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February Newsletter 2019

February 2019 Newsletter

 

‘Reducing energy consumption with cooler cables, 2019 heating trends with Aestus, Electrical apprentice contest heats up, £200m Liverpool scheme enabling works approved, Manchester building boom outstrips LA and Chicago’.

 

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86% of Brits want more done to tackle energy theft, research finds

86% of respondents to a recent study think that energy companies should be working harder to tackle energy theft.

The study was commissioned by outsourced utility customer engagement specialists Echo Managed Services and Grosvenor Services Group, and endorsed by Crimestoppers UK.

The research surveyed 2,000 UK residents and found widespread public support for greater measures to be taken against meter cheating. Current statistics show that 150,000 cases are investigated annually, but only around 1,500 people are charged.

Among those who advocate further action, 43% said that energy companies have a social obligation to combat meter cheating, given that meter cheating leads to at least one injury or death every 10 days in the UK, due to electric shocks, fires, and gas explosions.

A further 43% of respondents stated it’s because of the extra financial burden that energy theft places on their own bills. The practice currently amounts to £400 million in stolen gas and electricity every year, adding around £20 to every household’s annual bill.

The survey also looked at media visibility of energy theft and found that only 14% recalled seeing any news coverage of the crime in the past 12 months. This may be part of the reason for low awareness levels across the board; 80% of people said they were unaware of the financial implications of energy theft, with 39% of those surveyed stating they weren’t aware of the risks it causes to public safety.

Lloyd Birkhead, Managing Director of Grosvenor Services Group, said: “The overwhelming sentiment from UK billpayers is that energy companies should be doing more to tackle this problem and that it is their duty to do so. While there is an obligation under licence condition 12 to take action, investigation activity varies considerably across the sector, with only some suppliers meeting the Ofgem theft incentive target.

“Too often investigating energy theft is viewed more as an additional cost burden to a business rather than taking into account the long term benefits of avoiding future income losses and potential safety repercussions.

“More must also be done to increase the visibility of energy theft and make it a mainstream crime issue. This can be achieved through reactive reporting – for example, when convictions are secured – but also through proactive public campaigns. These need to drive home the financial harm and public safety risks of tampered meters, as well as raise further awareness of confidential reporting lines, such as the Crimestoppers Stay Energy Safe helpline.”

 

86% of Brits want more done to tackle energy theft, research finds

86% of Brits want more done to tackle energy theft, research finds

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Reducing energy consumption with cooler cables

Poor cable management requires more conditioned air to prevent hot spots, higher utility bills and potential hazards. Here are some commons cable locations and best practices:

Through raised floors

Avoid bypass air escaping from cable openings and reduce the amount of air conditioning required. Seal all cable openings under racks and power equipment and move or replace all supply tiles in front of IT equipment with solid tiles to improve conditioned air’s flow rate.

Under raised floors

Air dams created from cables obstructing air flow restricts cool air reaching equipment. Prevent cable trays from blocking air flow through supply tiles by placing them in hot aisles and positioning them as high as possible. This will allow air to flow underneath them. Try and place cable trays at the same height wherever possible so that conditioned air can flow in a straight path. Also, don’t forget to remove any unused cables.

In racks

Increasing densities reduces air flow and exhaust. Use wider cabinets with cable management built into the side instead of directly behind the exhaust ports. Deeper cabinets will also give the air more room to escape vertically. Use blanking panels over any unused rack space so that air flows to the installed equipment.

Overhead cables

Overloaded underfloor cables can restrict airflow. Move cable distribution to overhead to increase airflow. Don’t place cable management trays high above the cabinets, instead, position cable management trays within a few inches of the top of an IT cabinet. This will make exhaust air flow to the top of the room and over the top of cable trays, improving your overall airflow management in the room.

Proper airflow management comes from proper cable management. This is how you keep your IT equipment cooled and running efficiently and reliability, improving your power usage effectiveness.

Find out more

 

Reducing energy consumption with cooler cables

Reducing energy consumption with cooler cables

 

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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New consumer guide to hot water servicing

A new guide for consumers detailing what they can expect when having their hot water storage cylinder serviced by a registered engineer, has been produced by the Hot Water Association (HWA). Described as the first of its kind, the Homeowners guide to Unvented Hot Water Storage Cylinder Servicing’ lays out an agreed industry best-practice approach to hot water cylinder servicing, while noting the important role played by manufacturer’s’ instructions. The guide also aims to educate consumers on the standards they should expect and details a list of the steps engineers should take when they visit a customer’s home.

Isaac Occhipinti, Head of External Affairs, HWA comments: “Servicing is a topic that crops up almost on a daily basis. What constitutes a full service? What guidelines can I follow? These are regular conversations in the industry. As a result, the HWA, and its members have been considering what can be done to bring greater transparency, quality and consistency to servicing in the UK. Helping the professional, accredited and diligent registered engineer to cut through and raise awareness of the necessity and requirements of a proper hot water storage system service.

“As most cylinders have common component parts, a guide which outlines agreed industry standards, founded on technical competence, legislative compliance and consumer protection seemed sensible. It therefore focuses on compliance with legal requirements (e.g. AD Part G) and ensures essential appliance checks, tests and servicing tasks are correctly carried out, and in a safe manner.

“This consumer-facing guide supports the professional accredited engineer. We believe that by outlining what homeowners can expect from their service, it will assist with the message that ‘the cheapest quote isn’t always the best.”

Engineers can download and share the guide via our website here

 

New consumer guide to hot water servicing

New consumer guide to hot water servicing

 

Source: PHAM News

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Electrical apprentice contest heats up

Following the announcement last September of the 2019 NICEIC and ELECSA Electrical Apprentice of the Year Competition, the organisers have revealed that over 650 students have now entered.

The contest, which is taking place for the fourth year running, measures the technical skills of electrical students across the UK and enables them the opportunity to prove their knowledge and abilities.

Stage one of the contest closed at Christmas, and judges are now working their way through the entries to determine who goes through to the next phase. Stage one was an online, multiple choice quiz of 40 questions.

The second stage will see the top 20% of the contestants take part in a written, 90-minute exam that will be held at several locations across the UK and will be marked by industry experts Darren Staniforth, Jake Green and Tony Cable.

The top eight students will then take part in in the grand final on June 4th 2019 at the headquarters of the competition’s partner, The Scolmore Group. The top three prize winners will receive holiday vouchers, whilst the eight finalists will each get an iPad and goody bags.

Every college that enters 20 or more students into the competition will qualify for a ‘College Pack’ from Scolmore, featuring 25 double sockets, 25 switches, 25 6″ pendants and 25 batten holders. The college that produces the eventual winner will also receive £1,000 worth of Scolmore products.

The employer of the winning apprentice will also receive a year’s free registration with NICEIC and ELECSA, whilst the college that produces the eventual winner will also receive an additional £1,000 worth of Scolmore products.

 

Electrical apprentice contest heats up

Electrical apprentice contest heats up

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Firms named for £1bn East London framework

The company behind the £1bn regeneration of Barking town centre in East London has unveiled the full line-up of main contractors it plans to use.

The council’s wholly owned urban regeneration company Be First will use seven firms to deliver over 40 projects.

Today Be First revealed that McLaren Construction, Willmott Dixon and Wates have secured places on lot 2 to deliver projects worth over £10m.

They complement the four other partners that were selected at the end of last year to deliver smaller projects up to £20m.

Be First framework partners

Projects over £10m value – total £750m

  • McLaren Construction
  • Willmott Dixon Construction
  • Wates Residential

Projects up to £20m value – total £250m

  • J.Murphy & Sons
  • Jerram Falkus Construction
  • Mulalley & Company
  • United Living (South)

As part of the Lot 2 tender process, McLaren Construction has secured the contract to build one of Be First’s flagship projects, Crown House.

Under the plan, the existing Crown House tower block will be demolished and replaced with two new apartment blocks due to complete by April 2021.

Kevin Taylor, chairman at McLaren, said: “We look forward to working with Be First and the people of Barking and Dagenham to help bring to life the ambitions for the borough.”

Together the Lot 1 and 2 projects are worth almost £1bn and cover Be First’s development projects and related infrastructure schemes.

Iain Ferguson, commercial director at Be First, said: “We are happy to announce the winners of Lot 2 of our Development Framework.

“We have now completed the set. These three winners and the four companies selected in Lot 1 are now part of our drive to deliver thousands of affordable homes for local people.”

Town centre regeneration plans have been drawn up by architect Weston Williamson + Partners.

 

 

These have the existing listed station building at its heart, with 2,200 new homes, together with new commercial and social infrastructure, all connected by over 2 hectares of new clean, green, accessible open spaces.

The masterplan includes significant over-track development – creating a series of urban quarters linked by a reinvigorated high street and capillary routes.

 

Firms named for £1bn East London framework

Firms named for £1bn East London framework

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Energy efficiency of homes in England stalling, new report finds

The energy efficiency of English homes has increased considerably in the last 20 years, but has not increased since 2015, according to the latest edition of the English Housing Survey for 2017-18.

In 2017, the average SAP rating of English dwellings was 62 points, up from 45 points in 1996. An increase was evident in all tenures but, according to the report, the increase appears to be slowing and there was no change in the average SAP rating of homes between 2016 and 2017 in any tenure.

The survey found that there are still a significant proportion of homes which do not meet the Decent Homes Standard, which requires homes to provide a ‘reasonable degree of thermal comfort’.

In 2017, 13% of dwellings in the social rented sector failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard, which is lower than the proportion of private rented (25%) and owner occupied (19%) homes.

Over the last decade, the proportion of non-decent homes has declined from 35% of the stock in 2007 to 19% in 2017. This decrease was observed across all tenures, but has stalled in recent years.

OFTEC has raised its concerns about the lack of progress in home energy efficiency improvements since 2015, especially for rural homes.

Paul Rose, Chief Executive of OFTEC, said: “OFTEC has not seen the detailed figures that sit behind this headline, but we know that the average SAP rating for English rural homes in 2016-17 was significantly lower than the overall average – just 45 – equivalent to an EPC rating of E. In October, BEIS minister Claire Perry stated in reply to a Parliamentary question, that only 3% of homes that used oil heating in Great Britain were in EPC band A-C, while 97% (765,000) were rated D-G. We remain very concerned at the lack of progress in this area.

“Rural homes have continually missed out on government support to improve their energy efficiency, and they should now be high on the government’s priority list. However, given that financial support for energy efficiency improvements has fallen steadily in recent years, it’s now right that we question the government’s commitment to this vital issue.”

 

Energy efficiency of homes in England stalling, new report finds

Energy efficiency of homes in England stalling, new report finds

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Local Preston firm bags £19m Lancaster Uni business school

Preston-based John Turner Construction has secured the contract to deliver new business school facilities for Lancaster University Management School.

The local firm beat off competition from BAM – who were initially expected to deliver the project – Eric Wright and Graham to secure the £18.8m contract.

Main works are about to start after a formal groundbreaking ceremony and the five-storey building is due to be finished for the start of the 2020/21 academic year.

The new 60,000 sq ft building will offer cutting-edge facilities and significantly more space for students, staff and partners.

Offering the space equivalent to around four tennis courts per floor, the building will boast three new lecture theatres, collaboration space, a new reception, multiple offices and an executive teaching suite.

The Dean of Lancaster University Management School, Professor Angus Laing, said: “As one of the first business schools established in the UK, we have a proud history of pushing boundaries and conventions to challenge our students and prepare them to become our future leaders.

“This building marks the start of the next exciting phase of LUMS’ development. The new building will be followed by an extensive refurbishment of our existing facilities to provide innovative study space and a unique all-round experience for our students, staff, business partners and visitors.”

Nigel Sharp, operations director at John Turner Construction Group, said: “As a leading regional contractor, we are delighted to be awarded this high profile LUMS project and to be working with one of the highest ranking universities of the north.”

The new building will be located next to the Management School and Gillow Avenue on Lancaster University’s Bailrigg campus.

 

Local Preston firm bags £19m Lancaster Uni business school

Local Preston firm bags £19m Lancaster Uni business school

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Smart radiator thermostat set to reduce household heating costs

Vestemi, the energy-saving technology company, recently announced the launch of its first product, Radbot – a money-saving, easy-to-use, smart radiator thermostat.

Radbot offers householders the ability to heat individual rooms only when needed whilst reducing the temperature in empty rooms, therefore saving energy and money. In fact, recent customer trials have demonstrated impressive average savings of 31 per cent – around £180 – on an average annual heating bill*.

Radbot is incredibly easy to self-install and is operated the same way as a standard, manual heating thermostat. It also doesn’t require internet connectivity, complex programming or a smartphone app.

Through the use of artificial intelligence, Radbot monitors light and human activity by tracking how often householders use their rooms in order to establish their patterns of movement. By doing this, Radbot then understands when it needs to heat a radiator, ensuring the room is ready and warm for householders.

