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Industry News

Achieving timeless design

Simon Allford, director at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, winner of this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize, says that architectural design needs to consider the ever-changing nature of our cities, to ensure their long term sustainability.

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Grant UK upgrades oil-fired combi

Grant UK’s Vortex Pro oil-fired combi now includes a 24 litre expansion vessel as standard, a safeguard designed to provide expansion capacity for both the boiler and the heating system. The company says it regularly consults installers regarding improvements that they would like to see made to products, and a larger factory fitted expansion vessel for the combi was high on the list. “By upgrading to a 24 litre expansion vessel, the boilers will ultimately save on installation time and costs because, in most cases, no additional external vessel will be required. For the majority of installations, 24 litres will provide more than sufficient room for the expansion from both the boiler and heating system,” the company explained. The Vortex Combi range includes internal and external models available in output of 21 kW, 26 kW and 36 kW. The latest Combi XS 26kW boiler is 515 mm wide and claimed ...

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Light years ahead

Dan Hawkes, senior account manager at LEDHut Trade, outlines why LEDs are the ideal replacement for halogen lighting in residential settings.

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Striking contrast

Washroom designer and manufacturer Washroom Washroom has completed work on a colourful project at 103 Wigmore Street in London. The building, directly behind Oxford Street, has recently been refurbished, with an iconic department store occupying five floors of Grade A standard office space. Working closely with fit out and refurbishment specialist BW, Washroom installed new male and female washrooms on levels 5-7 of the building in a project worth £230,000, with everything finished to a high specification to meet the exacting standards demanded. For the vanity units, which included integral basins and stylish mirrors above, Washroom used HI-MACS, a new generation of solid surface material from LG Hausys. Consisting of approximately one third acrylic resin, it boasts a smooth, non-porous and dirt-repellent surface, designed to be resistant to common bacteria and viruses ensuring it meets the most exacting hygiene standards. Extremely flexible, LG HI-MACS can be manufactured in an array ...

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Making a pointe

Cardiff Pointe, a major new £250m residential project in Cardiff Bay and one of the biggest developments in the city over recent years, has seen VMZINC used throughout phases 1 and 2. Scott Brownrigg’s design specified standing seam facades and roofs in dark charcoal ANTHRA-ZINC for homes which stand on the peninsula adjacent to Cardiff Yacht Club, and opposite the International Sports Village. Two towers of 24 and 18 storeys respectively have been built on the north of the site and cantilever out over the water to provide added focus for the colour’s visual aesthetic. A 750 m² public plaza has also been added to provide community facilities. The pre-weathered nature of ANTHRA-ZINC gives the material exceptional colour retention whilst continuing to patinate naturally. This self-protecting quality is one for which the metal is renowned, ensuring that it will evoke the shade of slate for years to come. The matt ...

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Lifting luxury

A Stannah Maxilift MRLi motor room-less passenger lift and Goodsmaster CD chain drive goods lift are the moving solutions of choice for Meridian Grand, a luxury banqueting, conference and events venue in Edmonton, North London. Both Stannah lifts help Meridian Grand deliver a first class service, whether this is for small, intimate gatherings or large, corporate occasions – from weddings to big-number fund raisers – all in opulent surroundings that are the hallmark of this family run business. Both Stannah lifts were specified by Peter Goulde, architect at APT Designers in North London. “Having previously specified Stannah lifts we knew their range of products could be well suited for the demands of a hospitality project such as Meridian Grand which requires a smart comfortable passenger lift for visitors to the front-of-house and a reliable goods lift to ensure the building works behind the scenes. Needless to say we were not ...

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Fluent design

As an international education provider operating across the world, the students and teachers of Education First (EF) are used to enjoying beautiful surroundings and the recently completed language school in Cambridge is no exception. The language school is located in an historic Edwardian villa in a tranquil tree-lined residential area close to Cambridge’s city centre, but prior to its extensive refurbishment the period property was struggling to meet the rigorous demands of a modern educational facility. Leading architect NRAP has sympathetically reinvented the space to create an inspirational learning environment that has gone on to be recognised with a number of key architectural accolades, including RIBA East Regional Award 2015, a Historic England Conservation Award and Cambridge Design and Construction Award. The new school building has been carefully arranged, with the classrooms spread over two levels and linked by a central glazed atrium. With a key requirement of the scheme ...

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Grand makeover

Birmingham New Street Station had originally been built to accommodate 650 trains and 60,000 passengers per day. By 2010 it had become the busiest station outside of London, operating at more than twice its intended capacity. British ceiling manufacturer SAS International commenced work on the three-phase project in June 2012. NG Bailey and main contractor Mace installed SAS systems across the platforms, the shopping centre and the concourse. The early design involvement of SAS International was beneficial to the refurbishment of Birmingham New Street – full scale, physical mock-ups of the bespoke ceiling solutions were built on site, ensuring that the design idea and the final product were in accord before installation. At this stage, changes could easily be implemented without time or financial loss. The fit out of semi-exposed platforms was a first for SAS International. Wind loads from trains passing at speed, and the integration of fans for ...

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High performance solar control

Forbury Place is no ordinary office development – the building’s ribbon-like vertical fins create the illusion of movement as you walk past the structure. The design also incorporates a ‘diagrid’, the powerful diagonal form providing unique visual branding. The stunning design creates a distinctive office building which primarily features a glazed facade that incorporates SGG COOL-LITE STADIP SKN 165 from Saint-Gobain Glass to provide neutral aesthetics, high performance solar control and safety/security benefits. The glazing aesthetics make a significant contribution to the building’s unusual exterior appearance which is designed to fascinate from every angle. Forbury Place is one of the UK’s first projects to feature the SGG COOL-LITE STADIP SKN 165. The project required high performance solar control with additional security, safety and acoustic benefits and SGG COOL-LITE STADIP SKN 165 was able to meet these multiple performance requirements within a single product. The energy performance required at Forbury Place ...

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Timber triumphs

Replacement like-for-like period style timber windows from the Mumford & Wood Conservation range have been installed in the thermal upgrade programme of St Margaret’s Junior Girls’ boarding house at the famous Cheltenham Ladies’ College. Other boarding houses at the school have also been refurbished in recent years, with window replacements by Mumford & Wood. The College, which was founded in 1853, is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11-18 years. The College has been at the forefront of girls’ education for over 150 years and has a worldwide reputation for academic excellence. One of the College’s earliest Principals was a prominent suffragette educator who also founded St Hilda’s College, Oxford. Main contractor M C H Building Services, Gloucester, a member of the Federation of Master Builders, has undertaken the first phase of this challenging project. The front elevation is now complete, requiring over 80 casement and sash ...

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