UK construction blog

Archive

Archive for May, 2011

Architects challenged to redesign the electricity pylon

May 31st, 2011 1 comment

pylons_500Government and RIBA launch design competition to improve on 84-year old design

The electricity pylon is set to undergo a makeover after the government challenged architects to make them more attractive.

The ubiquitous 50-metre high steel lattice towers carry electricity thousands of miles around the country.

But their design is set to change for the first time in nearly 90 years after the government launched a competition to redesign them today.

There are currently 88,000 electricity pylons in the UK, but the government said the UK will need many more to meet electricity demand over the next decade.

The National Grid said it would give “serious consideration” to using the winning design in future projects.

The competition is being jointly run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Department of Energy and Climate Change and National Grid.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said: “The dual challenge of climate change and energy security puts us on the brink of a new energy construction age.

“The equivalent of 20 new power stations is needed by 2020, much more beyond that, and they’ll need connecting to the grid.

“It’s crucial that we seek the most acceptable ways of accommodating infrastructure in our natural and urban landscapes.

“I hope the pylon desi

gn competition will ignite creative excitement, but also help the wider public understand the scale of the energy challenge ahead of us.”

RIBA president Ruth Reed said: “Design has never been far from our energy network.  The current pylon design was chosen by Sir Reginald Blomfield, a leading architect of his day back in 1927, but the familiar steel lattice tower design has barely changed since then.

“This is a technically challenging but exciting competition, with the potential to improve our landscapes for decades to come, and I expect it to generate widespread interest.”

National Grid’s executive director UK, Nick Winser, said: “Much of the new low-carbon generation is planned for remote or coastal areas, which means new infrastructure will be needed to get the electricity we need to our homes, businesses and vehicles.

“While underground connection will be a viable solution in some sensitive locations, new and replacement pylons will be needed and National Grid is equally keen to support the development of the most visually acceptable overhead solutions.”

He added: “The pylon as we know it has served the nation well, but new technologies and materials mean there may now be opportunities for new designs.”

The judging panel, chaired by energy and climate secretary Chris Huhne and including architects Nicholas Grimshaw and Bill Taylor, will meet in October to choose a winner.

The competition closes on 12 July. For more information visit http://www.ribapylondesign.com

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:

Sitemaster ‘How to’ Videos and Tutorials released

May 26th, 2011 Comments off
Sitemaster Building Videos & Tutorials
by The UK’s leading provider of Mobile Surveying Solutions
We have been asked many times for videos and tutorials on the Award winning Sitemaster Building software, so recently we decided to do something about it. We have now created the first eight tutorials and will add more as our customers reequest them.


Sitemaster Building Videos & Tutorials

by The UK’s leading provider of Mobile Surveying Solutions

We have been asked many times for videos and tutorials on the Award winning Sitemaster Building software, so recently we decided to do something about it. We have now created the first eight tutorials and will add more as our customers request them.

To view the Tutorials and lots more FREE information on their Award winning Sitemaster Building software

Tutorial  1 –  Draw Basic rooms, insert doors, windows and chimney breasts

Tutorial 2 How to insert windows with retainers

Tutorial 3 How to insert doors with retainers

Tutorial 4 How to use the staircase command

Tutorial 5 Create and edit layers

Tutorial 6 How to create a floating tool bar and edit the Tool Bar icon sizes

Tutorial 7 Export Room and Symbol data

Tutorial 8 Triangulation – how to use the triangulation features

Screenshots, Tutorials, Videos, Sample Drawings

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor

Renovation ‘can be a savvy investment’

May 25th, 2011 Comments off

Home improvement can be a wise financial decision if done correctly, according to one expert.

Anna-Marie Desouza, editor of Build It magazine, said it can potentially be economically savvy to invest in renovation if the purpose is to increase the value of the house, but care must be taken that any investment is recouped when the house is sold.

For those who are renovating to make their property more suitable for their purposes, such as adding a bathroom, extending a kitchen or installing radiators, Ms Desouza argued this is far cheaper than selling a home and buying a new one in the current financial climate.

“Investing in your home is a highly profitable manoeuvre under various circumstances,” she concluded.

FrogTape, creators of a painters’ masking tape, revealed in a survey that 54 per cent of men claim to have taken shortcuts when decorating.

One in five men have done a job so badly they had to call for professional help, with a further 11 per cent of men claiming they have botched jobs because they were too proud to seek assistance.

