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October 2018 Newsletter

October 2018 Newsletter

‘NICEIC, ELECSA and CCUK to provide training on the dangers of working with asbestos, Survey reveals top plumbing issues, Bursary helps more women in to the electrical industry, Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops, Vehicle tracking sparks improvements in the electrical industry and London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost‘.

 

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Asbestos awareness training for electrical contractors

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive suggest that 14 people will die prematurely every day as a result of being exposed to asbestos – this equates to around 5,000 deaths a year. It is the single greatest cause to work related deaths in the UK and is considered a major factor to many types of health complications.

Although receiving a total ban in 1999, there are an estimated 12.5m households that could still potentially contain asbestos.

Working with CCUK, NICEIC and ELECSA contractors can take online or face-to-face training in asbestos awareness courses, fully certified by the UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA).

Mark Smith, marketing director for NICEIC and ELECSA said, “Tradespeople need to know they are working in a safe environment. These figures are a startling reminder of the work that needs to be done to protect those who are at greater risk of being exposed to asbestos.

“These courses will highlight what to look out for if they believe asbestos to be present in their vicinity and what immediate action they need to take to prevent themselves and others around them from being exposed to this harmful material.”

Billy Quinn, managing director for CCUK, added, “We are delighted to be working with NICEIC and ELECSA, who share the same passion to help standards and improve knowledge amongst construction workers.

“There are potentially thousands of contractors who are still not aware of the dangers surrounding asbestos. At CCUK, we strive to get the message across that professional training can change the way today’s workers operate so they don’t put their lives at unnecessary risk.”

The partnership means NICEIC and ELECSA contractors can take online training at a special discounted rate. Anyone looking to take the course should visit centralcompliance.uk/certsure.

 

Asbestos Awareness Training For Electrical Contractors

Asbestos Awareness Training For Electrical Contractors

 

Source: Electrcial Contracting News

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Top plumbing issues revealed by WRAS survey

Dripping taps are the number one plumbing issue in the UK, with more than one in 10 homeowners experiencing the issue in the past five years, according to a new Water Regulation Advisory Scheme (WRAS) study.

Even a small trickle from a dripping tap can waste water and money and, according to WaterSafe, fixing a dripping tap could save homeowners at least £18 a year if they are on a water meter, as well as 5,500l of water.

The study of 2,000 homeowners also found that leaking pipes, clogged drains, and a continuously running toilet topped the list of homeowners’ complaints.

The top complaints were:

  • Dripping tap (14%)
  • Leaking pipe (11%)
  • Slow or clogged drains (10%)
  • Running toilet (9%)
  • Burst pipe (6%)
  • Water temperature issue (5%)
  • Noisy pipes (5%)
  • Frozen pipes (4%)
  • Flooding (3%)
  • Water storage tank failure (2%)

 

Top plumbing issues revealed by WRAS survey

Top plumbing issues revealed by WRAS survey

 

Source: HVP Magazine 

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Bursary helps more woman in to electrical industry 

NICEIC has been helping more women into the electrical industry through its Jobs for the Girls Bursary Scheme.

The scheme offers grants to women already working in the industry or looking to get a helping hand at the start of their career. It is open to females of all ages and designed to cover training or other associated costs up to a maximum of £500.

One of those who benefited from a bursary was 40-year-old Amanda Pugh from Buckinghamshire. She used the funding to set up a website for her business Amanda Electrics.

“I was just starting out on my own and although I had help with some of the training and was fortunate to have a good amount of tools I still had to pay for additional courses, books, registration, insurance, website fees, business cards, work clothing and other tools.

“The set-up costs were more than I anticipated but the bursary from the NICEIC helped to offset some of these costs and meant I was able to start making money from my work sooner.”

Coleen Everitt, runs Alto Electrical in Lincolnshire. She used the money to buy materials for circuit boards, which she custom builds and uses for talks in local schools and colleges.

“I am a keen advocate of promoting a career in the trades to young boys and girls. By offering a hands-on practical lesson I want to encourage both boys and girls into the construction sector.

“It was great to get support from NICEIC and as a female in the trade I fully support the Jobs for the Girls campaign.”

Another one to benefit was 18-year-old Britany Douglas. She had just started an apprenticeship and used the money to buy tools and the latest 18th Edition wiring regulations.

She said: “The bursary meant I was able to buy the tools I needed to start my apprenticeship. There are a lot of things you need to buy when just starting out so it was great that I could get a helping hand.”

In the six months since launching the bursary, NICEIC has provided £5000 of funding to more than 20 women.

The youngest applicant was a 17-year-old just staring out at college and the oldest was a 55-year-old who wanted to get back on the tools after a career break.

The average age of all applicants was 29 – perhaps an indicator of the later age that women traditionally come into the electrical industry.

Emma Clancy, CEO of NICEIC, commented: “Over the last seven years we have seen a marked increase in the number of women who come to us looking for help and assistance. Employers have also been in touch to see how they can attract more female candidates.

“Where possible we have provided access to training, technical information and opportunities with our registered contractors, but it has not always been possible to assist those who just need a helping hand along the way.

“Through this bursary we have been able to offer practical and financial support and hopefully create a smoother route into the industry.

“If we can help out those women who are just starting out or inspire others who might be thinking about a career in the electrical industry then we will be well on the way to addressing the gender imbalance directly.”

NICEIC is committed to encouraging more women in to the electrical industry via its Jobs for the Girls campaign. Applications for the 2019 Jobs for the Girls bursary will open in Spring next year.

For more information about the campaign and the bursary scheme visit www.niceic.com/jobsforthegirls

 

Bursary helps more woman in to electrical industry

Bursary helps more woman in to electrical industry

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Polypipe opens £250,000 underfloor heating training centre

Polypipe, the manufacturer of underfloor heating (UFH) systems, has officially launched a £250,000 training facility to inspire the next generation of budding heating professionals.

The Doncaster-based firm held the official opening of the state-of-the-art Polypipe Professional Development Centre (PDC) at Kirk Sandall on Tuesday, September 25.

The facility features specially-designed training spaces to give trainee and experienced plumbing professionals the opportunity to improve their practical skills. It is set to become one of the UK’s leading training centres for professional heating engineers, installers, plumbers and merchants.

The courses on offer at the PDC include BPEC-accredited courses on installing warm water UFH, apprenticeship training and guides to domestic ventilation product installation.

