Waverley, the leading designers, manufacturers and installers of inventive shading and screening solutions, are excited to announce the launch of the highly innovative S3 Synchronised Solar Shading range. Designed to aid building efficiency, reduce carbon footprints and for cost-effective installation, it only seems fitting to launch on the summer solstice – the longest day of sunlight this year.

With sustainability and cost-effectiveness being prevalent in architects’, designers’, and specifiers minds, innovative shading solutions that optimise building performance are providing huge opportunities to impact a building’s efficiency and energy management.

Through leveraging open protocols via KNX® controls and SMI® blind motors, Waverley’s new S3 Synchronised Solar Shading system seamlessly interacts with any Building Management System. Fully customisable, the range is also offered in 3 tiers – Core, Advanced and Premium, each providing general functionality upgrades that make an automated control system increasingly more intelligent & powerful as a tool to optimise shading, reducing the demand for cooling.





Frazer James, Sales Director at Waverley, comments,

“We’ve seen the methodology behind S3 significantly disrupt the market over the last 2 years.  The system brings benefits at the construction phase of the project both from a cost perspective and ease of install due to the significant reduction in wiring and power supplies required.  The commissioning is also simplified and gives so much flexibility.  Post handover is where the benefits are really seen with S3 being able to proactively manage the solar shading in the building to reduce energy usage and aid occupants’ productivity.”

James continues,

“The flexibility of the S3 system allows landlords and developers to reconfigure zones, add extra devices in with limited changes to the initial install meaning upgrades in functionality come at a greatly reduced cost.”


The only open-source solar shading system that can reduce building energy usage and raise environmental impact and sustainability credentials, S3 delivers against seven key benefits, and exemplifies the Guidehouse* [2021] study’s assertion that “solar shading, specifically dynamic solar shading, is a key energy efficiency measure for a cost-effective improvement of the energy performance of buildings.”

The S3 System can be designed to allow diffuse daylight into the building while blocking direct sunlight. By optimising natural lighting, artificial lighting needs can be reduced, resulting in lower electricity consumption and associated CO2 emissions. With our automated blind system, it can be utilised as part of a daylight harvesting strategy. The blinds can work in tandem with light sensors to maintain a desired level of daylight in a space. When the sensors detect sufficient natural light, the blinds can adjust to balance the daylight and supplement with artificial lighting only when necessary. This approach optimising energy usage by minimising the use of electric lighting during daylight hours. Reduced Cooling Load Automated blinds when connected to an S3 System can be programmed to close or adjust their position during periods of intense sunlight or high outdoor temperatures. By blocking or shading windows, they prevent direct sunlight from entering the building, which significantly reduces heat gain. This is particularly important with regards to complying with Part O and Part L of the Building Regulations.

The S3 system helps to maintain cooler indoor temperatures and therefore reduces the need for excessive cooling, leading to energy savings and lower CO2 emissions. By integrating S3 with building management systems, you can be synchronised with other building systems like HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). The blinds can automatically adjust their position based on the cooling requirements of the space, ensuring optimal thermal comfort while minimising energy consumption and CO2 emissions

The open protocol nature of the system is designed to be independent of any fixed supply chain, meaning all the components of the system are interchangeable with any SMI/KNX devices on the marketplace, and any KNX engineers with suitable training can maintain and upgrade the system. This is designed to give the client complete control of their building. The system is also fully digital meaning any changes to switching and zoning are software based. Once you have the Core of an S3 system in place there is never a need for further disruptive and expensive wiring for any changes, ensuring the open-source system is fit for the future.

PLEASE CLICK HERE for more information on S3




Scotland’s Highland Council is seeking the approval of plans for an all-new Nairn Academy.

The council hopes to be able to demolish the current 50-year-old school buildings, which are in poor condition and contain asbestos.

Potentially dangerous reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (Raac) was discovered in the school last year.

Highland Council officers have recommended that next week’s planning applications committee grant permission for the new building.

