Week in brief: 10 - 16 November

Published:  15 November, 2012

Top headlines
Supplier news
Product launches
From around the web
Friday funny

Top headlines

    Supplier news

    • Velux is calling on amateur and professional photographers to submit a landscape shot that creatively captures daylight.  Qualifying entries will also be in with a chance of appearing as part of an animated short film made using only still photography. One winning photograph will be chosen by a panel of expert judges and the lucky entrant will experience a once in a lifetime trip - four nights for four people at the uniquely designed Treehotel nestled in the treetops of the magnificent Boreal Forest, Sweden, in the Arctic Circle. 
    • Ideal Bathrooms is said to be the only distributor to produce a brochure exclusively for showroom displays. The Big Book of Displays makes searching for the right settings so much less complex and offers everything necessary to create displays suited to the individual catchment area.
    • M&M Timber has introduced a radical new range of 'price-axed' lines, aimed at giving retailers a more competitively priced volume product with added customer appeal. Specifically designed with the changing buying patterns of the garden industry in mind, the long awaited product range aptly named 'Gardeners' Choice', lends itself to the impulse buy that can easily be picked up off the sales floor and taken home.
    • The Greenworks Training Academy in Birmingham is now home to a live working demonstration of the SCFB system, part of the self-closing flood barrier range from UK Flood Barriers. Visitors to Greenworks can witness the passive flood defence system in action; activated by the power of oncoming floodwater, it requires no human intervention to provide protection.
    • Two timber clad pods made their debut at this year’s Passivhaus Conference in a live ‘Spot the Difference’ format never seen before. Saint-Gobain joined forces with Church Lukas, Factory Homes and GB Building Solutions to create the two prefabricated student bedroom pods, one to Part L 2006 specifications and the other in accordance with Passivhaus principles.

    Product launches

      • IG Lintels has revealed details of its new BBA certified Hi-Therm lintel, which offers a thermal performance that is up to five times more efficient than a conventional cavity wall steel alternative.
      • International Timber has more than doubled its panel range so it can now offer one of the most comprehensive selections of panel solutions in the UK. The extended range now consists of veneered MDF, flame retardant panels, Chinese plywood, marine grade hardwood plywood and specialist technical plywood Riga Tex, which is used by commercial vehicle manufacturers. It also has an extensive array of softwood plywood solutions, decorative panels and Egger chipboard.
      • Methven UK has launched a collection which delivers optimum performance alongside key water saving features. The Waipori collection, which translates from Maori as ‘Dark Water’, includes showerheads, handsets and tapware.
      • Daikin has launched the 4th generation of VRV. The new VRV UV heat pump units will be available from January 2013. VRV IV heat pump offers three innovations: variable refrigerant temperature, continuous heating during defrost and the VRV configurator for simplified commissioning and servicing.
      • The Toro Dingo is new in the UK, but is an industry-leading compact loader in the U.S. and Australia because of its combination of power and versatility in a machine small enough to fit through a gate. With more than 35 available attachments, operators can lift, carry, dig, trench, cultivate, till, grade, level, mix, demolish, fill, auger, rake, sweep and more, with this range of rugged and dependable equipment. 
      • Premdor has raised the bar yet again with the introduction to the range of the exclusive ‘ladder’ four panel shallow moulded design.
      • Evergreen Energy Solutions, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers and installers of renewable energy products, now offers two types of renewable heat pumps; ‘Ecocent air to water heat pumps,’ and ‘air source heat pumps.’
      • British Gypsum has unveiled a new range of ceiling solutions specifically designed to improve indoor air quality. The move follows the introduction of ACTIVair, a mineral additive that converts and stores volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and prevents their re-emission back into the atmosphere.

      From around the web

        • The Drain Center website, which has seen a 10 per cent increase in visits since its launch and a 200 per cent increase in views of key product categories on the site. The new website (www.draincenter.co.uk), unveiled in August, was created to improve the customer experience, increase the visibility of key product ranges and put users in touch with the network of product experts in their local Drain Center branches.
        • TrustMark, the Government endorsed quality mark for tradesmen, is supporting this year’s National Consumer Week and the joint campaign by Trading Standards, Citizens Advice, the OFT and Action Fraud to tackle cold calling and empower vulnerable residents to deal with untoward doorstep sellers.
        • A new ‘Competent Person’ scheme run by NHBC is becoming increasingly popular with small and medium sized builders as a way of meeting regulatory health and safety requirements. Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, every business must provide for access to health and safety advice, and must have someone appointed as a ‘Competent Person’ to help compliance with health and safety duties and legislation. This person may be an employee, or may be an external consultant.
        • This month's Glenigan league tables are now available, offering invaluable insight into the activity of the top contractors, clients, architects, quantity surveyors and consulting engineers. The latest top contractor league table sees Kier jump 15 places into first place after a strong month with 21 deals totalling over 161m in value. They were however given a run for their money by VINCI who secured a 100m contract to redevelop Pier 1 at Gatwick Airport to place second.
        • Mortgage application activity has rocketed up by 22% in the last month as lenders continue to cut rates and increase product availability, according to the latest National Mortgage Index from independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB).
        • S&P has published commentary on the European building materials sector. www.standardandpoors.com, which includes key points:
        1. The European building materials sector is wrestling with difficult and uncertain end markets, and increasing input and fixed cost inflation which are likely to persist for the next 12-18 months.
        2. S&P sees the credit quality outlook in this sector as relatively stable.
        3. In S&P’s opinion, building materials companies will need to look outside of Europe - particularly to Latin America and      S&P has pushed back its forecast for a recovery in the sector to 2014 (from 2013)

        Friday funny

        Unusual transportation - Merchants may be alarmingly familiar with some of these loading methods.

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