Wednesday, September 5, 2012


SolarTech Ltd, one the UK’s leading renewable energy specialists, has designed and installed an innovative new photovoltaic (PV) carport system for Waltham Forest Council, thought to be one of the first of its kind to be used to generate electricity by a Borough Council.

The bespoke system of mono and dual wing cantilever solar carports was specially designed for the Council staff car park adjacent to Juniper House in Walthamstow, as there was insufficient space to accommodate a conventional PV system on the roof of the building.

Not only do the solar carports provide cover for 17 vehicles, without any reduction of the existing car parking space, but the 27kWp PV arrays can also generate approximately 21,600 kWh worth of solar energy per year. This can be used to provide free electricity for the Council office buildings, whilst generating a significant income from the Government’s “Feed-in tariff” scheme that pays an enhanced rate for this electricity (even if it is used by the Council).

There is also the option of integrated electric car chargers, which could help encourage the use of electric vehicles in the future.

As principal contractor, SolarTech was responsible for the delivery of the bespoke designs, including structural calculations and planning applications, through to fabrication, supply and installation of the arrays, all of which were completed within a limited five week time frame. The company is also providing a maintenance contract.

“This is a highly innovative and cost effective solution, which has made the most of our available space to produce renewable energy on-site, whilst helping reduce CO2 emissions, and demonstrating the Council’s ongoing commitment to a greener future through investment in renewable technologies,” said Trevor Brown, Project Coordinator for Waltham Forest Council.

SolarTech has also delivered a number of conventional solar PV arrays for the rooftops of the surrounding civic buildings in support of the Council’s ongoing strategy to provide energy from renewable sources across the Borough.

“Our ‘Sola-Port’ solar car ports are an excellent investment for local Councils, or anywhere that offers extensive car parking facilities, as they supply free solar electricity, as well as earning additional income from the Government’s feed in tariff scheme, which can then be reinvested into projects for the benefit of the community,” said Shaun Taylor, managing director of SolarTech.

SolarTech has extensive experience of working with both public and private sector organisations. The company offers a wide choice of renewable technology solutions from photovoltaic (PV) electricity, including solar car port options, solar hot water, through to biomass, ground and air source heat pumps and wind power, which can be fully integrated and tailored to meet the specific needs of clients and individual projects.


Insulslab SFRC Launches Approved Installer Network

Following the rapid adoption of Insulslab SFRC by a series of national housebuilders, an Approved Installer Network has been launched that will provide access to a team of fully trained, highly efficient and extremely competitive ground engineers who are qualified to work with the Insulslab system.

Insulslab SFRC is a fully integrated and super insulated foundation system that has been proven to deliver time and cost savings on-site whilst achieving superior levels of thermal insulation. Constructed of interlocking expanded polystyrene (EPS) pods, Insulslab SFRC is simply laid in place to form a rigid waffle shaped slab, with steel fibre reinforced concrete (SFRC) then poured on top to deliver the foundation up to ground floor slab level.

Since its UK launch, BBA-approved Insulslab SFRC has grown in popularity with developers as it significantly increases speed of build, supports the thermal performance of buildings and has significant savings over traditional, deep trench and pile foundations. In response to this demand, Insulslab SFRC has developed the national Approved Network to further increase the efficiency of build for developers.

Andrew Orriss, Insulslab SFRC, explains: “Whilst an Insulslab SFRC technical engineer attends the start of all new developments where the system is used, we recognised that by having a pre-approved network of ground engineers nationwide, we will remove the vulnerability of on-site training at the start of each project. Instead, there will now be fully trained ground engineers able to hit the ground running.”

As a new programme, the Insulslab SFRC Approved Network represents an opportunity for established ground engineers to diversify their service offering and achieve competitive advantage. As a fast-track method of construction which supports sustainable insulation targets, Insulslab SFRC is set to triple in volume in the next three years.

Andrew Orriss continues: “Ground engineers who achieve accreditation early on will be at a distinct advantage over those that continue to only offer traditional groundwork services. Becoming an Approved Insulslab SFRC Installer will essentially set them apart from the competition and potentially open up new routes to work with some of the UK’s major housebuilders.”

To achieve Approval, ground engineers will need to undertake a comprehensive induction with Insulslab and SFRC manufacturer, Arcelormittal. Following on from this theory based workshop, a series of on-site inspections must be completed with Approval reviewed annually. As a nationwide network, Insulslab SFRC will provide approved ground engineers with opportunities to tender for local Insulslab SFRC projects direct with the developer or main contractor.



Lincolnshire-based renewable energy products distributor Eco Building Products has replaced the traditional florescent lighting at its Market Deeping premises with a new sustainable system from Envirolighting Ltd and has been so impressed with the results it has signed a deal with the supplier.

Sister companies Lark Energy and Kestrel Timber Frame also had new lighting installed. All three companies, part of the Larkfleet Group, have seen real savings in energy and costs since installing new tubes and switches.

Eco Building Products is a leading supplier of alternative energy technologies, insulation materials and other products aimed at making new and existing buildings ‘greener’.

Ian Greenfield, operations director at Eco Building Products, said: “The Envirolighting installation cost around £3,000. We are already seeing energy savings of up to 80 per cent and expect payback in less than two years.

“There were no new fittings, just tubes and starters, which keeps costs and installation time to a minimum. We have also installed eco light switches that only turn on some of the lights in a room. If it is too dark, simply flick the switch again and all the lights will come on. As a result, some rooms are using half the number of tubes all the time now, giving us a real saving.”

