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York council terminates Interserve Guildhall revamp contract

April 20th, 2018 No comments

City of York Council is terminating its £9m Guildhall development contract with Interserve.

The two stage contract has been ended after costs came in over budget on the first stage.

The council said: “The first phase has now completed and the council has reflected on the current approach to developing this complex and historic site.

“As a result, the construction phase will not progress and instead, the council will consider options before inviting new bids from the market.”

Interserve was working with SES Engineering Services and hosted a supply chain event late last year to find subcontractors after being awarded the deal last August.

Construction was originally due to start early this year.

Neil Ferris, director of economy and place, City of York Council said: “I can confirm we have terminated our contract with Interserve to develop the Guildhall.

“We set-up the contract following government procurement rules and as such, included a contractual break point after the first stage of the contract.

“We recognised from the start that given the site complexity and risks around the foundation structure, there was always the chance that estimate would be higher than anticipated.

“We structured the procurement in this way to protect York residents from potentially spiralling costs.

“We remain committed to the Guildhall development and are excited about the potential it offers local businesses, communities and visitors.

“Our next steps are to review options to reduce costs, such as revising the scale, scope or access arrangements to the site and we will invite members to confirm their preferred option in May.

“In the meantime, to reduce delays, we will progress less disruptive works, such as fitting new utilities.”

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PSH. forms new leadership team to position business for exponential growth

April 16th, 2018 No comments

Leading engineering consultancy PSH. has promoted four of its team to director roles as part of a re-structure as the firm lays foundations ahead of its ambitious growth plans for the next five years.

Ian Law and Andrew Haskins have been promoted to directors for the Mechanical team.  Charlie Cross becomes director for Electrical, and Mark Whitfield is now director of Project Management. Photographs of the newly promoted directors can be downloaded here.

PSH, provides specialist mechanical, engineering and plumbing (MEP) services to the real estate and construction industry.  Its current clients include Centrica, Crosstree, Legal & General, GLH Hotels, Marriot International, Cadogan Estates, Quintain and Rockwell. Over the last 15 years PSH. has enjoyed rapid expansion and now includes more than 30 professional members of staff across its offices in London and Wokingham. 

Peter Scholes, Managing Director, PSH. said: “PSH. has an established reputation across the property sector as a highly recommended and trusted MEP building services expert. With the skills and experience of Ian, Andrew, Charlie and Mark behind them, our highly skilled teams will continue to work with some of the biggest players in the real estate sector, across all different areas of the market.”

PSH. has increased its annual turnover year-on-year since launch in 2003 and has ambitious growth plans over the next five years.  The initial stage of this includes establishing a new leadership team with sector and services specialisms.

Peter Scholes, said: “PSH. has worked hard to build an experienced and professional team, with unrivalled market knowledge and sector experience.  We have an excellent track record of repeat business and our client list includes some of the very best names operating in the sector today.  The re-structure will enable us to develop a more agile approach across the company as we grow, giving our clients an even better service.”

PSH. provides full MEP building services, as well as offering sustainability, vertical transportation, BIM, fire services and acoustics advice to developers, consultants and contractors across all sectors of the property and construction industry.

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TSA Members welcome SmartWater’s co-ordinated response to equipment theft

April 16th, 2018 No comments

A new alliance between The Survey Association (TSA) and SmartWater is leading to detailed analysis and police follow-up on every incident of equipment theft.

A three-year agreement between TSA and SmartWater, sponsored by the leading manufacturers, is the first, co-ordinated response to thieves that persistently target surveyors.

As a direct result of the TSA initiative, SmartWater operatives are sharing incident information with the police and discussing the impact of theft on survey companies with crime prevention officers.

Dave Bennett, Business Manager at Topcon GB & Ireland, commented: ‘’The biggest impact theft has on surveyors is loss of working time and the additional cost of replacing equipment.’’

‘’Collating data around stolen equipment will support affected engineers, as well as elevate the issue within the industry, which is why we back TSA’s initiative with SmartWater,’’ he added.

Incidences of equipment theft routinely halt work schedules, raise concerns about personal safety and security and incur additional costs in replacement and insurance premiums for survey companies.

John Fraser, President, UK & Benelux Hexagon Geosystems said, “Theft in the UK of survey equipment is rife, and Leica Geosystems is working hard on many fronts to provide solutions and support to the industry, so we actively support the TSA initiative of the Smart Water database.’’

