New self adhesive rubber flooring reduces downtime and saves costs

Fast, efficient and cost effective: nora systems has launched a pioneering and innovative installation technology called nora nTx. This new system halves installation time and considerably reduces costs. It works on all conventional subsurfaces, even on existing floorings and the flooring can be walked on and cleaned immediately after it is installed. This helps to minimise downtime, especially for renovation work during ongoing operations. The system is also completely moisture tolerable.

Fast and uncomplicated: A one-stop shop for all components

Planning and hence the coordination of installation times with other building or renovation work becomes significantly easier and can be organised with greater flexibility. The back of noraplan floorings is lined with a rubber based adhesive under a protective film that is simply peeled off prior to installation. The range also includes special nora nTx installation materials like filler and primer for preparing the subsurface; all components are perfectly matched to each other. “For our customers, this system solution from one source is a major advantage in all respects,” claims Andreas Mueller, Managing Director of nora systems. Unlike conventional wet adhesive for bonding, the nora nTx technology eliminates a number of steps in the operation process, for example; applying the adhesive and, as there is no drying or airing out time, flaws are minimised. The ability to apply nora nTx onto surfaces with high residual moisture also saves additional waiting time.

Ideal for renovations during ongoing operations

“The installation on fitted floor coverings does not pose any problems provided that they still offer adequate adhesion. nora nTx is therefore ideal for renovation measures,” stresses Uwe Bauer, Head of Application Engineering at nora systems. The old floorings need only be slightly roughened and, if necessary, primed, so there is very little dust and dirt during the installation – a huge advantage for renovation during ongoing operations, for instance in hospitals or day units. Directly after installation, the rooms or corridors can be walked on, cleaned, arranged with furniture, and used. At the same time, hazards to the health of patients and staff are minimised. One further advantage is the reliability for the responsible planners: nora nTx helps them to comply reliably with their new building or renovation schedules.

nora nTx is available for the products noraplan sentica, signa, stone, unita, and eco.
For perfect preparation of the substrate, nora offers a variety of nora nTx installation materials. These have been developed specifically for the installation of nora nTx flooring. The perfect match between installation materials and flooring ensures functional safety and guarantees the highest standard of quality. In addition, all nora nTx installation materials can also be used at higher residual moisture levels in the substrate.

In the USA, this innovative system solution has already won an award. The renowned magazine Architectural Record voted this flooring, among over 500 candidates, the best product in the category “Finishes and Surfacing”.

For full details please visit

With the housing market continuing to grow, architects and specifiers are increasingly looking for ways to create stand-out design and enhance the kerb appeal of their builds. As a result, the UK’s largest brickmaker, Ibstock, is seeing a rise in demand across its innovative glazed brick range.

Ibstock’s portfolio features real ceramic glazes in a huge variety of colours, sizes and finishes – such as frosted, gloss and satin. By using glazed brick, specifiers are able to use depth and colour to create impressive façades and add innovative and striking design elements to any build.

Suitable for most masonry applications and elevations, Ibstock’s glazed range has already been applied to a host of striking commercial and residential builds across the UK.

Creating colourful spaces

One building project to realise the design potential of glazed bricks is Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. Used to create an exciting and colourful design, whilst seamlessly integrating new and existing buildings, the architect specified the innovative glazed slip for the creation of a series of ‘lecture pods’ – a number of modern and welcoming areas for students to relax or study between lectures, which have been strategically placed to break up the façade.

A number of internal circular walls were installed to create the new lecture pods before the rainbow assortment of glazed slips in blue, red, orange, yellow and grey were applied. Against a contrast of timber cladding, the bricks delivered a fresh and modern finish to enhance the building’s environment.

As well as its ease of use, a major advantage of glazed brick is its ability to speed up construction without sacrificing visual appeal. For example, to minimise on-site construction at Anglia Ruskin University, the circular walls were built using blockwork before being clad with the glazed slips, which removed the need for traditional brickwork.

