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December 2018 Newsletter

December 2018 Newsletter

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

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Vent-Axia welcomes healthy homes and buildings white paper

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

vent-axia

Vent-Axia welcomes healthy homes and buildings white paper

Source: Electrical Times

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Ideal Boilers adds Amazon Alexa integration to boiler thermostat

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

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

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

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

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

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

idea-boilersIdeal Boilers adds Amazon Alexa integration to boiler thermostat 

Ideal Boilers adds Amazon Alexa integration to boiler thermostat

Source: HVP Magazine

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Keeping your heating on during freezing weather 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping your heating on during freezing weather 

Keeping your heating on during freezing weather

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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Building controls vital to compliance 

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

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

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

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

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

Building controls vital to compliance 

Building controls vital to compliance

Source: HPM Magazine

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Queens Cross Housing Association to install 18,000 FireAngel alarms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Queens Cross Housing Association to install 18,000 FireAngel alarms

Queens Cross Housing Association to install 18,000 FireAngel alarms

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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STA welcomes government stance on solar

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

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

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

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

STA welcomes government stance on solar

STA welcomes government stance on solar

Source: HPM Magazine

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Smart meters research facility to open at University of Salford

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smart meters research facility to open at University of Salford

Smart meters research facility to open at University of Salford

Source: HVP Magazine 

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Designing longer lasting smart home sensors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Designing longer lasting smart home sensors

Designing longer lasting smart home sensors

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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Three quarters of plumbers at risk of knee problems

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

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

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

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

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

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

Three quarters of plumbers at risk of knee problems

Three quarters of plumbers at risk of knee problems

Source: HPM Magazine

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Prepare For BS 7671:2018 Coming Into Effect

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prepare For BS 7671:2018 Coming Into Effect

Prepare For BS 7671:2018 Coming Into Effect

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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Ex-gas engineer sentenced for illegal gas work while unregistered

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ex-gas engineer sentenced for illegal gas work while unregistered

Ex-gas engineer sentenced for illegal gas work while unregistered

Source: HVP Magazine

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Torquay Landlord handed suspended sentence for gas safety failings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Torquay Landlord handed suspended sentence for gas safety failings

Torquay Landlord handed suspended sentence for gas safety failings

Source: HVP Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: HVP Magazine

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Small businesses receive boost from budget plans 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Small businesses recieve boost from budget plans 

Small businesses recieve boost from budget plans

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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November 2018 Newsletter

November 2018 Newsletter

‘EUA say that more gas storage is crucial to energy security, New £113m Glasgow research hub given the green light, Government establishes £3,500 landlord contribution cap, JTL & Electrical industries charity highlight negative impact of stress’.

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More gas storage is crucial to energy security, says EUA

A spokesperson for the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) has delivered a message to the government about the importance of investing in further gas storage in the UK for energy security.

Roddy Monroe, Independent Chair of the Gas Storage Operators Group, attended a recent gas storage inquiry evidence session at Parliament to provide evidence on behalf of the EUA in favour of increasing gas storage to minimise risk and increase flexibility.

Mr Monroe said: “I firmly believe that there may be serious implications for UK energy security if policy makers rely solely on the market to deliver the right level of investment to meet broader government objectives including transiting to a low carbon economy and providing access to affordable energy.

“Energy security is underpinned by long life, capital intensive investments which require long term financial certainty; these are not characteristics found in our energy market today. We have seen that the government felt it necessary to intervene to help deliver positive changes to the electricity market, such intervention may now be necessary for the gas market if we are to provide the right level of gas security.

“The UK currently consumes over 100 billion cubic metres of gas per year, but only has storage capacity equivalent to 2% of this- essentially 7 days’ worth- compared to a European average of 25%. Gas storage can make a significant contribution to achieving this by ensuring that gas supplies are maintained at times of major supply or demand shocks. It also protects consumers from price spikes, ultimately reducing overall gas bills. Therefore, gas storage is vital for the efficient operation of the UK energy markets.

“We urge the government to look, in detail, at the issue of gas storage, such as they did in 2013. Since then we have seen a number of material changes to the energy market, which have the potential to worsen energy security and, in particular, significantly increase the exposure to extreme price volatility.

“These changes include unprecedented reductions in flexible European gas production (mainly the massive Groningen gas field) and the loss of our own indigenous gas storage capacity, most notably Rough, which comprised 75% of capacity. These detrimental changes to UK energy security are compounded by the uncertainty of the future energy arrangements post-Brexit.

“The ‘Beast from the East’ experience earlier this year, where we witnessed very sharp wholesale price spikes and, despite that, very little UK demand side response, was a real wake-up call and makes this review even more urgent.”

More gas storage is crucial to energy security, says EUA

More gas storage is crucial to energy security, says EUA

Source: HVP Magazine

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JTL & Electrical Industries Charity Highlight Negative Impact Of Stress

JTL is working alongside the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) to highlight the negative impact of stress.

The joint campaign aims to help people working in the electrical sector to address stressful situations and seek help. It includes a dedicated Apprentice Support Programme, designed to help apprentices with any challenges they may face early on in their career.

The assistance available through the EIC covers a wide range of issues – from caring for a sick or elderly relative to dealing with redundancy. The EIC’s team of trained advisors can offer free financial, legal, emotional or health-related advice.

Thousands of people in the electrical sector are faced with a wide range of difficult situations in their lives, which often lead to mental health issues. Some of those affected reach out for help, but others have no one to turn to and often bury their struggles in alcohol or drug abuse.

Addictions such as alcohol or drug abuse often not only have a dramatic effect on physical health but also has significant consequences on mental health which often leads to problems such as depression, anxiety, and many other issues.

Recent statistics released by the NHS showed that in the UK in 2015/16 there were 8,621 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of drug-related mental health and behavioural disorders. It was also recorded that each year there were 2,479 registered deaths due to drug misuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH) also stated that compared with the general population, people addicted to drugs are twice as likely to suffer from mood and anxiety disorders.

To help to reduce these statistics and to give crucial access to support services to those who are affected by mental health problems, the Electrical Industries Charity has created the Employee Assistance Programme which offers all of the vital support needed to help people in the electrical sector to get back on their feet and create a life they deserve.

