All posts by Sarah Instarmac

UltraCrete is Proven to Provide a Permanent Repair in the French Alps

Instarmac’s French partner, Vert Bleu, have carried out a progress report on a number of failed manhole frames and covers they reinstated in 2015 using UltraCrete PY5 and Instant Road Repair. 

In the summer of 2015, Vert Bleu completed a number of manhole reinstatements along the busy lakeside road that runs along France’s third largest lake, ‘Lac d’Annecy’, in Haute Savoie in the French Alps.

18 months and over 5 million vehicles later, Vert Bleu re-visited the repair site and were pleased to announce that the reinstatements were undamaged and remained as good as the day they were installed – proving that UltraCrete really does provide a permanent repair, even in Alpine conditions!

Vert Bleu used PY5 flowable resin bedding mortar and Instant Road Repair cold lay asphalt for these reinstatements.

Part of UltraCrete’s range of high performance bedding mortars, PY5 is ideal for anchoring bolts or bars, bedding lights in carriageways and backfill of manhole covers. PY5 is able to withstand extreme wear and tear and boasts an impressive compressive strength gain of 85N/mm² after just 1 hour. What’s more, failed manholes reinstated with PY5 can be opened to traffic in just 40 minutes.

Independently tested and approved by the Highway Authority Product Approval Scheme (HAPAS), UltraCrete Instant Road Repair® has been used to repair potholes and failed manhole systems around the world for over 35 years.

Applied in 3 easy steps – clean, pour, compact – Instant Road Repair can be opened to traffic immediately allowing for roads to be opened quickly, minimising disruption. Instant Road Repair has been used to provide a permanent repair all around the world and in a number of climates, further proving its high performance capabilities.

For further information on UltraCrete’s high performance, permanent, highway reinstatement materials, please click here or email international@instarmac.com.

Flowpoint Restores Life to Industrial Quarter

Instarmac’s Estonian partner, RoadService, have supplied UltraScape Flowpoint to grout over 3,000m² of paving at the beautiful and historic Rotermann Quarter.

Known as the ‘City in the Heart of Tallinn’ Rotermann Quarter is located between Old Town, The Port and Viru Square and is referred to as the Industrial Quarter thanks to its rich manufacturing history.

The Industrial Quarter went through rapid development during the 19th century, introducing a variety of factories, mills and stores to the area. Many of these buildings are still standing today and the quarter has recently celebrated its 185th birthday.

Many of the older industrial buildings have been given new functions, including the area where Flowpoint was used, which will now be the home to offices, apartments and shops.

Stone installation company, Kivikuvand OÜ chose to use Flowpoint rapid set flowable grout to grout 3,090m² of paving in this beautiful and unique location. 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.

Flowpoint is 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 as it is large paving tiles – ideal for projects such as this where a combination of paving was used.

What’s more, Flowpoint can receive foot traffic in 1 hour and vehicular traffic in 4 hours which makes it ideal for projects where minimal disruption and early trafficking is essential.

Andrus Sibul, Executive Director of Kivikuvand OÜ, commented: “I was impressed by the simplicity of the installation, price and local service.”

Rotermann City is the latest in a long line of prestigious projects for Flowpoint. UltraScape’s Mortar Paving System has been specified and used at Tallinn Old Town, MBR City, City Walk and Opera House in Dubai, Roxy Cinema in New Zealand and MediaCity, Savoy Hotel and Bullring Shopping Centre in the UK.

Flowpoint is available throughout Estonia through RoadService. To contact RoadService please call +372 650 64 10, email roadservice@roadservice.ee or visit www.roadservice.ee.

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

Don’t let moisture ruin your day

Where does moisture come from?

Moisture takes no prisoners – if there is an opportunity for moisture to get into a building then it will. There are 2 main sources:

  1. Residual moisture – This is the moisture that is present in construction materials.
  2. Subground moisture – This is the moisture that is present in construction materials, it is this moisture that will migrate into the building if a damp proof membrane is not present.

So is a DPM needed?

In 1965 it became mandatory to install a damp proof membrane in all new buildings so it is paramount to test moisture levels in properties built before this date before any floor covering is laid.

Properties built after this date should also be tested. Remember residual moisture can also be present. Subfloors can take time to dry  out (in some cases up to 1 year) so it is important to ensure the subfloor is dry enough to receive a covering.

How should a floor be tested?

British Standards are in place and subfloors should be tested in accordance with the British Codes of Practice BS 8203, BS 5325 and BS 8201. A BS hygrometer box should be used. This will provide a Relative Humidity (RH) reading. A reading above 75%RH is higher than is recommended to lay floors without a surface DPM.

