May 2019 Newsletter
‘The cables you need, where and when you need them, Plans unveiled for major revamp of The Belfry, Legal & General launches £500m build-to-rent scheme, Upskill heating supply chain now or we won’t hit net zero target.’
The cables you need, where and when you need them
With a 67,000 square foot warehouse facility housing over 3,500 product lines on the shelf, and another 6,000 on short lead times, FS Cables is sure to have the cable you need. It also offers over 800 CPR-compliant cables, including Alternative to Belden, structured wiring, fibre, coax, signal and control, and power cables.
FS Cables has no cut-off time for orders. You can call until 6pm, and if it can, the company will cut and pack your order and dispatch right up until the courier leaves. Next working-day delivery is standard to UK mainland, and is free on orders over £100. For urgent shipments, a range of express delivery options are available, including pre-9am, pre-10.30am and pre-12pm. A same-day courier is also possible, time and distance permitting. FS Cables cuts to length on many product lines, meaning you only buy what you need – reducing wastage and saving you money.
If you need cables delivered outside the UK, FS Cables’ dedicated export team is on hand. The team offers a fast and comprehensive service, supplying you with export packaging, cables cut to length, essential paperwork and certificates. Dispatch is by courier, air, sea and road so that orders are with you where and when you need them. FS Cables is authorised by the Chamber of Commerce to produce all the export documentation in-house, such as certificates of origin and EUR1’s, providing you with a fast and efficient service. Unlike other suppliers, FS Cables provides export packaging as standard – it’s all part of the service. FS Cables will select the most appropriate option to ensure that your goods arrive in perfect condition, regardless of how far they have travelled.
If you need a cable manufactured to your own specification or standard, talk to FS Cables. This can range from a printed or coloured jacket, right through to composite cables containing multiple elements of your choice. FS Cables is also able to help you with over-sheathing or steel wire armouring (SWA) to an existing cable, with short lead times and quantities as low as 100m.
If you have a regular requirement for a particular cable, you may benefit from using FS Cable’s call-off order service. Contracts can be up to 12 months in length, and enable you to fix your cost. Cable called off will normally be invoiced when it has been delivered, spreading the cost over the length of the agreement. In most cases, the entire order will be manufactured in one go and held in stock for next working day delivery.
Whether it is a contractor who has limited storage on site, and wants the cable delivered as and when required, or an OEM customer who may require a regular amount of cable for a particular application, call-off orders are proving to be extremely popular.
Call-off agreements have many benefits:
– Prices are fixed for 12 months, or the duration of the agreement.
– Volume discounts, even if the cable is called-off in relatively small amounts.
– Cables can be made to your exact design or with a special print, without costly storage or financial penalties.
– Peace of mind. Your cable is allocated and stored in FS Cable’s warehouse, and delivered next working day to mainland UK.
– Having a particular cable available at the right place and at the right time is a must for many of FS Cable’s customers. Talk to its sales team for more details about how the benefits of improved flexibility and cost savings by calling-off your orders could work for you.
FS Cables adapts to work your way and embraces your projects as its own, however varied they may be. The company prides itself on keeping it promises; understanding that its customer’s deadlines are important; and will deliver when it says it will deliver.
FS Cables has also been awarded the Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award for the second year running. It is also putting the finishing touches to its ever-popular cabling guide, known as ‘the little red book’, which is back with issue 12. The handy A5 size contains technical information, application data and images for over 8,000 products, and is a must-have resource for those involved in buying or specifying electric cables.
Many with CPR compliant options, sections include AV, data, bus, coaxial, signal and control, power, fire and security, telephone, rubber and crane, marine, fibre, and high temperature, as well as a guide to custom-manufactured cables. There’s also a handy look-up table to find alternative to Belden cables from one of the largest ranges in the UK.
Visit www.fscables.com/lrb to register for your free copy. They will be sent out as soon as they are off the press.
Source: Electrical Contracting News
CTI showcases environmental technology solutions
Carter Thermal Industries (CTI), one of the most substantial privately owned engineering groups in the UK, is to make its debut at the Temperature Controlled Storage and Distribution Show this June.
The company will be showcasing the expertise of its divisional companies with its main focus being on the part it plays in environmental technology and solutions, particularly with regard to natural refrigerant solutions with low global warming potential such as hydrocarbon and Co2 based systems.
In this respect, CTI are proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural World Refrigeration Day (WRD) on the second day of the show, 26 June. As a future annual global event, the WRD is to raise awareness of the importance of refrigeration and air conditioning to the food supply chain, the health sector and general human comfort.
