Record breaking 6th consecutive success for Isuzu’s award-winning Grafter

ITUK-TVD-Award-2017-Med-Res-610x334The Isuzu Grafter 3.5t rigid truck has won the 2017 ‘Best Builder’s Truck’ award for a record breaking sixth time in succession. The multi-award winning trophy for Isuzu Truck, presented by leading UK business van magazine ‘Trade Van Driver’, is unprecedented in the history of this publication’s awards programme.

Isuzu Truck UK’s managing director Pete Murphy and Noriko Ishida from Isuzu Motors Ltd received the prestigious award from TVD’s editor Matthew Eisenegger at last month’s CV Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

According to this year’s judging panel: “In the eyes of the judging panel, the Isuzu is everything any business needs that is looking for robustness and ease of access. Plus the award-winning sales and after sales customer service programme ‘CARE’ makes the Isuzu Grafter a clear winner for the sixth successive year.”

Trade Van Driver, a specialist trade van magazine for small business users, organises this annual awards programme and the entries are judged not only by the expert panel of journalists at the magazine but also by a panel of readers who regularly use light commercial vehicles as part of their businesses.

The 2017 Trade Van Driver Awards aim to give recognition to the manufacturers, organisations and people who, in the opinion of the judges, offer the very best to retail buyers.

“Now in its sixth year, the TVD Awards have, once again, highlighted the leading products aimed at the lighter end of the commercial vehicle market. We are absolutely delighted that our ‘Grafter’ has maintained its 100% success rate over all six years of these awards, and this reflects the natural fit of the Grafter in the tough working environments experienced within the building and construction industries,” commented Pete Murphy, managing director at Isuzu Truck.

Further information about the Isuzu Grafter and the full range of Isuzu trucks from 3500kgs to 11990kgs can be viewed on Isuzu Truck’s website www.isuzutruck.co.uk

 

Categories: Uncategorised

Etesia launches Bahia Joyride

Etesia-Bahia-Joyride-610x334

Etesia UK has announced the launch of the Bahia Joyride – a unique ride-on mower controlled by a joystick or via GPS for autonomous operation.

Working in partnership with FeBroLift GmbH, the Bahia Joyride is operated exclusively by a joystick: some of its features, such as automatic emptying of the grass box (optional) or start/stop of the machine and cutting deck controls are all controlled from the central joystick control unit.

The joystick control can be installed on the right or left hand side of the machine ensuring that the ride-on mower can be used by people with reduced mobility and also by experienced professionals.

Les Malin, operations director of Etesia UK explains: “We started from a standard Bahia with a Briggs & Stratton, Kawasaki or Honda engine on which we installed a joystick control as well as a servo motor for the steering and another servomotor for the forward drive, which enables users to control the machine with a simple joystick with all the controls within easy reach: blade clutch, initialisation to start and authorisation of mowing in reverse.”

The functions are simple:

  • A steering control to go left or right;
  • A steering control to go forward or backward;
  • Starting the blades is located at the front of the joystick with a short press to turn on or off;
  • An initialization button to calibrate the joystick when the machine is started;
  • Mowing permission in reverse, to force the blades into operation when moving backwards with the machine.

The Etesia Joyride retains all of the features of a standard Bahia model. The compact design is ideal for multi-tasking and easily adapts to every terrain, every grass cutting situation and every task. The pocket-size cut and collect mower, at just 0.82m wide and 1.98m long, features an incredibly tight turning circle and is able to nip into every nook and cranny as well as being able to be easily transported in the back of a van or on the back of a trailer.

All engine variants of the Etesia Bahia are available for the modular specification.

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.etesia.co.uk

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Etesia UK on Twitter @EtesiaUK and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/EtesiaUK.

Categories: Uncategorised

Natural Paving Products goes Dutch with Clay Pavers

Natural-Paving

Bringing the best the world can offer to the UK, Natural Paving Products is delighted to launch a new range of premium Dutch hand crafted artisan clay pavers. Baksteen Clay Pavers offer users a huge range of possibilities and will be available in nine colours.

Baksteen Clay Pavers are remarkably versatile and can be used across a variety of projects. With its narrow, rectangular design the product can be laid at a variety of angles creating unique designs across a number of different applications. When laid on bed (the largest flat side) the pavers are ideal for pedestrian use and lightly trafficked areas such as a domestic driveway. If laid on edge the clay pavers can withstand heavy vehicular traffic.

