All posts by Sarah Instarmac

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Working with Architects

As a manufacturer of premium construction materials, developing long lasting relationships with architects and contractors is of key importance.

Architects need to trust in the products they are specifying, they need to understand the products and how they are best applied and used.

For many years UltraScape has worked with contractors, architects and designers to create exceptional landscapes across the UK and worldwide. UltraScape recognises the importance of these relationships and by understanding architects requirements can ensure products, services and training is tailored accordingly.

UltraScape is a Royal Institute of British Architects and a Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland approved CPD (Continuous Professional Development) provider. Our accredited CPD, ‘Reducing the risk of costly failure in the public realm, Paving the Way: the Benefits of BS 7533′ is suited to landscapers, contractors, designers, council employees and engineers as well as architects. It provides an excellent, informative guide to paving constructions covering understanding BS 7533 and its importance, the cost of non-compliance, and rigid and flexible constructions. It offers a much greater understanding of products, materials and design possibilities that can ensure a successful and aesthetically pleasing project.

Architects can now find all UltraScape products on the RIBA Product Selector. This industry-leading online resource allows users to research and select construction product and service information for all types of building design projects. The RIBA Product Selector works in conjunction with NBS Plus – a library of manufacturers’ technical product information, written in NBS format and linked to specific clauses within the market-leading NBS specification software products. Using NBS Plus, designers can specify products quickly and accurately with just one click, importing the relevant product information directly into their specification,

To view the NBS Plus list of products click here.

UltraScape believes that if you support architects and offer accessibility to product information and data you will succeed in building long lasting relationships and work together to deliver exceptional projects.

For more information or to book a CPD session please email cpd@instarmac.co.uk or call +44 (0) 1827 254402.

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Importance of BREEAM and CEEQUAL

As global temperatures rise there is an increased amount of pressure from governments and individuals for businesses to increase their sustainability performance. This is especially true for manufacturers and contractors as the individual consumption of energy and fossil fuels contributes most to the amount of C0² released into the atmosphere, thus aggravating the global warming problem.

BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for master-planning projects, infrastructure and buildings. It addresses a number of lifecycle stages such as New Construction, Refurbishment and In-Use. Globally there are more than 552,100 BREEAM certified developments, and almost 2,253,600 buildings registered for assessment since it was first launched in 1990.

CEEQUAL is a sustainability assessment tool with over 12 years operational experience that can be used for the assessment of all types of civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm projects and contracts.

Instarmac sees caring for the environment as one of its key objectives and in the last few years Instarmac have been working hard to analyse and quantify their performance to not only benefit themselves but to benefit their customers.

With this in mind, UltraScape offers an ECO range to ensure they are supporting their customers own sustainability targets without compromising product quality or performance.

Bedding concrete, Pro-Bed HS ECO, contains recycled glass aggregate, is available in bulk, alongside their standard Pro-Bed HS. Flowpoint ECO offers the same benefits as Flowpoint but contains 20% recycled material, significantly reducing the consumption of virgin aggregates and is ideal for schemes looking to achieve an ‘excellent’ CEEQUAL award, or where a BREEAM assessment is to be carried out.

Large scale public realm projects are now turning to dry mortar silos for supply of British Standard bedding mortars such as UltraScape’s Pro-Bed HS. This results in labour savings, easy storage and responds to sustainability and environmental issues. Silos reduce dust, disposal of packaging, and haulage whilst increasing productivity. UltraScape Pro-Bed HS ECO contains 20% recycled glass meaning one silo holds 30 tonnes of material that equates to 6 tonnes of recycled glass being utilised every time a silo containing our ECO product is delivered. That’s 6 tonnes less quarried aggregate.

An every increasing number of cities and borough councils across the UK are turning to the UltraScape range of BS 7533 compliant mortar paving products including Swindon Borough Council for the Regent street Public Realm Enhancement Scheme. This scheme saw Landscape Architect Nicholas Pearson Associates and the South West Regional Development agency achieve a CEEQUAL Excellent rating of 86%.

For further information on UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System or to enquire about a free CPD seminar please contact the UltraScape team on +44 (0) 1827 254402 or email ultrascape@instarmac.co.uk.

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For added Kerb Appeal

UltraCrete Kerb and Patch Repair is a two-component rapid repair mortar ideal for the reinstatement of small areas such as trip hazards, kerbs and steps where prompt access is required.

