Innovations Bulletin – June 2010
ALUCOBOND® photovoltaic is a new façade system that combines the company’s composite panels with photovoltaic modules. The ALUCOBOND® photovoltaic systems are flexible enough to be integrated into the most challenging and creative façade formations. Whether a small strip, large oblong section or free geometrical form is required – the number of modules per system can be fully adapted to fit the building style that will meet customer aspirations.
Areas of building façade with good exposure to the sun can be fitted with photovoltaic modules, whereas shaded areas can be fitted with ALUCOBOND® composite panels. They can be used in contrast with adjacent photovoltaic modules or – when using black composite panels – as one visual unit, even in combination with corners, curves and window abutments. This flexibility, along with the availability of many surface finishes and colours, allows freedom in design.
ALUCOBOND® photovoltaic modules are mounted on the same substructures as composite panels and simply joined with prefabricated plug-in cables. This means the entire façade of a building can be clad in an economical and straightforward way, with one simple operating procedure. The flush assembly of photovoltaic modules and composite panels results in smooth, even surfaces.
ALUCOBOND® photovoltaic is available in two types of module:
· The elegant, homogeneously coloured CIGS Thin Film Module, which offers a sophisticated, aesthetic, architectural style;
· The highly efficient mono-crystalline module with optimized photovoltaic performance.
Both modules can be used to form individually tailored ALUCOBOND® photovoltaic systems that can take account of decisive factors such as the location, orientation, shadow and rear-ventilation.
The new photovoltaic modules have been developed by Alcan in partnership with HaWi Energietechnik, one of the leading German enterprises for photovoltaic systems. This brings together 40 years' of experience in façade-design and panel production, with state-of-the-art expert knowledge in power engineering.
New British Gypsum ShaftWall - Shaft and duct encasement system.
ShaftWall provides a lightweight, fire-resistant structure to protect elements in confined spaces wherever access is limited to one side only. The system provides a protective structure which can be incorporated at an early stage of the construction without the need for scaffolding. The system can also be built horizontally to provide a fire-rated membrane. StairWall is a derivative of the ShaftWall system, which is used to protect stairwells.
Lightweight, fast-track construction
- Provides fire protective shaft enclosures, stairwells and horizontal membranes
- A solution for all enclosures and risers where access is limited to one side only
- Horizontal membranes built entirely from below
- Installation can commence earlier in construction
- Minimal wall thickness of 77mm
- Satisfies deflection and air pressure requirements
- Satisfies the 1m boundary requirements of Building Regulations Approved Document B
- Variant with non-combustible Glasroc F FIRECASE board linings available
- Fire resistance 60-120 min
- Airbourne sound insulation 39-53 Rw dB
BD is running a competition in conjunction with Dyson to design a state-of-the-art sustainable washroom featuring the Dyson Airblade™ hand dryer.
We are looking for a radically different and creative design that is also practical as a washroom facility.
The winners will have their designs turned into a photo realistic CGI model and given global publicity by Dyson. Winning designs will also be showcased in BD as well as on BDonline and exhibited at the Business Design Centre in London.
In addition, winners will receive a Dyson Air Multiplier™ fan for themselves and Dyson Airblade™ hand dryers for their practice.
How to enter:
Submit an A1 board of your design (by post or digitally) together with a 250-word statement to enter the competition.
Closing date for entries: 20 August 2010
For more information on how to enter, judging criteria, prizes, technical specifications and terms and conditions please visit
Leading building membranes specialist Icopal has taken green roof technology a step further with the launch of an innovative system that is so lightweight, no extra load supporting construction is required. This means the new-generation IcoMoss system from Icopal’s Eco-Activ range can be used on practically every flat or pitched new or refurbished roof location. Its base of moss also traps airborne particles and is therefore anti-polluting.
- The IcoMoss system weighs only 20kg/m2 when saturated and is four times lighter than other extensive grass or plant-based green roof systems. This makes it especially useful in reducing rainwater run-off by absorbing rainfall and allowing the water to be evaporated.
- The cost-effective system is simply a 10mm green roof mat impregnated with mosses that is easy to attach to bituminous roof coverings. The single-layer system comprises a water-storing fibre fleece, a later of three-dimensional fibres to provide anchorage for the moss, and a layer of specially selected mosses.
- Mosses do not have roots so only a thin, lightweight mat is required to support their development. They are also low-maintenance but high-performance, their negatively-charged leaves attracting positively-charged particulate matter such as fine dust, soot and the salt crystals formed by pollutants such as Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) reacting with ammonia.
- Their natural characteristics also give IcoMoss an insulating quality – providing cooling in the summer by reducing solar gain into a building which helps to reduce the cost of running air conditioning units.
- And as well as reducing energy costs, the hardy IcoMoss system increases the life of the bituminous waterproofing membrane by protecting it against daily temperature fluctuations which would otherwise cause it to expand and contract.
The IcoMoss system is now being widely applied in a sustainable renovation project by the housing corporation Lefier in Groningen, The Netherlands, where a total of 20,000m2 is being laid on 400 homes. Lefier has been nominated for Building Business Golden Green Awards for the sustainable and innovative nature of the renovation.
New technology pioneered by Eagle S.G & W Ltd with the product “GlasSpace” means that large sheets of glass can simply be ‘glued’ together using silicone, omitting the need for a supporting plastic or metal structure,
The glass panels are set flush with each other giving a flat surface that’s much easier to clean. “Glasspaces” also meet all the latest heat efficiency regulations so won’t add to your energy costs. This is thanks to a layer of argon between the two sheets of glass that make up each unit, plus a special thermal coating, and you can also add solar-control coating for very sunny places
A Welsh company, Affresol, is set to launch a range of eco-friendly houses, each consisting of 18 tonnes of recycled plastic waste. The new material, Thermo Poly Rock, is claimed to be stronger and lighter than concrete, waterproof, fire retardant, does not rot and has excellent insulation properties. The company is awaiting BRE accreditation before building 19 homes in Merthyr.
The AIMC4 consortium - which includes developers, Oxford Brookes University, BRE and aerated concrete producer, H+H - has been formed to develop and apply innovative materials, products and processes to facilitate the volume production of houses meeting the Code for Sustainable Homes level 4 requirements.
See for details