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  • 21 May 2019
    Digital construction is at the forefront of the UK’s overarching Industrial Strategy. With an abundance of digital solutions available to streamline project management and workflow, which measures can be taken to assure there are sufficient skilled employees to use them and secure the construction industry’s future, writes Erica Coulehan, Content Marketing Manager at GroupBC ? Attracting younger generations At present, it is estimated that 22% of the construction industry’s current workforce is over 50 and 15% is over 60; startling figures which are indicative of the industry’s ageing workforce. Therefore, as time progresses it is becoming more crucial to identify potential avenues which will attract pools of young people to fill the emerging skills gap. According to a Redrow report, 52% of young people disregard a career in construction, either because they are simply disinterested or completely unaware of what a career in construction entails. This statistic needs explicating, as it could infer that the current construction industry skills shortage is perpetuated by the multiple misconceptions and misperceptions which have been rife in the industry for a long period of time. The industry has made significant progression over the past decade, yet the majority of young people unfortunately associate construction with muddy hi-vis vests, dust and little opportunity for development. A misrepresentation that is almost as shocking as the statistic mentioned above: what is it going to take to let young people see how enterprising, innovative and ‘digital’ the construction industry is? Technology is used throughout our everyday lives, transcending age groups. Even though the construction industry is no exception, it is still perceived as relatively low-tech. Start with secondary schools Whilst architecture university degrees are prolific in the education of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital construction solutions, this trend is by no means concurrent with secondary schools. The reasons for this are not necessarily to do with a matter of choice or preference; UK schools are under pressure to offer students – at GCSE particularly – the sought-after STEM subjects which are at the foundation of an industrial, corporate world.   Even though STEM subjects open-up multiple opportunities for young people, the same sentiment applies to the construction industry. For example, digital construction is part of the UK’s wider Industrial Strategy, where the creation of software such as BIM has generated jobs requiring a high level of technical education and skills which form the base of ‘STEM careers’. An example would be the use of augmented reality across construction projects. Although the technology is in its early stages, augmented reality (AR) is radically changing the building process, described as a way to visualise, manage and coordinate data throughout a building’s lifecycle. AR creates a virtual 3D structure of a building, providing important data about each component that can be accessed pre, during and post construction. Therefore, as this working method continues to develop, complementary skillsets will have to be nurtured within client organisations to ensure the software can be operated and utilised efficiently by Operations and FM teams. Digital construction in action A few years ago the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) developed ‘Craft Your Future’, a programme for 12-14 year olds which is integrated into the computer game Minecraft. Designed to encourage young people to consider careers in city planning, construction management and more, ‘Craft Your Future’ is a virtual solution which gives young people crucial insight into the real-time operation of a construction project. Whilst ‘Craft Your Future’ may be playing a vital role in addressing the future skills gap and labour shortages, the industry in its present state has more pressing concerns. It is widely known that throughout the industry there is a reluctance to adopt digital solutions. Bodies such as the UK BIM Alliance – which GroupBC is a patron of – educate companies on the benefits of digital construction and aim to ensure a common approach amongst vendors. However, much needs to be achieved to counteract this unproductive cultural stalemate if the industry is to embrace modern methods of working, such as off-site manufacturing. Recent initiatives such as reverse mentoring programmes, offered by the likes of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering – in which the more ‘digitally-experienced’ workers are helping senior colleagues transition to digital processes – are softening the alien transition from one way of working to another. As such, these will hopefully provide them with a better understanding of the business benefits of digital technologies. The initiatives outlined above are just a small portion of the many programmes that are being developed to realise the industry’s digital future. For this reason, the industry would do well to continually develop programmes such as these, headed by inspirational industry specialists who can showcase the excellence, worth and opportunities in digital construction to people of all ages and abilities. Not only will this help close the skills gap, it will ensure construction businesses have enough highly-skilled workers to steer the construction industry into its digital chapter.
