Superior systems, superior service and now a superior website – Unitex sets the path again!

Unitex has launched what is set to be the most functional and engaging website for its’ customers, and the broader market, that has ever been seen in the Australian building manufacturing industry, adding to its’ already superior service and product offering.

 

Unitex National Sales & Marketing Director, Siska Concannon explains that “the website has been created with the customer in mind – with not only Unitex systems information and information sharing capabilities, but the ability to directly engage with Unitex and with the many highly specialised staff expertise through the Unitex forum, webinar series, online tutorials, social media conversations, and personalised portal. We expect that there will be new information uploaded every day not just by Unitex but by our customers and users of our site. Unitex wants to clean up the industry and set quality as the only option, and with all aspects of Unitex – our product systems, our personalised service pre, during and after care – proving to be setting the standard for the industry, so must our website as it is an extension of our exemplary service and product offering. Our new website achieves this and will continually be updated based on what our customers and the market want.”

 

The website will also house on demand information for all segments of the Unitex market – Application and Installation manuals, Material Safety Data and Technical Data Sheets for the Applicator and Builder; Compliance forms and instructions for the Building Surveyor; downloadable designs for Architects and Building Designers; How To’s, tutorials, what to look for information sheets for the home renovator and DIYer to mention but a few. And with the new Unitex website compatible with mobile, it makes downloads from the website even easier.

 

To see all the fantastic changes and start exploring & engaging with Unitex, go to www.unitex.com.au

Unitex and Revit – the perfect partnership

Unitex has recently launched its’ superior range of Architectural Mouldings and Columns, as well as the Australian markets’ highly accredited cladding system, the Unitex Baseboard System, onto the market leading Architectural 3D modelling software – Revit.

 

As the market leader in Architectural Mouldings and Columns, Unitex through Revit has provided the Architectural and Building Design industry with what they need to accurately specify the highest quality Architectural Mouldings & Columns, and accredited cladding systems (Unitex Baseboard System in cavity and non-cavity).

 

Unitex National Sales & Marketing Director, Siska Concannon emphasised the importance of this undertaking by explaining that “the partnership is a really exciting venture for Unitex as our Architectural and Building Design customers are very important to us, as they are at the forefront of innovation and technology and are constantly exploring unique and exciting functional design. So for Unitex to be able to provide our innovative products and systems to work in with these ground-breaking designs we had to make it as seamless as possible for our customers. Revit provides the perfect platform for this.”

 

A2K Technologies Design Content Manager, Matthew Sheales also commented that “as the largest supplier of Autodesk Revit software in Australia, A2K Technologies are constantly reminded by designers of the value of manufacturer’s content for use in Revit project models. We commend Unitex for their initiative in supplying their products in Revit format, which is a real reflection of Unitex’ s client focused approach to business and their awareness of their customers’ needs. Design Content is proud to partner with Unitex in delivering value to our mutual customers.”

 

For further information on Unitex in Revit, please contact Unitex direct on 03 9768 4900
or email enquiries@unitex.com.au

December, Deregulation and Dust

Author: Siska Concannon, Marketing Manager, Unitex.

Is it really that time of year again? Ensue headache…why not, may as well start early.

In case you thought otherwise, I’m not even talking about Christmas. It’s that time of year when people are either winding down or beyond manic, more so the latter these days. Being in Marketing and the Building Industry means I have a list, longer than I like to think too much on, of details that need finalising and projects that need completing all by December 21. Not really the fun, silly season then it would seem.

I guess I should be happy – I am fortunate enough to do a job I love for a company that prides itself on its commitment to its customers and staff, and most importantly, I believe in and respect…not everyone can say that. So I do get irate when I see companies sully the industry with their immoral practices and poor product offering. I may be playing with fire here, but after watching the recent ‘Tele-Movie’ on the real life events of the Australian Asbestos scandal called ‘Devil’s Dust’ (ABC, 11-12 November 2012), it made me angry that not all the companies involved in this scandal were named and shamed but also that this industry is not more tightly regulated.

Following the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) the world wide banks were put under a microscope, Government organisations were created to police the deals and practices of said banks and heavy penalties were sanctioned. Whilst some could argue that the rate of suicide increased, the banks were not directly to blame for this – in other words their product didn’t kill these people. Yet, a company product has (and continues) to kill people and they only get a slap on the wrist. No jail time. No bankruptcy. No anything. Not to mention the other companies involved, with larger mines that have not even faced a slither of reprimand for their involvement.

