Howe Green Floor Access Covers

Howe Green supplies floor access covers for inspirational university building

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Howe Green supplied over fifty Collaborative Teaching Laboratory 065aluminium floor access covers for the award winning Collaborative Teaching Laboratory (CTL) at the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston Campus. The CTL is part of a £40 million plus investment by the university into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects.

The new purpose built CTL opened to undergraduate students in October 2018. The unique facility comprises a wet laboratory, dry laboratory and e‐laboratory and provides a hub for science and engineering teaching. The multi‐functional laboratories are ideal for subject‐ specific and cross‐disciplinary teaching, practical classes and collaboration.

The CTL set up allows for a range of innovative and transformational teaching methods to be adopted and for staff time and resources to be used more efficiently.

The robust 6,700 m2 brick structure was designed by architect Sheppard Ross. It has won four awards in the RIBA West Midlands Awards 2019, including RIBA West Midlands Building of the Year 2019. The CTL has also achieved a BREEM Excellent standard and an EPC A Rating for efficiency.

The building design was meticulously detailed and the materials used were chosen to minimise maintenance and enhance the life expectancy of the building.

Howe Green 5000 Series Light Duty Aluminium and 7500 Series Medium Duty Aluminium Floor Access Covers were supplied to main contractor Morgan Sindall and were specified by the architect, Sheppard Ross. The covers were installed by the team from Morgan Sindall and infilled with ceramic floor tiles.

Collaborative Teaching Laboratory 071 copy (1)In addition to ceramic tiles the 5000 Series and 7500 Series can be used with marble, terrazzo, concrete, resin, wood or parquet flooring. The 5000 Series is suitable for use in areas with pedestrian traffic and the load performance of the 7500 Series is for cars and light delivery vehicles up to 5 tonnes pneumatic tyre load.

The access covers can be removed, safely and easily, for maintenance purposes with the use of lifting keys or Howe Green Access Cover Skates. The access covers fit perfectly flush with their surround to avoid the risk of hazard from slips or trips.

Available as a single cover, a duct run or as a multipart unit the 5000 and 7500 Series can be supplied in standard sizes from stock. If a custom size is required it can be manufactured to order at the Howe Green manufacturing facility in Hertfordshire.

Howe Green has over thirty six years of experience in supplying floor access covers to the education sector. Howe Green’s access covers can be found in many educational settings including John Moores University in Liverpool, St Bernadette’s Primary School in Antonshill, Scotland, and the University of Surrey.

If you would like Howe Green to assist with your requirement for a solution to access concealed building services located under hard flooring please call 01920 463230 or visit


Kee Safety step-over platforms


Building Products Index Ltd Fall protection Leave a Comment

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Navigating a roof across pipework, low level walls, changes in levels and installed equipment can present a problem. Entire areas of the roof space can become inaccessible making maintenance difficult or even impossible. Ben Rutter from Kee Safety discusses why step-over platforms provide the perfect solution.

According to the Health & Safety executive (HSE), working at height remains one of the biggest causes of fatalities and major injuries. At the same time, slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work and can happen almost anywhere. 95% of major slips result in broken bones and they can also be the initial cause for a range of other types of accident such as a fall from height.

In February this year, following a 12-month enquiry, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height published a report entitled, ‘Staying Alive: Preventing Serious Injury and Fatalities while Working at Height’. This new report sees the APPG call upon the Government and industry to review the working at height culture, with the aim of cutting down the number of deaths and accidents caused by falls.

Contractors are under pressure to ensure the safety systems are in place to prevent slips, trips and falls from height. This is apparent on flat roofing projects. Many flat roof tops feature pipework, HVAC systems, conduits, skylights and other obstacles, and with maintenance teams regularly accessing these types of roofs to carry out work on the building services equipment, it’s easy to see why accidents can easily happen. If a safety system isn’t in place, getting around these obstacles often ends up with workers climbing, hopping, and jumping over these objects.

Step-Over_for_pipeworkFor these type of obstacles, step-overs are the best solution. They provide a safe and secure access platform, and, since roof structures tend to not change, these systems can be left in place indefinitely so that there is no need to fix the problem every time someone has to access the roof.

Most of these structures can be installed in minutes and can be fully customised to what is required.  From a small ramp that crosses a run of conduit, to a platform with stairs that bridges two roof sections, to the walkways needed to get to and from access points, pre-fabricated, modular access platforms are available to solve all of these issues.

