The different types of cladding for buildings

Exterior cladding for buildings takes many forms and technically includes roofing products as well as cladding for exterior walls.

The UK’s National Building Specification, now known simply as the NBS, lists nearly 30 different types of building cladding, including roof tiling, slating, shingle and thatch.

Of these, 18 apply in a brief form to minor works, while all 27 apply in an abridged form to intermediate works.

What are the NBS cladding categories?

The full list of NBS cladding categories for walls and roofs includes:

  • H10: Patent Glazing
  • H11: Curtain Walls
  • H13: Structural Glass
  • H14: Precast Concrete & Glass Lens/Paver Roof, Floor and Pavement Lights
  • H20: Rigid Sheet Cladding
  • H21: Timber Weatherboards
  • H22: Plastic Weatherboards
  • H30: Fibre Cement Profiled Sheet Cladding
  • H31: Metal Flat/Profiled Sheet Cladding
  • H32: Plastic Profiled Sheet Cladding
  • H41: Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic Cladding
  • H42: Precast Concrete Cladding
  • H43: Metal Composite Cladding
  • H51: Natural Stone Slab Cladding
  • H60: Plain Roof Tiling
  • H61: Fibre Cement Slates
  • H62: Natural Slate
  • H64: Wood Shingle & Shake Roofing
  • H65: Single Lap Roof Tiles
  • H67: Metal Single Lap Tiles
  • H71: Lead Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H72: Aluminium Strip/Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H73: Copper Strip/Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H74: Zinc Strip/Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H75: Stainless Steel Strip/Sheet Flashings & Coverings
  • H90: Tensile Fabric Coverings
  • H91: Thatch Roofing

Waterproofing and surface finishes for buildings

There is a separate NBS category for waterproof cladding and roofing, including cement mortar tanking and damp-proofing, mastic asphalt, liquid-applied coatings, flexible sheet waterproofing, reinforced bitumen membranes and single-layer polymeric sheets.

In addition, there’s a category for surface finishes – such as ceramic tiling and mosaics, rendered coatings, and flooring including screeds, resin flooring, carpeting and so on.

Again, there is abridged guidance for intermediate works and an abbreviated list of subcategories for minor projects.

Cladding for new-builds and building fabric refurbishment

At hebs Group we install suitable cladding on new-build premises, taking into account everything from aesthetic considerations to safety and insulating performance.

We can also install appropriate exterior cladding and roofing during building fabric refurbishment projects, giving your property a new look while protecting it against exterior threats like weather conditions, heavy rain and avoidable energy leakage.

 

To find out more, contact hebs Group today to speak to a member of our team about any upcoming projects you might have planned, and how we can help by fitting the best cladding and roofing for the job as part of your exterior building fabric. Call us 0151 2360707 or email info@hebs-group.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

How do cell and telecom towers work?

A cell tower, telecom tower or mobile mast is a structure equipped with antennae and other necessary electronics, transmitters, receivers and power sources needed to relay a mobile phone signal.

When you make a call, your mobile phone connects to the nearest available cell tower (or the nearest mobile mast on your provider’s network) and that tower sends your outgoing signal, as well as sending incoming voice and other data back to your handset.

It’s a similar process to the way a radio transmitter broadcasts music and other radio shows – and in fact the signal from your smartphone uses the radio frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

How many cell towers do we need?

You can spot cell towers in many urban locations, for example on top of tall buildings or on poles outside petrol stations where they are able to provide a strong signal to a large surrounding area.

An elevated, unobstructed position is better, as passing through any physical objects can attenuate the radio frequency signal and reduce the range, quality or both of the mobile mast.

In densely populated areas, such as city centres, it’s normal to find a larger number of mobile masts, while in rural areas like farms and small villages there might only be one or a few at most to serve the local population and anyone passing through.

How mobile masts let you keep moving

Once you place your call, you are not limited to keeping within range of the first cell tower you connect to.

Instead, the base station that handles your call can keep you connected while transferring you from one telecom tower to the next – so you can make long mobile phone calls during journeys without having to redial.

The base station automatically switches you to the tower with the strongest signal, which is why in rural locations with fewer towers, your call quality might rise and fall as you move around.

Why cell towers are important

Good cell towers are crucial to allowing people to make and receive calls, as well as send and receive data and text messages.

In remote locations, it’s important to provide mobile masts that offer good strong signals over the widest possible area, with backup power to keep providing that service without interruption.

