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August Newsletter 2019

August 2019 Newsletter

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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A WEEE lamp update

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

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

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

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

 

A WEEE lamp update

A WEEE lamp update

 

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine 

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ECO3 will ‘cost installers and consumers dearly’

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECO3 will 'cost installers and consumers dearly'

ECO3 will ‘cost installers and consumers dearly’

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Industry backs leading fire and security awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Industry backs leading fire and security awards

Industry backs leading fire and security awards

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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£100m Chester Racecourse revamp approved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

£100m Chester Racecourse revamp approved

£100m Chester Racecourse revamp approved

 

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B&K checks in with Manchester “Jenga” hotel

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

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

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

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

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

 

B&K checks in with Manchester “Jenga” hotel

B&K checks in with Manchester “Jenga” hotel

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package

Castle Building Services bags £6m M&E package

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Baxi 800 range ready for September launch

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

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

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

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

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

 

Baxi 800 range ready for September launch

Baxi 800 range ready for September launch

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Engineering services cautiously optimistic, says survey

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

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

 

Engineering services cautiously optimistic, says survey

Engineering services cautiously optimistic, says survey

 

Source: Electrical Review

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Kensa to step up ground source heat pump production

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Kensa to step up ground source heat pump production

Kensa to step up ground source heat pump production

 

Source: HVN Plus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Radisson backs £5bn Kent theme park with hotel plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Radisson backs £5bn Kent theme park with hotel plan

Radisson backs £5bn Kent theme park with hotel plan

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Willmott Dixon to complete Pochin Stoke site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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July Newsletter 2019

July 2019 Newsletter

 

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

 

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Apprentices deliver clear ROI, new research shows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Apprentices deliver clear ROI, new research shows

Apprentices deliver clear ROI, new research shows

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Research shows basic repair skills gap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Research shows basic repair skills gap

Research shows basic repair skills gap

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Could an electrician be Britain’s top tradesperson 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Could an electrician be Britain's top tradesperson 2019

Could an electrician be Britain’s top tradesperson 2019

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Plumbers too busy for time off

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Plumbers too busy for time off

Plumbers too busy for time off

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Go-ahead for eight-storey student scheme in Derby

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Go-ahead for eight storey student scheme in Derby

Go-ahead for eight-storey student scheme in Derby

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Construction’s best performing “ultra sites” revealed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to view the 2019 Ultra Site Award winners.

 

Construction’s best performing “ultra sites” revealed

Construction’s best performing “ultra sites” revealed

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Plans go in for 40-storey tower in Docklands

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Plans go in for 40-storey tower in Docklands

Plans go in for 40-storey tower in Docklands

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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ECIC urges electrical contractors to declare diversification

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

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

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

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

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

 

ECIC urges electrical contractors to declare diversification

ECIC urges electrical contractors to declare diversification

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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IGEM seeks installer feedback on low pressure gas supplies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IGEM seeks installer feedback on low pressure gas supplies

IGEM seeks installer feedback on low pressure gas supplies

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Positive prospects for the electrical wholesale market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Positive prospects for the electrical wholesale market

Positive prospects for the electrical wholesale market

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Heating tops the list of cost-effective home improvements

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

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

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

You can find the full study here

 

Heating tops the list of cost-effective home improvements

Heating tops the list of cost-effective home improvements

 

Source: Pham News

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Leeds Merrion Centre 17 storey office block approved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Leeds Merrion Centre 17 storey office block approved

Leeds Merrion Centre 17 storey office block approved

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Six firms win £1.5bn Oxford Uni framework

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Six firms win £1.5bn Oxford Uni framework

Six firms win £1.5bn Oxford Uni framework

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Plan to expand Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Top of Page


 

June Newsletter 2019

June 2019 Newsletter

 

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

 

Quick Links


£40m growth for bathroom market in 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

£40m growth for bathroom market in 2019

£40m growth for bathroom market in 2019

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Is your RCD protection up to standard?

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

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

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

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

For further information, visit timeguard.com

 

Is your RCD protection up to standard?

Is your RCD protection up to standard?