What is the reality if I don’t use a DPM?

In one word – failure!

Firstly, it can ‘blow’ the levelling compound and if the levelling compound fails then the finished floor will fail.

Secondly, the adhesives that are being used to apply the finished floor may be affected. Their bond can be reduced or in the worst case, re-emulsify breaking down completely and allowing the floor covering to de-bond.

Customers will often only focus on the finished floor covering and with so many options available, who can blame them?

It is up to you, as their flooring contractor, to consider how to remove the existing floor and then what you might find underneath.

Customers are savvy and understand all about how add-ons are offered to boost the overall project costs but scrimping on this like DPMs will only come back to haunt you.

At UltraFloor we are continually researching and developing materials including our DPM IT Rapid which is a rapid Curing Primer Membrane suitable for use as a surface damp proof membrane and our new Suppress IT, which is ideal for use over a variety of substrates including concrete floors, sand/cement screeds and most absorbent construction materials.

These products provide proven results for our customers allowing them to have confidence and trust in the floor they are laying.

Visit ultra-floor.co.uk or call +44 (0) 1827 254402 for more information.

Instarmac are committed to protecting vulnerable road users

Each year there are a large number of road traffic incidents involving HGV’s and this has led to construction related initiatives such as FORS (Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme) which is designed to support vulnerable road users by developing standards for construction logistics.

FORS  is a voluntary national accreditation scheme designed to help fleet operators improve and monitor operational performance and safety. The scheme encompasses all aspects of safety, fuel efficiency, vehicle emissions and improved operations.

Instarmac run an award winning fleet of 37 delivery vehicles including a 40ft arctic. Many Instarmac customers require their suppliers to be FORS Silver accredited to reduce accidents involving vulnerable road users. FORS Silver also meets the requirements of TfL’s Work Related Road Risk Requirements (WRRR).

Andy Ryan Logistics Manager commented ‘we are extremely proud of our FORS Silver award. At Instarmac we are strive to provide the most up-to-date logistics technology and efficiency procedures.

FORS Silver required modifications to our vehicles such as side under run protection and close proximity sensors to notify the driver of vulnerable road users. We also monitor CO² emissions with the aim to reduce environmental impact and drive efficiencies. 

Our customers can be assured we are committed to continual improvement and which in turn makes us safer, smarter and greener’.

Instarmac are always looking at ways to improve their initiatives and policies. The 37-strong transport fleet is managed in-house and investments in live tracking technology, text notification software and tail lifts on all vehicles means the customer receives a first class service which is operating to the highest efficiency and safety standards.

For further information please call us now on +44 (0) 1827 254402 or email us at enquiries@instarmac.co.uk.

Driving at Christmas? Don’t let potholes ruin your journey!

Last year 14 million cars travelled at least 20 miles on the last Friday before Christmas. With potholes responsible for as many as 1 in 10 mechanical failures on UK roads and local authorities currently paying out more than £30 million in compensation claims, pothole repair is increasingly on the agenda.

Local authorities are keen to keep the road network moving over Christmas so are being encouraged to keep stocks of pothole repair materials such as Permanent Pothole Repair and 6mm Instant Road Repair from UltraCrete so that repair work can be carried out swiftly to prevent delays to commuters over the festive period.

Permanent Pothole Repair and 6mm Instant Road Repair from UltraCrete can be applied direct from the tub filling patches with ease and enabling effortless compaction once in-situ. The straightforward application provides a more efficient repair method, saving the contractor both time on site and the overall cost of installation.

The easy work formula eliminates the need for kneading before installation which makes them perfect for use n cold conditions. The new enhanced Permanent Pothole Repair is available in 25kg tubs and is recommended for the repair of potholes in roads, driveways and car parks. Instant Road Repair 6mm grade is supplied in 25kg plastic bags and tubs and is ideal for permanent repairs in footpaths and cycle tracks.

UltraCrete’s cold lay asphalts are formulated to give a performance equivalent to hot-lay materials, yet remain workable and effective for 6 months without degrading in storage or transit. Cleaner, more efficient and user friendly, they can be used in all weathers at any time, day or night and are particularly suitable for small works such as patch repairs, street ironwork, access covers and repairs to footways. Furthermore, the resealable tubs eliminate any wastage, helping your money go further.

Keep the country moving this Christmas with UltraCrete’s cold lay patching materials! Call 01827 254402 or email ultracrete@instarmac.co.uk for more information or to place an order.