Recently, the charity helped an experienced electrician Rhys Lynch to create a better quality of life for him and his daughter. Rhys first contacted the Electrical Industries Charity in 2012 when his partner left him and his two-year-old daughter. Rhys applied for sole custody of his daughter, leaving his job as an electrician to become a full-time parent. On gaining full custody, the council re-housed Rhys and his daughter into a one-bedroom property, and the charity provided a £1,000 grant for household items. In 2013, they were moved to a bigger, two-bedroom property, which better met their needs and once again the charity helped, providing a £1,000 grant for flooring.

Despite starting a new life, Rhys’ problems were far from over. Over the years, Rhys was faced with numerous financial struggles which sadly resulted in him turning to alcohol and drugs and in 2015, Rhys lost not only his home but also custody of his daughter. With nowhere left to turn, Rhys resorted to theft to feed his addiction, and following many incidences, was sent to prison for 14 weeks.

After serving his sentence, Rhys suffered a further relapse and nearly lost his life. Since then he has sought counselling and support for underlying issues which dated back many years. The charity once more offered support to help with his debts, and he was granted a debt relief order (DRO).

Since September 2015, Rhys has been free from drugs and alcohol and can now see a brighter future ahead. But the road to recovery is never easy, and for people suffering from mental health issues, ongoing support is vital which is why Rhys contacted the charity once more in January 2017.

The charity helped with the cost of updating his qualifications through Able Skills and as a result he has now passed his 2394/95 City & Guilds Testing & Inspection course. He has secured a maintenance contract with a local estate agent and has been offered a contract with a local construction company. Thanks to the support and financial assistance provided by the Electrical Industries Charity, he is once again living with his daughter and is well on his way to building a better life.

Rhys’s story highlights that seeking help and having access to support services can remarkably change someone’s quality of life and this is why the charity always ensures that people in the electrical sector get the support they need when they need it.

If you would like to contact one of the EIC’s team, go to jtltraining.com/free-support/ or just call 0800 652 1618.

JTL & Electrical Industries Charity Highlight Negative Impact Of Stress

JTL & Electrical Industries Charity Highlight Negative Impact Of Stress

Source: Electrical Contracting News 

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Property owners urged to check for potentially harmful lead water pipes

WaterSafe, the UK register for approved plumbers, is urging everyone to ‘take the scratch test’, as more than two-thirds of homeowners don’t know if their water is supplied through potentially harmful lead water pipes.

Sixty-eight per cent of homeowners don’t know if they have potentially harmful lead water pipes in their property, according to a survey of 2,000 property owners by WaterSafe.

Water used for drinking and cooking that has been supplied through lead pipes can result in a build-up of lead in the body. This can be bad for health – especially for babies and children, whose development can be affected. Another 53% of homeowners don’t know that it’s their responsibility to replace lead pipes should they find them in their homes.

Julie Spinks, director of WaterSafe, said: “We’re asking property owners to do one thing during Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (Oct 21-27) – check your homes and business premises for lead water pipes, especially if you have an older property. It’s quite simple – find the water pipe where it enters your home, which is usually in a kitchen cupboard or under the stairs.

“Lead pipes are normally dull grey and soft and if you scrape the surface gently with a coin you’ll see shiny silver-coloured metal underneath. It’s quite distinct from copper or plastic. If the pipes are painted just scrape the paint off too.”

The use of lead in plumbing has been banned in the UK for more than 25 years, so it’s the houses built before 1970 which are most likely to have lead pipes.

Homeowners who find they do have lead pipes should contact their water supplier who can test the levels of lead in the drinking water and offer advice on replacing them.

 

Property owners urged to check for potentially harmful lead water pipes

Property owners urged to check for potentially harmful lead water pipes

Source: HPM Magazine

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Have you taken your 18th yet?

Contractors undertake latest training in variety of ways

More than 1,000 conscientious contractors have now successfully taken and passed their 18th Edition training with NICEIC and ELECSA.

The 18th Edition officially launched in July this year with electrical contractors given a six-month transition period to get up to speed with the changes.

While some contractors have decided to delay any training – others have been keen to get cracking straight away.

Neil Vincent, Training Manager at NICEIC and ELECSA said: “It has been interesting to see people’s attitude towards training since the 18thwas launched.

“Some have been extra keen and jumped straight in and others are still biding their time and looking to do it over the next 3-6 months.

“Everyone is different and with the six month window we know everyone will have a different approach. We have had more than 3000 bookings in total so far with many preferring to take the course over the next few months so it is going to be busy in the run up to January.”

NICEIC and ELECSA have been at the forefront of delivering training packages to suit contractors’ needs.

It currently runs two different 18th Edition courses. The full course takes three days and is for contractors who feel they need a working knowledge of the latest edition of the Level 3 Award in the Requirements for Electrical Installations BS 7671:2018 qualification.

The update course is a one-day option for those who have recently completed their 17th edition Amendment 3: 2015 qualification

Both courses can be taken online or in the classroom and there has been a real split in the type of course and the way contractors are choosing to access training.

Neil added: “In terms of the full version and the update course, we are seeing a real 50/50 split. We expected that as many contractors chose to update their training requirements at the time of the last amendment in 2015.

“It is also curious to see that the majority of bookings are for classroom based learning where contractors can discuss and share information with fellow electricians.

“However, there is definitely a growing demand for online training too and it is totally down to the individual and what they prefer. By offering both options contractors have that choice.”

A partnership with JTL also means contractors choosing NICEIC and ELECSA now have the option to take the course at more than 35 locations across the UK.

In addition, NICEIC and ELECSA can also offer in house training for companies looking to train large numbers of employees in one go. More than 150 people have taken training this way already with organisations such as Mitie, Places for People and others choosing this method.

Neil added: “We can offer a range of options to all contractors. For any individual or organisation that has not yet booked in their training, we would encourage them to get in touch and speak to our team.

“An ability to show a level of understanding and awareness of the changes should be a priority for everyone involved in the electrical industry.”

For more information visit 18edition.com or call the training team on 0333 015 6626

Have you taken your 18th yet?

Have you taken your 18th yet?

Source: Electrical Times

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Bidders day for £40m new London station job

Contractors are being called up for a bidders day for a £40m new station near the Brent Cross Shopping centre in North London.

