Latest innovations and products in the building fabric section of the construction industry.

Kingspan Insulation has introduced the latest advance in XPS insulation — Kingspan GreenGuard — an all new range of boards with excellent compressive strength. Kingspan GreenGuard was developed to handle some of the most challenging applications including the floors of aircraft hangars and industrial units.

Kingspan GreenGuard replaces the popular Styrozone range and is available in three grades to suit differing requirements. Kingspan GreenGuard GG300 has a compressive strength of 300 kPa (minimum compressive stress at 10% deformation when tested to BS EN 826 : 2013) making it ideal for applications with medium loading such as cold store floors. For more demanding areas, such as car park decks and aircraft hangars, Kingspan GreenGuard GG500 and GG700 are also available. These products have compressive strengths of 500 and 700 kPa respectively (minimum compressive stress at 10% deformation when tested to BS EN 826 : 2013), helping to maintain surface integrity whilst providing excellent insulation performance.

The lightweight boards also provide an effective means of insulating inverted roofs. In these applications they can withstand freeze-thaw cycling and provide protection for waterproofing systems, extending their lifespan. Their excellent compressive strength also makes them compatible with most green roof systems.

Kingspan GreenGuard is manufactured on an all new production line at Kingspan’s facility in Selby, North Yorkshire. The line’s advanced design includes a 100% recycled waste stream, minimising the environmental impact of the boards. They are also manufactured with a blowing agent that has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Please note: Kingspan Insulation Ltd is not associated with, and its products have not necessarily been tested by, the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute.

For further information, please contact: Tel: +44 (0) 1544 387 384 Email: Website:

Cambrian Slate has been awarded Global Heritage Stone Resource status.

Cambrian-age Welsh slate, which is produced at Welsh Slate Ltd’s Penrhyn quarry in North Wales, has become the first slate in the world to be designated a Global Heritage Stone Resource (GHSR).

Its designation by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), which represents the national geological societies of 121 countries, recognises its importance to the architectural heritage of the many countries in which it has been used in the past and continues to be used today.

It easily met the prestigious GHSR criteria of having a cultural history encompassing a significant period, been utilised in significant works, and widely used in numerous countries.

Cambrian Welsh Slate has been quarried in Wales for almost 2,000 years (its first use being recorded in Roman times), has been utilised on major heritage projects, and been used throughout the world, particularly Australia, New Zealand, America, the West Indies, Europe and even Hawaii.

It was proposed for GHSR two years ago by the Welsh Stone Forum supported by the Stone Roofing Association (SRA), Gwynedd County Council, the Snowdonia National Park Authority and Welsh Slate (Ltd) at the same time as the Welsh slate industry is being proposed as a World Heritage Site.

Designation was awarded by the international Heritage Stone Task Group (HSTG) of the IUGS which was formed to safeguard natural stone heritage by establishing, approving and maintaining the new international geological designation – the GHSR and associated Global Heritage Stone Province (GHSP).

The Cambrian slate belt in Gwynedd extends over 14 kilometres and was historically quarried in three main areas although it is currently only extracted at Welsh Slate’s Penrhyn quarry in Bethesda where it is produced for roofing, architectural (cladding, flooring, paving and walling) and a variety of crushed slate products.

Natural slate expert Terry Hughes, former technical manager with Welsh Slate and chairman of the SRA, said: “We were a supporter of the GHSR concept from its inception. It has been a long haul writing the proposal at the same time as the designation scheme was being developed. We are now delighted that the importance of quarrying and the continued production of Welsh Slate especially, has been recognised. All too often the public forget that almost everything they use which isn’t a plant probably came out of the ground.”

The IUGS explained: “Natural stone rarely excites major interest despite the fact it has been used for construction and other purposes for thousands of years and is part of human tradition. Yet natural stone is also the world’s most sustainable mineral resource because it requires less energy to utilise, produces no toxic by-products, and provides the earth’s most durable construction material. So natural stone should create more than passing curiosity.”

Cambrian Welsh Slate has been used on Buckingham Palace, the Royal Pavilion in Brighton and the British Library in the UK; The Royal House, Copenhagen, Hotel de Ville, Paris and Dublin Castle in Europe; the Shaker Museum and Boston airport in America, Christchurch Arts Centre in New Zealand, and Government House [Perth, pictured] and Sydney Supreme Court in Australia.