At the show, CTI will be revealing various exciting new technologies being developed for their refrigerated cabinets. These include new shelf edge technology developed for optimum cold airflow into cabinets, and also integrated LED systems providing low energy illumination.
CTI group companies coming together on the CTI stand are Carter Retail Equipment and Carter Synergy. Carter Retail Equipment specialises in refrigerated retail display cabinets and cold stores, from their design and specification to manufacturing and installation. Here the division gets involved in retail environment and back storage areas; fruit and veg bulk wholesalers’ storage; ripening rooms; and pharmaceuticals.
The Carter Synergy with KB Refrigeration divisions together cover design, consultancy, installation, service and maintenance for refrigeration, heating, ventilation, mechanical and electrical disciplines across England and Scotland.
Source: HPM Magazine
MK Electric highlights benefits of apprentices
In support of Learning at Work Week (13 – 19 May), Emma Segelov, EMEA marketing operations manager for MK Electric, highlights the benefits having an apprentice can bring to a business
As a highly skilled industry, we are reliant on a constant stream of new talent. Apprentices are key to ensuring we have the skills required to drive the industry forward and can help a business to grow.
All of our apprentices bring something new and valuable into the business, such as a fresh perspective on an existing process, as well as safeguarding the continuity of essential skill sets, now and in the future. One example is Thomas Hunt, a former apprentice who was crowned BEAMA’S Young Manufacturer of the Year in 2018.
During his time as an apprentice, Thomas quickly became the ‘go-to guy’ for technical support within the mouldshop team at our Southend-on-Sea manufacturing site, showing a particular aptitude for math-based queries. Thomas filled a moulding skills gap and provided crucial assistance in training current staff on new machines and basic moulding skills, overcoming any difficulties which occur with the moulding machines. In fact, as part of his time working in compression moulding, Thomas independently developed a detailed compression moulding manual covering the control of the presses and fault finding, which is now used to assist in the training of others – a major benefit to new staff members.
For MK Electric, employing the best talent has helped us to reach a centenary. It also puts the brand in a strong position to evolve to meet the needs of customers and building users for a smart and sustainable future.
Naturally, we understand that the process of hiring an apprentice is going to be different for each business, depending on its size, infrastructure and the amount of resource available, but the rewards are great. The Education and Skills Funding Agency has information available for potential employers, including guidance on funding and how smaller businesses can apply for support.
We would encourage anyone with the means to hire an apprentice to do so, as it will not only change a young person’s life, but also benefit your business and the wider industry by helping to close the skills gap. It’s crucial that the industry works together to preserve its workforce by ensuring knowledge is passed down to the next generation via apprenticeships.
Source: Electrical Review
Xylem warns of hidden costs around sewer adoption
Xylem is urging housebuilders and developers to further analyse the Sewers for Adoption process, which may be unnecessarily costing them thousands.
With the introduction of Sewers for Adoption 8 later this year, Xylem is urging housebuilders and developers to further analyse the Sewers for Adoption process, which may be unnecessarily costing them thousands of pounds in outstanding bonds.
The new Sewers for Adoption 8 will, for the first time, provide guidance on most types of sustainable drainage system (SuDS) components that can be adopted by water and sewerage companies, and may also include flood risk performance standards. However, a part of the existing legislation pertaining to pump station design may continue to cost developers and housebuilders thousands of pounds, due to a knowledge gap.
This knowledge gap concerns Section 104 of the Water Industry Act (1991), or S104, and its use in conjunction with the seventh edition of Sewers for Adoption (SFA7). Specifically, it can be found within the legal agreement between the developer and water company, stating that sewers will be built to an agreed standard before adoption by the water company. The legal agreement includes strict requirements around pumping station design, which, if misunderstood, can lead to extensive, unseen costs.
To explain, the water company receives a S104 design submission from the developer containing pumping station designs and calculations drawn up by a specialist contractor, such as Xylem. This must be approved by the water company before building commences, who then test the finished pumping station during a maintenance and monitoring period of around three months.
If the station performs to a satisfactory level during this time, the water company then adopts the sewer from the developer. To ensure the work is completed to a good standard, the developer typically supplies a bond of significant value at the beginning of this process that is only released following adoption.
Issues arise when the developer is unaware of this process and begins building work without official approval from the water company. This approval is important as anything installed without it can potentially be refused by the water company, leaving the developers with the costs of rectifying any refused work. Furthermore, this refusal can result in extended monitoring periods, leaving the developer unable to recover their bond while remaining liable for servicing and maintenance costs during this time.
