The modular housing firm owned by Swedish furniture giant Ikea is in talks with several councils over potential developments.

Graeme Culliton, UK managing director at BoKlok, said the developer is in “decent dialogue” with two local authorities and has spoken to roughly 12 others.

Since entering the UK market in 2019 BoKlok, which is a joint venture between Ikea and Swedish construction giant Skanska, has already signed deals with Bristol, East Sussex and Worthing councils.

In addition to these sites, Mr Culliton said BoKlok has another three sites across the South of England that it is hoping to start this year, alongside other projects in various stages of planning.

BoKlok has also signed a 1,000-home joint venture with Vivid, as well as an agreement to build 750 homes with Abri, renamed after a merger between Yarlington and Radian.

Mr Culliton said BoKlok is “not necessarily” looking to partner with any other housing associations at the moment.

He added: “We’re a small business so servicing lots of different conversations and lots of different relationships is really difficult.

“Also we want people that really understand the modular product that we’re providing and are working with us on it.

“The UK markets, and certainly the UK bank and financing areas, still ask a lot of questions and set a very high bar for modular and certainly timber-framed modular like we are.

“So to have partners that really understand that business and what we stand for is important to us and if we had too many of those I’d be worried that the message gets diluted.”

Since first being established in the 1990s, BoKlok has delivered over 14,000 homes across the Nordics, the majority of which are in Sweden.

Mr Culliton said BoKlok’s aim in the UK is currently “to have really happy customers and not to be too fixated by how big you can be”.

“We want to prove the business will work here in the UK really successfully with really happy customers. Once we’ve got to that point we’ll talk about how big it could be,” he added.



The developer’s first UK homes are set to complete in Bristol this year, with residents expected to move in from September.

Boklok has already sold 79 of the homes back to Bristol Council to be used as council housing.

Applications will be accepted for the first market sale homes on the Bristol scheme from Monday, with residents being chosen via a ballot process.

BoKlok offers flats ranging from one to three bedrooms, as well as one and two bedroom houses.

The houses are manufactured by the UK-based modular firm TopHat and the apartments are manufactured by a company called Harmet, based in Estonia.

Mr Culliton said BoKlok has signed five-year agreements with each of these manufacturers and currently has no plans to build its own factory in the UK.

He said BoKlok’s homes are “just to the right” of affordable housing costs and are designed to be affordable for a nurse and police officer buying a house together.

While modular is often promoted as a cheaper alternative to traditional building, Mr Culliton said BoKlok is not yet at the point where it can build houses at a cheaper rate.

He said he believes the firm is probably two years away from the point where it will benefit from economies of scale in order to drive down construction costs.


Source: Inside Housing


Demand is increasing for wind power in Europe, forcing turbines to produce more and more power. They’re getting bigger as a result. This is creating logistical problems.

Now enter Modvion, a small Swedish start-up specializing in turbines made from laminated-veneer lumber (LVL). The company’s towers feature a patented modular system, enabling them to be easily transported and set up on site. They also feature many of the same advantages of cross-laminated timber.

“Laminated wood is stronger than steel at the same weight and by building in modules, the wind turbines can be taller,” says Modvion CEO Otto Lundman. “By building in wood, we also reduce carbon dioxide emissions in manufacturing and instead store carbon dioxide in the design.”



The company just received an investment from Vestas, the largest wind turbine manufacturer in the world.

“The reduced weight of Modvion’s towers could allow for increased ease of transportation in logistically challenged markets,” Bo Svoldgaard, Vestas’ head of innovation and concepts, said in a statement.

Modvion installed its first turbine – a 100-foot tower for research purposes – on a Swedish island last April. It plans to build its first commercial tower in 2022.

The company hopes to expand into the U.S., saying its material builds upon the established laminated wood veneers already used in the construction industry.

Wind power has grown in the U.S. over the last few years. In 2019, wind power made up 7.3 percent of all generated electrical energy – surpassing hydroelectric power for the first time.


Source: Woodworking Network




Rick Murcock founder and CEO of US company Autovol thinks it will be.

An affordable apartment building for one of the nation’s most expensive markets is being built right now in Idaho.

The five-story building, with 301 apartments for seniors, isn’t for Boise. Instead, Virginia Street Studios will open in San Jose, the sixth-most expensive city in the United States, where median home prices hover around $1.4 million.

A Nampa company, Autovol Volumetric Modular, is creating the building module by module inside a 400,000-square-foot factory on Star Road that cost $100 million to build. As they’re completed, the 160 modules are loaded onto semi trucks and driven by Boise-based Western Home Transport to the Bay Area for assembly.

