• 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
  • 02 Sep 2016
    In the absence of a crystal ball it is almost impossible to predict how construction companies will fare following the vote to leave the EU… Within days of the vote being announced it was clear that there would be winners and losers and it will probably be a least another six months or so before certainty returns to the market. But it would seem that, for companies willing to grasp the opportunities in Europe’s second largest construction market, the future could look very good indeed and some organisations are predicting that UK manufacturers could do extremely well if they are willing to be bold. The BBA is one such organisation that has identified an unexpected trend in the market and a mood of optimism from companies that believe they can succeed – by simply being better than their competitors – particularly in the areas of quality and excellence. It has long been accepted that a BBA accreditation is a standard of excellence that manufacturers of construction products should aspire to, but there are some who clearly want to go to the next step by driving quality forward still further to leave the competition behind. In short there seems to be a growing number of companies out there prepared to go that extra mile to get the best possible accreditations for their products to ensure that they have a greater advantage in a highly competitive market. There is no doubt that such companies will succeed against a background where building owners and specifiers are not prepared to risk anything but the best and it could be that the BBA has identified a positive move to even greater quality in the marketplace – although it must be emphasised they do not claim to have any definitive answers regarding the future. So it seems, then, that Britain could once again be a byword for quality, and if the BBA is right – then the entire UK construction market stands to benefit – and what’s wrong with that? http://www.bbacerts.co.uk/
    1 Posted by BBA
  • By BBA
    In the absence of a crystal ball it is almost impossible to predict how construction companies will fare following the vote to leave the EU… Within days of the vote being announced it was clear that there would be winners and losers and it will probably be a least another six months or so before certainty returns to the market. But it would seem that, for companies willing to grasp the opportunities in Europe’s second largest construction market, the future could look very good indeed and some organisations are predicting that UK manufacturers could do extremely well if they are willing to be bold. The BBA is one such organisation that has identified an unexpected trend in the market and a mood of optimism from companies that believe they can succeed – by simply being better than their competitors – particularly in the areas of quality and excellence. It has long been accepted that a BBA accreditation is a standard of excellence that manufacturers of construction products should aspire to, but there are some who clearly want to go to the next step by driving quality forward still further to leave the competition behind. In short there seems to be a growing number of companies out there prepared to go that extra mile to get the best possible accreditations for their products to ensure that they have a greater advantage in a highly competitive market. There is no doubt that such companies will succeed against a background where building owners and specifiers are not prepared to risk anything but the best and it could be that the BBA has identified a positive move to even greater quality in the marketplace – although it must be emphasised they do not claim to have any definitive answers regarding the future. So it seems, then, that Britain could once again be a byword for quality, and if the BBA is right – then the entire UK construction market stands to benefit – and what’s wrong with that? http://www.bbacerts.co.uk/
    Sep 02, 2016 1
  • 02 Sep 2016
    Finding themselves priced out of rural areas where they grew up, younger residents are leaving to find housing they can afford. Thanks to new Permitted Development planning laws however disused farm buildings can be transformed into good quality homes for rent or sale, meaning families can stay in the area and an asset is brought back into use for farmers. A mismatch between housing supply and demand in rural areas is forcing many residents to move to cities to find good affordable housing for themselves and their families. A solution which could defuse this demographic time bomb, while also giving disused farm buildings a new lease of life, is being trialled by one company across several farms in Cambridgeshire. In April 2014 the Government confirmed that permitted development rights within the 2012 National Policy Framework would enable change of use of agricultural buildings to residential, flexible (i.e. commercial) or educational use. With many farmers having disused and dilapidated barns or other buildings on their land which are no longer fit for purpose and present a maintenance headache, the potential to turn them into desirable and practical rural family homes and generate income in the process is tempting. In reusing existing building assets the idea is environmentally sustainable as well as being economically sustainable as a new long-term revenue stream for farmers. As one example in Cambridgeshire, contractor Richardson & Peat has been commissioned by AgReserves Ltd which owns farmland across the county to put together a design team to convert under permitted development their semi-derelict barns into high quality homes for rent to local people. Permitted development rules The following rules form a basic guide to developing an agricultural building under permitted development rights:• Developments cannot be larger than 450m² and must fall within existing footprint.• The previous use must be solely agricultural. • The maximum number of separate dwellings on one site is three.• The building cannot be Listed. • No previous permitted developments can have been accepted or built on the same farm.