Maintaining precise temperature and humidity levels to protect its extensive artefact collection, while keeping energy costs and emissions down at its award winning Downland Gridshell Building, were key requirements for the management at the Weald Down Open Air Museum when selecting a replacement for an inefficient old boiler serving the building’s underfloor heating system.

Their choice was an ATAG Q60S condensing combination boiler, one of the most efficient light commercial boilers on the market, supplied by Chichester-based ATAG Heating UK.

‘The new boiler will ensure the correct level of relative humidity within our artefact store for the continued wellbeing of the important collections housed there,’
said Guy Viney, Gridshell Manager.

“We needed a boiler with a track record of efficiency, longevity and reliability, with affordable running costs,” he said. “Guided by our heating engineer Damien Lindley and Robin Osborne from ATAG and following testimonials from colleagues within the heritage industry, we felt confident that ATAG would fulfill all these requirements.”

In line with the overall ethos of the museum, environmental issues were also top of the agenda in their choice of boiler. The Q60S delivers strongly in this aspect with what ATAG believes to be the lowest NOx emissions in its class at below 30ppm.
With an output up to 57.3kW, the Q60S features ATAG’s tried and tested 316 stainless steel heat exchanger technology currently used throughout their boiler range, and gives a class leading efficiency of 109.3% (EN677) achieved through seamless upwards modulation. This enables the boiler to deliver precisely the amount of heat required any one time to preserve the artefacts, while ensuring maximum efficiency and lower energy costs for the museum.

All models in the Q Series have 3 BREEAM points for their excellent energy saving credentials and low emissions. Easy to install and occupying a small footprint, Q Series boilers are well proven in the marketplace and have an enviable reputation for their ease of servicing and reliability. Reliability was a key factor, as the correct humidity levels have to be maintained 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Downland Gridshell itself is an award winning building, combining traditional materials and 21st Century technology. The building is on two levels with the basement housing the museum’s unique collection of tools and artefacts, while the upper deck  is a workshop and layout space for building  conservation and training.

A lightweight structure made of oak laths similar in construction to the fuselage of the famous World War II Wellington bomber, a cross section of which is also displayed at the museum, the Gridshell was completed in 2002 with financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Artefacts on display include an extensive and unique collection of traditional carpentry, plumbing and blacksmithing tools.

The Museum’s 40-acre site in the heart of the South Downs National park incorporates 50 exhibition buildings with many of the houses on show furnished to recreate historic domestic interiors. Buildings include workers’ cottages, shops, farmhouses, barns and even a church. Many have been rescued from demolition or from simply falling down, then dismantled, conserved and painstakingly rebuilt.

“Preserving and stimulating interest in buildings of architectural or historical interest and the ancient crafts and trades that go into them is our prime objective,” said Museum Director, Richard Pailthorpe. “We have over 120,000 visitors every year, including those staying in the area and as a registered charity rely on a veritable army of volunteers to ensure the highest standards of care for our collections.”

There is a regular programme of domestic and craft demonstrations, including cooking in a Tudor kitchen; milling flour in a fully working watermill; blacksmithing in a Victorian smithy and other seasonal demonstrations and events.

Full details of this unique museum can be found at or by phoning 01243 811363.

Low odour with no compromises

Decothane Ultra sets new standard for the roofing industry

The next generation of liquid applied roof membranes has been launched by Sika Liquid Plastics. Decothane Ultra is a low odour non-disruptive roofing solution that achieves more than 80 percent reduction in odour strength five minutes after application and greater than 95 percent reduction after just one hour against a similar one-component competitor. These results were established by independent testing.

Decothane Ultra utilises a range of new novel curing agents developed and patented by Sika. This new chemistry offers a versatile platform from which to formulate extremely low solvent content and low odour liquid applied membranes for a wide range of applications.

Extensive field tests have been undertaken on the product prior to launch and a large number of these applications were in odour sensitive areas such as food manufacturing plants, hospitals and schools. They were all successfully applied without disruption to activities within the buildings.

Commenting on the introduction Nigel Blacklock, head of technical at Sika said: “Over the past decade, concern about construction product emissions has grown significantly especially from those involved in their supply and installation. European regulation now imposes strict controls on Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) contents, together with a growing focus on ensuring relating chemicals are non-hazardous in their use.

“This backdrop posed a significant development challenge for us but we were keen to achieve a successful outcome without compromising other aspects of the product. In particular, there are problems that occur with low solvent and solvent free products which often handle poorly, exhibiting high viscosity at lower temperatures and sagging on vertical applications at elevated temperatures. Additionally, they do not permit the use of glass fibre reinforcement and are therefore forced to rely on fleeces that can be more time-consuming to install. Our goal with Decothane Ultra was to tick all the boxes and make no compromises.”

