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Considerable milestone achieved for UK construction industry

March 31st, 2016 Comments off

Barratt London celebrates as the 90,000th Site Registration with Considerate Constructors Scheme

90000 Site RegistrationLondon, United Kingdom, 23 March 2016: The Considerate Constructors Scheme – the national Scheme to improve the image of the construction industry – has reached a formidable milestone; registering 90,000 construction sites.

This historic registration was made by one of the country’s leading house builders Barratt London, for the high profile Nine Elms Point development in London.

Barratt London is also working with Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd, who are the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s founder member Client Partner, and housing association L&Q to deliver 645 new homes, a new 80,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s store and 27,000 sq ft of local shops, restaurants and office space at Nine Elms Point.

Following its first registration in 1997, the Scheme has become an integral part of the construction landscape and a strongly recognisable sight with its banners and posters adorning hoardings throughout the country.

One of the very few organisations to be monitoring the industry’s progress and sharing best practice on-the-ground, the Scheme undertakes around 13,000 visits to sites, companies and suppliers per year.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy commented: “The Scheme is immensely proud to reach this momentous milestone of 90,000 registered sites; it is a phenomenal achievement.

“We are delighted to present Barratt London with the 90,000th Site Registration to mark this occasion. The collaboration on the Nine Elms Point site between Barratt London, Sainsbury’s and L&Q epitomises the value of working together to achieve even higher levels of performance as considerate constructors.

“Since the Scheme was first established 19 years ago, registered sites, clients, companies and suppliers have strived for ever better performance across all aspects of our Code of Considerate Practice. However, there are still huge amounts to be done, and we look forward to helping the industry raise these standards even further.”

Simon Garrett, Operations Director for Barratt London said: “Barratt London has supported and registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme for many years. The Scheme started in 1997 as a non-profit making organisation, with a sole purpose of improving the image of the construction industry.

“Barratt London has undertaken substantial community engagement at Nine Elms Point since October 2013. We have built strong relationships with local residents and regularly update the local community on construction work progress. We hold an annual summer BBQ on-site that is a hit with many local residents and attend regular meetings to inform other developers involved in the wider scheme of our community engagement work. As part of our commitment, we expect to make improvements to the Wandsworth Road – including widening the highway, installation of new road drainage and realignment of the traffic lights.”

David Parnell, Sainsbury’s Construction and Delivery Manager for the South said: “As a Considerate Constructors Scheme’s Client Partner, we register all sites under our control to the Scheme.  We are extremely proud to see Nine Elms as the 90,000th Site Registration overall – we believe in striving for the very best in not only what we do but how we do it at our sites. Our store, which we expect to complete in the summer of this year, will not only bring extra choice for local shoppers but will also bring jobs for local people, as well as community support in the form of choosing a local charity to support and providing sporting equipment through our Active Kids scheme.”

Andy Rowland, Land & Projects Director at L&Q added: “It’s great to see Nine Elms deliver the Considerate Constructor Scheme’s 90,00th Site Registration. The Scheme plays an important role within the industry in helping to drive up standards and improve the image of construction. It’s apt that one of the most transformational development sites in London, which will provide hundreds of homes across all tenures, is also doing its part to transform the image of construction.”

Click here for further information about Site Registration.

 

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A online photographic resource detailing the buildings and places connected with William Shakespeare

March 29th, 2016 Comments off

 

FBImage_V4 (Medium)

A online photographic resource detailing the buildings and places connected with William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare’s legacy continues in classrooms all over the world. Despite the fact some of his works are over 400 years old, they still offer a foundation for learning and inspiration for literature. While his plays, texts and sonnets have been poured over by academics and amateurs alike, information about his life is poorly known as records are few and far between.
The little we do know about his life we can be fairly certain of thanks to public records. It is these records which have been able to reveal the locations and areas where Shakespeare frequented and lived.

Shakespeares Buildings

Screenshot Shakespeares Birthplace (Medium)

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Brighten up: open up your home to the light!

March 28th, 2016 Comments off

Brightening your home is crucial in creating a peaceful living space for you and the family. There are plenty of ways and tricks to lighten up the mood in a home, with a few well chosen accessories and a good lick of luminous paint on the walls. But when this isn’t cutting it – and this is especially true for older buildings that tend to have smaller windows, it might be time for a bigger structural makeover.

