Construction Materials Online

Construction Materials Online launched Winter edition of CMO (Construction Materials Online) Magazine this January. Read here for your complimentary copy.

Construction Materials Online news

Plans for future growth: A great start to 2017

Four new members joined us in the last team update, and we’re pleased to announce that (as part of our commitment to great customer service), more staff will join us this year! Which means an office expansion is needed…again!

Just one year on from our previous expansion, our in-house marketing and web development team will move into their new space, making room for our new recruits. All CMO stores will be growing, continuing to provide excellent service for Roofing Superstore, Drainage Superstore and Insulation Superstore. We feel privileged to be planning for future growth (particularly in light of recent redundancies which have sadly hit other merchants) – it is a positive start to this new year and we have you, our customers to thank!

Update on the recent explosion impacting nationwide supply of PIR boards

From Duncan Voice, Insulation Superstore Brand Manager

On Monday 17th October, the chemical manufacturer BASF suffered an explosion at its factory in Ludwigshafen, affecting supply of PIR boards across the whole of the UK.

BASF produce the chemical methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, which is the main constituent of polyisocyanurate (PIR), the primary component in PIR boards. PIR could no longer be produced in mass quantities (it is still being produced, but in limited runs) and our bestselling boards such as Celotex, Recticel, EcoTherm & Xtratherm became very difficult to get hold of overnight. Subsequently, this had a knock-on effect for Kingspan (a phenolic foam, not PIR), as people hoovered this product up, unable to obtain regular PIR boards.

Our team aims to find a solution for every individual

Over the weeks, we found some merchants dramatically increasing prices and holding stock for their regular customers only.

I’m proud to say that our team have gone the extra mile in our efforts to source stock for every individual, calling on our strong supplier relationships so that almost all builders and customers who have been turned away at their regular stores have found us able to provide a solution.

Place your orders as normal, contacting us for any concerns

After the initial uncertainty, we are finding the situation has eased a little (on certain sized boards) and we encourage anyone who is looking for PIR boards to place their orders as usual, allowing more time for delivery where possible. This will enable us to secure the stock, and should there be any supply problems or changes we will contact you as soon as possible. If there are specialist requirements or deadlines are pressing, please contact our helpline in advance, who will work with you to provide a solution.

We have been advised that this situation will be fully rectified by February, however, we are expecting March (if not later) to be more likely. In the meantime, I’d like to thank all our customers to date for their patience, and if you have any queries at all, please contact our helpline on 01752 692206.

Environmental News

Normandy village gets world’s first Wattway, a 1km solar panel road

Tourouvre-au-Perche in Normandy, France has opened the first solar panel road. The 0.6-mile route will be used by around 2000 people a day for 2 years during a test period. This will determine if the 2800 square meters of panels can generate enough energy to power the street lighting for 3400 residents in a nearby village. Some critics have argued that the system may be an inefficient renewables endeavour as the cost of a recent solar-powered cycle path in Amsterdam could have paid for over 170 times the amount of energy it generated over a year. Whilst the president of renewable energy union SER has said the cost must be looked at in order ensure the production of electricity and the value is there, he also noted that ‘for now I don’t have the answers’.

‘Climate positive’ sustainable projects sit Lendlease in the top spot

The NextGeneration report is an assessment of the sustainability of 25 of the biggest homebuilders in the UK annually. In 2016, infrastructure company Lendlease topped the list thanks to new sustainable projects including The Timberyard and Elephant Park, the largest new park in Central London which aims to be ‘climate positive’ by 2025. Lendlease was closely followed in the list by Crest Nicholson, which secured its runner up position thanks to its ‘Make Waste History’ campaign and its “forward-looking integrated sustainability strategy”. The full report can be downloaded here.

Floating home in Portugal generating electricity

Design and engineering firm Friday, based in Portugal, have created the eco-friendly and self-sufficient ‘Floatwing’. The floating house will generate its entire annual energy usage in just six months thanks to solar power. The company have created four different house designs, each offering a different level of self-sufficiency. The most self-sufficient model available comprises a waste treatment plant system, a small water treatment plant and the ability to store fuel generated. Each of these elements combined with the low-impact sustainable materials used during construction reduces the carbon footprint of these small homes.

Meet the Construction Materials Online team

Ross is our specialist eCommerce web developer here at Construction Materials Online, working alongside other senior staff members to ensure all the CMO websites are working effectively. Ross carries out major development work, maintaining code and making sure the sites are running error-free. The development of tools and reporting systems which help make our customer service assistants as efficient as possible are also part of Ross’s role. The Roofing Superstore VELUX window selector is one of many tools Ross has created to make the shopping experience easier for our customers.

