Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Inside the Acivico architectural story on the NEC ‘project facelift’ transformation

An Acivico architect has been at the heart of the NEC’s £4.5million transformation by supplying concept designs for the stunning and technically innovative pyramid formations which will completely change the look and feel of Birmingham’s iconic premier international conference and leisure venue.

Using the latest design software, Principal Architect Alan McBeth developed three gigantic custom designed trapezoidal shapes, each the size of a three-story house. When connected, these form a 3D wall of 37 units, reinventing and giving life to the flat facades on five of the halls, originally constructed in 1976.

Using state-of-the-art membrane technology and a healthy dose of imagination, the vision was for the facade to be covered with stretched membranes combined with colourful vector graphics panels, positioned between the 3D trapezoidal shapes.

The final colour changing boulder pattern was designed and supplied by international PR and advertising firm McCann whose programmable LED animated backlighting has created a dynamic and engaging environment for the 7 million annual visitors to the campus… but it’s at night that guests can really see the complex come to life.  Acivico has used graphic visualisation technology to share the display.

You can take a fly through the pyramids here;

Alan McBeth has been delighted with the results of this unique and original approach to facade design on such a high-profile landmark project. Alan said;

“The design required the use of the latest in tensile fabric innovation from within the UK and we found the print graphics specialist in Holland – the only company in the world who could print the polyester fabric which covers the trapezoids to the correct lifespan requirement.

“The magnitude of this work has to be seen to be appreciated, but it is very scaleable and there is no doubt this type of design treatment can be applied to give an economical facelift to other aging buildings, large or small, in need of some TLC.”

Martin Clarke, NEC Marketing Director says; “We are delighted with the outcome of these concept designs by Acivico. The team understood the brief perfectly and came up with a unique concept using innovative technology which they brought to life using superb 3D visuals. The finished results are stunning”

The NEC’s ‘project facelift’ will be officially revealed with the launch of the Bear Grylls adventure world in October 2018.

Technical facts and figures;

  • The building facades are very large with Hall 5 alone being 210m long x 19m high.
  • Considerable research was done to identify the best design solution using different types of membrane fabrics that would work well with 3D geometric backlit shapes.
  • The pyramids are covered in a printed polyester fabric with an ultra violet acrylic protection layer with at least a 10 year no fade lifespan. This process was carried out by a specialist in Holland – the only company in the world with the expertise to complete the project.
  • The challenge was to design something that looks as good at night as during the day as many of the events around the NEC occur during the evening.

Statistics – NEC  

  • The revamp includes installations on 37 trapezoidal 5m wide translucent shapes, each the size of a three-storey house.
  • Each trapezoid has three powerful led floodlights that are programmable to produce any colour, including a sonic interface.
  • The installation also includes 62 x 5m wide graphic panels – each 10m high
  • The projects also included the installation of 12277 m² specially designed metal cladding (known as zebra cladding) – almost 3 football pitches worth

Project Value –   £4.5m by negotiated tendering.

from The UK Construction Blog

New Research Shows Uneven UK Solar Distribution and Highlights Potential Opportunities

As summer sees Britain breaking record after record for solar power generation, new research, compiled by Green Business Watch, ranks the UK’s solar performance on a county-by-county basis for the first time.

With the growing public demand for sustainable builds, the UK Solar Power County Rankings provide an unprecedented amount of information about UK Solar energy in one place, allowing property owners see the real benefits of solar in their area.

As the potential savings and income from solar PV installations vary across the country, residents and businesses can for the first time use the map to identify the potential savings and income they could achieve by investing in solar PV.

UK Solar Power County Rankings 2018

Not surprisingly, the rankings show Southern counties leading the way but they also highlight a number of areas that are not making the most out of their solar resource.

Some Key Findings:

  • Solar irradiation across the South of England is uniformly strong but counties such as East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey seem to be missing out, and have installed less solar capacity than might have been expected.
  • Wiltshire, which ranks number one for installed capacity is neither the sunniest nor the largest of Britain’s counties. Despite being outside the top 10 for solar irradiation, large volumes of commercial solar see Wiltshire top the rankings and hint at opportunities that some other counties are perhaps missing out on.
  • Estimates of domestic income / savings varied from £413 in Shetland to £655 in the Isle of Wight but excluding the extremes of the Islands, differences in solar irradiation and potential earnings are probably smaller than imagined. As an example, sample locations in Angus (Scotland) had a predicted income/savings figure of £538 per year. This was less than southern English counties such as Bedfordshire (£561 per year) but the gap is only £23 per year.
  • Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire are all surprise finds in the top 10 and Northern English counties such as Yorkshire and Greater Manchester make surprise showings in the top 10 for domestic capacity.

Overall, the UK Solar Power County Rankings paint a picture of solar uptake in the UK that is much more patchy than the opportunity, with some counties outperforming their solar potential while others aren’t yet taking advantage of the available resource.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Timber marketing summit to focus on health and wellbeing

The timber industry is invited to take on the health and wellbeing agenda this autumn at the Wood for Good Marketing Summit.

Aimed at timber marketing and communications professionals, the event ‘Marketing Timber for the Health and Wellbeing Agenda’ will take place on Thursday 20 September at Headspace in Farringdon, London.

Health and wellbeing, indoor air quality and the use of healthy building materials are becoming increasingly important in construction and the marketing summit will assess the market potential, demand and drivers for healthy building products. The event will cover innovative approaches and best practice in marketing for the health and wellbeing agenda.

An interview style panel debate with speakers including Harry Knibb, principal consultant and healthy buildings expert at WSP, and Olga Turner, director and co-founder of Ekkist. This will be followed by an open audience discussion allowing for speakers and delegates to establish requirements for healthy building products and how to meet them.

Christiane Lellig, Wood for Good campaign manager, said:

“We’ve had discussions with organisations such as the Construction Products Association, Savills and Legal and General and they’ve all shared that there is currently no particular focus or research on health and wellbeing trends in residential buildings.

“To date the focus has been on office buildings with the intention to increase employee retention and performance, but we want to know what the key challenges are for timber marketing and communications professionals catering for the wider health and wellbeing agenda.

“For example, how does everyone describe a healthy building material? This is an opportunity for us to come together and unite in our messaging and gain a better understanding of healthy building standards and material databases, so we can communicate this effectively and accurately.”

The marketing summit, taking place the day before the Timber Trade Journal Awards, is an essential opportunity for anyone responsible for communicating about timber products and allows for networking with like-minded professionals.

The final session on the day will be exclusively for Wood for Good supporters to discuss the main focus for 2019, receive a brief update on 2018 performance, and learn about the new funding strategy.

Tickets are free to Wood for Good supporters and a 25% discount is available for British Woodworking Federation and Timber Trade Federation members.

