September 2019 Newsletter
‘University of Edinburgh installs first-class fire protection, UK homeowners failing to maintain boilers, Redrow to start two major London build to rent schemes, Battersea Power Station secures £600m for Phase 3’.
University of Edinburgh Installs First-Class Fire Protection
The University of Edinburgh, one of the UK’s most prestigious educational establishments with a history stretching back to 1582, is now protected by industry-leading intelligent fire panels from Advanced.
Edinburgh is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world, with the Old College building being opened in the early 19th century as a school for anatomy and surgery. The original campus was expanded in the 1880s with the addition of the New College, and the university now occupies six sites throughout Edinburgh.
The new fire system installed at the main campus by long-term Advanced partner FMS Fire and Security Limited, covers the entire university campus. It compromises of multi-loop Advanced MxPro 4 and MxPro5 panels, connected using fault-tolerant network cards.
Dominic Rea, Director for FMS Fire and Security, said:
“The new panels installed at the University of Edinburgh are the latest in a long line of installations we have undertaken throughout the university Campus, all using MxPro components. The Advanced panels installed are not only flexible and reliable but are also compatible with the existing systems already installed.”
MxPro is the industry’s leading multiprotocol panel and offers customers a choice of two panel ranges, four detector protocols and a completely open installer network that enjoys free training and support.
Ronald Kerr, spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh, commented:
“The safety of our staff and students is paramount and they are now protected by the best fire panels on the market. The university has been shaping history since it welcomed its first students in 1583 and has played a large part in the scientific and literary development of Scotland. Our buildings are a big part of that history and, thanks to Advanced, they will be protected for many years to come.”
MxPro 5 offers high performance fire detection and alarm control across multi-panel networks and multiple sites. MxPro 5 panels are EN54 parts 2, 4 and 13 approved. They can be used in single loop, single panel format or easily configured into high speed, 200-panel networks covering huge areas. Advanced’s legendary ease of installation and configuration make MxPro customisable to almost any application and the panel is fully compatible with MxPro 4.
Neil Parkin, Advanced Sales Manager for the North, said:
“The University of Edinburgh is the latest in a long line of educational establishments protected by Advanced panels, including Sheffield University, Herriot Watt University and a number of leading independent schools. Our MxPro range offers the performance and reliability required by a site such as the University campus and the system is flexible enough to be expanded and upgraded as technology evolves.”
Advanced is a world leader in the development and manufacture of intelligent fire systems. The legendary performance, quality and ease-of-use of its products sees Advanced specified in locations all over the world, from single panel installations to large multi-site networks. Advanced’s products include complete fire detection systems, multi-protocol fire panels, extinguishing control, fire paging and false alarm management systems. More details can be found on the website at www.advancedco.com.
Source: Electrical Trade Magazine
Gas safety boiler packaging label unveiled
A gas safety label for boiler packaging has been launched this Gas Safety Week.
Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) members made a pledge to place gas safety messaging on their boiler packaging during Gas Safety Week last year, and today the HHIC has revealed what that labelling will look like.
The HHIC says the logistics and relevant trademark legalities are now over the finish line and the above label has been signed off by the Gas Safe Register, Health and Safety Executive, and The Register of Gas Installers of Ireland.
Speaking about the labelling, Stewart Clements, Director at the HHIC said;
“Every person working in the gas industry has a responsibility to help raise awareness with consumers of the dangers and risk involved, in allowing somebody who is not trained, qualified, registered or insured, to work on any gas installation.”
“HHIC boiler manufacturer members made this pledge, to place the Gas Safety messaging on boiler packaging, to show their commitment to continually raising Gas Safety awareness, and making it harder for unregistered ‘installers’ to operate in the industry.”
“Awareness of gas safety is absolutely vital. A third (33%) of UK adults admit they’ve not checked if engineers they’ve let into their home to work on gas appliances are on the Gas Safe Register.”
“HHIC and our members are committed to continually raising Gas Safety awareness, and making it harder for unregistered ‘installers’ to operate in the industry.”
