Boss Design sets the scene at Wates HQ

When one of the UK’s largest privately-owned construction, development and property services companies, the Wates Group, embarked on the refurbishment of its head office, it called upon Boss Design’s expertise in workplace design solutions.

Following a period of significant growth for the business, the Wates Group was looking to consolidate its London offices. This included re-establishing the business’ head office in Leatherhead, Surrey as its main hub by providing employees with a flexible, collaborative and private working environment – all in time for the Wates Group to be presented with the Queens Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development, for the second consecutive time.

Given that modern, contemporary, and high quality furniture was a primary requirement for this project – together with a good supply relationship and ability to offer a furniture design solution at competitive value – Boss Design was the perfect choice and supported the refurbishment with an emphasis on quality, value, environmental sustainability, and staff well-being.

Committed to its philosophy that good workplace design centres on creating ‘Habitats’ to support workers in all their activities and corresponding surroundings, Boss Design supplied a comprehensive range of furniture to meet the requirements of various settings. These included; office environments, formal meetings, collaboration, flexible meetings, and breakout areas. In addition, Boss Design’s furniture was specified in the building’s atrium, restaurant, and reception.

Designed to support modern methods of working, the furniture specified in the main offices included high performance Q task chairs, together with Agent high tables and stools for collaborative tasks, and Arthur high backed booths for breakout areas and smaller meetings. A variety of coloured upholstery also helped to distinguish between the different departments. The reception area features Raft seating and Q task chairs, with a higher raised level featuring both Marnie and Layla armchairs, and Cuba coffee tables.

It was important for Wates to make the most of its reception area and restaurant space as multi-functional areas for working, socialising and refueling. As a result, Boss Design supplied Agent dining tables and benches for the restaurant, together with Loop chairs and high stools. Raft booth seating also provides added comfort and privacy, as well as additional meeting space. Complete with integral power points, the restaurant is now a dynamic hub throughout the workday and provides a compelling new way to generate energy.

In addition to furnishing multiple settings, Boss Design helped to maximise workspace occupancy, re-enforce Wates branding throughout the building, and ensure the furniture offered excellent value and cost savings without compromising the original interior or quality of product. Furthermore, Boss Design’s detailed recycled content and recyclability for every product fully supported Wates’ impressive environmental and sustainability ethos.

Cyrille Ragasa, Site Surveyor at Wates, explains: “We were looking for a high-end furniture designer and manufacturer that could provide us with a good product, without compromising on design. Boss Design was chosen for its sustainability credentials, values, history of good client relationships and excellent furniture options.

“It was important to us that the suppliers we selected were committed to upholding the reputation and values of the Wates brand and for this to be reflected in the final install. Boss Design has impressive environmental and CSR commitments and were the right fit from the start. We are extremely happy with the finished result.”

Oliver Ronald, Sales Director, at Boss Design comments: “Having worked in partnership with Wates supplying furniture for some of their major corporate and retail clients in the past, we were delighted to have been appointed to supply workplace solutions for its own head office refurbishment.

“We are particularly proud to have been able to support Wates in delivering its sustainability, environmental and CSR commitments, contributing to their SKA assessment Silver award. Our solutions were also endorsed by Dr. Zainab Dangana, Research and Development Manager at the Wates Group and a leading figure in the field of sustainable technologies.”

For further information contact Boss Design Headquarters: +44 (0) 1384 455570 or Boss Design London Showroom: Tel.: +44 (0) 20 7253 0364. Alternatively, visit


Dura Cladding Helps New Landmark Development at Rushden Lakes Achieve its Sustainability Goals

Composite Timber Dura Cladding has been chosen for an exciting new retail, leisure and tourism destination in the Nene Valley. The Rushden Lakes site near Northampton is due to open this month and is the largest out-of-town scheme of its kind in a decade.

HPW Architecture led the design and development of the masterplan for the project, which is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty and centres around restoring public access to a network of lakes, as well as offering unrivalled shopping and leisure facilities.

As the development is situated adjacent to a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a designated nature reserve, it was critical that both the design and construction processes embraced the challenges and opportunities provided by the unique setting. In consultation with the Wildlife Trust and Natural England, HPW designed three net-zero energy buildings (NZEBs), which are clad in Dura Cladding from Dura Composites. Dura Cladding is made from high performance composite timber and is a sustainable alternative to traditional timber made from recycled materials. Dura Cladding is also 100% Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certified and offers superb low maintenance properties as well as an attractive finish that looks just like natural wood but doesn’t ever require treating, painting or staining.

