Latest innovations and products in the external works section of the construction industry.

Engineers challenged to solve a “tight-fit” surface water management challenge on a new homes development in West Yorkshire turned to Hydro-Brake Optimum® to keep flood protection measures well within safe limits.
At the Saffron Park housing development in Liversedge, the designers Paul Waite Associates Ltd needed to engineer stormwater attenuation in an extensive pipe storage area, necessary because of the topography of the site and the preference of the water authority.
To ensure that the discharge rate limits were met despite the site constraints, Hydro International’s Hydro-Brake Optimum® vortex flow control was specified to control the outflow to the drainage network.
“When we calculated the drainage discharge from the site and the available storage provision, it was going to be difficult to achieve the maximum limit of 110 l/s for 1 in 100 years flood event, plus an allowance for climate change. Using conventional flow control devices would have required more back up storage than would fit in the space available,” explains Luke McCabe of Paul Waite Associates.
“However, when we used the online Hydro-Brake Optimum® Design Tool, it showed that we could recommend a Hydro-Brake Optimum® as it required less storage and met the Environment Agency’s planning requirements easily. The Design Tool allowed us to output drawings and data and was simple to use.”
Saffron Park, in Liversedge, is located between Huddersfield and Leeds and comprises 52 two to five bedroom houses on a plot sandwiched between existing housing and two roads. The site falls nearly three metres from north to south, and surface water from roadways and drives drains via gulley traps to the temporary storage provision along the lower perimeter next to Miry Lane.
“Yorkshire Water had indicated that they preferred concrete pipe storage to cellular storage reservoirs if they were going to adopt the drainage scheme,” continued Luke McCabe. “This necessitated nearly 220 m3 of storage in three 1.2 m concrete pipes, each nearly 50 metres long.
“The pipes were buried at a depth of nearly three metres under the narrow landscaped strip at the lower perimeter; there was no room for more pipe storage if we had wanted it. The Hydro-Brake Optimum® discharges to the public storm drain.”
Since its launch in 2012, Hydro-Brake Optimum® has set new standards in design versatility with its unique ability to achieve up to 15% additional stormwater storage savings compared to conventional vortex flow controls. Independently certified by the BBA and WRc, Hydro-Brake Optimum® is the only vortex flow control whose physical geometry can be precision engineered by fine-tuning the all-important hydraulic design curve.
Hydro-Brake Optimum® is included within the latest industry-standard Micro Drainage design tool allowing engineers to precisely specify the size and hydraulic performance of flow controls to meet their design objectives. The complimentary Hydro-Brake Optimum® Design Tool at provides online support for engineers to design flow controls and output detailed design drawings.

For more information about the Hydro-Brake Optimum® call the Hydro-Brake® Hotline on 01275 337937, email or visit the

The library roof at the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) had surpassed its natural life expectancy and been experiencing considerable water ingress, requiring urgent remedial work to prevent disruption to students.
In order to determine the most appropriate remedial solution the 2,000m2 roof area was surveyed by flat roof specialists Bauder, who proposed stripping the existing roof covering down to the structural metal deck and replacing it with a high quality and long lasting bituminous system. The client also decided to use this opportunity to make a positive and visible contribution to the university’s carbon reduction programme through the addition of energy producing solar panels. The library is the core study area for most students and is unsurprisingly one of the highest consumers of electricity out of all the campus buildings, so it seemed extremely appropriate that the PV would be situated there.
The main library roof and three connecting tank rooms were all waterproofed with Bauder’s premium bituminous system, BTRS, which is capable of withstanding permanently sited loads of up to 2000Kg/m2 and has a life expectancy in excess of 40 years. The system build-up included a highly efficient 120mm PIR FA-TE insulation for superior thermal performance, achieving the required 0.18 U-value. Tapered insulation was also used around the perimeter of one of the tank room roofs to effectively provide drainage falls without having to incorporate them into the structure.
Roof areas totalling 1,000m² were fitted with 126 monocrystalline PV modules, set at a 10 degree angle to optimise energy generation. The panels are expected to generate 32.43 MWh of energy within the first year and deliver CO2 savings of 17.155 tonnes, equal to 8,358 kg of coal burned. The PV system was installed using a unique drill-free technique that ensures the integrity of the roof is completely upheld; and the simplicity of this method also meant that roofing contractor, R T Roofing Services, could install the entire array in just two days.
One of the major challenges for this project was performing the required works on a busy campus and keeping noise levels to a minimum. To overcome this challenge the project team worked closely with the client to develop a work and delivery schedule; with many of the materials brought to site and unloaded at the weekend. Bauder also provided ear plugs for all library users to make sure that they weren’t disturbed from their work. Despite these logistical challenges, all roofing works were completed in time for the start of the new academic year and were undertaken as part of the university’s long term maintenance and regeneration programme.
Jennifer Raagas, QMUL Project Manager, stated her delight with the finished works at the university, “We are incredibly pleased with the work performed by Bauder and their approved contractors on the library roof. They have been extremely accommodating during an eventful summer period at the university, and their service has been of the absolute highest quality. Our new BauderSOLAR PV panels will not only help us generate our own solar energy but will also provide excellent research and learning opportunities for our students. With Bauder delivering a single source solution of roof renewal with PV install we have complete peace of mind over our roof’s guarantee and long-term future performance.”

