GLIXTONE anti mould and blackspot paint

Keeping Mould at Bay

Building Products Index Ltd Anti Mould Paint, Paint Leave a Comment

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Carrs Coatings, who are a National Landlords Association Recognised Supplier from Redditch, Worcestershire, manufactures Glixtone Fungi-Shield Anti-Mould & Blackspot Paint which has a 20 years lifespan.

Glixtone Fungi-Shield is an interior washable highly decorative paint for any internal areas that are susceptible to Mould and Blackspot.

GLIXTONE GROUP NO HANDLES COMPLandlords face an on-going battle with properties and the infestation of mould which is both unsightly and a health hazard to their Tenants. Re-decoration is expensive, time consuming and disruptive. If Health Inspectors are notified this can also be a real problem to Landlords. Glixtone Fungi-Shield will not stop condensation or damp but when applied it is impossible for mould spores to survive on its surface as the active biocide is distributed evenly over the whole paint film and will keep killing the spores on contact. This is a LONG LASTING solution to what can be a never ending battle.

Manufactured in a different way to most other Anti-Mould Paints and uses a unique combination of our own biocides bonded to a ‘Thermal’ acrylic resin base. Most other products use an already made paint with a fungicide/algaecide added and mixed into this pre-made paint. This means that not all of the paint will carry the same amount of the fungicide which protects against mould growth when applied to a surface.

Glixtone Fungi-Shield Mould Paint copyGlixtone Fungi-Shield is built as an Anti-Mould and Blackspot Paint with the manufacturing processes ensuring that the special acrylic resins and our biocides are both blended and bonded to each other. The process means that when produced every part of our paint has exactly the same amount of biocide giving a totally uniform distribution.

When used it will be noticed that the texture is that of ‘clotted cream’ and will flow from roller or paint brush with ease. It will also cover exceptionally well as it has a very high opacity rate. When applied the biocides will be active immediately and it may be noticed that very cold areas are slightly warmer due to the thermal resins that we use. After 5 days the surface will be fully washable making it ideal for Kitchens, Bathrooms, Living Rooms and Bedrooms etc.

We recommend Glixtone Sterilising Solution be used to remove any existing mould prior to the application of Glixtone Fungi-Shield. This is supplied in a concentrated form and when mixed with water will make 5 Litres of a Washing Solution. Remember to leave this to dry (do not wash off ) in order for it to continue to work for you.

  • 20 years and never a failure
  • Excellent for any internal areas susceptible to mould
  • Highly decorative finish
  • Washable
  • Easy to apply
  • Environmentally friendly

The paint comes in White or Magnolia as standard in a matt finish, and can be tinted to a pastel shade by Carrs Coatings distributors. It is a high quality acrylic emulsion paint, and is easy to apply with a roller or brush. After five days, the painted surface will be fully washable, making it ideal for use in kitchens, bathrooms as well as bedrooms and living rooms.

This what one Customer has said ….

 “As an experienced landlord and owner of a lettings agency, we were struggling to find a decorative solution to the problem of mould, which is usually caused by condensation.  We have tried several products however it wasn’t until we found Glixtone Fungi-Shield paint that we now have a viable cost effective solution that absolutely works.  This paint is now used effectively in the prevention of mould and black spot in all of our properties under management as well as my own.  I would wholeheartedly recommend this product to any end user looking to resolve mould and black spot in their homes”

Ian Crampton
Ferndown Estates Ltd

Glixtone Fungi-Shield Paint and the Glixtone Sterilising Solution can be purchased from Selco Builders Warehouse, Buildbase or C Brewer & Sons.



T: 01527 599 470

Kee Safety BoxBolt CE Marked


Building Products Index Ltd Fall protection Leave a Comment

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Highlighting its commitment to manufacturing high quality products, Kee Safety has received CE markings for its range of BoxBolt® blind fixing solutions. Engineers and specifiers can have confidence that BoxBolt® products will deliver mechanical resistance, dimensional stability and durability.

