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Archive for August, 2009

Sitemaster Elevations

August 28th, 2009 1 comment
Sitemaster Elevations

Sitemaster Elevations

SiteMaster Elevation
Photographic Facade Survey

SiteMaster Elevation – surveying to precise exterior views
Save Time and MoneyNow you can produce Elevational Drawings from Photographs

Photographic Facade Survey

SiteMaster Elevation is an independent add-on for SiteMaster. You can benefit from photogrammetric procedures by determining detailed measurements from freehand digital photographs or scanned images.

SiteMaster Elevation requires only one rectangle with two known side lengths for calibrating an image plan. The software lets you measure and draw a building in 2D with added height information on floors, openings etc.

It saves the exact measurement results by redrawing the image with points, lines, rectangles, polylines, arcs and circles. SiteMaster Elevation transfers drawing elements with state-of-the-art technology to your CAD system, e.g. or SiteMaster Building. After completing your measurements you can generate a report list of all measurements and areas. The results can be exported in excel lists.

Sitemaster Elevations

Sitemaster Elevations

Processing digital photographs of the building’s facade in SiteMaster Elevation allows you to enhance your project into a full 3D plan with precise exterior views. You can exchange drawing files between SiteMaster Elevation, SiteMaster (and other solutions) using the .FLX (PowerCAD) and .DXF file formats.

Industry will nominate candidates for the Chief Construction adviser role

August 26th, 2009 Comments off

Construction Industry chiefs are being asked to nominate candidates for the new Government Chief Construction Adviser role. The Department for Business, Information and Skills this week announced that it was looking to recruit for the role by November latest.

It wants to appoint someone for a minimum of two years, on three days per week. The annual salary will be in the region of £120,000 and the adviser will report to both the BIS and the Treasury.

It will not be advertised, and a headhunter has not been been appointed.

Letters have been written to key industry stakeholders including the UK Contractors Group, the Civil Engineering Contractors Association, the National Specialist Contractors Council, the Construction Products Association and the CBI’s Construction council and there are also understood to be some names already in the frame.

BIS said the role was part time to allow the candidate to stay closely connected to the industry and potentially continue in an existing role as well.

But the CPA warned that an appointment from within the industry “could be divisive”.

UKCG director Stephen Ratcliffe added: “We are not absolutely clear how much power this person will have. For instance if you have something like the colleges programme going wrong, will they be able to fix it?”

Displaced construction sector apprentices buck the national trend

August 23rd, 2009 11 comments


Strong sector links and a long tradition of apprenticeships are helping the construction industry find new homes for displaced trainees.

The sector is bucking national trends for a government scheme that aims to match employers with apprentices.

The government has invested £1m cash to help support construction companies that take on apprentices who have been laid off during the recession.

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), backed by business tsar Sir Alan Sugar, was launched earlier this year but has filled only 1,185 vacancies out of the 18,000 advertised nationwide.  However, ConstructionSkills, the UK’s sector skills council for construction, says it has filled nearly a third of the vacancies on its books through its own Apprenticeship Matching Service (AMS).

The ConstructionSkills AMS launched in 2008 and aims to match employers to apprentices who are close to completing their framework but have been unable to do so because their chosen organisation has had to lay them off due to financial pressures.

The organisation, which has a record of around 2,500 apprentices that have been unable to complete their training, says the government money will fund at least 800 trainees across the UK.

Nigel Donohue the apprenticeship programme manager for ConstructionSkills, said: “It is absolutely imperative that we do all that is possible to retain the talent within the industry in a concerted and co-ordinated effort to try and prevent a skills shortage.

“At ConstructionSkills we are successful in placing thousands of apprentices with construction companies every year throughout the UK, so it would be a real shame if these apprentices, especially those who are so close to the finish line, were lost to the industry.”

The extra government funding is being made available for construction sector apprentices in the last 12 months of their training and companies that are able to provide suitable employment can apply for financial support of up to £1,000.

Skills Minister Kevin Brennan said: “This is a welcome development which should help hundreds of apprentices to complete their training.

“As well as the support offered by ConstructionSkills, the NAS is working hard with other colleges and training providers to ensure as many construction apprentices as possible can finish their apprenticeship.”

But the Conservatives have branded the NAS, which operates across all sectors, as a “failure” relying on “celebrity gimmicks”.

“The [national] apprenticeship matching service has proved to be just another gimmick,” said shadow higher education minister David Willetts. “Instead of celebrity gimmicks like this, the government should be funding apprenticeship places and making it easier for businesses to run the schemes.”

Earlier this year the government invested £140m in 35,000 new apprenticeship places across the UK.

It has also introduced new initiatives to support apprentices whose jobs are at risk, such as allowing them to complete some of their training at a college and claim Education Maintenance Allowance or other financial support to tide them over until they find a new employer.