Welsh Slate’s commercial director Michael Hallé said: “This is international recognition of the importance of the slate produced from the Cambrian stone in Penrhyn and is important for heritage buildings all around the world.”

GHSR designation seeks international recognition of natural stone resources that have achieved widespread utilisation in human culture. It aims to promote greater prominence for natural stone as used in artistic and architectural masterpieces and heritage building as well as routine historic stone applications.

Designation will also enhance recognition of natural stone among geologists, engineers, architects, heritage professionals, stone industry managers and other groups that work with stone. It will also offer a mechanism to formalise the characteristics of natural stone material for professional purposes and assist international co-operation into the research and utilisation of natural stone.

For more information visit

Pupils at Filton Avenue Primary School are enjoying the benefits of offsite construction in their warm, vibrant new dining hall, erected in a matter of weeks using the Kingspan TEK Building System.

Recent increases in the school’s intake meant that the existing lunch facilities, located away from the main buildings, needed to be upgraded. Studio LIME proposed a simple pitched roof design, using brightly coloured cladding to encourage students to enjoy healthy school meals inside. The construction work was completed by Jones Building Group during term time. This was one of the reasons the Kingspan TEK Building System was specified. Architect, Alex Robertson, explained:

“The Kingspan TEK Building System was chosen to reduce the on-site duration of the project and the noise and disruption that goes with it. A number of classrooms are located nearby and operated effectively for the duration of the project. We were also keen to use the system as it allowed us to get a weather proof envelope as quickly as possible, reducing the scope for delays.”

Kingspan TEK panels comprise a high-performance insulation core sandwiched between two layers of OSB/3. They were designed and factory cut to the project’s unique specifications by Kingspan TEK Delivery Partners,SIP Build UK. This offsite production process minimised site waste and allowed the panels to be quickly erected. Once a breather membrane was applied to the outer face of the panels, the structure was watertight allowing internal trades to begin work.

The bespoke production process gave Studio LIME considerable design control:

“By using the Kingspan TEK panels on the roof and walls, we were able to have consistent detailing across the whole of the building envelope,” Alex Robertson commented. “This significantly reduced the number and complexity of different interfaces, minimising the potential for future maintenance issues.”

Under the Bristol Core Strategy, it was also essential that the building achieved a high level of energy efficiency. The Kingspan TEK Building System supported a fabric first construction approach, limiting the heating demand of the building. The insulated core of the structural insulated panel, allowed U-values of 0.17 W/m2.K to be reached on the wall and roof whilst its OSB/3 facing and unique jointing system minimised air-leakage through the building envelope.

The lightweight design and excellent spanning capability of the panels also allowed the size and weight of the roof supports to be significantly reduced compared with alternative fabric options. This made the building more cost effective to construct and allowed acoustic plenums to be formed over the dining hall to minimise noise.

For further information, please contact: Tel: 01544 387 384 Email: Website:

Kingspan Kooltherm K103 Floorboard has been installed as part of a new, three-storey block at The Heath School – helping to bring existing specialisms together under one roof.

The building, designed by Ryder, was constructed to accommodate up to 1,050 pupils and 200 sixth form students. By replacing the old structure with state-of-the-art, climate-controlled classrooms and improved facilities, the school could aim to raise their OFSTED rating to ‘Truly Exceptional’. 1,720 m2 of Kingspan Kooltherm K103 Floorboard was specified for the ground floor with a further 605 m2 of Kingspan Thermapitch TP10 installed within the roof construction to help the school towards its target of a BREEAM rating ‘Very Good’.

Gareth Callen, Partner at Ryder, discussed the specification:

“It was essential that building materials were tried and tested in addition to having excellent thermal performance and the Kingspan Insulation products met these requirements. The Kingspan Insulation products helped us to minimise the building’s energy consumption.”

The school was planned using passive design features that could be successfully implemented within budget. Kingspan Kooltherm K103 Floorboard has a thermal conductivity of just 0.018 W/m·K across all thicknesses, making it the most thermally efficient insulation products commonly used. This allowed room heights to be maximised without compromising the fabric performance of the building. Both Kingspan Insulation products installed on the building have been assigned a Green Guide Rating of A+, contributing towards the award of credits within the BREEAM assessments.

