With lockdown restrictions beginning to ease and the education sector reopening across the UK & Ireland, perhaps now is the time to think about improving your school’s sports facilities and by doing so potentially create some new revenue streams? Or perhaps it is the time to future proof the internal space requirements that may become the new norm.  Either way Rocklyn can deliver practical, bespoke and value for money solutions to these requirements.

Rocklyn, a specialist design and build contractor, with strong engineering roots, has been delivering premium sports structures to the education sector for over 20 years. In 2019, Rocklyn was acquired  by one of the UK and Ireland’s largest construction firms, McLaughlin & Harvey. This relationship has given Rocklyn the platform to further develop its business and offer its state-of-the-art all-purpose fabric structures across an even wider range of sectors.
Within the education sector, Rocklyn’s primary offering involves designing and building Fabric Air Domes and Fabric Sports Structures for Tennis Courts, Multi-Use Sports Halls & Outdoor Areas, Football Pitches and Gyms. Rocklyn – which prides itself in exemplary levels of quality and client service – has delivered projects of this nature for Universities, Colleges and Schools across the public and private sector in the UK and Ireland.
Rocklyn’s Air Domes are a cost effective, fast-track alternative to traditional buildings and enable year-round usage of artificial playing surfaces. With a life expectancy exceeding 20 years, they can be designed for an all year-round, or purely seasonal basis. With a wide range of options these lightweight, versatile structures combine speed of assembly / disassembly with the strength, safety, and finish of a permanent building. They may also include optional items such as heaters, insulation, back-up generators and specialised lighting controls.

The futuristic-looking Air Domes can be used for football, tennis, basketball, swimming pools, golf ranges, indoor hockey or even beach volleyball and they have many unique advantages including a patented ‘pressure-frame’ which provides a complete seal at the base of the structure. Other benefits include, efficient internal lighting system, ability to withstand extreme weather conditions, a coloured ‘hitting’ background and excellent acoustics.
Rocklyn’s other product range of framed fabric Sport Structures are also designed to provide protection from the elements, so sports can be played all year round. Rocklyn uses the industry leading Veldeman system and offers bespoke solutions which meet specific customer needs, including lighting, heating, and insulation. Rocklyn sports structures can be erected over new or existing facilities.
One of the key selling points of the sports structures and indoor training facilities are the retractable or removable side walls, which create an open atmosphere during the summer whilst protecting against rain and overheating. The upper walls and translucent roof also provide a great glare-free light quality, which creates a perfectly, naturally lit playing area. Bespoke LED lighting designs can be used to replicate this once night falls. As a result, savings can be made on lighting costs. Furthermore, these sports structures can also be insulated to meet the necessary legislation requirements, thereby allowing for savings on heating costs too.
What about the best of both worlds?  If your school already has all weather facilities or is considering new ones, recent history has taught that you can’t have too much internal space. Adaptable spaces can be designed that have the flexibility to change from sports facilities to exam halls or between assembly halls and vaccination centres.
Rocklyn is passionate about delivering sports structures of the highest quality and believe in its importance for young people. Rocklyn has completed a host of high profile projects within the education sector at prestigious locations such as, Ellesmere College in Shropshire, Sanford Power, Merchiston Castle School in Edinburgh, and Our Lady’s Grammar School in Newry.

If you would like to explore how Rocklyn can help you deliver your next sports project, contact Ben Stephenson on 07841 802636 or ben.stephenson@rocklyn.co.uk



Engineering and construction experts Fordingbridge continue to utilise their high quality range of steel and glulam canopy and walkway solutions to increase year-round usable space in schools and academies throughout the UK.
Working to enhance both new-build and existing schools with their offering, the design, manufacture and installation team at the firm, continue to provide their expertise to educators, architects and contractors alike, ensuring that outside space is not only weather protected but also aesthetically pleasing.

The company provide:
• Industry leading guarantees as testament to their confidence in their engineering
• Complete in-house design and build service, ensuring any space can be covered
• Wide-span canopy installations, for playgrounds and sport
• Nationwide installations
• Metal, glulaminated timber and tensile canopy designs




With the UK looking to spend more time outdoors, and with the proven additional benefits learning in an outside environment brings, now is the perfect time to consider enhancing your school building project with a canopy.
All Fordingbridge structures are engineered so as to withstand all weather, meaning that they can not only provide shade in the summer, but also wind and rain cover in the colder months. This means that any age, from EYFS to KS4, will benefit from the coverage on offer throughout the year.
If you have been tasked with enhancing an area to provide more weather protection, or you are looking to include a canopy or covered walkway as part of your project, Fordingbridge are here to help. Contact the team today to see what they can bring to your project.



