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Record month for Permaroof Company during the Corona Virus Crisis

July 2nd, 2020 Comments off

The company Permaroof has announced that in the middle of this crisis they have just achieved their best months of trading activity.

Unlike most businesses that have suffered greatly due to this pandemic, Permaroof had their most successful May and June trading months. Their success has been due to a rapid response to the Corona Virus crisis, whilst continuing to invest and diversify their products and services.

They enjoyed an increase of 26 percent in sales in May, and a shocking 89 percent increase when comparing June 2020 to the previous year. Permaroof are on track for their top annual performance to date, with an estimated 24000 completed orders expected.

Permaroof’s MD Adrian Buttress has been quoted saying:

“Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic – such as supply issues, merchants closing, and roofing projects being delayed or put on hold – our team has managed to buck the trend and deliver amazing results that are a true testament to the service it offers, as well as the strong relationships we have with customers nationwide.”   

One of the newly launched products that has helped with the companies better than expected data is a cleaning spray that allows customers to disinfect their work environment, whilst increasing their focus on marketing.

Andrew Buttress (MD) continued to mention that

“Clear communication to both staff and customers has been vital. Pushing forward with marketing has allowed us to do this while reinforcing our brand and putting out messages of stock availability at a really important time. I have no doubt that this has been crucial to breaking our sales records during the UK lockdown. 

“I hope that our success proves that there is still opportunity out there for UK SMEs and that the building and construction sector is ready to bounce back and thrive. We’re certainly committed to supporting both the contractors and merchants we work with and hope that the next quarter is as positive for them all.” 

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£5BN Injection into the UK Construction Industry

July 2nd, 2020 Comments off

Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister has introduced plans to help stimulate and boost the nations’ construction industry. After one of the most serious industry downturns due to Coivd-19, this news has been welcomed by most – but will it be enough?

The initial plans outlined the “Build, Build and Build” scheme, which is to focus on industrial projects. But today this has been revised to the “Repair, Repair, Repair” as looking to focus on the nations infrastructures such as roads, rail lines and hospitals. However, surprisingly there has been now additional funds injected for house building projects – although this may be change and be introduced in the upcoming months.

It is thought that the level of spending per person in the UK would equate to approximately £100 per person. It is hoped that these funds will help kick start the construction industry and encourage firms to invest in training and development of existing employees. Without a scheme such as this, the likelihood of mass redundancies and continued furloughed staff is certainly on the horizon.

Boris Johnson has also reminded the public about his government plans to build and deliver a 40 new NHS hospitals over the next 10 years. It has been mentioned that in order for these to have the positive impact on the wider economy that these projects need to be started this year.

In the Prime Ministers true fashion, he has also spoken of “Shovel ready local grown projects” to help pick up the economy of local towns across the nation. Spending plans for the High Street, pubs and bars will surely be welcomed across the nation

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Lunch is back on – Construction sites canteens reopen

July 1st, 2020 Comments off

After several months of bringing a packed lunch, (or simply going hungry) construction sites are now allowed to reopen their canteens.

Sites have now been given the go-ahead from the government to start serving lunches to their workforce again.

Over the Covid shutdown building sites were generally kept open, but their facilities to provide food and refreshments to staff was almost completely stopped. There were a few exceptions to the rule, but almost all staff canteens have been collecting dust for the last several months.

The Construction Leadership Council has now issued revised its revised construction site guidelines, which have been updated since the last government changes to social distancing rules.

The new 1m + rules have allowed for the relaxing of the staff canteen rules and regulations. It is important to note that the 2 metre rule is still advised where possible, but in instances where this is not feasible it has been updated to one metre plus.

The other updates made to Version 5 of Site Operating Procedures are minimal, with advise to reduce lift capacity, using private transportation for commuting where possible, and some small changes to entry system cleaning regulations.

Paul Reeve from the Trade body ECA has stated that: “The practical implications of the latest SOP updates will come out in the wash. However, version 5 mainly reflects recent changes to government guidance to industry on social distancing, which includes ‘maintain two meters, or one metre with risk mitigation where two metres in not viable’.

“Many construction businesses are already using mitigating measures when doing essential work within two metres, and so the changes underline the need for mitigation at closer proximity, based on risk assessment.”

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TRA backs Boris to build, build, build

July 1st, 2020 No comments

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday of a major investment in construction and infrastructure to help boost economic recovery, Nick Boulton, chief executive of the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) said:

“This announcement couldn’t have come at a better time. As the construction industry is getting back on its feet, it is good to know the Government is prepared to spend where necessary and make good on its earlier promises.

