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  • 18 Apr 2018
    Since its founding in 1988, Baumit’s key driver has been the desire to help create beautiful, energy-efficient and healthy homes. Everybody deserves to live in beautiful, affordable and healthy surroundings.Our four walls provide protection for our families, and these are the qualities that enhance people's lives. Homeowners are becoming more and more energy conscious, and being able to cater to consumer needs is a must for success in any industry. A report from Smart Energy GB found that four in five people who had recently had a smart meter installed had taken steps to reduce their energy use, 45% of which were monitoring their consumption more closely than before. More than 75% of the energy consumption of an average household is spent on heating. Efficient thermal insulation is unavoidable if you want to save money, protect the basic structure of your building and reduce your carbon emissions. EWI, correctly installed, will minimise heating costs during cold weather and prevent excess heating during the warm season, saving energy year round. A thermal renovation can save a household more than 50% of its energy costs. A working knowledge of External Wall Insulation products will prove invaluable when communicating the value of your projects. It isn’t enough to simply create the products needed to facilitate these goals, however. Baumit is dedicated to creating change throughout the industry, informing and educating the next generation of installers and applicators. That’s why Baumit has opened a brand new training academy in Aylesford, Kent, to host a series of installer courses catering to all levels of experience. From March 2018, this purpose-built facility will be open to those within the construction industry, providing vital theoretical and practical experience in a range of EWI systems and practices. Chris Kendall, Field Engineer at Baumit, said: “Our installer courses provide a perfect opportunity for installers of all ability and members of the construction industry to gain a valuable working knowledge of External Wall Insulation. The experts at our training academy are fully-equipped to offer a wide-range of theoretical and practical advice to ensure clients come away better-informed of the processes and systems involved in all things EWI.” The training facility and courses were designed to cover aspects which are missing from other courses, supporting installers in learning the solutions to real life scenarios that a purely theoretical understanding would not prepare them for. In focusing on the details, rather than just the basics, applicators will receive an in depth understanding of the benefits of a high quality product, properly installed. Spread over 2 days, the Silver and Gold courses offer participants time to reflect on what they have been taught, allowing them adequate time to raise any questions they might have. Baumit is dedicated to building relationships with course participants, and encourages questions and communication both during and after the course is complete, ensuring that they feel comfortable and confident in their abilities and with the product. Baumit is committed to providing exemplary support to its installers, supporting their future work with upskilling, up-to-date information on legislative changes, and phone support, leading to higher quality installs. By supporting the next generation of installers and applicators, Baumit is ensuring that its commitment to beautiful, healthy and energy-efficient homes is continued – helping to deliver a better future for everyone. Visit our website: http://info.baumit.co.uk/baumit-academy-courses
    60 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Since its founding in 1988, Baumit’s key driver has been the desire to help create beautiful, energy-efficient and healthy homes. Everybody deserves to live in beautiful, affordable and healthy surroundings.Our four walls provide protection for our families, and these are the qualities that enhance people's lives. Homeowners are becoming more and more energy conscious, and being able to cater to consumer needs is a must for success in any industry. A report from Smart Energy GB found that four in five people who had recently had a smart meter installed had taken steps to reduce their energy use, 45% of which were monitoring their consumption more closely than before. More than 75% of the energy consumption of an average household is spent on heating. Efficient thermal insulation is unavoidable if you want to save money, protect the basic structure of your building and reduce your carbon emissions. EWI, correctly installed, will minimise heating costs during cold weather and prevent excess heating during the warm season, saving energy year round. A thermal renovation can save a household more than 50% of its energy costs. A working knowledge of External Wall Insulation products will prove invaluable when communicating the value of your projects. It isn’t enough to simply create the products needed to facilitate these goals, however. Baumit is dedicated to creating change throughout the industry, informing and educating the next generation of installers and applicators. That’s why Baumit has opened a brand new training academy in Aylesford, Kent, to host a series of installer courses catering to all levels of experience. From March 2018, this purpose-built facility will be open to those within the construction industry, providing vital theoretical and practical experience in a range of EWI systems and practices. Chris Kendall, Field Engineer at Baumit, said: “Our installer courses provide a perfect opportunity for installers of all ability and members of the construction industry to gain a valuable working knowledge of External Wall Insulation. The experts at our training academy are fully-equipped to offer a wide-range of theoretical and practical advice to ensure clients come away better-informed of the processes and systems involved in all things EWI.” The training facility and courses were designed to cover aspects which are missing from other courses, supporting installers in learning the solutions to real life scenarios that a purely theoretical understanding would not prepare them for. In focusing on the details, rather than just the basics, applicators will receive an in depth understanding of the benefits of a high quality product, properly installed. Spread over 2 days, the Silver and Gold courses offer participants time to reflect on what they have been taught, allowing them adequate time to raise any questions they might have. Baumit is dedicated to building relationships with course participants, and encourages questions and communication both during and after the course is complete, ensuring that they feel comfortable and confident in their abilities and with the product. Baumit is committed to providing exemplary support to its installers, supporting their future work with upskilling, up-to-date information on legislative changes, and phone support, leading to higher quality installs. By supporting the next generation of installers and applicators, Baumit is ensuring that its commitment to beautiful, healthy and energy-efficient homes is continued – helping to deliver a better future for everyone. Visit our website: http://info.baumit.co.uk/baumit-academy-courses
