UK construction blog


Archive for June, 2019

The rising build-to-rent property sector is driving investment in cleaner energy.

June 28th, 2019 Comments off

That was one of the key takeaways from a seminar attended by more than 100 property professionals and hosted by engineering partnership IN2 at the historic Screen on the Green cinema in London’s Islington.

James Redmond, a Director at IN2, spoke alongside Andrew Bradley of construction cost consultancy Core Five and architects Graham Hickson-Smith and Richard Fairhead, both from 3DReid.

James contrasted trends in the private rented sector in Dublin with those in London. IN2, has offices in both cities and is working on build-to-rent projects in both locations.

Planning and environmental requirements in Dublin have seen a rapid rise in the use of centralised air source heat pumps, which are taking over from CHP. “These are achieving great energy figures and allowing investors to meet their renewable obligations under Irish legislation,” James told the audience.

The scale of the energy savings and growing consumer demand for energy-efficient living could stimulate a growth in the use of the technology in London as well, he said.

Richard and Graham highlighted how members of project teams must work together to make Build to Rent assets as efficient as possible. Richard explained: “The fundamental difference with BTR is that the operator has to deliver amenity, which costs money. If you can be more efficient in the design, you can afford to invest more in amenity.”

Graham pointed out some of the key issues to consider when designing BTR developments, particularly adaptability and future proofing. “If a BTR development is going to be around for 25 years, what’s going to change?” he asked.  “It needs to be a flexible product. What if you need to change the floorplate in future?”

He said allowing for a changing future meant developers would have to ask themselves whether or not a modular building approach was right for this kind of project. The answer could be ‘no’ if taking an uncompromising modular approach limited their ability to adapt the development to suit changing lifestyles and occupancy profiles over the lifetime of the building.

Andrew set out the key cost drivers involved in ensuring a return on investment in BTR. “These kinds of developments have to be some of the most cost-efficient buildings out there,” he pointed out. He urged investors to take advantage of the fact that there is now a vast amount of data on existing BTR developments to draw on, against which they can benchmark any proposed project.

Andrew said before embarking on a BTR project, developers had to ask themselves how many buildings would be optimal in a particular project, what kind of buildings they should be and whether towers had a useful role to play.

“Repetition in design is fundamental,” he said. “Stacking is important, and regular shapes and apartment sizes are key. Developers need to recognise that some design possibilities, such as basements and inset balconies, are cost prohibitive in BTR.”

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Prestigious contract highlights value of responsible business practice

June 26th, 2019 Comments off

The construction team at leading recruiter Acorn has been awarded the contract to supply workers for Bouygues UK’s pioneering Cardiff Innovation Campus (CIC) construction project on the basis of its responsible business practices.

Acorn will supply resources and provide employment opportunities for staff at the state-of-the-art Cardiff University campus, which will house two world-leading scientific research organisations – the Institute for Compound Semiconductors and the Cardiff Catalysis Institute.

In order to ensure they had the right skills available for the duration of the build, Bouygues UK was seeking a specialist recruitment partner, and one that would also be able to meet its social and ethical expectations. Acorn was able to demonstrate that it has previously led recruitment for the building of a variety of construction projects that demonstrated a real commitment to supporting local communities and people looking for a new chance to get their lives back on track.

Acorn presented examples where through supplying people to a construction project, they also incorporated providing opportunities to support rehabilitation of ex-offenders, help people affected by homelessness and help the long-term unemployed back into work.

Marc Jones, Director of Operations at Acorn Recruitment explained: “As a business, we have always believed that getting people into work is only half of the job we do. We are building communities, supporting economies and strengthening social structures.

“Knowing that Bouygues UK shares very similar values to Acorn and that it was looking for a recruitment partner that had social value at the core of its work, we were really keen to work with them.”

Bouygues UK aims to encourage an increase in local skills through the CIC project by providing around 30 work placements, creating 35 new apprenticeship opportunities and delivering nearly 2,000 training weeks.

