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  • 09 Feb 2018
    London Zoo. A furniture storage unit on Cranford Street, Smethwick. A block of flats on Joiner Street, Manchester. A multi-storey car park in Liverpool. Woburn Safari Park. Listers Land Rover, Solihull. What do these six seemingly disparate locations have in common? Each has been the victim of fire within recent weeks. Fire does not discriminate and can affect any kind of building or business. There is a tendency to only concern ourselves with the most serious outcome of a fire – loss of life – though any building at risk of fire has the potential to alter lives permanently. Thankfully no human lives were lost in the aforementioned fires, though this is not to say that no lives were affected. Seventy firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze at London Zoo alone, and many more risked their lives at the scenes of the other fires. Woburn Safari Park lost thirteen patas monkeys, a devastating loss for its drive-through enclosure, and the emotional strain on the staff cannot be understated. Drew Mullin, Woburn's managing director, said some keepers were in tears as they tried to deal with the loss. More than 1,600 vehicles and their contents were destroyed in the inferno which tore through the King’s Dock multi-storey in Liverpool. Remarkably no serious injuries were sustained, but it isn’t hard to see how thousands of lives will be impacted, particularly at a time of year when family funds are often tight and the financial loss to the vehicle owners will sting all the more. The fire in a block of apartments on Manchester’s Joiner Street will have rendered a number of residents in need of temporary shelter. A fire such as this in a residential building can quickly become far more serious, and many families will have lost their belongings and sense of security along with their homes. West Midlands Fire Service confirmed that the whole of the furniture unit in Smethwick was alight. With approximately 3,000m2 of floor space, it is hard to imagine how much stock was lost or damaged. The human cost can be measured in loss of potential earnings and jobs, not only in the furniture unit itself but also in local businesses supported by those who work there. Three cars were destroyed and a further five were damaged in a suspected arson attack at Listers Land Rover, a dealership in Solihull. No one was injured, but three emergency vehicles were sent to deal with the fire - including an ambulance, stretching burdened medical services thinner. The causes of each of these fires will be subject to in-depth investigations, and already they serve to reinforce the findings of Dame Judith Hackitt’s recent interim report on Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which has identified that regulations are in urgent need of change. We must always be thankful when a fire is contained and extinguished with no loss of life, but it is not enough. Lives are still affected regardless, and we must strive to minimise the effect that fire has in all circumstances. When we protect property and halt the spread of fire, we also protect lives. A properly controlled fire can be the difference between a building requiring renovation or demolition. Halting the spread of fire when it is first detected is the best way to limit damage and so also minimise costs and impacts, and sprinklers have been shown to contain, control or extinguish fires in 99% of cases1. The tragedy at Grenfell last year offered us a sharp reminder of the devastating effect that fire can have. These recent fires – while thankfully not on the scale of the Grenfell disaster – serve to demonstrate that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a warehouse, a school, a hospital, a car park, a hotel or a shop, fires happen on a regular basis. However, they can be contained and extinguished by systems such as sprinklers to ensure that life is not put at risk and businesses, jobs and the economy are protected. Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom: An Analysis from Fire Service Data, May 2017, Optimal Economics. Visit the  www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    83 Posted by Talk. Build
  • London Zoo. A furniture storage unit on Cranford Street, Smethwick. A block of flats on Joiner Street, Manchester. A multi-storey car park in Liverpool. Woburn Safari Park. Listers Land Rover, Solihull. What do these six seemingly disparate locations have in common? Each has been the victim of fire within recent weeks. Fire does not discriminate and can affect any kind of building or business. There is a tendency to only concern ourselves with the most serious outcome of a fire – loss of life – though any building at risk of fire has the potential to alter lives permanently. Thankfully no human lives were lost in the aforementioned fires, though this is not to say that no lives were affected. Seventy firefighters were needed to tackle the blaze at London Zoo alone, and many more risked their lives at the scenes of the other fires. Woburn Safari Park lost thirteen patas monkeys, a devastating loss for its drive-through enclosure, and the emotional strain on the staff cannot be understated. Drew Mullin, Woburn's managing director, said some keepers were in tears as they tried to deal with the loss. More than 1,600 vehicles and their contents were destroyed in the inferno which tore through the King’s Dock multi-storey in Liverpool. Remarkably no serious injuries were sustained, but it isn’t hard to see how thousands of lives will be impacted, particularly at a time of year when