This week, a super-sensitive fire door handle for all those time-to-make-a-sharp-exit moments, a technicolour range of plastics that would turn Joseph green, and the hottest news straight from the factories
Make a quick getaway
German metal fittings company WSS has launched a panic pushbar for opening emergency doors. The company says the product conforms to European legislation that came into force in April and stipulates that panic locks must release the door less than one second after the pushbar is pressed. WSS says that a slight pressure on any part of the bar will open the door, and as it is just 8 mm deep, it won't prevent double doors from opening simultaneously. The product is suitable for mounting on double-leaf metal doors with or without a central bar, and versions suitable for wooden and other types of door will be available soon.
WSS 301

Faux-marble flooring
Floor coatings specialist Addagrip has launched a terrazzo-type finish called Signinum. A polymer-modified cementitous screed containing recycled glass is laid on a subfloor at a thickness of between 12 and 15 mm. This is ground and polished to produce a decorative marble-like surface suitable for upmarket hotels, retail and leisure projects and offices. It is available in a range of standard or bespoke colours.
Addagrip 302

Expansion joint system
Structural protection specialist Stirling Lloyd has introduced an expansion joint system for accommodating differential movement in buildings and other structures. The Sentinel Saba Joint System is a two component, liquid applied, reinforced resin membrane that accommodates directional changes in complicated structures while retaining waterproofing integrity.
Stirling Lloyd 303

Sliding doors for outdoor dining
Dorma has developed a horizontal sliding door system called HSW for restaurants, bars and shops that want to enjoy an open frontage. A range of options is available, including framed and unframed panels. Any of the panels can act as a single or double-action swing door. The system does not need a floor channel so floor areas can continue unbroken from the interior to the exterior, thereby conforming to the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act. The doors and panels fold into bays when open.
Dorma 304

Underfloor heating
Plumbing products specialist JG Speedfit has brought out an underfloor heating control unit for single-room extensions or conservatories.

The pre-assembled and pre-wired unit consists of a circulation pump, an integral ball valve for isolation from the main heating system and an adjusting valve. The unit is connected to the flow and return pipes of the main heating system, and the underfloor heating pipes in the extension.
JG Speedfit 305

Transitional flooring strips
Gradus has added the MTS Multi-Trim System to its range of flooring transition strips. It can be used as a transition between different flooring materials including wooden laminate, ceramic tiles, terrazzo, carpet and vinyl ranging between 8 and 16 mm thick. It consists of a plastic base with a clip in anodised aluminium top strip that is available in twin, border and ramp top profiles. The finishes include polished and etched gold.
Gradus 306

H Internationally inspired plastic
Barlo Plastics has introduced a new colour range for its Barlo Cast design acrylic sheet. The range, said to be inspired by world cities, includes 11 colours. The cast product has a satin matt finish on one or both sides and is available in 2 × 3 m sheets in thicknesses between 3 mm and 25 mm. Targeted at shopfitters, it is intended for store displays and signage and offers good resistance to scratches and finger-marking.
Barlo Plastics 307

Look, no hands
Sanitation specialist Geberit has introduced an entirely hands-free washroom system. It combines the company's Duofix framing system with infrared-activated WCs, taps, hand driers and soap dispensers. There is a range of tap styles, and the sensor plates, hand driers and soap dispensers all come in stainless steel. The company has also launched a low-level concealed cistern, accessible from either the top or the front, for installation within bathroom furniture. The cistern is 464 mm high, 435 mm wide and 122 mm deep, and can be fitted within a 719 mm high unit. It is operated by a flush-mounted pneumatic button.
Geberit 309

Fast drying floor oil
Flooring products maker Junckers has launched a fast drying oil for protecting wooden floors. The company say Top Oil dries in one hour instead of the more usual 16, and was developed because maintenance contractors at Heathrow airport were finding it difficult to take floors out of service for extended periods to re-oil them. Junckers say the product is tough, water repellent, easily spot-repaired and is suitable for high traffic locations including shopping centres and airports.
Junckers 310


Self-build and renovation specialist Buildstore has launched a database of plots suitable for development at The site is aimed at small developers and contractors who want to find a plot with planning permission for housing. It includes multiple plot listings for five houses or more, plus brownfield plots such as disused warehouses and disused office space with permission for residential development. The company says that there are more than 1000 opportunities listed across the UK.

The Association of Interior Specialists has redesigned its website, which can be found at The site is said to be easier to use now and includes an Interiors Gallery intended to provide specifiers with inspiration for their projects. Users click on photographs in the gallery to find details of the project contractor and whether it received an AIS award. The site also has a searchable directory of interior fit-out contractors, manufacturers, distributors and other services that are provided by the organisation.

A Partners In Innovation-funded project has created a web tool at that aims to facilitate best practice in concrete repairs. The site was created in response to concerns that the increased size of the concrete repair industry was leading to poorer standards. The tool is aimed at experts and less experienced engineers. It provides a model to predict how long a specific type of concrete repair will last, the most appropriate repair strategy and the most cost-effective way to meet the client’s service life requirements.

Delft GeoSystems has developed a UK environmental risk assessment portal at It offers a range of online environmental risk assessment models plus technical information and support to help users ensure their risk assessments are realistic and defensible.

The portal allows users to engage in discussions with other professionals about how they solved similar problems. Delft GeoSystems says the portal has been designed to be accessible to all users regardless of their background or technical training.

Product innovation: Wash your clothes in your bathwater

Hansgrohe, the maker of kitchen and bathroom products, has launched a complete water recycling system called AquaCycle 900, which is suitable for indoor installation. It takes waste water from showers, baths and sinks and cleans it so it can be used for flushing toilets, washing clothes and general cleaning purposes. The system is based on a freestanding modular unit that is the size of two fridge–freezers placed side by side at 1880 mm high, 135 mm wide and 600 mm deep. This cleans the water using a chemical-free, four-stage process. First water is filtered to remove particulates such as hair. Then the dirt in the water is decomposed using biocultures. The third stage removes sediment, then finally the water is passed through UV light to disinfect it. Treated water is then fed through separate pipes across the building.

The company says that the cleaned water conforms to the EU 76/160/EWG directive for recreational water. According to Hansgrohe, the unit can supply between 720 and 945 litres of water a day, which is enough for a family of four to six people. Additional units can be added for larger households or commercial applications to a maximum capacity of 3632 litres a day. Cleaned water is stored in a tank in the unit. If water demand exceeds its capacity, the tank is topped up with fresh water from the mains. The company says the system is maintenance-free with self-cleaning parts and is suitable for installation into basements or utility rooms.
Hansgrohe 308