Marc added: “Through our work in construction, manufacturing and engineering we have placed some 40 ex-offenders into permanent positions in the past two years alone. We work with local homeless charity The Wallich to help ex-offenders and those who have found themselves on the streets to start again, to work with a mentor and to secure permanent jobs.

“We also do a lot of work to encourage women into the construction industry and through a variety of events and schemes Acorn has organised or been involved with, we have recently placed 16 women on construction sites across South Wales alone.”

Leigh Hughes, CSR Director at Bouygues UK, said: “Bouygues is an innovative construction company, which has corporate social responsibility and ethical values at heart, and so when we were looking for a recruitment partner for this leading project we needed a company which understood the value of that ethos and shared our vision. We were delighted to find that in Acorn.

“The fact that most of what we were seeking in a partner was already happening as a matter of course at Acorn was a great encouragement to us. They didn’t have to start from scratch and set any of these schemes up, they were already in place and working well – which was a great help.

“Acorn already has a longstanding working relationship with the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) and many of its team members were Fairness Inclusion and Respect (FIR) Ambassadors, which is an initiative we wholeheartedly support and are using already in our supply chain.”

Leigh continued: “Cardiff Innovation Campus is a prestigious, ambitious and innovative project that will be the home to some of the world’s most exciting scientific institutions and we are very proud to be building it for the University.

“We are pleased to be working with Acorn Recruitment on CIC and look forward to welcoming new employees to Bouygues UK and the world of construction.”

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Trade body develops specialist course on Japanese knotweed

June 24th, 2019 Comments off

National trade body the Property Care Association (PCA) has developed specialist training to support property professionals in the identification of Japanese knotweed and other invasive species.

The ‘Invasive Plant Identification Course’ gives a comprehensive overview of the key issues surrounding certain plants listed on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Growth stages, biosecurity, ecology, habitat and UK distribution are some of the areas covered by the one-day programme.

Participants are also able to see live non-native invasive specimens, which are being cultivated under stringent conditions in a specially created greenhouse environment on the PCA’s site.

Included in the list of non-native species covered by the programme are plants including, but not limited to;

  • American Skunk Cabbage
  • Rhododendron
  • Giant Rhubarb
  • Creepers
  • Buddleia
  • Hottentot Fig
  • Yellow Azalea
  • Giant Hogweed
  • Few Flowered Leek
  • Three Cornered Garlic
  • Bamboo

The first course takes place at the PCA’s training centre, in Huntingdon, on Thursday, August 1.

The cost is £295 plus VAT for PCA members, and £345 plus VAT for those not in membership of the association.

More information and booking details can be found at

All those taking part also receive a free copy of both ‘Practical Management of Invasive Non-Native Weeds in Britain and Ireland’ and the ‘Field Guide to Invasive Plants and Animals In Britain.’

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10 things to help nail your business presentation delivery

June 20th, 2019 Comments off

Do you consider yourself a natural born presenter? There’s no doubt that some of us are and when we stand up and take the mic, the room falls silent and we have everyone’s full attention straightaway. When this happens, the audience listens because they are confident that what is about to follow is going to be the words that inspire and captivate.

Perhaps, you are more like Mr Bean when you take the stage and even saying a few words at a wedding is your idea of hell — slowly turning into a 2002 Marshal Mathers, ‘knees weak, arms heavy’.

Standing up in front of a group of people and speaking can require a bit more learning and practice. Lucky for you, we are here to offer you some helpful advice. Read our top ten tips to help you grow in confidence and deliver the perfect presentation, without hearing the tumbleweed blow past.

Seconds count… ensure your audience engages straightaway

Imagine you’re robbing a bank, you aren’t going to take the time to introduce yourself, you need to grab the attention of the teller and get out of there. A presentation is no different, get in, and with a piranha-like bite, you attack, ensuring your audience hones in. Often you are going to be using a digital presentation that will include your topic title, and they will already know your name. ‘Different’, in this circumstance, is detrimental.

