every little helps’ when it comes to ensuring new and existing UK properties leave less of a carbon footprint. Baumit is among the world’s leading innovators in the production external wall insulation. The ground-breaking technology in its vapour-permeable renders and paints which enables buildings to breathe but remain airtight, is simply astonishing. On a similar note, Baumit’s Nanopor self-cleaning range of paints and renders uses natural elements - sunlight, humidity and wind - to leave a façade looking pristine, thus eliminating the need for constant renovation and aggressive cleansing techniques using environmentally-unsound chemicals or detergents. From the day the company was founded in 1988, Baumit’s ethos has been to help create beautiful, energy-efficient and healthy homes. It might be that the latest Green Council report has finally instilled a sense of urgency within the UK government to follow the same dream. ‘Better late than never’ might be the attitude of some towards Westminster’s current call to action. It’s never too late, however, if the policies being discussed today, lead to better-insulated homes of the future and a healthier environment for our children. Visit: http://other.baumit.com/
    427 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The energy-deficiency of the UK’s ageing housing stock was once again thrown into sharp focus with the publication of a recent report by the UK Green Building Council. The ‘Building Places That Work for Everyone’ policy paper stated 25 million homes across the country will not meet required insulation standards by 2050 – a significant year for the government, as by then it has to have met its legally-binding pledge to cut UK greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from the 1990 baseline. An enormous task, particularly as poorly-insulated homes account for 25% of emissions released in the UK. The UK Green Building Council, which produced the report in conjunction with the construction industry, has urged the government to impose a countrywide programme of home renovation to increase energy-efficiency and improve the health, wealth and wellbeing of occupants. However, sceptics have already raised doubts over the potential success of such a scheme, citing the failure of the government’s ‘Green Deal’.  Launched in 2013, the scheme offered loans to homeowners embarking on domestic energy-saving measures. It was scrapped two years later after figures revealed only 14,000 householders took-up the option. The £50 million government loan outlay fell a long way short of its £1.1 billion forecast, with high interest rates for insulation given as a reason for ‘the Deal’s’ ultimate collapse. There can be no doubt the thermal performance of UK buildings needs urgent address. Even though the 2050 ‘emissions deadline’ might be viewed by some as ‘an issue for tomorrow’, the spiritual and fiscal comfort of today’s home owner/occupiers can be vastly improved with a building that excels in terms of thermal performance and energy-efficiency. Go public  Understandably, perhaps, much attention is paid to the insulation of a building’s roof, windows and doors, as these are its biggest source of energy loss. However, if the government makes good its promise to act ‘as soon as possible’ and devise appropriate policies in response to the building council’s report, let’s hope measures include a concerted education programme that informs housebuilders and homeowners of the many simple and cost-effective ways a property’s thermal performance can be maintained. The message the government needs to get across is ‘every little helps’ when it comes to ensuring new and existing UK properties leave less of a carbon footprint. Baumit is among the world’s leading innovators in the production external wall insulation. The ground-breaking technology in its vapour-permeable renders and paints which enables buildings to breathe but remain airtight, is simply astonishing. On a similar note, Baumit’s Nanopor self-cleaning range of paints and renders uses natural elements - sunlight, humidity and wind - to leave a façade looking pristine, thus eliminating the need for constant renovation and aggressive cleansing techniques using environmentally-unsound chemicals or detergents. From the day the company was founded in 1988, Baumit’s ethos has been to help create beautiful, energy-efficient and healthy homes. It might be that the latest Green Council report has finally instilled a sense of urgency within the UK government to follow the same dream. ‘Better late than never’ might be the attitude of some towards Westminster’s current call to action. It’s never too late, however, if the policies being discussed today, lead to better-insulated homes of the future and a healthier environment for our children. Visit: http://other.baumit.com/
    Sep 13, 2017 427
  • 12 Sep 2017
    In March, leading manufacturer Ibstock reported that it was delivering more bricks to end users and merchants than at any time in the previous nine years, which is good news for an industry which has had more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years. It also completely makes nonsense of recent rumours of a brick shortages and there is even better news with reports from America that studies have shown that brick remains an incredibly cost effective building material. According to the report from the Brick Industry Association in North America, bricks used with (CMU) concrete masonry units cost less than precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall and glass panel curtain wall systems. The report adds that a three-storey office building using manufactured stone with steel studs costs 2.7% more than brick with steel studs. Precast concrete costs 2.7% more than brick with CMU, and metal panel curtain wall costs 13.1% more than brick with CMU. So far so good with further statements that brick would save some £1.6 million when used on a four- to eight-storey hospital project in comparison to metal panel curtain walling and/or glass panel curtain walling. There are many other price comparisons which suggest that architects and building owners should really be taking a closer look at brick costs compared to other building materials. Full tables can be seen