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Crossrail admits job is nine months late

September 3rd, 2018 No comments

Crossrail bosses have admitted the new line won’t be ready on time and have pushed back the opening date by at least nine months.

The Elizabeth line was due to start taking passengers this December.

But the opening through central London has now been pushed back to “autumn 2019”.

The Enquirer has reported repeatedly about Crosssrail’s problems during the crucial fit out phase.

Project chiefs repeated the mantra constantly that the job was “on time and on budget”.

It is now £590m over budget and nine months late.

Crossrail said: “Crossrail Limited has been working hard to maintain the programme and sufficient testing time is required to introduce the next phase of the railway – the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood – in a way that can be guaranteed to be safe and reliable.

“The original programme for testing has been compressed by more time being needed by contractors to complete fit-out activity in the central tunnels and the development of railway systems software.

“Testing has started but further time is required to complete the full range of integrated tests.”

One subcontractor said: “Pardon my French but what a f*****g shock.”

Simon Wright, Crossrail Chief Executive said: “We have made huge progress with the delivery of this incredible project but we need further time to complete the testing of the new railway.

“We are working around the clock with our supply chain and Transport for London to complete and commission the Elizabeth line.”

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Aarsleff awarded piling contract for third phase of homes at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park development

August 31st, 2018 No comments

Aarsleff Ground Engineering has been awarded the piling contract for Phase 3 of Chobham Manor, a flagship Taylor Wimpey residential and commercial development project being built at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London.

Once completed, Chobham Manor will comprise approximately 850 homes, a community facility, a nursery, shops and landscaped open spaces. Chobham Manor, situated between East Village and Lee Valley VeloPark, will offer residents world-class venues, cultural amenities and commuter access to the heart of London, completely transforming the area as part of the ongoing Olympic-led East End regeneration.

Taylor Wimpey awarded the foundations contract to Aarsleff which, in addition to its vast experience on large-scale residential projects, also provided Chobham Manor Phase 1 piling works in 2015 when the company successfully installed 380 precast piles.

For Phase 3 of the development, Aarsleff will utilise its Junttan PMx22 piling rigs to install 1,170 250mm square precast concrete piles up to 12 metres in length. Before piling begins, Aarsleff will pre-bore the ground to a depth of eight metres in order to penetrate a limestone stabilisation band and allow for the piles to be driven to the required depths.

Aarsleff is expected to begin piling on 17th September, with work scheduled to take six weeks.

For more information about Aarsleff Ground Engineering or its driven piling foundation solutions, contact the company on 01636 611140 or email info@aarsleff.co.uk

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Role models inspire the new face of construction

August 30th, 2018 No comments

Talented people working in construction are to be recognised as part of a campaign to encourage others to follow their own career in the sector.

Launched in March 2018, UK Construction Week (UKCW) established its Role Models campaign, with help from the Construction Youth Trust, to inspire others and raise awareness of the breadth of roles available in the construction industry. The winner will be announced on 10 October on the UKCW Stage at the NEC, followed by a champagne reception and a meet and greet with keynote speaker, Barbara Res.

After much consideration, the judges put together a shortlist of 36 people from more than 130 high-quality entries. The extensive and diverse job roles of those shortlisted include a crane operator; a beyond zero coordinator; a national water sector lead; a BIM strategy manager; a chairman; an equality, diversity, and inclusion specialist; and a bricklaying tutor. A handful of architects, engineers and surveyors have also been shortlisted. People with non-construction specific services such as marketing also made the list, demonstrating the broad range of skills and knowledge contained within the industry.

While London is often seen as the hub for the construction sector, the shortlisted entrants hail from locations across the UK including Lancashire, Northern Ireland, Birmingham, Bristol, Chelmsford, Weybridge, Oxford, Coventry, Truro, Hereford, Worcester, Sheffield, Glasgow, Dartford, Leeds, Southampton, Plymouth, Cardiff, Preston, Exeter, and Chester.

Changing the face of construction

The judges were impressed with the role models’ passion for improving the image and culture of construction; breaking paradigms and changing stereotypes; actively campaigning for equality within the sector; teaching others and building bridges between the industry and education; inspiring young people; supporting apprentices; and championing diversity throughout the industry.

Nathan Garnett, UKCW event director, said:

“As part of being shortlisted, role models will take part in an outreach programme to help build connections with local schools and colleges. It’s about sharing their construction career journeys and inspiring the next generation by dispelling the myths surrounding the construction industry.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for people to be celebrated in an industry that often gets negative press. It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the work the role models are doing, not just on a day to day basis, but the work they’ve personally taken on to make this industry better.”

