New app-based product from Schueco UK enables hands-free operation of front doors

The problem of how to open a front door with both hands full has been solved by the introduction of Schueco BlueCon, a breakthrough new product from building envelope specialist, Schueco UK. Schueco BlueCon is an access control module that uses Bluetooth wireless technology to enable a Smartphone to communicate directly with the door, causing the latter to open at the approach of an authorised user. With Schueco BlueCon in place, a Smartphone app (downloadable from Android or iOS) will activate the door lock as soon as the user comes within 4 metres of the door, enabling him/her to enter the building without having to employ a key or even touch the handle. The convenience of this in everyday life – for example when a person is laden down with shopping – means Schueco UK expects BlueCon to prove very popular with end-users.

Schueco BlueCon consists of a small hardware module integrated directly into the door rebate (vent frame or outer frame), which connects to the cable of an electric door lock, activating it on demand. The module is not visible when the door is closed. Suitable for both Schueco ADS and ADS SimplySmart profiles, the BlueCon module – which employs a simple plug-and-play connection – may also be easily retrofitted to any door with an electric locking system. In addition to keyless operation, BlueCon can be set for manual activation (through swiping a key on the Smartphone) and can be programmed with a variety of additional access authorisations to enable entry by children, cleaners and similar users. These may be set up in a number of ways ie on a permanent basis (no time or date limit) or on a reoccurring basis (fixed, recurrent time periods) or on a one-off, fixed-time period. An integral log function records every action of the BlueCon module, providing full details of date, time and personal identity of the user. If desired, the module can also be activated using an Apple i-watch loaded with the Schueco BlueCon app.  

Finally, system security is absolutely assured: the digital keys are renewed every 24 hours and if the Smartphone is lost, unauthorised access can be prevented by changing the user account password in the app or resetting the module to factory settings.

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Hurst marks Hull ‘City of Culture’ recognition with ‘Humber door’

Chris Hornby and Mark Atkinson

Chris Hornby and Mark Atkinson

As the city of Hull nears the end of an ‘extraordinary year’ as ‘UK City of Culture 2017’, Hurst Plastics has unveiled a unique composite entrance door that pays tribute to one of the most prominent landmarks of the company’s home city.

Manufactured at Hurst Plastics’ dedicated factory in Hull, the door features a spectacular image of the Humber Bridge from local photographer Wendy Rowe, who lives in Hessle. The iconic 2,220m long suspension bridge, which was given Grade I listed building status in July, was chosen by Hurst as a fitting subject for the door because it captures the heart of Hull as a thriving city port and vibrant cultural destination. The bridge also inspired the name for the one-off door – the Humber door.

The door was presented to Hull based installer Yorkshire Windows and Doors, which has been a customer of Hurst Plastics for 20 years. The company will display the door in its showroom in Sutton Fields before handing it over to local charity Dove House Hospice. The hospice will auction the door at its annual Winter Ball, which takes place in November at The Country Park Inn in Hessle. The fundraising gala event hopes to raise £12,000 for the hospice.

Mark Atkinson, sales director at Hurst Plastics, presented the door to Chris Hornby from Yorkshire Windows. Mark said: “This is a really special year for Hull and we just had to produce something that marked the occasion and honoured our famous bridge. We have some clever technology that’s capable of reproducing any photograph onto glass and so the idea was borne to create a door with a dazzling image that really captures the essence of Hull. And here it is – the Humber door!

“The finished door is remarkable and we’re proud to have created a real statement piece that’s like nothing else out there. And of course, we’re delighted to donate it to Dove House Hospice and to lend our support to a fantastic local charity. We certainly hope it opens the door to a bidding frenzy at the auction!”

Chris Hornby, managing director of Yorkshire Windows and Doors, added: “It is a real privilege to be custodians of this magnificent door, which is a true celebration of Hull. I’m a Hull man and this year has been an incredibly proud year for the people of Hull as UK City of Culture. I’m very pleased that the door will also help to raise money for Dove House Hospice. I have personal experience of the hospice and it’s a wonderful place.”