During the development of Decothane Ultra, Sika Liquid Plastics worked closely with a consultancy specialising in the testing of occupational health exposures to develop a test method intended to replicate the ‘worst case scenarios’ on roofs using a closed test area without ventilation. A cross-section of single component polyurethane liquid membrane products were tested under these conditions and all were found to breach workplace exposure limits however, through careful engineering and innovation Sika Liquid Plastics has produced Decothane Ultra, a single component polyurethane that when tested within a confined space was found not to breach any workplace exposure limits. “We see this as the new benchmark for liquid applied roof membranes,” commented Nigel Blacklock.

Sika Liquid Plastics quality assured contractors have been trialling the product prior to launch and have already identified its increased advantages. Martin Eyre from Surface Protection commented: “Surface Protection has worked with Sika Liquid Plastics for many years and so we were more than happy to take part in trialling Decothane Ultra, testing it in sensitive areas, such as hospitals where we’ve now used Decothane Ultra in more than 15,000sq m on various hospital roofs.

He added: “Surface Protection has even been able to use it at a highly sensitive nuclear site, as it was the most suitable roofing membrane for this challenging project.”

While Daniel Devlin of Designed Roof Systems said: “I would happily recommend Decothane Ultra, as it’s an excellent product, applying it is even easier and the odour is hard to detect. This makes it the ideal choice for sensitive areas which are highly populated, such as shopping centres, food manufacturers, schools or hospitals.”

Decothane Ultra is available in the UK from Sika Liquid Plastics. For further information visit or call the Enquiry Line on 01772 259781

Further reading

Hat-trick of Encon companies notch up a brace of certifications

Three members of the Encon Group have gained two internationally recognised certifications.

Pictured from left: Will Barker and Richard Prince

The Encon Group has achieved a brace of performance standards.

Specialist distributors Encon Insulation and Nevill Long and passive fire-protection manufacturer PFC Corofil have gained the environmental standard ISO 14001:2004 AND the Occupational Health and Safety standard OHSAS 18001:2007.

This was achieved in just five months across all of the group’s 21 sites and its Head Office from the UKAS-accredited body NQA using an integrated management system some 15 years after Encon became the first national insulation distributor to gain the quality standard ISO 9001 across all its sites.

Encon Insulation was founded more than 30 years ago with the aim of providing energy-saving solutions to customers so ISO 14001 was a logical progression. The Encon name also derives from Energy Conservation.

Group systems and quality manager Richard Prince is tasked with ensuring it meets its KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for the next three years in terms of reducing commercial fuel usage by 5% and increasing the recycling of waste.

Group Health and Safety manager Will Barker has been instrumental in a drive to make reductions in 3 key areas. This has resulted in 2013/14 seeing lost work time incidents reduce by 29%, lost working days by 42% and RIDDOR (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations) incidents by 57%. Another positive note was an improvement in the way the company are reporting potential incidents, thus helping to reduce future injuries.

Encon’s chief operating officer John Bedford said: “Gaining these certifications forms a key part of our distributor and employer of choice strategy, showing the industry and our employees our commitment to Health, Safety and the environment and the values embodied in these standards.

“The fact that we achieved certification in a relatively short time bears testimony to the high standards that each site operates to and the engagement of every employee involved in the process. The work now starts to ensure we continually look to raise our standards and share best practice across the business to the benefit of our customers, suppliers and employees.”

For further information, please visit

Further reading

Jutland Slates installed on Somerset homes

Jutland fibre cement slates from Cembrit have been installed on a development of innovative ‘heritage-styled’ new homes in Somerset. Built by Redrow Homes, the development is located on the outskirts of Wellington in the County, and the Jutlands have been installed on 33 of the 112 new build homes to help achieve an Arts and Crafts inspired traditional exterior for each property.

The Bagley Green development is in an idyllic semi-rural location, close to the Blackdown Hills, as well as Exeter and Taunton. The development consists of two, three, four and five bedroom homes from Redrow’s New Heritage Collection. North Roofing of Somerset used Jutland slates to ensure the project achieved the desired architectural and period detail for the property.

“Jutland is an attractive looking fibre cement slate that combines traditional appearance with contemporary performance,” says Warren from North Roofing. “Furthermore, it is easy to install which is particularly important on a housing development where any weaknesses in a product will be exposed. Jutland was the perfect slate for this project as it has been for many of our other similar jobs.”

