Thursday, 22 December 2016

Seasons Greetings to all our Readers



All  our readers and contributors.


We hope to see you all again in 2017





from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Eight Features All Successful Construction Companies Have in Common

Eight Features All Successful Construction Companies Have in Common

There are countless construction and civil engineering companies out there, but not all are equal and if you’re thinking about a career in construction (and the economy needs you!), then here’s what you should look for in a prospective employer.

A company with a vision

Everyone needs a vision, a plan, an aim and a focus so if the company you’re looking at wants to develop an award-winning set of environmental practices, for example, it could be the right one for you. The Lagan Construction Group from Northern Ireland recently won an environmental award, so awards and plaudits are definite things to look for.

A company with a clear leadership plan

Leadership isn’t just about dishing out orders – it’s also about creating an ethos and about finding a niche. Look for a company with a definite ethos, be it considerate construction, ongoing training, diversity or eco-friendly practices.

A company that invests in its people

Investing in people means taking time and spending money to train staff and employees so that they are always growing and developing. Instead of sending everyone home for the day because it’s raining, a good leadership team will spend a few hours teaching new safety techniques, for example.

A company that promotes skills

If a company’s workers all have different strings to their bows, then that’s a strong, flexible workforce. If each worker can operate two or three machines, as well as lay bricks and build fences, then there’s less downtime due to sickness. This makes for an efficient, profitable team.

A company that laughs

The most successful contractors are the ones that people are happy to work for and with, as well as engage. Make sure that staff members feel they can take a few minutes out to have a laugh with (that’s with, not at…) the foreman, the client, the client’s children. Laughter and kindness makes the day go by faster and gets you great reviews from clients big and small.

A company that’s driven…

…but in a good way. If every job is an emergency, workers get exhausted and stressed. However, a sense of purpose and urgency is a good thing – you’re aiming to beat a deadline with ease, not squeak by it all out of breath.

A company that rewards good work and good ideas

Everyone wants to earn more money and by providing a generous (but sensible) incentive scheme, a construction company will get the best out of its staff. The scheme could be a bonus payment for early completion of a project, or it could be one-off rewards for employees who find new clients. It could also be help towards extra training for promising newbies. As long as the criteria are easy to understand and the payouts are honoured, the job’s a good’un.

A company that encourages input and suggestions

This shows that a company has a good, forward-thinking culture. If the workforce is educated and well-trained, then it’d be foolish to ignore their ideas and suggestions. If the culture encourages wider reading, or visits to expos, then the natural result is some good ideas and suggestions and these shouldn’t be ignored.


from The UK Construction Blog

Bidding to start for £150m Luton Airport rail link

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Letting agent fees ban could force rent increases

pinnacle-tower-londonIn the Autumn Statement the chancellor, Philip Hammond announced new government policies to tackle the housing challenges the UK faces.

One of the biggest changes for the buy-to-let sector was that letting agent fees will be scrapped.

The ban will help struggling renters, as the average cost of these fees is £340 per tenant.

As a result of the new ban,  stocks of Foxton’s and Countrywide fell sharply.

However, there has been concerns in the industry that the fees could be passed on to landlords, who are already facing the upcoming ‘tax attack’ in April 2017.

Experts fear landlords will be left to foot the bill, as estate agents will raise fees to make their money back. As a result landlords could be forced to raise rents to cope with more financial strain.

Others advise landlords to look elsewhere for new letting agents to cut costs. The emergence of online letting agents who can undercut high street agents could be where landlords turn next as a way of negating the need to increase rents.

Many believe that the ban could backfire as landlords are left with no choice but to raise rents, making rents even more unaffordable.

Additionally the government plans a comprehensive package of reform to increase housing supply and help first time buyers.

A new fund, the Housing Infrastructure Fund, will invest £2.3 billion into housing by 2021. The fund will be competed for between local governments in high demand areas and will help to build 100,000 new homes.

A further £1.4 billion will be provided in 2020-21 to start building an additional 40,000 affordable homes.

Funding will be made available for a large-scale regional pilot of the Right to Buy scheme too.

The scheme will be for housing association tenants, helping over 3,000 of them to buy their own home with under the new right to scheme discounts.

Will you look to pass on any additional costs, or do you plan to absorb them ?

Well, following the announcement last month that Chancellor Philip Hammond is to abolish letting agency fees for tenants, it is expected that many private landlords will increase rents to compensate. This is a further blow to buy-to-let landlords who are also facing higher borrowing costs and increased Stamp Duty fees, as the Government cracks down on the sector. Tenants’ fees add on average £340 to the cost of letting a home, so naturally the 4.3 million renters in the UK will be concerned of further rental increases when landlords have to pay the letting agency fee themselves.

Professional, corporate landlords such as Folio London offer a fresh alternative to private landlords. Renting with Folio London, tenants can be assured against these increases and any unpredictable changes in the market. Many lettings agencies charge for administrative work such as contracts and inventories. Folio does not charge admin fees, only a deposit of £350 to secure the property while references are checked, which is then deducted from the first months’ rent and deposit.

For further information on Folio London and the rental offering across the capital, please see attached press release and images.


from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 5 December 2016

Construction Project Management Advice

Managing construction projects is no small feat. With 1000s of action items to handle, timelines to be met and projects to be delivered, the question many project managers face is, “is my team working as effectively as possible?”

In efforts to help you answer that question, we asked over 30 experienced project managers in the construction industry about how they spend their time on the job, their best advice for managing their team, and how they know when their team is performing to its full potential.

How do Project Managers Spend Their Time?

Many in the workforce agree that email occupies a significant amount of time spent during the workday. This article from Huffington Post found that workers spend 3.2 hours on average on work emails per day.

The construction project managers we interviewed fell in line with this finding.

Of the 17 project managers who responded to the question “How many hours per day do you spend on emails to and from your team?”, the average response was 3.02 hours. The median response was 3 hours flat. Talking numbers, this adds up to an average of 72 emails per day, with a median of 50.

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So, if you find yourself spending significantly more than three hours clearing out your inbox on a daily basis, you may want to explore methods to cut back on the number of emails you’re sending to your team.

Project managers also dedicate a significant amount of time to meetings, an average of just under 1.4 hours per day.

If emails and meetings count as “managing”, this adds up almost perfectly to an 8-hour workday, with about half of the hours spent on emails and meetings, and the rest spent working on other activities that move the metrics they care about most.

Impressively enough, when asked how they split their time between “managing” and “working” most common answer we received was an even 50/50 split. This not only means that these managers balance their time well, but that their perception of how they spend their time is accurate down to the hour.

Finally, the median number of construction projects the project managers we surveyed reported is between 3 and 4. While respondents told us that things change depending on the phase of projects, most of the project managers we talked to reported splitting their time 75:25 between the office and the field.

Construction Project Management Advice and Best Practices

So, how do these project managers keep everything running smoothly to make sure their teams deliver projects on time and within budget?

We asked the project management experts to tell us the most important thing they’ve learned in their role in the construction industry, and here’s what we heard in response.

