Weekly Email News – the future of the building industry


New facility

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES), provider of mechanical and electrical services, has officially opened its state-of-the-art off-site manufacturing and assembly facility – a facility that is set to offer new standards of M&E, safe and sustainable off-site practice in addition to cost and time savings.

Branded ‘Modular Systems +’ the new 117,000ft2 manufacturing and assembly facility, located in Wednesbury, West Midlands, is the largest of its kind in the UK. Its focus is on the production of mechanical and electrical systems, including packaged plant rooms, corridor modules, service modules, riser modules, and modular electrical systems.

In creating Modular Systems + BBES will be able to provide customers with substantial savings in terms of time and money. It will also offer a safer and more sustainable method of construction. This will be achieved through the use of efficient off-site techniques which due to their nature, provides operatives with safer and more productive working conditions.

The approach also minimises waste, reinforcing BBES’ position as promoting sustainability as a collective and inclusive responsibility, with the company working with customers, suppliers and communities to ensure that sustainability is embedded in every operation.

“The Modular Systems + facility has been built to enable us to deliver our lean construction philosophy, reducing the number of hours needed on site, improving lead times and providing safer and more productive working environments,” said Bob Francis, director of Modular Systems + at BBES.

Power and shade specials

Bowater Projects – installer of energy efficient architectural facades and entrance systems – now offers bespoke solar shading and photovoltaic (PV) panel options for its System10 Aluminium Curtain Walling.

Both products – which are only available as ‘specials’ – provide a simple, low maintenance way to cut both energy bills and carbon dioxide emissions.

Aesthetically pleasing, flexible and lightweight, the solar shading provides a quick-fix and inexpensive solution to offices and classrooms that suffer from excessive solar gain. It helps maintain room temperatures at around 24˚C – reducing the use of air-conditioning units and so reducing energy bills and CO2 emissions – as total solar gain is limited to 35 W/m2 (in accordance with Part L2 of the Building Regulations).

The PV panels generate electricity in a clean, quiet, renewable way and simply slot into any System10 Aluminium Curtain Walling frame where infill panels would normally be situated. The user can then generate electricity for export to the National Grid and take advantage of preferential ‘feed-in’ tariffs for solar-generated electricity.

Bowater Architectural, sister company to Bowater Projects and the manufacturer of System10 Aluminium Curtain Walling has calculated the effects of a PV installation (152m2) in London, subject to a mean annual temperature of 12˚C, and found that it would generate up to 6,697kWh in a year – and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by 5,931kg.

System10 Aluminium Curtain Walling offers U-Values ranging from 1.5 W/m2K, with 28mm glazing units, to 1.0 W/m2K with 32mm triple-glazed units (both based on a 50mm mullion). It combines fully with either PVC-U or aluminium windows and doors so that buildings can be fully upgraded regardless of system requirements.

A full range of RAL colour options provides the complete choice of design finishes. Opening lights and doors are fully integrated; and a choice for frame-glazed and direct-glazed options is available – with direct glazing methods offering slimmer sightlines and reduced cost.


Low carbon hot water

Dimplex is extending choices in solar thermal water heating, with the launch of the SOLC201 flat plate collector, which provides a cost-effective way to start enjoying low cost, low carbon hot water.

The SOLC201 is solar keymark approved, meaning that it will be eligible for the financial incentives available under the Renewable Heat Incentive, available to non-domestic installations from July 2011, with domestic installations expected to be eligible from October 2012.

A laser-welded meander absorber pipe with a highly selective coating means low pressure drop of the overall collector field, while a solar safety glass covering with 85% transmission, allows the collector to absorb a large range of light frequencies for maximum efficiency. 30mm rear and side insulation holds on to the heat collected. Suitable for connection of up to four panels in series, in horizontal or vertical orientation to suit the available roof space, the SOLC201 collector plate is of robust construction, with 3.2mm structured safety glass that has passed optional impact resistance tests.

