“2016 has started where 2015 left off – very busy for new projects”
- Green light for £3.5bn Silvertown Quays
- Office construction hits 13-year high in Birmingham
- Green light for £90m Oxford technology park
- Lighting Market Optimism for 2016
- Support for Landlords’ Certificate soars following home safety event
- Technology manufacturer welcome visitors to view low voltage assemblies
- A Year of rapid progress and exceeded targets
- Get ready for World Plumbing Day
- CORGI HomePlan uncovers full extent of CO poisoning in England
Green light for £3.5bn Silvertown Quays
Chelsfield, alongside partners Imagination Europe and First Base, are planning more than 3m sq ft of mixed-use space on the docklands site owned by Government.
The scheme will see an iconic flour mill not used since the 1980s converted into a new centre for business and enterprise alongside more than 3,000 homes.
Several branded pavilions will also be built to showcase and exhibit products from leading global brands.
Work began earlier this year, following a £12m government investment secured by the Mayor of London, to demolish parts of the interior of the former flour factory and rid it of asbestos in order to fast track redevelopment.
That work means the site will be ready to welcome the next generation of start-up business by 2017.
Sir Stuart Lipton, who leads The Silvertown Partnership, said: “The decision by the Mayor of London ensures that this derelict and forgotten piece of east London is reinvented as a new creative hub for our capital – drawing the world’s best creative talent, most ambitious start-ups and most innovative businesses – to make, show and share.”
Silvertown Quays is the latest in a string of schemes to regenerate London’s docklands. They include plans to create the UK’s largest floating village at Royal Victoria Dock, the ABP business port at Royal Albert Dock, Siemens Crystal Centre and Crossrail.
Plans are also being developed to build the Silvertown Tunnel to connect the Royal Docks and Greenwich Peninsula, which if approved could become operational by 2023.
Office construction hits 13-year high in Birmingham
The latest crane survey from Deloitte shows nearly 1m sq ft of office space is currently under construction in the city – the highest level since the survey began back in 2002.
The ten-year average is 384,000 sq ft and the historic low in 2013 saw levels drop to just 14,000 sq ft.
Six new starts were recorded during the last quarter of 2015 a “after a period of low levels of construction, activity has returned to the city.”
The survey also reveals an increase in leisure and retail developments in the city and a surge in hotels and student accommodation schemes.
Edwin Bray, lead partner of Deloitte Real Estate in the Midlands, told the Birmingham Post: “This is an incredibly positive report in many ways and reflects the sentiment towards Birmingham and the wider Midlands region that we are seeing across our firm and client-base, not just here in the UK, but globally.
“The Midlands Engine is roaring loud and clear and the year-on-year improvements and investments, such as the £600 million refurbishment of New Street Station, the Grand Central shopping centre and the new Midlands Metro, just continue to strengthen the city’s offer.”
Green light for £90m Oxford technology park
Joint developers Hill Street Holdings and Bloombridge have gained planning for Oxford Technology Park on the northern outskirts of the city.
The £90m scheme at Langford Lane has been designed by architect UMC to create 430,000 sq ft of research and development space at Kidlington.
It will consist of two Grade A, three-storey buildings with office, R&D and innovation space plus a range of two-storey buildings behind.
Angus Bates, CEO of Hill Street Holdings, said: “Oxford Technology Park will deliver top quality office and R&D space for businesses of all sizes, set within 20 acres of landscaped grounds. Each unit will be modelled as bespoke units and we are able to offer ‘design and build’ solutions to suit individual occupiers.”
Richard Cutler, Partner of Bloombridge said: “This project has taken 13 years to come through the planning system, with a recorded loss of 352,000 sq ft of enquiries for space from R&D businesses in the last five years.
“We are delighted that Cherwell District Council has supported the Local Plan Inspector by confirming that very special circumstances exist for the grant of this planning permission in the Oxford Green Belt.
“As George Osborne said in his Autumn Statement, in the modern world one of the best ways you can back business is by backing science, and this is exactly what Oxford Technology Park does.”
Hill Street Holdings will start construction early this year.
Lighting Market Optimism for 2016
A new report on the UK lighting market from MTW Research forecasts healthy growth in 2016 as sales of LED lighting continue to invigorate the market.
With real term growth predicted in the lighting market in the next few years, the report identifies a number of key opportunities for lighting suppliers to grow sales to both domestic and non-domestic sectors, with 4% growth forecast for 2016. Overall, sales in the UK lighting market are set to exhibit above inflation growth to 2020, with LED lighting providing significant impetus.