As a result of the savings that it has made, Eco Building Products is now working with Envirolighting to offer free lighting surveys to its customers and to promote Envirolighting lighting solutions for commercial premises.

Envirolighting contracts manager Paul Fowler said: “We are delighted that Eco Building Products is promoting our lighting solutions. Our surveys include an assessment of current lighting and light levels. We assess contributions of natural daylight to determine if this free light source can be used in conjunction with artificial lighting to maximise energy savings.

“Based on this we generate a proposal, which includes which lighting products we would recommend for each area of the premises, and a full energy report comparing current lighting to proposed. We highlight cost savings and reductions in energy consumption, increases in profit as a result and reductions in the business’ carbon footprint.

“We also often recommend a short trial period where we fit a small quantity of our recommended lighting products in a test area and run them for a brief time so that we can calculate average savings for the entire site. This allows customers to see the benefits of our recommendations without committing to a full project implementation.”

Envirolighting’s solution includes the installation of retrofit fluorescent T5 adaptors which are more efficient than old-style T8 and T12 fluorescents. These T5 adaptors provide the necessary high-frequency ballast to adapt switch start and starterless fittings to accept energy saving T5 fluorescents tubes with simple plug-and-play speed. This energy-saving lighting solution means an easy change to efficient lighting without the need to replace the light fittings or cause disruption.

In addition to the T5 retrofit adaptors, Envirolighting solutions also include sensor control and efficient HID dimming where fittings can be dimmed to ten per cent of their normal output when areas are unoccupied. As the fitting automatically turns back up to full output again when presence is detected, ‘re-strike’ times no longer become an issue.

Ian Greenfield added: “We have joined forces with Envirolighting to further enhance our ability to supply the best in renewable energy products to our customers.

“Eco Building Products is committed to providing the best range of quality renewable energy products available to the trade in this region. Our partnership with Envirolighting will help us to achieve that.”



Bolt it or bond it? Rivet it or clinch it? Drill it or self-pierce it? Assemble it for subsequent disassembly or put it together forever? When it comes to fastening and bonding in engineering or industrial applications there is only one exhibition dedicated exclusively to the subject – the FAST & IASE events being held at the National Motorcycle Museum on October 18th this year. The Fastening & Assembly Solutions and Technology exhibition focuses on ‘mechanical’ fastening and assembly, and the Industrial Adhesives and Sealants Exhibition does likewise in the field of adhesives.

Here, visitors can discover and discuss all the latest new products, processes and methods to have emerged recently in the field of fastening, bonding and assembly for manufacturing applications. From electronics and electrical equipment manufacture to aerospace and automotive and everything in between, this is the event that helps the UK’s leading engineers and brightest manufacturers continue to innovate, improve quality and drive down costs. Got a fastening or assembly related problem? Bring your drawings and/or parts and discuss the variety of options with some of the UK most experienced application experts!

Positioned just outside the NEC the National Motorcycle Museum will again play host to FAST & IASE with abundant free parking, and the organisers have also arranged for a free bacon roll and brew to be waiting for all pre-registered visitors on arrival, as well as a free museum pass otherwise priced at £8.95.



The energy management and natural ventilation systems for two innovative carbon-neutral homes in Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK have been supplied by WindowMaster (

The two semi-detached VELUX Carbon Light Homes ( have been constructed to demonstrate that state-of-the-art energy-efficient sustainable housing is practical, affordable, appealing to home buyers and can be easily constructed by volume house builders.

As one of the integral partners in the project, WindowMaster installed its NV Comfort™ control system. NV Comfort™ enables an optimal indoor climate through consistent pure natural ventilation. At the same time it can save enough energy to significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

WindowMaster’s Paul Collins explained: “Carbon Light Homes are designed to be low energy buildings. The WindowMaster system is at the heart of the building’s management. It allows air temperature and quality in the house to be maintained with minimal energy expenditure. It automatically opens and closes windows in response to internal and external temperature, CO2 levels and weather conditions.

“The energy management system also controls the blinds so that they close to keep sun out in the warmer months to aid cooling and open in the winter months in order to take advantage of passive thermal gain.

“Energy management helps to heat the property by reducing the load on the other heating systems. Demand for fossil fuel energy for heating, hot water and electricity is kept to a minimum, making these experimental homes almost carbon neutral.”

The homes also use solar heating in combination with air-to-water heat pumps for hot water and space heating. Natural ventilation cools the buildings by taking advantage of triple height atriums around the stairs which create stack and cross ventilation. In hotter months, the homes are cooled using purge ventilation while internal and external screening helps to control solar gain and create a comfortable indoor climate. In winter, natural ventilation works alongside a mechanical ventilation system with heat recovery which recycles heat from the kitchen and bathrooms into the living areas. All of this is managed by NV Comfort™.

NV Comfort™ is based on WindowMaster’s established NV Advance™ system for management of natural ventilation in larger projects, such as schools and offices. Like the NV Advance™ control system NV Comfort™ regulates and adjusts internal air quality using an intelligent, computer-controlled system that harnesses the natural forces created by temperature differences outside and inside the building and by the effect of wind around the building.

NV Comfort™ controls façade and roof windows so that they automatically open and close by incremental amounts on the basis of individual fixed values for the desired room temperature and CO2 levels, as well as measurements of external temperature, rain and wind speed. The system also opens and closes blinds taking its cue from thermal mass readings from a pyrometer.