No matter what its application, users can be assured the pavers will provide a long lifespan. Clay is an extremely durable material, which has proven through centuries of use that it will stand the test of time. On the rare occasion a Baksteen Clay Paver might need to be replace it can be simply lifted out and replaced with a new one. The combination of low maintenance costs and low replacement costs make the pavers an extremely cost-effective hard landscaping option.

With its striking appearance Baksteen Clay Pavers are suitable for a range of stylish outdoor environments. From peaceful pathways to vibrant gardens, the product has been designed to complement any project. What’s more, the pavers make a great choice for garden boarders or for sophisticated earthy planters and walls. Tumbled to reveal an antiqued look the pavers are on sale in a range of colours including Crimson, Chestnut, Dove, Smoke, Ash, Mulberry, Silver Birch, Mallow and Honeycomb

All colours are available in 200 x 50 mm product packs and each pack comes complete with 960 pieces. The pavers have a thickness of 65 mm and an average nominal coverage of 9.6m2 per pack when laid on edge or 12.63m2 when laid on bed.

Malcolm Gough, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Natural Paving Products, commented:  “It’s fantastic to be able to supply Baksteen Clay Pavers to the UK market as they offer our customers a distinctly new and highly versatile option when planning their outdoor projects. With its extensive range of colour options this product offers something for everyone and we can’t wait to see it put into use.”

In addition to premium Dutch hand crafted artisan clay pavers the company also offers Vitripiazza, an exclusive range of Italian vitrified porcelain paving. By providing such a diverse range, the company is broadening the design possibilities for British customers with options previously only available on the continent.

www.naturalpaving.co.uk

Categories: Uncategorised

SWM Announces Agreement to Acquire Conwed Plastics LLC.

ALPHARETTA, GA, December 14, 2016 — SWM (NYSE: SWM) today announced the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Conwed Plastics LLC (Conwed), a leading producer of engineered resin-based netting solutions with significant operating synergy opportunities with existing Advanced Materials & Structures (AMS) segment operations. The purchase price is $295 million in cash (subject to certain customary closing adjustments). Given the transaction structure and tax basis step-up, SWM expects to realize tax benefits having an estimated net present value of approximately $75 million. Assuming realization of all tax benefits, the after-tax economic cost of the transaction is estimated to be approximately $220 million. The agreement also includes potential long-term earn-out payments. The transaction is expected to close once customary closing conditions are met, which is anticipated to occur during the first quarter of 2017. Conwed is currently a portfolio company of Leucadia National Corporation (NYSE: LUK), a publicly traded diversified holding company.

Conwed Key Highlights

  • Leading producer of resin-based netting solutions with proprietary manufacturing processes and innovative technologies
  • Netting products used in highway infrastructure development, oil & gas exploration, filtration, and construction
  • Approximately $140 million of sales with annual growth projected in the 3% – 4% range, EBITDA margins are approximately 20%
  • Complementary operations offer unique and significant long-term synergy potential within the Company’s AMS segment; $10 million run-rate synergy target by end of year two
  • Expected Adjusted EPS accretion in 2017 of approximately $0.30; expected 2017 GAAP EPS effect to be determined upon purchase accounting completion

Strategic Commentary

Frederic Villoutreix, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of SWM, commented “We are pleased to announce the acquisition of Conwed, which adds complementary operations and products to fuel the expansion of our Advanced Materials and Structures growth platform. While Conwed is a solid standalone enterprise which we expect to deliver sustainable 3% to 4% sales growth, strong manufacturing synergies are likely to drive accelerated profit growth within our AMS segment over the next several years. By the end of year two, we expect run-rate synergies of approximately $10 million as Conwed’s low-cost netting operations should create opportunities to optimize our manufacturing footprint.”

“With Conwed’s assets and technologies, which are similar to DelStar’s, SWM will become the clear global leader in resin-based netting with best-in-class operations and products, and strong positions in several attractive niche applications. In addition to filtration applications, where we currently have a strong presence, Conwed’s netting provides critical functionality in erosion and sediment control for highway infrastructure and oil and gas site development, as well as carpet and turf backings used in residential construction.”