To make specification easy, the SOLC201 collector is supplied with a choice of roof fixing kits for slate or tile roofs, or freestanding for flat roofs or ground level mounting. What’s more, the new collector can be combined with a choice of either the premium SOLPU1 pump station or the new cost effective SOLPU0 module, giving great flexibility to tailor to every installation’s system to exact requirements of performance and cost. Compression fittings combined with a weight of just 29kg per panel when empty make installation straightforward. An aluminium, anthracite powder coated frame gives lightweight yet strong protection and blends unobtrusively with the roof. The SOLC201 collector is covered by a 10 year warranty.

Eco retrofit

Uswitch.com is the latest online re-seller to support Ecoflap – the only retro-fitting letterbox draught excluder to have been endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust. The product has also featured in The Telegraph’s top recommendations to save energy in the home.

Uswitch.com began selling Ecoflap online this week and joins over 20 re‐sellers stocking the product, along with Jessel Innovations themselves. Anne Jessel, Partner of Jessel Innovations, said: “We are so pleased that Uswitch has added Ecoflap into their portfolio – this will be a great boost to our exposure in the wider market and will help establish Ecoflap as the only brand associated with zero-draught door accessories. We would like to thank Uswitch.com, along with our other re-sellers, for supporting us.”

Jessel Innovations also recently announced their new Ecoflap Twin product – a full letterbox system designed for installation into doors prior to customer delivery. The most significant advantage of both products over others in the market is the absence of springs and brushes thus eliminating wear and tear, providing continued air tightness.

Ecoflap has been installed in zero-carbon housing. Other products in the pipeline include Eco-cat-flap which uses the same technology.


Free energy

Renewable energy company EOS Energy now provides free photovoltaic solar panel systems to domestic, commercial, local authority and community project customers that could otherwise not afford them.

The company's new scheme allows the customer to benefit from free fitting, maintenance and insurance of the roof top system, with the occupant receiving all electricity that the system generates free of charge for the 25-year period of operation, as well as a roof rental, where suitable yields can be obtained.

During the 25-year period the panels themselves will be owned by a green funding company, who will recoup their investment through payments generated from the feed in tariff. After the 25-year period the panels will become the full property of the customer.

EOS Energy hope this scheme will allow people that can't afford a system to protect themselves from the anticipated increases in electricity prices as its Director commented: "This is a great opportunity for people to benefit from renewable technologies without the initial outlay. Naturally, each roof top would have to be assessed to ensure that they are suitable and, in accordance with the REAL Scheme, we would provide a quotation explaining what it would cost to buy the system, what Feed in Tariff would be generated, as well as offering a 'free' system as an alternative."

The company are hosting an open day on July 15th from 10am to 2pm at their headquarters in Warwickshire where people can find out more about the free PV scheme. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Quadruple glazed roof window

Fakro’s range of FTT pivot roof windows offer exceptional heat transmission co-efficients, having been designed to meet the requirements of energy-efficient buildings such as those built to Passivhaus standards.

Glazing units are set in specially designed wider sash frames which minimize the potential for thermal bridging. With a 50mm thick glazing unit, the FTT U8 Thermo quadruple-glazed roof window has a U-value of 0.68 W/m2K while that of the triple-glazed FTT U6 is 0.81W/m2k.

Though of pivot design, the axis of rotation of the FTT sash has been raised to enable even a tall person to stand comfortably by an open window. A modified locking mechanism secures the sash either side of the frame while the patented topSafe system provides an exceptional standard of security and safety - Class 4 EN13049.

FTT windows benefit from a quadruple-sealing system using flexible thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). When closed, both the FTT U6 and U8 provide a 38 dB acoustic performance.


Centre of excellence

HB Fuller – a global industrial adhesives supplier – has announced it has created a global centre of excellence for application development in the Window and Solar industries.

The centre is located at the company’s world headquarters, Willow Lake, in St Paul, Minnesota.

HB Fuller currently provides adhesives to the Window and Solar markets from Heidelberg in Germany, however with increasing demand for high performance products within these industries, the decision has been taken to centralise operations with global product development.

This will enable HB Fuller to deliver solutions and products to customers at a much faster pace. The centre will be supported by teams of local specialists around the world, ensuring customers in Europe still receive the high levels of customer care and technical support they need.

