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

Charcon, the commercial hard landscaping division of Aggregate Industries, is proud to sponsor this year’s prestigious Landscape Institute Awards.

The annual awards, which take place in November, are designed to recognise examples of outstanding work by the landscape profession.

Charcon is sponsoring the Urban Design and Masterplanning category, which celebrates excellence in area based regeneration projects led by landscape architects.

Mark Barter, Sales Director at Charcon, comments: “As a major manufacturer and supplier of commercial hard landscaping materials, we are delighted to be supporting the Landscape Institute. The awards recognise the excellent work of landscape professionals at the very top of their game, especially those demonstrating a high level of commitment to sustainability.

“The calibre of entries is always incredibly high and we look forward to celebrating in the winner’s success on the night.”

Entrants in the Urban Design and Masterplanning category must demonstrate either one completed phase of a project or a strategy, development framework or master plan that is working towards or has achieved a planning status.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 24th November. To find out more, visit

For further information about Charcon range of products, visit or call 01335 372 222.

Hydro International is launching The Hydro-Brake® Flow Control Series, a versatile toolbox of precision-engineered devices for surface water, watercourse, foul and combined sewer network control.

Building on Hydro International’s leadership in flow control technology for more than 35 years, the launch unites each product in the series with the reputation for quality and repeatable, high performance embodied in Hydro-Brake® brand name.

Comprising Hydro-Brake® Flood, Hydro-Brake® Optimum, Hydro-Brake® Agile and Hydro-Brake® Orifice, the Hydro-Brake® Flow Control Series provides sustainable, performance-optimised water attenuation and control, whatever the project.

Alex Stephenson, Market Development Director for Hydro International said: “The name Hydro-Brake® has always been synonymous with rigorous research and continuous product development. The Hydro-Brake® Flow Control Series now offers designers, developers and contractors scalable, precision flow control performance for every site and budget – from flows of just a few litres per second up to major flood defence schemes of many thousands of litres per second.

“In all parts of the UK, new regulations and technical guidance are driving forward the implementation of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) and improved flood defences, while water and sewerage providers are finding their networks stretched beyond the capacity for which they were first designed and constructed. Choosing from the Hydro-Brake® Flow Control Series will help problem-free progress though planning consents, construction and adoption.

“Choosing a Hydro-Brake® flow control means you can be sure of a device that is optimised for through-life value, to deliver buildable, predictable and maintainable projects.”

The Hydro-Brake® Flow Control Series comprises:

  • Hydro-Brake® Flood, a highly sustainable, precision-engineered vortex flow control for flood defence from small dispersed schemes to major watercourse control.
  • Hydro-Brake® Optimum, Hydro International’s flagship passive flow control device, independently accredited by both the BBA and WRc, the only vortex flow control for which the head and discharge relationship can be custom engineered for each design, saving space and costs.
  • Hydro-Brake® Agile, a float-activated flow control that achieves a constant rate of discharge, and therefore the minimum upstream storage over a wide range of heads, particularly suitable for constrained sites.
  • Hydro-Brake® Orifice, a precision-cut orifice plate that delivers cost-effective, precise flow control.

Hydro-Brake® Flow Controls can be supplied pre-fitted in precast, reinforced concrete chambers for quick and easy installation, with the potential to significantly reduce CDM (Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015) risks on site.

Designers and developers need to adapt their drainage designs to meet increasingly varied planning and environmental stipulations. Hydro International’s technical team is available to advise on correct flow control selection and design and ensure flow rates and upstream storage requirements are balanced to provide the best-possible drainage performance over the duration of a storm.

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

Powdertech (Corby) Ltd has demonstrated its expertise in metal finishing on both steel and aluminium in the exciting Dickens Yard development, Ealing, West London. As specialists in architectural metal finishing, Powdertech coated all of the steel balconies and balustrade on the site, and many sections of aluminium facade.

Dickens Yard has been developed on the site of a former council car park in the centre of Ealing. It is termed a ‘high density, mixed use’ development, with shops, cafes, restaurants, health and leisure facilities at street level. Sitting directly above these are over six hundred residential apartments with landscaped courtyards, terraces and balconies.

Powdertech powder coated over 70 galvanised steel balcony bases and 500 metres of aluminium glass channel in Axalta RAL7039 matt grey polyester powder, providing corrosion protection and colour for twenty five years. “The large balcony bases up to 6m by 1.5m, and weighing in excess of 800kg took some handling,” said Richard Besant, Powdertech Sales Director, “Our plant has the capacity to accommodate the size, the weight and the quantity of these units.” In addition, posts for over 500 metres steel balustrade were coated in Valspar RAL7012 matt grey.

