Bilco UK Smoke Vent

Take the smart approach to specifying smoke vents

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

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James Fisher, Managing Director of Bilco UK, Howe Green and Profab Access, shares three key areas specifiers and roofing contractors should focus on when specifying smoke vents.

Natural Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilators (NSHEVs), more commonly known as smoke vents, provide essential ventilation in the event of a building fire. Installed in the roof, they open by sensors or remote control in response to exhaust smoke and noxious fumes. Suitable for installation in a range of buildings, from educational spaces such as universities to commercial environments such as warehouses, the aim of a smoke vent is to make a dangerous situation safer for all individuals.

1) Understanding the seriousness of smoke

While many may presume that the biggest danger of a fire are the flames, smoke inhalation can be far more dangerous and life threatening. Statistics from the UK Fire & Rescue Services stated that the most common cause of fire deaths and injury between 2018 and 2019* was ‘being overcome by gas or smoke.’

As a fire develops inside a building, it burns the oxygen in the air, removing most of the available oxygen as part of ‘incomplete combustion’, which in turn produces toxic and potentially deadly carbon monoxide.

Bilco Smoke VentWhen a fire ignites in an enclosed space the smoke rising from the fire gets trapped by the ceiling. It then begins to spread, forming an expanding layer that leaks into any gaps in the floors or walls. This can lead to individuals becoming disorientated, with their vision becoming increasingly clouded, hindering safe evacuation.

The installation of smoke vents in appropriate locations around a building will protect occupants in the event of a fire by preventing the excessive build-up of smoke and noxious fumes. This subsequently reduces the risk of smoke inhalation, horizontal fire spread and secondary ignitions as the smoke is quickly exhausted, enabling fire-fighters to safely enter the building to tackle the blaze and building occupants to exit quickly.

2) Knowing your regulations

As a specifier or contractor, ensuring the right product is used in the correct context is paramount to not only ensuring it is fit for purpose, but is also compliant with relevant regulations and provides the highest levels of safety.

smoke-vent-video-screenshotWhen specifying a smoke vent for a roof, it should be compliant with the Construction Products Regulation 305/2011, CE-marked with a Declaration of Conformity. It should also be manufactured to meet the demands of Building Regulations, Approved Document B, BS9999 and BS EN12101-2.

Choosing a smoke vent that meets all of these legislations will help to not only achieve compliance but ensure the operational reliability and performance of the smoke vent throughout its lifetime.

The control of the smoke vent should also be considered, whether this is in the form of a dedicated management system or a solution integrated into a wider networked fire alarm system.

3) Customising your specification

While the functionality and quality of the smoke vent will be the primary consideration, aesthetics can also be an important factor. Here a ‘one size fits all approach’ shouldn’t be applied, as specifiers and contractors have a wide range of elements to choose from to ensure the product is tailored to meet the project’s unique needs. Customisation may include elements such as hardware, paint finishes, curb liners, manual or automatic control units, open-close switches and rain and wind sensors.

While a NSHEV plays a pivotal role in fire protection by successfully exhausting smoke, they can also be utilised for comfort ventilation, removing the requirement for additional roof penetration. The vents also adopt the role of a skylight, allowing natural light to filter through into the space below.


By installing the smoke vent with the addition of a fixed vertical safety ladder, its can provide an adequate means of escape from the roof and offer access to contractors for infrequent maintenance.

When specifying smoke vents, it’s important to explore the individual requirements for each development and work closely with manufacturers at the specification stage to design a bespoke solution that is fit for purpose, whilst also ensuring compliance with all relevant legislations.

For further information on Bilco UK’s complete range of roof access solutions, visit or call 01284 701696.


Arturo Concreta

Arturo launches Arturo Concreta a range of decorative cementitious floors.

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Arturo ConcretaPolished concrete is becoming increasing popular due to the attractive appearance, however they are time consuming to install.  Arturo Concreta decorative self-smoothing microcement is available in ten stylish colours which can be installed quickly and more sustainably than concrete polishing.  With gentle marbling producing gorgeous colour tones and rustic finish, Arturo Concreta helps create stunning floors.

The system is also only 3-4 mm thick but unlike a microcement, when poured and applied, it self-smooths creating a seamless, marbled appearance.  Arturo Concreta can be pumped or applied by hand producing a modern, rustic appearance which is durable. It is ideal for homes, offices, showrooms or public spaces to restaurants and retail.

Arturo will be exhibiting at two London exhibitions in early 2020. Architects at work between 29th – 30thJanuary at the Old Truman Brewery and the Surface Design Show between 11th – 13th February at the Business Design Centre in Islington.


