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August Newsletter 2019

August 2019 Newsletter

 

‘ECO3 will cost installers and consumers dearly, Engineering services cautiously optimistic says survey, £100m Chester racecourse revamp approved, Baxi 800 range ready for September launch, Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package’.

 

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Enquiries for new boiler installs up over 40% in summer months, reports boiler guide

According to boiler repair directory Boiler Guide, enquiries for new gas boiler installations on the platform have risen by 44.5% over the past three months, compared to May-July 2018.

The seasonal decline that often sees heating engineers struggle for business may be a thing of the past, the company says, with homeowners now more savvy to the potential savings of getting a new boiler installed when demand for heating engineers is lower.

David Holmes, Founder of Boiler Guide, said: “It’s great to see that more UK homeowners are not waiting until winter to get their boilers replaced – we are all well aware of the high demands on repair people during the colder snaps of winter and the potential implications of a broken boiler.

“In some areas of the UK you can save up to £500 by replacing your boiler in August as opposed to November, so it’s worth speaking to a heating engineer in the summer if you’re after a bargain.”

 

Enquiries for new boiler installs up over 40% in summer months, reports boiler guide

Enquiries for new boiler installs up over 40% in summer months, reports boiler guide

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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A WEEE lamp update

Visiting trade shows across the country, Recolight have learnt that disposing of waste electricals and lighting can be a headache for contractors. The Waste Electronic and Electrical Regulations were introduced to the UK back in 2007, but many contactors we spoke to either weren’t aware of them or didn’t know how to use them.

Recolight is a not for profit WEEE Compliance scheme, set up and funded by the lighting industry to manage a free lamp recycling service. If you collect 1000 lamps each quarter, the container and collection is free too. This is great for contractors carrying out a large re-lamp project, but not if you’ve only got a small number of lamps in your van. Recolight can still help though, as we have a UK network of 850 drop-off points. Search the map on the Recolight website to find the closest one, and then simply drop off your lamps between jobs. It’s free, but you do need to take a consignment note with you.

A consignment note is an Environment Agency requirement. They’re used to track the movement of hazardous waste. There are three copies, one to leave at the drop-off point, one for you, and one for your customer (where you pick up the waste from). The benefit to you, is that you can prove to your customer that you’re doing the right thing, and if you were to be stopped for a spot check by the Environment Agency, you are compliant.

You will find guidance on the Recolight website to help you with consignment notes,  WEEE storage exemptions, and waste carrier licences.

 

A WEEE lamp update

A WEEE lamp update

 

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine 

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ECO3 will ‘cost installers and consumers dearly’

The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) has warned that the proposals in the Government consultation for the Energy Company Obligation (ECO3) threaten the livelihoods of thousands of heating and plumbing businesses.

The consultation is seeking views on proposed changes to the current ECO3 scheme. This includes:

  • Incorporating the TrustMark Government Endorsed Quality scheme (a result of Each Home Counts) into ECO3, as a route to demonstrating compliance with the most up to date relevant PAS standards and to ensure a sufficient consumer protection process and guarantees are in place.
  • Technical changes to the way First Time Central Heating is treated under the scheme.

Stewart Clements, director, HHIC said: “The HHIC has consistently argued that the industry needs the existing building regulations to be better enforced and to have access to greater resources. Better policing and adherence to current standards is needed. What is not needed is another layer of expensive red and blue tape. This additional complexity will almost certainly lead to worse outcomes for more vulnerable people, who could be misled into options they do not want or need.”

“PAS2035 and Trustmark are potentially the most disruptive policy changes to hit the heating industry in decades and if we allow it to filter in unchecked, it could radically transform how heating engineers not only carry out their day job but whether they can operate at all.

“At present, ECO installers must comply with PAS 2030 which has been deemed bureaucratic, expensive and time consuming for the vast majority of heating installers. There are approximately 130,000 gas safe registered engineers in the UK and yet only 350 (0.4%) of them have registered with the scheme. Why is Government enforcing yet another scheme which is set to fail before it has even begun?

“A scheme that will financially benefit a number of accreditation companies and TrustMark, but not consumers, installers or ultimately Government who will see costs rise without any discernible change in delivery.

“Some will say that there is no cause for concern as ECO work is not compulsory and they can simply choose not to engage. We believe to adopt such a view would be naïve. This policy is sliding in below the radar. Once this standard makes its way into ECO it could (and most probably will) then make its way into Building Regulations and Gas Safe. The direction of travel is clear.”

 

ECO3 will 'cost installers and consumers dearly'

ECO3 will ‘cost installers and consumers dearly’

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Industry backs leading fire and security awards

A series of leading bodies from across the fire, emergency and security systems sector are now supporting this year’s FSA Awards, which are currently open to nominations from the entire industry.

In addition to ECA and Select, which are partnering on the FSA Awards, the industry bodies now supporting the awards are as follows:

– BAFE
– Fire Protection Association (FPA)
– National Security Inspectorate (NSI)
– Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB)

There are two individual FSA Awards – the Peter Greenwood Security Award, and the Ian Marsh Fire Award. A panel of independent judges from the FSA partners and supporters will determine the winning duo, based on their contribution to the industry.

The judging panel for this year’s awards is as follows:

– Tom Brookes, Chair, FSA
– Una Riley, Security industry expert
– Alan Wilson, Managing Director, Select
– Richard Jenkins, CEO, NSI
– Alex Carmichael, Chief Executive, SSAIB

FSA Chair and Managing Director of Lindum Fire Services, Tom Brookes, comments, “The FSA is delighted to see these awards move from strength to strength, with the entire industry now getting behind both the Peter Greenwood Security Award and the Ian Marsh Fire Award. We encourage the industry to put forward well deserving individuals for the awards.”

Both FSA Awards are being presented at the IFSEC ‘Security and Fire Excellence Awards’ on November 20, 2019 at the Park Lane Hilton in London. The winners of both FSA Awards (plus one guest each) will receive free places on the FSA’s table on the evening.

For more details, or to nominate an individual for either award, please click here. Nominations close on September 13.

 

Industry backs leading fire and security awards

Industry backs leading fire and security awards

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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£100m Chester Racecourse revamp approved

Plans for a £100m major revamp of Chester Racecourse have been approved.

The upgrade project involves the construction of a six-storey grandstand and conference centre.

The first phase of work could now begin in the autumn. The scheme will involve demolition of the existing Leverhulme grandstand to create a large fan-shaped public lawn.

This space to be known as Paradise Square will be available for racegoers and the public on non-race days.

Cheshire West and Chester councillors had rejected the initial plans in March. As a result, the racecourse withdrew its plan to build a multi-storey car park and to use Saddlery Way to access the Roodee on race days.

Chester Race Company chief executive, Richard Thomas, said: “The Masterplan is very important to the future of the Race Company and represents a massive investment in Chester.

“The Conference Centre and Grandstand will be a fantastic Civic building for the City and, on race days, provide a new viewing and hospitality Grandstand like no other.”

The revamp was designed by London-based McGuirk & Watson Architecture with consultant Ramboll providing structural and M&E design services. Preston-based Frank Whittle Partnership is the cost consultant.

 

£100m Chester Racecourse revamp approved

£100m Chester Racecourse revamp approved

 

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B&K checks in with Manchester “Jenga” hotel

Local developer Capital & Centric has picked Bowmer & Kirkland to build a striking 275-bed hotel near Piccadilly Station in Manchester.

It is understood to have beaten Bardsley and Willmott Dixon to take the project, which boasts a quirky Jenga-like design drawn up by architect Stephenson Studio.

Demolition of existing warehousing at the site on the corner of Adair Street and Great Ancoats Street is due to kick-off shortly.

The Leonardo Hotel will rise to 13 floors and is expected to cost over £25m to build.

Durham-based J H Partners is the M&E consultant with Bury-based Booth King Partnership providing structural design.

 

B&K checks in with Manchester “Jenga” hotel

B&K checks in with Manchester “Jenga” hotel

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package

Castle Building Services has landed a £6m M&E package from Bowmer & Kirkland on a £32m student scheme in Preston.

CBS will start design and BIM work now before arriving on site next May at the University of Central Lancashire building designed by architect Hawkins\Brown.

The 7,304 sq m four-storey, highly glazed building will provide a new reception area, informal learning spaces and a student wellbeing support centre.

It is part of a wider £200m investment by the university to transform its Preston Campus.

Lee Mitchel, CBS operations director for the North West said: “We are highly delighted to have been appointed, by Bowmer & Kirkland, to work on such an impressive building.

“It has been designed with flexibility in mind and as such, the building services adopted within it must reflect that.

“I am confident that our early appointment to the project and longstanding working relationship with the main contractor will support the seamless delivery of the state-of-the-art building.”

 

Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package

Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Baxi 800 range ready for September launch

Baxi has unveiled its new 800 range of boilers ahead of a full release next month, on September 2nd.

The range has been designed “to meet the changing needs of consumers”, consisting of the Baxi 825 Combi, Baxi 830 Combi, Baxi 836 Combi, Baxi 818 System and the Baxi 824 System.

Each boiler has a central flue design and comes with a 10-year parts and labour warranty, and a compact Adey Magnaclean Micro2 magnet system filter to protect the heating system.

Of the accessories available to complement the range, there is a rear pipework kit, extensive range of flues and accessories for versatile siting, IFOS in-flue weather sensors for easy compliance with Boiler Plus and the uSense smart control.

David Cook, sales director at Baxi Heating, added: “The new Baxi 800 range is straightforward to install, reliable and easy to maintain. It was designed with installers in mind, with the features they told us they prefer, such as brass hydraulics. The 10-year warranty and magnetic filter mean they can offer their customers the complete package.”

 

Baxi 800 range ready for September launch

Baxi 800 range ready for September launch

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Engineering services cautiously optimistic, says survey

The latest Building Engineering Business Survey, sponsored by Scolmore, has shown that sector growth remained steady in the second quarter of 2019 in the face of rising costs and persistent payment issues.

The survey, which included data from industry trade bodies ECA, BESA, SELECT and SNIPEF, found that more than 8 in 10 (81%) businesses’ turnover remained the same or increased in Q2 2019 (versus Q1 2019). Less than a fifth (18%) reported their turnover had decreased.Outlook for Q3 suggests that the vast majority (85%) of businesses expect more or the same turnover compared to Q2.ECA CEO Steve Bratt commented, “Businesses are continuing to show resilience in what is a challenging commercial environment, with increased costs and poor payment ongoing concerns. With the uncertainty of the ongoing Brexit impasse casting a shadow over industry, it’s vital that the new government injects some impetus by backing major infrastructure projects and ensuring prompt payment across the sector.”More than half (52%) of respondents reported an increase in labour costs, while two thirds (62%) reported an increase in material costs.Prompt payment remained a major challenge, with it taking over 30 days in 62 per cent of jobs in the public sector, in breach of regulations. This comes despite 56 per cent of businesses saying their clients promised below 30-day payment within contractual agreements.BESA CEO David Frise added, “It’s reassuring to see how resilient the industry is in spite of the current political situation, the continued scourge of late payments and the rising costs of labour and materials.“The new government must take heed that businesses are crying out for certainty. Until a clear consensus on what direction the country is heading emerges, this limbo will continue to hit investment and prevent us dealing with the other major challenges we face, such as climate change, air quality, improvements to the NHS and education and the housing crisis.”SNIPEF CEO Fiona Hodgson also commented, “While it is promising to see signs of steady growth in the industry, it is clear the sector still faces many challenges. Issues with poor payment practices and growing costs continue to affect the sector. It is important these problems are urgently addressed to provide certainty for businesses.”The survey received 497 responses from companies across the industry, mainly regarding their performance in Q2 2019 (1 April to 30 June 2019), and expectations for Q3 2019.

 

Engineering services cautiously optimistic, says survey

Engineering services cautiously optimistic, says survey

 

Source: Electrical Review

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Kensa to step up ground source heat pump production

Manufacturer expects new manufacturing and office complex to produce 30,000 heat pump units and support wider research in appliances able to meet UK need for lower carbon appliances

Kensa Heat Pumps has announced construction of a 1000 square metre manufacturing facility at its existing base in Cornwall that will allow it to manufacture 30,000 ground source heat pumps a year.

Announcement of the new production site, which will also include office space, coincides with the 20th anniversary of the company and will support market demand amidst the UK’s drive to decarbonise heat in buildings. The privately-funded investment will also support the manufacturer’s work to research and develop new products and components in line with new forms of refrigerant and operational benefits.

A key factor of the site’s construction will be the inclusion of underfloor heating and hot water that is fed by a ground source heat pump. The technology will make use of heat in water in the flodded mine workings below.

The new facility is expected to create potentially up to 150 new jobs with the company, which expects annual growth of 50 per cent as the government prepares to introduce regulations to end the use of high carbon fossils fuels in new build homes from 2025.

Kensa has claimed that ground source heat pumps are capable of providing the lowest cost heat of all appliances currently on the market.

Company chief executive Simon Lomax said the new site, which is due to be operational from January 2020, would cement its reputation as a major employer in the region’s low carbon heating sector.

He said, “Kensa is the long-established UK market leader and we expect to grow at a rapid rate in the years ahead as the appeal of ground source heat pumps become apparent to all.”

Sarah Newton, the Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, also welcomed the expansion of the company in the area, noting its ability to produce heat pumps that she said would be increasingly Important to realise the government’s 2050 decarbonisation target.

 

Kensa to step up ground source heat pump production

Kensa to step up ground source heat pump production

 

Source: HVN Plus

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EV Charging: ‘Quality must come first’ states Bureau Veritas

In response to the government’s recent pledge to invest more cash into the electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, Bureau Veritas has again voiced its concerns over maintenance challenges; stating that ‘quality must come first’ if the UK is to create a world-class charging network for cleaner vehicles.

This week, the Department for Transport (DfT) announced it is pumping nearly £40 million into improving the infrastructure for electric vehicleswith investments in wireless charging and pop-up pavement technology. All new homes built in Britain are also set to be fitted with charging points for electric cars.

At present, the UK has more than 24,000 public charging connectors in nearly 9,000 locations. However, with EV car registrations up 62% to 2,461 in June compared with the same month last year, the number of charging points being installed is expected to rise dramatically in the coming years.

Welcoming the government’s additional funding, Bureau Veritas has responded saying that the speedy creation of charging infrastructure should focus on quality and safety.

Michael Kenyon, Technical Manager at Bureau Veritas, says, “This funding offers a great opportunity to a number of industries, including automotive, engineering and electrical contractors, currently involved in delivering the government’s Road to Zero strategy, which wants ‘almost every car and van’ in the UK to be zero emission by 2050.”

“However, in the race to deliver the adequate charging infrastructure required to achieve this, quality in terms of engineering, safety and compliant installations must come first. Especially, if the UK is to create a world-class charging network for cleaner vehicles – one that is not only cost-effective but will also last the test of time.”