Ealing is identified as one of London’s major metropolitan centres in the London Plan and Dickens Yard reflects that vision. “This is a prestigious development with a requirement to look smart over many years,” said Richard Besant. “The powder coated finish on the prominent metal work will help to achieve that with minimal maintenance.”

For more information please visit

From Stormking Plastics, the UK’s largest GRP (Glass Reinforced Plastic) manufacturer, comes the new Tempest range of GRP door canopies. Developed to cater to the needs of the social housing, local authority and housing association market for refurbishment and new build developments. The canopies can totally transform the front elevation of a building, allowing for architectural self-expression and provide increased curb appeal.

The sought after products come in a variety of styles and finishes from GRP flat top, apex or mono pitch reproduction tiled effect, and contemporary design polycarbonate Tempest Clearlight canopies. Each is supplied with complete fixing instructions for a quick and easy installation and is virtually maintenance free.

The Clearlight canopy is manufactured in six standard sizes, in two styles and consists of a robust external quality steel frame in powder coated silver. To give you the complete contemporary look, it is supplied with a high quality clear UV stable protected 8mm polycarbonate roof.

The mono pitched reproduction tiled effect canopy is a lean-to style GRP door canopy with GRP reproduction plain tile roof including GRP lead effect flashing/ fixing upstand and GRP white moulded side cheeks, fascia and soffit. Available in 3 tile colours – terracotta, natural brown and slate grey, the canopy is supplied with a pair of recplas gallows brackets and fixing kits to suit.

Also available in a range of colours are the apex reproduction tiled effect door canopies which can be either spoked or open.

If you’re looking for something a little understated but with huge appeal, then the flat canopy maybe the ideal alternative. Tempest provide a flat top internal fix contemporary style GRP door canopy, a flat top door canopy with decorative kneelers or the flat top door surround and pilasters. All are equipped with GRP reproduction lead roof including lead effect flashing/fixing upstand, all internal framework, internal mild steel fixing brackets, white GRP moulded fascia and soffit.

Made in the UK, all products are certified by the ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems and ISO 9001 Management Systems.

Visit the website at to view our range of canopies for all your requirements including new build and refurbishment projects. Alternatively, email or call 01827 311 100 to request a brochure.

As part of its on-going extensive redevelopment programme, Accrington Stanley Football Club enlisted the support of leading canopy manufacturer, Canopies UK, for the creation of a brand new European-style fan zone.

The club has recently unveiled a raft of measures aimed at transforming almost every element of its grounds, which includes the creation of a new 1,500 capacity all-seater stand. The work will also see a new pitch being laid and new fencing and walls being installed to create space for additional perimeter advertising boards.

Providing fans with a pre and post-match base

As a community club, Accrington Stanley wanted to develop space behind the home supporters’ stand to create a dedicated outdoor zone specifically for its fans.

“They wanted to provide their supporters with an outdoor area where they can gather and socialise with each other, as well as enjoy something to eat and drink before and after matches,” explains, Ryan Powell, Commercial Area Sales Manager at Canopies UK.

“The club felt that canopies would be the ideal solution, as they would not only provide all-year-round shelter, but create an eye-catching focal point that would really add character and flair to the overall look and feel of the fan zone.”

Canopies UK specified two of its ground-mounted Connekt umbrella-style canopies for several reasons including the fact they would be large enough to cover the standing area within the fan zone. Each spanning five meters, the canopies were of the right dimensions to shelter 25m2 floor space.

Delivering the project with no extra time

With the start of football season looming, Canopies UK had to ensure the canopies were designed, manufactured and installed in record time.

There were just four weeks between initial contact and the new season getting underway, which involved Canopies UK pulling out all of the stops to deliver the project within the tight timescale.

“We effectively had to deliver a project that would typically take around eight weeks, in half the time and still maintain the highest possible standards,” added Ryan.

“However, due to the fact that we were local and are always keen to help the local community whenever we can, we relished the challenge and managed to install the canopies with a week to spare.”

Proactivity, organisation and flexibility were pivotal to Canopies UK being able to turn the installation around in record time.

The club was provided with an official quote on the same day as Canopies UK first visiting the site, and an official order just two days later. As a result of being given prior warning, Canopies UK’s operations manager was able to conduct the site survey one day after the official order had been submitted.

The project was then planned into Canopies UK’s production schedule by reallocating other jobs, while the umbrellas were manufactured in two and-a-half weeks and installed in a day.

Canopies that are engineered for purpose

Canopies UK engineers each of its canopies in accordance with site-specific calculations. Conducted by Canopies UK’s technical surveyor, the calculations encompassed a number of technical on-site measurements, including wind speed, obstructions such as drainage systems, nearby trees and roots, as well as the terrain in which the foundations would sit.

