The Wafer Pattern Butterfly Valve and why you should use them

Industries that deal with substances a variety of different substances from portable, waste and sea water to oil, gasses and air will understand the need for valves. They are an essential item for allowing the flow of these fluids and gases. Without them, simply put, these industries would fail to run efficiently.

However, there are a lot of different types of valves out there for a range of purposes. There are valves with grooved ends, double flanged valves, lugged PTFE valves – and this is just scratching the surface. Many industries will therefore find it challenging to know which kind of valve they are looking for.

It is for this reason that we have decided to discuss one of the most versatile, multipurpose valves on the market – the wafer butterfly valve.

Wafer pattern butterfly valves are among the most popular options and should be the first port of call for industries in need of one. It is a valve that should be simple to use with a variety of needs across a range of different businesses.

The wafer butterfly valve is part of the quarter turn family which means it can be used for regulating and isolating flow with a rotated quarter turn. These are most popularly used in chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries but can be adapted for many different needs.

So what makes the wafer butterfly valve stand out in this family? Well, its most prominent feature is that it restricts backflow by maintaining a seal against it. This is done with a complex series of seals on the upstream and downstream sides of the valve.

However, water pattern butterfly valves will also perfectly under both freezing temperatures of under -50 degrees Celsius and boiling temperatures of up to 180 degrees Celsius. They are also made from durable materials such as stainless steel, WCB and ductile iron.

Furthermore, It is completed with multiple bearings which provide optimal guidance for many years of use, a double-sided profile for ensuring the sleeve-body engagement in outer body recess and a continuously forming lobe with fits between the grooves to stabilise the liner.

Industries in need of a high quality, long lasting valve – they are estimated to remain in perfect working condition for many years – should consider researching the wafer patterned butterfly valve.

Birmingham’s New Tallest Building Is Under Construction

Birmingham’s Natwest Tower is being demolished to make way for a new 26-storey office building that will take its place as the city’s tallest building.

Demolition contractors H Smith (Engineers) have been onsite, stripping the building’s interior since July this year, and a scaffold has been erected around the building to allow them to take it apart one floor at a time, beginning at the top and working their way down to minimise mess and risk, and result in a very neat, controlled romoval of the building which should take about 12 months.

NatWest Tower


Following demolition, the construction of the new tower will generate 500 construction jobs, with completion targeted for summer 2018. Once finished, the new tower, which was designed by architects Doone Silver, will offer 196,000 sq ft of office space and house dozens of businesses and company administrative offices spaced over 19 floors, with restaurants on the ground floor and the uppermost storeys.

The construction director at Sterling, Peter Graham, said “We’re very pleased that Birmingham City Council has acknowledged our unwavering commitment to this project and this great city.” continuing that they will be “replacing an outdated, inefficient building with a modern, landmark office development that Birmingham can be proud of.”

This looks to be an enormous undertaking, and one that we’ll be keeping an eye on as the new landmark takes shape!

What Do The IPAF Training Courses Involve?

The International Powered Access Federation, known commonly by its acronym IPAF, provides a wide variety of fully certified courses to promote the safe and effective use of powered access over the world. The IPAF courses will generally mix theory and practical study to cover aspects of accident prevention, emergency operations and the Health And Safety At Work Act of 1974. They are open to both employers and employees.

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the most common IPAF courses, what they involve and what you can expect to take away from them.

IPAF Operator Course

This IPAF course for those who use Scissor Lifts and Cherry Pickers is one of the most popular options. It helps instruct operators about how to use machine categories 3a, 1b and 3b properly and safely. Those taking the course can choose to train for one, two or three different machine categories at a time. Successful candidates, having taken a practical assessment following the theory, will be awarded with an IPAF PAL Card and certificate. This is internationally recognised and will be valid for five years. The course costs between £174 and £276 depending on which route you take and how many machines you decide to train with.