Called Brent Cross West, the new Thameslink station forms part of the wider Brent Cross and Cricklewood regeneration scheme and already has outline planning.

The London Borough of Brent is planning the market event next month ahead of inviting tenders for a design and build contract.

The new station is required to be completed, commissioned, handed over into operations and maintenance by May 2022.

It will have four platforms, with a single bridge serving the purpose of a public right of way footbridge, as well as access to the new platforms.

The project proposals have been developed to GRIP4 with the successful bidder expected to taken the project forward to GRIP stages 5 to 8.

Registration for the event on 13 November should be sent to procurement@barnet.gov.uk ref Brent Cross West Station November 2018.

Contractor J Murphy & Sons is presently working on an enabling works contract for the new Thameslink Sidings facility near the new station site.

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Spurs still don’t know when builders will finish new stadium

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club has confirmed that its new £800m stadium will not be finished before the end of the year but still does not know when it will be able to open.

“I wish I was able to confirm an exact opening date and fixture,” said chairman Daniel Levy. “However, in light of factors completely outside of our control, contractors missing deadlines and possible future unforeseen issues, we are naturally being cautious in respect of our timetable for our test events and official opening game.”

Spurs had expected to play its first fixture at its new stadium on 15th September 2018. During construction works the club has been playing home games at Wembley Stadium.

Key contractors involved in the mechanical, electrical and safety systems are being supported with external resources and closely monitored by Mace, the construction manager, the club said.

Chairman Daniel Levy said: “There isn’t an hour that goes by when I am not asked when we will be able to stage our first game at our new home.

“Whilst we are conscious of the need to keep pressure on our contractors to deliver as soon as possible, we are also acutely aware of how difficult the lack of clarity is for you, our supporters, to plan around games, particularly those at Christmas and New Year.

“In light of the above, and taking into account the restricted availability of manpower over the festive period, we have taken the decision to confirm today that all home games will be played at Wembley Stadium up to and including the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on 29th December.”

He added: “The delay in the stadium opening has made it possible for some track and station improvements to be brought forward due to the fact that previously non-available construction dates have become available for works.

“We have no doubt when open that this stadium will be one of the finest in the world – a leading example of British research and development delivering engineering and technological firsts that will be showcased globally.

“This is a stadium for another century and a few months’ delay will hopefully soon be forgotten when we proudly return home.”

Spurs still doesn’t know when builders will finish new stadium

Spurs still doesn’t know when builders will finish new stadium

Source: Construction Index

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Multiplex green light for £113m Glasgow research hub

The University of Glasgow has received planning consent for the first building on the site of the former Western Infirmary.

Multiplex can now proceed will full-scale building work on the £113m Research Hub, with completion expected in 2021.

The Research Hub, designed by HOK architects, will host over 600 academics, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students working across five broad research themes.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Glasgow, said: “This represents a landmark moment in our £1bn Campus Development programme as the Research Hub will be the first building to be constructed on the site of the former Western Infirmary.

“Upon completion, this building will offer a unique facility to support the University’s world-class research, as well as providing a welcoming and accessible hub for knowledge exchange and public engagement.”

Multiplex green light for £113m Glasgow research hub

Multiplex green light for £113m Glasgow research hub

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Watersafe survey finds people over 55 not checking for plumber competence 

WaterSafe is advising older consumers not to risk their home’s water quality after a survey revealed many over-55s are failing to make important checks when hiring a plumber.

A recent survey of 2,000 households by WaterSafe, the UK register for approved plumbers, revealed that:

  • only 17% of over-55s checked if their plumber was a member of an approved scheme – while more worrying, a further 19% admitted to not making any checks at all
  • less than 10% of over-55s asked their plumber if the products being fitted met water quality regulations
  • only 12% checked if their plumber had insurance.

WaterSafe’s survey also revealed that only 28% of over-55s asked for a written quote and agreed a timescale for any plumbing work.

Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe said: “Plumbers approved through WaterSafe can give older homeowners immediate peace of mind as they are fully qualified to carry out plumbing work in homes and businesses, and specifically trained to meet the strict regulations for installing pipes and fittings that keep the nation’s drinking water safe.

“With thousands of qualified, approved WaterSafe plumbers in the UK, it’s simple to find one local to them by either using our online postcode search at watersafe.org.uk or calling us on 0333 207 9030.”

The consumer advice section of the WaterSafe website provides advice and tips for homeowners to help them plan watertight plumbing work. Before getting started, WaterSafe recommends that consumers always ask their plumber for:

  • A physical address and contact telephone number
  • An established time in business
  • Proof of insurance
  • Their WaterSafe Registration
  • Their Gas Safe Registration (if they work on gas systems)
  • Their Competent Person Scheme Registration (if applicable)
Watersafe survey finds people over 55 not checking for plumber competence 

Watersafe survey finds people over 55 not checking for plumber competence

Source: HVP Magazine

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Keltbray invests in £5bn Kent theme park plan

Keltbray is backing plans for a new theme park in Kent with a multi-million pound investment.

The specialist contractor has formed a joint venture with project developer LRCH to invest £25m into the London Resort Project near Ebbsfleet.

The £5bn scheme was dealt a blow last year when film studio Paramount Pictures walked away from the project.

Proposals for the park have been around since 2012 with the latest timetable promising a planning application next year.

Steve Norris, Chairman LRCH said: “We are delighted to welcome Keltbray to this most exciting project.

“We have been discussing for some time the best way to harness their specialist construction industry expertise alongside their ability to act as a catalyst for further industry participation and investment.

“Over the next five years, this project will become one of the largest construction projects in the UK and their involvement takes us a significant step closer to delivering a world class resort.”

A £5bn investment will transform seven million square feet of land into two theme parks celebrating brands from across literature, television, music, film and entertainment.

Brendan Kerr, CEO of Keltbray, said:“Keltbray is recognised in the industry as an enabler of projects.

“It has long prided itself on its ability to manage the most challenging of projects thanks to its investment in training, design and plant.

“At seven million square feet, this new theme park won’t be an easy project but that is why the formulation of this JV with LRCH is an ideal partnership.

“We’re delighted to be involved in what I’m sure will provide a significant boost to both employment and tourism in the UK.”

