Building Products Index Ltd Drainage Leave a Comment

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Choosing your drainage and access products

When choosing drainage and access products, you often have a whole range of competing considerations and demands. There is a budget for the project, but you also need to balance this with the design and specification details. Some clients may request you consider other factors too, such as appearance and environmental considerations. The most crucial factors to consider are the specification and design of the product. Not only does the product need to be “up to the job” you’re asking it to do, and compliant with regulations, but it will also need to do it safely. This is the one area where you cannot make compromises.

Considering the crucial specifications

One of the most important considerations with drainage and access products is the loading class. Whichever product you choose must have a rating which will cope with the loads that it will be under. For example, drainage on a domestic driveway has very different requirements to those in an airport or dock, which have to endure the heaviest loads regularly.

It is always best to err on the side of caution and choose a higher loading class if you have any doubts. These loading classes are a safety feature and it’s therefore paramount that this takes priority over other considerations such as cost.

Another important consideration is the capabilities of the product. Will it be able to deal with the environmental pressures it is under? These can vary depending on where you are fitting the products. For example, you might fit drainage to an area which experiences extreme temperatures or high rainfall. Alternatively, it might need to be kept hygienic or be able to cope with a range of chemicals.

Not taking these factors into consideration could mean you end up with a product that fails to work in the environment it’s used. This has both cost and safety implications.

Deciding on design

Once you’ve found the right specifications, you can then consider design factors. Your client might be keen to choose aesthetically pleasing or eco-friendly products. However, design features which ensure a product can perform at optimal levels should be the priority. For example, products such as drainage channels will need to offer you the flexibility you need to fit it correctly. They will also need to be the right size for the amount of water that will flow through the area. The last thing you want is to order a product and then discover it’s not suitable or won’t perform at its optimal level. Not only will this cost more money in the long run, it can also put people, vehicles and buildings at risk.

Only then, once you’ve ensured a product meets safety and performance requirements, should you then move on to other considerations, such as costs.

Why getting it right is paramount

Sometimes, competing factors can cause you to consider downgrading safety or performance features of drainage and access products. For example, if you’re on a tight budget, you might choose a linear drainage channel with a weight load class that suits the area 99% of the time. Perhaps you might choose one which has a through-flow rate that just covers the rainfall or water flow the area has seen to date.

However, not having the right specifications and design can lead to catastrophic consequences. For example, global warming means we are experiencing more extreme weathers with floods becoming ever more common. A through-flow rate that is sufficient now might not be adequate in just a few years’ time. It’s not just floods that create risks, either. For example, even small amounts of standing water can increase the chances of someone losing control of a vehicle.

Ultimately, when a product is not “up to the job”, it puts people in danger. Even in less extreme cases, a product with the wrong specifications or design will cause issues and eventually, need replacing. The costs involved in this are far more significant than those involved in choosing the right product in the first place.

Don’t forget, Clark-Drain is ‘grounded in expertise’. We understand how fundamental it is to choose drainage and access products with the correct specifications and design. Therefore, we are always on hand to advise you on the best product for your project. Download our technical information or get in touch via our website or call the sales team on 01733 765317 to find out more.




Building Products Index Ltd Decking Leave a Comment

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Perched on a hill overlooking York, Clifford’s Tower has played a significant role in the city’s history. And now, following a £5m refurbishment project, which included the construction of a roof deck using Marley CitiDeck, this historic monument can continue to delight and educate visitors for many more years.

A fortress has stood on the site of Clifford’s Tower since the Norman Conquest and the structure has served a number of functions throughout its history, from a royal mint to a medieval stronghold and a garrison in the Civil Wars.

Until very recently, the remains of the English Heritage structure were little more than a hollowed-out shell. But the refurbishment project has brought life – and tourists – back to the bastion, opening up parts of the tower that have been off-limits since the tower was gutted by fire in 1684.

The works have included installing aerial walkways that provide access to the first-floor rooms of the tower, while a free-standing roof deck provides spectacular 360-degree views across York. To help ensure the safety of visitors, and to provide a natural and attractive surface, Marley’s non-slip timber decking, CitiDeck, was used for the decking.