Christmas Opening Hours

During the Christmas period, we will be open on the following days:

  • Friday 23rd December
  • Wednesday 28th December
  • Thursday 29th December
  • Friday 30th December

We will be closed on the following days:

  • Monday 26th December
  • Tuesday 27th December
  • Monday 2nd January

We will resume normal business hours (8.00am – 5.30pm) from Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Problems with Levellers Drying in Colder Weather?

As snow and sub-zero temperatures embrace Britain, plans are being implemented to deal with the challenges that severe weather can bring. Road gritting teams are out in force, highways, street cleaning and park staff are being drafted in to help clear the snow and ice and the public are being advised to take extra care and time making their journeys and to wrap up warm, in an effort to mitigate its impact.

The flooring industry is heavily affected too by the cold weather due to reduced daylight hours, transport difficulties, poor site conditions and even unreasonable expectations from clients.

Internally used cementitious floor levelling compounds, as with all cement based materials, are affected by cold temperatures, resulting in extended setting times.

Whilst UltraFloor can’t control the weather, we can ensure that we provide you with the help and support you need to make the best use of our products during the cold snap as proper preparation, adjustment and reaction to the season will certainly influence the success of a job. So when you can’t get ideal conditions, we can offer products to help you keep the installation programme down to a minimum.

Bags and bottles should be stored in conditions of 5°C and above prior to mixing. If the smoothing compound is required to be mixed with water, please consider your water source and its temperature – bringing the water as close as possible to 20°C by using the hot tap or a water butt is highly recommended.

The mixing and installation of the smoothing compound should be carried out in ambient conditions of least 5°C. The mixing of a smoothing compound involves combining the powder with either water or latex liquid. Thereafter, the product will begin to hydrate and cure, however the rate of this reaction decreases in colder environments. To prevent this from happening, we advise you keep temperatures above 5°C during the curing stages by using radiant heat systems that does not introduce moisture. Choosing the right product for the job will help sustain an uninterrupted work flow.

UltraFloor recommends the use of Level IT Super30 or Level IT Flex, as both of these two part levelling compounds contain a special blend of cements that remain effective at lower temperatures and provide a rapid set time keeping downtime to a minimum.

For further information on UltraFloor Level IT Super30 or Level IT Flex, or for technical advice on getting to work in winter, visit www.ultra-floor.co.uk or call 01827 254402.

UltraCrete keeps Traffic Flowing at Northern Europe’s Art Nouveau Capital

Instarmac’s Latvian partner, Delta Urban, have supplied world renowned reinstatement materials to repair over 500 manhole covers and frames on three of Riga’s most beautiful Art Nouveau streets. 

Riga’s historical centre is a World Heritage site, noted for its Art Nouveau architecture, with over a third of its buildings featuring beautiful and elaborate maidens, floral motifs and gargoyles made popular with this distinctive style.

Three of Riga’s most popular Art Nouveau streets – Brivibas, Lacplesa and Juglas – have recently been resurfaced with many manhole covers reinstated at the same time. With a population of 1 million and an additional 2 million tourists visiting Riga each year, it was imperative that the materials chosen to reinstate the manhole covers and frames could withstand constant and heavy trafficking and be opened quickly causing minimal disruption to residents and tourists alike.

Riga Transport Department has specified the use of UltraCrete highway maintenance materials since 2007 due to their permanent, high performance, rapid setting and early trafficking qualities.

Delta Urban supplied the chosen contractor with UltraCrete M60 rapid strength bedding mortar and QC10 F rapid set flowable concrete for these repairs.

UltraCrete M60 is a rapid strength bedding mortar ideal for use with all access covers as well as for the bonding of granite setts, flags and bedding kerbs. M60 boasts superior compressive strength which means areas repaired with M60 can be opened to traffic in just 1 hour – ideal for the busy streets of Riga where traffic needs to keep flowing.

Part of UltraCrete’s range of high specification concretes, QC10 F is a rapid setting, fibre modified concrete formulated for the backfilling around manhole frames and gullies. QC10 F has an impressive compressive strength and can be opened to traffic in just 90 minutes.

Both M60 and QC10 F have been independently tested and approved by the Highways Authority Product Apprival Scheme (HAPAS) for over 10 years and are proven to provide first time, permanent and durable repairs with a service life of at least 5 years.

For further information on M60, QC10 F and the other materials that make up UltraCrete’s HAPAS Approved Manhole Installation System please email international@instarmac.com or call +44 (0) 1827 254402.

You can contact Delta Urban by visiting www.deltaurban.lv or by emailing info@deltaurban.lv.

 

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.

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.