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The future of IoT in manufacturing

November 1st, 2017 Comments off

The future of IoT in manufacturing

IoT is a common term used within the manufacturing industry. It stands for Internet of Things and can be referred to as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). If you haven’t already implemented it in your business, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about — is it really going to revolutionise manufacturing in the way that so many articles promise? The short answer is yes.

IoT is not limited to manufacturing however; you may have a smart TV sitting in the corner of your living room or a host of intelligent kitchen appliances. They all fall under the IoT umbrella terms — they’re interconnected devices with advanced features and capabilities that make our day-to-day lives more efficient.

Where is this technology heading? And is it worth getting amongst this trend as a manufacturer? Manufacturing software provider Datawright answers those questions here:

Should I be investing in IoT as a manufacturer?

The short answer to this question is yes. Any technology that promises greater efficiencies should be welcomed by manufacturers. The IIoT has transforming the traditional face of the factory through streamlining processes and maximising production yields. So, what are the main benefits that the IoT can bring to the manufacturing industry?

  • More intelligent machinery — by implementing the IoT in the traditional sphere of manufacturing, manufacturers can gain greater visibility of production performance, supporting the early detection of delays to minimise downtime and maximise productivity.
  • Better data collection and analysis — through collecting productivity and waste performance data, manufacturers are able to make more informed decisions to improve their company’s overall performance.
  • Improved resource management — by understanding how a machine performs and is being used, manufacturers can safeguard workers, boost productivity and reduce associated operating costs.

As with the introduction of any new operational change, manufacturers are naturally sceptical about introducing IIoT. If you’ve buried your head in the sand hoping that the IIoT wave will pass you by, you are very much mistaken.

IIoT is disruptive and there’s no way to avoid this, but it’s a negative worth considering. For some, this is a scary prospect, pushing them further towards their familiar working practices. Doing so puts your company at risk of being left behind, as your competitors embrace the technology and continue to march forward.

Ignoring the current trends and technologies can be detrimental to a business and could eventually lead to failure. Blockbuster is just one example; the video rental brand neglected the growing dominance of DVDs and video streaming services, which ultimately led to its failure. Ignoring the IoT places your company at risk of following a similar route.

Looking to the future

Connected devices are on the rise, and by the end of 2017 it is expected that there will be 8.4 billion connected things – up 31% on 2016s total. Fast-forward to 2020 and this figure will more than double to 20.4 billion. Clearly, the IoT is not a fad; it’s a trend that will completely revolutionise manufacturing.

As connected devices increase in popularity, the number of manufacturers accepting IoT will increase too. By the start of 2018, 60% of manufacturers will use connected products to capture and analyse data, delivering a 15% increase in productivity.

Telling a similar story is research conducted by Verizon. This suggests that IoT-enabled manufacturers will be 10% more profitable than those who aren’t. You can’t ignore these figures in a sector so heavily focused around productivity and performance.

Similar to the introduction of other advanced processes and technologies, there are security concerns. Estimates predict that by 2020, IoT connected devices will be the target of more than a quarter of all enterprise security attacks. To combat this, manufacturers will naturally have to increase their security spend to safeguard their IoT systems. Experts predict that the global security spend will reach $547.2 million by 2018.

Although manufacturers remain hesitant, it’s clear that the positives outweigh the negatives when examining IIoT. With the future of the IoT looking bright, manufacturers are faced with a choice: to adopt and move forward or ignore and stand still. Which path will you choose?

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One In Eight British Homeowners Are Planning To Buy A Second Property In The Next 10 Years

October 30th, 2017 Comments off

A new study has revealed that whilst 12% of homeowners polled in a new study are saving to invest in a second property within the next decade, the majority of these individuals admit they’ve not fully researched the costs associated with doing so, such as stamp duty surcharges and periods of unoccupancy.

Whilst undertaking new research into the future investment plans of homeowners, a UK insurance agency has uncovered that as many as two thirds of Britons want to add value to their homes through extensions, conversions or conservatories, whilst almost one in three plan to make overpayments on their mortgage product in order to pay off their loan before their agreed term length ends.

