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Solus Decor collaborate with Border in a Box at Gardeners’ World Live

Solus Decor at BBC Gardener's World Live

Solus Decor have collaborated with Border in a Box to create a sensory garden for BBC Gardeners’ World Live.

Solus Decor worked with Border in a Box to provide the water element of the sensory border at BBC Gardeners’ World Live entitled the Jar of Life.  The border had a focus on wellbeing using sensory plants with inviting scents, taste, touch and feel. Border in a Box incorporated the Solus Decor water feature as part of the design to contribute to the feeling of calm and wellbeing in this sensory space.

Solus Decor at BBC Gardener's World Live
Solus Decor Water Dome pictured in the garden created by Border in a Box at BBC Gardener’s World Live with a backdrop of screens by Screen with Envy

 

This inviting space created by Border in a Box proved to be a big success at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, winning a platinum award from the judging panel.

 

What is Border in a Box?

Not familiar with Border in a Box?

Border in a Box provide garden border template kits to enable anyone who is new to gardening or time poor the confidence to buy the right plants and know where to put them. Border in a Box allows you to achieve a beautiful border easily in less than a day.

To celebrate the border created for Gardeners’ World Live they have launched the new wellbeing border.

 

 

Solus Water Dome

The Solus Decor water features are made from high performance concrete. They are designed to withstand all the elements whether indoors or outdoors.

The Water Dome is a self circulating water feature making it both simple to install and environmentally friendly due to the recirculating water.

The soothing and relaxing qualities of water are well known. Water evokes the idea of wellbeing and self care that are so important in today’s fast paced lifestyle.

 

Solus Decor Water Dome at BBC Gardener's World Live
Solus Decor Water Dome at BBC Gardener’s World Live

To find out more about Border in a Box at BBC Gardeners’ World Live, why not have take a look at the feature on the BBC presented by garden designer Mark Lane.

To find out more about Solus Decor water features get in touch.

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Solus at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018. Launch New Modern Accessory for the Outdoor Gas Firepit.

Solus Decor at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2018 exhibiting fire pits, fire bowls, water features and accessories in London, England

We are looking forward to once again showcasing our fantastic garden terrace fire pits as we preview what else is in store for visitors at the 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London.

This year Solus Decor are excited to launch a new accessory for the Hemi fire bowl. The metal table top  can convert into a drinks ring for the 36 and 48 Hemi fire pit and hence adds a new dimension to the use of this contemporary and sculptural firepit. A simple disk table top is also available for the 26 Hemi. They are constructed out of noncorrosive aluminum and stainless steel. Therefore they are perfect for social gatherings in residential or commercial settings.

Solus Décor Hemi Gas Firebowl Firepit. With metal drinks ring. Shown on the terrace at Predator Ridge Resort Canada. The metal table top turns this firepit into a modern table when not lit.
Solus Décor Hemi Gas Firebowl Firepit. With metal drinks ring. Shown on the terrace at Predator Ridge Resort Canada. The metal table top turns this firepit into a modern table when not lit.

Chelsea is at the forefront of the shows for the garden industry. This year is no exception and we are excited to see the CHERUB HIV Garden: A Life Without Walls designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen. Naomi is working with HIV partnership CHERUB to help raise awareness about young people living with HIV in the UK and beyond. Featuring a Solus Water Dome, Naomi has designed a space that could be recreated within a home garden context. The garden uses specialist planting and design to take visitors on a powerful symbolic journey helping to promote acceptance and understanding about the condition.

Chelsea 2018: The CHERUB HIV Garden designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and featuring a Solus Decor Water Dome.
Chelsea 2018: The CHERUB HIV Garden designed by Naomi Ferrett-Cohen and featuring a Solus Decor Water Dome.

Another must-see garden will be The Myeloma UK Garden, designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell. It will highlight the work of Myeloma UK. A bold 7 tonne, 12 feet high sculpture will rise from the garden as its centrepiece and as a result, promises to be unique and contemporary.

