ACO Building Drainage Foodex

Foodex 2018 – Never underestimating drainage! Visit ACO Building Drainage stand P240

Building Products Index Ltd Building Drainage, Drainage Leave a Comment

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ACO BD banner_PushACO Building Drainage is to exhibit at this year’s Foodex exhibition (16-18 April).  The
company, which engineers and manufactures hygienically designed drainage systems for the food and drinks industry, will be showcasing its market-leading range of hygienically designed drainage products as well as talking about recent research projects conducted by the internationally respected Fraunhofer Institute and with flooring specialist Sika.

Commissioned by ACO, the independent research conducted by The Fraunhofer Institute evaluated how the use of hygienically designed products affects the cleanability of drainage systems. The study found that hygienically engineered and designed drainage channels could be effectively and completely cleaned in less than 10 minutes whereas non-hygienic channel still has 2 per cent residual soiling after an extended rinsing time of more than three hours.

The research project undertaken with Sika was conducted to identify the compatibility of common floor-drain connections and to develop the industry’s first best practice specification guidelines  with a view to minimising failures in the floor/drainage connection.
Both research projects underline ACO‘s ongoing committment to research-led product development – a core part of its HygieneFirst approach which aims to raise  standards across every part of the hygienic drainage process from design and installation through to cleaning and ongoing maintenance.

Further information on the research findings will be available on the ACO Building Drainage stand, number P240.  Visitors will also be able to talk to ACO’s drainage specification experts about their latest projects and to learn more about the company’s drainage portfolio which includes channel, gullies, gratings and kerb products.

Howe Green Team Image

Making life easier for architects and specifiers

Building Products Index Ltd access covers Leave a Comment

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Howe Green Team ImageAt Howe Green we are constantly looking at ways in which we can improve the service we offer to our customers.  We appreciate that the actual products we supply – the floor, wall and ceiling access covers – are just one of the elements that influence the decision to buy.  The additional services we make available all contribute towards the overall customer experience.

Within the construction sector the specification has always been a crucial factor in helping architects and specifiers to decide which products should be used in a particular project and to communicate their preferred selection to other building services professionals.  The consequences of substituting products for a cheaper alternative, effectively breaking the specification, have been highlighted by the tragic events of June 2017.

Over many years the Technical Department at Howe Green has worked closely with architects, specifiers and contractors to ensure that bespoke access solutions can be designed and manufactured to address all manner of challenges when it comes to accessing concealed services.

Our lives are becoming increasing entrenched in the digital world of 24/7 access. This appetite for instant gratification is prevalent in the workplace.  Our team realise that whilst we enjoy the personal interactions and helping people there are customers who would prefer to access as much information as possible to prepare their specification without having to talk to us!  They want accurate and relevant data, presented in an appropriate manner, at their fingertips.

It is for this reason that Howe Green has recently made a significant investment in a library of National Building Specification (NBS) product specification clauses.  The library includes the range of Howe Green floor access covers, Bilco fixed vertical ladders and the Bilco LadderUP® Safety Post.

Managing Director of Bilco UK Ltd and Howe Green Ltd, James Fisher, comments, “Since the acquisition of Howe Green in March last year we have been looking at how to bring the Bilco and Howe Green brands together in order to deliver our ‘safe access all areas’ proposition.  Bilco has offered a full range of NBS specifications and BIM drawings for many years and we know how valuable they are to customers.  We wanted to invest in similar assets for the Howe Green range.  Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for architects and specifiers to access information that will make their lives easier.  Subscribing to NBS is part of this strategy.

In our experience you cannot underestimate the value of a comprehensive specification. It has the ability to minimise risk and uncertainty, improve compliance, as well as saving time and money.”

A full library of BIM drawings is currently being created which will further enhance the resources available for specifiers, architects and contractors.

You can access the NBS specifications from the Resources section of our product pages.

If you have any questions about specifications or would prefer to pick up the phone and talk to us we would love to hear from you!


