Latest innovations and products in the offsite sections of the construction industry.

After a successful fully operational FAT at our factory in Barcelona with our client Box and Charnock, our pre-packaged Adisa boiler skid was precisely craned in to their Gresham Road project in Brixton, with only 15mm to spare. Gemtex provide off site fabricated plant room assemblies mounted on skid platforms. As well as all the benefits of offsite fabrication our boilers are ErP 2018 ready and meet the new class 6 NOx ratings.

Our skids and prefabricated solutions are manufactured in line with specific design requirements. Produced within the controlled environment of our factory in Barcelona, then delivered to site where they can be installed efficiently.

The Gemtex design team can assist you with the design phase at the start of your project so that your plant room is completely suited to the layout and requirements of the premises. We will also provide support for the commissioning and end user handover processes.

There are many benefits to purchasing plant room solutions in this way, including:

  • Assistance with the design phase
  • A fully customised layout to suit the constraints of your construction site
  • A plant room that is constructed in a clean environment that is free from dust and water, to ensure optimum performance
  • Significant labour savings, resulting in overall costs being reduced
  • All components are ordered through and delivered by one manufacturer
  • Delay-free construction, due to reduction in any potential onsite issues
  • Reduced health and safety risks, and less need for onsite hot work
  • A single delivery for all components, meaning a reduction in site traffic, congestion and therefore, carbon emissions
  • Skids will be witnessed tested in a fully operational condition on our factory test rig, and partially commissioned before delivery to save valuable time after installation
  • Various components are available to suit every design (filters, pumps, pressurisation units, tank alarms, etc.)

Efficient installation of your plant room

Gemtex will manage the construction of your skids and plant room solutions from start to finish. This will be carried out in line with our agreed schedule, which we will discuss with you before the project starts. By manufacturing the skids and other components, we make sure that your plant room is built to exact specifications. Once delivered to site it’s a simple case of connecting to the services for the buildings heating system.

For more information please email info@gemtex.co.uk or visit www.gemtex.co.uk.

Spantherm is an innovative ground floor system from Creagh Concrete which is being adopted by a growing number of local house builders.

As housebuilders increasingly explore the opportunities for new ideas to reduce labour onsite and boost efficiency in the build it makes sense that they start with the ground floor. The initial appeal of Spantherm is clear, because a typical floor on a detached house or a pair of semis is fitted onsite in less than two hours.

Most builders opt for the work to be completed by Creagh’s expert fitting team, requiring no labour from the house builder; however the floor can also be ordered on a supply only basis for installation by the builder’s own team. Once in place and grouted, the floor achieves its full structural capability with 72 hours but building activity can commence on perimeter walls within 24 hours.

Practicality

The speed of construction saves around a week off the total schedule when compared to the typical poured concrete floor alternative. A further advantage is that the factory made Spantherm floor come to site as single units combining the precast concrete and insulation material, so there is no requirement to stock or handle loose insulation. This feature also means that the installation of Spantherm is not weather dependant and creates zero waste onsite.

Each Spantherm floor is manufactured to the house plans provided, taking account of the required loadings and the positioning of services which penetrate the slab. Creagh’s technical team however, are on hand to measure the builder’s sub-floor works prior to manufacture, so any site issues are eliminated.

The Creagh flooring team work closely with each site manager to ensure the floors are available to call off when required and this level of cooperation greatly simplifies the process for the builder.

Performance

Everyone can understand the advantages of faster completion however Spantherm brings a second major benefit in the form of its excellent thermal
performance and the impact that brings within the most recent building regulations. Getting off to a good start with an energy efficient floor system is essential to a strong fabric first solution.

Designing and building energy efficient homes to meet current regulations can be a complex process but installing a high performance insulated ground floor is always a good start.

The regulations have been designed to make house builders consider more than just the physical performance of the structural envelope, they are now obliged to consider each individual component’s impact on the buildings overall energy efficiency and particularly the removal of thermal bridging.

All of these factors are combined within Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) calculations and this adds a further dimension for builders to consider as they seek the most cost effective specification for each house type.