  1. Conservatories

Getting a conservatory to lighten up a room such as a dark kitchen is an excellent investment as you’re getting more space and much more light for a reasonable budget. Depending on your home style, you can decide to go for traditional CR Smith conservatories, or go full on modern with more daring bespoke designs that will display your architectural avant-garde taste. Both options are likely to add a ton of value to your home as conservatories are one of the most profitable home upgrades on the market: if it is well done, a sunroom or conservatory can add up to 7% value.

  1. Rooflights

Bring the light levels of your home to the roof with rooflights. Sometimes adding extra glazing to the roof is the easiest solution. You can add it to gloomy corridors and rooms in the middle of the house that could always benefit from a little extra light. If you’re after a design option, roof lanterns can take many different shapes and are usually fitted onto flat roofs.

  1. Open plan living space

Breaking down some walls may be the best option to bring in the light. Such open plan living layout makes the light flows throughout the home and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Taking down a wall can be done relatively on the cheap: between 400 and 3000 GBP to get it done professionally. Opt for a half wall if you’re planning to install a breakfast bar or extra storage.

  1. Courtyards

The center parts of the house have a tendency to be the darkest. Mini courtyards are a great and modern design solution to brighten up the space from within and create a cosy and intimate outdoor setting where you can relax, even in the busiest neighbourhood.

  1. Make the windows bigger

If the budget is tight, another optimal solution could simply be to take pre-existing windows and turn them into glass door windows that will maximise the light and the view. If the current structure allows it, you could also invest in extra windows. You shouldn’t need to apply for planning permission in the UK if you decide to install extra doors or windows on your home, under the condition that they remain of a similar appearance to those used in the construction of the original building.

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Five shortlisted for £1bn London super-estate revamp

March 23rd, 2016 Comments off

London’s Wandsworth council has shortlisted five consortia to help it regenerate a major estate next to Clapham Junction rail station.

Winstanley York Road
Tenants on the 32-acre estate site support most ambitious redevelopment plan

The £1bn Winstanley and York Road scheme will regenerate a 32 acres site creating a new better-designed mixed-use neighbourhood of around 2,000 homes with new retail, leisure, community and office space.

The scheme is being promoted as the flagship project in the Government’s crusade to bulldoze and rebuild the country’s worst sink estates.

Winstanley and York Road scheme

Shortlist

york-gardens_amende_632

  • Balfour Beatty Infrastructure Investments & First Base
  • Berkeley Group
  • C&C Properties UK & Pinnacle Group
  • Lend Lease Europe Holdings
  • Taylor Wimpey UK

Council tenants and owner occupiers are being offered new homes in the development so they can stay and share in the area’s revival.

Tenants have already supported a wholesale redevelopment option for the two estates as opposed to a revamp of the existing buildings.

Under the favoured option 3 some existing blocks would be refurbished and large areas of the York Road estate would be redeveloped.

The redeveloped areas would be extended further to include Ganley Court, Gagarin House and Shepard House. New housing would be constructed in modern buildings fronting onto clearly defined streets.

Two towers on York Road estate would be retained but Chesterton House would be redeveloped.

Bilfinger GVA is lead advisor to Wandsworth Council for the procurement process.

Gerry Hughes, Chief Executive at Bilfinger GVA said: “We are delighted that the calibre of the five shortlisted parties matches the scale and potential for this significant estate regeneration opportunity.”

The selection of a preferred partner is expected in late 2016.

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Construction industry can now show how it is Building Social Value

March 21st, 2016 Comments off

CCS Ltd logo RGBNew resource from the Considerate Constructors Scheme to capture the social value created through construction

London, United Kingdom, 16 March 2016: Building Social Value – a simple way to report on the social value created through construction – has been launched by the Considerate Constructors Scheme for all Scheme registered sites, companies and suppliers.

Building Social Value has been developed by the Scheme in conjunction with a number of leading construction companies and industry clients across the UK:  Basildon Borough Council; Kier Group plc; Land Securities Group plc; and Morgan Sindall.

