Wavin infographic


Building Products Index Ltd Pipes, Plastic piping Leave a Comment

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A lack of skilled workers and poor training opportunities are the most pressing concerns of the modern plumbing and heating installer, new research shows.

A survey carried out by leading manufacturer of Hep2O plastic push-fit pipes, Wavin, set out to discover what makes installers tick, and gather details on the current state of the plumbing and heating trade.

infographic FINALOver half (56%) of respondents stated that the skills gap is the biggest threat facing the plumbing industry today. However, more than four fifths (86%) of plumbing professionals would still recommend it as a career, thanks to an abundance of work and high job satisfaction.

The findings also provided a range of additional new insights, including that plumbers are making the most of the new materials on the market, with over 32% seeing a decline in copper use. Meanwhile, when it comes to the perfect customer, it’s all about prompt payment with almost half of respondents (48%) saying this is a much appreciated quality.

Hep2O’s State of the Nation survey paints the picture of the modern day plumber as someone who loves to spend their spare time in the great outdoors, or grabbing a bite to eat in the latest high street restaurant. And, rather interestingly, in the world of politics over a fifth (21%) would like to see renowned actor Idris Elba to take on the role of Prime Minister.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a cup of tea and a sandwich remain the refreshments of choice, favoured by 47% and 65% of respondents respectively. Meanwhile, football is the sport of choice for plumbers, with the beautiful game preferred by 48% of survey participants.

“It is no secret that the construction industry is in the midst of a skills shortage” noted Karen Stables, Marketing Manager at Hep2O. “Earlier this year, it was revealed that plumbing is just one of many skilled professions where demand outweighs supply, and without intervention, this can only get worse. Our survey only reinforces how large scale the issue is becoming.

“If we, as an industry, are to tackle the issue effectively, we need to look at the reasons behind the skills gap and address those accordingly. At Hep2O, we actively work with colleges and students to engage new talent entering the profession, to complement our existing eLearning and CPD courses.”

John Allen was one of the 149 plumbing and heating installers who took part in the survey, and the lucky winner of a £50 Amazon voucher. “I never win anything so this was a great surprise!” said John.

“I’m sure I speak for most installers when I say that the industry needs more skilled workers, and I’m pleased to see a manufacturer like Wavin raising awareness of the issue. I really enjoy my job, so much so that I’ll probably spend my voucher on some new tools!”

Hep2O is the UKs leading provider of plastic piping solutions for hot and cold applications. Featuring revolutionary technology and extensive guarantees, Hep2O lets installers do a good job first time, every time.

For more details of the training already on offer from Hep2O, visit: https://myportal.wavin.co.uk/e-learning/course, or contact the team: myportal@wavin.co.uk 

“Survey findings based on 149 responses from March 2018 – May 2018.

Balconett Hybrid Orbit Glass Balustrade

Balconette’s Hybrid® Orbit Glass Balustrade

Building Products Index Ltd Balcony Systems Leave a Comment

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Get a quote for a Hybrid® Orbit Glass Balustrade

The Hybrid® Orbit system.Outside 11 (1 of 1) - smaller

Clean lines – more view – less obstructions.

The skilful engineering of the Hybrid® Orbit system comprises an aesthetically appealing circular handrail which enables long spans of glass with more view and less obstruction.


  1. Golden retriever lying on balcony surrounded by cushions and food,royal...Uninterrupted views of up to 3.3 metres without posts.
  2. Over 9 metres postless spans for a 3-sided balustrade.
  3. No corner posts or ugly clamps and bolts.
  4. Slim surface mounting.
  5. Rust-free anodised aluminium profiles.
  6. 10 mm toughened glass at a fraction of the weight of structural glass.




Bilco Carl Sutterby presenting Bilco Access all Areas CPD to CABE South West region

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) – for the stressed and overworked!

Building Products Index Ltd access covers, Roof Hatches Leave a Comment

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We are all aware that CPD is obligatory for architects in the UK. With Chartered Members of the Royal Institute of British Architects having to undertake 35 hours of learning every year,    20 of which must come from the 10 mandatory RIBA Core Curriculum topics, just how easy is it to satisfy this requirement?

