Have you thought of…

9 June 2011

... sponsoring some silverware?

Lafarge has, as a local initiative for the town of Syston, where it has its UK HQ, and which boasts the country’s largest granite quarry at Mountsorrel. Perhaps to encourage more kids to consider a career in the industry, Lafarge has donated £1,500 for trophies for Syston’s “Quornament”. One might imagine this to be some kind of Masterchef event using only meat substitutes as ingredients — but actually it’s a two-day football event at nearby Rawlins Community College in Quorn, Leicestershire.

Over the past 14 years, the firm has given more than £8,000 to the college’s over 7s and under 14s tournament. Overlooking the quarry precipice, Angus Sheddon, quarry manager, hands over the cheque to the school secretary in a metaphoric emulation of a manager facing relegation. Okay, it’s not the Premiership, but from tiny “aquorns”...

... using sonic glue?

Fed up of hearing next door’s TV blaring Hollyoaks through the wall? Going mad with all that stomping around upstairs? Yes, it’s true. In one of the weirder offerings from product manufacturers this month comes the Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound. “We help protect the sanctity of residences by keeping noise out,” says Mark Darby of Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, and we’d love to believe him.

Green Glue is a water-based, non-toxic viscoelastic product that dampens noise transmission by “converting sound vibration into small amounts of heat”. When applied between layers of plasterboard or plywood, the makers claim it can reduce noise transfer from one room to the next by as much as 90%, including difficult to deal with low frequency sounds. And it’s all handily available as noise-proofing joist tape for creaky floors or dispensed from a big old caulking gun. It’s a sound idea.

.. visiting Belfast's 'rise'? 

Rise is a 38m high new spherical sculpture designed by Nottingham-based artist Wolfgang Buttress, currently being installed at the end of Belfast’s M1 motorway, above the city’s gateway Broadway roundabout where it hits the Falls Road. The £500,000 duplex galvanised steel commission, consisting of one sphere set inside another, was won in a competition in 2008 and symbolises, according to the artist, “a new chapter in the history of Belfast”.

Scottish firm Highland Galvanizers was tasked with protecting the sculpture’s 1,600 steel discs and 2,400 poles, using its “Colourgalv” process, to create the distinctive spheres. Quite what Belfast’s drivers will make of it when it completes this summer remains to be seen, but we’d draw encouragement from the fact that it’s already been affectionately renamed “The Balls on the Falls”.

... raising the roof? 

People sometimes call the roof “the fifth elevation”, but although it might be “out of mind” design-wise, it’s seldom actually “out of sight”, meaning that all the add-ons such as rooflights, flue vents PVs and solar thermal tubes can turn a roof into an aesthetic disaster area. So trust those clever Dutch to try to do something about it. Ubbink Group and recently acquired competitor Systaic have come up with their unique Systaic Energy Roof.

The roof combines solar thermal panels with PVs and rooflights in one seamless aesthetic so that your south facing sustainable roof need never look like it’s been hit with the ugly stick.

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