A PLANNING application has been submitted for a £46 million new high school at Wallyford as major new housebuilding in the area continues.

The Wallyford Learning Campus would be constructed on farmland west of Masons Way and is expected to take about two years to build.

A playground, sports pitches, landscaping, fencing, lighting, CCTV and an external storage enclosure are included in the plan, which has been lodged by East Lothian Council for the site next to Inchview Crescent, north of the new Wallyford Primary School.

About 2,050 new homes are set to be built in the Wallyford area.

In April 2016, approval was given by the council to consult on the proposal to establish a new, additional secondary school in Wallyford to serve the Musselburgh area.

A report on the public consultation revealed that of the 423 questionnaire responses received, a clear majority supported the proposal.

At that time, it was stated that the new school would accommodate pupils from the catchment areas of Wallyford Primary School and Pinkie St Peter’s Primary School in Musselburgh.

A planning statement said the design of the learning campus would include a new community centre to replace the current set-up at Wallyford.



A 92-space car park is proposed.

The new building would provide a school of excellence for pupils with severe and complex needs, an adult day centre and tots and teens facilities “to ensure educational facilities are enhanced for a wide variety of users through construction of the new facility”.

It would provide “brand, new, modern facilities” accessible to all while offering access to other facilities in the building such as a learning resource centre, drama spaces, dining facilities and sports halls and fitness suites.

Also announced last week was Scottish Government funding for the new high school and proposed new Whitecraig Primary School as part of a £33 billion investment in Scotland’s future.

The Infrastructure Investment Plan (IIP) and Capital Spending Review, both published last Thursday, confirm a five-year plan of investment to support 45,000 jobs and build healthcare facilities, schools and local facilities across Scotland.

The Capital Spending Review sets out the detailed capital budget allocations for each of the five financial years from 2021-22.

Learning estate projects including the secondary school at Wallyford and Whitecraig Primary School are included in the budget plan.

Councillor Shamin Akhtar, cabinet spokesperson for education and children’s services, said: “East Lothian is one of the fastest growing council areas in Scotland.

“The new secondary school at Wallyford, which will provide additional provision for the Musselburgh area and include community learning facilities, and a new primary school at Whitecraig, are important projects, supporting our vision for dynamic and thriving local communities.

“Our approach to new and improved schools is linked to the delivery of new homes, including affordable housing and other infrastructure, helping to create the increasingly prosperous and sustainable East Lothian we all want to see.

“These projects build on our plans to deliver new build, expanded and modernising programmes at education facilities across the county.”

Ward councillor Colin McGinn said: “I am delighted to see this project come forward to this stage.

“When you see the magnificent Wallyford Primary School standing a few yards away, I am heartened that the council are again engaging with the same partners to deliver this new facility.

“I am convinced it will become a space that will benefit the whole community in the years to come and I am so pleased for the constituents in my ward who will gain another fantastic space for children, young people and families in Wallyford.”

Fellow ward councillor Kenny McLeod welcomed the funding for the new schools, saying: “I welcome any investment and it is great for my ward.”

Musselburgh councillor John Williamson said: “I am pleased that progress is being made with the new school, which will hopefully be completed within the two-year timescale.

“The community facilities included in the new campus will provide a much-needed and welcome resource for the local community.

“The Scottish Government funding for the new school is also welcomed.”

Councillor Katie Mackie, Musselburgh, said she was “delighted”, adding: As the population increases, it’s important we have the appropriate infrastructure to support new homes. A new high school is a very important part of the plan.”

Musselburgh MSP Colin Beattie added: “I am delighted the Scottish Government has provided a cash boost for vital infrastructure projects such as the investment in Wallyford high school and Whitecraig Primary School.”

A spokesman for East Lothian Council confirmed progress was being made, with hopes the new school in Wallyford could open in 2023.

