Zentia celebrates in style as popular Dune eVo family is renamed Aruba.


Leading UK ceilings manufacturer Zentia has refreshed one of its most popular ranges of ceiling tiles with a new name, including a new high humidity variant.

As part of the company’s transition from Armstrong to Zentia, Dune eVo will now be known as Aruba, a name inspired by the white sandy beaches of the Caribbean and the finely sanded finish of the tile’s surface.

The new high humidity variation is being introduced to support the product family’s flexibility. Aruba hH offers stability at humidity levels of up to 99% RH, making it particularly ideal for high humidity areas such as changing rooms. It also offers Class C sound absorption and good sound attenuation for excellent acoustic performance.

This new addition sits alongside Aruba, Aruba Max and Aruba dB, each bringing their own performance capabilities. Together, they deliver a complete acoustic ceiling solution with the benefits of a continuous face pattern across entire projects.

As a product family, Aruba offers a tile for any environment including education and healthcare through to commercial, leisure, retail, and transportation – for either new-build or refurbishment.

Graham Taylor, Sales and Marketing Director at Zentia, has witnessed the evolution of the original Dune product family as well as the journey from Armstrong to Zentia.


He comments: “The Dune range has been a stalwart of the ceiling tile industry for even longer than I have been around. With its fresh bright surface finish it was a game changer when first launched to market in the early 1980s. Now, we are ready to unveil the first Zentia version, taking the opportunity to reflect our transition from A to Z by renaming Dune to Aruba. Think Dune eVo, say Aruba.

‘It’s a product that has been trusted by generations of architects and installers alike and today, it’s still the reliable and versatile product it’s always been, but with a new name and some exciting family additions, many of which will be released over the coming months.”


This product range is a favourite with specifiers due to its optimum mix of acoustic and aesthetic performance, sustainability credentials and cost-effectiveness. The range gives architects three levels of acoustic performance, high levels of recycled content and 100% recyclability.

To celebrate the launch of the Aruba range, Zentia is running a competition to

win £5,000 worth of holiday vouchers

Please CLICK HERE to see the Zentia website for full T&Cs and details on how to enter




As one of the largest independent flooring distributors in the UK, TradeChoice Carpet & Flooring have all your flooring needs covered with a comprehensive range of solutions when it comes to installing flooring in domestic, commercial and industrial settings. With 11 branches Nationwide, TradeChoice Carpet & Flooring are always on hand to offer the complete flooring package, so you can rely on us to make your job easier.  Further to this, we are delighted to launch our new transactional website – tradechoice.com*

It’s loaded with features designed to help make your job easier including:

Check stock availability 27/7. You can plan your next job by checking stock availability at your local TradeChoice Carpet & Flooring branch.

Discover thousands of product lines online. Our new website features floor coverings, screeds, adhesives and accessories for a wide range of sectors: domestic, commercial and industrial.

Check out prices on your terms. If you are a trade customer, once you’ve registered and signed in, you will be able to view personalised pricing.

From our site to on-site. Arrange deliveries and collections online.

Stay on top of your paperwork. To help manage your account, you can view and pay invoices online.

Now we’re open even when your local branch is closed. Providing the convenience of being able to work with us outside of regular branch opening hours.  To find out more about TradeChoice Carpet & Flooring’s extensive product portfolio or to request a free sample, contact us by the following methods.



Phone: 01527 511 860

*A TradeChoice Carpet & Flooring account is required. Terms and conditions apply.

In the drive towards reduced net zero, Gilberts Blackpool claims its new MFS-HR surpasses performance of anything comparable on the market for commercial and public sector applications.

Building on Gilberts’ pioneering MFS hybrid ventilation unit- the first of its kind to be developed in the UK- the combined hybrid unit can achieve up to 75% heat recovery.

The exceptional and market-leading heat recovery performance means that when employed as part of a sustainable strategy including photovoltaic arrays, MFS-HR could achieve energy negative status.