Randolph Hotel, Oxford

SPV have recently undertaken the reactive works to reopen the 5* Randolph hotel in Oxford following the recent fire which broke out at the property.

 The fire at the 150-year-old building in Beaumont Street was sparked by a flambéed beef stroganoff in its kitchen, ripping through three floors.
At the height of the fire on 17 April, 14 fire engines were on the scene as crews battled the blaze while thick black smoke spread across the city.
More than 80 people were evacuated, though there were no reported injuries.
Thanks to the hard work of the fire brigade and SPV reactive works, the Gothic building reopened its doors to hotel guests and customers within only 5 weeks.
Jonathan Dawson, regional management director for Macdonald Hotels, said he was “delighted”.
SPV are now continuing work on site carrying out the fire reinstatement project to both internal and external areas of the Hotel.

Cathedral Court, Birmingham

Working on behalf of our Client Bluu, SPV are currently undertaking the scaffolding, roofing, stone repair cleaning and glazing works at Cathedral Court, Birmingham. 

The scaffold is a full design scaffold with each lift being fully boarded complete with bird netting.

On completion of the scaffolding, SPV then commenced stone cleaning and stone repairs to the building, roof repairs and window repair works.

The stone repairs are being undertaken by means of a Torik stone cleaning system and the results are exceptional.


Ivor Good site Hoarding Competition

SPV are delighted to report that our fantastic artwork has been chosen as an Ivor Goodsite Hoarding Competition Runner-up for 2015!

Once completed, the hoarding was sited at our ongoing project at Albany House, Birmingham. Even Ivor himself lent a helping hand, much to the delight of the children!
The Office building which is owned and operated by RVB Investments is currently being refurbished by SPV Group with a new external facade system and new glazing to all elevations.
Owen Jones, one of the children who took part from St Michaels Church of England Primary School commented; ‘I have had a brilliant time decorating the hoarding and I really enjoyed visiting a real building site to learn more about the construction trade. When I am older I want to work for SPV Group!’

The new SPV Group website is now online


SPV Group are delighted to announce that our new website is now online. The new site has a brand new look and feel as well as having a range of new features.

Take a look at

Geofire’s Salamander range of radio-controlled fire door holders have been installed at one of London’s most prestigious apartment complexes, The Whitehouse Apartments SE1, to legally hold open fire doors and improve ventilation in the building’s corridors, while protecting occupants in case of a fire emergency.

The Whitehouse Apartments SE1 is a prestigious development located on the culturally rich South Bank overlooking the River Thames, offering spectacular views of some of central London’s greatest landmarks. Originally constructed by oil company Shell as part of their UK headquarters in 1961, the 1990’s saw Shell dispose of the ‘Downstream Building’ and thus The Whitehouse Apartments were born.