“The Conwed acquisition represents our fifth diversification transaction since 2013 and puts our AMS segment’s annualized sales well over $400 million, demonstrating our patient and disciplined approach to building scale in this growth platform. The AMS segment continues to evolve as a portfolio of complementary businesses with proprietary technologies and leading positions in key product areas, which we believe will deliver GDP-plus sales growth and operating margin expansion into the high-teens. The technology and resource investments we are currently making to optimize our AMS operations into a more fully integrated segment support those expectations, and will provide an ideal foundation for the integration of Conwed. During this process, our priority will continue to be providing our customers with the same excellent products and service they have always received from both SWM and Conwed. We look forward to welcoming the talented individuals from the Conwed organization who will become part of SWM and our growing AMS segment. This strategic and synergistic transaction greatly enhances our long-term outlook as we continue diversifying the portfolio outside the tobacco market and reposition SWM for sustainable profit growth.”

Chris Hatzenbuhler, CEO of Conwed, commented “Our success under Leucadia’s ownership as a standalone business in their portfolio for more than 30 years demonstrates our commitment to our employees and customers to be a leader in technology, service, and manufacturing excellence. Now we enter a new chapter in our history, and combined with SWM, we see a future rich with opportunity.”

Transaction & Financial Highlights

The transaction is expected to be accretive to Adjusted EPS by approximately $0.30 in 2017; this figure excludes restructuring expenses of $0.06 and purchase accounting expenses, which are expected to be finalized shortly after the transaction closes. Included in the 2017 Adjusted EPS accretion estimate are a $0.05 impact from integration costs and a $0.05 impact of incremental interest expense on pre-transaction debt. Expected GAAP EPS effect in 2017 will be influenced by purchase accounting expenses. This acquisition and transaction-related expenses were not contemplated in SWM’s previously issued 2016 guidance for Adjusted EPS of $3.15, which equates to $2.76 of GAAP EPS (see non-GAAP reconciliation).

The transaction is expected to be funded through the Company’s existing credit facility which will be slightly amended at the close of the acquisition. At close, pro forma net debt to EBITDA is expected to be approximately 3.4x, and is expected to return toward the mid-2x range during 2018. As part of the transaction, SWM expects to realize certain tax benefits representing more than $5 million of annual cash flow. The Company estimates the present value of these benefits to be approximately $75 million.

As part of the agreement, there are three potential earn-out payments with a maximum of $40 million in the aggregate. These payments are contingent upon the achievement of certain financial metrics in each of 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Advisors

Sidley Austin LLP acted as legal counsel to SWM in connection with the transaction. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP acted as legal counsel for Leucadia.

Conference Call

SWM will hold a conference call to discuss this transaction with investors and analysts at 8:30 a.m. eastern time on Thursday, December 15th, 2016. You are invited to listen to the company’s conference call that will be broadcast live over the Internet.

Where: http://www.swmintl.com

This link gives participants access to the live and/or archived event.
http://edge.media-server.com/m/p/jq7bcjs2

How:

Call Participants – U.S. and Canada 877-445-2849 (ID 36345747)
International 631-291-4808

An operator will prompt participants to provide name, company name and phone number. For technical difficulties, press *0 and an operator will assist you.

Listen-only mode – Live over the Internet – Simply log on to the web at the address above and follow the instructions set out on the Home page or in the Investor Relations section.

To listen to the live call, please go to the website at least 15 minutes prior to the call to register and to download and install any necessary audio software. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, a replay will be available on the website shortly after the call.

About SWM

SWM is a leading global provider of highly engineered solutions and advanced materials for a variety of industries. Historically, SWM primarily served the tobacco industry, which remains a key focus. SWM also manufactures specialty papers for other applications and is executing a strategic transformation to diversify its product portfolio. SWM’s Advanced Materials & Structures segment, which focuses on resin-based rolled goods, includes DelStar Technologies, acquired in 2013, Argotec, acquired in late 2015, and other recent acquisitions. These acquisitions expanded the Company’s product portfolio and end segments served to include filtration, surface protection, medical and industrials. SWM and its subsidiaries conduct business in over 90 countries and employ approximately 3,100 people worldwide, with operations in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Luxembourg, Russia, Brazil, Poland and China, including two joint ventures. For further information, please visit SWM’s website at www.swmintl.com.

