March 2019 Newsletter
‘Research shows growth in demand for smart controls, First ever tradesman blacklist launched, Kent Uni tenders £20m life science building, Ban new homes from gas grid by 2025, says CCC, Only 21% would upgrade a working boiler, research reveals’.
Research show growth in demand for smart controls
Smart heating controls are likely to take market share from conventional heating controls in the longer term, according to the latest Domestic Central Heating market report (2018-2022) from AMA Research.
In 2017, it was estimated that around 30% of heating controls sold by value were smart heating controls. This figure was deemed likely to increase to over 45% of heating controls sold by value by 2022.
UK householders were becoming much more environmentally aware and using smart heating solutions in order to minimise energy usage and to save money, AMA found, estimating that around 5% of UK homes now have smart heating controls installed.
“The future performance of the UK domestic heating market will be influenced by overall trends in housebuilding, home improvement, fuel prices, renewable technologies, and technological developments.” added Hayley Thornley, head of research at AMA Research. “While increasing legislation around energy efficiency represents a major influence in the long-term development of the domestic central heating market. The UK smart heating controls sector has evolved as part of the smart home market and is expected to show good levels of growth to 2022 and beyond.”
Source: HPM Magazine
Lighting for the greater good
In this exclusive editorial, Tamlite Lighting explains why low-quality lighting can have an adverse effect on wellbeing and assesses why high-quality luminaires are essential for today’s business owners.
The importance of quality over price
‘Buy cheap, buy twice’ is an attitude echoed throughout the construction industry, so it pays to provide solutions that focus on quality rather than cutting costs.
To this end, there have been a number of initiatives to try and minimise the prevalence of ‘spec-breaking’, as project design teams look for the cheapest alternative to their needs, rather than using products that will provide the expected benefits.
One such initiative is the Building in Quality (BIQ) Quality Tracker, developed by RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). This picks up on the construction industry’s many efforts to improve quality in buildings in the wake of several high-profile events, not least the Grenfell Tower fire. It resonates particularly strongly with what Dame Judith Hackitt described in her Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: Final Report as the ‘golden thread’ of information from concept to finished building and beyond.
This is particularly key for lighting designers and specifiers. Lighting upgrades are often required for specific reasons, whether it’s improved energy efficiency, better quality of illumination, or more control of the lighting.
If an upgrade is carried out using cheaper luminaires that do not fully match up to the original specification, then end-users may find themselves no better off than they were initially.
Breaking spec can reduce light quality
When specifying a new lighting system, switching to LED isn’t enough. This is a common pitfall when choosing luminaires for a lighting upgrade. While LED fittings do indeed tend to be more energy efficient than fluorescent alternatives, cheaper LED luminaires may not offer the longevity or improved illumination that comes with higher quality luminaires.
A common complaint with cheaper luminaires is a lack of glare control. Discomfort glare can be a major problem for people trying to focus, particularly in offices or education environments. Luminaires that cause reflection off desks or computers can cause serious problems for workers and students, highlighting the need for luminaires fitted with specialised diffusers or beam angles to reduce the prevalence of glare.
This can be pivotal from a specification perspective, as lighting designs may be put together based on certain luminaires being installed. If a specification required certain spacings between luminaires in order to achieve a higher UGR rating, and cheaper fittings are used instead, then this may lead to dark patches throughout the room.
An uneven light distribution can lead to eye strain and discomfort, which can cause headaches and affect people’s wellbeing. As wellbeing is becoming increasingly significant for business owners and facility managers, a lighting system supplied to full specification can have considerable benefits for end-users in terms of productivity, employee performance and reduced absenteeism.
The impact of low-quality lighting on wellbeing
There has been a lot of recent research into employee productivity and wellbeing, and there is no denying the logic that happier, healthier and more comfortable employees are going to be more productive, and the notion of fashioning workplaces that are conducive to good health is certainly not a new one.
The role of lighting in enhancing wellbeing in the workplace cannot be understated. The circadian rhythm is the natural daily cycle that helps humans wake up in the morning and fall asleep at night. Naturally, humans are exposed to bluer light in the morning to midday, followed by warmer colour temperatures in the afternoon and evening.
Artificial lighting in workplaces that replicate this can make people feel more in tune with their natural rhythms, and in turn will enhance their wellbeing and boost productivity and focus. Higher specification luminaires can achieve this through tunable white lighting. Hence, lighting designs that require tunable lighting must be wary of ‘spec-breaking’, as cheaper fittings may not be able to replicate natural colour changes.
Furthermore, factors such as flicker and glare are more prevalent with poor quality luminaires, and these can seriously impair the wellbeing of employees.
The importance of wellbeing
The considerable benefits of wellbeing for business owners, as well as end-users, cannot be ignored. One in six workers feel that their workplace is having a diminishing effect on their wellbeing (according to the British Council of Offices), so the value for employers in terms of staff retention and happiness is clear.
Furthermore, the World Green Building Council found that an improved lighting design can lead to a 23% increase in productivity, highlighting the link between lighting and improved employee performance for businesses. A number of studies also suggest that concentration, focus and learning retention in schools, colleges and universities are all linked to light.
The problems, then, of ‘spec-breaking’ when installing a lighting system can be significant. If cheap alternatives to modern, high quality luminaires are specified, then substantial benefits may be missed in terms of worker wellbeing and retention.
Highlighting the benefits of lighting for wellbeing to customers can not only discourage cheaper alternatives from being used, but may also increase the likelihood of a one-phase project becoming a multi-phase scheme, which can provide significant, long-term benefits for contractors.
For further information, visit tamlite.co.uk
Source: Electrical Contracting News
Only 21% would upgrade a working boiler, research reveals
While 44% would upgrade a TV that still worked, less than half of this would choose to do the same with their boiler, according to new research from Hometree.
In a survey of over 2,000 UK adults, three in five (59%) admitted to upgrading a product needlessly. Of these people, 35% said they just ‘fancied a change’, and 19% said they found a model that looked better.