With adjustable step sections, and non-penetrative fixing options, step-overs have the inherent flexibility to not only protect those accessing the roof, but to also protect the roof sheet from unnecessary foot traffic and potential damage by providing a clearly defined access path. There is the ability to meet virtually any design requirement, with the end result always being a safe, secure and compliant access platform.

Constructed using tubular fittings, each fitting incorporates an internal set screw to lock the respective fitting safely and securely onto the tube to create a strong, stable and safe structure. This method eliminates the need for time-consuming welding or specialist skills or tools, saving contractors both time and money on site.

When selecting this type of solution, contractors should make sure that it complies with EN 14122-2/3:2016. This standard defines the requirement for non-powered fixed means of access in and around buildings where access to machinery and plant or where access and egress is required. It deals specifically with guardrail details such as materials, loading and deflection, alongside tread placement with regards to depth, rise, going and pitch with requirements for dimensional, positional and operational considerations for the work platform.

For more information, visit

Newton Waterproofing

Newton Waterproofing partners with global waterproofing specialist RASCOR

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Newton Waterproofing has exclusively partnered with RASCOR International to bring the Switzerland-based company’s unique RASCOtank system to the UK.

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Often referred to as the ‘White Tank’ engineered waterproofing system, the RASCOtank system ensures that the concrete acts as both the structure and the waterproofing.

The Newton RASCOtank System will provide a unique form of Type B structural waterproofing for any new concrete construction project occurring below-ground in the UK.

Newton and RASCOR’s design team will work with the client, the structural engineer, the architect and the contractor from the outset of a project to achieve the required waterproofing strategy.

With this approach the Newton RASCOtank system provides the principal contractor and the client with savings on the financial and programming of the project and, as the system allows for unlimited pour sizes for the concrete floors and walls, maximum efficiency is also achieved.

RASCOR (3) copyA unique method allows Newton to control the locations of the inevitable cracks that occur in the concrete by use of the patented RASCOtec crack inducers. Deliberately placed at intervals within your concrete pour, the inducers allow for significantly bigger pour sizes, remove the need for the traditional chequer board method, and allow for unlimited concreting and any depth of floor or wall.

Ruben Schmid, Executive Director at RASCOR International said,“Newton are the perfect match to RASCOR. Each company has vast knowledge and experience, and is an expert in their respective areas of waterproofing. This new partnership means that Newton and RASCOR will be able to offer the best waterproofing solution in any combination on any project for our UK clients, and will put us into a leading position in the UK market.”

The exclusive partnership with RASCOR, an international group with over 50 years of experience in the design, manufacture, installation and warranty of Type B waterproofing for concrete structures all over the world, marks the beginning of a powerful new chapter in concrete waterproofing for the family-run business, based in Tonbridge, Kent.

 “RASCOR are pioneers in Type B waterproofing and we are absolutely delighted to be their exclusive partner providing the Newton RASCOtank system in the UK,”commented Newton Waterproofing’s MD Warren Muschialli.

“As the UK’s oldest independent designers and suppliers of guaranteed waterproofing systems for all structures, with 170 years of industry experience and expertise, we are their perfect partner.”

Newton Waterproofing supply an advanced range of waterproofing materials which allow them to design and install effective, robust and third-party accredited Type A, B and C waterproofing systems in accordance with current legislation and best practice.For the right waterproofing help and advice with your next project, contact 01732 360 095 or email

Toupret fillers

Smoothing over the winter cracks with exterior fillers for every job

Building Products Index Ltd Filler 1 Comment

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Winter takes a toll upon properties, highlighting the slightest weakness and opening up the smallest of cracks.

BPi Exterior family[1]But the first signs of spring offer the chance to remedy this damage caused by harsh conditions and now is the time to be planning and preparing for those outdoor jobs. Toupret’s high-quality range of filler products offer an ideal and comprehensive solution. 80-years of experience has gone into creating a range of performance fillers used by professionals globally, and it is a market-leader in the UK.

Each of the five products in Toupret’s exterior fill range has been developed to perform a specific task. These hardy products won’t flash or grin and can be used across renovation and refurbishment jobs, whether for patching, resealing or repairing on any number of surfaces. And what is more, no stabilising solution or bonding primer is required when applying Toupret products to clean, dry, sound substrates.

MUREX is a quality filler that dries tough, producing a rock-hard finish on all exterior substrates, including old painted surfaces. This strong, impact-resistant filler can take bolts and is great for filling deep holes and working areas that require a truly hardy surface. The finished result is paintable in 24-hours.

