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The truth about Trump to be revealed at this year’s UK Construction Week

August 6th, 2018 No comments

If there is one woman who has stories to tell, it is Barbara Res.

A professional engineer and lawyer, Barbara Res was the project manager behind Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue.

Despite encountering decades of sexual discrimination, harassment and intimidation, she became the first woman to take charge of a major skyscraper in New York, and was hired to be the vice-president of the Trump Organisation, working for Trump for nearly 18 years, from 1978 to 1996.

Initially supportive of Trump, she now speaks freely about how his attitudes to women have changed. She continues to voice strong views about women in construction and her philosophy on feminism, and speaks extensively to women’s groups and industry groups about construction and women’s role in it.

Barbara published her memoir, All Alone on the 68th Floor: How One Woman Changed the Face of Construction, in 2013. She is now coming to the UK to deliver a keynote presentation at the construction industry’s largest event, UK Construction Week, which returns to the NEC on 9-11 October.

Barbara will discuss her experience as a female engineer, working on Trump Tower, the successes and challenges of working with Donald Trump, and sexual harassment in construction, with journalist and broadcaster, Steph McGovern, at the UKCW Stage on 10 October.

Reserve a free place at this major interview of a true pioneer in construction by registering online at www.ukconstructionweek.com

Barbara Res’s views on why female engineers and tradeswomen are leaving construction in their thousands in North America can also be read at: www.ukconstructionweek.com/news/blog/barbara-res

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Trident takes to the road

August 2nd, 2018 No comments

It’s not quite 500 miles, but Trident Building Consultancy is walking 150 miles to help end youth homelessness.

As part of RICS’ 150th birthday celebrations, the Trident team will cover 150 miles to raise money to provide 150 beds for young homeless people as part of a project with LandAid.

The team had an early start with the Birmingham office walking from the office and around the city canals on 13 Julyand the rest of the challenge will take place during August.

The Leeds office will pick up from where Birmingham left off by walking from Golden Acre to Bardsey on 2 August; the Edinburgh office will walk from Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh Castle on 8 August; the Liverpool office will start from less regal surroundings at Hooton up to West Kirby on 10 August; on the same day over the Irish Sea the Dublin office will walk around the city centre; back on English soil the London West End and London City offices will join forces to walk from Kew Bridge to Tower Bridge on 16 August; both the Glasgow office and Bristol office will be out on 17 August walking from Drymen to Rowardennan in Scotland and a loop round Bristol starting and finishing at Portishead; and the Manchester office will finish the walk on 24 August by walking from Lytham to Fleetwood.

You can sponsor Trident and contribute to this worthy cause by using the following link:

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/trident-pledge-150 (Donations of plasters and foot massages are also welcomed!)

Keep up with the walk by following Trident on Twitter at: @Trident BC

RICS aims to raise £2.25 million for is campaign. Find out more about this project and the amazing work that LandAid does here: www.landaid.org/what-we-do/our-campaigns/pledge150

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Online training logs a win for trussed rafter designers

July 31st, 2018 No comments

As the construction industry continues its struggle with skills shortages, the trussed rafter industry is working hard to upskill employees with sign-ups for specialist training quadrupling.

The online training course, run by the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA) in association with Edinburgh Napier University, is proving popular with trussed rafter designers.

Two beneficiaries of the training programme are Gabor Vince, from Taylor Lane Timber Frame Ltd, and Frank Kyne, from Wyckham Blackwell Ltd, who are the highest scorers for the Introduction to Trussed Rafter Design online course.

As a reward for their hard work, Gabor and Frank have been given the opportunity to visit a Swedish forestry and sawmilling operations courtesy of Vida Wood UK Ltd.

Gabor says:

“It’s great to be rewarded for doing a course that, for me, was fundamental to my professional development.

“Going to Sweden will be a real eye-opener getting out into the forest to witness how it all works through the whole felling and logging process and seeing how the timber is processed at the mill.”

Frank adds:

“The course for me was very useful and a great test of my skills. Being able to do this all online was really important to me as I would never have found the spare time to complete this otherwise.

“I can’t wait to go to Sweden and see how my work and my colleagues’ work weaves into what’s happening out in the forest and the mills. It’s a fantastic opportunity.”

