Major refurbishment is underway at the Saint-Gobain Weber HQ in Flitwick, Bedfordshire where weberfloor products are being used extensively. The work involves renovation of 240m² of industrial and commercial floor space.

The Flitwick warehouse project involves the demolition of the old training workshop to make way for a new product storage area. Here the floor area has been pre-treated and primed with weberfloor 4716 primer which is designed for use on all substrates prior to application of weberfloor products to achieve a thin but tight membrane. It regulates the porosity of the substrate and improves adhesion while reducing the formation of pinholes in the levelling layer. weberfloor 4716 primer should be diluted with clean water and can be spray-applied for use on large areas.

weberfloor 4160 industry top industrial floor screed was then applied to a thickness of 10mm. Compliant with BS8204 it is a pumpable, rapid hardening and self-smoothing floor screed for use as a surface layer on industrial flooring with a compressive strength of C35 and flexural strength F10. It is especially suitable where renovation time is limited and is ready for foot traffic 2 – 4 hours after application. weberfloor 4610 industry top is designed for intensively trafficked industrial floors with medium or heavy rolling loading where exceptional flatness is required such as factories, production areas or warehouses. weberfloor 4610 industry top does not require any finish but may be coated with a suitable resin and is ideal for use on both new floors and renovation projects.

In a separate area of the building work is ongoing in the creation of a new open plan office area. During the preparation stage a slip membrane was installed to create a floating floor and to effectively de-bond from the existing substrate. This has been reinforced with alkaline-resistant weberfloor 4945 glass fibre mesh. Mesh is normally used on weak substrates or in case the screed is laid un-bonded.

Fibre-reinforced for added durability, weberfloor 4310 fibre flow has been applied to the mesh at 25mm thickness but can be applied up to 50mm. This high performance, pumpable, levelling floor screed is ideal for solid and floating floors, in both commercial and residential applications. It has excellent spreading and smoothing characteristics, is suitable for heated or wooden floors and, importantly on this project, can receive foot traffic after only 2 – 4 hours.

“Ease and speed of application has been critical to allow early access by following trades,” says Tracey Dempster, head of marketing, Saint-Gobain Weber. “These facilities are used regularly by staff and overseas visitors so downtime essentially had to be kept to a minimum.”

“The transformation of this space is really impressive,” continues Dempster, “and no one understands more than Weber that time is money and floors must be laid in the shortest possible time.” Weber’s comprehensive floor screeds, which are manufactured in the UK, have been developed for optimum speed, durability, strength and smoothness and are the most technically advanced products on the market.

For more information about this project, or for technical support including award winning training courses, please contact Saint-Gobain Weber on 08703 330 070, or visit
A free download of the Weber App for iPhone and iPad users is also available from iTunes and from Google Play for Android smartphones and tablet users. Follow Saint-Gobain Weber on Twitter @SGWeberUK for the latest company news and updates.

A complete floors and walls solution from Altro has been used to create a relaxing, stylish and home from home environment for mums-to-be in a new birth centre at Hull Women and Children’s Hospital.

The new midwife-led Fatima Allam Birth Centre has been designed to meet the needs of women who want a more natural childbirth experience. It comprises three birthing rooms, each individually designed to create a homely and relaxed feel in beautiful surroundings, while also providing a safe, hygienic environment.

The rooms feature a birthing bed, birthing pool, ensuite bathroom and additional equipment, which is cleverly concealed within hidden wall panelling.

The design vision for the Fatima Allam Birth Centre was to create an environment that looked entirely non-clinical, a home from home for mums-to-be; relaxing, calm, very contemporary in its design and a tranquil haven in which to experience this life-changing event.

Andrew Ledger, contracts manager for Apleona, which provides facilities management for the building, oversaw the new construction and was part of the team that devised the overall concept of the birth centre.

“We had a very specific idea of what we wanted the centre to look like, and how we wanted it to function,” Andrew says. “As a midwife-led unit, a relaxed and homely atmosphere was essential, however a priority was of course infection control, hygiene, durability and quality.

“We specified Altro floors and walls from the start because we are using these products elsewhere in the hospital with a great deal of success. They meet all our clinical hygiene and infection control needs, while also offering a superb range of colours and textures, which makes them ideal for creating a modern and stylish environment.

“The quality and durability of Altro is a major factor too because, as a PFI project, the long-term cost is under close scrutiny.

Professional artist and designer Adele Howitt, from Studio Eleven Gallery & Workshop in Hull, won a commission from the hospital to design the interior concept for the new birth centre. She provided various colour ways, materials, and themes, to inspire the team. The colour palette was agreed and a range of approved products to work with, including Altro floors and walls.
“Choosing the colour scheme for the birth unit was a team effort between myself, the hospital midwifery team, and Mrs Fatima Allam herself, whose husband generously donated funds towards the unit.