IMG_4858[1]Masonry repair filler TOUPRELITH F can be shaped without the use of formwork, making it a must for filling and repairs on edging and angles. It can be applied directly to damp substrates, which makes it ideal for working through the British seasons. Like all Toupret powder fillers, this product has no depth limit.

Ready-to-use lightweight paste TOUPRELEX is an exterior ready mixed filler that can be used straight from the tub, filling in just one application and drying super-fast. It’s ready to paint in just one hour, so you can get on with the job in hand without delay or distraction.

By contrast, fibre-reinforced filler and skimmer FIBAREX has a longer working time, allowing you to work on fiddly finishes and fills without rushing. Its superior adherence makes it an ideal choice for filling and skimming across a range of exterior substrates. It is ready to paint in 24-hours and performs well on painted finishes.

18-JBF_3600[2]PLANIREX is a versatile, dedicated skim coat for use on all exterior substrates, including old painted surfaces. Importantly, this high-quality, hardy skimming product can take bolts, before painting in just three-hours. Like all the Toupret range, it is moisture vapour permeable, allowing the substrate to breathe.

Toupret also offers a huge range of filler products for other applications such as interior fillers, skim fillers, levelling coats, surface fillers, wood fillers, specialist decontaminating skimming fillers and air-spray fillers for machine application. See more about the whole Toupret range here.

Timeguard PIR detectors

All present and correct

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PIRs are everywhere, but they should not be thought of as basic, commodity items. Opting for the cheapest off-the-shelf PIR is never wise because replacing faulty devices is never easy just because of where they are likely to be mounted.

What, then, if you have invested in branded quality but the lights still aren’t working s expected? Here the problems are more likely to arise from having specified the wrong PIR for the job or getting the set up wrong.

The Tech Team at Timeguard are always happy to advise, and there’s no premium charge for calling them. There’s also plenty of information on the company website and product packaging and instruction leaflets. All the same, we asked them what you should be asking yourself before you choose a motion or presence detector.

What type of lights and what load?

Be sure to pick a PIR detector that is specifically tested with and rated for LED loads if that’s what you need to control.

You shouldn’t need to do the maths yourself: the specification on the box should already state what LED loading is acceptable – if not steer clear.  Timeguard thinks it’s always wise to add at least 10% for good measure.

There’s a huge difference between ratings for the same PIR detector for halogen and LED. For instance, while Timeguard’s mini linkable PIR foris rated for 1000W max. halogen, the LED rating is 250W max. LED. That’s because the LED rating allows for the strong inrush current on switching, not the subsequent low running current.  That said, 250W is usually enough for these PIRs with the option of up to five pre-wired RJ11 plug-in slave units per master, allowing for quick installation for corridor and multi-zone use.

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Will there be lots of luminaries?

Take care if the total LED load is getting near the limit of the PIR’s specification, especially when controlling small luminaries.  Due to their physical size, lower wattage LED lamps (GU10 type lamps) commonly have very simple circuitry with surge protection and power factor correction omitted. That puts a massive strain on whatever is switching/controlling them.

So, for instance, the Timeguard SLW360ceiling-mounted and flush-mounted detectors have a maximum LED load of 150W but are rated for a maximum of 10 separate LED10W lamps (ie only 100W). Yet the firm rates – and guarantees – them for LED lamps above 10W, right up to the 150W limit.

Where’s it going?

Most good PIRs now offer more sensitive presence detection. Remember, PIRs are often installed so that lights or fans turn off when a space is empty, so more often than not they do need to be able to detect the difference between an empty room and people sitting quietly  at a desk.

You don’t have to spend £100s for a single detector that offers presence detection. Presence detection is standard on most Timeguard PIR detectors.

Will the detector be surface or flush mounted in a standard ceiling aperture? Most people prefer flush mounting if practicable, but Timeguard has proved that surface mount doesn’t have to mean clunky looking if the manufacturer has put the effort into design.

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As a rule, a ceiling height of 2.5m will give optimum coverage but be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions. You also need to be aware that highly reflective surfaces and heat sources like extractor fans nearby can interfere with sensitivity. Remember, too, that sensitivity is greatest for movement across the field, rather than directly towards it when choosing locations. It may be useful to mask part of the detector to avoid nuisance switching, and unnecessary call backs form disgruntled customers.

Choose products that make installation and setting up straightforward, because it’s usually done at the top of a ladder! Big wiring terminals and simple adjustment controls should be at the top of your wish list.

The bottom line, as ever, is branded quality assurance – good products, good information and good, free tech desk back up for installers.

Coo-Var Matt White Paint

Matt White now complementing our Matt Black!

