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Archive for April, 2014

Jet wash roofer caught on camera

April 29th, 2014 Comments off

A roofing firm and its managing director have been fined after a passer-by took photos of workers without safety harnesses.

The member of public tipped off the HSE after seeing a man standing halfway down the sloping roof in Tyldesley using a jet washer to clear moss and other debris.

roofer jet washAn HSE inspector visited the site later the same day and immediately issued a Prohibition Notice ordering the workers from IQ Roofing Solutions to come down until scaffolding or other safety improvements had been implemented.

Trafford Magistrates’ Court heard that Managing Director Stuart Bell had visited the site on the morning the work was due to start, and so knew it would be carried out without scaffolding around the edge of the roof.

The company also failed to provide proof that it held Employers’ Liability Insurance.

The court was told that the company had previously been served with a Prohibition Notice in 2011 relating to unsafe roof work and so was well aware of the dangers.

IQ Roofing Solutions of Nelson Street in Tyldesley pleaded guilty to two safety breaches and was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £2,000 towards the cost of the prosecution.

Stuart Bell, of the same address, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,619.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Laura Moran said: “Falls from height are responsible for around a third of workplace deaths every year, with 25 people losing their lives in 2012/13 alone.

“I’d therefore like to thank the member of the public who alerted us to the work, as they may well have prevented a serious injury.

“Both IQ Roofing Solutions and Stuart Bell put workers’ lives in danger by allowing them onto a slippery roof without safety measures in place. This meant that workers could have been badly injured if they had slipped and fallen to the ground below.”

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Road collapses on Brighton seafront

April 28th, 2014 Comments off

Part of the main seafront road in Brighton has been closed following the collapse of arches underneath during renovation work.

brighton-190x106

Picture courtesy of the BBC

Tonnes of rubble came crashing down underneath the road as contractors carried out renovation work to a pub situated in historic arches beneath the route.

Engineers from Brighton and Hove Council are working at the scene to assess the damage.

Council Executive Director Geoff Raw said; “Structural engineers will be working over the weekend to assess the extent of the problem which seems to have been caused by historic alterations to premises in the arches.

“We’re working as swiftly as possible with the police and key partners to ensure public safety and to keep the traffic moving as smoothly as possible.”

Sussex Police have been forced to change the route of a march due to take place in Brighton on Sunday.

The police said: “The A259 eastbound at the junction with West Street was closed around 8am on Friday due to the collapse of a roof of the Fortune of War pub in the King’s Road arches.

“The collapse has lead to a weakness in the eastbound carriageway. Workman discovered the fault and the road was closed while structural engineers assessed the situation.

“Structural engineers have now assessed the road and the eastbound carriageway will remain closed for the next few weeks.”

 

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Grosvenor Square fatality a result of demolition gone wrong

April 25th, 2014 Comments off

Further details of the death of a construction worker in London’s Grosvenor Square this week have been revealed by his employer.

20 Grosvenor Square
Above: 20 Grosvenor Square

The victim was Dainius Rupsys, a 33-year-old Lithuanian employed by site contractor McGee since 2012.

As previously reported, he was killed on the afternoon of Monday 14th April after a partial collapse at a building site at 20 Grosvenor Square. The £250m project involves the conversion of the former London headquarters of the US navy into luxury apartments.

McGee chief executive Declan Sherry said: “The incident involved a piece of machinery that was demolishing a concrete floor slab of around 12 square metres when the floor slab gave way and fell to the next level down.”

He added: “Dainius was a popular and valued member of the team and will be missed by us all.”

McGee generally has a strong safety record that has been recognised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), winning Gold Awards in both 2013 and 2014 in RoSPA’s Occupational Health & Safety Awards. The 2014 prize is due to be handed over in June.

McGee was also recognised last month at the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) 2014 Demolition Awards for its 360° Mobile Visual Noise Indicator.