Bureau Veritas is also encouraging installers of charging points to ensure they hold the latest accreditations and are up to speed with recent rule changes on residual current devices (RCDs) and earthing arrangements. The firm points to new guidance on the installation of EV charging points offered in Section 722 of the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. This has recently led to the code of practice for electric vehicle charging equipment installations moving on to its 3rd Edition.

Michael Kenyon adds, “As all new installations will need to be compliant, businesses such as service stations, shopping centres and hotels will require installers of EV charging points to be accredited by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). What’s more, installers and inspectors of charging infrastructure will need to have a clear and detailed understanding of the different types and classifications of RCDs and how to test them.”

“We understand that for many, this will be a new area, often fraught with complexity. That’s why putting a robust strategy in place for the initial inspection and maintenance of these charging installations by an independent appraiser is the best way to ensure they comply with all the relevant standards.”

 

EV Charging: ‘Quality must come first’ states Bureau Veritas

EV Charging: ‘Quality must come first’ states Bureau Veritas

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Radisson backs £5bn Kent theme park with hotel plan

Radisson has become a stakeholder in the planned £5bn London Resort theme park in Kent.

Radisson said it will open a luxury 430-room hotel at the resort as plans for the “British Disneyland” continue to progress.

Backers of The London Resort hope to complete construction on the 535 acre site near Ebbsfleet station in 2024.

Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Radisson Hotel Group, said:  “We are delighted to be part of such an iconic and unique project that is breaking new ground and bringing together an exciting mix of global brands.

“We strive to create memorable experiences for our guests, and this is the perfect opportunity to do just that.”

PY Gerbeau, Chief Executive of London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), said: “Radisson Hotel Group’s commitment to the resort represents a significant milestone and is testimony to the absolute conviction the team has to deliver this project.

“We are thrilled they have bought into our vision to create a totally unique entertainment destination and can’t wait to work with their team.

“Radisson Hotel Group will be bringing films and characters to life in what will be an unforgettable hotel experience and will complement the incredible experiences and attractions Paramount Studios will also be bringing to the resort.”

 

Radisson backs £5bn Kent theme park with hotel plan

Radisson backs £5bn Kent theme park with hotel plan

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Willmott Dixon to complete Pochin Stoke site

Willmott Dixon is set to be confirmed as replacement contractor for Pochin on a £37.5m scheme in Stoke-on-Trent.

Work at the Smithfield development stalled earlier this month when Pochin went into administration.

The collapsed contractor was building an apartment block and hotel for developer Genr8 with both jobs set to be completed by the end of this year.

A Stoke-on-Trent City Council spokesman told the Stoke Sentinel: “Genr8 Developments has moved swiftly to put plans in place for the completion of its Clayworks build-to-rent apartments and the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Stoke-on-Trent’s Smithfield development since main contractor Pochin went into administration earlier this month.

“Genr8 has taken back possession of both sites and is proposing to appoint Wilmott Dixon as construction manager to complete both projects.

“Willmott Dixon is currently working closely with Genr8 to finalise programmes that will minimise any impact on project completion dates.

“Genr8 has also already appointed key members of the original site delivery team to work as part of the Genr8 construction management team on both projects, securing jobs and ensuring continued smooth progress.

“Just a week after the Pochin news was announced the team has returned to site and is meeting with key members of the existing supply chain to reassure them of Genr8’s commitment to complete the project.”

 

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Kier to start work on £50m new home for Durham council

Kier will start main construction work on the new £50m home of Durham County Council next month.

Work in the city centre will create a modern building less than a third of the size of the current County Hall building and will accommodate 1,000 staff.

Major works on site will begin in around four weeks and will see the building complete in autumn 2021.

As part of the project, Kier will create 250 new jobs in the local area that will be a mix of apprenticeships and employment opportunities for locals currently unemployed.

Tom Gilman, managing director for Kier Property North said: “We’re excited to be developing this 110,000 sq ft building and seeing the overall added value that this scheme will bring to the County.”

Brian McQuade, managing director for Kier Regional Building Scotland and North East added: “This project, in the heart of Durham City provides us with an excellent opportunity to not only deliver a first-class facility for Durham County Council but to also create exciting job opportunities in the local community.

“We aim to leave a positive legacy in all areas we operate and look forward to working with our local supply chain partners and Durham County Council to deliver this new project.”

Cllr Joy Allen, Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism at Durham County Council, said: “The development of the Aykley Heads site presents a once in a generation opportunity to transform the county’s economic prospects, with the development of what will be one of the most attractive business parks in the whole of the North East, and has the full support of the business community.

“The planned development will create thousands of new high-quality jobs and future employment opportunities for our young people, as well as bringing millions of pounds of investment into the county.”

Following the opening of the new headquarters, the current site of Durham County Hall at Aykley Heads has been earmarked as the site for a new multi-million-pound business district that could create 6,000 new jobs and deliver a £400m boost to the county economy once complete.

 

Kier to start work on £50m new home for Durham council

Kier to start work on £50m new home for Durham council

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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July Newsletter 2019

July 2019 Newsletter

 

‘Apprentices deliver clear ROI, new research shows, Research shows basic repair skills gap, Go-ahead for eight-storey student scheme in Derby, Plans go in for 40-storey tower in Docklands, Positive prospects for the electrical wholesale market.’

 

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Apprentices deliver clear ROI, new research shows

Companies that recruit apprentices can see a return on investment (ROI) as soon as year two of the apprenticeship programme, according to new figures from The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership.

Using scenarios based on low, medium and high charge-out rates for unskilled and skilled work, the overall net costs and benefits of apprentice recruitment have been projected.

At the lowest rates, an apprentice delivers a net benefit of around £11,400 over the four years, and starts to make a return in year three of the apprenticeship. At higher charge-out rates, the apprentice begins to pay for themselves in year two, and by the end of year four, has created a net total benefit of just over £34,000 at medium charge out rates and £56,700 at high rates.

Research specialist, Pye Tait Consulting, carried out the analysis on behalf of TESP after speaking to 20 companies of different sizes and specialisms. Each company was asked about the weekly wages of apprentices over the course of the apprenticeship, as well as additional costs for course fees, travel, equipment, in-house training and the time spent by supervisors and other skilled staff for mentoring and support.

The calculations take into account the weekly costs of an apprentice and supervision, the percentage of time spent on supervision, and the increasing amount of time the apprentice spends completing the work of a qualified electrician.

With 95% of training costs in England now funded by the Government for apprentices of all ages, these new figures provide a strong case for employers to consider apprentices as a means of bringing new skills into the business.

For smaller companies that often struggle with the resource for managing the apprenticeship and initial impact of productivity, TESP believes these projected returns demonstrate that, with the support of a quality training provider, an apprenticeship will eventually pay off.

“Although it is a commitment, which can be daunting to small businesses in particular, investing the time and resource into apprenticeships will ultimately drive business growth,” says Ruth Devine, Managing Director of SJD Electrical and Chair of TESP. “As a small business owner, I have experienced first-hand that, over time, apprenticeships increase capacity and strengthen the business culture.

“A strong relationship with a quality local FE college or training provider is vital, however. Industry organisations such as the TESP partners are also happy to help and give advice. When I first started at SJD, I found the supportive network of fellow ECA members invaluable to navigate some of the challenges of managing apprentices and providers; it’s always good to benefit from others’ experience.”

Leading apprentice training providers, JTL and Focus Training, also welcomed the release of the ROI figures to support their employer recruitment efforts:

“The report is really helpful to us as a training provider. We’ve never been under any illusion about the value of apprentices, but the analysis will help us to convince employers of the tangible benefit to taking on an apprentice,” comments Liam Sammon, JTL’s Director of Learning and Innovation.

Bernard Collins, Curriculum and Quality Director at Focus Training Group, adds, “It is great to see evidence that having an apprentice not only delivers an individual who fits in with the companies’ ethos and work ethic, but also provides an appreciable financial return, even after making allowances for support and expenses.”

To read the report in full, visit www.the-esp.org.uk/ourwork/lmi

 

Apprentices deliver clear ROI, new research shows

Apprentices deliver clear ROI, new research shows

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Research shows basic repair skills gap

Young Brits haven’t been taught basic home repair skills, according to new research. Less than a third (31%) of 18-24 year olds know how to how to change a light fitting, compared to 60% of over 55s. Just over a third (37%) of young adults know how to replace a shower head, whilst 65% of over 55s would be confident with the same task.

The survey, commissioned by the Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS), found that adults born after 1985 are increasingly unable to take on simple tasks.

Only one third (31%) of 18-34 year olds, both millennials and Gen-Zs, would know how to bleed a radiator – whereas an impressive 79% of over-55s would be able to do this quick job.

In fact, across the board of basic home repairs, those born in the 1960s and earlier are more capable of repairs than younger generations.

On average, the home repairs Brits feel most capable of are:

  • Bleeding a radiator – 57%
  • Fixing a squeaky door 54.5%
  • Replacing a shower head – 53.3%
  • Fixing a blocked toilet – 44.6%
  • Replacing a light fixture – 44.5%
  • Fixing a hole in a wall – 43.9%
  • Fixing wobbly furniture – 43%
  • Fixing a leaky tap – 30.2%
  • Fixing a leaky loo – 21.1%

Julie Spinks, managing director of WRAS, said: “There is a clear generational divide when it comes to doing repairs in the home. ‘Generation Rent’ seems to have created a nation of people who aren’t confident in dealing with straight forward DIY tasks, from changing a light fixture to even bleeding a radiator. Knowing how to do some of these tasks can save time and money.

WRAS is urging people to know which repairs can be done by themselves and which ones require professional advice.

What’s reassuring is that most people wouldn’t tackle more technical plumbing jobs themselves, regardless of age. A small leak can cause havoc in the home and is something most homeowners, renters or landlords don’t want to deal with, given the emotional and financial impact it could cause if it’s not fixed properly. It’s always advisable to use an approved plumber to resolve any leaks,” she added.

 

Research shows basic repair skills gap

Research shows basic repair skills gap

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Could an electrician be Britain’s top tradesperson 2019

In its tenth year, Screwfix is proud to announce that its Britain’s Top Tradesperson competition is now open, and electricians can put themselves forward for the top prize.

The annual competition by Screwfix, aims to celebrate the outstanding work and professionalism of UK tradespeople, resulting in one exceptional individual winning a £20k trade bundle, comprising of £10k worth of tools, £5k tech and £5k to go towards future training.

Screwfix will shortlist the UK’s top tradespeople to take part in a semi-final, before picking the top 10 finalists, who will travel to Screwfix LIVE at Farnborough to meet a panel of judges.

Caroline Welsh, Director of Brand and Marketing at Screwfix said: “As Screwfix celebrates the 10th anniversary of Britain’s Top Tradesperson, our goal is to find someone who is the embodiment of their trade. The search is on to crown someone who not only champions their trade, but also acts as an ambassador to help futureproof the industry and encourage future generations.

“Since we launched the competition in 2009, we have seen record levels of entrants year on year and we are excited to see what this year has to offer. We know from talking to our trade customers how much they enjoy taking part, and with such strong competition we will be looking for one high calibre individual”

Darren Staniforth, from NICEIC, the leading certification body for registered electricians, will be a part of the 2019 judging panel. Darren said: “Britain’s Top Tradesperson gives electricians and all tradespeople the chance to receive the recognition they deserve. We’ve been supporting this campaign for the past decade, and would encourage our registrants and other electricians to apply to represent the best of the electrical trade.”

Past winners include Plumbing and Gas Engineer, Michael Cairns from Edinburgh and 2018 winner, Carpenter, Stuart Roache from Northampton.

Speaking from experience on how winning the competition can transform your livelihood, 2012 winner, Michael Cairns said: “Being named Britain’s Top Tradesperson was such an achievement. It has allowed me to lay a stable foundation and further invest in my business; I now employ 15 people and continue to see year-on-year growth. It genuinely changed my business for the better. ”

2018 winner, Stuart Roache added: “Winning the competition last year changed my business forever and created so many fantastic opportunities. The accolade is the ultimate recognition a tradesperson can receive. I would definitely encourage others to enter; the rewards are life changing!”

Entries are open until 4th August 2019 and you can enter at: Screwfix.com/btt.

 

Could an electrician be Britain's top tradesperson 2019

Could an electrician be Britain’s top tradesperson 2019

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Plumbers too busy for time off

A Glow-worm survey reveals nearly a third of gas engineers and plumbers’ workloads prevent them from taking time off.

The survey found that on average, plumbers and gas engineers only take 18 days of holiday per year, compared to other UK full-time workers who are entitled to a minimum of 28 days’ paid holiday.

Glow-worm, in association with OnePoll, quizzed 300 tradespeople on their work-life balance and holiday preferences and found the amount of time they have off falls well short of the national average.

When asked which factors stop them from going on holiday, 39% of electricians and 30% of gas engineers and plumbers stated it was down to their busy work schedule. Cost is also a barrier for 39% of gas engineers/plumbers and approximately a third of builders, carpenters and electricians.

This struggle to take a break, combined with money worries, can have serious consequences on mental health. In fact, 49% of ‘general tradespeople’ and 45% of gas engineers/plumbers agree that ‘taking regular holidays is necessary for good mental health’.

Reasons such as these are why Glow-worm recently relaunched its Mystery Trip, it said, allowing 80 lucky heating engineers to be whisked away on an all-expenses paid trip to the now-revealed secret location of Vietnam. Installers can secure their place by hitting their personalised target of Glow-worm installations via Club Energy.

Spencer Clark, commercial director at Glow-worm, said: “Time off should be viewed as an investment in your wellbeing, rather than a detraction from your usual earnings. It doesn’t have to be a full week. Even just a day spent winding down and doing something enjoyable can help to re-set your mind and make you more productive when you do return to work.

“We know that time away from work can help to improve wellbeing and increase productivity, making initiatives like the Mystery Trip invaluable to tradespeople who feel as though they can’t any time off the job.

 

Plumbers too busy for time off

Plumbers too busy for time off

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Go-ahead for eight-storey student scheme in Derby

Plans to develop an eight-storey student accommodation scheme in Derby have been approved by the city council.

Godwin Developments will transform the Agard Street site into 142 studio apartments for students from the University of Derby.

Gurdeep Gill, associate director at Godwin Developments, said: “We are excited to develop this site which will be the perfect location for students, as it’s just a stone’s throw from the University of Derby’s law school.

“As developers, we work closely with universities to ensure our developments contribute as much as possible to improving the wellbeing of students.

“The property will be designed to encourage social interactions as students are now looking for an environment that has a sense of community and provides both private and social spaces.

“At Godwin Developments, we strive to meet the demands of students themselves, by ensuring accommodation has high-quality personal space that allows them to concentrate on their studies in a space they feel safe in – enabling them to get the most out of their university experience.”

The Agard Street site is one of the latest projects to be added to Godwin Developments’ growing portfolio, which contains a diverse range of commercial, residential and mixed-use property assets in key regional locations.