Not only that, but it is also highly intuitive. If a person uses a room outside of their usual routine, Radbot will understand that it needs to heat the radiator there and then. For extra speed, there is also a boost button that gives householders an extra 30 minutes of heating.

Jeremy Lock, CEO of Vestemi, said: “Energy is a luxury we simply cannot afford to waste. That’s why we’ve brought Radbot to market. You wouldn’t leave the lights on in a room you weren’t using, so why the heating? It’s a simple concept that has already delivered substantial savings during customer trials. But crucially, the design reflects our understanding that consumers want simple solutions they can fit and forget. This is the future of the smart home – the simple, smart home.”

Radbot is now on sale through the EDF Energy website, and direct at the Radbot store, retailing at around £64.99 each or with a 25% discount for four, at around £195.

*Based on four to five devices being installed in a home with an average £1,200 dual-fuel annual heating bill.

About Radbot:

How does the product work?

If you have existing thermostats on your radiator (the hand-controlled dial with which you can set the temperature) then you simply unscrew them and replace it with the new product.

This new device takes minutes to install and needs no tools or special skills, in most households. Just put in batteries, install by hand and set the heating level. The device comes ready-to-go with two x AA batteries which should be replaced around every two years.

After installation, the device starts to monitor your heating needs and manage your radiator, looking to save you as much money as possible.

This is a next-generation smart radiator valve. It uses artificial intelligence to monitor your usage of the room in which it is installed.  When you are not using a room Radbot allows it to cool a little (typically by up to 3°C during the day so it won’t get freezing cold) and starts to heat the room in time for it to be warm for when you return.

The device is very secure. It is independent; it doesn’t need Wi-Fi or 4G and does not have a camera. The data it collects is continually overwritten. This means the data cannot alone be attributed, effectively, to an individual or family.

Regional applicability

Radbot is designed to be applied to ‘wet’ radiator systems which are prevalent in the UK and northern European countries. It is mainly of benefit to countries that see defined seasonal ‘winter’ periods where heating systems are on for sustained periods.

The intelligent software which is at the core of the design has applicability to other similar heating and cooling systems, this is a likely development path for further evolution of a product range.

 

Smart radiator thermostat set to reduce household heating costs

Smart radiator thermostat set to reduce household heating costs

 

Source: Plumbing Trade Magazine

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Why all the fuss asks Metrel

“Users of Metrel’s multifunction testers are having difficulty understanding the spat between some of the other manufacturers” commented Brendan Beaver, Sales Manager of Metrel, provider of innovative electrical test solutions, about the recent exchanges concerning the need for voltage drop measurement capability in the media, on social media, at exhibitions, within online forum sites, and in printed statements distributed amongst the wholesaler community.

“So what if the 18th Edition’s amendment 1 does or does not require the ability to perform voltage drop measurement and power quality analysis. Metrel is alone among the high-quality test equipment manufacturers in supplying these functions as standard on its popular range of multifunction installation testers.

“When the regulations do change, be it Amendment 1 or Amendment 2, Metrel users will have been ready for some time. In fact, when the concept of voltage drop was introduced in the 17th Edition Amendment 3, Metrel engineers responded and introduced the function to their multifunction testers.”

This modification showed the benefit of using modern display technology. Introducing the new tests was relatively easy with the dot matrix displays. It was a matter of changing the firmware and designing new screen layouts for the user interface. The use of a touch-screen display meant no restriction due to the use of rotary switches.

Our engineers are not limited by the old fashioned custom LCD displays and rotary switches, so they can respond rapidly to changes of regulation. Metrel customers are the winners as they can be assured that their testers are future-proofed.

 

Why all the fuss asks Metrel

Why all the fuss asks Metrel

 

Source: Electrical Times

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‘2019 Heating Trends’ with Aestus

Aestus,a true manufacturer of quality handcrafted designer radiators and towel warmers in the UK, introduces its trend predictions for 2019. As 70s chic has hit the high streets, we are seeing the theme extend into the home, with velvet and fringed soft furnishings, floral patterns and funky shapes, awakening the UK’s love for seventies fashion. Heating solutions are adding to this vibe with circular, wavy, curved designs and bold black accents, creating an ‘Abstract Silhouette’ and a focal point in the room.

Industrial themed interior design is stronger than ever and you too can now get this look in your home. For example, why not tap into this trend with Zeb, black steel, coil finned radiator that has an innovative design, adding an element of dramatics to a room. However, to achieve a more relaxing and inviting home interior, the Zebradiat or, when coupled with warm neutral tones of grey and beige can take pride of place in your home, creating a warm, comfortable environment that blurs out the stresses from everyday life.

Bathrooms are being inspired by boutique spa-like interiors, with bold dark colours such as black and anthracite, adding a touch of theatrical beauty to a room to create your own private oasis. Impressive metallics with tactile finishes and brushed or polished effects can add to the overall aesthetics of the space, whilst creating a sense of quality and luxury to your bathroom, or indeed anywhere in your home.

Kitchen interiors are going back to basics, in terms of colour schemes, with monochrome being the most prominent for providing a sense of contrast. In addition, continental influences are evoking a new wave of contemporary, modern designs across UK interiors. Sleek, linear and minimalistic heating solutions are being used as a bold statement piece, whether you opt for a unique wavy design, such as our aptly named Wave or an intriguing, etched motif with a background of neutral white, with our Expression design radiator. Whatever your choice of radiator, the end result will be a clean crisp space that remains timeless.

In the living areas, we are seeing the desire for a room with personality or perhaps one that can tell a story. If you want to add a personal touch to your living space, this can be achieved through extravagant bold heating designs that act as a piece of wall art, and our Copy glass or mirrored radiators provide this, even when not in use. Or perhaps, you want to add a more nostalgic feel to your room? This can be achieved with Versailles, sculptured radiators with embossed, floral patterns that awaken the feeling of serenity and calmness to create a peaceful sanctuary within your home.

Aestus the home of distinguished radiators…

For further information on Aestus Products & Services

Call 01902 387080, email info@aestus.co.uk or click here

 

'2019 Heating Trends' with Aestus

‘2019 Heating Trends’ with Aestus

 

Source: Plumbing Trade Magazine

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Scolmore lighting a hit with Edinburgh Council 

Undertaking an upgrade programme of 22,350 social housing properties is no mean feat, and when it came to selecting new bulkhead lighting solutions for the residential buildings, Edinburgh Council needed to bear in mind the cost, performance and the time required to install the products.

There was the added concern of the new lower communal ceiling height that had resulted from the thermal insulation renovation, which meant the need to search for an alternative fitting was looking likely. However, EVO’s unique ability to be recessed via removal of the mounting skirt meant it was an ideal solution, enabling the installation to go smoothly, with the fitting utilised in a greatly reduced vertical space.

Having looked at various products on the market, Scolmore’s Inceptor EVO standard bulkhead was selected, because – according to the council’s electrical and design teams – it provided an overall solution that competing products were unable to offer. The ability to remove the surface mount adaptor ring means that the fitting can be easily semi-recessed to overcome the problem of low ceilings and size of the fitting. Ease of installation, as well as cost and performance of the bulkheads, were also cited as crucial for the project and they are now being installed in all the kitchens and bathrooms in the properties being renovated.

The emergency and microwave sensor versions of the EVO bulkhead are, at the same time, being installed in the communal areas of the two, multi-storey dwellings that make up part of Edinburgh Council’s social housing stock. These EVO bulkheads offer a three-hour emergency function in the event of a power failure and feature a microwave sensor with 8 second to minute adjustment. Their IP65 rating, robust housing and anti-tamper screws were also key features when the council’s electrical team leader was selecting these products.

As part of the renovation programme, the council is also upgrading the switches and sockets and has opted for Scolmore’s Mode range of electrical accessories to provide a cost-efficient replacement solution for all rooms and areas of the residential properties.  As well as offering value, Mode is a contemporary range that offers flexibility.

Edinburgh Council is aiming to complete between 1,500 and 2,000 property upgrades per year over the next ten years or so, and Scolmore is working in close partnership with the team to ensure the procurement and installation of the products is a smooth and efficient process.

 

Scolmore lighting a hit with Edinburgh Council

Scolmore lighting a hit with Edinburgh Council

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News 

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Green light for landmark London office job

Plans for a landmark 13-storey office building in mid-west London near the new Crossrail Farringdon Station have been given the go-ahead.

Greycoat Real Estate is the development manager for the new Stonecutter Court project to build a major HQ building.

The project site lies close to the new Goldman Sachs building in an area of London that is booming because of its strong transport links.

The 350,000 sq ft schemes have been designed by T P Bennett and will involve demolition of 1 Stonecutter Street and 81 Farringdon Street.

The successful contractor will also carry out associated works to retain the Hoop and Grapes pub on the site.

Consultant Hoare Lea is on board as M&E consultant and Pell Frischmann is providing structural designs. The project manager is GVA.

According to planning documents demolition is expected to start in the second quarter of this year, with basement works and piling getting underway before the end of 2019.

The office building is expected to be completed by September 2022.

 

Green light for landmark London office job

Green light for landmark London office job

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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£200m Liverpool scheme enabling works approved 

A £4.2m plan to clear land for a £200m office scheme in Liverpool city centre has been given the thumbs up.

City Council planners have approved an application to remediate land at Pall Mall, in the city’s commercial district.

This has been earmarked for a proposed 400,000 sq ft development project, led by Kier Property and CTP.

The remediation works will be carried out by contractor Willmott Dixon and are expected to take around eight months.

Enabling works will include a £1.25m scheme to relocate a substation on site, which will be fully operational by March 2020 to serve future development.

A planning application is expected to be submitted by Kier Property and CTP shortly which will outline a three-phase development.

The proposed Pall Mall scheme, to the rear of the old Exchange Station site, will feature three office buildings, a hotel, and around 80,200 sq ft of public space all, centred around a new green square for workers, residents and the local community to use.

Kier Property and CTP have appointed architect Allies & Morrison alongside landscape architects Re-Form to design the scheme.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “The proposed Pall Mall scheme is of huge importance to the development of our Commercial District as we need Grade A office space to attract companies and highly skilled jobs to the city.

“I’m delighted we have the green light to begin clearing the site in readiness for the next stage of this scheme which if approved will deliver a much needed high-quality green square and new public realm for workers and residents to enjoy throughout the year.”

 

£200m Liverpool scheme enabling works approved

£200m Liverpool scheme enabling works approved

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Manchester building boom outstrips LA and Chicago

England’s big three regional cities are shrugging off Brexit worries and enjoyed bumper construction growth last year driven by city centre residential and office schemes.

Manchester’s construction boom is not only pushing the skyline to new heights but now outstrips construction project numbers in Los Angeles and Chicago, according to the latest Deloitte Crane Survey.

Simon Bedford, partner and regional head at Deloitte Real Estate, said: “If Manchester had featured in the recently published North American Crane Index, it would have ranked number two – behind Toronto but in front of Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago.

“That might have seemed like a remarkable stat a few years ago given Manchester only had one crane in the sky in 2011, but today the figure is a massive 78 sites under construction.”

Despite Brexit woes dampening activity in commercial and residential in London, Britain’s biggest regional cities still boast a strong pipeline of projects for the next few years.

Birmingham and Leeds are beginning to accelerate with their own crop of inner-city schemes.

Project starts in 2018 by type
Resi Offices Student Hotel Retail/Leisure Education Other Total
Manchester 22 10 3 5 1 2 1 44
Birmingham 13 2 4 1 1 2 0 23
Leeds 3 7 4 2 1 2 2 21

Minimum project size recorded: office or retail – above 10,000 sq ft; residential – 25 units; education, leisure and hotels – significant schemes.

Bedford added: “The marked increase in office construction levels is reflective of the continued draw to all these regional cities for major businesses. Investor confidence is thriving, as the rise in office pre-let deals clearly demonstrates.

“To have construction figures this healthy is somewhat of a surprise given a myriad of market uncertainties,” he said.

“Developer confidence is a key indicator for economic health and to have this many significant construction starts over the last 12 months, especially in speculative office schemes, is a testament to the resilience of the regions and appetite for growth.”

Looking ahead, Bedford said: “Despite record levels now, challenges may arise as we enter the 2020s.

“Each of our featured cities have ambitious plans which, if they are to emerge, will need to be supported by investment in essential infrastructure which is currently struggling to keep up with the pace of real estate development. The next decade may well be all about transport and smarter city solutions.”

Manchester

The residential sector is driving the record levels of development activity. A total of 14,480 residential units are under construction – double that of two years ago.

Last year, 2,569 units were delivered to market – the highest level in 12 years and Manchester’s development pipeline suggests 2020 as delivering the most homes in nearly 20 years.

Manchester’s office sector has over two million sq ft of office space under construction across 13 schemes; a remarkable increase on the consistent levels of 1.5 million sq ft reported between 2015 and 2017.

North West occupiers have been busy as a quarter of office developments in 2018 were pre-let.