Non-slip timber decking fit for a king

Building the roof deck required careful planning, both to preserve the historic structure and to ensure the new elements were structurally sound. This meant building a completely new timber structure inside the tower.

Four enormous glulam columns were installed to provide support for the timber deck. They also form the basis for the internal walkways and staircases that provide access to the upper levels of the tower.

The non-slip timber deck itself was constructed using Marley CitiDeck. The decking was installed, and carefully cut to a smooth curve following the line of the new metalwork guarding at the edge. There is also a large opening in the middle that allows visitors to look down to the floor of the keep. The boards were also used to create seating areas and the guard structure around the central opening.

“We chose CitiDeck because we needed an attractive and robust anti-slip timber decking for use in high-traffic public areas,” explains an architect at Hugh Broughton Architects Ltd who worked on the project. “We wanted a consistent appearance between the deck boards, and the timber boards forming the sides to the benches and perimeter guarding, and CitiDeck made that possible,” they add.

Non-slip timber decking CitiDeck – A safe surface

With high numbers of visitors to the tower, safety was a top priority. “It’s great that CitiDeck boards perform very well in testing when both wet and dry,” the architect says.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, flooring is considered to have a low slip potential if it achieves pendulum test value (PTV) of at least 36. CitiDeck has been extensively tested, and has far exceeded the minimum, with PTVs of 61 when wet and 73 when dry.

Durability and ease of maintenance were also important considerations for the external and exposed public rooftop area. The smooth profile of the boards was an especially attractive feature, as it reduces the likelihood of grit getting trapped in any grooves. It also means that the decking can be easily cleaned by brushing, as there’s no water source available at the roof deck level.

Sustainable non-slip timber decking

Sustainability was another important consideration. While a variety of decking products were considered, including composite boards. Timber was ultimately chosen due to its sustainability credentials.

“Timber was preferable due to it being a natural material,” the architect explains. Marley’s CitiDeck is sourced from managed forests that are PEFC or FSC certified, so specifiers can rest assured that it is an environmentally friendly product.  The architect also notes that timber has the potential for repurposing at the end of its lifespan: “There are more options for recycling the boards at the end of their usable life,”.

Specifying Marley CitiDeck

As well as providing a durable, slip-resistant and attractive decking product, Marley also helped to ensure the Clifford’s Tower project went smoothly, answering questions and queries as they came up, providing details in terms of product selection and composition.

Handmade in the UK, Marley check the quality at every stage of the process, and for extra reassurance, CitiDeck has the TDCA DeckMark® and DeckMark® Plus quality certification.

Marley CitiDeck has been awarded “Preservative Treated Wood Project of the Year” by The Wood Protection Association (Wood Protection Association | UK (

To learn more about our decking range – get in touch

Developed to help with the design and specification of timber decking our new Decking Specification Guide is free to download.

Images supplied by the English Heritage.


System 162 in matt white

Building Products Index Ltd sanitary accessories Leave a Comment

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Accessories from HEWI’s System 162 sanitary range have a purist design and a straightforward shape. The sanitary range is available throughout with all products in the matt white finish and thus offers a noble design variant.

System 162 consists of coordinated accessories for washbasin, WC and shower. Well thought-out product details enable easy use. The functional solutions of the series are characterised by the characteristic mitre cut. Thanks to the use of robust materials, System 162 is suitable for use in highly frequented sanitary rooms as well as in the bathroom at home.

The products of the accessory line are available in matt polished stainless steel, in high-quality chrome-plating as well as with a matt surface in grey, black and white. The inserts of the products are alternatively made of glass or polyamide. System 162 convinces as a high-quality design solution with various material options and enables a consistent design of sanitary rooms and bathrooms.

System competence – HEWI seat family

Due to the cross-series design and HEWI’s system expertise, the sanitary series can be combined with the models of the HEWI seat family in matt white. The four variants of the seat family from HEWI offer increased comfort and safety in the sanitary room. Their design is convincing with its modern design language.




Building Products Index Ltd Resin Bound Surfacing Leave a Comment

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Following the approval of plans by Cheltenham Borough Council for improvements to the Clarence Fountain plinth at Boots Corner in Cheltenham, work began in March 2022 to create a decorative public space at the heart of this busy Gloucestershire city.