by clicking this link -  https://www.dropbox.com/s/sqhu9efchk8x9kw/RS%20Means%20Feb%202017%20BIA%20Commercial%20Buildings.pptx?dl=0 "National averages show brick costs less than perceived," said Ray Leonhard, Brick Industry Association's president and CEO. "Since it's a non-flammable and non-combustible material, clay brick also offers superior fire resistance with a minimum one-hour fire rating." Back in the UK and the recent report from Ibstock suggest that all is well here too with one of our oldest building materials:“In the six months to the end of June 2017, overall brick industry despatches were 15% ahead of the same period last year,” said Ibstock sales director Tony France, quoted in the Builders Merchant Building Index statistical report. With the Government committed to building more social housing than ever before and with private builders getting ready to meet the challenge of a rising population then we can only hope that all those recent ups and downs will be a thing of the past – at least for the next few years. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    389 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In March, leading manufacturer Ibstock reported that it was delivering more bricks to end users and merchants than at any time in the previous nine years, which is good news for an industry which has had more than its fair share of ups and downs in recent years. It also completely makes nonsense of recent rumours of a brick shortages and there is even better news with reports from America that studies have shown that brick remains an incredibly cost effective building material. According to the report from the Brick Industry Association in North America, bricks used with (CMU) concrete masonry units cost less than precast concrete, metal panel curtain wall and glass panel curtain wall systems. The report adds that a three-storey office building using manufactured stone with steel studs costs 2.7% more than brick with steel studs. Precast concrete costs 2.7% more than brick with CMU, and metal panel curtain wall costs 13.1% more than brick with CMU. So far so good with further statements that brick would save some £1.6 million when used on a four- to eight-storey hospital project in comparison to metal panel curtain walling and/or glass panel curtain walling. There are many other price comparisons which suggest that architects and building owners should really be taking a closer look at brick costs compared to other building materials. Full tables can be seen by clicking this link -  https://www.dropbox.com/s/sqhu9efchk8x9kw/RS%20Means%20Feb%202017%20BIA%20Commercial%20Buildings.pptx?dl=0 "National averages show brick costs less than perceived," said Ray Leonhard, Brick Industry Association's president and CEO. "Since it's a non-flammable and non-combustible material, clay brick also offers superior fire resistance with a minimum one-hour fire rating." Back in the UK and the recent report from Ibstock suggest that all is well here too with one of our oldest building materials:“In the six months to the end of June 2017, overall brick industry despatches were 15% ahead of the same period last year,” said Ibstock sales director Tony France, quoted in the Builders Merchant Building Index statistical report. With the Government committed to building more social housing than ever before and with private builders getting ready to meet the challenge of a rising population then we can only hope that all those recent ups and downs will be a thing of the past – at least for the next few years. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 12, 2017 389
  • 11 Sep 2017
    In recent years, due to an increase in flooding and public awareness of flood prevention, the permeable resin bound paving market has grown considerably. But as resin bound becomes more popular and the number of companies selling it increases, there is a growing number of people selling inferior products, cheaper and creating a bad reputation for a premium paving product that when installed correctly will last up to 25 years. As it is a relatively new product, it’s one of only a few trades within the construction industry without a governing body or Trade Association of its own; and, apart from the Paving Expert website, there isn’t anywhere to go for independent advice about resin bound paving. Nearly 20 years ago SureSet revolutionised the concept of clear resin bound paving for external use. They remain as passionate and excited about the product as they were in 1997, and to help you out have put together a list of ten reasons to choose resin bound paving… 1     It’s permeable: cold mixed on site using a process that ensures every particle of stone is completely covered in resin; forming a structurally stable 3D matrix. During the laying process, minute voids are created that allows water to drain through. 2     It’s aesthetically pleasing: not only is it decorative, resin bound paving is sustainable, practical and versatile. 3     It’s resistant to weather conditions: doesn’t soften in summer, freeze in winter or fade in sunlight. 4     Its longevity:resin bound paving is a long lasting durable surface. While guarantees vary between 10 – 18 years, when properly maintained, can last for up to 25 years. 5     It requires minimal maintenance: there are no weeds to weed or lose stone to sweep. A regular brush and occasional power wash will keep it looking as good as new. 6     It provides natural filtration: as surface or rain water seeps through the sub-base a natural filtration takes place – reducing or removing impurities and pollutants caused by oils and metals.  7     It reduces standing water (puddles): which in turn reduces surface water run-off and flash flooding. 8     It’s SuDS compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems): a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality.    9     It reduces the ‘heat island’ effect: heat islands happen because hard surfaces, like asphalt and concrete, absorb and store heat. Permeable paving allows the soil underneath to breathe, which reduces surface temperatures and thereby the ‘heat island’ effect.  10  No planning permission required: Since government legislation in 2008, planning permission is not required for areas less than 5m² or if the new surface is permeable.  In comparison to traditional paving options that…       Are impermeable       Look more ‘industrial’ like       Are not weather resistant       Have a relatively short functional life       Require more maintenance       Create puddles and contributes to flash flooding Are not SuDS compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems): a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality, and therefore require planning permission. Retain heat and contribute to the ‘heat island’ effect. You will find more useful information about resin bound paving on these Blogs: What resin bound paving can look like after 18 years. Why you should purchase on quality not cost. Top Tips for choosing a resin bound paving company. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/  