    59 Posted by Talk. Build
  • Digital construction is at the forefront of the UK’s overarching Industrial Strategy. With an abundance of digital solutions available to streamline project management and workflow, which measures can be taken to assure there are sufficient skilled employees to use them and secure the construction industry’s future, writes Erica Coulehan, Content Marketing Manager at GroupBC ? Attracting younger generations At present, it is estimated that 22% of the construction industry’s current workforce is over 50 and 15% is over 60; startling figures which are indicative of the industry’s ageing workforce. Therefore, as time progresses it is becoming more crucial to identify potential avenues which will attract pools of young people to fill the emerging skills gap. According to a Redrow report, 52% of young people disregard a career in construction, either because they are simply disinterested or completely unaware of what a career in construction entails. This statistic needs explicating, as it could infer that the current construction industry skills shortage is perpetuated by the multiple misconceptions and misperceptions which have been rife in the industry for a long period of time. The industry has made significant progression over the past decade, yet the majority of young people unfortunately associate construction with muddy hi-vis vests, dust and little opportunity for development. A misrepresentation that is almost as shocking as the statistic mentioned above: what is it going to take to let young people see how enterprising, innovative and ‘digital’ the construction industry is? Technology is used throughout our everyday lives, transcending age groups. Even though the construction industry is no exception, it is still perceived as relatively low-tech. Start with secondary schools Whilst architecture university degrees are prolific in the education of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital construction solutions, this trend is by no means concurrent with secondary schools. The reasons for this are not necessarily to do with a matter of choice or preference; UK schools are under pressure to offer students – at GCSE particularly – the sought-after STEM subjects which are at the foundation of an industrial, corporate world.   Even though STEM subjects open-up multiple opportunities for young people, the same sentiment applies to the construction industry. For example, digital construction is part of the UK’s wider Industrial Strategy, where the creation of software such as BIM has generated jobs requiring a high level of technical education and skills which form the base of ‘STEM careers’. An example would be the use of augmented reality across construction projects. Although the technology is in its early stages, augmented reality (AR) is radically changing the building process, described as a way to visualise, manage and coordinate data throughout a building’s lifecycle. AR creates a virtual 3D structure of a building, providing important data about each component that can be accessed pre, during and post construction. Therefore, as this working method continues to develop, complementary skillsets will have to be nurtured within client organisations to ensure the software can be operated and utilised efficiently by Operations and FM teams. Digital construction in action A few years ago the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) developed ‘Craft Your Future’, a programme for 12-14 year olds which is integrated into the computer game Minecraft. Designed to encourage young people to consider careers in city planning, construction management and more, ‘Craft Your Future’ is a virtual solution which gives young people crucial insight into the real-time operation of a construction project. Whilst ‘Craft Your Future’ may be playing a vital role in addressing the future skills gap and labour shortages, the industry in its present state has more pressing concerns. It is widely known that throughout the industry there is a reluctance to adopt digital solutions. Bodies such as the UK BIM Alliance – which GroupBC is a patron of – educate companies on the benefits of digital construction and aim to ensure a common approach amongst vendors. However, much needs to be achieved to counteract this unproductive cultural stalemate if the industry is to embrace modern methods of working, such as off-site manufacturing. Recent initiatives such as reverse mentoring programmes, offered by the likes of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering – in which the more ‘digitally-experienced’ workers are helping senior colleagues transition to digital processes – are softening the alien transition from one way of working to another. As such, these will hopefully provide them with a better understanding of the business benefits of digital technologies. The initiatives outlined above are just a small portion of the many programmes that are being developed to realise the industry’s digital future. For this reason, the industry would do well to continually develop programmes such as these, headed by inspirational industry specialists who can showcase the excellence, worth and opportunities in digital construction to people of all ages and abilities. Not only will this help close the skills gap, it will ensure construction businesses have enough highly-skilled workers to steer the construction industry into its digital chapter.
    May 21, 2019 59
  • 20 May 2019
    With the construction industry in need of a widespread culture change and a chain of responsibility, who will have responsibility for delivering standards of performance throughout the lifecycle of a building writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)? By looking at both the existing regulatory framework and performance beyond regulations we can gain a clear picture of how we design and construct buildings and how quality can better be managed. There is a radical and changing set of expectations of what people, business, government and society are looking for out of the built environment. Fundamentally, the industry hasn’t changed much in fifty years. Government has massive expectations in terms of what construction should deliver around climate change, social value and cultural integration within cities; coupled with the treasury’s need for productivity and economic growth. Homeowners have their own set of expectations and want to be comfortable in their own homes while there are also health drivers to consider. Technology and the range of materials related to the improvement of building performance have also improved considerably in the last 25 years, but sadly the industry has yet to embrace what digital transformation can offer.  All these things are being layered to create massive opportunity as well as considerable missed expectations for our sector.  As an industry we are still all too often focused on delivering building regulations as a performance standard, but expectations are way beyond that. The sector is geared up to deliver the lowest capital cost at a single point in time, but this value conversation rarely goes beyond the completion of the initial build. There are clear financial benefits to end-users, owners, occupiers and investors by not looking at lowest capital costs upfront, but the best lifecycle value. In commercial real estate, high-end markets, including central London, most buildings are built to much higher performance standards and as a result have a better fundamental economic return and the ROI (return on investment) can be tremendous through higher rents, lower running costs and higher residual values.  Asset value There needs to be a cultural shift away from lowest capital cost, but unless a client’s behaviour changes, professionals will always cow-tow to getting the work. The clients don’t spend the money because the market won’t put a value on it. The flipside is the market will not put a value on it because it does not trust they will get the outcome. One of the reasons they don’t trust the outcome is that it is not the norm and no one is doing it. Therefore, there is no danger to prove the benefit, this creates a vicious circle. Standards compliance, by definition, engenders and builds trust in outcomes and the confidence a certain level of performance will be achieved. Consider compliance as more than building regulations; it is compliance against a range of standards that meets the end-user’s needs. It is designing to a high performance and structured around building what we design. We need to be designing with the end-user in mind and having the discipline to check the variations and documentation before handing it over so that the future value isn’t lost. Enabling quality is, therefore about, the critical flow of information between the different parties over the lifecycle of the project and the building. It’s also where the digitalisation of that process becomes an enabler to drive quality. Information must be independently validated and needs to belong to the asset, not the individual or organisations. Competency of professionals In a fragmented and siloed construction world, there needs to be an awareness which is much broader than the technical aspects. Sadly, people either don’t have a viewpoint on the wider impacts such as climate change, future values and health implications, or if they do, they don’t feel empowered to use it in a constructive way. Similarly with the concerns raised by the Hackitt review; many professionals completely agree with the sentiment, indeed many claim to have shared such concerns for years, but have not been able to act on them.  In terms of the future, the continued professionalisation of construction management, and site supervision, as well as, some of critical trades will be essential, but so will technology with information becoming more of a driver on site. The way buildings are managed and operated, both legally and technically, will change. The greater professionalisation and automation of construction will go hand-in-hand.  Professionals are going to have to demonstrate their skillsets more overtly and more regularly, particularly if they are working on high-risk projects. We, therefore, need to adopt a better process that allows us to identify those individuals who have providence and precision, and the necessary skills to do the job.    If we can move beyond the single-minded chasing of lowest capital cost to one of best value, then we can begin to see a world where everything else will start to change.  This will create a wide range of opportunities and economic benefits, and professionals will need to respond.  The idea of competence will then have changed. Visit www.cbuilde.com.
