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August 2018 Newsletter

August 2018 Newsletter

A quarter of Brits now own one or more Smart Home devices, BEAMA releases first ventilation white paper, ECS Registered Electrician reaches milestone, Government funding stalled Carillion hospital, Heating sector thriving, London’s Mayor boiler initiative gets thumbs up and young people encouraged to get on board by construction industry.’

 

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Almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more Smart Home devices

YouGov’s Smart Homes 2018 Report indicates that close to a quarter of Britons (23%) own one or more smart home devices (excluding smart meters), while one in ten now (8%) have two or more, underlining the growth in the industry. Smart home devices include; smart lighting, smart security, smart speakers and smart thermostats.

Smart speakers remain most popular (11% own one of these), ahead of a smart thermostat (6%), lighting (5%) and security (3%).

The report shows that once someone buys one smart home device, they are more inclined to purchase another. Among people who currently own at least one smart appliance, consideration for getting other smart devices increases to 40%.

Smart speaker owners are much more likely to own another device. A fifth of smart speaker owners also own smart lighting, compared to 5% of the population. Similarly, 19% have a smart thermostat, against 6% of the public.

What are the barriers to further growth?

Three quarters (75%) of non-owners are aware of smart home appliances, but don’t know much about them. Only 16% of non-owners believe they are fully aware of smart home appliances and know a lot about them (this rises to 39% among owners).

Looking specifically at digital assistants, 56% of smart home device non-owners say they don’t see the need for them, as do 54% of owners.

YouGov’s data underlines how security fears are one barrier to industry growth. Of the concerns people have about smart appliances, hacking/cyber-attacks come out on top, with 39% of non-owners saying this. Over a third (36%) of this group believe the appliances are too expensive, while the same percentage have fears over data privacy.

Ownership numbers are impressive, for this point in the product cycle. The key is to get people buying their first device. Once they do so, they are much more likely to go on and add to their smart home collection. This means that the smart home industry has two areas of growth that may require different strategies – existing entrants to the market, and those from outside.

Having said that, many people are either suspicious or don’t see the need for the devices. To truly initiate a smart home revolution, prospective customers need not only to be convinced of the capabilities of the technology, but why they need it and how it can help them.

 

Almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more Smart Home devices

Almost a quarter of Britons now own one or more Smart Home devices

Source: Electrical Times

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BEAMA launches ventilation white paper

BEAMA has published its first ventilation white paper entitled Better Ventilation, Better Homes, Better Health, with a raft of measures aimed at solving the issues facing the industry and helping to deliver better indoor air quality in UK homes.

The white paper identifies two main issues facing the industry:

  • The lack of a joined-up approach towards energy efficiency and ventilation
  • Poor-quality installations which are ‘plaguing the industry’

The paper calls for compulsory assessments of ventilation provision following the installation of energy efficiency measures, a revision of Building Regulations to refocus on ensuring ‘in-use performance and end users’ needs’ and asks the government to make it compulsory that all ventilation installations are undertaken by an installer who is a member of a competent persons scheme.

BEAMA also call on the government to make indoor air quality a priority by financially incentivising the installation of ventilation improvements and undertaking public education campaigns on the health risks of indoor air pollution and the simple steps that homeowners can take to improve their own home air.

The white paper details four overarching steps that government should take, and outlines how these can be achieved, in improving ventilation and indoor air quality in UK homes:

  1. Improve the focus on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) in the Building Regulations
  2. Improve compliance with the current Building Regulations
  3. Avoid problems of poor air quality following refurbishment
  4. Make IAQ a government priority

Keith Ritchie, Chairman of the BEAMA Ventilation Group, said: “As homes are becoming ever more airtight we need to focus on ensuring that the ventilation industry plays its part in helping to deliver good indoor air quality. Energy efficiency improvements are being made in isolation without due consideration to the unintended consequences of sealing up homes and where installations of ventilation are being made, they are often not up to scratch.

“Our white paper aims to tackle all of these issues with a few simple steps that government could take to help ensure better indoor air for all.”

To access the White Paper, please click here.

 

BEAMA launches ventilation white paper

BEAMA launches ventilation white paper

Source: HVP Magazine

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ECS Registered Electrician reaches 10,000 milestone

Over 10,000 ECS cardholders have signed up to become ECS Registered Electricians since the initiative was launched last October, says the JIB.

The JIB established ECS Registered Electrician status to recognise those who are not only working at the industry-recognised Level 3 status, but also have the current edition of the Wiring Regulations.

Following the introduction of BS7671:2018 this month, there will be a transition period until January 1 2019 where both the 17th and 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations will be accepted for a Registered Electrician application. After this point, only the 18th Edition will be accepted.

All Registered Electricians will have until July 1 2019 to update their ECS account with the BS7671:2018 qualification.

“The achievement of 10,000 is a fantastic first milestone and that number continues to grow daily,” said David Thomas. “With the introduction of the 18th Edition, we are set to see even more electricians now opting to become Registered Electrician after gaining their BS7671:2018 qualification.

“Feedback from our cardholders shows that the Registered Electrician status is a highly desired and positive move for the industry, raising not just standards but also the profile of electricians and electrical contracting.”

 

ECS Registered Electrician reaches 10,000 milestone

ECS Registered Electrician reaches 10,000 milestone

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Homeowners must ensure gas safety, warns Gas Tag

Homeowners are being urged to check their gas and electrical appliances over the summer months after a survey revealed a basic lack of safety knowledge among property owners.

New research reveals that 66% of homes in the UK have defective gas appliances and 40% of smoke alarms do not work.

There are also over 1.1 million illegal gas installations carried out each year – putting the lives of millions of people at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, fires and explosions.

Leading RegTech company Gas Tag said the summer months are the perfect time of the year to check appliances in the home.

Gas Tag says booking a Gas Safe registered engineer to visit during the summer months will help to reduce the number of gas related incidents during the winter period.

Stephen Ullathorne, co-CEO of Gas Tag, said: “We all know how busy it gets at this time of year, but taking time out from our hectic schedule to ensure our appliances are safe could be a life-saver.

“Research tells us that fewer than five per cent of households put a gas safety check on their to-do list during the summer season, but it really should be the number one priority.”

Gas Safe Register, the official gas registration organisation for the UK, says almost a fifth of households do not have their gas appliances legally checked, meaning as many as 12 million people could be living with dangerous appliances.

As many as 50% of all appliances in the lounge were deemed either at risk or immediately dangerous when audited by the Gas Safe Register.

 

Homeowners must ensure gas safety, warns Gas Tag

Homeowners must ensure gas safety, warns Gas Tag

Source: HPM Magazine

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Moveable bridge installed at Canary Wharf

The deck of a movable bridge has been installed in Canary Wharf following a 36-hour voyage across the North Sea from its fabrication site in Belgium.

The 28-metre single-leaf bascule bridge will provide a road and pedestrian link between Montgomery Square and Canary Wharf’s new district, Wood Wharf.

Designed by engineers COWI, Knight Architects and Eadon Consulting, the bridge was manufactured by Victor Buyck Steel Construction for client Canary Wharf Contractors.

Twin hydraulic cylinders underneath the eastern end of the steel span will raise the deck to allow large vessels to pass and only in this raised position will the bridge reveal its steel structure and mechanical parts.

COWI engineer Vlad Opanasiuk said: “As intended, it looks like a simple design – but there is nothing simple about this bridge.

“Both the substructure and superstructure required bespoke structural details to achieve the understated appearance envisaged by the architects.

“The deck needs to be light enough to be raised but strong enough to support the crossing vehicles and pedestrians.

“We therefore selected an orthotropic steel deck solution, which is lighter and more flexible than a concrete one, significantly reducing the power required to raise it.

“To create an open space for pedestrians, the bridge has a relatively wide deck. To provide the necessary torsional stiffness and a visually clean soffit, the main longitudinal girders, which run along the edges of the deck, are tapering closed box sections.

“It’s been a fascinating project to work on. Solving complex engineering challenges to bring brilliant designs like this to reality is what makes being an engineer so rewarding.”

The bridge’s location also posed a challenge.

COWI engineer and project manager Musa Chunge said: “The Jubilee Line runs below the waterway and parallel to the bridge so we worked closely with Canary Wharf and TFL to develop a safe piled foundation design for the bridge abutments and the marine causeway that forms the eastern approach.”

 

Moveable bridge installed at Canary Wharf

Moveable bridge installed at Canary Wharf

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Government to fund stalled Carillion hospital

The government has confirmed it will directly fund work to complete construction of the Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

Work stopped in January following the collapse of original contractor Carillion.

The Department of Health and Social Care said: “Under the agreement, the government will provide funding for the remainder of the building work at Midland Metropolitan Hospital.

“The new hospital will be built by 2022.”

Procurement for a new contractor will start in November with a winner chosen before next summer.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust had explored the option of a new private finance deal to complete the hospital but there was no appetite in the market.

Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust Chief Executive, Toby Lewis, said: “This is absolutely fantastic news.

“After a huge amount of work by teams across Whitehall and the Trust, and with the voices of local residents, clinicians, and stakeholders having been clearly heard, we are delighted that we now have a definitive, publicly financed plan.

“We will continue to engage with the construction market over coming weeks and build towards a formal procurement by November this year.

“We always said Midland Met would be delivered and the doubters were wrong”

 

Government to fund stalled Carillion hospital

Government to fund stalled Carillion hospital

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Tradify launches in the UK

Tradify (www.tradifyhq.com), the powerful job management app for small business owners in the construction industry, has launched into the UK. Tradify simplifies time-consuming administration activities, allowing builders, plumbers and electricians to focus on what really matters.

Already successful with over 10,000 users in Australia and New Zealand, and easy to use, Tradify is designed to simplify everyday administration tasks such as scheduling jobs, completing quotes, tracking materials and sending invoices.

“If you are a builder, plumber or electrician running single or multiple job sites, Tradify takes the hassle out of organising materials and people – and gives you clear information on the profit and loss on a job,” explains Robert Mark, Managing Director of Tradify in the UK.

“For small businesses, saying ‘yes’ to every job brings in money, but also problems, with days spent working while valuable evenings and weekends are spent catching up on paperwork. Tradify helps small business owners streamline these everyday tasks, freeing up time.”

Tradify enables tradespeople to become more professional in their job management, increasing productivity and enhancing their company reputation with customers. Job details and sub-contractors can be set up and managed, with sub-contractors updated on job status, such as task deadlines and materials needed from the merchant or wholesaler, in real time via the Tradify App.

“You can track a job from the initial quote to the final invoice and everything in between, out on site or at the office on your smartphone or tablet,” explains Rob. “Tradify gives you insights into your business which you need to help you grow and become more successful.”

From just £20 per month for one to nine users, Tradify is the business partner every successful tradesperson needs.

For more information visit www.tradifyhq.com

 

Tradify launches in the UK

Tradify launches in the UK

Source: Electrical Times

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Heating Sector thriving as demand for oil expertise grows

OFTEC registration figures have hit a five-year high and are continuing to rise, underlining the increasing value both technicians and consumers are placing on professional qualifications.

The continued low price of oil compared to electricity, LPG and renewable heating technologies – the other heating options available to off grid households – has seen demand for oil remain strong with many consumers choosing to stick with, or even switch to oil.

Technicians are capitalising on the popularity of oil by renewing or taking out oil registration for the first time, with OFTEC seeing an increasing number of gas technicians expand into the sector to take advantage of the new business opportunities on offer.

It is anticipated the recent announcement by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that oil boilers will be included in the next round of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO3), will likely spark a further wave of technicians seeking OFTEC registration which is mandatory to work on the scheme.

OFTEC training manager, David Knipe, said: “While many sectors are facing uncertainty about the future, the heating profession is thriving. All the time households need heat and hot water, there will be demand for skilled technicians.

“However, what consumers are looking for is changing. Social media means that incidences of poor workmanship are widely shared and consumers are becoming ever more aware of the risks of employing an unqualified tradesperson. OFTEC registration demonstrates competence and provides homeowners with the peace of mind they are dealing with a professional. This puts those technicians who can legitimately display the OFTEC badge at a distinct advantage when quoting for work.

“With heating technologies evolving and sector and business legislation continually changing, even the most experienced technicians can benefit from OFTEC training and the additional benefits this brings, including free technical advice and regular sector updates. Being able to confidently advise customers on the best solution for their needs could make the difference between winning and losing a job.”

To keep pace with the rise in demand, the number of OFTEC training centres across the country has grown to 88, with the total expected to top 90 by the end of the year.

 

Heating Sector thriving as demand for oil expertise grows

Heating Sector thriving as demand for oil expertise grows

Source: HPM Magazine

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ECA’s #Project18 roadshow a major success

ECA holds successful event series introducing changes to the 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations

Thousands of contractors and installers attended ECA’s #Project18 roadshow events during July, to learn about the changes introduced within the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS7671).

Over a three week period, around 2,000 people attended 14 events held across the country. In addition, these events had the added bonus of a CPD element delivered by one of ECA’s technical experts, supported by leading industry manufacturers.  These roadshows also provided an excellent opportunity for ECA members to network with others within the industry.

Most of the events were also supported by a small exhibition showcasing several promotions and products, including stands from roadshow partners Schneider, Eaton and Legrand.

Steve Martin, ECA Director of Technical, commented:

“The roadshows were a superb way for ECA members to easily learn about the changes contained within the latest edition of the IET Wiring Regulations. It was also great to see ECA members networking with each other to build new business relationships.”

Matt Crunden, Training and BIM Manager at Legrand, commented:

“The ECA Project18 roadshow was one of the ‘not to be missed’ events of the year. The quality of the information presented in the seminars was excellent and the event organisation was first class. Legrand Electric Ltd was proud to be part of the roadshow.”

Marc Gaunt, Segment Marketing Manager at Eaton, commented:

“Eaton was delighted to see the levels of attendance by ECA members at this year’s Project18 events. As well as providing a great platform to understand more about the 18th Edition, the events were a fantastic opportunity to discuss pragmatic, layered approaches for our industry to enhance building safety.”

ECA member representative Keith Basing, of Phoenix ME Ltd, commented:

“I have attended a few presentations on the 18th Edition, but this was the best one by far.”

The new Wiring Regulations were published on 2 July 2018, and will come into full effect on 1 January 2019. ECA is providing members with a range of online tools, resources and discounted training to help get them up-to-speed.

Full details of The ECA #Project18 campaign can be found at www.project18.co.uk.

 

ECA's #Project18 roadshow a major success

ECA’s #Project18 roadshow a major success

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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London Mayor’s new boiler initiative gets thumbs up from industry

The Cleaner Heat Cashback announced last week by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been broadly welcomed by industry.

The scheme, which will allow small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Greater London to apply for a share of a £10 million pot to replace older, working boilers (ten years plus) will help to reduce overall emission rates within the capital.

Customers looking to make the changes are being urged to do so quickly as the allocation of funds will be made on a strict first come, first served basis. All applications will also need to be made online.

