Eaton’s New 2-gang Switched Sockets with USB Ports Make It Easy to Stay Charged

Building Products Index Ltd Socket Leave a Comment

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MANCHESTER … Power Management Company Eaton has upgraded its wiring accessories offering for residential and commercial buildings with the launch of a switched socket with USB ports. The PREMERA and COPA 2-gang switched sockets have two USB ports to provide a convenient and safe charging solution for tablets, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

EA005954 - USB 2-gang socket - Image1 copy“Technological advances in handheld smart devices mean they are now an essential part of most people’s daily lives at work and at home. However, the level of technology included also means that many such devices require frequent charging and it is clear that there is an urgent demand for sockets that facilitate the easy charging of multiple devices at the same time without using conversion plugs. That is why Eaton has improved its PREMERA and COPA 2-gang sockets to provide access to power using either traditional plugs or USB devices,” said Phil Williams, Product Marketing Manager, Eaton.

The shuttered USB outlets ensure that no foreign bodies enter the sockets, providing a secure plug-in to prevent damage to the USB connector whilst offering a dual charging capability with a powerful 2.6A output, spread between the two USB sockets. The output complies to the latest standards for USB sockets BS EN 62368-1:2014 as well as EMC standards EN5022, EN55024 and EN61000-3-2/3.

The 2-gang switched socket can be used to substitute an existing outlet and also makes an ideal choice for new residential and commercial installations. It is available in a range of finishes including PREMERA white moulded finish and eight luxury COPA clip-on plate finish options making it suitable for use in a wide range of interiors.

To learn more about Eaton, visit www.eaton.uk.com/electrical. For the latest news, follow us on Twitter (@Eaton_EMEA) or on LinkedIn (Eaton EMEA).

About Eaton

Eaton’s electrical business is a global leader with expertise in power distribution and circuit protection; backup power protection; control and automation; lighting and security; structural solutions and wiring devices; solutions for harsh and hazardous environments; and engineering services. Eaton is positioned through its global solutions to answer today’s most critical electrical power management challenges.

Eaton is a power management company with 2014 sales of $22.6 billion. Eaton provides energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power more efficiently, safely and sustainably. Eaton has approximately 99,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries. For more information, visit www.eaton.com.

Updates to VMZINC BBA certificates for warm roof systems

Building Products Index Ltd Roofing Leave a Comment

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Langwith College University of York, Heslington, York (UK)BBA certificates for the VMZINC ‘Compact roof using cellular glass insulation’ and ‘Structural roof using PIR or mineral board insulation’ have been updated and extended. The compact roof utilises Foamglas® cellular glass insulation to prevent the passage of water vapour and is therefore ideal for buildings with a high vapour drive such as swimming pools. Both systems are installed without mechanical fixings penetrating the insulation, thus greatly reducing scope for thermal bridging. VMZINC remains the only zinc manufacturer to have such accreditation and can additionally offer a BRE Green Guide A+ rating for the structural roof system.

Enquiries to:-

VMZINC
Four Rivers House, Fentiman Walk
Hertford, Herts, SG14 1DB
01992 822288
01992 58446

E: vmzinc.uk@umicore.com

www.vmzinc.co.uk

New animated installation video for the Helifix Dixie micro-pile

Building Products Index Ltd Micropiles Leave a Comment

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Helifix has created a new animation which shows step by step installation procedures for its versatile Dixie micro-pile. The animation clearly demonstrates how these high performance micro-piles can be used either to stabilise existing buildings that are suffering from subsidence or to help form secure and level foundations for new constructions.

Micro-Pile Animation PR ImageThe animation can be viewed at www.helifix.co.uk/videos

The well proven and technically advanced Dixie micro-pile is backed by International Code Council (ICC) certification and conforms to AC358, the International Standard for helical foundation underpinning systems. Dixie micro-piles combine with the Helibeam masonry stabilisation system to provide a complete structural repair solution which economically and sympathetically restores full structural integrity as all repairs, both above and below ground, are fully concealed.

The Helifix Dixie micro-pile design combines a circular pipe pile with square connections. This gives higher torsional strength, eliminates shaft twist or buckling, simplifies the engagement of pile sections and accelerates installation. It also allows for higher ultimate loads up to 240kN and each installed pile can be load tested.