SiteMaster BuildingTS – Mobile CAD Software

August 17th, 2009 5 comments
Sitemaster Building TS

Sitemaster Building TS

Building Survey with Laser Measures and Total Stations
SiteMaster BuildingTS – added Total Station functionality

Connect a Total Station
SiteMaster BuildingTS contains the same features as SiteMaster Building and offers a direct link to a Total Station. Through the combination of hand laser meters and Total Stations the working process is optimised when doing building surveys.

Survey for example the outside surface of a building with a Total Station and the inside building survey with a Laser Measure. You are creating the complete drawing on-site minimising the risk of producing any errors. The system allows you make corrections on-site.

SiteMaster BuildingTS supports the protocol of popular Total Stations of the following companies: Leica, Topcon, Trimble or South. (other manufacturers being added now)

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.

A library allows to draw fast and accurate walls (as single or double line), windows, doors and symbols. You can draw rectangular and circular columns, Recesses/chimneys and niches/ducts.

SiteMaster BuildingTS 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 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.

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.

The combination: Laser Measures and Total Stations in SiteMaster BuildingTS optimises the working process when doing large or complicated building surveys. Survey for example the outside surface of a building with a Total Station and the inside with a Laser Measure. You create the complete drawing on-site, any errors shown allows you the opportunity to make corrections there and then.

SiteMaster BuildingTS offers additional features:

• Import and Export of standpoint coordinates through ASCII-Files
• Point, Arc and Line creation via Total Station Input
• Symbol Insertion via Total Station Input
• Data Export of Stations and Measured Points

Merseyside docks regeneration is approved

August 15th, 2009 1 comment
Merseyside Docks

Merseyside Docks

Plans for the first phase of Merseyside’s answer to the London Docklands development have finally secured planning approval.

The Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council’s planning committee granted consent for Northbank East, the first phase of the £4.5 billion Wirral Waters project to regenerate Birkenhead’s derelict docks.

Site owner Peel Holdings plans to build nearly 1,700 new residential units, offices, shops and local leisure amenities in the Northbank East phase.

The developer, which also owns the Trafford Centre out of town shopping complex, says it sees Northbank East as the first step in a scheme that will “transform Wirral into a waterfront destination to rival those of Shanghai, Vancouver and New York.”

Cllr Jean Stapleton (Lab), Wirral’s cabinet member for regeneration and planning strategy, said: “The Wirral Waters proposals offer a unique opportunity for Wirral, the Northwest region and indeed the country and I am very pleased that the first steps to its implementation can now be taken after the approval by Wirral Council Planning Committee of the Northbank East proposals.

“The plans will totally transform what is currently derelict brownfield land within East Float at Birkenhead Docks and when finished will create over 27,000 jobs in one of the country’s most deprived areas.”

The council hopes the construction of the scheme will create up to a 1000 jobs.

PowerCAD Pro 7

August 12th, 2009 Comments off
PowerCAD Pro 7

PowerCAD Pro 7

PowerCAD Pro – most comprehensive functionality

PowerCAD is one of the world’s best professional CAD values. Fast and easy to use, it is designed for Windows operating systems including Windows Vista and conforms to industry standard DWG and DXF files (up to R2008 format), with “Round-Trip” retention of critical drawing elements.

Plus, for the price of a single AutoCAD license, you can equip about eight PowerCAD workstations. PowerCAD offers exceptional compatibility with AutoCAD, the world’s leading CAD system.

PowerCAD incorporates a completely open architecture design, with drag-and-drop placement of system icons making it instantly usable by AutoCAD familiar operators and all others too. Its visual menu, dialog, and toolbox editor allows technicians of any skill level to instantly customize the desktop for maximum user productivity.

PowerCAD has over 350 AutoCAD compatible commands that require virtually no relearning, allowing for a shared AutoCAD/PowerCAD workplace. The software has all of the drawing and editing commands CAD professionals expect. Advanced 2D drawing commands (i.e. trim, fillet, or chamfer) are complemented by sophisticated functions (associative dimensioning and hatching).

Additionally to FLX (native PowerCAD file format) we have added a feature to recover DWG and DXF files in all format versions. You are now independent from AutoCAD recover and audit commands.

PowerCAD supports Windows Vista and we have added the ability to run with different user configurations. Desktop settings, print configurations, alias files etc. are now saved for every user.

PowerCAD can define dimension style overrides for the current dimension style. This is useful when you want to create overrides to suppress or change only one or two settings of current dimension style (e.g. use only a different arrow head or dimension text size) without creating a different dimension style. It is the quickest and best way to use override dimensions. The new dimension dialog reflects the new capabilities of the dimension system.

