Latest innovations and products in the interiors section of the construction industry.

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

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

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

For the end user or owner:

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

For more information visit

Altro Ensemble™ modular flooring system has been fitted in a new 76-seater Mexican restaurant in West Vale, near Halifax, adding an edgy and stylish chic to a village that’s fast becoming a destination for diners and drinkers.

Taquito’s Restaurant, Tapas & Tequila Bar is one of a clutch of new, sophisticated dining and drinking venues that have opened in West Vale — and each one has benefited from the vision of up-and-coming interior designer Vanessa Thornton, owner of Vanessa Thornton Interiors.

Taquito’s owner, AJ, bought the premises in August 2018 and approached Vanessa to help him create the right interior. “AJ wanted Taquito’s to be urban, chic, edgy and very true to the Mexican feel, but with a twist. He didn’t want it to look like a chain, there needed to be a very strong identity, a uniqueness and a real ‘wow’ factor.

“I did a lot of research to put together my interior design; it was quite a sophisticated process. I looked at other local eateries to see what they offered, which chain restaurants were doing well and why, and how traditional Mexican themes and colours could work together with modern ideas. It wasn’t just about how it looked, but how it could work for AJ and his specific business.

“Taquito’s is on three floors and I wanted them to all work together, but look different as separate spaces. The ground floor is popular with the drinking crowd, but I didn’t want this to encroach on the dining space, or the upper floor, which is great as a dedicated party area.

“I created an overall dark, classic design with a floral vibe, using the Mexican flag colours of green, white and red, and the overall vibrancy of Mexico. The floral pattern is reflected in the use of ceramic tiles, which are on the stair risers and also sweeping up to and over the bar. I also created a ‘blossom tree’ for the busy ground floor bar, which adds a lovely atmosphere, and hanging white wisteria in the upper loft space.

“The flooring was crucial to the new venue, because it needed to be stylish and gorgeous, working with the design themes, but also fit for purpose, hard wearing and practical. AJ knows and trusts Altro, and I have also worked with them in my former career in commercial refubishment, so I approached them and they recommended Altro Ensemble luxury vinyl tiles.

“I immediately loved the colour range and the design flexibility it offered, and the wood-look options were perfect for the high quality, natural feel I was looking for. The texture of the wood perfectly complemented the overall design brief, because the textures and tastes of Mexico are so powerful, and this was exactly what I had incorporated into my design. Altro Ensemble also has great noise reducing properties and for a busy restaurant that’s really a plus.

“AJ and I chose two shades of Altro Ensemble; a dark shade called Anthracite Limed Harmonious Oak, and the lighter Greige Rustic Oak. Together they enabled me to create some beautiful flooring effects.

“On the ground floor we used the Anthracite in a herringbone pattern, which we used up to the bar abutting the tiled area. On the middle floor, which is primarily for dining, we used both shades of the flooring to create a random herringbone effect. We also used the Anthracite on the stairs combined with ceramic tiles, which looks so striking. In the upstairs loft space we used the Anthracite plank in a straight pattern. This space has a real rooftop terrace vibe, with lights in the eaves and that lovely trailing wisteria makes it feel like you’re really outdoors.”

Altro Ensemble modular flooring system is the next generation of luxury vinyl tiles. From colour blocking to geometric patterns, with a range of plank and tile sizes and textures, Altro Ensemble gives design freedom to create luxurious floors for commercial interior spaces. With 57 options to mix and match, the modular flooring system has natural wood and stone designs and bloc colours too.

Altro Ensemble is 2.6mm thick with a 0.55mm wear layer, 15dB sound reduction qualities and added comfort underfoot, with minimal residual indentation and excellent durability. A truly exceptional material, it combines these features with unique flexibility and is lightweight, making it easy to transport, cut and handle for installation.

Vanessa adds: “The overall effect of the flooring is that it pulls the entire restaurant together in terms of a cohesive space. It creates a flow that works on every level, and it’s hard to do that in a restaurant on three floors. It looks beautiful, feels comfortable — the perfect stylish and hardwearing flooring for this project.

“Using Altro Ensemble flooring has really opened my eyes to what can be achieved with it, both in terms of the design possibilities, and also for durability and reliability. In a high traffic environment like a restaurant this is essential, because if one plank somehow becomes damaged or worn it can be replaced without having to fit a completely new floor.

