Known in the industry for providing excellent technical support for building specification professionals, designers, installers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), SFS, the market-leading fastening systems manufacturer, continues to enhance its technical support to the industry and provide collaborative support to its partners. David Wigglesworth, MD of SFS UK, explains our strategy.
Collaboration is the key
At SFS, we firmly believe that manufacturers should work collaboratively across the whole construction supply chain throughout the life cycle of a building project. It's important for us to understand the design intent of a project so that we can advise on the best products to achieve the overall building design and performance required. Even the smallest of components, like the fixings or hinges, can complement or compromise the system chosen whether the attributes relate to the aesthetics, quality or performance of the design vision. We also realise that architects and designers can't know absolutely everything about every component of the build and that's why we have Specification and Technical Teams to understand the variables of each specific project and work closely with design teams to select the right product for the application at the design stage. Transferring this advice into project documents via the specification is essential to provide a robust design solution that can be tendered accurately and procured in line with the contractor’s programme.
Receiving key specification material from manufacturers is indispensable as they usually contain important technical information that could be overlooked if a specifier completes the specification in isolation. Plus it has the added benefit of saving specifiers a lot of time and makes data easier to incorporate into their own BIM files.
SFS can provide a range of practical resources such as product literature, technical documentation, BIM files, ETAs as well as the unique Project Builder software by NVELOPE for achieving the right solution for rainscreen support systems. SFS's Technical Team provide on-site pull-out tests and wind load calculations and can advise on technical issues to mitigate risks and ensure the best solution is chosen for a sustainable building envelope.
In the UK, SFS customers also benefit from a specification team which can advise on NBS clauses and ensure important specification issues such as corrosion risk, airtightness and meaningful warranties are fully addressed and that projects meet regulations and avoid costly rectifications.
We also believe that education and a continual cycle of education for designers and contractors will help to improve the specification and build process. SFS offers a new RIBA-approved CPD seminar programme, providing the latest technical insights into creating high quality and safe building envelopes. Five complementary CPD seminars are now available to book, which can be delivered at clients’ offices and are worth double points to RIBA Chartered Architects. All the seminars provide up to the minute technical information and guidance for designing-in longevity, safety, security, legislative compliance and client satisfaction.
With seminar topics including support systems for rainscreen cladding, envelope airtightness and thermal efficiency, fixing of warm roofs, designing roof safety systems and hinge technology, the CPD seminar programme utilises a wealth of technical know-how from right across the SFS Group.
Unique Training Facility
To offer a new dimension to its already world-class technical support, SFS has opened a unique new facility at its UK headquarters in Leeds.
The SFS Academy brings together the complete family of SFS fastening solutions, including its market-leading fasteners for roofing and cladding, Nvelope rainscreen support systems and Soter Safety Systems, in the context of a state of the art training and educational facility. Developed with accessibility and interactivity in mind, the SFS Academy is equipped with a wide variety of sample products for visitors to explore, supported by the technical story that lies behind them.
At the heart of the SFS Academy will be a comprehensive training programme which will be developed to provide structured learning for everyone in the supply chain.
But the SFS Academy is not restricted to SFS events. It is also open for the industry to use, with the conference and seminar rooms available for joint strategic initiatives offering seminar sessions across product or system themes and industry trends and developments.
The creation of the SFS Academy represents a major investment in the company’s UK operations, which has been based at the same site in Leeds since 1891. The Leeds base is key to the global SFS Group network, providing comprehensive technical, specification, sales and logistical support on the doorstep of British customers, as well as providing bespoke powder coating facilities for its products supplied to the UK market.
The SFS Academy perfectly encapsulates the new SFS family – SFS, Nvelope and Soter Safety Systems – with a superbly equipped platform to support specifiers, installers and OEMs. We’ve always led the market in terms of our customer support and this excellent new facility will extend that even further – we look forward to welcoming customers, suppliers and industry colleagues to the Academy over the coming months.
Installing Cembrit fibre cement rainscreen panels as thin as 8mm using mechanical secret fixings just became quicker, easier and safer thanks to the innovative new range of TUF-S rivets by the world’s leading fastening systems manufacturer SFS.
Extensive testing by SFS demonstrated how TUF-S challenges the convention that installers need to use different fasteners for different panel materials and thicknesses. Until now, no other rivet of this kind has provided a reliable secret fix for panels manufactured in both HPL and fibre cement.