The net-zero energy buildings comprise of the Boathouse, Wildlife Trust Visitors Centre and the Management Office which are distinguished from other buildings in the development through the use of Dura Cladding Type 150 Flush in Cedar colour. All three buildings are super-insulated with all required energy for operation generated on-site to keep running costs to a minimum.

The anchor retail buildings on the terraces including House of Fraser have been part clad in Dura Cladding Type 150 Flush in Grey to provide a contrasting finish whilst retaining the aesthetic look, durability, UV performance and sustainable credentials that the developers were looking for.

Commenting on the project, Gary Wilburn, director of design and sustainability for HPW said: “This is a unique project and one which we have been delighted to have been involved in right from the concept stage 8 years ago. At HPW we specialise in projects like this where wildlife and the natural surroundings are a key part of the design, and we’re really pleased with the role that the Dura Cladding in both Cedar and Grey have played in helping us maintain that ethos. With a project on this scale it’s important to ensure that the resulting development delivers on all of its promises and the recycled properties of Dura Cladding, together with its FSC® status have helped us to meet our overall sustainability goals. The low-maintenance benefits of a composite timber cladding combined with the peace of mind provided by the product warranty have contributed towards a genuine legacy for future generations of which we are very proud.”

The first phase of the Rushden Lakes development is due to open in July and will be followed by phase two of the scheme, which includes additional shops, restaurants and a 14-screen cinema.

Dura Cladding is available to purchase now through International Timber and selected Jewson branches. The products come in 3 widths and 5 attractive colours and appeals to architects, builders, contractors and commercial property developers looking for an aesthetically pleasing, hard-wearing and low maintenance way to finish the exterior of both new and refurbished buildings.

For more information about Dura Composites, visit the website at 

For more information on HPW Architecture, please visit the website at and to view the latest video of the development visit


Refurbishment project at special needs school funded by the EFA

Abbey Hill Academy, facing risk of a complete boiler breakdown with equipment over 25 years old, was in urgent need to find a replacement. After the completion of a site survey, a system consisting of Hamworthy cast iron condensing boilers and direct-fired water heaters was identified as best solution to be fitted to the existing heating system. Financing was secured by a successful bid from the Condition Improvement Fund provided by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) available for academies and sixth-form colleges.

Abbey Hill Academy is a school for children with learning difficulties based in Stockton-on-Tees. The facility consists of three buildings providing a comfortable learning atmosphere for around 300 students aged 11 to 19 years. Two old cast iron sectional non condensing boilers were supplying heating and hot water for the main Stephenson Building consisting of 18 classrooms for around 160 students. Old atmospheric water heaters installed in the same building, delivered hot water to showers, sinks, basins and the main kitchen.

Philip McHale, Premises & Facilities Manager at Abbey Hill Academy as part of the Horizons Specialist Academy Trust, was looking for a cost-effective solution.

“The priority was to find a boiler that was energy efficient, would reduce costs, could be fitted to the existing system and came with a complete package of supply to commission. I checked a lot of boiler manufacturers and found Hamworthy’s website to be useful with the offer of a free site survey. We were pleased that we got to meet both Steve Johnson, area sales manager and Stuart Turner, the national sales manager. Both had a genuine interest in our project.”

Two Purewell VariHeat cast iron condensing boilers with a combined output of 360kW were chosen to replace the two old non-condensing cast iron sectional boilers. With heat exchangers made from the same robust material, big waterways and an upgrade to condensing models, the boilers offer long-term reliability, compatibility to the existing heating system while profiting from up-to-date technology for best efficiency.

The hot water supply was met by the installation of two Dorchester DR-FC Evo direct fired condensing water heaters to replace old water tanks, delivering a total output of 1,192 litres per hour.

Philip notes “We updated the old tank fed system that delivered poor hot water pressure to mains fed. There has been a vast improvement in hot water pressure and it has also improved our Legionella management. The web based control system enables us to manage the usage of the boilers, saving us energy.”

The water heaters have an anti-legionella safety function, which means water will be heated for a period at a high temperature (e. g. 65°C for one hour) to prevent the risk of legionella bacteria forming in the vessel. Additionally, the recirculation pump can be set to run to ensure the whole system is purged. Built in controls allow this task to be performed on a regular basis, ensuring water stays legionella-free and safe.