Chelsea 2018: The Myeloma UK Garden Designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell.
Chelsea 2018: The Myeloma UK Garden Designed by John Everiss and Francesca Murrell.

On the Solus Decor stand on Pavilion Way PW/608, we will of course be displaying and demonstrating a selection of our best-selling fire pits and water features.

Next to us will be Chilstone on stand PW/607. This year Chilstone are proudly celebrating 65 years of handmaking cast stone in Britain and always have a fabulous display.

If you are visiting this year, please come and see both stands. We look forward to meeting you.

Contact us for more information on Solus products. Or visit our website: www.solusdecor.co.uk. Made in Vancouver, Canada. Shipped worldwide.

For more information on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show visit: www.rhs.org.uk

 

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Memorial Garden at Trinity Western University

A scholarship and courtyard renovation honour the life of Jordan Thiessen.

A very special fire pit was installed at the Trinity Western University in British Columbia.

It is in memory of the life of Jordan Thiessen who was a student at the university. During his time at the university Jordan felt that the unloved and uncared for Douglas Courtyard could be a beautiful space. With some planting and a fire pit it would offer a place for students to relax and enjoy on campus.  Something he shared with his parents during a campus visit.

When Jordan sadly lost his life on October 18 2012, just 12 days after he married his university sweetheart, the family wanted to do something in his memory. His parents, Shirley and Carey set up the Jordan Thiessen Memorial Scholarship endowment but they wanted to do more. They recognised the deep impact that the University had on Jordan’s short life. They felt that making over the Douglas courtyard would not only honour Jordan, but it would also benefit all future students. Shirley threw herself into raising funds for both the scholarship and the courtyard project. The Jordan Thiessen Memorial Courtyard was dedicated September 14, 2013. On what would have been Jordan’s 24th birthday.

 

Hemi Fire Pit at Jordan Thiessen Memorial Garden at Trinity Western University

The memorial garden is now a wonderful place for students to enjoy, which gives great pleasure to Jordan’s parents.  If you would like to give to the courtyard project, or to the Jordan Thiessen Memorial Scholarship, please email Shirley Thiessen at [email protected].

For more information on Solus fire pits and water features please contact us.  TF:44 0208 819 1495 E: [email protected] W: www.solusdecor.co.uk

 

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Feature Project: Hyatt Regency Waikiki, Hawaii

A look at the Luxury Hyatt Regency Hotel just steps away from the world famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Hyatt Regency Hotel is synonymous with luxury and the Waikiki Beach hotel is no exception.

The hotel is equipped with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, Ko’olau Mountain Range or the exhilarating city centre. This allows you to take in everything that Honolulu has to offer.  The hotel also features wonderful architecture and design to ensure the guests can enjoy the spectacular views wherever they are in the hotel. All rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows and private lanais.

The Hyatt Regency recently updated their club lounge terrace with Solus hemi firebowl firepits.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii

The world-faThe faThemous neighborhood of Waikiki is located on the south shore of Honolulu and was once a playground for Hawaiian royalty. It is known in Hawaiian as “spouting waters,”  and Waikiki was introduced to the world when its first hotel was built on its shores in 1901. Today, Waikiki is Oahu’s main hotel and resort area and a vibrant gathering place for visitors from around the world. Along the main strip of Kalakaua Avenue you will find world class shopping, dining, entertainment, activities and resorts.

With so much in the surrounding area the Hyatt Regency Hotel Waikiki is the perfect beach place to base yourself to enjoy all that Honolulu and the rest of Oahu has to offer. After a day of exploring, the hotel has created the perfect spot to sit back, relax and enjoy the views with a a drink around the fire in the evening. The hotel have used the Hemi fire pits as part of the outdoor area in the Regency club area.

Hyatt Regency Waikiki fire pits
Hyatt Regency Waikiki featuring Hemi Fire Bowls

 

Hyatt Regency Waikiki Club Lounge
Hyatt Regency Waikiki Club Lounge

Solus Firepits for Commercial Projects

Solus provides quality commercial grade firepits for hotels, restaurants, resorts and other commercial locations. Our firepits have the best warranty in the business and outstanding in-house customer service. We ship in museum quality containers almost anywhere in the world. We have CAD drawings for all of our designs and regularly assist architects, designers and developers in specifying a Solus firepit for commercial projects. Contact us to discuss your project.