Bilco Carl Sutterby presenting Bilco Access all Areas CPD to CABE South West regionThere are certainly plenty of ways for architects and building services professionals to fulfil their obligation when it comes to CPD.  From reading articles, watching videos, going to seminars and roadshows to participating in workshops, conferences, organised factory tours and courses. It would appear that the opportunities to gain those all-important CPD points are endless. However, when you are a time poor architect trying to achieve some semblance of work life balance it can be challenging.

Stressed and overworked

Just how stressed and overworked architects actually are was highlighted in last year’s AJ Life in Practice Survey.  The survey found that one third of architects were regularly working more than 45 hours per week.  15% of 40-49 year olds were clocking up in excess of 60 hours work per week!  Given that, in England and Wales in 2015, the average age for fathers was 33.2 years old and 30.3 years for women those working the longest hours will also be the ones with young families.  The survey revealed that for those architects with children the impact of having too much work was the biggest concern in their job.

Making the right choices

Against the backdrop of long hours and a culture of high expectations, making the right choices when it comes to CPD is essential.  The most obvious way to guarantee efficient use of time is to select only RIBA assessed and approved CPD presentations.  These presentations have been vetted by RIBA to ensure they meet stringent criteria.  Not only is the quality of the CPD verified, architects can also earn double CPD points if a presentation is RIBA approved.

RIBA Approved CPD from Bilco UK

Bilco was established in the US in 1926 with Bilco UK set up in 1989 to serve the UK and European markets.  Bilco UK is a horizontal access specialist supplying standard and bespoke access solutions including roof access hatches, floor doors, ladders and smoke vents.  Following the acquisition of Howe Green Ltd in March 2017 Bilco UK can now also offer floor, wall and ceiling access covers, panels and hatches, linear drainage and bespoke architectural metalwork.

Bilco UK has run more than 500 CPD presentations over the course of the last decade.  The focus of the Safe Access All Areas RIBA and CPD Certified presentation is on designing an appropriate safe solution for an access requirement.

The CPD is delivered by Bilco UK’s team of experienced Regional Sales Managers and usually takes around one hour.

70% of the CPD presentations are delivered in-house, primarily to architect practices but also more recently to the Building Control departments of local authorities.  By presenting the CPD at the audience’s place of work the time input for the attendees is kept to an absolute minimum.  There is no travel time or expense incurred. The in-house CPD is the most cost and time effective option for busy architects and building services professionals. Visit the website for a list dates and locations for the rest of 2018. http://www.bilcouk.co.uk/cpd-seminars

From Inverness to Redruth

The remaining 30% of the CPD presentations are run as part of an extensive annual programme of ‘Meet the Expert’ CPD events organised by Direct Contract Exhibitions (DCE).  These free roadshows take place across the UK and provide those involved in building and construction with an easy way to keep on top of their CPD.

The events offer a minimum of six CPD eligible problem solving product presentations contributed by leading industry experts, including Bilco UK, on a wide range of specialist topics.  The geographic spread of DCE events attempts to keep travelling time to a minimum and to ensure that there is a relatively “local” session for anyone wishing to attend. Refreshments and lunch are also provided free of charge.


The team at Bilco UK take their responsibility in assisting architects and those involved within building services with the enhancement of professional knowledge in the specialised area of safe access very seriously.  In addition to being audited by RIBA, as an approved CPD provider, Bilco UK also use a feedback form to continually assess relevance and delivery standard. Visit the website to read what attendees have to say. http://www.bilcouk.co.uk/cpd-seminars

Further information

If you are interested in organising a Safe Access All Areas CPD presentation for your team please get in touch with the Bilco UK –  call 01284 701696.

If you would like to attend a DCE Meet the Expert event please visit our website to see the programme of events for the rest of 2018. http://www.bilcouk.co.uk/cpd-seminars.

Zip Water UK


Building Products Index Ltd Filtered Water taps Leave a Comment

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ELC0313 1 FNL (1)The latest product from Zip Water UK may mean architects and specifiers never again have to specify a commercial drinking water system that uses plastic water bottles. The company behind the infamous HydroTap has developed Zip HydroChill, a high-capacity filtered, chilled drinking water range which completely removes the need for unsustainable plastic bottles.

