The Building Envelope
Solar panels have formed an ever-expanding feature of the UK roofscape, and regulation changes, allied to the Government’s Future Homes Standard, intend to make UK new homes ‘zero carbon ready’ by 2025. The prospect is for roofs to become a mainstream element of the renewable energy economy.
These are exciting times for INCA, the Insulated Render and Cladding Association, the trade association solely focused upon external wall insulation (EWI), a cladding form used in both refurbishment and new build sectors. The market for EWI is seeing a healthy growth, membership of INCA is flourishing and in its 40th year, the association is now launching a new brand image to propel it into its next phase of development.
Within the public sector, INCA provides a valuable service to building professionals through the supply of essential information and guidance and a directory of members able to tackle residential and commercial buildings in need of fabric improvements in their energy efficiency. Through the use of high performing insulation and a range of facade finishes, low, mid and high rise buildings can be improved beyond recognition. INCA is an association representing specialists of all sizes with a track record of professional knowledge and experience.
As concerns about inadequate roof fire barrier installation grow, Marley’s Roof Defence can help housing association specifiers deliver guaranteed protection against the spread of hidden roof fires.
Building Regulations require that new homes are built with fire protection measures to delay the spread of fire and allow crucial time to escape. So, when a roof is compartmentalised between adjoining homes, fire barriers are seen as an integral safety feature, to prevent the spread of flames and smoke in case of a fire.
A combination of wall and roofing membranes from Glidevale Protect has been specified and installed on a new build social housing scheme built by Countryside Properties PLC, working in partnership with the affordable housing provider, emh group.
The Protect TF200® breather membrane, branded as Countryside Properties, has been used on all external walls to offer protection during construction and to allow water vapour to escape into the external wall cavity, minimising the risk of condensation within the structure. All pitched roofs across the site feature Protect VP300, the LR vapour permeable underlay, providing a secondary line of defence to the roof covering, ensuring water tightness and suitable wind uplift resistance to meet the wind zone requirements of the site’s location.
Noise pollution can have a significant impact on resident quality of life, so should housing associations and commercial contractors be doing more? HA Magazine reports...
Noise pollution was recently listed as second only to air pollution by the UK’s Chief Medical Officer for its negative impact on public health. Studies show that exposure to unwanted noise can contribute to sleep disturbance, hypertension and even diabetes and heart disease.
So, given this, should housing associations and their supply partners be re-thinking their approach to move beyond requirements in Approved Document E to deliver a step-change in acoustic performance - particularly in future developments?
As part of a wide scale refurbishment project from Enfield Council, Langley Structures Ltd delivered a series of Flat to Pitched (FTP) roof conversions across multiple residential premises in New Southgate. This project recently won RCI’s Pitched Roofing Awards for ‘best use of a flat to pitch system’.
The project saw the conversion applied to seven buildings located on Bowes Road, Cross Road and Massey Close in Enfield, as part of the larger ‘New Southgate’ refurbishment being carried out in the area. Approved in 2010, the New Southgate regeneration project provides quality homes, local shops and community services across the neighbourhood.
Langley Structures worked alongside Playle & Partners LLP’s, who provided lead architectural services as well as project management, contract administration, quantity surveying and principle designer roles. ENGIE, Langley Structures’ Approved Contractor, delivered the regeneration solution.
Although high efficiency cam action door closers enable low operating forces within and below those demanded within BS8300, some users find any resistance on a fire door either very hard or impossible to manage.
Where such instances arise, the use of a free swing door closer is highly advised. A free swing door closer, when active, enables to door to move freely without resistance being experienced by the user; thus, it enables the door to perform as any standard internal door within a domestic dwelling. In addition to no resistance from the closer, the door can be left in any position desired by the user - fully open, slightly ajar or fully closed. On activation of the fire alarm or in the event of a power failure, the door will close from whatever position it has been left in, ensuring the fire door will perform as required in the event of a fire. Whilst the alarm is active or while power is out, the free swing closer will perform as a ‘normal’ door closer, so if opened it will automatically close again. Once the alarm has been reset or power restored, the free swing will become active once again.