So far, 133 modules have been completed, with the rest to be finished next week.

“Building it here and and shipping it into California saved a lot of money and works to lower the costs for affordable housing,” Autovol founder and CEO Rick Murdock said in an interview. “We produce multifamily, multi-story affordable housing with the idea that we want to save you 20% of your costs and 40% of your time.”

Longtime Treasure Valley residents bemoan the meteoric rise in local house and apartment-rental prices, even as homeowners and landlords quietly delight in the money rolling in. But the shortage of affordable housing is a nationwide problem, said Murdock, a longtime Idaho resident with 43 years of experience creating modular products.

He was co-founder of Guerdon Modular Buildings, a Boise modular building manufacturer, and Prefab Logic, which provides consultation services for clients using modular construction.

“California alone needs 11 million units,” Murdock said in an interview. “It’s an excellent market, and they’ve got probably the highest need in the western United States, and their cost structure is extremely high.”

It’s more efficient to build inside a factory, where changes in weather don’t hamper production, he said. The savings in time comes from being able to prepare a work site at the same time construction is taking place. In a site-built project, all of the prep work must be completed before construction can begin.

“Obviously, our labor rates are less than what they are in California,” Murdock said. “We’ll build it here, ship it and save the project about $100 a square foot.”

The cost savings aren’t enough to make Autovol’s buildings attractive to the Idaho market, he said.


Housing costs in Boise area keep rising

The median price for homes sold in Ada County in January set yet another a record $454,000, which was $19,100 above December’s mark, also a record, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. In the past five years, the median price in Idaho’s largest county has nearly doubled.

Meanwhile, the number of houses listed on the market continues to shrink. In January, there were 269 houses for sale, down from 333 in December.

In neighboring Canyon County, where prices have traditionally been much lower, January’s median of $338,490 was down $955 from December. It was the first time in a year that the Canyon County median did not set a record.

Autovol began work at its factory, located north of the Lactalis American Group cheese factory, about a year ago. It has 115 workers, with the workforce expected to increase to 250 by the end of 2021 and to 300 next year.

Robots are used to build walls, floors and ceilings and to assemble the modules. The machines are meant to relieve the “back-breaking work” of construction, Murdock said.

Autovol workers install wiring, plumbing and fixtures, and they perform inspections. They also create software programs that control the robots.

The robots have names, chosen by children of employees. Murdock’s executive assistant, Merrick Macomber, has a daughter who named one of the robots Stacy. Others include Sunflower and Lilly.

“We’ll have names on all of our robots and googly eyes so when they move around, you see them move,” Macomber said.

Autovol found labor force mostly from SW Idaho

Nearly all employees — what the company calls Solutioneers — are from the Treasure Valley, he said. They range from entry-level workers to people with master’s degrees in electrical and engineering, he said. Salaries range from $15 to $25 an hour, Murdock said.

Most of Autovol’s employees have worked for Murdock for more than 30 years at his other companies.

“Our team is made up of people with great character who are allowed to speak what’s on their mind and give fresh ideas,” he said. “We listen and take care of each other.”

The company is adding employees. There are listings for electricians, machine operators, floor, wall and ceiling fabricators, among others.

Autovol has several other affordable housing projects lined up in California, including a 186-unit project in American Canyon, south of Napa; a 193-unit building in Oakland; and a 160-unit building in Santa Maria, west of Bakersfield.

On-site assembly of the $10 million Virginia Street Studios building is scheduled to begin March 2 and should take about three weeks to complete, Murdock said. The modules cost about $126 per square foot to build. Cranes will lift the modules into place.

“It sounds funny, but it’s a lot like stacking Legos,” Murdock said.

Even as modular buildings have improved in quality since the days of single-wide trailers, Murdock said he still has to educate potential customers on how Autovol units rival the quality of site-built buildings. The Virginia Street Studios will prove that, he said.

“Once it’s ready, you would never think it was built in a factory,” Murdock said.

After the Virginia Street Studios building is completed — Autovol’s first project — he expects it will help recruit new clients by having a place to show them.

“The finished building will speak for itself,” Murdock said. “I think it’s a better-quality product because you’re building it in a controlled environment.”

Murdock declined to disclose revenues. He said he expects Autovol to turn a profit before the end of 2021.

Autovol isn’t the only Idaho connection to the San Jose apartment project. The Pacific Cos., an Eagle residential and charter school developer that is a partner in Autovol, is the developer.

Led by CEO Caleb Roope, The Pacific Cos. operates 110 workforce and mixed-income developments with 6,000 units in eight Western states, along with three dozen senior apartment complexes with more than 1,300 units.

