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.



Kingspan Group, the global leader in high performance insulation and building envelope solutions, has announced the launch of Kingspan Facades – a new business designed to help architects enhance their designs without compromising on technical performance.

Combining systems and expertise from across the Group, Kingspan Facades is a service-led business providing specifiers with a comprehensive portfolio of advanced building envelope systems suitable for a multitude of applications and architectural styles. This aesthetic offering is supported with four robust substructure solutions that encompass Kingspan’s advanced core insulations alongside options using more traditional materials.

Mel Courtney, Managing Director of Kingspan Facades explains the vision for the new business:

“We’re noticing a real drive in the industry for more detailed and accessible technical guidance, particularly around facade systems. By offering solutions incorporating all of Kingspan Group’s facade products under a single business, we are in a unique position to provide the most appropriate solution. We offer a single source approach from the Steel Framing System, insulation, right through to the external facade – one point of contact for customers for the full through-wall system solution, reinforced by the technical support that Kingspan is renowned for”.

Kingspan Facades will be underpinned by an industry-leading Compliance Assured scheme. Compliance Assured by Kingspan is a robust assurance framework to support customers through design, installation training and on-site inspection during construction and handover of a BR 135 / BS 8414 tested Kingspan Facade system. This scheme, an industry first, shows Kingspan taking action to address the call for higher standards of installation and oversight on construction projects identified in the Hackitt Review earlier this year.

Describing the significance of the Compliance Assured service, Kingspan Facade’s Technical Director Dr. Thomas Henriksen said:

“In her review of Building Regulations and fire safety, Dame Judith Hackitt highlighted a number of key recommendations, including improving competence levels, stronger processes for driving compliance and managing change control, together with greater clarity of roles and responsibilities of those procuring, designing and constructing buildings. Above all Dame Judith has called for effective leadership within the construction industry to create the cultural shift required for positive change.

Compliance Assured provides a framework for construction that developers, designers, contractors, sub-contractors and most importantly both building owners and occupiers can all be confident in. As well as providing a high level of technical support at design stage, we will enhance the competence of those installing our tested systems through mandatory, project specific training. We believe that this is a major step in addressing many of Dame Judith’s recommendations”.

A key element of Compliance Assured is that Kingspan will provide a prescriptive list of components for their BS8414 Tested Systems, working with a limited number of recommended suppliers. This supports a holistic system based approach, and can be mapped to the RIBA Plan of Work Stages to provide greater transparency and traceability.

The new business will encompass the BENCHMARK by Kingspan brand, combining its architectural rainscreen facade systems, including Dri-Design, with a full spectrum of different insulation cores. These range from traditional mineral fibre to advanced insulation products such as Kingspan’s innovative QuadCore Karrier System and proven Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board solution.

The full range of products and technical services from Kingspan Facades will be available in UK, Ireland and mainland Europe and can be explored at

Abet Laminati’s MEG exterior grade laminate has been used to clad the exterior of the new offices and crew rooms of the RNLI Station in Brighton Marina.

Designed and supplied by Aliva UK, MEG 414 was chosen to match the ceramic facades of the surrounding buildings and was face fixed with colour coded rivets. The cladding envelopes the Station, keeping staff and crew warm and dry in the harshest of weathers.

This scheme is a perfect example of high performance MEG in action where the need for incredibly high performance and durability is married up with low life-cycle costs and aesthetic design.

Carrying a BBA Agrément Certificate, MEG is a self-supporting high pressure laminate (HPL) for cladding the exterior of buildings, balconies and other applications. It features high resistance to temperature, climate shock, weathering, UV light and impact. Furthermore, its chemical resistant nature and closed structure do not allow paint in spray cans, various inks, emulsion paints, lipstick or pastel paints to penetrate into the decorative layer negating the need for any anti-graffiti treatment and making the surface easy to clean.

The range is available in over 91 colours in a mix of traditional plain colours, wood finishes, simulated concrete colours and metal. MEG is also able to incorporate Abet’s digital printing technology. This means that almost any design, photograph or pattern can be reproduced in stunning detail to give architects and designers unparalleled freedom to create unusual and dramatic building facades.

Samples and technical literature are available from Abet Ltd’s sample line on tel: 020 7473 6915 or visit

South Shields is benefitting from a £16 million cultural centre featuring an iconic circular façade created with the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel.

Contractors Bowmer & Kirkland have overseen the project, named ‘The Word, National Centre for the Written Word’. The three-storey structure designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects, includes library and exhibition space, IT suite, 3D printers, and café. The development, completed in October 2016, is part of a £100 million regeneration masterplan which partners South Tyneside Council with Muse Developments.