Reducing Heat Loss

The design of Spantherm insulated concrete floor is optimised to provide the maximum practical insulating effect by combining high performance EPS and structural precast concrete in a single factory built unit. This provides a thermally efficient system which rates favourably against building regulation requirements and provides U values which are superior to that achieved by many alternative flooring products.

Combatting Thermal Bridging

Spantherm’s reinforced concrete structure has been designed in a way to minimise the thermal bridge at all the junctions between the wall and the floor units. It is this excellent thermal efficiency which gives the builder that good start to their total SAP calculation which can reduce the reliance on the use of expensive renewable technologies.

For more information please visit www.creaghconcrete.co.uk.

Connex Offsite is a bathroom pod manufacturer based in a brand new factory in Newry, Northern Ireland and is part of a larger group of companies specialising in Construction, Engineering, Waste Management and Robotics.

Bathroom pods in recent years have revolutionised traditional construction methods and are now widely used in student accommodation, social housing, hotels and Residential apartments. By using offsite-manufactured products, contractors can benefit from a range of advantages including increased efficiencies, quality control, reduction in site management and time-saving.

Whilst the construction sector faces an anticipated 35% future growth, the training deficit in terms of skilled workers is currently running at a shortfall of 51%*. This lack of onsite skills, together with the issue of a transient workforce, which can only become more critical as Brexit progresses, has made Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) a priority for construction companies, enabling them to meet the sector demands of today and the future

Comparatively it takes six trades to supply traditional bathrooms on a large scale; using bathroom pods this reduces to one supplier. The pods consistent build quality gives the contractor the reassurance that they are supplying an unrivalled product that will meet the anticipated results for their clients.

In addition to the new 70,000 Sq ft factory, Connex Offsite has recently invested in a new Howick steel cold roll-forming machine. This has made steel framing possible, in favour of the more cumbersome and heavy welded box sections. The big advantage of this process is sizeable weight reduction and the ability to apply more flexibitily in design without any loss of structural integrity.

Main contractors who secure their orders before April 2019, regardless of the un-certainty that overshadows Brexit, can secure their cost and programme for the length of the scheme.
Bathroom pods are completely bespoke in design and specification to each project. Connex offer the service of producing Prototypes for the approval of the client before entering into mass manufacturing.

Our highly skilled team come together to offer a vast array of experience in construction, project management, design and delivery. Whatever the scheme, large or small, all projects are handled personally with the same team from start to finish.

For further information, please contact us on 02830 800088 or email info@connexoffsite.com.

*All facts and figures from RCIS website

In response to new UK Government building regulations, CSM (UK) Ltd has developed the solution for fire compliant concrete sandwich panels using Thermomass® and mineral wool insulation.

For 20 years, CSM (UK) Ltd has helped customers in the UK and Ireland design and build concrete sandwich walls using the Thermomass® system. Over this period, there has been a sizeable growth in the use of Thermomass® concrete sandwich panels by the pre-cast concrete industry, caused notably by the increase in architecturally designed structures in concrete across multiple sectors, assisted by the speed of construction, certainty of cost and programme and a drive to achieve the greater energy efficiency that Thermomass® provides.

Following the fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017, the UK Government decided to act and ensure future high-rise projects built in England were fire safe. As of 21 December 2018, The Building (Amendment) Regulations 2018 came into action, whereby the UK Government has banned combustible materials within external walls on new high-rise buildings in England. According to the regulation, relevant buildings must be above 18 metres tall and contain dwellings, an institution or a room for residential purposes, excluding rooms in “a hostel, hotel or boarding house”, stating that all construction elements within should be classified with an A2- s1, d0 or A1 European Fire Classification, the highest rating possible.

Such an amendment could have immediately posed a threat to the concrete sandwich panel industry who, at present, rely on thermal insulations such as Polyisocyanurate (PIR), Graphite Expanded Polystyrene or Phenolic insulations, all of which all fall short of the European Fire Classifications required.

However, considering these new regulations andrisks, CSM (UK) Ltd, supplier of the Thermomass® System in the UK and Ireland, has collaborated with mineral wool insulation manufacturers, to supply to the pre-cast industry with the solution to achieve an A1 European Fire Classification in concrete sandwich panels, for exclusive use as the thermal insulation in Thermomass® concrete sandwich panels.