    Apr 18, 2018 60
  • 12 Apr 2018
    The building boom the government needs to initiate to redress the imbalance between UK housing need and availability should – in theory – create abundant work opportunities for contractors of all construction type. Getting to the front of the queue when the selection process starts for any project, be it site-based or a straightforward job application, requires having more to offer than those bidding for the same position. Staying just one small step ahead of the opposition in terms of professional skills and experience can go a long way to securing that vital contract. Keeping pace Even those with a construction career span as long as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge should refrain from considering themselves beyond learning new tricks of the trade. After all, those who stand still commercially or personally risk being left high and dry by the tides of change. As the 21st century advances, so does the breadth and capability of building products and practices. It’s not a stretch, therefore, to say only those who keep pace with industry trends and standards will remain a competitive force in the marketplace. The UK needs new housing like never before; housing that is sustainable, conforms to unprecedented levels of energy efficiency and is built in the shortest time as possible. Opportunity has never knocked more loudly for those in the construction sector, but only those able to meet the required skill levels shall reap the rewards. Training academies, such as those being set-up by Baumit, will help candidates ‘skill-up’ and meet the construction industry’s current and future demands. At our UK headquarters in Aylesford, Kent Baumit has devised a series of External Wall Insulation courses for installers and applicators. Designed to cater for candidates of all ability, the two-day courses are tailored to suit individual or group needs, offering hands-on, practical learning experience with ‘real-life’ challenges usually encountered in the workplace. We offer three levels of course - bronze, silver and gold – each devised to enhance the professional capabilities of candidates, depending on their current skill level. Those who complete the bronze-to-gold journey will earn an industry qualification in the form of OSCAR Onsite overview and approval, as well as become a Baumit-approved partner and gain access to a host of other benefits. Support As part of our aftercare service, candidates who complete the course will have the ongoing support of Baumit’s technical team. It means whether you’re on-site or in the office, our experts are a reassuring phone call away to offer guidance and advice on all EWI-related matters. Offerings such as this can be the difference between a project being completed on time and to a high standard, or it failing due to issues such as a lack of attention to seemingly minor technical details. With its training academy, Baumit has built a platform for EWI installers to stay ahead of the opposition as the industry gears-up for future challenges and change. Visit:http://info.baumit.co.uk/baumit-academy-courses
    108 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The building boom the government needs to initiate to redress the imbalance between UK housing need and availability should – in theory – create abundant work opportunities for contractors of all construction type. Getting to the front of the queue when the selection process starts for any project, be it site-based or a straightforward job application, requires having more to offer than those bidding for the same position. Staying just one small step ahead of the opposition in terms of professional skills and experience can go a long way to securing that vital contract. Keeping pace Even those with a construction career span as long as San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge should refrain from considering themselves beyond learning new tricks of the trade. After all, those who stand still commercially or personally risk being left high and dry by the tides of change. As the 21st century advances, so does the breadth and capability of building products and practices. It’s not a stretch, therefore, to say only those who keep pace with industry trends and standards will remain a competitive force in the marketplace. The UK needs new housing like never before; housing that is sustainable, conforms to unprecedented levels of energy efficiency and is built in the shortest time as possible. Opportunity has never knocked more loudly for those in the construction sector, but only those able to meet the required skill levels shall reap the rewards. Training academies, such as those being set-up by Baumit, will help candidates ‘skill-up’ and meet the construction industry’s current and future demands. At our UK headquarters in Aylesford, Kent Baumit has devised a series of External Wall Insulation courses for installers and applicators. Designed to cater for candidates of all ability, the two-day courses are tailored to suit individual or group needs, offering hands-on, practical learning experience with ‘real-life’ challenges usually encountered in the workplace. We offer three levels of course - bronze, silver and gold – each devised to enhance the professional capabilities of candidates, depending on their current skill level. Those who complete the bronze-to-gold journey will earn an industry qualification in the form of OSCAR Onsite overview and approval, as well as become a Baumit-approved partner and gain access to a host of other benefits. Support As part of our aftercare service, candidates who complete the course will have the ongoing support of Baumit’s technical team. It means whether you’re on-site or in the office, our experts are a reassuring phone call away to offer guidance and advice on all EWI-related matters. Offerings such as this can be the difference between a project being completed on time and to a high standard, or it failing due to issues such as a lack of attention to seemingly minor technical details. With its training academy, Baumit has built a platform for EWI installers to stay ahead of the opposition as the industry gears-up for future challenges and change. Visit:http://info.baumit.co.uk/baumit-academy-courses