The Pacific Cos. is also developing the American Valley, Oakland and Santa Maria projects that Autovol is building.

Roope, who is an investor in Autovol with Murdock and several other people, could not be reached for comment.

When Autovol’s factory is fully operational, it will be able to produce 2,000 modules a year. That will hardly put a dent in the nation’s need for affordable housing, he said.

Murdock hopes Autovol’s experience will spawn competitors to better meet the need. He doesn’t care that he’s putting in the blood and sweat to perfect the process and make it more efficient.

“If we took all this information and held it to ourselves and didn’t share it, what gain would there be?” he said. “We’re going to produce only so many units out of this plant and after that, is that it? I’m looking at our entire industry. I see it through a slightly different looking-glass.”


Source: Idaho Statesman



Multiple applications: from residential construction to the artificial reef – again and again, new application possibilities for specialized building material from Bavaria

Worldwide more and more projects are being carried out using this innovative method. Korodur, the specialized building materials manufacturer based at Amberg and the CyBe Construction technology specialists from Oss in the Netherlands are reaping the benefits of it now, not only in residential construction, but by constantly developing new applications for 3D concrete printing – from outdoor furniture to environmental protection projects based on artificial ocean reefs.

Since 2012, this medium-sized Bavarian company and the Dutch civil engineering experts have been running their joint-venture, and have already completed a variety of quite sensational residential buildings. “We implemented our first joint project, a residential construction in Dubai, in the desert under the most difficult conditions. Since then, even more exciting properties have been added to this, for example in India, Japan, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. After putting in years of lab work on the task of perfecting our 3D printing method, this combination of robotics and intelligent mortar has been refined even further. In the process, we have not only gained new insights into the most efficient methods of construction, but have also explored completely new possibilities for applications”, says Frank Sander, Technical Manager at Korodur International GmbH.

Efficient, fast and inexpensive

The CyBe MORTAR, a mortar designed specially for 3D printing, is applied layer by layer in this process by means of robots, in a short time forming a wall or column with a high load-bearing capacity. CyBe’s 3D printers reach a speed of up to 500 mm/s. Thanks to the CyBe MORTAR building material developed by Korodur, units can be manufactured in one complete piece. Via the integration of an additive, the concrete can solidify very quickly, thus reducing the printing time significantly.

The particular advantages of this method are, on the one hand, a considerably shortened construction time and the cost savings involved. On the other hand, it offers architects and planners completely new design options that go beyond those of conventional construction. The buildings created in this way can be replicated any number of times with identical floor plans or simply adjusted as appropriate to cater for varying circumstances and requirements.

The 3D printing robots can be used, as required, on the actual construction site or for the prefabrication of components in an arbitrarily located workshop. In addition, there are mixed forms in which a robot close to the actual construction site produces various tailor-made components.


Sustainable, versatile and variable

“The possibilities for application are practically endless! Accurately-fitting service shafts are produced and installed on site in the shortest possible time lags using this innovative technology, for example, allowing damaged conduit access assemblies and connections to be replaced quickly. In addition, we have already created seating areas as well as combinations of tables and benches for outdoor use. Their exceptional design plus high degree of durability and stability all carry conviction. In any case, sustainability has always been a labour of love for us. A quite spectacular application in this context is the use of the product for the construction of artificial reefs. Thus, at critical locations we would like to help to revive the marine environment and assist the animals, plants and, in particular, corals in developing new habitats”, Frank Sander explains.

There are other ways, too, in which the Korodur/CyBe process contributes to climate and environmental protection – namely, in terms of its CO2 footprint: the quantity of carbon dioxide obtained during the production of the solely mineral CyBe MORTAR “made in Germany” is at least 20 per cent lower than that produced by conventional Portland cement. Nikola Heckmann, Korodur’s CEO, says emphatically: “This is an essential part of our corporate philosophy. We consider the careful use of resources and the reduction of emissions to be fundamental to our future viability. For the same reason we are committed to the development of new technologies and processes. This also includes our 3D concrete printing process, with which we have positioned ourselves not only in Europe but throughout the world as an innovative and reliable partner to the construction industry”.

Up-to-date information on CyBe MORTAR procedures and applications is presented for architects, planners, developers and other companies from the real estate sector on the site

Further information:;;


OEM’s Hydradig excavator being used to test advanced techniques for offsite construction

A JCB excavator is being used on an €82 million project to test advanced digital techniques for offsite construction.

The Hydradig machine has been installed at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry, UK, where researchers are digitally mapping and analysing the movements it makes in assembling and installing manufactured components, as part of a project called Big Yellow Robots.

