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Archive for January, 2011

Housing market to ‘bump along’ in 2011

January 17th, 2011 Comments off

Housing market to ‘bump along’ in 2011

The housing market in the UK will be bolstered by developments in the south over the coming year, says Barratt Developments chief executive Mark Clare. Speaking to the Telegraph newspaper he said there will most likely be no ‘dramatic moves’ in 2011, and the market will move along but will still be held back by the economic downturn. Clare also predicts that the first quarter will prove the slowest, with any movements likely to occur from April onwards.

For those looking for construction jobs, several projects in the South and in London will present an opportunity from jobs in the planning and construction stages to post-completion facilities management jobs. Morgan Sindell are due to begin work on new halls of residence at the University of Reading, with the project set to create 894 study bedrooms, which upon completion will create openings in facilities management in particular. London is also an area Clare points to for continuing development:

“I think places like London will continue to be quite strong, and other areas of the country that have been resistant to price increases will continue to be resistant, because there isn’t that strength of economic activity.”

Indeed developments in West London will signal movement in the housing market and a welcome influx of construction jobs, with Ealing council approving a major housing development. The new phase of London & Quadrant’s (L&Q) regeneration of the South Acton estate will begin this year with a new energy centre and 167 homes due for completion in 2013. L&Q also has plans for a further 130 homes to be built on the same site, and with a planning application expected to be submitted later this year the project could see a total of 2,600 new homes on the site come completion. David Montague, chief executive of L&Q commented:

“We are absolutely delighted to be in a position to start this highly significant redevelopment, which is keenly anticipated by the residents.”

Further good news for the area’s construction professionals came in the form of news that Mansell is to design and build a new £2.1m children’s centre in the borough. Whilst this particular development won’t affect the housing market as the South Acton project will, the construction industry in the South and in London is receiving a welcome boost at a time when work is declining on the whole.

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Sitemaster Building Software v5 Released

January 12th, 2011 Comments off

logowhitebackground-smallSitemaster Building v5.0 Launched with additional features.

Last week Mobile CAD Surveying announced the release of Sitemaster Building v5.0 with additional features. Sitemaster is their award winning mobile surveying solution software from the well known Graebert stable.

For those already familiar with Sitemaster Building, you will be aware that producing the CAD drawings ‘on site’ in ‘real time’  is the future of surveying and Measured Building Surveying,  in fact, isn’t it amazing to think that just five or six years ago virtually all surveyors took pencil and pad, tape measure or possibly a laser measuring device out into the field and spent several hours measuring up sites, buildings and all related detail before returning to the office to redraw the detail into their CAD package.

Now we have, NO more return visits to site due to blunt pencils and inaccurate paper documentation, NO guesswork, NO wrong data documentation NO sagging tape measures

Additional features include:-

* Support of the Windows 7 operating system

* Support of the Leica Disto D8 and D3A BT laser distance meters

* New Room Depth option….When creating door openings, you can not only measure the lengths of the wall right-hand and left-hand to the opening in the next room but also in one operation the depth of the room. Thus, the shape of a rectangular room can be generated immediately in the drawing. This will vastly speed up production of lower tolerance drawings…EPC for instance.

* New Building Services Library….The Symbols area of the program now additionally provides a Library for Building Services which allows you to insert blocks for electrical power supplies, water supplies, and equipment such as boilers or extractors, into your floor plans.

* New Dimensioned Symbols command… the Symbols area lets you now add a dimension line with a Symbol on it. You can quickly add to your site measurement plans, measured from one end point of a wall in the classic SiteMaster style. This feature is intended to be used especially to collect building services information (for example for kitchen planning), but basically can be used with any other symbol of the built-in or customized symbol library.

* Door and Windows can now be placed into any wall. These can be openings which cover the entire length of a wall (in fact replacing the wall), or openings which have zero distance at one end of a wall.

* The WIDTH attribute of door and window openings with retainer always gets the smallest (clear) distance of the opening.

Why not download a FREE trial version now and see for yourself the future of mobile surveying solutions.

Mobile CAD Surveying Ltd the main and preferred Graebert dealer in the UK, supplying mobile surveying solutions Worldwide.

