Actis is donating enough Hybris to insulate a classroom being given away free of charge by

customer BGR Group to one of the hundreds of schools affected by the RAAC crisis. 

Insulation specialist Actis has teamed up with a specialist in carbon neutral modular buildings which is offering a free classroom to one of the hundreds of schools affected by the RAAC crisis.

 The BGR Group, which uses Actis Hybris honeycomb style insulation in all its classrooms as well as its garden buildings, has launched a competition to offer a free classroom to one of the schools worst affected following the discovery of Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete in its buildings.

 And Actis has offered to supply the insulation element of the project free of charge.

 The 60m2 of 140mm Hybris and 70m2 of 90mm Hybris it is donating is enough to insulate a classroom for 30 children.

 BGR Group, which supplies its classrooms to numerous educational establishments across England, wanted to play a small part in helping schools get back on their feet after being forced to shut when RAAC was found in their buildings.

 Its competition asks schools to outline the problems they are experiencing and how they are attempting to continue educating their pupils during the closures, with the classroom, including all the labour, going to the school pitching the most passionate bid for assistance.

 BGR Group MD Richard Burns says he hopes the winning school will be able to reduce its reliance on remote learning and minimise the need to bus children elsewhere for their lessons.


“Amidst the chaos of RAAC school closures and widespread disruption up and down the country, the situation does at least provide the education industry a unique opportunity.

“This is a shot at redemption in learning from prior mistakes and constructing even better educational facilities fit to inspire the high-skilled workers of the future,” he said.


Actis area sales manager Joe Glaze, who is behind the offer of the free Hybris for the project, said:

“When we heard that BGR Group wanted to donate a classroom to one of the many schools affected by the RAAC crisis we were delighted to be able to help. We hope that some of the children whose learning has yet again been disrupted – first by Covid and now by this – will have a slightly easier learning experience this time around.”


The winning school will see the entire project completed within four weeks.

CLICK HERE for more details on how to enter the competition to win the free classroom






Leading UK insulation, drywall and ceiling product distributor CCF has supplied a range of insulation, drylining and suspended ceiling products for the award-winning Houlton School in Rugby, working with Drywall Contracts Ltd to create a stylish and sustainable interior.


The team at CCF’s Northampton branch played a key role in helping to transform the Grade II listed remains of Rugby’s iconic radio station building – once the largest radio transmitting station in the world – into a new state of the art secondary school campus.


The ambitious scheme to create the new Houlton School has been developed by Urban and Civic, designed by VHH Architects and built by Morgan Sindall Construction. The challenging and creative retrofit project has also benefited from the technical expertise of CCF, with the distributor working with its supply chain partners British Gypsum and Rockfon to enhance the thermal efficiency of the new school buildings.


The complex interior package was undertaken by Drywall Contracts Ltd, and included the installation of drylining and wall lining to the interior walls, suspended ceilings and extensive insulation to the cavity walls and external facades.


A key challenge involved preventing heat loss from the Grade II listed walls of the radio transmitter building, formerly known as the C Station, so that the new building met with the required U-values and would create a comfortable learning environment for the new school community. This led to the decision to insulate the walls from the inside, combined with the use of additional floor and roof insulation, and new replacement windows. It was also essential to achieve the required levels of airtightness to reduce the risk of condensation and potential damage to the brickwork walls of the listed building.


The specified system from British Gypsum comprised vapour-open wood fibre insulation and a lime plaster parge coat to enhance the thermal and acoustic performance of the interior elements and meet the necessary fire safety standards. Over 3,500m2 of insulation was installed to the new school buildings, with all products supplied by CCF.


Houlton School has been created following the careful and sympathetic renovation of one of Rugby’s most famous landmarks, and successfully blends modern elements with period features. The former engine room of the site has been transformed into a communal space for eating and socialising, with the new school also benefitting from a purpose-built sports centre and a new library and communication centre, complete with its own radio broadcasting station.