The  aim of the UK Government-backed project is to explore the potential for increasing the efficiency of offsite construction – a fast-growing sector, which promises cost and time savings, as well as increased sustainability.

The hydradig is equipped with a two-piece TAB main boom and a tiltrotator. As it undertakes a range of lifting, placing movements (even writing on a whiteboard with a pen), sensing technology attached to the excavator and an array of cameras, plot its ever movement.

One aim of the project is to develop technology that allows the automation of more of the offsite prefabrication work undertaken by heavy machinery.

If repetitive tasks, or those requiring extreme accuracy can be automated, the team believes non-skilled operators will be able to undertake tasks currently requiring highly-skilled and experienced operators.

Mark Ireland, chief engineer of technology strategy at the MTC, said, “As part of the Construction Innovation Hub’s transformative programme, we are looking at a range of technologies to help the assembly of offsite components. That could be through robotising construction equipment, or ensuring robots can work in a construction environment. Our ultimate goal is to apply kinematic modelling to construction machinery.”


Source: KHL



Wider adoption of off-site manufacturing and other modern methods of construction (MMC) has the potential to transform the delivery of modern, affordable, high quality UK housing.

MMC is a central concept of the UK government’s recently-published ‘Construction Playbook’, in which it sets out a new longer-term, output focused approach to contracting for public works. It can also help to drive the UK government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, as production can  be located away from centres of demand in the South East to access valuable manufacturing skills and widen employment across the country.

MMC is a general term used to describe a range of alternative off-site and on-site manufacturing techniques. There is a significant emerging market in MMC globally. As the housing and infrastructure construction sectors look to improve productivity and deliver on government infrastructure pledges while dealing with a lack of new entrants and an aging workforce, MMC will become an increasingly important delivery solution.

There is now greater confidence and positivity about the role of modern methods of construction. The challenge is to work out how UK government policies can work in tandem with the construction industry to deliver long-term, structural change

Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, recently chaired a discussion by a group of senior industry experts on accelerating the use of MMC; the barriers that currently exist and what types of government intervention could help to overcome these and expedite take-up.

Demand-led change

Demand-led change is crucial to accelerating the use of MMC: to quote one participant in our discussion, “you cannot force something unless people are asking for it”.

From an industry perspective, there is now greater confidence and positivity about the role of MMC. The challenge is to work out how UK government policies can work in tandem with the construction industry to deliver long-term, structural change.

The UK government is the largest buyer of construction services in the UK. Although there has been a presumption in favour of government departments using MMC to procure housing, schools, hospitals and infrastructure, more needs to be done to accelerate the use of MMC by government. The approach of Homes England provides an example to follow: by mandating the use of MMC in schemes and providing funding to MMC suppliers, it has sought to create volume certainty and improve the working capital position of MMC developers and suppliers.

Discussion participants suggested aggregating demand into a single, steady pipeline of work, to increase the attractiveness of MMC to private investors and facilitate the shift from pilot projects to best practice.

A product-based supply chain

MMC has the potential to positively disrupt the construction sector, helping the industry to transition away from being project-based to being product-based. Discussion participants told us that the supply pipeline is a particular problem for the construction industry. Low volume contracts are awarded on a project-by-project basis, creating inefficiencies and meaning that long-term demand is not created, as would be the case for product-based manufacturing supply chains.

Greater use of factory-produced component parts by one participant is already leading to better cost certainty for the company, while enabling it to be more agile when buying land.

Discussion also focussed on the maturity of the supply chain to deliver using MMC, and the need for greater capacity across the industry to achieve more widespread adoption.


A lack of bank lending availability for MMC factories was highlighted by participants as a “real barrier”. These emerging facilities lack the track record needed to give mainstream lenders the confidence to lend.

Homes England has stepped into this funding gap to some extent. For example, it recently provided £30 million in funding to Swan Housing for its modular factory, as well as £30m debt and equity funding for Urban Splash to allow it to scale up production to 1,000 homes.

The role of the public sector and Treasury will be crucial in helping MMC to mature to the point that it is an attractive proposition for mainstream lenders. We can expect a greater use of conditional funding, with developers required to demonstrate how they are aligned with broader policy agendas such as greater use of MMC, supporting the path to net zero, driving greater social impact and supporting the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.



Standardisation and interoperability

Participants told us that setting minimum standards, having a quality-led agenda and encouraging standardisation will be crucial to the success of MMC, and will help to build confidence among mortgage lenders and insurers. Another called for greater interoperability, as the number of bespoke projects at present prevents the government from supporting the industry in a strategic way.

The government-funded Construction Innovation Hub is looking at implementing manufacturing processes and systems which will enable interoperable tools and parts. This will allow construction companies to use different products from different manufacturers and factories.