Helifix Dixie micro-piles provide a fully engineered and cost-effective solution to the problem of foundation settlement while avoiding the major disruption and costs of extensive excavations. Simple, but extremely effective, Helifix Dixie piles are ‘screwed’ into the ground down to the load bearing strata, a bracket is then fitted and the pile is jacked up beneath the foundations to support the building’s weight and prevent further settlement. Excavations are minimal, installation normally only requires lightweight hand-held equipment, noise levels are low and the occupants, who can remain in residence, experience very little disruption.

Helifix engineers assess each situation and design repairs based on the damage, the weight of the individual property and the local ground conditions. Fully trained contractors supply and install the systems.

For project-specific technical advice contact the Helifix team on 020 8735 5200 or go to www.helifix.co.uk/downloads for all Helifix technical product datasheets and over 100 standard Repair Details, covering all common structural masonry faults.

Helifix:       Tel. 020 8735 5200            email : info@helifix.co.uk            Web. www.helifix.co.uk

Hadrian Cubicles Match Champagne Mood

Building Products Index Ltd Doors Leave a Comment

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Epernay Doors - DSC_6214cc  The Hadrian toilet cubicles installed in the ladies toilets at the Epernay Champagne Bar in Manchester where carefully chosen to match the mood of the existing decor by specifying a particular RAL colour, a service available in the UK from Relcross Limited. When the bar was bought in 2014 by VCP Taverns a redecoration and upgrade was immediately implemented. While the tiles and walls in the ladies toilets were in reasonable condition and needed little more than some tlc, the cubicles had definitely seen better days and were certainly not meeting the champagne expectations of either the customers or the new owners.

What they needed were cubicles that were much more durable, would look good for years and could harmonise with the shade of purple/brown that featured elsewhere in the room. Hadrian Elite steel cubicles from Relcross were chosen and specified in RAL 8002 Signal Brown. These floor mounted, overhead braced toilet partitions are especially suitable for heavy use areas and require no special structural provisions to effect a rigid installation. They can be erected on any type of floor.

Epernay Doors - DSC_6267aManufactured in North America, specially for the UK market, the Elite series ensures privacy by using continuous stop and hinge sight line fillers along with a minimal 150mm gap from the floor to the underside of the door and panels. They are available in a choice of over 200 RAL colours to match just about any designer colour scheme.

Hadrian utilizes the latest powder coating technology to apply a hard, even and run-free finish. After a thorough cleaning and phosphatizing process, electrical charges ensure that the powder paint adheres uniformly over the entire product surface. The powder is then oven cured to create an attractive, permanent and consistent finish that covers every area of the product and resists impact, abrasions, chemicals, detergents and acids.

Thicker paint application helps to combat rust. Powder coating allows a greater paint thickness to be applied without compromising surface uniformity. Wet paints simply cannot achieve the same thickness without the threat of unsightly runs and surface irregularities.

Epernay Doors - DSC_6289The celebratory mood of the bar is continued in the loos with the walls decorated with pithy champagne related quotes from famous champagne drinkers as diverse as Marlene Dietrich and Napoleon Bonaparte. A year after the installation was completed the cubicles have been subjected to continual use but are looking as good as new and maintaining the venue’s quality image and appeal.

The Epernay Champagne Bar is rapidly becoming the place to chill out in central Manchester. Located within cork popping distance of the Manchester Central Convention Complex, they are also very popular for afternoon teas and Champagne Masterclasses for bridal parties.

For further information about Hadrian Toilet Partitions and Lockers visit www.hadrian-cubicles.co.uk, call Relcross on 01380 729600 or email sales@relcross.co.uk

NVELOPE supports new building at Repton School

Building Products Index Ltd Cladding, Rainscreen Cladding Leave a Comment

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Project: Repton School
Location: Derbyshire
Building envelope contractor: B&K Building Services

Repton_School_Case_Studies_800 NVELOPE, the rainscreen cladding support specialist has supplied its NV3 system to a new build Maths and PE teaching block at Repton School in Derbyshire. The ‘Repton Precinct’, which replaces an old demolished building, features cladding support by NVELOPE’s NV3 concealed, mechanical fixing system.

Repton School, a co-educational English independent school, required the new two storey teaching block to mediate well between the award winning 400 Hall building, and the historic school buildings in the wider Repton campus. Derby-based main contractor B&K Building Services appointed specialist rainscreen installer A2O Cladding to install the rainscreen cladding on this project. A2O Cladding worked alongside the project architect Franklin Ellis Architects to develop the detailed design for approximately 400m² of Trespa Meteon and Aerolite vertical cladding. This included the specification of NVELOPE’s NV3 system to support the rainscreen systems.