Radmat ProTherm Quantum


Building Products Index Ltd Roof insulation Leave a Comment

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_JONLucas_5973-balconyEnvironmental issues influence the construction industry at every stage of the building process. Government legislation and the Building Regulations have become more stringent with every update, requiring more sustainable approaches, and driving the industry to design, construct and deliver more energy-efficient buildings.

Building balconies and terraces over heated space is problematic for architects, designers and contractors: in new-build applications, stringent regulatory requirements and long-term economic viability have created greater demand for improved energy efficiency, while roofing designers and installers must strive to keep overall construction as thin as possible.

In order to meet the required U-values, the insulation will sometimes be installed both on top of and on the underside of the balcony or terrace. Not only can this be time-consuming, technically challenging and pose a condensation risk, it can also add unnecessary costs and increase the overall thickness of the construction.

There remains a huge industry demand for thinner and better performing products that will have a smaller impact on constructability and function in use. In practice, optimum performance will always be achieved by using the right combination of product, surface preparation and application procedures.

ProTherm Quantum
® VIP Inverted Roof Insulation System provides a state of the Quantum new step-up diagramart insulation solution for inverted roofs designed to be used as balconies, terraces, podiums and green roofs built over heated space. Thanks to its ultra-high thermal performance the Quantum® system can dramatically reduce the thickness of an inverted roofing system providing the solution to counter low upstands against the increasing thickness of traditional EPS & XPS products specified in order to meet more stringent thermal demands.

The Quantum Systems ®

A ProTherm Quantum® Hybrid inverted roof system is the most popular solution. Using a combination of both XPS and Quantum® an exceptional thermal outcome can normally be supplied without compromising the internal upstand and deliver the ability to maintain a level floor between both internal and external spaces.

A ProTherm Quantum® Pure inverted roof system is the thinnest solution possible where the severe lack of space calls for using just the Quantum® panel. Even in these challenging conditions this system will offer outstanding results.

Quantum section annotated_revCentral to both systems’ outstanding thermal performance is the Quantum® Vacuum Insulated Panel (VIP). Manufactured in a UK based, state-of-the-art production facility, the world’s first BBA Certified inverted roof system (No. 16/5347), ProTherm Quantum® has been assessed in accordance with ETAG 031 and has a Declared (aged) thermal conductivity of 0.008 W/m K, up to five times better than other commonly available inverted insulation materials.

Radmat offers extensive technical support at all stages of the construction process, enabling the development of appropriate and efficient design solutions for a wide range of building projects. The company is committed to supplying first class materials, installed by an approved list of contractors and agrees designs that are both practical and cost effective. By designing and supplying every element of the inverted flat roofing systems to deliver exactly what it promises – the contractor and client achieves exceptional U-values, waterproofing integrity and long-term performance guaranteed as standard.

If you would like more information regarding Radmat products and the Quantum® systems, please visit:, or contact

Visit Ecobuild Stand C9,  6-8th March 2018 to find out more about Quantum®

Eurocell InSite Window System

Get offsite InSite from Eurocell at Ecobuild 2018

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

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Eurocell BPindex February 2018 Insite Ecobuild (2)Eurocell is promising to deliver a whole host of benefits to the timber frame and offsite construction sectors with the launch of its new InSite window solution. InSite will enable timber frame manufacturers to install fully glazed, fully finished windows into wall panels as part of the factory production process, thereby reducing on site disruption and labour costs while saving time on build programme schedules. The new system can be viewed at Ecobuild 2018 on stand G22.

There are also significant health and safety benefits with factory fitting and the reduction in manual handling, as well as an estimated 30% improvement in transportation yields because the windows are fully recessed, allowing panels to be stacked flush when loaded.

Eurocell BPindex February 2018 Insite Ecobuild (1)InSite comprises market-leading PVC-U window performance with an innovative fixing method that allows factory fitting of the window directly into the wall panel. Once the timber wall panel has been erected on-site, the windows are checked to ensure they are plumb and square and then simply secured to the first fix position by pushing the frame outwards to lock it into position. An intelligent design modification enables cills to be simply clipped on and mechanically secured once the windows are locked into position. The whole panel assembly can be made watertight within one day so interior trades can begin work immediately, saving time on programme.