Mark Smith, Project Engineer at Leybourne Urwin Ltd, mechanical and electrical engineers who installed the boilers and water heaters, says: “The boilers were very easy to position and install, the installation instructions were clear to follow. Everything was delivered as and when Hamworthy said it would be. We also used the Hamworthy pipe kits, which are great, as they save time on site.”

Abbey Hill Academy was seeking a way to finance the capital-intensive project. For this purpose, the Condition Improvement Fund (CIF) is offered by the Education Funding Agency (EFA). CIF is an annual bidding round available for academies and sixth-form colleges to fund projects to keep buildings safe and in good working order. This could be e. g. rectifying health and safety issues, problems with building compliance or improving poor buildings condition. Previous CIF rounds have been heavily oversubscribed which is why applicants need to meet the bid criteria and demonstrate the urgency of projects in order to secure the fund. Philip explains

“The bid criteria set by the EFA put the boiler replacement programme in a high priority level. Due to the condition of our existing boilers and the likelihood of complete failure, our bid was successful.”

After the installation, commissioning of the newly installed boilers and water heaters was carried out by a Hamworthy-approved service engineer. This not only ensured that they were set up for optimised performance, but also improved their warranty terms, covering parts plus labour for two years from commissioning.

Mark Smith adds “We chose Hamworthy for commissioning, as they are the manufacturer, know what they’re doing and what they are looking for during commissioning.”

About working with Hamworthy, Philip comments “The customer service was good. We had the free site survey and direct contact with Steve (our local contact). The boilers arrived on time and well packaged and the commission of the system at the end of the job went well. I’m all round happy with the service.”

For advice on making the right choice for your heating and hot water systems, talk to Hamworthy; telephone 01202 662500, email, or visit


Change toilet provision to increase custom

Venues, retail outlets could significantly increase the number of families visiting, and their length of stay, just by adapting accessible toilet facilities.

A survey by Firefly Community- a group of 20,000 families with children who have special needs- found that:

  • 97% of families surveyed said changing their child whilst out and about was a  problem.
  • 86% had to leave a venue early because of poor toilet facilities
  • 100% suffer from back pain (from lifting their child)
  • 95% said either a height adjustable or adult-sized changing bench would make their life easier on days out
  • 99% would be more likely to visit a venue if it improved its toilet changing facilities.

“The survey speaks for itself,” observes Claire Smyth, who runs Firefly’s Space to Change campaign, for wheelchair-accessible toilet facilities with a changing bench and hoist. “Provide a hoist, bench, and you open your doors to up to 14 million disabled children and adults in the UK, and their families, who need space, a bench, and/or hoist to toilet away from home.

“Without these, those families either can’t visit, or leave early so spend less with you: that includes everything from doing the weekly shop, a trip to the town or shopping centre, a family meal out, or a tourist attraction. And we know that venues that have made that change are seeing tangible benefits- Cornwall Services, for example, has reported its facility is used daily and it has seen an increase in custom and spend as a result.”

Adds Robin Tuffley, marketing manager at Clos-o-Mat, supporter of the Space to Change campaign, “Even if there is no other toilet provided, venues have to at least have a unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet. Many unisex wheelchair accessible toilets are already big enough to accommodate the bench and hoist: it’s a comparatively small capital equipment spend to add them. Even if they are not already big enough, it only requires an additional 1.6m x 2m of space….”

Under the Equality Act, venues to which the public have access are required to anticipate the need and make ‘reasonable adjustments’, including to the built environment, if a disabled person would otherwise be at a ‘substantial’ disadvantage. Campaigners maintain having to lie a child or adult on a toilet floor to be changed because there are not suitable facilities represents that substantial disadvantage.

The concept of Space To Change toilets has been developed to ensure that the personal hygiene needs of people who need changing and lifting facilities for their personal care are met when away from home, as much as possible. It builds on a Regulatory (Document M) unisex wheelchair-accessible toilet, delivering a 7.5m2+ (3m x 2.5m min) WC facility with an adult-sized changing bench and a hoist.

Clos-o-Mat, Britain’s leading supplier of disabled toilet solutions at home and away, has been instrumental in developing the Space To Change toilet layout, and working with campaigners and Firefly Community to promote the concept. Firefly Community, an online special needs resource, is driving the movement, supporting campaigners and raising awareness of the need for accessible toilets that include a height adjustable changing bench and hoist.

Full details of the Space To Change concept, plus technical support, CAD blocks etc, can be found at and .