Building Products Index Ltd Paint Leave a Comment

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Matt White FocusedMatt White is a welcome new addition to our Specialist Paints range, a perfect complement to one of our best-selling paints – Matt Black.

Our specialist paint range is focused on problem-solving products suitable for home and commercial interiors and exteriors. From undercoats to gloss, solar reflecting to anti-condensation, there is a paint for every need.

Matt White is excellent for use internally or externally on window ledges, fascia’s and Tudor style woodwork. Matt white can also be used for photography work or anywhere a non-reflective white surface is required.

Features of our Matt White include:

– Can be sprayed, brushed or roller

– Matt white finish

– Touch Dry in 2 Hours

– Suitable for Wood, Metal and Plaster

– Available in 500ml, 1L, 2.5L, 5L

‘Our customers have often asked if we have a Matt White product particularly for tudor style woodwork around windows and sills, this product is perfect for exactly that’’ Says Danielle Dutton, Marketing Manager for Teal & Mackrill.

For more information or technical advice on Matt White or any other products please contact the Technical hotline on 01482 328053 or 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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Cembrit Patina Inline facade board

Cembrit introduces new facade board with 3D effect

Building Products Index Ltd Facade Leave a Comment

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Cembrit introduces a brand-new facade board with 3D effect inspired by nature’s unique features. With the new Patina Inline facade board, Cembrit meets the rising demand from architects and builders across the world for facades that add character and depth to any building’s expression with the ability to fit the surrounding environment.

P 070i_InlineFacades with depth and character are gaining ground in the construction industry. Today, architects and builders across Europe ask for building materials that fit the surrounding environment and leave a natural and vibrant expression with the ability to patinate as seasons change and time passes. To meet the increasing demand, Cembrit, one of Europe’s leading distributors and manufacturers of fibre cement products, launched the Cembrit Patina design line and now adds a brand-new product to the facade board range with a design inspired by the natural lines of a landscape:

– Today, architects strive to design vibrant building facades inspired by nature’s constant change and with the ability to shift expression through time. Cembrit Patina Inline is a brand-new facade board that, like the other facade boards in the Cembrit Patina design line, has a natural and sleek design. The new Patina Inline facade board offers the opportunity to add even more depth and character to any construction, and the board’s milled lines create a unique 3D effect as daylight moves across the building, says Stinne Damsbo Sander, Head of Product Management at Cembrit.

Combined with other facade boards in the Cembrit Patina design line, the new facade product offers even more design options in terms of angles, patterns and colours enhancing the lines of the building’s design.

Robust materials and maintenance-free

Cembrit Patina Inline_9476_P070iThe Cembrit Patina Inline facade board is made of fibre cement and characterised by its high strength and durabilityand limited need for maintenance. Made of the same robust materials as the rest of the Cembrit Patina design line, the new facade board is classified in accordance with the European fire standard EN 13501-1, classification A2, s1-d0.

– Built of strong and durable materials, Cembrit Patina Inline is able to resist rough weather conditions and wear for decades. The new board is virtually maintenance-free which is recommended for most constructions today. Cembrit Patina Inline can also be used for low-energy buildings and do not require special tools when installed, explains Stinne Damsbo Sander, Head of Product Management at Cembrit.

Cembrit Patina Inline_9534_P070iCembrit Patina Inline is a part of the Cembrit Patina design line – a universe of natural Cembrit facade boards that all share the same authentic expression. Besides Cembrit Patina Inline, the authentic design line also includes Cembrit Patina Rough and the original Cembrit Patina that is already a well-known board in some markets.

Cembrit Patina Inline is available in three different, timeless colours. The board is through-coloured ensuring a homogeneous colour when cut to size.

For more inspiration, visit the Cembrit website and experience the Cembrit Patina Inline. In the beginning of October, a facade visualizer will be launched to enable customers to visualise the Cembrit façade boards applied on different building types.

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About Cembrit Patina Inline

  • Available in light grey, dark grey, and sand: P 050, P 070 and P 545
  • Four standard sizes (1192/1250 x 2500/3050)
  • Facade design with authentic and continuous lines
  • Vibrant facade with 3D effect

For more information, please contact:

Brewers Decorator Centres' competition


Building Products Index Ltd Paint Leave a Comment

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Enter the competition for your chance to win a VIP Darts Experience!

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You could be at the Ally Pally this coming January for the final of the World Darts Championship courtesy of Brewers Decorator Centres’ latest competition.

Enter for your chance to win 2 final tickets with VIP seating, champagne reception, access to the VIP bar, plus dinner and a one night stay in a beautiful suite in a London hotel. What a fitting way to round off the festive season!

