Weekly Email News – the future of the building industry


‘Revolutionary’ green technology

Energy company BSolar has become one of the first companies to install a new ‘revolutionary’ solar panel in the UK.

The company based in Halsall, Lancashire, recently completed a job in Lancashire, installing Sanyo HIT panels, a new super efficient solar panel which can generate up to 50% more energy than a normal panel.

The Sanyo HIT panels combine two solar technologies and Peter Bladen, director at BSolar, expects these new panels to be a big success with homeowners across the UK.

He said: “These new panels are a breakthrough in technology, they are very energy efficient so fewer panels are needed, which is useful for people who have a limited amount of roof space available. They also perform better under less than ideal circumstances, so are incredibly super-efficient.

“We have seen a huge increase in people across the North West wanting to have solar panels installed which has been boosted by the government’s Clean Cash Back scheme and we are expecting this growth to continue with the introduction of the Sanyo HIT panels.”

The government’s scheme rewards homeowners who generate electricity from renewable sources by paying them 43.3p per unit that is generated from the panels.

Peter said: “It pays to be green. An average solar panel system costs around £10,000 and under the government scheme this will pay for itself in less than 10 years, then continue to give you a guaranteed income of around £1200 a year.

“The income is based on energy generated, irrelevant of its use in the home. This means that the homeowner will get paid for making electricity and will also get free electricity during the day all the time that the solar panels are generating power.”

“The government is presently reviewing the current scheme and my advice to anyone considering purchasing solar panels is to make hay while the sun shines! If you get panels installed in the near future you will still qualify for the generous feed in tariff rate which is guaranteed for 25 years.”

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Aluminium recyclable – a sustainable solution

With ‘eco’ and sustainability issues often being at the top of the global ’green issues’ agenda, the building industry is now more than ever under close scrutiny. The aluminium industry is making a positive and proven contribution and global recycling rates are high, up to 90% for construction and transport applications against 60% for beverage cans.

The fact that 100% of aluminium can be recycled at the end of its design life creates an aluminium bank for re-use in the future and 5% of the original energy required from primary extraction is required at re-smelting. Aluminium can be recycled over and over without loss of properties, ensures that the high value of aluminium scrap remains a strong incentive and financial impetus for recycling. This can only benefit future generations by conserving energy and saving up to 95% of the energy required for primary production, therefore avoiding corresponding emissions, which include greenhouse gases.

The main uses of aluminium are evident in the construction of windows, doors, curtain walling and facades. These can be seen across many types of building from a local high street glazed shopfront to the superstructure of a stadium or flagship shopping development.

Aluminium’s formability, high strength-to-weight ratio, corrosion resistance and ease of recycling make it the ideal material for a variety of building applications. Commercial windows and doors must meet a myriad of functions and be environmentally sustainable, be weather resistant, secure and be energy efficient.

Recognising the importance of the sustainability debate, Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems has the Comar 5P.i. ECO window system, which offers the cradle-to-cradle properties of aluminium, as well as answering current demands. Comar 5P.i. ECO has just passed BS7950 at BRE, which provides compliance with Secured By Design. The weather test BS 6375 provides even more reassurance: air permeability passed at 600Pa, water tightness at 750Pa, wind resistance at 2400Pa and design safety at 3600Pa. Comar 7Pi HSD, a horizontal sliding door system also meets ever increasing demands for energy efficient building materials, this system has been developed for applications where high specification and elegant solutions are a key design consideration eg, offices, schools, hospitals and apartments. The sliding system has been rigorously tested in wet and sandy conditions, borne out with over 200,000 open/close cycles.

Both systems incorporate the trademarked P.i thermal efficiency providing low U-values. Pi is a 20mm-35mm polyamide strip manufactured from reinforced glass fibre, which separates the inner and outer profiles, creating an extremely effective thermal break. These are backed up by Comar’s technical department, offering project by project U-value support.


Solar comparison website

CompareMySolar has the goal to make the solar-energy market easy and accessible for all consumers.

The company’s website calculates the solar potential for individual roofs, and uses customer preferences to present the best options for solar systems and installers. CompareMySolar allows consumers to invite up to three installers for a free and non-obligatory site visit, and provide them with personal phone advice about going solar.