As part of the study, the team at www.coverbuilder.co.uk polled 2,784 UK adults aged 25 and over, who’d all purchased a property within the last 10 years, in order to understand Britons financial plans for the future with regards to homeownership. All those taking part were from an even split of each of the UK regions.

When respondents were initially asked to state roughly how much longer they had left on their mortgage terms, the average length of time emerged as 14 years.

All homeowners were then given a list of potential options relating to their property and asked to reveal which, if any, they’d considered doing themselves during the next 10 years. The results emerged as follows:

  1. I plan to add extra rooms to my property (e.g. extensions/loft conversions/conservatories etc…) – 59%
  2. I plan to remodel rooms in my house – 47%
  3. I plan to take in lodgers/tenants to rent out spare rooms in my property  – 32%
  4. I plan to make overpayments on my mortgage in order to pay off my loan before the agreed term length ends – 28%
  5. I plan to save up and purchase a second ‘buy-to-let’ property – 13%

Next, those that stated that they were planning on owning a second property within the next decade were asked if they’d begun to fully research the costs associated with doing so, such as the stamp duty surcharge and the issues surrounding periods of unoccupancy. The majority of these individuals (71%) confessed to researchers that they’d not yet begun to look into the implications and potential drawbacks of owning a second property, but that they planned on doing so within the next year.

In order to uncover the areas of the UK with homeowners most likely to want to invest in a second property within the next 10 years, researchers analysed answers to reveal the geographical breakdown of participants, with the number of those looking to purchase another home as follows:

  • South East – 16% (of those looking to purchase a second property lived here)
  • South West  – 15%
  • Scotland – 12%
  • North East – 10%
  • London – 9%
  • West Midlands – 8%
  • East of England -6%
  • East Midlands – 6%
  • North West – 5%
  • Northern Ireland – 4%
  • Wales – 4%
  • Yorkshire and Humberside – 3%

Finally, the 87% of homeowners not planning to purchase a buy-to-let property in the future were asked if it was something they’d previously considered, with more than one fifth (21%) admitting they’d “considered it in the past but decided it was no longer something I wanted to pursue.” When asked to reveal why they’d come to this conclusion, “increasingly strict regulations and legal requirements for buy-to-let owners” (64%), “the hassle of on-going maintenance work on the property” (27%) and “the financial risks of not finding suitable tenants” (12%) emerged as the most common reasons Britons had been put off.

Rob Rushton, Head of coverbuilder.co.uk says:

“To purchase a buy-to-let or not to purchase a buy-to-let, that is the question. In theory there are many benefits to owning a second property, but unless you are fully prepared for the reality of the additional financial costs, legal requirements and have a sufficient amount of funds to fall back on, then it might not be the best financial investment for you.

“In 2015, there were an estimated 700,000 empty properties in the UK, so there is also the potential risk of purchasing a home that ultimately won’t have an immediate tenant. This, combined with increasing regulations and rules surrounding a second property will have Britons questioning whether they are truly prepared for both the financial and administrative commitment.”

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OVERCOMING SITE DELIVERY CHALLENGES

October 24th, 2017 Comments off

It was recently announced that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is introducing a new Ultra Low Emission Zone in Central London from Monday 8th April 2019. Whilst this is a clear step towards reducing pollution within the City, the restrictions are the latest addition to a long list of challenges facing construction companies and suppliers that work and deliver in London. Carl Ghinn, Managing Director at Fixmart, discusses how suppliers like Fixmart, can help customers overcome these challenges by providing flexible delivery solutions.

In order to provide an effective solution that helps our customers, I believe it is important to understand the challenges they face. When we visit our clients on site, they frequently discuss the challenges of strict delivery timeslots. Failure to meet these can result in large penalties for the contractor, and to a company that is working to tight margins, this can result in a loss for the project. A good way of combating this is by finding a supplier that offers timed delivery slots and communicating with the site before the delivery is due. It enables workers to prepare for the delivery and be advised of any potential delays.