Numbers are limited so register for tickets now:

Subscribe for the latest e-news on timber in design and construction here:

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 10 September 2018

Measured Building Surveys Nationwide

Measured Buildings Surveys throughout the UK

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 and into mainland Europe, recently carrying out projects in France, Switzerland and the Channel Islands, or 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 and also a number of larger dimensional surveys and many domestic measured building surveys in the UK, 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..

Revit models – we are currently working on a number of modelling jobs, producing 3D Revit models from our own survey data and laser scans.

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

‘A Trio for Geo’ – Aarsleff Ground Engineering’s Plant Investment

Aarsleff is excited to announce the delivery of its new Klemm 909-3G Drilling Rig, along with a new Putzmeister P11 concrete pump, and a new CX 4/10 Colloidal Mixer. The addition of the equipment will further enhance Aarsleff’s ground engineering capability within the UK allowing it to seize opportunities and deliver a high standard performance for its clients across the country.

Vital to the performance of Aarsleff Ground Engineering and its comprehensive ground package offering, is its fleet of geotechnical and piling rigs.  Aarsleff’s Operations Director Jody Parkin says, “We are always looking at how we can renew and update our plant and have a good track record for trialling different machines, for successfully reducing the overall age of our fleet and for making the most of inter-company transfers”.

The 909-3G is one of Klemm’s flagship multi-purpose drilling rigs, featuring its fully remote-control operation and dual head drilling units. It is a compact and powerful drilling rig that is easily adaptable for a variety of tasks, including ground anchors, soil nails, drilling and grouting and SFA piles.

Aarsleff first became interested in purchasing a Klemm 909 rig at the Bauer Exhibition 2018 where its UK plant manager, Steve Wilkinson, was able to get a closer look. Steve commented,

“These types of drilling rigs have a wide range of capability and will certainly satisfy the boost in demand for our geotechnical services. We already utilise multiple Klemm drilling rigs in our fleet, and we are excited to now add the 909 (drilling rig) to our fleet.”

Jody Parkin also attended the exhibition, adding:

“We looked at various machines at the exhibition, including the larger bored piling rigs, but felt that the Klemm 909 suited us a lot more and was considerably more dexterous in terms of capacity, capability and disciplines”.

Along with the Klemm drilling rig, Aarsleff have also invested into a new concrete pump and a new concrete & grout mixer, which will be deployed alongside Aarsleff’s drilling rigs for grouting, soil nailing and ground anchor projects.

For more information about Aarsleff’s plant equipment, or to discuss a project that might benefit from these rigs specialist capabilities, please contact Aarsleff on 01636 611140 or email

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Liverpool drylining firm collapses

Specification awards now open for entries

Building contractors can now nominate their projects for the internationally recognised biennial GAI/RIBA Architectural Ironmongery Specification Awards.

Organised by the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) in conjunction with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the awards are designed to identify and reward excellence in the specification of architectural ironmongery.

Projects can be nominated for the following categories: residential; commercial and hospitality buildings; public health and education buildings; international projects outside the UK and Ireland and, new to the 2018/19 awards, best new product: design and innovation.

Architects, specifiers, building contractors, clients and their architectural ironmongery advisers and suppliers across the world can nominate projects from now until Friday 16 November 2018. The winners will be announced at a celebratory lunch in March 2019.


David Stacey, president of the GAI, says:

“The Specification Awards ceremony is one of the Guild’s most highly anticipated events. The calibre of entries is always incredibly high and shows architectural ironmongery at its best. The GAI is always proud to see its member companies involved in so many complex projects.

“These awards are unique because they reward the whole specification team, highlighting the importance of the professional partnership between architects and architectural ironmongers.”

For each category there will be a winner, second and third place. The judges will also decide on an overall ‘winner of winners’. At the 2017/18 Specification Awards, this accolade went to Kings Gate, a residential project by architectural ironmongers izé and architect Lynch Architects. A brochure featuring the 2017/18 winning projects can be downloaded from the GAI website.

There is no limit on the number of entries to the 2018/19 awards. The first entry from GAI or RIBA members is free of charge.

To nominate a project for the awards, go to:

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 30 August 2018

Aarsleff awarded piling contract for third phase of homes at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park development

Aarsleff Ground Engineering has been awarded the piling contract for Phase 3 of Chobham Manor, a flagship Taylor Wimpey residential and commercial development project being built at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London.

Once completed, Chobham Manor will comprise approximately 850 homes, a community facility, a nursery, shops and landscaped open spaces. Chobham Manor, situated between East Village and Lee Valley VeloPark, will offer residents world-class venues, cultural amenities and commuter access to the heart of London, completely transforming the area as part of the ongoing Olympic-led East End regeneration.

Taylor Wimpey awarded the foundations contract to Aarsleff which, in addition to its vast experience on large-scale residential projects, also provided Chobham Manor Phase 1 piling works in 2015 when the company successfully installed 380 precast piles.

For Phase 3 of the development, Aarsleff will utilise its Junttan PMx22 piling rigs to install 1,170 250mm square precast concrete piles up to 12 metres in length. Before piling begins, Aarsleff will pre-bore the ground to a depth of eight metres in order to penetrate a limestone stabilisation band and allow for the piles to be driven to the required depths.

Aarsleff is expected to begin piling on 17th September, with work scheduled to take six weeks.

For more information about Aarsleff Ground Engineering or its driven piling foundation solutions, contact the company on 01636 611140 or email

from The UK Construction Blog

Role models inspire the new face of construction

Talented people working in construction are to be recognised as part of a campaign to encourage others to follow their own career in the sector.

Launched in March 2018, UK Construction Week (UKCW) established its Role Models campaign, with help from the Construction Youth Trust, to inspire others and raise awareness of the breadth of roles available in the construction industry. The winner will be announced on 10 October on the UKCW Stage at the NEC, followed by a champagne reception and a meet and greet with keynote speaker, Barbara Res.

After much consideration, the judges put together a shortlist of 36 people from more than 130 high-quality entries. The extensive and diverse job roles of those shortlisted include a crane operator; a beyond zero coordinator; a national water sector lead; a BIM strategy manager; a chairman; an equality, diversity, and inclusion specialist; and a bricklaying tutor. A handful of architects, engineers and surveyors have also been shortlisted. People with non-construction specific services such as marketing also made the list, demonstrating the broad range of skills and knowledge contained within the industry.

While London is often seen as the hub for the construction sector, the shortlisted entrants hail from locations across the UK including Lancashire, Northern Ireland, Birmingham, Bristol, Chelmsford, Weybridge, Oxford, Coventry, Truro, Hereford, Worcester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Dartford, Leeds, Southampton, Plymouth, Cardiff, Preston, Exeter, and Chester.

