In today’s news, we will look into the opening of the new school facility that has been delayed due to “supply chain concerns,” according to the council. Meanwhile, encouragement is given to construction enterprises to make a head start on MMC’s fire safety improvements. Also, in the course of this year, the Plymouth City Council announced that the well-known theatre would be renovated in order to “bring the buzz back” to the city centre. On top of that, insulating homes would assist in lowering monthly energy expenditures, according to ministers in the UK.
Council says “supply chain issues” delayed school building opening
Welshpool’s Welsh-medium primary school’s new facility won’t open until summer.
Powys Council wanted to open Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng this year.
However, supply chain concerns delayed the project.
The 150-student Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng will have early years and community amenities.
The council says it is preserving the original Ysgol Maesydre and adding great amenities.
The Grade II listed structure will be renovated for early years and community amenities, and a new expansion will include a school hall and classrooms. UK’s first Passivhaus hybrid building.
Last November, construction began.
After conversations with Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng senior leaders, students and staff will move into the new building after Easter.
Councillor Pete Roberts, Cabinet Member for a Learning Powys, said: “We’re naturally sad that the construction of Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng’s new school has been delayed due to supply chain concerns, which are beyond the council’s control.
However, this has required a couple more months of construction.
“Once the building has been built and turned over to the council there will be a transitional period to ensure that school personnel are familiar with their new school and have the necessary time to prepare it for their learners ready for the school’s opening day.”
Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng Headteacher Angharad Davies said: “As a school, we are putting our students and staff first and chose to delay our transfer into the new building somewhat to ensure a smooth transition. We will move into our new building after Easter.
Our new school facility is exciting, but it doesn’t guarantee a good education. People make great education. Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng has shown this since 2017.
“Welsh-medium education in Welshpool is thriving and the new building will enable us to build on our great education.”
Construction firms were advised to anticipate MMC fire safety improvements
Original Source: Construction companies urged to get ahead of MMC fire safety reforms
A building safety expert says construction companies in England and Wales that use “best in class” testing and certification can stay ahead of fire safety improvements that may follow the industry’s migration to modern methods of construction (MMC).
Katherine Metcalfe of Pinsent Masons said designers and contractors may expect new construction product rules to impact MMC next year, where there is a greater emphasis on adopting materials with comprehensive testing and certification. She stated the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may revise fire safety technical norms and requirements in the building regulations due to new construction methods.
The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) published a position paper on MMC calling for the government to strengthen product testing requirements under the existing building safety regime and implement secondary legislation to reflect MMC’s specificities. Metcalfe commented on this.
“We are concerned that MMC buildings are being designed, approved and built under a regulatory regime that has been defined and accepted by the government as ‘not fit for purpose’ even for traditional construction techniques,” the NFCC said. While regulatory reforms are underway, further measures are needed to prevent the construction of potentially dangerous MMC structures.
In May, the Building Safety Act mandated the repair of existing building faults and imposed stricter building safety standards for new construction.
The new regime imposes new duties on designers and contractors, requires a “golden thread” information to be compiled to demonstrate building safety considerations, will eventually require developments to pass through three regulatory “gateways” at the planning, construction, and occupancy stages, and establishes a new regime for “higher risk” buildings – the
While testing and certification processes are not exclusive to MMC and apply equally to both classic and modern methods, many modern methods of construction lack historical data and a considerable body of knowledge on performance.
The main issue is the lack of historical data and information about MMC, which affects fire safety in relation to fire and rescue services (FRS) and occupant and firefighter safety as well as insurable hazards during construction and after completion. MMC performance data is also lacking in insurance. The lack of understanding regarding high-rise buildings and category one volumetric or cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminate timber (glulam) is particularly concerning.
Metcalfe said: “The new building safety regime for higher risk buildings emphasises understanding the design strategy to address fire and structural safety and the construction goods employed within the building. The Office for Product Safety & Standards will monitor new construction product rules launched next year under the Building Safety Act 2022.
Duty holders must show HSE that MMC are safe before construction and occupation to get gateway clearance. “Design and construction professionals need to prepare ahead to ensure they have adequate test evidence and certification for the building goods utilised, combined with rigorous documentation of competent offsite construction and installation on site,” she said.
Metcalfe says designers and contractors who get testing and certification right will have an insurable building that keeps its worth and has the correct golden thread of information to support the occupation phase. She stated mistakes will have serious consequences.
Metcalfe said the repercussions might include defects claims with longer limitation periods, the requirement for inquiry and retroactive testing, additional mitigating measures, property value effect, and HSE enforcement action in the most extreme cases.
Pinsent Masons infrastructure and construction specialist Graham Robinson said: “The usage of MMC and more advanced industrialised approaches to building is developing rapidly and is predicted to rise at over twice the rate of traditional ways of construction. FRS, insurers, and project financiers need a body of knowledge and test data.
Plymouth planning incorporates Guildhall’s live music venue plans
Plymouth City Council declared this year that the renowned theatre would be upgraded to “bring the buzz back” to the city centre.
Plymouth’s Guildhall’s great gigs comeback plans have been revealed. Plymouth City Council declared this year that the renowned theatre would be upgraded to “bring the buzz back” to the city centre.