One company we spoke to is now moving towards an interoperability model, having initially pursued a volume-driven approach. This company often works on long-term regeneration projects of up to 20 years, and so there is great value to them in having local suppliers provide interoperable components.

The role of the public sector and Treasury will be crucial in helping MMC to mature to the point that it is an attractive proposition for mainstream lenders

Quality and safety is of increasing concern for the industry, so there needs to be an assurance that MMC will drive higher standards and that this is the right route to go down, according to one participant. The NHBC introduced the ‘NHBC Accept Scheme’ for modular construction to drive increased standards in the industry following the fire at London’s Grenfell Tower, but obtaining certification is an expensive and administratively complex process that is likely to be off-putting for SMEs in particular.

Contracts, procurement and collaboration

Widespread use of digital tools could be a huge catalyst for MMC, but our participants were concerned about take-up, and a lack of digital skills, in the supply chain.

Government departments that procure directly have been operating under a presumption in favour of MMC for some time. However, a participant in our discussion said that this presumption is only just now becoming evident in procurement frameworks. Others said that a harmonised approach from central government, and a focus on making MMC a condition of funding, would be helpful.

One participant explained that their company has struggled with MMC on the housing side because of the procurement route. The business does not have a development arm, so it needs housing associations and developers to decide on MMC earlier in the process so that it can secure funding on that basis.

The planning process

One company told us it had encountered problems with local authorities not being up to speed with MMC, although generally the approach has been welcomed. It was noted that de-risking the planning element of projects and the time associated with it would be a huge step forward.

One participant gave the example of Dorset City Council, which has adopted a process of pre-approving different types of technologies and using a pattern-book approach. This has worked well, with the participant noting that the approach can be adopted by other local authorities.

Another participant said that MMC could help drive the climate change agenda in the planning process and align with policies at scale.

Value and sustainability

MMC’s role in driving social impact and sustainability is an area of focus for the Construction Innovation Hub. The industry body has published a ‘value toolkit’ which will enable users to make informed and weighted value-based choices. The idea is that value-based decision making will ultimately become the norm rather than the exception.

Another participant underlined the fact that some 40% of CO2 comes from buildings, so we need to look at their lifetime performance. The participant said that the government needs to focus on MMC to reduce carbon, tackle climate change and make communities fit for purpose in the future.



Cogent Technology has moved into a new 80,000ft² facility in Felixstowe, to serve its clients with world class manufacturing. The new facility features state of the art production lines, including two ISO 14644-1 Class 7 Rapidbloc cleanrooms for its innovative medical and healthcare products.

Rapidbloc Cleanrooms have been developed by Connect 2 Cleanrooms (C2C) to meet the urgent critical demands of some of the world’s fastest moving industries, such as healthcare and advanced manufacturing. Clean production will enable Cogent to grow its product offering and expand services to clients with consumables and accessories that complement existing PCB assembly product ranges.

The two Rapidbloc cleanrooms were designed and built in just 8 weeks, including validation to ISO 14644-1 class 7. This expedited time-scale was important to Cogent as the cleanrooms were able to be coordinated within its wider facility fit-out programme and so production was not interrupted.

A monobloc cleanroom project of this scale would usually have a lead time of up to 4 months, whereas Rapidbloc Cleanrooms generate significant productivity gains to enable a faster return on investment. Rapidbloc cleanroom layouts are fully configurable and as parts are shipped from stock from C2C’s warehouse and distribution hub, on-site assembly is fast and efficient.

Robert Stainer, Commercial Director at Cogent says, “As part of our relocation to a new 80,000ft² facility we are proud to be enhancing our Medical Device manufacturing capabilities with the commissioning of two class 7 cleanrooms validated to ISO 14644-1.

“This investment will not only enable Cogent to meet our current clients’ needs, but also position the team to facilitate the provision of associated device consumables capacity as med tech businesses rethink their supply chain strategies in light of changing attitudes to sourcing.

“The term ‘short supply chain’ is resonating throughout the business world after recent events in 2020. A more robust supply chain is needed for resilience against future events.”

Michael Wright, Managing Director at Connect 2 Cleanrooms says, “Whilst there are now a number of quick build cleanroom solutions on the market, including our own Rapid Room range, none offer the same level flexibility around configuration and specification as Rapidbloc. The choice of size, classification and optional extras is yours, in just 4 to 6 weeks.”

The ultra-clean environments are created using HEPA filtration that is 99.99% efficient at 0.3 micron, whilst the envelope uses UltraTech Versatile panels with QuadCore insulated cores to provide a level of airtightness that controls running costs through enhanced energy performance.