Don’t overcomplicate your language

It may seem like a given, but the major failings of most speeches are that the audience simply cannot understand it. The best speeches in the history of time were delivered succinctly and weren’t overflowing with jargon. The biggest mistake one can make is to overcomplicate the language used — it doesn’t simply confuse the listener, but it will more than likely cause you to trip up as well.

Earn their attention

As much as we might not like to accept it, no one in life owes us anything — it is up to us to earn their attention. We cannot expect to warrant someone’s appreciation straight off the bat, simply because of who we are. They are going to give up their precious time to listen to us, but why should they? Tell them of your experience in the area, and reason why you are the one standing up to make the presentation as opposed to them.

Give the audience your attention

If you are expecting your audience to pay attention to you, you need to pay attention to them. That said, learn your presentation, or at the very least, the basic structure beforehand. Yes, off-the-cuff might work for one in a thousand, but no one wants to listen to someone stumble their way through their presentation with Mr Blobby-like co-ordination. Rehearsing a handful of times in front of family, friends, or even the mirror, will give you the confidence to act upon their reactions, as opposed to aimlessly talking to a screen.

Watch your timing

No one is here to suggest that a slide of a PowerPoint should take an hour, but if you try and rush through the first slide, by the second you will have lost all your audience in transit. Take a step back when you are initially planning your presentation: work out exactly how many ideas you wish to propose and assign an appropriate amount of time to each. Similarly, breathing can be incredibly under-rated — don’t starve yourself of oxygen.

Add emotion

No one wants to walk out after a presentation and think, ‘well there goes half an hour of my life I’m never going to get back’. Therefore, add at least the tiniest portion of emotion. You don’t have to put in a performance deserving of an Oscar but showing your audience you are interested in what you’re speaking about is essential —if you don’t care, how can you expect them to? Obviously, we won’t always be tasked with speaking about a topic we would die for, but by racking your brain and coming up with why it’s important to you, you’ve certainly made a start.

Know your audience

Not many of us would have the same conversation with our mother and grandmother as we would do in the pub on a Saturday afternoon after football. The reason we don’t is because we can successfully take heed of our audience — and a presentation is no different. Jokes are often inappropriate in a presentation, but if you’re going to use them, at least make sure they are going to be understood.

Images can make or break a presentation

Using pictures and diagrams throughout your presentation can be a fantastic method of grabbing attention, as an overload of text can often prove to be challenging to divulge, particularly if it’s a large group. However, if you are going to go down the road of using images, make sure that they can be easily seen and interpreted. The sheer quality of a picture can act as a make or break for the entire success of your presentation.

Tell a story but ensure you feel confident in the content

This is something that many people will struggle to do — it requires a lot of creativity. Rather than telling jokes, this can be the perfect way to get your audience laughing, and for that, they will remember you. Your story can be whatever you want because it’s your story. Make the detail as extravagant as you like, just be confident that the content of the story relates to the purpose of your presentation.

Winding things up… make an impact

What the audience will hear at the end is the first thing they are going to remember afterwards. It is no surprise that the cliché of ‘going out with a bang’ has stuck around for so long — because if we don’t, we’ll be forgotten in a flash.

Article provided by Where The Trade Buys, a UK print company offering high quality book printing for various sectors, including the construction industry.
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Parking around the UK… how do the top cities compare?

June 19th, 2019 Comments off

You may be fortunate to work in a UK city whereby and you can quickly find a parking space or pay very little for the visit — making it very convenient to bring your car into the city centre. For other cities though, you could end up driving around for ages trying to locate one space or put quite a few pound coins into the ticket machine for the privilege. Let’s take a deeper look at how parking can prove to be much more of a nightmare in one city compared to another. If you like numbers, you’ll enjoy the insightful research we’ve compiled about the topic.