Each Salamander device connects wirelessly to a mains-powered controller unit, which is easily connected to the existing fire alarm system, complying with Category A of BS7273-4 to ensure that fire doors will safely close in the event of a fault or fire. One controller unit can manage up to 99 fire door closers or fire door holders.

Geofire’s Salamander range of radio controlled fire door safety products are all battery-powered and wire-free, thus saving time, installation costs and disruption to a building’s fabric or occupants.

Southbank Management, London says that the company purchased the system to improve the ventilation in the building’s corridors, “which were unbearably hot – particularly in the summer! The product adapted very well with our existing fire alarm system and was readily available. It has worked very well and resulted in us being able to reduce the temperature by 10°C in places and also improve the flow of air in the communal areas”.

Keeping fire doors in the open position has many benefits. It ensures ease of access in line with the disability provisions of the Equality Act 2010, helps prevent wear and tear of expensive fire doors and improves building ventilation. The Salamander swing-free door closer and door holder are suitable for use with Category A installations as defined by BS7273-4. They are approved to EN1155 and CE marked.

Bounce Back is celebrating the launch of the first Dry Lining Training Centre to open in a London prison in a unique joint initiative with the construction industry.

Supported by Knauf and Encon working with Be Onsite, Land Securities and Lend Lease the centre responds to the urgent need for trained workers in the sector and demonstrates how the industry can support in-prison training in a sponsored model which will see nearly 100 prisoners a year training to enter the workforce.

The facility offers the inmates of HMP Brixton the opportunity to learn dry lining in a state of the art training space. Land Securities, Lend Lease, Knauf and Encon have worked together to make this opportunity a reality, to meet a genuine need within the industry for trained dry liners. Work will be offered to trainees upon release by the partners along with other organisations.

The specific investment of materials by Knauf and the provision of logistics services by Encon have made the centre possible. “It is amazing what can be done when everyone comes together to make something happen,” said Fran Findlater, CEO of Bounce Back. “The need for skills in the construction industry means that the number of potential employees in prison presents a great opportunity.”

The training will be facilitated by Bounce Back who have been successfully running painting and decorating training courses within the prison for over a year. For Bounce Back this is an exciting progression in line with their objective of effectively training offenders with skills that are relevant for employment upon release – either within their own social enterprise or beyond.

The initiative was sparked as labour market information highlighted skills shortages within the construction industry including dry lining. Land Securities and Lend Lease expressed a desire to address this with Land Securities offering opportunities through its Community Employment Programme, supported by Lend Lease. Val Lowman (Lend Lease) put Bounce Back in touch with their dry lining supply chain partners, Encon and Knauf, and the programme evolved.
Debbie Akehurst, head of corporate responsibility in London at Land Securities, said: “Working with partners such as Bounce Back, Lend Lease and Be Onsite means we can really target those furthest from the job market. We have a fantastic opportunity here to train people to meet industry need and help people reach their own potential.”

The programme is targeted to train 70 participants per academic year and offers those referred whilst in custody the opportunity to participate in the CITB C Skills course in dry lining to Diploma Level 2.

Having gained a construction skills qualification whilst in custody, cohorts are well positioned to enter the construction industry workforce immediately upon release. This is a major step in bridging the gap from prison to employment as Bounce Back are further supported by Lend Lease and Land Securities who approach their supply chains to help broker work placements and create sustainable job opportunities.

Unique Oxford Plastics product developed to comply with new regulations regarding wind speed.
Innovative UK manufacturer Oxford Plastics has launched a new ballast tray – designed as an anchor system for use with safety barriers at construction sites, roadworks and events – to help its customers and end users meet new health and safety regulations.
Easy to deploy, this unique Oxford Plastics product can be clipped to the barrier and filled with soil, excavated materials, kerb stone or fence feet to ensure stability in adverse weather conditions.
The ballast tray, which weighs 2.2kg, can enable the Oxford Plastics Avalon and Watchman barriers to withstand wind speeds of up to [INSERT], depending on the configuration in which they are used.
The new code of practice and BS 8442:2006 identifies three wind speeds and a calculation for the ballast required to use in these wind speeds. The Oxford Ballast Tray is embossed with the level of material required to meet regulations.
Peter Creighton, Business Development Director for Oxford Plastics Systems, says: “We are delighted to have launched our new ballast tray to comply with the new code of practice. This product is an excellent example of the way we are constantly innovating to help our clients and end users meet the demands of ever more stringent health and safety regulations.


