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August 2018 Newsletter

August 2018 Newsletter

A quarter of Brits now own one or more Smart Home devices, BEAMA releases first ventilation white paper, ECS Registered Electrician reaches milestone, Government funding stalled Carillion hospital, Heating sector thriving, London’s Mayor boiler initiative gets thumbs up and young people encouraged to get on board by construction industry.’

 

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Almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more Smart Home devices

YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicates that close to a quarter of Britons (23%) own one or more smart home devices (excluding smart meters), while one in ten now (8%) have two or more, underlining the growth in the industry. Smart home devices include; smart lighting, smart security, smart speakers and smart thermostats.

Smart speakers remain most popular (11% own one of these), ahead of a smart thermostat (6%), lighting (5%) and security (3%).

The report shows that once someone buys one smart home device, they are more inclined to purchase another. Among people who currently own at least one smart appliance, consideration for getting other smart devices increases to 40%.

Smart speaker owners are much more likely to own another device. A fifth of smart speaker owners also own smart lighting, compared to 5% of the population. Similarly, 19% have a smart thermostat, against 6% of the public.

What are the barriers to further growth?

Three quarters (75%) of non-owners are aware of smart home appliances, but don’t know much about them. Only 16% of non-owners believe they are fully aware of smart home appliances and know a lot about them (this rises to 39% among owners).

Looking specifically at digital assistants, 56% of smart home device non-owners say they don’t see the need for them, as do 54% of owners.

YouGov’s data underlines how security fears are one barrier to industry growth. Of the concerns people have about smart appliances, hacking/cyber-attacks come out on top, with 39% of non-owners saying this. Over a third (36%) of this group believe the appliances are too expensive, while the same percentage have fears over data privacy.

Ownership numbers are impressive, for this point in the product cycle. The key is to get people buying their first device. Once they do so, they are much more likely to go on and add to their smart home collection. This means that the smart home industry has two areas of growth that may require different strategies – existing entrants to the market, and those from outside.

Having said that, many people are either suspicious or don’t see the need for the devices. To truly initiate a smart home revolution, prospective customers need not only to be convinced of the capabilities of the technology, but why they need it and how it can help them.

 

Almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more Smart Home devices

Almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more Smart Home devices

Source: Electrical Times

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BEAMA launches ventilation white paper

BEAMA has published its first ventilation white paper entitled Better Ventilation, Better Homes, Better Health, with a raft of measures aimed at solving the issues facing the industry and helping to deliver better indoor air quality in UK homes.

The white paper identifies two main issues facing the industry:

  • The lack of a joined-up approach towards energy efficiency and ventilation
  • Poor-quality installations which are ‘plaguing the industry’

The paper calls for compulsory assessments of ventilation provision following the installation of energy efficiency measures, a revision of Building Regulations to refocus on ensuring ‘in-use performance and end users’ needs’ and asks the government to make it compulsory that all ventilation installations are undertaken by an installer who is a member of a competent persons scheme.

BEAMA also call on the government to make indoor air quality a priority by financially incentivising the installation of ventilation improvements and undertaking public education campaigns on the health risks of indoor air pollution and the simple steps that homeowners can take to improve their own home air.

The white paper details four overarching steps that government should take, and outlines how these can be achieved, in improving ventilation and indoor air quality in UK homes:

  1. Improve the focus on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in the Building Regulations
  2. Improve compliance with the current Building Regulations
  3. Avoid problems of poor air quality following refurbishment
  4. Make IAQ a government priority

Keith Ritchie, Chairman of the BEAMA Ventilation Group, said: “As homes are becoming ever more airtight we need to focus on ensuring that the ventilation industry plays its part in helping to deliver good indoor air quality. Energy efficiency improvements are being made in isolation without due consideration to the unintended consequences of sealing up homes and where installations of ventilation are being made, they are often not up to scratch.

“Our white paper aims to tackle all of these issues with a few simple steps that government could take to help ensure better indoor air for all.”

To access the White Paper, please click here.

 

BEAMA launches ventilation white paper

BEAMA launches ventilation white paper

Source: HVP Magazine

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ECS Registered Electrician reaches 10,000 milestone

Over 10,000 ECS cardholders have signed up to become ECS Registered Electricians since the initiative was launched last October, says the JIB.

The JIB established ECS Registered Electrician status to recognise those who are not only working at the industry-recognised Level 3 status, but also have the current edition of the Wiring Regulations.

Following the introduction of BS7671:2018 this month, there will be a transition period until January 1 2019 where both the 17th and 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations will be accepted for a Registered Electrician application. After this point, only the 18th Edition will be accepted.

All Registered Electricians will have until July 1 2019 to update their ECS account with the BS7671:2018 qualification.

“The achievement of 10,000 is a fantastic first milestone and that number continues to grow daily,” said David Thomas. “With the introduction of the 18th Edition, we are set to see even more electricians now opting to become Registered Electrician after gaining their BS7671:2018 qualification.

“Feedback from our cardholders shows that the Registered Electrician status is a highly desired and positive move for the industry, raising not just standards but also the profile of electricians and electrical contracting.”

 

ECS Registered Electrician reaches 10,000 milestone

ECS Registered Electrician reaches 10,000 milestone

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Homeowners must ensure gas safety, warns Gas Tag

Homeowners are being urged to check their gas and electrical appliances over the summer months after a survey revealed a basic lack of safety knowledge among property owners.

New research reveals that 66% of homes in the UK have defective gas appliances and 40% of smoke alarms do not work.

There are also over 1.1 million illegal gas installations carried out each year – putting the lives of millions of people at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.

Leading RegTech company Gas Tag said the summer months are the perfect time of the year to check appliances in the home.

Gas Tag says booking a Gas Safe registered engineer to visit during the summer months will help to reduce the number of gas related incidents during the winter period.

Stephen Ullathorne, co-CEO of Gas Tag, said: “We all know how busy it gets at this time of year, but taking time out from our hectic schedule to ensure our appliances are safe could be a life-saver.