An original sandstone effect was achieved by installing TI Aerolite, while Trespa Meteon was used to create a more modern look. NVELOPE’s NV3 versatile cladding support system was the ideal solution for this project, as the brackets bear the weight of the cladding, absorbing the dead loads and the wind loads, which allows for adequate expansion and contraction.

Untitled“We required a cost effective system which would neatly support the cladding, without disrupting the aesthetics of the building’s envelope” says Tim Gray, Project Director, A2O Cladding. “The NV3 system allowed us to install the cladding with concealed fixing, giving the department a seamless finish whilst maintaining its stunning appearance.”

This scheme utilised the NVELOPE online ‘Project Builder’ design and pricing service, which provides a complete, project specific cladding solution for architects with a very fast turnaround. The ‘Project Builder’ design and pricing software by NVELOPE can speed up the cladding specification process for contractors, providing them with a bracket layout and an indicative m2 rate to meet their precise requirements.

The NVELOPE materials used were manufactured from extruded aluminium alloys conforming to BS EN 573-3 and production BS EN 755.

For further information on NVELOPE Rainscreen Systems, call us direct on +44 (0)1707 333 396.

Ten thousand bricks donated to Leicester College by Forterra

Building Products Index Ltd Bricks Leave a Comment

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Forterra_Bricklaying_students.x632Forterra has donated 10,000 bricks to Leicester College for budding student bricklayers to use on construction courses.

The bricks and blocks donated by Forterra, will be used by the students to build practice walls, foundations and other features as part of their NVQ courses.

The recent rise in homebuilding around the country has led to an increase in demand for trained bricklayers and Leicester College currently has 90 student bricklayers on its courses, many of whom are apprentice bricklayers with local homebuilders.

Keith Binns, Brickwork Programme Lead at Leicester College, said: “I am absolutely delighted at the donation of 10,000 bricks from Forterra.

With an increase in the amount of learners, being in a position to provide good quality materials for their lessons on a regular basis can be a major challenge – having a company like Forterra work with us will make such a difference.“

“I cannot thank Forterra enough for their generosity and for showing such a commitment to the development of the next generation of bricklayers which are so desperately needed by industry.”

Stephen Harrison, UK Managing Director of Forterra, said; “When we heard about Leicester College’s need for bricks we thought it was a worthwhile cause that we could contribute to. We hope our quality products help their students learn the skills needed to become the next generation of homebuilders.”

 

ALTRO FLOORING AND WALL CLADDING ON CUTTING EDGE OF EXCELLENCE AT NEW UNIVERSITY SCIENCE CENTRE

Building Products Index Ltd Flooring Leave a Comment

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Altro flooring and wall cladding are providing a total, high-level solution of hygiene, safety and contemporary style at a new state-of-the-art science and engineering centre at the University of Wolverhampton.

Designed and equipped to offer cutting-edge teaching and research facilities to future scientists, the new £25m Rosalind Franklin Building has been fitted with Altro WhiterockTM hygienic wall cladding, AltroScreed QuartzTM resin flooring, and Altro Designer TM 25 safety flooring.

The bronze-clad building was designed by architect Berman Guedes Stretton. Their vision was to create a contemporary structure that would support modern learning and revitalise the surrounding area. The architects’ Principal Director, Gary Collins, explains how they realised this vision. “Science and technology is a huge growth area at the university, both in terms of student demand for courses, and also because local industry in that field is on the up. This meant the university wanted to invest in a teaching and research facility that could meet this increasing need and provide the most sophisticated, state-of-the-art experience, both in terms of structure and the resources and equipment inside.

“The products we used needed to meet a number of criteria. Wall cladding for the labs had to be hygienic, easy to maintain and have real impact to complement our design for a modern contemporary space. Altro Whiterock is the industry standard for this type of requirement, and we and the scientific community know and trust it. We specify it all the time, so this was our number one choice.”

University of Wolverhampton-AltroScreed Quartz-15Altro Whiterock hygienic wall cladding is a cost-effective, durable, grout-free, water-tight smooth hygienic wall cladding system designed for building environments that are required to meet strict hygiene standards. The panels provide a stain resistant, wipe-clean surface with no gaps or cracks for bacteria to hide in. It is extremely impact resistant and ideal for tough areas. It meets current EU Directives on health and hygiene.