The PDC will also now be home to the technical design team and the new underfloor heating senior management team.

Rachel Smith, Polypipe Underfloor Heating general manager, said: “We want to further strengthen our position as the market leader for UFH solutions and a key part of that is the level of service and support we offer to our trade customers. Offering accredited training and development for heating professionals is a key part of that support.

“The new PDC will also help us tackle the skills gap head on by working with schools and colleges to help train the plumbers of the future. It will also ensure that Polypipe continues to serve the local and national workforce by developing new talent. We hope that the centre will demonstrate just how much training plays a fundamental role in our business model for many years to come.”

Tracy Richardson, president of Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), presented a plaque to commemorate the centre being granted CIPHE-accredited status.

Polypipe has a strong focus on investment in professional training and development, having relaunched its Registered Heating Engineer Network earlier this year, which provides heating engineers and plumbers with free access to training courses and events, and helps small firms generate new business.

 

Polypipe opens £250,000 underfloor heating training centre

Polypipe opens £250,000 underfloor heating training centre

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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Suffolk council to renew £750m East of England framework

Fourteen contractors are preparing to do battle to keep their places on Suffolk County Council’s construction framework.

The council is expected to formally call-up firms to prequalify next month for the framework renewal.

The four-year framework, which is also open to councils across the East of England, will be used for public sector building works, and is expected to be used for around £750m of spending.

Morgan Sindall, Wates, RG Carter and Barnes Construction presently hold the high-value work bands.

This time around, the council plans to introduce four value bands to replace the three presently used.

East of England construction framework

 

  • Band 1: projects valued up to £750,000
  • Band 2: projects from £0.5m to £3.5m
  • Band 3: projects from £2.75m to £10m
  • Band 4 Projects over £8m

This exercise will be tendered and managed by council-owned company, Concertus Design and Property Consultants.

The framework is set to be operational from 2019 June and will govern the procurement of a full spectrum of new build and refurbishment schemes in education, health and community. These may include libraries, civic office developments and programmes for Suffolk Fire and Rescue.

In addition to the contractors undertaking traditional construction and refurbishment works, the framework can be used for specialist trades via the main contractor.

A prequalification questionnaire will be released next month. To express an interest email Concertus.

 

Suffolk council to renew £750m East of England framework

Suffolk council to renew £750m East of England framework

 

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Free webinars offer a quick fix to keep your skills up to date.

As part of its latest series of free webinars, HBM – a market leader in the field of test and measurement – invites participants to help expand their skills and grow their knowledge

Designed to fit in with challenging time constraints, which can often make attending relevant training courses difficult, the latest series of webinars from HBM, which will take place in November 2018, will provide advice and focus on a variety of topics.

Starting off the week with “Requirements of Modern Automated Systems”, on Tuesday 13th November 2018, participants can learn more about precise measurement technology, real time control and control functions, and discover how simple operation without programming can be easily achieved.

Following on with “Efficient Data Acquisition with Fast DAQ Software” on Thursday 15th November, participants can further their knowledge of HBM’s new DAQ software EVIDAS.  Providing an informative overview of the software, a short live demonstration will also help users to clearly see how data can be quickly and simply acquired.

Finally, on Friday 16th November 2018, “Strain Gauge Methods for Measuring Residual Stress” offers a brief introduction into strain gauge methods, with a particular focus on hole-drilling and its application in compliance with the ASTM E837 standard.

Each webinar, which will commence at 9am (GMT) and usually takes a maximum of 30 minutes, can be easily assessed at a later date or simply used as a refresher course.  As an added benefit, all registered attendees will receive a link to the webinar, via email, after the presentation.

All HBM webinars are free of charge and open to anyone.  However, spaces are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.  Please reserve your space by booking at https://www.hbm.com/en/3157/webinars/

For further information, please contact HBM on +44 (0) 1525 304980 or via email: info@uk.hbm.com or visit the HBM website at www.hbm.com

 

Free webinars offer a quick fix to keep your skills up to date.

Free webinars offer a quick fix to keep your skills up to date.

 

Source: Electrical Times

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£90m Glasgow waterfront hotel approved

Isle of Man-based Artisan Real Estate has got the planning green light to build a hotel and leisure quarter on the Glasgow waterfront.

Contractor McAleer & Rushe is on board to deliver the £90m plan to redevelop the historic sandstone Grade A-Listed Custom House and build a 300-bed four-star hotel alongside with another 162-room aparthotel.

The site sits on the north side of Clyde Street, facing the riverfront, just south of Glasgow’s City Centre and Buchanan Street.

Artisan project director Clive Wilding said: “This is a hugely significant opportunity to, once again, bring Glasgow’s burgeoning waterfront area back into the vibrant heart of its city centre.”

Artisan has agreed on a leasing deal with the Dalata Hotel Group for the four-star hotel and conference facilities while complementing will be an Adagio-run aparthotel together with street-level bars and restaurants.

Glasgow-based Sheppard Robson is the architect for the scheme, with Caldwell Consulting delivering services design and Quattro civils and structural engineers.

 

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Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops

ELECTRICAL industry professionals and those new to PAT testing are being offered workshops by the UK’s leader in PAT testing equipment, Seaward.

The “Understanding and Implementing PAT” half-day workshops will be held at 12 venues across the UK from October 12 to December 7 and include a Q&A session.

The new workshops will cover topics such as legal requirements, industry guidance and common practice, how to perform PAT risk assessments, how to run an efficient PAT system and how to improve safety standards.

There will also be an opportunity to get answers to frequently asked questions, technical support and advice – as well as a chance to try out Seaward’s latest products.

Kevin Smith, category manager at Seaward, said: “We believe our customer care is second to none and this is just one of the ways we can help those working in the electrical testing industry.

“PAT testing is vital to keep people safe, and we take our responsibility as part of the industry very seriously.

“We regularly update our PAT equipment and it is important that we give our customers the chance to keep up to date with the latest technology, such as the Apollo 600+, The PrimeTest 250+ and PATguard 3 software.”

Delivered by experts from Seaward, the workshops will visit: Nottingham (Oct 26); Portsmouth (Oct 26); Stoke (Nov 9); Potters Bar (Nov 9); Bristol (Nov 16); Leeds (Nov 16); Warrington (Nov 23); Birmingham (Nov 23); Dublin (Nov 28); Peterborough (Nov 30); Belfast (Nov 29); Heathrow (Dec 7).