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News 

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HSE inspections to target construction firm dust control practice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

HSE inspections to target construction firm dust control practice 

HSE inspections to target construction firm dust control practice

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Primary Engineer programme encourages young innovators

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Primary Engineer programme encourages young innovators

Primary Engineer programme encourages young innovators

 

Source: Electrical Review

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Plan to start £85m Eden Project North in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Plan to start £85m Eden Project North in 2020

Plan to start £85m Eden Project North in 2020

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Severfield warns steelwork tender margins tightening

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

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

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

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

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

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

This predominantly impacted volumes in 2019.

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

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

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

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

 

Severfield warns steelwork tender margins tightening

Severfield warns steelwork tender margins tightening

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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£1bn Stratford East Bank scheme clears final planning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

£1bn Stratford East Bank scheme clears final planning

£1bn Stratford East Bank scheme clears final planning

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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New standard requiring in-line filters welcomed

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

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

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

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

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

 

New standard requiring in-line filters welcomed

New standard requiring in-line filters welcomed

 

Source: Pham News

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Visitor numbers soar at Subcon 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Visitor numbers soar at Subcon 2019

Visitor numbers soar at Subcon 2019

 

Source: The Engineer

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Water treatment should be considered at design stage 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Water treatment should be considered at design stage

Water treatment should be considered at design stage

 

Source: Pham News

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New online portal seeks to increase communication

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

New online portal seeks to increase communication

New online portal seeks to increase communication

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Wooden football stadium plan rejected

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Wooden football stadium plan rejected

Wooden football stadium plan rejected

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Hammerson unveils new Birmingham city quarter plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Hammerson unveils new Birmingham city quarter plan

Hammerson unveils new Birmingham city quarter plan

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

Top of Page

 

May Newsletter 2019

May 2019 Newsletter

 

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

 

Quick Links

 

 


The cables you need, where and when you need them

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

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

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

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

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

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

Call-off agreements have many benefits:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The cables you need, where and when you need them

The cables you need, where and when you need them

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

Top of Page


CTI showcases environmental technology solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CTI showcases environmental technology solutions

CTI showcases environmental technology solutions

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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MK Electric highlights benefits of apprentices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MK Electric highlights benefits of apprentices

MK Electric highlights benefits of apprentices

 

Source: Electrical Review 

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Xylem warns of hidden costs around sewer adoption

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Xylem warns of hidden costs around sewer adoption

Xylem warns of hidden costs around sewer adoption

 

Source: HPM Magazine

Top of Page


Plans unveiled for major revamp of The Belfry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Plans unveiled for major revamp of The Belfry

Plans unveiled for major revamp of The Belfry

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Plan for 1,300-home led scheme near Harrow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Plan for 1,300-home led scheme near Harrow

Plan for 1,300-home led scheme near Harrow

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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CEF launches priced trade catalogue and website

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CEF LAUNCHES PRICED TRADE CATALOGUE AND WEBSITE

CEF launches priced trade catalogue and website

 

Source: Electrical Times

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Source: HVN Plus

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Putting the fuse to spark referrals and reviews 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Putting the fuse to spark referrals and reviews

Putting the fuse to spark referrals and reviews

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Get water quality test results quicker with new app

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

GET WATER QUALITY TEST RESULTS QUICKER WITH NEW APP

Get water quality test results quicker with new app

 

Source: Pham News

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Green light for thousands of homes on former barracks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Green light for thousands of homes on former barracks

Green light for thousands of homes on former barracks

 

Source: Insider Media

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Japan’s biggest house builder moves into UK market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Japan’s biggest house builder moves into UK market

Japan’s biggest house builder moves into UK market

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Downing starts £250m London student tower

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Downing starts £250m London student tower

Downing starts £250m London student tower

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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December 2018 Newsletter

December 2018 Newsletter

‘Vent-Axia welcomes healthy homes and buildings white paper, Keeping your heating on during freezing weather, STA welcomes governments stance on solar, Three quarters of plumbers at risk of knee problems, Small business receive boost from budget plans.

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Vent-Axia welcomes healthy homes and buildings white paper

Leading British ventilation manufacturer Vent-Axia is delighted to welcome the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Healthy Homes and Buildings’ White Paper Building our Future: Laying the Foundations for Healthy Homes and Buildings, published on 24 October 2018. The White Paper makes clear recommendations to the Government on how it can improve standards in housing to benefit occupants’ health and wellbeing. This follows on from the APPG’s green paper published last year which set out the political, economic and business case for healthy homes and buildings.