The company provides solar installers with a tool to position themselves in the market though their level of experience, customer satisfaction and quality of materials. By incorporating feedback from consumers installers can build a good reputation online.

All MCS accredited installers can join the network. CompareMySolar gets paid a fee by installers that have joined us once they sell a solar system to one of our customers. This does not result in higher system prices, as the company lowers installers’ marketing costs and increases their conversion rates through site visits with consumers that proactively choose them, CompareMySolar said.

The website launched in November 2010 in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Noise proofing

Green Glue Noiseproofing System is an easy to apply and cost-effective system that can help reduce the pervasive noise in urban dwellings.

“The system is designed to help protect the sanctity of residences by keeping noise out,” said Mark Darby, global sales and marketing manager, acoustics, for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics. “Green Glue technologies come together as a system to decrease noise transmission, offering the most effective and efficient soundproofing results available on the market today.”

Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound is a viscoelastic product that significantly dampens noise transmission by converting sound vibration into small amounts of heat. When applied as a constrained layer between two sheets of plasterboard, plywood or other building substrate, Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound reduces noise transfer from one room to the next by as much as 90%, including low frequency sounds that are normally resistant to soundproofing. The compound comes in easy-to-dispense tubes that can also be used with caulking guns for quick dispersal.

Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant plugs up gaps and cracks in walls and ceilings that are easily overlooked but which contribute significantly to noise transfer. When applied along wall and ceiling edges, the sealant can prevent these cracks from leaking noise and help maintain a high level of sound isolation.

Both the Green Glue Compound and Sealant are water-based, non-toxic, has only a minimal odour, and is UL Environment certified as Mould Resistant per ASTM D3273.

Green Glue Noiseproofing Joist Tape eliminates noise when foot traffic causes sub-flooring and joists to rub together. Older homes in particular are subject to natural settling, resulting in creaking noises from foot steps. The Joist Tape acts as a sound isolating buffer when applied between joists and sub-flooring, and its low thermal conductivity improves energy efficiency.


New energy saving range

Sidey has developed the SolarthermPlus range

Steve Hardy, Sidey’s commercial sales director said: “Our SolarthermPlus range consists of smart sashes, superior composite doorsets, curtain walling, fire doors, KitFix System for factory fitted windows and doors and Scratchgard, our unique glass protection system. All of which offer a unique, revolutionary opportunity to inexpensively enhance building performance and meet code for sustainable homes levels 3, 4, 5 & 6 and ‘retrofit for the future’ projects.”

The Government stipulates that by 2016 (2013 for the social sector) all new homes will be zero carbon rated (code level 6). To achieve that standard all windows are required to have up to U-values of 0.7w/m2k and doors require a U-value of 0.8W/m2K or less.

“Innovation is something that is sadly lacking when it comes to fenestration in the UK,” Steve continued. “Same old products being stretched this way and that to meet significantly changing requirements. What about integrating photovoltaic’s into ‘dead spaces’ in your curtain walling and integrating blinds into your windows for solar shading while protecting them from damage from enthusiastic students. Then there are highly robust colour options that are significantly more cost competitive than powder coated aluminum, while achieving hugely better U-values or if it has to be aluminum, then aluminum windows and curtain walling that can achieve a U-value as low as 0.8 and 1.0 W/m²K respectively.

“The SolarthermPlus range shows our commitment to innovation and the future of the industry. By developing new product innovations that offer competitive solutions to increasingly onerous demands for thermal efficiency we can help to secure our customers future.”

Sidey’s SolarthermPlus range is available now and offers some of the lowest U-values in the industry – 0.7w/m2k, superior acoustic performance, cost effective solar shading, RAL colour, BS colour and woodgrain finishes and re-glazing options.


New energy saving range

Wrekin Windows is stressing the importance of ‘sustainable efficiency’ at this year’s CIH exhibition.

Visitors to stand C149 will be able to see Wrekin’s new window range, fabricated from RECO22, the 100% recycled window profile system.

Available in a triple-glazed bead and featuring a centre pane U-value of as low as 0.8W/m2k, Wrekin Windows’ new range delivers significant in-life energy and CO2 savings.

