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Billboard advertising: the power and influence

October 17th, 2018 No comments

Many firms in the construction industry find advertising tough due to competition and so many marketing avenues and product. Arguably, one of the most effective methods of making someone pay attention is with a large billboard placed strategically in a public place.

Discover why your construction business needs to reassess its advertising campaigns to feature billboards, and what strategy you need to follow to make them work!

Billboarding influence

Today, billboards are a critical part of promoting — they’ve even had a film made about them (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). However, the earliest record of a leased billboard was documented in 1867. Output from the construction industry in 2017 hit nearly £164 million — more than double that of the year 2000. Compeition is fierce, and you need to fight for consumers.

According to Route, the average Brit is classed as ‘out and about’ for three hours and ten minutes every day, spending around 16 minutes in the view of advertisements. So, you want to attract these potential customers by placing a billboard somewhere that sits amid a place of high footfall and traffic.

Do you need more workers and need to advertise from a recruitment perspective? No construction company wants to pass on a project just because they don’t have the resources or manpower. In the construction sector today, 87% of employers are facing an issue due to a shortage of skilled workers, according to City & Guilds. A billboard could be the tool you need to advertise the employment opportunities you have to offer — and it shouldn’t take you too much time to put together. A billboard is a single page of design that is simple to design and print, which saves you time and means you can promote vacancies quicker.

Perhaps you’re trying to promote and sell your services or products, instead. Heard of the ‘Marketing Rule of 7’? Basically, this rule means someone has to hear or see an ad seven times before acting on it. If you put a billboard design on a site that people might pass more than once a day — like on the way to work or school — your potential customers will achieve this magic number of viewings in just a few days.

Now, you need to get your head around designing the right billboard for your brand and objectives.

Designing your billboard

Make sure your billboard gets to the point — make it bold and informative. Think strategically about what you want on your billboard — someone driving past at 40mph+ is only going to be able to take in so much. Do you want to sell a specific product? Are you spreading brand awareness or promoting an event? Only include the essential marketing message information — like contact details, name of product, date and location of event, and call to action.

Images can be very powerful on a billboard. According to research, people generally only recall 10% of information they hear three days later. However, using a relevant image alongside this information increases retention by 55%. When designing your billboard, try and think of an unconventional image that will grab a passer-by’s attention — even something as simple as having a large, black-and-white photo of a construction site with only the workers’ construction helmets in yellow would stand out.

Digestible and clear info on a billboard is essential — what’s the point if people can’t read what you’re saying? Utilise bright and bold colours to catch the eye — contrasting colours are reportedly stay in people’s memories for longer, too — and opt for a simple background and large, readable text — Sans Serif is a good shout.

The above point is especially important if your billboard is on a main road. Remember, a motorist only has between five and ten seconds take in an advertisement. So, the more relevant and informative your image is, the less you should need to convey with text — stick to a brief, punchy message of seven words and you should get your marketing message across, no problem.

Trying to entice the skills of new tradespeople? Are you advertising your construction products to other businesses? Whoever you’re targeting, bear this in mind when choosing your billboard location. For example, if you need young, entry-level employees, find a site near a college. Or if you’re trying to secure deals to work on commercial buildings, go for somewhere near a retail park or area where there’s a lot of trading. Otherwise, you could reduce your ROI due to not being in sight of the people who are most likely to act on your ad.

By making a reference to the local area, you can help boost the power of your billboard. Include an image of a local landmark to create a sense of familiarity or reference the local traffic in a funny way. Humour generally works in advertising. According to a review of 6,500 ads, the funniest were usually cited as being the most appealing and memorable. What’s more, adopting this creates a more welcoming brand persona, which should encourage custom.


Gilbert-Ash Builds Team Success with Six New Senior Appointments

October 16th, 2018 No comments

Leading UK construction, refurbishment and fit-out company, Gilbert-Ash, has strengthened its senior team with six internal promotions. The company has promoted four Project Directors and

John Davis, Gilbert-Ash Project Director, is leading the team at the new £17m Royal College of Pathologists headquarters in London

two Senior Surveyors, building on the wealth of expertise already across the team.


Gilbert-Ash recently announced its financial results for the year ended 31 December 2017. The results confirm a 50% increase in pre-tax profits to reach over £2m, up from £1.4m in 2016. With results driven by the dedicated 180-strong team, the contractor reported an overall turnover of £165.5m, an increase from £148m in the previous year.