Adding distinction

Ibstock’s glazed range has also been used to great effect in the regeneration of the Acton Housing Scheme in Ealing, West London. The latest phase of the development involved creating an elegant gateway to South Acton, which is comprised of 8 to 10 storey residential blocks arranged around a south facing courtyard.
To break up the perceived mass of the buildings, the architect used large panels of glazed brickwork to create a striking façade in a palette of sky blue, white and a bespoke pale mint. The use of the large panels of glazed brick creates simple yet effective variations between the residential blocks.

To provide a comprehensive overview of the design possibilities achievable through the use of glazed brick, Ibstock recently launched its new edition of ‘Design’ magazine, which is dedicated to this exciting range.
Andrew Halstead-Smith, Group Marketing Manager at Ibstock, comments: “As demonstrated through the success of these two very different projects, the glazed range responds to the need to set buildings apart and achieve striking designs by offering specifiers a varied and vibrant selection of brick solutions. The wide choice of colours and finishes, coupled with the ease of installation, means those tasked with creating stand-out design can do so with minimum effort.”

To obtain the latest issue of Design or find out more about the range of glazed bricks available, visit

Insulated external walls are an effective way to prevent energy loss from all types of properties. Ged Ferris, Marketing Manager at Cembrit discusses the incorporation of render-backer board, as a substrate in such constructions.

There are an ever increasing number of ‘green’ solutions becoming available to help cut wasted energy and in the process help the environment. The government driven schemes; the Renewable Heat Incentive and the much-talked about Green Deal, are concerned with improvements that homeowners can make with cutting edge energy saving technologies as well more conventional projects such as improving insulation. In fact, as many contractors recognise, significant heat loss from a building is through outside walls. There is of course cavity wall insulation available, but where that is not possible or desirable – a commercial building for example – external wall insulation can provide the same benefits.

Reduced costs

A typical installation of external wall insulation can cut heating costs by as much as 40%, with the additional benefits to the owner of a reduced risk of condensation and resultant decay of the building fabric. The education market has already taken up this trend and as cuts in education spending start to bite, this type of construction is likely to prove a popular choice for establishments looking for a modern and energy efficient upgrade.

External walls incorporating insulation are constructed as double skin, with the insulation shielding the internal layer and an air gap with a decorative outer skin providing the weather protection and aesthetic effect. Taste dictates that not everyone desires the same finish and there is a multitude of suitable materials, colours and textures available. Although a rendered finish is usually associated with block or masonry, the use of a good render backer gives additional scope for a coarse, textured or smooth finish that can be either painted, pigmented or left natural. The monolithic finish will of course eliminate joint shadowing, which can be an issue to some.

To achieve a desirable monolithic finish that will not only satisfy the design brief but also perform well in the long run, it is important to use a good substrate. A stable render backer will help achieve a better uniform exterior finish. Secure fixing and seamless joints are important preliminary steps that eliminate the potential for cracking.


Installing a render backer is a simple process but for maximum advantage it is a real bonus if the board is lightweight. This helps with manoeuvrability on-site and during the actual fixing process. A case in point is Cembrit’s PB board which incorporates polystyrene beads in its construction. This reduces the density of the board and also makes cutting easier. There is no requirement for mechanical cutting equipment, all cutting can be done with conventional hand tools. This also helps with safety eliminating the risk of nuisance dust.

The installer typically has to be aware of fixing too close to corners / edges as this can damage the boards. A recent development to solve this problem is a board with reinforced edges. In order that fixings can be completely covered with render, the edges are also chamfered meaning the fixing head is below the surface of the façade. Designed to fit neatly together to maximize stability at the butt joints, further reducing the risk of the render cracking along the joints, each of the boards characteristics reduces the risk of the render cracking along the joints or spalling above the fixing, which looks unsightly.

An alternative to rendered finish is brick slip or stone cladding. Such finishes require a strong and stable substrate onto which they are adhered. The best quality render boards can also fulfil this function. Truly versatile boards now coming onto the market will make a huge contribution to the energy efficiency and appearance of buildings for many years to come.

With an increase in demand for lightweight external cladding systems, contractors need to be up to date on the installation of render-backer boards. If specified, and installed correctly, a monolithic finish that is thermally efficient and a pleasing to the eye can be achieved with the minimum of fuss.

