Howe Green Access Covers Meet Tall Demands

Building Products Index Ltd access covers Leave a Comment

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beach-building-from-sw-belowThe British Airways i360 observation tower opened in August. At 162m (531ft) high, the needle tower features a moving circular viewing platform providing visitors with a new perspective of Brighton’s vibrant vista. It will draw 700,000 visitors a year to the West Pier, along with new jobs, new businesses and a new lease of life for the area.  Requiring a solution built to withstand heavy footfall and the unique demands of coastal conditions, Principal Contractor Mackley selected Howe Green’s 1050 Series access covers for reliable access to power networks serving lighting and seating areas around the attraction.

The 1050 Series stainless steel panels were tailor-made to order by Howe Green with clear openings of 600 x 600mm exactly as requested, a service provided without time or cost restraint for accuracy and best fit.  Set into the substrate, they sit flush with the surrounding paving so as not to present a trip hazard and raised with lifting keys provided.

Specialist marine and coastal contractors Mackley were able to create a seamless finish for a series of block paved seating areas leading to the i360 tower building as the Howe Green access panels feature a recessed lid, enabling paving and other floor finishes to be laid over.

Howe Green’s 1050 Series access covers are well suited to external usage as they have high resistance to weather exposure, an important feature given their seafront location. As well as being durable, the panels are double-sealed to prevent penetration by dirt and grease and feature stainless steel baseplates and reinforcements to prevent corrosion.

Sponsored by British Airways, the i360 tower was designed by architects Marks Barfield, who also designed the London Eye. With a project cost of £46m, every detail of the building was considered for best value, even down to the covers providing access to essential underfloor services.  With Howe Green solutions installed, access to key service points will be reliably easy whenever routine or emergency maintenance is needed.

Dan Argles of J.T. Mackley said: “The access covers supplied by Howe Green were ideal for the busy seafront setting, with double-sealed panels to prevent water ingress.  They enable quick and easy access to all the electrics serving lighting in public seating areas around the tower. The covers are very good quality and sit flush with the recessed block paving installed”.


Your guide to finding the right insulated loft hatch and ladder

Building Products Index Ltd Uncategorized Leave a Comment

View the Premier loft ladders entry on BPI

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aluminium-lady-1024x683According to the Energy Saving Trust, an uninsulated home loses one quarter of its heat through the roof. Insulating your loft/attic could therefore save you hundreds of pounds in energy costs. Furthermore, insulating your loft/attic is relatively quick and easy to do.

designo-hatch-locking-mechanism-2_512-x-512However, the cooler air in an insulated loft can result in draughts through gaps in the insulation, such as an ill-fitting and poorly insulated loft hatch and ladder. The Energy Saving Trust recommend fitting an insulated loft hatch. They also advise you to use draught-excluding seals around its edges.

The Supreme loft ladder features a highly insulated hatch box to help keep in the warmth.


How to choose an insulated loft hatch and ladder

There are three important factors to consider when choosing an insulated loft hatch and ladder:

  1. The amount of thermal insulation provided by the loft hatch

Thermal insulation is the reduction of heat transfer through objects of differing temperature. A well-insulated loft hatch therefore reduces the heat loss from the warm room into the cooler loft space above.

  1. Air permeability through the loft hatch box

Air permeability of loft hatches relates to the amount of air that will travel through the hatch while in its closed position. An insulated hatch is of little use if the trapdoor does not prevent warm air from escaping through gaps around its edges. This may sound obvious, but not all loft hatches offer a tightly closing sealed door.

Designo insulated loft hatch with 6-point locking mechanism for an air tight seal

  1. Air permeability around the outside of the hatch box

Now you have a well-insulated and sealed loft ladder hatch. The final challenge is to minimise the amount of air that escapes around the outside of the hatch box.

Make sure you know exactly what to look for when choosing your new insulated loft ladder. Visit our web site to read the full article and download your free insulated loft hatch ladder datasheet




Building Products Index Ltd Ventilation Leave a Comment

View the Airflow entry on BPI

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adroit-mvhr-controlAirflow Developments has released the next generation of its MVHR ventilation units – the Adroit MVHR range. Ideal for high-end housebuilders and property developers, these Passive House certified units are equipped with the latest smart technology that allows air flow settings to be controlled within the home or remotely by PC, Tablet or Smart phone.