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:

Cut the Carbon Partnership

May 24th, 2011 Comments off
NEW ‘CUT THE CARBON’ SERVICE LAUNCHED TO HELP SMALL
FIRMS COMPLY AND WIN NEW WORK
The Cut the Carbon Partnership launched a new e-mail alert service today to help small and medium sized (SME) contractors cut through confusion surrounding low carbon policy and take advantage of the business opportunities on offer.
The free alerts will count down to impending low carbon policy and legislation such as the Green Deal, Renewable Heat Incentives and the Green Investment Bank, signposting SMEs to the skills and knowledge they need to respond. Interested businesses can find more information on the Countdown alerts at www.cskills.org/cutcarbon.
The alerts are the latest development from the Cut the Carbon campaign, a partnership between CITB-ConstructionSkills, the National Specialist Contractors Council and the Federation of Master Builders. Jenny Chappell at Chappell and Dix Ltd, a SME building contractor and joiner, underlines the value this sort of service will offer SMEs: “Navigating through low carbon policy and legislation can be extremely time-consuming for small businesses such as ours and it can often be difficult to know what to do when. A simple alert that not only updates us on impending low carbon requirements but importantly also tells us how we can obtain the skills and knowledge to respond will be invaluable.”
Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of CITB-ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council and Industry Training Board for construction, explains: “The drive for a low carbon construction industry is prompting a number of changes to policy and new legislative requirements, which can be confusing. But is also creating great opportunities for SMEs to win low-carbon work. We know that it can be difficult for small businesses in this challenging climate to stay up to speed – the Countdown Alert Service helps them to understand what they need to do to be compliant, when, and how to make the most of opportunities that are on offer.”
Richard Diment, Director General of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Making our members aware of the changes in policy and legislation that are likely to affect their business is something we take very seriously. Small businesses don’t just need to know about changes being introduced but also what they need to do to comply or upskill. The emphasis on low carbon construction is also likely to create more job opportunities for SMEs who are properly prepared. For example, the Green Deal will aim to retrofit 26 million buildings but only building firms that are trained and accredited will be able to carry out the work which is why the FMB is helping its members to access the appropriate training through the Cut the Carbon campaign and the Countdown Alert SeThe Cut the Carbon Partnership launched a new e-mail alert service today to help small and medium sized (SME) contractors cut through confusion surrounding low carbon policy and take advantage of the business opportunities on The Cut the Carbon Partnership launched a new e-mail alert service today to help small and medium sized (SME) contractors cut through confusion surrounding low carbon policy and take advantage of the business opportunities on offer.The Cut the Carbon Partnership launched a new e-mail alert service today to help small and medium sized (SME) contractors cut through confusion surrounding low carbon policy and take advantage of the business opportunities on offer.The Cut the Carbon Partnership launched a new e-mail alert service today to help small and medium sized (SME) contractors cut through confusion surrounding low carbon policy and take advantage of the business opportunities on ofThe Cut the Carbon Partnership launched a new e-mail alert service today to help small and medium sized (SME) contractors cut through confusion surrounding low carbon policy and take advantage of the business opportunities on offer.

The free alerts will count down to impending low carbon policy and legislation such as the Green Deal, Renewable Heat Incentives and the Green Investment Bank, signposting SMEs to the skills and knowledge they need to respond. Interested businesses can find more information on the Countdown alerts at www.cskills.org/cutcarbon.The Cut the Carbon Partnership launched a new e-mail alert service today to help small and medium sized (SME) contractors cut through confusion surrounding low carbon policy and take advantage of the business opportunities on offer.

The free alerts will count down to impending low carbon policy and legislation such as the Green Deal, Renewable Heat Incentives and the Green Investment Bank, signposting SMEs to the skills and knowledge they need to respond. Interested businesses can find more information on the Countdown alerts at www.cskills.org/cutcarbon.The Cut the Carbon Partnership launched a new e-mail alert service today to help small and medium sized (SME) contractors cut through confusion surrounding low carbon policy and take advantage of the business opportunities on offer.

imagesThe Cut the Carbon Partnership launched a new e-mail alert service today to help small and medium sized (SME) contractors cut through confusion surrounding low carbon policy and take advantage of the business opportunities on offer.

The free alerts will count down to impending low carbon policy and legislation such as the Green Deal, Renewable Heat Incentives and the Green Investment Bank, signposting SMEs to the skills and knowledge they need to respond. Interested businesses can find more information on the Countdown alerts at www.cskills.org/cutcarbon.

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:

Nedo Winkeltronic Digital Angle Finder

May 24th, 2011 Comments off

nedo-winkeltronic-600mmNedo Winkeltronic digital angle finder allows the user to precisely measure and transfer angles. The measured angles are read off conveniently from the large LCD display. The hold function allows values to be retained on the display. 

Other features of these digital angle finders include: 
integral horizontal and vertical spririt levels
resolution: 0.1° 
accuracy: ± 0.1°
600mm shank length. 

With orange carry case & 1 year guarantee!

Cheapest on the Net @ only £139.99


Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:

Higher LTVs for self-build mortgages

May 23rd, 2011 1 comment

A mortgage company has announced it is increasing the maximum loan to value (LTV) on mortgages for new-build and self-build houses.

Norwich and Peterborough Building Society’s (N&P) maximum LTV for these properties will increase from 75 per cent to 80 per cent.