By using the Scheme to carry out the report, contractors and clients recognise that gaining a professional, third-party report will help them to evaluate the impact of their construction sites in creating social value.

Scheme Monitors will visit construction sites and record the social value created, using the Social Value Monitoring Checklist. The Monitor will then produce a Building Social Value report, based on the results gathered from the Checklist.

All sites, companies and suppliers undertaking Building Social Value will then have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate their commitment to creating social value by displaying Building Social Value posters.

Since the Social Value Act came into force in 2013 there has been a requirement to focus on how the construction industry creates social value. While the act applies to the public sector, many private clients are also taking into account social benefits when awarding construction contracts.

Building social valueConsiderate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “Construction activity produces huge amounts of social value for local communities, the local economy and the environment. It is, however, difficult to define, capture and report on this value creation. Building Social Value will provide construction, clients and the public with a much-needed understanding of the extent to which a particular construction project has created opportunities for long-term social value.”

Clive Johnson, Group Head of Health and Safety at Land Securities commented: “We greatly value this service, as do our extensive supply chain. It gives us a cost effective and independent means of measuring social value from our many developments across the UK. I would recommend all clients to take advantage of this facility if they wish to play a leading role in delivering the best possible social value to the communities they conduct their businesses within.”

Basildon Borough Council Asset Strategy Manager, Daniel Greenwood added: “Social value plays a central role in all our procurement activity and having a consistent and robust way to measure outcomes has been a constant challenge. Building Social Value really adds confidence that projects are delivering on our promises to the community.”

Click on the link to find out more about Building Social Value: www.buildingsocialvalue.org.uk.

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NATIONAL CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TRAINING SPECIALIST DTL WINS MAJOR CONTRACT WITH HANSON UK

March 17th, 2016 Comments off

National construction industry training specialist DTL has announced a major new contract with Hanson UK.

DTL (Develop Training Limited) – which has five training centres in England and Scotland – will provide electrical equipment training for more than 1,000 employees of the company, which is a leading supplier of heavy building materials to the construction industry, including aggregates and cement, and employs around 3,500 people in the UK.

DTL was approached to run the training through its partnership with Mentor – the UK’s leading provider of training in workplace transport, materials handling and mobile plant equipment – which has an existing relationship with Hanson UK.

The new contract comes after Hanson identified the need to enhance safe working practices on the repair, maintenance and management of high and low voltage electrical equipment. Around 1,100 people will take part in training from DTL, who will provide bespoke courses both at Hanson sites and its own sites, which include Derby, Swindon, Linlithgow near Edinburgh, Bolton and York.

The rolling programme will run over 12 months with 19 courses varying from entry level – including circuit breakers, electrical re-setting, safe system function testing, light fitting, lamp training and safe isolation – to formal C&G qualifications including 17th edition wiring regulations, inspection and testing, explosive atmospheres (hazardous areas) and authorised person high voltage.

After its partner Mentor Training approached DTL to support the development of this major training programme, the company has worked in partnership with Mentor and Hanson to ensure the programme reflects industry best practice and that training is based on the kind of equipment typically used by Hanson. The training also covers the relevant compliance processes in operation at Hanson.

As part of the service, DTL is providing Mentor with its electronic training recording system, which automatically delivers recall reminders when refresher courses are required and allows Mentor to manage Hanson’s training needs accurately. It also provides site managers the visibility to monitor the levels of qualifications of individuals and identify those employees who need top up training. DTL has tailored the system to meet the specific requirements of Mentor and Hanson.

With DTL’s online platform, Profiler Live, the training provider manages assessments electronically with an e-portfolio system that removes the need for trainees to carry heavy paper portfolios, and enables trainers and management to track each trainee’s progress.

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HoW College answers SOS call

March 15th, 2016 Comments off

Staff and students from Heart of Worcestershire College rolled up their sleeves, grabbed their toolkits and got down to work as they answered a call to volunteer from BBC One series ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’.

DIY SOS2.jpg-origIn December last year, construction students from across the College, along with their tutors, headed down to the site in Bidford on Avon to lend a helping hand to Nick Knowles and his team.

Getting stuck in straight away Brickwork apprentices, Aidan Woodbine and Dalton Griffiths along with tutor Rob Smith, began helping to construct the main brickwork elevation to the rear of the property before moving on to make alterations to the existing building both internally and externally including creating a feature fireplace wall.