Eligibility for the initiative specifies that applicants must be a London-based SME and either own the building or have responsibility for it and permission from the landlord to make the appropriate changes.

Ideal Commercial Boilers believes the initiative is a great incentive for businesses to reassess their current carbon footprint.

Andy Forrest, national sales manager, said: “For those who will have to upgrade their current heating systems there are several incentives available to help with costs. For instance, the initiative offers 30 to 35% cashback on replacement boilers, an incentive that should encourage SMEs to replace older units.

“The added five per cent capital expenditure will be a bonus for those customers who are within an Air Quality Focus Area (areas with high levels of carbon emissions).

Vaillant “highly commended this positive initiative” to incentivise and support SMEs to replace old, inefficient commercial boilers with much cleaner and more efficient alternatives.

John Bailey, sales director, commercial & renewable systems, said: “We would champion a national roll out of this scheme across other cities in the UK as we believe it will help to reduce energy wastage and unnecessarily inflated heating bills, and contribute to the reduction in air pollution to provide a healthier environment for all. We look forward to supporting the installer network in London to deliver this scheme.”

The Builders Merchant Federation supports the initiative, which builds on earlier residential schemes by successive Mayors.

John Newcomb, chief executive, said: “The fact that Cleaner Heat is now aimed at commercial premises signals not only a political determination to tackle poor air quality, but seeks to change the thinking of SME owners towards their day-to-day running costs.

“Significant savings can be made in business costs by upgrading to a modern heating system that our members make and supply. The 30% rate is generous and ought to entice companies to act. Although his offer is confined to the capital, the Mayor has moved to help London firms to cut bills, reduce emissions, improve air quality and encourage further investment.”

The Industrial and Commercial Energy Association believes the scheme is a positive step for businesses, carbon reduction and air quality.

Ross Anderson, director, added: “There is widespread recognition that domestic heating requires decarbonisation but industrial and commercial energy efficiency also needs to be addressed. A commercial boiler scrappage scheme will not only improve London’s air quality, it will also act as a catalyst to spur businesses on to consider additional energy efficiency improvements such as controls.”

 

London Mayor's new boiler initiative gets thumbs up from industry

London Mayor’s new boiler initiative gets thumbs up from industry

Source: HPM Magazine

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Young people encouraged to get on board by 85% of construction industry

The Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign to provide essential information and resources to help the industry address the urgent issue of attracting the future workforce.

The survey revealed that although 85% of respondents would recommend a career in construction to young people, 84% feel the ongoing perception of construction as being manual work is the main reason it remains an unpopular career choice.

The survey of the construction industry in the UK and Ireland received around 800 responses, and also uncovered that:

  • 77% view the skills shortage as the most pressing issue facing the construction industry.
  • 72% cite the challenging nature of work as the main benefit of a construction career.
  • 53% know young people who are, or could be, interested in a construction career.

On the subject of what the industry can do to attract the next generation:

  • 37% mentioned changing perception/promoting benefits.
  • 26% suggested engaging schools and colleges.
  • 15% mentioned apprenticeships and training.

‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ – hosted on the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub – has been launched by the Scheme to raise awareness of the wide range of resources, organisations, case studies, key information and guidance available to help construction to attract the future workforce.

The campaign contains a wide range of practical case studies of what organisations have done to help attract more people in to the industry. These include contributions from organisations such as: Balfour Beatty; Class of Your Own; Engie; Hobson and Porter; Kier; Laing O’Rourke; Mace; McLaughlin & Harvey and Wates.

In addition, the Scheme has collaborated with CITB’s Go Construct initiative to produce promotional posters for registered sites, companies, suppliers, clients and professional partners to use to help attract potential workers to consider a career in construction.

With over a quarter (26%) of survey respondents seeing engagement with schools and colleges as crucial to helping address the shortage of workers, the Scheme is pleased to report that 91% of respondents said their site or company engages with schools or youth groups – and 66% have personally visited schools or youth groups to discuss their career.

A key mechanism to help improve perceptions amongst school children, teachers and parents is through the industry’s mascots Ivor Goodsite and Honor Goodsite. In 2017 alone, Ivor/Honor visited over 22,000 school children.

Considerate Constructors Scheme chief executive Edward Hardy said: “The shortage of new entrants in to the workforce is one of the most pressing issues facing the construction industry. With over 400,000 new recruits needed each year to deliver construction projects, we must all take steps to attract the next generation.

“While we do have a great industry, one that is working hard to improve its image – as evidenced by the fact that 85% of those within the industry would recommend a career in construction – we need to do so much more to continually improve our standards in order to drive the perception change much needed to make the industry more attractive.

“The Scheme’s Best Practice Hub is at the epicentre of helping to share best practice across construction. Through the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign, we are delighted to use our reach and influence across the entire industry to help provide key resources to address this critical issue.”

‘Spotlight on… the next generation’ will be continually updated with new case studies, resources and guidance. Email enquiries@ccsbestpractice.org.uk with any ideas and suggestions you may have and to showcase any case studies from your organisation.

Click here to read ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’.

 

Young people encouraged to get on board by 85% of construction industry

Young people encouraged to get on board by 85% of construction industry

Source: Electrical Times

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Plans in for Birmingham Commonwealth Games village

Birmingham’s plans to host the 2022 Commonwealth Games have stepped up with the submission of plans for the athlete’s village.

The Commonwealth Games Village, proposed to be built on the site of the former Birmingham City University campus in Perry Barr, would be large enough to accommodate the 6,500 athletes and officials coming to Birmingham in the summer of 2022.

The accommodation will also feature a running track and green spaces and is a short distance from Alexander Stadium where the track and field events will take place.

Glancy Nicholls Architects has developed the masterplan of the Commonwealth Games Village.

After the Games, the Village would provide around 1,400 new homes across a range of different tenures. The development would also include an extra care village for older people and a community centre.

John Crabtree, Chair of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, said: “In the seven months since being awarded the 2022 Games there has been a lot of work done to prepare this planning application.

“Now is the time for anyone with an interest in the regeneration of Perry Barr to look at our plans in detail and give feedback to the city council planners.

“We want the people of the West Midlands to have ownership of the Games and this is one of the first significant ways in which they can do that.”

 

Plans in for Birmingham Commonwealth Games village

Plans in for Birmingham Commonwealth Games village

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Human Rights Commission warns on flammable cladding

The use of flammable cladding on Grenfell Tower and other high-rise residential blocks constitutes a breach of the residents’ human rights, according to the Equality & Human Rights Commission, and thus exposes public authorities to prosecution under the Human Rights Act 1998.

The Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written to the Department for Housing, Communities & Local Government (DHCLG) outlining its concerns about the continued use of combustible cladding in existing buildings and advising the department of its responsibilities under human rights laws to protect lives.

The EHRC is supported by the British Safety Council in its challenge to the government over its failure to protect lives

In a briefing paper on the subject, the EHRC says: “A key issue in the Grenfell inquiry will be whether the building regulations banned the use of polyethylene-based cladding in high-rise residential blocks, due to the risk of fire associated with it. If the building regulations did ban its use, questions will be asked about the adequacy of the systems for monitoring and supervising compliance with those regulations, including in council buildings, to ensure that cladding was installed safely. Both scenarios raise questions about whether the UK has met its duty to protect life. Additional issues arise concerning fire safety regulations, including the installation of fire sprinklers in high-rise buildings.”

The EHRC has expressed its concern that the consultation on the use of external cladding omits any reference to the government’s duty to protect lives under article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights and schedule 1 to the Human Rights Act 1998.

British Safety Council chairman Lawrence Waterman said: “The British Safety Council has participated in the consultation, calling for much tighter building controls, clearer guidance and effective enforcement. The EHRC intervention takes a wider view and supports our long-held and consistent argument that health and safety is a crucial underpinning of the human right to life.”

The EHRC explains: “The right to life is one of the fundamental guarantees in international human rights law. In many respects it is a prerequisite to, and closely linked with, the enjoyment of all other rights. The right to life is protected under international and European human rights treaties, including Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The UK government has signed up to these treaties and has to abide by them at all times.

“Article 2 of the ECHR is particularly important in the UK as it has been incorporated into domestic law by the Human Rights Act 1998. This means that all UK governments and public bodies – central, local and devolved – including all public officials, have to take appropriate measures to safeguard life by making laws to protect people and, in some circumstances, by taking active steps to protect people if their lives are at risk. If they don’t do this, they can be taken to court.”

Solicitor Anjon Malik, construction partner at Gordons law firm, commented: “The Human Rights Commission’s intervention that the use of flammable cladding on Grenfell Tower and other high-rise buildings is a breach of human rights is an issue that the Grenfell Inquiry will not be able to ignore. If it turns out that the use of polyethylene-based cladding in high rise cladding had actually been banned by building regulations but it’s continued use had not been properly monitored, the public will rightly expect those in authority to be held to account. And, unless and until those responsible face the severest consequences, the clamour for heads to roll will continue.”

 

Human Rights Comission warns on flammable cladding

Human Rights Comission warns on flammable cladding

Source: The Construction Enquirer

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UK tradespeople most safety conscious in Europe, finds survey

According to the findings of a recent health and safety survey conducted for Bosch, UK tradespeople are the most safety conscious in Europe.

The poll canvased the views plumbers and other building trade professionals in the UK and eight other European countries including Germany, France, Spain and Italy.

Over 100 tradespeople from the UK were surveyed, with 824 participants across Europe in total.

The results found that 56% of the UK tradespeople said that they stopped work several times a day or even more frequently in order to meet health and safety requirements. Across the channel in France around 35% of workers were stopping a similar amount of times, while in Spain it was 37.5% and in Germany a little over 39%.

The survey also shed light on which tasks trade professionals place most importance on, in terms of using protection. In the UK grinding metal was rated highest, with 46% of respondents flagging it up. After this came drilling concrete and sawing wood.

 

UK tradespeople most safety conscious in Europe, finds survey

UK tradespeople most safety conscious in Europe, finds survey

Source: HVP Magazine

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July 2018 Newsletter

July 2018 Newsletter

Gas Safe Register urges Summer checks for gas appliances, IET & BSI publish 18th edition of Wiring Regulations, online plumbing product sales set to rise, Facebook to build major UK HQ at King’s Cross, Baxi launches online booking for training and survey of manufacturers indicates construction growth ahead.’

 

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Gas Safe Register urges Summer checks for gas appliances

Gas Safe Register is highlighting summer statistics to encourage consumers and installers to check gas appliances “come rain or shine”.

Nearly 1,300 sites were identified as unsafe by Gas Safe Register’s inspections team last summer due to dangerous gas appliances being found, 18% higher than the number of unsafe sites recorded in the previous winter months.

Despite these findings, a survey of more than 2,000 UK adults found that one in five (19%) would only consider getting their gas appliances checked if they stopped working.

The cities with the most unsafe gas appliances last summer were:

London – 277

Birmingham – 89

Coventry – 45

Cardiff – 41

Newcastle – 38

Manchester – 34

Sheffield – 34

Norwich – 33

Edinburgh – 26

Nottingham – 24

Jonathan Samuel, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “Our inspections data shows that it doesn’t matter what time of year it is, your gas appliance could still put your health and home at risk if it’s not been safety checked recently.”

Gas Safe Register urges Summer checks for gas appliances

Gas Safe Register urges Summer checks for gas appliances

Source: HVP Magazine

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IET & BSI publish 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations

The 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations has published. The essential publication for all professionals working in the electrical industry forms the national standard to which all new and amended electrical installations in the UK are to comply. The IET urges all electrical professionals to ensure they are familiar with the changes before the new requirements come into effect from January 2019.

Significant changes include: recommendations for Arc Fault Detection Devices (AFDDs) in AC final circuits, requirements for devices for protection against overvoltage, a change to the requirement for the methods of supporting wiring systems within buildings against their premature collapse in the event of a fire and a new Appendix focusing on energy efficiency.

Changes have also been made to the requirements for electric vehicle charging installations with PME supplies (the most common form of earthing in new installations) as well as new guidance for the design and erection of electrical installations that have local production and storage of energy for optimising efficiency.

The changes to BS 7671 come from to the revision of international and European standards, of which the UK is obliged to take on the technical intent. JPEL/64 members represent the UK on many of these international committees and the content to be included is discussed in terms of the impact on UK industry, before a new update to BS 7671 is agreed and published.

Mark Coles, head of technical Regulations at the IET, said, “The IET is the authority for electrical installation in the UK and ensures that JPEL/64, the national Wiring Regulations committee, carefully considers all necessary updates to the Regulations to ensure they best meet the needs of the industry.

“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.”

BS 7671:2018 and the IET’s suite of guidance are available from www.theiet.org/wiringbooks.

To accompany the 18th Edition, the IET is launching online training for the City & Guilds 2382:18 qualification. The only online training to be endorsed by City & Guilds for this qualification, the Full and Update courses both offer flexible learning. Accessible via an app, the training also includes three full practice exams. More information can be found at www.theiet.org/academy-regs-pr.

IET & BSI publish 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations

IET & BSI publish 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Online plumbing product sales set to rise by over 40% by 2022

Online sales of plumbing products in the UK are set to increase by 43% by 2022, according to new research from AMA Research.

The company found that the internet is the fastest growing channel of the overall UK plumbing and heating products market and has experienced strong growth levels in the last 5-7 years. In 2017 alone, the UK internet plumbing market is estimated to have increased by 17% in value terms. However, forecasts indicate that the pace of growth is gradually slowing down over the course of the review period. This change of pace can be partly attributed to market saturation of internet users and fewer new suppliers entering the market.

Despite the current uncertain economic climate with the UK’s departure from the EU, the UK internet plumbing and heating distribution market has continued to grow. With strong demand driven by lower prices and added convenience, internet retailers have been able to capitalise on changing consumer cross-channel shopping habits with a notable shift towards online purchases. Own-label products sold on the internet are performing particularly well.

Shower controls and bathroom taps represent the largest sector of the internet plumbing market with a share of around 23%, followed by bathroom furniture and accessories, baths and sanitaryware, heating products such as boilers and standard radiators and shower enclosures, screens, trays and wetroom products. Towel warmers and decorative radiators account for a much smaller share of the total market.

“Factors such as improved delivery/collection options, the growing range of products available online, along with technological improvements should drive internet sales of plumbing products.” said Hayley Thornley, Market Research Manager at AMA Research.

Online plumbing product sales set to rise by over 40% by 2022

Online plumbing product sales set to rise by over 40% by 2022

Source: HVP Magazine

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City & Guilds endorses exclusive IET Online Training

A new online training resource from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the IET Academy, has launched a comprehensive yet flexible course to get electricians up-to-date with the 18th Edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671:2018).

David Phillips, director of apprenticeships and technical education, City & Guilds, says, “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 upskill 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.”

The IET Academy provides the only course 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.

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.

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.”

