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September 2018 Newsletter

September 2018 Newsletter

UK adults can’t identify an unsafe gas appliance, ACI warns of dangerous flexible cord, CP Electronics supplies lighting controls for cutting-edge hospital, boiler manufacturers pledge to include gas safety messages on packaging, City of London considers ban on Saturday construction and some large projects get the go-ahead throughout the UK’

 

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Third of UK adults can’t identify an unsafe gas appliance, Gas Safe Register finds

A third of UK adults (33%) don’t know the signs of an unsafe gas appliance, according to Gas Safe Register’s latest research.

The signs to check for if a gas appliance is unsafe were recognised by some people as; a lazy yellow flame (33%), the pilot light keeps going out (32%), black marks or stains on or around the appliances (29%), and increased condensation inside windows (12%).

Worringly, one in six adults (17%) also admitted that they take no steps at all to ensure their home’s gas appliances are safe. However, nearly half (47%) said they have their gas appliances checked annually by a Gas Safe-registered engineer, almost two in five (38%) have an audible carbon monoxide alarm, and nearly one in three (29%) know to check that their gas engineer is on the Gas Safe Register.

This Gas Safety Week (17-23 September), Gas Safe Register will be raising awareness about the dangers of unsafe gas appliances, with the support of the industry. Gas Safe Register will be focusing on a different theme each day to share important facts and advice about gas safety. The themes of these are as follows:

Monday

‘FAMILY MATTERS’ – Unsafe appliances can be fatal; Gas Safe Register is helping families know the signs to look out for to stay gas safe.

Tuesday

‘CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) AND GAS SAFETY RISKS’ – With CO gas known as the silent killer, it is important we know these symptoms.

Wednesday

‘RENTING RESPONSIBILITIES’ – Know your legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to renting a property.

Thursday

‘ILLEGALS’ – Only registered engineers can legally work on gas appliances. Stay on the right side of the law and stop energy theft.

Friday

‘EVERYDAY HEROES’ – Celebrating gas engineers as everyday heroes who keep UK families gas safe.

Saturday

‘DON’T DO IT YOURSELF’ – Leave gas work to the experts – registered gas engineers.

Sunday

‘SAFETY AT HOME’ – How to stay safe at home and spot unsafe gas appliances.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register said: “This Gas Safety Week we are encouraging families to learn about why keeping your gas appliances working safely is so important.

“A gas safety check by a registered gas engineer is the first line of defence from a potential fire or carbon monoxide poisoning and we recommend getting a gas safety check every year for peace of mind.”

 

Third of UK adults can't identify an unsafe gas appliance, Gas Safe Register finds

Third of UK adults can’t identify an unsafe gas appliance, Gas Safe Register finds

 

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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ACI warns of dangerous Turkish Flexible cord

Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of substandard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’.

Samples came to light following the Initiative’s recent `Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign, which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords.

According to the ACI, in two separate instances, 1.5mm² and 2.5mm² three-core PVC insulated and PVC sheathed ordinary duty flexibles have been submitted for testing to the ACI.

Testing showed that the cable’s conductors were Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA). This is believed to be a deliberate attempt by the manufacturer to reduce the amount of copper within the core and in doing so the cost of the cables, says the ACI.

The flexible cord could potentially be used in domestic extension leads and industrial connection leads which are exposed to constant flexing during their everyday use.

Testing showed conductor resistance to be higher than that specified by the British and European standards that the cord claimed to meet. The reduced copper content results in the cords burning out whilst in use, creating a significant fire risk to the user. The reduction in copper content of the 2.5mm² conductors meant they only just met the maximum safe current carrying capacity of a 1.0mm².

CCA conductors, being predominantly aluminium, are not as robust as copper conductors and break easier during normal flexing. This ultimately results in individual strands breaking leading to no continuity or a hot spot within the cable as electricity arcs between the gap where the strands have broken.

ACI is warning that any cable or flexible cords marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and `Ermaks’ should not be used and should be tested by an approved electrician. Samples can also be sent to the ACI (minimum 5m length) for testing.

For further advice on this issue and other substandard cable can be found at aci.org.uk.

 

ACI warns of dangerous Turkish Flexible cord

ACI warns of dangerous Turkish Flexible cord

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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IGEM updates Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure

The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) has published a new edition of the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP).

The update came into effect on 1 June 2018 and supersedes Edition 7.1 of the GIUSP, which has now been withdrawn.

The procedure provides guidance to Gas Safe-registered businesses/engineers for dealing with unsafe situations in domestic and non-domestic premises supplied with natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

This guidance covers how registered engineers should make visual assessments on any appliances/installations they encounter or work on, and outlines the instances where appliances/installations deemed to be unsafe should be classified as either ‘Immediately Dangerous’ or ‘At Risk’.

IGEM took over legal ownership of the Unsafe Situations Procedure in February 2017, under the governance of its Technical Co-ordinating Committee. This new GIUSP update is the first to be published by IGEM since that date. Previously, the standard was overseen by a working group of stakeholders from across the industry.

IGEM has reportedly kept the new document as similar to the previous version as possible, in order to prevent any confusion. This latest update makes only minimal changes to the procedure, including bringing the layout and some of the wording into line with other published IGEM standards.

The phrase ‘responsible engineers’, used in the previous edition, has been changed to ‘competent engineers’, to clarify that only those deemed to be legally competent are allowed to work with gas and LPG appliances.

Minor changes have also been made to some of the scenarios listed in Table 1: Giving Guidance on Particular Situations and How To Categorise Them, to provide clarity on the requirements of certain situations, where queries have been made by gas engineers.