Health and safety is also a key consideration. There are specific rules that delivery companies must comply with before they are allowed on site, especially in London. Many require vehicles to be FORS accredited, which is a voluntary scheme that promotes best practice in terms of safety, efficiency and environmental protection. I have also known delivery drivers to be turned away if they are wearing shorts rather than trousers due to health & safety regulations. Similarly, if a product isn’t packaged properly it can become a safety risk and the site manager won’t accept the delivery. By being aware of the restrictions, and ensuring drivers and vehicles comply with regulations, you can help avoid a failed delivery.

Another key issue facing contractors is the lack of available space on site. With a variety of different trades operating within the same space, storage is at a premium, and as a result, many need products that cannot be delivered too far in advance. Whilst this may be a simple requirement, it poses a great challenge as workers need to trust that their supplier will have the right products in stock at short notice. On the other hand, this needs to be balanced with the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone which has resulted in many developers pushing for fewer deliveries. Consequently, workers are looking for increasingly flexible delivery options to support this. At Fixmart, we offer an order cut-off time for next day delivery of 5pm, as well as the option for customers to cancel an order up to 2 hours before the delivery is due, free of charge. This enables workers to react to changes on site without incurring extra costs.

In conclusion, as restrictions continue to tighten, it has never been more important for suppliers to fully understand the complexities of delivering in London and provide a flexible solution that helps customers to overcome these challenges.

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BREXIT WILL BE A BIG BOOST FOR BRITISH BUILDERS: New survey shows uplifts in skills, techniques and manufacturing levels

October 20th, 2017 Comments off

UK Construction Week opens on Tuesday, and will bring together a wide spectrum of the construction trade together over three days at the NEC Birmingham (10-12 October). Ahead of the event, UK Construction Week conducted a Brexit survey from over 2,500 industry leaders. The survey canvassed architects, contractors, SME builders, surveyors, engineers, local authorities and many more.

The survey clearly shows that the UK Construction industry wants to discuss the positive impacts of BREXIT, with the majority of respondents believing it will force us to solve the skills shortage once and for all by investing in younger generations and encouraging them into the sector. This places extra emphasis on making sure the CITB is fit for purpose, and also supports the Farmer Report, Modernise or Die. Mark Farmer will present his view on what needs to be done following on from the report at UK Construction Week on Wednesday 11th October.

 

It also points to resurgence in British building materials, as contractors and house builders protect themselves from any tariffs in future, but also to taking advantage of a blossoming UK manufacturing base. This week’s UK Construction Week is a perfect demonstration of this with major British firms taking centre stage, such as Easy-Trim (Roofing and sealants), Forterra (Bricks and Building Materials), Tufeco (Modular Housing), Potterton (Heating), Portakabin (Modular Buildings) and HG Matthews (Bricks).

 

Offsite and Modular construction are also cited as a solution to build quicker in post BREXIT Britain.  Event Director, Nathan Garnett said “Offsite and Modular Construction is a major theme of UK Construction week in 2017 with over 100 manufacturers and suppliers in the sector exhibiting, an increase of 65% on last year. This is a reflection of how Offsite construction has now become accepted as a mainstream method of construction, increasing speed and productivity in the sector.”

 

The best possible example of home grown manufacturing and skills can be exemplified by the stunning world premiere of a two-story modular house at the show. Jon Gunn, CEO of Tufeco and a partner at ATELIO, said: “We see tremendous opportunity in the next few years for us as British manufacturers of world class modular buildings. We have worked in collaboration with Grimshaw, so our project is a real testament to UK skills and knowledge, and are confident our product can be a real advantage in the challenge to build the homes we need in the next decade.”

 

One of UK Construction Week and Timber Expo’s partners, Dougal Driver, CEO of Grown in Britain, said:”It is great to hear the UK Construction Week survey indicates support for British made materials. British-grown timber returns social and economic value back to communities here in the UK, supporting rural jobs and local economies.”

