Focussing on architecture, design and innovation, Specifier Review publishes news and views from the built environment. Showcasing the latest architectural projects, product announcements, video presentations and informative articles by building product manufacturers and construction industry professionals.
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Just how bad for the planet is air conditioning? With negative press about air conditioning, Martin Fahey explores the issues behind the headlines. You may have noticed recent headlines in the Press such as “Air conditioning to tackle summer heat waves causes surge in deadly pollution”, and “How trying to stay cool could make the world even hotter” and this may have left you […] The post Just how bad for the planet is air conditioning? appeared first on Specifier Review -...
With negative press about air conditioning, Martin Fahey explores the issues behind the headlines.
You may have noticed recent headlines in the Press such as “Air conditioning to tackle summer heat waves causes surge in deadly pollution”, and “How trying to stay cool could make the world even hotter” and this may have left you feeling that the debate on the merits of air conditioning has focused rather too much on the negative impact of increasing energy use, rather than the sometimes lifesaving and performance benefits of keeping people cooler during such incredibly hot spells.
And certainly there were a mixed review of comments under the most recent piece in the Independent but in the main, I think common sense has prevailed, which mirrors the two keys message that we as an air conditioning manufacturer have long advocated.
1) Modern commercial buildings will often still need some level of cooling, especially in weather like we have experienced recently, but also because of the increase in heat-generating equipment in buildings and improving building standards that keep heat inside a building (a positive in the cooler months).
2) The vast majority of UK homes DO NOT need energy consuming cooling, they actually need better ventilation. A widespread uptake in domestic cooling in the UK is unnecessary and unsustainable, especially when you look at the carbon reduction targets that the country is legally obliged to meet in the coming years.
Of course there are exceptions to Point 2 such as the elderly and vulnerable, but there are also short term solutions that can be found during heat waves.
It is also true that there is now a move towards inner city apartments, with sealed windows, in multi-use buildings, where a more holistic approach to the whole heating, cooling and ventilation mix is required, so that we can find ways to help meet the ambitious and legal carbon reduction targets.
And this for me is the deeper truth behind the articles.
Almost everything we do in modern life now consumes energy and if we want buildings that are comfortable to live, work and rest in, then we will often have to have some form of cooling, alongside the need for heating (space and hot water) and ventilation.
What is so important though, is to ensure that these systems are designed, specified, installed, commissioned and operated properly, so that they can deliver the comfort needed in the most energy efficient ways possible. This should also come after the building itself has been made efficient, by reducing water through the fabric of the building, thus reducing the loads needed, both heating and cooling, to control the building within the range that is required.
As a responsible manufacturer, we try to ensure that we not only provide the highest quality products that will operate using the minimum of energy needed at any one time, but then you would expect us to say this, wouldn’t you.
What we also do to go above and beyond this is look at every aspect of our production so that this also mitigates any impact on the environment and this has led to more use of recycled and recyclable materials in a process that focuses on the whole life of a product, including responsible disposal.
This asks our Diamond Quality Partners to submit themselves and their installations to independent audits which verify the quality of their installation work and prove that our beautifully designed and engineered machines are installed and commissioned with the same care.
The next step though is to increase understanding of the power that even a simple control system can offer to building operators to ensure that no energy is wasted.
This article was originally featured on The Hub. To continue reading the next segment, More than just a time clock, visit: https://les.mitsubishielectric.co.uk/the-hub/bad-airconditioning
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Don’t play with fire The tragic events of the Grenfell disaster leave an imprint that will remain with the industry for decades to come. Importantly lessons will be learnt and perhaps at last, attention will be paid to safety above other considerations when deciding upon risk critical building products such as fire doors and fire door assemblies. More immediately, […] The post Don’t play with fire appeared first on Specifier Review - Architecture - Design - Innovation Kirsty...
The tragic events of the Grenfell disaster leave an imprint that will remain with the industry for decades to come. Importantly lessons will be learnt and perhaps at last, attention will be paid to safety above other considerations when deciding upon risk critical building products such as fire doors and fire door assemblies. More immediately, we all await the inevitable changes to legislation and good practice, following Dame Judith Hackitt’s independent review and how it will shape future product specification.