Gary Collins adds: “We specifically wanted resin flooring for the ground floor and reception area. It needed to be durable, ideal for heavy traffic areas, robust and resistant to chemicals, yet also attractive, decorative and contemporary in its look.

“We went to Coventry Transport Museum with Altro and the main contractor Kier to take a look at the AltroScreed Quartz resin flooring fitted in reception, to see for ourselves how it could work in practice.

“We were very impressed that it was both tough and attractive, and easy to clean. We spoke to their maintenance staff and they assured us that even after sump oil spillages and heavy vehicles driving over it, the flooring came up like new. On this basis we decided it would be the perfect flooring for the Rosalind Franklin Building too.

“As part of that same visit we also asked Altro to give some guidance about safety flooring for the labs and upper floors of the Rosalind Franklin Building. The brief was to find a product that was hard-wearing, hygienic, one that could resist chemical spillages and be very safe underfoot, but with a contemporary design that would fit in with our vision.

“They showed us Altro Designer 25 and it ticked all the boxes. We were particularly impressed that it can be hot welded to produce flooring that is impervious to dirt. Plus, at 2.5mm thick, it can stand the test of time against heavy footfall, and resist chemicals in the lab.”

University of Wolverhampton-AltroScreed Quartz-29AltroScreed Quartz is a solvent-free system in which blended decorative quartz is bound with clear epoxy resin and finished with clear seal coats. The product provides a high-strength, chemically resistant decorative floor surface that can be coved and laid to drainage falls. It is available in nominal thicknesses of 4mm to 6mm. It has low slip resistance and is ideally suited to medium-duty production areas, entrance lobbies, offices, shops, circulation areas and laboratories. It has a closed surface texture that reduces dirt retention, making it easy to clean and maintain. The floor was sealed with Altro Screed Seal Rapicure Plus, providing additional slip resistance.

Altro Designer 25 is a 2.5mm thick hard-wearing safety flooring that includes coloured quartz crystals in striking base colour to enhance any interior scheme. Easy to lay, it can be hot welded to produce an unobtrusive and impervious floor, minimising the ingress of dirt and helping to maintain hygiene standards. It also boasts long-term durability and excellent slip resistance, which make it ideal for medium to heavy-duty environments.
Kier appointed Polydeck Resins to install the AltroScreed Quartz system. Director of Polydeck Resins, Gavin Tidball, says: “Laying of the decorative resin system requires experienced fully trained operatives working through the various stages of the installation having an eye for detail to ensure the high standard of finishes can be delivered to our client.

“As this was a new build scheme part of which was on top of an existing ground floor base, we needed to prepare the floor first, and an area of 400m2,of polymer screed was installed to create a flat surface betweeen the new and old slabs. Once this had cured sufficiently, we applied the AltroProof DPM primer, then the AltroScreed Quartz base and finally the clear seals to finish.

“Given the project was fast track we used the Rapicure version of the Altro resin, which meant we could complete the work in good time and free-up the area for other contractors.

“We also created coved skirting to the perimeter walls, so there was a smooth finish throughout, laying the base screed in one application to avoid any joints or seams to the cove and floor interfaces. The project took about two weeks to complete and we worked closely with Kier and Altro, who gave us great support throughout.”

Kier also appointed specialist floors and walls contractor, Pinnacle, to install the Altro Whiterock, and Altro Designer 25 in the new build. Pinnacle’s longstanding relationship with both Altro and Kier was instrumental in the final choice of products.

University of Wolverhampton-Altro Designer 25-Altro Whiterock-08Pinnacle MD, Scott Myers, says: “The architect specified Altro from the outset, but this was such a high-profile project that there was, naturally, a great deal of interest from other flooring and walling manufacturers as well.

“We have worked closely with Altro for many years, and in our experience their products are second to none in terms of quality and reliability — but they also offer colours, textures and overall solutions that can deliver visual appeal in the most innovative and challenging design projects. There is a great deal of confidence in the industry for Altro and their reputation is well deserved

“Kier is also a longstanding partner for us, and we were able to demonstrate to them that, for a project of this size and significance, Altro had the product range that could meet all the client’s practical needs, and also deliver the design impact they wanted to achieve.

“Budget was also a key factor in the decision-making process, and Altro proved to be a very cost-effective solution overall.”