Siemens supports the arts and delivers safety and sustainability at Carnegie Hall, New York

Carnegie Hall boasts a history of 125 years as a music venue and Siemens operates as their technology partner for the implementation of fire safety, electronic security and building automation, helping to make this iconic building safer, more secure and more energy efficient.
Not only does Siemens protect Carnegie Hall but the company also supports and nurtures emerging talent worldwide via the Siemens Arts Programme. It achieves this through its own rising talent competitions, such as the Siemens Opera Contest and by connecting these new artists with established cultural institutions worldwide, including Carnegie Hall New York, Palais Garnier Paris, Bayerische Staatsoper and Salzburg Festival. Ilkin Alpay came to prominence last year as the winner of the Siemens Opera Contest in Turkey and now the young soprano has appeared at Carnegie Hall.

New systems were installed as part of an infrastructure upgrade to Carnegie Hall’s Studio Towers, originally added to the famed concert hall at the end of the 19th century. A central focus of this comprehensive renovation was the installation of the new 60,000 square foot Resnick Education Wing, located on the Hall’s upper floors, as well as the refurbishment of the Hall’s backstage areas. The project created an opportunity to highlight the importance of sustainable design and provided an inspiring example of the adaptive reuse of a historic building.

“With the Studio Towers Renovation Project and creation of our new Resnick Education Wing, we aimed to build on Carnegie Hall’s amazing history, ensuring that our building continues to revitalise itself for the 21st century as a place as important to the future of music as it has been to the past,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director. “An important component of the project has been the opportunity to upgrade our building’s infrastructure, and Carnegie Hall is more energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly for staff and visitors than ever before.”

As part of the Studio Towers renovations, Siemens supplied life safety systems and building automation; technology highlights include:
Enhanced security: the Siemens SiPass access control system addresses Carnegie Hall’s complex security needs by ensuring that only the right people have access to the right places at the right time. This is crucial, as Carnegie Hall has various access points and levels of clearance for building staff, students and performers, among others.

Fire and life safety system: Siemens’ advanced detection systems allow Carnegie Hall to ensure the safety of its occupants. If a fire is detected, the command and control station is instantly alerted and emergency control operations are engaged, including fire door closure, lift management and air handler turn-on/shut-off, among other critical functions.

Centralised control: a Siemens building automation system integrates heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls onto one platform that can be controlled both locally by end-users and from one central location by building engineers, or remotely, if desired. It also continually analyses electricity demand and usage to manage overall building energy performance.

It was a challenge to retrofit such an iconic and historic building that had no original blueprints, with technology that would modernise its safety, security and energy efficiency systems, but as a result of these efforts, Carnegie Hall is now one of the oldest buildings to receive a LEED Silver Leadership certification.

An additional component of the overall project that helped Carnegie Hall achieve its LEED certification is a new 10,000 square foot roof terrace with reflective pavers and plantings that reduce the heat island effect and the building’s overall carbon footprint. Thanks to the Hall’s 450 original windows on its upper floors, natural light has been maximised in the building’s renovation and design, which also incorporates the use of LED bulbs and occupancy sensors.

Carnegie Hall presents a wide range of performances each season on its three stages – the renowned Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage, intimate Weill Recital Hall, and innovative Zankel Hall – including concert series curated by acclaimed artists and composers; citywide festivals featuring collaborations with leading New York City cultural institutions; orchestral performances, chamber music, new music concerts, and recitals; and the best in jazz, world, and popular music. Complementing these performance activities, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute creates extensive music education and community programmes that are expected to serve more than a half a million people in the New York City area, nationally, and internationally next season. For larger systems that can leverage existing IT network infrastructures, integration is an important factor. It makes sense to move away from a single discipline approach to one that views security in a more holistic way. This applies not only to the integration of different security functions, but also how security and safety can be integrated into general business processes. The facilities market has moved significantly in connectivity terms, particularly with the development of open architecture.


DePuy Synthes calls upon Boon Edam to revamp UK head office

The DePuy Synthes Companies, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, required an entrance refurbishment. With visitors coming from around the world, the reception area needed to better reflect the prestigious nature of the company. Boon Edam, a global market leader in entry solutions was appointed to provide a future proof product customised to the buildings requirements.

The refurbishment project to the 1970’s site in Leeds, had the aim of modernising the look of the building’s reception area, whilst providing enhanced security. With the door installation being the main design feature for the new reception, Boon Edam’s 140 years’ experience meant it was best placed to provide support throughout every stage of the project; from advising on the design and specification, to project management and installation.

