The latest ideas for adding the final flourish to a building, from sun-shading aluminium louvres to spectacular coloured glass interlayers. Plus, the connectors, cramps and beams that hold it all together

Self-cleaning wall finish

Liquid Plastics, a Preston-based membrane maker, has launched a new version of its Dacadex exterior-wall coating. According to the firm, the water-based copolymer wall finish is tougher and more elastomeric than its predecessor. It adds that the product is self-cleaning, thanks to a water-repellent surface that helps rain water to roll off, along with loose particles of dirt. The membrane can be produced in a range of colours during manufacture or by “In-can” tinting.
Liquid Plastics 302

A coat of granite

Haironville Tac has produced a coloured metal coating for exterior cladding. Called Hairexcel Granite, it consists of a thick primer and a finish that is resistant to corrosion, humidity, chemical attack, ultraviolet light and abrasion. The product has a semi-gloss finish, with a slight granular effect and is available in a range of colours, including silver.
Haironville Tac 303

Fire glass at Waverley Gate

Vetrotech Saint-Gobain is supplying fire-resistant glass for the Waverley Gate redevelopment in Edinburgh. Installer FendorHansen has used 2300 m2 of Contraflam Lite-N2 glass in a solution designed to incorporate fire resistance, solar control and acoustic insulation properties. The glass is mounted in FendorHansen’s own framing system.
Vetrotech Saint-Gobain 304

Lightweight steel beams

Metalline has produced a cladding profile that has the appearance of a conventional steel beam but is formed from pressed aluminium or stainless steel sheet. It comes in a choice of colours and finishes and, according to Metalline, is virtually maintenance-free. Various details can be incorporated including mitred and welded corners and complex cruciform shapes where horizontal and vertical runs meet.
Metalline 306

Steel “spider” connector

Dorma has introduced the Manet Construct structural glazing system to the UK. The system makes glass-to-glass or glass-to-structure connections in the construction of external and internal walls, facades and roofs. The system uses a stainless-steel finished “spider” in one, two, three and four-arm variants to connect the different facade elements together and to tie them back to the substructure.
Dorma 307

Adjustable frame cramp

Masonry fixing specialist Ancon Building Products has produced a frame cramp that can be fixed in advance of the masonry and then adjusted to suit mortar joint levels after fixing. The ISO-TW Isolation Washer is said to increase the rate of construction and provide a visual check that the fixings have been installed correctly.
Ancon Building Products 308

Watford office revamp

Kingspan’s KS1000 Optimo insulated wall system has been used to give a 1970s concrete-framed office building in Watford, Hertfordshire, a facelift. The cladding has been used on all four of the building’s elevations to give it a modern look. The system is claimed to provide continuous insulation, with no cavities, gaps or cold bridges.
Kingspan Panels 309

Silver finish for Star City

Silver cladding panels made by Technology Telford have been used to cover the curved facades of the Star City entertainment centre, a £48m retail and leisure complex in Birmingham. Technology Telford produced the Telabon panels from a 4 mm lightweight aluminium composite called Alucobond. The panels were made with cleated joints and a recessed gasket with concealed fixings to give a smooth finish.
Technology Telford 311

A speedy, aerated solution

H+H Celcon has provided its thin-joint aircrete blocks for the external and internal walls of a £1.2m retirement housing scheme for Amicus Housing Association in Faversham, Kent. Contractor Geoffrey Osborne specified the blocks because the mortar reaches full bond strength within two hours. This allowed the walls of the single-storey homes to be completed within a day.
H+H Celcon 312

Low-maintenance university extension

High-pressure laminate cladding panels from Eternit Building Materials have been used for a low-maintenance extension to the University of Essex in Colchester. Eternit says that the cladding was specified because of its robustness, range of colours, adaptability and crisp lines. To give the building a more 3D feel, the panels were routed to create false joints.
Eternit 313