For example, under Table 1, Scenario 3.13 refers to visual assessments of gas pipework located within a cavity wall or void, but which is not within a purpose-designed duct in accordance with appropriate standards. This situation should be classified as ‘At Risk’, however the procedure has been amended to note that this does not include instances where un-sleeved pipework passes directly across a cavity by the shortest possible route.

Changes have also been made to clarify the visual risk assessments process, but the required process itself has not been changed. No changes have been made to the classifications published within this procedure.

All registered engineers have a duty to keep abreast of all changes to this regulation. Any person found to be completing work unsafely could face prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive under the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations (1998).

This latest update to the GIUSP has been made in conjunction with the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure working group, which contributed to the changes that have been made.

The procedure is available to view for free on www.igem.org.uk and can also be viewed by registered gas engineers on www.gassaferegister.co.uk. The procedure can be purchased in hard copy from www.gassafetyshop.co.uk.

 

IGEM updates Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure

IGEM updates Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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CP Electronics supplies lighting controls for cutting-edge Oswestry Hospital Cancer Unit

A state-of-the-art bone cancer centre at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) puts energy efficiency first, thanks to CP Electronics’ Vitesse Plus standalone lighting control system.

The Montgomery Unit at RJAH treats patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas, bone metastases, benign bone and soft tissue tumours and tumour-like conditions. It is one of only five bone cancer centres in the UK and was launched as part of the £15.1 million theatre and ward development in August 2016.

To maximise its energy efficiency, the unit uses a variety of CP Electronics’ lighting control solutions across the whole building. This includes Vitesse Plus, along with passive infrared (PIR) and microwave presence detectors, across the corridors and patient wards.

For patients and hospital staff, CP’s lighting control system provides simple, intuitive lighting controls and can provide manual scene setting within wards.

These controls prevent unnecessary lighting usage and will therefore assist the unit with vital energy savings. Vitesse Plus includes pre-programmed lighting configurations, making installation simpler, too. The presence detectors will control light levels in corridors based on occupancy, gradually dimming or increasing the lights based on natural light levels and switching the lights off after a set time.

Easy to install, simple to use

As a mixed-use building that operates 24 hours a day, the Montgomery Unit needs lighting to reflect the diversity of staff and patient activity. CP Electronics worked closely with the main contractor Briggs and Forrester to devise a system that would intelligently light each area, dependant on its function, maximising the unit’s energy savings.

Alun Bunday, healthcare team leader at Briggs and Forrester, says, “As only the fifth specialist bone cancer centre in the UK, the Montgomery Unit is expected to be busy and will serve many people daily. To this end, we prioritised the design around patient comfort, and making the unit as cost-efficient as possible.

“CP Electronics came in, analysed the building usage and recommended its standalone Vitesse Plus lighting control system. By utilising lighting control in corridors and patient wards, this ensures lighting wastage is kept to a minimum.”

Vitesse Plus, which has been installed throughout the Montgomery unit, uses a full seven-channel lighting control system that can perform different lighting functions. Each channel controls the detectors based on pre-set configurations.

A two-way approach

As well as energy savings, CP’s lighting control systems are also wired to prevent the lights from going off in the event of a fault. The Montgomery Unit’s lighting is supplied through two different incoming power supplies, essential and non-essential lighting.

Enabling this functionality is CP Electronics’ Vitesse Plus lighting control modules (LCM). The LCMs allow lighting detectors to be supplied from the two different power supplies. This results in two LCMs feeding the controls to the lighting to each room or area, but only a common detector to each LCM.

In addition to the detectors operating from two LCMs, the switches also operate both LCMs in the event of failure. This doubles up against fault protection and is just as important for the hospital in maintaining its lighting is always working.

For areas where lighting is not always required, such as common areas and corridors, CP’s advanced presence detectors will provide lighting ‘on demand.’ These devices sense movement in the detection zones, and then activate the lighting accordingly.

Providing this detection includes CP’s MWS3A adjustable head microwave detectors. The adjustable head and detection sensitivity on this device provides a long detection range of up to 30m.

“As we know, hospitals are busy facilities, and any downtime can cost dearly,” says Paul Chesworth, northern regional sales manager for CP Electronics. “It was an imperative part of the specification that the lighting should not fail, be easy to manage and maintain, as well as save energy and cost where possible.

“With our Vitesse Plus lighting control system, we’ve ensured that the Montgomery Unit has met these conditions, and that the patients and staff have the best possible lighting control where needed.”

Briggs and Forrester has a longstanding relationship with CP Electronics, and has often used CP’s intelligent lighting solutions on a variety of different projects.

“CP Electronics has always been a trusted supplier to Briggs and Forrester, thanks to its in-depth knowledge of lighting controls, excellent customer service and support when required,” adds Alun Bunday.

“On this project, we were impressed with CP’s consultative approach. They worked with us on a room-by-room scenario and spent a lot of time understanding the unit’s needs before recommending and designing the system, so that we got the best solution for the hospital.”

 

CP Electronics supplies lighting controls for cutting-edge Oswestry Hospital Cancer Unit

CP Electronics supplies lighting controls for cutting-edge Oswestry Hospital Cancer Unit

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

Morgan Sindall has completed successful trials of the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset to perform installation checks on site.

The Construction & Infrastructure division and consulting arm BakerHicks tested the system at the new Ashmole Primary School site in Southgate, London.

BakerHicks’ specialist BIM team projected their computer model onto the mechanical, electrical and public health (MEPH) installations on the site.

A customised app allowed the project team to then view and check a section of the project’s MEPH work.