Richard Sellman, European sales manager for HB Fuller Windows, said: “This is a very positive move for HB Fuller and will bring many benefits to our customers in the Windows and Solar markets. Willow Lake is already our centre for the development of hot melts and reactive hot melts. By combining this with our knowhow and technology from Europe, I believe we can bring even better products to market in the EU, at a quicker pace. We will also be able to pre-test each product to EU standards, particularly EN1279, meaning our customers can be re-assured our adhesives for Windows and Solar Panels conform with crucial industry safety requirements among other things.”

HB Fuller’s technologies, including reactive hot melt adhesives, have generated significant value for customers in the Windows market. These same technologies are rapidly gaining acceptance in applications within the solar panel sector, providing significant advantages in the panel manufacturing process. By centralising operations, HB Fuller can bring its customers an even bigger range of products and services in terms of expertise and experience within the adhesives industry for Windows and Solar Panels.


Bi-fold window

Liniar has added a bi-folding window system to its Bi-Fold Plus range.

The bi-fold window has many of the same design features including slim sightlines and concealed hardware. Because it is based on the same design as Bi-Fold Plus it is also more energy efficient.

The Bi-Fold Plus window is available in a variety of configurations and is ideal for domestic installations such as conservatories, as well as commercial applications such as restaurants, bars, offices and shops.

Liniar’s design director Adrian Redshaw said: “Our bi-folding window has the same advanced design as the successful Bi-Fold Plus range of doors. With narrower frames and dedicated hardware it is a complete bi-fold window system that is easy to fabricate and install. With widths up to 6m it is a contemporary solution for creating a large clear opening in a variety of situations.”

01332 883900

Joining forces

Photovoltaic manufacturers Solon SE, Tata Steel Europe and The Sustainable Building Envelope Centre (SBEC), have joined forces to address the growing demand for an intelligent combination of photovoltaic system and metal roof covering.

The resulting product, which consists of a photovoltaic system from Solon and a pre-finished steel roofing product based on Colorcoat Prisma by Tata Steel, is capable of a durable performance consistent with the life of the photovoltaic system and the demands of the bonded interface during this period. This product is scheduled for release this summer with the attendant performance warranties.

The product combines the Solon SOLbond photovoltaic system with a trapezoidal twin skin built-up system or sandwich roofing component made from Colorcoat Prisma pre-finished steel. Solon SOLbond has been specifically developed for metal lightweight industrial roofs. By bonding this frameless module directly to a metal roof, the static load-bearing capacity of the roof can be used for direct support of the PV modules rather than frames or additional sub-structures. This bonding process makes roof penetration completely unnecessary thereby reducing risk of leaks. Solon SOLbond is especially well suited when roofing new industrial buildings, as the photovoltaic system is included in the design phase of a building and can therefore be optimally integrated.

Conventional photovoltaic systems for metal roofs usually consist of modules that rely on aluminum profiles as a support structure. Installing these kinds of systems increases the load on the roof and makes roof penetration a necessity. Penetrating the roof will typically void the warranty of the roof manufacturer, which can lead to extensive risk for the PV system operator and building owner. Moreover, the service life of a conventional metal roof is often shorter than the projected life cycle of the photovoltaic system.

Pilot project for the new design is a 12 kWp roofsystem on the Sustainable Building Envelope Centre (SBEC) at Tata Steel’s Shotton site in North Wales. The system was installed by a Solon certified installer team from Lester Fabrications & Cladding, that was especially trained for the installation process.

Efficient stove

Specflue has launched its new TT20 stove as part of its contemporary Termatech range.

The Termatech stoves exceed the strongest European standards and burn at over 83% efficiency. It is available in four different styles with square or rounded sidepanels and a steel or soapstone finish. All stoves are delivered with the option of top or rear outlet as standard and can be easily altered at the point of installation.

The sidepanels are detachable if customers decide to alter the look of their stove after it has been installed. It is a simple process to change the panels from steel to soapstone or vice versa without disconnecting the stove from the chimney. The air into the stove and the combustion process is managed by a single lever, just below the door giving owners precise control of the heat and the speed that the fire burns at. The handle is designed to stay cool during the operation of the fire.

The stove may also have a direct air feed kit installed eliminating the need for an external air vent in the room. Fitted inside the stove is a large ashbox with a lid to secure the ashes when they are removed from the stove. The deep chamber guarantees the flames are in the centre of the flame picture and provides a great view of the fire. Inside the fire chamber, the base plate is cast iron to give the stove a long lifetime.