IPAF PAL And Training Course

This is an optional one-day training course specifically geared towards those who are trained operators working in challenging environments such as steelwork, difficult terrain and confined overhead spaces. Those who have a PAL card qualification in one of the relevant IPAF training courses will be able to apply. It is slightly more advanced than the PAL Operator course focussing on difficult practical training alongside a short compact theory session. and interview. Completion of this course will allow you to get categories like Static Boom (1b+), Mobile Boom (3b+) and Mobile Vertical (3a+) added to their existing PAL Card. It costs £300.

IPAF Demonstrator Course

This is one of the most popular IPAF courses & training for people who work on MEWPs (Mobile Elevated Work Platforms) such as Cherry Pickers and Scissor Lifts. Demonstrators can choose to take a 2 machine course for £234 or a 3 machine course for £276. For an additional £45, this can count as 7 hours towards a Driver CPC. The course will familiarise you with the procedures and responsibilities that come with each MEWP.

IPAF MEWPs For Managers

IPAF training & courses also cater towards managers. Particularly, this one-day course that instructs site managers about how to prepare when employees are using MEWPs. Not about the operation of such equipment, this will instead provide advice on planning and overseeing a site that involves those who do. It costs £198 per person.
Other courses that you can take with the International Powered Access Federation include a harness training course related to use and inspection, a load and unload course for transporting machinery safely, and a Push Around Vehicle course that what was previously known as Machine Category 1a vehicles.

Saving Money On Bathroom Refurbishments


Bathroom refurbishments can cost up to £5000. For those keeping to a tight budget, this expensive price tag is enough to put someone off having a make-over of their bathroom. However, there are plenty of ways to save money, so that you can give your bathroom a slick new appearance at a cost that will not break the bank. We have outlined some of the ways that customers can cut expenditure:

There are plenty of bathroom products available for those looking to refurbish their room, and they will come at a varying degree of prices. It is essential that you shop around and compare prices to make sure you are getting the best deal on everything. You may also want to avoid natural products like stone if you are looking to save money, and wait for the sales if your refurbishment is not a pressing concern as prices will be much lower. However, you may not even have to invest in brand new products; a simple scrub up of your current ones might be just as beneficial. For instance, refinishing your bath could have the same effect as buying a brand new one, while leaving old fixtures in place could also save you hundreds of pounds.

There is no shortage of articles online that will help you with various aspects of bathroom refurbishment, from installing new plumbing to finding the best way to tile your walls. Furthermore, as has already been stated, it is not hard to find suppliers of shower walls, washbasins, wall units, etc. This means the means are there if you wish to do the job yourself. For those with a lot of DIY experience, refurbishing the bathroom yourself could potentially save some money.

However, if you do not have a lot of experience with labour or DIY, hiring a contractor to refurbish your bathroom is strongly advised. After all, there isn’t much point in committing to a new bathroom and spending many weeks working on it for the job to go wrong due to inexperience. Contractors can be a sizeable experience (they are usually available for between £400 and £5000 depending on the size of the operation) but you can guarantee that the job will get do to a professional standard, and no extra money will be spent afterwards in order to fix poor work. To save money, you should speak to several contractors and speak to friends who may be able to refer you to someone for a cheaper deal.

5 Things You’ll Need For Completing a Self Build

The world of self-building has become increasingly popular in recent years, mostly thanks to the rapidly overheating of the UK’s property market. For many, building their own home was considered the only realistic way to get the home of their dreams, and self builds now account for around 12,000 new homes in the UK each year.

The practice of self-building is by no means an easy feat, and can be eye-wateringly expensive without the right planning or foresight. However, with so much assistance out there for budding self-builders, there has been no better time than now to create your personal palace.

What Kind of Self Build?self-build-tips

Firstly, there are a few types of self-build projects that you might embark on. The most common ones are:

  • Self-built one-off homes. These are more for experienced builders or designers who have contacts within the building industry; however, inexperienced builders have also been successful in completing fully solo self-builds.
    A solo self-build one-0ff home gives you complete control over the design and building of your project, and which contractors will do the work. It can also work out cheaper too.
  • Contractor-built one-off homes. These are usually built in liaison with an experienced constructor or construction company, engaging their team of approved contractors and giving you a dedicated onsite manager who will report how the progress is going. It can be reasonably cost-effective (though it is easier for costs to spiral if you are not careful), but it alleviates much of the burden of taking it on by yourself.