Birmingham

The West Midlands city saw 23 new starts, with residential taking the lions share. Thirteen new schemes started, bringing the development pipeline to over 5,000 units under construction.

Last year also saw the delivery of the most residential units to the city centre, the highest since the Birmingham crane surveys started in 2002.

 

 

New office development is down from a peak of seven new starts in 2016, to just two new schemes today.

But the total office volume under construction remains high at 1.4 million sq ft and 2019 is set to be a record-breaking year for office completions.

Leeds

Leeds has recorded the highest level of construction in the city centre since the Leeds crane survey began in 2002, with 21 new construction starts in 2018.

This includes seven new office schemes adding to the record 844,986 sq ft office development pipeline.

Residential development continued an upward trajectory with three new starts, set to deliver a further 533 units to the city, bringing the total to 2,119 units currently under construction.

Five of the developments under construction are ‘build-to-rent’, which will be the city’s first purpose-built private rental homes.

 

Manchester building boom outstrips LA and Chicago

Manchester building boom outstrips LA and Chicago

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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January 2019 Newsletter

January 2019 Newsletter

 

‘The benefits for carbon reduction, Wind win for Wales, Colleges gearing up for sparks 2019 competition, Modular village to be built in Corby for London commuters, Funding deal for landmark Birmingham resi tower‘.

 

Quick Links

 


Start with the plug

BEAMA is to support the launch of ReDESIGNING REGULATION – Powering from the future.

Launched in Parliament on the 11 December this report helps to untangle the ‘spaghetti of regulation’ that currently exists for the energy sector and return the UK to the forefront of regulatory innovation.

A decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised energy system does not fit into the current regulatory framework. The authors propose as a nation we need to ‘re-engineer the system’ and to do this requires a ‘fundamental rethink of the market design, starting at the plug’.BEAMA agrees doing nothing is not an option to avoid missing out on opportunities for innovation and the UK will be ill-equipped to regulate and manage an increasingly complex system to ensure consumers are protected.

 

Start with the plug

Start with the plug

 

Source: Electrical Review

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Updated technical guidance by Ofgem released

Updated technical guidance by Ofgem has clarified the treatment of existing payments for homes that currently export solar power to the grid and that want to install battery storage and smart meters.

The clarification is good news for people with existing solar homes looking to invest in battery storage alongside a smart meter, because it means they will continue to be eligible to keep their ‘deemed’ payments for their solar exports. The market had previously been hindered by conflicting guidance.

Nick Wood, chair of the Solar Trade Association’s (STA) Residential Energy Storage Working Group, said: “The government has been telling the industry that it wants to see battery storage market take off in the UK, but the confusion around installing battery storage with existing Feed-In Tariff-accredited solar has been a key barrier.

“It’s very good news that Ofgem has listened and that it has made the right decision to help unlock the retrofit market. This now means that the domestic battery storage industry in the UK can install batteries and smart meters in existing solar homes with confidence that deemed export payments, which are valued by solar home owners, are safe.”

The news helps to unlock the tremendous potential for storage in the UK’s 900,000 solar homes, which represent low hanging fruit for the smart energy transition.

While the explanation published is complex and would benefit from greater clarity, from conversations with Ofgem the STA is confident the updated configurations published means that, in practice, where a domestic customer already has FIT-accredited solar and wishes to install battery storage behind a smart meter, they can now retain their deemed export payments provided that the usual requirements to quality for deemed export are met.

Recent analysis by Imperial College for Ovo Energy estimates that the full flexibility potential from ‘smart homes’ could save the power system up to £6.9 billion per annum.

STA members are already able to provide smart home functionality, but regulatory barriers for export metering need to be addressed and markets for local flexibility created.

 

Updated technical guidance by Ofgem released

Updated technical guidance by Ofgem released

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Call to action for investment in training

The UK is on the verge of what is probably the most momentous change to its business climate since it entered the Common Market 40 years ago, and yet the construction sector is struggling to meet historical challenges, let alone those which it will inevitably face post-Brexit.

We are in an age where we are facing the retirement of the baby boomers! 22% of workers in the sector are aged between 50 and 60, compared with only nine per cent being 24 or younger. The challenge is how to transfer all that knowledge to new entrants before it is lost. Surveys repeatedly show that the construction industry is not attracting enough talent to meet growing demand. A recent BSRIA survey (November 2018) found that 78% of its member companies were having trouble finding suitably qualified workers.Government’s approach to this has resulted in a situation where in 2018 fewer students are considering university courses for fear of the debt they will incur.

Its apprenticeship scheme, for many seen as the utopian answer to encourage vocational training, is stalling, with only 114,400 overall starts between August and October 2017 compared with 155,700 in the same period in 2016.Recent announcements allowing levy payments to more easily flow down through the supply chain are welcome attempts to reverse this trend. In the BSRIA survey, 64% of firms in the sector are planning to recruit apprentices over the next three years to help plug the skills gap.

Stagnant productivity is also a major problem, with a recent World Economic Forum study found that the construction industry’s productivity advancements have been “meagre” compared to those in the rest of the world’s industries during the last 50 years. The study reported that the construction industry has actually lost productivity over the last 40 years.Government has set industry a target to lower greenhouse emissions by 50 per cent by 2025. While admiring ambition, some would say this may be unrealistic. According to the UK Green Building Council, the construction and maintenance of buildings and other structures is responsible for around half of CO2 emissions in the UK.Bsria has said the UK will not be able to address these issues without focusing on the provision of vocational training in our industry.

Short courses, in particular, offer the opportunity for exposure to the latest ideas, technologies, processes and techniques leading to an increase in our capacity to adopt new methods and technologies. From these foundations will spring improvements to productivity.The development of training modules aimed at recent entrants to the sector will make them more productive more quickly, improve worker motivation and reduce staff turnover and absenteeism. Training in the latest project management and construction methods will ultimately improve work quality, leading to better customer satisfaction and improvement in the well being of building occupants.

 

Call to action for investment in training

Call to action for investment in training

 

Source: Electrical Review

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The benefits for carbon reduction

Former international development minister, Mike Foster, who now runs the influential trade body the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), has called for the UK’s climate change policy to seek international development gains too.

In a submission to the government’s advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), ‘Building a zero-carbon economy’, call for evidence, Mike highlighted the co-benefits that could accrue from adopting a sensible policy framework.

These co-benefits reduce carbon emissions, but also lead to major development gains such as improved health, economic development and greater educational opportunities – all key aspects of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Mike, chief executive, EUA, said: “The UK is at the forefront of climate change policy with its Climate Change Act. It is also, and I speak from experience, a world-leader on international development matters. In response to the CCC’s consultation, I’ve suggested greater use of joint work.

“As an example, supporting some of the poorest people on the planet to give up burning wood for cooking, and using a cleaner fuel such as portable LPG, reduces carbon emissions from cooking. It also stops trees being felled, allowing them to absorb carbon dioxide.

“Indoor wood burning creates enormous health problems, through inhalation of smoke. This impacts economic development. Using LPG cookers allows family members more time to take up paid employment too.

“If the UK, as part of its ambition, took action, we could reduce carbon emissions from the poorest countries, who probably can’t afford to do so themselves, and the UK could reduce global carbon levels cheaper than if it restricted its actions to just UK carbon production.”

 

The benefits for carbon reduction

The benefits for carbon reduction

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Wind win for Wales

Scaling up offshore wind generation could help Wales meet its renewable energy and decarbonisation targets, as well as deliver local economic stimulus, says a new report out now. The report, Future Potential for Offshore Wind in Wales, produced by the Carbon Trust for the Welsh Government, delivers a series of recommendations to policymakers to capitalise on the clean growth potential of offshore wind farms.

Currently, 48% of Welsh energy consumption is supplied from renewable technologies. The report estimates that an additional 2 GW of offshore wind power could be delivered by just 2-3 projects in Wales, contributing over two-thirds of Wales’ 70% renewable energy target by 2030 and putting Wales on course to achieve its carbon reduction goal of at least 80% by 2050.Despite limited offshore wind activity in recent years, new seabed leasing and site extensions administered by The Crown Estate are set to open new opportunities for offshore wind development in Wales. Relatively shallow waters off North Wales, in particular, are expected to be attractive for near-term development, while deeper waters off Pembrokeshire hold considerable long-term potential for floating offshore wind technology.

 

Wind win for Wales

Wind win for Wales

 

Source: Electrical Review

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Modular village to be built in Corby for London commuters

Groundworks will start this month on a new modular village in Corby, Northants targeted at London commuters.

The 47 homes will be built at Priors Hall Park by modular specialist Project Etopia who took over the site when a previous eco-homes scheme stalled.

Etopia Corby will contain 31 houses and 16 apartments with a 4-bed expected to sell for between £320,000 and £350,000.

Factory construction of exterior shells of the new homes will start in February and the first four homes are due to be completed by the end of March with each unit taking no more than six to eight weeks to build.

Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, said: “Old building techniques are exacerbating the housing crisis and it’s totally unnecessary.

“Corby is leading the way in showing how villages of the future should be built. Modular building is now so advanced, it is senseless to cling to bricks and mortar, which takes longer to build and is far more expensive.

“With a desperate need for more housing stock around the country, it is vital developers and investors finally let go of preconceptions of modular building.

“These are homes people really want to live in and they present huge environmental benefits from being energy neutral to requiring less on-site traffic during the build.

“Commuter villages like this offer younger would-be homeowners the wage benefits of working in the capital but without the high property costs, and Etopia Corby will be a model other councils can follow.”

 

Modular village to be built in Corby for London commuters

Modular village to be built in Corby for London commuters

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Nottingham council injects £50m to kickstart Broadmarsh scheme

Nottingham City Council has agreed on a £50m cash injection to allow the redevelopment of the Broadmarsh shopping centre finally to start.

The funding green light allowed shopping centre developer intu’s board to agree to go ahead, which now means contracts can be finalised.

Sir Robert McAlpine is preferred bidder for the £150m main shopping centre revamp with several contractors in the bidding to redevelop the adjacent car park site with a new central library and bus station.

The line-up of remaining bidders for the £50m project includes Bowmer & Kirkland and G F Tomlinson.

Approval to proceed with the shopping centre and car park redevelopments are essential parts of the Broadmarsh regeneration programme of the southern city centre, which will see £250m invested in the area and see works begin early next year.

Broadmarsh Regeneration plan

  • Redevelop intu Broadmarsh into a modern retail and leisure destination
  • Create a pedestrianised and pedestrian friendly area between intu Broadmarsh and Nottingham Station
  • Provide a brand new bus station and car park
  • Create a state of the art Central Library
  • Transform Nottingham Castle into a world-class tourist destination
  • Develop a new Nottingham College building.

The intu Broadmarsh and Car Park developments have been funded by significant private sector investment, grants and future income from these developments.

Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of the City Council, said: “This is the latest step in turning our proposals for the Broadmarsh area into reality, and approval means that subject to contracts being signed, works in the area can start very quickly and hopefully very soon.

“The City Council and our partners are investing heavily in this redevelopment, which is inspiring private sector investment around the area, at Unity Square, City Buildings and the Island Site to name a few, meaning there will be better opportunities for those who live and work here and more prosperity for local people.

“The money the council is investing in this is not council tax – we have secured external funding and loans, supported by increasing car parking, advertising and rental income so council services aren’t affected.”

 

Nottingham council injects £50m to kickstart Broadmarsh scheme

Nottingham council injects £50m to kickstart Broadmarsh scheme

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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How your organisation can benefit from ECA membership

ECA is the UK’s largest trade association representing electrotechnical and engineering services organisations, at regional, national and European level. ECA member-companies are rigorously assessed before membership is approved.
Member firms have a combined turnover in excess of £6 billion annually. Member firms carry out design, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and monitoring activity across the domestic, commercial, industrial and public sectors. This ranges from power and lighting to data communications, to energy efficiency and renewables, as well as the design and installation of cutting-edge building control technologies.

ECA is renowned for ‘going the extra mile’ to help members find the solutions they need and offer a range of key benefits and services, including the following:

  • Free Expert Technical Helpline: Across the full range of electrotechnical disciplines, including electrical, fire, security, high voltage, energy solutions, data communications, building controls, and smart buildings.
  • eRAMS is ECA’s highly regarded online risk assessment and method statement service (free to members) – and it includes eCPP (Construction Phase Plans).
  • Free Expert Business Helpline:Including commercial and legal, health and safety, prequalification, employment and HR, and skills.
  • Discounted BSI Online Library:Extensive access to 80 key industry standards, for just £100 (plus VAT) – an annual saving of up to £18K for your organisation.
  • Free access to industry-leading, authoritative information: Including policy and contract templates, comprehensive technical and business guidance and information, and other exclusive ‘member-only’ website content.
  • Representation and Lobbying: Ensuring that the voice of members is heard by politicians, civil servants, and other key decision-makers.
  • CPD Events & Networking: At national, regional and local level (across our 12 regions), ECA offers a range of networking opportunities, conferences, industry forums and social events – helping you to maximise your business network.

