Weekly Email News – the future of the building industry


Energy savings calculator

Kömmerling has launched an energy savings calculator to its website, which enables consumers to estimate the cost and carbon dioxide savings of installing certain types of window including 58mm, 70mm and 88mm frames.

The energy savings calculator takes into account the total window surface area, type of windows to be replaced, proposed new windows and estimates their U-value. Once this has been established then users can input their choice of heating material used and the price per kilowatt, the calculator then adds a nominal annual price increase. The results are then calculated showing the savings in year one in terms of money and carbon dioxide reductions and this is then extrapolated over 20 years.

A typical house with 25m2 of glazing with first generation PVCU double glazing upgrading to a new five-chambered Kömmerling C70 or O70 Gold system would make significant savings, with the resulting reduction of over one tonne of CO2.


Green approach

Glass machinery and consumables supplier, Bohle, has taken delivery of a recycling compactor for its cardboard and polythene packaging waste.

Chris Conway Bohle’s purchasing manager said: “The main reason we purchased a recycling compactor was in order to reduce our ever increasing waste management costs.

“We contacted a company called Landfill Alternatives who visited our site and advised us on which compactor would be most suited to handle the amount of recyclable packaging waste we generate.

“Purchasing a recycling compactor has made financial sense as we’re no longer filling skips with compactable waste and paying to have it taken away.

“We now have our compacted recyclable waste collected and we also receive revenue for it as well.

“Ultimately the recycling compactor will be self-funding and the fact that it helps Bohle become a greener company can only be a good thing.”

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Thermal code cracked

Door-sets from Manse Masterdor with U-Values of 1.0W/m2K are being fitted into one of the UK’s biggest ever zero carbon social housing developments.

The £12 million Park Dale development will meet Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6. The 91 homes in Airedale, near Castleford in West Yorkshire, are being built using traditional construction methods by Bramall Construction for Wakefield and District Housing and will feature 160 Masterdor Timber Thermal door-sets.

Part-funded by the Homes and Community Agency (HCA), the two, three and four-bedroomed homes will use a combination of energy saving and carbon-reducing features including mechanical ventilation and heat recovery systems, photovoltaic panels, and grey water recycling.

The 54mm Masterdor Timber Thermal door-sets will deliver superior levels of air tightness (800 Special). The thermally efficient high security door-sets have an insulating core and also meet and exceed the requirements of PAS23, PAS24 and Secured by Design.

Jeremy Gaffney, supply chain manager at Bramall Construction, said: “This is a very exciting code 6 development with a very high specification. We chose Masterdor because they offer a high thermal efficiency and excellent air tightness product. This has a positive impact on reducing fuel bills and minimising CO2 emissions. The Masterdor has the added benefit of looking great and is available in a wide choice of styles and colours, which is really important to the social housing residents and clients.”


Easier online

Panel Systems has released a website that provides up-to-date information and easy online purchase of its Styroliner dry lining boards.

Styroliner, which helps to create warmer rooms and reduce energy consumption, consists of extruded polystyrene insulation bonded to 9.5mm plasterboard.

The website, www.styroliner.co.uk features an overview of the product’s features and benefits, as well as describing typical applications, including new builds, renovations, lofts and garages. It also gives step-by-step advice on installation, with photographs at different stages and detailed technical specifications, including the U-values achieved with a variety of Styroliner board thicknesses.

The Styroliner range is suitable for both new builds and refurbishments and has environmental benefits, as it is CFC and HCFC free, as well as making buildings more energy efficient, reducing carbon dioxide emissions in the process.

Danny Phelan, sales manager at Panel Systems, said: “Since the introduction of energy performance legislation for both new and existing buildings, demand for Styroliner has been very high. By dedicating a website to Styroliner, we wanted to make it even easier for customers to buy effective insulation boards for walls and ceilings, helping them to save on their energy bills, as well as reduce their carbon footprint.”

Styroliner can be ordered in a range of thicknesses to meet specific thermal performance requirements. U-value calculations can also be performed by Panel Systems’ technical team.

The boards can be fixed to a wide range of wall and ceiling constructions, then finished using either a plaster skim or with established dry wall techniques. Styroliner boards are supplied in sizes 2400mm x 1200mm. No specialist equipment is required to fit the lightweight boards, which can be easily cut on site.


Vacuum glazing

Pilkington energiKare Legacy – ultra-thin energy-efficient vacuum glazing – has returned to its original global name: Pilkington Spacia.

This glass from the NSG Group has been successfully installed in Japan for more than 12 years, and now features at the construction research consultancy, the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

The Victorian Terrace at the BRE has been refurbished into three energy-efficient homes. One of the energy efficiency problems of the property was its former sash windows. Victorian sash windows, while being aesthetically pleasing, are notorious for allowing heat to escape from a building. Not only are they mostly single glazed, they often do not fit snugly, which can create draughts.

Pilkington Spacia offers similar thermal insulation to double glazing, yet is the same thickness of single glass at just over 6mm. It also has a better acoustic performance than triple glazing. Based upon urban road traffic, the noise level is reduced by 31dB compared to triple glazing (using three panes of 4mm glass) which reduces the noise by 27 dB. This enables period properties such as this Victorian Terrace to maintain their original look and charm, while providing the cost savings and comfort double glazing offers.