Nick Boulton, TRA chief executive, said:

“Training for TRA members is going from strength to strength and it’s remarkable how well the course is doing. It’s a credit to the TRA members and their employees for wanting to be better at their job to provide a better service for their customers.”

The online training course is available in two elements: Part 1 Essentials and Part 2 Advanced. Part 1 is suitable for new staff and designers while part 2 is aimed purely at designers.

TRA members can claim up to two units of training completed per site within three months of registering. With each unit costing £175 per candidate or £300 for both, these are great saving for members.

The course is just one element of the TRA’s commitment to training and recruitment in the trussed rafter industry.

At the TRA AGM in May where the theme was ‘The next generation’, TRA chairman, Jonathan Fellingham, announced he is heading up a project to look at the recruitment of the future pipeline of trussed rafter designers and fabricators, calling on TRA members to get involved.

To register candidates, please send the candidates full name and business email address to info@tra.org.uk where you can also find out further information about the training package.

www.tra.org.uk

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How access control panels will continue to change

July 20th, 2018 No comments

As one device evolves, the devices it interacts with also finds scope to improve and change. Access control panels have adapted to technological advancements, both in the physical and digital domain. 2020 Vision, providers of IP CCTV systems, present this guide to past changes to access control panels, and potential future developments.

Security advancements

Keypads

Technology has enjoyed some substantial improvement upon the old lock and key. The way we entered restricted areas has changed over time — and it all started with the famous keypad. Similar to what we now see on ATMs, these were used to access locked areas and would require an individual to type in a specific numerical code to enter. The passcode would usually be around four to six digits long. But was this a viable method to protect a business? At the time, it was a revolutionary idea — but as times progressed, anyone could obtain the code and enter even if they weren’t authorised to do so. This was classed as a non-intelligent reader.

Card Readers

Keypads began to lose their effectiveness when compared to the next stage in security development: card readers. Usually, a magnetic strip would be attached to the card which a staff member could then swipe through a narrow slot in order to gain access. However, such cards are now available with a bar code reader, a proximity reader, smart card readers, and biometric readers — tailoring each to specific business requirements.

IP Door Readers

Card readers were further advanced upon with the introduction of IP readers: these could be accessed via card or by Bluetooth. Biometrics are now also common in IP readers — unlike card readers and keypads, IP readers can operate independently as they hold an internal memory and if the details you provide do not match what the IP reader has knowledge of, you will not gain access.

These leaps in development took place within 50 years. At this pace, what will the next stage be?

Access control panels for smartphones

There are a few different ways to lock the internal features of a smartphone. The use of passcodes is still common amongst most devices and are similar to keypads in terms of security. Biometric access, through the use of the fingerprint, is something that is relatively new and has revolutionised the way we get into our phones. However, in 2017, the iPhone X was released which saw tech-mogul company, Apple, introduce facial recognition as the main route to gaining access using a 3D sensor that can recognise the phone owner’s facial features. We suspect that this will be implemented across more smartphone devices in order to compete for the title of being the most accessible and the easiest. However, convenience and simplicity whether facial recognition, fingerprint scanning Bluetooth, and even a short PIN code come at a price they simplify access not only for the authorised user, but also for a potential attacker. So when it comes to implementing an Access Control System always seek the advice of an experienced security integrator.

The next stage of access control panels

We predict that the next advancement will come in the form of ‘eyeball recognition’, a technology still in its early stages. As no two people are the same, DNA ensures that access is being granted to the right person. Even in extreme and unlikely circumstances, if someone was to obtain your eyeball, they would still be unable to gain access.

We’re already starting to see advancements in technology shown to us in movies start to creep into the real world. But the movies were unaware of how secure they would actually be. In “Diamonds are Forever” in the James Bond franchise, 007 tries to gain access through a ‘copy’ of the required fingerprint. Realistically, if this was to occur, there would be smudges on the fingerprint which would lead to alerts being made and a fail in gaining access.

In “Demolition Man”, a criminal group attempt to escape prison using a warden’s eye. In reality, this would not get past any sort of IRIS scan, as there is a detection process which determines whether the person is alive or not and a dead person’s pupil would not be responding to any light that is around.