In addition to this, as an ECA member, your organisation can display the prestigious ECA logo, and benefit from ECA’s active promotion of its members’ capabilities to clients, specifiers and main contractors, and in the press.

Your organisation will also be able to offer ECA’s insurance-backed warranty and bond (at no charge) to clients, to provide assurance that your work will be completed to required technical industry standards.

Plus, if your company has already achieved ECA-recognised technical certification, you may be eligible immediately to apply for ECA membership, and receive a 25 per cent discount in your first year.*

To find out more about the extensive member services and exclusive benefits and discounts available, please visit www.eca.co.uk/membership.

 

How your organisation can benefit from ECA membership

How your organisation can benefit from ECA membership

 

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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The FPS urges people over 75 to sign up to cold weather priority initiative

The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) is urging the elderly aged 75+ using heating oil to sign up to its Cold Weather Priority initiative before the cold weather hits the UK, as it responds to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics which show an estimated 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales during winter 2017/18.

Launched by trade association FPS andits members across the UK and Ireland, the Cold Weather Priority scheme identifies heating oil customers, aged 75+, who are most vulnerable to cold conditions. The scheme ensures FPS member heating oil suppliers prioritise everyone on the scheme and undertake best endeavours for heating oil deliveries, especially in times of fuel shortage or extreme cold weather.

“The latest figures emphasise that it is the elderly who are most vulnerable in the winter months and that a warm home is vital in the fight against excess winter deaths,” says Guy Pulham, FPS Chief Executive.

“The Cold Weather Priority is an industry initiative we launched last year, designed to identify those most at risk so we can ensure heating oil deliveries are prioritised for them and they can continue to heat their homes during the winter months.

“While supply shortages and extreme weather are thankfully rare, they do happen, as the Beast from the East in late February 2018 demonstrated. The Cold Weather Priority helped enormously during this extreme cold snap and meant our members were able to deliver heating oil to those most in need despite the logistical challenges caused by the weather.

“Cold homes can be devastating for individuals, and can cause health problems such as increased blood pressure or lowered immune system making that person more vulnerable to respiratory infections. It is absolutely vital we do all we can to ensure no one suffers the awful consequences of a poorly heated home.

“Our FPS members supply up to 1.5 million rural homes in the UK with heating oil. To date, near to 10,000 people have signed up to the Cold Weather Priority but we want more people to sign up before the weather turns much colder and the forecasted Beast From The East 2019 hits.

“If you want to sign up to the Cold Weather Priority, simply get in touch with your local FPS member who supplies your heating oil and they’ll help you. Similarly, if you know any neighbours, friends or loved ones who are aged 75 and over and who heat their homes using heating oil, encourage them to sign up to the initiative to ensure they stay warm this winter.”

To find out more about the scheme, visit the Cold Weather Priority website.

 

The FPS urges people over 75 to sign up to cold weather priority initiative 

The FPS urges people over 75 to sign up to cold weather priority initiative

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Colleges gearing up for sparks 2019 competition

This year we’re celebrating the 10th birthday of the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year competition. An incredible showcase of young electrical talent, this competition is a great opportunity for student electricians to connect with each other and with industry experts.

Spanning across 7 UK regions with entrants from over 70 colleges and campuses, heats take place throughout January and February. The winner of each regional heat and the highest scoring runner-up will go on to the grand final, which will take place at the 3M Customer Innovation Centre in Bracknell, Berkshire in March.

Level 2 and 3 students will compete in practical tasks, and be judged by industry experts. Last year’s finalists completed the most comprehensive test to date and this year’s competition is set to be even more exciting!

The stakes are high, with an incredible list of prizes worth up to £10,000 up for grabs, not to mention the prestige for both the winning student and their college. The prizes have been donated by well-known industry names including Schneider Electric, Electric Center, WAGO, 3M, HiKOKI, the IET and Rated People.

Last year’s winner, Matt Taylor, from Farnborough College of Technology, said: “I’m ecstatic – I just didn’t see myself winning. I entered to give myself a challenge and I’ve definitely achieved that. The other competitors were great and what I’ll take away from this is the knowledge that I can do something that I thought I couldn’t.”

Running alongside the competition is the Meet the Lecturer/Manufacturer series, a chance for the industry’s most prominent manufacturers to showcase their products and opportunities. This will give lecturers insight into the ever-changing market trade scene to pass on to the next generation of electricians.

“This is now the 10th year of our competition, and it has provided many life changing opportunities for our competing apprentices,” said Celia Matthews, owner of SPARKS Magazine. “Many competitors have gone on to very successful employment or to own their own businesses, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2019’s participants.”

Taking part in the competition can do amazing things for an electrician’s career, and we now have 9 years’ worth of contestants out in the world proving just that.

 

colleges gearing up for sparks 2019 competition

Colleges gearing up for sparks 2019 competition

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Energy theft would be ignored by one in four people, research discovers

A research report has found that one in four UK residents wouldn’t report an instance of energy meter tampering, despite 92% agreeing that the practice is morally wrong.

The study was commissioned by Echo Managed Services and Grosvenor Services Group, and endorsed by Crimestoppers UK.

It surveyed 2,000 UK residents and found that only 54% of the public would report a suspected instance of energy theft “without question”, with a further 21% saying they would alert authorities to the crime, but only if it took place in their local vicinity.

A number of justifications arose among those who would not report an energy thief. These included answers such as it “wasn’t their business” (8%), that they would not want to betray a friend or family member involved (10%), or they thought the person in question was doing it for a valid reason (4%).

Turning a blind eye to this crime is a more common stance among younger people, with 33% of 18-24 year olds and 38% of 25-34 year olds preferring not to act on their knowledge in varying circumstances.

When asked why they wouldn’t report meter tampering, 44% of people said they would be worried about the potential personal repercussions, with a further 13% saying that it’s nothing to do with them. More than one in 10 said that they believe energy companies already make enough money and therefore energy theft causes no harm.

19% said that they wouldn’t know who to report it to, with 11% saying that there would be no point as it’s unlikely that anything would be done about it.

Lloyd Birkhead, Managing Director of Grosvenor Services Group, said: “Demonstrating the impact of investigations is also key – rather than keeping the great work being done to tackle energy theft covert, more could be done to let the public know about meter changeovers, arrests and convictions, underlining how this has prevented injuries and will help tackle inflated bills.

“These figures show that the energy sector mustn’t assume that the general public will be working with them to reduce energy theft; as it stands at least one quarter won’t.”

 

energy theft would be ignored by one in four people, research discovers

Energy theft would be ignored by one in four people, research discovers

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Funding deal for landmark Birmingham resi tower

Funding has been secured for one of Birmingham’s tallest residential blocks in the second phase of the City’s Exchange Square scheme.

This morning build to rent specialist Grainger said that it had agreed to forward fund and acquire the planned 373-home project for £77m.

The deal still requires developer Nikal to secure planning consent but should allow construction to start in mid-2019, 

Already planning is in place for 223 flats. But Nikal will now submit fresh proposals in early 2019  for a landmark building that has been mooted at 46-storeys.

This would make it the tallest residential tower in Birmingham.

The tower, will form part of a new urban village at Exchange Square, and will be a gateway landmark for those arriving at the Birmingham HS2 Curzon Street Station, which is directly opposite the site.

Presently, Sir Robert McAlpine is working on the first phase of developer Nikal’s Exchange Square in Birmingham City Centre, which  consists of three buildings, including a 27 storey tower.

Helen Gordon, Chief Executive of Grainger, said: “We are delighted to announce today’s acquisition at Exchange Square in Birmingham for £77m, which will deliver 373 homes for rent in a great central location in one of our top target cities.”

Once Exchange Square is complete, Grainger will have 529 purpose-built PRS homes in Birmingham worth .£105m, including our other PRS development scheme, Gilders Yard in the Jewellery Quarter.”

Waheed Nazir, Corporate Director, Birmingham City Council said: “The skyline in Birmingham City Centre is changing rapidly and investment and confidence is at an all-time high.”

 

Funding deal for landmark Birmingham resi tower

Funding deal for landmark Birmingham resi tower

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Britain heads for worst house building decade since 1940s

Britain is heading for the worst house building decade since World War Two.

Despite Government efforts to boost house building, completions in England between 2010 and 2019 are set to average out at around 130,000 per year.

This is well short of the 147,000 achieved in the 2000s or the 150,000 of the 1990s, and half of the level in the 1960s and 1970s.

The picture becomes even worse when population size is factored in.

In the 1960s, the new-build construction rate in England was roughly the equivalent of one home for every 14 people over the decade. In the 2010s, that ratio was one to 43, more than three times higher.

The figures are improved somewhat when you factor in conversions of existing properties, which push the total up – but even then, the total of net additional dwellings – the yardstick for overall housing supply – is likely to be lower this decade than last.

Across the United Kingdom as a whole, the pattern is broadly similar, with house building falling from a peak of 3.6m new units in the 1960s to 1.9m in the 1990s and 2000s, with the 2010s set to come in lower still.

Robert Colvile, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “The housing crisis is blighting the lives of a generation, and robbing them of the dream of home ownership.

“But as this analysis shows, this is not just the consequence of the financial crisis – it is part of a pattern stretching back half a century, in which we have steadily built fewer and fewer new homes.

“The Government has rightly promised to focus on this issue, and there are encouraging signs that house building is picking up.

“But ministers need to take bold action in 2019 to ensure that the 2020s become the decade in which we break this hugely damaging cycle.”

 

Britain heads for worst house building decade since 1940s

Britain heads for worst house building decade since 1940s

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Firms wanted for £30m Coventry Uni arts building

Coventry University has opened prequalification for firms to build a new faculty of arts and humanities and overhaul several existing buildings

It aims to spend around £30m delivering the redevelopment scheme, which is expected to get underway at the start of next year and run for nearly three years.

The project will be broken down into three key elements. This includes construction of a new 40,000 sq ft three storey, building adjacent to the existing school of art and design accommodation and full overhauls of an 80,000 sq ft, six storey tower and 45,000 sq ft four-storey block.

The site of the proposed new build element is currently green open space between the buildings being redeveloped around the Graham Sutherland building at Cox Street in the city centre.

A planning application will be submitted by the University design team this April with the aim of signing off stage III design at the start of May to award the design and build contract in June.

Firms can express an interest in bidding on the in-tend website by 19 January.

 

Firms wanted for £30m Coventry Uni arts building

Firms wanted for £30m Coventry Uni arts building

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Happy New Year from Hotcost

Happy New Year from Hotcost

 

We hope you had a relaxing break celebrating with friends and family.

We are looking forward to providing you with the very best estimating service in the UK and beyond.

 

If you need to contact us during this time you can email us at client@hotcost.co.uk or upload your project via our easy to use uploader.

 

November 2018 Newsletter

November 2018 Newsletter

‘EUA say that more gas storage is crucial to energy security, New £113m Glasgow research hub given the green light, Government establishes £3,500 landlord contribution cap, JTL & Electrical industries charity highlight negative impact of stress’.

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More gas storage is crucial to energy security, says EUA

A spokesperson for the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) has delivered a message to the government about the importance of investing in further gas storage in the UK for energy security.

Roddy Monroe, Independent Chair of the Gas Storage Operators Group, attended a recent gas storage inquiry evidence session at Parliament to provide evidence on behalf of the EUA in favour of increasing gas storage to minimise risk and increase flexibility.

Mr Monroe said: “I firmly believe that there may be serious implications for UK energy security if policy makers rely solely on the market to deliver the right level of investment to meet broader government objectives including transiting to a low carbon economy and providing access to affordable energy.

“Energy security is underpinned by long life, capital intensive investments which require long term financial certainty; these are not characteristics found in our energy market today. We have seen that the government felt it necessary to intervene to help deliver positive changes to the electricity market, such intervention may now be necessary for the gas market if we are to provide the right level of gas security.

“The UK currently consumes over 100 billion cubic metres of gas per year, but only has storage capacity equivalent to 2% of this- essentially 7 days’ worth- compared to a European average of 25%. Gas storage can make a significant contribution to achieving this by ensuring that gas supplies are maintained at times of major supply or demand shocks. It also protects consumers from price spikes, ultimately reducing overall gas bills. Therefore, gas storage is vital for the efficient operation of the UK energy markets.

“We urge the government to look, in detail, at the issue of gas storage, such as they did in 2013. Since then we have seen a number of material changes to the energy market, which have the potential to worsen energy security and, in particular, significantly increase the exposure to extreme price volatility.

“These changes include unprecedented reductions in flexible European gas production (mainly the massive Groningen gas field) and the loss of our own indigenous gas storage capacity, most notably Rough, which comprised 75% of capacity. These detrimental changes to UK energy security are compounded by the uncertainty of the future energy arrangements post-Brexit.

“The ‘Beast from the East’ experience earlier this year, where we witnessed very sharp wholesale price spikes and, despite that, very little UK demand side response, was a real wake-up call and makes this review even more urgent.”