In addition to ensuring the canopies delivered from a practical perspective, it was essential they also delivered on an aesthetic level too.

Using its bespoke colour matching service, Canopies UK customised the Connekt canopies with the club’s colours. Alternating colours of red and white were used on the roof support beams to create a unique and tailored canopy installation in keeping with the club’s traditional strip.

David Burgess, Chief Executive at Accrington Stanley Football Club, said: “We’re absolutely delighted with the canopies, they’ve really brought the fan zone to life from both a practical and aesthetic perspective.

“Not only will they provide our fans with the shelter and shade they need from the elements before, and during games, they’re in our club colours, which gives the overall area a real sense of identity. They’re the perfect finishing touch for our fan zone and have been produced to the highest standard.”

For more information, contact Karen Hornby on 01254 777 002 (extension 221) or email Alternatively, further details can be found at

WeatherFAST have been supplying a wide range of high performance Fatra PVC membrane steel in sheet or coil form for many years. By constantly innovating and designing quality products for use on commercial and industrial gutter systems, they have earned the reputation of being market leaders within this field and their business has flourished. Joe Bradbury caught up with WeatherFAST’s Managing Director, Orry White to discuss their new product, WeatherFOLD – which offers clients a smart and effective way of re-lining old, leaky valley/boundary wall gutters.

Q) Orry, can you tell us a little bit more about your new foldable system and how people who specify it in their build can expect to benefit?

Certainly! In all honesty, we believe our new folding gutter system is the best looking and performing product on the market. The simplicity and effectiveness of its design should really appeal to architects looking for valley/boundary gutter solutions. The gutters include 3 hinges and come in 3000mm lengths, with widths up to 1250 wide and come complete with a 75mm built-in flap that joins onto the next gutter via a single weld. Due to its unique design, we don’t actually need to know the exact degree of the wings prior to fitting. In our experience this alone reduces installation times by up to 50% and makes our clients’ lives a lot easier overall. Instead of having to go back and forth with information on the existing roof gutter system or having to make costly amendments prior to installation of the new product, our system simply follows the lines of the existing gutters. No fuss.

Q) How big a role do you think a folding gutter system can play in helping a building achieve its maximum potential?

Commercial and industrial building owners are always looking for a gutter solution that is good value, good quality, quick to install and preferably BBA accredited. They want to fit something reliable that they can trust – so they can forget about it; safe in the knowledge that it is doing its job in the background.

With a 0.6mm steel substrate/1.2mm Fatra PVC chequer plate slip prevention membrane & 25 year guarantee, we believe our new system has the potential to rapidly become one of the market leading products in this field. It is durable, smart looking, low-maintenance, well designed and great value for money, meeting the tough requirements of the refurbishment/retrofit market. If you are looking for a product that is safe, does the job and is in-keeping with architectural design, WeatherFOLD can help you achieve all of these goals… and more.

Q) Are you seeing an increase in usage of WeatherFAST systems within building projects? As architectural trends continuously shift and innovations are made, are folding guttering solutions becoming more and more prominent?

Absolutely, yes. Architects and specifiers are acutely aware of what the latest innovations and technologies are. There has been increasing pressure on them over recent years to utilise products that are eco-friendly, long lasting and low-maintenance. Contractors are also striving to meet modern demands for safer site conditions, and as such safety is paramount in the key decisions they make. By adhering to these strict principles and keeping our product cutting edge in terms of design, we really have gone from strength to strength. Our systems are being used more and more by new customers every day – customers who have seen or heard good things about the solutions we can provide. We believe that ultimately the product does the talking – and the increase in our sales is a true testament to that.

For more information on the WeatherFAST folding gutter system or any of their products, please call 0843 658 0074, email or visit

A manufacturer of patented aluminium open grilles has tapped into widespread demand in the refurbishment sector by offering a more practical alternative to traditional timber decking.

Yorkshire-based neaco has received a high volume of specifications for its unique Techdek system as garden decking, sun terraces, external walkways and balcony flooring. Many architects, designers, landscaping professionals and contractors have been quick to appreciate Techdek’s advantages for refurbishment work: the product is non-toxic, non-combustible, corrosive-free, extremely durable and easy to install without requiring hot works such as welding. A patented swage-locked construction between bars enables high structural efficiency and load-bearing capacity.

neaco’s National Sales Manager, Peter Melia, comments: “We have been attracting a lot of specifications from refurbishment projects which require replacements for timber decking and terraces – Techdek is virtually maintenance-free, which gives it a clear advantage over wood which can be vulnerable to the elements. The erratic British weather can cause wood to expand and contract with fluctuations in temperatures, damaging the fabric of the timber.