It aims to build on this success with the recent Project Director and Senior Surveyor promotions, tapping into the strong potential that has been developed within the company.


Whilst carrying out multiple complex projects across the UK and beyond, Gilbert-Ash has been striving to improve its workforce culture and inspiring working environment, through continual investment in its people and innovation.


Sean Doran, John Davis, Ciaran Begley and Rodney Coalter have each been appointed as Project Directors, with Paul Carroll and Lyndon Park both promoted to Senior Surveyors. This allows their knowledge to be utilised at a strategic level and for each of them to help guide the company as it moves into a successful future.


Ray Hutchinson, Managing Director, Gilbert-Ash commented: “This is an exciting time for Gilbert-Ash as we match our industry success with several in-house promotions to new senior positions. This demonstrates the talent, skills and expertise that Gilbert-Ash possesses, not only at the top level but running throughout the entire team from the ground up.”


Current projects include John Davis leading the team at the new £17m Royal College of Pathologists headquarters in London, whilst Ciaran Begley is sharing his expertise at the redevelopment of the Royal College of Music in South Kensington. Additionally, Lyndon Park is readying the £19.5m Cambridge Mosque for completion in December this year.


Rodney Coalter is currently working with the team to finalise the refurbishment of Bristol Old Vic, rediscovering its theatrical heritage. The company also continues to work with hotel group Whitbread on numerous concurrent projects, led by Sean Doran and Paul Carroll. As Whitbread Supplier of the Year 2017, Gilbert-Ash’s work takes place across the UK and includes its next generation, technology-enabled Premier Inn hub hotels.


Each of the Project Directors and Senior Surveyors joined Gilbert-Ash in the early stages of their career, with Sean Doran and Lyndon Park both joining during their placement year. This demonstrates Gilbert-Ash’s cohesive work culture that has led to an employee retention rate of 87%.


Ray Hutchinson added: “Our team of Project Directors and Senior Surveyors will help shape the future of construction at Gilbert-Ash through their determined work ethic and skilled attention to detail. I congratulate each of them on their success and look forward to seeing what the future holds under their steer. The company’s strong growth is driven by our continued focus and investment in both our chosen markets and our people.”


Gilbert-Ash recently received the renowned accolade of Contractor of the Year at the Construction News Awards 2018. It has also been shortlisted for Contractor of the Year (up to £300m) at the Building Awards 2018. Over the past 12 months, it has performed strongly on a national level with several high-profile projects, including the £21.5m AC by Marriott Hotel in Belfast City Quays and the £19.5m Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts project in London.


Debate around digital hits a higher level on day one of UKCW

October 15th, 2018 No comments

The future success of digital construction lies with improved planning, more consistent procurement by Government, integrated software systems, the education of the young and the development of hybrid solutions that don’t scare the industry, according to the opening debate at this year’s UK Construction Week (UKCW).

Chaired by architect and TV presenter George Clarke, a panel of digital construction experts took the discussion on digital to a new level compared to previous years. Offsite construction, BIM and even the use of robotic technologies on site were all acknowledged as established solutions – but what matters now is how these are applied and approached with a completely different mindset, the panellists agreed.

“We are at a point of acceptance of BIM”, said David Clark, head of manufacture and innovation at offsite specialists McAvoy. “We all want to take digital data and bring this to the front line of manufacturing. But we need a long-term pipeline coming through – a guaranteed demand which unlocks investment,” he said.

The role of Government was central to this, as the industry’s largest client responsible for 40% of the sector’s capital expenditure, explained Mark Bew, chairman of PCSG.

It’s hard to be a client, Mark acknowledged, but he told the packed auditorium about what he described as “the first glimmer of hope” – outcome-based contracting and new forms of procurement which are now starting to be used and which lift the requirements around data. “It’s now an adult-to-adult conversation, not adult-to-child approach,” he said.

He also urged greater Government uptake of common components which, just as in the car industry, allow a huge variety of customisable products for the end-user but essentially all stem from a simple, standardised portfolio of parts.

Lara Ayris, managing director of Waste Plan Solutions, expressed concern about disjointed software solutions which were still not talking to each other and the problems of getting BIM models to reflect the real world, but Raphael Scheps, CEO of Converge, explained how sensors inbuilt into building materials are now starting to cross-reference and validate the on-site reality with the digital models used at design stage.