John O’Brian, principal consultant, BRE, added: “The performance and look of the Pilkington Spacia units provide the perfect glazing solution, not only for the Victorian Terrace at BRE, but also for countless commercial and domestic listed buildings across the UK.”

The Victorian Terrace will now be monitored for several months to provide a convincing demonstration of the results achieved thought smart refurbishment. The targets for the property are: a minimum SAP rating of 80, CO2 emissions of less than 35kg/m2/yr, a whole property energy saving of more than 60% compared to the energy saved before refurbishment, to produce at least 10% of the energy the property uses.


Energy saving alternative
Solar Gard has introduced a new low-emissivity retrofit window film for homeowners and facility managers that provides energy savings at a lower cost and lower carbon footprint than replacement windows.

The film, Solar Gard Silver AG 50 Low E, transforms standard glass into high performance windows, resulting in cost savings of up to 80% over replacement low-e windows. This reduces energy consumption year-round, lowering costs associated with heating and cooling, and improving a building’s carbon footprint.

Windows are a major cause of energy loss, both in winter and summer. During colder periods, Solar Gard’s new low-e window film reflects 63% of interior heat back into a room, compared to untreated windows which only reflect 16%. During warmer periods, the film reflects solar heat away from windows, keeping interiors cooler and reducing the need for air conditioning. The product also has the highest visible light transmission (VLT) of any low-e window film on the market, allowing more natural light into a building and preserving views.

Solar Gard’s Silver AG 50 Low E retrofit solution:
• Reduces winter heat loss
• Eliminates uncomfortable hotspots within a building
• Cuts energy consumption during cold and warm weather
• Provides almost two-thirds more UV protection than low-e windows
• Blocks 99% of the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays
• Decreases glare on television, computer and other screens
• Allows natural daylight to illuminate interior rooms better than other insulating window treatments

“Facility managers and homeowners alike are looking for easy energy efficient upgrades, and Solar Gard continues to provide environmentally-responsible solutions,” said Kathryn Giblin, vice president of marketing at Solar Gard. “Improving window performance on buildings can reduce energy consumption and cooling costs by up to 30%, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% to 40% in commercial buildings. Retrofitting with Solar Gard will help accomplish both goals, and window film offers benefits that low-e glass does not, including broad spectrum UV protection.”


New heating system

Baxi Commercial Division has launcheed the Ecoskid, a new prefabricated condensing heating system that extends the portfolio of high efficiency, low and zero carbon solutions.

Designed to provide the market place with an easy to install, fully prefabricated heating solution, it is a development of the early non-condensing prefabricated heating system which it replaces and the MB Series modular condensing boiler option that will continue as a popular specifiers’ choice.

The key differentiator from a traditional prefabricated heating system solution is the capability to supply the Ecoskid with an integrated LZC solution, such as the BaxiEcogen Micro CHP, or a direct- fired condensing water heater, for instance the stainless steel NEOflo from Andrews Water Heaters.

A hot water option which can be selected to provide either hot water priority for an external cylinder or heating only, with the Andrews Water Heaters NEOflo.

The boilers complete with either silicon aluminium or stainless steel heat exchangers, are installed with all pipework, water and gas isolation valves, pressurisation unit with pressure switches and Class A low energy system pumps, on a robust powder coated frame. A full system control panel is factory fitted including auto switches and alarms, and there is provision for BMS interface for alarms and controls or integral system control. Electrical isolators are provided for each item of integrated equipment.

The micro-CHP option incorporates an integral Ecogen CHP unit displacing the CO2 emissions associated with grid supplied electricity. The control system automatically uses the Ecogen as the lead boiler to maximise the carbon reduction associated with CHP technology. The Ecogen provides 6kW thermal output at 1kW electrical output, with an additional 18kW thermal output from an additional burner, achieving 90% overall operating efficiency.

The new Ecoskid is also available with a standard plate heat exchanger option for retrofit into old systems.


Conservatory Outlet has entered the triple glazed market with the launch of the Triple Glazing Superheroes.

Flash Carbon, Solar Lola and Weatherman make up the trio of superheroes who have been sent to Earth to help humans “save energy, save money and save the planet before it’s too late”. A dedicated retail website, www.tripleglazingsuperheroes.com, outlines the benefits of triple glazed windows, and aims to raise awareness of such products in a UK market so accustomed to double glazing.

Conservatory Outlet’s managing director Matthew Glover, and sales director Greg Kane, believe that triple glazing represents a huge opportunity for installers.

Fifteen Conservatory Outlet dealers voted unanimously in favour of triple glazing when the idea was floated at a dealer conference held at the beginning of April. Since then the fabricator has worked tirelessly to ensure that it delivered on its promises.

The quirky website is designed to live long in the memory of those looking for replacement windows and doors, and generate retail leads for triple glazing. Although light-hearted in some respects, the main sales messages are taken from the Conservatory Outlet’s own research, and that of its main suppliers, which provides justification for the extra pane.