Construction Industry News

Omagh Hospital & Primary Care Complex nears completion

Aiming to open in early 2017, Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex offers its local community outstanding healthcare services and a range of diagnostic services with modern GP facilities. It is expected that the hospital will be handed over to the local Trust at the end of January. In 2015 & 2016 McLaughlin & Harvey contractors were awarded silver Considerate Constructers Scheme National Site Awards for adhering to the five-points within the scheme: care about appearance, respect the community, protect the environment, secure everyone’s safety, and value their workforce.

Working alongside the existing Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex will comprise state-of-the-art outpatient services, care for those with access needs and more modern areas for staff to work in, including a self-check-in desk.

Zaha Hadid’s gallery design unveiled at London’s Science Museum

The Winton Gallery in London’s renowned Science Museum is a wealth of ‘firsts’ for the late Zaha Hadid. The first work to be opened after her death in March of 2016, the first permanent public museum exhibition she has designed and it incorporates her first degree, maths. Reimagining the space, the gallery is contoured around equations that describe airflow, leaving a stunning swirling design that combines modern architecture with ancient maths. The extra room created by the pattern allows for more objects to be individually examined from every angle.

New garden villages and towns given Government go-ahead with £7.4m funding

14 new garden villages and 3 new garden towns are set to be built over the next few years with the aid of £7.4m in Government funding. The money will provide extra resources and ensure the projects are completed as quickly as possible to a high standard. Between 48,000 homes are due to be built with thousands of jobs created during construction and hundreds of opportunities expected thanks to local shops, amenities and businesses arising. Buckinghamshire, Somerset and the Essex-Hertfordshire border have been earmarked as garden town locations and the likes of Culm in Mid Devon, Halsnead in Merseyside, Bailrigg in Lancaster and Welborne in Hampshire will become garden village locations.

Mabey unites 3D modelling and physical monitoring for Live BIM first

BIM has been helping the construction industry become more productive, efficient and safer. Now, thanks to Mabey, ‘Live BIM’ is available to help monitor the stress and effects of events on buildings and structures. Expected to be available to customers early this year, this technology could herald a new era of safer sites and more stable construction. Recently used to monitor the stresses to a large office foundation column, the system used electronic jacks to keep the column stable during a neighbouring shaft’s excavation.

The Skills and Training Fund awards over £2m to SMEs in Great Britain

SMES across Great Britain have been allocated over £2 million in funding between December 2015 and December 2016. The money was spread across 442 small-to-medium sized enterprises to help develop employees’ skills. The Skills and Training Fund offers grants up to £5,000 to businesses with fewer than 50 employees, with the next applications open from 7th February 2017. Head of Economic Analysis at CITB, Geeta Nathan, said: “It’s so great to see so many firms successfully applying for the Skills and Training Fund – £1m is a milestone we should all be proud of – and I’d encourage every levy-paying SME to do the same.”

Construction Materials Online speak to Adrian Fishley of Klober

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Klober, could you summarise the company and what it offers?

Klober sells, promotes and delivers a universal product offer for roofing professionals. We continually innovate and develop new roofing products and system solutions and our range is suitable for most applications that you will find in the country.

How does the company differ from its competition?

The company is a leading authority in the roofing market. Roofers, merchants, builders and specifiers ‘trust Klober’ and are supported by technical knowledge and service based on over 55 years of industry experience. Also, Klober’s research and development programme includes rigorous product testing at our facility in Germany, assuring customers that our products are always reliable, durable and fit for purpose.

How did you come to work for Klober?

I’ve been involved in roofing sales for most of my career. The opportunity arose to work for Klober and I was pleased to join an established and well-respected market leader in the roofing industry.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen since you’ve worked in the roofing industry?

The roof as a system is now far more important as part of the total build. At one time, the requirement was pretty basic – a cheap roof to keep water out. Today, the roof is pivotal; a structure for protection from the elements, a channel for improving the energy efficiency of a property and a principal consideration for its aesthetic appeal. The roof is also increasingly utilised as a living space, which further extends its contribution to a building.

What trends have you noticed in the roofing industry most recently?

The update to BS 5534 ‘Code of Practice for Slating and Tiling’ is recognised as one of the most important changes for the industry in around 20 years. As part of this update, all ridge, verge, valley and hip tiles must now be mechanically fixed, leading to an increase in demand for dry, mechanically fixed, maintenance-free roofing products and accessories. The longevity and performance of roofs is now increased dramatically.

What’s the most notable development that you’ve worked on with Klober?

Updates to BS 5534 have also been an important development for Klober as a manufacturer of underlays. The standard requires manufacturers to disclose a ‘zonal limit’ as per a wind speed map of the UK, based on a recognised industry testing procedure. This is very important because it means that customers now have a means of comparing the quality and performance of a product, and that underlays must comply to a wind uplift resistance criteria. Klober offers a range of underlay products to help trade customers meet these regulations no matter where they are working in the UK.

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