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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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Portakabin wins biggest UK education off-site contract

The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has awarded what is believed to be the largest ever off-site contract in the education sector, to the Portakabin Group – a £44m project to deliver an innovative three-school campus. The 23,000 m2 Riverside Schools scheme is one of the largest school projects now under construction. The campus will have capacity for around 2,700 children from 0-19 – integrating provision for nursery, primary, special needs, secondary, and sixth form. The Portakabin Group is main contractor for the project and the contract has been awarded by the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) via the Council’s local education partnership (LEP), Thames Partnership for Learning. The project is procured by LBBD and funded by the Education Funding Agency (EFA). The architects are Surface to Air and the three free schools on the campus will be operated by the multi-academy trust, Partnership Learning. Constructed using a ...

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School renewal

The installation of attractive, bespoke curtain walling and window systems at Burntwood School, winner of a RIBA National Award, was achieved through close collaboration between architect and manufacturer. Building Products reports.

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Government announces automatic planning for brownfield sites

The government has announced plans to grant automatic planning permission on brownfield sites in its Housing and Planning Bill, unveiled yesterday. Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said the bill marks the start of a national crusade to transform “generation rent into generation buy”. Measures announced in the bill include automatic planning permission in principle on brownfield sites, designed to bring forward more land to build new homes quicker. Planning reforms to support small builders were also announced – placing a new duty on councils to help allocate land so 20,000 custom and self-built homes a year can be built by 2020. Other measures included a new legal duty placed on councils to guarantee the provision of 200,000 Starter Homes on all reasonably sized new development sites. These will be offered to first-time buyers at a 20% discount on market prices Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “More than 230,000 households have been ...

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Artistic flair

The striking brick exterior of the RIBA Stirling Prize-nominated extension to Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery was achieved through the creation of a specially created colour blend, as well as a number of non-standard brick types. Building Products reports.

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