Low-energy LEDs

Thorworld Industries has introduced optional low energy LED bulbs for its Standard Plus Dock Lights as a cost-effective, energy efficient alternative to the existing 80 watt bulbs.

Compared to standard halogen bulbs, the 12 watt LED bulbs deliver an energy saving of approximately 85%. At the same time, they have no adverse effect on light quality, with a comparable standard of illumination to halogens (over 1000 Lumens).

The lifespan of an LED bulb is as much as 50,000 hours. This is at least a ten-fold increase in life expectancy over halogen bulbs, ensuring significant reductions in the replacement of consumables for a lower overall cost of ownership. Thorworld estimates that, under typical distribution centre operating conditions, the LED Dock Light becomes more cost-effective within two years of purchase.

Speaking about the LED Dock Lights, Thorworld managing director, John Meale, said: "With rising energy prices and the growth of corporate sustainability policies, our customers are on the lookout for long-term solutions that can simultaneously reduce costs and waste.

"Changing a light bulb might seem only a small act, but it produces a big 'win' – meaning less hassle, lower energy consumption and enhanced environmental credentials, without any discernable loss of illumination."

Conergy to attend Intersolar

The Conergy Group is attending Intersolar in Munich, Germany (June 8-10) with a 580m2 their stand (stand 180, hall A3). The company recently opened an office in the UK.

UK customers will have the chance to gain a glance into the near future of the UK solar industry. The Conergy Group uses the event as platform for the Germany launch of the Conergy newest innovations, including the company’s solar storage solution – a system with exceptional durability which can cover up to 75% of the annual power requirements of a family of four.

Another highlight is the Conergy Complete 200 and Conergy Complete 300. The Conergy Complete 300, an on roof system with black modules which can be mounted by a single installer. The Conergy Complete 200 which is an in-roof system using special frameless black laminates which integrate black panels aesthetically in the roof and additionally act as water conducting layer.

The German system manufacturer has announced that the Conergy PowerPlus has been improved and the latest generation of the product will be presented at Intersolar 2011. The panel is now even more rugged with higher durability and higher levels of performance.

Picture: Conergy’s solar storage solution.

New teaching accommodation guide

Foremans Relocatable Building Systems, UK supplier of recycled and refurbished modular buildings, has published a new report – ‘A Guide to Expanding Teaching Accommodation’.

This latest in a series of reports and technical papers from Foremans provides education professionals with a comprehensive guide to procuring a modular building and can be downloaded from the Foremans website – www.foremansbuildings.info/industryreports. It gives 23 practical tips to help schools avoid some of the most common pitfalls, and to help ensure modular building projects are completed on time, on budget and to the required quality standards.

The new paper provides clear guidance about how to expand teaching accommodation using off-site construction, quickly and efficiently, for the smooth running of each building project. Areas to consider include:

• Key decisions to take in the planning stages to ensure clarity and focus for the project team
• Advice on obtaining planning permissions
• The complexities of project management
• How to ensure the modular building meets the relevant guidelines and legislation
• How to set the design criteria
• What to look for when selecting a modular building supplier.

Kevin Jones, managing director of Foremans, said: “Modular teaching accommodation offers a host of benefits for schools and LEAs, whether the building is for interim or permanent use, to meet place planning requirements, or to upgrade or expand school or college facilities.

“The speed of delivery is important, as is the need to minimise disruption to teaching. However, it is also vital that every school building project is completed on time, on budget and to specification.

“This report shares our team’s experience and expertise to help education professionals avoid some of the most common mistakes and to choose the right modular building partner for their project. Building users need to be aware that not all suppliers are the same – whether they specialise in new manufacture or recycled modular buildings – and not all will be able to provide the services required for a particular project.”

The use of recycled and refurbished modular buildings continues to increase as more schools, colleges and LEAs recognise the advantages of this highly innovative solution to providing new and purpose-designed teaching accommodation.

Pre-owned modular buildings can reduce programme times by up to 70% and are a highly cost-effective alternative to new build and new manufacture – an important benefit in the current economic climate where budgets are severely restricted.