Meanwhile in urban areas, it’s often more about erecting enough mobile masts to serve the dense local population, including at peak times like New Year’s Eve when the local capacity can determine whether well-wishers’ messages get through on time or not.

 

To find out more about our telecommunication services please contact us today. You can call our specialist Neil by emailing Neil.Kerrigan@hebs-group.co.uk or calling on

07534 854269.

 

 

Gas safety: What to check?

First of all, let’s be clear: If you have a gas safety concern, don’t chance it. Call a hebs Group engineer for advice and if you can smell gas when you shouldn’t be able to, call the National Gas Emergencies number on 0800 111 999.

With that being said, there are some precautions you can take in the workplace to make sure you are on top of any gas safety issues you might encounter on a regular basis.

These relate to the supply of gas to your premises, the way you use gas on your premises, and some of the common gas safety risks that are harder to spot.

Checking your gas supply

Know where your mains gas supply is located on your premises so that in an emergency, you can shut it off or show an engineer where to shut it off.

If your gas supply has a simple stop tap on it, then it might be safe to stop the supply yourself in the event of a leak, so the risk is controlled even before an engineer can get to you.

Larger business premises often have multiple places where the supply can be cut off – while this is a good thing as you can contain a leak in just one area, make sure that the tap or valve you use to do this is the correct one and doesn’t just disconnect a non-leaking section of pipe.

Using gas safely

Gas presents a risk of explosion and fire, so it’s important to take appropriate precautions to use it safely at all times.

Make sure any areas where gas is commonly used on your premises have the appropriate Zone 0, 1 or 2 designation and that employees know what this means in terms of personal protective equipment (PPE) and suitable working practices.

Install gas alarms so that in the event of a leak, you are alerted immediately. These can be connected to valves that automatically disconnect the supply during an alarm state, so personnel are safeguarded against the risk of explosion more quickly.

Hidden dangers of gas

Carbon monoxide is one of the biggest hidden dangers of gas, especially if you burn gas in an area where it does not have sufficient oxygen supply to fully combust.

CO cannot be seen, heard, tasted or smelled, so the first way you might notice it is when it has already started to poison you, leading to tiredness and light-headedness.

Make sure any areas where gas is commonly used are well ventilated and fitted with carbon monoxide alarms, so that if CO starts to accumulate where personnel are working, you can take immediate action to prevent harmful effects and potential loss of life.

 

At hebs Group our engineers have experience working with all types of industrial gas installations, so we are just a phone call away on 0151 2360707 if you need more advice on any of the above.

Flooding: car park drainage solutions

We are – we hope – coming through the worst of the winter weather and into spring, but unpredictable heavy rain is a fact of life especially as our climate becomes warmer.

If your parking area was affected by flooding during the recent storms, it might be worth looking into some car park drainage solutions.

Of course, in severe storms it’s not possible to absolutely guarantee your car park won’t flood but having the right drainage solutions in place can help to prevent standing water from accumulating during a relative short downpour.

By improving the drainage from your car park, you help to make sure that water enters the sewers as it should, reducing the risk of your premises flooding and helping your local area to handle higher levels of rainfall too.

When car park drains go wrong

In recent weeks hebs Flowtech have been called out to take a look at several examples of car park drainage systems gone wrong:

  • At Sharston Ambulance Station, we jetted a manhole outlet to ensure water could drain down the covering grid as intended.
  • At Crewe Ambulance Station, we jetted another manhole to clear a blockage and restore free-flowing drainage.
  • At Dukinfield Ambulance Station, we opted to plunge a blockage using drain rods, removing debris so water could flow again.
  • At Rochdale Ambulance Station, we used gulley grabs to clean out a tightly packed blockage and then power washed the drain to flush it clean.

Using different techniques that were suitable to each challenge, we were able to completely clear out the blocked drains, leaving them looking as good as new.

Why car park drains get blocked

It’s inevitable that car park drains – like any drains, really – will become clogged up over time.

That’s because as water drains into them, it can carry with it debris like mud, silt and leaves, which will eventually start to accumulate into a blockage.

You need to let the water into the drain, but you also need to keep the debris out – which is why good car park drainage solutions with the right kinds of grids and grates are a good start.

We know the coming months will bring their fair share of heavy rain, even once the summer arrives, so we encourage all our customers to get their car park drains cleared out while the sun shines.

 

If you’d like hebs Flowtech to take a look at your pipes, or you’re interested in getting better car park drainage systems installed, contact us today by calling 0151 2360707 or emailing info@hebs-group.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.