Similar sessions previously run by the company have proved very popular and those who want to attend should register early to avoid disappointment.

At every workshop attendees will also have the chance to win a Prime Test 100 PAT tester.

For more details or to register go to www.seaward.co.uk/patworkshops.

 

Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops

Seaward goes on the road with PAT workshops

 

Source: Electrical Times 

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Plumbers urged to support campaign to keep people safe from hot water burns

With around 2,000 young children ending up in A&E each year with scalds from bath water, the UK body for approved plumbers is raising awareness on how to prevent burns and scalds in homes, schools, hospitals and care homes.

According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), hot bath water is responsible for the highest number of fatal and severe burn injuries in young children and an average of 15 pensioners die each year from tap-water scalds.

One of the main reasons scalding occurs is that hot water is stored at 60°C or above to limit the growth of harmful Legionella bacteria. However, if water comes out of the tap above 60°C, people can suffer third degree burns in just six seconds.

Therefore, WaterSafe is raising awareness of the importance of using thermostatic taps and mixing valves (TMVs) to support National Burn Awareness Day on October 17. The valves are particularly important for larger plumbing systems in places such as schools, care homes and hospitals.

TMVs allow water to be stored at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria but reduce it to a safe temperature as it comes out of the tap, by mixing it with the cold supply. They can cost as little as £30 and be retrofitted to older systems.

Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe said: “While TMVs do need servicing annually, this is a small price to pay to reduce the risk of hot water burns.

“It only takes a few seconds for hot water to cause serious injury, which is why it’s important to know a plumber you employ is competent and qualified to install plumbing correctly, keep your tap water healthy and those in your care safe.

“The WaterSafe register is backed by all water companies in the UK and the water quality regulators and we make sure all its members are fully qualified in the water regulations, insured and have a customer redress scheme in place.”

 

Plumbers urged to support campaign to keep people safe from hot water burns

Plumbers urged to support campaign to keep people safe from hot water burns

 

Source: HPM Magazine

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How vehicle tracking is sparking improvements in the electrical industry 

The electrical industry has always been a highly-charged marketplace. Numerous companies compete for the same projects, the market is subject to constant regulatory changes, and a shortage of skilled workers often results in companies having to carry out more work with less staff. All these places additional strain on internal resources which, in turn, has a negative impact on impact customer satisfaction due to late arrivals, cancellations, poor “first time” fix rates and a host of other issues. In order to overcome these issues, more and more electrical companies are turning to technology for assistance. Vehicle and fleet tracking is one of the most readily available technologies that businesses can employ to lower internal costs and improve working efficiency. Here are three main ways that vehicle tracking can improve your organisational efficiency:

Lower overhead costs

Using fleet tracking hardware & software to monitor activity and performance online is a proven mechanism for significantly reducing fuel overheads and insurance costs, as well as improving vehicle and asset utilisation and driver productivity. All of which has a direct impact on the bottom line. Back-office teams can easily locate and track vehicles in real time, giving them the visibility required to optimise driver itineraries, avoid traffic congestion, allocate drops and task more effectively in order to reduce journey duration’s, time spent idling, fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Real time, in-cab coaching systems that alert drivers to harsh or intemperate driving behaviour also have an incremental effect on running costs. Extensive research has demonstrated that the addition of an in-cab coaching device can reduce fuel consumption by an additional 5-6%.

Develop customer service

Telematics solutions provide accurate fleet data that can be leveraged to improve customer service. Fleet data enables companies to provide accurate arrival times and live updates to help keep customers happy! Apart from the obvious benefits, this can also boost your brand’s reputation and improve customer retention.

Improve business productivity

Fleet managers can pinpoint the location of any vehicle at any time and can even track how long is spent at each stop-off point. This level of precision allows fleet managers and dispatchers to prioritize work based on driver proximity, skill-level and kit on-board, whilst keeping an eye on the time spent at one job can help maximize productivity and working efficiency.

These data-led insights offer the ideal solution to maximise output, whilst maintaining top-level customer service, especially in a the highly competitive industry.

 

How vehicle tracking is sparking improvements in the electrical industry

How vehicle tracking is sparking improvements in the electrical industry

 

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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Greater Manchester Major cuts ribbon at HVAC academy launch 

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham emphasised the importance of new training facilities as he opened Thermatic’s new Academy in Salford.

The Academy has been created by Thermatic, and developed in partnership with the Salford Foundation, which supports social and academic development of young people and adults in Greater Manchester.

Its aim is to help address the growing skills shortage in the engineering sector and to make engineering more appealing and accessible for young people, regardless of gender.

Mayor Burnham said: “Facilities such as Thermatic’s are not only providers of knowledge and skills but they are also economic drivers, because they help increase opportunity, improve productivity, reduce wealth inequalities and help meet the need of the communities and region in which they are based.

“My ambition in Greater Manchester is to create an integrated employment and skills eco-system which has the individual and employer at its heart and contributes to the growth of our economy. I want to see an employment and skills system where young people will leave education with the attributes they need to succeed.”

Thermatic’s hope is to encourage a new perception of the engineering industry and the new academy is part of their ongoing ‘Women in Engineering’ campaign, which has already seen two new female HVAC engineers taking up roles.

Colin Tennent, Chairman of Thermatic, said: “Our sector is simply not the go-to sector for those leaving school and so this academy is about investing in the future of the community and the industry with the purpose of not only tackling the skills gap in our industry, but also to inspire the next generation to pursue a career in engineering.”

 

Greater Manchester Major cuts ribbon at HVAC academy launch

Greater Manchester Major cuts ribbon at HVAC academy launch

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Engineers call for new ways of raising alerts over structural safety 

More needs to be done to help engineers raise concerns about safety in order to avert future failures, says a new report from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

The risk of structural failures could be reduced by the creation of a new organisation where engineers could raise and share concerns about safety, says the report. The ICE should play a bigger role in empowering engineers to come forward with their concerns as well as information about near misses and catastrophic incidents about infrastructure, according to the report, In Plain Sight. This includes doing more to highlight and inform its members about whistleblowing options.

The report was commissioned last year following the Grenfell Tower fire disaster. Tim Broyd, then-ICE president, asked Professor Peter Hansford to chair a panel tasked with considering the state of current infrastructure and advise on whether any significant risks are ‘hiding in plain sight’.