Changing the face of construction

The judges were impressed with the role models’ passion for improving the image and culture of construction; breaking paradigms and changing stereotypes; actively campaigning for equality within the sector; teaching others and building bridges between the industry and education; inspiring young people; supporting apprentices; and championing diversity throughout the industry.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said:

“As part of being shortlisted, role models will take part in an outreach programme to help build connections with local schools and colleges. It’s about sharing their construction career journeys and inspiring the next generation by dispelling the myths surrounding the construction industry.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for people to be celebrated in an industry that often gets negative press. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the work the role models are doing, not just on a day to day basis, but the work they’ve personally taken on to make this industry better.”

Setting the example

The role models will share their thoughts on key industry issues as guest bloggers for the Construction Matters Blog. They will have VIP access to UKCW, which takes place on 9-11 October, and will be available to talk to others about their careers in construction and their visions for the future of the industry.

Ahead of the presentation for UKCW Role Model of the Year, a discussion will take place on the UKCW Stage about creating the new generation of construction professionals. Shortlisted role models Emma Ferguson-Gould and Ryan Williams will join architect Elsie Owusu and BBC presenter, Steph McGovern, will be the host.

UKCW will be an event that inspires, with speakers such as Barbara Res – an engineer, lawyer and the project manager behind Trump Tower, the first BMF Young Merchants’ Conference at the BMF Pavilion, and a timber structure project by Manja van de Worp and students from the school of architecture at the Royal School of Art.

Other highlights for aspiring construction professionals include:

  • The launch of the 2019 Passivhaus Student Competition;
  • Design your home of the future, with George Clarke’s MOBIE;
  • The Institute of Civil Engineers’ ‘Save Civil City’ challenge; and
  • The Finishes and Interiors Sector’s #iBuiltThis2018 photography competition.

Free tickets are available from

Keep up with UKCW Role Models activities on Twitter at @UK_CW and using the hash tag #UKCW2018 and read guest blog posts at

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Why bifold doors should be your next home improvement project

This time of year is a great one for anybody thinking of a new home improvement project. The kids are going back to school meaning they won’t be around to get in the way. The boiling hot summer days are behind us so you can work without fear of sunburn and heatstroke. The eight-week window of September and October will allow indoor and outdoor work to be completed before the really bad weather and dark nights of winter come along.

One that can have a major positive transformation on your environment and your home is by installing some bifold doors.

Stylish, secure and elegant, the modern bifold door combines the properties of a full-length door or window with the flexibility of a patio door to let your garden or exterior become part of your room.

Energy Saving

One of the great benefits of home improvements is that they nearly always end up saving money on household bills for years after they are completed and bifold doors are no exception. Their heat retention and draught exclusion means a lower carbon footprint and greater fuel bill savings from installation on.

The huge surface area lets more heat and natural daylight from the sun into a room and keeps it there with its unique solar control glass technology. This specially coated glazing reflects excessive heat energy allowing the glass to control the temperature within rooms, reducing the need for blinds and expensive air conditioning units.

If blinds are needed then integral ones can be fitted permanently within the double-glazing cavity of the bifold door itself. This is a sealed, dust and moisture free environment, which means they require no maintenance and are protected from the elements and the household wear and tear.

Weather the Storms

One acid test for every external home improvement project in the UK is how it can handle the Great British weather. Wind, rain, sleet, snow, hail, drizzle, fog and mist are the usual ingredients until we get to summer sunshine again and bifold doors are more than up to the task.

The doors are fully weather resistant rated and are power coated as standard to eliminate corrosion and discolouration that can occur through natural exposure. Their sturdy aluminium build is more resistant than wood, tougher than plastic and perfectly fits the modern design aesthetic for great light and the illusion of more living space.

Safe and Sound

Security is a prime concern no matter where you live in the country and bifold doors are up to the task. Every door that leaves the bifold shop is constructed with thick, toughened glazing that reduces external noise, excessive glare and strong winds and debris.

They are secured with multi point locking mechanisms on the main doors and shoot bolt locks on folding doors providing several zones of security to give you additional peace of mind.

Bifold doors may not have been your immediate next home improvement project but when you consider the permanent advantages and benefits they bring, they might very well be.


from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 27 August 2018

Call made for door hardware experts’ input into building regulations consultation

After recent UK Government investigations found that fire doors from five suppliers failed to meet even the minimum mandatory fire performance standard, door hardware experts are being urged to have their say in the consultation on the clarification of Approved Document B (ADB).


The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) began investigating the fire door industry after it was found that a glazed, composite fire door from Grenfell Tower had failed a 30 minute fire resistance test after approximately 15 minutes.


Now work is starting on amending the Approved Document which gives guidance on compliance with Part B of the Building Regulations in England.


The consultation focuses on the clarity and the usability of ADB. In addition the consultation is taking on learning from the Grenfell Public Inquiry and various other consultations that are currently running, including the use of combustible materials and the use of desktop studies and assessments in lieu of fire tests.


The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) will be producing a response on behalf of the ironmongery industry and is calling for door hardware professionals to participate in the submission.

The consultation asks for comment and evidence on a number of proposed clarifications to ADB including moving the guidance for flats into Volume 1 (Dwellinghouses), clarity of signposting towards other standards, guidance documents or approved documents, and whether there is any guidance in ADB which should be in an industry standard instead.

Douglas Masterson, technical manager of the GAI, said:

“Our members have such vast experience of dealing with fire door hardware. They regularly encounter ironmongery that has been incorrectly specified and have to rectify the mistakes of people who don’t understand the important role of ironmongery on a fire door, or who have struggled to interpret ADB and the other supporting documents.

“We’re encouraging our members to share these experiences and their technical expertise to drive meaningful change within legislation, helping to improve the scope of standards within the fire door industry and ensure a higher standard of hardware being used throughout the UK.”

MHCLG has advised that in early autumn 2018 it will launch a wider technical call for evidence on ADB and supporting documents. An announcement of the outcome of the consultations into the use of combustible materials and the use of assessments in lieu of fire tests is expected in late autumn 2018, and in early 2019 a clarified ADB and roadmap for wider technical policy changes will be published.

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Five Benefits of Getting a Regular Window Cleaning Service

Professional window cleaners don’t often get the recognition they deserve for their work. People hear window cleaning and immediately associate it with something that can be done easily with minimal risks. But this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a reason why window cleaning services are more critical than ever. No matter what type of building you have, be it a skyscraper or just a small office, professional window cleaners can transform it into something magnificent. Let’s take a look at the benefits of getting a regular window cleaning service from companies like Archer Window Cleaning.


Looks are everything

The number one obvious benefit of regular window cleaning is how great your building will look. We live in a superficial world where first appearances really do matter. If you’re planning on holding a business meeting with new clients in a dusty old office, you’re already off to a bad start. Your building represents you. If it’s unclean and untidy, onlookers will think the same about you, even if it’s not the truth. It can be the difference between closing a sale or going home empty-handed. Getting your windows cleaned regularly shows people that you care about your building, your business, and your home. You seem instantly more respectable.