The Synseal Synergy profile used by Conservatory Outlet accommodates a 36mm sealed unit, thanks to a specially designed bead, allowing the fabricator to manufacture triple glazed casement and Georgian windows with a U-value of just 1.0W/m²K

Matthew Glover said: “We wanted to enter the triple glazed market in spectacular fashion and enable our dealers to benefit from both early-mover advantage and a bold marketing campaign. I think we’ve certainly done this with the Triple Glazing Superheroes!

“Even when compared to A-rated double glazed windows, triple glazing offers considerable advantages. What’s more, we’re able to manufacture triple glazing very cost effectively which means that Conservatory Outlet dealers can offer the end-user real value for money.”


Good Ideo

EnviroVent has launched the Ideo, a whole house heat recovery system perfect for larger properties to create an all year round ideal indoor climate with minimum loss of energy.

The unit includes an intelligent programmable remote control module, frost protection and hibernation mode. The Ideo also comes with a 100% automatic summer by-pass as standard with the facility to allow night time cooling.

The Ideo’s intelligent wireless control module has a filter change indicator, programming mode and temperature gauge. This smart heat recovery system can even monitor how much energy it has consumed, and how much energy the household has saved by using it. The wireless control can be mounted into the product, onto a wall or a shelf.

The unit is SAP Appendix Q eligible and Energy Savings Trust Best Practice Performance Compliant. Manufactured with a high efficiency counter flow heat exchange cell, the Ideo achieves up to 87% efficiency. The system incorporates the Ultra Low Watt EC Motor Technology ensuring the lowest possible energy consumption, resulting in reduced carbon emissions.

The system has been designed to allow easy access for rapid maintenance. The filters, located at the front of the Ideo, can be changed without having to dismantle the unit, they simply pull out to be removed and replaced. Heavier F7 grade filters are available for households with allergy sufferers or locations where pollution is an issue.

A rated as standard

Sash window manufacturer, Masterframe Windows, now offers A rated sash windows as standard for its trade clients offering replacement windows, (new-build installations still require U-values for SAP calculations not WERs).

Masterframes many claims include being the first to achieve any window energy rating (the first five certificates from BFRC were registered to Masterframe), the first company to be Energy Saving Trust recommended, and the first to be recognised by the Police for an enhanced security PVCU sash window. The company now claims to be the first sash window manufacturer to offer all its trade PVC sash windows as A rated as standard, with the option of Secured by Design.

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Passivhaus levels achieved

With a whole window U-value of 0.8W/m2K, the new AWS 90.SI aluminium window system from Schueco UK, achieves PassivHaus levels of insulation – previously only obtainable using PVCU or timber – in a frame depth of just 90mm.

Designed for use with triple-glazed units delivering a U-value of 0.6W/m²K, this window is ideal for use in highly insulated residential or commercial buildings. Also available is a matching glazed door system, designated ADS 90 PL.SI, which delivers a U-value of 1.0W/m2K and a water tightness rating of 300Pa.

With a full range of profiles, together with size options for vents, outer frames and mullions/transoms, the Schueco AWS 90.SI inward opening window system is versatile. Possible configurations range from simple tilt turn opening lights to floor-to-ceiling window walls; it can also be inserted directly into Schueco facades, including the .SI (super insulation) versions which have been successfully tested to the CWCT performance standard.

The windows can be manufactured using the Schueco AvanTec range of concealed fittings allowing vent weights up to 160kg and security options up to Class 3 of EN 1627. The advantages of these concealed fittings include tested performance, clean lines and no problems with plaster lines or colour co-ordination with the frame. Profiles can be colour-coated or anodised, with different colours on the inside and outside faces if required.


Glazing campaign

Spectus Window Systems has launched a triple glazing marketing campaign for fabricators and installers across the UK.

Spectus uses argon rather than expensive krypton to deliver 0.8W/m²K whole window U-values, and the campaign focuses on this.

The marketing initiative provides a suite of literature and information for fabricators to pass on to installers.

Joanna Plane, marketing manager at Spectus, said: “The marketing campaign will allow installers to go out into their territories and increase awareness of triple glazing, leading to increased enquiries and sales. We are distributing packs to all our fabricators which include important information about triple glazing, technical guides, sales aids, template press releases for the local newspapers and posters. Installers simply need to ask their Spectus fabricator for more information.”

The triple glazing marketing campaign comes ahead of further revisions to the Approved Document L (ADL), expected in both 2013 and 2016, which will see the introduction of a ‘zero carbon’ policy for new homes. This means a building’s CO2 emissions will need to be reduced to zero or offset in some way, providing a challenge for housebuilders. From 2019 the ADL regulations will apply to all commercial new builds and at some point it is widely believed that existing buildings will need to be refurbished to improve their energy efficiency too.

Spectus provides two aesthetically pleasing triple glazed beads, one chamfered and one ovolo. The beads are stocked in standard finishes and also available in the Spectrum range of over 60 different foils. In addition, many variations of glass coatings, spacer bars, edge sealants and gas fills can be used to provide bespoke options to balance cost and performance.


Green standard

Swish Building Products has secured the green standard BES6001 across its roofline range.

The PVC roofline company joined a handful of companies to have secured the new standard in the summer meeting a range of strict criteria ensuring responsible sourcing of construction products.

Including an assessment of organisational governance, supply chain management and social and environmental impact, the new standard was written into the Code for Sustainable Homes in late 2010.