What do you think will be the next stage in access control panels? Will movies this year predict even greater possibilities? And the bigger question is: will they be brought to life? With the evolution of access control happening frequently, and becoming more intelligent, we are sure to see new additions soon.

 

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The government’s Clean Growth Strategy – what is it?

July 17th, 2018 Comments off

The UK government has launched its Clean Growth Strategy as part of its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the nation. It outlines a proposed approach to building a lower-carbon future for the UK.

 

You can read the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) comprehensive report by downloading it here. However, if you don’t have the time to scroll through all 165 pages, don’t worry. This time-consuming task has been made easier thanks to energy provider Flogas, who provide business gas prices. Read on for a summary of the strategy’s key points, and what they mean for UK homes and businesses.

 

What is the UK’s commitment to climate change?

To begin with, it’s vital to understand what made the Clean Growth Strategy a necessity.

 

In 2008, the UK introduced the Climate Change Act, and through this, became the first nation in the world to self-impose a legally binding carbon reduction target. The crux of it? To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels).

 

Is this target in our grasp?

BEIS published positive data in March 2017, revealing that the UK is on track to meet this target, with overall carbon emissions dropping by 42% since 1990. While this progress is encouraging, the government acknowledges that there is still plenty of work to be done – and that’s where proposals like the Clean Growth Strategy come in.

 

How can the Clean Growth Strategy help?

The Clean Growth Strategy aims to accelerate the pace of ‘clean growth’ in two ways: by increasing economic growth, and by decreasing emissions. With that in mind, the two guiding objectives underpinning the strategy are:

 

  • To meet our domestic commitments at the lowest possible net cost to UK taxpayers, consumers and businesses.
  • To maximise the social and economic benefits for the UK from this transition.

 

To turn this vision into a reality, the government has pledged to roll out lower-carbon processes, systems and technologies nationwide – doing so in the most cost-effective way possible for businesses and homes alike.

 

What are the key proposals in the Clean Growth Strategy?

There are six key areas that the strategy’s proposals focus on. Together, they are completely responsible for the UK’s carbon emissions:

 

  • Improving business and industry efficiency (25% of UK emissions).
  • Improving our homes (13% of UK emissions).
  • Accelerating the shift to low-carbon transport (24% of UK emissions).
  • Delivering clean, smart, flexible power (21% of UK emissions).
  • Enhancing the benefits and value of our natural resources (15% of UK emissions).
  • Leading the public sector (2% of UK emissions).

 

You can find the full list of 50 pledges in this executive summary.

 

What will this mean for homes and businesses?

 

Essentially, the government will encourage and support homes, businesses and industrial operations to minimise their carbon footprint in several ways. A major focus will be to reassess the fuels we use for tasks such as heating, cooking, and powering industrial and manufacturing processes – and embracing cleaner, greener alternatives.

 

This will help boost the uptake of renewable technologies (e.g. heat pumps, biomass boilers and solar panels) in the long term, and favour cleaner conventional fuels over more polluting ones. For example, for off-grid homes and businesses, the strategy sets out specific plans to phase out high-carbon forms of fossil fuels like oil. As the lowest-carbon conventional off-grid fuel, oil to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) conversions will play a key part in replacing oil in rural parts of the country.

 

Natural gas will remain a popular choice for properties that are connected to the mains network – not only because of its affordability and accessibility, but also because it’s the lowest-carbon fossil fuel that’s available. Flogas, which specialises in highly competitive commercial mains gas, expects to see this part of its business continue to go from strength to strength.

 

The company has been an expert in the energy sector for more than 30 years and predicts that the ‘green gas’ phenomenon (natural gas injected with a proportion of environmentally friendly biogas) will rise in popularity as the Clean Growth Strategy rolls out.

 

Reaction to the Clean Growth Strategy

Key industry figures have been vocal in their support since the unveiling of the Clean Growth Strategy.

 

Managing Director of Flogas, Lee Gannon, said: “Through the publication of its Clean Growth Strategy, the government has made clear its intention to reduce carbon emissions from off-grid UK homes and businesses. Natural gas is affordable, versatile, widely available and – most importantly – emits significantly less carbon than the likes of coal and oil. As such, it will continue to play a central role as the UK works towards cleaning up its energy landscape. We look forward to working alongside policymakers and wider industry stakeholders to make the Clean Growth Strategy the success that it deserves to be.”