“Designed to hold ever increasing weight, the Oxford Ballast Tray allows users to exceed wind speeds in the code of practice. This is an indispensible addition to our range of safety barriers and accessories to ensure the safety of pedestrians, road users and contractors at construction sites, roadworks and events.”
For more information about Oxford Plastics’ range of safety products – including barriers, modular road plates and trench covers, signs and cones, ground protection and heavy bases – visit or email

Bowater Projects, a company of The VEKA UK Group has successfully overseen a significant Cheltenham door and window renovation project, totalling nearly 250 units.

The contract was awarded by Cheltenham Borough Homes, a not-for-profit Arms Length Management Organisation. Bowater installed 225 windows and 24 doors, fabricated using Halo’s renowned System 10 profile, in a series of three low-rise blocks situated near GCHQ.

Cheltenham Borough Homes, which manages and maintains all of Cheltenham Borough Council’s housing stock, plans to roll out a much larger tender later in the year, updating the doors and windows in the remainder of the Council’s housing stock.

“This was the first time we had worked with Cheltenham Borough Homes,” explains Bowater Projects’ Andy Knight, “so we’re thrilled that both the client and residents have been so pleased with the results.”

“In our opinion, our position in The VEKA UK Group definitely had a significant bearing on us winning this tender. With such a wealth of industry-leading products at our disposal, combined with an in-depth knowledge of how and where best to use them, the consultation process becomes so much simpler.”

“In this instance, the team at Cheltenham Borough Homes were not only concerned about specifying windows and doors that fell within their budget but that also offered a series of specific benefits for their residents – thermal efficiency and accessibility being high on their list of priorities.”

“The flats were typical of post-war housing developments and, as such, weren’t designed with today’s knowledge of access. We worked closely with the client and residents to identify innovative ways to ease access and were provided with a level of detail that clearly informed the range of solutions we suggested.”

“Halo’s versatile System 10 was an ideal choice of profile for the project, offering quality and performance that could only have been dreamt of when the development was originally built. Its crisp, unobtrusive, chamfered styling met with approval from residents during group consultations and, having undertaken the work between January and March 2015, we’re sure they were grateful of the WER ‘A’-rating over the cold winter!”

Julian Denslow of Cheltenham Borough Homes commented: “We are very pleased with this contract and, importantly, so are our residents who like their new WER ‘A’ rated windows. Bowater Projects’ RLO provided an excellent liaison service, their fitters were conscientious and the contract was well managed.”

Andy concludes: “We’re pleased to have brought in another notable job for Bowater Projects, on time, in budget, and to the clear satisfaction of both client and residents. It was a pleasure to work closely with the team from Cheltenham Borough Homes and we look forward to our next collaboration with them.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of Bowater Projects, please visit the website here:

Mapei, the world’s leading manufacturer of adhesive and chemical products for the construction industry is pleased to announce the opening of its UK Showroom based in the architectural design area – Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, London.

The impressive Showroom, designed by Marco Manzoni from Mapei SpA, was unveiled to key customers on Thursday 2nd July and was officially opened by Adriana Spazzoli, Operational Marketing & Communications Director and Veronica Squinzi Global Development Director, together with the Mapei UK Joint Managing Director’s Phil Breakspear and Mark Louch. To celebrate the opening the Italian Ambassador Pasquale Terracciano came to show support and Guest Speaker Lord Digby Jones of Birmingham Kt, was invited to provide insight into the future of the British and European Economy.

The showroom is a first for the Mapei Group and demonstrates the relationship between Manufacturer and Architect, from technical expertise and innovation, to providing bespoke project solutions in the UK and internationally.

