The South West regional committee would like to thank East Devon District Council for their partnership in arranging and hosting this event, and for welcoming everybody to their fabulous newly constructed Council Offices in Honiton Devon. The new Council Chamber made an excellent venue for this stop of the South West Regional Roadshows. We would also like to thank Fell Partnership and NUDURA, DURAPIPE, VMZinc, Maylarch, and Guardian Glass for sponsoring this event and providing excellent presentations throughout the day. We would also like to thank the SW Region of LABC for assisting in promoting our event. It was excellent to see LABC Surveyors, Approved Inspectors, designers, developers and architects all taking up this training opportunity.
We would also like to thank the 35 delegates who attended these six hours of CPD and participated in excellent questions and discussion with all of our speakers.
After a brief introduction from myself where I gave the audience a brief overview on recent changes to the Building Regulations in terms of the banning of combustible cladding on new buildings over 18 metres, and the changes brought about to the testing of composite fire doors as a result of the Grenfell disaster, I further explained the need for good CPD in order to maintain and enhance our competences. I explained that the CABE is well placed in the Construction industry to provide support both to current and new members in developing and demonstrating competence.
Nick Fell was our first Speaker talking about Insulated Concrete Formwork. He explained that NUDURA was one of several products in the market made up from EPS insulation with a web system tying the product together. This is concrete filled and can be easily reinforced subject to formwork width and having adequate space to vibrate the concrete. He explained that the building is essentially concrete, and that the EPS insulation is very stable as it does not degrade, it is good under compression, does not absorb water and can be treated with fire retardants. He explained that insulation is a by-product of the formwork but that inherently this provides good resistance to air leakage and provides good thermal mass. He explained the need for good junction detailing so as to avoid damp ingress and thermal bridging but that specific blocks are available to assist in minimising these risks. Nick highlighted the advantages of the plastic tied systems rather than the original entrants to the market which were waffle style blocks where the concrete is not continuous. He suggested that risks of not being able to achieve fire resistance are higher where the concrete is not continuous. He ended the presentation by explaining that the product had good credentials when considering the 3R’s – Reduce, Re-use, Recycle – as recycled aggregates and plastics are now a large part of this product.
Des Dolan from DURAPIPE was next to present. He brought to our attention benefits to plastic pipework which may not be obvious at the outset. He firstly explained that plastic pipes have a much smoother bore which means little or no bore resistance. This means that less friction head loss is present through the system and that pumps can be smaller as a result which leads to more efficient systems and with overall life-cycle cost savings. He further explained that because of the smoother bore there is less build-up of bacteria within the pipework. He further explained that as plastics are lighter than copper and steel manual handling becomes less of a problem when dealing with larger pipes. He also explained that there is no scrap market for plastic pipes which minimises the risk of theft. Des went on to explain that it is essential that expansion and contraction is designed into any pipework system as plastic will expand and contract.
Des went on to briefly introduce twin walled pipe for the use with chemicals and acoustic drainage pipe for the use in the domestic building market.
Before lunch Richard Parrett from VM Zinc explained the advantages of zinc cladding. He explained that this has been a very popular material in France and that there is no lead used in Paris. The product had a life span in excess of 150 years and the replacement of zinc in Paris alone is greater than the UK market. He explained that 95% of zinc can be recycled. Richard went on to describe zinc in its natural form and how pig nets are now provided to expand the designer’s choice. The product can be used on roofs and walls and has both internal and external applications. He gave a number of case studies showing the wide spectrum of colours and shapes that can be achieved. Through the case studies he explained the importance of well-designed vapour control layers and ventilation to roof and walls. As with the previous speaker, Richard explained that zinc has very little scrap value and is far more difficult to remove than lead without the aid of specialist tools, making it less desirable to steal.
After lunch Nick Williamson from Maylarch presented Managing asbestos through the construction process. He briefly explained the history of asbestos and its use from the Romans onward, and its properties and flexibility that saw it used so abundantly throughout the construction industry. He explained the wide range of products in which asbestos can be found up to the banning of white asbestos in 1999. He went on to provide an example of a building built in 2002 that had asbestos found in its soffits as a result of materials being stockpiled after its ban. Nick stated that around 50% of all made up ground contains asbestos.
Nick explained that around 5,000 deaths a year can be attributed to asbestos-related lung cancers and Mesothelioma. This was as a result of relatively small doses rather than the larger quantities that were present earlier in the 20th century. He explained that the gestation was generally around 40 years and that the body cannot break down the fibres.
Nick went on to explain the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 (CAR 2012) and specifically Regulation 4. He explained that Regulation 4 places the duty holder under the CDM Regulations as the duty holder under CAR 2012. He went on to explain that every project should be the subject of Refurbishment and Demolition Survey (RDS) and that it was recommended that this be carried out by a UCAS accredited company. He explained that the RDS should be intrusive and that areas where access cannot be gained should be considered as areas where asbestos may exist.
Nick went on to explain what work is notifiable and what work should be licensed. He stated that irrespective of whether the work is licensed or not the work should be undertaken by somebody who is competent. He iterated that all asbestos works, whether notifiable or not, come under the CDM Regulations 2015. Nick further explained the requirements for a plan of works and the treatment of asbestos waste under the Environmental Protection Act.
Our last speaker of the day was Olcay Parikka from Guardian Glass UK. She explained the materials used in the manufacturing of different types of glass. She explained the float glass process and explained that there is no such thing as bad glass, only badly specified glass. Olcay explained the difference between the clearness of glass based on its chemical composition, low iron, mid iron and clear and treatments used to reflect light and heat depending on what body tints, coatings or gases are provided and, more importantly, in what locations within the glass cassette this is proved. Glass coating was explained as not being a film and cannot be exposed to weather. She explained that in terms of u-value the glass is generally more efficient than the frame by around 30%, so where glass has a u-value of 1.0W/m2k, with the frame taken into account the u-value of 1.3W/m2k will be achieved. Olcay went on to explain glass failure where glass cannot resist temperature changes which can be magnified by its fixation. Olcay then explained that annealed glass can resist the least temperature and that safety glass can resist up to 200 degrees Celsius but will shrink and any nickel Sulphides in the glass will expand causing breakage. Olcay explained the process of heat soak testing which ensures that glass which fails is removed from the system before it is used. The design of laminated glass was then explained and how laminating layers can be altered to give the glass different qualities such as resistance to impact, or sound insulation.
It was great to have such good presentations which engaged the audience throughout the day. The CABE South West Region has events near Poole this month and our South West Conference and Exhibition at Haynes Motor Museum on 01 May 2019. We look forward to seeing you there and please do pass on the details to other construction professionals that you work or come into contact with through your professional network. We feel this is an excellent event and it would be great if we can spread this event beyond our own CABE members and to a wider professional spectrum.
South West Regional Chairman