First-Class Finish with Knauf from ASH Drywall

Posted by ASH Drywall

Knauf Drywall Airless 001The speed of the Airless products and the minimal clean-up made a welcome contribution to the efficiency of the site.ASH Drywall are great advocates for the new Knauf Airless System so it was with some excitement that we became involved as a sub-contractor to Wates Construction that has just specified Knauf Airless for a fast, high-quality finish throughout Stag House, a new £7m housing development in Putney.

Knauf Airless Finish is a highly efficient spray-applied alternative to traditional plaster for finishing walls and ceilings. Its crushed marble formula makes it easier to level and sand, and the product comes ready-mixed in bags. There is no need to bring water on to the site and application of the product prior to sanding is dust-free, giving a much cleaner and safer environment.

The product was specified primarily for its speed and ease of use, but for us here at ASH Drywall it was a first with this new system, so the training provided by Knauf was an essential part of the service.

ASH Drywall sent a team to the Knauf Learning Zone, the training centre in Sittingbourne, to make sure they were completely comfortable with the system before starting the project and Knauf also followed up with a site visit to answer any last-minute questions.

Tom Hooper-Smith, Project Manager for Wates Construction, was particularly impressed with the safety of the product in use;

"Knauf Airless Ready-mixed Finish produces little dust during application as little or no sanding is required, meaning that the environment is safer and more comfortable for site workers.

The cherry on top has to be that there’s no waste from the product - any unused excess can be scraped back into the hopper, so it is both ecological and economical. It’s a win-win, I really do think it’s the way forward."

The subcontractors are equally enthusiastic. Contracts Manager for ASH Drywall John Abnett commented that:

“The team were a bit unsure initially - but they’re all converts now and they think it’s brilliant. We’ll be happy to tender with this product in the future."

Stag House is located on the former site of Stag House Community Youth Centre in Putney, South West London. The four-storey development is providing 21 new homes including 10 for those with physical and learning disabilities, including accommodation for an on-site support officer. With handover due in May 2020, the speed of the Airless products and the minimal clean-up required made a welcome contribution to the efficiency of the site.

Project Data Value: £2m Architect: Mae-LLP Architects Contractor: Wates Construction Ltd Sub-contractor: ASH Drywall Products used: Knauf Airless Ready-mixed Finish.

Ringmer Joinery

Posted by ASH Drywall

Ringmer Joinery provides bespoke joinery in the heart of SussexAsh Drywall are excited to have a new venture up and running called Ringmer Joinery, a company that specialises in the manufacture of bespoke joinery products including casement windowssash windowstilt & turn windowsfront doors, bi-fold doorspatio doorsfrench doors, and conservatories.

Ringmer Joinery offer a quality driven approach to all aspects of bespoke joinery design, manufacture and installation and is an ideal choice for regular timber window and door installations in Brighton, Hove, Lewes and throughout the South-East of England.

Ringmer Joinerys' experience spans both public and private sectors, in addition to a variety of industry sectors, including: Commercial / Residential, Education, Retail / Leisure and Healthcare.

Ash Drywall supervisor wins successive Health & Safety awards

Posted by ASH Drywall

Ash Drywall supervisor, Adam Payne, who’s been awarded Wates Construction’s “STOPGO” safety award for the second month running.Congratulations to Ash Drywall supervisor, Adam Payne, who’s been awarded Wates Construction’s “STOPGO” safety award for the second month running.

These awards recognise Adam’s dedication to safe working practices, as demonstrated throughout our sub-contract works at the Stag Housing Development, Putney.

Congratulations Adam and keep up the great work!

'Exploited' workers propping up the building sector

Posted by ASH Drywall

Samantha Ireland, Head of Business Change, Gangmasters & Labour Abuse AuthoritySamantha Ireland is the head of business change at the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority and has contacted ASH Drywall to let us know about a story running on the BBC News website.

In the summer Samantha did an interview with the BBC on the work of the construction industry. Due to lots of other news worthy things happening, this piece was unfortunately bumped, but was eventually aired on BBC news at 6pm on 2 December2019.

There is also an extended piece on the BBC website:

Katie Prescott the presenter is really keen on covering this type of story, so there may be more opportunities in the future to showcase the work responsible construction industry players such as ASH Drywall are doing in preventing labour exploitation.