As part of its development, the InSite system has been fully tested, including resisting wind load pressures well in excess of 200mph – significantly beyond the highest Category 5 hurricane winds rating (156mph+). Design calculations have been verified by independent timber frame structural engineers. Owing to the controlled nature of manufacture, the installed windows offer leading energy efficiency performance, with a U-value of just 0.8 W/m2 possible, a level that far exceeds current Building Regulations requirements.

A 10-year product guarantee* on InSite windows provides customer peace of mind, as does full product traceability, thanks to a simplified supply chain and centralised documentation.

Talking about the launch, Chris Coxon, Group Head of Marketing at Eurocell, said: “InSite is an engineered solution that gives off-site construction specialists an opportunity to increase efficiencies and quality at key stages of the manufacturing and building process, so they receive the benefits they promote to their clients and streamline the construction process further, resulting in a safer, faster build time.”

“Since there is no need to store windows on site there is no danger of damage or theft and the reduction in manual handling also significantly cuts the number of health and safety issues to be dealt with. Programme time is not affected by issues like scaffolding obscuring the installation of windows, especially as preparing InSite for external cladding and internal plastering can all be done from the inside. Similarly, site traffic is reduced because there are no window deliveries,” he adds.

Sounds appealing? Find out more by visiting or calling the Eurocell Customer Care Team directly on 0800 988 3049.

Ecobuild 2018 takes place between March 6th and 8th at the ExCel centre in London’s Docklands. Eurocell’s stand no. is G22. To register visit:

* including 5 years on glazing units and two years on internal window hardware.

Delta Membrane Systems

Delta Membranes Case Study – Fernroyd, Bowden

Building Products Index Ltd Waterproof Membranes, waterproofing Leave a Comment

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Problematic Residential Basement 2 copySPECIFICATION

NBS Specification J40 (Clause 290) Flexible Sheet Tanking/ Damp Proofing.

BS 8102:2009 Type C Drianed Protection.


  • Koster Polysil TG500 Anti Lime Coating/Surface Primer,
  • Delta MS 500,
  • Delta PT Delta, Problematic Residential Basement 5 copy
  • MS 20 Perimeter drainage channel
  • Delta Dual V3 Sump Pump


The scope of the project was to renovate a problematic damp residential basement to create a habitable dry living space. The property is a magnificent Victorian detached residence, built around 1850.  The accommodation is extremely versatile and extends to around 5569 sq ft.  The property’s extensive basements consisted of: hallway, three chamber rooms, storeroom and wine cellar. The Victorian property in a sought after setting, in Altrincham, Manchester.

Problematic Residential Basement 3 copyAltrincham’s bedrock consists mainly of Keuper Waterstone (a type of sandstone). The project required sympathetic renovation, the property retaining a wealth of impressive original features including deep skirting boards, cornicing’s, mouldings, windows and shutters. Timberwise’s team were called upon to investigate the damp issues and to suggest remedial options which would incorporate BS 8102:2009.

All basements should be constructed (or retrofitted) to cope with groundwater levels up to the full retained height of the basement.  Structural waterproofing preserves the integrity of a structure whilst ensuring the usefulness of the building for present and future use.


Problematic Residential Basement 4 copyWhere specified all basement waterproofing projects carried out by Timberwise are designed and installed in accordance with the current British Standard BS8102:2009 “The Code of Practice for Protection of Below Ground Structures against Water from the Ground”. The Delta Cavity Drain Membrane System was installed allowing water to continue to penetrate through the wall where the flow could be controlled within the air gap between the Cavity Problematic Residential basement 6 copyDrainage Membrane and the wall. Perimeter drainage channel manages the flow of the water through to a suitable drainage point or sump pump. Prior to installation of the Type C Cavity Drain Membrane, an application of Koster Polysil TG 500 anti-lime surface primer was applied to all new concrete surfaces. When new concrete forms there is a risk of excess free lime and mineral salts leaching out during the curing process. When a cavity drainage system is used in this type of application, a pre-treatment of the concrete is used to reduce the risk of free lime build up and blocking of the drainage cavity and perimeter channel.