• The site is not in a safety hazard area or site of scientific interest or of military use.• The site complies with any requirements if it falls within a flood zone. • The building will comply with current Building Regulations when constructed. To proceed with taking on this challenge a good architect is essential in understanding not only rural design and planning but also the needs of future occupants. It’s unlikely that an existing barn will be in a condition in order to meet new housing standards in Building Regulations so the adaption of the existing barn must provide a new thermal envelope as a key component to the construction alongside good natural light levels from windows and doors. Structural engineers can also be critical particularly if you are looking at older barns where substantial work is going to be needed to strengthen existing foundations and new and existing floors and walls. Above all the final design should provide a good practical living environment for a family. With this planning option available farm living gives local people wishing to stay in the area an opportunity that would otherwise not be available and it also opens up the possibility for people looking to move back to a rural surrounding from an urban environment. From a farmers prospective it’s crucial that the building is laid out thoughtfully to maximise its asset value as this is a once only application under permitted development rules. The Cambridgeshire project will widen the housing choices for local residents, but could provide a template for other farmers looking to take up the idea which would create a major impact across the UK. From a financial position farmers looking to develop are likely to be given a fair hearing from lenders given that the land is already a free asset and would bring an impressive return on any borrowing, meaning there is a realistic opportunity to turn thousands of obsolete rural buildings into badly-needed homes for future generations.
    1 Posted by Natasha Wills
  • Finding themselves priced out of rural areas where they grew up, younger residents are leaving to find housing they can afford. Thanks to new Permitted Development planning laws however disused farm buildings can be transformed into good quality homes for rent or sale, meaning families can stay in the area and an asset is brought back into use for farmers. A mismatch between housing supply and demand in rural areas is forcing many residents to move to cities to find good affordable housing for themselves and their families. A solution which could defuse this demographic time bomb, while also giving disused farm buildings a new lease of life, is being trialled by one company across several farms in Cambridgeshire. In April 2014 the Government confirmed that permitted development rights within the 2012 National Policy Framework would enable change of use of agricultural buildings to residential, flexible (i.e. commercial) or educational use. With many farmers having disused and dilapidated barns or other buildings on their land which are no longer fit for purpose and present a maintenance headache, the potential to turn them into desirable and practical rural family homes and generate income in the process is tempting. In reusing existing building assets the idea is environmentally sustainable as well as being economically sustainable as a new long-term revenue stream for farmers. As one example in Cambridgeshire, contractor Richardson & Peat has been commissioned by AgReserves Ltd which owns farmland across the county to put together a design team to convert under permitted development their semi-derelict barns into high quality homes for rent to local people. Permitted development rules The following rules form a basic guide to developing an agricultural building under permitted development rights:• Developments cannot be larger than 450m² and must fall within existing footprint.• The previous use must be solely agricultural. • The maximum number of separate dwellings on one site is three.• The building cannot be Listed. • No previous permitted developments can have been accepted or built on the same farm.• The site is not in a safety hazard area or site of scientific interest or of military use.• The site complies with any requirements if it falls within a flood zone. • The building will comply with current Building Regulations when constructed. To proceed with taking on this challenge a good architect is essential in understanding not only rural design and planning but also the needs of future occupants. It’s unlikely that an existing barn will be in a condition in order to meet new housing standards in Building Regulations so the adaption of the existing barn must provide a new thermal envelope as a key component to the construction alongside good natural light levels from windows and doors. Structural engineers can also be critical particularly if you are looking at older barns where substantial work is going to be needed to strengthen existing foundations and new and existing floors and walls. Above all the final design should provide a good practical living environment for a family. With this planning option available farm living gives local people wishing to stay in the area an opportunity that would otherwise not be available and it also opens up the possibility for people looking to move back to a rural surrounding from an urban environment. From a farmers prospective it’s crucial that the building is laid out thoughtfully to maximise its asset value as this is a once only application under permitted development rules. The Cambridgeshire project will widen the housing choices for local residents, but could provide a template for other farmers looking to take up the idea which would create a major impact across the UK. From a financial position farmers looking to develop are likely to be given a fair hearing from lenders given that the land is already a free asset and would bring an impressive return on any borrowing, meaning there is a realistic opportunity to turn thousands of obsolete rural buildings into badly-needed homes for future generations.
