All posts by Sarah Instarmac

changing the way we think about resources

Changing the way we think about resources

In 2017, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) highlighted their growing concerns over the country’s shrinking aggregate reserves.

Based on information provided by MPA members, the Annual Mineral Planning Survey Report (AMPS 2017) revealed that whilst sales of sand and gravel increased by 2.5% and crushed rock by 5.3%, reserves have remained worryingly low. Sand and gravel has reserves of just 60% and alarmingly only 6% of crushed rock sales were replaced during the previous year.

These worrying statistics confirm that the demand for raw materials continues to far outweigh any new reserves, which in turn, raises an important question – what can we do to help? One solution is to change the way we think about resources.

For many years, most manufacturers and production facilities have operated using a linear economy. This ‘take, make, dispose’ method of manufacturing means that instead of recycling the raw materials and any waste associated with the production process, they are disposed of instead.

Not only does this manufacturing process produce a huge amount of unwanted waste, it also creates a significant amount of pressure on trying to find resources the country just doesn’t have.

In order to create a truly sustainable future, we need to change the way we use resources and ensure all manufacturing processes are carried out with a circular economy in mind. A circular economy emphasises the importance of keeping resources in use for as long as possible and once the maximum value has been extracted, recovering and recycling these resources so they can be used again.

As a leading UK manufacturer, Instarmac understand the importance of a circular economy and constantly look for ways to reduce their impact on the environment. As well as successfully implementing a number of environmental policies across the business, such as climate control, solar panels and intelligent lighting, their in-house Research and Development team have also developed a number of products which continue to boast the high performance capabilities their customers expect, whilst containing 20% recycled material.

What’s more, they also provide their customers with a plastic container and pallet recycling scheme, which helps to reduce waste sent to landfill whilst saving their customers time and money as they no longer have to dispose of these items themselves.

For more information on a circular economy and how Instarmac can help you achieve your sustainability promises, please call 01827 254402 or email enquiries@instarmac.co.uk.

Working together towards a circular economy.

War_Memorial_to_Commemorate WW1 centenary

UltraScape helps village commemorate WW1 centenary

2018 marks the centenary of World War One with millions of people taking part in Remembrance events up and down the country. Valuable funds have been raised for The British Legion with many villages and towns across the country taking part in activities to commemorate those who list their lives fighting in both World Wars.

Over the last 18 months, the Long Itchington War Memorial Group (WARMLI) have organised a number of activities and have raised over £35,000 to build a war memorial as a mark of Remembrance to the men from their Parish who bravely gave their lives fighting for their country during the two world wars.

The residents of Long Itchington Village in Warwickshire, have worked tremendously hard to raise the money needed for their war memorial and so it was extremely important to UltraScape that the materials used and the installation of the paving was carried out perfectly  to ensure the villagers are able to enjoy the memorial for years to come.

With this in mind, Nick Holmes, UltraScape’s Technical Training and Site Support Manager, visited Long Itchington to deliver all the paving materials needed to install the war memorial and the surrounding paved area, materials which were kindly donated by UltraScape, and to carry out training with O’Brien Contractors Ltd to ensure the paving was installed correctly.

The 40m² area of paving and 3 inscribed monoliths were supplied by Marshalls and installed using UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System.

Made up of bedding mortars, slurry primer and innovative flowable grout, every product in UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System has been independently tested by an UKAS accredited laboratory to assess their performance abilities. This method removed the uncertainty of site batched mortars and offers a minimum construction life of 40 years.

Pre-blended for ease of use, Pro-Bed HS fine bedding mortar provides the ultimate laying course for all types of paving. Available in 3 sizes, 30 tonne silos and 1 tonne bulk bags, Pro-Bed HS provides you with the perfect amount of material for all project sizes.

Pro-Bed HS can be laid from 10mm – 75mm, is shrinkage compensated and can be opened to foot traffic in just 12 hours, allowing contractors to move on to the next part of the project quickly.

Formulated to provide an exceptional bond between your paving element and Pro-Bed HS, Pro-Prime slurry primer eliminates costly failures caused by general wear and tear and heavy load bearing.

