• Telling Lime Products and Pittsburgh Corning have begun testing their insulated cladding for flood prevention.

Air-tightness, water-tightness and wind and impact resistance are being assessed using the standard methods. There will also be a new test to determine how well the system protects timber and steel frame buildings.

• The Environment Agency has granted Cemex a permit to increase the number of used tyres it burns to heat its cement kiln at Rugby Works in Warwickshire. The amount will rise from 12% to 25%.

• Capital Marble Design, which supplies stone for commercial projects, has published an 80-page catalogue of its natural stone products, composites, mosaics, stone-inspired tiles and sculptured sanitaryware.

• Steve Buckley has become a partner of Hoare Lea Consulting Engineers. Buckley is head of the firm’s fire engineering group in Manchester.

• A study by the Institute of Occupational Medicine has concluded that direct skin contact with new or old lead sheets poses no danger to health. The study was conducted to identify the potential risk that traces of lead could be ingested, but tests showed that adults handling lead did not acquire enough contamination to affect their health.

• On 1 January, the EN 13108 parts 1, 4 and 5 standards for asphalt came into force across Europe. The asphalt mixtures themselves will not change but the way they are described and the tested will.