Kee Safety commissioned a Notified Body to carry out an independent assessment of its Factory Production Control System and product performance. A third party confirmed that BoxBolt® products fulfil the requirements described in the European Assessment Document (EAD) 330001-00-0602.

BoxBolt CE MarkedThe BoxBolt® range — which includes M6, M8, M10, M12, M16 and M20 — is a fully tested and approved blind fixing solution for secondary steel connections. Suitable for connecting into rectangular, square and even circular hollow sections, or where access is restricted to one side only, BoxBolt® fixings feature a hexagon head design on the body to allow easy installation with a standard spanner.

The fixings deliver solutions for joining steel together without the need for on-site drilling or welding, providing much more flexibility than traditional methods. The system provides a guaranteed connection every time, without the need for on-site verification, as long as the installation guidelines are correctly followed.

BoxBolt® is available in three finishes, including zinc plated, hot dip galvanised and stainless steel. These finishes, combined with three available lengths, make it extremely flexible to suit its environment and application.

For more information, visit

Cumbria rainscreen cladding

SFS provides a single secret fix solution for Cembrit rainscreen range

Building Products Index Ltd Cladding, Rainscreen Cladding Leave a Comment

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Installing Cembrit fibre cement rainscreen panels as thin as 8mm using mechanical secret fixings just became quicker, easier and safer thanks to the innovative new range of TUF-S rivets by the world’s leading fastening systems manufacturer SFS.

Extensive testing by SFS demonstrated how TUF-S challenges the convention that installers need to use different fasteners for different panel materials and thicknesses. Until now, no other rivet of this kind has provided a reliable secret fix for panels manufactured in both HPL and fibre cement.

Cembrit copyThe TUF-S range is designed to eliminate the risk of overtightening which can ruin the aesthetics of a façade and result in very costly damage. It consists of nine variants of A4 stainless steel fixings, with a carbon steel mandrel, that can be used to secure a range of panel thicknesses to the rainscreen support clips using the GESIPA Powerbird Pro tool. The rivet’s design provides a wide range of installation benefits to save time and money, and deliver a safer, better quality overall result.

The performance of TUF-S for 8mm Cembrit panels was proven by SFS through a series of load tests conducted in its laboratory in Switzerland. This allowed for a set of technical values to be calculated to enable façade engineers to easily determine the number of fasteners and clips required to accommodate different locations, wind loadings, etc. This provided Cembrit with total assurance according to Ged Ferris, Cembrit UK Marketing Manager:

SFS have proven the rivet’s effectiveness in the clearest terms through their extensive testing and this gives us complete confidence in recommending the fastener’s use in any Cembrit rainscreen applications in the UK.”

Installation of TUF-S requires just a standard hole, with no need for complex undercutting – this provides the installer with the flexibility to drill new holes on site if required to accommodate unforeseen issues. The rivet also eliminates the risk of overtorquing, which can damage the rainscreen panels, and it has high pull-out values with no unwinding and uninstallation possible via a hex head.

Andy Stolworthy, Director of Product & Market Development at SFS says: “We’re delighted to have worked closely with Cembrit to provide them with a highly effective secret fix solution that will work across their different rainscreen panels. This development project is an excellent example of how SFS is able to create products with innovative unique features that provide OEMs with the assurances they need and address the most common issues faced by installers.”

Find out more about TUF-S at

Lignite masonry blocks

Facing Masonry, a ‘value engineering’ alternative for your project

Building Products Index Ltd Blocks, Concrete Leave a Comment

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Sikh_temple_Lemingt_spaDesigned for internal and external applications Lignacite’s Architectural Facing Masonry (AFM) blocks combine an inherent decorative appeal with strength and durability. They are one of the most sustainable and long-lasting building products available with many different textures from clean flat surfaces to heavily textured and irregular faces to stunningly beautiful polished masonry.