Setting the example

The role models will share their thoughts on key industry issues as guest bloggers for the Construction Matters Blog. They will have VIP access to UKCW, which takes place on 9-11 October, and will be available to talk to others about their careers in construction and their visions for the future of the industry.

Ahead of the presentation for UKCW Role Model of the Year, a discussion will take place on the UKCW Stage about creating the new generation of construction professionals. Shortlisted role models Emma Ferguson-Gould and Ryan Williams will join architect Elsie Owusu and BBC presenter, Steph McGovern, will be the host.

UKCW will be an event that inspires, with speakers such as Barbara Res – an engineer, lawyer and the project manager behind Trump Tower, the first BMF Young Merchants’ Conference at the BMF Pavilion, and a timber structure project by Manja van de Worp and students from the school of architecture at the Royal School of Art.

Other highlights for aspiring construction professionals include:

  • The launch of the 2019 Passivhaus Student Competition;
  • Design your home of the future, with George Clarke’s MOBIE;
  • The Institute of Civil Engineers’ ‘Save Civil City’ challenge; and
  • The Finishes and Interiors Sector’s #iBuiltThis2018 photography competition.

Free tickets are available from www.ukconstructionweek.com

Keep up with UKCW Role Models activities on Twitter at @UK_CW and using the hash tag #UKCW2018 and read guest blog posts at www.ukconstructionweek.com/blog

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Call made for door hardware experts’ input into building regulations consultation

August 27th, 2018 No comments

After recent UK Government investigations found that fire doors from five suppliers failed to meet even the minimum mandatory fire performance standard, door hardware experts are being urged to have their say in the consultation on the clarification of Approved Document B (ADB).

 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) began investigating the fire door industry after it was found that a glazed, composite fire door from Grenfell Tower had failed a 30 minute fire resistance test after approximately 15 minutes.

 

Now work is starting on amending the Approved Document which gives guidance on compliance with Part B of the Building Regulations in England.

 

The consultation focuses on the clarity and the usability of ADB. In addition the consultation is taking on learning from the Grenfell Public Inquiry and various other consultations that are currently running, including the use of combustible materials and the use of desktop studies and assessments in lieu of fire tests.

 

The Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) will be producing a response on behalf of the ironmongery industry and is calling for door hardware professionals to participate in the submission.

The consultation asks for comment and evidence on a number of proposed clarifications to ADB including moving the guidance for flats into Volume 1 (Dwellinghouses), clarity of signposting towards other standards, guidance documents or approved documents, and whether there is any guidance in ADB which should be in an industry standard instead.

Douglas Masterson, technical manager of the GAI, said:

“Our members have such vast experience of dealing with fire door hardware. They regularly encounter ironmongery that has been incorrectly specified and have to rectify the mistakes of people who don’t understand the important role of ironmongery on a fire door, or who have struggled to interpret ADB and the other supporting documents.

“We’re encouraging our members to share these experiences and their technical expertise to drive meaningful change within legislation, helping to improve the scope of standards within the fire door industry and ensure a higher standard of hardware being used throughout the UK.”

MHCLG has advised that in early autumn 2018 it will launch a wider technical call for evidence on ADB and supporting documents. An announcement of the outcome of the consultations into the use of combustible materials and the use of assessments in lieu of fire tests is expected in late autumn 2018, and in early 2019 a clarified ADB and roadmap for wider technical policy changes will be published.

 

www.gai.org.uk

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Five Benefits of Getting a Regular Window Cleaning Service

August 23rd, 2018 Comments off

Professional window cleaners don’t often get the recognition they deserve for their work. People hear window cleaning and immediately associate it with something that can be done easily with minimal risks. But this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. There is a reason why window cleaning services are more critical than ever. No matter what type of building you have, be it a skyscraper or just a small office, professional window cleaners can transform it into something magnificent. Let’s take a look at the benefits of getting a regular window cleaning service from companies like Archer Window Cleaning.

 

Looks are everything

The number one obvious benefit of regular window cleaning is how great your building will look. We live in a superficial world where first appearances really do matter. If you’re planning on holding a business meeting with new clients in a dusty old office, you’re already off to a bad start. Your building represents you. If it’s unclean and untidy, onlookers will think the same about you, even if it’s not the truth. It can be the difference between closing a sale or going home empty-handed. Getting your windows cleaned regularly shows people that you care about your building, your business, and your home. You seem instantly more respectable.