Opening of the automated windows can be overridden by the user to maintain security. Setting the desired room temperature and CO2 levels can be done individually for each room from one central location in the building via the NV Comfort™ touch screen.


Kier preferred bidder to deliver £240m Watford Health Campus

Kier Property has been selected by the Health Campus Partnership (Watford Borough Council, West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Watford Football Club) as the preferred bidder to deliver the £240m Watford Health Campus project.

The company beat rival bidder Laing to be awarded the contract to deliver the 375,000sq ft mixed-use development, which will include new hospital facilities for Watford and south-west Hertfordshire, up to 650 homes and a new multi-storey car park.

The Health Campus will regenerate derelict land in west Watford and deliver new employment space and 1,600 local jobs. It will also allow better access for all to improved open public space and reduce traffic congestion.

Kier Property scored highly across a range of areas that ultimately saw its bid come out on top. The Health Campus partnership was particularly impressed by Kier as:

-its masterplan fully meets the aims for the scheme in terms of creating an attractive and sustainable community in west Watford that incorporates health, employment, quality open space and new homes

-its proposal keeps the hospital’s vision for new health facilities at the heart of the scheme and offers the flexibility needed to ensure this can happen

-it offers excellent value for money with a 50:50 long-term joint venture for the public sector

-it has a good track record of delivery and will appoint an experienced and skilled team to take its proposals forward

Nigel Turner, Kier Property’s MD, added: “We are extremely pleased to be selected as the preferred partner to deliver the Watford Health Campus scheme. We have worked closely with the Health Campus partners to understand their vision and aspirations for the Health Campus and the area overall. We believe our proposal will deliver the transformation that the partnership is looking for and we are now very excited to get started.

“We are looking forward to getting out and about in Watford to share our proposals with the local community. Our joint objective is to deliver realistic and achievable regeneration within a clear timescale.”

Commenting, Dorothy Thornhill MBE, Elected Mayor of Watford, said: “This announcement marks a significant step forward for the Health Campus and brings us closer to seeing our aspirations for the area finally come to fruition. The Health Campus is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will deliver significant benefits to the town and gives a huge boost to our local economy at a time when other areas of the country are seeing reductions to public investment and services. There is still a lot to be done but I am delighted at the prospect of working with Kier on its exciting proposals and getting the best possible results for Watford and our residents.”

Jan Filochowski, chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “We have been working hard to fulfil our vision for a modern general hospital for Watford and the whole of west Hertfordshire, so I am delighted that we have reached this important milestone in the Watford Health Campus project.

“The land around the hospital and the slope of the site has been challenging when trying to piece together the Health Campus ‘jigsaw’. The scheme allows parts of the hospital to ‘decant’, whilst other parts are built. It will transform the hospital facilities and site, creating green open spaces, tranquil water frontage and welcoming public spaces. Emergency and normal access to the site will be dramatically improved. At the end of the works our patients, staff and the local community are set to have fantastic new and improved facilities.”

Kier will also be working with the Health Campus partnership to complete the financial and legal aspects of their agreement by December.



Iron technology leader Saint-Gobain PAM UK, part of leading materials company Saint-Gobain, has released its latest sustainability report, demonstrating the successful steps it has taken to maintaining a commitment to sustainable development.

Saint-Gobain PAM UK’s third Sustainability Report outlines its environmental policy for achieving key sustainable targets, alongside setting future objectives for reducing carbon emissions, energy usage and landfill waste.

Paul Minchin of Saint-Gobain PAM UK commented: “Our products manufactured in the UK are made from 97 per cent recycled materials. As a leading manufacturer of ductile iron pipe systems, access covers and gratings, above and below ground cast iron drainage systems and fittings, we have an inherent advantage in meeting significant sustainability targets. Nevertheless, we strive to continuously meet ethical and economic goals, and our third Sustainability Report looks forward to the coming years and what we can do to further improve the environmental impact of our operations.

“Some of the most significant improvements in waste management can be seen at our sites in Holwell and Telford. At the Holwell plant, we have reduced waste being sent to our on-site landfill by 83 per cent in 2011. This was achieved through a range of initiatives, such as introducing reusable refractory ladle linings and selling used sand for building block manufacture. Our Telford site has also dramatically reduced its waste. In 2009, 3,200 tonnes of waste were sent to landfill at Telford, whereas 2011 saw this cut to 848 tonnes.

“A significant project has been on the Holwell Cupola furnace– the largest in the UK – which has really helped reduce our environmental impact at a local level. We replaced a wet scrubber system with a new control system, delivering a new dry bag filter solution, helping to meet stringent environmental targets for emissions reduction in particular. A heat exchanger was also fitted to recover waste heat from combustion gases. These steps have dramatically reduced water usage, electricity, raw materials and refractories to landfill. This investment was also a key factor in obtaining CEMARS – Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme – accreditation, recognition we are particularly pleased to receive, highlighting our recent environmental efforts.

“Other notable achievements include a 4.3 per cent reduction in carbon emissions between 2010 and 2011, with a target of 7 per cent by 2014, plus a significant reduction in water usage of 18 per cent since 2009 across the company. In fact, the Cupola project at our Holwell site has cut water usage by 28,000m3 – a reduction of 63 per cent at that site alone.”