The team used an image tracker to superimpose the holographic BIM model onto the soffit of the ceiling.

This allowed the project team to walk through the building wearing the Microsoft HoloLens headset, which acts as a self-contained holographic computer, to check and audit the actual built product against the original design.

The headset can record what the wearer is seeing and is fully interactive, enabling any changes to be communicated to the design team.

Trevor Strahan, head of BIM at BakerHicks said: “The success of this trial marks an exciting step in our journey in exploring the possibilities HoloLens technology could bring to our industry.

“We have been quick to recognise the benefits that ‘virtual world’ technology can deliver and apply it in a ‘real world’ environment.

“We’ve been working on developing Augmented Reality for a while now and it is really exciting to see all that come to fruition.”

Steffan Speer, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure’s business improvement director said: “The benefits mixed reality could bring to our teams and customers are vast – including remote conferencing, construction design and installation reviews along with the presentation of construction models via holograms.

“I’m looking forward to our subsequent trials as we look to develop these exciting capabilities further.”

 

Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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London Gallions Reach phase 2 approved

Galliford Try has gained planning for the second phase of the Gallions Reach housing scheme in east London.

The project, which is a key site in the wider regeneration of Royal Albert Wharf, is being delivered in joint venture with Notting Hill Genesis

The planning decision grants permission to construct 241 new homes in three new apartment blocks, alongside a new public square as well as shops and cafes.

Gallions Quarter forms a key part of the wider Royal Albert Wharf regeneration. Once complete, the entire site will provide in excess of 1,800 new homes, creating a vibrant new neighbourhood.

Stuart Brodie, Managing Director of Galliford Try Partnerships London, said: “Gallions Quarter has a major role to play in the wider regeneration here at Royal Albert Wharf.

“Working in partnership with Notting Hill Genesis, our plans will transform this area into a vibrant mix of new homes and commercial spaces. We have already completed the construction of the first phase of Royal Albert Wharf, and we now can’t wait to get started at Gallions Quarter.”

 

London Gallions Reach phase 2 approved

London Gallions Reach phase 2 approved

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Carillion redundancy pay-outs to top £65m

The taxpayer looks set to pay £65m to former Carillion workers who were made redundant following the company’s collapse in January.

So far around £50m has been paid out for actual claims received, with the redundancy payments office expecting the final bill to reach £65m.

All employees of Carillion were eligible to make a claim for redundancy, including those transferring to new suppliers.

Total redundancies stood at 2,787 or 15% of the original 18,500 strong workforce in August when all of Carillion’s contracts had been transferred.

Around 13,945 staff or 76% of the pre-liquidation workforce transferred to next suppliers.

A further 1,272 former staff left the business during the liquidation through finding new work, retirement or for other reasons.

Around 240 core employees are currently being retained to help close out the remaining activities.

The sum was revealed in a Freedom of Information request to the Insolvency Service by union Unite.

Accountancy firm PwC, which was engaged by the Insolvency Service to break up Carillion and transfer its outsourcing contracts to new providers is expected to have earned around £50m from the company’s collapse.

The taxpayer will also have to pick up the bill for the work to complete Carillion’s key strategic projects including the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Midlands Metropolitan Hospital.

The full cost of this project bailout has still to be quantified.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail revealed the cost to the taxpayer during a speech yesterday at the Labour party conference.

She said: “These revelations further underline why the government must order a full public inquiry into Carillion’s collapse to not only understand who was responsible for the greatest corporate failure in UK history but also the total cost to the taxpayer.

“Additionally, the police need to undertake an immediate criminal investigation into those responsible for Carillion’s collapse. If no laws were broken then we need better stronger laws to prosecute the guilty.”

 

Carillion redundancy pay-outs to top £65m

Carillion redundancy pay-outs to top £65m

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Hampshire shopping precinct sees savings with Light Efficient Design

Light Efficient Design UK has announced its retrofit LED lighting solutions have enabled a popular and long-established outdoor shopping precinct to make major energy savings in the first year of operation and see lamp replacement costs plummet.

The Hampshire-based centre attracts high daily footfall from shoppers visiting such well-known retail outlets as Argos, Boots, Costa coffee, KFC, Primark, Sainsbury, and WH Smith. As part of a recent major refurbishment, there was a requirement to upgrade the existing metal halide floodlighting to LEDs. This was to create a brighter ambience for shoppers, as well as to reduce energy and maintenance costs.

Following an evaluation of potential solutions on the market, an LED retrofit re-lamping approach was selected. Local wholesaler CRS recommended the LED-8087 retrofit from UK-based Light Efficient Design, which was chosen for its high performance and cost-effectiveness. Not only did this allow retention of the existing and still serviceable fittings, ensuring immediate savings to be made on the labour required, it also offered a five-year lifetime warranty, providing major future savings on lamp replacement costs.

Approximately 40 100W wall-mounted metal halide lamps have been replaced with 30W Light Efficient Design UK LED-8087 retrofit lamps. The existing reflectors in the fitting were removed as the interior space was limited and was not necessary due to the LED-8087’s unique and fully directional one sided design, which ensures optimal usage of all available light.

 

Hampshire shopping precinct sees savings with Light Efficient Design

Hampshire shopping precinct sees savings with Light Efficient Design

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Boiler manufacturers pledge to include gas safety messages on packaging

Coinciding with Gas Safety Week last week, the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council has announced that its boiler manufacturer members have pledged to place gas safety messaging on their boiler packaging.

In response to a demand that has echoed among industry professionals and installers for years, the HHIC boiler manufacturers group has pledged to place the Gas Safety messaging on their respective packaging. The packaging will soon feature messages detailing that gas appliances must be installed by a competent, Gas Safe-registered engineer.