Designed for offices and hospitality areas, the HydroChill range caters for up to 280 litres per hour of chilled, sparkling or ambient filtered water – equivalent to 373 bottles (750ml). With on-counter or below-counter options and flexible packages depending on usage requirements, the new range has been created to meet any need.

Alongside its ability to provide vast amounts of chilled water – perfect for filling re-useable glass bottles – its 3 micron Zip MicroPurity filtration system ensures that the water dispensed is safe, pure-tasting and free from contaminants. This means that those who dislike the taste of tap water have access to great-tasting water without the need to buy plastic bottles.

“The use of plastic water bottles in commercial environments is a huge contribution to environmental damage, and is completely unnecessary”, comments Russell Owens, marketing director at Zip Water UK. “We know how important it is to have a healthy drinking water supply readily available – it’s been proven to directly impact productivity after all – but it’s important that those specifying know that there are sustainable options out there.

“Even more concerning is that alongside the presence of microplastics in tap water, a recent study* also discovered microplastics in bottled water – in fact 93 percent of the bottled water tested showed evidence of plastic contamination,” continues Russell. “Drinking water systems such as the HydroChill range are mains-fed with excellent filtration systems, ensuring that the water delivered is healthy and sustainable.”

The easy to install and use range includes benefits such as portion control for filling bottles, purchase and rental options and a complete after-care package for peace of mind. This package – HydroCare – includes an annual service, technical support and full breakdown cover.

“Whether the brief is to provide water for meetings and conferences or to keep numerous staff hydrated, we can provide great-tasting water in an instant,” continues Russell. “We would encourage anyone responsible for specifying a commercial drinking water supply to look at whether they currently use plastic water bottles and how much plastic waste this creates. Architects and specifiers are in a very influential position when it comes to helping businesses to reduce plastic waste, so we’re happy to help them make the right decision.”

Zip also offers a range of glass water bottles and accessories to be used alongside the HydroChill range.

As part of Zip’s ongoing commitment to helping businesses reduce their use of plastic bottles, it is spearheading a new campaign. Reuse Refill Refresh aims to promote refreshment and hydration without the use of single-use plastic bottles.

For further information, please visit www.zipcommercial.co.uk/commercial-range-hydrochill

*Study commissioned by Orb Media, 2018.


Programastat+: Timeguard updates heating controllers and ‘stats and adds new WiFi option

Building Products Index Ltd Thermostat Leave a Comment

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Timeguard’s new Programastat+ range of wall-mounted thermostats and multi-channel heating controllers for 2018 delivers premium looks, premium performance without premium pricing.

TRTWIFI_Transmitter_closeup_previewNew and improved components combine to deliver more accurate, responsive and reliable control, ensuring that the new range works alongside the modulating design of modern boilers to deliver comfort and energy efficiency for homeowners.

Headlining the new range is a WiFi wall thermostat that simply replaces existing 2 or 3 wire installations. The stand-out design feature is the subtle white neon temperature indicator that puts these devices on a level with the most-expensive designer wiring accessories.

The comprehensive range has an easily-fitted solution for virtually any domestic heating control scenario. With 1,2 3 or 4 channel programmable controllers, homes of any size can be managed, and you can add smart zoned control inexpensively.

There’s a pre-set Economy 7 model (pre-set but adjustable to suit other off peak  plans) as well as wireless programmable room thermostats, and  for boost control to provide extra heating at the press of a single button.  Timeguard has also retained the popular dial-controlled option for electronic thermostats.


The latest offering from the extensive portfolio of the JACKON brand is the exciting Plano Premium range

Building Products Index Ltd Construction board Leave a Comment

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Jackoboard_Plano_Premium_RGBJACKOBOARD® Plano Premium is a high quality all-round construction board for creative interior renovation. The special filter layer covering on JACKOBOARD® Plano Premium means that it can be used with practically any materials such to finish such as tiles, plaster, wallpapers or paint. This means, for instance, that you can wallpaper a wall and add a tiled section at the same time or ‘half tile’ or splashback in a bathroom or kitchen without the requirement for a plaster finish prior to painting or wallpapering. With an extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) and fleece layer covering on both sides, JACKOBOARD® Plano Premium is incredibly lightweight, easy to work with, water repellent and stable, and can be used on virtually any substrate.