With these increasing costs in mind, Xylem recommends that developers not rush ahead to installation as soon as the specialist contractor has submitted their proposed pumping system design. Instead, they should stay in close contact with the water company and designer to work through any concerns quickly and receive a full S104 agreement.
Crucially, this installation should also include the implementing specialised control system and monitoring out-station, as specified with SFA7. Bearing in mind that the entire sewer adoption process can take between six months to two years, monitoring performance and remedying any issues in this time is crucial. Installing this telemetry equipment will also limit the potential for faults during the monitoring period, allowing for a quicker return of the developer’s bond and lower maintenance costs.
Source: HPM Magazine
Plans unveiled for major revamp of The Belfry
Source: Construction Enquirer
Plan for 1,300-home led scheme near Harrow
Housing association Network Homes has bought land next to Northwick Park Hospital in Brent to kick-start a major regeneration project, bringing new homes and commercial space to the area.
Network Homes is working in partnership with London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and the local council to make Northwick Park a landmark destination, delivering new homes, a modernised university hospital, improved infrastructure and transport connections.
Outline proposals for the site masterplan will include the delivery of around 1,300 new homes on land owned by Network Homes.
A detailed planning application for phase one of the development will be submitted at the end of the year and work is expected to start on site in early 2021.
Upfront infrastructure works for the site have been estated at around £18m.
David Gooch, Executive Director of Development at Network Homes, said: “This is a really exciting milestone for the future transformation of Northwick Park.
“We look forward to continuing to work with our partners at Brent Council, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust and the University of Westminster to deliver improved transport links, more good quality affordable homes, and jobs for local people.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
Legal & General launches £500m build-to-rent scheme
Legal & General has exchanged contracts on two adjacent sites in Wandsworth which will combine to deliver its largest Build To Rent (BTR) scheme to date.
The £500m development has full planning consent and will provide around 1,000 homes and 85,000 sq ft of commercial space.
Legal & General said construction work will start by the end of this year on the six acre site near Wandsworth Town train station.
Dan Batterton, Head of Build To Rent at LGIM Real Assets said: “This latest acquisition is another great example of Legal & General investing in a location with significant urban regeneration potential and providing large scale sustainable rental schemes which will have a positive socioeconomic impact.
“The location is highly desirable for renters and, with 1,000 units planned for the site, demonstrates Legal & General’s ambition to make a real impact on the delivery of new homes within the UK.
“Representing our largest scheme to date, this flagship BTR development is another step forward towards tackling the severe housing crisis facing both London and the UK, offering homes for all ages and social groups, as well as reduced living costs thanks to economies of scale.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
CEF launches priced trade catalogue and website
CEF, the UK’s leading electrical wholesaler, has launched a new, priced trade catalogue and improved website to provide customers with a more transparent, consistent and convenient shopping experience.
The new trade catalogue, which features everyday value prices is a first for the industry and brings much needed pricing consistency and transparency to the electrical wholesale market.
Featuring more than 26,000 electrical products including cable and cable management, heating and ventilation plus lighting, lamps, wiring accessories, switchgear, industrial controls, and not forgetting hand tools, site equipment and test instruments, the CEF catalogue is certain to become an essential part of the electrician’s toolkit.
All products are available for click and collect or next day delivery wherever customers need them, and with thousands more available at cef.co.uk, installers are sure to be able to find what they need, when they need it.
“Traditionally, pricing in the electrical wholesale industry is complicated, time consuming and inconsistent” stated Andrew Moseley, CEF’s Commercial Director. “Our new priced trade catalogue is a direct response to customer feedback and part of a wider commitment from CEF to bring pricing transparency and consistency and improve the level of service we offer to our customers.”
The catalogue also highlights CEF’s new lowest priced everyday Trade Essentials range and features Connected Living products from the company’s recently launched Get Smart, Get Connected campaign.
To support the launch of the new catalogue, and create a multi-channel customer experience, CEF have also enhanced their website to include the same transparent catalogue pricing and improved the search functionality and guest checkout, allowing customers to select and purchase the products they need quickly and easily. Customers can browse more than 32,000 products online and can check stock availability at their nearest store before they ‘click and collect’ or order for next day delivery at a location convenient to them.
“Our customers want to buy the products they need as conveniently and easily as possible,” added Moseley. “With the new priced catalogue and website, CEF customers not only benefit from knowing exactly what the price is when they shop with CEF, they also have more choice over how and where they shop – be it online, in store, by phone or through our new catalogue. Anybody looking to buy electrical products can get them at their convenience and will have the same consistent experience wherever and whenever they shop at CEF.”