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Cambridge development passes another planning milestone

April 24th, 2014 Comments off

Proposals for University of Cambridge key worker homes at the North West Cambridge Development have been approved today by the local planning authorities.

1397716419cambridgeThe 73 one- and two-bedroom apartments will be built to the north of the planned development’s local centre, providing a critical mass of University affordable housing alongside other residential buildings and social amenities.

The proposals by Maccreanor Lavington Architects and Witherford Watson Mann Architects, with Grant Associates designing the courtyard landscape, include three connected buildings of varying heights and two courtyards.

Project director Roger Taylor said: “This response and style of architecture reflects the vision for the development, which is to create an urban extension to Cambridge and we are thrilled that the local authorities continue to support the designs for the North West Cambridge Development.”

Works on the North West Cambridge Development infrastructure will start in 2014 with phased completions from 2016.  It is to be built on a 150-hectare site of University farmland situated in between Huntingdon Road, Madingley Road and the M11. Outline planning permission was granted in February 2013.

The masterplan includes 3,000 homes (50% ‘key-worker’ housing, available for qualifying University and Colleges employees), 2,000 post-graduate student spaces, 100,000m2 of research space, a local centre and community facilities including a primary school, nursery, doctors’ surgery, supermarket and shops

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BRE to work with China’s largest certification body

April 22nd, 2014 Comments off

BRE and China’s largest approved professional certification body, China Quality Certification Centre (CQC), have signed an agreement to support sustainable development in the country through collaborative training.

1397721213_17apr14-bre-dragonThe partnership will initially focus on training related to BRE’s environmental standard for buildings and communities – BREEAM. This reflects China’s growing demand for green buildings with a number of BREEAM projects now being delivered in Beijing, Shanghai and Changsha’s Meixi Lake Eco City.

BRE China director Jaya Skandamoorthy said: “Through our partnership with CQC we hope to promote the key principles of sustainability across China as well as fostering a culture of continuous improvement and quality construction across the supply chain.”

CQC vice president Mr Liu Yanbin said: “CQC have undertaken several research projects related to energy efficiency with government departments, research institutes, real estate companies and energy management companies. Our country is getting to grips with sustainable development and seeing the many benefits it brings. Collaborating with BRE in this way will help us make further progress. We are very glad that our two organisations have signed this agreement.”

 

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Chatham Dockyard tenders visitor facilities

April 17th, 2014 Comments off

The building work includes construction of a new entrance and link building in the space between two existing timber-framed 18th century buildings.

The estimated value of the scheme is between £2.75m and £3m.

ship-chatham-dockyard

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Balfour Beatty has begun work on two major sea defences

April 15th, 2014 Comments off

Balfour Beatty has begun work on two major sea defences designed to protect 12,000 homes and businesses near Blackpool from flooding.

sea defenceThe government has put funding of £85m towards the new sea defences in the area. As well as protecting 12,000 homes and businesses, the work is designed to safeguard roads and railways.

Balfour Beatty was awarded a £20m contract for Blackpool’s Anchorsholme scheme and a £53m contract for Wyre Council’s Rossall project in October. The work involves replacing over 2.9km of the original 1930s seawalls as part of the promenade renewal and beach management projects.

The sea defence in Rossall will be 2km long, from Rossall Hospital to Rossall Point. The Anchorsholme sea defence will stretch 1km from Kingsway to Little Bispham.

Both sea defences are starting construction ahead of schedule.

Speaking at the launch of the construction in Blackpool, environment secretary Owen Paterson said: “This winter’s extraordinary weather showed just how important it is to invest in infrastructure to build a stronger economy. We are spending more than ever before to protect homes and businesses from the risk of flooding and build a more resilient country for the future.”

sea defence anchorsholmePartnership funding contributions from Wyre Council, Fleetwood Town Council and Regenda Housing have also helped to fund the works.

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Jobs site reports 118% jump in construction posts

April 14th, 2014 Comments off

Advertised construction jobs have more than doubled year-on-year, according to the latest figures from CV-Library.