About Conwed

Conwed is a world leading manufacturer of plastic netting, providing essential performance functionalities to its customers. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Conwed has five manufacturing locations on two continents and a global distribution network. Conwed has more than 45 years of experience developing netting solutions to help its customers improve their products in a wide range of industries, from agriculture, automotive, building & construction and consumer products to filtration, hygiene, medical and packaging applications. For further information, please refer to www.conwedplastics.com.

About Leucadia

Leucadia National Corporation is a diversified holding company focused on return on investment and long- term value creation to maximize shareholder value. Its businesses include financial services such as investment and commercial banking and asset management, as well as a diverse array of other businesses, including food processing, oil and gas exploration and development, automobile dealerships, communications, and materials. Additional information about Leucadia is available at www.leucadia.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other federal securities laws that are subject to the safe harbor created by such laws and other legal protections. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, those regarding 2017 guidance and future performance, future market and EPS trends, AMS EBITDA margins, sales and volume trends, Conwed financial results, growth prospects, capital spending, currency rates and trends and impact on EPS, 2017 momentum, future cash flows, effective tax rates, diversification efforts of our AMS segment, and other statements generally identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “potential,” “anticipate,” “project,” “appear,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “typically,” “will,” and similar words. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations as of the date of this release. These risks include, among other things, those set forth in Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015, as well as the following factors:

  • The integration of Conwed with SWM may not be successful or anticipated benefits from the transaction may not be realized;
  • Risks associated with the implementation of our strategic growth initiatives, including diversification, and the Company’s understanding of, and entry into, new industries and technologies;
  • Changes in the source and intensity of competition in our market segments, including in Asia regarding our AMS business;
  • Increases in commodity prices and lack of availability of such commodities, including energy, wood pulp and resins, could impact the sales and profitability of our products;
  • Adverse changes in the oil, gas, and mining sectors impacting key AMS segment customers;
  • Changes in the discount rates, revenue growth, cash flow growth rates or other assumptions used by the Company in its assessment for impairment of assets and adverse economic conditions or other factors that would result in significant impairment charges;
  • The failure of one or more material suppliers, including energy, resin and pulp suppliers, to supply materials as needed to maintain our product plans and cost structure;
  • Risks associated with acquisitions or other strategic transactions, including acquired liabilities and restrictions, retaining customers from businesses acquired, achieving any expected results or synergies from acquired businesses, complying with new regulatory frameworks, difficulties in integrating acquired businesses or implementing strategic transactions generally and risks associated with international acquisition transactions, including in countries where we do not currently have a material presence; and
  • Other factors described elsewhere in this document and from time to time in documents that we file with the SEC.

All forward-looking statements made in this document are qualified by these cautionary statements. These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date of this document, and we do not undertake any obligation, other than as may be required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking or cautionary statements to reflect changes in assumptions, the occurrence of events, unanticipated or otherwise, or changes in future operating results over time or otherwise.

Comparisons of results for current and any prior periods are not intended to express any future trends or indications of future performance unless expressed as such, and should only be viewed as historical data. For additional factors and further discussion of these factors, please see SWM’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2015 and other reports we file from time to time. The financial results reported in this release are unaudited.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Certain financial measures, including Adjusted EPS, and comments contained in this press release exclude restructuring expenses, certain purchase accounting adjustments related to acquisitions, start-up expenses related to CTS, interest expense, income tax provision, capital spending, capitalized software, and depreciation and amortization. Financial measures which exclude these items have not been determined in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States (GAAP) and are therefore “non-GAAP” financial measures. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most closely analogous measure determined in accordance with GAAP are included in the table below. “Adjusted EPS” excludes restructuring and impairment expenses, non-cash amortization of intangible assets and inventory step-up charges expenses related to purchase accounting, and expenses associated with potential acquisitions.

SWM believes that the presentation of non-GAAP financial measures in addition to the related GAAP measures provides investors with greater transparency to the information used by SWM’s management in its financial and operational decision-making. Management also believes that the non-GAAP financial measures provide additional insight for analysts and investors in evaluating SWM’s financial and operational performance in the same way that management evaluates SWM’s financial performance. Management believes that providing this information enables investors to better understand SWM’s operating performance and financial condition. These non-GAAP financial measures are not calculated or presented in accordance with, and are not alternatives or substitutes for, financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP, and should be read only in conjunction with SWM’s financial measures prepared in accordance with GAAP.