Advice for Construction Project Managers

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  1. “Make sure that [you] are looking ahead and understand the risks involved in the project and are able to mitigate those risks prior to them becoming problems.” – Derick Hofstetter, South Bay Construction
  2. “You must keep up with technology and new construction practices and materials.” – Frank Narciso, South Bay Construction
  3. “Meetings are a necessary evil for large, complicated projects.” – Anonymous
  4. “Stay positive, do your best to catch every detail and make sure the cash flow river flows…” – Mark Vandersea, Ciarra Construction
  5. “Keep an open environment that fosters trust and communication. People should feel comfortable to ask questions all the time. Take the time to know about subordinates’ lives, even if the relationship is short.” – Anthony Garcia, Operation Nova
  6. “The importance of relationships.  If you can develop a friendly rapport with people you manage, you will always be able to work together to help solve problems (whether it be financial or something physical in the field)” – Haydon Osborne, Sevan Multi Site Construction
  7. “How to be successfully persuasive.” – Cloy Coats, DEB Construction
  8. “Patience” – Mitch Rhodes, Blach Construction
  9. “Never stop learning. If you aren’t learning new means, methods, practices, then you are stagnant and not growing. Teach others around you so they can learn.” – Curtis Stavinoha, Metropolitan Contracting Company, LLC
  10.  “No action is an action.” – Evan Butler, Bear Construction
  11. “Good relationships with the owners of projects is vital to success.” – Michael Candelaria, MGC Contractors
  12. “Communication is most important.  Whether it’s with the client or with subs, it needs to be constant.” – Zach Cannon, The Burt Group
  13. “Learning never ceases” – Jim Larsen, GSI, LLC
  14. “People skills are more valuable than technical construction skills.” – Gregory Cashen, Wood Partners
  15. “You are only as good as the people you work with.” – Michael Williams, T Morales Company
  16. “Communication is key, as well as accountability.” – Jeff Ewing, Byrne Construction
  17. “Deliver bad new as soon as its identified with multiple solutions” – James, Company Not Provided
  18. “Communication is one of the most important tools to have in this industry, and possibly one of the most challenging. I’d have to say outside of communication, bonding and rapport is very important in customer relationships.” – Rusty Reynolds, Contractors, Inc.
  19. “Be firm, but fair. Look ahead. Try not to get too far into the weeds.”- Josh Lowe, Streetlights Residential
  20. “Every day matters.” – Nathan Fellows, MAPP

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What Makes for a Great Team?

We also wanted to find out how construction PMs know their team is performing well.

Out of the 20 project managers who responded to the question, two answers swept the majority of the responses.

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The first, to be expected: deliver projects on time and under budget.

The second? Understanding the “big picture” or “intent” of the project, so the team can act proactively to keep things moving in the right direction.

This was described well by Anthony Garcia, of Operation Nova, who explained that when there is an issue, his team doesn’t just notify their superiors, but rather, they line up potential solutions, so that superiors can simply give approval. Garcia explained further used the example of an on-site issue. When a problem occurs, rather than raising the issue to the next level of command and asking for direction, his team explores the potential best solutions and presents them to a manager for approval.

In order for this to work, though, the team must have understanding of the general direction of the project. In order to achieve this, Garcia says he strives to keep lines of communication open, whether via text, emails, or updates on the Google Spreadsheets they share to manage operations. Project management tools can also help increase project visibility to ensure that your team knows where the project is headed.

Haydon Osborne from Sevan Multi Site explains how to implement this practice simply: “Look ahead, and go beyond the bare minimum.”

Finally, a number of project managers pointed out that when their team focuses on building strong relationships, communication flows more smoothly, which is reflected in more effective collaboration. As Tony Stock of Koontz Construction put it, “construction is a as much a function of creating and maintaining relationships with people, as it is actually building a building.”


At the end of the day, when the hard hats come off and the spreadsheets are put away, how do construction management teams celebrate project success? One anonymous respondent tells us, “100 beers”.

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Hiring a Foreign Worker

There are lots of things required to employ a foreign worker. To begin, the business that wishes to employ a foreign worker needs to meet all of Service requirements. The business will need to submit a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) Application. This application essentially will be the business asking for approval from the federal government of jeopardy.
A few of the requirements to get the Labour Market Opinion Application for businesses wishing to employ foreign workers are:
1. The employer will need to indicate how they have generated efforts to recruit people permanent residents or citizens. Every province has bare minimum online advertising requirements for employers.
2. The candidate needs to be compensated a typical wage as stipulated by Service for that NOC code and area in which the position is currently being made available.
3. The working situations need to meet the provincial labor requirements.
4. The federal government asks the employer to assist the foreign worker to locate housing that doesn’t exceed an established proportion of their wages.
As soon as the employer has met the pre-filing requirements and completed the Labour Market Opinion Application, they need to submit the application. As soon as Service critiques the application and gives their approval, then the foreign worker will need to submit their work permit application for the consulate that handles their nation. Some nations don’t have their very own people consulate and have to depend upon the people consulates in other nations.
The people consular officials will call for the foreign worker to undergo health-related examinations before coming into Canada. A few of the more common factors provided for denial are:
1. The candidate failed the health-related examination.
2. The candidate may be a safety threat.
3. The candidate has not met the standards of the position as set by the federal government of jeopardy.
4. The candidate carries a criminal file.Any of the above factors could make the foreign worker candidate inadmissible.
The visa business office will inform the candidate in writing of its determination. If the candidate is accepted in principle, they’ll get a letter stating that they’re eligible to get a work permit. Once they arrive at the people border they’ll need to provide the letter where they will likely be issued their work permit at that time.

The post Hiring a Foreign Worker appeared first on Econ Construction LTD.

from Econ Construction LTD

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Real industry collaboration to offer members greater benefits


London, United Kingdom, 21 November 2016: The Considerate Constructors Scheme – the national scheme established by the construction industry to improve its image – and the National Federation of Builders (NFB) – the construction industry’s longest established trade association – have formed a partnership to promote best practice and raise standards across construction industry SMEs.

This first, truly ground-breaking collaboration between two construction industry organisations heralds a new way in which like-minded organisations can work effectively together to offer greater benefits to members, at no additional cost.

The partnership will provide NFB members, with a turnover banding of £500,000 to £3.5 million, free Company Registration with the Considerate Constructors Scheme. It will come in to effect from 1 January 2017.

By becoming a registered company, NFB members (in this banding) will have the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to improving the image of the industry. Scheme-registered companies voluntarily agree to abide by its Code of Considerate Practice. The Code commits those registered with the Scheme to care about appearance, respect the community, protect the environment, secure everyone’s safety and value their workforce.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “SMEs are a critical part of the construction industry’s future success. They have a huge role and responsibility to continually raise their standards and, in doing so, make a valued contribution to improving the image of the industry.

“The NFB provides a great platform for the Considerate Constructors Scheme to help support SMEs in championing the principles of considerate construction. We are therefore delighted to establish this partnership with the NFB.”

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB said: “We’re delighted to join forces with the Considerate Constructors Scheme to offer added value to our members. NFB members pride themselves on their professionalism and ability to deliver exceptional quality, so it’s great that their efforts can now be recognised as part of the Scheme.

“SMEs often miss out on opportunities simply because they don’t have the resources to complete the multitude of registrations and benchmarking initiatives available in the industry. By collaborating in this way, we hope to reduce this burden and improve access to opportunities, working towards achieving a fair playing field for SMEs in construction.”

A record number of over 900 company registrations have been made with the Scheme so far this year, with a total of more than 4,100 company registrations taking place since this type of registration was introduced by the Scheme in 2009.