John Williams, sales director at Wrekin Windows, said: “The new window range fits perfectly with our emphasis on ‘sustainable efficiency’ for social housing projects. We have to be realistic and recognise that budgets are under real pressure and social housing providers have to make tough choices in the years ahead.

“The lower level of Government funding that is still available for social housing refurbishment is increasingly tied into achieve energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets.

“With a full listing in the BRE Green Book live, our new window system creates just 6% of the carbon emissions during extrusion as a comparable profile made from virgin PVC material, giving social housing specifiers a low maintenance, low carbon window option.

“Efficiency savings are vital and price is an issue for all procurement professional but, in the social housing sector, it is more complex. You cannot just swap window systems from one property to the next, or one estate to the next, without running into serious long term issues for maintenance and replacement cycles.

“Because we are dedicated to this sector, we understand these realities better than any other window or door provider, especially those companies that have jumped on the public sector bandwagon in the past few years.

“That is why professional procurement people in the social housing sector are working with specialist suppliers, like Wrekin Windows, to achieve truly sustainable efficiency.”


Transparent Photovoltaic Cells Turn Windows Into Solar Panels

A new class of transparent photovoltaic cells has been developed that can turn an ordinary windowpane into a solar panel without impeding the passage of visible light, scientists said Tuesday.

The cells could one day transform skyscrapers into giant solar collectors, said Richard Lunt, one of the researchers on the project.

“We think there’s a lot of potential to be able to integrate these into tall buildings,” Dr. Lunt, a postdoctoral researcher at the M.I.T. Research Laboratory of Electronics, said in an interview.

Geoffrey Supran/M.I.T. Richard Lunt, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, demonstrates the transparency of the new solar cell.

Previous attempts at transparent solar cells have either failed to achieve high efficiency or blocked too much light to be used in windows. But the new cells, based on organic molecules similar to dyes and pigments, are tailored to absorb only the near-infrared spectrum and have the potential to transform that light into electricity at relatively high efficiency.

The current efficiency of the prototype cells is only about 2 percent, but some basic modifications, like stacking the cells, could increase efficiency to around 10 percent, Dr. Lunt said.

The largest challenge in developing commercial applications for the new solar cells will be longevity. The cells could be packaged in the middle of double-paned windows, which would provide protection from the elements. But the longevity of the cells would still need to approach the life span of the windows themselves, which would not be replaced for decades.

“To make this thing truly useful, you do need to extend the lifetime, and make sure it reaches at least 20 years, or even longer than that,” said Vladimir Bulovic, a professor of electrical engineering at M.I.T. who collaborated on the development of the cells.

Mr. Bulovic said that previous work to extend the life span of organic light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, which share properties with the organic solar cells, indicated that the problem of longevity was not an extraordinarily difficult one.

“It appears at this point that this is an engineering problem,” he said. “I would expect that within a decade those will be solved issues.”

If the cells can be made long-lasting, they could be integrated into windows relatively cheaply, as much of the cost of conventional photovoltaics is not from the solar cell itself, but the materials it is mounted on, like aluminum and glass. Coating existing structures with solar cells would eliminate some of this material cost.

If the transparent cells ultimately prove commercially viable, the power they generate could significantly offset the energy use of large buildings, said Dr. Lunt, who will begin teaching at Michigan State University this fall.

“We’re not saying we could power the whole building, but we are talking about a significant amount of energy, enough for things like lighting and powering everyday electronics,” he said.

The Center for Excitonics, an Energy Frontier Research Center financed by the Department of Energy, provided funds for the research. A paper describing the technology behind the cells will appear in the next issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Window Reincarnation

PVC-U has always been valued for its low maintenance and energy efficiency. Now, with advances in recycling, it is widely recognised for the contribution it makes to a sustainable build programme – with end-of-life PVC-U frames often being recycled as new energy efficient windows. Here, Chris Coxon, Marketing Manager of Eurocell, looks at some of the latest product developments.

“The BRE went a long way in recognising the benefits of PVC-U when it awarded an ‘A’ rating for sustainability with residential and A+ for commercial developments in the BRE Green Guide to Specification. The guide took advances in PVC-U recycling into account when it assigned the highest sustainability rating. It also recognised that PVC-U achieves a Reference Service Life (RSL) rating of at least 35 years and can be recycled up to 10 times without degradation in quality – effectively giving the raw material a life expectancy of 350 years!