As with the original MFS and other alternative hybrid ventilation systems, MFS-HR is a stand-alone unit installed through the façade to ventilate, cool and warm the interior. Initial tests indicate each MFS-HR will provide up to 4kw heating and 2kw cooling capacity whilst still delivering a airflow rate of up to 470l/s. It could cost as little as £10/annum/zone to operate.

Manufactured by Gilberts in the UK, the whole MFS range makes optimal use of recyclable materials making it low on embodied carbon, MFS attains air leakage better than legislative requirements – 3m3/HR/m2, and a U value of less than 1W/m2/°C, all combining to further enhance the green credentials.



“When we launched the original MFS, there was nothing else like it in terms of performance,” says Gilberts Sales Director Ian Rogers. “MFS-HR will build on that, taking hybrid ventilation with heat recovery to new heights in the drive towards energy and carbon reduction and re-affirming Gilberts’ position as a technological leader.”





As with many sectors, the past couple of years have been turbulent for the Bathroom market. Experiencing a sharp decline of 16% in 2020 due to the covid pandemic, a return to growth was seen in 2021. The UK bathroom market bounced back with around 15% value growth. Many consumers have accumulated savings over the pandemic and have opted to focus on improving their home environment, including refurbishing the bathroom.

Taking up a 35% share of the market, it is Baths & Sanitaryware that continue to dominate within the sector. This can be partly attributed to the positive influence from new build housing specification, where private housebuilders are widely stipulating 2 or more bathrooms within a house along with a downstairs cloakroom. A decline or even shift is expected over the coming years with the trend towards showering and the higher number of wall-hung sanitaryware installations.

Abdul Tantouch, Research Manager at AMA Research, and editor of the Bathrooms Market Report 2022-2026 elaborates on the condition of the market,

The UK bathroom market is primarily influenced by levels of residential and commercial construction, bathroom refurbishments, demographic changes, environmental influences, design trends, technological developments, also updates in building and energy efficiency legislation.

In 2021, the market for bathroom products bounced back, with a notable uplift in home improvement activity, including bathroom refurbishments. There has also been steady recovery in housebuilding activity, with 2+ bathrooms and a cloakroom area now commonly specified in new build homes.

Future market opportunities will arise from changing design trends and product developments that will lead to a quicker replacement cycle, with consumers trading up to added value solutions. The evolution of the smart bathroom is now evident, with the growing demand for hygienic touchless solutions. Water efficiency is also becoming a key consideration, with climate change and the increasing focus on sustainability and the environment.

The level of bathroom imports has increased considerably, despite ongoing supply chain issues and is currently estimated at over 75% of market value. The UK bathroom market is exposed to product and design trends from a wide variety of sources globally. Technological developments such as the hygienic touchless control of taps and WC flushing systems have become ever more evident. Water efficiency and sustainable methods of production & distribution is also important, given the UK target to achieve carbon net zero by 2050.


This information was taken from the  Bathroom Market Report – UK 2022-2026 by AMA Research

Authored by Mark Dowdeswell, Senior Category Manager – Domestic, at Uponor.

New homes will have to produce around 30% less carbon emissions as part of a major update to the Building Regulations this year. Under Part L1A, there will be a maximum flow temperature requirement of 55°C for new and replacement heating systems, meaning that more low energy heating systems must be used in today’s modular builds.

Underfloor heating systems (UFH) have a larger area heat emitter than traditional radiators, meaning they require a lower heat input in order to heat a room effectively. This allows them to work efficiently alongside renewable heating technologies, such as air source heat pumps (ASHP), which help to reduce a home’s operational carbon footprint.


With technology constantly advancing, both ASHPs and UFH now lend themselves perfectly to modular builds with limited space and high-quality design demands. Innovative low profile UFH systems, such as Uponor’s Minitec which stands at just 15mm build height, enable design teams to optimise available space, giving maximum design freedom. To ensure consistent quality of UFH installations in modular assemblies, Uponor also works closely with its partners to provide design support, continuous training and installation reviews, whilst simultaneously providing the largest product range of radiant heating and cooling systems of any manufacturer from under one roof, meaning that design teams do not have to compromise on their aspirations.

