This week, innovative items in the goodies bag include groovy steel pipe fittings, a touchscreen lighting control and easy-to-install drainage. Plus, take a peek at the latest must-see websites
Steel gets into the groove
Victaulic has added a stainless steel option to its range of grooved-jointing-system pipes. The company says the pipes are suitable for processing water and food, and piping compressed air.

The pipe fittings have housings at each end enclosing a sealed gasket. When assembled, internal pressure reinforces the seal. The company says the system is easy and quick to install and sections can be added to or removed from installations at a later date. The stainless steel range includes elbows, tees, reducing tees and concentric and eccentric reducers.
Victaulic 301

Emotional lighting control
Zumtobel Staff Lighting has teamed up with Luxmate to develop a lighting control system called Emotion (pictured). Zumtobel says the system is easy to use, as the touchscreen control panel has dropdown menus similar to those found on computer software. It uses digital addressable lighting interface technology and the touch screen can control up to 128 dimmable luminaires. The system is suitable for large and small office and retail installations. It can test emergency lighting remotely, and can detect lamp failures.
Zumbtobel Staff Lighting 302

Supertough Finnish flooring
Puhos Board has added an upgraded flooring board called the Weather Dek2 Elite to its temporary weather protection range for housebuilders. It is made from high-resin chipboard covered with a special surface film. According to the Finnish company, this allows the board to be exposed to the weather for up to eight weeks during construction. The product is designed for applications such as social housing, apartments and terraces, and offers workers weather protection and a platform floor before the roof goes on.
Puhos Board 303

Make bathrooms happy
Bathroom products maker Duravit has teamed with Sieger Design to launch a range of bathtubs and shower trays called Happy D – the acrylic products' styling is based on the letter D. The range includes six 1800 mm long, 800 mm wide baths, with free-standing, built-in, left- and right-handed corner versions and a back-to-the-wall model. A range of complementary moulded panels is available. Five square and rectangular shower trays based on a D-shape are also available.
Duravit 304

Fresh multi-use lighting
Lighting specialist Concord Marlin has brought out two new lights. The first, Linear Frame, is suitable for wall mounting and recessed fitting in the ground. Two versions are available, the first accepts 8 W and 39 W T5 fluorescent lamps and has an ingress protection rating of 65, the second uses LED's in either 5 W or 15 W versions with white and four different colour LED's available. The second product is an IP65 version of the company's Brio luminaire, an interior wall and ceiling fitting now suitable for external use.
Concord Marlin 305

Desirable decorating
Sandtex Trade has launched three decorating products. The first is a ready-mixed masonry filler said to be water-resistant and ready for painting after four hours. It is available in 1 kg packs. The second, a cleaner that Sandtex says will not turn PVCu yellow, is available in 1 litre packs. The final product is a water-based PVCu primer for either improving the appearance of badly discoloured PVCu or as a primer for subsequent coats of paints. It is available in 1 litre packs.
Akzo Nobel Decorative Coatings 306

Foam sandwich for tiling
N&C Nicobond has launched a tile backing board called Nicobond Lux, which consists of a foam core sandwiched between two fibre-reinforced mortar skins. According to the company, it can be used for making false walls and floors and is waterproof.
N&C Nicobond 308

Clay paints with moisture control
EarthBorn Paints has launched Claypaint – an eco-friendly way of covering interior walls. It consists of coloured clays suspended in liquid, and has proven popular in France and Germany. The maker claims it offers a number of benefits, including the ability to absorb odour, stabilise humidity and help asthma sufferers.
EarthBorn Paints 309

Purer air for easy breathing
Distributor Space Air Solutions has introduced the Daikin Siesta-7 air purifier into the UK market, designed to remove airborne pollutants including dust, pollen, smoke, odours and bacteria. The Siesta-7 has double the airflow and photocatalytic capacity of the existing Siesta-3 and removes 99.9% of bacteria.
Space Air Solutions 310

Drainage on the up
Hunter Plastics has redesigned its external drainage channel range to make it easier to install. The channels, which come in 3 m lengths, are suitable for applications such as garages and private driveways, and can be connected directly to 110 mm pipes. There is a choice of vertical and end outlets, including a knock-out bottom outlet. An improved retaining clip is used to secure the grating. The company says the channel can handle slow-moving wheel loads of up to one tonne.
Hunter Plastics 307

Bookmark these! The Construction Industry Computing Association has joined forces with the IT Best Practice programme to launch a site dedicated to IT security. This is part of the Construction Industry IT Security Forum and includes a case study of consultant Arup’s security policy, the results of a survey of IT use in larger industry firms and a directory of IT security links. Further cases studies will be added soon. or An online toolkit called Learning from Experience has been launched. It has been developed for the construction industry by consultant David Bartholomew Associates, along with quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobold. The toolkit aims to help promote knowledge sharing and offers a step-by-step guide for companies wanting to set up their own programmes. The toolkit was tested by Buro Happold, BAA and Bovis Lend Lease Global Alliance. Their experiences are used included as case studies on the site. Trade association Copper in Architecture has revamped its website. It includes all the drawings from the 120-page technical manual Copper Roofing – In Detail, which aims to help with the design of copper roofs. The site also contains an interactive database of specialist copper contractors, a list of sources of technical help and suggestions for continuing professional development seminars for architectural practices. Steelbiz, the Steel Construction Institute’s technical information site, has been updated to include a products and services directory for the construction steelwork industry. The search facility has also been improved: users can search using the “fuzzy” setting that initiates a broad search, or the “precise” setting for a more defined search.

Movers and makers

  • RMC Concrete Products has opened a factory at Northfleet in Kent. The factory will make concrete block products for the South-east using materials delivered by ship to a nearby wharf.
  • Bison Concrete Products are investing £30m in new production facilities at Swadlincote in Derbyshire. The company has purchased part of a former coal mine site, and has detailed planning consent for a precast manufacturing plant that will employ 300 people when it reaches full production.
  • Skanska has extended its framework agreement with modular building system CLASP for a further two years. The initial three-year deal was signed in May 2001. Skanska said the extension was granted because it had delivered 11 consecutive construction projects on time, and under budget. The partnership recently secured three schools contracts.
  • Interior door specialist Vicaima has opened a warehouse and distribution facility in Swindon, Wiltshire. It will stock more than 75,000 doors in 750 product lines. The company says the facility will ensure a rapid response for customers.
  • Garage door specialist ILC has been appointed exclusive UK distributor of the Italian Silvelox range of domestic garage doors. The doors are made from wood and have a person flap that allows the householder to enter the garage without having to raise the whole door.
  • Concrete products maker Forticrete has won the “Achievement Through Innovation” award in the Quality in Construction Awards 2003. The award was for management and culture change that improved the way the company operates.