“As originally set out in the Budget in March, the £12bn allocated for affordable homes will really help the current situation and the sooner it can be accessed the better. We do not know how long this virus will be part of our lives and so we should start building the safe, affordable homes that create greater resilience, and allow social distancing, as soon as possible. The Brownfield Land Fund is also important to bring much-needed new homes to city locations.

“As a membership body within the construction supply chain, our members need to see a clear pipeline of demand to give them the confidence to protect jobs, take on apprentices and continue their own investment plans. A confirmed commitment to deliver 180,000 affordable homes will help to support that confidence and deliver some of the much needed safe homes, that through this crisis, many of us have come to rediscover as the essential foundation in our lives.”

Provided by Nick Boulton, chief executive of the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA)

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Hygienic materials guide published to support specifiers

June 26th, 2020 No comments

A series of guides for specifiers have been launched to explain the hygienic properties of materials that can be used for surfaces and protective screens.

Bringing together a suite of options, they are organised into categories based on their performance and potential uses. They were developed by materials supplier James Latham and cover five sectors: retail, education, leisure and hospitality, offices and healthcare.

Steve Johnson of the Advanced Technical Panels division specialises in health-related products at Lathams.

He said: “There are many products available and it is not always clear what the differences are between them. For example, there is a lot of confusion between anti-microbial and anti-bacterial products. The difference is that anti-bacterial materials prevent bacteria from growing on their surface, while anti-microbial products halt the growth of bacteria and a broader range of viruses, organisms, protozoa, and fungi such as mould or mildew. This makes them significantly better for high-use surfaces.”

Top of the list for performance is advanced thermoplastic KYDEX. Mouldable to any shape, it is highly robust and has inherent hygienic qualities. It is often used for items such as worktops, counters and desks, wall panels, doors and furniture.

Steve added: “KYDEX is perfect for any environment that is subject to high traffic and needs to be kept clean. It can withstand tough cleaning products, without any staining, fading or surface damage, and contains Microban for anti-microbial protection.

“As a homogeneous product, any damage to the top layer doesn’t affect its anti-microbial properties or visual impact. Also, because it can be colour-matched, it is great for branded environments.”

Unlike KYDEX, which is more suited to an off-site manufacturing process, other products within the guide can be easily added to existing surfaces and therefore offer a much quicker turnaround. These include laminates, with Abet Lamishield the highest performer.

Abet Lamishield is an anti-microbial laminate that incorporates silver-ions within the decorative layer. Utilising BioCote technology, it inhibits surface growth by 99.9%. It is one of the only certified anti-microbial laminates and when combined with good cleaning practices it is highly effective.

Where barriers or protection are needed, the Lathams guide recommends AcryBright, a lightweight clear acrylic sheet ideal for screens and sneeze guards. While costing slightly more than a standard piece of acrylic, it is more hardwearing, something that Steve believes makes it worth the investment.

He added: “These materials are going to be around for a while and will need to be cleaned more often, with higher strength cleaning chemicals. These chemicals can cause damage, from small surface scratches through to potential warping or clouding of the screen.

“This damage not only reduces the hygienic properties of the product but also affects its visual appeal. Why pay twice when there is a better option available now?”

Other categories within the guide include Compact Grade Laminates (CGLs) and Solid Surfaces, both highly recognised for their robustness and resistance to intensive cleaning regimes. Both products are solid sheet materials, which will not delaminate when exposed to the rigours of repeated cleaning with detergents and other chemicals. A range of options from market leading brands such as HIMACS®, Avonite, Kronospan, Egger and Xylocleaf mean that there are colours and textures to suit any design scheme.

Issued on behalf of James Latham by Liz Male Consulting Ltd.

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Lafarge Cement Bolsters Cookstown Cement Plant with New Appointments

June 11th, 2020 No comments

11 June 2020

Further strengthening its proposition, Lafarge Cement – part of Aggregate Industries – has appointed John Mulgrew as the new plant manager of its renowned Cookstown cement plant in Ireland.

Effective in his new role from 16 June, John succeeds Russell Larmourwho, after almost 40 years within the Company, will be retiring. John will report into Barry Hope, Exco Director of Cement at Aggregate Industries.

Having joined the LafargeHolcim Group as a quality co-ordinator in 2001, John boasts almost 20 years of experience in the cement industry. He has risen through the ranks of the company’s Cookstown cement plant in County Tyrone, which in 2015 became a part of Aggregate Industries UK.