The developer now has 3,000,000 sq ft of development space across the UK totalling £600m GDV.

 

Go-ahead for eight storey student scheme in Derby

Go-ahead for eight-storey student scheme in Derby

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Construction’s best performing “ultra sites” revealed

The UK’s best-performing construction jobs have been revealed at this year’s Considerate Constructors Scheme’s 2019 National Ultra Site Awards ceremony.

Highways England’s A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon Improvement Scheme was crowned with the highest honour winning the coveted ‘2019 Ultra Site of the Year Award’.

There were a total of ten Ultra Site award categories and, for the first time, the top-performing supplier within six of these award categories were also honoured with a special individual recognition award.

Hundreds of guests from the UK’s top-performing Ultra Sites gathered at the Plaisterers’ Hall in central London yesterday for the awards ceremony, which was presented by Ann Bentley, the Construction Leadership Council lead on Supply Chain and Business Models.

The aim of Ultra Sites is to achieve ever greater integration of a contractor’s supply chain to meet and exceed the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “Ultra Sites represent a real turning point for the construction industry, by providing a way for the industry to work more collaboratively and realise the benefits of this greater integration for their workforce, community and environment.

“The winners and finalists of these awards range from small scale local projects through to large scale regional multi billion pound projects. This clearly shows how the Ultra Site model can be embraced by any type of construction activity, no matter the size, scale or budget.

Click here to view the 2019 Ultra Site Award winners.

 

Construction’s best performing “ultra sites” revealed

Construction’s best performing “ultra sites” revealed

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Plans go in for 40-storey tower in Docklands

Developer Rockwell has submitted plans to transform Quay House in London’s Docklands  from a three-storey building into a 40-storey tower.

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets will now consider plans put together in partnership with FirethornTrust.

The proposals include a 400 bedroom hotel and 279 serviced apartments which will create 300 construction jobs during the building phase.

Jonathan Manns, Head of Planning & Development at Rockwell said: “We are extremely proud of our proposals, which will maximise employment and training opportunities whilst significantly enhancing South Quay and the surrounding area.

“Rockwell is committed to the redevelopment of Quay House and we are excited to transform the currently vacant building into a landmark mixed-use development.

“This application follows extensive engagement with the local community and, drawing on inspiration from New York’s “highline”, the proposed public realm responds directly to the feedback we received from our consultation events.”

 

Plans go in for 40-storey tower in Docklands

Plans go in for 40-storey tower in Docklands

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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ECIC urges electrical contractors to declare diversification

As new laws have been announced to guarantee payment for solar homes providing excess electricity, demand for solar panel technology from homeowners is expected to increase. This will in turn present a number of new opportunities for electrical contractors looking to broaden their contract opportunities.

ECIC, the specialist insurer for the building services sector, is encouraging electrical contractors who are diversifying into renewable technology to make sure that their insurance reflects the new work they are undertaking, to help ensure they are adequately protected if they need to make a claim.

New government legislation states that all new solar homes and businesses exporting electricity to the grid will be guaranteed a payment from suppliers. What is being described as the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) will ensure that the owners of small-scale electricity generators with a capacity up to 5MW will be paid for each unit of electricity they sell to the grid – tracked by a smart meter.

Consequently, demand for renewable technology that generates this electricity is anticipated to grow, creating an opportunity for electrical contractors to fulfil this demand. However, change in work changes the insurance risk and under the Insurance Act 2015, contractors are under a duty to ensure that they present a ‘fair presentation of risk’ to their insurer. This means declaring changes in the type of work contractors are taking on.

Richard Forrest Smith, CEO of the ECIC, comments, “This new legislation has the potential to create a number of new business opportunities for electrical contractors. However, these opportunities can only be capitalised on if the contractors themselves are properly accredited and insured. Fitting solar panels and other renewable technologies have different risk factors, so insurance covers need to be adapted accordingly. Declaring these changes to their broker or insurer is essential to ensure the contractor is properly protected in the event of a claim.”

 

ECIC urges electrical contractors to declare diversification

ECIC urges electrical contractors to declare diversification

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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IGEM seeks installer feedback on low pressure gas supplies

IGEM’s Low Pressure Supply Working Group is seeking industry comment on a number of recommendations designed to address the root cause of low supply issues on the gas distribution network.

Following a series of cross-industry meetings, IGEM’s Low Pressure Supply Working Group has concluded that low pressure is not a widespread issue and that the design of the UK distribution network remains fit for use with the majority of gas appliances currently on the market. However, it has acknowledged that over recent years there has been a progressive increase in the capacity of domestic boilers.

“The major reason for this is the increase in the average net heat input of domestic boilers being supplied, largely driven by the requirement for instant hot water for showers and baths,” said Ian McCluskey, IGEM’s Head of Technical Services & Policy.

“As a result of the discussions, the group concluded that procedures put in place to deal with incidents of low pressure can vary dramatically across the industry. This can sometimes mean the customer is unable to use certain appliances once they are installed.”

The group also concluded there is a need for greater cooperation across the industry to improve communication and to increase the level of understanding of all aspects of the gas system across the board.

“In particular, the group has identified a need for clarification on the pressure requirements for the low pressure supply system and for processes and procedures to be agreed across the industry,” said Ian.

“It is hoped this will enable the various industry standards and guidance to become consistent in their requirements and will mean manufacturers’ instructions match those requirements,” he added.

The working group has developed a set of proposals to address the concerns of the industry, which cover limits on the normal kW capacity of a domestic gas supply service, harmonise procedures for installing appliances, and cover precommissioning, commissioning, post commissioning, conditions for reporting low pressure supply, how emergency service providers should respond and downstream testing methods for low pressure.

The Low Pressure Supply Working Group was formed by IGEM in response to a request from the Standards Consultation Forum (SCF), back in 2016.

It is made up of representatives from British Gas, Cadent, DNV GL, Energy Assets, Global Energy, Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC), HomeServe, Health & Safety Executive, National Grid, Ofgem, OPGO, SGN, Tuffentech, and Wales & West Utilities.

Following an increase in the number of complaints from installers concerning incidents of low pressure on the gas distribution network, the SCF instructed the operators of Cadent, SGN, Northern Gas Networks, and Wales & West Utilities, to investigate and formulate a response.

Unfortunately, many in the industry felt the resulting Energy Networks Association (ENA) gas industry bulletin did not sufficiently address the issue and IGEM was subsequently approached to carry out further work in this area.

The full proposals and industry comment form can be found at www.igem.org.uk/technical-services/comment-on-draft-standards. Those working in the gas industry are invited to read the proposals and supply comments by 26 August to technical@igem.org.uk or send them for the attention of Peter Hurst, IGEM Technical Officer, IGEM House, 26 & 28 High Street, Kegworth, Derbyshire, DE74 2DA.

 

IGEM seeks installer feedback on low pressure gas supplies

IGEM seeks installer feedback on low pressure gas supplies

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Positive prospects for the electrical wholesale market

According AMA’s latest electrical wholesale research report, prospects for the electrical wholesale market are taking a positive turn, and a lot of it is credited to a growth in online sales.

Despite the uncertainty that came with Brexit in 2016 and a slower output growth in 2018, the research report suggests that the market has undergone a steady period of growth.  In 2017, for instance, the market saw improved growth particularly in the domestic sector.

Factors supporting the market include sales growth in niche markets; innovation in product development; the establishment of new, specialist services and non-core products; and new legislation and regulations leading to a requirement for higher specification of products.

The research report highlights the factors which are negatively affecting market growth to be: continued public-sector budget constraints; uncertainty over the outcome of the Brexit process; price competition with many products in the mature phase of their life cycle; threat from other distribution channels, and longer product life-spans which have affected the replacement market.

Online sales of electrical products, however, are becoming an increasing important area of the electrical wholesale market. The growth in online sales between 2012 and 2017 was around 300%, compared to around 20% for the electrical products market as a whole.

Forecasts indicate that online sales growth will continue to perform strongly and achieve double digit growth each year from 2019 to 2021, when they are predicted to account for over 10% of all electrical product sales having represented just 3% in 2012.

The growth of e-commerce solutions among electrical wholesalers has aided the large nationals in particular, as they move towards adopting multi-channel sales. Most of the large national wholesalers now offer electronic versions of catalogues online and are operating online trading facilities.

 

Positive prospects for the electrical wholesale market

Positive prospects for the electrical wholesale market

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Heating tops the list of cost-effective home improvements

New research from self-storage experts Safestore has revealed that upgrading a property’s boiler and heating system has the highest return of investment when it comes to increasing a property’s value and is more cost-effective than other renovations and refurbishments.

The study looked at the typical cost someone would be expected to pay for various types of home improvements and the estimated value increase it might deliver.

  • With an average cost of £1300, new boilers/heating systems can boost your home’s value by almost 2% and have the biggest return on investment in our study.
  • Refurbished kitchens and lofts can bolster a home’s value by over 8% but their respective level of investment places them slightly lower.
  • A renovated garage or storage area can set you back up to £7000 but offer less than 1% of a home value increase in return, which ranks only above solar panels in terms of ROI (0.5%).

You can find the full study here

 

Heating tops the list of cost-effective home improvements

Heating tops the list of cost-effective home improvements

 

Source: Pham News

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Leeds Merrion Centre 17 storey office block approved

Leeds-based Town Centre Securities has got the planning go-ahead to build a 17-storey office and retail tower in the heart of the Merrion Centre in Leeds.

The new tower is planned to be built near the existing 12-storey Wade House and forms part of wider plans for the phased redevelopment and refurbishment of the Merrion Centre to make it a mixed-use destination.

The proposed new building will sit above the Home Bargains store and offer 170,000 sq ft of offices over 16 levels.

A four-storey disused cinema building, currently known as 100 Merrion Centre, will be demolished to make way for the commercial block.

Edward Ziff,  chief executive of TCS, said: “We have identified considerable latent opportunity within our Merrion estate which we believe provides a platform for future growth.

“We firmly believe we are on the right track with Merrion and will continue to invest in and develop the asset, broadening our offer and delivering more for Leeds from this important mixed-use city centre destination.”

Ziff added: “A critical pillar of our strategy is to create long term future value by building a significant development pipeline.

“Our pipeline now has an estimated development value in excess of £600m.”

Last month GMI Construction completed the developer’s joint venture PRS scheme Burlington House in Manchester.

 

Leeds Merrion Centre 17 storey office block approved

Leeds Merrion Centre 17 storey office block approved

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Six firms win £1.5bn Oxford Uni framework

The University of Oxford has named its preferred building contractors to deliver a £1.5bn pipeline of projects over the next decade.

The shake-up sees Morgan Sindall take top honours with places on all three framework lots covering small projects up to £5m, medium-sized projects up to £20m and large-scale builds.

BAM Construction and Wates also share the major project lot, while long term University builder Laing O’Rourke and McAlpine had to be content with reserve status.

Projects will include a mixture of new developments and refurbishment of some of its existing 237 buildings.

Capital Projects Partner Framework
Projects up to £5M £5m-£20m Over £20M
EW Beard Morgan Sindall Wates
Kingerlee Willmott Dixon Morgan Sindall
Morgan Sindall Midas BAM
Reserves Reserves Reserves
Speller Metcalfe BAM Sir Robert McAlpine
Stepnell EW Beard Laing O’Rourke

The UK’s oldest university tendered the framework to support its estates strategy and will route around £150m of construction work annually through the selected builders.

The first tranche of work is expected to be tendered through the framework imminently.

James York, area director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “The University of Oxford has an ambitious estates plan, and they have made the bold move to change how they operate to get the best from the market.

“We are extremely proud that they have chosen to put their faith in us. Providing valuable up-front advice, designing and building modern facilities fit for 21st century higher education, and doing so in a sympathetic fashion befitting Oxford’s heritage, is a brief that we are relishing.”

 

Six firms win £1.5bn Oxford Uni framework

Six firms win £1.5bn Oxford Uni framework

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Plan to expand Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

Sheffield City Council has signed up developer Scarborough International Properties to lead the expansion of the Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park.

The developer will spearhead the major regeneration project in the lower Don Valley area, initially aiming to build 750,000 sq ft of business space for the sport, health and well-being sector.

This will be built on 70 acres of land around existing buildings such as the Fly DSA Arena, the English Institute for Sport, Sheffield, the UTC Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park and the Oasis Academy Don Valley.

Scarborough’s role will be working with the Council and all Legacy Park Limited stakeholders to assemble the site and lead the project team through the whole design, development, letting and funding process.

Scarborough is already under contract with Sheffield City Council to bring forward a £6m Community Sports Stadium at the park, incorporating more than 20,000 sq ft of business and conference space, which is planned to complete next summer. 

Among other teams, the stadium will be home to Sheffield United Women’s football team.

Scarborough plans for its first project as preferred development partner a building of around 40,000 sq ft of office space, close to Sheffield Hallam University’s ‘Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre’ which is due to open this Autumn.

Scarborough expects to commence work on its building early in the New Year.

Kevin McCabe, chairman of Scarborough said: “We have been building our commitment to the project over the last two years, signing up in 2018 to develop and run the Community Stadium, and we now look forward accelerating the delivery of Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park to bring jobs and economic growth back to the Lower Don Valley area”.

He said the vision was for the park to become one of the world’s leading locations for innovation in sport, health and wellbeing.

 

Top of Page


 

June Newsletter 2019

June 2019 Newsletter

 

‘£40m growth for bathroom market in 2019, Plan to start £85m Eden Project North in 2020, £1bn Stratford East Bank scheme clears final planning, Visitor numbers soar at Subcon 2019, Water treatment should be considered at design stage.’

 

Quick Links


£40m growth for bathroom market in 2019

A new bathroom market report from MTW Research indicates that bathroom sales will grow by around £40 million in 2019.

Based on data from 130 bathroom suppliers, the report identifies rising ‘pent up demand’ in the bathroom market, highlighting growing latent demand for several sectors. Bathroom retailers are reporting healthy levels of enquiries according to MTW, but consumers remain reticent to commit to purchase due to Brexit paralysis and economic uncertainties.

Discussing the 200 page report, MTW director Mark Waddy said: “Strong fundamentals for the bathroom market are bubbling under the surface. 400,000 first time buyers in 2019, rising disposable incomes, consumers delaying bathroom refits for 3 years now, growth in experiential bathroom retailing and some great product innovation across the bathroom market are just some trends waiting to boost bathroom sales as soon as Brexit uncertainties are resolved.”

Whilst the report identifies a dwindling number of bathroom suppliers able to unlock these opportunities in 2019, a number of products are outperforming overall bathroom market sales. MTW identify a growing polarisation of the bathroom market, with higher value products underpinning optimism for bathroom retailers targeting the growth markets identified in the report.

The report also discusses key bathroom design trends with the bathroom’s evolution as a ‘retreat’ giving way to more multi-faceted demands from multi-generational and disabled households, changing lifestyles and design trends. MTW highlight myriad design trends supporting growth for bathroom manufacturers and retailers, including urban, luxury, industrial and geometric design trends; changing siting trends in the sanitaryware market, zoning in the bathroom furniture market; rising sophistication of the bathroom lighting market; shifting DIY market and mix and match trends in the brassware market.