Stewart Clements, Director of 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 have 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.”

 

Boiler manufacturers pledge to include gas safety messages on packaging

Boiler manufacturers pledge to include gas safety messages on packaging

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Electrical professionals warned of fake IET Wiring Regulations on sale

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is urging all electrical professionals to ensure that they are using genuine copies of BS 7671:2018, The IET Wiring Regulations.

The call comes as the IET has been made aware of a number of counterfeit PDF copies of its publications for sale and distribution through various channels in the past week.

The IET is warning that following misinformation in these fake copies could be devastating for electrical professionals and the general public at large – with missing or corrupted information potentially leading to unsafe work being carried out which could result in fire, electric shock or even death in the most extreme cases.

Mark Coles, Head of Technical Regulations at the IET said: “The counterfeit PDF copies of BS 7671:2018 we have seen initially look very convincing but are sprinkled with errors which can lead to dangerous practices. Unless you know the origin of the document how can you rely on it?”

To help combat the counterfeit activity, an official hologram has been placed on the inside front cover of the IET Wiring Regulations. This makes it more difficult to counterfeit the guidance and easier for individuals to identify genuine copies of the IET’s books. The hologram contains the IET logo in two sizes and the word “GENUINE”. There are also extra identifiers, some of which can be seen with a magnifying glass.

As a registered charity, the IET has a responsibility to uphold standards and ensures that all proceeds from genuine books go back into the organisation and the electrical industry – this meaning that it can continue to provide safe and reliable information for those professionals working in the electrical sector.

Mark continued: “Ensuring that genuine copies of IET publications are being used by electrical professionals is important in order that correct standards are used to protect the public and those working in the industry from injury and fatality.

“My advice to people looking to buy a copy of any IET publication would be to buy it directly from the IET if they are in any doubt about the supplier they are making a purchase from, or to consult our list of validated suppliers in the UK. Electronic access to BS 7671:2018 is provided by both the IET, through Wiring Regulations Online platform, and BSI, through British Standards Online (BSOL).”

For more information on what to do if you suspect you have a fake book please go to the IET’s website.

 

Electrical professionals warned of fake IET Wiring Regulations on sale

Electrical professionals warned of fake IET Wiring Regulations on sale

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Majority of installers not showing their Gas Safe card

New research from Logic4training, supported the Gas Safe Register, indicates over half (53%) of gas installers are still not showing their Gas Safe card on entering a customer’s home, with just 37% producing their Gas Safe card when asked to do so.

The survey of 210 gas engineers working in both the domestic and commercial gas markets suggests that there is still some way to go in encouraging installers to proactively use their Gas Safe card, as well as a need to foster understanding among consumers.

Around half (52%) of the gas engineers questioned felt that the Gas Safe card could be improved to make it more comprehensible for the general public, suggesting changes such as larger fonts, increasing the visibility of the engineer’s qualifications, using more accessible terminology and braille to make the card more inclusive.

The importance of educating consumers on the meaning of the Gas Safe card was a recurring opinion among respondents, yet 15% of the gas installers questioned said they did not show their prospective customers that they were Gas Safe registered at all.

Mark Krull, Logic4training’s Director, said: “Installers on the ground have a huge influence on consumers’ understanding of what it means to be Gas Safe-registered and the Gas Safe card is a great tool to facilitate this. Engineers need to be showing their Gas Safe Card to all their customers, providing a brief explanation of the importance of being Gas Safe-registered and encouraging them to check the credentials of anyone coming to work on their gas appliances in the future.

“Following the results of this survey, we encourage all gas engineers to review their use of Gas Safe Register branding across their promotional materials and ask themselves if they could use their Gas Safe card more proactively. Not only is this a good marketing exercise, it helps to separate the genuine qualified gas engineers from the cowboys giving the industry a bad name.

“From engineers and training providers to magazines and suppliers, with Gas Safety Week 2018 on the horizon it’s a good time to think about how we can all work together to draw attention to the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances.”

To view a full report of the survey, visit here.

 

Majority of installers not showing their Gas Safe card

Majority of installers not showing their Gas Safe card

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Plan for £250m urban village on Newcastle Quayside

North Yorkshire developer Newby has lodged outline plans to deliver 1,500 homes, a hotel and more than 110,000 sq ft of commercial, community and leisure space along Newcastle Quayside in the city.

Its planned urban village on the former Calders site on Skinnerburn Road would be phased over 10 years and sustain around 260 construction jobs each year.

Designed by architects Faulkner Browns, the Newcastle regeneration scheme would consist of around 15 blocks from three to 19 storeys high. Plans include building a new east/west spine road through the site.

Site enabling works could start as early as next spring with the first plots ready for construction by the autumn of 2019.

Nick Moody, director at Newby said: “Our development team has worked hard to devise proposals which will make Quayside West an attractive place to live, work and visit.

“The site is well-located, and our design will ensure that it connects to the city centre, the River Tyne and wider area. As a result, Quayside West could act as the catalyst for the council’s exciting plans to redevelop the Forth Yards area.

“It is clear that people want to see this derelict site brought back into use.”

 

Plan for £250m urban village on Newcastle Quayside

Plan for £250m urban village on Newcastle Quayside

 

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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City of London considers ban on Saturday construction

The City of London Corporation is considering banning construction work in the Square Mile on Saturdays.

Currently contractors are allowed to work in the City on Saturday mornings from 8am to 1pm.

But pressure from local residents and businesses forced the Corporation to launch a consultation on changing the rules.