    Apr 12, 2018 108
  • 06 Apr 2018
    They have been around for more than 140 years and operate on a tried and tested principle - being set off by heat.  Notwithstanding that, sprinklers have been refined and improved over the decades utilising new materials and scientific design to produce droplets that most effectively extinguish the fire. Despite this, there remains a lack of understanding and some surprising misconceptions which tragically prevent them from being installed. The Business Sprinkler Alliance dispels and debunks the myths, and demonstrates why automatic fire sprinklers can stop a fire in its tracks, providing round-the-clock, cost-effective protection for buildings. Myth #1: A fire detection system provides enough protection. Fire detection systems save lives by providing a warning of fire, but can do nothing to control or extinguish a growing fire. Myth #2: Water damage from a fire sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage. Water damage from a fire sprinkler system will be far less severe than the damage caused by water from firefighters’ hoses. Modern sprinklers operate very quickly to release 45 – 200 litres of water per minute, compared to 700 – 4000 litres per minute discharged by fire service hoses and jets. Myth #3: When one sprinkler goes off, won’t they all go off? All sprinklers going off at once might well have been perpetuated by Hollywood for comic and dramatic effect but only the sprinkler heads in the immediate vicinity of a fire will operate because each sprinkler head is individually activated by heat. Research carried out over 20 years shows that 80% of fires are controlled or extinguished by the operation of fewer than six sprinkler heads. Myth #4: Fire sprinklers are expensive to maintain. Sprinkler systems must be inspected, tested, and maintained to ensure a high degree of reliability. However, sprinkler systems only need two maintenance visits a year by a contractor. This costs around £500 a year for larger systems. Small systems require only an annual visit and this will cost between £75 and £100. Any misconception surrounding the costs of sprinkler systems can be dispelled by looking at the true costs of a building over the lifespan of that building. The low whole-life costs of a fire sprinkler system make investment attractive. Fire sprinkler systems will last the lifetime of a building without major replacement or refurbishment. The industry claims a service life of around 40 years, but it is well known that there are many sprinkler systems from the 1930s which are still operational. Automatic fire sprinkler systems are critical to physical resilience and business continuity. When a fire starts in a building fitted with a fully functioning sprinkler system it has a high probability of being contained from the outset, controlling or extinguishing the fire in advance of fire and rescue services’ arrival. In the vast majority of cases the impacted business is fully functioning within hours. They save lives, reduce the threat to firefighters, reduce the burden on the fire service, save businesses, save jobs and protect the environment.  Visit the www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org    
    105 Posted by Talk. Build
  • They have been around for more than 140 years and operate on a tried and tested principle - being set off by heat.  Notwithstanding that, sprinklers have been refined and improved over the decades utilising new materials and scientific design to produce droplets that most effectively extinguish the fire. Despite this, there remains a lack of understanding and some surprising misconceptions which tragically prevent them from being installed. The Business Sprinkler Alliance dispels and debunks the myths, and demonstrates why automatic fire sprinklers can stop a fire in its tracks, providing round-the-clock, cost-effective protection for buildings. Myth #1: A fire detection system provides enough protection. Fire detection systems save lives by providing a warning of fire, but can do nothing to control or extinguish a growing fire. Myth #2: Water damage from a fire sprinkler system will be more extensive than fire damage. Water damage from a fire sprinkler system will be far less severe than the damage caused by water from firefighters’ hoses. Modern sprinklers operate very quickly to release 45 – 200 litres of water per minute, compared to 700 – 4000 litres per minute discharged by fire service hoses and jets. Myth #3: When one sprinkler goes off, won’t they all go off? All sprinklers going off at once might well have been perpetuated by Hollywood for comic and dramatic effect but only the sprinkler heads in the immediate vicinity of a fire will operate because each sprinkler head is individually activated by heat. Research carried out over 20 years shows that 80% of fires are controlled or extinguished by the operation of fewer than six sprinkler heads. Myth #4: Fire sprinklers are expensive to maintain. Sprinkler systems must be inspected, tested, and maintained to ensure a high degree of reliability. However, sprinkler systems only need two maintenance visits a year by a contractor. This costs around £500 a year for larger systems. Small systems require only an annual visit and this will cost between £75 and £100. Any misconception surrounding the costs of sprinkler systems can be dispelled by looking at the true costs of a building over the lifespan of that building. The low whole-life costs of a fire sprinkler system make investment attractive. Fire sprinkler systems will last the lifetime of a building without major replacement or refurbishment. The industry claims a service life of around 40 years, but it is well known that there are many sprinkler systems from the 1930s which are still operational. Automatic fire sprinkler systems are critical to physical resilience and business continuity. When a fire starts in a building fitted with a fully functioning sprinkler system it has a high probability of being contained from the outset, controlling or extinguishing the fire in advance of fire and rescue services’ arrival. In the vast majority of cases the impacted business is fully functioning within hours. They save lives, reduce the threat to firefighters, reduce the burden on the fire service, save businesses, save jobs and protect the environment.  Visit the www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org    