Martin Davies, head of the IET Academy, adds, “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 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 IET Wiring Regulations is an essential publication for all professionals working in the electrical industry and forms the national standard to which all new and amended electrical installations in the UK are to comply. The IET urges all electrical professionals to ensure they are familiar with the changes in BS 7671:2018 before the new requirements come into effect from January 2019.

City & Guilds endorses exclusive IET Online Training

City & Guilds endorses exclusive IET Online Training

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Police conduct three Grenfell interviews under caution

Police investigating the Grenfell Tower fire have started a series of interviews under caution.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that three interviews under caution have been carried out  so far and “it is likely that further interviews will take place in the coming weeks and months.”

Detectives are considering offences including gross negligence manslaughter, corporate manslaughter and breaches of Health and Safety legislation.

There have not been any arrests at this stage.

Painstaking police work at Grenfell Tower is nearing completion with a handover of the building due to take place next month.

Over the past year, police have carried out searches, forensic examinations, digital scanning, photography and videography.

Investigations have also included examination by many independent experts of specific aspects of the building construction and maintenance systems backed-up by a series of off-site tests and reconstructions.

Commander Stuart Cundy, said: “The handover of Grenfell Tower by the police will only occur once we are entirely confident that all police work has been completed at the tower and handing the tower over to the responsible body will have no bearing on the ongoing criminal investigation.

“The concerns of the bereaved, survivors and residents as well as the wider community will be central to how the handover takes place.

“We recognise this will be a significant milestone and one that is bound to stir a range of emotions for all those affected by this tragedy.

“As part of our careful planning for a transition of responsibility, we are working closely with representatives from central government and London Councils.”

Police conduct three Grenfell interviews under caution

Police conduct three Grenfell interviews under caution

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Facebook to build major UK HQ at King’s Cross

Facebook has struck a deal to locate its UK HQ at the Kings Cross Goods Yard regeneration site, kick-starting another major construction scheme spread across three buildings.

The deal to take 610,000 sq ft paves the way for work to start on 11 and 21 Canal Reach and P2, the last major sites on the long-running regeneration scheme.

While not quite the same scale as the Google HQ at 1m sq ft on the site, it ranks as one of the most significant commercial deals in London this decade – booking 15% of the total 4m sq ft commercial space at King’s Cross at a stroke.

Buildings 11 and 21 Canal Reach have been designed by architect Bennetts Associates and have detailed planning permission, featuring 10 and 12 floors of modern Grade A office space respectively (415,000 sq ft in total).

With expansive double-height receptions and 42,000 sq ft of landscaped roof gardens and terraces, the buildings located in the ‘Western Yards’ of King’s Cross will offer views over Central London.

Contractor BAM is in line to deliver the two curving office blocks on this northern part of the site.

P2 on Lewis Cubitt Square, for which a reserved matters planning application was submitted in June, is designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris.  It will provide nine floors of office space (196,000 sq ft), alongside a new theatre for London, a fifth-floor wraparound terrace and retail space at ground level.

Facebook plans to open its new offices in King’s Cross in 2021.

Facebook to build major UK HQ at King's Cross

Facebook to build major UK HQ at King’s Cross

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Poor van driving bad for business?

Van drivers have been warned to take more care on the roads amid concerns their bad driving could be bad for business.

Experts at one of the UK’s leading suppliers of vans to tradesmen and women LeaseVan.co.uk say poor van driving could be enough to put people off dealing with a company.

They warned customers to ensure vans are driven courteously and that speed limits and other road users are respected at all times.

The van leasing specialists warned that badly driven vans could be costing the sector millions in lost revenue every year – with small businesses likely to be hardest hit.

Examples of bad driving likely to lead to lost business for van drivers include cutting up other motorists, racing away from traffic lights, failing to stop at zebra crossings and pulling out abruptly from junctions.

Because vans are often branded with a company’s logo and contact details it makes it very easy for other road users to boycott a firm if they take umbrage.

The experts are urging more companies to train van drivers on customer service and on how best to represent their employer while out on the roads.

A spokesman for LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Van drivers need to realise that each and every time they get behind the wheel they are an ambassador for their company.

“If they then tear about cutting people up, racing through traffic lights on amber and failing to stop at zebra crossings they are going to create a very bad impression for their company with other road users and the general public.

“Many companies employ drivers without making it absolutely clear to them that they are ambassadors for the brand.

“In some cases these drivers will interact with more members of the public each day than the average salesperson for the company so they should really be given training on how to conduct themselves on behalf of the company.

“If a van is driven badly it’s likely to be remembered for all the wrong reasons and if it’s branded with logos and other details it’s likely to lose lots of orders for the company.

“Branded vans can be very powerful mobile adverts for a firm but if they are poorly driven they could actually be costing sales.”

He said even small businesses such as one-man-band plumbers and builders need to be mindful of how their driving is perceived when out on the road.

But he warned larger firms to ensure all their drivers understand their roles of company ambassadors urgently.

He said: “Small companies with perhaps one or two vans usually understand that they are representing the firm when they are on the way to and from jobs.

“But when a company operates a fleet of vans and perhaps employs hundreds of drivers then the message that drivers are brand ambassadors can get lost.

“We would like to see all fleet operators speak to their drivers and ensure all of them understand the need to drive sensibly and respectfully at all times.

“It’s not just good for business it’s also better for all of us who use Britain’s road network each day.”

Poor van driving bad for business?

Poor van driving bad for business?

Source: Electrical Times

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AEI Cables launches new Total Fire Solutions

Cabling leader AEI Cables is taking fire performance to new levels with its Total Fire Solutions range of products for the built environment.

The development of its Firetec range of cables using the very latest in technology and science offers enhanced fire performance cabling, accessories and technical support from one source ensuring critical fire-safety circuits can continue to operate in the event of a real fire from 30 minutes up to 120 minutes.

AEI Cables says it has listened to customers – with rising concerns at the number of fires in high-rise buildings in Europe and the Middle East ­- and developed a range of cabling which is future-proof.

Stuart Dover, commercial manager for AEI Cables, said: “This development of this range of cabling supports the initiative to make our buildings safer and ensure systems can continue to operate in the event of a fire including fire alarms, voice alarms and emergency lighting circuits.

“In a real fire situation, these cables will enable the fire and rescue services to find and evacuate people and help to protect property. At the same time, there is still evidence of non-approved cabling still coming onto the market, and we simply cannot compromise quality of these products being used in these applications.”

The AEI Cables Total Fire Solutions’ package offers Mineral Insulated Cables (MIC), Firetec Enhanced or Firetec Power and the full range of accessories for all fire performance applications.

Applications for Firetec include residential and commercial buildings, shopping malls, airports and protected buildings with a heritage ensuring that fire alarms, sprinkler systems, building monitoring and security systems can continue to operate in a fire.

Successful installation of Firetec has included the Francis Crick Institute research centre in London, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, the White City complex in London and Meadowhall shopping complex, Sheffield.

Categories of fire performance are made up of Categories 1 and 2 for means of escape for 30 minutes and then 60 minutes respectively, and these cables are tested in accordance with all relevant codes.

Category 3 refers to power and control cables meeting the 120-minute test according to the relevant standards. Only Mineral Insulated Cable (MIC) or an enhanced cable meeting the requirements of BS7846 F120 will meet this criteria.

AEI Cables serves key markets in the UK and worldwide including construction, industrial, fire protection, defence, mining and rail.

For advice about the Total Fire Solutions service tel 0191 410 3111 or email enquiries@aeicables.co.uk. See www.aeicables.co.uk

AEI Cables launches new Total Fire Solutions

AEI Cables launches new Total Fire Solutions

Source: Electrical Times

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Baxi launches online booking for training

As part of an ongoing drive to make training more accessible to installers, Baxi has launched an online booking system for all of its courses.

As part of an ongoing drive to make training more accessible to installers, Baxi has launched an online booking system for all of its courses.

Installers can now view upcoming dates on Baxi’s website and reserve a place at the courses they wish to attend. Topics include free product training on ranges such as Baxi 600, as well as specialist and accredited training courses including fault finding or Domestic Hot Water Storage Systems (Unvented).

Steve Owen, national training manager at Baxi, comments: “We encourage any Gas Safe-registered engineer to sign up to one of our training courses, and we have made it easier than ever to do with online booking. Attending a course will build confidence in working with our products, which will not only benefit them but also result in a better service for their customers. They also get the opportunity to network with their peers, share knowledge and experiences, and potentially form new business relationships.”

For more information, or to book a course, visit http://trade.baxi.co.uk/trade-area/training.htm.

Baxi launches online booking for training

Baxi launches online booking for training

Source: HVP Magazine

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REHAU provides to grade data cabling solution for Southampton Students

REHAU’s PROFILA data trunking has been specified for a high-quality student accommodation development in Portswood, Southampton.

The Vita Student residence – being delivered by the Select Property Group – will provide convenient, city centre accommodation for students attending the University of Southampton and Solent University Southampton.

Select Property Group currently operates 10 student residences across the UK, and each one has been designed and built to meet increasing demand for high-end student living. The company has a standard design for its student bedrooms to streamline costs, installation and maintenance.

The chosen constructor for the Portswood project is Morgan Sindall, who appointed local firm J&B Hopkins to deliver the electrical services within the building. This included the data cabling required for each of the 435 bedrooms.

Andy Hindley, project manager at J&B Hopkins, said, “Select Property Group has a set design for each of the student bedrooms, including the cabling requirements. The data trunking specified by them was very minimal; in each room they wanted a 1m section of trunking which would house the HDMI for the television, a data point, a USB charging point and a double socket. This would be mounted on the wall underneath the desk, around 400mm from the floor.”

Although the specification was very prescriptive, Select Property Group was happy for the contractors to choose their own products to deliver the design vision, so Andy began researching suitable trunking solutions. He had used REHAU products in previous roles and was keen to see what they had to offer.

Andy continued, “We looked at the REHAU PROFILA Data range and it was perfect for what we were doing. It is a good quality product, which would fit in with the high-end spec of the development, but it was also competitively priced.”

REHAU’s high capacity PROFILA data trunking has been designed to meet the requirements of the latest power and data cables. With a depth of 65mm, it is able to handle modern data cabling and power cables with ease.

Andy concluded, “PROFILA was the right product for the Portswood project and our installers have been more than happy to fit it, with no complaints. We are very confident this product will be a fit and forget for us, and we won’t be getting call backs about it.”

The installation of the PROFILA trunking at the Portswood scheme is due to complete later this year, with the accommodation opening to new students towards the start of October this year.

REHAU provides to grade data cabling solution for Southampton Students

REHAU provides to grade data cabling solution for Southampton Students

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Handling the heatwave

The Building Controls Industry Association (BCIA) is urging the industry to ensure that they are informed about the best ways to tackle growing demands in commercial buildings to ensure optimum comfort for occupants during summer heatwaves.

With the weather forecasts showing no let up in the hot temperatures, this is having an impact on some of those who work in commercial buildings. Research undertaken by Harvard University found that those working in hotter buildings performed worse in problem solving and memory tests compared to those with air conditioning.

The BCIA says buildings that feature innovative and effective building controls can help to improve the productivity of occupants by providing a healthy working environment. Many smart and sophisticated building controls allow building occupants to manage their own personal preferences for their workspace in regard to ventilation, cooling and lighting.

According to the BCIA, opportunities are still being missed to take full advantage of the latest smart controls and solutions in today’s buildings, so it is urging both those new and experienced in the industry to invest in training.

The BCIA has recently updated its suite of seven CPD-accredited training courses. Each module has a core focus: for example, BCM01 includes an introduction to ventilation and air-conditioning, while BCM05 covers in more advanced detail the structure and modes of operation of the most common control functions used in ventilation and air conditioning plants. Knowledge gained through these modules can greatly assist improving the comfort of building occupants…

All courses are available to book throughout the year at various UK locations and feature the latest technical developments in the industry.

For further information, please contact Hayley Hopkins: training@bcia.co.uk

Handling the heatwave

Handling the heatwave

Source: PHAM News

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Vermont lands first tower at £250m Liverpool site

Developer Elliot Group has appointed local contractor Vermont Construction to deliver the first of three towers on its £250m Infinity development on the northern edge of Liverpool’s business district.

Vermont fought-off competition from Forrest to land the 123 metre tall residential tower which will be the highest of the trio.

Work clearing the Pall Mall site for the 39-storey tower began in April and construction will start in September with an anticipated completion date of spring 2020.

Elliot Lawless of Elliot Group said: “We looked at Vermont’s track record building towers in Liverpool and Salford Quays and it was clear that they had a firm grip on the issues posed by going tall.

“It’s good to be able to maintain our track record of working with a strong local supply chain. Building capacity in the sector will benefit the city overall.”

More than 70% of the apartments in Tower 1 have been sold to UK and overseas investors, with a new price record for the city of £398 per square foot being achieved.

Lawless said: “By setting a new price record it will support the viability of other developments and support the emerging cluster of towers in the north end.”

Vermont chief executive Mark Connor said: “We are delighted to be working with Elliot Group to deliver this landmark building which we believe will set a new benchmark for residential accommodation within the city.

“Vermont are proud to have been at the forefront of regeneration in the city over recent years and the Infinity scheme is a further statement of Liverpool’s progression and investors’ confidence in the city’s residential market.”

Falconer Chester Hall are the scheme architects whilst Savills have been appointed as employer’s agent. WSP are the structural engineers and planning was managed by Zerum Consult.

Vermont lands first tower at £250m Liverpool site

Vermont lands first tower at £250m Liverpool site

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Survey of manufacturers indicates construction growth ahead

After a slow start to the year, manufacturers of construction products saw a noticeable upturn in business in the spring.

The Construction Products Association’s state of trade survey for the second quarter of 2018 Q2 shows that members began to catch up on activity lost to adverse weather conditions during the first three months of the year.

As construction product sales act as an early indicator of wider activity in the supply chain, the survey findings signpost a rise in total construction output levels over the next 12 months.

Heavy side manufacturers reported sales in Q2 rising for a balance of 40% of firms, following two previous quarters of falling sales. For light side manufacturers, 29% of firms on balance reported a decrease, which was the weakest performance since 2012 Q3. This reflects the lagged impact of the industry’s decline in Q1, as light side products such as insulation, boilers, glass and lighting tend to be used at the end of the building process.

Manufacturers anticipate a return to growth in the coming quarters, with 43% of heavy side firms and 27% of those on the light side expecting an increase in sales over the next 12 months. Input cost inflation continues to persist, however, particularly for the energy-intensive heavy side, which is experiencing the pass-through of rising global commodity prices on fuel and energy costs.

Rebecca Larkin, the Construction Products Association’s senior economist, said: “These results fit the profile of construction catch-up from a weather-affected Q1. As we’ve moved from a freezing spring to a hot summer, groundworks and work on external structures has been able to resume, and this has been reflected in increased sales for heavy side manufacturers. The disruption in Q1 is likely to have delayed interiors and finishing works starting on site which is evident in the decline in light side sales during Q2.