Other types include independent and supported community-built projects, and developer-built one-off and group-led projects.

Here are the x things you’ll need to acquire before you start your self-build and throughout its duration.

1. Planning Permisplanning-permission-drawingssion

Your application for planning permission can be made through your local council. Obtain a physical paper form from the council office or complete the application electronically via their website instead.

If you are building a property from scratch, you’ll need to complete a full, detailed permission application for new buildings. This will encourage you to consider all aspects of the building process – some of which you may not have thought of – and include details of ownership for any surrounding land or roads that will be affected.

If you’re converting an existing building, you may also need to complete a change-of-use application as well the initial application. For extensions or outbuildings, you can simply complete a simplified app known as a householder application. Meanwhile, if you’re looking to build with a purpose of selling, then an outline permission application will be for you.

2. Self Build Mortgage

There’s a lot of financial help available out there for people interested in a self build, so be sure to talk to your local building society which will only be happy to help. Norwich & Peterborough, Saffron Building Society. BM Solutions, and Leeds Building Society all have a good reputation for assisting with self builds.

The end value of your mortgage will depend on permissions obtained; plans for the property and the stages of the build, so you’ll need to provide all of this information to your lender. According to Buildstore, you should be able to secure a loan that covers 75% of the land value and 75% of the end value for building costs.

As soon as your build is finished, be sure to ask your lender to perform a valuation as this may help you to get a lower rate mortgage, as well as kickstart you on a repayment mortgage.self-build-mortgage

3. Utility Connections

It is recommended you get in touch with your utility provider at least a year before the build is expected to be finished so that a connection date can be agreed in advance. The provider will also be able to supply you with a map of nearby service locations so that you do not accidentally interfere or clash with any of these facilities during building.

If you or any of your contractors are going to be living on-site during the build, it is essential you get a temporary water service set up in the meantime. Even if nobody will be living on-site for the duration, a water supply is still a useful thing to have to hand when carrying out the strenuous work.

4. Materials

Whether you’re working witOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAh a construction company or managing your project solo, you will likely be involved in the process of sourcing and obtaining the materials for your self build. The materials you will need will largely depend on the construction method you wish to use. This will itself depend on factors like the design of your home; availability; practicality and convenience of moving the materials; whether or not your home will be an eco-friendly home and your budget.

Most British builders for example choose to use masonry or brick-and-block, whilst in Scotland. timber-framed homes are more common. Other types of commonly-used materials for construction include:

  • hemcrete
  • oak
  • cob
  • steel frame
  • straw bales
  • structural insulated panels (SIPs).

Taking all practical aspects into account as well as your personal hopes for the project, you should be able to seek reputable advice and decide on the right materials for your project.

5. Tools and Equipment

As with materials, there may be a stage during the build where you will be responsible for sourcing the appropriate tools and equipment needed for the work. You will be able to liaise with your on-site manager (if relevant) about this, to find out what will be needed and at what stages. Above all however, its important to plan ahead so that the contractors have everything to hand when they need it, avoiding holdups.

One thing you will most certainly need for your self build project is scaffolding, which will line the perimeter of the building site to prevent theft of equipment and injuries to the public. You may also need MEWP-hire-self-buildexcavation equipment to take care of groundwork such as trenches for plumbing and cabling, and access equipment is essential for the moving of tools, men and equipment; as well as working at height.

Access equipment, or MEWPs (mobile elevated work platforms) can be hired for use and there are a range of different types of platform to suit your requirements. A construction company is likely to provide their own, but it is nevertheless important to consult your on-site manager to make sure that all contractors and subs are IPAF trained in the use of such equipment.

Set up accounts with local tool companies who will be able to advise you in the hiring/buying of appropriate tools, or point you in the direction of another source.

Remember that the construction method you choose will also bring its own requirements for alternative or additional equipment (as is the case for steel frame; insulating concrete forms and SIPs).