    Apr 06, 2018 105
  • 05 Apr 2018
    The areas in which self-compacting concrete is used have increased considerably since it was developed in earthquake zones throughout Asia where structural columns attached to tall buildings were heavily congested with steel reinforcement. Self-compacting concrete was designed to flow around this type of reinforcement and provide a fully-compacted, durable concrete to work in conjunction with steel. Since 2000, Sika has been among companies leading the development of self-compacting concrete in the UK. Its growth in this country is predominately due to its use in ground floor housing slabs. Before its introduction, conventional concrete made this type of application machine and labour intensive. For instance, concrete poured in the traditional way and is tacky and stiff in consistency, would normally require up to six installers to screed an area. This method also requires the use of mechanical vibration to rid the freshly-poured concrete of entrapped air to ensure its suitability and long-term performance. And that’s not all. Upon installation, concrete applied the ‘old-fashioned way’ needs to be power-floated to give the slab a smooth, polished finish. Concreting an area the same size using self-compacting material requires at least half the manpower to complete in half the time, with its speed and ease of placement being key to its improved management and distribution. Easy placement Laying self-compacting concrete is like laying liquid as opposed to treacle - it’s that easy. It also eliminates the need for power-floating as it naturally provides a polished, high-quality finish. The secret of this substance’s success can be found in admixtures such as Sika ViscoFlow®, which brings much-needed flexibility to the most challenging concreting application. Infused with graded aggregate, the high-performance admixture extends the concrete’s plasticity, with its two-hour retention property allowing time for site transportation and placement. Sika ViscoFlow® technology also ensures target consistency in a concrete mix in high or low temperature climates in new-build and refurbishment projects. Preparation is vital to successful self-compacting concrete placement. Admixture/aggregate ratios should be tailored to the precise needs of the project’s size and scope. A slip membrane should also be used in conjunction with all self-compacting applications. Again, this method negates the need for mechanical vibration processes, therefore increasing on-site health and safety and resulting in a time and cost-effective installation with a material that is stronger and more durable than traditional placement techniques. Fibres Another important development in self-compacting concrete is the availability of fibres which new NHBC regulations state should be incorporated within certain applications. From January 2018, the authority decreed steel, micro or macro fibres or steel mesh should be used - where appropriate - as reinforcement to concrete toppings above suspended beam and block floors. Sika is already ahead of the curve on that score by providing a range of fibres which allow concrete mix designs to meet NHBC specifications. In terms of the future, it’s my wish to see self-compacting concrete be used more architecturally in building columns and facias. Its flexibility certainly allows for a more design-led approach to its application, which could be enhanced by the availability of pigmented self-compacting solutions. Compatibility with watertight admixtures would also advance self-compacting concrete’s use whilst eliminating the risk of lack of compaction – one of the biggest threats to its long-term performance. Whatever tomorrow holds, the one thing we can be sure of today is self-compacting concrete’s status as an easy-to-apply, durable alternative to conventional concrete, with its superb flexibility being without detriment to its proven, long-term strength. By Peter Cowan, Regional Sales Manager at Sika Concrete & Waterproofing Visit: www.sika.co.uk  
    110 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The areas in which self-compacting concrete is used have increased considerably since it was developed in earthquake zones throughout Asia where structural columns attached to tall buildings were heavily congested with steel reinforcement. Self-compacting concrete was designed to flow around this type of reinforcement and provide a fully-compacted, durable concrete to work in conjunction with steel. Since 2000, Sika has been among companies leading the development of self-compacting concrete in the UK. Its growth in this country is predominately due to its use in ground floor housing slabs. Before its introduction, conventional concrete made this type of application machine and labour intensive. For instance, concrete poured in the traditional way and is tacky and stiff in consistency, would normally require up to six installers to screed an area. This method also requires the use of mechanical vibration to rid the freshly-poured concrete of entrapped air to ensure its suitability and long-term performance. And that’s not all. Upon installation, concrete applied the ‘old-fashioned way’ needs to be power-floated to give the slab a smooth, polished finish. Concreting an area the same size using self-compacting material requires at least half the manpower to complete in half the time, with its speed and ease of placement being key to its improved management and distribution. Easy placement Laying self-compacting concrete is like laying liquid as opposed to treacle - it’s that easy. It also eliminates the need for power-floating as it naturally provides a polished, high-quality finish. The secret of this substance’s success can be found in admixtures such as Sika ViscoFlow®, which brings much-needed flexibility to the most challenging concreting application. Infused with graded aggregate, the high-performance admixture extends the concrete’s plasticity, with its two-hour retention property allowing time for site transportation and placement. Sika ViscoFlow® technology also ensures target consistency in a concrete mix in high or low temperature climates in new-build and refurbishment projects. Preparation is vital to successful self-compacting concrete placement. Admixture/aggregate ratios should be tailored to the precise needs of the project’s size and scope. A slip membrane should also be used in conjunction with all self-compacting