This high strength patch and kerb repair mortar can be opened to traffic in just 2 hours. It also boasts the following capabilities:

  • Workability: 7 minutes
  • Set time: 25 minutes
  • Depth: 10-100mm
  • 50N/mm² compressive strength at 28 days
  • 8.09N/mm² tensile strength at 28 days
  • No waste
  • Size: 10kg bucket

For further information on UltraCrete Kerb and Patch Repair and other products from UltraCrete’s range of highway maintenance, road and pothole repair products, call us now on +44 (0) 1827 254402 or email ultracrete@instarmac.co.uk.

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On the Right Line

UltraCrete Instaline is ideal for the reinstatement of line areas on car parks, roads and carriageways. This thermoplastic road marking provides anti-skid, is durable, reflective and easy to apply. Instaline can also minimise Traffic Management Act penalties.

Conforms to BS EN 1436:2007 as a road marking material.

No ‘difficult to remove’ plastic backing sheet.

Comes pre-beaded, avoiding the expensive drop on glass beads.

Remains flexible and easy to unroll in temperatures as low as 5°C.

Excellent UV resistance providing long term colour fastness.

UltraCrete Instaline provides a skid resistance value in exces of 55, straight from the box!

Available in a range of colours: Yellow, White and Primrose.

No waste, cut as required.

Size: Yellow and White – 5m x 100mm rolls, 6 rolls per box. Primrose – 5m x 50mm, 12 rolls per box.

For further information on Instaline from UltraCrete, please call us now on +44 (0) 1827 254402 or email us at ultracrete@instarmac.co.uk.

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Preserving Heritage

Our heritage is a gift that has been passed to us by previous generations. It shapes our landscape so it is important we do all we can to protect it.

UltraScape’s BS 7533 compliant mortar paving system has been used on a number of historic redevelopment projects with the aesthetic nature and durability of the materials making them a perfect addition to such schemes.

The 13th century ruins of Swansea Castle still stand today, attracting tourists all year round. The outside castle areas were restored using UltraScape Flowpoint ensuring visitors can step back in history for many more years to come.

Bow Lane in Durham is the gateway to the city’s World Heritage Site. Several years ago, the well-used thoroughfare underwent a face lift to rejuvenate it. This included re-laying existing cobbles and stone paving as well as installing new stones.

Four years on the site has withstood vehicular traffic, heavy foot traffic, and the elements, with no signs of deterioration – a testament to using a BS 7533 compliant system.

The system has also been used on a £2.5 million scheme to redevelop the historic square of Castle Green, Taunton.

The redevelopment has transformed the neglected centrepiece into a valuable civic space for events and markets whilst also showing off the town’s Medieval Castle.

The site is now a fitting setting for the historic buildings which surround the green and the improvements have made the area more accessible and prominent to the local population and visitors.

Visitor safety was a primary concern at Lincoln Cathedral where UltraScape was used to repair and restore cracks in pavements and walkways surrounding the Cathedral. The pavements required a sympathetic repair but needed a product that would provide a long term solution and prevent cracks appearing again.

And it’s not just in the UK that has seen the benefits of the UltraScape system; Instarmac’s Estonian partner, Roadservice, have recently completed a 8,000m² paving restoration project of the beautiful Viru Street in Tallinn Old Town.

Viru Street is known for its beautiful entrance gates. These iconic gates were built in the 14th century as part of the town’s defence system, with the number of gates increasing to 8 by the 16th century.

The restoration of the fairy-tale street required a grout that would withstand the constant footfall of visitors and residents whilst providing a finish that would be aesthetically pleasing and fitting of such a historical area.

To be involved on projects with such historic importance is extremely rewarding and UltraScape is proud to have played a part in preserving our heritage for generations to come.

For further information on UltraScape Flowpoint or the BS 7533 Mortar Paving System, please call +44 (0) 1827 254402.

A RIBA accredited CPD ‘Paving the Way’ is also available from UltraScape, to book please email cpd@instarmac.co.uk.

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UltraTile and the Chocolate Themed Hotel

Hotel Indigo opened in York last year and all tiled areas in this boutique hotel were installed using UltraTile adhesives.

