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Comeback king

Simone Hellyer takes an in-depth look at the brick industry, and explores the reasons why architects and housebuilders have fallen back in love with the traditional building material.

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TfL releases land for 10,000 London homes

Transport for London (TfL) is to release more than 300 acres of land to help create more than 10,000 new homes across London. The TfL land will be developed over the next decade to provide new homes, offices and retail units to support London’s rapidly growing population and the Capital’s contribution to the economy of the country. 67% of this phase of development is in travel Zones 1 and 2. The new land-release programme is in addition to the work of TfL’s £360m growth fund, which is creating more than 50,000 homes and 30,000 jobs by supporting 14 transport projects across London that are directly unlocking development. The Mayor of London has pledged to have an exit strategy for all City Hall owned land by the end of his term in 2016, with 99% now freed up for development to help deliver thousands of much needed new homes. The London Land ...

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Welcoming facilities

Georgina Spencer, marketing manager for Roca, provides guidance for complying with the requirements of Document M, a sub-section of Part M of the Building Regulations, which plays a key role in the creation of accessible bathrooms.

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Tata Steel restructuring to cost 1,200 jobs

Manufacturer Tata Steel has announced that it expects 1,200 jobs to be lost in the latest restructuring of the firm’s UK operation. Tata Steel’s Long Products Europe business plans to stop production of steel plate, which it says has comes in response to a “shift in market conditions caused by a flood of cheap imports, particularly from China, a strong pound and high electricity costs.” The proposed changes would lead to around 1,200 job losses – about 900 in Scunthorpe and 270 in Scotland, as well as a small number at other Long Products Europe sites. Plate mills in Scunthorpe, Dalzell and Clydebridge would be mothballed, while one of the two coke ovens at the Scunthorpe steelworks would be closed. Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “I realise how distressing this news will be for all those affected. We have looked at all other options before proposing these changes. We will ...

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Engineered timber

Nigel Cox, managing director at Timbmet, explains how feedback from customers has played an integral part in how the company has approached ways to improve its Red Grandis range of hardwood products.

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Senior extends PURe range with low U-value doors

Following on from the launch of its PURe window system, Senior Architectural Systems has introduced the PURe door range. The range was previewed at The Build Show earlier this month and will be officially launched in early 2016. Available as folding sliding, inline sliding, lift and slide, single and double patio door options, the PURe range features the use of an enhanced thermal barrier manufactured from expanded polyurethane foam (PUR). When calculated as a CEN standard folding sliding door, the system can achieve U-values as low as 0.93 w/m2k.The door range is designed to complement Senior’s PURe window system, which offers U-values of 0.71w/m2k when calculated as a commercial CEN standard window. “By offering significantly lower U-values than other aluminium doors currently available, PURe doors can make a substantial improvement to the overall carbon footprint of a building which in turn can lead to a reduction in energy bills,” the ...

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Security upgrade

Ian Kernaghan, product manager at Eurocell, examines the new Approved Document Q coming into force this month, and what it means in terms of enhanced security for new homes.

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Ecobuild confirms UK-GBC as lead partner for 2016

Ecobuild is putting sustainability at the core of the event by confirming the leading campaigning body for green construction issues, the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC), as its exclusive lead partner for 2016. The partnership reflects the two leading organisations’ closely aligned commitment to inspire best practice and push boundaries to demonstrate the value of sustainability throughout the industry. Ecobuild and UK-GBC have worked collaboratively to advocate a focus on long-term sustainability policy to Government, as well as continuing to make a strong case for sustainability across the industry. Ecobuild is also a partner of the World Green Building Council of which the UK-GBC, itself representing over 400 member organisations, is a member. UK-GBC is collaborating with Ecobuild on the development of compelling content for visitors to Ecobuild 2016, and will be hosting thought-provoking Leaders’ Debates on each of the three conference days which focus on Homes, Architecture and Next ...

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Burntwood School wins RIBA Stirling Prize

A comprehensive school in Wandsworth, London has won the RIBA Stirling Prize 2015 for the UK’s best new building. Burntwood School, a large comprehensive girls’ school, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) was one of the last projects under the Building Schools for the Future scheme, which was scrapped by the government in 2010. The school, which the judges described as the “clear winner”, will serve up to 2,000 pupils and over 200 staff and cost £40.9m to build. AHMM created four new four-storey “teaching pavilions”, a sports hall and a performing arts centre linked to the school’s original buildings by renowned 1950s/1960s architect Sir Leslie Martin. Each building incorporates double height spaces at the end of each corridor to increase natural daylight and create well-framed views. The new complex also includes a covered walkway fashioned from bus-stops and features large, colourful murals throughout the buildings. Speaking at the award ceremony, ...

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Plastic inspection chambers

Specifiers of below ground drainage projects can now be more confident selecting plastic as an alternative to concrete for deep Inspection Chambers, thanks to changes in guidance and a new best practice standard, says Tim Wootton, technical services manager at Wavin.

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