I’m really proud that the industry is being recognised for all the hard work - Good job!

Samantha Ireland
Head of Business Change 
Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority

Ash Drywall sign-up to the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) Construction Protocol

Posted by ASH Drywall

Are You Alright Poster 300pxAs part of our ongoing policy to combat Modern Slavery, Ash Drywall have signed-up to the GLAA Construction Protocol

This joint agreement, between the UK government and some of the biggest names in UK construction, is aimed at eradicating slavery and labour exploitation in the building industry.

By becoming a signatory, ASH Drywall have commited to:

  • Work in partnership to protect vulnerable workers
  • Agree to share information, where possible, to help stop or prevent the exploitation of workers
  • Work together to manage information sensitively and confidentially
  • Commit to raising awareness within the supply chain
  • Maintain momentum through this protocol by communicating regularly

You can read all about this initiative and view supportive videos by following this link:

ASH Drywall trials Knauf spray-applied plaster system

Posted by ASH Drywall

knauff airless 01Ash Drywall are currently trialling the Knauf Airless Finish (spray-applied plaster) system on a high-rise residential development for Wates Construction.

At Ash Drywall, we constantly strive for continuous improvement in working practices. Being open to new methods of working (particularly the utilisation of innovative technologies) is a key part of our strategy and wider business culture. Pursuing this objective, we're currently trialling the Knauf Airless Finish ("KAF") system on a high-rise residential development for Wates Construction.

Utilising a piston pump machine, KAF is applied directly onto smooth surfaces up to four times faster than conventional plastering. Drying times are also faster, allowing follow-on trades to commence work within two days. KAF provides the following key advantages: 

  1. Eliminates Silica Dust - Knauf's plaster formula is entirely free from silica components, ensuring that the risk of silica-dust inhalation is eliminated during sanding-down.

  2. Consistent Finish - The KAF system provides a more uniform surface finish, offering potential savings with subsequent decoration.

  3. Quicker application with less man power - Speeding up the wider construction programme, but not at the expense of quality.

The complete system comprises Knauf Plasterboard, Knauf Fill & Finish, Knauf Joint Filler and KAF spray plaster. The pre-mixed nature of Knauf's plaster range eliminates the requirement for an onsite water supply, ideal for large-scale, tower block construction.

Knauf’s formula has just the required amount of liquid within the mix to enable an easy application. In contrast, traditional plastering methods employ a greater amount of liquid which has the effect of creating longer drying times, extending the build programme. This is further prolonged during the colder winter months.

While traditional plaster dries pink, KAF dries white, creating the ideal background for decorators to begin working on the surfaces. The application from the spray machines also allows for ceilings to be plastered from ground level, eliminating the need for steps or scaffolding (another clear safety benefit) and saving time.

Product waste is almost non-existent with levels of less than 1% when using a spray machine. Excess product can be skimmed from surfaces and recycled back into the machine’s hopper for re-use.

Construction Industry Forecasts - Autumn 2019

Posted by ASH Drywall

Tower crane working in East CroydonThe Construction Products Association (CPA) is forecasting that output will stay broadly flat (-0.1%) during 2019, revised marginally upward from the -0.3% forecast in the Summer.

Looking beyond this year, construction output is now forecast to rise by only 0.5% in 2020 and 0.9% in 2021. This is a significant downward revision from the Summer forecast of 1.0% and 1.4% respectively in 2020 and 2021. This is chiefly due to downward revisions to education, roads and rail construction as concerns continue to increase markedly over government delivery of major projects, given the recent announcements of yet more delays and cost rises to HS2 and Hinkley Point C in August and September respectively.

As with previous CPA publications over the past three years, the forecasts are predicated on its assumptions regarding the UK’s exit from the EU. The CPA’s forecast is based the assumption of either a deal between the UK and EU (effectively the Withdrawal Agreement but with a rewording of the controversial Irish Backstop) or, more likely, a further extension of Article 50 to March 2020 that would enable time for a General Election in November and, potentially a government with a significant majority, which would be needed for UK Parliament to vote in favour of a deal with the EU in 2020 Q1. However, "No Deal" still remains a possibility if the EU refuses further extensions or if the Government can get around the Benn Act (that forces the Prime Minister to request an extension of Article 50 from the EU if no deal has been agreed). As a consequence, the CPA still has a scenario based on the initial direct impacts of "No Deal".