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

Charcon, the commercial hard landscaping division of Aggregate Industries, has welcomed Patricia Madingou to the role of Specification Manager. This appointment is the latest in a succession of new roles which Charcon has invested in with a view to enhance relationships with key customers and explore new business leads nationwide.

Patricia will be covering the area south-east of the M25, a recognised hot spot for building and construction. Despite tough economic conditions, the construction industry is in growth – particularly within the South East. A recent report from Barbour ABI revealed that construction within this region had the fastest growth rate (13.2%) within the UK in 2014. In 2015, the value of contracts awarded in the region totalled £7.3 billion, an increase of 46.9% year on year.

Charcon’s decision to appoint a dedicated specification manager in this area will enable the business to explore this untapped potential, advising key decision makers on the best commercial hard landscaping products for their relevant projects and applications.

Patricia brings a wealth of experience to Charcon, having previously worked for three years as a sales manager for Bradstone International, Aggregate Industries’ export and licensing service for its precast concrete products.

With Patricia’s role in play, Charcon now has a force of seven industry experts strategically positioned across the UK to develop new relationships with architects, specifiers and local authorities, focussing particularly on the recognised growth areas of natural stone and permeable paving.

Commenting on joining the Charcon team, Patricia says “By having a dedicated specification manager within the South East, my appointment will enable the business to provide an enhanced level of service to existing customers, as well as reach out to new prospects.

“Charcon has a merited reputation for developing bespoke solutions for its clients, no matter how complex. I am looking forward to working alongside a team that has this can-do attitude, as well as the experience and insight to back it up.”

Clinton Young, National Specification Manager at Charcon, adds “We are very pleased to have Patricia within the specification team and she joins us at an exciting time. With the Chancellor announcing major investments in housing infrastructure, roads and local transport in his Autumn Statement[2], we anticipate a surge of products entering design stage. With Patricia’s sector experience we will be well placed in the South East to meet this demand.”

Charcon offers the commercial sector a comprehensive range of paving, natural stone and kerbing via its hard landscaping product range. It is also able to offer a full design and support service from project concept to completion, and provides innovative and integrated solutions for architects, civil engineers, landscape professionals, house builders and contractors in almost every aspect of the construction industry.

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Sika-Trocal’s flexible, easy-to-apply waterproof roofing system ensured the uniform, aesthetically-pleasing delivery of a complex, five-classroom primary school extension in time for the new term.

Kirkliston Primary School has been awarded £5 million to redevelop its site in Kirkliston, Edinburgh. The funding will create eight classrooms, a new gym, dining hall and other sports facilities. Developers have supplied the grant as part of a deal to build 700 new homes in the town. The extended and additional classrooms will enable the school to accommodate an extra 140 pupils.

Hadden Construction, appointed as the project’s main contractors by Edinburgh City Council, is carrying out the redevelopment in three phases. The most recent phase saw sub-contractors, McConnell Roofing, install 700m2 of waterproof roofing to the five-classroom extension.

Smith Scott Mullan Architects required a roofing system which not only offered a long-term guarantee against water ingress but also provided the building with a uniform, aesthetically-pleasing finish – an incredibly challenging task given the complex nature of the application. For these reasons, Sika-Trocal SGK was specified for the project.

An adhered single-ply roofing membrane, Sika-Trocal SGK, is suitable for new-build and refurbishment applications. Its easy-to-fit properties proved an additional benefit during the Kirkliston installation, as the five-classroom extension had to be completed during school holidays to avoid disruption to lessons.

The roofing installation for the extended classrooms was far from a straightforward operation. The buildings contained three roofs up to 70-degrees in pitch. Rooflights, ventilation systems and large vertical upstands also had to be accommodated during the application. The experience and skill of McConnell Roofing’s on-site team, along with the flexibility of the Sika-Trocal SGK system, ensured potential challenges were comfortably overcome.

The school roof had a timber deck which the McConnell roofing team covered with Sika S-Vap 5000E SA, a multi-layer, self-adhesive vapour control sheet made of polymer-modified bitumen with a glass-fibre mat reinforcement and an aluminium foil as top layer. This was followed by thermal insulation board, and then Sika-Trocal SGK membrane with a fleece backing in slate grey, to give the roof a superb, uniform look.

To provide the roof’s sharp, straight edges, Sika-Trocal Metal Sheet Type S was prefabricated offsite and applied to all perimeters, with changes of direction and plane ensuring a crisp, simple detail was achieved. Metal ribbing was also applied, giving the overall roof a smart, standing-seam appearance. The architect also required a standing seam rib profile to give the roof a zinc-effect finish. This was installed to the entire vertical and sloped roofs at 600mm centres. Sika-Trocal was able to provide this detail which was hot-air welded to the membrane.