    Sep 02, 2016 1
  • 22 Aug 2017
    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/  
    973 Posted by Talk. Build
  • 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/  
    Aug 22, 2017 973
  • 24 Nov 2017
    Biodiversity is something that is all too often overlooked in building design and built environment projects, especially on inner city, industrial and commercial projects. Often seen as exclusive for urban development, biodiversity has taken on a new importance and is something that should be considered on every project. Drawing from a pioneering and collaborative strategic ecological framework, BREEAM helps design teams consider how to incorporate biodiversity on every project by looking at the science behind biodiversity, encouraging alignment of relevant processes and promoting consideration of the environmental, social and economic benefits that ecological protection and enhancements can bring. There have been significant developments over the past decade in best practice for evaluating, protecting and enhancing ecological features. In response to industry feedback BRE Global’s BREEAM team has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to understand how to progress development of its ecology assessment content which covers master planning, infrastructure and buildings. Strategic Ecology Framework for BREEAM Scheme Development Following extensive feedback from ecology and landscape professionals and others commonly engaged with BREEAM assessments, the BREEAM team concluded that the ratings scheme should take a more strategic approach to encouraging high ecological standards. As a result, the treatment of ecology in UK BREEAM schemes has therefore been extensively reviewed in order to develop a Strategic Ecology Framework (SEF) for improving and evaluating the ecological performance of buildings, assets and developments. The SEF has been developed to reflect the advances in the field of ecology and landscape management. It forms the basis for future development of relevant ecology-related assessment criteria according to the respective life cycle stages covered by UK BREEAM schemes Measuring and Specifying for Ecological Performance BREEAM UK’s Ecology related content encourages project teams and facilities managers to reduce and manage impacts on the natural environment and local biodiversity/habitats and identify opportunities for enhancement. It does this by identifying ecological value on and around a site and the risks and opportunities that arise as a result of the design, construction and operation of an asset. It focuses on processes and actions that protect features of value, mitigate unavoidable impacts, and enhance habitats. Importantly, it also seeks to promote best practice regarding long term biodiversity management practices and strategies for assessed sites and ecologically associated surrounding areas to maximise the outcomes. Assessment content relate to the use of land of low ecological value, mitigation and enhancement of ecological value, long term ecological and biodiversity management and seek to maximise the wider benefits to occupants and the broader society through provision of additional amenity and economic value in a manner which is context specific. There are four key issues which make up the Ecology content: Identifying and understanding the risks and opportunities for project Managing negative impacts on habitats and biodiversity Enhancement of ecological value Long term biodiversity management and maintenance Part of each issue focuses on looking at how ecology, biodiversity and soft landscaping can support and link other core specification areas such as landscape and habitat management, surface water run-off management, flood risk management, light and noise pollution, health and wellbeing, and recreational space. Promoting consideration and where appropriate specification of elements which support sustainability and resilience on the site. Process of implementation With the SEF published in the spring of 2016, the process of implementation is underway through the BREEAM scheme development update process. BRE has brought together a group of ecologists, landscape architects and many others involved in the design, construction, handover and operational aspects of the built environment to advise on the development of a methodology for implementing the SEF which could be used across all BREEAM schemes. These individuals span all of the BREEAM schemes. This includes the following BREEAM new build suite of schemes currently being updated: BREEAM UK Non Domestic New Construction Home Quality Mark Next version of CEEQUAL (incorporating BREEAM Infrastructure pilot scheme) These schemes will be the first to take account of the updated ecology content informed by the Strategic Ecology Framework. Specifying and Creating a Sustainable Built Environment It is vital that we aspire to a built environment that is optimal in terms of ecology, and not only in terms of technology and costs. Of course not all projects can be ecologically ambitious, but they can take steps to protect and enhance the ecological value of buildings and sites, such as preserving natural areas, maintaining ponds, promoting bee-friendly planting and very many others. Protecting and improving ecology and how it relates to the built environment can contribute greatly to the environmental quality of our increasingly urbanised world and – as a growing body of evidence shows – improve the health, wellbeing and even productivity of building users. The new and comprehensive ecological framework developed by BREEAM will be key to both promoting and rewarding. By Yetunde Abdul, BREEAM Scheme Development Manager, BRE Global Visit: www.breeam.com/sef.