“Research tells us that fewer than five per cent of households put a gas safety check on their to-do list during the summer season, but it really should be the number one priority.”

Gas Safe Register, the official gas registration organisation for the UK, says almost a fifth of households do not have their gas appliances legally checked, meaning as many as 12 million people could be living with dangerous appliances.

As many as 50% of all appliances in the lounge were deemed either at risk or immediately dangerous when audited by the Gas Safe Register.

 

Homeowners must ensure gas safety, warns Gas Tag

Homeowners must ensure gas safety, warns Gas Tag

Source: HPM Magazine

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Moveable bridge installed at Canary Wharf

The deck of a movable bridge has been installed in Canary Wharf following a 36-hour voyage across the North Sea from its fabrication site in Belgium.

The 28-metre single-leaf bascule bridge will provide a road and pedestrian link between Montgomery Square and Canary Wharf’s new district, Wood Wharf.

Designed by engineers COWI, Knight Architects and Eadon Consulting, the bridge was manufactured by Victor Buyck Steel Construction for client Canary Wharf Contractors.

Twin hydraulic cylinders underneath the eastern end of the steel span will raise the deck to allow large vessels to pass and only in this raised position will the bridge reveal its steel structure and mechanical parts.

COWI engineer Vlad Opanasiuk said: “As intended, it looks like a simple design – but there is nothing simple about this bridge.

“Both the substructure and superstructure required bespoke structural details to achieve the understated appearance envisaged by the architects.

“The deck needs to be light enough to be raised but strong enough to support the crossing vehicles and pedestrians.

“We therefore selected an orthotropic steel deck solution, which is lighter and more flexible than a concrete one, significantly reducing the power required to raise it.

“To create an open space for pedestrians, the bridge has a relatively wide deck. To provide the necessary torsional stiffness and a visually clean soffit, the main longitudinal girders, which run along the edges of the deck, are tapering closed box sections.

“It’s been a fascinating project to work on. Solving complex engineering challenges to bring brilliant designs like this to reality is what makes being an engineer so rewarding.”

The bridge’s location also posed a challenge.

COWI engineer and project manager Musa Chunge said: “The Jubilee Line runs below the waterway and parallel to the bridge so we worked closely with Canary Wharf and TFL to develop a safe piled foundation design for the bridge abutments and the marine causeway that forms the eastern approach.”

 

Moveable bridge installed at Canary Wharf

Moveable bridge installed at Canary Wharf

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Government to fund stalled Carillion hospital

The government has confirmed it will directly fund work to complete construction of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

Work stopped in January following the collapse of original contractor Carillion.

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “Under the agreement, the government will provide funding for the remainder of the building work at Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

“The new hospital will be built by 2022.”

Procurement for a new contractor will start in November with a winner chosen before next summer.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust had explored the option of a new private finance deal to complete the hospital but there was no appetite in the market.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust Chief Executive, Toby Lewis, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news.

“After a huge amount of work by teams across Whitehall and the Trust, and with the voices of local residents, clinicians, and stakeholders having been clearly heard, we are delighted that we now have a definitive, publicly financed plan.

“We will continue to engage with the construction market over coming weeks and build towards a formal procurement by November this year.

“We always said Midland Met would be delivered and the doubters were wrong”

 

Government to fund stalled Carillion hospital

Government to fund stalled Carillion hospital

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Tradify launches in the UK

Tradify (www.tradifyhq.com), the powerful job management app for small business owners in the construction industry, has launched into the UK. Tradify simplifies time-consuming administration activities, allowing builders, plumbers and electricians to focus on what really matters.

Already successful with over 10,000 users in Australia and New Zealand, and easy to use, Tradify is designed to simplify everyday administration tasks such as scheduling jobs, completing quotes, tracking materials and sending invoices.

“If you are a builder, plumber or electrician running single or multiple job sites, Tradify takes the hassle out of organising materials and people – and gives you clear information on the profit and loss on a job,” explains Robert Mark, Managing Director of Tradify in the UK.

“For small businesses, saying ‘yes’ to every job brings in money, but also problems, with days spent working while valuable evenings and weekends are spent catching up on paperwork. Tradify helps small business owners streamline these everyday tasks, freeing up time.”

Tradify enables tradespeople to become more professional in their job management, increasing productivity and enhancing their company reputation with customers. Job details and sub-contractors can be set up and managed, with sub-contractors updated on job status, such as task deadlines and materials needed from the merchant or wholesaler, in real time via the Tradify App.

“You can track a job from the initial quote to the final invoice and everything in between, out on site or at the office on your smartphone or tablet,” explains Rob. “Tradify gives you insights into your business which you need to help you grow and become more successful.”

From just £20 per month for one to nine users, Tradify is the business partner every successful tradesperson needs.

For more information visit www.tradifyhq.com

 

Tradify launches in the UK

Tradify launches in the UK

Source: Electrical Times

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Heating Sector thriving as demand for oil expertise grows

OFTEC registration figures have hit a five-year high and are continuing to rise, underlining the increasing value both technicians and consumers are placing on professional qualifications.

The continued low price of oil compared to electricity, LPG and renewable heating technologies – the other heating options available to off grid households – has seen demand for oil remain strong with many consumers choosing to stick with, or even switch to oil.

Technicians are capitalising on the popularity of oil by renewing or taking out oil registration for the first time, with OFTEC seeing an increasing number of gas technicians expand into the sector to take advantage of the new business opportunities on offer.

It is anticipated the recent announcement by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that oil boilers will be included in the next round of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO3), will likely spark a further wave of technicians seeking OFTEC registration which is mandatory to work on the scheme.

OFTEC training manager, David Knipe, said: “While many sectors are facing uncertainty about the future, the heating profession is thriving. All the time households need heat and hot water, there will be demand for skilled technicians.

“However, what consumers are looking for is changing. Social media means that incidences of poor workmanship are widely shared and consumers are becoming ever more aware of the risks of employing an unqualified tradesperson. OFTEC registration demonstrates competence and provides homeowners with the peace of mind they are dealing with a professional. This puts those technicians who can legitimately display the OFTEC badge at a distinct advantage when quoting for work.