More gas storage is crucial to energy security, says EUA

More gas storage is crucial to energy security, says EUA

Source: HVP Magazine

Top of Page


JTL & Electrical Industries Charity Highlight Negative Impact Of Stress

JTL is working alongside the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) to highlight the negative impact of stress.

The joint campaign aims to help people working in the electrical sector to address stressful situations and seek help. It includes a dedicated Apprentice Support Programme, designed to help apprentices with any challenges they may face early on in their career.

The assistance available through the EIC covers a wide range of issues – from caring for a sick or elderly relative to dealing with redundancy. The EIC’s team of trained advisors can offer free financial, legal, emotional or health-related advice.

Thousands of people in the electrical sector are faced with a wide range of difficult situations in their lives, which often lead to mental health issues. Some of those affected reach out for help, but others have no one to turn to and often bury their struggles in alcohol or drug abuse.

Addictions such as alcohol or drug abuse often not only have a dramatic effect on physical health but also has significant consequences on mental health which often leads to problems such as depression, anxiety, and many other issues.

Recent statistics released by the NHS showed that in the UK in 2015/16 there were 8,621 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders. It was also recorded that each year there were 2,479 registered deaths due to drug misuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) also stated that compared with the general population, people addicted to drugs are twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders.

To help to reduce these statistics and to give crucial access to support services to those who are affected by mental health problems, the Electrical Industries Charity has created the Employee Assistance Programme which offers all of the vital support needed to help people in the electrical sector to get back on their feet and create a life they deserve.

Recently, the charity helped an experienced electrician Rhys Lynch to create a better quality of life for him and his daughter. Rhys first contacted the Electrical Industries Charity in 2012 when his partner left him and his two-year-old daughter. Rhys applied for sole custody of his daughter, leaving his job as an electrician to become a full-time parent. On gaining full custody, the council re-housed Rhys and his daughter into a one-bedroom property, and the charity provided a £1,000 grant for household items. In 2013, they were moved to a bigger, two-bedroom property, which better met their needs and once again the charity helped, providing a £1,000 grant for flooring.

Despite starting a new life, Rhys’ problems were far from over. Over the years, Rhys was faced with numerous financial struggles which sadly resulted in him turning to alcohol and drugs and in 2015, Rhys lost not only his home but also custody of his daughter. With nowhere left to turn, Rhys resorted to theft to feed his addiction, and following many incidences, was sent to prison for 14 weeks.

After serving his sentence, Rhys suffered a further relapse and nearly lost his life. Since then he has sought counselling and support for underlying issues which dated back many years. The charity once more offered support to help with his debts, and he was granted a debt relief order (DRO).

Since September 2015, Rhys has been free from drugs and alcohol and can now see a brighter future ahead. But the road to recovery is never easy, and for people suffering from mental health issues, ongoing support is vital which is why Rhys contacted the charity once more in January 2017.

The charity helped with the cost of updating his qualifications through Able Skills and as a result he has now passed his 2394/95 City & Guilds Testing & Inspection course. He has secured a maintenance contract with a local estate agent and has been offered a contract with a local construction company. Thanks to the support and financial assistance provided by the Electrical Industries Charity, he is once again living with his daughter and is well on his way to building a better life.

Rhys’s story highlights that seeking help and having access to support services can remarkably change someone’s quality of life and this is why the charity always ensures that people in the electrical sector get the support they need when they need it.

If you would like to contact one of the EIC’s team, go to jtltraining.com/free-support/ or just call 0800 652 1618.

JTL & Electrical Industries Charity Highlight Negative Impact Of Stress

JTL & Electrical Industries Charity Highlight Negative Impact Of Stress

Source: Electrical Contracting News 

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Property owners urged to check for potentially harmful lead water pipes

WaterSafe, the UK register for approved plumbers, is urging everyone to ‘take the scratch test’, as more than two-thirds of homeowners don’t know if their water is supplied through potentially harmful lead water pipes.

Sixty-eight per cent of homeowners don’t know if they have potentially harmful lead water pipes in their property, according to a survey of 2,000 property owners by WaterSafe.

Water used for drinking and cooking that has been supplied through lead pipes can result in a build-up of lead in the body. This can be bad for health – especially for babies and children, whose development can be affected. Another 53% of homeowners don’t know that it’s their responsibility to replace lead pipes should they find them in their homes.

Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe, said: “We’re asking property owners to do one thing during Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (Oct 21-27) – check your homes and business premises for lead water pipes, especially if you have an older property. It’s quite simple – find the water pipe where it enters your home, which is usually in a kitchen cupboard or under the stairs.

“Lead pipes are normally dull grey and soft and if you scrape the surface gently with a coin you’ll see shiny silver-coloured metal underneath. It’s quite distinct from copper or plastic. If the pipes are painted just scrape the paint off too.”

The use of lead in plumbing has been banned in the UK for more than 25 years, so it’s the houses built before 1970 which are most likely to have lead pipes.

Homeowners who find they do have lead pipes should contact their water supplier who can test the levels of lead in the drinking water and offer advice on replacing them.

 

Property owners urged to check for potentially harmful lead water pipes

Property owners urged to check for potentially harmful lead water pipes

Source: HPM Magazine

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Have you taken your 18th yet?

Contractors undertake latest training in variety of ways

More than 1,000 conscientious contractors have now successfully taken and passed their 18th Edition training with NICEIC and ELECSA.

The 18th Edition officially launched in July this year with electrical contractors given a six-month transition period to get up to speed with the changes.

While some contractors have decided to delay any training – others have been keen to get cracking straight away.

Neil Vincent, Training Manager at NICEIC and ELECSA said: “It has been interesting to see people’s attitude towards training since the 18thwas launched.

“Some have been extra keen and jumped straight in and others are still biding their time and looking to do it over the next 3-6 months.

“Everyone is different and with the six month window we know everyone will have a different approach. We have had more than 3000 bookings in total so far with many preferring to take the course over the next few months so it is going to be busy in the run up to January.”

NICEIC and ELECSA have been at the forefront of delivering training packages to suit contractors’ needs.

It currently runs two different 18th Edition courses. The full course takes three days and is for contractors who feel they need a working knowledge of the latest edition of the Level 3 Award in the Requirements for Electrical Installations BS 7671:2018 qualification.

The update course is a one-day option for those who have recently completed their 17th edition Amendment 3: 2015 qualification

Both courses can be taken online or in the classroom and there has been a real split in the type of course and the way contractors are choosing to access training.

Neil added: “In terms of the full version and the update course, we are seeing a real 50/50 split. We expected that as many contractors chose to update their training requirements at the time of the last amendment in 2015.

“It is also curious to see that the majority of bookings are for classroom based learning where contractors can discuss and share information with fellow electricians.

“However, there is definitely a growing demand for online training too and it is totally down to the individual and what they prefer. By offering both options contractors have that choice.”

A partnership with JTL also means contractors choosing NICEIC and ELECSA now have the option to take the course at more than 35 locations across the UK.

In addition, NICEIC and ELECSA can also offer in house training for companies looking to train large numbers of employees in one go. More than 150 people have taken training this way already with organisations such as Mitie, Places for People and others choosing this method.

Neil added: “We can offer a range of options to all contractors. For any individual or organisation that has not yet booked in their training, we would encourage them to get in touch and speak to our team.

“An ability to show a level of understanding and awareness of the changes should be a priority for everyone involved in the electrical industry.”

For more information visit 18edition.com or call the training team on 0333 015 6626

Have you taken your 18th yet?

Have you taken your 18th yet?

Source: Electrical Times

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Bidders day for £40m new London station job

Contractors are being called up for a bidders day for a £40m new station near the Brent Cross Shopping centre in North London.

Called Brent Cross West, the new Thameslink station forms part of the wider Brent Cross and Cricklewood regeneration scheme and already has outline planning.

The London Borough of Brent is planning the market event next month ahead of inviting tenders for a design and build contract.

The new station is required to be completed, commissioned, handed over into operations and maintenance by May 2022.

It will have four platforms, with a single bridge serving the purpose of a public right of way footbridge, as well as access to the new platforms.

The project proposals have been developed to GRIP4 with the successful bidder expected to taken the project forward to GRIP stages 5 to 8.

Registration for the event on 13 November should be sent to procurement@barnet.gov.uk ref Brent Cross West Station November 2018.

Contractor J Murphy & Sons is presently working on an enabling works contract for the new Thameslink Sidings facility near the new station site.

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Spurs still don’t know when builders will finish new stadium

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club has confirmed that its new £800m stadium will not be finished before the end of the year but still does not know when it will be able to open.

“I wish I was able to confirm an exact opening date and fixture,” said chairman Daniel Levy. “However, in light of factors completely outside of our control, contractors missing deadlines and possible future unforeseen issues, we are naturally being cautious in respect of our timetable for our test events and official opening game.”

Spurs had expected to play its first fixture at its new stadium on 15th September 2018. During construction works the club has been playing home games at Wembley Stadium.

Key contractors involved in the mechanical, electrical and safety systems are being supported with external resources and closely monitored by Mace, the construction manager, the club said.

Chairman Daniel Levy said: “There isn’t an hour that goes by when I am not asked when we will be able to stage our first game at our new home.

“Whilst we are conscious of the need to keep pressure on our contractors to deliver as soon as possible, we are also acutely aware of how difficult the lack of clarity is for you, our supporters, to plan around games, particularly those at Christmas and New Year.

“In light of the above, and taking into account the restricted availability of manpower over the festive period, we have taken the decision to confirm today that all home games will be played at Wembley Stadium up to and including the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 29th December.”

He added: “The delay in the stadium opening has made it possible for some track and station improvements to be brought forward due to the fact that previously non-available construction dates have become available for works.

“We have no doubt when open that this stadium will be one of the finest in the world – a leading example of British research and development delivering engineering and technological firsts that will be showcased globally.

“This is a stadium for another century and a few months’ delay will hopefully soon be forgotten when we proudly return home.”

Spurs still doesn’t know when builders will finish new stadium

Spurs still doesn’t know when builders will finish new stadium

Source: Construction Index

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Multiplex green light for £113m Glasgow research hub

The University of Glasgow has received planning consent for the first building on the site of the former Western Infirmary.

Multiplex can now proceed will full-scale building work on the £113m Research Hub, with completion expected in 2021.

The Research Hub, designed by HOK architects, will host over 600 academics, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students working across five broad research themes.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Glasgow, said: “This represents a landmark moment in our £1bn Campus Development programme as the Research Hub will be the first building to be constructed on the site of the former Western Infirmary.

“Upon completion, this building will offer a unique facility to support the University’s world-class research, as well as providing a welcoming and accessible hub for knowledge exchange and public engagement.”

Multiplex green light for £113m Glasgow research hub

Multiplex green light for £113m Glasgow research hub

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Watersafe survey finds people over 55 not checking for plumber competence 

WaterSafe is advising older consumers not to risk their home’s water quality after a survey revealed many over-55s are failing to make important checks when hiring a plumber.

A recent survey of 2,000 households by WaterSafe, the UK register for approved plumbers, revealed that:

  • only 17% of over-55s checked if their plumber was a member of an approved scheme – while more worrying, a further 19% admitted to not making any checks at all
  • less than 10% of over-55s asked their plumber if the products being fitted met water quality regulations
  • only 12% checked if their plumber had insurance.

WaterSafe’s survey also revealed that only 28% of over-55s asked for a written quote and agreed a timescale for any plumbing work.

Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe said: “Plumbers approved through WaterSafe can give older homeowners immediate peace of mind as they are fully qualified to carry out plumbing work in homes and businesses, and specifically trained to meet the strict regulations for installing pipes and fittings that keep the nation’s drinking water safe.

“With thousands of qualified, approved WaterSafe plumbers in the UK, it’s simple to find one local to them by either using our online postcode search at watersafe.org.uk or calling us on 0333 207 9030.”

The consumer advice section of the WaterSafe website provides advice and tips for homeowners to help them plan watertight plumbing work. Before getting started, WaterSafe recommends that consumers always ask their plumber for:

  • A physical address and contact telephone number
  • An established time in business
  • Proof of insurance
  • Their WaterSafe Registration
  • Their Gas Safe Registration (if they work on gas systems)
  • Their Competent Person Scheme Registration (if applicable)
Watersafe survey finds people over 55 not checking for plumber competence 

Watersafe survey finds people over 55 not checking for plumber competence

Source: HVP Magazine

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Keltbray invests in £5bn Kent theme park plan

Keltbray is backing plans for a new theme park in Kent with a multi-million pound investment.

The specialist contractor has formed a joint venture with project developer LRCH to invest £25m into the London Resort Project near Ebbsfleet.

The £5bn scheme was dealt a blow last year when film studio Paramount Pictures walked away from the project.

Proposals for the park have been around since 2012 with the latest timetable promising a planning application next year.