The consultation stated: “Saturday work for construction activity is considered the industry norm and has been accepted nationally.

“It helps in practical waysas, for example, fewer people and vehicles are on the street at weekends so there are less public safety implications with works, and it is easier to move large vehicles and loads on streets.

“Projects use the additional hours to carry out works which speeds up the completion of projects and reduces the length of impact on neighbours.”

More than 750 responses have been received and a decision on any changes will be made in November.

 

City of London considers ban on Saturday construction

City of London considers ban on Saturday construction

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Build-to-rent tower advance reaches Glasgow

Detailed plans have been submitted for one of Scotland’s first major build-to-rent developments on the banks of the Clyde.

The high rise 500-flat Glasgow Waterfront project at Central Quay is being led by property manager PLATFORM_ and XLB Properties.

If consent is granted the firm hopes to start construction of the £90m apartments by the second quarter of 2019, with a scheduled completion date of summer 2021.

The project arm of London-based XLB Properties will lead construction.

Designed by architect Keppie, the development forms part of a wider masterplan at the Clydeside Central Quay area, which also includes 300,000 sq. ft. of office space and a 150-room hotel.

The developer has already built and operates several similar build-to-rent projects across the UK including schemes in Bedford, Bracknell, Crawley, Exeter, and Stevenage.

PLATFORM_ is targeting the creation of 5,000 units within the next five years, including Glasgow and a similar development in Sheffield, and has a pipeline of 1,000 units currently in the planning stages.

Matt Willcock, Development Director at PLATFORM_, said: “Build-to-rent is a rapidly growing concept around the UK and we’re proud to offer one of the first developments in Scotland.

“It’s a form of accommodation we expect to continue to see across the UK, and one which will play a significant role in helping Glasgow attract and retain talent to support its major economies.

“The site will help further regenerate the Finnieston and Clydeside areas, providing award-winning building design and living space in the heart of a popular, well-connected part of the city.”

 

Build-to-rent tower advance reaches Glasgow

Build-to-rent tower advance reaches Glasgow

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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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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February 2018 Newsletter

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ECA & BESA join forces to submit retentions plan to government

Following the collapse of Carillion last month, an action plan has been put forward to the Government by leading engineering services bodies, the BESA and ECA, to lay the issue of cash retention in construction to rest.

The BESA and ECA’s submission includes a request for the Government to put retentions in trust as a key first step, with the Peter Aldous Bill seen as a suitable legislative vehicle. This would then be a stepping stone on an industry roadmap to full abolition of retentions in the near future.

The submission includes results from a 2017 survey, which reveals that 92 per cent of respondents said they have faced construction retentions during the last three years, with two-thirds of current contracts involving retentions. Over half faced total retentions of over £100,000 against current contracts;

Many respondents wait an extra six months longer to get their retention monies than the typical 12 months defect liability period. The average amount of monies held over the past three years, which has not been paid back after the completion date and is thus outstanding, is £34,826.

ECA Director of Business Paul Reeve commented: “Prompt and fair payment is essential for industry collaboration, increased productivity and investment. Putting retentions in trust is vital to making early progress with protecting and supporting SMEs. Looking forward, it would help the industry not just to survive, but to modernize and deliver on the new sector deal”.

BESA Director of Legal and Commercial Rob Driscoll commented: “The Government’s Industrial Strategy relies on an engineering services sector which has both the capability and capacity to continue to deliver against UK demand. Recent events have shone a spotlight on just how critical prompt and fair payment is to ensure a financially healthy, innovative and productive sector best achieved through a move away from the use of retentions.”

ECA & BESA join forces to submit retentions plan to government

ECA & BESA join forces to submit retentions plan to government

Source: Electrical Times

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Unexpected boiler repairs cost UK homes over £725m last year

UK households have paid out more than £725 million in unexpected boiler repair bills in the past year, according to data from uSwitch.com.

Nearly a fifth of consumers (17%) – the equivalent of over four million households – have experienced at least one boiler breakdown in the last 12 months. The research found that the average cost to repair a boiler breakdown was £245, adding up to a collective cost of £725 million. However, 4% of those experiencing a breakdown faced a repair bill that exceeded £1,250.

To cover the cost of an unexpected boiler breakdown, nearly half of households (48%) say they would rely on their savings. However, 3.5 million (13%) say they would have to rely on credit cards or take out a bank loan.

Shona Eyre, Energy Expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Boiler breakdown can be a real-life nightmare for many families, and the temperamental British weather doesn’t help matters. It’s not just the financial impact of having to fix a boiler, having to go without hot water and heating for any length of time can be a huge hardship for many families.”

Unexpected boiler repairs cost UK homes over £725m last year

Unexpected boiler repairs cost UK homes over £725m last year

Source: HVP Magazine

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Schneider Electric launches Go Green in the City 2018

Schneider Electric has launched Go Green in the City 2018, its global contest to find bold ideas and innovative solutions for smarter, more energy-efficient cities, which is now in its eighth year. 

In 2017, nearly 20,000 young innovators from 3,000 universities in 180 countries took part. The stakes for Go Green in the City competitors are high, with mentoring, networking, travel, cash prizes and business/job opportunities all on the horizon.

In 2018, the competition is also offering a wider range of topics. Students are invited to submit their bold ideas in one of five categories, including sustainability and inclusivity, the digital economy, smart supply chain, cyber security, or ‘no boundaries/bold idea for going green’ (any topic).

Olivier Blum, chief human resources officer at Schneider Electric commented, “Schneider Electric has a bold vision to solve our planet’s energy paradox. Go Green in the City was designed as a platform for young innovators to become a part of this vision. Helping students to develop their bold ideas for new sustainable solutions, and gain a foothold in our industry is a great way for us to accelerate positive change.”