applications. Again, this method negates the need for mechanical vibration processes, therefore increasing on-site health and safety and resulting in a time and cost-effective installation with a material that is stronger and more durable than traditional placement techniques. Fibres Another important development in self-compacting concrete is the availability of fibres which new NHBC regulations state should be incorporated within certain applications. From January 2018, the authority decreed steel, micro or macro fibres or steel mesh should be used - where appropriate - as reinforcement to concrete toppings above suspended beam and block floors. Sika is already ahead of the curve on that score by providing a range of fibres which allow concrete mix designs to meet NHBC specifications. In terms of the future, it’s my wish to see self-compacting concrete be used more architecturally in building columns and facias. Its flexibility certainly allows for a more design-led approach to its application, which could be enhanced by the availability of pigmented self-compacting solutions. Compatibility with watertight admixtures would also advance self-compacting concrete’s use whilst eliminating the risk of lack of compaction – one of the biggest threats to its long-term performance. Whatever tomorrow holds, the one thing we can be sure of today is self-compacting concrete’s status as an easy-to-apply, durable alternative to conventional concrete, with its superb flexibility being without detriment to its proven, long-term strength. By Peter Cowan, Regional Sales Manager at Sika Concrete & Waterproofing Visit: www.sika.co.uk  
    Apr 05, 2018 110
  • 29 Mar 2018
    With Brexit negotiations only at the ‘beginning of the beginning’ stage according to news reports, the UK’s EU departure is having an effect on the construction industry. A report published by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) found that UK businesses are already finding it harder to recruit skilled staff, particularly in the engineering sector, as a result of net migration falls in the wake of Brexit. This once again throws into sharp focus a need to address the current construction skills shortage among the UK workforce. Shortfall According to recent reports, the UK construction industry will need approximately 400,000 new workers every year until 2021 to meet the demand for new building projects. In the roofing industry some experts are predicting that we will have a shortfall of some 100,000 skilled crafts people over that period and every trade sector is reporting a similar story. More skilled hands are required to solve the country’s current construction shortfall, but are fears of a post-Brexit Britain sending engineers of all stripes scurrying overseas? In November 2017, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report found net migration to the UK had plummeted by more than 100,000 - the largest decline since records began - in the year following the EU referendum. A figure made all the more significant by the revelation that 8% of the UK’s construction workers, which equates to 176,500 people, are EU nationals. Little wonder, then, more than half of Britain’s construction workers are reportedly ‘concerned’ by the prospect of a skills shortage. Justifiably, perhaps, when it’s anticipated output from the UK construction market will flourish throughout 2018. Solution With ‘divorce’ from Europe looming, there’s little doubt the UK cannot solely rely on importing engineering skills - as valuable as they are - to bolster its building trade. So where is hope on the horizon? NCTS is working towards a solution to help educate young people to the many benefits of a career in one of construction’s most important strands – roofing. Committed to providing an outstanding level of training across all the sector’s disciplines, NCTS is working with the CITB, trade federations and manufacturers to encourage more young people to take up apprenticeships. The company is also looking at ways of attracting more funding to allow this to happen at a national level. Perception Inspiring the next generation to take-up a career in construction, particularly roofing, is crucial to filling the current skills gap long-term. It also requires changing people’s perception of the industry. For instance, The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently asked a group of 14 to 19-year-olds which careers interested them - construction scored a tiny 4.2 out of 10. According to the survey, young people claimed that construction means ‘being outdoors and getting dirty’.’ It appears the workforce of tomorrow - more than 50% at least - view construction as a non-academic profession that clearly doesn’t fit with their idea of what a fulfilling, exciting, well-paid, career should look like. It is why NCTS offers a variety of professional training courses designed to fit with an array of needs and skill levels to educate candidates and create an environment for them to thrive - rather than simply survive - in the roofing sector. Our expert assessors carry out site visits, delivering detailed reports on the skills and industry knowledge on show to help improve workplace performance. An NCTS course can lead to an NVQ level 2 qualification, opening-up a world of opportunity for young roofers, as it enables them to work on any site in the UK. Opportunity’s knocking With adversity, comes opportunity. The current skills shortage means there has never been a better time to consider a career in construction - the industry needs you. With more new houses and infrastructure needed than ever before, a reported two-thirds of surveyors admit a lack of skilled workers is threatening to prevent that requirement being fulfilled. If the question, ‘why should I take-up a career in roofing or other construction sectors?’ arises, the NCTS reply would be simple: ‘why would you not want to?’ The industry has so much to offer. Today’s youngsters have it in their hands to shape the world we inherit tomorrow - their knowledge and skills are paramount to progress. A job in construction can be very-well paid, but its value to the living and working environment is priceless. At NCTS, we believe by reconstructing people’s view of roofing, engineering and the like as a desirable career choice, the necessary education and training we provide will go some way to cementing the industry skills gap – the most urgent of all UK building projects. By Philip Fergusson, Managing Director of NCTS, training specialists for the roofing industry. Vist: http://www.ncts.org.uk/