Once structural work had been completed the College’s team of plasterers, including level 2 apprentice Ryan Wilson and full-time level 2 student Reece Roberts and tutors Tony Wheeler and Mike Webber, began helping with work in the bedrooms and bathroom preparing the walls and ceilings for decorators.

Shortly after, the decorators’ level 2 students Jade Pritchard and Tayshan Hickey proceeded to prepare all of the surfaces before applying paint to walls and ceilings under the watch eyeful and design direction of Lawrence Llewelyn Bowen. Not ones to shy away from helping out further, the team also assisted other tradespeople on-site lending a hand to those unloading and moving materials.

Speaking about the experience Dalton Griffiths, said:

“It was a great experience to be involved in and to be a part of something that would benefit and change someone else’s life for the better. It was totally different to my normal job as the pressure to get things done was immense. I do feel that the project helped with my confidence and how I might approach tasks in the future”.

Fellow student Jade Pritchard added:

“Working on DIY SOS not only gave me invaluable insight into the active world of construction, but also a sense of achievement and pride. I worked alongside multiple trades and with many skilled people picking up hints, tips and experiences that have improved my work as well as both my professionalism and future employability. DIY SOS is an opportunity to make contacts within my trade, learn masses and give back to society”.

Rob Smith, Curriculum, Resources & Quality Leader for construction commented:

 “It was a fabulous experience for everyone to be involved in. It gave the students a fabulous opportunity of real work experience allowing them to put their knowledge and skills to the test. The project allowed learners to feel what it is really like to work under extreme pressure and to be able to work to tight deadlines. For myself it reminded me of some of my best days on site with the camaraderie, team work and of course the banter! I would recommend it to anyone”.

The team returned to the site on the ‘reveal’ day where they celebrated with other workers and the family involved.

DIY SOS: The Big Build featuring HoW College is set to air later this year.

For more information about our construction courses please visit howcollege.ac.uk

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Bellway Homes celebrates considerate milestone

March 14th, 2016 Comments off

Company marks 500th client registration with Considerate Constructors Scheme

2048-1London, United Kingdom, 8 March 2016: Bellway Homes Limited – one of the UK’s top housebuilders – has been recognised for its long-term commitment to improving the image of the construction industry.

The company, which has been in business for over 70 years, reached its 500th client registration with the Considerate Constructors Scheme for the latest phases of The Pavilions development, in Tottenham Hale.

Bellway’s The Pavilions is part of a staggering £450m regeneration of the Tottenham Hale area, providing over 1,200 new homes to the north London suburb.

A pioneer of considerate construction, Bellway Homes led the way as one of the first housebuilders to register with the Scheme, in 1998. Since then, Bellway Homes has won seven Considerate Constructors Scheme National Site Awards.

This year will be no exception, with Bellway short-listed for yet more National Site Awards. The Award categories are Bronze, Silver, Gold, Runner-up to Most Considerate Site, and Most Considerate Site. The awards ceremony takes place next month.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy commented: “Bellway Homes’ milestone achievement exemplifies the commitment it has made towards improving the image of the industry.

“Housebuilding continues to be one of key construction priorities for the nation and the Scheme is delighted to see that Bellway is helping to drive the housebuilding industry forward by being a considerate constructor.”

Ted Ayres, Chief Executive at Bellway said: “This milestone is a great accolade, and testament to the professionalism of our on-site teams. As one of the first housebuilders to register almost 20 years ago, we have been continually supportive of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and its mission to raise standards and improve the image of the construction industry. At Bellway, we strive to ensure that all our sites across the country operate in a safe, secure and respectful manner, with minimum impact on surrounding environments and communities.”

John Haggerstone, Construction Director at Bellway Homes Thames Gateway added: “We are really proud to reach this significant milestone with our development. We pride ourselves on proving a considerate construction environment, for both our builders on site and those living around it, particularly at The Pavilions. We are proud of our reputation and to be part of the Considerate Constructors Scheme.”

