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Read the Latest News on Retrofit Competence Framework From CLC, UK Building Leads Data, Northern Ireland Builder Wins Top UK Award, and UK Building Grows Fastest in Over a Year

In today’s news, we will look into the United Kingdom, the Construction Leadership Council has published a paper that defines expertise in household retrofitting. In the meantime, a recent analysis reveals that the United Kingdom is the leader in terms of data, but there are still gaps. On the other hand, a building company from Northern Ireland was awarded the greatest distinction in the United Kingdom. Additionally, the building industry in the United Kingdom is expanding at the quickest rate in more than a year.

Retrofit Competence Framework From CLC

Original Source: CLC publishes retrofit competence framework

A report by the Construction Leadership Council defines competency in UK household retrofit.

The 64-page booklet outlines the fundamental knowledge, abilities, and attitudes needed to scale up house retrofits in retrofit-specific and industry roles.

The paper identifies two kinds of ‘statements’ that describe individual skills. They’re transferable and technical.

CLC claimed competency statements can help establish competence frameworks for retrofit occupations.

They also aim to support future workforce training and education for new entrants and up-skilled workers.

Retrofit competency definition

The paper intends to “provide a consistent and clear definition of the cross-cutting, overarching competencies required for individuals working across the whole retrofit process” according to CLC

It added: “These statements can be used to support the update and development of competency frameworks and occupational standards for retrofit-related roles, as well as to evaluate and update training course and qualification content.”

The study lists these competence statements:

Transferable core skills

  • Overall technical skills
  • Promoting retrofits through communication and collaboration.
  • Passion for excellence
  • Improving continuously
  • Digital

Overall technical skills

  • Regulatory environment
  • Client needs and guidance
  • Assessment of property costs
  • Tech and design
  • Coordination and integration
  • Assessing and monitoring

Over 28 million UK households will need upgrading to fulfil the legally binding net zero objective by 2050.

According to the CLC, current retrofit work will not fulfil this aim. 

UK Building Leads Data but Holes Exist, Says Report

Original Source: New report shows UK construction leads on data but gaps remain

According to Autodesk and Deloitte Access Economics, the UK leads Europe in construction data, but integration and training issues are slowing growth.

Compared to France, Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands, UK construction has advanced data-use despite recent economic constraints. Profitability climbed 12.8% in Europe in 2023 but declined 3.6% in the UK. The UK has the most data leaders (18%) and the third-most data beginners (23%).

This could increase construction safety and efficiency across all sectors. But the report adds that some obstacles persist.

Due to process and data integration issues, 36% of UK construction firms capture project progress data but do not analyse it. According to 43% of CEOs, their company stores data on too many platforms, and 37% said they have trouble integrating data across platforms.

Before the report launch, Morgan Sindall design management and building information modelling director Lee Ramsey said, “The more systems you have, the more risk of information not being there.” That might be worse now that the Building Safety Act is in place. Ramsey says, “It could be lost in the audit, so the need for system comparability becomes exponentially more important.”

Impending Building Safety Act change

Ramsey attended a presentation on how the Building Safety Act will accelerate data collecting. The Act will require projects to have a ‘single source of truth’ that can be consulted after completion, according to the Building Safety Regulator. This fact will be data proving all work was done correctly.

Good data should validate what is happening, but it may also affect project adjustments.

Cast Consultancy board director Lilly Gallafent stated, “The Building Safety Act has upped the ante on change, which has obviously been a big part of the post contract environment for a long time Construction sequencing has commercial ramifications, but this new procedure of recordable, notifiable, and substantial alterations and their approval periods adds an entire universe of administration.

Using technology to handle it will be crucial. As any project manager in the room knows, our change control procedures are generally Excel-based and manual. This is what the Building Safety Act discourages.”

Many suppliers struggle to invest in new techniques and technology, which may delay change. Worse, BESA CEO David Frise argues that while reputable companies have nothing to worry, many will doubt the shift will materialise and not act.

“People believe the government will change its mind because it always does. I think a minister said net zero is foolish, costs firms money, and we should abandon it. That happened with boiler tax and UK CA marking. Since many assume “we’ve seen this all before,” they wait and don’t do it. That’s quite hard to overcome.”

This is difficult for tiny businesses with little time. Frise says, “To keep their business afloat, they chase money, work, materials, and labour over and over again. Different thinking is needed. Consider something else. By the time it’s seven p.m., you’ve done your metaphorical tray, reached the piece that says ‘I should do something about digital skills’, and they rightly think ‘I’ll go and see the kids. I’ll consider that tomorrow—always tomorrow.”