“Altro is known for its quality and I will definitely be using their products, including Altro Ensemble, again for future projects. They were wonderful to work with, fast, efficient, helpful and they totally understood the vision. The flooring fitter Lee Rogers was wonderful, too, professional, clean and he finished on time. This was a really great experience.”

Taquito’s opened in December 2018 and has already become one of the go-to places to eat in West Vale. Owner, AJ, says: “We have only been open six months but we are delighted with how things are going. Working with Vanessa has really given us a design edge, and we now have the most original and stunning restaurant that offers an unforgettable experience to drinkers and diners.

“The Altro Ensemble flooring looks and feels superb and is ideal for this space. It adds quality and works so well with the overall design. It’s very easy to clean and maintain as well, and that’s so important for practical everyday use. It’s a big step away from dull, industrial restaurant floors that add nothing to the atmosphere. It really brings our restaurant alive.”

Vanessa Thornton Interiors has been awarded an Altro Design Recognition Award for Taquito’s. Dave Ford, Altro’s Specifications Manager – North, says: “Vanessa has created a fantastic, human-centric design using a mixture of street art and biophilic elements to create an outdoor Mexican dining experience.

“The effect runs floor to ceiling, from the use of different Altro Ensemble shades that mirror the colour schemes and patterns on the walls and ceiling, to cascading flowers, and trees. The creative pattern on the floor effectively creates dining ‘zones’ within the restaurant, giving a cosy feel when seated.

“This is added to with the low, slanted ceilings above the tables, with the use of a starry night scene ensuring this feels intimate. It’s one of the best examples of inclusive design we’ve seen.”

For further information please visit

SiMBA, the charity supporting families who have suffered the loss of a baby, has opened a new Family Room and Quiet Room at the Royal Alexandra maternity hospital in Paisley.

The project, funded by the Lola Commons for SiMBA Fund has been in planning and discussions since 2013. The rooms are for families experiencing the tragedy of losing a baby. The project was able to go ahead after locally bereaved families fundraised over £30,000 to support the SiMBA charity project.

As part of the project, Altro donated Altro Wood Safety Comfort flooring for the family and quiet rooms, and Altro Pisces flooring for the en-suite bathroom.

The family room provides an area for parents who are experiencing bereavement to stay from induction to delivery and for postnatal care so they can spend precious time with their baby. The quiet room, specifically designed for families returning to the hospital to spend time with their baby or see their babies name in the book of remembrance; it can also be a space for family members while visiting, to have a space out of the family room or to have some time alone.

Victoria Boulton, Lead designer with Grosvenor Interiors which works closely with SiMBA to create the look and feel of SiMBA’s rooms across Scotland says, “We chose Altro Pisces in Beach Hut for the en-suite as it has soft lilac tones that work well with the wall graphics. Also the shod/barefoot coverage and the homely look of the product is a big plus.

“Altro Wood Safety Comfort works well as a contrast to our furniture finish. The look, comfort and safety underfoot were important features.”

Altro Wood Safety Comfort offers aesthetics combined with comfort. It’s an ideal choice for areas that need to look good while helping to give comfort underfoot. This 2.85mm thick option offers 14dB sound reduction.

It is also suitable for wheeled traffic and low residual indentation facilitates the flexible use of equipment and furniture.

Altro Pisces achieves Class B to DIN 51097 for barefoot use, plus a Pendulum Test Value (PTV) of ≥50 (Slider 96). Altro Pisces offers 16 soft-look shades; the result is the consistent, soft appearance that you would want from domestic interiors, with the lifetime sustained slip resistance you expect from Altro. Altro Pisces performs whether wet or dry, in shoes or barefoot.

About Altro –

Rinnai re-imagines home hot water & heating systems

Rinnai, global leaders in continuous flow hot water heating products and systems, is introducing the Zen and Zen Plus home hot water & heating system which marries established and proven manufacture durability with new technologies to offer great energy efficiencies, user control and, importantly, unparalleled level of comfort.

Rinnai UK will be launching this innovation plus several other cutting-edge appliances during 2019.

The Rinnai Zen and Zen Plus system will increase comfort and reduce energy usage whilst also providing a highly economically solution for today’s changing marketplace.

‘Our core expertise is the mass production of long-term reliable combustion products with advanced technologies – we are a global leader and make over 2 million water heating units every year for domestic, residential and commercial applications. We have been researching and monitoring the UK domestic heating market for several years until we had a proven system. That time is now, and we are offering hot water heating units together with a superior performance combi boiler in 24, 29- and 35-kW outputs,’ says Chris Goggin, head of Rinnai UK operations.