4 Reasons Why You Should Choose Shower Wall Panels

These days, more and more people are starting to choose shower wall panels as an easier way of acquiring the bathroom design they desire. With easy fitting and almost effortless maintenance, shower wall panels give you the fuss-free experience you always wanted, without compromising on choice or quality.

Here are the four main reasons why you should choose shower wall paneling today.

1. Easy installation & fitting

Shower wall paneling is fast to install, much quicker than traditional bathroom tiles. Without the risk of cracking during the fitting process (as is the case with tiling) the application of shower wall has little room for mistakes and can even be fitted without the need for a professional.

Since there’s no drilling involved, shower wall installation leaves minimum mess and no rubble. Just use the trims and sealants that come with your shower wall to attach it directly to plastered walls, existing tiling or onto battens. There are many tutorials and guides available to assist you.

2. Stunning bathroom designs at a fraction of the cost.

Don’t think for one moment that by choosing shower wall, your design options are limited. Shower wall comes in an endless range of styles, textures, designs and colours, so you’re sure to achieve the look you want even if you’re reluctant to forego tiles.

Choose from plain; flecked; mosaic; marbled; rippled; sparkled; matte; glossed; granite-look or even a tiled-look. Finding a reputable shower wall fitter with the style you want is likely to bring you closer to making your dream bathroom a reality.

3. Complete water-tightness, guaranteed

With shower wall, you can be certain that there’ll be no water leaks that can come from cracked or broken tile grouting. With proper installation, shower paneling is one of the best ways to ensure a completely waterproof bath or shower stall area.

As it lasts fifteen years on average before needing to be replaced, shower wall may also be more long-wearing than tiles, which need to re-grouted regularly to maintain their function.

4. Easy maintenance

Unlike tile grouting which offers crevices for bacteria to hide in, shower wall panels are a much more resistant way to combat dirt and soap scum build-up. Throw out the abrasive cleaning agents as your shower wall won’t react positively to them. Instead, simply wipe down with a good-quality anti-bacterial spray at least twice a month.

This will ensure your shower wall panels stay looking clean and shiny…all with no scrubbing!

Ideas For Your Bathroom Refurbishment

bathroomrefurbishmentWith housing prices at an all-time high, the prospect of moving home is almost incomprehensible for many British homeowners. Therefore, instead of moving to a new residence when in need of a change of scenery, a lot of people choose to refurbish their current one instead. One of the simplest rooms to begin with is the bathroom; it’s generally the smallest place in the house and can be transformed in just a few weeks. But where exactly do you begin? We have listed some ideas you might wish to consider for your bathroom refurbishment. One of the first things you should research before you go ahead with any work, is finding a trusted plumber and bathroom fitter, that is reasonably priced.

Be Creative With Your Floor Tiling

Many people simply decide to use colour or design of floor tile for their bathrooms. Turning this on its head and experimenting with various shades of tiles is one of the trends we are seeing from people making a bathroom refurbishment in 2014. Think about what colours might complement each other well and get creative; mix and match them in unconventional ways to make your bathroom chic and quirky. You will however want to be consistent with the material you use, whether it’s the dirt-resistant travertine tiles or aesthetically-pleasing marble tiles.

Change Your Shower Walls

Most homeowners will have showers with ceramic tiles that are difficult to maintain — everyone seems to have a theory about the best way to purge the tiles rid of grout, from a baking soda and vinegar paste to a mix of laundry detergent and water. If you are in the process of considering a bathroom refurbishment, now may be the time to finally switch them for something much easier. High Quality wall panels for your shower, for instance, can be set up in just 12 hours in a variety of designs and colours. This alternative simply requires a squirt of anti-bacterial spray once a month to keep them clean.

Consider A Level-Access Shower

The biggest appliance in a bathroom, the shower is the first thing that people will notice when they enter the room. Therefore, no bathroom refurbishment is complete without making a major change to your shower. One of the most popular styles that people have been choosing this year is a level-access shower which seamlessly blends your floor into your shower. It’s a cool, clean look that will make your bathroom look very modern.