Searching for a parking space can be time consuming in some cities

Using data gathered from a study carried out by end-to-end parking solution specialists INRIX and reported on by The Sun, the following table reveals how long people spend on average each year searching for a parking space in some of the UK’s largest cities. It also details the cost that this search has on each driver when factoring in time, fuel and emissions, as well as the overall cost if the entire city’s population could drive.

City Population Search time per year Cost per driver Cost if entire population could drive
London 7,074,265 67 £1,104 £7,809,988,560
Birmingham 1,020,589 46 £757 £772,585,873
Leeds 726,939 47 £772 £561,196,908
Glasgow 616,430 40 £660 £406,843,800
Bristol 399,633 46 £768 £306,918,144
Manchester 430,818 41 £688 £296,402,784
Edinburgh 448,850 38 £625 £280,531,250
Belfast 297,300 56 £928 £275,894,400
Cardiff 315,040 44 £737 £232,184,480
Southampton 214,859 35 £588 £126,337,092


Exploring the cost of parking in the UK’s city centres

In the next table, we have taken a look at how much it costs to park in various cities throughout the UK, based on information collated by vehicle history check service HPI Check. The organisation based its findings on the cost of parking in a city centre for an hour on a typical working day, between 9am and 5pm, and is an average price of parking from all car parks found in each city. From these statistics, we have calculated how much could be made from parking per hour if the entire city’s population was able to drive.

City Population Hourly cost of parking Cost if entire population could drive
London 7,074,265 £9.10 £64,375,811.50
Leeds 726,939 £3.06 £2,224,433.34
Glasgow 616,430 £2.65 £1,633,539.50
Manchester 430,818 £3.18 £1,370,001.24
Liverpool 467,995 £2.59 £1,212,107.05
Sheffield 530,375 £2.14 £1,135,002.50
Cardiff 315,040 £3.14 £989,225.60
Newcastle-upon-Tyne 282,338 £1.72 £485.621.36
Sunderland 294,261 £0.79 £232,466.19


The UK’s most populated cities and the number of NCP car parking spaces

For the following table, we have analysed how many car parks there are from the National Car Parks (NCP) in each of the ten most populated cities across the UK, as ranked by City Mayors Statistics. We have also recorded the number of standard spaces and disabled spaces that there are across each of the city’s NCP car parks, before working out the space to person ratio (all numbers rounded down) if the entire city’s population could drive.

City Population Number of NCP car parks Standard spaces Number of people to space ratio Disabled spaces Number of people to disabled space ratio
London 7,074,265 30 6,631 1,066 53 133,476
Birmingham 1,020,589 9 4,253 239 62 16,461
Leeds 726,939 3 1,468 495 60 12,115
Glasgow 616,430 6 2,207 279 17 36,260
Sheffield 530,375 9 3,056 173 47 11,284
Bradford 483,422 2 958 504 34 14,218
Liverpool 467,995 7 1,615 289 9 51,999
Edinburgh 448,850 3 1,847 243 20 22,442
Manchester 430,818 32 11,893 36 366 1,177
Bristol 399,633 6 2,081 192 15 26,642

Research piece provided by Vindis, a family run business and Audi car dealership, supplying new and used vehicles.

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New innovation partnership targets construction supply chain

June 18th, 2019 Comments off

Businesses from all parts of the construction supply chain are set to benefit from a new collaboration between the Construction Innovation Hub and UK Construction Week (UKCW), in a move designed to boost take up of innovation in the industry and realisation of the Government’s sector deal ambitions.

The Construction Innovation Hub will sponsor the UKCW Innovation Zone at this year’s show. An innovation advisory board made up of construction clients, contractors and consultants has also met to shape how innovation is placed at the heart of this year’s event. It will assist in scrutinising the latest projects, products and technologies being pitched for the new Innovation Zone.

