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

Powder coated high performance fasteners from SFS intec have played a key role in enabling leading roofing and cladding contractor Roofdec to create a striking new building envelope for a major extension to the White Rose Shopping Centre in Leeds.

The prestigious £13.7m project completed by Morgan Sindall for client Land Securities expands the popular shopping centre with an additional 65,000 sq ft. This space incorporates an 11 screen Cineworld cinema with IMAX technology, numerous restaurants and an extension of both the existing Primark and Debenhams stores.

Meeting the colour consistency and long-term performance brief across the various elements of the contemporary façade, Roofdec turned to SFS intec for 40 variations of fasteners, many of which were powder coated in-house to match the different forms and colours of the rainscreen exterior. This included ensuring that fastener heads complemented the building’s unique curved facias which were formed of purpose-made anodised panels in various colours.

Jon Barnes Senior, Managing Director of Roofdec, says, “For all of our prestigious jobs, we choose SFS intec’s fasteners for their excellent quality, ease of installation and value for money.  SFS intec provide excellent technical support throughout the design and construction phases of a project and with their production facilities being located in Leeds with in-house powder-coating, the logistics to get the right coloured product on-site were a breeze.

“With their unbeatable warranty, we’re confident that we will have no teething problems on site and the sustainability of the building is secure for a longer warranty period.  Once the project is finished, we can move on to our next project with total confidence in our work.”

SFS intec powder-coats fasteners, available to meet any RAL colour and in bespoke finishes, at its UK HQ and production plant in Leeds. This ensures it can provide complete consistency in fastener design, manufacture and colour-matching for total peace of mind – all within industry-leading lead times.

The company’s sales and technical teams are available to advise on how best to colour-match fasteners with panels. Currently, SFS intec’s most popular requests for powder coated heads reflect the trends in contemporary architecture, and include Goosewing Grey, Poppy Red, Light Metallic Silver, Solvent Blue, Hamlet and Sargasso Blue.

David Osborne, National Sales Manager at SFS intec says: “With architects continuously pushing the boundaries of façade design, and OEMs leading the charge with constant innovation in panel design and construction, maintaining the visual appeal of the building envelope is vital, particularly for clients in the fiercely competitive retail market.

“Our powder coated fasteners, which provide a high-quality finish for our A2 (grade 304) or A4 (grade 316) stainless steel fasteners, is the ideal way to ensure a façade retains its integrity over a long service life, without suffering significant visual defects that will inevitably impact on the visual appeal of the structure.

Powder coating is an advanced alternative to using moulded nylon heads. Finely ground particles of pigment and resin are sprayed on to the metal fastener head using an electrostatic spray process, causing the charged particles to permanently bond to the metal surface. The powder is then heated and fused into a smooth coating in a curing oven at up to 200 °C, melting the powder onto the metal, to deliver excellent weather resistance and colour stability in even the most exposed locations.

Customers can access detailed information about all the fastening solutions available from SFS intec through its 2017 Roofing and Cladding Catalogue which is accessible via the new website Customers can also benefit from UK-wide sales and technical teams, both dedicated to providing market-leading customer service, along with extensive resources and training facilities to ensure the best possible result in the finished building envelope.

A survey carried out by US recruitment firm Manpower has found that of more than 2,000 UK employers confidence among public sector firms had improved radically in the last three months, in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Participating British businesses were asked how they viewed the jobs market and whether they had plans in the pipeline their workforce over the next 12 months. Those in the UK construction trade reported a net employment outlook of +11% for the final quarter of 2017.

That represents the strongest outlook of any UK sector and a 6% increase on the third quarter.

The Grenfell Tower fire in June spread through cladding on the building which subsequently failed safety tests, claiming at least 80 lives.

Many other public housing projects — predominantly high-rise buildings — have since failed safety tests due to unsafe cladding.

James Hick, managing director for Manpower Group Solutions, said expansion in the UK construction trade was driven by those bids to improve public housing.

Hick commented “Construction hiring often slows in the winter months, but the UK is set to buck the trend this year — our data suggests this could be the strongest fourth quarter for hiring since 2005.

“Some of this work is the urgent testing and repair that is being carried out up and down the country on much of Britain’s public housing stock.

“The state of housing in the country is under the microscope like never before and the need for both building and remedial work have caused demand in the construction industry to shoot up.

“The tough reality lurking beneath all these positive indicators is that these hiring intentions may not come to fruition because of difficulties attracting and retaining skilled employees.”

Architects and designers working on BIM projects can now benefit from information on fastening solutions for the building envelope with ease, thanks to the ready-to-use structured data on the most widely used roofing and cladding fasteners now available from SFS intec.

The structured product data published exclusively by SFS intec, the world’s leading fastener manufacturer, is available to download at and is the first stage of the company’s initiative to provide a comprehensive library of product information to support BIM Level 2. It represents another dimension to SFS intec’s market-leading support for specifiers and contractors which already includes easy to reach, UK-based Technical and Specification Teams offering on-demand expertise to help achieve the highest performing building envelopes.

Andy Stolworthy, Product and Market Development Manager at SFS intec, says “We believe that through standardising data, clients and project teams will be able to compare and select products based on value and life cycle benefits rather than just price. This should allow for better quality products to be selected, so that life cycle costings reduce. It is obviously a far more sustainable approach to construction and something that resonates with our values at SFS in terms of delivering higher quality buildings.

“The fastener plays a fundamental role in the roof or façade system, but with current working practices and BIM software technology we believe at this time that a 3D BIM object would not be as widely beneficial as structured data. This presents product information in plain language with simple questions and answers allowing integration into a greater system element, be that data or 3D geometry. That’s why we are leading the way, by developing data for our products that can be used now.”

In addition to CAD drawings, ETA and Technical Value sheets, SFS intec has defined its own structured product data template, initially for self-drilling fasteners, with five Structured Data Sheets available for fasteners SL2, SX3, SX5, SXC5 and SXC14. These data sheets provide information content that defines the product, its properties and functional characteristics. The Data Sheets are available in PDF format for free download from, with Excel files also available by request from

A cladding system using stonewall insulation has become the first to pass new fire safety tests ordered by the government since the Grenfell tragedy in June.

The fourth in the government’s series of large-scale fire safety tests, that will allow experts to better understand how different types of cladding panels behave with different types of insulation in a fire, has been completed by the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

This fourth test was of a wall cladding system consisting of Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding with a fire resistant polyethylene filler (category 2 in screening tests) and stone wool insulation (a form of mineral wool). This combination of materials has passed the test.

The government’s Expert Panel advise that the results show that this combination of materials can be compliant with current Building Regulations when installed and maintained properly. It could therefore offer a possible solution for some buildings with other cladding systems which have been identified as a hazard.

However the Expert Panel note that cladding and insulation materials can vary between manufacturers and can have different calorific values. The way materials have been fitted and maintained can also affect the safety of the cladding system.

Therefore the clear advice from the Expert Panel is that building owners need to continue to take professional advice as to whether any remedial work is necessary to ensure the safety of their building. The test results will help inform this work but they must also take into account the specific circumstances of their building.

13 buildings over 18 metres tall in England are known to have this combination of ACM with a fire resistant polyethylene filler (category 2) and stone wool insulation. Following initial screening tests, government issued advice to building owners detailing immediate interim safety measures that needed to be undertaken. These measures have been completed for all 13 of these buildings.

The Department for Communities and Local Government concluded “The clear advice from the Expert Panel is that building owners need to continue to take professional advice as to whether any remedial work is necessary to ensure the safety of their building.”