Keltbray invests in £5bn Kent theme park plan

Keltbray invests in £5bn Kent theme park plan

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Six ways van drivers can deter thieves

Theft from vans can be a costly issue for British tradesmen and women but now a team of motoring experts have issued six top tips to deter pesky thieves.

The team at  LeaseVan.co.uk have researched into the most effective and affordable ways for van drivers to improve their security so that vehicles appear less of a target for those looking to pinch tools.

From choosing parking spots wisely in well-lit areas, to removing precious valuables and keeping them inside overnight, they’ve looked at the easiest ways van drivers can help reduce the chances of their vehicles being broken into.

Tim Alcock from LeaseVan.co.uk said: “As the shorter evenings roll in, van theft can become more prevalent as thieves choose the cover of darkness to come out and do the deed.

“Anyone who has suffered a break-in or who has had valuables stolen will know how devastating it can be. It’s even worse if the perpetrator causes damage to your vehicle in the process as it’s a further expense and can hinder work.

“Certain criminals are savvy enough to find ways around basic security systems and factory fitted immobilisers and alarms often don’t make the cut and can do nothing to prevent theft.

“As the saying goes – you can never be too careful, so we’re trying to advocate prevention over everything else.

“Investing in tighter, more comprehensive security will help deter and protect thieves from trying to break into your vehicle. As well as this, introducing a heavy duty steering wheel and applying plastic window tints are just a few of the straight forward things that can be done to reduce the chance of a break in as much as possible.” 

Remove valuables

 It can be a chore removing valuables from your vehicle every night, but it’s worth popping them in the garage if it means they’re fully protected. If it’s not possible to remove all tools then just take the most expensive and store them securely overnight. Don’t forget to put them back in the morning when you need them for work though!

 Consider your parking spot

 Where possible, park in a garage or on a driveway, but if you can’t get a spot close to your home or if you have street parking, aim to get it as close to your front door as possible in a well-lit area covered by CCTV. This way you can keep an eye on your car and it will also deter thieves if they can be seen – they are likely to go for darker, hidden spots where they won’t be noticed. If you’re parking your van at home, consider adding extras such as motion-detecting security lights, lockable gates or even rising bollards to your home.

Get a lockable toolbox

Lockable toolboxes are perfect for storing all equipment or just the valuables – if the toolbox has another feature to unlock this may mean thieves will be discouraged to take it as they won’t be able to get to the goods anyway – it’s always good to have an extra layer of protection.

Prioritise security when choosing a new van

 When browsing vans – make sure you take into account the security benefits. It’s easy to be led into getting the snazziest model on the market – but it’s equally as important to protect your vehicle, your tools and effectively your trade with concrete security features. Always think about the design – glazed

rear doors, for example, are great for visibility but they can be a security risk as they let everybody know what’s in your vehicle and they can be more easily broken. Most modern vans offer a good range of security features, but if you need to add extras, consider specifying an alarm, immobiliser and deadlocks for all the doors.

 Invest in simple security upgrades

 Handbrake locks, heavy-duty steering wheel locks, locking wheel nuts and lockable fuel filler caps are just some of the simple and affordable measures you can buy to boost your van’s security. Plastic window tints and upgraded deadlocks and slam locks for doors are also worthwhile physical add-ons for commercial vehicles that can be adapted to suit different needs.

Look at the latest technology

Check out the more advanced electronic alarms and vehicle tracking devices too – electronic GPS trackers can vastly improve the chances of recovering your van if it is stolen and advanced systems can alert police when a vehicle is stolen too. Another option is to install a CCTV system to monitor the area or areas your van is mostly parked. The latest cameras can be connected to your local Wi-Fi network to stream images directly to your smartphone or computer. They can also be set to activate when they detect movement.

Six ways van drivers can deter thieves

Six ways van drivers can deter thieves

Source: Electrical Times

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Government establishes £3,500 landlord contribution cap

The government has ended its consultation on proposals to amend the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, primarily deciding to increase the landlord financial contribution cap to £3,500.

The response said: “In line with the consultation proposal, the government intends to amend the regulations to introduce a capped landlord contribution that will take effect where third-party funding is unavailable or insufficient to cover the costs of energy efficiency improvements.

“This decision has been made in recognition of the current constraints on third-party funding and their impact on the effectiveness of the current regulations. Domestic rental properties in England and Wales affected by this decision represent less than 6% of the overall domestic market.”

This new funding cap is an increase on the initially suggested £2,500, but still lower than the £5,000 cap recommended by the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC). According to the HHIC, setting the cap at £2,500 would have only helped 30% of houses reach EPC band E, whereas a cap of £5,000 would assist a substantially higher number of homes.

Stewart Clements, Director of the HHIC, said: “When government and industry – ‘those in the know’ – work together then the resulting outcomes are better. I am pleased that the government has recognised that legislation is required in the rental sector to improve EPC ratings. The figure of £3,500 improves upon the suggested £2,500, which would have only helped 30% of homes improve upon their EPC rating.

“Having said this, the HHIC still believes £5,000 is the correct level for the cap, as it would help close to 60% of cold , inefficient (band F and G) homes reach the required EPC level. This is because the cost of installing a new central heating system can amount to £4,000, £500 above the new cap level. Insulation alone will not keep a home warm; you need an efficient heating system too, and gas central heating is the most obvious solution.”

The full government response to the consultation can be found here.

Government establishes £3,500 landlord contribution cap

Source: HVP Magazine

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New energy efficient Domus Ventilation MVHR wall units launched

Domus Ventilation, part of the Polypipe group, has launched the HRXE range of high-performance Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) units for small to medium size residential properties.

MVHR systems combine supply and extract ventilation in one system.  They efficiently recover the heat typically lost in waste, stale air and use it to temper the fresh air drawn into the building via a heat exchanger.  The filtered, pre-warmed air is distributed to areas of the home such as living rooms and bedrooms, effectively meeting part of the heating load in energy efficient dwellings.

Building on its success in MVHR, Domus has developed the HRXE units to provide even greater efficiency through advanced heat exchange proficiency and low Specific Fan Power (SFP).  When used with a kitchen and one wet room, a typical installation, the HRXE provides a 90% heat exchange performance and boasts a very low SFP down to 0.57W/(l/s).