“Manufacturers’ product sales, capacity utilisation and new hiring are all still expected to increase over the next year, but price pressure is coming from all directions across fuel, energy, raw materials and labour, which is likely to be felt throughout the construction supply chain.”

Survey of manufacturers indicates construction growth ahead

Survey of manufacturers indicates construction growth ahead

Source: The Construction Index

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Green light for 860-bed Sheffield student digs

Plans for a high-rise 860-bed student scheme in Sheffield city centre have been waved through by planners.

Joint venture developers Bakewell-based Litton Property Group and Edinburgh-based Buccleuch Property plan to build the scheme on the former Stokes Tiles Centre site at Fitzwilliam Street.

The scheme, which will be split into four interlinked blocks ranging up to 15 storeys, is out to tender with Bowmer & Kirkland understood to be among firms seeking to build the project.

Work is expected to start on the project in September and take 24 months to complete.

The landmark project will boast 395 studio apartments, 33 two-bedroom apartments and 417‐12 bed cluster apartments, providing a total of 850 beds.

Green light for 860-bed Sheffield student digs

Green light for 860-bed Sheffield student digs

Source: Construction Enquirer

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June 2018 Newsletter

June 2018 Newsletter

‘UK lighting market sees a 44% increase since 2013, Gas Safety Trust publishes report on advancement of CO poisoning detection, it’s a crucial time for the UK Oil Heating Industry, more than half of construction workers in London from EU and 75% of consumers say that central heating engineers are trustworthy.’

 

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44% increase in the UK lighting market between 2013-17

The overall lighting market in the UK was estimated to be worth £2.4 billion in 2017, having increased by 44% since 2013. The key driver for the lighting market is LED lighting which has gained significant share in the non-domestic sector and also started to make inroads into the domestic market. LED technology is likely to promote a period of innovation and expansion particularly in terms of more integrated products, control and lighting solutions. Forecasts are for growth but at a lower rate than in the period 2014-2017 as the uptake of LED’s has increased.

Retro-fitting of efficient lamp products has been crucial to growth rates within the market, and the lamps market has recorded the highest level of growth in recent years. It is expected to continue to outperform the market, due to the introduction of a wide range of replacement, higher value LED and low energy halogen products, although as the prices of these products fall considerably and penetration increases, this sector is expected to slow.

Luminaires dominate the UK lighting market, accounting for 57% share in 2017, although their overall share of the market is gradually declining in response to the high growth of other sectors. The luminaires market is more reliant on the levels of new build and refurbishment activity, particularly in the non-domestic sector. Strong luminaire market growth has been underpinned by investment in street lighting, rising levels of house completions as well as improvements in construction output for both the domestic and non-domestic sectors.

Controls also remain an important sector with high levels of growth and potential for this to continue. This reflects a sustained focus placed on efficiency and cost savings with organisations recognising the need to reduce unnecessary lighting provision. In the supply sector for controls, there has been a shift in focus towards lighting solutions and systems. This demonstrates not only the greater integration along the supply chain but also the significance of automation and control within the industry.

The UK lamps sector has been dominated by a small number of very large organisations who have all invested heavily in the LED sector in order to maintain market share through acquisition, vertical integration policies or organic and technical development. Opportunities are likely to remain within the UK lamps market for those organisations who can offer production scale and those who serve niche or specialist markets.

Home improvement multiples and department/high street stores are significant distribution channels for domestic luminaire sales with a wide range of refurbishment and decorating products under one roof. However, department stores and high street stores have lost market share recently and there has been significant share gain in the online retail sector.

Prospects for the UK lighting market remain positive, although more muted than recent history with annual growth rates of around 4-5% to 2022” said Fiona Watts at AMA Research. “There is potential for growth from the domestic sector as the take-up of LED systems offers increased scope for a reduction in energy-use, improved controls, and as technology prices fall and awareness of benefits increases.”

The adoption of more efficient lighting products which have boosted value underlying growth, have increased life cycle expectations which may have negative implications for the market into the longer-term. Despite the increased demand for LED technologies there has been an oversupply to the global market, especially from developing countries and China. As a result, the global prices of LEDs have fallen significantly and are likely to continue to decline to some extent as wider usage results in more competition.

The ‘Lighting and LED Market Report – UK 2018-2022’ report is available now and can be ordered online at www.amaresearch.co.uk .

 

44% increase in the UK lighting market between 20131-17

44% increase in the UK lighting market between 20131-17

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Gas Safety Trust publishes report on the advancement of CO poisoning detection

The Gas Safety Trust (GST) has published a report which considers current research into new biomarkers for detecting carbon monoxide (CO), and how we can go further to make detection easier and more certain.

Diagnosing CO poisoning is notoriously difficult, as it produces common, non-specific symptoms such as headaches and nausea and mimics other, more common ailments such as flu and food poisoning. Accidental CO poisoning is considered rare, but the GST says that it is not as rare as people think, and it is preventable.

CO is a poisonous gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. This makes it difficult for those exposed to know that they have been poisoned and what they have been poisoned by. A healthcare professional is likely to be the first person to be approached by someone suffering from CO poisoning, and making an accurate diagnosis is important to prevent further exposure.

The most commonly used biomarker associated with the identification of exposure to CO, carboxyhaemoglobin, is now considered less useful than previously thought, and cases of exposure are being missed. The need to identify new biomarkers has been suggested, which will ultimately assist clinicians in making a diagnosis of CO poisoning and help them in their assessment of patient outcome and referral decisions.

In response to this, the GST has published a report which considers current research into new biomarkers, what lessons could be learned from similar areas of study and how we might explore and challenge thinking to answer questions relating to the neurological effects associated with CO exposure. This report, which follows on from a workshop held in September 2017, can be found on the organisation’s CO Portal.

 

Gas Safety Trust publishes report on the advancement of CO poisoning detection

Gas Safety Trust publishes report on the advancement of CO poisoning detection

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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ECA offers online activity-based risk assessment service

ECA explains why its eRAMS service is your route to concise, activity-based RAs and method statements.

For many contractors, drawing up ‘suitable and sufficient’ risk assessments, and then a useful method statement, can be challenging and time-consuming, even though these documents are vital to successful contracting.

eRAMS is a practical online service that allows contractors and maintenance teams to create, amend, store and print activity-based risk assessments, plus method statements and construction phase plans (CPPs). The easy-to-use eRAMS templates are based on extensive field testing, and input from leading contractors and key industry players on industry good practice.

eRAMS has been developed as a response to industry demand by ECA – and it’s already proved to be helpful way beyond electrical or even building services contracting. Customer experience and feedback has shown that eRAMS is a real help to virtually any type of small to medium contractor that needs to ensure health and safety, across a wide range of tasks and activities.

Darren Price, director of West Midlands-based contractor Goodwin and Price, said, “eRAMS is remarkably user-friendly, and a number of clients have told us that our risk assessments and method statements are some of the best that they have seen from a contractor.”

Using the eRAMS Quick Start guide, users can start to produce practical risk assessment information within minutes.

 

 

eRAMS features include:

  • Concise, intuitive RAs, MSs and Construction Phase Plans (CPPs)
  • Designed specifically for use by contractors and maintenance teams
  • Activity-based risk assessments – for a wide range of contractor activities
  • An auto text option, to help users quickly provide essential information on control measures
  • Ability to print, or save and send RAs, method statements or CPPs electronically
  • A choice of numerical risk assessment matrices
  • Ability to add a company logo to printed RAs
  • Ability to upload useful photos and other images to the method statement.

eRAMs is free to ECA members, and it’s available on annual subscription to other customers at a highly competitive price from CHAS, the industry-leading health and safety assessment scheme. As part of ECA’s partnership with CHAS which aims to help companies of all sizes to achieve essential health and safety standards, CHAS registrants can subscribe to eRAMS with a significant discount.

For more information about eRAMS visit www.eca.co.uk/erams. If you are interested in subscribing to eRAMS, please visit: www.chas.co.uk.

 

ECA offers online activity-based risk assessment service

ECA offers online activity-based risk assessment service

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Crucial time for the UK Oil Heating Industry

Described as a crucial time for the UK oil heating industry, delegates who attended this year’s OFTEC conference were provided with an update on progress towards developing a low carbon alternative to kerosene in support of government’s decarbonisation plans. The future pathway for liquid fuel heating was the key theme of the event, held on 19th June at The Hilton Puckrup Hotel near Tewkesbury. 

Over the last year, OFTEC has looked to highlight the practical difficulties and potential cost to rural consumers of government proposals outlined in the Clean Growth Strategy to phase out high carbon fossil fuel heating, whilst emphasising the viability of low carbon liquid fuels as a practical and cost-effective solution for off-grid homes.

A Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and OFTEC working group has now been established to co-ordinate discussion and action on the future of the off-grid heating sector, with the first meeting held on 3 May in London. In partnership with manufacturers, the trade association has also begun performance tests on various low carbon liquid fuel blends and a 100% biofuel.

Commenting on the current position, OFTEC CEO Paul Rose said:

“The climate change challenge is one we all need to work towards addressing. OFTEC fully supports the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, although how these are achieved for rural households must be reviewed. Over the past year we have been working hard to progress a low carbon liquid fuel solution which offers a realistic, practical alternative to the current options on the table for off-grid homes which are not fit for purpose.

“Now is the time for our industry to unite, step up and act collectively to meet the significant opportunity decarbonisation brings. This means everyone from installers and manufacturers to fuel suppliers and refiners playing their part. Much progress has been made to date, and against an undeniably challenging backdrop, but we need to keep this positive momentum going and deliver a futureproof solution that works for consumers and government alike.”

OFTEC was joined at the conference by guest speaker Richard Vianello, Renewable Heat Incentive & Heat in Buildings Deputy Director at BEIS. Richard provided a summary of current government thinking on heat policy, including the recent ‘call for evidence’ on the Future Framework for Heat in Buildings, to which OFTEC submitted a detailed response. He said that BEIS had received over 150 responses and, although many stakeholders had very different views, the Government is hoping to issue a formal response in the autumn.

Richard acknowledged the important role of installers in educating the public about low carbon technology and that decarbonisation needs to be a gradual process, but he also pointed out that if the Government is to meet its 2050 targets then it is unlikely that any more oil boilers could be installed after 2035.

Dr Ernst-Moritz Bellingen, Energy Policy Director of the German Institute for Heating and Oil Technology (IWO), also provided an overview of the positive developments in low carbon liquid fuel production.

Guests then heard from Andrew Robertson, co-founder of Clean Energy Consultancy Ltd who was involved in OFTEC’s successful biofuel project (2008-2011) which delivered a 30% renewable liquid fuel called B30K. Andrew talked through the customer journey when opting for renewable heating solutions such as heat pumps and biomass, highlighting the potential barriers to take up in a retrofit situation whilst emphasising the benefits of switching to a low carbon liquid fuel.

OFTEC Chair Niall Faye of Grant Engineering concluded:

“The journey to provide decarbonisation solutions continues. Heat pumps have been promoted by many as the answer to low carbon heating for off-grid homes. However, the poor thermal efficiency of rural homes and the widely evidenced failure of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) highlights the practical difficulties and prohibitive cost of retrofitting these technologies.

“More cost-effective options must be found and this means a crucial role for low carbon liquid fuels going forward. By drawing together the strengths of our innovative industry, I am confident we will be able to produce an alternative fuel to power off-grid boilers well into the future.”

 

Crucial time for the UK Oil Heating Industry

Crucial time for the UK Oil Heating Industry

 

Source: PHAM News

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LIA & BSI partner to support Commercial Lighting Industry

The LIA (Lighting Industry Association) has announced a partnership with BSI, the business standards company. The LIA and BSI have joined together to combine their knowledge and extensive expertise in assurance and testing within the lighting sector. This partnership will see the two organisations collaborate on and develop product testing and certification solutions.

To celebrate the partnership, a special event will be held at the LIA offices in Telford on June 27, 2018.The event will be an opportunity for businesses in the lighting sector to find out how the BSI Kitemark for Commercial Lighting can help their business in providing:

  • Competitive advantage
  • Access to new markets
  • Faster product testing times
  • Fewer risks
  • Faster ‘time to market’ for new products

The BSI Kitemark for Commercial Lighting is a step forward in product safety and quality, which will drive up standards and further reduce the risks of product recalls and returns. It encompasses a wide range of lighting products and of course, includes LEDs.

Whilst recognising the achievements of commercial lighting manufacturers that consistently meet the highest possible standards, the BSI Kitemark also provides an important marketing tool for manufacturers of commercial lighting products.

Speaking about the partnership, Greg Childs, electrical & gas certification group manager at BSI said, “We’re delighted to be working with the LIA in order to help organisations achieve the BSI Kitemark for Commercial Lighting, as well as developing other product testing and certification solutions.

“We’re committed to helping manufacturers deliver lighting products that are highly efficient and safe to use and this collaboration will enable us to continue to help businesses face new industry challenges.

“The BSI Kitemark is a symbol that around 70% of the British public Recognise, and one that has given millions of Britons over the last century the knowledge and comfort that the products they come into contact with are safe and reliable.”

The use of the LIA Laboratory facility means that BSI is able to provide assurance that products will be tested to the highest possible standards by specialists in their field.

Commenting on the new partnership, chief executive of the LIA, Steve Davies added, “Testing to this BSI Kitemark cements the position of the LIA Laboratory as a leading provider for testing and certification within the lighting industry and we are proud to be in partnership with BSI, to support commercial lighting.”

 

LIA & BSI partner to support Commercial Lighting Industry

LIA & BSI partner to support Commercial Lighting Industry

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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More than half of construction workers in London from EU

More than half of the workforce on London’s construction sites is from the EU.

The capital’s biggest house builder Berkeley flagged up the figure in its results today.

Figures reported on the ground by the house builder are higher than government statistics.

Yesterday the ONS published its findings that suggested that foreign workers represent just over a third of the capital’s construction workforce, based on 2016 data.

Estimates from the latest population survey show 7% of the construction workforce from the EU nationally, rising to 28% in the capital. A further 7% working in London construction were made up by non-EU workers.

The Annual Population survey estimated 2.2m people work in construction with 165,000 from the EU.

The ONS report was prompted by growing concern about the impact Brexit could have on construction. It also flagged up concerns about the aging UK workforce, where nearly half are over 45 years old, noting EU nationals were considerably younger.

Berkeley said: “Looking forward, we remain concerned that the impact of recognised skills gap in the UK construction workforce may become more pronounced as the UK exits the European Union.

“While this is hard to predict, it is a fact that over half of London’s site labour comes from the EU.

“This needs to be addressed by a combination of continued access to EU labour, skills training and innovation in construction if the industry is to achieve its medium-term production aspirations.”

 

More than half of construction workers in London from EU

More than half of construction workers in London from EU

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Scotland to require sprinklers in all new social housing

The Scottish Government has agreed to introduce legislation to make sprinkler systems compulsory in all new social housing of over 10 tenants.

