The latest products to help you comply with all those regulations, from sound-insulating blockwork to prefabricated wheelchair ramps – plus how a Docklands office is fighting fire …

Tall order for fire protection

Fire Protection has supplied a basement-level smoke extract and ventilation system to DS4, a 14-storey commercial building in Canary Wharf at London Docklands. The ducting system, called BW11, is said to offer up to four hours’ fire resistance and was also used for stair and lift pressurisation ducting in the building. London-based contractor Westco installed the system.

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Ramps for public buildings

Jones of Oswestry has launched a modular ramp access system to help organisations comply with Part M. The company says Suparamp complies with the detailed requirements of Part M including ramp width and rise, landing configuration, handrail provision and colour differentiation of surfaces. It is intended for use on all types of public buildings. Made from galvanised steel, it can be adapted to suit individual building applications.

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Sound-insulated concrete flooring

Stramit Industries, a subsidiary of building systems group Eleco, has added two systems to its ElecoFloor acoustic flooring range to help with compliance with Part E of the Building Regulations. ElecoFloor 23 and 24 are said to meet the Robust Standard Details sound insulation requirements for: insulating precast concrete planks with a screed; insitu concrete slabs; and insitu concrete slabs supported by a profiled metal deck. ElecoFloor 23 is a 23 mm thick panel made up of 18 mm thick tongue-and-groove chipboard faced with a sound-deadening layer and Eleco 24 is 24 mm thick. They are said to reduce noise transmission through the floor by 18 dB and 21 dB respectively.

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Independent heating timers

Siemens Building Technologies has launched two electronic central heating and hot water controllers. The controllers conform to Part L of the Building Regulations as they have independent time control of hot water and central heating. They are also suitable for use in Scotland where Part J of the regulations requires the option of seven-day timing. The RWB27 timer only controls the central heating and is intended for systems with combination boilers. The RWB29 programmer is designed for independent timing of heating and hot water circuits. Both controllers use keys similar to those on mobile phone handsets.

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G Thinner party walls

A space saving concrete block for party walls has been launched by Tarmac Topblock. The company says the new block, called Topcrete TPW complies with Part E of the Building Regulations when plastered or drylined on both sides and is 190 m thick. Conventional party walls are typically 275 mm thick for cavity walls or 215 mm for solid walls. The block is 290 mm long, 140 mm high and weighs 15 kg making it suitable for single person handling. The block is suitable for loadbearing and non-loadbearing walls.

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Operator for heavy doors

Woodwood Door Controls has launched a swing-door operator in response to Part M (Access to and Use of Buildings) of the Building Regulations. The company says the air-driven operator, designed for the safe and efficient control of heavy doors, can be fitted to new or existing doors. It is to be installed under the floor and offers a choice of power assisted, fully automatic or manual opening. Adjustable springs help maximise efficiency for manual and automatic operation. The operator can be used in conjunction with a fire control system as it can be programmed to open, and hold open, a door until it is released manually or by the system.

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Extra-low voltage fans

Airflow has brought out a range of fans for ventilating domestic bathrooms, utility rooms and kitchens. The company says the three models in the Icon range, the 15, 30 and 60, all meet current Building Regulation Part L requirements and are suitable for extra-low voltage applications in areas exposed to moisture. The fan has an iris shutter mechanism to stop backdraughts and can be used in conjunction with ducting. To simplify installation, the fans are also compatible with the company’s interchangeable control modules.

Airflow 307

Fire-resistant paints

Fire protection specialist Leigh’s Paints has added two intumescent paints to its Firetex FX range. The solvent-based paints are said to offer up to two hours’ fire resistance when applied to structural steel. FX7000 is designed for application on site, while FX8000 is intended for factory application.

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Férroli prepared for Part L

Italian boiler maker Férroli says it is prepared for Part L’s requirement that only high-efficiency boilers can be installed from April 2005. It has launched five models, all said to have a SEDBUK “A” efficiency rating. The range includes combination, system and open-vent boilers with outputs of either 25 kW or 35 kW.

The 35 kW models have a modulated heat output from 10 kW, and the 25 kW models modulated output from 7.3 kW.

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Movers and makers

  • The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers has commissioned research to assess the ability of visually impaired people to locate door hardware. It is hoped that the results will make it easier to comply with Part M of the Building Regulations. The research, to commence in October, is being carried out by The Research Group for Inclusive Environments. It will examine the difference in light reflectance between door faces and hardware. The results will be available before the end of January 2005.

  • Precast concrete paving and kerb association Interpave has announced a series of training events on the specification of pervious pavements forming part of a sustainable urban drainage system. The one-day events will be delivered by research bodies Sustainable Drainage Associates and CIRIA and will cover topics including design considerations and materials specification. The first two events will be held in London on 19 October and Coventry on 24 November. Full details are on the Interpave website

  • Insulation manufacturer Celotex has announced that its LG3 insulating lining board has passed the Loss Prevention Council Board LPS1181 reaction to fire test. It said the product was the only lining board in the LCPB's list of approved fire and security products and services.

  • The British Board of Agrément and the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme's joint venture, Elecsa, has launched a website for electricians who want to register as competent people to work on domestic electrical installations. Elecsa has been appointed to administer the scheme, which allows registered electricians to self-certify their work under Part P of the Building Regulations covering electrical safety. The website,, explains what Part P is and how to register.

  • Materials and technology specialist Ceram Building Technology has set up a test centre to help designers, contractors and product manufacturers ensure that their products and developments meet Part E of the Building Regulations. The company said it could test sample panels for separating walls, floors, external walls and facades. The centre is located at the company's headquarters in Stoke-on-Trent.