He said: “The council was successful in its 2019 bid for Government funding to support two of the new schools in our capital plan. Both schools are part of the Scottish Government’s learning estate investment programme, which was announced in September 2019.

“The new Wallyford Learning Campus is at an advanced design stage, with some works starting over the summer and, subject to normal process and approvals, has a target opening date for pupils of August 2023.

“The council welcomes the funding package and, as part of this programme, the council will be funding the capital cost of the school up front, including the use of financial contributions from new development, and will then receive 50 per cent of funding from the Scottish Government over a period of 25 years once the school is opened.

“The new Whitecraig Primary School is scheduled for opening in April 2024 and design works are now progressing.

“Fifty per cent of the replacement cost of the existing school will also come from the Scottish Government’s learning estate investment programme, paid once the school is opened.

“The council will fund the capital costs of the new school up front, including the use of financial contributions due from development planned in Whitecraig.”


Source: East Lothian Courier


Be it covered dining areas, or space for sports and socialising, the pandemic has highlighted existing issues at many schools. When considering your next project, it is the best time to plan improving your external environment, and there is a firm who are happy to work with you.

For over 55 years, Fordingbridge, the West Sussex engineering and construction contractor, have used their expertise in the design and build of outside structures to help educators maximise use of their school footprint. Underused courtyards have been converted into covered dining areas. Playgrounds have been improved so they can still be used on rainy days. Social space has been allowed for, reducing corridor congestion during breaks.

With a host of structures, from simple covered walkways to link buildings, to wide-span canopies to cover MUGAs and courts, the firm offer a full design and build offering from their offices. This allows educators, contractors and architects alike to tap into the knowledge of the firm and collaborate to create a practical, reliable and cost effective covered space.

Working with steel, glulaminated timber (“glulam”) and tensile structures, the Fordingbridge offering is a complete win-win for both educators and contractors, taking the structural and design responsibility on their shoulders and working together to create usable spaces which fulfil the needs of the school.

Likewise, collaborating with architects to help them achieve their brief is a regular part of Fordingbridge’s undertaking. Working in unison to ensure buildability and value is added to each project, their own design team work with architects and specifiers to aid with planning, specification and final delivery of canopy and walkway projects throughout the UK and Ireland.

With the importance of properly used outside space highlighted by the pandemic, when designed with care, it provides a fast, cost effective and aesthetic solution to additional space at your school.




Addington School is for young people with special educational needs

Leading brick slip cladding specialist, Eurobrick, has been supplying its systems to the education sector for 30 years and, more recently, with offsite construction specialist Reds10 to supply two new school projects in Reading; Green Park Village Primary Academy and Addington School.

Green Park Village Primary Academy is a new two-storey primary school that is situated within a new housing development of 1400 homes. Designed and built using a steel framed volumetric modular design, the 2,400m2 school project also benefits from SMART building technology to create an energy efficient space.

Eurobrick’s P-Clad system was chosen as part of a number of finishes for the exterior, with around 1200m2 installed with specially cut 22mm thick Vandersanden Corum brick slips and corners and Eurobrick’s specially formulated Europoint mortar in Light Sandstone.

The development was shortlisted for two categories at the Offsite Awards and one at the Building Awards 2020.

Addington School is for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. They needed to expand capacity due to an increase in applications, so Wokingham Borough Council embarked on a project to create a new space for Sixth Form pupils which would allow an additional 50 places at the school.

This 1000m2 steel framed volumetric modular design was created by HLM Architects and delivered by Reds10. Around 512m2 of P-Clad was installed with specially cut 22mm Olivier Karma White Grey stock brick slips and finished with Light Grey Europoint mortar. Whole bricks were also supplied for landscaping works.

The school won the School Procurement Awards and the Education Business Awards 2020.

P-Clad has proved very popular in the education sector with schools and universities alike. It is specially designed so that it can be fixed directly to steel frame structures as well as other batten or bracket systems, and is ideal for providing a brick finish rainscreen on prefabricated structures. As well as being extensively tested to achieve BBA certification, P-Clad is LABC registered and comes with Eurobrick’s own 25 year product guarantee.

These eye-catching buildings provide essential spaces for education that are sustainable and innovative in their design and delivery and show the quality and versatility that modular construction can offer.