 

Also supporting the strategy is Oil & Gas UK. Mike Tholen, its Upstream Policy Director, commented: “Oil & Gas UK welcomes the government’s commitment to technology in the strategy, especially with regards to carbon abatement measures such as carbon capture, usage and storage. Oil & Gas UK looks forward to working with the government to see how these technologies can further reduce emissions across the economy.”

 

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Scotland to require sprinklers in all new social housing

July 12th, 2018 Comments off

The Scottish Government has agreed to introduce legislation to make sprinkler systems compulsory in all new social housing of over 10 tenants.

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart confirmed that the Scottish Government will take forward David Stewart MSP’s proposal for a Members’ Bill to make it a legal requirement for all future new build social housing.

Currently all new high-rise domestic buildings, whether private or social, with a floor over ?18m must have automatic fire suppression systems fitted.

New legislation would extend this to all houses in multi-occupancy or more than 10 people, including care homes.

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I am very grateful to David Stewart for his work on bringing forward this important issue and gaining cross-party support for his proposal.

“I can confirm that the Scottish Government will implement the aim of Mr Stewart’s proposal and will bring forward legislation as soon as is practicable in this Parliamentary session.

“This is an opportunity to further improve standards in our social housing and this work will be taken forward alongside the recommendations of the two reviews of building standards and fire safety which we will consult on later this summer.”

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Architecture practice Maber has reorganised its top management to drive growth in London and the Midlands

July 9th, 2018 Comments off

Architecture practice Maber has reorganised its top management to drive growth in London and the Midlands.

Managing Director Mark Hobson becomes CEO and will focus on the practice’s growing London office and portfolio of projects in the capital.

Ian Harris, previously head of Maber’s Leicester office takes over as Managing Director with a brief to develop the practice’s Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Birmingham offices.

Tim Boxford, an Associate Director who has developed several high-profile projects in the East Midlands, has stepped up to lead the Leicester office. Catherine Lambert has been promoted to become an Associate.

Mark Hobson commented: “We are delighted to announce these developments in our management team that will position us for further growth. With some exciting projects coming forward in the capital, I am looking forward to focusing on growing our London office and client base.”

Through longstanding client relationships, Maber has generated a healthy crop of projects in London with a construction value around £400 million and including large scale mixed use developments, build to rent schemes, hotels and student accommodation as well as work in the education sector. 

www.maber.co.uk

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Gary Neville £200m Manchester tower gets the final nod

July 6th, 2018 Comments off

Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs’ £200m St Michael’s skyscraper scheme in Manchester has got the full green light.

The consortium of investors supporting the footballers-turned-developers has been told the scheme will not be called in by the Secretary of State upholding earlier city council full planning approval.

Jackson’s Row Developments is the client for the St Michael’s project to be built near the Grade I-listed Manchester Town Hall.

Located in Deansgate, the St Michael’s scheme will consist of a landmark tower and stepped extended podium building designed by architect Hodder and Partners.

This replaces architect Make’s previous twin tower plan, which was dropped in the face of complaints that it would destroy historic buildings at the site.

As a result the Sir Ralph Abercromby pub and the frontage of the Bootle Street Police Station will now be preserved within the scheme.

The top of the tower will house a single penthouse split over two levels with terrace at each end

Including a large podium building the tower will rise to 39 storeys and contain a five star, 200-bed hotel with nearly 190 luxury flats above.

Office building forms part of the podium for the main tower

There will also be 148,000 sq ft of offices in a 9-storey stepped building forming part of the podium to the east of the main tower. This will include rooftop bars with stunning outdoor rooftop terrace.

Chinese construction group BCEGI is an active equity and construction partner in St Michael’s, owning a 21% stake.

At present there is no time table for enabling works and construction, which will employ nearly 300 throughout the build.

Neville said:   “We are delighted that the Secretary of State has decided to not call in our revised plans for St Michael’s and that the vision for this landmark mixed-use scheme will be realised.

“It’s been more than a decade since the idea to regenerate a strategic city centre location was first considered – and our whole team is very pleased that we can focus on delivering this project for Manchester, bringing new high-quality development that will enhance the city’s position both nationally and internationally.”