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Latest survey reveals the numbers of women in construction could be worse than predicted

The number of females in professional construction roles is less than many analysts predicted, according to a survey carried out by specialist construction recruitment firm, One Way.

In a survey of professionals from across the industry, the firm found that 65% of respondents work in a company where less than 5% of the workforce is made up of women in an actual construction role.

When asked about the challenges for women in construction, over half (58%) stated that businesses themselves are to blame due to a range of issues such as stereotyping in the recruitment process and a lack of commitment from employers. Just over a third (35%) felt that it simply isn’t a popular career choice for women.

The survey – carried out as part of the firm’s #GirlsAllowed campaign which aims to bring together those in construction and education outlets to encourage more girls into the sector – also revealed that the majority (83%) believe that a lack of construction career education in schools is creating a concerning gap in female talent.

Reassuringly, over 80% of those surveyed agreed that they would personally get involved in an initiative to help address the lack of women in construction.

Paul Payne, Managing Director of One Way, commented on the findings:

“What is clear from these results is that employers need to do more to both attract more women into the industry and embrace them once on board. The results of the survey clearly demonstrate that the sector has a bad reputation when it comes to hiring females and given the severity of existing skills shortages, this simply cannot continue. While we were expecting to find low levels of employment, some of the figures were certainly below our initial perceptions, which makes the need for greater collaboration through initiatives such as the #GirlsAllowed campaign more vital now than they have ever been.”

“While it’s great to see so many respondents commit to taking more action, there were some concerning views that came to light that I feel need to be altered immediately. Aside from some of the gender stereotyping comments, other remarks suggested that some in the industry itself don’t think construction is a sector that women should be in. This is quite simply untrue and is an attitude myself and the team at One Way certainly want to turn around.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Christmas comes early for construction workers thanks to Brian Alfred

Tax rebate specialists Brian Alfred are offering new and existing customers the opportunity to get an early tax rebate months before the usual tax refund date of April 2017. This is a unique and exciting opportunity for those in the construction industry who fancy some extra cash for Christmas or even to beat the January blues.

Construction workers who make use of the early tax rebate offer will receive up to 60% of their tax rebate amount for the year 2016-2017 early, with the remainder being paid at the usual time next April. There are no hidden fees, loan agreements or credit checks needed, Brian Alfred will simply advance part of the full year rebate early.

For the average UK CIS worker, this could mean they can claim an early tax rebate of up to £900 by Christmas. This will be a welcome bonus for construction workers just in time for the hectic and often expensive festive season.

Commercial Practice Director at Brian Alfred, Anda Gregory says of the product: “We’re proud to be the first and only tax rebate specialist to offer an early tax rebate. We listened to our customers and realised that Christmas is a time of year when they really want to treat their families, so we launched this product to give them some added support in making it one to remember.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

National Awards for top performing construction companies and suppliers

Considerate Constructors Scheme crowns Most Considerate Companies and Most Considerate Supplier at 2016 National Awards

award-winners-day-1-4-medium award-winners-day-2-mediumLondon, United Kingdom, 15 November 2016: The Considerate Constructors Scheme – the national scheme established by the construction industry to improve its image – has recognised the Most Considerate Companies and Suppliers at this year’s National Awards.

Four companies were presented with the coveted top award of ‘Most Considerate Company 2016’, they are: Connect Plus Services (annual turnover: £10m and over); Rydon Maintenance – Islington (annual turnover: £3.5m to <£10m); Linfoot Country Homes Ltd (annual turnover: £250k to <£3.5m) and Solent Industrial Roofing Systems (annual turnover: Under £250k).

HSS Hire Service Group Ltd triumphed as the ‘Most Considerate Supplier 2016’, making them the first registered supplier to win this prestigious title since Supplier Registration was introduced in 2014.

The Considerate Constructors Scheme’s National Awards are one of the most respected accolades in UK construction. By registering with the Scheme, companies and suppliers demonstrate a strong commitment to improving the image of the industry.

The awards recognise the highest performing companies and suppliers which have demonstrated excellence in relation to the community, the environment and their workforce.

The prestigious awards ceremony took place on 10 and 11 November at the Four Seasons hotel in London.

In total 21 Gold, 32 Silver and 43 Bronze Awards were presented to registered companies, and two Gold, one Silver and four Bronze Awards to registered suppliers. Of the Gold Award winners, seven companies were shortlisted and received the ‘Most Considerate Company Runner-up’ and one supplier the ‘Most Considerate Supplier Runner-up’.

Connect Plus Services undertakes planned and reactive highway maintenance works to sections of the M25 motorway and its arterial link roads through a 30-year contract with Highways England. This enthusiastic and safety-conscious team was applauded for its constant refinement of depot and site safety, and consideration of its workforce.

Linfoot Country Homes Ltd is a family-owned business located near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, specialising in high quality new and converted homes in the South Midlands for over 20 years. In constantly striving to achieve yet higher standards, this company projected an image which was a credit to all those involved.

Rydon Maintenance (North London Region) is in the 13th year of a long-term contract with Islington Council for the repair and maintenance of more than 6000 properties. This potentially intrusive work demands a high degree of care and consideration and this was clearly demonstrated by Rydon through its community work.

Based in Portsmouth, Hampshire, Solent Industrial Roofing Systems specialises in providing roofing services industry-wide. One recent project was for a storage building on a military base in Wiltshire and the company spared no effort in ensuring the development was sensitive to the client’s operations security standards.

Undertaking inner London deliveries is no easy task, but HSS Hire Service Group Ltd, whose head office is based in Mitcham, south west London, has robust policies and procedures in place to ensure professional, safe and efficient operations.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Executive Chairman Isabel Martinson said: “Congratulations to all award winners. The Scheme is hugely proud to honour the great achievements of top performing registered companies and suppliers. Over 900 companies and suppliers registered with the Scheme in the past 12 months, representing significant growth on the previous year, and making competition even tougher. With such high demand for construction activity across the UK, it is essential that the industry works collaboratively and continues to raise standards.”

Click here to see each of the winners in the categories of Runners-up to the Most Considerate Company Award, and Runner-up to Most Considerate Supplier Award, as well as each Gold, Silver and Bronze Award winner.

Visit Twitter @CCScheme #ccsawards and the Scheme’s LinkedIn company page to see more from the awards ceremonies.

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Cold storage business

The cold storage industry faces changes regularly. Ted Kohlenberger, California team leader for National Resource Management, said the industry would be facing some fundamental changes that will affect our cold room suppliers. His firm specializes in energy management. The topic of regulating the refrigerant system has been on discussion for over18 months. Concerns to the EPA initiatives aim at phasing out hydrofluorocarbons and other refrigerants with global warming potential.

The industry is getting more data and analytic on refrigeration controls. Consumers are fed information on the effects of cold storage with more emphasis. This has been driven by initiatives of upcoming and impending food safety modernization passed in 2011. Most of these initiatives get more attention over the years claiming to be working towards energy management. Some FSMA initiatives require more and better data. It also requires more and better consolidation analysis of the data.

Our cold room suppliers play a central role in data acquisition and investments in the cold storage industry. There are advanced technologies that simplify the whole process and Eco-friendly. Temperature monitoring is one of the break-through realized to protect the overall cold chain for both tractor-trailer and facility-based operations. Automated air purification technology eradicate produce-spoiling ethylene gases, as well as mold and bacteria.

