Rainscreen cladding that can tough out a sea storm, laminate that feels just like wood, and copper: the new weapon in the fight against bird flu. Plus, the latest news from our friends in cladding
Solar control glass
Pilkington Building Products has launched Eclipse Advantage, a solar control glass said to provide high light transmittance, reduced solar glare and subtle reflectivity. The company says the glass uses a pyrolytic coating to enable it to be cut, toughened, bent or fabricated into insulating glass units using standard manufacturing techniques. The pyrolytic process means the coating is chemically bonded to the glass at molecular level said to produce a harder, durable and stable material. The product is available in six colours including blue, grey, green and bronze and can be supplied in 4, 6 and 8 mm thicknesses.
Pilkington Building Products
Tough finish for rainscreen cladding
Ash & Lacy has collaborated with surface treatment technology company Keronite to develop a finish for Ashtech rainscreen cladding said to be resistant to harsh environmental conditions, such as coastal areas. Keronite's process is called Plasma Electrolytic Oxidation and it transforms the soft aluminium substrate surface into a hard ceramic coating that is said to resist corrosion, heat and wear. The manufacturer says the thin ceramic layer is atomically bonded to the aluminium, which prevents problems such as peeling or chipping.
Ash & Lacy
Textured woodgrain laminate
Formica has extended its woodgrain laminate range with the introduction of a surface finish called Naturelle, which has been developed to meet the growing demand for textured finishes. Naturelle's matt appearance is said to resemble that of planed, oiled or wax-treated wood.
Prepatinated copper sheeting
Outokumpu, a supplier of copper sheets and strips, has launched a process to provide prepatinated copper sheet that can be cut to any length. The Nordic Green Plus Prepatinated sheet has a green patina said to be similar to that formed over many years of exposure. The factory-prepared and prepatinated coils are available in traditional green or stippled "living green" finishes.
High-speed rendering system
Alsecco, a supplier of architectural facades, has developed a system called Alsecco One-Way to apply render more quickly. Instead of being applied with a hawk and trowel, render is sprayed on from a portable container then levelled out. The company says the spray nozzle stretches to a distance of 50 m from the container and that each container can hold the equivalent of 40 buckets of render. This is said to save time and minimise accident risk on site because workers do not have to constantly climb up and down ladders to replenish their buckets.
Window and door frames
Paroc Panel System UK has launched a framing system, designed in collaboration with aluminium window maker Aluman, to work with its structural cladding panels. Called the IFS system, it allows window and door units to be installed on site by being clicked into place onto the fixings, reducing build times. The manufacturer says the units do not require additional flashings or secondary structural support because they are delivered to site complete with integrated profiles.
Lessons in curtain walling
Technal has supplied architectural aluminium glazing to two buildings at the University of Limerick's campus. Designed by Murray O'Laoire Architects, the buildings feature Technal's grid curtain walling along with timber and zinc cladding and glazing, and top-hung casement windows.
Swansea Museum gets slated
Welsh Slate's products have been specified for Swansea's £30m National Waterfront Museum. Architect Wilkinson Eyre selected 195 m2 of heather-blue slate, 125 m2 of heather-red and 248 m2 of dark blue-grey from Welsh Slate's Cwt-y-Bugail quarry in Snowdonia. The slate was installed as a facing material on prefabricated precast concrete panels.
Movers and makers
- A research paper prepared by the University of Southampton on behalf of the Copper Development Association is said to show that the use of copper could help prevent the spread of flu. The association claims the paper shows that influenza A viruses, which include the bird flu strain, are virtually eradicated within six hours on copper surfaces. The study recommends the use of uncoated copper or high-copper alloys for door knobs and handles, push plates, countertops and sinks, to help minimise cross-contamination.
- Ward Insulated Panels has published a 400-page technical handbook on its range of insulated panels for roofs and walls. The manufacturer says the guide includes construction details, technical specifications, performance data, load tables and model specifications. It also covers ancillary products, fasteners and sealants and offers assembly guidance.
- SFS intec, a manufacturer of fasteners for roofing and cladding systems, has published a six-page brochure entitled Non-Austenitic Stainless Steel Fasteners. The guide helps specifiers choose the most appropriate grade of fastener material in order to avoid corrosion and maintain the integrity of the building during its lifetime. The brochure also provides a guide to common fastener applications in twin-skin, aluminium raised seam, composite panel and membrane roofs.
- Woodcare manufacturer Sadolin has published three specification guides on its exterior and interior timber protection products. The brochures cover Sadolin’s translucent and opaque exterior coatings and heavy duty and polyurethane varnish for wood floors and interiors. The guides also provide illustrated examples of residential and commercial applications.
- An 18-page Guide to Copper in Architecture has been published by the trade body Copper in Architecture. It lists sources, characteristics, recycling and cost-effectiveness of copper sheet when used for roofing and cladding. The guide also covers environmental issues and copper lifecycles.
- Uniglaze 2, a manufacturer of sealed units and toughened glass, has moved into a £12m production facility in East Anglia. The company says it has invested in equipment including three automated computerised toughening plants and five automated sealed unit lines. The move will provide extra space and help the company keep up with orders, as new energy regulations have lengthened the time it takes to produce sealed window units.
- The Society of Facade Engineering has been formed by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers along with the Institution of Structural Engineers and the RIBA. The body was set up to establish better collaboration between architects, structural engineers, service engineers and facade engineers in an attempt to improve the performance of facades and to encourage professional development and best practice.