    484 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In recent years, due to an increase in flooding and public awareness of flood prevention, the permeable resin bound paving market has grown considerably. But as resin bound becomes more popular and the number of companies selling it increases, there is a growing number of people selling inferior products, cheaper and creating a bad reputation for a premium paving product that when installed correctly will last up to 25 years. As it is a relatively new product, it’s one of only a few trades within the construction industry without a governing body or Trade Association of its own; and, apart from the Paving Expert website, there isn’t anywhere to go for independent advice about resin bound paving. Nearly 20 years ago SureSet revolutionised the concept of clear resin bound paving for external use. They remain as passionate and excited about the product as they were in 1997, and to help you out have put together a list of ten reasons to choose resin bound paving… 1     It’s permeable: cold mixed on site using a process that ensures every particle of stone is completely covered in resin; forming a structurally stable 3D matrix. During the laying process, minute voids are created that allows water to drain through. 2     It’s aesthetically pleasing: not only is it decorative, resin bound paving is sustainable, practical and versatile. 3     It’s resistant to weather conditions: doesn’t soften in summer, freeze in winter or fade in sunlight. 4     Its longevity:resin bound paving is a long lasting durable surface. While guarantees vary between 10 – 18 years, when properly maintained, can last for up to 25 years. 5     It requires minimal maintenance: there are no weeds to weed or lose stone to sweep. A regular brush and occasional power wash will keep it looking as good as new. 6     It provides natural filtration: as surface or rain water seeps through the sub-base a natural filtration takes place – reducing or removing impurities and pollutants caused by oils and metals.  7     It reduces standing water (puddles): which in turn reduces surface water run-off and flash flooding. 8     It’s SuDS compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems): a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality.    9     It reduces the ‘heat island’ effect: heat islands happen because hard surfaces, like asphalt and concrete, absorb and store heat. Permeable paving allows the soil underneath to breathe, which reduces surface temperatures and thereby the ‘heat island’ effect.  10  No planning permission required: Since government legislation in 2008, planning permission is not required for areas less than 5m² or if the new surface is permeable.  In comparison to traditional paving options that…       Are impermeable       Look more ‘industrial’ like       Are not weather resistant       Have a relatively short functional life       Require more maintenance       Create puddles and contributes to flash flooding Are not SuDS compliant (Sustainable urban Drainage Systems): a water management system introduced by the Environment Agency to help manage flood risk and water quality, and therefore require planning permission. Retain heat and contribute to the ‘heat island’ effect. You will find more useful information about resin bound paving on these Blogs: What resin bound paving can look like after 18 years. Why you should purchase on quality not cost. Top Tips for choosing a resin bound paving company. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/  
    Sep 11, 2017 484
  • 10 Sep 2017
    According to number of recent reports, the UK construction industry will need some 400,000 new workers every year until 2021 to meet the demand for new building projects. If the figures are correct then it is going to be a tough call, which in turn means looking at alternative methods of construction. Fortunately we have a thriving industry in the UK for building offsite and most experts reckon that this will be the answer if the building industry is to prosper in the future. Recent surveys in America, where they are facing similar skills shortages, revealed that the amount of project work using off site prefabrication almost tripled between 2010 and 2016 and it is a similar story here. In the UK, Your Housing Group has recently signed a £2.5bn joint venture with a Chinese state-owned construction company to build 25,000 modular homes over the next five years. The housing association currently manages 33,000 affordable homes across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands, The 38,000 sq metres of office space at the new Hinckley Power Station in Somerset will be the largest modular project in the UK and will house all the management and technical personnel required during the construction stage of the project. Part of the buildings will be converted after the construction cycle to remain as high quality offices for the permanent site. UK-based design consultancy Arup and bridge specialist Mabey have recently announced that they have delivered the world’s first modular, rapid-assembly glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) bridge. The bridge was installed at a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for Network Rail in Oxford. The bridge modules were light enough to be transported by an articulated lorry and then assembled on site and lifted from a distance. Offsite pre fabrication succeeds as you need fewer experienced crafts people to supervise the less experienced. It has the double advantage that components can be constructed at a lower cost before being shipped to site for final installation. It means that construction workers can be recruited from other industries, thus reducing the skills shortages, helping to increase productivity and reduce waste. The assembly line practices of prefabrication make offsite construction the perfect solution for contractors looking to reduce their dependence on skilled labour. So if the pundits are right then modular offsite construction is set to boom – solving our acute skills shortage at the same time - bring it on. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    437 Posted by Talk. Build