Following consideration of the building’s requirements Boon Edam suggested and installed its most versatile entry solution; a full automatic Tourniket Revolving Door, with a security system and collapsible doorset. The Tourlock 360N security function has an electromagnetic lock which is engaged when the door is parked. Once activated, overhead anti-entrapment sensors scan the door compartments for the presence of a user and stop in the rest position upon the user’s exit, engaging the electric locks.

The collapsible leaves were added to the door specification as there is no pass door. Therefore, the Tourniket can be manually folded to increase the width, should it be required for large deliveries, disabled access or to allow for a high capacity throughput in the event of an emergency.

This entrance solution features two modes available via the Tourniket’s control panel, for automatic operation of the door. Day mode is activated via infra-red detectors, providing ease of use and automatic parking of the door. Night mode activates access from an external control system or a push button located internally; the doors begin rotating for 180 degrees to allow one authorised user to enter the building before returning to a stationary position.

The entrance formerly featured sliding doors which had made the area dark and unhospitable. Following the installation of Boon Edam’s Tourniket revolving door in a stainless-steel finish to further enhance the look of the entrance, the reception area was transformed to a light welcoming area. This solution also helps to prevent draft, dust and noise entering the building; as well as reducing the cold in the area, leading to increased building envelope efficiency.

Geoff Firth, Boon Edam’s Area Specification Manager commented, “We are delighted to have provided a solution for DePuy Synthes. The Tourniket revolving door is a versatile option for any building requiring a bespoke solution, and the objectives were effectively met in terms of sustainability, service and security requirements.”

DePuy Synthes has been committed to transforming the lives of patients worldwide since the 19th century and offers the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of orthopaedic and neuro products and services. The company offers products, services, programs and research and development capabilities for the advancement of healthcare.

About Boon Edam Ltd

With work environments becoming increasingly global and dynamic, the smart, safe entry has become the centre of activity in and around many buildings. Boon Edam is a global market leader in reliable entry solutions. We are the UK subsidiary of Royal Boon Edam International BV, a global market leader in entry solutions. Headquartered in the Netherlands, with 140 years of experience in engineering quality, we have gained extensive expertise in managing the transit of people through office buildings, airports, healthcare facilities, hotels and many other types of buildings. We are focussed on providing an optimal, sustainable experience for our clients and their clients. By working together with you, our client, we help determine the exact requirements for the entry point in and around your building and develop a solution that is customised for you in three key areas: sustainability, security and service. You can find more news about Boon Edam on


Edinburgh school benefits from Saint-Gobain solutions

Saint-Gobain in Scotland has supplied a range of solutions for the new £28.5 million Portobello High School building, in Edinburgh.

Commissioned by the City of Edinburgh Council, the new building accommodates 1,400 pupils and has replaced the existing building on Duddington Road, home to the school for 51 years.

In addition to more traditional teaching and learning spaces, the development incorporates a 25m swimming pool, games hall, gymnasium and two all-weather sports pitches for school and wider community use.

With 22 brands operating overall in Scotland, seven of the businesses worked in close collaboration to support the school build; British Gypsum, Celotex, Frazer, International Timber, Ecophon, Jewson and Isover supplied a range of innovative products, from wall to floor solutions.

The solutions specified will provide key benefits, such as thermal efficiency and sound insulation to create a comfortable teaching environment for students, teachers and visitors.

The multi-purpose insulation board, Celotex TB4025, was used on the ground floor of Portobello High School, to overcome localised thermal bridges. By reducing thermal bridging, this product solution will ensure reliable long-term energy savings for the building.

Acoustic performance is a key consideration for school buildings, as poorly designed sound environments can have a negative impact on learning and concentration in schools, as well as hindering classroom communication.

As a result, British Gypsum’s Gyproc DuraLine plasterboard was specified to enhance sound insulation and impact resistance performance, contributing to a peaceful learning environment for pupils.

In addition, Isover supplied acoustic partition roll to the project, a high-performance glass mineral wool, that helps to reduce noise from adjacent rooms. As well as offering superb acoustic performance, the product is made from up to 86% of recycled glass, making it an environmentally friendly acoustic solution.

International Timber worked closely with the Jewson Branch in Falkirk to supply a range of timber product solutions for the stairways and corridors in the school, as well as the outside entrance.