SOURCE SWM:

CONTACT
Frederic Villoutreix
+1-770-569-4283
Or
Mark Chekanow
+1-770-569-4229
1-800-514-0186

Web site: http://www.swmintl.com

Transforming urban architecture.

Biotecture is a designer and supplier of hydroponic, modular living wall systems.We are an innovative, UK based company, managing projects across the country, and working with partners in Scandinavia, mainland Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Our vision is to transform urban architecture for the well-being of people and planet through innovative use of vertical greening. We welcome commissions and construction contracts both large and small, from private, public and commercial clients. We work on principles of collaboration, integrity and excellence, believing that our shared expertise will bring the best results.

Biotecture enjoys continued demand from a wide range of clients, and, since its establishment in 2007, has seen steady growth. In 2013, the company expanded to take on new offices near Chichester on the south coast, and two acres of glasshouses for horticultural operations.

Multi-Disciplinary Expertise

Biotecture’s in-house team and network of partners enables us to provide design, build and technical expertise to living wall projects of any size, setting or scope. As well as designing and installing living walls, Biotecture is also a trusted consultant at the development stage of major projects, providing research, design input and technical advice on innovations in the use of living walls. Our patented system fulfils many essential requirements for contemporary urban development, including: improved air quality, noise reduction, biodiversity, psychological well-being, and mitigation of urban heat island effect. Expertise within the company on these issues and other issues enables us to provide an informed and intelligent consultancy service.

Design

We are well regarded for the thoughtful integration of living walls and architectural design.

Our planting designs have won us widespread praise, as we incorporate the intricacies of plants’ texture, size, outward growth, foliage and colour in the planting of our living walls for maximum aesthetic impact as well as environmental benefit.

In addition, Biotecture works with award-winning landscape and garden designers including Patrick Collins, Sarah Eberle, Luciano Giubbilei, Arne Maynard and Dan Pearson.

Horticulture

Biotecture’s horticulture team works from a nursery in West Sussex with 2000m2dedicated vertical growing space.

The plants are nurtured in the panels which allow for precision growing, robust root development and installation-ready greening.

Our horticulture manager, Campbell Thorp, has over 20 years’ horticultural experience including pest and disease control.

Construction

Operations Director, John Dyer, is ex-Kier Group, and brings with him 30 years of construction industry experience and knowledge. Our project managers focus on client liaison and on-site logistics: a relational communications style means that the client needs are always met, and an exacting approach to project planning and logistics lead to on-site installations that are smooth, efficient and defect free.

Biotecture is an SMAS work safe contractor, and we take our responsibilities seriously. Site surveys are a standard part of the project planning to ensure safety at all stages of the build, whether we are working in the smallest of back gardens or the largest of multi-million pound construction projects.

Water Management

Biotecture’s concern for sustainability becomes critical when designing extensive areas of greenery in the built environment. Good water management was a key driver of the initial development of our hydroponic panel system; it remains inherent to our living walls today.

Our system has, by far, the lowest water use of any known comparable living wall system. Average water use in a typical UK installation is 1 litre per m2 per day. This efficiency has opened up an exciting market in Dubai and the Gulf states and we are leading the development of vertical greening there, alongside our partner Acacia LLC.

Tim Wraight is Biotecture’s irrigation specialist, and has personally overseen the development of state of the art remote sensing and control systems to suit the expanding range of living wall projects.

Partnerships

Biotecture is proud to work with partners across the world who are licensed to promote and install our patented modular living wall system:

Grodan

At the heart of our living wall panel system is a unique growing medium, “stone wool”, produced by Dutch company, Grodan.

They are the world’s leading supplier of clean, sustainable growing media and have been producing stone wool substrate for horticulture since 1969. Biotecture have worked with them since 2007 to develop a bespoke growing medium for our vertical panels, allowing us to irrigate and set nutrient dosage with absolute precision.

History

The company was established in 2007, by Richard Sabin, a sustainable building consultant, and Mark Laurence, a landscape designer. Their goal was to design a new living wall system that would meet the growing demand for a genuinely sustainable option for vertical green infrastructure, especially in urban areas where space is at a premium.

After an intensive period of research and development, they developed a unique modular hydroponic system which is now patented. Launched at EcoBuild in 2008, Biotecture’s living wall system won the £10,000 prize for sustainable innovation.