“With heating technologies evolving and sector and business legislation continually changing, even the most experienced technicians can benefit from OFTEC training and the additional benefits this brings, including free technical advice and regular sector updates. Being able to confidently advise customers on the best solution for their needs could make the difference between winning and losing a job.”

To keep pace with the rise in demand, the number of OFTEC training centres across the country has grown to 88, with the total expected to top 90 by the end of the year.

 

Heating Sector thriving as demand for oil expertise grows

Heating Sector thriving as demand for oil expertise grows

Source: HPM Magazine

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ECA’s #Project18 roadshow a major success

ECA holds successful event series introducing changes to the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations

Thousands of contractors and installers attended ECA’s #Project18 roadshow events during July, to learn about the changes introduced within the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671).

Over a three week period, around 2,000 people attended 14 events held across the country. In addition, these events had the added bonus of a CPD element delivered by one of ECA’s technical experts, supported by leading industry manufacturers.  These roadshows also provided an excellent opportunity for ECA members to network with others within the industry.

Most of the events were also supported by a small exhibition showcasing several promotions and products, including stands from roadshow partners Schneider, Eaton and Legrand.

Steve Martin, ECA Director of Technical, commented:

“The roadshows were a superb way for ECA members to easily learn about the changes contained within the latest edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. It was also great to see ECA members networking with each other to build new business relationships.”

Matt Crunden, Training and BIM Manager at Legrand, commented:

“The ECA Project18 roadshow was one of the ‘not to be missed’ events of the year. The quality of the information presented in the seminars was excellent and the event organisation was first class. Legrand Electric Ltd was proud to be part of the roadshow.”

Marc Gaunt, Segment Marketing Manager at Eaton, commented:

“Eaton was delighted to see the levels of attendance by ECA members at this year’s Project18 events. As well as providing a great platform to understand more about the 18th Edition, the events were a fantastic opportunity to discuss pragmatic, layered approaches for our industry to enhance building safety.”

ECA member representative Keith Basing, of Phoenix ME Ltd, commented:

“I have attended a few presentations on the 18th Edition, but this was the best one by far.”

The new Wiring Regulations were published on 2 July 2018, and will come into full effect on 1 January 2019. ECA is providing members with a range of online tools, resources and discounted training to help get them up-to-speed.

Full details of The ECA #Project18 campaign can be found at www.project18.co.uk.

 

ECA's #Project18 roadshow a major success

ECA’s #Project18 roadshow a major success

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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London Mayor’s new boiler initiative gets thumbs up from industry

The Cleaner Heat Cashback announced last week by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been broadly welcomed by industry.

The scheme, which will allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Greater London to apply for a share of a £10 million pot to replace older, working boilers (ten years plus) will help to reduce overall emission rates within the capital.

Customers looking to make the changes are being urged to do so quickly as the allocation of funds will be made on a strict first come, first served basis. All applications will also need to be made online.

Eligibility for the initiative specifies that applicants must be a London-based SME and either own the building or have responsibility for it and permission from the landlord to make the appropriate changes.

Ideal Commercial Boilers believes the initiative is a great incentive for businesses to reassess their current carbon footprint.

Andy Forrest, national sales manager, said: “For those who will have to upgrade their current heating systems there are several incentives available to help with costs. For instance, the initiative offers 30 to 35% cashback on replacement boilers, an incentive that should encourage SMEs to replace older units.

“The added five per cent capital expenditure will be a bonus for those customers who are within an Air Quality Focus Area (areas with high levels of carbon emissions).

Vaillant “highly commended this positive initiative” to incentivise and support SMEs to replace old, inefficient commercial boilers with much cleaner and more efficient alternatives.

John Bailey, sales director, commercial & renewable systems, said: “We would champion a national roll out of this scheme across other cities in the UK as we believe it will help to reduce energy wastage and unnecessarily inflated heating bills, and contribute to the reduction in air pollution to provide a healthier environment for all. We look forward to supporting the installer network in London to deliver this scheme.”

The Builders Merchant Federation supports the initiative, which builds on earlier residential schemes by successive Mayors.

John Newcomb, chief executive, said: “The fact that Cleaner Heat is now aimed at commercial premises signals not only a political determination to tackle poor air quality, but seeks to change the thinking of SME owners towards their day-to-day running costs.

“Significant savings can be made in business costs by upgrading to a modern heating system that our members make and supply. The 30% rate is generous and ought to entice companies to act. Although his offer is confined to the capital, the Mayor has moved to help London firms to cut bills, reduce emissions, improve air quality and encourage further investment.”

The Industrial and Commercial Energy Association believes the scheme is a positive step for businesses, carbon reduction and air quality.

Ross Anderson, director, added: “There is widespread recognition that domestic heating requires decarbonisation but industrial and commercial energy efficiency also needs to be addressed. A commercial boiler scrappage scheme will not only improve London’s air quality, it will also act as a catalyst to spur businesses on to consider additional energy efficiency improvements such as controls.”

 

London Mayor's new boiler initiative gets thumbs up from industry

London Mayor’s new boiler initiative gets thumbs up from industry

Source: HPM Magazine

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Young people encouraged to get on board by 85% of construction industry

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign to provide essential information and resources to help the industry address the urgent issue of attracting the future workforce.

The survey revealed that although 85% of respondents would recommend a career in construction to young people, 84% feel the ongoing perception of construction as being manual work is the main reason it remains an unpopular career choice.

The survey of the construction industry in the UK and Ireland received around 800 responses, and also uncovered that:

  • 77% view the skills shortage as the most pressing issue facing the construction industry.
  • 72% cite the challenging nature of work as the main benefit of a construction career.
  • 53% know young people who are, or could be, interested in a construction career.

On the subject of what the industry can do to attract the next generation:

  • 37% mentioned changing perception/promoting benefits.
  • 26% suggested engaging schools and colleges.
  • 15% mentioned apprenticeships and training.

‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ – hosted on the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub – has been launched by the Scheme to raise awareness of the wide range of resources, organisations, case studies, key information and guidance available to help construction to attract the future workforce.

The campaign contains a wide range of practical case studies of what organisations have done to help attract more people in to the industry. These include contributions from organisations such as: Balfour Beatty; Class of Your Own; Engie; Hobson and Porter; Kier; Laing O’Rourke; Mace; McLaughlin & Harvey and Wates.

In addition, the Scheme has collaborated with CITB’s Go Construct initiative to produce promotional posters for registered sites, companies, suppliers, clients and professional partners to use to help attract potential workers to consider a career in construction.

With over a quarter (26%) of survey respondents seeing engagement with schools and colleges as crucial to helping address the shortage of workers, the Scheme is pleased to report that 91% of respondents said their site or company engages with schools or youth groups – and 66% have personally visited schools or youth groups to discuss their career.

A key mechanism to help improve perceptions amongst school children, teachers and parents is through the industry’s mascots Ivor Goodsite and Honor Goodsite. In 2017 alone, Ivor/Honor visited over 22,000 school children.

Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive Edward Hardy said: “The shortage of new entrants in to the workforce is one of the most pressing issues facing the construction industry. With over 400,000 new recruits needed each year to deliver construction projects, we must all take steps to attract the next generation.

“While we do have a great industry, one that is working hard to improve its image – as evidenced by the fact that 85% of those within the industry would recommend a career in construction – we need to do so much more to continually improve our standards in order to drive the perception change much needed to make the industry more attractive.

“The Scheme’s Best Practice Hub is at the epicentre of helping to share best practice across construction. Through the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign, we are delighted to use our reach and influence across the entire industry to help provide key resources to address this critical issue.”

‘Spotlight on… the next generation’ will be continually updated with new case studies, resources and guidance. Email enquiries@ccsbestpractice.org.uk with any ideas and suggestions you may have and to showcase any case studies from your organisation.

Click here to read ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’.

 

Young people encouraged to get on board by 85% of construction industry

Young people encouraged to get on board by 85% of construction industry

Source: Electrical Times

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Plans in for Birmingham Commonwealth Games village

Birmingham’s plans to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games have stepped up with the submission of plans for the athlete’s village.

The Commonwealth Games Village, proposed to be built on the site of the former Birmingham City University campus in Perry Barr, would be large enough to accommodate the 6,500 athletes and officials coming to Birmingham in the summer of 2022.

The accommodation will also feature a running track and green spaces and is a short distance from Alexander Stadium where the track and field events will take place.

Glancy Nicholls Architects has developed the masterplan of the Commonwealth Games Village.

After the Games, the Village would provide around 1,400 new homes across a range of different tenures. The development would also include an extra care village for older people and a community centre.

John Crabtree, Chair of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, said: “In the seven months since being awarded the 2022 Games there has been a lot of work done to prepare this planning application.

“Now is the time for anyone with an interest in the regeneration of Perry Barr to look at our plans in detail and give feedback to the city council planners.

“We want the people of the West Midlands to have ownership of the Games and this is one of the first significant ways in which they can do that.”

 

Plans in for Birmingham Commonwealth Games village

Plans in for Birmingham Commonwealth Games village

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Human Rights Commission warns on flammable cladding

The use of flammable cladding on Grenfell Tower and other high-rise residential blocks constitutes a breach of the residents’ human rights, according to the Equality & Human Rights Commission, and thus exposes public authorities to prosecution under the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Department for Housing, Communities & Local Government (DHCLG) outlining its concerns about the continued use of combustible cladding in existing buildings and advising the department of its responsibilities under human rights laws to protect lives.

The EHRC is supported by the British Safety Council in its challenge to the government over its failure to protect lives

In a briefing paper on the subject, the EHRC says: “A key issue in the Grenfell inquiry will be whether the building regulations banned the use of polyethylene-based cladding in high-rise residential blocks, due to the risk of fire associated with it. If the building regulations did ban its use, questions will be asked about the adequacy of the systems for monitoring and supervising compliance with those regulations, including in council buildings, to ensure that cladding was installed safely. Both scenarios raise questions about whether the UK has met its duty to protect life. Additional issues arise concerning fire safety regulations, including the installation of fire sprinklers in high-rise buildings.”

The EHRC has expressed its concern that the consultation on the use of external cladding omits any reference to the government’s duty to protect lives under article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998.

British Safety Council chairman Lawrence Waterman said: “The British Safety Council has participated in the consultation, calling for much tighter building controls, clearer guidance and effective enforcement. The EHRC intervention takes a wider view and supports our long-held and consistent argument that health and safety is a crucial underpinning of the human right to life.”

The EHRC explains: “The right to life is one of the fundamental guarantees in international human rights law. In many respects it is a prerequisite to, and closely linked with, the enjoyment of all other rights. The right to life is protected under international and European human rights treaties, including Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The UK government has signed up to these treaties and has to abide by them at all times.

“Article 2 of the ECHR is particularly important in the UK as it has been incorporated into domestic law by the Human Rights Act 1998. This means that all UK governments and public bodies – central, local and devolved – including all public officials, have to take appropriate measures to safeguard life by making laws to protect people and, in some circumstances, by taking active steps to protect people if their lives are at risk. If they don’t do this, they can be taken to court.”

Solicitor Anjon Malik, construction partner at Gordons law firm, commented: “The Human Rights Commission’s intervention that the use of flammable cladding on Grenfell Tower and other high-rise buildings is a breach of human rights is an issue that the Grenfell Inquiry will not be able to ignore. If it turns out that the use of polyethylene-based cladding in high rise cladding had actually been banned by building regulations but it’s continued use had not been properly monitored, the public will rightly expect those in authority to be held to account. And, unless and until those responsible face the severest consequences, the clamour for heads to roll will continue.”