The project has received widespread recognition across several industry award schemes, including West Midlands Royal Town Planning Institute Awards, The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Awards, and the 2022 Planning Awards. It also received praise at the 2022 AJ Architecture Awards after being named ‘Design of the Year’ and was awarded a top prize at the FIS Contractor Awards 2022. The project is now in the running for RIBA’s inaugural Reinvention Award. The winner will be announced at the Stirling Prize award ceremony on Thursday 19 October 2023.



CLICK HERE for more information about CCF’s products and services




Situated just a stone’s throw from the historic Canterbury Cathedral, the Daphne Oram Creative Arts Building looks to showcase the best of modern construction with an attractive, highly energy efficient design utilising Kingspan Therma Duct Insulation.

The building features a range of rehearsal, exhibition and performance spaces includes glass floor sections that display elements of the original St Augustine’s Abbey precinct wall, which sits beneath.

Delivering excellent energy performance was also a priority, with the building designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Very Good’. Project M&E consultants, Max Fordham LLP, carefully developed the building services specification to minimise plant energy use. As part of this approach, Kingspan Therma Duct Insulation was specified as part of the mechanical ventilation system servicing specialist music rehearsal spaces on the ground floor.


Kingspan Therma Duct Insulation offers a simple insulation solution for lagging rectangular, circular or flat oval ductwork. The boards provide excellent insulating performance with a thermal conductivity of 0.023 W/mK, limiting heat transfer to and from the ductwork.


The ductwork insulation also offered a number of advantages during installation. Its rigid design supports simpler installation of vapour barrier tape and finishing materials for a continuous vapour barrier. It also avoids overstretching of the insulation and helps to maintain specified thicknesses at corners when applied to rectangular ductwork and at junctions with the HVAC equipment. This helps to ensure the ventilation system achieves the energy performance expected.




Kingspan Therma Duct Insulation, produced at Kingspan Insulation’s Pembridge and Selby manufacturing facilities, are certified to BES 6001 ‘Excellent’. This contributed to the work to achieve additional credits within the responsible sourcing section of the BREEAM assessment. The product is now also supported with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), providing detailed information about its whole life environmental performance. The EPD document and all other product certification can be downloaded from along with a free BIM product object which is available in REVIT and IFC formats.


For more information:

Tel: +44 (0) 1457 890 400

Pipeline Technical Advisory Service: 0808 168 7363

Fax: +44 (0) 1544 388 888



Over 13 years since it was first installed, ductwork fabricated from The Kingspan KoolDuct System is maintaining ideal learning conditions at the National STEM Learning Centre at the University of York.

First opened in 2005, STEM learning supports teachers, technicians and support staff to deliver an inspiring education in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). In addition to a freely accessible online resource collection, STEM Learning offers a range of bursary-supported courses for teachers and educators.

The building exemplifies their forward-looking approach, featuring a number of cutting-edge technologies including ductwork fabricated from over 2500 m2 of The Kingspan KoolDuct System. With its premium performance insulation core, the lightweight solution eliminates the requirement for a secondary lagging stage – helping to accelerate installations. Ductwork can be fabricated on or offsite in sections up to 2.95 m in length and can be fitted with a variety of coupling solutions to suit the particular demands of each application.

At the National STEM Learning Centre, TClarke provided the full mechanical and electrical package including the Kingspan KoolDuct System for use primarily within the two main plantrooms in the building, which circulate air to meeting rooms and the main theatre. Its highly airtight design helps to reduce fan energy demand within the system, whilst the non-fibrous insulation core minimises the risk of loose fibres entering the ductwork, maintaining healthier working and studying environments.

A recent inspection of the air conditioning found that the ductwork had been well maintained and was in excellent condition. The sections within the plantrooms showed only minor superficial wear whilst the ductwork above false ceilings within the corridors was in almost pristine condition. As a result, the ductwork continues to deliver excellent energy savings.

The original installation was the first time that TClarke had used a pre-insulated ductwork system. Steve Smith, Technical Director at TClarke commented after the recent inspection:

“We are extremely pleased to see that the air conditioning system continues to perform so well. This really shows the long-term benefits you can achieve by investing in high quality HVAC solutions which are installed with care and attention to details and are well maintained over time.”