Understandably anticipation has resulted in concern amongst specifiers and stake holders as they try to evaluate current practices and plan for potential future changes, especially in respect to high-rise buildings. After all the specification of fire doors is a very serious matter and as we all know can have far reaching consequences if wrong decisions are made. It is little wonder therefore, that for specifiers in the housing sector using Vicaima products, any feeling of anxiety and apprehension regarding past, current and future use of fire doors is not an issue; providing of course that they have been correctly installed.
Of course the fire door in itself does not provide the complete solution, this can only be achieved with compatible and rigorously tested components, including the correct frame and ironmongery. This is why alongside fire doors, Vicaima also manufacture a range of door kit solutions via our Easi-Fit and Portaro brands. These products include a full scope of performance characteristics for current and future industry specifications, namely:
* Fire Tested to BS 476 Part 22 and BS EN 1634-1:2014
* Secure by Design approved products
* Acoustic performance, both inherent and additional as required
* FD30 to FD90 rated, with fire and smoke solutions
* Durability with DD171 and EN 1192 severe duty rating
* Mobility provision via glazing and dimensional flexibility
* Environmentally sound (all products are FSC Certified)* FD30 to FD90 rated, with fire and smoke solutions
* Long life with a 10 Year Guarantee
As specialist fire door manufacturers, Vicaima go beyond industry norms and simple compliance to provide ultimate peace of mind. Vicaima prides itself on the construction of its fire doors, using fully solid cores and a traditional stile and rail perimeter to enable reliable fixing of ironmongery. After all sometimes it is what you cannot see that makes the difference.
One of the recommendations outlined within the Independent Review, is the need for third party accreditation. Here Vicaima adhere to not one but two nationally recognised bodies to verify the performance of products, namely BWF-Certifire and BM TRADA Q-Mark. In each case traceability is assured with the use of tamper evident labels and plastic plugs to provide clear understanding of fire rating and of course origin of manufacture. You or indeed future custodians of fitted fire doors will be left in no doubt simply by looking at the top edge of any Vicaima fire door, where clear identification including a detailed inkjet stamp enables Vicaima to establish complete control of our products throughout their lifecycle.
For more information regarding Vicaima Fire and other performance solutions visit www.vicaima.com
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School to save £320,000 – by changing its lightbulbs A high school is due to save more than £320,000 over the next 15 years just by changing its lightbulbs, thanks to renewable energy company Greenio. Trinity Catholic School has had a full LED lighting system installed both internally and externally at its site in Nottingham. The 1,350 LED project, which has just completed its […] The post School to save £320,000 – by changing its lightbulbs appeared first on Specifier Review -...
A high school is due to save more than £320,000 over the next 15 years just by changing its lightbulbs, thanks to renewable energy company Greenio.
Trinity Catholic School has had a full LED lighting system installed both internally and externally at its site in Nottingham. The 1,350 LED project, which has just completed its second phase, will begin to offer savings of more than 150,000kg of carbon dioxide per year – the equivalent of over 200 trees.
Changing the external lights at the school also improves health and safety and will save the education facility an estimated extra £3,000 per year. The school plans to invest the money it will be saving into books, laptops and staff development.
Assistant headteacher Steve Manderson said: “As a project it sounded daunting to change 1,350 lights in the school but it was a surprisingly smooth process.
“Since the first installation of the LED lights six months ago, we’ve already seen the energy bills come down. The lighting has much improved work spaces and we expect to save hours of time changing light bulbs. It’s given the schools a more clean and modern look, with departments already acknowledging a vast improvement in the quality of the light. It’s a win-win situation.”
The installation was cost neutral, with the school paying the difference in savings for the duration of a four-year payback period in order to cover the capital cost of the equipment. A Carbon Trust grant has reclaimed £5,000 of the investment back for the school – which can be used on anything the education facilities likes.
Anna Wooster, managing director of Greenio, said: “Having worked with many schools across the country it was a blessing to work closely with Steve Manderson and his team, who were accommodating, understanding and so driven to turn this school into a sustainable future proofing hub. The fact the school has now gone for phase 2 is really special.
“There are no upfront costs for the school and it will always be in a positive position. The school now has more money to spend on learning and providing a better education for pupils. Some schools have bought new equipment such as laptops and books, whereas others have invested in their staff development and even hired extra members of staff.”
