International Timber and Jewson have teamed up with local developer, Ascia Construction, to provide sustainable and quality cedar timber for the development of one of Costa Coffee’s latest drive-thru facilities.


Located at the Adanac Health and Innovation Campus in Southampton, the Costa Coffee drive-thru will provide at least 15 new jobs and soon begin to serve those working and visiting the hospital site. The new coffee shop will also cater to University Hospital Southampton staff using the campus’ park and ride facilities at the beginning and end of their shifts.

The building has been designed to include indoor seating for customer use, outdoor tables and a drive-thru window for customers on-the-go.

The initial design incorporated red and white render, cedar cladding and grey, powder coated metal roof and windowpanes, as well as turf borders, ornamental planting and newly planted trees surrounding the site’s boundary.

When John Packer, Timber Development Manager at Jewson, was first asked to secure the cedar cladding for this project, it was discussed whether UK Cedar or Western Red Cedar would be the best fit. The cladding designs included lots of individual pieces of cedar, all the same size but cut at different angles, to create a unique timber design that has become synonymous with Costa’s coffee shops over time.

Due to the complexity of the design and to ensure the visual aesthetic of the cladding, both John and the team at Ascia Construction decided Western Red Cedar would provide the ideal solution; helping to minimise knots and to prioritise quality, durability and sustainability.

John comments: “This project was one of the first major enquiries we’d worked on for Ascia Construction and we wanted to ensure that the quality of the materials, together with the customer service provided met the company’s expectations.



“International Timber proved to be the perfect choice of supplier, offering a cost-competitive quote, alongside a high-quality, durable product.”


International Timber’s Western Red Cedar is often a favourite for both internal and external cladding due to its natural resistance to decay and insect attack, as well as being an excellent material for thermal insulation – keeping the building cool in summer and preventing heat from escaping in winter.

Both John and the International Timber team worked closely to deliver 32 finish x 32 finish PSE cedar, providing samples which had been machined to specification and brought onto site to ensure the customer was satisfied right from the beginning. John then made two more visits throughout construction; once when the cedar was first delivered and again when it was fitted – each time with those on site at Ascia commenting on the quality of the timber.

With (PEFC) certification, the team at Ascia Construction could rest assured that the cedar used would be in line with Costa’s sustainability objectives.

John continued:

“Each time I went on site, the guys from Ascia Construction would comment on the fantastic quality of the cedar – even going as far to say it’s the best cedar they had ever worked with, which of course was music to my ears. The project was finished in April this year and it really is a superior build with quality materials and craftmanship.”

CLICK HERE for more information on International Timber and its Western Red Cedar range



Imagery courtesy of Earth Grid

Versapanel®, Euroform’s cement particle board, has been specified for its acoustic properties as a roofing system component for what is set to be one of the UK’s largest film and TV studios, Shinfield Studios, at the Thames Valley Science Park.


Shinfield Studios is a state of the art, purpose-built studio facility close to Reading in Berkshire.  Phase 1, comprising four sound stages, workshops and offices is in operation having opened last year.  Phase 2, to add five new sound stages, workshops and offices is opening across the coming months.  When Shinfield Studios is complete it will offer film and television producers over one million square feet of studio space with 18 sound stages and complimentary facilities.

The project is designed by international design practice Scott Brownrigg and being delivered by contractors, including Curo Construction.  Vertec, a leading specialist in facades, roofing and cladding, is constructing the building envelopes for the studios.

Protection against noise is important in modern construction design, but at Shinfield Studios it is crucial to the purpose of the studio buildings.  Versapanel® is used extensively in construction where acoustic control is essential.

Specified by scheme architects Scott Brownrigg, approximately 17,000 square metres of Euroform’s Versapanel® is being incorporated by Vertec as an element, along with acoustic matting and mineral fibre products, to the acoustic roof construction across the studios.

“Versapanel® has advantages over other types of board materials due to its strength, workability, durability and high performance in the presence of moisture, but, in this project where acoustic performance is so important, it is Versapanel’s sound reduction properties that were key to meeting the brief,” said Euroform’s national commercial manager Mark Atkinson.