The research found that while many would upgrade a perfectly good TV (44%), wearable tech (42%), and smart speakers (40%), only half as many (21%) would choose to upgrade a boiler. Boilers, in fact, came at the bottom of the list of items people would choose to upgrade, behind washing machines (25%), fridges (26%), and vacuum cleaners (31%).
79% of respondents actually said they would be irritated to have to spend money upgrading their boiler. A quarter said they would be annoyed, with a further 54% extremely annoyed, “begrudgingly forking out” their money.
On average, the research suggested that people upgraded their boilers around every nine years, while people upgraded their TVs every six, smart speakers every four, and wearable tech every three years.
Simon Phelan, Chief Executive of Hometree, said: “Boilers are bottom of people’s lists when it comes to upgrades, despite them being the heart of the home, arguably the most important white good. For years, it was not just the expense, but the whole rigmarole of the process that was a pain – from the time getting quotes and installing it, to being sold extras you’re not sure you need, and so on. In 2019, things are different. The process can now take days not months, and prices through online-led installers such as Hometree are considerably less than they were with the established providers.
“Consumers can actually save up to 30% on their household bills with a new energy efficient boiler but the initial cost to purchase the boiler puts them off. Opting for finance options or Buy Now Pay Later options can mean that customers get the peace of mind of a new boiler and energy savings without eating into their savings.”
The research was carried out by Censuswide. Fieldwork took place between 25 and 28 January 2019. The questions were asked to a nationally representative sample of 2,005 UK adults aged 16 and over.
Source: HVP Magazine
First ever tradesmen blacklist launched
A surge in doorstep rogue traders is ripping off thousands of home owners for shoddy work that is unfinished, not even started or grossly overpriced.
Police and Trading Standards held a national day of joint enforcement action, Operation Rogue Trader, which saw Trading Standards work alongside police to target rogue traders and aggressive doorstep sellers. Officers were able to identify 708 individual offences, leading to 19 arrests and the seizure of 39 vehicles. Consumers were saved nearly £5,200. (Source: Trading Standards, November 2018).
There is no single trusted source of cowboy builders and workmen available to the general public, until now. PropertyHeads.com, the property and social network portal, has just launched a Tradesmen Blacklist of rogue traders that have a criminal record – the first of its kind. propertyheads.com/tradesmen_blacklist.
With over 1,000 names recorded in the Tradesmen Blacklist, homeowners are invited to report rogue traders on the portal, so they can be added to the database. Users can search the portal’s database of hundreds of convicted tradesmen, as part of their background checks when looking to hire some help.
But the Blacklist is about more than just cowboy builders and fraudsters, it has several convicted murderers and rapists on the Blacklist – not people you would knowingly invite into your home.
Research from the Traders Blacklist reveals that the majority of rogue traders are builders (26%), followed by roofers (17%), driveway traders and gardeners (13%), painter and decorators (11%), plasterers (10%), bricklayers (6%) and carpenters (4%).
Many rogue traders are repeat offenders and some have more than 50 convictions. High risk areas include County Durham, Kent and Essex with low risk areas including Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Greater London.
Ben Davis, CEO of PropertyHeads.com comments: “We are appalled that so many homeowners are being ripped off by rogue traders and want to help. Quite simply reputable companies do not doorstep for new customers and homeowners would be well advised to avoid those that do.
“It is widely accepted that the best way to engage a reliable tradesman is by word of mouth. But how can you possibly know which of your friends and colleagues has used a reliable tradesman without asking all of them? And why is it that traditional tradesman review websites are built around anonymous reviews?
“PropertyHeads.com addresses both of these issues as it shows users the reviews from people they already know and trust when they search for a tradesman. This is great news for the consumer. Not only do they easily get reviews, they can also attribute to a friend, or colleague. It makes the process of referencing and inspecting tradesmen’s work that much easier too. It’s also good for genuine tradesmen, as they are able to grow their businesses by word of mouth.
“Three things struck me when we put together the Tradesman Blacklist. Firstly, rogue tradesman will go to extraordinary lengths to mislead their victims including faking their own cancer and using vehicles with government agency sign-writing. Secondly, even those with seemingly reputable backgrounds – we have several ex Police and military in our Blacklist – are capable of awful crimes. And third, the sheer number of victims involved.
“If our Blacklist helps just one homeowner avoid being ripped-off, then we will have done a good service.”
It’s vital that people carry out research before they have any building or maintenance done, as it could save them thousands in the long run. Ask for recommendations, perform background checks, insist on and keep all paperwork and do not pay in advance. There is so much information available online but, only PropertyHeads.com shows consumers reviews from people they already trust.
PropertyHeads.com has also put together some advice on how to avoid rogue traders:
Be suspicious of anyone who comes to the door offering to fix your roof etc.
– Do not work with door steppers at all. The PropertyHeads.com Tradesmen Blacklist has hundreds of examples of doorsteppers often preying on the elderly (oldest reported victim 99) and sometimes returning to time and again until life savings have been taken.
– Never pay upfront
– For larger jobs have a detailed payment schedule with clear milestones. If you do pay for materials only pay when they arrive on site
– Get paperwork in order. Keep copies of the contract, invoices and receipts. Ask for details of insurance and keep those too. No written contract / details of work, best avoid.
– Go with your gut. Price seems too good to be true? Little idea of how long the job will take? Don’t seem to have the right tools? Cash?
– Ask for and check out at least two references. Inspect the work if possible. Of course it’s easier to inspect the work and quiz the referee if you already know that person.
– Do some basic checks. They should have a landline phone, an address and be registered with Companies House as a minimum.
– By far the best thing is to get word-of-mouth recommendation. Easiest way to do that is on PropertyHeads where you will be shown the tradesmen known by your existing trusted contacts.
For more information, please visit www.propertyheads.com.
Source: Electrical Times
Ban new homes from gas grid by 2025, says CCC
Newbuilds should no longer be connected to the gas grid within the next six years, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has recommended in a new report.
