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Keystone Brick Makes Luxury Façade for Development

Keystone Brick Makes Luxury Façade for Development

The superior aesthetics, offsite craftmanship and precision of Keystone Lintels’ pioneering brick slip system has ensured the façade of a luxury apartment complex in Buckinghamshire is in keeping with its exemplary architectural design. Located on one of Beaconsfield’s premier roads, Wellington Court is an exclusive development of one, two and

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Kawneer launches market-leading building movement feature

Kawneer introduces an enhanced +/- 5mm expansion joint to its high-performance AA®110 SSG system.  One of the main complexities in designing a glazed façade is the accommodation of slab movement/deflection, and due to the extension of structural spans seen in contemporary building designs, slab deflection is increasing. This places additional demands on a façade design team to accommodate movement between slab

Read More »
Benx Improves Façade Systems with New Technology

Benx Improves Façade Systems with New Technology

Building façade systems provider, Benx, has overhauled its IT infrastructure with a suite of IT solutions from technology partner OGL Computer, to improve performance, and protect and secure data from cyber-crime. Recognising that its legacy IT infrastructure needed an overhaul to meet the business’ growth plans, Benx appointed OGL Computer

Read More »

STO external wall INSULATION and render SPECIFIED FOR THE Award-Winning Development in Edinburgh’s Old Town

StoTherm Mineral insulation and StoSilco render were used to provide outstanding thermal performance on the recently completed Peveril Securities King’s Stables Road mixed-use development Edinburgh’s city-centre. This project illustrates Sto’s ability to work closely with specifiers, contractors and clients to ensure that the most appropriate solution was chosen for this

Read More »

PROTEUS FACADES HELPS BRING FORMER BOOKSHOP BACK TO LIFE

The former Ottakar’s bookstore in High Wycombe has been given a new lease of life and brought back to its former glory as a pillar of the town centre, through a state-of-the-art regeneration project featuring bespoke cladding panels from Proteus Facades. The Proteus SC cladding panels are arranged in a

Read More »

Cladding chief welcomes new regulatory powers to remove dangerous materials and prosecute rogue companies

Peter Johnson, chairman of Vivalda Group, the UK’s largest independent distributor of non-combustible facade products, has welcomed additional powers granted to the safety body charged with maintaining cladding standards in the wake of Grenfell Tower. It was confirmed this month (January 2021) that the new regulator for construction products, will

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The cladding issue must be addressed immediately

The Grenfell Tower tragedy horrified Britain. Subsequent enquiries have highlighted issues with materials used, construction standards and supervisory roles, to name but a few, and enquiries are on-going. In the meantime, people are living in multi-story buildings with no clear resolution to the issue of cladding on buildings. Future plans

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Outsourcing cuts cladding fabrication costs by 50%

“Off the pallet, straight onto the wall” ethos saves time, cost and improves quality, says Vivalda survey Research undertaken by Vivalda Group, the UK’s largest supplier of non-combustible cladding, suggests that sub-contractors could reduce their fabrication costs by up to 50% by outsourcing the process. Vivalda contacted 15 specialist cladding