This vast product range also enables contractors, architects and specifiers to work alongside one manufacturer, rather than multiple suppliers, allowing them to rest assured that the systems used will not only meet building regulations and hit new performance goals, but that they will be fully-warranted and long-lasting, meaning that the homes built for today, will perform well tomorrow, too.



By Andrew Gillard, Sika Business Unit Manager – Industry and MMC


This year has seen events that have re-shaped the world we live in. The world around us has seen generational shifts, with rapid transformations in IT, and advances in technology. Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) continues to move towards the heart of our construction industry in the UK. We understand that, for the offsite constructor, finding ways to increase PMV for the client, but keeping the manufacturing process as efficient as possible, can be challenging. We believe that it is the responsibility of key suppliers to assist this process, in whichever way possible. At Sika, we have the technology to support all areas of manufacture.

Sika can support the advancement of PMV, by providing unique and high-performing solutions. We can demonstrate high levels of technical knowledge, and support in many applications, from the floor, through to roof; these being interior and exterior applications for volumetric, panelised or pod manufacture. Our approach is to define ways to reduce build-time, simplify bill of materials, and increase quality as well as life expectancy, whether it be timber or steel framed construction.

It is necessary for the offsite manufacturers to rely on the technical support and product know-how of their supply partners. Technical support and training are a key requirement of a professional partner. We can support the offsite manufacturer with advice on Process Failure Mode Effects Analysis (PFMEA) and, where necessary, aid with training and upskilling of the client’s workforce.

We go beyond the supply of materials – we can assist with the development, testing and design, through to supporting a manufacturer’s implementation and process optimisation in modular building production.


Interior Applications

In the context of interiors, we can support with clever materials for cementitious bases through floor coatings, to Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) adhesives and good solutions for wood floor bonding, as well as traditional floor tile adhesive systems.

We can also support with joint sealants, whether it be sanitary or aesthetic. Our passive fire protection range can assist in making units safer. Our reduced dust, low emission wall levelling compound meets all the latest EHS requirements, and gives class-leading finishing characteristics. Our high green strength adhesive can be used to reduce the requirement for mechanical fixings, which can create Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) issues. Pretty much, we can help you look at applications in new ways.



Exterior Applications

We understand the need for water tightness and with our weather-proofing solutions for roofing, walls and windows, etc., we aim to assist you to deliver units, with minimal retro repair, and reduced zip-up costs. Our robust solutions will reduce transit damage of volumetric units, and our ideas to reduce weight will lower CO2 from transportation requirements.

Our innovations to improve structural rigidity of units can mitigate flex in transit, and the subsequent repairs. Our membrane systems can assist with keeping the weather out, whilst the units wait to be slotted into the final building. Whichever exterior wall finish is used, Sika can support our customers. From renders to adhesives for brick slip bonding, to wood adhesives and bonded panelised systems.


Pod Manufacture

Our solutions for Bathroom Pods and wet rooms can reduce waiting time for curing. Whether it be for the concrete base or ETAG022 systems for wetroom walls and floors, for tile bonding with automated solutions, or fast curing stiffener bar attachment, we are able to help.

To summarise, in the last year, Sika has been learning about the challenges that face the MMC arena. To be able to support the required PMV levels, offsite and modular constructors warrant additional levels of service and innovation. After identifying key applications, Sika has leveraged its huge product range to come up with some great solutions, to improve rigidity, reduce noise transfer, improve fire performance, reduce cycle time, lower costs, enhance sustainability, boost quality and provide a one-stop-shop from basement to roof.


For more information on how we can assist you, contact James Taylor on 01707 363893 or visit our website here:




 Safe, Sustainable Fibreboard by Sundeala

Independent tests performed by an ISO 17025 compliant laboratory show that Sundeala FR board is 100% free from viable virus within 5 minutes of infection with human coronavirus.