  • According to number of recent reports, the UK construction industry will need some 400,000 new workers every year until 2021 to meet the demand for new building projects. If the figures are correct then it is going to be a tough call, which in turn means looking at alternative methods of construction. Fortunately we have a thriving industry in the UK for building offsite and most experts reckon that this will be the answer if the building industry is to prosper in the future. Recent surveys in America, where they are facing similar skills shortages, revealed that the amount of project work using off site prefabrication almost tripled between 2010 and 2016 and it is a similar story here. In the UK, Your Housing Group has recently signed a £2.5bn joint venture with a Chinese state-owned construction company to build 25,000 modular homes over the next five years. The housing association currently manages 33,000 affordable homes across the North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands, The 38,000 sq metres of office space at the new Hinckley Power Station in Somerset will be the largest modular project in the UK and will house all the management and technical personnel required during the construction stage of the project. Part of the buildings will be converted after the construction cycle to remain as high quality offices for the permanent site. UK-based design consultancy Arup and bridge specialist Mabey have recently announced that they have delivered the world’s first modular, rapid-assembly glass fibre-reinforced polymer (GFRP) bridge. The bridge was installed at a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for Network Rail in Oxford. The bridge modules were light enough to be transported by an articulated lorry and then assembled on site and lifted from a distance. Offsite pre fabrication succeeds as you need fewer experienced crafts people to supervise the less experienced. It has the double advantage that components can be constructed at a lower cost before being shipped to site for final installation. It means that construction workers can be recruited from other industries, thus reducing the skills shortages, helping to increase productivity and reduce waste. The assembly line practices of prefabrication make offsite construction the perfect solution for contractors looking to reduce their dependence on skilled labour. So if the pundits are right then modular offsite construction is set to boom – solving our acute skills shortage at the same time - bring it on. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 10, 2017 437
  • 09 Sep 2017
    Building fires occur at an alarmingly high frequency and have an impact that goes way beyond that of the owners and its immediate occupiers. The fire safety guidance of the Building Regulations (provided by Approved Document B - ADB) is based on a consideration of life safety impacts. However, the true impact of a fire is much more than life safety as a fire has economic, social and environmental implications. So why is property protection not given greater consideration? In the last month or so we have seen fires at Glasgow's Blochairn Fruit Market, Weybridge Community Hospital, Smoby Toys in Bradford and Camden Market and none more devastating that Grenfell Tower. The buildings are a mix of 70’s high rise residential, industrial warehousing, modern health and a historic market. Whilst they appear to have little in common they do share a number of similarities in that none of them had sprinkler systems and all of them have implications that will affect many, many people. Grenfell Tower has rightly occupied the headlines due to tragic loss of life and its repercussions continue to make headlines. Whilst there is general consensus that regulations need to be urgently reviewed there are a number of other issues that need to be addressed. The issue of rehousing the survivors of Grenfell Tower highlighted the issue of continuity. Trying to find homes for the families has been an extremely difficult task. It is similar for the wholesalers at Blochairn Market, the retailers at Camden Market, North Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group and Smoby Toys. They all have businesses to run that have now been left with no premises. This loss of premises is not just a construction issue it is also an economic issue. To put it into perspective, Home Office figures have shown that in the last three years, there have been 22,800 fires in industrial and commercial premises. If you take into account research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), which states fires in warehouses (which account for 15% of industrial and commercial building stock) result in a direct financial loss to business of £230 million per year a bigger picture starts to emerge. These warehouse fires create a loss of £190 million per year in GDP through lost productivity and supply chain impacts. They also lose the treasury £32 million in tax receipts and are the responsible for 1,000 job losses. And remember this is just warehouse fires. Imagine what the figure is when we consider fires in industrial buildings, health, leisure and workplaces. One solution to address the issue of property protection is the incorporation of automatic sprinkler systems. Having sprinklers fitted protects businesses in the long run. They safeguard against potentially disastrous losses and also aid with life safety. By preventing large fires, sprinklers also protect the environment by avoiding CO2 emissions, reducing excess water use by the fire brigade and eliminating water supply contamination. Above all, they maintain business continuity. In the event of a fire, many businesses with sprinkler systems find they are back up and running in a matter of hours. We are still feeling the knock on effects of the recent spate of fires in the UK. Hopefully with a review of ADB and an extension of the locus to include more of a focus on property protection and due consideration towards sprinklers, we can start to reduce this and provide businesses with the protection they need and deserve. By Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA For more information about the Business Sprinkler Alliance visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org   
