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Archive for August, 2010

Sitemaster Elevations software

August 31st, 2010 Comments off

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 Elevations Screenshot

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.

Processing digital photographs of the building’s facade in SiteMaster Elevations 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.

Download a FREE trial of Sitemaster Elevations software

Sitemaster Elevations screenshots

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Sitemaster Building software

August 26th, 2010 Comments off

Sitemaster Building TS

Sitemaster Building

Sitemaster Building software the Professionals choice – The mobile solution for Professional Building Surveys and Fast 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 Fast 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.

d8_with_tablet_pcSurvey Methodology
Surveys are conducted using a hand-held Laser Measure (Leica Disto A6, Leica Disto D8, Leica Disto D3aBT or a Hilti PD38) coupled via ‘Bluetooth’ technology to a hand-held microcomputer a Viliv X70 tablet.

This approach, which produces the CAD drawing during the survey process, allows us to establish and accurately check all building dimensions while on site. Significant improvements in survey quality are gained using this equipment when compared with traditional survey methods.

Check measurements are taken to ensure accuracy Gone are the days where two men would hold a sagging tape measure from one end of the room to the other, that old method is history! There are NO more return visits to site due to blunt pencils and inaccurate paper documentation, NO guesswork, NO wrong data documentation NO sagging tape measures.

Click here to book a FREE demonstration

Download a FREE trial of Sitemaster Building

Sitemaster Building screenshots

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New figures show big jump in UK output in construction

August 25th, 2010 Comments off
BRITAIN’S economy may be growing at a faster rate than earlier predictions if a jump in construction output feeds through to the bottom line.

Revised figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) yesterday revealed the strongest jump in output from the UK construction sector since the second quarter of 1963.

Like then, the 2010 Q2 performance was driven by a sharp rebound following an unusually harsh winter.

One economist described the 8.6 per cent quarterly rise – against an initial estimate of 6.6 per cent between April and June – as a “one-off snow melt boost”.

However, a spokesman for the ONS said that, other things being equal, the upgrade would add 0.1 percentage points to the second quarter’s 1.1 per cent GDP growth rate.

That initial UK estimate caught analysts by surprise last month – expectations had hovered around the 0.6 per cent mark.

Most economists expect a Q2 rate of 1.1 or 1.2 per cent to represent a peak in the pace of recovery before growth slows or even returns to negative territory later this year and next due to impending budget tightening.

Fears of a double-dip recession were further stoked yesterday as economists reacted coolly to news of the fastest growth in eurozone output in more than three years.

Official figures showed GDP in the 16-nation currency zone growing by 1 per cent in the three months to June, driven by Germany’s biggest quarterly expansion since reunification two decades ago.

Positive numbers were also recorded for France, Italy and Spain. Greece, however, saw its economy shrink by 1.5 per cent during the quarter as far-reaching government austerity measures kicked in.

Jennifer McKeown at Capital Economics said it was unusual for growth in the eurozone to outpace that in the US but also highlighted concerns about the strength of the recovery in “peripheral economies”, such as Greece and Ireland.

Carsten Brzeski, an economist with ING, said the German economy – the largest in Europe – was in a “league of its own” and put the impressive growth down to “a catching up in the construction sector after the harsh winter and strong foreign demand for German goods”. But he warned the current growth momentum was unlikely to be sustainable.

“With the one-off impact from the construction sector and normalising of export growth, Germany will return to more ordinary growth numbers.”

According to the revised UK construction data, Q2 output was also sharply higher than a year earlier.

Private home-building rose 9 per cent on the year, and was 22 per cent stronger over the quarter. Gains were even more marked in publicly-funded work, with home-building surging 11 per cent on the quarter and 62 per cent year-on-year – a 30-year record.

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Northern Ireland surveyors hit hard by public spending

August 24th, 2010 Comments off

Building work being carried out in Northern Ireland is at its lowest level for 10 years, according to a survey.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found more of its NI members reported declining workloads than in any other region of the UK.