The Dove House Hospice winter ball takes place on 25 November at The Country Park Inn in Hessle. For more information and to book tickets, visit

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Behind The Scenes At Conservatory Outlet

Wakefield based fabricator, Conservatory Outlet has released a short promotional video revealing a behind the scenes look at how the Yorkshire plant manufactures some of the most innovative high-quality windows, doors and living spaces on the market.

The first in a series of planned videos, the three-minute film shows the journey of a product from the point of order with a Conservatory Outlet retailer right through to dispatch, emphasising the craftsmanship and attention to detail that goes into every element of manufacture.

Viewers will see a glimpse of Conservatory Outlet’s ordering and design processes, as well as an insight into its quality control, customer services and transport departments. Also highlighted is the company’s commitment to invest in the latest technology such as its state-of-the-art cutting centre and its most recent purchase – the SV800 machine that removes weld sprue for a superior finish.

The video was filmed on-site in the working factory, with staff carrying out their daily roles, and also includes footage of real installations from around the UK delivered by its Network of retail partners.

Conservatory Outlet has planned further videos to be created in the coming months including, “Being part of the Conservatory Outlet Network”, and a sequel for the manufacturing process video which will enable each retail partner the exclusive opportunity to show off their own services, showrooms and installations locally.

Tom Oliver, Managing Director at James Oliver Conservatories (part of the Conservatory Outlet Network of retailers), said “This latest video is a powerful tool for us to be able to show our customers exactly where their products will come from. This is a real asset for us in the selling process, which alongside our exceptional product guarantee highlights the quality products and service we have on offer.

“We have just finished filming for our own showroom video which will follow on from this, showcasing the James Oliver brand locally, we can’t wait to see the end cut”

Conservatory Outlet Managing Director Mick Giscombe added “Being ‘made in the UK’ is an important product feature for many homeowners looking to invest in home improvements. Customers like to know where they are buying from and that they can trust the source.  Our products are only available through one of our 24 approved retail partners, simply because they’re as passionate about delivering an excellent service as we are.

We manufacture to exceptional standards and we’re extremely proud of the care and attention to detail that goes into our products, it’s great that we can now share this for all to see.”


Picture above: Ian Short and his dance partner Olivia Choi.

Integral blinds manufacturer Morley Glass & Glazing’s managing director Ian Short has been crowned the winner in the Variety’s Strictly Ballroom competition and raised more than £10,000 for the children’s charity.

Ian was one of 10 amateur dancers and their professional dance partners who trained for three months before competing in front of a star-studded judging panel, featuring the X Factor’s Ray Quinn, choreographer Ian Banham and professional dancer Jemma Girling. The charity event, which was hosted by TV presenter Gethin Jones, raised a total of £39,500, which is enough to buy a new Sunshine Coach.

Commenting on his achievement, Ian said: “This has been a life changing experience; I’ve lost 4 stone in weight, stopped smoking, and helped to raise more than £10,000 for a fabulous cause. It’s been completely humbling and I am so grateful to everyone who sponsored and supported me and my dance partner Olivia Choi from the North Leeds Dance Academy. We were absolutely thrilled to win both the judges’ and audience trophies.”

Ian and Olivia danced the samba and have already committed to entering more dance competitions and will “keeeep dancing”.

Variety provides practical, tangible help to children in the UK coping with sickness, disability or disadvantage.

To sponsor Ian visit


PRO-CAN has launched a range of high quality door canopies designed specifically for trade installers.
According to Sales Manager Lee Draper, PRO-CAN canopies are easy-fit, add–on sales opportunities for roofline and window installers in both new-build and refurb projects. “These are great quality, UK- made canopies in a range of styles to suit most houses. They are an easy, one or two-man fit and come as a kit with all the high-quality fixings needed to complete the job” says Draper.
PRO-CAN make canopies in the UK from top quality materials and supply the trade through a network of stockists. Tough transit packaging is used so that canopies are delivered in ready-to-fit condition so there is no downtime on site.
The PRO-CAN range includes flat and arched clear, 8.0mm thick polycarbonate in a variety of sizes plus injection moulded GRP designs with excellent tile-effect detailing. All come with an all-in-one pack of fittings to make installation quick and easy.
“We’ve made PRO-CAN one of the most fitter friendly range of canopies on the market” says Lee Draper.
t: 03450 569692  

Liniar Roofline Range Available From Travis Perkins

Image Above:  Simon Braithwaite (left), Category Manager at Travis Perkins, with Liniar’s Business Development Director Tony Basile

Clear communication and a willingness to work together has led to the successful launch of Liniar’s roofline range in 130 Travis Perkins branches in South Wales and the South West – which is set to rise to up to 400 across the UK in the near future.

