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Designer panels

Danny Phelan, sales manager at Panel Systems, looks at reasons why architectural panels are increasingly being specified for design-led projects.

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Architect confidence on the rise in latest RIBA survey

The RIBA Future Trends Workload Index increased significantly in November, rising to +27 (up from +18 in October), suggesting that confidence levels within the profession have stabilised towards the end of the year. Large practices (51+ staff) remain the most positive about future prospects (balance figure +100), compared with medium-sized (11–50 staff, balance figure +32) and small practices (1–10 staff, balance figure +24). The private housing sector forecast was unchanged in November (+25) and the public sector and community sector workload forecasts also remained the same (balance figures –3 and +3 respectively). The commercial sector workload forecast increased to +14 in November (from +7 in October). The RIBA Future Trends Staffing Index also recovered lost ground, rising to +14 in November (up from +9 in October). Only 2% of practices expect to have fewer staff at the end of the next quarter. Large practices continue to be more confident about increasing ...

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Precast in a new light

Building Products showcases the aesthetic versatility of architectural and structural precast concrete, which has been effectively utilised to create striking building envelopes on several high profile projects.

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Steady new home growth for November

New home registrations maintained a steady rate of growth throughout November, with similar levels compared to a year ago, according to the latest NHBC figures. In November 11,390 new homes (8,525 private sector; 2,865 public sector) were registered, an increase of 4% on the same month last year (8,848 private sector; 2,152 public sector). Over the last three months, 38,577 new homes (30,170 private sector; 8,407 public sector) were registered between September and November compared to 37,634 (30,120 private sector; 7,514 public sector) in 2014, an increase of 3%. Commenting on the new registration statistics, NHBC Chief Executive Mike Quinton said: “New home registrations for the last three months have remained slightly ahead of the same period last year, following the growth we have experienced throughout 2015. We hope that this momentum continues into the New Year, as we have been clear that while all growth is encouraging news, the ...

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Sprayers answered

Despite traditional plastering having its many supporters, its days may be numbered as ready-mixed spray plasters (RMPs) now deliver many superior features and benefits, says Lorna Stork, Knauf’s sustainability manager.

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Schneider unveils new Ethernet Gateway system

Schneider Electric has announced the launch of its Ethernet Gateway Link150. The Link150 serves as an Ethernet Gateway for PowerLogic system devices and any other communicating devices utilitising the Modbus protocol. It is designed to provide a fast, reliable Ethernet connectivity in the most demanding of applications, from a single building to a multi-site enterprise. This gateway supports power and energy meters, circuit monitors, protective relays, trip units, motor controls and other devices that need to communicate data quickly and efficiently. It offers a simple, cost-effective serial line to full Ethernet connectivity, offering complete access to all status and measurement information. Schneider says the key benefits of the Link150 include: Easy to install, configure and maintain Secure user interface including user’s name and password for login Advanced security features to allow users to specify which Modbus TCP/IP master devices may access attached serial slave devices Compatible with Schneider Electric software offerings (StruxureWare Power Monitoring ...

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Winning formula

An automated sliding door system has helped divide space between office and canteen at the new headquarters of a global sportswear brand. Building Products reports.

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Designer facades

Ian Robottom, product manager at Lithodecor Airtec Systems, looks at how glazed ventilated rainscreen cladding panels are helping to meet the requirements of modern architecture.

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Plans submitted for London Paddington regeneration

Great Western Developments and its development partner Sellar Property Group have announced the formal submission of a planning application for the redevelopment of the former Royal Mail sorting office at 31 London Street, situated adjacent to Paddington Station. The proposed development, known as Paddington Place, has been designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, and plans to dramatically transform this part of London. The centrepiece will be a new landmark for London, a crystal light-reflecting tower set to become a major marker for Paddington, one of London’s most important transport hubs. It will include a sky garden and restaurant, featuring mature trees and plants in the open-air. The ramp that serves as Paddington Station’s entrance will be removed and the whole area in front of the station opened up. There will be the opportunity to extend the station concourse into generous new public open space. The piazza will improve connectivity and establish ...

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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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