Michael continues, “This modular approach delivers a precision-engineered cleanroom with ISO-compliant performance, within an expedited time frame. Thanks to the use of standard parts and pre-determined design calculations, even the quotation and design stages are expedited, so clients benefit from a rapid response through the entire project.”

Connect 2 Cleanrooms also provided consumables, furniture, monitoring equipment and cleanroom training services.

To find out more about Rapidbloc Cleanrooms, CLICK HERE:



Cladmate Cladding Support Systems are a long term manufacturer of Aluminium & Steel Rainscreen cladding support systems. Family owned since its conception, the family has been involved in the construction industry stretching back 3 generations. Cladmate are part of a larger group of companies called KNT Group, who specialise in a variety of building materials & building chemicals.
Cladmate currently offers a variety of Rainscreen Cladding Support Systems which can be teamed with materials such as Aluminium, Terracotta, Zinc and Brick to name just a few. They also offer systems that compliment your desired design intent including face fixed, structurally bonded and secret fixed.

Brick facades are brought into 21st century with innovative modern lightweight solutions utilising their extensive knowledge of the cladding industry. Cladmate offers two systems; CMS30: Adhesively bonded brick slip system, and CMS40: Mechanically fixed brick slip system – both of which are aimed at the professional cladding market.
The flagship brick product is their CWCT certified CMS40 Mechanically fixed brick slip system, where A1 Fire Rated Aluminium brackets and rails (vertical & horizontal) are fixed to your desired substrate, and grooved brick slip of your choice is slid onto the rails. As brackets and rails are fixed to the substrate mechanically, CMS40 can be used at any height. Pointing is then carried out using the excellent Terrabond T-Point high performance flexible pointing mortar. Though any brick slip can be used with this system, Cladmate also offers a standard range of brick slips, information of which is available upon request.

As mentioned Cladmate are part of a larger form of companies, thus granting access to innovative building products such as the latest in Insulation Technology, Building Chemicals, Bricks and Bricks Slips. There is also a stockist of industry recognised names such as Sika & Ejot, all of which are available to buy on their new online shop ( With the ability to provide their customers with all things Rainscreen, Cladmate is fast becoming the go-to for all your cladding needs.

Cladmate offers full static calculations along with Wind and U-value calculations, all of which are free of charge. Register your project on their website and they will ensure a 5 working day turnaround on calculations to avoid delays in your project. All calculations are backed by a warranty, information of which is available upon request.
Over the coming year, the focus will be to continue developing existing customer relationships and look to increase current manufacturing capacity to meet the pipeline at present. They will also be developing new technologies to ensure that they continue to be at the forefront of the exciting Rainscreen Cladding market.
After working throughout Europe, the Middle East & Africa over the past 20 years, 2 years ago the company decided to enter the UK market. Since then, Cladmate have gone from strength to strength and are fast becoming a major player within the cladding industry. Cladmate have worked on multiple projects around the UK, and have worked hard to gain industry accreditation and all relevant testing. They have deliberately taken their time to become familiar with the UK market in order to understand the needs within the cladding sector. Their aim is to create a company that is sustainable in the years to come – meeting both the needs of their clients, and industry regulations.


Terrawool are one of the main brands of Terra Building Materials and is proud of being a part of the group companies. Having been in the construction industry for three generations, they have an excellent track record.
Terrawool stone wool slabs are premium insulation board composed of mineral wool and made up of thousands of fibres. Terrawool is made from volcanic basalt rock. Simplified recreation starts with reheated and melted volcanic rock within a large furnace of up to 1,500˚C (2,700˚F). The liquid rock is channelled into a chamber where it is spun into fibrous strands. Balance density systems are highly engineered throughout its design, accommodating slight imperfections on substructures, while allowing robust fixing. The breathable open-cell structure of Terrawool stone wool slabs allows water vapour to pass through, while factory-applied water repellent fibres on Rainclad and Dimclad prevent water transmission through the insulation layer.
All Terrawool insulation boards have achieved a Euroclass rating of A1 for non-combustibility. Terrawool insulation goes the extra mile to offer complete assurance against the threat of fire. With its ability to withstand temperatures of up to 1,000˚C (1,800˚F) Terrawool insulation helps to effectively contain and prevent the spread of fire. Likewise, the stonewool will not produce any toxic smoke or emissions.
Terrawool insulation is the superior choice for all construction needs, especially for high-rise structures. It offers high thermal insulation as well as acoustic performance. The open porous structure of Terrawool insulation absorbs and reduces the impact of sound, while providing a high thermal performance.