Greenio, which was set up in 2013 and is based in Sleaford, Lincolnshire, has been involved in dozens of educational projects. The company is now starting to work with local councils across the UK to reach out to schools and offer them cost-saving heating and electrical solutions.
Anna added: “You’d think having to change thousands of lightbulbs would cause some disruption but no learning is interrupted. Some schools prefer it to take place during the holidays, however we’re happy to work around the school – working late out-of-hours shifts to ensure the smoothest transition.”
To learn more about this project, or to find out how you can improve your carbon footprint and save money, contact Greenio on 0800 810 0565.
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Can Green Roofs Create Greater Health and Well-Being? As the evidence for greater human well-being grows as a result of contact (visual and physical) with the natural environment there would appear a greater need to incorporate green infrastructure within the built up environment. This would apply to new developments as well as retro-fitting. A number of studies have found that access to green […] The post Can Green Roofs Create Greater Health and Well-Being? appeared first on Specifier...
As the evidence for greater human well-being grows as a result of contact (visual and physical) with the natural environment there would appear a greater need to incorporate green infrastructure within the built up environment. This would apply to new developments as well as retro-fitting. A number of studies have found that access to green areas can improve our mental health as well as our physical health such as reducing blood pressure.
Which Would You Choose?
Imagine the difference between looking out at a grey concrete vista and a view that has been designed and built to benefit nature. You don’t have to answer the above question as I already know the answer!
Integrating Green Roofs
The integration of green infrastructure brings a multitude of benefits to our environment where human beings, flora and fauna can all win. Of course, it isn’t always possible to find space in our towns and cities to build a park or other communal green space at ground level, so the only option remaining would be the 1000s of square feet of available roof space. Retro-fitting green roofs can be an expensive business, but if you take the long term view, then the costs comes down considerably. For instance, properties would experience less maintenance and replacement costs as a result of the longer life of a green roof. The green roof would also act as an insulator, keeping the space below the roof warmer and therefore reducing fuel bills. Additionally, residents/employees could also share and enjoy the green space if it was made accessible.
A recent study in the USA demonstrated that post surgery recovery was greater in hospitals where patients looked out onto a green space. A few years ago, another hospital in Basel was redesigned as it was felt that intensive care patients would benefit if they could look out across greenery rather than concrete. This was nearly 20 years ago and since then a number of hospitals across Europe have followed these examples.
How do we make this happen?
To make this happen, governments need to implement policies that will encourage the building of green infrastructure. In Germany, many cities provide financial support for green roofs.
This would need to be supported by an education program that would inform the public and other stakeholders of the benefits of green roofs. In the UK, there would need to be greater incentives for those in the construction sector to alter their practices and have greater integration of green infrastructure within their developments so that we can all enjoy a healthy built environment.
To chat about your green roof project call us on 0844 057 0359. We’re happy to give advice and can supply everything you’ll need for your green roof including a root resistant membrane, your sedum and importantly your lightweight, organic green roof growing medium
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RAVATHERM UK boosts eco-credentials of POLYFOAM™ XPS RAVATHERM UK has boosted the environmental credentials of its POLYFOAM ™ extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation, achieving a BRE Certified Green Guide rating of A+ for all products manufactured at its Hartlepool factory. The certification adds to a series of independent accreditations, which demonstrate that POLYFOAM ™ XPS meets the highest environmental standards. The insulation has […] The post RAVATHERM UK boosts eco-credentials...
RAVATHERM UK has boosted the environmental credentials of its POLYFOAM ™ extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation, achieving a BRE Certified Green Guide rating of A+ for all products manufactured at its Hartlepool factory.
The certification adds to a series of independent accreditations, which demonstrate that POLYFOAM ™ XPS meets the highest environmental standards. The insulation has already achieved a BES 6001: Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products certification and has been issued Product-Specific Type 111 Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) through BRE’s EN 15804 EPD Verification Scheme for products in the POLYFOAM Extra and Standard range.
Stuart Bell, managing director of RAVATHERM UK said: “We want to give specifiers and construction companies the assurance that they are using a highly sustainable product, which will have minimal environmental impact. Achieving the certified Green Guide A+ rating is just one way in which we’re doing that and underlines our commitment to continuously improving our products.