Somewhat surprisingly, MTW found that the ‘Brexit effect’ may be starting to have a modest, positive impact for UK-based bathroom manufacturers. Bathroom retailers are becoming increasingly concerned about Brexit’s threat to bathroom imports, with some evidence of a shift to UK produced goods by higher value independent retailers as a result. This trend is modest at present according to MTW but is offering opportunities for UK bathroom manufacturers to use their ‘made in Britain’ credentials to add value and quell fears of supply chain disruption due to Brexit.

As well as identifying products outperforming the bathroom market, including the bathroom lighting market and higher value bathroom furniture market, the report also reviews bathroom distribution channel shares. The research found that share growth is slowing for online bathroom retailers in 2019.  With MTW finding bathroom industry profitability slipping from 5% in 2017 to just 3% in 2019, average prices may have now troughed, with some online retailers repositioning to enhance margins. MTW point to wider evidence of shifting trends in internet retailing, with Amazon recently opening its first physical retail store.

 

£40m growth for bathroom market in 2019

£40m growth for bathroom market in 2019

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Is your RCD protection up to standard?

The latest British Standard for RCD protection has been in force for over two years, and it really is time to give your customers all the benefits of the latest thinking on their safety.

That’s where the new Timeguard Valiance+ range of RCD-protected switched sockets and spurs comes in. As usual, this trusted supplier has gone the extra mile and, as well as upgrading features to meet the new British Standard BS7288:2016, it has undertaken a complete redesign and upgraded to the latest generation of componentry throughout.  So, both end-user safety and long-term reliability are improved.

The Valiance+ range of one-gang and two-gang RCD switched sockets in both active and passive versions is fully compliant with the new BS 7288:2016: Specification for residual current devices. This latest standard replaces BS 7288:1990.

The comprehensive range of RCD wiring accessories covers all you’ll need, including white plastic and rugged metal clad variants in both one-gang and two-gang, and a choice of three styles of RCD switched fuse spurs.

For further information, visit timeguard.com

 

Is your RCD protection up to standard?

Is your RCD protection up to standard?

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News 

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HSE inspections to target construction firm dust control practice

Firms across Great Britain are to be targeted in a new series of inspections focusing on dust control by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it has been announced today.

Over the next few weeks, HSE will be concentrating on industries such as construction where occupational lung diseases, including in some cases occupational cancers, are more common.

Inspectors will be visiting businesses across the country to see what measures have been put in place to protect workers’ lungs from the likes of asbestos, silica, wood, and flour dust. They will be looking for evidence of businesses and their workers knowing the risks, planning their work and using the right controls. Where necessary, HSE will use enforcement to make sure people are protected.

HSE’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor David Fishwick said: “Exposure to asbestos, silica, wood, flour and other dust can have life-changing consequences.

“Each year work-related lung diseases linked to past exposures are estimated to kill 12,000 workers across Great Britain. In many cases these diseases take a long time to develop after exposure, so the damage done may not be immediately obvious. Others, such as occupational asthma and acute silicosis, can occur more quickly.

“These conditions can and do have a significant impact on both the individuals affected and those closest to them, so it is imperative that workers take the necessary precautions to protect their lungs.”

Sarah Jardine, HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction said:“We are carrying out this series of inspections to ensure businesses are fulfilling their legal duties to protect workers from harm. This includes controlling the levels of dust in workplaces.

“We want to ensure employers and their workers are aware of the risks associated with any task that produces dust. Such work needs to be properly planned and use the right controls, such as water suppression, extraction and masks.

“The bottom line is we want everyone, workers and their employers, to be protected from harm and ill health so they can go home healthy to their families.”

 

HSE inspections to target construction firm dust control practice 

HSE inspections to target construction firm dust control practice

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Primary Engineer programme encourages young innovators

Midlands primary school pupils have been challenged with designing and building vehicles, with support from engineers at Schneider Electric.

Primary school pupils from ten schools across the Coventry and Warwick area will take part in a celebration event and competition on 11 June, hosted by Schneider Electric and Primary Engineer, to showcase the results of their hands-on experience of designing, building and styling their own electric vehicle.

The competition will task young innovators with testing their electric vehicles on ramps to test power and durability. The morning session offers an opportunity for pupils to demonstrate what they have learnt and how they built their vehicles.

With funding from Schneider Electric, teachers from the local schools attended a training session at the Coventry offices and were paired with Schneider Electric engineers in order to learn to deliver the school- based STEM activities. Each school was provided with comprehensive lesson plans and resources to construct eight vehicles per school. The Schneider Electric engineers visited the schools throughout the programme to provide pupils with support and to promote careers in engineering.

Part of the Primary Engineer programme is designed to break down stereotypes associated with the world of engineering. The competition offers the chance for school pupils to gain skills and competences and introduce a practical element into the curriculum for pupils at an early age.

The winning teams will be chosen based on the vehicle’s performance in the testing stage, its build quality, its design and control as well as awards for best design and best communicators. The winning teams will be awarded certificates and medals, with a comprehensive on-going support package from Schneider Electric.

Phil Moulden, support director of industrial automation at Schneider Electric said, “The UK faces a huge engineering skills shortage – and we need to do something about it. At Schneider Electric, we are passionate about helping to transition our young people from education to employment. This is why it’s vital that we provide the right training and offer exposure to the world of engineering from a young age. Only then can we ignite a passion for a potential future career in the industry. We chose to partner with Primary Engineer in the hope of supporting schools in STEM training and in widening the potential talent pool of the future.”

According to Chris Rochester, UK director, Primary Engineer, “Working with companies like Schneider Electric is a vital part of what we do. We are thrilled that Schneider Electric has been able to support us in impacting the lives of young people in the Coventry and Warwick area. Ultimately, we aim to inspire pupils and teachers alike through their professional development and through our competitions to spark a passion for a skilled and understaffed industry. We’re excited to judge the electric vehicles that these students have worked so hard on with the support of their teachers. Good luck to all participants.”

 

Primary Engineer programme encourages young innovators

Primary Engineer programme encourages young innovators

 

Source: Electrical Review

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Plan to start £85m Eden Project North in 2020

Details have been revealed of ambitious plans to build an £85m northern version of Cornwall’s Eden Project on Morecambe Bay’s seafront.

The first environmental scoping planning report for the proposed Eden Project North attraction has been submitted to Lancaster City Council.

Backed by Eden Project International, the project will consist of five mussel-shaped domes rising to nearly 40m.

These will offer 21st century re-imagined lidos, gardens, performance spaces, immersive experiences focused on the marine environment and observatories.

It is due to open in spring 2023, following a two-year construction period.

Eden estimates that the complex will attract around 760,000 visitors per year. It would also have a 4,000-capacity outdoor arena designed for live music and entertainment.

David Harland, chief executive of Eden Project International, said: “This is an important milestone for Eden Project North.

“Having a positive impact on the internationally significant environment of Morecambe Bay is fundamental to our vision for this project. This report is the next step towards making Eden Project North a reality.”

EPIL is working with Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, Lancaster University, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council to deliver Eden Project North.

Each of these has contributed £250,000 towards the cost of designing and planning. This is in addition to £100,000 pledged by the Government.

The project has the support of Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry MP, who has pledged to help Morecambe and Lunesdale MP David Morris lobby the Chancellor of the Exchequer for further funding.

 

Plan to start £85m Eden Project North in 2020

Plan to start £85m Eden Project North in 2020

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Severfield warns steelwork tender margins tightening

Britain’s biggest constructional steelwork contractor has warned that tender margins are tightening at its UK business.

The firm said that softer market conditions had created some spare fabrication capacity, although the firm said it had begun to see stirrings of more bidding activity in the London commercial market.

Reporting an 11% rise in pre-tax profit to £25m, Alan Dunsmore, chief executive officer, said that the impact of these UK market conditions was being eased by the re-emergence of the market in the Republic of Ireland and opportunities in continental Europe, where the firm has a fledgling Dutch business.

He added that Severfield was also pursuing infrastructure work opportunities for HS2 and the expansion of Heathrow airport.

“We also see good opportunities from the government’s ongoing Network Rail and Highways England investment programmes,” he added.

Revenue in the year to April was broadly flat year-on-year at £275m, mainly as a result of the softer UK market conditions and some project delays, to both contracts within the order book and in the conversion of our pipeline of opportunities.

This predominantly impacted volumes in 2019.

Dunsmore said that growth in operating margin to 8.5% (2018: 8.3%) reflected better risk and contract management processes at the firm.

The order book of £295m was up £65m on the half-year and contained a high proportion of lower risk, regional projects with shorter lead times.

It includes a £50m order for the new Google Headquarters, which will require over 15,000 tonnes of structural steelwork for the 11 storey head office building at Kings Cross.

Dunsmore added: “We remain on track to deliver on our strategic targets, including the doubling of underlying profit before tax to £26m by 2020 and we look forward to another positive year ahead.”

 

Severfield warns steelwork tender margins tightening

Severfield warns steelwork tender margins tightening

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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£1bn Stratford East Bank scheme clears final planning

Plans for the £1.1bn East Bank development on Stratford Waterfront at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London have cleared the final planning hurdle.

The 4.25-hectare site will be a new cultural and education centre in East London.

It will be home to major new buildings for the Sadler’s Wells dance theatre, the BBC, the Victoria and Albert Museum and a new campus for the University of London’s College of Fashion.

The mayor’s office also granted planning for around 600 new homes within a complex including a 27-storey landmark tower.

Mace is leading project and construction management of the commercial part of the scheme which is presently in advanced procurement.

The scheme has been designed by a collaborative team of Allies and Morrison, O’Donnell + Tuomey and Camps Felip Arquitectura.

PJ Careys has the £16m contract for substructure work on the site. Select Plant also was awarded a £5.4m contract for hire of six tower cranes on the job.

Speaking on behalf of all the East Bank partners, Lyn Garner, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “This is a huge milestone for the project and testament to the hard work, and commitment of all those involved.

“East Bank will be the glue that binds together the different elements on the Park from world-class visitor attractions, high-tech business districts, thousands of new homes and wonderful parkland and open spaces.

“Now, with planning permission in place for the biggest and most exciting culture and education project for a generation, we can start to deliver on the promises for jobs, skills and homes for east London.”

The other parts of East Bank are UCL East, a pioneering new campus for UCL in the south of the Park and the V&A’s new Collection and Research Centre will be located at Here East in the north of the park.

Last year, the Mayor confirmed that at least 50 per cent of new homes across the remaining development sites on the Park – Stratford Waterfront, Pudding Mill and Rick Roberts Way – will be genuinely affordable.

 

£1bn Stratford East Bank scheme clears final planning

£1bn Stratford East Bank scheme clears final planning

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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New standard requiring in-line filters welcomed

Following the recent publication of the new British Standard, BS 7593:2019, Adey has welcomed the new guidance, saying it will help drive the adoption of best practice in whole system health, not simply boiler protection.

The revised standard for the preparation, commissioning and maintenance of domestic heating and cooling water systems came into effect on 31 May 2019, superseding BS 7593:2006 which was immediately withdrawn. The standard now includes the following key changes for those specifying, installing and maintaining domestic heating and cooling systems:

  • For the first time, the fitting of a permanent in-line filter is required in addition to a chemical clean and fresh water flush before inhibitor is added
  • An in-line filter should be fitted to ALL systems
  • All recommended cleaning methodologies can be improved with external magnetite capture equipment and mechanical vibration of radiators
  • A water test is required to test the level of inhibitor and cleanliness of the system every year
  • Inhibitor should be re-dosed every five years or a full system water test undertaken
  • BS 7593:2019 is now applicable to both closed loop heating and cooling circuits
  • Biocide is required in cooling and low temperature heating systems, and should be considered for higher temperature systems for added protection during downtime
  • The changes aim to drive greater consideration for correct water treatment chemistry and filtration including prevention, maintenance and monitoring to properly protect a system for the long term.

Dr Neil Watson, Adey’s Chief Technical Officer, explains: “The changes made acknowledge that chemical water treatment isn’t a fit and forget solution, and magnetic filters shouldn’t just be considered a ‘nice to have’. Including these solutions in British Standard’s BS 7593 recognises a critical shift in moving the industry towards a holistic approach to system maintenance.

“A high proportion of boilers that fail in the first year do so because of poor water quality, so by introducing regular testing and redosing, proper system cleaning and the mandatory installation of an in-line filter to the industry’s code of practice, we can significantly improve the efficiency and life expectancy of every household system. This represents massive potential to contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.”

 

New standard requiring in-line filters welcomed

New standard requiring in-line filters welcomed

 

Source: Pham News

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Visitor numbers soar at Subcon 2019

Subcon 2019, the UK’s premier subcontract manufacturing supply chain show, has achieved a significant uplift in visitor numbers.

Over 4,100 manufacturing and engineering professionals attended this year’s event – which ran from 4 – 6th June at the NEC – marking a 16 per cent increase year on year and on par with the show’s record attendance achieved in 2017.

During this 43rd edition of the Show, visitors had a chance to meet, speak with and gain invaluable insight from more than 250 exhibitors and over 100 companies have already rebooked their stands for 2020.

A spokesperson from exhibitor Washington Metal Works said: “This was our first time at Subcon and only the second time we’ve ever exhibited, and it’s been really good. It’s really important for us to be able to speak to a lot of different industry sectors because of how diverse our customers are, and we’ve made some great connections that could translate into potential clients. We’ll definitely be back next year.”

Fellow exhibitor Bowman added: “Subcon was very good this year; the people who came to see us were very focused and of a high quality, so it’s been a successful show for us and we’ve already signed for next year, when we’ll have even more new things to show visitors.”

The Engineer Conference, which ran alongside the exhibition, provided over 30 high-powered free educational sessions, covering a wide range of topics including AI, robotics, nuclear fusion, hybrid aircraft and digitalisation. Speakers including Ian Warhurst, the Bloodhound Landspeed Record Project CEO, Brian Holliday, Managing Director for Siemens Digital Factory and Dave Short, Technology director with BAE Systems.

New features at Subcon 2019 included the Subcon Launchpad and Awards: a new start-up incubator designed to propel six embryonic businesses into the limelight. The winner of the very first Launchpad Award – winning a full sized-stand at next year’s event – is Elements Technology.

This year’s event also helped to celebrate the centenary of the Women’s Engineering Society, with a series of presentations from some of the UK’s leading women engineers including WES CEO Elizabeth Donnelly.

Under new ownership at Mark Allen Group, Subcon will return alongside The Engineer Expo to the NEC Birmingham in 2020 from 9-11 June. For more information, please visit www.subconshow.co.uk

 

Visitor numbers soar at Subcon 2019

Visitor numbers soar at Subcon 2019

 

Source: The Engineer

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Water treatment should be considered at design stage 

Andrews Water Heaters is advising specifiers to factor water treatment into the design stages of the hot water system to ensure peak system performance. 

