Features

While many architectural trends come and go, a consistent factor for modern building design is the improvement of health and wellbeing. With increased research on the levels of pollutants in indoor spaces, we’re expecting more from buildings in terms of how they support our bodies and minds. Here, Tony Walker, Technical Specification Controller at PPG Architectural Coatings, explains why indoor air quality is becoming a vital consideration for building design and how architects and designers can make sure their developments hit the mark.

The increasing recognition of climate change among local and central governmental bodies is resulting in greater demand for green and blue roof technologies by planning authorities. Amanda de Sousa, Product Systems Manager at BMI UK & Ireland, explains what needs they meet in a drainage context.

Growing awareness of the need for good indoor air quality (IAQ) is highlighting the many fresh air benefits of mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR). A raft of research has pointed to the health impact of breathing in polluted air.

First impressions count and kerb appeal sells houses. Before your customer has even set foot inside one of your homes, they’ve developed an opinion on it. The external infrastructure of a development is often at the bottom of a developer’s priority list, but it helps to create a sense of community and individuality – and makes a real difference to the value of the homes you sell.

Unlike some construction materials, bricks have never gone out of fashion; brick buildings from every era can be seen in most UK towns. They are very much on-trend now; we’re seeing higher demand in particular for regionally appropriate handmade bricks, for both conservation, refurbishment and new-build projects.

New-build developments are continuing to spring up in response to the demand for more housing, and while newly-built houses are traditionally painted throughout in shades of off-white, there’s certainly scope to cater to individual homebuyers’ tastes through the use of colour.

It’s no secret that there has been a rise in projects using highly decorative flooring to create zoned areas, especially where luxury vinyl tiles (LVT) are concerned. This has opened the door for architects and designers to create endless design possibilities. We are seeing a variety of textures and colours, combined with two or more laying patterns, being used to create a sense of order and define open-plan rooms. For example, a living-kitchen space arranged into entertainment and cooking could use a mix of wood grains and pops of colour in a herringbone laying pattern. Alternatively, complementary palettes, from pale woods and pastel stones, to rich timbers and concrete textures can be utilised to deliver an impactful space.

To meet the demands of homeowners and occupiers, diluting style or quality in smaller apartments is not an option. With the right approach to design and layout, developers and designers can transform a compact space into an impressive, high-specification kitchen that ticks all the right boxes for occupiers.

As we head towards the first December general election since 1923, continued political and economic uncertainty has put architects in a state of limbo, making it very difficult for practices to plan for the future, writes RIBA President, Alan Jones.

Changes to Building Regulations, Brexit uncertainty and shifting purchasing decisions are just some of the issues affecting the construction sector and its suppliers. Stuart Bell, Managing Director of Polyfoam XPS, explains the impact on the insulation industry and what lies ahead in 2020.

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