In the strong international line-up on the UKCW stage, Grant van Wyk, founder of Future Construct and Automation, also told of robotic scanners which check for performance against design, and SAM – the Semi-Automatic Mason – which is possibly a more culturally acceptable form of automation in construction.

“SAM is a co-bot, not a robot,” he explained. “It works alongside traditional trades and makes their work more interesting and enjoyable. These are the incremental steps we need, otherwise the shift is too large. We need easy-to-use interfaces.”

From Eindhoven University of Technology, Theo Salet emphasised the essential role of education, and the way companies and students are increasingly working, exploring and learning together about the best ways to apply digital construction. “It’s multi-skilled workers we will be looking for in the future,” he said.

Again hybrid solutions appear to work best at the moment – George Clarke himself admitted that MOBIE, his new education initiative, is developing courses which integrate traditional construction with digital, in order to gain wider housebuilder take-up.

Despite their continued frustration at the pace of change, the panel provided plenty of evidence of the take up of digital construction and ended with a strong call for increased R&D, based on data and learning from what is currently happening. “We need to look at how it performs and listen to how these new systems, and system of systems, really work,” said Mark Bew.

This virtuous circle and learning loop came up in other presentations too. Elsewhere at the show, building quality and safety were hot topics across the UKCW seminar and CPD programme and culminated in RIBA’s official launch of its Building in Quality tracker. Developed in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Building and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, RIBA president Ben Derbyshire introduced the tracker and details of the five-month pilot set to transform building safety forever.

Other show highlights included:

  • Lord David Blunkett, Heathrow Skills Taskforce, talking about strategies to address the skills gap in construction;
  • Property expert and TV presenter Kunle Barker leading a vibrant panel discussion on diversity, equality and inclusion; and
  • The launch of the Passivhaus 2019 student competition, aiming to arm the next generation of architects and designers with the tools and design skills needed to deliver sustainable buildings.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said:

“Today has been a powerful opening day. The calibre of debate has been higher, more detailed and more positive than in previous years, and the examples of innovation and best practice are more plentiful. Combined with record numbers for a first day, I’m confident that this show is delivering on its promise to make visible the future of construction.”

The top sessions tomorrow are expected to be:

  • Keynote speaker Barbara Res, who will discuss her experience as a female engineer working on Trump Tower, the renovation of New York’s Plaza Hotel and the successes and challenges of working with Donald Trump;
  • A major debate on solving the UK’s housing crisis, looking at the long-term strategy for housing growth and what roles will be adopted by planning authorities, councils, housing associations, developers and others.
  • The seminar on ‘Quality in construction post-Grenfell’, looking at the outcomes from the Hackitt Review as well as the latest updates on product testing regimes and use of combustible materials in high-rise construction.

All these events are happening on the UKCW stage and will be chaired by TV presenter Steph McGovern.

On display is the EksoWorks exoskeleton in action as featured on BBC Breakfast, and more than other 650 exhibitors to visit, seminars to attend, lots of networking opportunities and all of this under one roof.

UKCW continues until Thursday with nine shows: Build Show, Energy 2018, Timber Expo, Building Tech Live, Surface & Materials Show, HVAC 2018, Civils Expo, Plant and Machinery Live, and Grand Designs Live. An estimated total of 35,000 visitors are expected to attend across the three days.


Trade body training puts property professionals on the inside track as condensation season looms

October 12th, 2018 No comments

A national trade body is running a series of training programmes throughout autumn and winter to put property professionals in control of damp and wet buildings as ‘condensation season’ approaches.

The Property Care Association offers a four-pronged approach to the subject, offering wide-ranging, specialist insight into the issue.

Included in the series is ‘A Diagnostic Approach to Understanding Condensation, Atmospheric Moisture and Mould,’ which shows participants how to analyse raw information collected by atmospheric data loggers, and then communicate the findings clearly to occupiers.

The course also provides insight into the development of rectification strategies and gives practitioners the skills to avoid taking the guesswork out of atmospheric moisture monitoring.

Also, in the line-up is ‘Evaluating Ventilation in Existing Buildings’ a one-day course aimed at those already involved or looking to become involved in the surveying of dampness-related problems in residential buildings. This day looks at how moisture is produced and how poor air management can affect existing buildings and their occupants. Delegates will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to identify and understand background infiltration and how this relates to existing and proposed ventilation systems. This highly focused training event prepares surveyors who need to understand the nature of the building, its construction, thermal performance and occupation in order to deliver affective retrofit ventilation solutions.