Raja Jain and Nimisha Gupta from IIT Roorkee in India won first place in the 2017 Go Green in the City final for their ‘Evacool’ air-cooling system. They said, “Go Green in the City has been a dream come true. Winning the competition has given us such a great sense of achievement, as well as a rich learning experience. If you care about how technology can promote greener practices and sustainability, you will not get a better opportunity than this.” 

Teams must be composed of two students attending accredited business or engineering schools in the same country for the duration of the competition. Each team should include at least one female member, in-line with Schneider Electric’s policy of promoting Diversity and Inclusion. The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2018.

All shortlisted teams will receive mentoring by Schneider Electric experts to produce viable business cases to present at one of seven regional semi-finals over the summer in Europe, North America, China, India, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa, and South America. Each of the seven regional winners will then be invited to prepare for the competition final, along with one outstanding all-female team and two ‘wild-card’ teams (additional teams selected from the semi-finalists). 

After this second round of mentoring, ten teams will meet at the global final in the United States in the autumn. The global winning team selected by the executive jury, will be offered the chance to start a career at Schneider Electric, after an international travel to visit any two locations of their choice worldwide, where Schneider Electric offices are present.

Schneider Electric launches Go Green in the City 2018

Schneider Electric launches Go Green in the City 2018

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Trade apprentices to earn £2,000 above the national average by 2022, says Screwfix

According to research conducted by Screwfix, plumbing apprentices are set to earn at least £2,500 a year more than the national average by 2022, bringing their average salary to over £27,500.

This comes from new research commissioned by Screwfix, which examined ONS salary data from 2010-17 to forecast future earnings of apprentices entering a profession. The research was commissioned as part of its Trade Apprentice initiative, which aims to celebrate and champion the best trade apprentices and future stars of the trade.

Along with plumbers, electricians are predicted to be future high earners with a forecasted wage of over £31,000 per annum. Plumbers are forecast to see a 5% increase (over £300), while electricians are to see a rise of 3% (over £150).

Graham Bell, Screwfix CEO, said: “The research supports our belief at Screwfix that a trade apprenticeship is a strong career choice for young people in this country. Apprenticeships lead to careers in highly skilled jobs, which are in high demand and therefore attract a healthy, competitive salary. For young people starting out they offer a great career choice without the burden of large debts from university fees.”

Trade apprentices to earn £2,000 above the national average by 2022, says Screwfix

Trade apprentices to earn £2,000 above the national average by 2022, says Screwfix

Source: HVP Magazine

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Big four accountants accused of feasting on Carillion

Britain’s big four accountancy firms have been accused by MPs of  ‘feasting on the carcass’ of collapsed Carillion, collecting more than £70m in fees in over a decade.

A joint inquiry by two select committees has published a breakdown of fees collected by KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and EY.

This reveals the big four billed the company, pension schemes and the Government nearly £72m since 2008 relating to Carillion.

Field Field, chairman of the work and pensions committee, said: “The image of these companies feasting on what was soon to become a carcass will not be lost on decent citizens.

“We saw at the end of our evidence session that the former directors of Carillion are, unlike their pensioners, suppliers and employees, alright.

“These figures show that, as ever, the Big Four are alright too. All of them did extensive – and expensive – work for Carillion.”

PwC, now handling the liquidation process, came in for particular criticism.

He added: “PWC managed to play all three sides – the company, pension schemes and the Government – to the tune of £21m and are now being paid to preside over the carcass of the company as Special Managers.

“It was perhaps telling that, with their three fellow oligarchs conflicted, PWC were appointed to this lucrative position without any competition.”

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said watchdog MPs would question KPMG about its role in auditing Carillion’s accounts before the group’s collapse with over £1.3bn of debt.

Reeve said: “KPMG has serious questions to answer about the collapse of Carillion.

“Either KPMG failed to spot the warning signs, or its judgement was clouded by its cosy relationship with the company and the multi-million pound fees it received.

“For the sake of all those who lost their jobs at Carillion and in the interests of better corporate governance, KPMG should, as a bare minimum, review its processes and explain what went wrong.”

KPMG, who will be questioned in Parliament, have audited Carillion’s accounts every year since the company’s inception in 1999, receiving £29.4m in fees in the process.

In documents submitted to the joint committee, KPMG  does not accept any suggestion of blame but said it conducted its work “appropriately and responsibly”.

PwC said: “It’s appropriate that the Joint Committee consider all aspects of the collapse of Carillion and we will continue to cooperate fully with their enquiries.

“The Joint Committee’s request for information dates back to 2008 and the majority of the work that PwC undertook directly for Carillion was carried out prior to June 2015 rather than in the last few months before its collapse.

“Our technical skills and ability to deal with complex business problems led to our appointments to work for the Government and the Pension trustees.

“While there are only four large professional services firms, the market has been subject to extensive review by the Competition Commission (now succeeded by the Competition & Markets Authority) and European Commission. We comply with all rules that have resulted from these extensive reviews.”

Big four accountants accused of feasting on Carillion

Big four accountants accused of feasting on Carillion

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Bid race for £190m Manchester town hall revamp

Manchester City Council has started the hunt for a management contractor to deliver its ambitious Town Hall and Albert Square Revamp.

The client project team includes Mace appointed late last year as project manager and architect Purcell, which has worked up designs to refurbish the Grade I-listed landmark building, opened in 1877.

The project is expected to be worth up to £190m and will run for around four years.

City council procurement chiefs hope to shortlist five firms to bid with the successful contractor appointed in early December.