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart confirmed that the Scottish Government will take forward David Stewart MSP’s proposal for a Members’ Bill to make it a legal requirement for all future new build social housing.

Currently all new high-rise domestic buildings, whether private or social, with a floor over ‎18m must have automatic fire suppression systems fitted.

New legislation would extend this to all houses in multi-occupancy or more than 10 people, including care homes.

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I am very grateful to David Stewart for his work on bringing forward this important issue and gaining cross-party support for his proposal.

“I can confirm that the Scottish Government will implement the aim of Mr Stewart’s proposal and will bring forward legislation as soon as is practicable in this Parliamentary session.

“This is an opportunity to further improve standards in our social housing and this work will be taken forward alongside the recommendations of the two reviews of building standards and fire safety which we will consult on later this summer.”

 

Scotland to require sprinklers in all new social housing

Scotland to require sprinklers in all new social housing

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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75% of consumers trust central heating engineers, according to Which?

Just behind electricians, plumbers and central heating engineers are some of the most trusted trades in the UK, according to new research from Which? Trusted Traders.

Which? Trusted Traders surveyed 1461 of its members, asking them which trades they most and least trusted when employing them for the first time, as well as ranking their specific worries about employing traders.

The survey revealed that four in 10 (38%) householders do not trust builders and roofers when employing them for the first time, making these trades the least trusted for domestic building work and repairs.

In stark contrast, 80% of those surveyed said they trusted the electrician they called in to make repairs and improvements in their home. Central heating engineers were also widely trusted (75%), quickly followed by plumbers (73%).

The survey also asked people about their biggest worries when hiring a tradesperson, revealing that the largest concern was that they would not turn up at the agreed time, which was cited by 62%.

Poor workmanship and being taken for a ride were other top concerns, with over half (55%) worrying that a trader would do a bad job and 46% anxious that they would be ripped off.

Here are the full rankings from the Which? Trusted Traders survey:

Electricians80%
Central Heating Engineers75%
Plumbers73%
Carpenters72%
Decorators70%
Plasterers68%
Glaziers65%
Mechanics64%
Tilers61%
Kitchen Fitters58%
Builders53%
Drain and Sewer Services50%
Roofers48%

 

75% of consumers trust central heating engineers, according to Which?

75% of consumers trust central heating engineers, according to Which?

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Signify lights up 10 of the 12 stadiums used for World Cup in Russia

Signify (Euronext: LIGHT), today announced that it has lit 10 of the 12 stadiums that will be used as venues for this summer’s soccer tournament in Russia. The stadiums include Luzhniki (Moscow), Krestovsky Stadium (Saint Petersburg), Fisht (Sochi), Ekaterinburg Arena (Yekaterinburg), as well as soccer stadiums in Kazan, Rostov-on-Don, Kaliningrad, Nizhny Novgorod, Volgograd and Samara.

Signify’s LED pitch lighting is used at the Ekaterinburg Arena. The state-of the-art LED lighting provides soccer players and fans with the best quality of light and is ideal for 4K TV transmissions and UHDTV super slow-motion action replays for the billions of television viewers wanting to capture all the drama on the pitch – every bead of sweat, taught muscle and grimace. The LED pitch lighting can also be controlled and synced to music to create spectacular pre-match entertainment.

Signify’s lighting was used to light stadium façades, adding to the atmosphere and spectacle for fans attending the matches. One unique installation is at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, where a 39,000 square meter LED media roof was installed, making it one of the largest and most novel media façades in Russia. This façade will build excitement for fans across the city by creating unique light shows, before, during and after games.

“We have more than 80 years of experience in lighting sports events and are recognized as the world leader in sports illumination,” said Sergey Karpov, Head of sport lighting of Signify in Russia. “Through these installations, fans and television viewers around the world will enjoy their favourite game while soccer players on the field will get the optimum visibility.”

Signify became the new company name of Philips Lighting as of May 16, 2018.

 

Signify lights up 10 of the 12 stadiums used for World Cup in Russia

Signify lights up 10 of the 12 stadiums used for World Cup in Russia

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Skills shortage biggest concern for sector, according to tradespeople

A shortage of skilled workers and poor training opportunities are the most pressing concerns of the modern plumbing and heating installer, new research shows.

The ‘State of the Nation’ survey, carried out by manufacturer Wavin, drew responses from 149 plumbing and heating installers. It found that over half (56%) of respondents stated that the skills gap is the biggest threat facing the plumbing industry today. However, more than four-fifths (86%) of plumbing professionals would still recommend it as a career, thanks to an abundance of work and high job satisfaction.

The findings also provided a range of additional new insights – when it comes to the perfect customer, it’s all about prompt payment with almost half of respondents (48%) saying this is a much-appreciated quality.

The survey also paints the picture of the modern-day plumber as someone who loves to spend their spare time in the great outdoors, or grabbing a bite to eat in the latest high street restaurant. And, in the world of politics, over a fifth (21%) would like to see renowned actor Idris Elba to take on the role of Prime Minister.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a cup of tea and a sandwich remain the refreshments of choice, favoured by 47% and 65% of respondents respectively. Meanwhile, football is the sport of choice for plumbers, with the beautiful game preferred by 48% of survey participants.

“It is no secret that the construction industry is in the midst of a skills shortage,” noted Karen Stables, Marketing Manager at Wavin. “Earlier this year, it was revealed that plumbing is just one of many skilled professions where demand outweighs supply, and without intervention, this can only get worse. Our survey only reinforces how large scale the issue is becoming.

“If we, as an industry, are to tackle the issue effectively, we need to look at the reasons behind the skills gap and address those accordingly.”

 

Skills shortage biggest concern for sector, according to tradespeople

Skills shortage biggest concern for sector, according to tradespeople

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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ECA debuts first podcast episode

ECA has launched its new podcast with an inaugural episode about Building Information Modelling (BIM). In the first instalment, ECA director of technical Steve Martin debunks six of the biggest myths about BIM:

  • BIM is just for main contractors or Tier 1 organisations
  • BIM is just 3D modelling
  • BIM will cost too much, take up too much time and/or impact productivity
  • BIM will ‘solve’ clashes and clash detection
  • Clients won’t know what to do with BIM data
  • BIM Level 2 compliance is achieved by adopting one standard

The podcast aims to provides answers for common queries like who should use BIM, how to achieve BIM compliance, and whether BIM adds value to small projects.

Listeners can send questions and ideas for future episodes to podcast@eca.co.uk

 

ECA debuts first podcast episode

ECA debuts first podcast episode

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Local services offered on Amazon and eBay

Amazon and eBay are now offering tradespeople a way to help local service organisations reach new customers and grow their businesses. The e-commerce giants have each launched their own platform that allows people to find local plumbers, handymen, electricians, etc., giving them direct route to local services.

The Home Services offering from Amazon and Local Services Ads from eBay will complement the products sold on their websites by showing consumers the services that could be used to support installation and set-up of their purchases, such as washing machines and kitchen taps.

The service providers are described as ‘handpicked tradespeople’ by Amazon, and they will give customers upfront pricing and ratings and reviews from verified customers.

Amazon will also offer a ‘Happiness Guarantee’ that ensures if a customer is not satisfied with the completed work, it will coordinate between the customer and the service provider to ensure the job gets done to the right standard or issue a refund.

Scott Webster, General Manager of Amazon Home Services Europe, comments:

We’re thrilled to be expanding Amazon Home Services to the UK as a simple way to book trusted, service professionals.

“Following our successful launch in the US, customers have told us they love the convenience and peace of mind that comes with trusted, professional installation of their products. We’re delighted to be able to offer this same experience to UK customers through a network of handpicked, local tradespeople and service providers.”

The new service will be available across Greater London, Birmingham and Manchester with tradespeople including handymen, electricians, plumbers and home cinema specialists. New cities and services will be added over time.

Not to be outdone by Amazon, eBay Advertising has soft-launched ‘eBay Local Services Ads’, which also lets businesses use the platform for their own ads and offer services to relevant eBay customers in their area. . It is initially being piloted in the UK, with Germany also trialling it this month.

Businesses such as plumbers, hairdressers, DJs and cleaners will be able to use the platform to serve their own ads and offer their services to relevant eBay customers in their area.

Businesses will be able to expand their reach and target customers using eBay’s data and insights on customer search and purchase behaviour. They will also able to engage shoppers earlier in the shopper journey – putting their business in front of people who might not currently be searching for that service, but could be interested in the near future.

This complements eBay’s existing offerings by showing users ads for services that are relevant to the products they’re viewing. It will give them easy access to the services they’re likely to need, and in turn help to convert more sales for its sellers. For instance, if an eBay user is searching for a fridge, they could be shown an ad for the services of a local plumber, breaking down a barrier – in this case, installation – to making the purchase.

Bert Bassett at eBay, who has headed the project, comments:

“eBay wants to become a marketplace for services as well as products – and we think that this is a great place to start. Our Local Services Ads will particularly help small service-based businesses to use our inventory to target local, relevant customers. And crucially, we’re helping them reach users when they’re already in a buying mood, and when we know they’re in the market for a particular service, to deliver maximum ROI.”

Businesses will be able to use eBay Local Services Ads by signing up for an account on the ebaylocalservices.com website. They will be able to:

  • Upload their own ads to the self-serve platform, or use a format supplied by eBay
  • Choose who to target based on location and demographics
  • Segment their audience by product category and searched key words on the website
  • Choose where the ad appears on eBay’s website

Customers will have access to FAQs, tutorial videos, and contact support services.

 

Local services offered on Amazon and eBay

Local services offered on Amazon and eBay

 

Source: PHAM News

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Boot lamps, anyone?

A US company that developed LED lights that attach to training shoes for night-time joggers has now developed an industrial version for nightshift construction workers.

Night Shift Shoe Lights is the latest addition to the Night Tech Gear product line, which also includes the Night Runner and the Night Trek.

Attached to bootlaces, Night Shift provides hands-free lighting in low-light work environments with 400 lumens of LED lights. It is claimed that they deliver 90 metres of forward beam and visibility from all sides. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 10 hours, the manufacturer says.

“After 35 years in the construction industry, I know safety is of paramount importance, and Night Shift Shoe Lights help protect those in the workplace from falls and collisions due to dark working conditions,” said Doug Storer, CEO and founder of Orlando-based Night Tech Gear.

 

Boot lamps, anyone?

Boot lamps, anyone?

 

Source: Construction Index

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£400m North West small projects framework launched

Liverpool-based Procure North West has launched a new small works framework for public building projects up to £1m.

Known as Procure North West (Lite), the framework has been launched after public bodies expressed frustration about the cost of finding firms.

It is estimated that the new framework could be worth up to £400m over four years. There will also be a specialist building services category for projects up to £10m.

The region will be broken down in five lots: Cumbri, Cheshire, Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside with the sixth lot covering M&E works.

Robbie Blackhurst, Managing Director of Procure North West, said: “When we launched the bidding process for the Procure North West (Build) Framework earlier this year it was our intention to establish two frameworks – the now live ‘PNW Build Framework’ for £1m-£100m projects and ‘PNW Consult Framework’ for professional services.

“However, when engaging with public sector bodies across the North West region it became apparent that there are real frustrations with current routes to market when procuring contractors to deliver sub £1m capital projects.”

“The PNW Lite Framework will provide clients with all the benefits, robust performance management, and strict governance of our live ‘PNW Build Framework’  at a significantly reduced fee when contrasted against other regional procurement routes.”

“It was also clear that in instances of major backlog maintenance or building services upgrade projects, clients did not want to procure a contractor to manage a building services installer.

“The PNW Lite Framework allows clients to procure and contract direct with regional mechanical and electrical installers eliminating any profit and profit scenarios when only procuring building services works”

Perspective bidders can register their interest here.

 

£400m North West small projects framework launched

£400m North West small projects framework launched

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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April 2018 Newsletter

April 2018 Newsletter

Underfloor heating market expected to grow, Chinese skyscrapers become art with smart city lighting, more than 500 towers planned for London, Contractors warned over Medium Voltage cables, Social Media used to source tradespeople and some exciting projects have been announced throughout the UK’

 

Quick Links


UK underfloor heating market forecast to grow 7% in 2018

AMA Research has released new research which predicts that the underfloor heating (UFH) market will experience a 7% rise this year.

According the report, the UFH market has performed well over the last few years, driven by good levels of commercial and domestic construction and RMI, and now accounts for almost 7% of the total UK heating systems sector. More recent growth can also be attributed to rising energy prices and concerns over fuel bills, and the fact that UFH is now seen as a more affordable mainstream heating option. In 2017, the market grew by 6%, with similar growth forecast for 2018.

The domestic sector accounts for almost two-thirds of the overall UFH market value, and includes newbuild activity by housebuilders, the self-build market and RMI/DIY retrofit projects in residential homes. Non-domestic applications account for the remainder. Although large-scale health and education projects represent the most significant non-domestic end-user markets, opportunities are arising in the care home, industrial, warehousing, leisure and entertainment, commercial office, and retail sectors.

Water-based underfloor heating makes up the largest share by value, compared to electric systems. The supply structure is dominated by direct supply, with some manufacturers and other specialists offering a ‘supply and fit’ service. Elsewhere, UFH systems increasingly form a core component of the product ranges of companies such as tile manufacturers and kitchen and bathroom specialists. DIY multiples and merchants also continue to play a major role. Much of the recent growth in the market has come from online retailers, the number of which continues to expand.

Factors that influence demand for underfloor heating include housebuilding activity, which is expected to continue at a steady pace, as demand for new and affordable housing is likely to remain a major political issue. The conversion of commercial office spaces into multi-residential flats and apartments, particularly in areas of high population density, should create additional opportunities for UFH, as they are likely to be smaller in size and high-spec.

Ease of installation continues to be an important consideration within construction, given the ongoing skills shortages and a need to reduce both build time and cost. This is expected to contribute towards further growth in modular build/off-site construction, which should benefit the UFH market. Retrofit activity in both the domestic and commercial sectors are also expected to see steady growth.

In addition, the commitment towards further development of the renewable energy sector and sustainable homes should continue, irrespective of whether the government meets its 2020 targets, and this is likely to favour adoption of UFH. Growth will also be driven by product development focused on flexibility and maximising individual control of systems, which is likely to increase the efficiency of UFH systems further, and the increasing uptake of intelligent technology.

“Although the market value has increased by almost 25% since 2013, there remains significant scope for growth in this sector,” said Keith Taylor, Director of AMA Research.

“The level of installations remains low compared with European countries such as Germany and the Nordic nations. Penetration is forecast to continue to grow with demand driven by concerns over volatile energy bills, ongoing running costs of systems and maximising comfort, and the fact that underfloor heating is becoming a more mainstream product.”

 

UK underfloor heating market forcast to grow 7% in 2018

UK underfloor heating market forcast to grow 7% in 2018

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Chinese city skyscrapers become art with smart city lighting

Philips Lighting (Euronext: LIGHT), lighting specialist, has completed a large-scale project that involves connected LED architectural lighting to illuminate the facades of 37 buildings, along a 9.2 km stretch of road in the city centre of Ningbo, China.

