This week, check out some nifty kitchens for the stylish but spacially challenged, the roofing system that can reduce your insurance premiums and a hand-picked selection of the finest construction guides
Fan coil units
Italian air-conditioning manufacturer Aermec has developed a range of fan coil units for the UK market, distributed by AiAX. Aermec's FCX range comprises three types of unit, including a horizontally mounted chassis-only model and two cabinet-style units. The chassis-only model, the FCX-PO, has a seven-speed motor that can handle external air pressures of up to 100 pa and cooling capacities between 1000 W and 8000 W. It can be specified to operate with chilled water or direct expansion refrigerant systems, and hot water or electric heating. The units are supplied with installed valves and controls, acoustic-lined inlet and outlet, and a condensate pump.
AiAX 302

Low-level lighting
JCC Lighting Products has introduced its Lumis luminaire for low-level external lighting applications where people and vehicles are likely to pass over the fitting. The company says the product is suitable for public access areas such as retail and leisure complexes because its double-skinned glass cover means the outside of the fitting does not overheat; this also prevents condensation forming inside. Two versions are available: one takes an 18 W fluorescent lamp, the other a 70 W metal halide lamp.
JCC Lighting Products 303

Modular building system
Modular building specialist Rollalong has launched a system called Module-8. The firm says the heavy gauge, hot-rolled steel system is suitable for student and key worker housing, hotels, and military housing, which demand high levels of standardisation and design repetition. Buildings of up to six storeys can be constructed using a combination of hot-rolled channel and hollow sections, cold-formed steel floor joists and timber-framed wall panels.
Rollalong 304

Isolation valves for plumbing
Wavin Plastics has extended its OsmaGold push-fit plastic plumbing system to include three isolation valves. These are an appliance valve of 15 mm pipe diameter for washing machines and dishwashers; a 15 mm service valve for inline isolation of taps and cisterns; and a stopcock for 15 mm and 22 mm pipework.
Wavin Plastics 305

Non-slip plastic-coated gutters
The Envirodec Rubberfuse range of gutters has been introduced by Coloured Metal Profiles. The gutters are made from metal with a non-slip plastic coating which reportedly helps to reduce the build-up of vegetation. The guttering is available in lengths of up to 6 m and three thicknesses. It can be supplied ready-fused or with punched and joggle jointing, and insulated and non-insulated versions are available.
Coloured Metal Profiles 306

Compact kitchens

Distributor Viaduct has introduced two kitchens by Italian manufacturer Driade. Kuoko is an integrated kitchen with double sink, dishwasher, hob, cooker and extractor, and ribbed aluminium-fronted cabinets. It is available as an island unit with an open top shelf unit and space on one side for seating and eating. There are also two inline versions – one 2560 mm and the other 3160 mm long – for placing against walls. They are available with integrated overhead units and stainless steel splashback. The Pantos Chef (pictured) is a compact kitchen contained within a cupboard. The kitchen features a moulded sink and hob, integrated shelving, fridge and dishwasher. There is also an extractor unit and the whole kitchen is contained within a ribbed aluminium case with sliding concertina doors available in a range of materials including aluminium or wood with glass insets.
Viaduct 301

Electronic fire-door release

Fireco has launched an electronic fire-door release suitable for retro fitting to the bottom of fire doors. The company says the device, which runs on a battery, is acoustically operated and will release the door when the fire alarm sounds. The unit is adjustable to specific fire-alarm noise levels, has an automatic night-time release facility and is quick and easy to fit.
Fireco 307

Movers and makers

  • Cladding manufacturer Reynaers Aluminium has acquired Merlin Sunscreening Systems, maker of internal blinds and external brise soleil systems. Although the companies are now part of the same group they will function independently within their own market areas.
  • Excel Building Solutions has appointed its first approved installer in Scotland for its Warmcell 500 insulation product. The installation method, called Turbofill, is used to spray the recycled newspaper insulation into closed panels in timber-framed buildings.
  • British Gypsum has welcomed a report showing gypsum-based ceiling tiles are more environmentally friendly than steel and mineral fibre alternatives. Produced by the Centre for Environmental Science in the Netherlands, the report says the tiles’ good environmental performance is a result of the use of reclaimed and recycled products in their manufacture. The firm believes this will have a significant impact on sales of the tiles for use in public sector projects.
  • The Brick Development Association has announced a commitment to reduce its energy consumption in brick manufacture by more than 10% by 2010. The industry will investigate alternative sources of energy for brick firing.
  • The Trussed Rafter Association has established a health and safety subcommittee with the aim of improving safety in the industry. The health and safety managers of the leading truss manufacturers will make up the committee.
  • Innovation: Lower premiums for flame-free roofers

    Roofing membrane manufacturer Icopal has launched the World FireSmart Roofing Alliance (WFRA) in a bid to reduce insurance costs for its contractors. Only WFRA-affiliated contractors will be allowed to use Icopal’s flame-free bitumen roofing system, which the company claims will lead to lower insurance premiums. To become a WFRA member, contractors will have to carry out project risk assessments and receive training on using Icopal’s flame-free system. If the contractors meet the membership criteria, Icopal says that leading insurance companies will offer them lower premiums. As part of its fire-free solution Icopal is launching a flameless application gun in May. This is designed to work in conjunction with FireSmart, its fire-protected bitumen membrane. Managing director Roy Jenkins, who worked with astronaut Neil Armstrong in researching fire-resistant materials for the US airforce, also claims that Icopal has a deal in place with insurers to offer lower building insurance for roofs constructed and maintained using the FireSmart system. The company says this will lead to substantial savings for PFI contractors, which have to maintain buildings for 30 years.
    Icopal 308

    Information point

    The wood book
    Timber promotion campaign Wood for Good has produced a book with publisher Rotovision called Wood written by designer Chris Lefteri. It is intended as both a resource book and a source of inspiration for designers. It contains technical information on wood, such as the hardness and temperature resistance of different species, and is illustrated by a whole range of wooden products ranging from cocktail sticks to complex structures.
    Wood for Good/Rotovision 309

    Safe by the sea
    Construction research body CIRIA’s new publication, Coastal and Marine Environmental Site Guide, is intended to offer practical information on how to prevent pollution incidents on construction sites by the sea. Because marine construction sites are subject to unusual conditions, such as waves, tides, currents and high winds, accidents are more likely. The book details the type of environment, and how to avoid or mitigate incidents, and also serves as a training aid and reference guide.
    CIRIA 310

    The towns of tomorrow
    Spon Press has launched a book called Shaping Neighbourhoods that advises on planning towns and urban areas so the needs of residents are recognised in parallel with sustainable development. The book is intended as a practical guide to help planners and developers move away from car-based developments, and recommends collaborative approaches to decision making combined with rigorous analysis of potential problems.
    Spon Press 311

    Germ-free ironmongery
    Architectural ironmongery specialist Allgood has published a brochure on its BioCote range of ironmongery. BioCote is a special antibacterial powder coating applied to a product surface that inhibits the spread of harmful bacteria in public areas such as hospitals, and food preparation areas. The product range includes door handles, bathroom accessories and door closers.
    Allgood 312

    Designing timber frame buildings
    BRE has published a book called Multi-storey Timber Frame Buildings: A Design Guide based on the construction and tests of the world’s first six-storey building at its research facility in Cardington. It contains design and best practice guidance on topics including structural stability, fire safety, differential movement, construction benchmarking and the construction process. BRE says the publications should be of interest to building control, local authorities and insurance companies as well as construction professionals.
    BRE 313