The TUF-S range is designed to eliminate the risk of overtightening which can ruin the aesthetics of a façade and result in very costly damage. It consists of nine variants of A4 stainless steel fixings, with a carbon steel mandrel, that can be used to secure a range of panel thicknesses to the rainscreen support clips using the GESIPA Powerbird Pro tool. The rivet’s design provides a wide range of installation benefits to save time and money, and deliver a safer, better quality overall result.
The performance of TUF-S for 8mm Cembrit panels was proven by SFS through a series of load tests conducted in its laboratory in Switzerland. This allowed for a set of technical values to be calculated to enable façade engineers to easily determine the number of fasteners and clips required to accommodate different locations, wind loadings, etc. This provided Cembrit with total assurance according to Ged Ferris, Cembrit UK Marketing Manager:
Ged says: “We are pleased that SFS have developed an innovative mechanical secret fix system for use with the standard 8mm thick rainscreen cladding boards. Designed and tested by SFS for use with fibre cement cladding, the combination of SFS rear rivets and Cembrit boards creates an attractive façade, uninterrupted by visible fixings, that will appeal to rainscreen cladding specifiers throughout the British Isles.
SFS have proven the rivet’s effectiveness in the clearest terms through their extensive testing and this gives us complete confidence in recommending the fastener’s use in any Cembrit rainscreen applications in the UK.”
Installation of TUF-S requires just a standard hole, with no need for complex undercutting – this provides the installer with the flexibility to drill new holes on site if required to accommodate unforeseen issues. The rivet also eliminates the risk of overtorquing, which can damage the rainscreen panels, and it has high pull-out values with no unwinding and uninstallation possible via a hex head.
Andy Stolworthy, Director of Product & Market Development at SFS says: “We’re delighted to have worked closely with Cembrit to provide them with a highly effective secret fix solution that will work across their different rainscreen panels. This development project is an excellent example of how SFS is able to create products with innovative unique features that provide OEMs with the assurances they need and address the most common issues faced by installers.”
Responding to market feedback, SFS has invested in a new assembly facility in Leeds to provide high quality, colour-matched AP rivets for rainscreen cladding. The full range of AP rivets are now available in 3 days lead time in more than 100 standard colours.
Andy Stolworthy, Director of Product and Market Development for SFS comments: "The company’s new investment brings key manufacturing processes to Yorkshire that were previously handled in France. The move has been driven by UK customer feedback for shorter lead times on high quality coloured rivets, and illustrates how SFS is equipped to listen to the challenges that its customers face and respond in the most effective way".
The result for customers is the convenience of being able to source AP rivets in a wide range of RAL colours in considerably reduced lead times. AP rivets are now available in 100+ standard colours that can be powder coated ready for despatch in just three days on orders placed before 12.00 noon, up to a maximum of 5,000 pieces. Additional volumes and bespoke colours can be easily accommodated too, with lead times depending on the specific requirements.
SFS’s AP rivet leads the market for securing rainscreen support systems in face-fixed rainscreen applications. The grade 5 aluminium body delivers ease of installation, durability and long term assurance. Three flange sizes – 11mm, 14mm and 16mm – and a range of rivet lengths provide a solution for securing the most widely specified rainscreen panels to a support frame. Our powder coating processes ensure there is no paint on the mandrel.
Darren Gunga, Head of Operations at SFS says: “We’re always listening to our customers and continuously looking at what we can do to make their lives easier and businesses more successful. Our new UK production facility for AP rivets is the tangible result of our approach, adding to our existing world-class painting technology for fastener systems.
“The new plant transforms the supply chain for specifiers and installers working on rainscreen projects. It is the first time that the market has been able to access the highest quality rainscreen fixings, complete with a premium colour finish, in such short lead times. Crucially, it means customers no longer need to compromise to suit tight build schedules.
“Our closeness to the market means we are in touch with the practical demands that customers face, which is why we’ve invested significant resources in Leeds to streamline the process from ordering to delivery on-site.”
Find out more about AP Rivets from SFS.
Precision-engineered Dynamic 2D door hinges by SFS are helping The Residence Collection lead the market with its premium window and door range.
Having rapidly established itself as the favoured brand for high-end windows and doors, The Residence Collection open-in doors are complemented by premium quality Dynamic 2D door hinges manufactured by SFS.