    425 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Building fires occur at an alarmingly high frequency and have an impact that goes way beyond that of the owners and its immediate occupiers. The fire safety guidance of the Building Regulations (provided by Approved Document B - ADB) is based on a consideration of life safety impacts. However, the true impact of a fire is much more than life safety as a fire has economic, social and environmental implications. So why is property protection not given greater consideration? In the last month or so we have seen fires at Glasgow's Blochairn Fruit Market, Weybridge Community Hospital, Smoby Toys in Bradford and Camden Market and none more devastating that Grenfell Tower. The buildings are a mix of 70’s high rise residential, industrial warehousing, modern health and a historic market. Whilst they appear to have little in common they do share a number of similarities in that none of them had sprinkler systems and all of them have implications that will affect many, many people. Grenfell Tower has rightly occupied the headlines due to tragic loss of life and its repercussions continue to make headlines. Whilst there is general consensus that regulations need to be urgently reviewed there are a number of other issues that need to be addressed. The issue of rehousing the survivors of Grenfell Tower highlighted the issue of continuity. Trying to find homes for the families has been an extremely difficult task. It is similar for the wholesalers at Blochairn Market, the retailers at Camden Market, North Surrey Clinical Commissioning Group and Smoby Toys. They all have businesses to run that have now been left with no premises. This loss of premises is not just a construction issue it is also an economic issue. To put it into perspective, Home Office figures have shown that in the last three years, there have been 22,800 fires in industrial and commercial premises. If you take into account research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), which states fires in warehouses (which account for 15% of industrial and commercial building stock) result in a direct financial loss to business of £230 million per year a bigger picture starts to emerge. These warehouse fires create a loss of £190 million per year in GDP through lost productivity and supply chain impacts. They also lose the treasury £32 million in tax receipts and are the responsible for 1,000 job losses. And remember this is just warehouse fires. Imagine what the figure is when we consider fires in industrial buildings, health, leisure and workplaces. One solution to address the issue of property protection is the incorporation of automatic sprinkler systems. Having sprinklers fitted protects businesses in the long run. They safeguard against potentially disastrous losses and also aid with life safety. By preventing large fires, sprinklers also protect the environment by avoiding CO2 emissions, reducing excess water use by the fire brigade and eliminating water supply contamination. Above all, they maintain business continuity. In the event of a fire, many businesses with sprinkler systems find they are back up and running in a matter of hours. We are still feeling the knock on effects of the recent spate of fires in the UK. Hopefully with a review of ADB and an extension of the locus to include more of a focus on property protection and due consideration towards sprinklers, we can start to reduce this and provide businesses with the protection they need and deserve. By Iain Cox, Chairman of the BSA For more information about the Business Sprinkler Alliance visit www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org   
    Sep 09, 2017 425
  • 08 Sep 2017
    For specifiers and contractors looking for an efficient, cost-effective and simple-to-install way to weatherproof the exposed parts of buildings including walkways, balconies and terraces, then mastic asphalt is a proven surfacing material like no other.  Seamless, durable and with exceptional waterproofing characteristics, mastic asphalt can be installed with minimal disruption and downtime, and will protect balconies and walkways from the worst of the elements.   Winter may be a few months away, but now is the time to protect your balconies and walkways from the elements and the costly damage caused by cold weather.  To this end, walkways must be safe to use in both wet and dry conditions and avoid the surface reflection of materials which may affect foot traffic. This is where seamless surfacing materials such as mastic asphalt provide the perfect answer. Used extensively as a long-life wearing surface in urban paving situations where durability and consistency is paramount, modified bituminous materials such as mastic asphalt can bring real benefits to balcony and walkway construction. Delivering better and longer lasting surfaces, and savings in total lifecycle costings, mastic asphalt is capable of out-performing and outlasting all other comparable materials. Along with mastic asphalt’s sheer versatility, inherent waterproofing properties and wearing qualities, the added functionality of slip resistance further enhances the material’s suitability for public walkway areas – and in reducing the potential for any slips and trips. Another benefit is that mastic asphalt can be laid at speed which will result in minimal disruption, particularly when it comes to the refurbishment of walkways that provide access to flats for example. Because Mastic Asphalt is laid in molten form it is frequently confused with other types of membrane that require naked flame or torch-on application. For smaller projects such as walkways, balconies and terraces, solid blocks are preheated in boilers placed at ground level.  At no time is there any type of naked flame at the point of installation and because mastic asphalt is so highly flame resistant, there is little or no potential of fire risk. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membranes. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice for not only walkways, terraces and balconies, but also roofing and paving. It is also extensively used on bridges, car parks and other types of structural decks. Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/