Theft data submitted to SmartWater’s Intelligence Portal puts the estimated cost of stolen equipment to TSA Member companies from September 2017 – February 2018 at £1.8 million, an average of £300,000 per month.

Ian Pennington, Geospatial Strategic Key Account Manager at Trimble said, “Theft of survey equipment has become a huge problem for our profession causing tremendous distress to the surveyors involved and significant financial loss to businesses.’’

‘’We fully support this important initiative by TSA to assist their members on crime prevention and equipment recovery measures,’’ he added.

Information submitted through the Intelligence Portal is also used to compile monthly reports for TSA Members, identify crime hotspots, emerging crime trends and possible links to current investigations.

An additional risk rating briefing for Members is issued each quarter, with advice for crime prevention to those likely to be a target.

For further details and to submit information on theft of survey equipment, email TSA office@tsa-uk.org.uk

Non-TSA Members can also report their thefts through the Intelligence Portal to ensure that the whole picture is captured, though only TSA Members will receive SmartWater’s monthly reports and briefings. For more information on TSA www.tsa-uk.org.uk/

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TIMco TO UNVEIL NEW RANGES AND BIGGEST EVER CATALOGUE AT NMBS SHOW

April 4th, 2018 No comments

TIMco, one of the UK’s largest independent suppliers of screws, fasteners, fixings and power tool accessories, are launching their latest and biggest catalogue to date as well as unveiling brand new ranges at the NMBS show at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on the 11th April.

The catalogue will feature 6,500 product lines including an array of new ranges from screw caps and covers to aerosols, wood glues and wood fillers. The largest catalogue to date will also see the extension of existing ranges including the addition of wagon ropes and brick lines to the VETO range as well as a further extension to the new TAURUS range.

During the show, TIMco will also be hosting visitors at their stand with freshly made coffees and an array of refreshments. Customers can take time out at the stand and discuss the new products/ranges by visiting TIMco on stands 265, 266 and 269.

Simon Midwood, Managing Director of TIMco comments: “The NMBS show is one of our biggest events in the calendar, with a lot of our customers attending the show – making it the perfect place to launch our biggest ever catalogue and see our customers’ feedback first hand. We can’t wait to have a coffee and a chat with visitors about our exciting new product launches and range extensions.”

For more information on the NMBS show or to register for tickets to the show, visit: http://www.nmbs-exhibition.co.uk/register

 

TIMco is headquartered in Nantwich, Cheshire and imports and supplies more than 6,500 product lines from around the world to distributors throughout the UK, Ireland and Europe.  The company was established in 1972 and now employs 137+ members of staff from its offices in the UK, Ireland and Taiwan.  For more information, visit www.timco.co.uk.

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MILLIONS TO BE CLAIMED IN TAX REBATES

April 3rd, 2018 No comments

Workers are being urged to claim back their tax rebates before the deadline passes.

The call comes from tax recovery specialists Brian Alfred who have claimed back more than £36 million for clients in overpaid tax.

According to the firm, around a third of tax payers are due a rebate in the UK and claims can range from £1,500 to £7,300 for people working in the construction industry.

Workers who are either part of the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) or Pay As You Earn (PAYE) are all eligible to apply and rebates can be claimed for the last four tax years.

However anyone who fails to put their claim in before April 6th will permanently lose the chance to claim a rebate for the 2013/2014 tax year.

Derek Kelly, CEO, Brian Alfred said: “Each year millions of pounds of hard earned money goes unclaimed. The time is now fast approaching to get your tax rebate claims in, as you can only go back four years at a time, so basically if you haven’t claimed a rebate for the year 2013/14, it’s either do it before April 6th or forever lose the opportunity for that year.

“Whatever your trade or profession, we are here to help you. The tax rebates really can make a difference and it is money that people are entitled to and have worked hard for.”

According to Brian Alfred it’s simple things that people don’t realise they can claim for, from travel expenses to work uniforms to equipment and even food costs. 

Derek added: “You can claim refunds for a range of things, but regulations are complicated, and it can take an expert to get the correct amount of rebate from the HMRC!” 

Brian Alfred is one of the UK’s leading CIS and PAYE tax rebate specialists and has helped thousands of people get their tax rebates, some in as little as 24 hours. 

