In today’s news, we will look into the Housebuilders in the UK who have expressed concern that new regulations and levies will drive up costs by £4.5 billion. The four female employees at Hinkley Point C address the challenges of working in an industry that is dominated by men and the women who work at Hinkley Point defy common assumptions about their roles. A building contractor received a fine for creating an unsafe fire hazard at a construction site in Essex. The proposed addition of a modern glass section to a Georgian building that is designated as Grade II has raised some eyebrows.
UK housebuilders say new restrictions and levies will cost £4.5bn
Original Source: UK housebuilders warn new rules and taxes will add £4.5bn to costs
Industry group: Cut affordable housing payments to mitigate higher costs.
UK housing developers claim “additional taxes, levies, rules, and policies” will increase prices and hinder building, affecting affordable housing in poor places hardest.
The Home Builders Federation highlighted 12 changes to taxes and regulations in the three years from April, which it says will add £4.5bn to developer costs each year, or more than £20,000 per new home.
The HBF’s major expenditure is the 2025 Future Homes Standard. According to the HBF, this might cost £1.9bn a year for low-carbon heating and energy-efficient new dwellings.
The industry organisation warned that developers face additional costs of more than £5,000 per home to meet higher energy efficiency standards adopted this year, plus a recently introduced tax to rebuild potentially flammable cladding after the Grenfell disaster.
Environmental restrictions to safeguard biodiversity and prevent development-caused pollution have added costs.
The HBF supports all the measures “in concept” but says too little has been done to determine “the repercussions that could be felt, either for the pace and volume of housing supply or for the continuous investment in public infrastructure and affordable housing.”
The costs of meeting laws are similar across the country, according to the HBF. Developers may try to offset these by paying less for land or decreasing their contributions to affordable housing and infrastructure, which are negotiated with local authorities.
Because of regional disparities in land values, Northern England and the Midlands could be severely affected.
As the UK property market cracks, a dozen taxes and regulations are brought in.
The government’s Help to Buy subsidy scheme and planning system improvements have enhanced annual housing delivery over the previous decade.
Help to Buy is winding down and developers are slowing building in reaction to rising interest rates, costs, and mortgage rates, which are projected to send the housing market into a depression.
Investors expect slower development and more expenses, therefore UK housebuilder shares have halved this year.
Slowdown could increase the UK’s housing crunch.
Annual building peaked in 2019-20 with 219,120 homes finished, but dipped last year and presumably will again. 300,000 additional dwellings a year are needed to remedy the deficit.
According to data source Glenigan, the number of residential building projects starting on site declined by a third in the preceding three months.
Glenigan claimed “high materials and energy costs, economic and political turmoil, and escalating building rules” would suppress the market for the foreseeable future.
Hinkley’s women defy preconceptions
Original Source: Hinkley Point’s female workers smash stereotypes
Hinkley Point C’s four female employees discuss working in a male-dominated business.
The Somerset location employs steel fixer Stacey Sowden, reactor operator trainee Janaan Hussain, HR apprentice Courtney Cook, and field engineer Bogdana Stîng.
2026 is when the nuclear power plant will start producing electricity.
13% of construction employees are women, according to ONS.
Ms Sowden is “the sole woman in her squad.”
The former player joined the site as an apprentice two years ago and now moves big steel bars to assemble the reactors’ frames.
Most of her work was on Nuclear Island 1, one of two 32-metre reinforced concrete shells that would house a nuclear reactor.
The finished structures will survive tsunamis, earthquakes, and even an aeroplane.
She told BBC’s We Are England she was happy to help build it.
“(When) I look back on it as a fully working power plant and drive past it on the main road or the motorway, I will always feel a sense of pride and achievement,” she said.
She disputed the idea that “construction sites are unclean and men wolf-whistle as you walk by”
This doesn’t mean banter is gone, she said; coworkers are still jovial.
In 2017, the Nuclear Skills Strategy Group found that 28% of the civil nuclear industry and 15% of engineering roles were women.
Ms Hussain is one of 10 trainee reactor operators from 400 candidates.
Once qualified, she’ll oversee and regulate the reactor, a technically complex task with great responsibility.
She credits her success to school, especially being encouraged to choose STEM topics.
A chance meeting with an astrophysicist on vacation inspired her to seek a career in the subject.