Despite the roof’s intricate application, McConnell Roofing completed the project – which started in June 2016 – in less than three months, meeting the client’s strict deadline and full satisfaction. Sika-Trocal SGK comes with a guarantee of up to 20 years, providing long-term peace of mind for the client that their building has been long-term safeguarded against the risk of water ingress.

For more information please call 01707 394444, or visit

Bannister Hall, one of Britain’s leading landscaping suppliers, has launched an innovative new natural stone paving product – a bespoke system that is set to revolutionise urban, street and commercial design by combining innovation and versatility with rapid, simple and cost-effective installation.

The PietraPave range, already used extensively on a huge range of commercial and domestic projects worldwide, boasts the beauty and resilience of natural stone paving while also reducing installation time by up to 80% due to its pre-assembled custom-made designs and revolutionary mat construction.

PietraPave offers a real and desirable alternative to other paving solutions. These include the system’s bespoke capabilities, enabling intricate designs to be completed, speed of installation and the quality and long-term performance of the materials.

Alan Lovell, Managing Director at Bannister Hall, said “We are delighted to finally bring PietraPave to the UK market. We’ve had many enquiries asking when this innovative product is going to be available, especially for use on large-scale paving projects where time and budgets are of the essence.

“That waiting is now at an end as PietraPave goes national. The quality is second to none, with the same palazzo styling we’ve come to expect from natural quality stone at up to a quarter of the installation time.”

The range currently includes granite and porphyry and is delivered in numbered sections, negating the need for costly specialist installers. Cobbles, paving and bespoke patterns such as fans, circles or geometric designs complete the look on each bespoke project, enabling commercial designers to plan ahead for a speedy installation.

This speed of installation means that PietraPave is incredibly cost-effective when compared to conventional block paving – in most cases a quarter of the cost per fully laid square metre ­– which is incredible value for clients and contractors. Each mat is simply laid onto a prepared screed and compacted down to levels. Grouting is equally fuss-free with the Nexus V75 resin-based compound which reduces cleaning in the short-term and maximises durability for customers in the long-term.

PietraPave has already been used at large urban public projects around the world including award-winning developments in Asia, the Middle East and the USA and for clients such as the Disney Corporation, Ocean Park Macau and The Qatar Government.

Prior to the national launch Bannister Hall has been testing the product with selected contractors in different parts of the UK on a wide range of different projects where it has passed every test for speed of installation, aesthetics and load capability.

For more information please visit

Updated and refreshed from top to bottom, Brett Landscaping, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of high quality aggregate and paving products, have launched their Garden & Drives 2017 aimed at supporting merchants and contractors selling into the homeowner audience. The brochure provides comprehensive guide to the stylish and innovative products and services available from Brett next year.

Gardens & Drives 2017 has been designed to be of maximum benefit to consumers facing difficult decisions over their landscaping requirements. The brochure provides clear and concise information as well as high quality imagery to show the Brett product range with new clarity.

To help landscapers to decide on their preference of style for their projects, each product group in Gardens & Drives 2017 has been split into three colour-coded categories:

  • Contemporary paving: Made up of products that offer crisp clean lines and stylish surfaces to create a truly modern aesthetic for your home.
  • Traditional paving: Comprised of products that offer softer aged lines and riven surfaces designed to help recreate a more rustic appearance.
  • Value paving: Requiring great paving on a stricter budget? This paving range performs every bit as well as the rest of our products, with slightly less accessories available.

Gardens & Drives 2017 also contains “A day in the life of a Brett Approved Installer” section, which illustrates just what a great resource these approved installers can be for your next landscaping project if you don’t already have a contractor in mind.

As well as providing 5-Year Installation and 10-Year Product guarantees, “A day in the life of a Brett Approved Installer” uses high quality imagery and case studies to demonstrate the flexibility and excellent workmanship possible with from approved installers across the country.

The brochure, along with the Brett Trade Guide, will be available over the counter from builder’s merchants from the week commencing December 12th 2016, as well as on request online on

Brett Landscaping takes pride in the fact that it provides customers with a high quality service offering worthy of the products available from the brand, and with the new Gardens & Drives 2017 brochure, this will continue next year.

For more information please visit

In partnership with Associated Architects Birmingham and leading commercial roofing company Briggsamasco, Marley Alutec has supplied a unique rainwater solution for the cascading roofs of Leicester’s Centre for Medicine.