High-pressure pasteurization and electronic cold pasteurization food treatment systems ensure food safety and extend shelf life. This technologies have no effects on humans or the environment but there is a move towards developing natural refrigerants. Ammonia, carbon dioxide, propane, butane and methane are some of the chemicals involved in the refrigeration process. Tony Lucarelli, the vice president of Hillsboro ore-based cold storage, said changes would not be cumbersome.

He said in the cold storage suppliers systems, it is pretty much ammonia based refrigeration systems with some integration of CO2 in some applications. The new refrigerants may not be cost effective but the technology should cut on some extra costs.

The post Cold storage business appeared first on Econ Construction LTD.

from Econ Construction LTD

Work starts on Europe’s tallest modular residential block

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Winners of Considerate Constructors Scheme 2016 National Awards

Winners of Considerate Constructors Scheme 2016 National Awards to be revealed

for-press-release-2-mediumTop performing registered companies and suppliers get ready to celebrate success at Considerate Constructors Scheme National Awards

London, United Kingdom, 1 November 2016: The Considerate Constructors Scheme – the national scheme established by the construction industry to improve its image – is getting ready to reveal the UK’s most considerate companies and suppliers of 2016.

The Scheme, which has registered around 900 companies and suppliers in the past 12 months, will be hosting the 2016 National Awards on 10th and 11th November, at the luxurious Four Seasons hotel on Park Lane.

Supplier Registration was introduced in 2014 and this year’s awards mark the first year that suppliers will be eligible to win a National Award.

Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the National Federation of Builders, and Liz Male, Chairman of TrustMark will be announcing whether each winning company has received a Bronze, Silver or Gold Award for their achievements. There will also be Runner-up Awards and winners for the coveted ‘Most Considerate Company’ and ‘Most Considerate Supplier’ Awards.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Executive Chairman Isabel Martinson said: “The Awards celebrate the phenomenal efforts being made to improve the image of the industry for the benefit of the public, the workforce and the environment.

“It is particularly exciting this year to be awarding, for the first time, the significant contribution that suppliers are making. As the industry knows, suppliers perform a vital role in the construction process, and have a significant responsibility to behave in a considerate manner at all times to ensure they portray a positive image of the industry they represent.”

Follow the awards on Twitter at @CCScheme #ccsawards.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Construction to dodge post-Brexit vote recession

Faltering commercial workloads will be offset by strong growth in infrastructure and school spending over the next two years, according to the latest major industry forecast.

constructionEconomists at the Construction Products Association said the industry will avoid a post-Brexit vote recession with slow growth of 0.2% and 0.3% this year and next.

The latest forecast is a sharp revision to the 3.6% predicted for 2017 and 2018 before the EU referendum.

While commercial office building is expected to be worst hit, strong growth is expected in infrastructure and education as the Government pulls the levers to keep the economy running.

Noble Francis, economics director at the CPA, said:  “Surveys across the industry highlight that activity in the construction sector has been sustained post-referendum, primarily based upon work on projects that were signed in the 12-18 months before the referendum. 

CPA construction forecasts highlights

  • Construction output to rise 0.6% in 2016, 0.3% in 2017 and 0.2% in 2018
  • Offices construction to increase 8% in 2016 before falling 3% in 2017 and a further 10% in 2018
  • Factories construction to fall 5% in 2016 and 2% in 2017
  • Infrastructure work to rise by 6.2% in 2017 and 10.2% in 2018
  • Private housing starts to rise 2% but remain flat in 2017 and fall 2% in 2018
  • Retail construction to fall 8.0% in 2016 before falls of 4% in 2017 and 2% in 2018

“Looking forward, projects in the pipeline mean that construction activity is likely to continue throughout the rest of 2016 and the first half of 2017, ” he said.

“From the second half of 2017, however, there is likely to be a clear division between the fortunes of privately-funded construction sectors where the current uncertainty is likely to have a major impact, and those that are largely unaffected by post-referendum uncertainty – such as infrastructure and education – which are either publicly-funded or in regulated sectors.”

Francis added that offices output is expected to decline 3% in 2017 and a further 10% in 2018.  Industrial construction is also expected to fall 11.6% between 2015 and 2018 as renewal and refurbishment of existing factories continues but large manufacturers make fewer new major investments.

But major projects such as HS2, Hinkley Point C nuclear power station and the Thames Tideway Tunnel are anticipated to provide growth of 6.2% in 2017 and 10.2% in 2018. 

Within education construction, activity is expected to rise 5.8% by 2018 due to public sector capital investment in the Priority School Building Programme and private sector investment in universities, including £1bn programmes at Manchester, Cambridge and Glasgow.

“Outside of these sectors, private house building has not been affected by the uncertainty so far and is expected to rise by 2.0% in 2016.  It is anticipated to remain flat in 2017 before a 2.0% fall in 2018 due to slower demand as UK economic growth and real wage growth both weaken considerably next year. 

“However, private house building could be boosted by new measures in the government’s Autumn Statement on 23 November.  The slower real wage growth in 2017, driven by higher inflation due to the recent falls in Sterling, is also expected to lead to a decline in retail construction of 4% in 2017 and 2% in 2018.  This in a sector already hit by the shift away from traditional retail towards online shopping.

“With an upcoming Autumn Statement, it is vital that the Chancellor focuses on reducing uncertainty for the private sector, sustaining the housing sector and ensuring delivery of education construction and major infrastructure projects already in the pipeline.”

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

How to minimise the impact of rodents during construction

Anyone who’s ever had a rodent infestation at home will understand the headache it causes – but if you thought that was bad enough, imagine facing an invasion from rats at your construction site.

It’s a nightmare situation all too familiar to the Belgian officials responsible for opening new road tunnels in Brussels. Earlier this year, they claimed progress had been halted after rats ate construction plans.

Whilst this does sound like a very extreme and public use of the classic ‘sorry, the dog ate my homework’ excuse, it also accurately points out one of the biggest issues that arises from pest control problems on a building site – namely, delays.

As rats and mice struggle to find shelter and food, they’ll happily gnaw their way through woodwork or burrow between joints, leaving heaps of expensive damage in their wake, as well as completely disrupting your schedule.

And, as Belgian officials discovered, it’s a complication investors aren’t likely to be sympathetic towards, particularly because it can be easily avoided with a few simple actions.

Here’s our top advice for minimising the impact of pests on your construction site.

#1: Deal with any current problems

If you’re working on a brownfield or a greenfield site, you may have already disturbed a population of rats or mice. In that case, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of an infestation. Chewed electrical cables – in fact, chewed anything – will be one of the most obvious indicators.

If you’re too late and they’ve already got a stronghold at your site, your only sure-fire tactic of getting rid of them is to hire an established rodent control company – they’ll also keep you on the right side of the law when it comes to dealing with protected species like bats.

#2: Protect your staff

Everyone knows that rats spread diseases, but did you also know that their germs can linger even after the pests have been eradicated? That means your employees could still be at risk of contracting potentially lethal infections, especially if stagnant water is nearby.

Limit the possible health and safety consequences by providing protective gloves to all construction workers, and promote good hand hygiene with adequate washing facilities.

#3: Stop future complications

Prevention is far easier and more effective than curing an infestation. Protect your building from future invasions from pests and rodents by incorporating preventative measures into initial construction stages.

Your biggest task will be blocking all conceivable points of entry, including gaps around drain pipes and air vents. A fine mesh should do the trick, and future human inhabitants will be forever thankful for your efforts.