The Kingspan insulation boards were delivered to site ready to install and were also easy to handle, which meant little disruption to the parts of the school still operating during construction. The lightweight fibre-free core is non-deleterious, and the boards can be cut to size with a sharp knife or fine-toothed saw, making it quick to fit. This allowed the contractors to mitigate some of the concerns of residents who were worried about access constraints and traffic build-ups in an already busy area.

All Kingspan Kooltherm, Therma and KoolDuct insulation products and cavity closers manufactured at Kingspan Insulation’s facilities in Pembridge and Selby are certified to BES 6001 (Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products) ‘Excellent’. The products are manufactured with a blowing agent that has zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) and low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

For further information, please contact: Tel: 01544 387 384 Email: Website:

An architecturally designed new build home completed recently in County Cork utilises high performance weberend MT multi-coat render system by Saint-Gobain Weber. Designed by award-winning practice Simply Architecture, of Cork City, this contemporary property is a timber frame construction manufactured by ECO Timber Frame, Carrigaline, Cork.

Gareth Sullivan, who is principal architect at Simply Architecture, designed the property for his own family and project managed the build. The brief was to design an energy efficient family home that incorporated innovative construction methods to overcome the challenges of a problematic site. Simply Architecture is an RIAI and RIBA accredited practice excelling in well-crafted bespoke projects. Gareth is also a Certified Passive House Designer.

Gareth comments: “Our family home (1900sq ft) is set into a very difficult small and steeply sloping site in Douglas. The site is compromised by three existing wayleaves which allows access to service pipes that restrict the area available to a small wedge shaped space. As a result there were many failed planning applications by a previous owner. The solution proposed maximising the unconventional shaped footprint with a split level form.” Essentially the property had to be energy efficient and use systems that made it easier to build on this challenging site. As a result a timber frame construction was chosen with a cement board and a multi-coat render system.

The Passive House certified timber frame system created by ECO Timber Frame, which typically uses 90% less energy than conventional construction designs, includes key features of high thermal insulation and very low U-values with almost no thermal bridging. A very high level of air-tightness, passive gains utilising solar panels, and a MHRV – mechanical heat recovery ventilation system – are incorporated in the design. Walls are insulated within the timber structure with much of the fabrication work carried out off-site helping to reduce time and costs during the early build programme. Overall this contributes to greater project efficiencies, easier access, a cleaner and tidier site, and a substantially reduced on-site build programme.

“Much of our work is with the one off and self-build sector,” says Stephen Spillane, joint owner of ECO Timber Frame. “It was clear from the beginning that Gareth was committed to building to Passive House standards which worked out nicely as our system was awarded certification at around the time the order was placed.

“We use only eco-friendly building materials resulting in high quality, extremely well insulated, air-tight timber frame homes. Our system is designed for clients who want to build a low-energy property, or to Passive House standards.” A construction system using an EPS insulated foundation with a timber frame structure proved to be the most efficient method. The timber frame is a certified Passive House system with an overall thickness of 362mm to the external walls which have a U-value of 0.12 W/m²K.

Stephen continues: “Working with any architect requires close attention to detail, even more so when the architect is also the client. The shape of the house certainly posed some challenges which led to a bit of head scratching in both the design office and the factory, but when the frame went to site it all fitted like a glove.”

The weberend MT multi-coat system by Weber, the leading manufacturer of innovative materials, systems and solutions for the construction industry, has BBA certification. This accreditation meets NHBC requirements for new build housing where builders and developers are constantly seeking modern methods of construction for speed and cost efficiency. The weberend MT system is designed to rapidly finish buildings of frame and panel construction.

weberend MT is a light-weight render system which incorporates glass-fibre meshcloth reinforcement with a resin-rich adhesive coat that can carry a choice of finishes in a wide range of colours. This modern render system is designed for large areas of stable render carrier boards without the need for expressed joints to create smooth, modern design aesthetics. weberend MT is also suitable for application to uneven masonry or mixed substrates where a high level of crack resistance is required.