    58 Posted by Talk. Build
  • With the construction industry in need of a widespread culture change and a chain of responsibility, who will have responsibility for delivering standards of performance throughout the lifecycle of a building writes Dr Gavin Dunn, Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Association of Building Engineers (CABE)? By looking at both the existing regulatory framework and performance beyond regulations we can gain a clear picture of how we design and construct buildings and how quality can better be managed. There is a radical and changing set of expectations of what people, business, government and society are looking for out of the built environment. Fundamentally, the industry hasn’t changed much in fifty years. Government has massive expectations in terms of what construction should deliver around climate change, social value and cultural integration within cities; coupled with the treasury’s need for productivity and economic growth. Homeowners have their own set of expectations and want to be comfortable in their own homes while there are also health drivers to consider. Technology and the range of materials related to the improvement of building performance have also improved considerably in the last 25 years, but sadly the industry has yet to embrace what digital transformation can offer.  All these things are being layered to create massive opportunity as well as considerable missed expectations for our sector.  As an industry we are still all too often focused on delivering building regulations as a performance standard, but expectations are way beyond that. The sector is geared up to deliver the lowest capital cost at a single point in time, but this value conversation rarely goes beyond the completion of the initial build. There are clear financial benefits to end-users, owners, occupiers and investors by not looking at lowest capital costs upfront, but the best lifecycle value. In commercial real estate, high-end markets, including central London, most buildings are built to much higher performance standards and as a result have a better fundamental economic return and the ROI (return on investment) can be tremendous through higher rents, lower running costs and higher residual values.  Asset value There needs to be a cultural shift away from lowest capital cost, but unless a client’s behaviour changes, professionals will always cow-tow to getting the work. The clients don’t spend the money because the market won’t put a value on it. The flipside is the market will not put a value on it because it does not trust they will get the outcome. One of the reasons they don’t trust the outcome is that it is not the norm and no one is doing it. Therefore, there is no danger to prove the benefit, this creates a vicious circle. Standards compliance, by definition, engenders and builds trust in outcomes and the confidence a certain level of performance will be achieved. Consider compliance as more than building regulations; it is compliance against a range of standards that meets the end-user’s needs. It is designing to a high performance and structured around building what we design. We need to be designing with the end-user in mind and having the discipline to check the variations and documentation before handing it over so that the future value isn’t lost. Enabling quality is, therefore about, the critical flow of information between the different parties over the lifecycle of the project and the building. It’s also where the digitalisation of that process becomes an enabler to drive quality. Information must be independently validated and needs to belong to the asset, not the individual or organisations. Competency of professionals In a fragmented and siloed construction world, there needs to be an awareness which is much broader than the technical aspects. Sadly, people either don’t have a viewpoint on the wider impacts such as climate change, future values and health implications, or if they do, they don’t feel empowered to use it in a constructive way. Similarly with the concerns raised by the Hackitt review; many professionals completely agree with the sentiment, indeed many claim to have shared such concerns for years, but have not been able to act on them.  In terms of the future, the continued professionalisation of construction management, and site supervision, as well as, some of critical trades will be essential, but so will technology with information becoming more of a driver on site. The way buildings are managed and operated, both legally and technically, will change. The greater professionalisation and automation of construction will go hand-in-hand.  Professionals are going to have to demonstrate their skillsets more overtly and more regularly, particularly if they are working on high-risk projects. We, therefore, need to adopt a better process that allows us to identify those individuals who have providence and precision, and the necessary skills to do the job.    If we can move beyond the single-minded chasing of lowest capital cost to one of best value, then we can begin to see a world where everything else will start to change.  This will create a wide range of opportunities and economic benefits, and professionals will need to respond.  The idea of competence will then have changed. Visit www.cbuilde.com.