Originally formed in 1797, Travis Perkins is one of the UK’s largest builders’ merchants, supplying over 19,000 quality trade products – but there was a gap in its offering when it came to roofline.

Recognising this opportunity, Liniar’s Business Development Director Tony Basile spoke with CEO Roger Hartshorn. They formulated a plan and approached Travis Perkins with a proposal.

“When we first heard from Liniar, I wasn’t aware that the brand had a full roofline range,” said Simon Braithwaite, Category Manager at Travis Perkins. “But right from the very first meeting I was struck at the relaxed way that they operate and how well the products have been thought out.

“I was very impressed with their extrusion facility and how all the departments and teams work together to make Liniar a world class systems house!

“Everything that we’ve asked for, Liniar has delivered. The first roll out has been so successful that we are reviewing further and hope to roll out in up to 400 branches.”

Tony says: “Working with Simon and the team at Travis Perkins has been fantastic. They understood immediately what makes our roofline range different to anything currently out there, which provides the branch staff with unique selling points when promoting the range.

“At 20mm thick, instead of the usual 16mm, Liniar fascia boards provide great strength, with longer return legs and extra cover on mouldings for easier fitting.

“Liniar boards are manufactured using the latest advancements in extrusion equipment and technology to provide a consistent thickness of board with improved flatness.

“The Travis Perkins team were particularly impressed with the protective tape we have on our boards. It’s pre-marked and lined which makes it easy to find the centre line for the rafter end. The pin guides are set at 100mm centres on each line, and the lines are set at 25mm intervals.

“Should the board need cutting, installers are guaranteed a straight cut with no need to peel back the protective tape. There’s no need to pre-mark the boards which obviously saves the installer time. This also prevents the risk of scratching or damaging the boards.”

Liniar’s comprehensive roofline range incorporates capping and replacement fascias, both foam and hollow soffits, a full set of associated trims and mouldings, ventilation options and dry verge.

“The stock has been well received and the branches have been impressed with all aspects of Liniar,” said Tony. “This has been a great success because both sides have listened to what is needed and it’s fantastic to see what can be achieved.

“We’re very proud to be working with Simon and the team at Travis Perkins and are looking forward further success as the range rolls out across all the branches.”

To find your nearest Travis Perkins branch is go to

More information on Liniar’s roofline range can be found at



PM picks CDW Systems’ Jerry Web for Parliamentary Review

The chairman and managing director of aluminium specialist, CDW Systems, was recently chosen to attend a prestigious event organised by the Prime Minister Theresa May.

The event – which is called ‘The Parliamentary Review’ – took place in October at the House of Commons and was attended by political heavyweights such as Phillip Hammond MP and Greg Clark MP; as well as economic commentators like Andrew Neil.

The review is organised annually by government to assess the state of parliament and the economy; and a select handful of representatives from industry are invited to attend, to provide their input.

Due to its continued success and position as the UK’s leading specialist aluminium fabricator, CDW Systems were selected to take part in the 2016/2017 review focusing on manufacturing and services.

The chairman of the CDW, Jerry Webb and managing director, Mike Davis, both attended the event.

The review was founded in 2010 by former minister The Rt Hon David Curry, to also provide a guide to industry best practice.

Several editions focus on different policy areas and provide overviews of how each sector has responded to changes in the UK’s political and economic environment.
CDW Systems has been manufacturing and supplying aluminium windows and doors to trade, commercial and retail customers since 1992.

Alongside the gala event, a high-quality magazine is produced with a foreword from the Prime Minister and other MPs as well as a two-page feature on each company invited to attend.

Jerry Webb, commentsed: “We are thrilled that CDW Systems has joined a privileged few in this year’s Parliamentary Review. Only a handful of companies across the UK are selected to take part each year and to receive this level of recognition is a reward for what we have achieved as a team in the manufacturing and services sector.”