Dark Concrete is one of four stunning quartz colours just launched by COMPAC, innovators in surface technology for over 40 years.

Inspired by America’s loft culture, Dark Concrete is part of COMPAC’s New York Collection, a unique quartz worksurface range that explores an industrial and urban aesthetic which will change the way we think about worksurfaces.

Smooth, silky and sensuous to the touch, the New York Collection will excite the senses by offering the opportunity to create contemporary kitchens that replicates the style and uniqueness of loft living in the ‘Big Apple’.

The New York Collection consists of seven urban colours including new additions: Dark Concrete, Ice Concrete, Beige Concrete and Beige Zement. All with exclusive finishes, depth of colour and definition of grain –all durable, hygienic, easy to clean and maintain.

For more information please visit

Crown Paints will be previewing new advances to the Crown Trade Timonox range at an event aimed at specifiers in London next month.
The new Crown Trade Timonox Upgrade system will be demonstrated at The Building Centre in London on the 8th September.
For more than 40 years, Crown Trade’s Timonox flame retardant system has played a key role in fire safety – slowing down the spread of flames and ‘buying’ precious time for buildings to be evacuated.
The system, used on walls and ceilings, can achieve the class 0 status required by legislation including the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (RRFSO) in England and Wales and The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005.
At the event, the Crown Paints’ team will be talking about how a major advance in research and development now means only one coat of Crown Trade Timonox Upgrade Basecoat, followed by two coats of Crown Trade Timonox Emulsion topcoat, is all it takes to offer protection against the rapid spread of flames and improve a Class 4 surface to a Class 0.
Previously four coats were required.
David Spicer, Crown Paints’ Specification Technical Manager, said: “Crown Trade Timonox can help by slowing down and limiting the spread of flames throughout a building, giving invaluable time for occupants to get to a place of safety.
“For properties with more than 10 coats of conventional, old paint in sound condition we have had an upgrade system in our range for some time which enables the surface to be transformed into a Class 0 surface without the necessity of more costly strip and redecoration.”
“Up to now, to achieve Class 0 status, this has involved a four coat application process.”
“Now, as a result of the reformulation, we have reduced the system to three coats, which offers clients considerable savings in labour charges.”
The day will also include ‘Ask The Expert’ advice, with Crown Paints’ representatives on hand to offer guidance on subjects including fire safety legislation, as well as specific application issues.
Information on colour scheming and the creation of inclusive environments will also be available.
The event is taking place place between 12:30pm up to 8pm and will provide an opportunity for an informal chat over some light refreshments.

For more information please contact the Crown Paints Specification team on 0330 0240310 or email

For more information about Crown Trade Timonox visit

Leading window, door and curtain walling manufacturer and installer CMS Window Systems has boosted its aluminium division by adding one of the world’s leading systems to its portfolio and obtaining CWCT membership.

The company, which employs more than 200 people at its HQ and main manufacturing facility near Glasgow, has joined forces with Kawneer to become an authorised partner in a move which gives customers access to an even greater range of fenestration and building envelope solutions.

Since its launch almost a decade ago, CMS has enjoyed continued growth as one of Scotland’s market leading design manufacturers and installers of aluminium, PVCu and timber hybrid, window, door and curtain walling systems. The company works with a wide variety of commercial developers and main contractors delivering projects such as newbuild student accommodation, schools, hospitals and commercial offices.

Director of the Aluminium Division at CMS, Stephen Anderson says the decision to join the Kawneer authorised dealer network was born out of the company’s ethos of continual improvement:

“We are constantly investing in our manufacturing processes, design and technology resources to increase production efficiency and make life easier for our customers. We’re also committed to investing in our product range, and becoming part of the Kawneer dealer network reflects this commitment, giving our customers access to an even broader range of architectural aluminium building products and systems from a business that has a reputation as an innovator in the market.”