The report recognises the need to ensure confidential reporting of issues, near-misses and catastrophic incidents. It calls on the ICE and other professional bodies to scope, sponsor and find funding for a sector-wide organisation, building on the work of Structural-Safety. The report recommends the body’s remit should allow for concerns to be raised about design, construction and long-life use, and should also permit for the sharing of information to allow the wider industry to learn from such concerns.

It recommends the Institution do more to highlight existing information and avenues open to engineers who want to raise concerns about infrastructure, including sharing information about relevant prescribed bodies, and advising on appropriate wording when raising concerns.

Hansford said: “As professional engineers, we already know many of the factors that can contribute to the risk of infrastructure failure and we must remain diligent and critical to ensure they don’t stay hidden.  This report is about empowering us to have a voice throughout the whole life of the infrastructure we design, construct and operate.

“I look forward to seeing the whole construction sector take forward these recommendations, working with industry and members to strengthen lines of defence, improve accountability across the sector and mitigate the risk of infrastructure failure to enhance public safety.”

ICE vice president Kyle Clough said: “It is essential that professional engineers feel able to speak up about any concerns they might have, and are provided a clear, confidential way of doing so. Further, it is only by sharing the knowledge about these concerns, accidents or near-misses that the industry can learn and take the necessary steps to stop them happening again.”

This final report challenges ICE, as a key industry institution, to lead on efforts to look at the industry’s risk of infrastructure failure.

The report’s recommendations include that ICE should:

  • Work with professional bodies to scope, sponsor and find funding for a sector-wide organisation to review, comment on and disseminate lessons from concerns, near misses and catastrophic incidents, building on the work of Structural-Safety.
  • run an annual event with the Health and Safety Executive on infrastructure near misses, incidents or forensic reports, to promote understanding and identify sector-wide responses.
  • Encourage engineers to highlight unaddressed infrastructure concerns, risks and near misses to their management and provide guidance via the ICE website on suitable confidential reporting channels should these become necessary.
  • establish an electronic system that captures ICE members’ Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities, increasing tenfold the CPD returns audited annually; and work with the Engineering Council to explore introducing periodic mid-career peer reviews.
  • identify and communicate mandatory risk-related topics, themes and reading lists for members to include in their annual CPD learning.
  • strengthen awareness of ICE’s Code of Professional Conduct through guidance, education, disciplinary processes, sanctions and publicity.
  • The report will be presented at the ICE Council meeting in December, where a decision to endorse the recommendations will be made.

 

Engineers call for new ways of raising alerts over structural safety

Engineers call for new ways of raising alerts over structural safety

 

Source: The Construction Index

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London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed more than £1bn in funding for 26 boroughs in the capital to ramp up the construction of council homes.

The money will kick-start work on 11,000 new council homes

It will see councils increase their building rates over the next four years to five times greater than existing levels.

Khan said: “London’s housing crisis is hugely complex and has been decades in the making.

“There is no simple fix, but council housing is the most important part of the solution.

“Londoners need more council homes that they can genuinely afford, and local authorities have a fundamental role to play in getting London building the homes we need for the future.

Newham was the biggest beneficiary with a £107m injection.

The Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said: “This funding will kick-start our ambitious housing programme, which will see the construction of more than 1,000 quality homes across 40 sites in Newham started by 2022, and available at London Affordable Rent.”

 

London Borough Homes Grant
Barking and Dagenham 565 £25.3m
Barnet 87 £8.7m
Brent 817 £65.6m
Camden 308 £30.8m
City of London 156 £14.9m
Croydon 888 £61.3m
Ealing 1,138 £99.3m
Enfield 571 £18.1m
Greenwich 588 £32.6m
Hackney 949 £45,6m
Hammersmith and Fulham 251 £15.3m
Haringey 848 £62.8m
Harrow 618 £32.1m
Havering 282 £24.0m
Hillingdon 347 £11.7m
Hounslow 741 £63.2m
Islington 465 £24.2m
Kensington and Chelsea 336 £33.6m
Kingston upon Thames 713 £67.8m
Lewisham 384 £37.7m
Newham 1,123 £107.5m
Redbridge 400 (Right to Buy receipts)
Southwark 926 £89.5m
Sutton 81 £6.5m
Tower Hamlets 675 £13m
Waltham Forest 293 £25.5m
Wandsworth 174 £12.4m
Total 14,724 £1,029m

 

London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost

London boroughs get £1bn council homes construction boost

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Surveyors report rising workloads but Brexit fears loom large 

Construction workloads are continuing to grow despite a credit squeeze and the looming spectre of a messy Brexit.

Results of the Q3 RICS UK Construction and Infrastructure Market Survey show 20% more chartered surveyors reported that their workloads had risen rather than fallen – up from +15% in Q2.

Private housing and infrastructure workloads reported the strongest rise while activity across the private industrial and public non-housing categories improved modestly with net balances of 9% and 11%, respectively.

A soft patch was highlighted in public housing where the pace of workloads slowed from +12% to +7%.

Regionally, workloads are now reported to be increasing across all areas with notable acceleration in the Midlands and East.

Financial constraints are reported by 75% of surveyors to be by far the most significant brake on growth with firms reporting difficulties in accessing bank finance and credit.

Surveyors reported growth in the number of new business enquiries received and 42% more respondents saw more new hires in their company over the last three months.

But the outlook for the economy as a whole has led to a reduced optimism for the construction sector over the year ahead as Brexit casts its shadow.

Jeffrey Matsu, RICS Senior Economist said: “While ongoing capacity constraints have supported steady workload activity, the outlook going forward is far from clear.

“Recent Brexit-related indecision has added considerably to this uncertainty, but whatever the outcome, the pace of growth is expected to decelerate if only due to cyclical market conditions.”

Hew Edgar, RICS Head of Policy added: “Despite challenging market conditions and Brexit looming, overall construction output in the UK is up on the second quarter of the year, and in particular it’s very positive to see that workloads for much needed new homes and infrastructure are increasing.

“We’ve long called on the government to secure funding to ensure Britain’s exit from the European Union doesn’t impact the delivery of vital infrastructure schemes, and encouragingly our latest survey revealed that rail, roads and energy are the subsectors expected to see the strongest growth in output over the coming twelve months, unsurprising given recent announcements in these sectors.

“However, the government must act promptly to put measures in place to keep the funding from European Investment Bank (EIB) or introduce a new lender, or lending mechanism, to plug the gap created from the potential loss of EIB funds, particularly for big ticket infrastructure projects such as HS2, Hinkley Point C and Heathrow’s expansion as these are of great importance to the UK.”