New EJOT Guides review Best Practice for installation of self-drilling fasteners

Building Products Index Ltd Fastening Systems Leave a Comment

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From contractor to installer, whoever is purchasing building fasteners from within the project chain is linked to the overall investment of the complete building system. Modern technical fastening products are engineered components in their own right and when installed correctly they provide high strength load performance, safe and secure joints, environmental longevity and many other application benefits.

The demands that go hand in hand with today’s construction industry require manufacturers of all contributing components to be vigilant, knowledgeable and fully transparent.  As original fastening manufacturers EJOT is in a strong position to monitor such technical demands. Research and Development is key and with EJOT’s global market interests spanning sectors such as aerospace, automotive, seismic and nuclear construction, cross-pollination of technical knowledge can and has created cutting-edge solutions for many building and construction fastening products.

3 - EJOT's guide addresses aspects from correct installation speeds to washer compressionIf knowledge is the cornerstone to specification, sharing knowledge is of course the responsibility of the manufacturer. With reference to the correct deployment of technical fasteners, ‘best practice’ also implies the need for contractors to see the entire installation process through, yet this can break down if everyone actively involved in the chain is not fully aware of the technical properties that a modern fastener is engineered to deliver.

Seeing first-hand such varying levels of technical awareness, EJOT UK has produced the first in a new series of video and printed guides. Here, the company’s technical wing ‘EJOT Applitec’, reviews best installation practices relating to self-drilling fasteners. The Yorkshire based manufacturer is keen to convey how vast choice of drive tools through to installation techniques can affect the end result and how combinations of torque, loading and installation speeds are absolutely vital.

2 - This screw gun has a clutch mechanism to safeguard against over-drivingFor example, market-wide installation tools range from dry-lining guns through to impact drivers which are all compact and relatively inexpensive. Yet unlike professional screw guns, the general mechanics of these devices will often mean they can apply an unnecessary and uncontrollable amount of torque to fasteners that need to be installed to precise settings. Many of these tools have no clutch mechanism to safeguard against over-driving and whilst it may be possible to achieve a correctly installed fastener using such drivers, at best the installer is doing so by ‘guesswork’ – which simply cannot be relied upon across the installation of several thousand fasteners. The same concerns apply across the huge variety of fasteners and applications that the industry now demands. The clear risk here is that the original construction investment is at best diluted, with reputations and overall responsibilities in sharp focus should performance integrity be lost.

Setting a screw gun nosepice according to differing panel thicknessesThe guide also illustrates how to achieve correct settings that relate directly to the different type of the materials being joined, the easiest way to achieve and determine successful application, and finally how to monitor safe and correct installation throughout the project’s schedule.



Brian Mack is Technical Business Development Manager for EJOT in the UK:

“The information we are producing here shows that we don’t just sell fastening products. The responsibility goes much further than that and we are working alongside other manufacturers to develop responsible technical information that supplements in greater detail the contributions we make collectively, to information circulated by recognised industry flag bearers such as the NFRC and the MCRMA”.

To further endorse the company’s commitment to Best Practice, EJOT UK has sponsored the NFRC’s industry-wide reference manual, known as ‘The Blue Book’. Managing Director Robert Hardstaff said:

“EJOT UK shares the NFRC’s philosophy of quality and excellence within the construction industry. We are therefore delighted that as NFRC Industry Technical Partner, our sponsorship will help to support this industry-wide platform for best practice.”

More information about accessing EJOT’s technical guide is now available at


Kawneer AA720 E corner assembly

Introducing Kawneer’s AA®720 E Window, designed specifically for the Education sector

Building Products Index Ltd Aluminium Windows Leave a Comment

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AA720 E corner assembly V2 TBKawneer has a long heritage of supplying the Education sector with cost-effective construction solutions – the latest being the new AA®720 E Outward Opening Casement Window.

Education sector construction projects rely on sourcing the best possible value and with the AA®720 E, that’s just what you get.

Part of the AA®720 modular system offering complete flexibility of design with incremental levels of thermal performance, the AA®720 E variant has been designed specifically for schools, colleges and universities, skilfully re-engineered to offer a cost-effective solution without sacrificing performance.

Made in the UK, it offers full weather protection together with PAS 24 security standards. The 72mm profiles incorporate the very latest thermal technology including extruded polyamide and patented thermal breaks, insulated centre seals and foam isolators.

The main cost benefit is derived from eliminating the need for reverse glazing adaptors, therefore reducing material utilisation, fabrication timescales and reducing sightlines from 147mm to 130mm.