Application onto a panel background requires an initial 3mm pass of weberend LAC. The glass fibre reinforcing mesh is laid in as this coat takes up and a second 3mm of weberend LAC is applied. Sponge finish achieves a flat surface. When fully dry, weber PR310 primer is applied prior to the selected finish. A variety of textured finishes in a wide selection of colours can be used to produce weatherproof, vapour permeable protection.

The weberend MT application was carried out by Michal Sasinowski of M S Plastering, Glanmire, Co. Cork who found it interesting to see this unique design and the fast build program achieved with off-site construction. weberend MT system was hand applied to achieve uniform colour and texture using the colour Welsh Slate for this contemporary and attractive home.

Weber products are manufactured in the UK at sites in Bedfordshire, Shropshire and Co Antrim, ensuring efficient availability and lead times, adding to the company’s sustainability policy, reduced CO₂ emissions and transportation costs.

For more information about this project, or for technical support including award winning training courses, please contact Saint-Gobain Weber on 08703 330 070, or visit
A free download of the Weber App for iPhone and iPad users is also available from iTunes and from Google Play for Android smartphones and tablet users. Follow Saint-Gobain Weber on Twitter @SGWeberUK for the latest company news and updates.

SuperFOIL Insulation been awarded its first prestigious approval from the British Board of Agrément (BBA) for its range of multifoil products.

The UK manufacturer and supplier to the construction industry has been recognised for the performance of its Multi Foil roof, wall and floor insulation products following a rigorous two-year assessment.

SuperFOIL’s Multi Foil range includes the highest performing insulation multi foil products on the market. The insulation is produced from 40% recycled materials and has a life expectancy of more than 50 years with a GWP rating of 3. With R values ranging from 2.27 for its 40mm thick SF19 product to 4.42 for its 100mm SF60 insulation when used for roof insulation.

All the Multi Foil range is 1200MNs/g vapour resistant. Recently, the company’s SF40 Multi Foil insulation was chosen by Herefordshire Housing Association for a £3.5m project to improve the energy efficiency of around 5,800 homes and the insulation was used for the conversion of a Grade II listed police station and courthouse in Corwen, Wales.

While all SuperFOIL products are independently laboratory tested to comply with all relevant UK building regulations, the BBA accreditation means SuperFOIL customers can now get building regulation applications approved without delay for their Multi Foil products, avoiding potentially costly delays or missed deadlines on site.

The BBA is the UK’s leading independent assessment body for the construction industry when it comes to third-party approvals, certification and test services.

Will Bown, managing director of SuperFOIL, said: “Getting this BBA has been a real test for every part of our business, but rightly so where building safety and performance is concerned. The expectation level for BBA is so high that it’s impossible to achieve without passing the most stringent of standards at every stage.

“Now we’re officially BBA-approved, our customers can feel confident that when they choose SuperFOIL, not only can they avoid delays and extra costs, but they get the most certified product on the market too.”

BBA accreditation is widely recognised at all levels, including builders, architects, building control, local authorities, Government and industry insurers such as the National House Building Council.

This new BBA approval rates SuperFOIL as fit for purpose on factors such as condensation risk, durability, reaction to fire and thermal performance.

It comes after SuperFOIL grew by 25% last year, posting record sales of £3m.

Recent notable SuperFOIL installations include Tottenham Court Road Underground Station, Number One Hyde Park and the new Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge.

Its products are already approved by Local Authority Business Control (LABC) and Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS) in the UK, as well as Deutches Institut für Bautechnik (DIBT) and ZAG in Europe.

For more details, speak to the SuperFOIL technical team on 01636 639900 or email

Engineered Panels in Construction (EPIC) has thrown its full weight behind the ‘100% Hackitt’ campaign to help drive the industry to adopt all 53 recommendations from ‘The Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’.

“EPIC members manufacture highly-engineered, thoroughly-tested building elements which can be relied upon to perform predictably in service,” says EPIC general secretary Chris Pateman. “So Dame Judith Hackitt’s insistence on seeing high-rise buildings as complex systems, selecting materials in the light of proven engineering performance and resisting ‘quick-fix’ solutions, absolutely resonates with everything EPIC has been striving to achieve for the last 15 years.”