The White Paper details how, as a nation, healthy homes and buildings can and should be delivered. These fall under three overarching recommendations.

  • The Government needs to establish a cross-departmental committee for health and buildings to champion change; recognising the interaction between buildings, health, education and the economy.
  • To grow the research and evidence base to develop a clear case for further Government action to improve new build standards.
  • To make renovation of current housing stock and infrastructure a Government priority and develop plans for retrofitting that takes a holistic approach to maximising health and wellbeing.

Within these recommendations to help overcome the problem of unhealthy homes the White Paper calls for better and consistent building standards and regulations. It also calls for both New Build building design and building renovations to consider health and wellbeing and take a holistic approach to consider elements such as ventilation, air quality, lighting and acoustics.

At Vent-Axia we are committed to sharing the importance of ventilation with households to help protect public health. We therefore support the publication of the APPG’s White Paper and welcome its recommendations,” said Jenny Smith, Marketing Manager at Vent-Axia. “Ventilation is often overlooked when implementing energy efficiency measures in homes. This can have a detrimental effect on indoor air quality. Without good ventilation in a home air quality can potentially deteriorate and as a result can lead to condensation, mould and a build-up of toxic chemicalsWe are therefore delighted that the White Paper calls for a national renovation strategy that takes a holistic approach to building renovation and that it recommends improved standards and regulations, which will improve installer best practice.”

A staggering 65% of homes in the UK suffer from poor indoor air quality (IAQ) as a result of inadequate ventilation. This is having a significant negative impact on the health of people in their homes with poor IAQ contributing towards many serious health problems such as asthma, lung cancer, strokes and cardiovascular disease.

In the White Paper it cites that poor IAQ is reported to cost the UK over 204,000 healthy life years, with 45% of those lost to cardiovascular diseases, 23% to asthma and allergy and 15% to lung cancer with the Royal College of Physicians warning in 2016 that indoor air pollutants cause at a minimum, thousands of deaths per year and are associated with healthcare costs in the order of ‘tens of millions of pounds’.

The publication of the White Paper follows hot on the heels of DEFRA’s new Clean Air Strategy consultation, published on 22 May 2018, which confirmed the importance of clean air in the home. This draft strategy outlines the Government’s ambitions to reduce air pollution, making our air healthier to breathe, protecting nature and boosting the economy, with the draft setting a clear direction for future air quality policies and goals. The consultation closed in August 2018 and the final UK Clean Air Strategy and detailed National Air Pollution Control Programme is to be published by March 2019.

To help protect health in the home Vent-Axia has been working hard to provide ventilation solutions to improve IAQ for households. Designed to work with the natural air infiltration, continuous ventilation systems control the air path through the home, preventing the migration of damaging humidity and pollutants, such as VOCs.

For new builds, Vent-Axia’s Sentinel Kinetic mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) system boasts an impressive 94% thermal efficiency. For private refurbishments, Vent-Axia’s Lo-Carbon Svara offers quiet, disturbance-free running helping ensure good indoor air quality and comfort. Meanwhile the Lo-Carbon Revive and the new PoziDry ProTM PIV unit has been designed specifically with social housing in mind offering an effective continuous ventilation solution for residents.

For up-to-date ventilation guidance visit www.vent-axia.com/healthyhomes. For further information on all products and services offered by Vent-Axia telephone 0844 856 0590 or visit www.vent-axia.com.

vent-axia

Vent-Axia welcomes healthy homes and buildings white paper

Source: Electrical Times

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Ideal Boilers adds Amazon Alexa integration to boiler thermostat

Ideal Boilers has announced that it is introducing Amazon Alexa integration to its Touch Connect product, giving customers the option to control their home heating through voice activation.

Touch Connect thermostats can now connect with Amazon’s voice-activated speaker, Amazon Echo, enabling the technology to respond to spoken commands through Alexa.

Customers can now ask Alexa to check their home temperature, turn the heating up or down, turn heating completely on or off or even return to any pre-set schedules. It’s also possible to check what the heating temperature is currently set to before making the decision to adjust. A series of commonly used phrases, such as ‘make it warmer’ or ‘turn the heating down’ have been programmed for use.

Luke Pykett, Head of Marketing at Ideal Boilers, commented: “Earlier this year we responded to increasing consumer demand for smart home devices through introducing Touch Connect, the app-controlled thermostat offering total heating comfort directly from smartphones, and have received fantastic customer feedback.