Approximately 670 pupils are enrolled at Nairn Academy. The new three-storey replacement would have capacity to accommodate 720 pupils.

A synthetic grass pitch, multi-use games area and a 100m running track would also be created. The school would have a games hall, gymnasium and fitness suite.

Last year, Highland Council said the school could cost £59m.

In May, councillors approved investing £2bn over the next 20 years to build new schools and upgrade roads.

Highland Council said it would pay for the plan by borrowing money and using 2% of the money it collects through council tax.

Almost 70 of its more than 200 schools have been rated to be in a poor condition and 74 rated as being of poor suitability.


David Bailey Furniture Systems, a leading manufacturer of high-quality fitted furniture solutions, has officially relaunched Toprail as a dynamic and innovative new division of its business, following the acquisition of the company in 2023.


Toprail, a revolutionary wall furnishing solution that offers unparalleled flexibility and easy reconfiguration, was developed by a team of engineers and designers tasked with creating a fitted furniture system that was both flexible and durable – and that could be easily reconfigured to meet the changing needs of a wide range of commercial organisations such as the healthcare sector, universities, colleges, schools, offices and veterinary practices.


The team developed a modular design for Toprail, which allowed for endless possibilities in terms of configuration, using high-quality aluminium in the construction of the key components and the supporting uprights which make up the heart of the system.


This ensured durability and strength to withstand even the most demanding environments, while at the same time ensuring it was capable of supporting just about any combination of storage units, shelving, worktops and much more.


The system is extensively featured on a new redesigned website at www.toprail.com. This exciting brand refresh signifies Toprail’s continued commitment to delivering exceptional, sector-specific products and services for healthcare, office and education environments.

The new Toprail website boasts intuitive navigation, categorised both by sector and product type, ensuring a seamless experience for users seeking solutions tailored to their specific needs. High-quality images and product videos showcase functionality and aesthetics, while detailed specifications, downloadable brochures, and clear benefits information are readily available. Streamlined search functionality with filters and targeted options further simplify product discovery.


Real-world application examples showcased on the website offer valuable project inspiration. User-friendly features such as quote requests and contact forms also enable seamless communication with the Toprail team.


Toprail prioritises high-quality materials, rigorous testing, and compliance with relevant standards, such as the HTM 62, to ensure product durability and functionality. Bespoke solutions and project-specific adaptations cater to unique requirements, while experienced consultants from David Bailey Furniture Systems offer expert support in choosing the right furniture solutions.


The combined expertise of David Bailey Furniture Systems and Toprail has focused industry recognition for their commitment to quality and service.


“The relaunch of Toprail as a division of David Bailey Furniture Systems strengthens our capabilities in delivering exceptional solutions for diverse sectors,” said Tony Huggins, Managing Director at David Bailey Furniture Systems. “The reimagined Toprail.com website empowers users to explore our comprehensive product range and connect with our team for expert guidance, ultimately creating functional and inspiring spaces that meet their specific needs.”


Whether you are a healthcare provider seeking infection-control solutions, an office seeking to boost employee productivity, or in the education sector, striving to create inspiring learning environments, Toprail offers tailored solutions to elevate your space. Unleash the potential of your environment and empower your team. Visit www.toprail.com today to explore the new website, browse their comprehensive product range, and connect with David Bailey Furniture Systems expert team to discuss your specific needs.


Worldwide voice alarm and safety communications specialist Vox Ignis has launched its new unified PAVA system, Unicorn Voice, after becoming the global first to recieve UL certification to EN54-16. This European standard specifies the requirements for voice alarm controls and other equipment used in fire detection and alarm systems.

Unicorn Voice is a powerful wall-mounted, scalable public address and voice alarm (PAVA) system for almost any site. It is designed to be the easiest to specify, install, and configure. It can grow from one panel to a fault-tolerant network of 64 multi-amplifier panels with up to 256 speaker circuits supporting over 163,000 speakers as per BS EN 5839-8.

