Pegler has brought out a combined double-check and service water valve called Prestex 8028 for 15 mm pipework. The company says it provides back-siphoning protection and has a T handle to switch the water flow off; the handle can be removed and the valve operated by a screwdriver for applications where tampering could be a problem. The valve has a copper alloy body with a nickel plate finish and is supplied with compression fittings suitable for connection to copper and stainless steel tubing.
Tapping tees for drinking water
The launch of a range of tapping tees by Uponor completes the company's system for piping potable water through contaminated land. The Puriton pipe system features an aluminium barrier located within the polyethylene pipe wall. The tapping tees enable a connection to be made to the main water pipe while it is in service, and are available in diameters of 63 mm, 90 mm and 110 mm.
LED emergency lighting
Lighting manufacturer Fagerhult has launched an emergency lighting system featuring LED illumination. Called emLED, the company says the system is very compact and can be used where space is limited. Two versions are available: the first can be integrated within a building management system and the second is a stand-alone unit that can be surface-mounted or recessed. The lights can be specified with rechargeable batteries said to offer three hours of light and a service life of 60,000 hours.
Routing cables around wall corners
Marshall-Tufflex has added an external bend section to its MT Sterling Twin Plus data cable management system. The system comprises large-capacity double-compartment boxes for routing fibre-optic and copper data cables along walls. The company says its new bend section, which allows for cabling to go around external corners, has a generous radius of 50 mm; this avoids tight bending of cables and therefore has less effect on the signal, which is essential for advanced local area network data systems. The bend section can be used with both PVCu and aluminium systems.
G Direct and indirect light in one
A semi-recessed modular luminaire that combines direct and indirect lighting has been launched by Cooper Lighting and Security. The recessed part of the fitting provides the indirect light and requires 114 mm of ceiling space. Below this is the lampholder that takes two T5 fluorescent tubes. This provides direct lighting via louvres. The luminaire is available with a three-hour emergency lighting conversion and a self-testing variant for use with the company's emergency lighting systems.
Cooper Lighting and Security
Pre-cut studs for partitions
British Gypsum is now offering its Gypframe 43 mm AcouStud in lengths of 2395 mm. The product is for constructing partitions and is said to help housebuilders comply with Part E of the Building Regulations. The company says it was designed to fit a standard storey of 2400 mm, thus saving time and minimising wastage.
Bathroom furniture and sanitaryware
Bathroom products distributor Alexanders has brought out five bathroom furniture ranges, made by parent company Metalkris, and sanitaryware products from Disegno Ceramica and Banacril. The bathroom furniture includes linen cupboards, wall cabinets, mirrors and vanity units in a range of finishes. The sanitary products include a WC, basin, bath and shower columns.
Cafco International has introduced SprayFilm WB3, an intumescent fire-protective paint for protecting structural steel sections in a fire. The company says the product has been designed for protecting hollow steel sections that are visible in the finished building. The paint, which provides up to 90 minutes' protection, should be applied by spray but can also be applied by brush or roller if necessary. It can be sealed or overpainted with a decorative top coat.
Movers and makers
- Telecoms provider BT has outlined plans to sell its symmetric digital subscriber line (SDSL) direct to businesses. SDSL differs from ADSL, the commonly available broadband connection, in that the high-speed connection works both ways. With ADSL, data from the user’s computer is sent at much lower speeds than information received. The new service, Business Broadband Advanced, is aimed at companies that send large amounts of data on the internet, such as users of project collaboration services. It will be offered at speeds of 500 kbps, 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps and will be first available in London and Coventry. n The British Cement Association has criticised the government’s draft National Allocation Plan, which seeks to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The plan sets a ceiling on the level of emissions the cement industry can produce before it has to start buying carbon credits under the proposed European Emissions Trading Scheme. The BCA said its allocation was too low and would damage the competitiveness of the UK cement industry.
- The Construction Products Association has teamed up with CITB-ConstructionSkills to offer qualifications linked with manufacturers’ training courses. The move follows a successful pilot scheme in the roofing, fire protection and flooring sectors. Both bodies said firms played an important part in training the workforce.
- Michael Downing, the former managing director of precast concrete manufacturer Trent Concrete, has formed his own consultancy with his wife Rita Downing. The business will specialise in the technical and commercial aspects of precast concrete, and has been engaged by the Concrete Centre on research, planning and management matters.
Product innovationGlass in your lime, sir?
BRE is testing a lime-based mortar/plaster containing recycled glass aggregate. The product is made by Welsh-based company Ty-Mawr Lime and BRE says successful certification could save 1400 tonnes of glass being dumped each year in landfill sites, and also reduce the need for virgin aggregates.
Ty-Mawr Lime is currently producing lime mortar/plaster containing sand as an aggregate, which is suitable for internal plastering, rendering and as a building and pointing mortar for both renovation and new-build applications. The new product could be used for the same applications and possibly other uses such as decorative flooring screeds. The company hopes that certification will give the product containing recycled glass the same credibility as its sand-based counterpart.
Information pointGuide to recycling building waste
Building services research organisation BSRIA has published The Recycling Building Services Guide.
It covers waste management – the recovery and separation of building services products from both construction and demolition and the return of these products to the manufacturer or to specialist recyclers. The guide also covers current and possible future legislation and is illustrated with case studies of existing recycling strategies.
Sustainable land use campaign
A group of organisations in Bristol has produced a practical guide called Towards Good Practice in Sustainable Land Use. The collaborators include Bristol LA21 Land Use Group, the Architecture Centre, the South West Regeneration Centre and Bristol city council. It looks at 13 developments in the UK and assesses them in terms of sustainability. These ideas are then applied to the specific challenges facing Bristol such as transport and regeneration to help planners, designers and community groups make Bristol a more sustainable city.
The Architecture Centre
HSE report on car park collapse
The Health and Safety Executive has published a research report into the partial collapse of the Pipers Row multistorey car park in Wolverhampton. In 1997 a 120-tonne section of the top deck collapsed, the first instance of a car park built using a method called Lift Slab to fail in service. The report is intended to help engineers assess the structural integrity of similar structures. The report is available on the HSE website.
Health and Safety Executive
A critique of construction
Wiley-Academy has published a book called Why is Construction So Backward? The book examines all that is wrong with the industry from cowboy builders to planning policies. It then looks at modern techniques including off-site manufacture, modern materials and the use of IT, and how these can provide a blueprint for a more up-to-date industry.
Zero emissions, by Bill Dunster
Bill Dunster Architects ZEDfactory has published a book on how to achieve a zero emissions housing development. Called From A to ZED, it is aimed at housing associations, planners, developers and architects. The book describes the principles behind a zero-energy development and contains approved standard house types plus an inventory of the products needed to build them.
It also describes the tools needed to speed up the process and make it easier, including the ZEDestimator, a piece of software that predicts the likely cost of a development and how much to pay for a site.