“As part of our mission to deliver incredible customer service we are continuing to innovate and enhance usability through introducing voice activated command services, making it even easier for customers to control their heating when, where and how they wish to.”

The use of smart speakers in UK homes is on the rise. YouGov reports that UK ownership has doubled in six months, from Q3 2017 to Q1 2018 and around 1 in 10 Brits currently own a smart speaker, which totals around 6.6 million people. 75% of the UK market uses Amazon Echo, making it the clear market leader.

idea-boilersIdeal Boilers adds Amazon Alexa integration to boiler thermostat 

Ideal Boilers adds Amazon Alexa integration to boiler thermostat

Source: HVP Magazine

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Keeping your heating on during freezing weather 

There are over 1.6 million new Condensing boilers installed every year and they can produce between 600 and 1200 litres of condensate per year which needs to be piped to a drain. If the pipework runs externally, isn’t large enough and insulated with PVC coated weather proof insulation. This pipework can freeze sending the boiler into lockout mode and will leave the home without heating.

Dave Salmon, of Plymstock Gas & Heating Services Ltd in Plymouth is one of many installers across the country that gets called out by his customers’ during harsh winter conditions within the boiler condensate pipes frozen up and putting boilers out of action.

Having followed the boiler manufacturers technical advice which solved the problem in the short term, Dave began working on a long term solution. This led to the development of the Boiler Buoy condensate bypass valve, a solution which allows the engineer or householder to drain off the condensate in a controlled way using a valve connection and hose.

This easy to fit, low cost solution can be fitted as part of the original boiler installation or during emergency call-outs or regular servicing. Once fitted the boiler buoy, will ensure that the boiler can operate uninterrupted throughout the coldest of winter conditions.

On his product, Dave said: “The idea came about following the winter of 2009/10 when the temperature reached a historic low and put tens of thousands of boilers out of action because of frozen condensate pipes leaving many homes without heating. As installers, whilst we can solve the problem in the short term, I felt that a long term solution was well overdue.

The products is now in its 9th year of production and tens of thousands have been installed and are a preferred option for many housing associations looking to avoid tenants being without heat in the winter months on historical boiler installations.

The product has been tested by some of the larger boiler manufacturers and acknowledged as an optional solution to keep boilers running.

During March 2018 we once again encountered severe low temperatures and home across the country were once again left without heating.

The Boiler Buoy is manufactured by Pump House and is available via all major heating wholesalers.

Keeping your heating on during freezing weather 

Keeping your heating on during freezing weather

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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Building controls vital to compliance 

BCIA, the Building Controls Industry Association, is encouraging the wider industry to consider the importance of implementing effective building controls from the outset of building projects in order to meet current legislation.

The 10 80 10 rule represents the total lifetime costs of a building, whereby only ten per cent of costs are invested at the design stage while a staggering 80% is spent on the running and maintaining of a building.

The BCIA is calling for a change in approach from those in the supply chain at the initial stages of building projects. By investing in an efficient controls system at the start of construction, this will dramatically lower operational costs in commercial buildings over the long term while also helping to meet a wide range of legislation.

A good example of this is the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES) which came into force earlier this year. It is now unlawful for a landlord to let or renew a lease on a property if the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating is F or G.

By installing additional zone control for instance, or demand control of lighting and heating using occupancy sensors, your EPC rating can receive a welcome boost and substantially lower unnecessary energy usage. It is these relatively simple additions to the BMS system that have a significant impact on the EPC rating.

Building controls vital to compliance 

Building controls vital to compliance

Source: HPM Magazine

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Queens Cross Housing Association to install 18,000 FireAngel alarms

FireAngel has signed a contract to supply Glasgow-based Queens Cross Housing Association with over 12,000 battery-powered smoke and heat alarms.

The WST630 smoke alarms and WHT630 heat alarms will be installed in over 3,500 properties across the city centre due to Scottish Government’s pending legislative changes following the Grenfell fire tragedy.

Under these changes to the Housing (Scotland) Act, all homes will require sealed long-life battery or mains wired alarms that are interlinked, with one functioning smoke alarm in the room that is frequently used by the occupants in the daytime, one functioning smoke alarm in every circulation space on every floor, such as hallways and landings, and one heat alarm in every kitchen. A carbon monoxide alarm will also need to be fitted in each room with a carbon-fuelled appliance or flue.

