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August Newsletter 2019

August 2019 Newsletter

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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A WEEE lamp update

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

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

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

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

 

A WEEE lamp update

A WEEE lamp update

 

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine 

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ECO3 will ‘cost installers and consumers dearly’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECO3 will 'cost installers and consumers dearly'

ECO3 will ‘cost installers and consumers dearly’

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Industry backs leading fire and security awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Industry backs leading fire and security awards

Industry backs leading fire and security awards

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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£100m Chester Racecourse revamp approved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

£100m Chester Racecourse revamp approved

£100m Chester Racecourse revamp approved

 

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B&K checks in with Manchester “Jenga” hotel

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

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

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

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

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

 

B&K checks in with Manchester “Jenga” hotel

B&K checks in with Manchester “Jenga” hotel

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package

Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Baxi 800 range ready for September launch

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

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

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

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

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

 

Baxi 800 range ready for September launch

Baxi 800 range ready for September launch

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Engineering services cautiously optimistic, says survey

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

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

 

Engineering services cautiously optimistic, says survey

Engineering services cautiously optimistic, says survey

 

Source: Electrical Review

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Kensa to step up ground source heat pump production

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kensa to step up ground source heat pump production

Kensa to step up ground source heat pump production

 

Source: HVN Plus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Radisson backs £5bn Kent theme park with hotel plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Radisson backs £5bn Kent theme park with hotel plan

Radisson backs £5bn Kent theme park with hotel plan

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Willmott Dixon to complete Pochin Stoke site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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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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