Weekly Email News – the future of the building industry


Safety in bags

Installers across the UK are using all kinds of makeshift methods of lifting solar panels onto roofs and this is dangerous.

Lifting a solar panel onto a roof is a precarious task and without a safe method of lifting them breakages can happen. Replacing just one solar panel stops the whole installation. Commissioning and payment has to be put on hold until a replacement panel is sourced.

A solar panel might be robust enough to take the odd bump or knock without damage but job sites can be dangerous and unpredictable places, and accidents do happen. So it’s very important to be careful when handling fragile solar panels.

The solar lifting bag has been developed, produced and certified in the UK, by inventor Andy Proctor.

The bags cost £259+vat including delivery with discounts for bulk purchases. All bags are hand made to order in Suffolk within seven days and delivery by a 1-2 day courier. They can be delivered to anywhere on the UK mainland and are available in blue, green or red.

• Safe working load of 32kg
• Capacity of 1960mm x 970mm internal load space
• Can also accommodate larger panels
• Soft internal lining to prevent scratches or damage to panels
• Rugged outer skin to make them more robust to use on-site.
• Heavy-duty stitching
• Hand made to order


Fleece, not fleeced

Second Nature UK has developed and launched its latest product – Thermafleece EcoRoll – a compress packed wool insulation that is easy to handle and quick to install.

Thermafleece EcoRoll incorporates a number of improvements:

• 20%.more wool compared to our existing roll.
• 35% less packaging weight per m2.
• 20% more insulating material per pack meaning 20% less transport impacts to site as well as 20% less packs to handle and store.
• cost is reduced by 10%.

Second Nature’s commercial and technical director Mark Lynn said: “At a time when consumers are expecting greater value, it’s important we keep innovating to meet this need. With Thermafleece EcoRoll we have nearly halved the cost of wool insulating material compared to a decade ago when we first launched the brand.”

Available in widths of 370mm & 570mm and thicknesses from 50mm to 140mm and also available in slabs.

Mark Lynn added: “I believe that Thermafleece EcoRoll is the best value on the market when it comes to a naturally insulating product it isn’t just about cost. It is manufactured to our same high standards in the UK and we have maintained the level of performance customers have come to expect from the Thermafleece brand. That has to be good for the market.”

Insulating with this product EcoRoll can result in energy savings greater than £150 per year meaning that the insulation pays for itself in just a few years.


Attractive idea

Warmroom is a magnetic energy saving product that reduces heat loss and energy bills.

The magnetic foil is attached to the back of radiators and reduces the amount of heat escaping through walls by up to 60%. At just 1mm thick, Warmroom is invisible once in place and will instantly reduce the wall temperature behind the radiator thanks to its special laminated foil.

Developed by Anchor Magnets of Sheffield, packs of Warmroom contain six sheets at 500mm x 200mm which will deal with heat loss from an average sized radiator.

In tests conducted by the University of Sheffield, the temperature of an uninsulated brick wall behind a hot radiator was recorded at 45ºC. After fitting Warmroom panels to the back of the radiator the wall temperature dropped to 25ºC. The product also saves around 18kg of CO2/m2 per year, enabling householders to reduce their carbon footprint at the same time as lowering their utility bills.

Mike Burton, Anchor Magnets sales director and inventor of the product, said: “Warmroom is such a simple solution – ideal for householders and tenants everywhere. The colder it is outside, the better the product works and it is really effective in preventing heat loss in houses, schools, hospitals, offices – in fact any building heated by steel radiators mounted on outside walls.

“It literally takes seconds to slip the strips down the back of the radiator with no need to undertake any plumbing or other DIY. The solution may be invisible but it provides a very noticeable boost to a room’s temperature. We’re confident that householders across the UK will enjoy greater warmth in their homes – or a welcome drop in their heating bills – as a result of installing Warmroom.”

Warmroom was trialled last winter for between four and eight weeks among tenants of South Yorkshire Housing Association, university representatives and employees of National Energy Action. All reported how quick and easy it was to fit with the majority concluding that the product made their rooms noticeably warmer. Several householders also reported lower heating bills following the trial. Warmroom is available to buy online and costs £9.95 per pack.


Maintaining flow

One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of water used at home is by fitting the new flow regulator accessory from Crosswater, into any of the 33 basin tap collections or shower hoses to control the amount of tap water used.

Taps can use more than 10 litres of water per minute. By leaving a tap running while you are cleaning your teeth can waste about nine litres of water a minute (Defra).

For a quick and eco efficient bathroom update that costs just an additional £4.50, install the latest technologically advanced flow regulator to efficiently save both a huge amount of water and money, while also guaranteeing even water distribution.

The flow regulator technology keeps the flow rate constant across the pressure. Flow regulators are used to maintain a defined flow rate regardless of pressure variations of the water supply line. They can be inserted directly into most fixed showerheads, handsets or basin monoblocs.


Sustainability guide

A guide to specifying sustainable architectural aluminium glazing systems for the new-build and renovation residential market has been launched by Kawneer.