    952 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Biodiversity is something that is all too often overlooked in building design and built environment projects, especially on inner city, industrial and commercial projects. Often seen as exclusive for urban development, biodiversity has taken on a new importance and is something that should be considered on every project. Drawing from a pioneering and collaborative strategic ecological framework, BREEAM helps design teams consider how to incorporate biodiversity on every project by looking at the science behind biodiversity, encouraging alignment of relevant processes and promoting consideration of the environmental, social and economic benefits that ecological protection and enhancements can bring. There have been significant developments over the past decade in best practice for evaluating, protecting and enhancing ecological features. In response to industry feedback BRE Global’s BREEAM team has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to understand how to progress development of its ecology assessment content which covers master planning, infrastructure and buildings. Strategic Ecology Framework for BREEAM Scheme Development Following extensive feedback from ecology and landscape professionals and others commonly engaged with BREEAM assessments, the BREEAM team concluded that the ratings scheme should take a more strategic approach to encouraging high ecological standards. As a result, the treatment of ecology in UK BREEAM schemes has therefore been extensively reviewed in order to develop a Strategic Ecology Framework (SEF) for improving and evaluating the ecological performance of buildings, assets and developments. The SEF has been developed to reflect the advances in the field of ecology and landscape management. It forms the basis for future development of relevant ecology-related assessment criteria according to the respective life cycle stages covered by UK BREEAM schemes Measuring and Specifying for Ecological Performance BREEAM UK’s Ecology related content encourages project teams and facilities managers to reduce and manage impacts on the natural environment and local biodiversity/habitats and identify opportunities for enhancement. It does this by identifying ecological value on and around a site and the risks and opportunities that arise as a result of the design, construction and operation of an asset. It focuses on processes and actions that protect features of value, mitigate unavoidable impacts, and enhance habitats. Importantly, it also seeks to promote best practice regarding long term biodiversity management practices and strategies for assessed sites and ecologically associated surrounding areas to maximise the outcomes. Assessment content relate to the use of land of low ecological value, mitigation and enhancement of ecological value, long term ecological and biodiversity management and seek to maximise the wider benefits to occupants and the broader society through provision of additional amenity and economic value in a manner which is context specific. There are four key issues which make up the Ecology content: Identifying and understanding the risks and opportunities for project Managing negative impacts on habitats and biodiversity Enhancement of ecological value Long term biodiversity management and maintenance Part of each issue focuses on looking at how ecology, biodiversity and soft landscaping can support and link other core specification areas such as landscape and habitat management, surface water run-off management, flood risk management, light and noise pollution, health and wellbeing, and recreational space. Promoting consideration and where appropriate specification of elements which support sustainability and resilience on the site. Process of implementation With the SEF published in the spring of 2016, the process of implementation is underway through the BREEAM scheme development update process. BRE has brought together a group of ecologists, landscape architects and many others involved in the design, construction, handover and operational aspects of the built environment to advise on the development of a methodology for implementing the SEF which could be used across all BREEAM schemes. These individuals span all of the BREEAM schemes. This includes the following BREEAM new build suite of schemes currently being updated: BREEAM UK Non Domestic New Construction Home Quality Mark Next version of CEEQUAL (incorporating BREEAM Infrastructure pilot scheme) These schemes will be the first to take account of the updated ecology content informed by the Strategic Ecology Framework. Specifying and Creating a Sustainable Built Environment It is vital that we aspire to a built environment that is optimal in terms of ecology, and not only in terms of technology and costs. Of course not all projects can be ecologically ambitious, but they can take steps to protect and enhance the ecological value of buildings and sites, such as preserving natural areas, maintaining ponds, promoting bee-friendly planting and very many others. Protecting and improving ecology and how it relates to the built environment can contribute greatly to the environmental quality of our increasingly urbanised world and – as a growing body of evidence shows – improve the health, wellbeing and even productivity of building users. The new and comprehensive ecological framework developed by BREEAM will be key to both promoting and rewarding. By Yetunde Abdul, BREEAM Scheme Development Manager, BRE Global Visit: www.breeam.com/sef.
