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ENGIE and North Lanarkshire Council to host series of zero carbon transition events ahead of global COP26

February 10th, 2020 Comments off

Leading energy and services group, ENGIE, in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council, has launched the ‘ACT 2020 – Action on Climate Together’, campaign, driven by a programme of high-profile events that aims to outline realistic action to curb climate change locally.

ACT 2020 will champion sustainable growth across North Lanarkshire, and create a roadmap for councils, businesses and communities to take realistic action, ahead of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP26) event in Glasgow in November 2020. COP26 is the most important global diplomatic conference on climate change since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016.

The unique programme of events will address key crisis issues around climate change including: the local government as a system leader in the transition to net zero, the role of schools, education and young people in promoting sustainable lifestyles, how communities can activate change through volunteering, managing a transition to a zero carbon economic model, as well as subsequent events focussing on the future of health, housing and technology.

A series of five events will engage with businesses, communities, public sector, voluntary organisations and children and young people.

ENGIE will draw on its expertise in sustainability and commitment to zero carbon measures, to emphasise how positive leadership roles in the public sector, large and small businesses and local communities can play in helping to achieve the transition to a zero carbon world.

ENGIE’s Divisional CEO Places & Communities, Colin Macpherson said of the programme, “ENGIE is committed to supporting businesses and local authorities on their journey towards zero carbon. We are very pleased to be partnering with North Lanarkshire Council on this extremely important and valuable programme of events in the run-up to November’s high-profile COP26 conference, which will be a great opportunity to connect with those deciding the direction and effectiveness of the climate change debate.”

Convener of the Environment and Transportation Committee at North Lanarkshire Council, Councillor Michael McPake, said, “The council declared a climate emergency last year and this has acted as a trigger to take realistic action to curb climate change at a local level.

“Working with our partners at ENGIE, these exciting events aim to mobilise local authorities, businesses, communities and individuals to discuss measures that can affect real action and to make concrete efforts to stop the disastrous consequences of climate change.”

Although North Lanarkshire Council is the first to partner with ENGIE on this programme, similar events are currently being planned across the UK.

For further information on ENGIE, visit www.engie.co.uk/places 

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ENGIE joins generous donors to celebrate construction progress on state-of-the-art Manchester Helipad

February 6th, 2020 Comments off

Leading energy, services and regeneration specialist, ENGIE, recently joined partners and donors to celebrate the ‘ground-breaking’ of its Manchester Helipad project, demonstrating the progress of construction works at the site.

Funding for the Helipad was raised by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s (MFT) charity, Time Save Lives Appeal, which raised a phenomenal £3.9million in just 12 months, thanks to the dedication and generosity of its supporters.

The new Helipad will be located on the roof of Grafton Street multi story car park and will include an adjoining high-level link bridge to the roof of Manchester Royal Infirmary (MRI). The helipad will also provide access to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, St Mary’s and the Royal Eye Hospital.

Robert Bertram from the HELP Appeal charity, which is dedicated to funding hospital and air ambulance helipads across the country, and Stephen Lowe, representing The Stoller Charitable Trust joined MFT Chairman Kathy Cowell OBE DL, and Maurice Watkins OBE, Charitable Fundraising Board Chairman to see progress on the construction project, which is being led by ENGIE.

Andrew McIntosh, Regional Managing Director at ENGIE said: “We’re delighted to be leading this pioneering project and making a real impact to the Manchester community, by providing real improvements to the transportation of thousands of patients.

“Manchester has some of the world’s leading hospitals and this Helipad will provide a major boost to the region’s healthcare services. 

“The recent ceremony and event was a chance to celebrate the hard work everyone has put into making this project a reality and our thanks must go out to all partners involved.”

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Chairman, Kathy Cowell, said: “It was a pleasure to again meet representatives from these organisations, who have so generously funded our Helipad. I was delighted to show our guests construction progress so far on our Helipad, which will help so many of our patients in the future.

“This is a very exciting time for MFT and the helipad is a fantastic project, which will help to save so many lives in Greater Manchester, the North West and beyond.”