Arbiters from Willmott Dixon, Luton Airport, Bryden Wood, Mace, TfL, The Princes’ Foundation, Castle Planning and the Hub will decide what will appear in the Innovation Zone and will also choose the winner of UKCW’s Innovation Award 2019, which will be announced on the second day of the show.

Keith Waller, Construction Innovation Hub programme directorsays:

“UK Construction Week is fast becoming one of the most essential industry events of the year. At the Construction Innovation Hub, we are eager to reach out and engage with all stakeholders within the built environment. This will be crucial to our success in the coming months and years.  

By partnering up with a key event like UK Construction Week, we want to give visitors the chance to experience first-hand the Hub’s vision of a transformed construction sector. We will share how we are planning to use digital and manufacturing technologies to help build smarter, greener and more efficient buildings much faster and cheaper than we currently do, and how players – big and small – from right across the construction sector, and its supply chain, can get involved.”

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director says:

“Scratch the surface, and you find that the construction industry is actually one of the most innovative industries. It is full of examples of new ways of working, sustainable products, collaboration and continually evolving technologies. We want our visitors to experience this first-hand, to talk to others who are leading by example and to boost uptake of these significant new developments.

“That’s why working with the Construction Innovation Hub is an ideal partnership from our perspective. We chose innovation as a theme for this year’s UKCW and the Hub’s support helps us to deliver on that message. The Hub has a four-year mission to drive change and that is exactly what we want to achieve through our event.”

The Hub brings together expertise from BRE, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to help implement the strategy. Funded by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Hub is driving collaboration to transform the way buildings and infrastructure are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within the built environment.

Looking to the future of construction the Hub is also supporting MOBIE’s design challenge. This is aimed at young people aged between 11 and 16 years of age and it is encouraging them to design a 21st century home.

Registration to UK Construction Week is now open. The show takes place at the NEC, Birmingham from 8-10 October 2019.

By registering once, visitors will have access to multiple sections: Build, Building Tech, Timber, Civils, Energy & HVAC, Surface & Materials and the newly launched Concrete Expo (8-9 October only) and Grand Designs Live (9-10 October only), which will also be taking place at the same venue.

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The Most Expensive Landmarks to Build – The Battle of Construction

June 14th, 2019 Comments off

The world’s most visited landmarks are huge feats of construction – with some even taking centuries to build and costing well into the billions. While the costs for each landmark may be substantial, the greatest landmarks on the globe do attract millions of visitors each year and boost their local economy.

With that in mind, alpharooms has created the ultimate battle of the world’s landmarks so people can compare the height, cost to build, construction time, number of steps and even visitor numbers of 20 most famous landmarks.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the world’s most expensive landmark

Surprisingly, it’s the Great Pyramid of Giza, located within the Giza-pyramid complex, which is the most expensive landmark making the list. Today, the Great Pyramid would cost a staggering £3.8 billion to construct. It has been said that the pyramid’s construction is a masterpiece, estimated to feature more than 2,300,000 stone blocks, with some weighing more than 50 tonnes. It is believed that the construction involved more than 100,000 builders and experts are still unsure how they transported and erected the stone blocks.

When analysing further, alpharooms also found that the Great Pyramid of Giza cost £27 million per metre, an eye-watering £18.2 million more than the Taj Mahal – the second most expensive landmark in terms of cost per metre.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the world’s longest landmark build

The Leaning Tower of Pisa takes the crown for longest construction, taking a huge 199 years to build – starting in 1173. While it may be recognisable for its famous lean, the construction time tops La Sagrada Familia – which is still yet to be finished, and will have taken 144 years upon completion date in 2026.

Contrary to popular belief, the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s famous lean did not happen overnight. During the planning stages, the construction team did not take into account the marshy land they were building on. Unfortunately, by the time they had reached the second story, the tower was beginning to lean and it was too late to turn back.

