VELUX launches competition to recognise most inventive use of roof windows in building projects

Leading roof window manufacturer VELUX has launched a national competition that celebrates architects and designers for the most inventive and modern use of roof windows in a residential project.

The competition, called The VELUX Roof Window Award, is now open and invites submissions from architects based in the UK and Ireland who can showcase the design, aesthetics and detailing of any completed project that includes a VELUX roof window.

Bruntwood appoints Sheila Bird Group to ‘bring the noise’ to Circle Square

Interiors experts, the Sheila Bird Group, has been appointed by Bruntwood to inject its renowned brand of creativity into the commercial buildings at Circle Square, Manchester’s newest city centre neighbourhood.

Atul Bansal, co-founder of Sheila Bird Group and the man responsible for creating “the world’s coolest office” for fashion brand Missguided, will work with Bruntwood over the next two years to shape the look and feel of the commercial buildings at Circle Square.

Wrightstyle introduces leaf and half leaf fire resistant door system

One of Europe’s leading advanced glazing system suppliers has introduced an innovative leaf and half leaf fire resistant door system. The new system complements Wrightstyle’s existing unlatched door range, which was the first unlatched advanced glazed system on the UK and international markets. The doors, which have leafs of different sizes, provide integrity and insulation, for either 30 or 60 minutes (EI-30 and EI-60). There can be several reasons for having a double leaf door with different leaf sizes – for example, where the opening is restricted in width, or for other ascetic, design or space restriction reasons.

Leading Safety Upwards

Over a third of all injuries reported annually are caused as a result of a slip or trip at the workplace Skyhook GB Limited, established in 2004, has come up with a revolutionary product specifically designed to prevent these unfortunate mishaps.

The Skyhook concept has been widely accepted in the construction industry due to its incredible effectiveness and convenience. The Skyhook support system has been sold to over 150 companies throughout the UK, and overseas, including some of the biggest names in the construction sector.


A trial of Intratone access control systems at Network Homes’ sites across London has been so successful that it resulted in zero faults over two years.

Network Homes is an award-winning housing association with 20,000 homes across London, Hertfordshire and the South East. Proximity readers and fobs were installed by Delta Security in 319 apartments across 19 blocks in 2015; High Frequency (HF) receivers for car park access have also been trialled.

Lytag Helps Make Light Work of New Edinburgh Exchange District Landmark

Aggregate Industries’ innovative Lytag solution was the product of choice when it came to helping to lighten the load of a new upmarket commercial build in Edinburgh city centre.

Located in the heart of the city’s Exchange District, the £24m 2 Semple Street development has been designed to help alleviate the Scottish Capital’s chronic shortage of Grade A office accommodation. With an onus on energy efficiency and superb design, the newly-opened building boasts 45,000 sq ft of cutting-edge office and retail space, over five storeys.

Forticrete welcomes latest planning powers

New powers to deliver more homes through the creation of New Town Development Corporations should be seen as an opportunity to set the standard in housing design, according to Forticrete.

Under the rules, which were announced last week, councils will be able to seek government’s approval to launch a New Town Development Corporation, which will be responsible for delivering new towns and garden communities in their area, with responsibility for master planning and project development. The measure is part of the government’s programme of planning reform to speed up the delivery of its target of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s.

Apprentices in the construction industry

Is the construction industry suffering from a skills shortage? Industry experts have raised concerns, with City & Guilds revealing that 87% of employers last year were already finding it difficult to recruit the skilled workers that they need. According to Construction News, official figures show that 12.6% of UK construction workers come from overseas, with 5.7% originating from the EU. This rises to a staggering 60% in London. Furthermore, 30% of British-born construction workers are now over the age of 50, meaning businesses will feel the pinch of those departing over the coming years through retirement when Brexit comes into play.