The project’s aim is to boost the city’s cultural heritage and tourism, as well as stimulating commercial activities in the city centre. It further emphasises the company’s position as the lighting company for the Internet of Things.

Buildings along the 9.2-km-long attract an abundance of tourism. The new lighting system uses nearly 2,000 Philips Color Kinetics fixtures controlled and managed by Philips Activesite software.

The display creates sparkling night scenes in the city’s business district and Tianyi Square.

Dongliang XU from Toryo International Lighting Design Centre said: “The lighting design of the Zhongshan Road project illuminated took advantage of powerful mix of colour architectural lighting and world class narrow projection. Philips Lighting brought our design concept to life, delivering high performance energy efficient lighting and control software which enable everything to be monitored and controlled remotely. The design, the technology and controls combine to not only raise the bar of city illumination in China but does this in a highly sustainable way.”

The Philips Activesite lighting system enables energy savings of 30-40 per cent compared to the previous lighting in place.

 

Chinese city skyscrapers become art with smart city lighting

Chinese city skyscrapers become art with smart city lighting

 

Source: Electrical Times

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IGEM to recognise training for the gas industry

In response to growing concerns about standards in training, The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) has been chosen to assess and uphold the “highest levels of professional competence”.

IGEM, the professional engineering institution for the global gas industry, has been authorised by the gas industry’s Strategic Management Board (SMB) to officially recognise training programmes that meet the highest standards.

As of 1 October 2018, assessment centres will be required to ensure that every new entrant who sits an ACS exam with them has first been on an industry-recognised training programme, otherwise they could be prevented from taking the exam.

Once the audit process is complete, the training programme will be authorised for a three-year period and audited annually to ensure their training is still up to standard.

The Institution has already begun the process of auditing training programmes up and down the country to ensure they meet the requirements set out in IGEM/IG/1 Standards of training in gas work, which has been selected as the official industry governance document.

In addition, IGEM will also authorise organisations that have successfully completed an audit to act as fellow ‘Recognisers of Training’. IGEM Recognised Training will be offered to new entrants to the sector ahead of their ACS exams.

Ian McCluskey, IGEM Head of Technical Services, said: “While the majority of training and assessments being carried out across the UK meet the high standards required, there have been growing concerns in recent years that some ACS training programmes are not providing a sufficient depth of knowledge and experience for trainees to be reasonably declared competent.

“In response, the industry is now taking steps to create a single, recognised route of training for new entrants to the gas industry who wish to pass their ACS assessment. It is hoped this new training pathway will mean any concerns over the quality of training being provided can be traced back to the training centre involved, allowing action to be taken if required.”

IGEM is urging all independent training providers that offer gas-related courses to contact the Institution to find out more about Recognised Training.

Training organisations wishing to find out more should contact IGEM at technical@igem.org.uk, or by calling 01509 67815.

A list of recognised training programmes will be made available to the public on the Energy & Utility Skills website at www.euskills.co.uk/gas.

 

IGEM to recognise training for the gas industry

IGEM to recognise training for the gas industry

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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More than 500 towers planned for London

London has 510 tall buildings over 20-storeys in the planning pipeline.

Latest research from New London Architecture (NLA) and GL Hearn also revealed a record 115 towers are under construction in the capital.

More than 90% (458) of the tall buildings coming forward are residential and have the potential to deliver 106,000 new homes.

Greenwich Peninsula is a tower hot spot with 40 applications for tall buildings last year.

Delivering towers has become more challenging with only 18 tall buildings completed in 2017 – a 30% drop from 2016 when 26 were completed.

There was also a 25% fall in the number of tall buildings coming out of the ground with work only starting on 40 in 2017.

Peter Murray, Chairman of New London Architecture said: “We continue to see a steady increase in the number of tall buildings coming forward and with London’s population continuing to increase and the demand for new homes only getting higher, our view remains that that well designed tall buildings, in the right place, are part of the solution.

“Uncertainties and challenges to deliver these tall buildings remain, which is perhaps why we are seeing a slight slowdown in the in the number of applications, construction starts and completions.

“However our reports over the past five years show us in the right places, towers allow us to use the finite resource of land very efficiently.”

Stuart Baillie, GL Hearn said: “Inner London remains the focus for the majority of tall building but Waltham Forest and Bromley feature in the pipeline for the first time.”

 

More than 500 towers planned for London

More than 500 towers planned for London

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Growth to rebound to 2.7% next year after flat 2018

Construction output will stagnate this year before accelerating to 2.7% in 2019 and 1.9% in 2020 as major infrastructure projects gather speed.

Forecasters at the Construction Products Association say that infrastructure and private housing remain the only two bright spots this year amid a fall-off in commercial work hit by a 20% drop in office construction.

This will see overall industry growth flatline in 2018.

But next year civil engineering contractors will benefit from infrastructure output jumping 13.1% as work accelerates on large projects such as HS2, the Thames Tideway Tunnel and Hinkley Point C.

Spring CPA forecast

  • Construction output to remain flat in 2018 (0.1%) and rise 2.7% in 2019
  • Private housing starts to rise 2.0% in 2018 and 2019
  • Office construction to decline 20.0% in 2018 and 10.0% in 2019
  • Retail construction to fall 10.0% in 2018 but rise 5.0% in 2019
  • Infrastructure work to rise by 6.4% in 2018 and 13.1% in 2019

Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said: “The start of the year was a bad one for construction. Carillion, the UK’s second biggest contractor, went into liquidation in January and led to a hiatus on infrastructure and commercial projects.

“The snowy weather badly affected work on site for at least three working days in February and March and, as a result, 2018 Q1 construction is likely to be £1.5bn lower than in 2017 Q4.

“Half of the activity lost in Q1 is expected to be regained during 2018. Work on some Carillion projects has already restarted, on joint-ventures or where major clients such as Network Rail have been keen to continue work.

“Other projects will take time to retender but are still likely to restart this year. Large infrastructure projects should also allow for a catch-up after the adverse weather and often have penalty clauses for delays. Despite the sector’s strong growth prospects, questions remain about poor government delivery of major infrastructure projects.

“Private housing starts are expected to rise 2.0% in both 2018 and 2019 in spite of the slowdown in the general housing market as Help to Buy is clearly sustaining demand for new build homes. Outside London, house building will rise quicker than this but growth overall will be constrained by the ongoing fall in demand for high-end residential in the capital.

“The growth in infrastructure and private house building this year is forecast to offset falls in the hard hit commercial sector, where Brexit uncertainty continues to hit international investment in new office towers in London and high street woes affects the construction of new retail.”

 

Growth to rebound to 2.7% next year after flat 2018

Growth to rebound to 2.7% next year after flat 2018

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Designs revealed for £100m Glasgow office complex

M&G Real Estate has unveiled plans for its new £100m office development in the centre of Glasgow.

The Grid will provide 277,500 sq ft of Grade A space over 12 levels designed by local architect Cooper Cromar.

Demolition of the existing building is planned for later this year with construction completion scheduled for late 2021.

William Badger, Asset Manager at M&G Real Estate, said: “With a lack of new Grade A space in the city’s office market, as well as in nearby Edinburgh, we are confident that The Grid will attract strong interest.”

 

Designs revealed for £100m Glasgow office complex

Designs revealed for £100m Glasgow office complex

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

Top of Page


Builder murdered by colleague on central London site

A murder investigation is underway after a construction worker was found dead on a central London site.

Police were called by the London Ambulance Service on Tuesday to reports of a man injured on the roof of the Pressman Mastermelts building in Hatton Garden, EC1.

Officers attended and the victim, a 47-year-old builder who was carrying out work at the site, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Initial reports indicated that the man may have fallen from height, but officers now believe he was the victim of a serious assault.

A post-mortem examination took place at St Pancras Mortuary on Thursday and gave cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.

Work continues to inform all next of kin – formal identification has not taken place.

The Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command is investigating, led by Detective Chief Inspector Luke Marks.

DCI Marks said: “Our enquiries have established that the victim was viciously attacked by a male suspect who is understood to have worked at the same site.

“We continue to appeal for information to trace a man who made off from Hatton Garden towards Chancery Lane, and boarded a Central Line train at Chancery Lane tube station at around 14:15hrs.

“Were you in the Hatton Garden area at that time, and did you see a man running towards Chancery Lane, or otherwise acting suspiciously? We would urge you to come forward as soon as possible.”

The man is described as a white male, aged in his mid 20s. He was wearing a navy blue fleece jacket, blue jeans and brown workmen’s boots.

If you have any information that could assist the investigation, please call the Incident room on 0208 358 0200 quoting CAD 4481/17Apr. Alternatively, call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if you would prefer not to give your name.

A 24-year-old man was initially arrested on suspicion of murder on Wednesday, 18 April. He was taken to a south London police station.

He was subsequently de-arrested for the murder offence, and then arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

He has been bailed pending further enquiries to a date in mid-May.

 

Builder murdered by colleague on central London site

Builder murdered by colleague on central London site

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Contractors warned over Medium Voltage cables

AEI Cables has issued a warning to make sure that Medium Voltage (MV) cables coming onto the market are independently approved and certified as compliant as the pressure mounts on the installation of quality products in modern building developments.

As the incidence of non-approved cables continues, the company is warning the supply chain to be particularly careful around the application of these cables into high-risk environments including hospitals, industrial sites and sub-stations serving infrastructure sites.

Stuart Dover, commercial manager for AEI Cables, said, “We are advising contractors to be careful, especially with new building design and development for modern complex buildings. If these cables are not approved, just question why not and check them out. To follow best practice and all compliance, we also advise that these cables are independently tested and certified by a third-party such as BASEC.

“There have been many instances in the recent past of non-approved cables coming onto the market, but in these environments it is crucial to get it right.

“Take all due precautions. Look for the British Standard, European or international standard number, the manufacturer’s mark and third-party approval markings. Even if there are markings, it is worth checking because some labels and stamps have been used fraudulently.

“Cables which are unmarked but not checked can become untraceable, so it is important at the point of receipt for contractors to check every time. Also keep records of purchases and deliveries to ensure that what is being installed is what was specified originally.”

He added, “It is well worth the small amount of time to make these checks, especially by the nature of the new designs of buildings these are going into and how they will be relied on to provide continuous power supply.”

Of the 29,312 accidental electrical fires in England during 2016-17, 5,241 (18 per cent) were attributed to wiring, cabling or plugs and of these 2,693 (51 per cent) were down to faulty electrical supplies and 1,728 (33 per cent) were caused by faulty appliances and leads.

 

Contractors warned over Medium Voltage cables

Contractors warned over Medium Voltage cables

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Two-thirds of the UK source tradespeople via Social Media, says survey

As many as two-thirds of homeowners turn to social media first to source service providers, including construction and trade workers, according to a survey by www.MyJobQuote.co.uk.

Facebook was voted the most influential social media network, with 71% of consumers stating that they would check out a company or worker on Facebook before contacting them, while Twitter was comparatively lower with just 11% sourcing companies via the platform.

The team at www.MyJobQuote.co.uk undertook the survey as part of ongoing research. 2,825 Britons took part in the poll, all of whom were 18 years old or over, owned their own home and had at least one child.

Initially, all respondents taking part in the survey were asked to state what their primary source of information was when looking to find a new service, to which 67% of Britons use social media as their primary information source, followed by 16% who use family member’s and friend’s recommendations and 11% who scout for companies’ own websites. Just 4% identified ‘review or comparison sites’ as their main source of information when looking for a new service provider.

All respondents who identified social media as their main source of information were then asked “What services have you recruited after using social media as your main/only source to find them?”

‘Construction & Trades’ came in second at 66%, just behind ‘Childcare’ at 69%. When asked about how successful various referrals turned out to be, those who used review or comparison sites were most likely to have a positive outcome (72%); compared to 66% of those who relied upon social media.

Lisa Evans from www.MyJobQuote.co.uk said: “It’s interesting to see the changing and ever-growing role of social media in our lives. The secret to its success is that it’s accessible and convenient; in a couple of taps you can find all you need to, which is great when we are short on time or on the move.”

 

Two-thirds of the UK source tradespeople via Social Media, says survey

Two-thirds of the UK source tradespeople via Social Media, says survey

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Ideal classroom lighting boosts learning by 20%

Research shows that the correct type of lighting can significantly improve a child’s learning.

Full spectrum lighting, including sunlight and artificial lighting that replicated natural light, has been proven to improve behaviour, reduce anxiety and boost health. All of these factors contribute to a marked improvement in learning.

The study by the California Energy Commission documents that classrooms that receive a high level of daylight offer students a 20 per cent better learning rate in maths in 26 per cent in reading, compared with classrooms that receive little natural light.

Head of marketing and business development for CMD, Bruce Cantrill said: “The days of ‘one size fits all’ fluorescent lighting in schools are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Innovations in dynamic lighting technology now mean that natural daylight can easily be replicated to create a much more positive learning environment for both pupils and staff.”

A recent study published in the journal Optics Express suggests that dynamic lighting – lighting which can be adjusted remotely to suit particular lessons and activities – can further support and enhance classroom learning.

Overhead cool white lighting can be detrimental to learning, says Grangaard of the University of Nevada researcher, Dr. Ellen Mannel. This type of lighting can aggravate hyperactivity and promote off-task behaviour such as fidgeting, daydreaming and talking in lessons.

The glare – or veiling reflection – created when fluorescent lighting reflects off paper and white boards also physically hinders student’s ability to read properly and can result in disengagement with the lesson.

 

Ideal classroom lighting boosts learning by 20%

Ideal classroom lighting boosts learning by 20%

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Green light for £350m Leeds South Bank scheme

Developer CEG has gained the planning green light for a £350m joint office, retail and residential development around what would be the tallest building in Yorkshire.

Regeneration of a 9 acre site in the South Bank area of Leeds has been designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and will involve a mix of buildings ranging from five to 40-storeys.

The site is the principal rail gateway into Leeds and the scheme has been designed to make a powerful positive impact on arrival to the city.

Leeds City Plans Panel has unanimously voted to approve detailed planning permission for two office developments totalling 270,000 sq ft. Outline planning permission will also be granted for the wider mixed-use development of over 1m sq ft of offices, retail, leisure, hotel, health, and up to 750 new homes, along with new public spaces and landscaping.

The scheme is expected to be delivered in five phases over 12 years. The first phase of development is likely to be Globe Point – a flat-iron shaped building acting as a gateway from the east to the site. Thereafter the construction is expected to progress from east to west.

Jon Kenny, development director at CEG, said: “The site is the principal rail gateway into Leeds and the scheme has been designed to make a powerful positive impact on arrival to the city, showing how we are preparing for HS2 and investing to ensure our city offers development of an international quality.”

David Hodgson, head of strategic development north for CEG, said: “This derelict site is an important core in the west of the city, an area which has suffered from neglect over a number of years.