Ares Landscape Architects’ design included the addition of raised planters with trees to elevate this area from an urban pedestrian space to a green oasis with seating, inviting wildlife in. BBA approved Addaset Resin bound permeable surfacing was specified in two colour blends to provide a slip resistant decorative surface that would work with the existing street paving and be easy to maintain.

Addagrip approved contractor Cotswold Estates and Gardens Ltd was invited to install the new paving. Hoardings were put in place to redirect pedestrian traffic and to protect the working space in this busy public area. Cotswold Estates and Gardens fitted a metal edging around the fountain plinth and installed resin bound porous Addaset Acorn and contrasting Addaset New Scandinavian Pearl blends for the path and seating area.

The project was started at the end of March after the Cheltenham Festival with a plan to complete the project with minimum disruption for the public and to local businesses in the surrounding area.

Clarence Fountain’s transformation was completed in May 2022 in time for the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend, offering a central accessible city centre space for residents and visitors to sit and relax.


Addaset Resin Bound Surfacing


Cheltenham Borough Council


Ares Landscape Architects Ltd


Case study





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

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Eurocell’s market leading PVC-U window profiles, technical expertise, and commitment to a sustainable future, is helping to underpin the success of a major ongoing property maintenance and refurbishment project in Birmingham. 

As a result of the work undertaken in tandem with project lead, construction company, Wates, and fabrication partner, Shelforce, many of Birmingham’s social housing tenants are now benefiting from improved property insulation, lower energy bills, and aesthetically pleasing building exteriors, thanks to the specification and installation of new attractive windows with a minimum design life expectancy of 35 years.  

Wates, one of the UK’s largest construction and property services companies won the tender to deliver a programme of property refurbishment for Birmingham City Council in 2016.  The programme is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of over 31,000 low- and high-rise properties currently under the control of the council.

Among the primary elements of the overall project – which has now run successfully for over five years – has been to address the need to replace a large volume of windows in properties across some housing estates, as well as refurbish those situated in tower blocks around the city.

From a technical perspective, some of the key challenges Wates faced were to ensure that the window replacement solutions would overcome issues such as wind driven water access and have the proven ability to withstand wind pressures generated by the height of the tower blocks, as well as being able to meet the council’s aesthetic and sustainability objectives with a flexible, proven, and long-lasting window replacement solution.

Wates brought in its long-term fabrication supplier, Erdington-based Shelforce to oversee the manufacture of the window solution required to support the extensive and ongoing refurbishment programme.

To ensure the secure supply of the quantity, quality and finish of profiles as stated in the council’s original window specification, Shelforce joined forces with Eurocell in what has been a highly successful material supply and technical collaboration that has supported the overall refurbishment works in recent years.

Gary Driscoll, sales & commercial director at Eurocell, explains how the partnership works: “Eurocell supplies Shelforce with the Logik70 profile in an anthracite grey colour, as well as in standard white, in line with its material orders on a weekly basis.  We also collaborate on technical aspects of projects around the window design.  This, for example, can often be due to the challenges of dealing with the wind pressures exerted on high-rise tower block building windows that necessitate the inclusion of additional reinforcement within the window design.  We supply all items to Shelforce in PVC-U apart from the reinforcement components or couplers which are provided in either aluminium or steel dependent on requirements.”

The joint desire of Eurocell and Shelforce to work together to create solutions to some of the technical challenges on the maintenance programme, has resulted in the development of a hybrid system, as Howard Trotter, business manager at Shelforce, highlights: “Any window runs over five metres need expansion joints, which is not something that is readily available in PVC-U.  We have therefore developed a hybrid system using aluminium and Eurocell PVC-U which has been tested to BS 6375 for weather proofing and passed all regulatory standards.”

Building for the future

With much focus on the delivery of sustainable construction solutions that reduce the impact on the environment, having a green perspective has also been important for all partners as the refurbishment project has unfolded in recent years.  With the original tender secured by Wates stipulating sustainability objectives such as the need for zero non-hazardous waste going to landfill, it is clear that caring for the environment has been crucial to the success of the programme.

Eurocell has been able to make a significant contribution in this regard.