Mark Laurence stepped down from his role as Creative Director in 2012, in order to pursue his own work. He continues as design consultant to Biotecture.

OUR TOP 5 LIVING WALL DESIGNS

Last year we installed over 960 sqm of living walls and 130 sqm of ivy screen! That’s around 5 tennis courts of vertical urban greening! We created habitat for wildlife, clean air for us to breathe, a place for us to relax, contemplate and think, a natural rainwater storage system, a place to grow organic food and the nourishment for cities to build from more sustainable roots.

We’re full steam ahead heading into 2017 with plenty of new living wall designs in the works but in the meantime be inspired as we round up our Top 5 living wall designs of last year!

 

1. Restaurant Ours Brompton Rd, London.

This new dining nook was opened back in summer by Michelin star chef Tom Sellers in London’s elegant Kensington district. The addition of our floor to ceiling living wall takes green dining to the next level, helped along the way a little by a great assortment of trees and plants throughout the space.

 

2. The Living Box, London.

Taking an every day and under-used piece of street infrastructure and transforming it into something special. We teamed up with the street smart innovators over at PUBLIC SPACE JAM and London based artist Andrea Tyrimos to bring a breath of fresh air to a disused phone box in one of London’s biggest pollution hotspots. We re-fitted the back with cascading greens whilst Andrea enveloped the remaining sides with leafy murals and a starry sky scene inside.

 

3. The Ritterman Building at Middlesex University.

This living wall, contains around 3,500 plants and provides a visual representation of what the building stands for – exhibiting how technology can combine with nature to achieve smart sustainable design. To celebrate the new design we invited local primary school children to help plant a portion of the wall, creating a learning resource they can nurture and see grow one through the seasons.

 

4. Colourful patio backdrop, Kensington, London.

As well as taking on some large projects we also had blast creating the smaller guys, here to show you size doesn’t matter is a residential design we did earlier in the year. This backyard retreat was transformed with clusters of the same plant grouped together for maximum impact. The Heuchera ‘plum pudding’ provides a fantastic ruffled edge which combined with it’s deep purple colour adds intensity and volume to the leafy greens of surrounding fern fronds. Only in it’s first year this wall appears fully established and creates the perfect backdrop to entertaining in long summer evenings or crisp winter mornings gazing outside – the mixture of evergreen with flares of seasonal interest ensures there’s a changing scene year round.

 

5. RHS Tatton Park

Although not a permanent display this project was definitely one of our favourite’s to be involved with. As designer’s it’s not often you get chance to incorporate all your ideas in a single project, but this summer we were given centerstage and free reigns by the RHS to display all the urban greenery our team could wrangle up to Tatton Park. We brought you living walls in every form we could muster. From the intelligent air purifying walls, to the sustainable rain water garden, to the roll your sleeves up and get stuck in vertical farm. Our goal was to enable visitors to take a walk through a compact world of green design. The diverse planting design provided an exploration of the senses as individuals became lost in designs and technology that could be the future of our cities. In addition to getting to exhibit our products, one of our favourite aspects of this project was engaging, exciting and inspiring the public! Despite our exhibit only going on for a few days we met some incredible people and from it, the ideas and motivation we gained still fuels us to do what we do best – transform the concrete jungle.

If you didn’t manage to catch us at RHS Tatton we’re pleased to announce we have plenty of upcoming exhibits at various garden shows in the upcoming months, check back to our events page or follow us on twitter for more details announced soon.

MARCUS BARNETT X TREEBOX

At any time we have numerous projects on the go but it’s always a highlight to team up with leading architecture and landscape companies to help bring their ideas to reality. Recently we had the opportunity to work with multi award winning landscape architecture firm Marcus Barnett on a special project in the city.

Here’s what leading designer Patrick Clark had to say:

‘The project is a series of internal and external private garden spaces.  The use of green walls in this project was to create a lush feeling of a modern winter garden.  The use of plant species was different between the internal and external spaces but the language had to be similar in order to ensure a similar aesthetic.  The result is a feeling of rich greenery throughout the property which creates a seamless transition between the inside and outside of the house.’

What Are the Benefits of Indoor Living Wall and Green Wall Systems?