In his current role as production manager at Cookstown, a position he has held since 2016, John has been instrumental in ensuring the ongoing success of the plant and its operations. In 2019, the plant achieved its best results to date after being ranked in the top 10 of LafargeHolcim’s European cement plants when evaluated against industrial benchmarks.

John will be succeeded as production manager by Jason Bowman, who will step up from his current role as manufacturing manager at Cookstown.

Commenting on his appointment, John Mulgrew, said: “Having been a part of the Cookstown team for the best part of 20 years, I’m delighted to be following on from Russell as the new plant manager and wish him all the best in his retirement. I’m more committed than ever to further strengthening our operations, and I’m looking forward to what the future brings for Cookstown, the Lafarge Cement Business and Aggregate Industries.”

Barry Hope added: “I’d like to congratulate both John and Jason on their new positions. Given his knowledge and varied experience gained during his years at the plant, John is a worthy successor to Russell and his appointment will continue to bolster our Lafarge Cement business for years going forward.

“I would also like to thank Russell for his extraordinary commitment to the business over the past 40 years. He has left Cookstown in a strong place – leading the plant last year to achieve its best results in being ranked in the top 10 of our European cement plants. We wish Russell good luck for the future.”

About Aggregate Industries UK

Aggregate Industries UK is a leading company in the construction and infrastructure industries. It produces and supplies a wide range of construction materials including aggregates, asphalt, ready-mixed concrete and precast concrete products. It also produces, imports and supplies cementitious materials and offers a national road surfacing and contracting service.

It prides itself on best practice in sustainability having become the first company to be certificated to BES 6001, The Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products, developed by the BRE (Building Research Establishment). Aggregate Industries UK is a proud member of the LafargeHolcim Group.

More information is available on www.aggregate.com 

About LafargeHolcim

LafargeHolcim is the leading global building materials and solutions company serving masons, builders, architects and engineers all over the world. The Group is organized in four business segments – Cement, Aggregates, Ready-mix Concrete and Solutions & Products – and is a partner for clients ranging from affordable housing and small, local projects to the biggest, most technically and architecturally challenging infrastructure projects. As urbanization increasingly impacts people and the planet, the Group provides innovative products and building solutions with a clear commitment to social and environmental sustainability. With leading positions in all regions, LafargeHolcim employs around 80,000 employees in more than 80 countries and has a portfolio that is equally balanced between developing and mature markets.

More information is available on www.lafargeholcim.com

About Lafarge Cement

Lafarge Cement is a major manufactured of cement, GGBS, fly ash and specialist cementitious materials to the UK construction industry. Its long established cement plants in Cauldon, Staffordshire and Cookstown, County Tyrone employ around 250 people and manufacture over 1.4Mt of cement each year.

Lafarge Cement is part of the LafargeHolcim group and joined Aggregate Industries UK Ltd on 20th July 2015. Aggregate Industries quarries, manufactures and supplies a wide range of heavy building materials to the construction industry and with the cement business now offers a complete solution.

For further press information, please contact:

Lyndsey Trengove or Monira Matin

Whistle PR

E: lyndsey.trengove@whistlepr.co.uk/ monira.matin@whistlepr.co.uk

T: 0121 517 5177

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WATERFRONT DEVELOPMENT AT LIVERPOOL WATERS OPENS ITS DOORS TO RESIDENTS

June 5th, 2020 No comments

The next phase of residential development at Princes Dock, part of Peel L&P’s Liverpool Waters, has opened its doors to residents, as property company Redwing nears completion of its £21 million residential development, Plaza 1821.

Plaza 1821 offers 105 one and twobedroom apartments along with dedicated amenity space on the ground floor. The scheme is just a stone’s throw away from the Three Graces – the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building – that give the city its iconic waterfront.

Plaza 1821 is named after the year Princes Dock opened and is a private rental sector (PRS) development, undertaken by Peel L&P.

The development is one of three additional planned residential developments at Princes Dock – part of the Liverpool Waters £5bn regeneration scheme which will encompass five new neighbourhoods – alongside Moda Living’s The Lexington, which is currently well underway, and Your Housing Group’s Patagonia Place, for which a planning application has recently been submitted.

Darran Lawless, development director at Liverpool Waters part of Peel L&P, said:

“It’s fantastic that the team at Redwing has been able to ensure residents are able to move into these brilliant apartments with incredible views of Liverpool’s waterfront. It’s a real milestone for people to begin moving in to these amazing homes at Princes Dock, demonstrating the significant progress happening across the wider Liverpool Waters scheme.