“It almost goes without saying that dampness and wood are an uneasy mix. Rain and moist atmospheric conditions are a major cause of decay and deterioration. Regular surface treatment is required to protect the grain. Aluminium decking is an excellent alternative – our grilles are available with a ribbed surface for anti-slip performance. Our advanced manufacturing facilities can even precision-cut bespoke holes in the decking panels to accommodate existing garden features – we can engineer these to outline unique shapes such as the base of tree trunk. The system can be easily recycled with no downgrading of its properties and very little energy required for re-melting.”

neaco has also enjoyed a surge in demand from conversion projects which require balcony flooring for apartments. Techdek is similarly suited to this type of use with grille profiles that provide a generous 74% contact area yet drain water quickly and effectively. It has become one of the product’s most popular applications and neaco have developed another system, Neatdek 188, featuring concealed drainage gaps which provide even greater privacy for balconies by completely obscuring the view from below.

Peter Melia said: “Many residential developments have specified our grilles as an integral part of our all-in-one modular balconies. We offer a range of modular balcony designs which also provide maintenance-free durability and fast installation with all components delivered to site, including grille flooring, handrails, balustrade and glass panel infills. Our experienced team of fitters can carry out construction with minimum disruption to other site activities.”

Techdek was launched in 1972 as neaco’s founding product and back then its original design concept was conceived primarily as an industrial flooring application. However, its high-performance features, adaptable modular design and the natural attributes of aluminium make it suitable for much broader use. With the ability to accommodate a huge range of angles and unusual curvatures, Techdek has gained a reputation as one of the most versatile grille products on the market and has served a wide variety of architectural uses encompassing cladding, roof access walkways, screening, ventilation, bridge cycle/pedestrian ways, staging, balustrade infills and stair treads. Certain profiles have been specifically developed to provide solar shading, either as dual-purpose sunscreen/walkways or a brise soleil only. They greatly reduce the net heat gain (commonly in the order of 20-40%) of sunlight striking tinted or clear windows.

neaco’s diverse product range also includes modular handrail and balustrade systems, Juliet balconies, structural glass and adaptive bathing facilities. All products are backed by a Lifetime Guarantee and the company’s website features a Members Area containing a host of useful design guides and technical files.

For more information, please visit, call 01653 695721 or email

Drainage product and access cover leader, Clark-Drain, has added a choice of Road Gullies certified to the Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS) to strengthen its underground range.

The Gullies are designed for quick and easy installation, in urban areas and on roads, for direct connection to PVC-U plastic pipe systems or with a suitable adaptor, also supplied, to clay and twin wall drainage systems. The gully outlet is 160mm diameter as standard with 178mm diameter available when using the outlet adaptor.

Manufactured from High Density Polyethylene the Gullies will be sold alongside Clark-Drain’s Ductile Iron Gully Grates which are BSI Kitemark Certified to BS EN124:1994 for a D400 (40 tonnes) load rating.

Dave Westacott, National Sales Manager at Clark-Drain says: “The addition of the Road Gullies supports the tendency in new installations to use plastic gully pots instead of pre-cast concrete. They are easier to handle, require less people and no heavy lifting equipment, resulting in cost savings. The plastic gullies also have a similar lifespan to pre-cast concrete when installed with a concrete surround.”

The practical design of the road gullies will also support the maintenance regimes of Local Authorities and their responsibilities for odour control.

Dave continues. “When used as a trapped system the gullies are airtight to prevent smells rising up from the existing sewers. This is mandatory for connections made to a Foul or Combined system, and is recommended for connections to Surface Water systems. It is also easy to maintain with a removable rubber plug that enables the gully to be rodded or cleaned using conventional equipment and machinery to clear debris from the drainage channels. The gullies have also been tested under HAPAS requirements to be fully watertight”

The Road Gullies have a clear opening of 450mm and will be offered in two depth sizes to 750mm and 900mm depth with water holding capacities of 83 litres and 107 litres volume respectively.

For more information please visit

With capacity for almost 4000 guests and 96% occupancy, keeping the central area of Center Parcs Longleat Forest open was key to the refurbishment of its impressive Subtropical Swimming Paradise. A massive challenge for Delomac Roofing, the project to renew the roof with a Sika Sarnafil membrane was accomplished with two years of meticulous planning and 30 months of onsite construction.