Tip-top condition

Windows on the outside of buildings are always under attack. All day long they get acid rain, hard water, oxidation, and even sometimes objects thrown at them which over time can lead to damage. But, regular cleaning by professionals helps to remove these contaminants with the appropriate cleaning products so your windows can stay healthy for longer. In the long run, this is going to save you money on repairs and replacements.


Increased workplace productivity

If the windows on your business building are not clean, this could have impacts on you and your staff’s productivity. Windows covered in grime, fingerprints, dust and watermarks stop the natural light getting in. Studies have shown that optimising the amount of natural light in an office significantly improves the well-being of office workers. They feel happier, more energetic, and as a result, they are more productive. Also, it’s nice to be able to go to work in a clean, non-distracting environment.


Enhances building efficiency

Being environmentally conscious these days is a must. When your windows undergo regular cleaning, they are made more efficient. Often, dirt and grime build up so much in unloved windows that it interferes with the natural warming effect of the sun in the winter. You’ll need to use your heating more, and with energy bills on the rise all the time, that will cost you. As well as this, oxidisation and weathering around window frames can destroy the seals causing air leaks, fogging, and condensation to build up. This not only means you’ll be losing all the expensive heating from your office, but it can also lead to mould which could lead to health issues if ignored. All of these problems can be solved with regular window cleaning contracts.


Make you feel good

Aside from the benefits of letting natural light in, clean windows will help you to feel good. You no longer have to be embarrassed to invite clients round for fear of their judgement about your dirty windows. You can enjoy the benefits from the vitamin D without ever feeling the slightest bit embarrassed. But to keep this up, you need a regular window cleaning service.

from The UK Construction Blog

85% of construction industry would recommend a career in construction to young people – so what isn’t working?

Survey identifies perception of industry as main challenge to attracting future workforce


16 August 2018: In response to survey results from the UK and Irish construction industries, the Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign to provide essential information and resources to help the industry address the urgent issue of attracting the future workforce.


The survey revealed that although 85% of respondents would recommend a career in construction to young people, 84% feel the ongoing perception of construction as being manual work is the main reason it remains an unpopular career choice.


The survey of the construction industry in the UK and Ireland received around 800 responses, and also uncovered that:


  • 77% view the skills shortage as the most pressing issue facing the construction industry.
  • 72% cite the challenging nature of work as the main benefit of a construction career.
  • 53% know young people who are, or could be, interested in a construction career.

On the subject of what the industry can do to attract the next generation:

  • 37% mentioned changing perception/promoting benefits.
  • 26% suggested engaging schools and colleges.
  • 15% mentioned apprenticeships and training.

‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ – hosted on the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub – has been launched by the Scheme to raise awareness of the wide range of resources, organisations, case studies, key information and guidance available to help construction to attract the future workforce.

The campaign contains a wide range of practical case studies of what organisations have done to help attract more people in to the industry. These include contributions from organisations such as: Balfour Beatty; Class of Your Own; Engie; Hobson and Porter; Kier; Laing O’Rourke; Mace; McLaughlin & Harvey and Wates.

In addition, the Scheme has collaborated with CITB’s Go Construct initiative to produce promotional posters for registered sites, companies, suppliers, clients and professional partners to use to help attract potential workers to consider a career in construction.

With over a quarter (26%) of survey respondents seeing engagement with schools and colleges as crucial to helping address the shortage of workers, the Scheme is pleased to report that 91% of respondents said their site or company engages with schools or youth groups – and 66% have personally visited schools or youth groups to discuss their career.

A key mechanism to help improve perceptions amongst school children, teachers and parents is through the industry’s mascots Ivor Goodsite and Honor Goodsite. In 2017 alone, Ivor/Honor visited over 22,000 school children.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “The shortage of new entrants in to the workforce is one of the most pressing issues facing the construction industry. With over 400,000 new recruits needed each year to deliver construction projects, we must all take steps to attract the next generation.

“While we do have a great industry, one that is working hard to improve its image – as evidenced by the fact that 85% of those within the industry would recommend a career in construction – we need to do so much more to continually improve our standards in order to drive the perception change much needed to make the industry more attractive.

“The Scheme’s Best Practice Hub is at the epicentre of helping to share best practice across construction. Through the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign, we are delighted to use our reach and influence across the entire industry to help provide key resources to address this critical issue.”

‘Spotlight on… the next generation’ will be continually updated with new case studies, resources and guidance. Email with any ideas and suggestions you may have and to showcase any case studies from your organisation.

Click here to read ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Trade body reveals speaker line-up for structural waterproofing conference

Shared experiences of high-profile projects underground, technical insight and an overview of liabilities and responsibilities will all be featured at this year’s Property Care Association (PCA) structural waterproofing event.

The PCA’s third annual International Structural Waterproofing conference takes place at The Slate, University of Warwick, Coventry on 13 September, 2018.

Speakers at the event have been announced, with the event starting off with an architect’s perspective of structural waterproofing, provided by Kevin Kelly of Building Design Partnership.

He will be joined by other experts from organisations including ASUC and NHBC.

The day finishes with an interactive panel debate on the whether it is time to see a revision to BS 8102. Delegates can claim CPD points.

Full details on the speakers, together with booking information, can be found at

Since its launch in 2016, the International Structural Waterproofing conference has gone from strength-to-strength, offering a broad and comprehensive programme of interest to those in structural waterproofing, as well as a wider audience including construction professionals, surveyors, lawyers, architects, public authorities and academics.

The conference is priced at £100 plus VAT for PCA members and £150 plus VAT for non-members.

A review of the 2017 event can be found at

The PCA is the trade body for the structural waterproofing sector, with a membership including manufacturers, consultants and contractors.

The annual structural waterproofing conference is part of an active programme from PCA overall to ensure technical competence in the industry.

Initiatives include a searchable register of Waterproofing Design Specialists and a range of free technical documents including codes of practice and best practice guidance.

The PCA also offers a renowned training and qualification programme recognised across the construction sector.

Designed to drive forward standards, support best practice and raise technical competency across the structural waterproofing industry, at the core of the PCA’s programme is the surveyor in structural waterproofing training.

This intensive, theoretical training course focuses on different aspects of structural waterproofing including BS8102, and the different types of waterproofing including Types A, B and C.

It is developed for those with existing experience in the field and can also be used as a foundation to go on to take the Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing (CSSW) industry-leading qualification.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

MidKent College is encouraging more young women to study construction in a bid to boost numbers in the industry.

MidKent College is encouraging more young women to study construction, in a bid to break down gender stereotypes and boost numbers joining the industry.

Figures show the number of females opting to learn about the profession at the College in both further and higher education since 2014/15 has risen from 141 to 216 for 2018/19.

However the College, which has campuses in both Maidstone and Medway, wants to raise those numbers and challenge gender stereotypes, which they believe do exist in the trade.