Versapanel® has a minimum density of 1300kg per M3 providing superior acoustic performance when used in construction of walls, floors, ceilings or roofs.  A single Versapanel® board provides airborne sound reduction of between 30 dB and 36 dB, depending on board thickness which ranges from 8mm up to 28mm.

Versapanel® can be used in single sheet or sandwich construction.  At Shinfield Studios, to achieve the building design’s demanding decibel reduction objectives it has been specified as a multiple layer, contributing to the effectiveness of the acoustic system in the pitched steel roofs at Shinfield Studios.

A versatile building board, Versapanel® is widely used in acoustic roofs, ceilings and floors, but also as sheathing panel for steel frame systems, for external wall insulation and for partition walls.  It can be found in a wide range of commercial, residential and public sector buildings, including offices, schools, hospitals, libraries and hotels.

Euroform has been developing, fabricating and supplying materials for the construction industry since 1995.  Euroform specialises in ensuring fire and thermal compliance across its product range.  Each product is supported by an experienced and knowledgeable technical team to provide advice and guidance.

Based at Warrington, Euroform is part of Performance Technology Group an SIG Trading Ltd group of companies specialising in supporting the construction industry to meet acoustic, fire, thermal and vibration challenges.



Stone wool insulation manufacturer, ROCKWOOL®, has added to its suite of industry support resources with the launch of the Recladding with ROCKWOOL guide for specifiers.

Following the ban on combustible materials in relevant new buildings over 18 metres (ADB updated for England June 2022), many building owners are recladding existing buildings with non-combustible materials that comply with the updated regulations.

In addition to addressing combustibility regulations, recladding brings many benefits to existing buildings, including improved thermal and acoustic performance, enhanced aesthetic qualities and the replacement of flat roof systems that have reached the end of their effective operation.




The Recladding with ROCKWOOL guide includes ROCKWOOL stone wool products, such as NyRock® Rainscreen 032 and NyRock® Frame Slab 032, which are purpose-designed for ventilated rainscreen cladding. They are also independently classified as either A1, or A2-s1, d0 and therefore non-combustible, meaning that they are suitable for use on buildings that are affected by the ban on combustible materials.

With fire resistance designed into ROCKWOOL roof board products, details of ROCKWOOL flat roof solutions – such as HARDROCK® Multi-Fix – are also included within the guide.

ROCKWOOL has a dedicated recladding team in place, reinforcing the company’s commitment to supporting the industry with the remedial action needed to address fire safety and other issues for the thousands of buildings in the UK which fall short of required standards.







Heading up this team is Hedley Thompson, Recladding and Façades Sector Manager at ROCKWOOL. Commenting on the new guide, he says:

“The recladding sector faces considerable challenges to ensure that existing buildings meet the regulatory standards required today. This new guide offers valuable support for specifiers, providing an overview of the ROCKWOOL ventilated rainscreen and flat roof ranges in one place, along with all of the relevant technical information and fire standards data.”


The guide is the latest recladding resource to be developed by ROCKWOOL, adding to its existing suite of specification materials which also includes its Retrofitting Rainscreen Insulation and Cladding CPD (Continuing Professional Development) which launched earlier this year. The module explains the benefits of retrofitting insulation and clarifies why retrofitting can be better than demolishing and rebuilding from new.

To access the Recladding with ROCKWOOL guide, CLICK HERE

Euroform Product’s Versaroc® MPA1 sheathing board has been used in the construction of Europe’s largest living wall at Eden, Salford, which is set to be one of the UK’s most sustainable office buildings.


Eden is a £36 million, 115,000 sq ft, 12-storey office building at New Bailey in Salford, being developed by The English Cities Fund (ECF) – a strategic joint venture between nationwide placemaker, Muse, Legal & General and Homes England.  The main contractor is Bowmer + Kirkland.

The jewel in Eden’s crown will be a living façade, which at 43,000 sq ft will be the second largest in the world and the biggest in Europe.  The façade is designed to remove air pollutants including carbon, reduce urban temperatures offering thermal benefits to occupiers, and deliver a 174% net gain in the biodiversity of the area, while providing a high-quality green space.