So you never have to utter the shaming words ‘Rats ate my construction plans’ like those hapless Belgian officials, stick to these three steps for stopping rodent problems from disrupting your building site.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 17 October 2016

Clients could face tax bills for choosing cheap contractors

Clients could face a tax of 0.5% of construction costs if they choose contractors who don’t invest in research and development or skills training.

That is one of the ideas in a radical review of the construction industry currently being pored over by Government ministers who commissioned it.

The Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model warns the industry faces “inexorable decline” unless major changes are made.

It highlights construction’s “dysfunctional training model”, lack of innovation and collaboration and “non-existent research and development culture.”

Author and consultant Mark Farmer said the needs of construction firms and the clients who hire them are out of step.

He said: “If you buy a new car, you expect it to have been built in a factory to exacting standards, to be delivered on time, to an agreed price and to a predetermined quality.

“This needs to happen more in construction, so that the investors, developers or building owners hiring construction firms increasingly dictate the use of modern methods of delivery and invest appropriately in the skills agenda to grow this part of the industry.

“There are more similarities between manufacturing and construction than many people are led to believe and this perception needs to change, starting in the housing market”

One recommendation set out for the medium term is a “carrier bag charge” style behavioural deterrent scheme.

This would levy a tax on businesses who buy construction work in a way that doesn’t support industry innovation or skills development.

Clients could face paying a suggested levy equal to 0.5% of a scheme’s construction cost but would avoid paying this tax completely by commissioning construction in a more responsible way.

Farmer said: “The construction industry is in dire need of change.

“What is clear to me following the nine months spent conducting this review is that carrying on as we are is simply not an option.

“With digital technology advancements pushing ahead in almost every other industry and with the construction labour pool coming under serious pressure, the time has come for action.

“Unless we find some way of promoting innovation in construction and making the work less labour intensive and more attractive to new entrants, there’s a very real danger of the construction sector going into an inexorable decline over the next few years.

“I hope this review generates some debate in the sector and all involved can consider their role in safeguarding the industry’s long term health.”

Ray O’Rourke, chairman and chief executive at Laing O’Rourke, said: “Laing O’Rourke has invested heavily in innovation and continuous improvement, and therefore I welcome many of the findings and recommendations of the Farmer review.

“The report shines a light on the serious and systemic issues in UK house building and the wider construction industry, and we cannot afford to ignore them any longer.”

“There is significant scope for radical transformation through the adoption of new technologies and advanced manufacturing approaches.

“This will deliver the quality housing stock the UK urgently requires and directly address the acute skills gap that threatens our very future.

“Government, developers and deliverers need to invest collectively to achieve these shared goals and future-proof the industry.”

Ten main recommendations of the Farmer Review

1.    Construction Leadership Council should have strategic oversight of the implementation of these recommendations and evolve itself appropriately to coordinate and drive the process of delivering the required industry change programme set out in this review.

2.    CITB should be comprehensively reviewed and a reform programme instituted.

3.    Industry, clients and government should work together leveraging CLC’s Business Modelsworking party activity, to improve relationships and increase levels of investment in R&D and innovation in construction by changing commissioning trends from traditional to pre-manufactured approaches. The housing sector (spanning all tenures) should be used as a scalable pilot programme for this more integrated approach.

4.    Industry, government and clients, supported by academic expertise and leveraging CLC’s current Innovation work stream activity, should organise to deliver a comprehensive innovation programme. This should be fully aligned to market, benefits case led and generate a new shape of demand across industry, with a priority on residential construction. It should quickly define key measures of progress and report regularly against these as a check on the possible need for more radical measures. It should in turn also help shape CITB reform proposals in relation to technology and innovation grant funding initiatives.

5.    A reformed CITB should look to reorganise its grant-funding model for skills and training aligned to what a future modernised industry will need. Industry bodies and professional institutions should also take a more active role in ensuring that training courses are producing talent which is appropriate for a digitally enabled world, ensuring that the right business models are evolved with appropriate contractual frameworks.

6.    The government has recently reaffirmed its commitment to having a strong industrial strategy. The government should recognise the value of the construction sector and be willing to intervene by way of appropriate further education, planning and tax / employment policies to help establish and maintain appropriate skills capacity.

7.    A reformed CITB or stand-alone body should be challenged and empowered to deliver a more powerful public facing story and image for the holistic ‘built environment’ process, of which construction forms part. This responsibility should include an outreach programme to schools and should position industry exemplars and the target future state rather than just ‘business as usual’.

8.    Government should act to provide an ‘initiation’ stimulus to innovation in the housing sector by promoting the use of pre-manufactured solutions through policy measures. This should be prioritised either through the conditional incentivisation of institutional development and investment in the private rented sector; the promotion of more pre-manufactured social house building through registered providers; direct commissioning of pre-manufactured housing; or a combination of any of the above. It should also consider planning breaks for pre-manufactured approaches.

9.    Government, as part of its housing policy planning, should work with industry to assemble and publish a comprehensive pipeline of demand in the new build housing sector, on the same lines as the National Infrastructure Pipeline, seeking to bring private developers and investors into this as far as possible to assist with longer term innovation and skills investment planning.

10. In the medium to longer term, and in particular if a voluntary approach does not achieve the step change necessary, government should consider introducing a charge on business clients of the construction industry to further influence commissioning behaviour and to supplement funding for skills and innovation at a level commensurate with the size of the industry. If such a charge is introduced, it should be set at no more than 0.5% of construction value, with a clear implementation timetable. Clients should be able to offset their contribution by demonstrating how they are contributing to industry capacity building and modernisation by directly or indirectly investing in skills development, pre-manufacturing facilities, or other forms of innovation and R&D.

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Robertson says project bank accounts will force margin rises

Stirling-based Robertson Group is predicting main contractors will have to rebalance margins as project bank accounts become commonplace on public sector work in Scotland.

Chairman Bill Robertson predicted a fundamental business model shift as he unveiled another year of strong profit growth to March 2016.

He predicted further upward pressure for healthier main contractor margins would result from greater involvement of private sector funders in the industry.

Robertson said: “Due to the changing source of funders in our market the group board believes that healthier margins in our sector will be a requirement of participation by funders to major projects and businesses.

“Our group companies therefore will continually focus on a growing return on capital and improving risk profile in our projects in preference to growth in volume.

“Indeed, in construction, if the intended project bank account process promoted by the public sector is pursued across the industry, the additional profit element required to operate such a scheme will require a rebalancing of margins within the industry.”

Over the year Robertson nearly doubled pre-tax profits to £21m on record turnover of £453m, while building its strongest ever forward order book at £2bn.

The group is now planning to double turnover over the next five years.

More than £100m of revenue is presently generated in England where the diversified Robertson Group has been steadily building its presence with a new Yorkshire and East Midlands office in Sheffield.

Robertson said the group had seen continued and sustainable growth across its 19 diverse infrastructure-based businesses, most notably in its construction, house building and partnership homes businesses.

Over the last 18 months the fast expanding group has taken on over 600 staff taking total headcount to nearly 2,000.

This year it aims to recruit a further 100 staff as it maintains a focus on using direct labour to maintain competitive advantage in the current skills crisis.

Partnership homes grew strongly and has now secured contracts to deliver over 2,500 homes over the next five years in Scotland. The firm also formed a partnership homes business in the North of England.