Not sure if it is a numbers game? Perhaps as it is not on a global scale? Is 60,000 deaths not enough (estimated number of Australian asbestos related deaths by 2030)? Guess the Government doesn’t seem to think so. This industry is one of the most deregulated industries going, and for an industry that manufactures, sells and constructs possibly the most fundamental item all individuals rely on, it is baffling to me why it is still not heavily regulated.

What I hope comes out of this, including an apology to the victims and their families as well as those directly accountable to stand trial, is that there be heavy regulation in this industry. Not lip service like the current system. Quality manufacturers invest in proving their product worth, and proving they have the goods to back up their product marketing statements – the government body placing ‘regulation’ on these products happily take the money, but do nothing to enforce the requirement. To me, this is not enough.

In the meantime I hope that what changes is that the Australian public realise the value in only selecting, nay demanding, high quality products. Now this is not some insensitive marketers statement to make a sales pitch out of a shocking and devastating event, but more a plea. Whatever brand you choose to use on your house or project – know the quality, know what value you are getting out of it, research not only the company but the products. Ask to speak to customers and get their feedback, listen to the experts in the field (Twitter, blogs, Facebook, word of mouth, talk back radio – that don’t receive kick-backs).

This is your project, your life and your money, don’t give it away to a sub-standard company for a sub-standard product.

I would love to hear your feedback on this issue – what has been your experience? Do you agree or disagree that the industry needs more regulation? Your thoughts shape the way this blog continues, so please provide feedback, comments and questions below.

To Renovate or Sell…That is the question

Author: Siska Concannon, Marketing Manager, Unitex Granular Marble Pty Ltd

Whether it is where Australians work, shop, play or live the Building and Construction Industry performs an integral role in Australia’s economic development and is highly responsive to trends in the business cycle and household spending. With manufacturing constituting 8.75% of the Australian workforce, third in line directly behind the Construction industry (9%), this industry is not only economically integral but also highly volatile.

So it was with some sigh of relief that I read yesterdays article by ‘The Australian’ journalist, Sarah Danckert (‘Building approvals on the rise’) confirming that residential building approvals increased by 7.8 per cent in the last month (an increase of over 12% from September 2011). The relief was not purely from a business perspective (which, let’s face it, is always important) but also from an economic one – this means Aussie’s are spending, and spending in the right areas, which is fundamental to keeping Australia profitable and out of the grips of GFC nightmares.

I of course am interested in what is happening in the building and construction arena, and not wanting to be a ‘Negative Nancy’ or ‘Cynical Cindy’ but did pose the question as to why. Why has this change occurred? Is it purely down to Reserve Bank interest rate changes (and so not really a long term solution)? Or are Australians feeling more confident and secure economically? So I did a bit of probing….

It seems Melbourne housing industry isn’t actually doing that great, which is problematic…if you are looking to sell that is. RP Data research director Tim Lawless has been quoted as stating that ‘Melbourne’s apartment market had shown the greatest weakness over the month and could worsen as thousands of apartments under construction were completed’ (The Australian, ‘Property prices slump in most capital cities’, Nov 02 2012). With apartment prices dropping 6% and housing decreasing by just over 4% it would seem it is not a great time to sell. Although I remain optimistic that this is merely a down cycle, and prices will rise again, I cannot help but believe this is a result of an over-inflated market bubble….as Newton’s law of gravity states – what goes up, must (eventually) come down.

What is interesting is that home renovations are on the increase. It was recently reported that more than half of Australia’s homeowners plan to renovate in the next four years. Makes sense considering the market – if you can’t sell it, you might as well create what you want with what you’ve got.

I recently placed a Tweet out to our followers attempting to start a discussion on this very topic – asking if they are, or are considering, renovating over the next 12 months…and if so, what their biggest renovating challenges are. Admittedly I didn’t get much of a response, which either means my tweet got lost in the list of tweets that would pop up on followers timelines (it is estimated the average Australian Tweeter follows 100 people and brands) or none of the @UnitexAUS followers are renovating. But I am determined to find out what the Aussie market is doing, and in doing so creating more relevant information for our Blog readers, which is my ultimate goal.