Unicorn Voice is easily programmed and managed via integrated, intuitive touch screens or PC and offers a range of amplifier sizes and speaker taps that maximise power efficiency. Amplifiers can be hot-swapped, and Vox Ignis’ speaker range promises easy first-fix with plug-and-play installation. Unicorn Voice offers pre-recorded and live voice messaging, background music, integrated fire telephones, disabled refuge, fire alarm VADs, and assistance alarms, delivering one system for all the fire and life safety voice and alert systems required in modern sites.

Anthony Smith, managing director of Vox Ignis, said: “Unicorn Voice is the result of a £multi-million development project and 30 years of leading experience. It delivers a best-in-class feature set, a product that demystifies the voice alarm world and ensures the very best audio safety systems are available to the market.

“We are proud that this is the first product to have been tested and certified by UL to EN54-16, or any EN or UK standard. I’d like to thank the UK and USA UL teams for their contributions. Achieving UL certification is not easy, and that is why it is one of the most well-respected certification marks in the life safety industry.”

Karine Johnfroe, vice president and general manager of the UL Solutions Built Environment Group, said: “For 130 years, our organization has been integral to enabling fire and life safety technology advancements. Our pioneering safety science efforts and technical leadership in this area have empowered makers of fire safety equipment to help safeguard lives and property.

“We are honored to continue this work as a notified and approved body for the Construction Products Regulation to EN and UK standards, and we commend Vox Ignis for working to demonstrate their product’s compliance.”

Vox Ignis is a global specialist in voice alarm, emergency voice communication, and assistance call systems. Designed and manufactured in the UK and sold under the Vox Ignis and leading OEM brands worldwide, its products amplify the safety of millions of people and buildings every day.

PLEASE CLICK HERE For more information on VOX IGNIS



Watson Batty Architects has announced a considerable boost to its education sector portfolio with a number of new instructions across the UK.

Since the Government committed to increase its allocation for upgrading schools, which includes £1.8 billion for the 2024-25 financial year, Watson Batty has seen a surge in business that now accounts for 32% of total turnover. This includes major new build projects for national contractors including Tilbury Douglas, ISG and modular building specialist Algeco UK.

Recent instructions include the design and delivery for a new science block at Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy in Derby and a new 1,200 place 11- to 16-year-old school for the Northampton School for Boys. Planning consent was recently secured for a replacement school at Beacon Academy in Cleethorpes, Tees Valley SEND School, Leeds City Academy and works are due to commence on a replacement building for Hempland Primary School in York.

Watson Batty is also working with the University of Leeds, Leeds Becket University and Loughborough University to provide several new specialist health, science, and engineering facilities.

As an appointed Technical Advisor for the Department of Education, Watson Batty employs a highly skilled team that specialises in all aspects of learning sector estates design ranging from early years, primary, secondary, and Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) through to further and higher education.

Peter White, Managing Director at Watson Batty Architects, said,

“We are a 48-year-old, award winning practice with considerable skills in all manner of projects across all built environment sectors. However, in recent years we have honed our ‘learning’ sector expertise in line with the Department for Education procurement strategy and formed strategic partnerships with a number of contractors to secure a strong pipeline.

“It is rewarding to see the growth of net zero carbon in operation projects in our education portfolio with a fabric first approach taking precedent. We see strong potential in delivering better educational facilities, and in particular much needed SEND provisions, nationally through upgrading existing stock and with the aid of modern methods of construction.”

“Indeed, the recent £850 million cash pledge by Government to improve accessibility for people with SEND is driving new upgrades to existing estates nationwide. Watson Batty is known for its specialist expertise in this area.”

Watson Batty designed The Vine SEND college for Leeds City Council with a particularly challenging brief to support students with severe disabilities. The now completed two-storey building allows students to access a broad curriculum and specialist spaces including rebound therapy, a physiotherapy suite, sensory rooms, hydrotherapy pool, and extensive life-skills centre.  Teaching areas contain hoists to allow students to freely access a range of spaces and easily transition between different activities.