Peterborough-based Metrix Marketing ( and t2 Studios ( are working together to promote the sale of self-build housing plots at Hampton.

Hampton, the 7,000 home township being built south of Peterborough, has been growing at the rate of nearly 500 houses per year with around 20 building companies active on the site.

However, O&H Hampton – the company which owns the land and is managing the development – also has a small number of plots available for sale to people who want to build their own homes.

Roger Tallowin, general manager at O&H Hampton, said: “We have a long-term vision of a thriving, sustainable community. We see self-build homes as an integral part of that community.”

The company recognised that selling individual plots to would-be self-builders was going to be very different to selling relatively large sites to house building companies. So it called in Metrix Marketing to advise on a marketing communications programme to attract new potential purchasers.

Metrix recommended an internet-based campaign because more than 100,000 people in the UK search online each year for available plots to self-build. Metrix introduced t2 Studios, an integrated design and media agency with which it has a close working relationship.

Between them, the two companies created a new website – – which provides details of the self-build plots on offer at Hampton as well as helpful facts, figures and advice on how to build your own dream home.

Metrix also assisted with media publicity, including a large feature in Self Build & Design magazine, and other promotional activity including advertising designed by t2 Studios.

Roger Tallowin said: “Metrix Marketing and t2 Studios have helped us to raise our profile in a very difficult and competitive market.”

The self-build plots on offer are in Winsor Crescent in Hampton Vale West. They overlook a nature reserve on the northern edge of the Hampton community and have impressive views of a peaceful countryside landscape from almost every angle.

The group of 13 plots all have key services – provided by O&H Hampton – including foul and service water drainage, and utility connections for drinking water, gas, electricity and telecommunications. Each plot has a gated private driveway and a waste bin and utilities store are also supplied.

Five of the 13 plots have now been sold.

For information about the availability of plots in Winsor Crescent, visit or call O&H Hampton on 01733 293220.



Eurovia UK, the leading highway and infrastructure service provider, was awarded first prize in the Company Driver Safety category at the ‘Fleet Safety Forum Best of Best Awards for Excellence 2012’. Eurovia won first prize for implementing initiatives to promote safe driving among its staff members. Eurovia were also highly commended in the category Fleet Safety Innovation, which is awarded to the fleet service operator that has developed a pioneering approach to fleet safety with greatest success.

“Road safety is incredibly important to Eurovia,” says David Campbell, Eurovia’s Health, Safety and Environment Director. “We are constantly working to ensure the highest possible safety for our employees across the business and it is such a great achievement to be rewarded for our efforts. We are delighted to have won first prize for Company Driver Safety as well as been highly commended for Fleet Safety Innovation. The awards demonstrate our continued dedication and commitment to the well-being of our employees and those on the road alike.”

The Award ceremony was held at the Macdonald Burlington Hotel in Birmingham, on the 14th June.

The award success came hot off the heels of the Group’s safety campaign and competition “Drive for Life”. Launched in May 2011, the aim of the seven-month campaign was to raise awareness of road risk and to reduce the environmental impact through promoting alternative means of transport. The campaign, judged a success, saw a 30% reduction in overall driving incidents during 2011, which reflects the success of the campaign.

Eurovia’s ongoing commitment to the safety of its employees and road safety is reflected in its Corporate Responsibility strategy to further enrich, challenge and improve the company.


Sheehan’s opens new construction & demolition recycling plant plus holds open days

Sheehan’s opens new construction & demolition recycling plant plus holds open days : 11th to Friday 14th September 2012

Oxford based Sheehan Haulage & Plant Hire, in conjunction with CDE Global, is holding a series of open days from the 11th to 14th September 2012, to showcase its newly commissioned construction & demolition waste recycling plant.

With sustainability and recycling high on the agenda of Government and Local Authorities across the UK, Oxford based public works and civil engineering contractors, Sheehan Haulage & Plant Hire, recently installed a new construction & demolition waste recycling plant.

The new multi-million pound facility, which was more than five years in the planning, was manufactured, installed and commissioned in June 2012 by CDE Global, the world leading supplier of washing equipment for quarries and mines, at Sheehan’s 150 hectare ‘Dix Pit’ recycling site on the outskirts of Stanton Harcourt in Oxfordshire.

As a result of the investment, 100,000 tonnes per year of construction & demolition waste from Oxford and the surrounding areas will be diverted from landfill and turned into high value construction aggregates, recycled sands and sub soil. The facility will be used to process construction, demolition and excavation waste from Sheehan’s own projects with additional waste being accepted from as far afield as Greater London. The output is turned into re-useable materials for future construction projects – 50% of which Sheehan’s currently uses on its own projects.

The new CDE Global waste recycling plant is able to process general building rubble, excavation and demolition material into a range of clean aggregates and shingles. These include 3.3mm, 6mm, 10mm, and 40mm grades, which primarily can be used for pipe bedding, with ranges of washed general building sand, fine grade soil and vibro piling material also being produced. In addition, the plant is able to remove other erroneous matter, including wood, plastics and metals which are then sent on for further recycling, while extracted water is reused and re-cycled as part of the washing process.

“Sheehan’s is striving to be better environmental stewards, and we endeavour to sustain natural resources wherever possible,” states Tara Sheehan, Financial Director of Sheehan Haulage & Plant Hire. “By processing all of our own construction & demolition waste and increasing the volume of local third party waste, we are already able to produce and supply recycled sand and sustainable aggregates to many local companies, in addition to meeting much of our own requirements for construction materials in the region.”