MTW identify several technologies set to offer growth and new directions to the lighting market in 2016 and beyond. Li-Fi for example uses light to transfer data at very quick speeds, harnessing state of the art light sources to provide lightning quick connectivity. ‘Energy retrofits’ are also set to offer significant growth for lighting supplies in 2016 according to the report. Enhanced efficacy of LED lighting has continued to boost lighting refurbishment, with new build also set to underpin demand growth to 2020.
Based on data from 200 lighting suppliers, MTW’s report presents a positive forecast for the majority of key sectors within the UK lighting market. However, developments in diode technology and increasing consumer confidence surrounding LED’s continue to result in LED lighting outperforming the overall market. In response to the research, MTW’s lead analyst, James Taylor said, “The growth of LEDs and prominence of Internet distribution define the future of the UK lighting market. Consumer confidence has risen significantly, underpinning sustainable growth and offering a promising future for lighting manufacturers and retailers willing to adapt to changing demands and distribution patterns within the market.”
However, whilst the 320 page report highlights numerous opportunities for manufacturers and retailers, MTW also present several key threats to the industry which have the potential to dampen growth in 2016 and beyond. One such threat is the over saturation of the LED market, which has been observed in the US lighting industry in the last few years. Volume demand for LED lighting will increase as manufacturers seek to capitalise on its commercial success, however this could promote rising pricing pressure.
Nevertheless the over-riding tone of MTW’s report is one of positivity with tangible growth forecast for most end use sectors in both domestic and non-domestic applications. The report also provides a share by distribution channel and analyses the independent retail sector in detail since 2010 with forecasts to 2020. The research found that more than 65% of lighting retailers experienced revenue growth in the last 12 months, as well as more than 95% of retailers have a fair-excellent credit rating, highlighting the overall stability within the UK lighting Industry.
Support for Landlords’ Certificate soars following home safety event
Backing for industry-led change to safeguard tenants has climbed to new heights following the success of Private Rented Sector Safety Shocks.
The milestone Westminster event was held on 10 December to showcase and promote debate on a new, groundbreaking home safety certificate and package of supporting guidance.
Developed by a sub-group of influential industry forum the Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR), the certificate brings together everything from legal requirements on gas and electrical safety checks as well as confirmation of working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to a legionella risk assessment, falls prevention checklist and more.
Commenting on the event, MP and co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group Barry Sheerman said: “Safety in the private rented sector is an issue that affects the lives of millions of tenants across the country. It is vital for Government and industry to move forward together and this event represents a promising step along that road.”
Chair of the Home Safety Sub-Group of the Electrical Safety Roundtable, Charlotte Lee said: “It was fantastic to see such a great turnout. The support we received stands testament to the importance of the Home Safety Certificate in safeguarding tenants and empowering landlords to make informed choices.”
Commenting on the certificates, Jane Guaschi from insurer Direct Line for Business said: “Representing a unique resource that will enable landlords to demonstrate the safety of their property more comprehensively than ever before, the certificate is an interesting prospect for insurers across the country. Direct Line for Business will be working closely with the ESR to explore the full potential of the documents as a means to positively incentivise safer homes.”
Ashley Martin of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) noted: “The Home Safety Certificate produced by the ESR brings important safety obligations together for the first time, offering landlords a valuable new point of reference. We are particularly pleased to see that the certificate allows risk assessments for a significant range of factors to be recorded, including trip hazards and the presence of blind cord safety devices, as part of a whole-house solution.”
Chris Town of the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) commented: “By making life easier for the conscientious majority of landlords, the Home Safety Certificate is a great way to improve safety without increasing regulation. This is really good news for landlords, who can now benefit from a clearer understanding of their obligations, without being subjected to unnecessary red tape – an approach that complements RLA’s Safe and Secure House campaign.”
Representatives of over 40 prominent organisations attended the Private Rented Sector Safety Shocks event to progress an industry-led solution for an area of the housing market where a third of properties fail to meet the government’s Decent Homes Standard. This concept received support from: LABC, ARLA, Savills, JELF, NAPIT, Ombudsman Services, Propertychecklists.co.uk, and EcoSurv among others.
Technology manufacturer welcome visitors to view low voltage assemblies
Leading UK manufacturer of low voltage assemblies and systems integration Boulting Technology has built a new demonstration area for its extensive range of low voltage switchboards. Based at Boulting Technology’s Warrington site, the new area is an extension to its existing workshop.