Thermomass® is the market leading fixing forconcrete sandwich panels, having supplied more than 80 million m2 worldwide without a single failure. Customers choose Thermomass® for many reasons, notably because all panels are thermally broken, delivering 100% thermally efficient insulation which eliminates interstitial and surface condensation, no projects require scaffolding and all panels have superior acoustic and fire properties, including a four-hour fire resistance when tested in accordance with BS EN 1364-1: 1999.

The solution CSM (UK) Ltd has developed with mineral wool manufacturers is a non-combustible stone wool insulation made specifically for concrete sandwich panels. This insulation is made from molten mineral stone, a renewable and plentiful naturally occurring resource, providing panels with not only the benefits of Thermomass®, but also the compression resistance required for concrete pouring, increased vapour resistance to ensure a low U Value panel and, most importantly, an A1 European Fire Classification.

CSM (UK) Ltd are considered by our customers not as suppliers, but partners in their business, ensuring an unparalleled quality of service and expertise in the concrete sandwich panel industry. Following the new regulation coming into force we acted fast to ensure our customers could continue to succeed. Now, we can supply them with a cost effective regulation compliant solution, specifically designed for the Thermomass® System to continue to exceed their expectations for durability, energy-efficiency and award winning attractive building designs.

For more information, please call 01246 853528, email sales@csm-uk.co.uk or visit www.csm-uk.co.uk.

A combination of Protect construction membranes has been supplied and installed at Glasdir School, a modern school building constructed to BREEAM Excellent standards using BIM Level 2.

Built by Wynne Construction and designed by architects Lovelock Mitchell, this £10.5 million project involved re-locating two primary schools to a brand new shared site in Ruthin, delivering a complete solution to client Denbighshire County Council as part of the Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools and Education Programme.

Manufactured offsite by construction specialist Innovaré using their advanced i-SIP technology, an independently accredited Structural Insulated Panel System (SIP), the resulting structure was both water and airtight, delivering thermal efficiency to a final U-value of 0.15w/m2k. The structure led to Innovare being the winners of the Best Use of SIPs category at the 2018 Structural Timber Awards.

Protect’s TF200 external breather membrane was used externally on the SIP to ensure high water resistance and vapour permeability, minimising the risk of interstitial condensation in the wall structure. Internally, Protect BarriAir was used to ensure the integrity of airtightness and to significantly reduce heat loss and air leakage through the building fabric.

Craig Lee, Supply Chain Manager at Innovaré commented “Over 10,000m2 of i-SIP components including internal and external walls and roof cassettes were erected by Innovare in only 13 weeks, 55% faster than traditional build. By using Protect’s membranes we have peace of mind, both in long term performance as well as timely deliveries, which helped us to maximise the speed benefits of offsite construction.”

For details of how Protect products can be incorporated into residential and commercial builds, please visit www.protectmembranes.com, email info@protectmembranes.com or call 0161 905 5700, quoting ‘Glasdir School.’

Images courtesy of Wynne Construction

For more information please visit www.protectmembranes.com.

For modular buildings to be energy efficient, healthy, and moisture free what is required is a holistic approach to a total system which manages the balance of Heat, Air, Moisture Movement (HAMM), considering an integrated approach to airtightness, insulation and condensation control.

Buildings with very low rates of air leakage require correspondingly higher levels of ventilation as part of a balanced, design approach. It’s important to bear in mind that ventilation is controllable, and therefore can be accounted for within the overall design, whereas uncontrolled air leakage is not.

The incorrect specification or installation of effective thermal barriers will lead to unmanaged heat loss, impacting directly on the energy efficiency of the building and its systems.

Airtightness and vapour permeability

Air movement is important in the building envelope both infiltration and escape. We need to control interior conditioned air (whether heated or cooled) escaping and exterior air infiltrating that puts more pressure on heating or cooling mechanisms internally. Airtight membranes are key in this area whether vapour and air open/closed or variable.