Nationally, women make up just 14% of construction industry professionals, with only 1% of those actually working on site.

Kim Howes is the Programme Director for the Building Services Design Engineering course at MidKent College. She said: “The construction industry is still very male dominated.

“All the trade magazines and publications have a big focus on men in the industry whereas women are either hidden or shown in supportive roles, like HR.

“Not all construction paths are grimy and dirty – the design and management fields can be office-based.

“The breadth of career options is just not realised or communicated.

“Construction is a fulfilling career that could take people around the world.

“Women are very creative and the construction industry has a need for those with a creative and design talent.

“We need to pique young women’s interest when they’re at primary school and encourage them to get hands-on, and messy.

MidKent College offers a number of construction courses and programmes at FE and HE levels, from Building Services Design Engineering to Painting & Decorating, Carpentry and Plumbing.

31-year-old Lindsey Todd, from Ramsgate, has been studying an HNC in Construction at the college over the last year.  She said: “I work for a housing association as a contracts manager in the construction industry.







Picture: Lindsey Todd, construction student

“I absolutely love what I do as I’m a very hands-on person.

“ I learn visually, love interacting with people and seeing how the project develops first hand – rather than just from a computer screen.

“Over the last year I’ve also studied maths, personal skills (really helpful after not being in education for a long time!), construction, science and materials and safety in construction.

”I have no doubt that construction is where I’m happiest and what I enjoy most.

“I would definitely recommend other women take up a course in construction – there are just not enough of us on site.

“There’s a few more in the employer’s agent type roles, but in hands-on subcontractor roles there’s very few.

“I think I’ve seen one painter and decorator, and one tiler. It’s a very male dominated arena.

“This course has given me credibility and respect among my peers.”

Last month, Lindsey was awarded an industry award. You can read about it here.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 20 August 2018

UK construction legal roundup — crucial info on 3 key issues

Legal developments affecting the construction industry can range from health and safety to data protection, fraud and immigration.

So it’s always wise to keep a keen eye on the latest test law and trending issues.

With that in mind, here’s a UK construction legal roundup with crucial info on three key issues.

  1. EU Workers

According to May 2018 Office of National Statistics (ONS) information, there are currently 2.29 million EU nationals working in the UK — some of whom ply their trades in construction.

And if you currently employ EU workers or need to recruit from Europe, you might have concerns ahead of the 29th March 2019 Brexit date.

So the UK government has released more information on its proposals for EU nationals living in the UK who arrive before 31st December 2020.

There’s no immediate need for EU citizens present in the UK to seek residence documentation — unless they’re applying for British citizenship or sponsoring a family member to join them under current immigration rules.

But they’ll need to apply for settled status under the new scheme as it’s phased in from the end of 2018 and it’ll be mandatory by July 2021.

For more information, consult the UK government EU settlement scheme employer’s toolkit.

  1. Gross negligence

Health and safety should always be at the heart of construction.

And while many more companies get things right than wrong, the results of inadequate safety provisions often have tragic results for employees and members of the public.

The charge of gross negligence manslaughter can be brought against companies who may have disregarded recommended safety measures to cut costs, leading to people losing their lives as a result.

Those convicted can face life imprisonment — but judges weigh up evidence while deciding how culpable an employer is.

To read about the latest changes, consult the sobering guidelines from the Sentencing Council.

  1. Fraud

In construction, fraud covers a wide spectrum of issues — from your firm being paid with fraudulent credit cards to being accused of financial irregularities or improper employment practices.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) has a dedicated fraud department which works with the police to combat fraud across the industry — one such joint investigation resulted with the Metropolitan Police led to a construction gangmaster being sentenced to seven years imprisonment in April 2018 for enslaving 15 workers.

And in 2017, Professional services network PWC reported that the direct costs of fraud cost the industry an estimated £2 billion per annum — although the knock-on effects could be greater.

If you find yourself accused of fraudulent activity, or fear that your company has fallen victim to fraud, contacting a local lawyer with national scope like Switalskis Solicitors is a wise move — they’ll provide all the relevant and timely advice needed for a positive outcome.

So there’s some crucial information on three legal issues currently affecting the UK construction industry — along with top tips on sourcing more detailed assistance.

Keeping abreast of the latest legal issues provides the peace of mind necessary to focus on projects and profits.

Which UK construction legal trends catch your eye? Share your thoughts in the comments section

from The UK Construction Blog


TIMco, one of the UK’s largest independent wholesale suppliers of screws, fixings and power tools accessories has extended its UK quality control facilities to meet the requirements of its growing product base and provide customers with product training and testing facilities.

The new QC facilities are part of TIMco’s latest investment in a new 30,000sqft warehouse space. The new QC facilities have been implemented to provide further quality control checks on products when they arrive in the UK.  The company already has QC facilities in its offices in the Far East that monitor the manufacturing process and ensure that no products are dispatched to the UK without effective checks.

On arrival to TIMco’s Cheshire offices, products then receive further testing before they are stored and distributed to customers.  The new facilities include a range of technologies from salt spray test machines to devices that measure load and insertion speeds. Products that fail the tests at any stage are promptly removed from the supply chain, while products that pass the tests are then verified for use.

The new facilities also provide customers with the opportunity to visit TIMco’s offices to learn how products work and their best applications.  By supporting customer’s employees they in turn are able to sell with more confidence and research also suggests that customers look for outlets that have knowledgeable and helpful staff.

Simon Midwood, Managing Director of TIMco, comments: “We’re committed to providing a broad range of high quality products to our customers and testing them effectively is a key part of delivering on our promises.  The new state-of-the-art facilities ensure that our standards remain high and also provide us with an opportunity to train customers on our latest products and their applications, which in turn improves their product knowledge and benefits end users. We strongly advise that customers utilise these facilities and services which we can offer.”

Over the last year, TIMco has increased its ranges to more than 6,500 products ranging from traditional fasteners and fixings through to gate hardware, building chemicals and adhesives to new and improved impact driver bits and associated builder’s products.

TIMco is head quartered in Nantwich, Cheshire and imports and supplies more than 6,500 product lines from around the world to distributors throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.  The company was established in 1970 and now employs 115 members of staff from its offices in the UK, Ireland and Taiwan.  For more information, visit

from The UK Construction Blog

Friday, 17 August 2018

5 Reasons all Warehouses Need Quality LED lighting

LED lighting is known to be one the most efficient lighting technologies. For today’s new-build warehouses, it would be unusual to consider fitting anything but LEDs given their long list of benefits when compared with halogen, metal halide, HPS (high pressure sodium) and other more traditional bulbs. However, not all LEDs are created equal. It can be tempting to go for the cheapest brand when choosing commercial LED lighting, with countries such as China mass-producing LED lights at discount prices. Whilst these budget buys may seem like a good deal, factors such as rushed construction and low-quality components will quickly mean that any money saving goes out the window. Don’t be fooled; we’ve listed the top 5 reasons why you should prioritize quality over price.