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Latest Issue

BDC 318 : Jul 2024

facades

Keystone Brick Makes Luxury Façade for Development

Keystone Brick Makes Luxury Façade for Development

The superior aesthetics, offsite craftmanship and precision of Keystone Lintels’ pioneering brick slip system has ensured the façade of a luxury apartment complex in Buckinghamshire is in keeping with its exemplary architectural design. Located on one of Beaconsfield’s premier roads, Wellington Court is an exclusive development of one, two and three bedroom apartments. Developer Halamar’s architectural vision for this property required a gable ended luxury façade and main entrance featuring prominent and distinctive brickwork arches in the Arts and Craft style. To meet their requirements, Keystone’s technical team designed Brick Slip Feature corbelled and full arch lintels which were manufactured in a factory-controlled environment, negating the need for complex brick cutting on-site. Fabricated off-site with exemplary craftmanship, Keystone’s technical team ensured each bespoke lintel was manufactured to the size, shape and aesthetic requirements within the project build schedule. The one-piece lintel design solution required exacting dimensions to avoid any conflict with the proposed stone sitting at the end of each arch bearing. 3593mm upper coursing span and 3143mm lower coursing span measurements were essential for the seamless installation of the prominent entrance. A consignment of light textured Parham Red bricks were collected from site by Keystone which reduced brick wastage and improved material management. Double Cant bricks were precisely cut and bonded onto an extra heavy duty corbelled arch lintel using a BBA approved construction adhesive in a factory-controlled environment. The patented perforated design of a Keystone Brick Slip Feature Lintel allows the adhesive to squeeze through the perforations and form a ‘mushroom’ on the inside, providing a mechanical lock between the steel lintel and the bricks. Integral key prefabricated lintel components were all manufactured concurrently as opposed to sequentially which offered greater predictability of operational expenditure during the build programme. Delays associated with bad weather onsite were also avoided which allowed for high quality and consistency to be achieved when replicating the four large full arch lintel designs. The impressive 4300mm span and 2150mm rise arches were delivered to site ready for final pointing, with all the arch lintels including lifting hooks for an easier and safer installation. Keystone is the largest supplier of steel lintels in the UK and Ireland. For bespoke applications, architects, housebuilders and contractors can specify brick feature requirements by utilising Keystone’s free Brick Slip Feature Lintel design service. With this exceptional development in leafy Beaconsfield now complete, Keystone Brick Slip Feature lintels have once again played their part in meeting the complex brickwork requirements of a high quality scheme and at the same time within the designated build schedule.

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Kawneer launches market-leading building movement feature

Kawneer introduces an enhanced +/- 5mm expansion joint to its high-performance AA®110 SSG system.  One of the main complexities in designing a glazed façade is the accommodation of slab movement/deflection, and due to the extension of structural spans seen in contemporary building designs, slab deflection is increasing. This places additional demands on a façade design team to accommodate movement between slab and façade.  When building designs require glazed facades to withstand high slab deflections one solution is to incorporate unitised curtain wall systems like Kawneer’s AA®201 or AA®265 systems, which due to their construction, can provide greater movement allowance.  However, unitised curtain walling usually comes at a cost premium and is generally more appropriate for very large facades and where there might be issues of site access. Traditional stick curtain wall is more readily used by most fabricators and installers in the UK, hence the development of a new expansion joint by Kawneer.  This new development has now enabled Kawneer to offer an expansion joint for its AA®110 SSG system that can withstand a +/- 5mm amount of movement tolerance.  The recent launch of the capped variation of the expansion joint for Kawneer’s AA®110 curtain wall system, which allows a +/- 15mm building tolerance, has now been successfully followed by the SSG (Structurally Silicone Sealed) variant.  While a conventional SSG system would be limited in its movement capabilities due to the hidden clamping nature of the glass and toggle engagement requirements, the new Kawneer solution has re-designed glass clamping rails and a re-designed toggle system to allow for greater slab deflection and differential movement.  The addition of the SSG expansion joint allows increased flexibility in architectural specification where the clean lines of a silicone glazed façade are desired, but without compromising the requirement for reduced slab sizes and cost.    The new joint locates at each slab level and is therefore concealed by spandrel glass or panels. Its specialised engineered foam seals expand and contract with the movement of the structure.   To ensure compliance with UK standards, the new enhancement has been rigorously tested during development to ensure high performance in all UK conditions. In consultation with the CWCT, an enhanced version of the ‘Standard for Systemised Building Envelope: Sequence B’ programme was developed. This included a series of performance tests while the new +/- 5mm SSG expansion joint was in its compression, extension and neutral positions.  Alongside the new expansion joint enhancement, Kawneer has also increased the glazing weight capacity of the AA®110 system which will bring it in line with the current AA®100 system, providing glass weight capability of up to 600kg. The introduction of a 36mm thermal break provides enhanced thermal performance and increased glass thickness capability up to 50mm.  Kawneer’s Technical Director Gary Ledger commented: “Glazing and cladding systems need to be designed to allow for building movement without compromising the performance or safety of the system. The consequences of failing to provide enough allowance for in-service building movement can range from a reduction in weather performance to glass breakage and significant system failure.   “Our new +/- 5mm SSG expansion joint is a welcome addition to our AA®110 product offer and follows on from the popular capped expansion joint launched in 2019. This subsequently gives architects ultimate design freedom by providing a traditional stick curtain wall system that gives exceptional performance and tolerance of building movement.” 