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COMBISAFE TAKES EDGE PROTECTION TO NEW HEIGHTS AT BAUMA 2016

March 11th, 2016 Comments off

Combisafe, a Honeywell company and a leading provider of temporary collective protection, will demonstrate the benefits of its innovative edge protection solutions to the rental market at Bauma (Munich, 11-17 April 2016). Visitors to stand A2.118 will be able to learn how Combisafe’s systemised alternatives to the traditional edge protection methods can help safety managers in the construction sector protect workers more effectively.

“Unlike other European markets where systemised metal edge protection is recognised as the go-to solution, the German construction sector has yet to seize on the benefits of this innovative development,” said Paul Keevil, general manager of Combisafe. “We appreciate that German construction firms generally prefer to rent their edge protection equipment and that’s why we want to raise awareness of our rental service and the merits of the systemised metal edge protection, which not only can satisfy this domestic demand but importantly is compliant with the EN standards.”

One of the new product innovations spotlighted at the show will be the new lightweight Steel Mesh Barrier Mark III. The 2.6m barrier system, which weighs 15.7kg, is fully compliant with temporary edge protection standard EN13374, classes A, B and C. As such, it meets a growing demand in the European market for a lightweight, versatile system that is easy and safe to transport or position in and around construction sites.

Other product highlights at the Combisafe stand will include the The SkyReach Anchor – a versatile, overhead fall protection system that safeguards construction workers against falls from height – and the COMBISAFE Loading System MkII. When used with the SkyReach Anchor, the Loading System MkII enables workers to safely load or unload flatbed trailers and raised decks in yards or on work-sites.

Visitors to the stand will also be able to see an example of Combisafe’s Site Stairway. The unique modular feature means that the stair lengths can be adapted to suit the end user.

If you are interested in learning about Combisafe’s innovative product range and its other collective protection solutions visit the Combisafe stand (A2.118) throughout the show.

For more information, contact Combisafe on 01604 660600 or visit www.combisafe.com.

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A stagnating construction industry: what you need to do

March 8th, 2016 Comments off

The UK construction industry isn’t looking healthy. Output is stagnating and profits are dwindling along with them. With a conservative financial outlook on the industry, many construction companies will soon be forced to head back to the drawing board.

This comes after news that the UK’s construction industry put in its worst performance for 10 months in February after the slowest rise in housebuilding since 2013.

The Markit/Clips UK construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) registered 54.2 in February, the lowest figure since last April.

Lack of optimism in construction

A senior economist at Markit, Tim Moore, said, “Survey respondents noted that underlying business conditions remained favourable, especially in relation to commercial building and infrastructure-related work, but some clients had been hesitant to commit to new projects so far in 2016.

“Reflecting this, new order growth weakened again and construction firms were the least optimistic about their year ahead growth prospects since December 2014.”

It makes for sobering reading – a construction industry reticent to commit to new projects will leave a lot of workers out of a job.

Despite this fact, wages for construction professionals have risen by 10 per cent in the past year, while advertised vacancies in the construction sector ballooned to 50,007, compared to 39,412 in March 2014.

But if you’re in the construction industry, especially a little higher up the food chain, you’ll have to find productive ways to maintain profits.

Build relationships

Building materials are some of the most expensive objects on a site – but you can cut the cost by forging relationships with material and tool providers.

For adhesive products, we’d recommend Tensor, a long established glue provider that can supply you with marine glue, composite adhesives and much more. They also run a loyalty programme which allows you to purchase adhesive for cheaper if you’re a long-serving customer.

Another respected provider to the construction industry is Howdens, an outlet created specifically for joinery. Trade customers can also enjoy a large discount when they sign up enough employees, so give them a look for cheaper interiors.

Balance risk and reward

A large reason why building projects aren’t being started yet is that the risk has become a lot higher for management. In the 2008 economic meltdown, the construction industry was hit hard with spiralling debts and abandoned projects.

In many ways, it’s still licking its wounds three-quarters of a decade on, remaining risk averse and focusing largely on safe bets like luxury accommodation (affordable accommodation, despite demand, is still largely not catered for).

Your construction industry is no different. Weighing up the pros and cons of a building project is still vital before investment. However, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, being less risk averse can be a positive step towards a resurgence in the growth of the sector.

These are only two options. If you’ve got anymore, let us know in the comments below.

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