Make The Most Of Free Space

Unlike most of the other rooms in a home, the bathroom doesn’t require a lot of items. Your average room will just have a shower, sink and toilet. This leaves homeowners with a lot of free space that they can work with. You could erect storage cabinets, install television screens or squeeze in some exercise equipment in order to fill this empty space. It will make your bathroom stand out from the rest; a unique room that will be the envy of all your house guests.

Universal Hire athe Queens Diamond Jubilee

IPAF TrainingAt the Queens diamond jubilee, Universals 52M Bronto truck was asked to work with a TV company that was filming the celebration in addition the filming of the event was only possible because of the skill of staff tasked with operating the truck. Also Universal stated that they where proud to be part of the filming and felt a sense of achievement.      

In addition Universal are constantly updating there fleet so that there customers have access to the latest in specialised equipment. Universal also provide a service where some of there experts will come out provide site surveys and offer informed chooses for what you might require for you job.


About Universal Hire

Universal hire is a UK based access hire rental company, with over 30 years experience in there field they provide  an impressive range of equipment. Universal’s hire fleet consists of over 70 types of MEWPS.

Universal also pledge that all your access needs will be met, they also have a IPAF Rental+ accreditation.

The equipment supplied by Universal includes  self drive and operated truck mounted  cherry pickers and specially designed narrow access units.



Nationwide Platforms’ 2014 Expansion Plans 

69540_2_previewBritain based company Nationwide Platforms recently spent £24.5 million on its rental fleet for 2014.

The money will be used to purchase around 700 new boom and scissor lifts. They will be taking place of the companies older fleet that is made up of around 10700 units. The 2014 cash injection marks the third year of mayor fleet replenishment. In addition more than £70,000,000 has been spent on the fleet since 2012 the company stated.

The majority of the 2014 investment will go towards new diesel boom lifts  and scissor lifts  from Genie. The company will be making a further cash  injection in their specialist vehicle division spending 3.5million on truck and van mounted platforms from suppliers Bronto and other companies.

Nationwide Platforms’ director, Jeremy Fish, said:

[quote]Here at Nationwide Platforms we strive to deliver the industry’s most positive customer experience and service.[/quote]

Jeremy Fish went on to say that the companies investment demonstrates the companies commitment to customers. He also suggested the company will continue to honour their longstanding commitment to providing a leading hire fleet across there 26 UK locations.




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Why Construction Site Managers Should Be IPAF Trained

ipaf trainingHealth and safety is of the utmost priority when you are managing a construction site. More so than meeting deadlines or saving money, making sure all the members of staff under your supervision is crucial. The problem is that while the broad stokes of health and safety are fairly obvious, the regulations that surround them are often very complicated. When you consider that the demands of health and safety are constantly changing too, it is an area that can be quite problematic for site managers. Quite simply, it is difficult to keep up. This is why IPAF training is absolutely essential for those who manage construction sites.

What Is IPAF Training?

IPAF stands for the International Powered Access Federation. It is a not-for-profit trading body that represents the interests of workers who operate or oversee the operation of power access equipment on a daily basis. This can include mobile elevated work platforms like cherry pickers and scissor lifts. The International Powered Access Federation and its members have developed IPAF training courses in order to both teach and refresh some of the essential skills related to this field. It is commonly regarded as one of the best courses in the industry and is widely used.

Why Should Construction Managers Consider IPAF Training?

One of the many courses that the International Powered Access Federation offer is a MEWPs For Managers course. It is an essential one day training programme that provides education about the knowledge and responsibilities that site managers might need to know. It intends to equip managers with the skills to deal with problems they might face in their day to day work regarding health and safety. The IPAF course covers the likes of machine classifications, regulations on lifting operations and equipment, and a refresher of the Health And Safety At Work Act of 1974. Many of these things are legislation that you are legally obliged to know as a site manager. You will be issued with an IPAF MEWP Managers certificate at the end of the course if you are successful following an assessment.

How Much Does The MEWP For Managers Course Cost?

The International Powered Access Federation’s courses usually cost between £140 to £220 depending on how many people you wish you apply with and how many categories you wish to study. You can expect the aforementioned MEWP for Managers course to set you back somewhere in the region of £170.

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