Eurocell have launched the Ecologik window system that is made from up to 62%* post-consumer recycled PVC-U in a ‘closed loop’ recycling process. Its advanced multi-chambered frame design gives a U-value of just 0.8 W/m²K, the current requirement for zero carbon builds, along with an ‘A’ Window Energy Rating when used in refurbishment projects.

The result of a further investment of £2.5m in a dedicated post-consumer PVC-U recycling plant in Derbyshire that can process up to 10,500 frames per week. Work is under way with several local authorities to return end-of-life PVC-U frames as part of a ‘closed loop’ solution.

Closed loop recycling is defined as material that is recycled into its original form. In the case of PVC-U, it means recycling old, unwanted ‘post-consumer’ window frames to make a range of new window-related products.

Design-engineered to improve thermal performance using the post-consumer recycled material ensures that all external surfaces remain bright, white, new PVC-U. This means that local authorities don’t have to compromise on finish quality or aesthetics by going green and secondary processes, such as foiling frames, are not necessary. Ultimately, the recycled PVC-U means that the window is capable of meeting both the carbon reduction requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes up to Level 6, zero-carbon, and the sustainable design criteria of BREEAM.

To find out how Ecologik from Eurocell can help you achieve your sustainable building commitments, visit: www.eurocell.co.uk or contact the customer services team on 0800 988 3049, or email press@eurocell.co.uk

Passive House base block

Pittsburgh Corning has launched PC Perisave perimeter ground slab insulation, which has been specifically developed to prevent cold bridging from occurring in Passive Houses.

The new addition to the company's range of cellular glass insulation products has already been certified by the Passive House Institute (PHI) in Darmstadt.

The PC Perisave base block is a universal base element for the construction of Passive Houses to prevent cold bridging due to a physical break in insulation. The new system is suitable for use in perimeter and above ground splash water areas as well as highly loaded mechanically areas – requiring no special skills to install.

Manufactured from cellular glass insulation, the PC Perisave base block is an accredited detail that does not detract from the ecological ethos of a project as it is manufactured from 68% recycled glass and has a Global Warming Potential of one. The PC Perisave base block will not degrade over time, and can be recycled at the end of its life.

"For a Passive House to be successful the answer really lies in increasing thermal efficiency, air-tightness and ensuring thermal continuation with robust detailing," said Paul Jones, managing director for Pittsburgh Corning. "Insulation is one of the most important principles when it comes to achieving this balance, and as such we have launched the PC Perisave base block helping specifiers to ensure the PassivHaus principles are achieved."


Acoustic calculator

Architects can now assess basic sound insulation requirements for educational or healthcare buildings at the touch of a button thanks to an innovative new online calculator.

Following consultations with practitioners across the North West, Manchester-based Azymuth Acoustics has created the free calculator as a guide to architects at the earliest design stage of education or healthcare projects.

The calculator uses data and methods contained in Building Bulletin 93 (BB93) and HTM (Health Technical Memorandum) 08-01, which set standards for educational and healthcare buildings respectively.

“Appropriate acoustics in these environments are a key consideration in the design process, but up until now architects haven’t been able to easily assess the basic requirements for partition walls or floors,” said Azymuth Acoustics consultant Stratton Barrett.

“With the calculator they simply select the proposed use of the rooms in question and input three or four pieces of information detailing variables such as partition size and floor area.”

The calculator takes 30 seconds to complete but could save architects considerable time and effort further down the line.


Higher efficiency

Ideal Commercial Heating’s latest product is the Evomod, the brand’s first modular boiler to feature fully condensing technology.

This new product has been designed to fulfil market demand, since well ahead of mandatory requirements, more and more businesses are realising the carbon and cost-saving benefits of high efficiency boilers.

The Evomod vastly widens the scope of Ideal’s modular offering, with outputs of up to 1,000kW now made possible. The 250kW modules can be stacked up to three units high in the steel frame – for the most compact footprint – with a maximum of four used together, and all combinations are delivered pre-assembled or can be re-assembled on-site.