Creating a curved structure can pose a challenge, but the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel was successfully engineered to provide a smooth, highly insulated exterior envelope. To achieve this, the structural insulated panels (SIPs) were designed and factory cut into narrow widths. This allowed them to be quickly and easily fixed to the concrete frame.

Steve McIntyre, Partner at FaulknerBrowns, explained their vision for the project: “The form and design approach of this iconic building seeks to establish a new benchmark in terms of quality of design, use of materials, and integration of public realm within the wider urban fabric of South Shields. This circular form encourages pedestrian movement between the Town Centre and the Riverside as well as having a striking and contemporary presence. The circular construction achieved with the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel helped us to accomplish the concept of the spreading pages of a book.”

The 142 mm Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel installed on ‘The Word’ can help to achieve U-values of 0.20 W/m2.K or better whilst its OSB/3 facing and unique jointing system helps to minimise unnecessary air loss. The manufacturing facility where the panels are produced carries both FSC® (FSC®-C109304) and PEFC Chain of Custody certification. Also, there are constructions available that correspond to BRE Global Green Guide generic elements which achieve a Summary Rating of A+.

Councillor John Anglin, Lead Member for Regeneration and Economy at South Tyneside Council, said: “The new building needed to reflect our Sustainable Development goals, which is why we opted for low environmental impact and sustainable materials with a Green Guide rating of A or A+ whenever we could. This is to help us with our target of receiving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. We were also keen to ensure all timber used on the library was FSC® certified or equivalent.”

Both the Kingspan TEK Cladding Panel and Kingspan TEK Building System panels are now available in a 172 mm thickness, achieving even lower U-values of 0.17 W/m2.K or better.

For further information, please email or visit

COMPAC’s technological marble has been specified for the luxurious St Regis Hotel set in Amman, the historic capital of Jordon.

This 5-star hotel which is due to be completed later this year, will feature over its 124,000 sq metres of floor space: 270 rooms including 91 suites, four restaurants, a café, destination bar, pool and pool bar, fitness centre, signature spa and more than 2800m² of meeting and event space, and a business centre.

COMPAC’s technological marble tiles in Crema Madani were specified for over 12,000 sq metres of public space flooring to provide a stunning, hardwearing surface in range of intricate designs.
This composite stone has the appearance of marble but with properties that eradicate many of the difficulties associated with it, making it ideally suited for projects that wish to replicate the luxurious look and feel of natural marble but without the high maintenance, longevity and performance issues associated with it.

COMPAC’s technological marble has a hardness that is similar to marble but its resistance to impact and breakage is much greater owing to its enhanced flexibility, it is also much lighter and easier to fabricate and install on site.

Easy to clean and maintain, COMPAC’s technological marble is ideally suited for use on kitchen and bathroom floors, walls, vanity tops, building façades, and staircases and on high footfall areas such as airports, shopping malls, hotel foyers and public buildings.

For more information please visit

(Photo by: Eric Sempé – SPIKSTUDIO)

The redevelopment of Paris’ Macdonald Warehouse has transformed an urban logistics building into a vibrant and contemporary neighbourhood, using bespoke glazing systems from Reynaers.

This project integrates into The Grand Urban Renewal Project; Paris’ wider efforts to provide more homes and inject life into neglected areas that are cut off by industrial facilities and infrastructural networks. An industrial barrier in itself, the ‘Macdo’ was designed in 1970 by Marcel Forest. The impressive structure spans over 600m in length, earning it the nickname ‘une tour couchée’, or ‘the horizontal skyscraper’.

Pleated facades

Key factors in specifying a range of Reynaers products for lots N5 and S6 of the design were performance, costs and technical evaluation. The CF 77 system combines high insulation and comfort with visual appeal. It is a highly versatile product, with a range of available opening types and threshold solutions. The folding elements with hidden gaskets create a particularly clean appearance, proving to be both efficient and aesthetically pleasing for ceiling-high, foldable doors.

The clean, sharp design of Reynaers windows integrates perfectly with the rhythmically extruded façades. This pleated façade was designed by FAA and XDGA, which wraps around the entire ground floor, the bridge building across the tramline as well as the exterior spaces and two blocks of assisted rental housing.

Architect Milena Wysoczynska, Project Manager at Paris-based XDGA-FAA, said: “Seeking a simple yet strong solution, we developed a single pattern for both blocks, with three-dimensional panelling that reflected the sky and added depth to the façade.”


A key concept in the renewal project is desénclavement, or ‘opening up,’ making the area less isolated and more accessible.

Once considered ‘ugly and difficult,’ the Macdo was developed and built upon by fifteen French and international teams. Co-ordinator Floris Alkemade, the Netherlands’ Chief Government Architect, explained that their aims are to respect the building’s heritage and enhance it with contemporary elements.