“This prominent gas safety message for boiler packaging will now be rolled out by our members and will serve as a reminder to consumers to ensure that all gas appliances must be fitted by a Gas Safe registered engineer – something which can easily be checked online through the Gas Safe register, or Registered Gas Installer (ROI), or in person by checking their ID card.”
Source: HVP Magazine
VAT Reverse Charge delay “victory for industry”
ECA has welcomed the Government’s decision to delay the implementation of its ‘Reverse Charge VAT’ rules from 1st October 2019 to 1st October 2020.
The decision follows a recent joint letter, signed by ECA, the Federation of Master Builders and other leading trade organisations, sent to Chancellor Sajid Javid demanding a delay to the initial deadline.
The move has been widely hailed as a victory for SMEs in construction. SELECT, one of the 15 organisations to sign the letter to the Chancellor, commented: “We are pleased that the serious concerns we raised have been listened to and acted upon.”
Rob Driscoll, ECA Director of Legal and Business, said: “This is very much a victory for industry, due to the efforts from ECA, FMB and others.
“Many businesses across the construction industry were evidently not ready for the initial deadline of 1st October 2019.
“Given the backlog of businesses requesting conversion from quarterly to monthly VAT returns, it seems neither were HMRC.
“Introducing the new VAT rules now, compounded by Brexit uncertainty, could have seriously overburdened businesses and sent many over the edge.
“This new deadline affords the sector, and SMEs especially, much needed extra breathing space to prepare.”
The Government’s Reverse Charge VAT plans mean that VAT-registered businesses no longer have to account for VAT. Instead, the customer will account for the VAT directly.
The result is that suppliers would in effect have a cash shortfall of 20% on all work in the short term, even though it would have to be paid to HMRC eventually.
For more information, visit: www.eca.co.uk.
Source: Professional Electrician
UK homeowners failing to maintain boilers
Worcester Bosch has revealed the lack of regular maintenance and servicing by much of the nation with their boilers.
An alarming survey reveals that half of the nation has never asked for the service history of a boiler upon moving into a new house, with 18% believing that servicing is unnecessary until a boiler breaks down.
Ahead of the upcoming Gas Safety Week, Worcester Bosch highlights that this could be a huge mistake as many Brits that have recently moved to a new house could have a boiler that has not been serviced for well over the recommended time of one year and some perhaps never. The survey also reveals that over a tenth of the population have never had their boiler serviced, and a further 20% haven’t had their boiler serviced for over 12 months.
As we approach the beginning of the colder months and the most common time for boilers to break down, the lack of understanding in boiler maintenance has concerned Worcester Bosch. Often, a boiler’s warranty is voided if it is not serviced at least once a year, meaning that a significant number of UK homes may have lost this opportunity.
This could cause problems for much of the population, particularly millennials, of whom over a third said they would wait for their boiler to break down before servicing it. This fails to consider that when a boiler breaks down, the home is left without any hot water or heating until the boiler is fixed.
It’s clear that the UK population don’t realise the risks of ignoring their boiler, with one fifth of men and nearly one sixth of women in the nation believing that their money could be spent better elsewhere.
Martyn Bridges, director of technical communication and product management from Worcester Bosch is concerned that people in the UK are heightening the risk of discomfort in their homes. He stated: “It’s extremely important to understand the importance of servicing your boiler. Not only does an annual service ensure the boiler is running smoothly, you could be subjecting yourselves and your loved ones to safety risks, particularly with older, open flue boilers.”
However, not all hope is lost. Northern Ireland should be commended on its gas safety knowledge. According to Worcester Bosch, almost three quarters of the population knew that their warranty would be voided without regular servicing prior to completing the survey. Similarly, in the North East, almost double the population have had their boiler serviced in the past six months when compared with Londoners.
Source: HPM Magazine
NHS bid document blunder delays £150m Edinburgh hospital
An error in a tender document is being blamed for the delayed opening of Edinburgh’s £150m children’s hospital by more than a year.