The third programme is the ‘Residential Ventilation Masterclass’ which looks in detail at retrofit ventilation systems and the associated industry regulations.

Suitable for anyone involved in the design and installation of retrofitting fans and mechanical ventilation solutions in existing homes, delegates will leave with an understanding of how to design and specify ventilation systems that meet the requirements of Building Regulations Approved Document Part F and evaluate existing systems against the standard.

Concluding the series is the ‘Retrofit Insulation Masterclass,’ a training programme dedicated to the emerging issue of poor retrofit internal and external wall insulation.

Developed by the PCA in response to a growing number of reports relating to a lack of quality in the design and installation of retrofit insulation, the course gives delegates an understanding of the defects.

Of relevance to those who work with buildings with retrofit energy efficiency measures, including surveyors and building professionals – as well as landlords, property managers and contractors – this one-day workshop combines the theory and best practice principles of retrofitting older buildings with practical case studies and exercises.

James Berry, PCA technical manager, said: “These courses are ideal individually, or as a suite of four, for those at the frontline in dealing with a subject of increasing importance nationally, namely excessive atmospheric moisture in buildings.

“As temperatures drop, the issue of condensation and dampness can become more problematic.

“We are seeing a number of factors, predominately linked with modern living, that make this issue a rising trend, including increased levels of occupation and rising fuel costs, as well as a drive to make homes more energy efficient.

“Efforts to reduce air leakage through draught proofing and retrofit insulation, as well as the changing climate patterns – featuring warmer, wetter weather – are also of significance.

“Through collaborative effort and investment, the PCA’s focus has been to develop the long-term protection and improvement of buildings, as the custodians, creators and exponents of best practice in the understanding, control and eradication of dampness in buildings.

“Training is a central element of this approach and we welcome input from a wide-range of organisations in sharing this knowledge.”

PCA training takes place at the association’s dedicated training facility in Huntingdon. More details, including dates, can be found at

These courses and all PCA training programmes can also be delivered cost-effectively in-house, for maximum benefit. Specific information on in-house training options can be found at

The issue of excess moisture in buildings and the impact of effective ventilation is a major focus of the PCA.

This year the trade body held a two-day International Residential Ventilation & Preservation of Buildings Conference to further investigate issues including the nature of occupation, methods for identifying and rectifying defects – and the expected performance of existing buildings.

As well as the conference and training programme, other initiatives from the PCA include the development of a Residential Ventilation Group (RVG), the publication of a ‘Code of Practice for the Investigation and Provision of Ventilation in Existing Dwellings’ and a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University College London Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (UCL IEDE).

The PCA has also produced a video offering a comprehensive overview of the issues faced from moisture in buildings. Featuring interviews with academics at University College London Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (UCL IEDE), the short film is available to view at

Another video regarding ventilation can also be seen at


Chartered Building Company T. Gunning Ltd invests in new headquarters

October 10th, 2018 No comments

Chartered Building Company T. Gunning Ltd invests in new headquarters

to support business growth

T Gunning Ltd, the Chartered Building Company specialising in interior/exterior refurbishment, has opened a new headquarters building in Dagenham to accommodate current and future growth.


The new building comprises an open plan office, meeting rooms, additional storage and a training facility to ensure its multi-skilled tradesmen and women are fully conversant with the latest products and techniques essential to delivering the highest quality refurbishment projects.


Director of T. Gunning, Mike Gawadzyn, says the continued expansion of the business has prompted the need for more space: “The company has enjoyed rapid growth over the last few years, taking on larger projects that demand greater resource. Moving to new premises enables us not only to accommodate a growing number of staff but also gives us the room to expand further as the need arises.”


As well as moving to new premises, the company has also invested in a new Cloud-based project management system, enabling site-based integration to the main office IT, further enhancing its professional delivery on site.


Growing consistently over the last thirty years, T.Gunning has cemented its reputation for the fast turnaround of major refurbishment works for Universities, Property Management Companies, and the NHS, either as part of a framework agreement or as a preferred contractor.




October 8th, 2018 No comments

BAE Systems has looked to Develop Training to help in deploying video teaching for its staff.

