This week, steel yourselves for the latest products on the market, including a shiny stainless steel worktop, aluminium ramps and metal cladding guidance – plus the latest news from the factories
Bespoke steel worktops
Space Savers has added a range of bespoke stainless steel worktops to its Quantum range of kitchen units. The proteus worktop can be supplied up to 4 m in length and 700 mm in depth and can be shaped around features such as pillars. Each unit is built to order and has a 19 mm core of waterproof chipboard set in a wooden frame to give a high level of rigidity.
Space Savers (London) 301

Programmable thermostats
Worcester Bosch has developed two programmable room thermostats. Conventional thermostats are connected to a boiler using hard wiring, whereas these "digistats" work by radio frequency with a range of up to 30 m. An optimising version is claimed to save energy by sensing the temperature of the room before deciding whether or not to fire the boiler. The digistats fit the Worcester Bosch 24 and 28kW "Si II" combi boiler range as well as the Greenstar 27 HE.
Worcester Bosch 302

Power distribution units
MEM Circuit Protection & Control has launched a range of power distribution units for data centres, computer suites and laboratories. The units, called Memford Quad, are floor standing with a footprint of 850 mm2 and can handle up to 800 amps.

Each unit offers both thermal and current overload protection for incoming current. The units accommodate a range of options including meters, current transformers and transient voltage surge suppression. The units have a steel frame with lockable doors on all four sides with a glazed door option.
MEM Circuit Protection & Control 303

Outdoor luminaires
Andy Thornton has brought out a range of external luminaires called Precinct. The fittings have contemporary styling and consist of a single globe and two-, three- and four-arm lamp-posts and a wall sconce. The globe has a clear polycarbonate protective cover and is available in two diameters, 300 mm or 400 mm. The galvanised steel column can be supplied to a specified height and with a local authority-approved fixing root.
Andy Thornton 304

Fire door furniture
A range of stainless steel door lever sets and push–pull handles suitable for fire doors and other commercial applications has been launched by lock specialist Abloy Security. Called Futura the range features 11 designs, and the company says the handles are complement its high-security electro-mechanical lock cases. The lever sets are supplied with escutcheons, roses, plates and fixings and available in satin or polished finishes.
Abloy Security 305

Water-based air-conditioning
GEA Air Treatment has developed GEA acqua, an air-conditioning system for the domestic and light commercial market that provides heating and cooling from a single fan coil unit. The water-based system can be installed by heating engineers. The unit can be fitted to existing pipework by replacing the radiators and requires a single external water chiller to run up to eight fan coil units.
GEA 306

Portable ramp for wheelchairs
Roll-a-Ramp has launched a portable ramp designed to increase accessibility for disabled people. The product is aimed at housing associations and registered social landlords as an alternative to a solid ramp. The aluminium ramp holds up to 1000 kg of distributed weight and the company claims it can be set up in a few minutes using an Allen key and a box wrench. The ramp is available as either a two-ramp system for wheelchair users or a wide-base ramp for scooters and as an in-place access ramp.
Roll-a-Ramp (Europe) 307

Electronic cylinder locks
Kaba has introduced a compact electronic cylinder lock with all its electronics mounted within the cylinder thumbturn, which is claimed to save installation time. The key uses both mechanical and electronic code and has an audit trail of 1000 events. A master key provides access authorisation or a special programming unit can be used. The lock is claimed to be suitable for doors on which it has traditionally been difficult to install electronic locks, such as fire doors. It is powered by lithium batteries and is available in a range of cylinder lengths with a choice of nickel, brass or chromium finishes.
Kaba (UK) 308

Movers and makers

  • Systems building specialist Terrapin has granted steel manufacturer Corus a five-year renewable license to make its Prospex volumetric modules. Corus hopes that this will provide it with an opportunity to develop the market for off-site manufacturing, and that its manufacturing capacity will allow it to supply larger projects.
  • Timber frame specialist Pace Timber Systems has acquired roof truss manufacturer Llewellyn Timber Engineering from Rok Property Solutions for an undisclosed sum. Following the acquisition, Llewellyn will be renamed Pace Timber Engineering.
  • Insulated-panel manufacturer Composite Panels has rebranded itself as Metecno UK in a move that takes the firm closer to its parent Metecno International Group. The firm is looking to capitalise on the Metecno name in a fresh assault on the UK market.
  • Specification software developer NBS, publisher of the National Building Specification has joined forces with the Architectural Informatics Research Group of Newcastle University to develop a range of software tools and information systems for construction professionals. The new group will be known as NBS Informatics Group.
  • CIRIA has commenced a new project aimed at providing more information for those involved in the recovery of flood-damaged structures and need detailed specifications on the repair of walls, floors and services. The information will also be useful to those looking to reduce the impact and cost of floods. The information will be incorporated into the advice already available from the association on its website
  • Boise Cascade Europe has launched a support system to back up its Simple Framing system of engineered wood joists, called the Total System Support package. It will provide technical, engineering and design support.

Information point

Cement safety guide
The Health and Safety Executive has published revised guidance on the safe use of cement in the construction industry. Cement: Construction Information Sheet No. 26 (revision 2) gives advice on the risks from cement and how to control them. The sheet is aimed at anyone working with or supervising the use of cement.
Health and Safety Executive 309

Latest CIRIA publications
The Construction Industry Research and Information Association has published two guides. To encourage the uptake of sustainable drainage systems, the association has published Source Control Using Constructed Pervious Surfaces. The guide details the types of surfaces available and provides examples of developments that have used these techniques to manage surface water runoff. Facilities Management Manuals: Best Practice Guidance provides guidelines for a standard structure and content in writing a facilities management manual for a building’s end user.

Radon: Identifying high-risk areas
The National Radiological Protection Board has published its updated Radon Atlas of England and Wales, which plots out the risk of high levels of the gas. The map will help developers identify where preventative measures are needed to stop the gas entering new properties, and whether remedial action is required for existing properties.
National Radiological Protection Board 311

Full story on aggregate concrete
A book called Lightweight Aggregate Concrete: Science, Technology and Applications has been published by William Andrew Publishing. It is intended to give architects, engineers and contractors an overall picture of the topic and covers the history of lightweight aggregate concrete, its properties, proportioning, and production.
American Technical Publishers 312

Metal cladding information
The Steel Construction Institute has published two technical information sheets on metal cladding and compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations. The Design of Twin-skin Metal Cladding provides guidance on calculation of U-values, how to achieve an effective airtight barrier and prevent thermal bridging and ensure continuity of insulation. The second sheet, Metal Cladding: U-value Calculation, provides a method for calculating U-values for built-up metal roof and wall cladding that uses rail and bracket spacers.
Steel Construction Institute 313