Strengthening its technical credentials further, CMS has also become a member of the renowned Centre for Window Cladding Technology (CWCT). This reinforces the company’s commitment to delivering the highest technical standards within the building envelope market and its dedication to continuous improvement.

CWCT uses various testing methods, which determine the level of serviceability of a window, façade or cladding system when subjected to various levels of water, air and solid object impact. The final level of certification depends on the pressure reached or the degree of damage caused after impact. The standards that make up the CWCT tests are calculated to give independent verification that windows and cladding designed for the building envelope, will achieve the values expected.

Its membership provides additional assurance to clients and main contractors and sits alongside a variety of key industry memberships and accreditations that CMS currently hold. These range from Investors in People and ISO 14001 at a business management level, right through to Constructionline, CHAS, Secured by Design and Energy Saving Trust recommended status which directly benefit clients

CMS operates from a 15-acre modern manufacturing and recycling facility in North Lanarkshire, with additional facilities in Fife, producing more than 100,000 window units and thousands of square metres of curtain walling every year. The firm provides a 360-degree building envelope solution from design through manufacture, installation and aftercare, an approach that has seen it work on some of the largest housing investment programmes and commercial building projects throughout the UK since its formation in 2006.

For further information visit

A new trade organisation has been established to represent all that’s best in the basement waterproofing industry, with benefits for homeowners, contractors, manufacturers, suppliers, architects and more.

The Basement Waterproofing Association is an independently managed organisation, set up by leading innovators in the field, with numerous industry-related goals at its core.

Collette O’Connor, Chairman of the Basement Waterproofing Association comments: “We know a great deal about effectively protecting underground spaces from water in the ground but that doesn’t mean we should stop learning. This organisation is all about research, shared knowledge, best practice and mutually beneficial relationships for all involved – particularly our customers.

“By choosing to work with one of our accredited member companies, homeowners are assured that they are dealing with one of the industry’s best-informed installers – one that will only start work once all applicable legalities have been met; only use approved materials and practices; and strictly comply to Building Regulations.

“Professionalism and ethics are at the top of our Code of Conduct. Where unscrupulous contractors put profit above all else, our ongoing concern is customer satisfaction – for years after the job is completed. To that end, we encourage and facilitate members to sign up to the Construction Guarantee Solutions Ltd. scheme, offering customers ten-year insurance-backed guarantees that will be honoured, even in the unlikely event that the original contractor should cease trading.”

Businesses can also access professionally designed promotional materials – incorporating their logo and company details – via an online marketing portal on the organisation’s website. “The Basement Waterproofing Association logo should be seen as a signpost for high standards and quality”, Collette continues; “and by helping our members to achieve a consistent, professional style in their promotions, we’re building both our brand and theirs at the same time.

“Our training offering has been designed for specialists from all areas of the trade – from architects to contractors – providing them with the knowledge to comprehensively survey underground spaces and identify appropriate waterproofing solutions. It’s a proactive way of promoting career development within member companies, offering employees an affordable means of furthering their expertise, with three-day courses run across the country, throughout the year.”

Besides detailing the benefits of working with a Basement Waterproofing Association-accredited installer, the organisation’s new website boasts a wealth of information for homeowners, including numerous considerations that might not be obvious to someone planning such work for the first time.

“Radon gas, party wall responsibilities and planning permission”, Collette explains; “they’re all things that can have a significant bearing on a basement waterproofing installation. Our website guides homeowners through matters like these, provides a useful search facility that pinpoints where their nearest accredited installers are based, and invites people to get in touch with their questions.

“It’s great to see our hard work coming to fruition with this organisation. The Basement Waterproofing Association is the authority base that our industry needs and we look forward to it growing and developing as more and more members get involved.”

With PropertECO and 12 branches of the Peter Cox chain having already signed up, other companies interested in learning more about the Basement Waterproofing Association, its various membership options and the latest news from around the industry should visit:

UK Construction Week is pleased to announce that Green Party leader Natalie Bennett is the latest name confirmed to speak at the inaugural Energy 2015 event this October.