“At the heart of the South Bank regeneration area, our proposals will deliver the same attention to detail and quality as we have delivered at our award-winning Kirkstall Forge development. This will be an exciting mixed-use strategic development of a critical mass and international standard, revitalising the area and reconnecting local communities to the city.”

 

Green light for £350m Leeds South Bank scheme

Green light for £350m Leeds South Bank scheme

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Builders told to wait over a year for brick orders

Some small building firms are being told to wait for more than a year for certain brick orders, according to a new survey that reveals skyrocketing material prices and extending order times.

While there has been rising concern about falling brick stocks and supply bottlenecks, the latest survey by the Federation of Master Builders of its members reveals excessively long lead times being quoted in the market.

More than half of small building firms said that rising material prices are squeezing their margins.

As a result of the changes 30% had recommended clients use alternative materials or products to those originally specified. This has gone up from one in ten nearly a year ago.

And now nearly one in five builders report making losses on their building projects due to material cost inflation, up from one in ten reporting this in July 2017.

The FMB’s latest State of Trade Survey shows that almost ninety per cent of building firms are expecting further rises over the next sixth months.

Longest lead times, in descending order

  • Bricks were in shortest supply with the longest reported wait time being more than one year;
  • Roof tiles were second with the longest reported wait time being up to six months;
  • Insulation was third with the longest reported wait time being up to four months;
  • Slate was fourth with the longest reported wait time being up to six months;
  • Windows were fifth with the longest reported wait time being more than one year;
  • Blocks were sixth with the longest reported wait time being up to four months;
  • Porcelain products were seventh with the longest reported wait time being more than one year;
  • Plasterboard was eighth with the longest reported wait time being up to two months;
  • Timber was ninth with the longest reported wait time being up to two months;
  • Boilers were tenth, with the longest reported wait time being more than one year.

Average materials price rises over 12 months

  • Insulation increased by 16%;
  • Bricks increased by 9%;
  • Timber increased by 8%;
  • Roof tiles increased by 8%;
  • Slate increased by 8%;
  • Windows increased by 7%;
  • Blocks increased by 7%;
  • Plasterboard increased by 7%;
  • Boilers increased by 7%;
  • Porcelain products increased by 6%.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Material prices have rocketed over the past year. The reason for this could include the impact of the depreciation of sterling following the EU referendum still feeding through.

“High demand due to buoyant international markets could also be contributing to price increases. What’s particularly worrying is that when prices have increased mid-project, almost one fifth of builders have absorbed the increase and therefore made a loss.

“Also, if material price increases weren’t enough of a headache for building firms, they are also experiencing material shortages with wait times ticking up across a range of materials and products. Worst case scenarios include firms waiting for more than one year for a new order of bricks.”

Berry added: “We are calling on builders’ merchants to give their customers as much advance warning of forthcoming material price increases or wait times as possible so that firms can warn their customers and plan ahead.”

“What we don’t want is for the number of building firms making losses on projects to increase as this could result in firms going to the wall. A large number of collapsing construction companies will have a terrible knock-on effect in the wider economy.”

 

Builders told to wait over a year for brick orders

Builders told to wait over a year for brick orders

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Crystal Palace to start £100m main stand next summer

Crystal Palace FC have confirmed they will start work on their Selhurst Park stadium redevelopment at the end of the 2018/19 season.

The London club set out its building plans for a new iconic Main Stand after gaining planning from Croydon Council.

The project, which is expected to cost between £75-£100m, will increase the capacity at Selhurst Park from 26,000 to more than 34,000, transforming the match-day experience for supporters.

A stunning new five-storey stand will feature an all-glass front – a homage to the club’s earliest days when it stood in the shadows of the original Crystal Palace, erected on Sydenham Hill.

A central vaulted arch, with the famous Eagle crest, is a reminder of the iconic 1851 Exhibition Hall, and eagle wings flank the 41m structure.
It is a major investment in the heart of Croydon, which will generate more than £15m a year for the local economy and create hundreds of new jobs.

The project is being designed by leading stadium architects KSS, the firm behind the redevelopment of iconic sporting venues, including Anfield, Twickenham and Wimbledon. The roof of the new stand will be designed to funnel sound down to the pitch and the Arthur Wait Stand opposite.

Negotiations will now continue with Croydon Council over the terms of the Club’s Section 106 obligations to fund transport and community improvement initiatives.

The Council will now refer the application to the London Mayor, and once he has approved it, the planning permission will then be issued.

The existing Main Stand will remain in full operational use throughout the build process, minimising the impact on the stadium capacity in the coming seasons. Building work will complete in 2021, ready to open for the 2021-2 season.

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said: “I am absolutely delighted that Croydon Council has backed our plans for Selhurst Park. This project will not only transform the stadium, which has been our home since 1924, but it will also have a positive impact on the south London community.”

 

Crystal Palace to start £100m main stand next summer

Crystal Palace to start £100m main stand next summer

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Specialist trade bodies petition No 10 for payment reform

A delegation representing 76 specialist trade bodies petitioned the Prime Minister as momentum gathered for urgent reform to payment practices in construction.

Representing more than 355,000 construction businesses, the unprecedented coalition of trade groups descended on Number 10 to call for reforms.

The petition urges the Government to back reform of payment practices and retentions after the scale of abuse was again publicly highlighted in the wake of Carillion’s collapse.

It comes just days before the second reading of the ‘Aldous Bill’ on Friday, which proposes cash retentions be held in trust accounts, to protect the supply chain.

Support has also been given from across the construction supply chain, including house building, roofing, scaffolding, electrical, heating, plumbing, interiors and demolition.

Supporters of the Aldous Bill and the petition on fair payments also gathered outside the gates of Number 10, including business owners directly affected by Carillion’s collapse.

The Aldous Bill is supported by over 120 MPs and 76 industry trade bodies, representing over 355,000 companies and many self-employed professionals. Cross-party support for reform includes Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, SNP, DUP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party.

Aldous said: “The industry loses around £1m for each working day, mostly from SMEs. There have been proposals to stop the abuse of retentions before, but this time there is the largest coalition on fair payments ever.”

ECA CEO Steve Bratt said: “The show of support today shows that fair payment is a top priority for our industry. We need urgent government action on payment and retentions to protect the supply chain, and to ensure our industry can deliver growth and prosperity.”

BESA CEO David Frise added: “Retentions and delayed payment put thousands of firms at risk of insolvency and undermine their efforts to invest in skills, training and improved productivity.

“The government will surely want to be seen to protect SMEs and to ensure the construction industry is sustainable, so it can deliver its ambitious plans for housing and social welfare. SMEs are crucial to the government’s built environment and infrastructure programme.”

 

Specialist trade bodies petition No 10 for payment reform

Specialist trade bodies petition No 10 for payment reform

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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December 2017 Newsletter

Quick Links

 


MPs join the campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers

More than 30 MPs have pledged their support for a national campaign to get more young people into engineering, joining government and industry in a united effort to tackle a major skills gap.

The Year of Engineering, which launches in January, will see government work with hundreds of industry partners to raise the profile of engineering among young people aged 7-16, their parents and their teachers. This will include offering at least a million direct experiences of engineering to young people from all backgrounds – from behind the scenes tours and family days out, to school visits and the chance to meet engineering role models.

At an event in Parliament yesterday, Wednesday 6 December, MPs from across the UK committed to supporting the campaign in their constituencies. Pledges included connecting schools with local engineering employers and encouraging businesses to take part in open doors events for schools and families.

Minister for the Year of Engineering and Transport Skills Minister John Hayes said: “If we are going to create a country fit to meet all new challenges, we need to train the next generation of highly-skilled British workers.

“Engineering and all it brings is at the heart of economic success and provides exciting opportunities of fulfilling careers through skills that will shape all our futures, but for too many employers a lack of skilled engineers is limiting growth. That’s why I am delighted to see so many of my colleagues determined to promote engineering. Their determination and dedication, enthusiasm and engagement will help to make the year of engineering not only a year-long campaign but a lifelong success.

“Now, huge opportunities exist as the government’s strategic investment in infrastructure bears fruit. New skills, new jobs and new prospects will turn vision to reality, if we show young people, their parents and their teachers what engineering can mean: a career in engineering offers creativity, variety, the chance to innovate and so make a real difference.”

HM Government Envoy for the Year of Engineering Stephen Metcalfe MP said: “The value of engineering skills is frequently underestimated, outdated perceptions of the profession are still widespread, and the industry continues to suffer from a lack of diversity in its workforce.

“The Year of Engineering aims to tackle these challenges, so it’s vital that the campaign is championed across government, parliament and industry.

“We know how much enthusiasm there is in all parts of the profession to encourage engineers of the future. We want this campaign to unite those ambitions, and I welcome these pledges of support from my fellow MPs which will be vital in helping to drive this across the country.”

The event was jointly hosted by government and the Institution for Engineering and Technology (IET), marking the publication of its annual Skills Survey report – which looks at the skills challenges faced by engineering and technology employers in the UK.

Nigel Fine, IET Chief Executive, said: “The IET 2017 Engineering and Technology Skills Survey highlights a buoyant sector with high value jobs being created. In order to deliver on the skills challenge we must ensure we have enough people with the practical and technical skills required by industry, and recruit widely from a diverse pool of potential talent, bringing in all sections of society.

“The cross-government Year of Engineering campaign will be an ideal way of celebrating the amazing contribution that engineering makes to society, and encourage young people to join the profession. The IET is delighted to be supporting the campaign to highlight the exciting, creative and rewarding world of engineering.”

Hundreds of partners have signed up to support the Year of Engineering, including Siemens, the Science Museum Group, Ocado, Usborne, BAE Systems and Crossrail. Teaming up with partners from many different sectors, the government will deliver a year of UK-wide school visits, exhibitions and open doors events – all aimed at encouraging young people and their parents to take a closer look at engineering.

To find out more, visit the Year of Engineering partner website or follow the campaign on Twitter.

 

MPs join the campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers

MPs join the campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers

Source: Electrical Engineering

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Housing association completes heating upgrade programme

Soha Housing has just completed a comprehensive upgrade programme to improve heating in its least energy-efficient properties.

The Oxfordshire housing association offered 127 homes with a SAP rating of 55 or lower a new heating system: gas, if the supply was available, or more efficient electrical radiators.

The systems installed were the Quantum space heater from Dimplex and Vaillant Eco Tec pure models 612-630 gas boilers.

The average SAP rating across the properties before the works was 47 and the new average has risen to 67.

More than a third of the households upgraded responded to a survey asking them to assess the difference the new heating would make. 57% said they were already enjoying better value for money – £100 a quarter in one case – with Economy 7; others were pleased with the more consistent and controllable warmth. 63% said they no longer needed to supplement their heating with other devices such as a fan heater. Some who were living with gas for the first time were able to identify an improvement in breathing or other chest conditions.

“No more running out of hot water at bath time for my little girls”, commented one tenant, who had gas installed for the first time. Another, whose storage heaters were replaced with, as she described them, ‘much nicer-looking’ electric radiators, appreciated that she could programme them for her return from work.

Housing association completes heating upgrade programme

Housing association completes heating upgrade programme

Source: HVP Magazine

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SELECT launches new series of technical videos

SELECT, the campaigning body for the electrotechnical trade in Scotland, has built on the resounding success of its nationwide Toolbox Talks initiative with the launch of a series of technical videos which will be of immediate value to electrical practitioners.

The professionally produced series of technical update films – created by SELECT’s own technical team – begins with a 20-minute presentation on surge protection and its connection to current standards.

With a straightforward, accessible narration, the first video uses a mix of live video, text and diagrams to explain the dangers of surge protection and the measures that can be taken to protect a variety of installations.

The videos can be viewed on a selection of mobile devices, such as phones, tablets and laptops, meaning that they will be instantly available to electrical professionals wherever they are working.

Dave Forrester, head of Technical Services at SELECT, said: “In our Toolbox Talks series, which toured Scotland to great acclaim again this year, we discussed issues of immediate importance to the electrical profession.

“But while the Talks reach audiences of hundreds of interested people, the new video series will allow us to reach out to a far bigger number of professionals at times and places which suit them.”

Surge protection was chosen as the first topic because of the effect it can have on electrical installations. The narrative focused on what can be done to protect sensitive equipment connected to these installations.

It also covered surge protection devices, SPD terminology, British Standards, the selection and erection of SPDs and their future development. The videos can be viewed here.

Mr Forrester said: “Things like IT equipment are particularly susceptible, even to indirect lightning strikes. Even turning equipment on and off can introduce spikes and voltage which can be harmful to sensitive equipment.”

SELECT’s 1250 member companies account for around 90% of all electrical installation work carried out in Scotland. They have a collective turnover of around £1 billion and provide employment for 15,000 people.

SELECT launches new series of technical videos

SELECT launches new series of technical videos

Source: Electrical Times

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Baxi donates boilers to college

Baxi Heating has donated some of its latest boilers and other heating equipment to help train construction students at Coleg Cambria in north east Wales.

The manufacturer has provided four combi boilers, six heat-only boilers, and a Heatrae Sadia Megaflo unvented cylinder. The donation will give students studying for a Level 1 or 2 diploma in plumbing practical experience of the latest products.

Baxi Heating Training Officer Robert Evans, an ex-student at the college, arranged the donation. He said: “We are delighted to have provided Coleg Cambria with up-to-date equipment and training to ensure the next generation of gas engineers are ready to meet the demands of an ever-changing industry.

“At Baxi we are always striving to meet those demands. It has been a pleasure working with the staff and students in a college which is forward thinking and has many talented students.”

Baxi runs 16 training centres nationwide, including eight based at higher education facilities such as Exeter College, Coleg Gwent in Newport and Leeds College of Building.

Ian Hogg, Coleg Cambria’s Deputy Director of Curriculum for Construction, added: “We are really grateful for the kind donation of boilers and equipment Baxi has made to Coleg Cambria. Baxi has supported the college in the past with previous donations and I know that our students and staff have benefited greatly and that these new additions will be put to excellent use.

“Thanks must go to Robert Evans from Baxi Heating, in particular, who has built a really good relationship with our staff and knows the contribution of up-to-date boilers and systems makes to the excellent training our students get here at Coleg Cambria.”

Baxi donates boilers to college

Baxi donates boilers to college

Source: HVP Magazine

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Electricity network operators commit to creating new energy markets to help deliver £17bn smart energy opportunity

A commitment made by electricity network companies on the running of Great Britain’s smart grid could help deliver £17bn back to the economy by 2050, the companies have said.

Electricity network companies operating across England, Scotland and Wales are announcing a joint commitment to “create new markets to enable flexibility services that will compete alongside traditional investment”. Network operators in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are also providing an indication of broad intent to use the services in the future.

The move will help reduce the cost of running the network to customers and provide new opportunities for businesses and communities to offer flexibility services to local network operators. It is published in the “Opening Markets for Network Flexibility” report for the Open Networks Project.