Most said they expect business to worsen further over the next year.

Parts of the NI construction industry found work declining faster between April and June, with no area showing growth, the survey found.

In the mid-2000s, rapidly rising property prices in Northern Ireland were behind an intensive period of new developments, but the equally rapid fall of the housing market has meant troubling times for the construction industry.

The survey is the latest in a series of gloomy news for the Northern Ireland economy, with rising unemployment, falling business confidence and slower private sector activity.

The construction market in Northern Ireland is at its lowest point since RICS began its survey in 2000.

The scoring system it uses to compile its report rates the current situation in Northern Ireland at more than 10 times worse than Great Britain.

Northern Ireland scored minus 75 in the second quarter of 2010, compared to an average figure of minus seven for England, Scotland and Wales.

RICS Northern Ireland spokesman Jim Sammon said: “Large public spending cuts are a major factor depressing the local construction market, which is very public sector-driven”.

Mr Sammon said that while pressure on public finances meant that cuts were inevitable, “the need to invest in our infrastructure for long-term competitiveness must be taken into consideration in spending decisions”.

“Northern Ireland’s infrastructure has been under-funded for many years, and if we don’t make the necessary investment now, our economy will continue to suffer from this well into the future,” he said.

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The race for the UK’s best construction manager begins

August 23rd, 2010 Comments off

logo_ciobFrom re-fitting a city office to redeveloping schools, keeping the customer satisfied can be particularly demanding in the business of construction.

The finalists just announced in the Chartered Institute of Building’s (CIOB) Construction Manager of the Year Awards (CMYA) have all proved themselves more than equal to a wide range of challenges, combining resourceful and creative application of building technology with inspiring project and team management and top communication skills.

Through a rigorous selection process by top industry judges, drawn from Fellows and Members of the CIOB, the Construction Manager of the Year Awards is tough and commendations are both hard earned and prestigious. Chris Blythe, Chief Executive of the CIOB said, “It is no secret that the construction industry faces some challenging times. But what is encouraging is the ingenuity and skill showed by our finalists this year and their ability to make the sometimes impossible possible.

“You could be forgiven for thinking that the 2010 competition would somehow suffer because of the recession, but that simply has not been the case and shows just how special and unique this level of recognition is. This year we have over 100 finalists from a record number of entrants from every level of the industry. In fact this year we have our youngest ever entrant. The judges have not only been blown away by the standard of entry but also the support from the clients. This will be another year to remember for CMYA there is no doubt about that.”

The award has seen some significant changes in the 30 years that the CIOB has been recognising and celebrating management excellence across the construction industry. Effective public private partnerships, the use of emerging technologies and successful solutions to environmental challenges are just a few of them.

Winners and medalists will be announced on Thursday October 14th at the awards dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London. You can find a full list of the finalists and further information about the awards at www.cmya.co.uk. The sponsors for CMYA 2010 are: The Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Hays, CIOB Insurance Services, Sprecher Grier Halberstam, IHS, BT Global Services, Hill International, COINS, and Premier Guarantee.

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PRP RISES TO DECC RETROFIT CHALLENGE

August 20th, 2010 Comments off

PRP RISES TO DECC RETROFIT CHALLENGE

PRP Architects, one of the UKs leading practices is accepting a challenge set by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to deliver a house that pays back its investment through energy saving as quickly as possible.

The DECC challenge, developed in conjunction with the BEST Show (Built Environment Solutions & Technologies) has been issued to the UK’s design and build sector to encourage the industry to develop creative solutions to renovate and refurnish existing housing stock adopting an efficient and cost effective approach.

PRP Architects is the first to rise to the challenge, and will be presenting its response at the BEST show which is taking place from 18-20 October 2010 at the NEC in Birmingham.