Residence 9 authentically replicates the traditional style of 19th century flush sash windows, whilst the Residence 7 and Residence2 Collections provide the market with more contemporary, yet equally visually stunning windows and doors. SFS were chosen as a partner for their inward opening doors, with their Dynamic 2D hinges providing the perfect blend of strength, security, aesthetics and long term reliability thanks to a highly-engineered construction and bespoke sash plates. This means the installer can fit and forget.
Sarah Hitchings, sales and marketing director of The Residence Collection said: “Developing The Residence Collection has brought together the best technical minds, with SFS playing a key role. It was vitally important to get the door hinges right, to reflect the quality of the Residence Collection brand – and that’s why we partnered with SFS for their Dynamic 2D hinges. These hinges have enabled us to create open-in doors which combine fantastic looks with smooth opening and closing, and the long term assurance of robustness and security.”
As a manufacturer of door hinges, SFS was able to work closely with The Residence Collection to achieve the perfect match. By developing bespoke sash plates, SFS has ensured a precise and secure attachment to the open-in sash for an attractive result that characterises the brand and protects against door ‘sagging’ over the door’s long, hassle-free lifespan.
Dynamic 2D’s design and build quality also enables Residence Collection doors to offer enhanced security, being successfully tested to the requirements of BS-PAS 024 and allowing for Secured by Design licensing.
Nigel Wood, Director of Sales - Hinge and Fastening Technology at SFS adds: “The Residence Collection is a superb portfolio of window and door systems that we are delighted to make a contribution to and we are thrilled to be working closely with them.”
Leading South West fabricator and installer Seal-Lite Group is gaining an important competitive edge for its PVC-U doorsets through a mix of aesthetics, quality and reliability by combining the Swish profile with Dynamic 2D hinges by SFS.
The Clevedon-based company, which serves trade and retail customers throughout the South West of England, produces more than 300 PVC-U doorsets every month, all featuring Dynamic 2D hinges supplied by Safeware. The combination of the Swish profile design and the Dynamic 2D’s bespoke hinge sash plate delivers excellent visual appeal in a robust, secure doorset in which Seal-Lite customers can have complete long-term confidence.
Seal-Lite Group Managing Director, Chris Shearn, said: “The quality of our doorsets, and all the products we manufacture, depends on choosing the right components and system, and our excellent customer feedback to date suggests that our new specification for PVC-U doors is ticking all the boxes. Switching to the Swish system has enabled us to achieve an important uplift in quality, and one that has been amplified through our decision to use Dynamic 2D hinges.
“SFS provided excellent technical support from the outset to ensure the hinges provide us with that ‘fit and forget’ solution, which is so important for customer satisfaction and for protecting our reputation. The hinges also mean we can provide the assurance of Secured by Design on our doorsets, and the ability to colour match with a durable finish gives our doorsets a visual appeal that sets us apart.”
SFS – a global leader in the design and manufacture of door hinges – is a long established supplier to the Epwin Group’s hardware specialist business Safeware. This organisation offers a ‘one stop shop’ for fabricators of all the window and door systems produced by the Epwin Group, providing a simplified supply chain with easy access to the highest quality hardware and technical support.
Paul Hinds, National Sales Manager at Safeware, comments: “We’ve stocked the Dynamic 2D hinge ever since it was launched in the UK and it continues to impress our fabricator customers, whether it’s a Swish profile or any of the Epwin Group systems. The excellent results that the Seal-Lite Group is achieving with the Swish system and Dynamic 2D hinge combination is a clear demonstration of the technical excellence that lies behind these products, particularly in respect of the system-specific sash plate developed by SFS.”
Find out more about the Dynamic 2D hinge range at www.sfsintec.co.uk.
Andy Stolworthy, Product and Market Development Director at SFS, one of the world's largest manufacturers of fastening systems and high performance hinges as well as designers and manufacturers of Soter roof safety systems and Nvelope rainscreen cladding support systems, shares SFS's viewpoint and progress on BIM.
BIM - A manufacturer's viewpoint
SFS is fully behind the ethos of BIM, but as a manufacturer we've had to carefully consider the value and benefits of creating BIM objects for all of our product ranges. We want to fully support our customers and specifiers throughout the entire specification, selection and replacement process, but we believe structured product data is the answer for some of our products and this data will still enable clients to compare and select products based on value and life cycle costing rather than just price. This should allow for better quality products to be selected so that life cycle costings reduce. This is obviously a far more sustainable approach to construction and something that fully matches our values at SFS.