A male-dominated world
“No women study STEM,” she remarked.
As a woman of colour, it might feel like a male-dominated world.
In her first nuclear position, she was one of three women in a 200-person workforce.
She thinks 40% of women are attainable at Hinkley Point C.
She remarked, “People are surprised by what I do.”
“Sometimes I don’t fit the nuclear operator/engineer profile.”
The facility operates 24 hours a day, therefore Ms Stîng spends the night monitoring the day’s work.
“It’s vital that the surveillance team gets our part properly because we’re the last signature,” she said. “After we sign, the contractor may move on.”
So our role is crucial.
She added construction was “higher than typical because it’s nuclear and highly risky.”
Ms. Cook is an HR trainee for a bus business that transports thousands of workers to and from the 250-foot-long site.
Her job is to keep bus drivers happy and safe on-site.
She claimed her “vital role” means she’s “dealing with them and understanding all these things myself.”
Ms. Cook wants to be an HR manager or director in the future.
Essex builder fined for fire risk
A Brentwood, Essex, building contractor was fined £600,000 for failing to manage fire risk.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) examined S&S Quality Building Contractors Limited in January 2018 after reports that people were sleeping on a building site in Brentwood, Essex.
The investigation found that the site was badly supervised and the work was being done unsafely, which might have caused a fire and endangered workers and the public visiting show flats after hours.
Multiple construction sites presented fire risks.
The HSE intervened with the building contractor after identifying fire hazards at multiple sites over several years.
S&S Quality Building Contractors Limited of Hawthorn Business Park, Granville Road, London, pled guilty to Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 breach on 25 October 2022. The fine was £600,000 and fees were £36,894.
S&S Quality Building Contractors’ director was fined and given 100 hours of community service.
Shlomo Pines, of St. Johns Road, Golders Green, London, routinely visited the Regent House site but failed to apply HSE interventions.
Mr. Pines pleaded guilty to violating Section 37 of the 1974 Health and Safety Act. He got 100 hours of unpaid work and a £4,200 fine.
S&S Quality Building Contractors Limited violated fire safety procedures on a construction site managed by a director who intentionally ignored the risks despite proof he understood how to make things safe. His workers ignored hazards as a result.
Follow the guidance, receive professional assistance, and accept responsibility as the law requires, or someone could get hurt, which thankfully didn’t happen.
Worcester listed building threatened by modern extension
Original Source: Concern that ‘modern’ extension will ruin Worcester listed building
Modern glass expansion planned for a grade-II listed Georgian structure has prompted concerns.
Thorneloe House in Worcester would get a glass and metal addition.
The application aims to develop four 2-bedroom dwellings behind the grade II-listed structure.
Objectors believe the idea would “ruin” the listed building.
Paul Collins, the council’s conservation officer, said the modern’ glass expansion won’t harm the listed property.
During plan consultation, he indicated the proposal would cause “less than substantial harm” to the heritage item and have a neutral to slightly positive impact on the conservation area.
In the 200 years they’ve stood, every planner, conservation officer, and architect has worked to conserve the facades.
“The buildings have all been developed throughout the years, but all development has been restricted to the back to preserve the façade.
“Adding a massive modern, glass, metal, and slate structure over such a facade is not complementary to this or the neighbouring buildings and affects the appearance of the old structures in this prominent location of the city.
No Georgian building in the area has a similar addition, so adding one would set a bad precedent.
Amy Evans of Brewery Walk asked, “Is this a listed building?” How can this building be allowed on an old property near Worcester?
“Damage to the Georgian facade!”
Worcester City Council’s website has more details. Consultation expires on November 11 for application 22/00886/FUL.
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we discussed today affordable housing in low-income areas is negatively impacted by the Home Builders Federation’s proposed tax and regulatory measures, which will increase developer costs by £4.5bn a year, or more than £20,000 per new home. At Hinkley Point C, four women address challenges in working in a man dominated world work industry, one of them is Ms Sowden a steel fixer and called as “the sole woman in her squad.” A building contractor from Brentwood, Essex, was fined £600,000 for improperly handling fire safety. Concerns have been raised about the proposed addition of a modern glass addition to a Georgian building that is designated as Grade II. An expansion made of glass and metal is planned for the Worcester mansion Thorneloe House, but opponents say it will destroy the historic integrity of the site.