High Performance non-combustible thermal and acoustic insulation for cladding applications.
Rainclad is non-combustible cladding insulation designed and developed by our highly experienced engineers for best performance for all cladding applications. Rainclad is designed for use of ventilated or non-ventilated cladding systems as well as sealed systems such as curtain walling, external wall insulations at any height. With the factory-applied water repelling agent, Rainclad prevents water ingress during construction.
Rainclad is an A1 rated non-combustible product suitable for use on any type of building including those over 18m – giving a significant acoustic performance to a project. Rainclad insulation boards are made of stone wool fibres with special water repelling agent – this does not effect the breathability of the walls thus limiting condensation. The densitiy of Rainclad is 60kg/m3 and it has a 0,035W/mK thermal conductivity level (available in different thicknesses and densities




High Performance non-combustible thermal and acoustic insulation with black tissue facing for open-joint cladding systems and shadow gaps at any height.
Dimclad cladding insulation has been specifically engineered to promote fire safety and overall high performance. Along with being compatible with a number of different cladding attachment systems, Dimclad provides extra wind protection for optimal efficiency on high-rise buildings.
For open-joint cladding systems, Dimclad is the perfect solution due to its black mineral fibre facing. This feature is engineered to deliver UV stability in the long-term thus increasing its thermal performance.
In the event of being directly exposed to fire, Dimclads non-combustible feature reduces the risk of toxic gas emissions and spreading flames, therefore protecting the building. The factory-applied water repelling agent promotes Dimclad for use in construction during rainy weather, which prevents water ingress and avoids delays. Dimclad’s moisture resistance helps maintain an adequate insulating value for an extended period of time. The densitiy of Dimclad is 60kg/m3 and it has a 0.039W/mK thermal conductivity level (available in different thicknesses and densities).
For more information on Rainclad and Dimclad high-performance external insulation slabs, along with insights to the full range of Terrawool non-combustible solutions for any kind of stone wool insulation, please visit

Despite government pledges and increased investment in the housing sector to tackle the housing crisis, the ongoing effects of the pandemic is expected to make matters even more challenging for the construction industry.

As well as the need to build faster, there is a demand to build better. As people are spending more time at home, they are looking to make their homes more suited to their needs. Last year, research conducted by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) revealed that UK homeowners are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly properties that better support their new ways of living. With this demand on the agenda as well, what can the construction industry do to deal with this challenge?
Timber frame buildings and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)
One way forward is timber construction. There are numerous benefits to building with timber. In addition to being produced naturally, it is a sustainable and renewable building material, and is usually lighter than other building materials, such as steel or masonry. It is also easier to install and offers a quicker build time.
Timber frames can be modulated and pre-cut, and because of this are ideal for offsite construction—all systems of construction now thought of as coming under the umbrella of MMC. The process of modular construction allows a building to be constructed in “modules” offsite, in half the time it would usually take on site, with much fewer workers needed on site—important in the current climate. Furthermore, modular construction reduces site disruption, vehicle traffic and improves overall safety and security onsite.*
Constructing timber frame buildings offsite often provides a project the ability to boast greater energy efficiency and lower embodied carbon, which makes it a popular choice for contractors aiming to build more sustainable houses that cater to the demands of modern day property buyers and renters.

MEDITE SMARTPLY has recently developed three robust products ideal for structural timber applications within MMC, from roofing to wall sheathing, both on and offsite. These are SMARTPLY ULTIMA OSB/4, SMARTPLY MAX OSB/3 and SMARTPLY MAX FR B OSB/3, which is flame retardant.
These lightweight and structurally sound panels can be made longer and wider, which is ideal for covering extensive meterage in shorter spaces of time. All three boards are available in large panels of up to 2.8m wide by 7.5m long, using ContiRoll® technology—the continuous pressing of wood strands. As a result, roofing projects can progress faster, needing fewer workers to produce better results.
The panels are also sustainably manufactured using a no added formaldehyde resin. This makes them safer for contractors to work with, as well as for creating healthier environments for future building occupants.

SMARTPLY ULTIMA is an extremely high-performance engineered wood panel, suitable for the most demanding structural applications. It is a cost-effective alternative in humid and high-load structural applications when compared to a similar performing exterior structural plywood. SMARTPLY ULTIMA can also be manufactured up to a maximum thickness of 40mm for super heavy-duty requirements.
As a strong, versatile board, SMARTPLY MAX is also moisture resistant, and suitable for structural use in humid conditions (service Class 1 and 2). It’s had a long history of successful use in roofing, flooring, hoarding and wall sheathing applications, within timber construction.