Tip-top condition

Windows on the outside of buildings are always under attack. All day long they get acid rain, hard water, oxidation, and even sometimes objects thrown at them which over time can lead to damage. But, regular cleaning by professionals helps to remove these contaminants with the appropriate cleaning products so your windows can stay healthy for longer. In the long run, this is going to save you money on repairs and replacements.

 

Increased workplace productivity

If the windows on your business building are not clean, this could have impacts on you and your staff’s productivity. Windows covered in grime, fingerprints, dust and watermarks stop the natural light getting in. Studies have shown that optimising the amount of natural light in an office significantly improves the well-being of office workers. They feel happier, more energetic, and as a result, they are more productive. Also, it’s nice to be able to go to work in a clean, non-distracting environment.

 

Enhances building efficiency

Being environmentally conscious these days is a must. When your windows undergo regular cleaning, they are made more efficient. Often, dirt and grime build up so much in unloved windows that it interferes with the natural warming effect of the sun in the winter. You’ll need to use your heating more, and with energy bills on the rise all the time, that will cost you. As well as this, oxidisation and weathering around window frames can destroy the seals causing air leaks, fogging, and condensation to build up. This not only means you’ll be losing all the expensive heating from your office, but it can also lead to mould which could lead to health issues if ignored. All of these problems can be solved with regular window cleaning contracts.

 

Make you feel good

Aside from the benefits of letting natural light in, clean windows will help you to feel good. You no longer have to be embarrassed to invite clients round for fear of their judgement about your dirty windows. You can enjoy the benefits from the vitamin D without ever feeling the slightest bit embarrassed. But to keep this up, you need a regular window cleaning service.

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85% of construction industry would recommend a career in construction to young people – so what isn’t working?

August 23rd, 2018 Comments off

Survey identifies perception of industry as main challenge to attracting future workforce

 

16 August 2018: In response to survey results from the UK and Irish construction industries, the Considerate Constructors Scheme has launched the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign to provide essential information and resources to help the industry address the urgent issue of attracting the future workforce.

 

The survey revealed that although 85% of respondents would recommend a career in construction to young people, 84% feel the ongoing perception of construction as being manual work is the main reason it remains an unpopular career choice.

 

The survey of the construction industry in the UK and Ireland received around 800 responses, and also uncovered that:

 

  • 77% view the skills shortage as the most pressing issue facing the construction industry.
  • 72% cite the challenging nature of work as the main benefit of a construction career.
  • 53% know young people who are, or could be, interested in a construction career.

On the subject of what the industry can do to attract the next generation:

  • 37% mentioned changing perception/promoting benefits.
  • 26% suggested engaging schools and colleges.
  • 15% mentioned apprenticeships and training.

‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ – hosted on the Scheme’s Best Practice Hub – has been launched by the Scheme to raise awareness of the wide range of resources, organisations, case studies, key information and guidance available to help construction to attract the future workforce.

The campaign contains a wide range of practical case studies of what organisations have done to help attract more people in to the industry. These include contributions from organisations such as: Balfour Beatty; Class of Your Own; Engie; Hobson and Porter; Kier; Laing O’Rourke; Mace; McLaughlin & Harvey and Wates.

In addition, the Scheme has collaborated with CITB’s Go Construct initiative to produce promotional posters for registered sites, companies, suppliers, clients and professional partners to use to help attract potential workers to consider a career in construction.

With over a quarter (26%) of survey respondents seeing engagement with schools and colleges as crucial to helping address the shortage of workers, the Scheme is pleased to report that 91% of respondents said their site or company engages with schools or youth groups – and 66% have personally visited schools or youth groups to discuss their career.

A key mechanism to help improve perceptions amongst school children, teachers and parents is through the industry’s mascots Ivor Goodsite and Honor Goodsite. In 2017 alone, Ivor/Honor visited over 22,000 school children.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy said: “The shortage of new entrants in to the workforce is one of the most pressing issues facing the construction industry. With over 400,000 new recruits needed each year to deliver construction projects, we must all take steps to attract the next generation.

“While we do have a great industry, one that is working hard to improve its image – as evidenced by the fact that 85% of those within the industry would recommend a career in construction – we need to do so much more to continually improve our standards in order to drive the perception change much needed to make the industry more attractive.

“The Scheme’s Best Practice Hub is at the epicentre of helping to share best practice across construction. Through the ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’ campaign, we are delighted to use our reach and influence across the entire industry to help provide key resources to address this critical issue.”

‘Spotlight on… the next generation’ will be continually updated with new case studies, resources and guidance. Email enquiries@ccsbestpractice.org.uk with any ideas and suggestions you may have and to showcase any case studies from your organisation.