The Great Northern Tiling Company (GNTC) were awarded the supply and fit package for this boutique hotel situated near The Shambles – one of the oldest streets in York in the heart of the Walmgate neighbourhood. The inspiration for the hotel’s design reflects the rich chocolate heritage of Rowntree, Terry’s of York and the city’s stonework.

The project included 2500m² of wall and floor tiling to all 101 bedroom ensuites, as well as the fixing of encaustic tiles to the kitchen, bar and WCs floors. Finally a showstopper application of diamond shaped tiles were laid in a geometric pattern to the reception floor.

The GNTC used UltraTile Prime IT FP primer, ready mixed adhesive ProGrip HG and cementitious adhesives ProFlex SP and ProFlex SP+ES to complete the tiling works throughout the hotel.

UltraTile Prime IT FP is used to stabilise background substrates, reducing their porosity, and also as an additive that will enhance adhesive performance. This product is available in 2.5ltr bottles.

UltraTile ProGrip HG is a high grab, non-slip acrylic wall tile adhesive. This product is ideal for use with ceramic wall tiles and also with porcelain mosaics, glass and natural stone all without the need to prime first. It can be used in showers and commercial kitchens covering up to 6m² per 15kg tub. Grouting can take place after 24 hours.

UltraTile ProFlex SP and ProFlex SP+ES were used to fix all floor tiles in the hotel including porcelain and encaustic. ProFlex SP+ES has a pot life of 2 hours and is therefore ideal for heavy tiles or intricate tiling work making it perfect for creating the reception’s geometric pattern! Formulated to achieve the significant S1 classification, it is ideal for use with underfloor heating and  timber floors. The adhesive is available in 20kg white or grey bags and can be applied at bed depths of up 20mm.

The client was ecstatic with the final result, also stating the project was managed well within the timeframe. This successful project was also recognised by The Tile Association and shortlisted for an award at their recent ceremony. The visually stunning finish has caught the eye of many guests that have passed through the hotel doors since its grand opening.

If you would like any more information, please call 01827 254402 or email ultratile@instarmac.co.uk.

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A Good Sign!

Post Fix from UltraCrete is a rapid hardening post fix concrete that combines strength with durability to significantly reduce the likelihood of damage due to movement at the point of fixing.

Post Fix is formulated for sub-surface use for the fast and efficient installation of posts, signs, fences, telephone and electricity poles, street lighting columns, street furniture, speed cameras and roadside barriers – a truly versatile product with maximum installation potential.

Simply mixed with approximately 2.5 litres of water, Post Fix produces a hard wearing and durable concrete with a whole string of benefits:

  • Eliminates 2nd visits and traffic management
  • Economical
  • Provides a consistent mix unlike dry alternatives
  • Effective in vandalism prone areas
  • Sets in just 15 minutes
  • A workability of 5-10 minutes
  • Professional grade

Post Fix is approved for use on the London Underground and is available in contractor friendly 25kg bags, which offer consistency quality and are ideal in site areas with limited access.

For further information on UltraCrete’s Post Fix, please call us now on +44 (0) 1827 254402 or email us at ultracrete@instarmac.co.uk.

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UltraScape is just the Ticket for Busy Auckland Bus Lane

Instarmac’s New Zealand partner, Horizon International Paving, have supplied UltraScape Pro-Bed HS and Flowpoint to install and grout granite setts on a busy bus lane in Auckland.

The bus lane, situated on Alfred Street, connects two parts of Auckland University and is constantly subjected to high volumes of traffic from buses and pedestrians. It was therefore essential that the materials chosen to bed and grout the paving could withstand this heavy trafficking.

Horizon International Paving supplied the chosen contractor, Peter Robinson Contracting, with UltraScape Pro-Bed HS and Flowpoint, manufactured by the world renowned Instarmac Group plc. UltraScape Pro-Bed HS and Flowpoint were chosen for this project thanks to their fast setting properties and proven compliance to British Standard 7533.

Part of UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System, Pro-Bed HS is a fine bedding mortar which can be laid from depths of 10mm – 75mm in one pass. What’s more, the extremely fast strength gain of Pro-Bed HS means that pedestrian areas can be trafficked in as little as 12 hours.

Flowpoint rapid set flowable grout exceeds all the requirements of the latest British Standard and is synonymous with fast, cost effective, robust jointing. Ideal for large-scale projects, Flowpoint is suitable for a variety of stone including the 100 x 100 x 60mm granite setts used on this project.