In securing the standard across its PVC fascia, soffit, cladding and window board ranges Swish Building Products is able to offer developers access to a product offer that gives them maximum points under the Code (tier level 1).

This represents to date a unique achievement for a PVC company, matching FSC timber specifications in Mat2 and Mat3 of the Code. The Swish certification can also be viewed on the Green Book Live website www.greenbooklive.com .

Greg Wilde, Swish Building Products, said: “We believe that the standard is confirmation of just how serious Swish is about its responsibilities to its customers and to the wider construction industry.

“In ensuring that we source our materials in a responsible and ethical manner we’re able to support our customers in delivering sustainable new homes efficiently and effectively and with minimal impact on the environment.”

BES6001 ‘pulls’ together a number of other standards to demonstrate a commitment to responsible sourcing of materials. Swish Building Products only secured the new standard after previously securing the quality management standard ISO9001, the environmental management standard ISO14001 and occupational health and safety OHSAS18001.

Swish also had to demonstrate that it had policies and management systems in place to make sure that the raw materials it purchases come from responsibly and sustainably managed sources.

01827 317 200

Hetas training centre

Manufacturer of biomass heating systems, Windhager UK has recently doubled the area of the company’s training facility to coincide with the new style of HETAS training course.

It is one of just 10 approved UK HETAS training centres in the UK. The new course structure now encompasses both theory and practical training and runs alongside Windhager’s own product training courses.

The new practical training room, located at the company’s head offices in Chippenham, is a development of the existing facilities and an extension of the ground floor showroom and training room.

The practical training area was created in line with the new HETAS course criteria for 2011, which includes practical assessments and training to replace the theory only courses previously conducted. Windhager has now adopted three new courses developed by HETAS - practical training for an installer of dry appliances (three days) with the option for an additional day course on the installation of wet appliances, as well as a practically assessed four-day training course on wood biomass appliances. This latter course meets the requirements for MCS registration and provides MCS certification for those successfully completing the course.

Delegates attending any of the courses can see first hand installations of biomass and solid fuel installations. Working models and test rigs for full practical training and demonstrations allows delegates to gain a better understanding of the installation process, operation and servicing of appliances.

The new area of the training facility is dedicated to correct installation methods of appliances and chimney systems. The existing training area remains as a multi-functional area for demonstrations to customers and the venue for product overview days.

Oliver Duckworth, director at Windhager UK said: “With new products being developed all the time it is essential for us to provide on-going training for our agents and installers to maintain the professional service and product knowledge to achieve outstanding results. I am confident that the new facility will continue to produce successful results in the future, ensuring the high quality of training necessary within the field of renewable energy.”


Expanded production

BASF is expanding the production plant for the insulation material Styrodur C at the Ludwigshafen site in Germany.

This will increase the production capacity of the extruded polystyrene rigid foam panels (XPS) from the current 1.3 million m³ by an additional 220,000m³. In the extended plant the new XPS types Styrodur Neo and Styrodur HT can be manufactured along with standard products. Operation will start at the end of 2011.

“The Styrodur C business runs successfully, the demand for energy-efficient building insulation products rises continuously,” Dr Giorgio Greening, head of BASF’s global foam business unit said. “By increasing our capacity we are aiming to establish our new XPS products, which represent a major advance in insulation performance and processing, within the construction sector in the long run. We can also ensure the delivery to our customers of high-performance standard products, such as thick or high-density panels,”.

The European XPS market is currently growing by 3% to 5% per annum, driven by rising energy prices and legal regulations on thermal insulation in new and old buildings.

Pressure-resistant, water-repellent and rot-proof Styrodur C has been protecting homes against heat, cold and moisture for more than 45 years. This prolongs the service life of buildings, increases their value and improves the living climate.



With specifiers and homeowners alike increasingly turning to GRP composite doors for their thermal performance and durability, so Bowater Doors, has developed ‘Doors for Life’ which not only ‘future proofs’ properties to meet the highest insulation and security standards, but also allows the doors to be quickly and cost effectively upgraded on site, to meet the changing requirements of the specifier or homeowner.

The range offers double rebate with double compression seals doors, fire doors and single rebate doors, which offer U-values ranging up to 0.8 Wm2K – the performance demanded by level 6 in terms of the Code for Sustainable Homes, the highest standard currently in force for new housing.

All doors are bespoke and made to measure, making them easy to install and so upgrade both the thermal performance and appearance of existing properties over the long term as the doors are impact resistant and simple to maintain as they are manufactured using the thermoset process. This process creates pre-formed door skins, beads and panels with a high definition finish and enables Bowater to use GRP ‘through colour’ skins that have strong colourfastness that resist UV-induced fading.

The doors are prepped by Bowater Doors at the manufacturing stage to receive a full family of locking systems, which means that if circumstances require enhanced security, automatic or electronic locks after initial installation, the upgrade can be done with minimal disruption and cost, on site. There are six locking systems available from standard multipoint locking right through to automatic electronic systems operated by key fob.


Green to the core

Roofline manufacturer Homeline has developed Core, a new range of environmentally friendly BBA approved recycled fascias and soffits, which meet and exceed the industry’s recycling and sustainability criteria.