PrintThe AA®720 E can be top-hung or side-hung and has a range of locking options including enhanced security to PAS 24:2016 standards; the frame is also BRE Green Guide ‘A’ Rated for projects that need specific sustainable and environmental requirements. A choice of restrictors is available to 100mm, compliant with the HTM 55 regulations and BS 8213 of 100mm initial opening, while Folding Openers with Link Bars provide safety in use.

The AA®720 E also features excellent warranties and aftercare so you can be sure it’ll pass every test, whether it’s meeting ventilation strategy or restricted budgets.

The Best Value Solution for Schools?
E Gets Top Marks.

Take a look at our extensive portfolio of Education sector Case Studies.


Collaboration critical if the right mix of homes are to be built, say consumers

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

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Almost half (49%) of consumers believe greater collaboration between local councils, property developers and social housing associations is critical if the UK is to build the right mix of properties in future.

That’s according to a research report published by Eurocell plc, the UK’s leading manufacturer, distributor and recycler of PVC-U window, door, conservatory and roofline systems.

suburban housing estate. cul-de-sac in cannock in england with starter home town houses

Other factors identified by respondents as critical to ensuring the right mix of homes is built included providing more opportunities for public consultation during planning decisions (35%), more powers being given to local planning authorities for better local oversight (29%) and more strategic leadership at a national level (21%).

The findings are part of a report by Eurocell that explores how the communities of the future may look. It includes insights from five architects from practices BDP, Stanton Williams, TOWN and Urbanist Architecture.

When asked about the current mix of homes being built, half of the 1,000 respondents reported that they felt not enough affordable homes for first time buyers were being built, while an almost identical number (49%) said they believed not enough social housing was being built. This fell to 31% when asked about the amount of private rental (PRS) options being built, while 37% said that not enough homes in general were being built.

Property To Let, London.As a result, two fifths of respondents, who were equally split between private renters, home owners and social housing tenants, said that PRS, social housing and homes to buy should be of equal priority as more homes were built. However, 28% identified social housing as the priority, 17% said homes to buy and 10% said PRS options should be the priority.

Hand choosing row of coin money on wood table and mini wood house, selective focus, Planning to buy property. Choose what's the best. A symbol for construction ,ecology, loan concepts

Analysing the findings, Doriano Chiarparin, architect at Stanton Williams, commented: “Unless there is a push towards more social and affordable housing in city centres, land values alone tend to create socially segregated cities. In any productive environment, you need different levels of skill, different types of people and levels of affordability – so there definitely needs to be more support towards affordable residential and social housing in order to keep cities working.”

The public’s view on their preferred housing mix for the communities of the future certainly provides food for thought. The UK has typically been a nation of aspiring property owners. However, these findings suggest that there could be a shift towards more continental attitudes towards homeownership where renting is far more common. As the construction sector continues to design, plan and build the communities of the future serious consideration will need to be given towards this issue to ensure that the needs of consumers are being met.

The research is part of Eurocell’s ‘Future Communities’ report which can be downloaded in full here.

Balconette Curvaglide® Curved Glass sliding doors

Curvaglide® Curved Glass Sliding Doors open everybody’s eyes…

Building Products Index Ltd Curved Glass Doors Leave a Comment

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We have re-engineered sliding curved glass from the ground up to create an open view that is simply not possible with flat glass.

[document: File]Like no other system on the market, Curvaglide® Curved Glass sliding doors range from a 2-door system through to much larger configurations, with up to 4 slideable doors and unlimited fixed panels. Curvaglide® doors also feature high-specification energy efficient glass, previously unavailable for curves, which significantly reduces heat transference. With installations of up to 19 metres already completed, our fully customisable options mean the doors can be overlapped in a variety of different configurations.

• Almost limitless design options

• High-weather rating

• Thermally broken sections

• Multipoint locking mechanism

• 28mm high performance “soft coat” Low-E Double Glazing

• Toughened safety glass on both sides

 Made to measure

IMG_2443All Curvaglide® doors are bespoke built with the curved glass and matched frames made to measure in-house, so you can be assured of a smooth movement of the doors and a ‘hand in glove’ fit. Curvaglide’s® structural system has likewise been designed and engineered to support the physical stresses, yet remain smooth, quiet and strong. Quite simply, Curvaglide® doors will complement, highlight and harmonise with the lines and features of your building design.

[document: File] If you have a wonderful view and want to really make the most of it, nothing else comes close.