Leading ventilation manufacturer Airflow Developments has launched its Internet capable Adroit MVHR range for the domestic market. Utilising mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR), the systems recover valuable heat that would typically be lost as part of the ventilation process from wet rooms and use this energy to pre-warm clean, fresh air that is constantly brought in from outside and circulated within the home.

Crucially, the units are equipped with the latest interactive smart technology that provides homeowners with real-time monitoring and control of indoor air environments – at home or on the move. Once registered to the Adroit Cloud Service, the air flow settings of the unit can be controlled via a computer or mobile device. Moreover, the unit is also able to connect into house automation through the Modbus, or be controlled via a fixed controller.

smart-ventilation-heat-recovery-unitEasy to use and with an intuitive colour display, the control panel is a responsive, portable interface, which provides a step-by-step guide on how to successfully manage the ventilation unit. Designed with four different profiles to choose from – Home, Away, Boost or Fireplace function, users are able to programme the units according to their personal routines and preferences. For example, setting ventilation to ‘Away’ during workdays will avoid unnecessary air filtration into the premises and therefore reduce energy costs and wastage.

For those wanting to offer additional benefits to potential homebuyers, there is also the option to install two external switches. For example, one switch can be set to ‘Boost’ profile within a kitchen or bathroom to accommodate for fluctuating indoor atmospheres, and another can be programmed to alternate between ‘Home’ and ‘Away’ profiles. Cooker hood boosting is also possible when a compatible recirculating cooker hood is in place.

“The highly sophisticated Adroit MVHR range is a complete whole-house ventilation solution that not only effectively delivers fresh, healthy air into the home but can also be controlled, monitored and managed by portable devices,” said John Kelly, Marketing Manager at Airflow.

“Over 15.3 million homes in the UK are estimated to be at risk of Toxic Home Syndrome; and with homebuyers becoming more aware of the dangers of poor indoor air quality it is more important than ever for housebuilers and property developers to specify efficient, eco-friendly ventilation solutions. Additionally, with the development of smart homes and increasing pace of innovation, it is also imperative to consider tech savvy solutions. The Adroit MVHR range is a cost-effective Internet capable solution that will also contribute towards optimum build performance.”

The Adroit MVHR units also incorporate low energy/noise EC fans, a triple filter system to reduce airborne pollutants, automatic frost protection, a 100% bypass facility and also has an intelligent temperature and humidity sensor inbuilt. An optional carbon dioxide sensor makes it easier to monitor and maintain internal comfort levels.

For more information on Airflow’s extensive range of ventilation solutions, visit:, or follow @airflowD


DualProof – Pre-applied membrane

Building Products Index Ltd Membranes Leave a Comment

View the Delta Membranes entry on BPI

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dualproof-combined-systemA new durable watertight solution for below ground structures. A pre-applied membrane that protects against groundwater ingress as well as gases and chemicals.

DualProof is a fully and permanently bonded, composite sheet. It is applied before the steel reinforcement is fixed and the concrete poured. It consists of a sealed two layer highly flexible PVC membrane laminated with a non-woven PP-fleece. DualProof is pre-applied and is installed without heat or open-flame, overlapped and sealed with butyl tape and special adhesive for detailing. The new PP FiberTex Technology gives the DualProof its unique bond and connection to the concrete. The PP-Fleece integrates into the concrete when poured giving a strong mechanical bond once cured.

dualproof-photoAreas of use

DualProof can be applied horizontally as well as vertically and is used in all applications where structures require protection against groundwater and seepage. Typically used in the following  constructions:

  • New build basements
  • Foundations
  • Tunnels
  • Garages
  • All other concrete constructions below ground

image3Advantages of DualProof

  • Waterproof, damp proof, gas proof and gives concrete protection against chemicals
  • Tough and resistant, quick and easy to install, high compound shear strength
  • Can be installed in every season regardless of temperature and weather condition
  • No need for complicated welding equipment and specially trained staff, overlapping can be easily secured with Delta Double-sided Tape and detailing around corners with CEM 805 adhesive
  • Prevents any lateral water migration between the waterproofing membrane and the structural concrete
  • Seals small cracks in the concrete
  • Can be used in saltwater conditions
  • CE marked and DIN certified

Market comparisons

Products on the market DualProof

Adhesive or chemical bond

• At low temperatures not sticky

• At high temperatures too soft

• Protection sheet needed

• Very slippery when wet

• Bonding surface very sensitive

• Cannot walk directly on surface


Mechanical bond

• Not temperature/weather dependant

• No protection sheet needed

• Does not become slippery when wet

• If dirty it can be hosed and brushed clean

• Foot traffic will not affect the fleece

Mechanical bond products

• Complex – 6-8 system components

• Fleece bonded to Polyolefin membrane by grid of adhesive.