Moisture vapour will pass through the various layers of any construction by both convection and diffusion. The objective is to ensure, by design, that the moisture vapour can disperse to the outside atmosphere without being cooled to below dewpoint temperature, thus eliminating condensation and associated problems such as mould growth.

To avoid the occurrence of excess condensation, which can result in mould growth and damage to the building fabric, designers should assess the amount of water vapour likely to be generated within the building and determine the resultant increase in internal vapour pressure above that of external air. They should then consider the physical properties of the construction separating inside from outside.

Why airtightness is crucial to modular building design

There is absolutely no question that an integral part of modern building design is influenced by energy efficiency. In the EU it is estimated that buildings account for approximately 40% of energy consumption and are responsible for some 36% of CO2 emissions. Closer to home, around 45% of UK CO2 emissions come from the built environment, (27% from domestic dwellings and 18% from non-domestic).

Airtightness improves energy efficiency

As thermal insulation requirements have increased over the last few years, the proportion of energy lost through air leakage has become more evident. The ever-increasing thermal insulation required will, however, be rendered largely ineffective unless the airtightness of the structure itself is addressed. Air leakage greatly reduces the effect of thermal insulation; therefore if energy efficiency is to be improved within buildings, this is the most critical area to focus on.

In addition to improved insulation, energy efficient heating systems will also be ineffective if warm air can escape the building and cold air can seep in. This is reflected in the fact that total space heating costs in an airtight construction may be considerably less than in a leaky one.

Air leakage through cracks, gaps, holes and improperly sealed elements such as doors and windows can cause a significant reduction in the performance of even thermally insulated envelopes. Architects are increasingly turning to air barrier membranes as an essential part of the design process in achieving the most effective means of controlling and reducing air leaks.

In terms of the energy efficiency of a building, uncontrolled air flow will almost certainly have a major impact. Initial heat load calculations for heating and cooling equipment will usually make an allowance for a level of natural infiltration or uncontrolled air flow. The higher the infiltration rate, the lower the energy efficiency of the building. Efficiency levels can be affected by both natural and mechanical air movements. The forces of wind and stack effects will lead to a level of air infiltration and subsequent efficiency loss. Sealing the shell of the building and any un-designed holes can reduce the impact of wind and stack effects and improve the overall energy efficiency.

Airtightness protects building fabric and reduces maintenance costs

Unmanaged or uncontrolled air flow will act as a carrier for moist air, drawing it from outside in, or pulling it from inside out, into walls, ceilings, and roofs. The impact of uncontrolled moist air movement can have a long-term detrimental effect on the durability and life of the building. This, in turn, can lead to:

  • Decay of organic materials such as timber frames
  • Saturation of insulating materials, thus reducing their insulative effect (further increasing heat loss)
  • Corrosion of metal components
  • Frost damage where moisture has accumulated on the cold side of the insulation

The design of an effective airtight system will reduce the risk of uncontrolled moisture movement, and the potential for damage caused by condensation within the building fabric.

Effective airtightness design

The two main ways to achieve airtightness in the building envelope are internally or externally, or in other terms, ‘inside of the services zone’ or ‘outside of the services zone’.

Traditional use of internal air barriers can be more complex and costly to install, due to the need to accommodate building services such as electrical, lighting, heating and drainage systems. An internal air barrier is only as good as its installation. If all the service penetrations are not adequately sealed, performance will be compromised.

For many years, external air barriers have been commonly specified in North American building design and construction. By moving the air barrier to the external side of the structural frame, external air barrier systems such as Wraptite from A. Proctor Group allow for an almost penetration-free airtight layer, which can be installed faster and more robustly. This offers an effective but simple system comprising a self-adhesive vapour permeable air barrier membrane, plus vapour permeable sealing tape, Wraptite Corners and Wraptite Liquid Flashing, and provides effective secondary weather protection while preventing trapped moisture and air leakage. Far simpler than internal options an external air barrier system like Wraptite will maintain the envelope’s integrity, with less building services and structural penetrations to be sealed, and less room for error.