HEWI Matt finish sanitary accessories

Sensual accents in the barrier-free bathroom

Building Products Index Ltd sanitary accessories Leave a Comment

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Living in all its facets becomes more personal, warm and tangible. HEWI remains true to its line, but however always with the claim of thinking ahead with the existing concepts.

Outstanding design is only created in interaction with innovative technology.  For HEWI, good design means offering options.

F20833_MRange 477/801, for example, is now available in a mat edition in addition to high-gloss polyamide surface finishes. You can create sensuous accents which have a convincing characteristic look and a very special feel. Instead of smooth, reflective surfaces, Edition matt provides haptic pleasure and forms a deliberate contrast to the smart high-tech world.


With the matt Edition, HEWI provides a unique surface which appeals to the senses – as soon as the bathroom door is opened.

Modularity, surface finish variety and the highest-possible design standards reflect HEWI’s understanding of first-class design. The classic 477/801 has a completely new look due to its new mat surface finish.

F21629The comprehensive range from door handles and sanitary accessories to comfort products and, up to and including, barrier-free elements enables consistent furnishing, precisely tailored to the individual needs of users.

The supposedly barrier-free functional product gives the sanitary space in hospitals, senior citizens’ or nursing homes, as well as at home, a homely design alternative.

HEWI has decades of competence in developing accessible solutions. HEWI launched the Series 801, the first accessible barrier-free system, on the German market 30 years ago.

F21630_MSince this time, the series has been continuously and additionally developed and has become established as a classic product in sanitary rooms. The series is complemented by the accessories of the range 477.

Today, range 477/801 is manufactured in the production facility in Bad Arolsen. The velvety finish of the mat edition is achieved by a special finishing process, during which the polyamide products are machined by hand. This creates a unique design in premium Made in Germany quality.




Tata Steel platinum plus system guarantee

Taking wider responsibility – Tata Steel launches its Platinum® Plus system guarantee

Building Products Index Ltd Cladding, Roofing Leave a Comment

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Tata Steel is pleased to announce the launch of its new Platinum® Plus guarantee, designed to offer assurance to architects, specifiers and building owners with the provision of tailored specification advice, technical support and a guaranteed system performance of up to thirty years.

PlatPlusButton-Product-Pagepx (2)The Platinum® Plus guarantee provides customers with the assurance of a high-quality, robust and enduring building system, supported by Tata Steel’s comprehensive service. This includes tailored specification advice to suit the building’s function, technical assistance and on-site installation checks, all to ensure long-term performance and confirm that it is constructed correctly, subsequently lowering the cost of ownership through the building’s life.


Specifiers offered the Platinum® Plus guarantee can be confident that their Tata Steel system has been designed with the specific needs of the project and the building’s end-function in mind, featuring high-quality components carefully selected from a range of compatible roofing and cladding products. All components will have been independently tested and certified, as well as being responsibly sourced and fully traceable through the manufacturer’s reputable supply chain partners. What’s more, as a result of Tata Steel’s status as an EPD Programme Operator, the manufacturer can provide third-party verified, product-specific EPD’s, helping to contribute towards a more sustainable means of construction and increased BREEAM and LEED scores.

Tata Steel has also developed an online specification builder, enabling designers and specifiers to easily view 3D product previews in the complete colour range, generate building envelope system solutions and manage multiple specifications, all using the efficient online tool.

plat plus article MAINAs well as providing tailored guidance throughout the specification stage, support then continues, with readily-available technical advice and final on-site checks to ensure that the system is both installed correctly and according to the original specification. Upon completion, the Platinum® Plus guarantee is issued direct to the building owner.

Jo Evans, Managing Director of UK Building Systems at Tata Steel said:

“We understand that the design and specification stage of any project can be challenging. Architects and specifiers need to ensure that the proposed building system not only has excellent thermal properties, but also achieves the required acoustic performance, fire performance, wind resistance, durability and structural stability, all with the right guarantee attached and without the need of excessive maintenance.

“At Tata Steel, we wanted to make the whole specification process easier and more efficient, which is why we chose to create the online tool to support our Platinum® Plus system guarantee. The aim of the Platinum® Plus guarantee is to provide architects and specifiers with the confidence that they have installed a proven high-quality and robust building system, from a reputable manufacturer, which will continue to perform and with minimum maintenance required. Throughout the specification process, they will also have access to expert technical advice and support, ensuring that their selected system is well suited to their project and its needs.

“What’s more, building owners can similarly rest assured, for the Platinum® Plus guarantee will be issued direct to them, avoiding any potential confusion in the unlikely event of a claim. Valid for up to 30 years and fully transferable to the new building owner, in the event of a sale, it is one of the most straight-forward and transparent guarantees available on the steel market.”

