Posts

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’.

Quick Links


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

Top of Page


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 

Top of Page


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

Top of Page


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

Top of Page


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.

Top of Page


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

Top of Page


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 

Top of Page


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

Top of Page


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

Top of Page


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

Top of Page


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

Top of Page


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

Top of Page


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 

Top of Page


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 

Top of Page


 


 

July 2018 Newsletter

July 2018 Newsletter

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

 

Quick Links

 


Gas Safe Register urges Summer checks for gas appliances

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

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

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

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

London – 277

Birmingham – 89

Coventry – 45

Cardiff – 41

Newcastle – 38

Manchester – 34

Sheffield – 34

Norwich – 33

Edinburgh – 26

Nottingham – 24

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

Gas Safe Register urges Summer checks for gas appliances

Gas Safe Register urges Summer checks for gas appliances

Source: HVP Magazine

Top of Page


IET & BSI publish 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IET & BSI publish 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations

IET & BSI publish 18th Edition IET Wiring Regulations

Source: Electrical Contracting News

Top of Page


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: HVP Magazine

Top of Page


City & Guilds endorses exclusive IET Online Training

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

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

The IET Academy provides the only course prepared by the IET, which jointly publishes the IET Wiring Regulations with BSI. The authors have been carefully selected for their industry experience and knowledge of BS 7671.

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

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

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

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

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

City & Guilds endorses exclusive IET Online Training

City & Guilds endorses exclusive IET Online Training

Source: Electrical Contracting News

Top of Page


Police conduct three Grenfell interviews under caution

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

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

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

There have not been any arrests at this stage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police conduct three Grenfell interviews under caution

Police conduct three Grenfell interviews under caution

Source: Construction Enquirer

Top of Page


Facebook to build major UK HQ at King’s Cross

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Facebook to build major UK HQ at King's Cross

Facebook to build major UK HQ at King’s Cross

Source: Construction Enquirer

Top of Page


Poor van driving bad for business?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poor van driving bad for business?

Poor van driving bad for business?

Source: Electrical Times

Top of Page


AEI Cables launches new Total Fire Solutions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AEI Cables launches new Total Fire Solutions

AEI Cables launches new Total Fire Solutions

Source: Electrical Times

Top of Page


Baxi launches online booking for training

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

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

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

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

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

Baxi launches online booking for training

Baxi launches online booking for training

Source: HVP Magazine

Top of Page


REHAU provides to grade data cabling solution for Southampton Students

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

REHAU provides to grade data cabling solution for Southampton Students

REHAU provides to grade data cabling solution for Southampton Students

Source: Electrical Contracting News

Top of Page


Handling the heatwave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Handling the heatwave

Handling the heatwave

Source: PHAM News

Top of Page


Vermont lands first tower at £250m Liverpool site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vermont lands first tower at £250m Liverpool site

Vermont lands first tower at £250m Liverpool site

Source: Construction Enquirer

Top of Page


Survey of manufacturers indicates construction growth ahead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Survey of manufacturers indicates construction growth ahead

Survey of manufacturers indicates construction growth ahead

Source: The Construction Index

Top of Page


Green light for 860-bed Sheffield student digs

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

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

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

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

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

Green light for 860-bed Sheffield student digs

Green light for 860-bed Sheffield student digs

Source: Construction Enquirer

Top of Page