So let me know in the comments section below – whether you are a specialist, in the trade or a home owner, your input is greatly appreciated and will assist me in providing you with the most relevant information and discussions for your building and renovating requirements.

The WOW Factor

A few weeks ago I was invited to attend one of the biggest horse racing events on the Australian calendar – Melbourne Cup. Now, there are not many out there (possibly slightly more females than males) that have left organizing their ‘look’ till now…alas I fall into that minority. Whilst on any other occasion this would not pose such a great problem, it does here. This is predominantly down to the fact that I am Melbourne based, and this is the biggest social event of the calendar so the ability to find a look within budget, my style and unique becomes a challenge that not even Felix Baumgartner would attempt.

As any woman will tell you (and some males), the sheer horror of seeing another woman (or male) in the exact same outfit is, well, mortifying. If your own knowledge of your ‘look’ twin isn’t enough, then comes your friends attempt to comfort you, “you look so much better than he/she does”. All this is just too much anxiety for what should be a fun day.

It can be argued that after the 5th Champagne, the care factor would have reached undetectable levels so really no damage done (although your liver may tell another tale). However, the same cannot be said for every similar situation. Your house is always there, and unless you are constantly drinking Champagne (to which you may want to reassess your health status), it is hard to ignore the truth, especially if it looks exactly the same to your neighbours and your neighbours neighbours facades.

The Spring Racing carnival is all about the competitive edge, and I am not just talking about the actual races – who looks the best in what, who will make more of a fool of him/herself, who has the best marquee/lunch to go to and which corporate has the best event and secures the biggest celebrity guest. But what it always comes down to is the look, or as terminology we use – the façade. Whether that be in relation to an event or what someone is wearing, the competition is fierce and always on.

So why do we place such importance on how we look, making sure our look is individual and have that WOW factor, and yet we are more than happy to follow the status quo when it comes to our house facades.

Everyone wants to pick a winner, and placing bets on your home to make sure it looks pleasing but will also bring in a nice return is important and imperative, however that doesn’t mean it has to look like most houses you find throughout your local areas. Individual design matched with surface effects and different features (ie rough cast) can and does achieve that elusive WOW factor…and let’s face it, who doesn’t want to have the best dressed house on the block.

 

We appreciate your feedback on this subject, and also welcome suggestions for future blogs – please leave your comments below.

Carbon Tax…and Underground Homes

After watching what could only be the 1,000,000th repeat of Roland Emmerich’s ‘Independence Day’ it got me thinking about our little planet and the possibility of having to live in bunkers to escape evil alien spawns. Not really, but it did get me thinking about what future we are leaving our children and our children’s children. Not wanting to get all ‘tree hugging’ on you, but the world is changing and how we live has changed dramatically.

It is hard to escape the media, or at least what they want us to see, and you would need to be living in an underground bunker to not be aware of what we are watching. It may not be aliens (but to some the financial markets may as well be) but watching their crippling demise worldwide, some of us feel about as useful as those American civilians running for their life from said aliens. Not only has the financial markets taken a sharp dive, but we must also contend with the ice melting at faster rates than ever before – in hindsight, maybe ‘2012’ was a better movie analogy.

So it would be assumed then that the Gillard governments ‘Carbon Tax’ would be a great way for Australia to start minimizing our impact on the globe. Great in theory, not so much in practice. The problem with this tax is that it doesn’t actually do anything for the planet, and does even less for the Australian economy. Whilst I don’t want to get into a political debate, Direct Action does seem the best option to tackle this world wide dilemma as the Carbon Tax purely discourages Australians and the rest of the world from buying Australian Made. Remember the big ‘Australian Made’ campaign not too long ago – keep Australian jobs in Australia? Well it is still around (I did a Google search, and they still have a website), but unfortunately the very institution that set it up is the very institution forcing us to go overseas!