The construction & demolition waste is initially loaded into a feed hopper of the CDE Global solution and ferrous material is removed by an overband magnet and pre-screened to remove other erroneous material. Following an initial rinsing through an Aggmax™ unit to liberate sand particles, these are then sent to an Evowash™ unit for the first washing phase. Larger pre-screened material is then sent to the Rotomax™ logwasher for scrubbing and material is discharged to a dewatering screen, with further liberated sand particles recovered for final aggregate rinsing.

The screened and washed aggregate is then discharged to the triple deck Prograde™ that grades aggregates into 5-10mm / 10-20mm / 20-40mm / +40mm material. Waste water is re-cycled and filtered through the Aquacycle™ thickener with silt particles being removed and the waste sludge sent to a concrete buffer tank. Further filtering that creates a filter cake of approximately 90% dry solids content and all residual water is recycled back to the washing plant.


Thursday, August 30, 2012


The speed of installation and acoustic properties of Stramit’s ElecoFloor has recently been utilised in the construction of the West Park Development, Manchester. Renaker Build, with expertise in construction projects of varying complexity and value, specified and installed ElecoFloor at the £12M residential project. The West Park development consists of the build of two apartment blocks each containing 85 individual units.

Appointed as the main flooring product throughout the development, ElecoFloor panels provide the necessary sound insulation for separating floors, without the need to source all the required layers for a built up system. This results in a reduction in thickness above the joist being of 50% or more. The medium weight overlay board, designed for concrete and timber floors, is an acoustic flooring system comprising of moisture resistant chipboard and MDF composite bonded boards, with a resilient central layer and a durable polyester felt backing. This construction helps improve impact and airborne noise.

Stramit Panel Products, a trusted partner in leading partition systems in the United Kingdom for over 50 years, understands the importance of a quick installation process and has utilised its expertise in manufacturing laminated and pre-decorated partitioning panels to develop the ElecoFloor system. With its fast installation time, Elecofloor can be fitted up to half the time it takes to install a batten system. Once in place, the panels take up a third of the overall thickness, delivering material savings on brick courses, whilst additionally significantly reducing the overall height of the building.

Renaker, which awarded ElecoFloor the contract, provided a clear schedule for the quick turnaround required. Phased over a 24-month period to meet the client’s sales requirements, Stramit guaranteed the delivery of the ElecoFloor system could meet the flexible schedule Renaker needed to work within.

A spokesperson from Renaker Build commented, “Due to a positive working relationship with Stramit, we have successfully installed ElecoFloor on several projects over the past few years, including West Park and Delta Point in Manchester. We continue to experience a first class service and I feel extremely confident in the knowledge that ElecoFloor will always arrive onsite on time and of the highest quality.

“With valuable acoustic properties and simplicity of installation, ElecoFloor provides competitive pricing which makes a cost effective and time saving product to install.”

Whilst Robust Details, the Certification Scheme for separating walls and floors in new build joined homes in England and Wales is a popular choice for many, Renaker has chosen the Stramit ElecoFloor system which provides important data in order to help demonstrate what acoustic performance is being achieved.

Furthermore, the composite floor system, which successfully meets Part E of Building Regulations, protects residential properties from the noise of activities in other rooms or adjoining properties. ElecoFloor, designed for use in both new build and conversions, is suitable for use throughout a building, including bathrooms and kitchens. Additionally, ElecoFloor is also widely used in the conversion and refurbishment sector, where pre-determined ceiling and door heights can be restrictive.



Having trusted suppliers is acknowledged as an effective route to high quality and low cost production. For companies providing engineering subcontract services, visiting the innovative new Engineering Subcontractor Exhibition (held at the RAF Museum, Cosford on 18th April 2013) provides access to some of the best machinery and equipment suppliers in the UK.

The show takes place alongside the established and highly regarded FAST Exhibition which showcases the latest advances in industrial fastening and assembly. The RAF Museum Cosford venue is a fantastic location for visitors involved in engineering, and offers free entry too.

The roadshow style of the new Engineering Subcontractor exhibition is ideal for visitors who are busy people: easy to get to, easy (and free) to park at, and easy to get round. Subcontract service providers can discover and discuss all the latest new equipment, machinery and processes to have emerged recently from an eclectic portfolio of leading suppliers to manufacturing companies. Included will be multi-axis machining equipment, lathes, turret and bed mills, bridge mills, turning centres, bar feeders, cutting tools and machines, CMM’s, marking equipment, waterjet cutting and much more. 

They will cover the needs of engineering subcontractors active in the fields of machinery, sheet metal working, pressing, plastics moulding and assembly, electronics and additive manufacture amongst more. 

This new event offers a low-cost, easy to manage platform for exhibitors and a focused event designed to deliver visitors with maximum information in the minimum of time and with the minimum of fuss. 


CWISC Competent Persons Scheme Notifications Up A Third

In the first six months of 2012, just under a quarter of a million Cavity Wall Insulation installations were carried out under the Cavity Wall Insulation Self Certification scheme (CWISC) - a 36% increase in installations under the scheme compared to the first six months of 2011.

The CWISC scheme is operated and administered by the Cavity Insulation Guarantee Agency (CIGA) in association with the British Board of Agrément. The scheme provides homeowners with the comfort of knowing that work by registered contractors is not only covered by the CIGA Guarantee but complies with building regulations requirements.