The new HRXE range is not only efficient but also exceptionally quiet, with background (normal) ventilation at 24dB(A) (typically whisper quiet).  Noise reduction can be further reduced through the use of an Anti-Vibration tray, which isolates the unit from the wall to reduce any low levels of vibration induced noise which can be distracting to residents.

There are four models in the HRXE range, all with a two year warranty and all featuring 100% thermal (summer) bypass which automatically activates when the air temperature reaches a pre-set level, allowing in cooler, fresh, filtered air without warming it through the heat exchanger.  The smart design of the HRXE means there is no reduction in airflow when operating in bypass mode.

Within the range, models are available with integral humidity sensors, which is much in demand.  By accurately measuring air humidity, the HRXE’s extract speed automatically changes from background to boost as the level of humidity increases, thereby providing optimal ventilation performance.

When it comes to installation, Domus Ventilation has designed the HRXE units to be even smaller than their predecessors making them ideal for wall-mounted cupboard installation, with opposite-handed models available to meet different on-site requirements. Spigots on the top of the HRXE are 125mm, but with Domus Ventilation’s extensive duct portfolio, adaptors are available to enable direct connection to the most common ducting size – 204x600mm flat channel duct –for quicker and more cost-effective installation.  Furthermore, integrated controls are accessed via a front panel for easy commissioning.

The HRXE range has been designed to work most efficiently when used with Domus duct systems, including its Flow Control Plenum and High-Efficiency Green Line Bends, which reduce duct bend resistance by up to 60%.  Domus duct systems offer improved system performance through the exacting tolerances and engineered fit of the system, whereby pressure drops are minimised and air leakage virtually eliminated.

Domus Ventilation has a well-deserved reputation for quality, supported by an excellent technical support, from a market leading manufacturer and designer.  It is well placed to offer immediate, practical solutions to Building Regulations Parts F & L.

For further information on the Domus Ventilation HRXE MVHR appliances, please contact vent.info@domusventilation.co.uk or visit www.domusventilation.co.uk

New energy efficient Domus Ventilation MVHR wall units launched

New energy efficient Domus Ventilation MVHR wall units launched

Source: Electrical Trade Magazine

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Fake skills card dealer jailed for more than three years

A man who manufactured and sold fake construction industry skill cards has been jailed for more than three years.

Online trader Andrew Weeks was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court for offences under the Fraud Act.

Weeks was caught following an investigation by Warwickshire County Council Trading Standards.

Officers discovered that he was manufacturing construction industry skill cards at his printing firm and selling them via his website.

Weeks was sentenced to 3 years and 8 months after pleading guilty to the manufacture of fake documents.

The investigation was supported with information from the Construction Industry Training Board and a number of card schemes including the Construction Skills Certification Scheme and the Electrotechnical Certification Scheme.

Graham Wren, Chief Executive at CSCS said: “This is another example of the industry working together to tackle card fraud.

“CSCS will always support the authorities to identify and act against those attempting to deceive construction employers.

“This case also highlights the need for thorough card checks, ideally electronically, to ensure construction workers are who they say they are and have the correct qualifications for the job they do on site.”

Weeks was also sued by CSCS for copyright infringement and ordered to pay damages of £6,000.

Steve Brawley, Chief Executive at ECS said: “We hope that this case will serve as a message to would be fraudsters that their actions will not be accepted.

“Fraudsters on construction sites present a danger to themselves and others and we need to work together to stamp this activity out.”

Ian Sidney, Fraud Manager at CITB said: “This sentence shows just how serious construction card fraud is and the lengths that CITB and the whole industry will go to in order to stamp it out.

“The use of fake cards could easily lead to accidents, injuries or even fatalities where contractors do not have the required skills, training or qualifications.

“Employers must remain vigilant when checking workers’ documentation and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.”

Fake skills card dealer jailed for more than three years

Fake skills card dealer jailed for more than three years

Source: Construction Enquirer 

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Government names TrustMark as the new all-encompassing mark of quality for consumers in and around the home

In support of the Government’s Green GB Week, TrustMark, the Government-endorsed quality scheme for tradespeople, announces that it has expanded its remit to include Repair, Maintenance and Improvement (RMI), retrofit and energy efficiency sectors, in order to now cover any work a consumer chooses to have carried out in or around their home.

TrustMark has extended its responsibilities following the industry led Government-commissioned Each Home Counts review in 2016, which identified a requirement for an all-encompassing mark of quality for consumers to recognise and trust.  TrustMark was chosen to be the brand that the quality mark has now become with clean growth and energy efficiency being a key focus of the scheme.

TrustMark’s expansion has bought significant changes to the scheme, including:

·  The Core Criteria document will be replaced by the Framework Operating Requirements (FOR).  This will be delivered through the network of Scheme Providers who will vet and monitor each business registered within the scheme.

·  The FOR will be supplemented by additional documents such as the Code of Conduct (setting out requirements to Registered Businesses) and the Customer Charter (outlining the rights and responsibilities of customers), both of which aim to improve clarity of communication for tradespeople and their customers.

·  New and updated branding, which includes a refreshed logo to reflect the significant incoming changes, whilst celebrating the core values and name that remains at the heart of TrustMark as an organisation.

·  The TrustMark website has also been updated to display the new branding and features an enhanced consumer search facility.  A customer/business portal will also be available over the forthcoming months to handle all aspects of communications between consumers and trade, from quote to payment.

TrustMark’s new independent Chairman, Ranil Jayawardena, says:

“The evolution of TrustMark into the Government Endorsed Quality scheme for any work that a consumer has done to their home is great news. I want to make sure that TrustMark puts consumers first and gives them the best information from which they can make their own decisions.  At the same time, I believe this will be good for the industry in the long run, as it should mean that consumer-power drives the industry to be better.”

Simon Ayers, CEO of TrustMark, says:

“These steps only represent the beginning of change at TrustMark and I am delighted with the direction the scheme is going in and believe these improvements will pave the way for positive, far-reaching change for both consumers and businesses.  We have significant plans for developing the services to our Scheme Providers, Registered Businesses and the consumers that rely on them and together we can carry on our journey.”