 

Human Rights Comission warns on flammable cladding

Human Rights Comission warns on flammable cladding

Source: The Construction Enquirer

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UK tradespeople most safety conscious in Europe, finds survey

According to the findings of a recent health and safety survey conducted for Bosch, UK tradespeople are the most safety conscious in Europe.

The poll canvased the views plumbers and other building trade professionals in the UK and eight other European countries including Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

Over 100 tradespeople from the UK were surveyed, with 824 participants across Europe in total.

The results found that 56% of the UK tradespeople said that they stopped work several times a day or even more frequently in order to meet health and safety requirements. Across the channel in France around 35% of workers were stopping a similar amount of times, while in Spain it was 37.5% and in Germany a little over 39%.

The survey also shed light on which tasks trade professionals place most importance on, in terms of using protection. In the UK grinding metal was rated highest, with 46% of respondents flagging it up. After this came drilling concrete and sawing wood.

 

UK tradespeople most safety conscious in Europe, finds survey

UK tradespeople most safety conscious in Europe, finds survey

Source: HVP Magazine

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Summer Bank Holiday

August 2016 Newsletter

“August sees a special anniversary for a major industry organisation”

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60th Anniversary for NICEIC

This August marks an important milestone for NICEIC as it celebrates the 60th anniversary since its first inception. The UK’s leading voluntary body for electrical contractors was officially incorporated on August 10 1956.

The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting as it was first known , started out with 3,500 contrcators on its roll.

Today, it has more than 19 000 Approved Contractors and an additional 9,000 domestic installers – making it the UK’s largest and most recognised volutary body within the electrical industry.

“The 60th anniversary marks a significant milestone in the history of NICEC,” commented current CEO of NICEIC, Emma Clancy.

“Much has changed within the industry during the last six decades but the values of safety and competence remain at the core of everything we do.

“More and more businesses now turn to NICEIC for accreditation – firms who have voluntarily chosen to have their work assessed on an annual basis. They provide the appropriate insurances and customer protection policies, and have a detailed record of their work through the certification and notification process.

This has to be a good thing, not only for the industry, but consumers too, and we will keep working hard to continue to improve and meet our customers’ needs today and tomorrow.“

NICEIC was created in a post war era when there was a lack of uniform standards for wiring and there was no regulation of anyone carrying out electrical work. Although the first edition of the wiring regulations was produced way back in 1882 there was little control over the guidance being implemented.

In 1923 The National Register of Electrical Installation Contractors (NREIC) was set up to help the public identify competent contractors – although many of the contractors around at the time were not obliged to sign up. It would be another 33 years before NICEIC was set up as the first voluntary body and although much has changed, the principles remain the same – to keep a roll of approved contractors, to carry out inspections of their work, and to inform the public about the dangers of unsafe installations.

“It has been interesting looking back at the history of NICEIC and what it was like back then,” adds Emma. “Many of the principles remain the same but the delivery is somewhat different – and better I would like to think.”

By the late 50s NICEIC had around 14 inspecting engineers – one for each electrical board across the country. Some of them had to borrow test equipment from the area boards such was the limited supply, but they still managed to carry out more than 7,500 individual inspections.

Although 92% of inspections were rated good – around 2% were found to be not up to standard – this dropped to 0.2% in the first decade and was an early indicator of the work NICEIC was carrying out to drive up standards. The numbers on the roll were also increasing steadily, showing the influence NICEIC was having within the sector.

Today, NICEIC employs a team of 70 engineers who inspect more than 50,000 electrical installations each year. Its technical helpline deals with, on average, 60,000 enquiries each year – ensuring that technical standards within the sector are maintained. In addition, NICEIC now offer a range of add-on services for its customers including training, insurance, online certification, and a webshop offering great deals on tools and workwear.

“The electrical contractor of today is very different to one from 1956,” adds Emma.

“They are able to carry out a range of different tasks relating to the change in consumer demands and the development of the industry over time.

“NICEIC has had to reflect this change in the services it provides. We now offer a suite of professional services including training courses in renewables and smart home technology which provide further opportunities for contractors.

“We have also taken a more modern approach to the way we interact with our customers and launched a customer charter to report back on the services we provide.

“Customers of NICEIC now rate the service at an impressive 8.4 out of 10, while just under 95 % also rate the technical advice received as excellent.

“We will continue to build on this and ensure NICEIC is the number one choice in the industry for the next 60 years.”

 

60th Anniversary for NICEIC

60th Anniversary for NICEIC

 

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/60th-anniversary-for-niceic

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Understanding the new low voltage directive

A new European Directive will provide greater protection for users of electrical equipment across a wide range of consumer and professional products, including power supply units and components such as fuses.

The Low Voltage Directive (LVD) 2014/35/EU came into force on 20th April 2016, replacing Directive 2006/95/EC. It provides detailed and in-depth guidance around the placing of electrical equipment within certain voltage boundaries.

Rittal has developed a Guide (`The New Low Voltage Directive`) to the Standard outlining the new features and requirements. This Guide provides information and a brief understanding of 2014/35/EC.  It looks at what is new in the directive, what it means for panel builders and switchgear manufacturers, and what they can do to comply Including:

•    Ensure technical documentation is in the language the destination country of the product

•    Fulfil the requirements of the applicable product standard

•    Prepare a risk analysis

•    Remedy potential risks and provide a safety data sheet

The use and application of European Standards EN 61439 or EN 60204 will make the risk analyses far easier to prepare simply because, by implementing the technical measures of these standards along with the measures taken by testing them, risks are automatically reduced.

Download the Guide at http://www.rittal.com/uk-en/content/en/support/downloads/Downloads.jsp?category=5&language=1&page=1.

Rittal can offer further guidance around the LVD as required. For example,`The Introduction to the Application of IEC 61439` seminar is just one of a suite of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) seminars designed to provide support to industry professionals.

Each seminar has been reviewed and assessed by the Chartered Institute of Building Engineers (CIBSE), to ensure the technical content is of a high standard.

Further information at www.rittal.co.uk and www.friedhelm-loh-group.com or on twitter @rittal_ltd.