‘We are not launching into the mass UK boiler market – that is, in our view, a saturated and oversubscribed market which is in the throes of a major upheaval in its structure due to the advent of online direct sales platforms. We are offering something very different. And we are aiming to serve a market sector previously overlooked and almost ignored – the provision of luxury levels of hot water at affordable sums to the middle and top end of the marketplace.

‘Another major difference with the Rinnai Zen & Zen Plus is that the route to market is with installers. We are committed to working with installers as our route to market. The installer is still the major player and, in our view, always will be.

Some of the features of Zen & Zen Plus are: IOT controller as standard; Fast heating mode; DHW pre-heat function – saving wasted water; Energy monitor function allows user to monitor energy usage; flue runs up to 30 meters, Rinnai boiler App for android and IOS; constant temperature-accurate hot water delivery at continuous flow rates.

There is also smart Wifi controller and App benefits; The Rinnai app seamlessly connects to the controller in the property; the user can control the boiler remotely adjusting temperature, setting weekly and daily programmes, receiving alarm functions, monitor energy usage and set limits. The Wifi and boiler controller also uses GPS from the user’s mobile to bring on the heat when you are getting close to home to ensure the house is warm when you arrive.

Rinnai Zen & Zen Plus are available for use with both natural gas and LPG.

For more information visit

Now available is the Rinnai HDC 1200i continuous flow hot water unit with the capacity to deliver in excess of 1500 litres of temperature accurate hot water per hour, with an overall gross efficiency of more than 95%. These levels of performance, with unbeatable efficiency levels, mean the Rinnai 1200i is more than capable of meeting and exceeding the hot water demands of all applications.

This precision engineered unit can also be combined as multiple units into one single, easy to handle module incorporating cascade frames and common flue. Both the HDC 1200 internal and external models turn in a market leading energy performance of 107% net efficiency and offer superlative ranges of modulation. The systems internal analytical system can modulate the burner from 54kw to 2.4kw. The Rinnai HDC 1200i is engineered for minimal energy wastage and maximum energy performance.

It is worth remembering that Part L of the Building Regulations 2013 has set minimum thermal efficiency levels of 90% for natural and 92% for LPG, consequently outlawing non-condensing gas fired water heaters for use in new build projects.

Rinnai is the only manufacturer that can supply a complete range of internal and external ultra-high efficiency condensing continuous flow water heaters, aligned not only to comply but surpass changes on the regulatory horizon.

Rinnai units and systems are now the number one choice for any size of site or large building or business with a heavy demand for constant hot water or where high peaks of demand occur at certain times. Any number of modules can be manifolded, so the water handling capacity is truly infinite and there is no risk of the ‘cascade’ of hot water ever running out.

The manifolded 1200i units can be delivered direct to site in one complete, easy to manage package and at a very competitive price. For the end user this guarantees considerable cost savings over other forms of hot water generation. The relatively compact footprint of all Rinnai units and systems means it can optimise plant room space and safeguard accessibility for maintenance and servicing.

There is huge potential for on-demand style water heaters such as the Rinnai HDC 1200i units to play their part in new build and in refurbishments projects alike, where in the latter there are still many old systems that need replacing. By replacing this older technology with new condensing appliances will help support the UK drive towards greener industry.

The Rinnai Infinity HDC 1200i water heater uses heat exchanger technology to allow the largest capacity flow rates, thereby guaranteeing all the hot water needed, when it is needed. As well as increasing capacity, the Rinnai Infinity water heater has lower greenhouse emissions because of the new reduced NOx burner technology and as there is no storage, this scores well with BREEAM.

Available in both internal and external versions, HDC 1200i gives end users 107% net efficiency as the condensing process delivers up to 95% thermal efficiency, translating into significant energy savings when compared to standard tankless water heaters.

With a continuous flow water heating unit, it will deliver limitless amounts of useable hot water, whatever the site – school, hospital, hotel, office blocks, leisure club etc with no fluctuations in water delivery temperature.

The only time the site uses energy to heat water is when there is a demand, in other words, it is only burning gas when a tap or shower is being run.

For more information on the RINNAI product range visit

Tony Gittings of Rinnai looks at the changes that have now become a permanent and developing part of the domestic heating and hot water marketplace – selling direct to the consumer, bypassing the traditional supply route.