• Risk of vapour pressure blisters and water tracking, via capillary action, along fibres at interface with concrete.

• Various sizes for different applications


DualProof’s mechanical bond

• Simple – 2 components

• The PVC and fleece are manufactured together as one unit due to a highly advanced process.

• The fleece is water resistant, easy to clean.

• No risk of blisters or water tracking between layers.

• The fleece integrates into the concrete

• One size for all applications





Thermadome: High specification polycarbonate rooflights

Building Products Index Ltd Windows Leave a Comment

View the National Domelight Company entry on BPI

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Thermadome polycarbonate rooflights from the National Domelight Company allow homeowners and businesses to make the best use of natural daylight within their properties.

Sizes to suit

pic-9-polycarbonate-thermadomeMade from high specification, UV-protected polycarbonate, Thermadome rooflights come in a wide range of shapes and sizes to suit a variety of applications, including square, rectangular and circular domes, pyramids and trapezoidal shapes.

Available in single, double, triple or quad skin constructions, the rooflights can withstand impacts up to 250 times greater than glass and are virtually unbreakable. Each robust model has been thoroughly tested and certified for purpose.

A flat roof solution

smaller-ndc-mast-3Thermadome rooflights are suitable for use on most flat roofs to improve light entering a building, including single ply, felt, hot-melt, asphalt, liquid GPR and lead. The design of the rooflight frame is completely weatherproof, with high security screwbolt fittings supplied as standard.

Numerous options

smaller-ndc-mast-1Thermadome products are available with a choice of fixed upstands, ventilated upstands, manual/electric opening hinged vents, or with an access hatch frame when entry into a roof space is required. Alternatively, NDC are able to provide smoke vents and automatic opening vents (AOVs) that comply with European standards EN12101-2 and can reduce smoke build up in the event of a fire, providing a safer escape route for occupants.

To download a brochure, please click here:




Eurocell Modus doors and windows get BBA quality backing

Building Products Index Ltd Doors Leave a Comment

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After a rigorous testing programme, the BBA has given its backing to the market-leading Modus system of PVC-U doors and windows by Eurocell – the UK’s leading manufacturer, distributor and recycler of window, door, conservatory and roofline products.

The BBA considered key product features, including: thermal performance, weathertightness, ventilation, resistance to intrusion, access and durability. Its tests concluded that the PVC-U profiles would function satisfactorily for more than 35 years and confirmed a U-value across the Modus ranges of 1.2W/m²K using 4/20/4mm sealed double-glazed units.

bp-index-sept-eurocell-modus-bba-2The BBA Agrément Certificate covers Modus Single Leaf and Double Leaf Door System, glazed in white, cream or woodgrain finishes, for use in replacement and new-build applications, for external use as primary and secondary access doors in walls of domestic and non-domestic buildings.

bp-index-sept-eurocell-eden-girls-school-modus-case-study-3It also certified the Modus Fully Reversible System, plus the Outward Opening and Tilt and Turn Systems, in white, cream or woodgrain finish, for use in replacement and new-build applications in dwellings, light commercial premises or similar habitable applications.

The effective thermal performance is due to the system’s 75mm six-chamber profile which enables the range to achieve a U-value as low as 0.7 when installed with krypton gas-filled triple-glazed units. Modus has also become one of the very first systems to achieve the BRFC Window Energy Rating (WER) of A++. This is only awarded to windows with an energy index value equal to or greater than +20; and Modus A++ designs achieve this for casement, reversible and tilt and turn windows.

bp-index-sept-eurocell-modus-bba-1Consisting of 50% post-consumer recycled PVC-U as standard, the Modus range of doors and windows demonstrates sustainable use of materials and a smaller carbon footprint than products made or recycled outside of the UK. Eurocell optimises material usage by employing its dual material extrusion technology (DMET) that layers post-consumer recycled and ‘virgin’ material simultaneously, so the recycled material is concentrated in the central core of the profiles where it cannot be seen once the door or window is installed.

bp-index-sept-eurocell-eden-girls-school-modus-case-study-2Coming with a 12-year guarantee (white profiles only), the Modus system is available in nine solid and woodgrain-effect colours, all of which are available with white internal finishes to create a light and airy living environment. A further range of more than 25 solid and woodgrain effect finishes is available to special order, including colour both sides.