 

Surveyors report rising workloads but Brexit fears loom large

Surveyors report rising workloads but Brexit fears loom large

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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September 2018 Newsletter

September 2018 Newsletter

UK adults can’t identify an unsafe gas appliance, ACI warns of dangerous flexible cord, CP Electronics supplies lighting controls for cutting-edge hospital, boiler manufacturers pledge to include gas safety messages on packaging, City of London considers ban on Saturday construction and some large projects get the go-ahead throughout the UK’

 

Quick Links

 


Third of UK adults can’t identify an unsafe gas appliance, Gas Safe Register finds

A third of UK adults (33%) don’t know the signs of an unsafe gas appliance, according to Gas Safe Register’s latest research.

The signs to check for if a gas appliance is unsafe were recognised by some people as; a lazy yellow flame (33%), the pilot light keeps going out (32%), black marks or stains on or around the appliances (29%), and increased condensation inside windows (12%).

Worringly, one in six adults (17%) also admitted that they take no steps at all to ensure their home’s gas appliances are safe. However, nearly half (47%) said they have their gas appliances checked annually by a Gas Safe-registered engineer, almost two in five (38%) have an audible carbon monoxide alarm, and nearly one in three (29%) know to check that their gas engineer is on the Gas Safe Register.

This Gas Safety Week (17-23 September), Gas Safe Register will be raising awareness about the dangers of unsafe gas appliances, with the support of the industry. Gas Safe Register will be focusing on a different theme each day to share important facts and advice about gas safety. The themes of these are as follows:

Monday

‘FAMILY MATTERS’ – Unsafe appliances can be fatal; Gas Safe Register is helping families know the signs to look out for to stay gas safe.

Tuesday

‘CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) AND GAS SAFETY RISKS’ – With CO gas known as the silent killer, it is important we know these symptoms.

Wednesday

‘RENTING RESPONSIBILITIES’ – Know your legal rights and responsibilities when it comes to renting a property.

Thursday

‘ILLEGALS’ – Only registered engineers can legally work on gas appliances. Stay on the right side of the law and stop energy theft.

Friday

‘EVERYDAY HEROES’ – Celebrating gas engineers as everyday heroes who keep UK families gas safe.

Saturday

‘DON’T DO IT YOURSELF’ – Leave gas work to the experts – registered gas engineers.

Sunday

‘SAFETY AT HOME’ – How to stay safe at home and spot unsafe gas appliances.

Jonathan Samuel, chief executive of Gas Safe Register said: “This Gas Safety Week we are encouraging families to learn about why keeping your gas appliances working safely is so important.

“A gas safety check by a registered gas engineer is the first line of defence from a potential fire or carbon monoxide poisoning and we recommend getting a gas safety check every year for peace of mind.”

 

Third of UK adults can't identify an unsafe gas appliance, Gas Safe Register finds

Third of UK adults can’t identify an unsafe gas appliance, Gas Safe Register finds

 

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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ACI warns of dangerous Turkish Flexible cord

Unsafe flexible cord, intended for use in domestic and industrial applications, has been found on sale in the UK, prompting the ACI to issue a fresh alert to the electrical supply chain. The latest find of substandard flexible cords is marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and ‘Ermaks’.

Samples came to light following the Initiative’s recent `Counterfeit Flexible Cords’ campaign, which alerted the electrical supply chain to dangerous industrial flexible cords.

According to the ACI, in two separate instances, 1.5mm² and 2.5mm² three-core PVC insulated and PVC sheathed ordinary duty flexibles have been submitted for testing to the ACI.

Testing showed that the cable’s conductors were Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA). This is believed to be a deliberate attempt by the manufacturer to reduce the amount of copper within the core and in doing so the cost of the cables, says the ACI.

The flexible cord could potentially be used in domestic extension leads and industrial connection leads which are exposed to constant flexing during their everyday use.

Testing showed conductor resistance to be higher than that specified by the British and European standards that the cord claimed to meet. The reduced copper content results in the cords burning out whilst in use, creating a significant fire risk to the user. The reduction in copper content of the 2.5mm² conductors meant they only just met the maximum safe current carrying capacity of a 1.0mm².

CCA conductors, being predominantly aluminium, are not as robust as copper conductors and break easier during normal flexing. This ultimately results in individual strands breaking leading to no continuity or a hot spot within the cable as electricity arcs between the gap where the strands have broken.

ACI is warning that any cable or flexible cords marked ‘Made in Turkey’ and `Ermaks’ should not be used and should be tested by an approved electrician. Samples can also be sent to the ACI (minimum 5m length) for testing.

For further advice on this issue and other substandard cable can be found at aci.org.uk.

 

ACI warns of dangerous Turkish Flexible cord

ACI warns of dangerous Turkish Flexible cord

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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IGEM updates Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure

The Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) has published a new edition of the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure (GIUSP).

The update came into effect on 1 June 2018 and supersedes Edition 7.1 of the GIUSP, which has now been withdrawn.

The procedure provides guidance to Gas Safe-registered businesses/engineers for dealing with unsafe situations in domestic and non-domestic premises supplied with natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

This guidance covers how registered engineers should make visual assessments on any appliances/installations they encounter or work on, and outlines the instances where appliances/installations deemed to be unsafe should be classified as either ‘Immediately Dangerous’ or ‘At Risk’.

IGEM took over legal ownership of the Unsafe Situations Procedure in February 2017, under the governance of its Technical Co-ordinating Committee. This new GIUSP update is the first to be published by IGEM since that date. Previously, the standard was overseen by a working group of stakeholders from across the industry.

IGEM has reportedly kept the new document as similar to the previous version as possible, in order to prevent any confusion. This latest update makes only minimal changes to the procedure, including bringing the layout and some of the wording into line with other published IGEM standards.

The phrase ‘responsible engineers’, used in the previous edition, has been changed to ‘competent engineers’, to clarify that only those deemed to be legally competent are allowed to work with gas and LPG appliances.

Minor changes have also been made to some of the scenarios listed in Table 1: Giving Guidance on Particular Situations and How To Categorise Them, to provide clarity on the requirements of certain situations, where queries have been made by gas engineers.

For example, under Table 1, Scenario 3.13 refers to visual assessments of gas pipework located within a cavity wall or void, but which is not within a purpose-designed duct in accordance with appropriate standards. This situation should be classified as ‘At Risk’, however the procedure has been amended to note that this does not include instances where un-sleeved pipework passes directly across a cavity by the shortest possible route.