Sundeala fibreboard has helped Britain face its share of national emergencies. Sundeala board was used in the construction of the very first ‘Nightingale Hospital’ comprised of hundreds of Red Cross Huts behind Netley Hospital during the First World War and, in 2020, it has joined the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sundeala FR is an inherently fire-resistant fibreboard comprised of recycled paper fibres and natural metallic minerals.
Studies indicate that coronavirus remains viable on porous surfaces and in the presence of some metallic minerals for far shorter periods than hard, smooth surfaces and that the presence of some metallic minerals has a destructive effect on virus particulates.
Sundeala Ltd approached Indoor Biotechnologies – a global immunodiagnostics and biotechnology company, specialising in the development of innovative products and services in the areas of Immunological and Environmental Sciences. Indoor Biotechnologies formulated a methodology designed to robustly test both the surface and fibres of Sundeala FR to determine how long coronavirus was detectable after the point of infection.



The Test
ISO 17025 compliant methodology was used to test multiple separate samples of Sundeala FR board. Tests were done on multiple days and with multiple sets of samples to ensure the testing was scientifically meaningful.
Testing was performed with Human Coronavirus 229E as the closest in behaviour to SARS CoV-2 as well as being the strain proven in previous studies to have the longest persistence on surfaces and be the most difficult to destroy. Virus samples were cultured in cells derived from human lung tissue.
Testing was performed both on the board surface and within the board itself to test the point at which it became safe to touch as well as when it became safe to cut or sand.
The Results
After tests performed at 4 hours and 1 hour showed that no viable virus remained on the board samples, further tests were carried out at 5, 15, and 30-minute time points.
The results were conclusive: within 5 minutes of infection with a large viral load, there was zero viable virus persisting either on the surface or within the Sundeala FR board itself.
The Impact
As the economy struggles for recovery amidst local lockdowns, the construction industry is being called on to navigate the waters of the ‘new normal’ with a new set of safety considerations around reducing the transmission of coronavirus.
A new study from Australia shows that coronavirus can persist on some non-porous surfaces, such as glass and stainless steel, for as long as 28 days, raising serious concern about high-touch surfaces such as metal door plates.
The efficacy of Sundeala FR against potential viral transmission is game changing for public health where Sundeala FR is being used throughout schools, universities and offices as door push-plates, social distancing screens and wall cladding in high-footfall circulation spaces. It also a welcome antidote to the ‘Plastic Pandemic’ that has seen the use of imported virgin plastic escalate on a previously unimaginable scale during Covid-19. Sundeala FR is manufactured in the UK from 100% UK sourced ‘waste’ cellulose fibres that would otherwise end up in landfill.
The need for fast, disruption free and, above all, safe construction has never been more pressing. Sundeala FR is manufactured in the UK and can be delivered on a ‘just in time’ basis to be installed during offsite fabrication, either as 2400 x 1200mm sheets or cut to size as required.
•  100% free from human coronavirus within 5 minutes of infection both on the surface and inside the board itself.
• Fully circular product manufactured from recycled waste materials and able to be endlessly re-manufactured into new board at the end of life.
•  Made from natural cellulose fibres and metallic minerals.
•  Wet-process fibreboard utilising hydrocarbon bonding for strength. Zero use of chemical binders or VOCs in the production process.
•  BS EN 13501-1 Class B Fire Rated: suitable for use as a wall lining in circulation spaces, corridors, and high-risk rooms such as science labs and kitchens.
• 25-year surface warranty


Offsite Solutions, the UK’s leading bathroom pod manufacturer, has been awarded the first contract for its new enhanced and floorless GRP pods developed for the build-to-rent sector – a £1.6m project for ISG in Cardiff.

Offsite Solutions will manufacture over 400 bathroom and shower pods for Cardiff Interchange – an £89m flagship, mixed-use construction project for developer Rightacres Property. The scheme is designed by Holder Mathias Architects.