The compact dimensions of the single units (860mmH x 710mmW x 1340mmD) ensure easy site handling, and mean that awkward access is not an impediment to the use of a modular system, since they can be carried through a standard doorway with ease.

With seasonal efficiencies in accordance with Building Regulations Part L2, of up 95.9% gross, the Evomod can feature up to 20:1 boiler turndown (5:1 per module) for closer load matching and more efficient system operation, while its environmental credentials are also buoyed by Class 5 NOx emissions of below 40mg/kWh to maximise BREEAM points.


Insulation partnership

Rockwool UK has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with British Gas, to provide insulation to its cavity and blown loft installation divisions.

The new British Gas and Rockwool offering will allow households to insulate their homes for free, or at low cost, as part of the Government’s Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT). The new partnership will also see UK homeowners being offered Rockwool cavity, blown loft and roll insulation in a bid to help them save money on their energy bills.

Rockwool blown loft insulation provides a faster alternative to traditional rolled insulation and allows awkward loft spaces to be easily insulated. Rockwool cavity wall insulation is also being provided through the scheme to help reduce heat loss through walls. As well as helping homeowners save money on their energy bills, both these solutions are also non-combustible and provide sound protection.

Hans Schreuder, managing director, Rockwool UK said: “Rockwool has worked with British Gas over the last three years to assist them with providing a range of insulation solutions to their customers via third party distributors and installers. This new venture with British Gas will mean that the consumer will receive energy efficiency solutions quicker and more efficiently with British Gas providing a ‘one stop shop’. Rockwool is very proud to be working alongside a great British brand such as British Gas to deliver Rockwool’s insulation solutions to homes throughout the UK.”


Insulation partnership

A cost efficient, space saving and easy-to-install solution to help you meet Building Regulations and the Code for Sustainable Homes. These are just a few benefits that the WPL percolation tunnels can offer architects when they’re busy creating solutions to discharge rain and storm water on the projects they are developing.

Whether designing the ideal dream home or a large scale housing development, space for building new properties and developments is at a premium, which has the effect of setting architects with the challenge of developing innovative and cost effective solutions, while meeting the many building and sustainability regulations imposed by the government.

In the wake of the flooding that has been affecting our country in recent years, the building regulations, part H, demands an effective solution for the discharge of storm water. In response to this, WPL has introduced a new, cost-effective, product to their range of environmental water solutions, a multipurpose percolation tunnel that has been designed to replace conventional drainage systems. The percolation tunnels are three times more efficient than the traditional pipe and trench methods of attenuation and percolation, so a 62.5m pipe can be replaced by a 20.8m tunnel.

The space-saving tunnels are easy to install as they are constructed from durable polypropylene, which is made of 100% recycled material.


Recycled construction plastic

i-plas, manufacturer of high performance recycled plastic products for the civil and construction industries, has launched Zyplex, a family of maintenance-free blended polymers, engineered for strength, flexibility and stability.

Zyplex offers whole-life cost reductions of over 50% compared to using products made from wood, steel and concrete.

There are four blends within the Zyplex range catering for different specifications:

• Zyplex 55 – for outdoor furniture, retaining walls and construction materials
• Zyplex 48 – for bollards, coil stops and street signage
• Zyplex 23 – for nailer battens, formwork and falsework
• Zyplex 06 – for ground reinforcement blocks

i-plas has also recently launched Ecocrib, a market first embankment retaining structure, manufactured from Zyplex 55.


Photovoltaic advice

Sika Roof Assured is inviting homeowners to bring their plans to Grand Designs Live (stand B239), 30 April-8 May, Excel, London, for some expert advice on flat roofing and Photovoltaic (PV) options for their property.

The Roof Assured team will be on hand to answer questions, discuss options, demonstrate the installation of the roofing system and offer technical advice.

They will be joined by solar solutions partner Renewable Resources who will provide information on a variety of solar roofing solutions.

Visitors will also be able to see examples of Roof Assured’s long lasting and high quality roofing system, with the Sarnafil membrane, providing improved thermal performance, and a life expectancy ‘in excess of 40 years’.

Tim Hall, national sales manager for Sika Roofing said: “This our second year at Grand Designs Live and forms part of our long term strategy to engage directly with homeowners to communicate the quality of the Roof Assured product and the professionalism of our nationwide team of installers. The show gives us the opportunity to demonstrate a premium product at a premium event. We hope that visitors to the stand will take away enough information to make informed purchases and see the importance of value beyond the price tag.”