Andrew Mellor, Director (Environmental) of PRP commented:

“PRP will be showcasing whole dwelling retrofit solutions in the form of real scale mock-ups on our stand at BEST so that visitors can gain a full understanding of the retrofit process; its benefits, impacts, costs and operational requirements.  Our in-house experts and construction partners will be available to answer questions and offer advice in relation to all aspects of whole dwelling retrofit.”

Retrofit is an area which is enjoying renewed interest since the Government pledged to cut 80% of UK carbon emissions by 2050. Domestic emissions, those coming from existing residential buildings, account for over one quarter of all UK carbon emissions; these need to be cut by 33% over the next 10 years if Government is going to meet these targets.

The UK’s housing stock is aging, BRE2 has predicted that 70% of all housing stock used by 2050 is already in existence and 37% (8.1 million) of these are classified as non-decent* under the HHSRS definition. This means that 37% of homes will need construction solutions to improve their efficiency and are sustainable for future generations.

The DECC challenge at BEST aims to develop innovative and constructive methods in order to assist the Government in meeting these targets. The construction industry has an important role to play, both in the development of new environmentally friendly homes and the ways in which older homes can be renovated to reduce their emissions.

Taking place from 18-20 October 2010 in Birmingham, the BEST show offers visitors the opportunity to view and purchase new products and technologies which have been designed to provide practical solutions to this very real problem.  The commercial space will offer a platform for PRP to respond to the challenge. This is a premier opportunity to focus on innovations which will help solve challenges of the future construction supply chain.

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CIOB ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH NEW BUILT ENVIRONMENT SHOW

August 19th, 2010 Comments off

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has been confirmed as Event Partner at the new Built Environment Solutions and Technologies Show (BEST)

With over 45,000 members worldwide, the CIOB is considered the international voice of the building professional, and joins a prestigious roster of partners already committed to the BEST show, which includes Dyson, Barratt Homes, Birmingham Local Education Partnership, Network Rail, Crossrail, BAA and Land Securities.

BEST, which replaces Interbuild Specifier and incorporates the Infrastructure structure show, takes place from 18-20 October 2010 at the NEC in Birmingham.

As the built environment’s new trade event, BEST offers visitors the opportunity to view and purchase new products and technologies from across each of the main construction markets.  A highlight of the event is the six free seminar programmes, covering topics including retrofit and low carbon, as well as innovations within the residential, education and commercial property sectors.

Saul Townsend, Press & Communications Manager at the CIOB commented, “The CIOB is delighted to be a partner of the BEST show and we are looking forward to engaging with our members and other professionals in the industry on a number of key issues. Not least the low carbon agenda which despite the downturn in the economy is still a vital topic for the built environment. The BEST show is an ideal platform for us to exchange knowledge and to hear new ideas.”

Chartered member status is recognised internationally as the mark of a true, skilled professional in the construction industry and CIOB members share a common commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest possible standards within the build environment.

The CIOB will also participate in the show’s Low Carbon themed seminar programme, with Vice President, Alan Crane, speaking on Monday 18 October. Through his presentation, ‘Calculating carbon footprint – how realistic and accurate can you be?’, Alan will review the results of the CIOB embodied carbon study, and its implications.

Entry to BEST is free for those who register in advance (saving £20) when using priority code ECIB at www.best-show.co.uk/register

For a full exhibitor list and seminar programme visit www.best-show.co.uk

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UKGBC publishes report on BREEAM

August 18th, 2010 Comments off

assmblysquare_1The UK Green Building Council has just published an independent report of its recent consultation with members, which contains a number of recommendations on the future of BREEAM. BRE Global has supported the consultation process and has committed to consider and respond to the points raised by the UK-GBC, which held a consultation on BREEAM in June and July 2010 with member representatives from across the built environment. The initial stage involved a workshop and following this, a further opportunity was provided for members to comment online. The main purpose of the consultation was to provide a broad range of industry professionals with an opportunity to comment on: the upcoming BREEAM update for 2011, the direction of BREEAM beyond 2011 and BREEAM as a driver of transformational change, including all ‘other’ issues.