 

Key survey findings:

  • 64% believe BREXIT will force us to solve the skills crisis and invest in younger generations
  • Over 50% said it will make us buy British Building Materials
  • 43% believe building material costs will stabilise and 10% think materials prices may actually go down
  • 53% said we will embrace offsite manufacturing as a solution to the challenges ahead

 

Whilst leaving the EU poses challenges, the construction industry is already looking ahead to the positives outcomes BREXIT could bring. The UKCW survey however has laid down a very clear mandate for the UK Government to invest more in apprenticeships and support British manufacturing.

 

All of these topics will be discussed at UK Construction Week in the Development and Regeneration Hub and the UKCW stage, from 10-12 October at the NEC Birmingham.

 

For more information and free registration visit www.ukconstructionweek.com.

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Measured Building Surveys Nationwide

October 18th, 2017 Comments off

Measured Buildings Surveys throughout the UK

Mobile CAD Surveying Solutions Ltd  can accommodate either a simple single property floor plan for a domestic or logowhitebackground (Small)private customer to a complete schedule of buildings including whatever type of data collection the customer requires for commercial customers. If Architects or Surveyors and you require fast turn around building surveys, please give us a try! we currently work for dozens of architects, surveyors and designers around the UK and into mainland Europe, recently carrying out projects in France, Switzerland and the Channel Islands, or where they haven’t the capacity or staff to handle their own surveys or where they just require someone to make sure the job is done right, first time, Mobile CAD Surveying Solutions can help you.

Currently we are working on many Commercial surveys around the country and also a number of supermarket dimensional surveys and many domestic measured surveys in the UK and into Europe, if you require any type of Measured Building Survey then please contact us.

 

We can provide Floor plans,  Elevational drawings, or a Topographical survey also Underground Utility Traces and all types of Measured Building Survey with varying levels of detailed work – from simple walls, columns, doors and window surveys, to a fully detailed data set including all 3D information including cill & head heights, stair riser and going details, door heights, ceiling heights, beam details, fitted furniture etc.. As part of our measured surveys, the surveyors can also pick up and highlight other information for example: any electrical and data points, sanitary fittings, incoming mains positions, plant, fire fighting and detection equipment, security equipment, signage and so on.

An accurate  topographical survey or land survey is essential to any project that you are considering and can lessen the possibility of costly mistakes or unforeseen issues later on.  The amount and type of topographical survey data that we collect on site is always based on your specification. However, our experienced land surveyors will use their knowledge of planning and development issues and requirements to provide additional information that might be vital for any future design or planning application. We are also able to gather information from any utility companies which can be added to your topographical survey drawings..

Revit models – we are currently working on a number of modelling jobs, producing 3D Revit models from our own survey data and laser scans.

360D Panoramic Photography – We can also provide a 360 degree photographic record of your project to aid with design/construction

The ‘as built’ documentation provided by the company is highly detail oriented, every project can be accompanied by 360 degrees photographs to provide better understanding of the plans. Photographs give clients instant visuals which help in picturing the plan in a much better fashion.

We can also provide other additional land surveying services that you may require, for example; underground services tracing ( GPR – Ground Penetrating Radar) and 3D laser scanning enable us to provide you with a one-stop-shop for your surveying requirements.

for more information, please visit:-

Mobile CAD Surveying

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Chancellor unveils extra £400m for transport in North

October 12th, 2017 Comments off

Chancellor Philip Hammond will unveil an extra £400m for transport links in the Northern Powerhouse today.

At the Tory conference today, the Chancellor is set to pledge £300m to improve connections between cities in the north that are not directly on the HS2 high speed rail line.

This new funding is aimed at cutting journey times across cities such as Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and York.

An extra £100m is also being announced to improve 33 road schemes – 10 in Yorkshire and Humber, 10 in the North East and 13 in the North West.

He said: “This investment will go towards ensuring HS2 infrastructure can link up with future Northern Powerhouse and Midlands rail projects – helping the towns and cities of the North reach their full potential.”

Details of individual schemes will be announced in due course.

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UK Construction Week opens with a bang!