Cheaper Cost

Whilst high-quality LED bulbs can initially cost up to 6 times more than traditional fittings, their ultra-efficiency quickly leads to incredible savings. This is because they use a lot less energy to produce light, drastically reducing energy bills. The best LED lights can save you up to 80% on annual running costs, which for larger-scale commercial building lighting projects means saving tens of thousands every year.


LEDs are also long-lasting, meaning replacement is required far less often than other light bulbs. What’s more, many of today’s high-quality industrial LED light solutions will have a high enough lumen per watt efficiency to qualify for the UK Government’s Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme. This scheme allows companies to write off the cost of purchasing commercial LED lighting fixtures against their taxable profits in the same year, reducing your initial purchase and installation costs by up to 23%.

Lower Maintenance

LED bulbs are built to last. Most can run for 50,000 to 100,000 hours or more without a significant decrease in light output, for example UK lighting manufacturer Pulsar’s EcoRange of commercial LED lighting guarantees 100,000 hours of design life as standard. You would have to replace incandescent lighting an average of 50 times before ever needing to replace an LED, though this stat

becomes less impressive if using low-quality, cheap LED bulbs.

Less Heat Emitted

The high efficiency of quality commercial LED lighting means it converts 95% of its energy into light with only 5% wasted as heat. This is in comparison to incandescent bulbs, which release 90% of their energy as heat and CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), which convert 80% of their energy into unwanted warmth. This is not only negative in terms of the wasted energy, but can also result in overheated industrial spaces. Particularly for warehouses storing or producing consumable goods, this extra heat can be harmful.

Better Light Quality for Working

One of the instantly visible benefits of LED lighting in warehouses is the better quality of light. Cheap LEDs have a tendency to flicker, which can create an unsafe working environment, especially for those operating heavy or dangerous machinery. This is because cheaper manufacturers build their bulbs using lower-quality drivers, weighing up what is an ‘acceptable level’ of flicker against price point. In contrast, high-quality LED lights use reliable drivers that supply them with a constant, non-oscillating current, eliminating this problem.


Good LEDs can also more than double light levels in a commercial environment. Their unique ability to emit light in a specific direction without relying on reflectors or diffusers makes it easier to create more even light distribution. This means workers enjoy a brighter environment, reducing the risk of mistakes or injury made due to poor visibility.


Environmental Responsibility

As environmental responsibility climbs ever-higher on the agenda for modern businesses, energy-efficient industrial lighting should be on everyone’s mind. LEDs have a positive impact on the environment in three key ways. Firstly, these lights are built to last up to 20 times longer than traditional fixtures – the better the quality of LED the longer its lifespan. This means that fewer bulbs need to be produced and so fewer of the world’s resources are used overall.


Secondly, good LED flood lights and fixtures are up to 80% more efficient than conventional bulbs, and so waste far less energy.

Lastly, LEDs are non-toxic. This is in stark contrast to the fluorescent tube lighting that still resides in a lot of commercial premises, containing hazardous chemicals that can damage the planet.

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The types of insurance that may be vital for your construction business

Whether you have just started a construction business or are preparing to do so, you could be brimming with optimism. After all, rising skills shortages in the UK construction sector, as reported by the Independent, have opened up fresh opportunities for people seeking construction jobs.

Still, none of this takes away from your need to source proper insurance. Differentiating the essential policies from those that are simply a “good idea” can be tricky – especially as many policies aren’t meant just for construction workers. Hence, you could benefit from these pointers…

Public liability insurance

Spending hours at a time on a construction site means posing particular risks to members of the public. Of course, you can follow health and safety procedures to minimise those risks – but, as accidents can still happen, public liability cover could get your firm out of a financially tricky spot.

“Financially tricky” is an apt term here because, if the course of your work leads you to accidentally inflict injury on a member of the public, they could sue you and so heavily deplete your company’s funds. Public liability insurance would take the brunt of various costs outlined by the Federation of Small Businesses – including compensation payments as well as legal costs and expenses.

Employer’s liability insurance

It is technically possible to forgo public liability insurance, as it is not required by law. However, this does not apply in the case of employer’s liability insurance. You would usually need cover of this type should you employ anyone – ranging from contractors to casual and temporary workers.

Otherwise, employer’s liability works much like public liability, except that it is your own employees who are protected. For example, if a worker becomes ill because they been exposed to construction dust or an employee suffers an injury due to a faltering piece of equipment, this cover can help.

Employer’s liability insurance would enable you to fund compensation payouts. This is no small boon, as paying such compensation independently could prove financially prohibitive on top of a large fine, as mentioned on the Planning Portal site, you could risk for lacking employers’ liability.

Contractor’s all risks insurance

You might not be quite so familiar with contractor’s all risks insurance. However, for construction workers specifically, it is a crucial line of cover. The benefits of this insurance are various; if your construction equipment is stolen or a property beneath your in-progress extension is engulfed by fire, contractor’s all risks insurance can plug a monetary gap which could otherwise grow.

With many insurance options – including legal expenses cover and products liability cover – to think about, you could anticipate struggling to source all of them. However, turning to insurance specialists like those at Tradesman Saver would let you obtain all of these flavours of construction insurance. An online form on the Tradesman Saver site lets you apply for tailored quotes.

Tradesman Saver also includes both products liability cover and legal expenses cover at no extra charge with each of its policies.

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

A giant leap for construction!

Robert Woodhead’s National Space Centre Ultra Site receives stratospheric praise from Considerate Constructors Scheme  

The National Space Centre’s Launch Pad project lifted off to new heights with a dramatic community launch – which took construction to the edges of earth’s atmosphere.

The launch provided a spectacle for hundreds of school children, local residents and workers who witnessed a teddy bear, and a construction bolt that will later be used as part of the completed works, ascending into the atmosphere powered by a huge helium balloon.

The project carried out by Scheme Partner Robert Woodhead Ltd has achieved Ultra Site status and this launch proves that innovation and technology is at the very heart of their successful engagement with the local community.

As part of this celebration of innovation and community engagement, the site produced a special film which includes details about the Ultra Site activities and interviews from the client, site team and Chief Executive of the Scheme, Edward Hardy (click here to watch the film).

The Ultra Site was to build a brand new ‘Launch Pad’ ticketing hall, which will extend the Leicester-based National Space Centre and improve the experience for the record numbers of visitors, reaching over 300,000 in 2017.

Despite this being the shortest duration Ultra Site to date at only 14 weeks, Robert Woodhead’s Launch Pad project achieved the very highest standards of considerate construction, working in true collaboration with the client and its supply chain.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy commented: “The National Space Centre Ultra Site is an example of the exceptional standards of performance which can be achieved in a very short period of time when everyone works together.

