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BREEAM’S SUCCESS FOUNDED ON COMMITMENT TO RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

May 25th, 2017 Comments off

The importance and usefulness of evidence cannot be underestimated. Without it, we can have no confidence in the effectiveness of our past activities or future strategies. Used correctly, however, evidence can be used as a solid bedrock on which to build all our plans upon.

As a product of the BRE, it comes as no surprise that independent research and sound scientific evidence are fundamental ingredients of the BREEAM Standard. What’s possibly less commonly recognised is the ongoing role cutting-edge research plays in the continual development of BREEAM, keeping the Standard at the very forefront of the latest green building thinking and helping to drive excellence in sustainability across the globe.

Since its launch in 1990, BREEAM has expanded its reach to 78 countries with 2,626,873 registered buildings and 561,191 certificates issued worldwide to date. With an 80% market share, BREEAM dominates the European green building market. And with the recent launch of BREEAM USA, we’re hoping to replicate this success in North America.

We believe one of the main keys to the growth of BREEAM is in its flexibility and ongoing development. BREEAM has been adapted for individual markets across the globe to enable the assessment and certification of various built environment projects, including new builds, refurbishments, wider masterplanning projects, infrastructure and even the current operational sustainability of a functional building.

The methodology is constantly adapted to stay ahead of best practice within the industry, meaning those undertaking the Standard can always be sure their asset is certified against the most rigorous sustainability criteria. In-depth research – freely available through our website – is central to this endeavour.

The second factor driving BREEAM’s uptake both in the UK and overseas is the ever-deeper understanding of the business case for green buildings.

Earlier this month, in a report by edie.net, the Chief Executive of the US Green Building Council Mahesh Ramanujam urged European businesses to invest in certifications such as BREEAM stating “there is value in certification and it is important to pursue to generate validation from the external markets”.

A recent study found the global market will respond accordingly. The World Green Building Trends predicts a near 100% rise in the number of green buildings by 2018 – at which time it estimates that 37% of companies will have the majority of their estate certified sustainable, up from 18% when the report was published last year.

By generating the latest, leading thinking on all aspects of sustainable development and incorporating it into the Standard, BRE is focused on ensuring BREEAM is able to meet this demand. Using the latest research to continuously amend and adapt the BREEAM criteria, companies and communities utilising the Standard worldwide will be able achieve the very best green results possible.

We understand the importance of evidence and the effect it can have on a person or organisation’s thinking and the strategies they put in place. This is why we take such care with the evidence we publish in our research, such as included in our recent Value of BREEAM to Retail in the UK report.

Through the publication of such research, we hope to give companies across the globe the confidence to invest further in sustainable development and assurance that BREEAM can help them on their journey to a greener way of working.

For more information on BREEAM visit: www.breeam.com

 

By Kerri-Emma Dobson, BREEAM Technical Consultant at BRE
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The Future Of London’s Skyline

May 23rd, 2017 Comments off

Over the next few years, London’s skyline will change dramatically, so we thought we’d take a look at some of the new buildings that are about to pop up in the nation’s capital as well as showing you where exactly they’ll be developed and outline some of the concerns made by locals who are keen to keep the skyline as it is.

”The

The Future Of London’s Skyline by Rubber Bond.
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The Survey Association Bursary builds bright future for Geomatics students

May 22nd, 2017 Comments off

The Survey Association’s £2000 bursary award is set to boost the career prospects of two exceptional Geomatics students at Newcastle University.

The winners, Connor Foxall and Oliver Smith, received their cash prize at a TSA conference where they also had the opportunity to network with industry professionals and guest speakers.

These included Matt Shaw of ScanLAB Projects Ltd., whose laser scanning expertise was recently featured in the BBC series, Italy’s Invisible Cities.

Following the conference, Connor was offered a week-long work placement at ScanLAB’s London office and used some of the bursary money to fund his travel and accommodation costs.

Connor commented on his time at ScanLAB. ‘’Talking to the different members of the team, exploring new software and equipment and practising the industrial processes needed to produce a deliverable was invaluable experience.’’

‘’I intend to use most of the remaining money to fund a second work placement during the summer,’’ he added.

