UK construction blog


Archive for June, 2009

microEXPLORERâ„¢ Digital Inspection Camera

June 30th, 2009 1 comment
microEXPLORER Digital Inspection Camera

microEXPLORER Digital Inspection Camera

The new RIDGID® microEXPLORER™ Digital Inspection Camera is a powerful, handheld, video inspection system that’s portable enough to be carried anywhere. This completely digital platform allows you to perform and record detailed visual inspections of hard to reach areas. The microEXPLORER Digital Inspection Camera allows you to offer more services and provides you the tools you need to detect and diagnose the unreachable.

Also comes with a 9.5mm head, ideal for cavity wall inspections. The new RIGID® 9.5mm diameter camera head allows you to perform detailed visual inspections in the most confined areas. Its super bright LED high resolution camera provides crystal clear images and its sleek, aluminium construction allows it to be used in the most demanding applications

Compatible with the RIGID® SeeSnake micro and the RIGID® microExplorer
Recommended for up close visual inspections in confined areas. Perfect for engine cylinders, pumps and small part inspection

Mammoth-Hire launches new tool and equipment hire website

June 29th, 2009 1 comment
Mammoth Hire

Mammoth Hire

National Tool Hiredelivered to your door
Mammoth tool hire is supplied by Hire Station, one of the UK’s leading tool hire companies. We have a choice of over 2,000 products to choose from including carpet cleaners, cement mixers, mini diggers, floor sanders, power tools, scaffolding, cranes, surveying equipment and much more. So, no matter how big or small your commercial needs, home or garden projects are, we now have the equipment you need.

We Make Hire Easy - one call is all it takes
It’s really easy to hire from Mammoth and all items are available for next day delivery (Mon-Sat AM). If you order before noon we can often deliver your equipment the same day, anywhere in the UK. Our hire periods vary from a day, weekend, 7 days or longer.  Annual contracts and special offers also available. We also offer specialist safety equipment – just call our hire team for more info.

  • On average Mammoth Hire is 35% less than Speedy Hire / HSS Hire
  • Over 2000 products to choose from with expert advice
  • Delivery from over 87 depots across the UK
  • Next Day delivery to home, business or work site
  • Credit Accounts available by application

SiteMaster Building & Mobile CAD Software

June 24th, 2009 3 comments

SiteMaster Building Sitemaster Movie- Mobile CAD Software

Watch the Movie

Watch the Movie

The mobile solution for Professional Building Surveys and CAD Drawings carried out On Site in Real Time

Draw fast and accurate walls (as single or double line), windows, doors and symbols rectangular and circular columns, recesses, ,chimneys, ducts, room areas, volumes, perimeters and much more.

For professional building surveys

The extensive features of SiteMaster Building are especially interesting for users that need to create and deliver professional CAD drawings.

The layer management supports the combination of several floor plans in one single file. Heights of rooms, openings and symbols can be recorded and exported. Lasered distances are recorded in the background and saved on an extra layer for proofing purposes.

Draw fast and accurate walls (as single or double line), windows, doors and symbols. You can draw rectangular and circular columns, Recess

es, chimneys and niches/ducts. SiteMaster Building offers you more than 250 CAD and numerous editing commands. The program features associative dimensioning and room area calculation.

The Camera function allows you to insert icon-referenced inspection photos and images. SiteMaster Building software contains an Image function for direct insertion and scaling of photos and image underlays with support for file formats as BMP, JPG, PNG, TIFF and RLC digital photos and images.

Sitemaster Building Screenshot

Sitemaster Building Screenshot

VoiceNotes that can easily been inserted eliminate time consuming text markup by providing record and playback of high-compressed audio notes and instructions directly inside your drawings.

AutoCAD-compatible drawing symbols / blocks can be used. The Visual Symbol Manager lets you insert symbols ? as-measured, referenced or free in the drawing. You can export Excel-compatible .csv files with room/area lists and room schedule reports/symbol lists. The Check Distance function lets you compare »as-built« distances to plan distances and record this comparison.