“The innovative efforts of Robert Woodhead’s team and supply chain have truly made a spectacle for the local community and workforce, underlining how the industry can adapt technology to enthuse and promote a positive image of our industry.”

Robert Woodhead’s Project Manager Tony Robinson said: “The fast track, 14-week project duration really pushed us to innovate and think of new ideas to demonstrate that exceptional levels of consideration can be achieved in tight timescales.

“We had a whole team collaborative approach which included our site team, office team and supply chain. The client was also fully involved from the outset; they valued what the Scheme stood for and saw the benefits it brought.”

Click here to read more about this project and to watch the film.

Click here to find out more about becoming an Ultra Site.

from The UK Construction Blog

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Tradespeople say heat is forcing them to down tools, and call for on-site water stations

Tradespeople say heat is forcing them to down tools, and call for on-site water stations

Apart from the recent thunder storms, Britain’s summer has so far proven to be a very un-British scorcher. With temperatures hitting sweltering highs, spare a thought for the bricklayers, carpenters and other tradespeople that have to work outside, and who have already had to endure the bitter Beasts from the East earlier this year.

To find out how people on the country’s construction sites are handling the heat, the UK’s largest online supplier of ironmongery, IronmongeryDirect, has carried out a poll among its customers – mainly sole traders and small businesses.


The research reveals that almost 40% of respondents have been prevented from completing a job because of the hot weather. As many are self-employed, they are likely to be feeling the impact of any heat-induced pauses in work through loss of income. Their professional reputation can also take a battering despite making decisions to leave the site for safety reasons.

A Met Office spokesperson added: “We would urge high-risk groups including tradespeople to follow the Public Health England advice to take care in the sun, especially when temperatures are potentially reaching 30 degrees or more throughout this week – either stay out of the sun or be sensible and don’t go out in the strongest sunshine hours which are 11am to 3pm.”

In addition, half of the survey respondents felt that water stations should be introduced on-site to help them keep cool at work.

Wayne Lysaght-Mason, Managing Director of IronmongeryDirect, has questioned whether more should be done to protect tradespeople in extraordinary weather conditions: “This heatwave has been more prolonged and relentless than anything I can remember. With it not beyond the realms of possibility for this type of weather to become more frequent, I think it’s vitally important for tradespeople to receive more protection.”

The heatwave is not all bad news. It has resulted in more work for builders – 25% of poll participants said they are being asked to install more swimming pools and 1 in 2 have noticed a higher demand for outdoor decking.

from The UK Construction Blog

Thursday, 9 August 2018

The 2018 Structural Awards shortlist reveals how engineering influences modern design

The Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) reveals the shortlist for the Structural Awards 2018, featuring 53 entries selected from 115 projects globally.

Now in its 51st year, these prestigious annual awards celebrate the world’s best engineering structures and demonstrate the diversity of structural engineering.

The shortlisted projects highlight the ingenuity and creativity of these forward-thinking professionals and honour today’s most cutting-edge examples of engineering.

Finalists include:

Louvre Museum, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Structural Engineer: BuroHappold Engineering

Tamina Canyon Crossing, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland

Structural Engineer: Leonhardt, Andrä und Partner Beratende Ingenieure VBI AG

The Hoover Building, London, UK

Structural Engineer: Interrobang

Haiti Chapel

Structural Engineer: Webb Yates

This year’s shortlist of ground-breaking projects offers a glimpse into a diverse selection of buildings, commending excellence through exemplary engineering solutions. The buildings, bridges and landmarks selected are beyond the ordinary, indicating technical superiority, clever design and absolute attention to detail.

Chair of the awards judging panel, Professor Tim Ibell, comments:

“This year we’ve received an unusual and imaginative collection of entries, from sculptural monuments by renowned artists through to a cricket stadium which has been dubbed the ‘Lord’s of East Africa’. The shortlist gives a fantastic overview of what’s going on in the structural engineering community on a global scale, highlighting the ambition, imagination and expertise of our profession. We’re delighted to have seen many more new firms entering their work for consideration in our unique celebration of structural engineering excellence.”

Martin Powell, Chief Executive of The Institution of Structural Engineers, says:

“Where in the past structural engineers have often been seen as the unsung heroes of built environment projects, we are starting to see greater recognition for the important work they do. The media interest attracted from last year’s diverse shortlist gave both the construction industry and the wider public an insight into how engineers creativity, innovation and problem solving skills help make a structure iconic, ensuring it is fit for purpose and safe for our use and enjoyment.”

He continues: “Structural engineers remain the guardians of public safety who ensure any structure can withstand all kinds of stresses and strains. Given that 2018 is ‘The Year of Engineering’, our awards are more relevant than ever. They prove just how innovative our industry is in bringing truly ambitious and monumental projects to life.”

Following strict judging criteria, shortlisted entries were selected for excellence, creativity and innovation, as well as elegance and detailing. Sustainability, economic viability and value for money were also core considerations.

The complete shortlist can be viewed at The winners will be announced at the awards dinner and ceremony which takes place on Friday 16 November 2018 at The Brewery, London.

A full gallery of shortlisted projects can be downloaded here.


A full list of shortlisted entries can be downloaded here

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Peel Energy announces plans to install district energy at Liverpool Waters

Peel Energy, the low carbon energy arm of Peel Land and Property, has announced plans to develop a district heat network at its ambitious Liverpool Waters development, under the name of Mersey Heat.

The first phase of the network is centred on existing buildings around Princes Dock along with planned new developments along the waterfront. The heat network will deliver low carbon hot water for the use of space heating and hot water provision within the buildings.

Peel Energy will operate the network through an energy services company called Mersey Heat, which will be responsible for system design, construction of the generation plant and operation of the network, providing low cost, low carbon reliable heat to the building owners and occupiers.

Development at Liverpool Waters will enjoy the benefits of a low cost, reliable heating and hot water solution for the buildings by connecting to the network, which will also have long term cost benefits for occupiers.

Muir Miller, Managing Director of Peel Energy, which also developed the wind turbines at Port of Liverpool said; “Our colleagues and their development partners are producing a first-rate product at Liverpool Waters and it deserves a 21st century heating system to match.  We believe that Mersey Heat can make a significant positive impact on the low carbon credentials of the project and provide cost benefits to developers and occupiers as well.  We are very excited at the prospect of deploying the first phase of the network and seeing how far it can grow.”

Peel’s Development Director for Liverpool Waters, Darran Lawless said: “Liverpool Waters includes the regeneration of 60 hectares of former dockland to create a high quality, mixed use waterfront development which will bring huge commercial and retail opportunity as well as over 9,000 new homes. The fact we can offer low cost, low carbon heat to a development on this scale is a fantastic step forward in us delivering a sustainable community where people can live, work and play.”