“As BRE has also released EPDs for POLYFOAM ™ XPS and it has achieved the BES 6001 certification, our extruded polystyrene insulation products have unrivalled environmental qualities. As the Green Guide rating will be phased out in 2025, these additional certifications will ensure that maximum points can continue to be achieved under the new technical standard, BREEAM UK New Construction (NC) 2018.”
POLYFOAM ™ XPS was the first extruded polystyrene product range to be independently assessed by BRE. It is free from materials which can deplete the ozone and is 100 per cent recyclable.
RAVATHERM UK’s Hartlepool headquarters is a zero waste to landfill site which manufactures POLYFOAM ™ XPS Extra and Standard products. All manufacturing waste is recycled back into the production process. To eliminate general waste, only a limited number of bins are on site to encourage employees to re-cycle. The small amount of waste that is produced, is collected by a local waste and recycling company and used to produce energy, diverting it from landfill.
RAVATHERM UK’s Green Guide rating, EPD and BES 6001 certificates are available to view on the GreenBookLive website.
For more information about RAVATHERM UK, visit www.ravatherm.co.uk
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Textured Kitchens with Generous Uber-Slim Surface Space on Wishlist’s for Consumers Neil Horton, commercial director for the UK and Europe for Bushboard looks at work surface inspiration for the rest of 2018. Ultra-thin, super-slim whichever way you describe it the standout trend for 2018 with consumers is thin and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Texture, as well as slim dimensions, subtler colourways, and a […] The post Textured Kitchens with Generous Uber-Slim Surface...
Neil Horton, commercial director for the UK and Europe for Bushboard looks at work surface inspiration for the rest of 2018.
Ultra-thin, super-slim whichever way you describe it the standout trend for 2018 with consumers is thin and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Texture, as well as slim dimensions, subtler colourways, and a break away from perpetual granite in favour of marbles and marble-esqs, are top predictions for 2018/19.
Trend Influences: Clutter-free kitchens with large areas of clear and textured worktops and the must-have breakfast bar – inspired by TV Dramas and reality shows are high on the customer wish list. Many consumers want to achieve the super-luxury look they see in films, on TV and social media but don’t have the enormous budgets. Manufacturers in all sectors of the kitchen market have risen to this challenge creating surfaces, furniture, appliances, and accessories that emulate the upper levels of design at a fraction of the cost. In the worktop area, brands like our own also offer clear benefits over real stones, marbles, solid woods, concrete, steel, or copper, not just the cost savings.
Looking Back: The last few years have seen consumers choosing chunky, thick work-surfaces featuring significant contrasts in colour and textures. Favourite combinations have been cream, white or ivory units teamed with dark wooden flooring and dark coloured tops perhaps with a splash of orange, copper, blue or red. Standard worktops are 40mm thick, but deeper materials gave tops the chunky look of being 60-100mm or even 150mm thick.
The Future Is Here: This year customers want far thinner worktops, with empathetic textures that remind them of nature, in more subtle colours with marble-type veining and lightening details. There is still a significant demand for surfaces with sparkle, but natural veining that is less densely patterned than marble and in different shades of white, grey, and sepia browns are tipped as a top trend. Thickness is anything from 22mm to 12.5mm.
Manufacturers in the UK have responded to this demand with some fantastic and innovative materials, designs and colours including natural shades, ceramics, and incredibly realistic wood effects.
Financially unpredictable times bring conservative, classic choices to the fore as customers seek value and longevity. Woodgrains that look like, rustic just-sawn wood also feature species that separate its ranges from the rest of the market has been key to Bushboard’s success with Omega worktops. Examples like Graphite Oak and Stamford Oak with perfect end grain square edging that also offer ultra matt textures – meeting the demand for hipster rustic, an artisanal style that says country but not twee.
Favoured colours in kitchen furniture are predicted to be soft greys, bluey greys, white and naturals with stainless steel continuing to lead in appliances.
Consumer spending may show signs of weakening in kitchen furniture sales, but laminate worktops continue to do well through all channels as they offer consumers a unique opportunity to enhance, update and prolong the working life of their kitchen at an affordable cost in a straightforward way.
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