Originally completed in 1994, the Subtropical Swimming Paradise roof and glazed rain-screen systems were in need of refurbishment. The new roof installation was planned in close discussion with the Sika Sarnafil and Delomac supply chain, developing the specification to address all the client’s strict performance, environmental and aesthetic requirements.

Chris Meadows, Technical Advisor, Sika Sarnafil explained: “The client needed a durable, long lasting roof system that would complement the woodland setting. This was complicated by differences between the swimming pool side and dry side, with restaurants and meeting rooms, of the building.

“We proposed two distinct solutions– a mechanically fastened system using Sarnafil S327-18EL for the dry side and an adhered system using Sarnafil G410-18EL for the more humid area. Both were specified in Patina Green to blend with the natural environment. Sarnafil membranes are cold applied and free from naked flames, the obvious choice for an open site.”

An innovative temporary terraced platform was designed and installed, suspended underneath the main structure by cables and lattice beam scaffold units. Work was carried out over 16 separate sections, like a wagon wheel – ensuring the structure was not compromised by uneven load distribution. This stepped, terraced temporary roof was then covered with plywood and completely weathered by Delomac with a Sarnafil membrane.

With the temporary roof in place, existing glazing and coverings could be safely removed, maintaining water-tightness with guests enjoying the facilities below. Scheduled over more than two years, this way of working resulted in a dry building envelope, despite some of the wettest weather on record.

Comprehensive vapour barrier measures were used on the pool side of the building to ensure the high humidity chlorinated environment was contained. Robust SFS sealant and Sarnafil metal-lined vapour barrier detailing at all Glulam beams and fascia interfaces ensured no risk of condensation.

Sarnafil membrane and accessories were used for all the coverings, and again overall specification development was tailored to suit the varying build-ups; new, overlay, bonded and mechanically fastened. An increased thickness membrane was manufactured in one single batch to ensure colour consistency. Sika added further value with an impressive 17 visits to the site by the Applications Team to advice and support.

Brendan McNulty, Delomac Roofing, described the challenges the team faced during the project: “Installation methods and curved roof areas required our operatives to work from harness and rope access. We developed an innovative material loading trolley with the builder to deliver materials to the work sections safely, without compromising finishes.

“Workmanship standards remained exceptionally high, despite the challenging logistics, and met the client requirement of consistent lap and detail arrangement. This was also helped by the quality of the Sarnafil membranes. The finished installation has transformed the internal and external appearance of the building. Rooflights and white soffit finished decking have provided a bright and airy environment, with the external green finish blending subtly with the landscape.

“Most importantly, safe, unlimited guest access to the pool, restaurants and meeting areas was maintained throughout the entire project; something we’re very proud of.”

For more information please visit

(Watch video below)

Kee Safety, a global supplier of fall protection equipment and safety railing systems, has launched Kee Gate, a range of self-closing safety gates, which provides industrial workers with a safety solution when working at height and on ground level.

Designed to work both internally and externally, on ladder and stair access points, roof hatches, walkways and roof tops, Kee Gate, ensures maintenance, inspection and warehouse staff can fulfil their job, follow best practices and comply with current safety standards, without putting their safety at risk. Kee Gates are spring loaded so can automatically close behind the user, providing an added level of security and overcoming the potential for human error. This type of system is the preferred solution to chains, bars or sliding tubes, as these traditional forms of protection can lead to a hazardous void, when used incorrectly.

Kee Safety self-closing safety gates are available in galvanised steel and if required can be powder coated in safety yellow. The safety gate is available with standard ‘U’ bolts for fixing to uprights of 33.7, 42.4 and 48.3 mm diameter, enabling the gate to be fixed quickly to existing supporting structures, posts or stringers. An additional fixing pack is provided which allows the gate to be fixed to square, flat or angle uprights. Easy to install on all types of handrails or to retro-fit existing structures, such as galvanised handrails and roof edge protection systems, Kee Gate is 1 metre wide. Designed to be trimmed on-site, this solution saves companies the time and money it takes to fabricate their own gates.

Kee Gate is compliant with the requirements of EN 13374 Class A, EN ISO 14122 Part 3 & Part 4 and is CE marked to EN 1090. The range is also compliant with international standards, meeting OSHA, O.B.C and I.B.C requirements. The system has undergone extensive testing to ensure total reliability of the gates. These include salt spray testing to ASTM B117-11 Neutral solutions over 200 hours to assess the coating’s corrosion resistance, life cycle testing to BS 6375-2:2009 Clause 6.5 – Opening and closing of Gate through 90 degrees 50,000 cycles and Abuse Testing where 9 x 25kg weights were suspended from the gate to test what happens if pressure is applied. This ensures durability, superior corrosion resistance and defence against signs of wear.

For more information, please visit