SIG Distribution is the latest to lend its name to the list of leading industry lights exhibiting at the Build Show, part of UK Construction Week, this October.

As the UK’s leading specialist construction supplier, SIG Distribution’s 58 years of experience has given the company an unparalleled understanding of its customers and their unique demands. Backed by vast warehousing capabilities, 60 branches nationwide and a fleet of more than 500 specialist vehicles, SIG Distribution is committed to supplying more than 500,000 market-leading products in full and on time.

“Visitors to our stand will be able to find out about the full product offering across all our brands including: SIG Insulation, SIG Interiors, SIG Technical Insulation, SIG Fixings, SIG Construction Accessories and SIG Commercial Drainage, as well as getting face-to-face advice from our team of industry experts,” said Andy Holmes, Commercial Director from SIG Distribution.

“As part of UK Construction Week, the Build Show will bring together the whole building industry, it makes sense for anyone involved in the design, specification and construction of modern, energy efficient and truly sustainable buildings to be a part of it.”

With a comprehensive seminar programme across the show, running from 6 – 8 October, The Build Show offers a holistic view of the industry providing visitors with the latest views and opinions on the current challenges faced in construction today. Each session will respond to a hot topic: what is happening in the industry, how does this impact on winning work and how can businesses increase their profits accordingly.

Taking a coherent approach, the seminar programme is divided between two zones. The Homebuilding theatre will host debates, discussions and presentations with a keynote session about the state of UK house building. The Site Zone has its focus firmly set on a ‘Learn to Earn’ approach for contractors, offering an interactive approach with training, workshops and demonstrations covering the practical issues facing construction professionals in business today. There is also a Careers Centre in association with the House Builders Federation, a commercial vehicle test drive zone and a dedicated civil engineering section.

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 the Build Show (incorporating Civils Expo), Timber Expo, the Surface and Materials Show, Energy 2015, Kitchens & Bathrooms Live, Plant & Machinery Live, HVAC 2015, Smart Buildings 2015 and Grand Designs Live.

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

Geofire’s Salamander range of radio-controlled fire door holders have been installed at one of London’s most prestigious apartment complexes, The Whitehouse Apartments SE1, to legally hold open fire doors and improve ventilation in the building’s corridors, while protecting occupants in case of a fire emergency.

The Whitehouse Apartments SE1 is a prestigious development located on the culturally rich South Bank overlooking the River Thames, offering spectacular views of some of central London’s greatest landmarks. Originally constructed by oil company Shell as part of their UK headquarters in 1961, the 1990’s saw Shell dispose of the ‘Downstream Building’ and thus The Whitehouse Apartments were born.

Each Salamander device connects wirelessly to a mains-powered controller unit, which is easily connected to the existing fire alarm system, complying with Category A of BS7273-4 to ensure that fire doors will safely close in the event of a fault or fire. One controller unit can manage up to 99 fire door closers or fire door holders.

Geofire’s Salamander range of radio controlled fire door safety products are all battery-powered and wire-free, thus saving time, installation costs and disruption to a building’s fabric or occupants.

Southbank Management, London says that the company purchased the system to improve the ventilation in the building’s corridors, “which were unbearably hot – particularly in the summer! The product adapted very well with our existing fire alarm system and was readily available. It has worked very well and resulted in us being able to reduce the temperature by 10°C in places and also improve the flow of air in the communal areas”.

Keeping fire doors in the open position has many benefits. It ensures ease of access in line with the disability provisions of the Equality Act 2010, helps prevent wear and tear of expensive fire doors and improves building ventilation. The Salamander swing-free door closer and door holder are suitable for use with Category A installations as defined by BS7273-4. They are approved to EN1155 and CE marked.

Bounce Back is celebrating the launch of the first Dry Lining Training Centre to open in a London prison in a unique joint initiative with the construction industry.

Supported by Knauf and Encon working with Be Onsite, Land Securities and Lend Lease the centre responds to the urgent need for trained workers in the sector and demonstrates how the industry can support in-prison training in a sponsored model which will see nearly 100 prisoners a year training to enter the workforce.

The facility offers the inmates of HMP Brixton the opportunity to learn dry lining in a state of the art training space. Land Securities, Lend Lease, Knauf and Encon have worked together to make this opportunity a reality, to meet a genuine need within the industry for trained dry liners. Work will be offered to trainees upon release by the partners along with other organisations.

The specific investment of materials by Knauf and the provision of logistics services by Encon have made the centre possible. “It is amazing what can be done when everyone comes together to make something happen,” said Fran Findlater, CEO of Bounce Back. “The need for skills in the construction industry means that the number of potential employees in prison presents a great opportunity.”

The training will be facilitated by Bounce Back who have been successfully running painting and decorating training courses within the prison for over a year. For Bounce Back this is an exciting progression in line with their objective of effectively training offenders with skills that are relevant for employment upon release – either within their own social enterprise or beyond.