The Kingspan KoolDuct System has undergone extensive testing by the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and is listed as a Class 1 Air Duct, to Standard for Safety UL 181 (Underwriters Laboratories: Factory Made Air Ducts & Air Connectors), when fabricated to a specification clearly defined by UL. This gives clear, independent assurance of its premium performance credentials, backed by regular follow up inspections from UL which confirm production consistency.

All Kingspan pipe and duct insulation products are available as freely available BIM objects, which can be downloaded from the bimstore in either Revit or IFC formats.


For further information, please contact:

Tel: +44 (0) 1544 388 601

Pipeline Technical Advisory Service: 0808 168 7363

Fax: +44 (0) 1544 388 888


Website: and

Over the past 100 years, through-wall construction has probably never seen such a period of significant change as what it has experienced in recent years. Traditional products that have become ingrained in building practices now require adapting because of changes to standards and performance requirements – most notably in relation to fire and thermal.


John Taylor, Technical Director at Euroform, discusses the importance of continued product innovation to ensure that popular methods of modern construction – particularly facades in high rise buildings – can still be used.

Following changes to Part L of Building Regulations (England and Wales) surrounding the conservation of fuel and power and Approved Document B in relation to fire safety, there has been a renewed focus on the combustibility and thermal performance of building fabrics. Insurance companies have also tightened their approach and introduced new stipulations which dictate fire strategy. These changes have been welcomed by the industry in the best interest of safety and sustainability, but a new standard has been established for manufacturers and specifiers to comply with.

Building board specialist, Euroform, has responded to these market changes with the launch of A2 Versapanel®… a market-leading cement particle board which has been independently tested in accordance with BS EN 13501-1 and certified as a Euroclass A2 product.

A class of its own

Versapanel® is a widely specified product in building envelope applications and is long established in the market, proven to perform acoustically and deliver exceptional performance in the presence of moisture – cut edges do not require sealing to prevent degradation. In response to market demand for a simplified route to limited combustibility, Euroform has invested in the development of A2 Versapanel® to deliver enhanced fire performance.

The Euroclass A2 certification confirms the high mass and robust exterior lining of the boards is of limited combustibility when exposed to fire conditions.

As compared with standard Versapanel®, the new A2 Versapanel® delivers superior pull out resistance, with comparative tests demonstrating a marked improvement on an already very good performance. Offering superior mechanical performance as compared with exterior gypsum boards, A2 Versapanel® also helps to improve the air tightness of facades when sealed at joints. A wide range of finishes can be applied over A2 Versapanel®, including insulated render systems, terracotta cladding systems, high performance cladding systems and traditional brick coursework.

The launch of A2 Versapanel® is also timely for the construction industry. The simplified route to revised Approved Document B compliance is seeing many developments specify insulation materials which offer limited or non-combustibility – which place additional demands on the performance of the building boards in through-wall build-ups.

In the thick of it

The move to use materials of limited-combustibility in construction, particularly in high-rise buildings has resulted in the specification of heavier and thicker mineral-based external wall insulation. The industry has become accustomed to using light-weight building boards but building boards with a higher mass and robust exterior lining are often required to secure increased volumes of insulation.

A2 Versapanel® is an ideal solution as it offers enhanced mechanical performance and pull out resistance for help attaching insulation. In addition to mechanical strength, A2 Versapanel® also has excellent acoustic properties, which assists developers in constructing buildings which promote occupant comfort by minimising sound transfer from external noise sources.

From a handling perspective, A2 Versapanel® is supplied as standard in 2400mm x 1200mm boards in 10mm and 12mm thicknesses. The product can be cut to size on-site or provided in a pre-fabricated kit to simplify installation processes. CE marked according to BS EN 13986:2004+A1:2015, A2 Versapanel® has been independently tested as A2-s1,d0 reaction to fire according to BS EN 13501-1: 2007+A1:2009.

For further information on A2 Versapanel® or to learn more about specifying the product on buildings above 18m high, please visit the below website or email