TSA has awarded a bursary to second year students at Newcastle since 2011. This year, applicants were invited to submit a paper on ‘Building for the Future,’ focussing on ideas of their choice, such as BIM, Smart Cities, and advances in mapping and measurement technology.

TSA President, Adam Bradley, said, ‘’The judging panel comprises three TSA Council members, the Secretary General and myself and we were all impressed by the quality of this year’s winning entries, the interpretation of the Building for the Future brief, and the relevance of the submissions to the geospatial context.’’

‘It is very encouraging to hear how the TSA Bursary helps graduate entrants to the profession access the right contacts and opportunities to help them develop and progress their careers.’’

A proportion of Oliver Smith’s award will be used to fund research tools needed to create new analytical techniques for his dissertation project.

Oliver Smith explains, ‘’My project uses telecom network data to map and analyse the influences on pedestrian movements in city centres. The TSA Bursary will be used to purchase data and subscribe to online software used to visualise the flows over time.’’

‘’I’m aiming to produce innovative research that will interest telecom providers, showing them how the analysis of big data can lead to profitable opportunities,’’ he added.

The TSA Bursary will also support Oliver’s attendance at the International Geodetic Student Meeting (IGSM), a major event offering networking and learning opportunities in geodesy, cartography, photogrammetry and GIS to students from 34 different countries.

For further information on The Survey Association visit

http://www.tsa-uk.org.uk/    Tel: 01636 642840 Email: office@tsa-uk.org.uk  

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UK Construction Week General Election Survey

May 19th, 2017 Comments off

 

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A CALL FOR QUALITY TO BE INCLUDED IN MANIFESTO PLEDGES

May 11th, 2017 Comments off

A CALL FOR QUALITY TO BE INCLUDED

IN MANIFESTO PLEDGES

By Martin Townsend, Director of Sustainability at BRE Global

When Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap General Election last month she made it clear that Brexit – and in particular her attempt to strengthen her hand ahead of potentially UK prosperity-defining trade negotiations with the European Union – was central to her decision. Brexit has dominated the early pre-election political exchanges and with less than five weeks to go until the electorate heads to the polls, we expect the issue to remain at the very top of the agenda for all the main parties. As such, we feel that housing and construction, as high-value commodities and significant contributors to UK export figures, should be given due consideration by all the main parties in their election manifestos. Furthermore, the debate should be extended beyond mere number-based targets to factor in wider issues such as quality and the sector’s post-Brexit significance.

The UK construction industry is currently seen as being at the leading edge of sustainable design and construction, as exemplified by the major roles played by UK companies in the success of a broad range of high-performance projects in both the UK and abroad.

As a result, the UK’s sustainable design and construction capabilities – including its knowledge and expertise as well as its focus on innovation, driven by standards such as BREEAM – have become significant contributors to UK exports.

Given that the campaign manifestos currently being finalised will span a period when UK prosperity will be heavily dependent on our position to negotiate favourable trade deals with Europe, ensuring we protect and nurture these assets is essential.

This requires active debate and investment on a level much deeper than just numbers – both in terms of targets and budgets.

By way of example, the Labour Party has recently pledged to build one million new homes during the next five years. All well and good, but there has been no commitment given to the quality of these homes and the viability of delivering quality homes and communities.

If we are not to create any “dead weight” (cost) to the treasury for UK PLC, one area that the political parties could give some thought to is evolving existing mechanisms to be more effective to new challenges. With increasing demands placed on Planning Authorities, and reduced funding to be as much of a mantra post-election as it is pre-election, it is essential that the parties give local authorities space and capacity to look at development and the wider context of what we need to achieve at a neighbourhood/community scale.

This should be focused on seeking positive improvements in the quality of the built, natural and historic environment, as well as in people’s quality of life:

  • Making it easier for jobs to be created in cities, towns and villages;
  • Moving from a net loss of bio-diversity to achieving net gains for nature;
  • Replacing poor design with better design;
  • Improving the conditions in which people live, work, travel and take leisure; and
  • Widening the choice of high quality homes;

I therefore hope that the parties, as they look to an agenda of growth, ensure this wider perspective is taken. We have already heard much talk about the police and the NHS, but to ensure that we don’t put the pressure on these important services in time of crisis, we need to build better communities to reduce crime and promote healthier living.