Euroform’s Versaroc® MPA1 is part of the living wall structure, which involves a steel frame.  A fibre cement board comprising ordinary Portland cement with inorganic reinforcing fibres, Versaroc® MPA1 is intended for exterior sheathing of SFS frames due to its high durability and non-combustibility.

Versaroc® MPA1 achieves EuroClass A1 Reaction to Fire according to EN 13501-1:2018 and has third party Agrément from Kiwa BDA for steel frame sheathing application – certificate number BAW-20-154-P-A-UK.  Versaroc® MPA1 is also highly moisture tolerant and has achieved category A performance to EN 12467:2012 + A2:2018.  As indicated, category A is the highest level of performance that fibre cement sheets can achieve in terms of resistance to the destructive effects of varying climatic conditions including severe frost, a critical consideration for the requirements of the board used within the Eden façade.

A wide range of systems may be applied over Versaroc® MPA1 such as approved ETICS systems, terracotta cladding systems, high performance cladding systems and traditional brick coursework.

Ordered and installed by Lester Cladding, Euroform has supplied nearly 50,000 sq ft of Versaroc® MPA1 to site.

“Naturally, we are excited that our Versaroc® MPA1 product is part of the ground-breaking and prestigious new Eden office building,” said Mark Atkinson, Euroform Product’s national commercial manager.  “As we are Warrington-based, it is particularly good to have our product selected for what will become a landmark in our region.”

Once complete, Eden will have the capability to run on 100% renewable electricity and has been designed using the UK Green Building Council’s 2035-2050 standards.  Designed by Make Architects, Eden aims to be the standard-bearer in environmentally-conscious development and occupier wellbeing.

Eden is part of the wider 50-acre, £1bn Salford Central regeneration.

Euroform Products has been developing, fabricating and supplying materials for the construction industry since 1995.  Euroform specialises in ensuring fire and thermal compliance across its product range.  Each product is supported by an experienced and knowledgeable technical team to provide advice and guidance.

Euroform is part of Performance Technology Group an SIG Trading Ltd group of companies specialising in supporting the construction industry to meet acoustic, fire, thermal and vibration challenges.



Responding to market feedback, SFS has invested in a new assembly facility in Leeds to provide high quality, colour-matched AP rivets for rainscreen cladding. The full range of AP rivets are now available in 3 days’ lead time in more than 100 standard colours.

Andy Stolworthy, Director of Product and Market Development for SFS comments “The company’s new investment brings key manufacturing processes to Yorkshire that were previously handled in France. The move has been driven by UK customer feedback for shorter lead times on high quality coloured rivets, and illustrates how SFS is equipped to listen to the challenges that its customers face and respond in the most effective way.”

The result for customers is the convenience of being able to source AP rivets in a wide range of RAL colours in considerably reduced lead times. AP rivets are now available in 100+ standard colours that can be powder coated ready for despatch in just three days on orders placed before 12.00 noon, up to a maximum of 5,000 pieces. Additional volumes and bespoke colours can be easily accommodated too, with lead times depending on the specific requirements.

SFS’s AP rivet leads the market for securing rainscreen support systems in face-fixed rainscreen applications. The grade 5 aluminium body delivers ease of installation, durability and long term assurance. Three flange sizes – 11mm, 14mm and 16mm – and a range of rivet lengths provide a solution for securing the most widely specified rainscreen panels to a support frame. SFS’s powder coating processes ensure there is no paint on the mandrel.

Darren Gunga, Head of Operations at SFS says “We’re always listening to our customers and continuously looking at what we can do to make their lives easier and businesses more successful. Our new UK production facility for AP rivets is the tangible result of our approach, adding to our existing world-class painting technology for fastener systems.

“The new plant transforms the supply chain for specifiers and installers working on rainscreen projects. It is the first time that the market has been able to access the highest quality rainscreen fixings, complete with a premium colour finish, in such short lead times. Crucially, it means customers no longer need to compromise to suit tight build schedules.

“Our closeness to the market means we are in touch with the practical demands that customers face, which is why we’ve invested significant resources in Leeds to streamline the process from ordering to delivery on-site.”

Find out more about the range of SFS AP rivets for rainscreen at

Precision engineered stainless steel fasteners by SFS have enabled leading roofing and cladding contractor Curtis Moore to deliver new roofing in two refurbishment projects at Glasgow’s premier leisure and entertainment destination, Springfield Quay.