The report, titled UK housing: Fit for the future?, also states that, from 2025 at the latest, new homes should be heated using low carbon energy sources, have “ultra-high” levels of energy efficiency alongside appropriate ventilation, and be timber-framed where possible.
It also found that emissions reductions from the UK’s 29 million homes have stalled, while energy use in homes – which accounts for 14% of total UK emissions – increased between 2016 and 2017.
The report said: “We will not meet our targets for emissions reduction without near complete decarbonisation of the housing stock. Energy use in homes accounts for about 14% of UK greenhouse gas emissions.
“These emissions need to fall by at least 24% by 2030 from 1990 levels, but are currently off track. In 2017, annual temperature-adjusted emissions from buildings rose by around 1% relative to the previous year.”
Key problems halting the progress of energy efficiency and decarbonisation cited by the report included significant policy gaps where climate-related risks are concerned, as well as a lack of ambition with building standards, which the report described as “overly complex” and having poor compliance.
Baroness Brown, Chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee, said: “This report confirms what we have long-suspected: UK homes are largely unprepared for climate change. The government now has an opportunity to act. There must be compliance with stated building designs and standards.
“We need housing with low-carbon sources of heating. And we must finally grasp the challenge of improving our poor levels of home energy efficiency. As the climate continues to change, our homes are becoming increasingly uncomfortable and unsafe. This will continue unless we take steps now to adapt them for higher temperatures, flooding and water scarcity. Our report shows that this work has barely begun.”
The report can be found here.
Source: HVP Magazine
South Ayrshire sets out a 10-year capital programme
Councillors in South Ayrshire have approved a capital investment programme that will see almost £350m spent over the next 10 years on projects including leisure facilities, schools and roads.
More than £113m will be invested in schools and early years facilities over the next decade. This includes new schools for Girvan Primary (£22.4m), Carrick Academy in Maybole (£21.2m), Glenburn Primary and St Ninian’s Primary shared campus in Prestwick (£17.6m) and Sacred Heart Primary in Girvan (£3.9m), as well as a range of school refurbishment projects. Early years projects being progressed in 2019/20 include the opening of the new Cherry Tree Early Years Centre.
Almost £50m of the programme will be spent on sport and leisure facilities across the area. This includes £40m for a new leisure facility in Ayr town centre and £7.1m for additional sporting facilities at Craigie Sporting Centre.
An additional £9.5m has been added to the programme for road reconstruction and improvement, taking the total over the ten years to £17.5m, while more than £5m has been allocated for street-lighting and LED replacement.
Funding of £21m has also been added to the programme in respect of investment in Prestwick Airport as part of the Council’s contribution to delivering the Ayrshire Growth Deal, which is being supported by funding of £200m from the UK and Scottish Governments.
Councillor Peter Henderson, portfolio holder for resources and performance, said: “The capital investment we have set out today will touch the lives of everyone in South Ayrshire and make them better – whether that’s through giving our children the best possible start in life, providing our young people with the best education in the highest quality facilities, providing access to first-class sport and leisure facilities that support people to get fit and active and support their health and wellbeing, or delivering the infrastructure to create jobs and grow the economy.”
Source: The Construction Index
MPs demand review of working at height dangers
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height has published a new report calling on the Government and industry to undertake a major review of working at height culture.
It also wants to see improved reporting of incidents and introduce reporting on near misses.
The report, Staying Alive: Preventing Serious Injury and Fatalities while Working at Height, is the result of a 12 month inquiry by the APPG.
Politicians explored why 18% of people who die at work do so as a result of a fall from height, and what steps can be taken by government and industry to prevent incidents for the millions of people in the UK that work at height.
The report makes 4 primary recommendations to reduce the overall number of falls:
- The introduction of an enhanced reporting system through RIDDOR.
- The appointment of an independent body that allows confidential, enhanced and digital reporting of all near misses, to be shared with government and industry to inform health and safety policy.
- The extension of the Working Well Together – Working Well at Height safety campaigns.
- An equivalent system to Scotland’s Fatal Accident Inquiry process extended to the rest of the UK.
Alison Thewliss, Chair of the APPG on Working at Height and MP for Glasgow Central said: “Every fall from height can have life-altering consequences for workers and their families. There is an urgent need to improve work at height culture, yet this issue is sadly not at the top of decision-makers’ agenda.
“A lack of empirical data prevents us from understanding the root causes of falls from height. This is compounded by a cultural obstacle when it comes to supporting people to report unsafe practices.
“We have made comprehensive recommendations to government, but the APPG’s work does not stop here. Our report must be the first step in a wider process of systematic and cultural change. It is now time for policy-makers to act.”
The APPG is now calling for a further period of consultation and a major review of work at height culture, including how to engage with difficult to reach sectors, the suitability of financial penalties, and the role of digital technologies in improving the safety environment.
Source: Construction Enquirer
Women installers together conference returns for 2019
The 2019 Women Installers Together (WIT) conference will take place on 4 July, the event organisers have announced.
The WIT conference aims to provide a forum to discuss ways in which the industry can improve access and conditions for women plumbers.
This year’s conference will take place on 4 July at the Building Centre, Store Street, London, but the format will be slightly different with round table discussions added so that delegates can share stories and experiences of working in the industry.
Features of this year’s conference include:
- Engaging speakers
- Round Tables
For more information about the conference, please visit stopcocks.uk/women-installers-together
Source: HVP Magazine
Low Carbon Workspaces offers £1,000 energy cashback
Throughout February and March 2019, Low Carbon Workspaces is making grants of £1,000 available to 50 small and medium-sized businesses spending over £2,000 on a first-come, first-served basis – the deadline is March 31st.
The Low Carbon Workspaces £1,000 Energy Cashback grants can be claimed towards LED lighting, heating and cooling upgrades, insulation, double-glazing, energy efficient computer servers and printers and other projects that will result in a quantifiable carbon saving.
Rowan Wallis, Low Carbon Workspaces’ Programme Manager, said: “We are delighted to open the Low Carbon Workspaces programme to SMEs with smaller energy efficiency projects, so they too can benefit from implementing energy, cost and carbon saving initiatives.”
