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THE LATEST CONSTRUCTION TRADE Survey has highlighted that the cuts to public spending announced by the coalition government last autumn have begun to have an adverse impact on construction activity. Commenting on the survey, Noble

Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said: ‘Construction activity fell in most sectors during the second quarter, with only a small rise in private commercial activity preventing

even sharper falls. The greatest falls were seen in public non-housing such as education and health and, with the public sector spending cuts already taking effect, this will only exacerbate the situation.’ Julia Evans, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders, added: ‘It is still of great concern to our members that lending to construction continues to fall, dampening the prospects of a private sector-led recovery.’

NHBC FOUNDATION ISSUES SOLAR PV WARNING The guide outlines a number of appropriate

HOMES COULD BE SEVERELY DAMAGED if roof-mounted renewable technologies are not installed correctly, according to the NHBC Foundation.

While the potential energy savings to be

made from solar thermal and photovoltaic (PV) systems and microwind turbines could be considerable, the potential for generating roof leakages through rain penetration and structural damage to walls from wind action is high if roof-mounted microgeneration systems are not installed properly.

In order to provide guidance on this issue, the

NHBC Foundation’s new guide to installation of renewable energy systems on roofs of residential buildings explains how, in the absence of specifi c UK or European standards, there is confusion over best practice in installation – in some cases leading to failures and damage to homes.

methods for installing renewable energy systems safely and effectively to avoid any compromise to the built fabric of the house. It explains how to correctly fi x renewable energy systems, depending upon location and roof type, to withstand the impact of variable UK weather including torrential rain, snow and strong winds. Graham Perrior of the NHBC Foundation,

said: ‘Recent government initiatives, such as Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) and the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), are encouraging consumers to embrace renewable technology. However, while there is widespread enthusiasm for these initiatives, there is a gap in knowledge about the best way to install renewable technology on a domestic scale.’ ■ To download the guide, visit www.

LuxLive making light work

LUXLIVE – A NEW EVENT FOR THE UK LIGHTING industry – is being staged at Earls Court, London for the fi rst time from 9-10 November. Launched by the Lighting Industry Federation

and Lux magazine, and backed by leading lighting organisations, LuxLive is designed to offer state of the art lighting solutions for offi ces, retail, industry, warehousing, education, hospitality and the public sector. More than 100 exhibitors will be attending the event, which is expected to attract visitors covering a wide range of professions and interests,

including architects, building services engineers, planners, facilities managers, specifi ers, lighting designers, estate managers, energy reduction specialists, contractors and those responsible for energy effi ciency and sustainability for clients or within their own organisations.

LuxLive will showcase the latest in LEDs, smart controls, light sources and light fi ttings, offering both interior and external solutions from exhibitors including Philips, Osram, GE, Thorn, Wila and Toshiba LED.

In brief

■ BEAMA’s Low Voltage Switchboard Technical Committee has published two new guides – the new Guide to Forms of Separation and the updated Guide to Verifi cation, relating to BS EN 61439-2. Both guides are free to download via publications/

■ The UK’s largest solar roof installation has been completed at a site in Suffolk. Promens’ manufacturing facility is now home to the country’s largest solar farm, with 7,005 solar panels and a capacity of 1.65MW.

■ The Wandsworth Group has appointed Gordon Fry to the new role of KNX technical specialist.

■ HellermannTyton has begun moving into its new high tech product development and manufacturing centre in Plymouth.

Getting solar PV installation right

■ Ellis Patents has secured a major order for its Vulcan trefoil cleats and new FlexiStrap short circuit straps to be installed throughout RWE npower’s new power station near Pembroke, South Wales.

Legrand offers free Arteor training to contractors

A FREE TRAINING PROGRAMME offered by Legrand has already helped more than 200 contractors, installers and system integrators get to grips with its wiring device and home automation range, Arteor. Two of the most recent companies to take advantage of the courses, which are all project- focused, were Rugby-based Blue Ridge Electrical Systems and Orpington-based Hunter Security. Both companies took the advanced Arteor programming

8 ECA Today September 2011

course and have since benefi ted from the project support offered by Legrand’s technical team. Gurninder Ghuman, Legrand’s training and technical manager, said: ‘When we launched Arteor last year, we were fully aware that by combining traditional wiring devices and home automation solutions in one range we were asking contractors to embrace an installation discipline that had previously been confi ned to specialist system installers.’


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