Problematic Residential basement 7 copyVentilation Systems

The Waterproofing Design Specialist recommended that adequate ventilation and heating must be specified in the overall basement conversion in accordance with Part F of the Building Regulations.

Sump Pump System

A Delta PowerMaxx battery back-up and AlertMaxx2 Wi-Fi enabled alarm was installed to complement the system. A Delta Dual V3 sump pump system was installed to keep the area underneath the building dry and to prevent it from flooding. The sump pump’s job is to pump the water out of the pit and away from the building so the basement stays dry.

Case study review

Timberwise transformed what was a damp unused basement into a dry habitable living area. The customer was left fully satisfied with the end result. Having installed the system Timberwise provided the customer with a 10 year guarantee giving long term peace of mind.

Rawson Carpet Solutions

Rawson Carpet Solutions provide a half century of Education facility floors……

Building Products Index Ltd Carpets, Flooring Leave a Comment

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For many years now, the UK Manufacturer Rawson Carpet Solutions, have been a manufacturer of  choice for nurseries, schools and universities across the country. With the relationships created and the reputation for customer service and the provision of durable products, The Company, part of the WE Rawson group of companies established in 1865 emerges as a brand with staying power.

Over the past 6 months the company have gone through a brand and products improvement which has enabled the company to keep up with the changing trends and requirements of this particular market sector. Products are BRE A+ individually assessed, exceptionally durable and with great new colour swatches.

Upon arrival at any Education facility, a suitable entrance flooring is necessary, to remove moisture and debris from foot traffic. Most importantly, to keep shoes dry and to prevent slips, and also to protect the interior floors from receiving grit and dirt from outside.

At Nottingham University Rawson’s ‘Trackmaster’ was chosen for this purpose, providing a proven cleaning and protection service to the many building users. The barrier carpets offered by Rawson are a tried and tested solution.


Passing through to circulation and public spaces, more design influence is the priority whilst still providing that necessary durability. Below is the public space at Nottingham University, where our Laserlight has been used to good effect with contrasting colours delineating differing area use in open plan areas.

DSCF4968 (2)

Below is bohunt school, a project finishes at the end of 2017.

Rawson 1

The multitude of colours and designs can surely fulfil the clients or designers aspirations

Still Heritage products such as Eurocord and Felkirk are a chosen solution providing peace of mind to the client, however, with new colours of Eurocord and with the opportunity to plank any product as is the advantage of working with a UK manufacturer, the solutions offered can be much more striking but still be one of the most economic solutions.

Rawson 2

Rawson 3

Rawson 4Further venture into the possibilities of using carefully selected deniers of Polypropylene fibre has allowed for a new product range called ‘Reed’ a product offering great aesthetics and durability in 8 naturally inspired colourways

Rawson 5Its early days for this newly released product range, but installations so far show a product which complements the environment greatly.


Indeed, with the introduction of the new Nylon SD products from Rawson, a truly striking design floor can be achieved with the option to make the floor a ‘quietback’ version providing up to 28dB.

Rawson 8

In 2018 Rawson Carpet Solutions proudly introduce a rich and diverse range of SD Nylon tufted tiles and have already had quite a bit of success in the Education sector with this offering. New products such as Countryside, Fanfare, Jazz and new Jazz lines enable a great aesthetic. Rawson 6

Sport solutions for indoor and outdoor facilities are met with spike-resistant ‘Spikemaster’ and the very versatile ‘Patio’ UV resistant sheet for play and sports surfaces

Rawson 7

Please contact Rawson Carpet solutions and see what that can offer for your Education facility.


Keeping Mould at Bay

Building Products Index Ltd Anti Mould Paint, Paint 1 Comment

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As spring arrives, now is the ideal time for landlords to protect the internal areas of their properties from mould and blackspot. To this end, Carrs Coatings, new NLA Recognised Supplier from Redditch, Worcestershire, has started making available to landlords their Glixtone Fungi-Shield. Until recently the product was only available to county councils and specialist contractors.