family funds are often tight and the financial loss to the vehicle owners will sting all the more. The fire in a block of apartments on Manchester’s Joiner Street will have rendered a number of residents in need of temporary shelter. A fire such as this in a residential building can quickly become far more serious, and many families will have lost their belongings and sense of security along with their homes. West Midlands Fire Service confirmed that the whole of the furniture unit in Smethwick was alight. With approximately 3,000m2 of floor space, it is hard to imagine how much stock was lost or damaged. The human cost can be measured in loss of potential earnings and jobs, not only in the furniture unit itself but also in local businesses supported by those who work there. Three cars were destroyed and a further five were damaged in a suspected arson attack at Listers Land Rover, a dealership in Solihull. No one was injured, but three emergency vehicles were sent to deal with the fire - including an ambulance, stretching burdened medical services thinner. The causes of each of these fires will be subject to in-depth investigations, and already they serve to reinforce the findings of Dame Judith Hackitt’s recent interim report on Building Regulations and Fire Safety, which has identified that regulations are in urgent need of change. We must always be thankful when a fire is contained and extinguished with no loss of life, but it is not enough. Lives are still affected regardless, and we must strive to minimise the effect that fire has in all circumstances. When we protect property and halt the spread of fire, we also protect lives. A properly controlled fire can be the difference between a building requiring renovation or demolition. Halting the spread of fire when it is first detected is the best way to limit damage and so also minimise costs and impacts, and sprinklers have been shown to contain, control or extinguish fires in 99% of cases1. The tragedy at Grenfell last year offered us a sharp reminder of the devastating effect that fire can have. These recent fires – while thankfully not on the scale of the Grenfell disaster – serve to demonstrate that fire does not discriminate; whether it is a warehouse, a school, a hospital, a car park, a hotel or a shop, fires happen on a regular basis. However, they can be contained and extinguished by systems such as sprinklers to ensure that life is not put at risk and businesses, jobs and the economy are protected. Efficiency and Effectiveness of Sprinkler Systems in the United Kingdom: An Analysis from Fire Service Data, May 2017, Optimal Economics. Visit the  www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org  
    Feb 09, 2018 83
  • 05 Feb 2018
    Failing roofs, car parks and walkways are a fact of life. However, when this vital infrastructure forms part of a well-populated social housing development, failure to address deteriorating pathways and the like before major damage sets in can lead to huge expense for the local authority involved.  With council purse-strings tightened like never before it’s possible the cost of pricey refurbishment projects will be passed to the taxpayer, so it’s in all our interests repairs are carried out quickly and with minimal disruption. Dave Maginnis, Managing Director at BriggsAmasco explains what the solution to the issue of upgrading the UK’s rapidly ageing social housing stock and surrounding infrastructure is? In England there are around 2.5 million housing association tenants. With a national waiting list for social housing now at 1.36 million households or 3.4 million people, the need to maintain authority-owned buildings to the highest possible standard is more apparent than ever. For more than 150 years leading waterproofing and roofing contractor, BriggsAmasco, has been applying practical and technical expertise to a range of new and existing building requirements. This experience and skill is needed like never before with current figures showing one-fifth of Britain’s housing stock is more than 100-years-old. With many of these ageing buildings now in need of regeneration, it’s vital to choose products and systems that deliver long term performance for the client, and in a social housing context, that means a fast application for the contractor and minimal disruption to the residents. Housing stock given thermal blanket BriggsAmasco offers a broad range of waterproofing solutions for roofs, walkways, balconies and car parks. Renowned for providing full-proof, cost effective solutions to new and existing projects nationwide ensured the company was specified as Principal Contractor by Aberdeen City Council to upgrade weather tightness and thermal performance in its stock of more than 20,000 properties. The company supplied and installed a complete build up system comprising Icopal Monarplan single ply, 120mm insulation and Technatorch vapour control layer. Combining excellent thermal performance and airtight construction, the system has helped to reduce the buildings’ carbon footprint whist ensuring high quality waterproofing protection. Aberdeen City Council provides affordable housing for nearly 25,000 families and so it was important BriggsAmasco ensured minimal disruption was caused to council residents whilst also meeting strict health and safety regulations. By appointing BriggsAmasco for the installation, the council and its residents were guaranteed a high performance roofing system that will perform for many years to come. Building a path to better walkways Social housing refurbishment can achieve a range of desired results