    188 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With Brexit negotiations only at the ‘beginning of the beginning’ stage according to news reports, the UK’s EU departure is having an effect on the construction industry. A report published by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) found that UK businesses are already finding it harder to recruit skilled staff, particularly in the engineering sector, as a result of net migration falls in the wake of Brexit. This once again throws into sharp focus a need to address the current construction skills shortage among the UK workforce. Shortfall According to recent reports, the UK construction industry will need approximately 400,000 new workers every year until 2021 to meet the demand for new building projects. In the roofing industry some experts are predicting that we will have a shortfall of some 100,000 skilled crafts people over that period and every trade sector is reporting a similar story. More skilled hands are required to solve the country’s current construction shortfall, but are fears of a post-Brexit Britain sending engineers of all stripes scurrying overseas? In November 2017, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report found net migration to the UK had plummeted by more than 100,000 - the largest decline since records began - in the year following the EU referendum. A figure made all the more significant by the revelation that 8% of the UK’s construction workers, which equates to 176,500 people, are EU nationals. Little wonder, then, more than half of Britain’s construction workers are reportedly ‘concerned’ by the prospect of a skills shortage. Justifiably, perhaps, when it’s anticipated output from the UK construction market will flourish throughout 2018. Solution With ‘divorce’ from Europe looming, there’s little doubt the UK cannot solely rely on importing engineering skills - as valuable as they are - to bolster its building trade. So where is hope on the horizon? NCTS is working towards a solution to help educate young people to the many benefits of a career in one of construction’s most important strands – roofing. Committed to providing an outstanding level of training across all the sector’s disciplines, NCTS is working with the CITB, trade federations and manufacturers to encourage more young people to take up apprenticeships. The company is also looking at ways of attracting more funding to allow this to happen at a national level. Perception Inspiring the next generation to take-up a career in construction, particularly roofing, is crucial to filling the current skills gap long-term. It also requires changing people’s perception of the industry. For instance, The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) recently asked a group of 14 to 19-year-olds which careers interested them - construction scored a tiny 4.2 out of 10. According to the survey, young people claimed that construction means ‘being outdoors and getting dirty’.’ It appears the workforce of tomorrow - more than 50% at least - view construction as a non-academic profession that clearly doesn’t fit with their idea of what a fulfilling, exciting, well-paid, career should look like. It is why NCTS offers a variety of professional training courses designed to fit with an array of needs and skill levels to educate candidates and create an environment for them to thrive - rather than simply survive - in the roofing sector. Our expert assessors carry out site visits, delivering detailed reports on the skills and industry knowledge on show to help improve workplace performance. An NCTS course can lead to an NVQ level 2 qualification, opening-up a world of opportunity for young roofers, as it enables them to work on any site in the UK. Opportunity’s knocking With adversity, comes opportunity. The current skills shortage means there has never been a better time to consider a career in construction - the industry needs you. With more new houses and infrastructure needed than ever before, a reported two-thirds of surveyors admit a lack of skilled workers is threatening to prevent that requirement being fulfilled. If the question, ‘why should I take-up a career in roofing or other construction sectors?’ arises, the NCTS reply would be simple: ‘why would you not want to?’ The industry has so much to offer. Today’s youngsters have it in their hands to shape the world we inherit tomorrow - their knowledge and skills are paramount to progress. A job in construction can be very-well paid, but its value to the living and working environment is priceless. At NCTS, we believe by reconstructing people’s view of roofing, engineering and the like as a desirable career choice, the necessary education and training we provide will go some way to cementing the industry skills gap – the most urgent of all UK building projects. By Philip Fergusson, Managing Director of NCTS, training specialists for the roofing industry. Vist: http://www.ncts.org.uk/
    Mar 29, 2018 188
  • 27 Mar 2018
    The involvement of a large number of professionals makes it really difficult to manage construction projects.  The involvement of several teams such as surveyors, architects and engineers, drafters and 3D modellers, fabricators and labourers etc., makes it really hard for construction managers (general contractors) to monitor and manage onsite activities. The only way to streamline onsite activities is to maintain swift communication between all the construction professionals. General contractors have to be accountable for managing everything from the beginning of the project until a completed building or structure is handed over to the owners. They have to be accountable for arranging raw materials, its swift delivery, and for keeping all the parties informed about the day to day developments. So, if you are a general contractor, here’s how you should manage a project and enhance the productivity of all building professionals. Planning It’s the responsibility of general contractors to plan the project in advance. So, you have to document all the jobs and allot deadlines for them to be completed. It helps in setting the stage for carrying out onsite construction activities swiftly. The accomplishment of construction projects in the right remain the result of detailed planning and sticking to it throughout the project life cycle. Ordering Quality Materials  General contractors also have to arrange the materials for construction. They have to place orders at the right time and ensure that materials are delivered as per their requirements. Using quality Ready Mix Concrete or RMC is the key to constructing durable buildings and structures. Several materials