You can find out more about Eurobrick’s systems and products at www.eurobrick.co.uk.





The brand-new High School Leckhampton will be Gloucestershire’s first carbon neutral school, helping Gloucestershire County Council achieve its carbon neutral ambitions for 2050. SoGlos gets an insight into the innovative plans from Evans Jones, the project’s lead planning consultant.

In line with Gloucestershire’s aims to be carbon neutral by 2050, The High School Leckhampton is set to become the county’s first carbon neutral school by its completion in 2022, with plans for an innovative, full photovoltaic roof.

SoGlos talks to David Jones, managing director and head of planning services at Evans Jones to discover how the build will set an important example for future school projects in Gloucestershire and beyond, talking all things green with the project’s lead planning consultant, Evans Jones.

What does zero carbon mean, and how it is different from carbon neutral?

Zero carbon means cutting greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide, to be as close to zero as possible. This involves any action that removes as much carbon in the atmosphere as is put into it – for instance, a building with solar panels that sends an equal amount of renewable energy to the grid as is taken out is net zero.

Zero carbon and carbon neutral are often used as interchangeable terms by commentators promoting sustainable developments. And while both are achieving similar goals, a building could be zero carbon by ensuring that it doesn’t utilise fossil fuels and all electricity supplied is from a 100 per cent renewable energy supplier.

By contrast, carbon neutral is where there is a balance between emissions generated and the degree to which they are offset, making the overall net emissions zero.

When we talk about zero carbon in relation to buildings, we are looking specifically at the fixed building services that use energy and will last a large proportion of the building’s lifespan. For example, heated systems, like boilers; hot water provision; internal lighting systems; fans and ventilation; and pumps for moving heating and water around a building.

What will make the new High School Leckhampton zero carbon?

The High School Leckhampton, as consented earlier this year, already proposed a high efficiency building with improvements upon standard building regulations in excess of 30 per cent.

However, after Gloucestershire County Council reaffirmed its commitment to be net zero by 2030 – and deliver a carbon neutral county by 2050 – the design team were tasked with reconfiguring the consented school to provide an exemplar for other school projects in Gloucestershire.

A revised planning application was submitted in August 2020, delivering upon the county council’s commitment by providing a whole roof photovoltaic solution – which, if consented, will deliver the first carbon neutral school in the county.

How can the education sector, as well as students and parents, benefit from zero carbon schools?

The benefits from moving towards a zero-carbon economy will impact us all – and students have been at the forefront of climate change protests, calling upon governments and decision makers to address the issue.

Those commissioning new buildings, or altering existing ones, both within the public and private sector are very aware of the responsibility they have to ensure that buildings deliver upon the carbon neutral agenda. Investing in education now provides the best chance of meeting long-term commitments to deliver a cleaner and sustainable planet.

Promoting carbon neutral buildings is also seen by some as an educational tool, engendering responsible behaviour in younger members of society. After all, if our schoolchildren are taught in inefficient, poorly insulated and carbon-producing buildings, then how can we expect the decision makers and designers of the future to embrace an agenda seeking carbon neutrality?

Can you describe Evans Jones’s role in the development? What planning work has been done to ensure the school will be zero carbon?

As lead planning consultant, Evans Jones worked with the design team – made up of architects, engineers, ecologists, landscape architects, arboriculturists, archaeologists, air quality consultants, transport consultants, glint and glare specialists and so on.

Our role was one of co-ordination and liaison, providing an interface between planning officers employed by the local authority, and those promoting and designing the development. This included preparing the overarching planning statement, liaising with decision makers and leading upon matters of public and community group engagement.

The design of a carbon neutral school requires input from many specialists – particularly in this instance, as we needed a primary design change and decided to provide photovoltaic cells over the entire roof area.

While it may sound straightforward, there are lots of practical considerations – including building loading; the protection of maintenance workers who will install and maintain the photovoltaic cells in the future; the potential negative impact resulting from the increased building height; and the potential for visual receptors to be negatively impacted by the reflective photovoltaic.

Any planning submissions requires that the decision maker weighs in the balance competing issues. In this instance, it is important to balance the slight increase in building height and potential for occasional glint and glare against the benefits associated with creating a carbon neutral building.