Registered installers under the scheme must meet detailed technical requirements and are subject to regular independent inspections and surveillance of work. Under the Scheme a certificate of conformity is sent to the homeowner shortly after completion of the installation.

Gerry Miller, Chief Executive of CIGA, commented: “Qualifying installations also receive the CIGA independent 25 year Guarantee against defects in materials and workmanship. To date, CIGA has issued nearly 5 million guarantees, which, in conjunction with the certificate of conformity with building regulations, provides householders with complete peace of mind.”

The CWISC scheme was officially launched 1st October 2010.



Kubota Construction has announced an order for 140 mini-excavators by GAP Group, the UK’s largest independent plant and tool hire company. The deal marks the first major win since the appointment of Kubota Construction’s first dedicated Key Account Manager.

GAP has been a regular user of Kubota Construction for many years, and today estimates that Kubota accounts for around 95% of its fleet of mini-excavators, situated at 59 depots across the UK.

The 2012 batch demonstrates the breadth of Kubota Construction’s range, as its composition shows a marked shift from previous orders by GAP. Of the 140 machines being delivered, 30 are 6-tonne models and 60 are 8-tonne models.

"The mini-excavator market is skewing towards larger sizes as customers need to handle bigger projects, and we’ve had to take on increased numbers to meet growing demand," explains Ken Stewart, Procurement Manager for GAP. "We’re more than confident, based on past experience, that the Kubota equipment will be up to the task."

Ken Stewart says that GAP sees the Kubota name as a badge of quality. "In addition to their mini-excavators, we use other items that run on Kubota engines. Whatever the application, we’ve always found Kubota products to be well-engineered, reliable and hard-wearing – ideal for customers who require construction equipment that can stand up to the rigors of demanding working environments."

In addition, GAP cites the fact that Kubota Construction fits anti-theft technology to its mini-excavators as standard, as being instrumental in bringing peace of mind to its customers. "Good security is a must, and we use Kubota’s anti-theft technology alongside other systems as part of a robust protocol to protect our investment."

With so many Kubota models in the fleet, GAP’s workshop personnel and foremen have developed an exceptional working knowledge of the brand. "I’ve been told many times by colleagues within GAP that the Kubota products don’t suffer many servicing issues, which is a huge testament to their quality."

He adds that the excellent long-term cost of ownership of Kubota models extends as far as selling them on. "Kubota mini-excavators tend to retain their value, giving us good residual income to put back into the business when we need to upgrade our fleet."

The 2012 GAP order is the first major deal brokered by Rebecca Bryson, Kubota Construction’s new Key Account Manager. Bryson was appointed to this role – a first for Kubota in the UK – in order to bring added value to the company’s nationwide customers such as GAP.

As part of the order, Kubota Construction will be taking a greater role in supporting GAP to get the best of its fleet. "We’ll be helping out on Open Days and liaising with depots on training and sales requirements, in order to help GAP get the best out of their Kubota fleet," explains Rebecca Bryson.

"We’re delighted with Rebecca’s appointment and see this as the start of a new era in our relationship with Kubota," confirms Ken Stewart. "With a Key Account Manager in place, we’re confident that Rebecca will fly the flag for the Kubota range to help increase awareness and highlight the strength of our fleet, both externally to customers and internally to GAP’s own staff."


2000th Rå Build for H+H

H+H’s Rå Build method of aircrete construction has recently been specified for the 2000th time at a Linden Homes development in Northfields, Colchester, demonstrating the popularity of the system. Originally the build method was to be timber frame, however, the specification changed to aircrete due to the cost saving available.

Craig Hart, MD of specialist contractor Hart Construction explains: ‘Linden Homes was frustrated with timber frame and it was decided that we should use a faster, more robust method and one that was more cost effective. By switching to Rå Build we were able to save in excess of 10% as we can get the inner shell of a masonry home built very quickly.’

The 265 houses and 100 apartments in the second and third phases of Northfields are being constructed using H+H blockwork and Celfix thin joint mortar. The external walls are solid aircrete using 3.6 and 7.3N/mm² 200mm thick Plus Blocks insulated with 150mm EPS insulation finished with a Weber Therm XT render system giving U-values down to 0.19 W/m²K. Separating walls use two leaves of 100mm Jumbo Bloks, complying with Robust Detail E-WM-10.

The Rå Build method uses the fast setting Thin Joint system with large format blocks to build the inner aircrete leaf directly to full storey heights - with intermediate floors and roof installed - ahead of the external brickwork or cladding. This provides a fast, stable and weatherproof shell, allowing first fix trades early access whilst the external cladding is completed. Further time is saved by the use of retrofitted joist hangers, avoiding any block cutting at floor level, and enhancing air permeability levels.

The housing scheme is set within a new sustainable neighbourhood to provide new homes, an attractive open park and school with useful transport links for the local community. The homes will be offered for private sale, some under the Government’s NewBuy scheme, with an additional allocation for social housing.

Craig continues, ‘We have worked with H+H for over 13 years and we are always impressed with the results that can be achieved with their product. The work being carried out at Linden Homes, Northfields has only confirmed my high opinion of the company.’

Properties available at Linden Homes, Northfields include ‘The Ardleigh’ a two bedroom-terraced house and ‘The Farnham’ a three bedroom-terraced house. Both styles have an open plan layout with a separate kitchen area and additional sliding door access to the rear garden. There is a three bedroom - detached house style available with a similar layout. The development also features Waltham Place, a three-storey apartment building consisting of private apartments, ranging from studio flats to two bedroom flats.