One year on from the publication of ICOM’s ‘Water quality consideration of domestic hot water systems for commercial applications’ document, David Ridgway, Product Application Manager at Andrews Water Heaters and contributor to the guide, argues that more could be done to account for water treatment prior to the installation and commissioning of a water heater. 

David highlights that the long-term implications of not treating the water that the system uses could be financially damaging to the end user who must pay for non-routine repairs or replacements and increasing poor efficiency. Additionally, the specifier may be putting their reputation at stake by specifying the wrong appliance or water treatment device.

“Our industry has, at times, not paid close enough attention to the importance of water treatment. It is often an afterthought with best-practice treatment seen as a nice to have rather than a must have. This is in spite of poor water quality potentially resulting in energy wastage, reduced system performance, potential appliance health issues and the need for the early replacement of components. Failing to prevent or adequately control the treatment of the water could also result in the risk of exposure to legionella – exposing end-users to unnecessary risks,” David comments. 

David says there are several considerations that must be made during the design stage that will impact the type of water treatment that is employed. For instance, the local water board should be contacted to provide specifiers with the data on the area’s water quality, the hardness of the water will dictate whether a softener or conditioner is required. 

“Further consideration should be made to the issue of corrosion can occur in all systems. Some systems however, may require treatment dependent on the materials present. For example, the UK’s water distribution infrastructure still makes use of lead pipes in some areas, meaning that the local water authority could vary the dosing of phosphates in the water to protect lead pipe – impacting the performance of some appliances and devices”, David said. 

Corrosion and many of the other challenges facing end-users can be controlled from the outset by adopting good system design and installing a water treatment device such as a water softener or a physical water conditioner. It is always advisable to consult with a water treatment specialist to ensure that the chosen device is compatible with the type of water heater, the make-up and the local water supply and the type of application (temperature and loading) being specified.

“Specifiers and manufacturers should work evermore closely together. Linkage at the design stage can help to ensure the chosen treatment device works to promote the longevity and health of the system. As an industry, we can maintain the life, efficiency and reliability of water systems by working together at the design stage,” David concludes. 

 

Water treatment should be considered at design stage

Water treatment should be considered at design stage

 

Source: Pham News

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New online portal seeks to increase communication

TrustMark, the Government-endorsed quality scheme for tradespeople, has announced the launch of a new business and consumer portal, providing a secure, free and convenient platform for businesses and their customers to communicate and be transparent with each other.

The portals, which are available on the TrustMark website, are part of TrustMark’s commitment to make it as easy as possible for consumers to find reputable tradespeople. They will also be strengthened with advice and guidance that supports the scheme’s code of conduct and customer charter.

TrustMark registered businesses and consumers will now be able to exchange messages, photographs, plans and any other relevant documents through the portal, keeping all communications in one convenient place. This method will ensure total clarity on both sides regarding the nature of the work agreed, costings, delivery dates and expected outcomes.

Consumers can now request a quote for work directly through their portal account. By doing so, each selected registered business will receive an email inviting them to log in to the TrustMark business portal, where they can view any new enquiries.

When quotations have been submitted in response to enquiries, the consumer will be notified through the portal and can accept or reject the quote, or request further information. Businesses will be able to see what enquiries are new or open at any time and will be immediately notified by email if the status of an enquiry changes, for example, if a quote is accepted or a question is asked. Once a quote has been accepted and a project is ongoing, either side can track progress and request info or record updates as and when required.

Registered businesses now have the option to personalise their profile on the TrustMark website, allowing them to add company logos, photographs of previous work and highlight areas of specialism and the locations they cover. Businesses using this service will also have access to a range of free template documents such as contracts and invoices

Simon Ayers, CEO of TrustMark, says, “The development of this new functionality of our website is part of our commitment to not only ease consumer access to reputable tradespeople, but to actively champion the businesses we know are doing the right thing.  We believe this portal will make choosing to use a TrustMark registered business simpler than ever for consumers, and by making the quote request process as simple and barrier-free as possible, this will vastly increase the possibility of enquiries transforming into paying customers. We will retain our status as a not-for-profit social enterprise and have no intention to turn into a paid-for lead generation service – we simply want to provide a service that tangibly benefits each of our businesses and helps consumers.”

The portals are part of a series of initiatives designed to help TrustMark registered businesses and consumers improve their communications. Future releases will also include the ability to accept card payments and provide access to finance options.

 

New online portal seeks to increase communication

New online portal seeks to increase communication

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Wooden football stadium plan rejected

Forest Green Rovers have had their hopes of building a 5,000-seater wooden stadium dashed by planners.

Designs for the ground-breaking stadium were drawn-up by Zaha Hadid Architects.

But Stroud District Council voted against the proposal yesterday due to concerns over noise, traffic and impact on the landscape.

The decision has left everyone at the League Two club “extremely disappointed” and chairman Dale Vince said the grounds for refusal were “tenuous at best”.

The stadium was originally the centre piece of a £100m Ecopark development by Vince’s green energy business Ecotricity.

But following earlier discussions with the council plans for the green tech business hub were dropped leaving the stadium to face planners on its own.

 

Wooden football stadium plan rejected

Wooden football stadium plan rejected

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Hammerson unveils new Birmingham city quarter plan

Developer Hammerson has set out plans to redevelop Birmingham’s Martineau Galleries site into a new city centre neighbourhood.

The developer, which owns and manages the nearby Bullring & Grand Central, plans to demolish existing buildings to make way for 1,300 homes, including one building of 35 storeys, and 1.4m sq ft of commercial space.

The 7.5-acre site will also deliver a signature gateway to Birmingham from the proposed Curzon Street HS2 terminal and a new public square and boulevard.

Plans for the site, which currently includes The Square Shopping Centre, King’s Parade and Dale End car park, have been designed by Glenn Howells Architects.

Around 350 full-time construction jobs will be created per year over the life of the demolition and construction phases of the project.

Following the public consultation, Hammerson intends to submit an outline planning application to Birmingham City Council later this year, with the aim of starting works in 2022.

Robin Dobson, Development Director at Hammerson, said: “We are pleased to share the plans for our first major City Quarters scheme for this strategically important site in the heart of the city.

“Martineau Galleries will be a new, vibrant neighbourhood in the centre of Birmingham, where we are already a long term investor, with the Bullring Estate remaining one of the UK’s most successful destinations for both brands and consumers.”

 

Hammerson unveils new Birmingham city quarter plan

Hammerson unveils new Birmingham city quarter plan

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Post Brexit skills shortages to push up tender prices by 4%

Tender prices are set to rise by 4% in 2022 as post-Brexit skills shortages bite across construction.

The latest forecasts from Arcadis predict rises after a period of industry “treading water” while politicians dither over Brexit.

The consultancy has held its short term inflation forecast at just 2-3% to 2021 as clients take a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to the current political turmoil.

Delays are adding competitive pressure to the market but the trend is highly sector specific.

Markets such as data centres are particularly busy, while others including offices, industrial and schools are on a downward curve.

Arcadis said there is enough competition to put a partial brake on input cost inflation in the short to medium term.

But tighter labour markets from 2022-23 means costs are predicted to rise by 1% per annum, reaching 4% by 2022.

Earnings growth for construction employees has averaged 4.2% over the past year, up from 2.1% in 2017.

Simon Rawlinson, Head of Strategic Research and Insight at Arcadis, said: “UK construction has a long-established skills and training problem.

“With skilled EU labour making up 8-10% of the workforce, specialist contractors and employers have been shielded from the necessity of developing and maintaining the skills of their workforce.

“However, with the prospect of post-Brexit restrictions on migration, we’re now facing a real crisis in terms of future labour capacity.

“The supply chain will need to look at other options for increasing productivity.

“Off-site manufacturing currently delivers around 8% of industry output, but with the introduction of a government mandate, this could increase significantly.

“Adopting new technologies to improve processes will help to eliminate waste and duplication, while a renewed focus on training and re-training – particularly with the introduction of T-levels in 2020 – will further help to support a much-needed flow of talent.”

 

Post Brexit skills shortages to push up tender prices by 4%

Post Brexit skills shortages to push up tender prices by 4%

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

Top of Page

 

May Newsletter 2019

May 2019 Newsletter

 

‘The cables you need, where and when you need them, Plans unveiled for major revamp of The Belfry, Legal & General launches £500m build-to-rent scheme, Upskill heating supply chain now or we won’t hit net zero target.’

 

Quick Links

 

 


The cables you need, where and when you need them

With a 67,000 square foot warehouse facility housing over 3,500 product lines on the shelf, and another 6,000 on short lead times, FS Cables is sure to have the cable you need. It also offers over 800 CPR-compliant cables, including Alternative to Belden, structured wiring, fibre, coax, signal and control, and power cables.

FS Cables has no cut-off time for orders. You can call until 6pm, and if it can, the company will cut and pack your order and dispatch right up until the courier leaves. Next working-day delivery is standard to UK mainland, and is free on orders over £100. For urgent shipments, a range of express delivery options are available, including pre-9am, pre-10.30am and pre-12pm. A same-day courier is also possible, time and distance permitting. FS Cables cuts to length on many product lines, meaning you only buy what you need – reducing wastage and saving you money.

If you need cables delivered outside the UK, FS Cables’ dedicated export team is on hand. The team offers a fast and comprehensive service, supplying you with export packaging, cables cut to length, essential paperwork and certificates. Dispatch is by courier, air, sea and road so that orders are with you where and when you need them. FS Cables is authorised by the Chamber of Commerce to produce all the export documentation in-house, such as certificates of origin and EUR1’s, providing you with a fast and efficient service. Unlike other suppliers, FS Cables provides export packaging as standard – it’s all part of the service. FS Cables will select the most appropriate option to ensure that your goods arrive in perfect condition, regardless of how far they have travelled.

If you need a cable manufactured to your own specification or standard, talk to FS Cables. This can range from a printed or coloured jacket, right through to composite cables containing multiple elements of your choice. FS Cables is also able to help you with over-sheathing or steel wire armouring (SWA) to an existing cable, with short lead times and quantities as low as 100m.

If you have a regular requirement for a particular cable, you may benefit from using FS Cable’s call-off order service. Contracts can be up to 12 months in length, and enable you to fix your cost. Cable called off will normally be invoiced when it has been delivered, spreading the cost over the length of the agreement. In most cases, the entire order will be manufactured in one go and held in stock for next working day delivery.

Whether it is a contractor who has limited storage on site, and wants the cable delivered as and when required, or an OEM customer who may require a regular amount of cable for a particular application, call-off orders are proving to be extremely popular.

Call-off agreements have many benefits:

– Prices are fixed for 12 months, or the duration of the agreement.

– Volume discounts, even if the cable is called-off in relatively small amounts.

– Cables can be made to your exact design or with a special print, without costly storage or financial penalties.

– Peace of mind. Your cable is allocated and stored in FS Cable’s warehouse, and delivered next working day to mainland UK.

– Having a particular cable available at the right place and at the right time is a must for many of FS Cable’s customers. Talk to its sales team for more details about how the benefits of improved flexibility and cost savings by calling-off your orders could work for you.

FS Cables adapts to work your way and embraces your projects as its own, however varied they may be. The company prides itself on keeping it promises; understanding that its customer’s deadlines are important; and will deliver when it says it will deliver.

FS Cables has also been awarded the Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award for the second year running. It is also putting the finishing touches to its ever-popular cabling guide, known as ‘the little red book’, which is back with issue 12. The handy A5 size contains technical information, application data and images for over 8,000 products, and is a must-have resource for those involved in buying or specifying electric cables.

Many with CPR compliant options, sections include AV, data, bus, coaxial, signal and control, power, fire and security, telephone, rubber and crane, marine, fibre, and high temperature, as well as a guide to custom-manufactured cables. There’s also a handy look-up table to find alternative to Belden cables from one of the largest ranges in the UK.

Visit www.fscables.com/lrb to register for your free copy. They will be sent out as soon as they are off the press.

 

The cables you need, where and when you need them

The cables you need, where and when you need them

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

Top of Page


CTI showcases environmental technology solutions

Carter Thermal Industries (CTI), one of the most substantial privately owned engineering groups in the UK, is to make its debut at the Temperature Controlled Storage and Distribution Show this June.

The company will be showcasing the expertise of its divisional companies with its main focus being on the part it plays in environmental technology and solutions, particularly with regard to natural refrigerant solutions with low global warming potential such as hydrocarbon and Co2 based systems.

In this respect, CTI are proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural World Refrigeration Day (WRD) on the second day of the show, 26 June. As a future annual global event, the WRD is to raise awareness of the importance of refrigeration and air conditioning to the food supply chain, the health sector and general human comfort.

At the show, CTI will be revealing various exciting new technologies being developed for their refrigerated cabinets. These include new shelf edge technology developed for optimum cold airflow into cabinets, and also integrated LED systems providing low energy illumination.

CTI group companies coming together on the CTI stand are Carter Retail Equipment and Carter Synergy. Carter Retail Equipment specialises in refrigerated retail display cabinets and cold stores, from their design and specification to manufacturing and installation. Here the division gets involved in retail environment and back storage areas; fruit and veg bulk wholesalers’ storage; ripening rooms; and pharmaceuticals.

The Carter Synergy with KB Refrigeration divisions together cover design, consultancy, installation, service and maintenance for refrigeration, heating, ventilation, mechanical and electrical disciplines across England and Scotland.

 

CTI showcases environmental technology solutions

CTI showcases environmental technology solutions

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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MK Electric highlights benefits of apprentices

In support of Learning at Work Week (13 – 19 May), Emma Segelov, EMEA marketing operations manager for MK Electric, highlights the benefits having an apprentice can bring to a business

As a highly skilled industry, we are reliant on a constant stream of new talent. Apprentices are key to ensuring we have the skills required to drive the industry forward and can help a business to grow.

All of our apprentices bring something new and valuable into the business, such as a fresh perspective on an existing process, as well as safeguarding the continuity of essential skill sets, now and in the future. One example is Thomas Hunt, a former apprentice who was crowned BEAMA’S Young Manufacturer of the Year in 2018.

During his time as an apprentice, Thomas quickly became the ‘go-to guy’ for technical support within the mouldshop team at our Southend-on-Sea manufacturing site, showing a particular aptitude for math-based queries. Thomas filled a moulding skills gap and provided crucial assistance in training current staff on new machines and basic moulding skills, overcoming any difficulties which occur with the moulding machines. In fact, as part of his time working in compression moulding, Thomas independently developed a detailed compression moulding manual covering the control of the presses and fault finding, which is now used to assist in the training of others – a major benefit to new staff members.

For MK Electric, employing the best talent has helped us to reach a centenary. It also puts the brand in a strong position to evolve to meet the needs of customers and building users for a smart and sustainable future.

