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Archive for January, 2012

Pinnacle tower on hold again

January 31st, 2012 2 comments

Work on the Pinnacle tower in the City of London is on hold again because of fresh finance problems.

The building’s on-off development suffered its latest setback last week when builders downed tools because of worries about funding.

Work on the 64-storey tower started up again late last year after earlier being stalled.

Developer Arab Investments resumed work after securing a £500 million debt facility from a group of lenders led by HSBC.

But the deal was reliant on the developer pre-letting a chunk of the tower, which it has not yet done. Arab Investments said it did not know how long the latest delay would last.

Two years ago parts of the tower were redrawn by KPF to include a three-storey viewing platform to feature artefacts loaned by the Museum of London.

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Government warned not to drop Breeam standards for schools

January 30th, 2012 Comments off

UK Green Building Council has written to education secretary Michael Gove asking him not to drop sustainability requirements for schools.

Paul King, chief executive of UKGBC, teamed up with environmental campaigners to respond to plans outlined by Gove which would see the Breeam standard dropped for new-build and refurbished schools. Under the previous government’s Building Schools for the Future programme schools were required to meet a Breeam “very good” standard.

The letter, which was also sent to David Cameron and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, along with five other cabinet ministers, said the proposal was “deeply concerning”.

It said: “Breeam is well understood and widely recognised by the construction industry. Removing it would introduce enormous complexity for non-expert construction clients, arguably increasing bureaucracy and thereby causing delay in the design process and driving up costs.

“Reneging on the commitment would also send a terrible message to the UK industry which frequently builds to Breeam “excellent” standards in commercial developments so they can be occupied by a public sector anchor-tenant.”

The Department for Education is considering the future of Breeam standards as part of the recommendations made in the James Review.

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Greenwich peninsula to see housing boom

January 26th, 2012 Comments off

Architects can expect much work in east London after Boris Johnson announced 10,000 new homes will be built on the Greenwich Peninsula.

The mayor revealed the ambition following an agreement with secretary of state Eric Pickles and the Homes and Communities Agency to facilitate the next phase of development, which includes 1,350 homes by the end of 2015 delivered by developer Lend Lease.

Johnson said: “This latest phase of regeneration will seal its future as a thriving, well-connected new district, combining vibrant new residential areas and fantastic leisure facilities.”

Progress on a number of other key sites in the capital was also announced, including the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Tower Hamlets. Housing association Family Mosaic won a competition for the project where 180 homes are planned following the demolition of the hospital. Family Mosaic’s team beat a bid from developer Igloo and Ash Sakula which would have retained the building.

And in Southwark an Ojeu competition will be launched to find a developer for the Newington site in Elephant & Castle, which will include a 43-storey tower and 470 homes.

The news follows last week’s announcement that a new road tunnel between Greenwich Peninsula and Silvertown in the Royal Docks will be built.

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RIBA – decrease in female architects

January 25th, 2012 Comments off

Numbers of female architects working for UK practices has fallen 7% since 2009.

The RIBA Future Trends Survey reported 21% of architectural staff in December 2011 were female, compared to 28% in January 2009.

Architects also reported a decrease in confidence over future workloads for December 2011.

The RIBA’s monthly workload index for last month stands at -11, down from -4 in November.

Practices in the south-east of England and in London showed the most optimism about future demand for services, while those in Northern Ireland are the most pessimistic.

The private housing sector shows the most promise for future workloads but public sector and community work remains under pressure.

Adrian Dobson, RIBA director of practice, said: “Our respondents and practices continue to report intense fee competition, restrictions in bank lending and uncertainty over the general economic outlook as their main challenges.

“Of ongoing concern is the disproportionate impact of the recession on employment levels for women working in architecture. The RIBA remains committed to addressing these inequalities through initiatives including the Architects for Change and Women in Architecture groups”

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Architects claiming dole falls to five-month low

January 24th, 2012 1 comment

The number of architects in GB on the dole has fallen to the lowest level since July 2011.

According to figures released today the number of architects receiving jobseekers allowance in December 2011 was 905, compared to a 12-month high of 1,035 in August 2011.