The intriguing plans would attract artists, musicians, and event organisers to the amazing location. The ancient site’s changes, which require planning or listed building consent, might improve lighting and the main hall’s acoustics with unique sound-deadening equipment and increase the first floor bar.
Plymouth City Council initially stated that the improvement would also allow for additional entertainment events, conferences, training, weddings, and hot-desking. The project team was working with event organisers, a design team, and a listed building specialist to create a package of improvements that would make the facility more appealing to promoters and event goers while retaining its character.
Pre-application planning has been filed. The project seeks to embrace the improvement ideas and work with the Council to meet the City’s needs while preserving its relevance.
According to the application, the ideas aim to maintain the structure and interior, restoring and renovating where necessary, while improving flow (especially fire access and egress), acoustics, facilities, and energy efficiency. It adds that the proposed demolition sites are often less significant.
The Guildhall will be renovated into a financially viable multi-purpose events space with increased thermal efficiency and energy performance. The results would be to boost venue use, encourage other uses, increase revenue, reduce maintenance, operation, and resource costs, reduce carbon emissions, improve the Guildhall’s image as a venue for Plymouth residents and tourists, and offer a structurally sound building.
The Blitz destroyed the 1870s Guildhall, Great Hall, Assize Courts, and the City Treasury. They survived demolition by one council vote in 1951 and became a highlight of Plymouth’s restoration and the most prominent survivor from the devastated city centre. One of the few damaged buildings rehabilitated rather than rebuilt, it was renovated throughout most of the 1950s. It entailed stabilising the remaining building and installing new roofs, entrances, and interiors.
Historic England calls it a “unique and unusually rich example” of an untouched “Festival of Britain” interior with a stunning black-and-white marble staircase in the centre. Plymouth’s maritime history and renowned sons are depicted in a mural and three spectacular 1950s chandeliers.
Plymouth City Council planners require a thorough application. The applications will be decided later. The latest planning applications are below.
Ministers said insulation would decrease UK energy expenses
Original Source: Insulating homes would help lower UK energy bills, ministers told
The UK Green Building Council proposed a three-point proposal for the government.
Green construction specialists will tell ministers that insulating Britain’s draughty houses, revamping the planning system, and preventing housebuilders from selling substandard homes will slash energy bills and help the UK reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The UK Green Building Council (UKGCB) will present a three-point strategy to the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy on Tuesday to decrease energy waste and carbon dioxide. The nonprofit graded most building policies “red,” meaning they lack specific policy frameworks or don’t get the UK to net zero.
Building specialists worry that few policies encourage owner-occupiers to decarbonize their homes. Some low-income plans are poorly supported and won’t reach many individuals.
In their policy review, the UKGBC determined that the government’s fuel poverty programs and initiatives only reach a limited percentage of houses.
Insulation saves homeowners roughly £700 a year on bills but costs £1,000 to £8,000 and causes considerable inconvenience.
In the past decade, government aid has been reduced, and the construction industry has been inhibited from investing in the skills needed to equip a big workforce of installers.
Retrofitting homes may create half a million new skilled jobs over the next decade and save the NHS £1.4bn a year since so many people are falling ill with ailments related to their cold homes, which UKGBC estimates kill 10,000 people a year.
“There are still big gaps in policy, and we need more ambition,” said UKGBC policy head Louise Hutchins. The government lacks leadership. Insulation improves health, fuel poverty, and jobs. It checks several boxes.”
Planning reforms that encourage the reuse and renovation of existing buildings instead of knocking them down and rebuilding them would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment. Hutchins said any net zero CO2 strategy must address buildings, the UK’s second greatest source of emissions after surface transport.
Another major issue is that new homes are still being built with gas boilers instead of heat pumps, without solar panels or electric vehicle charging stations, and without high energy efficiency standards.
This failure will cost homeowners to modify even recently built homes.
The UKGBC claims the government’s 2025 measures won’t fix this.
UKGBC CEO Julie Hirigoyen said: “Bold ambitious government strategy to decarbonise the built environment is a significant potential for the economy and for green firms, yet our study indicates it is mainly missing within the present government agenda. Last year, we saw small steps when we needed tremendous leaps.”
Summary of today’s construction news
Overall, we discussed the new site for the Welsh-medium primary school in Welshpool will not open until the summer. Powys Council wants to open Ysgol Gymraeg Y Trallwng this year. However, issues with the supply chain slowed down the process.
On the other hand, an authority on building safety has stated that construction firms in England and Wales that employ “best in class” testing and certification may anticipate and implement any future fire safety enhancements that may accompany the industry’s shift toward cutting-edge building practices (MMC).
Meanwhile, it has been disclosed that the Plymouth Guildhall intends to resume hosting excellent performances. In the course of this year, the Plymouth City Council announced that the well-known theatre would be renovated in order to “bring the buzz back” to the city centre.
Also, ministers will hear from green construction experts that lowering energy bills and getting the UK closer to net zero greenhouse gas emissions can be accomplished by insulating Britain’s draughty houses, reforming the planning system, and prohibiting housebuilders from selling inferior homes.