Empire State Building takes the title for fastest build

What was once the world’s tallest building for 40 years, also holds the claim to the ‘fastest build’. Erected in just one year, the Empire State is a remarkable feat of construction. To build in such a short amount of time, the 300 workers took alternative 12-hour shifts. Cafes and concession stands were also placed on five incomplete floors to stop workers from wasting time travelling for lunch, along with temporary water taps, so workers did not waste time buying water bottles.

Similarly, the Space Needle was constructed within one year, with the Needle set to be star of the show at the 1962 World’s Fair. However, with only one year until that fair, the construction team worked around the clock with the final elevator car installed the day before the tower was due to open.

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Construction professionals flood in to become role models to inspire others into sector

June 12th, 2019 Comments off

Nominations for the annual UK Construction Week (UKCW) Role Models initiative have quadrupled since last year, according to event organisers Media 10.

Dozens of construction professionals were among the entrants this Spring, attracted to a scheme which provides a schools contact programme and public platform to professionals of any age and background to share inspiring stories of how they came into their career and why they love what they do.

UKCW has chosen 98 Role Models out of hundreds of entries, from all professions and at all levels, and has now published its shortlist for 2019.

These Role Models include people at chief executive, director and associate director level, but also many more junior representatives who have made a huge impact at the very start of their careers. They include architects, engineers, construction project managers, site managers, quantity surveyors, a wide range of sustainability, health and safety and geotechnical experts, tradespeople and professionals focused on digital construction, administration, finance, HR, learning and communications.

All Role Models will be given the opportunity to speak at UKCW on the main stage of the UK’s largest construction event, and will take part in the UKCW’s student initiative at the NEC between 8-10 October to advise and encourage those considering a career in construction.

The overall 2019 Role Model of the Year will then be announced on Wednesday 9 October by BBC’s Steph McGovern.

Last year’s winner, Arleta Andreasik-Paton, a senior project manager at AECOM, said: “I was not from a construction background, but I moved into the industry with transferrable skills. I want to encourage others to do the same. It’s a privilege to be able to become a role model for other talented young people who can find wonderful careers in construction.”

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said:

“The response to this year’s UKCW Role Model initiative has been overwhelming and covers every aspect of construction, from architecture to bricklaying to digital design and management. The Role Models really show the diverse range of jobs available in construction and they are all passionate about their jobs and promoting construction as a great career opportunity.

“Each of our Role Models has an inspiring career story which will spur others into similar roles. Mentoring is a big part of what a Role Model does, and last year’s Role Models have been out visiting schools and meeting young people to give encouragement, while also promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in construction.

“If you want to see the future of the industry, you will want to meet these people and hear what they have to say at UK Construction Week.”

Registration for the event is now open. By registering once visitors will have access to multiple sections: Build, Building Tech, Timber, Civils, Energy & HVAC, Surface & Materials and the newly launched Concrete Expo (8-9 October only) and Grand Designs Live (9-10 October only), which will also be taking place at the NEC, Birmingham.

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Tired all the time? Considerate Constructors Scheme launches survey to explore worker fatigue in construction

June 11th, 2019 Comments off

Worker fatigue is often an overlooked hazard in the construction industry. This is despite the fact that fatigue is a serious health and safety risk in construction; fatigue has the potential to significantly impair physical and cognitive capacities, as well as having a damaging effect on the mental health of our workforce. The inability to respond and react promptly can be highly detrimental across any type of construction activity – leading to errors, near misses, injuries and even death.

To understand how the issue of worker fatigue is being addressed in the industry, the Considerate Constructors Scheme’s Best Practice Hub is running a survey to gain a real understanding of the extent to which this is a problem and how it is being tackled. The Scheme is inviting everyone working across the entire industry to complete this short survey here. The survey closes on 9 August, and results will be used to help inform the Scheme’s Spotlight on…worker fatigue’ national campaign, due to published in the Autumn.