The Wi-Safe 2 wireless interlink alarms from FireAngel were chosen not only to ensure each property achieves constant compliance through the use of interlinked alarms installed in the kitchen, hallway and living room, but also due to the utilisation of FireAngel’s Thermoptek Multi-Sensor technology.

Jim Williams, maintenance manager at Queens Cross Housing Association, said, “We’ve used FireAngel’s carbon monoxide alarms in the past, so we know the quality and durability of the brand well. Following the government’s legislative updates, it’s vital that we ensure we’re providing every single tenant with the highest level of protection, which we can easily achieve with FireAngel’s range of interlinked alarms.”

Over an eighteen month period, the alarms will be installed by Queens Cross Housing Association’s maintenance team, with FireAngel’s W2-CO-1OX carbon monoxide alarms also being installed in properties where there is a carbon-fuelled appliance or flue present.

Graham Whitworth, executive chairman of FireAngel, commented, “We are delighted to be providing Queens Cross Housing Association with our range of interlinked alarms. It is crucial that all Scottish housing associations are taking a proactive approach to the new legislative changes and our Wi-Safe 2 alarms help them do just that as they are designed to provide the highest levels of protection at all times.”

Queens Cross Housing Association to install 18,000 FireAngel alarms

Queens Cross Housing Association to install 18,000 FireAngel alarms

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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STA welcomes government stance on solar

The Solar Trade Association (STA) has hailed a significant breakthrough for its #Fair4Solar campaign during the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
(BEIS) Select Committee Oral Questions.

Energy Minister Claire Perry stated that “solar power should not be provided to the grid for free”, representing a shift in government stance on the issue of fair payments for surplus electricity sold to the grid.

Responding to a question from Kevin Hollinrake MP, she said “I do completely agree that solar power should not be provided to the grid for free and that’s why I’ll shortly be announcing the next steps for small scale renewables.”

She also added in answer to a question from Richard Graham MP: “It would be wrong to have power provided to the grid for free,” and in reply to a question from Alan Whitehead MP, said: “People who have gone through the installation process should not be essentially captive takers should someone want to buy their energy and I’m looking forward to announcing some further deliberations on this shortly.”

STA welcomes government stance on solar

STA welcomes government stance on solar

Source: HPM Magazine

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Smart meters research facility to open at University of Salford

The UK’s first smart meters research facility opens this month at The University of Salford.

The ‘Smart Meters>Smart Homes’ laboratory aims to supply government and consumers with data and advice on smart meter performance and usage, and provide a research base for industry and manufacturers.

University researchers, working in partnership with industry, will explore how smart meters best work in tandem with the growing array of home technology like energy savers and storage devices, EV chargers, bots, smart speakers, sensors, and wearables.

Lead Researcher Professor Will Swan said: “Domestic energy systems are becoming more complex due to the advent of renewables, time-of-use tariffs, energy storage, and a greater fluidity in the customer-supplier relationship.

“What we currently have is an explosion of tech – but little impact on common objectives like lowering bills, cutting carbon and customer satisfaction. The University of Salford can provide clarity around the benefits, possibilities and pitfalls of this new home energy technology for consumers, regulators and innovators.”

The launch, on 7 December, will be attended by Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and MP for Salford & Eccles, along with research, industry and consumer representatives.

Smart meters research facility to open at University of Salford

Smart meters research facility to open at University of Salford

Source: HVP Magazine 

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Designing longer lasting smart home sensors

Why long-lasting sensors are key to designing the home of the future!

Home automation has been gaining traction over the past few years, with massive developments in features and relevant technologies. However, these technologies are only as effective as their power source. Here, Michele Windsor, global marketing manager at home automation battery provider Ultralife Corporation, explains the importance of having long lasting batteries at the centre of home automationproduct design.

Rube Goldberg machines are a fascinating spectacle to watch, with intricate parts moving around to create a symphony of movement to perform tasks. However, to function, every single part must work perfectly, otherwise it takes a lengthy reset before the spectacle can resume.

Just like in a Rube Goldberg machine, every piece in a smart house must work perfectly in order to create the spectacle that makes your life easier and more efficient. To make sure your smart house is always working, its sensors must always be working.

