Metal building envelope specialist SIG Building Solutions has launched a warranted twin skin system called ‘Gemello’.

Gemello, is a self-supporting roof and wall system consisting of a trapezoidal pre-finished steel liner and outer sheet with a Class A1 non-combustible glass fibre insulation in between.  Under development for a number of years, the system is now available for the roofing and cladding of steel framed buildings, including industrial, retail, office, health, education, and leisure buildings.

This new SIG Building Solutions roof and wall system can be tailored to suit the aesthetic, acoustic, thermal, fire and loading requirements of a building.  The Gemello external profiles are available in an extensive range of colours, profiles and coatings, enabling designers to create visually-engaging buildings.

In addition, the Gemello system can provide U-values down to 0.12 W/m²K or lower depending on the required performance. The design of a twin skin system also allows for denser materials to be used in its construction, improving acoustic sound reduction and rain noise.

A key feature is the Gemello system warranty.  The Gemello warranty is flexible, providing warranty periods for 12, 25 or 30 years. This warranty covers all the components within the twin skin system and the system itself.

SIG Building Solutions provides an extensive range of accessories for Gemello, including rooflights, gutters, flashings, fascias and cappings.

Working alongside the customer with a collaborative approach, SIG Building Solutions provides the technical expertise and robust product offering to develop a bespoke, effective roof and/or wall system with minimum complexity.

Commenting on Gemello, Samantha Jones, SIG Building Solutions’ commercial development director, said,


“An exciting product development, Gemello is an example of the innovation and expertise that is made available by bringing our extensive manufacturing experience together in one dynamic built up system offer.”

SIG Building Solutions


Following more than a decade of operating collaboratively alongside each other, SIG’s team of cladding and sheeting manufacturers came together in Q4 of 2022 to provide a cohesive customer facing brand under the SIG Building Solutions banner.

Providing complementary product ranges and servicing regional markets to create a national solution, these manufacturing businesses are prevalent in the agricultural and light industrial sectors and are well placed to combine their resources to present their service to a wider audience.


“SIG Building Solutions provides a relationship-driven, solutions-focused, single point of contact which translates well across the industrial, commercial and agricultural build sectors.  Our manufacturing businesses combine decades of roof and wall system expertise and manufacturing know-how which have been brought together and backed by the robust supply chain and extensive capabilities of SIG plc,” said Sam Jones.


SIG Building Solutions manufactures secondary steelwork, insulated panels, single and twin skin roof and wall profiles, bespoke fabrications, rainwater goods and ancillary products.

In addition, SIG Building Solutions has developed a range of solar car park canopy structures, and works alongside solar system providers to help organisations with large parking facilities generate solar energy and reduce their carbon footprint.






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.”

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Kalwall translucent cladding is a key feature in the recently renovated British National Taekwondo Centre in Manchester. The new facility was opened in time to service the needs of British athletes training for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Now for the first time, the entire national taekwondo programme, including 130 athletes, coaches and administrators, can be carried out under the same roof. This state of the art facility was designed by AEW Architects, with Balfour Beatty as the main contractor.

One of the main attractions of specifying high performance Kalwall is its unique influence on both the interior and its external appearance, particularly at night. Internally, rooms are flooded with diffused natural daylight which creates a stimulating and healthy exercising environment which, although translucent, also offers privacy. Unlike conventional glazing, highly insulating Kalwall eliminates shadows and glare and the stark contrasts of light and shade. The system also enhances simplicity by eliminating the need for blinds, curtains or solar control. In addition, the even distribution and deep penetration of light through Kalwall means less artificial lighting is needed thereby reducing energy costs.

Kalwall is a popular choice for sports and leisure environments and is commonly installed around swimming pools and sports halls. It is an ideal solution where an even distribution of light is important so that players can distinguish markings on the floor as well as not being distracted by glare and other interference.

Kalwall is distributed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by Structura UK, a leading supplier, fabricator and installer of glass curtain walling, rainscreens, glass atria, windows and other architectural glass building products.

The company has had all three of its ISO certifications successfully renewed for three years: OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management certification and ISO 9001 Quality Management certification.

Case studies and technical information are available from Structura UK Ltd, Tel: 01233 501 504 or visit