This will be Peel’s second district heat project after the successful installation at MediaCityUK in Salford which has been in operation since 2009 supplying such blue-chip customers as the BBC and University of Salford as part of the world’s first BREEAM approved sustainable community.

from The UK Construction Blog

Monday, 6 August 2018

The truth about Trump to be revealed at this year’s UK Construction Week

If there is one woman who has stories to tell, it is Barbara Res.

A professional engineer and lawyer, Barbara Res was the project manager behind Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

Despite encountering decades of sexual discrimination, harassment and intimidation, she became the first woman to take charge of a major skyscraper in New York, and was hired to be the vice-president of the Trump Organisation, working for Trump for nearly 18 years, from 1978 to 1996.

Initially supportive of Trump, she now speaks freely about how his attitudes to women have changed. She continues to voice strong views about women in construction and her philosophy on feminism, and speaks extensively to women’s groups and industry groups about construction and women’s role in it.

Barbara published her memoir, All Alone on the 68th Floor: How One Woman Changed the Face of Construction, in 2013. She is now coming to the UK to deliver a keynote presentation at the construction industry’s largest event, UK Construction Week, which returns to the NEC on 9-11 October.

Barbara will discuss her experience as a female engineer, working on Trump Tower, the successes and challenges of working with Donald Trump, and sexual harassment in construction, with journalist and broadcaster, Steph McGovern, at the UKCW Stage on 10 October.

Reserve a free place at this major interview of a true pioneer in construction by registering online at

Barbara Res’s views on why female engineers and tradeswomen are leaving construction in their thousands in North America can also be read at:

from The UK Construction Blog

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Trident takes to the road

It’s not quite 500 miles, but Trident Building Consultancy is walking 150 miles to help end youth homelessness.

As part of RICS’ 150th birthday celebrations, the Trident team will cover 150 miles to raise money to provide 150 beds for young homeless people as part of a project with LandAid.

The team had an early start with the Birmingham office walking from the office and around the city canals on 13 Julyand the rest of the challenge will take place during August.

The Leeds office will pick up from where Birmingham left off by walking from Golden Acre to Bardsey on 2 August; the Edinburgh office will walk from Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh Castle on 8 August; the Liverpool office will start from less regal surroundings at Hooton up to West Kirby on 10 August; on the same day over the Irish Sea the Dublin office will walk around the city centre; back on English soil the London West End and London City offices will join forces to walk from Kew Bridge to Tower Bridge on 16 August; both the Glasgow office and Bristol office will be out on 17 August walking from Drymen to Rowardennan in Scotland and a loop round Bristol starting and finishing at Portishead; and the Manchester office will finish the walk on 24 August by walking from Lytham to Fleetwood.

You can sponsor Trident and contribute to this worthy cause by using the following link: (Donations of plasters and foot massages are also welcomed!)

Keep up with the walk by following Trident on Twitter at: @Trident BC

RICS aims to raise £2.25 million for is campaign. Find out more about this project and the amazing work that LandAid does here:

from The UK Construction Blog

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Online training logs a win for trussed rafter designers

As the construction industry continues its struggle with skills shortages, the trussed rafter industry is working hard to upskill employees with sign-ups for specialist training quadrupling.

The online training course, run by the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) in association with Edinburgh Napier University, is proving popular with trussed rafter designers.

Two beneficiaries of the training programme are Gabor Vince, from Taylor Lane Timber Frame Ltd, and Frank Kyne, from Wyckham Blackwell Ltd, who are the highest scorers for the Introduction to Trussed Rafter Design online course.

As a reward for their hard work, Gabor and Frank have been given the opportunity to visit a Swedish forestry and sawmilling operations courtesy of Vida Wood UK Ltd.

Gabor says:

“It’s great to be rewarded for doing a course that, for me, was fundamental to my professional development.

“Going to Sweden will be a real eye-opener getting out into the forest to witness how it all works through the whole felling and logging process and seeing how the timber is processed at the mill.”

Frank adds:

“The course for me was very useful and a great test of my skills. Being able to do this all online was really important to me as I would never have found the spare time to complete this otherwise.

“I can’t wait to go to Sweden and see how my work and my colleagues’ work weaves into what’s happening out in the forest and the mills. It’s a fantastic opportunity.”

Nick Boulton, TRA chief executive, said:

“Training for TRA members is going from strength to strength and it’s remarkable how well the course is doing. It’s a credit to the TRA members and their employees for wanting to be better at their job to provide a better service for their customers.”

The online training course is available in two elements: Part 1 Essentials and Part 2 Advanced. Part 1 is suitable for new staff and designers while part 2 is aimed purely at designers.

TRA members can claim up to two units of training completed per site within three months of registering. With each unit costing £175 per candidate or £300 for both, these are great saving for members.

The course is just one element of the TRA’s commitment to training and recruitment in the trussed rafter industry.

At the TRA AGM in May where the theme was ‘The next generation’, TRA chairman, Jonathan Fellingham, announced he is heading up a project to look at the recruitment of the future pipeline of trussed rafter designers and fabricators, calling on TRA members to get involved.

To register candidates, please send the candidates full name and business email address to where you can also find out further information about the training package.

from The UK Construction Blog

Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Survey School’s 2018 graduates take home the prizes

Prize-winning graduates of the TSA Surveying Course were presented with their awards and cash prizes at the annual leavers’ ceremony held at Worcester Racecourse.

Among the 31 graduates were two students from Abu Dhabi, who travelled to Worcester specifically for the hands-on training in the principles of surveying provided at The Survey School.

Nine students gained distinctions, and prizes, based on assignment results, exam marks and overall observations by the tutors, were given to four for outstanding achievement.

Jointly sponsored by The Survey Association (TSA) and Leica Geosystems, the Best Student Award went to Eurig Price who achieved an enviable 99 per cent in his final examination.

Tutor at The Survey School, Andrew Crumpler commented, ‘’Eurig came on this course from a machine control back ground and carrying out topographical surveys was new to him. He has worked extremely hard and applied himself to his studies with some outstanding pieces of work.’’

Sponsored by TSA, the recipient of the Vice-President’s Award was Jack Dods of Network Rail who was commended for his exceptionally high standard of work and efficient organisation.

Rafe Holmes of WYG Group was presented with the Chartered ICES prize for Best Assignment for his ‘first class’ surveying and setting out design for a new housing estate and access road.

To demonstrate their support for the TSA Course, a new and additional prize for this year was awarded by RICS for the Best Measured Building Assignment.  Successful completion of the Course counts towards AssocRICS membership.

The first winner of the RICS prize was Steven Smith of IIC Technologies who was applauded for his very clear explanation of the laser scan surveying process and how to get the best results.

The Survey School is recognised by industry and employers as the UK’s premier commercial training centre for the education of land surveyors.  TSA Surveying Course 49 starts on 3 September 2018 and Course 50 on 19 November 2018. For full details on these and shorter technical courses on specific topics, see the School’s website.

from The UK Construction Blog