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Smarter Grid Solutions reveals energy and carbon savings for factories at key conference

June 10th, 2019 Comments off

Commercial and industrial companies could cut their energy bills or even generate extra income by connecting the computer systems used to run their factories to specialist energy management software, according to the latest study by distributed energy resource management software firm Smarter Grid Solutions.

The Glasgow-based tech business will present its findings at next week’s influential “CIRED” international conference on electricity distribution held in Madrid, Spain.

Distributed energy resources management systems (DERMS) are usually used by utility companies to help run their electricity networks.

DERMS allow grid operators to balance the intermittent supply of electricity from renewable energy devices such as wind turbines and solar panels with demand from energy users, including through the use of energy storage devices like batteries and demand-side response (DSR), through which large energy users are incentivised to lower their demand during peak periods.

SGS’s DERMS software connects a full spectrum of low carbon technologies to the grid while optimising grid operations and revenues for distribution network customers. The company’s flagship product, ANM Strata, is the only DERMS software on the market to combine ‘look ahead’ grid optimisation functionality with real-time control of service delivery.

SGS’s report – which presents results from the European Union’s “OPTIMISED” project – shows that DERMS can also be used inside factories and other energy-intensive industries to improve energy efficiency and cut energy bills.

Businesses could even generate money by selling any excess electricity generated on site by solar panels, wind turbines or other devices back to the grid.

Laing O’Rourke, an engineering and construction company based in the UK, and Spanish high-precision machining outfit Goimek took part in the project and demonstrated Smarter Grid Solutions’ software in operation at their factories.

The project, which deployed SGS’ system in trial mode, looked at how much energy was being consumed, how much was being paid for it, how much carbon dioxide was being generated to produce the electricity and at DSR opportunities.

Using DERMS to control DSR and a combined solar panel and energy storage battery at the Laing O’Rouke factory could produce a financial benefit of £9,000 a year from flexibility services and cut the carbon dioxide emitted to generate its electricity by the equivalent of 12,000kg, the report calculated. The larger energy, renewable and carbon reduction incentive returns are much greater.

Dr Graham Ault, executive director and co-founder of Smarter Grid Solutions, said: “There’s an energy revolution taking place, with energy users becoming active partners instead of passive consumers.

“This final project report demonstrates how DERMS could allow energy-intensive industries and other commercial and industrial energy users to take part in the revolution by altering their usage to fit in with supply and demand on the wider network.

“DERMS could allow commercial and industrial users in the UK to take part in DSR opportunities such as Balancing System Price Response and Distribution Use of System Red Band Reduction.

“Although the financial benefits are modest in this example of two flexibility services, our report clearly demonstrates that savings could be achieved and shows promising results for the future.  Our DERMS software implementations in Spain and the UK also proved the ease of integration and configuration to all the available DSR and on-site energy management opportunities in those markets”

Dr Graham Herries, overall OPTIMISED project coordinator from Laing O’Rourke said, “This project has shown the important role industrial energy users can play in the changing energy landscape. Utilising SGS products to manage and optimise our energy consuming processes has highlighted future savings we can make across our operations and the value of future DER and DSR developments.”

Smarter Grid Solutions is already working with four of the six electricity distribution companies in Great Britain and has connected more than 400MW of generation capacity to distribution grids, as well as saving its clients more than €200m in costs.

The company was founded in 2008 by Dr Ault, Dr Bob Currie and Alan Gooding, and now has 70 members of staff spread across its offices in Glasgow, London, New York and California.

Back in February, Smarter Grid Solutions was invited to report about its innovative projects in New Orleans, Louisiana, at DistribuTECH, the largest transmission and distribution conference and exhibition in North America.

Robert MacDonald, Smarter Grid Solutions Head of Consulting & Analysis will present the results of this project at CIRED and also present other project and participate in invited Round Tables on related topics of DER planning and optimisation.

The OPTIMISED project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 680515.

The full report can be read here:

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