The rapid setting nature of this product allows paving grouted with Flowpoint to be opened to foot traffic in 1 hour and vehicular traffic in just 4 hours – ideal for projects where it’s essential that downtime and disruption are kept minimal, such as this one.

Both Pro-Bed HS and Flowpoint have been used all around the world for over 20 years. Recent projects include MBR City, City Walk and Opera House in Dubai, Tallinn Old Town in Estonia, Roxy Cinema in New Zealand and Birmingham Bullring Shopping Centre and MediaCity, home of the BBC, in the UK.

For more information on Pro-Bed HS, Flowpoint and the other products available in UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System, please email instarmacinternational@instarmac.com or call the International Sales Team on +44 (0) 1827 254402.

Get easy access to all Instarmac’s product information by downloading the Instarmac Product Planner App. It’s available for FREE on Google Play and the App Store now!

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Exceptional Strength under Extreme Stress

UltraScape Resi-Bed is a two-part high strength epoxy resin mortar and primer system, especially suitable for bedding granite setts, paving elements up to recess covers, tree grids and coping stones, as well as concrete repair for areas subject to heavy wear and tear.

Resi-Bed is entirely waterproof and chemical resistant once cured, making it ideal for use in water features. It has exceptionally high bond strength and the ability to withstand higher flexural strain than traditional sand and cement mortars.

Recessed manhole covers have long been a source of frustration for designers, contractors and maintenance managers alike. Sand and cement mortars have difficulty resisting the inherent ‘flex’ of the cover itself. Resi-Bed offers a lasting solution which overcomes the issues.

The product contains a blend of specialist sands and fine fillers that provide exceptional strength, bond and chemical resistance, which makes it ideal for pavement edge details, vehicle ramps and pedestrian crossings. UltraScape Resi-Bed accommodates depths from 5mm-50mm.

For further information on UltraScape Resi-Bed please contact us on +44 (0) 1827 254402 or email ultrascape@instarmac.co.uk.

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Don’t Cut Corners!

Typically, around £200 million is spent on replacing or reinstating ironwork each year.

As traffic speed and volume increases, the solutions and methods used to install and maintain street ironwork need to evolve in order to provide a resilient and reliable network.

There are many causes of Ironwork Failure:

  • Poor workmanship
  • Incorrect product selection
  • Support system failure
  • Bedding mortar failure
  • ‘Quick fix’ solutions

So how can you avoid this?

By specifying the correct products such as those with HAPAS approval and ensuring operatives are fully trained, utility companies can be assured that repairs will last.

The Highways Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS) was developed to offer clear, consisted and tested methods for products and systems designed for use in the highways industry and provides local authorities and contractors with a definite guide to highway maintenance.

The HAPAS scheme sets out technical and practical guidelines  that help to minimise potential workmanship issues and in doing so, assures against costly repeat visits and ensures longevity.

In the case of a HAPAS Approved manhole reinstatement system, the components’ compressive, tensile and flexural strengths, amongst other properties, are tested. The scheme also ensures the materials are installed using the correct application method.

HAPAS approved products offer the following benefits:

Reduces whole life costs – HAPAS approved products are unlikely to fail if they are installed correctly, so expensive revisits are vastly reduced.

Helps protect professional indemnity insurance – Using HAPAS approved products will vastly reduce any claims.

Reduces personal injury claims – HAPAS approved products are less likely to pose a risk to the road user because of their sound, proven quality.

Trusted by the construction industry – Independent testing by bodies such as the BBA is a sign of credibility.

Exceeds a 5 year service life – The UltraCrete system was the first and only HAPAS approved ironwork installation method, resulting in a first time permanent repair with a life expectancy of a minimum of 5 years once in service.

Minimises split liability – Using incompatible products will likely result in failure. Using a trusted system like UltraCrete’s will last.

Furthermore, all of UltraCrete’s materials are tested in conjunction with each other to ensure compatibility. This is extremely important when specifying a full HAPAS system which includes bedding, backfilling, sealing and surfacing materials.

For further information on the HAPAS approved system from UltraCrete, please call us now on +44 (0) 1827 254402 or email us at ultracrete@instarmac.co.uk.