Speaking alongside Adam Chase – Director of E4tech (UK) Ltd, Stephen Joseph – Chief Executive at Campaign for Better Transport and Claire Haigh – Chief Executive Officer at Greener Journeys, Natalie will discuss the future of sustainable transport at 12:00pm on 7th October at the Energy Hub. Exploring the social, economic and environmental considerations of greener transport, Natalie will bring significant knowledge and experience to the discussion, providing a high-level insight to a politically charged and timely topic.

Natalie commented: “It is important to provide consistent, predictable, long-term support for the development of the construction industry and in particular the uptake of greener and more environmentally friendly methods of building and retrofitting. Of all the components of the construction supply chain, transport has one of the greatest potentials to offer significant savings and improved performance if we invest in the right initiatives.”

Richard Morey, Group Events Director at Media 10, the event company producing UK Construction Week, commented: “We are thrilled to have such an influential political figure as Natalie Bennett speaking at this year’s UK Construction Week. The seminar content at the show will be right at the cutting edge of political debate about the construction industry and will provide an inclusive environment for high level discussions that will have real influence on the way we trade, build, learn and live.”

Natalie has been the elected leader of the Green Party since September 2012, previous to which she was the Coordinator of Camden Greens and founding chair of the Green Party Women’s Group. Born in Sydney, Australia, Natalie has lived in London since 1999 and originally began her career as a journalist, working for several national titles. Natalie has worked on a wide variety of policies for the Green Party and, with a degree in agricultural science, is the only political leader in the country with a scientific background.

In addition to Natalie’s contribution Energy 2015 will be supported by an extensive seminar programme of debates, practical workshops and panel discussions. Drawing on the knowledge of the show’s event partners, such as the British Photovoltaic Association (BPVA), the content schedule will cover key industry topics including securing investment, renewable technology, energy storage and energy efficiency.

Taking place at the Birmingham NEC from 6 – 11 October (with the trade only days from 6 – 8 October), UK Construction Week will be the biggest construction trade event the UK has seen in years. Bringing together nine shows under one roof, the event will unite 1,000 exhibitors with more than 55,000 visitors.

As well as Energy 2015, visitors will be able to attend the Build Show incorporating Civils Expo, Timber Expo, HVAC 2015, Surface & Materials Show, Kitchens & Bathrooms Live, Plant & Machinery Live, Smart Buildings 2015 and Grand Designs Live.

For more information please visit or follow @UK_CW on Twitter.

The extension of devolution deals to Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield and the Midlands announced by Chancellor George Osborne have been given a mixed reception by industry figures, according to UK Construction Week.

Reacting to the plans to extend the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ concept, which includes the creation of a new Greater Manchester Land Commission, several industry commentators have welcomed the increased power over planning this will bring, while others have pointed to challenges in transport infrastructure that must be addressed.

Mark Clare, CEO of Barratt Developments and member of the UK Construction Week advisory panel, commented: “Although the details are still to be released, the appointment of a new land commission for Greater Manchester certainly seems to be a positive development that should provide a significant boost for construction companies in the area. It seems that the commission will be tasked with identifying publicly-owned and brownfield land that can be developed for housing – which is an important step towards tackling the estimated 10,000 new homes a year needed to support Greater Manchester’s growing economy and communities.”

Andi Hodgson, Marketing Director at UK Construction Week Exhibitor Hope Construction Materials, commented: “Operating and servicing a national customer base and network of operational sites, over 100 of which are located in central and northern England, the news of greater devolution to extend the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is welcome. On the surface the move seems as though it should provide a significant boost to construction in those regions, however the greater activity – particularly that of moving bulk and heavy-side building materials like concrete, aggregate and cement – will put a strain on existing transport infrastructure if it’s not improved.”

Andrew Orriss, Head Of Business Development at UK Construction Week exhibitor SIG Insulation, whose national head office is based in Sheffield, commented: “It’s an exciting time for construction in the north of England and Sheffield in particular is booming, with planned developments across the region and the recent announcement of a £480 million plan to develop the city centre. The extra boost this investment will bring to the area cannot be understated but it needs to be supported by a similar level of investment in transport and infrastructure, to ensure maximum benefits are felt.”