When it comes to the manufacturing industry – building products specifically – you can’t get much cheaper than Asian imports (Chinese specifically), which is fantastic for the Chinese economy and even better for your back pocket, but (and there is always a ‘but’) not so great for the long term future of your house or commercial project. The age old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ still holds its weight in this example, and believe me, we have seen it time and time again. When purchasing from abroad for cheaper products, and problems happen (to which I can almost guarantee they will), the company will either no longer exist or the product is not manufactured anymore and defect upon defect is seen. However, to actually find a company that is Australian owned and manufactured in the building game is also a rarity as local prices and consumer demand for cheaper prices (and as such reduction in quality) has forced these players out of the game. So not only has the Carbon Tax discouraged international business for Australia but has also discouraged local business for Australia, at the cost of quality….so what is the solution?

With the upcoming election next year how about our Pollies come up with a grant that not only helps the planet and the economy but also benefits the people they represent. Why not instead of the first home buyers grant (which is abolished anyway), we look at ways to incentivise those building a home or commercial project that is energy efficient? A grant that brings benefit to those building with the lowest embodied energy content in the house structure. So this would mean that bricks and steel frames are out, glass must be minimal as it is all made with energy (molton silica), timber frames are in as they are locked up carbon and modified concrete will also be ok.

Another option would be to build underground – not sure how feasible that will be, but will save energy. Or perhaps we should change our desire to live in 200+ square meter homes that are currently the average size being built, and live in tiny houses of 60 to 70 square meters? Again, saves some energy there too.

Or perhaps we look at what the rest of the world (Europe and America in particular) have been doing for decades and in so saving a lot of energy, through insulating surfaces. Insulating surfaces (ie Base Board cladding saves more energy loss (multiple times over in fact) than it costs in energy to manufacture. The locked in carbon from a Base Board cladding system is sustainable for around 60-100 years, and with payback currently at 7 years it is a 9 to 10 fold reduction in energy waste (not to mention the savings on heating and cooling bills – impressive would be an understatement). Providing this type of incentive would require Australian manufacturers to provide quality and accredited systems with guarantees that can be produced for verification (along with the Architects/Building Designer plans) of energy saving structure and design. This would keep our economy strong by keeping Australian accredited manufacturers first in line for buying decision and guarantee quality as well as providing guaranteed longevity to the home owner and/or developer, not to mention actually providing a positive solution for our planet and its longevity.

 

Interested in knowing more about the nationally accredited Unitex Base Board System? Contact us directly with your enquiry here, or have a look at the Unitex Base Board brochure here.

We appreciate your feedback on this subject, and also welcome suggestions for future blogs – please leave your comments below.

Big Brother comes to Melbourne suburbia

Author: Siska Concannon, Marketing Manager, Unitex Granular Marble P/L

I was struck by an article a colleague presented to me this week (Barclay, A, Boroondara Review Local, ‘Council outlaws mock mansions’, October 03, 2012) on the Boroondara councils unanimous ban on rooflines to, in short, discourage neo-Georgian and French provincial houses from being constructed in residential areas. It struck me for two reasons, but both reasons centered on the issue of a home owners right to dictate style and taste on their own home.

This Eastern suburbs city council covers an array of prestigious suburbs, and much sought after addresses in the Melbourne inner eastern area, and has achieved this through immaculate house facades and the timeless classic look of neo-Georgian and French provincial homes. However, regardless of your taste and whether you agree that the neo-Georgian and French provincial look is timeless or even your version of attractive, the point is that councils are looking to have the power to tell you what style is yours and what look your property will have. Now, I cannot speak for everyone, but this lack of choice in one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime seems almost not worth it. We might as well stay in the rental game, as it would seem that soon we may have as much rights there as we would in owning our own home!

Whilst the ban in question is specific to sloping rooflines, there was a comment by Cr Jack Wegman to A Barclay urging that the council also ‘redefine period reproduction to discourage “detailing such as mock-Georgian and mock-French Provincial”’. So it begs the question if taste and style is subjective, and as Australian’s we live in a ‘free society’ (or at least relatively free), who has the right to force their beliefs on us? In this case, and especially when it comes to our basic right to express ourselves in and through our private domains – our home.

Now this may open up a can of worms, but what I am mostly concerned with is a persons right to decorate their home facades to their taste and style, which not only says to everyone that views the property, this is a reflection of our style, but more importantly that you have complete ownership over your dwelling – inside and out. When the statistics show that 70% of Australian households own their own home (80% of these being high income owners) this issue is of considerable importance to a vast majority of us all.