The new CEF catalogue is available to pick up from any of CEF’s 391 stores nationwide, or you can request a copy at www.cef.co.uk/request
Source: Electrical Times
Upskill heating supply chain now or we won’t hit net zero target
Vaillant urges government to pay attention to the call for national training programme on low-carbon skills
Vaillant has added its voice to the chorus of industry reaction over the Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report, with the manufacturer calling for the introduction of a low-carbon training programme.
Chris Wilkins, external affairs and training manager said: “Whether or not you agree with the finer points of the report, one thing is certain: it is essential that we upskill the workforce now, across the supply chain, if we are to have any chance of hitting the net zero target. At present, we have an immensely skilled workforce providing fossil fuel solutions. In order to deliver the solutions necessary to achieve the CCC’s 2050 goal, there is an urgent need for a framework, roadmap and dedicated funding to support the transition to low carbon solutions.”
He added: ”The CCC’s report focuses on using a mix of available technologies, rather than backing just one horse – a stance which we at Vaillant have also advocated in recent weeks. It also recognises that green gas and hydrogen boilers have a part to play, especially when linked with heat pumps in hybrid systems. But, whatever this mix of technologies will eventually be, there will need to be skilled individuals to design and implement the necessary infrastructure, and installers qualified to bring these solutions into UK homes…We support the CCC’s call for clear, stable and well-designed policies to support carbon reduction, and agree with the recommendations related to the decarbonisation of heating and the home environment. The emphasis on upskilling is of particular note, as this is an element which can often be missed during such discussions, but which will play a pivotal role in carbon reduction. We look forward to the government’s response.”
Source: HVN Plus
Putting the fuse to spark referrals and reviews
Property Heads have opened it’s doors on there property search engine platform to introduce professional trades to home buyers and renters across the UK.
With over 7,000 trades already signed up at NO cost to join or any fees or subscriptions unlike other trades platforms. Property Heads have developed a platform to enable a link between estate agents, landlords as well as home owners and renters to source local trades, share with friends and introduce recommended trades they have utilised in their local area.
The Property Heads network is a positive platform to help trades such as electricians to links with other businesses such as estate agent who are often looking for local electricians. The agents can refer the trades to clients, and then those customers can add referrals within their network.
The opportunities for electricians to promote there company within a profile along with contact details and website to showcase their services is simple. Just visit www.propertyheads.com and click on the JOIN button.
Property Heads is the first property search engine that works also as a way to keep people connected like LinkedIn.
We look forward to seeing having your readers join our trades section at Property Heads, and please do not hesitate to reach out if you need any further details or information.
Source: Electrical Times
Get water quality test results quicker with new app
To make it easier to submit test samples and access results quickly via a mobile, Fernox has developed the Water Quality Test app. Launching this month, installers will be able to register on Android and iOS platforms to download the app and start enjoying the time-saving benefits of this paperless service.
Once Fernox has received the sample, which can be sent using the prepaid envelope included in the Water Quality Test kit, the test results will be available to view via the app within 48 hours – with a full diagnostic report being sent via email or viewable via the Fernox web portal. This allows installers to take speedy and targeted action to resolve and restore system efficiency where central heating problems are caused by dirty and untreated system water.
As part of the service, Fernox will carry out an analysis of five key criteria system water parameters and will advise on the appropriate treatment, if necessary, or confirm that the system has been correctly treated and fully protected.
The new app will provide installers with a short online form to complete, and a location finder, with the option to scan in a boiler’s serial number, its brand name and age. Installers need only register their details once. Test samples can be tracked through the testing process via the app, and a status of ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ is available at the touch of the screen.
The app can also be used to register a Fernox TF1 Filter product warranty.
Anna Tarbuck, Global Product Management Director at Fernox, says: “We are very excited about the launch of our new Water Quality Test app. We wanted to offer installers the ability to keep track of every testing kit logged and review all the results in one, easy to access place. Testing the system water is a key part of the process to ensure boiler efficiency and we hope that this more technology led approach will aid installers in saving valuable time.”
The Fernox Water Quality Test app is free to download and compatible with all devices. Fernox Water Quality Test Kits are available for purchase through major and independent merchant branches and reputable stockists.
Source: Pham News
Green light for thousands of homes on former barracks
Planning permission has been granted for the development of thousands of homes on a former RAF airfield and barracks on the outskirts of Cambridge.
The Waterbeach proposal covers the construction 6,500 new homes and associated employment, transport, educational, health and community uses over the former Waterbeach Barracks site on the outskirts of Cambridge.
An application was submitted jointly by Urban&Civic and the then secretary of state for defence Michael Fallon and in February 2017.