Changes have also been made to clarify the visual risk assessments process, but the required process itself has not been changed. No changes have been made to the classifications published within this procedure.

All registered engineers have a duty to keep abreast of all changes to this regulation. Any person found to be completing work unsafely could face prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive under the Gas Safety Installation and Use Regulations (1998).

This latest update to the GIUSP has been made in conjunction with the Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure working group, which contributed to the changes that have been made.

The procedure is available to view for free on www.igem.org.uk and can also be viewed by registered gas engineers on www.gassaferegister.co.uk. The procedure can be purchased in hard copy from www.gassafetyshop.co.uk.

 

IGEM updates Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure

IGEM updates Gas Industry Unsafe Situations Procedure

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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CP Electronics supplies lighting controls for cutting-edge Oswestry Hospital Cancer Unit

A state-of-the-art bone cancer centre at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) puts energy efficiency first, thanks to CP Electronics’ Vitesse Plus standalone lighting control system.

The Montgomery Unit at RJAH treats patients with bone and soft tissue sarcomas, bone metastases, benign bone and soft tissue tumours and tumour-like conditions. It is one of only five bone cancer centres in the UK and was launched as part of the £15.1 million theatre and ward development in August 2016.

To maximise its energy efficiency, the unit uses a variety of CP Electronics’ lighting control solutions across the whole building. This includes Vitesse Plus, along with passive infrared (PIR) and microwave presence detectors, across the corridors and patient wards.

For patients and hospital staff, CP’s lighting control system provides simple, intuitive lighting controls and can provide manual scene setting within wards.

These controls prevent unnecessary lighting usage and will therefore assist the unit with vital energy savings. Vitesse Plus includes pre-programmed lighting configurations, making installation simpler, too. The presence detectors will control light levels in corridors based on occupancy, gradually dimming or increasing the lights based on natural light levels and switching the lights off after a set time.

Easy to install, simple to use

As a mixed-use building that operates 24 hours a day, the Montgomery Unit needs lighting to reflect the diversity of staff and patient activity. CP Electronics worked closely with the main contractor Briggs and Forrester to devise a system that would intelligently light each area, dependant on its function, maximising the unit’s energy savings.

Alun Bunday, healthcare team leader at Briggs and Forrester, says, “As only the fifth specialist bone cancer centre in the UK, the Montgomery Unit is expected to be busy and will serve many people daily. To this end, we prioritised the design around patient comfort, and making the unit as cost-efficient as possible.

“CP Electronics came in, analysed the building usage and recommended its standalone Vitesse Plus lighting control system. By utilising lighting control in corridors and patient wards, this ensures lighting wastage is kept to a minimum.”

Vitesse Plus, which has been installed throughout the Montgomery unit, uses a full seven-channel lighting control system that can perform different lighting functions. Each channel controls the detectors based on pre-set configurations.

A two-way approach

As well as energy savings, CP’s lighting control systems are also wired to prevent the lights from going off in the event of a fault. The Montgomery Unit’s lighting is supplied through two different incoming power supplies, essential and non-essential lighting.

Enabling this functionality is CP Electronics’ Vitesse Plus lighting control modules (LCM). The LCMs allow lighting detectors to be supplied from the two different power supplies. This results in two LCMs feeding the controls to the lighting to each room or area, but only a common detector to each LCM.

In addition to the detectors operating from two LCMs, the switches also operate both LCMs in the event of failure. This doubles up against fault protection and is just as important for the hospital in maintaining its lighting is always working.

For areas where lighting is not always required, such as common areas and corridors, CP’s advanced presence detectors will provide lighting ‘on demand.’ These devices sense movement in the detection zones, and then activate the lighting accordingly.

Providing this detection includes CP’s MWS3A adjustable head microwave detectors. The adjustable head and detection sensitivity on this device provides a long detection range of up to 30m.

“As we know, hospitals are busy facilities, and any downtime can cost dearly,” says Paul Chesworth, northern regional sales manager for CP Electronics. “It was an imperative part of the specification that the lighting should not fail, be easy to manage and maintain, as well as save energy and cost where possible.

“With our Vitesse Plus lighting control system, we’ve ensured that the Montgomery Unit has met these conditions, and that the patients and staff have the best possible lighting control where needed.”

Briggs and Forrester has a longstanding relationship with CP Electronics, and has often used CP’s intelligent lighting solutions on a variety of different projects.

“CP Electronics has always been a trusted supplier to Briggs and Forrester, thanks to its in-depth knowledge of lighting controls, excellent customer service and support when required,” adds Alun Bunday.

“On this project, we were impressed with CP’s consultative approach. They worked with us on a room-by-room scenario and spent a lot of time understanding the unit’s needs before recommending and designing the system, so that we got the best solution for the hospital.”

 

CP Electronics supplies lighting controls for cutting-edge Oswestry Hospital Cancer Unit

CP Electronics supplies lighting controls for cutting-edge Oswestry Hospital Cancer Unit

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

Morgan Sindall has completed successful trials of the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality headset to perform installation checks on site.

The Construction & Infrastructure division and consulting arm BakerHicks tested the system at the new Ashmole Primary School site in Southgate, London.

BakerHicks’ specialist BIM team projected their computer model onto the mechanical, electrical and public health (MEPH) installations on the site.

A customised app allowed the project team to then view and check a section of the project’s MEPH work.

The team used an image tracker to superimpose the holographic BIM model onto the soffit of the ceiling.

This allowed the project team to walk through the building wearing the Microsoft HoloLens headset, which acts as a self-contained holographic computer, to check and audit the actual built product against the original design.

The headset can record what the wearer is seeing and is fully interactive, enabling any changes to be communicated to the design team.

Trevor Strahan, head of BIM at BakerHicks said: “The success of this trial marks an exciting step in our journey in exploring the possibilities HoloLens technology could bring to our industry.

“We have been quick to recognise the benefits that ‘virtual world’ technology can deliver and apply it in a ‘real world’ environment.

“We’ve been working on developing Augmented Reality for a while now and it is really exciting to see all that come to fruition.”

Steffan Speer, Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure’s business improvement director said: “The benefits mixed reality could bring to our teams and customers are vast – including remote conferencing, construction design and installation reviews along with the presentation of construction models via holograms.