The group also expanded its offering in building services, civil engineering and rendering and roofing over the last 12 months.

Robertson Capital Projects, the group’s investment business, has successfully utilised its strong group working approach by involving its sister businesses in construction and facilities management to secure preferred bidder status for the delivery of a new £62m hospital in Kirkwall for NHS Orkney.

The investment will be run on 30-year concession commencing on financial close, which is anticipated in February 2017.

The homes business is operating on eight sites in Scotland including new developments in Dunbar, Strathaven and Mid Calder in Central Scotland. Robertson Homes also plans to develop quality family homes in the North of England, with four sites identified. 

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Government unveils £5bn boost to speed up house building

The Government is pledging £5bn of public money to accelerate building of tens of thousands of homes.

House-BuildingUnder the latest plan to galvanise the house building industry, ministers will set aside £2bn of new public borrowing to fund an Accelerated Construction Scheme to make public land with planning permission available to builders.

A further £3bn home building fund using previously-announced cash will provide loans to stimulate new building projects where finances are tight.

Builders will be encouraged through these funding pots to use more modern building techniques in the hope of delivering homes twice as quickly.

Also new rules will be introduced to make it easier for developers to demolish offices and replace them with residential housing on a like-for-like basis.

Local planning authorities will be able to grant permission in principle on sites identified in new brownfield registers, to take the risk out of developing a potential 140,000 homes a year.

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will set out details of the funds at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham today.

“We’ll use all the tools at our disposal to accelerate housebuilding and ensure that over time, housing becomes more affordable,” Hammond said in a statement before his speech to the conference.

The home building fund will release £1bn of short-term loans for small builders, custom builders and innovative developers to deliver 25,500 homes by 2020, while a further £2bn of long-term funding for infrastructure will unlock up to 200,000 homes over the longer term, they said.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 3 October 2016

New UK construction industry mascot launched by Considerate Constructors Scheme

The UK construction industry now has a female mascot called Honor Goodsite – created by the Considerate Constructors Scheme – the national organisation established to improve the image of the industry.

press-release_honor-goodsite-launch_photograph_smallHonor Goodsite will promote all that is great about the industry, helping to raise awareness and inspire young children to consider a career in construction when they grow up, as well as delivering important messages about children’s safety around construction sites.

Honor Goodsite is a structural engineer – a key profession within construction – but one which is still very much underrepresented by women. Only six percent of parents surveyed by the Institution of Engineering and Technology said an engineering career would be attractive to their daughters; the challenge is to help change these perceptions among parents as well as children.

She joins the hugely successful industry mascot Ivor Goodsite, a site manager who was introduced by the Scheme in 2003 and has since then visited hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren across the UK.

Honor Goodsite’s first outing was at the Victoria Station Upgrade project – a £700 million project transforming one of the capital’s busiest stations. The Taylor Woodrow BAM Nuttall Joint Venture delivering this project hosted the launch of Honor Goodsite, with the help of 19 children.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “The Scheme is delighted to be launching the UK construction industry’s new mascot, Honor Goodsite.  Honor has a hugely important role to improve the construction industry’s image with future generations. As a role model for promoting gender diversity and equality in construction, Honor will encourage schoolchildren to understand the wide range of careers available, while helping to change perceptions of the sector as male-orientated.”

Considerate Constructors Scheme Director Caroline Barker added: “I am delighted that the industry now has a female mascot. As the first female engineer to be recruited at a leading construction organisation in the 1980’s, I know first-hand how exciting an industry it is for everyone”.

Taylor Woodrow Bam Nuttall’s Environmental Manager Caroline O’Connor commented: “It is excellent that the Considerate Constructors Scheme has introduced Honor Goodsite. As a woman working in construction, I can thoroughly recommend it as a great industry to work in. The variety of careers and opportunities in the construction industry is vast, and I am sure Honor Goodsite will help young children and their parents to see that construction is an exciting, rewarding industry, which is open to everyone”.

Women’s Engineering Society’s Chief Executive Dawn Bonfield MBE commented: “The Women’s Engineering Society praises the Considerate Constructors Scheme in creating Honor Goodsite. We are delighted that Honor Goodsite’s profession is as an engineer, and we are sure that her role will inspire and educate future generations of schoolchildren into the construction sector, and promote greater gender diversity and equality in the workplace.”

All Scheme-registered sites, companies, suppliers and clients are eligible to hire Honor Goodsite for any community, school related, or other educational/charitable events. For more information about Honor and Ivor Goodsite click here.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 26 September 2016

Cityscape scheme sets young trainee on right career path

A £4m construction project currently being undertaken by the Highways Division of North Midland Construction plc (NM Group) to enhance public spaces in Sheffield city centre, has provided one young person with paid work hez2experience that should hopefully help him to kick start his career.

The NM Group is installing a new footpath and cycleway scheme designed to improve safety and rejuvenate main routes to the University of Sheffield Campus. The company needed additional members of staff to work on the project and turned to Skills Made Easy for help with its search.  Skills Made Easy is a unique government backed programme designed to help businesses overcome skills shortages in the Sheffield City region and also to help young people develop their skills by connecting them with businesses operating in the area.

19 year old Hezakiah (Hez) Williams from Parsons Cross had completed a BTEC qualification in construction but found himself unable to break into the industry he loved.  He contacted Skills Made Easy and they arranged a two week work trial for him with the NM Group.

During the trial, when he was overseen by qualified and experienced personnel, Hez had the opportunity to work on the renewal of the streetscape around the University buildings. He performed well and with commitment, successfully passing his trial.

He is still in the employment of the NM Group and has since been involved in numerous construction activities to assist in the project’s progress including groundworks, drainage, paving preparation and kerbing.  Further arrangements are underway to provide Hez with additional skills training through NM Academy – the company’s learning and development programme

Chris Davis, N M Group’s construction site manager on the project said:

“We are really pleased with the progress that Hez has made in the short time he has been working for us. He has shown a real aptitude for learning a variety of construction principles in a live project environment and a keen enthusiasm for developing new skills. I am confident that Hez will become a valuable asset to the team and this would not have been possible without Skills Made Easy.”

Laura Hayfield, programme manager, Skills Made Easy said:

“Work trials give individuals like Hez, who have found it difficult to secure a career in their chosen sector, a chance to gain experience and illustrate to employers what they can bring to the business. Hez had wanted work in the construction industry but since leaving school he had struggled to secure a permanent role. He has impressed his new employers with his skills and genuine interest in the sector and his commitment has enabled him to continue to develop new skills with the NM Group.”

“For employers work trials help them ensure that the person they are recruiting fits in well with their existing workforce and has the aptitude to succeed.”

Skills Made Easy is a free of charge service which offers impartial, tailored advice to small and medium sized businesses based in the Sheffield City Region. The service helps employers to overcome skills shortages in the workforce which could be impacting on growth and to access Government grants to cover the cost of training. The service is delivered free of charge to all businesses based in the Sheffield City Region, employing fewer than 250 members of staff. For more information, visit or telephone 0114 229 6183.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 19 September 2016

Considerate Constructors Scheme seeks new Board Directors

Newly appointed Scheme Executive Chairman Isabel Martinson to recruit new Board Directors to take Scheme to the ‘next level’

Isabel Martinson photographLondon, United Kingdom, 19 September 2016: The Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) – the national Scheme to improve the image of the construction industry – is recruiting for new Board Directors.