October 10th, 2017 Comments off

UK Construction Week opened its doors this morning to thousands of visitors who are all here to see the largest free construction trade show in action. Nine separate events, over 650 exhibitors, hundreds of product launches, and hours of seminars from the biggest names in the industry will take place over the next few days.

The opening ceremony was hosted by architect and broadcaster, George Clarke, who was also on hand to welcome a group of cyclists who made the trip from London to Birmingham to raise more than £5,000 for Construction Youth Trust, a charity helping young people build better futures by giving them access to training, education and employment opportunities in the construction industry.

 

Boasting more UK-first new product launches than any other show, visitors to UK Construction Week can expect to see over 10,000 innovative product launches, while networking and participating in learning events. Here are some of the reasons to attend, and what to expect over the next few days.

 

  1. Post-Grenfell: The latest advice. Over 100 free CPD workshops will cover everything from safety legislation and product safety guidance to fire prevention strategies.

 

  1. A stellar speaker line-up. UKCW 2017 boasts an impressive line-up of speakers, including George Clarke, Tom Dyckhoff and Steph McGovern.

 

  1. Emerging trendsetters. Head to The Material Lab Hub to discover the rising stars and cutting-edge brands shaping the world of surfaces.

 

  1. Offsite. UKCW will contain hundreds of offsite innovations, with more exhibitors in this field than any other event.

 

  1. If you are looking to further your career or for a job change, UK Construction Week is a must attend event. Find out about career opportunities and roles with leading UK construction firms at the event where the whole industry gathers. Meet recruiters, recruitment agencies, gain invaluable career advice and take up free CPD accredited education

 

  1. UKCW recognises the brilliant work the industry is doing and wants to reward it. This year will see a number of new, specialist awards. These include: Construction Enquirer Awards, Low Carbon Vehicles Awards, BIM Awards, Offsite Awards and WAN Awards

 

  1. And finally, it’s not all just work. Why not take the chance to show off at the Dodgeball tournament, relax at the Beer and Ale festival or place your cards at the Casino night alongside key industry professionals?

 

Consisting of Build Show, sponsored by EasyTrim, Timber Expo, sponsored by Steico, Civils Expo, sponsored by Finning CAT, Plant & Machinery Live, sponsored by AutoTrader Plant, Energy 2017, sponsored by G2 Energy, Smart Buildings 2017, sponsored by KNX, Surface & Materials Show, sponsored by BLFA, HVAC 2017, sponsored by Flakt Group, and Grand Designs Live, UK Construction Week caters for the entire spectrum of the industry from builders, architects, innovators and consultants, each show provides exhibitors with the opportunity to network alongside decision makers and purchasers while showcasing their services and products to thousands of visitors.

 

For additional information on the full programme of events, please visit www.ukconstructionweek.com

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UK Construction Week offers insight into the rebirth in social housing

October 10th, 2017 Comments off

UK Construction Week returns next Tuesday to the NEC, uniting over 650 exhibitors with 30,000 trade visitors in what is set to be the largest gathering of the built environment community. This year’s event, running from 10-12 October, is more topical than ever and guests to the free trade show can expect to hear how the industry plans to foster the rebirth in social housing.

The show’s Development and Regeneration Hub offers the perfect antidote to those who want to tackle this key topic, which is especially relevant after the government announcement of an extra £2bn pledged towards social housing. Featuring guest speakers such as Mark Jones from the National House Building Council (NHBC), Ayo Allu, Chairman of The Chartered Institute of Building, Bristol & Bath Regional Capital CIC’s Edward Rowberry, Paul Smith from Bristol City Council, Angharad Palmer of Pocket Living, and Simon Underwood from Elements Europe, there is a wealth of experience and insight ready to be had at the growth session.

 

What’s more, in light of recent tragic events, UK Construction Week has put together a free and comprehensive CPD programme that will tackle issues surrounding building quality, safety and fire prevention. With the repercussions of Grenfell set to change the landscape for all of us in construction, key topics up for discussion will be: Flammable Building Materials, Building Regulations, Fire Prevention, Improving Safety through technology, as well as Health & Safety. These completely unbiased and factual workshops will give visitors the opportunity to both broaden and share their knowledge, whilst valuable questions are put to industry experts.