The winning firm will be responsible for managing the project and procuring around 80 subcontracts ranging from  £10,000 – £40m.

Works will include restoring the Great Hall and its Ford Madox Brown murals, as well as external repairs to the roof, stonework and drains. The council also says ‘significant work’ is needed to address the electrics, heating, ventilation and lifts in the building.

The Council is using the Chest procurement portal with expressions of interest required by 19 March.

Bid race for £190m Manchester town hall revamp

Bid race for £190m Manchester town hall revamp

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Driving more business for LPG Installers

LPG supplier Calor is promoting its ‘Find an Installer’ tool which helps potential customers find a local LPG gas engineer for their boiler service, installation and maintenance. Installers who are LPG Qualified and Gas Safe registered are encouraged to sign up for Calor’s Installer Community in order to appear in the Finder’s search results, all free of charge. Being included on the Finder means installers can be contacted directly by homeowners currently using LPG for their heating, or those interested in switching to Calor LPG.

Matt Dunford, National Field Sales Manager at Calor, says: “If you’re a heating installer working in a rural area, LPG offers your customers all the convenience and reliability of mains gas. We’re constantly looking for new ways to work alongside rural installers and help them with any LPG support they need. Our ‘Find an Installer’ tool is another way for us to share business opportunities with our Installer Community.

“We are also offering an Installer Incentive Scheme, where we’ll reward you with up to £250 for every LPG customer you recommend who goes on to become a Calor customer.”

LPG qualified heating installers can learn about the benefits of Calor LPG and inclusion on the Finder by meeting up with a local Calor representative. To find out more, visit www.calor.co.uk/installer

Driving more business for LPG Installers

Driving more business for LPG Installers

Source: PHAM News

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Tackling gender inequality must be priority, says NICEIC

“Tackling gender inequality must be a trade priority,” NICEIC CEO Emma Clancy has said.

As the nation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the female vote Emma has said that despite a certain level of progress in other industries, gender disparity still remains a prevalent issue in the electrical and wider construction sectors.

“February 6, 1918, was an important milestone in our history, but it only marked the start of a journey that we are still on today to bring about equality,” commented Emma.

“The unfortunate reality is that, despite great progress being made in breaking down gender barriers in other areas of life, there is still a huge job to do in the construction industry.

“In the electrical industry alone, women only make up around 1% of the total workforce. As an industry we need to broaden our approach to recruitment and the image we portray.”

NICEIC continues to promote opportunities for women in the electrical industry through its Jobs for the Girls campaign.

The campaign has helped bring greater focus to the issue and while perceptions of the construction industry are changing, Emma believes there are still more steps that can be taken to create a more inclusive environment.

“There are some great success stories out there of women who have made a great career in the electrical industry,” added Emma.

“They are real trailblazers and evidence that the industry is changing. However, the numbers are still painfully low and many young women are still pushed into careers such as hairdressing or childcare as it is the perceived norm.

“We need to change the perception of the industry as one traditionally for boys and make it more inclusive and appealing to women. Young females need see it as a viable, exciting career option from the very beginning.

“What we have found in particular is that women who do become electricians often do so later on in life – when in fact they could have started out much sooner if they had the appropriate information or encouragement.”

For more information, visit the NICEIC’s Jobs for the Girls campaign.

Tackling gender inequality must be priority, says NICEIC

Tackling gender inequality must be priority, says NICEIC

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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World Plumbing Day is coming up

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) is reminding the industry that 11 March 2018 is World Plumbing Day.

Initiated by the World Plumbing Council (WPC), World Plumbing Day highlights the global water and sanitation crisis, while also promoting the important role that plumbing plays in the health and safety of modern society.

While here in the UK, we feel a million miles away from dangers of severe water shortages and the sanitation crisis seen in the developing world; that is not to say that all UK water systems are safe. With longstanding issues such as hot water scalding, Legionnaires Disease, lead in pipework and pollution caused by plumbing misconnections, we are still very much living in a time where even first world plumbing problems can be deadly.

Kevin Wellman, CEO of the CIPHE, said: “Days such as World Plumbing Day highlight both the good and the bad in our vital and vibrant industry. We know the health of the nation sits on having safe, clean drinking water and effective sanitation. While the majority of tradespeople are out there working to an exceptional standard, each year people are still being severely injured and killed by poorly designed, installed and maintained plumbing systems.

“Plumbers are also on the frontline in the fight to conserve water, while safekeeping our families and the environment we live in. At the CIPHE, we believe that education and knowledge is the key to fighting a variety of problems in the industry. We wholeheartedly celebrate the role that plumbers make to our everyday lives, but still recognise more needs to be done to make all plumbing systems safe and sustainable.”

You can keep up-to-date with the latest news and events online by logging onto www.worldplumbingday.org or following @WPlumbingDay on Twitter.

World Plumbing Day is coming up

World Plumbing Day is coming up

Source: HVP Magazine

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Triveneta admits production fault in flexible cord

Italian cable company, La Triveneta Cavi (LTC), has confirmed it experienced a production fault last year that resulted in flexible cord cable with exposed copper conductors, on sale in the UK, reports the Approved Cables Initiative (ACI).

The cables, which failed the British and European Standards flex test, were found on sale following random market place sampling by the ACI. The Initiative has recently stepped up this programme of surveillance following an increase in reporting of substandard cable.

In a written notification, LTC outlined that the incident, which the ACI originally reported in November last year, may be attributed to the `running-in’ phase of a new production plant in Moldova at the end of 2016 and into early 2017.