Timber cladding provides an attractive, lasting and durable finish both for internal and external environments. Fire treated Siberian larch cladding, lacquered oak timber and MDF Oak and skirting was specified, in addition to dressed timber, sawn timber and plywood sheets. Siberian Larch is a strong robust wood with moderate durability and is resistant to rot and fungal attack. The timber is pleasing to the eye with warm colours: golden brown varying to yellow and orange in heartwood. Due to its high density, Larch wood maintains high wear resistance and is non-corrosive.

JM Architects, based in Edinburgh, commented “The timber elements have been chosen to visually counter point external soffits and features with the lighter rendered surfaces. Internally the bridge and stair were detailed to visually make them prominent elements within the interiors. The materials allow for future wear and tear and patination of the surfaces by the pupils and teachers of the school.”

Ecophon’s Akusto Wall A system was installed in the Games Hall in a Super G Grey finish. The system is an impact resistant wall absorber, so is ideal considering the size and nature of the space. The Super G Wall Panels are impact resistant and also provide Class A absorption to aid with acoustics.

Frazer, a Saint-Gobain distribution brand, supplied over £100,000 of materials to the building, including drainage systems and landscaping solutions including paving, kerbs and manhole rings.

Stuart McKill, Sustainable Habitat Leader for Saint-Gobain in Scotland, said: “As one of the largest manufacturing and building distribution businesses in the UK, we are able to supply a wide range of product solutions that work together to provide buildings that are not only fit for purpose, but provide benefits to the occupants, in this instance the pupils and teaching staff.

“We are thrilled that such a large amount of our products have been chosen for Portobello High School, and we are confident that pupils will be able to benefit from a learning environment that truly puts them first.”

Ruth McKay, Headteacher at Portobello High School, said: “The new school building has had a positive impact on all of us – the students are happier and there is a spring in the step of teachers too. It feels special to come into a building like this; the environment will be a great place to learn for the students.

“The effect on the local community is going to be felt too, as it will benefit the people around Portobello who can hopefully embrace and make use of this fantastic facility.”

The new school building opened at the beginning of November. JM Architects worked on the project alongside main contractor Balfour Beatty Ltd and A + E Construction Scotland Ltd.

For more information about Saint-Gobain in Scotland, visit 



New StoColor Dryonic paint raises the standard for façade finishes

Sto UK is set to revolutionize the UK façade market with the launch of its new StoColor Dryonic paint which allows water from rain, dew and fog to run off building façades almost instantly. This innovative new paint uses a technology borrowed from nature which allows it to both repel water and channel it away at the same time. It is suitable for both new-build and refurbishment projects, and offers many advantages including rapid drying, great resistance to the growth of unsightly algae, plus the scope to create unique and eye-catching façades.

Inspired by special micro-textures found on the shell of the fog-basking beetle, StoColor Dryonic paint uses a special composition of binding agents and filler material to create a hydrophilic-hydrophobic micro-textured surface which instantly repels water. It also simultaneously channels it away, leaving the façade dry in no time at all. This efficient and reliable action also ensures that microorganisms are unable to grow on the dry surface, and any staining or marking is dramatically reduced compared to a conventional façade finish.

“StoColor Dryonic represents a real milestone in the development of intelligent façade coatings, and it offers benefits to architects, building owners and contractors alike,” says Sto’s Senior Product Manager, Greg Astill. “StoColor Dryonic works on all conventional types of substrate. It can be used on buildings with a classic monolithic construction, as well as those fitted with an external wall insulation system, and it’s compatible with all types of substrate including render, concrete, brick, metal or plastic cladding.

“It’s also available in a very comprehensive range of colours, from pastel shades through to dark intense tones, so it offers tremendous potential to create new and unusual façade appearances. StoColor Dryonic is also part of Sto’s iQ Intelligent Technology generation of paints, so you can rely on it to provide a high level of colour stability, great protection and outstanding durability.”

StoColor Dryonic can be easily applied using a paintbrush, roller or an airless spray. As well as protecting the main façade areas, this allows it to be applied easily to those difficult areas prone to algae growth, such as gutters, pipes and panels. It can even be used to ensure that inclined surfaces dry out quickly and rem3ain cleaner for longer, and thanks to its tough, protective surface layer it is easily able to withstand everyday knocks and scrapes.