The opening has been set back to 2020 because of ventilation problems in the critical care facility, which could cost an extra £90m to rectify.
An independent review of the governance of the project by KPMG has found that the main issue with ventilation in critical care stemmed from an error in a document produced by NHS Lothian at the tender stage in 2012.
Documents issued to bidders stated single bed cubicles and four-bed rooms in the critical care ward required a ventilation system with four air changes per hour. But the relevant guidance requires 12 changes per hour for this type of ward.
The bid race for the non-profit distributing PFI-style contract was won by Multiplex-led IHS Lothian consortium with a target date to open in July this year.
But days before the opening serious problems with the ventilation system were uncovered during tests by an independent contractor.
The Scottish Government said it would now parachute in a senior programme director to take responsibility for day to day delivery of the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People from now until the site is fully occupied.
A new national body – Programme for Government – will also be created to have oversight for the design, planning, construction and maintenance of major NHS Scotland infrastructure developments.
The KPMG report attributes this to human error and confusion over interpretation of standards and guidance. It also concluded that opportunities to spot and rectify that error were missed.
Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman said: “I am of course bitterly disappointed that a mistake made in 2012 was not picked up earlier.
“This is a publicly funded project of strategic importance, which has not been delivered by NHS Lothian in compliance with the standards and guidance.
“The delay we now face will be borne by NHS Lothian staff, by patients and their families and the additional cost will be to the public purse.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
McLaren confirms £190m luxury London resi deal
McLaren has been awarded the construction contract for a £190m residential development in London’s Fitzrovia.
The project is being carried out by a joint venture between Art-Invest Real Estate UK, German real estate developer ECE and Dukelease Properties.
The development will create 88 luxury apartments, 35,000 sq ft of commercial space and 15 affordable housing units and is scheduled for completion in 2021.
Luka Vukotic, Development Director at Art-Invest Real Estate UK, said: “We are excited to appoint McLaren on our first London development.
“Their capability and approach aligns with our vision to create an outstanding building and a high-quality residential product in one of London’s most vibrant locations”.
Richard Leslie, CEO of Dukelease Properties, added: “We are pleased to work with McLaren and move forward this exciting project with our JV partners, Art-Invest Real Estate and ECE.
“Fitzrovia is becoming one of London’s most sought-after areas and 101 on Cleveland Street will be a stunning addition to its residential market”.
Demolition and substructure works on the island site are being carried out by Erith with main construction work due to start early next year.
David Miller, McLaren’s Regional Managing Director – London, said: “McLaren has extensive experience in the residential and mixed-use sector, and it is great to be a part of a team delivering high-quality homes in this part of London”.
Source: Construction Enquirer
Hunt starts for £1.5bn ID Manchester district developer
The University of Manchester has kicked off the bid race to find a development partner for its proposed £1.5bn innovation district.
It plans to build ID Manchester, a science and technology hub, on a 26-acre site at its North Campus, near Piccadilly Railway Station in the city.
Since first floating plans at property show MIPIM, the University has upped its ambition and now plans to deliver up to 4m sq ft of mostly workspace and 1.2 hectares of public realm.
With the right investment and development partner, the University hopes to leverage the global reach of its commercial partnerships and research institutions.
Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, Vice-Chancellor of The University, said: ”ID Manchester will create a new, world-class innovation district situated in the heart of Manchester and alongside the University, where we will nurture the next generation of game-changing businesses and bring huge economic benefits to our city region and beyond.”
The site benefits from existing green space and the 650,000 square feet grade II listed Sackville Street Building, which offers a major opportunity for re-purposing.
Prospective joint venture partners from all over the world are being invited to participate in a two-stage competitive dialogue process.
It is envisaged that the process will take around 12 months, with a partner announcement being made in autumn 2020.
The first developments at the site could begin in 2022.
Source: Construction Enquirer
Climate change: Electrical industry’s ‘dirty secret’ boosts warming
It’s the most powerful greenhouse gas known to humanity, and emissions have risen rapidly in recent years, the BBC has learned.