    May 20, 2019 58
  • 13 May 2019
    In the closing weeks of January 2019, the first two parts of a new international Building Information Modelling (BIM) standard were published. Providing the framework for managing information on collaborative projects, and forming part of ISO 19650, the frameworks cover areas including concepts, principles and asset delivery writes Stuart Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at Group BC. But although these newly international standards are set to refine the construction industry’s approach to work, what kind of obstacles are in the way of their adoption? What traction will the standards have in an industry which is already falling behind in terms of the education and adoption of supporting processes and technology? Undoubtedly, the UK’s current PAS 1192 suite has provided a solid framework for BIM Level 2 adoption in the UK. The UK is a trusted authority with over three years’ experience working to the PAS 1192 and is recognised globally as being at the forefront of Building Information Modelling. The recently released standard, BS EN ISO 19650, is an evolution of the PAS 1192 suite, except the new standard can now be adopted internationally, providing a common term of reference for approaches to design, construction and building operations. During a period of Brexit uncertainty, does this new International standard provide further opportunity for UK Construction Plc to export our skills and knowledge overseas? The international opportunity UK construction businesses that are working with or targeting overseas clients and project work should embrace the move towards the ISO. Given the maturity of UK BIM adoption to date, you could argue British companies are best placed to advise overseas clients and be the information management lead on projects. A universally accepted industry ‘language’ and ‘process approach’ (that has evolved from the level 2 standards) means less will be lost in translation and the time to value for clients on the benefits of BIM delivery approaches will be greatly increased. What are the implications? However, whilst the new ISO is set to refine building standards, some are concerned the changes will only cause further polarisation between the early adopters who fully embrace BIM and those that are still catching up, uncertain of the application and benefits of BIM to their businesses. It could be argued that large tier one consultants and contractors have stolen a march over SME’s in terms of BIM Level 2 adoption, being better placed to secure positions on public sector frameworks and having the available finances to invest in training and technology. Inevitably, as the pace of technology innovation and standard’s evolution accelerates and outstrips the pace of industry’s digital transformation, some businesses are at risk of being left behind. Evidence suggests that the worst adopted are businesses in the construction supply chain that are responsible for a significant proportion of the physical construction work. For this reason, if we want to deliver real transformational change, we must ensure all BIM (systems and technology) is accessible to all. Education is the key Understanding the business case for change, and educating companies on the benefits of process driven technology is now fundamental. To increase adoption, continual education is the key to recognising the benefits of BIM and the wider change it will deliver to clients and the supply chain alike. BIM is not a technology or a solution - it is a holistic approach to collaborative working that drives benefits to all project participants. It provides a standardised framework to monitor performance across a built asset’s entire lifecycle, from initial design, through construction to real-time operation. It ensures data is consistently captured, approved and retained to support better decision making at every stage of the capital phase as well as operational occupancy/asset use. Thus, the benefits of this approach must be articulated with this in mind. BIM shouldn’t be viewed as another tax on the industry borne out of the maintenance of standards and regulatory controls; it is a real enabler for change for a marginal industry that has historically been slow to adapt and evolve. Educating companies on the standards are equally as important as BIM itself. As a matter of course, clients want to access trusted, reliable and secure digital information regarding their physical assets. Adopting standards ensures that contractors, consultants and lead designers can offer their clients consistency in delivery approach and, with that consistency, a better designed and delivered product. At the same time, those companies embracing the standards have an opportunity to develop competitive differentiation and better position themselves to win more work. At a time where the industry is under enormous pressure to deliver projects to stringent affordability criteria, attain carbon targets and meet tight construction deadlines, solutions which drive increased efficiency and quality are a must. ISO 19650 is a more unified, transferable standard which will help companies adopt a straightforward approach to managing information on digital platforms and across international boundaries. However, whilst the new standard provides a solid framework for improved project and asset information management, there needs to be continual education to encourage industry-wide BIM adoption from large tier one contractors and consultants down to regional trade contractors. In doing so, we will see a more significant step change in approach and delivered value. Only then might the construction industry be viewed as progressive rather than polarised and primitive in terms of its technology adoption. Visit: https://www.groupbc.com/
    77 Posted by Talk. Build
  • In the closing weeks of January 2019, the first two parts of a new international Building Information Modelling (BIM) standard were published. Providing the framework for managing information on collaborative projects, and forming part of ISO 19650, the frameworks cover areas including concepts, principles and asset delivery writes Stuart Bell, Sales and Marketing Director at Group BC. But although these newly international standards are set to refine the construction industry’s approach to work, what kind of obstacles are in the way of their adoption? What traction will the standards have in an industry which is already falling behind in terms of the education and adoption of supporting processes and technology? Undoubtedly, the UK’s current PAS 1192 suite has provided a solid framework for BIM Level 2 adoption in the UK. The UK is a trusted authority with over three years’ experience working to the PAS 1192 and is recognised globally as being at the forefront of Building Information Modelling. The recently released standard, BS EN ISO 19650, is an evolution of the PAS 1192 suite, except the new standard can now be adopted internationally, providing a common term of reference for approaches to design, construction and building operations. During a period of Brexit uncertainty, does this new International standard provide further opportunity for UK Construction Plc to export our skills and knowledge overseas? The international opportunity UK construction businesses that are working with or targeting overseas clients and project work should embrace the move towards