It’s incredibly lightweight properties make it particularly easy to handle and cut, and perfect as an alternative to plaster-boarded ceilings and walls whether in new build or renovation.

JACKOBOARD® Plano Premium is available in a variety of thicknesses and also replicates the successful CANTO range in regard to L- Shapes and ‘boxing in’ solutions.

The new range is officially launched in the UK at VISION 2018, Building Design Centre on the 21st and 22nd June.

01204 221089

info@jackon.co.uk www.jackon-insulation.co.uk

Keraflo Tanktronic Servo Ceramic Valve plus cable - Blue Background

Keraflo extends Tanktronic range with introduction of Servo Ceramic Valve

Building Products Index Ltd Float valves Leave a Comment

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Tanktronic Servo Ceramic Valve plus cable - Blue BackgroundKeraflo, the UK’s leading water efficiency specialist, has taken tank management to the next level by introducing a Servo Ceramic Valve to its market-leading cold water storage tank monitoring system, Tanktronic.

The Tanktronic Servo Ceramic Valve (SCV) introduces new intelligent diagnostic features, while the unique motorised filling of cold water storage tanks eliminates hydraulic shock and includes a self-cleaning function for minimal maintenance.

The Tanktronic SCV is optimised for Tanktronic tank management system applications and uses a highly efficient high-torque electric motor to open and close the filling valve.

Able to send alarms to a Building Management System, the Tanktronic system’s electronic Control Unit is linked to a sensor assembly that is suspended at full depth inside the water storage tank.

The sensor continuously monitors water levels and temperatures, feeding back data and automatically opening and closing the Tanktronic SCV as required, to maintain stored water levels in line with pre-set operating parameters tailored to the building’s needs.

The Tanktronic Control Unit’s user-friendly interface allows installers to easily set the filling valve close level, fill delay, alarm high / low and temperature high / low specifications.

David Meacock, Technical Director at Keraflo, says: “Unlike other filling valves, the Tanktronic SCV is able to maintain itself with self-diagnostics. The benefits of this are numerous, as not only does it have an auto-clean function that resists the build-up of debris, but it also notifies the user of any potential issues.

“In the instance where the water level drops below, or rises above, the assigned parameters, a two-stage precaution process takes place, first raising an alarm to the user, and then launching an automatic override function if the alarm is not responded to.”

Ideal for pumped systems, the adjustable delayed action and the smooth open-to-closed valve operation ensures that no incidence of hydraulic shock or water hammer will occur. The durable and robust ceramic disc mechanism means there is no seal or washer wear and tear, keeping maintenance to a minimum.

David continues: “The introduction of the Tanktronic SCV comes as we enter a new era at Keraflo, having modernised our brand identity and product offerings in line with changing market demands.

“The intelligent design efficiently matches tank capacity to demand, meaning water turnover is maximised. Waterproof and corrosion resistant, this compact tank filling device is easy to fit and designed to stand the test of time.”

The Tanktronic SCV is WRAS-approved and fully compliant with Water Regulations. Five models are available to cater for varying pipe sizes, ranging from ¾” up to 2”.

For more information on Keraflo’s range of industry-leading cold water tank management systems and float valves, please visit www.keraflo.co.uk

Stannah Maidstone Museum, External Midilift SL, February 2018

Huzzah! Stannah spurs access to Tudor Museum

Building Products Index Ltd Lift Leave a Comment

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Maidstone Museum, External Midilift SL, February 2018Visitors to Maidstone Museum in Kent have every reason to cheer the arrival of an external Stannah Midilift SL platform lift in this Grade II* listed paragon of Elizabethan architecture, the former Chillington Manor.

Why? Because it brings access to three floors of cultural facilities for people of all mobilities – buggy-pushers and wheelchair-users included. That’s access to internationally important collections of human history and world cultures, and accompanying comfort essentials such as accessible toilets. 