 

Understanding the new low voltage directive

Understanding the new low voltage directive

 

Source: http://www.electricalcontractingnews.co.uk/index.php/home-3/3061-understanding-the-new-low-voltage-directive

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Two years since the launch

Two years on since it first launched, more than 41,000 businesses are now listed on the Registered Competent Person Electrical website.

Since its launch in June 2014 the site has attracted more than 200,000 visitors with, on average, more than 7,500 searches for local electricians carried out each month. Now is the perfect time to make sure you are on it.

Registered Competent Person Electrical (www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk) is a powerful source for anyone looking for a registered electrician in their area to carry out work in their home. It lists all Full Scope Part P registered firms in England and Wales.

It was created by all government approved Full Scope electrical Competent Person Scheme operators to make finding a registered electrician a simple and easy process. Registered Competent Person Electrical also has the support of leading industry stakeholders including the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Registered electricians are encouraged to check their details are present and up-to-date to ensure they are getting the most out of their free listing. If you’re a Full Scope, registered domestic electrical installer, your business should be automatically added to the register, if you don’t find your business on there make sure you contact your Competent Person Scheme Operator who will be able to help.

Commenting on the site, Napit group chief executive Michael Andrews said: “Over the 2 years of its existence, the Registered Competent Person Electrical website has proven to be an amazing resource. It provides consumers peace of mind by allowing them to locate electricians who are competent and have their work regularly assessed within their local area. It has also given installers a valuable free listing to advertise their business, which has subsequently allowed them to market themselves in their local area and increase business. I am confident that the website will continue to raise awareness of electrical safety in the home.”

Emma Clancy, CEO of Certsure, added: “RCPE is a leading resource to find all firms registered and assessed to carry out domestic electrical work throughout England and Wales. It is important to check that your business is listed and that your contact information is present and correct to ensure you are getting the most from this free and invaluable resource.”

Over the past 2 years, campaigns highlighting the value of the RCPE have reached a multitude of people through social media. These campaigns have helped to raise awareness on electrical safety and encouraged people to seek out professional installers in their area.

To find out more about Registered Competent Person Electrical, visit: www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk

If you would like to update your details or you think your business should be listed but does not appear on the register, you need to contact the DCLG authorised Competent Person Scheme Operator you are registered with. A full list, including contact details, is available at: www.electricalcompetentperson.co.uk/Contact-Us

 

Registered Competent Person Electrical

Registered Competent Person Electrical

 

Source: http://www.electricalreview.co.uk/news/11102-two-years-since-the-launch

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Smart Bricks to generate electricity

Smart bricks capable of recycling wastewater and generating electricity from sunlight are being developed by a team of scientists from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).

The bricks will be able to fit together and create ‘bioreactor walls’ which could then be incorporated in housing, public building and office spaces.

The UWE Bristol team is working on the smart technologies that will be integrated into the bricks in this pan European ‘Living Architecture’ (LIAR) project led by Newcastle University.

The LIAR project brings together living architecture, computing and engineering to find a new way to tackle global sustainability issues.

The smart living bricks will be made from bio-reactors filled with microbial cells and algae. Designed to self-adapt to changing environmental conditions the smart bricks will monitor and modify air in the building and recognise occupants.

Each brick will contain microbial fuel cells (MFCs) containing a variety of micro-organisms specifically chosen to clean water, reclaim phosphate, generate electricity and facilitate the production of new detergents, as part of the same process.

The MFCs that will make up the living engine of the wall of smart bricks will be able to sense their surroundings and respond to them through a series of digitally coordinated mechanisms.

Computer processor

Professor Andrew Adamatzky, LIAR project director for UWE Bristol, is leading the UWE Bristol team, he said, “The technologies we are developing aim to transform the places where we live and work enabling us co-live with the building.

“A building made from bio-reactors will become a large-scale living organism that addresses all environmental and energy needs of the occupants. Walls in buildings comprised of smart bricks containing bioreactors will integrate massive-parallel computing processors where millions of living creatures sense the occupants in the building and the internal and external environmental conditions.

“Each smart brick is an electrical analogous computer. A building made of such bricks will be a massive-parallel computing processor.”

A photo-bioreactor is a device that can be programmed to utilize a variety of inputs such as grey water, microbial consortia (algae and bacteria), carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and different types of nutrient to generate outputs.

These outputs include ‘polished’ water, fertiliser, extractable products (recoverable phosphate), oxygen, next generation biodegradable detergents, electricity, recoverable biomass, bio-fluorescence and to a certain extent, heat.

Professor Ioannis Ieropoulos, Director of the Bristol Bioenergy Centre (BBiC), at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory at UWE Bristol, said, “Microbial Fuel Cells are energy transducers that exploit the metabolic activity of the constituent microbes to break down organic waste and generate electricity.

“This is a novel application for MFC modules to be made into actuating building blocks as part of wall structures. This will allow us to explore the possibility of treating household waste, generating useful levels of electricity, and have ‘active programmable’ walls within our living environments.”

Rachel Armstrong, Professor of Experimental Architecture at Newcastle University, UK, who is co-ordinating the project, said, “The LIAR project is incredibly exciting – it is bringing together living architecture, computing and engineering to find a new way to tackle global issues, like sustainability.”

The €3.2m LIAR (Living Architecture) project is co-ordinated by Newcastle University working with experts from the universities of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Trento and Florence, the Spanish National Research Council; LIQUIFER Systems Group and EXPLORA.

 

Smart Bricks to generate electricity

Smart Bricks to generate electricity

 

Source: http://www.electricaltimes.co.uk/news/story/smart-bricks-to-generate-electricity

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Plumbers could be missing out on business due to poor online presence

Yell, UK digital marketing provider, has discovered an overwhelming majority of plumbers (90%) have incorrect or inconsistent information online, including basic details such as a phone number or email.

Yell analysed the online presence of 4,962 plumbers in the UK across sites including Bing, Facebook and My Local Services UK, and also asked customers nationwide about their online habits and expectations.

The results showed some basic but common errors in small businesses’ approach to reaching potential online customers, such as having different telephone numbers listed on different sites.