Low conductivity wall ties

Wall ties are an essential element in the strength and stability of cavity walls, but by crossing the cavity they act as a thermal bridge between the internal and external leaves.

Generally speaking, the wider the insulated cavity, the more substantial the wall tie needs to be, and the greater the effect the tie has on the U-value of the wall.

The challenge for the wall tie industry, set by the Government’s ambitious energy efficiency targets, is to reduce the thermal conductivity of its products while continuing to meet the structural performance requirements of multi-storey and wide cavity construction.

Ancon has met this challenge with a range of low conductivity wall ties.

The range includes the BBA-approved, basalt fibre, Ancon TeploTie which suits cavities from 50mm to 300mm. TeploTie composite wall ties comprise pultruded basalt fibres set in an epoxy resin. With a thermal conductivity of only 0.7W/mK, they are the most thermally efficient wall ties on the market, the company claimes.

Ancon stainless steel wall ties have been value-engineered to provide high performance at competitive prices. The effect Ancon’s high tensile wire wall ties have on heat transfer is negligible and they can be excluded from U-value calculations to EN ISO 6946.

Sky’s the limit

Fakro’s FTT U8 Thermo triple glazed roof window, shown for the first time at Ecobuild, offers an exceptional heat transmission co-efficient and a U-value of 0.68 W/m2K.

With a 30% thicker sash than a traditional double glazed roof window, the 32mm glazing unit provides a U-value of 0.5W/m2K. An automatic air vent activated by external air pressure provides continuous adjustment of the air flow while the patented topSafe system provides the highest standard of security and safety currently available - Class 4 EN13049.

Among the range of FTT Thermo roof windows, the FTT U5 was recently supplied to the Scottish Housing Expo project for use in homes built to the Passivhaus standard. It has also been used in the North East’s first Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 project at High Farm, Great Lumley, near the Angel of the North.

The FTT Thermo is a pivot point provides a raised axis of rotation. As a result, even taller home owners can stand comfortably by the open window without the intrusion posed by centre pivot operation. The sash can be held open in any position between 0° and 45° while the new Thermo window design uses a new method of closing which locks the sash either side of the frame. Equipped with a quadruple sealing system made of flexible TPE material, the FTT Thermo U6 and U8 windows offer an acoustic performance of 38dB, and can be installed in the roofs with pitches between 15º and 70º.

LABC approval

Mighton Products claims to have become the only window systems company to gain LABC approval for timber sash windows, which covers its EcoSash, EcoSlide and EcoSafe range, which sit alongside their energy rated EcoTilt product.

The company now offers a range of Part L compliant window systems which have been registered with Local Authority Building Control (LABC), after they carefully approved the technical drawings and thoroughly examined the test results. For joiners and fabricators this means that sash windows no longer need to be tested individually, as long as they are manufactured to Mighton’s specifications, which includes hardware and weatherstripping. The approval certificates are even verifiable on the official LABC website at www.labc.uk.com.

Gaining Part L approval for a window involves the design, manufacture, testing, and submission of drawings and results, and a document control process. This has already been completed by Mighton Products so they are now able to provide these test results, drawings and permission to build an approved window to their customers, along with a simplified document control system.

The EcoTilt window already carries ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ ratings under the Window Energy Ratings Scheme (WERs) which in itself is Part L compliant. Combined with the LABC approvals, it’s helping save their customer’s time and money, enabling them to focus on other key areas of their business.

Mike Derham, chairman of Mighton Products said: “We’ve taken the pain, worry and cost away from the joiners, fabricators and installers by investing in LABC approvals and the Window Energy Ratings. For our customers, we’ve added a level of re-assurance that other timber window systems companies haven’t yet been able to replicate.”

Orbiting Planet Solar

It has been reported that UK investment into renewable energy dropped last year by as much as 70%. This is despite government insistence that the UK is committed to such essential green causes in order to reduce the impact of climate change.

Despite this, renewable energy is still viewed as being the future when it comes to heating homes and providing them with regular electricity. Planet Solar continues to fly the flag for solar power as we believe that it is the future of energy.