After speaking with many experts in the housing industry and listening to focus groups on this matter, opinion is still very much pro choice. Stylish facades are in-vogue, however what constitutes style is where the discussion gets juicy, as no two people 100% agree with the other, but isn’t this the very definition of style – subjective opinion.

One of the experts I spoke with went onto say “take an uninformed child for a walk down the streets of Melbourne and ask which houses are considered beautiful and every time the answer will be the old-world style of rendered facades with architectural profiles and entrance columns”. He went onto add “In the late 1880s to the mid 1930s companies like ‘Hopkins Plaster’ had over 2000 Artisans crafting all the various stylish buildings in Australia that are, today, listed by the National Trust, and some even awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status, and are required to be preserved. These buildings are of Edwardian, Victorian and Georgian style and generally I do not hear these ‘commentators’ calling these listed buildings (ie The Windsor, The Royal Exhibition Building etc) copies or ‘mock’ designs.” Another expert added “Who is the arbiter?! Who says a ‘mock’ brick veneer or ‘mock’ Californian bungalow is better than a ‘mock’ classic style?  The homeowners are the arbiters and currently they are saying they want classic styles and our builder customers agree”.

When I attempted to be somewhat of a Nancy Drew and approached the Boroondara council to provide comment on what this new vote involves for the residents in question, they were very forthcoming and helpful in their response to clarify that the design guidelines aim is to “ensure new development fits in with the character of the streetscape, and in some cases the guidelines discourage period reproduction design where this is inconsistent with the housing styles in the area” and basically to prevent misinterpretation of ‘mock’ Georgian and ‘mock’ French provincial design.

Whilst I do understand that more often than not, one does not just buy a house, they are also buying into a street/community and all the foibles that come with it, and it can be said that there still involves choice as one can choose to not buy in the particular street if they believe they are being restricted. However, my concern is if this is accepted now for certain streets – heritage or not – where does it end? Will eventually the home buyers’ choice be diminished as councils build strong cases against individual design for more and more streets and areas? Are our Architects and Building Designers going to be forced to follow template designs and thus any form of creativity be squashed? Will we find ourselves in our own ‘Truman Show’ (as a side note, great movie!)? I can only hope we as society do not let this happen.

As a former Premier of Victoria once said “The home owner feels that he/she has a stake in the country, and that he/she has something worth working for, living for, fighting for.” So let’s kick out Big Brother type legislation and regulation and continue the fight to own our own home and be able to dictate what that home looks like.

 

We appreciate your feedback on this subject, and also welcome suggestions for future blogs – please leave your comments below.

The Bronti Project

Unitex bends the rules to spectacular effect with Uni-Base Board

Architects are constantly trying to create the latest design or that ‘something different’. When Michael Farhat, Project Manager for Onsite Construction Group, took one look at this $2 million Bronte home design he knew he had a challenge on his hands. How to achieve that curved wall?

“We considered timber and fibro cladding but were worried about moisture as Bronte is on the coast, masonry was out of the question, as was concrete and formwork,” said Michael. The architect suggested looking into lightweight cladding products so Michael called Unitex® technical sales consultant, John Da Silva, in. John loves a challenge and had recently created a curving tower for a recent project using Uni-Base Board® and knew he could find a solution for the Bronte home too. The Uni-Base Board system, part of the Uni-EIFS™ range, is a low build insulation cladding system.

Ordinarily Uni-Base Board is available in a standard size of 1200 mm x 2400 mm at the required thickness for the thermal comfort specified for the project (generally 50 mm, 75 mm or 100 mm). On this project the design team at Unitex used the system to create three custom shapes to fit the curved wall design.

“Unitex can do anything” John proudly claims, “it just took a bit of thinking and co-ordination between the architect, the builders and the factory and we were able to customise the Uni-Base Board system to achieve the design”. John makes it sound easy and according to Michael his solution did prove to be quicker, more cost effective and straightforward than he imagined.

“The lead time was only a couple of weeks,” Michael claims, “then when the materials arrived it was only 1or 2 days to install, render and complete.”

The seamless, curved finish pleased even the architect who specified that no joins or lines be visible. The crisp, white Uni-PTC protective topcoat will please the owners who will enjoy the low-maintenance, water and sun resistant finish for years to come.

 

Unitex Baseboard system awarded BAL-29

Unitex Uni-Base Board System has achieved BAL-29 and has cemented itself as Australia’s most protected cladding system on the market.