To complete the installation, Flowpoint rapid set grout was used to joint  the selected pavers. With an initial set after just 15 minutes, and a walk on time of one hour, it is unsurprising that Flowpoint has become synonymous with fast application, cost-effective and robust jointing.

On completion of the project, Peter Hyde, the War Memorial Designer, commented: “We have been amazed at the generosity that individuals and companies have shown towards the war memorial project. UltraScape’s help and expertise was invaluable at a crucial stage of the build.”

For more information on UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System please call 01827 254402 or email ultrascape@instarmac.co.uk.

Linear vs Circular Economy

Linear vs Circular Economy

For many years, most manufacturers and production facilities have operated using a linear economy. This ‘take, make, dispose’ method of manufacturing means that instead of recycling the raw materials and any waste associated with the production process, they are disposed of instead.

As you can imagine, not only does a linear economy product a huge amount of unwanted, and sometimes dangerous landfill waste, it also puts a lot of pressure on the country’s plummeting resources as new raw materials need to be found and utilised.

In order to create a truly sustainable future for generations to come, we need to ensure all manufacturing processes are carried out with a circular economy in mind. A circular economy emphasises the importance of keeping resources in use for as long as possible and once the maximum value has been extracted, recovering and recycling these resources so they can be used again.

Whereas a linear economy will only damage the environment further, a circular economy will decrease the impact of production and consumption in the UK, significantly reduce waste and will lessen the pressure on the country’s dangerously low natural resources.

As a leading UK manufacturer, Instarmac understand the importance of a circular economy and look for ways to reduce their impact on the environment. Delivering sustainable products and solutions has always been of the utmost importance to Instarmac and influences every business decision they make.

With this in mind, Instarmac have successfully implemented a number of environmental policies at their state-of-the-art premises in Staffordshire.

They provide their customers with plastic container and pallet recycling scheme, helping to reduce waste to landfill whilst saving their customers time and money, have invested in Grey Water and Intelligent Lighting Systems as well as installing solar panels and climate control across their entire building. Furthermore, since 2014, Instarmac has boasted ‘zero waste to landfill’ which means 100% of waste is recycled.

Instarmac are proud to have had their environmental practices audited by an independent third party and have been awarded with the internationally recognised ISO 14001 for over 12 years.

For more information on a circular economy and how Instarmac can help you achieve your sustainability promises, please call 01827 254402 or email enquiries@instarmac.co.uk.

Working together towards a circular economy.

Source: WRAP

UltraTileFix launch training academy days

UltraTileFix launch Training Academy Days

Whether you want to learn a new skill or brush up on the latest tiling techniques, UltraTileFix’s Training Training Academy Days are for you!

Suitable for both experienced contractors and those beginning their tiling career, UltraTileFix’s Training Academy Days cover a wide range of topics including Subfloor Preparation, Application of Smoothing Underlayments and a Guide to Tiling Adhesives – you are certain to come away with lots of great tips for use on your next project.

Launching in December 2018, UltraTileFix’s Training Academy Days will continue throughout 2019 and will be hosted by Alan Collins and Martin Pouncey, expert trainers with over 30 years experience. Both Alan and Martin have a wealth of tiling knowledge having worked as tilers themselves and between them have worked with well-known manufacturers and brands such as Topps Tiles and Hardie, with Martin also having spent time working as a college tiling lecturer.

Everyone who attends an Academy Training Day will benefit from a free full days’s training with lunch provided. What’s more, everyone who completes the training will leave with a certificate, goody bag plus £50 worth of UltraTileFix material.

Held at UltraTileFix’s state-of-the-art training premises in Tamworth, you will also see their innovative manufacturing processes and how UltraTileFix products are developed – these fantastic Training Academy Days are an event that’s not to be missed!

Places are booking up fast, so don’t delay. Call 01827 254449 today to book your FREE place on one of the below courses.

13th December 2018 – Subfloor Preparation

21st February 2019 – Application of Smoothing Underlayments

18th April 2019 – Tiling Guide of Adhesives

20th June 2019 – Subfloor Preparation

15th August 2019 – Application of Smoothing Underlayments

17th October 2019 – Tiling Guide of Adhesives

19th December 2019 – Subfloor Preparation

For further information on UltraTileFix’s Training Academy Days or to learn more about their product offering, please contact their team of technical experts by email.