Naturally, we understand that the process of hiring an apprentice is going to be different for each business, depending on its size, infrastructure and the amount of resource available, but the rewards are great. The Education and Skills Funding Agency has information available for potential employers, including guidance on funding and how smaller businesses can apply for support.

We would encourage anyone with the means to hire an apprentice to do so, as it will not only change a young person’s life, but also benefit your business and the wider industry by helping to close the skills gap. It’s crucial that the industry works together to preserve its workforce by ensuring knowledge is passed down to the next generation via apprenticeships.

 

MK Electric highlights benefits of apprentices

MK Electric highlights benefits of apprentices

 

Source: Electrical Review 

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Xylem warns of hidden costs around sewer adoption

Xylem is urging housebuilders and developers to further analyse the Sewers for Adoption process, which may be unnecessarily costing them thousands.

With the introduction of Sewers for Adoption 8 later this year, Xylem is urging housebuilders and developers to further analyse the Sewers for Adoption process, which may be unnecessarily costing them thousands of pounds in outstanding bonds.

The new Sewers for Adoption 8 will, for the first time, provide guidance on most types of sustainable drainage system (SuDS) components that can be adopted by water and sewerage companies, and may also include flood risk performance standards. However, a part of the existing legislation pertaining to pump station design may continue to cost developers and housebuilders thousands of pounds, due to a knowledge gap.

This knowledge gap concerns Section 104 of the Water Industry Act (1991), or S104, and its use in conjunction with the seventh edition of Sewers for Adoption (SFA7). Specifically, it can be found within the legal agreement between the developer and water company, stating that sewers will be built to an agreed standard before adoption by the water company. The legal agreement includes strict requirements around pumping station design, which, if misunderstood, can lead to extensive, unseen costs.

To explain, the water company receives a S104 design submission from the developer containing pumping station designs and calculations drawn up by a specialist contractor, such as Xylem. This must be approved by the water company before building commences, who then test the finished pumping station during a maintenance and monitoring period of around three months.

If the station performs to a satisfactory level during this time, the water company then adopts the sewer from the developer. To ensure the work is completed to a good standard, the developer typically supplies a bond of significant value at the beginning of this process that is only released following adoption.

Issues arise when the developer is unaware of this process and begins building work without official approval from the water company. This approval is important as anything installed without it can potentially be refused by the water company, leaving the developers with the costs of rectifying any refused work. Furthermore, this refusal can result in extended monitoring periods, leaving the developer unable to recover their bond while remaining liable for servicing and maintenance costs during this time.

With these increasing costs in mind, Xylem recommends that developers not rush ahead to installation as soon as the specialist contractor has submitted their proposed pumping system design. Instead, they should stay in close contact with the water company and designer to work through any concerns quickly and receive a full S104 agreement.

Crucially, this installation should also include the implementing specialised control system and monitoring out-station, as specified with SFA7. Bearing in mind that the entire sewer adoption process can take between six months to two years, monitoring performance and remedying any issues in this time is crucial. Installing this telemetry equipment will also limit the potential for faults during the monitoring period, allowing for a quicker return of the developer’s bond and lower maintenance costs.

 

Xylem warns of hidden costs around sewer adoption

Xylem warns of hidden costs around sewer adoption

 

Source: HPM Magazine

Top of Page


Plans unveiled for major revamp of The Belfry

New plans have been unveiled to revamp the Belfry Hotel and Resort.

Building work at the famous golf centre could start early next year creating 160 construction jobs.

Plans include an extra 144 guest-rooms in a new building on the site overlooking the world-famous Brabazon Course alongside a 600-seat ballroom and banqueting facility.

A leisure club, next to the 18th hole of the PGA National Course, is also in the plans.

This will feature a family-orientated leisure pool as well as a gym and studio rooms, café and changing facilities.

Relocation of the existing leisure facilities will allow space within the existing resort buildings for a new spa.

The Belfry has appointed national planning and development consultancy Lichfields to take forward the proposals.

In 2017 Lichfields secured planning permission for a similar scheme and say the new, amended proposals, place greater emphasis on the resort’s golfing tradition.

The venue near Sutton Coldfield has hosted four Ryder Cups on its Brabazon course.

Ian Kettlewell, Planning Director at Lichfields said: “The Belfry want to build upon the resort’s golfing tradition and success so that it continues to operate as a world class golf and leisure destination into the future.

“The new guest rooms will face onto the 10th hole of the world-famous Brabazon Course and feature private balconies giving open views across the golf course and resort.

“The ballroom will be connected to the new guest rooms by a two storey arrival space and will also face onto the Brabazon course.”

A planning application is due to be submitted to North Warwickshire Borough Council in the summer and construction could start early next year.

 

Plans unveiled for major revamp of The Belfry

Plans unveiled for major revamp of The Belfry

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Plan for 1,300-home led scheme near Harrow

Housing association Network Homes has bought land next to Northwick Park Hospital in Brent to kick-start a major regeneration project, bringing new homes and commercial space to the area.

Network Homes is working in partnership with London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and the local council to make Northwick Park a landmark destination, delivering new homes, a modernised university hospital, improved infrastructure and transport connections.

Outline proposals for the site masterplan will include the delivery of around 1,300 new homes on land owned by Network Homes.

A detailed planning application for phase one of the development will be submitted at the end of the year and work is expected to start on site in early 2021.

Upfront infrastructure works for the site have been estated at around £18m.

David Gooch, Executive Director of Development at Network Homes, said: “This is a really exciting milestone for the future transformation of Northwick Park.

“We look forward to continuing to work with our partners at Brent Council, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and the University of Westminster to deliver improved transport links, more good quality affordable homes, and jobs for local people.”

 

Plan for 1,300-home led scheme near Harrow

Plan for 1,300-home led scheme near Harrow

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Legal & General launches £500m build-to-rent scheme

Legal & General has exchanged contracts on two adjacent sites in Wandsworth which will combine to deliver its largest Build To Rent (BTR) scheme to date.

The £500m development has full planning consent and will provide around 1,000 homes and 85,000 sq ft of commercial space.

Legal & General said construction work will start by the end of this year on the six acre site near Wandsworth Town train station.

Dan Batterton, Head of Build To Rent at LGIM Real Assets said: “This latest acquisition is another great example of Legal & General investing in a location with significant urban regeneration potential and providing large scale sustainable rental schemes which will have a positive socioeconomic impact.

“The location is highly desirable for renters and, with 1,000 units planned for the site, demonstrates Legal & General’s ambition to make a real impact on the delivery of new homes within the UK.

“Representing our largest scheme to date, this flagship BTR development is another step forward towards tackling the severe housing crisis facing both London and the UK, offering homes for all ages and social groups, as well as reduced living costs thanks to economies of scale.”

 

Legal & General launches £500m build-to-rent scheme

Legal & General launches £500m build-to-rent scheme

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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CEF launches priced trade catalogue and website

CEF, the UK’s leading electrical wholesaler, has launched a new, priced trade catalogue and improved website to provide customers with a more transparent, consistent and convenient shopping experience.

The new trade catalogue, which features everyday value prices is a first for the industry and brings much needed pricing consistency and transparency to the electrical wholesale market.

Featuring more than 26,000 electrical products including cable and cable management, heating and ventilation plus lighting, lamps, wiring accessories, switchgear, industrial controls, and not forgetting hand tools, site equipment and test instruments, the CEF catalogue is certain to become an essential part of the electrician’s toolkit.

All products are available for click and collect or next day delivery wherever customers need them, and with thousands more available at cef.co.uk, installers are sure to be able to find what they need, when they need it.

“Traditionally, pricing in the electrical wholesale industry is complicated, time consuming and inconsistent” stated Andrew Moseley, CEF’s Commercial Director. “Our new priced trade catalogue is a direct response to customer feedback and part of a wider commitment from CEF to bring pricing transparency and consistency and improve the level of service we offer to our customers.”

The catalogue also highlights CEF’s new lowest priced everyday Trade Essentials range and features Connected Living products from the company’s recently launched Get Smart, Get Connected campaign.

To support the launch of the new catalogue, and create a multi-channel customer experience, CEF have also enhanced their website to include the same transparent catalogue pricing and improved the search functionality and guest checkout, allowing customers to select and purchase the products they need quickly and easily. Customers can browse more than 32,000 products online and can check stock availability at their nearest store before they ‘click and collect’ or order for next day delivery at a location convenient to them.

“Our customers want to buy the products they need as conveniently and easily as possible,” added Moseley. “With the new priced catalogue and website, CEF customers not only benefit from knowing exactly what the price is when they shop with CEF, they also have more choice over how and where they shop – be it online, in store, by phone or through our new catalogue. Anybody looking to buy electrical products can get them at their convenience and will have the same consistent experience wherever and whenever they shop at CEF.”

The new CEF catalogue is available to pick up from any of CEF’s 391 stores nationwide, or you can request a copy at www.cef.co.uk/request

 

CEF LAUNCHES PRICED TRADE CATALOGUE AND WEBSITE

CEF launches priced trade catalogue and website

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Upskill heating supply chain now or we won’t hit net zero target

Vaillant urges government to pay attention to the call for national training programme on low-carbon skills

Vaillant has added its voice to the chorus of industry reaction over the Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report, with the manufacturer calling for the introduction of a low-carbon training programme.

Chris Wilkins, external affairs and training manager said: “Whether or not you agree with the finer points of the report, one thing is certain: it is essential that we upskill the workforce now, across the supply chain, if we are to have any chance of hitting the net zero target. At present, we have an immensely skilled workforce providing fossil fuel solutions. In order to deliver the solutions necessary to achieve the CCC’s 2050 goal, there is an urgent need for a framework, roadmap and dedicated funding to support the transition to low carbon solutions.”

He added: ”The CCC’s report focuses on using a mix of available technologies, rather than backing just one horse – a stance which we at Vaillant have also advocated in recent weeks. It also recognises that green gas and hydrogen boilers have a part to play, especially when linked with heat pumps in hybrid systems. But, whatever this mix of technologies will eventually be, there will need to be skilled individuals to design and implement the necessary infrastructure, and installers qualified to bring these solutions into UK homes…We support the CCC’s call for clear, stable and well-designed policies to support carbon reduction, and agree with the recommendations related to the decarbonisation of heating and the home environment. The emphasis on upskilling is of particular note, as this is an element which can often be missed during such discussions, but which will play a pivotal role in carbon reduction. We look forward to the government’s response.”

 

Upskill heating supply chain now or we won't hit net zero target

Upskill heating supply chain now or we won’t hit net zero target

 

Source: HVN Plus

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Putting the fuse to spark referrals and reviews 

Property Heads have opened it’s doors on there property search engine platform to introduce professional trades to home buyers and renters across the UK.

With over 7,000 trades already signed up at NO cost to join or any fees or subscriptions unlike other trades platforms. Property Heads have developed a platform to enable a link between estate agents, landlords as well as home owners and renters to source local trades, share with friends and introduce recommended trades they have utilised in their local area.

The Property Heads network is a positive platform to help trades such as electricians to links with other businesses such as estate agent who are often looking for local electricians. The agents can refer the trades to clients, and then those customers can add referrals within their network.

The opportunities for electricians to promote there company within a profile along with contact details and website to showcase their services is simple. Just visit www.propertyheads.com and click on the JOIN button.

Property Heads is the first property search engine that works also as a way to keep people connected like LinkedIn.

We look forward to seeing having your readers join our trades section at Property Heads, and please do not hesitate to reach out if you need any further details or information.

 

Putting the fuse to spark referrals and reviews

Putting the fuse to spark referrals and reviews

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Get water quality test results quicker with new app

To make it easier to submit test samples and access results quickly via a mobile, Fernox has developed the Water Quality Test app. Launching this month, installers will be able to register on Android and iOS platforms to download the app and start enjoying the time-saving benefits of this paperless service.

Once Fernox has received the sample, which can be sent using the prepaid envelope included in the Water Quality Test kit, the test results will be available to view via the app within 48 hours – with a full diagnostic report being sent via email or viewable via the Fernox web portal. This allows installers to take speedy and targeted action to resolve and restore system efficiency where central heating problems are caused by dirty and untreated system water.

As part of the service, Fernox will carry out an analysis of five key criteria system water parameters and will advise on the appropriate treatment, if necessary, or confirm that the system has been correctly treated and fully protected.

The new app will provide installers with a short online form to complete, and a location finder, with the option to scan in a boiler’s serial number, its brand name and age. Installers need only register their details once. Test samples can be tracked through the testing process via the app, and a status of ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ is available at the touch of the screen.

The app can also be used to register a Fernox TF1 Filter product warranty.

Anna Tarbuck, Global Product Management Director at Fernox, says: “We are very excited about the launch of our new Water Quality Test app. We wanted to offer installers the ability to keep track of every testing kit logged and review all the results in one, easy to access place. Testing the system water is a key part of the process to ensure boiler efficiency and we hope that this more technology led approach will aid installers in saving valuable time.”  

The Fernox Water Quality Test app is free to download and compatible with all devices.  Fernox Water Quality Test Kits are available for purchase through major and independent merchant branches and reputable stockists.

 

GET WATER QUALITY TEST RESULTS QUICKER WITH NEW APP

Get water quality test results quicker with new app

 

Source: Pham News

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Green light for thousands of homes on former barracks

Planning permission has been granted for the development of thousands of homes on a former RAF airfield and barracks on the outskirts of Cambridge.

The Waterbeach proposal covers the construction 6,500 new homes and associated employment, transport, educational, health and community uses over the former Waterbeach Barracks site on the outskirts of Cambridge.

An application was submitted jointly by Urban&Civic and the then secretary of state for defence Michael Fallon and in February 2017.

South Cambridgeshire District Council resolved last night (13 May 2019) to grant permission for the scheme at a specially constituted meeting of its Planning Committee.

The 716-acre application site is entirely brownfield and is located three miles from the Cambridge Science and Business Park.

The land will remain in majority ownership of the Ministry of Defence, administered by Defence Infrastructure Organisation but subject to a participation in favour of Urban&Civic.

Further preparatory works will begin immediately with initial major infrastructure scheduled to complete by the end of 2019.

Formal planning consent remains subject to completing the associated Section 106 agreement.

 

Green light for thousands of homes on former barracks

Green light for thousands of homes on former barracks

 

Source: Insider Media

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Japan’s biggest house builder moves into UK market

Japan’s biggest house builder has struck a £90m deal with Homes England and Urban Splash to deliver thousands of new properties across England.

Sekisui House are pioneers of modern methods of construction and will bring their techniques to the UK.

The deal includes new investment of £55m into regeneration company Urban Splash’s modular ‘House’ development business.

Sekisui House has invested £22m of new equity, with £30m of equity and debt funding coming from the Government’s Home Building Fund, administered through Homes England.

Entrepreneur Noel McKee, founder of We Buy Any Car, has also made a sizeable investment in the new partnership and will take an incremental 5% stake.