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Benx Improves Façade Systems with New Technology

Benx Improves Façade Systems with New Technology

Building façade systems provider, Benx, has overhauled its IT infrastructure with a suite of IT solutions from technology partner OGL Computer, to improve performance, and protect and secure data from cyber-crime. Recognising that its legacy IT infrastructure needed an overhaul to meet the business’ growth plans, Benx appointed OGL Computer as its IT partner following a competitive tender process. OGL Computer was selected for the wide range of flexible and scalable solutions. “My predecessor had been in the company since it started and so had all our hardware. He was only working with what he’d been given but a lot of hardware wasn’t compliant or bought from reputable companies. The business at that time was turning over around £200,000 but now, with a turnover of around £35 million, we needed an infrastructure that could support our growth. We’d grown so quickly that the company hadn’t had chance to evaluate the IT infrastructure, so they continued to put plasters on it rather than focusing on a long-term strategy,” said Kuldip Bhandal, IT Manager, Benx. “Previously our outdated servers couldn’t handle the load and our growth plans, and this was crucial when discussing our options. Benx needed to invest in a long-term IT solution that was bullet-proof, and that enabled us to easily adapt and scale to manage future growth.” Resilience and growth were particularly important to Benx, alongside being able to control the cost associated with IT infrastructure and services. The OGL IT Solutions team implemented an interim solution that improved performance while the full overhaul was taking place. This gave Benx time to make an informed decision on how it wanted to move forward, based on OGL Computer’s recommendations, rather than being rushed into immediate action. OGL Computer designed a private cloud infrastructure solution, providing centralised resources from OGL Computer’s highly secure UK based data centres. This offered added resilience and protection, while ensuring Benx’ data was available, backed up and secured against any disasters. To increase productivity and collaboration across Benx’ UK offices, OGL Computer migrated the company’s email servers to Microsoft Office365 and deployed Advanced Threat Analytics that provides protected access to the business’ online management portals. VMware Essentials Plus was also installed to keep systems running while essential maintenance was taking place. “We wanted to bring a technology partner on-board because we didn’t have the in-house resource to manage the level of services needed to support Benx,” Kuldip continued. “Three years ago, Benx experienced a ransomware attack and this was a big driver in investing in a system upgrade. The company didn’t have full backups or a tested disaster recovery plan, so it was a shock and left the business down for two to three weeks. It highlighted to us that if you don’t invest in IT you’re going to be in trouble.” Formed in 2002, Benx manufactures, customises, sells and provides advice on materials for construction including insulation, roofing and cladding. Its clients include Premier Inn, Holiday Inn and the University of Warwick. Thanks to its specialist services for the building industry, Benx has grown to generate over £35 million turnover annually, and is currently recruiting team members across its Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and South East England (Essex) office locations.

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STO external wall INSULATION and render SPECIFIED FOR THE Award-Winning Development in Edinburgh’s Old Town

StoTherm Mineral insulation and StoSilco render were used to provide outstanding thermal performance on the recently completed Peveril Securities King’s Stables Road mixed-use development Edinburgh’s city-centre. This project illustrates Sto’s ability to work closely with specifiers, contractors and clients to ensure that the most appropriate solution was chosen for this project. Located in the Edinburgh Old Town’s historic Grassmarket area, the £40M King’s Stables Road development is a landmark scheme delivering housing, premium student accommodation, a 4-star apart-hotel and various commercial units, set around a number of public courtyards. “This was a large project for which a rainscreen cladding system was originally considered,” says Sto’s Project Manager, Jim Reid. “However, budget constraints meant that an alternative solution was required. The façades of the buildings feature numerous multi-level surfaces, and any alternative solution had to be able to accommodate these and various other complex detailing requirements, while still meeting the budgetary requirements.” Sto successfully worked in partnership with project architects, Fletcher Joseph Associates, and façade specialists AFS (Scotland) who installed the StoTherm Mineral system. The result was a fully bespoke insulation system which satisfied all the project requirements. The mineral-fibre insulation boards used in the StoTherm system provide excellent thermal performance along with unrivalled fire protection, great durability and impressive sound insulation. The system’s efficient single-leaf construction does not reduce interior space and requires no additional expansion joints. This allowed the smooth external surfaces which are used in the King’s Stables Road design to be created.  Some sections of the development used Sto’s unique Sto-Rotofix Plus adjustable spiral fixings to secure the insulation boards to the substrate.  These fixings allow for a considerable degree of post-installation adjustment so that different surface levels can be accommodated, and once again, they provide a perfectly level surface for a smooth external render finish.  The remaining sections of the development had the insulation applied using StoLevell Uni adhesive. This creates a strong, durable and reliable bond with the surface, and allows the insulation to be applied onto curved substrates. All the insulation was finished with StoSilco K1.5 silicone resin render which provides high levels of water repellence, outstanding protection against harsh weather conditions and excellent CO2 and water vapour permeability. The white colour of the StoSilco complements the brickwork and dark grey cladding found on other parts of the development. “We’ve used Sto’s external wall insulation on many previous projects and find that it performs extremely well,” comments Steve Avery of AFS (Scotland). “The StoTherm system is very straightforward to install, but still provides a high degree of flexibility which makes it a very practical solution.” The King’s Stables project is owned by Peveril Securities and is part of a wider mixed-use development programme. Render was specified early in the design process as a means of brightening courtyards flanked by neighbouring buildings or facades.  Careful material specification at this stage enhances the established public realm as occupants and the wider public weave their way through this exemplar development in the heart of Edinburgh’s capital.