“This breakthrough opens up a whole new world of possibilities in façade design,” concludes Greg Astill. “The façade will look exactly the way the architect and planner intended it to, and it will go on looking that way for many years to come, with far less maintenance than any conventional alternative would require.”

In addition to Dryonic, Sto’s iQ Intelligent Technology paints range also includes StoLotusan – a façade coating which incorporates a special Lotus-Effect® Technology that washes clean every time it rains, StoColor Photosan which actively combats environmental pollution, and StoColor X-black – a heat reflective paint used to create deep, intense coloured and insulated façades with a high level of colour stability.

For more details on StoColor Dryonic, visit, or call 0141 892 8000.


Gradus supplies wall protection to Nottingham Free School

Contract interiors specialist Gradus has supplied Nottingham Free School with a range of wall protection products.

Nottingham Free School, based in the Sherwood area, opened in 2014 in a building which was formerly a factory used by Courtaulds, a textiles and clothing firm. This is the first free school in Nottingham and currently has approximately 300 students and staff.

The school underwent a complete refurbishment in September 2015 and chose a very pale blue paint scheme. By December 2015 the areas within the school that see heavy traffic, including corridors and the canteen area had begun to show signs of scuffing and wear, due to the pupils knocking against the walls with their bags. The site manager at the school was shocked by the damage and began to consider wall protection products to combat the problem.

Gradus supplied and fitted the school with wall protection solutions to prevent further damage from wheeled and pedestrian traffic. The products included Gradus’ InPro Sanparrel PVC-u sheet and surface mount Standard PVC-u tape on corner guards, both in Dolphin (grey).
Joshua Beeson, Site Manager at Nottingham Free School, said: “After months of looking into different options, Gradus provided us with the products we wanted at a price far cheaper than their competitors. Gradus’ Sanparrel sheets come in a range of colours, so we were able blend the protection in with our school’s colour scheme.

“Gradus’ Sanparrel protective sheet has cut decorating maintenance costs by over 50%! Our painted areas are now at higher levels, therefore scuff marks are not an issue like before. Some walls in the school will need to be painted far less regularly, freeing more hours over busy periods for my maintenance team.”

Anna Conrad-Smith, Marketing Product Manager for Gradus, said: “Busy school environments are routinely exposed to high levels of foot traffic, causing regular impact and ongoing scuffs and abrasion. We were pleased to be able to help Nottingham Free School create a more fit for purpose environment through supplying our tried and tested wall protection products.”

Gradus provides free consultation and practical recommendations for facilities, offering a single point of contact for a range of products, including wall protection, carpets, barrier matting, LED lighting and flooring accessories.

Sanparrel sheet creates a durable barrier that is both through-coloured and textured to conceal the effects of impact and abrasion, therefore reducing the need to repair and repaint wall surfaces. Gradus’ InPro Standard corner guards offer cost effective medium duty protection against damage caused by pedestrian and wheeled traffic. Surface mounted, the corner guards are available with factory applied tape for quick and easy installation or without, for installation with a suitable adhesive. Manufactured from scratch and stain resistant PVC-u, they are through-coloured and textured to conceal the effects of impact and abrasion, making them ideal for reducing maintenance costs and maintaining the buildings’ appearance.

For further information contact the Gradus technical support team on 01625 428922 or visit


Stop leaks fast with the ‘water stopper’ Vandex Plug from Safeguard

The Vandex Plug from Safeguard Europe – the UK’s leading specialist in damp- and waterproofing, and masonry repair solutions – is a fast-acting cementitious mortar that will stop leaks and seepage through, and seal cracks in, masonry, concrete, earthenware and stone in seconds. It can also be used as an installation mortar for fixings in wet areas, and even underwater.

Examples of applications for the Vandex Plug would include: plugging leaks in clay pipes; caulking tunnel segment joints; installing fixings in water structures requiring immediate use; installation of steel elements in concrete or masonry; erosion resistant shoring of canal sealing – and as a general erosion resistant mortar for elements affected by rain.

For optimum results, substrates for application must be clean, sound and free of surface contamination such as salts or algae. Leaks must be cut out, leaving an appropriate ‘chase’ for the plug.

Setting time is largely dependent on the quantity of mixing water used: standard value at 200C is 1kg of plug mortar to 0.25 litre of water. The plug must be added to the water and mixed quickly – mixing time is about 15 seconds, with setting taking place in about 30 seconds. Vandex Plug from Safeguard is available in 15kg resealable plastic tubs, and has a storage shelf life of around 12 months.