Building with facing blocks offers a number of benefits including structural strength and durability, sound control, fire protection and energy efficiency. Laying one standard block to 6 bricks, shows construction savings too. Maintenance costs are reduced as moisture for example, which can undermine other building materials has no adverse or weakening effect on concrete and the blocks are not subjected to large daily temperature fluctuations, having a positive effect on ventilation, heating or air-conditioning.

2 Snowstorm Weathered_Stone AlternativeA ‘value engineering solution’ – The cost of building materials such as natural stone can be a prohibitive factor facing architects and designers. Research and development has enable us to create of a number of man-made alternatives which closely replicate these natural products, whilst showing cost savings and environmental benefits. An example of this can be seen on some of the recent phases of the Royal Wharf housing development in London, E16.

Our ‘Roman Brick’ is a smaller, lighter, contemporary designed block, measuring 440mm x 65mm. This module has the length of a standard block but the height a standard brick. Having all the benefits and flexibility of a brick and only weighing 6kgs, it makes an attractive alternate to brickwork or conventional facing blocks. This provides both material cost and labour savings giving architects and designers the opportunity to design modern buildings which can blend into more traditional settings.

3 Bucks_Academic_Building

We use a range of different manufacturing techniques to achieve a varied range of finishes and textures:

Natural or Fair Faced masonry is best suited to situations where clean crisp lines are required in conjunction with monotone colours. Enhanced visual effects can be created by using bands of different textures and colours. This may be particularly desirable where wall heights span several stories.

Splitting creates a craggy and heavily textured finish producing a decorative masonry finish. Whilst shot blasting to create our Weathered finish exposes the natural aggregates within the block, producing a flat but weathered texture.

Polishing produces a high gloss finish with a shine that is both lustrous and distinctive whilst creating further visual interest by exposing the raw materials beneath the surface.

The Planished finish is subtle and distinctive. Neither matt nor polished, it has an appealing and tactile finish. The surface is non-abrasive, making it ideal for external and internal use where people may brush past areas of walling in corridors and public spaces.

4 Stone_FacedMK DonsStone Faced masonry offers designers the opportunity to use high quality natural stone, normally granite and marble, in a conventional facing block manner with a bed of mortar, in a very cost-effective way. 10mm slips of stone are bonded onto a dense concrete backing block. The bonding process uses the latest construction adhesive technology which has been rigorously tested for shear resistance and bonding. In addition, the finished product has been subjected to fire resistance and freeze/thaw testing.

5 Costa Peterbgh_SplitDue to the increasing demand for more ‘environmentally friendly’ products, we are constantly searching for new and improved methods of production, including processes such as the refinement of our raw materials and the use of greater quantities of recycled materials such as glass, shells and flint and selected secondary aggregates. As a result, our commodity blocks have extremely high recycled content, with our facing blocks containing in excess of 75% recycled materials.

In conclusion, both the Lignacite facing masonry and commodity blocks offer an extremely versatile building unit. Available in a wide variety of colours, textures and formats, and offering good design flexibility our blocks can create both unique and stunningly visual impacts on buildings in a cost-effective manner.

For further information please visit our website

A full colour Swatch Guide showing all our block finishes can be requested via our website as well as many other useful documents in our Technical Library including a Design Guidance booklet. We offer a CPD on the benefits and uses of

concrete masonry. Please contact us for further details on 01842 810678.

Balconette Glass balustrade system

Hybrid® Glass Balustrades by Balconette

Building Products Index Ltd Balcony Systems Leave a Comment

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Get a quote for a Hybrid® Glass Balustrade

Hybrid 7Hybrid® is a unique, aesthetic and cost-effective new category in balustrading design which brings to the market the advantages of two product styles in one system. Sitting between the traditional alternatives of post-supported balustrades and high-end structural glass systems, Hybrid® provides the open views of frameless glass but at a fraction of the cost. Built around an innovative engineering design that requires only standard toughened glass with few, or no, upright supports, Hybrid® balustrades hide the structural work inside their elegant self-supporting handrail profiles – enabling:

  • Up to 4 metres postless balustrading spansHybrid pic
  • Up to 12m postless spans for a 3-sided balustrade
  • No corner posts
  • No ugly clamps or bolts
  • Clean lines – more view – less obstructions




Hybrid® balustrades are rust-free, even in coastal conditions, with 10-year guarantees offered on their anodised aluminium finishes.