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£5billion investment in cladding today welcomed by Shropshire-based global firm

Bosses at a Shropshire-based global firm today welcomed the £5billion investment to replace unsafe cladding on homes across England. Tim Sharman, technical sales director of Jesmonite based in Bishop’s Castle which exports their product across the world, said homeowners had worked desperately hard to see their views heard since the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. Mr Sharman said it should not have taken four years for the cladding removal programme and investment to be agreed but welcomed it and hoped work would commence immediately. Jesmonite, which was founded in Bishop’s Castle in 1984, has become the go-to material for designers looking for an environmentally conscious alternative to traditional building materials or resin-based products. Jesmonite AC730 is a water based, micro-concrete material. It is non-solvent, contains zero VOCs and achieves an A2-s1-d0 EN13501-1 Non-Combustible Fire Classification and has been used for cladding panels across the UK. The company’s success has seen Jesmonite being used in Buckingham Palace, London Zoo, many projects abroad including the Far East and India and regeneration projects across the UK. Mr Sharman said the Project Light, Canada Water multi-phased dockside regeneration scheme in Southwark was their largest Jesmonite cladding project to date and was a perfect example for the Government to follow and for homeowners to see to build their confidence that their homes could be safe again. The site, between London Bridge and Canary Wharf, includes approximately 9000m2 of Jesmonite AC730 external cladding panels specified as a lightweight alternative to traditional heavyweight concrete cladding. The award-winning technology behind Jesmonite AC730 allows manufacturers to create non-combustible large scale panels that offer major weight reductions whilst achieving high levels of impact resistance and flexibility. Mr Sharman said: “We are delighted that at last the Government have announced this £5billion investment. Homeowners across the UK have been left in limbo since Grenfell and I don’t think anyone can understand the true worry they have endured. “We have seen how flats have had security guards checking for any fire risks and that is no way for people to live. “Our non-combustible cladding solution has been available for 20 years but still developments have been built with cladding which we now know is unsafe. “We are looking forward to supporting the Government with the solutions they need to ensure people are safe in their homes. “We urge homeowners to keep the pressure on for the works to be carried out immediately. The announcement of the investment is not enough – we need to see cladding being removed and replaced as soon as possible.” Mr Sharman said the money was being invested in developments over 18-metres (6-storeys) high – however he said all buildings with unsafe cladding, regardless of the height, should be considered as part of the programme. The Government has offered a finance scheme for those in buildings between 11 and 18 metres high. Home Office analysis of fire and rescue service statistics shows buildings between 18 and 30 metres are four times as likely to suffer a fire with fatalities or serious casualties than apartment buildings in general.Lower-rise buildings, with a lower risk to safety, will gain new protection from the costs of cladding removal with a generous scheme offered to buildings between 11 and 18 metres. This will pay for cladding removal – where it is needed – through a long-term, low interest, government-backed financing arrangement. The Jesmonite Project Light cladding project can be viewed here https://jesmonite.com/case-study/project-light-canada-water/ Further projects and any developers looking to find out more about Jesmonite can visit www.jesmonite.com