ACIS Integration and 3D Solid Modeller
PowerCAD Pro includes a 3D Solid Modeler based on the ACIS-library, the industry standard. Rendering and line/face hiding is based on the latest OpenGL standards, reducing the time needed to perform complex imaging tasks. You can add 3D solid primitives such as boxes, spheres, cones, cylinders to your drawings. We have implemented the standard Boolean- functions union, intersect, subtract, etc. for 3D solid editing. 2D regions are created with the region command and use the same solid edition commands. Finally, solids can be edited by directly accessing faces and edges.

ACIS Developer Interface for LISP and C/C++ Objects
PowerCAD includes an Advanced Programming Interface (API), supporting system customization using Lisp, Visual C++, or Delphi to directly access our 3D solid programming functions for your application development. PowerCAD allows quick and painless “porting” of existing code written in AutoLISP, ADS or script files. Menus, dialog boxes, and palettes created for AutoCAD use are automatically converted, saving end users thousands of euros per license for each CAD system purchased.

For developers PowerCAD Pro includes the complete DCL Dialog language support. AutoCAD Dialogs can be imported into PowerCAD without further adjustments or editing. The Lisp and C/C++ interface has been reworked in Version 7 and is now compatible to AutoCAD.

New HTML based Help System
PowerCAD contains a completely renovated help system using the Microsoft CHM help files.

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House building slump to cause price rise

August 11th, 2009 1 comment
House Building

House Building

A contraction in house building may cause property prices to rise because of the shortage of homes, according to a recent report.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research said the modest rise would be likely to continue in the following two years.The report states that current slump in house prices will continue for the remainder of 2009, before recovering slowly during 2010.

Property prices are expected to drop by around 3 per cent in the remaining months of 2009, reaching their lowest point at the beginning of 2010. Prices will then have fallen by almost a quarter (24 per cent) from their peak at the end of 2007.

“The key question now is the extent to which rising unemployment and weak wage growth will lead to a second wave of house price falls, or whether this has already been built in to existing expectations,” said Benjamin Williamson, one of the report’s authors and an economist at cebr.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors predicted house prices to finish the year higher than they started but The Halifax believes that market values will drop by 7 per cent over the course of 2009.

Eight firms shortlisted for £2bn Highways Agency Framework

August 10th, 2009 Comments off


Eight bidders have been shortlisted for the Highways Agency’s £2 billion major projects framework which will cover six schemes on the managed motorways programme.

Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine and Galliford Try have all been shortlisted as well as three more joint ventures.

Joint ventures between Amey and Skanska and also between BAM Nuttall and Morgan Est are in the running whilst Costain has teamed up with consultants Serco to tender for a place on the framework.

Tenders are due for submission in September and following assessment the Highways Agency will appoint a maximum of four to the framework in January 2010.

Although the full list of potential work has not been finalised the framework will cover Hard Shoulder Running schemes on the M4 and M5 around Bristol, the M6 J5-8 around Birmingham, the M1 J32-35a east of Sheffield, the M62 J18-20 in Manchester and J25-30 from Bradford to Leeds, and the M60 J8-12 around Manchester.

There is also scope for the M60 lane gain scheme to be included but there are likely to be more jobs on offer to the eventual winners.

Introducing to you the new Smart Rod system from QBL

August 5th, 2009 2 comments
Smart Rod System

Smart Rod System

The SmartRod is an innovative telescopic laser rod with a built-in (non-mechanical) digital measuring “tape” combined with a linear laser receiver. The advantage of a “linear” over a “regular” receiver is that the linear receiver can indicate the absolute distance (in mm) between the measuring point and the desired on-grade position. The rod will pick up a rotating laser between 99cm and 4.00m.

To find the lasers elevation, Press the “Measure” button. Then extend the rod until hearing a single *beep* (indicating, that it detects the laser beam) followed by a *double beep* (~1 second later) indicating that it has completed the reading. The keypad attached to the rod’s lower section will display two readings. The first shows the height of the rotating laser (the measurement from the bottom of the rod up to the laser reference). The second is a calculation relative to the first reference measurement or HI taken at a benchmark. This is shown as a – (cut) or + (fill) number.

For more information:

Tel: 01200 429870

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South NL20 Optical Auto Dumpy Level Including Tripod and Staff

August 4th, 2009 1 comment
NL20 Auto Level Kit

NL20 Auto Level Kit

The NL 20 is durable, practical and affordable with the accuracy to complete any job

Probably The Cheapest 20x Magnification Dumpy Level Kit Anywhere!


  • Excellent shockproof function
  • Exclusive closed magnetic field, magetically-dampened compensator
  • Friction-braked rotation and endless horizontal drive
  • Prism for viewing circular vial
  • Water, dust and dirt proof
  • Comes with a years warranty
  • Full back up and repair service available
  • Tripod and 5m Telescopic Staff