Each of the 15 product lines is displayed in the Showroom through a series of textured samples and prestigious project references, accompanied by installation videos and supporting literature; offering Architects, contractors and designers alike a comprehensive guide for specifying Mapei products. Mapei’s Specification and Technical Teams are on hand throughout the year together with the training team, to provide practical and theory based guidance on the selection, installation and maintenance of Mapei products – through a calendar of dedicated CPD presentations. The technical CPD presentations cover a range of topics such as; Fast Track Screeds, Avoiding Ceramic Tiling Failures, Sub Floor Preparation and Successful waterproofing and many more.

The Showroom has been fitted out using a range of Mapei products; in particular the floor and walls have been finished with Ultratop Loft – a new highly decorative, unique wall and floor coating, suitable for residential, commercial and industrial applications. The CPD presentation room has been fitted with pre-finished wood flooring adhered with Ultrabond Eco S955 1K.

The Showroom promises to be a centre of excellence for Mapei, providing hands-on, practical and informative support throughout the entire specification process.

For more information on events, training dates and CPD presentations subscribe to Mapei UK’s Newsletter, details can be found on For any further queries please email or tel. +44 (0)121 508 6970.

After yet another hugely successful run of courses earlier this year, Marflow Hydronics announces new dates for its CPD training courses on Pressure Independent Control Valves in October.
The free CPD courses are aimed at consultants, designers, specifiers and key influencers who want to learn more about the products, improve their skills and specify, purchase or commission a PICV. The sessions are designed to provide delegates with knowledge on how PICVs work, innovative pipe layouts and how to make systems more economical, including the introduction of electronic balancing.
The half day sessions are free for anyone to attend, but delegates should have a good prior knowledge of water distribution systems to get the most out of the day.
Nick Martin, Technical Manager at Marflow Hydronics, says “We had excellent feedback from those who attended the courses in April and May and we’ve been getting numerous requests from people asking us when our courses are going to be repeated. It’s so great that people are learning so much from these training sessions and that they’re able to take what they’ve learnt and use it in their jobs.”
Places are limited on these popular courses, strictly on a first come first served basis, so immediate registration is recommended. To register or for more information visit, call 0121 358 2012 or email

New to the Glasdon collection are Genesis GRP portable kiosks, a range of high quality buildings which are available off the shelf for quick delivery (free to mainland UK).

These economical GRP buildings are ideal for a large variety of outdoor applications such as car parks, security gates and toll booths. Perfect for limited budgets!

The Genesis range of glass reinforced plastic buildings, provide a strong, versatile and comfortable accommodation solution for employees.

These stylish GRP kiosks come as standard in four layouts, offering high quality materials at a budget-conscious cost.

Portable and adaptable, the sizes available are as follows: 1.5 x 1.5m GRP kiosk, 2.3 x 1.5m GRP booth, 2.3 x 1.5m GRP building (double sliding window model) and 2.7 x 2.2m GRP cabin.

The largest GRP kiosk in the Genesis range is suitable for retail purposes, as kiosks offer a low cost way of enhancing your brands visibility and presence at venues and events. From goods inward offices and portable offices to gate houses and sentry posts, this size unit would be ideal.

The GRP building with double sliding window allows you to easily communicate with visitors and provide quick customer service, perfect for information kiosks and busy ticket sale areas. Ideal for football and other event programme selling. This model is also suited as a security cabin, as the double window space allows a higher visibility span.

Insulated and weather resistant, the Genesis GRP kiosk range come as standard with fully flame retardant white panels. A wide range of optional extras available to kit out the cabin to your specification, and stickers can be used to personalise and brand the outside.

The practical and multifunctional Genesis GRP units are sturdy and robust, available in a wide range of sizes that are low–maintenance and affordable.

Glasdon also produce a wide range of GRP Modular Buildings, GRP / Steel Housings and Equipment Cabinets.

With an infinite set of uses within the industrial and commercial sectors, GRP and IP-rated units provide a quality, reliable and cost effective solution. The durable constructions deliver an impressive focal point and superior accommodation for a large range of applications.

If you have any questions contact Glasdon today on (01253) 600410, email, or visit