He added: “Applications are coming in already, so I’d encourage interested businesses to get in touch with us ASAP.”
The application process is quick and easy, however, the grant must be awarded before installation commences or any payments to suppliers are made (including deposits).
To apply, visit: https://www.lowcarbonworkspaces.co.uk/EnergyCashback.
Source: Professional Electrician
Bosch Commerical and Industrial announces enhancements to its GB162 light commercial gas boiler
Bosch Commercial and Industrial has announced a series of enhancements to its popular GB162 light commercial gas boiler, for improved installation, servicing and operation.
For the first time, the GB162 is available as an 85kW model, meaning the boiler is now available in outputs of 50kW, 65kW, 85kW and 100kW. With the condensing boiler’s innovative cascade design, it can cater for large heat demands of up to 1.6MW, coming into and out of operation when required to ensure even load matching.
A key feature of the new GB162 is the introduction of overpressure flues which result in reduced installation height and increased flexibility. With each flue containing a flue gas non-return valve, the need for a large cascade flue header is removed, while flue gases are prevented from re-entering cascaded boilers which aren’t firing. This results in reduced installation costs due to smaller flue diameters, and makes the solution even better suited for buildings with narrower chimneys and in plant rooms with low ceilings and restricted space, making it retrofit friendly.
Advanced commissioning and servicing
The new boiler model also features an improved syphon with a threaded connection for a secure fit, offering peace of mind to the commissioning engineer, while 360° insulation helps to reduce heat loss and energy consumption. The addition of a single-sided removable cover also improves access to internal components to simplify servicing and maintenance, particularly for cascades in tight plant rooms.
The GB162 now boasts a new pump group which offers the combination of lower hydraulic resistance and more residual pump head, which is ideal for single boilers and single heating circuit installations to reduce installation costs and energy bills, as there is no need to run an external system pump.
Crucially, the updated GB162 is compatible with the leading connected commercial boiler control. The Control 8000 allows for medium and large commercial heating systems to be monitored and controlled remotely via a computer or tablet, helping service engineers to know exactly what is wrong with the heating system before they come to site.
Tim Davies, Business Development Director at Bosch Commercial and Industrial, comments: “The GB162 is an extremely popular product in our commercial boiler portfolio due to its ease of installation, reliability, and high performance. By listening to feedback from heating engineers and building a number of enhancements into the model, we have been able to make it even more versatile for a wider variety of large domestic and commercial installations, from large homes to schools and care facilities.”
For more information on Bosch Commercial and Industrial and its range of heating, cooling and hot water technologies, please visit www.bosch-commercial.co.uk. Alternatively, follow Bosch Commercial and Industrial on Twitter (@BoschHeating_UK) and LinkedIn (Bosch Commercial and Industrial UK).
Source: Installer Online
Construction buyers report first work dip in nearly a year
Construction buyers saw industry activity contract in February for the first time in 11 months.
The IHS Markit/CIPS UK Construction Total Activity Index registered 49.5 in February – the first time it has dipped below the 50 no-change mark since March 2018.
A drop in commercial and civil engineering work caused the fall with residential construction the only sector still expanding.
Tim Moore, Economics Associate Director at IHS Markit, said: “The UK construction sector moved into decline during February as Brexit anxiety intensified and clients opted to delay decision-making on building projects.
“Risk aversion in the commercial sub-category has exerted a downward influence on workloads throughout the year so far. This reflects softer business spending on fixed assets such as industrial units, offices and retail space.
“The fall in commercial work therefore hints at a further slide in domestic business investment during the first quarter, continuing the declines seen in 2018.
“There were also reports that the more fragile housing market confidence has begun to act as a brake on residential work, which adds to signs that house building has lost momentum since the end of last year.
“This leaves the construction sector increasingly reliant on large-scale infrastructure projects for growth over the year ahead.
“Construction companies pared back their purchasing activity in response to subdued demand in February, but delivery delays for inputs were among the highest seen over the past four years.
“Survey respondents noted that stockpiling efforts by the UK manufacturing sector had an adverse impact on transport availability and supplier capacity across the construction supply chain.
“On a more positive note, input price inflation held close to January’s two-and-a-half year low.
“The slowdown in cost pressures from the peaks seen in the first half of 2018 provides a signal that the worst phase has passed for supplier price hikes related to sterling depreciation.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
The world surges ahead
The 18th Edition regulations represent a change of protection for installations, designed especially to increase the level of safety and reduce the risks associated with transient over-voltages. With the changes now in force, Scott Gallagher of Finder looks at the origins of surge protection.
A shocking start
In 1752, Benjamin Franklin conducted his revolutionary experiment capturing charges from a mere cloud. An early adopter of health and safety, Franklin was cautious to stand on an insulator, keeping his long-frizzled hair dry under cover to protect himself and to prevent the disaster of an electric shock.
Others, captivated by the projects of Franklin, were indeed electrocuted in performing lighting experiments during the months immediately following, which highlighted the danger and the importance of the possibility of this discovery. Not one to be disengaged from his passions, Franklin invented the ‘lightning rod’, the first real step in surge protection.
1775 marked the year that Alessandro Volta, a professor of physics at the Royal School in Como, developed an improved version of the ‘Electrophorus’; a device that produced controlled, high voltage, static electricity. Volta continued his investigations and in 1776 ignited methane with an electrical spark, 80 years before the invention of the spark plug. One of the first to develop a real understanding of electricity, Volta went on to create the ‘Voltaic Pile’, a precursor to the modern battery, and now all those volts in a surge are named after him as a mark of his discoveries.
The world surges ahead
Franklin’s invention of the ‘lightning rod’ provided the world with what was thought to be almost all of the protection it needed, stopping tall buildings from catching fire during the vicious thunderstorms that arose, until the invention of the ‘electric telegraph’.