“Once we had decided on colours, we worked closely with Altro to look at the specific products that would meet our brief. They were very hands-on, with technical guidance and information, plenty of new ideas, and suggesting products we hadn’t previously considered. They completely understood our practical and aesthetic needs.”

Adele says: “This was something very different, very special. Childbirth is such a major life event and research has shown that the environment in which a woman gives birth can have a profound effect on the anxiety or fear she may experience. A hospital can be a very stressful environment at such a key time in a person’s life and can lead to feelings of loss of control.

“I wanted each of the birthing rooms in the new centre to have its own individual style, personality, textures and colours, with the feel of a chic boutique hotel. But I chose an overall theme to link them, which was flowers of Egyptian mythology, one for each room — Lotus, Persea and Jasmine.

“Rather than hanging pictures on the walls, I wanted to create more profound artistic design features in the birth and shower rooms so I used Altro Whiterock Digiclad to create statement walls from floor to ceiling. This is a fantastic product for design-led projects because you can print any image or photograph onto it, and the quality is superb.”

Altro Whiterock Digiclad™ is ideal for creating the right impression with a bespoke design on your wall. From a calming coastal landscape in a hospital ward to a bold company logo in a reception area, the only limit is your imagination. Altro Whiterock Digiclad is created by reproducing a photographic image or vector art on to Altro Whiterock wall sheet, with consistent, photographic quality. Hard-coat technology provides scratch-resistant properties for added surface protection, making Altro Whiterock Digiclad ideal for areas where durability is important.

Adele chose Altro Whiterock Satins™ for the shower rooms. She says “It has some wonderful shades, and the subtle, sheer texture is very stylish.”

Altro Whiterock Satins is a versatile and sophisticated hygienic walls system available in a range of solid, decorative, satin shades – from soothing and healing through to bright and energetic. It provides all the impact resistance and hygiene you would expect from Altro Whiterock, with a stain-resistant, wipe-clean surface.

Adele continues: “These walls products enabled me to create some exciting and innovative designs for each room and gave me enormous scope to create the look and feel I wanted of stylish calm, individual strength and beauty, without having to compromise.

“The Lotus room has a beach theme, with grey painted walls. Here I used Altro Whiterock Digiclad on three statement walls with a stylised image of enlarged grains of sand. In the Lotus shower room, I chose an image of a wave on one wall, and on the three remaining walls Altro Whiterock Satins in Cream.

“Persea has a forest theme, and for this room I chose a monochrome wood grain image for the Altro Whiterock Digiclad walls. In the shower room, the wall sheet depicts pebbles.

“The Jasmine suite is all about meadows. The wall sheet features beautiful pastel lilac, green and cream wild flowers, while the shower room has a lovely pale lilac called Malva for the Whiterock Satins walls, and an image of shifting grey sand.

“I also designed some panels for the doors in the centre using Altro Whiterock Digiclad, which matched the corridor wallpaper of Lotus, Persea and Jasmine flower heads on a pale blue background.”

Flooring for the birth centre was key to creating the homely, non-clinical feel. Andrew Ledger and the project team wanted natural, warm, wood-effect flooring and chose Altro Wood™ for the three bedrooms and corridors.

Andrew and his team also specified a way-finding system for the new centre to help those with partial sight and dementia. The system comprises a border of Altro WalkwayTM 20 safety flooring in black fitted around the edge of all the floors in the bedrooms and corridors.

Andrew says: “This system is very effective and it also helps to limit damage from trolleys and medical equipment because it encourages people away from the walls. We are rolling it out for all our new builds.

“Wet areas in clinical environments need to be very safe underfoot, so we chose Altro Pisces safety flooring for both the shower rooms and around the birthing pool. This flooring performs superbly in both wet or dry conditions, and with bare feet or shoes, so it’s perfect for keeping both patients and staff safe. Altro Pisces also looks good enough to work within our design themes and there are some great colours.”

Altro Pisces™ performs whether wet or dry, in shoes or barefoot, and offers 16 soft-look shades. The result is the consistent, soft appearance that you would want from domestic interiors, with the lifetime sustained slip resistance you expect from Altro safety flooring.

The flooring was installed in the Fatima Allam Birth Centre by Floorcovers UK. Partner Phil Morris said: “We have installed a great deal of Altro flooring in the hospital over the years, so we were delighted that it was specified for this new birth unit. For quality and reliability Altro is the best, and they are a pleasure to work with.

“The installation was quite a challenge because we were working in a very delicate and sensitive area right next to the live maternity ward and neonatal intensive care unit. We had to carry all our materials through the ward where babies were being born every day during our four-week working schedule.