The name is Core is derived from the process that Homeline uses to make the recycled roofline range. The inner core of the product is produced using recycled PVC-U, but the outer skin (the bit you see) uses virgin PVC-U which encapsulates the core to provide a perfect finish.

Core maintains high performance which is reinforced with new BBA accreditation and BSI approval for the new recycled formulation. In addition, Homeline is actively working towards IS0:14001.

Core’s green credentials enable customers to increase the recycled content and overall sustainability of roofline installations for new-build and social housing projects. Carrying the strapline ‘recycled into our core, not the earth’s’, environmentally friendly rooflines help to protect the earth’s core, thereby satisfying all the industry expectation for environmental responsibility.

As well as being kind to the environment, Core is also fitter friendly featuring useful fixing point guidelines which help to create a professional installation.

Charles Greensmith, MD of Homeline said; “Sustainability has always been key to the overall direction of Homeline, and we’re proud to launch the industry’s first BBA approved range of recycled rooflines. Our investment in R&D has paid off, as we are now able to support our valued customers to meet the ever more stringent industry recycling targets, without compromising aesthetics. It also helps Homeline reduce its impact on the environment as a company, by reducing carbon footprints and sending less waste to landfill.”

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Solar coating

Internorm has developed a specialist thermal coating which is available on its windows as standard.

Solar+ triple glazing maximises the potential energy gains provided through solar irradiation. It prevents subsequent heat loss through the window with very low Ug values, helping to maintain a comfortable, cost, carbon and energy efficient interior environment.

Solar+ is a triple insulating glass that not only meets but also exceeds the requirements of Part L 2010. It both actively promotes energy transmission of solar irradiation into the building (g value) as well as preventing energy loss through the window (Ug value). The thermal conductivity of Solar+ is 20% higher than with standard triple glazing. This means that solar energy gain is increased by 20% too.

For cold seasons, buildings fitted with Internorm’s windows will maximise the potential of the very low solar energy available, retaining the heat gain within the building. Solar+ even operates in situations where the window does not face directly south, or the building is not ideally located to optimise the sunlight available.

To combat overheating in the summer months, all Internorm’s windows are available with sun protection features. This ensures that, while the building can retain maximum solar energy when it is needed, so too can the building’s users keep temperatures cooler when required without the need for energy-intensive mechanical systems, with a number of different options. These include integral blinds, attachment blinds, window shutters and roller shutters.

“Indoor climate is vital to the productivity and wellbeing of a building’s occupants,” Thomas Hagen, technical manager from Internorm, said. “Whether at work or at home, we all thrive when exposed to just the right level of solar irradiation. Internorm understands the importance of maintaining a comfortable interior environment, at the same time as keeping energy use low. Solar+ glazing improves solar gain, helping to reduce reliance on energy to heat homes and commercial buildings, thereby lowering energy costs for the end user and cutting carbon emissions too.”


Stormwater system trialled

The GEOlight stormwater management system from SDS has just been accepted by Wessex Water for a number of trial installations in conjunction with developers.

Peter George, development engineer for Wessex Water said: “We were asked to approve the use of SDS systems by various developers on adoptable drainage and agreed to trial the system in a variety of sizes at various locations where the design, installation and operation of the system will be assessed for general acceptance.”

The GEOlight stormwater management system from SDS is an ultra lightweight honeycombed preformed modular structure made from recycled PVC which provides an underground stormwater storage facility for the application of stormwater attenuation or infiltration. The high void rate of up to 97%, high compressive strength of up to 1000kN/m2 and low resistance to water flow makes GEOlight a maintainable and cost efficient solution ideal for underground storage during storm conditions.

Richard Averley, sales and marketing director for SDS explained, “We are working with a number of water utility companies around the country and we are pleased to be working on this trial with Wessex Water. As designers, manufacturers and installers of these cellular structures, we are able to quickly adapt to different site conditions and any new criteria recommended by developers and utility companies.”

As well as attaining ISO 9001, the company is currently undergoing ISO 14001 Environmental Standard accreditation, demonstrating its commitment to developing an environmental management system in areas such as waste reduction and the use of recycled products.

The SDS GEOlight stormwater management systems are manufactured entirely from post consumer PVC waste, normally destined for landfill. This reduces the carbon footprint and helps development projects achieve a higher BREEAM rating. Further investment has led SDS products to be BBA accredited, recognised by Achilles, and they have been submitted for WRc approval


EST approval first

PIR insulation manufacturer, Celotex, has received Energy Saving Trust approval for its CW4000 boards – the first ever polyisocyanurate (PIR) product to do so.

To qualify for EST approval, the insulation must meet strict levels of energy efficiency. CW4000 is A+ rated when compared to the BRE Green Guide 2008 and offers zero ozone depletion potential and low global warming potential, as well as making it ideal to sit alongside other EST approved best-in-class products ranging from televisions and ovens to boilers and light fittings.

Previously, mainly traditional insulation materials including mineral wool and polystyrene foam have been included on the approved list of energy saving insulation. Now, with the approval of CW4000, the EST is promoting the numerous additional benefits that modern PIR offers when compared to more conventional products – including achieving thermal efficiency with thinner profiles, a wide variety of available thicknesses, ease of installation and outstanding moisture resistance.