Scott Myers continues: “The installation programming was quite complex in terms of scheduling and sequencing. This was due to the number of mechanical and electrical services that had to be installed on site before we could gain access. It was all about co-operation, but everyone worked very well together.

“Altro flooring and walling products are simple and straightforward to install, which is one of the reasons we like using the products. Firstly we prepared the floors prior to fitting, and this was a fairly standard process of scarifying the floor to create a clean, smooth surface, laying an epoxy dpm, then finally a Latex smoothing compound.

“There was a large quantity of product to install; 3,600m² of Altro Designer 25, and 1,400m² of Altro Whiterock.”

 

The University’s Maintenance Manager, Neil Howells, comments: “We are very happy with the completed job. The Altro products reflect the cutting edge design of the building, providing vision and opportunity for our students. We are sure that the choices made by the architects will prove as practical as they are aesthetically pleasing — early indications appear to support this viewpoint.

 

“Phase One of the build has been in use since September 2014, and the products have been performing well in that time. Feedback from our cleaning and maintenance team has also been very positive, with no problems, and the flooring and walling still looks as good as they did nine months ago.

 

“I would recommend the use of Altro as quality products that give competitive whole life value for money, and the professional helpful technical support that is readily provided. In short; a valued supplier.”

Are we BIM – ready for 2016?

Building Products Index Ltd BIM Leave a Comment

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UntitledBIM will become a hot topic throughout 2016, and it is becoming increasingly important for the construction industry to ensure it is prepared. As a premier heating products manufacturer in the provision of intelligent, Revit-compatible BIM objects, Jaga is ready – but are you?

In April 2016, the collaborative use of BIM Level 2 in all government procured buildings will become mandatory, with all asset information relating to a project becoming electronically shareable in a common environment.

Since the government revealed this as part of its BIM Strategy in 2011, many businesses within the construction sector have been scrambling to optimise their BIM capabilities. It is an issue that impacts businesses throughout the entire construction supply chain, from architects to contractors to product manufacturers.

However, as we stand here now, there is a risk that many companies will be left behind. From the latest surveys carried out by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), it is the smaller contracting firms that are currently most affected.

‘Not Ready at All’

The survey states that 54% of firms with a turnover of less than £1 million are ‘not ready at all’ for the April 2016 deadline. Of the businesses with earnings between £1 million and £20 million, 30% shared the same view. Of the largest firms, with turnovers of over £20 million, only 11% said they were not ready at all.

The real message that needs to be iterated is that BIM is not going away anytime soon and smaller building services businesses should be advised to accelerate their adoption of the implementation process. It is the biggest change in how we design and construct our buildings since the CAD revolution in the 1990s, and should thus be granted at least an equal level of importance.

The government’s April 2016 BIM deadline should be seen as an indication of what is to come. The commercial, industrial and residential building contracts will inevitably follow suit on a much wider scale.

When the more lucrative contracts start rolling out, who are going to be the beneficiaries? Who will architects seek to partner with? By delaying, smaller contracting firms will be overlooked for the ‘future-ready’ companies that are becoming more and more experienced with the practice.

Ready, Steady, BIM

Aside from adhering to government requirements – and the subsequent risk of lost business from government projects – the benefits of implementing BIM are hugely significant as the UK’s construction sector mobilises for a more modern approach. It will greatly improve project efficiencies that will ultimately deliver projects more quickly, competently and reliably for clients – and will generate more future business for BIM-ready contractors as a result.

It might be true that not enough information has been communicated about how small businesses can implement BIM in a way that minimises disruption to their existing and future projects. It might also be true that the costs of implementing BIM – and the potential profits to be gained – have been miscommunicated too.

It is therefore encouraging to see that as a result of its survey, the ECA has released a four-point action plan to help prevent building services SMEs from becoming frozen out. The plan includes:

+ A ‘BIM readiness checklist’ to help firms identify the necessary steps for achieving BIM Level 2
+ A ‘BIM jargon buster’ to help firms navigate the sea of BIM terminology and acronyms
+ Case study development to demonstrate first-hand how a BIM project works
+ Working with partners to develop awareness, training and deployment issues, alongside a common approach towards using BIM objects

It is not too late to get the BIM ball rolling. Just because the April 2016 deadline hits, it should not mean that building services companies cannot position themselves for future prosperity BIM will bring.

Driving the BIM Agenda

image002At Jaga, we have fully embraced BIM and consider ourselves the outstanding heating products manufacturer for involvement in BIM projects.

