KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
25th March 2011


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Please note that you are viewing an archived issue of The KBzine.

International News

AEG Neue Kollektion product ranges win iF Design Awards

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Six different product ranges in AEG's Neue Kollektion, launched earlier this month, have won iF Design Awards in 2011's 'Household/Living' appliance category. They are among the 2,756 entries from 43 countries in this year's competition, which is organised by International Forum Design in Hannover, Germany.

Showerwall and Showerlux join forces for a complete solution

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Showerwall, the waterproof wallpanelling brand, has been exclusively selected by Showerlux, the expert in luxury shower design, to be part of company's new all-in-one concept for bathroom retailers.

Mereway Kitchens inspirational new spring 2011 Launch - an introduction

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Mereway Kitchens has done it again! Soft shapes and textural finishes are what it's all about this year, and this Spring sees the introduction of some irresistibly stylish products into its Italian inspired Cucina Colore collection.

KitchenAid adds revolutionary finish to gas hob range

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KitchenAid has built on a legacy of legendary icons from the launch of its stand mixer in 1919 and its first dishwasher in 1949 to create a range of iconic household appliances today.

Whirlpool's new tumble dryers take drying to a new level

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Whirlpool has taken the trusty and time-honoured tumble dryer to new levels of performance with its new and spacious tumble dryers.


by Chervana Hobbs

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'Ecobuild is the world's biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment and the UK's largest construction event of any kind', says the blurb, but I really had no idea how big it would be, how many people would attend and how many products were going to be on show. I didn't quite know where to start.

'From megawatts to negawatts: taking the energy out of buildings'

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'The focus in recent years on energy efficient new build is increasingly understood and accepted: the path to zero carbon is drawn.  But the carbon impact of the built environment is made by the existing stock, and it is here that the challenge to reduce energy consumption lies. How can homes and non domestic buildings use less energy? What are the technical, financial, regulatory and social issues? And, how can a more energy efficient building stock be brought about?'

Welcome to the

The UK budget, delivered on Wednesday by George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, was designed to improve the nation's competitiveness, encourage enterprise, promote growth and create jobs. My initial thoughts are that it will do the trick and it appears that most reputable business groups agree.

As Mr Osborne pointed out, many other countries have seen their ratings downgraded and their borrowing costs soar in recent months. Market interest rates in Greece are 12.5%, in Ireland they are close to 10%, in Portugal and Spain they are 7% and 5%.

"Today our country's market interest rates have fallen to 3.6%," he said. "We have a higher deficit than Portugal, Greece and Spain, but we have virtually the same interest rates as Germany. 

"This is our powerful monetary stimulus to our recovering economy." 

He said that while over the past decade, other nations have reduced their business tax rates, removed barriers to enterprise, improved education systems, reformed welfare and increased exports,  the reverse has happened in Britain. As a result, we've dropped from 4th to 12th place in the global competitiveness league.

However, he also referred to the fact that The European Commission has recently published its growth forecasts. These show that the UK is forecast to grow more strongly in the coming year than Spain, Italy, France, the average for the Eurozone and the average for the EU.

Britain used to have the 3rd lowest corporate tax rate in Europe. It now has the sixth highest. Other countries are making their tax systems more competitive and attracting multi-national companies away from the UK but the Chancellor feels that the changes he's announced will give us a far more attractive system than France, America or Germany.

"I want Britain to be the place international businesses go to, not the place they leave," he said, announcing that from April this year corporation tax will be reduced not just by 1% as previously announced but by 2%. It will continue to fall by 1% in each of the following three years - taking our corporate tax rate right down to 23%.

"That's 16% lower than America, 11% lower than France and 7% lower than Germany - the lowest corporation tax rate in the G7," challenged the Chancellor.



Jan Hobbs


This Week's News

Financing the future - new government help for exporters

Many more British exporters, including many SMEs, are now eligible to apply for short term credit insurance from the UK export credit agency, ECGD (Export Credits Guarantee Department).

ECGD's short term insurance has previously only been available for capital exports, making it of interest mainly to large exporters. In the white paper: 'Trade & Investment for Growth', the Government announced that this would be extended to include finished and intermediate goods. The contract value can be as low as £20,000.

Presenting the Flex Factor winner!

* UT_Grout_Singers.jpgThe Ultra Tile grout range consists of FlexJoint, WideJoint and FineJoint and all three products are now available in their new look packaging! Sporting bright new colours, a modern design, simplified product information and now ideal bag sizes, the packaging is perfect for both retailers and fixers alike.

FineJoint and WideJoint are both formulated to provide a hygienic finish that is mould resistant and water repellent. FineJoint is suitable for joint widths from 1-12mm and WideJoint up to 20mm.

Complete co-ordination from LDL

* Form-Line-insert-LDL-Components.jpgLDL Components, the nationwide distributor of quality furniture fittings, has introduced a range of Form-Line cutlery trays in Silk White to co-ordinate with Blum Intivo drawer boxes in Silk White.

Made from durable plastic, the cutlery trays are suitable for use with both 450mm and 500mm depth drawer boxes and are available in a variety sizes to suit cabinet widths from 300mm to 1000mm.

Ideal Standard International celebrates new RoSPA win

Ideal Standard International, a leading provider of innovative, design-driven bathroom solutions, is celebrating the win of its third RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Occupational Health & Safety Gold Medal Award. The Gold Medal Award is only awarded to companies gaining RoSPA's Gold Achievement Standard level for five consecutive years.

The award recognises organisations that lead the field in demonstrating a rigorous approach to occupational health, with excellent Health & Safety management systems; strong audit results and culture; and high levels of compliance.