At the end of last year Watson Batty announced that it was trading ten percent ahead of its £3.3 million turnover target just six months into its current financial year.

Watson Batty Architects is a future focused business offering architectural, interior design and master planning solutions for all sectors. Employing a team of 35 people across offices in Leeds and Loughborough, the practice is credited for many major public and private sector projects including schools, universities, sport and leisure, distribution facilities, commercial, master planning, residential and care developments and transport hubs.

Its team is also involved with the RIBA Student Mentoring Programme at the University of Sheffield, De Montfort University, Huddersfield, Leicester, and Loughborough University.

Springmoor Grange School will become home to students from the existing Ox Close Primary and Ox Close Nursery Schools.

The contractor behind the construction of a new primary school in Spennymoor, which will replace the existing Ox Close Primary and Ox Close Nursery Schools, has shared the latest images from the site as the project nears completion.

North of England contractor, Esh Construction, is working in partnership with Durham County Council to deliver a two-storey school that will open in September 2024 and have capacity for up to 630 pupils in addition to a nursery unit. The new school will be called Springmoor Grange School and will be located on the Durham Road site of the former Tudhoe Grange Comprehensive School.

Passers-by can see the latest progress externally, with brickwork, rainscreen cladding and curtain walling all substantially complete, allowing the perimeter scaffold to be taken down to reveal the new building. Photovoltaic (PV) panels have been installed on the roof which will allow the school to generate its own solar energy.

The fit-out internally, including first and second fix joinery, is well underway and will create 21 teaching classrooms, a nursery, learning community suite, library, office spaces, staff room, toilet facilities, changing rooms, hall, and dining and kitchen facilities. Fixed furniture is also being installed, including classroom kitchens.

First fix mechanical and electrical works are well advanced and over the coming weeks, the focus will be on finishes and decoration as Esh Construction moves towards final handover.

The site car park is complete and work is ongoing off Spennymoor’s Durham Road to form new entrances into the school.

Grant Watson, Construction Manager for Esh’s commercial build division, said: “At Esh, we are proud to work within the local community to deliver a brand-new primary school that will benefit the local area for years to come. Working alongside Durham County Council, the school is being delivered to ensure that children in the area have the best facilities to learn and develop in their early school years.

“Throughout the scheme, we are working hard to maximise the social and economic benefits for the local area – to date, 91% of the workforce are from the North East region, 166 apprentice weeks have been delivered, and 24 veterans have worked on the project.”

The project is being designed and funded by Durham County Council and will ensure school provision in Spennymoor keeps pace with growing demand for places.

Anna Bowden, Acting Executive Headteacher at Ox Close Federation, said: “It has been great to witness the progress of Springmoor Grange School over the last few months and we have continued to work alongside Durham County Council and Esh Construction to ensure that the project is of maximum benefit for the children of Spennymoor, their families and the wider community.

“The new school will enhance our current provision, whilst also building upon the high standards, strong community ethos and wraparound care that Ox Close Primary and Ox Close Nursery Schools are noted for. It is a very exciting time and we are looking forward to moving and welcoming the children this September.”

Plans to refurbish the former St James’ Primary in Calton have been given the go ahead, paving the way for the opening of Glasgow’s fourth Gaelic school.

Council planners have now approved the city education department’s bid to revamp — and extend — the B-listed Green Street building.

It is expected to be completed by December next year and open in January 2026. Pupils are currently being taught at North Kelvinside Primary.

Permission was previously granted to demolish part of the “derelict” school. The revamp of the remaining building presents “a vital lifeline for one of Calton’s most significant heritage assets”, the plans stated.

Under the scheme, the former primary school, which has been empty since 2009, will become part of Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig a’ Challtainn — Calton Gaelic Primary School.

There will be 12 classrooms and two general purpose rooms, reusing the original classroom spaces. A multi-use games area will be provided too.