The fire bowl creates light and ambiance in the hotter months. The Hemi also provides the additional benefit of heat to the outdoor seating area on cooler evenings. It ensures that guests can make full use of the terrace throughout the year.  The Hemi fire bowl is available in 3 sizes, 10 different colour options and 3 different fuel options. This makes it adaptable to a wide range of settings, both commercial and residential.

To find out more about the Hemi or similar products we would love to hear from you. Or to book a stay in Waikiki get in touch with the Hyatt Regency.

T: 44 0208 819 1495
E: [email protected]
W: www.solusdecor.co.uk

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FAQ’s about Fire Pit Certification and Warranty

Questions you should ask when selecting your fire pit about certification and warranty:

 

Is your fire pit Certified as an Appliance?

Fire bowl

What does this mean?

New requirements are that both the burner and the vessel or enclosure must be certified to CSA/ANSI or CE standards and tested as such.

Most fire pit companies buy a “certified CE burner off the shelf and simply insert it into their vessel or brickwork.  This means that the burner and vessel have not been tested in relation to each other. This is changing in the field due to regulatory and insurance demands in the field. Many European countries are introducing new regulations for fire pits to be fully certified as appliances. The rapid availability of fire pits in big box retailers and online has spawned a wave of regulatory and insurance changes.  Therefore the code and compliance of fire and fire pits in residential and commercial settings is becoming more stringent.

Why does this matter?

Simply inserting certified burners into bricks, concrete, metal, or other materials (as was done commonly in the past) is on the way out. This is because the burners and vessels are not tested and/or certified in relation to each other. The heat of the burner can react differently with different materials and the quality of the vessel. Improper ventilation or improper shut offs can also be dangerous and are also considered in the CE certification process.

What has happened to instigate this change?

In many jurisdictions the gas fitter or inspector has rejected burners that have been set into non-certified vessels or enclosures built on site. The gas fitter or inspector must sign off on the installation and will be looking for the “tags” for the whole appliance – not just the burner.

Solus fire pits encountered this challenge in North America and it is becoming apparent that the same things is happening in Europe as the popularity of fire pits increases.

Why don’t more fire pits companies certify?

Certification is painful, expensive, time consuming, laborious and requires deep technical expertise. Furthermore it has to be done in relation to each product that you manufacture, therefore if you have metal and concrete vessels you have to certify for each material – not just the burner.

Ask about Warranties and ask for details:

When shopping for your fire pit, ask specifically: What are the details and length of time for the warranties? Who handles the burner warranty? Who handles the warranty on the vessel?

Having undergone the entire certification process we introduced the best warranty in the fire pit world. As of 2016 Solus manual lit burners carry a 5 year warranty, 25 years when purchased with a cover.  They are made of brass, don’t rust and we are the manufacturer.  Solus concrete carries a 5 year warranty when purchased with a cover.   Our electronic systems carry a 3 year warranty when purchased with a cover.  This is an extension of the 6 months or 1 year cover normally given by electronic fire pits.  Solus warranty – the best in the business.

 

 

 

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Solus fire bowls by New York’s Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal reviews the Solus

Playing With Solus Fire

By LAILA KEARNEY

Fire pits have evolved from caves and campsites to become a central part of outdoor living. In a survey of 166 landscape architects, fire pits ranked as one of the most requested residential outdoor features of 2013, according to the American Society of Landscape Architects. The pits are increasingly designed to use gas instead of kindling for environmental reasons and safety, while still bringing heat and art to the outdoors.

The Hemi is 36-inches in diameter, 16.5 inches tall. Solus Decor's Hemi 36 pictured here in the colour Arbutus.
Solus Decor’s Hemi 36 pictured here in the colour linen.