    Nov 24, 2017 952
  • 21 Sep 2017
    The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    698 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group is calling on the Government to solve the UK construction industry’s long-standing and crippling payments problem, labelling the current cashflow position as “critical”. In a recent article, the SEC Group – which represents SMEs in the construction engineering sector – warns that its members are increasingly being propped up by their directors’ wallets as an interim cashflow ‘solution’. They cite Funding Options figures that show directors lent their construction businesses £38 million in 2015/2016, up from £29.7 million in 2013/2014 – a jump of 28 per cent in just two years.  Unsurprisingly, the SEC Group labels this rise as “unsustainable” and has urged the Government to introduce legislation to solve the problem. We agree wholeheartedly with the SEC Group – the cashflow issue has affected growth of construction businesses of all shapes and sizes for too long and needs to be addressed urgently. However, we feel that while the Government has a role to play in improving B2B payments in the industry, businesses themselves can do much more to take greater control of their finances. We’ve partnered with Invapay, an Optal company, to make this easily achievable. Our unique proposition – a combined full-service payment solution – provides construction businesses with a quick and effortless way to manage their payment process and maximise working capital benefits. With Open ECX and Invapay, businesses are able to make their payment processes simple, streamlined and effortless from the moment a payment application is made right through to the point that it is paid. Our cloud-based paper-free WebContractor solution manages the first half of the process, giving subcontractors and suppliers the ability to submit invoices quickly and easily through an online portal. The automated service then processes the application, sending verification notices emails to the applicant and the QS, allowing invoicing authorisation to be granted hassle-free. At this stage Invapay’s payment solution comes into play. With no changes to processes and systems, Invapay’s business-tobusiness payment platform allows businesses to optimise their payments to suppliers and subcontractors. Through Invapay, businesses can take greater control of their cash flow – across working capital, credit lines and third party funds – ensuring long term cash flow benefits for buyers and subcontractors. By Matthew Jones, CEO of Open ECX For more information and to download a free payments guide visit: http://openecx.co.uk/maximising-payments-maximising-cash-flow/
    Sep 21, 2017 698
  • 31 Aug 2017
    The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    645 Posted by Talk. Build
  • The headline says it all - and it particularly applies to the construction industry; especially when it comes to our small corner of it, the resin bound permeable paving market. We are not afraid to tell you that we sometimes lose out to competitors quoting up to 20% cheaper than us. “What?” I hear you say “Some of your competitors are 20% cheaper than you and you are admitting it?”  Yes we are and for a very, very good reason… All too often we hear from customers who, having previously bought a cheaper product, ask us to rectify problems associated with inferior resin bound paving. Knowing that the basic requirement of every company is to make a profit, we can rule out companies doing too many jobs ‘out of the kindness of their heart’ or free of charge.  So, with only a limited number of ways to make one resin bound product cheaper than another, and ruling out profit as the major difference, the only other ways are: Cheaper resins Everyone in the industry knows that the resin used (very unsurprisingly) within resin bound paving is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your product is average or great.  Although the quality, cleanliness and consistency of the stone is vitally important, what really differentiates material suppliers is the quality of the resin binder used. There are many ‘tunes’ which can be played with the resin including using different types of vastly differing qualities and altering the formulation percentages to make products stronger or weaker.   Obviously less resin equals cheaper, and I seriously doubt anyone would be surprised that cheaper equals weaker. At SureSet we only use high quality resins, in the correct formulas, ensuring that the durability of our product is top of the agenda. Poor mix design Not investing in technical expertise is another way of reducing cost. Every blend we create at SureSet is tested using a process we have developed over 18 years.  We know that each type and size of individual aggregate has different characteristics, which means that some types of aggregate require different amounts of resin than others. I have heard many companies say “just dump this 7kg resin on top of any 100kg of dry stone and away you go”, but the reality is producing high quality, long lasting products is a far more technical process than that. This completely rules out the ‘one size fits all’ theory, yet there are many well established companies who are still doing just that. Hand in hand with good design is the need to manage quality so that the product produced is consistent and meets required standards.  Customers should look for suppliers who demonstrate this by achieving and maintaining national standards, such as ISO 9001 and Investors in People. Total quantity of material used There are some companies who, to keep the cost of a job low, will install the material at less than optimal depths, regardless of its end use.  When buying resin bound paving you should make sure that each quote has the same specification; if one company is stating a 20mm depth, and the other a 16mm depth, ask both companies why.  