Bilbo Natural smoke and heat exhaust ventilation

How Bilco’s Natural Smoke and Heat Ventilators are contributing to the overall safety of Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) across the United Kingdom

Building Products Index Ltd Smoke Control, Smoke Ventilation Leave a Comment

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There is no doubt that the student population is growing. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) student numbers have almost doubled since 1992.

Despite the referendum result on Brexit, international students still see the UK’s higher education institutions as an attractive investment.  A recent article in Housing Hand reports that university applications from Chinese students have almost doubled over the last decade.  With the sterling – yuan exchange rate 8% lower than before the Brexit referendum this growth is expected to continue.

A Universities UK report, ‘Higher Education in Numbers’, states that in the academic year of 2015/2016 there were 2.28 million students studying in higher education in the UK including 1.75 million undergraduates.

Many of these undergraduates are living in Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) for the duration of their first academic year whilst away from home. This type of accommodation provides excellent opportunities for students to live, work and rest within a space that is operated by staff who provide basic assistance, services and supervision to the building and their occupants.

With so many undergraduate students occupying PBSA the general risk profile is relatively high, particularly when it comes to fire safety.

Data provided by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) states that during the academic year of 2011/2012, 514 fires were recorded across student accommodation in Great Britain alone. 58% of these fires were said to be due to misuse of cooking appliances!

Research highlights those under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication as also having a higher risk profile.   The National Union of Students (NUS) Research Services found that 66% of students they surveyed had cooked after midnight and 50% had done so under the influence of alcohol.

The research and statistics are sobering. They present a challenge for architects, specifiers and contractors.  When it comes to ensuring a fire strategy that will provide a safe place for students and staff to live and work the emphasis has to be on incorporating trustworthy, operationally reliable, high quality products.   Products that will meet the standards set out in the Building Regulations and the British Standards.

There are different ways in which a fire can start but it is a known fact that fire spread by convection is the most dangerous and causes the largest number of injuries and deaths. When a fire starts in an enclosed space the smoke rises from the fire and gets trapped by the ceiling.  Once trapped the fire spreads in all directions over the entire room space.

Sugarhouse Close - close up of smoke ventBilco’s range of Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilators (NSHEV) products are specifically designed to provide a solution that prevents the excessive build-up of these hot gasses.  By exhausting smoke, Bilco’s NSHEVs reduce the risk to life from smoke inhalation, aid in visibility, provide a means of escape for occupants, protect the building from excessive smoke damage and provides valuable time for firefighters to tackle the blaze.

Bilco’s products have a proven track record and have been specified and installed in numerous student accommodation projects across the UK including developments in Hertfordshire and Edinburgh.

Ninety Bilco UDF-50 REM Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilators (NSHEV) were installed at the College Lane Campus, University of Hertfordshire.   The standard size double leaf smoke vents were fitted by commercial roofing company T R Freeman.


In Scotland seven Bilco MUGEW-50REM single leaf smoke vents were installed on four blocks of Edinburgh’s prestigious student accommodation – Sugarhouse Close, located just off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.  Bilco also supplied OS2 control panels for the smoke vents.  The control panels are dual purpose. The battery backup system ensures that in the event of a mains power loss, the vents will still open due.  The control panel also allows the Fire Officer to manually override the smoke control system if necessary.

Bilco’s NSHEVs are available in standard and customised sizes and form part of an integrated approach to design, construction and fire safety. The range is fully compliant with the Construction Products Regulation 305/2011. Ventilators are supplied CE marked with a Declaration of Conformity and manufactured to meet the demands of Building Regulations, Approved Document B, BS9999 and EN12101-2, guaranteeing a high build quality and a product that is operationally reliable.