Claire Perry, Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, says:

“The UK has led the world in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy – with clean growth driving incredible innovation and creating hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs. on our successes and explain the huge opportunities for business and young people of a cleaner economy. I’m delighted to see how many more businesses and organisations, such as TrustMark, are seizing this multi-billion pound opportunity to energize their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change.”

Since 2005, TrustMark has been a champion of consumer protection and when a consumer sees the TrustMark logo they will know the business they are engaging with is technically competent and has made an additional commitment to customer services and trading practices.  This will be the case regardless of the type of work they require on their property.

For further information about TrustMark, visit www.trustmark.org.uk

Government names TrustMark as the new all-encompassing mark of quality for consumers in and around the home

Government names TrustMark as the new all-encompassing mark of quality for consumers in and around the home

Source: Electrical Times 

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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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November 2017 Newsletter

Quick Links


Educators and Employers need to ‘wake up’ over apprentices

Recent YouGov findings revealing that less than one in 12 students aged 15-18 are being advised to seek a work based apprenticeship, coupled with a 61% decrease in the number of people starting apprenticeships, shows how educators and employers urgently need to “wake up”, says the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE).

Kevin Wellman, CEO, said: “The skills gap in the UK has been widely publicised for a number of years now, which makes the current state of communication around apprenticeships and uptake, or lack thereof, all the more disappointing. We are now in a position where, if educators and employers don’t wake up and address this problem, the future of vocational industries in the UK will be bleak.”

With the prospect of Brexit looming and the uncertainty this brings with it, Kevin believes there is even more reason to act quickly.

“What is clear, is that if we are to address the skills shortage and safeguard our industry, especially post-Brexit, more needs to be done across all fronts to encourage change, and not just the bare minimum,” he said.

“This means associations like the CIPHE promoting apprenticeships to members, and also working with consumer bodies to educate the public at large, especially parents. This way we are covering all bases by sharing benefits of employing an apprentice with those in the trade, and giving caregivers of school age learners the insight to also be able to discuss apprenticeships.”

 

Educators and Employers need to 'wake up' over apprentices

Educators and Employers need to ‘wake up’ over apprentices

 

Source: Heating & Plumbing Magazine

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Shell to open electric vehicle charging points at UK petrol stations

Shell is opening the first wave of electric vehicle charging points at its UK petrol stations, in a sign of the far-reaching changes underway in the transport and oil sectors.

Drivers will be able to recharge 80 per cent of their battery in half an hour at forecourts in London, Surrey, and Derby from, with a total of 10 service stations to be equipped with rapid chargers by the end of the year.

The move marks Shell’s first step into the UK electric car sector and comes days after the Anglo-Dutch oil company bought NewMotion, a Dutch firm with 30,000 private charging points at homes and offices in Europe.

Shell said the forays into charging were spurred by the swift growth in battery-powered cars, which now number more than 115,000 in the UK, up from almost zero a decade ago.

 

Shell to open electric vehicle charging points at UK petrol stations

Shell to open electric vehicle charging points at UK petrol stations

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Reduced energy bills with Smart Heating

UK adults who currently use smart home heating solutions have reported significant savings on their heating costs as a result.

However, despite the clear benefits of either using smart systems or smart thermostats, the majority of participants who took part in a survey by online electrical retailer, reichelt elektronik, are still not planning to make the switch to smart heating (86%).

The top three barriers cited for this are: high costs for product and installation, not being sure if the investment is worthwhile, and not having the appropriate equipment or compatible radiators or they are missing necessary IT equipment

The eight per cent of UK adults surveyed who do use complete smart home systems for their heating, cited the following benefits as their reasons for doing so:

  • 47% saw improved their comfort at home
  • 46% saw reduced their heating costs
  • 23% report improved wellbeing
  • 19% saw reduced mould in their home

The top factor that would persuade Brits to invest in smart heating is if they knew heating costs could be reduced (60&). This is an important factor for all age groups. A secondary factor is improved comfort – being able to control heating from a distance for example (22%), which is priority for 18-24 year olds. Interestingly, this research shows these are the top two benefits experienced by those currently using smart systems, demonstrating there is a clear gap in knowledge and understanding of the benefits in reality of switching to these systems.

“The reasons preventing Britons from switching to intelligent heating systems reveal that there is still a lot of education about smart heating solutions needed,” said Thomas Kruse, product manager for smart home technology at reichelt.

“With intelligent heating thermostats, for example, homemakers can improve their wellbeing and comfort without permanent intervention in the heating system and they can easily be exchanged when they are removed, offering a simpler solution that avoids serious installation. Starter kits are already available from about £90, but can save up to 30% of the heating costs.”

The survey of 1,000 UK adults conducted by OnePoll in October 2017, also revealed that 37% of Brits would like to see further promotion and investment from the government into smarter heating solutions.

 

Reduced energy bills with Smart Heating

Reduced energy bills with Smart Heating

 

Source: Heating & Plumbing Monthly Magazine

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Electrical installation checks of rented properties to become compulsory

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) working group says homes should be inspected every five years and a system of approved inspectors set up.

Following the recommendations of a government report, letting agents and property managers in England and Wales will soon have to organise electrical installation checks of privately rented properties.

After a detailed examination of the subject, the working group set up by the DCLG has recommended that electrical installation checks should be compulsory for properties within the Private Rented Sector (PRS) and carried out every five years.

The working group also says a scheme should be set up to register and approve the people who will carry out the checks and separate electrical safety from the Building Regulations regulatory framework.

Led by five senior figures from the DCLG, the working group’s members included every membership organisation within the lettings industry including most of the main membership associations representing agents and landlords.

The final recommendation is that the requirements for electrical installation checks should be phased in, starting with new tenancies before being rolled out to include existing ones.

But the rest of recommendations are not mandatory and include instead recommendations.

These include that landlords or agents should carry out visual checks of electrical equipment at a change of tenancy, that paperwork confirming that an Electrical Condition Report and any remedial work has been completed be given to both the landlord and new tenant, and that Residual Current Devices be fitted to a device to prevent electric shocks being suffered by tenants.

The working group, which met four times, says although safety standards are improving within the PRS, tenants within it still face a higher risk from ‘incidents’ from electrical faults than their social housing counterparts.

The new regulations, which are now likely to be enacted via the existing Housing and Planning Act 2016, are in addition to the existing regulations that make it a legal duty for landlords and their agent to ensure the wiring in rented homes is safe.