This requires digital enterprises to make their technologies as accessible and user-friendly as feasible. Autodesk senior technical solutions executive Chris Palmer sees this daily. “A sixty-year-old construction manager says, ‘what I don’t want is more work’. That’s entirely reasonable. So we must help make what we offer on the market user-friendly and save time by having a single system.”

Autodesk director, construction strategy, Matt Keen explains what is at stake as the sector tries to grow and manage more complicated operations. “Every organisation, from owners to small contractors, must use technology and data to meet Building Safety Act requirements and succeed in a challenging macroeconomic environment. The most crucial step is investing in people, and the construction industry must change its capabilities to meet new regulations.

Northern Ireland Builder Wins Top UK Award

Original Source: Northern Ireland construction firm honoured with highest UK accolade

In 2024, Henry Brothers was one of two Northern Irish companies acknowledged for its sustainable development efforts.

Northern Ireland contractor Henry Brothers received a King’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development.

Henry Brothers was one of just two Northern Irish enterprises acknowledged in 2024 for its sustainable development approach, which has benefited the business, the environment, and the construction industry.

The King’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development is a great honour, said Henry Brothers CR director Ian Henry MBE.

This achievement highlights our continuous commitment to responsible business, which is deeply ingrained in our company culture.

Since its founding, Henry Brothers has prioritised sustainable methods to reduce our environmental impact and improve social and business outcomes.

“In addition to our ambitious Net-Zero Strategy, our sustainable development approach includes several initiatives to promote staff health and community engagement.”

Judges called the organisation an “excellent example” of motivating people while growing.

Henry Brothers was recognised for its creativity in creating a 27-acre Nature Reserve at their Headquarters in Magherafelt that over 5,000 Northern Ireland schoolchildren have visited.

Ian added: “The Henry Brothers consider sustainable development a commercial essential.

This award is a monument to the dedication and hard work of our people across the firm, who have each contributed to our sustained growth and success while keeping our ideals of sustainability and corporate responsibility, ensuring we remain Together Stronger.

“We look forward to driving positive environmental change and creating lasting impact in our communities long into the future.”

Henry Brothers is one of 252 UK companies to get a King’s Award for Enterprise.

Henry Brothers began as a small, traditional builder in 1976 but now targets larger, sustainable projects. It employs 200 in Magherafelt, Belfast, Scotland, the Midlands, and Manchester.

Last year, the King’s Awards for Enterprise were renamed to recognise His Majesty. The King wants to honour great UK businesses to honour HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Successful enterprises can use the King’s Awards Emblem for five years under the country’s most prestigious business honour, presently in its 58th year.

UK building Grows Fastest in Over a Year

Original Source: UK construction sector expands at fastest pace in more than a year

An April poll issued on Tuesday showed the UK construction sector grew at its quickest pace in almost a year.

The S&P Global construction purchasing managers’ index rose from 50.2 in March to 53.0. This was the second month of positive growth and the fastest since February 2023.

A value above 50.0 suggests expansion, below shows contraction.

The fastest-growing construction sector was commercial building, which jumped to 53.9 in April from 49.9 in March for the first time since August 2023. Survey respondents attributed a turnaround in client demand to refurbishing initiatives.

Civil engineering activity index hit 53.6, the fastest growth in nine months.

Residential building work moderately declined, lowering the housebuilding index to 47.6 from 49.9. It was the biggest decrease since January. Construction firms cited weak markets and hefty borrowing prices.

S&P Global Market Intelligence economics director Tim Moore said: “Amid an order book revival, the construction sector consolidated its recent recovery in April, with overall industry activity expanding at the quickest pace in 14 months. More confidence in the UK economy stimulated demand. April saw a strong increase in civil engineering and commercial building.

House building activities were hampered by weak market circumstances. The current poll showed the fastest residential building work decline since January, while it was slower than in the second half of 2023.”

Moore said hiring trends were sluggish despite a recovery in workloads, which mirrored trends in other parts of the UK economy, as construction firms focused on costs amid significant wage pressures.

Summary of today’s construction news

Overall, we discussed how the CLC asserted that competency statements are useful for developing retrofit job competency frameworks. Their long-term goal is to help fund education and training for both new employees and those looking to upgrade their skills in the industry.

However, building data shows that the UK is leading Europe, although growth is being hindered by integration and training concerns (Autodesk and Deloitte Access Economics).

One more thing: Henry Brothers, a contractor from Northern Ireland, won the King’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. A sustainable development strategy adopted by Henry Brothers has paid dividends for the company, the planet, and the building sector; the company was one of just two from Northern Ireland to get this recognition in 2024.

Apart from that, there was an increase from 50.2 in March to 53.0 in the S&P Global purchasing managers’ index for the construction industry. Gains continued at a rapid pace, marking the second consecutive month of improvement since February 2023. Values below 50.0 indicate contraction, while those above 50.0 indicate expansion.