such as improving a structure’s aesthetics as well as shoring up its safety and potentially extending its lifetime. The same outcome is required of the surrounding infrastructure as council-owned walkways or pavements can be a huge drain on public resources if not properly maintained. Figures revealed councils in England paid out more than £82m in compensation over a five-year period to people who tripped on pavements or walkways. It is therefore vital these public paths are hazard-free to ensure damage limitation to public and council alike. BriggsAmasco helped breathe new life into an ageing and dilapidated walkway at a social housing complex in Hull. The surface of Wilberforce Walkway had suffered water ingress for a number of years due to it becoming beset with cracks and uneven surfaces. It led to trip hazards and uncomfortable walking conditions for nearby residents. Requiring comprehensive refurbishment to return it to its very best, BriggsAmasco applied an asphalt installation to the walkway, comprising 15mm Permapark Waterproofing layer and 25mm one coat Permapark Paving layer with a crimped finish. It ensured the new Wilberforce Walkway will provide social housing residents with long-term safe and reliable access. The cost of ignoring surface danger Failing public surfaces are not only a danger to people; machines can suffer too. Compensation pay outs are not limited to drivers whose cars have been damaged by a pot-holed road or highway; poorly maintained car parks can also result in a hefty repair bill for motorists. This is invariably passed on to the car park’s managing authority leading to an expense claim which could run to several hundred pounds; unnecessary expenditure, especially if the authority happens to be a cash-strapped local council or hospital. In such cases an urgent solution is required if a car park used by hospital visitors, staff, patients or social housing residents shows signs of disrepair. BriggsAmasco was appointed to replace a car park designed to serve housing association tenants in Southampton city centre that was causing damage to the structure and vehicles parked below due to surface leakage. With just six weeks to complete the project and the car park in operation throughout, the company installed 2500m2 of Permapark mastic asphalt waterproofing and surfacing system. BriggsAmasco ensured there was no disruption to residents during renovation which helped return the roof car park to its functional best. There is nothing anyone can do to halt time’s inexorable march, but BriggsAmasco has a variety of quality, cost-effective solutions to ensure the future survival of Britain’s ageing social housing stock and infrastructure. Vist:https://briggsamasco.co.uk/
    82 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Failing roofs, car parks and walkways are a fact of life. However, when this vital infrastructure forms part of a well-populated social housing development, failure to address deteriorating pathways and the like before major damage sets in can lead to huge expense for the local authority involved.  With council purse-strings tightened like never before it’s possible the cost of pricey refurbishment projects will be passed to the taxpayer, so it’s in all our interests repairs are carried out quickly and with minimal disruption. Dave Maginnis, Managing Director at BriggsAmasco explains what the solution to the issue of upgrading the UK’s rapidly ageing social housing stock and surrounding infrastructure is? In England there are around 2.5 million housing association tenants. With a national waiting list for social housing now at 1.36 million households or 3.4 million people, the need to maintain authority-owned buildings to the highest possible standard is more apparent than ever. For more than 150 years leading waterproofing and roofing contractor, BriggsAmasco, has been applying practical and technical expertise to a range of new and existing building requirements. This experience and skill is needed like never before with current figures showing one-fifth of Britain’s housing stock is more than 100-years-old. With many of these ageing buildings now in need of regeneration, it’s vital to choose products and systems that deliver long term performance for the client, and in a social housing context, that means a fast application for the contractor and minimal disruption to the residents. Housing stock given thermal blanket BriggsAmasco offers a broad range of waterproofing solutions for roofs, walkways, balconies and car parks. Renowned for providing full-proof, cost effective solutions to new and existing projects nationwide ensured the company was specified as Principal Contractor by Aberdeen City Council to upgrade weather tightness and thermal performance in its stock of more than 20,000 properties. The company supplied and installed a complete build up system comprising Icopal Monarplan single ply, 120mm insulation and Technatorch vapour control layer. Combining excellent thermal performance and airtight construction, the system has helped to reduce the buildings’ carbon footprint whist ensuring high quality waterproofing protection. Aberdeen City Council provides affordable housing for nearly 25,000 families and so it was important BriggsAmasco ensured minimal disruption was caused to council residents whilst also meeting strict health and safety regulations. By appointing BriggsAmasco for the installation, the council and its residents were guaranteed a high performance roofing system that will perform for many years to come. Building a path to better walkways Social housing