It’s the planning consultant’s role to ensure that the information is put to decision makers so they have a clear understanding of the proposal’s negative and positive aspects – to ensure that appropriate weight is afforded to all salient considerations.

The proposal to locate a new school in Leckhampton, while supported by the majority of those who commented upon the development proposals, has met with resistance from a proportion of the settled community.

Resistance manifested itself in an application to seek to have the planning permission overturned by judicial review. At the time of writing, a final decision is awaited from the courts as to whether permission will be granted for review of the original planning approval by the courts.

The application for judicial review from a local resident has delayed determination of the revised application which seeks to deliver upon the carbon neutral requirements and meet the county council’s climate change commitment.

The application which will deliver upon this commitment is now scheduled for consideration in January 2021. It is hoped that councillors determining the application when weighing the planning balance will agree that the benefits attributable to the provision of a carbon neutral school significantly outweigh any negative aspects associated with this proposal.

Until the building is completed in 2022, the school will be housed in a new modular building set to be constructed on Balcarras School campus.

The new modular building proposed at Balcarras School is also highly sustainable, comprising a timber frame structure with insulated panels fabricated from sustainable timber resources. Off-site factory assembly will significantly reduce waste, and result in a building of higher quality with higher levels of insulation and low levels of air leakage.

Balcarras Academy Trust has already invested in the provision of power-generating photovoltaic cells upon the roofs of the existing school buildings. The new modular building has been designed to accommodate additional photovoltaic cells, ‘future proofing’ it if any additional on-site generation is required.

The new building will be temperature-controlled via electrically-operated heating and ventilating units, making sure that there is no fossil fuel usage.

What is Evans Jones’s experience with zero carbon projects?

Within the scope of our consultancy services, we see our role at Evans Jones as one of educating and encouraging clients to – at the very least – consider sustainability within the design process. We aim to educate clients that achieving zero carbon buildings need not necessarily significantly increase the cost and has other associated benefits in terms of messaging to customers, employees and clients.

The degree of take-up is, regrettably, still highly dependent upon cost and clients’ perceived benefit. It is fair to say that many clients commissioning new buildings still remain resistant to meeting zero carbon standards where this will increase costs for no obvious immediate return.

Until we see greater legislative control and / or a tax regime which encourages the construction of zero carbon buildings, the rollout of zero carbon buildings and the investment in zero carbon technology will not become the norm.


Source: SoGlos


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Morgan Sindall Construction has been appointed as the preferred bidder for the first phase of a major new education campus in Alconbury Weald.

#schoolbuilding #development #countycouncil

The development will be driven by a working partnership between Morgan Sindall Construction, Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC), Huntingdon District Council (HDC), the Diocese of Ely Multi Academy Trust (DEMAT), the Spring Common Academy Trust (which will lead and manage the Prestley Wood Academy Special School) and the developer, Urban&Civic (U&C).

The project forms the next phase of Urban&Civic’s delivery of Alconbury Weald, which currently includes homes, a primary school, community facilities, green spaces, play areas and over one million square foot of business space. In total the development will comprise 5,000 new homes, health centre and retail hub, sustainable transport links, and over 500 acres of green space, including a country park.



Phase one includes the construction of 600-place secondary school with infrastructure to enable it to grow to provide 1,200 places in the future. The school has been named Alconbury Weald Church Academy, which will be run by the Diocese of Ely Multi Academy Trust.

Councillor Simon Bywater, chairman of the Children and Young People’s Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “The Alconbury Weald education campus is an important investment for the county council, and I’d like to congratulate Morgan Sindall Construction on their appointment. The development will have great benefit for the community and will provide a high-quality education facility to all children and young people.”

Rebecca Britton at Urban&Civic said: “Education lies at the heart of everything we do and is in the DNA of the places we craft. This education campus is an exciting new chapter for the development and will not only deliver landmark civic buildings at the heart of the new community, but also partners us with strong education providers in DEMAT and Spring Common Trusts. The opportunity to deliver much needed special needs capacity for the local area alongside an inspirational secondary school and sixth form is a fundamental part of our commitment to Alconbury Weald.”

Morgan Sindall Construction is currently on site at other school projects across the region including a new primary school in St Neots.


Source: The Hunts Post

A school in Cambridgeshire is set for a £14.6 million expansion which will see the creation of new classrooms, sports pitches and a new pre-school.