Feedback showed 89% of customers say they will try another company if the details listed online for a particular business are incorrect, suggesting many small businesses, including plumbers, are missing out on a lot of potential custom.

Key facts:

  • 51% of customers said when they were looking for a new service, the most important source of information was a website
  • 54% of people rely on positive online reviews when deciding on a new local business or service

“If a company’s information online is wrong, it’s arguably worse than not being online at all,” said Mark Clisby, Yell’s marketing director. “Not only is the company effectively invisible to customers, it can also seem careless or even untrustworthy. This often happens because companies don’t always know all the listings sites where they appear, or when they move they forget to update their information. It’s easily done, but can be incredibly damaging for business.”

“A lot of small businesses tell me they get all their business from word of mouth and don’t need to be online. However, they’re ignoring the fact that word of mouth has moved online, with more than half of all customers choosing a local business based on online reviews. That’s a lot of work to be missing out on.”

To support small businesses, Yell has launched Connect, a service recognising the importance of connections, word of mouth recommendations and referrals. It helps business owners make their details visible online and get in front of the people looking for local products and services.

Yell is offering small businesses in the UK the chance to try out Connect by completing a free scan of their business online. By entering the business name and address, Connect is able to identify how visible a business is online and, most importantly, report on how accurate the information is.

 

Plumbers could be missing out on business due to poor online presence

Plumbers could be missing out on business due to poor online presence

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4229/Plumbers_could_be_missing_out_on_business_due_to_poor_online_presence.html

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Renewable energy outperforms coal in UK electricity statistics

The government’s new annual energy statistics show that renewable energy sources are replacing coal as mainstream technologies generating power for British homes, offices and factories.

Figures realeased on 28 July confirm that 25% of the UK’s electricity was generated from renewables last year – an increase of 29% on 2014. Nearly half of this (48%) came from wind power alone.

In comparison, coal generated 22% of the country’s electricity – down from 30% in 2014.

RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: “The government took the right decision when it announced the phasing out of coal. Now we can see renewable energy filling the gap, replacing old technology with new. 2015 was the first year that renewables outperformed coal.

“A quarter of Britain’s power is now coming from wind, wave and tidal power and other renewable energy sources. Renewables are now part of our energy mainstream, helping us modernise the way we keep the lights on by building new infrastructure for the generations to come”.

The Government’s latest poll on the public’s views on energy, the Public Attitudes Tracking Survey, also published on 28 July, showed that 76% of people support renewable energy.

 

Renewable energy outperforms coal in UK electricity statistics

Renewable energy outperforms coal in UK electricity statistics

 

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4247/Renewable_energy_outperforms_coal_in_UK_electricity_statistics_.html

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Industry associations launch major Brexit survey

A new survey on the impact of the Brexit vote on the building services engineering sector has been launched by the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) and Scottish electrical trade body SELECT.

The survey aims to identify the key issues within the sector following the UK’s landmark decision to leave the European Union. The survey covers the likely implications of Brexit for the sector, including the UK government’s exit negotiations with Brussels.

The results of the survey will inform the representational work of the ECA, BESA and SELECT as the government develops its Brexit negotiating position and establishes new approaches to domestic and international policy and legislation.

Rob Driscoll, director of commercial and legal at BESA, said: “The referendum vote has created business uncertainty and knocked confidence just when the economy was showing signs of gradual recovery after the financial crash. However, there is a lot of misinformation and scaremongering out there – the UK is in danger of talking itself into a recession.

“It is vital, therefore, to gather good quality, accurate market intelligence at a time like this so businesses can make investment and recruitment decisions based on what is actually happening. We need to build up a picture of what Brexit could really mean for our sector and which issues most concern our members so that we can provide useful advice and guidance.”

Paul Reeve, director of business services at the ECA, added: “The Prime Minister has famously said that ‘Brexit means Brexit’. She quickly added that the UK is going to ‘make a success of it’, and so it’s now up to our sector to help shape UK government policy and to identify the opportunities, and solutions to the challenges ahead.”

The survey has just 12 questions and will usually take around five minutes to complete. It is open to all contractors in the BSE sector, and most notably ECA, BESA and SELECT members. The survey findings will be shared with member-firms and key stakeholders from across the industry, this autumn.

The online Brexit survey, which runs until Tuesday 6 September, can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TJWQ5WY.

 

Industry associations launch major Brexit survey

Industry associations launch major Brexit survey

 

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4273/Industry_associations_launch_major_Brexit_survey.html

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Skills minister outlines new plans for vocational education

Skills Minister Nick Boles has unveiled a new plan for Post-16 education based on 15 routes into technical education, in order to “harness [the nation’s] talent”.

Under the new Post-16 Skills Plan, which follows recommendations made in a report into technical education chaired by Lord Sainsbury, 16-year-olds will have to choose between 15 high quality routes rather than the 20,000 they are currently faced with.

Despite the high number of courses currently provided by 160 different organisations, the report argues young people have no clear indication of which course will give the best chance of a job. They will now have to decide between academic options and technical ones aimed at a set of skilled occupations, with standards being set by employers. Each course will be offered by a single course provider – the winner of an exclusive license in a competitive process.

Lord Sainsbury’s report found that the current system is confusing and failing to deliver the skills required by the country’s employers, with significant implications for the UK’s productivity, economy and competitiveness.

It has been announced that the first routes will be made available from 2019 – a claim that has been dismissed by critics as “wildly optimistic”.

Mr Boles said: “Britain has all the ingredients needed to compete with other skilled nations, but we must create a technical education system that can harness that talent. This cannot be the government’s job alone; we must work with employers and post-16 providers to unlock the potential in this country.

“The skills plan is the next step towards that goal, building on the progress we have already made by investing in apprenticeships, and creating a skilled workforce that is the envy of every other nation. This won’t just help our young people get the best jobs but it will also boost our economy, benefitting us all.”