refurbishment can achieve a range of desired results such as improving a structure’s aesthetics as well as shoring up its safety and potentially extending its lifetime. The same outcome is required of the surrounding infrastructure as council-owned walkways or pavements can be a huge drain on public resources if not properly maintained. Figures revealed councils in England paid out more than £82m in compensation over a five-year period to people who tripped on pavements or walkways. It is therefore vital these public paths are hazard-free to ensure damage limitation to public and council alike. BriggsAmasco helped breathe new life into an ageing and dilapidated walkway at a social housing complex in Hull. The surface of Wilberforce Walkway had suffered water ingress for a number of years due to it becoming beset with cracks and uneven surfaces. It led to trip hazards and uncomfortable walking conditions for nearby residents. Requiring comprehensive refurbishment to return it to its very best, BriggsAmasco applied an asphalt installation to the walkway, comprising 15mm Permapark Waterproofing layer and 25mm one coat Permapark Paving layer with a crimped finish. It ensured the new Wilberforce Walkway will provide social housing residents with long-term safe and reliable access. The cost of ignoring surface danger Failing public surfaces are not only a danger to people; machines can suffer too. Compensation pay outs are not limited to drivers whose cars have been damaged by a pot-holed road or highway; poorly maintained car parks can also result in a hefty repair bill for motorists. This is invariably passed on to the car park’s managing authority leading to an expense claim which could run to several hundred pounds; unnecessary expenditure, especially if the authority happens to be a cash-strapped local council or hospital. In such cases an urgent solution is required if a car park used by hospital visitors, staff, patients or social housing residents shows signs of disrepair. BriggsAmasco was appointed to replace a car park designed to serve housing association tenants in Southampton city centre that was causing damage to the structure and vehicles parked below due to surface leakage. With just six weeks to complete the project and the car park in operation throughout, the company installed 2500m2 of Permapark mastic asphalt waterproofing and surfacing system. BriggsAmasco ensured there was no disruption to residents during renovation which helped return the roof car park to its functional best. There is nothing anyone can do to halt time’s inexorable march, but BriggsAmasco has a variety of quality, cost-effective solutions to ensure the future survival of Britain’s ageing social housing stock and infrastructure. Vist:https://briggsamasco.co.uk/
    Feb 05, 2018 82
  • 02 Feb 2018
    Every building is made up of hundreds if not thousands of different building products and materials. Each product has been tested in a laboratory and certified to confirm it will do its job. However, once on-site, materials will act differently. They come into contact with different atmospheric conditions and are reliant on the installation by a contractor. This is where on-site technical support proves its worth. On-site technical support is often under-valued, but as a business, Sika places huge emphasis on it. It’s a core part of our product offering and a fundamental part of our everyday business. As a global leader, producing products for a variety of market sectors from construction to automotive (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z) supporting our customers is something we do - everyday. For Sika, on-site support starts at the research and development stage. We don’t just test new products in a laboratory and then package and sell them. We take them to market and test them in the real world. A laboratory is a controlled environment and our products are not installed in controlled environments – they are installed in some of the most challenging and harsh conditions you can imagine. Every site is different and contractors work in very different ways. As such, it is important to put our products into practice to see how they react. This could be from how they are handled on site; what effect the weather has on them and how they react to other materials. It is also important to get feedback from contractors as they are at the sharp end installing them every day – their feedback on how the product feels, how easy it is to work with is invaluable. We also believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that once our products have been specified, they are installed correctly and the end results meet the client’s expectations. Changing specifications happens all too frequently, often as a way of reducing costs. However, sometimes a change in specification has a knock-on effect and the end result is that it isn’t fit for purpose and ends-up costing the client more money. There is also the issue of interpretation. Many commercial and industrial projects we visit are made up of different areas, from manufacture to storage. The floors in these different parts of the building need to be treated differently as their usage can differ greatly. Therefore, different grades of flooring should be specified depending on their intended use. This is easy to overlook when looking at project drawings, but with on-site support the use of the building can quickly be ascertained and a suitable specification created. On-site technical support shouldn’t stop there. We work closely with our contractor network to assist them on a job-by-job basis. This