are used for executing residential, commercial and industrial projects, but ready-mix concrete is one of the most important among them and hence, as a general contractor, who is looking after the project, you have to order it from a renowned concrete supplier. Make sure that the concrete supplier is located close to your job site. Since RMC helps in speeding up construction, you should stick to it, rather than thinking about other options. Apart from ordering RMC, you also have to order materials like bricks, binding wires, and steel bars etc., and ensure that they are delivered at the right time. Hiring Skilled Labour Having skilled labour is crucial for speeding up construction. Without skilled workers, you can't construct a building or structure effectively. If in case, you hire unskilled workers they will take double time to accomplish any task when compared to skilled workers. So, you have to stay in touch with relevant industry professionals who can help you in hiring experienced construction workers. Maintaining Safety Ensuring that high safety is maintained in the job sites, is one of the biggest responsibility of general contractors. So, you have to be accountable for providing right training to construction workers and offering quality safety gears to them to eliminate the risk of injuries and accidents. All the workers must be provided with protective gloves, right shoes, safety glasses, hearing protection, and fall protection equipment.  Cost & Time Management General contractors have to keep the track of the expenses involved in construction from time to time, to ensure that the project is not exceeding the budget. Managing the cost is one of the most important responsibilities of general contractors. Therefore, you have to consider all sorts of expenses such as pre-construction expenses (which include the money involved in design development) labour cost, and cost of the materials. In addition to that, the cost involved in rework should also be taken into account. Similarly, they also have to monitor the time involved in carrying out each activity, to ensure that the project is progressing as per the plan. And if in case, you are behind the schedule, then you have to speed up onsite construction activities to finish the project within the deadlines. Visit: http://rmsconcrete.co.uk/
    235 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The involvement of a large number of professionals makes it really difficult to manage construction projects.  The involvement of several teams such as surveyors, architects and engineers, drafters and 3D modellers, fabricators and labourers etc., makes it really hard for construction managers (general contractors) to monitor and manage onsite activities. The only way to streamline onsite activities is to maintain swift communication between all the construction professionals. General contractors have to be accountable for managing everything from the beginning of the project until a completed building or structure is handed over to the owners. They have to be accountable for arranging raw materials, its swift delivery, and for keeping all the parties informed about the day to day developments. So, if you are a general contractor, here’s how you should manage a project and enhance the productivity of all building professionals. Planning It’s the responsibility of general contractors to plan the project in advance. So, you have to document all the jobs and allot deadlines for them to be completed. It helps in setting the stage for carrying out onsite construction activities swiftly. The accomplishment of construction projects in the right remain the result of detailed planning and sticking to it throughout the project life cycle. Ordering Quality Materials  General contractors also have to arrange the materials for construction. They have to place orders at the right time and ensure that materials are delivered as per their requirements. Using quality Ready Mix Concrete or RMC is the key to constructing durable buildings and structures. Several materials are used for executing residential, commercial and industrial projects, but ready-mix concrete is one of the most important among them and hence, as a general contractor, who is looking after the project, you have to order it from a renowned concrete supplier. Make sure that the concrete supplier is located close to your job site. Since RMC helps in speeding up construction, you should stick to it, rather than thinking about other options. Apart from ordering RMC, you also have to order materials like bricks, binding wires, and steel bars etc., and ensure that they are delivered at the right time. Hiring Skilled Labour Having skilled labour is crucial for speeding up construction. Without skilled workers, you can't construct a building or structure effectively. If in case, you hire unskilled workers they will take double time to accomplish any task when compared to skilled workers. So, you have to stay in touch with relevant industry professionals who can help you in hiring experienced construction workers. Maintaining Safety Ensuring that high safety is maintained in the job sites, is one of the biggest responsibility of general contractors. So, you have to be accountable for providing right training to construction workers and offering quality safety gears to them to eliminate the risk of injuries and accidents. All the workers must be provided with protective gloves, right shoes, safety glasses, hearing protection, and fall protection equipment.  Cost & Time Management General contractors have to keep the track of the expenses involved in construction from time to time, to ensure that the project is not exceeding the budget. Managing the cost is one of the most important responsibilities of general contractors. Therefore, you have to consider all sorts of expenses such as pre-construction expenses (which include the money involved in design development) labour cost, and cost of the materials. In addition to that, the cost involved in rework should also be taken into account. Similarly, they also have to monitor the time involved in carrying out each activity, to ensure that the project is progressing as per the plan. And if in case, you are behind the schedule, then you have to speed up onsite construction activities to finish the project within the deadlines. Visit: http://rmsconcrete.co.uk/
    Mar 27, 2018 235