The project also includes an extension, to be built on what was the original playground. It will have an assembly hall, kitchen and a drama and performance classroom.

It was reported in September last year that the council would have to spend up to £11.6 million on the project, up from an initial estimate of £8.25 million, due to the building being in a worse condition and inflation.

Overall, the school is expected to cost £22.8 million, with funding also being provided by the Scottish Government.

Plans submitted by education services stated the school is “in a derelict state” and will “require substantial renovation work.”

“With St James’ fulfilling the requirements for Glasgow’s fourth Gaelic medium school, the project presents a vital lifeline for one of Calton’s most significant heritage assets and may play a part in energising regeneration of other historic assets in the area,” they added.

The new Gaelic school would join Glendale Primary School in the south and Govan Gaelic Primary School and Glasgow Gaelic School in the west.

Calton Community Council supported the proposal as it will “see the historic building reused in a sensitive and appropriate manner.”

No off-street parking is included in the plan. There will be four accessible spaces, two accessible drop-off bays and one bus bay. Parking for 89 bikes will be provided.

Planners reported the proposal would “salvage a substantial listed building which is one of the remaining pieces of cultural heritage of the Calton area and would make use of a prominent brownfield site that had fallen into significant disrepair.”

Previous plans for demolition covered toilet extensions and a section to the rear of the school building. Emergency works had already been carried out to the roof to “avoid uncontrolled collapse and halt further distress to the building.”

The school, built in 1885, was used until 2009 when remaining pupils were moved to Alexandra Parade Primary.

Source: STV News

Contractor Clegg Construction has completed a £5.9m renovation scheme to transform Maltby Grammar School, near Rotherham, into a community resource and education centre.

During the course of the project, Clegg invested more than £3m into the local economy by using local labour and materials wherever possible.

Nine former Maltby Grammar School students, as well as a number of people from the Maltby area, were part of the workforce.

Pre-construction director at Clegg Construction, Ross Crowcroft, said: “We are pleased to have handed over the repurposed and renovated Maltby Grammar School to Maltby Learning Trust.

“The building has had a distinguished past and now has a bright future as a superb community resource, providing local services and learning facilities.

“Clegg Construction takes pride in supporting local communities wherever we work, which has been aptly demonstrated by our commitment to the local economy in the Maltby and South Yorkshire area and the people who live there.”

During the course of the renovation, Clegg worked with clock repair and dial restoration specialists, Smith of Derby Ltd, to repair the clock tower at Maltby Grammar School – getting it working again for the first time in 10 years.

The renovated Maltby Grammar School will accommodate local services, support wellbeing, employment and enterprise, and provide substantial learning opportunities.

The building will also extend Maltby Learning Trust’s post-16 specialist facilities and create an incubator space for training, apprenticeships and start-up support in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Maltby Learning Trust CEO, David Sutton, said: “We are thrilled with the work that Clegg Construction has done to renovate and refurbish the former Maltby Grammar School Building.

“The trust will now be working to fit out the interior of the multi-purpose building to make it suitable for our sixth form, business, and community audiences.

“This project will make a huge difference to the area by offering a space for people to learn, reskill, work, and thrive. We are looking forward to opening the building later in the year with a series of events.”

Built in the early 1930s, the school closed in 2012 and had fallen into a state of disrepair after being mothballed.

The redevelopment project was part of a winning bid to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund secured by Rotherham Council, which focused on boosting the leisure and hospitality sectors in the area. The Levelling Up Fund provided £4.5m towards the project.

Other members of the team involved in the scheme included Self Architects, engineer GCA Ltd and employer’s agent and project manager Cube.

Source: The Business Desk

A school extension has been approved by councillors despite concerns the new building looks like “an Amazon warehouse.” Hastings High School, in Burbage, near Hinckley, is to get a new sports hall, classrooms, dining room and bigger car park in a bid to increase capacity at the site, after Leicestershire County Council backed the scheme at a planning meeting last week.