If you are designing, specifying or building student accommodation and require quality products, please get in touch by calling 01284 701696 or visit for further information.

Coo-Var Anti Slip Acrylic Grey with Tin

Coo-Var’s Latest Anti-Slip Floor Paint

Building Products Index Ltd Paint Leave a Comment

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Anti-Slip Acrylic Floor paint is a new addition to the Coo-Var floor paint range. Providing a water based durable hard wearing anti-slip surface, for use on walkways, in warehouses, garages and residential or commercial property.

Anti Slip Acrylic Grey with TinCoo-Var has been partnering with its customers for more than a hundred years and the result is a range of exceptional, problem-solving products – including their enduring, well-known floor paints – along with outstanding training and technical help.

From the tennis court to the highway, from the ceiling to the floor, Coo-Var helps to create and maintain smart, safe and functional places and its customers value the input of highly experienced and committed staff working from their manufacturing base in Hull.

‘’Increasing demand for low odour, low solvent coatings in local authorities from independent merchants and other decorators’ merchants meant it was clear that there is a need for a water based acrylic version of an Anti-Slip Floor paint on their shelves.’’ Says Richard Burnham, Managing Director for Coo-Var.

Coo-Var products are recognised for their quality and this new Anti-Slip floor paint is as equal.

Features of our Anti Slip Acrylic Paint include:

  • Hard & Durable Matt Finish
  • Fast Drying & Low Odour
  • Water Based
  • Low Slip Risk in Wet & Dry Conditions (tested to BS7976-2)
  • Can be used on walkways, playgrounds, warehouse, garages & driveways
  • Available in 7 colours & sizes 2.5L & 5L

This is Coo-Vars first product launch for 2018 with more in the pipeline.

Coo-Var will be attending many shows and trade days throughout the year. The first being the NMBS show on the 11th April at the Ricoh Arena – visit us on stand 48!

For more information or technical advice on Anti Slip Acrylic please contact the Technical hotline on 01482 328053. To become a stockist, please contact Sharron Drayton in the Sales Office on 01482 328053 or email To download more information, visit the Coo-Var Website at

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Kee Systems Sunderland Hospital Bespoke Access Platform


Building Products Index Ltd Access Platforms, Safety railing system Leave a Comment

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View details of the Kee Systems bespoke access platforms

Kee Systems has recently provided Sunderland Royal Hospital with several bespoke access platforms to allow safe access to plant and equipment situated on the new Emergency Department’s roof.

Sunderland Hospital Bespoke Access PlatformSunderland Royal Hospital, Part of City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, is a 970-bed acute hospital and has been undergoing an £18m redevelopment, upgrade and extension project which comprised the construction of a brand new Emergency Department.

Part of the Emergency Department works included the installation new plant and equipment to the roof area, installed by M&E specialist H Malone & Sons Ltd.  However, as is often the case when plant and equipment is involved, pipework and ducting presented access issues to some of the air conditioning units.   H Malone contacted Kee Systems who carried out a full site survey and recommended the installation of bespoke access platforms.
Royal Sunderland HospitalCustom built access platforms constructed from Kee Klamp® fittings were the ideal solution to providing safe access over obstructions and difficult to reach areas.  By using Kee Klamp fittings® Kee Systems was able to design each platform to the exact site requirements.  Installation was quick and easy on site, with the fittings installed using a standard hex key, saving considerable time and overcoming the need for specialist tools and hot works on site.  All crucial factors when working in a live hospital environment.  The end result is a series of robust and durable platforms which provide safe and clear access to all areas around the roof.

Kee Systems Bepsoke Access PlatformsCommenting on the extensive project, H Malone Project Director Dave Gourley, said: “The co-ordination of the job has probably been the most challenging that we’ve been involved with for many years.  At Kee Systems there is a great team working behind the scenes that made it possible to deliver such a successful project at rapid pace.”