However, the development of electrical distribution systems in the late 19th Century brought the unfortunate consequences of electrical disturbances to everyone. And as those systems and the attached installations manifested in size, complexity, and value, so did the need for a more sophisticated approach for protection. That leads us to what we have today and the topic of this article, a new change in the wiring regulations.
Changes to the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations
January 2019 represented an important milestone in the industry. Changes for the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations went live, and some of these changes mean that surge protection devices (SPDs) have increased importance in installations. Now, a risk assessment is required to be carried out by an electrician to determine whether an SPD should be installed. If a risk assessment is not carried out, then an SPD must be automatically installed.
The risk assessment should consider criteria such as:
- The probability of lightning strikes
- The exposure of the building to transients
- The sensitivity and value of the electrical equipment that requires protection
- Earthing systems
- Level of protection required
Over-voltage protection is now required in certain circumstances, such as: where there is a risk of serious injury or loss of life; where many co-located people are affected; and where there is an interruption to public services or commercial/industrial activity.
Source: Electrical Contracting News
Kent Uni tenders £20m life science building
The University of Kent is pressing ahead with plans to build a £20m Life Science Building at its Canterbury Campus in Kent.
Architect Stride Treglown with building services engineer Hoare Lea and Craddys have designed the new education building which will connect to the existing science block.
Expressions of interest must be made by the end of March on the Delta E-sourcing portal with bids expected to be invited from selected contractors by 5 April.
Nottingham Forest unveil stadium revamp plans
Nottingham Forest have revealed plans to redevelop the City Ground in a move that will see it become the largest stadium in the East Midlands.
The club have been drawing up redevelopment plans for 18 months with the aim of starting at the end of next season.
Plans include building a new Peter Taylor Stand and improvements to the Trentside area, Brian Clough and Bridgford Stands.
The new stand will include a museum, new club shop and a range of hospitality lounge facilities. When complete The City Ground’s capacity will reach 38,000.
The club unveiled the stadium plan, drawn up by architect Benoy, after an agreement with the City Council for an extended lease on The City Ground
Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis said: “The City Ground has iconic history and memories for our supporters and these legacies were fundamental in our decision us to remain on the banks of the River Trent and not relocating to an alternative site.
“This is our home and we will remain here forever.
“This investment is about our club and the city of Nottingham and we are all committed together to deliver a place that we will all feel proud of, The New City Ground, our home forever.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
January 2019 Newsletter
‘The benefits for carbon reduction, Wind win for Wales, Colleges gearing up for sparks 2019 competition, Modular village to be built in Corby for London commuters, Funding deal for landmark Birmingham resi tower‘.
Start with the plug
BEAMA is to support the launch of ReDESIGNING REGULATION – Powering from the future.
Launched in Parliament on the 11 December this report helps to untangle the ‘spaghetti of regulation’ that currently exists for the energy sector and return the UK to the forefront of regulatory innovation.
A decarbonised, decentralised and digitalised energy system does not fit into the current regulatory framework. The authors propose as a nation we need to ‘re-engineer the system’ and to do this requires a ‘fundamental rethink of the market design, starting at the plug’.BEAMA agrees doing nothing is not an option to avoid missing out on opportunities for innovation and the UK will be ill-equipped to regulate and manage an increasingly complex system to ensure consumers are protected.
Updated technical guidance by Ofgem released
Updated technical guidance by Ofgem has clarified the treatment of existing payments for homes that currently export solar power to the grid and that want to install battery storage and smart meters.
The clarification is good news for people with existing solar homes looking to invest in battery storage alongside a smart meter, because it means they will continue to be eligible to keep their ‘deemed’ payments for their solar exports. The market had previously been hindered by conflicting guidance.
Nick Wood, chair of the Solar Trade Association’s (STA) Residential Energy Storage Working Group, said: “The government has been telling the industry that it wants to see battery storage market take off in the UK, but the confusion around installing battery storage with existing Feed-In Tariff-accredited solar has been a key barrier.
“It’s very good news that Ofgem has listened and that it has made the right decision to help unlock the retrofit market. This now means that the domestic battery storage industry in the UK can install batteries and smart meters in existing solar homes with confidence that deemed export payments, which are valued by solar home owners, are safe.”
The news helps to unlock the tremendous potential for storage in the UK’s 900,000 solar homes, which represent low hanging fruit for the smart energy transition.
While the explanation published is complex and would benefit from greater clarity, from conversations with Ofgem the STA is confident the updated configurations published means that, in practice, where a domestic customer already has FIT-accredited solar and wishes to install battery storage behind a smart meter, they can now retain their deemed export payments provided that the usual requirements to quality for deemed export are met.
Recent analysis by Imperial College for Ovo Energy estimates that the full flexibility potential from ‘smart homes’ could save the power system up to £6.9 billion per annum.
STA members are already able to provide smart home functionality, but regulatory barriers for export metering need to be addressed and markets for local flexibility created.
Source: HPM Magazine
Call to action for investment in training
The UK is on the verge of what is probably the most momentous change to its business climate since it entered the Common Market 40 years ago, and yet the construction sector is struggling to meet historical challenges, let alone those which it will inevitably face post-Brexit.
We are in an age where we are facing the retirement of the baby boomers! 22% of workers in the sector are aged between 50 and 60, compared with only nine per cent being 24 or younger. The challenge is how to transfer all that knowledge to new entrants before it is lost. Surveys repeatedly show that the construction industry is not attracting enough talent to meet growing demand. A recent BSRIA survey (November 2018) found that 78% of its member companies were having trouble finding suitably qualified workers.Government’s approach to this has resulted in a situation where in 2018 fewer students are considering university courses for fear of the debt they will incur.
Its apprenticeship scheme, for many seen as the utopian answer to encourage vocational training, is stalling, with only 114,400 overall starts between August and October 2017 compared with 155,700 in the same period in 2016.Recent announcements allowing levy payments to more easily flow down through the supply chain are welcome attempts to reverse this trend. In the BSRIA survey, 64% of firms in the sector are planning to recruit apprentices over the next three years to help plug the skills gap.