The £42 million Passivhaus and BREEAM Certificate of Excellence holding Centre for Medicine built for The University of Leicester comprises three towers of differing heights linked by glass-roofed atria. Whilst visually stunning, the building posed a significant rainwater drainage challenge, therefore complex calculations and bespoke components had to be made to cope with the cascading run-off.

Tony Wereszczynski, Technical Director at Marley Alutec, commented: “As a medical building, the roof drainage design specification for the Centre for Medicine had to meet what is known as Category 3 standard, which dictates that rainwater systems must have capacity for extremely high levels of rainfall. When combined with the unusual roof structure of the building, this meant that we had to design and develop specially wide and long rainwater chutes which included roof membrane clamping flanges and which penetrated the complex parapet wall configuration.

“Purpose made hoppers and downpipes were also required to suit. In addition, some of the rainwater pipework intended to be run internally had to be diverted to drain outside the building before transferring to internal drainage, something which was not originally intended.”


Marley Alutec worked very closely with the architects and roofing contractor, providing all flow calculations and matrices for the complicated cascading roof system. Duncan Philbin, Project Supervisor at Briggsamasco, said: “The high level of specification on this project demanded the best quality products and high quality workmanship. As the main roofing contractor responsible for the waterproofing, capping, green roof and rainwater system installation, we were in constant communication with Marley Alutec’s technical department and the architects.

“During the pre-design meetings it was clear that Marley Alutec were very knowledgeable and their expertise made our job much easier. Equally, working with aluminium products, particularly at height, was preferable as they’re extremely lightweight yet offer the durability required.”

Complementing the high quality ethos of the build, all of Marley Alutec’s products installed are made of marine grade aluminium and have a life expectancy of 50 years or more. What’s more, this extended life expectancy is virtually maintenance free, reducing life cycle costs and any disruption to the building’s operation. Roof and roofline products can be particularly expensive to maintain due to the costs of access equipment, so any reduction is of great benefit.

Another extremely important consideration on this project was the sustainability of the building materials used as it strived for BREEAM certification. Marley Alutec’s aluminium products were the perfect fit as they are amongst the most sustainable in the UK. Made from the third most abundant element in the world they are completely recyclable at the end of their life span. In fact, it is estimated that 75 per cent of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today.

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A North Yorkshire school has built its motto ‘Being the Best We Can Be’ into the fabric of its school campus following a roof refurbishment involving two of its buildings, using Sika Liquid Plastics’ Decothane Ultra 20 year system.

Located 10 miles south of Middlesbrough on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, Stokesley School is the founder member of the Areté Learning Trust, a multi-academy trust (MAT) that aims to drive excellence and engage with locally-based businesses.

The school operates on an existing campus of 1970s construction and both the main teaching block and the art & geography block have been fully refurbished, including an overlay to the existing roof, as part of a phased seven-month programme.

The refurbishment project addresses condition issues to ensure Stokesley School’s buildings continue to offer a high quality teaching and learning environment, whilst also improving energy efficiency and future-proofing the site. Staff and pupils were decanted from the main teaching block prior to the start of works on site and the main contractor removed a service hatch and several roof lights prior to the start of the roofing scheme.

Sika Liquid Plastics worked closely with Gateshead-based Northpoint Architects to develop the technical specification for the roofs and carried out a full site audit to assess the condition of the existing roof and recommend the most appropriate solution.

The project is funded by the EFA’s Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) with Sika and Northpoint working closely with the school to prepare the technical specification and independent professional advice required for the bid.

Joe Moore from Northpoint Architects, said: “Not only did Sika’s cold-applied liquid system, provide the ideal solution for this fast-track refurbishment scheme but the company’s thorough approach to assessing the condition of the existing roofs and developing a technical specification compatible with the substrate ensured a high quality finish.”

The existing main teaching block had a felt roof covering that had reached the end of its serviceable life, with unprotected bitumen visible in many areas and vapour blisters and delamination along the laps of the felt. The felt roof on the arts and geography block was similarly degraded and required additional insulation in order to bring the building up to current building regulations standards. On both roofs, there was extensive preparation to be done to make good previous patch repairs, delamination, blistering and upstands.

Following preparation of the substrate, roofing contractor, BriggsAmasco, installed a Decothane Ultra system – a two coat liquid applied membrane, incorporating fibre matting. Throughout and upon completion of the project, Sika Liquid Plastics’ dedicated field technicians thoroughly inspected the project to ensure a single point guarantee of 20 years could be issued.

