This week we have warning signs that let you know when they're not working, some ultra-intelligent bathroom kit, an equally brainy central heating pump, a scaffolding system and a loading bay
LED luminaire
Zumtobel Staff Lighting has developed an emergency escape luminaire called Artsign that is lit by LEDs. The company says the lamp has a life expectancy of 10 years, and that the postcard-sized display is recognisable from 15 m. The luminaire is available with wall-recessed or ceiling-recessed mounting options, and comes with an aluminium housing. The sign has the ability to test itself and report the result to a central computer.
Zumtobel Staff Lighting 301

Solvent cement
Durapipe has launched a solvent cement called One-Step for ABS plastic pipework. The company says the non-drip product has been designed for easy application, is quick-drying and has good gap-filling properties. It is available in 500 ml and 1 litre packs, and as a 125 ml pack with an integral roller applicator. The company has also launched an acetone pipe cleaner called Eco-Cleaner for use before applying the cement.
Durapipe 302

Worktop surface
Formica has introduced a material called Solid Surfacing for worktops. It is suitable for high-use areas such as laboratories, schools and retail checkouts. The company say it can be cut, machined and inlaid, and can be laid with seamless joints making it suitable for applications where hygiene is critical, such as hospitals. It has a class 0 fire rating, is available in 24 different designs and colours, and can be either 6 mm or 12 mm thick.
Formica 303

Shower panel
Upmarket bathroom fittings company Hansgrohe has introduced a shower panel called Helis into its Pharo range. The wall-mounted panel incorporates an overhead shower with four spray options and a separate hand-shower attachment. There are also five rotatable side sprays mounted in the panel for a full body massage. The showers are thermostatically controlled, and the panel incorporates built-in halogen lights. The cast resin panel is available in translucent white with chrome fittings, pale green with satin chrome fittings and beige with light gold fittings.
Hansgrohe 304

Loading bay
Crawford Amber has brought out a complete loading bay solution called Hafa Load House. It consists of a dock leveller, dock shelter, sectional door and cladding. The idea is that it can be installed quickly and easily to either a new or existing building. A choice of insulated or non-insulated cladding is available, including the option of matching an existing building's cladding. Either swing or telescopic dock-levellers can be specified with a range of different shelters, and the loading bay can be installed at an angle if space is at a premium.
Crawford Amber 305

Heated mirror
German bathroom accessories specialist Emco has launched a full-length heated mirror. Measuring 1600 mm high and 610 mm wide, the company says it doesn't steam up and can heat a bathroom and dry towels. It incorporates two towel rails that hinge out of the way when the mirror is in use. An integrated light is provided; this and the heating elements are activated by electronic sensors set into the surface of the mirror.
Emco 306

Circulating pump
Pump maker Grundfos has launched a domestic central heating circulating pump that it says is suitable for all domestic heating systems.

Called Alpha+, it has automatic and fixed-speed operations and is suitable for new and existing systems whether they are single or double-pipe configurations. The pump is also suitable for underfloor heating systems. When the pump is used in its automatic mode, it can adjust its speed and operating pressure to match the systems requirements, so reducing power consumption and wear and tear.
Grundfos 307

Steel-framed glass screens
FendorHansen has introduced a range of steel-framed glass screens called SlimLine that contain its fire-resistant glazing. The company says the screens offer fire resistance of 30 to 90 minutes, and integrity of up to 120 minutes, depending on specification. The screens are suitable for internal and external use and are available in a range of colours or stainless steel. Acoustic rated screens and internal blinds are also available for areas requiring privacy, and security glazing can be specified as an option.
FendorHansen 308

Plug-in consumer unit
Hager has launched what it says is the UK's first plug-in consumer unit, which it says slashes installation time to a sixth compared with conventional products. The incoming supply is hard-wired in the normal way, but the outgoing circuits are plugged into sockets on top of the unit. Hager says usually takes an hour-and-a-half to wire a conventional consumer unit but that this unit only takes 10 minutes. It is available as a 12-way unit but a number of configurations are possible.
Hager 309

Foolproof cement mix
Lafarge Cement has launched the Blue Circle Quality Assured Mortar Mix. The mortar is ready mixed and aimed particularly at small to medium-sized builders. Lafarge says it eliminates the risk of incorrectly mixing traditional mortar on site. The Blue Circle mortar mix of cement, lime, sand and admixture only requires water to be added on site. The mortar is packaged in 20 kg waterproof plastic bags, which Lafarge says allows the mortar to be stored anywhere on site.
Lafarge 310

Scaffold anchor
Fixings specialist Halfen has introduced the Lutz Scaffold Anchor to its portfolio. The permanent scaffold fixing point comes in two parts. The main body is fixed to a building's reinforced concrete frame so its front is flush with the rear of the cladding panels and in line with a vertical joint. When scaffolding needs to be erected, a lug is inserted into the fitting and the scaffolding attached to the lug. The fixing is available to span cavities up to 280 mm, and plastic caps to protect the fitting when not in use are available in light grey, black and clear.
Halfen 311

Movers and makers

  • Specialist lamp company Greenstock has added 185 m2 of warehousing space to its premises to speed up deliveries. The company said this was a 100% increase in capacity and would enable it to deliver products from stock the day after receiving an order.

  • Timber merchant C Blumsom has announced that it has taken delivery of what it says is the first batch of Forest Stewardship Council-certified ramin imported into the UK. Ramin is a quality hardwood ideal for mouldings and joinery, and the company has contracted to import 30 m3 of the timber every two months.

  • The Association of Garage Door Specialists has awarded door maker Hörmann its Supplier of the Year 2003 award. This is the sixth time that the company has won this award which is for product quality, customer service and support, delivery performance, product knowledge and attitude of the company’s employees.

  • Excel Building Solutions has won the Energy Savings Trust’s approval for its Warmcel RF and Warmcel 500 loft insulation. Although it is not a formal endorsement, the approval does mean the product is proven to save energy. The company says it is made from 100% recycled newspaper and consequentially has far lower embodied energy than any other mainstream insulation material.

  • The Heating and Hotwater Information Council has announced that all the boiler makers that signed up for membership of the Benchmark scheme have achieved follow-up validation. The scheme provides a boiler logbook for homeowners. Installers have to certify that they carried out the installation properly and explain how the system operates to the homeowner. The idea is to provide a trouble-free installation. Makers have to conform to a code of practice and provide training for installers.

  • Project extranet provider Cadweb has formed a partnership with integrated management solutions provider EPC Integration. Because Cadweb’s software enables companies to manage the exchange of external information and EPC Integration tackles internal information, a tie-up was felt to be advantageous. This is because companies can now get an integrated business management service from one source.