GLIXTONE GROUP NO HANDLESUnlike most other anti-mould paints, Glixtone Fungi-Shield is manufactured using a unique combination of biocides bonded to an acrylic resin base. Many other products use an already-made paint and then mix into it a fungicide. This means that not all of the paint will carry the same amount of the fungicide. In contrast, the Carrs manufacturing process ensures that the special acrylic resins and biocides are both blended and bonded to each other. As a result, every part of the paint has exactly the same amount of biocide, giving a totally uniform distribution. When applied, Glixtone Fungi-Shield will then keep killing spores of mould on contact for up to 20 years. Carrs Coatings says the paint has never failed to provide long- term protection from mould.

Glixtone Fungi-Shield is produced in one of the most advanced factories in Europe, conforming to the international standard ISO 9001 on quality management systems. The company’s tight environmental policy ensures a uniform high quality product is produced with neutral impacts on the environment.

A long-lasting solution to mould

Glixtone Fungi-Shield Mould PaintNow is the right time for landlords to think about protecting their properties. Nick Hodgetts at Carrs Coatings says that as the weather gets warmer and drier, mould problems tend to be forgotten – only to resurface when things get damper again. “When autumn arrives, tenants close windows and doors and turn up the heating in your properties and their homes,” Nick says. “When there is no ventilation and plenty of moisture, which is created through ordinary activities such as showering, drying clothes, dish washing, cooking and even breathing, mould can remain in the property. This creates the perfect environment for mould spores to flourish and then the complaints start.”

While providing ventilation will assist in reducing problems of humidity and condensation, it will not completely eliminate mould growth. As well as being unsightly, mould is a health hazard to tenants. And, if health inspectors are alerted, it can develop into an expensive problem.

Glixtone Fungi-Shield is a washable paint which is suitable for any internal walls and ceilings of a property that are susceptible to mould and blackspot. The active biocide
in the paint makes it impossible for the mould spores to survive. Carrs also recommends using its sterilising solution to remove any existing mould before applying Glixtone Fungi-Shield.

Use for decorating properties

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

NLA Members can either source Glixtone Fungi-Shield Paint and the Glixtone Sterilising Solution online or visit a Selco Builders Warehouse outlet which have started stocking the products with great success.

Carrs Coatings: W: E: T: 01527 599 470

Axis Automatic doors

Axis Doors Improve Access at Stratford Garden Centre

Building Products Index Ltd automatic, Doors Leave a Comment

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Stratford GC (1)Stratford Garden Centre have improved customer flow and access by building a new exit area to accommodate the tills away from the hustle and bustle of the entrance. This meant they needed new doors and they naturally turned to their regular supplier, Axis Automatic Entrance Systems, who had previously installed Stanley Automatic Doors throughout the centre.

The new Stanley Dura-Glide SLD features bi-parting automatic doors sliding over glazed screens with infra red sensors linked to the Stanley MC521 Pro Controller and Eco Pro dynamic user interface. This new generation controller is completely re-engineered for the Stanley Duraglide SLD & SLH models and includes a

“soft-start” “soft-stop” motor driving circuit for smooth normal opening and recycling.

Stratford GC (16)The door engineer can set door functions very easily, including door and motor type, handing, speed, hold-open delay, troubleshooting and much more via a Windows mobile handset although the control panel can also be set manually. The system will collect and store performance data including an operating cycle counter and event and error reporting while displaying the current operating state.

The display unit can be discretely mounted on either the jamb or a nearby wall and provides an electronic alternative to manual switches. All basic door functions of rotary and toggle switches, up to six positions, can be controlled as well as setting programmed schedules for enhanced operating mode changes based on the day of the week, time of day, etc.