UltraScape support Help for Heroes

UltraScape support Help for Heroes

As part of their support for the much-admired charity, Help for Heroes, Tesco Maintenance have cleaned and repointed 400m² of reclaimed paving at Tedworth House in Wiltshire, and UltraScape are delighted to have played a part in this important rejuvenation project.

Tesco have been a proud support of Help for Heroes for a number of years, helping to raise money by supporting national collection weekends, selling branded merchandise in stores and maintaining a number of rehabilitation facilities through their maintenance division – Tesco Maintenance.

One such facility is Tedworth House. Forming part of Help for Heroes countrywide Recovery Centres, Tedworth House is available to wounded, injured and sick Service Personnel, Veterans and their families. The centre aims to inspire those who have become injured whilst serving their country and “enable them to lead active, independent and fulfilling lives.”

Tedworth House is made up of 46 en-suite bedrooms, four family rooms, kitchen, two lounges, adaptive gym with specialist equipment plus Hero Garden and Café.

Part of the ongoing maintenance at Tedworth House required 400m² of reclaimed paving, located outside the Hero Cafe, to be cleaned and repointed. The project was completed using UltraScape flowpoint rapid set grout, which was kindly donated by UK manufacturer, Instarmac Group plc.

Part of the UltraScape Mortar Paving System, flowpoint has been independently tested to British Standard 7533 and has been developed over a number of years to provide a durable finish which will not crack or stain – even when applied in cold and hot temperatures.

Ideal for large scale projects, UltraScape flowpoint is  available in three varieties and two colours – Charcoal and Natural Grey – the second of which was used at Tedworth  House.

With an initial set after just 15 minutes and a walk on time of one hour, it is unsurprising that UltraScape flowpoint has become synonymous with fast application, cost-effective and robust jointing.

The durable nature of UltraScape flowpoint will allow the residents of Tedworth House to enjoy the tranquil and relaxing atmosphere of the Hero Cafe for many years to come.

For further information on flowpoint and the other materials in UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System, please contact the UltraScape Sales Team by email or by calling 01827 254402.

420 million to fix potholes announced in budget

Budget 2018: Local councils given £420m to fix potholes

In October’s budget announcement, Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed local councils across England would be given an additional £420 million to fix the country’s pothole riddled roads.

In what is being hailed “the biggest ever cash injection” for England’s roads, Hammond has confirmed a £28.8 billion fund has been established to upgrade and maintain the UK’s motorways and other major roads.

As part of the same announcement, Hammond revealed a further £420 million would be given to local councils to “fix potholes and carry out other repairs after a harsh winter followed by a scorching summer took its toll on the local road system.”

Whilst this much-needed funding will certainly help repair our crumbling road network, is it enough? In March 2018 Rick Green, Chairman of the Asphalt Industry Alliance stated that “more than £8 billion would be needed for a one-time fix of potholes” and with the RAC reporting that drivers breaking down after hitting a pothole has reached a three year high, we have to ask, is this funding enough to repair the backlog of potholes plaguing our roads?

One way to help budgets stretch further is to only use pothole repair materials that are proven to provide first time permanent repairs and UltraCrete Tough Patch® Rapid has been designed to do just that.

Tough Patch® Rapid hybrid pothole repair has been rigorously and thoroughly tested and is proven to provide a first time permanent repair, eliminating costly repeat visits to the same site and helping budgets stretch further.

Quick and easy to apply, Tough Patch® Rapid can be used to repair defects in pavements, driveways, car parks and on high speed roads – it even provides a permanent repair in wheel turning locations such as junctions, traffic lights and roundabouts.

Ready to use straight from the bag or bucket, Tough Patch® Rapid requires no special preparation and can be trafficked immediately, meaning costly traffic management can be removed swiftly, keeping costs to a minimum, and allowing contractors to move on to another project quickly, increasing productivity.

Tough Patch® Rapid is just one of the many first time permanent cold lay asphalts available from UltraCrete. Every product in their world renowned range have been independently tested by a third party, can be applied in all weathers and are available in 25kg buckets or bags.