The likelihood is that the company stating 20mm will have done so due to turning vehicles, large vehicles or heavier usage etc.  The 20mm material will last longer, and withstand its intended use.  Let’s not forget the company stating 20mm also wants to be as competitive as possible, so it does not make commercial sense to state a greater depth, and therefore increased cost, than is necessary.  If 16mm will do the job, then 16mm would have been quoted for. Poor workmanship Labour costs are also a significant factor when determining the selling point of resin bound paving, both in having the necessary skills, and having enough labour on site. Our experience allows us to precisely assess how many installers are needed to install a particular job and enables us to price accurately.  A mistake commonly made is in thinking that three installers can do the job of five… In theory they probably could, but will the quality and attention to detail be the same if your surface were laid by five skilled installers? The simple answer is no.  If we at SureSet took that approach, whilst our quote would be more competitive and our profit margin increase, the reality is that the installation would be rushed and shortcuts taken. We do everything in our power to avoid under-estimating the time needed for each installation - at the end of the day you are ‘only as good as your last job’. In short there would be no time to walk that ‘extra mile’ and deliver the high quality associated with SureSet.  To summarise Throughout the 18 years SureSet has been manufacturing, supplying and installing permeable resin bound paving, we have been called upon to rectify poor installations. Some can be repaired, while others require complete replacement. Unfortunately for the customer, the original cheap price is no longer the bargain they originally thought it was. When buying resin bound paving I urge you not to buy on price, but consider these points when making your decision: Value – don’t just consider the upfront cost, but the whole life investment into the quality of the product. Remember you can only make cheap resin bound paving by compromising the quality of the end product. Quality– a product that has been well designed, researched and invested in will look better and last longer. Reputation – read testimonials, ask to see installations near you or speak to customers before purchasing.  ‘Word of mouth’ still goes a long way. Guarantee – established companies offering long guarantees offer them for a reason. Likewise companies offering a short guarantee also do so for a reason. Although we would love to, we don’t expect to win every tender we submit - it is not feasible or conducive to a healthy market. However when we lose out to an inferior, cheaper product is frustrating because we know that at some point in the future the customer, who thought they were choosing between ‘like for like’ products will be disappointed with their decision.  Not only was this a loss to SureSet, but more worryingly it could be a loss to the resin bound paving market.  So as the title of my blog suggests: Please, please don’t purchase purely on price, purchase on value. Author: Ben Shave, Sales Director, SureSet UK Ltd. Visit: https://www.sureset.co.uk/ Follow Us: https://www.facebook.com/suresetuk/ https://twitter.com/SureSetUK https://www.youtube.com/user/SureSetUK15 https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/1220581/  
    Aug 31, 2017 645
  • 18 Aug 2017
    Our Members of Parliament are getting themselves into a bit of a tizz about Big Ben and the fact that its iconic bell will be silenced for up to four years while essential refurbishment work takes place. It’s all in the cause of health and safety of course and it’s easy to be sentimental when you’re talking about one of the world’s best known monuments. But in reality, exposure to noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage. It is one of the most common health problems and can be difficult to detect as the effects build up over time – and in the case of Big Ben, the experts are probably right – worker health and safety should come first. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claim that industrial hearing loss remains the occupational disease with the highest number of civil claims accounting for about 75% of all occupational disease litigation. If noise levels exceed 85 decibels there is a duty to provide hearing protection and protection zones. Big Ben certainly meets that requirement and while contractors can wear ear protection, the work is going be hard enough up in that tower without having additional distractions. If in doubt, the Health and safety executive provide good advice regarding hearing if you visit their website - https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg362.html Hearing loss caused on construction sites does not make the headlines that often, so in an ironic way we should be thanking politicians for at least drawing attention to the issue – albeit for the wrong reasons There are a range of different types of hearing loss that can be caused from noise in the workplace, from temporary to permanent loss of hearing and conditions such as tinnitus or accoustic shock syndrome.  Certai professionms such as construction where there will inevitably be loud noise generated on an ongoing basis, workers are more liable to suffer conditions such as acoustic shock. This is because the construction industry involves the use of many machines which produce excessive noise. Workers who are exposed to this without adequate hearing protection can suffer from reduced hearing which becomes evident as the worker ages – often many years after exposure to the noisy machinery. The main culprits on building sites are: 1. Pneumatic drills These produce a large amount of excessive noise and are used in various different ways in the construction industry. 