The Dura-Glide 2000 Series is the industry standard for smooth, reliable operation in every application from high-traffic retail locations, like garden centres, to upscale professional and institutional settings. Door packages are manufactured to suit individual requirements and installed by ADSA Authorised Technicians (Automatic Door Suppliers’ Association) as per the guidelines of EN16005 (formerly BS7036:1996 – Code of Practice for safety at powered doors for pedestrian use).

Stratford GC (18)Back in 2004, Paul Southern and his niece and her husband, Helen and Gwyn Lloyd bought an old bedding plant nursery 3 miles south of Stratford upon Avon and re-opened as Stratford Garden Centre in 2006. Over the succeeding years this family business has grown to its current 7 acres and 24,000 square feet of indoor retail space with plans to increase that by a further 9,000 square feet. The mix of horticulturally and retail trained staff, together with a popular restaurant, food shop and shopping courtyard have earned them an excellent local reputation enhanced by their independence and entrepreneurial flair.

They are very pleased with the new layout keeping both the old entrance and the new exit free flowing and less cluttered and encouraging customers to move further around the store and experience more of what they have to offer. Helen Lloyd said “ Once again Axis have given us an excellent product backed up by their knowledgeable and flexible service to help us create the solution we had planned.”

For more information call Axis on 01604 212500, visit or email

Multi-purpose hall in use. Highgate Shool, London, United Kingdom. Architect: Architype Limited, 2016.

Solid Wood Floors + Underfloor Heating – One Solution From A Single Point Of Supply

Building Products Index Ltd Flooring, Solid Wood Floors Leave a Comment

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Introducing Leveldek from Junckers

Multi-purpose hall in use. Highgate Shool, London, United Kingdom. Architect: Architype Limited, 2016.

Multi-purpose hall in use. Highgate Shool, London, United Kingdom. Architect: Architype Limited, 2016.

Traditionally, timber floor finishes and heating systems are specified separately and supplied and installed by different companies. Junckers Leveldek offers a versatile levelling system, underfloor heating and a solid hardwood floor finish from a single point of supply.

Junckers has teamed up with one of the main heating component manufacturers to offer a combined solid hardwood floor and heating system which achieves the best fit in terms of ease of installation and efficiency.

The Junckers Leveldek system is a fully integrated solid hardwood floor and heating system. Any of the 22mm or 20.5mm thick floor boards from Junckers’ full range of finishes may be used, so there is a floor to suit any taste and style of interior.

Junckers hardwood floors have for many years been recognised as the only solid hardwood floors which are so stable that they are guaranteed for use with underfloor heating. This is something that architects, the flooring and heating industries have known for the last 30 years or so. It is fair to say that almost any type of underfloor heating may be used with Junckers floors. However, heating designs vary enormously with different ways of supporting the pipes and insulating the floor, and careful planning is needed when coordinating heating and flooring trades on site. There can also be some significant efficiency and running cost differences between one system and another.

Energy Efficiency and Fast Warm Up

A Junckers Leveldek floor system is able to achieve the greatest energy efficiency and fastest warm-up time because of the unique way the heating pipes
are supported directly beneath the floor boards. The heating panels are insulated and reinforced, and have aluminium heat diffusion plates. They are pushed upwards against
the underside of the floor boards by the support saddles and this close contact gives the best heat output possible. This also means that the Leveldek heating pipes cannot sag or move, so the heating will give the same reliable efficiency for its whole life. The design of the Leveldek system means that the response time and heat output can be calculated accurately, so the heating engineer can be sure that the predicted performance will be what the client will actually get.

The heating panels and battens are supported above the subfloor, therefore it is very easy to include other services beneath the floor prior to installation of the hardwood floor boards.
Junckers Leveldek works perfectly when a sprung floor is needed because the heating panels will flex along with the whole floor system.

Leveldek – Many Solutions in One

There are many ways the Junckers Leveldek system can be used. It is based upon one of Junckers’ established levelling systems, so the subfloor can be a screed, concrete slab, block and beam or other type of base; flat or not. This makes it perfect for residential and non-residential new build as well as refurbishment projects.  When used with solid SylvaSport beech flooring, the system provides a sprung floor to EN 14904, which means that it is suitable for sports, dance and activity halls and meets the requirements or Sport England and Sport Scotland.