Alkemade, along with Belgian architect Xaveer de Geyter, established design guidelines to strike balance between coherence and creative freedom amongst the different plots. The result is a tidy North façade which overlooks the boulevard, juxtaposed against the more colourful and spontaneous South façade which overlooks a new train station and gardens.

With the residential aspect divided neatly into private and social housing, aesthetic standards ensure that no visible distinction can be made. As one of the biggest “live, work, play, shop” venues in France, the Macdonald Warehouse will offer more than 1,000 homes, expansive space for offices, shops and communal activities as well as two schools, a gymnasium and a bank across an incredible 210,000m2 of floor space.

Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, a public sector financial institution, funded the €240 million development. Camille Picard, Managing Director of Paris Nord EST at the Caisse des Dépôts, said: “The scheme has a direct influence on the entire area; it enables everything that is happening in the neighbourhood. Without it, the construction of a new development zone across the street wouldn’t have started as they would struggle to sell flats and offices looking out on a warehouse.”

Lead architect: OMA, Paris
Local architects and project coordinators: XDGA + FAA (lots N5 and S6), Brussels
Contractor: Sicra, Chevilly-Larue
Investor: Caisse des Dépôts, Paris
Fabricator: Alu Concept, Chilly Mazarin
Reynaers system: CF 77

An external wall insulation system is a thermally insulated, protective, decorative cladding procedure involving the use of an insulating material and a render finish. The most common insulating material is polystyrene, others such as mineral wool, polyurethane foam of phenolic foam may be used. The render finish usually consists of a reinforced base coat followed by a decorative mineral or synthetic finish.

The K Rend Silicone Thin Coat range is particularly suitable where lightweight render systems are required, such as an external wall insulation system (illustrated right).

K Rend Silicone Thin Coat products are available in an extensive colour range using the NCS System which helps customers visualise special colours for their project. NCS – Natural Colour System is a logical colour notation system which builds on how humans see colour.

K Rend Silicone TC 15 render holds the prestigious BBA certification, assuring you that vital product safety and performance requirements are met.

Benefits of Using External Wall Insulation:

  • Reduces heating bills by reducing heat loss through walls
  • Thermal efficiency of walls can be increased by up to 85%
  • Help to save the environment by reducing carbon emissions (as you burn less fossil fuel)
  • Reduce condensation (EWI raises temperature of internal walls)
  • Prevent damp & mould: EWI seals buildings from the elements
  • Improve acoustics: hi-density insulation reduces sound transfer
Contact our Technical Support Centre on 028 2826 0766 or email

At the forefront of industry research and development, RCM are constantly striving to innovate and develop their range of building boards and facades. Finding the latest technology is an ethos which lies at the very heart of RCM business and one that separates them from their competition.

With a comprehensive range for all applications – RCM recognise the importance of providing quality certified products which have been rigorously tested, to meet the demands of a challenging construction industry.

Introducing Tilcor Tiles and DAFA Ranges

NEW to RCM’s product portfolio for 2016 – Tilcor and DAFA ranges which are being showcased at the RCI Show on 27 & 28th January 2016 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, stand E9.

Tilcor roofing tiles

The stone coated and satin-finished roof systems incorporate cutting-edge Zincalume protective steel, which gives the tiles longevity and service life over traditional galvanised tiles – delivering a visually appealing finish and long term durability. The Tilcor range of pressed metal roofing tiles includes five distinctive profiles.

DAFA membranes and seals

A wide range of products for creating airtight building envelopes, including: breathable membranes EPDM Weather Resistant Seals and Vapour Control Layer (VCL) Tape ranges.

RCM extensive product portfolio

These products complement the RCM extensive product portfolio encompassing:

    • Y-wallTM – a flexible calcium silicate based fibre cement building board – A1 rated offering excellent fire properties, as well as high levels of dimensional stability
    • CemboardTM – a rigid, medium density, high performance cement bonded particle building board, offering great strength and stability with the workability of wood
    • MultipurposeTM – designed for timber frame applications, a highly versatile cellulose fibre cement building board offering excellent strength, weathering and acoustic properties
    • RenderflexTM – a high performance cellulose fibre cement building board, offering excellent strength, weathering and stability properties when used in conjunction with polymer renders
    • SupertechTM – a simple to install rainscreen cladding system offering two surface finishes. With a blend of 70% wood-based fibres and thermosetting resins, manufactured under high pressures and temperatures yields a highly stable, dense panel with good strength-to-weight ratios

RCM’s stand will also feature their Trespa ® Meteon, Silbonit, Siltech and Cladcolour ranges.