Some Celotex products have also received OFGEM (Office of the Gas and Electricity Markets) approval, as part of a scheme initiated by the Government and administered by OFGEM to recognise products that reduce CO2 emissions. Compliant products are awarded approved for use under the CERT and CESP schemes which obligate the main energy suppliers to deliver energy savings to their customer base. As well as this, all Celotex’s insulation products have been approved by the British Board of Agrément (BBA).

“We are delighted that our CW4000 is the first PIR to achieve Energy Saving Trust approval,” said Paul Evans, product manager at Celotex. “This brand recognition marks the next step in raising awareness of our products among UK consumers. With the EST seal of approval in addition to our OFGEM approval, we will be able to further raise awareness for the brand, particularly in consumer markets.”


Green Hero

Lafarge Readymix has received an International Green Hero wall-shield for its environmental innovation and efforts to extend eco-friendly practice.

The honour, from prestigious eco-champions The Green Organisation, comes on top of Lafarge’s earlier Green Apple award. Jeremy Greenwood, managing director Readymix, a unit of Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK, was presented with the wall-shield by Trevor Bayliss OBE – famed for inventing the wind-up radio.

Readymix’s success in the awards comes in recognition of its flooring concrete, Extensia, a more environmentally friendly, low-shrink product which can help reduce the CO2 emissions of construction by 20% compared to conventional concrete.

Jeremy said: “This is a true honour. Being recognised by The Green Organisation for one award is fantastic but to receive Green Hero status is outstanding and just goes to show that all the hard work of our employees has paid off.

“I am so proud of each and every member of the business for all their efforts in extremely challenging times. Innovation has always been at the heart of Lafarge’s philosophy and we also take our responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment extremely seriously.

“Creating products such as Extensia is one way in which we can help fulfil both those commitments.”

Lafarge and Extensia will also be featured in The Green Book, the world’s only work of reference on environmental best practice, distributed globally with the intention of inspiring future ecologically sound innovation.

The judges said: “Extensia uses significantly less energy and materials in its production and has better environmental performance and recyclability throughout its life.”

Its formulation means there is no need to include steel mesh or steel fibre to control drying shrinkage and this absence of steel makes it 100 per cent recyclable.

Its high flexural strength also means it can be laid in thinner slabs, reducing the total amount of concrete required.

Meeting tough standards

Schueco UK has just announced that a range of its latest facade systems has successfully completed rigorous testing to the latest CWCT standard.

The tests, which were carried out by Wintech Engineering, show that the Schueco systems also meet or exceed current BS EN standards for curtain walling.

The systems tested include two of Schueco's best-selling curtain wall products FW 50+ and FW 60+, both of which performed up to, or above, the required standard. In fact, these two systems have already demonstrated their excellent energy-saving credentials by being officially accredited by the PassivHaus Institut.

Additionaly the FW50+.SI (super insulation) version can deliver further heat loss savings of over 7% compared to the standard FW 50+ system with identical glazing. This could mean a considerable reduction in energy costs over the life of a building

The third Schueco system to be tested was the FW 50+SG. This widely specified, structural glazing facade performed equally well against other conventionally glazed FW+ systems, demonstrating that a specifier can be certain that any Schueco facade will be able to meet the latest performance standards with ease.


Sign of the times

Street signage across the UK could be set for a new lease of life thanks to Leeds plastics recycling specialist, sustainableoptions.co.uk.

The company, which is based in Riverside Place, has identified a gap in the British market, and begun producing heavy duty plastic signage. There has already been massive interest from a number of local authorities and talks are now in progress with several.

Marketing manager at sustainableoptions.co.uk, Jo Dell, said: “The recycled plastic signs we have developed are perfect for use with Britain's inclement weather, and the rigours of modern society, because they are rot proof, rust proof, chemical proof and vandal proof, graffiti just wipes off them.

“If you look around, thousands of signs across the country are either rusting, bent, or just rotting. We realised there was a huge opportunity and got our research and development department to produce a range of pilot products.

“Interest at the various trade exhibitions we attended, was massive, particularly from public sector authorities, so we have now moved to full scale production and have great hopes for this product range.”

Sustainable Options' plastics are now used across the world in a variety of ways and have been made into railway sleepers, fencing for heavily waterlogged environments – the Environment Agency is one of their customers – and even funky furniture. The news signs are predicted to last five times longer than wood and are more durable than metal.

“They are also attracting interest from the private sector,” added Jo Dell. “A company which rents out cottages by the sea has bought a range of signs because they withstand the rigours of salty water brilliantly. The possibilities are infinite and to think that most of our source product would once have been destined for landfill. Plastic is now making a real difference to society.”


Warming to the task

Carter Homes has achieved industry-leading airtightness test results at its Boughton development, Nottinghamshire.

In order to achieve comparative results, Carter Homes selected Warmcel 500 insulation from Excel Fibre Technology for one of the five homes, and more conventional mineral fibre for the others.

The properties were tested for airtightness by iRed and Elite Energy, with the Warmcel-insulated home recording a result of 2.93m3/hr/m2 first time – exceeding the required 3m3/hr/m2 without any remedial work. The mineral fibre insulations achieved the 3m3/hr/m2 target after remedial works and re-testing were undertaken.