starts with training for a site operative at our Preston or Welwyn Garden City facilities and runs right through to assessing on site performance on a job. This is essential for projects where Sika is providing a guarantee. Technical support adds value at every stage – from helping develop new product to creating appropriate specifications, assisting with workmanship to ensuring a specification is maintained and the results exceed expectation. The only way to do this is by witnessing products in-use and seeing projects being delivered. There is no substitute to real life. On-site support may be a traditional value, but it’s a value that Sika believes strongly in, and it’s something that I believe makes us that little bit different. By Mark Prizeman, Sika Technical Services Manager, Flooring and Refurbishment Visit: http://gbr.sika.com/en/group/about-us/sika-everyday.html
    194 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Every building is made up of hundreds if not thousands of different building products and materials. Each product has been tested in a laboratory and certified to confirm it will do its job. However, once on-site, materials will act differently. They come into contact with different atmospheric conditions and are reliant on the installation by a contractor. This is where on-site technical support proves its worth. On-site technical support is often under-valued, but as a business, Sika places huge emphasis on it. It’s a core part of our product offering and a fundamental part of our everyday business. As a global leader, producing products for a variety of market sectors from construction to automotive (see http://bit.ly/2o8Ca6Z) supporting our customers is something we do - everyday. For Sika, on-site support starts at the research and development stage. We don’t just test new products in a laboratory and then package and sell them. We take them to market and test them in the real world. A laboratory is a controlled environment and our products are not installed in controlled environments – they are installed in some of the most challenging and harsh conditions you can imagine. Every site is different and contractors work in very different ways. As such, it is important to put our products into practice to see how they react. This could be from how they are handled on site; what effect the weather has on them and how they react to other materials. It is also important to get feedback from contractors as they are at the sharp end installing them every day – their feedback on how the product feels, how easy it is to work with is invaluable. We also believe that we have a responsibility to ensure that once our products have been specified, they are installed correctly and the end results meet the client’s expectations. Changing specifications happens all too frequently, often as a way of reducing costs. However, sometimes a change in specification has a knock-on effect and the end result is that it isn’t fit for purpose and ends-up costing the client more money. There is also the issue of interpretation. Many commercial and industrial projects we visit are made up of different areas, from manufacture to storage. The floors in these different parts of the building need to be treated differently as their usage can differ greatly. Therefore, different grades of flooring should be specified depending on their intended use. This is easy to overlook when looking at project drawings, but with on-site support the use of the building can quickly be ascertained and a suitable specification created. On-site technical support shouldn’t stop there. We work closely with our contractor network to assist them on a job-by-job basis. This starts with training for a site operative at our Preston or Welwyn Garden City facilities and runs right through to assessing on site performance on a job. This is essential for projects where Sika is providing a guarantee. Technical support adds value at every stage – from helping develop new product to creating appropriate specifications, assisting with workmanship to ensuring a specification is maintained and the results exceed expectation. The only way to do this is by witnessing products in-use and seeing projects being delivered. There is no substitute to real life. On-site support may be a traditional value, but it’s a value that Sika believes strongly in, and it’s something that I believe makes us that little bit different. By Mark Prizeman, Sika Technical Services Manager, Flooring and Refurbishment Visit: http://gbr.sika.com/en/group/about-us/sika-everyday.html
    Feb 02, 2018 194
  • 29 Jan 2018
    Construction giant Carillion’s plunge into liquidation has had an immediate impact, with the firm owing up to 30,000 businesses around £1bn in unpaid costs, as well as putting thousands of jobs at risk. What is clear from the collapse of such a seemingly untouchable giant such as Carillion is that there is a wider review needed for the way the industry is operating under its current business model. As part of that, the traditionally long and uncertain payment terms facing many construction subcontractors needs to be reviewed. The payment processes in place across many businesses within the industry are still manual and complex. Changes are needed to modernise and protect the sector against the impact of cases such as the Carillion collapse. Current reports state that Carillion owed money to between 25,000 and 30,000 businesses, some of which had bills which were equivalent to 10% of their turnover. The knock-on effect for subcontractors and the industry as a whole could be