Yoshihiro Nakai, President and Representative Director of Sekisui House Ltd said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to work together with Homes England and Urban Splash to establish our operations and help to create outstanding communities in the UK.

“Using modern methods of construction to build high quality homes with short build times is one of our company’s great strengths.

“Our technology and know-how can help resolve pressing social issues in the UK, and I want to see us play our part effective immediately.

“These operations can also help bring vitality to UK regions, and we will work to make the strongest connections with the local communities.”

‘House’ is expected to deliver thousands of homes across England using modern methods of construction.

Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP, said: “Sekisui House bring with them a proven track record in harnessing the modern methods of construction that are transforming home building.

“Backed by Government investment, today’s announcement will support our urgent mission to deliver more, better and faster home construction to ensure a new generation can realise the dream of home ownership.”

Sir Edward Lister, Chair of Homes England, said: “When Homes England launched last year we said we’d disrupt the housing market to increase the pace of construction.

“By helping bring one of the world’s largest and most innovative housebuilders to UK shores, we’re putting our money where our mouth is.

“By creating a more diverse landscape – where smaller builders such as Urban Splash get a stronger foothold – we’re rebuilding the building industry; driving up quality and improving consumer choice.”

Tom Bloxham, Chairman of Urban Splash, said: “We believe that there is a real opportunity in the UK housebuilding industry.

“We hope to leverage our 25 years of place-making experience and our recent investments into modular housing by bringing in new partners; having looked far and wide we chose Sekisui House from Japan because of the company’s unrivalled global experience in modular construction and shared values and philosophy that we are making homes not units, and a joint belief in the need for a green future.

“We are incredibly excited about the accelerated production of much-needed homes and evolving traditional practices as we embrace the benefits of innovative offsite construction.

“I hope it will establish us as the housing partner of choice for landowners – both public and private.”

 

Japan’s biggest house builder moves into UK market

Japan’s biggest house builder moves into UK market

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Downing starts £250m London student tower

Liverpool-based developer Downing has started work on its largest London project to date.

The £250m student tower development at Miles Street in Lambeth also includes an adjacent 6 storey office block.

Rising to 37 storeys, the TP Bennet designed project will provide 841 student beds in a range of studios and en-suite rooms.

A second office building will provide nearly 40,000sq ft of space with a multi-use games area on the roof.

Also in Lambeth, Downing is delivering a £35m student accommodation scheme in the heart of the historic Lambeth Palace Conservation Area.

The 133-student project will back onto Archbishop’s Park, overlooks the Houses of Parliament and is located close to London’s leading higher education institutions.

The scheme features accessible rooms and students will also have the benefit of an outdoor terrace.

Ian Harrison, Downing’s development project director, said: “Both projects will create stunning buildings that sit harmoniously within Lambeth Council’s wider vision to reinvigorate the local area and its student community.

 

Downing starts £250m London student tower

Downing starts £250m London student tower

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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March Newsletter 2019

March 2019 Newsletter

‘Research shows growth in demand for smart controls, First ever tradesman blacklist launched, Kent Uni tenders £20m life science building, Ban new homes from gas grid by 2025, says CCC, Only 21% would upgrade a working boiler, research reveals’.

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Research show growth in demand for smart controls

Smart heating controls are likely to take market share from conventional heating controls in the longer term, according to the latest Domestic Central Heating market report (2018-2022) from AMA Research.

In 2017, it was estimated that around 30% of heating controls sold by value were smart heating controls. This figure was deemed likely to increase to over 45% of heating controls sold by value by 2022.

UK householders were becoming much more environmentally aware and using smart heating solutions in order to minimise energy usage and to save money, AMA found, estimating that around 5% of UK homes now have smart heating controls installed.

The future performance of the UK domestic heating market will be influenced by overall trends in housebuilding, home improvement, fuel prices, renewable technologies, and technological developments.” added Hayley Thornley, head of research at AMA Research. “While increasing legislation around energy efficiency represents a major influence in the long-term development of the domestic central heating market. The UK smart heating controls sector has evolved as part of the smart home market and is expected to show good levels of growth to 2022 and beyond.

Research show growth in demand for smart controls 

Research show growth in demand for smart controls

Source: HPM Magazine

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Lighting for the greater good

In this exclusive editorial, Tamlite Lighting explains why low-quality lighting can have an adverse effect on wellbeing and assesses why high-quality luminaires are essential for today’s business owners.

The importance of quality over price

‘Buy cheap, buy twice’ is an attitude echoed throughout the construction industry, so it pays to provide solutions that focus on quality rather than cutting costs.

To this end, there have been a number of initiatives to try and minimise the prevalence of ‘spec-breaking’, as project design teams look for the cheapest alternative to their needs, rather than using products that will provide the expected benefits.

One such initiative is the Building in Quality (BIQ) Quality Tracker, developed by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). This picks up on the construction industry’s many efforts to improve quality in buildings in the wake of several high-profile events, not least the Grenfell Tower fire. It resonates particularly strongly with what Dame Judith Hackitt described in her Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report as the ‘golden thread’ of information from concept to finished building and beyond.

This is particularly key for lighting designers and specifiers. Lighting upgrades are often required for specific reasons, whether it’s improved energy efficiency, better quality of illumination, or more control of the lighting.

If an upgrade is carried out using cheaper luminaires that do not fully match up to the original specification, then end-users may find themselves no better off than they were initially.

Breaking spec can reduce light quality

When specifying a new lighting system, switching to LED isn’t enough. This is a common pitfall when choosing luminaires for a lighting upgrade. While LED fittings do indeed tend to be more energy efficient than fluorescent alternatives, cheaper LED luminaires may not offer the longevity or improved illumination that comes with higher quality luminaires.

A common complaint with cheaper luminaires is a lack of glare control. Discomfort glare can be a major problem for people trying to focus, particularly in offices or education environments. Luminaires that cause reflection off desks or computers can cause serious problems for workers and students, highlighting the need for luminaires fitted with specialised diffusers or beam angles to reduce the prevalence of glare.

This can be pivotal from a specification perspective, as lighting designs may be put together based on certain luminaires being installed. If a specification required certain spacings between luminaires in order to achieve a higher UGR rating, and cheaper fittings are used instead, then this may lead to dark patches throughout the room.

An uneven light distribution can lead to eye strain and discomfort, which can cause headaches and affect people’s wellbeing. As wellbeing is becoming increasingly significant for business owners and facility managers, a lighting system supplied to full specification can have considerable benefits for end-users in terms of productivity, employee performance and reduced absenteeism.

The impact of low-quality lighting on wellbeing

There has been a lot of recent research into employee productivity and wellbeing, and there is no denying the logic that happier, healthier and more comfortable employees are going to be more productive, and the notion of fashioning workplaces that are conducive to good health is certainly not a new one.

The role of lighting in enhancing wellbeing in the workplace cannot be understated. The circadian rhythm is the natural daily cycle that helps humans wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night. Naturally, humans are exposed to bluer light in the morning to midday, followed by warmer colour temperatures in the afternoon and evening.

Artificial lighting in workplaces that replicate this can make people feel more in tune with their natural rhythms, and in turn will enhance their wellbeing and boost productivity and focus. Higher specification luminaires can achieve this through tunable white lighting. Hence, lighting designs that require tunable lighting must be wary of ‘spec-breaking’, as cheaper fittings may not be able to replicate natural colour changes.

Furthermore, factors such as flicker and glare are more prevalent with poor quality luminaires, and these can seriously impair the wellbeing of employees.

The importance of wellbeing

The considerable benefits of wellbeing for business owners, as well as end-users, cannot be ignored. One in six workers feel that their workplace is having a diminishing effect on their wellbeing (according to the British Council of Offices), so the value for employers in terms of staff retention and happiness is clear.

Furthermore, the World Green Building Council found that an improved lighting design can lead to a 23% increase in productivity, highlighting the link between lighting and improved employee performance for businesses. A number of studies also suggest that concentration, focus and learning retention in schools, colleges and universities are all linked to light.

The problems, then, of ‘spec-breaking’ when installing a lighting system can be significant. If cheap alternatives to modern, high quality luminaires are specified, then substantial benefits may be missed in terms of worker wellbeing and retention.

Highlighting the benefits of lighting for wellbeing to customers can not only discourage cheaper alternatives from being used, but may also increase the likelihood of a one-phase project becoming a multi-phase scheme, which can provide significant, long-term benefits for contractors.

For further information, visit tamlite.co.uk

Lighting for the greater good

Lighting for the greater good

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Only 21% would upgrade a working boiler, research reveals 

While 44% would upgrade a TV that still worked, less than half of this would choose to do the same with their boiler, according to new research from Hometree.

In a survey of over 2,000 UK adults, three in five (59%) admitted to upgrading a product needlessly. Of these people, 35% said they just ‘fancied a change’, and 19% said they found a model that looked better.

The research found that while many would upgrade a perfectly good TV (44%), wearable tech (42%), and smart speakers (40%), only half as many (21%) would choose to upgrade a boiler. Boilers, in fact, came at the bottom of the list of items people would choose to upgrade, behind washing machines (25%), fridges (26%), and vacuum cleaners (31%).

79% of respondents actually said they would be irritated to have to spend money upgrading their boiler. A quarter said they would be annoyed, with a further 54% extremely annoyed, “begrudgingly forking out” their money.

On average, the research suggested that people upgraded their boilers around every nine years, while people upgraded their TVs every six, smart speakers every four, and wearable tech every three years.

Simon Phelan, Chief Executive of Hometree, said: “Boilers are bottom of people’s lists when it comes to upgrades, despite them being the heart of the home, arguably the most important white good. For years, it was not just the expense, but the whole rigmarole of the process that was a pain – from the time getting quotes and installing it, to being sold extras you’re not sure you need, and so on. In 2019, things are different. The process can now take days not months, and prices through online-led installers such as Hometree are considerably less than they were with the established providers.

“Consumers can actually save up to 30% on their household bills with a new energy efficient boiler but the initial cost to purchase the boiler puts them off. Opting for finance options or Buy Now Pay Later options can mean that customers get the peace of mind of a new boiler and energy savings without eating into their savings.”

The research was carried out by Censuswide. Fieldwork took place between 25 and 28 January 2019. The questions were asked to a nationally representative sample of 2,005 UK adults aged 16 and over.

Only 21% would upgrade a working boiler, research reveals 

Only 21% would upgrade a working boiler, research reveals

Source: HVP Magazine

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First ever tradesmen blacklist launched 

A surge in doorstep rogue traders is ripping off thousands of home owners for shoddy work that is unfinished, not even started or grossly overpriced.

Police and Trading Standards held a national day of joint enforcement action, Operation Rogue Trader, which saw Trading Standards work alongside police to target rogue traders and aggressive doorstep sellers. Officers were able to identify 708 individual offences, leading to 19 arrests and the seizure of 39 vehicles. Consumers were saved nearly £5,200. (Source: Trading Standards, November 2018).

There is no single trusted source of cowboy builders and workmen available to the general public, until now.  PropertyHeads.com, the property and social network portal, has just launched a Tradesmen Blacklist of rogue traders that have a criminal record – the first of its kind.  propertyheads.com/tradesmen_blacklist.

With over 1,000 names recorded in the Tradesmen Blacklist, homeowners are invited to report  rogue traders on the portal, so they can be added to the database. Users can search the portal’s database of hundreds of convicted tradesmen, as part of their background checks when looking to hire some help.

But the Blacklist is about more than just cowboy builders and fraudsters, it has several convicted murderers and rapists on the Blacklist – not people you would knowingly invite into your home.

Research from the Traders Blacklist reveals that the majority of rogue traders are builders (26%), followed by roofers (17%), driveway traders and gardeners (13%), painter and decorators (11%), plasterers (10%), bricklayers (6%) and carpenters (4%).

Many rogue traders are repeat offenders and some have more than 50 convictions. High risk areas include County Durham, Kent and Essex with low risk areas including Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Greater London.

Ben Davis, CEO of PropertyHeads.com comments: “We are appalled that so many homeowners are being ripped off by rogue traders and want to help. Quite simply reputable companies do not doorstep for new customers and homeowners would be well advised to avoid those that do.

“It is widely accepted that the best way to engage a reliable tradesman is by word of mouth. But how can you possibly know which of your friends and colleagues has used a reliable tradesman without asking all of them? And why is it that traditional tradesman review websites are built around anonymous reviews?

“PropertyHeads.com addresses both of these issues as it shows users the reviews from people they already know and trust when they search for a tradesman. This is great news for the consumer.  Not only do they easily get reviews, they can also attribute to a friend, or colleague.  It makes the process of referencing and inspecting tradesmen’s work that much easier too. It’s also good for genuine tradesmen, as they are able to grow their businesses by word of mouth.

“Three things struck me when we put together the Tradesman Blacklist. Firstly, rogue tradesman will go to extraordinary lengths to mislead their victims including faking their own cancer and using vehicles with government agency sign-writing. Secondly, even those with seemingly reputable backgrounds – we have several ex Police and military in our Blacklist – are capable of awful crimes. And third, the sheer number of victims involved.

“If our Blacklist helps just one homeowner avoid being ripped-off, then we will have done a good service.”

It’s vital that people carry out research before they have any building or maintenance done, as it could save them thousands in the long run.  Ask for recommendations, perform background checks, insist on and keep all paperwork and do not pay in advance. There is so much information available online but, only PropertyHeads.com shows consumers reviews from people they already trust.

PropertyHeads.com has also put together some advice on how to avoid rogue traders:

Be suspicious of anyone who comes to the door offering to fix your roof etc.

          Do not work with door steppers at all. The PropertyHeads.com Tradesmen Blacklist has hundreds of examples of doorsteppers often preying on the elderly (oldest reported victim 99) and sometimes returning to time and again until life savings have been taken.

          Never pay upfront

          For larger jobs have a detailed payment schedule with clear milestones. If you do pay for materials only pay when they arrive on site

          Get paperwork in order. Keep copies of the contract, invoices and receipts. Ask for details of insurance and keep those too. No written contract / details of work, best avoid.

          Go with your gut. Price seems too good to be true? Little idea of how long the job will take? Don’t seem to have the right tools? Cash?

          Ask for and check out at least two references. Inspect the work if possible. Of course it’s easier to inspect the work and quiz the referee if you already know that person.

          Do some basic checks. They should have a landline phone, an address and be registered with Companies House as a minimum.

          By far the best thing is to get word-of-mouth recommendation. Easiest way to do that is on PropertyHeads where you will be shown the tradesmen known by your existing trusted contacts.

For more information, please visit www.propertyheads.com.

First ever tradesmen blacklist launched 

First ever tradesmen blacklist launched

Source: Electrical Times

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Ban new homes from gas grid by 2025, says CCC

Newbuilds should no longer be connected to the gas grid within the next six years, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has recommended in a new report.

The report, titled UK housing: Fit for the future?, also states that, from 2025 at the latest, new homes should be heated using low carbon energy sources, have “ultra-high” levels of energy efficiency alongside appropriate ventilation, and be timber-framed where possible.