‘100% Hackitt’ is an initiative launched in October 2018 by two building specialists, British Board of Agrément (BBA) and Local Authority Building Control (LABC). It aims to bring together individuals and organisations, ranging from architects to fire fighters, to support Dame Judith Hackitt’s vision of “a radical rethink of the whole system”. Within the 159-page report, she argues that an immediate and extended implementation of the whole plan is necessary to create a robust regulatory framework. That, if the industry cherry-picks its actions, it “will fail to achieve the systemic change sought. The framework operates as a mutually reinforcing package and requires the implementation of its interdependent components in order for this to be achieved”.

“EPIC is proud to lend its support to ‘100% Hackitt’ which strives to achieve a proper, balanced, engineering approach,” says Chris Pateman. “We hope to see more companies and organisations joining us to reinforce the importance of this message, to lobby the Government for swift and effective change, and to help support the industry transform the way it works to ensure safe, future-proofed buildings.”

As a major contributor to UK and European consultative groups, EPIC has been actively involved in fire testing and research for over a decade. It contributes important information and proven data about the fire performance of insulated panel systems to specifiers, contractors and fire professionals. EPIC and its management team has consistently advocated for root-and-branch reform and not ‘quick-fix’ solutions.

To read more about ‘100% Hackitt’, or offer your support, visit

EPIC is the voice of the polyisocyanurate (PIR) insulated panel manufacturing industry in the UK, promoting fire safety, energy efficiency and sustainability best practice. It provides clear guidance, information, support and inspiration for those involved in the design and construction of buildings using high performance insulated panel systems.

For further information, please contact EPIC on Tel:0330 221 0499 Email: Web:

A historic building in the seaside town of Whitley Bay has undergone a radical renovation and development programme restoring it to its former glory.

Spanish City, which was constructed in 1910, has been given a new lease of life as part of a coastal development plan driven by North Tyneside County Council. Its unusual name is reputedly borne from the ‘Toreadors’ concert party who played on a temporary stage in what was then home to Rockliffe Rugby Club between 1904 and 1907. To protect their audience from the inclement North Eastern weather, canvas and wood awnings were built and painted to look like a Spanish Village and the rest, as they say is history.

Fast forward to the 21st century and the £10m investment has seen the restoration of original features along with modern extensions and the wonderful rotunda atop the building has been beautifully brought back to life as a focal point of the project. The ceiling of the central space has been removed from the ground floor to allow visitors to see the iconic dome and the architectural detail.

“We are proud to have been able to supply products to this stunning project which will rejuvenate the heart of this seaside community,” said Jim Lowther sales director Xtralite. “Our rooflights will allow visitors to make the most of the lovely sea views and have integrated seamlessly into the heart of the building with ease, balancing practicality and aesthetics perfectly.”

Xtralite supplied products from its X-Glaze range which incorporated a series of self-supporting 37.5mm double glazed units with dimension of 4.92 metres wide and a slope length of 2.52m pitched at 5° 7 units covering an area of 86.78 sqm.

The Double Glazed Glass units were made up of 10mm thick Guardian SunGuard 70/35 toughened solar control outer pane, 16mm Argon filled cavity with black spacer bar, 11.5mm thick clear heat strengthened laminate with Ionomer interlayer and black boarder to give building users greater comfort. Practically, the units were fitted directly to the builder’s kerb and resulted in a 1.2 W/m²°K Ud value (relating to the glazing units only).

Andrew Coleman, Senior Project Manager at Robertson Construction, main contractors for the project commented; “It was important to flood the building with as much natural light as possible and to capitalise on the lovely sea views afforded from certain aspects of the building. Balancing comfort, aesthetics, building regulations and thermal efficiencies can be tricky but the reputation and reliability of Xtralite products allowed us to fulfil all requirements. Supply was efficient and technical information and support was readily available allowing us to stay on track with our timescales to meet the launch deadline of summer 2018.”

Jim concluded: “This is a prime example of how modern products can be used in historic restoration programmes to great effect sympathetically embracing the fabric of the building but making it fit for its new intended purpose.”

X-Glaze is just one of a range of glazing and rooflight products offered by Xtralite.