Develop Training Ltd (DTL) specialises in the provision of training for the construction and utilities sectors. Both BAE Systems and DTL strongly believe that video teaching, which allows for learners to experience real-world scenarios in the classroom, will help to revolutionise the future delivery of training courses.

DTL initially set out to help BAE Systems develop the skills of its excavation supervisors quickly and effectively in varied operational environments and without the need for extensive travel; it was quickly determined that a customised 2D video was the most effective way of doing this.

The video, which involved three days on-site shooting and six weeks post-production work, has allowed for an innovative two-day course to be created. DTL is now looking to extend the approach more widely to a number of its training courses.

Jamie Hudson, Specialist Engineer at BAE Systems, commented: “We have been delighted with our successful partnership with DTL to develop this new method of training delivery. Being able to experience a variety of real-world scenarios in the classroom will be a huge advantage for trainees. We expect this technology to be used far more widely in future.”

Jim Donnelly, Gas and H&S Delivery Manager at Develop Training, said: “This is an excellent way for delegates to learn important skills. It addresses key learning points easily and effectively, allowing these to be applied practically in the field and in a wide range of situations. It could fundamentally change how we deliver some of our courses in the future.”

The video covers the assessment of excavation sites, equipment suitability and compliance with health and safety regulations amongst a range of other content. This is the latest in a series of key innovations by DTL; although the company specialises in practical skills and apprenticeships in the construction and utility industries, it has previously pioneered the use of e-portfolios for delegates, and has developed a Learning Assessment Portal which allows employers and trainees to manage course bookings and monitor learner progress online.


DIY roof replacement vs professional roofing replacement

October 6th, 2018 No comments

Have you reached the conclusion that your roof needs to be replaced? Perhaps you have settled on this as a result of a roofing firm having checked your roof and provided their own professional opinion. However, should you replace the roof yourself or leave that task with a professional?

Though anyone can – in theory – replace a roof if they have the right supplies and guidance, the case for going down the DIY route is not quite as clear-cut as this situation might suggest.

Is a DIY roof replacement even an option?

To your surprise or not, the answer is yes, with explaining that you wouldn’t need any special skills to carry out a roof replacement. You would, however, need “proper tools, materials and guidance”, the site adds. At one point, any roof will need repairing or wholly replacing.

For a new roof, you can choose from various materials – including rubber, EPDM, GRP and slate. However, DIY roof replacement isn’t always recommended just because it is theoretically possible.

Replacing a roof is not for the faint-hearted

There’s no sugar-coating the fact that roofing is difficult. While on that roof, you wouldn’t be shielded from the weather – and, even on a relatively mild and clear day, you could run another risk: that of fearing heights! Quite simply, you can’t afford to fear them when doing roofing work.

It would also be necessary that you are pretty fit, but The Family Handyman has put together a guide aimed at helping you to test whether you really have what it takes to replace your own roof.

Check whether you pass the tests – yes, the plural

Before you commit to doing any DIY roofing work, use a ladder to ascend to your roof and try walking around it. If you struggle to do this comfortably, treat this as a clear sign that you should hire a professional. You probably won’t have difficulty in finding a local firm that can assist you.

If your home is in North East England, for example, you could turn to Findley Roofing & Building, the coverage area of which encompasses this region in its entirety. The company also offers a range of finance options, making it easier for you to source a Teesside, County Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear or Newcastle roofing finance package that is sufficiently flexible for your needs.

A friendly and helpful member of Findley staff is on the other end of a phone on 0191 417 3422, but what if you can actually comfortably walk on your own roof? In that case, fetch some shingles and carry them on your shoulder while climbing the ladder again.

Could you imagine repeatedly going through that process in the effort to build a new roof? If the prospect doesn’t daunt you, then a DIY roofing replacement might be practically possible, but please follow insurance giant AXA’s advice on how to use proper safety equipment when on a roof. Lack confidence? Get a professional roofer to do the work.


New statistics have revealed that UK construction companies benefitted by £80m from UK Government’s R&D Tax Credits in 2017

October 5th, 2018 No comments

New statistics have revealed that UK construction companies benefitted by £80m from UK Government’s R&D Tax Credits in 2017

Industry receiving highest average payment per R&D Tax Credit claim

The Momentum Group, a leading UK Tax Credit Advisory firm, based in Northern Ireland, has welcomed newly published statistics from HMRC that show the UK construction industry claimed a total of £80m in R&D Tax Credits.