For the art and geography block, the installation began with 60mm Decotherm insulation board to supplement the existing insulation. Sika Liquid Plastics self-adhesive S-VAP 5000 E SA carrier membrane was then installed prior to application of the Decothane Ultra System to the roof in the same base coat, Reemat, top coat process.

The buildings were unoccupied during the refurbishment works but both projects were carried out on a live school campus, making the cold-liquid applied system ideally suited to the scheme, with no hot works or nuisance odours.

Steve Wilkinson, property services manager at Stokesley School, added: “This project marks the first phase of a five-year plan to modernise and improve the Trust’s estate, reduce energy consumption and optimise the use of our facilities. The Decothane Ultra solution recommended by Sika not only provided an ideal solution for minimising disruption to staff and students during the works but the BBA-certified, single-point guarantee will provide us with peace of mind for a generation.”

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Water ingress was being experienced to the exposed Asphalt split level decks at Sunbury Cross Shopping centre. With the site providing nearby residents with their only parking means, it was vital the system used to waterproof the existing surface allowed for a rapid installation which could withstand long-term vehicular stress. Sikafloor® RB58, a quality, highly-crack bridging system from global building product manufacturer Sika, met all the project’s requirements.

Sunbury Cross multi-storey car park in Middlesex serves the High Street’s busy shopping centre. The asphalt surface of its top two decks – which are reserved for residents – had become cracked and blistered due to long-term exposure to the elements. Contractor Makers Construction was appointed by clients, real estate leaders Colliers International, to install Sikafloor®-RB58 to refurbish the damaged surface as part of a five-week programme of repairs.

Selected for its dynamic crack-bridging, incredibly fast curing-times and high abrasion resistance, Sikafloor®- RB58 comprises of a fully reinforced system to guarantee the surface is watertight and free from cracks which allow the passage of water.

Wayne Greenwood, Site Manager at Makers Construction, commented: “Sikafloor®-RB58 was perfect for this project. The Sikafloor Primer allowed us to adhere directly to the asphalt, minimizing the surface preparation required.”

As part of the repair system, Sikafloor®-10 Pronto, a medium-viscosity, fast-curing primer was applied to the car park’s 3,000m2 asphalt surface. To fully strengthen the base coat, glass fibre reinforcement mat, Sika® Reemat Premium, was applied and embedded into the Sikafloor 32 Pronto. A further layer of Sikafloor®-32 Pronto filled with 1:2 Sikafloor® -Pronto Filler was also applied and fully broadcast with Quartz Sand.

Sikafloor®-18 Pronto, which offers excellent mechanical and chemical resistance, provided the system’s fast-curing, solvent-free seal, giving the floor a superb skid and slip-free finish sufficient to meet HSE regulations.

Wayne Greenwood added: “Sikafloor®-RB58 Pronto is incredibly easy to apply and as promised; fast-curing, which was vital to ensure the project was completed in good time.”

Despite work being intermittently disrupted by bad weather, repairs to the car park decks were completed on schedule and to the client’s full satisfaction. Sikafloor®-RB58 has ensured residents have renewed, hard-wearing, aesthetically pleasing and safe car park decks which offer long-term resistance to the elements as well as traffic-based wear and tear.

For more information please click here.

A stylish £500,000 restaurant serving high quality Pakistan and Kashmiri cuisine in Bradford is using Forma metal column casings from Encasement to conceal external structural steelwork and add a more aesthetic finish to the building’s extensive ground floor glazed facade.

Jinnah Bradford is part of the Jinnah Group, which runs nine restaurants in key towns and cities across Yorkshire, including York, Harrogate, Leeds and Selby, as well as operating United Foods, a cash and carry outlet also based in Bradford.

As the building has a large glazed facade, the Encasement column casings are designed to conceal the structural supports and provide a more integrated and attractive finish to the building’s exterior. This theme is also carried around the building to the main entrance, which is also flanked by Encasement’s decorative casings.

To achieve this, Encasement supplied and installed eight 832mm wide bespoke semi-circular ‘Forma’ column casings, which are manufactured from 3mm thick aluminium and range in height from 2988mm up to 3900mm. Every Forma casing is finished with a RAL 9006 metallic PPC coating to provide an aesthetic and durable finish while enhancing weather resistance.

Designed for use on both interior and exterior applications, Encasement’s Forma casings are regularly used to conceal exterior steelwork, as their aluminium construction makes them resistant to corrosion. Also the casings can be finished in a wide range of the, such as the used at Jinnah, which enables them to integrate and enhance a building’s design.