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PROTEUS FACADES HELPS BRING FORMER BOOKSHOP BACK TO LIFE

The former Ottakar’s bookstore in High Wycombe has been given a new lease of life and brought back to its former glory as a pillar of the town centre, through a state-of-the-art regeneration project featuring bespoke cladding panels from Proteus Facades. The Proteus SC cladding panels are arranged in a striking half-hexagon design that appears to float outward from the main structure. The 6 metrehigh façade, where the panels themselves are embellished by intricately designed, leaf-shaped perforations, has the ability to stop people in their tracks while they gaze at the intriguing, shimmering aesthetic. Prior to the refurbishment, the original building, which once stood proud on the corner of Queens Square fell into disrepair after being left unattended by its previous owner for quite some time.  In 2019 however, as part of an ongoing initiative to acquire, regenerate and re-let vacant shops to independent businesses, Wycombe District Council purchased the building and invested in a state-of-the-art refurbishment project. This included a complete redesign of the interior and an external upgrade to improve aesthetics and add more versatility to the town centre.  During the initial stages of the redevelopment, main contractors, Abbeymead Building Ltd. found that the glazing to the upper levels would need replacing, along with limited structural support positions where the perforated cladding could connect. This resulted in a complete redesign of this section, with full replacement of the windows and the spanning solution of the Proteus SC, lightweight perforated anodised aluminium panels, manufactured by Proteus Facades. Proteus SC is an engineered panel system that is offered in either solid, perforated or mesh panel formats. By utilising an extensive range of metals, colours, textures and forms it can add another dimension to any façade cladding project. The system can be manufactured between 1mm and 5mm in thickness and an acoustic insulation layer encapsulated within the panel. Installed by J & PW Developments Ltd,the Proteus SC panels at White Hart Street, were fabricated from a 3mm J57Up aluminium alloy with a brush polished, mirror effect finish, anodised to Anolok 543. The bespoke laser-cut leaf pattern on the panels, visible both inside and out, also provides further visual appeal to the façade, offering a delicately designed brise soleil within and a striking external aesthetic for passers-by. Each Proteus SC panel is secured in place using a bespoke aluminium support system, also manufactured by Proteus Facades, with a matching anodised coating. The brackets are fixed back to the original structure with a 200mm x 50mm aluminium extrusion at panel joints, spanning approximately 3700mm between the floor and slabs, and with 1100mm cantilevered upper and lower sections. Further external works carried out during the redevelopment, completed in December 2020, include replacement of the flat roof and installation of a new shopfront set back from the pavement to create a covered seating area. Internally, the building has been completely restructured to offer a ground floor space ideal for use as a restaurant and shops, along with first floor studio-style offices. All of which have great potential to attract some of High Wycombe’s up and coming businesses, which in turn is expected to boost footfall and improve the overall experience for visitors to the town. For further information about Proteus SC or to view more inspirational rainscreen facades from Proteus Facades, visit: www.proteusfacades.com or call: 0151 545 5075.

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Cladding chief welcomes new regulatory powers to remove dangerous materials and prosecute rogue companies

Peter Johnson, chairman of Vivalda Group, the UK’s largest independent distributor of non-combustible facade products, has welcomed additional powers granted to the safety body charged with maintaining cladding standards in the wake of Grenfell Tower. It was confirmed this month (January 2021) that the new regulator for construction products, will operate within the Office for Product Safety and Standards department. Granted an additional £10m of funding, this will give the new watchdog more responsibility to conduct its own independent product-testing when investigating cases of suspected malpractice. Cladding firms must now ensure that their products are safe before being sold – which includes testing cladding and associated products such as insulation against new, tougher safety standards. Reacting to the latest announcement from Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, Peter Johnson said: “This is definitely a step in the right direction for the cladding industry. Damning evidence heard from the Grenfell enquiry is liable to cast a long shadow of suspicion across the entire construction sector and so any additional quality assurances must be fully supported. Without independent and transparent testing and quality checks, nobody wins. “Indeed, my own company has lost several competitive contract pitches over the years to products where the fire test performance of a cheaper material is highly questionable owing to gaps in the certification. I would like to believe that such fast and loose practice is now a thing of the past. Certainly, this measure goes some way to stamping it out for good, thus providing what the industry and wider society demands – proven safety.”