Maidstone Museum, External Midilift SL, February 2018Sited in a small courtyard, the through-entry Midilft SL outdoor lift is supplied in a fully glazed structure for easy, flexible installation. Built to withstand the elements, its compact footprint is ideal for space-strapped locations. 

In this case, it also supports a policy of democratic access throughout an historic building functioning under the beady eye of Historic England. The considerable access arsenal also includes disabled parking, ramps, onsite wheelchair, and a warm welcome to guide dogs and hard-of-hearing groups.

Maidstone Museum, External Midilift SL, February 2018The 23 individual glass panels and panoramic, fully glazed doors at each level allow the lift to meld with its environment whilst simultaneously showcasing the period features to visitors as they travel a total distance of 3900mm.

Operation is easy via a backlit, push-button control panel, whilst the grab rail, roomy chequer-plate platform and emergency intercom deliver manoeuvrability and reassurance. To conserve energy the ceiling light is timer-operated. 

Lyn Palmer, Public Programming Manager at Maidstone Museum, comments:

“We strive to make accessing Maidstone Museum easier for visitors with a disability. In recent years we have implemented a number of changes to ensure convenience for all, with the external Stannah Midilift SL proving an invaluable addition in opening up the first-floor exhibitions.”


As with all Stannah lift products, the external Midilift SL access lift is covered by Stannah’s comprehensive lift service plan, which includes four service visits, with continued lift maintenance by the London and the South East (Dartford)branch of Stannah Lift Services, part of a nationwide network providing comprehensive lift servicing and support.

Walthamstow Wetlands public toilets for Relcross

Wonderful Washrooms at Walthamstow Wetlands

Building Products Index Ltd Cubicles, Washrooms Leave a Comment

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Walthamstow (5)Walthamstow Wetlands is the capital’s newest and largest urban wetland nature reserve and encompasses 10 large reservoirs, which deliver water to 3.5 million Thames Water customers and increases public access to nature in an area of London deficient in open space. As part of the scheme Architects Witherford Watson Mann designed a visitor centre within a decommissioned Victorian pumping station, to house a café and shop plus exhibition, learning and events spaces. Since the buildings and landscape were already distinctive, they were treated with a light touch. What capacity they had has been adapted for economical and flexible operation, helping to build the long term sustainability of this significant new community resource for East London.  The sturdy brick pumphouse was gently repaired, with new steel gantries threaded through, to connect the rooms and offer views over this landscape of water, woods and marshland.

Walthamstow Wetlands public toilets for Relcross

When it came to the washrooms they wanted to continue with the use of raw steel and an online search brought them to Devizes based Relcross and an earlier project of theirs featuring Hadrian steel toilet cubicles at the Oaks Restaurant in Nottingham. While available to match almost any RAL colour, Hadrian Steel cubicles can be supplied in a plain galvanneal finish for a natural, industrial look. At Walthamstow they have been combined with Staffordshire blue quarry tiles to the floor and Staffordshire red quarry tiles to the walls for an overall effect that evokes the functional industrial design of the original engine house but with immense practicality for public washrooms at a very popular new facility.

Walthamstow Wetlands public toilets for Relcross

The doors and walls of the cubicles are steel faced with a honeycomb core for amazing strength but lightness – so there’s no institutional sounding ‘clang’ when the doors are closed.  The lightness means they require no special structural provisions to effect a rigid installation on any type of floor. Importantly, they are easy to clean and maintain and are very dent resistant. All corners of the cubicles are mitred, welded and ground for superior strength. Privacy is ensured by the use of continuous stop and hinge sight line fillers together with a minimal 150mm gap from the floor to the underside of the door and panels.

Due to their steel construction, Hadrian toilet partitions are fire-resistant and will not give off toxic smoke if exposed to heat or flame. On top of all that they also have excellent green credentials as Hadrian’s products feature a high recycled content.

One of the four cubicles in the Ladies is enlarged and features an outward opening door to allow room for the provision of baby changing facilities. One of the two cubicles in the Gents is similarly equipped.

For further information call 01380 729600, visit www.hadrian-cubicles.co.uk or email sales@relcross.co.uk