Coming soon! Sitemaster Building v6 – the next Generation of SiteMaster Optimized for Building Information Modelling (BIM)  Combines Mobile Deployment, 3D Building Measurement and Object Modelling into a Single Solution

Using the ARES Core Engine for AutoCAD Compatibility. To express an interest or to be kept up to date with developments use their contact form.

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Measured Building Surveys

January 11th, 2011 Comments off

mbs logoMeasured Building Surveys.net is Going from strength to strength with work carried out all over the UK and abroad this last twelve months. Surveys carried out in places like Ukraine, Guernsey and the Isle of man and we even surveyed a castle in the Midlands and a very unique Convent with a number of Chapels and Churches in the last few months.

If you need a measured building survey or even several measured building surveys or a measured building surveyor,  you have come to the right place. If time is of the essence, or clients time constraints are limited on site, we can accomodate you.

Whether your survey project is large or small, a single house plan of a few square metres up to thousands of square metres or several house plans. building plans or ‘As Built’ plans, anywhere in Europe then we can meet your requirements. We have vast experience of Measured Building Surveys, floor plans and elevational drawings, everything from private homes and domestic premises, apartment blocks, and flats, to churches, ecclesiastical buildings, embassies, supermarkets and shopping malls and have carried out measured survey programmes and topographical surveys encompassing hundreds of properties.  A schedule can be drawn up to suit you!

Why not give us a try, call or email us or just as for an online quotation.

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Awards for Kier Building Maintenance apprentices

January 10th, 2011 Comments off

Yorkshire-based Kier Building Maintenance apprentices have celebrated success at award ceremonies across the country. Jordan Dean was named Young Builder of the Year in the 14 to 16-year-old category at the national Youthbuild UK Awards, while Abu Turay was named runner up at the South Yorkshire Construction Training Group’s Achievement in the Face of Adversity Award. A further two apprentices were honoured at the JTL South Yorkshire Apprentice of the Year Awards with Stephen Wood taking top prize and Raegan Lee-Goulding short-listed.

The Young Builder of the Year Awards recognise the progress that trainees make as well as the formal qualifications they gain. Having previously studied at the Construction Design Centre, which has close links with Kier and is located on site at its Sheffield depot, Jordan did several weeks of work experience on joinery projects with Kier Sheffield’s City Stewardship supervisors, Andy Bandoo and Alan Smith. He was then successful in gaining an apprenticeship with Kier Sheffield and began working as an apprentice joiner in August last year on portable cabins

The Achievement in the Face of Adversity Award aims to give recognition and reward to local people who have made significant achievements in their development at work and under difficult personal circumstances. Abu received a trophy and a cheque for £250.

Kier Sheffield apprentice Stephen started his career on the City Stewardship programme and has just gone into the third year of his apprenticeship with Kier Building Maintenance. Raegan is an apprentice plumber at Kier Building Maintenance Barnsley and has been working with supervisors Jon Beardsall and Terry Blyth for three years.

Kier Building Maintenance East regional managing director, Simon Bullen, said: “Apprentices provide us with invaluable fresh talent which drives our business forward into the future and we are always looking for enthusiastic youngsters with a passion for the industry. Having our apprentices recognised nationally is an outstanding achievement.

“We are extremely proud of all our apprentices who have made remarkable starts to their careers. We strive to offer excellent training opportunities to new recruits who can learn valuable trades, including plumbing, heating-fitting, joinery, plastering, gas-fitting and electrical.”

Kier Building Maintenance East took on 19 new apprentices in 2010, all of whom are embarking on three or four-year apprenticeships. Fourteen of these new recruits are at Kier Sheffield, two at Kier Building Maintenance Leeds, two at Kier Building Maintenance Hull and one at Kier Building Maintenance Barnsley.

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CIOB: Construction Industry set to Master Time

January 6th, 2011 Comments off

logo_ciobA groundbreaking new guide to help construction professionals keep control of timescales on complex projects has been published by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) and Wiley Blackwell.

The ‘Guide to Good Practice in the Management of Time in Complex Projects’ authored by an international team of experts and led by CIOB Past President Keith Pickavance provides guidance on managing time pro-actively.