catastrophic. “Looking at previous cases where large contractors have collapsed, you typically see that around 17% or 18% of businesses who are creditors to the company don’t make it through the next five years”, states Suzannah Nichol, chief executive of trade body Build UK. It’s clear that steps are needed to improve cash flow between contractors and subcontractors – for the benefit of all. Automated payment processing systems are shifting from “nice to have” to an essential item for businesses to remain viable. For contractors, they benefit from increased efficiencies and a much more accurate understanding of their liabilities at any given time. For subcontractors, they gain visibility of the progress of their various applications for payment – something that will help them with their business planning. With the right technology, payment processes can become efficient, standardised, transparent and quick. Most importantly, the automation of these processes can allow for tracking and management across the whole supply chain which reduces risk and helps to build a clear and transparent picture of the finances affecting the business. Such disruptive technologies means the industry is facing a future of dramatic change. Visit www.openecx.co.uk
    164 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Construction giant Carillion’s plunge into liquidation has had an immediate impact, with the firm owing up to 30,000 businesses around £1bn in unpaid costs, as well as putting thousands of jobs at risk. What is clear from the collapse of such a seemingly untouchable giant such as Carillion is that there is a wider review needed for the way the industry is operating under its current business model. As part of that, the traditionally long and uncertain payment terms facing many construction subcontractors needs to be reviewed. The payment processes in place across many businesses within the industry are still manual and complex. Changes are needed to modernise and protect the sector against the impact of cases such as the Carillion collapse. Current reports state that Carillion owed money to between 25,000 and 30,000 businesses, some of which had bills which were equivalent to 10% of their turnover. The knock-on effect for subcontractors and the industry as a whole could be catastrophic. “Looking at previous cases where large contractors have collapsed, you typically see that around 17% or 18% of businesses who are creditors to the company don’t make it through the next five years”, states Suzannah Nichol, chief executive of trade body Build UK. It’s clear that steps are needed to improve cash flow between contractors and subcontractors – for the benefit of all. Automated payment processing systems are shifting from “nice to have” to an essential item for businesses to remain viable. For contractors, they benefit from increased efficiencies and a much more accurate understanding of their liabilities at any given time. For subcontractors, they gain visibility of the progress of their various applications for payment – something that will help them with their business planning. With the right technology, payment processes can become efficient, standardised, transparent and quick. Most importantly, the automation of these processes can allow for tracking and management across the whole supply chain which reduces risk and helps to build a clear and transparent picture of the finances affecting the business. Such disruptive technologies means the industry is facing a future of dramatic change. Visit www.openecx.co.uk
    Jan 29, 2018 164
  • 25 Jan 2018
    In a letter to Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has questioned whether the existing building regulations are fit for purpose, following the New Year’s Eve blaze at the King’s Dock multi-storey car park in Liverpool. In a fire that looks set to have a financial impact of over £50million, the question should be are we creating buildings and structures that are resilient and do the regulations go far enough? The fire, which reached temperatures of 1000 °C, destroyed upwards of a thousand vehicles inside the car park and caused extensive damage to the building itself. In an interview with the BBC Joe Anderson said it was unlikely the building could now be saved. The Mayor went on to state in his letter there was a “question of their efficacy in dealing with petrol based fires”, but the statistics show that the opposite is true. According to the UK Fire Statistics, there were 162 car park fires between 1994 and 2005 in which a fixed fire suppression system was present. Automatic sprinklers extinguished or contained 100 of these fires; and in only 1% of cases did the sprinklers operate but fail to contain or extinguish the fire. It is assumed that the remainder of the fires were too small to actuate the sprinklers, or were contained quickly by other means. This 99% success rate of activated sprinkler systems containing or extinguishing car park fires lays to rest the myth that sprinklers are ineffective at controlling fires in this setting. While the car park met current Building Regulations, this only means that the building complies – not that it is resilient. The Regulations are designed with life safety in mind and in this case they worked and everyone got out without injury. However, property protection is not considered and as such a fire which destroys a structure entirely can still be considered a success. This is fundamentally wrong. As a result of the lack of focus on property protection it has been estimated by the Association of British Insurers that £20m of claims will be