Johnson Controls launches contractor partnership initiative: YORK® Specialised HVAC Contractor Programme

Johnson Controls is launching the YORK® Specialised HVAC Contractor (YSC) Programme, a training and support programme offering specialised HVAC contractors the opportunity to grow their business through. Apart from easy access to YORK® products and solutions, the YORK® Specialised HVAC Contractor (YSC) programme also offers training, sales and marketing support and service back-up.

Costain sponsors RSSB launch initiative to combat fatigue in rail industry

Costain has sponsored a Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) project to launch new guidance on fatigue, which is cited as a factor in around a fifth of major rail incidents.

Data from RSSB shows that 20% of high risk rail incidents can be caused by fatigue, which is symptomatic of prolonged working, heavy workloads, insufficient rest or inadequate sleep.

On the railway, fatigue can have serious safety implications and so Costain has worked with RSSB to educate the rail industry, across all levels, in understanding their role and responsibilities for managing fatigue.


Fire safety remains top of the agenda following the Dame Judith Hackitt Review and the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower disaster. Whilst much of the debate has centred around the use of combustible cladding and the need to improve fire safety management systems, there are strong calls from the industry to tighten the law on the installation of fire suppression methods too.

Antony Corbett, product manager for Geberit Piping Systems, examines the case for mandatory sprinkler installations into existing properties.

You don’t have to look hard to find evidence of public support for tighter regulations on the use of sprinklers in new and existing buildings following the Grenfell Tower disaster. The National Fire Chiefs Council, RIBA and the London Assembly Planning Committee are amongst the organisations to have called for a change in fire safety laws surrounding sprinklers. Jeremy Corbyn and Dany Cotton, Commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, have also expressed their support for mandatory sprinkler installations since June 2017. 


Apartments offering a refined and metropolitan lifestyle are about to arrive in Sutton, as large-scale mixed-use development, Sutton Point, is being launched this month by CNM Estates. The new landmark development comprises beautifully designed towers which provide space for 332 residential apartments, over 21,000 sq. ft. of retail and 18,000 sq. ft. of office space, combined with a 150 bed hotel and serviced apartments.

Sutton combines historical roots with a future-focused town centre and vibrant community, which has cemented its status as one of the most up-and-coming London boroughs. The first phase to be launched is a collection of 116 premium apartments ranging from studios up to three bedroom penthouses, located in the main Central Tower.  The new homes are available to purchase through Knight Frank and Barnard Marcus, with prices starting from £280,000.


  • 52% seek professional help before attempting DIY tasks
  • 77% don’t feel confident in their DIY abilities
  • Changing a plug, fixing a leaking tap and hanging wallpaper were the top three DIY tasks UK adults avoid

NOT-SO-HANDY UK adults avoid common household DIY tasks due to a lack of confidence in their abilities, according to new research.

The survey of 1,483 UK homeowners and tenants carried out by Emo Oil, a home heating oil supplier, revealed that a nervous 52% of UK adults would immediately call on professional assistance before trying to fix a DIY issue themselves.

Five of the best recycling bins from

With social attitudes continuing to shift and increasing numbers of householders across England trying to do their bit to recycle more at home,* having an effective rubbish and recycling system in place in the kitchen is more important than ever. However, recycling at home doesn’t have to be a complicated or time-consuming process thanks to specialist retailer, who offer the most comprehensive collection of stylish freestanding and sleek in-cupboard bins on the market.

‘Disruptors in Facade Technology’

The facade industry is quite mature in its lifecycle with aluminium being the most sustainable material to specify for windows, doors and facades.  With high performance thermal breaks, it is possible to specify aluminium systems that will help projects reach the Passivhaus standard.  But what of the emerging technologies that will influence sustainability and efficiency?

Thirty-five years ago CAD revolutionised the way we designed aluminium facades.  Here was a system that could easily calculate complex structures, angles and profile lengths making cutting, machining and assembly more cost effective.  Later, adding CAD output to CNC machines further influenced efficient manufacture to such an extent that most fabricators now have at least one of these machine centres and design in 3D.  BIM is now also filtering down into the fabrication arena which will add further efficiencies in the specification and manufacture of building envelopes.