Cromwell Community College in Chatteris will receive a new look with all refurbishments set for completion in spring 2021.

Renders by construction company Morgan Sindall – who are carrying out the work – show the school’s vibrant new design and new buildings.

The addition of new facilities will mean the Active Learning Trust college will become the first school delivered for Cambridgeshire County Council to provide all-through education.


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The project will see the construction of a new pre-school, accommodation suitable and sufficient for 210 primary-aged children, and additional secondary teaching classrooms, as well as new food technology rooms, sports pitches, play areas and landscaping.

Works will also include internal renovation to the existing main college site, with the addition of a new performance hall and classrooms and the demolition of the existing art block.

Students will be given the chance to visit the site later this month and will be the first of a number of opportunities for students to see the project as it develops.

Jane Horn, principal, said: “It is an incredibly exciting time for us at the college with work underway on our new pre-school and primary phase offer.

“By expanding our provisions, we will become the first educational establishment in Cambridgeshire to provide education from four to 18 years old.

“Thank you to Morgan Sindall Construction for leading the build and we are excited to see the new facilities come to fruition.”

Classes will continue in the main site, with Morgan Sindall Construction’s project team implementing a number of processes to ensure minimum disruption.

Bob Ensch, area director at Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed on what will be a key project for both school users and the wider community.

“Morgan Sindall Construction has extensive experience in delivering first-class educational expansions and refurbishments, and we are looking forward to working closely with The Active Learning Trust, Cambridgeshire County Council and the rest of our project partners.”

Parents have until January 15 to submit applications for primary and pre-school places starting in September 2020. The school’s new building will officially open at the end of 2020.

The refurbishment for the secondary stage is then expected to be completed in Spring 2021.


Source: Cambs Times



On 27th June 2019 in London’s prestigious Saatchi Gallery, just off the King’s Road, Chelsea, a large audience of building industry professionals gathered to celebrate the winning and commended projects submitted for the 2019 Schueco Excellence Awards for Design and Innovation.


Organised by Schueco UK in partnership with Architecture Today, the Excellence Awards, now in their sixth year, were set up to recognise outstanding contemporary architecture in Great Britain and Eire.


The Overall Schueco Excellence Award went to the UCL Student Centre, London, by Nicholas Hare Architects, which was also the winner in the Education category. Positioned at the heart of UCL’s Bloomsbury campus, this flagship project provides 1,000 spaces for individual and collaborative study, a student enquiry centre and a café.


For further information on any aspect of the 2019 Schueco Excellence Awards, please email mkinfobox@schueco.com.

Comprehensive Tyvek® & AirGuard® systems create a robust, airtight and energy-efficient envelope… inside and out

Tyvek® has always been a star performer, but now it comes with a complete cast of supporting players to enable easy installation, robust protection and greater energy-efficiency for the building envelope – in its entirety. With a range of advanced Tyvek® Breather Membranes in specialised versions, plus smart AirGuard® air & vapour control membranes (AVCLs) – and a fully comprehensive set of tapes and accessories, Tyvek® offers an unrivalled system of products.

Additions to the specialised adhesive range make Tyvek® the one-stop-shop for ensuring the integrity and airtightness of the building envelope. Many elements of this compact offering are ‘universal’ products suitable for multiple applications, thus simplifying installation and saving cost. All products come with expert technical support to help construction projects meet every key target – from safety to sustainability. In today’s ‘climate’ can the industry afford to risk anything less?

A Brand for All Seasons… with an enhanced range of tapes & accessories:

Tyvek® & AirGuard® Accessories now include products to answer the challenge of any combination of membranes, any type of penetration or repair, and are suited to all kinds of building materials and conditions. There is now an airtightness system for every need or application.

The Tyvek® brand has it covered – for every regulation or specification and whether for installation to the interior or exterior of the envelope. The AirGuard® brand stands for high performance AVCLs and accessories that make a building airtight from the inside. All adhesive products work as part of optimal, holistic systems.

Considering such a comprehensive and efficient offering, backed by proven reliability, why would responsible professionals choose any other system than Tyvek® and AirGuard®? Especially when every crucial box is ticked, from air and water tightness, to moisture control, durability, ease of installation… and vitally, improved energy performance in buildings.