The figures show that overall 2011 was a better year for architects than 2010, which ended with 1,010 architects claiming a jobseekers allowance.

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that the number of architects in full-time employment is 25,000, with another 17,000 in full-time self-employment. Overall, there are 45,000 architects working in the UK.

 

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Liverpool Football Club – back to original stadium plans

January 23rd, 2012 Comments off

The long drawn out saga of Liverpool’s plans to build a new stadium are back on again with the Premiership club’s US owners believed to be looking at plans first drawn up nine years ago.

Their owners, Fenway Sports Group has been working with specialist Manchester practice AFL on a brand new ground for the club in the city’s Stanley Park next door to the club’s current Anfield home.

According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, the news will mean that futuristic designs (pictured) unveiled by US firm HKS in 2006 will now be scrapped for good. The £400 million plans were already in limbo after the previous Liverpool board said they were too expensive.

AFL, which declined to comment, first drew up plans for a new stadium in the early 2000s. These were put forward for planning in 2003 and given the all-clear a year later.

The new plans are dependent on the club raising the £300 million required to build the 60,000-seat ground, with at least half of this required before construction can begin.

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Hire a Mobile Surveying Solution

January 19th, 2012 1 comment

Hire a Surveying Kit

Professionally equipped while working in the field – complete boxed solutions, now you can Hire the award winning mobile surveying solution kit with the Sitemaster software for your measured building surveys. Save up to 70% of the time it takes to produce ‘As Built’ floor plans.

Save money by hiring a Sitemaster bundle.

Now you can hire the best Mobile Surveying Solution on the market. Recently made available by Mobile CAD Surveying, the Sitemaster Bundle is now available to hire.

Training for the above kit

For more information: Hire a Graebert Sitemaster Building Kit – Mobile Surveying Solution

 

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Pipe and Wall Inspection Camera

January 17th, 2012 2 comments

The South Pipe and Wall Inspection Camera is supplied in an industrial class case. The system comes in its own storage box with a built-in LCD screen to review, monitor and record video footage in real-time. Video footage can be recorded directly onto a USB memory stick allowing for video footage to be both viewed, stored and played back. With a Video out facility recodings can also be made directly to a media player or other recording device. Its 20 meter cable the camera can be used to view areas that are difficult to access.

The LCD screen, camera and DVR can be powered either from the 12v rechargeable battery or from a UK plug adaptor. The inspection camera is mounted on a spring and connects to a fibreglass cable. Once connected, the user can view the images in colour on the built-in LCD screen.

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NavCom’s SF-3040 GPS

January 16th, 2012 Comments off

NavCom’s SF-3040 pole-mount StarFire/RTK GNSS Survey Receiver provides RTK-level accuracy up to 40 km away from the base station or decimeter-level position accuracy, anywhere in the world, anytime. Powered by the Sapphire™ Engine, the SF-3040 provides 66 channel tracking, including multi-constellation support for GPS, GLONASS, and SBAS including StarFire.

The SF-3040 supports Ultra RTK™, which allows RTK accuracy (0.5cm +1ppm) at up to 40km from the base station. Combined with NavCom’s industry-exclusive RTK Extend™, users can work farther away from base stations and maintain RTK-level accuracy even during radio outages for up to 15 minutes.

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House building improvements ‘could take 6 months’

January 12th, 2012 Comments off

The government must respond positively to the National Planning Policy Framework if the house building industry is to improve in 2012.

This is according to director of external affairs at the Federation of Master Builders Brian Berry, who claimed it could be some time until the UK starts to feel the positive effects of the initiative.

He explained that the coalition is due to respond to planning proposals in March, although it could take until the second half of the year for the economy to see any improvement as a result of this.

“Definitely with the first six months, we are not very optimistic – and that depends on the government sticking to the original proposals,” Mr Berry continued.

The expert added that the current difficulties many people face when trying to obtain a mortgage means confidence in the housing market is at a low.

At the beginning of the month, the Construction Products Association predicted workload within the construction sector will decline by around five per cent in 2012, with a recovery not expected until 2014.

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