There is a 15 second iPhone video clip on Twitter at the moment of a big lad, full of muscles, destroying a door inside a building. It takes him two punches, one kick and both his hands to wrench the door right off its hinges. Accompanying this is some very stark copy which talks about how he’d had a job booked in to install a boiler, but he had lost out on price to one of the big, direct-to-consumer online brand names. His fury carries over from the film to the text with some very explicit language.

The change in the domestic heating and hot water marketplace is that online buying is now taking over the supply chain. The boiler manufacturers, some of them, want to sell more and more direct to the consumer. It is as simple as that. The traditional route to market of: manufacturer -merchant/distributor – installer-end user/consumer is getting to be less and less and may well soon be gone. The new route to market may well have some casualties – the merchants/ distributors and installers. It may well hit installers hardest in terms of prices being driven down.

Boiler producers have traditionally made their margin at the factory gate. – The merchant/distributor may never of made the size of margins, on boilers, anywhere near as much as the manufacturers. Traditionally the merchants/distributors relied on the branded boilers to bring the installer into their sales arena and buy all the materials for an installation and make up the margins on fittings, piping and ancillaries.

The fact that life is online now, and that almost all household expenditure goes through the web, is now cast in stone, for time being anyway. The change in consumer spending can be summed up by the following reports>

The BBC News website and the Retail Gazette recently extensive articles and reports on the dramatic demise of shopping centres and malls. Dead or dying High Streets, zombie retailing – the clichés were wonderfully employed.

Retail Gazette quoted some very heavyweight financiers – APAM Asset Management. They reckoned that there were as many as 200 – yes, two hundred – shopping centres that were financially on the edge of business existence.

Asset management firm APAM estimates that hundreds of shopping centres worth around £7 billion are in danger of breaching debt covenants. This number has reportedly increased by 75 per cent since last year, as falling market values and increasing numbers of CVAs butcher the sector.

Retail Gazette reported that APAM’s executive director Simon Cooke said this was in part due to lack of reinvestment by private equity owners, with the average shopping centre in the UK having changed hands or been refinanced three-and-a-half years ago. The BBC News report quoted Retail Gazette and also added in its own experts.

Mr Nelson Blackley, from the National Retail Research Knowledge Exchange Centre, said the growth of online retail in the UK – on sites such as Amazon – had been faster than in almost any other retail market in the world. The demise of “major anchor stores” like BHS and Toys R Us and the rise of online shopping has caused a “downward spiral”, said Mr Nelson Blackley.

“If the major anchor store moves out, that has a halo effect on other stores in that centre. It’s a downward spiral and you can’t fill shopping centres with nail bars and vape shops.” Mr Blackley, who is based at Nottingham Trent University’s Nottingham Business School, pointed to research in the Financial Times that suggested about £2.5bn worth of shopping centres and retail parks are up for sale in towns and cities across the UK.

Some of this marketing is unofficial and not in the public domain,” he said.

“It’s a trend that’s moving very quickly. You don’t necessarily want to be in the business of owning shopping centres at the moment.” No kidding Mr Blackley…….

A prominent and nationally operating installer friend of mine put it this way in nicely earthy language, “I am not that old, but I remember Woolworths going out of business in the late 90s and look recently at BHS and the House of Fraser going down the plughole – massive names in retailing. As an installer I am so alive to the change in my customers buying habits. You don’t a PhD in ‘The Blindingly Obvious’ to realise the game has changed. I think it is a matter of concentrating on the ‘new’ and not wasting time on the old ways. They are gone.”

We made our own decisions several years ago. Then, about 30% of our total sales were through the distribution route to market. That is now around 15% and that is with distributors which are geographically and strategically placed to deliver – direct to the installer.

It is not difficult to envisage that with just a few years that the big brand names will be aiming everything they’ve got direct to the end-user/consumer. But it may well be at the expense of the installer, who may well have to work on an iron-clad fixed price basis which may not be the true value of the job.

We have chosen our route many years ago and have continued during all those years to fully and total commit to the installer as our partner – we have stayed connected. Others may try to ‘re-connect.’

But it is the installer that is our future and we see nothing on the horizon likely to change that – after all, all gas fired products must, by law, be installed by a fully qualified Gas Safe person. And that means that the individual must have a high level of expertise and ‘Yes’, we deal with specification and consultants, but that is inevitable on commercial sites which require design and engineering services. engineering savvy…. which is what installers have….

And one final thought – maybe there are even more changes on their way, this time in the manufacturing arena?