“I’m looking forward to our subsequent trials as we look to develop these exciting capabilities further.”

 

Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

Contractor trials mixed reality headsets on school site

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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London Gallions Reach phase 2 approved

Galliford Try has gained planning for the second phase of the Gallions Reach housing scheme in east London.

The project, which is a key site in the wider regeneration of Royal Albert Wharf, is being delivered in joint venture with Notting Hill Genesis

The planning decision grants permission to construct 241 new homes in three new apartment blocks, alongside a new public square as well as shops and cafes.

Gallions Quarter forms a key part of the wider Royal Albert Wharf regeneration. Once complete, the entire site will provide in excess of 1,800 new homes, creating a vibrant new neighbourhood.

Stuart Brodie, Managing Director of Galliford Try Partnerships London, said: “Gallions Quarter has a major role to play in the wider regeneration here at Royal Albert Wharf.

“Working in partnership with Notting Hill Genesis, our plans will transform this area into a vibrant mix of new homes and commercial spaces. We have already completed the construction of the first phase of Royal Albert Wharf, and we now can’t wait to get started at Gallions Quarter.”

 

London Gallions Reach phase 2 approved

London Gallions Reach phase 2 approved

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Carillion redundancy pay-outs to top £65m

The taxpayer looks set to pay £65m to former Carillion workers who were made redundant following the company’s collapse in January.

So far around £50m has been paid out for actual claims received, with the redundancy payments office expecting the final bill to reach £65m.

All employees of Carillion were eligible to make a claim for redundancy, including those transferring to new suppliers.

Total redundancies stood at 2,787 or 15% of the original 18,500 strong workforce in August when all of Carillion’s contracts had been transferred.

Around 13,945 staff or 76% of the pre-liquidation workforce transferred to next suppliers.

A further 1,272 former staff left the business during the liquidation through finding new work, retirement or for other reasons.

Around 240 core employees are currently being retained to help close out the remaining activities.

The sum was revealed in a Freedom of Information request to the Insolvency Service by union Unite.

Accountancy firm PwC, which was engaged by the Insolvency Service to break up Carillion and transfer its outsourcing contracts to new providers is expected to have earned around £50m from the company’s collapse.

The taxpayer will also have to pick up the bill for the work to complete Carillion’s key strategic projects including the Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Midlands Metropolitan Hospital.

The full cost of this project bailout has still to be quantified.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail revealed the cost to the taxpayer during a speech yesterday at the Labour party conference.

She said: “These revelations further underline why the government must order a full public inquiry into Carillion’s collapse to not only understand who was responsible for the greatest corporate failure in UK history but also the total cost to the taxpayer.

“Additionally, the police need to undertake an immediate criminal investigation into those responsible for Carillion’s collapse. If no laws were broken then we need better stronger laws to prosecute the guilty.”

 

Carillion redundancy pay-outs to top £65m

Carillion redundancy pay-outs to top £65m

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Hampshire shopping precinct sees savings with Light Efficient Design

Light Efficient Design UK has announced its retrofit LED lighting solutions have enabled a popular and long-established outdoor shopping precinct to make major energy savings in the first year of operation and see lamp replacement costs plummet.

The Hampshire-based centre attracts high daily footfall from shoppers visiting such well-known retail outlets as Argos, Boots, Costa coffee, KFC, Primark, Sainsbury, and WH Smith. As part of a recent major refurbishment, there was a requirement to upgrade the existing metal halide floodlighting to LEDs. This was to create a brighter ambience for shoppers, as well as to reduce energy and maintenance costs.

Following an evaluation of potential solutions on the market, an LED retrofit re-lamping approach was selected. Local wholesaler CRS recommended the LED-8087 retrofit from UK-based Light Efficient Design, which was chosen for its high performance and cost-effectiveness. Not only did this allow retention of the existing and still serviceable fittings, ensuring immediate savings to be made on the labour required, it also offered a five-year lifetime warranty, providing major future savings on lamp replacement costs.

Approximately 40 100W wall-mounted metal halide lamps have been replaced with 30W Light Efficient Design UK LED-8087 retrofit lamps. The existing reflectors in the fitting were removed as the interior space was limited and was not necessary due to the LED-8087’s unique and fully directional one sided design, which ensures optimal usage of all available light.

 

Hampshire shopping precinct sees savings with Light Efficient Design

Hampshire shopping precinct sees savings with Light Efficient Design

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Boiler manufacturers pledge to include gas safety messages on packaging

Coinciding with Gas Safety Week last week, the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council has announced that its boiler manufacturer members have pledged to place gas safety messaging on their boiler packaging.

In response to a demand that has echoed among industry professionals and installers for years, the HHIC boiler manufacturers group has pledged to place the Gas Safety messaging on their respective packaging. The packaging will soon feature messages detailing that gas appliances must be installed by a competent, Gas Safe-registered engineer.

Stewart Clements, Director of the HHIC, said: “Every person working in the gas industry has a responsibility to help raise awareness with consumers of the dangers and risk involved, in allowing somebody who is not trained, qualified, registered or insured, to work on any gas installation.

“HHIC boiler manufacturer members have made this pledge, to place the Gas Safety messaging on boiler packaging, to show their commitment to continually raising Gas Safety awareness, and making it harder for unregistered ‘installers’ to operate in the industry.”

 

Boiler manufacturers pledge to include gas safety messages on packaging

Boiler manufacturers pledge to include gas safety messages on packaging

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Electrical professionals warned of fake IET Wiring Regulations on sale

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) is urging all electrical professionals to ensure that they are using genuine copies of BS 7671:2018, The IET Wiring Regulations.

The call comes as the IET has been made aware of a number of counterfeit PDF copies of its publications for sale and distribution through various channels in the past week.

The IET is warning that following misinformation in these fake copies could be devastating for electrical professionals and the general public at large – with missing or corrupted information potentially leading to unsafe work being carried out which could result in fire, electric shock or even death in the most extreme cases.

Mark Coles, Head of Technical Regulations at the IET said: “The counterfeit PDF copies of BS 7671:2018 we have seen initially look very convincing but are sprinkled with errors which can lead to dangerous practices. Unless you know the origin of the document how can you rely on it?”

To help combat the counterfeit activity, an official hologram has been placed on the inside front cover of the IET Wiring Regulations. This makes it more difficult to counterfeit the guidance and easier for individuals to identify genuine copies of the IET’s books. The hologram contains the IET logo in two sizes and the word “GENUINE”. There are also extra identifiers, some of which can be seen with a magnifying glass.