  • It is easier than it looks to build a raised timber deck.  Timber decks can be designed to meet most design situations. According to the Timber Decking and Cladding Association Desired service life options of 15, 30 and 60 years are given in European/British standards. It should be noted that 15 years is considered to be the minimum standard.  For new the NHBC insists on a 60 year service life in accordance with TDCA Code of Practice TDA/RD 08/01. Building a simple timber deck is straightforward and is considered less expensive and more environmentally acceptable than bricks or flagstones. The following step-by-step guide covers and is consistent with most of the basic applications to install timber decking and while these instructions are for guidance only please always remember to check with supplier specifications. Step 1: Make sure you plan in advance to ensure that boards will be flush with your frame. Prepare a level area for the framework by cutting the timber to the required length, then join using exterior wood screws. Check the frame is square by measuring from corner to corner and adjust if necessary Step 2: If you need to raise the frame, cut four blocks of timber to the desired height. Screw these to the inside of the frame at each corner, ensuring they're flush with the top. As these legs will be taking all the weight ensure you use at least three screws per block, Step 3: Place blocks or slabs underneath edge leg to spread the load and provide a level, stable base if your deck is sitting on grass or soil. Position and adjust checking the frame is level using a spirit level Step 4: Three joists are sufficient (one in the middle and the others at the centre-point between the edge of the frame and the centre joist) if you are building a small deck. Mark across one side of the frame first, then repeat on the opposite side. On larger decks, set joists at 400mm centres Step 5: Ensure that you measure across the inside of the frame at the joist marks before cutting lengths of the timber to suit. Fix the joists by tapping them with a rubber based mallet until flush with the top, then screw them in place from the outside of the frame Step 6: Support the joists with additional legs, spaced at 1m intervals. Follow the same method as shown in steps 2 and 3 for these legs, ensuring each is supported by a suitable block or slab Step 7: For the facing, measure the length of the outer sides of your frame and cut the decking boards to suit. Mark the cutting lines with a square to ensure a straight edge. Countersink the facing and screw to the frame, ensuring the facing is flush with the top Step 8: Now you are ready to start laying the deck. Measure across the top of the frame and cut a board to length. Place the first board flush with the outside edge of the frame and facing, and perpendicular to the joists. Mark the location of each joist on the board Step 9: Mark and countersink screw holes over the centre of each joist. Be sure to use a sharp countersink that will leave a clean hole. If necessary, drill a pilot hole to prevent splitting. Use at least two screws per joist for each decking board Step 10: Ensure you have a 5mm expansion gap between each board (as timber expands and contracts according to outdoor temperatures). Use a spacer to do this. Step 11: Continue the process until you have completed the job.  
    Sep 16, 2017 1079
  • Horrible looking drains, manhole covers and inspection chambers appear in driveways and footpaths everywhere. You can even find them in the middle of your lawn or garden! How do you hide ugly manhole covers and drains?                     There are several ways to pretty up these ugly necessities but, however you choose to do it, remember that water utility companies require access at all times. If they cannot be accessed when required they will be dug up and not only will you receive a bill for doing so, you will also be left with the expense of repairing any damage. A much better idea is to (where possible) replace the existing industrial looking cover with a removable recessed (or inset) tray. Then you have the option to either blend them in with the surface or make a feature out of them. Recessed tray options A quick internet search will show you just how many different types of recessed trays are available – too many to mention here! You choose depending on where they are and what material you are going to fill them with. Basically they fall into two categories: Standard recessed tray Currently the most popular choice, made from polypropylene, aluminium or stainless steel and can be suitable for use by both pedestrians and vehicles. Permeable recessed tray This more recent option from EcoGrid provides a load bearing surface that features membranes and a perforated base which allows water to slowly filter through to the drain underneath. Infill options Another internet search will result in a lot of options for infilling a recessed tray. Your final choice will depend on where the drain, manhole cover or inspection chamber is and what the surface will be used for. Here are a few of the most popular infill options: Block paving or bricks These are common choices and can be cut to either blend in or contrast with the surrounding surface. Resin bound paving This is the most popular choice for the seamless finish - created by infilling the recessed tray with the same colour aggregate. You can also create contrast by using a different colour or produce a logo or design in the recessed tray. Using a permeable recessed tray with resin bound paving creates a fully permeable surface. Loose gravel Probably the quickest and easiest way to infill a recessed tray is with loose gravel, but it will inevitably scatter. The fleeing gravel will need regular sweeping and replacing and your lawn mower won’t like it much either... Grass Whilst sowing grass seeds into a recessed tray blends in with a lawn it can be awkward to mow and unless it’s sown in a permeable recessed tray, it will dry out very quickly. Of course you could opt for artificial grass… Plants and flowers Infilling with flowers and/or plants can help disguise unsightly drains, manhole covers or inspection chambers. You can also create a spectacular feature, but as with grass they will dry out very quickly unless a permeable recessed tray is used. Useful links: How to build a recessed manhole cover : http://www.diy.com/help-ideas/how-to-build-a-manhole-cover/CC_npcart_400198.art An overview http://www.pavingexpert.com/recess01.htm  from the Paving Expert. We strongly recommend clarifying ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance to drains, sewers and manholes. Author: Gail Gilkes, Head of Marketing, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: www.sureset.co.uk Follow us: https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/
    Sep 14, 2017 856