Alistair Rennie, Consultant in Emergency Medicine and Major Trauma at the MRI and Group Clinical Lead for Emergency Planning at MFT, said; “This Helipad means that Air Ambulances, which currently land on a nearby field, will be able to land directly at MFT. This is crucial, as the first 60 minutes following a major trauma injury is known as the ‘Golden Hour’, and treatment within the first hour can mean the difference between life and death.

“The Helipad will ensure both adults and children with major trauma reach their respective major trauma receiving teams without delay. I was proud to show our guests what a difference their generous donations will make.”

The helipad is set to be fully operational later this year.

For further information on ENGIE, visit www.engie.co.uk/places 

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Key Considerations for a Garage Conversion

February 6th, 2020 Comments off

The base is one of the most important elements of your concrete garage, and if not built correctly you could soon end up with an unstable build rather than the desired strong platform. There are several factors that you should consider prior to converting your garage and we will discuss just a few here.

Dimensions


Firstly, look at the dimensions of the concrete and surroundings of the garage. Concrete garages from Lidget compton always ensure that the surface of the base layer is at least 4 inches of compacted hardcore material and allow for an extra 3 inches around the perimeter for extra support. Furthermore, many people often forget about the underground water level which may affect the structure from beneath. Lining the concrete base with a damp-proof sheet creates a waterproof seal stopping your structure succumbing to damages.

Cement

The second key factor to consider is the consistency of the cement used. In order to reach the perfect cement strength (also known as the Standard Consistency) you must add the exact amount of required water to form a paste. This paste will be used on the base of the garage, so it’s important to ensure the exact amount of water is added according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Weather

The next thing to consider is the weather conditions during the build which may impact the cement consistency. If it is raining, it’s important to halt mixing or do so under cover to avoid any addition of rainwater which may change the cements consistency. The cement base needs to be at least 4 inches thick on top of the compacted material and 8 inches around the edges for extra support.

The following essential 6 step process can ensure you build a sound structure:

  1. Check the ground level, material substance and space
  2. Accurately measure the consistency and depth of your cement
  3. Start working on a dry day or at least make sure you are undercover out of the rain
  4. Ensure the base layer is flat, consistent and level
  5. Design the base layer to deflect water and add a waterproof sealant for additional protection
  6. Allow 7 days for the concrete to set before building on top

Living Space

Garage conversions can be easy and often affordable, making them a very popular way of creating more space in a house without any major building work. However, if you are converting a garage into a liveable space that requires warmth, it must have insulation.

One of the most crucial factors when beginning to insulate a garage is making sure it’s completely airtight. Garages aren’t built to contain heat and more than likely you will find lots of airgaps leading to the outside. You can insulate the walls, ceiling, and doors of the garage but if you fail to fill the gaps, it will be a big struggle to keep the area heated. When you’re satisfied the place is completely sealed, double check all the windows and door frames to make sure they are fit to prevent any drafts coming through.

The rate of how fast heat can be lost through an object is measured in U-Values. England, Scotland and Wales have different thermal standards, so it’s important to ensure you meet the requirements that abide by the building regulations and standards.

The three main forms of insulation for a garage are as follows:

  • Fiberglass Insulation
  • Cellulose Insulation
  • Foam Insulation

Ultimately the decision is up to you when it comes to deciding which insulation material to use. There are many different types of insulation to which satisfy different objectives.

Typically, a material which creates an air barrier is best to keep the cold air out. Insulations like fiberglass and cellulose don’t do that, making foam insulation a popular choice.

Final Checklist

Perfecting the base and insulation are two of the most important considerations when constructing a secure and long-standing conversion. Once they are in place everything else will follow. Making a list of all key considerations to follow when converting a garage is a great way to achieve a successful build. We have provided our very own checklist of key aspects to consider when looking to start a conversion.

  • Always make sure the building is suitable to convert
  • Check specific building regulations apply to the conversion
  • Perfecting the base and the insulation is crucial for the durability of the conversion
  • Ventilation will be required by building control
  • Consider how electricity will be inputted

Once you have considered all the above, you’ll be ready to begin converting the space in line with regulations, in order to ensure it’s a comfortable and secure build for many years to come.