We currently work with BIMstore – one of the UK’s leading designers and hosts of BIM components in the construction industry – to provide design teams and contractors with easy access to our product range in Revit-compatible 3D format.

And the files are unique in their quality. Each Jaga BIM object offers dynamic calculations that automatically determine corrected outputs, flow rates and pressure drops. Their dimensions are fully adjustable to accommodate the intricacies of a building’s design, and automatic scheduling and detailing are selectable options too.

A building’s lifetime heating costs can be almost possible to predict without the sophistication of BIM technology. By downloading Jaga product files and incorporating them into the design, specifiers can save time, money and minimise the risk of mistakes that can be costly further down the line.

We live in an age which requires us to radicalise and modernise the way our buildings are designed, procured and managed. At Jaga, we will continue to invest in BIM as means to achieving this and we welcome anyone who would like to discuss it further to get in touch.

To find out more about Jaga’s involvement with BIM and to download Revit-compatible BIM files with fully dynamic calculations, visit out BIM page here.

Zehnder launches new website

Building Products Index Ltd Website Leave a Comment

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European indoor climate specialists Zehnder, have turned up the heat on their digital presence with the re-launch of their UK website, Zehnder.co.uk.

New websiteDelivering an enhanced user friendly experience with improved navigation and functionality throughout, it allows customers to access detailed product information and videos across multiple platforms. After registering for a my.Zehnder account users can also take advantage of a more personalised experience with the ability to save any brochures, planning documentation or data sheets etc. to their own account for immediate access in the future.

“The new website represents a significant step forward in Zehnder’s efforts to improve customer engagement and access to technical information,” comments Zehnder Brand Manager, David Simoes. “As digital technology continues to revolutionise the way in which heating systems are designed and products specified, digital content has become a critically important focus for us. Our full range of BIM components are available for download from the new site and application case studies provide a detailed overview of Zehnder’s capabilities across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, offices, schools and hospitals.”

In addition to a richer online content, better presentation and the incorporation of video, the website’s powerful radiator filtering and product selector tools enable installers and specifiers to more easily find the most suitable products for their projects.

“The new website provides a clean, modern design and delivers a consistent experience on laptops, tablets and mobile phones,” continues David. “We are confident that the new functionality will significantly enhance the user’s experience and assist in the specification process.”

Take some time to explore the new site for yourself at www.zehnder.co.uk.

Media information

For all press enquiries please contact Toni Norman at Brickwork Marketing.

Tel: 01933 461645/07778 497619

Email: toni@brickworkmarketing.co.uk.

10 Tips for saving money on cast stone

Building Products Index Ltd Cast Stone Leave a Comment

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Gary Horsfall, Director of Procter Cast Stone, provides ten tips for saving money when purchasing cast stone – but without compromising on quality.

250Cast stone offers an extremely cost-effective yet visually near-indistinguishable alternative to quarried stone for new projects as well as refurbishments, conversions and extensions to period properties, whether the requirement is for one-offs or large quantities. However, the price of cast stone can vary significantly from one supplier to another, largely due to the quality. Full Members of the UKCSA (UK Cast Stone Association) manufacture units in compliance with the requirements of BS 1217 and the more rigorous UKCSA Specification for Cast Stone. In addition, standard sized ashlar blocks need to comply with BS EN 771-5 and be CE marked to the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). Architects, specifiers and quantity surveyors are under pressure to reduce cost, so this present ’10 tips’ article suggests ways in which costs can be saved without compromising quality and resorting to low-cost manufacturers that might deliver non-standards-compliant products.

Procter also offers a made-to-order standard range for which the moulds have already been manufactured, so these products can be delivered with short lead times and, again, at a lower cost than bespoke products.

1. Use standard products
​Manufacturers such as Procter Cast Stone – which is a Full Member of UKCSA – offer extensive ranges of standard products such as heads, cills, string course, quoins, copings and pier caps that are manufactured in large volumes and held in stock. Clearly these will be more cost-effective than similar non-standard items. Procter also offers a made-to-order standard range for which the moulds have already been manufactured, so these products can be delivered with short lead times and, again, at a lower cost than bespoke products. These made-to-order standard products include ashlar walling, steps, porticos, arches, canopies, pedestals, columns, balustrading, spheres, plinths, gable vents, corbels, cornice, mullions, door jambs, bullseyes, and name and date plaques. If standard products are not suitable for a particular project, consideration should be given to specifying a mixture of standard and non-standard products to achieve the design intent while minimising cost. In some cases it is also possible to manufacture standard products in non-standard sizes by using or adapting existing moulds, thereby saving cost compared with bespoke items.