With its own recycling plants that transform old waste plastic products into new and reusable PVC-U profiles, all extrusions sent to Shelforce for fabrication come from a recycled source.  In addition, the partnership approach across the programme now sees Eurocell work with Wates to collect and recycle the old windows being replaced.   Such waste materials are then reused for making the new window profiles that Shelforce fabricates, which can also support the future needs of the ongoing maintenance and replacement project across the city.

Howard Trotter concludes: “Without doubt, we have seen a lot of benefit from our relationship with Eurocell across this important and significant city-wide refurbishment scheme.  It has provided excellent technical support when required, including the provision of in-house training, as well as maintaining material supply despite the operational difficulties brought on by the pandemic. This has enabled Shelforce to continue to optimise fabrication production and supply to Wates and kept the project on track.”

Birmingham’s residents are enjoying improved housing conditions as new high performing window solutions remove draught-related problems and help to better insulate their living spaces.  Not only are the Eurocell-profiled windows underpinning the practical benefits the refurbishment programme is designed to deliver, but the subsequent attractive aesthetic appeal of the newly installed windows is also making a positive contribution to local community landscapes across Birmingham.

Finally, all stakeholders recognise that important sustainability objectives are also being met through the specification of the new windows that emanate from a recycled source and are set, according to the Building Research Establishment, to deliver long-lasting design life expectancy into the middle of this century.

Achieving first class aesthetics and fire performance

Building Products Index Ltd Doors, riser doors Leave a Comment

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As the UK’s first manufacturer to bi-directionally fire test its riser doors, Profab Access understands the importance of ensuring the highest standards of compliance and certification.

That’s why it has developed the VEGA 1500 Fire Rated Series Riser Door, which provides architects and specifiers with an affordable yet compliant solution, ideal for installation throughout education, student accommodation and social housing applications.

Extensively bi-directionally tested by Efectis in France and Ireland, the riser door is suitable for use in shaft walls, standard flexible wall constructions and with all board manufacturers.The lightweight, easy to install solution provides professionals with permanent and safe access to mechanical and electrical services housed within a riser core.

As the riser door sets are fire tested from both sides for 60 minutes and are supplied with comprehensive certification, architects and specifiers can be sure the doors will maintain their frame and integrity for this period, preventing the spread of fire throughout the building.

The VEGA 1500 Series Fire Rated Riser Door is supplied as standard with Profab Access’ revolutionary PRECISION adjustable frame, which completely transforms the installation process and reduces fitting times by up to 30%.

This is achieved through the product’s unique construction, which enables the frame to be fully adjusted to meet the specific dimensions of each structural opening. Featuring a continual adjustable steel packer system, the PRECISION adjustable frame ensures the installation is fit for purpose by providing the highest standards in accuracy, whilst also removing the requirement for traditionally used packers during installation.

The engineered frame also features built in factory applied intumescent fire rated mastic strips to the outer frame, which provides fire stopping between the wall and the frame. This eliminates the reliance of the correct thickness of intumescent mastic bead being applied, removing any potential margin for error and ensuring compliance and adequacy of the entire installation.

To ensure the highest standards of performance and compliance are consistently provided, the VEGA 1500 Series Fire Rated Riser Doors are also 35dB acoustic rated, smoke sealed and airtight to Part L.

Available in both single and double door configurations, the VEGA 1500 Series’ value engineered construction achieves a flush, concealed finish that provides first class functionality and safety, without compromising the overall interior design scheme.

Also available as non-fire rated versions, the riser doors features a quick release pivot hinge and pre-fitted locks to further reduce installation times, without compromising on quality.

The VEGA 1500 Series is supported by a wide range of BIM Level 2 and CAD files to aid the specification process and streamline the initial design stages, with every riser door manufactured at Profab Access’ UK headquarters to provide the quickest possible lead times.

For further information on Profab Access and its range of riser doors, access panels, and steel doors, call +44(0)1827 719051 or visit


Brewers Wolverhampton Coming Soon!

Building Products Index Ltd Paint Leave a Comment

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We are excited to officially announce a brand new Brewers Decorator Centres will be coming to Wolverhampton on 19th July! Located on 1 Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton, the new store will be home to the finest brands in paint, wallpaper, woodcare, fabrics and more!