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ENGIE and North Lanarkshire Council to host series of zero carbon transition events ahead of global COP26

February 4th, 2020 Comments off

Leading energy and services group, ENGIE, in partnership with North Lanarkshire Council, has launched the ‘ACT 2020 – Action on Climate Together’, campaign, driven by a programme of high-profile events that aims to outline realistic action to curb climate change locally.

ACT 2020 will champion sustainable growth across North Lanarkshire, and create a roadmap for councils, businesses and communities to take realistic action, ahead of the United Nations Conference of Parties (COP26) event in Glasgow in November 2020. COP26 is the most important global diplomatic conference on climate change since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016.

The unique programme of events will address key crisis issues around climate change including: the local government as a system leader in the transition to net zero, the role of schools, education and young people in promoting sustainable lifestyles, how communities can activate change through volunteering, managing a transition to a zero carbon economic model, as well as subsequent events focussing on the future of health, housing and technology.

A series of five events will engage with businesses, communities, public sector, voluntary organisations and children and young people.

ENGIE will draw on its expertise in sustainability and commitment to zero carbon measures, to emphasise how positive leadership roles in the public sector, large and small businesses and local communities can play in helping to achieve the transition to a zero carbon world.

ENGIE’s Divisional CEO Places & Communities, Colin Macpherson said of the programme, “ENGIE is committed to supporting businesses and local authorities on their journey towards zero carbon. We are very pleased to be partnering with North Lanarkshire Council on this extremely important and valuable programme of events in the run-up to November’s high-profile COP26 conference, which will be a great opportunity to connect with those deciding the direction and effectiveness of the climate change debate.”

Convener of the Environment and Transportation Committee at North Lanarkshire Council, Councillor Michael McPake, said, “The council declared a climate emergency last year and this has acted as a trigger to take realistic action to curb climate change at a local level.

“Working with our partners at ENGIE, these exciting events aim to mobilise local authorities, businesses, communities and individuals to discuss measures that can affect real action and to make concrete efforts to stop the disastrous consequences of climate change.”

Although North Lanarkshire Council is the first to partner with ENGIE on this programme, similar events are currently being planned across the UK.

For further information on ENGIE, visit www.engie.co.uk/places 

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Are Gen Z’ers the perfect apprentices?

February 3rd, 2020 Comments off

Are Gen Z’ers the perfect apprentices?

When your company’s workload begins to pile up and you need an extra pair of hands on a project, there are a few avenues you can take. You can hire a freelancer, get in touch with a contractor, or spend every waking moment working on things yourself (not a great option).

Recently, though, more and more businesses are taking advantage of an underestimated option: apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships are a fantastic way for businesses to gain productive, enthusiastic workers while also investing in developing skilled employees. As well as having the financial benefit of low staff costs, they provide a great source of energy and fresh ideas. The government is also in full support, as the Apprenticeship Levy helps businesses fund apprentices with the aim of supporting quality training with employers at the centre.

If you’re looking to hire an apprentice, Gen Z is your hunting ground: they make up the vast majority of apprenticeships candidates today. Don’t be fooled into thinking they spend all their time glued to their phones, though: Gen Z is a vein of untapped potential.

What is Gen Z?

People often lump everyone under thirty in a category called ‘Millennials’ but this isn’t technically correct.

Millennials are categorised as those born between 1981 and 1994, making them 22-37 years of age today. This makes Gen Z — those born after 1995 — the workforce of tomorrow, so it’s important you know who they are and what drives them.

The benefits of hiring a Gen Z apprentice

1. They’re tech-savvy

Whereas Millennials grew up in the digital age, Gen Z’ers were born into it. And while it might be tempting for some to bellyache about them being glued to their smartphones, Gen Z’s technophilia comes with a useful side-effect: they can easily wrap their heads around new technology.

For industries that are heavily rooted in computing or digital technologies, Gen Z apprentices are able to integrate into their role effortlessly.

So, whereas Brian from Accounting may not like the new operating system, a Gen Z apprentice will learn it inside out.