Tips on how to minimise heat loss in hospitality buildings

The hospitality industry is under increasing pressure to operate sustainably, and that includes improving energy efficiency to such a degree that 100% of your energy demands can be met from renewable sources.

If you are able to achieve this, there are potentially significant financial benefits to be derived from doing so, especially if you have on-site renewable energy generation.

One of the biggest sources of energy expenditure for hospitality operators is heat. Keeping interiors warm without losing large amounts of energy to the atmosphere is a key challenge to achieving a minimal carbon footprint and efficient use of green energy.

Here are some simple tips that can help you to minimise heat loss in hospitality buildings – these are steps you can take immediately but should be a precursor to a complete green energy audit to ensure your premises are as efficient as possible.

Thermostats

Create a clear policy about the temperature staff-controlled thermostats should be set to in summer and in winter (thermostats should be set to a lower temperature in winter when ambient conditions are also colder).

Another way to minimise heat loss is to keep windows closed when a space is being artificially cooled or heated but open them if the temperature differential from the interior to the exterior is in the desired direction.

When possible, turn off heating and cooling equipment to avoid wasted energy, and reset thermostats in guest rooms to a sensible value.

Reception

At your reception desk and in your offices, use sensible settings to switch computers to standby and automatically power down monitors when not in use.

Try to make sure your front doors are not left open unnecessarily. This can be challenging with regular pedestrian traffic in and out of the building but it’s a major source of heat loss.

You might also want to provide guests with written information on arrival to help them understand your policy on energy efficiency and how to use the air conditioning in their room properly.

Other Areas

Kitchens are a major consumer of heat energy. Cover pans to retain heat and try to avoid having ovens switched on when they are not in use.

Turn down the temperature of hot plates between uses, keep fridge doors closed and avoid putting food in the chiller or freezer if it is still warm.

Laundry rooms should wash linens at the lowest appropriate temperature and avoid excessive machine drying.

Finally if you have a heated swimming pool on-site, avoid heating it when not necessary and try to keep it covered when not in use to retain residual heat – it all adds up to better thermal efficiency, lower energy bills and a reduced carbon footprint.

 

Call us on 0151 2360707 or email info@hebs-group.co.uk if you would like to know more about our hospitality services and ways in which you can improve your building’s energy efficiency.

 

The Advantages of Green Communication

One of the major trends hebs Group see in our work as comprehensive civil engineering and telecommunications installation specialists is the move towards Green Communication.

Telecommunications and networking – including high-speed mobile, copper and fibre internet access – have become utilities in their own right.

So, just as we all become increasingly aware of the carbon footprint of electricity from non-renewable and renewable energy sources, water resource efficiency and the implications of burning natural gas, Green Communication is a parallel trend that governs the way we keep in contact.

In particular, Green Communication is enabling entirely new ways to work, communicate and collaborate, allowing companies to do more and improve efficiency, without an associated increase in carbon emissions, greenhouse gases and energy consumption.

How can Green Communication help?

Just a generation ago, most office workers would commute every day, without fail, to their company headquarters or branch office, as would many employees across a wide range of industries and sectors.

Modern communication methods have made it much easier to carry out many jobs from anywhere in the world with internet access, leading to the rise of flexible working and remote workers based in their own homes or smaller regional branch offices.

Collaboration is still possible and can be extremely efficient, supported by face-to-face communication via videoconferencing or VoIP conference calls to put teams virtually in the same room together.

Green networking technologies

Beyond voice and video calls, green networking technologies are improving energy efficiency in other ways.

Company intranets provide a digital ecosystem for file sharing and collaborative editing, while reducing the demand for local on-site data centre storage space.

Server virtualisation means fewer physical machines can run more applications on virtual servers, while deduplication removes redundant copies of files for even more efficient storage.

The future of Green Communication

As we look to the future, Green Communication is a transformative trend with the potential to positively disrupt working practices, save energy and greenhouse gas emissions, but also improve efficiency and productivity.

This is all supported by increasingly green infrastructure, such as telecommunications masts built on previously brownfield sites and powered by their own renewable energy supply such as solar panels or a dedicated wind turbine.

At hebs Group we are working hard to drive this technology forwards, installing the infrastructure that will deliver 5G and beyond, while keeping a careful eye on the environmental impact of telecommunications infrastructure to ensure it delivers the best possible benefits for future generations.

 

Call us on 0151 2360707 or email info@hebs-group.co.uk if you would like to know more about our telecommunications.