the ISO. Given the maturity of UK BIM adoption to date, you could argue British companies are best placed to advise overseas clients and be the information management lead on projects. A universally accepted industry ‘language’ and ‘process approach’ (that has evolved from the level 2 standards) means less will be lost in translation and the time to value for clients on the benefits of BIM delivery approaches will be greatly increased. What are the implications? However, whilst the new ISO is set to refine building standards, some are concerned the changes will only cause further polarisation between the early adopters who fully embrace BIM and those that are still catching up, uncertain of the application and benefits of BIM to their businesses. It could be argued that large tier one consultants and contractors have stolen a march over SME’s in terms of BIM Level 2 adoption, being better placed to secure positions on public sector frameworks and having the available finances to invest in training and technology. Inevitably, as the pace of technology innovation and standard’s evolution accelerates and outstrips the pace of industry’s digital transformation, some businesses are at risk of being left behind. Evidence suggests that the worst adopted are businesses in the construction supply chain that are responsible for a significant proportion of the physical construction work. For this reason, if we want to deliver real transformational change, we must ensure all BIM (systems and technology) is accessible to all. Education is the key Understanding the business case for change, and educating companies on the benefits of process driven technology is now fundamental. To increase adoption, continual education is the key to recognising the benefits of BIM and the wider change it will deliver to clients and the supply chain alike. BIM is not a technology or a solution - it is a holistic approach to collaborative working that drives benefits to all project participants. It provides a standardised framework to monitor performance across a built asset’s entire lifecycle, from initial design, through construction to real-time operation. It ensures data is consistently captured, approved and retained to support better decision making at every stage of the capital phase as well as operational occupancy/asset use. Thus, the benefits of this approach must be articulated with this in mind. BIM shouldn’t be viewed as another tax on the industry borne out of the maintenance of standards and regulatory controls; it is a real enabler for change for a marginal industry that has historically been slow to adapt and evolve. Educating companies on the standards are equally as important as BIM itself. As a matter of course, clients want to access trusted, reliable and secure digital information regarding their physical assets. Adopting standards ensures that contractors, consultants and lead designers can offer their clients consistency in delivery approach and, with that consistency, a better designed and delivered product. At the same time, those companies embracing the standards have an opportunity to develop competitive differentiation and better position themselves to win more work. At a time where the industry is under enormous pressure to deliver projects to stringent affordability criteria, attain carbon targets and meet tight construction deadlines, solutions which drive increased efficiency and quality are a must. ISO 19650 is a more unified, transferable standard which will help companies adopt a straightforward approach to managing information on digital platforms and across international boundaries. However, whilst the new standard provides a solid framework for improved project and asset information management, there needs to be continual education to encourage industry-wide BIM adoption from large tier one contractors and consultants down to regional trade contractors. In doing so, we will see a more significant step change in approach and delivered value. Only then might the construction industry be viewed as progressive rather than polarised and primitive in terms of its technology adoption. Visit: https://www.groupbc.com/
    May 13, 2019 77

  • For your convenience we have listed 10 of the best “How to plaster a wall” blogs and guides and as we have no affiliations to any individual suppliers, it is for you to decide what works for you. Building Materials Company One of the better guides showing how to plaster a wall in nine easy steps  https://www.buildingmaterials.co.uk/knowledge/how-to-plaster-a-wall       2. British Gypsum As one of the country’s leading manufacturers this How to guide is obviously aimed at its own products but also gives a more general guide to all types of plastering and may be better suited to the beginner. https://www.british-gypsum.com/product-range/plaster-products/how-to-plaster         3. Homebuilding and Renovating This is a more interesting guide as it tries to give useful tips covering a range of different plastering challenges. https://www.homebuilding.co.uk/plastering-walls          4. DIY Doctor This website readily acknowledges that plastering can be difficult but concentrates on the finished job, the actual final coat or skim, which obviously has to look flat on completion. https://www.diydoctor.org.uk/projects/skim.htm           5. Dave’s Tips We like this site as it really tries to appeal to the beginner. Dave is an experienced plasterer and reckons it’s easy – but then it probably is for him. https://www.davesdiytips.com/plastering-for-beginners            6. Able Skills This is a site that assume you have never plastered a wall before and really does get down to the basics. We all know of course it’s not as easy as it’s made out – but well worth a look. https://www.ableskills.co.uk/blog/tutorials/how-to-apply-your-first-coat-of-plaster          7. Real Homes This is advice for those of us who live in old homes. Plastering is a more of a challenge in such buildings and this is where you will get the best tips if you have an older property. https://www.realhomes.com/advice/plaster-in-old-homes          8. The Spruce Keeping on the theme of old homes The Spruce takes it one stage further by discussing plaster and lath. If your home features such walls and ceilings then this is for you. https://www.thespruce.com/plaster-and-lath-came-before-drywall-1822861             9. Artex Ltd Probably one of the biggest plastering challenges and a throwback to all those 80’s style properties this How to guide shows you the best way to plaster over Artex. Good luck. https://www.artexltd.com/repair-hub/plastering-over-artex             10. Dummies Finally in our top 10 and the one that most find easier is a guide to how to repair cracks. These easy to follow instructions are worth a look. https://www.dummies.com/home-garden/walls-ceilings/how-to-fix-small-cracks-in-plaster
    Dec 13, 2018 361