Structured Product Data
A large part of SFS's UK business is the manufacture and supply of fasteners for the building envelope. The fastener plays a fundamental role in the roof or façade system but with current working practices and BIM software technology we believe at this time a 3D BIM object would be irrelevant.
At SFS, we believe structured data, product information in plain language with simple questions and answers allowing integration into a greater system element, be that data or 3D geometry is the way forward and SFS is leading the way, by developing data for our products that can be used now.
In addition to our CAD drawings, ETA and Technical Value sheets, we have defined our own structured product data templates. Last August, we introduced our self drilling fasteners and offered 5 structured datasheets for fasteners SL2, SX3, SX5, SXC5 and SXC14. These datasheets provide information content that defines our product, its properties and functional characteristics. The datasheets are available in pdf format for free download from our website at www.sfsintec.co.uk . You can also request excel files by contacting us on 0113 2085 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following positive feedback from specifiers, we have continued to develop our data and specifiers can now download a further 30 product datasheets for SFS self drilling fasteners for isofast®, isotak® and isoweld® flat roofing applications.
Where BIM objects do offer significant benefits to specifiers, SFS has created 3D BIM objects for its products. For example, QBM, SFS's sister company, has created 18 3D BIM models for its Soter Fall Protection System which is specified and installed on the roof as a complete system. Authored in REVIT, all standard applications are covered for Trapezoidal roof profiles, Standing Seam and Flat Roof - this model has user configuration on toggle lengths to suit the depth of roof insulation. All Soter BIM models have a data structure with all relevant product information, including COBie and links to the website for details of installation and maintenance. These models are easy to download from www.sotersafetysystems.com/bim-models/ and are ideal for architects or designers who wish to take a proactive and responsible approach to health & safety by integrating a safety system to work with each building’s bespoke design. A more detailed, accurate and prescriptive specification or warranty that protects the building over its entire life, can be requested by contacting QBM on 01924 472251 or by emailing email@example.com.
Nvelope, also a member of the SFS Group based in the UK, have likewise introduced BIM objects for its Nvelope rainscreen cladding support systems. BIM objects provide detailed technical information, accreditations and other background data to integrate into virtual model and simulated building designs. Compatible with both Revit and IFC software versions, Nvelope objects are hosted on the NBS National BIM Library and are available for download to integrate into any BIM software.
Nvelope's online Project Builder tool available at www.nvelope.com goes that extra mile by helping specify a project-specific Nvelope exterior rainscreen cladding system solution taking into account factors such as local wind loads, height of the façade, substrate being fixed to, selected cladding material and the cladding zone.
The Future of BIM
At SFS, we see BIM as a key enabler in achieving significant improvements in cost, value and sustainability during the construction and operation phases of buildings. We will continue to develop our structured product data and BIM objects and embrace any feedback to help us improve our working partnership with specifiers.
For more information, visit our BIM section.
SFS, the world’s leading manufacturer of fastener solutions for the building envelope, has published a new catalogue for its flat roofing product range which is presented in a user-friendly format.
Now available to download at www.sfsintec.co.uk and to request as a printed catalogue, the new 200+ page Flat Roofing Catalogue is a comprehensive update to the previous issue to reflect the extensive range of products and systems offered by SFS. The catalogue details the innovative solutions available for the three main SFS systems – the isofast® fully metallic system, the isotak® thermal break fastening system and the isoweld® induction welding system.
The easy-to-use format, makes finding the right SFS product quick and simple and encompasses fastener solutions for steel, concrete and timber deck, along with critical decks and a new section for flashings, upstands and termination bars. It also includes details of fasteners for metal deck to steel and timber structures, as well as information on SFS’s tools and accessories. The catalogue is also available on our interactive e-Literature platform at www.sfsliterature.com along with our Roofing and Cladding Catalogue.
Martyn Holloway, SFS Flat Roofing Business Unit Manager, comments: “The new catalogue provides an easy to follow guide to our market-leading range of fastening systems for flat roofing. This will assist customers to choose a reliable, fully approved and easy to install solution for fixing membrane, insulation and termination bar to every type of substrate".
The new Flat Roofing Catalogue is part of SFS’s extensive programme of support for roofing contractors, specifiers and membrane suppliers. This includes UK-wide sales and technical teams who provide on-site pull-out testing, wind load calculations and resources including BIM data and project support where required, as well as training facilities to ensure the best possible result in the finished building envelope.