Carron Phoenix's Espresso granite satisfies growing trend for organic colours

* Carron-Phoenix-Bali105-Espresso-granite.jpgAs key trend looks revolve around organic tones, warmth and harmony, Carron Phoenix's Espresso granite, launched a year ago, is strongly coming into its own as the company reports a sharp rise in popularity for this chocolate-based, pearlescent colour.

Says Neil Clark, sales and marketing director at Carron Phoenix:

Dear Jan

Thank you for visiting Ecobuild - I hope you found your time at the event both useful and enjoyable.

The presentations from this year's conference and seminar programme are now available on the Ecobuild website and are free to download for all Ecobuild's visitors.

To view the presentations, click and enter your Ecobuild login details.

Craig Rothwell scales Mount Kilimanjaro for charity

* Craig-Rothwell_Kilimanjaro.jpgCraig Rothwell, Managing Director, of 20-20 Technologies has completed a 10 day charity climb up Africa's highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, to raise funds for the biggest youth centre in the UK, Bolton Lads and Girls Club.

Earlier this month, Craig took the challenging Rongai route up to the 19,340 foot summit in his fundraising mission for Bolton Lads and Girls Club. Craig and the team set down the gauntlet of completing the mammoth climb to raise £13,000 for the charity's mentoring scheme.

Young tilers show their skills

* young-tilers.jpgA Skillcase Event, organized by the Olympic Delivery Authority, took place on 10th March at Hackney Community College.

The purpose of the event was to highlight the importance of vocational training in the run up to London 2012, and to raise awareness amongst employers of the high quality construction and engineering talent available.

The Prince's Foundation uses Shaw's sinks

* Shaws-Butler-sink.jpgShaws of Darwen have supplied their traditional Original and Classic fireclay sinks to The Prince's Foundation's Natural House being built at the Building Research Establishment in Watford, near London. The Natural House is a low carbon home designed by The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment using natural materials in a traditional design that reflects the character of its local area.

The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment exists to improve the quality of people's lives by teaching and practicing timeless and ecological ways of planning, designing and building in a sustainable way.

NKBA announces 2010/2011 Student Design Competition winners

The US National Kitchen & Bath Association has this week announced the 10 winners of the 2010/2011 NKBA Student Design Competition, which offers more than $13,000 in scholarships and prizes.

The winners will be awarded at the NKBA Design Competition Awards event on April 26th, 2011 at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, which is being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This prominent industry event will also recognise the professional designers who created the best kitchens and baths of the past year. The event is an exclusive event available only to the press, top designers and select industry insiders.

Electrolux Cube offers unique dining experience across Europe

* Brussels-Electrolux-Cube.jpgElectrolux has this week announce the launch of a unique temporary dining concept. Two Electrolux 'Cube' restaurants will be popping up on a series of landmark sites across Europe over the course of 2011, starting with a placement on top of the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels, Belgium!

The aim is to create an experience that surprises and inspires guests with fantastic tastes and never-before-seen views, ultimately stimulating them to explore their own creative boundaries next time they entertain friends or family at home.

The KBzine Archive Search

We keep an extensive archive of news stories and product information that have featured in past issues of The KBzine. If you would like to run a search of the The KBzine web site using the search tool below please just go ahead by entering in the name of the person, product or company or any other key words that you are looking for.

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News in Brief


Don't forget that the Homebuilding & Renovating Show at the NEC Birmingham, finishes on Sunday at 17.00. It's well worth a visit! E: hbrshows@centaur.co.uk

Congratulations to Whirlpool, awarded the 2011 Energy Star Sustained Excellence award (the highest possible award) by the US Environmental Protection Agency! T: 0208 649 5000

Designer London showroom, Aromabath, is featuring Geberit's Aquaclean WC, which has a temperature-controlled wash and dry function to leave you clean and fresh. E: sales@aromabathjpd.com

K Kitchens' new Ashbourne shaker-style kitchen boasts a light oak, solid timber frame with a veneered centre panel. It has a horizontal grain inner profile. T: 0800 8 77 88 99

Hansgrohe's Axor Citterio bathroom collection has been fitted into all the bathrooms of the new, five-star Four Seasons Hotel at London's Park Lane.  T:  01372 465655


How to contact us at The KBzine:
Jan Hobbs
Publishing Editor
Tel: +44 (0)1372 811 307 
Mobile: 07980 288 373

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John Austen
Publishing Director
Tel: +44 (0)1580 755 863
Mobile: 07766 707 888
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Recent News

kbb London inspires with educational seminar programme

kbb London's seminar programme is set to attract plenty of show visitors, with topical discussions and debates on the hot issues at the heart of the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom design industry. The free seminar sessions will run alongside the exhibition, which launches this year from 15th - 17th May 2011 at the ExCeL, London.

New Polypipe Ventilation catalogue makes specifcation easy

Polypipe Ventilation's new catalogue details its full range of energy-saving domestic and light commercial ventilation systems. This is the first catalogue from the company to incorporate not only Polypipe and Domus product offerings but also the Silavent range of fans acquired by the group last year.

Bushboard invests almost £2m in the future of worktops

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Progressive UK worktop manufacturer Bushboard has invested £1.8m on a brand new worktop line at its Wellingborough-based head office and manufacturing plant in Northamptonshire.

Overloading only increases costs further, warns Swinton Commercial

More van and light goods vehicle operators may be unwittingly increasing their fuel and running costs and reducing their safety by overloading their vehicles, according to Swinton Commercial Insurance.

Polypipe fined after worker injured by fork lift truck

Polypipe has been fined after a fork lift truck that had been lowering a cage containing two workers to the ground, hit one of the men.

OHSAS 18001 certification for British Tile Manufacturer

British Ceramic Tile is proud to announce its recent certification to OHSAS 18001:2007 - the internationally recognised assessment specification for occupational health & safety management systems.

Abode wins JPD Innovation Award

ever in-sync website www.abode.eu

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