 

The Unitex Uni-Base Board System (BAL 29) is accredited to pass Bushfire Attack Level 29. This is a new Base Board system for Unitex, based on the existing non-cavity Uni-Base Board system, that must adhere to the strict installation and coating specifications in order to be warranted as achieving BAL-29. It is with this in mind Unitex Managing Director and Technical Director has stated that “Unitex strongly advises our on-site involvement prior, during, and at completion of installation (as per the Unitex installation manual) as Unitex must sign off as conforming and complying with all requirements of the BAL 29 Unitex walling System”. Unitex Sales Manager, Luke Molloy continued this statement by stating that “with Unitex sign off and involvement your building surveyor will have proof from Unitex, as the system provider, for confirmation of full compliance to the accredited system”.

BAL 29 Certificate

 

This is welcome news for Unitex, as their continued focus on achieving excellence and proving their systems credibility through national accreditation is at the forefront of all their product development. Unitex Marketing and Sales Director, Siska Concannon states “At Unitex we always say – Your Walls. Our Pride – this is our mantra, what we live and breathe by, and is displayed in all that we do and all that we deliver to our customers and the market at large. This accreditation just backs up our strong belief in quality systems protecting our customers and our customers’ customer’s. So we urge you to get Unitex involved early, from the beginning and right through to after completion, so as to prevent shortcuts and peace of mind for all stakeholders”.

 

If you require BAL-29 for your next project or your own home, please contact Unitex direct for on-site consultation on correct system requirements and installation.

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Quality v Price – The two heavyweights go head to head…

Author: Siska Concannon, Marketing Manager. Unitex Granular Marble Pty Ltd

It has long been established that price is the tangible recognition of value – you wouldn’t expect to pay $10 for a Tiffany ring, in fact if you saw that price you would debate the authenticity and thus would surmise it to be a fake…to which you would probably be right.

So why does this understanding and acceptance of quality and price not resonate to an individual’s highest commodity and most valued possession – their home.

Well, the problem is, ‘they’ do. The home owner, the Architect or Building Designer, Building Surveyors, and the reputable Builders and Applicators do understand and more than accept the notion of quality and the price association…but in an unregulated industry, unfortunately, in some cases ‘they’ are still at the hands of the discreditable Applicators and Builders that are looking for increased margin. Why not, I hear some of you say – it’s not their home, they get to walk away and will be long gone when the cracks and rust marks appear, and in the worst case, serious complications arise. Why can’t we all make money…to (mis) quote the infamous Madge, we live in a capitalist world and we are a capitalist girl/boy. The problem with this is that someone pays in the end, and more often than not this will always be the property owner.

The Australian Building Codes Board have put together a list of criteria that manufacturers must abide by if they are to promote an acceptance by this national body that their systems do what they say they will do, and will provide extensive benefit to the property owner. This accreditation is known as aCodeMark accreditation.

However, currently the ABCB have done little to push this or make it law. So manufacturers that go to the great expense and effort of attempting to achieve this prestigious accreditation for their system (beware of product only CodeMark accreditation) are left with not much to advertise on as most property owners don’t know what it is, or the trade quite frankly don’t have to use it so often will go for a cheaper option.

Architects, Building Designers, reputable Builders and reputable Applicators along with Building Surveyors are forcing the use of CodeMark only accredited systems and, Surveyors in particular, will not accept anything less. As they are all too aware, that if a fully accredited system from the one manufacturer is not used (especially when it is specified to be used) they are all in for one big headache…financially and legally speaking, and quite frankly, why take the risk. If you cannot guarantee a project (manufacturers guarantee) why enter into it, especially when the project in question is not only an investment into your future but will house some of the most precious investments you will ever have.

It is the same argument as can be seen in the car world. Would you place a Ford engine into a Holden and expect it to perform to the promises of Holden, if it even performs at all? Of course not. Taking products from various manufacturers, even if they are designed to perform the same job (ie render coat), will not ensure performance but it will almost always ensure lengthy and costly problems.