SMARTPLY MAX FR B has been specially developed to provide greater fire performance and deliver greater peace of mind to those specifying for offsite construction. It is the first Euroclass B OSB/3 panel manufactured in the UK and Ireland to feature wood flakes treated with flame retardant solution before pressing.  Vitally, SMARTPLY MAX FR B meets the requirements of European Standards EN 300 and EN 13986, and the European reaction to fire classes B-s2,d0 and Bfl-s1. It also complies with the Structural Timber Association’s (STA) FR Build performance requirements in accordance with their “Design Guide to Separating Distances During Construction” for timber frame buildings. The panel is referred to as SMARTPLY MAX FR/FR BUILD in this instance.

In these challenging times, timber can offer a robust and sustainable solution in tackling housing shortages. Let’s do the right thing and build better for a brighter future with MEDITE SMARTPLY.

CLICK HERE to find out more about these products and how they can help contractors with MMC in mind


Building services can make up a significant proportion of the cost of constructing, operating and maintaining a building throughout its lifespan. When specifying these systems, it’s now more important than ever to consider how modern construction methods can help to deliver improved value. Recent research from Rider Levett Bucknall has highlighted that by fitting pre-insulated phenolic ductwork instead of traditional sheet metal ductwork, it is possible to achieve a 22% reduction in installed costs and whole life cost savings exceeding 51%.

Installation advantages
Pre-insulated ductwork is fabricated from rigid phenolic insulation panels with a foil facing. This design eliminates the lagging stage and means the ductwork can be installed flush to ceilings, floors or walls – saving space. Sections can also simply be modified on site with standard hand tools, ensuring that any unexpected changes to the building layout can be easily handled.
In practice, the pre-insulated phenolic ductwork can be as much as 75% lighter than a comparative sheet metal system with mineral fibre lagging. In addition to reducing structural support requirements, this means it is possible to join several sections of ductwork together at floor level (up to 15 meters in length) and lift and fit them in a single operation – further speeding up installations.
The fabricated ductwork sections can also offer excellent performance characteristics, with systems capable of meeting air–leakage Class C and D both at low and medium pressures (ref. BS EN 1507: 2006; BS EN 13403: 2003 and BESA DW/144). This airtight design can allow the desired air flow rates to be met with smaller, more efficient fans, potentially significantly lowering long-term energy demand.

Upfront cost savings
Rider Levett Bucknall carried out a detailed cost analysis to assess how the use of pre-insulated phenolic ductwork could affect installed cost when compared with insulated galvanised steel ductwork.
For this, they consulted with a number of suppliers and installers, providing each with a standardised duct layout featuring a number of different duct dimensions and components, including straight sections, 45 and 90 degree bends and tapers. The firms were then asked to provide supply and installation costings for two comparative specifications of the different ductwork systems:

1.  Pre-insulated phenolic ductwork manufactured using 22 mm thick panels vs galvanised steel ductwork with 40 mm mineral fibre

2.  Pre-insulated phenolic ductwork manufactured using 30 mm thick panels vs galvanised steel ductwork with 50 mm mineral fibre

The results showed that based on the averaged quotations supplied for both scenarios, significant savings could be achieved with pre-insulated phenolic ductwork. In the first scenario, it was possible to achieve average cost savings of £3,735.16, a reduction of 21.8%. The savings were even greater in the second scenario with estimated costs falling by over £4,012 (22%).

Whole life savings
Rider Levett Bucknall also carried out additional analysis looking at the cost of maintaining and adapting ductwork across its whole life. Pre-insulated phenolic ductwork can typically be cleaned with a mechanical rotary brush, with polypropylene fibres and a plastic ball tip, at a speed of up to 900 RPM. It is also much simpler to make adjustments once in-situ, such as adding access hatches. The Rider Levett Bucknall analysis assumed that changes and adaptations to pre-insulated ductwork would therefore be less costly over time and that the ductwork was less likely to be damaged during routine maintenance.
The research suggested that the cost of maintaining the pre-insulated ductwork with 22 mm thick phenolic panels would be less than half that of the galvanised steel ductwork (£3,000 vs £6,190), whilst savings of 48% could be achieved on the pre-insulated phenolic ductwork manufactured from 30 mm thick panels over the alternative galvanised steel system.
This research did not consider the impact of the specification on energy demand and operational costs. Depending on the operational parameters for the ventilation system, the enhanced airtightness which some pre-insulated phenolic ductwork systems can achieve could allow considerable savings to be achieved in both areas.

Lasting value
The global pandemic has placed additional pressure on specifiers to identify savings on each project. The Rider Levett Bucknall research shows that by utilising modern approaches such as pre-insulated phenolic ductwork, it is possible to reduce both upfront and long-term costs without compromising on building performance or quality.