2. Circular saws Circular saws are typically used for cutting of wood and other materials used in the construction industry, such as cutting of floorboards in houses or frame work structure for dividing walls. 3. Nail guns or Hilti gun This gun fires nails in to steel which can be used for the construction of various different structures, such as buildings and bridges. 4. Staple guns Staple guns are used for various tasks in mining and this equipment has been known to produce excessive noise. 5. Grinders Grinders are used to cut and shape metal which if used frequently produces not only excessive noise but quite often excess vibration running the risk of hearing problems and vibration conditions such as VWF. All of these require contractors to where ear protection at all times – so you should answer the question – is this happening on your building site? In the case of Big Ben – I am sure we can all put up with a little silence for a few years – to ensure that a life time of silence is not an option for those that work there. By Talk Builder
    404 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Our Members of Parliament are getting themselves into a bit of a tizz about Big Ben and the fact that its iconic bell will be silenced for up to four years while essential refurbishment work takes place. It’s all in the cause of health and safety of course and it’s easy to be sentimental when you’re talking about one of the world’s best known monuments. But in reality, exposure to noise at work can cause irreversible hearing damage. It is one of the most common health problems and can be difficult to detect as the effects build up over time – and in the case of Big Ben, the experts are probably right – worker health and safety should come first. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claim that industrial hearing loss remains the occupational disease with the highest number of civil claims accounting for about 75% of all occupational disease litigation. If noise levels exceed 85 decibels there is a duty to provide hearing protection and protection zones. Big Ben certainly meets that requirement and while contractors can wear ear protection, the work is going be hard enough up in that tower without having additional distractions. If in doubt, the Health and safety executive provide good advice regarding hearing if you visit their website - https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg362.html Hearing loss caused on construction sites does not make the headlines that often, so in an ironic way we should be thanking politicians for at least drawing attention to the issue – albeit for the wrong reasons There are a range of different types of hearing loss that can be caused from noise in the workplace, from temporary to permanent loss of hearing and conditions such as tinnitus or accoustic shock syndrome.  Certai professionms such as construction where there will inevitably be loud noise generated on an ongoing basis, workers are more liable to suffer conditions such as acoustic shock. This is because the construction industry involves the use of many machines which produce excessive noise. Workers who are exposed to this without adequate hearing protection can suffer from reduced hearing which becomes evident as the worker ages – often many years after exposure to the noisy machinery. The main culprits on building sites are: 1. Pneumatic drills These produce a large amount of excessive noise and are used in various different ways in the construction industry. 2. Circular saws Circular saws are typically used for cutting of wood and other materials used in the construction industry, such as cutting of floorboards in houses or frame work structure for dividing walls. 3. Nail guns or Hilti gun This gun fires nails in to steel which can be used for the construction of various different structures, such as buildings and bridges. 4. Staple guns Staple guns are used for various tasks in mining and this equipment has been known to produce excessive noise. 5. Grinders Grinders are used to cut and shape metal which if used frequently produces not only excessive noise but quite often excess vibration running the risk of hearing problems and vibration conditions such as VWF. All of these require contractors to where ear protection at all times – so you should answer the question – is this happening on your building site? In the case of Big Ben – I am sure we can all put up with a little silence for a few years – to ensure that a life time of silence is not an option for those that work there. By Talk Builder
    Aug 18, 2017 404
  • 05 Sep 2016
    Love them or loathe them, emoji’s - or emoticons to give them their formal moniker - appear here to stay. This theory was compounded by the recently-launched Facebook Reactions, which enables users to add a range of happy, sad, angry faces as part of its ‘like’ option. Once the preserve of social media-savvy teens as an ultra-shorthand form of expression, some of the world’s biggest brands have taken to using the tiny symbols to promote their products. Sir Paul McCartney’s even in tune with emoticon. He composed music for a series of 'audio emojis' to celebrate Valentine’s Day – a serious acknowledgement that this form of communication once viewed as mere child’s play is now an established part of our literary lexicon. So how can emoji’s help the world of business? For more than a decade emoji’s have been used as colourful emphasis on social media postings – now cyber-based exclamations seems incomplete without them. Recent figures show 92% of the online population uses emoji’s, and Neil Patel, co-founder of the analytics companies KISS metrics, Crazy Egg and Quick Sprout, said the casual use of these colourful animations can be expanded upon by marketers to help bolster campaigns to the right audience. According to research, an emoji smiley face is equivalent to looking at a human smiling face, hence the relevance of a well-placed emoticon in a professional capacity. Their new-found acceptability means an emoticon’s use in a formal email could help create “positive expectancy” without hindering the sender’s credibility, the research found.   