Environment and Sustainability Considered

As well as providing an energy efficient heating system the materials which are used for Junckers floors are from sustainable certified sources, are fully recyclable and manufactured to the highest environmental standards. Even the energy which is used to power the flooring factory is produced from waste wood from flooring manufacture.

Fully Guaranteed

Junckers long experience and unique reputation means that Junckers is able to offer a full guarantee for the system under the Junckers Lifetime Warranty Scheme with a 25-year guarantee for the flooring and installation, 10 years for the heating pipes and insulated panels and 2 years for all electronic components.



Unit A, 1 Wheaton Road, Witham, Essex CM8 3UJ

Tel 01376 534 700

Twitter/Instagram: @junckersfloors

Timeguard ceiling mounted PIR detector

Choosing PIRs

Building Products Index Ltd LED Lighting Leave a Comment

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Don’t set yourself up for PIR failure, says Timeguard

Timeguard ceiling mounted PIR detector“What’s the cheapest PIR you’ve got, mate”. That was overheard at a wholesale counter within earshot of a visiting Timeguard representative who only stopped spluttering when he heard the ‘right’ reply from the man behind the counter. “What’s it going to be used for?”. Phew!

PIR detectors are not all the same, but they are typically mounted on ceilings or high on walls – places that are hard to get to if they fail or need constant readjustments.

Branded quality is always the safest option, but even the you need to make sure you get the specification right. So here are just 3 key questions to help them to help you get the balance between price and performance right:

  1. What type of lights and what load?

These days the job will almost always be LED lighting, so make sure they know to pick a PIR detector that is specifically tested with and rated for LED loads.

We’ve been saying for years how important this is. LED lights have a strong inrush current and it is that which the PIR should be rated for, not the subsequent low running current.  You shouldn’t need to do the maths, the specification should already state what LED loading is acceptable – if not steer clear.  We think it’s always wise to add at least 10% for good measure).

The huge difference between ratings for the same PIR detector for halogen and LED still comes as quite a surprise to some people. For instance, our new mini linkable PIR, is rated for 1000W max. halogen and 250W max. LED.

  1. Is it going to be a straightforward stand-alone automatic switch?

If you are looking at very high LED ratings, for a single PIR to switch several lights, double check the spec. For instance, our top-selling 360o ceiling mounted detector has a maximum LED load of 150W, but we rate it for a maximum of 10 separate LED 10W lamps (100W). Yet we are happy to rate – and guarantee – it for 5 sets of LED lamps above 10W, right up to the 150W limit. This is because 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, this puts a massive strain on whatever is switching/controlling them.

Looking for a big rating might also mean that a big area is to be lit. So perhaps a single PIR detector will not be able to give the comprehensive detection field needed.  Would multiple PIRs be better?

Timeguard mini PIR and plig in slave_lowresMaybe it would be easier – and less expensive – to be able to link a master and several slaves together? When these come fitted with cables and standard RJ11 plugs and sockets, huge amounts of time can be saved on both installation and set up.  The ingenious Timeguard linkable concept makes wiring simple because up to 5 slaves are linked by pre-fitted plug-in wires that stay hidden behind a suspended ceiling. Simples.

  1. Where’s it going?

Will the detector be surface mounted on a wall, flush mounted in a standard ceiling aperture, or would a corner bracket help? How important are looks to the end user?

Do you need the option to mask part of the detector?  What’s the room being used for and do they really need presence detection around desks or areas where people sit fairly still? If it’s going to be within reach of passers by and ‘keen’ building occupants, do you need to ensure that the controls are tamper proof?

Timeguard tamper proof PIR

Indoors or out? Check the IP rating. If outdoors, might it be easier to replace old and corroded lights with an all-in-one floodlight with integral PIR detector designed to withstand the British climate. Check out the corrosion-free Timeguard coastal range.

All this might give you cause to rethink. Branded quality is still the best assurance of fit-and forget  quality. No-one wants to have to go back and change a failed PIR detector.