    391 Posted by Talk. Build
  • For specifiers and contractors looking for an efficient, cost-effective and simple-to-install way to weatherproof the exposed parts of buildings including walkways, balconies and terraces, then mastic asphalt is a proven surfacing material like no other.  Seamless, durable and with exceptional waterproofing characteristics, mastic asphalt can be installed with minimal disruption and downtime, and will protect balconies and walkways from the worst of the elements.   Winter may be a few months away, but now is the time to protect your balconies and walkways from the elements and the costly damage caused by cold weather.  To this end, walkways must be safe to use in both wet and dry conditions and avoid the surface reflection of materials which may affect foot traffic. This is where seamless surfacing materials such as mastic asphalt provide the perfect answer. Used extensively as a long-life wearing surface in urban paving situations where durability and consistency is paramount, modified bituminous materials such as mastic asphalt can bring real benefits to balcony and walkway construction. Delivering better and longer lasting surfaces, and savings in total lifecycle costings, mastic asphalt is capable of out-performing and outlasting all other comparable materials. Along with mastic asphalt’s sheer versatility, inherent waterproofing properties and wearing qualities, the added functionality of slip resistance further enhances the material’s suitability for public walkway areas – and in reducing the potential for any slips and trips. Another benefit is that mastic asphalt can be laid at speed which will result in minimal disruption, particularly when it comes to the refurbishment of walkways that provide access to flats for example. Because Mastic Asphalt is laid in molten form it is frequently confused with other types of membrane that require naked flame or torch-on application. For smaller projects such as walkways, balconies and terraces, solid blocks are preheated in boilers placed at ground level.  At no time is there any type of naked flame at the point of installation and because mastic asphalt is so highly flame resistant, there is little or no potential of fire risk. Highly cost-effective, mastic asphalt offers lower installation costs than many other types of membranes. Its versatility makes it the ideal choice for not only walkways, terraces and balconies, but also roofing and paving. It is also extensively used on bridges, car parks and other types of structural decks. Visit: http://www.masticasphaltcouncil.co.uk/
    Sep 08, 2017 391
  • 07 Sep 2017
    Forget about any preconceived ideas you might have about gender – the fact is – we need more women to work in the construction industry. We have massive skills shortages which are getting worse as more people leave the industry without being replaced. Fortunately women are embracing the construction challenge and making a significant difference. We have seen the fairly recent formation of Women in Roofing, “an organisation founded to collaborate with all aspects of the roofing industry to achieve diversity and longevity.” With the help of this group, the industry is listening and women are playing a more important role in every area of the supply chain. This week we have also seen the first Inspire Women in UK Construction, Property and Engineering summit, sponsored by builders merchant Travis Perkins, which took place in Manchester. To quote the publicity material - the Inspire Summit highlights women working in the UK construction, engineering and housing sectors that are bucking the trend, reshaping expectations and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. The event attracted construction professionals to hear about the contribution that women in these sectors make on a daily basis. All this is long overdue as we set about addressing the massive talent gap within the construction industry. We in the UK are going to need some 400,000 new people every year for at least the next five years if we are to prosper as an industry. Then situation is very much the same worldwide. In America it has been estimated that some 2.5 million skilled workers were lost forever from the construction business following the financial collapse in 2008. However, in 2015 women filled nearly 6.3% of apprentice positions in the state of Massachusetts — up from 4.2% in 2012. Women also accounted for 5% of construction work hours in Boston in 2015. This seems to be typical of what is happening across all of America and we are seeing similar stories in Australia and New Zealand. Many traditionalists might not welcome the trend mainly because they still wrongly believe that women are not physically as strong or might not be suited to the rigours of a modern building site This is patent nonsense with several studies showing that women in construction provide a wider pool of opinions and experiences and problem solving. There is also clear evidence that women offer improved decision making, calmer heads and better communication and are less inclined to take dangerous risks – vital with increasing health and safety legislation on construction sites. It does seem incredible that we are still having this debate in 2017 but hopefully – not for much longer. Let’s stop the talking now and start training and recruiting before it’s too late. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    352 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Forget about any preconceived ideas you might have about gender – the fact is – we need more women to work in the construction industry. We have massive skills shortages which are getting worse as more people leave the industry without being replaced. Fortunately women are embracing the construction challenge and making a significant difference. We have seen the fairly recent formation of Women in Roofing, “an organisation founded to collaborate with all aspects of the roofing industry to achieve diversity and longevity.” With the help of this group, the industry is listening and women are playing a more important role in every area of the supply chain. This week we have also seen the first Inspire Women in UK Construction, Property and Engineering summit, sponsored by builders merchant Travis Perkins, which took place in Manchester. To quote the publicity material - the Inspire Summit highlights women working in the UK construction, engineering and housing sectors that are bucking the trend, reshaping expectations and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. The event attracted construction professionals to hear about the contribution that women in these sectors make on a daily basis. All this is long overdue as we set about addressing the massive talent gap within the construction industry. We in the UK are going to need some 400,000 new people every year for at least the next five years if we are to prosper as an industry. Then situation is very much the same worldwide. In America it has been estimated that some 2.5 million skilled workers were lost forever from the construction business following the financial collapse in 2008. However, in 2015 women filled nearly 6.3% of apprentice positions in the state of Massachusetts — up from 4.2% in 2012. Women also accounted for 5% of construction work hours in Boston in 2015. This seems to be typical of what is happening across all of America and we are seeing similar stories in Australia and New Zealand. Many traditionalists might not welcome the trend mainly because they still wrongly believe that women are not physically as strong or might not be suited to the rigours of a modern building site This is patent nonsense with several studies showing that women in construction provide a wider pool of opinions and experiences and problem solving. There is also clear evidence that women offer improved decision making, calmer heads and better communication and are less inclined to take dangerous risks – vital with increasing health and safety legislation on construction sites. It does seem incredible that we are still having this debate in 2017 but hopefully – not for much longer. Let’s stop the talking now and start training and recruiting before it’s too late. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter  @JohnRidgeway99
    Sep 07, 2017 352
  • 06 Sep 2017
    Solar panels have had a bit of a roller coaster ride in the UK in recent years with the Government seemingly unable to offer any other kind of sustained support for this kind of green energy but when a major player such as Tesla decides to enter the market then it’s time we all took notice. Tesla, better known for high powered electric cars, has launched a solar roof – which eliminates the need for conventional panels by offering a mixture of solar roof tiles and traditional tiles. To all intents and purposes few would see the difference, once installed, between the Tesla roof and something more conventional. The company offers four different types solar roofing in smooth and textured finishes. The tiles are made with tempered glass and according to Tesla are more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles, yet half the weight and carry a lifetime warranty. Tesla say that the current versions of the tiles do have a two percent loss on efficiency, so 98 percent of what you’d normally get from a traditional solar panel. The roof will come at a price. It is estimated that an 800 square foot roof on a two-storey house will cost of roughly £23.20 per square foot. Add on the fact that traditional tiles would also be needed for more detailed work then that cost is more likely to be £36.30 per square foot installed. The upside of course is that once completed the roof should take care of all or most of that household’s electricity needs as the system come with powerful battery units so that homeowners can keep something in reserve at night and during winter months. Like all solar installations, efficiencies will only be as good as the weather; however, we should start to see Tesla roofs appearing the UK in 2018 and because the company is so committed to the environment and already has such a strong brand name, they are likely to make quite an impact. The added bonuses are the distinctive good looks offered by a solar roof against solar panels. UK customers can pre-order tiles using the GB-facing Tesla Energy website - https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/solarroof . While Tesla have not given details as to who will install their tiles in the UK – perhaps this is an opportunity for a British company to step in – there is no doubt that this will be the start of a new trend. Major companies do not enter new markets unless they are confident of a return and Tesla has an incredible environmental; track record of success – so it is almost a case of watch this space. We will be watching with interest and so should Tesla’s competitors – looks like solar is about to heat up. By John Ridgeway  Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    451 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Solar panels have had a bit of a roller coaster ride in the UK in recent years with the Government seemingly unable to offer any other kind of sustained support for this kind of green energy but when a major player such as Tesla decides to enter the market then it’s time we all took notice. Tesla, better known for high powered electric cars, has launched a solar roof – which eliminates the need for conventional panels by offering a mixture of solar roof tiles and traditional tiles. To all intents and purposes few would see the difference, once installed, between the Tesla roof and something more conventional. The