 

Electrical installation checks of rented properties to become compulsory

Electrical installation checks of rented properties to become compulsory

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Plan for 56-floor tapering Square Mile Skyscraper

A Hong Kong investor has unveiled plans for a 56-storey tapering tower in the City of London main cluster.

The new tower at 100 Leadenhall Street will echo the angled appearance of the nearby Cheesegrater but on a taller scale, offering nearly 1.2m sq ft of space.

Far East investment specialist London & Oriental, acting on behalf of Hong Kong investor Lai Sun Development, bought up key sites on Leadenhall to develop the scheme, known as project Dragon.

Plans for the new 263m tall building, which has been designed by New York architect SOM, are due to be submitted by the spring of next year with construction hoped to start in 2019.

The 100 Leadenhall site is one of the last significant sites available for development on the eastern edge of the Eastern Cluster in the City.

WSP is part of the client team as structural consultant with Core Five providing cost consultancy.

The building’s facades are designed as complex three-dimensional forms based on a pattern of interlocking diamonds to create an ever-changing light pattern over the course of the day.

The tower angles away from both Leadenhall Street and Bury Street as it rises to enhance its slender appearance and minimise the impact on the skyline.

 

Plan for 56-floor tapering Square Mile Skyscraper

Plan for 56-floor tapering Square Mile Skyscraper

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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Growth in Irish construction slows

October’s data signalled slower growth, with weaker rises in total activity, new orders and employment all recorded.

The rate of input cost inflation quickened to a four-month high amid reports that material shortages had led to price rises.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – a seasonally adjusted index designed to track changes in total construction activity – posted 54.5 in October, down from 56.5 in September. Readings above 50 indicate growth and so October’s value signalled a solid monthly increase in activity, albeit one that was the slowest in over two-and-a-half years. Activity has now expanded in 50 successive months.

Slower rises in activity were recorded on both housing and commercial projects during the month, although both continued to see marked expansions. The faster increase was registered for housing activity. Meanwhile, civil engineering work continued to fall, and at a stronger pace than in September.

Simon Barry, chief economist Republic of Ireland at Ulster Bank, said: “The latest results of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI survey show that Irish construction firms continue to report healthy rates of expansion. The headline PMI did ease in October, consistent with some cooling in momentum following a very strong first half of 2017, in the process reaching its lowest level since March 2015. However, at 54.5, last month’s reading remains comfortably in expansion territory. Mirroring the pattern of the headline PMI, the sectoral sub-indices also painted a picture of moderating growth in October, though the housing and commercial indices both remain at elevated levels, and very much consistent with ongoing solid expansion. Civil engineering continued to underperform, recording a fifth consecutive monthly decline in activity.”

He added that employment and new business levels continued to rise solidly in October, in line with the trends in total activity. “But a further easing last month has left the pace of growth in both categories some way below the very rapid rates recorded over the summer months,” he said. “While the overall story very much remains one of continuing construction sector improvement, both in absolute terms and relative to other European countries, the evidence of some recent cooling in momentum bears close watching in the months ahead.”

The rate of job creation also eased in October, the second month running in which this has been the case. Employment continued to rise at a solid pace, however, with hiring mainly in response to new contracts.

Construction firms remained strongly confident that output will increase over the coming year. Optimism was largely based on positive expectations regarding new business. That said, business sentiment dipped to an eight-month low.

 

Growth in Irish construction slows

Growth in Irish construction slows

 

Source: The Construction Index

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EIC offers support for employees and their families

The Electrical Industries Charity (EIC) has launched the Employee and Family Support Programme which aims to help employees and their families with challenging life situations in their time of need.

According to the charity, many people are struggling with a wide range of issues in the electrical sector. This could be due to caring for a loved one, going through a relationship breakdown, having financial problems or dealing with mental health issues. Few of these people feel comfortable sharing their problems, however, and therefore continue to suffer on their own in silence, says the charity.

The Electrical Industries Charity has launched the Employee and Family Support Programme to help people in the electrical and energy sectors to look forward to the future.

The charity’s programme offers employees and their families support through its services, including a confidential helpline and free telephone counselling sessions, debt solutions, financial assistance and grants, legal advice and career advice.

“In our industry, there are many people who are struggling with a wide range of challenging situations which are restricting them from having the fulfilling life they deserve,” says managing director, Tessa Ogle. “This is why we have launched our Employee and Family Support Programme to provide support and assist them in each step of the way towards creating a better future for themselves.”

 

EIC offers support for employees and their families

EIC offers support for employees and their families

 

Source: Elecftrical Contracting News

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Not enough funding support for electrically heated households, says Dimplex

Upgrading static electric storage heaters could help to close a combined fuel poverty gap of £160 million, according to a new report by Glen Dimplex.

More than 3.2 million households in England and Scotland are fuel poor according to official statistics. Around 15% of these – almost 500,000 households – use electricity to heat their homes and are paying over the odds for their heating because of a legacy of ageing electric storage heaters and incorrect specification.

Despite this, Dimplex says government incentive schemes are failing to offer the funding needed to support heating system upgrades in electrically-heated homes with modern, smart appliances that can slash heating bills.

The average annual fuel poverty gap in England – the difference between a household’s typical energy bill and the value that their bill would need to be in order for that household to come out of fuel poverty – is £353.

Chris Stammers, Head of Insight for Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, said: “Thousands of households are still paying over the odds unnecessarily for their heating bills, even though modern appliances could lift them out of fuel poverty by dramatically lowering running costs.

“Invariably the issue is the cost of installation – very few homeowners in fuel poverty can afford the upfront cost to install a new heating system, while private and social housing tenants have no choice but to use the heating system they have been given.

“Those with gas central heating systems have access to a number of funding programmes designed to facilitate heating upgrades to improve the energy efficiency of the property, but there is not currently enough support for electrically heated homes.

“For the majority of these properties, switching to gas is not an option. It is either not physically possible or not viable because of the huge costs involved.

“Instead, by extending funding support to electrically heated homes, we could facilitate hundreds of thousands of additional electric heating upgrades. We could replace the ageing storage heating systems and address those incorrect specifications which are contributing to a fuel poverty gap of around £160million. And we could improve daily life for millions of homeowners, private tenants and social housing residents across the UK.”