The first quarterly report of 2014 from the independent job board shows numbers of job postings, applications, job searches and CV registrations are up.

Construction is the sector that has seen the biggest increase in terms of year-on-year growth in jobs posted, with the number up 118% on the first quarter of 2013.

In the first three months of the year, CV-Library saw more than 48 million job searches and over six million job applications made through their website, 856,000 new CVs registered, and over 300,000 jobs posted. When compared to Q4 of 2013, there were 22.25% more jobs posted through CVLibrary’s job board network, and construction was the fifth growth industries by jobs posted, up +31.64%.

Job searches were up 51% compared to the same period in 2013, and the number of CVs being either newly registered or modified was almost 17% higher than the period before the turn of the year. Smart phones and other mobile devices being used more frequently and use of the CV-Library website via a smart phone or a connected device is up 10% since the turn of the year, and made up 32% of total traffic.

Lee Biggins, managing director of CV-Library commented: “These findings are really positive for the British economy. There are 22% more jobs posted compared to the final quarter of last year, and job seekers are using all available resources to find that next job. Key indicator industries such as construction are showing huge increases, and it is going to be fascinating to see if the market can sustain such growth going forward.”

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The Benefits of Using Recyclable Building Materials

April 11th, 2014 Comments off

If you want to make an environmental statement there surely is no bigger way to do so than to live in a home that is made entirely of recycled and recyclable materials. There are many examples across the globe of people who have come up with unbelievable ideas and turned them into reality. There are houses made of cans, tyres and bottles. Even old ships and aeroplanes are being used to accommodate some of the more adventurous recyclers out there.

recycle 1Maybe these examples are a little too far-fetched for most of us, but we can find other ways of building our homes in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly way. Many of the popular construction materials that are in use today are recyclable; we just need to do more recycling and start choosing not to use non-recyclable products in the first place.

Thankfully, there are now globally recognised environmental certification systems in place to help improve the impact that construction is having on our planet. Systems such as BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are essential as buildings account for more energy consumption than industry and traffic, not something that is common knowledge. With these measures in place it is hoped that the construction industry can help to provide us with buildings that are not only well designed, but also have been made with the entire life-cycle of the building in mind. With every aspect of the build, from conception all the way through to deconstruction, taken into account it is hoped that the buildings of the future will be less wasteful, and significantly less harmful to the planet, than those that have gone before.

While it may be a nice idea to have every building made from rapidly renewable resources such as bamboo, even the most ardent of green builders will concede that this just isn’t viable for inner city projects. It is for this reason that we need to look at what we are currently using and start to filter the good from the bad. Glass and steel structures are much better environmentally than a concrete building for instance.

recycle roofing 1Steel is a great example of a perfectly good recyclable material that is used in construction across the world. While the initial process of making steel is not the most environmentally friendly production method you could opt for, steels long lifespan makes it a very viable option. Couple that with the fact that steel can also be recycled time after time and you have an excellent material to work with.

The benefits of using recycled building materials are obvious. Lowering the amount of landfill waste, natural resource consumption and greenhouse gases are all clearly beneficial to the environment in both the short and the long term. Not only that, but using such materials in an innovative and fun way can produce stunning results too. Here’s hoping that living in a completely recyclable home will not be such a big statement in the future.

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50 Most Elegant Graduate School Buildings in the World

April 11th, 2014 Comments off

university

Universities across the globe are gaining attention not only through the quality of their academic programs or prestige of their alumni, but also thanks to the beautiful architecture they have on show. Many college graduate facilities, in particular, are housed in attractive buildings that impress and inspire with their design – which may help encourage prospective master’s degree students to step through their doors.

These stunning structures can date back to centuries past or they may have been opened in just the past decade. They might contain business schools, faculties of architecture, dormitories, or just a place where postgraduates can work and socialize. Yet they all have one thing in common: they look exceptionally stylish. Here we present 50 of the most elegant graduate school buildings in the world.

To see all 50 please visit here

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