If emoji’s are to be used effectively in a formal communique or advertising campaign, Patel insisted they should not be used “for having fun” and users should consider their functionality before posting. He pointed to a recent World Wildlife Fund (WWF) campaign retweets following its official launch - which featured emoji’s of 17 endangered animals and gained 34,000 retweets following its official launch - as an example of a well-executed emoticon-led awareness promotion. In another successful campaign, General Electric teamed-up with science educator, Bill Nye, to create short science videos using emojis. To boost brand engagement, Patel offers some emoji-based examples of how it can be achieved: Use emoticons in push app notifications to announce product sales Use emoji’s to add colour and fun to official announcements Emoji usage can vary based on country and locality, so know your audience before applying emoticons Tag users next to emoji’s to get their special attention in your comments  Patel insists emoji’s are a form of communication and are processed in our brains as non-verbal communication. To get the right reaction from your content or promotion, he advises against applying emoticons too liberally. Just as verbosity should be avoided in word-from, so it must in emoji usage. Ashley Sterland, Communications Director for The Change Organisation, said businesses would do well to embrace the Emoji Age. “There is no question more and more businesses are using emoticons to boost their brand”, he said. “Emoticons are now an accepted part of everyday communication, be their use private or commercial. From a commercial point of view, though, I think its important marketers ensure emoji-led campaigns are targeted to the correct audience. There is little margin for error, but a relevantly-placed emoji can say so much more than words, with the result being a very well-executed and successful marketing campaign.” Although a few remain resistant to their charm, the future of emoji can be summed-up in one smiley face.       
    387 Posted by Sue Purveur
  • Love them or loathe them, emoji’s - or emoticons to give them their formal moniker - appear here to stay. This theory was compounded by the recently-launched Facebook Reactions, which enables users to add a range of happy, sad, angry faces as part of its ‘like’ option. Once the preserve of social media-savvy teens as an ultra-shorthand form of expression, some of the world’s biggest brands have taken to using the tiny symbols to promote their products. Sir Paul McCartney’s even in tune with emoticon. He composed music for a series of 'audio emojis' to celebrate Valentine’s Day – a serious acknowledgement that this form of communication once viewed as mere child’s play is now an established part of our literary lexicon. So how can emoji’s help the world of business? For more than a decade emoji’s have been used as colourful emphasis on social media postings – now cyber-based exclamations seems incomplete without them. Recent figures show 92% of the online population uses emoji’s, and Neil Patel, co-founder of the analytics companies KISS metrics, Crazy Egg and Quick Sprout, said the casual use of these colourful animations can be expanded upon by marketers to help bolster campaigns to the right audience. According to research, an emoji smiley face is equivalent to looking at a human smiling face, hence the relevance of a well-placed emoticon in a professional capacity. Their new-found acceptability means an emoticon’s use in a formal email could help create “positive expectancy” without hindering the sender’s credibility, the research found.   If emoji’s are to be used effectively in a formal communique or advertising campaign, Patel insisted they should not be used “for having fun” and users should consider their functionality before posting. He pointed to a recent World Wildlife Fund (WWF) campaign retweets following its official launch - which featured emoji’s of 17 endangered animals and gained 34,000 retweets following its official launch - as an example of a well-executed emoticon-led awareness promotion. In another successful campaign, General Electric teamed-up with science educator, Bill Nye, to create short science videos using emojis. To boost brand engagement, Patel offers some emoji-based examples of how it can be achieved: Use emoticons in push app notifications to announce product sales Use emoji’s to add colour and fun to official announcements Emoji usage can vary based on country and locality, so know your audience before applying emoticons Tag users next to emoji’s to get their special attention in your comments  Patel insists emoji’s are a form of communication and are processed in our brains as non-verbal communication. To get the right reaction from your content or promotion, he advises against applying emoticons too liberally. Just as verbosity should be avoided in word-from, so it must in emoji usage. Ashley Sterland, Communications Director for The Change Organisation, said businesses would do well to embrace the Emoji Age. “There is no question more and more businesses are using emoticons to boost their brand”, he said. “Emoticons are now an accepted part of everyday communication, be their use private or commercial. From a commercial point of view, though, I think its important marketers ensure emoji-led campaigns are targeted to the correct audience. There is little margin for error, but a relevantly-placed emoji can say so much more than words, with the result being a very well-executed and successful marketing campaign.” Although a few remain resistant to their charm, the future of emoji can be summed-up in one smiley face.       
    Sep 05, 2016 387