The pan-industry Open Networks Project is a “key initiative” for addressing the changes that need to be made to energy networks to create a more flexible energy system, as recently set out in Ofgem and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan.

Flexibility services include businesses and consumers increasing electricity generation, or choosing to adjust their electricity consumption up or down to support balancing of supply and demand in real time in response to a financial incentive provided to them by an agreement with a network operator. They include:

  • Selling power generated by new technologies such as solar panels and wind turbines.
  • Businesses adjusting their electricity use at the times of day when they least need it.
  • Using new smart energy efficiency technology to adjust consumption remotely and buying electricity from battery storage.

Research conducted by Imperial College London and The Carbon Trust for the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan shows that the UK could deliver £17-40bn of benefits across the energy system by 2050. A smarter, more flexible energy system, with the use of flexibility markets, will deliver these benefits.

The report also states that network companies will also “rapidly increase the use of competitive markets” over the next 6 years, under the current RIIO ED1 price control period.

The roles and responsibilities of network companies are changing as they respond to the deployment of new types of smart and renewable energy technology connected at a local rather than a national level. These changes mean that Distribution Network Operators are moving from their traditional role of simply distributing electricity to playing a more active role managing supply and demand locally.

At the same time the role of National Grid as System Operator is also changing to facilitate the transition to a more decentralised, low carbon system. The Open Networks Project will describe the new roles and responsibilities required to support the transition to a smarter, more efficient electricity network.

David Smith, CEO of Energy Networks Association, comments: “Our energy networks have a great track record of delivering for households, businesses and communities when it comes to network reliability, reducing costs to the bill payer and driving forward new investment in our infrastructure.

“Today’s announcement builds on that, as our energy market rapidly changes. It is about creating a system that creates a platform for a whole range of new energy technologies and services that not only allows network companies to manage the system more effectively but give other organisations the chance to benefit from that, whether that be directly or indirectly.”

Richard Harrington MP, Minister for Energy & Industry, said: “Upgrading our energy system to make sure it is fit for the future is a key part of our Industrial Strategy and the Smart Systems Plan published in July sets out what we will do to make that happen.

“A smarter, more flexible energy system will create opportunities to reduce energy costs, increase productivity and put UK businesses in a leading position to export smart energy technology and services to the rest of the world.”

Dermot Nolan, Chief Executive of Ofgem, said: “We welcome today’s commitment by network companies to create new markets for flexibility services following the joint publication of the Smart Systems and Flexibility Plan by Ofgem and the Government in July.

“Flexibility is key to the transition to a smarter energy system which saves consumers money on their energy bills. We will work with the energy industry, Government and consumer groups to make sure that these new services are delivered in whatever way works best for consumers.”

Electricity network operators commit to creating new energy markets to help deliver £17bn smart energy opportunity

Electricity network operators commit to creating new energy markets to help deliver £17bn smart energy opportunity

Source: Electrical Times

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Construction start date for £350m Tower Hamlets site

Construction is set to start next year on a £350m scheme to regenerate one of the last remaining brownfield sites in Tower Hamlets, East London.

The timetable was unveiled as the London Borough of Tower Hamlets granted the green light to plans from a consortium led by Galliard Homes and Lindhill.

The Ailsa Wharf site will contain 785-homes as part of a mixed use regeneration scheme designed by architecture practice Stockwool.

Work will transform a heavily contaminated 2.5ha tract of land next to the River Lea which has laid barren and unused for many years.

The approved proposals will create a mixed-use hub of high quality housing and 3,000m2 commercial space in 13 buildings varying between 3 and 17 storeys set within significant areas of new public realm.

The development has the potential to kickstart wider regeneration in Poplar Riverside, particularly the sites to the south such as Iron Mountain and the Nairn Street Estate.

Construction is due to start in 2018 with first completions due in 2021.

Construction start date for £350m Tower Hamlets site

Construction start date for £350m Tower Hamlets site

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Tradespeople spend the most on Secret Santa gifts, says Wonga

Tradespeople spend the most on Secret Santa presents for their colleagues, according to research from Wonga.

Wonga reports that 21% of tradespeople spend between £21 and £25 on a Secret Santa gift, compared to the national average of £13.

The professions that spend the most on Secret Santa gifts on average are:

  1. Plumber, builder or electrician – £18
  2. Designer or artist – £16
  3. IT – £16.

The thriftiest professions, by the percentage of people who spend £5 or less on a gift, are:

  1. Teacher – 21.1%
  2. Sales – 12.5%
  3. Retail – 11.4%.

Plumbers, builders and electricians also spend the most overall on seasonal workplace festivities, with 19% spending £76 to £100 on everything including Christmas parties, lunches, decorations, gifts and treats.

Geographically, people in Edinburgh are the most festive, with 90% buying a colleague a Secret Santa gift and attending at least one party. Workers in Southampton are the biggest party poopers, with just 51% taking part in Secret Santa and only 64% going to a party, according to the research.

Tradespeople spend the most on Secret Santa gifts, says Wonga

Tradespeople spend the most on Secret Santa gifts, says Wonga

Source: HVP Magazine

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UK Tradespeople struggle to recruit due to a lack of focus on training

More than half of tradespeople (57%) struggle to find skilled labour – 37% think apprenticeships are not respected as much as university and 31% believe school leavers are put off by a poor perception of trade careers

The UK’s electricians, plumbers, builders, carpenters and other trades are optimistic about the future, with 82% expecting business activity to remain at the same level or grow over the next 12 months, additionally, nearly half (45%) report being busier than last year.

However, research conducted by trade retailer, Electricfix’s umbrella organisation, Screwfix, has revealed the majority (57%) are reporting difficulties in recruiting staff to support them. This is primarily due to:

  • a lack of focus on encouraging new people to train in the trades.
  • not enough local skilled tradespeople.
  • too much red tape.

‘For those who struggle to recruit skilled employees, more than one third (37%) believe it is because apprenticeships are not given the same level of respect as a university education. Furthermore, 31% say poor public perception of a career in the trade means school leavers are not interested in pursuing a future in construction.’

The research, conducted as part of Screwfix Trade Pulse*, a monthly index of more than 500 UK tradespeople, also revealed strong work levels across the trade at the moment, as nearly one fifth (18%) of tradespeople has more work than they can handle and 40% are quoting for more jobs than 12 months ago.

Nearly all (94%) tradespeople said they would recommend a career in the trade and of the reasons why, 85% say they have a strong sense of achievement when a job is done and, 80% enjoy seeing the results of their hard work.

More than half (57%) of those surveyed said they started as apprentices and, when it comes to increasing the numbers undertaking trade apprenticeships, more than one third (35%) believe greater focus is needed on vocational education in schools. More than one quarter (26%) believe improved awareness about the opportunities offered by a career in the trade would drive greater uptake of apprenticeships, with 19% saying that reducing red tape for employers looking to hire an apprentice should be considered.

The research also looked at views around those entering construction at a later stage in their careers. The significant majority (82%) of tradespeople think more could be done to attract people to the trade further into their working lives. More than two thirds (69%) think increasing awareness of the opportunities available would help attract people into the trade and 61% believe greater knowledge of the support available to retrain is also crucial.

Graham Bell, CEO of Electricfix and Screwfix, comments: “When we speak to tradespeople across our 546 stores, they reflect what these findings show us. Tradespeople tell us they have full work diaries but, many struggle to recruit skilled employees when looking to support their growing business so, it is clear that focused efforts are needed to drive recruitment and training into the trades.

“There is much focus on a reported construction skills challenge with various reasons given including loss of talent during the downturn and a lack of new entrants joining the trade. That’s why, now more than ever, all parties including government, suppliers and education providers should work together.

“It was encouraging to see the investment pledged into improving construction skills by the government in the recent Budget but, collectively, we also need to demonstrate why construction is such a great sector to work in and, help those who may be interested in embarking on a career in the trade to overcome barriers they may face.

“We also need to support tradespeople who want to take on apprentices or hire skilled labour to support their business at a time of much opportunity.”

Screwfix supports the trade however it can, so alongside practical support such as opening a store at the rate of one per week, to bring Screwfix even closer, it offers ‘Your Guide to Hiring an Apprentice’, a free, bitesize guide available in stores for those tradespeople who may be looking to take on an apprentice.

To further shine a light on those hardworking new entrants to the trade, it also holds an annual Trade Apprentice competition where a £10,000 business start-up kit is up for grabs. Both this award and its Britain’s Top Tradesperson nationwide search showcase what a great career option the trade offers, whether you start out as an apprentice or retrain later in your working life.

In addition, to support skills growth in the construction trade, Screwfix has recently started to work with colleges directly, partnering locally first with Yeovil College. It has invested in the Screwfix Trade Skills Centre, a new purpose-built site for students studying the pilot Screwfix Trade Academy course, which covers bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry and electrical contracting. The first recruits started in September 2017.

Screwfix is also looking at other ways it can support the trade and will be launching further initiatives in the future.

Click the link to see the full EF Trade pulse infographic.

UK Tradespeople struggle to recruit due to a lack of focus on training

UK Tradespeople struggle to recruit due to a lack of focus on training

Source: Electrical Times

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Gas Safe Register releases its Decade Review

Review report, which covers opinion on key topics, the current state of the industry and what the future has in store.

Key findings include an agreement among many of the respondents that the last decade has been characterised by improvements in safety and technological advances. However, there is also concern that the industry is becoming fragmented and that training standards are not adequate.

Jonathan Samuel, Chief Executive of Gas Safe Register, said: “Gas Safe Register commissioned the Decade Review to give a voice to the entire industry, from the many sole traders to the training bodies and manufacturers to the big energy companies. It gave each specialist sector in the industry the opportunity to reflect on their experience and share their often strongly held views and perspectives.

“The UK’s gas industry has seen many changes over the past decade: more registered engineers, tougher penalties for health and safety offences, new technologies, and innovation are all helping to keep the public safe and warm. But what does the industry believe it needs and wants now? The Decade Review sets out to answer these and many more questions.”

Nearly 3,000 people took part in the research that the Decade Review is built from, including consumers and stakeholders, with the majority of respondents (95%) being made up of Gas Safe-registered engineers.

Gas Safe Register enlisted an independent research agency to host multiple focus groups, share an online survey for completion, carry out in-depth telephone interviews, and then analyse the findings and feedback.

You can download a copy of the Decade Review here: www.gassaferegister.co.uk/decade-review.

Gas Safe Register releases its Decade Review

Gas Safe Register releases its Decade Review

Source: HVP Magazine

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UK online sales of electrical products worth £1.3bn, says report

In 2017, the market for online distribution of electrical products was estimated to be worth £1.3 billion, having grown by almost 300% on 2012, according to a new report recently published by AMA Research.

This can be compared to growth of 20% within the overall electrical products market over the same period. Online sales are now estimated to account for around 8% of the overall electrical products distribution market, says the report.

This significant growth can be attributed to the fact that leading wholesalers, as well as both trade and DIY distributors, have expanded their internet presence in recent years, launching transactional websites and starting to move towards ‘omni-channel’ services.

The increasing use of click and collect has also made a significant difference to the way contractors purchase, allowing them to combine the convenience of on-site ordering with convenient collection options.

The report states that the largest distribution channels with regards to sales of electrical products are direct from manufacturers and via electrical wholesalers, while merchants and other trade distributors, such as HVAC specialists, are also significant in this market. In terms of online sales, the most significant distributors of online sales are ‘internet only’ distributors, with around 42% of the market.

In general, the distribution market for electrical products is starting to move towards ‘omni-channel’ distribution, whereby customers can access information, goods and services via multiple platforms and channels within one transaction, with a focus on the overall customer experience.

The full report – The Electrical Products Distribution Market Report, Online Focus, UK 2017-2021 Analysis – is published by AMA Research, and is available online.

UK online sales of electrical products worth £1.3bn, says report

UK online sales of electrical products worth £1.3bn, says report

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Fire Angel launches ‘Check the Date’ campaign

Fire alarm manufacturer, Fire Angel, has launched a ‘Check the Date’ campaign to encourage homes throughout the UK to check their smoke alarms every year.

Smoke alarm sensors will degrade over time, leading to a reduced sensitivity in detecting heat or smoke. As a result, fire alarms need to be replaced every ten years.

Jess Pennington, campaign manager for Fire Angel, said: “The Check the Date campaign aims to make people aware of the importance of fire safety in the home, especially in the run up to Christmas when candles and decorative lights become more prevalent in the home.

“Unfortunately, a majority of burns incidents occur in the home, but the risk of a fire incident can be dramatically reduced by regularly checking and replacing a fire alarm. In order for a smoke alarm to be certified to European safety standards, they need to have a replace by date on the alarm.”

The launch coincides with the launch of a charity single, ‘Never Be Alone’ written and produced by Andy Lawrence Flynn, 32, and Dan Hodges, 34, to remind people that the smoke alarm is a guardian angel of the home.

“All funds from the single will go to the Children’s Burns Trust and we hope that the money raised will allow them to continue supporting victims of fire,” added Jess.

Alison Tweddle, of The Children’s Burns Trust, said: “The success of our charity is dependent on the kind donations of people to ensure that we can offer burns survivors both rehabilitation and financial support, as well as helping us to raise awareness of the important messages around prevention and good first aid”.

The single costs £0.99 and is available to download now from Spotify and iTunes and all proceeds will go to the charity.

Source: Heating & Plumbing Monthly Magazine

Fire Angel launches 'Check the Date' campaign

Fire Angel launches ‘Check the Date’ campaign

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Just nine ‘fire-risk’ social housing blocks being reclad

Retrofit cladding work has so far got underway on just nine high-rise social housing blocks around the country to replace combustible cladding.

According to new Government statistics mapping the extent of remedial works just one social housing block has been completed six months after the Grenfell disaster.

The new data, which will now be published monthly to track progress on the vast backlog of retrofits,  confirms that 162 social housing buildings are fitted with combinations of aluminium composite material cladding and insulation judged to have failed the large-scale tests, as of 10 November.

While combustible cladding has been removed on just over a third of these high-rises, progress remain slow on funding and starting the recladding work.

Cladding has been removed on 57 of these buildings over 18m in height. Of these, 26 buildings have had all cladding removed.

Work has started on nine blocks to install replacement cladding and one building has finished the installation of replacement cladding.

The Government also confirmed the full scale of the retrofit facing clients and the industry.  Including private residential and student homes, a total of 284 have combinations of ACM and insulation of the types that failed the large-scale tests and are therefore unlikely to meet current Building Regulations guidance.

No figures are published for progress on private homes or student residences, but several schemes are known to be in planning or underway.

On the latest reckoning there are 63 local authorities in England with at least one such building within their boundaries. London Boroughs of Brent, Tower Hamlets and Westminster, as well as Manchester and Salford, all have 11 or more buildings with a cladding system that failed the large-scale tests.

Just nine 'fire-risk' social housing blocks being reclad

Just nine ‘fire-risk’ social housing blocks being reclad

Source: Construction Enquirer

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