Sulphur hexafluoride, or SF6, is widely used in the electrical industry to prevent short circuits and accidents.
But leaks of the little-known gas in the UK and the rest of the EU in 2017 were the equivalent of putting an extra 1.3 million cars on the road.
Levels are rising as an unintended consequence of the green energy boom.
- Greenland’s ice faces melting ‘death sentence’
- China confirmed as source of rise in CFCs
- Manx public ‘backs onshore wind turbines’
- Big lifestyle changes ‘needed to cut emissions’
Cheap and non-flammable, SF6 is a colourless, odourless, synthetic gas. It makes a hugely effective insulating material for medium and high-voltage electrical installations.
It is widely used across the industry, from large power stations to wind turbines to electrical sub-stations in towns and cities. It prevents electrical accidents and fires.
However, the significant downside to using the gas is that it has the highest global warming potential of any known substance. It is 23,500 times more warming than carbon dioxide (CO2).
Just one kilogram of SF6 warms the Earth to the same extent as 24 people flying London to New York return.
It also persists in the atmosphere for a long time, warming the Earth for at least 1,000 years.
So why are we using more of this powerful warming gas?
The way we make electricity around the world is changing rapidly.
Where once large coal-fired power stations brought energy to millions, the drive to combat climate change means they are now being replaced by mixed sources of power including wind, solar and gas.
This has resulted in many more connections to the electricity grid, and a rise in the number of electrical switches and circuit breakers that are needed to prevent serious accidents.
Collectively, these safety devices are called switchgear. The vast majority use SF6 gas to quench arcs and stop short circuits.
All the latest innovations at PHEX Manchester in just over a month
Plumbing and heating professionals are encouraged to attend PHEX Manchester, which returns to Old Trafford Stadium this Autumn, on 16 & 17 October 2019. Installers should visit www.phexshow.co.uk/manchester to register to attend the show.
Completely free to visit, PHEX gives installers and engineers the opportunity to meet leading suppliers and manufacturers so that they can stay up-to-date with the industry and grab some great show-only deals and discounts.
PHEX Manchester 2018 saw an unprecedented number of visitors and the atmosphere throughout was buzzing. One such visitor, installer Rob Marks, noted: “PHEX reconnects colleagues and industry professionals, and by discussing the new products, or training with new products, it’s a great way to instil positive energy into our industry. Well done for presenting a great event.”
Returning suppliers include ADEY, Baxi, Vaillant, and Worcester Bosch, along with many more who will be looking to show visitors their latest product innovations and share their invaluable technical expertise. There will also be a number of new faces at the show this year, including Navien and Martindale Electric. The full exhibitor list is available to view online at www.phexshow.co.uk/manchester.
Visitors to PHEX Manchester will not only have the opportunity to get hands-on with new products, but they’ll also get the opportunity to delve into deeper industry issues with the PHEX seminar programme, which will highlight all the latest technical updates that are vital for tradespeople to ensure they can do their job safely and legally.
A ticket to PHEX Manchester also includes a free lunch, tea/coffee, and a free tour of the iconic Old Trafford Stadium.
Find out more information from www.phexshow.co.uk/manchester, or follow @phexshow on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Source: HVP Magazine
The importance of individual competence in the electrical industry
Competence is a hot topic in the electrical industry, with a focus on the individual coming under more scrutiny than ever before. But why is it so important?
The obvious reason is one of safety. If the electrician working on an installation is truly competent, then the installation is more likely to meet safety requirements. As not every notifiable job can always be checked by a QS, this immediately gives both employers and customers peace of mind about the work being carried out.
It also saves time and money on re-work. Having confidence that a job has been done properly the first time around reduces the risk for contractors and their clients of spending precious budget and missing deadlines, due to costly re-work needing to be undertaken to fix mistakes made by under-qualified or under-experienced employees.
How can you measure individual competence?