 

Full timetables of the CPD workshops taking place on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday can be viewed on the UK Construction Week website here:

http://www.ukconstructionweek.com/site/building-safety

 

If you’re interested in attending one of the CPD workshops, please note that places are extremely limited, and you should confirm your place as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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Welsh businesses raise thousands in aid of male suicide awareness with charity triathlon

October 4th, 2017 Comments off

More than 150 Welsh property professionals from across the country downed their tools and swapped their suits for swimming goggles, cycling shorts and running shoes to raise over £12,000 to tackle male suicide at this year’s Wales Property Triathlon.

The annual triathlon, now in its fifth year, organised by family firm Jehu Group, took place in aid of male suicide prevention charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), in a bid to help stop male suicide, the leading cause of death for men aged 20 to 49 across the UK.  Jehu has chosen to support the charity following the loss of a respected and popular co-worker in July of 2016

Staff from the Jehu Group and Waterstone Homes, together with many of their clients including Principality Building Society, Berry Smith and Coastal Housing Group took part in the sprint triathlon, which involved a 500m pool swim, 20k bike ride and 5k run.

Taking first prize was Jamie Best, from Melin Consultants while the fastest female was Sarah Smith. The fastest team was Spring Design, made up of Alun Brown, Ian Boobyer and Sion Evans.

Jehu has taken part in a number of fundraising activities throughout the year in support of CALM, its chosen charity for 2017, including a property band night held in Cardiff’s popular music venue, Tramshed.

Anna Jones, Fundraising Director at CALM, said: “We are extremely proud and thankful that Jehu Group have selected CALM as its charity of the year and will help us to raise awareness of the fact that suicide is single biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK.  It was great to see such a fantastic turnout today and the money raised will help make a difference to the lives of men who need support.”

This year’s event, hosted at Pencoed Pool and Rugby Club in Bridgend, included individual competitors as well as teams of three, with separate members swimming, cycling and running.

New to 2017, the property triathlon saw the introduction of a ‘Buddy Up’ scheme, designed by Jehu to partner up individuals looking to complete just one leg of the race with their very own team mates to form a full squad. The novel initiative meant that professionals could still take part even if they did not have a team ready or did not want to complete the full triathlon themselves.

The scheme saw individuals sign up and buddy up with others through social media by requesting which leg of the triathlon they would like to complete. Teams were created from companies such as Trivallis, TC Consult, Linc Cymru and the Building Engineering Services Association.

Lydia Jones of Working Word, is one of the people who chose to #BuddyUp for the triathlon, keen to help raise awareness for the charity after losing a close friend to suicide herself, the actor and singer Dafydd Dafis, in April this year.

Lydia said: “Dafydd sadly suffered with depression most of his life, and it breaks my heart on a daily basis that I’ve lost him, so I was very keen to join Jehu’s triathlon and help raise awareness for CALM’s good work and its helpline.”

Jehu’s original Property Triathlon was started in honour of former Jehu Group employee, Hugh Walker, who sadly lost his life aged 46, just four months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour. The family-run construction and property firm has also supported Llamau the homeless charity prior to its support of CALM.

Managing Director of Development at Jehu Group, Simon Jehu, said: “It’s truly humbling to see our triathlon continue to grow and this year has been our biggest event to date. We are thankful to everyone that has shown their support for CALM, both those who took part in the race and those behind the scenes making valuable donations.

“As a family company, we have always tried to support charities that have a connection to our company in one way or another. Following the tragic loss of a colleague last year to suicide, for us, there was no question in supporting CALM as our charity of the year. As we have seen first-hand, suicide can affect anyone, and so it’s important to us that we can do all we can to support CALM in improving its services, raise awareness and promote understanding of the issues surrounding male suicide.

“The money we have raised is a real reflection of the hard work, dedication and generosity of people working across Wales’ property sector.”