The 20-page brochure articulates the results of the manufacturer’s recent period of significant investment in new product development to meet the residential sector’s increasingly stringent project requirements in terms of sustainability, performance and compliance.

It details how Kawneer’s residential portfolio meets a plethora of performance requirements such as security standards, A ratings with the WER (Window Energy Rating) and BRE Green Guide schemes, Code for Sustainable Homes, acoustics, natural ventilation, weatherability and durability, NHBC and Lifetime Homes compliance.

Window products that feature in the guide include the AA540 series of casement, horizontal and vertical pivot and tilturn windows which is BRE Green Guide A-rated, and the AA600TE series which also offers a new parallel opening window for exceptional levels of natural ventilation.

Sliding window and door systems designed for the residential market include the AA3110 sliding window and door and the high performance AA3572 lift slide door, while the AA540 and AA600TE swing, tilt slide and tilturn doors suite with the standard window configurations to provide ideal glazing solutions for apartments.

Entrance and framing solutions featured in the brochure include the 451PT integrated framing system for entrance and communal areas and the series 190 narrow-style and 350 heavy-duty door systems.

Also featured in the brochure are the zone- or mullion-drained AA100 (50mm sightlines) and AA110 (65mm) as well as the AA201 unitised curtain wall system, alongside the AA100 Firescreen fire-rated curtain walling.

The guide also features the Kawneer AA130 Brise Soleil system along with specially designed connection brackets to integrate with the curtain walling systems and AA600TEPlus windows.


Efficiency sealed

The Solar-Line Solar Outlet from Klober is being used as part of the installation of photovoltaic panels on 1200 new homes being built by Alliance Homes.

The housing association is placing heavy emphasis on renewables to help meet carbon reduction targets and the Solar Outlet creates the all-important watertight seal around cables as they pass through the roof.

The Solar Outlet’s 8 cable insert allows additional cables to be retrofitted if necessary while enabling services to be accessed with ease. It is fully wind-tunnel tested, available in versions for use with tiles and slates and a variety of colours. www.klober.co.uk

Thermally transparent

Brio Dry Floor Screed is suitable for new-build or refurbished residential and commercial buildings, and, claims Knauf, offers advantages over traditional wet screeds and timber decks such as better stability, the speed and ease of installation, and higher quality.

This gypsum fibre board is virtually thermally transparent, allowing it to work well with underfloor heating systems, offering responsive heating at low running cost and with lower CO2 emissions. Knauf Brio has a thermal conductivity of 0.38 W/mK.

The panel is also ideal for refurbishments because of its low installation thickness of just 23mm, which allows for the installation of an underfloor heating system for a total loss in room height of just 50mm. Knauf Brio is also much lighter than traditional wet screeds, significantly reducing loads and costly structural requirements in multi-storey buildings.

There are four Knauf Brio boards: Brio 18 (18mm thick), Brio 23 (23mm – recommended for underfloor heating applications), Brio 18WF and Brio 23WF. The Brio WF (wood fibre) products are specifically developed to be an effective floor treatment as part of an acoustic separating floor, and an instant upgrade in refurbishments.

They are composite boards with an additional 10mm laminated wood fibre layer that provide high mechanical load resistance and effective footfall sound insulation and remove any need for acoustic battens.

Installation requires no special skills. The precise tiered edges are glued with Knauf Brio Joint Adhesive and then screwed together to ensure a solid bond. Once the glue has hardened the new floor is ready to take traffic – typically a matter of hours. All Brio boards are non-combustible and classified as Building Material Class A1.


New for old

Wavin has launched Recycore Technology; a new manufacturing process developed to reduce the use of virgin materials by using at least 50% recycled content.

It has been designed to help customers meet tough new environmental commitments, achieve a lower carbon footprint and improve their sustainability credentials. Wavin is already one of the biggest European users of recycled plastic and, with the introduction of Recycore Technology, the company expects to take many more thousands of tonnes out of the waste stream.

Recycore Technology enables Wavin to use as much recycled material as possible, yet ensuring the same high performance and handling characteristics that customers of its virgin products have come to expect. This reflects the growing consumer demand for more sustainable solutions and greener products, that is, ones that can be more easily recycled or are themselves made from recycled materials or, better still, a combination of the two.

Recycore Technology products are tested to industry standards and, where applicable, will be third party approved, through schemes such as the BSI Kitemark.

Commenting on the launch of Recycore Technology, managing director of Wavin, Calum Forsyth said: “We know that our customers are under increasing pressure to use more recycled materials and to lower their carbon footprint. Recycore Technology has sustainability at the root of its design and means that you get all the environmental benefits without any compromise on quality, performance and durability. The offer is that simple. It allows customers to enhance their sustainability credentials at no extra cost. It will also future-proof them against further changes in regulations as concern for the environment rises up the political, business and consumer agenda.”


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.”

01295 816733

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.

01376 511211

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.