Planet Solar is a solar panel installer in Lancashire that provides households across the region with the latest solar panel systems. They are a clean and environmentally friendly way of helping homeowners produce energy so that they have daily hot water and lighting.

There is a general misconception that solar power will only be effective on sunny, clear days. This is incorrect, as you will find that they can work just as successfully on dull, overcast days.
0800 533 5130.

Modern radiators

Stelrad Radiators has launched its K3 energy efficient radiator in the UK having shown the new design at EcoBuild in London in early March.

K3 radiators – radiators with three panels and three convector fins – provide increased heat emitting surfaces – and they’re ideal for use with renewable heating systems.

The most common renewable heating methods are air source or ground source heat pump installations and solar thermal systems – all of which can produce effective and energy efficient room heating.

Heating systems driven by renewable energy will typically operate at DT (Delta T) 30ºC due to the lower temperature generated by the renewable heat source compared to conventional methods – boiler driven systems – that operate at around DT 50ºC. DT is a measurement of the mean flow and return temperature subtracted from a nominated room temperature of 20ºC. The difference is called DT.

The principal factor determining the level of heat output is the difference between the ambient and system temperature. A system generating lower system temperatures requires larger surface areas from the heat emitter to provide the level of heat required to provide a comfortable room temperature. This doesn’t necessarily mean a requirement for huge expanses of radiator in a room. With modern technology, there are other ways of providing the surface areas required.

Single (K1) and double panel (K2) radiators are common within the UK, but triple panel radiators – offering three panels and three convector fins – are a new introduction in the marketplace although quite common in mainland Europe due to the lower system temperatures often employed in homes on the continent.

By doubling up or tripling up on the number of panels, it’s possible to achieve higher heat levels from smaller length radiators. For example, a shorter length Stelrad K3 would benefit from a space point of view when compared to a longer K2. Installing a triple panel radiator reduces the length of radiator required, offering an adequate steel surface area but taking up significantly less wall space.

Minimise waste

Due to another hike in landfill tax, skip costs increased again by approximately 20% from April 1st.

Landfill tax has increased by 130% over the past four years and will continue to increase at the same levels until 2014.

The majority of waste generated by industry can be easily recycled or compacted, but waste management companies neglect to advise their customers about cost saving initiatives as the more skips they empty the more money they make!

CK International offers free no-obligation advice on how best to reduce ever increasing waste management costs.

The company will visit your site and make suggestions that will enable you to not only save money but also at the same time become more environmentally friendly.

In what remains an uncertain market, reducing your waste management costs can make a substantial difference to your company’s profits.

To arrange a free of charge waste survey please contact CK International’s national sales manager Simon Wells on 07779 713 725.


Eco option Door previewed

Permadoor will be showcasing its specialist eco option addition to its GRP composite door range at this year’s CIH Housing Exhibition.

Visitors to stand C169 will be among the first to see the new eco option composite door, which features a door frame fabricated from RECO22, a framing system, which is the first of its kind made from 100% post-consumer waste PVCU, fully closing the recycling loop.

The frame profile also has an aesthetically appealing white wood grain effect finish, which complements the door leaf.

In addition, Permadoor is now offering every door glazing style in three options, including an argon gas filled sealed unit which, in some models, can achieve U-Values of as low as 0.7W/m2K.

Adrian Sunter, Permadoor’s national sales manager said: “The launch of RECO22 is a breakthrough in reducing CO2 emissions for the door industry. Independent Research figures indicate that recycled profile has only 6% of the carbon footprint of a PVCU profile using virgin material.

“We aim to demonstrate at CIH how the frame and certain door cill options of Permadoor’s new eco option door can be supplied with recycled composite material (RCM) as a cost effective and sustainable alternative to steel or aluminium reinforcement.

“Specifiers will also be able to see how choosing the eco option, does not mean a compromise on aesthetics, to maintain or even increase resident satisfaction, itself is an important measurement of procurement efficiency.”

Permadoor’s Reco22 doorframe with RCM reinforcement and dedicated hardware is compliant to PAS23 and PAS24. The standard is a requirement for compliance with Secured by Design 2009, which is a prerequisite for all sectors of social housing and to maintain insurance protection.