Further information can be found by visiting or by calling 01670 354 157.

Yeovil-based Cavity Trays Ltd has developed a ready-to-use solution to eliminate a reoccurring construction problem when building on contaminated land. Originally conceived for Radon gas situations, it is called the Type PAT – Protective Adjustable Threshold.

Where gas barriers are present within the external cavity walls of a building and the door openings interrupt the arrangement, maintaining gas-tight integrity and damp-proofing measures is always difficult. Commonly door openings are at a different level (access requirements) and interrupt the protective arrangement against rising gas.

Using flexible DPC requires support from higher courses and creates a cumbersome arrangement in which achieving a gas and water-tight arrangement that links with threshold and closers is difficult.

The Type PAT eliminates this problem.

The new Protective Adjustable Threshold (Type PAT) from Cavity Trays provides both gas and water protection under and to the sides of every opening and does so in a way that eliminates discontinuity and provides adjustable connection with adjacent barriers.

The Type PAT – Protective Adjustable Threshold – is a three-dimensional DPC unit that is bedded within the external wall opening. Integration between wall barriers and the Type PAT is achieved using the adjustable side connectors that attach to the Type PAT and slide up and down to the requisite level. The cavity face of each connector has a projecting connection profiled to match that of the external wall DPC/barrier profile. Once in position, all lapping sections are lap-sealed and gas-tape bonded. The footprint membrane is integrated in the usual way to maintain gas-resistant integrity.

The side connectors are supplied with different projecting profile options to match the wall barrier profile selected by the designer.

The Type PAT DPC threshold unit is usually supplied in three sections consisting of two corners and an infilling channel base length. These three components overlap so always accommodate the as-built structural opening width. Wider openings of any dimension can be formed by introducing additional lapping channel base lengths across the opening and sealing using gas-grade bonding strip.

The reveal closers (compatible caviclosers available) descend into the cavity-projecting sides of the Type PAT, terminating within its channel base in which are located flexible drainage conduits*.

(This channel base can additionally accommodate an optional insulating strip if thermal enhancement is sought under the sill.

*Part C, page 37. 5.32 describes closers having fins These provide capillary breaks in the reveal closing arrangement and allow water to gravitate between fins for discharge at the closer base. The flexible conduit provides the water escape route, without compromising Type PAT continuous gas protection across the base of the opening.

For further information visit or tel: 01935 474769.

Cembrit is delighted that its Moorland fibre cement slates have been specified and installed at the new campus development at the University of Northampton. Situated on the River Nene the new Waterside Campus features a mixture of academic buildings and student accommodation. Specified by Stride Treglown and installed by Russell Roofing, the Moorland slates dressed edge provides an aesthetically pleasing natural looking roof covering, for the new prestigious student accommodation blocks at the university, at a lower installed cost than natural slate.

Located on a former brownfield site, the development responds to the industrial heritage of the site in a contemporary way. The student residences are located immediately adjacent to the new academic accommodation and incorporate a variety of additional facilities including a health centre, multi-faith chaplaincy, convenience store, bank, hotel school and launderette. The additional facilities within the development take a holistic approach to urban regeneration as well as giving the university an opportunity to consolidate its campus estate into one location. The new student residences, which are being developed in two phases, consist of a mixture of shared townhouse and cluster flat accommodation with the Moorland slates being installed on pitched roof areas including the main roof and mansard sections.

Keystone Roofing have supplied Russell Roofing with over 47,000m² Moorland slates so far and Frazer Simpson, Director of Russell Roofing is delighted with how the project is taking shape: “The development is a great looking project and looks particularly impressive with its waterfront location. The Moorland slates fit in perfectly with the surrounding and with their dressed edge and lightweight construction add a classy, but easy to install quality to the project. We’ve used them before and definitely will do again.”

Cembrit Moorland slates are designed with a dressed edge and smooth surface, they are light weight, pre holed and easy to cut with hand tools making them a cost effective product an added benefit for the University of Northampton. Moorland slates random, dressed edge creates a roof slope with a natural appearance, they are fully coated with a high quality, semi-matt acrylic pigmented finish which ensures the natural appearance is visible from street level.

For further information visit, email or tel: +44 (0) 208 320 1184.