Experienced power users can use the visual Desktop, Menu and Toolbar Editor (DME2) and Lisp and/or C++ programming APIs to customize and extend the program furthermore.

MP tables motion calling for more construction apprentices

June 23rd, 2009 Comments off
Construction Apprentices

Construction Apprentices

A former apprentice, now an MP for Blaydon, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, has tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons calling for more construction apprenticeships.

The Labour MP Dave Anderson has called for more construction apprenticeships to help create new jobs in the construction industry, his call  has been warmly welcomed by the Federation of Master Builders.

Dave Anderson tabled the ‘Early Day Motion’ and threw his weight behind the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force which is calling on the Government to do all it can to train young people in the construction industry.

Mr Anderson said: “Apprenticeships can change the lives of young people, giving them access to careers in construction when other industries are declining.

“As a former apprentice I know how important these qualifications are and support the work the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force is doing not only to keep training alive during this recession but also give them a real boost that should be sustained going forward.”

Chairman of the Cross-Industry Construction Apprenticeship Task Force Geoff Lister said: “I am pleased that our work has the support of politicians such as Dave Anderson as it is very important that we continue to get our message across by whatever means available to us if we are to ensure sustainable training in the construction industry.”

Quality and Safety are at risk as firms slash costs to win work

June 22nd, 2009 1 comment
British Pound

Quality & Safety at Risk

A leading industry body has warned that Construction quality and safety standards are being put at risk as firms are being forced to cut costs to win competitive tenders.

The findings come from a new survey of the sector published by the Scottish Building Federation, the industry body and employers’ federation.

The SBF warns that the cost pressure could lead to the possibility of “shoddy work” and “unscrupulous” behaviour by firms desperate to win work.

Two thirds of firms responding to the latest Scottish Construction Monitor indicated that latest contracts were typically secured on the basis of a margin of under 3 per cent.

More than one in three is typically operating on a margin of under 2 per cent, while more than one in seven has seen its margins cut to under 1 per cent.

The survey also suggests that confidence within the industry remains weak with over 60 per cent responding either slightly less confident or much less confident about the prospects facing their business over the next 12 months compared to the previous 12 months.

SBF chief executive Michael Levack said: “The competitive pressure on many SMEs at the moment is immense.

“In the public sector, we’re seeing upwards of ten firms being invited to tender for each new contract. I’ve heard cases of recent local authority tender lists that have run to more than 20 companies, which is frankly ridiculous.

“In such a fiercely-competitive environment, one of my greatest fears is that responsible construction companies risk being undercut by less scrupulous firms, who can offer lower prices by cutting corners on quality and safety.”


Approved! Blackpool’s £100m tram upgrade

June 22nd, 2009 Comments off

A £100 million upgrade of Blackpool’s 120 year old tramway has been approved and funding has been confirmed by transport minister Sadiq Khan.

The total investment in the Tramway system amounts to £68.3 million from the Department for Transport and £33.4 million from the local council.

Work on the traditional tramway will include replacing 8 km of track, accessibility improvements, tram priority at junctions, a new depot and the purchase of 16 Bombardier Flexity 2 trams.

Old Blackpool Tram

Old Blackpool Tram

BAM Nutall will handle the track replacement – which is scheduled to be completed by Easter 2012 -  Volker Fitzpatrick has been chosen to build a £20 million tram depot at Starr Gate.

Mr. Khan said: “Trams have been running in Blackpool for over 100 years – I hope this funding will mean the historic, world-famous Tramway can continue to run well into the future,” he said.

The tramway, which is owned by Blackpool Council, has been operating since 1885


The Pro Mark 500 GPS/GLONASS – RTK Solution

June 19th, 2009 Comments off
The Pro Mark 500

The Pro Mark 500

The winning combination
The new ProMarkTM 500 offers GPS+GLONASS+20 years of field-proven Magellan technologies. Designed by our GNSS experts, this powerful survey solution delivers state-of-the art RTK features in a light, cable-free rover that gives you maximum mobility and flexibility in the field. Blade engine insures fast initialization, long-range accuracy, robust signal tracking, and secures future constellation evolutions.