Cembrit’s decades of expertise mean that their Jutland slates are created with a smooth surface which creates an aesthetically pleasing finish. They are also lightweight, pre-holed and have consistent dimensions. The slates can be cut with hand tools – all that is required is a scribe and straight edge – and no power tools with associated dust suppression equipment are necessary. Jutland slates are manufactured to the highest European standards and are suitable for all types of projects. The slate is easy to handle and install, it is durable and offers an economic alternative to natural roofing materials.

For further information, please visit

Further reading

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital Improve Access with Axis

The ongoing refurbishment programme at the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital identified a set of emergency exit doors on the Holly Suite Cardiac Day Care Unit being regularly used as a delivery point for supplies and exit for waste materials. The doors were not automated which made it difficult to move trolleys through the doorway and left them prone to damage, both cosmetic and functional.

Discussions with Axis Automatic Entrance Systems of Northampton led to the replacement of the old doors with a set of half glazed aluminium doors automated with Axis ax85 Universal swing door operators. These allow push button operation to open the doors from the inside of the building with a delayed action setting allowing ample time for users to pass through the doorway before they automatically close to maintain security and fire protection. From the outside door operation is initiated by a magnetic card reader which restricts access to authorised users.

The name ax85 comes from the 85mm height dimension of the unit making it one of the neatest systems on the market. The universal qualities of the ax85 drive system derive from its electro-mechanical construction and its modular design. When the door drive motor operates, it simultaneously tensions a spring integrated in the drive housing. The closing movement uses energy stored in the spring, which, if necessary, is motor assisted.

Optimum power deployment is achieved in the entire door swing area, even without motor assistance. This moves the door reliably to its end position and also complies with the norms and standards of current safety requirements. The ax85 is approved as a hold-open system for fire protection barriers and can be used with various fire-protection profile systems.

Elsewhere on the site, a pair of swing doors on the ambulance entrance to the Critical Care Unit was causing problems. The old operators installed by another company some years ago were failing to cope with the strong winds that regularly blow directly onto the doors of that part of the building. This time Axis recommended a single leaf Stanley Dura-Glide sliding door system that opens automatically when the monitored safety and activation (combined) sensors detect an approaching ambulance crew or other user.

The new sliding door is not affected by the local wind and shuts securely every time. The sliding configuration also maintains clear access to a store area that was previously reduced by the operation of the old swing doors.

Axis Automatic Entrance Systems also supply, install and maintain a wide range of folding doors, bypass doors and bifolding doors. The range includes doors for specialist installations such as hospital intensive care units as well as shopfronts, curtain walling, security roller shutters, turnstiles, car park barriers and architectural ironmongery. Complete access control systems can also be supplied and installed.

Axis employs ADSA Authorised Technicians (Automatic Door Suppliers’ Association) for the specification, supply, installation and maintenance of automatic door operators as per the guidelines of EN16005 (formerly BS7036:1996 – Code of Practice for safety at powered doors for pedestrian use).

For further information call 0844 504 6525, email or visit

Further reading

Gebrik System Awarded BBA Certificate

Aquarian Cladding Systems Ltd announced today that the wide range of applications of its Gebrik Insulating Brick Cladding System has been recognised by the British Board of Agrément (BBA) with the inclusion of an additional product sheet within its existing BBA certificate 07/4403.

The new product sheet covers the use of the innovative brick cladding system onto lightweight steel frame systems (SFS), timber frame and structural insulated panel (SIP) systems up to a height of 18 metres, and for use on SFS over 18 metres in accordance with the recent successful BR135: Annex B fire test, carried out at the Building Research Establishment (BRE). This is in addition to the certification for use onto clay and concrete masonry buildings, which has been held for over 10 years.

The system was subject to rigorous evaluation by the BBA across a range of factors, including thermal performance, strength and stability, behaviour in relation to fire, the risk of condensation and durability. The certificate confirms that when correctly installed, used and maintained, Gebrik satisfies or contributes to satisfying the relevant requirements of the Building Regulations (in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), the CDM Regulations (2007) and the NHBC Standards (2014).

Upon receiving the certificate from BBA Chief Executive Claire Curtis-Thomas, Paul Richards, Aquarian Cladding’s Managing Director, said: “As the UK’s most recognised independent assessment and testing authority, the BBA is respected throughout the industry so we and our manufacturing partner Isosystems are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this addition to our certificate.

