The AIS FPDC Conference provided the perfect opportunity to recognise and applaud outstanding innovation in the fit-out and finishes industry. The AIS FPDC Best Practice Awards winners, Rockfon and Knauf were announced at this year’s conference, held on 14 October at The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

Eco Best Practice winner Rockfon – Innovative approach to waste management at Southmead Hospital construction site.

Rockfon’s AndyEdwards (r) receives the AIS FPDC Best Practice Eco award from David Frise (l)

Phase one of the impressive £430 million Southmead Hospital in Bristol provided Rockfon with not one but two opportunities to help achieve very high environmental standards and meet waste reduction targets. While doing so, Rockfon contributed towards earning the hospital a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’.

Main contractor Carillion specified Rockfon ceilings because they fulfilled the design criteria and met their stringent environmental and performance requirements, including having recyclable properties and being sustainable.

In addition to the eco properties of Rockfon’s products themselves, it was the ceiling specialist’s innovative approach to waste management at the site that made them shine. Working in collaboration with distributor SIG, who supplied the Rockfon ceiling products and the Rockwool insulation for the new hospital, Rockfon contributed to the recycling programme by transporting bags of site waste to the Rockwool factory in Pencoed, Bridgend for reprocessing. And to provide a simple and effective take back solution for Carillion, SIG also issued removal bags to be collected from site while delivering new material.

The Southmead Hospital construction project is the largest and first of its kind where multiple operating companies on one site have collaborated in such a way to deliver a single waste stream, one that facilitated the upcycling of materials and reduced waste to landfill.

Highly Commended: OWA (UK)

The latest CPD seminar developed by OWA provides architects with a clear, balanced and informative summary of how suspended ceilings can contribute towards a positive environmental assessment by BREEAM or LEED. Based on a thorough technical report by European experts, OWA’s new CPD seminar covers 12 areas and is based on a lifecycle assessment technique that takes into account all stages of a product’s life.

Product Innovation winner Knauf: A revolutionary phase change plasterboard that reduces energy consumption.

David Frise (l) presents Jon Abbott (r) from Knauf with the AIS FPDC Best Practice Product Innovation award

By developing a versatile plasterboard that regulates ambient temperature in a particular room, Knauf has brought to market a product innovation that uses intelligent technology to deliver energy savings in line with the requirements of Building Regulations, Part L.

Launched in January this year, Knauf Comfortboard is a revolutionary phase change plasterboard which significantly reduces or completely avoids the requirement for conventional air conditioning and heating, therefore reducing energy consumption and leading to long-term cost savings for the end user.

The simple concept is that Knauf Comfortboard absorbs heat energy during the day and releases it at night. Provided by BASF, the Micronal phase change material works at approximately 23˚C leading to a reduction in day time temperatures of approximately 3˚C. During warm days, the building interior stays comfortably cooler, reducing the requirement for air conditioning, whereas overnight, when the temperature drops, the plasterboard releases heat energy back into the room.

A main advantage is that this plasterboard is simple to install – it can be scored and snapped, just like any other plasterboard – and it doesn’t require any additional structural support. Once fitted, the board can be taped and jointed or skim plastered as standard to achieve a high-quality finish.

To enable the benefits to be proven and costed in a living environment, Knauf Comfortboard has been installed in the Mark Group Eco House, at the University of Nottingham.

Highly Commended:  Forbo Flooring UK

Forbo Flooring’s new Allura Flex luxury vinyl tiles are ideal for offices and retail applications where quick turnaround times are crucial. What particularly gives these tiles and planks the edge is the tackifier used as opposed to the more commonly used permanent adhesive. As well as being easy to replace if accidentally damaged, these tiles can also be moved from one location to another as required. And lining up alongside carpet tiles using the same tackifier without the need for a joining strip is also possible.

Shortlisted:  Interface Europe and Saint-Gobain Ecophon