Steve Norris, Chairman LRCH said: “We are delighted to welcome Keltbray to this most exciting project.

“We have been discussing for some time the best way to harness their specialist construction industry expertise alongside their ability to act as a catalyst for further industry participation and investment.

“Over the next five years, this project will become one of the largest construction projects in the UK and their involvement takes us a significant step closer to delivering a world class resort.”

A £5bn investment will transform seven million square feet of land into two theme parks celebrating brands from across literature, television, music, film and entertainment.

Brendan Kerr, CEO of Keltbray, said:“Keltbray is recognised in the industry as an enabler of projects.

“It has long prided itself on its ability to manage the most challenging of projects thanks to its investment in training, design and plant.

“At seven million square feet, this new theme park won’t be an easy project but that is why the formulation of this JV with LRCH is an ideal partnership.

“We’re delighted to be involved in what I’m sure will provide a significant boost to both employment and tourism in the UK.”

Keltbray invests in £5bn Kent theme park plan

Keltbray invests in £5bn Kent theme park plan

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Six ways van drivers can deter thieves

Theft from vans can be a costly issue for British tradesmen and women but now a team of motoring experts have issued six top tips to deter pesky thieves.

The team at  LeaseVan.co.uk have researched into the most effective and affordable ways for van drivers to improve their security so that vehicles appear less of a target for those looking to pinch tools.

From choosing parking spots wisely in well-lit areas, to removing precious valuables and keeping them inside overnight, they’ve looked at the easiest ways van drivers can help reduce the chances of their vehicles being broken into.

Tim Alcock from LeaseVan.co.uk said: “As the shorter evenings roll in, van theft can become more prevalent as thieves choose the cover of darkness to come out and do the deed.

“Anyone who has suffered a break-in or who has had valuables stolen will know how devastating it can be. It’s even worse if the perpetrator causes damage to your vehicle in the process as it’s a further expense and can hinder work.

“Certain criminals are savvy enough to find ways around basic security systems and factory fitted immobilisers and alarms often don’t make the cut and can do nothing to prevent theft.

“As the saying goes – you can never be too careful, so we’re trying to advocate prevention over everything else.

“Investing in tighter, more comprehensive security will help deter and protect thieves from trying to break into your vehicle. As well as this, introducing a heavy duty steering wheel and applying plastic window tints are just a few of the straight forward things that can be done to reduce the chance of a break in as much as possible.” 

Remove valuables

 It can be a chore removing valuables from your vehicle every night, but it’s worth popping them in the garage if it means they’re fully protected. If it’s not possible to remove all tools then just take the most expensive and store them securely overnight. Don’t forget to put them back in the morning when you need them for work though!

 Consider your parking spot

 Where possible, park in a garage or on a driveway, but if you can’t get a spot close to your home or if you have street parking, aim to get it as close to your front door as possible in a well-lit area covered by CCTV. This way you can keep an eye on your car and it will also deter thieves if they can be seen – they are likely to go for darker, hidden spots where they won’t be noticed. If you’re parking your van at home, consider adding extras such as motion-detecting security lights, lockable gates or even rising bollards to your home.

Get a lockable toolbox

Lockable toolboxes are perfect for storing all equipment or just the valuables – if the toolbox has another feature to unlock this may mean thieves will be discouraged to take it as they won’t be able to get to the goods anyway – it’s always good to have an extra layer of protection.

Prioritise security when choosing a new van

 When browsing vans – make sure you take into account the security benefits. It’s easy to be led into getting the snazziest model on the market – but it’s equally as important to protect your vehicle, your tools and effectively your trade with concrete security features. Always think about the design – glazed

rear doors, for example, are great for visibility but they can be a security risk as they let everybody know what’s in your vehicle and they can be more easily broken. Most modern vans offer a good range of security features, but if you need to add extras, consider specifying an alarm, immobiliser and deadlocks for all the doors.

 Invest in simple security upgrades

 Handbrake locks, heavy-duty steering wheel locks, locking wheel nuts and lockable fuel filler caps are just some of the simple and affordable measures you can buy to boost your van’s security. Plastic window tints and upgraded deadlocks and slam locks for doors are also worthwhile physical add-ons for commercial vehicles that can be adapted to suit different needs.

Look at the latest technology

Check out the more advanced electronic alarms and vehicle tracking devices too – electronic GPS trackers can vastly improve the chances of recovering your van if it is stolen and advanced systems can alert police when a vehicle is stolen too. Another option is to install a CCTV system to monitor the area or areas your van is mostly parked. The latest cameras can be connected to your local Wi-Fi network to stream images directly to your smartphone or computer. They can also be set to activate when they detect movement.

Six ways van drivers can deter thieves

Six ways van drivers can deter thieves

Source: Electrical Times

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Government establishes £3,500 landlord contribution cap

The government has ended its consultation on proposals to amend the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, primarily deciding to increase the landlord financial contribution cap to £3,500.

The response said: “In line with the consultation proposal, the government intends to amend the regulations to introduce a capped landlord contribution that will take effect where third-party funding is unavailable or insufficient to cover the costs of energy efficiency improvements.

“This decision has been made in recognition of the current constraints on third-party funding and their impact on the effectiveness of the current regulations. Domestic rental properties in England and Wales affected by this decision represent less than 6% of the overall domestic market.”

This new funding cap is an increase on the initially suggested £2,500, but still lower than the £5,000 cap recommended by the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC). According to the HHIC, setting the cap at £2,500 would have only helped 30% of houses reach EPC band E, whereas a cap of £5,000 would assist a substantially higher number of homes.

Stewart Clements, Director of the HHIC, said: “When government and industry – ‘those in the know’ – work together then the resulting outcomes are better. I am pleased that the government has recognised that legislation is required in the rental sector to improve EPC ratings. The figure of £3,500 improves upon the suggested £2,500, which would have only helped 30% of homes improve upon their EPC rating.

“Having said this, the HHIC still believes £5,000 is the correct level for the cap, as it would help close to 60% of cold , inefficient (band F and G) homes reach the required EPC level. This is because the cost of installing a new central heating system can amount to £4,000, £500 above the new cap level. Insulation alone will not keep a home warm; you need an efficient heating system too, and gas central heating is the most obvious solution.”

The full government response to the consultation can be found here.

Government establishes £3,500 landlord contribution cap

Source: HVP Magazine

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New energy efficient Domus Ventilation MVHR wall units launched

Domus Ventilation, part of the Polypipe group, has launched the HRXE range of high-performance Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) units for small to medium size residential properties.

MVHR systems combine supply and extract ventilation in one system.  They efficiently recover the heat typically lost in waste, stale air and use it to temper the fresh air drawn into the building via a heat exchanger.  The filtered, pre-warmed air is distributed to areas of the home such as living rooms and bedrooms, effectively meeting part of the heating load in energy efficient dwellings.

Building on its success in MVHR, Domus has developed the HRXE units to provide even greater efficiency through advanced heat exchange proficiency and low Specific Fan Power (SFP).  When used with a kitchen and one wet room, a typical installation, the HRXE provides a 90% heat exchange performance and boasts a very low SFP down to 0.57W/(l/s).

The new HRXE range is not only efficient but also exceptionally quiet, with background (normal) ventilation at 24dB(A) (typically whisper quiet).  Noise reduction can be further reduced through the use of an Anti-Vibration tray, which isolates the unit from the wall to reduce any low levels of vibration induced noise which can be distracting to residents.

There are four models in the HRXE range, all with a two year warranty and all featuring 100% thermal (summer) bypass which automatically activates when the air temperature reaches a pre-set level, allowing in cooler, fresh, filtered air without warming it through the heat exchanger.  The smart design of the HRXE means there is no reduction in airflow when operating in bypass mode.

Within the range, models are available with integral humidity sensors, which is much in demand.  By accurately measuring air humidity, the HRXE’s extract speed automatically changes from background to boost as the level of humidity increases, thereby providing optimal ventilation performance.

When it comes to installation, Domus Ventilation has designed the HRXE units to be even smaller than their predecessors making them ideal for wall-mounted cupboard installation, with opposite-handed models available to meet different on-site requirements. Spigots on the top of the HRXE are 125mm, but with Domus Ventilation’s extensive duct portfolio, adaptors are available to enable direct connection to the most common ducting size – 204x600mm flat channel duct –for quicker and more cost-effective installation.  Furthermore, integrated controls are accessed via a front panel for easy commissioning.

The HRXE range has been designed to work most efficiently when used with Domus duct systems, including its Flow Control Plenum and High-Efficiency Green Line Bends, which reduce duct bend resistance by up to 60%.  Domus duct systems offer improved system performance through the exacting tolerances and engineered fit of the system, whereby pressure drops are minimised and air leakage virtually eliminated.

Domus Ventilation has a well-deserved reputation for quality, supported by an excellent technical support, from a market leading manufacturer and designer.  It is well placed to offer immediate, practical solutions to Building Regulations Parts F & L.

For further information on the Domus Ventilation HRXE MVHR appliances, please contact vent.info@domusventilation.co.uk or visit www.domusventilation.co.uk

New energy efficient Domus Ventilation MVHR wall units launched

New energy efficient Domus Ventilation MVHR wall units launched

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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Fake skills card dealer jailed for more than three years

A man who manufactured and sold fake construction industry skill cards has been jailed for more than three years.

Online trader Andrew Weeks was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court for offences under the Fraud Act.

Weeks was caught following an investigation by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards.

Officers discovered that he was manufacturing construction industry skill cards at his printing firm and selling them via his website.

Weeks was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months after pleading guilty to the manufacture of fake documents.

The investigation was supported with information from the Construction Industry Training Board and a number of card schemes including the Construction Skills Certification Scheme and the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme.

Graham Wren, Chief Executive at CSCS said: “This is another example of the industry working together to tackle card fraud.

“CSCS will always support the authorities to identify and act against those attempting to deceive construction employers.

“This case also highlights the need for thorough card checks, ideally electronically, to ensure construction workers are who they say they are and have the correct qualifications for the job they do on site.”

Weeks was also sued by CSCS for copyright infringement and ordered to pay damages of £6,000.

Steve Brawley, Chief Executive at ECS said: “We hope that this case will serve as a message to would be fraudsters that their actions will not be accepted.

“Fraudsters on construction sites present a danger to themselves and others and we need to work together to stamp this activity out.”

Ian Sidney, Fraud Manager at CITB said: “This sentence shows just how serious construction card fraud is and the lengths that CITB and the whole industry will go to in order to stamp it out.

“The use of fake cards could easily lead to accidents, injuries or even fatalities where contractors do not have the required skills, training or qualifications.

“Employers must remain vigilant when checking workers’ documentation and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.”

Fake skills card dealer jailed for more than three years

Fake skills card dealer jailed for more than three years

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Government names TrustMark as the new all-encompassing mark of quality for consumers in and around the home

In support of the Government’s Green GB Week, TrustMark, the Government-endorsed quality scheme for tradespeople, announces that it has expanded its remit to include Repair, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI), retrofit and energy efficiency sectors, in order to now cover any work a consumer chooses to have carried out in or around their home.

TrustMark has extended its responsibilities following the industry led Government-commissioned Each Home Counts review in 2016, which identified a requirement for an all-encompassing mark of quality for consumers to recognise and trust.  TrustMark was chosen to be the brand that the quality mark has now become with clean growth and energy efficiency being a key focus of the scheme.

TrustMark’s expansion has bought significant changes to the scheme, including:

·  The Core Criteria document will be replaced by the Framework Operating Requirements (FOR).  This will be delivered through the network of Scheme Providers who will vet and monitor each business registered within the scheme.

·  The FOR will be supplemented by additional documents such as the Code of Conduct (setting out requirements to Registered Businesses) and the Customer Charter (outlining the rights and responsibilities of customers), both of which aim to improve clarity of communication for tradespeople and their customers.

·  New and updated branding, which includes a refreshed logo to reflect the significant incoming changes, whilst celebrating the core values and name that remains at the heart of TrustMark as an organisation.

·  The TrustMark website has also been updated to display the new branding and features an enhanced consumer search facility.  A customer/business portal will also be available over the forthcoming months to handle all aspects of communications between consumers and trade, from quote to payment.

TrustMark’s new independent Chairman, Ranil Jayawardena, says:

“The evolution of TrustMark into the Government Endorsed Quality scheme for any work that a consumer has done to their home is great news. I want to make sure that TrustMark puts consumers first and gives them the best information from which they can make their own decisions.  At the same time, I believe this will be good for the industry in the long run, as it should mean that consumer-power drives the industry to be better.”

Simon Ayers, CEO of TrustMark, says:

“These steps only represent the beginning of change at TrustMark and I am delighted with the direction the scheme is going in and believe these improvements will pave the way for positive, far-reaching change for both consumers and businesses.  We have significant plans for developing the services to our Scheme Providers, Registered Businesses and the consumers that rely on them and together we can carry on our journey.”

Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, says:

“The UK has led the world in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy – with clean growth driving incredible innovation and creating hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs. on our successes and explain the huge opportunities for business and young people of a cleaner economy. I’m delighted to see how many more businesses and organisations, such as TrustMark, are seizing this multi-billion pound opportunity to energize their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change.”

Since 2005, TrustMark has been a champion of consumer protection and when a consumer sees the TrustMark logo they will know the business they are engaging with is technically competent and has made an additional commitment to customer services and trading practices.  This will be the case regardless of the type of work they require on their property.

For further information about TrustMark, visit www.trustmark.org.uk

Government names TrustMark as the new all-encompassing mark of quality for consumers in and around the home

Government names TrustMark as the new all-encompassing mark of quality for consumers in and around the home

Source: Electrical Times 

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October 2018 Newsletter

October 2018 Newsletter

‘NICEIC, ELECSA and CCUK to provide training on the dangers of working with asbestos, Survey reveals top plumbing issues, Bursary helps more women in to the electrical industry, Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops, Vehicle tracking sparks improvements in the electrical industry and London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost‘.

 

Quick Links

 


Asbestos awareness training for electrical contractors

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive suggest that 14 people will die prematurely every day as a result of being exposed to asbestos – this equates to around 5,000 deaths a year. It is the single greatest cause to work related deaths in the UK and is considered a major factor to many types of health complications.

Although receiving a total ban in 1999, there are an estimated 12.5m households that could still potentially contain asbestos.

Working with CCUK, NICEIC and ELECSA contractors can take online or face-to-face training in asbestos awareness courses, fully certified by the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA).

Mark Smith, marketing director for NICEIC and ELECSA said, “Tradespeople need to know they are working in a safe environment. These figures are a startling reminder of the work that needs to be done to protect those who are at greater risk of being exposed to asbestos.

“These courses will highlight what to look out for if they believe asbestos to be present in their vicinity and what immediate action they need to take to prevent themselves and others around them from being exposed to this harmful material.”

Billy Quinn, managing director for CCUK, added, “We are delighted to be working with NICEIC and ELECSA, who share the same passion to help standards and improve knowledge amongst construction workers.

“There are potentially thousands of contractors who are still not aware of the dangers surrounding asbestos. At CCUK, we strive to get the message across that professional training can change the way today’s workers operate so they don’t put their lives at unnecessary risk.”

The partnership means NICEIC and ELECSA contractors can take online training at a special discounted rate. Anyone looking to take the course should visit centralcompliance.uk/certsure.

 

Asbestos Awareness Training For Electrical Contractors

Asbestos Awareness Training For Electrical Contractors

 

Source: Electrcial Contracting News

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Top plumbing issues revealed by WRAS survey

Dripping taps are the number one plumbing issue in the UK, with more than one in 10 homeowners experiencing the issue in the past five years, according to a new Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) study.

Even a small trickle from a dripping tap can waste water and money and, according to WaterSafe, fixing a dripping tap could save homeowners at least £18 a year if they are on a water meter, as well as 5,500l of water.

The study of 2,000 homeowners also found that leaking pipes, clogged drains, and a continuously running toilet topped the list of homeowners’ complaints.

The top complaints were:

  • Dripping tap (14%)
  • Leaking pipe (11%)
  • Slow or clogged drains (10%)
  • Running toilet (9%)
  • Burst pipe (6%)
  • Water temperature issue (5%)
  • Noisy pipes (5%)
  • Frozen pipes (4%)
  • Flooding (3%)
  • Water storage tank failure (2%)

 

Top plumbing issues revealed by WRAS survey

Top plumbing issues revealed by WRAS survey

 

Source: HVP Magazine 

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Bursary helps more woman in to electrical industry 

NICEIC has been helping more women into the electrical industry through its Jobs for the Girls Bursary Scheme.

The scheme offers grants to women already working in the industry or looking to get a helping hand at the start of their career. It is open to females of all ages and designed to cover training or other associated costs up to a maximum of £500.

One of those who benefited from a bursary was 40-year-old Amanda Pugh from Buckinghamshire. She used the funding to set up a website for her business Amanda Electrics.

“I was just starting out on my own and although I had help with some of the training and was fortunate to have a good amount of tools I still had to pay for additional courses, books, registration, insurance, website fees, business cards, work clothing and other tools.

“The set-up costs were more than I anticipated but the bursary from the NICEIC helped to offset some of these costs and meant I was able to start making money from my work sooner.”

Coleen Everitt, runs Alto Electrical in Lincolnshire. She used the money to buy materials for circuit boards, which she custom builds and uses for talks in local schools and colleges.

“I am a keen advocate of promoting a career in the trades to young boys and girls. By offering a hands-on practical lesson I want to encourage both boys and girls into the construction sector.

“It was great to get support from NICEIC and as a female in the trade I fully support the Jobs for the Girls campaign.”

Another one to benefit was 18-year-old Britany Douglas. She had just started an apprenticeship and used the money to buy tools and the latest 18th Edition wiring regulations.

She said: “The bursary meant I was able to buy the tools I needed to start my apprenticeship. There are a lot of things you need to buy when just starting out so it was great that I could get a helping hand.”

In the six months since launching the bursary, NICEIC has provided £5000 of funding to more than 20 women.

The youngest applicant was a 17-year-old just staring out at college and the oldest was a 55-year-old who wanted to get back on the tools after a career break.

The average age of all applicants was 29 – perhaps an indicator of the later age that women traditionally come into the electrical industry.

Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEIC, commented: “Over the last seven years we have seen a marked increase in the number of women who come to us looking for help and assistance. Employers have also been in touch to see how they can attract more female candidates.

“Where possible we have provided access to training, technical information and opportunities with our registered contractors, but it has not always been possible to assist those who just need a helping hand along the way.

“Through this bursary we have been able to offer practical and financial support and hopefully create a smoother route into the industry.

“If we can help out those women who are just starting out or inspire others who might be thinking about a career in the electrical industry then we will be well on the way to addressing the gender imbalance directly.”

NICEIC is committed to encouraging more women in to the electrical industry via its Jobs for the Girls campaign. Applications for the 2019 Jobs for the Girls bursary will open in Spring next year.

For more information about the campaign and the bursary scheme visit www.niceic.com/jobsforthegirls

 

Bursary helps more woman in to electrical industry

Bursary helps more woman in to electrical industry

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Polypipe opens £250,000 underfloor heating training centre

Polypipe, the manufacturer of underfloor heating (UFH) systems, has officially launched a £250,000 training facility to inspire the next generation of budding heating professionals.

The Doncaster-based firm held the official opening of the state-of-the-art Polypipe Professional Development Centre (PDC) at Kirk Sandall on Tuesday, September 25.

The facility features specially-designed training spaces to give trainee and experienced plumbing professionals the opportunity to improve their practical skills. It is set to become one of the UK’s leading training centres for professional heating engineers, installers, plumbers and merchants.

The courses on offer at the PDC include BPEC-accredited courses on installing warm water UFH, apprenticeship training and guides to domestic ventilation product installation.

The PDC will also now be home to the technical design team and the new underfloor heating senior management team.

Rachel Smith, Polypipe Underfloor Heating general manager, said: “We want to further strengthen our position as the market leader for UFH solutions and a key part of that is the level of service and support we offer to our trade customers. Offering accredited training and development for heating professionals is a key part of that support.

“The new PDC will also help us tackle the skills gap head on by working with schools and colleges to help train the plumbers of the future. It will also ensure that Polypipe continues to serve the local and national workforce by developing new talent. We hope that the centre will demonstrate just how much training plays a fundamental role in our business model for many years to come.”

Tracy Richardson, president of Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), presented a plaque to commemorate the centre being granted CIPHE-accredited status.

Polypipe has a strong focus on investment in professional training and development, having relaunched its Registered Heating Engineer Network earlier this year, which provides heating engineers and plumbers with free access to training courses and events, and helps small firms generate new business.

 

Polypipe opens £250,000 underfloor heating training centre

Polypipe opens £250,000 underfloor heating training centre

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Suffolk council to renew £750m East of England framework

Fourteen contractors are preparing to do battle to keep their places on Suffolk County Council’s construction framework.

The council is expected to formally call-up firms to prequalify next month for the framework renewal.

The four-year framework, which is also open to councils across the East of England, will be used for public sector building works, and is expected to be used for around £750m of spending.

Morgan Sindall, Wates, RG Carter and Barnes Construction presently hold the high-value work bands.

This time around, the council plans to introduce four value bands to replace the three presently used.

East of England construction framework

 

  • Band 1: projects valued up to £750,000
  • Band 2: projects from £0.5m to £3.5m
  • Band 3: projects from £2.75m to £10m
  • Band 4 Projects over £8m

This exercise will be tendered and managed by council-owned company, Concertus Design and Property Consultants.

The framework is set to be operational from 2019 June and will govern the procurement of a full spectrum of new build and refurbishment schemes in education, health and community. These may include libraries, civic office developments and programmes for Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

In addition to the contractors undertaking traditional construction and refurbishment works, the framework can be used for specialist trades via the main contractor.

A prequalification questionnaire will be released next month. To express an interest email Concertus.

 

Suffolk council to renew £750m East of England framework

Suffolk council to renew £750m East of England framework

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Free webinars offer a quick fix to keep your skills up to date.

As part of its latest series of free webinars, HBM – a market leader in the field of test and measurement – invites participants to help expand their skills and grow their knowledge

Designed to fit in with challenging time constraints, which can often make attending relevant training courses difficult, the latest series of webinars from HBM, which will take place in November 2018, will provide advice and focus on a variety of topics.

Starting off the week with “Requirements of Modern Automated Systems”, on Tuesday 13th November 2018, participants can learn more about precise measurement technology, real time control and control functions, and discover how simple operation without programming can be easily achieved.

Following on with “Efficient Data Acquisition with Fast DAQ Software” on Thursday 15th November, participants can further their knowledge of HBM’s new DAQ software EVIDAS.  Providing an informative overview of the software, a short live demonstration will also help users to clearly see how data can be quickly and simply acquired.

Finally, on Friday 16th November 2018, “Strain Gauge Methods for Measuring Residual Stress” offers a brief introduction into strain gauge methods, with a particular focus on hole-drilling and its application in compliance with the ASTM E837 standard.

Each webinar, which will commence at 9am (GMT) and usually takes a maximum of 30 minutes, can be easily assessed at a later date or simply used as a refresher course.  As an added benefit, all registered attendees will receive a link to the webinar, via email, after the presentation.

All HBM webinars are free of charge and open to anyone.  However, spaces are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.  Please reserve your space by booking at https://www.hbm.com/en/3157/webinars/

For further information, please contact HBM on +44 (0) 1525 304980 or via email: info@uk.hbm.com or visit the HBM website at www.hbm.com

 

Free webinars offer a quick fix to keep your skills up to date.

Free webinars offer a quick fix to keep your skills up to date.

 

Source: Electrical Times

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£90m Glasgow waterfront hotel approved

Isle of Man-based Artisan Real Estate has got the planning green light to build a hotel and leisure quarter on the Glasgow waterfront.

Contractor McAleer & Rushe is on board to deliver the £90m plan to redevelop the historic sandstone Grade A-Listed Custom House and build a 300-bed four-star hotel alongside with another 162-room aparthotel.

The site sits on the north side of Clyde Street, facing the riverfront, just south of Glasgow’s City Centre and Buchanan Street.

Artisan project director Clive Wilding said: “This is a hugely significant opportunity to, once again, bring Glasgow’s burgeoning waterfront area back into the vibrant heart of its city centre.”

Artisan has agreed on a leasing deal with the Dalata Hotel Group for the four-star hotel and conference facilities while complementing will be an Adagio-run aparthotel together with street-level bars and restaurants.

Glasgow-based Sheppard Robson is the architect for the scheme, with Caldwell Consulting delivering services design and Quattro civils and structural engineers.

 

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Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops

ELECTRICAL industry professionals and those new to PAT testing are being offered workshops by the UK’s leader in PAT testing equipment, Seaward.

The “Understanding and Implementing PAT” half-day workshops will be held at 12 venues across the UK from October 12 to December 7 and include a Q&A session.

The new workshops will cover topics such as legal requirements, industry guidance and common practice, how to perform PAT risk assessments, how to run an efficient PAT system and how to improve safety standards.

There will also be an opportunity to get answers to frequently asked questions, technical support and advice – as well as a chance to try out Seaward’s latest products.

Kevin Smith, category manager at Seaward, said: “We believe our customer care is second to none and this is just one of the ways we can help those working in the electrical testing industry.

“PAT testing is vital to keep people safe, and we take our responsibility as part of the industry very seriously.

“We regularly update our PAT equipment and it is important that we give our customers the chance to keep up to date with the latest technology, such as the Apollo 600+, The PrimeTest 250+ and PATguard 3 software.”