The initiative was sparked as labour market information highlighted skills shortages within the construction industry including dry lining. Land Securities and Lend Lease expressed a desire to address this with Land Securities offering opportunities through its Community Employment Programme, supported by Lend Lease. Val Lowman (Lend Lease) put Bounce Back in touch with their dry lining supply chain partners, Encon and Knauf, and the programme evolved.
Debbie Akehurst, head of corporate responsibility in London at Land Securities, said: “Working with partners such as Bounce Back, Lend Lease and Be Onsite means we can really target those furthest from the job market. We have a fantastic opportunity here to train people to meet industry need and help people reach their own potential.”

The programme is targeted to train 70 participants per academic year and offers those referred whilst in custody the opportunity to participate in the CITB C Skills course in dry lining to Diploma Level 2.

Having gained a construction skills qualification whilst in custody, cohorts are well positioned to enter the construction industry workforce immediately upon release. This is a major step in bridging the gap from prison to employment as Bounce Back are further supported by Lend Lease and Land Securities who approach their supply chains to help broker work placements and create sustainable job opportunities.

Scottish Widows Investments have selected Kemmlit lockers for their impressive new London offices.

The lockers are manufactured from galvanised sheet steel with a scratch and abrasion resistant stove enamelled finish and can be configured to provide a wide range of options.
For this project, architects Morrow & Lorraine specified Kemmlit’s Type S2Z lockers which offer integrated air duct ventilation and clothes hanging/drying facilities for those employees who cycle or jog to work. There are also compartments for storing footwear, rug sacks, and valuables.
S2Z lockers are part of an extensive range of high performance cubicle and locker systems from Kemmlit who also offer a design, project management and installation service.
For more information please email or visit

The latest edition of Ibstock’s inspirational ‘Design’ magazine is now available, showcasing the virtually limitless choice of colours, sizes and finishes from the UK’s largest brick maker’s industry-leading glazed brick range.

The new issue offers a comprehensive overview of the design possibilities achievable through use of glazed brick. It features a number of recent outstanding building projects where the flexibility, visibility and vibrancy of this brick style have been used to stunning effect.

Projects as diverse as Anglian Ruskin University, Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, West Hampstead Station and Humberside Divisional Police Headquarters are just a few of the many award-winning architectural examples covered, where the use of glazed brick has helped to enhance the overall visual appeal of the structure.

The wide palette of colour options and finishes available, such as gloss, frosted, and satin, is also detailed within the edition, highlighting the variety on offer.

Andrew Halstead-Smith, Group Marketing Manager at Ibstock, comments: “The latest issue of ‘Design’ responds to the need to set buildings apart and achieve striking designs, by focusing on one of the most inspiring styles of brick. It brings together a number of examples of where glazed brick has made a significant contribution to the completion of a memorable building. A number of the projects have also been recognised at the BDA Brick Awards, testimony to the powerful impact of this brick style.

“There is a wide variety of colour, finish and size choices available within glazed brick. We even offer glow-in-the-dark options! The use of glazed bricks can add depth and intensity of colour to a building and they’re suitable for use across landscapes and all building types.

“Highly skilled ceramicists carefully mix the glazes to match the brick body and create beautiful tones of colours, which makes each glazed brick so unique. Manufactured from ultra-pure clays specially selected for their high quality and unique properties, Ibstock’s state-of-the-art technologies also ensure glazed bricks attain the highest possible standards of performance and finish to satisfy the most demanding of designs.”

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

The listed 19th Century former Schoolhouse overlooking the Dublin mountains was renovated and extended to create a new energy efficient residential family home.

So that the exterior facade of the existing property was not altered in any way, internal insulation was installed to the interior of the stone walls of the original house.

Due to the build up of condensation behind conventional insulation when applied to single leaf construction, it became apparent that a “breathable insulation system” would be required. Remmers IQ Therm was chosen as it has the highest level of insulation for given thickness of breathable systems.

The original U-value of the wall was approx 3.3W/m2K and was improved to 0.33W/m2K.

Remmers IQ Therm is a complete system of fixing/insulation and finishing available in 3 board thicknesses.

The renovation was followed on RTEs “Room to Improve” house renovation show with Architect Dermot Bannon.

