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Manufacturer Innovation Helps Deliver Projects Quicker & Better

Posted on 02 Jun 2022

Finding ways to deliver buildings cheaper, faster and safer whilst at the same meeting compliance obligations and ensuring buildings perform to a high standard is never easy.  John Duffin, Managing Director at Keyfix sheds light on manufacturer innovation as a way to create easy-to-install solutions that deliver significant reductions in installation time, whilst solving the industry’s drive for quality.

The built environment is evolving all the time and the demand for newer ways of construction that make site operations more efficient and sustainable whilst adhering to regulations has fueled the drive towards innovation. Manufacturers who combine technical expertise and market knowledge can accelerate the launch of new, game changing construction innovations. Furthermore, manufacturers can get a great sense of ownership through collaboration with customers and solving a real-world problem. They must not be in a situation where they simply create a product which is then sent to a building site and becomes someone else’s problem.

It’s why Keyfix has a set standard in the industry by bringing ground-breaking innovations to market which were developed in response to market demand and by troubleshooting an issue the company has seen the industry face. This was the case with the development of the Keyfix Non-Combustible Cavity Tray (NCCT) System, where the company worked hard to create a product that exceeds the minimum standards set out in ADB (Approved Document B). It has been awarded a BBA Certificate, listed on the NHBC ‘Accepts list’ and is approved by Premier Guarantee and other major Warranty Providers. It is the only non-combustible cavity tray system that does not rely on tapes and mastics to make watertight joints, therefore eliminating one of the main reasons for product failure.

Discussions with NHBC revealed that the number one reason for reopening the cavity wall of a building after occupation was failure in joints and Stopends of DPCs and cavity trays formed using tapes, sealants and mastics. There is a lot of reliance put onto the installer of these other systems which are essentially taped, glued and stuck together on site. It brings into sharp focus the realities of a building site which can be wet, cold, dusty and dirty, therefore making the use of some of these systems virtually impossible and ultimately leading to installation errors.

Fix and forget

The Keyfix team addressed this issue by designing a range that doesn’t need tapes or mastics, therefore eliminating the problem. This was one of the main driving points of the product’s development. Designed and built for best practice on site, the Keyfix system features an ingenious interlocking mechanism that creates a watertight joint without sealants whilst forming an integral secondary weep vent. By eliminating the use of sealants at joints, the possibility of installation errors caused by onsite conditions which can render some tapes, sealants and mastics useless has been removed.

In short, the responsibility for the most critical part of the system and ensuring the installation of the product is fit for purpose is lumbered on the bricklayer on site. A building site does not have laboratory perfect conditions, so the slightest deviation from those conditions caused by on-site dust or moisture, for example, can cause system failure. It’s therefore very hard to achieve a robust installation with tapes and mastic. Clearly, this is not best practice.

At a time when the shortage of skilled tradespeople across the UK continues to be a challenge, the Keyfix Non-combustible Cavity Tray (NCCT) has been developed to meet the practical needs of brickwork contractors and requires no additional specialist skills on-site.

As a manufacturer of building products, Keyfix does not believe that the target for product development should be the minimum allowable standard, as this does not allow for any “on-site tolerances“. If a system is designed to achieve the minimum allowable standard and then encounters conditions on-site that further challenge its performance it can easily drop below the minimum required standard. Resulting in a return to the “gap” between what has been designed and what has been built, which has dominated the headlines for the past few years.

Keyfix’s unique range of external cavity wall solutions provide architects, contractors and specifiers with full assurance that the entire system has been designed and tested to achieve the highest industry standards.

Further Information

For more information about the Keyfix range of non-combustible solutions download the product guide, visit for technical support call 028 8676 7508 or email

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