Created to demonstrate its extensive range of low voltage assemblies and switchboards, both existing and potential clients of Boulting Technology can now view the extensive range of equipment that the companysupplies. The new equipment ranges from small 400Amp distribution boards to 6300Amp, up to 100kA fault rated, low voltage switchboards.
The new demonstration area has been designed to offer visitors a full view of the inside of the switchboards withthe demonstration assemblies having their outer panels replaced with Perspex. This allows the client to gain an insight into the design of the assembly to comply with the BS EN 61439 standard and also the assembly’s innovative non forced heat dissipation capability.
“Initially, these switchboards were part of a testing process we conducted in collaboration with ABB,” explained Ian McWha, key account manager at Boulting Technology. “Many of our existing customers are unaware of the work we do beyond a standard MCC, so the ability to view the Boulting Power Centre range of low voltageswitchboards showcases our broad spectrum of products manufactured here in the U.K.
“It’s beneficial for customers to be able to spend time in the demonstration area to gain valuable knowledge of the switchboards. Knowledge that would be difficult to gain from drawings and the outside view of the assembly,” continued Ian McWha. “So far, visitors have been very impressed with the area, specifically with the attention todetail that is involved in the copper busbars and supports and the heat dissipation techniques.”
Since opening in September 2015, the demonstration area has welcomed a number of existing and potential Boulting Technology customers to view the low voltage switchboards and assemblies. Visits can be arranged by contacting the Boulting Technology team at any of its four UK locations.
A Year of rapid progress and exceeded targets
The European Water Label is growing rapidly. Its reputation is reaching the farthest corners of Europe and its database of premium bathroom and kitchen branded products has grown to such a size that it has become the most dominant product labelling scheme of its type.
Yvonne Orgill managing director of EWL, in her recently published Annual Review, indicated her delight with the progress of this voluntary and value-led scheme.
“2015 proved to be a turning point in the development of our product label. The scheme grew very rapidly this year. It now covers 14 different bathroom product categories and embraces the national nuances of 38 countries. It is already available in three languages and boasts over 11,000 different products, from 98 brands, in its database. To end the year, the scheme was presented with its fifth Award, this time from SWIG, the Sustainable Water Industry Group. Needless to say we are delighted how the label progressed this year.”
The scheme is entirely voluntary and can react quickly to adapt to changes both in the market place and in bathroom technology. And to give it greater strength and sustainability it is now partnered by eight National Trade Associations across Europe.
Maintaining integrity has always been a key feature of the labeling scheme and its annual audit of products listed in the online database proceeded as usual in 2015. A selection of 275 products across 36 registered brands were independently tested by four European test laboratories. Checks were also made to ensure published marketing material and websites were using the label correctly, and obsolete products were regularly cleared from the listings.
The European Water Label gives both the consumer and the industry professional alike, all the necessary water usage characteristics of bathroom and kitchen products. Simply put, the water consumption for each product can be seen at a glance and the information provided can be used to aid the choice of bathroom and kitchen components.
The entirely voluntary European Water Label is an undeniable success which is low cost, maintains choice, and does exactly what it is designed to do – inform and educate.
Get ready for World Plumbing Day
With World Plumbing Day set for 11 March, CIPHE is urging plumbers across the world to celebrate the role plumbing plays in all our lives
While many in the UK take their domestic plumbing systems for granted until something goes wrong, some 40% of the world’s population does not have access to proper sanitation, a working sewerage system or wholesome drinking water.
Meanwhile, almost one-fifth of the world’s population currently lives in an area of water scarcity, with a further 500 million expected to follow. The Second UN World Water Development Report expects that, by 2025, two-thirds of the global population will live in an area of water scarcity.
Each year on 11th March, World Plumbing Day invites plumbing professionals from across the world to celebrate the importance of plumbing and also how far the UK has come in regards to safe water, sanitation and water conservation. It also highlights, however, how much work there is still left to do on a global level.
In the UK in particular, plumbers are on the front line in the fight to conserve water, while also keeping safe our families and the environment we live in.
This is why the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), is making a call to action on World Plumbing Day for the industry to take forward the following ethos, to help make the plumbing world a better and safer place for all:
- Ensure all customers, and especially the vulnerable, are protected from rogue plumbers and heating engineers
- Equip plumbers and heating engineers with skills and support to deliver safe and high quality work in the home
- Strengthen the education route from apprentice to professional in the plumbing and heating industries
- Raise the profile of plumbing and heating as an attractive career path for school leavers and those looking to change careers (e.g. ex-service personnel)
- Promote safe plumbing and heating systems and minimise problems such as Legionnaires’ Disease and hot water scalding.