Graeme Dryden, head of technical at APHC, commented: “We are pleased that government has recognised the need for an urgent shake-up of vocational education. Recent research by APHC revealed that 86% of people believe that school leavers should be encouraged to consider an apprenticeship as an alternative to higher education. By not providing young people with this option we are failing the next generation as well as disadvantaging the wider economy. Whether 2019 is a realistic target for the implementation of these changes remains to be seen.”

 

Skills minister outlines new plans for vocational education

Skills minister outlines new plans for vocational education

 

Source: http://hvpmag.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/4224/Skills_Minister_outlines_new_plans_for_vocational_education.html

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Southern Housing plans £360 million building programme

London-based  Southern Housing Group is looking to consult with builders before stetting up a framework to deliver 3,500 homes over four years.

The programme is expected to cost £630m and will consist mainly of one and two-bedroom flats for affordable rent and open market rent.

Projects will range in size between 5 and 300 homes. At the smaller end of the scale, some projects will be small, infill sites mostly in London and rural exception sites. There will also be a number of medium sized one-off projects and several large regeneration schemes, which may be broken down into phases.

Southern Housing Group is planning a soft market test to explore how best to deliver its planned constructor framework. The exercise will cover contract packaging, delivery models, forms of contract, pricing models, social value and innovation.

Firms can register their interest by clicking and answering the survey.

 

Southern Housing plans £360 million building programme

Southern Housing plans £360 million building programme

 

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/08/12/southern-housing-plans-630m-building-programme/

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London Mayor signs off £175 million Oaklands development

Work has been cleared to start later this year on a £175m regeneration project in west London that will deliver 605 new homes.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has given final approval to plans for the first major housing development at the Old Oak regeneration site in London, after intervening to boost the number of affordable homes in the scheme.

The Oaklands project also involves the construction of a new link road from Old Oak Common Lane into the site, opening up the wider area to regeneration.

Demolition of the existing site buildings will start later this year and construction work on this phase is expected to take three years to fully complete.

The application was approved by the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation, the organisation that has planning control over the Old Oak regeneration site, on 13th July 2016 and subsequently went to the mayor for sign-off.

Planners reckon that Old Oak and Park Royal have the potential for 25,500 new homes over the next 30 to 40 years, as well as becoming a key transport interchange for Crossrail and HS2.

Sadiq Khan said: “The scale and ambition for this development shows London is very much open for business. Despite the uncertainty caused by the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, it remains clear that developers and investors see long-term potential in our great city.”

The developers are Genesis Housing Association and Queens Park Rangers Football Club (QPR).  QPR has other strategic land interests in Old Oak and would like to build a new stadium as part of the wider development, providing a new home for the club.

Genesis chief executive Neil Hadden said: “We are delighted that the redevelopment at Oaklands, in one of Hammersmith and Fulham’s most important regeneration sites, has been approved. We will now be able to provide hundreds more affordable homes for Londoners on a once derelict site. Partnerships such as the one we have with QPR enable us to invest, not only in building new homes, but in developing new communities.”

QPR co-chairman Tony Fernandes said: “We are delighted that the Mayor has granted planning permissions for the Oaklands development, including hundreds of affordable homes for Londoners. Along with our development partners Genesis Housing Association we look forward to creating this new neighbourhood, building a sustainable community where people can live, work and play. We are committed to bringing forward other development sites in Old Oak as soon as possible to create the homes that London desperately needs.“

Of the 242 affordable homes, half will be for social and affordable rent, with the other half being for shared ownership.

 

London Mayor signs off £175 million Oaklands development

London Mayor signs off £175 million Oaklands development

 

Source: http://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/london-mayor-signs-off-175m-oaklands-development

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£47 million Chesire school redevelopment approved

Plans to redevelop a former Cheshire high school site with a mix of private and council homes have got the thumbs up.

Developer Keepmoat will build 401 homes at the former Woodford Lodge High School site in Winsford. 

The new housing scheme, which has been called Woodford Grange, spans 30 acres of brownfield and will provide home hunters and first time buyers with access to a collection of two, three and four bedroom properties under the government backed Help to Buy scheme.

There will be 130 affordable properties built on behalf of Cheshire West and Chester Council within the development – the first local authority houses built within the Borough for nearly 40 years.

Gareth Roberts, regional managing director for Keepmoat in the North West, said: “Working in partnership with the Council, we have identified key ways to regenerate a surplus piece of land and really invest in Winsford while creating housing solutions – particularly for first time buyers.  

Work is anticipated to start on site later this summer.

£47 million Chesire school redevelopment approved

£47 million Chesire school redevelopment approved

 

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/08/11/47m-cheshire-school-redevelopment-approved/

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Green light for 188 home London scheme

Expansion in London has stepped up a gear after Barnet Council approved plan to build 188 homes in Mill Hill.

Its Prime Place development arm will now build 159 homes for private sale, together with 29 homes for affordable rent, on a 2.7 acre site at Millbrook Park.

The scheme, designed by architects Broadway Malyan, will form part of a new north London community earmarked to provide over 2,000 homes in a landscaped parkland setting, together with shops, offices and a new primary school.

Residents will benefit from underground parking and a low carbon district heating system.

Brian Brady, managing director Prime Place, said the scheme underlined Willmott Residential’s growing presence, developing homes for sale through Prime Place and for private rent through be:here.

Willmott Residential now boasts 5,000 units on site or in planning using its model to develop tenure mixes concurrently. This includes acting as lead developer on the 1,176 home regeneration of Aberfeldy Village in Tower Hamlets and Brentford FC’s masterplan for a 20,000 seat stadium and 900 homes.

Elsewhere, Prime Place is working with Westminster City Council to create new leisure facilities at no cost to the council through cross-funding afforded by the creation of 156 homes, while Be:here is finalising 118 homes for private rent at the site of the Old Vinyl Factory in Hayes and has planning permission for nearly 600 homes in Barking.

 

Green light for 188 home London scheme

Green light for 188 home London scheme

 

Source: http://www.constructionenquirer.com/2016/08/09/green-light-for-willmott-dixon-188-home-london-scheme/

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