This is also one of the most sustainable methods of construction – helping to reduce carbon emissions, waste sent to landfill, and improve a building’s carbon footprint.

To download a copy of the new technical paper, see www.foremansbuildings.info/industryreports

Smart heat recovery

Achieving 0.47W/l/s, with 93% heat transfer, and incorporating new Greenwood Smart Technology, the new Fusion HRV2HT takes one of the UK’s best performing heat recovery product to the next level.

Assisting in the delivery of GIP (Guaranteed Installed Performance), new Greenwood CommissionSmart technology provides a fuss-free method of commissioning.

Smarter thanks to wireless technology, one single and simple to operate LCD controller can be used to set up, adjust and commission numerous units on-site, helping save valuable time, as the installer does not need to keep going back to the unit to make adjustment.

One hundred percent variable airflow settings ensure Fusion HRV2HT meets Building Regulation requirements on-site first time. Ensuring year-round comfort for homeowners Fusion HRV2HT also boasts Greenwood SummerSmart and Greenwood WinterSmart technologies. Providing an intuitive response to seasonal variations they sense the outside temperature and automatically make changes to the way in which the supply air is delivered into the dwelling to create the perfect indoor climate all year round.

Additional Smart features and technology improve the overall energy efficiency and performance of Fusion HRV2HT. Greenwood HumidiSmart, a new way of using humidity to provide ventilation into domestic dwellings, reacts only to man-made humidity rather than a preset generic setting, and Greenwood TimerSmart measures the duration of occupancy to determine run time. Both technologies help remove nuisance running noise and reduce unnecessary energy wastage and heat loss throughout the year in the home.


Humidity regulating foil

The ISO-Connect Vario SD humidity regulating foil, now available from ISO-Chemie, provides rapid and effective year-round high performance sealing of window and door frame connecting joints.

In addition to the ‘intelligent’ humidity control, the foil comes from a new generation of window sealing products which not only adapt to seasonal variations but also provide an excellent external weather seal that surpasses the current, and proposed, UK Building Regulations for airtightness in domestic and commercial buildings when used as an internal seal.

ISO-Connect Vario SD is flexible enough to adapt to external and internal temperature changes which occur within buildings and structures, ensuring that joints remain dry, and costly damage caused by condensation build up is eliminated.

Quick and easy-to-apply to frameworks, the self-adhesive synthetic fleece covered foil is available in six width options to suit most joint sizes: 70, 90, 145, 180, 235 and 290 mm. Supplied as standard with a self-adhesive strip, to attach it to the window frame, a butyl adhesive strip can also be added for securing the foil on brickwork.

Product complies with energy saving regulations (EnEV) on windows and doors as well as the RAL quality assurance association and is able to accommodate extremes of temperature changes – from -40°C to +80°C.

ISO-Connect Vario SD is compatible with all standard building materials and can be over plastered or pasted to provide a smooth and stable decorative surface finish. The range comes in three finishes: self adhesive (SK), single side self adhesive and butyl adhesive strip (SK-BT Mono)and alternating self adhesive and butyl adhesive strip (SK-BT Duo).

Available from UK stock in a 30 metre roll length, product can be supplied to customers on a 24-48 hour basis.


New specification guide

Kestrel has launched a revised version of its Specification Guide.

The new Guide has been updated in its design to suite in with the rest of Kestrel’s recently re-designed range of marketing and technical materials.

Kestrel’s Specification Guide reflects the company’s commitment to producing products that are more environmentally kind, from a manufacturing base that is also environmentally conscious.

All of Kestrel’s products contain 100% calcium organic stabilisers in the skin and core to ensure they meet future as well as existing legislation, but we also operate to the stringent ISO9001 environmental standard.

The Specification Guide provides specifiers with more information about all of this as well as the other benefits of choosing Kestrel products.


Free solar energy

Oxford Sustainable Group, a European independent renewable energy and sustainable development businesses, has launched Sol et Libre in the UK – a second-generation 'free solar' business.

Sol et Libre is offering free solar installations plus cash payments to domestic and commercial property owners located in the south of England. The Oxford Sustainable Group is an experienced developer and investor in the UK solar market having funded and developed ISIS Solar (the UK free solar brand) from scratch.