Blazing Bowls

Hand-cast concrete décor company Solus built its first fire bowl six years ago for a client wanting flames to rise from within her cascading swimming pool in coastal Victoria, British Columbia. Fire pits have since become the Vancouver-based company’s best-selling product, said company president Brad Carpenter. Solus pit designs include this Hemi fire bowl. The Hemi pictured is 36-inches in diameter, 16.5 inches tall and can be built to use a propane burner or, more commonly, a natural-gas line that runs beneath the surface of the product.

 

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Can a fire pit add value to your home?

Solus Hemi 36 Firebowl Photo credit: Houston Landscaping
Solus Hemi 36 Firebowl Photo credit: Houston Landscaping

About 3 million outdoor firepits/fireplaces are installed every year in North America according to the Hearth Patio & Barbeque Association, as part of an overall trend toward more extensive outdoor living spaces”

Reinforcing this growing popularity is the results from a recent Residential Landscape Architecture trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects, which found that fire pits are the 3rd most popular outdoor feature after lighting and dining.

“Homeowners know that designed landscapes add value to their lives as well as their property values,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “They’re interested in livable, open spaces that are both stylish and earth friendly.”

When considering a firepit you can expect to see a range of costs – from a few hundred dollars for a small portable fire pit that will last for a few years, to a few thousand for a luxurious fire pit that makes an architectural statement and will be a permanent feature of your home. There are also several fuel options for your fire pit – such as natural gas, propane or ethanol (bio fuel).

The convenience of natural gas or propane gas fire pits are well known. In many communities wood burners are either not allowed or banned during many parts of the year that you would probably want to be outside by a fire. The mess a wood burner creates can be substantial.

Other considerations include non combustible clearances to overhangs, the amount of heat you may or may not need and how your outdoor seating may interact with the firepit.

Like fireplaces, there are numerous questions about firepits and a Solus Decor Design Consultant would be happy to assist you with your project.

Give us a call at 1+ (877) 255-3146 or visit our firepit gallery at www.solusdecor.co.uk/photos/

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Solus now a part of Climate Smart program

Solus part of Climate Smart program

Since 2012, we have been busy working behind-the-scenes on the Climate Smart program and we now have some exciting news to share with you about the great initiatives we have put in place to cut our carbon emissions.

What is Climate Smart?

Climate Smart helps businesses measure and reduce their carbon footprint while cutting costs. They help small and medium-sized enterprises, like Solus, calculate emissions and strengthen businesses while building a resilient economy.

What we measured:

In 2012, we measured everything that contributed to the production of our products from energy used to heat produced and the production of concrete all in the goal of identifying where the biggest producers of carbon were.  From this we made a plan to make some changes to cut our carbon. In the end of 2014, we will re-measure our carbon output to see how successful we were at reducing our carbon footprint.

What we learned and implemented:

The main area where we concentrated our efforts was in shipping. Shipping heavy objects takes a lot of gas which contributes to carbon emissions. So we are in the middle of a sustainability plan to switch from wooden crates to crates made of recycled cardboard.

The second area was in the production of concrete. In order to make concrete, we use water, cement, aggregated stone and sand. In simple terms 1lb of cement = 1lb of carbon. By replacing 10%-15% of cement with fly ash which is an industrial by-product, we have reduced our carbon count by 15%.  We are also investigating the use rice bran husks, another by-product, and will see which works out better.

Solus firebowl
Walter pouring concrete for a Hemi firebowl using new efficient standards

The third area was in the pouring and production side of concrete. Here, our ultimate goal was to reduce wasted concrete and energy. We have (and are still in the process) of creating procedures that will allow us to make more accurate batch sizes. We want to make sure that every employee that makes a product, makes it in exactly the same way so we know exactly how much water is needed, for how long a batch must vibrate and make sure that moulds are cleaned perfectly so there aren’t imperfections in the finished product.

The Climate Smart program isn’t just reserved for production though, we were also able to make some improvements in our office too. For instance, we implemented a paperless system to reduce paper waste and now have implemented paying suppliers electronically. We also put in energy-efficient lighting in a number of areas in the  building and now use T5 fluorescents which are more efficient than our previous lighting.