This replicates government policy on such homes, as housing minister Grant Shapps vowed to cut red tape and regulation to bring the UK’s self-build market in line with that of Europe.

“These new mortgages at the higher LTV mean that a greater number of people will be able to get a foot on the property ladder, re-mortgage or move house,” Richard Barker, N&P’s product manager for mortgages, said.

Individuals planning a self-build home may wish to attend the south-west’s biggest self build show on June 25th and 26th in Sandown Park, Esher, Surrey,

Set up by the Homebuilding and Renovating magazine, it hopes to provide DIYers in the area with innovative design concepts, support, hints, tips and time saving solutions.

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:

Liverpool council to build ‘easy to convert’ schools

May 20th, 2011 1 comment

Liverpool_council_logoLiverpool council is responding to the recommendations of the Sebastian James Review on standardisation and cost reduction by seeking to build four secondary schools that can be housed in airport terminal-style structures and easily converted for commercial use as local demographics shift.

The structures, on which Aecom and Davis Langdon provided structural, M&E, facilities management and cost modelling advice, consist of a standardised shell undergirded by glulam structural beams.

Designed by Norwegian practice Biong Arkitekter, the structures are commonly seen in airports and sporting arenas. The interior can be detached from the shell and contains modular units that can be re-arranged and dismantled quickly and cheaply.

The local authority, which had £350m of schools funding cut when Building Schools for the Future (BSF) was axed last year, is looking to the private sector, capital receipts from the sale of land and potential education department funding to provide the estimated £60m for four new schools in the north of the city, to house about 1,000 pupils each.

“Liverpool has experienced 12 years of falling pupil numbers and now they’re building up again but in different areas,” said Ron Rampling, BSF project director.

“These models mean that if for some reason the population shifts, what you’re left with is not a duff school but a very attractive commercial space. This de-risks the investment the council puts into new schools,” he added.

Although the specific cost is yet to be determined, Bryanston Square, the consultancy behind the concept, estimates that the use of cheaper modular units within the shell means the cost would be about half the £2,050/m2 ballpark on BSF projects.

It is thought that Willmott Dixon, through the single-contractor Scape framework, would be the most likely candidate to do the design and build on the new concept.

“We haven’t used Scape before, but in terms of speed and efficiency it seems a very workable solution,” said Rampling.

Balfour Beatty Construction, Vinci and Morgan Ashurst are on the BSF wave 2 framework, used by Liverpool council and due to finish in September. It is understood the council will look outside this arrangement for the new schools.

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:

Sainsbury’s superstore scheme given the green light

May 18th, 2011 Comments off

sainsburys_logoPlans to construct a Sainsbury’s superstore in Staffordshire have been approved by the local authority.

Staffordshire Moorlands Council has agreed to allow the supermarket chain to construct a large store and 100 new homes on the Churnet Works site in Leek.

If the company wins approval, it will also carry out £1 million worth of road improvement works, following protests from local residents over how the new scheme will change the infrastructure of the town.

Sainsbury’s regional development executive Michael Adenmosun said: “Our first priority is to build the new employment units and then open the Sainsbury’s store. We will finalise our construction programme over the coming months.”

Upon completion, the site will comprise of various new buildings, including a 400,000 sq ft store and petrol station, as well as three bulky goods warehouses and a public park.

Lovell has recently announced it is to build 200 new homes in Skipton, North Yorkshire, as part of an affordable housing programme.

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:

Revised construction figures ‘show an upturn’

May 16th, 2011 2 comments

Construction figures for the first quarter of 2011 have been revised up by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The government body has announced that it has revised up the dire results which were recorded, with it now stating there was a decline of four per cent, rather than 4.7 per cent as was previously stated.

While the figure is an improvement, it still represents the biggest three-monthly drop in the sector since the start of 2009.

However, many construction firms are still contesting the figures, as they state their own experiences have been far more optimistic and that the ONS results are creating too gloomy a picture.

Simon Rubinsohn, RICS chief economist, said: “Even if official numbers are currently understating the resilience of the sector, the recovery in construction output is likely to be particularly sluggish over the course of this year.”

Recently, Balfour Beatty stated that it has seen a rise in its construction jobs during the early months of the year.

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:

Energizer XP18000 Power Pack

May 13th, 2011 1 comment

xpi18000XPAL Power integrates a minimum 12 safety logics into every cell for maximum protection of the battery, device and user. In addition, XPAL utilizes a mathematical circuit control unit with built-in proprietary software to control and regulate temperature, voltage and current.

XPAL Power exclusively uses lithium polymer battery cell technology. Most importantly, lithium polymer is more stable than lithium ion and is non-flammable. In addition it is form-fitting and lighter, whereby it can take on almost any shape or size.

Energizer XP18000 Power Pack

For more Energizer Batteries

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor