Milbank Concrete Products based in Colchester, North Essex, are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of precast concrete products with a focus on exceptional customer service.

Throughout the design, manufacturing, delivery and installation stages, Milbank offer one of the most comprehensive and professional service packages, providing a range of precast concrete products including: balconies, beam & block flooring, bespoke concrete products, ground beams, hollowcore flooring, helical stairs, rail products, sea defence & flood solutions, stadia products and straight stairs & landings.

Following on from market research and the identification of the need for an affordable, cost effective and efficient thermal floor arrangement, Milbank Concrete Products have recently launched their new and improved insulated concrete flooring solution, WarmFloor Pro.

WarmFloor Pro offers construction professionals a cost-effective alternative to quickly assembling a thermally insulated concrete ground floor over the industry leading competitor brand, Jetfloor, by Forterra (Bison). Reduced initial construction costs and an increase in energy savings make WarmFloor Pro a compelling alternative to a standard beam and block floor. In combination with its certification and A+ Green Guide rating, WarmFloor Pro is proving to be a must have addition to any new, eco-friendly development where keeping heating costs low is paramount.

WarmFloor Pro is suitable for almost any structure, but is most commonly used in housing, from single dwellings to complete housing developments. It offers a simple, cost effective, concrete insulated flooring solution to self-builders and construction professionals alike. Without the need for any specialist tools or skills, installation of WarmFloor Pro is efficient and streamlined whilst minimising waste and emission rates.

WarmFloor Pro works by combining rigid insulation modules (EPS panels) manufactured from lightweight closed cell expanded polystyrene which is laid in-between prestressed concrete beams (either 155mm or 225mm deep) with an EPS top sheet, damp proof membrane and structural concrete topping. If required, underfloor heating can be incorporated with the pipework attaching to the EPS panels with plastic pegs before the concrete topping is applied.

WarmFloor Pro is comprised of 6 main EPS components that are available in two types of EPS; standard issue in white (0.038W/m²K) or an alternative high-performance platinum in grey (0.031W/m²K). The 6 components are made up of Top Sheets – available in depths of 75-150mm, Infill Panels – available in 533mm for nominal 600mm beam centres and 343mm for reduced beam centres, and End Panels – available in both 178mm and 300mm.

EPS end panels are used for both the start and end of the flooring installation. The end panels are inserted at the start of the row with the straight (1200mm edge) opposite to the beam. All units are 1200mm long and can be cut on site to the required length using basic tools such as a handsaw; (minimum 300mm long).

As every building is different, Milbank are well equipped to design your floor to achieve the specific targeted U-Values (reaching as low as 0.07W/m²K) together with the structural layout of the floor to suit. Milbank then manufacture the concrete components and supply the materials (including the EPS panels) directly to your site. WarmFloor Pro is currently available on a supply only or

supply and installation basis using their vastly experienced installation teams.

WarmFloor Pro Benefits:

  • Easy to install – does not require any specialist tools or skills.
  • Quick to install – each EPS panel is the equivalent length of 5 standard concrete blocks.
  • Cost effective – WarmFloor Pro is designed to save you money. Faster installation speeds combined with reduced waste and excavation removal allow for an increase in overall savings.
  • Bespoke – a wide range of EPS panel depths and grades are available to satisfy your U-value or budget requirements.
  • Sustainable – WarmFloor Pro is designed to last the lifetime of the building while maintaining its exceptional thermal performance.
  • Clean, safe and easy to handle – lightweight EPS panels only weigh around 2Kg.
  • Underfloor heating compatible – heating pipework is simply held in place using plastic pegs that push into the EPS panels.
  • Proven Technology – now in use for over 10 years.
  • Industry compliant – Milbank WarmFloor Pro is Fully certified and has an A+ green guide rating.

For more information on Milbank Concrete Products or to enquire about their extensive range of products including WarmFloor Pro Insulated Flooring, please visit their website or call them on 01787 223 931.

For more information please visit www.milbank.co.uk.

Faced with the problem of having to explain a complicated notion it is sometimes helpful to draw on an analogy. The conundrum of how to capture the golden thread of information through a design and build cycle to properly support effective operation and maintenance of a residential development could rightly be considered one such complicated notion.

In many cases, drawing on an analogy with a natural phenomenon is particularly useful if an audience already has some semblance of understanding of the physical entity, and can therefore easily link related concepts. In this instance, I am going to employ the idea of a river as the natural phenomenon that has parallels with the task of capturing the golden thread of information.

In terms of relevant characteristics of rivers, it is worth highlighting certain features which will hopefully assist in bringing the analogy to life. As the graphic below shows, such features contribute to the overall eco-system of a river and can include the following: sources of water; water flow; the concept of a water course; tributaries; a channel; a meander; a watershed; volume and velocity; and a delta.

Consider how, with a river, the volume and velocity of the body of water at the mouth forming the delta is directly influenced by the sources that contributed to the initial flow, plus any further rainfall that might have occurred as the body of water gradually builds over the entire water course. The sources of a river typically flow through independent tributaries before combining at points over the water course to form the main body of water flow.

Consider also that a river does not typically follow a linear path in travelling from sources to destination: it meanders contingent upon the topography of the land it traverses over, but is largely directed to flowing in channels between watersheds that have become defined over time due to effects such as erosion. Since some water is always lost to factors such as evaporation and spillage to flood plains, the volume and velocity of the body of water at the mouth of the river only comprises the water that needs to form the delta before spilling into an ocean.

Capturing the golden thread

The challenges associated with creating a complete and accurate digital record for a new residential development from conception, through the design and build cycle to practical completion, are typically pernicious. As with the analogy, the golden thread of information for a residential development emerges from multiple sources and there are many potential points across the design and build cycle where this information can be amended or embellished, or indeed where new information can be created.

Like a river, these multiple sources and additional downstream activities have the effect of causing the body of information to steadily grow. Accordingly, the complexity of capturing the golden thread of information for a residential development can be likened to controlling flow in a digital river. Often, the initial sources of the golden thread of information are manifold, comprising inputs from the manufacturers of raw materials, components and equipment (i.e. assets) that might be incorporated in a residential development. Subsequent activity facilitates ever-increasing definition of product comprising these assets and also elaboration of build logic which further enhances the body of information forming the golden thread, with the volume and velocity of information generation increasing with time. Again, as with the analogy, a typical design and build cycle does not follow a linear path and is often highly iterative in nature, much like the meandering of a river.

Unlike the case with the physical entity, topography in the human-made landscape is actually defined using artificial constructs such as model inter-operability scheme, execution plans, stipulations relating to organisational information requirements, and information management maps. Additionally, a framework such as the RIBA Plan of Work which helps define broad stages of the design and build cycle to practical completion from Stage 0 (Strategic Definition) to Stage 6 (Handover and Close Out) is usually employed to help maintain design and build activity within the confines of boundaries. These multiple artificial constructs are often configured to be bespoke to individual organisations, or indeed projects within the same organisation, and can be considered similar to the concept of channelling a river between watersheds.

In recent times, there have been advances in technology such as digital design software solutions and common data environments that can be used to help create a complete and accurate digital record for a residential development. These tools can be considered to represent additional artificial constructs that can help facilitate control of information flow, so in a sense they are also akin to the concept of channelling a river between watersheds. But equally, there have been important changes in the way parties engaged on a project work together which are also yielding influence. Furthermore, we have seen the emergence of new standards and codes of practice associated with the likes of naming conventions, common language definition, data exchange and building of information models, all of which also constitute artificial constructs which are intended to make the process of capturing the golden thread easier. This wealth of change in working practice is equivalent to adaptations in topography in the analogy.

Under normal circumstances, it is easy to comprehend how the fragmented nature of conventional construction approaches cause complexity in terms of information authoring and liability, and subsequent revision control, which acts to thwart and frustrate the process of capturing the golden thread of information to properly support effective operation and maintenance of a completed residential development. This complexity might arise due to a lack of foresight regarding the need to capture and manage information from potential sources ab initio, or from a lack of application of the artificial constructs required to control information flow over the design and build cycle. In contrast to the re-generative nature of a river eco-system which essentially constitutes a closed loop system, it is often the case that the lack of application or even inappropriate artificial constructs can lead to the evolution of a form of extractive process which is overly linear with many disconnects and embedded wasteful logic reflecting an ineffective approach to capturing the golden thread.

Notwithstanding, it is reasonable to take a perspective of end-state requirements and attempt to categorise the information that should constitute a complete and accurate digital record for a new residential development. Such end-state requirements would be somewhat akin to the body of water that needs to form a delta being directly influenced by all sources that contributed to the flow. At high level, these requirements should include:

  • Why was it built?
  • What was actually built?
  • When was it built?
  • Who played a part in the design and build process?
  • How was it built?

This information, constituting a definition of end-state requirements, is captured on the graphic below, along with a rough mapping of the RIBA Plan of Work stages through to practical completion. This definition of requirements provides useful insight insofar as it cements a really important concept regarding information which will provide the basis of the golden thread cannot be created in a single moment in time ex nihilo towards the end of the design and build cycle.

Indeed, it is plainly the case that since information is continuously authored from the very outset of a project and evolves progressively through the design and build cycle, there are manifold problems to overcome associated with managing currency, relevance, accuracy and robustness of the same from conception to practical completion and handover.
Starting at the source

The fact is that despite all the technology improvements, and the significant cultural shift towards more collaborative working, conventional construction approaches are still largely inefficient, and frequently flawed in terms of capturing the golden thread. It is interesting to note that even today there are many organisations across the construction sector involved in residential development who adopt a default position of employing junior level resource towards the end of a project to try to collect and collate relevant information falling in the categories referred above.

Whilst such a position is admirable in the sense it at least represents an attempt to capture the golden thread, it is common that this sort of approach can result in critical information being missed or lost, akin with the concepts of evaporation and spillage to flood plains in the analogy. Of course, it could be argued that these organisations do not really comprehend what creating a complete and accurate digital record implies, because what it should definitely not mean is curating a plethora of scanned drawings and other relevant project documentation that cannot properly support effective operation and maintenance.

Much is being made at present of the importance of the construction sector finding ways to leverage productivity, and organisations involved in residential development are not exempt from this challenge. There have been numerous publications, including material from central Government that sets out the aspiration to transform performance with more focus to be brought to bear on leveraging productivity, driving innovation and developing and training new talent. In the simplest terms, the productivity problem can actually be characterised as either generating higher levels of output using the same levels of input, or generating the same levels of output using reduced levels of input.

Nothing in the typical, conventional construction approach to capturing the golden thread of information is helping to yield improved productivity. This is because the resource typically being employed to collect and collate relevant information are not authoring information, nor are they really managing the same, and often the task is deemed to be unglamorous, so at best they could be considered to represent additional input cost which has limited likelihood of generating the required quality of output from fragmented input sources.
Charting a unique course

At Berkeley Modular, we have sought to examine everything from first principles. We are a business focused on the offsite manufacture, as opposed to offsite construction, of three-dimensional primary structural product (i.e. Category 1 in accordance with the recently published MMC definition framework). We have been afforded the luxury of time to conceive how we can apply lean thinking to information authoring, capturing and revision control, as well as to our manufacturing and assembly logic.

The result of this thinking time has yielded a transformative methodology for creating digital connectivity compared to conventional construction approaches. The work we have undertaken to create a Digitally Enabled Agile Manufacturing (DEAM) platform has focused on how technology can help resolve the conundrum of capturing the golden thread of information from the very start of the development process to the point of practical completion and handover. This DEAM platform we have developed has been configured to encompass the following:

  • Digital capture of information from source – We have deployed certain options from the coBuilder suite of software to configure the DEAM platform to facilitate a single source of truth for all assets to be incorporated in a residential development. These options represent the tributaries that allow information to be authored by manufacturers’, and subsequently filtered and fed to other components of the DEAM platform
  • Digital creation of design information – With the help of Majenta, we have deployed certain options from the Autodesk suite of software to configure the DEAM platform to facilitate a product lifecycle management tool wherein digital geometries and build logic definition are automatically linked to asset information in a common data environment. These options represent the topography that allow Berkeley Modular to author design and build definition, and subsequently filter and feed to other components of the DEAM platform
  • Digital creation of manufacturing instruction – Working with DAS, we have deployed computational rule-based logic to obtain high levels of design automation to support the efficient creation of data-rich, fully federated digital models and related manufacturing machine code. This logic represents watersheds that afford authoring of automated build definition by Berkeley Modular, which can be filtered and fed to other components of the DEAM platform
  • Digital management of supply chain, operations and finance activity – We have deployed certain options from the Oracle Fusion suite of software to configure the DEAM platform with an ERP environment which facilitates a single source of truth for all aspects of operational activity at Berkeley Modular comprising a design and build cycle. This environment represents further topography that allows capture of all transactional information authored by Berkeley Modular, and subsequent filtering and feeding to other components of the DEAM platform
  • Digital instruction of manufacturing and assembly activity – We have deployed certain options from the Siemens suite of software to configure the DEAM platform with an MES environment which facilitates a single source of truth for organising and communicating all facets of physical activity performed by Berkeley Modular. These options represent final elements of topography that afford capture of work instruction to both machine and human resource across all factory and site operations, which can be filtered and fed to other components of the DEAM platform

The challenge of creating a productive business operation whilst simultaneously addressing the conundrum of how to capture the golden thread of information has required us to think carefully about digitisation in general, but in particular about responsibility and liability for information authoring, and subsequent revision control. The technological platform outlined above represents certain of the artificial constructs we needed to configure, but in reality this platform is actually supplemented with a combination of other industry-standard and customised constructs that help shape the topography to allow the channelling and progressive capture of information in an efficient, lean manner.

There are plentiful example initiatives from across the construction sector wherein investment has been made into new technological platforms with an expectation that the same will readily yield increased productivity and capture of the golden thread, Despite these examples being many in number, it is somehow still common for expectation associated with the investment to be inflated, yet finding the right solution is not easy and often people easily become disenchanted and disillusioned which impacts the intended outcome. Hopefully the insights presented here regarding the complexity of creating a complete and accurate digital record to properly support effective operation and maintenance of a residential development being likened to controlling flow in a digital river represent a useful contribution to the field and will help steer future initiatives towards more successful and rewarding outcomes.

For more information please visit www.berkeley-modular.co.uk

Written by Graham Cleland, director at Berkeley Modular

Doors open on November 20th, 2019 at London’s ExCeL exhibition centre for edition 5 of this top class event specialising in offsite construction (OSC).

According to show director, Steven Callaghan, offsite construction (OSC) is now more in the news than at any time since he launched the show in 2015.

“Housing shortages in the UK, in particular the lack of affordable housing, have seen OSC advanced as something that could make a major contribution to solving these particular problems. This has lead to a wider appreciation of the other benefits of OSC such as improved quality of the finished product and, vitally, improvements in health and safety at work.

Shortages of skilled labour are another good reason why OSC needs to be considered very seriously – many employers are finding that current entrants to the workplace are less enthusiastic about working on a windswept building site than their fathers and forefathers, this is the digital generation” Steven adds.

Head of Sales, Maddie Maclellan takes up the story. “We organise the show in association with London based organization, buildoffsite, who we call the ‘voice of the offsite construction industry’. They are a membership based organization whose sole role is to promote the use of offsite construction technology and it only takes a brief glance at their list of members online to see the extent of their influence – it’s a real who’s who of end clients, contractors, manufacturers even government departments.

“A very popular feature of the Offsite Construction Show is the buildoffsite Seminar Theatre and I’m pleased to confirm that it will be making an appearance once again in 2019. The programme is yet to be published but for a flavor of what can be expected, please follow this link to see details of the 2018 presentations in the programme of events – there is also a series of Masterclasses plus the show’s own seminar theatre and programme and it’s all absolutely free of charge”, says Maddie.

The organisers feel that the show’s high turn out and excellent visitor quality is strongly influenced by it’s location in London, one of the Worlds most dynamic cities and the home to many spectacular flagship OSC projects. “London ExCeL is located in the heart of the Docklands and is a truly World class venue,” continues Steven Callaghan, “with superb facilities for visitors and exhibitors,” and nowhere is this more evident than with it’s communication links, he stresses.

“Visiting the show could not be easier,” says Maddie, whether by public transport or by your own car. “ExCeL has 2 of it’s it’s own onsite DLR Stations (Docklands Light Railway) and this is the most popular way of travelling to the show – fast, cheap and efficient however if you do prefer to come under your own steam, the venue has an underground parking garage with over 3000 spaces.”

“Register online on the show website  – for your free entrance ticket beforehand, it will save you time on arrival at the show hall’.

According to the organisers, this means that the show has easy access to the many thousands of senior construction, design and specifying personnel based in the capital city, as well as both central and local government.

In 2018 the show was attended by over 4,000 people, a record attendance, and a similar number are expected in 2019, with up to 100 exhibitors anticipated to show at the latest event, ranging from specialist manufacturers of offsite buildings, construction technology and design to product supply chain producers and the 2019 show will feature at least 20% brand new, first time exhibitors.

“The show is THE place in the UK to do offsite business” says Maddie and we cater for all aspects of the process – whether your reason for visiting is to learn more about OSC with a view to incorporating it in your future projects or to look to develop your supply chain, the show has something to offer you,” concludes Maddie.

For more information please visit www.offsiteconstructionshow.co.uk

Fassa Bortolo, one of the leading Italian manufacturers of renders and integrated building systems has brought its popular Fassarend timber frame system to the UK market, making off site construction easier than ever.