With all the necessary elements already in place, there is just the need to take the long-term view on the viability of development – the avowed purpose of the planning system but sometimes only looked at as the viability of the individual site and not the wider community. I would therefore hope that the parties look to recast how we consider development.

A number of keen eyed readers will perhaps already noticed increased amount of column inches given to land value capture as a concept. But one thing is for sure we need to:

  • Take a long-term view, to ensure that issues such as inter-generational equity or climate change mitigation and adaptation are taken adequately into account
  • Address the social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainable development “jointly and simultaneously”
  • Consider the likely success of any proposal in achieving positive improvements in the quality of the built, natural and historic environment, as well as in people’s quality of life

I hope the debate on quality as a base to demonstrate what the UK can achieve and to drive the quality of our buildings and communities is one that will not get passed by in the various manifestos that will land on our desk in the coming days.

To make BREXIT work, we need to show what we can achieve and make the UK a success. Quality is a key to much that we need to achieve to drive this success.

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London Mayor pulls plug on Garden Bridge

May 2nd, 2017 Comments off

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has written to supporters of the £200m Garden Bridge project confirming he will not provide the financial guarantees needed for construction to start

Khan said that “the continuation of the project will expose the London taxpayer to additional financial risk, both with regard to the bridge’s construction and its operation and maintenance.”

The scheme has been on life-support for some time and the latest move looks to kill-off any chances of it being built.

Khan said: “Under the previous Mayor, a considerable amount of London taxpayers’ money has already been spent on the Garden Bridge.

“I have always been clear that not a penny more of taxpayers’ money should be allocated to the project.”Having assessed all the information available to me including the findings of Dame Margaret Hodge’s independent review, my view is that providing Mayoral guarantees will expose the London taxpayer to too much additional financial risk.

“With planning permission due to expire this year, many outstanding issues remain, including spiralling construction costs and doubts around funding the maintenance of the bridge.

“The funding gap is now at over £70m and it appears unlikely that the Trust will succeed in raising the private funds required for the project.

“I am simply not prepared to risk a situation where the taxpayer has to step in and contribute significant additional amounts to ensure the project is completed.”

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BAM fined £260,000 after worker hits power line

April 20th, 2017 Comments off

BAM Construction Limited and its groundworks subcontractors have been fined after a man suffered multiple life changing injuries including severe burns to his neck.

Winchester Crown Court heard how BAM had been appointed by Network Rail to construct a new railway operating centre in Basingstoke.

BAM later appointed Shoreland Projects Ltd as the groundworks contractor for the project.

On 26 January 2015, when work began to install lampposts on the site entrance road, the fifth lamp post touched the 11kV overhead power lines when it was being lifted into position by an excavator, causing Mark Bradley to suffer his injuries.

A colleague rushed to Bradley’s aid, using a piece of timber to push him away from the lamp column.

An HSE investigation found a failure to properly identify the presence of the overhead power lines and appropriately plan this work activity.

No suitable control measures were in place to prevent contact with the overhead power lines putting a number of workers at risk.

BAM Construction Limited, of Hemel Hempstead, pleaded guilty to breaching Electricity at Work Regulations and was fined £260,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9415.13.

Shoreland Projects Limited of Botley also pleaded guilty to and was fined £22,000 and ordered to pay costs of £8442.53.

Speaking after the case HSE inspector William Christie said: “While this entirely preventable incident has had a permanent and very substantial effect on Mark’s life, his very serious injuries could have been even worse had it not been for the quick thinking of his colleague.

“This case highlights the importance for all work to be planned properly by all duty holders. Overhead power lines pose a significant threat to the safety of workers.

“Construction work in the vicinity of live conductors must be properly planned, managed and monitored to ensure the risks are controlled.”

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Hinkley workers get £50m ‘hotel style’ site accommodation

April 18th, 2017 Comments off

Hinkley workers get £50m ‘hotel style’ site accommodation

Offsite accommodation specialist Caledonian Modular has checked-in with the £50m contract to design and build campus living accommodation for Hinkley Point C .

hinkley-Caledonian Modular
Workers facilities include nearly 1,500 en-suite bedrooms across 44 individual buildings

The vast workers’ village will set new standards in site facilities and is considered to be the largest hotel-style development in Europe for 25 years, equivalent to a 3-star hotel.