Since the ACI’s original announcement, certification body IMQ has indicated that it has been addressing issues identified during routine surveillance work with the Triveneta factory in question. These issues were being dealt with in accordance with the HAR scheme rules and IMQ requirements.

The company has also confirmed it is working with IMQ and that during the latest inspections at its production site by IMQ, no problems or anomalies were detected. BASEC also reported that testing of a further batch of cable passed relevant tests.

In September last year, tests of cable samples were commissioned by the ACI and carried out by three independent sources. All showed similar results. Other non-conforming results were also noted but the exposed copper conductors were deemed to be the most dangerous failing of the tested cable.

All cable samples failed flex tests under BS EN 50525-2-11 2014.

The affected three core 1.5sq.mm cords could potentially be fitted to vacuum cleaners, electric drills and extension leads, all of which are exposed to constant flexing during their everyday use. The ACI believes the copper conductor strands which penetrated the PVC insulation and sheathing during the test could cause serious electric shock or even death if they come into contact with a user.

The samples of Triveneta flexible cords which were tested were marked with the manufacturer’s identification ‘La Triveneta Cavi’ and carried a 2016 manufacturing date. They were also marked with the IEMMEQU <HAR> approval mark. The failed flexible cords were orange and white in colour – however the ACI advises that all colours should be treated with great caution.

For further advice on this issue and other substandard cable can be found at www.aci.org.uk.

Triveneta admits production fault in flexible cord

Triveneta admits production fault in flexible cord

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Financial concerns hit construction’s largest sectors

The Construction Products Association’s Construction Trade Survey 2017 has revealed that the proportion of companies in the construction supply chain struggled with rising costs for raw materials, labour and energy has remained elevated in each quarter, last year.

The survey found that although activity continued to increase for main contractors, SME builders, product manufacturers and specialist contractors during the quarter, civil engineering firms reported the first fall in workloads in four years. Net balances for orders, enquiries and expected product sales for the year ahead weakened, and contractors reported lower orders in the commercial, infrastructure, industrial and public non-housing sectors. Combined, these sectors account for over 40 per cent of total construction output.

Rises in fuel and energy costs were prevalent among heavy side product manufacturers, reflecting the lagged impact of Sterling’s deprecation during 2016 on hedged commodity prices.

This, in combination with existing price pressures for raw materials and labour, has intensified the cost inflation passing through the supply chain.

Overall, costs were reported higher for 82 per cent of civil engineering contractors, whilst raw materials increased for 82 per cent of main contractors and 91 per cent of light side product manufacturers.

Commenting on the survey, Rebecca Larkin, Senior Economist at the CPA, said: The Q4 survey marked the fourth consecutive quarter of falling profit margins among building contractors. This combined with Carillion’s liquidation at the start of this year only emphasizes the financial strains exerted by a protracted period of rising costs passing through the supply chain. Falls in new orders reported in the four sizeable sectors of commercial, infrastructure, industrial and public non-housing add another downside to the outlook for 2018 given the early signs of slowing activity at the end of last year.

Financial concerns hit construction's largest sectors

Financial concerns hit construction’s largest sectors

Source: Electrical Times

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North London £650m Heat and Power project open day

North London Waste Authority (NLWA) will be holding an industry open day, in London, for the construction sector on 6 March 2018. This is for the companies who want to be part of a project that offers a range of construction activities over approximately the next ten years. By building the facilities, it will enable the sustainable management of waste in North London in the long term.

The construction work will deliver the North London Heat and Power Project (NLHPP) at Edmonton EcoPark – a 16 hectare site in the Upper Lee Valley.

Providing a vital asset for NLWA, the project will ensure the ability to dispose of waste responsibly and cost effectively for many years to come.

NLWA have said they will work to the highest standards of health and safety, work as a “good neighbour”, be committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, and play a positive role in skills development of their workplace.

The components of the NLHPP are an Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), located in the north of the site, which will treat up to 700,000 tonnes of residual waste a year and provide electricity that can power over 127,000 homes, with energy diverted to supply heat to local homes and businesses via a heat network.

Located in the south of the site will be the Resource Recovery Facility (RRF), where bulky waste will be separated for recycling, and will also be the location of a recycling centre for the public and businesses from 2021.

Eco Park House, located near the River Lee Navigation, will contain office accommodation and a visitors’ centre where people can find out about recycling, waste, heat etc.

The estimated capital cost of the project is around 650 million pounds. In advance of main construction activities, a series of preparatory works will be required to prepare the site, provide new utilities and create new site access points.

NLWA’s industry open day is to explain their proposals for the preparatory works so that interested companies can soon engage as soon as practicable in the plans.

To register for the event, please do so through the website: northlondonheatandpower.london

North London £650m Heat and Power project open day

North London £650m Heat and Power project open day

Source: Electrical Times

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Hotcost at Ireland’s Electrical Trade Event

Hotcost at Ireland’s Electrical Trade Event

Hotcost would like to thank each and every one of you that came to visit us at our stand at Ireland’s Electrical Trade Event at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin last week. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of you and we look forward to working with you in the future.

If you missed us at the show don’t worry you can still get in touch with us to discuss all your electrical and mechanical needs.

Also keep an eye on our website and social media channels for news regarding upcoming shows.

 


 

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

Hotcost Limited would like to thank each and every one of you that came to visit us at our stand at the ED&I Expo at the NEC in Birmingham last week. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of you and we look forward to working with you in the future…

 

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

 

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

Hotcost Limited at the ED&I Expo

 

If you missed us at the show don’t worry you can still get in touch with us to discuss all your electrical and mechanical needs.

Also keep an eye on our website and social media channels for news regarding upcoming shows.