For more details on RINNAI products visit

New fully-concealed edge to Ultima+ mineral tile range combines form with function.

To meet the growing trend for monolithic ceilings as well as sustainable interior solutions, Armstrong Ceilings has enhanced its popular Ultima+ range with a new fully-concealed ceiling system solution.

Called Finesse, the fully-concealed, fully-painted edge detail combines the uniform visual popular in contemporary design with the key benefits of suspended ceilings.

Its sleek monolithic visual has been designed to appeal to architects and interior designers while its ease of accessibility for maintenance will be equally attractive to building managers. This is complemented by ease of installation for contractors who can pre-define accessible tiles when planning the installation.

Available in 600mm x 600mm and 1200mm x 600mm modules, the tiles can be installed in standard and staggered layouts. Ultima+ Finesse ceilings feature all the advantages of the Ultima+ system but with no visible grid.

The Ultima+ range offers acoustic and aesthetic advantages such as its Class C sound absorption performance, ISO 5 Clean Room Classification, and a bright-white finely-textured surface. This surface finish not only provides high light-reflectance but also excellent cleanability, scratch-resistance and a longer life.

Manufactured with up to 36% recycled content, it is also 95% humidity resistant and the tiles’ 87% light reflectance helps achieve 16% cost savings compared with indirect lighting. These factors help to make the Ultima+ Finesse edge detail particularly suitable for open and closed-plan spaces such as lobbies, reception areas and corridors in offices, healthcare and education establishments, and retail outlets.

With Ultima+ Finesse, specifiers can now choose healthy materials for their next interior project as both the tile and grid are Cradle to Cradle™ certified. The Ultima+ range is also fully recyclable and can be re-used continuously, helping architects and interior designers meet sustainable targets.

More information is accessible via the Armstrong Ceilings website


The refurbishment of a ward at Bristol children’s hospital includes printed ceilings.

Hospital stays for children striving against cancer in the Bristol area are now more positive and stimulating, thanks to Armstrong Ceiling Solutions and its chosen charity Rays of Sunshine, a charity that brightens the lives of recovering children by granting their wishes and providing support in hospitals.

A refurbishment of the oncology day beds unit at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, part of the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, includes acoustic ceilings featuring sky scenes and shoals of fish to reflect its new name as the Ocean Unit.

The ceiling systems donated by Armstrong, totalling almost 300m2, were installed for free as a part of a ward wish by specialist sub-contractor H + L ceilings- a member of Armstrong’s approved national network of Omega contractors.

The BioGuard ceiling tiles that feature anti-bacterial benefits for healthcare environments were finished with a coating of sky scenes in the recovery bay for older children, a school of fish swimming down a river in the reception/waiting area corridor, and a shoal of fish in a small treatment room.

They were installed by a team of three from H + L over two weekends, with the old tiles from the 10-bed ward being sent to Armstrong’s factory in Gateshead for recycling and the company’s streamlined TLS grid, which is up to 20% faster to install, replacing the existing suspension system.

Around 35% of the total tiles were white and screen-printed which Armstrong supplied with a number on the back so H+L could follow appropriate layout guidelines.

Armstrong became involved in the project after its chosen charity Rays of Sunshine identified the refurbishment of the ward, which had not been updated for 15 years, under its Hospital Ward Wish programme.

This works to, among other elements, decorate treatment rooms to transform sterile spaces into stimulating environments which provide a distraction and enable children to respond better to treatment.

The refurbishment of the Ocean Unit, which has two six-bed bays and four single rooms as well as four consulting rooms, and looks after all oncology, haematology and bone marrow transplant children up to 19 years, also included new wall art and furniture.

H+L director Darren Hopkins said: “When Armstrong asked us to install the project we were more than happy to get involved. It was treated like any other job but the installation team volunteered themselves for the weekend work.”

And of the tile numbering system he added: “We have never had to work that way before but it was pretty easy to install by following the instructions Armstrong gave us.”

Jane Sharpe, CEO of Rays of Sunshine, said: “A very big thank you to everyone involved in making this happen. The ceiling makeover will make such a massive difference to the children visiting the ward for treatment. It will make their time there so much more bearable and will put lots of smiles on lots of faces.”

Jane Thomas, donations co-ordinator for the children’s services division of University Hospitals Bristol, thanked Armstrong for their support in “transforming” the ceilings for the patients and their families.