Isabel Martinson, who was appointed as Executive Chairman of the Scheme in July 2016, is looking for senior representatives from within and outside of the construction industry to expand the CCS to move to the ‘next level’, to further enhance the construction industry’s image and reputation.

The CCS is an independent organisation formed in 1997. Since its formation, it has significantly altered the approach the construction industry takes to those affected by its activities, the construction workforce, and the impact construction has on the local environment.  It has achieved wide recognition and is highly regarded and respected by those aware of and involved in the Scheme.

Construction sites, companies and suppliers voluntarily register with the Scheme and agree to abide by the Scheme’s Code of Considerate Practice. The Code commits those registered with the Scheme to care about appearance, respect the community, protect the environment, secure everyone’s safety and value their workforce.

The Scheme is looking for new Board members who are committed to the Scheme’s ethos, and in particular, those with expertise in the areas of marketing and communications, finance, commercial contracts and outsourcing.

CCS Ltd logo RGBConsiderate Constructors Scheme Executive Chairman Isabel Martinson commented: “The CCS provides a hugely important and influential role in helping to enhance the construction industry’s reputation to the public, those within the industry and the Government. I look forward to working with a team of newly appointed Board Directors to shape the future reputation of the construction industry through the Considerate Constructors Scheme.”

Terms of reference, person/skills specifications and the application procedure are available via the Scheme’s website here.

The application deadline is 1200 on Wednesday 5 October 2016.

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 16 September 2016

Minister confirms support of Prompt Payment Code and success in changing payment culture

Minister confirms support of Prompt Payment Code and success in changing payment culture

New measures to support the Prompt Payment Code (PPC) and drive a culture of better payment practice have been confirmed in a letter to PPC signatories from Margot James, Minister for Small Business and Philip King, Chief margot-james-medium philip-king-mediumExecutive of the Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM).

The letter highlights the significant success of the Code to date, and in particular highlighting the challenges against Code signatories that it says have been ‘hugely successful in achieving fast settlement of invoices, creating dialogue between parties, improving contract terms, and providing constructive assistance welcomed by suppliers and signatories alike’.

The correspondence also confirms the future appointment of a Small Business Commissioner to provide help and advice to business, including on achieving prompt payment, and the Statutory Duty to Report for large businesses to report on payment practices that comes into force from 6 April, 2017. Further strengthening of the Code will follow the implementation of the Duty to Report measures.

The authors of the letter confirm that signatories should be paying within 30 days where possible and that this should increasingly be the norm. The Code Compliance Board will not be enforcing 30 day terms but states that paying invoices within 60 days will be a requirement unless there are exceptional circumstances that will be considered on a case by case basis. An example of ‘exceptional circumstances’ might be where a company is able to demonstrate that it applies different terms to the benefit of their smaller suppliers.

The Minister says that: “Prompt payment can make all the difference to small businesses, boosting their cashflow and allowing them to invest in growth for the future. Although we have seen some progress, there are still too many business owners across the country who have not been paid on time by their customers.

“We need a culture change to stamp this out and the Prompt Payment Code continues to play an important role in bringing this about, alongside a package of measures taken forward by government and industry. The businesses signed up to the Code commit to demonstrating the gold standard of payment practices and it’s great to see so many of Britain’s leading household names on the list.”

The Prompt Payment Code is administered by the CICM on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It currently has more than 1,800 signatories, with each signatory committing to best practice in the fair and equal treatment of suppliers, many of whom are smaller businesses.

Last year the Government announced a series of measures within the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act to further strengthen the Code.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Fast turnaround Measured Building Surveys

Mobile CAD Surveying Solutions Ltd  can accommodate either a simple single property floor plan for a domestic or logowhitebackground (Small)private customer to a complete schedule of buildings including whatever type of data collection the customer requires for commercial customers. If Architects or Surveyors and you require fast turn around building surveys, please give us a try! we currently work for dozens of architects, surveyors and designers around the UK, where they haven’t the capacity or staff to handle their own surveys or where they just require someone to make sure the job is done right, first time, Mobile CAD Surveying Solutions can help you.

Currently we are working on many Commercial surveys around the country, with a number of domestic and Dimensional Property Surveys around the UK and into Europe, if you require any type of Measured Building Survey then please contact us.

We can provide Floor plans,  Elevational drawings, or a Topographical survey also Underground Utility Traces and all types of Measured Building Survey with varying levels of detailed work – from simple walls, columns, doors and window surveys, to a fully detailed data set including all 3D information including cill & head heights, stair riser and going details, door heights, ceiling heights, beam details, fitted furniture etc.. As part of our measured surveys, the surveyors can also pick up and highlight other information for example: any electrical and data points, sanitary fittings, incoming mains positions, plant, fire fighting and detection equipment, security equipment, signage and so on.

An accurate  topographical survey or land survey is essential to any project that you are considering and can lessen the possibility of costly mistakes or unforeseen issues later on.  The amount and type of topographical survey data that we collect on site is always based on your specification. However, our experienced land surveyors will use their knowledge of planning and development issues and requirements to provide additional information that might be vital for any future design or planning application. We are also able to gather information from any utility companies which can be added to your topographical survey drawings..

360D Panoramic Photography – We can also provide a 360 degree photographic record of your project to aid with design/construction

The ‘as built’ documentation provided by the company is highly detail oriented, every project can be accompanied by 360 degrees photographs to provide better understanding of the plans. Photographs give clients instant visuals which help in picturing the plan in a much better fashion.

We can also provide other additional land surveying services that you may require, for example; underground services tracing ( GPR – Ground Penetrating Radar) and 3D laser scanning enable us to provide you with a one-stop-shop for your surveying requirements.

for more information, please visit:-

Mobile CAD Surveying

from The UK Construction Blog

CIOB launches call for evidence as part of Government-led housing taskforce

logo_ciobThe Chartered Institute of Building has launched a call for evidence into skills, materials and new technology in the housing sector. The work forms part of a wider coalition – the National Housing Taskforce – which has been convened by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Housing and Planning.

The Taskforce, which has already met with new Housing Minister Gavin Barwell MP, is operating across 12 distinct areas of work to take a holistic view of how to tackle the housing crisis, covering everything from planning reform to housing associations, and construction skills to mortgage finance. Each work-stream is being led by a relevant organisation which will submit recommendations to the Taskforce later in the year.

The CIOB’s work-stream is charged with addressing the main issues in the construction labour market, including availability, productivity and diversity. Additionally, it will look at materials and new technology, primarily off-site manufacture and modern methods of construction (MMC), including how they link to skills. The call for evidence can be accessed here: 

David Hawkes, CIOB Policy Manager, said: “At its most basic level, what this work-stream boils down to is capacity. Studies have shown the housing sector needs 120,000 new employees just to meet the required annual level of homes the UK needs. At the same time, house builders say they cannot build more than 150,000 homes per year via conventional means.

“What this suggests to us is that something needs to fundamentally change if we are to properly address the housing crisis. We need more people working more productively and we have to work out how best to utilise and implement new technologies, materials and processes.”

Explaining how the work-stream will progress, Hawkes said: “The CIOB will be working closely with MPs and industry experts to analyse the responses we receive. We’ll then host a number of inquiry-style discussions to hone in on the most relevant evidence and submit our recommendations to the National Housing Taskforce by the end of the year.”