It also found that emissions reductions from the UK’s 29 million homes have stalled, while energy use in homes – which accounts for 14% of total UK emissions – increased between 2016 and 2017.

The report said: “We will not meet our targets for emissions reduction without near complete decarbonisation of the housing stock. Energy use in homes accounts for about 14% of UK greenhouse gas emissions.

“These emissions need to fall by at least 24% by 2030 from 1990 levels, but are currently off track. In 2017, annual temperature-adjusted emissions from buildings rose by around 1% relative to the previous year.”

Key problems halting the progress of energy efficiency and decarbonisation cited by the report included significant policy gaps where climate-related risks are concerned, as well as a lack of ambition with building standards, which the report described as “overly complex” and having poor compliance.

Baroness Brown, Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, said: “This report confirms what we have long-suspected: UK homes are largely unprepared for climate change. The government now has an opportunity to act. There must be compliance with stated building designs and standards.

“We need housing with low-carbon sources of heating. And we must finally grasp the challenge of improving our poor levels of home energy efficiency. As the climate continues to change, our homes are becoming increasingly uncomfortable and unsafe. This will continue unless we take steps now to adapt them for higher temperatures, flooding and water scarcity. Our report shows that this work has barely begun.”

The report can be found here.

Ban new homes from gas grid by 2025, says CCC

Ban new homes from gas grid by 2025, says CCC

Source: HVP Magazine

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South Ayrshire sets out a 10-year capital programme

Councillors in South Ayrshire have approved a capital investment programme that will see almost £350m spent over the next 10 years on projects including leisure facilities, schools and roads.

More than £113m will be invested in schools and early years facilities over the next decade. This includes new schools for Girvan Primary (£22.4m), Carrick Academy in Maybole (£21.2m), Glenburn Primary and St Ninian’s Primary shared campus in Prestwick (£17.6m) and Sacred Heart Primary in Girvan (£3.9m), as well as a range of school refurbishment projects. Early years projects being progressed in 2019/20 include the opening of the new Cherry Tree Early Years Centre.

Almost £50m of the programme will be spent on sport and leisure facilities across the area. This includes £40m for a new leisure facility in Ayr town centre and £7.1m for additional sporting facilities at Craigie Sporting Centre.

An additional £9.5m has been added to the programme for road reconstruction and improvement, taking the total over the ten years to £17.5m, while more than £5m has been allocated for street-lighting and LED replacement.

Funding of £21m has also been added to the programme in respect of investment in Prestwick Airport as part of the Council’s contribution to delivering the Ayrshire Growth Deal, which is being supported by funding of £200m from the UK and Scottish Governments.

Councillor Peter Henderson, portfolio holder for resources and performance, said: “The capital investment we have set out today will touch the lives of everyone in South Ayrshire and make them better – whether that’s through giving our children the best possible start in life, providing our young people with the best education in the highest quality facilities, providing access to first-class sport and leisure facilities that support people to get fit and active and support their health and wellbeing, or delivering the infrastructure to create jobs and grow the economy.”

South Ayrshire sets out 10-year capital programme

South Ayrshire sets out 10-year capital programme

Source: The Construction Index

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MPs demand review of working at height dangers 

MPs are demanding a major review of working at height in a bid to cut the number of deaths and accidents caused by falls.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height has published a new report calling on the Government and industry to undertake a major review of working at height culture.

It also wants to see improved reporting of incidents and introduce reporting on near misses.

The report, Staying Alive: Preventing Serious Injury and Fatalities while Working at Heightis the result of a 12 month inquiry by the APPG.

Politicians explored why 18% of people who die at work do so as a result of a fall from height, and what steps can be taken by government and industry to prevent incidents for the millions of people in the UK that work at height.

The report makes 4 primary recommendations to reduce the overall number of falls:

  • The introduction of an enhanced reporting system through RIDDOR.
  • The appointment of an independent body that allows confidential, enhanced and digital reporting of all near misses, to be shared with government and industry to inform health and safety policy.
  • The extension of the Working Well Together – Working Well at Height safety campaigns.
  • An equivalent system to Scotland’s Fatal Accident Inquiry process extended to the rest of the UK.

Alison Thewliss, Chair of the APPG on Working at Height and MP for Glasgow Central said“Every fall from height can have life-altering consequences for workers and their families. There is an urgent need to improve work at height culture, yet this issue is sadly not at the top of decision-makers’ agenda.

“A lack of empirical data prevents us from understanding the root causes of falls from height. This is compounded by a cultural obstacle when it comes to supporting people to report unsafe practices.

“We have made comprehensive recommendations to government, but the APPG’s work does not stop here. Our report must be the first step in a wider process of systematic and cultural change. It is now time for policy-makers to act.”

The APPG is now calling for a further period of consultation and a major review of work at height culture, including how to engage with difficult to reach sectors, the suitability of financial penalties, and the role of digital technologies in improving the safety environment.

MPs demand review of working at height dangers 

MPs demand review of working at height dangers

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Women installers together conference returns for 2019

The 2019 Women Installers Together (WIT) conference will take place on 4 July, the event organisers have announced.

The WIT conference aims to provide a forum to discuss ways in which the industry can improve access and conditions for women plumbers.

This year’s conference will take place on 4 July at the Building Centre, Store Street, London, but the format will be slightly different with round table discussions added so that delegates can share stories and experiences of working in the industry.

Features of this year’s conference include:

  • Engaging speakers
  • Round Tables
  • Networking
  • Raffle
  • Lunch

For more information about the conference, please visit stopcocks.uk/women-installers-together

Women installers together conference returns for 2019

Women installers together conference returns for 2019

Source: HVP Magazine

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Low Carbon Workspaces offers £1,000 energy cashback

Throughout February and March 2019, Low Carbon Workspaces is making grants of £1,000 available to 50 small and medium-sized businesses spending over £2,000 on a first-come, first-served basis – the deadline is March 31st.

The Low Carbon Workspaces £1,000 Energy Cashback grants can be claimed towards LED lighting, heating and cooling upgrades, insulation, double-glazing, energy efficient computer servers and printers and other projects that will result in a quantifiable carbon saving.

Rowan Wallis, Low Carbon Workspaces’ Programme Manager, said: “We are delighted to open the Low Carbon Workspaces programme to SMEs with smaller energy efficiency projects, so they too can benefit from implementing energy, cost and carbon saving initiatives.”

He added: “Applications are coming in already, so I’d encourage interested businesses to get in touch with us ASAP.”

The application process is quick and easy, however, the grant must be awarded before installation commences or any payments to suppliers are made (including deposits).

To apply, visit: https://www.lowcarbonworkspaces.co.uk/EnergyCashback.

Low Carbon Workspaces offers £1,000 energy cashback

Low Carbon Workspaces offers £1,000 energy cashback

Source: Professional Electrician 

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Bosch Commerical and Industrial announces enhancements to its GB162 light commercial gas boiler

Bosch Commercial and Industrial has announced a series of enhancements to its popular GB162 light commercial gas boiler, for improved installation, servicing and operation.

Increased flexibility

For the first time, the GB162 is available as an 85kW model, meaning the boiler is now available in outputs of 50kW, 65kW, 85kW and 100kW. With the condensing boiler’s innovative cascade design, it can cater for large heat demands of up to 1.6MW, coming into and out of operation when required to ensure even load matching.

A key feature of the new GB162 is the introduction of overpressure flues which result in reduced installation height and increased flexibility. With each flue containing a flue gas non-return valve, the need for a large cascade flue header is removed, while flue gases are prevented from re-entering cascaded boilers which aren’t firing. This results in reduced installation costs due to smaller flue diameters, and makes the solution even better suited for buildings with narrower chimneys and in plant rooms with low ceilings and restricted space, making it retrofit friendly.

Advanced commissioning and servicing

The new boiler model also features an improved syphon with a threaded connection for a secure fit, offering peace of mind to the commissioning engineer, while 360° insulation helps to reduce heat loss and energy consumption. The addition of a single-sided removable cover also improves access to internal components to simplify servicing and maintenance, particularly for cascades in tight plant rooms.

The GB162 now boasts a new pump group which offers the combination of lower hydraulic resistance and more residual pump head, which is ideal for single boilers and single heating circuit installations to reduce installation costs and energy bills, as there is no need to run an external system pump.

State-of-the-art control

Crucially, the updated GB162 is compatible with the leading connected commercial boiler control. The Control 8000 allows for medium and large commercial heating systems to be monitored and controlled remotely via a computer or tablet, helping service engineers to know exactly what is wrong with the heating system before they come to site.

Tim Davies, Business Development Director at Bosch Commercial and Industrial, comments: “The GB162 is an extremely popular product in our commercial boiler portfolio due to its ease of installation, reliability, and high performance. By listening to feedback from heating engineers and building a number of enhancements into the model, we have been able to make it even more versatile for a wider variety of large domestic and commercial installations, from large homes to schools and care facilities.”

For more information on Bosch Commercial and Industrial and its range of heating, cooling and hot water technologies, please visit www.bosch-commercial.co.uk. Alternatively, follow Bosch Commercial and Industrial on Twitter (@BoschHeating_UK) and LinkedIn (Bosch Commercial and Industrial UK).

Bosch Commerical and Industrial announces enhancements to its GB162 light commercial gas boiler

Bosch Commerical and Industrial announces enhancements to its GB162 light commercial gas boiler

Source: Installer Online

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Construction buyers report first work dip in nearly a year

Construction buyers saw industry activity contract in February for the first time in 11 months.

The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index registered 49.5 in February – the first time it has dipped below the 50 no-change mark since March 2018.

A drop in commercial and civil engineering work caused the fall with residential construction the only sector still expanding.

Tim Moore, Economics Associate Director at IHS Markit, said: “The UK construction sector moved into decline during February as Brexit anxiety intensified and clients opted to delay decision-making on building projects.

“Risk aversion in the commercial sub-category has exerted a downward influence on workloads throughout the year so far. This reflects softer business spending on fixed assets such as industrial units, offices and retail space.

“The fall in commercial work therefore hints at a further slide in domestic business investment during the first quarter, continuing the declines seen in 2018.

“There were also reports that the more fragile housing market confidence has begun to act as a brake on residential work, which adds to signs that house building has lost momentum since the end of last year.

“This leaves the construction sector increasingly reliant on large-scale infrastructure projects for growth over the year ahead.

“Construction companies pared back their purchasing activity in response to subdued demand in February, but delivery delays for inputs were among the highest seen over the past four years.

“Survey respondents noted that stockpiling efforts by the UK manufacturing sector had an adverse impact on transport availability and supplier capacity across the construction supply chain.

“On a more positive note, input price inflation held close to January’s two-and-a-half year low.

“The slowdown in cost pressures from the peaks seen in the first half of 2018 provides a signal that the worst phase has passed for supplier price hikes related to sterling depreciation.”

Construction buyers report first work dip in nearly a year

Construction buyers report first work dip in nearly a year

Source: Construction Enquirer

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The world surges ahead

The 18th Edition regulations represent a change of protection for installations, designed especially to increase the level of safety and reduce the risks associated with transient over-voltages. With the changes now in force, Scott Gallagher of Finder looks at the origins of surge protection.

A shocking start

In 1752, Benjamin Franklin conducted his revolutionary experiment capturing charges from a mere cloud. An early adopter of health and safety, Franklin was cautious to stand on an insulator, keeping his long-frizzled hair dry under cover to protect himself and to prevent the disaster of an electric shock.

Others, captivated by the projects of Franklin, were indeed electrocuted in performing lighting experiments during the months immediately following, which highlighted the danger and the importance of the possibility of this discovery. Not one to be disengaged from his passions, Franklin invented the ‘lightning rod’, the first real step in surge protection.

Enlightenment

1775 marked the year that Alessandro Volta, a professor of physics at the Royal School in Como, developed an improved version of the ‘Electrophorus’; a device that produced controlled, high voltage, static electricity. Volta continued his investigations and in 1776 ignited methane with an electrical spark, 80 years before the invention of the spark plug. One of the first to develop a real understanding of electricity, Volta went on to create the ‘Voltaic Pile’, a precursor to the modern battery, and now all those volts in a surge are named after him as a mark of his discoveries.

The world surges ahead

Franklin’s invention of the ‘lightning rod’ provided the world with what was thought to be almost all of the protection it needed, stopping tall buildings from catching fire during the vicious thunderstorms that arose, until the invention of the ‘electric telegraph’.

However, the development of electrical distribution systems in the late 19th Century brought the unfortunate consequences of electrical disturbances to everyone. And as those systems and the attached installations manifested in size, complexity, and value, so did the need for a more sophisticated approach for protection. That leads us to what we have today and the topic of this article, a new change in the wiring regulations.

Changes to the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations

January 2019 represented an important milestone in the industry. Changes for the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations went live, and some of these changes mean that surge protection devices (SPDs) have increased importance in installations. Now, a risk assessment is required to be carried out by an electrician to determine whether an SPD should be installed. If a risk assessment is not carried out, then an SPD must be automatically installed.

The risk assessment should consider criteria such as:

  • The probability of lightning strikes
  • The exposure of the building to transients
  • The sensitivity and value of the electrical equipment that requires protection
  • Earthing systems
  • Level of protection required

Over-voltage protection is now required in certain circumstances, such as: where there is a risk of serious injury or loss of life; where many co-located people are affected; and where there is an interruption to public services or commercial/industrial activity.

The world surges ahead

The world surges ahead

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Kent Uni tenders £20m life science building

The University of Kent is pressing ahead with plans to build a £20m Life Science Building at its Canterbury Campus in Kent.

Architect Stride Treglown with building services engineer Hoare Lea and Craddys have designed the new education building which will connect to the existing science block.

Expressions of interest must be made by the end of March on the Delta E-sourcing portal with bids expected to be invited from selected contractors by 5 April.

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Nottingham Forest unveil stadium revamp plans

Nottingham Forest have revealed plans to redevelop the City Ground in a move that will see it become the largest stadium in the East Midlands.

The club have been drawing up redevelopment plans for 18 months with the aim of starting at the end of next season.

Plans include building a new Peter Taylor Stand and improvements to the Trentside area, Brian Clough and Bridgford Stands.

The new stand will include a museum, new club shop and a range of hospitality lounge facilities. When complete The City Ground’s capacity will reach 38,000.

The club unveiled the stadium plan, drawn up by architect Benoy, after an agreement with the City Council for an extended lease on The City Ground

Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis said: “The City Ground has iconic history and memories for our supporters and these legacies were fundamental in our decision us to remain on the banks of the River Trent and not relocating to an alternative site.

“This is our home and we will remain here forever.

“This investment is about our club and the city of Nottingham and we are all committed together to deliver a place that we will all feel proud of, The New City Ground, our home forever.”

Nottingham Forest unveil stadium revamp plans

Nottingham Forest unveil stadium revamp plans

Source: Construction Enquirer

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