To counter the cold, dark winter nights, this week's products throw light on window systems and fluorescent lamps and keep you toasty with thermally efficient plaster. Plus, the latest gossip from the makers
Two slates in one
Marley Roofing Products has brought out an interlocking roof slate called Duo Marquess. The product is based on the company's existing Marquess interlocking slate, but the Duo has a groove down the middle to make it look like two smaller slates. The slate is compatible with the company's Marley Dry Fix and Ventilation Systems and is available in Slate Grey and Tuscan Red.
Marley Roofing Products 301

Product innovations Walls to keep you cosy or cool
n A wall plaster that also insulates has been developed by Glenn Melvin. Called WallReform, it is a cement and lime-based render that contains polystyrene balls and is suitable for interior and exterior use. The company claims it is a simple way of thermally upgrading properties with solid masonry walls without having to use more expensive thermal drylining systems. It should also help avoid condensation because damp air is less likely to condense on a warm wall surface. The product, supplied as a dry mix to which water must be added, has a BBA certificate and is being made for Melvin by Wall Transform. Melvin has just won a grant of £50,000 from the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts to help with more testing and marketing.

Wall Transform 302 n Chemical giant BASF has developed microcapsules that help smooth out temperature peaks. The microscopically sized capsules contain a phase-change material that melts as it is heated up. When the material solidifies it releases the heat it has taken up. The product could be incorporated into plaster and renders or into plasterboard and used to regulate the temperature of lightweight buildings. At the moment exposed concrete is used to regulate the temperature of buildings because of its high thermal mass. At night, cool air is circulated through a building and cools the concrete down. During the day this mass of concrete helps keep the building cool. The microcapsules could offer a solution to those who say global warming will spell the death of lightweight construction because the only way to keep buildings cool without resorting to air-conditioning is to build them out of heavy materials.
BASF 303

Panoramic alarm sensor
Bosch Security Systems has introduced a ceiling-mounted panoramic alarm detector with three fully adjustable sensors. Called the DS9370-C PIR/Microwave sensor, the company says it can be used for all-round coverage or specific situations. For example, two sensors can be set to monitor the ground floor and the third a mezzanine, so the same detector type can be used throughout a building. Each sensor has infrared and microwave detection technologies to minimise false alarms.
Bosch Security Systems 304

Long-life fluorescent lamp
The Greenstock Lamp Company has launched a long-life fluorescent tube called Aura T5. The 8 W version of the lamp is claimed to have a life of 20,000 hours, four times longer than standard lamps, and is suitable for emergency lighting applications. The lamp is also available in wattages up to 35 W.
Greenstock Lamp Company 305

Non-slip stairnosing
Safety specialist FibreGrid has developed a stairnosing called EdgeGrip to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. This states that all stairs accessible by the public must have a slip-resistant, contrasting coloured nosing fitted. The product is made from fibreglass and fits onto the stair treads, and has a tapered rear edge to reduce the risk of tripping. The standard colour is yellow, preferred by the Royal National Institute of the Blind, but other colours are also available.
FibreGrid 306

Timber and aluminium windows
Fenestration specialist Metal Technology has launched a timber and aluminium window system, which the company says is suitable for commercial, public sector and residential applications. The product, called Silverwood, has 78 mm deep profiles that accommodate 28 mm thick double-glazing units. The timber, which is used internally, is Southern Yellow Pine, although alternative timbers are available.
Metal Technology 307

Flooring for high-traffic areas
A vinyl safety floor covering suitable for high-traffic areas has been launched by Altro. The company claims the product, called Maxis, is easy to clean and maintain, making it suitable for heavy use in places such as schools or hospitals. Maxis is available in 12 colours.
Altro 308

Suspended luminaire to light those tight spots
RIDI Lighting has added a scaled-down suspended luminaire to its Aida range, the Aida-mini, which accepts T5 fluorescent lamps. There is a three-lamp version that provides direct light or indirect light using louvres, and a two-lamp uplighter design. There is a range of components designed for the luminaries, including wire suspension kits and joining couplers for creating continuous runs. The fittings are available in a titanium colour or white, with other colours available to order.
RIDI Lighting 309

Movers and makers

  • The Quarry Products Association has published figures that show mixed results for sales of aggregates in the third quarter of 2003. Crushed rock sales rose 3% compared with the same period last year but sand and gravel sales were down 2%, as were ready-mixed concrete sales. The QPA said the introduction of the aggregates levy in April 2002 has made comparisons with last year’s results difficult, but the third-quarter figures for sand and gravel reflect declining commercial markets in London and south-east England.

  • Research group the BRE has updated its environmental assessment method BREEAM for Offices. It now rewards projects for using renewable energy, seasonal commissioning, specifiying sustainable timber for building structures and temporary site uses, minimising waste from floor finishes and implementing independently verified schemes for considerate construction.

  • Bathroom products manufacturer Hansgrohe has joined the Thermostatic Mixing Valve Manufacturers Association. The association exists to promote the use of thermostatically controlled mixer taps to prevent scalding accidents in the home. Hansgrohe manufactures a range of thermostatic mixers.

  • Architect Hamilton Associates is the overall winner for this year’s Copper in Architecture Awards for its Brewery Square scheme in Clerkenwell, London. Copper in Architecture said there was a resurgence in the use of copper as a cladding material. Copper roofing sales were up 9% in 2003 compared with 2.4% in the total metals market (also see Building, 19 September, page 62).

  • The Concrete Society has announced its 2003 awards for outstanding structures. The overall winner was Manchester Art Gallery by Michael Hopkins and Partners and the winner of the buildings category was the SAS Institute in Buckinghamshire by Brocklehurst Architects.

    The New Medway Bridge in Kent won the civil engineering category and the winner of the mature structures was the Carlsberg-Tetley Brewery in Northampton.

  • Fire escape equipment maker Lymore has taken over the manufacture of the Davy Descender Automatic Escape device from Ginge-Kerr. The device enables people to be lowered safely from buildings on a rope and has been on the market since the 1920s.