Bringing a fresh new look and delivering amongst the best quality entertainment facilities of their kind in Scotland, the renewal projects at the Hollywood Bowl and Odeon Cinema have helped the development maintain Springfield Quay’s position at the forefront of the market. In addition to these two key attractions, the Springfield Quay provides a wide range of restaurants, cafés, a gym, casino, hotel and more, located close to Glasgow City Centre.

Chosen to provide a reliable and secure fixing for Kalzip Standing Seam Roofing panels, SFS fasteners were used for both roof replacement projects at the leisure park’s Hollywood Bowl and Odeon cinema buildings.

Acting as the principal contractor on both projects, Curtis Moore was tasked with removing the existing profiled metal roof, insulation and VCL, before installing new insulation and the aluminium Kalzip panels. Both major refurbishment projects were completed whilst the facilities remained open for business, which required careful planning to keep access open and safe, without impacting on day-to-day operations or the overall customer experience.

Working closely with NBDA Architects on both projects, Curtis Moore was initially appointed on the Odeon Cinema scheme. The 5,500m2 roof of this building features curved roof sheets which are 53.5m in length. The sheets had to be site rolled within the active car park – this was undertaken in an area of the car park that would cause least disruption and was clearly cordoned off.

It was a roofing project that presented a number of challenges, not least the need to incorporate additional steelwork to suit the new Kalzip system, which was only apparent once the existing roof was removed. However, such was the success of the solution and service provided by Curtis Moore, that the company was awarded the adjacent project – Hollywood Bowl. This was a similar project, involving the removal of an existing skin, VCL, insulation and supporting grid, and installation of 2,808m2 of Kalzip panels.

Commenting on the project, Curtis Moore’s Ashleigh Thomson, Business Development Director, said: “Springfield Quay is a hugely popular leisure and entertainment destination and we are delighted to have been involved in these latest refurbishment projects which look set to keep it at the top of its game for years to come.

“Market-leading brands like Odeon and Hollywood Bowl set high standards for their customer experience, so our contribution to the building envelope must match these ambitions. That’s why the use of Kalzip systems secured by SFS fasteners was hugely important, providing the assurance of a long service life and giving the buildings excellent and lasting visual appeal.”

Find out more about SFS at

ROCKWOOL® and Rockpanel® have joined forces in developing a high performance, fire resilient cladding project which has transformed three high-rise residential towers for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council.

The Challenge

The Crofts in Smethwick consists of 270 homes within Ashcroft, Birchcroft and Elmcroft houses.

This development is located on a major arterial route into the city of Birmingham within a district that ranked 12th out of 326 in terms of deprivation in a 2010 study of the country. The three tower blocks, originally constructed in the 1960s, were in universally poor condition, showing signs of major wear and tear to the building fabric, windows, roofing and balconies. In the absence of any wall insulation, they were also proving very difficult to heat and especially challenging to keep warm for those tenants living in fuel poverty.

Refurbishment at The Crofts also offered an opportunity for Sandwell Council to rejuvenate not just these high-rise homes but also the wider area as they sought to bring a renewed sense of pride in their surroundings to residents and the local community.

The Solution

This two year, £11 million project for contractor, Keepmoat Regeneration, has involved a dramatic, top-to-bottom renovation of each tower at The Crofts.

Substantial improvements have included flat-to-pitched roof conversions with solar panel installations, new windows and striking new balcony enclosures, redecorated communal areas, asbestos removal and the installation of a highly efficient, aesthetically attractive and non-combustible insulated cladding solution supplied by sister brands, ROCKWOOL® and Rockpanel.

ROCKWOOL’s RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB® is the non-combustible dual density insulation board fitted at The Crofts. It offers a robust outer surface and a resilient inner face designed specifically for application to this type of high rise development. Made from stone wool, RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB® is A1 fire rated for optimum fire resilience. It also has the benefit of high resistance to wind and rain during construction, which, together with the minimal number of fixings required, makes installation quicker and easier for contractors. At The Crofts, the product has been tightly butt jointed, knitting together to deliver effective thermal insulation at 0.035 W/mK at the same time as it minimises any heat loss that could arise from gaps between insulation boards.