For further information on how UltraCrete can help your road repair budgets stretch further, or for additional product information, please contact UltraCrete’s team of experts by emailing potholes@instarmac.co.uk or by calling 01827 254402.

 

Source: ITV News, BBC News

Circular Economy The truth behind the buzzword

Circular Economy: The truth behind the buzzword

It can often feel that, every few months, we have a new industry catchword to contend with. However, with everyone under pressure to develop and deliver real sustainability and environmental promises, this buzzword is here to stay.

So what is a circular economy?

The Ellen McArthur Foundation, leading charity and global thought leader, defines a circular economy as a “framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design.”

In other words, a circular economy emphasises the importance of keeping resources in use for as long as possible and once the maximum value has been extracted, recovering and recycling these resources so they can be used again.

Why is a circular economy important?

With the UK’s natural resources plummeting at an alarming rate and daily news articles reporting on the war against plastic, delivering sustainable practices are high on everyone’s agenda. WRAP, world leaders who help organisations achieve greater resource efficiency, believe a circular economy is important for a number of reasons.

As well as helping reduce the environmental impacts of production and consumption in the UK, a circular economy will “reduce waste, driver greater resource productivity, deliver a more competitive UK economy” and put the UK in a strong position “to better address emergency resource issues in the future” – important features for building a truly sustainable future.

Instarmac understand the importance of a circular economy and pride themselves on the sustainability practices they have successfully implemented at their state-of-the-art premises in Staffordshire.

They provide their customers with a plastic container and pallet recycling scheme, helping to reduce waste to landfill whilst saving their customers time and money, have invested in Grey Water and Intelligent Lighting Systems as well as installing solar panels and climate control across their entire building. Furthermore, since 2014, Instarmac has boasted ‘zero waste to landfill’ which means 100% of waste is recycled.

Instarmac are proud to have had their environmental practices audited by an independent third party and have been awarded with the internationally recognised ISO 14001 for over 12 years.

For more information on a circular economy and how Instarmac can help you achieve your sustainability promises, please call 01827 254402 or email enquiries@instarmac.co.uk.

Working together towards a circular economy.

Source: WRAP, Ellen McArthur Foundation

ProSuper Grip Application

ProSuper Grip – your new favourite wall tile adhesive

UltraTileFix, part of the multi award-winning Instarmac Group plc, is home to a portfolio of high performance ready mixed and cementitious powder tile adhesives – a range that includes the much-loved ProSuper Grip.

ProSuper Grip acrylic wall tile adhesive, has been specially formulated for its non-slip, high grab properties which allow for the speedy application of standard and large format wall tiles. Suitable for intermittently wet areas such as domestic showers, kitchens and bathrooms, ProSuper Grip boasts an anti-fungal additive which prevents the build up of mould, providing a long lasting finish every single time.

Ideal for ceramic tiles and porcelain or natural stone mosaics, ProSuper Grip conforms to D1 TE EN 12004 classification, has a coverage of 6m² per 15kg and can be grouted after 18 hours. What’s more, ProSuper Grip is available in contractor and retail friendly 15kg tubs and is suitable for use on most surfaces and substrates including concrete, tile backer boards and firm and stable plasterboard.

On the properties of ProSuperGrip, Alan Collins, Technical Training and Site Support Manager for UltraTileFix, commented: “ProSuper Grip is a fantastic adhesive and a firm favourite amongst many tilers. Contractors who use ProSuper Grip can benefit from exceptional grip and anti-slip properties with the convenience that comes with using a ready mixed product.”

ProSuper Grip, along with every other product in the UltraTileFix range, boasts a Lifetime Guarantee, giving you complete confidence that their adhesives, grouts, levelling compounds and ancillary products are designed to last.

For further product information, pricing enquiries, or to place an order, please contact the UltraTileFix Sales Team by email or by calling 01827 254402.

Committed to Quality, Committed to Service, Committed to You.

Application_of_pro-prime_slurry_primer

It’s a crime not to prime

Priming is an important part of any paving installation but is something that is often overlooked. Neglecting to include a primer, such as UltraScape pro-prime slurry primer, can have disastrous consequences for your project and as a result the reputation of your business.