A simple way to approach this is to assess an individual against a recognised benchmark. The IET has years of experience in this area, working with the Engineering Council (the regulatory body for the UK engineering profession) to award professional registration, such as Chartered Engineer (CEng), to our members who meet a strict set of criteria known as UK-SPEC.
Once the agreed criteria are met and an application is successful, an engineer can use letters after their name (e.g. CEng) to prove to employers and their industry colleagues that they have met the standard.
The IET has taken this concept and make it relevant to the electrical industry. A new category of professional registration, Electrician EngTech, is now available to anyone in the industry who wants to demonstrate their competence by being registered as an Engineering Technician (EngTech).
Electrician EngTech works to a slightly amended version of UK-SPEC, considering the qualifications, experience and routes into the industry that are specific to the electrical profession. Applications are assessed by a peer-review panel – other electrical professionals who have already been awarded professional registration – to verify that the applicant’s experience and/or qualifications are suitably relevant to demonstrate their professional competence. Those who have simply undertaken a week-long course are unlikely to meet the necessary requirements.
Like the other engineering registration categories, Electrician EngTech works as a benchmark. The public, employers and their clients can trust that a registrant’s competence has been peer-assessed and meets UK-SPEC. It improves career prospects and employability by showing employers an individual’s commitment to maintaining their knowledge and skills.
Does Electrician EngTech provide ongoing competence assessment?
Yes! To maintain a category of professional registration, registrants must complete Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year. This can include anything from attending a training course to reading news and articles to keep up with industry developments. It can even include volunteering for an industry body (such as the IET) or a local organisation in your spare time. Anything that develops your professional or vocational skills counts towards your CPD. And, of course, you must keep up with industry standards, such as BS 7671.
To help employers realise the benefit of professional registration for their teams, and for anyone wanting to explore their options further, the IET is running a series of complimentary workshops covering the qualifications/experience needed, the application process and how to get started. A technical expert will also be on hand to answer your questions on BS 7671.
If you want to demonstrate your professional competence, stand out to employers and your peers, or if you would like to arrange a complimentary workshop for your team, visit theiet.org/elec-engtech-ecn or contact email@example.com
Source: Electrical Contracting News
18% Believe regular servicing is unnecessary, survey reveals
Worcester Bosch has conducted a survey revealing that half of the nation has never asked for the service history of a boiler upon moving into a new house, with 18% believing that servicing is unnecessary until a boiler breaks down.
Ahead of Gas Safety Week, Worcester Bosch is highlighting this issue, as many Brits that have recently moved to a new house could have a boiler that has not been serviced for well over the recommended time of one year and some perhaps never. The survey also reveals that over a tenth of the population have never had their boiler serviced, and a further 20% haven’t had their boiler serviced for over 12 months.
Martyn Bridges, Director of Technical Communication and Product Management at Worcester Bosch, said: “It’s extremely important to understand the importance of servicing your boiler. Not only does an annual service ensure the boiler is running smoothly, you could be subjecting yourselves and your loved ones to safety risks, particularly with older, open flue boilers.”
However, not all hope is lost. Northern Ireland should be commended on its gas safety knowledge, the company says. According to Worcester Bosch, almost three quarters of the population knew that their warranty would be voided without regular servicing prior to completing the survey. Similarly, in the North East, almost double the population have had their boiler serviced in the past six months when compared with Londoners.
The research was commissioned by Worcester Bosch and carried out online by Research Without Barriers. All surveys were conducted between 16th and 19th August 2019. The sample comprised 1,106 UK homeowners.
Source: HVP Magazine
Redrow to start two major London build to rent schemes
Housebuilder Redrow has teamed up with property investor Realstar to deliver two major build to rent schemes worth over £180m in London.
Now Redrow will press ahead with plans for 513 new rental homes in Southall and Colindale which will be professionally managed under the UNCLE brand.
They are the house builder’s third and fourth PRS schemes, as it aims to diversify its offering into private rental homes.
The £119m deal at Redrow’s flagship Colindale site in North London will see construction of 347 new flats.