Stagnant productivity is also a major problem, with a recent World Economic Forum study found that the construction industry’s productivity advancements have been “meagre” compared to those in the rest of the world’s industries during the last 50 years. The study reported that the construction industry has actually lost productivity over the last 40 years.Government has set industry a target to lower greenhouse emissions by 50 per cent by 2025. While admiring ambition, some would say this may be unrealistic. According to the UK Green Building Council, the construction and maintenance of buildings and other structures is responsible for around half of CO2 emissions in the UK.Bsria has said the UK will not be able to address these issues without focusing on the provision of vocational training in our industry.
Short courses, in particular, offer the opportunity for exposure to the latest ideas, technologies, processes and techniques leading to an increase in our capacity to adopt new methods and technologies. From these foundations will spring improvements to productivity.The development of training modules aimed at recent entrants to the sector will make them more productive more quickly, improve worker motivation and reduce staff turnover and absenteeism. Training in the latest project management and construction methods will ultimately improve work quality, leading to better customer satisfaction and improvement in the well being of building occupants.
Source: Electrical Review
The benefits for carbon reduction
Former international development minister, Mike Foster, who now runs the influential trade body the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), has called for the UK’s climate change policy to seek international development gains too.
In a submission to the government’s advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), ‘Building a zero-carbon economy’, call for evidence, Mike highlighted the co-benefits that could accrue from adopting a sensible policy framework.
These co-benefits reduce carbon emissions, but also lead to major development gains such as improved health, economic development and greater educational opportunities – all key aspects of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Mike, chief executive, EUA, said: “The UK is at the forefront of climate change policy with its Climate Change Act. It is also, and I speak from experience, a world-leader on international development matters. In response to the CCC’s consultation, I’ve suggested greater use of joint work.
“As an example, supporting some of the poorest people on the planet to give up burning wood for cooking, and using a cleaner fuel such as portable LPG, reduces carbon emissions from cooking. It also stops trees being felled, allowing them to absorb carbon dioxide.
“Indoor wood burning creates enormous health problems, through inhalation of smoke. This impacts economic development. Using LPG cookers allows family members more time to take up paid employment too.
“If the UK, as part of its ambition, took action, we could reduce carbon emissions from the poorest countries, who probably can’t afford to do so themselves, and the UK could reduce global carbon levels cheaper than if it restricted its actions to just UK carbon production.”
Source: HPM Magazine
Wind win for Wales
Scaling up offshore wind generation could help Wales meet its renewable energy and decarbonisation targets, as well as deliver local economic stimulus, says a new report out now. The report, Future Potential for Offshore Wind in Wales, produced by the Carbon Trust for the Welsh Government, delivers a series of recommendations to policymakers to capitalise on the clean growth potential of offshore wind farms.
Currently, 48% of Welsh energy consumption is supplied from renewable technologies. The report estimates that an additional 2 GW of offshore wind power could be delivered by just 2-3 projects in Wales, contributing over two-thirds of Wales’ 70% renewable energy target by 2030 and putting Wales on course to achieve its carbon reduction goal of at least 80% by 2050.Despite limited offshore wind activity in recent years, new seabed leasing and site extensions administered by The Crown Estate are set to open new opportunities for offshore wind development in Wales. Relatively shallow waters off North Wales, in particular, are expected to be attractive for near-term development, while deeper waters off Pembrokeshire hold considerable long-term potential for floating offshore wind technology.
Source: Electrical Review
Modular village to be built in Corby for London commuters
Groundworks will start this month on a new modular village in Corby, Northants targeted at London commuters.
The 47 homes will be built at Priors Hall Park by modular specialist Project Etopia who took over the site when a previous eco-homes scheme stalled.
Etopia Corby will contain 31 houses and 16 apartments with a 4-bed expected to sell for between £320,000 and £350,000.
Factory construction of exterior shells of the new homes will start in February and the first four homes are due to be completed by the end of March with each unit taking no more than six to eight weeks to build.
Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, said: “Old building techniques are exacerbating the housing crisis and it’s totally unnecessary.
“Corby is leading the way in showing how villages of the future should be built. Modular building is now so advanced, it is senseless to cling to bricks and mortar, which takes longer to build and is far more expensive.
“With a desperate need for more housing stock around the country, it is vital developers and investors finally let go of preconceptions of modular building.
“These are homes people really want to live in and they present huge environmental benefits from being energy neutral to requiring less on-site traffic during the build.
“Commuter villages like this offer younger would-be homeowners the wage benefits of working in the capital but without the high property costs, and Etopia Corby will be a model other councils can follow.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
Nottingham council injects £50m to kickstart Broadmarsh scheme
Nottingham City Council has agreed on a £50m cash injection to allow the redevelopment of the Broadmarsh shopping centre finally to start.
The funding green light allowed shopping centre developer intu’s board to agree to go ahead, which now means contracts can be finalised.
Sir Robert McAlpine is preferred bidder for the £150m main shopping centre revamp with several contractors in the bidding to redevelop the adjacent car park site with a new central library and bus station.
The line-up of remaining bidders for the £50m project includes Bowmer & Kirkland and G F Tomlinson.
Approval to proceed with the shopping centre and car park redevelopments are essential parts of the Broadmarsh regeneration programme of the southern city centre, which will see £250m invested in the area and see works begin early next year.
Broadmarsh Regeneration plan
- Redevelop intu Broadmarsh into a modern retail and leisure destination
- Create a pedestrianised and pedestrian friendly area between intu Broadmarsh and Nottingham Station
- Provide a brand new bus station and car park
- Create a state of the art Central Library
- Transform Nottingham Castle into a world-class tourist destination
- Develop a new Nottingham College building.
The intu Broadmarsh and Car Park developments have been funded by significant private sector investment, grants and future income from these developments.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of the City Council, said: “This is the latest step in turning our proposals for the Broadmarsh area into reality, and approval means that subject to contracts being signed, works in the area can start very quickly and hopefully very soon.