Mike Davis commented: “We were delighted to be asked to contribute to 2017’s Parliamentary Review and to act as an example of best practice within our sector.

“In our feedback, we have taken the opportunity to look back on the challenges we, as a business, have overcome in the last 25 years whilst also explaining how we intend to continue our growth in the future.”

You can read an online version of the review here:

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Major HS2 Contracts Mask a Waning Construction Sector

Infrastructure bounced back sensationally in September with six major HS2 contracts awarded on the month worth a total of £7.2 billion. However, the same can’t be said for the remaining sectors in construction, including housing which saw new orders decrease for the first time in six months.

The latest edition of the Economic & Construction Market Review from industry analysts Barbour ABI, highlights the levels of construction contract values awarded in September across all regions of Great Britain. The overall contract value for September was £6.9 billion based on a three month rolling average, the highest monthly figure for almost two years. The strong total was largely based on the commissioning of the large HS2 contracts, which made up six of the top ten biggest projects in the month (see figure 1.1), whilst also masking the pitfalls across other sectors of construction.

Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 09.55.22

(Figure 1.1)

Across the industry, project numbers were down in September by 28.5% when compared to August, which was spread right across the various sectors of construction. Housing saw the biggest drop in contract values, decreasing to £1.8 billion, a 33 per cent drop on the month after consistently high growth since May and has up to now been construction’s most reliable source of high contract values over the course of 2017. Outside of Infrastructure, the only two other sectors that saw growth were Hotel, Leisure and Sport with minimal growth of 0.9% compared to August, and Medical & Health which increased by 10.4%.

Outside of the six HS2 projects, the £300 million Old War Office Building residential development in Westminster was the highest value project for September. This is followed by a new Amazon distribution centre in Bristol with a construction cost of more than £200 million – four times higher than the value of any other industrial project on the month.

Regionally, the West Midlands was the leading region for construction contract value with 35 per cent of the total, followed by London and the East Midlands with 28 and 15 per cent respectively, the three regions with HS2 contracts. The remaining regions counted for 1-4 per cent individual share of the monthly total contract value.

Commenting on the figures, Michael Dall, Lead Economist at Barbour ABI, said: “It was an unusual month for construction in September due to the £7.2 billion HS2 contracts, drastically boosting construction figures and depicting a strong, healthy industry, whereas without the six major contracts it was a poor month for contract values, highlighted by the housing sectors uncharacteristic decrease.”

“Nevertheless the HS2 projects will be a major boost to the workforces in the three located regions, providing thousands of jobs and sub-contracting opportunities.”

For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @BarbourABI for all the latest construction data news.


Phoenix Doors pulls out of PVC door panel manufacturing

Haydon Statham with the Meridian Door

Haydon Statham with the Meridian Door

Phoenix Doors, part of Masco UK Window Group, reports that it is ceasing production of PVC door panels from mid-November 2017, to focus on its successful composite door manufacturing operation.

Commenting on the ‘strategic commercial decision’ to cease panel manufacturing, Haydon Statham, sales director at Cambridgeshire based Phoenix Doors said: “It’s a purely commercial decision and we looked long and hard at doing this because in our heyday we were making up to 1,500 panels per week. More recently this had dropped to around 800.

“Losing panel manufacture will free up the space, time and manpower in our bigger Huntingdon factory to concentrate on rising demand for our composite doors, which we introduced in 2008. Since then, composite door sales have continued to go up and they are our future.”

Saying ‘goodbye’ to the PVC door panel, Haydon added: “Having worked with PVC door panels for 16 years, 11 of those with Phoenix, it’s a sad thing for me, but good in other ways. Phoenix was started and built up on manufacturing panels. Subsequently entering the composite door market in 2008 has taken the company to where it is today.

“We see composite doors as a growing part of the market for the next three to five years. Our composite door sales continue to grow rapidly with existing and new customers selling more and there are still markets that we can tap into. It’s onward and upward for Phoenix!”

Phoenix Doors was founded as Phoenix Door Panels Ltd by Neil Peck in 1993 manufacturing PVC door panels. Composite doors were added to the range at the end of 2008. The company was acquired by Masco UK Window Group in 2013.

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