“It’s great to be able to meet challenging environmental targets first time,” said Matthew Chamberlain, contracts manager at Carter Homes. “The Code for Sustainable Homes and the newest Part L building regulations both have airtightness at their heart, and we’re proud to be able to independently prove that we’re building to these standards.

“This target wouldn’t have been met first time if it weren’t for the use of Excel’s Warmcel insulation. Warmcel has inherent environmental benefits, but with airtightness results like these it’s also proving itself as a real value proposition. I don’t think any other insulation can offer the same combination of cost and carbon savings.”

Warmcel offers airtight performance in two ways – its inherent low air permeability and its installation method which is void free. In addition, Warmcel is manufactured from 100% recycled newsprint, and so sequesters carbon within the fabric of the building.

Neil Turner, Excel’s Technical Director, added: “We’ve long championed the importance of airtightness in insulation, and now new regulations are reflecting our beliefs. It’s great to see real-world studies like this back our evidence that Warmcel really is the airtight insulation of choice.”


Reducing costs

Anglia First Home Improvements, the Norwich based Duraflex fabricator, has recently undergone a comprehensive environmental review of the resources they use from pollution prevention, waste management and recycling.

As part of the review, they’ve recently invested in a Waste Advice (UK) recycling waste compactor for their cardboard and polythene packaging waste.

Kyle Huggins, Anglia First’s environmental manager, said: “As part of our existing environmental policy and our commitment to on-going improvements in our operations production efficiency we wanted to ensure that none of our recyclable polythene and cardboard packaging waste ended up in landfill.

“This simple waste segregation process has also enabled us to benefit from significant cost efficiencies by reducing the frequency in which are skips are emptied.

“We’ve been so impressed with the performance of this relatively small compactor we’ve ordered another machine for our new site in Bury St Edmonds.

“In addition to recycling our packaging waste we’ve also introduced other environmental initiatives that ensure none of our post consumer frames or glass ends up in landfill.

“These easy to implement initiatives have also reduced our waste management costs by 75% saving us over £20000.00 per year.”

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Sustainable upgrade

Stove manufacturer, Arada, has launched the new range of Stratford Ecoboiler High Efficiency (HE) models.

This range of five freestanding and two inset models will be superseding the current Stratford TF and SEB20 boiler models. Offering a fully functional yet compact design, Stratford Ecoboiler HEs provide the solution to minimise dependency on existing heat sources.

These wood and multifuel boiler stoves are economical, reliable and sustainable, offering an alternative to more traditional central heating systems.


Low light efficiency

Conergy PowerPlus modules have shown a ‘surplus’ of 15% in efficiency during a real-life test in UK.

Conergy installation partner Freewatt has recorded real life output figures over the past nine months from two separate domestic homes in similar locations: both have a total power of approximately 3.9 kilowatts, both are located in Lincolnshire, a 30º pitch and do not face any shaded areas.

“The data speaks for itself,” Julian Patrick, managing director of Freewatt said. “In the UK climate and light conditions Conergy panels are producing more energy than those of all competitive modules we used before.”

The test period, from October 2010 to July 2011, showed that Conergy PowerPlus panels produced 2,860 kilowatt hours compared to 2,495 kilowatt hours generated by the panels from another German module manufacturer – an output difference of 15% for the benefit of the Conergy premium modules.

“We can see from these figures, that if the trend continues, the Conergy panels are on their way to producing 4,038 kilowatt hours per year with the competing brand only producing 3,546 kilowatt hours annually,” Patrick said. “This exceeds all expectations.”

An average three-bedroomed home in the UK has an energy consumption of approximately 5,000 kilowatt hours per year. With the Conergy PowerPlus modules, home owners of a 4 kilowatt installation can cover 80% of their energy needs, whereas the competitor’s modules can cover only 70% of the total energy needs.

“This improvement in energy production from the Conergy PowerPlus modules is due to the panel’s optimum low light performance,” Robert Goss, head of Conergy UK said. “They are optimised to make the most of the UK climate which consists of plenty of grey, cloudy days. We are delighted that the real life figures have underlined this since these figures look very promising for the future of Conergy in the UK.”

New generation

A new generation of high performance air source heat pumps have been launched by Danfoss Heat Pumps.

The new DHP-AQ heat pump range offers market-leading seasonal performance, thanks to a unique control system that constantly controls and optimises three key parameters in the product: airflow (efficient variable speed EC fan), the refrigerant circuit (electronic expansion valve), and heat distribution (OPTI technology).

In combination, these create the ultimate in air/water heat pump efficiency, enabling DHP-AQ to perform perfectly at very low outdoor temperatures, keeping a property comfortably heated, as well as providing constant hot water.

The new DHP-AQ air source heat pumps work well in the very coldest winters – even down to -20ºC continuing to deliver a consistently comfortable indoor environment and constant hot water, whatever the weather. This is possible because defrosting technology ensures the energy efficiency and full functionality of the heat pump even during a cold winter. DHP-AQ has been developed by Danfoss in Scandinavia.