The aim was to formally capture members’ comments and recommendations which could then be fed back to BRE Global via a public report for their review and consideration.

Key areas that UK-GBC has highlighted include: Data – the organisation concluded that real data is crucial. The sharing of performance data from BREEAM rated buildings would be hugely beneficial for the industry. This, alongside integrating operational performance into building certification, would help deal with discrepancies between design stage energy use calculations and actual energy use in occupation.

Rating the sustainability of buildings is still a rapidly developing discipline and is becoming increasingly complex as new issues rise up the agenda. BRE Global should review the BREEAM guidance to consider new areas for incorporation and the setting of minimum standards. One area that demands more attention is the responsible sourcing and embodied impacts of materials. Greater transparency of the data and lifecycle models behind the Green Guide and the Environmental Profiles Methodology would be hugely beneficial in this area.

Industry requires certainty, both from government policy, but also from market-led initiatives such as BREEAM. It would be helpful if BREEAM were to clearly set out future strategies and direction so that industry is prepared for future changes, including how these will relate to government policies and regulations.

As BREEAM uptake grows, so too the operations of BREEAM need to become more responsive to consumer needs. Improving customer service, including response times and practicalities such as moving to online systems should be considered.

Paul King, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council said: “BREEAM is one of the world’s leading building rating tools and clearly the number one rating tool in the UK. It continues to play a very significant role in helping to mainstream sustainability and in raising awareness among building owners, agents and occupiers. Of course there will always be areas for improvement to ensure BREEAM ratings genuinely represent good standards of sustainability performance in buildings, and are delivered in a way that is practical and responsive to the industry’s needs.”

Martin Townsend, Director of BREEAM at BRE said: “For me it is essential to engage with the industry and our stakeholders to ensure we develop and adapt BREEAM to respond to the market priorities, not just here in the UK, but also in other countries that we operate. The UK-GBC workshop was an important opportunity for me and the team to hear firsthand the changes we need to make on a wide range of issues and importantly the pace stakeholders want to see these happen.”

The report can be downloaded in full from the UKGBC website.

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National Tool Hire Shops

August 17th, 2010 Comments off

nthsNational Tool Hire Shops is one of the UK’s leading tool and equipment hire specialists – nationwide.

With a wide range of professional and DIY grade tools all ready to hire same or next day, you can be sure to get the right tool for the job. No matter if you’re a business or home user, National Tool Hire Shops can supply the very best equipment at the most competitive rates. From Carpet Cleaners to Mini Diggers, Wall Paper Strippers to Concrete Mixers – National Tool Hire Shops has over 2000 products ready to hire with all the accessories, consumables and safety gear to get the job done quickly and safely.

Not sure what you need to do the job? We can help!  Call the Hire Team today on 0800 142 2033

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Empire State Building goes green

August 16th, 2010 Comments off

empire_state_building_amcrmar07_13When New York’s tallest building, which stands at 1,454ft tall, was bought by Malkin Holdings in 2006 it was in a state of disrepair. But the condition of the building gave its owners an opportunity.

“When we took control of it, the place needed to be fixed. It was broken,” Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings, told the Guardian. The solution was an environmental renovation, he said.

“We’re doing this [making the Empire State greener] not because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes business sense. If we don’t reduce our energy consumption, we will lose money and be less competitive against China, India, Brazil and the other expanding economies,” Mr Malkin said.

The makeover is expected to cut the building’s energy use by almost 40 per cent and cut bills by more than $4m. The project will cut the building’s carbon footprint by more than 100,000 metric tonnes over the next 15 years, the equivalent of taking 20,000 cars off the road.

As well as new windows, four central chillers have been replaced and smart air circulation systems have also been put in as a low-energy means of heating the building in winter and cooling it in summer.

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