Incorporating Wraptite in the design makes sense

Wraptite is a patented external air barrier membrane system, which offers manufacturers and designers of modular and off-site buildings the ability to reliably and comfortably exceed current airtightness requirements. Wraptite is the only self-adhering vapour permeable air barrier certified by the BBA and combines the important properties of vapour permeability and airtightness in one self-adhering membrane. This approach saves on both the labour and material costs associated with achieving the demands of energy efficiency in buildings.

  • Complies with use on buildings of high rise and over 18m under Part B amendments made in November 2018, Membranes need to be Class B,s3,d0 or better, with Wraptite at Class B,s1,d0*
  • Included within BS8414 testing with cladding manufacturers
  • EPDM not needed to the frame of the building as Wraptite is self-adhesive and continues across the whole envelope of the building against the sheathing board and the frame of the building
  • Less EPDM around window details due to Wraptite lapping into the building at junctions
  • Corner detailing for opening and movement joint interfaces are easily treated
  • Improved airtightness and may negate the use of a VCL totally from the design internally, meaning easier a quicker install of dry lining package
  • Hydro-Thermal Modelling (WUFI) showing the difference of not using a VCL within some constructions benefits the building further
  • Improving airtightness may allow you to change thickness or type of insulation used when modelled through SAP or SBEM
  • No need to tape sheathing boards as Wraptite is positioned across the whole board
  • Testing has seen results as low as 0.5 m3/(h.m2) @ 50PA carried out at Windtech on a window façade panel
  • By using Wraptite on the external, this may show you an improvement on making the building watertight, allowing your cladding package to come off the critical path and internal works to start earlier, and also internal works may not be installing a VCL so the site program is potentially quicker

High-performance off-site solutions

The A. Proctor Group Ltd has been providing solutions and products to the construction industry for over 50 years. The company has been developing vapour permeable membranes and vapour control layers for over 25 years, and provides an extensive range of superior high-performance products suitable for modular and off-site construction.

Dedicated in its approach to helping you to achieve best practice, effective and reliable solutions to meet your modular building requirements in line with building regulations and energy efficiency, the A. Proctor Group team of highly experienced industry professionals and technical advisors is on at hand to guide you and support you from design throughout the construction process.

The A. Proctor Group range of products include unique off-site solutions for the following sectors:

  • Private and social/affordable housing
  • Purpose built student accommodation
  • Self-build projects
  • Hotels
  • Education buildings
  • Healthcare including hospitals, health centres and healthcare facilities

*tested over 12mm calcium silicate board / fibre cement board as per BS EN 13238:2010. All tests carried out to EN 13859-2 standard.

IMAGE courtesy of Kingspan TEK

For more information please visit www.proctorgroup.com.

With research highlighting that ineffective sound control has a lasting negative impact on education performance , it’s an ideal time for those involved in the education build sector to reflect on whether they are implementing adequate acoustic control to ensure building compliance in accordance with BB93. Here Rodney Davidson, Head of Specifications at AG looks at current standards and highlights Cheltenham Ladies College where AG’s Alphacrete® Acoustic masonry was used to create an aesthetically pleasing, calm, safe and health-promoting space.

Acoustic control: Why it’s important

The link between ineffective noise control and a poor education performance affects those involved in the Education build sector two-fold. Firstly, careful consideration should be given as to whether the correct building products to control external noise pollution and safeguard the health and wellbeing of the school’s surrounding community and local residents have been used. For example, a gymnasium housing a loud basketball game with cheering crowds should not be heard in nearby classrooms where lessons are taking place. Beyond the obvious distraction to students, proven hormonal responses to loud, unpredictable sounds suggests that students exposed to chronic loud noises over time are at risk of damage to their general health and mental wellbeing, not to mention academic performance.

Secondly, consideration should be given as to whether the correct building products have been specified to instil adequate reverberation time control within each particular room or space. Without appropriate acoustic control measures in place large unfurnished areas like sports halls or assembly halls will have extremely long reverberation times; in layman’s terms this means that the room will have a lot of echo and it will be difficult to hear and understand speech or music within that space which is not at all ideal for students in a learning environment.

What are the current standards?

BB93: February 2015 sets out, minimum performance standards for acoustic requirements of school buildings. The overall objective of the performance standard is to ensure that the design and construction of school buildings provide acoustic conditions that enable effective teaching and learning.