For the exterior cladding the extra fire safe façade board Rockpanel FS-Xtra has been used to provide the attractive aesthetic finish on the project. Applied on top of an aluminium supporting structure and fixed with blind rivets, these Rockpanel ‘FS-Xtra’ boards, in combination with ROCKWOOL’s RAINSCREEN DUO SLAB®, meet the requirements for European fire classA2-s1,d0. The boards also weigh very little compared to other board materials and can be easily worked with on site, with no special tools required. This saves installation time and costs. Installed on this project by Astley Facades, Rockpanel FS-Xtra boards are available in a wide range of different finishes and colours. A mixture of vibrant Rockpanel Colours, such as RAL 3009 and 5011, has been supplied at The Crofts.

The Result

“We’re extremely proud of the work we have been able to do here at The Crofts,” said a spokesperson from Sandwell Council. “These improvements have made a massive impact on both the internal and external appearance of the blocks, as well as the local skyline. And, the much improved insulation offered by the eye-catching cladding will help reduce fuel bills for tenants.”

A huge uplift in energy performance will result from these improvements. In fact, Sandwell Council estimates that, in total, approximately 9,600 tonnes of carbon will be saved every year.

The Crofts has picked up two awards for corporate social responsibility, including a Bronze in the 2015 International Corporate Social Responsibility Awards and a first prize in the Delivering Social Value category at the 2016 National Federation of Builders Awards.

Ultimately, the project has made a significant impact in the local community. These three tower blocks are not merely visibly transformed, they are more energy efficient residences and they are also beacons of hope for tenants and the community of Smethwick.

For more information please visit and

Cembrit, the leading roofing and cladding specialist is proud to announce the addition of two new sizes to its Glendyne range of natural slates, 60×30 and 50×30, offering roofers larger slates and more versatility when working on lower pitched roofs.

On a roof with a lower pitch, the large size of the slates will not let water sit between the slates and prevents the water from getting through. Larger slates work well on low pitched roofs and are best suited for use in coastal areas where the environment has a greater degree of moisture content.

The larger sized Glendyne natural slates, 60×30 and 50×30, can be pitched at a minimum of 25° and 20° in moderate exposure zones and 30° and 22.5° in sever exposure zones respectively. The slates exceed the common 2:1 length width ratio, allowing for specification on greater range of roof pitches. The range offers a quality alternative to Welsh Slate and is readily available. Cembrit also has the facility to examine individual cases and offer specific advice on minimum pitch per project outside the parameters of BS 5534.

Glendyne is a high quality slate that combines first-class performance with all the inherent beauty of natural slate, making it the ideal ‘natural’ choice for specifiers and roofers. Available exclusively from Cembrit in the UK, Glendyne is a distinctive blue-grey colour. The Glendyne quarry is one of the most modern slate quarries in the world. The quarry operates a quality management system based on EN ISO 9001 which is externally audited. This standard is adhered to rigidly, as are all quality standard procedures required by each regional market the quarry supplies. Glendyne, like all natural slate from Cembrit, is tested to BS EN European standard, BS EN 12326-1:2014 which requires many of the laboratory tests (‘type testing’) to be performed at least annually and the factory production control (FPC) performed and recorded as a matter of routine by the producer.

For further information visit, email or tel: +44 (0) 208 320 1184.

Developer and client demands for building envelopes which offer outstanding build-quality in the long term, and enhance the overall green credentials of the finished building, are driving increased interest in high performance A4 (316 grade) stainless steel fasteners, according to global fastener manufacturer SFS.

The company, which pioneered A2 (304 grade) and A4 (316 grade) stainless steel fasteners for roofing and cladding in the UK more than 30 years ago, has completed orders for A4 stainless steel fasteners for a string of high profile building projects during 2017. These include the stunning new golden-clad Alchemist bar and restaurant which is set to be a new landmark at Salford Quays, the Vita York student complex, the Royal Liverpool Hospital Life Science Accelerator building, the Broughton Airbus Building and several buildings at the Jaguar Land Rover plant.