Interior green wall at David Attenborough Building in University of Cambridge

Climbing plants such as ivy are common in the urban jungle, but landscapers are increasingly using green wall systems to restore the natural balance in towns and cities across the globe. There are numerous living wall benefits, which we’ll explore in this article.

Aesthetic virtues of an internal living wall

Never underestimate the power of aesthetics. A living wall can be a stunning centrepiece of a larger design or made to blend in with the existing environment. Either way, it is aesthetically appealing and guaranteed to be eye-catching from day one.

Air Quality within an indoor environment

Air quality is often a major problem in urban environments. Green walls reduce smog and filter out harmful pollutants and dust, creating a healthier environment indoors and outside. Designers can even include nesting boxes to boost local biodiversity.

Branding above the rest

Many big brands place a strong focus on environmental sustainability. Presenting a brand logo within green foliage is a strong and unique branding statement that customers will remember. The positive effect of a green wall on a national branding campaign will more than compensate for the installation expense.

Morale within office environments

Working in an indoor office has become the new normal for 21st-century employees. Living walls provide a stunning feature to boost employee morale by transforming the workspace and improving air quality.

Improvement in Property Value

People love a living wall and the installation of a green wall system can increase the property value of a commercial development. Green walls also make it easier to secure planning permission, as many planning authorities place a premium on sustainability.

Sound Insulation

Effective sound insulation is important in work environments and integrated living walls are an effective barrier. Plants absorb and deflect excessive noise by up to 10 decibels. Living walls are perfect for airports, open-plan offices, call centres, and other noisy environments.

Temperature

Green wall systems help to regulate a building’s temperature. In summer, a green wall can reduce the ambient temperature by up to 10 degrees Celsius. This helps to lower energy costs, as air-conditioning can be turned down.

The concept of an indoor living wall is nothing new. The idea was first developed in the 1930s by Stanley Hart White, but it only really entered the collective consciousness when Patrick Blanc created his famous green wall at Paris’s Musee du Quai Branly and people began to ask how does a living wall work?

The benefits of a living wall are clear. Contact us for more information on how a green wall system can enhance your indoor or outdoor space.

PowerGear™

Feel the power

Fiskars PowerGear™ is a versatile family of tools that include pruners, loppers and hedge shears to cover most of the cutting needs in the garden. The ingenious gear mechanism which boosts the power of the cut is complemented by sharp, quality steel blades and lightweight, durable FiberComp™ handles.

PowerGear™ X hedge shears

The hedge shear has been designed for effortless trimming of hedges and bushes. It has the unique PowerGear™ mechanism that makes cutting up to three times easier compared to standard mechanisms.

The precision ground blades are stainless steel and coated with PTFE, which reduces cutting friction and prevents pruning debris sticking to the blades. The result is a clean cut surface that heals quickly. The SoftGrip™ handle offers comfort and balance when cutting.

PowerGear™ X hedge shears

PowerGear™ X pruners

The new PowerGear™ X series includes two bypass and one anvil pruners. The bypass pruners are suitable for fresh wood and regular pruning, while the anvil is optimised for hard pruning and dead wood, for tasks where a clean cut is not crucial. The lower blade of the PowerGear™ X bypass pruners enables a precise cut at the right distance from the tree trunk for the best possible result.

The ingenious PowerGear™ mechanism is complemented by sharp, quality steel blades and lightweight, durable FiberComp™ construction. The unique, rotating SoftGrip™ handle, combined with extra hard blades, ensures that the cutting is effortless and precise. The pruner blades are made from extra hard, corrosion resistant steel (CrMoV) that ensures they stay sharp longer. All PowerGear™ X pruners can be used to cut branches up to 2 cm thick.

PowerGear™ X pruners
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Key features – PowerGear X pruners

  1. More cutting power with less effort
  2. Excellent tool balance and control
  3. Increased comfort and reduced fatigue
  4. Long-lasting and reliable

Key features – PowerGear X shears

  1. More cutting power with less effort
  2. Long-lasting & reliable
  3. Optimized tool balance and control
  4. Effortless trimming of hedges and bushes
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3 ways PowerGear X wins

3. Designed for greater comfort

It’s easy to feel like stopping when you’ve done a ton of cutting. Happily, PowerGear X is has been specially designed for increased comfort. Its SoftGrip material and 3D contour moulding means you need less force to hold it.