All of Kee Systems’ tailored safe access platforms are designed to comply with current regulations and standards such as the Work at Height Regulations, BS5395: Part 3 and EN: 14122, BS 1139-6:2005 or PAS 250

Eurocell Modus UPVC-Windows

Build to rent: the future is here

Building Products Index Ltd PVC-U, Windows Leave a Comment

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As the private rented sector grows apace, it’s bringing a new approach to new build, in terms of designing and maintaining dwellings. Being largely investor driven, there’s additional emphasis on lifetime costs and asset management – and Eurocell could prove a key partner in these.
According to the latest English Housing Survey figures, published in late January, 20% of households now rent privately, a figure that rises to 30% in London. The number of people in the private rented sector (PRS) has been rising since 2002, and has more than doubled since then.

The predictions are that this proportion will continue to rise with build-to-rent developments taking a larger and larger share of the PRS market. This is certainly the Government’s intention: its policies aim to discourage rogue landlords while encouraging purpose-built and professionally managed rental homes.

The demands of build-to-rent are quite different to those of build-to-sell and we already see this playing out in the way new developments are being procured and delivered. Build-to-rent developers and investors are interested in programmes of multiple developments, rather than one-off projects; elements of offsite manufacture and standardisation; a focus on design and quality; and a greater interest in whole life costs.

Big numbers

According to a 2017 report by Savills, commissioned by the British Property Federation (BPF), the PRS in the UK is worth over £1 trillion. However, 98% of the market is owned by small landlords who each have 10 properties or less.
Given the shortfall in housing in the UK, institutional investors are keen to invest in this sector. With a lack of property to buy, they are developing or financing their own build-to-rent schemes at an increasing rate.

At the latest Q4 2017 count by the BPF, there were 105,214 build-to-rent homes either complete, under construction or in planning. That compared to 95,918 in September 2017 and 69,825 in the first quarter of last year.

Another trend highlighted through the BPF’s figures, compiled by Savills, is that the number of large-scale developments are on the up. There were 34 planned developments of more than 500 homes each in September 2017, compared to 24 such developments in the first quarter of 2017.

City living

Though build-to-rent was born in London, it has quickly spread to other cities around the UK. Developers are looking for city centre sites with good transport links, close to mainline railway stations or metros.
Last month [January], Legal & General announced Brighton’s first ever build-to-rent development and the eighth city in which the insurance giant will build such a scheme. Its other sites are in Leeds, Bristol, Bath, Walthamstow, Birmingham and Salford representing around 2,000 homes and £1bn in investment.

Legal & General has even set up its own modular housing factory in Sherburn near Leeds.  Affordable housing provider RHP is set to be the factory’s first customer, although to date only a prototype house has been constructed.

The first offsite-manufactured homes for RHP – tiny, one-bedroom flats – could leave the factory in the summer. But there’s no news yet about Legal & General supplying its own projects.

Offsite will also feature in £5bn-worth of developments planned by Stanhope and Network Homes over the next five years, featuring a mix of tenures including build to rent. The developers have just announced that Laing O’Rourke will be their construction partner with parts of the building such as bathrooms and balconies manufactured at Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Industrial Park facility in Worksop.

For multi-development portfolios, it’s easy to see why standardisation is important. Economies of scale may allow the capital cost of products and packages to come down, and ongoing repair and maintenance will also be more efficient and cost effective if there are fewer parts and products to work with.

Whole life costs

Specifying homes that will become an asset for investors, rather than sold on to individual buyers does require a change in mindset. As well as finding ways to keep tenants there for longer to minimise void periods, elements of the building’s envelope and internal fit-out must be chosen with lifetime and life cycle implications in mind. Kitchens and bathrooms, floor and wall finishes, joinery and windows will all come under scrutiny.