“The City Council and our partners are investing heavily in this redevelopment, which is inspiring private sector investment around the area, at Unity Square, City Buildings and the Island Site to name a few, meaning there will be better opportunities for those who live and work here and more prosperity for local people.
“The money the council is investing in this is not council tax – we have secured external funding and loans, supported by increasing car parking, advertising and rental income so council services aren’t affected.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
How your organisation can benefit from ECA membership
ECA is the UK’s largest trade association representing electrotechnical and engineering services organisations, at regional, national and European level. ECA member-companies are rigorously assessed before membership is approved.
Member firms have a combined turnover in excess of £6 billion annually. Member firms carry out design, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance and monitoring activity across the domestic, commercial, industrial and public sectors. This ranges from power and lighting to data communications, to energy efficiency and renewables, as well as the design and installation of cutting-edge building control technologies.
ECA is renowned for ‘going the extra mile’ to help members find the solutions they need and offer a range of key benefits and services, including the following:
- Free Expert Technical Helpline: Across the full range of electrotechnical disciplines, including electrical, fire, security, high voltage, energy solutions, data communications, building controls, and smart buildings.
- eRAMS is ECA’s highly regarded online risk assessment and method statement service (free to members) – and it includes eCPP (Construction Phase Plans).
- Free Expert Business Helpline:Including commercial and legal, health and safety, prequalification, employment and HR, and skills.
- Discounted BSI Online Library:Extensive access to 80 key industry standards, for just £100 (plus VAT) – an annual saving of up to £18K for your organisation.
- Free access to industry-leading, authoritative information: Including policy and contract templates, comprehensive technical and business guidance and information, and other exclusive ‘member-only’ website content.
- Representation and Lobbying: Ensuring that the voice of members is heard by politicians, civil servants, and other key decision-makers.
- CPD Events & Networking: At national, regional and local level (across our 12 regions), ECA offers a range of networking opportunities, conferences, industry forums and social events – helping you to maximise your business network.
In addition to this, as an ECA member, your organisation can display the prestigious ECA logo, and benefit from ECA’s active promotion of its members’ capabilities to clients, specifiers and main contractors, and in the press.
Your organisation will also be able to offer ECA’s insurance-backed warranty and bond (at no charge) to clients, to provide assurance that your work will be completed to required technical industry standards.
Plus, if your company has already achieved ECA-recognised technical certification, you may be eligible immediately to apply for ECA membership, and receive a 25 per cent discount in your first year.*
To find out more about the extensive member services and exclusive benefits and discounts available, please visit www.eca.co.uk/membership.
Source: Electrical Trade Magazine
The FPS urges people over 75 to sign up to cold weather priority initiative
The Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) is urging the elderly aged 75+ using heating oil to sign up to its Cold Weather Priority initiative before the cold weather hits the UK, as it responds to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics which show an estimated 50,100 excess winter deaths in England and Wales during winter 2017/18.
Launched by trade association FPS andits members across the UK and Ireland, the Cold Weather Priority scheme identifies heating oil customers, aged 75+, who are most vulnerable to cold conditions. The scheme ensures FPS member heating oil suppliers prioritise everyone on the scheme and undertake best endeavours for heating oil deliveries, especially in times of fuel shortage or extreme cold weather.
“The latest figures emphasise that it is the elderly who are most vulnerable in the winter months and that a warm home is vital in the fight against excess winter deaths,” says Guy Pulham, FPS Chief Executive.
“The Cold Weather Priority is an industry initiative we launched last year, designed to identify those most at risk so we can ensure heating oil deliveries are prioritised for them and they can continue to heat their homes during the winter months.
“While supply shortages and extreme weather are thankfully rare, they do happen, as the Beast from the East in late February 2018 demonstrated. The Cold Weather Priority helped enormously during this extreme cold snap and meant our members were able to deliver heating oil to those most in need despite the logistical challenges caused by the weather.
“Cold homes can be devastating for individuals, and can cause health problems such as increased blood pressure or lowered immune system making that person more vulnerable to respiratory infections. It is absolutely vital we do all we can to ensure no one suffers the awful consequences of a poorly heated home.
“Our FPS members supply up to 1.5 million rural homes in the UK with heating oil. To date, near to 10,000 people have signed up to the Cold Weather Priority but we want more people to sign up before the weather turns much colder and the forecasted Beast From The East 2019 hits.
“If you want to sign up to the Cold Weather Priority, simply get in touch with your local FPS member who supplies your heating oil and they’ll help you. Similarly, if you know any neighbours, friends or loved ones who are aged 75 and over and who heat their homes using heating oil, encourage them to sign up to the initiative to ensure they stay warm this winter.”
To find out more about the scheme, visit the Cold Weather Priority website.
Source: HVP Magazine
Colleges gearing up for sparks 2019 competition
This year we’re celebrating the 10th birthday of the SPARKS UK Electrical Apprentice of the Year competition. An incredible showcase of young electrical talent, this competition is a great opportunity for student electricians to connect with each other and with industry experts.
Spanning across 7 UK regions with entrants from over 70 colleges and campuses, heats take place throughout January and February. The winner of each regional heat and the highest scoring runner-up will go on to the grand final, which will take place at the 3M Customer Innovation Centre in Bracknell, Berkshire in March.
Level 2 and 3 students will compete in practical tasks, and be judged by industry experts. Last year’s finalists completed the most comprehensive test to date and this year’s competition is set to be even more exciting!
The stakes are high, with an incredible list of prizes worth up to £10,000 up for grabs, not to mention the prestige for both the winning student and their college. The prizes have been donated by well-known industry names including Schneider Electric, Electric Center, WAGO, 3M, HiKOKI, the IET and Rated People.
Last year’s winner, Matt Taylor, from Farnborough College of Technology, said: “I’m ecstatic – I just didn’t see myself winning. I entered to give myself a challenge and I’ve definitely achieved that. The other competitors were great and what I’ll take away from this is the knowledge that I can do something that I thought I couldn’t.”