In implementing all these changes, the biggest impact we faced was in changing our own habits which has resulted in a cultural shift in our staff. We were environmentally concerned before, but now having gone though the Climate Smart program, we’re so much more aware of the materials and energy we use and take the extra time to do the little things like, turn off the lights, not use an extra piece of paper etc.

Why we joined Climate Smart:

Fundamentally as a manufacturer we are always striving to produce a product that is better and become more efficient at producing it – it almost goes without saying.  But there is more to it than that.  By eliminating waste and changing our attitude to waste and over production we have eliminated literally tons of material from landfill and the recycling depot.

We feel good about this – it can‘t help but translate into less carbon emissions.  We are not sure we will ever be a zero-waste facility but we are trying. It has been a very worthwhile exercise from a production warehouse person putting up signs to turn off the lights at the end of the day to the office staff moving paper docs to the “cloud” when we used to produce countless boxes of paper documents.  More to come – for more information visit Climate Smart.

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Solus Decor Recycling Series – Part 1 – Concrete Elephants!

Since its inception 16 years ago, Solus has been conscious of its waste stream.

Background

Six years ago, we started to seriously consider our recycling streams and our carbon footprint.  We had conversations with a group at UBC who were just launching a program for companies called Offsetters, a carbon footprint management program.   They came to our plant and gave us some very valuable instructional tips.  This led us into a full on attack on our waste streams.  We had just moved to a larger production facility and built spaces and recycling depositories to accommodate our recycling program.

We found that as we became larger, we started to produce more waste.  Our customer base was also increasing and we began  to ship all over North America.  This was an exciting development, as it allowed us to create even more fabulous concrete products, like our line-up of outdoor fire pit products.

Yikes!  There’s a concrete Elephant in the room!

Having been around for 16 + years, we have literally poured thousands upon thousands of batches and therefore, our approach to production is quite scientific. Our formulas and mathematics when it comes to producing our concrete is accurate within 2%.  We minimize the waste whenever and wherever we can, but even at 2%, it adds up over time!  We had to address this.

It began to feel like the “ elephant” in the room.  And it was made of concrete!

Another use for a concrete Elephant!

After studying our recycling history and the countless recycling depositories, bins, crates, odds and sods that we now have at Solus one of our summer students, Sam, posed an interesting question.   How many concrete elephants (in weight) have we recycled since our program went into place over six years ago?

So this became a project for our fresh faced summer student.  How much concrete has been recycled and what does happen to the contents of the Solus’ recycling bins after they are taken off site? … this is what she found.

When there is any excess or reject concrete at Solus, the concrete gets put into a bin and gets picked up by a 1-800 Got Junk.  They take it to a Sand and Gravel company, and gets broken down.  Recycled concrete is used for a variety of construction purposes.

–         Aggregate base course (road base)

–         Untreated aggregate used as foundation for roadway pavement (under pavement surfacing) forms structural foundation for paving

–         Soil stabilization – the incorporation of recycled aggregate and using it in soil to stabilize and change the water susceptibility

–         Recycled concrete can be used as a foundation to lay on the ground around pipes as, is used as an alternative to virgin aggregate

–         Landscape materials

With 3,500 – 4,000 lbs of concrete recycled every 5-6 weeks, there has been an accumulation of approximately 220,000 lbs of concrete recycled since Solus first started recycling concrete in this manner. An additional 60,000 lbs was recycled when a thorough “house-cleaning” was conducted in 2010, giving us these rather grand totals,

280,000 lbs, or

127,000 kg, or

140 tons of concrete recycled!

To put that in perspective, the African Elephant, one of the largest land animals on Earth, weighs on average 9,500 lbs.

= almost 30 Elephants!

Or a herd of elephants!

All of this concrete was diverted from our local landfill.

Our next blog will talk about all the other waste streams and where they go.

Stay Tuned for Part II on the Solus Recycling Series.

 

Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_10883639_cute-little-elephant-cartoon-character.html’>teenbull / 123RF Stock Photo</a>