The key advantage of A4 fasteners versus A2, which have made an enormous contribution to improving standards in roofing and cladding installations in recent years, is that they offer extended resistance to corrosion. This gives OEMs and contractors the scope to offer warranties on the building envelope of up to 40 years (depending on the system and building type/location) – an additional 15 years on what A2 fasteners are capable of.

In delivering a longer lifespan, A4 fasteners are vitally important for clients seeking higher sustainability ratings on their buildings. This is because the building envelope will retain its integrity and visual appeal for a much longer period, without the need for maintenance or premature replacement which is costly, inconvenient for building users and impacts significantly on the carbon footprint of the building.

Andy Stolworthy, Product & Market Development Manager at SFS, says “The use of A4 fasteners has long been widely accepted for areas with corrosive environments, such as densely populated urban and industrial locations, and particularly coastal areas. In recent years there has been an increase in demand for A4 stainless steel fasteners for all applications, driven by specifiers and clients seeking an enhanced quality product for increased building longevity.

“With initiatives including BIM putting the building industry on an upward trajectory in terms of overall quality, value and sustainability, A4 fasteners have a clear appeal. The operational expenditure needed for a building during its service life is already significantly greater than the capital budget required to build it in the first place. So, investing slightly more in the build – i.e. by choosing A4 fasteners for the envelope, rather than coated carbon or A2 – allows the operating costs to be considerably reduced, with guaranteed performance for at least another 15 years longer.”

SFS provides an extensive range of stainless steel fasteners across A2, A4 and A5 materials for all kinds of roofing and cladding applications, and works closely with OEMs to ensure innovative and creative approaches to the building envelope can be reliably and confidently delivered.

Customers can access detailed information about all the fastening solutions available from SFS through downloading its 2017 Roofing and Cladding Catalogue from their new website Customers can also benefit from UK-wide sales and technical teams, both dedicated to providing market-leading customer service to ensure the best possible result in the finished building envelope.

SFS has played a key role in enabling Artez, the main contractor, and leading roofing and cladding contractor Longworth to deliver an iconic new building on Manchester’s vibrant MediaCity waterfront for upmarket bar and restaurant chain The Alchemist.

The company’s powder-coated, high performance A4 (grade 316) stainless steel fasteners were key to creating a stunning gold building envelope for ‘The Bund’, a unique structure located on the land bridge crossing Dock 9 at Salford Quays, between The Lowry and the BBC.

Designed by Reid Architects, The Bund is an iconic new bar and restaurant on the waterfront next to the world famous Lowry Centre for Living Ventures and the company’s 11th Alchemist venue. The design brief provided scope for originality and creativity in meeting the key requirements to deliver a building that would be different and special, and draw together the diverse areas of Salford Quays in a single new building.

The Bund provides a revolutionary hybrid landscape in creating what is a unique and futuristic venue. The new building’s gold roof and walls, and stunning terrace that cantilevers out over the canal, are designed to match the aesthetic and style ambitions of Living Ventures and of the high class cocktail bar’s clientele.

Longworth, who are renowned for their expertise in metal roofing, were commissioned to construct the building envelope and to realise Reid Architects’ golden vision. The company’s Business Development Manager, Ben Parker, says, “We are immensely proud of our work on The Alchemist, an incredibly complex building envelope project that only a handful of companies in the UK could have successfully implemented. To hear that the building has been shortlisted for a Building of the Year Award with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce this October makes it an especially memorable project for us.

“Colour coordinating the gold zinc panels and the fasteners was critical, which is why we worked with SFS to ensure complete colour consistency on the fastener heads. We can rely on the excellent quality of SFS products, with their range of A4 (grade 316) fasteners enabling us to offer an extended life cycle on the building envelope, a requirement which is now generally specified by all the leading architects.”

Graeme McIlroy, Regional Sales Manager at SFS, adds “Fasteners hold the key to maintaining the visual appeal of the building envelope, with our powder coated A4 stainless steel fasteners best for ensuring a façade retains its integrity over a long service life. We are delighted to have been part of The Bund development working with Longworth and we hope to supply fasteners for more exciting projects as this exciting development rivals London at the heart of the media world.”

To find out more about high performance fasteners for the building envelope visit