This week’s sustainability special takes in an underfloor central heating system that slashes carbon emissions, flexible fabric cladding that cuts out UV rays and a wealth of information on condensing boilers

Solar heating in South Wales
Gledhill Water Storage has developed a solar water system for a development of 49 properties in South Wales by George Wimpey. The energy generated by roof-mounted solar panels at the Hawthorns development in Blackwood, Gwent, is captured by a solar transfer station linked to Gledhill’s GulfStream system, which comprises a high-efficiency gas-fired condensing boiler and thermal store in one appliance. The heat from the solar panels is used for central heating and hot water.
Gledhill Water Storage 301

High-fibre insulation installation
Excel Building Solutions has introduced a system for installing its Warmcel fibre insulation into timber-frame walls, floors, warm roofs, and lofts. The fibre delivery system has a high fibre output rate, which Excel says increases thermal insulation levels and speeds up the installation process. It has quadruple agitators to “break up” the Warmcel fibre and displacement blowers to achieve a throughput rate of 1.5 tonnes per hour – three times that of the largest delivery system previously available in the range.
Excel Industries 302

A living acoustic barrier
Environmental technology specialist ETS has created an acoustic barrier made from living willow hedges. The Green Barrier is made from willow grown between a double skin of specially built panels with a soundproof core. ETS says it forms an effective acoustic barrier and is suitable for reducing noise pollution from roads and industrial sites. All materials used in the barrier are fully recyclable.
ETS 303

Solar panel mounting system
Solar development company Solion has designed Sunmount, a solar panel mounting system for flat roofs. The Sunmount system requires no Ballast or roof penetration, which according to Solion has been the traditional problem of mounting systems. Sunmount is also modular to allow for quick and easy installation. The panels are also aerodynamically designed to withstand high winds.
Solion 304

Insulation for framed steel structures
Alumasc has launched the MR Swisrail wall system, which incorporates external wall insulation into framed steel structures. The product has an integral 25 mm drained airspace that meets NHBC and Building Regulation insulation requirements. The MR Swisrail is designed to be faced with MR Swistherm ST Lightweight Silicone or Mineral Render Formulations.
Alumasc 306

Flexible fabric cladding
Fabric Architecture has introduced a flexible fabric cladding system called ArchiClad. The system incorporates stainless steel fixtures and has the new Solarglass Weave fabric, which consists of woven glass coated with silicon. ArchiClad says the material is recyclable, flame retardant and gives off no harmful by-products during manufacturer. The material is translucent but it blocks UV-B and UV-C rays.
Fabric Architecture 307

Efficient air conditioning
Toshiba Air Conditioning has launched the Daisekai 2 system, an extension to its R410A split system range that has increased efficiencies and reduced power consumption. Daisekai 2 incorporates a flat face design, a redesigned remote control to activate the ioniser and electronic filtration and increased airflow distribution through the louvre system. Toshiba says it is 5% more efficient than the previous Daisekai models.
Toshiba Air Conditioning 308

Condensing boiler round-up

Boiler manufacturers have been scrambling to launch models that comply with the changes to Part L of the Building Regulations that came into force on 1 April. The new energy rules stipulate that low-energy condensing boilers must be specified when replacing boilers or installing new models. Condensing boilers waste less energy because large or secondary heat exchangers extract more of the energy generated when the boiler is firing to heat up the water.

Sheffield-based Trianco has launched two wall-mounted condensing boilers. The TriStar Optima models – one a condensing combination and the other a condensing system unit – offer outputs ranging from 5.6 kW to 28 kW and are aimed at the domestic market.
Trianco 309

Vokera has announced the launch of the Linea HE condensing boiler. The boiler, which works with flue lengths of up to 65 m, is available in three outputs – 25, 30 and 35 kW.
Vokera 310

Alpha Boilers has introduced its first heating-only condensing boiler into the UK. The Italian manufacturer says that the Alpha CD18R is a suitable replacement for cast iron boilers. The condensing boiler joins Alpha’s CD range of SEDBUK band A-rated condensing boilers.
Alpha Boilers 311

Oxfordshire-based Lochinvar is launching a range of gas-fired condensing boilers. The Lochinvar CP-M (Condensing Pre-Mixed) is a wall-hung boiler, six models of which are available with outputs ranging from 60 kW to 180 kW. They are designed for use in commercial and industrial operations.
Lochinvar 312

Baxi Potterton has extended Potterton Promax HE Plus boiler range with the introduction of two condensing boilers. The Combi 28 and Combi 33 offer outputs of 28 kW and 33 kW. The range also offers a system boiler and three heat-only models.
Baxi Potterton 313

Movers and makers

  • The Waste & Resources Action Programme has launched a research project exploring the uses of recycled wood. The survey aims to identify and quantify the potential uses of recycled wood in Redditch council. The survey, which is being carried out in association with University College Northampton, will be published in April.

  • CIRIA’s new publication Principles of Design for Deconstruction to Facilitate Reuse and Recycling explains how buildings can be recycled to reduce waste. The guide looks at how building components can be partially deconstructed and recycled during or at the end of their lifetime. The guide contains case studies and is available from

  • A guide on avoiding cold bridging has been published by Halfen. Balconies and Thermal Bridging outlines the theory of insulated connections for balconies and gives advice on avoiding condensation, mould growth and deterioration. The guide describes the Halfen HIT insulated balcony connection system.

  • Achieving Whole Life Value in Infrastructure and Buildings is a guide published with support from the Partners in Innovation scheme, the Highways Agency, CIRIA, quantity surveyor Faithful & Gould and the Institution of Civil Engineers. The guide explains the basic principles of whole-life value with the aid of four case studies, and provides an index of the 66 assessment tools currently available.

  • Architectural practice Broadway Malyan has launched a sustainability intranet to enable it to share environmental information with its clients. It will provide lifecycle and sustainability information and will feature a database of green projects. The practice says it is considering sharing the information with other companies.

  • The Electric Heating Ventilation Association has gained new product categories for its members in the SAP 2005. The environmental performance of dwellings in the new Part L of the Building Regulations will be assessed using the SAP 2005 measurement tool. EHVA has ensured that a new directing and storage combination category will be included in SAP 2005 and has expanded categories for underfloor heating.