So what is the outcome? Sigh and just accept the status quo – the industry is never going to change, so who am I to think I can do anything about it? The greatest fallacy in that statement is that in reality, you are actually in the power seat. If your property design plans or builders quote specify a manufacturers fully accredited system, that is what you are legally required to provide your client, and as the client what you are legally entitled to. If it doesn’t, then make sure it does. Be on site and be the police of your project or your clients project. If you cannot, make sure someone is. Form a professional relationship with a reputable and accredited manufacturers representative/s – get advice and understand what value you are getting in return for the stipulated price. Value is everything and the price is secondary to the long term value. If the manufacturer cannot guarantee their systems, nor supply you with their accreditation details, then be very wary.

Education is key, by knowing what accredited building systems achieve, who best to speak to, what will achieve your clients desired outcome and budget, what to look for and what to ask for, will put you in the drivers seat and provide you with 100% reassurance that the all too common issues with mismatching systems, and thus the nightmare of being left with zero warranty, will not affect you.

 

Unitex Render Warehouse offers free seminars and mini-courses to Trade and the general public on all systems and how to avoid future risk to your new build or renovation.

Contact Unitex Marketing via the website www.render.com.au or on 03 9768 4910.

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We appreciate your feedback on this subject, and also welcome suggestions for future blogs – please leave your comments below

The superior cladding system achieves BAL-40

Unitex Uni-Base Board BAL-40 System has been awarded the highest Bush Fire Attack Level accreditation for polystyrene cladding systems, BAL-40. This is a tremendous addition to the already highly accredited and leading cladding system in Australia, the Unitex Uni-Base Board System.

 

Unitex Managing Director and Technical Director was overjoyed with this result, but has insisted vigilance be taken when specifying and/or using this system. Andrew Concannon states, “for your trust and peace of mind, and to comply with the requirements of Bushfire Attack Level 40 (BAL-40), it is strongly advised that a Unitex Technical Sales Representative quote on all the components required to complete your project in order to achieve total conformance. In order to achieve total conformance to BAL-40, your Unitex Technical Sales Representative will sign off critical installation stages – prior, during and on completion – for the Unitex warranty sign off for BAL-40 accreditation”.

 

Unitex Marketing and Sales Director, Siska Concannon, seconds Andrew’s statement by stating “At Unitex, we take pride in the quality of our systems, and the accreditations they have achieved. There is a lot of technical know-how and research that goes into our systems and products – we take quality seriously and never compromise on this. It is with this in mind, and for your protection and protection of your clients, Unitex only allow approved and accredited Unitex Installers to install any Unitex Uni-Base Board System BAL-40 projects. For your safety and protection, this is a strict policy of Unitex”. This steadfast approach to quality and protection is what has given Unitex it’s unparalleled reputation as Australia’s leading manufacture of façade solutions. And what confirms their delivery of their mantra – Your Walls. Our Pride.

 

If you require BAL-40 for your next project or your own home, please contact Unitex direct for on-site consultation on correct system requirements and installation.

 

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If you are interested in becoming an approved Unitex Installer, please refer to the Accredited Contractors information on the Unitex website.

New Unitex Website Launched!

Unitex is proud to launch the new website for 2013.

With product ratings, online forums, and product libraries, Unitex extends its lead in providing cutting edge building solutions.

Contact our team to discuss your project requirements!

Unitex acquires The Render Warehouse

The Render Warehouse which has been recognised by Applicators as a quality partner and supplier of render products has unfortunately gone into liquidation. With the assets and brand having been purchased out of liquidation by Unitex Granular Marble Pty Ltd.

We wish to assure all customers that it will be business as usual for both brand product ranges and service. The Directors of Unitex are pleased with this outcome and look forward to further servicing our Applicator, Builder and Specifier network.

Q&A interview on BRAC Accreditation

Q&A with: (above right) Andrew Concannon, Unitex Managing Director and
(above left) Peter Roberts, Unitex Research & Development Manager.

Interviewed by: Sally Parrott, Freelance Writer.

What makes Unitex Base Board ‘waterproof’ – is it the Unitex Polymer Render, the Uniflex membrane, the Uni-shape sealant used to seal joints, Adhesive foam to sheet the junctions….Or is it a combination of all these?
AC: The complete system provides a secure weather-proof exterior envelope.
PR: If the Unitex Technical Manual is followed to the letter, it is proven by accreditation testing to be water-tight.