paid out to insurance customers for the loss of vehicles and possessions in the fire. The construction cost of the building itself has been estimated to be in the range of £15m, bringing the total cost of property damage to an estimated £35m. However, the total cost of the fire will be far larger when the effect on the city as a whole is taken into account. The loss of the car park’s 1,600 spaces, charged at £15 per day, means a potential £24,000 of lost revenue daily, and the car park may not reopen for a year or longer. If it takes 18 months to reopen, this will mean potential lost earnings of £13,140,000. Visitors will seek alternative places to park, causing confusion and congestion and potentially cancelled visits should suitable alternative parking not be found. The ripple effect from this will be felt by businesses in the area who could previously expect custom from those parked in the multi-storey, who will now be spending less time in the town as they search for alternative places to park. Initial estimates of the cost of installing a sprinkler system in the car park have fallen within the range of £600k to £950k; considerably lower than the costs incurred as a result of the fire – costs that not only affect the Liverpool Echo Arena but smaller businesses and the city as a whole. Despite the evidence of the effectiveness of sprinklers in car parks and the resultant costs of a fire such as this one, the regulatory guidance for building safety does not call for the installation of sprinklers. The regulations concern themselves solely with life safety and do not take into account the wider economic effects of fire. Compliance with the regulations as they stand offers the bare minimum standards, rather than adequate resilience. By the existing regulations’ measure, the fire was a success as no one was injured. However, to consider the Liverpool car park fire a ‘success’ would be a difficult pill to swallow for many people, and for this reason the BSA backs the call for a review of building regulations with regards to the installation of sprinklers across the built environment.  Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    154 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In a letter to Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, has questioned whether the existing building regulations are fit for purpose, following the New Year’s Eve blaze at the King’s Dock multi-storey car park in Liverpool. In a fire that looks set to have a financial impact of over £50million, the question should be are we creating buildings and structures that are resilient and do the regulations go far enough? The fire, which reached temperatures of 1000 °C, destroyed upwards of a thousand vehicles inside the car park and caused extensive damage to the building itself. In an interview with the BBC Joe Anderson said it was unlikely the building could now be saved. The Mayor went on to state in his letter there was a “question of their efficacy in dealing with petrol based fires”, but the statistics show that the opposite is true. According to the UK Fire Statistics, there were 162 car park fires between 1994 and 2005 in which a fixed fire suppression system was present. Automatic sprinklers extinguished or contained 100 of these fires; and in only 1% of cases did the sprinklers operate but fail to contain or extinguish the fire. It is assumed that the remainder of the fires were too small to actuate the sprinklers, or were contained quickly by other means. This 99% success rate of activated sprinkler systems containing or extinguishing car park fires lays to rest the myth that sprinklers are ineffective at controlling fires in this setting. While the car park met current Building Regulations, this only means that the building complies – not that it is resilient. The Regulations are designed with life safety in mind and in this case they worked and everyone got out without injury. However, property protection is not considered and as such a fire which destroys a structure entirely can still be considered a success. This is fundamentally wrong. As a result of the lack of focus on property protection it has been estimated by the Association of British Insurers that £20m of claims will be paid out to insurance customers for the loss of vehicles and possessions in the fire. The construction cost of the building itself has been estimated to be in the range of £15m, bringing the total cost of property damage to an estimated £35m. However, the total cost of the fire will be far larger when the effect on the city as a whole is taken into account. The loss of the car park’s 1,600 spaces, charged at £15 per day, means a potential £24,000 of lost revenue daily, and the car park may not reopen for a year or longer. If it takes 18 months to reopen, this will mean potential lost earnings of £13,140,000. Visitors will seek alternative places to park, causing confusion and congestion and potentially cancelled visits should suitable alternative parking not be found. The ripple effect from this will be felt by businesses in the area who could previously expect custom from those parked in the multi-storey, who will now be spending less time in the town as they search for alternative places to park. Initial estimates of the cost of installing a sprinkler system in the car park have fallen within the range of £600k to £950k; considerably lower than the costs incurred as a result of the fire – costs that not only affect the Liverpool Echo Arena but smaller businesses and the city as a whole. Despite the evidence of the effectiveness of sprinklers in car parks and the resultant costs of a fire such as this one, the regulatory guidance for building safety does not call for the installation of sprinklers. The regulations concern themselves solely with life safety and do not take into account the wider economic effects of fire. Compliance with the regulations as they stand offers the bare minimum standards, rather than adequate resilience. By the existing regulations’ measure, the fire was a success as no one was injured. However, to consider the Liverpool car park fire a ‘success’ would be a difficult pill to swallow for many people, and for this reason the BSA backs the call for a review of building regulations with regards to the installation of sprinklers across the built environment.  Visit: www.business-sprinkler-alliance.org