2. They’re masters of multitasking

When kids have grown up using streaming a Youtube tutorial as they Facetime a friend while adding shopping to their virtual basket, is it any surprise that they are skilled at multitasking? Whether they are posting, commenting or swiping, Gen Z’ers have adapted to using multiple platforms simultaneously.

This ingrained skill is adaptable to almost any work environment, meaning you’ll have no trouble putting this to good use. This can be as simple as taking detailed minutes in a meeting or as complex as cross-platform data entry.

3. They have a short attention span (yes, that’s a good thing)

Gen Z’ers are constantly absorbing information, often in the blink of an eye. Spending their youth surrounded by apps such as Snapchat and Instagram has made receiving constant updates the norm, which has ultimately stunted their attention spans.

This has, however, given Gen Z’ers an advantage when it comes to absorbing information. As they’re accustomed to receiving a barrage of updates, Gen Z’ers have a knack for processing information faster than other generations and are highly adaptable to change, meaning they can absorb the barrage of updates in Monday’s meeting even when no one else can.

4. They’re entrepreneurial thinkers

Gen Z’ers have grown up in a world of innovation, full of developing technology and connected to every corner of the globe. They’ve seen what’s possible and want a piece of the action for themselves.

This has resulted in a generation of young adults who are starting their careers with an entrepreneurial head on their shoulders. They are full of ideas – use them before someone else does!

Take your business into the next generation

Gen Z has an advantage over older generations, simply due to how they have been raised in the digital age. By being familiar with new technology, expert multitaskers and full of fresh ideas they are in a great position to become an asset to your business. Plus, as they are quick at absorbing new information, they are ideal candidates for training courses to help them develop further.

Ryan Latham, senior marketing executive for 3B Training, has experienced first hand how businesses can benefit from hiring a Gen Z apprentice.

“As a former apprentice myself I am definitely on board with the system, it’s a great opportunity to get on the first step of your career ladder.

We also have a Gen Z’er apprentice working under me in our marketing department and she has been highly beneficial. She is highly tech-savvy and has actually taught me a thing or two about newer social platforms.

She can complete tasks almost twice as fast as I can and to a great standard, don’t write off the Gen Z generation!”

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New technical guidance published for housebuilders to boost uptake of gable wall spandrel panels

February 3rd, 2020 Comments off

A new technical guide is being issued to housebuilders in the UK to boost uptake of gable wall spandrel panels, a readily available component that can support the industry as it moves towards modern methods of construction (MMC).

Gable wall spandrel panels are an offsite manufactured product, put together in quality-assured factory conditions before being delivered direct to site. They provide an alternative to the inner leaf of an exterior masonry wall at the gable end of a building and must be designed to comply with robust structural and thermal requirements and in some circumstances fire resistance performance standards too.

Use of gable wall panels makes housebuilding more efficient, often saving hours of bricklaying time, and can improve site safety as less time is spent working at height.

Published by the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA), the ‘Gable Wall Spandrel Panels Guide’ provides information and guidance for both designers and onsite contractors. The guidance specifically relates to pitched trussed rafter roofs above masonry-built homes, where there is an unoccupied roof space and insulation at ceiling level.

Nick Boulton, TRA chief executive, said:

“We have developed the Gable Wall Spandrel Panel Guide to help housebuilders and designers understand every aspect of the product and its benefits. With increasing interest in MMC, gable wall spandrel panels are an ideal component to help speed up and improve the build process.

“The guide offers information on design responsibilities, structural considerations, fire resistance, thermal performance, and the manufacture of panels. On the contractor side we cover site handling details, installation, gable lateral restraints and most importantly advice on staying safe when working with gable wall spandrel panels.

“The TRA is committed to offering guidance to increase safety, quality and accuracy wherever possible. We hope this guide will help designers and contractors alike.”

The guide features detailed technical illustrations to show what is required on installation as well as advice on satisfying thermal performance requirements. The guide also provides a safety checklist to assist contractors and site staff responsible for installation.

For further information or to request a copy of the guide please visit the TRA website.

www.tra.org.uk   

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