As a registered charity, the IET has a responsibility to uphold standards and ensures that all proceeds from genuine books go back into the organisation and the electrical industry – this meaning that it can continue to provide safe and reliable information for those professionals working in the electrical sector.

Mark continued: “Ensuring that genuine copies of IET publications are being used by electrical professionals is important in order that correct standards are used to protect the public and those working in the industry from injury and fatality.

“My advice to people looking to buy a copy of any IET publication would be to buy it directly from the IET if they are in any doubt about the supplier they are making a purchase from, or to consult our list of validated suppliers in the UK. Electronic access to BS 7671:2018 is provided by both the IET, through Wiring Regulations Online platform, and BSI, through British Standards Online (BSOL).”

For more information on what to do if you suspect you have a fake book please go to the IET’s website.

 

Electrical professionals warned of fake IET Wiring Regulations on sale

Electrical professionals warned of fake IET Wiring Regulations on sale

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Majority of installers not showing their Gas Safe card

New research from Logic4training, supported the Gas Safe Register, indicates over half (53%) of gas installers are still not showing their Gas Safe card on entering a customer’s home, with just 37% producing their Gas Safe card when asked to do so.

The survey of 210 gas engineers working in both the domestic and commercial gas markets suggests that there is still some way to go in encouraging installers to proactively use their Gas Safe card, as well as a need to foster understanding among consumers.

Around half (52%) of the gas engineers questioned felt that the Gas Safe card could be improved to make it more comprehensible for the general public, suggesting changes such as larger fonts, increasing the visibility of the engineer’s qualifications, using more accessible terminology and braille to make the card more inclusive.

The importance of educating consumers on the meaning of the Gas Safe card was a recurring opinion among respondents, yet 15% of the gas installers questioned said they did not show their prospective customers that they were Gas Safe registered at all.

Mark Krull, Logic4training’s Director, said: “Installers on the ground have a huge influence on consumers’ understanding of what it means to be Gas Safe-registered and the Gas Safe card is a great tool to facilitate this. Engineers need to be showing their Gas Safe Card to all their customers, providing a brief explanation of the importance of being Gas Safe-registered and encouraging them to check the credentials of anyone coming to work on their gas appliances in the future.

“Following the results of this survey, we encourage all gas engineers to review their use of Gas Safe Register branding across their promotional materials and ask themselves if they could use their Gas Safe card more proactively. Not only is this a good marketing exercise, it helps to separate the genuine qualified gas engineers from the cowboys giving the industry a bad name.

“From engineers and training providers to magazines and suppliers, with Gas Safety Week 2018 on the horizon it’s a good time to think about how we can all work together to draw attention to the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances.”

To view a full report of the survey, visit here.

 

Majority of installers not showing their Gas Safe card

Majority of installers not showing their Gas Safe card

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Plan for £250m urban village on Newcastle Quayside

North Yorkshire developer Newby has lodged outline plans to deliver 1,500 homes, a hotel and more than 110,000 sq ft of commercial, community and leisure space along Newcastle Quayside in the city.

Its planned urban village on the former Calders site on Skinnerburn Road would be phased over 10 years and sustain around 260 construction jobs each year.

Designed by architects Faulkner Browns, the Newcastle regeneration scheme would consist of around 15 blocks from three to 19 storeys high. Plans include building a new east/west spine road through the site.

Site enabling works could start as early as next spring with the first plots ready for construction by the autumn of 2019.

Nick Moody, director at Newby said: “Our development team has worked hard to devise proposals which will make Quayside West an attractive place to live, work and visit.

“The site is well-located, and our design will ensure that it connects to the city centre, the River Tyne and wider area. As a result, Quayside West could act as the catalyst for the council’s exciting plans to redevelop the Forth Yards area.

“It is clear that people want to see this derelict site brought back into use.”

 

Plan for £250m urban village on Newcastle Quayside

Plan for £250m urban village on Newcastle Quayside

 

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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City of London considers ban on Saturday construction

The City of London Corporation is considering banning construction work in the Square Mile on Saturdays.

Currently contractors are allowed to work in the City on Saturday mornings from 8am to 1pm.

But pressure from local residents and businesses forced the Corporation to launch a consultation on changing the rules.

The consultation stated: “Saturday work for construction activity is considered the industry norm and has been accepted nationally.

“It helps in practical waysas, for example, fewer people and vehicles are on the street at weekends so there are less public safety implications with works, and it is easier to move large vehicles and loads on streets.

“Projects use the additional hours to carry out works which speeds up the completion of projects and reduces the length of impact on neighbours.”

More than 750 responses have been received and a decision on any changes will be made in November.

 

City of London considers ban on Saturday construction

City of London considers ban on Saturday construction

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Build-to-rent tower advance reaches Glasgow

Detailed plans have been submitted for one of Scotland’s first major build-to-rent developments on the banks of the Clyde.

The high rise 500-flat Glasgow Waterfront project at Central Quay is being led by property manager PLATFORM_ and XLB Properties.

If consent is granted the firm hopes to start construction of the £90m apartments by the second quarter of 2019, with a scheduled completion date of summer 2021.

The project arm of London-based XLB Properties will lead construction.

Designed by architect Keppie, the development forms part of a wider masterplan at the Clydeside Central Quay area, which also includes 300,000 sq. ft. of office space and a 150-room hotel.

The developer has already built and operates several similar build-to-rent projects across the UK including schemes in Bedford, Bracknell, Crawley, Exeter, and Stevenage.

PLATFORM_ is targeting the creation of 5,000 units within the next five years, including Glasgow and a similar development in Sheffield, and has a pipeline of 1,000 units currently in the planning stages.

Matt Willcock, Development Director at PLATFORM_, said: “Build-to-rent is a rapidly growing concept around the UK and we’re proud to offer one of the first developments in Scotland.

“It’s a form of accommodation we expect to continue to see across the UK, and one which will play a significant role in helping Glasgow attract and retain talent to support its major economies.

“The site will help further regenerate the Finnieston and Clydeside areas, providing award-winning building design and living space in the heart of a popular, well-connected part of the city.”

 

Build-to-rent tower advance reaches Glasgow

Build-to-rent tower advance reaches Glasgow

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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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.’

 

Quick Links

 


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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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’

 

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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

Top of Page


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

Top of Page


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

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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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