Find Out the Latest News on Upgrading UK Properties Can Bring in £35bn, Timber Constructions Rise, Wolverhampton is One of England’s Top 10 Places, and the £27 Million New-Bridge Integrated College

In today’s news, we will look into how the refurbishment of older buildings in the UK can bring in an additional £35 billion in fresh funding. Meanwhile, David Hopkins is perplexed as to why the United Kingdom is not following the global trend towards the construction of high-rise buildings out of timber. Is it possible to reach new heights with buildings made of timber? Furthermore, work has begun on the New-Bridge Integrated College, which will cost 27 million pounds. Moreover, in a list of the top ten “greatest places in England to build your own home,” Wolverhampton made the cut.

How upgrading UK properties can bring in £35bn

Original Source: How retrofitting the UK’s old buildings can generate an extra £35bn in new money

Heritage and property groups propose energy efficiency improvements at historical sites to create jobs, lower emissions, and fulfil net-zero goals.

Research shows that retrofitting the UK’s historical buildings, from Georgian mansions to the mills and industries that sparked the Industrial Revolution, could generate £35bn of economic output, create employment, and help meet climate targets.

According to a survey commissioned by the National Trust, Historic England, and major property organisations, improving the energy efficiency of historical properties—those built before 1919—could reduce UK building carbon emissions by 5% annually and make older homes warmer and cheaper to run.

6.2m UK residences were built before 1919, and 600,000 commercial premises are historical landmarks. Old buildings emit around 20% of the nation’s greenhouse gases.

Retrofitting older buildings with energy-efficient heating and windows reduces emissions and extends their lifespan. It avoids the carbon emissions from deconstructing and rebuilding, especially from cement and steel production.

The paper, backed by Peabody, the crown estate, and Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster’s property group, claims that a nationwide retrofitting drive will add £35bn to the economy yearly through construction and tourism and hospitality advantages.

Peabody Avenue in Pimlico, London, two terraces of staircase-access flats built in 1876 by Peabody, was used as a prototype to learn how to properly modify heritage structures. Meanwhile, Historic England has restored numerous listed buildings at the 18th-century Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings, including the main mill and kiln, and Grosvenor is improving the environmental performance of Grade II-listed Canada House in Manchester, erected in 1909.

“Making these buildings energy efficient will stimulate investment in the construction industry, support roughly 290,000 employment in supplier chains and increase heritage-related tourism and hospitality,” said Peabody chair Bob Kerslake.

“Where needed, making older properties more energy efficient would enhance the lives of those who live and work in them, decreasing household energy bills and enhancing health and wellbeing.”

Since the UK only has half the skilled personnel needed to retrofit all ancient buildings, the report’s authors are calling on the government to engage with industry to bundle skills, training, money, standards, and advice into a national retrofit strategy.

To meet its 2050 net zero target, the UK will need more than 105,000 new workers, including plumbers, electricians, carpenters, and scaffolders, to renovate its historical buildings every year for the next three decades, according to the report, which will be launched at the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday. 14,300 plumbers and 14,500 electricians.

Historic buildings employ 100,000 people. Adapting buildings takes additional expertise. Plumbers will need to work with heat pumps and hydrogen boilers, and many will need to learn extra skills to preserve heritage features.

Because of an ageing workforce, the COVID-19 epidemic, and Brexit, the sector has long complained about skills shortages.

New structures are airtight, but ancient buildings are not. With showers, heating, washers, and dryers in homes, moisture buildup in older homes has increased.

The organisations want the government to make the apprenticeship levy more flexible so unspent funds may be used to teach more heritage retrofitters in six- to eight-week bootcamps. The Treasury received £3.3bn in unused levy revenues between May 2019 and July 2022.

Can timber constructions rise?

Original Source: Can we take timber buildings to new heights?

David Hopkins wonders why the UK isn’t following the global trend toward high-rise timber constructions.

“Even in severe economic times, firms should encourage personnel to take CPD on timber and other green building methods.”

As sustainable construction becomes a global issue, timber has gained in popularity and height. Ascent, a 25-story tower in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, set a new record for engineered timber buildings at 86m.

The maturity of engineered timber technology and the push to decarbonize the built environment are driving this global boom in record-breaking high-rise projects.

Engineered timbers are stronger than steel and can replace it. These goods can then be developed to precise performance standards, cut to size offsite, and quickly delivered and erected.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is stronger than steel pound-for-pound and saves carbon like ordinary timber. This allows ambitious timber projects like those seen elsewhere.

Risk-averse Britain

Why aren’t high-rise timber structures coming in the UK given the progress made elsewhere and the apparent environmental benefits?

We have a unique mix of circumstances due to a focus on building safety after the Grenfell catastrophe and challenging economic conditions due to austerity, Brexit, and other global considerations.

Structural timber was caught up in a blanket prohibition on combustible material allowed for buildings over 18m in height before the government admitted a more nuanced approach was needed and approved it for use if fire tests were passed. Nonetheless, 18-metre residential constructions are still banned.

Many investors are risk-averse due to this situation’s uncertainty. Meanwhile, taller timber constructions have stagnated.

Education is the UK’s largest obstacle. At all stages of construction, understanding timber, its qualities, and how it relates to building standards is a major issue. Timber building insurance is also harder.

Timber Development UK (TDUK) is addressing this issue with its knowledge database and industry partnerships. Yet if we want more large-scale sustainable projects, we need to bridge the UK’s significant green building skills gap.

Dimensions don’t matter.