This sentiment echoes warnings from some commentators that without a major overhaul of transport infrastructure the economic benefits in the north will be lessened. In particular, Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s interim mayor, has called for transparency on planned rail improvements that are “key to the delivery of northern economic growth.”

For example, further clarity is required on the proposed electrification of the TransPennine Express railway line linking Manchester, Leeds and York, which was put on hold with no expected completion date back in June 2015. What’s more, the Chancellor’s proposed “Oyster style ticketing” across bus, tram, metro and rail services throughout the region has been met with derision from many quarters, with the Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) claiming that actual investment in the Northern Powerhouse rail infrastructure sits closer to £3 billion than the £13 billion claimed in the budget.

Amidst the calls for improvements to existing rail networks, the proposed HS3 line connecting Liverpool and Hull via Manchester and Leeds, remains a shadowy prospect – particularly given that the north east seems to have been excluded from the Chancellor’s devolution plans.

George Clarke, architect, TV-personality and UK Construction Week advisory panel member, himself originally from Sunderland, commented: “It’s disappointing that the north east is not yet being given the same opportunities for self determination as some other northern areas. There is huge potential for economic and construction growth if the main urban hubs in the north are properly connected. If we really are to create a true Northern Powerhouse this needs to be addressed as a priority and the crucial transport links from east to west need to be greatly improved.”

Veering away from the London-centric focus that has dominated the construction industry for many years, UK Construction Week – held at the Birmingham NEC in October – is placing a strong emphasis on driving construction growth throughout the UK. In the main seminar theatre, devolution is under the spotlight on the first day, with a dedicated session asking whether it is the key to stimulating public and private infrastructure developments. Transport will also be under scrutiny, as the keynote session in the Infrastructure Hub takes a look at the future of rail – asking whether, with HS2 well underway, the focus should now shift to HS3 and the powerhouse cities of the north.

Bringing together nine shows under one roof, UK Construction Week will be the biggest construction trade event the UK has seen in years. Taking place at the Birmingham NEC from 6 – 11 October (with the trade only days from 6 – 8 October) the event will unite 1,000 exhibitors with an expected audience of 55,000 visitors.

Visitors will be able to attend Grand Designs Live, the Build Show (incorporating Civils Expo), Timber Expo, the Surface and Materials Show, Energy 2015, Kitchens & Bathroom Live, Plant & Machinery Live, HVAC 2015 and Smart Buildings 2015.

For more information please visit or follow @UK_CW on Twitter.

Flat roofing specialists Bauder have once again been awarded the prestigious Investors in People (IiP) Gold status, which recognises high performing organisations that put their people at the heart of their success.

This is the second time that the company, based in Ipswich, has been awarded the highest accreditation of Gold, an accolade that is awarded to only 7% of applicants each year; which is particularly impressive considering over a third of the UK’s workforce used IiP this year.

To achieve this standard, Bauder was rigorously and objectively assessed against a framework of 10 criteria to determine performance; Business Strategy, Learning and Development, People Management Strategy, Leadership and Management, Management Effectiveness, Recognition and Reward, Involvement and Empowerment, Learning and Development, Performance Measurement and Continuous Improvement.

Now in its 24th year, Investors in People has long been acknowledged as the most successful framework for business improvement through people, and its accreditations are regarded as a mark of real organisational excellence around the world. The primary objective of IiP is to optimise workforce performance by championing best practice in people management and equipping organisations with the tools to succeed.

Family-owned company Bauder, who deliver flat roof, green roof and photovoltaic solutions, possess a workforce of over 130 employees located throughout the UK and Ireland; however they are all frequently brought together to participate in many employee engagement and personal development initiatives. Earlier this year, the company also achieved, for the third time, a place in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies To Work For, together with a 3 star status accreditation for outstanding workplace engagement.

Commenting on the success Angeline Barnes, HR Manager stated “We truly believe our people are our greatest asset. The accolades provide us with a framework to benchmark and measure our practices and people strategies to ensure we continue to develop, improve and ultimately preserve our inherent cultural ethos.”