The bathrooms and shower rooms for 318 apartments for the private rental sector will be manufactured and fitted out offsite and installed on each floor as the building structure rises. This solution will reduce the build programme and the number of trades required on site and will enhance quality.

A UK industry first, Offsite Solutions’ new floorless GRP pods allow the bathrooms to be installed directly onto the floor slab to achieve continuous level floors throughout each apartment whilst minimising floor build up for each storey. This innovation in pod technology is ideal for build-to-rent schemes.

The enhanced GRP pods are also designed to have a strong aesthetic to appeal to prospective tenants. At Cardiff Interchange, the pods will have a tile-effect finish to the bath and shower areas, an inset feature wall with natural grey porcelain tiles and a recess above the bath with a coloured back panel.

Other design details for this project include a flush mirror-fronted cabinet which runs the full width of the bathrooms, wall-mounted toilet and hand basin, grey coloured vanity top, heated ladder towel rail, over-bath shower, and feature panels behind the toilet and basin finished in arctic grey. The shower and bath pods have shower trays and baths pre-installed and both have rain head and handheld showers.

Commenting on the specification of bathroom pods for this scheme, Jason Hyett, Director of developers Rightacres Property, said, “We needed little persuading of the advantages of applying offsite construction and a manufacturing process for the bathrooms on this development. The floorless option is an innovative solution to ensuring continuous level floors throughout the apartments. From our initial factory visit, we were impressed with the way Offsite Solutions approached the design process and their flexibility to accommodate our precise requirements at every stage. The first pods look great and we look forward to all the units being delivered to site later this year.”

Simon Pritchard, Senior Design Manager at ISG said, “Where there is a high degree of repetition in the bathroom layouts, pods are the ideal solution. The use of offsite construction reduces the number of fit-out trades on site and gives us the benefit of a much faster build programme. We have used Offsite Solutions’ pods on other projects and have found the quality of bathroom manufacture in a factory is consistently improved.”

James Stephens, Managing Director of Offsite Solutions, said, “We have had a lot of interest from build-to-rent developers in our new enhanced GRP bathroom pods. We have estimated that GRP pods can reduce maintenance costs by over 50 per cent compared to traditionally built bathrooms. The capital costs are around 15 to 20 per cent less than steel-framed bathroom pods. The figures make these new pods a very compelling proposition for developers in the private rental sector.”

All Offsite Solutions’ GRP bathroom pods have a panelised construction which is unique in the UK. This creates vertical walls and 90° corners to allow easier integration and the use of standard door sets to avoid further work on site. This design also improves aesthetics by avoiding tapered walls which you have with pods created from single GRP moulds.

Offsite Solutions offers the UK’s largest range of pods to suit many different building types and applications. Options include steel-framed bathroom pods with porcelain-tiled finishes for high-end apartments, PRS, student residences and hotels; robust and low maintenance GRP composite shower pods for student accommodation, build-to-rent, care homes, social housing and healthcare; hybrid pods for specialist projects, and award-winning demountable GRP pods for ease of installation in refurbishment schemes.

Offsite Solutions has also developed steel-framed utility pods for apartments or studios for build-to-rent or build-to-sell developments.


Offsite Solutions Website



Deanestor, one of the UK’s leading contract furniture and fit-out specialists, has announced a record order intake, with £12.5m of orders secured in the last six months. This is a significant increase on the same period in 2018.

Contracts have been awarded for delivery through to 2020 and across a diverse range of sectors – private rental schemes, student accommodation, healthcare and education. A large proportion of the projects are for repeat clients – both developers and contractors – following Deanestor’s successful performance on previous schemes.

The trend towards larger furniture and fit-out contracts of over £1m continues for Deanestor, requiring a high degree of technical design input and project management from its teams. The latest contracts to be awarded are also spread across the UK – in England, Scotland and Wales.