“This meant we had to be incredibly mindful of what was going on around us, take all dust and rubbish out in sealed containers, and work as quietly and professionally as possible to minimise the impact on mothers and babies. It was a wonderful experience, though, to hear babies being born every day.”

The Altro wall sheet was fitted by Richardson Claddings. Owner Joe Richardson comments: “The majority of work we do is in healthcare and we install a lot of Altro Whiterock, so we are accustomed to working in sensitive clinical areas, and in this hospital too.

“The beauty of the Altro walls system is that it is so quiet, easy and clean to install. Altro sends the sheets to us ready-cut, which means minimal cutting or shaping on site.

“So we were able to work very quickly and quietly around the live ward. All the on-site trades worked closely with the hospital and we had a very tight and closely monitored works programme. The hospital staff were very helpful and understood all our challenges.”

The project’s main contractor was CTS Shopfitting Ltd. Account manager Adrian Cartwright said: “This was a very exciting design-led project, which required a great deal of co-operation from everyone. The sensitive nature of the build, plus the proximity of the works to the wards meant it was essential to work as quietly, cleanly and quickly as possible to cause minimal disruption. A very successful result and a fantastic facility.”

Andrew Ledger says: “The new centre has been a huge success. From a design point of view, it looks fantastic and completely meets the brief we set out. The compliments and feedback we have received from everyone who has been here have been tremendous.

“We get a lot of medical professionals visiting from around the world and they say the centre is the best of its kind they have seen anywhere, which is a wonderful endorsement and makes us very proud of what we have achieved.

“Most importantly, the mothers who have given birth here are thrilled with it too, and we have received thousands of positive comments. There really isn’t a more beautiful or peaceful place to give birth. For the midwives, it’s a dream come true; a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere they love to work in, where they can control the environment and provide a very special level of care.

“The Altro floors and walls solution is key to the overall look, form and function of the birth unit. It looks superb and very striking. Adele has used the products very effectively to create schemes and designs that are both subtle and powerful.

“From a more practical angle, the Altro wall sheet provides a tough, hardwearing surface. We are very impressed that in the shower rooms the walling overlaps the flooring to prevent water ingress, which would prove very expensive to rectify. After each birth, the rooms are completely disinfected and cleaned, and the Altro floors and walls are proving very easy to maintain.

“We are delighted with this amazing facility. It’s very much a team effort, everyone from the clinical team to the suppliers, designer and installers understood what we wanted to create and worked together to bring the vision to life.”

For more information please visit

When The Royal College of Ophthalmologists decided to upgrade the existing floor of a lecture room, the new flooring system had to be hard wearing, easy to maintain and offer superior acoustics – Sika ComfortFloor was up for the challenge.

Located near Euston Station in London, The Royal College of Ophthalmologists was refurbishing and upgrading a lecture room and required a replacement floor that was noise absorbent, easy to clean and would offer long term durability. To meet these requirements, the specification of ComfortFloor Pro, a seamless, liquid applied flooring system from Sika fitted the bill perfectly.

Sika ComfortFloor has recently become the first resin flooring system to achieve a BRE Green Guide Rating – attaining an A+ the highest rating available. This will help design teams achieve the highest BREEAM score possible for all project types, minimising the environmental impact of any building.

The successful application of 250m2 of Sika ComfortFloor Pro in a dusty grey colour by Sika approved contractor Surtech was completed throughout the lecture room and an adjacent corridor in the college. The team’s surface preparation consisted of diamond grinding the uneven sub floor which was followed by the application of the fast-setting Sikafloor Level 30 mortar at various depths to provide a flat surface to install the ComfortFloor System.

This was following by a layer of Sikafloor 161 primer before the application of the Sikafloor 330 by pin rake. To complete and seal the system, Surtech applied a topcoat of Sikafloor 305W by roller to create a joint free and seamless floor.

Available in a range of colours to meet numerous aesthetic requirements, Sika ComfortFloor Pro offers longevity, minimal maintenance and is perfect for applications where exceptional hygiene standards are vital. It can provide a seamless solution for food preparation areas, commercial kitchens, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Combining innovation in product development, the highest standards of manufacturing and technical expertise, Sika’s comprehensive range of flooring solutions for domestic, commercial and industrial applications will meet and exceed client expectations, industry best practices, and building regulations and legislation.

The careful and considered choice of products at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists perfectly demonstrates how the Sika ComfortFloor system can meet the needs of the client with an efficient installation process suitable for the most challenging and innovative new build residential and refurbishment projects.

For further information on Sika’s range of flooring products visit or for general inquiries including technical, on or off site support, please call 0800 1123863.