Stocking a wide variety of brands including Farrow & Ball, Benjamin Moore, Albany,  Dulux, Johnstone’s, Crown, Osmo, Sadolin and ZinsserBrewers Wolverhampton will be also home to hundreds of wallpapers for you to browse at your leisure. If you’re not sure where to start, speak to a member of the team who will be more than happy to point you in the right direction!

With thousands of colours to choose from, Brewers is the place for choosing your perfect colour. Brewers Wolverhampton will have state of the art tinting facilities from Albany, Dulux, Farrow & Ball, Little Greene, Crown, Zinsser, Johnstone’s and Benjamin Moore. The store will also provide a colour match service, allowing you to find the perfect hue to match your next scheme that you can take away the very same day.

Too busy to pop into store? Brewers Wolverhampton will be offering daily deliveries, whether you need supplies direct to site or straight to your home. If you want to grab some supplies out of store hours, you’ll be able to take advantage of the Brewers Collect Anytime service. Designed for the busy decorator, the 24-hour collection option uses a simple and secure lock box system. You will be sent a code when your order is ready for collection which is used to access your order at a time that suits you.

To celebrate the new store, there will be store exclusive offers and free goody bags to those who sign up for a Brewers account. Receive 20% off your first AND second purchase when you open a credit account or Brewers card, plus a whole host of other benefits!

Jay and his team look forward to welcoming you to Brewers Wolverhampton from the 19th of July. To keep up to date with offers, competitions and more, join us on Facebook or Instagram.

Facebook – @BrewersPaints

Instagram – @BrewersPaints

Creating glass linkways

Building Products Index Ltd Architectural Glass Leave a Comment

View the Ion Glass entry on BPindex

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Structural glass specialists Ion Glass share their insights into the options available and benefits of a glass linkway for many homes and buildings.

A bespoke glass linkway with structural fins and beams fitted to a heritage property

Creating links between buildings can often raise some interesting challenges – especially when adding a modern extension to an older building, or connecting two quite disparate structures.

It’s not just the aesthetics of how the two buildings connect, but also the structural interface, especially relevant in heritage properties, or when the existing constructions have been built separately with no potential to join them with more traditional building methods.

As Peter Hazeldean, Managing Director of bespoke structural glass specialists Ion Glass points out: ‘Older buildings behave quite differently.  The foundations are likely to be more shallow, the structure itself more flexible and breathable.  If you build a modern extension directly against an older building there’s bound to be a difference in movement.   A structural glass linkway overcomes these issues – with plenty of opportunity for individual design to create a fantastic result!

A contemporary link between home and garage creating a usable space for the homeowner

We regularly install glass linkways in modern homes too…linking the garage directly to the property for instance, or connecting a new extension that couldn’t otherwise be an integral element of the original building.’

A glass linkway can have a positive lifestyle impact for property owners, creating a light, airy and weatherproof space that becomes an attractive element of the home.  The linkway can be installed without the need for footings and can be connected to the existing structures with little physical or visual impact, using a fully sealed channel set option for the glass wall panels to create a sleek, frameless appearance.

Ion Glass ( regularly design structural glass fins or structural glass beams to provide a minimal, yet robust and functional result with  no visible fixings. Any metalwork required in the construction of the linkway is individually commissioned or manufactured by Ion Glass for a project-specific result.

Depending on individual requirements, a glass linkway can be built in single or double glazing: single glazed construction will provide a fully weather resistant link whereas double glazing allows the linkway to also become an integral part of the structure of the building, fully compliant with heat loss requirements.

A glass linkway between a converted oast house and a modern extension

A choice of glass types offers an additional level of flexibility for every project.

Ion Glass offer individual, technical advice on every glass installation they undertake, from the appropriate fixing systems and  glass specification, to ensuring the installation meets all the relevant criteria, from heat loss considerations to the requirements of conservation groups.