    Jan 25, 2018 154
  • 23 Jan 2018
    Air leakage in the form of a draught within a building’s fabric is usually easy to detect. A shiver-inducing light gust is normally solved with the closing of a door or window, or with the strategic placement of a gap-filling excluder. For a property to achieve Passive House standards for air tightness, however, requires sealing the building against air leakage which isn’t felt or immediately apparent. Securing good levels of air tightness is not only beneficial for the building’s owner in terms of reduced energy usage and lower fuel bills. Since 2006, UK Building Regulations have included compulsory air leakage testing of new buildings, requiring developers to prove the air tightness of a sample of new buildings on a new residential housing estate, for example. Air leakage or air permeability, which refers to escaping or penetrating a building, is generally seen in the following areas: at external wall and floor junctions around windows and doors around pipe work including those generally boxed-in behind fitted units or behind bath and shower panels at socket points and around electricity units. Air assessment and APR During an air test, assessors will fit a temporary airtight screen at the entrance door of a building, whilst all other areas, such as water traps and vents, are temporarily blocked or closed. A fan then blows air into or out of the building to create a pressure difference between inside and outside of approximately 50 Pa. Air tightness is calculated by measuring the rate of airflow through the fan whilst a range of pressure differences between the inside and outside of the house are sustained. To pass an air leakage test a building must achieve an air permeability result (APR) of 10 m3/(h.m2). However, some targets are even more stringent when defined at design stage. A test that doesn’t achieve a Building Regulations minimum performance requirement would be classed as a fail. Should tests fail to achieve the necessary performance level, the building may require remedial work and retesting. This is where a good test engineer will often be able to identify the leakage points and provide corrective advice. Ignore these areas of escape at your peril. by Martin Peat, Commercial Director at Richardson & Peat Visit: http://www.richardsonandpeat.com/
    127 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Air leakage in the form of a draught within a building’s fabric is usually easy to detect. A shiver-inducing light gust is normally solved with the closing of a door or window, or with the strategic placement of a gap-filling excluder. For a property to achieve Passive House standards for air tightness, however, requires sealing the building against air leakage which isn’t felt or immediately apparent. Securing good levels of air tightness is not only beneficial for the building’s owner in terms of reduced energy usage and lower fuel bills. Since 2006, UK Building Regulations have included compulsory air leakage testing of new buildings, requiring developers to prove the air tightness of a sample of new buildings on a new residential housing estate, for example. Air leakage or air permeability, which refers to escaping or penetrating a building, is generally seen in the following areas: at external wall and floor junctions around windows and doors around pipe work including those generally boxed-in behind fitted units or behind bath and shower panels at socket points and around electricity units. Air assessment and APR During an air test, assessors will fit a temporary airtight screen at the entrance door of a building, whilst all other areas, such as water traps and vents, are temporarily blocked or closed. A fan then blows air into or out of the building to create a pressure difference between inside and outside of approximately 50 Pa. Air tightness is calculated by measuring the rate of airflow through the fan whilst a range of pressure differences between the inside and outside of the house are sustained. To pass an air leakage test a building must achieve an air permeability result (APR) of 10 m3/(h.m2). However, some targets are even more stringent when defined at design stage. A test that doesn’t achieve a Building Regulations minimum performance requirement would be classed as a fail. Should tests fail to achieve the necessary performance level, the building may require remedial work and retesting. This is where a good test engineer will often be able to identify the leakage points and provide corrective advice. Ignore these areas of escape at your peril. by Martin Peat, Commercial Director at Richardson & Peat Visit: http://www.richardsonandpeat.com/
    Jan 23, 2018 127

  • 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 485
  • 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 436