Expert technical support has been at the core of SFS’s success in serving the building envelope market for more than 30 years with a wide range of fasteners for flat roof, pitched roof and façade construction. Operating from its UK HQ in Leeds, the company is part of the Swiss-based SFS Group which has annual sales in excess of £1.1bn and a history dating back to the 1950s serving customers in the construction, automotive, electronics, industrial and medical products markets.
Leading roofing and cladding fastener systems and door hinge manufacturer, SFS, has launched a new RIBA-approved CPD seminar programme for building specification professionals, providing the latest technical insights into creating high quality and safe building envelopes.
Five complementary CPD seminars are now available to book at www.sfsintec.co.uk, which can be delivered at clients’ offices and are worth double points to RIBA Chartered Architects. All the seminars provide up to the minute technical information and guidance for designing-in longevity, safety, security, legislative compliance and client satisfaction.
With seminar topics including support systems for rainscreen cladding, envelope airtightness and thermal efficiency, fixing of warm roofs, designing roof safety systems and hinge technology, the CPD seminar programme utilises a wealth of technical know-how from right across the SFS Group. In the UK, SFS customers also benefit from a specification team which is supported by a technical team and a host of practical resources. These include BIM data for fasteners, ETAs and the unique Project Builder software by NVELOPE for achieving the right solution for rainscreen support systems.
Craig Winstanley, Senior Specification Manager at SFS says: “Our new RIBA-approved CPD seminars encapsulate five key areas in relation to the building envelope in one series for the first time. It’s important to provide clients with long term assurance, and this requires detailing the fastening systems and door hinges at the design stage - and not leave these essential components to chance. With our guidance, our CPD seminars will help building designers succeed in this highly technical aspect of building design.”
To find out more about the SFS CPD seminar programme – and to book a seminar – visit www.sfsintec.co.uk or call 0113 208 5500.
High-performance Just 3D door hinges from SFS are helping Grabex Windows, a leading window, door and conservatory fabricator and installer with multiple operations across London, to grow its share of the timber residential doors market.
The company, who have worked with SFS for the past five years, offers more than 50 different fenestration products in timber, aluminium and PVC-U, serving customers across the capital and surrounding counties. It operates a 45,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility at Orpington to ensure all products are custom-made to a consistently high standard in-house - products which have featured in a property on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.
Underpinning the success of Grabex Windows’ rapid growth over the past decade is its uncompromising commitment to using only high quality materials and components in its products. This applies to its timber residential doors, a product range in which it is experiencing growth as more and more homeowners and developers seek the natural beauty, performance and sustainability benefits of timber.
Every timber residential entrance door that Grabex manufactures is bespoke to customer requirements enabling the scope to deliver both traditional and contemporary styles. One consistent factor is that every one of their timber entrance doors features high-performance Just 3D hinges from SFS.
Just 3D is a European-manufactured, precision-engineered hinge designed for flush-fit doors which provides adjustability in three dimensions – height, horizontal and gasket pressure. This ensures a precise fit for the doorset to deliver the highest level of customer satisfaction and reduce the risk of call-backs and the reputational damage that can bring.
The ability to achieve a superior installation is backed by the quality and visual appeal of Just 3D hinges. Self-lubricating bushes ensure smooth, long term operation, verified when tested to EN 1935, with a load rating of 100 Kg achieved in testing. Being of symmetrical design, Just 3D suits both left and right handed applications with security screws ensuring suitability for both internal and external doors. The system is also applicable to steel frames as well as glass doors.
Michael Grabowski, Managing Director of Grabex Windows says: “We use SFS Just 3D hinges as standard on our timber doors because they deliver the quality and performance that our customers expect from our doorsets. We’ve established an excellent reputation for quality, which has helped to drive our business growth, so we really value components like the Just 3D that we can fit and forget, safe in the knowledge they will stand the test of time extremely well.”
The Just 3D hinge is part of the wide range of hinges manufactured by SFS for internal and external doors. This includes the new W-Tec 3D+, which is a robust concealed hinge specifically designed to stabilise the opening and closing of the door, the Easy 3D hinge for heavy entrance doors and a choice of pivot, adjustable and standard hinges.
Find out more in the Fenestration section at www.sfsintec.co.uk