Click here to read ‘Spotlight on…the next generation’

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Trade body reveals speaker line-up for structural waterproofing conference

August 22nd, 2018 Comments off

Shared experiences of high-profile projects underground, technical insight and an overview of liabilities and responsibilities will all be featured at this year’s Property Care Association (PCA) structural waterproofing event.

The PCA’s third annual International Structural Waterproofing conference takes place at The Slate, University of Warwick, Coventry on 13 September, 2018.

Speakers at the event have been announced, with the event starting off with an architect’s perspective of structural waterproofing, provided by Kevin Kelly of Building Design Partnership.

He will be joined by other experts from organisations including ASUC and NHBC.

The day finishes with an interactive panel debate on the whether it is time to see a revision to BS 8102. Delegates can claim CPD points.

Full details on the speakers, together with booking information, can be found at www.property-care.org/conferences

Since its launch in 2016, the International Structural Waterproofing conference has gone from strength-to-strength, offering a broad and comprehensive programme of interest to those in structural waterproofing, as well as a wider audience including construction professionals, surveyors, lawyers, architects, public authorities and academics.

The conference is priced at £100 plus VAT for PCA members and £150 plus VAT for non-members.

A review of the 2017 event can be found at https://www.youtube.com/PCANews.

The PCA is the trade body for the structural waterproofing sector, with a membership including manufacturers, consultants and contractors.

The annual structural waterproofing conference is part of an active programme from PCA overall to ensure technical competence in the industry.

Initiatives include a searchable register of Waterproofing Design Specialists and a range of free technical documents including codes of practice and best practice guidance.

The PCA also offers a renowned training and qualification programme recognised across the construction sector.

Designed to drive forward standards, support best practice and raise technical competency across the structural waterproofing industry, at the core of the PCA’s programme is the surveyor in structural waterproofing training.

This intensive, theoretical training course focuses on different aspects of structural waterproofing including BS8102, and the different types of waterproofing including Types A, B and C.

It is developed for those with existing experience in the field and can also be used as a foundation to go on to take the Certificated Surveyor in Structural Waterproofing (CSSW) industry-leading qualification.

www.property-care.org

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MidKent College is encouraging more young women to study construction in a bid to boost numbers in the industry.

August 21st, 2018 Comments off

MidKent College is encouraging more young women to study construction, in a bid to break down gender stereotypes and boost numbers joining the industry.

Figures show the number of females opting to learn about the profession at the College in both further and higher education since 2014/15 has risen from 141 to 216 for 2018/19.

However the College, which has campuses in both Maidstone and Medway, wants to raise those numbers and challenge gender stereotypes, which they believe do exist in the trade.

Nationally, women make up just 14% of construction industry professionals, with only 1% of those actually working on site.

Kim Howes is the Programme Director for the Building Services Design Engineering course at MidKent College. She said: “The construction industry is still very male dominated.

“All the trade magazines and publications have a big focus on men in the industry whereas women are either hidden or shown in supportive roles, like HR.

“Not all construction paths are grimy and dirty – the design and management fields can be office-based.

“The breadth of career options is just not realised or communicated.

“Construction is a fulfilling career that could take people around the world.

“Women are very creative and the construction industry has a need for those with a creative and design talent.

“We need to pique young women’s interest when they’re at primary school and encourage them to get hands-on, and messy.

MidKent College offers a number of construction courses and programmes at FE and HE levels, from Building Services Design Engineering to Painting & Decorating, Carpentry and Plumbing.

31-year-old Lindsey Todd, from Ramsgate, has been studying an HNC in Construction at the college over the last year.  She said: “I work for a housing association as a contracts manager in the construction industry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture: Lindsey Todd, construction student

“I absolutely love what I do as I’m a very hands-on person.

“ I learn visually, love interacting with people and seeing how the project develops first hand – rather than just from a computer screen.

“Over the last year I’ve also studied maths, personal skills (really helpful after not being in education for a long time!), construction, science and materials and safety in construction.

”I have no doubt that construction is where I’m happiest and what I enjoy most.

“I would definitely recommend other women take up a course in construction – there are just not enough of us on site.

“There’s a few more in the employer’s agent type roles, but in hands-on subcontractor roles there’s very few.

“I think I’ve seen one painter and decorator, and one tiler. It’s a very male dominated arena.

“This course has given me credibility and respect among my peers.”

Last month, Lindsey was awarded an industry award. You can read about it here.