How does it hold up against condensation – with the new BCA rules encouraging builders to make buildings seal tight for energy efficiency, how does Unitex base-board adhere to this?
AC: The Unitex Base Board system when installed correctly does not allow water penetration from external sources and hence in itself reduces the risk of condensation. We have been manufacturing EIFS systems for 27 years, making us the most experienced manufacturer in Australia in this field, and we have not experienced such issues. We are aware of these issues in NZ, which were mostly the result of incorrect installation of fibre cement cladding systems.

How does it hold up against wind and water pressure at corners and exposed edges?
PR: BRANZ and CSIRO tested for water penetration and CSIRO tested for wind loadings, which the product system passed – it is on the basis of these and other results that the BRAC certificate was awarded. CSIRO have determined the optimum spaces between fixes for various wind conditions up to N5, the product is not for cyclonic regions. CSIRO have tested the product for water penetration and have found no water penetrated the system.

How does the finishing’s help (paint or render) with waterproofing?
PR: The Unitex Render, texture and protective top coat systems are an important aspect and form part of the BRAC accreditation (BRANZ and CSIRO tested on the complete system), as they provide an outer barrier to water penetration.
AC: All components of the Base Board system comprise The Unitex External Insulation Finishing System – therefore all combined they form a weather-proof envelope to the building structure.
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Why did Unitex decide to seek accreditation?
AC: Where there is no Australian Standard the only path to BCA compliance is via the alternative solution process based on 3rd party accreditation.

How many other Unitex and/or competitor products have this kind of accreditation?
PR: We believe Unitex are the only company with a complete as installed system to be awarded the accreditation.
AC: To our knowledge a small number of our competitors have a product certified and not a complete as installed system, which can lead to confusion in subsequent warranty responsibilities.

What did it involve?
AC & PR: This is an ongoing process of accreditation. Unitex started this process 15 years ago with an ABSAC (CSIRO) accreditation for Brennar Insulation Panels. 5 years later the Unitex TWS system was similarly awarded a CSIRO appraisal. Now, 10 years later we have been awarded BRAC accreditation from the Building Commission of Victoria. Further certifications are currently in progress for National accreditation via CodeMark.

What does this mean now?
PR: The Building commission of Victoria is satisfied that the Unitex Base Board system when used in accordance with the Unitex Technical Manual is an acceptable Building System for the external insulation and protection of buildings under Class 1-10 of the Building Code of Australia.
AC: What it means for our customers is that Building Surveyors can sign off projects incorporating the Unitex system with risk-free confidence. For the Builder and Home Owner they can be confident that the Unitex EIFS system delivers on its promises, and thus it is not just us saying this – someone else also said so!

Unitex Base Board BRANZ accreditation

Unitex®, Australia’s first manufacturer of EIFS (External Insulating Finishing Systems), is proud to announce that they have been awarded BRANZ accreditation for the impressive Unitex Base Board Cavity System.

BRANZ Appraisals are independent and unbiased assessments of building products, materials and systems. Products are assessed for Building Code compliance and fitness for purpose. As well as evaluation and testing, BRANZ assesses and continually monitors technical literature, quality control, installation, service performance and maintenance. When it comes to providing third party accreditations for cladding systems, BRANZ is recognised as the leading authority by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB).

“I am thrilled that Unitex has been officially recognised as the leading quality manufacturer and supplier to the Australian building industry,” said Andrew Concannon, Managing Director.

Unitex has been manufacturing the highest quality, protective and decorative cladding systems for 28 years.

The world renowned EIFS system offers the ultimate external insulation in both heat and cold. By choosing the Unitex Base Board System for your project you are not only purchasing the highest quality products by the Australian market leader in the EIFS industry. You also receive a complete warranty (on the full system as specified), proven insulation properties and weather tightness – all backed up the southern hemisphere’s most rigorous authority in scrutinising cladding systems for weather protection – BRANZ.

Unitex customers can also be confident in the quality of manufacture, delivery to site, installation and technical support. While the home owner will enjoy the comfort of insulation, savings on future energy bills and the simply outstanding, low maintenance finish.

In 28 years of supplying Unitex Base Board for projects, Unitex have not had a single claim against their 7-year guarantee. With over 5 million square metres of external walls in Australian homes and commercial projects protected from this country’s harsh, seasonal weather conditions by Unitex, that’s reassuring indeed.