This is still a difficult area. Often developers will be constructing a building and then selling it on to an investor within a few years, so the incentive to increase capital cost to reduce operational cost may not be there. However, property experts suggest that investors will be looking quite carefully at whole life costs when they make their investment decisions – whether the purchase is being made at day one or ten years down the line.

Sustainability will be important for build-to-rent homes, motivated by pragmatism rather than the desire to get a green rating such as BREEAM. The impact on tenants’ bills and comfort levels will influence decision on renewable technologies or improved insulation levels alongside the balance between capital investment and operation spending.

An emphasis on whole life costs and maintenance requirements means that the build-to-rent sector is reportedly leading the residential sector in the uptake of BIM (building information management). Used largely in the public sector, due to a Government mandate, BIM makes perfect sense in the PRS: knowing instantly where a window came from, how to get replacement parts or what maintenance regime it needs will save a huge amount of resource.

This emphasis on whole life costs and maintenance requirements isn’t about planned maintenance programmes and replacing kitchens every 25 years – it’s about taking a more holistic look at properties and making decisions that will boost value – which could be measured in financial and social terms – of the portfolio.

This is an approach that Eurocell whole-heartedly endorses. It’s important to look not only at initial cost but at cost in use: what maintenance will be required over a building element’s lifetime and how will that impact on the operational cost for the landlord and comfort of the homeowner.

In this context, energy efficiency is of major importance too. Not just because the environment is of interest: building managers and tenants are deeply focussed on running costs. Elements, such as windows, also must require little, if, any maintenance and they must offer high levels of energy efficiency.

Obviously, in this context, PVC-U window systems are a cost-effective and high-performing systems win for specifiers. PVC-U windows have been given a minimum reference service life (RSL) of 35 years by the BRE, with minimal maintenance during this period. First generation PVC-U windows – now 50 years old – are still performing strongly well beyond this. Glazing units, the most expensive part of a window, regardless of material, will fail long before the frame.

While PVC-U windows aren’t maintenance free – they will still need to be cleaned, and hardware and other items looked after – they are incredibly low maintenance and the cost-in-use burden is significantly less than other materials.

Modus goes into Orbit

BPI Index April 2018 PRS Orbit (1)A great example of this approach to value engineering lifetime costs and active asset management is Orbit Housing’s Fordham House in Stratford-upon-Avon, which aims to raise the bar for rented accommodation. Designed for key workers in the town, the 82-apartment block will provide enhanced protection against noise, a superior maintenance and repair strategy and additional facilities such as secure internal bike storage rooms.

Much of the budget for these above-and-beyond features has come from the specification of Modus PVC-U windows from Eurocell in place of the aluminium frames originally specified. “We saved a significant amount without compromising on the specification or the design”, says Orbit Commercial Director Adam Cooper. “And from a planner’s point of view, they look identical”.

BPI Index April 2018 PRS Orbit (2)Deeley Construction began work on the site, which sits on the corner of Birmingham and Clopton Roads, in January 2016 with the demolition of a disused office building. Construction of the foundations began in May that year, with the first tenants due to move into their new homes in September this year. Deeley’s parent company is one of three partners that form the scheme’s developer ABD Developments, and the site itself is owned by benevolent organisation Stratford Town Trust.

Constructed from dense concrete blocks with hollowcore flooring, the three- and four-storey building is clad in a mixture of curtain walling and green wall – sections of planted walls which will be automatically fed and irrigated. The Modus windows, supplied and installed by Unique Window Systems, are tilt-and-turn so that they can be cleaned internally, avoiding the potential hazard and traffic issues of accessing them from the elevations by the two busy roads.

Tenants will be required to keep their windows clean as part of their tenancy agreement. Details about how to operate and clean the windows, together with a function that allows tenants to report and photograph any problems with their apartments, will be available through a smartphone app, developed by Orbit.