The Platinum® Plus guarantee is offered on all Tata Steel systems manufactured from Colorcoat® branded pre-finished steel, which is renowned for its aesthetics, robustness and long-lasting performance. In addition to roof and wall cladding systems, the guarantee also extends to include all flashings, boundary gutters, sealants, fasteners and fall arrest systems when named in the project specification, making it a complete system guarantee.

Create your own online tailored specification, alternatively contact Tata Steel on +44 (0)1244 892 199


AATi The Compton cast aluminium facade

The Compton, St John’s Wood

Building Products Index Ltd Cladding, Treads Leave a Comment

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Client: Regal Homes

Architect: Simon Bowden

Contractor: MPRICE

Product: Bespoke cast metal façade

Material: Aluminium

AATi - The Compton_Dusk_REGALThe ComptonOne of the world’s first cast aluminium clad-buildings, has reached completion and has just welcomed its first tranche of resident’s spring 2019.

Commissioned and built by luxury boutique developer, Regal London and designed by Simon Bowden Architecture.

The façade is constructed from recycled cast aluminium, which was selected for its adaptable properties, culminating in a distinguished appearance and a one-of-a-kind architectural design.


AATi - The Compton Entrance_REGALAATi had our highly skilled team of engineers working on this project and with in-house CAD software including casting simulation (pictured right), we were able to assess critical casting details and run a series of tests before any castings were produced!



AATi - The Compton_low-res_REGALRegal Homes said “Renowned for their expertise, cast metal manufacturer, AATi, were enlisted to assist in the development and manufacturing of the panels. A quality assurance benchmark was created so that if, during transit or installation, any scratches or chips were deemed too severe, the panels would be rejected, and replacements would be manufactured. Specialist foil packaging and handling guidelines were even devised to protect the panels and, of the 1,800 panels made, just two were rejected!”

Stay tuned for up and coming projects including; 66 Shoe Lane, Manchester Life Plot and Chelsea Barracks.

Newton Waterproofing membrane recycling scheme

Five Tonnes of Plastic Saved from Landfill in 2019 by Award-Winning Recycling Service

Building Products Index Ltd waterproofing Leave a Comment

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An innovative and unique recycling service set up by Newton Waterproofing has saved 5.174 tonnes of plastic from going to landfill in 2019.

The UK’s leading independent designers and suppliers of guaranteed waterproofing and damp proofing systems had 223 bags of HDPE membrane returned to them throughout the course of the year as part of the Newton Membrane Recycling Scheme.

Recycling-membrane-scene-rgbBy recycling waste plastic into new products instead of manufacturing from new HDPE, during 2019 alone Newton have prevented 5.944 tonnes of CO2e emissions from being released into the atmosphere; the equivalent of burning 1.96 metric tonnes of petrol and saving enough energy to make 826,200 mugs of tea.

Furthermore, since the scheme’s launch in 2017 it has successfully prevented over 13.7 tonnes of plastic from going to landfill, equivalent to preventing 15.746 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

It’s no surprise, then, that the service has won six awards in just over two years, including the ‘Charles Darwin Award’ from the British and Irish Trading Alliance (BITA); the ‘Commitment to the Environment Award’ at the Kent Excellence in Business Awards (KEiBA); the prestigious ‘Innovation of the Year’ award from the National Building Awards; and the ‘Sustainability’ award at the Property Care Association Best Practice Awards.

Newton Waterproofing’s Managing Director Warren Muschialli said: “Our innovative recycling service had another tremendous year in 2019 and, as well as the environmental benefits, we also saved 223m3 of skip space on site, equivalent to more than 24 full skips and therefore 50 skip journeys. This obviously delivers further emission and cost savings.”

The closed-loop scheme works in collaboration with the company’s Newton Specialist Basement Contractors (NSBC) who collect waste off-cuts of plastic membrane on their projects.

The waste is then collected by Newton at the same time as making deliveries of new materials, therefore preventing additional emissions from transporting the plastic. Finally, the material is chipped into small granules by Newton, then collected by a national recycler for reprocessing and reusing to make new products for the construction industry.

“We are proud to operate what is the only recycling service in the waterproofing industry,” added Warren.

“With the Government setting a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, it presents the construction industry with a wonderful opportunity to make a difference.”

Newton Waterproofing design and supply guaranteed waterproofing and damp proofing systems for all structures, from large-scale commercial developments to new build and existing domestic properties. For more information, call 01732 360 095 or email