Commenting on the record order intake, William Tonkinson, Managing Director of Deanestor, said, “We are delighted with the performance of the business in the first half of this year. We have been very successful in diversifying into new markets which has provided a healthy forward order book and a solid foundation for the business in an uncertain economic environment.”

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“We are the longest established furniture and fit-out provider to the NHS with a track record that spans more than 70 years. It is fantastic to see this work continue but also the success of our move into other areas such as high-quality kitchens for major private residential developments.”

£6.8m of the orders are for the manufacture and fitting of fixed furniture for new build-to-rent schemes and student residences. These include a contract to fit out 656 bedrooms and provide over 200 kitchens for student accommodation provider urbanest in London, and a third student project for the development arm of Mace in Oxford.

In the healthcare sector, Deanestor will be providing furniture for the £350m Grange University Hospital in Gwent for Aneurin Bevan University Health Board – another project for main contractor Laing O’Rourke.

Deanestor’s largest project in the education sector is a £3m contract awarded by Robertson Construction for the new £55m Inverurie Community Campus. The Mansfield-based manufacturer will furnish and fit out 360 rooms across the campus in just 26 weeks. This will include the manufacture of 1,950 metres of shelving, 670 metres of laminate and laboratory worktops, 400 base and wall storage units, over 80 teaching walls, and more than 500 items of metalwork.

Deanestor provides high quality contract furniture solutions to construction clients and contractors for healthcare, education, student accommodation, build-to-rent and laboratory projects – both new build and refurbishment. It offers bespoke design services to meet specific project requirements and is responsible for installation to provide a seamless approach for its customers and a single point of contact.



Offsite Solutions, the UK’s leading bathroom pod manufacturer, has announced £32m of orders for more than 9,500 units in the last six months – a record performance and a significant increase on the same period last year.

The business also has a healthy live quote bank, which has increased in value by around 10 per cent.

James Stephens, Managing Director of Offsite Solutions, said, “This performance contrasts sharply with the UK manufacturing figures released last month which indicate a downturn and a six-year low in production. We have continued to grow the business year-on-year and the outlook remains buoyant with such a strong forward order book. The volume of UK projects using bathroom pods continues to increase, as this approach to offsite manufacturing has become a more standard method of procurement, particularly in sectors such as build-to-rent.”

“We have continued to grow market share and diversify into new areas such as retirement living and timber-framed housing. This is testament to our team’s consistently outstanding performance in delivering every bathroom project to the highest standards, and is reflected in the high number of repeat customers we now have.”


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“There is still great uncertainty around Brexit, but the use of bathroom pods gives contractors and developers a much higher degree of certainty, as costs can be fixed at an earlier point in the construction procurement cycle. A UK manufacturer will also minimise any risk of currency fluctuations.”

“Brexit will continue to reduce the amount of site-based labour available, so by moving bathroom construction into a factory environment, the risk of inflationary increases from labour and materials is significantly reduced. Our customers also benefit from a better engineered, higher quality product. The UK is becoming a genuine market leader in this sector of manufacturing.”

Contracts have been awarded in the last six months for both steel-framed and GRP composite bathroom pods and across a range of sectors – build-to-rent, apartments for market sale, hotels and retirement living, with student accommodation representing the largest market for bathroom pods so far this year. These projects will be delivered through to 2020.

The latest contracts include more than 500 pods for student accommodation developer urbanest at Vine Street in London which is under construction by Balfour Beatty, and 778 steel-framed pods for Henry Construction in Croydon – a build-to-rent scheme for HUB. Among the GRP pod contracts is a 380-bathroom student project for Create Construction in Liverpool, designed by Falconer Chester for developers Niveda.

Offsite Solutions offers the UK’s largest range of bathroom pods to suit different building types and applications. Options include steel-framed pods with porcelain-tiled finishes for high-end apartments, build-to-rent, student residences and hotels; robust and low maintenance GRP composite pods for student accommodation, care homes, social housing and healthcare; hybrid pods for specialist projects, and award-winning demountable GRP pods for ease of installation in refurbishment schemes.