However, size doesn’t matter. In 2009, architect Waugh Thistleton and Hackney Council completed a 29m, nine-storey apartment complex at Murray Grove. This timber structure is famous worldwide.

London’s highest engineered-timber office skyscraper is Waugh Thistleton and The Office Group’s Black & White Building. Six-storey timber building stands 17.8m tall. It has no concrete above the ground-floor slab and uses timber for strength and versatility.

Feilden Fowles’ 2022 Wood Awards winner, Homerton College Dining Hall, was framed with sweet chestnut glulam and lined with ash. Cambridge’s Magdalene College Library, winner of the 2022 RIBA Stirling Award, exhibited engineered timber.

Quantity solutions

So, large timber constructions are possible in the UK. Panelized timber-frame buildings can also be used more. Volume solutions will help the supply chain achieve new heights when the moment is perfect.

Whether above or below 18m, timber will dominate in 2050. Even in bad economic times, construction companies should encourage personnel to take CPD on timber and other green building approaches. When others build higher with timber, you don’t want to be left behind.

Boosting the timber industry

350,000 UK workers are employed in the £10bn timber supply chain.

As part of the England Trees Action Plan, the UK government is developing a policy roadmap to promote the use of domestic wood in construction.

This includes planting 30,000ha of trees across the UK by parliament’s end. Yet, the government has failed to deliver.

The UK has to ensure short-term supplies from trade partners and prepare for growth as demand for timber building rises.

This includes expanding UK sustainable, productive forests, sawmill capacity, panel product manufacturing, and wood fibre insulation production. We’ll use less imported wood and create jobs.

Future timber developments will benefit from a solid, integrated domestic supply chain.

Work begins on the £27 million New-Bridge Integrated College

Original Source: Construction work begins on £27million New-Bridge Integrated College

Dr. Mark Browne, Education Permanent Secretary, cut the first sod to start building at New-Bridge Integrated College, Loughbrickland.

The New Start Project will build a 620-student school for £27 million.

Dr. Browne’s speech:

New-Bridge Integrated College begins construction on new school facilities today.

“When completed, young people will have the opportunity to grow and learn in a modern, fit-for-purpose facility and this new building will create a better atmosphere for everybody to prosper.

“Our instructors can do what they do best and inspire the next generation with the great new facilities.”

The Fresh Start Programme announced financing for the scheme in March 2016.


“Schools are the core of any community, and this investment will promote good connections and positive outcomes for years to come.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project.”

Anne Anderson, New-Bridge Integrated College principal:

“This new building marks another chapter in our school’s history and an important milestone for integrated education in Northern Ireland.

For years, New-Bridge has prioritised building a new school. Finally, this prospering school will get the state-of-the-art new structures deserved by our hardworking kids and staff, and the entire community will benefit enormously from this new, modern, energy-efficient school building.”

Work began in January 2023 and will finish in summer 2025.

Wolverhampton is one of England’s top 10 places to build a property

Original Source: Wolverhampton in the top ten ‘best places in England to build your own home’

Building it yourself (BIY) in Wolverhampton ranks sixth in England.

Wolverhampton is sixth in Marshalls’ landscaping rankings, with Telford & Wrekin at number two.

First on the list is Newcastle-under-Lyme.

The company created a House Construction Index that assesses every English local authority based on land and construction costs and planning approval rates.

Residential land in Wolverhampton costs £1.1 million per hectare. The national average for construction expenses is 4% lower.

Residential land in Telford and Wrekin costs £1.2 million per hectare, while construction prices are 4% lower than the national average.

“Telford and Wrekin gets second place with a House Construction Index Score of 7.71,” Marshalls added.

“This portion of the West Midlands has a slightly higher planning permission rate of 90.40 percent, although residential land costs more than in Newcastle-under-Lyme at £1,230,000 per hectare.”

The East and West Midlands are better for building it yourself.

Tower Hamlets in east London, with a House Construction Index score of 2.78, is the hardest council area to build a home.

The planning approval rate in this inner London municipality is 51.55 percent, while residential land costs £39,885,000 per hectare.

Building in inner London is considerably more expensive due to greater construction costs.

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed Energy efficiency upgrades to historic properties as proposed by heritage and property groups as a means to generate employment, reduce carbon emissions, and achieve net-zero objectives. From Georgian mansions to the mills and businesses that began the Industrial Revolution, upgrading the UK’s historic buildings may generate £35bn in economic output, create jobs, and help meet climate targets, according to a recent study.

Meanwhile, Timber’s prominence and growth coincide with the increasing attention paid to the topic of sustainable building on a worldwide scale. Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s Ascent skyscraper, which has 25 stories, is the world’s tallest building made of engineered lumber at 86 metres. This global boom in record-breaking high-rise buildings is being fueled by the maturation of engineered timber technology and the desire to decarbonize the built environment.

In addition, for construction to begin on New-Bridge Integrated College in Loughbrickland, the first sod was officially cut by Dr. Mark Browne, Permanent Secretary for Education. With under £27 million, the New Start Project will construct a school with space for 620 students.

On top of that, Wolverhampton ranks number six on Marshalls’ list of best places to get a garden done, behind only Telford & Wrekin. Newcastle-under-Lyme is the initial entry. A House Building Index was developed by the firm, which ranks each English county by its land and building prices as well as its rate of planning permission approval. In Wolverhampton, a hectare of residential land can set you back £1.1 million. Overall, American building costs are 4% cheaper than the national average.

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