To meet the soaring demand for timber frame and modular builds, this system is made with the potential to be installed off or onsite. Using a four-stage application process, light-weight carrier boards are mechanically fixed onto the frame batons and finished on site with Fassa’s high quality, thin-coat render, either by hand or by machine once the project reaches the final stages.

With superb insulation options, this system can be combined with a mechanical external wall insulation (EWI) rail system, in the form of mineral wool or Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) inside the timber frame, to help the build reach a required u-value and reduce emissions, as well as protect the structural integrity of the frame from any foreseeable damage.

The Fassarend timber frame system has been third party certified by KIWA BDA and approved by the National Housebuilding Council (NHBC).

For more information please visit www.fassabortolo.com.

Invisible Connections is currently working with precast concrete and DfMA specialist SCC Design Build to construct stair cores at Manchester Airport.

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) is undertaking a transformation programme that will position the airport as a ‘Global Gateway’, offering more routes and creating increased economic growth in line with aviation forecasts.

As part of this development the airport is expanding its terminal facilities, apron space and customer car parking facilities to accommodate increased demand.

With many MSCP projects already to its name, SCC Design Build (working for BAM) successfully manufactured and constructed the precast concrete frame and cores (incorporating flights and landings) at the newly completed 6,500 space ‘meet and greet’ MSCP at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.

As part of its innovative build process, SCC Design Build (‘SCC’) used telescopic connectors by Invisible Connections extensively throughout the structural frame and cores, being SCC’s tried and trusted connection solution for rapid construction.

With a clear pedigree in car park construction and an existing presence on the airport, SCC was the natural choice by Galliford Try for the newest 7,669 space car park that will link to Terminal 3 and have buses to the other terminals.

Although a steel frame was chosen for this latest car park, SCC was appointed to construct the stair cores in precast concrete, chosen for its fire properties and the stabilisation of the structural steel frame.

There are 10 stair cores in total, which vary in height up to 5 storeys. All 10 cores incorporate precast flights and landings, with 6 of the cores also housing the lift-shafts.

Building on the success of several previous project collaborations, Invisible Connections was chosen by SCC for its landing-to-wall system of telescopic connectors. The RVK101-30 pinned connection detail was specified to tie landings to the core walls (tying into REDiBOX PIN recess formers) thereby satisfying the Engineer’s design requirements for robustness.

It’s increasingly common to combine precast concrete stairs and landings with core walls which are either precast or poured in-situ. When connection methods are left as an afterthought, using traditional rolled steel support angles is often the only practical, yet inefficient, fixing solution.

With a little up-front planning, there’s much to gain by incorporating telescopic connectors, which come with a host of advantages; such as improved health and safety, robustness compliance, and significantly improved cost effectiveness. Indeed, a recent study found that using telescopic connectors instead of rolled steel angles reduced man hours by 80%, which contributed to a total 33% reduction in direct costs.

For more information please visit www.invisibleconnections.co.uk.

In this article Adam Taylor, Business Development Manager – Building Envelope of the A. Proctor Group outlines the need for designers and manufacturers to understand and embrace a best practice approach to heat, air, moisture management in DfMA.

As the construction industry seeks to address the challenges which relate to the UK’s housing shortage and deliver more energy-efficient buildings across the residential and commercial sectors, it is clear that Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) will form an essential part of the delivery process.

The application of DfMA is ideally suited towards offsite modular construction, with its focus on ease and efficiency of both manufacture and assembly. The benefits of fast-track offsite manufacture for assembly onsite can lead to higher outputs, whilst significantly reducing the project programme time, with less material waste and costs, and fewer delays in relation to snagging and re-working on site.

The A. Proctor Group Ltd as a leading manufacturer of vapour permeable membranes and vapour control layers provides essential best practice advice to designers and manufacturers of offsite modular buildings based upon the proven model of Heat Air Moisture Management (HAMM).

The importance of Heat Air Moisture Management (HAMM) to DfMA

Based upon over 50 years of providing solutions and products for the construction sector we understand that a totally holistic approach is required to DfMA building design. In doing so, the points below consider six core aspects in the process:

  • Building
  • Weather
  • Occupants
  • Heat
  • Air
  • Moisture

For any building to be an energy efficient, healthy, moisture free building envelope there is a clear need to manage the balance of Heat, Air and Moisture movement throughout the process of the building’s life cycle from design, construction, completion and use.

Understanding the importance of these key elements upon the building envelope is crucial to the successful construction and operation of a building. Architects, designers, and off-site construction manufacturers must seek to understand the science behind our buildings, managing the external and internal forces, which impact on the quality of the completed building, its performance in use, as well as the health of its occupants and the wider environment.