“We look forward to seeing this part of Princes Dock and the wider scheme progress even further over the coming months and years, helping us to create homes, jobs and a new community, breathing life back into our historic docklands.”

Fiona Coventry, Executive Director of Property at Redwing

At Redwing we work with a range of partners to provide high quality residential developments where people and communities thrive. Plaza 1821 is one of a number of new developments that we will bring to our customers in the near future. 

We are delighted to be part of the Liverpool Waters regeneration project with Plaza 1821, which offers 105 stunning apartments for private rent. Each with outdoor space and spectacular views as well as a range of amenities including, parking, secure bike storage, resident’s lounge and concierge. We will also be announcing an exciting restaurant partner for our ground floor space soon.

Our team are on hand to conduct viewings by appointment for the remaining apartments and we’ve already had fantastic feedback from the first people to move in. We look forward to welcoming more residents into their new homes at Plaza 1821 over the next few weeks.”

The development is managed by Redwing and built by contractors Vermont Construction Group.

As it continues to progress, Liverpool Waters will transform 60 hectares of historic docklands and is the biggest single regeneration project in the history of Liverpool. In total, the development will offer 2,000,000 sq.m of floorspace which will include 9,000 residential homes, 315,000 sq.m. of business space and 53,000 sq.m. of hotel and conference facilities. The waterfront project will also be the home to a new Cruise liner terminal and hotel as well as a new Isle of Man ferry terminal which is currently under construction as well as the proposed location of the new Everton FC stadium.

For more information about Liverpool Waters please visit www.liverpoolwaters.co.uk

or to discover more about Plaza 1821 please visit www.plaza1821.com

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An Introduction to Acoustic Doors and their Usage

June 1st, 2020 Comments off

The world can be a very noisy place. There are many industries that have areas that by necessity produce a great level of noise and yet also by necessity have areas close by that must be relatively free of noise. News only recently broke about the overhaul that is going to be given to London’s iconic Big Ben. It needs substantial remodelling of the interior as well as a thorough servicing of the clock. It will take roughly four years to carry out all this work and for the duration (save for New Year’s and some commemorative occasions) the clock will remain silent – not out of necessity, but because of the health and safety of those carrying out the work. If such concerns can mean the silencing of Big Ben, then they should certainly be considered across the board.

While the addition of acoustic doors cannot resolve the Big Ben situation, there are so many sectors which can benefit from them. Acoustic doors are basically designed to reduce the impact of noise on one area to another. There is, aside from a moral duty, these days a legal obligation to minimize the impact of noise on workers and the local environment. Acoustic doors, depending on their specifications, can reduce the noise level in a room by up to around 50 decibels. There are various types of door – each capable of a certain level of noise reduction, but they must be installed correctly to realize their potential. For instance, if there is just a 5mm gap underneath the door after installation of a 45db reducing model, then it will in fact only manifest in a 25db reduction in noise. That is a massive discrepancy and loss of potency, so it is vital that the job is done well.

When choosing acoustic doors you will also probably have some aesthetic concerns – let’s face it nobody wants to look at a monstrosity of a door, no matter how much it is protecting our eardrums. Therefore, it is important to make sure that the company providing the doors has a good range of different designs to fulfil functional and aesthetic desires.

Another important design feature of the best acoustic doors is a ‘non-slam’ mechanism. This is not only desirable from a noise reduction position, but also because slamming an acoustic door (or any door for that matter) can cause stress on the iron. Stress can cause weakness, weakness cracks and cracks loss of noise reduction. This is to be avoided at all costs, so non-slam is the way to go. While acoustic doors are often used in more typical industrial sectors like aviation, construction and manufacturing, there is also a great demand in less obvious areas like education, leisure and entertainment (soundproofing studios for instance), law enforcement (police interview rooms) and broadcasting.  There are so many different ever-growing calls for good acoustics and noise segregation, many of which can be met by the humble acoustic door.

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HOW TO MAKE A GARDEN BUILDING MORE ECO-FRIENDLY

June 1st, 2020 Comments off

Creating an eco-friendly garden building, when done right can be a smooth, successful process but there are couple of key things that are needed in order to achieve that. Throughout the construction phase, it is important to keep in mind the initial purpose of the building. A garden building can create many opportunities for different uses, one being solely for storage purposes; if that is the case, less work and environmental factors need to be considered. If you are planning on using your garden building as an additional living space, there could be further environmental implications. Here are some top tips for making a garden building more eco-friendly.