2. Choose standard colours
​Cast stone manufacturers typically offer a range of standard colours. For example, Procter Cast Stone offers Dark Portland, Light Portland, Aire, Natural, Millstone Grit, Millstone Light, Cheshire Red and Light Yorkstone (a colour chart can be downloaded from the website and samples are available on request). Architects and specifiers therefore have a broad choice, and selecting from the standard colours will cost less than specifying a non-standard colour – though using cast stone of a non-standard colour can give a building a striking appearance for only a small increase in cost.

3. Buy quality products
It is well worth buying high-quality cast stone because this can prove to be considerably more cost-effective than buying low-priced, low-quality items that cause problems due to inaccurate sizing, inconsistent colouring, inadequate strength, delivery with damage, and poor long-term weather resistance. Bear in mind that if cast stone products are delivered to site and found to be unacceptable, it might take weeks to manufacture and deliver replacements, which can cause serious delays to construction projects. It is strongly recommended that only Full Members of UKCSA should be used.​

4. If using bespoke products, discuss the designs with the manufacturer
​There will be some projects for which bespoke products are required, in which case the architect or specifier should discuss the requirements with potential suppliers. Some design features are easier (and less expensive) to manufacture due to the production process and the need to manufacture a mould, and sometimes it is possible to manufacture moulds in such a way that they can be used to produce different sizes of cast stone unit – which will cost less than if a number of separate moulds have to be manufactured. A good supplier will be able to use its experience and knowledge to work with a customer to ensure the required cast stone units meet the specification while remaining as cost-effective as possible.

5. Consult with the supplier at the earliest possible stage
Whether using standard, modified or bespoke cast stone units, it is highly advisable to consult with the potential manufacturer at the earliest possible opportunity, before too much time has spent on the detailed design of the cast stone units. As with almost anything, it costs far less to make a design change – even a small one – at the early stages of a project.

6. Provide a full set of CAD drawings
Often Procter Cast Stone is approached by an architect or self-builder and asked to create a design based on a rough visual. While this is a perfectly good way to proceed with a project, the design time will, inevitably, have to be reflected in the price. On the other hand, if the customer provides good quality CAD drawings, then Procter’s design input is reduced and the price will be correspondingly lower.​

7. For porticos, specify a ring beam rather than structural steelwork
​Porticos are becoming very popular both for new-builds and as additions to existing properties. Traditionally cast stone porticos have required the use of structural steelwork, but this is a relatively costly element of the overall portico. Procter Cast Stone has therefore developed a ring beam design that avoids the need for structural steelwork, resulting in a cost saving that is passed on to the customer. The ring beam is used in all of Procter’s standard porticos and can be adapted for virtually any bespoke portico.

8. Take care with site handling and installation
In common with many construction materials, cast stone can be vulnerable to damage unless it is properly stored, handled and installed. A good supplier will provide information and advice for site storage, handling and installation, so building contractors should follow this to ensure that cast stone units are not chipped, cracked, stained or otherwise damaged. Although replacements can be manufactured, there is a risk that the construction will be delayed – not to mention the cost of purchasing the replacement. Procter Cast Stone has site handling and installation information available on its website for downloading free of charge.​

9. Make sure of Procter’s installation service
Building contractors generally possess the necessary skills to install relatively simple cast stone features properly. However, for more complex features – such as a portico or balustrade – Procter’s expert installation service can prove more cost-effective. The experienced installers understand all the particular characteristics of cast stone and therefore can ensure a perfect installation every time. Importantly, the specialist installers will usually take less time than a general building contractor, so the overall cost is lower. Furthermore, the cast stone remains Procter’s responsibility until the installation is complete, so the customer is not at risk of additional unexpected costs in the event of any damage being incurred during installation.

10. Take advantage of free guides
​Procter Cast Stone has published a number of guides and other information to help architects and specifiers make the most of cast stone – and as cost-effectively as possible. These can be downloaded free of charge from the website and are highly recommended.

Follow the link to download the free guides, as well as brochures, PDF drawings and CAD files of standard products. Alternatively, contact Procter Cast Stone to discuss specific projects by means of the online chat facility, email websales@proctergarforth.co.uk or telephone +44 113 834 3899