Sol et Libre will now enable its customers to benefit from annual savings on their electricity bills, typically around £360 for the average domestic property at today's electricity prices, and receive £250 cash.

Sol et Libre customers will save on the upfront cost of the solar installation, which is around £15,000 for most residential properties. In return, Sol et Libre will benefit from the Feed-In Tariff payments.

"Oxford has been highly successful with solar, wind and biomass across Europe," said Robin Paine, director, Sol et Libre. "We want to repeat that success with Sol et Libre and help to grow the production of renewable energy in the South of the UK. We're offering a great deal – free electricity and an initial cashback payment of £250 – this is a first on the market and is proving to be very attractive to our customers.

"Our aim is to install 50MW of solar modules by summer 2012 and with the Oxford Sustainable Group behind us, we have the knowhow and finance required. Beyond that, we want to develop more broadly in both commercial and community solar projects in the South of England. We are happy to hear from people with suitable domestic and commercial properties and community projects."

Oxford Sustainable Group, Sol et Libre's parent company, has over 800MW of renewable energy projects in development across Europe. It has more experience of operating free solar business models than any other UK company, having completed the full lifecycle of solar development and is now on its second-generation company.

Thin-film PV option

Schueco UK is now offering its ASS 70.HI fully glazed, lift-sliding door with a ProSol TF thin-film photovoltaic option, enabling this top-of-the-range system to deliver exceptional thermal insulation, generate PV energy and provide solar shading/screening simultaneously.

The Schueco ASS 70.HI is available in single, double or triple track configurations. The 70mm deep doors glide effortlessly on stainless steel tracks and the lift-slide action is facilitated by stylish ergonomic handles. With a low threshold height of only 48mm, leaf weights up to 300kg and security up to Class 2 EN V 1627, this door meets a wide range of specifications.

Leaf widths and heights up to 3m are possible with this premium door, while class-leading U-values from 1.6W/m2K with double-glazing, down to 1.3W/m2K with triple-glazing, easily exceed Building Regulations.

The launch of the ProSol TF option makes the Schueco ASS 70.HI sliding door even more versatile as it can now be included as an element of larger Building Integrated Photovoltaic projects incorporating facades, cladding and windows.

Depending upon design requirements, Schueco's amorphous silicon ProSol TF can be specified in opaque format for maximum output or in varying degrees of transparency, providing vision to the outside and soft shading to the inside. When equipped with ProSol TF, ASS 70.HI is a perfect example of Schueco's Energy2 – Saving Energy, Generating Energy concept.


PV in a box

Schueco UK has launched Schueco PowerHouse, a complete PV solar energy system in a box that will give MCS-registered installers the speed and convenience of a single order point, with scheduled deliveries direct to their premises, at a competitive price.

Schueco PowerHouse has been developed to help installers enhance their service to customers by ensuring that installations are not delayed through the non-arrival of vital components such as inverters. Since it offers the whole system in one kit package, Schueco PowerHouse cuts out the need to deal with different suppliers so security of supply is assured, trouble-free fitting is facilitated and customer satisfaction is increased.

Each PowerHouse box contains all the components required for a 2520 kw domestic PV system. These consist of 12 modules (PS05 210wp), the mounting system, an approved G83 inverter, DC and AC isolators, a generation meter, DC cable, roof anchors and warning labels. Kits with different output sizes will be available in the near future. To give customers complete peace of mind, all Schueco components carry written guarantees and warranties.

Installers can place an order either by telephone (01908 289185 or 289177) or by fax (01908 289123), quoting article no 272 732. There is also a dedicated technical helpline (01908 289188) to deal with queries and to provide information.


Door to energy efficiency

Sheerframe offers fabricators and installers a bi-fold door system capable of delivering future-proof energy performance with U-values as low as 0.8W/m2K.

The current Building Regulations Part L allows for bi-fold doors with minimum U-values of 1.8W/m2K, which means door-sets with 1.4 to 1.8W/m2K U-values are typically available in the marketplace. However, this could mean the bi-fold doors are the energy efficiency weak-spot in the building fabric as the surrounding wall into which the doors are fitted offers a much better thermal performance – new ICF housing for example from market leader ICF Tech achieves 0.15W/m2K as standard.