Unique Oxford Plastics product developed to comply with new regulations regarding wind speed.
Innovative UK manufacturer Oxford Plastics has launched a new ballast tray – designed as an anchor system for use with safety barriers at construction sites, roadworks and events – to help its customers and end users meet new health and safety regulations.
Easy to deploy, this unique Oxford Plastics product can be clipped to the barrier and filled with soil, excavated materials, kerb stone or fence feet to ensure stability in adverse weather conditions.
The ballast tray, which weighs 2.2kg, can enable the Oxford Plastics Avalon and Watchman barriers to withstand wind speeds of up to [INSERT], depending on the configuration in which they are used.
The new code of practice and BS 8442:2006 identifies three wind speeds and a calculation for the ballast required to use in these wind speeds. The Oxford Ballast Tray is embossed with the level of material required to meet regulations.
Peter Creighton, Business Development Director for Oxford Plastics Systems, says: “We are delighted to have launched our new ballast tray to comply with the new code of practice. This product is an excellent example of the way we are constantly innovating to help our clients and end users meet the demands of ever more stringent health and safety regulations.


“Designed to hold ever increasing weight, the Oxford Ballast Tray allows users to exceed wind speeds in the code of practice. This is an indispensible addition to our range of safety barriers and accessories to ensure the safety of pedestrians, road users and contractors at construction sites, roadworks and events.”
For more information about Oxford Plastics’ range of safety products – including barriers, modular road plates and trench covers, signs and cones, ground protection and heavy bases – visit or email

BS5534:2014 highlights the role of a roofing underlay’s wind uplift resistance in protecting against stormy weather and preventing costly damage. The considerations it outlines (based on a combination of meteorological, geographical and building physics data) not only establish the minimum standards in the new code of practice, but are also essential to long term peace of mind.

However, while much is being made by various underlay manufacturers and suppliers of achieving BS5534:2014 compliance, the picture may not be quite so straightforward – especially when you consider that a key part of the revised standard refers to altitudes not greater than 100m – and that large areas of the UK are at often surprising heights above sea level.

For example, one might expect parts of Cumbria, Wales and Scotland to exceed that benchmark… but how about Milton Keynes? Or swathes of Essex, Surrey, Nottinghamshire and Northern Ireland? Could this factor expose some unsuspecting developers and contractors to unnecessary risk and make them vulnerable to falling short of the code – and therefore potentially liable in any insurance claims?
Many parts of the UK & N. Ireland are at an altitude that exceeds the 100m above sea level benchmark stated in the new BS5534:2014 code of practice, which may affect compliance and requires very careful choice of roofing underlay.
With world weather looking increasingly unpredictable (and litigation on the rise) anyone specifying a membrane would do well to ensure that, like their project’s roof, everything is covered by a membrane with proven reliability and compliance with all conditions, altitude included.

All underlays are required to clearly state, in literature, certification and on roll labels, the declared wind uplift of the material, and on this basis, the end user can determine the suitability of the material for the site’s location. BS5534 splits the UK (including Northern Ireland) into 5 zones, and to be “fully compliant” at a batten gauge of 345mm, the following test parameters must be met:

  • 1,600 N/M2 when a well sealed ceiling is present
  • 1,900 N/m2 when no ceiling or no well sealed ceiling is present
  • 2,350 N/M2when no ceiling or no well sealed ceiling is present and a permanent dominant opening is present on an external face of the building

But, is it that simple? The new standard also requires compliance with the following conditions:

  • Ridge height not greater than 15m
  • Roof pitch between 12.5° and 75°
  • Site altitude not greater than 100m
  • No significant site topography

Clearly, comprehensively meeting all the requirements of BS5534:2014 could prove challenging for contractors also looking for a reliable, easy-install, trouble-free solution. Fortunately, however, there are products which allow unrestricted use anywhere in the UK, in all building characteristics and under all site conditions. Unsurprisingly these come from a name well-known for over 25 years for proven quality, durability and service: DuPont™ Tyvek®.
Peace of mind: All 3 BBA approved DuPont™ Tyvek® roofing underlays are fully BS5534 compliant, allowing unrestricted use anywhere in the UK & Northern Ireland for all building types under all site conditions.
All three BBA approved underlays in the group: DuPont™ Tyvek® Supro, DuPont™ Tyvek® Supro Plus (with integral tape) and DuPont™ Tyvek® Enercor roof offer unrestricted application when tested in accordance with BS5534:2014 – and with no counter battens required in any zone. This allows contractors to be confident that they in are full compliance, not only with the code, but with all the weathering and thermal performance expectations of an advanced breather membrane.

For further information, literature is available to download at and expert technical assistance is available on Tel. 01275 337 660, option 2 (in Northern Ireland and ROI please call: 087 922 2740)

Bowater Projects, a company of The VEKA UK Group has successfully overseen a significant Cheltenham door and window renovation project, totalling nearly 250 units.

The contract was awarded by Cheltenham Borough Homes, a not-for-profit Arms Length Management Organisation. Bowater installed 225 windows and 24 doors, fabricated using Halo’s renowned System 10 profile, in a series of three low-rise blocks situated near GCHQ.

Cheltenham Borough Homes, which manages and maintains all of Cheltenham Borough Council’s housing stock, plans to roll out a much larger tender later in the year, updating the doors and windows in the remainder of the Council’s housing stock.