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The cladding issue must be addressed immediately

The Grenfell Tower tragedy horrified Britain. Subsequent enquiries have highlighted issues with materials used, construction standards and supervisory roles, to name but a few, and enquiries are on-going. In the meantime, people are living in multi-story buildings with no clear resolution to the issue of cladding on buildings. Future plans are on hold for some who are effectively locked into the ownership of their flat until a resolution is found and suitable funds are available to undertake suggested remedies. Replacement seems to be the preferred action plan but other potential measures such as communal fire alarm systems and sprinkler systems are being ignored. An intolerable situation is developing which has the potential to create a whole new set of victims – this time financial ones. The cost of building insurance for affected buildings is spiralling and may reach the point of being unaffordable, but building insurance is one of the foundation requirements for a mortgage. I think you can see where this is going! The Housing Ministry provides advice covering the fire safety of external wall systems in which the seller is obliged to confirm whether or not the building has potentially flammable cladding and whether there is an active management plan in place. This creates a dilemma for Chartered Surveyors who are neither skilled nor equipped to rule on these matters simply by carrying out a visual inspection. If clarity on the subject is unavailable, they have no choice in England and Wales but to apply a nil value to the property. In Scotland, the now tried and tested regime of Home Reports means that surveyors can propose a value with the caveat in the report that the matter of cladding is Category 3, meaning that it must be addressed immediately. The effect in both cases however is the same – surveyors cannot value comprehensively until the paperwork covering the technical specification for the cladding is provided. If it cannot be provided, the property is blighted, with the knock-on effect of people not being able to sell. What does the Government suggest property owners should do in these circumstances? Well, in its advice-note it provides a list of Chartered Professionals from whom property owners can seek a statement that the cladding meets all current legislative requirements and is fire safe. It is a long list, ranging from architects, inspectors and building engineers, through to clerks of works, fire engineers, building control, town planners and façade engineers. There is only one problem. There are very few people actually providing an EWS 1 report, or probably more accurately adequately insured to provide an EWS 1 report. We have spoken to many – though by no means all – of the bodies on the list and the unanimous response has been, to paraphrase: “We’re not doing the testing.” Sellers are being pushed into a Catch-22 situation where they need a qualified professional to confirm compliance before they can sell but, post-Grenfell, the listed professionals have little incentive to approve cladding – or insulation and fixings – without knowing what the future may hold. Zero valuations and consequent blight are causing increasing concern among brokers, particularly in London. To complicate matters the on-going availability and affordability of insurance to provide EWS 1 reports is open to question. The RICS presently has a consultation paper out on the valuation of multi-storey, multi-occupancy buildings with cladding and inevitably this includes the use of EWS 1 reports. Consistency from surveyors is one of the aims of the consultancy and any subsequent guidance that will be provided to RICS members involved in property valuation. Lenders are not consistent in their approach to buildings with cladding and this complicates any search for funding to purchase. Risk, and more accurately the adoption of risk, is high on all of the stake holders’ decision making when it comes to buildings with cladding. When the music stops no-one wants to be holding the monetary risk that cladding presently presents. Until solutions are found to minimise the risk that cladding is perceived to cause, safety, saleability, mortgageability, insurability and market value, owners will continue to be the new victims of the Grenfell Towers. Chartered Surveyors, at the coal face in this complex situation, find themselves in the uncomfortable position of reporting cladding issues using different criteria. The different approach to cladding by stake holders serves no-one well and the lack of government led solutions and funding means that the present situation continues. Dare I ask if public liability sits in the background and influences government intervention? PI insurers have been running for the hills since Grenfell, adding onerous exclusion clauses to developers and constructors. Exclusion clauses are also now entering the PI cover for surveyors undertaking property valuation. The valuation of properties with cladding may well grind to a halt unless decisive action is taken. As surveyors we await the RICS guidance from the consultation paper that closes on the 25th of Jan. 2021. Eric Curran is a partner of DM Hall Chartered Surveyors, based in the firm’s Glasgow office. For further information, contact DM Hall Chartered Surveyors, 220 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5SG. eric.curran@dmhall.co.uk. For further information about DM Hall’s Scotland-wide network, please contact Caroline Wayte, Marketing Manager, DM Hall, 220 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5SG. M: 07786 362517. E: caroline.wayte@dmhall.co.uk W: www.dmhall.co.uk Twitter: https://twitter.com/dmhallllp LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/dm-hall?trk=biz-companies-cym Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DM-Hall-Chartered-Surveyors-LLP-168316039915372/

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Fassa Bortolo bring rendering expertise to prestigious Duchy of Cornwall development