Encasement’s Managing director, Martin Taylor, explained: “Restaurants, foodservice and retail environments are areas where our column casings and wall lining solutions are widely used, as they provide a practical and versatile solution to help improve a building’s interior or exterior design while also being highly durable. The Jinnah restaurant project is an ideal demonstration of how column casings can be used to add the finishing touch and enhance the customer experience.”

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British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower and first vertical cable car. At the entrance of the attraction on Brighton Seafront is an accessible roof terrace area that features over 1,500m2 of Bauder’s reinforced, inverted hot melt waterproofing system with hard landscaping.

The futuristic British Airways i360 is a 531 foot tall structure located at the landward end of Brighton’s historic former West Pier. Eleven years in the making, British Airways i360 is the brainchild of architect-entrepreneurs David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects, best known as the practice that conceived and designed the world-famous London Eye. Groups of up to 200 visitors will glide gently upwards to a height of 138 metres in a futuristic, fully enclosed, hand-crafted glass viewing pod to admire 360-degree views across Regency Brighton and Hove, the South Downs, the English Channel and the south coast east to Beachy Head.

Passengers board each flight via the alluring outside terrace deck, which features reconstructed tollbooths of the original iconic West Pier that now serve as a ticket office and café, where people can relax and socialise. Understandably this roof top area will experience significant amounts of foot traffic all throughout the year, so the client wanted to install a waterproofing system that was both robust and of the highest quality. Given these requirements, Bauder’s hot melt structural waterproofing system with hard landscaping was a natural choice. The system is designed to last the lifespan of the building and provides a monolithic, fully bonded membrane that is self-healing to minor punctures and ideal for use on protected roof areas. As part of the system approved contractor Accurate Roofing also installed inverted insulation, to deliver high thermal performance in exposed conditions and help retain heat within the beachfront building below that houses a brasserie, café and gift shop.

This new landmark is an exceptional example of how modern architecture and roof landscaping can revive a historical monument, which is expertly and intricately intertwined with over 150 years of history. British Airways i360 has already attracted significant interest and proven extremely popular, welcoming its 100,000th visitor just three weeks after it was opened to the general public in August 2016. The attraction was given a Royal opening by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh in October.

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Architect John Murray has specified Marley Eternit’s JB Shingles to create a stunning cottage annex for a luxury Victorian boutique hotel in Dumfries and Galloway. The aptly named Shingle Lodge, built by 3b Construction, has been wrapped entirely in the western red cedar shingles to blend in with its natural surroundings.

The owners of Knockinaam Lodge hotel wanted to create a separate cottage annex to cater for guests who require easy accessibility and self-contained accommodation. Situated in 30 acres of landscaped grounds, with its own private beach, the architect needed to ensure that all exterior materials for the hotel annex were robust enough to withstand the severely exposed conditions without deteriorating.

Marley Eternit’s JB Shingles were specified for both the roof and cladding of the annex, creating a stunning cottage that sits beautifully within its surroundings as a breath-taking piece of architecture. When viewed at a distance, Shingle Lodge has achieved what the architect intended by retaining its aesthetic integrity and blending into the coastal environment.

Architect John Murray, comments: “I could see that using shingles would maintain the character of the hotel, retain the unique sense of place of the cove and fit well with the abundant backdrop of vegetation behind the cottage. The real beauty of shingles is that they age gracefully. In just a few years, the aptly named Shingle Lodge will blend into the local area as if it has always been part of the natural landscape.”

Sarah Jackson, marketing product manager from Marley Eternit, adds: “The use of our JB shingles on this cottage annexe provides the perfect aesthetic for this location. Using the product for both the roof and cladding creates a striking contemporary, yet natural, aesthetic, which is ideal for its rural and coastal setting.”

With one of the lowest carbon footprints of any widely used building product, shingles are perfect for projects which are driven by sustainability objectives. Marley Eternit’s JB western red cedar shingles also offer the highest-quality ‘Blue-label’ grade and are accredited by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which ensures that the biodiversity and ecosystems of the forest are preserved.

JB Shingles are available with a clear preservative treatment called MicroPro® to retain the natural look of cedar, with a guaranteed minimum lifespan of 40 years. Many preservative treatments are alkaline and react with the natural tannins in the cedar, often leaving black or dark stains, or are prone to leaching (washing) out. However, MicroPro’s® unique formulation uses a suspended micronised copper-based preservative that leaves the shingle looking completely natural.

For further information on our range of products and services just ask ME at or call ME on 01283 722588. You can also follow ME on Twitter @MarleyEternit.