Delivered by experts from Seaward, the workshops will visit: Nottingham (Oct 26); Portsmouth (Oct 26); Stoke (Nov 9); Potters Bar (Nov 9); Bristol (Nov 16); Leeds (Nov 16); Warrington (Nov 23); Birmingham (Nov 23); Dublin (Nov 28); Peterborough (Nov 30); Belfast (Nov 29); Heathrow (Dec 7).

Similar sessions previously run by the company have proved very popular and those who want to attend should register early to avoid disappointment.

At every workshop attendees will also have the chance to win a Prime Test 100 PAT tester.

For more details or to register go to www.seaward.co.uk/patworkshops.

 

Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops

Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops

 

Source: Electrical Times 

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Plumbers urged to support campaign to keep people safe from hot water burns

With around 2,000 young children ending up in A&E each year with scalds from bath water, the UK body for approved plumbers is raising awareness on how to prevent burns and scalds in homes, schools, hospitals and care homes.

According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), hot bath water is responsible for the highest number of fatal and severe burn injuries in young children and an average of 15 pensioners die each year from tap-water scalds.

One of the main reasons scalding occurs is that hot water is stored at 60°C or above to limit the growth of harmful Legionella bacteria. However, if water comes out of the tap above 60°C, people can suffer third degree burns in just six seconds.

Therefore, WaterSafe is raising awareness of the importance of using thermostatic taps and mixing valves (TMVs) to support National Burn Awareness Day on October 17. The valves are particularly important for larger plumbing systems in places such as schools, care homes and hospitals.

TMVs allow water to be stored at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria but reduce it to a safe temperature as it comes out of the tap, by mixing it with the cold supply. They can cost as little as £30 and be retrofitted to older systems.

Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe said: “While TMVs do need servicing annually, this is a small price to pay to reduce the risk of hot water burns.

“It only takes a few seconds for hot water to cause serious injury, which is why it’s important to know a plumber you employ is competent and qualified to install plumbing correctly, keep your tap water healthy and those in your care safe.

“The WaterSafe register is backed by all water companies in the UK and the water quality regulators and we make sure all its members are fully qualified in the water regulations, insured and have a customer redress scheme in place.”

 

Plumbers urged to support campaign to keep people safe from hot water burns

Plumbers urged to support campaign to keep people safe from hot water burns

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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How vehicle tracking is sparking improvements in the electrical industry 

The electrical industry has always been a highly-charged marketplace. Numerous companies compete for the same projects, the market is subject to constant regulatory changes, and a shortage of skilled workers often results in companies having to carry out more work with less staff. All these places additional strain on internal resources which, in turn, has a negative impact on impact customer satisfaction due to late arrivals, cancellations, poor “first time” fix rates and a host of other issues. In order to overcome these issues, more and more electrical companies are turning to technology for assistance. Vehicle and fleet tracking is one of the most readily available technologies that businesses can employ to lower internal costs and improve working efficiency. Here are three main ways that vehicle tracking can improve your organisational efficiency:

Lower overhead costs

Using fleet tracking hardware & software to monitor activity and performance online is a proven mechanism for significantly reducing fuel overheads and insurance costs, as well as improving vehicle and asset utilisation and driver productivity. All of which has a direct impact on the bottom line. Back-office teams can easily locate and track vehicles in real time, giving them the visibility required to optimise driver itineraries, avoid traffic congestion, allocate drops and task more effectively in order to reduce journey duration’s, time spent idling, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Real time, in-cab coaching systems that alert drivers to harsh or intemperate driving behaviour also have an incremental effect on running costs. Extensive research has demonstrated that the addition of an in-cab coaching device can reduce fuel consumption by an additional 5-6%.

Develop customer service

Telematics solutions provide accurate fleet data that can be leveraged to improve customer service. Fleet data enables companies to provide accurate arrival times and live updates to help keep customers happy! Apart from the obvious benefits, this can also boost your brand’s reputation and improve customer retention.

Improve business productivity

Fleet managers can pinpoint the location of any vehicle at any time and can even track how long is spent at each stop-off point. This level of precision allows fleet managers and dispatchers to prioritize work based on driver proximity, skill-level and kit on-board, whilst keeping an eye on the time spent at one job can help maximize productivity and working efficiency.

These data-led insights offer the ideal solution to maximise output, whilst maintaining top-level customer service, especially in a the highly competitive industry.

 

How vehicle tracking is sparking improvements in the electrical industry

How vehicle tracking is sparking improvements in the electrical industry

 

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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Greater Manchester Major cuts ribbon at HVAC academy launch 

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham emphasised the importance of new training facilities as he opened Thermatic’s new Academy in Salford.

The Academy has been created by Thermatic, and developed in partnership with the Salford Foundation, which supports social and academic development of young people and adults in Greater Manchester.

Its aim is to help address the growing skills shortage in the engineering sector and to make engineering more appealing and accessible for young people, regardless of gender.

Mayor Burnham said: “Facilities such as Thermatic’s are not only providers of knowledge and skills but they are also economic drivers, because they help increase opportunity, improve productivity, reduce wealth inequalities and help meet the need of the communities and region in which they are based.

“My ambition in Greater Manchester is to create an integrated employment and skills eco-system which has the individual and employer at its heart and contributes to the growth of our economy. I want to see an employment and skills system where young people will leave education with the attributes they need to succeed.”

Thermatic’s hope is to encourage a new perception of the engineering industry and the new academy is part of their ongoing ‘Women in Engineering’ campaign, which has already seen two new female HVAC engineers taking up roles.

Colin Tennent, Chairman of Thermatic, said: “Our sector is simply not the go-to sector for those leaving school and so this academy is about investing in the future of the community and the industry with the purpose of not only tackling the skills gap in our industry, but also to inspire the next generation to pursue a career in engineering.”

 

Greater Manchester Major cuts ribbon at HVAC academy launch

Greater Manchester Major cuts ribbon at HVAC academy launch

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Engineers call for new ways of raising alerts over structural safety 

More needs to be done to help engineers raise concerns about safety in order to avert future failures, says a new report from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

The risk of structural failures could be reduced by the creation of a new organisation where engineers could raise and share concerns about safety, says the report. The ICE should play a bigger role in empowering engineers to come forward with their concerns as well as information about near misses and catastrophic incidents about infrastructure, according to the report, In Plain Sight. This includes doing more to highlight and inform its members about whistleblowing options.

The report was commissioned last year following the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. Tim Broyd, then-ICE president, asked Professor Peter Hansford to chair a panel tasked with considering the state of current infrastructure and advise on whether any significant risks are ‘hiding in plain sight’.

The report recognises the need to ensure confidential reporting of issues, near-misses and catastrophic incidents. It calls on the ICE and other professional bodies to scope, sponsor and find funding for a sector-wide organisation, building on the work of Structural-Safety. The report recommends the body’s remit should allow for concerns to be raised about design, construction and long-life use, and should also permit for the sharing of information to allow the wider industry to learn from such concerns.

It recommends the Institution do more to highlight existing information and avenues open to engineers who want to raise concerns about infrastructure, including sharing information about relevant prescribed bodies, and advising on appropriate wording when raising concerns.

Hansford said: “As professional engineers, we already know many of the factors that can contribute to the risk of infrastructure failure and we must remain diligent and critical to ensure they don’t stay hidden.  This report is about empowering us to have a voice throughout the whole life of the infrastructure we design, construct and operate.

“I look forward to seeing the whole construction sector take forward these recommendations, working with industry and members to strengthen lines of defence, improve accountability across the sector and mitigate the risk of infrastructure failure to enhance public safety.”

ICE vice president Kyle Clough said: “It is essential that professional engineers feel able to speak up about any concerns they might have, and are provided a clear, confidential way of doing so. Further, it is only by sharing the knowledge about these concerns, accidents or near-misses that the industry can learn and take the necessary steps to stop them happening again.”

This final report challenges ICE, as a key industry institution, to lead on efforts to look at the industry’s risk of infrastructure failure.

The report’s recommendations include that ICE should:

  • Work with professional bodies to scope, sponsor and find funding for a sector-wide organisation to review, comment on and disseminate lessons from concerns, near misses and catastrophic incidents, building on the work of Structural-Safety.
  • run an annual event with the Health and Safety Executive on infrastructure near misses, incidents or forensic reports, to promote understanding and identify sector-wide responses.
  • Encourage engineers to highlight unaddressed infrastructure concerns, risks and near misses to their management and provide guidance via the ICE website on suitable confidential reporting channels should these become necessary.
  • establish an electronic system that captures ICE members’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities, increasing tenfold the CPD returns audited annually; and work with the Engineering Council to explore introducing periodic mid-career peer reviews.
  • identify and communicate mandatory risk-related topics, themes and reading lists for members to include in their annual CPD learning.
  • strengthen awareness of ICE’s Code of Professional Conduct through guidance, education, disciplinary processes, sanctions and publicity.
  • The report will be presented at the ICE Council meeting in December, where a decision to endorse the recommendations will be made.

 

Engineers call for new ways of raising alerts over structural safety

Engineers call for new ways of raising alerts over structural safety

 

Source: The Construction Index

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London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed more than £1bn in funding for 26 boroughs in the capital to ramp up the construction of council homes.

The money will kick-start work on 11,000 new council homes

It will see councils increase their building rates over the next four years to five times greater than existing levels.

Khan said: “London’s housing crisis is hugely complex and has been decades in the making.

“There is no simple fix, but council housing is the most important part of the solution.

“Londoners need more council homes that they can genuinely afford, and local authorities have a fundamental role to play in getting London building the homes we need for the future.

Newham was the biggest beneficiary with a £107m injection.

The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “This funding will kick-start our ambitious housing programme, which will see the construction of more than 1,000 quality homes across 40 sites in Newham started by 2022, and available at London Affordable Rent.”

 

London Borough Homes Grant
Barking and Dagenham 565 £25.3m
Barnet 87 £8.7m
Brent 817 £65.6m
Camden 308 £30.8m
City of London 156 £14.9m
Croydon 888 £61.3m
Ealing 1,138 £99.3m
Enfield 571 £18.1m
Greenwich 588 £32.6m
Hackney 949 £45,6m
Hammersmith and Fulham 251 £15.3m
Haringey 848 £62.8m
Harrow 618 £32.1m
Havering 282 £24.0m
Hillingdon 347 £11.7m
Hounslow 741 £63.2m
Islington 465 £24.2m
Kensington and Chelsea 336 £33.6m
Kingston upon Thames 713 £67.8m
Lewisham 384 £37.7m
Newham 1,123 £107.5m
Redbridge 400 (Right to Buy receipts)
Southwark 926 £89.5m
Sutton 81 £6.5m
Tower Hamlets 675 £13m
Waltham Forest 293 £25.5m
Wandsworth 174 £12.4m
Total 14,724 £1,029m

 

London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost

London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Surveyors report rising workloads but Brexit fears loom large 

Construction workloads are continuing to grow despite a credit squeeze and the looming spectre of a messy Brexit.

Results of the Q3 RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey show 20% more chartered surveyors reported that their workloads had risen rather than fallen – up from +15% in Q2.

Private housing and infrastructure workloads reported the strongest rise while activity across the private industrial and public non-housing categories improved modestly with net balances of 9% and 11%, respectively.

A soft patch was highlighted in public housing where the pace of workloads slowed from +12% to +7%.

Regionally, workloads are now reported to be increasing across all areas with notable acceleration in the Midlands and East.

Financial constraints are reported by 75% of surveyors to be by far the most significant brake on growth with firms reporting difficulties in accessing bank finance and credit.

Surveyors reported growth in the number of new business enquiries received and 42% more respondents saw more new hires in their company over the last three months.

But the outlook for the economy as a whole has led to a reduced optimism for the construction sector over the year ahead as Brexit casts its shadow.

Jeffrey Matsu, RICS Senior Economist said: “While ongoing capacity constraints have supported steady workload activity, the outlook going forward is far from clear.

“Recent Brexit-related indecision has added considerably to this uncertainty, but whatever the outcome, the pace of growth is expected to decelerate if only due to cyclical market conditions.”

Hew Edgar, RICS Head of Policy added: “Despite challenging market conditions and Brexit looming, overall construction output in the UK is up on the second quarter of the year, and in particular it’s very positive to see that workloads for much needed new homes and infrastructure are increasing.

“We’ve long called on the government to secure funding to ensure Britain’s exit from the European Union doesn’t impact the delivery of vital infrastructure schemes, and encouragingly our latest survey revealed that rail, roads and energy are the subsectors expected to see the strongest growth in output over the coming twelve months, unsurprising given recent announcements in these sectors.

“However, the government must act promptly to put measures in place to keep the funding from European Investment Bank (EIB) or introduce a new lender, or lending mechanism, to plug the gap created from the potential loss of EIB funds, particularly for big ticket infrastructure projects such as HS2, Hinkley Point C and Heathrow’s expansion as these are of great importance to the UK.”

 

Surveyors report rising workloads but Brexit fears loom large

Surveyors report rising workloads but Brexit fears loom large

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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