Leading Italian render specialist, Fassa Bortolo, has recently finalised a prestigious project for The Duchy of Cornwall, in collaboration with Midas Construction. The project launched in November 2017 after Fassa was recommended by one of its largest applicators to transform the external envelope of the new Nansledan school. A final build design was agreed which saw the structure made from steel frame with block, and a sand and cement render finish that would be painted on completion. As a result, the team specified Fassa’s MS20, a cement-based masonry render, with a roughcast finish and a finishing propriety paint for added durability. The Fassa team worked closely with contractor A P Williams, who offered their technical expertise on window surrounds, demonstrating how the roughcast render would look by spraying MS20 onto a prefabricated mock wall for the Duchy of Cornwall to approve. A roughcast finish provides superior water-resistant properties, something which is considered a priority in Cornwall due to extreme costal weather. Paul Williams of A P Williams raised concerns about applying the render from a scaffold as it could cause “scarring”, which would cause imperfections in the finish. To achieve a look as consistent and even as possible, Genie lifts were brought in to apply the render, enabling the applicators to spray the surface and maintain a perfect finish. This willingness to meet the applicators needs is one of the many examples of the main contractor and the applicator working together to attain the best outcome for the client. The school was handed over on time in two phases, the first in June 2019 and the final  in September 2019. Linden Williams, Fassa’s ASM for the south west comments: “It was amazing just how much time and effort was involved in every stage of the process. Relationships have grown over this project, with all parties including the main contractor, the architect, and our render contractor forging new connections. We’re delighted to have been selected to offer our services to such a prestigious project and are very satisfied with the outcome.” Visit www.fassabortolo.co.uk or call 01684 218 305.

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Outsourcing cuts cladding fabrication costs by 50%

“Off the pallet, straight onto the wall” ethos saves time, cost and improves quality, says Vivalda survey Research undertaken by Vivalda Group, the UK’s largest supplier of non-combustible cladding, suggests that sub-contractors could reduce their fabrication costs by up to 50% by outsourcing the process. Vivalda contacted 15 specialist cladding contractors across the UK and asked them to provide their hourly rates for three specific processes; standard board drilling, specialist drilling, and fixing of brackets to boards. The differences between quoted sub-contractor rates and those charged by Vivalda were surprising. Here are the key findings: Standard drill holes for rivet and screw fix. Assuming 12 holes per m2, average sub-contractor labour rates quoted were up to 50% higher than those charged by Vivalda. Specialist ‘secret fix’ drill holes. The price difference between specialist off-site fabrication and on-site labour rates quoted was equally remarkable. Overall, prices quoted for this more complex procedure were approximately 20% higher compared to the cost of standard drilling. Sub-contractor labour rates for this work came out at approximately 40% more expensive when compared to prices quoted by off-site, high precision material engineers such as Vivalda. Fixing brackets / secret fixings to board. This too came out at around 35-40% higher compared to rates typically charged by third party suppliers.  Commenting on the findings, Chris Meyerhoff, branch manager at Vivalda’s Hull branch said: “We are seeing a major trend towards off-site fabrication, with contractors increasingly turning to us to cut boards to size, drill holes and even fix brackets so that facades can be installed as soon as they arrive on site. Despite the proven cost savings and quality guarantees offered by outsourcing, we wanted to understand why a hardcore of contractors continue to do this job in-house. After all, it’s a notoriously time-consuming job that a lot of subbies don’t like doing on-site. That’s why we undertook this research into the relative costs quoted for this activity. “Given the very clear savings contractors could make by outsourcing elements of their cladding fabrication process, we have to ask why aren’t all sub-contractors using third party specialists to prepare boards ready for on-site installation? Is it about control and quality? With damaged and poorly cut boards as the likely outcome, I cannot imagine this is good reason. Also, our use of CNC technology ensures boards are cut to within the tightest tolerances, with brackets fixed using the right tools in well lit, warm surroundings as opposed to rainswept, building sites with restricted space and strict on-site working regulations. “Perhaps some sub-contractors don’t consider the cost of fixings as being that significant? Well, for a project comprising 5,000m2 of cladding, our investigation suggests that this could cost anywhere from £300,000 to £600,000 in fixing labour costs – depending on the location and complexity of the project. That’s not chicken feed in anyone’s book. I’d urge any contractors out there to reconsider this part of their supply chain as it could improve quality, reduce accidents and boost profits in one fell swoop.” Based on its recent survey, Vivalda Group’s UK-wide fabrication facilities could save sub-contractors between 35 and 50% on labour costs, while significantly improving the accuracy and quality of the cladding systems prior to installation.

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