All parties involved in the build have a responsibility to ensure the products used successfully help to control reverberation time and meet the performance standard set out in section 1.5 table six of BB93: 2015.

Achieving the right reverberation characteristics is critical to the acoustic performance of an interior space, particularly in school buildings. Good acoustics reduce distraction from airborne noises and make it easier to hear people speak, which is critical in a learning environment and helps aid and enhance pupils’ learning capabilities.
Acoustic control in action

AG completed the impressive gymnasium at the Cheltenham Ladies College in Gloucestershire using AG’s Alphacrete® acoustic block range; providing structural support and optimumal light reflectance value (LRV) for sports halls according to Sport England’s guidance.

The low-maintenance blocks arrived on site in the chosen colour (Ernestone Buff) negating the need for painting or adding a protective sealant, and were built below wooden panelling at Cheltenham Ladies College to create a distinctive contrasting aesthetic that was practical too. Alphacrete® acoustic block’s durable surface made the hall hard-wearing against knocks, bangs and wayward balls, whilst also absorbing sound efficiently.

The brief included the need for a brand-new wall mounted basketball and netball nets. Sports equipment, door frames and window sets are all easily integrated with Alaphacrete® acoustic when installed in line with AG’s design guidelines.

Alphacrete® acoustic blocks are compatible with a wide range or mortar blends. For this particular project M4 Medium Buff mortar was used as supplied by CPI Mortars.

Peace of mind with Alphacrete

Design and build contractors and Specifiers can now have the BB93 reverberation time compliance confirmed prior to construction when AG’s Alphacrete Acoustic range is used, negating the need for post construction testing. For more details contact AG’s specification team at specifications@ag.uk.com or visit www.ag.uk.com.

A variety of wall construction membranes, roofing underlays and accessories from Protect has been installed into an innovative new modular concept manufactured by Tingdene Homes, holiday and park home specialists.

Offered under the THL Modular branding, The Loft is a contemporary two-storey holiday home designed and manufactured completely offsite in Tingdene Homes’ factory, using cutting edge design and high end specification to meet the needs of the growing “staycation” market. Fully LABC product approved and constructed to UK Building Regulations, The Loft can be built to suit varied client needs ranging from a two or three bedroom luxury lodge to a two or four room hotel pod, club house or café. A number of Protect products were supplied and installed on THL Modular’s first show home, including Protect BarriAir, an internal airtightness membrane, Protect VC Foil Ultra used as the insulating low emissivity vapour control layer, Protect TF200 Thermo insulating low emissivity breather membrane for external walls and Protect VP400 Plus LR, a roofing underlay offering unrestricted wind uplift resistance, and exceptional vapour permeability.

Phil Harold, Quality Assurance Manager at Tingdene Homes commented “The use of numerous Protect products for this development helped us meet specification and achieve our target U-values of 0.18 W/m2K for external walls and 0.14W.m2K for the roof element. With the numerous benefits of offsite manufacture over traditional construction including build speed, quality precision and reliability, we wanted a supplier who understood these principles to ensure our delivery demands were met. Protect supplied products quickly which enabled our process to run without interruption and facilitated swift turnaround at the factory.”

Protect’s range of wall, ceiling and floor construction membranes together with its roofing underlays and accessories provides a comprehensive solution to the modular build sector. In particular, Protect construction membrane products with reflective technology help deliver thermal efficiency benefits to meet low target U-values and ensure compliance with relevant Building Regulations.

For details of how Protect products can be incorporated into residential and commercial builds, please visit www.protectmembranes.com, email info@protectmembranes.com or call 0161 905 5700, quoting ‘The Loft.’

Since 1934 Lindapter has pioneered the design and manufacture of steel connections that eliminate the need for welding or drilling on site. Whether securing structural steel sections, cable management systems or constructing modular buildings, Lindapter has a proven, accredited and adjustable connection that will allow fast alignment during construction.

The adjustability of Lindapter’s clamping systems is particularly beneficial to contractors working in the modular or offsite industry because it allows them to maximise efficiencies and control costs. For example, cable managements systems contain several components that need to be positioned correctly as fast as possible.