If you can’t make the event – RCM Offer Informative CPD Seminars

For those interested in finding out more, RCM provide informative CPD sessions including: a guide to materials, applications and specification considerations for building boards, internal and external linings and rainscreen facades, covering:

  • What a specifier needs to consider
  • Board materials and benefits
  • Board applications
  • Work on site

For more details call 0845 1303725 or visit

Shackerley has supplied over 900m2 of SureClad® ceramic granite ventilated façade cladding in different styles for Consett Academy and Consett Leisure Centre, adding premium quality external finishes for both parts of this £44 million regeneration project in the North East.

From the outset, the new academy and leisure centre were to be constructed as a single building with many shared facilities, but each part of the development was to have its own clear identity and sense of purpose. The specification of ceramic granite façade panels in different colourways and surface textures has helped to achieve this.

Seymour Harris, architects for the main contractor Carillion, had previous experience of using SureClad® in the education sector and had no hesitation in specifying Shackerley’s patented façade system when developing the detailed design for this scheme.

Multi-format polished and unpolished black façade panels from one of Shackerley’s most popular ceramic granite ranges have been installed ‘broken bonded’ to form a key design element of the main frontage of the Academy.

“Using premium black materials normally associated with the high end commercial sector underlines the message that the Academy is a place of work and that learning leads towards a bigger world,“ commented Seymour Harris Director, Tim Johnson. “The Academy also has a technology specialism and the use of an advanced technical cladding system seems appropriate as it serves to emphasise the focus of the school.”

The adjoining Leisure Centre has been clad with SureClad® ceramic granite façades in a lighter stone colourway, contrasting starkly with black detailing at the main entrance. “The cladding material has given the Leisure Centre the civic quality required, and maintained design continuity with the Academy, whilst the less imposing, brighter colour has given the facility its own fresh identity,” said Tim.

“The SureClad® system gave us the design flexibility we needed,” he added,” It allowed us to manipulate the coursing on the façade to employ both matt and polished layers of different heights and to interface effectively with entrance features and glazing elements. The ease of forming the junctions with other materials was an added bonus.”

He concluded: “The SureClad® ceramic granite just gave us everything we were looking for… excellent clean lines, stunning appearance of quality, robustness with long term low maintenance. The choice available also meant that we were able to reflect very effectively the natural local materials of stone buildings, slate roofs, and strata and outcrops of the surrounding landscape in our designs, whilst maintaining the civic quality demanded and continuity of detailing”.

For further details please contact Shackerley on 0800 783 0391 or visit

Creating flawless brick-faced soffits and lintels has now become much simpler and quicker, thanks to a new lightweight stainless steel based system developed by two industry-leading companies – brick support specialist Ancon Building Products and Ibstock Kevington –national manufacturer of brickwork and masonry special shapes and prefabricated components.

The new Nexus® system combines a specially developed Ibstock Kevington lightweight brick-faced steel unit with Ancon’s tried and tested MDC stainless steel bracket angle support system. The system offers contractors easier handling coupled with maximum adjustability, both vertically and horizontally, for quick and simple alignment on site.

The new system offers considerable benefits over traditional cast concrete alternatives – cutting weight by more than half, which in most cases will allow the brick-faced units to be installed without specialist lifting equipment, and significant savings in installation time – making it particularly appropriate for fast-track or time-limited projects.

Individual Nexus® units are designed and prefabricated off-site to suit different soffit dimensions, even modern deep soffits, so there is no cutting required on-site. They are simply offered up to the pre-fixed and pre-drilled Ancon MDC support system and then bolted into position using T-head bolts. The quality design allows units to be simply adjusted for perfect alignment and, once in position, all that is left is for the brick facing to be pointed for a seamless match with the main brickwork.

Nexus units can be fabricated using virtually any brick or masonry with the chosen product being specially selected and precision cut, generally from the same batch as the main façade to ensure a perfect visual match. Various brick patterns can also be specified to match individual project designs and styles.

All system components are of the highest quality, and engineered for economy and durability, with slips permanently bonded to the high grade stainless steel Nexus system using a BBA accredited bonding system. Nexus has been independently tested for long term durability by Lucideon, the independent global experts in materials testing, analysis and consultancy.

Ibstock Kevington Sales Director, Warren Dean said “Nexus® is an exciting new development that brings together the combined experience and expertise of two major companies – each market leaders in their own area. The advanced design will not only make it easier and quicker to specify and install modern brick-faced soffit and lintel features in a range of different building applications, but the two-part design means it will be far easier to achieve perfect alignment with the main brickwork façade.”

Further details and technical specifications for the Nexus® system are available in a new 4-page brochure, available to download from