Taking into account the new housing planned for the area, the council, which is also the applicant, predicts the school will have a deficit of more than 100 places by January 2026 unless the changes are made. The extension will increase the school’s capacity by 200 pupils to 1,000.

However, neighbours of the school raised a number of concerns about the plan, including the impact on their peace and privacy, and views from their homes and gardens. Speaking at the meeting, one neighbour said the new building would be around the height of “two-and-a-half double-decker buses” and the width of three-and-a-half. She added that it looked “like an industrial shed”.

“It will be overbearing and will significantly affect our amenity,” she said. “This will be like an Amazon warehouse. The design is not contemporary in a positive sense, it’s not traditional, but neither is it beautiful or attractive. It is functional and bland.” She called on the council to change the design and to give residents “something beautiful to look at”, rather than something that “fills them with despair”.

Criticism was also levelled at the local authority for the level of engagement with the community, with neighbours claiming they felt like the scheme was “a done deal”, and that they were “powerless” and had to “fight for information” throughout the process. The council’s education team acknowledged residents should have been consulted sooner on the plan, and said they would be taking this up with the design team, which had responsibility for public engagement on the scheme.

Councillors agreed with residents’ criticisms over the appearance of the building. However, they said they did not feel that was a valid planning reason to reject the scheme, and ultimately voted to approve it.

Chairman of the meeting Les Phillimore said: “Reluctantly, I will have to agree with the proposal [to approve the application] simply because I cannot think of any planning reasons not to support it. Do I agree with residents that it’s not the prettiest building? Absolutely.” However, he said the committee would write to the council’s design team to “make the strongest representations” it could saying councillors wanted to see the design altered.

The new sports hall is to be built next to the school’s existing running track. It will have four badminton-sized courtschanging facilities, toilets and showers, space for storing equipment as well as a PE classroom and dance studio. It will also house a music and drama teaching space, a general-use classroom, two design technology classrooms and two science classrooms, along with an office and reception area.

The existing sports hall in the main school building will be turned into a larger dining room. New toilet blocks will be created in the main building and the school kitchen will be expanded, plans show. Staff numbers will increase from 100 to 120, the council said.

Source: Yahoo! News

A Mapei eco-system has been used to complete a floor installation at a new 5 FE secondary school in North West London.  The design and construction of the five-form entry secondary school was completed by BAM.  A series of Mapei EMICODE: EC1 Plus certified products were used to install DESSO carpet tiles and Tarkett safety flooring throughout the building.  The installation was completed by Active Flooring.


The new sustainable, state-of-the-art school maximises the footprint of the urban site, whilst providing a modern, pupil-focused learning environment.  It will provide 1,150 places for pupils in years 7 to 13, with an interlinked sixth form block. Facilities include science laboratories, a library, sports hall, main hall and sixth form common room, whilst the roof of the sixth-form block also houses a multi-use games area (MUGA).  Rooftop solar panels contribute to the school’s green energy and the entrance is marked by a majestic weeping willow tree, around which the school layout was designed. The floor specification included DESSO carpet tiles throughout general classrooms, Tarkett Safetred Wood in the main hall, Tarkett Granit Safe T.  in changing rooms and shower blocks, and Tarkett Safetred Universal in the school kitchen.


During the floor installation, Active Flooring installed Mapeproof One Coat two-component, single coat damp proof membrane and then levelled and smoothed subfloors with Latexplan Trade – a protein-free, low odour levelling and smoothing compound with high compressive strength.  Two all-in-one universal Mapei adhesives were used to complete the installation: Ultrabond Eco V4 Evolution – a strong, rapid initial tack formulation with a long open time and Ultrabond Eco VS90 Plus – a hard-set, highly shear resistant, wet-bed dispersion adhesive.  All Mapei product specified benefit from EMICODE: EC1 Plus formulations, with very low VOC’s, promoting a safe application and environment.


For more information, please CLICK HERE TO EMAIL MAPEI