Sensors are what feed data to the smart house, so it knows what time it is, what the temperature is, or whether the sun is glaring through your windows. Most sensors are battery powered and, as they need to be active constantly, it is important to make sure that they have batteries that are reliable and long lasting.

Based on Ultralife’s experience in the sector, many sensors for smart home devices arrive on the market with CR123A model batteries. However, not all these batteries are created equal. Many are often limited in their battery capacity, which means a shorter operating life for the sensor.

Design engineers can overcome this by choosing a long-lasting CR123A battery suitable for home automation sensors, such as the CR123A range of batteries produced by Ultralife. They have an improved internal spiral construction that provides a higher capacity than is currently available in similar products on the market, while remaining long lasting for home automation functions.

According to data from Strategy Analytics, 38 per cent of homes in the USA will be smart homes by 2019.Because of this, it is incredibly important to set out solid design foundations now. Putting long lasting batteries into smart homes design now will avoid mass sensor outages, customer dissatisfaction and possible backlash against manufacturers in the future.

Whether it be your security cameras, lights, sprinklers, or your fans, sensors keep smart devices fed with relevant information to ensure they are working precisely to maximize user comfort and convenience.

In a sense, making intelligent decisions about smart homes now will allow our future selves to be awed by anintricate connected Rube Goldberg machine, performing millions of tasks simultaneously to make our lives simpler and stress free.

Designing longer lasting smart home sensors

Designing longer lasting smart home sensors

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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Three quarters of plumbers at risk of knee problems

The study conducted by The IPG, a leading group for plumbing, heating and bathroom specialists, also discovered that 57% of plumbers surveyed felt that they would need to undergo knee replacement surgery in the future due to the hardships of the profession.

Nearly two thirds (59%) also felt that they would be forced to retire early because of the injuries they pick up in their work.

On average, a UK plumber works 47 hours a week, with around half of that time spent on their knees. This can have a detrimental effect, especially if no protective work wear is worn. However, even with kneepads 77% specified that they still experience issues.

Those who have been working for over 30 years were the ones who had the worst knee issues, with 68% stating they have had physio, keyhole surgery or other operations on their knees. However, it’s not just plumbing veterans who are experiencing problems.

Tony Dark, director of trade at The IPG, said: “This is a serious issue that needs to be addressed. We would like to urge all plumbers and installers to ensure they are using specialist protection while on the job, from apprentice level all the way up to those who have been working in the trade for decades.

“It is also essential that if any plumber or installer starts to have any trouble with their knees that they consult a GP straight away in order to discover any possible problems early on to avoid more serious issues.”

Three quarters of plumbers at risk of knee problems

Three quarters of plumbers at risk of knee problems

Source: HPM Magazine

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Prepare For BS 7671:2018 Coming Into Effect

As we approach the date when the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671:2018) comes into effect (January 1 2019), it is important for all electrical contractors to ensure that they are up-to-date with the new requirements.

Mark Coles, head of technical regulations at the IET, says, “The 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations contains some significant changes to the way all electrical professionals are required to carry out their work in order to safeguard themselves and the public. With this in mind, it is essential that all electrical professionals ensure that they are up to speed with the new requirements.”

This includes new and amended requirements and recommendations around the use of Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs), Surge Protection Devices (SPDs), methods of support of wiring systems and earthing arrangements for electric vehicle charging equipment, among others.

To help industry get up-to-date, the IET offers a dedicated course on their online training resource, the IET Academy, offering comprehensive training for City & Guild’s 2382:18 qualification.

The IET Academy provides the only course for 2382 that has been prepared by the IET, which jointly publishes the IET Wiring Regulations with BSI. The authors have been carefully selected for their industry experience and knowledge of BS 7671. It is also the only online course to be endorsed by City & Guilds for this qualification.

David Phillips, director of apprenticeships and technical education City & Guilds said, “City & Guilds are committed to the highest standards of skills development and learning in the electrotechnical industry. We are proud to have collaborated with the IET on this innovative online tool, which will up-skill thousands of individuals on the 18th Edition. It will enable electrical professionals to get up to scratch on this important new regulation quickly, flexibly and cost-effectively.”

Fitting around work, the IET Academy provides a learning solution that doesn’t take electricians away from their job and can be completed anywhere and at any time.