With many tenants expected to come from expanding local hospitals, acoustic improvements were high on the menu of potential value-enhancing features. Orbit has beefed up the acoustic barriers between floors with a layer of insulation and screed with suspended ceilings added to the deep hollow concrete slab. It has also added fitted blinds within the reveals of the windows to provide an additional noise cushion for shift workers who need to sleep during the day.

“We did not need to increase the specification for the windows: the existing specification from Eurocell provided the level of acoustic protection that we needed”, says Cooper.

BPI Index April 2018 PRS Orbit (3)Coming with a 12-year guarantee, 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 40 solid and woodgrain effect finishes is available to order, including colour both sides.

The Modus range achieves a U-value of 1.2 W/m² using 4/20/4mm sealed double-glazed units. This effective thermal performance is due to the 75mm six-chamber profile system used that also enables the range to achieve a U-value of 0.7 by installing triple-glazed units.

This led to Modus becoming one of the very first systems to achieve the BFRC 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 include casement, reversible and tilt and turn.

Consisting of 50% post-consumer recycled PVC-U as standard, Modus has a smaller carbon footprint than products made or recycled outside of the UK. Eurocell achieves this by employing 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.

Additional budget gained from savings on the window costs has also gone into upgrading the flooring material. Ceramic wood-effect flooring has replaced lino to provide a longer life and hence lower maintenance costs and down-time for Orbit.

A re-think of the building’s layout produced space for a substantial ‘spares room’ which will house items such as cookers and kitchen units. With all the apartments kitted out identically, this will enable faster repairs and reduce the time required to spruce up homes between tenancies.

Intelligent asset management has proven its worth in the infrastructure sector, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t help the private rented sector as it builds momentum. To find out why Eurocell can help you manage investor expectations in terms of whole life costs, low maintenance and a value engineered approach to asset management; call the customer services team on 0800 988 7300 or visit

Airflow Developments Susurro in a seminar room


Building Products Index Ltd Fan, Ventilation Leave a Comment

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The new Susurro, a ceiling mounted heat recovery unit from Airflow Developments, has been designed to provide continuous decentralised ventilation for both office and educational environments. Featuring a new generation of efficient, energy saving and ultra-quiet technologies, architects can be assured that the units meet all the necessary regulations, and provide a fresh and healthy indoor air quality for the occupants.

Susurro in a seminar roomA multitude of key features makes Susurro a high performance ventilation option for new and existing offices and school buildings. With an aluminium cross counter flow heat exchanger, the unit recovers up to 90% of otherwise wasted heat. In accordance with the ErP Ecodesign Directive, Susurro features a 100% summer bypass facility to prevent heat recovery from taking place in hot weather – reducing the risk of overheating.

Its unique capillary tube system at the air outlet ensures that fresh air is supplied into the room near the ceiling. This supply air then mixes with the ambient air, before slowly descending into the room, avoiding any uncomfortable draughts for building occupants.

1_0010_Background copySusurro is the ideal option for office and educational environments, helping to improve air quality and with a virtually inaudible noise level of just 35 dB(A) at nominal air flow, the units can contribute positively to an environment that aids concentration and productivity. All Susurro units comply to both BB101 and BB93 guidelines for educational premises.

John Kelly, Marketing Manager at Airflow Developments said: “Our new Susurro heat recovery unit is a testament to our knowledge and capability within the complex field of ventilation. It delivers precisely what is needed: a highly efficient, low energy, low noise heat recovery unit that can make a positive difference to the wellbeing of office workers and students alike.”

1_0004_Background copy (1)No air ducts are required and units are suitable for offices, boardrooms and educational facilities. For existing buildings, there is no need to design a detailed ventilation system, as it is simply mounted on the wall. With a digital touch screen controller and offering automated control to optimise performance – Susurro maximises energy efficiency and minimises heat losses with minimal input from the building manager.

Susurro is available with a three-year warranty, and energy efficient EC motors. The unit is available in two ranges: standard and design. With air flow rates of 400, 700 and 1000 m3/h, units will provide an ambient temperature range of +5°C up to 40°C.

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