The announcement follows the £82.7m deal Redrow announced with M&G Real Estate last year which brought a further 186 new rental homes to Colindale Gardens as well as 211 homes sold to L&Q in 2016.
Located in the Burnt Oak and Colindale Opportunity area, Colindale Gardens is a £1.2bn new community, which is being created by Redrow on the site of the former Peel Centre Metropolitan Police training college.
More than 2,900 new homes will be delivered over the next ten years.
At Southall in West London, Redrow will also deliver 166 one, two- and three-bedroom apartments in a £64m deal with Realstar.
The site sits adjacent to Redrow’s existing scheme The West Works, where the housebuilder is currently delivering 302 new homes as part of a mixed-use scheme.
Mark Parker, Managing Director of Redrow London, said: “Both Colindale and Southall are quickly defining themselves as new property hotspots as they undergo significant inward investment.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
Battersea Power Station secures £600m for Phase 3
Battersea Power Station’s developer has secured £600m of financing to press on with phase three of the project.
Sir Robert McAlpine is construction manager to complete the Electric Boulevard phase of the project after replacing Bouygues in 2017 during the preconstruction phase.
The new debt facility was raised from its existing lenders to continue with the delayed phase.
So far facade contractor Permasteelisa has been signed up for the main glazing package and specialist T Clarke will deliver the M&E works.
Phase 3a of the Battersea Power Station project will contain over 500 homes, a hotel, shops and restaurants.
The 42-acre site will also contain a public park and be served by a new Tube station on the new £1bn Northern Line extension, due to open in 2021.
It has been designed by architects, Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners.
Foster’s Battersea Roof Gardens will be styled in a subtle 1930s theme inspired by the Power Station. The northern hooked-shaped end of the building will be home to the art’otel, a new 167-room hotel boasting a rooftop swimming pool and bar.
Gehry’s Prospect Place comprises a cluster of five buildings each with striking sculptural façades inspired by London’s famous John Nash Regency terraces.
Each individual building has its own style. ‘The Flower’ building will sit at the centre of The Electric Boulevard forming a focal point between the other buildings and is destined to be a new landmark for London.
Source: Construction Enquirer
£62m released for 13 flood defence projects
Thirteen flood defence projects across Yorkshire, Cumbria, the North East and the South East will receive £62m of central Government funding.
Many of the projects are located in communities that suffered from flooding during winter 2015, with over 9,000 homes due to benefit from improved defences.
The extra funding is in addition the government’s commitment to invest a record £2.6bn over six years up to 2021 to better protect 300,000 homes across the country.
Funding will support the development of 11 projects in the Northern Powerhouse, including seven in Yorkshire, four in Cumbria and Lancashire and two in the North East.
Some £19m is set to go to Calder Valley, where the Mytholmroyd, Hebden Bridge and Brighouse schemes will be developed.
With this new boost, the two projects at Hedbden Bridge and Brighouse are now to be developed, with work due to begin next year.
Communities in Yorkshire will also receive additional funding with more money for the Tadcaster Flood Alleviation Scheme and additional funding for defences at Sowerby Bridge.
Cumbria and Lancashire are due to receive the second largest amount of funding, with £22.8m now available to support four flood projects in Kendal, Egremont, Flimby and Preston and South Ribble.
The proposed scheme for Kendal involves three phases, of which the first will provide a 1 in 50 level of protection for 1,480 homes and 1,151 businesses.
In Essex, the River Roding project at Shonks Mill will better protect 550 homes in Woodford and its surrounding areas, while in Lincolnshire, the Lincoln Defences project is set to reduce flood risk to 1,842 homes and 424 businesses.
Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, said: “We will work closely with these communities to design and build projects which not only reduce flood risk but which also benefit wildlife and the local economy for decades to come.”
By the end of this year, the government will set out its policies to better prepare the country for flood and coastal erosion in a government policy statement.
Informed by this policy, the Environment Agency will update its national strategy for flood and coastal erosion risk management, which sets out a long term plan for tackling, preparing for and adapting to the additional risks that climate change will bring.
Source: Construction Enquirer