The CIOB’s call for evidence is inviting submissions from industry, government, education establishments, professionals and other interested stakeholders that shed light on addressing the skills gap that currently exists across the sector. Additionally, the CIOB is keen to hear of the opportunities for improving productivity and driving down costs through the use of construction techniques such as off-site manufacture. Of particular interest are successful initiatives both for skills and technology that are operating at scale, or could be scaled up.

Suggested areas that evidence might cover, though this is by no means exclusive, are as follows:

  • What barriers are there to long-term training and skills development in the housing sector? What incentives can be used?
  • What is the role for small and medium-sized house builders in addressing skills gaps or leading the way with new technology? Are there examples of any successful business models in smaller companies that have the capacity to be upscaled?
  • What difference do technological innovations make to our needs for skills and materials?
  • Are current government policies supporting investment in new technology for house building?
  • What can the industry do to attract and train more people, and what can be done to improve labour productivity?
  • What will be the effects of the vote to leave the EU on skills, materials and new technology?

Evidence needs to be submitted by 17:00 on 9 September 2016. Full details and guidelines on submission can be found here: 

The CIOB hopes to invite as many people and organisations as possible to give oral evidence during sessions later in the year. The final National Housing Taskforce report, incorporating recommendations from all twelve work-streams, is expected to be released by Spring 2017.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 5 September 2016

Construction Workers and Asbestos Exposure

Construction Workers and Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos has been used extensively in the construction industry throughout the world. In the UK this material was still being used up to 1999, while in other countries its use was discontinued decades earlier. The reason for no longer using asbestos for insulation, roofing, and other construction components is that inhaling its fibers can lead to health problems. These include the aggressive and most often deadly type of cancer called mesothelioma.

The UK has some of the highest rates of mesothelioma because of the extensive use of asbestos and the late discontinuance. The number of cases of this cancer has been rising for decades, as has the number of deaths caused by it. Each year for the last few years, more than 2,000 men have died from mesothelioma, many of them working in the construction industry.

Exposure to Asbestos

Asbestos is a natural mineral, mined for its usefulness as an insulator. It resists heat, fire, and electricity, and it is mostly chemically inert. For millennia people have mined this material to be used for many purposes, but with most applications going into construction materials, buildings, and ships.

Contained asbestos is not a problem, but when it is cut, torn, or otherwise disrupted, fibers get into the air. When you breathe in these fibers they can lodge in the lungs and cause irritation, damage, and illness. Construction workers are at risk of being exposed to these fibers in the work they do every day. The biggest risks come during demolition or renovation of buildings that contain asbestos.

Illnesses Caused by Asbestos

Asbestos exposure is a major risk for construction workers. Inhaling fibers of the mineral put these workers at risk for a number of serious health concerns. One of these is asbestosis, which is the formation of scar tissue in the lungs. It does not always lead to death, but the symptoms can be debilitating. Pleural thickening is another potential health problem. The pleura is the tissue that lines the lungs and asbestos can cause it to thicken. This makes breathing difficult.

Exposure to asbestos fibers can also lead to fatal types of cancer. Asbestos-related lung cancer and mesothelioma are both connected to asbestos and both are most often fatal. The longer a worker is exposed to asbestos, the greater the frequency of exposure, and the greater the amount of asbestos inhaled, the greater the risk for developing one of these conditions.

The Problem with Mesothelioma

Any illness caused by asbestos has the potential to be debilitating or fatal, but mesothelioma is particularly devastating. It takes years for the cancer to be diagnosed because symptoms are not always severe until the late stages and they resemble those of other conditions. By the time a construction worker gets a diagnosis of mesothelioma it is typically too late for treatments to cure it.

The biggest occupational hazard for construction workers in the UK is exposure to asbestos. Many construction workers who developed fatal and debilitating lung conditions from this exposure were not told by their employers that they were at risk. Many are seeking compensation through asbestos

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

CITB warns apprenticeship levy to cut funding by 30%

Scottish Company ID Systems Plans to 120 Jobs

ID Systems Ltd, a Scottish firm providing engineering services, announced its plans to provide 120 employment opportunities. This announcement came after the company got a six-figure investment boost from UKSE (UK Steel Enterprise).

UK Steel Enterprise is a subsidiary of Tata Steel and was set up to help companies that operate in the traditional steel sectors.

ID Systems Ltd has offices in Glasgow and Grangemouth. It operates in the commercial utilities and industrial sectors. The firm’s client list includes National Grid, Forestry Commission and Scottish Water.

The company plans to provide new job opportunities in Lanarkshire and Glasgow as part of its expansion plan. The company currently employs 80 individuals.

The expansion plan came after the firm was able to secure several long-term projects, including off-site water booster sets and waste water pumping stations manufacturing projects.

The expansion strategy will be funded by the equity and loan backing from UK Steel Enterprise. A new team will be selected which, together with the UKSE, will manage and have a stake in the company’s shareholding.

Stuart Devine, ID Systems’ finance director, pointed out that with the new funding from UKSE and the long-term projects already under their belt, they will be able to expand smoothly and create 120 new jobs.

Scott Webb, UKSE regional executive, said ID Systems will have the right expansion structure and necessary monetary funding from his company.

For over the last 20 years, ID Systems products have been supplied to different companies across the globe. ID Systems has been recognized for setting benchmarks in both technology and design in order to provide reliability and quality. Our product testing far surpasses standards set by British Regulations in safety, insulation, security and weather rating. Due to this, we are always ahead of our competitors.

We offer our clients nothing but the best fitting services. Our fully trained and skilled installations engineers pride themselves on the quality and reliability of the services they provide.

The post Scottish Company ID Systems Plans to 120 Jobs appeared first on Econ Construction LTD.

from Econ Construction LTD

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Job cuts would be ‘first nail in the coffin’ for construction

Cutting thousands of construction and housebuilding jobs would be the ‘first nail in the coffin’ for the industry, according to One Way.

An analysis by the construction and rail recruitment specialist outlined that a further loss of jobs would prove critical for the construction sector. This comes at a time when the National Housing Federation has said any slowdown in housebuilding would result in the loss of nearly 120,000 construction jobs over the next decade. The UK’s construction sector has also slipped into recession for the first time in four years, with many commentators suggesting the industry is in turmoil and that the government must do more to support housebuilding.

Paul Payne, Managing Director of One Way, agrees:

“The news that the construction industry has slipped back into recession after four years isn’t particularly optimistic and a loss of jobs on the scale that has been suggested would almost certainly be the first nail in the coffin for the sector. We simply can’t afford to lose any more professionals from both construction and housebuilding and the government needs to do considerably more to support these industries before it’s too late.”

“We all saw the potential impact of job losses in the steel industry and the scale of this for construction would be far greater. We need more professionals operating in the sector if we want it to recover, not less, and the potential impact of these cuts could be devastating if something isn’t done soon. We’ve been very vocal about how the government, employers and trade bodies need to do more to engage with youngsters and promote greater interest in construction, because at the current rate there will barely be an industry left in a few years’ time. Confidence is the only way to get through this difficult period and we need more investment and more projects to be given the green light. If we take a step back and allow programmes to be put on hold and jobs to be cut it could have a hugely damaging effect on the economy and on thousands of peoples’ lives. As Winston Churchill once said, ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going.’

from The UK Construction Blog