Traditionally, paving elements would be laid directly onto the bedding mortar, but due to ever-increasing traffic loading, street cleaning and general  wear and tear, paving often breaks away from the mortar, resulting in many high profile, costly failures and associated litigation.

The weather also plays a significant role in the destruction of paving. However, the additional bond a primer provides will help protect your paving from damage and de-bonding caused by the cold, heat, wet and freezing weather conditions.

The addition of a priming layer between the paving element and bedding mortar, yields an extremely high bond strength which prevents these types of failure, increasing the life expectancy of your paving and reducing ongoing maintenance costs.

British Standard 7533 was modified to reflect this change and now states all paving installations should have a bond strength greater than 2N/mm², double the previous requirement. This can only be achieved by using a priming agent such as UltraScape pro-prime.

UltraScape pro-prime is a slurry primer manufactured to meet the demanding requirements of BS 7533. Suitable for use with all paving types including stone and porcelain pavers, UltraScape pro-prime is simple to use and is proven to increase adhesion, preventing failure and prolonging the life of your project.

What’s more, UltraScape pro-prime has been NBS Plus Registered which means you can add this BS 7533 compliant slurry primer to your specification with just one click. To find out more, and to view a complete list of UltraScape’s NBS Plus Registered products, please visit instarmac.co.uk/services.

UltraScape pro-prime is just one of the products in UltraScape’s BS 7533 Mortar Paving System – a system that guarantees compatibility and reduces split liability. Also available is UltraScape eco-bed, a high performance bedding mortar which contains 20% recycled material and world renowned flowable grout, UltraScape flowpoint.

Prolong the life of your installation with UltraScape pro-prime  slurry primer. For further product information, pricing enquiries, or to request a visit from a member of their experienced team, please contact UltraScape by email or by calling 01827 254402.

Flowpoint: 10 years on

In November 2007, Instarmac International’s Norwegian partner, Betomur AS, installed 11 pedestrian crossings throughout Odda using UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System. Earlier this year, Betomur AS revisited Odda and were delighted to find the pedestrian crossings still looked as good as new, even after a decade of heavy and constant trafficking.

The original project involved the installation of 350sqm of natural stone paving across 7 raised and 4 flat pedestrian crossings. The Norwegian Public Roads Administration Odda Division awarded Odda Municipality with the contract, who chose to use UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System to bed and joint the chosen pavers.

Supplied by Betomur AS, UltraScape’s Mortar Paving is made up of tested, trusted and proven materials including Pro-Bed HS bedding mortar, Pro-Prime slurry primer and Flowpoint rapid set flowable grout.

Pre-blended for ease of use, Pro-Bed HS fine bedding mortar provides the ultimate laying course for all types of paving. It can be laid from 10mm – 75mm, is shrinkage compensated and can be opened to foot traffic in just 12 hours, allowing contractors to move on to the next part of the project quickly.

Formulated to provide an exceptional bond between your paving element and Pro-Bed HS, Pro-Prime slurry primer eliminates costly failures caused by general wear and tear and heavy load bearing.

To complete the installation, Flowpoint rapid set flowable grout was used to joint the selected natural stone pavers.

Flowpoint has been developed over a number of years to provide a durable finish which will not crack or stain even when subject to long-term heavy trafficking, a feature that was certainly put to the test and proven in Odda.

Flowpoint is  a flowable grout which allows for large areas of paving to be grouted quickly. The flowable nature of the product means it is equally suited to grouting small cobbles on a driveway as it is large paving tiles in urban regeneration projects. This also makes it the ideal product for grouting uneven areas, which was essential for the raised pedestrian crossings throughout Odda.

What’s more, Flowpoint can receive foot traffic in 1 hour and vehicular traffic in 4 hours keeping disruption to motorists and pedestrians to a minimum.

UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System is available throughout Norway through Betomur AS. To contact Betomur please call 55 59 44 50 email firmpost@betomur.no or visit betomur.no.

For further information on Flowpoint and the the other materials in UltraScape’s Mortar Paving, please email international@instarmac.com or call Instarmac’s International Sales Team on +44 (0) 1827 254402.