South Cambridgeshire District Council resolved last night (13 May 2019) to grant permission for the scheme at a specially constituted meeting of its Planning Committee.
The 716-acre application site is entirely brownfield and is located three miles from the Cambridge Science and Business Park.
The land will remain in majority ownership of the Ministry of Defence, administered by Defence Infrastructure Organisation but subject to a participation in favour of Urban&Civic.
Further preparatory works will begin immediately with initial major infrastructure scheduled to complete by the end of 2019.
Formal planning consent remains subject to completing the associated Section 106 agreement.
Source: Insider Media
Japan’s biggest house builder moves into UK market
Japan’s biggest house builder has struck a £90m deal with Homes England and Urban Splash to deliver thousands of new properties across England.
Sekisui House are pioneers of modern methods of construction and will bring their techniques to the UK.
The deal includes new investment of £55m into regeneration company Urban Splash’s modular ‘House’ development business.
Sekisui House has invested £22m of new equity, with £30m of equity and debt funding coming from the Government’s Home Building Fund, administered through Homes England.
Entrepreneur Noel McKee, founder of We Buy Any Car, has also made a sizeable investment in the new partnership and will take an incremental 5% stake.
Yoshihiro Nakai, President and Representative Director of Sekisui House Ltd said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to work together with Homes England and Urban Splash to establish our operations and help to create outstanding communities in the UK.
“Using modern methods of construction to build high quality homes with short build times is one of our company’s great strengths.
“Our technology and know-how can help resolve pressing social issues in the UK, and I want to see us play our part effective immediately.
“These operations can also help bring vitality to UK regions, and we will work to make the strongest connections with the local communities.”
‘House’ is expected to deliver thousands of homes across England using modern methods of construction.
Minister of State for Housing, Kit Malthouse MP, said: “Sekisui House bring with them a proven track record in harnessing the modern methods of construction that are transforming home building.
“Backed by Government investment, today’s announcement will support our urgent mission to deliver more, better and faster home construction to ensure a new generation can realise the dream of home ownership.”
Sir Edward Lister, Chair of Homes England, said: “When Homes England launched last year we said we’d disrupt the housing market to increase the pace of construction.
“By helping bring one of the world’s largest and most innovative housebuilders to UK shores, we’re putting our money where our mouth is.
“By creating a more diverse landscape – where smaller builders such as Urban Splash get a stronger foothold – we’re rebuilding the building industry; driving up quality and improving consumer choice.”
Tom Bloxham, Chairman of Urban Splash, said: “We believe that there is a real opportunity in the UK housebuilding industry.
“We hope to leverage our 25 years of place-making experience and our recent investments into modular housing by bringing in new partners; having looked far and wide we chose Sekisui House from Japan because of the company’s unrivalled global experience in modular construction and shared values and philosophy that we are making homes not units, and a joint belief in the need for a green future.
“We are incredibly excited about the accelerated production of much-needed homes and evolving traditional practices as we embrace the benefits of innovative offsite construction.
“I hope it will establish us as the housing partner of choice for landowners – both public and private.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
Downing starts £250m London student tower
Liverpool-based developer Downing has started work on its largest London project to date.
The £250m student tower development at Miles Street in Lambeth also includes an adjacent 6 storey office block.
Rising to 37 storeys, the TP Bennet designed project will provide 841 student beds in a range of studios and en-suite rooms.
A second office building will provide nearly 40,000sq ft of space with a multi-use games area on the roof.
Also in Lambeth, Downing is delivering a £35m student accommodation scheme in the heart of the historic Lambeth Palace Conservation Area.
The 133-student project will back onto Archbishop’s Park, overlooks the Houses of Parliament and is located close to London’s leading higher education institutions.
The scheme features accessible rooms and students will also have the benefit of an outdoor terrace.
Ian Harrison, Downing’s development project director, said: “Both projects will create stunning buildings that sit harmoniously within Lambeth Council’s wider vision to reinvigorate the local area and its student community.
Source: Construction Enquirer
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’.
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.”
Source: HPM Magazine
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
Source: Electrical Contracting News
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.
Source: HVP Magazine
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.
Source: Electrical Times
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.
Source: HVP Magazine
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.”
Source: The Construction Index
MPs demand review of working at height dangers
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 Height, is 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.
Source: Construction Enquirer
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
For more information about the conference, please visit stopcocks.uk/women-installers-together
Source: HVP Magazine
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.
Source: Professional Electrician
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.
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.
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).
Source: Installer Online
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.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
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.
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.
Source: Electrical Contracting News
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.
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.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
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