Airtightness and modular building design

There is absolutely no question that an integral part of modern building design is influenced by energy efficiency. In the EU it is estimated that buildings account for approximately 40% of energy consumption and are responsible for some 36% of CO2 emissions. Closer to home, around 45% of UK CO2 emissions come from the built environment, (27% from domestic dwellings and 18% from non-domestic).

As thermal insulation requirements have increased over the last few years, the proportion of energy lost through air leakage has become more evident. The ever-increasing thermal insulation required will, however, be rendered largely ineffective unless the airtightness of the structure itself is addressed. Air leakage greatly reduces the effect of thermal insulation; therefore if energy efficiency is to be improved within buildings, this is the most critical area to focus on.

In addition to improved insulation, energy efficient heating systems will also be ineffective if warm air can escape the building and cold air can seep in. This is reflected in the fact that total space heating costs in an airtight construction may be considerably less than in a leaky one.

Air leakage through cracks, gaps, holes and improperly sealed elements such as doors and windows can cause a significant reduction in the performance of even thermally insulated envelopes.

Effective airtightness design

The two main ways to achieve airtightness in the building envelope are internally or externally, or in other terms, “inside of the services zone’ or ‘outside of the services zone’.

Traditional use of internal air barriers can be more complex and costly to install, due to the need to accommodate building services such as electrical, lighting, heating and drainage systems. An internal air barrier is only as good as it’s installation. If all the service penetrations are not adequately sealed, performance will be compromised.

For many years, external air barriers have been commonly specified in North American building design and construction. By moving the air barrier to the external side of the structural frame, external air barrier systems such as Wraptite® from A. Proctor Group allow for an almost penetration-free airtight layer, which can be installed faster and more robustly. This offers an effective but simple system comprising a self-adhesive vapour permeable air barrier membrane, plus vapour permeable sealing tape, Wraptite Corners and Wraptite Liquid Flashing, and provides effective secondary weather protection while preventing trapped moisture and air leakage. Far simpler than internal options an external air barrier system like Wraptite will maintain the envelope’s integrity, with less building services and structural penetrations to be sealed, and less room for error.

Fixing Options for Air & Vapour Control

The traditional forms of VCLs and airtightness membranes will often require mechanical fixing. In the case of timber structures using steel staples, and on concrete using a separate double-sided adhesive tape. The self-adhered nature of Wraptite allows for a simple and fast installation process, minimising the use of additional sealants and tapes, and requiring no specialist contractors to achieve a robust result. This one-step solution provides both a damage resistant air barrier layer and effective secondary weather protection in one installation process, allowing a wind and watertight envelope to be achieved more quickly than using traditional methods.

TopHat incorporates Wraptite into the design

One of the UK’s leading modular housing manufacturers TopHat has successfully incorporated Wraptite into the design of its high-quality timber-framed homes.  Wraptite is a patented external air barrier membrane system, which offers manufacturers and designers of modular and off-site buildings the ability to reliably and comfortably exceed current airtightness requirements. Wraptite is the only self-adhering vapour permeable air barrier certified by the BBA and combines the important properties of vapour permeability and airtightness in one self-adhering membrane.

The A. Proctor Group provides a range of high-performance membranes to address the requirements of heat, air, moisture management within the building element, and provides comprehensive guidance using modelling & analysis tools to ensure compliance and guide designers and manufacturers on best practice related to DfMA.

For more information please visit www.proctorgroup.com

A 21st Century school has been constructed in Glossop, a rural market town in the High Peak, to provide a new, single-site secondary school and sixth form. Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation from local manufacturers, Kingspan Industrial Insulation, was specified to help ensure it is both comfortable and low cost to run.

As the original school was costly to repair and maintain, the decision was made to demolish and construct a new site that would combine three Glossop and Hadfield schools. The new site was delivered by main contractors, Henry Brothers, with the capacity for 1,000 11-16-year olds and 200 sixth formers, and the potential for further expansion. Overseen by M&E Contractors, William Bailey, 7000 lm of Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation was installed by delivery partners, Gill Insulation.

The pipe insulation was used in concealed areas such as in the ceiling voids, on droppers and within low-level boxings, in addition to the plant room and boiler room. With industry leading thermal conductivities as low as 0.025 W/m·K, Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation provided a slim-line solution for reducing heat transmission from the pipework. This gave the installers more room to work when fitting the product in tight areas and allowed the clean, high quality aesthetic of the internal spaces to be maintained.

Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation is Class 0 as defined by Building Regulations, has a BRE Green Guide A/A+ rating, and is manufactured under a BS EN ISO 14001: 2015 scheme. Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation is the first pipe insulation product to attain BDA Agrement® certification under the scheme and it has also been awarded a best-in-class Eurofins Indoor Air Comfort Gold certificate, recognising it as outstanding material according to the VOC Indoor Air Quality emissions standards.

With Kingspan Industrial Insulation’s free Pipeline Technical Advisory Service, which can be contacted on 0808 168 7363, clear advice and guidance can be accessed at every stage in a project. They also have Premier and Premier Plus Services which support purchases of Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation and the Kooltherm Complete Pipe Insulation System (incorporating insulated pipe support inserts and fire sleeves).

For more information:

Tel: +44 (0) 1544 388 601

Pipeline Technical Advisory Service: 0808 168 7363

Fax: +44 (0) 1544 388 888

E-mail: info@kingspaninsulation.co.uk

Website: www.kingspanindustrialinsulation.com

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Pete Seddon of Rinnai lists the most important points of ensuring that continuous flow hot water heating units are well serviced and maintained to ensure the longest possible and most economical working life.

There are two very distinct perspectives on the service and maintenance of continuous flow hot water heating units and systems – that of the end user and the one of the installer/contractors. Firstly, we will look at the installer’s viewpoint.

  • Make sure of the exact make and model of the appliance before you attend the call. Varying appliances require different service routines. With Rinnai appliances we recommend that a service kit for every appliance is taken and utilised for every service visit. This will also help you to plan the correct amount of time for the job in hand.
  • Obtain service and install manuals wherever possible. This goes in hand with the above. This will allow you to see the routine that is required. You should be able to acquire this information from the manufacturer and at the same time you can also speak to a member of the technical department to get a better understanding of the servicing routine.
  • Compliance. If you have never been to the site before it is always worth checking over the installation to ensure the installation complies with regulations and manufacturer’s instructions. Sadly, there are still some sites where the installation and the appliances that do not follow regulations or a manufacturer’s explicit instructions. This could have impact on the performance of the appliances as well as the longevity of the system/appliance. If you think something is not quite right, we advise that you should inform the customer and make them fully aware.
  • Water Treatment. There are a lot of areas in the UK that require water treatment for hard water. If you know the area requires Lime Scale protection check that the site has it fitted. There are still a lot of sites that do not have any protection fitted but are in hard water areas. Lime Scale is a problem that can, if not treated properly, have huge consequences with appliances, systems and health. If you are unsure of the area you can check the Local Water Authority or call the manufacturers Technical Department for advice. At Rinnai UK our website does have a Water Hardness check and we can check the Water Authority for you as well – all we need is the area and postcode. Ultimately if there is no protection fitted, but there should be, then advise the customer of this and make them aware of the potential but probable problems that will ensue.
  • Detail your work. It is always worth noting down what work has been carried out. If gas pressures must be checked then note them down. If parts must be changed, note what parts have been changed. By just putting “Serviced the Appliance” down on the report may not constitute a proper service has been carried out in the eyes of the manufacturer and could impact on the customers warranty.
  • Technical Advice. If, after all the above, there is still something you are unsure about or you want to double check, call the Technical Department of the manufacturer. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Rinnai UK actively encourages questions and discussion, this way you can get peace and good practise. At the end of the day we are here to help you as much as possible. And there is no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to safety and a gas fired appliance.

For the end user or owner:

  • Always understand what type of equipment you have, the manufacturer of that equipment and the service requirements and frequencies. Different appliances will have different service requirements at various intervals. It is always beneficial to find this information out because it can impact on the warranty.
  • Where possible use engineers who are familiar with the appliances. It is always worth contacting the manufacturer direct. With Rinnai UK we have a list of engineers who have undertaken training and are familiar with the Rinnai products. Majority of, if not all, other manufacturers will either have the same or have their own engineers. By utilising engineers who know the appliances you will have confidence that the servicing will be carried out correctly.
  • Always plan. It is always beneficial to find out when your appliances are due and to book them in a few weeks in advance. If you leave it too late you may not be able to get an engineer when you want them. This way to can plan it around your requirements. For example, if your business was dependant on the appliance you would be best planning this in when it was the quietest period or on days when it is not so dependant.
  • Paperwork. Ensure you keep hold of all your records of servicing. You should get a service report from the company who serviced the appliance, if you don’t make sure you request one. This is your proof that the servicing has been carried out. Without this paperwork if your appliance ever developed a fault during its warranty period you might be refused the warranty without this proof of service.