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20 percent

Open a Brewers Card and you’ll get a voucher for 20% off your first purchase in store and also online!

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Delta Membrane Ground Gas Protection Systems

What is Radon and how can we protect our homes?

Building Products Index Ltd Waterproof Membranes Leave a Comment

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Radon copyRadon occurs naturally in the environment.  Radon gas is created when natural radioactive uranium slowly decays and can be found in all rocks and soils.

Radon can be found everywhere in the United Kingdom, although certain parts of the UK will have higher concentration levels than others.  To check whether you are in a high Radon concentrated area visit

This radioactive gas is, colourless, odourless and tasteless.

Radon is measured in becquerels per cubic metre of air (Bq m-3) and specialist equipment is required to detect it.

How_Radon_enters_your_home copyThe average level of Radon in UK homes is 20 Bq m-3.  For levels below 100 Bq m-3, individual risk remains relatively low and not a cause for concern. However, the risk to health increases as radon levels increase.

Radon can migrate into any building that is built over a source.

If Radon accumulates in a building, it increases the risk of lung cancer for occupants. Radon is the cause of 15% of lung cancers worldwide (World Health Organisation ‘WHO’ 2009) and the main cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and is responsible for over 1100 deaths in the UK every year.

Research published earlier this year has found that radon levels are increasing in buildings and homes due to the changes we are making to building efficiencies (such as energy efficiency). This in turn will lead to an increase in the number of lung cancer deaths attributable to radon exposure.

Technical solutions such as Ground Gas Protection Membranes incorporated into the design of buildings and structures can offer protection to occupants of homes built on contaminated lands and the harmful effects of radon.

Ground Gas Protection Systems can be used on new, retrofit and refurbishment construction although design considerations are more complex on retrofitted projects.

Forward thinking manufacturers, such as Delta Membrane Systems Limited, have sought to test all our products on their safety, reliability, high-quality and gas permeability.

Manufacturing flexibility has never been as important for the construction industry as it is today.  The permeability of gas through a membrane is a critical factor when it concerns the ability of the lifetime of a building or structure. 

MemTech MembranesThrough extensive research we can state all our Cavity Drain Membrane Systems (CDMs) offer radon protection with a low permeability rate. 

Whilst, our MemTech range of Ground Gas Protection Membranes offer complete protection from Radon, Hydrocarbons, Methane, Carbon Dioxide and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).

Thank you for reading our latest news!  If you would like to find out about structural waterproofing, damp proofing, ground gas protection systems, flood resilience or installing a Delta System we’re happy to help.  Give us a call on 01992 523 523 or email us at

Tormax Automatic doors


Building Products Index Ltd Automatic door Leave a Comment

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22 Tudor Street-finalCreating a sophisticated entrance solution to 22 Tudor Street, a highly innovative office development in Blackfriars, TORMAX has installed a 3-wing, full-glass revolving door with automatic swing pass door to one side, for hands-free access.  Giving smooth and unhindered entry into the beautifully furnished, manned reception area, visitors to the building cannot fail to be impressed by the eye-catching ‘living ceiling’, perfectly off-setting the contemporary TORMAX glass doors.

Opened in June 2019, Office Space in Town Blackfriars is a boutique serviced office facility located at 22 Tudor Street, London EC4. This spacious, modern business centre has a truly unique and inspired interior theme designed to boost productivity, wellness and, above all, happiness!

The office suites all include individually controlled air conditioning, exceptional soundproofing with sit-stand desks and ergonomic chairs as standard, high-speed internet access and the latest telephony.  Staff also benefit from a gym, cycle storage, showers, spotlessly clean and well-equipped dining areas – all supported by a dedicated onsite management team.

Tormax Automatic doorsWorking directly with Area Square Ltd, workplace consultancy and office fit-out experts on the £8.5m refurbishment of 22 Tudor Street, TORMAX installed the environmentally sustainable option of a manual revolving glass door, ensuring good access at all times whilst efficiently reducing heat-loss from the stunning reception and waiting area.

The automatic swing pass door is powered the technologically advanced TORMAX iMotion 1301 operator.   Featuring a powerful synchronous motor, the iMotion 1301 delivers an exceptional lifespan thanks to its unique design that negates any of the abrading parts that generally cause friction wear.

“We are delighted to have contributed to such a prestigious and creative redevelopment project,” said Simon Roberts, managing director for TORMAX.  “It is definitely the first time one of our revolving doors has been installed into a living, plant-filled ceiling!