CIPHE chief executive Officer Kevin Wellman said: “Events such as World Plumbing Day not only highlight the fact that many parts of the world still suffer immensely from the consequence of lack of access to basic plumbing systems, but also remind us of the work that there is still to be done here in the UK.
“The threat of a global water shortage makes water conservation an industry-wide priority. We also need to take further steps to reduce those being harmed by unsafe practices and unscrupulous installers.
“Most importantly, the industry needs to attract the next generation of skilled, knowledgeable, passionate and qualified plumbers, through a world-class apprenticeship system. These things are achievable and we are calling on the whole industry to work with us to accomplish it together.”
CORGI HomePlan uncovers full extent of CO poisoning in England
According to figures obtained under a Freedom of Information enquiry by CORGI HomePlan, four people are treated for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in English hospitals every day.
As part of its drive to increase public safety through greater CO awareness, CORGI HomePlan submitted FOI requests to every hospital trust in England in order to discover the true extent of poisoning cases being treated.
Of the 1,798 people who attended A&E departments with suspected CO poisoning, 1,563 required treatment, with more than one in five requiring hospitalisation.
These statistics are 30 times higher than the official industry figures contained in the Gas Safety Trust’s latest CO Incident Report, that reported 58 casualties and three fatalities due to carbon monoxide poisoning in 2013.
165 hospital trusts responded to the request, and a further 17 were unable to supply figures to CORGI HomePlan, suggesting that the problem may be even greater.
The figures reveal that it is many of the most vulnerable in society who are falling victim to the gas known as the ‘silent killer’.
Of those who received treatment in 2014, 360 were children and 192 were aged over 60. New laws requiring landlords to install CO alarms in rented properties were introduced in October last year, which should lead to a reduction in the 174 18-25 year olds who were treated in hospital for CO poisoning in 2014.
The stats received from NHS Trusts do not include incidents where fatalities occurred before any treatment could be delivered. In 2014, an estimated 50 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK, with the vast majority passing away before their bodies were discovered.
Recent high profile cases have raised awareness of CO and encouraged the public to think about safety and prevention.
In November 2015, Michael Travers died at a holiday chalet in the Scottish borders from a CO leak, while his wife and son were overcome by fumes and left critically injured.
The parents of Christi and Bobbi Shepherd, who died while on holiday in Corfu after a boiler leaked CO in their hotel, have launched the Safer Tourism Foundation, with the support of MPs from all parties, to raise awareness of travel risks, in particular the dangers of CO.
However, the dangers at home are just as real in many households. Latest figures from industry body the Gas Safe Register estimates that one in 11 boilers in the UK is unsafe, while only half of UK homes have a CO alarm.
GP Dr Helen Webberley has treated many patients with the symptoms of CO poisoning and warns of the damage that long-term exposure to the gas can lead to, such as brain damage.
“People should not think there is a safe level of poisoning, as exposure to the gas over time, even at a low level, can lead to brain damage. Everyone must be vigilant to symptoms which include dizziness, headaches, breathlessness and loss of consciousness,” said Helen.
Kevin Treanor, director of CORGI HomePlan, added: “The tragic stories we read about CO poisoning are just the tip of the iceberg. The true extent of poisoning across the country is much higher, as this data proves.
“CO is indiscriminate; everyone must protect themselves.
“Regular servicing of all gas appliances is the only way to ensure that boilers, cookers and fires are all working safely, and that’s why the role of Gas Safe Register qualified engineers is so important. Meanwhile, a CO alarm provides a first line of defence against any leaks and can be packed into a suitcase while travelling, too. Every home should have at least one and we would encourage engineers to be promoting these where necessary.”
Chris Bielby, chairman of the Gas Safety Trust, said: “It is unsurprising that the number of people going to A&E is higher than previously thought. Add to that people who may have been missed due to the difficulties in diagnosing CO poisoning, and the real scale of the problem is truly terrifying.
“The Gas Safety Trust is clear that proper installation, correct usage and regular servicing of all combustion appliances together with an audible alarm tested to the standard EN50291 as a back-up, is key to preventing CO poisoning.
“We are working with A&E consultants, GPs, paramedics, midwives and others to carry out research which will identify ways to improve awareness of the symptoms of CO amongst medical professionals and to find ways keep people safe.”