Ion Glass work closely with homeowners, architects and builders on a wide variety of residential and commercial projects, in particular where the properties of glass as a structural material play a key role in the design to modernise, improve or extend the building.  They also have an unrivalled reputation in the heritage and listed property sector.  Specialist in frameless structural glass their work also includes glass doors,bespoke internal, external and curved balustrades, rooflights, glass screens and frameless glass shower enclosures.

To discuss your project with an Ion Glass experts call them on 0345 658 9988 or email


Building Products Index Ltd Louvres Leave a Comment

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The £420m Manchester Engineering Campus (MECD) benefits from a range of Construction Specialties’ (CS) architectural louvres providing excellent airflow and long-lasting protection from wind-driven rain.

The engineering campus will be home to a community of 8000 students and staff. With the University of Manchester committed to environmental sustainability, a green approach to the design was paramount with the project targeting BREEAM ‘Excellent’.

For the largest building on the campus, 80,000m2 the MEC Hall, CS louvres were specified for the rooftop plant areas to provide both natural ventilation and smoke clearance ventilation. A custom clip in louvre, powder coated in RAL 9005 Black, complemented the vertical grid of metal slats on the façade. In active louvre areas bird guards and motorised uPVC volume control dampers were installed behind louvres, while non-active areas thermally-insulated blanking panels were fitted. On the sides facing internal hall atriums, CS SLA-I screening louvres, powder coated to blend in with the wall colours, were installed in inverted configuration to hide the louvres and dampers from view.

Linked to the MEC Hall by a second floor walkway, the Upper Brook Street Building (Engineering Building B) houses a large teaching lab and lecture hall. CS supplied its high performance rain defence model RSV-5700 and double louvred doors for this building. The louvre modules were fabricated with a glazing frame to allow easy integration within the curtain walling system.

Featuring a complex, extruded aluminium blade profile with multiple draining channels, arranged in vertical orientation, RSV-5700 is a high-performance louvre designed to provide maximum defence against wind-driven rain penetration. Independently tested to EN 13030, RSV-5700 offers class A rain defence up to 3.5m/s core velocity, combined with a class 3 ‘good’ airflow rating.

The custom clip louvre was also specified for the new build extension to the Grade II listed Oddfellows Hall and RSV-5700 system was installed in 3 elevations of the York Street Building.

The specification and installation of CS’ architectural louvres will ensure the buildings can boast striking aesthetics and functionality whilst supporting the sustainability strategy of the campus.

For further project information visit:

Crittall wins Trinity College plaudits

Building Products Index Ltd Aluminium Doors, Aluminium Windows, Doors, Windows Leave a Comment

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A new building in the grounds of historic Trinity College, Oxford, illustrates how 21st Century environmental performance can be married seamlessly with traditional aesthetic requirements.

Crittall’s T60 thermally broken steel windows make a major contribution to the Levine Building’s sustainability credentials.

The new buildings have been designed by ADAM Architecture in what is described as a restrained classical manner to augment the distinctive character of the surrounding conservation area that includes listed structures. It is the first major building project to have taken place at Trinity College for more than 50 years.

A theatre seating 200 people, study bedrooms for students, teaching rooms, kitchens and ancillary space have been created in the new three-storey building whose stone-faced elevations have been finished in honey coloured ashlar limestone to complement its heritage setting.  The building also features a pitched, slate covered roof.

Niall Kelor, of main contractors Gilbert-Ash, said it was the first time he had worked with Crittall, and he was very pleased with both the experience and the result.

“It all worked very well. The installation team were great,” he said.  As to the end result, that was aesthetically very pleasing. “There is a good colour contrast between the windows and the ashlar. The client is very happy.”

The T60 windows are set within stone surrounds and finished in an attractive bronze coloured Duralife polyester powder coating. Many are fitted with trickle ventilation. Triple glass is installed in the windows of the theatre auditorium for improved sound attenuation.  T60 features an advanced high-density polyurethane isolator as a thermal barrier that together with double or triple glazing surpasses the requirements of current regulations.

The cold formed steel profiles nevertheless retain Crittall’s hallmark slender sightlines that ensure maximum light ingress. The Levine Building project also features cold form doors and internal fire screens on ground and first floors.


ADAM Architecture
West Wing
Somerset House
London WC2R 1LA

Main Contractor:

9 Empire Square E
London SE1 4NA