  • Once you have planned where your shed will go you need to make sure you have all the right tools and products to complete the job such as: Pegs and string Building sand Standard cement Timber for base formwork Tape measure Spade Sweeping brush 1. Prepare the base When you do this allow enough distance from hedges or fences for easy access to all sides. Use the pegs and string to mark out a base 2” (5 cm) larger than the area of the building on each side. Make sure the area is square by using a level diagonally across the area 2. Pay attention to the hardcore Ensure that you have at least 3” (7.5 cm) of compacted hardcore underneath a 3″ concrete layer. The base can be level with the ground or raised above it. If you want it to be level, dig to a depth of 6” (15 cm), to allow for the hardcore layer and 3” (7.5 cm) of concrete. Level the area with a rake and spade and remove the pegs. 3. Make sure it’s level Measure, cut and fit timber to the shape of the base in order to contain the concrete. Check diagonal measurements to ensure the formwork is square and level as this will determine whether your shed base is 100% sturdy. Spread the hardcore and cover with a good level of sand. Ensure it is well compacted and flattened using a compacting tool or roller. 4: Next the concrete Mix concrete using one part cement to five parts all-in-one ballast, or use bags of dry-mixed concrete and just add water. Be careful not to add too much water as this may make the cement too runny. Spread the concrete evenly and slightly above the formwork. This can be then levelled off with a long straight edge of timber resting on the formwork. Use a sawing motion slowly over the entire surface of the freshly laid concrete. In extreme weather conditions – both hot and cold – ensure that you base is covered to allow it to cure slowly, minimising the risk if shrinking or cracking – and there you have it – the perfect base for your new shed. You could of course then decide to build your own shed but as we discussed earlier – why would you want to when there are so many brilliant alternatives that have been prefabricated offsite and ready to be place on your new base. Talk.Build never makes recommendations but as a starting point you might want to visit:  Sheds
    Jul 30, 2018 496
  • We have seen many different types of architectural software over recent years and while it seems that most do very good jobs there have also been many adverse comments that products are not delivering. Understandably most professionals are confused with the wide range of products on offer. Many look at niche options which do not quite hit the mark but with the right software and a modern computer, the entire plan of a building can be rendered and checked for structural and design flaws before it even leaves the drawing board. This is more efficient, less wasteful, and a lot more convenient as well. BIM Modelling has also demanded that architects design and produce in both 2D and 3D and as a result there have been major development in design software which allows professionals to draw and visualise house floor plans more quickly and easily One such company, Elecosoft, seems to have gone further than most with its own bespoke package, “Arcon Evo”, which combines visual design, professional CAD capabilities and clear project execution in a single program. The new software also offers an extensive range of architectural CAD tools for all aspects of building design allowing architects to construct to the smallest level of detail. It also produces detailed plans, automated 3D models, elevations, section details and working drawings and much more. At the front end it will also generate detailed drawing sets for planning applications with many additional features which many of my colleagues in the trade press are endorsing as a major leap forward. To some extent I guess I am doing the same but rather than list all the benefits, which can be seen on the company’s website – the link is featured at the bottom of this article - I am more interested in how architects themselves have responded. In the past, as mentioned earlier, we have seen many different software packages which all claim to bring architects and building professionals into the 21st Century but have failed to deliver when it matters. According to the professionals “Arcon Evo” does exactly what it says on the tin and is more than capable of producing detailed 2D and 3D designs and it seems a whole lot more. Guess it is down to our readers to decide. Visit: www.3darchitect.co.uk
    Jul 26, 2018 1006
  • Contractors working in the domestic market have a powerful tool when it comes to promoting the quality, reliability and sustainability of single ply roofing to their customers. By drawing clients’ attention to the Single Ply Roofing Association’s free Homeowner Guide and the special building and contents insurance offer from GGFi, they can help their clients make informed decisions on design, specification and product choice for their domestic projects. By promoting these resources, the contractor is also demonstrating their own commitment to quality. The SPRA Homeowners Guide provides helpful guidance to homeowners seeking a durable roofing solution with low environmental impact for their home renovation or construction project.  The guide provides concise help on design, materials, choosing a manufacturer and specialist contractor, insurance and durability. There are also useful checklists for key stages such as obtaining quotations. When combined with the unique home buildings and contents insurance scheme offered by GGFi, a single ply flat roof becomes a very attractive option. Ronan Brunton, SPRA Technical Manager said: “Single Ply Roofing membranes have been widely used in commercial buildings in the UK since the 1970s, and it is still relatively new in the domestic market. However, single ply membranes are suited to almost any design challenge and can be used on all kinds of roof shapes. Indeed, a fantastic project ( showcased on Grand Designs ), won the SPRA 2018 Award for Innovation and it was also awarded Highly Commended in the Detail Award category.” Single Ply Roofing has many benefits over other roofing membranes including: It’s easy to install and requires no naked flame; Available in a variety of colours; All single polymeric materials offered by SPRA members are resistant to weathering, chemical oxidation and UV radiation. Careful formulation ensures that physical properties are retained over a temperature range exceeding –300C to +800C to suit the variable climate typical of the UK; The materials used are extremely durable and all SPRA member products are independently certificated for durability in the range 25-40 years as opposed to other types of membrane for which waterproofing is typically certified for 25 years; Single ply membrane receives the best rating for environmental impact (A*) in the BRE ‘Green Guide’ if used on timber panel decks, many of the products are recyclable and because the membranes are laid in a single layer, they are very efficient in the use of resources. Cathie Clarke, SPRA CEO said; “At SPRA our focus is to promote quality and sustainability. We designed the Homeowners Guide so that it provides information in a clear, simple and easy to understand format. We want to support homeowners to achieve the best possible results on any given renovation or improvement project.” The Homeowner’s Guide to Single Ply Roofing is now available as a free download from the SPRA website; https://spra.co.uk/homeowners/  
    May 17, 2019 18