Focused solely on R&D Tax Credits, the company works across most sectors of industry with expertise gained in the last decade working with over 500 companies throughout the UK.

The latest annual statistics from HMRC show there has been a slight decrease in companies from all regions of the UK claiming R&D Tax Credits, which are designed to drive innovation. Across the UK, London had the most claims with Northern Ireland businesses still significantly behind other regions.

The construction industry accounted for only 3% of all claims submitted, highlighting that the industry hasn’t tapped into the potential of the initiative.

The average received per R&D tax claim by construction companies was £58,000. This is slightly lower than the £85,000 average overall payment per claim across the industries surveyed.

Tom Verner, Group Managing Director, Momentum R&D commented: “While HMRC statistics show many industries in the UK are wakening up to the benefits of R&D Tax Credits, the potential is far greater. In our experience, there are still so many construction businesses that are either not aware of R&D Tax Credits, incorrectly think they do not qualify or feel they lack the necessary experience to submit a claim. In fact, many companies are not claiming their full legitimate entitlement.

“At Momentum, we helped a record number of companies with R&D Tax Credit claims in 2017. These are often highly innovative companies, who can reinvest these savings into technological innovation that bolsters their businesses, exports, employment and the local economy in the wake of Brexit.”

Momentum is calling on more construction businesses to act now on R&D Tax Credits, highlighting that the regional statistics could be much higher given the increasing investment in export here, with Verner adding:

“It is vital that the construction industry recognises the potential of this very accessible UK government incentive. While seeking in-depth advice is vital, with an increasing number of accountancy practices availing of our R&D expertise, we assist businesses every day that have benefitted from tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of pounds. Given the potential, we find it startling that more companies aren’t claiming, and we have made it our mission to highlight the incentive particularly on occasions like today when regional results show improvement from companies to claim their optimum benefit.”

Momentum has helped hundreds of highly competitive companies, from manufacturing to construction, food & drink to technology, to claim this UK government incentive. The
multi award-winning company assists in a range of areas, investing in understanding and optimising R&D expenditure.  The team includes accountancy, business, commercial and ex-HMRC technical experts to ensure every claim gets the necessary expert scrutiny and is thoroughly investigated.

Founded in 2009, Momentum is one of the longest established R&D advisory companies in the UK.   It is also the only R&D tax practice that focuses on providing advice on long-term R&D strategies, offering a complimentary annual review to its client enabling them to assess current and forward-plan future research and development projects.

Ron Gibson, Momentum’s Operations and Technical Director, who sits on HMRC’s R&D Consultative Committee, added: “In an unregulated area, involving often complex financial review, we find increasingly that owners, managing directors, financial controllers and their accountants are turning to the experts to navigate through this intricate R&D tax area.”

Momentum works with an increasing number of accountancy practices, business and financial consultants across the UK who partner with the specialist tax credit advisory firm to enhance their service to clients, reduce workload and grow their businesses.

For more information on Momentum visit


Single-use plastic crackdown at UK Construction Week to benefit clean water in Nairobi

October 3rd, 2018 No comments

Single-use plastic crackdown at UK Construction Week to benefit clean water in Nairobi

In an attempt to reduce the number of single-use plastic water bottles thrown away at the UK’s largest construction show, UK Construction Week (UKCW) has partnered with Join the Pipe to install water fountains around the event providing free tap water to its 35,000 visitors.

Everyone will be able to top up at water stations at every bar at the show and at Join the Pipe’s stand (stand number H200 in Hall 12).

The first thousand visitors to attend one of the three CPD hubs on each day of the event will also receive free reusable UKCW water bottles.

The initiative will help to raise awareness of Join the Pipe and is raising funds for its drinking water projects in developing countries, including a scheme in Nairobi aimed at providing clean drinking water in under-developed urban areas of the Kenyan capital.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, says:

“Awareness of the terrible impact of our throwaway attitude to plastic has been rising ever since the Blue Planet programme earlier in the year. A staggering 13 billion plastic bottles are used each year in the UK, and 5.5 billion of those end up in landfill, litter or incinerators. We do not want our event to add to that appalling waste.

“That’s what makes this such a great idea. Our visitors can stay hydrated with free water and a stylish reusable bottle, and we can help to reduce the growing amount of plastic waste we put into our environment while also helping children who have desperate need of clean water. Everyone’s a winner.”