Running alongside the competition is the Meet the Lecturer/Manufacturer series, a chance for the industry’s most prominent manufacturers to showcase their products and opportunities. This will give lecturers insight into the ever-changing market trade scene to pass on to the next generation of electricians.
“This is now the 10th year of our competition, and it has provided many life changing opportunities for our competing apprentices,” said Celia Matthews, owner of SPARKS Magazine. “Many competitors have gone on to very successful employment or to own their own businesses, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2019’s participants.”
Taking part in the competition can do amazing things for an electrician’s career, and we now have 9 years’ worth of contestants out in the world proving just that.
Source: Electrical Times
Energy theft would be ignored by one in four people, research discovers
A research report has found that one in four UK residents wouldn’t report an instance of energy meter tampering, despite 92% agreeing that the practice is morally wrong.
The study was commissioned by Echo Managed Services and Grosvenor Services Group, and endorsed by Crimestoppers UK.
It surveyed 2,000 UK residents and found that only 54% of the public would report a suspected instance of energy theft “without question”, with a further 21% saying they would alert authorities to the crime, but only if it took place in their local vicinity.
A number of justifications arose among those who would not report an energy thief. These included answers such as it “wasn’t their business” (8%), that they would not want to betray a friend or family member involved (10%), or they thought the person in question was doing it for a valid reason (4%).
Turning a blind eye to this crime is a more common stance among younger people, with 33% of 18-24 year olds and 38% of 25-34 year olds preferring not to act on their knowledge in varying circumstances.
When asked why they wouldn’t report meter tampering, 44% of people said they would be worried about the potential personal repercussions, with a further 13% saying that it’s nothing to do with them. More than one in 10 said that they believe energy companies already make enough money and therefore energy theft causes no harm.
19% said that they wouldn’t know who to report it to, with 11% saying that there would be no point as it’s unlikely that anything would be done about it.
Lloyd Birkhead, Managing Director of Grosvenor Services Group, said: “Demonstrating the impact of investigations is also key – rather than keeping the great work being done to tackle energy theft covert, more could be done to let the public know about meter changeovers, arrests and convictions, underlining how this has prevented injuries and will help tackle inflated bills.
“These figures show that the energy sector mustn’t assume that the general public will be working with them to reduce energy theft; as it stands at least one quarter won’t.”
Source: HVP Magazine
Funding deal for landmark Birmingham resi tower
Funding has been secured for one of Birmingham’s tallest residential blocks in the second phase of the City’s Exchange Square scheme.
This morning build to rent specialist Grainger said that it had agreed to forward fund and acquire the planned 373-home project for £77m.
The deal still requires developer Nikal to secure planning consent but should allow construction to start in mid-2019,
Already planning is in place for 223 flats. But Nikal will now submit fresh proposals in early 2019 for a landmark building that has been mooted at 46-storeys.
This would make it the tallest residential tower in Birmingham.
The tower, will form part of a new urban village at Exchange Square, and will be a gateway landmark for those arriving at the Birmingham HS2 Curzon Street Station, which is directly opposite the site.
Presently, Sir Robert McAlpine is working on the first phase of developer Nikal’s Exchange Square in Birmingham City Centre, which consists of three buildings, including a 27 storey tower.
Helen Gordon, Chief Executive of Grainger, said: “We are delighted to announce today’s acquisition at Exchange Square in Birmingham for £77m, which will deliver 373 homes for rent in a great central location in one of our top target cities.”
Once Exchange Square is complete, Grainger will have 529 purpose-built PRS homes in Birmingham worth .£105m, including our other PRS development scheme, Gilders Yard in the Jewellery Quarter.”
Waheed Nazir, Corporate Director, Birmingham City Council said: “The skyline in Birmingham City Centre is changing rapidly and investment and confidence is at an all-time high.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
Britain heads for worst house building decade since 1940s
Britain is heading for the worst house building decade since World War Two.
Despite Government efforts to boost house building, completions in England between 2010 and 2019 are set to average out at around 130,000 per year.
This is well short of the 147,000 achieved in the 2000s or the 150,000 of the 1990s, and half of the level in the 1960s and 1970s.
The picture becomes even worse when population size is factored in.
In the 1960s, the new-build construction rate in England was roughly the equivalent of one home for every 14 people over the decade. In the 2010s, that ratio was one to 43, more than three times higher.
The figures are improved somewhat when you factor in conversions of existing properties, which push the total up – but even then, the total of net additional dwellings – the yardstick for overall housing supply – is likely to be lower this decade than last.
Across the United Kingdom as a whole, the pattern is broadly similar, with house building falling from a peak of 3.6m new units in the 1960s to 1.9m in the 1990s and 2000s, with the 2010s set to come in lower still.
Robert Colvile, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “The housing crisis is blighting the lives of a generation, and robbing them of the dream of home ownership.
“But as this analysis shows, this is not just the consequence of the financial crisis – it is part of a pattern stretching back half a century, in which we have steadily built fewer and fewer new homes.
“The Government has rightly promised to focus on this issue, and there are encouraging signs that house building is picking up.
“But ministers need to take bold action in 2019 to ensure that the 2020s become the decade in which we break this hugely damaging cycle.”
Source: Construction Enquirer
Firms wanted for £30m Coventry Uni arts building
Coventry University has opened prequalification for firms to build a new faculty of arts and humanities and overhaul several existing buildings
It aims to spend around £30m delivering the redevelopment scheme, which is expected to get underway at the start of next year and run for nearly three years.
The project will be broken down into three key elements. This includes construction of a new 40,000 sq ft three storey, building adjacent to the existing school of art and design accommodation and full overhauls of an 80,000 sq ft, six storey tower and 45,000 sq ft four-storey block.
The site of the proposed new build element is currently green open space between the buildings being redeveloped around the Graham Sutherland building at Cox Street in the city centre.
A planning application will be submitted by the University design team this April with the aim of signing off stage III design at the start of May to award the design and build contract in June.
Firms can express an interest in bidding on the in-tend website by 19 January.
Source: Construction Enquirer
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