company offers four different types solar roofing in smooth and textured finishes. The tiles are made with tempered glass and according to Tesla are more than three times stronger than standard roofing tiles, yet half the weight and carry a lifetime warranty. Tesla say that the current versions of the tiles do have a two percent loss on efficiency, so 98 percent of what you’d normally get from a traditional solar panel. The roof will come at a price. It is estimated that an 800 square foot roof on a two-storey house will cost of roughly £23.20 per square foot. Add on the fact that traditional tiles would also be needed for more detailed work then that cost is more likely to be £36.30 per square foot installed. The upside of course is that once completed the roof should take care of all or most of that household’s electricity needs as the system come with powerful battery units so that homeowners can keep something in reserve at night and during winter months. Like all solar installations, efficiencies will only be as good as the weather; however, we should start to see Tesla roofs appearing the UK in 2018 and because the company is so committed to the environment and already has such a strong brand name, they are likely to make quite an impact. The added bonuses are the distinctive good looks offered by a solar roof against solar panels. UK customers can pre-order tiles using the GB-facing Tesla Energy website - https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/solarroof . While Tesla have not given details as to who will install their tiles in the UK – perhaps this is an opportunity for a British company to step in – there is no doubt that this will be the start of a new trend. Major companies do not enter new markets unless they are confident of a return and Tesla has an incredible environmental; track record of success – so it is almost a case of watch this space. We will be watching with interest and so should Tesla’s competitors – looks like solar is about to heat up. By John Ridgeway  Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    Sep 06, 2017 451
  • 05 Sep 2017
    Industry estimates suggest that portable ladders are used around two million times every day and according to the Health and safety Executive account for some 40% of falls from height accidents every 12 months. The statistics should not come as much of a surprise – everyone knows that ladders, when used improperly can be highly dangerous with up to 48,000 people a year attending A&E after a fall. We should therefore welcome the news that a little known organisation called The Ladder Association, based in Glasgow, has worked hard to introduce new standards to make portable ladders safer. The organisation has had massive input in ensuring that all portable ladders will now be more stable, stronger and more durable and have produced a guide to explain how new regulations will affect everyone. The guide can be downloaded via their website www.ladderassociation.org.uk and goes into detail to explain how the new standards BS EN 131will change ladders for ever in the UK and the rest of Europe.  Greater stability is key to how new ladders will be manufactured in the future helping to reduce the main reason for ladder accidents attributed to users overreaching or not securing the ladder properly. Studies in America have shown that 57% of fall victims were holding objects with one or both hands while climbing or descending the ladder; 30% had wet, greasy, or oily shoes; 53% of straight ladders had not been secured or braced at the bottom, and 61% had not been secured at the top. The Ladder Association have placed particular emphasis on good training in their new guide. This supports the fact that 66% of accident victims had never been shown how to inspect ladders for defects before using them; and 73% had not been provided with written instructions on the safe use of ladders. Whatever way you look at it – ladders continue to play an important part in just about everything we do and anything that makes using them even safer has got to be a step in the right direction. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    344 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Industry estimates suggest that portable ladders are used around two million times every day and according to the Health and safety Executive account for some 40% of falls from height accidents every 12 months. The statistics should not come as much of a surprise – everyone knows that ladders, when used improperly can be highly dangerous with up to 48,000 people a year attending A&E after a fall. We should therefore welcome the news that a little known organisation called The Ladder Association, based in Glasgow, has worked hard to introduce new standards to make portable ladders safer. The organisation has had massive input in ensuring that all portable ladders will now be more stable, stronger and more durable and have produced a guide to explain how new regulations will affect everyone. The guide can be downloaded via their website www.ladderassociation.org.uk and goes into detail to explain how the new standards BS EN 131will change ladders for ever in the UK and the rest of Europe.  Greater stability is key to how new ladders will be manufactured in the future helping to reduce the main reason for ladder accidents attributed to users overreaching or not securing the ladder properly. Studies in America have shown that 57% of fall victims were holding objects with one or both hands while climbing or descending the ladder; 30% had wet, greasy, or oily shoes; 53% of straight ladders had not been secured or braced at the bottom, and 61% had not been secured at the top. The Ladder Association have placed particular emphasis on good training in their new guide. This supports the fact that 66% of accident victims had never been shown how to inspect ladders for defects before using them; and 73% had not been provided with written instructions on the safe use of ladders. Whatever way you look at it – ladders continue to play an important part in just about everything we do and anything that makes using them even safer has got to be a step in the right direction. By John Ridgeway Follow me on Twitter @JohnRidgeway99  
    Sep 05, 2017 344