Chris Dale, director of Danfoss Heat Pumps, said: “We are expecting a huge amount of interest in our new DHP-AQ range of air source heat pumps, which deliver outstanding seasonal performance and can make a huge contribution to a more sustainable build. Air source heat pumps are much in demand in both the domestic and commercial sectors and this range is set to enhance this even further, due to its high system efficiency, aesthetically pleasing design and range of innovative features.”

The new DHP-AQ heat pumps have been engineered to offer the lowest sound level on the market. They also offer a minimalist, contemporary, stylish design which means they are a subtle addition to the exterior of a building.


Sustainable choice

Hanson UK’s latest brick guide has been developed to help builders, architects, developers and merchants choose the right brick for their project and make an informed decision on the most sustainable products available.

It includes detailed information on the Hanson Ecostock range, and information on how the company has invested to ensure that sustainability is at the heart of its brick manufacturing processes.

Details on Hanson’s Thermalite blocks are also included which can help specifiers and builders achieve all levels of the Code for Sustainable Homes and the guide also contains information on special shaped bricks as well as high quality chimney, ridge and clay products. The use of a high-end printing process throughout the guide ensures a realistic representation of the colour and texture of Hanson’s full range.

Hanson UK’s national marketing manager Paul Lacey said: “Our new brick guide is extremely user-friendly making it easy to choose the right brick for the job. We have also included information on achieving code levels under the Code for Sustainable Homes (CfSH’s) and design advice on meeting U-values for extensions with Hanson products.

“The guide now has a QR code on the back meaning you can visit our website quickly with a smart phone to view our latest product information wherever you are.”

Hanson claims it was the first brick manufacturer to achieve BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing of Materials (RSM) certification for all products from its UK brick production sites and the guide contains all of the company’s extensive range of clay products and brands – Ecostock TM, Cradley, Red Bank and the original London brick.

Social housing brochure

Permadoor has introduced a new brochure covering its range of composite and fire doors for housing, flats and outbuildings.

The 16-page brochure contains full details of Permadoor’s high performance GRP and thermoplastic-faced composite doors, as well as information on the company’s growing range of independently tested Premier Fire doors.

The brochure includes a quick reference U-value calculator to help specifiers meet energy efficiency requirements, together with a gallery of door styles for each range.

The original composite door manufacturer, Permadoor has supplied composite doors to the social housing sector for 21 years.

The company’s GRP composite doors replicate the appearance of timber doorsets but offer low maintenance with high performance. Highly resistant to denting, warping and splitting, the doors are secure, durable and available with sustainable ECO options for lower U-values, improving the thermal insulation and with frames and cills made from recycled material.

Permadoor’s Premier Fire doorsets offer 30 and 60 minutes fire resistance and have been successfully tested to BS476 (Parts 22 and 31). Available with GRP or thermoplastic facings, the fire doors are ideal for properties where Building Regulations require a fully approved FD30S fire doorset in flats, shared entrances and multiple entrance dwellings, for example.


Lower U-values

The Fully Sculptured Casement Window in white from Veka can now achieve a U-value of 0.8 using 44mm argon-filled sealed units, following further development from the industry-leading system supplier.

The technically advanced system is widely chosen in some of the world's largest building projects as well as millions of private homes. Designed for those who want the look and feel of quality hardwood frames without the upkeep, the Matrix FS is an integrated PVCU window system that has set the benchmark in the industry.

Veka's sales and marketing director Colin Torley said: “Regulations for U-values have become more stringent, so for us to achieve such a low U-value on our Fully Sculptured Casement is testament to our continued investment in technology and product.”

It's not just the Fully Sculptured that can achieve a low U-value, it has also recently been announced that the Veka Infinity suite of profiles can achieve a U-value of 0.8.


Two layers are better than one

The German Institute for Building Technology has approved Styrodur 3035 CS, Styrodur 4000 CS and Styrodur 5000 CS from BASF for double-layer installation in inverted roofs.

BASF has proven that the double-layer installation of Styrodur C in the inverted roof is possible in terms of construction physics. This means that the inverted roof, which offers several advantages for flat roofs, can be applied to meet particularly stringent insulation requirements as well.

Insulation material thicknesses up to 400mm are now permitted. Thus, future requirements for the insulation of inverted roofs can already be met today. An inverted roof is a flat-roof construction, in which the insulation material lies above the waterproofing, creating a layered structure that combines energy-efficient thermal insulation with long-term structural protection.

This design is made possible because Styrodur C absorbs hardly any water due to its closed-cell foam structure and the foam skin on both sides. Styrodur C has been officially approved since 1978 for use in inverted roofs. Up to now, only the single-layer installation of extruded polystyrene was permitted in inverted roofs.

The insulation panels for double-layer installation must be covered with a water-repellent and permeable separating layer in such a way that most of the rainwater runs permanently and securely off the surface. Thus, existing inverted roofs with single-layer insulation can be renovated so that they comply to modern insulation standards. They can be upgraded at low cost and under any weather conditions by supplementing the existing waterproofing and insulation by a second insulating layer of Styrodur C and by a separating layer.

Also new buildings with particularly effective thermal insulation can now reap the benefits of the inverted roof and so comply to the latest energy consumption standards: in the inverted roof, the waterproofing is protected by the insulation layer against thermal and mechanical stress. So, the service life of the roof is considerably prolonged.