Project Team

  • Project Manager: Zerum
  • Cost Consultant: Turner and Townsend
  • Architect: Hodder + Partners
  • Structural Engineer: WSP
  • MEP Engineer: Zerum
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Tradespeople shake off stereotypes by choosing work over World Cup

July 4th, 2018 Comments off

For years, tradespeople have been unfairly tarnished with the reputation for prioritising football over work. Many members of the public see them as being a bit too eager to down tools and head to the nearest big screen.

Nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to watch England in their first world cup match on Monday 18th June, however, it is the daytime games that will put loyalties to the test in a clash of the World Cup vs work.

However, recent research shows that 75% of tradespeople, including builders, carpenters and joiners, will always choose work over football if the two ever conflicted.  According to a poll of more than 1,000 IronmongeryDirect customers, the vast majority of tradespeople claimed they would never consider skipping work to watch their team or the World Cup. Many poll participants are planning when and where they will be watching their team – but outside of work.

If they were to ‘pull a sickie’ to watch their team play during the day, tradespeople offered some of the best excuses they would give, with the more elaborate ones including:

  • “I’ve been called up as a late replacement by Gareth Southgate”
  • “My boyfriend’s in labour.”
  • “I’ve got soap in my eyes and can’t find a towel.”
  • “I’ve been delayed at the airport on holiday…in Scarborough.”
  • “My Auntie’s Gerbil is about to give birth and I’m the nominated birthing partner.”

Some of the more convincing examples included:

  • “I have a dentist appointment.”
  • “The children are poorly.”
  • “I’ve got the flu.”

Employers are recognising that the World Cup is important to many of their staff. Many responded to the polls saying they would be more than happy to be flexible by offering them time off.

One respondent stated: “As the boss, I always give my team the time off. It also saves them giving me the daft excuses!”.

The research also revealed ongoing optimism among tradespeople, with more than half believing England will make it to the Quarter Finals. Also, half of those polled (49%) said they would give up alcohol for good to see England win the tournament.

The UK’s leading online trade supplier, IronmongeryDirect, ran a series of polls to find out more about tradespeople’s attitude to work during the World Cup in June.

Andy Wood, football enthusiast and Marketing Director of IronmongeryDirect, said: “The World Cup is an exciting time for many of us – tradespeople are no exception. We wanted to find out how our customers were preparing for the year’s biggest sporting event. The research was carried out in the name of fun, but it was great to see results challenging the outdated stereotype of contractors and other trades professionals neglecting their jobs for football! Tradespeople in Britain work hard, and we hope they enjoy watching World Cup 2018.”

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Applications open for energy balancing workshop

July 2nd, 2018 Comments off

Students and building design enthusiasts are being offered the chance to learn the basics of one of the world’s most successful environmentally-friendly building solutions.

The Green.Building.Solutions. Summer School, Passivhaus Austria and the Passive House Institute of Innsbruck are hosting a DesignPH Workshop in the stunning city of Vienna to share understanding of the energy balancing and planning tool for efficient buildings and refurbishment.

The workshop takes place at the TU Wien from 13 to 14 August and will cover topics such as: energy balancing, shading factors, ventilation and cooling strategies, as well as hot water supply and heating.

Suitable for students, graduates and professionals, the two-day workshop will be held in English and participants will receive a free demonstration version of the software.

Naomi Morishita, Green.Building.Solutions Programme Manager, said: “We’re really pleased to be hosting this workshop for the second year running.

“Over the two days the learners will develop new skills to enable them to use the PHPP software.”

The cost of the course is €600 for professionals and €330 for students – registration closes on 31 July, to apply email office@passivhaus-austria.org.

The workshop will follow on from the Green.Building.Solutions. course, which brings together the latest thinking in sustainable design and engineering. It is taking place in 2018 from 21 July to 12 August.

The OeAD-Housing Office offers all workshop attendees a room reservation extension in the Passive House dormitory for an additional three days affording them a week’s accommodation to casually explore Vienna and beyond.

Registration for Green.Building.Solutions is open until 30 June – for more information visit http://summer-university.net/study-abroad/green-building-solutions-vienna/

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