Speaking about the publication Keith Pickavance said, “Time Management in construction projects is critical. Delayed completion affects IT, process plant, oil and gas, civil engineering, and in fact it affects all industries, in all countries, and the bigger the project, the more damage delayed completion causes to costs, and reputation.

“Complex projects in particular require an analytical approach if they are to succeed. Until now there has been no guidance produced on how to manage time pro-actively, and effectively on complex projects.”

Launched in an era of ‘more for less’ the 176-page guide and its methodology will make an important contribution to improving performance. The guide was preceded by CIOB research in 2007/08 which found that for complex buildings 33% are finished on or before the completion date and 67% are late. Of those late 13% were more than 3 months and 18% over 6 months. In two-thirds of delay, the contractor was held primarily responsible.

Following the research the CIOB embarked upon a five year strategy to provide standard education, training, and accreditation in time management. The first phase of the plan is to produce this guide, which sets down the process and standards to be achieved in preparing and managing the time model in complex projects.

This new handbook uses a logical step by step approach to show how an effective time model can be used to manage the risk of delay to completion on construction projects. It demonstrates procedures and examples from inception and risk appraisal, through design and construction, to testing and commissioning that show practitioners the logical procedures to use.

The CIOB will develop training opportunities around time management and a process to assess individuals’ competence and the value they add to project delivery. The accreditation programme will be administered by the Institute, through a mix a formal assessments, industry experience and interviews by a panel of peers.

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Sitemaster Building v5 released

January 5th, 2011 Comments off

logowhitebackground-smallSitemaster Building v5.0 Launched with additional features.

Last week Mobile CAD Surveying announced the release of Sitemaster Building v5.0 with additional features. Sitemaster is their award winning mobile surveying solution software from the well known Graebert stable.

For those already familiar with Sitemaster Building, you will be aware that producing the CAD drawings ‘on site’ in ‘real time’  is the future of surveying and Measured Building Surveying,  in fact, isn’t it amazing to think that just five or six years ago virtually all surveyors took pencil and pad, tape measure or possibly a laser measuring device out into the field and spent several hours measuring up sites, buildings and all related detail before returning to the office to redraw the detail into their CAD package.

Now we have, NO more return visits to site due to blunt pencils and inaccurate paper documentation, NO guesswork, NO wrong data documentation NO sagging tape measures

Additional features include:-

* Support of the Windows 7 operating system

* Support of the Leica Disto D8 and D3A BT laser distance meters

* New Room Depth option….When creating door openings, you can not only measure the lengths of the wall right-hand and left-hand to the opening in the next room but also in one operation the depth of the room. Thus, the shape of a rectangular room can be generated immediately in the drawing. This will vastly speed up production of lower tolerance drawings…EPC for instance.

* New Building Services Library….The Symbols area of the program now additionally provides a Library for Building Services which allows you to insert blocks for electrical power supplies, water supplies, and equipment such as boilers or extractors, into your floor plans.

* New Dimensioned Symbols command… the Symbols area lets you now add a dimension line with a Symbol on it. You can quickly add to your site measurement plans, measured from one end point of a wall in the classic SiteMaster style. This feature is intended to be used especially to collect building services information (for example for kitchen planning), but basically can be used with any other symbol of the built-in or customized symbol library.

* Door and Windows can now be placed into any wall. These can be openings which cover the entire length of a wall (in fact replacing the wall), or openings which have zero distance at one end of a wall.

* The WIDTH attribute of door and window openings with retainer always gets the smallest (clear) distance of the opening.

Why not download a FREE trial version now and see for yourself the future of mobile surveying solutions.

Mobile CAD Surveying Ltd the main and preferred Graebert dealer in the UK, supplying mobile surveying solutions Worldwide.

Coming soon! Sitemaster Building v6 – the next Generation of SiteMaster Optimized for Building Information Modelling (BIM)  Combines Mobile Deployment, 3D Building Measurement and Object Modelling into a Single Solution

Using the ARES Core Engine for AutoCAD Compatibility. To express an interest or to be kept up to date with developments use their contact form.

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Tax hike will hit families hardest, experts warn

January 5th, 2011 Comments off

Yesterday’s Vat rise will cut consumer spending and cost jobs, experts have warned.

The ConDem Government are increasing the sales tax from 17.5 per cent to a record 20 per cent.

But analysts say shoppers will curb their spending after a “last hurrah” in the sales.

The VAT rise means what costs £100 will be £2.13 more expensive tomorrow – with the increase going to the Treasury.

Hard-pressed drivers are being forced to stump up at least 3p a litre more at the pumps and drinkers will have to pay 6p extra for a pint of lager.

The cost of household goods will rocket, with the VAT rise putting more than £300 on the sticker price of an average family car and £20 on a new fridge-freezer.

Building industry representatives warned rising prices would slash the number of domestic repair jobs, leading to lay-offs.

Most goods and services incur VAT but healthy food, kids’ clothes and books, and bus and train fares are exempt.

Labour have warned the less well off – who spend a higher proportion of their income on VAT-rated goods and services – will be hardest hit by the move.

The hike – breaking a Tory vow that they had “no plans” to alter VAT – will raise £13billion a year.

Chancellor George Osborne claims it is necessary to help bring down the deficit. Some retailers have promised to “phase in” price rises over the coming weeks.

Online shopping group Kelkoo said £22.5billion will be spent in the January sales, up 1.6 per cent compared with last year.

But they predicted consumers would spend on average £324 less in 2011 than last year, causing tough times on high streets.

They expect retail sales to fall by £2.2billion in the first three months of the year.

A spokesman for the British Retail Consortium warned shoppers would notice higher prices when the sales end.

He added: “Ultimately retailers can’t absorb the cost indefinitely.

“It will push inflation up and, along with National Insurance rises and public sector job losses, harm sales as the year continues.”

Labour highlighted the blow to car drivers and hauliers, who had 0.76p slapped on petrol and diesel prices on New Year’s Day.

Shadow Scots Secretary Ann McKechin said: “As if the snow and ice weren’t causing enough problems on the roads this winter, the Tories are adding to Britain’s travel misery by increasing fuel duty and VAT.

“The Government need to understand that these tax increases will hit drivers on low incomes the hardest and push up the price of petrol and diesel to a new record high.

“Scotland will suffer badly because we already have some of the highest prices in the UK. I want these tax increases scrapped.”

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House prices ended 2010 higher than start of year

January 4th, 2011 Comments off

uk_house_prices_valuationsHouse prices ended 2010 barely higher than they began the year, according to a survey conducted by the Nationwide building society.

In the latest survey, it is told that prices increased by 0.4% last month, leaving them almost the same amount up on the rate of a year ago – which means the average UK house now costs slightly under £163,000. However, Nationwide forecasts that prices will continue to decrease in the first six months of next year, in the same fashion they have for the previous few months.

Speaking on the findings, Nationwide’s chief economist, Martin Gahbauer, told how despite December’s increase, prices of UK houses have fallen again as they did in four of the preceding six months. At the moment, according to Gahbauer himself, it would be too premature to even suggest that the downward trend will be broken based on the figures of one month. However, he also pointed out that the December figures in question do highlight the unavoidable fact that any current downtrends are only modest, especially when compared to the last six months of 2008.

Many commentators within the industry expect that house prices will fall in 2011 – although admittedly some still have their reservations. While some UK estate agents and similar property businesses have forecast drops of anything up to 5%, others have suggested that it could actually be double this.

In 2010, a key issue was that potential sellers soon started to outnumber potential buyers, putting a downward pressure on prices, none more so than in the last six months of the year – a trend that doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon.

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Topographical Surveys

January 1st, 2011 Comments off

convent topoMeasured Building Surveys.net have recently added a Topographical Survey service to their existing range of Measured Surveys, ‘As Built’ and Floor Plan Surveys.

“Work has been brisk over the last few months for the team and this includes commissions from the UK and abroad.  In fact we were asked to carry out some measured surveys in Ukraine, Eastern Europe. This proved to be very successful and the client was very pleased with the results, so much so that we are quoting for more work over there in the near future” a spokesman told us.

Here’s to 2011.

Floor Plans
Lease Plans
Elevations and Sections
Topographical Surveys

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