Andrew Eversden, Managing Director of Join the Pipe International says:

“It has been proven that if you provide easy, convenient and reliable places for people to fill up their bottles and drink tap water, they will. Our refills stations are designed to do exactly that, bringing tap water to everyone, everywhere. In the process, supporters are contributing to a water project in a developing country.

“We have a variety of styles of water stations to suit all needs and with our sleek and aesthetic design we also aim to put the style back into tap water. I think this will be of interest to many architects, designers and developers attending this show.”

Free water bottles can be collected from CPD hubs in each hall of UK Construction Week from 9-11 October. Register for UK Construction Week at:


Five good strategies to make the most of the UK’s largest construction event

October 1st, 2018 No comments

When faced with a huge industry event attended by 35,000 contacts, featuring at least 350 speakers delivering 300 hours of content, and more than 650 stands covering over 70,000 square metres and providing launches, demos and offers on more than 10,000 products, you need a strategy.

So, if you have only one day to invest in this year’s UK Construction Week (UKCW), 9-11 October at the NEC, what should you prioritise?


Here are five good ways in which to navigate the UKCW.


  1. Go for the new stuff


Ninety percent of visitors to the UKCW say they are there to source new products and suppliers. Four new areas have therefore been added to this year’s show, with more than 100 exclusive product launches covering innovations in offsite construction; doors, windows and glass; roofing, cladding and insulation; tools and health and safety.


For the cutting edge inspiration, head to the Future of Construction Hub, providing an immersive experience of digital construction, 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality and experimental methods of construction.


The Digital Construction Hub will update you on all things BIM, and follow the UKCW Innovation Trail – a self-guided tour around selected exhibitors with amazing new things to show off.


Or why not create your own tour? Arrive at the NEC an hour early, make yourself comfy in a coffee area and use the floor plan and show guide to map out a bespoke route through the halls to ensure you get to see all the brands you want to see.


  1. Go for the big hitters


The UKCW Stage will see some keynote presentations from UK and international speakers and celebrities you might not otherwise get another opportunity to meet.


So why not choose just one day to camp out at the big stage in the centre of the show to meet and listen to the likes of Barbara Res, the trailblazing engineer who will spill the beans on working with Donald Trump during the years when she project-managed the construction of Trump Tower.


Or join BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern for hard-hitting discussions on housing policy, quality and how we stop future building failures, the digital future of construction, diversity and political correctness in the industry, economic forecasts, Brexit and the Government’s proposed new quality mark for home improvement and low energy retrofits.


  1. Go for the learning


If that’s possibly a bit too political for your tastes, the best bet is to get into the show’s free, fully accredited CPD sessions. But watch out – there are more than 35 to choose from, and pre-booking is essential.


The BRE Academy will also be hosting CPD workshops on BIM, offsite construction and urban planning and design; OM Group is holding health and safety CPD sessions on its stand; the Access Industry Forum is delivering working at height CPD sessions; and there are also specialist seminars in the Regeneration Hub and the Offsite areas of the show.


  1. Go to do deals


The point of attending many trade shows is to come away with new business. For three days, the NEC becomes the building industry’s biggest marketplace under one roof. Key exhibitors at this year’s show include: 3Thermo, Easy Trim, American Softwoods, Aurora Lighting, Cemex UK, G2 Energy, Pfleiderer and Tradepoint (B&Q) to name but a few.


But to save hanging around on stands or chasing people around the show, make sure you book online in advance to arrange your meetings with exhibitors. This will save you loads of time.


  1. Go for the networking


Finally, remember that UKCW is also one massive meeting place. Network with customers, suppliers and industry influencers, or even grab a beer with a competitor.


Or choose the informal route – after all, the Beer Festival is bigger than ever this year. Sponsored by Velux, this area features amazing street food, live bands, a gin and fizz bar and rockaoke. FIX Radio will be broadcasting from there from all three days. There is also a central bar in Hall 11, sponsored by the Elliott Group and the Timber Bar in Hall 9 sponsored by Germany Trade & Invest. Where better to meet up with old friends.


So get planning now. You can keep up to date with the latest information about exhibitors, product launches and speakers at UKCW via the website

and on Twitter at @UK_CW or using the hashtag #UKCW2018.