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March Newsletter 2019

March 2019 Newsletter

 

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

 

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Research show growth in demand for smart controls

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

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

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

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

 

Research show growth in demand for smart controls 

Research show growth in demand for smart controls

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Lighting for the greater good

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

The importance of quality over price

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

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

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

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

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

Breaking spec can reduce light quality

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

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

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

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

The impact of low-quality lighting on wellbeing

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

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

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

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

The importance of wellbeing

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

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

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

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

For further information, visit tamlite.co.uk

 

Lighting for the greater good

Lighting for the greater good

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Only 21% would upgrade a working boiler, research reveals 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Only 21% would upgrade a working boiler, research reveals 

Only 21% would upgrade a working boiler, research reveals

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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First ever tradesmen blacklist launched 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          Never pay upfront

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

First ever tradesmen blacklist launched 

First ever tradesmen blacklist launched

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Ban new homes from gas grid by 2025, says CCC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The report can be found here.

 

Ban new homes from gas grid by 2025, says CCC

Ban new homes from gas grid by 2025, says CCC

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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South Ayrshire sets out a 10-year capital programme

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

South Ayrshire sets out 10-year capital programme

South Ayrshire sets out 10-year capital programme

 

Source: The Construction Index

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MPs demand review of working at height dangers 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MPs demand review of working at height dangers 

MPs demand review of working at height dangers

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Women installers together conference returns for 2019

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

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

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

Features of this year’s conference include:

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

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

 

Women installers together conference returns for 2019

Women installers together conference returns for 2019

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Low Carbon Workspaces offers £1,000 energy cashback

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Low Carbon Workspaces offers £1,000 energy cashback

Low Carbon Workspaces offers £1,000 energy cashback

 

Source: Professional Electrician 

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

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

Increased flexibility

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

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

Advanced commissioning and servicing

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

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

State-of-the-art control

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: Installer Online

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Construction buyers report first work dip in nearly a year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Construction buyers report first work dip in nearly a year

Construction buyers report first work dip in nearly a year

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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The world surges ahead

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

A shocking start

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

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

Enlightenment

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

The world surges ahead

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

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

Changes to the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations

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

The risk assessment should consider criteria such as:

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

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

 

The world surges ahead

The world surges ahead

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Kent Uni tenders £20m life science building

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

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

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

 

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Nottingham Forest unveil stadium revamp plans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nottingham Forest unveil stadium revamp plans

Nottingham Forest unveil stadium revamp plans

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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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’.

 

Quick Links

 


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 

Top of Page


 

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.

 

Merry Christmas from Hotcost – 2018

Merry Christmas from Hotcost

 

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year from everyone at Hotcost!

 

During the holiday period we are closed on:-

 

Christmas Eve

 

Christmas Day

 

Boxing Day

 

New Years Day

 

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.