1. Less strain and less pain

Thanks to our unique patented mechanism, PowerGear gives you three times more force. Add precision-ground stainless steel blades and friction-reducing PTFE blade coating to the equation and you have a real cutting edge combination.

2. Built to last longer

Fiskars is world-renowned for creating hard-working, hard-wearing tools. PowerGear X follows in this fine tradition. As well as the stainless steel blades, it has a weather-resistant, light, and yet incredibly strong shaft.

PowerGear X Pruner M Bypass PX92

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Product number
1023630
Product article number
1023630
International Article Number (EAN)
6411501110145
Width
69mm
Length
205mm
Height
40mm
Weight
230g

Thin Wood Flooring For Greater Flexibility

thin wood flooring

 

The demand for thin wood flooring is going up. For anyone who is of the notion that ‘chunkier is better’ when it comes to any construction or interior material, this may seem odd. But there are really good reasons for choosing thin wood flooring in certain circumstances and in this article we’ll explore them so you can see whether or not this option might work for you.

The first thing to say about thin wood flooring is that it’s incredibly flexible for many different reasons:

  • First, it’s engineered wood flooring, so this means you can literally use it in every room in the home. That can’t be said for solid wood flooring for example, which isn’t normally recommended for use in rooms where temperatures or moisture levels are likely to fluctuate, such as kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Second, it tends to be more competitive price-wise than thicker engineered wood flooring options. That’s because there is less raw material required to make each board. Although the construction process is the same, so the effort input is more or less the same, there’s simply less of it, so it’s normally slightly cheaper.
  • Third, it’s ideal for use where you have under floor heating. Why? Because it lets the heat pass freely and quickly into your room making your system more cost efficient and your room warmer faster.

Although there are certain circumstances where thin wood flooring wouldn’t work, there’s no getting away from the fact that it has much going for it. You can find our full range here. You’ll see that the top layer of these boards are 14mm thick. It is this element that makes the wood ‘thin’.

With more and more people enjoying the many benefits that under floor heating brings, it’s easy to see why this thin wood flooring range is so popular. With no need for your walls to be cluttered with radiators any longer, both the size and flexibility of your room suddenly seem to get multiplied by ten at least! You can put your furniture wherever you want it and you’re no longer worried about the sofa blocking the heat or your prize chest of drawers getting damaged by being too close to the radiator. All those worries are gone. You can put your furniture where you like and move it around as often as you like.

When it comes to choosing the right thin wood flooring option for your home, your ultimate choice will depend on the style of interior you’re hoping to create. Here are three very different solutions that we’ve seen used to great effect in three very different interior settings:

Traditional, classic wood flooring look

This natural engineered oak smoked brushed and UV oiled floor is the style of wood flooring that springs to mind for most people when they think of wood flooring. With its traditional, classic oak look, this floor works no matter where you choose to install it. We’ve seen it used to floor entire apartments or used in selected rooms to great effect. It never lets you down, and is a safe, long term choice is you’re looking for an investment floor at a great price. It also benefits from a UV oiled finish which enhances its natural look and means that it’s protected from the harmful rays of the sun.

Ultra-modern, yet not something you’ll tire of

Once again, this thin floor is natural grade, engineered, but this time comes in a spring grey colour, which is what makes it so modern and fresh. But the great thing about this particular solution is that it’s not so modern that it’ll look out of place in a couple of years’ time. Even though its overall feel is grey, it still has a really natural wood flooring overtone to it. What this means is that you get a truly up to date look without an expiry date when it comes to style. The other great thing about this floor is that it is click system, which means that even a relatively inexperienced DIY-er should be able to fit it, no problem at all, which is a real bonus.

A real top of the range feel that won’t break the bank

Black wood floors are synonymous with class and style and this flooring option oozes both. And at just over £30 per square meter, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this floor cost 4 or 5 times that once you see it fitted. This natural engineered oak that’s been black tea UV oiled is a real stunner. Ideal as either a single room style statement or a full house backdrop, this floor will never disappoint, and like the option above is unlikely to go out of date. This means that you can choose it with confidence.

If you’re looking for a thin wood flooring solution for greater flexibility but you’re not sure which option would work best for you, why not get in touch? At Wood and Beyond we’ll help you make the right choice for your project every time. And you get great prices and guarantees to boot. What more could you ask for?