Ways to deal well with outside
Fascia, soffit system and guttering
As a population we might be living longer every year, but that doesn’t mean many of the residents of new housing for the over-55s in Arbourthorne, Sheffield will see out the Marley guttering on their homes. Given the product’s 50-year guarantee, it would be quite a feat for any of them to remember to grab a cuppa to watch the replacement of the aluminium system when 2066 rolls around and they’ll be 110 – or older. The system won’t offer much entertainment for anyone gazing out the window until then, either, as the product’s virtually maintenance free.
Resin bound rubber-based paving
Buzfeed Mental Stability Quiz Question No 15. Given the image above, what happens next?
A) go up the drive and hope to feast sumptuously in the house of a Russian gas oligarch?
B) Run away before a gamekeeper armed with a shotgun chases you?
C) Wait behind a tree for the fabled ghost of the headless horseman to arrive, or
D) Examine the illusion of gravel presented by Trailflex’s highly porous recycled car tyre and stone mix, which allows the rainwater to be absorbed into the ground and keeps the nearby trees healthy?
Porous paving products
Check your answers! Mostly As: delusions of grandeur and you will probably vote to leave the EU. Bs: you became paranoid after failing an audition for
a bit part in the last series of Downtown Abbey. Mostly Cs: you have an overactive imagination and an underactive thyroid. Mostly Ds: you’re an environmental engineer, marvelling how Sudstech’s paving at Canary Wharf’s CrossRail uses naturally sourced UK stones with special resins which stretch to avoid the delamination often occurring through the freeze/thaw cycle.
It’s not easy being a landscaping material: you’ve got to stand out from tarmac roads while blending in with the houses you provide access to. This is particularly so for modern homes in the countryside. A good solution seems to be Bituchem’s Natratex Cotswold, 700m² of which was used on Bellway Homes’ new Bluecoats estate footpaths, in Sheffield, to complement the stone finish of the houses. It can be used for both pedestrian and vehicular areas and laid all year round, proving the old adage that discretion is the better part of parkour.
Green roof plus PVs
Hmmm, green roof or PV array… how best to advertise your environmental credentials? Claim the moral high ground by having both. In Bauder’s BioSolar system the front edge of the photovoltaic panels sits 300mm above the green roof, which not only keeps them clear of the vegetation as it grows but provides shaded areas, allowing a broader range of plants to thrive. That’s good news for bees and other insects, and if they’re happy, we’re happy. The system could be a good way to clinch planning on new builds, but can also be retrofitted.
Linear drainage system
As Oscar Wilde observed, we are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. Perhaps best to be a bit more pragmatic after heavy rain, or we might find ourselves looking down at a nasty splash over our best trousers because we didn’t see the evil-minded taxi driver swooping towards the puddle by the kerb. The relaunched Charcon Safeticurb linear drainage system should it more difficult for them in future while having a smoother bore for improved hydraulic flow. Manufacturer Aggregate Industries says installation is quicker too.
Flood control system
Nestled in the Vale of Mowbray, Northallerton sounds like a picturesque spot. But a vale isn’t such a good place to be when it’s raining cats and dogs – especially with the Turker and Sun becks running through the town, making Northallerton susceptible to flash flooding.
Now they’ve been tamed by a flood alleviation scheme using Hydro-Brake’s vortex flow control system to hold water in flood storage basins upstream. With ‘100-year rainfall events’ now happening what seems like every few months, it seems a good investment.
Stone landscaping products
Natural Paving Products
Child labourers make up about 10 percent of India’s workforce according to the UN Development Programme. UK company Natural Paving Products, which prides itself on ethical sourcing, says such poor communities often surround areas where stone is quarried, so it’s supporting a campaign to eradicate child exploitation. It is funding 10 new villages guaranteeing education for children to the age of 14, with a ban on child labour and child marriage. NPP owns several Indian quarries and recently opened a new factory there.