Lindapter’s Girder Clamps allow contractors to loosely fasten the cable tray modules into position before aligning into position and tightening the clamps with standard hand tools to complete the installation. Girder Clamp by Lindapter also allows for a convenient disassembly or removal for maintenance, while preserving the integrity of the steelwork.

Hollo-Bolt by Lindapter is also used extensively in the modular construction industry. A recent example is The Spurn Discovery Centre in East Yorkshire where Hollo-Bolts were used to connect the Structural Hollow Section (SHS) frameworks of the rooms together.

The Hollo-Bolt was selected because of its high strength capacity and its range of independent technical accreditations, including the CE Mark and the ICC-ES seismic approval for resisting wind loads in all seismic design categories.

The Hollo-Bolt allowed a fast and convenient installation process from the inside of the modular rooms using just standard hand tools, which resulted in an efficient construction schedule.

Find out more about Lindapter steelwork applications in the new modular and offsite construction booklet that is now available for download from www.Lindapter.com.

The structure of a building is integral to its success: choosing the right material and method of construction can affect everything from the finished project’s BREEAM rating to the return on investment. Getting it right from the beginning is crucial.

With potential legislation changes pending, working with a partner you can trust is just as important than the final choice of the structural frame solution. An experienced structural specialist is ideally placed to work alongside architects, main contractors and even the end client to deliver a successful scheme that meets regulations and exceeds expectations for all involved.

At B&K Structures, we have a long history of innovation to ensure that our projects will stand the rigours of time, conform to legislation, offer environmental benefits as and meet the design challenges.

Our commitment to innovation means we think beyond the structural frame, moving forward towards more frame and envelope solutions which will include full system testing from the outset ensure that our products interact with all elements of the building.

The options

Different projects call for different solutions, and we work closely with designers and our supply chain partners to deliver the correct result.

We always look for ways we can add value to projects – whether it’s reducing the load on the foundations whilst gaining additional storey heights, or maximising floor space to create airy interiors. Certain materials lend themselves to applications more than others.

Greener structures

For projects where sustainability and reducing environmental impact is a key target, engineered timber is the best option, and we remain fully behind our cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam offering. Our timber products are fully PEFC or FSC certified, and the carbon is locked into the building rather than released to the atmosphere.

Timber is the only truly renewable construction material, and when combined with offsite construction methods, CLT’s impact on a project’s sustainability is impressive – especially where there are carbon reduction targets in place.

Using CLT as a structural material will lower the overall mass of the building, having a positive impact on foundation and piling design, reduces construction programmes and allow follow on trades to the start much sooner in the process then traditional build solutions. CLT also brings forward fewer site personnel, fewer deliveries, all helping to have a positive impact on the local community during the construction phase.

Reduced costs, reduced time on-site, and increased return on investment makes CLT a future heavyweight in residential construction.

Glulam is a structural element that is used in both vertical columns and in roofing trusses and supports. In terms of performance, it is comparable to light gauge steel frames and reinforced concrete structures whilst being, respectively, more sustainable and considerably lighter.

Where steel works

Where space and floor areas are a priority, we encourage our clients to consider steel. We have over 35 years’ experience in structural steel, so for projects which require open, airy spaces with uninterrupted square footage on the ground, we know that steel is often the best solution.

Steel structures use slim columns and large unsupported spans and are ideal for new build projects and refurbishments. What’s more, our offsite construction methods allow us to accommodate changes to the design during construction, and its lightweight nature means it can be installed quickly.

When we couple a steel frame with CLT floor decks on commercial builds, we begin to see a very compelling argument.

At B&K Structures our extensive use of BIM modelling cuts down on waste during the manufacturing of the glulam element, and our offsite construction methods with factory-controlled conditions allow us to create the glulam structural elements with minimal on-site contact.

And with the option to combine CLT or glulam with steel elements as part of a hybrid structure, we can help to control costs, create innovative solutions and improve the environmental impact and aesthetic of buildings in equal measure.

Whatever the project, we can work with our partners to devise a long-lasting structural solution that not only ticks all the boxes but safeguards the development for the future.