To find out if you could qualify for a tax rebate visit their free online tax rebate calculator www.brianalfred.co.uk/calculator

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Weston Homes stunned by football club sponsorship snub

March 29th, 2018 No comments

House builder Weston Homes has been left fuming after its ten-year sponsorship deal with Colchester United has come to a “bitter end”.

The League Two club confirmed its decision not to renew the deal to staff and fans this week.

But Weston Homes claim they were not consulted and have been left baffled by the decision.

A Weston Homes spokesperson said: “It is really sad and shocking the way this partnership has ended, and it has really upset our Chairman and CEO Bob Weston that the club has chosen to end the deal and then abruptly announced their decision publicly without prior consultation with the housebuilder.

Weston Homes has been extremely loyal to Colchester United and supported the club in so many ways over the last decade, so this has been deeply distressing.

“It’s a sad ending to what has otherwise been a fantastic partnership.”

The club’s stadium is named after the house builder who were keen to continue sponsoring Colchester United.

The spokesperson said: “Up until these recent events historically we have had a fantastic partnership with Colchester United and the decade long sponsorship agreement got our brand name partnered with the Stadium and the football club and, as a result, has seen us associated with a range of extremely high profile sporting, music, charity and cultural events.”

Colchester United said: “We would like to express our thanks and gratitude for Weston Homes for their fantastic support over the past ten years.

“It has been a hugely successful partnership over the past decade and is one of the longest in the club’s history.

Weston Homes’ support has allowed Colchester United to establish the stadium as a key community hub and their backing both as title sponsor and at individual events has allowed us to create many special stories together since the venue opened in 2008.”

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Cladding firm hired for luxury new-build project

March 28th, 2018 No comments

Specialist Cladding Systems (SCS), CA Group Limited’s specialist cladding division, has bolstered its portfolio by successfully securing the design, supply and installation of the façade for a high-end residential development in Salford, Manchester.

 

Working in partnership with main contractors, McGoff Construction, SCS has been awarded the contract to design and install a full cladding system for Downtown Manchester, a 368-apartment scheme along the River Irwell.

Located on the borders of Manchester and Salford, the Downtown development will be a collection of six statement blocks, differing in height and ranging from four storeys up to 14. The residential apartments will be complimented by communal facilities including an onsite gym and spa, 24-hour concierge service and media room.

Paul Guilfoyle, senior project manager at McGoff Construction, said: “Thanks to its hotel-style services, riverside location and proximity to both Manchester and Salford, Downtown is a prestigious development and a desirable residence.

“With its Manhattan-inspired design influence, it aims to create a new iconic property on Manchester’s skyline. The exterior of the six apartment blocks requires an exceptional finish, which is why we have chosen to work with SCS, who are experts in providing specialist cladding solutions.”

Work commences on the first phase of the project next month (April), and will continue over several phases spanning the next three years.

Mike Cinnamond, Divisional Manager for SCS, added: “We are delighted to have been chosen to work in partnership with main contractors McGoff Construction on such a pioneering project. Downtown’s service-led apartment living is sure to provide the aspirational residents of both Salford and Manchester with an apartment that will enhance their lifestyle and exceed expectations.

“New design opportunities, brought about by innovations in cladding, are enabling us to deliver contemporary solutions to the residential new-build market. The role of cladding in building design has evolved, while its main purpose of protecting the building from the elements remains, cladding is central in the overall aesthetic and design of the build, a key factor in the Downtown development.”

The specifications for the project comprise of the design, supply and installation of CA Building Products’ Prime RFX PPC aluminium rainscreen cladding system, together with the Corium brick slip rainscreen system from Taylor Maxwell and a multitude of ancillary products. CA Group is one of the UK’s leading metal roofing and cladding systems manufacturers and installers.

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Passer-by raises safety alarm over solar panel contractor

March 21st, 2018 Comments off

A solar panel installation company and its director have been fined after a passer-by reported unsafe work on a commercial job.

Reading Crown Court heard how an HSE inspector visited the site following the tip-off where Sasie Limited was installing solar panels on the roof of a commercial building.

The inspector identified two workers on the roof without any form of fall protection and a prohibition notice was served.

When the HSE inspector returned to the site three days later there was further unsafe work being carried out on the roof.

An HSE investigation found that the unsafe work was allowed to continue by the director despite a member of public bringing it to his attention and the serving of the prohibition notice.

Sasie Limited of Nottingham pleaded guilty to breaching safety regulations and was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,300.