  • Developed, re-engineered and designed for ease of installation and to provide a neat mortarless finish at roof verges on new build and retrofit projects, the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system is a 100% mortar-free, dry fix solution, offering a hard-wearing, durable and attractive finish to the roofline without the inconvenience of using mortar bedding.  Manufactured from lightweight, modern plastic materials that are easy-to-install and weather resistant, the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system protects the roof verge from wind uplift, pest infestation and weather degradation. Available in Brown, Anthracite Grey and Terracotta, this all-weather system includes Starter Piece, Verge Section, Batten Clip, and, Angled and Half-Round Ridge Caps options to suit the ridge style. Fully adjustable for installation with tiles of between 260mm-350mm gauges, the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system is quick and easy to install, and offers a wealth of features to make life easier for the installer, giving a more superior dry verge solution for both new build and renovation projects. The temporary ‘True-Line’ guide in the Starter Piece ensures it is correctly lined up with the tiles, guaranteeing perfect alignment on the roof, whilst a handy cut out area provides the flexibility to work around existing gutters. Attention to detail and consideration of the installers needs have played a crucial part in developing this product. The Verge Sections are not handed to fit both the left hand and right hand sides of the roof verge for ease of installation. The ‘True-Connect’ locators fit the ‘True Mount’ allowing adjustable positioning of the Verge Sections to suit various tile gauges. An in-built ‘drip strip’ allows rainwater to run off the Verge, avoiding wall staining and potential damp. There are flex points on the Ridge Caps which allow for differing roof angles and a choice of angled and half round options to suit the ridge style. Commenting on the launch, Paul Goddard, Sales Director of Ariel Plastics said: “With the construction industry reaping the benefits of dry fix products, we have re-engineered the Coroverge Universal Dry Verge System so that it is fast and simple to install, and fully compatible with a wide range of tiles.  It’s set to become the go-to, hassle-free dry verge system for merchant customers, offering a clean, attractive and maintenance-free finish.” Offering the widest choice of roofing sheet, rooflights and roofing accessories available in the UK, industry leader Ariel Plastics is renowned for providing specialist roofing and glazing solutions for any application. The new Coroverge Universal Dry Verge system complements Ariel’s extensive Corodrain roof drainage and Corovent roof ventilation portfolios. Available to watch on Ariel plastics Youtube channel, an installation video takes installers through the process of installing the new Coroverge Universal Dry Verge System. Visit www.arielplastics.com    
    May 16, 2019 12
  • For more than 175 years, Longden Doors has provided traditional craftsmanship and expertise to create doorsets that have graced many of the country’s buildings from historic listed buildings to premium residential. Regrettably the company fell into administration in early February 2019, but the acquisition by Kensington Specialist Joinery will ensure the brand continues. As part of the acquisition, Kensington Specialist Joinery has purchased the brand, IP and product certification, ensuring the highly regarded brand will continue to be manufactured at the company’s facility in County Durham. Commenting on the acquisition, Colin Sweeten, Managing Director of Kensington Specialist Joinery, said: “We are delighted to be able to integrate and further develop the long-established Longden Doors brand within our growing joinery business. As a company, we will make sure the future development of Kensington Specialist Joinery will be respectful of and remain true to the brand’s unique heritage.” Established in October 2017, Kensington Specialist Joinery has grown rapidly with sustained development down to the success of its high quality bespoke products and fit-out work.  The company has worked hard to secure work on high-profile projects across a wide range of sectors from residential to hotel and leisure projects. “This is an exciting opportunity and as a company with a strong financial and customer base, we are confident we can make it a great success. We welcome the Longden Doors brand to the group and look forward to developing its range of hardwood joinery products based on its well established brand values of quality, design and certification,” added Colin Sweeten. The business has recently received investments from the private equity firm, Merino Private Equity LLP and, with its support, will continue to forge a reputation for high standards, service and innovation.  As the company continues to grow, it hopes to support the community of Newton Aycliffe with future opportunities of local employment.  Visit www.kensingtonsj.co.uk
    May 14, 2019 21
  • One of Scotland’s largest regeneration projects, Quartermile is located on the historic 19-acre former site of the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Masterplanned by Architects, Foster + Partners, Quartermile is one of the largest and most comprehensive regeneration schemes in Scotland. Combining new build with selective refurbishment. The development provides over 1,000 apartments along with 370,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation, 65,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space and seven acres of open landscaping. SIDERISE was approached by Edinburgh based façade specialists Charles Henshaw & Sons for its technical expertise in acoustics to find a bespoke solution that would meet the acoustic performance criteria requirements for Quartermile’s Q20 - Q25 apartment buildings, all of which feature curtain walling. The principal challenge was to achieve an on-site test value in excess of the 53dB DnT,w requirement for Building Regulations in Scotland. The target was 56dB DnT,w. For Henshaw this meant that the façade system, a potential weak point for flanking sound transmission, needed to achieve between 61-66dB Dnf,w flanking via the façade, past the floor slab areas, to exceed building regulations and provide the architect, client and project noise consultant RMP with a solution that offered high acoustic performance and a quality build.  Commenting on the collaborative working relationship with SIDERISE, Design Director Donald Fraser at Henshaw said: “We had very informative and lengthy discussions with Mike Carrick of SIDERISE, who helped us in achieving a far better detail at the slab edge, which not only met with the approval of RMP, it also proved to be the optimum solution.” SIDERISE recommended using its CW-FS 120 curtain wall firestop along with their AB10 acoustic matting solutionand CVB/C10 cavity barrier solution. Used to improve floor-to-floor acoustic performance and form a simple, high performance sound barrier, the acoustic matt was held up with 40mm x 20mm x 1.6mm galvanised angles to stop it sinking. SIDERISE mullion inserts were also specified to further increase the acoustic performance at the critical mullion detail.  “This comprehensive floor detail from SIDERISE has been used at Quartermile to good effect, with all the test data showing it passed and indeed exceeded the target ratio. It’s also extremely quick and easy to install,” added Donald Fraser. Involved in projects throughout the world and having manufactured acoustic and fire insulation products for more than 40 years, SIDERISE offers a large range of tried and tested product enhancements specifically developed for the façade industry. Designed to reduce vertical and horizontal sound transmission in curtain wall buildings, this range includes a choice of effective and proven sound reduction solutions that deal with all common sound path problems and are frequently used to assist in reducing flanking transmission between adjacent internal areas. Visit www.siderise.com