“This was the first time we had worked with Cheltenham Borough Homes,” explains Bowater Projects’ Andy Knight, “so we’re thrilled that both the client and residents have been so pleased with the results.”

“In our opinion, our position in The VEKA UK Group definitely had a significant bearing on us winning this tender. With such a wealth of industry-leading products at our disposal, combined with an in-depth knowledge of how and where best to use them, the consultation process becomes so much simpler.”

“In this instance, the team at Cheltenham Borough Homes were not only concerned about specifying windows and doors that fell within their budget but that also offered a series of specific benefits for their residents – thermal efficiency and accessibility being high on their list of priorities.”

“The flats were typical of post-war housing developments and, as such, weren’t designed with today’s knowledge of access. We worked closely with the client and residents to identify innovative ways to ease access and were provided with a level of detail that clearly informed the range of solutions we suggested.”

“Halo’s versatile System 10 was an ideal choice of profile for the project, offering quality and performance that could only have been dreamt of when the development was originally built. Its crisp, unobtrusive, chamfered styling met with approval from residents during group consultations and, having undertaken the work between January and March 2015, we’re sure they were grateful of the WER ‘A’-rating over the cold winter!”

Julian Denslow of Cheltenham Borough Homes commented: “We are very pleased with this contract and, importantly, so are our residents who like their new WER ‘A’ rated windows. Bowater Projects’ RLO provided an excellent liaison service, their fitters were conscientious and the contract was well managed.”

Andy concludes: “We’re pleased to have brought in another notable job for Bowater Projects, on time, in budget, and to the clear satisfaction of both client and residents. It was a pleasure to work closely with the team from Cheltenham Borough Homes and we look forward to our next collaboration with them.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the work of Bowater Projects, please visit the website here:

First Choice Housing Association based in Penarth, the Vale of Glamorgan is installing Aico AudioLINK Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms throughout all of its properties in Wales and Shropshire.

First Choice is a small housing association founded in 1988 that provides bespoke homes for vulnerable adults, many of whom have additional physical disabilities. It also provides accommodation for respite and emergency intervention services for children and adults with a learning disability.

A forward thinking housing association, First Choice was one of the first in Wales to install CO alarms in all of its properties. That was ten years ago and, with the alarms coming to the end of their lives, the housing association was keen to investigate the latest quality alarms in the market to replace them.

First Choice was invited to visit Aico’s parent company Ei Electronics’ manufacturing facility in Ireland to see the development and production of Ei’s new AudioLINK CO alarm technology, and was duly impressed. First Choice Housing Association Maintenance Manager, Andrew Mouncher, comments: “Together, with one of our Board members Tim O’Connell and our Installer Gareth Selway from Frie-Rite Ltd., we were extremely impressed with this new product and the readings it could deliver via a phone app and email which would be invaluable should the alarm be called into action. From this visit we were convinced this was the right product for our association.”

First Choice opted for Aico’s Ei208 CO alarm with in-built AudioLINK data extraction technology. AudioLINK allows for invaluable real time data to be extracted via the alarm’s sounder – all you need is an AudioLINK enabled CO alarm, a tablet or smartphone and the free AudioLINK App. This data is converted into an Alarm Status report, which is simple to review and store. The Report displays useful information about the alarm and detection levels of CO, and can be emailed or stored in a key location for future reference.

First Choice will now be installing Aico AudioLINK CO alarms throughout all of its properties as a standard specification, with each property containing up to four alarms, depending on the size of the property and the number of fossil fuel burning appliances within.

For First Choice there were a number of key features of the alarms that made them so appealing, including their ease of installation, the ability to interconnect them with other alarms within a property (where required), their value for money and ten year life span, but the most important factor was the AudioLINK technology. Andrew explains: “I have worked in the RSL sector for many years and within this time I have experienced CO detectors activating on several occasions. If I had then the information that I can download for this new generation of CO detectors I am sure all involved would have been better equipped to provide a more targeted response. Coupled with these safeguards is the ability to accurately monitor testing and any unauthorised tampering.”

First Choice was also impressed with the level of service it has received from Aico: “The service from Aico has been exemplary; they have gone to great lengths to ensure the our Association’s satisfaction during the whole process. The visit to the factory confirmed the product was being manufactured by a company that was passionate about innovation and more importantly quality.”

A wholly owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics, Aico are market leaders in residential fire and CO protection in the UK. All alarms are designed and built in Ireland specifically to meet the UK standards and regulations. 2015 sees Aico’s 25th anniversary. With more mains powered domestic smoke alarms installed in the UK’s social housing than any other manufacturer, Aico are tried, tested and trusted. Aico have a dedicated team of Regional Managers to support specifications and supply of products. Aico also offer technical support over the phone and an internal sales team to help with any enquiries.

For more information please visit