The course, which is suitable for anyone needing working knowledge of BS 7671, including electrical installers, designers, specifiers and those working in the inspection and testing of electrical equipment, will also fully prepare electricians for the City & Guilds 2382:18 exam.

Martin Davies, head of the IET academy added, “The IET Academy’s Wiring Regulations course provides a customisable and flexible approach to technical learning and knowledge, allowing electricians to be in control of how their learning is delivered. This not only ensures that the course is manageable around working hours, but by using an IET endorsed course, electricians can be safe in the knowledge that they are familiar with the current requirements for electrical wiring as well as preparing them for their City & Guilds 2382:18 exam.”

The course is available for individuals or for corporate customers. For more information, visit theiet.org/academy-regs-ecn or contact academy@theiet.org.

The IET also offers BS 7671 and a range of expert guidance, both in print and digital versions, to help you get up-to-date ahead of the 18th Edition coming into effect. Find out more at theiet.org/18th-resources-ecn

Prepare For BS 7671:2018 Coming Into Effect

Prepare For BS 7671:2018 Coming Into Effect

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Ex-gas engineer sentenced for illegal gas work while unregistered

A former gas engineer has been sentenced today after conducting gas work he was no longer registered or competent to do and leaving it in a dangerous condition.

Exeter Crown Court heard how Scott Lowry, who previously traded as S J Lowry Plumbing and Heating, undertook the installation of a new gas boiler at a property in Ivybridge during September 2017. A matter of hours after he had completed the installation, the boiler developed faults and the homeowners reported these faults to him. Mr Lowry attended the address on numerous occasions after the installation but was unable to resolve the issues. A Gas Safe-registered gas engineer later inspected the work and found it to be of poor standard, classing it as ‘At Risk’.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Mr Lowry’s membership of Gas Safe Register had expired on 19 April 2017 and, after this time, he was no longer registered to undertake gas work. Mr Lowry used his old Gas Safe Register number on the commissioning document supplied to the home owners and did so knowing that this was no longer valid. The investigation also found Scott Lowry had left the gas boiler flue that he fitted in a dangerous state that allowed the gas boiler fumes to leak into the property and could have caused carbon monoxide poisoning.

Scott Lowry of Broad Street, Modbury pleaded guilty to breaching Regulations 3(3), 3(7) and 26(1) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998. He has been sentenced to eight months prison, suspended for 18 months for each offence, to run concurrently. In addition he was fined £500, and ordered to pay the homeowners £500 compensation and £1,000 for the prosecution costs.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: “Mr Lowry undertook gas work which he knew he was not registered to do. He deliberately deceived a retired couple.

“The gas work that Mr Lowry undertook put the lives of the homeowners and anyone visiting them at serious risk from carbon monoxide poisoning.

“All gas work must be done by a registered Gas Safe engineer to ensure the highest standards are met to prevent injury and loss of life.”

Ex-gas engineer sentenced for illegal gas work while unregistered

Ex-gas engineer sentenced for illegal gas work while unregistered

Source: HVP Magazine

Top of Page


Torquay Landlord handed suspended sentence for gas safety failings

A Torquay landlord has been sentenced after failing to ensure proper landlord’s gas safety checks were undertaken at his tenanted property.

Newton Abbot Magistrates’ Court heard how Mr Mehmet Sevim, a former Gas Safe-registered engineer and current landlord of residential properties, had contracted a fitter who was not a member of Gas Safe Register to undertake a landlord’s gas safety check at one of his tenanted properties.

During an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Mr Sevim repeatedly maintained throughout that he had used a person who he could not name to undertake the landlord’s gas safety check for him. He failed to make any checks on the individual, including checking if he was registered with Gas Safe Register. The investigation also found the landlord’s gas safety certificate used false Gas Safe Register engineer details which Mr Sevim later admitted to the court that he had produced the fraudulent certificate. It was also found that Mr Sevim had tried to bribe a prosecution witness before the trial by offering them £300 to change their evidence.

Mehmet Sevim of Ellacombe Church Road, Torquay was found guilty of breaching Regulations 36 (4) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations and has been sentenced to 26 weeks prison, suspended for two years and ordered to undertake 240 hours unpaid work. Mr Sevim was also ordered to pay costs of £5,330.76.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Simon Jones said: “Mr Sevim lied throughout this investigation and only at sentencing did finally tell the truth about how he falsified a landlord’s gas safety certificate.

