This week, allow us to introduce you to easy cable-laying, bomb-proof glass, internet collaboration without the thumb-twiddling and all the latest gossip from the factories
Time-saving conduit system
Conduit system maker Adaptaflex has brought out a flexible conduit system called Korifit that has a pre-installed draw wire. Once the conduit has been fitted the installer attaches the cables to one end of the draw wire and pulls them through the conduit. The company says the wire is strong enough to resist snapping, and the walls of the conduit has low friction to make it easier to pull the cable through. The conduit and a range of couplers is available in diameters of 16, 20 and 25 mm, with 32, 40 and 50 mm diameters available to order.
Adaptaflex 301

Plastic blocks that act like sponges
A rain and stormwater infiltration system called Stormbloc has been launched by Hydro International. Suitable for sustainable urban drainage systems, it consists of large plastic blocks that hold and progressively release stormwater runoff. The company says the blocks have a 96% void ratio for high levels of water storage, and the system has been designed so it incorporates an access tunnel that runs through the blocks. This can be pressure-washed to remove any sediment or silt that accumulates in the system.
Hydro International 302

Colourful fibreglass doors
HM Doors' range of through-coloured fibreglass entrance doors is now on the market. The company says they are hard wearing and offer up to six times greater heat insulation than timber doors. The products are available in red, green, blue and white with grained or smooth surfaces.
HM Doors 303

Blast-resistant glass
Blast Resistant Pilkington Planar is Pilkington Architectural's latest addition to its structurally bolted Planar glazing system.

The company says the glass, which was developed in response to increased worries of terrorist attack, is designed to prevent injuries from flying glass. The company says it uses a variant of the Planar fixing mechanism that minimises the stresses around the boltholes supporting the glazing. The glass is supported only at its corners and is said to effectively deflect and absorb the energy from a bomb blast.
Pilkington Architectural 304

Generator to disinfect water systems
A chlorine dioxide generator has been introduced by ProMinent Fluid Controls to control legionella bacteria in small establishments such as retirement homes.

The generator, called Bello Zon CDVb, makes 15 grams per hour of the highly reactive disinfectant chlorine dioxide from dilute solutions of hydrochloric acid and sodium chlorite. It can be dispensed into water systems, cooling towers and heat exchangers.
ProMinent Fluid Controls 305

Joint compound for automatic tools
Lafarge Plasterboard has added a joint compound called Deco Machine to its Deco system of presealed plasterboard products. It is intended for larger commercial projects and is for use with automatic drywall taping and jointing tools. The same product can be used for both tape-bedding and joint-finishing, and can also be applied manually. The product dries slightly darker than the plasterboard so it can be easily identified for sanding, but once sanded is the same colour as the board ready for final decoration.
Lafarge Plasterboard 306

Self-cleaning urinal
The Green Building Store has introduced a urinal that it says does not need water or chemicals to keep clean. The company says it is suitable for applications in offices, schools, hospitals and sports facilities, and that it can cut water and maintenance bills. Called the Airflush, a small integral electric fan keeps smells at bay by sucking foul air down the urinal bowl. The bowl itself has been designed to prevent the build-up of residues.
Green Building Store 307

Superinsulated drywall partition
Knauf Drywall has developed a drywall internal partitioning system that it says meets the requirements of Part E of the Building Regulations without the need for an insulating quilt. The company has redesigned its 50 mm wide C stud and combined it with its 12.5 mm thick Soundshield plasterboard to comply with the regulations.
Knauf Drywall 308

Product innovation Super-speedy delivery of online drawings

Project collaboration software provider BIW Technologies has come up with what could be the answer to the perennial gripe of slow download times from the web.

It seemed that broadband was the answer to web users’ prayers, but according to BIW this is not the case. For a start, if several people are using one connection it reduces speed dramatically. Also the connection may be fast but it slows down to a snail’s pace once it has struggled through the average company’s routers, firewalls and content management devices. BIW also reckons broadband is a bit like widening the M25; the faster it gets, the more people want to use it.

Because BIW says the effective speed of the internet is not going to radically improve, the company has been working on a solution to improve their customers’ experience. This is important to them because project collaboration users are constantly uploading and downloading large files.

The solution is called Accelerated Delivery, and BIW says it can reduce download times by up to 90%, and by a minimum of 50%. It is intended to speed up the business of revisions and amendments of drawings; at the moment, users have to download an entire drawing that they already have on their system every time some small change is made.

The technology works by comparing the differences between the file already on the user’s system and the amended drawing waiting to be downloaded. It identifies the differences and only downloads the changes, thus speeding up the whole process. BIW says the differences are compared at byte level – the basic building blocks of computer code – so the technology will work with any file type and the updated drawing is identical to the original drawing apart from the deliberate changes. BIW users can sign up for the technology for an annual fee by downloading a small add-on to their browser.

BIW has also launched a plug-in for AutoCAD users. Called Accelerated Publishing, it is for users who need to create several file versions of a drawing, such as a pdf. All the user does is hit a button and the software does the rest, saving time.
BIW Technologies 309

Movers and makers

  • FSC, the fire division of research group BRE, has established a facility in Middlesbrough. It will be called BRE North East and is intended to enable regional product manufacturers and building designers to carry out fire testing on construction products, fire safety tests for unusual building designs and testing for certification schemes and Building Regulations.

  • Roof truss maker Pace Timber Engineering has acquired the whole of the site where it is based in Milton Keynes. The company said the purchase had doubled its office and production space as part of its strategy to move into engineered floor joist production, which will commence in February.

  • The RMC Group is sponsoring the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ 48th Annual Occupation Health and Safety Awards. The awards are aimed at large and small firms operating in a wide range of sectors including construction. The prizes will be awarded in May.

  • Saint-Gobain Building Distribution has launched an environmental policy that will be applied across its companies, including builders merchant Jewsons. The policy includes waste minimisation, energy, emissions, and a timber procurement policy. This will differentiate between products sourced under the FSC and the PEFC certification schemes.

  • Carlisle Brass, a maker of hardware for doors, windows and bathrooms has begun work on a £4m expansion programme. Work at its site in Carlisle will include a head office and design and distribution departments. The company is hoping to move into the premises in October.

  • Manufacturer and supplier DW Windsor Lighting has received a Royal Appointment as tradesman to the Queen. The company’s special projects department has been supplying the household for more than five years with hand-built lighting solutions.