To find out why Modus is a system of choice for specifiers, call the Eurocell customer services team on 0800 988 7300 or visit

System 162 – The Architectural System

Building Products Index Ltd sanitary accessories Leave a Comment

View the HEWI entry on BPI

List the HEWI Website

system-162To cut a round tube and rejoin it mitred at right angles – this was the idea of the architect Robert Mallet-Stevens (1886 – 1945), whose lever handle is today known as the “Frankfurter Model”.
HEWI has derived a universal system on the basis of the simple yet clever design. Linear, functional, without superfluous details: System 162 convinces in the sanitary room through its clear design. Matching hardware, signs and handrails made of stainless steel are available.

The minimalist design concept of System 162 not only has a convincing reduced design and a high degree of functionality, but also persuasive quality to match.

The System 162 sanitary products are available in stainless steel or with a high-quality chrome finish. The accessories can be combined with inserts made of satin-finish glass or high-quality polyamide in signal white, pure white, jet black or anthracite grey.

System 162 is augmented with a rail with shower head holder and shower basket. The support rail provides additional comfort and convenience.


Building Products Index Ltd walling Leave a Comment

View the Rehau entry on BPI

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pr2124-rehau-polytec-50-passivhaus-cross-sectionREHAU Polytec 50 is an innovative aluminium clad curtain walling system designed to compete head on with aluminium offering improved strength and better thermal efficiency, without any compromise on slim sight lines or colour options.

The system was designed and developed by global polymer giant REHAU and has a high strength steel core which outperforms aluminium under load, an aluminium exterior face with slim 50mm profiles which can be powder coated in any colour, and a comfortable, ‘warm to the touch’ PVC interior.

It is also a traditional ‘Stick’ curtain walling system which uses the same profile for both transoms and mullions, making it easy to fabricate and easy to install with minimal wastage.

pr2124-per-fit-windows-has-completed-the-largest-scale-installation-yet-in-the-uk-of-rehau-polytec-50-at-bangor-universityREHAU Polytec 50 has been Passivhaus certified and boasts a Ucw value of 0.8 W/m²K, so it is popular for use in public and private sector commercial projects, and in both new build and refurbished homes where the emphasis is on energy efficiency.

It has also recently been tested and certified to the CWCT standard test methods for building envelopes so can be used in new build developments where an NHBC certificate is required.

Recent installations at the newly opened St Marys student village at Bangor University, North Wales and in the Greenlaw Court apartment building in Ealing illustrate many of its strengths.

At St Mary’s village, for example, 23 REHAU Polytec 50 screens coloured anthracite grey on the exterior and white on the interior were installed at heights of up to 11.3m in new student halls of residence built by Vinci Construction. REHAU’s system was preferred to aluminium primarily because it was more cost effective with no compromise on the aesthetics of the finished buildings, and also because of its better thermal performance and warmer internal face.
Similarly, at the high profile, eight storey 1960s Greenlaw Court, a 20m high curtain walling section in REHAU Polytec 50 was chosen to match the aesthetics of the steel section which it replaced and give the building’s residents better thermal performance with minimal requirements for maintenance.

pr2124-seh-commercial-installed-20m-high-rehau-polytec-50-curtain-walling-and-rehau-total70-fully-reversible-windows-in-greenlaw-courtREHAU has a UK network of fully trained fabricators and installers for the Polytec 50 curtain walling system, including commercial specialists Campbell Mason who have just begun a major project to install Polytec 50 curtain walling in new student accommodation being built at Coventry University.

REHAU Polytec 50 is on display in the REHAU Hub in the Building Centre, London; and further information for architects and specifiers, including full technical specification, is available in a 16 page brochure which can be downloaded from the REHAU website via

As part of REHAU’s extensive support package for commercial specifiers which is branded ‘REHAU KNOWHAU’, the company also offers a RIBA approved CPD on high performance curtain walling.