For more information visit www.rinnaiuk.com

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the first UK installations of SYSTEMGLAS®, the complete fire rated glazing system from Promat UK, and demand is stronger than ever.

The 30-year milestone is proving to be an important factor behind the increasing interest in SYSTEMGLAS® from architects, specifiers, interior designers, clients and contractors who are seeking assured passive fire protection in their glazing, partitioning and building interiors.

The market-leading system, which is supported by Promat UK’s ‘360° Wheel of Assurance’ encompassing full control and traceability through design, manufacture, installation and completion inspection, is suitable for a wide range of applications including offices, residential, retail spaces, public buildings and transport interchanges. Providing integrity and insulation (EI) protection from EI30 to EI120, SYSTEMGLAS® has now been used in a vast number of projects in the UK and Ireland since 1989.

Ian Cowley, Regional Director (UK and Scandinavia) at Promat says: “With three decades behind it, SYSTEMGLAS® has proved itself in the market as a trusted solution for passive fire protection. In an era when supply chain traceability has risen up the agenda in specification decisions, the range is today offering an important differentiator, particularly now that the SYSTEMGLAS® framing options have been expanded to cover steel, timber and PROMATECT® H for concealing, painting or over-cladding.

“When it comes to developing a fire rated glazing specification, all the components must work together to achieve the required performance level, which is what underpins our ‘Specified for a Reason®’ campaign. SYSTEMGLAS® takes away any supply chain ambiguity, specification misinterpretation or risk of product substitution as we have complete oversight from start to finish.”

SYSTEMGLAS® is suitable for all building applications with fire ratings of between 30 and 120 minutes. Promat’s technical experts provide guidance on the right approach at the design and specification stage, and the system is manufactured in-house to ensure all cutting and processing is completed to the correct standard. Promat’s fire protection specialists then inspect SYSTEMGLAS® on completion to ensure it has been installed in accordance with its recommendations and provides a certificate of conformity for installation.

Based at its HQ and manufacturing plant at Heywood near Manchester, Promat UK is a market leader in thermal, fire and acoustic protection solutions. Part of the global Etex Group, the company manufactures high performance insulation for numerous hi-tech, engineering and industrial applications, as well as the building sector. These range from Formula One racing, train rolling stock and aircraft manufacture, to offshore wind turbines, the nuclear industry and white goods.

Find out more at www.promat-glass.co.uk

Kingspan Kooltherm K7 and K107 Pitched Roof Board have been installed as part of a major refurbishment project, transforming a former Victorian mill into CAT B office space for Manchester Metropolitan University.

6 Great Marlborough Street forms part of Manchester’s rich industrial heritage and sits within Little Ireland, the earliest area of Irish settlement within the city. The sensitive restoration plans make a feature of the historic building fabric, exposing the original brickwork and beams internally, whilst incorporating more contemporary elements such as building services and modern windows.

The design team prepared the fit-out using the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyor’s SKA Rating environmental assessment method – targeting a Silver rating certificate. As part of this process, they identified an opportunity to upgrade the thermal performance of the poorly insulated pitched roof. To minimise heat loss through the roof, a construction combining Kingspan Kooltherm K7 and K107 Pitched Roof Board was installed.

Kingspan Kooltherm K7 and K107 Pitched Roof Board can achieve thermal conductivities as low as 0.020 W/m·K and 0.018 W/m·K, respectively. In combination with their low emissivity foil facing, this makes them amongst the most thermally efficient pitched roof insulation materials in common use.

As the original roof slates have been retained, the boards were cut to size by hand and fitted between and below the existing roof rafters from inside the building. This premium specification allowed the target U-value to be met with the slimmest possible construction – maximising floor to ceiling heights in the top storey spaces in the 5-floor building.

Kingspan Kooltherm K7 and K107 Pitched Roof Board are produced under an integrated management system which is certified to the highest standards including ISO 9001: 2015 (Quality), ISO 14001: 2015 (Environmental), BS OHSAS 18001: 2007 (Health and Safety) and ISO 50001: 2011 (Energy). Their insulation core is manufactured with a blowing agent that has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Image credit: Manchester Metropolitan University ©

For further information, please contact:

Tel: +44 (0) 1544 387 384

Fax: +44 (0) 1544 387 484

Email: info@kingspaninsulation.co.uk

Website: www.kingspaninsulation.co.uk

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