The Larkfleet Group has appointed a new business development manager to help secure contracts for renewable power generation such as solar panels and for energy-saving technologies such as insulation and heat pumps.

Steven Redshaw will work across several group companies including Lark Energy, Eco Building Products and Deepings Plumbing and Building Supplies, integrating their products and services into a single proposal for local authorities and housing associations.

Steven joins the Bourne-based Larkfleet Group from Skanska Residential Development where he was a senior design manager. Prior to that he held technical and managerial posts with Jacobs Engineering, Stamford Homes and Capita.

He has BTec qualifications in mecatronics (mechanical and electrical engineering) and building studies and is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

Ian Greenfield, operations director at Eco Building Products, said: “Steven’s strong technical background will help us in addressing the needs of social landlords which want to make their homes more energy-efficient, cut energy bills for their tenants and reduce their overall carbon footprint.”

Steven added: “This is a tremendously exciting time to be involved in the renewable energy industry. The expertise within the Larkfleet Group means I will have a really powerful proposition to put to landlords in terms of technology, procurement and experience.”



Local authority controlled company Scape has appointed Faithful+Gould, a global construction project and cost management consultancy, as the lead supplier in a major, four year, National Asset Management, Surveying and Design Services Framework (AMSandDS).

The new framework supercedes Scape’s design framework which has been successfully providing professional design services since 2008. The scope has widened and enables UK public sector bodies to have instant access to a complete suite of professional construction consultancy services. These include asset management; construction design and management consultancy; building surveying; architecture, structural engineering; building services engineering and planning.

Public sector organisations can use the framework to supplement their own resources when delivering property and construction projects. Feedback highlighted that many state funded organisations like the flexibility of being able to choose how they can access support – either as an external consultancy or an in house service – so that option was retained in response to demand.

Scape awarded Faithful+Gould the contract, which commences on 1st September, on the basis of a high quality submission and the most competitive price. The framework has the potential to generate and contribute a total construction and projects value of £1bn to the Public Sector over a four-year period.

Mark Robinson, Scape’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “We’re delighted to be working once again with Faithful+Gould in delivering a more holistic solution to our public sector clients. Many have told us about the difficulties they are facing in managing their estates with reduced budgets and fewer staff. We took the opportunity to respond to that challenge.

“By cutting out wasteful procurement processes, and offering a full range of design and technical services at an affordable price, authorities up and down the country will be better placed to access expert advice to achieve their facilities management programme targets in future.” 

Jon Sealy, Faithful+Gould’s UK Managing Director, commented: “Appointment to the new Asset Management, Surveying and Design Services framework represents a significant opportunity for Faithful+Gould, our supply chain and our SCAPE partners. It is rewarding that they have acknowledged that we were successful because of our high quality submission and the fact we also offered the public sector real value for money. We recognise these are hugely important factors and this valuable contract is a strong addition to our public sector portfolio.

Faithful+Gould was selected for a second term by Scape following a competitive OJEU compliant process. This saw six private sector firms compete for the contract at full tender stage.

Scape specialises in providing a range of national and regional procurement frameworks so that the UK public sector can procure construction services more quickly and efficiently without having to go through lengthy and costly OJEU processes. The firm also offers a range of tried and tested pre-designed building solutions across sectors including education, health, leisure and blue light services.


Mobile workforce app saves businesses almost £4m

An award-winning mobile workforce management app aimed at engineers and builders out on the road has saved its customers almost £4m since it was launched in November 2011.

MyMobileWorkers, developed by Momote is the UK’s first pay as you go workforce management app which allows a workforce to accurately log any kind of job information on a mobile phone device which is then fed into a back office system

The app eliminates the need for paper job sheets, saving time for both engineers out on the road as well as the administration time taken to process them.

Altogether the app has saved more than 280,000 hours for its customers, breaking down to £3,455,611 in field service hours and £292,782 in administration time. It has also saved customers £8,393 on the 1,721,900 sheets of paper they didn’t need to use, equating to nearly a tonne. Every tonne of recycled paper saves around 17 trees.

The app is used by companies across a variety of sectors including building maintenance, waste recycling and engineering across the North West and UK.

Suffolk based building maintenance company MC Contracts uses the pay-as-you-go mobile workforce management app to assign, track and record job details for its engineers.

The app has already saved the company 45 man-hours a week as engineers no longer have to travel to and from the head office to drop off paper job sheets. Jobs are assigned in the morning via the mobile device and engineers can get straight out on the road.

Mark Calver, managing director of MC Contracts, whose key contract is with a major housing association, said: “Investing in this new technology has been a huge boost to our company, the unique model of paying per job has meant this is affordable.

“Historically we’ve looked at similar systems and they have been cost prohibitive.

“This model of paying per maintenance visit has allowed us to improve the speed with which we can attend maintenance call-outs which benefits us as a business and also benefits the customer.

"The app means the engineer can access all the correct job information instantly at the touch of a button which saves them having to contact the office repeatedly for job details.”

Graham Whistance, founder of MyMobileWorkers, said: “Saving businesses money and increasing efficiency is one of the main reasons we launched MyMobileWorkers in the first place and the results speak for themselves.

“Mobile apps such as ours allow small businesses to get more time out of their day and spend it on higher value work.