“Gebrik is the only off-site manufactured, insulating brick cladding system to be backed by a BBA Certificate, reinforcing its position as the best-tested system on the market. The BBA award follows earlier successful testing of Gebrik both for weather-tightness with the CWCT and fire performance with the BRE.”

Already proven in a wide range of education, residential, commercial and healthcare applications throughout the UK, the Gebrik insulating brick cladding system delivers significant operational, performance, construction and aesthetic benefits. For more details, visit or call the company’s support team on 0844 334 0077.

Further reading

Aico – making sheltered housing safer

Aico, UK’s market leader in domestic mains powered Fire and Carbon Monoxide (CO) detection, has developed an innovative product to solve a safety issue facing people in sheltered housing and other vulnerable people that use Telecare/Warden Call Systems.

Telecare/Warden Call Systems are commonplace in dwellings for vulnerable people and are an important tool to let people live independently in a safe environment – but in most situations they are not connected with the Smoke and CO alarms in the property.

The new Ei414 Fire/CO Alarm Interface provides a dedicated connection between Aico Smoke and CO alarms and Telecare/Warden Call Systems, enabling an emergency signal to be transmitted directly to that system if fire or CO is detected.

The Ei414 is a flexible device that interconnects Aico RadioLINK Smoke, Heat and CO alarms with most new and existing Telecare/Warden Call Systems. The connection to the Telecare/Warden Call Systems can be made wirelessly with Radio Frequency (RF) signals using RF Universal Transmitters, if available, as part of the Telecare/Warden Call Systems, or via hard wiring directly between the two devices.

As the Ei414 is a RadioLINK device and links to Aico RadioLINK Smoke, Heat and CO alarms wirelessly, it brings all the advantages of a wireless interconnect alarm system; these include far less disruption during installation, increased tenant compliance, more flexible coverage and greatly reduced installation time as a result of RF signal, rather than hard wired, alarm interconnection.

The Ei414 can be powered directly from the mains or from a 12-24V DC supply, from the Telecare/Warden Call Systems for example, and has built-in tamper-proof rechargeable Lithium Cells which will power the device in the event of any mains failure.

Exceptionally easy to use, the Ei414 features a removable key with three settings: On, Off and Test. When ‘On’ the Ei414 responds to an alarm signal from House Coded RadioLINK Aico Smoke, Heat or CO alarms, and switches the relevant ‘Fire’ or ‘CO’ relay contacts to trigger the Telecare/Warden Call Systems. LED indicators provide visual confirmation of mains power and fire or CO alarm activation. The ‘Off’ setting stops all fire and CO alarm triggers being sent to the Telecare/Warden Call Systems, which is particularly useful if a property becomes vacant. The ‘Test’ setting allows a responsible person such as a Warden or Fire Engineer to test the entire system, which would include a signal being transmitted to the Telecare/Warden Call Systems.

“The Ei414 has been developed in response to a need identified whilst working in close proximity with the social housing sector,” explains Neal Hooper, Director of Aico. “The challenge has been to solve a problem that falls in between two specifiers within the same department – one for smoke alarms and another for the Telecare/Warden Call Systems. We are encouraging these two specifiers to work together and call on the expertise of our highly trained Regional Specification Managers to explain the benefits of joining the two systems together and demonstrate how simple it is to install and use the product.”

The Ei414 Fire/CO Alarm Interface from Aico comes complete with a full five year guarantee and has RF performance to EN 300220-1 and EMC performance to EN 301489-1.

Aico is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ei Electronics and is the first name in residential fire protection in the UK. All alarms are designed and built in Europe specifically to meet UK standards and regulations. For more information, please visit

Further reading

RCI Show 2014

The RCI show is taking place at the Ricoh arena in Coventry today and tomorrow. After many requests from members of the roofing, cladding and insulation industry the sector now has a fantastic platform, where exhibitors can show their new products/services and benefit from the RCI’s comprehensive marketing program.

Over 100 companies will be exhibiting throughout the course of today and tomorrow, which will mean that the show is bound to have something that is of interest to you.

Supported by SUG, NFRC and Waverley Communications, a solid foundation has been laid to ensure that the RCI Show can go from strength to strength for many years to come.

@BuildSpecifier will be visiting the show tomorrow and tweeting highlights from the event. Be sure to follow us to keep up to date.

To see a full list of exhibitors click here.

Published on 29/10/2014

Further reading

Cedar Tree Construction specifies Acme clay tiles to replicate Canadian style in the UK

An innovative Canadian style home, built as a showcase by Cedar Tree Construction, is using Marley Eternit’s Acme Grey Sandfaced clay plain tiles to replicate the style of the cedar shake roofs commonly seen in Vancouver.