Magellan Technology
In addition to the short time to fix, long-range RTK and solution reliability, ProMark 500 includes:

Patented multi-constellation signal processing
RTK solution maintained if data link is dropped
Interoperability with any vendor’s reference station using GPS+GLONASS L1/L2

All-in-one Flexibility
ProMark 500 offers all-in-one communication capabilities. It is the most flexible GNSS surveying system available, offering multiple operating modes, configurations and communication modules (UHF, GSM/GPRS, EDGE) and protocols.

Feature-rich Surveying Solution
The ProMark 500 is available with a MobileMapperTM CX field terminal, a handheld sub-meter GPS receiver for additional work such as pre-survey and GIS data collection.

The ProMark 500 offers extensive equipment interoperability via comprehensive suite of software tools:

FAST SurveyTM field software simplifies data collection and real-time operation.

GNSS SolutionsTM
office software provides powerful support to a wide range of applications, handling both real-time and post-processing data within the same project.

Real Time Data Server Software (RTDS)
is a new software offering land surveying companies the possibility of using GNSS equipment to build their own direct IP RTK corrections server.

The ProMark 500 innovative design, comprehensive user interface and wide range of communications will empower you to extend your survey horizons. Combined with the new FAST Survey field software on MobileMapper CX data controller, plus the highly regarded GNSS Solutions office software, the ProMark 500 system is the unique result of GPS+GLONASS+MAGELLAN.

Wimbledon Centre Court roof revealed ready for this year’s tournament

June 18th, 2009 4 comments

The All England Lawn Tennis Club recently unveiled its new retractable roof on the world famous Centre Court that will put an end to the familiar sight of spectators sitting beneath umbrellas waiting for a break in the clouds during the forthcoming Wimbledon tournament.

Wimbledon Centre Court

Wimbledon Centre Court

The new 5,200m² roof, believed to have cost in the region of £80M, can close or open in around eight minutes, and is one of the first concertina-type moving structures ever attempted in the UK.

The 1,000t roof comprises 10 trusses spanning 77m across the court with nine bays of structural fabric. The ends of each truss are supported by a set of wheels that move along a track positioned on the new fixed roof of the court.

Architect Populous and structural engineer Capita Symonds designed the new roof, which was built by Galliford Try. SCX Group designed and supplied mechanical and electrical equipment.


Civils still in recession despite rise in orders

June 18th, 2009 Comments off

Economic indicators for the  Construction Industry published last week suggest that the worst of the recession may have passed, however,  they also showed that civil engineering had dipped in April and May after consecutive monthly increases in the first quarter of the year.

The market intelligence firm of Glenigan’s said planning applications and tenders increased by c.32% and 27% respectively in May compared with the record low of February and it went on to state that project starts would recover in the second half of 2009.

Most new work has come from small public sector projects and from jobs linked to major government projects, in contrast, the first quarter showing an upturn in the value of orders for civil engineering projects worth less than £100M lost momentum in May.

Glenigan’s comparative index showed civil engineering dipping from 140.2 in March to 128.4 in April and 87.8 in May.

Monthly rises in the first quarter were down mainly due to an upturn in roads and energy work, but the flow of transport projects worth less than £100M has dipped over the last two months. Utilities project starts also fell in May as a result of falling water sector orders.


Student housing design by CZWG Architects approved

June 16th, 2009 Comments off

finsbury-park The London firm of  CZWG Architects has received planning permission for its £21m student accommodation proposal designed for Ely Properties.

The new building, situated in Finsbury Park, London, will house around 400 student apartments on five floors above new commercial space on the ground floor.

The new structure will reflect the listed art deco cinema opposite the proposed site and  each floor will have continuous bands of windows alternating with bands of coloured ceramic glazed tiles,  each band in a different colour, in a subdued version of a rainbow.