This examines the different curtain walling options – ladder, stick, unitised and structural glazing and explains the differences between them and the most appropriate applications for each.

It also covers the key design criteria – from material, spans and fixings to finishes, glazing and ventilation; and there is a detailed focus on the load considerations which apply when calculating curtain walling designs.

The CPD can be booked via REHAU’s website at:

Zehnder’s new Zmart Flex Radiator provides the Solution to Corrosion

Building Products Index Ltd Radiator Leave a Comment

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zehnder_zmart_600-1000_ral9016_office_udo_003_boeCorrosion in radiators is an all-too common problem, causing many commercial premises to suffer from under-performing heating and then the disruption and expense of maintenance and repairs. Now, however, Zehnder has come up with a solution by introducing radiator components formed from polymers instead of metal. Unlike conventional, pressed steel radiators, the new Zehnder Zmart Flex distributes warmth via a polymer heating register and comprises a network of plastic tubes behind an aluminium front casing. This first-of-a-kind technology heralds a new era of lighter and longer-lasting radiators.

This is the biggest innovation in radiator design since bulky cast iron radiators were replaced by sleeker pressed steel models in the early 1970s, but the plumbing and heating industry has already been using polymer components, of course, for more than three decades. In pipes, pipe elbows, compression fittings, and connectors, polymers have proven capable of distributing hot water perfectly well. And now Zehnder’s research and development has proven that the hard-wearing polymer polybutane works just as well inside a radiator.

zehnder-zmart-radiator_polymer-registerPolymer components became popular in plumbing, in comparison with the traditional copper alternative, because they are easier to install and maintain, less prone to pitting and lime-scale, totally resistant to corrosion, and more durable. Those same advantages are true when polymer is used instead of steel for the heating register inside a radiator. Even when installed within a system with poor water quality, the performance is not impaired.

As well as being unrivalled in its corrosion-resistance, the Zmart Flex is 60% lighter than steel alternatives, which means it can be more easily transported and lifted, and can be positioned and installed by a single person. With the added advantage of patented 360⁰ flexible flow and return tubes that connect to any valve arrangement and give the freedom to fit wherever there’s pipework, the Zmart has been shown to consistently reduce installation times by 30%.

Escalmatic electric loft ladder – style, safety and convenience

Building Products Index Ltd Ladders Leave a Comment

View the Premier loft ladders entry on BPI

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With space at a premium and moving being both expensive and stressful, making the most of your loft for storing all those occasional-use household items could offer the ideal solution for freeing up valuable space in the home. Getting into your loft can be a bit of a chore though! Premier Loft Ladders latest product, the Escalmatic electric loft ladder, may be the perfect solution – offering style, safety and convenience.Escalmatic room 2

Escalmatic electric loft ladder – ideal for homes with small ceiling openings

The Escalmatic combines Italian design, robust metal construction and infrared remote-controlled electrical operation. The space-saving retractable ladder mechanism also means that the Escalmatic will fit into ceiling openings from as small as 50cm wide by 90cm long, helping to avoid costly and inconvenient ceiling alterations.

The Escalmatic is supplied as a ready to fit unit, comprising of a stairway manufactured from stamped sheet metal with a white finish, which is attached to a steel hatch box and insulated wooden trapdoor. The ladder is operated by an electric motor with infrared remote control for the ultimate in convenience and comes complete with two galvanised telescopic handrails allowing for safe access into the loft, while also providing a stylish finishing touch to the ladder.
Escalmatic handrail_white background

Escalmatic retractable ladder with galvanised handrails for safety and convenience

Escalmatic insulated loft hatch_white backgroundHelping to keep down energy costs, the trapdoor is lined with a high-performance thermal insulating material to prevent the recirculation of hot-cold air through the attic. The optional patented ‘Thermocover’ provides a secondary means of thermal insulation above the loft hatch, giving a combined insulation U-value of 1.1 W/m2K.



Key benefits at a glance…

  • Ease of operation and convenience.
  • Stylish Italian design.
  • Space-saving retractable loft ladder for small ceiling openings.
  • Load capacity of 150kg per step.
  • Energy efficient hatch box and trapdoor (U-value of 1.1 W/m2K when used with ‘Thermocover’).
  • Available in standard sizes for quicker delivery, or can be made to order to meet your exact specification.