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The types of insurance that may be vital for your construction business

August 15th, 2018 Comments off

Whether you have just started a construction business or are preparing to do so, you could be brimming with optimism. After all, rising skills shortages in the UK construction sector, as reported by the Independent, have opened up fresh opportunities for people seeking construction jobs.

Still, none of this takes away from your need to source proper insurance. Differentiating the essential policies from those that are simply a “good idea” can be tricky – especially as many policies aren’t meant just for construction workers. Hence, you could benefit from these pointers…

Public liability insurance

Spending hours at a time on a construction site means posing particular risks to members of the public. Of course, you can follow health and safety procedures to minimise those risks – but, as accidents can still happen, public liability cover could get your firm out of a financially tricky spot.

“Financially tricky” is an apt term here because, if the course of your work leads you to accidentally inflict injury on a member of the public, they could sue you and so heavily deplete your company’s funds. Public liability insurance would take the brunt of various costs outlined by the Federation of Small Businesses – including compensation payments as well as legal costs and expenses.

Employer’s liability insurance

It is technically possible to forgo public liability insurance, as it is not required by law. However, this does not apply in the case of employer’s liability insurance. You would usually need cover of this type should you employ anyone – ranging from contractors to casual and temporary workers.

Otherwise, employer’s liability works much like public liability, except that it is your own employees who are protected. For example, if a worker becomes ill because they been exposed to construction dust or an employee suffers an injury due to a faltering piece of equipment, this cover can help.

Employer’s liability insurance would enable you to fund compensation payouts. This is no small boon, as paying such compensation independently could prove financially prohibitive on top of a large fine, as mentioned on the Planning Portal site, you could risk for lacking employers’ liability.

Contractor’s all risks insurance

You might not be quite so familiar with contractor’s all risks insurance. However, for construction workers specifically, it is a crucial line of cover. The benefits of this insurance are various; if your construction equipment is stolen or a property beneath your in-progress extension is engulfed by fire, contractor’s all risks insurance can plug a monetary gap which could otherwise grow.

With many insurance options – including legal expenses cover and products liability cover – to think about, you could anticipate struggling to source all of them. However, turning to insurance specialists like those at Tradesman Saver would let you obtain all of these flavours of construction insurance. An online form on the Tradesman Saver site lets you apply for tailored quotes.

Tradesman Saver also includes both products liability cover and legal expenses cover at no extra charge with each of its policies.

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A giant leap for construction!

August 14th, 2018 Comments off

Robert Woodhead’s National Space Centre Ultra Site receives stratospheric praise from Considerate Constructors Scheme  

The National Space Centre’s Launch Pad project lifted off to new heights with a dramatic community launch – which took construction to the edges of earth’s atmosphere.

The launch provided a spectacle for hundreds of school children, local residents and workers who witnessed a teddy bear, and a construction bolt that will later be used as part of the completed works, ascending into the atmosphere powered by a huge helium balloon.

The project carried out by Scheme Partner Robert Woodhead Ltd has achieved Ultra Site status and this launch proves that innovation and technology is at the very heart of their successful engagement with the local community.

As part of this celebration of innovation and community engagement, the site produced a special film which includes details about the Ultra Site activities and interviews from the client, site team and Chief Executive of the Scheme, Edward Hardy (click here to watch the film).

The Ultra Site was to build a brand new ‘Launch Pad’ ticketing hall, which will extend the Leicester-based National Space Centre and improve the experience for the record numbers of visitors, reaching over 300,000 in 2017.

Despite this being the shortest duration Ultra Site to date at only 14 weeks, Robert Woodhead’s Launch Pad project achieved the very highest standards of considerate construction, working in true collaboration with the client and its supply chain.

Considerate Constructors Scheme Chief Executive Edward Hardy commented: “The National Space Centre Ultra Site is an example of the exceptional standards of performance which can be achieved in a very short period of time when everyone works together.

“The innovative efforts of Robert Woodhead’s team and supply chain have truly made a spectacle for the local community and workforce, underlining how the industry can adapt technology to enthuse and promote a positive image of our industry.”

Robert Woodhead’s Project Manager Tony Robinson said: “The fast track, 14-week project duration really pushed us to innovate and think of new ideas to demonstrate that exceptional levels of consideration can be achieved in tight timescales.

“We had a whole team collaborative approach which included our site team, office team and supply chain. The client was also fully involved from the outset; they valued what the Scheme stood for and saw the benefits it brought.”

Click here to read more about this project and to watch the film.

Click here to find out more about becoming an Ultra Site.

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