“There can be no excuse for a landlord to ever falsify a gas safety certificate and this sentence should send a clear warning to all landlords’ that the courts take such matters very seriously.

“Landlords must ensure that only Gas Safe-registered engineers work on gas appliances at their tenanted properties. A landlord can check that a person is registered on the Gas Safe Register website and these checks are free and quick.”

Torquay Landlord handed suspended sentence for gas safety failings

Torquay Landlord handed suspended sentence for gas safety failings

Source: HVP Magazine

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Households in fuel poverty climb to £2.55 million, despite Government efforts

Fuel poor households in the UK have risen by 210,000 to 2.55 million, according to the Committee on Fuel Poverty’s (CFP) Third Annual Report.

The CFP is an advisory non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with a remit to support and challenge the government on its fuel poverty strategy.

The committee has made a series of recommendations on how the government can alter its current strategy to meet 2020/25 milestones, and 2030 targets for fuel poverty and energy efficiency.

As a result of “slow than forecast progress” and an increase in fuel poor homes, the CFP estimates that the funding gap needed to successfully deliver the government’s fuel poverty strategy has increased from £15.1 billion to £17.1 billion.

The fuel poverty strategy is based on the idea that energy efficiency upgrades are the most effective way to tackle fuel poverty. However, because this is fundamentally a long-term strategy, it is important to have assistance schemes in place to help homeowners pay fuel bills and stay warm.

The CFP report recommends that the government improves these relevant schemes to better target fuel poor households and ensure that households in fuel poverty receive assistance at least equivalent to pensioners.

To read the CFP report, and see the committee’s full list of recommendations to the government, click here.

Households in fuel poverty climb to £2.55 million, despite Government efforts

Households in fuel poverty climb to £2.55 million, despite Government efforts

Source: HVP Magazine

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Small businesses receive boost from budget plans 

ECA and BESA’s call to protect SMEs from employment red tape and to increase support for engineering skills has been reflected in the Budget announcement made by Chancellor Philip Hammond on Monday October 29.

The Chancellor plans to change the way self-employed people working for companies are taxed, by extending the public sector IR35 system to the private sector. The government move is aimed at ensuring that individuals who work through their own companies, but operate like employees, are classified as employees for taxation and national insurance purposes.

This change only applies to private firms with more than 50 employees or a turnover of more than £10 million, in order to protect small businesses from red tape. These medium and large businesses will be responsible for checking contractors’ status from April 6 2020, allowing employers time to prepare.

The Chancellor also acknowledged the vital importance of investing in technical skills, by announcing that the 10% contribution rate that SMEs must pay when they take on apprentices will be halved to 5%, although the exact date this will come into effect remains to be confirmed. While the change applies principally to SMEs, it could also benefit Apprenticeship Levy payers who have used up their levy pot, and wish to take on more apprentices.

Andrew Eldred, ECA director of employment and skills, commented, “The decision to reduce co-investment rates for apprenticeships, and apply IR35 changes in the private sector to medium and large employers, show that the government has taken on board representations from ECA.

“These measures will mean that small businesses won’t be burdened with the changes to taxation, while employers will be able to offer more apprenticeships and narrow the skills gap.”

“We will continue to work closely with government and industry decision makers to ensure the details of the implementation of these budget provisions are in its members’, and the industry’s, best interests.”

Alexi Ozioro, BESA public affairs and policy manager, added, “Overall we are pleased with this budget. Changes to investment allowances, plant and machinery tax breaks, the Apprenticeship Levy and relaxing the rules around repurposing commercial buildings to be demolished and replaced with homes are all welcome.”

“We hoped the Chancellor would have referred back to his Spring Statement promise to ‘tackle the scourge of late payment,’ although other Ministers have made good commitments on this recently.”

A further consultation on the detailed operation of the IR35 reform will be published in the coming months. This consultation will inform the draft Finance Bill legislation, which is expected to be published in summer 2019.

Ahead of the Budget, ECA and BESA issued a five point plan to Chancellor Philip Hammond, including proposals on IR35, technical skills, fair payment, cash retention and low-carbon investment for buildings and infrastructure.

Small businesses recieve boost from budget plans 

Small businesses recieve boost from budget plans

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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