She said: “The work completed by Armstrong Ceilings has made the area a brighter but still calm place for the children to be in, with the fish gently swimming through. Especially popular is the large bay under the tropical picture where the children can recover following treatment.”

Isabel Blanco, Armstrong’s marketing communications manager, said: “Our latest exercise for Rays of Sunshine was particularly rewarding as it was easy to see the difference the bright, fun ceilings made to the children.”

BioGuard tiles are cleanable and perform to Sound Absorption Class C and Clean Room Classification ISO 5. They are also 85% light reflecting and 95% humidity resistant and manufactured from 42% recycled content.

More information is accessible via the Armstrong Ceilings website

Titon has added the new CME3 Q Plus to its range of continuous mechanical extract units, developed to meet the requirements of System 3 in accordance with Part F of the Building Regulations. The combination of aesthetic smooth lines and impressive airflow makes it ideal for ceiling installation in flats and apartments. Its compact profile allows it to be fitted in airing cupboards, storage cupboards or loft spaces. Plus, having round circular ports makes it ideal for refurbishment or replacement of existing older units.

Suitable for use in dwellings with up to six wet rooms, the new, low noise unit has an impressively large duty range of over 120 l/s (400m3/hr) at reasonable static pressure (100 Pa). Compatible with both 100mm and 125mm diameter ducting, the CME3 Q Plus also utilises an electronically commutated (EC) motor to ensure high levels of energy efficiency. Other features include a fully adjustable boost overrun timer (0-30 minutes), as well as an optional adjustable humidity sensor (between 55% and 85% RH) that increases the unit’s speed.

Installation is simplified thanks to an innovative sub-assembly and unique packaging design, while the unit can be commissioned, cleaned and serviced without disturbing the ducting.

Commenting on the new product, Lee Caulfield, Sales Director of Titon’s Ventilation Systems Division, said: “The new CME3 Q Plus is ideal for the continuous extract of stale, damp and polluted air to the outside environment. When used in conjunction with Titon trickle vents, it meets all the necessary requirements of System 3, as well as SAP Appendix Q. The combination of circular ducting and the EC motor has resulted in very competitive offering which we can pass on to our customers, all housed inside a compact and easy to install unit that will satisfy the needs of mechanical engineers and contractors alike.”

Titon’s CME3 Q Plus is available in volt-free or switch live outputs, and can be mounted on any plane. It has a wide duty range and is demand control ventilation ready. Units are available throughout Europe and are supplied in the UK with a three-year guarantee as standard.

For more information about Titon and its comprehensive range of whole house ventilation products, please visit:

Kingspan Insulation has published a new white paper assessing how different floor insulation specifications can impact cost and floor-to-ceiling height in home refurbishments. The report is based on research from leading consultants — Currie & Brown. It shows that Kingspan Kooltherm K103 Floorboard can provide a cost-effective option for insulating solid floors without reducing headroom.

Ground floors in many UK homes are uninsulated. By retrofitting insulation in these areas, it is possible to reduce annual energy bills by as much as £65. When choosing insulation for these refurbishment applications, it is important to look at their thermal conductivity. Insulation materials with lower thermal conductivities are more efficient and can allow a compliant U-value to be achieved with a slimmer thickness of insulation. Currie & Brown carried out a cost analysis to see how this can affect solid floor applications.

The research looked at Kingspan Kooltherm K103 Floorboard, which has the lowest thermal conductivity of any commonly used insulation (0.018 W/m·K), and expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation with a thermal conductivity of 0.038 W/m·K. The insulation materials were compared in two refurbishment scenarios for an existing solid concrete floor with a sand and cement screed:

  1. The sand and cement screed was removed and replaced with insulation and either a 35 mm liquid screed or 65 mm sand and cement screed;
  2. The existing floor was excavated and replaced with a 100 mm concrete slab, insulation and the sand and cement or liquid screed

All constructions were designed to achieve a maximum U-value of 0.25 W/m².K – complying with the refurbishment requirements outlined within Approved Document L1B in England & Wales.

The research shows that it was considerably more cost effective to remove and replace the screed layer rather than excavating the entire slab. When adopting this approach, the Kingspan Kooltherm K103 Floorboard with liquid screed was the only construction which allowed existing headroom to be retained. This also avoids potential remedial costs relating to altering floor heights, such as raising fixtures and pipework, which were not considered within the analysis.

You can download and read the full white paper at:

For further information, please contact:
Tel: +44 (0) 1544 387 384
Fax: +44 (0) 1544 387 484