“Tough economic conditions have highlighted the need for companies to pay close attention to the way in which their mobile workforce is managed and the pay as you go aspect of MyMobileWorkers makes it inclusive for businesses of all sizes.”


Redland Acquires Technology for InDax Solar products from Schott SOLAR

Redland, part of the Monier Group, has strengthened its position as a technology leader for the interface of PV products to pitched roofs by acquiring Schott Solar’s InDaX technology for the manufacture of roof-integrated photovoltaics.

The contract was signed on 16 August 2012, and, in addition to the framing technology, includes the rights to use the InDaX name, as well as patents related to the product. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“The acquisition is a strategic addition to our existing solar and roofing activities. We are planning to develop the InDaX system into a major part of our solar portfolio in future. We are confident that through the integration of this state-of-the-art technology we are well prepared for further growth in the promising in-roof segment along the lines of our strategic priorities”, says Pepyn Dinandt, CEO of the Monier Group.

The system is an essential part of the so-called portrait roof and has already been launched by Monier in Germany, Italy and South Eastern Europe. Further launches are planned for France later this year and the UK in January.

Through the acquisition Monier secures that both its own customers and customers of Schott Solar will continue to be able to be offered a premium in-roof product. “The InDaX allows Monier to tap into promising new distribution channels in the PV market. We are building on a technology that will allow us to more strongly benefit from a trend that sees solar systems becoming independent of feed-in-tariffs and being increasingly used for decentralised own consumption”, explains Jens Milnikel, Director of the Business Line Solar Roof Systems.

Experts from the business line and the Technical Centre of the Monier Group had already closely cooperated with Schott Solar for the market launch and further development of the InDaX system bringing in their leading roofing expertise.

Monier will not take over the PV laminate production, but rather build on partnerships with established manufacturers purchasing their systems, as it does for its other photovoltaic systems.

“By building on our proven model where we focus on leveraging our roofing expertise and partnering with quality PV-laminate manufacturers we will be able to offer a premium product. Experience from the markets shows that InDaX is the leading product in this segment. We are now able to also offer former Schott Solar customers who would have been forced to look elsewhere an attractive roof-integrated photovoltaic system”, says Dr Gerrit Sames, CTPO of the Monier Group.

In June this year, Schott had announced that it will cease production of crystalline photovoltaics. The equipment for framing and finishing, taken over by Monier, will be relocated to a company site north of Milan in Italy.


AUL14 from Armacell UK Ltd - Successful Launch by Armacell for Fire Class Insulation Materials

Armacell celebrated a successful premiere of their latest Armaflex Ultima insulation material at the ISO’12 European trade fair for insulation technology which was held recently in Cologne. With this blue elastomeric foam, Armacell is believed to be the first manufacturer to offer a flexible insulation material which achieves European fire class B-s1, d0. The insulation material has an extremely low smoke density, making it an important contribution to the overall level of fire safety in buildings. In order to be able to install the new material reliably, Armacell has developed a range of purpose designed adhesives specifically for use with Armaflex Ultima. The product is also patent pending and will be launched on several European markets later in the year. Furthermore, Armaflex Ultima meets the requirements for sustainable construction and green building, such as the criteria for the LEED (US), BREEAM (UK) and GREEN STAR systems. All three are third-party certification programs for measuring the environmental sustainability of new and existing homes and buildings, with BREEAM being mandatory for new housing projects in the UK.

Statistics indicate that fires kill between 6,000 and 10,000 people annually in Europe alone. But only a few of these are killed by the flames, the majority die as a consequence of smoke inhalation. In the event of a fire it is vital that escape routes can be found quickly – which is only possible with minimal smoke development. The new European fire classification takes this fact into account, and when assessing the fire behaviour of building products not only tests the flammability, but also the smoke density and the production of burning droplets. The new Armaflex Ultima is the first flexible insulation material to achieve fire class B-s1, d0 in the European fire test. The insulation material releases only a minimal amount of smoke in a fire and thus makes an important contribution to the safety of people in buildings.

For maximum safety and sustainability, all public, commercial and residential new-builds should be planned and built incorporating the principles of sustainability, with the renovation of existing buildings also being given the same consideration. A Green Building certification is now important, and buildings certified under LEED, BREEAM or a comparable national scheme, such as the German DGNB, are characterised by high resource efficiency in the areas of energy, water and materials to have as little negative impact on health and the environment as possible. A range of tubes and sheets, in various sizes and thickness combinations is available in the Armaflex Ultima range, which in combination with the solvent-free Armaflex Ultima SF990 adhesive, can contribute to fulfilling the criteria for LEED certification. As with all Armaflex insulation materials, Armaflex Ultima conserves natural resources and reduces the emission of climate-damaging CO2. The range of purpose designed adhesives developed for the Ultima insulation systems include:

- Armaflex Ultima SF990 Adhesive: the first solvent and VOC-free adhesive for installing elastomeric insulation materials
- Armaflex Ultima RS850 Adhesive: High-performance adhesive with reduced solvent content for clean, non-drip installation
- Armaflex Ultima 700 Adhesive: reliable special adhesive for a wide temperature range

The choice of adhesive depends on the requirements of the project in question, and Armaflex Ultima is available in both standard and self-adhesive versions. In order to provide a reliable insulation system for the sensitive area around the pipe bracket, the Armafix pipe support is also offered in the new Armaflex Ultima quality.


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