When completed in 2017/18, it will provide 1,496 en-suite bedrooms across 44 buildings at two key locations.

The Bridgwater Campus is the larger of the two developments, with Caledonian providing twenty-nine accommodation blocks, each offering en-suite rooms for 34 workers.

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 12.38.02

Hinkley Point C on-site accommodation campus

A further 15 buildings will be located at the Hinkley site providing direct access to the construction zone.

The three-storey buildings will complement the surroundings, with natural timber and stone-effect cement cladding on exterior facades.

Caledonian is manufacturing the 1,496 volumetric modules at its facility in Newark, Nottinghamshire, over a 51-week period.

The firm competed with an international supply chain to win the contract with Laing O’Rourke and has doubled its workforce and re-launched its apprenticeship scheme to complete the order.

Campus accommodation will be delivered to site 96% complete, with all en-suite rooms fully fitted-out.

All external cladding will be applied during the manufacturing process, which will enable each 34-bedroom block to be completed in six weeks once delivered to site.

Caledonian chief Paul Lang, who has been closely involved in the process, said: “This is a hugely significant project for Caledonian and the wider offsite industry.

“This contract award is testament to the commitment of the project team and we are delighted to be working on one of the most important construction projects in Europe.”

Laing O’Rourke Project Leader, Scott Palmer said: “We look forward to working with Caledonian across the two Somerset campus site locations, to deliver high quality accommodation to the Hinkley Point C workforce.”

Caledonian

Caledonian Modular chief Paul Lang (centre) shows Hinkley Point C commercial team the quality benefits of offsite construction

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New homes can now be built in just five days

April 13th, 2017 Comments off

Construction giants H+H UK Ltd and SIG Offsite have launched a new house building system which sees homes built in just five days.

The SIG I-House combines all the speed of offsite construction with the familiarity of a traditional build – from foundations to roof in just five days.

The system can encompass the inner leaves of external cavity walls, floors, lintel, cavity closers, insulation and roof trusses.

With the inclusion of soffit and fascia, the system delivers the internal skin of a property, fully wrapped and ready for follow-on trades.

The system is a one stop shop for clients – with a single contractor required to deliver the whole house shell.

It is intended for the construction of domestic houses of up to two storey height, replacing the structure of the inner leaf of external cavity walls, separating walls and internal partitions with storey height Celcon Elements.

Installed by the SIG Offsite team, Celcon Elements are craned into place and fixed using H+H element mortar.

Timber I-Joist cassette floors are used in conjunction with the system to maintain the speed of build and roofs are either standard truss construction or the ‘Roofspace I-Roof’ – panelised roof system.

All components are raised into position by crane.

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Costain wins contract for A40 Westway revamp work

April 11th, 2017 Comments off

Costain has been selected by Transport for London to work on a revamp of the A40 Westway dual carriageway and the Marylebone flyover.

westway

The route is used by more than 96,000 vehicles entering and exiting the capital each day.

Costain has secured a £6m contract for a feasibility study and concept design on planned upgrade work.

It will undertake a number of investigations of the 21 structures along the 4.6km of the route that runs through Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and the City of Westminster.

Costain will assess the condition of key parts of the existing structures and identify the potential scope for future refurbishment work.

The investigation works will take place in the summer.

The feasibility study will take around 10 months to complete after which Costain will develop a concept design and model how best to deliver the refurbishment works.

Marcus Hollan, Project Manager at Costain, said: “The A40 Westway is a vital transport link for Londoners. Tens of thousands of people use it every day to get to work, take their children to school or make deliveries.

“We are looking forward to working with TfL to help them improve the journey for people travelling in and out of London.

“This refurbishment will ensure that the Westway continues to keep Londoners moving in the decades to come.

“We will bring our strong technical knowledge and experience of the project so far to bear in assessing the feasibility of this refurbishment and planning out exactly how best to achieve it.”

Dana Skelley, TfL’s Director of Asset Management, said: “We are pleased to be working with Costain on this important and complex civil engineering project. It is a key part of the Westway’s ongoing maintenance.”

Costain was awarded a place earlier this year on Tfl’s £500m large -scale civil engineering framework.

The other firms on the framework are Morgan Sindall and Skanska.

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