Design

When it comes to design, you firstly want to select the right kind of building to suit its usage. Whether it be a log cabin, garden office or even garden sheds from GBC, it all affects what needs to be done in order to make them environmentally friendly. As with anything, smaller spaces are much easier to heat than larger ones, which makes them not only cost effective but friendlier to the environment. By being mindful on the size of space you are choosing, will result in it being kinder to the environment. If you don’t require a vast amount of space, choose something more moderate sized.

Window placement

Where the windows are placed also plays a huge part on the eco-friendliness of your garden building. By working out the direction of natural breezes and the positioning of the sun throughout the day, you are able to optimise the amount of sun that will stream through the windows. This then acts as natural way to heat and light the space, which in turn should reduce the amount of energy required.

Insulation

Insulation is one of the top ways to ensure your building is more environmentally friendly. By ensuring the building is insulated both appropriately and correctly will provide huge benefits. Using good quality insulation should create a consistent heating effect, by keeping the area cool in the warmer months and trapping heat in during the colder months. This in turn should reduce the need to run any electrical or gas heating and cooling units regularly.

The use of eco-materials

Being mindful of the materials used to construct the garden building will contribute towards making it more eco-friendly. It wont always be possible but, in the instances that you can help save money and minimise environmental impacts, try and source recycled plastic, glass and timber. By doing this, the process should be much less damaging to the environment than purchasing the materials brand new.

Invest in solar panels Fitting solar panels to your garden building will certainly make your garden building more eco-friendly. Due to their initial cost they will be an investment, but dependent on what type of outdoor building you have, it could well be an option. As well as the huge environmental benefits, installing solar panels is a fantastic long-term financial investment within itself. There is a huge offering of solar panels on the market and in most instances the more powerful systems wouldn’t necessarily be required for a smaller garden building. In general, garden buildings require very little electrical power, therefore the output wouldn’t need to be huge, so a simple set of cost-effective panels should work sufficiently.

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Worst Mistakes to make when working at Height

May 31st, 2020 Comments off

Working at height retains the undesirable title of number one cause of accidents in the workplace. Things are certainly improving in the UK however, thanks to the increasing number of employers and staff undertaking the appropriate PASMA and IPAF training programs that ensure they are fully versed in safe working at height practice. However, the fact that accidents still happen is due, in large to the many common mistakes that are made when working at height. Let’s take a good look at what to avoid in order to reduce the risks of accidents.

Failing to gauge the risk

One of the gravest mistakes is failing to properly assess the risks for any given job. This is why the ‘working at height for managers’ training programs are crucial as they are responsible for risk assessment. The sorts of risks that should be assessed include environmental and weather conditions; fragile surfaces and risks below the working platform; the risk of falling objects; the suitability of equipment and the strength of the structure.

Lack of appropriate training

As already mentioned, accredited training programs by PASMA and IPAF are the industry standard and having staff and managers that are appropriately trained is the single biggest factor in mitigating against risk when working at height. Failure to ensure appropriate training has been given is a horrendous and potentially costly and disastrous mistake.

Inappropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is a vital tool in the armoury of those working at height in all kinds of environments and conditions. The kind of PPE needed depends on the job specifics and again appropriate training will aid in the decisions to be made. A failure to insure guard rails are fitted on MEWPs (Mobile Elevating Work Platforms) has been the cause of many avoidable accidents and fall arrest cable systems could have prevented injuries occurring from some falls, where there is already a high risk. Where there are no rails or fall arrest system, clear painted lines should be present so that everyone is aware of where the edges lie.

Inappropriate respect paid to ladders

The humble ladder is probably responsible for more accidents when working at height than any other piece of equipment, although chances are the fault usually lies with the user. Failing to set the ladder at the correct angle and secure it properly is a major cause of accident and making it clear that there is a ladder set, when in a pedestrian zone could have prevented many accidents caused when the ladder has been knocked by a passer-by. The longer that a ladder is used, the higher the risk of an accident. Ladders are only suitable for quick jobs.

Other Common mistakes with MEWPs

  • Failing to park them on firm, stable and flat terrain
  • Failing to wear safety harnesses
  • A lack of a trained operator at ground level
  • Failing to respect environmental conditions and weather changes.

As you can see, there are a great number of avoidable mistakes that are involved in accidents when working at height. By far the biggest among them is failing to ensure that everyone on site is properly trained.

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