Further donations: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/jehugroup17

CALM’s helpline is 0800 585858 with webchat available on www.thecalmzone.net

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Pupils Participate in AC Hotel by Marriott Construction through Minecraft Initiative

September 25th, 2017 Comments off

Design and Construction Skills in the Spotlight

 

4th September 2017: Pupils from eight schools in Northern Ireland have recreated the new AC by Marriott Hotel in Belfast, as part of an immersive Minecraft initiative coordinated by leading UK construction, refurbishment and fit out contractor, Gilbert-Ash, in partnership with Belfast Harbour and STEM Aware.

 

The project was launched to give school pupils an insight into a broad range of careers available to them in construction. The initiative showed them how the technology and skills used in globally popular Minecraft gaming programme can be used in the design and construction of buildings.

 

During the project, pupils built models of the AC by Marriott Hotel using Minecraft, and were also given the opportunity to visit the construction site itself. The young people, aged between 12 and 18, were challenged to produce a hotel with an environmentally sustainable focus. It encouraged them to add their own creativity and personal input into the development and inspired them to take an interest in the regeneration of their city.

 

The project also included a focus on the role of digital transformation in the future of construction. It scored full marks for innovation with the Considerate Constructors Scheme and a case study now features on their best practice hub.

 

The educational scheme is part of Gilbert-Ash and Belfast Harbour’s ongoing drive to educate and motivate the next generation around construction, addressing future skills gaps across the sector. The Minecraft challenge enabled young people to discover their own passion in design and development, and consider how their skills could be advantageous and utilised in a career in construction.

 

At the beginning of the eight week programme, the young people delved into nine-storey AC by Marriott Hotel, including 190 rooms, restaurants, fitness facilities and meeting rooms. This provided the eager participants with insights on how developments are purposefully designed and constructed from the outset.

 

In response to the environmental and sustainable theme, students helped shape innovative ideas for the hotel in Belfast Harbour’s City Quays development including the use of kinetic walkways to enable pedestrians to produce electricity and power in the area.

 

Gilbert-Ash Managing Director, Ray Hutchinson said, “We created this community initiative to help inspire the next generation within the construction industry and to provide young people with important transferable skills. Marriot International, alongside key partners Belfast Harbour and STEM Aware, helped us bring this to life and together we have given young people insight into the whole construction process and the work we do in their local area and beyond.”

 

“Working with schools and young people is incredibly important to us, particularly at a time when research is highlighting that the construction industry has an ageing workforce. Motivating a young, ambitious workforce will help resolve this problem. We were truly impressed by how engaged the pupils were as well as the ingenuity and creativity shown. We are looking forward to completing the AC Hotel by Marriott Belfast in early 2018.  The finished property will be a stunning new addition to the City Quays development in Belfast Harbour.”

 

Jenni Barkley, Communications and Corporate Responsibility Manager at Belfast Harbour, said:

“This project gives us the opportunity to bring students to the City Quays development at Belfast Harbour, engage with them and encourage them to feel ownership of Belfast’s regeneration. Using a programme such as Minecraft allows them to explore ideas of design, construction, engineering and sustainability and at the same time allowing them to watch the building come to life.”

 

The AC by Marriott in Belfast will have created 180 construction jobs in total and employment for approximately 115 people when it is completed in the first quarter of 2018.  Multi-Michelin-starred award-winning chef Jean-Christophe Novelli will open an exclusive new signature restaurant as part of the new £25 million hotel.

 

City Quays is Belfast’s newest and most modern mixed-use regeneration project, providing Grade A office space, a hotel, retail, cafés and restaurants, in addition to new residential accommodation on the key city centre waterfront site.

 

With offices in London and Belfast, Gilbert-Ash offers a range of opportunities for pupils and students to experience the world of construction, from work shadowing programmes to site visits during the lifespan of projects. It also hosts ‘Have a Go’ events enabling individuals to experience taster sessions across various trades, showcasing the range of opportunities within the sector.

 

For more information on Gilbert-Ash visit www.gilbert-ash.com

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