 

Not enough funding support for electrically heated households, says Dimplex

Not enough funding support for electrically heated households, says Dimplex

 

Source: HVP Magazine

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Join the battle to beat dementia

NICEIC and ELECSA have launched a campaign to encourage electrical contractors to join the fight against dementia.

They are encouraging electrical contractors to give up 15 minutes of their pay this November to raise money for Alzheimer’s research UK. (ARUK)

Every contractor that takes part will be entered into a prize draw to win a year’s free registration with NICEIC or ELECSA worth up to £500.

Electrical contractors have already raised more than £300 in donations but there is still time to raise more.

The campaign will run throughout November and anyone wanting to get involved can do so by signing up here and registering.

 

Join the battle to beat dementia

Join the battle to beat dementia

 

Source: Electrical Times

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Make the perfect builder’s tea

It’s the hot drink guaranteed to put a smile on every tradesman’s face yet few of us get it right – now experts have confirmed how to make the perfect cup of builder’s tea.

Experts at Leasevan.co.uk have revealed the secrets behind every builder’s dream cuppa after tradesmen across the country complained about anaemic brews.

Their Dos and Don’ts guide finally resolves questions such as whether to add milk or hot water first, what type of tea to use, mug requirements and sugar content.

They were driven to release the builder’s brew guidelines after feedback from their customers suggested that homeowners are failing in this most basic and British of duties.

It is crucial to get builder’s tea right, as strong brews are vital for keeping up energy and morale during a long day of physical labour.

Brewers must first ensure the mug is ceramic, and also the right size as anything too large will lead to weaker tea that goes cold before it can be drunk.

Warm the mug with hot water before adding the teabag and remember that builder’s tea must always be English Breakfast.

Hot water should be poured first over the teabag to release more flavour and ensure that the maker can get the perfect colour when adding milk.

Allow it to brew for approximately one minute, and be sure to squash the bag against the side of the mug several times before removing it to keep the tea strong.

Watch carefully as you add the milk dash, as builder’s tea needs to be strong, milky and a light brown biscuity colour.

It is best to keep stirring while pouring in the milk, so that you can see how the colour is developing.

The traditional sugar serving is two teaspoons, but it is best to check individual preferences to be sure. For a perfect finish, add two biscuits or a slice of cake.

Tim Alcock of Leasevan.co.uk said: “Given that we’re supposed to be a nation of tea drinkers, it’s funny how many people don’t know how to make a proper builder’s brew.

“Tradesmen often talk about ‘anaemic tea’ that really isn’t going to give them the energy they need when they’re doing a hard day’s work in the house or garden.

“A cup of proper builder’s tea is a delight and a British staple, and now there’s no excuse to get it wrong.”

Dos and don’ts for true builder’s tea

Do:

Use a teabag – real builder’s tea is never made from loose leaves.

Pour as soon as the kettle has boiled – you want it to be as hot as possible when it hits the teabag. Some people even suggest boiling the kettle once to warm the mug, and then again before you pour.

Brew it properly and make it strong.

Serve with biscuits, ideally digestives or rich tea.

Serve in a light coloured mug. Darker colours make the tea look unappealing.

Don’t:

Use brown sugar or, worse, sweetener. It must be white.

Use decaffeinated tea.

Use Earl Grey, fruit, herbal, peppermint, chai or indeed anything except English Breakfast.

Serve in a china or plastic mug. It needs to be ceramic.

Use skimmed milk – this is just watery disappointment for an otherwise perfect brew.

 

Make the perfect builder's tea

Make the perfect builder’s tea

 

Source: Electrical Contracting News

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£110m Glasgow shopping store to homes scheme approved

Plans to redevelop Glasgow’s former Goldberg’s department store site into a 1,200 flats have been given the thumbs up.

Mace is project manager for developer Candleriggs on the project, which will be one of the biggest undertaken in Glasgow’s city centre since the Buchanan Galleries in the 1990s.

The project involves building a mix of 132 flats for sale, 435 private flats for rent and 586 student rooms, as well as a 124-room hotel and retail space. It is expected to cost over £110m to build.

Work to clear the site and demolish unlisted buildings is expected to begin soon.

The development will be situated on the site bounded by Trongate, Wilson Street, Brunswick Street, Hutcheson Street and Candleriggs.

The gap site had lain derelict since the closure of the Goldbergs store in 1999. It was bought by retail giant Selfridges with the intention of creating a new department store but those plans fell through.

Developers Candleriggs bought the site in 2014. They secured planning permission in 2016 and have since bought several surrounding sites to enlarge the scheme.

Richard Murphy Architects designed the project, with Curtins Consulting on board as consulting engineers and Cundall Johnston & Partners the building services consultant.

 

£110m Glasgow shopping store to homes scheme approved

£110m Glasgow shopping store to homes scheme approved

 

Source: Electrical Times

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£1.4bn Croydon Westfield shopping centre approved

Plans for a £1.4bn Westfield shopping centre in south London have been approved by local councillors.

Work to redevelop Croydon’s Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres is now hoped to begin in 2019.

Up to 1,000 flats will be delivered in five tower blocks overlooking Wellesley Road. The first two buildings will be developed with the construction of the retail scheme, with the remainder being developed in a later phase.

Joint venture specialist retail developers Westfield and Hammerson will redevelop and combine Croydon’s current shopping centres – the Whitgift Centre and Centrale – to create the 1.5m sq ft retail-led scheme.

Plans were first granted permission in 2014, but in October last year an enhanced application was submitted with the addition of a third storey of retail and restaurants, and a new Marks & Spencer store.

Now the council has approved what will be London’s third Westfield shopping complex, it will be passed on to the Mayor of London who will have the final say on whether planning permission should be granted.

If rubber stamped, the 13-month demolition programme would begin next year to clear the vast site.

Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council, said: “The new homes and the thousands of jobs this development will bring shows investors are rightly confident about Croydon as a place to live, work and spend free time.

“I am delighted contractors will be on site in 2019 to kick-start the exciting transformation of the heart of our town.”

 

£1.4bn Croydon Westfield shopping centre approved

£1.4bn Croydon Westfield shopping centre approved

 

Source: Construction Enquirer

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