    May 21, 2019 5
  • SAS International was selected for its unique SAS740i linear ceiling solution with integrated lighting, which cannot be found anywhere else. This ceiling design, characterised by floating rafts, dominated the entire atrium space. Suspended within this area, the black and white SAS740i rafts were suspended 20m below the glass atrium room through a stainless steel cable system. Black SAS130 tiles with a SAS-DL perforation were also installed, not only to meet the area’s acoustic requirements, but to add an industrial quality to each floor. Completed in November 2018, SAS International designed and delivered timeless metal ceiling solutions that will bring the building well into the next phase of its lifetime. Visit: https://sasintgroup.com
    Mar 11, 2019 108
  • As the building was an operating school, a fire rated product was deemed to be a sensible option, therefore Proteus Pro-Felt® Ultima Plus Fireguard was installed. To incorporate the awkward detailing Proteus Pro-System® Plus was used. As it is a cold applied liquid, it meant it could be easily moulded. Proteus Waterproofing worked closely with the Proteus Approved Contractor James Roofing Ltd.  to ensure the project was completed to a high standard.  Due to the works being carried out during term time, safety was of utmost importance to the staff and pupils, as well as minimising disruptions or suspensions. Proteus Waterproofing promote fire safe installation methods conforming to the industry lead Safe2Torch guidelines and is also certified with the highest European Fire Rating BroofT4. Proteus Pro-Felt® Ultima Plus is a high-performance multi-layer bituminous membrane system, tested to perform in extreme temperatures and weather conditions. This membrane is impervious to water and will achieve a weather-tight roof.   It has class leading modified bitumen content which allows the flexible membrane to move with the building and ensure long term durability and performance which is certified by the BBA to be in excess of 30years. Visit: www.proteuswaterproofing.co.uk
    Mar 05, 2019 133
  • Gary will oversee the order and despatch operation at VJ Technology’s headquarters in Ashford, Kent. He will manage 30 staff, compromising three supervisors and a team of ‘picking and packing’ operatives. Gary commented, “This is a new and exciting role, which I’m delighted to have taken on. VJ Technology is a growing brand within the construction sector and I’m looking forward to playing a part in its future success.” Prior to joining VJ Technology, Gary was General Manager at the Aylesford office of delivery firm DPD UK. His logistics-based career has also included senior roles at TNT and the Royal Mail. His experience will be critical as VJ Technology is in the process of installing a new state of the art warehouse management system. Designed to optimise orders operations, this transition to a digital-based service, which is expected to be completed by August, will be one of Gary’s initial tasks.    “The management system will facilitate a huge change in the way VJ Technology processes orders,” Gary said. “I’m here to lead staff through the new phase and ensure they have all the support they need. It’s a big challenge for us all, but one we’re well-equipped to meet.  The warehouse management system is another VJ Technology initiative to further streamline our superb customer service offering.”
    May 21, 2019 7
  • FBP joined the Single Ply Roofing Association in September 2016 as part of an initiative to include EPDM manufacturers and ensure that SPRA was fully representative and driving quality across the whole of the single ply roofing sector. John said “I am very pleased to have been voted onto the SPRA Council by fellow membrane manufacturer members. I am looking forward to supporting SPRA activities and driving its initiatives to create a more productive and commercially successful construction sector. I am particularly interested in how we attract new talent into the single ply sector, raise awareness of SPRA with stakeholders, and ensure that we lead the roofing industry as an influential and effective voice.” John has 27 years’ experience in the construction industry, initially working as a charted architect and most recently as the General Manager of Firestone Building Products UK and Ireland. As well as having an understanding of the key factors behind design and specification of building elements in the context of the complete building; John has gained a full understanding of how roofing components are developed, marketed, technically supported and sold into the various supply chains through his various roles working for a building product manufacturer. Martyn Holloway, SPRA Chair said “I am very pleased to welcome John onto SPRA Council. His depth of knowledge and determination to improve the sector and attract new talent will be invaluable”. Cathie Clarke, CEO said “I am delighted that John is joining the leadership team. He will play an important role helping to drive our business plan and representing the EPDM sector on the SPRA Council. John joins Ian Muddiman (SIKA), Mike Crook (SIG D&T) and Steve Downey (DANOSA) as the four Membrane Representatives on the 12-strong SPRA Council. Their collective experience, enthusiasm & knowledge is a great asset to SPRA and has been a key element in the growth in influence of this dedicated and focussed specialist trade association”.Want to find out more about SPRA ? Visit: www.spra.co.uk -
    Mar 26, 2019 83
  • With more than 20 years’ construction-based sales and development experience to call upon, Donna is perfectly suited to the role. She joins Sika from Building Innovation Ltd where she held the position as Key Account Management for roofing and tapered insulation. Donna, who will be working with Area Technical Managers and the applications team, said: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for me. Sika-Trocal is a leading light in the roofing industry and renowned as an innovator of high-quality solutions. I hope my experience will prove beneficial and further the company’s superb service offering.” Donna commenced her appointment with Sika-Trocal in February. “The chance to work for such a high-profile employer as Sika proved too great to resist,” she added. “It offers a huge, but very rewarding challenge. I’m looking forward to meeting my new colleagues and taking this next valuable step in my career. I’m particularly excited about being involved with the Bombardier and Rock Roofing projects and hope to hit the ground running.” Outside of the workplace, Donna cites her hobbies as walking and spending time with family and her dog. She said having the desire to improve personal and professional skills is key to career success. “Forging excellent account relationships and possessing good industry knowledge are traits I like to think have helped me progress in my chosen field,” she said. “It sounds old-fashioned, but I truly believe success is built on hard work and a willingness to learn.”
    Mar 14, 2019 130