Future Building Regulations may also lower the 1.8W/m2K U-value for doors limit in 2013 and 2016 as the zero carbon homes and PassivHaus standards already demand a 0.8 maximum.

Sheerframe marketing director David Strang said: “Given the serious investment that homeowners make when they choose to install bi-fold doors, it’s crucial that they have access to the most energy efficient option. The thermal performance of homes is only going to get more important and this coming winter is looking likely to bring a financial shock when gas and electricity bills arrive.

“With the Sheerframe bi-fold door system achieving a 0.8 U-value, fabricators and installers have a proposition that any serious customer will warm to. Replacing a large section of their exterior wall with a stylish door-set that will help them save money on heating is a fantastic selling point, and one which other bi-fold doors on the market will struggle to beat.”

Manufactured in the UK from 100% lead-free PVC by LB Plastics, the Sheerframe bi-fold door profile features five chambers for minimal heat transmission through the frame and the system accommodates 44mm triple glazed units as standard. The thermal properties are enhanced by its four interlocking weatherseals which ensure air and weather tightness.

Exceptional air-tightness results of 300 pascals, matching the maximum category for air tightness in doors to BS6375 Part 1 2009, are achieved by the new range. Water tightness results show performance to 600 pascals, way above the 100 pascals required fro BS (Class 3A).


New triple glazed bead

Swish Window and Door Systems has launched new triple glazed bead options capable of achieving U-values as low as 0.8W/m2K.

Developed to support commercial fabricators in winning business in the new build sector, the triple glazed bead allows specifiers to achieve Code Level 6 and beyond.

Swish is also pitching the triple-glazed system at retail sector where the Epwin Group systems house argues it supports sales by giving installation businesses a tangible point of difference.

Rob McGlennon, divisional sales director, at Swish parent Epwin Group Extruded Products division, said: “Clearly it enjoys significant appeal in the commercial sector but equally its appeal in retail shouldn’t be underestimated.

“It’s something that is tangible – consumers can see a third pane in a way that they can’t see low iron glass or argon gas, even though those elements are far more important in increasing thermal performance.”

The triple glazed bead option means that the Swish system can accommodate a 44mm triple glazed unit. Fully tested on the industry standard side hung fixed combination 1230mm by 1480mm window, development also included hardware trials and full opening/closing cycle testing.

Lawson Price, divisional technical sales manager, Epwin Group Extruded Products Division, said: “The fact that the product has been tested against an industry standard window, rather than a product that has been ‘manipulated’ to achieve a certain level of performance is significant.

“For example, window styles and dimensions can be adjusted to increase the size of the glazed area to artificially ‘bump up’ performance to support headline sales claims.

“By contrast in testing a window made to an industry standard specification we know that it will deliver across a broad range of specifications and that eliminates complexities and delay at the fabrication stage.”


Warm tie

Ancon’s range of low thermal conductivity wall ties minimise heat loss through thermal bridging, improving the energy efficiency of a masonry cavity wall.

The use of these ties can reduce insulation depth and wall footprint.

In addition to a number of stainless steel wire wall ties, the range includes the Ancon TeploTie which is manufactured from pultruded basalt fibres set in resin. This BBA-approved product is available exclusively from Ancon. It has a thermal conductivity of just 0.7W/mK, making it the most thermally efficient wall tie on the market, the company claimed.

It has already been used on the first certified Passivhaus to be built with traditional masonry cavity walls and the first retrofit to be built to Level 6 (Zero Carbon) of the Code for Sustainable Homes.

Ancon now has a BBA-approved, low conductivity wall tie for cavities from 50mm to 300mm.


Tackling VOCs

Fermacell is a modern building which can help improve the overall BREEAM rating of a building.

A new product called Greenline was launched by Fermacell at Ecobuild and effectively tackles VOCs. The main difference between Greenline and standard Fermacell high performance dry lining boards is the addition of a natural additive that absorbs VOCs leaching out of compounds as gases.

Fermacell is a multi-purpose board providing high acoustic, fire, moisture, impact resistance and excellent racking strength properties.