Greg Jones, the owner of Cedar Tree Construction, recently relocated back to Swansea in South Wales after spending four years in Canada, building superior homes. Inspired by the beautiful timber home designs, he decided to design and build his own family home as a showcase to demonstrate how the Canadian style of construction could be incorporated into new build and renovation projects in the UK.

Marley Eternit’s Acme Grey Sandfaced clay plain tiles in a single camber were specified to replicate the aesthetics of Canadian wooden shake roofs, as well as to complement the cedar shingles that were being used on vertical elements of the build.

Greg Jones explains: “I’ve worked with Marley Eternit on roofing projects before and they were able to provide me with technical support to help me find the perfect roof tile, not only by providing a range of samples but also by identifying projects that I could visit to see how the tiles would look on a completed roof.

“The Acme Grey Sandfaced plain tile was the closest match on the market and replicates the aesthetics of cedar shake without the high cost. Once I had chosen the tile, Marley Eternit provided estimates and suggested local roofing contractors to carry out the project. The finished roof looks beautiful and showcases how the aesthetic simplicity of timber with a clay roof can create beautiful, distinctive homes in this country.”

Acme single camber clay plain tiles enable the creation of contemporary roof designs with the warmth and character of clay. Suitable for use down to roof pitches as low as 30 degrees, Acme clay plain tiles are available in a range of colours and textures. The tiles also have impressive environmental credentials with the ability to achieve an A+ rating in the BRE Green Guide to Specification, maximum credits towards the BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing framework and carbon footprint data at product level.

Sarah Jackson, marketing product manager at Marley Eternit, adds: “The Acme clay plain tiles give the natural beauty that Cedar Tree Construction was seeking to emulate with this project, highlighting how a stunning roof can be achieved at an affordable price. We are delighted that they have chosen to use our tiles on this innovative new build and we look forward to working together again in the future.”

Marley Eternit’s investment in clay tile manufacturing means that it has the largest clay plain tile production capacity in the UK. This includes the evolution of an unrivalled palette of colours, textures and cambers and a wide range of fittings and roofing accessories.

For further information on our range of products and services just ask ME at or call ME on 01283 722588. You can also follow ME on Twitter @MarleyEternit. If it matters to you it matters to us, that’s why with ME it’s all about you.

Further reading

Hunter shows its can do attitude in Charlton

A “can do” approach and a close working relationship with the contactor has helped Hunter Plastics to come up with a solution that made part of the regeneration of the Glades development in London much more straightforward and cost-effective. The Technical and Fabrications teams at Hunter put their heads together to design and manufacture a bespoke fitting for walkway drainage.

The redevelopment of the Glades was, at the time, the largest scheme of its kind in Europe. Main contractor Mears carried out a programme of external repairs and renovation to over 50 buildings, in an incredibly tight nine month timescale, for client Family Mosaic Housing. The programme included external and internal repairs and renovation, in a £14million project, which was the largest CESP-funded scheme in the UK. Part of the scheme meant that rainwater and soil vent pipes had to be moved – which is where Hunter came in.

Steve Everitt, who managed the project for sub-contractor N&J Building Services was the man to bring Hunter in on the project, after noticing that the design of the drainage outlets for walkways and balconies was rather complicated and, as a result, also expensive. He had an idea of how to make the whole process a lot simpler and called in the experts at Hunter to help make it into a reality.

“When I looked at the original plans for this part of the project I thought the drawings looked a bit complicated and expensive,” says Steve. “I had an idea of how to make the process smoother for the client and easier for my team to install – it was a no-brainer.” Steve worked closely with the whole Hunter team – the rep on site, the Technical team back at the office and finally the Fabrication department at Hunter’s factory based in Kent. And he can’t speak highly enough of the service he received. “It really was excellent – they delivered on every promise and it was great to know that the techy guys at Hunter were always on the end of the phone when I had a query,” he concludes.

Hunter realises that not all product requirements can be met with standard components. So they have a fabrications department that is fully equipped to provide fabrications to overcome these difficult installations. From gutter fittings at any degree angle through one or two planes, bends to unusual degrees, or branches with odd configurations, the Hunter team can usually come up with a viable solution. Job’s a Good ‘un.

Hunter Plastics, part of the Aliaxis Group manufactures a wide range of PVC-U rainwater, soil and waste and underground drainage systems in the UK.

For further information, please visit

Further reading