Director Een Marsden Kelly of Nottingham also pleaded guilty and was fined £500.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Dominic Goacher said “Falls from heights are the one of the biggest causes of workplace fatalities and major injuries.

“All work at height must be properly planned irrespective of the task being undertaken and those in control must ensure suitable control measures to prevent falls are in place throughout the duration of the project”.

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5 awesome tech tools for successful construction companies

March 12th, 2018 Comments off

5 awesome tech tools for successful construction companies

Technology has its pros and cons — it can lead to role reductions but increase efficiency.

And although construction is one sector that might always require the human touch, it includes areas ripe for improvement through digital innovations.

With that in mind, here are five awesome tech tools for successful construction companies.

  1. Virtual Reality (VR)

Architects, designers and engineers have relied on flat 3D construction models for years to work out how their projects will look in real life.

But looking at a scale model of a bridge, shopping centre or office block on a desk or computer doesn’t enable an accurate assessment — which leads to expensive snags once building work is well underway.

VR is being adopted by specialist firms like Victaulic to solve this age-old problem. It allows staff to walk inside a built environment to see and feel whether their designs for mechanical piping and fire-protection systems are up to the job.

  1. Wearable tech

Wearable tech like exoskeleton suits and Augmented Reality (AR) goggles looks set to carve a foothold in the construction industry very soon.

And it should make sites safer for all workers, as well as increasing efficiency.

Exoskeletons will improve the power and precision of the human body, while protecting it from injuries.

And AR headsets from firms like Meta allow teams in different locations to collaborate on construction layouts in real-time — and quickly create prototypes for clients so that they see how their new home or business premises will look prior to physical construction.

  1. Automated HR

Making sure staff get paid on time, with the appropriate deductions and benefits, is fundamental to good business relations.

And construction firms who operate across different tax jurisdictions often employ expensive HR teams to cope with this admin-heavy and time-consuming task.

But outsourced payroll services can be less expensive and more accurate, so less time is spent correcting inaccuracies, and data analytics produce detailed reports allowing management to monitor useful metrics.

  1. Project management software

Pulling together all the work streams on a large civil engineering or architecture project and delivering results on time and to budget is no easy task.

Project management software can help to make the process more efficient at every stage by identifying problems early, reducing risks and using rich data to automatically generate high quality handover manuals for subcontractors and clients.

  1. Field productivity software

Large construction projects with tight timescales require regular detailed monitoring to stay on track.

And that entails daily field report being completed, collated and sent to management.

Field productivity software from niche firms like PlanGrid allows workers to fill out forms and reports on mobile devices onsite and upload them instantly so they’re easily found, analysed and shared.

This means project leads can report to clients regularly without a wasteful paper trail.

Invest in any of these five awesome tech tools for successful construction companies and impress every stakeholder involved in your next project.

Has your construction form adopted new technology recently? Share your story in the comments section.

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JCB creates 600 jobs to meet boom in global demand

March 9th, 2018 Comments off

UK plant giant JCB is hiring 600 production line staff over the next three months due to “unprecedented” global demand for its machines.

In addition to these shop floor jobs, JCB said it also had vacancies for more than 100 permanent employees in engineering and other staff professions at its World Headquarters in Rocester and sites across the UK.

The firm, which already employs 6,000 people in the UK, said it now had a very healthy order book and is taking on over 200 operatives immediately with a further 400 staff required within 12 weeks.

Worldwide growth in construction has brought record demand for many of the product lines manufactured at its Derbyshire plant at Foston, as well as its Staffordshire factories at Rocester, Cheadle and Rugeley.

JCB chief operating officer, Mark Turner said: “This is great news for the local economy and great news for anyone seeking to work with a globally successful business.

“We know the cities of Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and surrounding towns have people with the skills we need, and in return they can expect excellent rewards.

“We urgently need fabrication welding skills along with paint sprayers, and general assemblers who will be given full training.

“The opportunities are initially for agency employees, however we see them as long-term opportunities – in fact, in the first three months of 2018 we have given permanent contracts to 200 agency staff. That means over the past four years we have handed permanent contracts to 850 agency employees.

“The future is very bright for JCB as global demand for our machines continues to grow, which means great prospects for people who want to work with us.”

The new roles pay a minimum of £10.40 per hour for Monday to Friday working hours, with a premium paid for shift-work opportunities.

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